Arena Rex Forums

Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies
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Author:  Wishing [ Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:08 am ]
Post subject:  Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

Since there is a separate subforum just for this topic, I figure I'd like to ask what people think about things like converting models and substituting one model for another.

It's interesting to me to ask because I, as probably many of us here, have played Warmachine/Hordes. That is a game with a very popular and tightly managed official organised tournament scene. And up until recently, the recommended guidelines for tournaments were very clear - if you're going to use a model in game, you have to use the correct model on the table. You can modify it to some extent - but it has to be clearly visible that the base model is the same model that everyone else is using.

In Arena Rex, it is obvious to me that probably the main reason that people get into this game is the gorgeous, finely detailed miniatures. So generally, I don't imagine that most people will have an inclination to hack up the models and turn them into other things.

But how would people feel about a hypothetical scenario where there was some kind of official Arena Rex tournament, and someone wanted to use model X in the game, but instead, they brought model Y, and explained to opponents that model Y is meant to represent model X.

In your opinion, what kind of criteria should apply to model Y for that to be OK, if that is at all possible?

Author:  RidiQles [ Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

I, personally, have no problems with proxying in my games, and I am all for modifying and altering your models to make them yours (change a weapon, add a mask, etc.). My preference would be that when you use a proxy you attempt to make it resemble the character it is supposed to be, just for ease of identification... but the games are usually small enough and quick enough, that there isn't a huge problem of confusion.
For official events, however, I think the product should be respected and supported and only official version of the characters allowed (with mods and alterations allowed).

I have to admit I sometimes find it annoying when someone uses one official character miniature to represent a different official character because they like a certain sculpt better... but I feel that's more of an issue with my own OCD/retentiveness rather than with my opponents actions.

Author:  Sheijtan [ Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

In the FB group there was someone using certain models to substitute if people used them on both sides to not have the same model on the table twice. Was nice looking at, in my opinion.

Author:  Wishing [ Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

RidiQles: I generally feel like I have a similar OCD about the models not "looking right" if someone substitutes. Especially if it is one AR model for another AR model, I would totally keep thinking "No, that's not Aemilia, it's Ban-Luca, dammit" in my head, if my opponent had told me they were using the Ban-Luca model to represent Aemilia, for example.

In the WM/H world, in addition to the "respect for the product" argument, they would usually also make an argument about recognisability. That you risk confusing the opponent. Many people would counter-argue "dude, if I tell you that the BL model is actually Aemilia in this game, you think you won't remember? when I've only got 5 models on the table? are you drunk?" But I think the original argument is stronger, personally.

It's not about it being "difficult" to remember. It's about the fact that the person has probably looked at the Ban-Luca model and thought of the Ban-Luca rules together hundreds of times. It's an in-grown habit that that model has the rules associated with that model. In the heat of the moment, when you are all excited by the game and working out what you're going to do next, it seems likely to me that someone will go with instinct and think of the BL rules when they see the BL model, rather than having fully internalised that for this one game, the model has different rules.

There's also a potential aesthetic argument. If someone uses a space marine to represent Hermes, it would kinda diminish the enjoyment of the game for me. The AR models look and feel a certain way and have their own unique personalities. It matters.

So I think there are good arguments for using the correct models as being the "right" thing to do, certainly in terms of organised competitive play.

But at the same time, it is impossible to discount the argument that people should be allowed to use the models they like. It's their hobby and their artistic expression at work. And it's just a game of toy soldiers.

Normally, my approach is to only collect the models I like, and only use the correct models, so I only use a model in game if it happens to be a model where I like the sculpt. However, I've made one exception so far. I don't like the Euryale model, but I love the idea of her, and I really want to play the three gorgons. In this case, I'm making my own model, intended to look as much as the original as possible (just a different take on her). If it all works out, I'll be happy - but I would totally respect anyone who told me that they would prefer to play only with the official models, for any of the reasons outlined above. Even if that reason might be that my Euryale will be ugly. *sniff*

Author:  RRG_walker [ Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

We haven't laid down official rules for anything aside from demos yet. We're more of the mind that tournaments should be fun rather than stressful, but for a lot of the reasons that have already been mentioned, weird proxies can make things a lot less fun (and occasionally more stressful) for the other players at the event.

I'm of the opinion that recognizability should be the key -- it should clearly be that specific character, and not another AR character or something else. Ideally it falls to the tournament organizer to make the call, though. It's also fairly likely that there will be some change of organized play rules over time as the community grows and develops -- we don't see it as something set in stone but a guideline to help with events. If we are getting feedback that we need to draw a specific line in the sand somewhere, we will...=)

Author:  Wishing [ Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

Thanks for the reply. I agree that it is difficult to say exactly what makes fun and what makes stressful - that can easily vary from group to group and person to person.

I personally think that the best approach is to always underscore that it is up to each individual community, and by extension up to each tournament organiser, what they want to do. But to at the same time have some sort of guiding principles or philosophy that you as the game designers recommend, should anyone be interested.

I personally think/agree that the most sound guiding principle is the recognisability principle. This is certainly what WM/H base their guidelines on. It boils down to that when an opponent looks at the collection of models that you are going to field in this game, ideally, they should be able to tell who each model represents without having to ask you. So you can convert and proxy all you like, as long as each model is uniquely itself in terms of visual identification.

This can unfortunately be trickier than it seems. One example is when two different fighters have the same weapons. Like Marcus Furious and Mago with their nets and tridents. If I make my own gladiator with a net and trident, how can my opponent tell whether it's meant to be Marcus or Mago? AR brings this issue to a point by having no limits on force construction, so both Marcus and Mago can be fielded with any combination of models in the game.

So it's all going to be about context. And there isn't really anything to do about that. The main thing that I think is interesting to discuss is the attitudes we each have on the issue. Cultures will always develop. On the GW forums I have read, people regularly build "counts-as" armies, where one race is brought in to fully substitute for another race. On the PP forum, there is generally a strong tendency for people to point out when conversions don't follow the approved guidelines. So very different cultures. And I'm interested in the Arena Rex culture, if there is such a thing yet. ;)

Author:  Wishing [ Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

I mentioned above how if you say that anything goes in terms of model usage, then you open up for people using models not produced by RRG to play Arena Rex. Which is a different issue than intra-AR model swapping or conversions.

Nobody has commented on this so far. But I assume that a lot of people think it's totally fair to suggest to people that if they want to play AR, it is common courtesy to also buy AR models. To support the company who designed the game. And this is a very common policy for companies to have, in environments they can control. GW would only let you use GW models in any game played in their stores. PP requires conversions to be made from PP models at PP tournaments. It makes sense.

But at the same time, fans like what they like. And no matter what companies think, it's not uncommon for me to see people on forums talking about what proxy models they use to play games across different game companies. Using Malifaux models to play Warmachine and so on.

My point is to ask if anyone has had any impulse to use another company's miniatures to play Arena Rex, or know anyone who has. And what people's attitudes towards this might be.

I'm assuming that most people feel that it's OK for test games and casual basement play, but not OK for anything official like demos or showcase games of any kind. If you have a different view, hit me.

Author:  ripper.mcguirl [ Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

The models for Arena Rex are straight up the best models out there. I am not tempted at all by other companies for this game. I've done a couple shield swaps, and I'd love to give helmets to some of the non-helmeted models, but any third party bits are just not going to look as good.

Author:  Sheijtan [ Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

I'll second that :).

Author:  Wishing [ Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attitudes towards scratch-builds, sculpts and proxies

It's hard to disagree with, I agree. ;)

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