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View Full Version : Can you compare pt costs across armies?



kikkoman
21-03-2009, 19:28
From another thread, this point was brought up



- You CANNOT compare diffrent unit in diffrent armys. You can compare the function of diffrent units in the whole game plan of certain army. Compering unit 1 vs 1 just makes you look like an diot in the face of all tactical tradition and tactical standards. If you dont understand that - go serve in military - go to military school - thay will teach you why compering platoon and wargear of one army to another is not valid in 1 to 1 terms.

So agree, disagree?

Is there any official word from the 40k designers if they justify point costs only within the context of their army, or against all armies?

Sarah S
21-03-2009, 19:33
Yes you can. That's the very basis of a points system. If you couldn't compare them across armies, then why would you bother having the same points limits for two different armies to play a game?

Playing a game is nothing more than an extended comparison of the points costs of the units.

That said, you do have to keep an eye on the context of the unit and the capabilities it provides to the army it is found in. It's not impossible, but it takes a bit of work, and it isn't as simple as "OMG! 15 points? I could get a Marine for that!"

Poseidal
21-03-2009, 19:47
What's wrong with comparing points across armies? Of course, you should take the context of other units but isn't that what points are for?

Also, I don't see what it has to do with military or military school as I was unaware real world armies had points costs they had to adhere to.

kultz
21-03-2009, 19:49
Context is everything.
Consider these extreme examples:

Imagine an army, where every unit annihilates infantry. Now imagine the single weakness of the army is vehicles. Anything with an armour value is invulnerable against these infantry killers.
This army has a single tank killer unit.
This tank killer is priced high so that the army is still vulnerable to tanks.

Now consider another army.
This army, now, have many units, all of them decent at most tasks. This army's anti-tank is the same as the other army's, but this army does not annihilate infantry nearly as easily.
Should this second army's tank killer be priced just as high?

No.

Consider the above to be an exercise in context.

lanrak
21-03-2009, 21:13
Hi all.
As an alternative to the 'exersise in context'.

IF all units have PV allocated on in game effectivness, what the in game capabilities are.
An anti tank unit with exactly the same range an effects as another antitank unit in a different army SHOULD be costed identicaly!

However , as all army compositions (strenghts and weaknesses,) should be varied, then one army could have antitank units as a common troops chice, where as another army may have it as a restricted elite unit choice.

Balancing army synergy and composition can be done with unit allocation , troops, elite, fast attack, heavy support , 0-2 choice, or one per army , or one per 'unit X' taken.
You do NOT have to fiddle with PV!

Altering PV to allow for synergy in different compositions is
self defeating.
Unless you want to list seperate PV for every possible unit-load out composition?

And if the 'you have to allocate PV dependant on army context,' why is there not different PV in the DH/WH Codexes for use with SM or IG?

Oddly enough , games that ARE developed for ballanced competative play only had to work out the PV allocation method once.
So you can use ANY unit you feel like and get a more accurate costings , than from 20+years of GWs best guesses!

But GW are in the buisness of selling minatures , not balancing gameplay for competative players.

Fortunatley lots of other companies put game play first.

Happy Gaming,
Lanrak.

Laser guided fanatic
21-03-2009, 21:56
Hi all.


Fortunatley lots of other companies put game play first.

Happy Gaming,
Lanrak.



Any company that doesn't put profit first is either stupid or taking neo-marketing (which you seem to have succumed to) to far.

There is a reason that Chaos, DA, BT and SM Termies all cost near enough the same (i say near enough because i have no clue about how much chaos termies cost). This is because they are all the same unit.
If one couldn't compare points costs across differnt armies then you would have armies on different wavelengths.

scolex
21-03-2009, 22:05
You can to an extent, but not in any accurate fashion.

Different armies have different wargear to use, different purposes for the unit, and different units to support them.

The quote is about comparing Terminators to Ogryns. Simply put both are resilient and do their damage in different ways. Terminators also don't tend to function as a counterattack/tar pit do they?

Ogryns rely on having many wounds/ high toughness to survive, and deal their damage with massed s5/s6 attacks. (7 per Ogryn on charge)

Terminators are all about saves. They have the best armour in the game, and deny their opponents use of theirs.

Both units also have different weaknesses. Massed small arms fire that bounces off Terminator armour has a good chance of doing some nasty hurt to Ogryns. But the Ogryns also laugh while taking one wound from an s8+ pie plate that ruins the Termies day. And while there isn't much the Termies can do about their weakness, the Ogryns can get a Conscript screen.

I find it hard to do an accurate comparison when both units do different things, in different ways, for different armies, in different contexts.

Even within the same army this can be true. You can indeed buy three guardsmen per stormtrooper. But both do different jobs, and indeed the Stormtrooper will do equal or better damage once the armour saves get high. The number of those saves will truly determine the comparative value of Stormtroopers to Guardsmen.

Lord Solar Plexus
21-03-2009, 22:17
So agree, disagree?

Of course you can compare units! Everything imaginable can be compared to everything else. Sometimes it will be different, sometimes it won't. You CAN compare apples to oranges. You just have to state at the end of the day that they're different kinds of fruit.


What's wrong with comparing points across armies?


Points? Where did point cost come into play? Akuma's statement did not mention them. He was talking in much broader terms.



Ogryns rely on having many wounds/ high toughness to survive, and deal their damage with massed s5/s6 attacks. (7 per Ogryn on charge)

4 per charging Ogryn.

Nostro
21-03-2009, 22:34
Context is everything.
Consider these extreme examples:

Imagine an army, where every unit annihilates infantry. Now imagine the single weakness of the army is vehicles. Anything with an armour value is invulnerable against these infantry killers.
This army has a single tank killer unit.
This tank killer is priced high so that the army is still vulnerable to tanks.

Now consider another army.
This army, now, have many units, all of them decent at most tasks. This army's anti-tank is the same as the other army's, but this army does not annihilate infantry nearly as easily.
Should this second army's tank killer be priced just as high?

No.

Consider the above to be an exercise in context.

There.

Somehow you can compare points across armies, for a broad extent. But context plays a large role in the refinment of points value.

Another example: imagine you could add the option of taking khorne berserkers (exact same entry as in CSM codex) to:
a) Orks
b) Tau

For Orks, a lot of things can maul enemies in CC for a very cheap costs. Zerker add few to the army list and shouldn't cost too much.
For Tau, their weakness is CC. They have a lot of units than can shoot the hell out of anything, but once in CC they have difficulties. Zerkers would offset this weakness very strongly and make the Tau army a lot more powerful. It should cost more to add zerkers there.

I'm not talking 15 pts vs 40 pts each, but the difference could be 5 or 10 points easily.

Nym
21-03-2009, 22:36
You can, and people who tell you you're dumb because you think so should think twice before opening their mouth.

No matter the context, if a Space Marine costs say 10 points and a Chaos Space Marine with exactly the same gear costs 20 points, something is wrong. Context can justify up to a 50% points difference between two similar units, but definitely not 100%. Why ? Not because of game mechanics, but because at this stage people will deem this unit overpriced and focus on other units whose point cost is in line with that of other codices.

There's a bit of psychology behind this, costing "twice as much" has a much stronger psychological impact than "costing one and a half as much". It's like a bike costing 999$ and one costing 1000$, customers see 900$ and 1000$, even if there's only 1$ between both.

Raven1
21-03-2009, 23:30
You can and you can't...remember that a codex is balanced against itself. That's why the Demon Prince's wings cost differently than the Hive Tyrant's cost of wings.

But, there is a sort points cost that runs across the board. MEQ armies cost around the same. Its more of what do you get for the points cost. One squad of Imperial Guard is nothing against a squad of Chaos Space Marines, but that is why IG troops come in Platoons and not squads.

scolex
22-03-2009, 01:11
4 per charging Ogryn.

I included their shooting. Assault 3, Strength 5.

Hicks
22-03-2009, 01:39
You can, you should and that's where you see how unbalanced the codices are between each other.

Vedar
22-03-2009, 02:14
A good point was already made with adding zerkers to tau or orks. Another would be giving high STR weapons to Deamons. Daemons can tear through CC like mad but armor is quite often a problem. Should Deamons be able to through out STR 10 shots at long range at Tau point cost.... no.

ehlijen
22-03-2009, 03:18
You can compare units accross codices, but it is a more complex task than comparing units in the same codex.

Many armies are similar in setup (squads of x*5 meqs for example) and lend themselves to cross codex comparison, but how do you compare 5 devestators with a lascannon to a 3 LC IG heavy squad? They cost about the sameish (I believe), but which is better? Is the IG squad better because they have 3 times the firepower? Or are the space marines better because they can keep all their firepower for longer? Is there cover, how likely are they going to be assaulted and does the enemy have things worth shooting with lascannon?

Never understimate how differences in codices can affect units value to each codex. But if you get that right, compare away.

Warforger
22-03-2009, 04:33
Its more of the weapons being similar, in performance and profile, like Heavy Bolter and Shuriken Cannon, Ork Shoota compared to a Bolter.

Now when the same exact thing costs different between codices.... Then there's reason to complain.

Bookwrak
22-03-2009, 04:56
You can, and people who tell you you're dumb because you think so should think twice before opening their mouth.

So does that mean since you're wrong, you should've thought thrice before opening yours? :evilgrin:

You can't just directly compare two models and hope to get much use out of it. One excellent example (although it's died down a bit as of late, thankfully) is the whiner with the quivering lip going, 'but but but, the Monolith is cheaper than a land raider, and so much better! It's so unfaaaaaaaaaaair!" You can't base a functioning argument based on, 'Monolith is AV 14 and X points, LR is AV 14 and X+40, so therefore the Monolith is way undercosted.' You have to consider the context of the unit within the army in order to understand why the points cost is done the way it is.

Of course, this is much easier to do with broadly similar units, but you still have to consider context. For example,
if a Space Marine costs say 10 points and a Chaos Space Marine with exactly the same gear costs 20 points, something is wrong. Context can justify up to a 50% points difference between two similar units, but definitely not 100%.
is just a very foolish thing to say. You have to consider the context to see why that CSM is worth twice as much. Something that might justify the cost would be Daemon packs having the ability to use CSM as an anchor to deep strike without scatter, even striking into the same CC the CSM are fighting in. That certainly makes a standard CSM a higher powered model than his Imperial twin.

Or if the list was the much longed for LatD some chaos player miss so much, having a MEQ unit to bulk out ranks of lasgun toting, flak armor wearing guard equivalents would be a very useful option that would shore up one of the list's major weaknesses, and thus you would see the unit priced higher than what you would encounter in its own codex. A unit with bolters and 3+ saves is much stronger in an army when everyone else has a lasgun and 5+ saves, than in an army where everyone has a bolter and 3+ save.

massey
22-03-2009, 06:48
Bookwrak is right. And I think Nostro had the best example of all. Yes, you can compare units across codexes and look at point comparisons. That doesn't mean that it will be obvious when something is improperly priced.

Yes, GW does make cost mistakes. But you have to take a lot of factors into account. Was this a codex written for a previous edition when the rules worked differently? The Rhino Rush in 3rd was powerful, and so were worth more than the 35 points they are today. So an old codex written with that in mind will be priced according to the rules at the time. Does the army function differently? You can have 5 winged monstrous creatures in a demon army, as opposed to 2 in a CSM army. Should wings be priced higher on a demon prince from one as opposed to the other? 5 winged MCs is certainly more powerful than 2. Different deployment methods alter how they will be used as well.

You have to take all that into consideration.

Metaphorazine
22-03-2009, 07:11
I think no, you can only compare armies built to a certain points cost. Because it's all about the context.

If it wasn't, you could transplant units between codexes. I'll take a terminator assault squad along with my boyz, still adds up to 1500 points, that's fine right?

It's all about the context. Is a single squad of 30 boys good? Is it better when it's got 2 other squads the same size next to it? Is that squad even better when Snikrot's come in behind the enemy and started messing with them? Is that squad still just as awesome when it's in the middle of the board, all along, with no cover? How about when it's still at full strength, and is in combat in the middle of the enemies line?

The value of that 1 squad changes as its context changes. Part of that context is the other choices in that squad's army.

Stezerok
22-03-2009, 07:36
you know the funny thing about this. Is that while we're all looking at it on this end, GW is probably going through this process every time they write the codex. They have to try and decide how much each unit is worth in an arbitrary points system, between both other armies and the weaknesses/strengths within the list itself. Well now we have a bit of a glimpse of what GW design teams have to deal with...

Good Hunting,
-Stezerok

Bunnahabhain
22-03-2009, 09:24
YES.

You can compare units that perform similar roles, regardless of how the rest of the army is structured, ie Sentinals Vs War walkers.


I believe that, as far as possible, each unit, and each significant option should be fairly and sensibly priced.
ie A landspeeder with X is worth Y points so is costed at y points. To upgrade X to a assulat cannon is +10pts. You absolutely do not load a premium onto the platform as it can take a gun, as then you have to take that gun to make the platform balanced.

The context of the rest of the army is an important part of deciding what something is actually worth. To go back to the sentinal Vs war-walker example, what role do they provide? In both cases, it's mobile firepower, and in both cases, there are other mobile units that can also provide that firepower, be it guard tanks and IDF, or wraithlords, jetbikes and skimmer tanks/transports.

Here we can see they should not be a massive difference between them due to rarity premium, so they should be similar values. Why they are so different in terms of points, armour and firepower is beyond me, assuming 'screwing the guard yet again' is not actually deliberate GW policy

Trying to compare units with dis-similar roles and stats across armies is not really possible.

WLBjork
22-03-2009, 09:59
Context plays a part.

Consider, a Land Raider Crusader against an infantry heavy army with very few AT weapons - the Crusader is going to have a field day.

Effectively, the Crusader is worth more than it was bought for.


On the other hand, that same Crusader against a 5th ed. Guard army with a plethora of Lascannons and a few Vanquishers is pretty much worthless.


Ultimately, points values are arbitary. It's an approximate indication of how powerful the unit is in a balanced force when facing another balanced force.