Sunday, October 16, 2011

Getting it right

I had a chat with a former self professed hard core tourney player today and some of the things they did to stop cheating “back in the day” and it got me thinking about the way we think about cheaters.  I expressed that I believed that people are more often than not just making errors of judgment or just not being as careful as they should.  He contended that he thought many more people were purposefully doing it. 

In the course of the discussion (which I very much enjoyed) we talked about some of the different ways people “cheat” during a game:  distances moved, the scatter die line, disembarking, and the list goes on. 

The overarching conclusion that we both could agree on was that the game itself should do what it can to take away some of the areas where two people are both right because neither one is using the same mental “device” to come to their conclusion.
For example, when you place your tape and move, the hypotenuse changes the distance moved based on the angle of the tape.  Inadvertently a person can create a longer hypotenuse and thus end up moving more than they should.  They are not consciously cheating.  They are just wrong.  The more geometrically gifted player feels cheated and the more visually oriented person feels insulted by the inference.

Another good example was the Scatter die.  The arrow may not line up perfectly with the die edges, and because the arrow has width, it can create imprecision.  It can be exacerbated by turning a tape sideways which creates bending.  Yet flattening the tape obscured the arrow itself.  You end up with the width issue either way.

Some of our ideas included purchasing a zip string to pull taut along the scatter die arrow edge; creating “disembarking patterns” with a compass that you can lay the rhino/whatever on, a spinner for scatter you can place instead of the model, allowing the dice to be used only to determine whether the spinner should be spun or not; and we talked about how we could change true lines of sight to be more abstract and easier for people to agree upon.  mitigating arguments is a priority and these were some ideas to stop them from starting..

He also felt that if someone is doing it “wrong” but they do it the same every time, then really he could live with it, but it was when the person was inconsistent that he had to peel himself off the ceiling.  I’m interested in your ideas on what cheating is, what makes you FEEL it’s intentional (even when its not) and what kind of things you do to police YOURSELF.  It’s easy to point a finger, harder to show you’ve made any attempt to avoid it yourself. 



  1. Honestly the big one for me is "it's FAQ'd somewhere". Even when it turns out to be true I cringe when I hear it because more often than not you are just an Android phone away from proving otherwise but your sportsmanship gets dinged if you prove you're right.

    I try to police myself by using the blue GF9 T.A.C. tool. It goes a long way in preventing arguments. I also tend to avoid using too many blasts in an army just to cut down that discussion.

  2. In order for cheating to occur, there must be intent.

    Ignorance, or differing opinion with regard to the game shouldn't be classified as instances of cheating until a subject's intentions are explored, or made known.

    As an example, I played my last game against Matt with three hours of sleep. I made a few rules mistakes (and tactical errors, heh), but those mistakes were not intentional. When such an instance was brought to my attention, I corrected it immediately (instead of attempting to capitalize said mistake(s).

  3. I agree that intent definitely is the main ingredient.

    Have you been in a situation where someone was trying to get an unfair advantage? How do you handle it? Would you do it differently if it was a tournament?

  4. I may have- it was during the last teams' tournament that I participated in. Matt and I were playing against a team where one of the members' took more distance, running the unit, during his shooting phase.

    The funny thing was, that it positioned the guy's units in striking distance of Matt's Chimera's during our next player phase...

    The guy didn't do it again, and I didn't have to say anything to him.

    I haven't had enough experience in order to claim that someone has intentionally attempted to cheat me (or even suspect it). I think the easiest way to deal with such a situation is ask the person about the action in question: Your opponent's response will belie their intent.

  5. Yeah we played a Daemon/Chaos player tandem that liked to "scoot" a little on the Deep strike. We made them pay. Sometimes the best revenge against cheating is superior play.

  6. I would say that willful ignorance - such as playing the game for over a year but never correcting incorrect rules interpretations, is indeed cheating.

  7. Over a year? Yeah that's a long time to not correct something.


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