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Despite not having a large army and thus having a somewhat biased view of the game, I've been thinking recently that 750 games are one of the most interesting formats to play at. The tournament veterans among you may be die-hard 1500/1750 point fanatics, but smaller games are somewhat overlooked I think.
At 750, the limited points keeps things focused, fast and dynamic, lending themselves well to developing a narrative for those who are into their fluff. With so few models on the board, each unit becomes more important, each loss more acute, and each kill more satisfyingly influential.
Army composition, I find, is also fun at this level. Because many forces use up most of the 750 allowance on basic Troops and HQ requirements, the choice of what else to take can be a hard one. As a result, most 750 point armies have a distinct theme, and generally have to play to the strengths of a codex, which brings out the flavour of each one. Seasoned hobbyists can also use the low point format to collect a characterful non-competitive army without the investing too much money and time into the project.
500 points is a little too restrictive (500 points of Necrons anyone?) but at 750 every army has room to mix things up a bit.
What 750 point army do you use? What would you like to use? Fluffy or competitive, foot or mech, have your say! A handful of Sanguinary Guard or one hundred Hormagaunts? The choices are, within reason, limitless.
I certainly agree in terms of story, narrative and fluff that lower points matches are far more structured and determined. To design a rather obscure plot that you and your opponent and work around give you a sentiment of anxiety, dread, joy and whole lot of other emotions at the same time. It is because it is something that you have created, and no one else. There is a more friendly, uncompetitive atmosphere when playing 500 and 750 point matches, in contrast to the more benevolent and egotistical 2000+ games and tournaments. They do make for a fast-paced, action packed ride, and it also makes you focus far more on in depth strategy to compensate fo any loses that you may sustain, and make you far aware of what to expect as you progress in the hobby and learn about the game.
It is also more fulfilling when you are able to include the models that you have put your heart and soul into, and actually be able to see them amongst the rest of your army. I know that the centerpiece of my army is a leaping Warrior (Dark Eldar player), and when I play 2000+ matches, he gets lost on a mile-long board and usually swamped over 100's of Termagants and towering Battle Tanks.
When you roll the dice in low points games, your feelings are far more attuned, and more honed to the outcome. In the great matches, a stray roll of a 1 does hurt, but you just shrug it off until it comes back to bite you in the ass 4 turns later. In 750, it happens immediately. This makes the game far more enjoyable; nothing can be predicted, and nothing can be determined through logic, reasoning or anything. Say you Deepstrike behind a Land Raider. Big deal in 2000 matches, there will be 5 others doing the same thing. In 750, it will probably be the only one doing that. Different things take on different meanings determining the amount of points that are in force. Deepstriking in 2000+ will lead to acts of heroism and bravery. In 750, it is a suicide mission and downright ridiculous.
So I say that there is far more to learn in the small points matches. If one goes all out and buys an entire 2000 pt army straight away, and starts playing with it, they will have learnt nothing, and will usually suffer terribly, because they have not learnt what works for them. They will be using every unit in the codex, and will so focused on the battle at hand that they will not have thought about what works best for their style of play, what they like, and what will be able to defend against the enemy, because they will not have played 750 pt matches with different combinations and different themes of play. I say that a single 2000 pt match is as much as twenty 750 pt ones. Once a play a large game, it is straight back to playing small ones, as I will always be trying out different things, because only in minor games will I be able to finely tune my skills and really get a sense for the potential of everything that I decide to use.
This is why I do not just use the one 750 pt list. I am always changing things up. Maybe a mech list will work better for me on one day, and then maybe a full out fast assault will work on the other. There is no such thing as the ultimate list to beat all things, because I can guarantee that there is always something out there that can beat it. I trust you can see where I am coming from.
But IMHO, 750 pt matches are a dime a dozen, and are far more enjoyable than competitive 2000 matches, as it is always something different.
Light a fire for a man, and he will be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
I'm with you on this. I have alot more fun at smaller points games such as 1000pts and Combat Patrol. as you said it's alot more personal at such small games, each fella counts and each action and screw up more felt.
Although, some armies just work better at small games than others. Death Guard and Necrons will have a hell of a job feilding a decent force at 750pts as once you've done the compulsary choices you wont really have the points for anything 'cool'...........Guard? In 750pts I've got 85 Guardsmen, armed to the teeth.
Ah, the famous Lord Borak. I'm glad some of the veterans agree with me on this.
Also, 85 guardsmen sounds like my kind of list, I respect those who have the commitment to get horde armies modeled, painted and on the table!
Anyone else got interesting or badass 750 point forces to share?
I for one have always wanted to do an entirely close combat Tyranid army of this size, full of Genestealers with the odd 'Fex wading through, but Hormaguant swarms have their appeal too. I also have about half a Kroot Mercenary list sitting around too, but first I need to finish my guard...
I think this in part has something to with the army lists that we have now. HQ's now cost 100pts minimum and by the time you've loaded them out with just the basics you're up to 150pts. In 750pt games thats a huge chunk of your force. Bringing back some of the smaller and cheaper 2 wound characters, like the old Chaos Marine lieutenant, would be very useful anf fluffy for smaller games. Alas GW seems to be heading towards making the standard games 1500 or more and you can see that by just the cost of units (like HQs). Not that thats a bad thing but it makes smaller games harder to work with.
I just really like small skirmish games. Necromunda and Lord of the Rings are amazingly fun games. Small games and armies don't make GW money though.
As for respecting people who can paint hordes....... Er.......Yeah, shamefully, most of my foot sloggers are still Black.
I recently played a few low point games (it was 800 points, not 750, but close enough) and they were a lot of fun. They go a lot quicker, and seem to work best when you have a lot of players, as an interesting alternative to a single large team game.
500-800 point games seem to work best on a square 48 x 48in board, pitched battle, and annihilation mission. The games go fast, and they're a lot of fun.
For that point level, recently I've been playing Space Wolves, but mainly because I've just started them, and I need to learn how to use them.
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."
And you might be right there, HQs tend to be a problem. It could well be some subtle ploy by GW- you MUST get this HQ, and it takes up so many points that you MUST expand your army to make it any good... I really liked the older fluffy lists too, like the Lost & Damned, where you had a rabble of traitor guard with a "normal" Chaos Marine as a leader. They ARE ancient superhuman veterans of a hundreds of conflicts after all.
With Necrons, 20 Warriors and a Lord costs you 500, but you still have that 250 points... I like Tomb Spyders and Wraiths, if they come out in plastic next codex I'm collecting a small Necron force for sure.
That's my experience too Grax, 48x48 is just right, and not hard to set up. I wouldn't even try to make an apocalypse table, but a 4' by 4' one is a less daunting project that would be fun to lay out with terrain. And of course depending on who you game with a four player 750 point game can be way more fun than a two player 1500.
Space Wolves are supposed to be incredibly crotchstompingly hardcore right now, aren't they? How do they do in lower points?
How do Space Wolves play in lower points? Well, again as I say, it comes down to a little bit of experience, a little bit of nohow, and a little bit of mixing things up a bit. Sure, there are illogical choices in lower points games like a Land Raider and possibly a Special Character, but this is the same with every single army out in the 40K universe. Like all Space Marines, lower pt games are indeed a struggle, as our model count will be relatively low compared to a Horde army like Orks and Nids, however that is not to say that we do not lack in other areas.
The thing that one learns while playing SW is that they should always be the attackers. The Canis Helix inside of them is sparking this primal incognition inside of them which drives them into fits of pure strength, bloodlust, and if necessary insanity. But, they are always headstrong (no pun intended to the Blood Claws defence), and are definitely not lacking in willpower and overall determination. This is how a Space Wolves player should look at his army, and what he has to work with. They must question everything there is to know, because, I have said, in lower points every single model matters. Should I flank with a squad of Thunderwolf Calvary, while my Long Fangs with Heavy Bolters provide suppressing cover fire? Would I consider driving my Rhinos up the middle of the battlefield, creating a mobile wall for which my precious Typhoon Land Speeder will be safe from enemy retaliation? By looking at these little details, one can fully grasp the finesse and skill that the Space Wolves have at their disposal; they are surprisingly quick, have great combat ability, and are hardly surpassed in ranged firepower. The SW are definitely one of the more highly balanced armies in 40K, and, as said, if one keeps shifting their tactics with different lists, finding out what suits you and what suits your enemy, then they can be just as unbeatable as th next, or just as vulnerable.
In terms of lowering points, it all comes down to what Troops choices you consider taking. Obviously, Blood Claws are designed as the front runners of your army; they are there testing out their newly found homage within the brethren of the Sky Warriors, and will not knock on Death's door without taking a few aliens or mutantds out with them. If you take Grey Hunters, the pride of the pack, the more attuned warriors, who prefer more subtle and less obtrusive measures, then they will be choosing maybe to flank the enemy, or wait for them to commit and then attack en force. This is where the rest of your army is broken down around.
Blood Claws need all of the support that they can get, and so much more long ranged weaponry is needed, such as Long Fangs with Missile Launchers, or Heavy Bolters. You may have two small squads, solely dedicated in covering their behinds and whittling down whatever they intend to charge. Vindicators are probably not the best option here, as they are expensive, and will most likely hit your Troops while they are in combat.
On the other hand, Grey Hunters can be more focused with the rest of your army, and therefore much more armor can be bought. You may like more Rhinos in this type of army, or possibly you would consider Drop-pods. You can include some Fenrisian Wolves as cannon fodder, or possibly even to escort them to the forefront. Maybe even a Whirlwind Missile, to break the defences and the morale of the frontline before you charge headlong into the fray.
It is all about the little details that you take into consideration when fashioning your army. There are always points to be shed, if you decide that this unit might not be suitable when used in conjunction with this one, or this piece of wargear might work better in this model, and it turns out that it was cheaper anyway. So I say to you, that the only way you can learn the Space Wolves, or any army for that reason, is to play your small points matches, and try to fully grasp what it takes to ensure that you are maximising your full potential wit your list. And the next time you play, use an entirely different tactic, or another unit. This way, you can learn everything there is to know about an army, and everythingthere is to know about what you are good, and I am sure that you are good at a lot of different things. It is just a matter of finding those out for yourself!
Now go and make a list, right now. And then make another one...
Light a fire for a man, and he will be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
I like low point games, for 3 main reasons (although I usually play 1000pt games).
3) They go faster, so you can play more games in a shorter period of time. This allows you to see how your units will co-operate when fighting different enemies and what units you have problems with. It also allows you to try out more tactics and tricks and isolate their effectiveness, where there would be more variables in larger games; your 100 point unit can make a difference where in a 5000pt game they can't really do much and wont really affect the outcome no matter how badly you use them.
2) There is more strategy involved in deployment. In most games you have fairly large forces, and your deployment zone will often become cramped, as you pile units where there is room, or as close as possible to the edge. In smaller games there will be more cover to go around, your units will need to cover more ground (1500pts on a 6x4 table is more crowded in units/square foot than 750pts on 4x4, not to mention 750 on 6x4!). So your units will need to use their deployment more tactically to get the early on advantage.
1) They emphasise tactics. Each and every little detail and small mistake is emphasised in smaller games. Leaving that IG unit half an inch closer than you thought to those Khorne Beserkers now means that they are just within the 12" assault range. Losing your 70pt IG squad isnt usually much but in 750 or so points it hurts.
All of these things combine to make the games better to isolate your different tactics and tricks to see how well they do and allow you to watch more closely where you make mistakes, where trying to find all of your mistakes in a 2500pt 'ard boyz game is nearly impossible.
Personally though i'd have to say that my favorite games are 1000pts and 2000pts, as they allow you to isolate your tactics in small games and to try "the whole picture" in larger games.
The Emperor Protects
IG Best Gen 1st overall of 10 DE 4th overall of 6
Eldar 3rd Overall/Best General of 26--2nd Overall/Best General of 7--1st Overall/Best General of 11
I play small and bigger games with equal preference. The number of points doesn't really make the game. It just makes them different. Last time my Necrons fought a campaign with 200 (kill team), 500, 1000 and 1700 point games in it. My next campaign will have 700, 1000 and 1500 point games.
For some armies 750 points is a bit low, because low amount of points for expensive units leads to less models on board and that means luck will play a bigger role since you can lose a bigger portion (%) of the army with single die roll.
That being said, for Necrons 750 points really doesn't have too many options.: You got 500 points tied up in two troop choices (2*10 Warriors) and HQ (lord +orb) so there isn't really much room to play around. My personal favorite (and, imo, probably the most powerfull) 750 setup is the minimums plus 5 Destroyers.
Revenant Moon Necrons: (W/L/D) 0/1/0 (6th edition: 13/2/2)(5th edition: 14/6/4)(3rd edition Codex: 16/4/7)
XIX Legion: (W/L/D) 0/0/0 (5th edition: 14/12/2)(5th edition Codex: 4/3/0)
Black Legion: (W/L/D) 1/0/0 (6th edition: 2/3/0)
Something Wicked... Reikwald Beastmen: (W/L/D) 10/4/1