Saturday, August 15, 2009

Is Your Army WYSIWYG?

So I was reading a space marine list posted on Warseer. The list featured several SM scout sergeants with shotguns and powerfists. I was wondering if the player actually has a model for these or was just thinking about different lists. I have made one version of this model but multiple poses might be tricky since I only found 1 ready to add shotgun. So I went searching in google images for any other out there with no luck. I was interested in seeing how other gamers built this model. I did not even find mine since the post did not originally include a nice description of the model. This got me think about the WYSIWYG rule and if it was strictly enforced anywhere.

What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) is supposedly the law of the land in 40K. If a model has a piece of optional equipment, it should be represented on the model clearly. The basic idea is to allow players to quickly know which model has what abilities without constantly having to look back at the list. This can be important if you are trying to play quickly and need to see exactly where that powerfist or meltabomb is in that squad so you can avoid it during the tank shock.

Having everything modeled seems like a simple thing but generally runs into trouble pretty fast for players who like to switch up lists and might not have a large inventory of models ready to go. Very few players have models for every possible option so sometimes things just have to count as. GW also is not always helpful on this when they introduce total new units in the Codex but do not have them out for like a year after the codes. This can be seen with the SM Ironclad and Landspeeder Storm appearing recently for the Codex out last year. So people either had to build up their own version or just use something close. Also some upgrades do not always even have well defined modeling equivalents.

I know that at our FLGS it is pretty loose about WYSIWYG at events. Players should be able to identify who has what or what something is quickly but it does not have to be exact. IE I need to be able to see who in the unit is the Sergeant or has special weapons, but their exact equipment does not have to be perfect. A flamer can be a meltagun, etc. I personally try to play my marines very strictly WYSIWYG. Eventhough they are unpainted at least I can do one thing right.

Are your groups tight or loose on WYSIWYG?


  1. With weapons, my group is fairly strict. I commonly run some scratch-built weapons, but always explain what they are beforehand, as do my opponents. Sometimes a glued-in weapon has to count for something else, but if it's one weapon in a huge army, we don't mind.

    For most wargear and upgrades, almost none of them are modeled for some of the reasons you mentioned, plus the wargear may change from game to game but the model is still in the army.

  2. I try pretty hard to use WYSIWYG, however if I haven't got stuff painted or if I want diff equipment on say my captain, I don't usually run into issues.

  3. I don't play too much but I try always to be as WYSIWYG as reasonably possible - at the moment I'm actually trying to convert some old metal Cadians (my increasingly useful Armoured Fist platoon) to carry grenade launchers in preparation for my first forthcoming tournament...challenging!

    My general exceptions with my models are these two:

    1) Vehicle upgrades: 'extra armour' is one I never bother with, and a couple of my models have dozer blades just because they look 'right';

    2) Power weapons. As I use the metal Guard officers (and commissars) I count any of their weapons as power weapons (in this case I think of their powerfists as a less powerful descendant of the 2nd edition 'power glove'. Also, all their ranged weapons are either las pistols or bolt pistols (depending on points available!).

  4. I keep all my stuff WYSIWYG.
    Even if they are "counts as" armies, the representaions are the same across the army. If a forked tentacle means "XYZ" on one guy, it means the same for all the guys that have it.

  5. I try to stick to it pretty strictly.

    I make exceptions for stuff like grenades; while some models have access to the various types of grenades I'm not going to get THAT picky when they don't have a frag grenade modeled on every last space marine.

    I can understand counts-as weapons, so long as they are the same across the army.

    If it's a more relaxed game, I'm fine with some proxying, but I want to know what's what on the table and be able to at least ID stuff more or less correctly. I mean, if youv'e got ten guardsmen with lasguns, and three of those are meltaguns? I'd like to be able to ID that at a glance, so I might have words about it. If it's practice and some of those meltaguns happen to look suspiciously like flamers, not such a big deal. But, in a tourney? No, get your meltaguns or a believable stand-in.

  6. I generally stick to it, indeed the main problem with my army at the moment is I have about 7 veteran scout sergeants and only enough scouts for about 3 squads! Though that probably comes about from the fact that I love converting models and don't game anymore. My fav so far is still an old scout with lightning claws, though I also have scout with power axe, scout with power sword, etc etc...

  7. I try to have everything WYSIWYG, as this becomes vital when I enter tournaments. In friendly play, I think everyone is much more forgiving though, and I've not problem with people using a small amount of non-WYSIWYG models. So long as they tell me in advance what equipment they actually have.

    In Apoc (and other large games), I think WYSIWYG becomes imperative, even in friendly matches - no one has time to double check things if the game is to be completed on a good timescale!

  8. I try to stay as close to WYSIWYG as possible, although in the gaming group we are very open to using non-representative models and even some proxies in some cases (the IG Player in my group is very slow in building up the necessary funds for chimeras).

    Basically, how we handle it is that if there's a model on the board that is NOT representative, the owner has to explain what it is equipped with. If he fails to do this ("Oh, that guy has a power fist. Sorry, but you're carnifex is gonna die."), then the model (or it) lose all of his upgrades.

  9. I try to stay WYSIWYG whenever possible - if that unit of Fire Warriors is modeled with Pulse Rifles, then they aren't equipped with Pulse Carbines. Same thing for battlesuit weapons and the like. The only case where I break WYSIWYG is with my tanks and transports. Weapons are always WYSIWYG, but most of the Tau vehicle upgrades have no bits for representing them (outside of a couple of Forgeworld bit packs), so often I'm left with marking which vehicles are which and letting my opponent know at all times what each is equipped with. If I played in tournaments, I'd have to rethink my plan, but my games tend to be with good friends, so it works for now.