August 21, 2014

When is a proxy for a Warhammer model "extracting the urine"????

Very interesting thread up on the Warhammer Forum about the use of proxies at the ETC in Serbia this year.  To be honest I was surprised and somewhat shocked at the examples shown in that thread.  My assumption was that the ETC was THE top event for European WHFB gamers and that the armies on display would reflect that i.e. that not only would the players all be top class but so would the presentation of their armies.  It does appear that this is not the case.

The original thread is here (and an earlier thread here) and I also started a quick post on it on my local clubs Facebook page here

To recap here are some of the photos from the UK forum thread...

First the reasonably good (I think this is a pretty cool idea myself) a unit of Trolls from an Orcs n Goblin army.  The player has used trolls, they are based and they are trolls so it works and is pretty cool.

Then the bad this is a Chaos Dwarf Kadai you can tell that because it has a large base, or rather three large bases - sorry 3 movement trays and a model...

Then we have this one which according to the post was supposed to represent an Empire Steam Tank?!?  To which I can only say that the player in question was  - [phrase © S.Bowman ]- Extracting the Urine.
In local events here in New Zealand there are a couple of rules that are fairly standard at all events in relation to the use and presentation of models/units. Those rules are:
  • Proxies are not allowed.  If you are not sure then best to check beforehand to avoid problems later.
  • All models to be used must be painted to a minimum benchmark (at least 3 colours).
  • WYSIWYG or Weapons, armour options and upgrades chosen from the army list must be shown on the majority of models in a unit.
What this means is that if you want to field a unit of 20 x Dwarf Warriors with Great Weapons then that unit must contain 20 models (although leeway is made for reasonably sized unit fillers), those models must be Dwarfs or Dwarf like and at least 10/20 must be carrying 2-handed weapons.  So if its a duck, it should look like a duck not a striped Elephant with 6 arms.  The rule on painting is not always enforced but we have painting scores to cater for that, but the rule on proxies and WYSIWYG are if mainly through subconscious peer pressure.

Generally the result of this are local events where competitors put a good degree of effort into creating armies that are well presented.  Painting abilities vary widely but painting scores take this into account so no-one is overly penalised in terms of tournament placings while those who are better at painting/basing still get rewarded for their efforts.

This works well and I have benefited from it in the past were my Dwarfs picked up maximum painting points but suffered through poor generalship but I was still able to finish strongly overall.  I liked this as it meant the 18 months I spent paint stripping, repainting and re-basing my Dwarfs and building their display board were recognised (see my Dwarf repainting project posts).  But the weighting given to playing ability (generalship) is always higher meaning that this still counts for more which is what should happen.  So while I moved up through painting I dropped back further because I lost a lot.  My efforts at repainting my Dwarfs and my High Elves were also due entirely to the high quality stuff I saw at efforts and my desire to improve my own work.

In NZ events we don't really see proxies - although at CTA and Panzershrek Dwarf players were allowed to proxy Thunderers as Irondrakes because well they are still Dwarfs and they are carrying handguns which look fairly close to Drakeguns.  There are also a lot of other proxies of sorts involving non-GW models, heavy conversions and the odd kit-bash all of which look great.  My favourite from CTA were the following units from the other Ogre army - these honestly made my event.

Crocodile Mournfang Cavalry and Ironbalsters
But a line has to be drawn somewhere.  In a friendly game sure bring whatever you like but at a tournament people attend for a variety of reasons one of which (at least to me) is to see other peoples collections and to share in our mutual enjoyment of the hobby - ALL ASPECTS of the hobby - painting, modelling and playing the game.  

Consequently, I don't like proxies that "Extract the Urine" - my other pet peeve are models that are not fully assembled.  Unpainted I can accept as not everyone is a painter.  But if you are going to enter an event then glue your models together its not that hard.  

What do people think??? 


Jeffrey Kent said...

I have no issues with proxies as long as they can be identified as what they're supposed to be and they're cool. In fact if they're cool I'm all for them as a way to make an army unique.

Too many of the proxies from the ETC appeared to be both confusing and uncool.


Timothy Lind said...

This happened at NiCon 2012;

There is also a Laughing Buddha Ogre army that seemed novel, but was also a little bit cynical as well.

Few of these things are statements about GW pricing etc etc... but kinda ruins the fun if you derive enjoyment out of the game setting.

John Murrie said...

Yeah I'm sorry but that kind of thing is just BS as far as I'm concerned and takes it to far. Why not just turn up with bits of paper with the names of each unit written on them. If you enter a warhammer fantasy competition then you have an obligation to field an army that is fit for purpose. If anything it's a simple matter of courtesy.

Jeffrey Kent said...

I specifically remember seeing that at NICON where I was playing Napoleonics (before I really wanted to play WHFB at tournaments) and thinking what a shit scene WHFB was that they allowed that at their tournaments.

McCrae said...

As long as they are cool and you can easily see what they represent then I think they are all good. I was gutted when I had to use a Gorgon with a paper base for Call to Arms due to unforeseen circumstances.

Darcy Perry said...

If the proxy is a better representation than the original, then go for it!

Ben W said...

then there was the brony when i was at crossroads:

its not just that im anti brony, but i think it crosses the line somewhat. while i didnt play him, a friend did, and found the usual brett character shenanigans even harder to keep a track of

warpmaster said...

Meh i don't care about proxies as long as i'm told what they are first off.Its only a game with toys after all.


Herman van Kradenburg said...

I'm just wondering about the whole "taking the urine", as Scott aptly coined the phrase. Is the whole post not just that? Was it really from ETC or was it just some garagehammer pictures? If it was from the actual tournament it is lamentable. I'm all for proxies and unit fillers, as long as they represent clearly what they are supposed to be, and unit fillers (shall we start a new thread?) not more than 20-25% of unit. Elves should look like elves, and ogres like ogres. I don't care too much who the manufacturer was any more. Love those crocodile ogres. Have slavered over them on the net myself. They are in fact MORE expensive than the GW ones.

John Murrie said...

Unfortunately they were from ETC I was somewhat disbelieving at first but it appears that those models and others like them did make an appearance.

I do agree with Darcy that if the proxy is better you should use it. Unit fillers are a good way to personal your army and it's cool if they don't include models that fit the unit as long as they fit the overall army.

There is a social contract to gaming especially in tournaments where what you do shouldn't detract from others experience. I mean I could play badminton with a tennis racket it's a racket and it's close enough but I wouldn't.