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chriscook

Too easy to cheat!

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Again, you guys seem to be missing the point. It's all sweet and dandy that you don't worry about cheaters or that it can be overriden by buying additional, non-FFG tools, but FFG shouldn't have let it happen in the first place and that's the gripe here. X-Wing doesn't have such design flaws and because of that it's much harder to cheat there and, by extension, it's more suited for competitive, fair play.

My point is - having to find a work-around, buy additional accessories or give up on your hopes for fair play SLASH lower your expectations is a big mistake on game developer's part. Now don't get me wrong - I am not trying to bash your precious game and ruin your fun - I am just as hyped for the game as you are (and I still have to wait for Wave 1 to reach Poland!) and I can't wait to spend a lot of my expendable income on the miniatures, but I believe I am allowed to make constructive criticism which, in this case, seems to be right, because when compared to X-Wing Armada is noticably much more vulnerable to exploits and that's what OP was talking about, that's all. :)

 

P.s. - I know cheaters will always find a way and no game is cheat-proof, but they should try as much as possible to make it as hard as it gets for cheaters to discourage them. Some games are harder to cheat in, others are easier - a good product should be in the first category.

 

Personally, I think cheating is such a non-issue that I'm actually more concerned about Armada's lack of utility in a zombie apocalypse or home invasion. The VSD might double as a very crude bludgeoning instrument in a pinch, but the other ships are utterly useless. And don't get me started on the fighters.

 

Because honestly, I think the apocalypse will happen before I encounter a cheater. And if I were to encounter one, he's going to cheat no matter what the game is like. So why care?

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Well, I don't think that's the thing OP wanted to discuss.

The answer is, yes, it is way too easy to cheat in this game. For example - fighters. You can remove them, bump around, fly them however you want... of course you may say that it doesn't matter, that it's all about the big ships, but then you can see someone manage to move a B-wing a few milimeters closer to your badly damaged VSD, suddenly putting it in range while it may or may not have been in range before. Or place some ace squadron in range to intercept your precious bombers that would otherwise wreak havoc upon his capital ship, but now they're likely to just be shot down.

I have watched a couple batreps, even more 'professional' ones and that movement tool, while a cool idea on paper, is terribly uncomfortable to use when there are fighters and other ships cluttering the table, the tool very often forced people to remove their fighters for the sake of movement and then put them back where they were, and I am sure that 99% of the time they didn't exploit it and they just didn't know EXACTLY where they were before, but the final position differed about half an inch, which in wargaming can mean a lot, especially with a range band based game. And they didn't even want to cheat! Or at least I believe so.

A good idea would be getting another tool and reducing it's size to 3 or even 2 if you're an imperial player for the ease of short distance movement without hitting everything on the table with it.

Dials are another thing - as mentioned, it's easy to swap them when you know how. Is it lowly? Sure. Would I despise someone doing that? Of course. Can it change the game giving him an unfair advantage? Absolutely.

Of course "don't cheat" or "don't play with cheaters" is a sound advice, but I don't want to have to look at opponent's hands, nor do I want to shuffle through a couple cheaters, because I value my time enough to waste it on people I don't have fun playing with. It's FFG's job to make it as hard to cheat in it as possible, especially if they want Armada to be even half as sucessful as X-Wing, which got very popular because it's suited for competitive play. To be honest I don't think I can say that about Armada.

All of these issues are only issues if you allow them to be issues.

If Squadrons are going to be removed from the table thier position should be marked, engagements/ranges stipulated, and the figures should only be removed when absolutely needed. If you are allowing your opponent to arbitrarily remove and replace Squadrons, you quite frankly are just openning yourself to being abused.

The overextension of the maneuver tool largely goes away once the product is released for purchase as players will be able to construct tools of shorter length. But again, per the rules even, you and your opponent should be stipulating to any estimated movement. Your opponent should not be moving a model in a high traffic area without you also OK'ing the placement.

I don't believe it is any more easy to cheat at this game then other games, from Warmachine to MtG. Cheating will happen, but will only prosper when players let themselves be taken advantage of by not ensuring thier opponents play in an equitable manner.

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I think that the OP raises a good point.  while I am not worried about cheaters, if there are going to be tourneys, there will be people trying to cheat, and if a game is created with an eye toward tournament play, that should be kept in mind.  Colored command stacks are a good idea. Another thing that a TO could enforce is keeping a paper log of your commands.  If your ship has a command value of 3, you write down on the sheet your next 3 commands.  each player keep a little notebook with all of their commands written down as they select them. If a command stack gets knocked over, then there is a record the TO can look at to set the stack right.

 

I love this game, but that maneuver tool.........is a tool indeed.

 

In another thread, someone suggested keeping pennies under the fighter bases and sliding them around, that way when you move the ship, it's position is still recorded. Seemed like a good idea, though I have not tried it yet.

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We use the double sided rebel/empire tokens to denote squadron positions when we need to lift them from the table to adjust damage or lay the maneuver tool. The rebel/empire sides are convenient to mark whose squadrons go back to where.

 

FFG can alleviate this somewhat by assigning more personnel to watch over high-profile games or do some random fleet list checking. Have some minor raffle or consolation prizes for those who can't get on the gravy train. That way, players would still feel that they had achieved something and not feel the need to cheat.

 

In any competitive gaming community, however, I still think the best deterrent to cheating is the involvement of players. Have people watch your matches and make others aware of how these dirty tricks are carried out. Foster a culture where cheating is such an anathema that people wouldn't think it's worth it.

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I have never seen any of these tropes in my games or other games.  Which surprises me, as see a lot of discussions about cheating.....often.  Maybe it is because I don't play competitively, not sure.  The way I look at it is that if someone's life has come down to "must win with plastic ships!", then maybe I should just let it go and find new people to play.

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Unless you play with a very close knit group of people only, even if you don't play in tournaments, I am reasonably sure that you've likely had someone take some liberties with you. Some people do so regardless if the stakes are high or non-existent. Just pay attention to what's going on and ensure that everybody is playing above board, tournament or casual.

Edited by ScottieATF

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I have seen a player blatantly get rules wrong in order to gain advantage, so that flies in the face of a previous comment I made.  I just remembered that.  There were misinterpretations of hit rules, card interactions etc.

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Instead of switching the dials you could always nudge it too the command that you need while they move a ship or roll dice.

Or use Leia. She is the best at cheating. Maybe that's supposed to say something about her?

 

Probably says that Han shouldn't have married her.

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I think if there are going to be tourneys, there will be people trying to cheat, and if a game is created with an eye toward tournament play, that should be kept in mind.

 

A player who is so inclined to cheat is probably just as likely to cheat in a social game as a tournament game.

 

This is 100% about a player being a cheat and it has nothing to do with the rules of play or anything else other than the player.

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Instead of switching the dials you could always nudge it too the command that you need while they move a ship or roll dice.

Or use Leia. She is the best at cheating. Maybe that's supposed to say something about her?

 

Probably says that Han shouldn't have married her.

Just finished that book about 30 min ago

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All of these issues are only issues if you allow them to be issues.

If Squadrons are going to be removed from the table thier position should be marked, engagements/ranges stipulated, and the figures should only be removed when absolutely needed. If you are allowing your opponent to arbitrarily remove and replace Squadrons, you quite frankly are just openning yourself to being abused.

The overextension of the maneuver tool largely goes away once the product is released for purchase as players will be able to construct tools of shorter length. But again, per the rules even, you and your opponent should be stipulating to any estimated movement. Your opponent should not be moving a model in a high traffic area without you also OK'ing the placement.

I don't believe it is any more easy to cheat at this game then other games, from Warmachine to MtG. Cheating will happen, but will only prosper when players let themselves be taken advantage of by not ensuring thier opponents play in an equitable manner.

 

 

 

I'm sorry but I don't really get your point here - I listed a couple arguments which, as you said, require you to use additional accessories to fix them. None of the games you mentioned does have that, aside from the Focus/Fury tokens and counters for WM/H and MtG, but the former has it's own market built around those with official tokens and the latter doesn't care as long as you mark it properly as it doesn't matter all that much. I alone was able to list three or four cases of the game design not being thought-out thoroughly while writing one post and I could probably come up with another one or two, while I can't really do that when it comes to MtG, Warmachine/Hordes or even stupid 40k, which a lot of people bash.

 

Of course we're more likely to be talking about competitive scene right now - it's obvious that we play different on tournaments and different in beer & pretzels fun match with a friend, but look - if the game didn't have such flaws, there would be no need for position-marking accessories(or even pennies) and/or noone in this thread would be saying "oh, colouring your command dials is a good idea". No game is perfect, as I mentioned, saying that Armada is no more likely to be cheated in than X-Wing is plain malarky, because of stuff like my examples. Can you make similar list of possible cheating openings for X-Wing? Or Warmachine?

Seriously - just go watch an Armada batrep and see for yourself how people who surely don't want to cheat tend to be inaccurate with unit placement and stuff like that (and think how easily compared to many other games it can be exploited), and with fighters FFG could've just given us an official advice on how to mark them (before someone comes up with a witty comment - no, I don't need them to officially say how to do it because I can't figure it myself, read further) just like the 1 speed template being the length of small base, giving you a nice way to mark your ship's position to make the game as accurate and issue-free as possible.

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Analogies...

Golf - you mark the ball position with a coin if it blocks another player's putt.

People cheat to gain an inch or so distance

On line shooters/flight Sims, etc. Rife with auto aim, extra armour hacks etc.

For some sad individuals it is WAAC!

I agree with the OP life is much too short to worry about tossers!

Bizarrely I too have a knackered shoulder - Next operation in September

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Of course we're more likely to be talking about competitive scene right now - it's obvious that we play different on tournaments and different in beer & pretzels fun match with a friend, but look - if the game didn't have such flaws, there would be no need for position-marking accessories(or even pennies) and/or noone in this thread would be saying "oh, colouring your command dials is a good idea". No game is perfect, as I mentioned, saying that Armada is no more likely to be cheated in than X-Wing is plain malarky, because of stuff like my examples.

 

Mate, every time you lay hands on a model there exists the potential for cheating. Accidentally bumping a unit, not putting the movement template exactly in the guides, wiggling it a little bit, quickly picking up dice before the opponent has a chance to look them over, rolling when the opponent isn't looking, stacking the damage deck, nudging obstacles, being sloppy with your upgrades and damage cards, the list goes on and on.

 

Cheaters gonna cheat. No amount of tight rules mechanics are going to stop them.

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I really don't see why the command dial thing would really be an issue... If you are playing some one that you know is cheating, then hey! stop playing the game with them.... As for the movement tool, I really don't have a problem with it....if something is in the way of its path,put a token , penny, torn bits of paper, something anything to mark where your sqaudrons or ships were....too easy

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Analogies...

Golf - you mark the ball position with a coin if it blocks another player's putt.

People cheat to gain an inch or so distance

On line shooters/flight Sims, etc. Rife with auto aim, extra armour hacks etc.

For some sad individuals it is WAAC!

 

 

Sure, but it's game developers' job to give them as few occasions to cheat as possible, isn't it? Also gaining an inch in golf is a bit less of an advantage than suddenly being in/out of enemy's engagement range not through superior movement planning but through unit placement exploit shenanigans. Suddenly having three bomber squadrons in range for side arc or not having them is a huge difference, and it's easy to make it look like it was like that before.

I started working at currently forming board game studio and, believe me, making rules as idiot- and cheat-proof is extremely important, because otherwise there's cheating, exploits and misunderstandings. There are various kinds of gamers, some are very competitive, some are prone to exploit and/or give themselves some liberty - remember that even with friends, as long as it's not a co-operative game you all still play to win and it's just a mindset of some. As a member of the dev team you have to take that into account.

 

Don't dump it all on players - you are there to shield them from possible exploits and thus you have to make the rules as tight and precise as possible to ensure that.

Imagine a situation like this - you are an adult. You have a job, girlfriend/fiance/wife, possibly kids. You also have stuff to do - paperwork to do, bills to take care of, maybe a dog to walk or cat to feed - you have limited time for your hobby. Of course you have one or more friends to play the game with. But at some point you think it'd be nice to play with someone else - you see a guy buy pretty little plastic ships for his fleet and approach him asking for a game. Random pick-up game. And then you feel like he's cheating or even catch him doing it, because in your opinion many of his moves lead to making stuff like bombers suddenly being in range to score last turn victory or fighters getting half an inch closer to intercept that bomber that you could've snatched victory with.

What do you do? Obviously you're unhappy with that - you came all the way over to the store as you scheduled the game with him because as a responsible person you can't just go play it anytime... and you didn't have fun, because you felt cheated. Sometimes you're also limited to one game, because you can only go to the LGS after your work in late afternoon, there's no time to play another, so you drive back dissatisfied. Needless to say - you don't ever want to play with that guy again, that's more or less granted, unless you want to give him another chance.

Now tell me, how many evenings can you waste like that? Let's just assume for this scenario that playing against people like that doesn't give you any joy. If, using Armada as example, FFG thought that through, they would've come up with a way to make it less vulnerable to exploits, saving you from about 80% of such situations. Again - look at X-Wing, another game from the same developer and publisher. The system is tight, there's no "estimation", everything is as accurate as it can get. You can't really say that Armada is designed as well and competitive-friendly (which just means "fair" in terms of exploits) as X-Wing.

I personally don't know why - maybe they didn't playtest it enough or underestimated their own product (fighters themselves didn't matter all that much, but bombers change everything drastically as sometimes it might be a matter of a dead ship due to a little "imprecise" move) or they just didn't want the game to be as competitive as their other product (which would be a terrifying mistake - look at 40k and hate it receives for not caring about competitive scene), but for some reason there are flaws like those.

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Cheaters gonna cheat. No amount of tight rules mechanics are going to stop them.

 

 

As I mentioned many times in my posts - not STOP. LIMIT them. Make cheating so exhausting and hard to do to discourage them. The looser the rules mechanics are, the more people will exploit them, it's common knowledge.

EDIT: wanted to add this to the last post, failed miserably. Should uninstall computer from my house.

Edited by Klerych

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Cheaters gonna cheat. No amount of tight rules mechanics are going to stop them.

 

 

As I mentioned many times in my posts - not STOP. LIMIT them. Make cheating so exhausting and hard to do to discourage them. The looser the rules mechanics are, the more people will exploit them, it's common knowledge.

EDIT: wanted to add this to the last post, failed miserably. Should uninstall computer from my house.

 

 

Any time you put your hands on a game item, be it a ruler, template, model or dice. Any time you have the ability to interact with a game piece, even if that piece is entirely theoretical, then you have the potential to cheat.

 

There is just as much potential to cheat in X Wing as there is in Armada. I can bump every ship, every time I move it. I can fudge my dials with sleight of hand. I can bump my opponents ships, I can move obstacles, I can be generous with my template placement, I can be less than honest with my dice rolling, I can stack my damage deck in a favourable way, I can outright use upgrades that I never paid for, I can lie about or deliberately misinterpret rules, etc etc.

 

This is true of every game through all time. I can cheat every time I pick up a model in 40K by applying just a touch of rubber ruler. I can quickly race over my 'to hit' dice and pick up all the 'hits' before my opponent has a chance to look at them. I can fudge my list, lie about rules, etc etc.

 

The fighter stands and command dials in Armada are hardly a problem.

Edited by Chucknuckle

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Cheaters gonna cheat. No amount of tight rules mechanics are going to stop them.

 

 

As I mentioned many times in my posts - not STOP. LIMIT them. Make cheating so exhausting and hard to do to discourage them. The looser the rules mechanics are, the more people will exploit them, it's common knowledge.

EDIT: wanted to add this to the last post, failed miserably. Should uninstall computer from my house.

 

 

Any time you put your hands on a game item, be it a ruler, template, model or dice. Any time you have the ability to interact with a game piece, even if that piece is entirely theoretical, then you have the potential to cheat.

 

There is just as much potential to cheat in X Wing as there is in Armada. I can bump every ship, every time I move it. I can fudge my dials with sleight of hand. I can bump my opponents ships, I can move obstacles, I can be generous with my template placement, I can be less than honest with my dice rolling, I can stack my damage deck in a favourable way, I can outright use upgrades that I never paid for, I can lie about or deliberately misinterpret rules, etc etc.

 

This is true of every game through all time. I can cheat every time I pick up a model in 40K by applying just a touch of rubber ruler. I can quickly race over my 'to hit' dice and pick up all the 'hits' before my opponent has a chance to look at them. I can fudge my list, lie about rules, etc etc.

 

The fighter stands and command dials in Armada are hardly a problem.

 

I disagree wholeheartedly. There are varying degrees of advantage you can get from things and different kinds of things you can do - the easier it is to cheat, the more ways people will find to do it. If it's a matter of someone being or not being able to unload a couple of dice or "evade" enemy attack by deliberately pulling his piece back a bit while "putting it back where it was" the rules should be as strict as possible. I'm sure these issues will come out when Armada finally gets some tournament/competitive scene.

I don't want to argue anymore, I don't want to repeat myself, so I guess we just disagree here. I believe I have said everything I could to prove my point, if someone disagrees with all that, there's not much chance for us to convince each other, and it's perfectly fine, even if I think I am right here. Everyone can have an opinion after all. :)

Edited by Klerych

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Going back to the OP:

 

I did exactly that: I painted my two-command-dial-dials blue and red - just out of convenienance to see with a glance, if I already used this ship.

The other are black, grey and white, and I will add numbers to them (as well as a freehands of the regarding ships type, just because I can and 'cause I like it pretty). My second movement tool is just length two, as an Imperial, I thought this might be handy, my second shooting range ruler is cut at medium (just a few millimeters longer than distance three) - all this not to prevent cheating by my opponents (still a stupid word, but playmates sounds wrong...), but because I'm lazy and it makes gaming faster and easier.

Cheating would nevertheless be stupidly easy if I'd like to. Changing the dials while picking them up to look at my stack is a no-brainer, training rolling the dice to get better results is easy as well (though I am using a dice cup, because lazy, you know) - you can't stop a cheater from cheating, except stop playing with him.

Every game with random results is prone to cheating, prone to very easy cheating, so I don't think it is the developers main problem to stop cheating but to make a game fun. Cheaters will be sorted out by the players, who are fed up with them.

Edited by Jochmann

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Huh, never knew what WAAC was until now. I was accused of it (because I enforce rules, and maybe my list building. . . But I don't net list so they are all my own concoctions). Such a silly term. If "winning at all costs was a bad thing then give medals and trophies to everyo. . . Oh wait. . . We do

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Winning and keeping score is how we can strive to succeed.  The guy who said "winning isn't everything" never won a **** thing.  If you are not trying to win, then there is zero point in playing.  But that does not mean loosing is a bad thing either.  You learn more then the winner does. 

 

What I do not get, is how do people who cheat feel about their wins?  Its not real.  If you cheated you didn't actually win. 

 

Coming from Flames of  War I found that people were just so driven to get that prize support they would do anything to win, including cheat.  If you really need the prize support that badly you can have it.  I just want a good fair game.  I won a lot of tournaments, so I just started playing the kids that were at the bottom of the list and loose to them on purpose. I'd much rather see the light in someones eyes that rarely wins, then deal with some crazy person who wants the prize support so bad they will go crazy if they don't.  

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