Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thoughts on Counts-as

Well today I want to talk about my thoughts on Counts as/proxy, whatever you want to call it.  I know there is some controversy over it and I will admit there is some parts of Counts as that can get me going as well.  But I think counts as can be ok as well, it comes down to why you are doing it and what you are using.  For me this goes back a while, as I have been around the block with 40k and remember a time where the use of models on the board was very loose.  You could bring proxies/counts as as you desired, the age old deodorant land speeder comes to mind, the only thing that mattered was What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG).  That used to be what mattered, WSYIWYG, not if you had the actual model.  Ok your cardboard box with wheels is a leman russ, does it have a battle cannon? Check.  Does it have a lascannon? Check.  Is it about the right size?  Check.  Alright then looks good.  Now adays its not as important, and you know what thats not a bad thing in and of itself

So what I am trying to get at is that this hobby is a lot more than rolling dice with official models.  I would say that this is supposed to be a hobby that encourages personalization and customization.  I can point to the line in my codex that specifically states that you should create your own personal models and use the rules for already existing ones to represent them.  I am sure I am not the only one that has done this.  I have my own version of Colonel Straken, now he is not Straken because he is one of my Cadian regiment's officers, but I use the rules of straken to represent him and he has all the wargear and even look of the straken model. 

Another part of it is that the hobby aspect of 40k is only a small part of the 40k universe, and it only has so many factions represented on the table top when many more exist in the fluff.  Mechanicus is a great example and I know many are fans and want models for.  One thought I personally have had was to model up a Mechanius force using the new Inquisition codex, Inquisitor is a Magos with all the cool toys(Ordo xenos obviously) then you have all the servitors, and make a cool model to represent the Jokaero as some sort of specialized techpriest.  I think it would be cool and have a great flavor to add to an IG army, especially if you go really over board and convert up some tech guard. 

What it comes down to is that there are models that we don't like, either because they look dumb, or we don't like the fluff.  I think the jokaero are dumb and I don't want alien monkeys in my army.  I have no problem with someone using a cool tech model to represent them using the exact same rules.  In the end nothing changes, the points and rules are the same.  As long as there is a clear understanding of which model is which, then there should be no issue.  At tournaments I can see where people are hesitant, and it could certainly be abused, but I have had little issues with it personally, in the end its up to TOs.

Where I think the derision comes from is when people use the counts as to get around rules they don't like or to flop around armies.  There are certainly some infamous people on the Internet that do this and receive criticism for doing it.  This does get at me a little bit.  I get it that this is an expensive hobby, but no your Chaos Space Marines are not Taudar this week, and no next week they are regular Space Marines.  I don't care if you think your codex is underpowered, its your army make it work.  Or sell it and get a new one or just get another one.  There is a big difference between trying something out once to see how it goes before you buy the actual model and just using random models to represent different units.  I have been using a storm trooper sgt as a counts as inquisitor, I'm still waiting on my actual ones to arrive :(.  That IMO is ok. 

I'm not trying to say that if I do it its ok, and if you do it its not.  I have seen some great conversions and love it when someone brings them out.  Tell me what it is in your codex and as long as its clear lets go.  If you are waiting on something or trying it out for the first time, no prob.  If you just are using random models because you don't want to buy anything or don't like your current dex so are going to play a couple other armies now, I'm sorry, no.  This is a hobby and no it isn't cheap, but if you are going to participate in this community, please put a little more effort into it. WIP is ok, but laziness is not.  Stradling a line so you can take advantage of the latest rules, thats a dick move.  If thats how you play, well I can't stop you, all I can say is I don't like it and I prob won't be playing with you.

Anyways, to end on a lighter note, if you have done some awesome conversions, proxies, or counts as, I would love to see them.  I am always of fan of good hard hobby work and seeing what others have come up with.



  1. I quite agree with the post, there's a difference between using a sub for a few games to see if it works or while you wait for a model and using a different model every week for a different character just for the cool rules.

    I've modeled up my own versions of harker, bastonne, kell, straken, chenkov and al'rahan to fit the catachan theme of my army and also cos I can't afford the metal versions. Can't say there the best conversions ever but they work and have all the correct wargear.

    Also I have an old school russ without the interchangeable weapon options but it guess played as any version of the russ in the codex. As long as you make it clear what's what at the beginning I don't have a problem with subs.

  2. Forgot to say, one of the blokes at my local club played plastic cup drop pods for weeks while he saved up to buy the proper models. No probs with that, 7 drop pods ain't cheap!

    1. Oh I completely agree, Drop pods or any vehicle in general is not cheap. I have a buddy that plays with a Gundam as a riptide because he can't get the model yet. It works fine, it doesn't have a base but it works both ways since he measures from the feet of it so in the end it is fair for both. It has a similar size and there is no confusion on what it has, so it works. I think that is really the key, either its a temporary solution, or its your own modelled version of it and as long as its clear there is no issue. Like I said, I love seing custom created characters.

  3. That's the core point of the proxies debate:
    Codex-hopping powergamers annoy people on the table, conversions and playtests don't.

    One of our local powergamers started GK when they were OP beyond reason, and now plays them as whatever power armour codex, depending on the newest netlist.
    Intentionally misinterpreting rules (or using outdated ones), measuring more precise than the NASA (only when it's better for him), those people are simply no fun to play against.

    Conversions bring more variety on the table and building them requires thinking outside the box, so not exactly a powergamer's way.
    Often the original models don't fit the theme (undergarments-Marbo on Krieg), or there are simply better conversions/models available (Legion Contemptor dreads count as VenDred).
    In my Brotherhood of Nod IG, I use allied SM to represent several units from the C&C games I created conversions for. Units like techmarines and scouts are hardly the most OP ones, but they perfectly fit the theme, and so far no one complained.
    For my part, conversions are the most fun at this hobby, and (proper ones) don't give any disadvantages to the opponent.
    Contrary, you prefer using models with suboptimal rules, simply because they look awesome.

    Playtesting is understandable, either because money or time is short. Or, as a student, both.
    But it's temporary and to prevent frustration of a useless model, not hellbent on stomping your opponent no matter the cost.

    1. Yep completely agree. I think the key to this debate is: What is the intent of the gamer? That is usually all it takes, someone who is playtesting or just loves a certain model he made over the GW one, vs someone who wants to play the new army this week, but doesn't want to get the models. Your GK example is a perfect illustration of that, though luckily I have only rarely ran into people like that.

  4. I think after awhile of playing building a unique army with unique models and unique stories and styles are important like marbo i think marbo is one of the best characters by himself but i just think the model gw produced is too bland so i built a brock sampson/molotov cocktease model on a termi base touse as marbo it is 100% gw and i use only because i dont like the gw model modelling is part of the hobby and being unique is important part of getting into the hobby

    1. I think you are in the same boat as most, I also have made my own Marbo model. Its a great part of the hobby and sometimes the GW model is just not the best. This is a hobby about models, so making your own version is what this is all about, taking what you like about the hobby and making it your own.

  5. just starting reading your blog today im already caught up could you cover some little tricks or things youve learned on how to manage a large guard force ive been playing guard for six years i run a mech company i want to try inf but need a couple tips in remebering orders a managing a lot of units at once

    1. Thank you, glad you are liking it. Well I will do a more in depth article later, but some quick tips are you have to manage your infantry composition. So when taking combined squads, I generally prefer the 20 man size squads to the 50, as you can break that 50 up and have far more flexibility or durability with them. Creed is a must if your are going infantry heavy, the orders range and 4 he can give make a huge difference. It also comes down to a lot of practice, getting used to managing the orders for everyone and thinking ahead to the orders you want to issue at the end. Lots of the special characters are good choices for inf guard because of the buffs they give. If you find a playstyle that you really like, find one of the special characters that support that.