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Blood Bowl (2016 edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: "Cheating?" rss

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Geert Vinaskov
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I've read some things about being able to "cheat" in this game.

From what I've read, what's meant by this isn't blatantly ignoring rules, changing stats or lying about dice results, but rather things like exceeding the maximum number of players on the field at the same time.

Your opponent would be responsible for noticing this "rule infraction". If he doesn't, more power to you. If he does, you get penalized. You know, like in real football.

Has someone any more info about this? Is this also a part of other Blood Bowl editions?
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Ron Price
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Geert Vinaskov wrote:
I've read some things about being able to "cheat" in this game.

From what I've read, what's meant by this isn't blatantly ignoring rules, changing stats or lying about dice results, but rather things like exceeding the maximum number of players on the field at the same time.

Your opponent would be responsible for noticing this "rule infraction". If he doesn't, more power to you. If he does, you get penalized. You know, like in real football.

Has someone any more info about this? Is this also a part of other Blood Bowl editions?


There is no provision in the rules for this kind of metagaming. It would be regular old cheating, just like taking money from the bank in Monopoly or putting a piece back on the board in chess.

Now, the tournament community has had to deal with the specific infraction you mentioned in different ways--they don't automatically disqualify a coach from a tournament for accidentally setting up with 12 players, and I think it's generally accepted that it's up to both coaches to verify the correct number of players on the pitch.

The Blood Bowl community is not known for people who try to game the system by abusing this, so it's always worked out, but I have no doubt that you'd earn a bad reputation quickly if this was something you tried to do often.

I have to say, it might be fun to play in a league where this kind of thematically-appropriate cheating were "allowed," and penalized as appropriate. What other possibilities might work other than putting a 12th man on the field at set-up?
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Clinton Rice
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There is "cheating" in the game. (Cheating against the rules of the game in the fantasy world not the real world). For example, the goblins are notorious cheaters and often take to the field with illegal weapons, while the dwarven deathroller is completely illegal, but the crowds love it and it would take a brave referee to blow the whistle on it.
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Robert Virata
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KoalaXav wrote:
There is "cheating" in the game. (Cheating against the rules of the game in the fantasy world not the real world). For example, the goblins are notorious cheaters and often take to the field with illegal weapons, while the dwarven deathroller is completely illegal, but the crowds love it and it would take a brave referee to blow the whistle on it.


In other words, "cheating" is just the label for an in game mechanic?
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Dan Cepeda
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It's cheating within the Blood Bowl universe, as opposed to cheating in the Blood Bowl game.
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Clinton Rice
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iidhaegn wrote:
It's cheating within the Blood Bowl universe, as opposed to cheating in the Blood Bowl game.


Exactly. It's part of the game rules and has been for a long time. But it violates the holy texts of the god Nuffle.

But it's only cheating if you are caught and the referee hasnt been sufficiently bribed. Show me a Blood Bowl team that believes in fair play and abiding by the rules and I will show you a team with only one loss -- the exhibition game they were all killed in.
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Ron Price
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rolvtd wrote:
KoalaXav wrote:
There is "cheating" in the game. (Cheating against the rules of the game in the fantasy world not the real world). For example, the goblins are notorious cheaters and often take to the field with illegal weapons, while the dwarven deathroller is completely illegal, but the crowds love it and it would take a brave referee to blow the whistle on it.


In other words, "cheating" is just the label for an in game mechanic?


Yes. Fouls and secret weapons are elements of play covered by rules which allow Blood Bowl players (as opposed to "coaches," which is how the rules refer to us, the humans playing the game) to cheat, which has a chance of them being thrown out of the game by the referee (who can be bribed to prevent this, like Clinton mentioned). Players can steal opponents' rerolls, and there are special play card which allow sneaky-type plays.

There are no rules in the game about coaches cheating, to clarify what I mentioned above.
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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Everyone else covered it pretty well already but other games have used the same mechanic, Dreadball is a really good example since it is a spiritual successor to Blood Bowl.

The important thing to remember is that the human making all decisions and rolling dice isn't the Player, they are the Coaches. The Players are the miniatures on the playing field and cheating is the only way for these rotten Skaven and Orcs to play versus the innocent and saintly Human teams who would never resort to such underhanded tactics.... ever...
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Ryan R
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Grumsh wrote:
Everyone else covered it pretty well already but other games have used the same mechanic, Dreadball is a really good example since it is a spiritual successor to Blood Bowl.

The important thing to remember is that the human making all decisions and rolling dice isn't the Player, they are the Coaches. The Players are the miniatures on the playing field and cheating is the only way for these rotten Skaven and Orcs to play versus the innocent and saintly Human teams who would never resort to such underhanded tactics.... ever...


Waaaarrrggggg!!!! Clean human scum!!! Baaallll!!!! Waaaarrrrrggggg!!!!!
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Jacob Jonsson
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Geert Vinaskov wrote:
but rather things like exceeding the maximum number of players on the field at the same time.

This rings a bell from the 3rd ed rules in the mid 90ies. However, I think the idea was construed from a suggestion that failing to follow set up rules (3+ on line of scrimmage, no more than 2 in each wide zone) was to be considered illegal procedure rather than forcing a complete rematch or however you would resolve any other broken rule. So if your coach noticed you messing up he could call illegal procedure and you would have to fix it, but then also face turn over or spend a re-roll to keep playing that turn. However, that does not mean you should try to pull a quick one on your opponent.

Googling today I can only find references to the moving of the turn marker as illegal procedure in the current documents so I guess people just have a death penalty on it in live leagues
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Risto Sarja
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You can cheat in every game, but if you do, you really shouldn't be allowed to participate in boardgaming if you do that willingly.

In Blood Bowl like stated above you can't cheat per se. There are just some races that have characteristic that let you "bend the rules", but in reality have figures that state "this figure exists in the match for one drive only and then is removed from the game for the rest of the match".

There aren't any rules for "hidden cheating". If your field has 12 players when you start the game, you are breaking the rules and it's not allowed.

Maybe you mixed cheating with fouling ? Fouling is thematically cheating, But it's just a game mechanic. Fouling means you can kick a player that is downed once per round. And if the referee (dice roll) sees the fouling player that player is out of the match!

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Dan Collier
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Really interesting discussion here.

I've played BB pretty much since 1st ED, and within the group I play there are two ways we approach it (and this is my opinion only). This all stems from 1st or 2nd ED where there was an ambiguous line at the end of the rulebook that said cheating is fine if you can get away with it.

Also I classify cheating as the following: - a willful smudging or breaking of the rules as written in the rulebook for "coaches" (traditionally called players in other board games... so.. YOU and ME). Examples of this type of cheating could be - sneaking players on to the pitch, telling a blatant lie about one of your figures stats, setting up incorrectly, moving turn markers incorrectly, interpreting a rule willfully incorrectly, lieing about a rule.

One thing that is ALWAYS unacceptable though is writing things down incorrectly on a sheet. It's one thing to verbally lie as part of the game, but if you get called on it and the player checks the sheet it HAS to have the correct info on it.

Anyway, here's how we handle it.

1. Cheating against new players, cheating in tournaments outside of the group, cheating when you have agreed not to is NOT OK. This is against the spirit of the game and should be dealt with accordingly (so penalties in game, or forfeiting of the match).

2. When playing within the group, in tournaments only for the group or with new players to the group that have been informed of this type of activity is fine. It adds a lot of fun to the game when done right, and some of my favourite Blood Bowl memories come from games like this.

As an example of what I mean - (I tend to play halflings, for context).

One game I blocked a troll with one of my treemen, and the guy I was playing with looked me in the eye and said "That troll has dodge". I accepted this and continued playing. Obviously the troll didn't have dodge and we had a laugh about it at the end of the game.

Most games I try and sneak extra players on the pitch. The more creative about this the better, and many laughs have been had. I NEVER sneak players on after the snap though, as again I feel this is against the spirit of the game. There have been times I've been leaning on the board with two extra halflings hidden behind my arms in my endzone, at one point I stood a halfling on a treemans base and simply slide him off when I moved the treeman for the first time. I also had an idea to own a hollow treeman that I could hide a halfling in, so when I moved him it left the halfling behind.

Another example is when I told a player I could long-bomb halflings, and also target his players with them. Again if he had challenged me on this I would have told the truth, but he didn't.

Last note - when caught, rerolls are lost and players sent off, so there are punishments for this type of play.

It all comes down to how you play though. There is no fun playing against someone who cheats all the time, as you have to constantly look up rules and.. obviously.. they lose players and rerolls. However the odd sneaky cheat, the artistic lie or fudge, being super creative with it can be loads of fun in the right group.

it's a very fine line though, and oddly requires a lot of trust between the players playing.

Anyway, I hope you find the above interesting as part of the chat, and again it's very important to remember it is consensual cheating and never ever ever against someone who doesn't know you're going to try and is happy for you to do so. (As I have a very close friend who hates this style of play, so I would never knowingly cheat when playing against her).
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Liber Malefic
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KoalaXav wrote:
Show me a Blood Bowl team that believes in fair play and abiding by the rules and I will show you a team with only one loss -- the exhibition game they were all killed in.


The Bright Crusaders

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Brad Miller
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Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game also has a type of skill called "Cheating" where they draw a token that may give that player a benefit, or may eject him from the match he is at, which tends to be bad.
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