Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wondering how big an army should be?

I've been putting together my rules set for a Sci-Fi game where you can use any companies models and so have been coming up with the usual armies including your standard humans, genetically enhanced warriors, orcs, alien creatures etc. As part of it I have been pondering how to create the points costs for the units and I thought the best place to start was with how many models/units I wanted in each army. So I thought I would ask other people what they want from Sci-Fi armies. I was thinking a Standard army should be around 2,000 points, there seems to be a reason most companies use this number but I can't say that I know it. I figured that a standard human army should have something like:
4 Characters
4-6 Units of basic infantry
2-3 Support units
2-3 Vehicles
I wanted the game to play quickly (set up to pack away in around 2-2.5 hours) so figured with the reduction of dice rolling down to To Hit, To Damage and then the morale roll at the end of the phase you could probably get more models on the table but is it better to have a game with fewer models/units that are harder to kill or a quick game with lots of models that are easier to kill?
I thought a Space Marine style elite force should have average:
1-2 Characters
2 Units of basic infantry
2 Support units
2 Vehicles 
So what size would you want your Sci-Fi army to be? Does it even matter? 


  1. Really tricky question to answer as even just speaking for myself, different moods would lead me to give different answers.
    So, to keep it vague, enough models to enable me to feel like i have choices, but not so many as to make the game drag.
    But also, the ability to vary it a bit within that, if i'm in the mood, could i take more support units and vehicles to the detriment of my overall numbers on the field, or could i forgo the support and vehicles to greatly increase my numbers of basic grunts?
    Which, obviously, is no help AT ALL.
    Do you maybe have in mind a set unit size for the standard unit templates? 5-10 guys for basic infantry and 3-5 for support maybe?

    1. I was thinking of working on a similar system to HH where you get a a cheaper uni cost if there are more models in but they would be bought in blocks so you could buy 10 basic humans for say 80 points or 20 for 130 points. One of the ideas behind it was that less units made the game quicker and reduced the likeliness of players losing a unit to a poor Breaking test before it has a chance to do anything.

  2. Interesting topic, for me I guess I always want to take what I can't in that system. For example I love the Reb faction in Deadzone and want to take a rag tag force of them in 40k.

  3. Oh by the way its Ian, I have tried (and failed) to approach the subject by having some basic assumptions a human sized model is 8 points, an ogre sized model is 20 points and so on. Armour is going to cost you an extra point for basic stuff, building up to power armour or what ever you want to call it at say 5 points. Special skills would add to the cost of your models. As I say very interesting I might be back with a spread sheet (please no!)