NewHammer 40,000: Points & Power Levels


The following comes from the Warhammer-community page.

In the new Warhammer 40,000, you’ll find there are two ways to balance your games.

Yesterday, we saw that Datasheets include something called a Power Level. This is a rough approximation of a unit’s relative effectiveness on the battlefield. These can be used to very quickly throw together two roughly equal forces to fight a battle. Or, in the case of some narrative and open play scenarios, will determine who takes what role in the game. For example, if you’re playing the “Ambush” mission, the side with the highest total Power Level for their army will always play the role of the attacker, where the smaller enemy force will need to escape the trap.


Power Levels are a great way to very quickly get a roughly balanced game organised and started, but they do not account for the various wargear options and upgrades a unit can have. For this level of granularity, you have points. These will be just as detailed as they are now, right down to points for individual weapon upgrades on every squad member. For example, a Tactical Marine Squad of five models is Power Level 5, but in a matched play game, each of those Tactical Marines would cost 13 points each, with upgrades ranging from a grav-pistol for the Sergeant at 7 pts, all the way up to multi-meltas at 27 pts. The full squad totals up at a similar number of points to what it costs today. With faster play times for most games, we’re expecting matched play games of a couple of hours to sit around the 2,000 points mark.


In matched play, your points will be capped across the whole game. So if you’re planning to summon units to the battlefield, you will need to set points aside to do this. You won’t need to specify what the points will be for though, so this does leave you with your options open and if during the game, you decide that what you really need is a fast combat unit instead of a durable objective holder, you’ll be able to summon the right tool for the job, points permitting. You will no longer be able to indefinitely replicate Daemon units, and instead, summoning will be used more as an alternative mechanism of deployment, much like deep striking or outflanking is today (both of which exist in their own forms in the new Warhammer 40,000 too).

The points for units don’t appear on the datasheet but will be elsewhere in the same book. This is because you don’t need them to play if you don’t want, which frees up room to include more rules for weapons on the datasheet. It also means that, in the future, points for units could change without invalidating existing books – so if one unit or weapon starts to dominate tournaments, or certain units don’t seem to be carrying their weight in competitive games, we can address the balance.


All cool stuff. We’ll be back tomorrow with another piece of new background from the new edition.

Pretty cool! Do you all plan on using points or power level?


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39 Responses to “NewHammer 40,000: Points & Power Levels”

  1. Avatar
    Davis A Centis May 12, 2017 7:58 am #

    Is the mission displayed here a Narrative-only mission, or is this mission meant to be one of the standard packs for tournament play?

    Everything looks incredible so far! Point costs for weapons FINALLY really changing. So curious now to see why the Grav Pistol is only 7 points – seems like you guys considered it less impactful than even a second Space Marine.

    • Avatar
      Threllen May 12, 2017 8:03 am #

      Since basically every mechanic the grav system currently uses – wound system and AP work differently and there is no longer a standard “vehicle damage chart” or glancing/penetrating hits – I would imagine grav is immensely different in 8th from 7th. Which would explain a drastic point shift.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 12, 2017 8:05 am #

      They mention in the article that that missions is an example of a narrative or open play.

      And I would wait to read all the rules and points values before judging how good or not a Grav Pistol is for the points =)

  2. Requizen
    Requizen May 12, 2017 8:02 am #

    Power Levels look like a great way to get people into the game. Have them pick a couple boxes, and then snag some units from your collection. No muss, no fuss. No explaining the spreadsheet of points to a player who just wants to try the game out.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 12, 2017 8:07 am #

      Yeah, exactly. It’s awesome for casual play and especially for younger gamers. Grab a box of stuff, but it together however you want to and play. Makes it super fun and easy.

      • Avatar
        David Hayden May 12, 2017 10:04 am #

        It’s going to be very popular at the store where I play, probably with experienced and new players. It’s not a competitive crowd.

        I’m going to really enjoy having the option. I love list building, but sometimes, I just want to throw something together. And a lot of games I play are pick-up games with random people, so you have to match the points they have available, so the power level will be great for that.

  3. Avatar
    Hiveminded May 12, 2017 8:02 am #

    Enough already! Bring on 8th edition.

    This slow trickly of information was useful at first to help get people on board with the editon update. But at this point, it’s just agonizing.

    • Avatar
      Cephalobeard May 12, 2017 8:03 am #

      We’re rapidly approaching the point of a slow-drip of information where patience will end, and people will get annoyed.

      Which is unfortunate, because if leaks are correct, we have nearly another month of this to endure.

      I’m willing to wait, but it was a risky choice to drip for so long.

      • Avatar
        Threllen May 12, 2017 8:06 am #

        The other option is to go completely silent on their longtime cash cow and just release/reveal absolutely nothing about it for a few months while they’re finalizing the new edition.

        They saw how well that worked when they bungled the fantasy-AoS transition.

        • Avatar
          Cephalobeard May 12, 2017 8:43 am #

          I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. They could have waited, and then done slightly more information over a smaller time frame.

          The slow change is fine as a choice theyve selected, but a possible side effect is the time having a negative affect in the short term, for some.

          • Avatar
            Threllen May 12, 2017 9:08 am

            I think they looked at it from the perspective “we have ~2 months to kill before the new edition drops where we’ll have 0 40k releases. What do we do to keep people interested until the new edition drops?”

            Personally I’m much more of a fan of “give me a little bit every single day” then “go dark for most of that time and then cram a bunch of stuff in for the couple weeks immediately beforehand.”

          • Avatar
            Cephalobeard May 12, 2017 9:33 am


            I just, realistically, expect a large number of people to become annoyed by week 3-4 of 6-8.

            I’m not saying it’s correct, I’m just saying it will likely happen. It’s the nature of that selected process.

        • Avatar
          Hiveminded May 12, 2017 3:57 pm #

          I’m not asking that they go dark. I’m asking that they roll out the new edition.

          They’ve released enough info that people want the edition. Mission accomplished. Now get on with it.

          Said differently…I’m betting that most players are like me and have stopped purchasing models/books. We’re waiting until the new rules drop before resuming the spending. GW would be better off to just release the 8E rules in some articles rather than trickle things out slowly.

          • Avatar
            Threllen May 12, 2017 4:36 pm

            They have release schedules. They’re not just sitting on the product because they feel like it. They’re probably not finished producing all of the materials yet.

          • Avatar
            Hiveminded May 13, 2017 5:28 am

            The point is simple. Some leaks are good to generate excitement. Two full months of a slow trickle of rules is starting to become counter-productive.

            For example, how much pointless raging are we seeing by people about lasguns taking out land raiders? Or mandi-blasters taking out Titans? A little information is worse then no information because it leads to speculation and false conclusions.

            And with respect to producing materlal. The rules are supposed to be free. They could release them all on their website next week. It’s a choice; they’re not being limited by a production printing schedule.

    • Avatar
      Threllen May 12, 2017 8:04 am #

      Warhammer fest is the last weekend in May and the preview of the June WD from the May edition showed it is going to be heavily 40k focused. You’ll have to wait until the beginning of June me-thinks. With a big reveal/preview coming at Warhammer fest.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 12, 2017 8:07 am #

      Patience, grasshopper =)

      • Avatar
        GPhillips May 12, 2017 11:11 am #

        This all well and good. I just need to know if scouts and land speeder storms, two of my favorite units, will be relevant!

        • Reecius
          Reecius May 12, 2017 11:12 am #

          I can’t say specifics yet, but I think you will be pleased =)

    • Avatar
      Anggul May 12, 2017 8:21 am #

      I’m going to go ahead and say what everyone is thinking: It’s like the hobby equivalent of edging.

      • Reecius
        Reecius May 12, 2017 8:37 am #


      • Avatar
        Fluger May 12, 2017 9:46 am #


      • Avatar
        JMac May 12, 2017 5:04 pm #

        Literal lol

    • Avatar
      Icoop May 12, 2017 9:12 am #

      As excited as I am for new edition, I’m liking the trickle, I feel like I’ll have a strong grasp of the game on release date, instead of feeling like I have to look up everything.

    • Avatar
      Spaceork May 12, 2017 2:34 pm #

      While I totally get why you feel this way, its a marketing strategy that is proven to work in other games. Magic the gathering releases spoilers over the course of a month. They usually release one card a day out of a set of 200+ cards until a week before release in which they dumb huge amounts of info.

      Also at this rate we will have basic sense of how to play before the game even drops so it will be all about building lists and getting models on the table on the day of the release.

  4. Avatar
    fluger May 12, 2017 8:24 am #

    7 pt pistol is great. Even with letting them shoot in melee, 15 pts was too much for plasma pistol types. Also, 27 pt multimelta is great because it means heavies are more expensive as they should be. Also, not getting stuck on multiples of 5 is good.

    Finally, keeping points separate and open to change based on results is terrific.

    • Avatar
      Threllen May 12, 2017 9:06 am #

      The OCD in me made me a fan of things that worked out to be 5 point multiples.

      Nothing was worse than the feeling of taking a unit like the Blue Scribes (81 points) and then always ending at 1996 points in a 2k game. If they had just taken one dang point off I could get another upgrade!

      • Avatar
        David Hayden May 12, 2017 10:07 am #

        I couldn’t agree more! I want everything in multiples of 5! Nothing drives me crazier than a unit costing a number of points ending in 1 or 3, or my total not being exactly 1500/1850/2000. I can’t stand it. I’m not OCD, except on a couple of things, and that’s one of them.

        I get for points balancing maybe has to work out that way…maybe…but it makes me itch.

        • Avatar
          fluger May 12, 2017 11:19 am #

          In 4th ed Fantasy there were 1/2 point upgrades.

          Breaking free of 5 pt multiples really helps differentiate upgrades/units.

          • Avatar
            David Hayden May 12, 2017 1:45 pm

            Half points? *shudder*

          • Avatar
            Threllen May 12, 2017 2:15 pm

            Not so sure about half points. I don’t mind upgrades costing 1, 2, 3 points etc as long as it ends up as a round number. If an upgrade is 1PPM but I’m taking 5 or 10 of them it’s not such a big deal.

            It’s when you get into things like a single model that costs 888 points or one that costs 81, etc that I don’t like because inevitably my list is going to end at a non-round number of points…

  5. Avatar
    Castle May 12, 2017 8:25 am #

    Not sure how I feel about the summons requiring points.

    While good for keeping demons from getting out of control, seems like it will hit Tervigon’s pretty hard, and they really don’t need a nerf.

    It’ll lead to some interesting list building but the risk of losing your summoner seems too high for the points your effectively setting aside for them.

    • Avatar
      WestRider May 12, 2017 8:45 am #

      Or consider the possibility that the Tärvigon has been completely redesigned to work within a system where Summoning takes up Points. Perhaps it essentially includes a number of Gaunts in its Points Cost. Perhaps it’s now similar to a Transport. Perhaps some other mechanic that I haven’t even thought of.

      • Avatar
        winterman May 12, 2017 9:01 am #

        I am hoping Tervigons can alternately replenish existing squads, which you can do in AoS match play without burning reserve points. But still have option to create fresh units.

        Also unlike AoS match play, 40k has points for individual models so there’s a way to handle random gen of unit size that doesn’t screw the player over (eg Sylvaneth dryad creating rules are bad in match play).

    • Avatar
      lessthanjeff May 12, 2017 9:50 am #

      I’d imagine the ability to spawn gaunts was built into his cost before though. If he doesn’t produce free units, I’d expect a price drop. Otherwise maybe they’ll just tweak the mechanic so it replenishes casualties or makes them tougher instead of creating new units.

    • Avatar
      Threllen May 12, 2017 10:02 am #

      Change spawning to “replenishing” units, add buffs like FnP or better stats to nearby termagants, adjust the points, make the tervigon itself stronger, etc etc

      Lots of things they can do the rework the Tervigon in the face of “no more free points”

    • Avatar
      Jural May 12, 2017 10:05 am #

      Tervigons already had a “gaunt creation tax” built into their cost, at least it sure seems that way! But you paid that tax whether you generated 2 gaunts turn 1 and tapped out, or if you generated 66 gaunts.

      There are certainly ways to rework the Tervigon and make it better…

  6. Anvil
    Anvil May 12, 2017 1:13 pm #

    Manager at my store said he has to go to a GW HQ for three days sometime during the last full week of May. Probably to play a bunch of NewHammer games so they are prepared to teach it to customers.

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