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40K Deep Thought – Tournaments and Model Policy Conundrum

3 Minute Read
Oct 1 2018

After more than 6 years of complete independence, GW is inching back into the organized play scene – and players will have to adapt to the new normal.

Ancient History

Today I wanted to briefly take you back to the before times, when the Thunder Lizards walked the earth and GW was still in the tournament scene.  Back in the day before 2012, GW held many big Games Days, the Golden Daemon championships, and even a la carte stuff like Ardboyz.  Folks were excited and attended in droves, making sure to follow all of the GW guidelines, (it was their show after all).

The biggest of these was of course the ONLY GAMES WORKSHOP MODELS policy.  It was perfectly understandable.  You can’t expect any company to put on a self promoting show and allow folks to sneak in competitor’s products and win prizes.  This policy led to all kinds of GW minis conversions and cool counts-as models for things that were not yet in production yet. This was back in the time when GW codexes would routinely have rules for units that had no model yet. Anyone remember all those converted Wave Serpents back in the day?

All By Myself

Then Games Workshop left the tournament scene for 6 years.  Into this vacuum many of the now large events grew to meet player demand.  Adepticon, WarGamescon, LVO, NOVA and many others all the way down to the local events started doing everything for themselves.  Manufacturer prize support dried up, and TOs came up with a variety of new paradigms for prizes that will keep attendees and their winners happy.

During this period model policy ran the gamut from GW-only to anything-goes. TOs had no monetary incentive to be overly harsh on model policy, as they didn’t’ want to turn away attendees if they didn’t absolutely have to. It was these last few years that we have seen a ton of conversions and armies built from components across the tabletop industry.


GW Returns

With the arrival of the newly resurgent Warhammer World and Citadel in the US, GW has made announcements that they will be returning to organized play events in some fashion. This time around we have all new games that didn’t even exist in the old era like Age of Sigmar. I’m sure more details will be coming in the months ahead, but already some players are anxious at the potential return of the previous GW-only model policy.

It’s been years and while a brand new player, or strangely very old armies will have no issues, things like model policy mostly affect folks with armies that have been built in the “anything goes” era of the last 6 years.  Many of these armies have anything from full 100% proxy conversions from 3rd parties down to 100% GW miniatures mounted atop custom bases. Some players & hobbyists are on eggshells awaiting word of exactly where the line will be drawn.

A Couple Questions

Firstly: What should a TO (Tournament Organizer’s) stance be on model policy in this new world where players may be moving around in both formal GW and indy events?

Secondly: What do you as players think is fair limit of 3rd party conversions for any miniatures manufacturer – not just GW to accept in their own formal events? Where exactly should the line be to keep everything on an even keel?

~Like they say, the only constant in the world – is change.


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