Sunday, 11 October 2009

Degrees of 'counts as' - Being reasonable?

Played two games today. One in the ongoing WHFB league i'm in and the other with the space wolf list today. Lost horribly in both cases, but i didn't mind too much. But the second game threw up issues of 'counts as' and reasonability.

Basically, we both wanted to test the new space wolves codex. Neither of us own the 'official' models, so there was a lot of 'counts as' being used.

First up, he put a Black Reach captain, a Terminator Chaplain and a Dreadnought down and said 'that's A Wolf Lord, A Rune Priest and Bjorn'. Now i'm a reasonable guy (not that i'm saying he's not), so i said, yeah, no Problem.

I then unpacked my stuff and put Sarpedon and Tellos down and said "That's Njal and a Wolf Lord". Instantly, he blurted out, pointing to Sarpedon "but he's on too big a base, you can't use him!", followed by a retort from me. I'd been using this guy for months as Tigerius (who's on a small base), with no problems, yet the moment i wanted to use him as a new character, (who is more or less the equivilant of Tigerius, but sold on a terminator base), it was apparently bang out of order, just because he had some apparently powerful special rules, which had yet to be run through the local gaming mill, so the hype over them was still believed.

However, in his new-codex-oh-my-god-it's-overpowered, he chose to ignore the fact that Tellos, my Wolf Lord, for exactly the same fluff reasons as Sarpedon, had chainblades for hands(count-as wolf claws), no chest armour (but highly mutated, so counting as runic armour and belt of russ) and no representation of the jump pack i gave him (inhuman speed). If i'd wanted to make an overpowered list, i could have classed Tellos as Canis Wolfborn, who is very Tellos-like, in that he's also fast, tough and kick-ass in combat.

It's not like i was wanting to gain an unfair advantage by using Sarpedon on a bigger base, i was merely wanting to represent one of my favourite BL characters in a fluffy manner, as well as make use of the model i'd commissioned off Ron.

If i'd really wanted to be picky, i'd have said in that case, he couldn't use his Chaplain as a Rune Priest, but instead i took the cowards way out and bargained with him. I let him use his missile launchers from his tactical squads (being thrust into the role of grey hunters) as plasma guns in exchange for him 'being reasonable' about Sarpedon. In the end, Sarpedon was vapourised by a lascannon with the opening shot of the game and those extra plasma guns cost me the match, taking out my drop pod troops as they landed. The game was over by turn three.

I wouldn't have even been bothered that much if his force hadn't consisted of a mis-match of several other SM armies, including Dark Angels and Codex Marines, with no consistancy of colouration, whereas, i'd taken the time to paint every model in Soul Drinkers colours and model things like Mark of the Wulfen clearly (mutations). The only reason why Sarpedon isn't on a terminator base is because when building him, Ron suggested that he'd look better on a bigger base, else he'd look ridiculously squashed in on a 40mm one.

Speaking to Colin, the club organiser afterwards, he said it was a little unfair considering it was a friendly game and if he was in that position he would have let me use Sarpedon without forcing concessions upon me. But unfortunately there is a fair sprinkling of competitve players in my local gaming group, whereas me and Colin are more in favour of balanced or fluffy lists, so there's often clahes of 'gaming personalities'

So, who would you favour in this situation. Me or him?

How far should people reasonably take 'counts as'?


  1. I am truly sorry to hear about the problems you got for trying to use the model. I still stand behind telling you that he looks better on the larger base and I think he makes a great centerpiece, even if hadn't done it.

    I think as long as you're clear and your "counts as" are consistent across the board, there shouldn't be any problems really.

    More often than not, a larger base actually makes it harder on you I think.

  2. In terms of game mechanics the model you use as a counts as should probably be on the same size base as the model it counts as. Base size can really matter. Once again, in terms of game mechanic, it's probably more important than modeling the right mutation or weapon on the model..

    Yet, with that said, he was a jerk.

  3. be the change you wish to see in the world. be a friendly gentlemen and play with your painted models with others that do the same. if someone wanted a pick-up game with the sludge he brought brought to the table I'd most likely pass..

  4. @Ron

    To be honest, this is the first time anyone's had a problem with him being on a big base. The cynical side of me says that before it was fine because he was representing a fairly 'meh' and easy to kill special character, rather than the rumoured powerhouse that Njal is.

    Yeah, the bigger base has caused the 'Tigerius' Sarpedon to die when he'd have otherwise lived more times than i can count, so it really isn't an advantage at all. Big base means more room to get killed.

    @ tahrikmili

    Ironicly, the guy said to me he had no problem with Sarpedon being used as Bjorn, just because of the similar base size.

    In game terms that's a small Dreadnought (compared to the proper model) who's very tough and nigh-impossible to kill. On balance, he got off lightly with me choosing to insist that he was Njal, but it shouldn't have come down to that in the first place.

    I've always used Sarpedon as a chief librarian-type character to stop accusations of base size/ power play shenanigans.

    @ Zealot

    I couldn't agree more. I rarely game with unpainted armies, unless it's a new force, like my Dark Elves and i usually extend that policy to those i face, preferring to face fully painted armies.

    But he was the only person with 40k there, because of the WHFB league that's going at the moment, so i was happy for the break from my Dark Elf losing streak.

    I just didn't appreciate the lecture about Counts As from the guy who was using it himself in a much more abstract way than i was.

  5. Actually in general models being on a larger base (especially with the way wound allocation works) can be a disadvantage as much or more than an advantage. YA YA I friggin know the offical GW rule is modeled on the base it came with and as we all know there are thousands of pages of internet guides and rants pertaining to that ... but for me I don't pitch a fit if some guy shows up with for example ... AOBR Warbosses modeled up as Ork Nobs in squads on large bases or something like that. If your playing in the GT last round for 1000 bucks in prizes and a date with the hot Russian Painter chick ... OK man let the inner rules lawyer rip ... but in a counts for nothing but fun store game ... testing out a new codex?!?!? Really man??!!?!?!!?

    As for a "counts as" game ... if you know in advance that models are going to be run in a "counts as fashion" and agree to it I don't really see the problem. Now if you show up somewhere and get a random game against a random person ... I'd be pissed if I were you man ... I don't think you did anything that was wrong or warranted any negative comments.

    Bottom line the game is about fun first and foremost. I have always cut people slack and to be honest man .. holy shit .. with new codexes ... in my 40K group we've let people do the "this coffee can is my carnafex" type of thing when then are in the testing out a new list mode. If the point is to see how things play before you spend the money on the model ... I'm all about helping my fellow gamer and I expect the same in return. I feel your pain man ... sadly there are too many tools playing 40K who just don't get it. We are playing with plastic army men people ... we aren't negotiating a trade agreement with China or something ... so chill out and have some fun.

  6. That sort of behavior (the other guy's) lives up to the stereotypes about war gamers and so nicely reinforces them. "Counts as" is about the sillies thing in the world to fight about in 40k, at least when you're on the same page as your opponent before you guys go to the table.

  7. I don't know what was up with Fish with the counts-as, because it is something that we've allowed in the Primarchs for ages. Also, as it was a friendly game he really shouldn't have quereied it.

    As for Phil, when he tends to be a little unsporting. I can see where he was coming from what with it being a campaign game but at the same time sportsmanship is the key word in any game.

    We only have three real competative players; Marko, Joel and Mike. Everyone else should give you a fair and fun game. Just expect those three to powerplay.

  8. @everyone

    Thanks for the comments. It's reassuring to know that i'm not the only one who thought he was taking it too far.


    Phil really wasn't a problem, just the whole challenge thing bugged me, but i could see his point about it. It was a league game and i'm not sure how close to tournement rules this league is, but yeah, i can forgive him it, i made a simple mistake, but he capitalized. tbh, as unlikely as it was, i could have pulled out at a draw if i was very lucky. I had 400pts worth of models in his deployment zone, meaning had i panicked or finished off his hammerer unit with shooting and won the challenge with my assassin, it would've come right down to the wire.

    Personally, i think Fish had heard about or glanced at the rules for Njal and thought he was going to be overpowered, hence his reaction to Sarpedon counting as him.

    It just annoyed me that his queries focussed on Sarpedon, rather than Tellos, who to be honest, is a bit 'out there' modelling-wise and i'd question his use if i was facing him (hence why i rarely field Tellos).

    Also annoying that after getting me to negotiate the 'right' to use him, he then ignored the obvious targets (scouts, skyclaws) and vapourised him with his land raider in the opening volley, meaning he actually gained something advantagous in his army(plasma guns), but i got zero enjoyment or even use out of the character i got in exchange for him having them.

    It would've been a very different game if it wasn't for those 'plasma guns'

  9. I would not play with someone who behaved like that. I can understand Competition Rules being rigid, which is why I don't play in competitions, but your opponent was being anal in a friendly game.

    So he 'won' a game of toy soldiers - yawn. He needs to get a sense of perspective.


  10. It is one of the reasons why I dislike playing against Phil. He claims not to be a WAAC player but if he doesn't win he doesn't like it. Same as Marko.

    I recommend just let it slide, you have the game out of the way, find a better player.