I've been thinking about the subject of Proxy vs 'Counts As' quite a bit recently, what with some of the discussion about Adepticon, the upcoming BoLSCon, and a series of posts over on YTTH. What's appropriate? What's not? I won't go into the posts and comments made on any of the above sites, because this isn't some sort of refutation but rather how the topic affects me. To that end, I E-mailed the Master Manipulator (every store needs one) and asked his opinion on the topic. How is that relevant? It may not be to you, but given he's the judge of our local events, it gives you a perspective on how it might be viewed at tournaments. Without further ado...
Is it live or is it Memorex?
I received a request from Brent asking it I could do a write up on how I determine between a proxy and a “counts as”. I have been through this conversation with Evil Homer on several occasions and it came up recently with one of our local gamers.
Let me start off by saying in friendly games, I could care less what everyone does. This is purely my opinion on how I adjudicate in our tournaments. I am all for a well made back story to explain why you are using Sisters of Battle to rep your Dark Angels or something silly like that. That is the great stuff fun that people love doing with this game. Just don’t bring it to my tourneys.
The basis of this conversation really boils down to one question. “Why does it matter?”
I should be able to set down with anyone at any time and look across the table and have a fairly good idea of what is going on. I should not have to question what my opponent is using for what, or whether or not they may have misunderstood some allies rule or something. There should be a confidence in what I would expect to see when my opponent places models on the table.
With that out of the way, there is the meat and potatoes of it. When someone asks me if a model is a proxy or “counts as”, I typically respond with the following:
Does that model have a profile or set of rules that is legal in the current game, and those rules are different from what you plan on using? For the most part if the answer to that question is yes, than it’s a proxy. Why for the most part? Well basic Space Marine models are used for various stat lines across a large number of Codexes. So you may ask: what are some examples of a proxy? As stated earlier using Sisters of Battle as Space Marines, or using Chaos Marines as loyal Space Marines. Keep in mind as I stated earlier, this is fine for friendly games it just really has not place in a tournament.
Well than, what is a counts as? To me in plain and simple terms, a “counts as” is simply a model that DOES NOT have a current legal profile in the game system you are playing. This could be because the model is no longer supported or it is for a different game system. Here are some of the local examples of what I consider a “counts as”. One local gamer does not like or want to buy the current Chaos Fiend models for his 40k army. He has substituted some older Dark Elf Cold Ones as fiends. To me this is a “counts as”. Those models do not have a current profile in 40K. Another player wanted to differentiate between his basic IG models and Vets. So he is using Kasrkin models in place of his IG vets. To me those models could represent either Vets or Stormtrooper models.
Finally many people question the area of conversions. That is where you start to get into grey areas that really just require interpretation from the judge. For most of the examples I have seen, I typically ask if there is any possible way the model could be confused for something else (or more directly the original model?) A good example would be a local Chaos player who took some Chaos Terminator models and added extra arms and weapons to represent Obliterators. His models were substantially converted and really showed little resemblance to the original model. They also were fairly close to the size of the original model so I had not problem with them. I did instruct him to be open and clear with his opponent at the beginning of the game as well as when he deployed them as to what they are. If you are really unsure, get some pictures and solicit input from others. Others may have input that will help you in your decision.
So there is it. I would like to finish this with a few small points. First off, this is simply my opinion and it is how I look at it. Others ideas may vary and that is fine and dandy. Second, I have stated several times that for friendly games go with what you want. It is a game after all and you are supposed to have fun. I just try to encourage everyone to keep these things in mind when they attend the tournament I run. Last, what the hell do I know…have fun for Christ’s sake!
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