Goatboy here, and let me start by saying I was wrong. The trick with Chaos Dreadnoughts I was talking about does not work, according to the nice people at GW who wrote the books. Dreadnoughts, like every other model in 40K, can see 360 degrees around themselves, and only worry about Arc of Sight for weapons after they choose their targets. That said, a lot of you were swayed to my side of the argument, and that brings me to my topic for this week – rules abuse.
When we come to the table to play a game, we have an idea of the rules of the game that is probably at least slightly different than our opponent’s idea, even if both are experienced players and neither wants to twist the rules to gain personal advantage.
It is important to know the rules of the game, and being able to know when an opponent has made a mistake and call them on it is important in competitive play. The pitfall to avoid is reading part of Rule A, part of Rule B, and creating Rule C that is sort of like those two put together, and just happens to give you a big advantage. Most players don’t have the familiarity with the rules to deal with this kind of manipulation, so most rules lawyers can get away with it at the table. Later, though, when you look through the rules, you realize that Rule C doesn’t really exist, and you want to rip that guy’s head off. Don’t be that guy.
We all forget the rules from time to time, but try to have all the important stats and abilities of your army correct 100% of the time. Also, don’t be the guy that forgets that you can’t shoot with one guy and run with the rest of the squad, or anything like that. Practice for fun like it was for real, so when you’re playing a serious game you don’t screw up as much. That doesn’t mean being a jerk about mistakes your opponent makes in a pick-up game, but it does mean trying to make no mistakes yourself. Depending on the opponent, you may or may not point out their mistakes in the game, so they can play a tighter game as well.
How do we keep the rules?
First, have the rulebooks and codices for the armies you’re playing. Explain your list to your opponent, and make sure they know how any tricky things in your army work. Anything that feels hidden can make a player feel cheated, and no good player wants to win by taking advantage of their opponent’s ignorance.
Second, ask a judge. Outside of a tournament, there may not be a judge, but there are probably other gamers around that know the rules, so ask their opinion. If it’s just the players and you can’t figure it out, right it down, dice it off, and look it up later.
Lastly, ask questions if you think something strange is going on. Just because your opponent has a fully painted army and seems to play all the time doesn’t mean they are right; even the best players make mistakes, and I’ve know players to make the same mistake for a long time before someone helped them see their mistake by asking the right question.
I know a lot of this is common knowledge to most seasoned players. But I don’t know how many times I have seen people “cheated” by misrepresentation of the rules. Whether it is on purpose or on accident doesn’t matter, as you are the opponent and it is your job to make sure that things are run smoothly and correctly. The game is more then just rolling dice and moving plastic guys around. You need to interact with your opponent to help create a fun experience; no matter what army you are playing.
I will be heading to Chicago for Adepticon soon, and beyond that I am trying to finish up some painting commissions at the same time. I have both my armies done, so really I am just waiting for the date to rotate around. I just wanted to give a heads up for some upcoming articles that I plan on doing. The wash article will be coming, I just need to get BigRed’s camera set up and get to painting. Most likely I will take a bunch of ork models, do one step at a time on each one to show you how I do it from beginning to end etc. Beyond the painting article I borrowed a Tau army and plan on playing them a bit to see if I can find other tactics that might help the Tau players out there.
Oh and a quick question for those getting up to Adepticon, how do you plan on dealing with the ork menace? Comment away, lets see if we all can figure out how to deal with them. As usual, send me an email with any questions you might have and good luck with your games.