Blood Angels in Action: A Moral Quandary

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The Capt of the 8th is back, this time with a battle report. And an ethical dilemma that we have probably all run into. This made for a very interesting game. Let's get some back story though.

Rewind about a month, and I'm across the table from an Eldar player. He's got 6 tanks on the table, 3 w/ fire dragons, and 3 with warriors, I think, and Eldrad hanging out in there somewhere. I am playing a hybrid Angels list. 3x las/plas razors 2x dakka preds, and 2x terminators w/ 2x cyclone missile launchers each. We are playing annihilation, and true to the title, he gets annihilated. We call the game turn four, 5kp to 1kp in my favor. I would have tabled him next turn, but there is no need to rub salt in the wound. I trounced him fair and square.

So here we are again across the table to play another pick up game. He has a small Dark Eldar army he is building up and wants to use it instead of a full blown 2000 pt game. He tells me he has 1,150 points ready to go. So I trim this list down to fit.

Librarian, Shield, Lance and JP
Techmarine, jp, combi-melta, and power weapon
Sanguinary priest w/ jp
Sanguinary priest on foot
2x 10 man assault squads, power weapon on sarge, and 2x melta guns
Flamestorm Baal predator
2x 5 man Dev squads w/ 4x missile launchers each

1,150 on the spot. Seemed like a balanced list to me. Anti-tank and anti-horde.

He has this list, as best as I can remember. It's not perfect, but its about 95% accurate keep in mind.

Lelith Hesperax
Archon- Soultrap, Huskblade, Shadow-field, combat drugs, and Ghost Plate I think.
10x Incubi
3x 10 man kabalite squads each with Blaster, splinter cannon, Sarge upgrade, power weapon and blast pistol.
4x Raiders with Flickerfields, chain snares, splinter racks and Grisly trophies

We roll Spearhead and Annihilation, and I get the roll to go first. I place my Devs in a ruin for the 3+ save with a Priest to babysit, and reserve the rest. He then places his four Raiders in a ruin clustered together to try and generate cover. Now I deployed poorly, in that I placed my devs so only a few of them could draw LOS down field the the windows in the ruins. Stupid move by me, and was a major contributor to this debacle. Oh well, you live and learn.

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(Here is deployment, the Deldar army is the gray blur left of the building. Sorry for the bad image quality, I need to change the f-stop or something on the camera. No depth of focus. . . .)

At this point he starts rolling for combat drugs, and he wants to roll multiple dice. I then tell him that in the new codex drugs have been streamlined and that you only roll once, and the result is applied to the whole army. He tells me I'm full of it and wants to roll for each unit with drugs. We go back and forth until he has to appeal to the store manager as an impartial judge. We show him the codex and of course reason and fundamental reading comprehension win out. So he then rolls one die and gets +1 str for his Archon.

The game then opens and I have first turn. LOS is blocked because of my stupid deployment, so I shoot the missiles that I can. I fire first at his Raider with Lelith in it. I really had no answer to her, other than taking her out of the equation by wrecking her ride. I smoked her raider with a well placed shot. It blows up and I put 8 wounds on the squad inside, he then makes 6 5+ saves.


Oh well, I can live with that.

This is the point that I realize he has 2 of the 4 Raiders with 11 models in them. What a joke. I'm wondering at this point if the guy even read his codex. Raiders can only transport 10 models. This way he gets the benefits of the 10 man squad, and he has room to carry around his heavy hitters, namely Lelith and the Archon. I don't want to hear him whine and cry about it, especially since he was complaining about losing his Raider already. So I let it slide.

But did I make the right decision? It is a friendly pick-up game, do I call the guy out on it? Is he trying to cheat, or is he just ignorant of the rules? Would I do him a favor by pointing out the correct rules, or will I just ruffle his feathers some more and make the game less enjoyable for the both of us? I suppose we will never know, we just don't have the technology.

So my shooting is over, and he then turbo-boosts his Raiders directly towards me. He has the two warrior squads come right at me, but his Archon takes a more indirect approach. He then wants to fire at me out of all the transports. Correct me if I am wrong, but open-topped or not I thought you can't fire at all when you are going flat out. I start to look in the book for the relevant rules, and he starts complaining again. I don't know where to look exactly for them, in the vehicle shooting rules, or the skimmer movement rules, so I decide not to throw my brick of dice at the dude and let this one slide as well. He kills a few devastators with his shooting, nothing too serious.

(Archons ride is over to the left)

My second turn everything from reserve comes in. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. And even better, nothing mishaps! I am learning after all how to place units and judge distances better. Everything drops in with good melta range all around and my Baal out-flanks on from the correct edge and all is looking well.


I will later come to realize my mistake in letting the Archon alone. I proceed to fire my Blood Lance at both his tanks, getting penetrating hits on both. He rolls his saves from flat out movement and gets a 3 and 4 and tells me they both save. I just have to laugh to myself at this point. I know where to find this rule in the book so I pull it out and show him.

Again, is he cheating or does he just not know the rules? Is he trying to take advantage of me, or just an inexperienced player? I don't know. I'm the type of person that would rather give the benefit of the doubt and let the game go smoothly, rather than get into a fight about toy soldiers.

So I blow up both the raiders with all the melta, and gun down some of the survivors as well with my pistols. I can't draw LOS to his Raider with the Archon with my missiles, so it gets ignored another turn. My devs instead choose to fire at the stranded squad of his in the ruins with Lelith. I don't really want to scatter onto my own troops, because even just one unsaved wound hurts in a combat squad. So I played it safe and maybe killed one warrior on the opposite side of the board.

So that ended turn 2 for both of us. I'm going to cut this post in half; I don't want to loose some of the important points in the wall of text.

Let's talk about sportsmanship then. What are the prevailing opinions out there regarding what happened? Do you interrupt the game to set the dude straight. Do you risk the game running smoothly to show that you know the rules better than the other guy? When do you make the jump from "this guy needs to learn the game" to "this guy is a cheater weasel"? And can I chalk this up to petty vindictiveness, because my sub-par foot Terminator list curb stomped his Eldar? In addition, I don't want to get a "rules lawyer" label in the store. I'm a relative newcomer there, and this dude has been playing there awhile and seems to know everyone else. I'd like to be able to play games in the future, but I'd also like to play by the rules.

I'd like to hear your thoughts, because I don't know that I handled it the right way. Chime in with your collective wisdom please. Inquiring minds would like to know!

And keep your eyes peeled to see the exciting conclusion to this riveting game! Will those Incubi get their revenge in the end? Or will your intrepid hero end the game with a well placed missile to the Archon's measly face? Tune in next week, same Blood Angel time, same Blood Angel channel!

Michael, Capt of the 8th


Heretic said...

I would wait until after the game and pose your objection to the raiders as a question. Something like, "I'm a little confused, I thought Raiders were cap ten, mind if I look through your codex" would give you the chance to show him his error and you would appear to be questioning, not knowing. It's a rather bad rules lawyer who doesn't know the rules.

Jawaballs said...

Standard fare. Guys play armies and have no idea about rules. It happens all the time, and happened to me when I first got the BA codex in my hands. The answer to all of your questions here is to just let him play. The game is just a pick up game with grey plastic models. It matters not. If you can quickly resolve something with a look in the book then fine. Other wise, Say "ok man, go for it, we will look that one up after the game." Make note of his infractions, and make it a point to pick up his codex and look them up after the game. If he does not want to take the time to confirm the rules, then he is a douche. Never play him again. Eventually enough guys will do this that he has no one to play, and self adjusts his attitude. Any one should appreciate a chance to become a better player and learn their game, and more importantly, they should want to educate you on an army you might not know. When I play armies I don't know very well I apologize before hand and explain that I may ask to check his codex just to wrap my mind around how stuff works. It is not questioning him, it is that a guy can explain something 40 times and I wont get it, but one read of the rule entry can make it clear.

Jawaballs said...

But also I would be concerned with the coherency of the marines manning the wall in that first pic! :) The guys on the top are not within 2" of the guys on the bottom. Fix it noob!

MonkeyLeader said...

I find opponents come in all flavours; some are competent with their rules and codex and some aren't (even if they've been playing for years).

So, any response would really be based on assessing the person... the "gut feeling" as it were.

In your case Michael, my gut feeling is that this guy was trying to push the boundaries of ignorance, trying to stay just shy of cheating, but failing at it. He was definitely trying to play you.

For me, in your situation, I would start off asking this guy if he's new to the game and/or new to the army. If he's new to the game, I would take the time to point out his mistakes with the rules. If he's new to his army, I would also take the time to point out his mistakes with his codex. Considering this is just a pickup game, it is also a good time to teach. When I first started off, I was glad to have people show me the errors I was making and for pointing out things I was doing wrong with my codex. It helps to know these things in order to not repeat them in the future.

If the guy says he's a veteran with the rules and codex, I would let some infractions go (since this is a friendly game) and never play him again afterwards. BUT, after the n-th infraction (which all depends on how horrible this guy is cheating), I would pick up my army and leave him at the table, while pointing out that he should reread his rules and codex, otherwise I'd think he was cheating. I'm not into letting cheaters get away with cheating.

That last move may be hard for some people to pull off, but I'm the type of person who doesn't mind telling someone off when they are breaking the social contract.


As a footnote about your game (part of the "point out the rules to help"); the dark eldar transports that moved flat-out and then were destroyed, the troops that are on those transports are also destroyed (without any saves at all allowed). This rule clarification was released in the latest rules FAQ in November.

Q: If a transport vehicle is destroyed in the same turn as it
moved flat out what happens to any embarked models? (p70)
A: They are removed as casualties.

Thomas aka Goatboy said...

You tell him. Never let someone cheat you if you know the rules. It won't help the next player he plays if he cheats again - especially with someone that doesn't know the rules. The 10 man thing is incredibly important as all the newer rule are based on how many models there are in it. If you have to point out everything you are not being the dick. This choad is because he can't read the damned rules.

Basically at this point I would be like - ok you know what I don't want to play you anymore because you obviously didn't read your book nor are you any fun to play with because you basically make up rules. Go have fun playing Calvin Ball with someone else.

It is one thing to make a mistake with a new army book - wargear issues etc - it is another that makes a mistake with basic rules of the book. Moving flat out, getting cover saves, etc all of those are basic rules not codex rules.

oniakki said...

Being a pick-up game I'd be more lenient, and given how inexperienced this guy appears from your side of the story, a walk through of basic rules afterward should be in order.

@Jawaballs: Aren't the guys on top part of one 5 man squad while the guys on bottom part of the second? He does have 2 devastator squads in his army list ^.~

Thomas aka Goatboy said...

That is only for their turn. Not your turn. It is specific when they say full turn. So if you move flat out and somehow are destroyed during your turn - they die. The reason for this new rule is that you don't throw your Raider 36 inches into terrain. Get blown out and then assault an opponent because you didn't disembark you got thrown out etc.

From the mini rule book - page 9

Game Turns & Player Turn
In a complete game turn, both players get a player turn, each one divided into Movement, Shooting and Assault phases (See Turn Sequence). Exactly what is going to happen in each phase is described in the following sections of this book.

Hence one game turn will comprise two player turns. Whenever a rule used the word "turn" , both in this rule and in the Codexes, it means "players turn" otherwise it will clearly state "game turn".

Thus you only have to worry about it on your turn - as it is stated in the FAQ. Just a turn. So shoot 36 and don't hit anything. It is also there so you don't tank shock into tanks who are on an objective and then get to come out as you remove the threat etc and blow yourself up. Or when you tank shock a unit with a Melta or something to hit you and blow you up etc.

Jawaballs said...

Goatboay, nice clarification! And I admittedly only skimmed portions of the article. I skipped to the explanations. :) So ok, two squads! No coherency needed. But he will need to roll a 6 to get up or down! :)

DK said...

Don't ruins count as 3 inches up or down? (per level)

Oh, And I would Talk to him about each rule as it comes up. If he is new, then great. I remember when I was new and did not know how shit worked. But some one told me how things were, and i am a better player because of it.

Jawaballs said...

I don't know the exact rules, or if there are any concerning ruins height. But I believe that a "level" is considered 3" to make up for home made terrain being a little off. The picture shows the next level clearly two levels high because a floor is missing. Since there is no middle level, wouldn't a 6 be required to move up or down?

Michael said...

First off, thanks for the advice all.

Right about the two squads Oniakki. So "noob" yourself Jawa!

I would have ruled 3" in between the two levels had it come to that. It wouldn't be fair to place a unit in a nearly impossible place to assault. Goes against my "fair" streak. But Jawa is right, there is a level missing in there.

As far as my opponent goes, he has been playing 40k for about 8 years I have gathered. While he should "know" the rules, I can't shake the feeling that he just didn't understand what he had read.

I normally would have asked about the rules, or told him what was right, but the poor guy had a terrible attitude. Every Raider and warrior that went down was like the end of the world.

How do you deal with a poor loser? Granted I don't like to lose, but if I do, I try to do it with grace.

Stay tuned though, part two is a little more BA relevant.

Jawaballs said...

One thing I am very conscientious about is spoiling my opponent's game in a tournament. When he pops my stuff, I don't ruin his sense of accomplishment by throwing a hissy. I congratulate him, and do my best to hide my displeasure, and move on. Or I ham it up and throw a fake hissy, and laugh about it. Then I shake his hand and move on. Nice shot!

This kid was just a selfish gamer D-bag. But gamer mentality and maturity develops through experience. I can say one thing, if he is getting bent out of shape every time he loses a raider... he is in for a long, trauma filled 40k career.

General Oadius said...

can't have more than 10 in a raider. Can't do ANYTHING if you move flat out(means embarking and disembarking too) and you don't get a 3+ from turbo boosting unless you are a bike. This guy needs to learn the game after 8 years...

michael said...

I think the only 10 men in the transport could be an honest mistake in writing the list. I know a lot of people have made similar mistakes in writing their lists and when they go to deploy realize their mistake. Since the game had already started I probably would have let it slide and mentioned it after the game. Shooting out of a flat out moving skimmer is just wrong I would have stopped the play to show him that one. It is in the "Flat out" rule in the "skimmers" section.

Anonymous said...

I would say he was probably a bit vindictive. Being "tabled" whether friendly-game or not is always a blow the gamer esteem. I was tabled once, and thanfully only once, back in 3rd ed. It was my third game of 40k with my BA, and man did this guy kick my butt!

Anyway, back on topic. I would say with 8 years experience, many of the rules he played dumb about are common BRB. If playing for 8 years, he should definitely know the main rules. As such, most players when they get a codex read it back to front three to four times in order to understand everything.

It may prove relevant to the future, but who won the game? If he did, I would inquire to a rematch. Before said rematch I would run a few questions by him, basically play a bit dumb about the DE, and see if he spells the truth this time. He may feel confident after the win that he can now play the army fairly and still be a victor.

If you won the game, I would ask to possibly play another friendly game in the future. Before that game, play dumb as well and ask about some DE rules. Also, to keep things simple, and still give benefit to the doubt, play a smaller point game, maybe 750 pts or even 500 pts. That way you can really see if he understand even the basics of DE.

In the long-run, there are many douches out there, some dirtier than others. It is up to the gamers to try and eliminate the douch-baggery that is beginning to plague our beloved game. With that said, you attitude during the whole game was well done, and I highly commend you for keeping your cool. I also try to follow Jawa's advice for gaming etiquette. From experience the comfort level provided just by being friendly can sometimes convert those corrupted by douche-baggery into true followers of the Emperor (aka decent gamers).

Good read, very thought provoking!

Michael said...

Thanks for the props MadMav. You will have to wait a bit longer to see the result of the game. But rest assured, it'll be worth the wait. There are still more twists to come. (one of which is staring you in the face already) ;)

And I'm with you Jawa about the opponents time also. It is up to both players to make the game enjoyable. I'm all for competition and tough lists and hard fought games, but you still have to act like a decent person. It's lame to spoil another guys game time with your temper tantrums.

alex said...

Hi Jawaballs,

I would give him full points on sportsmanship. He's totally in character as how Dark Eldar reacts in battle; cheating, cunning, scamming just names of few.

bkbutlerme said...

I'm sometimes "chosen" as a player to help break someone back into the game or teach noobz. It is totally in my character to ask questions about misplayed rules or codex problems. I question anything I do not know or feel comfortable with. It can slow the game down, but a fair game is more important than a fast one. Questioning and correcting can go the easy way, or the hard way...

Valhallan42nd said...

One can never prove intent, which is a problem. What one can do is show a clear pattern of behavior.

What was clear was this person did not play by the rules of the game. Allowing them to repeat this behavior hurts them and you.

Dalinair said...

I would have called him on every point, either way you look at it, be it a new player or a cheat, it should be mentioned. With cheats for obvious reasons and for new players its the only way they learn, the difference is with a new player i would tell them how it is and then in some cases (such as the 11 guys in a transport) id let it slide. I wouldn't let him shoot after going flat out however.

Some people just try and get away with anything they can or only read half the rules then hope you dont bother reading thier codex.

breng77 said...

I would likely have said that I thought raiders could only hold 10 models, and ask him to show me in his codex where the transport capacity is listed. If he was wrong and it seemed that he really did not know I would let him continue the game with the models embarked but remind him that he made a mistake. That way he won't have any reason to make the same "error" in the future.

As for the firing out of a flat out vehicle,looking at the rules you cannot even fire out of a vehicle that moves at cruising speed let alone flat out. Even for a fast vehicle.

Bröm said...

Hey jawaballs and all great guys in this forum, I need some advice :
- I am not a big fan of the las sponson pred and I was wondering if a 5 man dev squad with 4 missile launcher perform well against most army ?

I start to to wonder if razorback spam army are the best, a mix of razorback with jump troop hiden behind ready for assault could be a good idea no ? What about 5 assault termies on a stormraven with a angry furioso at the back ;) worth it ???

Michael said...

@brom-the devastators have worked great for me in my games. What I, and most of the internets I assume, like about them is they are so versatile. They can pop light transports, MC's and hordes alike. The tanks high powered shots would be wasted against a tyranid horde, or the green tide. But the ML's perform great with most any role, except against heavy armor.

As far as the stormraven, I have no experience with them. AV 12 seems too fragile a basket to me to load terminators and a furioso in.

Bröm said...

Ok so I'll be running 2 dev of 5man with 4 missile launchers, not as good as long fang but could give some punches I think.

BTW I'll drop the stormraven (I was thinking the same SR could do great stuff only if it survive...), the dread will run behind my baal wall (3 baals I love them) and the terminators will find a place in my redeemer with the multi-melta for 215pts (thanks to the assault squad I take with him). The assault squad without transport will a be a renforcement or an objective holder.

GDMNW said...

I think this is a pretty common problem. Most games have some sort of minor dispute pop up while you're playing.

I think a lot depends on the attitude of the player making the mistakes. If he's easy with it and wants to learn then you can just carry on pointing things out as they happen.

If you mention the transport capacity of his raiders and he really reacts badly then take note and as Jawa says, leave it for after the game.

If someone's not playing by the rules, they're not playing the game. If you're not playing the game then what are you doing? The result certainly doesn't matter...

edward said...

Just to make a point on what monkeyleader said, his last lines, if u destroy a raider in shooting that has moved flat out the guys dont dye, as it spesicicly says (i bilive in the front of the rule book) that a 'turn' stands for player turn and so that result of all the guys dying only happens if say it rolls a 1 for landing in difficult terrain etc in there turn. If u gun it down in ur turn the guy inside are fine albeet anoyed as there transport has been downed. Cause other wise u would find every single eldar/dark eldar player crying as having transports which can move fast unable to move fast because of such a high risk.

i hope ive been of help :)

Ash said...

Except the rule book says under skimmer rules (Pg 71 in the mini rule book) "if it moved flat out in its last turn". It doesn't say "during the turn" but specifically "its last turn".

Dan said...

I played a bit of 4th Ed. and am only now getting back into it, so I kind of have opinions on both sides. If I were making a mistake, especially in a friendly game, I would want you to point it out. It wouldn't be the first time and I do occasionally confuse 4th Ed and 5th Ed concepts. I'd rather be corrected than find out later when it mattered. Just do it in a way that doesn't make me feel like an idiot. And if you are trying to correct the other guy and he starts getting nasty about it, then you decide if you are going to walk or not. (Keep in mind being constantly wrong may make him defensive because he will think it looks like he is trying to cheat.)

As far as being new to the store... Ask the other folks in the store about this guy. It may be that he has a rep for pushing the rules. It may be that this store plays this way in which case you have to decide if you want to keep playing there.

There are also some people who don't get rules. My wife has a very hard time with anything with complex rules (she doesn't play 40K - this is for things like RPGs). Other people only read the interesting/cool parts of the books - often younger players.

Still, you do him no service if you don't correct him because you either let him get away with mistakes or cheating.

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