40K Editorial: 1500pts, is it enough?

How many knights can you fit at 1500pts?

Hey everyone White925 here. This last weekend I attended a 1500 point tournament in Sacramento (Great Escape Games Tournament of Champions series, roughly 60 attendees) and placed 2nd with my Nurgle Chaos Space Marine army. Now my question is: is 1500 points enough points for a tournament?

I will give you reasons on both sides of the argument. I will start by saying yes, 1500 is a viable point level to hold a tournament at. The great thing about having tournaments at low point levels is that you don’t need to much time to finish up rounds which means you can play more games and have an overall winner in a one day RTT. We run 16 man, 4 round tournaments at 1500pts all the time, and the entire day is over and done in 8 hours, no problem. Another great thing is that the armies in the tournament consist of just the bare necessities; no fat left around at that point level. A lot of armies actually excel at lower point levels which makes the playing field a lot more interesting since you play against a lot of armies you usually wouldn’t such as Chaos Space Marines and Tau. The last positive that I can think of would have to be how much easier it is to acquire and paint a smaller army. More people can put a 1500pt army on the table than an 1850pt army, for example.

Now for the down sides to low point levels. I think the main down side would have to be that you have to trim all the fat off of your other tournament lists, which can feel weird. After working to get a list just right at a higher point limit, taking away units can feel like you are giving too much up. Another down side is that some armies do not play very well at low point levels such as Black Templars and Deamons. I also do not like low point levels because I hate not bringing all my little special upgrades that aren’t nessessary but are a lot of fun. At 1500, you really have to bring only the best units you have. The last down side to using lower points is that you really can’t make any mistakes while playing because your army’s numbers are dropped drastically in the point difference which makes every unit very valuable throughout the game.

My overall opinion on 1500 points being the default point level for tournaments would have to be no, I would prefer not to see that happen. I enjoy the higher point games too much to give up units that I always use. Now I would like to get your guys opinions on the topic, 1500 point tournaments yes or no? And why?


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

7 Responses to “40K Editorial: 1500pts, is it enough?”

  1. frank March 21, 2012 5:23 am

    That’s funny, Once of the items you listed as a drawback I see as a benefit.
    I think the need to trim stuff to 1500 points is a good thing. I think it would kill the “net-list” because at 1500 points you can’t afford all the “best” units; so you’ll see builds with different combinations of the 1st and 2nd tear (and 3rd tear) units.
    In short It forces you to make tough decisions when building the list.
    These items would In turn that will make the game play more challenging (which I also see as a good thing)

  2. Ben March 21, 2012 8:27 am

    It is nice having the speed of a 1500 pt game but like you said many lists are built with 1850 in mind and thats where a lot of juicy and interesting combos get to come into play. You feel less neutered at 1850 rather than having to trim down to 1500. Its a lot like wrestling or boxing though, you cut weight to fight at a lower weight class so you drain yourself to lose weight and the other person is doing the same. Y not just eat pizza and beer the night before your fight and have energy (the army you want to bring at 1850) instead (note pizza and beer may not give energy as stated ^.^).

  3. madival March 21, 2012 9:45 am

    I disagree with the idea that 1500 points is a bad tournament level. At such a point level, you don’t see spam but effectiveness. You must make choices both in list development as well as tactical choices. It becomes less a matter of taking the “must haves” and more a matter of skill. 3 long fang squads aren’t really an option. 3 psyflemen dreads just won’t work as well as they should. The closest spam I have really seen is 3 ravagers and even then, they didn’t tow the army. Also, you rarely see the death star that tournaments are seeing more and more . You have to think of new, creative ways to get things into the list. Example. My Necrons run barge lords with 2+/3++ , mind shackle, war scythe. In high point games, these guys probably would be on trouble from big bad melee units. Go to 1500 points and you can’t really have them. They either tar pit the nasty on the board or go unit hunting.

    Ultimately, at 1500 points , you define yourself. At 1850, you are more general. Both are viable points levels for tournaments. I prefer 1500 personally because games feel more personal rather then just the internet’s ideas.

    • white925 March 21, 2012 12:59 pm

      I would have to disagree with you on that spamming units at 1500 is not an option. I think at 1500 you see more spam because people cut out a lot of the random units and or support units they have at 1850.

  4. Warscythe March 21, 2012 10:15 am

    I’m entering my first tournament in a VERY long time on the 21st … and it’s only 1K per army. No fat, just lean and mean lists at 1K BUT on the upside they can be and are just as fun and often even more intense then higher point level games.

    Playing lower point level games almost always forces an adoption of new tactics and new combinations of units – often resulting in a refreshing “discovery” of what other units in your codex can do and how they can be a viable (and valuable) addition at lower point games. Lower point games or tournaments can also help break us out of a “tried and true” rut and force us to develop new ways to win with our existing forces. Tournament scenarios can also “encourage” players to play and fight in new ways.

    Ultimately, I find varying the point levels for tournaments more challenging then just maintaining one “acceptable” tournament points level … and it’s more challenging at every level of the tournament environment – forcing the creation of new list, possibly, the building of new units, play testing and evaluating the potential candidate army lists and the development and adoption of new tactics and/or play style for your chosen army. It keeps an “old” army, new and fresh … and hopefully more fun to play rather then falling back to the “tried and true”.

    This is, of course, just my opinion but also my philosophy on living life – you just have to try new things, new places, new people, new perspectives and new ways of looking at the same things. Good gaming to you all :-).

    • white925 March 21, 2012 1:02 pm

      I agree with you that the different point levels makes the games a lot different than most people are used to and make you change up your tactics. Games for sure become a little more interesting at lower points because everything in your list is important and you cannot risk losing them.

  5. Facepuncher March 21, 2012 12:32 pm

    Nice article. I think it is just different as opposed to being good or bad. It seems like you just have to know the meta of that point level. As it turns out, the nurgle build wrecks face at the 1500 point level. You took second, a similar list took first, last year the same list took first, and I think that the same list even won the year before that. It seems like the same type of stuff happens at 2500 points too. The general army meta changes. Personally, I prefer the 1750-2k point level. That seems to be the sweet spot for creating a good mix of competitive lists from multiple codexes.