First of all, I have to emphasize that games are not sports. It would be very long article if I have to explain that distinction, but there are many common things in both of them. First is definitely the rules, and breaking the rules are just the same, only using different methods. In either way, it’s called cheating.
I know that I could sound like Mr. Mackey from South Park, cheating is bad (lol, I do sound like him). We are playing games because we’ve agreed to follow certain rules, to use choices we are given and to see who chose the best way and won. Cheating undermines all that, it strips game from its uncertainty.
People cheat in many ways while playing games. For instance, if you are playing cards, the most common case is looking at other players hands. That way you know every choice that your opponents could play, so you can find the right combination with your cards to win.
Most common cheats in wargames are misinterpretations of rules, illegal army list and wrong measuring.
Usually rules for some games are long, very detailed and most of all, boring (as we all want to play the game, not to listen how it’s played). Many gamers are playing games without reading a rulebook even once, they know only what they’ve learnt from previous sessions with someone who knew rules better and explained a game to them. Many cheaters use that knowledge to intentionally play by their own rules. Would it be higher Strength, left out some drawback of models ability or some minor thing that couldn’t be played that way, it’s all the same. To be honest, many mistakes of that kind are not intentional, people just don’t know rules that good, so they improvise in good faith. These imperfections in the game can easily be corrected. Try to note the controversial situation and look it in the rulebook. If you can’t find it there, ask anyone in your LGS. If there is still no answer, make a deal with opponent to resolve situation in the best possible manner on what both of you agree, and after the game look it on the internet. Find if there are any official rulings, as there are many bad interpretations on the net. When you find it out, show it to your opponent and stick it somewhere in the club, so everyone knows how to resolve such situation. If someone is tendencially lying about some rules, and do it repeatedly after games, just call him “ass-hat” (gamer term for *******, well you know) and don’t play with him anymore.
Lot less unintentional is making illegal army lists. There are many army builders for all sorts of games, so army lists can be made easily. Problem occurs when i.e. we have to make 2500 points army lists, but we can’t go lower than 2501 points. I’ve seen people put more than 50 “extra” points on some big tournaments. Casual games are usually played with open lists, just ask your opponent to show you his list. Check if there are right numbers and start playing. Many tournaments nowdays show every army list almost completely open, so players could see if there is anything that should not be there. Lists are posted days before tournament starts, so just be cautious to see whether he is putting more models on the table than there are on the list.
I really hate when someone is measuring wrong. It can happen unintentionally, so use some kind of counter and place it before moving the model, so it can easily be checked if the distance/range is right. Biggest “ass-hats” do this kind of cheating, and do that frequently. For example, if his model is allowed to move 9 inches, and he moved it 9 and a half, that can be crucial for some future set up, combat and many more, especially if he repeats it in next turn(s). Or, he is clearly not having enough range to shoot something, but he is claiming that he is having. In those cases, I suggest everyone to pick someone who isn’t playing in your game and measure himself. If the range isn’t enough, even for a near miss, is should be miss. That is why it is so important not to move models any more than they could move.
These are all just most common cases. Stay tuned for more, I’ll dig deeper into cheats, in new article next Monday. All the best until then, and remember “You can’t drop pod into Mordor” – so there is no fun in cheating. And that is what the games are all about.