Proxying GW models as other models

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Proxying GW models as other models

Postby Indy » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:14 am

Hi all,

Want to throw this out there to gauge thoughts and reactions.

For some of us, converting and/or proxying is a key part of the hobby. Who wants a cookie cutter burger with secret sauce when you can have it made "your way" etc...

For others, whether for financial, skill, or other reasons, proxying is the only way to get a game in here or there (just saw a post on another forum about somebody's new puppy that broke into the gaming cabinet....biotitans wreak havoc!).

Regardless, for the purpose of of this conversation, I want to put aside friendly situations where someone has asked to test out a list before committing to purchasing models, the toddler wanted to see what the garbage disposal could do to Sgt Lucky and so forth.

Rather, I want to envision a setting such as a tournament or pick-up game where you do not know the person you are playing (or their skills, personal situation, or intentions). The important factor is that the army you are seeing on the tabletop is how the other player wants it to be. It is the "finished" product so to speak.

How far would you go to letting a person proxy or use counts-as models, especially if one type of GW model is being used to represent another?

Specifically, the type of scenario I am thinking is if a person with Chaos Space Marines used Astra Militarum guardsmen as cultists, or if a Codex: Space Marine player used Imperial Guardsmen as Scouts.

...what if a Chaos or SM player instead used Eldar Guardians as cultists or Scouts? What if they allied in an Imperial Guard detachment, but x% of the "Imperial Guard" models were actually Eldar models (because that PDF uses captured Eldar equipment or some such)?

A Tau player with Termagaunts counting-as Kroot?

A Tyranid player using Death Guard to represent Tyrant Guard?

Etc, etc, etc...

Where would one draw the line?

****

For me, personally, I have generally been ok with unusual setups so long as there is a level of internal balance and consistency to it. I.e. if someone is using Guardsmen as SM Scouts, then every Guardsman on the field must represent a Scout, and so on and so forth.

There's also a degree of subjectivity to it, especially when it comes to the level of implied effort the player appears to have put in. Such as an Imperial Fists player using Guardsmen as Scouts, but the Guardsmen are all painted in IF yellow with chapter iconography. A bunch of Cadian-green Guardsmen with Cadian 8th insignia all over them may make me raise an eyebrow, but I'd still be cool with it. If they have an IG detachment with green Cadians, but then also have green Cadians being used as Scouts, I would probably speak up, since in the heat of battle that just gets confusing.

One of the best parts about Grimdark Gaming is how friendly, communicative, and inviting the atmosphere and players have always been. AFAIK there have been few if any issues with the above, especially if players have communicated clearly with each other and/or its been a "test" type situation. Lord knows I haven't exactly had the best track record with painting and I have had to proxy things on not-so-rare occasions. For this exercise I want us to think beyond the awesome environment of GDG and think about the "state of the game" itself so to speak.

Looking to get your thoughts.

-Indy
“Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”

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Re: Proxying GW models as other models

Postby Kman2190 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:02 am

I like to think I'm understanding when it comes to proxying from other players. I always try to go wysiwyg but may proxy a model or a bit but I understand if someone brings out guardsmen, cultists etc to proxy for anything else on the condition that I understand what is what. I would think of it as standard etiquette at most friendly games.
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Re: Proxying GW models as other models

Postby Darth Hoodie » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:08 pm

My stance on the matter is not so dissimilar. I for one am not a fan of "counts as" or proxies. However I am willing to accept them within reason and like you stated if I am to accept them on a table they need to be consistent across the entirety of an army. I recently played a tournament and everyone who "chased the new hotness" and had half assed attempts at guard battalions was discouraging. Just jam as many 28mm roughly humanoid models in various states of completion onto a table many of them had special weapons but across the board all of them were just cheepo lasgun infantry. Nothing leaves a bad taste in your mouth like being beaten to a pulp by a half assed attempt at power-gaming.

This is not to say I do not appreciate well done conversions, I am the first guy to appreciate a tasteful conversion thats being used as a "counts as" model as long as it meets certain criteria.

1: It is similar in size shape and general "look" to the model it is supposed to represent.

2: If the model is supposed to be equipped with "Generic big machine gun #2" the conversion has something that is either "Generic big machine gun #2" or could reasonably pass for "generic big machine gun #2."

3: Obvious effort and "rule of cool." Just because you used some silly putty on a hotw heels school bus and because of the storm bolter you are calling it a Rhino does not make it a conversion or a rhino, you are not clever, you are not smart that is being lazy. If their is obvious effort put into a kitbashed conversion you can tell that it was from a hobbiest/gamer that really cares about making it unique. Im all for it, for example. Ben and those cool new Gork/Morkanaunghts. Those things are AMAZING examples of a well done conversion! Steve also has several really well done tanks conversions, any of which I would enjoy taking the field against. They are well thought out and well executed models.

As I developed my collection, I have come to realize a few things about the game and why I enjoy it. When I put my plastic dudes down on a table, I want to be able to "forge the narrative" as GW likes to say, I want to be able to experience some level of "immersion" in the game and the setting. I am of the opinion that 40k as a hobby requires a certain level of commitment, that in order to get the best experience out of the hobby and immerse yourself into the game you really need to "invest" into it. Money for the right models and time an effort to model and paint them. To put bluntly, you really need to give a shit.

A game of 40k can take a few hours and in those few hours you and your opponent enter into an "agreement" so to speak, you both need to put a bit of effort in to enjoy the game to its fullest.

As a newer player I was often guilty of not having painted models, "proxying" certain models to try out new ideas before investing the money and not having the most well rounded collection. So I am going to leave a few bits of advice for any members new to the game.

1: When you get into the hobby, start small and do it right! Learn the game as well as modeling and painting gradually over time. Dont feel pressured into needing to get a 2,000 point army on the table ASAP. Growing a collection in 500 point increments is easy enough to do!

2: Magnets are your friend. As a new player I would often wish my guys had different weapons and my major source of proxying was simply put "This plasma guy has a melta gun today." If I had just had the foresight to magnatize those special weapon characters instead I could have saved myself a lot of time and money. Id rather just buy, build and paint one guy with the option for 4 different special weapons than 4 different guys. Figure you have 3 guys with the option to take special weapons across a squad and wow does it add up quick.

3: Paint as you build! I know it may seem daunting to want to get your guys on the table ASAP. But once you start playing games with a fully painted army it's such a rewarding feeling, knowing those are "your dudes" out there!

4: Do some research, ask questions, dont be afraid to be "that guy." With very few exceptions, everyone I have met through 40k have been friendly, engaging, accommodating and eager to share their knowledge and collective wisdom with new players. If you want to know more about Space Marines, ask a Space Marine player. Furthermore there is a wealth of knowledge across the internet, forums, facebook groups, youtube channels. Not all of it should be taken as gospel, but it will give you an idea of what to expect.

Ok TL:DR version.
(Proxies are "ok" as long as they are consistent, cleared with an opponent before hand and used in a non competitive setting.)
(Tasteful conversions are ok and appreciated as long as they clearly involved a modicum of effort on the part of the hobbiest.)
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Re: Proxying GW models as other models

Postby MrScotty » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:27 pm

I think for me it depends on a matrix of Creativity Vs Permanence. None of this is "official policy of the club" because we don't have an official policy except for a ban on non-wargaming related proxies like toys, trash, footwear etc, and a ban on counterfeits like Makerbot 3d printed dreadnoughts and chinese quality recasts that hurt our relationship with the store.

In a "test" situation, I'm totally cool with a player wanting to proxy one thing as another if they want to try out the rules before a purchase, as long as it's not completely out of left field size and armament wise (hey man I want to try out a rhino before I buy it are you cool with me using an imperial knight as a rhino?). A Chimera as a Hellhound, some Eldar Guardians as Rangers, some Guardsmen as Scouts...if you're testing them out before you buy, or if you're painting up a new purchase but want to play them in game, totally A-OK in my book.

The other end of the scale is "increasing effort = increasing frequency". if someone PERMANENTLY wants to proxy one model as another, I am fine with it as long as they put in some effort to make the proxy interesting, or had a reason why this particular proxy was doing this job. An imperial Guard player who used some of the fantasy Karadon Overlords as allied Space Marines with the idea that the regiment is part Squat? Holy crap that sounds awesome and I want to see your cool paintjobs/conversions. Someone wanting to permanently use old unpainted Starter Kit dreadnoughts as Carnifexes because they changed the army they want to play but they don't want to let the models go to waste? I'd probably not want to play against that if they weren't planning on eventually getting the real models for the carnifexes.
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Re: Proxying GW models as other models

Postby Indy » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:37 pm

All valid points. I guess what I am thinking is something like someone buying all Dark Eldar models, but a Chaos daemons codex and playing them as Daemons from there on out. Like, they play Daemons, but their army uses Dark Eldar models.

How much is too much?
“Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”

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Re: Proxying GW models as other models

Postby MrScotty » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:59 pm

Indy wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:37 pm
All valid points. I guess what I am thinking is something like someone buying all Dark Eldar models, but a Chaos daemons codex and playing them as Daemons from there on out. Like, they play Daemons, but their army uses Dark Eldar models.

How much is too much?
If the person had a reason for it, converted them to make sense for what they were, and you were consistently able to determine what was suppsoed to be what, I'd see no problem with it.

But in the specific instance of Dark Eldar As Daemons, you'd run into some problems most likely, i.e. daemons do not have guns to speak of, and most dark eldar models at least have pistols.

It's tough for me to say exactly where the line is. A full army conversion, you'd have to pay serious attention to making sure everything was easily comprehensible, and you'd probably need some kind of justification for it or you'd run the risk of people just thinking you didn't want to buy new models but you wanted to run different rules.

"I've got a converted daemon army, the fluff of which is they're corrupted chaos Eldar. I run these dark eldar wych models as Slaanesh daemons, and I've replaced the pistol hands on these wyches with claws so they can be daemonettes, I've got Reavers as Seekers, a converted Succubus as a Herald, and I'm using the Ynnari avatar guy as a Keeper of Secrets"

My response to this would be "awesome."

"I've got a converted daemon army but I like the dark eldar models so I used them. These Kabalites are bloodletters, these Hellions are beasts of nurgle, this Raider is a Soul Grinder, and these Reavers are Screamers"

My response to this would be "I'm going to have a seriously hard time keeping track of that."
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Re: Proxying GW models as other models

Postby Memento » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:48 pm

To address the most straight forward situation first, you'd almost never see this situation in a tournament because most TOs need to be fairly strict about WYSIWYG and official models representing what they're supposed to be. A Eldar army using Tyranid models wouldn't be allowed in most circumstances. Yes I know that there are some outliers that have been put forth as exceptions to the general rule. But the rule still stands at most events.

Also, because it was brought up, the official club stance is here (see: "Full Spectrum of Wargaming" and "the Tryhard Standard")

To summarize, the default assumption is that everyone is in this hobby for their own reasons. While many of those reasons overlap, occasionally you might encounter someone whose way of enjoying the game doesn't really jive with yours at all. In those cases, it's perfectly fine to politely decline an experience if you suspect that it won't be enjoyable for either you or your opponent. Remember that you and your opponent are partners in a shared experience and your opponent's level of enjoyment is as much your responsibility as it is theirs. Which is to say that it's up to each individual what they're willing to play with and against in any given pick-up game.

Personally speaking, as I've matured in the hobby I've found that I'm looking for immersive games. Specifically fully painted & fully based WYSIWYG. Preferably with a little story to go with the dice rolling. Since having the kiddo I don't really have as much time available to me as I used to so I'm much less inclined to sit for a 2-4 hour experience that I'm not fully engaged in. Given the option of a pick-up game with someone proudly proxying x as y for their army, my response is a polite thanks but no thanks.
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Re: Proxying GW models as other models

Postby Draaen » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:06 pm

Naturally I prefer playing on good terrain with well painted models on both sides. However I am less a forge the narrative guy and we always had trouble finding and retaining fantasy players. So I will play against anyone with any little plastic dudes who wants to kill my little plastic dudes. Paying back the kindness of older hobbyist to a doofy elementary school aged Mark.

In a tournament they need to meet the tournament standard. Full stop. WYSIWYG is standard so that removes a lot of shennanigans. If I didn't like the standard I would have a few options. Talk to the T.O to get a change of standard in the future, stop attending or accept the standard and continue to attend. If someone did not meet the standard set out by the tournament I still wouldn't really say anything during the tournament unless they were very rude. I would take a picture and send it to the T.O. post tournament so that I don't ruin the guys day but I would want to mention to the T.O. what was giving a bad play experience. The ball is then in the T.O.s court. They could talk to the offending player, or come up with ways to better alert players to the standard or he could inform me that is the standard they want. I might also be more vocal sooner at the higher tables in a big GT I flew out for. At that point everyone should be well aware of the rules and not have an excuse.

My personal preference on tournament standards is the probably now ancient GW standard of 75% of each model is GW and WYSIWYG. Characters with relics get a bit of a pass from me due to how many heroes someone may have to paint up! I have no problem with a juggernaught on thunderwolf as a blood crusher because it's obvious no matter why he did it. I do want hobby scores to be non-trivial to reward well thought out and painted armies.

My Daemons are going to be heavily converted with skaven and 3rd party models. I want to get better at painting and the wide variety of Daemons will allow me to do that and I have plenty of daemons lying around, doofy scratch builds, other models I can convert or 3rd party models that could be good proxies. Like my skaven cold one knights as juggernaughts, or the chaos dwarf lord on juggernaught as a khorne herald. Other models that I would like to see not go to waste like my old doomwheel or the horde of clan rats I have would take more thought and probably some bits to make them 40k usable. And then probably only as CSM cultists. I wouldn't hold it aginst someone if they said hey I want a serious forge the narrative game could you play another army or not bring your doofy/3rd party models with your daemons.

I like the fantasy/40k cross over. Appropriately painted cold ones as spawn, beast of nurgle or kroot hounds? Makes sense to me so it's awesome! I wouldn't like straight clan rats as horrors. Even with themed paint those models don't really make much sense to me. I'd still play you with them though if you liked them. My golden rule is I'll worry about how my models look you can worry about how your models look.
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