Posted By MJ;-) on September 3, 2013
Until we work out some bugs with the blog and get others access, it looks like I have to post all the Blog articles…
SO… Without further ado, here’s a real chin scratcher to mull over. PG Chris_Ret brings us some useful info about things to consider during our games. Are you guilty of any of these? Do you see it much in your opponents?
As I read it before posting it, I realized I am guilty of many of these unintentional ‘bad moves.’ And in fact I’ve already started to rectify my “Bakers Inch” problem.
Thanks, Chris, for pointing out many things we inadvertently bring into our games without realizing it.
How to Stop Cheating
Did you know you’re a cheater? If you’re like me and most other players, you probably are thinking “BS! I play by all the rules.” Let me preface this by also saying, you probably don’t even realize you’re doing it. We all prefer clean, precise play when we’re throwing down whether it’s at a tournament, game night, or just messing around with friends. One of the biggest draws is the rules, but players have an unconscious tendency to get sloppy and inadvertently cheat.
It should be noted that the purpose of this article isn’t to call individuals out about things, but rather to bring awareness of the issues to the minds of players. I’ve spoken with several about some of these bad habits and without exception none of them realized they were doing it and once they realized what was happening they made some minor adjustments and I’ve never had to ask about it again. I’m hoping this will provide “ah-ha” moments for others and let everyone enjoy a more quality experience.
The Baker’s Inch
Have you ever seen someone measure a movement they’re about to make, and notice the measuring tape moves while they’re relocating the model? A SPD 6 model without reach miraculously succeeds at a charging a model 10.5 inches away? Yep, it happens to all of us. It’s due to a mechanism in the brain that allows us to make synchronous motions with both hands easily and it’s actually a little tricky to overcome. Musicians are among the best at it, but it takes training to go from chopsticks (synchronous hand movements) to Fur Elise (very much asynchronous hand movements).
How can you stop cheating here? The easiest way I’ve found is to hold your tape measure like a stereotypical high-society snob holds a wine glass… pinky finger extended, and plant your pinky on the board. It will help you train your brain to not move the hand that holds the measuring device and help keep it more steady at the same time.
Silly and tasty as it sounds, it’s actually something that can win and lose games. Can that model thread the needle and get the charge on the caster? Does that model have a legal charge on it’s target that is behind another model? Finding the angle that gets you into melee range and doesn’t clip another base can be tricky and many times when it’s close we just go ahead and move the model and adjust as needed to get it in melee range. Straight lines are really hard to draw, and just as hard to move a model in and sometimes we move models in ways that aren’t strictly legal but once they’re moved there’s no way to undo the movement precisely.
What stops banana charges in their tracks? Proxy bases! Keeping an extra base of each size around lets you plant the base where you want to charge, then check if it’s a good charge. The model is still in its original position so if the charge is illegal it can be tried again or adjusted so that it works.
Wait, what happened last turn?
Things can get loud at a game store. Distractions are plenty. Maybe your opponent didn’t hear you say you were using your feat, or casting an upkeep on a model. Maybe you were planning to use something but someone came over to talk to you briefly and afterwards you forgot it wasn’t done already. With the hundreds of effects that can modify how models interact with each other, the game certainly isn’t doing players any favors and mistakes happen. The problem is when these things happen they can severely impact the game and often cause resentment between players, sometimes going so far as accusations of cheating.
Care to skip the drama? The easiest way is to make sure you mark EVERY bonus that one of your models confers on another. Token sets, paper, rocks with writing on them. Any of these things can save a massive headache when your opponent asks what bonuses your models have and you can point to the token. It’s also extremely helpful if you have a dispute with your opponent you can show the TO that you had the effect present as the TO can’t watch every game and if it isn’t marked on the table, there’s no way for him or her to know what happened the previous turn.
The Military Ball
Ever watch a military unit go out dancing? Maybe not in the real world, but almost certainly on the table. Units move around, charge, run, but have you ever noticed that players sometimes dance around between models to adjust them for best possible placement? Charges are especially guilty of this, and it can be very important as adjustments will sometimes cause illegal charges (though few actually realize that).
The rules state that each model moves one by one, once it completes its movement it stays where it is. The biggest thing you can do is hold yourself to that, even in casual play. It’s fun doing more damage, but at the same time, it’s still cheating at your opponent’s expense. Take an extra second to consider the order that models charge and think about how the first guy to charge can block charge angles of the next ones.
I’m gonna measure…
Measuring is something required for many actions in the game, but here’s a fun fact, did you know you can’t measure your weapon’s RNG when you make an action from range? How often have players measured the full 12″ to find that their target is 9″ away? This one catches even experienced players off-guard, and is typically even harder for them to fix as they’ve grown accustomed to measuring the full distance. Here’s the lowdown on what you can and can’t do in regards to measuring:
1) You may measure any distance up to your caster’s control range from that caster at any time.
2) You may measure the distance between the leader of a unit and any grunt in that same unit during that unit’s activation only.
3) You may measure the distance up to the range of the effect or attack between two models when determining whether they are in range for the effect or attack being used.
[editors note: in other words, you may not measure past the target up to the maximum distance, only TO the target - editor = guilty as charged]
4) You may measure the melee range of your models at any time.
5) When playing a scenario with the Killbox artifice, you may measure 14″ from the board edge during your turn.
6) You may measure the distance of a model from an objective or flag up to the relevant distance for the object as it pertains to Steamroller scoring or contesting control points during scoring between player turns.
The first step to cleaning up gameplay is to recognize mistakes being made. The second step is to figure out ways to avoid the mistakes. The third step is to eliminate the mistake from being made. Hopefully this helps with steps one and two, and I’ll leave step 3 for everyone to take as a personal challenge to make gaming better for everyone.