40K: Five Things To Do While Your Opponent Slow-Plays You

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You’re finally at a major tournament. But what can you do while your opponent slow-plays you into oblivion?

So. You’ve fought hard through a meta (which doesn’t matter), dealt with opponent after opponent bringing smite spam, dark reapers, and whatever the latest problematic unit is (let’s say it’s grots). You’ve clawed your way to the top of the heap and earned a spot in a major tournament. Soon you’ll be competing for less money than you’ve sink into the hobby over the years, glory, and the ability to finally wipe that smirk off of Henry’s face.

Only now you’re in your first game, and it’s been an hour and forty-five minutes and your opponent has yet to finish their move phase. You heard that most tournament games don’t make it past turn two, and now you see why, with your opponent seemingly frozen amber-like in time as the epochs craw by. This is a crucial phase in any gamer’s career–and I’ve got your back friend. Here are some handy things that you can do while your opponent slow-plays you into the next decade.

Make a Sandwich

Nutrition is important. You’ve gotta keep your energy up for that clutch moment when your opponent finally finishes their turn with two minutes left on the clock. Besides, when you eat a sandwich you’re stepping into gaming history. After all, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich so that he could continue playing cribbage without getting his cards greasy or having to use a fork. And now, here you are, at the pinnacle of gaming–why not rely upon one of its most important tools?

We recommend a hearty blend of smoked black pepper gouda, honey-mesquite turkey, avocado, arugula (you’re in the big leagues now, time to leave iceberg in the dust), thinly sliced red onion, tomato, and a fine some ground mustard. For extra style points, bring none of these with you, and just nip out to the store to buy all the necessary components and assemble them on site before your opponent decides whether or not that tank/transport/grotherd/Mortarion needs to be deployed one inch to the left of where it is now or not.

Play another game of 40K

Look, you came to play 40K, so you may as well do the thing you came to do. Now you definitely won’t be able to get a game in against your opponent. But you came prepared. Just have a friend set up a table behind you and start throwing down. Custodes vs. Knights isn’t a bad way to go, you’ll get at least one full five turn game in if there are less than 24 models between the two of you.

But even this has its dangers. Eventually your other opponent might get wise and start slow playing you. And there’s only so many simultaneous games you can run before you forgery which army you’re actually playing in the primary game and run out of table space in the convention hall. That’s why we also recommend:

Get in a game of Necromunda or Shadespire

Both are smaller scale games designed for fast and furious play. And both games take up less space than a full game of 40K. Besides you’ve been meaning to get into them for a while now that they’ve come out with those Fyreslayers and Bounty Hunters everyone’s been talking about.

Plus, those games offer a tactical challenge, so you can keep your wits sharp and ready to capitalize on the state of the board the moment your opponent finishes deciding whether or not they want to charge some or all of your crucial units on turn one.

Magnetize your weapons loadout

That’s just one less headache you’ll have later. It’s been on your to-do list for a while. You’ve always dreamed about being able to hot-swap a multi-melta for a autocannon without needing to worry about how everything is going to fit together. Your dreadnought looks so sad in disassembled pieces, you just haven’t been able to carve out enough time to do it. After all, this quarter’s been pretty hectic, what with that major deal in Monaco falling through. And lord knows you’ve barely had time enough for the kids once work at the factory started picking up–they’ve been growing so fast, so you’ve been making an effort to be there.

And sure, it’s been fulfilling to be there for their games, and not spending all your time at the office means you haven’t had to fight with a postal worker for the new hot toy of the season in a desperate bid to use financial success to buy your child’s love in some twisted capitalistic wet dream.


Get caught up on Horus Heresy Novels

They’re ending that storylune, right? At last all the books will be out. And sure, this series is daunting. Intimidating to wade into, even. But now, it seems, as your opponent reaches for yet another deep striking unit, there’s finally time. There’s finally time!

What do you do when you find yourself staring down an opponent who seems frozen in time. When you’ve stepped in for a game, but find yourself taking a little detour to a convention hall that’s located in… the Twilight Zone?

  • Gregory Heyes

    I haven’t played in tournaments in about 10 years, but, is slow play really a thing?

    • wibbling

      Who cares? It’s a ‘tornamunt’ where people put their ego on the table and may as well be playing a spreadsheet instead of a game.

      40K has too many random elements for people to say skill is involved. Besides, a Chess match can look glacial, with days between moves.

      • Doesn’t sound like you’ve been to a big tournament. 99% of people you meet are great people, and just want to have fun playing 40k at a high level. I can’t remember the last time I had a negative play experience- probably was at a local GW event.

        Skill is definitely involved- if it wasn’t you could just flip a coin and determine who’s the winner. It’s why you have a lot of players that replicate their success almost every tournament they attend.

        I think that’s a bit insulting to people that play really well to say all their games were based solely on luck.

        • But..but.. not long ago right here on BolS were some people telling me that tournaments are literally hell, filled with people that are there just to be racist and sexist to others!

          • Karru

            Tournaments are hell for people that can’t get to the mindset of “I am here to win”. This is not the same as “Win At All Costs” mind you, it is just the nature of the beast. You don’t travel a long distance to spent an entire day in a place where there is a price involved just to “hang out”, you go there to win it.

            Especially in the later stages of the tournament as things get more and more down to the wire, you can see that even the most gentle player starts to get more “strict” with the rules.

            One of the main reasons why I just don’t wish to attend tournaments period. I don’t enjoy the highly competitive nature so to me going into a tournament, it would be hell.

          • David

            But most arn’t competative except at the very top – winners play winners losers play losers certainly by day two you should be playing players with the same mondset as you

          • ZeeLobby

            This is true. It stinks when you’re somewhere in the middle and ping-pong between players with no clue, and players sacrificing chickens to the tournament God’s in the parking lot. XD

          • Koonitz
          • ZeeLobby

            It was you!

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Obligatory “choking your chicken joke” inserted here…

          • James Regan

            the bigger issue here is, i think, actually people like me, who go to tournaments because it’s a reasonable opportunity to visit my mate who lived in nottingham, and having a few pints during the daytime kept me out of her hair whilst she had uni work. I mean, i understand that people have travelled a long way, and want to win, but i’d travelled a not very long way, mostly to see my mate from school, and it gave me reason to not impede on her work time

          • Drpx

            Can get it into it. Just don’t like it.

          • Cergorach

            I’m part of a group of friends that regularly play board games and almost all of them have the “I am here to win” mentality, one of them has the “Win At All Costs” mentality and I have the “I don’t really care if I win” mentality. That group is not hell for me, I have a TON of fun. I have a particularly great time screwing with the “Win At All Costs” player, especially if he tries to screw me first! 😉

            I think wibbling said it best, people playing with their ego on the table. That’s what makes most tournaments depressing to me…

            And while I can have great fun there as well, especially when you pick a list that’s not in any way related to the current meta and accidentally wins. They then ask with a whimper “Why did you choose that list!?!?”… “I thought it was a fun list!”, then you see them sniffling and you ga in for the Fatality: “…and fluffy…” Then they start to cry…

            If they win, you just shrug your shoulders and say “That’s a fun game!” and if they push the “BUT I WON!” angle. “Dude get some perspective! It’s just a game with tiny toy soldiers and a combat system that’s as predictable as craps!”… Then you can taste the anger in the air and the dirty looks from the other tables… *grins evily*

            Oh, yeah! I have a problem with people who take themselves too seriously 😉

          • Tshiva keln

            That was the only reason I was planning on going! Oh well, no point now…

          • ZeeLobby

            I’ve been to one of those. They actually do exist (there was literally a guy making fun of men who like other men during the break), but they’re few and far between. Needless to say that was the last time I attended that event.

        • Karru

          To be fair, I remember reading this interview about someone’s tournament experience, it was somewhere in here in BoLS towards the beginning of 8th, where the I believe it was the winner of the tournament said that his favourite game was when his opponent forfeited on the first or second turn and “was cool about it”.

          I have met many competitive players in my time, from “That Guy” to your average player. These players are usually pretty chill outside, especially when they can differentiate between Competitive game and a regular one, but in Tournaments this changes fast.

          While they are not WAAC, as that is solely meant for “That Guy” that make up roughly 1% of the total tournament player scene, vast majority of tournament players rely on luck over skill in many cases. Getting the first turn for example is huge factor in 8th edition and that is why GW had to rule it so that you can’t use the Re-roll Stratagem for Stealing or trying to get the first turn.

          The amount of “if I only had the first turn, I would have won” comments I have heard from competitive players is through the roof. It is not “skill” to be ale to get the first turn, it is all about luck.

          Now, I am not saying that they lack the skills for it, but any tournament player that says “Yeah, I won through skill with that game” and then you ask how the game went in general and the usual answer is “I got the first turn, managed to remove a good amount of his army on the first turn before he could pull off any of his combos, so overall I’d say it went well”, you know instantly that it wasn’t skill that won that game.

        • ZeeLobby

          It’s wibbling. I’m not even sure he plays the game XD.

          • af

            edit: oops, I replied to ZeeLobby but it was someone else who actually posted the bit I’m replying to.

            > “vast majority of tournament players rely on luck over skill in many cases.”

            This should be easy to corroborate. If there are no “top” 40K players who consistently place in the first few positions of every tournament — players other players consider “top players”, anyway — then the game is mostly luck-based. If top players exist, however, this means the game is NOT primarily luck-based, and that there exist genuine ways of countering bad luck, and genuine ways of playing any given army “well” or “badly”.

            After all, the ultimate wargame is also luck-based and we still consider some people very skilled at it: I’m talking about, of course, actual war — which is all about statistics and managing luck (and logistics, or so they say. But this confuses my point, so I’m conveniently ignoring it!).

            So which one is it? Are there truly skilled 40K players which consistently place high in tournaments, or are the winners completely random?

        • HeadHunter

          It doesn’t matter if 99% are great guys, if you wind up facing the one percent that isn’t. And the further you go, the more likely it is that you’ll face him.
          I think the best way to deal with stallers is to just walk away from the table – or not bother attending in the first place. I prefer to be able to choose who I’m playing against.

      • Talos2

        Those people are very much the minority, but when you do get one, it really does ruin the whole event for you, especially if they win it

  • Spade McTrowel

    One additional thing to do when being slow played:
    Edit your articles. 😉

    • ZeeLobby

      Editing is for the weak!

  • Diagoras

    Look, I really enjoyed this article. I thought it was pretty funny.

    But there are so. Many. Errors.

    Do you guys have an editor? Do you need one?

    • Simon Chatterley

      They were writing it whilst being slow played so had to roll dice every now and again which interrupted him.

  • phobosftw

    Why not add a time limit to each players turn? Seems like an easy fix.. got a big model count army? Sucks for you..

    • Tshiva keln

      Seems so obvious a solution right? I saw a game recently where a guy had his orks magnetised to movement trays for speed. Easier for him, respectful for his opponent and no problems caused as don’t have to worry about templates. Win win.

      • ZeeLobby

        Exactly. And now that blast and flamer templates are gone. There’s no time wasted spacing, etc. Horde armies could do it.

    • David

      Sure you unfairly penalise hoard armies to the extent they can’t be played harming list diversity and the best counter to tablewipe lists (which you probably struggle against)

      But it has no impact on actual problematic slow play as an IK player would be able to waste 4 times the time they needed

      • Rose Lizrova

        You can time with a formula based on your models ?

        • I do. My lists are easy to play even when I bring lots of models.

        • David

          Not precisely because there a lot of other factors but the amount of time that is reasonable does certainly vary by model count

          • HeadHunter

            The “time that is reasonable” is your half of the time. Demanding more because of your choises is not, in fact, reasonable.

          • David

            I would disagree a 4 model army taking half the time and not moving the game along is not reasonable and in most events I would call a TO for slow playing

            A high model count army taking 2/3rds of the time but moving the game along I have no problem with.

          • HeadHunter

            You may have no problem with it, but that doesn’t mean it’s “fair”. If you take 2/3 of the time and your opponent doesn’t get a chance to carry out his plan, that’s your fault.
            That’s why I feel that it’s up to your opponent if they want to grant you more than your fair share of the time.

          • David

            Then to use throw your own argument back at you. Your opponent isn’t responsible for chooseing your list or playing it. You have to adjust your plan to the list opposite you and if that means after turn 1 you realise your probably getting 3 turns you need to adjust your plan accordingly

          • HeadHunter

            That’s not “throwing my argument back at me”, that’s *ignoring it*.
            What you’re saying is you *deserve* more time than your opponent because you chose to take a huge list. You’re hogging the game and then making it sound like it’s the opponent’s fault for not being able to play in what little time you leave them?
            Oh, how dearly I hope some day you are on the receiving end – when someone brings a list bigger than yours (if that’s even possible) and goes first. then you’ll get to see how it feels.

          • David

            I’ve listened to your argument I just dont agree with it. Unless your playing with deathclocks the onus is on both players to play in a timely manner which to you means its ok to actively waste time and deliberately play slow so long as you use less net time than your opponent. Where as to me it means all slow play is unacceptable but it is not slow play for your army to take more time than your opponent (if you are not wasteing time deliberately)

            You say its unfair because you have no choice over what list your opponent plays and I say it is because you can choose to adapt your playstyle accordingly

      • ZeeLobby

        Now with no templates and other actual footprint considerations, Hordes move much faster.

        • Drpx

          But the trade off is that now massed infantry and -to hit modifiers is harder to deal with.

          • ZeeLobby

            from a balance perspective? Or time perspective?

      • HeadHunter

        “It’s not fair”, right? So, what you’re saying is, you believe you’re entitled to a larger share of the time in the match because of the list you chose? In what way is that considered equitable?
        Your choice of lists is no one else’s problem, and how the other player uses his half is none of your business. You deserve half the time in the match and not a second more (unless your opponent graciously chooses to allow you more, which he’s under no obligation to do). If that’s not enough to play your army, find a better one or “git gud”.

        • David

          Its entirely equitable why should one list be forced to play at lightning speed while the other is playing in slow motion how is that equitable – one is clearly disadvantaged.

          If the game only goes to T3 it only goes to T3 but if both players have the same number of turns its fair. Both players have a responsibility to play at a reasonable pace and move the game along but what constitutes a reasonable pace is list dependent.

          • HeadHunter

            You’re saying it’s equitable because of your choices. You choosing to play a slow list doesn’t make it “equitable” in any way.
            You’re not being “forced to play at lightning speed”, you’re bringing a list that takes more than your fair share of the time to play.
            If the game doesn’t go past turn two because you’re pushing around 100 Orks, and the opponent loses because you took 2/3 of the game, that’s not a “reasonable pace”. your opponent has every right to demand that you play faster if you’re hogging the time – no matter how “justified” you feel.
            You chose the list, if you can’t play it in your half of the game it’s nobody’s fault but your own. Maybe you should play a list that’s within your capability to manage effectively.

          • David

            Turn 2 is extreme ive only encountered it once and that was guard infantry blob vs green tide (where the ork player chose to spirilise his orks).

            Turn 3a is more realistic occurrence and you can usually predict the outcome by then.

            However if the onus is on both players to play quickly turn 4+ often happens if the smaller army doesnt adjust there game speed and plays on a I am entitled to half time basis often its 3 – that is there choice they are chooseing to slow play

    • “High model count, suck to be you.”
      Not really. If the player is playing competitively then they will take the time to get their turn sorted out long before they walk into an event. I know I trained up for 3 months prior to a tournament I knew I was taking nearly 200 models to. I was slow played by an army maybe a third the size of my own.
      Which is a problem that I hadn’t expected at all.
      That’s one reason for Sportsmanship scores.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. I think death clock would do a better job fixing it. Most players who slow play would be fine with best general. And that’s part of the problem…

        • Maybe if they were called out as soon as it happened and if it was made known as soon as the game was over. I mean the intentional slow players. Give them an award for slowest player. Haha.
          But I wonder when a player who plans to slow play does it? which round or is it more just against certain armies, is it certain?
          Maybe that doesn’t matter but if I was planning to cheat to win I think I would have a plan for how I would go about it.
          Win my first game, slow play and win my second something like that.
          I wonder if removing large prize money would see less unscrupulous play. Not that I really think there are that many cheaters playing.

          • ZeeLobby

            I think it depends on game tempo and opponents list. For some matchups the longer the game lasts, the more likely your opponent will overwhelm your units, or simply have more units left to capture at the end. Sometimes they don’t table you turn 1, and it looks like it’s turning, so they try to make sure turn 3 doesn’t come.

            I mean there’s definitely ways to mitigate it. Removing prizes, shaming cheaters, etc. Adding points for faster players. Etc. Honestly I still think death clock is the simpler solution, or actual timed turns. Either solution would make slow play no longer matter. Sure if you had a horde army you’d need to practice it more for fast play, but it’s what many people have to do for Warmachine/Hordes, and they still win events, etc.

      • Koonitz

        The problem with Sportsmanship is that they tried it, and it was MANIPULATED ALL THE HECK!

        All you need to do is get a small group of like-minded, scruple-free individuals who all agree to give everyone BUT themselves a score of 0 for sportsmanship (or the lowest possible score that doesn’t require you to explain yourself, unless a reasonable excuse comes up). They then agree to give their group a perfect score every time.

        You just need a small handful of these groups (even independent of each other), to completely ruin sportsmanship scores.

        GW’s idea of a Most Sporting is interesting, but then falls prey to “how to you award it?” They can’t be witness to every game, and every sporting (or not so sporting) action that occurs, so they will have to rely on second-hand knowledge which, as I just pointed out, can be manipulated into the ground.

        On an unrelated note, the discussion of the death clock is interesting as a method to counter slow play, and I think, at this point, it’s going to be the best, non-manipulatable method around.

        Hordes are the meta, largely. This hurts horde armies somewhat. It will encourage list diversity on the high end, which I think is a good thing, overall.

        That and if you want to bring hordes, best practice your fast play game before attending. Bring those magnetized movement trays, ’cause you’re gonna need ’em.

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          I was hit for low sportsmanship when I wouldn’t let a guy change what he was doing half way through doing it. If this was a friendly game then sure but it’s a tournie. I didn’t ask him to give any slack as I felt that other than being a hypocrite I’d be a jerk. Duh. Sadly he felt that that was the “defining moment” of our game that cost him the win… Only person that game me a 0. Otherwise was a good game and decent guy. But how to stop that type of nonsense and actually be fair? I don’t know.

          • Koonitz

            There’s also that. “He didn’t act the way I wanted him to act, so I’m giving him a 0.” Any excuse to be vindictive.

            I mean, if I was on the receiving end of that and I didn’t like it, it’d be fair to give you a 2 (good game, marred by bad experience), or maybe even a 1 (good game, marred by rules argument that cost me the game). But so many people just default to 5 or 0. There is no such thing as “grey”.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            But that was what spoiled tournies for me it was becoming all or nothing. I would either have an amazing game or horrible because of my opp being “less than civil”. Giving me a 0 was unfair as otherwise it was a good game, knowing that he had given a few of the less than pleasant people 3’s was the kick in the pants. I agree any excuse to be vindictive.

    • Drew

      Warmachine, Guild Ball, lots of other games play on the clock. It’s absolutely an adaptation that 40k could make if people wanted to. Managing the clock is an army list consideration in those games, and could be in 40k. I’m not sure that it’s a good or a bad idea, but it’s absolutely possible.

  • euansmith

    How about plan your own movement, so when it comes to your turn, you can shift everything in three minutes flat. Followed by Jazz-hands and a resounding “Tah-daaaah!”

    Or give your opponent your mobile number and say, “Ring me when you’re done, I’ll be in the bar having fun.”

    Or get in some juggling practice.

    Or break out your painting kit and start on adding some reinforcements to your army.

    Or make irritating, random encouraging and disparaging noises whenever they start to move a piece, regardless of weather you think it is a sensible move or not.

    Or start discussing your opponents options with them, making it clear you think they are taking so long because they are a out of their depth and don’t know what they are doing.

    Or, if you are English, tut and slowly shake your head; this is the Nuclear Option of course; there is no going back after this.

    • Non-Caveman Dan

      The Advanced English Option involves writing a Strongly Worded Letter To Your Local Council. Thank God nobody has ever been insane enough to actually post it….

    • David

      3 minute movement more than you need for IK -timewasting –

      just about achievable for elites seems reasonable –

      A 200 hundred model hoard less than second per model they clearly need to grow extra arms- suggest praying to the chaos gods

      • Simon Chatterley

        Less than a second per model is perfectly achievable since we don’t have anyone checking for performance enhancing drugs yet 😉

      • euansmith
      • HeadHunter

        Maybe instead of looking at your phone during the opponent’s turn, you can observe what he’s doing and plan out your own upcoming turn.
        If you can’t manage all the models you brought, that’s your own failure. Maybe a horde army isn’t for you.

        • David

          I would never look at my phone mid tournament game and that is what I do. No one can manage less than than 1s a model though.

          • HeadHunter

            If you’ve got so many models that your half of the match means one second per model, then I’ve got some bad news for you:
            *You’re part of the problem*
            Bring a list you can manage – there’s no excuse. Save your 300-model horde for games that aren’t on a time limit. Learn to play competitively and be decent enough to give your opponent the time he needs to play, too. He shouldn’t have to wait because you’re bad at making choices.

          • David

            That was an example comparing a 200 model count to a 4 model count army (baseing on a litteral even time) to show why it is not equitable to expect them to take equal amounts of time. You have clearly missed the point

            Even under a 50% of round time basis the 200 model count army would have more

          • David

            If the tournament/ game rules allow it you can.

            Your mistakeing bad at making choices for making choices you don’t like. Maybe that player enjoys the painting of the hoard and doesn’t care about finishing the game

          • HeadHunter

            If you don’t care about finishing the game, go back to painting your hoard. Very few people *enjoy* sitting and waiting while you wank around with 200 Orks.

          • David

            Nor do I but I reserve there right to do so unless it expressly says they can’t in the rules/tourney pack

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      I now have an image of you doing Jazz hands. Then tutting around a table looking down with stern disbelief. It kind of made my day to be honest.

  • David

    The problem is 40k has no clear definition of slow play.

    If we use the mtg
    Delibaretly playing slowly to use up the clock.- I have never encountered this at a tournament and would consider it highly unfair and everyone wiuld probably agree baring the minority of equal timers who advocate clocks. If it was overt enough to be a problem you would shout an official who would sort it

    However some players consider this slow play means
    Takeing significantly more time than your opponent to the extent the game wont finish and cutting into “their” time even if your playing in a timely fashion- In short yes you will see this as it is a function of 8th edition -many hoard lists literally cannot be played remotely on the same timescale as more elite lists and has nothing to do with skill or play speed (despite weaker players often being labeled as slow). They see it as unfair because time should be divided equally between both players (although no rule says that this is the case). I don’t see this as a problem as its not an attempt to cheat and even if you only get to turn 3 8th is such that the winner has usually been determined.

    • Drew

      Unfortunately, it’s kind of a “I know it when I see it” situation. Somebody who takes an hour and a half to play a turn with forty Eldar models (just to choose a totally random example…), averaging ten minutes per unit, is not the same as an Ork player moving 250 models who does so in a crisp, timely fashion. I mind the former, as it’s boring and seems to be gaming for advantage. The latter doesn’t bother me- my opponent’s in constant motion and doing things, so the game’s not boring.

  • David Clift

    I have the opposite problem of fast play; ripping through my turn so fast that my opponent struggles to keep up with it all.

  • TenDM

    I think the only way to stop slow playing is to make everyone who enters sign a contract saying they’ll stick around until their matches are finished. If the game always ends slow playing is pointless. Anything else is going to be either unfair or ineffective.

    • Nicholas Turner

      some of those games could go for days if you extend the slow play out over all the turns in a game. It would make sure no one bothered with it, as their turn clock would put them out of the running for any result. 😉

      But in tournaments, you are allocated an amount of time for a game, all you would need to do is say, half that time is your maximum for all your turns. You waste it with slow play, at the start, well, guess who gets to use the bulk of the second half of the game time to make their turns. You have no time left, you don’t get a turn. Meaning someone intentionally slow playing at the start will get to face repeat turns of the opponent.

      • Drew


      • Koonitz

        It’s either this or if your time runs out, you immediately lose, that I’ve seen people propose.

        The thing with this one is that if you have such a commanding lead in the first couple turns (or, say, you obliterate enough of your opponent’s army in the first couple turns that, even if he gets sequential turns, it won’t matter).

        Then again, the “immediate loss” mechanic does favour the second turn player. If both players are using up the same amount of time, the player who goes first will run out of time first, thus will lose first. A way to give incentive to go second, I guess?

      • TenDM

        This is what I mean though. You’re way is unfair to anyone who legitimately needs time to complete their turn. As impractical as it is the only way to be fair is to remove any time restrictions and guarantee every match is fully resolved without a time out. People here are trying to find a balance between these two extremes and there isn’t one.
        In a game like this any practical way of dealing with this still leaves room for exploitation and results in equally obnoxious games. It’s not worth the effort, Any method that results in success is ultimately impractical. It’s always worth exploring options but I don’t see the point in introducing obnoxious time rules that will still give an advantage to anyone who plays the clock.

        • HeadHunter

          No, the only way to be fair is to allow each player to use half the time in the match. That way, players can’t stall. There’s literally no way it can “give an advantage to anyone who plays the clock”.
          If you can’t command your forces in a reasonable time, you deserve to lose.

    • ZeeLobby

      lol. People would wait til you forfeit. They don’t care. People who slow play are all about the win.

    • Koonitz

      The problem with this is that tournaments are under a strict time limit. Not because they want to, but because they HAVE to, to get all of their allotted games in, over the time they have (ie: The weekend or “the time they’ve booked the venue).

      You can’t expand that to ensure a game goes to completion because a lot of those games would go over-limit and waste everyone else’s time.

      • David

        Which means you have to accept against certain list they wont go to completion and manage appropriately.

        Some tournys in my area use early warnings and that both players must complete an equal number of turns – I once finished a game 20 minutes early because we would not have got through the next round

        Or they allow players to agree an outcome/mediate each other. We haven’t got time for the last round but you would clearly get line breaker and we need to resolve this combat to see if you can slay my warlord.

  • rugerkoz

    I prefer the Geoff Robinson method of continuously reminding my opponent about time even if their not slow playing.

  • Get a chess timer. Enforce them in tournaments. Slow play goes away magically.

    • David

      As do most hoard lists and with no hoards to counter tablewipe lists 40k devolves into roll the dice to determine first turn and see who wins- not fun

      • 40k is pretty much already this though. And yes that is not fun. Which is why I dont play 40k right now.

        Intentional Slow play is a cancer that need burned with fire.

        Hoards can also play on chess timers. My area has been using chess timers for years in their competitive events. So I don’t agree that chess timers mean no more hoards because I’ve years of watching it work successfully.

        • David

          It is a big factor when choosing your list and while it doesn’t completely get rid of hoards it does get rid of the biggest and would make me thing twice of running the 130 model count army im running at this weekends GT.

          • Tournament formats do that though. I think in the grand scheme of things, if it got rid of the slow play garbage that people pull, that that alone would be worth it. Yeah people that don’t want to be rushed would stop taking hordes, but they still wouldn’t be unplayable.

            Intentional slow play is a disease that keeps a lot of people from ever wanting to bother with tournament play in the first place.

          • David

            Certainly but there are other mechanisms that achreive the same thing that dont destroy list archetypes or promote tablewipes say going from 2000 pts to 1500 pts you can still run hoard with 25% fewer modals it is a lot quicker – even just racking modals into squads

          • Other than a time limitation on turns, what else would remove intentional slow play from tournaments?

            Going to 1500 points doesn’t stop intentional slow play at tournaments. I played heavy tournaments from the 90s into the late 2000s. In the 90s the tournament standard for 40k was 1500 points. My army had like 22 models in it.

            Slow play was still a big thing even back then with lower point limitations.

          • David

            1)Lowering pts means more games finish on time making it easier for to’s to distinguish slower armies from slowplaying players

            2) Clear definitions of slow play and stalling in the tournament rules as in MTG if it is defined its easier to act upon.

            3) judges/TO keeping an eye on slower games

            4) the player base flagging it up because most TO’s will deal with it if they are aware – it might not help your game but might help someone else

          • Your way is far too subjective for my tastes. Luckily for me, chess timers are our areas norm. Intentional slow play is objectively eliminated and we still have horde players showing up despite the clock.

            Smaller points will speed games up and is good but for me subjective umpires being gamed by slow playing twits doing it on purpose is never going to be an option id sgree with.

          • David

            Seems to work in MTG

          • I have no idea how it works in MtG. I know from 20 years of wargaming tournament experience that it doesn’t work for wargaming. I’m going to rely on my own experience on this one.

            The reason why in the 20-25 years of wargaming tournaments there have been no slow play restrictions that worked isn’t because no one has tried. Its because there is no way to pull them off objectively.

  • Nyyppä

    Enforce chess timers and if the game is not finished in time the person who took longer gets no points while the quicker player gets their points also. These additional points are then counted towards only that particular tournament’s outcome and disregarded when determining other standings.

    • stinkoman

      man, i think i got you by a minute. but your idea is more fleshed out. i like it.

      • Nyyppä

        I copied the idea about chess timers, but I don’t think that it’s enough if the slow play is not severely penalized.

    • HeadHunter

      I think it should be like other games, where you get a given time limit for turns, and when that elapses, your turn is done. it would encourage planning and setting priorities. If you want games to go to 4 turns and the match is two hours, that’s 15-minute turns. It may not sound long enough, but if that’s the case then maybe the real problem is that match times are too short.

      • David

        Fair enough I will charge all your units do all my attack oops my turn is done – timed out you dont get to attack back

        • HeadHunter

          Correct – now it’s my turn and I get to attack anyhow. Maybe I’ll wait until my time’s just about up and return the favor.
          You really come across as selfish and totally unconcerned with your opponent getting to play the game. It’s no wonder you’re not getting the point, as it requires putting yourself in your opponent’s shoes.

          • David

            Pot calling the kettle there

  • stinkoman

    instead of a death clock int he traditional sense, just use the clock to mark the time it takes your turns in total. Instead of a draw or whatever, if the game isnt fully concluded when the time for the round hits, the person that used up the most time loses no matter the score at that point.

    • Koonitz

      I wouldn’t say lose immediately, because games running out of time will happen, period. No matter how hard you try, or how good the players are. Things just happen.

      What it should be is that at the end of the game, if it did not complete, then you tally the amount of time each player spent on their turns. The person with the most time gives up victory points to their opponent based on the amount of time, in comparison. ie: If they took up 66% of the time, they give up X points (whichever the TOs think is reasonable). If they took up 75%, more. If they took up 90%, automatic loss.

      The problem, here, then, becomes people deliberately slow playing in their opponent’s turn. Time for combat? I’ll take 5 minutes to decide which unit to pick to fight. Then take my time counting out their attacks and rolling them. Or taking a while to roll out armour saves (EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. ONE. AT. A. TIME!). This serves to penalize their opponent’s time.

      This will happen, regardless of style of clock used, in an effort to burn out their opponent’s time. Expect it.

      • Apocryphus

        In WMH tournaments, the clock switches to a player if they are taking out of turn actions ro prevent exactly that.

        • Koonitz

          I approve.

    • HeadHunter

      I’m all for a death clock – when your opponent takes up most of the game moving his vast hoard, you beat him to death with a clock. Or his bag full of 200 dice.

  • Legitimancer

    I think the best use of time when you’re getting slow-played, is packing up and switching tables to a game with someone fun to play against. Slow play goes away real quick when no one acts like its ok.

    • HeadHunter

      This is the best way to discourage that sort of behavior. If a staller has no one to play against, he will mend his ways or he won’t have any opponents. Social engineering at its best.

  • Dragon2928

    Increase the amount of time in a game and implement turn timers.
    There are several people in my local meta that play horde armies, and they’re not really that much slower than other army lists. If you have a dude taking so long to play with his horde army that you can’t finish a game in a reasonable amount of time, then they are either new or doing it on purpose.

  • Allerka

    Forget tournaments, this is basically every game I ever play. Most of my opponents are 30-45 minutes per turn at anything above 1500 points. I barely do anything above skirmish level any more because I simply don’t have half a day to waste on a single game.

  • Allerka

    Forget tournaments, this is basically every game I ever play. Most of my opponents are 30-45 minutes per turn at anything above 1500 points. I barely do anything above skirmish level any more because I simply don’t have half a day to waste on a single game.

  • Chris Hilliard

    You could also write an article about slow play. Nobody’s written one of those before!

  • Calgar

    Never been slow played myself, but if its a problem at bigger tourneys just put in a death clock. If the rounds are 2.5 hours just set up a chess clock where each player gets an hour and fifteen minutes. If the clock runs out on your turn you lose.

  • Fantaman

    If you’re not flagging a judge after 20 minutes you deserve it.

  • Aurion Shidhe

    I just pick my nose and helpfully touch their models.

    “Don’t forget to move that one. Oh, and you can probably get another inch on that one if you want. Don’t forget to fire this guy, he can probably split fire and take out my tank.”

  • Ninety

    Man, this was way funnier than usual. Kudos.

  • marxlives

    Solid advice