Cheater, Cheater


Well, I was playing the Bohnanza card game with my son last night, and had to deal with an unfortunate issue… cheating.

The game ends when the last card is drawn from the draw pile. My son was one card away from playing another card, which would have given him another coin. I told him that the game was over, and we couldn’t play any more cards. As I was looking at the instructions to confirm the timing of everything, I see him place the card down.

I said something to him about it, to which he responded, “I was going to pick it up.” It’s unfortunate that he would cheat and then lie so boldly to my face about the situation. After thinking about it a little bit, I wish that I would have not said anything, and then see if he came clean about it without me saying anything. Oh well, I will be ready for it if it happens again.

I will admit that there have been times in games where I have cheated accidentally. Either, I read/interpreted the rules wrong (this often happens on the first playthrough of a new board game) or I just remembered the rule incorrectly.

I can still recall a particular instance when playing Warhammer with my High Elf Lord on Dragon. I recalled that Thunderstomps were distributed as shooting (i.e. hit the unit), so my dragon that was in a challenge, Thunderstomped the unit (when he should have stomped the character). Fortunately, it didn’t have a huge bearing on the outcome of the game, but I still feel bad about it (Sorry Erik).

What about you guys? Have you had any occasions where you have unintentionally cheated or have had to deal with cheating opponents? How have you handled the situation?


4 responses to “Cheater, Cheater

  1. I’ve got a few friends who tend to move models further than they actual measure. I’ve also questioned the amount of dice being rolled on occasions and have caught them using more dice than they actually should have.

    I usually do not say anything, unless I see it happening on a consistent basis. But even at that, I’ll mention the number of dice being rolled, but leave the movement additions alone. It goes against their conscience, not mine. If the person across the table from me feels as though they need to give themselves a boost against me, then it just makes the victories that much sweeter.

    When I played that terrible game called 40k (gag), I ran across several players who read the rules and interrupted the rules in a way that always gave them the advantage. And when I would ask them to read a specific ability or rule to me, they always managed to leave out the negatives.

    I try to be as open and clear regarding everything I do. I measure out my movements. I roll dice, pick out the misses or failures and then raise my hands to give my opponent a chance to review what is successful, just so we both know what is left. And I always keep my dice separate from each other. I’ve seen a few people roll dice near others and get confused on what was part of the roll.

    There are so many ways to cheat in warhammer, that you must watch your opponent, even if you trust them.

    • Yeah, there are definitely a lot of ways to cheat in Warhammer. From measuring to rules interpretations to dice rolling, the possibilities are endless. I generally try to be as clear as possible in my actions, since the last thing that I want to do is have my opponent think they got cheated by me.

      I haven’t really had to deal with an adult trying to cheat, and I would probably handle much as you do. I have had some questionable moments in games, but nothing major. With my son, I have some responsibility to teach him the right thing to do, but a grown man is not my responsibility and if he can live with it at the end of the day, that is his problem to deal with.

      I watched part of a game where a guy was saying that his war machine had line of sight to the opponent’s model because he could see it between another (infantry-sized) model’s legs. I think that his opponent thought that was as ludicrous as I did, but he just went with it. To each his own, I guess. Some play to have fun, and some only have fun if they win, whatever it takes.

  2. I think that the situation is probably a bit different here to the normal ”cheating at gaming’ story as it is about your son. It’s definitely worth talking about this to him, just so he knows not to do it again.

    More generally (i.e. against non-family members), I’d weigh the balance of the likelihood of playing against the cheater again, the likelihood of it being an honest error and the hassle of calling someone on it. If I didn’t expect to see the player again I doubt I’d make a fuss even if I was certainly in the right. Having written that, I did actually end up getting someone ejected from a tournament for trying to cheat me, even though I don’t believe that was strictly their intention at the time.

    I’m lucky that no-one in my gaming group is likely to cheat by design, but it is definitely true that most wargames are complex enough that unintentionally cheating probably happens all the time.

    • Yeah, it is nice to find a good group of guys to play with that you know where any cheating is not intentional or pre-meditated. Attendinf tournaments has a higher likelihood of attracting win-at-all-costs type players. So far, I have been lucky enough to avoid any of that in my few outings into the larger gaming world (although maybe I am unlucky that I haven’t played enough to have experienced that?).

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