With the new 40k, there comes a new way to play, power points. An obvious carry over from AoS, these are billed as a quick way to build and play. Yes, they are a quicker way to build your army, but it doesn't take much out of the equation as you still have to go through all the options, its just the individual points that are skipped.
One issue I have seen is that power levels can have wildly different points equivalent, something that can hugely affect a game. So I thought that I would have a look at my armies. Now, I am aiming for most forces to be 2000 points or 1000 for a few smaller forces, both of which are easily compared by just doubling the smaller forces. So, what do my current armies total? (Adjusted totals in brackets)
Dagr Ormr MT - 83pp / 1600pts (104 / 2000)
Emperors Disciples - 62 / 949 (124 / 1898)
Stone Dragons - 56 / 965 (112 / 1930)
Dark Guardians - 98 / 1889
HJaltland LI - 105 / 1843
Hrossey Yeomanry - 109 / 1969
Eagle Knights - 130 / 1947
Ok, so not every force is exactly 2000 points but even so, there are some differances. The most extreme is that of the Dark Guardians at 98 points to the Eagle Knights at 130 for a force that effectively 58 points different. Now 58 points is not a lot of points and can easily be spent on wargear or a model or two, but 32 power points is huge, baneblade anyone? I would also point out that none of these armies is optimized an any way, shape or form, most are based around fluff or form (guard gunline / descent of angels). It strikes me that power points are very rough and this is backed up by what I found i the Index: Imperium 2.
A company commander is 3 power points, Creed is only 1 more, But points wise the difference is 40 points, as creed is over twice the price of a standard commander. By my calculations that should put Creed at about 7 or 8 power points, about double what he is. Now, you could argue that wargear will account for a lot of this and the abilities the rest. In the old days I would have agreeded as a plasma pistol and powersword would have accounted for most of the difference, and bring the wargear up to similar levels but now its a different story as the same wargear costs about a third of what it use to. Ok so Creed has some good abilities but really its only the extra command points that mean anything, and that's where the points difference makes sense but that's not reflected in the power points. Its the same for the Leman Russ tanks.
A demolished with plasma cannot cost less than a basic Russ with battle cannon, yet is a power point more expensive and both weapons are roughly equal. When we look at infantry units there is a difference as well. A full squad of scions is the same amount of power points as a squad of vets and yet, when tooled up with maximum special weapons (plasma, and the heavy Flamer for the vets) there is a 20 points difference (30 if you just go for equal numbers of plasma guns) or about a fifth of the vets squad. Ok, so there is the fact that the scions can deep strike and have a better save, so hence the extra points, but there still equal on power points.
So a force of 6 scions would be the same number of power points as a force of 6 vet squads, but could be up to 180 points more expensive, maybe even more, I haven't run all the numbers. That's a massive saving and could easily be 2 extra vet squads. But then you would be equal on points but 12 power points different!
All this leads me to question some of the narrative play missions, where certain conditions exist when one force is outnumbers by the other by X amount of power points. One one mission X is double the power points and that could be a massive points difference. Take my armies above, the Emperors Disciples at 62 power points or 949 points and the Dark Guardians at 98 power points and 1889 points. The Disciples are about half the points, doubled there 1898 (949×2) to 1889, a 11 point difference but power points wise there no where near, 124 (62×2) to 98. In order to get double the power points, the Guardians need to spend another 26 power points, over a third more than they currently have which would be over 600 points, meaning you could end up with one force being twice the power points of the other but nearly 3 times the points!
Ok, so the example is a bit extreme, if you took the Eagle Knights and the Dagr Ormr, the a points difference would be significantly less. In fact a force of Knights twice that of Scions would mean that the points differacne would only be about 400 points, about a third of the points difference in the previous example! (About a 1600 point difference as to a 600 point difference in this example)
All in all, the more i look into things, the rougher and rougher the power points levels seem and the less and less I like the idea. I will have to get a few games under my belt at each system to really make my mind up, but as it stands I'm not impressed with power points.