Monday, May 16, 2011

Just thinking...

I was reading an interesting tournament write-up by Jawaballs today.  It seemed interesting that there were so many rules disputes in his second game.  It got me to thinking.  How often do you encounter rules disputes? 

I often don't encounter them in the form of disputes.  More often than not any type of rules inquiry comes from either player, my opponent or me, not knowing race specific rules.  That aside, I have found that most rules disputes happen due to three reasons: rules ignorance, rules interpretation, rules misuse.

1) Rules ignorance- This occurs the most often in my experience. One of the two opponents doesn't know a rule and thus has an issue with something happening.  There are some players out there who think any given player has to have a working rules knowledge of all races.  This would be nice in a perfect world.  However, that rarely happens and at around $30 a pop for a codex, it isn't always possible for an opponent to collect rules for all codexes. 

Solution: If a player askes about a race specific rule, be a good sportsman and explain.  If they need further clarification, you should have a copy of the codex of the army you are playing.  If you don't, your opponent deserves to cry foul as you don't have the relevant documentation to back up your rule.  So, be a sport, bring your codex, and be willing to show the relevant rule in writing. This usually shuts up any player.

2) Rule interpretation- Ahhhh!  This is the big one.  GW is more ambiguous than Ace and Gary.  Many of their rules are open to interpretation AND they are unclear as to whether their rules should be read RAI (rules as intended) or RAW (rules as written).  They ultimately give us some spiel about "the spirit of the game".  So, that leaves us with a quandry.  There is no prescribed way to play, in my opinion.

Solution: Choose your battles.  Appeal to common sense.  If you are in turn 1 of game 1 of a tournament, whether or not a grot gets a 3+ or 4+ cover save doesn't matter as much as it might in the final turn of game 5.  Take it easy and be a good sport.  In the case of a rules dispute based on interpretation, I feel it best to consider whether or not an argument will have a desired outcome on the whole game and ultimately a tournament, event, etc.  If not, don't worry about it.  Be an adult (if you are, in fact, an adult).  If it is a rules quandry that has a real bearing on the outcome of a tournament or some such, appeal to the organizer and event judges, but be prepared to live with their interpretation.

This one is a real toughy due to the fact that there are plenty of rules that have vague wording and such.  But really, a tense game doesn't mean more tension from argument unless it really matters.  Pick your battles.

3) Rules misuse- This is cheating folks.  Plain and simple.  Don't do it.  I have no problem calling someone for trying to cheat. That is ridiculous.  Cheating to win at toy soldiers is just sad.  DON'T DO IT!

So, that said, I rarely if ever run into situation #3, I sometimes run into situation #2, and more often run into situation #1.  In each case, a level head, correct documentation (including FAQs), and the ability to speak civily go a long way.

What types of rules situations do you encounter?  Has anyone faced a lot of cheaters?  Does anyone find that they get into rules interpretation argments alot? 

What rules are most often disputed?  Race specific?  BRB mainstays? I am interested to hear what other people think about this.


DimmyK said...

My favourite one is when one guy in my gaming group goes (he has a new army) I'm sure there is this rule that does this amazing thing (gives some random really powerful description that i've never heard of) but I just can't find it in my codex! And then looks at me expectantly!

About the thing where everyone should know about every army - well I disagree, if you play against or with 5 armies there's no reason why should need to learn all the other one's - people should just show you their codex and should be fine about doing so

Nikephoros said...

I rarely get into rules disputes, however, one guy at my LGS has a habit of questioning every special rule or situation that comes up when he starts losing. When he is winning, he plays fast and normal, but when he begins to lose he starts having to look up everything "just to be safe." It's sad when he has to look up to see whether I get armor saves from Gets Hot! weapons when I'm winning but he knows that I do without looking it up when he is winning.

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