Oh, Kill Points why does the world hate you so much? Oh, Kill Points why do you make Mech armies cry? Oh, Kill Points why do I have to massacre sometimes my opponent to win? These are just some of the questions that come to mind when thinking about Kill Points. I have seen it on blogs, forums, and tournament missions all pointing to one thing…
everyone hates Kill Points. Why so much hate?
The hate is converging for two reasons. The first reason is Kill Points are too simple of a victory condition. The response by the community has been varied. The first wave of ideas to spice up Kill Points were simple; some units would give you more Kill Points then others, from Elites being worth more Kill Points to Troops being worth none. This is a problem because so many armies could be overstocked on one type and not another. Next integrating Kill Points into objective missions. These hybrid missions create scenarios in which Kill Points play some role, like kill the HQ along with taking objectives. The problem with this type of mission is similar to other attempts; just creating new ways to hide the salami. Finally, the return of victory points. The good old times of busting out the calculator and hiding squads in order to deny full points.
People have been focusing on the wrong problem, the problem is objectives. Kill points should just be one of many mission types. A lack of support for narrative game play has left many with a strange hollow feeling inside. Whatever happened to escort missions? Whatever happened to loot tokens? Whatever happened to objectives that moved? I could remember going to tournaments that had some sort of story to follow. While usually lame, at least it provided some fun or at least a distraction from losing. Many players just want to go to a tournament to beat face that is fine, but unless it was a GW GT, then typically a majority of players were just there for the hobby. Tournaments are often an excuse for people to play away from their local gaming circle, why not give them reasons to come back? If the entire focus is on winning and bland game play, then that leaves many losers. Losers that might not want to have the same experience again. Then, who would the power gamers have to play?
The Internet community is rife with fun missions and stories that can be easily applied to any tournament. Many tournaments grew accustomed to GW providing missions. Now with GW stepping back, we are stuck with tournaments frantically putting together missions resulting in over thinking and less fun.
The second reason for Kill Point hate is many mech players crying about giving up twice the amount of kill points then their horde counter parts. I understand balance is a bitch. Trust me, I was one of those folks when I started playing 5th ed. I cried every time my transports died wondering why they should give up a kill point. Like objective missions keeping people honest with troops, Kill Point missions keep many armies balanced. This is a major driving force to why Kill Points are being tweaked or removed with Mech Fascism taking hold. What better way to prove your point then change how you calculate victory conditions. This is not some conspiracy it is an extension of losing, players thinking less about the mission and more on just beating face. That is why victory points have seen a resurgence because they can measure beating face not tactical ability better. I get the most satisfaction from victories when I hold an objective from overwhelming odds or breaking the toughest links of an opponent’s force. My favorite Kill Point victories have been from having to wipe my opponent, not because that was my goal in the beginning, but because that was how the game developed.
Kill Points are far from perfect, they are though far better than the alternatives especially Victory Points. The focus should be on developing new fun objective missions and the problem with Kill Points should disappear.
Questions for Comment:
- What do you think of Kill Points?
- What armies do Kill Points help or hurt?
- What do you think about old style Victory Points?