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Cheating in Tabletop Wargaming

In this post/video, OKnights112 and TheJTJ talk about Cheating in Tabletop Wargaming. We cover; when is someone cheating, common ways people cheat, how to avoid being cheated, and a few examples of it happening to us.

Here is the Link to OKnights112 and his Hobby channel. Link



Links for some videos analyzing cheating in 40k



Here are some of the talking points we covered in the video.

Check out our etiquette video to learn some strategies on the proper way to play.


What is cheating in Table top wargaming?

  • Willfully doing something wrong to gain a competitive advantage in a game.
  • Mistakes happen all the time. Being upfront as soon as you know you have done something wrong is important.
  • If you find that after the game is over you did something wrong, try and contact that person and make it right or at least acknowledge it. Honesty goes a long way.
    • I errored on a rule in a tournament about holding OBJ. I confused it with 40k. The next time I had a change I acknowledge the issue to the other player.

How do people cheat? What to look out for.

  • Incorrect list building
    • Changing points cost, not adding in the points for an upgrade.
      • At a GT last year a player was dominating with a specific list that ordinarily does not do that good. After the tournament was over I was excited to try and duplicate that list, because I wanted to play it. However, as I researched the list I found that it was invalid. I contacted the TO, and informed them. Just wanted to make sure that the person was told they could not play their list as built.
    • If you think something is off, as for the opponent to review his list for you. If you are not sure. As a TO or player knowledgeable about that army.
    • Saying a model is armed with one weapon then using another mid game, or not paying for the upgrade during list building.
    • Incorrect base sizing
    • Ask for a list review if needed. Make a notes if you need help keeping up with things
  • Loaded or Cooked dice
    • Local BA player several years ago was found to have loaded dice. In fact I strong suspect he used them against me in a 40k tournament.
    • Most gaming dice are not weighted correctly at production. There are many ways to improve dice performance.
    • Dice without pips on more than one side…..make sure you understand what symbol stands for what number.
    • Keep an eye out for a player that rolls 2 sets of dice. Example, one set to roll low, for bravery etc. and one set to roll high for hit and wound rolls.
    • If you suspect loaded dice, call a TO. Or nicely ask you opponent if they have another set of dice to roll.
  • Fast rolling
    • When someone rolls their dice fast and picks up the successes before you have a chance to look them over.
    • Ask them to please slow down so you have a chance to verify. Also ask them to pick up the fail rolls first.
  • Rolling behind a screen or terrain
    • When they roll out of your sight
    • Ask them to roll in a different area so you can see. Sometimes the other player does not know you don’t have a clear view.
  • Moving models too far
    • This is a hard one to catch, it is very easy to someone to get an extra inch or 2 of movement.
    • Stay vigilant, stay in the game. And remember most games let everyone measure everything
  • Lying about game rules, there rules
    • Happens to all of us at some point, we get a rule wrong. It becomes cheating when you do it on purpose. Or when you have been correct but continue to use the incorrect rule
    • Ask question, call TO, or get advice from knowledge person………LOOK in the book.
  • No keeping track of wounds
    • As gamers we expect the opponent to keep track of the wounds or damage done to their models. Sometimes they do not add the correct amount of damage.
    • You can always keep notes of the damage you are doing. However, that is a lot of extra work on your end.
    • Ask the opponent to use a marking system that is easy for you to see from across the table.
  • Status/spell/effect markers
    • Staying on the model too long,
    • Being moved to new models
    • Stay vigilant, if you notice something seems wrong ask questions.
  • TO favoritism for friends/ locals
  • Brent Wong
    • Of Houston Apollo Squadron Shared some things to look out for while playing X-wing
      • X-Wing: changing a ship’s dial after the planning phase ended and the opponent has already moved one or more of his ships. Sloppy movement of ships to knock other ships out of position. Slow play. Playing so fast that triggers are missed. Having spectators relay information while standing behind your opponent.


What to do if you suspect cheating

  • Ask questions of your opponent
    • Get clarification. Ask to see the rules in the publication
  • Track things yourself
    • Keep a scratch paper and pen handy if you think you need to keep a better record.
    • Or take pictures, as you go to help remind you what is happening
  • Ask opponent to roll slower and in an open area
  • Ask a trusted friend if you think things are fishy.
  • Call a TO


  • I think we all expect our opponents to play fair and have a good time. And in most cases I think we all want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. However, if something amiss it is up to you to advocate for yourself. Just remember to try and do it as a rational adult. In the end Karma will catch up to everyone.

Thanks for watching/Reading, Y’all be good.

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