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"How To Cheat In Tabletop Wargaming" Topic

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Leftblank28 May 2018 6:39 a.m. PST

"(So-called) top 40K-player Alex Harrison turned out to be a magician last week at the final of a London 40K-Grand Tournament. He thought he was smart, but the camera caught him red-handed. For example he used his glass of water to invisibly push his models in a better position, changed 5 wounds into 3 wounds and bluntly lied about objective cards that he had not discarded. Full list of his tricks here (he certainly is a waterglass-at-al-costs-player). Funny: he just started his tactics blog and cheating was not included.

After studying the game video the jury banned him. Wargaming is a gentlemen's sport and gentlemen don't cheat. Or do they?

My regular club opponent Freddy 'Friday 13th' Wildborough and my other common enemy Eltjo 'Skyscraper'' Faraway often, if not always, defeat me so they MUST be cheaters. You see, I'm the Napoleon of wargaming and Waterloo can't happen EVERY game. But I'll be back. I'm the terminator. For my own pleasure and for other not-so-gentlemen, including Alex Harrison, I'll give you a quick list how-to-cheat with wargaming. Lawful good paladins, stop reading here."

RudyNelson28 May 2018 7:10 a.m. PST

I have seen people cheat in various ways over the past 50 years.
So the idea that it happens mainly in a certain game system is misguided.
The worst case I can remember was when a guy playing in an Ancients tournament had created a special ruler marked in paces/inches. On one side the paces were marked longer than they should be and on the other the paces were shorter. So the measurements were always to his good. It took a lot of planning to create and paint a special ruler. So it was intentional.

Winston Smith28 May 2018 7:19 a.m. PST

Don't forget "math errors" in compiling your lists.

Wackmole928 May 2018 7:27 a.m. PST

I just think the funny part is he know he was being filmed. Now is name is plastered across the Interweb and hes done as a Tournament player.

redmist112228 May 2018 7:58 a.m. PST

Got one for you guys…how about a bogus tape measure? This guy had this tape measure which started at "1"; he would measure up to shoot at an enemy unit and would hit every time. This time it was me he was shooting at. He hit, now its my turn, so oblige to shoot him back…we have the same weapon system…but I'm too far out to shoot…WTH? This dilemma stumped all of us for about 10 minutes, until I examined his tape measure. The first inch increment was cut off…thus starting at one. Mmmmm…his response is this is how he bought the tape measure…yeah right. Anyways…beware.


Palewarrior28 May 2018 8:25 a.m. PST

Roll your bones and sweep them up saying the score, before your opponent has a chance to check. As long as you include a few bad rolls now and again, no one will suspect.

mumbasa28 May 2018 8:47 a.m. PST

Yes, I have tried to cheat. But, everybody laughs at my rubber ruler that I can stretch to over 4 feet long! And, they also laugh when I roll my d6 blank die and say "7". I tell them that I memorized the numbers the night before. I guess I'll just have to go and watch the video.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP28 May 2018 8:58 a.m. PST

So the linked video is not about playing St. Trinian's vs. Men in Black with your ex-girlfriend while you wife is out of town..?

zoneofcontrol28 May 2018 9:03 a.m. PST

Ha-Ha. I have a floating knife that somebody gave to me as a teenager to keep with my fishing gear. It is called "Fisherman's Friend". The casing is a sealed, light-weight wood with inch markings on both sides. However, one side is "legal" with actual inch markings up to 12". The opposite side is "illegal" with phony markings that claim to be 14".

I really don't get cheating in games. I'd rather play a good (or bad) game and lose than cheat to win. Why bother going through the motion of playing an entire game if you already know the outcome because you cheat? Seems like a waste of time.

Winston Smith28 May 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

I had lancers charging disgruntled natives the other night in a TSATF 800FE game.
I'm a +2 going in vs "win ties".
I rolled 2, 2, 1, 1.
How can I cheat my way out of that?
Good thing they were "only" Askari lancers and not European. The disgrace would have been worse.

Winston Smith28 May 2018 9:39 a.m. PST

I remember a "terrain cheat" in a few games.
Moving trees to get a better LOS is one thing.
But in an IRA vs Black and Tans game, one guy was moving buildings so he could drive 2 Crossley Tenders down the alley.

Dukewilliam28 May 2018 9:48 a.m. PST

I've had guys measure from the front edge of a base and then move to the point they measured and put the back edge of the base on that point.

Also, there was a guy who bragged that if you microwave your dice just right with the number you want on top, the materials will melt slightly and the bottom will become heavier, thus getting your number more often then 16% of the time. Gotta love ASL players.

What kind of fun is that? Seriously.


Winston Smith28 May 2018 10:08 a.m. PST

It has to be your attitude.
Sure we like to win, but at what cost?
My group is about as social as you can get. We treasure our failures, they're so entertaining.
It's not exactly like there's life or death on the line if my Legere Regiment falls 1/4" away from creaming the flank of Prussian Landwehr on a rout breakthrough move. Get me another beer!

By the way, I bought a bunch of cheap extruded plastic rulers years ago. I would definitely challenge their calibration.

ToysnSoldiers28 May 2018 10:41 a.m. PST

People cheat even at solitaire. Why wargames should be different?

DisasterWargamer28 May 2018 12:33 p.m. PST

If I catch someone cheating – usually concluded after several observations…

I simply give up and make a bit of a scene about it – since they want to win so bad – they can win.

Wont play them again – happened a few times with collectible card games and once with miniatures

For dice – easiest thing – everyone uses the same dice – and yes there are legends about the bed rolls that one can get…

Though what I really love are the people who change the rules to fit what they need at the time and then want to change them later to suit their new situation… Usually just hold the person to the first rule interpertation

Hey You28 May 2018 1:09 p.m. PST

Players cheat even amongst friendly games, in my past. I try not to take it personal, just chalk it up to human nature. But every time I witness it I remember what Clint said,

"Josey Wales: Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is."

Daithi the Black28 May 2018 2:31 p.m. PST

Cheating in wargames… I really don't get the point. Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue. I play mostly to show of my miniatures and terrain, and/or to socialize. If I win, that's great. If the other guy wins, that's great too. I love to see spectacular successes and incredible critical hits, regardless of which side creates them.

Let's have some fun, eh?

Okiegamer28 May 2018 5:37 p.m. PST

Daithi, I hadn't heard the pigeon allusion before. That's a good one! How about this: "Sometimes you get the elevator, sometimes you just get the shaft!"

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2018 5:52 p.m. PST

We used to play WWII rules that required range estimation for artillery. One guy was incredibly good at it. Eventually we figured out that he had put thumb tacks every six inches down one side and one end of the underside of the table. He would walk along the table feeling the tacks before making his attack. No one said anything, we waited until he left after a game and moved the tacks to 3-4" apart. When all his shots started falling short he eventually figured out what we'd done.

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2018 5:57 p.m. PST

I used to play a tongue in cheek cut throat post apoc micro-armor game. One time I had a biplane flying along the edge of the table and I kept putting my Dr Pepper in front of it so the other players didn't realize it was there. I did it with the GM's full knowledge. It stayed there until it swooped out from behind the can to make its attack. It was funny as heck, and the sort of thing that was expected for that game.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2018 8:47 a.m. PST

For me, the epic failures are usually more memorable than any win. I played Risk in my Senior year of High School, with a group of five others -- we maxed out the number of players. We played Blitzkrieg, every game, finishing in around 2-3 hours, with a crushing victory; then we would play a second game, like the first, attacking until we spent our last army, steam-rolling across the map, and in turn, being steam-rolled by the next player. Card turn-in's were epic.

I almost always came in 2nd or 3rd place. One time, I won! And my interest in the game deflated, I had no desire to play a second game that day. When I lost, I could not wait to start a new game. It was mostly based on luck of the dice, and blind attacking until we could no longer attack. It was a blast, but no one ever cheated. We loved it, and we played the hell out of that game. Those were golden gaming days.

I just don't understand why folks would cheat routinely. Kills the fun of the game for everyone. Cheers!

Dashetal29 May 2018 9:52 a.m. PST

Command of the light switch with night googles fools the honest chaps all the time. Scream power outage and move em quick. Yup, that's the ticket.

Chuckaroobob30 May 2018 9:23 a.m. PST

I've seen people cheat a lot. IMHO it might be because they think everyone does so. Maybe they think they are smarter than non cheaters because they can get away with it. If their opponent was a better player and knew the rules better they would be caught. And some people just like to win, regardless of how they do it.

And Ive seen lots of people argue over the rules that they have never read.

Leftblank03 Jul 2018 9:13 p.m. PST

I moved the subject from my club blog to my personal blog. Link now here: link

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