A proxy on all your houses..
I’ve removed my previous article on proxies as it really was too small and didn’t really add to the conversation; and people have asked me quite a few questions since that article was written which clearly indicates that a more in-depth look at proxies is really needed.
Let’s start with a health warning.
The views in this article are my own. They are not official Mantic policy nor are they approved by Rules Committee. They are my views on the appropriate use of proxies. In all cases, I would recommend talking to the Tournament Organiser (TO) of any event you’d like to use the proxy models at and ask them if you can. Hopefully this article will detail why this discussion is important.
With that warning taken, let’s review the only official comment on proxies in the FAQ. Quoting “someone used it at a previous Clash of Kings” does not make it automatically OK. Likewise, saying “Jon on Kingsofwarresources.com said it was OK” won’t help you either.
Let’s break that FAQ text down a little.
A proxy must be:
- An appropriate alternative to the model it represents
- Shall follow MMC or should occupy the equivalent volume to the models they are representing
- It must be clear to your opponent what the unit actually represents
- You should remind your opponent what the units are during the game
- They must avoid confusing imagery
The issue with using proxies is that several of these statements are subjective rather than objective. And that’s the reason for discussing your proxy with the TO before the event. I don’t want the RC or Mantic to try and be more objective either; proxy is an area that has literally millions of combinations and I know that the most obvious step would be to disallow any proxies which would hurt a lot of players.
Let’s look at some theoretical (and real) proxy questions.
Question: Can I use Chaos Chariots in place of Mounted Sons of Korgaan in a Varangrrr army?
Answer: Yes, with reservations. In general this proxy is a good one. Hard hitting model replacing hard hitting model. I would use one chariot to represent ~ 4 knights and then add a couple of knights around the chariot to re-enforce that this is really a knight unit (and thereby achieve a MMC unit). Remember to remind your opponent that these chariots are really knights, especially when they are checking for charge distances (Chariots are slower than knights and your opponent may have forgotten). Varangrrr don’t have any chariots so your opponent shouldn’t be that confused.
Question: In the same army as above, can I use Chaos Chariots in place of DireFang Riders in a Varangrrr army?
Answer: No. This would fall foul of the “It must be clear to your opponent what the unit actually represents” ruling. If you use chariots as Direfangs and Knights in the same army, you will have two units, both made up of chariots (one on a slightly bigger base) acting as different units. That would be confusing to you and your opponent. Using Chariots to represents Direfang riders is OK, but NOT when chariots are being used to represent something else in the same army!
Question: I have masses of GW Stormcasts, with various weapon combinations and some of those mounted models too. How can I use them in KoW?
Answer: This is one of the contentious ones. If they are 28mm scale human infantry then you can use them as you wish; but you will need to apply MMC to them (6 representing a troop, 11 representing a regiment of infantry etc.). The issue comes when people want to use them as an equivalent to a Large Infantry models and proxy them into other armies (typically, Basileans). Stormcast fluff is somewhat similar to the Basilean army fluff, but players need to recognise that Stormcasts are NOT Basileans. Stormcasts are an elite force of “man+” models, Basileans are normal men driven by religious zealotry. You could use the Stromcasts with Wings as Elohi, and the mounted models as proxies for more normal size heavy cavalry. I could even see one Stormcast with a heavy crossbow (the one that looks like a heavy bolter) being used as some sort of warmachine. But I cannot see standard hammer armed stormcasts being used as proxies for Basliean men at arms – given the proxy rule “An appropriate alternative to the model it represents”.
Clearly the best army for Stormcast models is actually the Ogre army; if allows you to field most of the models from the GW range and would look pretty neat. You can even make some fluff up about why the ogres appear to be wearing rather swish armour…
Question: I have a ratkin army, can I use other models as ratkin slaves?
Answer: Yes, but be careful. Using alternate models to represent slaves makes some fluff sense. I rather like the idea of using Goblin rabble models as ratkin slaves. MMC will obviously apply in this case (like with like replacement) and you’ll need to be clear to your opponent that the goblins are not allies, they are slaves. Perhaps model a big rat at the back with a whip? Or chain the goblins together?
Questions: Can I replace my entire army with Wotsits?
Answer: No. Wotsits aren’t “An appropriate alternative to the model it represents”
Question: The goblin army sucks. I want to use them all as ratkin. Can I?
Answer: No. This is very likely to cause confusion. Goblins have an army list and that should be used.
Question: The stampede unit in the Herd list is large cavalry sized. Can I use fluffy white bunnies (a la Monty Python) to represent them?
Answer: Yes, but watch out for “… should occupy the equivalent volume to the models they are representing”. Assuming your white bunnies aren’t equal to large cavalry models (i.e. about the size of a large bear model or Bloodcrusher), you’ll be proxing the bunnies to represent much bigger models. Therefore you’re going to need a lot more of the bunnies on your base to represent the tide of cuteness (the exact number would need to be related to the size of the bunnies – but @ 28mm scale bunnies you’ll need dozens). My suggestion would be to buy some large scale bunnies that are ~ the size of 28mm bears and apply MMC).
Question: As the current UK national champion, I’ve been known to play a “bug” army that represents, elves and herd. I’m assuming this is OK..
Answer: Hello Dan ☺ having played your army a few times (and in both guises) I would have to say there is potential for falling foul of “It must be clear to your opponent what the unit actually represents”. I know that you like to keep model size consistent between the proxy and the unit type (big models represent big models etc) which does help. Perhaps if you are planning on doing this, having a pre-printed ready recognition guide would help with ensuring clarity?
Question: I’m one of the UKs best model painters. I’d like to use my gorgeous army as a number of different armies. Is that OK?
Answer: Hello Chris ☺ I refer you to the post above about Dan’s army. There is potential for your units to fall foul of the “It must be clear to your opponent what the unit actually represents” rule and so anything to reduce this would be great.
I could have written a dozen more examples of proxying but I’m hoping you get the picture. I hope that my views have shed some light on how I would judge their use at my events. As always, I 100% advocate talking to your TO. If you can apply MMC then that would be the simplest approach (ref: the stormcast example) as this takes some of the issues away. My last comment is related to consistency. It was referenced in passing in the “Chaos Chariot” example; if you are using a particular model to represent another, please by consistent. Lack of consistency will lead to lack of clarity and that’s when your opponent gets annoyed.