An Economic Guide to Warcasters and Warlocks
by Micah Walker · Published · Updated
In my last article, I broke down the average cost per point of every model in the game besides warcasters and warlocks, which I usually generically refer to as “casters”. The obvious reason I could not put casters in the analysis was that they do not cost actual points. In addition to this, they are a complex variable because the battlegroup points a caster brings also contributes to the financial impact of putting them on the table. Luckily, we established the approximate cost of each point of battlegroup in the last article, so we have a foundation to build on.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is just data, average data at that. My intent is to represent what is mathematically accurate and possible. My intent is not to tell you what you should do, only to tell you what you can do.
I required three stats to run this analysis, and since one of them was the average CPP for battlegroup, I was off to an easy start. The only thing I had to look up this time was the dollar cost of each model and how many battlegroup points it had. Even though there are 216 casters out in the wild, I was able to go through them pretty quickly. Side note: there are actually only 213 casters, but all the dual faction casters get counted twice. This does matter because each faction has a unique CPP for battlegroup.
The model cost was the statistic that took me most by surprise. After all the work I had put in on warjack and warbeast costs, I already knew what those were going to be. But god damn, Old Witch 2/3 is an expensive model! I was expecting Grymkin to get a little bit more of a break in this department, but if you want to play Grymkin on the cheap, skip Old Witch 3. Old Witch 1 is not much better, since she has the lowest number of battlegroup points in the game. Talk about one character throwing a wrench in the math!
One of the more fun aspects of this spreadsheet was accounting for those casters that have unique battlegroup configurations. Cephalyx casters used the price of monstrosities. Farrow and Gatormen had their own pricing as well, with the exceptions of Midas and Arkadius. I only charged Bradigus for wolds. Rhulic warcasters received special treatment as well. There was one sleeper though, that probably no one would have thought of, since his unique battlegroup does not come from text on his own card. Yes, Magnus was also a recipient of special battlegroup pricing due to the Renegades.
Individual model cost was less of a factor in total price than I expected. The average caster model costs $23.12, but the average cost to fill the battlegroup points is $71.12. That means the cost of the caster model represents about 25% of the cost of putting a battlegroup on the table.
That said, the average caster cost does matter. Realistically, you do not need every single caster in a faction to play this game. Having more variety does unquestionably help with both the competitive side of things and casual play. Completionists like myself are going to do our thing as well. For example, you can buy all twelve Retribution casters for $199. Acquiring all six Grymkin casters, on the other hand, will cost $265 dollars. Thanks, Old Witch. Factions with high caster cost like Cryx are not skewed as hard by one singe model. Yes, Denny3 exists, but they have five casters besides her that cost more than $30.
Fortunately, players can avoid the pricey models on their rosters. There are eleven casters whose blisters only cost $10, and some of these are both interesting and competitive choices. Mohsar, my wife’s current favorite, is one of the cheap ones. Ashlynn and Magnus the Traitor are also only ten bucks. Many of the battlebox casters are incredible as well, and those are some of the least expensive options to put on the table. All things considered, the average price of a caster is probably a good thing to know before buying into a faction, since no matter what type of player you are, you are likely to end up with a majority of the roster.
Since I went over the cost per point last article, this time I actually want to talk more about average battlegroup size. I had only assumptions about this, so having the actual data to clear it up for me was pretty sweet.
So as we can see, the most common battlegroup size, or the “mode”, is 28 points. Continuing with the mathematical terminology, the “median”, or middle number, is 25 points. This means we have a substantial number of outliers on the bottom end of the spectrum. These outliers are largely made up of caster units or casters that bring another solo, jack, or beast as part of their package. Again, I would just like to point out how miserable Old Witch looks.
Conveniently, the mode and the average are the same. Most factions average 28 points for their caster’s battlegroup points. I had always gone back and forth between assuming 28 and 29, so I am glad to have that settled, personally.
This uniformity results in basically no new information concerning the cost of the battlegroup. The largest deviance from the average 28 points is Khador at 27 points, and it probably actually helped them. Since all the factions are basically the same, the real impact is made by the average cost of the battlegroup models themselves.
Winners and Losers
In terms of caster model cost, battle engine casters hurt their factions overall score significantly. In addition to this, the three cheapest factions are dominated by small based casters. I kind of talked about Cryx and Old Witch 2/3 earlier, so we already covered the losers. I did not think about it until now, but it seems like Old Witch 2/3 probably single handedly pushed the overall averages up. Her price is so high, and it gets counted twice. I think it would be worth looking at what the costs would be like if I filtered out the battle engine casters.
We will skip the average CPP column, since that is mostly the same. Yes, it is more accurate, but it was mostly just a wash. Consider it here for just for easy reference.
The last column represents the total cost of putting a caster on the table. This is where things get more interesting. Let’s ignore Grymkin and Khador and talk about Convergence. Convergence’s caster models are relatively expensive, with the cheapest model being $17. Add to that the high CPP of their vectors, and suddenly they are one of the most expensive battlegroups to put on the table.
In terms of winners, it is all the same as last week for basically the same reasons. Circle just wins even more this time. The most interesting thing to me, though, is how Legion still has a below average caster model cost even though they have Lylyth3. I have to point out that Circle, Legion, and Cygnar absolutely dominate the charts for cheapest casters to put on the table. Given how well all three of these factions run battlegroups, that is a very big deal.
Upkeep and Updates
Going through the data again while writing up the article, I found a couple mistakes. Given the nature of things, and how models might change over time, I think I am going to always keep my last section for upkeep and updates. This will especially help if there is a dynamic update right after I finish an article. Changing my spreadsheet is not difficult, but so far my process of turning the spreadsheet into image files is a multistep process I find quite annoying.
My use of the term “median” was incorrect. It was correctly pointed out that the median would be 28. I am a bit rusty with my math terms, but the point I wanted to make is still the same.
While I was preparing for the article but after I had made the graphics, I noticed that I had incorrect model prices for all three Morghouls. This only made a few cents difference, so I let it slide. However, when I was writing the article I noticed that I forgot to add Malekus to the Protectorate roster. This was a significant mistake. The average number of battlegroup points for Protectorate would go up to 28.5, and the average model cost would drop a little as well.
I also want to point out that for the purposes of calculating the cost of the MK3 battlebox casters, I arbitrarily entered them as being $10. This is why I specified $10 blisters earlier. This means there are actually twenty “$10” models. Since the MK3 battlebox casters still have not been released on their own, this was my only way to account for them. No battleboxes previous to MK3 were considered for model price.
If a caster had two variants of their model available, I considered the price to be the average of the two. I did not consider limited release sculpts into this.
Thank you for reading another article. Next up is theme force analysis!
Let’s keep those dice rolling!
Wargamer, miniature painter, and now blogger for Midwest Wargaming. I love crunching numbers, and I can nearly guarantee that my articles will be the most boring, but you will learn something, damn it!
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