Meat for Meta: That Magical First Time

There’s a special moment in the life of every 40k player, a glorious time when the stars align and the heavens open up and take a nice big shit right on your forehead.  Suddenly you find yourself sitting across the table from a Giant Douche Nozzle, incapable of any but the most rudimentary of thought processes.  And on that day, my friends, you will find yourself being righteously accused of cheating for the first time.

A cheating accusation can manifest itself in a myriad of ways, usually closely related to the kind of person making it.  In the socially awkward circles of the gaming community, the most common type of accusation is the passive aggressive call-out.

It starts simply enough.  “I mean, sure, if that’s how you want to play it.”  How does someone interpret a statement like that?  It’s plain to see the obvious disagreement, the disdain for whatever it is that the GDN thinks you’re doing – but how to respond?  “Yes, sir, that is how I want to play it!”  You don’t want to seem an ass, but how can you respond in a way that is both assured and confident without doing so?

Passive aggressive GDNs will likely revisit their piddling accusations at every opportunity.  Since they cannot come right out and say what it is they so desperately wish to say, (at least not until the game is over and they are back among their own devolved kind) they will likely just repeat it a few times, hoping to get a different reaction from you.  Do not indulge them!  It will only make them resort to these limp-wristed tactics in the future.

It’s important to respond to passive aggressively with direct confrontation, especially because it usually makes the accuser feel silly.  “Would you like to roll my dice, sir?  You’re welcome to roll them at any time if you feel they are unfair.  In fact, we could get a judge to roll them for both of us, or I could just not roll them at all!”  Most will simply retreat behind a curtain of defensive derision, continuing their accusations but pairing them with a spoonful of reassurances to make them go down easier.  “I mean, I’m not saying that you’re cheating…”

No, good sir?  Then what the fuck are you saying, exactly?  When you meet my compatriot on the field of battle shortly after I have concluded mopping the table with your greasy corpulence only to repeat your accusations to what you perceive as a sympathetic ear, how am I to interpret it?  If you are not saying it, then I suggest closing your gaping orifice, for it is surely working against your will.

Less common in our awkward group is the forceful accusation.  Like a deranged lawyer the GDN slams his fist down on the table and pronounces “No!  I shall not allow this outlandish violation of the rules to occur at my tabletop!”

One might think that the more aggressive of accusers might be more difficult to deal with, but fortunately reality is usually opposed to this sort of self-righteousness.  In other words, they’re almost always dead wrong.  A calm explanation of what you are doing and why it is legal shall usually suffice, and why not invite this other sane individual over to repeat, unprompted, their concurrent viewpoint?

No matter what form it takes, the first time you are accused of cheating will surely stand out in your memory.  It can be disorienting and comforting at the same time.  After all, you don’t know the rules well enough yet to hack them, but if nobody’s accusing you of cheating, are you really a gamer at all?

Congratulations, new guy.  You’ve arrived.

You can find me also at my blog Sweeping Advance

Questions for Comment:

  1. Have you ever been accused of cheating?
  2. How do you typically confront cheating at the table IN REALITY?
  3. What do you think is the most effective way to confront a cheater?
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Author: Frank Austin

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