Proxies are are a tough subject. Our hobby can have a sort of split personality: one mind is focused on enjoyable gaming and the other mind is focused on artistic and creative expression. They run in tandem pretty smoothly most of the time, but proxies can cause them to clash…
We’re gamers. We like rules to be clear. We like them universal. The problem with Proxies is that they’re not clear or universal. They’re much more subjective. So I think different perspectives are of value. This article is going to present 3 ways to look at proxies.
The first is just Corvus’s rule as stated in the ITS document. The second is a sort of expansion of that rule, that I’ve used to run tournaments for the last 6 years or so. The third is inspired by recent Mayacast episodes and its just my takeaway from the conversation they had, it’s not written by or approved by the hosts of Mayacast.
The intent of this article is not to invent a definitive law that people can follow, Corvus Belli has already done that. The intent is to just create some vocabulary that we can share with each other to minimize miscommunication. Miscommunication is the real enemy here. I have never seen what I believed to be a willful misrepresentation of a model intended to create advantage. But we’ve all seen crossed wires create an environment where people point fingers at each other.
Honored in the Breach
‘Honored in the breach’ is a concept mostly applied to laws and treaties. The basic idea is that everyone understands the rule, but no one expects everyone to follow it to the letter. Speed limits are a pretty good example of something being ‘honored in the breach’. That highway sign says 55, but you’re not expected to drive exactly 55 mph, and you can get a ticket for going too fast and for going too slow.
To me Proxies work the same way. Here’s the speed limit, set by Corvus Belli themselves:
See that bit about representing equipment followed immediately by ‘if the appropriate miniature isn’t available’?
Consider Paramedics and Doctors. How many profiles are there for these troopers and how many miniatures actually have a medikit sculpted onto the model? That’s the concept of ‘honored in the breach’ in a nutshell. Corvus actually expects proxies for these profiles and has included the clear instruction that it’s the proxier’s responsibility to keep his opponent informed about what his miniatures represent.
So that’s perspective 1. The other two perspectives in this article dig into the vaguer parts of that rule, especially the word faithfully, and this follow up section from just below the one captured above:
Second Viewpoint: The Tournament Organizer
Perspective 2 gives the article its title. Inspired by Asimov’s Laws of Robotics, it turns the above into 3 rules that allow some wiggle room beyond what’s literally stated in the ITS document. This list is how I’ve run tournaments for a few years so I feel pretty confident that it works. It’s not an objective set of Laws at all– it’s just a simple way for me to communicate to players the standard I’d like their miniatures to meet at events.
- The First Law: The Miniature must be from the Corvus Belli range, or a conversion that is faithfully intended to fit with those miniatures. Just swapping in a space marine is not permitted.
- The Second Law: The miniature must be the same Silhouette size including base. Very rare to make exceptions to this, especially base size.
- The Third Law: The same troop type, even with different sculpts, may not be proxied as more than 1 intended troop type. (Example: ‘This Fusilier Combi Rifle is an Aquila Guard, and this Fusilier Combi Rifle is a Fusilier Combi Rifle’ is not acceptable.)
There is a sort of ‘4th directive’, that the TO is allowed to make exceptions to any of these. Especially for new players who don’t have a wide selection of minis to draw on. I rarely have to though, because Infinity players are awesome, and someone always volunteers the needed model from their collection.
Third Viewpoint: Clarity in Gaming
A 3rd way of looking at things, focused on weapon representation, inspired by Mayacast’s Schreiber Scale is below. This scale is more objective, intended just to accurately describe models. Gwenpool for example, might be more confusing than Duroc, even though she’s ‘Higher’ on the scale.
The correct model, perhaps a discontinued sculpt or a model with a unique paint scheme. No one should object to this, but it’s still up to the owner to be clear about what it represents. Particularly if it shares an army with a model lower on the scale.
Slight conversions, for example a head swap or a Panoceania HI without its head antennas. Weapon is represented clearly.
Extensive conversion or true Proxy, weapon is represented clearly (example: Fusilier HMG as Aquila Guard HMG or Kitbash from multiple models with weapon correctly represented)
True proxy of weapon.(example: Fusilier Combi as Fusilier HMG)
True proxy of body and weapon, weapon is not represented or represented incorrectly.