The Missing Rules: Model Policy

As AdeptiCon 2011 draws nearer and nearer, our email inbox is flooded with questions regarding the legality of models, the appropriateness of certain themes, the limits of count-as armies and usability of scratch built models. The often overlooked AdeptiCon Model Policy attempts to answer all of these vital questions up front in order to provide all attendees the best gaming experience possible.

Over the years, there have been a number of significant changes to the Model Policy based on attendee feedback and the expansive nature of the convention. The current Model Policy, as enacted for AdeptiCon 2010 and updated for 2011, is much more lenient in terms of model ranges, model legality and the use of scratch built models. The Model Policy exists solely to create a set of reasonable expectations regarding what people will actually bring to the convention. It is not our intention to stifle creativity or ingenuity. If after reading the Model Policy you still have specific questions regarding your models, army or theme – please contact us!

All attendees are encouraged to give the following policy a good once over prior to planning out their forces for AdeptiCon 2011.

++ AdeptiCon 2011 Model Policy ++

AdeptiCon is one of the world's largest independent convention experiences for the miniature wargaming enthusiast. AdeptiCon promotes not only strategy and competition at the tournament level, but also creativity and artistry at the model level. Because AdeptiCon attracts hundreds of gamers from many different backgrounds, playing styles, and locales, there are a few rules regarding the appropriateness of the models used during the convention that must be followed to help ensure that both of the above aspects of the hobby are acknowledged:

  1. ALL models, for ALL game systems must be painted to a 3-color minimum standard unless otherwise specified in the event rules. If you cannot meet this requirement, please contact us.
  2. Units must always be represented by appropriate models. This is the single, most important rule. The 'What You See Is What You Get' (WYSIWYG) rule is in effect for all tournaments. That means all units MUST be easily identifiable as the particular choice they represent and that any and all weapons/options taken for a unit MUST be clearly represented on the model(s). Models not appropriately represented will be removed from the game.
  3. Unless otherwise specified in the event rules, your army should be primarily constructed of models from the given game system and the appropriate model range(s). Supplementing your army with models from outside the game system is acceptable but should NOT be the norm.
  4. Game systems that do not have a dedicated model range (e.g., Warhammer Ancient Battles) may use any appropriate models to represent their force(s) as long as they are within the spirit of the game system and the force which they represent.
  5. The size and shape of all model bases MUST be appropriate for the given game system. Models, such as vehicles, that do not require bases MUST maintain the intended size, shape, aesthetic consistency and height of the model represented.
  6. Scratch built models and conversions can be used for units, but must adhere to the following guidelines:
    • Models may NOT contain significant elements of pre-assembled and/or pre-painted models or toys.
    • Models MUST be consistent with the look and feel of the game system they belong in. Scratch built models should aesthetically evoke the production-quality models they are intended to represent.
    • Models MUST adhere to all the above restrictions.
  7. Count-as armies are allowed at AdeptiCon as long as they follow all the above rules and restrictions. The onus is on the owning player to alleviate any and all avenues of confusion that might result from using count-as models/armies. Count-as models MUST be WYSIWYG, appropriately equipped and sized accordingly in order to best represent the model/unit in question. Count-as armies should demonstrate considerable effort when it comes to conversions, simply using an existing army with a different codex is NOT allowed.
  8. Models/armies should be appropriate for a family-friendly event. When in doubt, models should adhere to a typical PG-13 rating. AdeptiCon reserves the right to remove any models deemed offensive.
In extreme circumstances, AdeptiCon reserves the right to disallow the use of any model, scratch built model or conversion in its tournaments due to playability or aesthetic reasons. Besides not being able to use a disallowed model for the remainder of AdeptiCon, other tournament scoring penalties may be applied. This would not be a normal circumstance, and if you follow the guidelines outlined above in good taste, you should be fine. If you have any doubts to the appropriateness of a model, scratch built model or conversion, however, please use the following procedure to get approval from AdeptiCon judges in advance. All submissions for approval must be received by 2/01/2011. Only submissions from pre-registered attendees will be considered for approval.

  1. Create an email with at least 3 quality digital photos of the completed model. Include one picture with a standard infantry figure or infantry stand in order to display the scale of the scratch built model or conversion. List the majority of the components used to complete the model. Give a brief description of how the scratch built model/conversion was completed. Describe how your model is superior or at least comparable to the existing model it is replacing.
  2. Send this email to
  3. Your model will be evaluated, and you will receive an official response from an AdeptiCon judge via email with its playability at AdeptiCon 2011.


  1. Awesome. I'm pretty sure that my email this morning contributed to the addition of the counts-as portion of the newly updated policy. I can't check that email at work but I'm hoping I got back the response I wanted :)

  2. I'd like to see #3 fade away. With more and more options in the market - there is no reason to stick with a strict match of rules and figures.

  3. Well - in all honesty it has faded a little already. Up until 2008 the Model Policy still adhered to the old GT standard. Additionally, people were forced to use the actual Forge World model when fielding a unit from Imperial Armour. This is no longer the case.

    40K and Warhammer Fantasy armies are free to use alternate and scratch built models. The main issue is maintaining WYSIWYG units that do not promote confusion in a tournament setting.

  4. For calvary such as roughriders and flesh hounds and such what base size would you guys prefer? They come on the square 1.5x3" (ish). Would you prefer the bike base or 40mm? Just curious.

  5. "Count-as armies should demonstrate considerable effort when it comes to conversions, simply using an existing army with a different codex is NOT allowed."

    I know you will find people with strong opinions on both side of this divide. I am not planning on attending Adepticon this year so you can, of course, ignore me completely.

    But I have been following your development blog with great interest as one who has a vested interest in promoting the hobby writ large. I have provided some input in weeks past, and hopefully it was received in the spirit it was intended: constructive criticism from someone who hopes that ALL large hobby events continue to improve.

    And I do think that this policy is a mistake.

    I believe that enforcing a clear and sensible WYSIWYG standard is important. But if players want to use Chaos models with the Blood Angels or Space Wolves codex, and they ensure that all the equipment and gear is accurately represented, I don’t see any reason why they should not be allowed to do so.

    I know that some will pooh-pooh this opinion and state that only power gaming cheese mongers will slap down their Berserkers and a Space Wolves codex on the table at the same time.

    But I couldn’t disagree more.

    The rules represent a particular style of play. I happen to believe that the style of play found in both the Space Wolves and the Blood Angels codexes BETTER matches certain of the renegade chapters than their own, poorly written codex.

    So why would you not allow them to use the rules that allow them to build and play the army they wish to use?

    Let’s face it, that is the population you are targeting here. I doubt people will be using Tau models to represent Blood Angels.

    No, they will be using Space Wolves and Blood Angels with their Chaos Models. And really, why shouldn’t they?

  6. @Purgatus

    What you describe is absolutely permitted by the above model policy – in fact there are a number of Chaos armies ‘counting-as’ Space Wolves this year. As long as the effort is made to ensure that models/units do not foster confusion and are WYSIWYG, then you will not have an issue. What you are not seeing is the compromise that is made to best suit ALL of our attendees….those that think count-as armies are fine and those that think they are the domain of the lazy or the power gamer. We hear it from both sides and the policy is drafted to reflect that.

    For example, this will be the ninth year AdeptiCon has been in existence. Over the first eight years we received around a total of 4 or 5 count-as requests. For 2011 alone we have received 19 (2 being complete teams) for a grand total of 25 players. Out of those 25 players, 23 of them ask to use {insert some non-Space Wolves army here} with the Space Wolves codex. Most of those requests come from Chaos or other established Marine chapters. The count-as phenomenon is a new thing that was ushered in by the competitive crowd, and often the choice to switch to a different codex is one not influenced solely by the desire to use different models or latch onto a different thematic approach. The hobbyists and thematic-oriented players will have already put the conversion time into constructing an army that extends past the typical fluff/lore boundaries.

    Perhaps the issue is with the term ‘considerable’. There is a much shorter path to converting a Chaos force into a WYSIWYG Space Wolves force then say using Necrons to represent Dark Eldar. Both are entirely possible under the above model policy, the effort just needs to be apparent, not equal, with the goal of alleviating confusion and strain on timed tournament games.

  7. Matthias - Then I would suggest that my issue came from my interpretation of your statement, and not the policy itself perhaps. As you rightly point out, the phrase "considerable" is quite subjective.

    I agree that not *all* of the motivation behind counts as is the desire to use other models or adhere to a specific theme, but I have to say that the desire to be more competitive with the models you enjoy is just as legitimate as those. And frankly I believe you will find in almost every case that the player has a true mix of all of the above desires, and this is fine also.

    Again, the path to converting a Chaos army into a counts-as Space Wolves army is so short as to seem negligible in many cases. It seems that the focus should be on making sure that the army is WYSIWYG or otherwise well represented, provides no in-game advantages in terms of model sizes or Line of Sight versus the baseline models, and that the player provides an explicit list of models which count-as to his opponent in order to avoid confusion.

    In other words, as organizers, focus on issues of fairness and gameplay, and leave the subjective discourse on whether it's a good practice or not to the community at large. It sounds like this is your intent, but the wording of your policy initially suggested otherwise to me.

    Again, I hope you take my suggestions in the light they are intended - a desire to see all large events improve and our hobby flourish.