Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Points mean prizes

Bear with me, this one is going to be a bit of a ramble.

The other day I was thinking about Games Workshop's new Archaon model (it takes me 15 minutes to walk from the station to work, my mind tends to wander). I was thinking about how effective he might actually be on the table. My, so far limited, experience of Age of Sigmar is that individual models are not as effective as you might think because they can overwhelmed by units that can roll a lot more dice.

I then thought, but could a unit of Stormcast Eternals roll enough dice to finish off Archaon before he annihilated them? But then I thought, Archaon costs £100, you can get nearly three boxes of Stormcast for that.

And then the revelation hit me. If you want a points system for Age of Sigmar, why not just use pounds? It's good enough for most game shows.

I am not being even slightly flippant or facetious. I genuinely think this could work. Though this wasn't always the case. Back in Warhammer 4th and 5th edition, the proliferation of special characters meant that for about £5 you could pick up a single model that could destroy a unit single-handedly. Then as Games Workshop increasingly used a mix of metal and plastic, cheap plastic units could be far more effective than bulky metal special units. But as the company has shifted to producing pretty much everything in plastic, they have also shifted to producing larger models in plastic and developing rules to justify the price of the model. This became most apparent during the end times when the super sized characters, Nagash, the Glottkin, the Verminlord and the Bloodthirster all cost multiple hundreds of points to justify their cash you had to shell out to get them. The development of the new Archaon model seems to have been driven by this trend. Only a model of this size could justify the plethora of special rules required for the Lord High Grand Poobah of Chaos (or whatever they're calling him these days).

Put simply, expensive models tend to be worth more on the battlefield.

Of course there would have to be some adjustments. The prices used would have to be based on the current Games Workshop prices, not discounts from third party retailers. And, if you wanted to use old models, you would have to base the cost on the versions currently available from Games Workshop. My 20 old Dwarf Longbeards cost me £25 when I bought them, but to replace them with the new versions would cost £60, and so that's their Age of Sigmar cost.

Possibly the most difficult models would be the ones in the starter box, which is generally considered to be excellent value for money. Fortunately, the bulk of the models included can now be obtained separately and the rest can probably be calculated based on their size. You would also have to do some adjustments if you wanted to use any models from Forge World.

I'll admit its a bit crude and not entirely balanced, but then what points system is? Certainly not Warhammer 8th edition (and probably not Warhammer 40,000 7th edition). But I'm guessing this would work at least as well as a system based around wounds.

So who's for a £500 game?

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