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Beating a Dead Horse’s Potty Mouth Off At Me, Please

8 Minute Read
Jun 21 2011

Has everyone’s favorite excuse for sleeping in on Tuesday finally lost it?  Will BigRed finally wise up and fire this guy?  And how much can you beat a topic before it’s all worn out?  These questions and more will be answered…

…right after I actually explain what the heck this is you’re reading.

Hello again boys and girls, Unicorns and children of all ages, my name is Brent from Strictly Average, and today I’m bringing you yet one more article tapping the overdone topic of Counts-As armies…


Before you jump to the comment’s section to write me some well-deserved hate mail, understand this:  after screwing up my article last week, I saw a ‘What’s New Today’ post that had me jumping out of my seat… to do what I should have done ages ago.

Ask the people in charge what they think.

I drafted a short list of questions and emailed Greg from Adepticon, Jon from Wargames Con, Jay from Da Boyz, and Mike from the Nova, four tournament organizers for four well-known indy tournament events.

The Interview!

Question: How does your tournament handle Counts As armies, philosophically speaking?

Greg: AdeptiCon handles “Counts As” units on a case by case basis.  Players are asked to submit their requests prior to the event with pictures for pre-approval.  Per AdeptiCon’s model policy – Count-as armies should demonstrate reasonable effort when it comes to conversions.  Simply using an existing army with a different codex (as a proxy) is NOT allowed. 

Jon: We like counts as armies that are well done and add to the hobby.  We don’t like counts as models that seem to be modeled for advantage.  It is actually pretty easy to tell the difference (tiny or small bases, tiny or huge vehicles).  An example of cool is the guys with the speeder rhinos.  The models they use are much smaller than Rhinos in height, but they have them elevated so that they are just as easy to see and target.  The 8″ long and 6″ tall buggies that someone used a few years ago are an example of not cool.

Jay: Don’t care along as they are modeled correctly.


Mike: Philosophically speaking, the army’s units must be WYSIWYG and readily identifiable as what they are.  This does not really apply to colors and conversions, or codex choice.  If you have a bunch of Ultramarines and you are desperate to count them as Space Wolves, you’re not instantly disqualified by being blue with white U’s everywhere, b/c when you hand your opponent your army list at the beginning of the game, it has a great big SPACE WOLVES 2,000 POINTS on it.

Question: What kind of Counts As would you like to see?

Greg: Armies and models that work to fit within the their hobby universe of choice (ie: 40K, Fantasy, Flames of War, Malifaux, Warmachine, etc).  Models should also be of similar size, shape, and have appropriate wargear represented to allow the models to be easily identified.

Jon: Interesting models that can’t get tagged for advantageous models.  If everything has the right footprint on the table and is at least as easy to target, we’re good to go.

Jay: Anything that is cool and steps out of the norm.  You used to see more of them back in the day. I think that is what player’s choice award was used to be at GW tournaments.  One of the coolest I ever saw was all the Marvel characters in a chaos army.  He modeled Doctor Octopus as Defiler.

Mike: I think the more badass and unique an army, the better.  Also, I really don’t care if someone wants to run Ultramarines as Space Wolves, b/c I don’t want to get into subjectively evaluating the ‘worth’ of a counts-as; for all I know, some guy actually modeled all his UM to be SW from the get go.  It may not make sense to me, or anyone, but it’s his baby, he paid money for it, and as long as everything is crystal clear and doesn’t hamstring his opponent’s capacity to compete, I really am not going to butt my head in on it.

Question: What kind of Counts As do you hate to see coming?


Greg: Models on larger/smaller bases than the norm, modified units/vehicles that bring significant in-game advantages, deceptive army lists (even if unintentional) and armies that are very difficult to clearly tell models apart at a glance if this is a nonstandard force.  While some concepts are cool (ie: Orks of Hazard), AdeptiCon has moved away from allowing “toys” like Stars Wars ships, Scooby Doo vans, etc to be played as “Counts As” models at the event.

Jon: Oversized vehicles, infantry modeled laying down or from tiny substitutes.  Tiny vehicles are bad as well.

Jay: Models that have been modeled bigger or smaller to gain advantage. For instance if you scratch built a battlewagon twice the size to hide your Gorkamorka truck behind is just wrong.

Mike: I hate counts-as armies where the vehicles are all whacky sizes … especially when someone says ‘well b/c it’s bigger it evens out b/c I get cover less easy!’  I don’t care if you think it evens out, b/c the game was designed differently; modeling for “advantage – disadvantage = fair” is not actually fair, b/c that’s so in the eye of the beholder.  I also don’t like, as implied above, armies where “all the guys with the hair parted to the right are Wulfen, and all the guys with extra bones on their armor are power fists,” to make up an example.

Question: Do you allow non-GW parts in the armies you allow, and if so what’s the ratio?

Greg: Yes.  There is no specified ratio for non-GW parts at this time.

Jon: Yes; only matters that the models look good.

Jay: I would allow all non-GW army at my tournament as long as they are modeled correctly. I think you are seeing a lot more of this because other companies are making them as good as GW and there is not any GW events (except for Vegas) to attend where they only require only GW models. 

Mike: yeah, and I don’t mind much … as long as they follow the other types of guidelines and such; GW sponsors these events, as do many other companies, and GW emphasizes that they are INDEPENDENT … since they aren’t going to pressure us on how to run them, I’m not going to pressure players on how to spend their money.  That said, if someone shows up with a bunch of Teletubbies and says ‘all the yellow ones are power fist sarges,’ well, you know that’s not gonna cut it.


An Interlude… and the Last Question

Many of you will have noticed I referenced a certain ‘What’s New Today’ article, a series that’s Games Workshop’s answer to daily blogging… and not a bad one at that!  Here’s the link:

The Blood Wolves – by Christian Byrne

What the hell?  Who is this ‘Christian’ that’s stolen my idea!  (Okay, he’s a seriously talented hobbyist and his army looks better than mine ever will.  Still… ignore this!)  Aren’t I the only one who had an idea for a Space Wolves Counts-As army using Chaos parts??

Of course, the real issue is one could see this as GW legitimizing their stance on the whole, sordid subject.  Is this finally the proof we need to put this baby to bed?

Greg: GW has always promoted the creativity of the hobbyist and only puts some limits on “Counts As” (ie: no Star Wars figures, etc), which would inhibit this creativity.  We have seen a wide variety of army creations that deviate from the norm all the way back to the earliest GTs in the late 1990’s. 

Jon: GW has never minded about counts as armies, just that the models are primarily made of GW parts or scratch built.  They definitely do a lot of modifying stuff and scratch building in studio and are public about it.

Jay: I think GW does not have a problem with Counts as armies as long as they are GW models and along as they make sense (you can’t use empire cannon for dark elder raider). I am sure it has been tried! I do feel there is a lot more of this because of the tournament scene.  I see it all the time. An average player picks up a good army (example: space wolves) their odds at winning just got better.  Oh I am not saying every space wolf player is an average player. 

Mike: I don’t think it’s “proof” of anything; GW always encouraged creativity and modeling prowess and player-generated fluffy lists and all that jazz; I think this is kinda what they’ve always been behind.

Sorry as I barely pay attention – there’s a more important issue here; can’t anyone else see it..?

Obvious Selfish Question: Isn’t the ‘Blood Wolves’ a blatant ripoff of my idea? Isn’t this proof that I’m endlessly influential in the halls of GW?


Greg: Obviously you never received the memo that all great and influential ideas come from Toledo.

Jon: Absolutely.  The other day I was chatting with Jervis and he was asking if I could steal some of your used socks for him.

Jay: (Jay refused to answer!)

Mike: Yes, totally.  It’s also a total rip off of my Blood Pack, that I’ve been working on for some time as my fluffy gorgeous army, and that freakin’ is the nearly identical fluff.  I was floored.


So there you have it, folks, an answer from four different dudes. I can’t and won’t say one of these are THE answer, because nothing is definitive given we all own this game.

One thing, however, is very definite. I’m officially sick of this subject!  I’ll never, ever, tackle Counts-As again… 

…articles, I mean.  I’m very happy with my little project, despite seeing it done better here.  I’ll be ready for Wargames Con… but I find I must admit something some of you have suspected:

The Brotherhood was a project I’m inspired by, but using Space Wolves as the base was me hitting the ‘easy button.’  After almost two years of playing Daemons at a high level, I need to throttle down some.  That realization snuck in somewhere along the line, so here’s me owning it.

Next, Bugs! are on the menu!  

Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

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