Not all of these so called tricks are cheating but a lot of them push the edge. These are all things people have pulled on me in my years of gaming. I rarely see these pulled on me these days due to watching for it and not letting things get pulled on myself. It also helps to talk these out in public so more people are aware.
First of all there are a lot of things that feel like cheating but aren’t all the time. We all forget rules from time to time as well as misread the rules as well. So this isn’t a hack on that, these are things that I have seen that for all intents and purposes are cheats. So lets wade into this pee filled kiddy pool.
Stop and Stutter Movement
I know that sometimes you can make different decisions as you play your movement phase out. I have seen some players move a model, move it back, and then move it again to create an advantage of movement do to the other player not paying attention. Usually when I play, I make my decisions before I even start my own phase. So when I move I know exactly where I want to go. As a player you can figure this out pretty easily and see yeah – you might get an inch or two and you can plan for it. This stop and stutter movement is really bad as I have seen stuff look like they basically pull a longer movement as the opponent basically leapfrogs his guys around.
Helpful Hint # 2 – If I see this happen more then once I will start to put dice by where opponents moved. If that doesn’t stop them from pulling it then it is the judge time.
Magical Transports – Teleporting to Different Boxes Per Game
I know that sometimes we can forgot what vehicle has what guys in it. It happens. I usually have all my vehicles marked/different so I can tell what squad is supposed to start in there. As soon as they leave the transports I mark that it is empty and when I get back in it again I put one of the guys on top to remind myself. This is just one way to make sure the game is fun and fair. I have played a few people that somehow always forgot what is in what vehicle. It is amazing how the exact weapon you need comes out. It is frustrating and I think a lot of people use this as an advantage against newer opponents that might not watch whatever you do and memorize what is in each of the opponents vehicles.
Helpful Hint # 3 – If your opponent isn’t putting markings or something to define what is in the tank, I usually just put a dice down on my side that has a number on it that coincides with someone on their list or what I know they have.
Secret Lists & Rules
I am one of those players that reads every codex that comes out. I look for the tricks and things that somehow “ruin 40k 2 months before it comes out.” It is just in my nature and that is why most of the time I know what your army can do and how it works. Not everyone can do that nor do they have the time to put in a “war game action figure” game. How many games have you played where this unit all of a sudden just punches the crap out of you? I think this game is a social contract and it is up to you as a decent player to tell your opponent what your plastic dudesmen can do. It is one thing to lose to a better army and it is another thing to lose to an army you have no idea if they can really do the things your opponent says. This goes into the whole army list thing too and I don’t think everyone should have AB, but I wish they did.
Helpful Hint # 4 – Ask questions. No matter how many times they say they are right, look at the book. If you think something isn’t right have them prove it.
Badgering the Other Player
This is a meta one where your opponent starts to fight/bicker in the beginning in order to break you down and make things in their favor later. I have seen this a lot of times especially versus newer opponents. One player basically starts to nitpick on every little thing in the beginning and the other player will not want to cause any further issues in order to try and make a better game and lets the other player get away with things. This is one of those things that frustrates me as I feel a lot of people will try to game the system this way. It is one thing to break the rules and it is another that breaks the social contract.
Helpful Hint # 5 – If someone is being a jerkface, get a judge. There is a good chance this player was a jerk to other players so you want to be safe and use a neutral judge when you can.
This is another annoying one that I have seen happen in two ways. You can slow play the turn by taking forever between each phase. This has happened to me a bunch of times as well as a lot of other players. You can also see this in some people taking armies that play slow ie Hordes etc. This is a tricky one as it doesn’t look like they are purposefully slow playing but it can be frustrating to play against as you rush through your turns and the player is slow moving and making sure all their plastic guys are just perfectly spaced out. I know we play very fast locally and not everyone can burn through a game at that level. This is one of those things you have to watch for and as an opponent you can help alleviate this by not letting more then one turn get effected by this type of play.
Helpful Hint # 6 – If the player is going slow or taking forever to exactly place his models you can tell them – look I know they are trying to space them out cafefully so we’ll just play it that way so you don’t have to painstakingly move each model for valuable minutes. Just make sure the front guys are moved correctly and we can go from there.
Super Fast Dice Rolling
40k is a game about the weight of dice. The more we roll the more likely we are to succeed in what we want to do. I have seen some players fast roll their dice and not allow the opponent to “see” what they just rolled for, if they succeeded, and what the heck is going on. It is one of the reasons I strive to find dice that are easy to read. One color, usually bright with the pips being extremely easy to make out. It is harder in 40k because a lot of the time you have a lot of dice to read through but it can happen from time to time.
Helpful Hint # 7 – If they are not showing you what they are rolling stop them. If they argue get a judge. It is why I usually find an easy place to see the dice rolls or you need to get a dice box to throw in.
Be Cool – It’s Supposed to Fun!
Look this game is about having fun and I think there are a lot of grey areas that people try to push the game into a favorable match up for the win. There are other cheats too and if you have found some pulled on you write about it in the comments. I might seem like a WAAC gamer but at center of it this hobby is about having fun and getting a couple hours away from the real world full of bills, assignments, and frustrating jobs.
~Have fun and be safe out there gang. What kind of shenanigans have you seen out there and how do you deal with it?