On the eve of my first 1504 6th edition tournament, I have renewed vigor to discuss why 1500 events are needed more than ever. Last year, at the beginning of 6th I got accustomed to playing 1750 and for a time it felt right, but now that has all changed. Before I go into why 1500 is still the best point level, let me state this editorial is about 1500 as a tournament level. Casual games that is up to the participants to decide what point level they want to play.

I know many folks want to play with all their toys and with 6th edition focus on the narrative that sentiment makes sense. As for tournaments, the continued obsession with "one true winner" has benefited the few over the many. The few being the top players across the country who either run or have a disproportionate influence on major events.

Since, organizers listen to a select few, they lose focus on how to give the average player a better experience. I am not talking about throwing a narrative event to fluffy players, I am talking about the vast majority of players or  "causal competitive" players. Part of a good experience is finishing games. Speaking from personal experience, I have attended events that don't start on time, nor do large swaths of players finishing their games completely. Opinions have risen to explain the slow play phenomenon, not many solutions have been tried. 

One attempt though continually never tried is lowering points. This is why 1500 is so important. 6th edition takes more time to finish for various reasons. There is just more opportunities to throw dice, from overwatch, to psychic powers. 6th edition codexes have increased set-up time and as unit costs shrink, inversely model counts have increased. This also means the old trope of "I don't get all the toys I want at 1500" is becoming more and more irrelevant. The best players can finish games regardless of point value, so it makes sense the same players that defend high point values because it doesn't affect them.

Now, the truth is large events need attendees, and many have done surveys and informal polls that show the majority of players don't want 1500 point games for the main events. The dark secret though is the large events could call players bluffs and still see the same attendance. The average players is attending a large event for the spectacle, community, or friends not because of the point value. So, then organizers should be asking themselves what do they gain by playing 1500?

Besides the obvious faster games, they gain a better game. One that doesn't see the most outlandish spam lists allowed, games where more models are finished painted, and more variety (Horde) of armies will show up. Since, 1500 does have fewer models, it means terrain also plays a bigger part. It has been explored on other blogs, but 6th edition seems at its best when you have a board covered in terrain, especially Line of Sight blocking terrain. At 1500 you can survive with only a few LOS blocking terrain pieces as important units can easily hide behind them.

I don't want to rehash my tactical love for 1500, but 1500 as the sweet spot is becoming more evident with each new codex time sink.

Here are some concrete examples. Daemons require Rewards to be rolled and tracked, plus you have a Warp Table to remember. Tau rely on Marketlights (Tokens) along with vast array of overwatch tricks. Eldar have Battle Focus and lots of Psychic powers. These codexes each have intensive tactical choices that add time to a game, then you add allies to the mix. Along with Allies and Forge World you add another element: confusion. The average player shouldn't be responsible for knowing every combination in the game. Certainly if he is spending his hard-earned cash to fly cross-country.

1500 in theory should mean less rules and compendiums to worry about. Having less to track also means less time asking what something does. All these little things add up and they lead less than smooth game. Since, the major events aren't going to change their 20 games in two-day formats, going to 1500 is easy and simple compromise. Small games means less stress and space taken on a convention floor and less stuff to transport.

1500 also has the extra bonus of truly separating slow players from slow playing. This is something that the best players should embrace, driving these events to "win/loss" systems, and are the most vocal when they feel cheated. If a player cannot finish a five turn game in 2:30 hours at 1500 they have serious problems. Especially, when they are given extra prep time as well.

The only reason to not consider 1500 is if you have some unresolved compensation issues you aren't telling anyone.

Warning

Meat for Meta is rated editorial nonsense. These articles are meant to complain about some group, somewhere, that is playing the game for all the wrong reasons or simply to just make fun of 40k nerd rage.