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I'm pretty new to Warhammer 40k and I just received a couple of New-in-Box squads of Eldar Dire Avengers. I noticed that the models include tabards and "utility belts-type attachments" to go on the waist.
Now after perusing many models (including a few 'eavy metal ones) I've noticed that a lot of the well painted models leave off the belt, or the tabard, or both (either that or they aren't very distinguishable in photo).
This is especially true for the belt as I'm hard pressed to find an example where the belt is on a fully painted model.
My question is, why is this, and if it's just a customization then what are the limits of customizing a particular unit (while keeping it "playable" as far as tourney's are concerned?).
P.S. Thanks in advance for you guy's help, this seems to be a really receptive and warm community.
For tournaments, things have to be "what you see is what you get"
So if you're going to play a Dire Avenger exarch with dual shruiken catapults, he's got to have that.
There's room for some custom work, though. I think its around 75% of the model must be Games Workshop material.
As to the tabards, and the "utilitiy belt" (which is a grenade, and ammo for the shruiken catapult) you can safely leave 'em off if you want to. They just look cool.
Dire avengers don't use grenades.
For the 'ard boyz tournament it says that "any conversions must begin as citadel models and contain a majority of citadel components."There's room for some custom work, though. I think its around 75% of the model must be Games Workshop material.
As far as grenades go, yes DA don't have them as an option now but you never know if they may be an option in the future, in which case you could either leave them on if you wanted them or you'd have to take them off if you didn't.
Army: W/L/D -- Eldar 6/2/2; Orks 1/3/0; BA 1/1/0
The Tale of Two Gamers
The limits to customizability are pretty much, whatever your opponent will put up with. I think my favorite example of this is the ork track that was a matchbox car with an ork and a rocket launcher strapped to it. We had a pretty good laugh on that.
If you do GW sponsored tournaments the rules are stricter simply because if you use smaller models its easier to obscure line of sight and its their product that they want us to support, but there is still PLENTY of room for doing pretty much whatever you want with the figure.
In regards to some of the painting competitions its either got to be from THAT game system or custom crafted, even borrowing wings off a dragon from LotR wasn't allowed.
Might I add that if you are new to the game hold off of the tourneys for a bit as they have a tendency to ruin the comradery of what is by all means a social game.
I haven't seen the model kits in question, but having gone through the Eldar codex, it's safe to say you need neither the tabard nor the grenades. If you find they look too cool to leave out, then by all means, use them. Some people put this stuff on models to make them stand out (like the exarch), and some painters love tabards, as it's a good place for some freehand work.
As to What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG), I've heard that while technically a unit equipped with grenades has to model them, many tournaments allow you to simply put grenades on 2-3 models in the unit, and that's "good enough," simply because model sets do not always include enough grenades to put them on everybody.
As has been said, the DAs may use grenades in the future, and there's no harm in putting them on now, in case there is a change in the rules. If the rules never call for them, you can just say they are a decoration.
Do what ever you want. My dire Avengers all have swords. The Codex makes no mention about them having Close Combat Weapons but it doesn't chance the units performance while playing. Plus they look good with the swords.
Army's used: Space Wolves, Tomb Kings, High Elves, Tyranids, Tau and Eldar.