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This topic contains 39 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Price 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #96522
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Last weekend was the annual Train & Hobby Show in which, for the past ten years, we’ve put on a variety of Demo games.

    Being the only wargame present, we always attract a lot of attention,; most of it bemused by what we’re doing.

    Speaking to the passing crowd is something we take seriously, fielding obvious & not so obvious questions & comments.

    On Sunday, we were asked about cheating. We’d made the point about this was a competetive game with measurement, rolling dice, checking charts etc and this (really very nice) woman asked if cheating was a problem….it was obviously something easy to do. The various people around her then bought into the discussion as I tried to explain that I believe that, yes,  cheating does occur in wargames & , no, our little group wouldn’t cheat. I didn’t want to sound too moralistic but my point was there is nothing much riding in the outcome of the games we play. We game for fun & fellowship & scoring points by winning is not all that important. I’m not sure I convinced anyone & I guess I sounded like a prig.

    At any rate, AFAIK or care, we don’t cheat. Has this issue ever arisen with you in your gaming? I “know” the bogey-man tournament game is supposedly riddled with cheating. Does anyone really want to win a wargame at that price?

     

    donald

    #96526
    Phil Dutré
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    Cheating as in “willingly ignoring or bending some rules to gain an advantage and trying to win at all costs”? No, never encountered it.

    Cheating as in “due to ignorance of the rules not playing according to the rules”? Yes, but I wouldn’t call that cheating …

    Cheating as in “interpreting the rules on the spot because obviously it would be silly if we would use that specific rule in this situation”? Yes, but usually after agreement by both players.

    However, I can see that people who are used to a very strict set of rules (as in most classic boardgames) would consider the use of tape measures as a device that would allow cheating (stealing an inch …). But then, it also depends on the mindset of the players how strict you are on measuring. Does it have to be exact up to the millimetre? Or is a half a centimeter up or down good enough? However, if one player would consistently use this leeway to his own advantage, that would indeed be a problem …

    #96527
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    I used to know a chap who would move his troops the maximum move, but they always wound up in an untidy line, so he would dress the lines. They frequently gained an extra half inch movement this way. I don’t recall that anyone ever called him on this or refused to play with him for this reason, but it was certainly commented on in discussions between other club members.

    A role-player of my acquaintance would roll the dice behind his hand and then snatch them up immediately. He would then declare that the roll was a 16. Every d20 roll was a 16 until someone commented on the number of 16s he was rolling, and then the next one would be a 5. In the interests of maintaining group harmony, I, as the GM, made allowances for this in assigning armour and skill to the NPCs he faced, and the other players were aware that I did this. I don’t know if anyone ever told him though.

    A former Squad Leader opponent of mine would tip the dice from his hand onto the table so that they rolled the minimum possible and had the best chance of landing on the numbers he needed. Of the three instances cited here, his tactic was the one that most irritated me, and is the reason why I favour dice towers to this day. Well, that and the fact that dice towers can be excellent themed accessories that prevent the dice from scattering counters everywhere. It is important to accessorise appropriately when gaming.

    I don’t think I have ever encountered other examples of cheating. If I have done, then they must have cheated really well not to have been caught out. I find it is more of a problem when you are trying to learn a game with someone who is competitive, knows the rules well, and is more interested in winning than teaching you the game. I’ve been put off a few games that way.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #96528
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Depending what you mean by ‘cheating’ ; Yes, and possibly not.

    I’ve played games  (not tournament games) where pillars of the establishment – doctors, teachers, lawyers, civil servants,  have all been a tad elastic with measurements and uncertain whether dice were ‘cocked’ or not depending on who benefited from a re-roll. I’ve seen an advocate of ’empathetic cultural simulation’ take advantage of a loophole in the rules and a friendly umpire to charge Napoleonic cavalry ,’blind’, a scale mile over a hill, into a deploying artillery battalion on the basis of ‘intuiting’ their presence (and the fact he could see them even though his character was in reserve with orders to remain so until ordered otherwise and couldn’t have been aware of their existence).

    I’ve had people ‘remember’ their flank deployments at convenient times. Forgotten to tell me the ACW cavalry units allotted to me were not equipped with carbines in this scenario until they were dismounted in a sunken lane of commanding position.

    I’ve watched a ‘discussion’ about whether a corner pikeman was facing front or side depending which unit would charge them first and neither attacking unit deigning to declare a charge until the owner of the pikeman declared which way he was facing. My friend and I were half way through a skirmish game when the confrontation started, we played it to conclusion with drinks and snacks, packed away and left and they were still arguing the toss about which way he was facing.

    Then there have been the (possibly/probably) genuine forgetting to conduct unit/formation/army morale collapse tests which enabled a scrambled defence to save the day. Nudged/left behind/accidentally picked up disorder markers. ‘Lost’ rosters. Confusion over how many saving dice versus attack dice to use. Forgetting what number was being asked for. Was it High or Low to save/hit/kill/run away/stand?

    To be fair to wargamers these incidents have been relatively few and far between over the last 46 years, but yes, some people obviously think ‘winning’ important enough to be economical with the actualité. Most of the time they would be mortified if it were called ‘cheating’ and I wouldn’t be so mean as to say they were ‘cheats’. But sometimes it’s hard to think what else to call it.

     

    #96533
    irishserb
    irishserb
    Participant

    I’ve encountered it several times over the years at conventions.

    One involved reading two D10 dice as a percentile roll.  The green die was always supposed to be read as the first number, but he each time, the player would read them in which ever order was most favorable.

    Another involved a guy whose figures were advancing more or less in a column, and after one or two turns, I noticed that he had covered a lot of ground.  He would move the first fig the max distance, then take the last fig and place it just ahead of the first fig, then the next to last fig in front of that, etc.  With this method, he stretched his 6 inch movement into about 11 inches a turn.

    Another was playing an air combat game that has uses a model on a three wheeled dolly, he would slide his stand into firing position in a direction contrary to the direction the wheels rolled.  I watched him do this several times; then the GM tried to show him how to move the stand correctly, and he got angry and walked away.

    There have been  couple of others, but overall, it has been a rare thing.

    #96534

    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    We had a vicar at my old club who was a notorious cheat, the result of which (apart from not going to Heaven) meant that no-one wanted to play him. Other members were border line cheats, but were just about tolerated, as the feigned shock when we pointed out their ‘transgressions’.

    #96547
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I have encountered cheating in every tournament game I have played, so I no longer play them as it totally sucked any joy from them.  Even the 1 X-wing tournament I took part in was rife with cheaters.  I even watched the people who run the tournies and act as judges cheat or allow cheating.  Blew my mind.

    One involved reading two D10 dice as a percentile roll.  The green die was always supposed to be read as the first number, but he each time, the player would read them in which ever order was most favorable.

      This guy (eyeroll), I have seen people do this a lot.  Bugs the crap out of me to the point where I often demand that they roll the 10’s dice first, then if you needed a minimum of 50% and they roll a 2 you don’t have to worry about the 1’s dice.

    My other favorite that I have seen in a lot of games is: [rolls dice and results a 6 and a 5] “Wait, am I supposed to be aiming for low or high numbers?  Low?  Oh, I didn’t know that” [disregards first roll and rolls again…]

     

    Now, I have been guilty of a form of cheating quite frequently.  This is when I am running convention games where the players are same-side playing against the GM or system.  For me it’s more about telling a story and having a good time than about sticking to the rules.  So, I will sometimes allow a inexperienced player the chance to retake an action that is dumb or that they didn’t realize was way off (like a 12 year-old player throwing a grenade at an enemy in the same room) or declaring that the enemy MG team that is in perfect position to obliterate the entire player force was unable to set up and fire this turn because of X reason (slightly suppressed, failed roll, moved max, etc) that I made up to keep the game going.  BUT, I have never cheated in a head-to-head game.  I do try to lose gracefully!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #96552

    warwell
    Participant

    I play solo. My opponent is a notorious cheater.

    But seriously, I will sometimes fudge results to improve the story.

    #96553
    Mike
    Mike
    Keymaster

    As a youngster I used to cheat. In hindsight I put this down to a variety of reasons all based around an unhappy childhood devoid of parental attention and love, thus winning was my way of getting positive attention.

    Though again with hindsight cheating to win really did not get me the positive attention I craved.

    Today those habits are still present and the desire to win is strong. It takes effort on my part not to slip into those old ways. Touch wood though I have prevailed and allow fate to take its natural course.

    It is about the journey now, whereas when I was young it was about the destination.

     

    #96557
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Now, I have been guilty of a form of cheating quite frequently. This is when I am running convention games where the players are same-side playing against the GM or system. For me it’s more about telling a story and having a good time than about sticking to the rules. So, I will sometimes allow a inexperienced player the chance to retake an action that is dumb or that they didn’t realize was way off

    If you’re the GM in these games or coaching newbies, I would not see that as cheating at all.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #96558
    Katie L
    Katie L
    Participant

    I am completely safe from accusations of cheating. Because if I was… I’d win more often…

     

    #96565
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    I play solo.  But seriously, I will sometimes fudge results to improve the story.

    When I was a solo gamer, I’d do that but I never thought of it as cheating. But I did think it counter-productive to the game.

    If chance isn’t a factor, the game suffers.

     

    donald

    #96572
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Revolver, single bullet, in the library.  Chap knows what to do.

    #96575

    Etranger
    Participant

    We play socially. Any of you on The Grumpy or Old Mongrel Wargamers FB pages will have seen some of our write ups. A certain amount of fudging of measuring and tidying up of the line (“dressing the line”) is quite normal. We tend to stick to the spirit rather than the letter of the rules, we’re acting out a story. …“and always, if in doubt, reroll”.

    #96581

    Gaz045
    Participant

    I am completely safe from accusations of cheating. Because if I was… I’d win more often…

    Sounds similar to my style!!

    We had a chap who became notorious for ‘longer inches’ than standard, someone bought him an elastic tape measure that he happily used in the next game……….

    In some games I supplied a ‘measure’ (6″ piece of flexible packing strap marked halfway too) or even said that figure movement is a maximum of the distance twixt extended thumb and little finger. …..penalises smaller handed people but throws in a natural curve ball…….

    I’ve encountered several dastardly unsporting types in my time and if gentle corrections don’t work then they don’t get invited to game/play again……..

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Gaz045.

    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"

    #96586
    Cameronian
    Cameronian
    Participant

    That’s the way to do it (Mr. Punch voice).

    Player 1 (white shirt, henceforth called Wheels) is a Warhammer powergamer. His gimmick is to hold his entire army in reserve. The opponent will be forced to deploy conservatively, since Wheels’ side of the field will be empty. At the beginning of his first turn, Wheels will deploy his entire force in a compact “spearhead”, then advance and pierce the enemy line at its weakest point. Player 2 (black shirt, let’s call him Shooter) is aware of Wheels’ gimmick.

    During the normal deployment/setup phase, Shooter places his commander on the field. In Warhammer, two players are supposed to take turns – deploying and counter-deploying until everything is on the field. However, Wheels announces that he’s deploying nothing – he’ll hold his entire force in reserve (as he planned all along). Shooter places a row of scouts into a single thin skirmish line covering Wheels’ entire edge of the table. Scouts can be deployed anywhere, but anti-cheese rules prevent him putting a scout within 30 cm of an opposing unit, but there are no opposing units anywhere on the field and so the rule is moot. Tactically, these scouts are screwed – they have no cover, no support, and they’re on open ground. As soon as the opposing cavalry takes the field, these guys will die. The deployment phase ends. It’s now Wheels’ turn. Shooter informs him that the game is over. Wheels can’t actually deploy any of his motorcycles – anti-cheese rules prevent him from placing a reserve unit within 5cm of an enemy model. There isn’t a single 5cm gap anywhere on Wheels’ edge of the field. Wheels’ entire force is doomed to sit uselessly “in reserve” until the game ends, at which point he’ll lose automatically because Shooter controls the entire map. The tournament officials declared that Shooter’s interpretation of the rules was technically correct and granted him the victory. And now you know why Shooter is smiling while Wheels is poring over a rulebook.

    'The time has come, the walrus said...'

    #96587
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Nobody cheating there – all in the rules!

    #96592
    DM
    DM
    Participant

    I played in a big NWS Armada period naval game at Dorking many years ago. Under the rules (as in real life) it was very difficult to make much headway upwind. But one of the “old hands” managed it with no problems as he just sailed straight into the wind on several occasions when nobody was looking. He then crowed about how he had seized the weather gauge from the enemy. When it was pointed out what he’d been doing he strenuously denied it. His teammates (and a few of his opponents who were also “old hands”) admitted that was exactly what he was doing but they let it pass because it was “his way” and he was one of the senior club members.

    We still shot the crap out of him and won the day 🙂

    #96608
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Revolver, single bullet, in the library. Chap knows what to do.

     

    Sell the gun on the Black Market?

    #96618
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Then the chaop’s clearly not a gent, horsewhip him, debag him and throw him on the street.

    #96623
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Then the chap’s clearly not a gent, horsewhip him, debag him and throw him on the street.

    Now just wait a minute. Haven’t you just given him a gun and ammunition?

    donald

    #96626
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Only one round, and he’s a cad, hasn’t got what it takes.

    #96864
    Sane Max
    Sane Max
    Participant

    Never met cheating that hurt anything. the slight over-moving, or iffy dice rolling methods (they never work that well) is far preferable to the chap who was allowed one Spartan unit in his Greek army – but it had to be the smallest unit of Hoplites – result – army of one unit of 90-something spartans. Or the other fellow who spotted staff slingers were under-pointed in the Norman army, so took 160 of them. (he met someone who knew the rules and he lost)

    #96869
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    I have to ask: the various tales you hear of doctored dice & dodgy rulers are just urban myths?

    Surely no one is *that* sad.

    donald

    #96870
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Only one round, and he’s a cad, hasn’t got what it takes.

    I’ve always admired your optimism. It may be a suitable theme for a eulogy.

    donald

    #96878
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    A few people have said that over the years.

    #96906
    Abwehrschlacht
    Abwehrschlacht
    Participant

    My gaming group doesn’t cheat, we make mistakes, but never knowingly cheat, to the point that we allow re-rolls, or even re-moves if someone did something stupid they were unaware of. That said, we make occasional mistakes, like me telling my opponent that he had to have a third of his army off table in reserve after set-up as per the rules. He kept artillery on rather than reservist units and they suffered badly. He was slightly annoyed that he wasn’t made aware of the third off rule earlier, but it was his choice as to what was on table or not. Cheating, no, mistake, yes.

    I don’t see the point in cheating to win, it’s a pyrrhic victory at best. Play the rules and do your best.

    http://www.stormofsteelwargaming.com

    #96908
    hammurabi70
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    I have to ask: the various tales you hear of doctored dice & dodgy rulers are just urban myths? Surely no one is *that* sad. donald

    How long have you been playing?

    Yes, there are a few who are really that sad.

    #96909

    McKinstry
    Participant

    Our gaming is virtually all social so cheating really wouldn’t gain anything. I don’t do tournaments but my friends that do have some really disheartening stories around doctored dice and my favorite, the fellow that microwaved some of those plastic GW measuring sticks to lengthen his moves and up his ranges. You really have to be a twit to care that much about a game.

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #96912
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    I have to ask: the various tales you hear of doctored dice & dodgy rulers are just urban myths? Surely no one is *that* sad. donald

    How long have you been playing? Yes, there are a few who are really that sad.

    I’ve only ever witnessed tournaments. I’ve been to club meetings on a few occasions but never joined.

    My Mum kept me from boys who were rough.

    Mine’s been a sheltered existence.

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
    #98061
    Jemima Fawr
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    We had a bloke use loaded D6 at club once.  He only came for a few weeks (until rumbled) but insisted on using his own D6 for everything.  The number of sixes rolled drew first admiration and then suspicion.  Then someone picked them up and dropped them in his pint… They instantly turned sixes-up as they sank and did that every single time.  Then one of the dice was ‘accidentally’ crushed under a chair-leg and it revealed that he’d drilled out the single ‘1’ pips, inserted lead shot and then filled the hole with milliput and re-painted it.  We’d never seen loaded dice and have never seen them since!

    The ‘MacBeth Rule’ has always been popular at club: Move trees aside to allow troops to enter the wood and then replace them in a slightly different, yet more advantageous position…

    Re percentile dice: An unwritten convention at our club has always been that they are read ‘alphabetically by colour’.  So if you’ve got a green D10 and a red D10, G for Green comes before R for Red, so Green is 10s and Red is units.  A simple rule that everybody has always abided by – no idea who started it.

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #98071
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Excellent percentage idea Ms Fawr. We always had reds as tens whites as ones, the alphabet neatly slots blues and greens and even blacks.

    Loaded dice are definitely a revolver in the library thing.

    #98072
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Loaded dice

     

    Dumb question: is that why casinos have translucent dice, you can’t drill into & load them?

     

    donald

    #98074
    Jemima Fawr
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Excellent percentage idea Ms Fawr. We always had reds as tens whites as ones, the alphabet neatly slots blues and greens and even blacks. Loaded dice are definitely a revolver in the library thing.

    I am good for something occasionally… Of course my dice-box has exclusively purple D10s, so that I can cheat as outrageously as a Russian athlete…

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #98075
    Jemima Fawr
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Loaded dice

    Dumb question: is that why casinos have translucent dice, you can’t drill into & load them? donald

    Yup!

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #98077
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Wargemse performance enhancing drugs – now THERE is an idea! I’ve only ever used alcohol, which as the bard says “doth increase the urge and decrease the performance”.

    #98107
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Dumb question: is that why casinos have translucent dice, you can’t drill into & load them? donald Yup!

    I’ve been told from a reliable source that even these translucent dice can be made loaded by shaving sides, not exact proportions, as well as heavier paint in the pips on certain sides.  Remember Casino Rule #1 (especially since you’re using their dice): the house always wins.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #98131
    Harry Faversham
    Harry Faversham
    Participant

    We had a vicar at my old club who was a notorious cheat, the result of which (apart from not going to Heaven) meant that no-one wanted to play him. Other members were border line cheats, but were just about tolerated, as the feigned shock when we pointed out their ‘transgressions’.

     Many years ago my mate was training for the priesthood… holier than an Aero bar he was! 

    He once had a Jagdpanther covering a bridge my Shermans were endeavouring to cross. As he made mincemeat of A squadron, B’s Firefly immobilised him (roll a secret D6 for how long the crew were stunned). I saw the secret roll (accidentally, honest guv!) and knew I could cross the bridge and scuttle into cover before the Jagdpanther smartened himself up… I blew the charge and the dastardly Hun opened fire, blocked the bridge with a burning Sherman, and won the game. I was so shocked at a prospective man of the cloth cheating his way to victory i didn’t have a rant in me… even when we got in the boozer for the post-Mortem!

    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    #98134
    Harry Faversham
    Harry Faversham
    Participant

    Last Crimbo wargame with the Dynamic Dunderheads. We did the ‘treasure hunt’ from the Charles Grant scenarios book. Tickled up for a bunch of Scalphunters (Dunderhead 1)- v- 7th. Cavalry (Dunderhead 2) to find and capture The Great Lame Beaver (Yours Truly) and his war party, who’d legged it from the reservation.

    Trouble with the Dunderheads, being brayndead old farts, is that they take things a tad literal, becoming mission orientated to the point of obsession. Much toing and froing took place, upside down map reading, much head scratching at complicated clues which wouldn’t have taxed the melon of a five year old ensued…

    till Father Crimbo popped out of a wigwam and blasted Custer’s Bluebellys with his Bazooka!

    This kicked it all off and within minutes ‘treasure hunt’ was forgotten. The 7th. killed all the Redskins, killed all the scalphunters then rode off, triumphant up Monument Valley, column o’ twos, to the ringing chorus of Garryowen!

    We repaired to the Occifer’s Mess for a gallon of Tetley’s and a debrief…

    Dunderhead 1…

    “I’d have won that if you hadn’t CHEATED, you didn’t follow the clues and then shot my men!”

    Dunderhead 2…

    “Cheated! CHEATED you say! Which part of ‘wargame’ don’t you understand. it’s not like you haven’t been at it long enough!

    The Great Lame Beaver…

    “Kirk to Enterprise… for fook’s sake, beam me up Scotty!!!”

    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    #98177

    Steve Price
    Participant

    We play a lot of Big Bloody Battles (http://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.com). C&C requires a dice roll for a unit, move unit according to result, select next unit and repeat. The idea of course being that you don’t know if other units will be able to help in your brilliantly timed assault.

     

    So we had one player who would roll for all units in his command than move each with full knowledge. We’d remind  him of the rules only for the same to happen next turn . Plus of course an 8inch move was more of a guideling for him than a rule.

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