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Hey all. Question here because this question has occurred to me several times, and I'm sure the answer is a firm, resounding 'maybe' but I'd like some input from the crowd.
If you are making a serious, tournament list do you consider a unit to be a 'failure' if they do not kills an equal or greater number of points in models than it cost to put them on the table?
Obviously for friendly or themed armies this isn't so much a concern. But just curious, is there a justification for a unit that you know will rarely, if ever, win back its points in a competitive list?
When I send 18 marauders to fight a group of High Elf swordsmen, I'm happy to see them die to the last man so long as it allows me to take out 300 point unit of spearmen.
Hounds are a good example of a unit that will almost never kill anything, but is worth it in so many other ways.
“If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.” – Bob Paisley
If that were true, no one would ever bring chaff.
In general, a "fighty unit" (aka a unit you've invested resources in so it can handle itself in combat) is a failure if it doesn't get its points back, but not chaff. Chaff is useful just for being there (in deployment or as a screener, for instance) - if you get points out of something with it, you should toast in their honor.
There are many roles on board. Fire magnet wins his points back by your loses, not opponents; some units are there just to force your opponent to something, WH40k is better at this but I am sure there are similar things; and some mud units like horde of marauders, who can just keep that scary lord on dragon busy for 3-4 turns.
IMO, a unit's uses are more than just killing, it could be holding units up, deployment drops etc. Or also, a unit holding the tower in the watchtower scenario, if you defend the tower well, they won't even get to fight, but end up winning the game.
adamwelton "Bliss-giver is right as always."
"Opportunities multiply as they are seized."
An interesting question that others have already answered. Think about it this way:
Is there ever wargear that you add to a unit which won't kill its points back? If you add a halberd or a great weapon, you should kill more enemy troops and make your points back. But what about a shield? If you take a shield, you're banking on it making its points back by saving your own troops.
It's definitely not the case that every unit in a list must kill its own points value in order to have been worthwhile.
How often does a BSB earn his points back? Not often. His investment in there to make your other troops better. Same could be said for a Shadow sorcerer. He has piss all spells to actually kill anything but his spells let your other troops kill things easier. It's not really a case of earning points back point for point. It's about how useful they are to your list.
Sometimes it's better to 'waste' troops for the betterment of the game. Letting your opponent beat the snot out of a unit of warriors is fine as long as it gets you ahead in the larger game plan. Like pulling him away from an objective or something. That being said, your troops still need to do something.......
~shrug~ perfect example is the blocks of 50 skellies in my TK army... They never earn 230 points, let alone the 380 that they cost with an armored prince on board, but they are the key to that army, whether they're pinning an enemy block for my hammers or just dying as slowly as possible to thwart the enemy's flanking maneuver. It's not about killing your weight in points, it's about doing your job and doing it well.
IG since 1999 __ DA since 2002 __ Tau since 2005 __ SoB since 2007
Brets 1997-1999 __ TK since 2009 __ Empire since 2010