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Old January 31st, 2008, 09:17 PM
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What would you do to win?

I started this thread to break out a sub-topic that's come up a lot in Stinger denial. A big part of what's going on there is more philosophical that it looks. I see a lot of people trying to define a gray area between legal and illegal play. "Denial is within the rules BUT..." Craig said he didn't use it; it's unsportsmanlike; it betrays a desire to win at all costs; it takes the fun out of the game. Legal but bad. Several examples of such play show up in that particular thread.

1. Stinger denial itself (and similar cases such as Raelin's spear). Several posters have agreed that it is legal, but threatened reprisals for anyone who does use it. The penalties mentioned include disinvitation to tournaments, walking away from a game with a Stinger denier, refusing to play any game of any kind with a denier, and stalling for the rest of a tournament match where denial is used. Skyknight in particular is outspoken in his claim that if I were to use the denial against him in a tournament, he would stall for the rest of the game, even if he were behind, in an attempt to keep me from advancing. And that brings us to:

2. Stalling. I'm not a tournament player, but some who are have brought up stalling as a gray area. They point out the difficulty of finding any rules against it, but still disapprove of it.

3. Turning a figure to make achieving LOS harder, or using a bulky figure to block the head of a friendly Zombie. The consensus seems to be that this is not as objectionable as Stinger denial.

4. Jexik mentions the "rat dance" of using the scatter from the first rat attacked by a melee squad figure to move rats away from the other figures who will be attacking later in the turn. He's used the tactic in tournaments, but typically does not in home games.

5. For that matter, some posters look down on fielding a lot of 4th Mass., a lot of rats, or Q9, no matter how you play them.

6. "Rules lawyering," whatever that is supposed to be within the Heroscape system. Some posters have ominously stated that if someone uses a figure's sculpt to block their movement, they will feel free to "rules-lawyer right back." I've always tried to abide by the letter of the rules, so maybe I am a rules lawyer myself. The underlying idea seems to be that there are technicalities within the rules which a good sportsman should not insist his opponent follow.

7. Making the best move possible. In general, some hold the opinion that it can sometimes be right to make a worse move when a better one is there for the taking, because the better one would endanger the fun of the game. Attacking friendly figures is one common example. "It just doesn't seem right."

So where do you stand on these things? I would put myself way on the rough-and-tumble end of the spectrum: always build your best army, hit me with your best moves, and never let me get away with breaking a rule. Don't hold back because you think I'll have more fun if you do.

What do you think? Are there more "gray moves" I've left out? Is it okay to use them? Is there even such a thing as cheap play, or just what's legal and illegal? Is rules lawyering an offense, or just another name for enforcing all the rules?
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Old January 31st, 2008, 09:21 PM
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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:04 PM
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Stinger denial may not be against the rules of heroscape but it is against the sprit of heroscape.


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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:26 PM
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1. Stinger denial – I don’t see anything wrong it … to me it is part of the strategy you use during the game. I by itself it cannot win or lose a game for you. It is just one of the many nuances in this great game.

2. Stalling – I play rather fast ( sometimes too fast ) . There have been times that near the end of the game and I am ahead on points I tell my opponent, “ I’m not putting myself at jeopardy you are going to have to come after me. That is not stall but smart play.

3. Turning Figures – Sure again it is part of the game, I don’t know why would not do this.

4. I hate rats but I accept they are part of the game.

5. I have no trouble with Q9 or the 4th mass – my orcs can stand up to them just fine (most of the time anyway ) the HS point values does a good joub of keeping everything on even ground.

6. Rules Lawyering – Don’t understand why people have problems with this, as I said before if you are not playing by the rules then you are not playing Heroscape just using the pieces.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dumb Dwarf

As far as what is rules lawyering, it's using the rules to suit your own needs. RL's often tend to forget the details until it comes to their advantage, ........
Now Dumb Dwarf definition of Rule Lawering I am against.... but I and others on this site have been called, for nothing other than trying to follow the rules in the HS book. I guess it depends on the definition of RL if I agree with it or not.

7. Make the best move possible – I think that is what determines who wins 95% of the time. He who makes the least mistakes wins / or best moves wins. People who give up or don't make their best move whould not be fun to play against - why play the game then?

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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:44 PM
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I play because I enjoy playing. I enjoy winning, but it's not why I play.

So I would not use the Stinger Denial, or any other such tactic.

BUT

Heroscape has the potential to be a chess game. It truly does.

It's complicated weaves of planning and attacking can really be mentally stimulating, and gratifying to a successful strategist. To say it doesn't, sells it short. There's a lot going of deep thought type of strategy available to you, if you want there to be. Dice rolls have the affect of killing that strategy a little, but if you're into the game for the strategical reason, it would be foolish to eliminate any strategical edge or advantage you could play. ( "Strategy" derivative words in that paragraph: 5)

To a person who enjoys the game for this reason; stalling, careful placement, mind games, and all sorts of "ethically questionable tactics" can be perfectly fine.

When you sit down to a game - no matter what game you play.... know your opponent before the first pawn is moved. Just ask them what kind of Heroscape they play. Communication can work wonders to prevent these types of conflicts.


Rules Lawyering is cheating. It's being fancy with the rules, and that's cheating. If it doesn't tell you that you can do it, then you can't do it.



All that being said, I think that people who cry about Stinger Denial are just as wrong as the people who use it in-game. If you didn't know that it was NOT coming (by communiating with the other player before the game started), then you should have had a way to stop it. You're BOTH acting unsportsmanlike.

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Old January 31st, 2008, 11:19 PM
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Old January 31st, 2008, 11:54 PM
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Re: What would you do to win?

1. Stinger denial itself (and similar cases such as Raelin's spear). I've never encountered it in a game. In a very similar situation in a casual game, my friend and I laughed about that thread and he turned his stinger so that my Krug would fit. I can be somewhat careless with figure placement, and I often bump other players figures- I can be a little klutzy at times. By default, I play the way that CVN and JK do. I understand the other side though.

2. Stalling. I've only played in two tournaments. I played the AE in one of them. Every one of the the 11 tournament games that I have played has come to a complete finish, and that's how I like it to be. The AE dropped every time in the tournament that I used them. I fortunately haven't come into contact with stalling. I tend to pick armies for myself that are easy and fast to play. I'm usually planning my next moves while my opponent is making his, so even when I might face a staller, I hopefully will keep things moving.

3. Turning a figure to make achieving LOS harder, or using a bulky figure to block the head of a friendly Zombie. The consensus seems to be that this is not as objectionable as Stinger denial. I agree with this. I do it when it makes sense or I remember to. One trick I like is to use Nilfheim's wings to block clear sight to her own figures if possible. It's cool when it works.

4. Jexik mentions the "rat dance" of using the scatter from the first rat attacked by a melee squad figure to move rats away from the other figures who will be attacking later in the turn. He's used the tactic in tournaments, but typically does not in home games. I'll actually probably still do this whenever I play rats, but the key thing is that I generally only play rats in tournaments or when I'm testing armies for one.

5. For that matter, some posters look down on fielding a lot of 4th Mass., a lot of rats, or Q9, no matter how you play them. I already have played Mass and rats in tournaments. I think you have to play good units if you really want to win, but I still think there's a bit of variety in viable builds, especially when we see varied point totals for tournaments.

I hope I don't eat my words later, but I really, really hate Q9 after trying him out a bit myself. No other figure seems to be able to run the table in quite the same way, and with such minimal effort on the player's part. Unlike 4th Mass and deathreavers, it is much harder to get a sense of progress against Q9. Most attacks bounce off harmlessly as he slowly whittles down your forces. (I also think that part of his success is due to the other dominant part of the tournament metagame-ranged squad usage- having a flexible special attack also helps.)

6. "Rules lawyering," I tend to remind a Marrden Hounds' player to roll for his Wild Pack Movement, but I'll also remind a Nakita Agents' player to roll for their engagement strike or smoke powder. If I see someone move their gladiatrons (via the B-tron bonding) assuming that they get the road movement bonus, I'll say something about it early to get that out of the way. I'll call out how many attack dice I'm using and from where, and do my best to remind my opponent of his bonuses. I do make mistakes though, and I might swear under my breath when I realize that my 4 skull roll on that Krav Maga Agent came from 4 height above, and was thus not adjacent. Edit: I guess I don't really know that much of what Rules Lawyering means to others because I tend not to do it. I just remind players of rules so that they know them.

7. Making the best move possible.I generally try to, but I can be hasty and I often make tons of mistakes. I don't see why people would purposefully make a bad move unless they are playing a kid or their spouse. Attacking friendly figures is one common example. "It just doesn't seem right." I'm against attacking your own figures usually simply because I don't see the point. Even the examples of shooting your own Krug or Cyprien life draining his own cheap figures haven't really paid off when I've tried them. I prefer to have a chance at attacking my opponent's figures rather than doing his work for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fomox View Post
(I've also played many matches with great, fun people who were using Q9. So using Q9 doesn't make you a tool. But being a tool sure seems to make you use Q9.)
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Old February 1st, 2008, 12:28 AM
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Re: What would you do to win?

1. Stinger denial - Against it.

2. Stalling - Against it.

3. Turning a figure to make achieving LOS harder, or using a bulky figure to block the head of a friendly Zombie - For it.

4. The "rat dance" of using the scatter from the first rat attacked by a melee squad figure to move rats away from the other figures who will be attacking later in the turn - For it.

5. Fielding a lot of 4th Mass., a lot of rats, or Q9, no matter how you play them - I'd personally never play more than three squads of anything unless it was specifically designed with that in mind, a la the Marro Drones, because it would be a little boring for me. But I wouldn't mind facing them, and wouldn't think a player was cheap unless that's all he/she played, ever.

6. "Rules lawyering," whatever that is supposed to be within the Heroscape system - To me, rules lawyering is the minute examination and/or interpretation of the letter of the rules to such an extent that the intent of the rules is ignored or forgotten. Not being a rules lawyer is not the same as playing without rules, as Codeman claims in his above post. I for one DO play by all the rules, never having even tried a house rule.

7. Attacking friendly figures. "It just doesn't seem right." - I don't think I would do this myself, for reasons of tactics as much as philosophy. As Revdyer (I think) once put it, if you want to shoot your own Krug, be my guest. Less wounds I have to put on him.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 12:46 AM
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1.Stinger denial – I don't intentionally use sculps to block oponent's movements

2.Stalling – Unfair

3.Turning Figures – I don't do this. i feel that if my guy exposed himself to shoot at you, you had an opportunity to shoot back

4. Rat Dance- I use this method and am of the understanding that that was how it was intended

5.Extreme multiples drafting- I like to field balanced or theme armies so you won't see me going overboard like this

6.Rules Lawyering – Ignoring the spirit or intent of a rule to gain a momentary situational, and legalistc advantage is a fun killer.

7.Make the best move possible – But of course, although I will not destroy enjoyment, my dignity, and my reputation in trade for a winning move that is viewed by others as dishonorable.


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Old February 1st, 2008, 01:15 AM
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1.Stinger denial – against it.

2.Stalling – against it.

3.Turning Figures – I do it in my turn. If my opponent is about to shoot me, I don't turn my figure to avoid it.

4. Rat Dance- I use it a lot and think it is part of the rats' specialty (otherwise, they would not have disengage).

5.Extreme multiples drafting- I am all for it. Again, part of common's specialty.

6.Rules Lawyering – within the spirits of the game, the way Jexik does .
7.Make the best move possible - I don't see any problem with that. As long as everyone is happy and the game is played as intended, people should do the best they can.

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Old February 1st, 2008, 01:17 AM
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1.Stinger denial – I can't see using a sculpt to prevent engagement, but I'm not going to cry foul if someone tries it.

2.Stalling – I'd rather my games not go down to the clock - but I'm not going to send my last 3 figures off chasing Isamu - he'll need to come to me

3.Turning Figures – There aren't many ways to escape range - I'll take any I can get. Just like in a real gunfight. Just keep in mind you can only turn your figures during your turn.

4. Rat Dance- They wouldn't be rats without it!

5.Cheesy drafting- There's equal access to figures, and so far none of the usual suspects are exclusive. If you think a figure is too powerful, then why isn't it in your tournament army? I enjoy playing DW7K and Dund, but for a tourney? I'll take Raelin, thank you! On a side note - Q9 was in the winning army at our last tourney. Q9 was also in the last placed army.

6.Rules Lawyering – I try my best to follow the rules as written. If there's a dispute - look it up! Not sure? Reach a consensus! I've seen plenty of rules lawyering on this site, but I can't recall seeing it on game day.

7.Make the best move possible – Doing the unexpected, within the rules, to gain an advantage is how good players gain an edge over luck. Disengage your last non-valiant unit to boost your 4th Mass? Sure! I'd use an exploding attack or wild swing against my own figure if it meant affecting three of my opponent's - but I see no advantage in prodding Krug or sacrificing to Cyprien.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 03:18 AM
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I've played in just about as many tournaments as anyone, and I've had most of these situations come up in tourney games. Some of them are pretty cut and dry (in my mind), and others are a bit hazy. Here are my thoughts:

1. Stinger Denial- I personally don't do it, but I have nothing against those who do. There are different interpretations of the game, and I'm fine with that...and I also won't judge a person's character over it. Really though, it doesn't come up often at all, and so I don't lose sleep over it.

2. Stalling- I think this is actually a bigger deal than most people think. I once had a game where I essentially Q9 versus Krug, and the time was low. I also had rats, while my opponent had a few Blade Gruts. As most of you know, it's not a good idea to have an engaged Q9 attack a healthy Krug. So instead, I had rats make pitiful attacks against the Blades. I could have given my opponent less opportunities to kill Q9, but I instead hurried through all my turns and gave him a kagillion opportunities to kill Q9. Sure enough, on the last swing, Q9 fell. I probably could have reasonably given my opponent about 50% of the attacks on Q9 that he actually got, but I didn't. It does suck when "smart" comes in conflict with unethical, but I think even minor stalling reflects poor character.

3. I think turning figures is a good tactic. However, like GB said, I play by the general rule that if one figure can shoot from one hex to a figure on another hex, the figure receiving fire should be able to return fire on their turn. If a person were to shoot and then retreat within the wiggle room of a hex to be covered by an obstacle, I would think that's cheesy.

4. I think the rat dance is a good move, and I've used it in tournaments before. However, I did feel badly one time when my opponent was unaware that I could scatter a rat that he going to attack later. From then on, if I think my opponent is unaware of it, I'll mention it beforehand....just hopefully I don't offend someone who is well aware of the fact and I tell them anyway.

5. Well, I don't look down on anyone who fields Q9, lots of Mass, or lots of rats, but I do think it's a little annoying if that's practically all they ever bring to a tourney (unless of course your name has the word "Code" in it :P ). I say mix it up a little and play a variety of units so people don't remember you as "oh yeah, that guy who always plays Q9...that (expletive)." There are plenty of good units out there anyway that are capable of doing well and winning a tournament.

6. I'm pretty much the opposite of a rules lawyer, but I guess I'd have to look at each and every situation to make a good judgment. For example, if someone bonds with Marcus but forgets to make an attack with him and proceeds to move Romans, I'll either remind the player or let him go back and make an attack. Not a big deal.

7. Making the best move possible is kind of an ambiguous statement, but I think it's generally always smart and ethical. I don't think attacking your own figures under any circumstance is wrong...I'm perfectly fine with it.

If there were one other gray area, I would say it deals with determining the outcome of dice rolls. Sometimes dice are tilted on random items, and some subjectiveness comes into play. Whatever the die is closest to is what I go by, but if my opponent interprets it differently, I'll adapt to their judgment for the rest of the game. I have had people who try to take advantage of me in this regard, though, and I'll be sure to call them on it if I feel like they're trying to gain an unfair advantage. I guess that's just one more reason to use a genuine, hand-crafted work of art made by the natives of Texas http://vixentorgames.com/

As a general blanket statement, I do believe there is a "spirit of the game" in Heroscape, and I see that as a game that isn't meant to get all worked up over. I think some games were just designed to take more seriously than others. However, I do think it's possible to be very competitive and still not be a rules lawyer or unpleasant to play against. Rÿchean and lonewolf are two others who come to mind in this regard, but I think this holds true for most competitive people who play Heroscape tournaments.

Anyway, I don't think any legal move is unethical, but that doesn't mean I would use them myself. I also don't think anyone who uses Stinger Denial should have their character judged, but I do think stalling shows poor character. Taking a strict interpretation of the rules isn't unethical, but being a jerk about it is. I know that different people hold different opinions about what Heroscape should be, and I won't hold it against them if it's differs from how I see the game.
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