Friday 29 January 2010

The ethics and morality of cheating

Right, so by now everyone has heard about the cheating problem that went down at the 2010 Indy GT Circuit: Seattle. I am not going to go into that as it has been widely posted.

What I am going to talk about is the ethical and moral aspects of cheating and how different people perceive it to be.

Wikipedia throws up this very good definition of cheating.

“Cheating is an act of lying, deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition. Cheating characteristically is employed to create an unfair advantage, usually in one's own interest, and often at the expense of others.”

The whole issue of cheating came up on a topic over at the B&C and it was interesting to see how people basically broke down into 2 camps. While all agreed that Nathaniel is an idiot who deserved everything he got, some seemed to think that he was an idiot because of the act of cheating while others thought he was an idiot because he was stupid enough to get caught.

Now before I go on let me state that I am very much a member of the former category. I loath anyone who intentionally cheats and this post will be biased to that viewpoint and I apologize if it seems like I am sermonizing.

The people who considered him stupid for getting caught had a few arguments to justify why they seemed to condone cheating. Some players seemed to come from a cultural background where cheating is a part of every day life. Some folk maintained that if you are playing in tournaments for money and prizes and that forms part of your income then you are justified in trying to maximize your returns on investments. Some people even used the whole “if no one knows you are cheating then it isn’t hurting anyone”. One person even went so far as to recount a tale from his army days where cheating was used as a test to see who could “think outside the box” Another one was “if no one catches you then you weren’t actually cheating”

Looking at the above reasoning the only one I could ever possibly forgive is the cultural one. If that’s how you have been brought up and don’t know any better then its understandable that you would go into a tournament with a cheating mindset. But its only forgivable once. Once its been explained to you why cheating in the game is wrong then you have no excuse.

To the professional players who use tournaments as a form of income, well all I can say is that if you choose that as your profession you should be good enough not to have to cheat.

“Thinking outside the box”…well we have a name for that. It’s called “Rules Lawyering” The box you are trying to think outside of is there for a reason and is structured around a rule set. Trying to manipulate that for your own gain is just wrong in my book.

Now, as to the “if no one knows you are cheating then it isn’t hurting anyone” brigade all I have to say is this. You are just plain 100% wrong. A: Because people generally realize later on that they have been cheated. They go back and check their rule books, talk to their friends and sit and analyse the game seeing where they went wrong. And B: Because even if they don’t figure it out, you have stolen an experience from them. People paint up their armies and travel sometimes 1000’s of km to play our game and if they loose out because they happened to play a cheat then they are loosing out on the fun and excitement of the game and that is just wrong.

I know of people who have left the hobby because of experiences like that. I know people who will never go to a tournament again because of bad experiences with cheaters. This costs the hobby as a whole and by doing that it costs the cheaters themselves in the long run.

“If no one catches you then you aren’t actually cheating”…ummmmm. No, A thousand times NO. Whether or not you are caught, you are still a cheater. As I put it on the forum. If you drug and rape someone and they never realize due to the drugs, does that make them any less violated? No, they have still been violated and you are still a rapist.

Ultimately though, cheating is a betrayal of trust. We go into each game with an unspoken contract that we will play honestly and within the rules. Betray that trust too often and the game will become unplayable. And also think of this. Someone who is cheated against will come away with nothing from the game, he will have learned nothing except for the bitter taste of an unwarrented defeat.

In conclusion all I can say is that cheating is wrong, just plain wrong. There can be no justification for it, especially not in warhammer or any other voluntary hobby and even more especially if you have been caught and warned before. You are not going to die or starve if you don’t win and it is ultimately to the detriment of the hobby to do so. You choose to play the game and you should play it honour and honesty. I know that I personally would gain no enjoyment from a game if I won it via questionable means. I like to win because of my skill and knowledge.

And as for Nathanial, well his minis should be confiscated and he should be beaten with a rattan cane until the knowledge of what he has done wrong sinks into his head.

Monday 18 January 2010

More Musings (Deathwing Vs Wolfwing + C:SM whinging)

While trawling through a few of my forums I have come across a few topics that peaked my interest and I just want to delve into them a little bit. I do tend to ramble a little as thoughts come to me as I write so just bear with me.

One of the interesting things I have seen is that people want a lot more out of Codex: Space marines. I see talk about being able to make viable armies from 1-10th company. Which is fair enough I suppose since people want to mould their armies like they want.

The problem I see with that is it is just not realistic, in either the game or fluff. C:SM is meant to be a template for the typical Generic Marine Company deploying to a Typical Generic Scenario. This means mixed units. It means assault units supported by tactical and heavy units.

I think GW are doing rather well with how they have disbursed these specialized companies across various codii. If you want to do an Assault company then use the BA codex. 1st co then you can take Dark Angels Deathwing or  the SW codex. A Crusade/Legion army then you have Black Templar to use.

I have seen people say that you could gain access to these companies via wargear options i.e. Want access to an Assault Company then giving your Captain a Jump Pack allows Assault Squads to be used as troops or give him Carapace Armour to make him into a scout captain or even arm him with a heavy weapon ala Davian Thule from DoW to make a devastator captain with devs as troops.

However this would dilute the specialness of the other chapters and make them less interesting. We have already seen some of this with Bike Captains being able to take bike squads as troops. This has had an impact with Ravenwing players (and there is no end to the bitching I have seen)

It also allows them to expand the fluff of various elements of the Space Marines. You would not get the reams of lovely stuff found in the DA codex if you were to have a unified Space Marine Codex.

So I see C:SM being very good for what it is. A generic codex for use by the majority of players which allows a fair amount of selection. If you want specialized companies then you need to use specialized codii.

The second is the debate when it comes to First Company and which codex to use. Dark Angels vs Space Wolves.

To be honest I don’t care much either way which codex people want to use. I am not a long time Dark Angels player (in fact I am not a DA player at all) but I do use their codex for the Deathwing rules to fun my Ultramarine First Company. I do have a few thoughts though.

I can see and understand why the DA players are getting pissed. They have had the 2 things that made their chapter unique taken away. i.e the ability to take Terminator and Bike units as troops. Without those they are just over priced marines with obsolete wargear. I am not going to look at the bike issue as it doesn’t effect me one bit.

I am a new comer to the whole Deathwing and have only had the codex for around 2 months. What this means is that I had a choice when it came to what codex to choose: SW or DA and I can tell you that the GW staff really tried hard to get me to buy the SW one. I had to sit and think long and hard about it and despite the fact that the SW codex was far stronger, had better wargear and more versatility I decided to go with the DA codex.

My reasoning for this (and I am sure that many people would disagree with me on this) is down purely to fluff and appearance. The Dark Angels are, baring a few bits and pieces, generally Codex adherent which means they are closer in rule set to the Ultramarines than the Space Wolves are. I also believe that the Deathwing rules represent a Codex 1st Company far better than the Space Wolves do. The reasons they do are:

  •         Wargear options are closer.
  •          Led by a captain, not a Chapter Master.
  •          Able to teleport.
  •          Ability to take a “command squad” i.e. apothecary and banner bearer.
  •          Can take Chaplains and Librarians in TDA. (I know that SW have the equivalent but it’s not the same)
  •          I know many would not agree but I feel that the 4++ save in CC only of the DA Storm Shields is a far better representation than the 3++ always of the current C:SM and C:SW

While I know that there are some major issues with C:DA (like why on earth Belial is the only DA Captain not to have a 4+ Invulnerable) I feel that the good far outweighs the bad.

That being said, there are just as many reasons to have taken the SW option, they just weren’t the right reasons for me.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Why I dont like my Tau

I am busy trying to finish up the final little bits of my Tau army which consist of a Devilfish's engines and drones as well as 6 shield drones and I am finding it a real struggle. Honestly I cant figure out why I even started this army as it leaves me uninspired and I just cant get into it.

I have had the army for around 2 years and I have used it exactly 3 times. 2 severe beat downs by marines and one of me shooting a DH army to death. This is not exactly a value for money army with a play rate like that.

I think the reason I dont like this army is not so much the codex or the rules but rather because of these 2 reasons.

A:) Its hard to transport. I have 4 devilfish models (well 2 devilfish and 2 hammerheads) and 3 piranhas. These just refuse to go into a case nicely and have to be transported via other methods.

B:) As I said before, its just an uninspiring army. There are so few conversion opportunity I feel. Your average Tau army that you see on the board all look the same. The models all look the same. I have grown really used to being able to manipulate my marines and make them unique. Not one of my sergeants or captains has not been cut up, green stuffed, repositioned or had limbs swapped out. Not very easy to do with Tau I find. This is not helped by the utter lack of goodies on the sprue. Even if you could convert them there is not that much to convert them with.

All this just makes me uninterested in the army which is sad since when I first started it I was more into it than I was with my Ultras. Sadly that passed and I am now seriously looking at selling it to finance getting my guard army up and running.

Sunday 10 January 2010


2 of my newly painted Sergeants.

First we have the Sergeant of Assault Squad VIII armed with Power Axe and Bolt Pistol in Holster.

Followed by the Sergeant of Tactical Squad IV armed with Power Warhammer and Polt Pistol. I am very happy with how this fellow turned out. Using the AOBR Sergeant as a base I cut and filed him into submission. All in all there are bits from 6 different kits on this mini. Noddy Badge to whoever can identify them all...

I want....


By this I mean I want an upgrade sprue set for my Ultramarines. Black Templars and Dark Angels have them. Space Wolves have 2 whole damn box sets full of funky bits and pieces and I cannot imagine that the Blood Angels due out in April wont be jam packed with goodies.

I dont want to sound whiney but since codex chapters make up the majority of chapters it seems wierd that we dont have something like that. Sure there are the odd bits scattered across different box sets but there is not that much.

I am talking stuff with eagles, skulls,  cloaks, different weapons, different helmets, stuff for terminators etc etc. I am of the firm belief that if GW released something like that they would sell very well. Another thing you could put on that sprue is pieces from different armour marks. The pre-heresy army builders would love it and buy the thing in bulk. On pg 18-19 of Codex: Space Marines there is a graphic of the whole Ultramarines Second Company. If you look closely you can see that there are bits of different armour scattered through out. I see MK3 Torsos and Heads. I see MK5 Legs, MK2 Shoulder Pads. I see different patterns of bolters and its all combined with the current MK 6-8 stuff and it looks amazing. This is what a company should look like.

It sometimes also seems strange to me when I look at the decisions made at GW and Forge world. At my local GW store they recieved a set of Pre-Heresy Thousand Son Heads from Forge world the Prospero battle that took place at GD2009. Now they are really lovely bits and I would kill to have them. Turns out however, according to the guy who recieved them and painted the army, that FW are not going to produce them for the market. I think this is madness as once again, these are things that many many people would buy.

Anyways, rant over. Perhaps GW are going to release something like this in the future. I hope so. Now off to take some photos of some newly painted minis.