This post is devoted to debunking a few myths that make fun and hurts the feelings of 1500. In order for you to better sympathize with the plight of 1500 think of this picture…
Conversely to represent the myths against 1500 I will refer to them as the Forces of Lazy List Building and if it helps think of these guys…
When the Forces of Lazy List Building hurt 1500’s feelings they often refer to the myth of “after taking the required FoC I have no points left for anything else”. The degree at which some of the Forces of Lazy List Building present this argument you would think your entire army is two troops and one HQ. They say you cannot take the expensive characters. They say you cannot take a variety of units. Are these statements true?
Here is a list of the type of points you will be spending when crafting an army– starting with the most expensive unique HQ from each codex.
Daemons: Fateweaver and three five man plaguebearer squads = 558
Chaos Space Marines: Abaddon and two 5 man Plague Marine Squad with Rhinos, Meltaguns, Powerfist and one 5 man Summoned Lesser Daemon squad = 760
Daemonhunters: Corteaz and three 5 man Grey Knights squads with psycannons and psychic hoods = 770
Dark Eldar: Kruellah and three Raider Squads with nightshields, blaster, splinter cannon = 500
Eldar: Eldrad and three 3 man Guardian Jetbike squads with Shuriken cannons = 438
Imperial Guard: Commissar Yarrick and 3 Veteran Squads with 3 meltaguns each, forward sentries, and chimeras = 740
Necrons: Nightbringer and three 10 man Warriors squads = 900
Orks: Ghazghkull and three 12 man boyz squads with trukks, red paint, reinforced ram, powerklaws, and boss poles = 696
Space Marines: Calgar and two 10 man Tactical Squads with flamers, missile launchers, razorback with lascannons and 5 man Scout squad = 865
Space Wolves: Logan Grimnar and three 5 man Grey Hunter squads with meltagun, mark of the wolfen, and razorbacks with Lascannons = 830
Tau Empire: Aun’Va and two 12 man Fire Warriors squads with Devilfish with disruption pods and 22 Kroot with hounds = 757
Tyanids: Stormlord with three 5 man Genestealer broods = 490
Witch Hunters: Lord Karamazov and three 10 man Sister of Battle squads with rhinos and meltguns = 745
Some HQ choices are just place holders for points, with the troop selections being pretty standard. Typically you need at least three troop choices to be effective in objective missions at 1500. On average you will be spending about half your points on the basics. Each codex (minus Necrons) can field at least two different troop choices one cheaper than the other– exploring the cheaper options is often a good way to fit in the fun stuff you might want.
Here is a good example of what I mean.
This list has 10 different units at 1500. All of the units have a clear purpose and none, but the tactical squads are identical. The 85 point scout squad is a good support unit that is either for (reserve) late game objective taking or simply placed in a defensive position for a good cover save. Here is another example, now with an older codex.
This list has 9 different units at 1500. The list saves points with the small Guardian Jet Bike squads, allowing yourself to spend more points on other units. Built around volume of shots units are grouped together in an effort to support each other lose the Warwalkers you still have Warp Spiders. Lose the Fire Prism you still have Fire Dragons. This creates an over lap in ability depending on the threats you face. Eldrad job is simple: enhance the abilities of other units to increase efficiency.
1500 lists allow you to make complex choices and puts more focus on interplay among units. You have to think, how does one unit support another and what does each provide that the other doesn’t. You easily get the same number of units, just not two or three of a single kind. You may even discover that “bad” units suddenly become more effective. 1500 actually allows you to play the most variety of units with a flexibility of strategy that is harder to find at higher points.
This doesn’t mean there is no spamming builds effective at 1500. The results of the Throne of Skulls saw Lash Princes and Oblits spam winning. You can also get eight Chimeras with IG and still be under 1000 points. You often end up putting a lot into an Alpha Strike or hope for victory through attrition. 1500 spamming builds though are typically more susceptible to a Death Star assault unit (TH/SS Termies) because the snowballing effect of such units are more pronounced in lower point games.
Playtesting is critical when playing at 1500. The Forces of Lazy List Building often rely on mathhammer which at higher point levels has more merit. You just cannot get to the statistical averages as easily in a 1500 game. The Forces of Lazy List Building also think that with less redundancy you are more likely to lose to a random “lucky” roll. That is why understanding your list and playing it over and over is so important. Experimenting and putting units in positions to succeed are paramount when playing a 1500 point game. Always have a back up plan when you play 1500 because sometimes things just go tits up.
Remember 1500 harmless soft white sea pup and the Forces of Lazy List Building… well you can guess.