Four guys who want to win at painting... AT ALL COSTS!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The TRUTH about "Counts As" and why everyone is wrong!

Yup, it's grumpy old man time!

I am about to complain about why "Counts As" is really grinding my gears lately.  I could be showing my army off or doing battle reports.  But no!  Time for negativity!  RAWR!  If you're up for some arguing, come on in!

What do you see in this picture?

Chaos marines obviously.  NOPE!  The goat headed guys with chaos symbols?  That's a Blood Angel army right there.

OK, how about this one?

Well, judging by the picture I posted first, you'd say Blood Angels this time.  WRONG!  These are Space Wolves!

Now, I could easily keep going.  Night Lord armies as Blood Angels, Orks models as Imperial Guard, Grey Knight models as Thousand Sons.  You know... apparently Chaos players are jerks!

Now, why are these people doing "Counts As" armies?  Why is their Night Lord army using Angel rules or their Thousand Sons using Grey Knights?  Or how about their Adeptus Mechanicus army (a cool concept and usually really well done) using Grey Knight rules?

Because "They suit the army better."  Yes.  Their rules just work better with the army.  Because Night Lords have Sanguinary Priests and Storm Ravens.  And Thousand Sons and Adeptus all have force weapons.   It makes perfect sense to me.


They are doing it because the rules work better IN THE GAME.  It's that simple.  The new books:  Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Grey Knights, are simply better then old books.  It's the truth and, frankly, if people admitted that, I wouldn't be so pissed about it.  

I honestly do not care.  Just be honest with yourself and me that you are doing it to power-game and it has NOTHING AT ALL to do with fluff or symmetry.   You don't believe me?  Let's break it down.

Night Lords as Blood Angels:  Now, where does it say that Night Lords have a proponderance for jump pack troops?  It doesn't.  They employ Raptors (a sub cult of it's own) but for the most part are all tactical marines.   No death company, no librarian dreads, no priest, no storm raven, no librarians at all... basically nothing that makes the Blood Angel codex unique is present in a Night Lords army.  HOWEVER, you can have all that, so why wouldn't you use the BA book?

Thousand Sons as Grey Knights:  REALLY?!  Does ANYONE know ANYTHING about Thousand Sons? There are VERY few sorcerers left and most of the chapter is just automaton husks in shells with bolters.  THAT is their fluff.  Their fluff is not that they are all psychics with force weapons, monkeys and dread knights.  Again, what in this book works for Thousand Sons that Chaos Marines doesn't have?  OH... that's right.  They have Force Weapons, monkeys, dread knights, razorbacks and all the new shiny that the aged chaos book doesn't.

Khorne Berserkers as Space Wolves:  You know, I will admit this isn't really far off the base.  Crazy tough troops?  Check.  Good in combat (counter assault and such): Check.  Rhinos and Land Raiders?  Check.  But... rune priests?  Thunderwolves?  Razorbacks?  Long Fangs?  Even Grey Hunters are a big stretch.  If we're being fair, Berserkers aren't running around with boltguns anymore.  They're getting in close and whacking people with chainswords.  Again, how is this better then regular berserker rules?  OH... yeah... TWC, Razorbacks, Grey Hunters, Psychics and Long Fangs.

So, to wrap it up, look at the truth.  People aren't taking armies as another because it fits better.  It doesn't.  They're taking something that has some tiny, tiny iota of similarity and then SMASHING it in to make it fit.  They're smashing down a door with a truck and saying they unlocked it.

This isn't to say that all Counts As are bad.  They are a ton of amazing ones out there.  Heck, I have for a long time wondered what to do with all Kroot.  Perhaps using Eldar rules with the different DNA derivatives acting as different aspects.  Perhaps an steam punk take on Imperial Guard.   Heck, even Adeptus Mechanicus but when I looked around only Tyranids really fit the bill.  Very malleable forms, combat, shooting, lots of options.  Grey Knights?  How the hell does an army full of cybernetic troops work using this book?

When it comes down to it, people need to quit shoehorning and designing their own fluff... then saying their Chaos Marines are Blood Angels because they are more true to the fluff.

Yes, it's true, readers.  Dogs are indigenous to the moon and often ridden by chickens.

Hey, if they can be ridiculous so can I!


  1. "Thousand Sons as Grey Knights: REALLY?! Does ANYONE know ANYTHING about Thousand Sons?"

    The one you're talking about is a pre-heresy army, back when the legion was full of sorcerers, before they became rubricae. Kinda like... oh, hey, the Grey Knights. This has explained at length in, ooh, every Chaos codex ever. Who doesn't know what they're talking about, here? You're bashing someone for being creative AND sticking to the backstory.

    You're pissed off because a guy is using Blood Angel rules for a Night Lords army? Are the models marines with jump packs? Do the weapons match? Then what's the problem? If someone showed up with their "Blood Angels successor chapter" that wore dark blue armour with gold banding and used a winged skull emblem, would that magically become acceptable because they don't use the name "Night Lords"?

    If people are jumping from codex to codex, that's because the game has massive balance issues. Blood Angels, when this post was written, were objectively better than Chaos Space Marines. So were Space Wolves. It's not the fault of "power gamers"; there are codices that simply do not function efficiently no matter how hard you try. If you shell out for a bunch of models, then discover that another army who look almost identical are literally better than you at everything, then you are going to want to proxy. That's not a personal moral failing, it's bad game design. Blame Games Workshop for not keeping things in check.

    "When it comes down to it, people need to quit shoehorning and designing their own fluff"

    Oh wow, you're obnoxious. Hobby at all costs, but don't get *too* creative?

    And you're opening a store? Good luck attracting anyone with this attitude.

  2. This is probably pretty late, but I field night lords as blood angels. I don't care for the rules, merely the fluff. They're supposed to strike fear and the death company with the jump packs achieve that.

    Their primarch was able to have visions of the darkest possible future, a "gift" he passed down his psykers (ala divination, something the chaos codex lacks. Besides, most night lord forces don't (fully) commit to chaos. They're more renegade marines than chaos marines.

    I agree that the weapons the units are using have to match the actual wargear as to avoid confusion, but besides that, if the player explains what the models represent, I see no problem. Enjoy the creativity of the mind of a dedicated hobbyist, I'd say.

  3. I know this is old but. This is probably the worst rant ever. Example, Night Lords count as Blood Angels is pretty popular because the BA codex is a better representation of the army fluff wise. GW encourages people to paint their armies how they want so why bash people when they choose a color scheme that is not of that armies origins. Just IMO.