I realized something the other day when I was doing some painting. Not that the painting is the important part here, my mind was wandering. I had an epiphany. I don't mind if a player deviates from their Codex, but I do mind when I player deviates from the game rules. How does that make sense?
It dawned on me that I don't mind playing against opponents who make changes to their Codex/army list, but I do mind when people try to change the rules of the game. And by the rules of the game, I mean the ones we use for shooting, movement, hand to hand combat, etc.
How nice of me huh?
It's the least I can do right?
To let a player adjust their army list and say I don't mind what you use in your army, but turn around and say I want to play by the rules for our game. That's not confusing or a bit of a double standard at all is it?
You see, I really don't think it matters in the end what you equip your troops with or whether or not this or that counts as a "Troop" choice.
I mean just look at the Space Marine codex, just about anything can be a Troop choice if you pay the points (get the character, jump through the right hoop) to do it. And if you can't do it with the vanilla codex, you can do it "counts as" with one of the other ones out there.
Now I'm not saying this is an excuse to go all out and give your whole squad meltaguns. I would expect some degree of restraint be exercised. But if you wanted to give your special weapon trooper a plasma gun instead of a meltagun even though it's not an option in your codex, who cares? Go ahead I say, have at it.
Want to use Forge World rules and models, go ahead, fine with me. Even the experimental ones they put out. Want to use the better Storm Shield rules for your terminators, why not?
But like I said, I think it requires a bit of self restraint. I like to use the cool stuff and have all the neat options, but it can quickly get out of hand. How do you know when enough is enough, maybe when you have to ask yourself if this "change" is too much, you've gone a bit too far. Time to come back.
Now fan made stuff is whole new story. I don't see much of that around me, so I can't comment on that aspect. I would say that if someone came to the table with something that looked like they put some real effort into it and it appeared to be both balanced and generally in line with the 40k universe as we know it, I wouldn't have any trouble giving it a go either.
You see I don't mind if you change your army around, just don't mess with the rules.