Everywhere I look, people seem to throw around point totals for their army: “I have 20,000 points of Marines, and another 8,000 points of painted Eldar.” I’ve often wondered how many points of models I have, but I’ve never really bothered to sit down and count.
Well, this weekend, I tried, but I ran into a snag. Really, I set about photographing my Tyranid army, but while I was taking the time to put them out neatly on the table, I figured it wouldn’t be hard to count up what I had and determine what the total points value was. Well, on that point, I was both right and wrong.
For things like Pyrovores, the math was really easy. Just take the total number owned (0) and multiply by the points value listed in the codex (45). Since there are on unit options (and I own exactly zero models), it doesn’t get any more straight forward than this. Other units started to get a little trickier…
For instance, how does one handle unit upgrades like adrenal glands and toxin sacs? When I tally up the point cost of my hormagaunt units, do I include those in the value of the model or not? Since the upgrades themselves can almost double the cost of the model, it is an important distinction. Perhaps if I was stricter about modeling such upgrades on my bugs, it would make this an easy decision. Unlike some people, I rare run the same list twice, preferring to mix things up each game. With that said, some games I’ll run my bugs with certain upgrades, and other times I’ll outfit them completely different. For simplicity’s sake, I try to ensure that all forms of a unit within an army list have the same upgrades though, because I hate getting into the “Hrmmm, was it the blue gaunts that had toxin sacs, or the green ones…?”
For those upgrades that are supposed to be affixed to the model (as above), I’m sure alot of people will say that points should be determined in WYSIWYG fashion. I can respect that, but then what do you say about upgrades that have no visual representation? For example, what about regeneration or psychic abilities? When I total up the points value of a unit that has such upgrades as possible options–do I include them, or exclude them from the value of the figure?
And then, what about magnetized options? Anyone whose read the blog for a while will note that I’m a little crazy when it comes to magnetizing options (as anyone should be whose been through four editions of rules/codex changes). Well, how do you account for point value changes in this case? Do I take the cheapest option? The most expensive? The one that I most commonly take? Or some sort of combination of these (perhaps an median or a mean price?)
Lastly, how do I proceed with units that I use interchangeably between multiple codex slots (and no, the answer isn’t to go out and buy more models—at least not for me)? For example, my original take on a Carnifex was to use a Trygon tail, but I’ve taken to using them sometimes as Carnies and sometimes as Tervigons, and have lovingly dubbed them “Tervifexes.” You can pictures of them in this blog post (for some reason, the thumbnails appear broken, but if you click on them, there are valid large images behind them). I definitely use them more as Tervigons than Carnies, but there are rare exceptions. When tallying my points, which do they count as?
With all of those options, I’ve decided to make a poll on the subject. You remember polls? I used to do them quite frequently. Alas, all of my previous polls broke after I moved the site, but what better time than to start again?
The question is simple: When I tally up the total points value of my army, how should I do it? Should I value it:
- Based upon the base cost of the model? (though it wouldn’t account for upgrades, it would provide a solid baseline)
- On the maximum point cost of the model? (After all, this is a form of digital epeen, right? If that’s the case, don’t I want to flaunt how big it is?)
- Using the most common options I use (which is difficult for me, seeing as I mix things up so regularly)?
- Or some combination of the above?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter…. How do you tally the total point value of your army?