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I'm just double checking so that I don't ruin a $20 model.

Clarification:

I don't plan on playing in tournaments, however, I would like to stick to the rules as far as my army is concerned just to make casual games smoother. I'm new to 40K and I figure if I skimp too much on the rules that I won't actually learn the game.

My Necron Overlord finecast box did not come with a Warscythe, which the codex says I can upgrade him to in place of a Staff of Light. The model box does come with a Staff of Light, and the codex depicts a Warscythe as roughly a Staff of Light with one of the blades removed. If possible, I would like to keep the whole Staff of Light just in case I later decide to not use the Warscythe upgrade in my roster.

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2 Answers

Well, it depends.

40K by the rules is WYSIWYG(What you see is what you get). This means that if you give a guy an ax, he needs to be modeled with something vaguely ax shaped. If you give him a bolt pistol he needs to be holding something bolt pistol like(a holster at his hip works too) This holds true for the war scythe as well.

There's some wiggle room on this because the game doesn't always specifically say what advanced alien melee weapons are supposed to look like. So if you can squint your eyes and the thing the Overload is holding is two handed and sorta scythe shaped, your're probably good.

In most friendly games, telling your opponent what the character is armed with before the start of the game is generally sufficient. Often people like to try out different combinations of wargear, and a certain amount of proxying is tolerated.

This is all dependent on the group of guys you play with. Some groups may be stricter about the application of WYSIWYG than others. Check with your gaming group to be sure.

If you plan on playing in tournaments--especially larger ones, you will probably have to go with a more explicit conversion. Tournaments are more likely to enforce strict WYSIWYG for the sake of side-stepping potential rules arguments.

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I think you imply this, but just to be explicit: Are you saying there is no actual piece of wargear, or a Necron Lord model variant that you can buy which provides the Warscythe "out of the box"? They all come with Staves of Light? –  ire_and_curses Aug 31 '12 at 18:16
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@ire_and_curses There are several models with a war scythe. A few characters, the Overlord that comes with the command barge, one older Lord sculpt, and Lychguard. The design of each of these scythes is not always 100% consistent. –  CaulynDarr Aug 31 '12 at 18:34
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The consensus across a couple of forums appears to be that I can keep the Staff of Light and simply inform opponents that it should be considered a Warscythe instead. WYSIWYG is flexible; not all options/upgrades have physical bits for display (e.g. Mindshackle scarabs).

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