ArcFest has introduced an event-wide model policy that sets clear boundaries on what is allowed and what is prohibited when it comes to the models people can use at the event.
Having this policy reflects the event's commitment to promoting balance and fairness across the miniature wargaming community and particularly at ArcFest.
The Model Policy has been developed to provide a harmonious space for the hobby - where industry partners are respected, participants have creative freedom, and some of the unintended impacts of not having a clear statement of what is and is not acceptable at the event.
So, we want to be clear that this is not an isolated or cobbled together position. As we move from a single event to a larger multi system Festival of hobby we will be engaging with people unaware of, or who haven’t been involved in an event like ours. We’ve also been working within the Arc40k space for a long time to clarify what models can and can’t be taken.
By creating an overarching Model Policy it means that players packs for each and every event don’t have to address what will apply across the entirety of ArcFest events. It’s the same for every event that runs under the ArcFest umbrella. You’ll just find a link to the Model Policy Page in each and every player pack.
The Policy has been carefully designed to create a balanced and enjoyable gaming experience while preserving the spirit of the creativity within the miniature wargaming hobby.
In this article, we hope to explain the key aspects of ArcFest's Model Policy, detailing what participants are allowed to do and what is strictly prohibited. If after reading it you have envy doubts about if a model you have fits then follow the directions within the policy and make your enquiry via email.
Finally, we feel that it is important to clear up what the impacts of the Model Policy is on the key stakeholders, players, events, and our sponsors - which isn’t immediately apparent in the Policy document - but we hope the rest of this article will make it so.
I want to say that the Model Policy is not a personal attack on anyone. The policy is needed to co-ordinate all our stakeholders and each of their needs. Its not just there to piss off people who own 3D printers - DanTO (An avid 3D Printing Hobbyist)
But it boils down to the following:
The policy encourages participants to source their models from the manufacturer associated with the game rules whenever applicable. This promotes game balance and ensures that models are designed to work seamlessly within the gaming system.
Most manufacturers have options in their range to make it easy for players to achieve WYSIWYG across the models they present - which is an important part of giving the best experience for everyone standing across the tabletop from you.
It may be stating the obvious but without the manufacturers we wouldn’t have the games or hobby that allows us to come together for events like ArcFest. So at it’s core the model policy is one that supports the longevity of the games we all love to play!
3D Printing for Customization - Bitz, Bases & Parts
ArcFest's model policy allows participants to use 3D printing technology to create custom parts and accessories that can be added to their existing models. This flexibility empowers hobbyists to personalize their armies and enhance their tactical capabilities.
We have examples of amazingly executed forces up and down the field at recent Arc40k events that have used 3d printing to enhance their theme and presentation.
From bases, to muzzle flashes, force shields even heads and icons. It’s hard to not appreciate the imagination and creativity that these armies have behind their creation. And our Policy fully supports and encourages this to continue.
Regardless of where the files come from - purchased, shared or created from scratch - customizing using 3d printed parts means that models have a greater chance of being WISWYG as you’re using the original models as the basis for conversions.
And that supports the manufacturers in getting a return on their investment in designing and developing the games we want to play forever.
Approved Ranges of Models
The Model Policy has been supported and supplemented by developing an Approved Artists List (Section 4.2.). This is a newly developed aspect of what has been in place over recent years at Arc40k.
That list includes models and ranges of models that are approved for use across ArcFest events that have been created and/or manufactured by specific artists and creators. That include fully 3D printed models which we are allowing because they meet the event's standards for quality and originality.
We know there are some exceptionally creative people out there. Some have relationships with the manufacturers or have longstanding relationships with the community.
Above all they have done the due diligence and aren’t infringing copywrite or Intellectual property rights. So there is no illegality in their production or your purchase to use at ArcFest. This ensures that everything on the tabletop is ethically and legitimately valid but that participants have access to a wider and exceptionally creative but curated options for what they can field.
What can’t I bring to ArcFest?
No to most Fully 3D Printed Models
The model policy strictly prohibits the use of fully 3D printed models as substitutes for manufacturer models, except in cases where models appear on the Approved Ranges List (Section 4.2.).
This prohibition is in place to protect the integrity of the gaming system, prevent potential intellectual property theft, and most importantly maintain the quality of models presented to opponents.
Updated Model Policy: Striking the Balance
ArcFest's introduction of an event wide model policy represents the event's dedication to equilibrium, respect, and the encouragement of creativity. Let's examine how this policy caters to the diverse needs of all our stakeholders:
Respecting Sponsors and Industry Partners
ArcFest acknowledges the pivotal role of our sponsors and their contribution in the organization of our independent miniature wargaming event.
So this policy encourages participants to source their models directly from the suppliers and manufacturers linked to the game rules.
This gesture not only signifies respect for the creators and sustains the industry's vitality, but it ensures the preservation of the event into the future. If everyone stoped using models made for the games we play then how long will those manufacturers continue to make models for them?
Also, by encouraging participants to support our industry partners and respect their intellectual property, this bolsters the relationships that are essential for the growth of independent hobby events.
If our participants aren’t sourcing their models and hobby supplies from our sponsors then there is little to no return on the investment of the support - which ensures the continuous and long-term collaboration needed to run the event.
So, without our sponsors there is no ArcFest. It’s not in our best interest to bit the hand that feeds all of us!
Fostering Participant Freedom
Simultaneously, the model policy recognizes the importance of enabling participants to express their creativity and individuality.
We’ve already explained that in recent years we’ve seen some amazing armies at Arc40k which include 3d printed components. The Policy continues to encourage creativity among hobbyists allowing them to utilize 3D printing technology for creating custom parts and accessories that can be added to their existing models.
This flexibility encourages creativity and personalization while enhancing the gaming experience. Participants are open to let their imaginations run wild by modifying and personalizing their miniatures.
This empowers players to create unique, eye-catching models and armies that Arc40k events have always been known for and going forward will be something ArcFest will also be recognised for!
The Hidden affect on Event Organisation
For the event itself the Model Policy addresses some of the hidden issues of running a large scale hobby event. And we’re going to share them with you all so you can hopefully more fully appreciate our position and why we will make every endeavor to enforce it.
The Policy helps the event run efficiently, adhering to the schedule, which is especially vital with 200 plus participants. It eliminates time spent resolving model discrepancies, allowing for more games to be completed within the allotted time.
In reality if you have to spend any time explaining and helping out your opponent to keep on track with what your models actually represent then the experience of playing in our event is diminished.
A stronger emphasis on model consistency also makes the event more newcomer-friendly. Without newcomers our event wouldn’t exist. All of the new game systems being run at ArcFest next year will have a load of participants new to an Arc-style event. And we want them to have a great experience - tell their friends about it - and come back to future events.
With the model policy in place new players can engage in our events without the added complexity of trying to work out a diversity of models using the same datasheet or rules set. We want all games to fair and balanced - this isn’t possible if it’s hard to work out what opposing force you’re trying to play against.
So the Policy is in place to help Players focus on strategy and tactics, knowing that their opponents are using models that adhere to the rules we hope they are familiar with.
Having a Model Policy is not a personal attack and shouldn’t be an affront to anyone. Nor are we sycophants of the evil empire expecting people to buy models new, ArcFest is not affiliated with Games Workshop other than the fact that we play the games they create.
The policy is a much needed safety-net that takes the needs of the many stakeholders wanting our event to be a success and balances all their needs. In the context of the ArcFest event setting, where hundreds of total strangers come together to play games against one and other, to a time limit, then some clarity and consistency is necessary.
At home, its ok to play with whatever miniatures players want too! In fact, I have been an avid 3D printing hobbyist for the past 5 years and can admit to having some awesome models in my collection as a result - DanTO
There is a huge difference between playing a game at home or at a club and playing at an organized play event. If you haven’t read the Policy, and are considering unleashing your creative flare for the next ArcFest then have a read.
If you want something added or approved, email us - don’t use social media comments or messaging - there’s a right way to ask and we want to add to our list!