Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Keeping the scatter honest

There is always a rule that seems to get pushed, prodded, pulled and abused in its proper fashion in a game. Some rule that is necessary to the game creates a whole slew of issues which frustrates gamers.

For me this is deep striking, and to a lesser extent blast templates in general (which I do love btw). Mainly this is due to the issues that arise from scattering, and with deep striking, the mishap table. No one wants to lose a good chunk of their army to the warp because of a half, or even a quarter of an inch difference in placement and angle of the scatter, or going from 3 wounds from your blast template to none.

This will cause more than a few arguments at the table, and for me at least, as well as quite a few others, has caused the enjoyment of the game to go from good to not good at all. Either by the fact I as a player, feel really uncomfortable and feel like I would look like a jerk if I called the person on it too hard, and I seem to usually fold if they argue about it.

The issue becomes even harder when models have a top heavy side, causing them to be easily fallen over or nudged further creating issues on where a model was supposed to be placed vs. where it ended up. In tournaments I have even seen people visibly cheat, and not been able to say anything because I was simply a sideline watcher
So how do we fix the issue? How do we stop the cheating/misguiding? Primarily I think it is time for the players as a whole to stop being shy about calling people out, and stop being shy about keeping with your argument. If you think that someone is cheating you, or just wrong, don’t shy away from it. Keep on them on it, call a judge over. Perhaps force them to roll their scatter die nice and close, if they fail to do so, no matter the result, make them re-roll.

All these things can help, and eventually we might see a change. What other issues do you see in the game?

Until next time, burn some heretics, kill some mutants, and do it always....



  1. I go crazy when people roll the scatter die on the other side of the table. I don't understand how someone plays an army that uses the scatter die a lot doesn't scatter right next to the thing thats scattering.

    My opinion is that your either stupid or trying to cheat because those are your only options with the exception of 'absent minded' being allowed for the first scatter roll of the game.

    If I play against an army that scatters I like to make my preferences with this issue clear and those are 1. roll as close to the thing thats scatter as you can and 2. don't move the model until the angle of the scatter die is agreed upon. Follow these rules and I won't flip out.

    Someone needs to invent a blast template that has an LED scatter on the top and some lasers on the bottom that illuminate the outline to see who's under it. I'd buy one.

  2. Actually that is a great idea for a partial solution to the issues with the blast templates, I wish i had the money to invest and begin developing that kinda deal.

  3. It really is a matter of just calling abusers on it. I know people really want that unit of daemons to land and be safe, but sometimes it just isn't goinf to work, no matter how hard they try to work that circle.

    Sometimes this leads to some unhealthy interpretations of where the scatter arrow actually points and that can be dissapointing as an opponent or an observer to see happen. Usually, if somebody is called on it politely, they just correct the action with little to no excuses and that is the end of it.

    For me, the arguements that have really been a little crazy are the ones for blast templates. It happens almost exclusively with strangers and seldom with people I know, but there will be two completely different opinions on how many models are covered.

    At first that may seem like one person or the other is being cheaty, but what I actually find is that physical limitations factor into the situation: If the blast occurs in the middle of the table as it tends to, there is two feet of horizontal space and the height of the actual table for a gamer to contend with. If they cannot actually see what is covered, some players just start trying to attribute what they see and funny enough, they tend to fudge the number of models under the template is + or - what may actually be there (sometimes it is funny to see that it always swings in their own benefit, but not everyone does this).

    For me, I am always as honest as can be with blasts because of the physical factor. I am 6' 7" tall and fairly skinny, so I can lean over and count a blast almost anywhere.

    I think I may be rambling at this point, but those are the typical issues I spot.

  4. ... and yes, the worse people in the world are the ones roll their scatter die anywhere but right next to the blast/deepstriker.

  5. No the worst are the ones who do that, then move the model, then realizing the moved the model wrong because they will still fail gently "nudge" it when placing a model creating that extra bit of room.

    I have even seen someone place their model, realize they would mishap if they actually placed all their models, then "somehow" the second model the placed down got tangled with the first causing them to move and have to "redo" it all.

  6. BTW I hope no one thinks I am pointing them out or anything, however a recent incident did happen and it brought forth the final bit of frustration for me and I felt it was time to bring this thing to light and try and get gamers to start standing up and doing something about it as a group.

  7. I feel that vinton has abot the best solution, for deep striking at least. Roll the dice as close to the unit DSing as possible. Before the player starts to touch or move anything, show the angle that u feel best matches the arrow and check if your opponent agrees. Then move the model and place it. Heres where common sense comes into play.

    If your deep striking a unit of say.....15 models and ur first model placed is already like 2" from a enemey model/impassible terrain. dont even bother trying to place models you arent going to make it. All your going to do is fumble trying to get the last few in and hit the pile and some how it will now fit. Sorry doesnt work that way.

    DSing is a pretty simple step to sense in making it harder than it really is.

  8. Simple to do, even simpler to cheat on, or accidently mess up. Thats the problem.

    If you are a player who has deep striking units, you should at least weigh their bases down so they dont fall over super easy, making it harder for there to be "mistakes" after all, if you can afford to play the game you can afford to place some pennies in the bases.

  9. Than the hive mind for giving most of my deepstriking unitary drop pod rules!

  10. when it comes to me and the trusty scatter die, i dont even bother measuring myself anymore. if the object in question is capable of being measured by my opponent i let them do it. i know this is not the best policy however i find i have no arguments or grumblings when my unit tears through their army. this comes from simply screwing up the scatter die so many times myself (not on purpose) i'd find myself in the middle of fights and arguments with close friends just cause i cant read a stupid little arrow from 3 feet away. so i guess i do the opposite of what most people do now. i make so my opponent decides how the game is going to go. is he going to have a long fun challenging fight or is my opponent going to cheat me just to get that win.

  11. If you ask me its not hard to call someone out on something. Just man up, if they are doing it wrong say something, if they were doing it accidental im sure they will be like oh my bad and fix it. If they still insist then they obviously are trying to cheat you and then its up to you on what to do. Id let them just go head and do it and make smart ass remarks the entire game in attempts to piss them off.

  12. I've had a lot of issues with our Imperial player rolling scatter well away from the target area then trying to wipe out half my army. I always insist scatter rolls go as close as possible to the target.

    You can also use a laser pointer, held at the dice and shot down the table as a guide to measurement.

    The other issues I'll have with people are measuring troop move distance from front of base to back or other funny movements. This has led to a number of math issues ("If the DMZ between our armies is X, then move + fleet + charge couldn't possibly allow your troops to reach mine, so why are you able to charge me?")

  13. That last comment made me laugh out loud.

    I can't even remember the number of times I have been charged by a unit only to point out that if we started 24" apart then it is literally impossible for my unit to have been charged.

    I suppose the reality is that very few people want to win the games they play. The majority of sports and games include as much cheating as possible. It is hardly ever a case of what you should do so much as what can you get away with.

    Just look at any televised sport. The players do anything they can. Infractions occur all the time.

    I know very few players who play scatter honestly. Almost everyone looks at the arrow and then shifts the angle a bit to help their scatter.

    Lasers and other things can help but ultimately people will always interpret rules and dice rolls in the way that favours their army rather than their opponent's.

  14. It is true that some gamers are going to bend, cheat, and steal their way to a more advantages position if they can get a way with it. I agree that the gaming society has to hold offenders more accountable. It is so bad with a couple of the guys that play in my area that one of the regulars observes the games played by one of the less honest players. Dogs him like a hound; I think it is a little overboard, but it doesn't keep the guy from trying yo cheat. You would think the guy cheating would get the idea that his gig is up!

  15. The biggest problems I have had are people not knowing how to read the scatter die correctly (arrow points this way, move my ruler ... and somehow the scatter is traveling in a 90 degree different angle, or something) and people not knowing the blast rules.

    Somehow with your small blast you managed to hit 9 of my models when I spaced them out? You have to cover the base, not the model!!

    The last thing that drives me insane is warhams and their terrible math skills. You shouldn't need fingers to subtract 3 from 10, lol. I can always correct someone on their math, but if you can't subtract your BS from a 2d6 roll please go back to school :)