Note: This section is not formally part of the main rulebook, but is included in every army book, individually. A generalised overview of common army structure is presented here.
The purpose of an army list is to enable players with vastly different armies to stage games which are as fair and evenly balanced as it is possible to make them. The army list gives each individual model a points value which represents its capabilities on the tabletop. The higher a model's points value the better it is in one or more respects: stronger, tougher, faster, better leadership, and so on. The value of the army is simply the value of all the models added together.
As well as providing points costs, the list also divides the army into its constituent units. The list describes the weapons and optional equipment that troops can have and occasionally restricts the number of very powerful units an army can include.