Monday, October 14, 2013

Toys in 40k, Where Do You Stand?

The Next Daemons Army You Will Play Against?
TJ here to talk about something that until lately I have only ever seen on such a small scale I wouldn't even mention it, but then I saw something at an FLGS while out traveling (so maybe delete the L from that acronym) that raised the Black Rage inside me:
I saw a Chaos Daemons flying circus list (bunch of flying monstrous creatures) that were all Skylander Giants toys. No wings, which the player said he didn't need because he doesn't buy wings in the codex, he buys Daenomic Flight. He simply Blue Tac'd the models to the bases (so he could still use them as Skylander for his Wii games). The rest of his models were some GW daemons and also some really cheap Reaper familiar models ect. I was friendly and asked what he played and he said: Daemons and that he also wants to run Tyranids and is looking for cheap Gaunts because he thinks his Skylanders can fill in for his MCs.

Look I get it, the hobby is expensive and in a pick-up game scenario, if the opponent doesn't mind playing against it, anything goes. Also if you don't like his toys, you don't have to play against him, so he isn't hurting anybody ... but then he said he had been doing really well in the last few tournaments with them.

That's where the bad taste got in my mouth and I politely ended the conversation with a "Maybe I'll see you around."

The fact that he brought it to tournaments means that the store condones not making that money from him, which he doesn't plan to change any time soon. He doesn't care that other people did "pay to play" or painted their stuff well. He just wanted to bring his FMC circus and win with it (which is what you are doing when you bring a top tier list like that, you play to win). All of that together, in my opinion is disrespectful to the store, the hobby, the players, the opponents and anything I can think of that I didn't already mention.

This brings me to my opinion on toys in the game (toys, as opposed to models):

First off, let it be known that I am not 100% against toys being used in 40k. I am working on bashing a Spawn toy I found into a conversion I will call the Hell Grinder.

With that being said, I am making an effort to make it fit the setting of 40k and also fit the theme of my army.

I will also paint toys like this one to also fit my theme and again, add effort to the inclusion of this into my hobby. The idea isn't to make something easy, the intent is to make something cool.

So my question for you is:

Where do you stand on people using toy store plastic toys on the table and where do you draw the line?

For me, I say, if you can't afford it, but still want to play 40k, play pick-up games with your friends and people who agree to play you and you will be fine. Eventually you should work to own the proper models. Including toys for the long terms should follow the Rule of Cool, like the model above, and be a part of a conversion rather than a long term, cheap, one-off deal where you just want a cheap daemon prince you don't want to paint or model.

I spend a lot of time, making and painting really great models and I understand that not everybody does that on the same level and not everyone can afford new models, but I don't want to see a pre-painted toy in a tourney and I will grill an organizer about it. There should be a level of professionalism in a competition and that is where I draw the line.

I won't play against those armies either because I get little to no play time and want to spend it against other cool armies (hell even bare plastic is better than straight toys on bases). I don't think that is unreasonable.

That's just my opinion though. What is your opinion? Where do you stand on toy store pre-painted toys on the table-top?


  1. That's sweet! I use lots of toys here and there in making 40k stuff. If you convert it and it looks sweet, why the hell not? Its not much different than a 3rd party product. There of course is a line here. There is a My Little Pony Greyknight army in my area...its just WRONG!

  2. Another point I would like to make is that I also use GW bitz to make it feel like it belongs in the GW universe!

  3. I don't mind kit bashing a toy into your 40K army. But I wouldn't be a fan of playing against actual toys in game. I wouldn't do it. The imagery is a huge part of the hobby for me. Including toys from outside ruins that for me.

    I'm very against outside themes in 40K as well. Like a Star Wars theme or Mars Attacks or Hello Kitty. Where sometime its impressive to see the work gone in to such a theme, I feel it's stupid in a 40K setting.

  4. I saw two examples of something similar at NOVA. The first, was a collection of aquatic animal toys being used as Daemons. There was 0 GW product except maybe the bases in the entire army. That said, it was painted well, to a high level, consistently and with a display board. I didn't feel completely ok with it, but it was at least consistent and visually appealing.

    The other example was actually using models from a different gaming system - Warmachine I believe. My issue with this army was that while it was well painted, it included allied Tau/Eldar, of which from looking at, I really couldn't tell what was what. I didn't play him, and I don't think I would have had fun doing so.

    1. Don't get me wrong Evan, I don't really care if there are any GW models in the army or not. I just want to be able to look at it and have a pretty good idea of what it represents (similar size and proportions usually helps). I am sure the Warmachine army was confusing as well, though. I think it would be a little annoying, but at least they aren't like, Batman figures or something like the Skylanders. At least WM is a miniature game. Oddly enough, I played in a GT with the guy with the fish tank daemons and the only beef I had was that he was keeping horrors out of line of site using the aegis (when daemons had the broken White Dwarf rules). The real models wouldn't have had that issue, but his were tiny sea shell things and that was a little ridiculous.

  5. I've used toys as the basis for two models one fantasy, one 40k as well as a couple of pieces of terrain. The terrain has been so so in result and something I want to improve on.

    I really like the hydra I made out of McFarlene Dragon for my undead dark elves. Undead hydra models just don't exist. I added some heads and flames, took off some wings and you have a pretty bad ass monster. As you state it works because the paint job matches the rest of the army and enough little details have been added to tie it and not make it look toyish. Here is a picture.

    The second is a ork squiggoth/battlewagon I made out of a toy dinosaur for my feral orks. I like the forgeworld one but wanted to create a couple of them that had variety. It looks good but not great. The lack of a base hurts it alot and I don't think I did enough to the dinosaur itself (as opposed to the howdah). I also think I did it too early in the army (second or third unit) so the army hasn't had time to really figure out what makes it special (once again the lack of basing is really hurting it) Here is a link to the squiggoth.

    To me the line is what have you done to make it fit. There is a local player who uses snail shells as spawn and toy meerkats as something else. Even though he uses some demon snail models as plague bearers I dislike this part of his army alot. It just doesn't fit in 40k. He is a good guy to play and doesn't like the plaguebearer models so I understand the reasoning. Something to remember is that when it comes to conversions, they tend to be very subjective. What passes the rule of cool to one person might not to the next. That being said good luck getting me to play My little Pony grey knights or toy flying circuses.

    1. I really like that Hydra, coincidentally my spawn is also a sick TM figure, so we have that in common!

      I actually have played against the meercats during the first test of Khaine. It was my least favorite game because it took the immersion out of the game entirely. I can't believe those meercats are still in use, that was a few years ago for me.

  6. Steinerp, your hydra looks great. I wouldn't even know it wasn't a gw model if you hadn't told me. Guess that shows my WHFB knowledge.

  7. Those were my toy dogs at Redstone Rumble. I also brought 19 fully painted GW models if my opponent had a problem with it. My Daemon Army actually has a theme, which is "Puppies and Sluts." If you look at my Daemon Princes and Greater Daemons, many of them are heavily converted models with silly dog heads (and a few are scantily clad women) I even have a full backstory that I bring to Tournaments now; that is intended to very "Tzeentchy"

    Gallery that shows off the dogs:

    The entire Army, down to the Troops, matches theme. Either a cute dog, or a loose woman.

    I understand if you don't like my theme; totally fine. But I spent hundreds of dollars on this Army, and I enjoy playing it. I am by no means playing "cheap toys" in place of expensive models. I actually paid MORE for my flesh hounds than most players, as I have a painted set too, if an opponent doesn't want to see unpainted miniatures.

    1. Hey Rob, let me apologize. I took the photo from a facebook post where the army was being bashed and also took it out of context, not knowing you were willing to put the actual models on the table, which is good for opponents that don't want the "pony effect" and would rather just see some sort of model on the table than a pre-painted plastic toy. This actually makes you an example of the better sort of player, because of that option.

      I will remove the photo from the post.

  8. No worries man, the Hounds are ridiculous, especially out of context.

    I find people either love or hate the Army (once they see the whole thing). It's usually love, but I understand the hate. But after I don't know how many hours of painting Space Wolves and Guard, I wanted to do something different. It's also helped get my wife into the hobby, because she likes helping me do the conversions. Funnily enough, I think my list is easier for my opponent than most Daemon Armies, because my Princes are so distinct looking. Easy to remember who is carrying what.

    Plus, I knocked off the top two Eldar Armies at Redstone, nice to see the cheesefest lose to something so embarrassing!

  9. That's pretty funny actually. How did you do overall, Rob also, who won the Rumble? I know Eldar won the other major events of the weekend, but I can't find a lot on the Rumble. Congrats on knocking them off by the way!

    1. Ah, I found it on ToF. Congrats on 6th. What's your secret for beating down the Eldar?

    2. I wouldn't call it "beating them down" haha. I play hide and seek. I'll probably do a write up on FLG about it, much like the one I wrote on Tau a month or so ago

      In short though, I fly around kiting the Scatter Laser on his Serpents (you obviously can't escape the shield, but if it's not twin linked it's no big deal), while Fateweaver does annoying things. I posture the Hounds to block off half the board or force him to commit his WK to a three turn tarpit; either way is good for me. I also try to hide Daemonettes in areas where I am going to place Princes, to scare away WKs. I drop my Portaglyph behind my Bastion, and start pumping out Troops to run at the objective over there. I suicide Horrors into rear armor of Serpents if available (then they go to ground until they die, always eating a ton of fire) Then at end game all the Princes go stand on objectives, while my remaining troops run to other objectives. It's really lame, but it works well.

      My second game versus Eldar I killed one Serpent, and lost 19 Horrors (8 of whom were free from Warp Storm), 2 Daemonettes, and 7 Hounds. But I held 3 objectives to his 1, and 3 table quarters to his 1.

  10. I went 4-1, lost to magic flag Ravenwing on the Relic on four turns. He had 7 models left, but the Relic (got me 13-7). lol I won best Daemons and placed sixth overall. I got hit pretty hard on paint score, but strangely not because of my unpainted hounds, but because I wasn't flocked. Really strange. I beat Eldar x2 (13-7 and 17-3), Dark Eldar (20-0), and won a semi mirror match against Chaos Space Marines with Chaos Space Marines allies (he had 3xDaemon Weapon Princes and 3xOblits basically; 17-3)

    First place was a tie between Tau and the same Bolterwing list. I know the general consensus is that Ravenwing is terrible, but Shaun Willliams is the exception. This is I believe his fifth mid level GT win running them in 6ed. Aside from the first place Tau, no Tau player placed higher than 14th; there were a ton of anti Tau builds present. I truly believe I kept the top Eldar player from winning the whole thing, his list was dirty and obviously designed to kill the Nova styled Riptide deathstar. He was running the Wraith Guard deathstar with the Baron; so much instant death.

  11. Shaun Williams is a name I have heard quite a bit and I can see how that style list would give a lot of builds an issue. What were you running if you don't mind me asking?

  12. Curious about the Ravenwing list myself actually, remember what it was?



  13. I ran what I consider to be a semi obsolete Tzeentch Circus (Slaanesh Circus is the way to go, imo), but I hadn't played in a while, so I went with a list I know inside and out.

    HQ: Fateweaver and a Lash Prince (2xGreaters; lvl 3 psycher, flight, armor)
    Troops: 2x10 Daemonettes, 1x11 Horrors
    Fast: 19 Hounds
    Heavy: 2xTzeentch Princes (1xGreater, 1xExalted, lvl 3 psycher, flight, armor)
    Bastion with no upgrade

    The Dark Angel list was
    Sammy and a Bike Librarian in HQ (Libbie was the Warlord, had PFG, lvl 2, Force Axe, 3++, probably other stuff)
    Command squad with Plasma Talons and the Grenade Launcher

    Troops: However many Bikers you can fit into 2k points. All in squads of 10, with a mix of Plasma, Melta and Flamers. He had a bunch of Attack Bikes as well.

    Heavy: Two Whirlwinds

    In our game he combat squadded everything and Scouted onto the Relic. At that point it was a question of how quick I could kill things before they picked it back up. Needed one more turn!

  14. Oh, obviously the Command Squad had the magic flag and the Apothecary.

  15. If you put those Skylanders down in front of me and said it was your army, I'd either stuff them in your ear or steal them for the Son to use.
    That said, using toys is fine as long as they fit into the mythology of the game. Converting a Spawn toy into a Chaos Warp beastie (cool idea, by the way!) fits into the feel of the game; putting a Lascannon on a My Little Pony doesn't.
    It does come down to individual tastes, unfortunately; no one can tell you how to do your hobby.
    I think that you should at least show your opponent the respect to come at them with as good a looking army as you can field that is built and plays within the same themes that they have built theirs around. Everyone should be aware of the grim-dark themes that Warhammer 40000 is built around.

  16. My, my, TJ: It seems you opened a pretty big can of worms here ;)

    For me, the division is not between toys and GW models, but rather between armies that show somebody put some actual love and thought into them and those that look like the owner couldn't be bothered. I am prepared to say that a army consisting of various toys is no worse than a lovelessly tacked together, unpainted and uninspired "flavour of the month" army that will be discarded (or, worse yet, used as something altogether different) once the next set of WAAC rules comes around.

    In a hobby that obsesses so much about the models used on the table, it boggles the mind how there are people that don't give a damn ;)

    So if the toys used in an army are suitably converted, painted or just seem to fit the theme, I am pretty okay with that. What I am not okay with are lazy armies that don't even reach a minimum standard, toys or no toys ;)

    That said, I often find toys to be a mixed resource for wargaming conversions: They can be used as a base to work from, but are often out of scale or detail level with the "regular" models. If anything, it seems as though someone wanting to make a toy fit their army actually would have more work than somebody just buying and painting the regular model.

    Oh, and I myself have recently used a head from an old G.I.Joe toy for one of my conversions:

    Some people were really vocal about their dislike for the head, though ;)

    1. Great looking model. The head really fits nicely in the pictures.

    2. KS, that conversion is great and is an example of toys used correctly!

      I would even say that I have seen some toys used for Ork battle wagons and trucks and with painting and bits, added a ton of character to the table. On the other hand have seen a toy firefighting helicopter jury rigged to a flight stand with no modification and used as a Dakka jet ... And that's where my line is crossed.

  17. Toys or other bits used in conversions for GW models I'm cool with (like your example above, great work)

    Total army made up of toys? Man the fuck up and buy a real army. So lame.

  18. Kraut - I love the head piece on that walker you did, looks great!

  19. For me they need to have had something done to them. That could be a repaint, adding some bits, or anything really, as long as I am not facing literally an army made of toys stuck to bases.