I’ve recently had to make a bunch of Matched Play armylists recently – and it’s made me want to play Age of Sigmar.
Right off the bat, this post has nothing to do with the related, but distinct issue of number of publications needed to make an army. Abe has already covered that ably (see what I did there).
What I am talking about is the sheer complexity of just tracking down the numbers and rules needed to build an army list. I recently found myself with an unexpected game to plan out and not a lot of time. We have a LOT of giant armies here at the BoLS studio (17 40K, and 6 Age of Sigmar at last count). So finding models isn’t the hard part. I was short on time so went with a relatively simple list using only Adeptus Custodes and an Assassin.
Making a 40K List
Let’s go over the steps:
Step 1: Grab the core rulebook to get the detachment charts
Step 2: Grab Adeptus Custodes & Index Imperium 2 (assassins)
Step 3: Grab Chapter Approved 2018
Step 4: Grab Main Rulebook FAQ (updated numbers of CPs)
Step 5: Grab BIG-FAQ2 (just to be safe)
WHEW, now I can start doing math.
Now to make each unit I have to:
- Look up the unit in the codex to decide if I want it and the unit size.
- Look up the unit in the Chapter Approved 2018 – if it’s there, use that point value.
- If it’s not, use the points in the Codex
- Add it to the army total.
- Look up each piece of unit wargear in the codex to decide if I want it.
- Look up the piece of unit unit in the Chapter Approved 2018 – if it’s there, use that point value.
- If it’s not, use the points in the Codex.
- Add it to the army total.
Verify the Detachments are valid.
Once I’m good, calculate the CPs (using the Main Rulebook FAQ)
It took 45 minutes to do this – for a very simple army with 1 codex. This is irritating as all hell. To create a Matched Play army in Age of Sigmar takes roughly a quarter the time, and to be honest is pulling my towards that game more and more. I hate to say it, but I really think AoS has a better construction system than 40K at this point.
Ways to Make it Better
Chapter Approved Improvements
Here are some easy ways to fix this for the annual book:
- List EVERY POINT VALUE IN THE GAME in the annual book.
- Color code them so players know if they changed from the codex, or are just there for completeness.
- If you are feeling extra fancy, you could even include the deltas in parenthesis from the original codex values.
This gets rid of the constant flipping back and forth instantly, maybe the most irritating and time consuming part of the armylist construction process.
GW 40K Online Army Builder
I canvassed roughly ten players and all except one said the same thing: “No one builds armies by hand, download +++INSERT 3rd PARTY SOFTWARE+++ and use that.”
This is a crock. 40K is the largest most successful tabletop miniatures wargame in the world. The concept that to make a legal armylist in a reasonable amount of time – I should have to download something by a 3rd party is ridiculous. Numerous games from X-Wing, to Warmachine, to Infinity have official army construction software. Not only only do these apps standardize army construction, and limit errors – they give the manufacturers access to incredible data on what is being played they can use for a variety of purposes, from play-testing, to sales optimization.
Wargear Costs Need to be Simplified
The horse has already left the gate, but some type of halfway house between the current 40K “how much does each melta cost” and Age of Sigmar’s “all wargear is included” could be found. Something like standardized sets of wargear upgrades for entire squads with fixed costs. Like I said, it’s probably too late for 8th, but there are always future editions for lessons learned.
I just want to have fun again making lists, not feel like I’m doing my taxes.
~ Do you think the era of building lists by hand is gone, and how do you feel about building 40K lists right now?