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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Counts As - Why don't you like it?

I'm going to open the can of worms here. For those who dislike counts as, why? Let's outline the arguments 'for' counts as and make distinction between the two.

The first one I think we need to discuss is representing an army with another codex where the rules 'fit' better. Classic examples are SneakyDan's Thousand Sons as Grey Knights and Vinsanity's Night Lords as Blood Angels. Both of these armies originally hail from Chaos but the Chaos book currently has very little flavor and ability to make unique army lists. Yes, the Chaos book is also a poor competitive choice but rather than considering Vince and Dan as having gone "I'm going to migrate these armies I already have over to this book because it's better on the table-top" both of these guys have started a completely new army with the more competitive book and rather modelled their armies as Thousand Sons or Night Lords. They may or may not have had this hidden love for these armies before and the Blood Angel and Grey Knight books gave them the chance to make them effectively on the table-top AND themed, or they may have decided they didn't want boring old Red/Silver marines and thought this was a great idea from a modelling and a gaming perspective.

So this is where my real question is. What do the people who have issues with counts-as really dislike about this type of army? In the end it's simply a name (Thousand Sons, Night Lords, etc.) to represent an army. Particularly if the individual owning the army has forked out for new models, converted them, etc. I'm honestly curious so let's hear it.

The next type of counts-as isn't really counts-as and I imagine is the source of much of the 'angst' against counts-as armies. That is Marine armies which change. I.e. my Ice Claws or Goatboy's Space Goats.

Now I know both of us put a lot of effort into our armies and make sure everything is WYSIWYG but through the use of magnets (and thereby saving money), our Tactical Marines can turn into Assault Marines and Grey Hunters and our Razorbacks, Rhinos and Predators can all swap their layout, etc. The issue here I think for people is they all end up the same color and sometimes someone who has a  more traditional color schemed army (i.e. Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Ultramarines, etc.) can end up with the codex that doesn't represent their army (i.e. fast Ultrablue tanks) or that a single captain figure ends up being Vulkan, a Wolf Lord, Librarian, Dante, etc. Personally I always make my characters different because they always have different wargear and the reason I magnetise my Space Marines is to allow myself multiple armies to use (even within the same book) whilst saving money. Unfortunately unlike Vince I don't have a huge amount of cash to always burn on new minis :P.

I think another reason against this type of counts-as is Xenos armies can never do this. You cannot change the arms and backpack of an Kabalite Warrior and turn him into a Tau Firewarrior for example. On the other hand I think if everything is obviously represented (WYSIWYG) and your 'Space Wolves' army is clearly different from your 'Blood Angels' army in turns of what the units look like, I  have no issue with it.

In the end I think this type of counts-as is done more often but not as much effort in the models or ensuring WYSIWYG is the most common type of counts-as and has soured people against counts-as in general. So my question is if this type of counts-as is done properly (everything clearly WYISWYG, custom chapter, armies clearly different, etc.) do people still have issue with it? If you do, why and why is that such an issue for you?

Anyway please discuss and keep it polite. There are some very divergent opinions on this topic and let's keep it civil and not turn into a gibbering mass of frothing gamers.

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