The Illegal List Conundrum

Being human beings, making mistakes are a part of life and there is no getting away from that. In 40k the chance of making a mistake with your lists has gotten quite large considering all the resources you need to check. You might need to consult the rulebook, codex, supplemental codex, and ITC FAQ all at once. A War Convocation with White Scars allies could be pulling from 4 different codexes, 2 expansion resources, the rulebook, ITC FAQ, and the relevant GW FAQ’s. Its no wonder that some people make mistakes.

We’ve seen many winning lists dubbed illegal after the fact by the community. I’m not going to name names  as this isn’t a witchunt article, rather I hope it to be a push towards a solution in the long run.

No Man Is Safe

illegalI know for me, when I read about others using illegal lists that my hackles got raised and I was a bit self-righteous about the whole situation. That is until I did it myself. Just recently at Storm of Silence I ran an illegal list. It was a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but an illegal list nonetheless. I didn’t receive a ton of backlash as I didn’t do very well, but if I had I’m pretty sure I would have had a large amount of community uproar.

My crime? I had two relics on a Chapter Master. Pretty small, but then again most every illegal list lately has been pretty minor. Many people I know have made assumptions that these illegal lists were on purpose, but now I’m not so sure. It was an honest mistake and I even went through everything in the codex and double checked points and whatnot. I now feel for those fellow illegal listers.


I wonder if the true lack of penalties at tournaments might be part of the problem. Adepticon has it that the list must be corrected right then and/or that the illegal unit in question can no longer be played with. That’s it. Other tournaments haven’t had any real overturns happen after the fact which is understandable. If an illegal list is found during or after the event, what should happen? I’m thinking for the Guardian Cup (a GT I run in the Portland, OR area coming June 4th-5th!) might institute an autoloss that round and force an immediate fix. At least that. What do you think? What SHOULD happen to a player with an illegal list?


helping communityI really want to focus on solutions to the problem itself. One thing I’ve done recently is start a Facebook group called the ITC List Checking Tournament Group. Its goal is to provide a place for people to post a list and have other community members double check for legality. Some people have laughed, other think it is a great idea. What do you think? It is an open group for all to join and participate. The only real rule would probably be if you want feedback, be prepared to give feedback and support!

Another solution or this is to have the pairing system – I’m looking at you Best Coast Pairings 🙂 – be able to accept a pdf of the list before an event and allow the community to see each others list. This would do a few things. One, it would allow other people to find an illegal list before it is entered into the tournament. Two, it would make it so that no one could switch lists between rounds, which unfortunately I’m sure a player or two has done. Playing Tau? List A. Playing Daemons? List B. Playing Space Marines? List C. Subtle changes would be hard to find. Third, it would cut out the mass amount of paper needed to be printed out for an event. People could check their opponents list on their phones and not have to worry about printing off mass amounts of lists.


With the amount of resources a player can use to make a list, combined with our own imperfect nature, illegal lists will continue to be a thing. It’s up to the player to work on double checking their lists, but a good community should also be willing to help solve the problem instead of looking to heckle and throw rotten tomatoes at those that make these mistakes.

About CaptainA

Aaron is a longtime gamer of many systems. He is an avid community builder of 40k and after running many 40k events in Portland, Oregon, has recently moved to Boise, Idaho and continues to host and run leagues and events. He has also recently expanded his repertoire and entered the second hand Warhammer business. Check out his website at to see how he can help you get rid off your old and unused models.

52 Responses to “The Illegal List Conundrum”

  1. Happy_Inquisitor May 7, 2016 10:09 am #

    A more technological solution would be to have everyone submit lists in a machine readable format and have a validation engine run against them. That might seem ridiculously hard but I suspect that putting the same effort into fixing up the Battlescribe data files as manually reviewing a load of lists would result in a tool that everyone can take to be the agreed definition of ITC valid.

    There is already a community of people maintaining those files and I have found them pretty responsive to politely worded bug reports so you could build on that.

    Agreed that putting the lists onto the pairing systems would eliminate certain other forms of sneakiness that might be happening.

    However when all is said and done the player with an illegal list is by definition not the better player, they are sadly not even a competent player. They should automatically take a loss. We need to get away from any consideration of whether it is deliberate or accidental, it is just a mistake that loses you the game should you make it. If it is found out after the event – and I would suggest post event checking of any list that wins anything – then you are asked to return your prize and ITC points are not awarded.

    • AngryPanda May 7, 2016 11:17 am #

      I agree with the later part of this. It doesn’t matter if the mistake was on puprose or not. In no other competition does anyone even pause to consider this.
      It’s actualy an arguement I used to have with local players a lot who just couldn’t be assed to put in the effort to know their lists and rules.

    • Dejasle May 7, 2016 6:09 pm #

      I agree with Happy here. Taking cues from other competitive ventures would be a good idea for a community that turning largely competitive itself. Most of my experience revolves around motor sport and the rules of conduct usually practiced therein.

      Entry is not allowed until a competitor has been through scrutineering, in which all aspects of equipment are checked, primary for safety. This could be done in a similar manner with some programming expertise and a standardized method of list submission.

      As for things that do slip through, being out of specification is grounds for disqualification. Period. Intentional or no. It should not be the organizers job to determine intent.

      This community already does fantastic job self regulating the crazier thing’s brought forth from GW. Though personally, I think it’s time to tighten up the organized play structure as much as the rules structure has been.

      • abusepuppy May 7, 2016 10:52 pm #

        The thing is, most other competitive venues don’t instantly disqualify a player or issue an immediate loss for minor mistakes of form- and that’s what most of these are. People talk about instituting some kind of automatic list-checking, but the errors that have been made are ones that have ALREADY gotten past the sorts of checks that most automated list-checkers (such as Battlescribe) will catch.

        I certainly think an actual policy on the matter- and one that is enforced- would help. Adepticon did it right- they had a policy and followed through on it, and it wasn’t one that simply eliminated the player from the tournament nor imposed a mere slap on the wrist.

        Penalties should be assessed based on the infraction committed; a player who is 1pt over or makes a minor error in list selection that most people wouldn’t even be aware was against the rules shouldn’t be treated the same way as someone who is 50-100pts over or who commits obvious and repeated violations.

        (I also think that, as CaptainA points out, most people who are quite self-righteous about the matter would be surprised to learn that their own lists are in violation of the rules about as often as anyone else’s are- almost no one takes an illegal list _on purpose_ or through gross negligence, so naturally they don’t notice when it happens. It’s only the top tourney lists that receive massive scrutiny from dozens of angles in which these comparatively-small errors are uncovered.)

        • Happy_Inquisitor May 8, 2016 12:14 am #

          I think you will just end up with the same fruitless debates over “did it make a difference” and “was it intentional” and nothing will ever change. If you are happy with tournaments being a big fun get-together with no pretensions toward being a proper competitive event then obviously this would be fine with you.

          More serious competitive events have a very binary approach to this for precisely this reason. They really do not have the concept of “only slightly illegal”.

          We all make mistakes, if we make them on the table we lost the game. If we make them in list design we should lose the game. 40K is a game usually won by the player who makes the fewest mistakes.

        • abusepuppy May 8, 2016 7:43 am #

          >They really do not have the concept of “only slightly illegal”.

          Yes they do. The penalty for every action in, say, basketball is not instant ejection from the game; there are a variety of penalties that the referees can issue to a player, from a mere warning all the way up to season-long bans.

          >We all make mistakes, if we make them on the table we lost the game.

          Also not true. Mistakes _can_ lose you a game, but do not do so automatically. Even playing rules wrong during a game does not lose you the game- why is a mistake in list-writing different?

        • ryan May 8, 2016 9:19 am #

          i see no difference between being over by 1 point or over by 50, over is over. Why even have a points limit to the tournament if we can simply ignore it. Make you list, check it, check it again, check it 10 more times than have some of your club mates check it. There needs to be zero tolerance on this behaviour or eventually your going to not see tournaments of 200+ people, it will be the top 25 guys with the rest of the field staying home and not getting cheated.

          • abusepuppy May 8, 2016 10:06 pm

            Alright, let’s be perfectly blunt then: did YOU know that Blood Angels Sanguinary Priests have to pay a point for their extra CCW? I’m betting not. I consider myself to be pretty extensively familiar with the game and I certainly didn’t- nor, I think, do the vast majority of other players, even other BA players.

            Double-checking a list does no good if you are missing the fundamental error in it; you will repeatedly add up the wrong numbers and get the same incorrect result as you and your club mates check it twenty times.

            You talk about “cheating” as though players are intentionally writing their lists wrong to gain an advantage, but I have _never_ seen this be the case; all of the things people have done wrong are simple mistakes that they did not realize how the rules worked.

            If you really think that all errors are equivalent and that we need to be enforcing the rules more strongly, then it is not just going to be tournament winners that we are punishing- indeed, the players ranked lower in the tournament will (almost by definition) be the ones making the most errors in both list-writing and in play and thus bear the brunt of the penalties. Zero tolerance means zero tolerance, after all.

          • ryan May 9, 2016 7:53 am

            no reply button for abuse post below which i want to reply to

            What does my knowledge of the BA codex have to do with a top player taking an illegal list to a tourney. Ive listened to interviews after the cheating debacle and he specifies howmuch theory crafting he does, well guess what, i do alot also, and the ones that are over by 1 point are worthless……well unless you go to a major tourney and get caught after beating 6 people already. Where are the interviews with the 6 people he cheated? what do you think they feel about tournament play now?

            cheating is cheating, and when people like you enable it after the fact, nothing will change. Influential people in the community need to take a hard stand on this issue, not condone it with “ah shucks mistakes happen its a big game with lots of rules”

          • TinBane May 9, 2016 8:05 am

            ryan, you are terrible under-informed.
            In the bolt pistol example, he played his first 3, “easy” games with a 1 pt advantage. For his last 3 games, the “deciders” he was 150+ pts down.

            So, how badly did he cheat?

          • ryan May 9, 2016 9:45 am


            when your going to call somebody out for not knowing the facts, maybe do some investigation on your own. He won 6 rounds with an illegal list, he played the final 2 rounds down his priest (the hardest two rounds obviously), but it dosnt excuse the fact he won 6 rounds with an illegal list.

          • abusepuppy May 9, 2016 12:37 pm


            My point was that his list was illegal in a way that most people- yourself included- would not have even recognized if the internet had not pointed it out to him. He did not intentionally cheat; and, in fact, the difference in his army was so immensely minor it did not affect his games in any way.

          • TinBane May 10, 2016 4:35 pm

            Fair point.

            He still won the hardest games, down a whole character, after an honest mistake, whereby he was over by the smallest amount of points possible, because of a rule that before this, VERY few people knew or remembered.

            Also, wasn’t he in an event that asked people to submit valid army builder lists? His list was “good” enough to pass army builder validation.

            1pt extra, to me, has far less impact than someone fucking up the rules. And I think cheating should be considered in a sane way, based on the impact it has. Losing the whole character for two games, has far more benefit than having to take out ONE POINT for six games.

        • AngryPanda May 8, 2016 10:30 am #

          I’m with you on the attitude but I can’t agree with something like 1 (to say what 10?) points being so minor. With formations it is getting pretty complciated to stick huge bricks of army bits together. Being say 5 points over may not sound much for those five points but if it allows you to squeeze in a whole formation that otherwise simply would not have fit into the concept you are trying to build cause you absolutely need 300 points but only have 295 it suddenly becomes huge.

          Layered conseuqences seem fine though, plus some common sense. I can’t believe people were freaking out over a bolt pistol in an army that easly had the flexibility to inlude everything it did even with that extra point. Plus the idea of making people take rounds and personaly apologise is fresh out of pre school.
          Being paraded arorund in awkward social situations is no fun for anyone involved, often including the people being apologised to.
          Set consequences on what happens depending on how much the mistkae actualy impacted the list and games I’d say?

          • David May 8, 2016 1:19 pm

            The moment you create a range of penalties based on degrees of abuse, people will abuse them in the hopes that they will slip through unnoticed. Yes, a range protects those who slip up by accident, but it also enables cheaters willing to make a gamble.

            5 points, even 1 point, may not sound like much, but sometimes it means adding an upgraded unit or a different formation.

            Last game I played, I made a huge mistake. Ended up costing me the game. I don’t see how making a mistake on a list is any different. If the points go over, the match should be lost.

            And as for list mistakes and complications… If 40k is so complicated that you can’t add up the points accurately and double-check to make sure, maybe you shouldn’t be playing in tournaments.

            I do think lists should be printed out for opponents, and that electronic versions should be submitted at least a week prior to an event, even if they aren’t checked by anyone.

    • Joshua Taylor May 9, 2016 1:00 pm #

      This is Warhammer 40k, not Magic the Gathering. The community makes the difference, Give some people some respect, and some credit. Unless someone is playing with hot dice, or over the top cheating. A minor list mistake, should not disqualify them from participating in an event they paid for, and likely traveled several hours to get to. Come on how does “I equipped my chapter master with 2 relics” become a game loss mistake?
      this is how i fix it. roll a die on 1,2,3 you lose relic “A”, 4,5,6 you lose relic “B”

  2. punchdub May 7, 2016 1:07 pm #

    I laughed – that was me. I think having people help check lists is a great idea, but not as a response to a string of illegal lists being found out. It should be proactive. I’m not sure how you can suggest that these items have all been “pretty small” or “pretty minor?” Extra “stuff” is an advantage. How the player optimizes that stuff is really not even debatable. Simply having access to something that no other play has access to creates an unfair advantage. While cheating implies intent, the result of cheating and unintentionally bringing an illegal list are the same. An unfair advantage.

    If I was ever found, by myself or another, to have taken an unfair advantage of my opponent, I would be the first to apologize and renounce my status in that event. 40K is a gentleman’s “sport.”

    Now, anything that a player can do to make sure their list is correct prior to the event is something that they should consider, but the integrity of a player’s list rests solely with the player and no one else. If you want to take an army that spans 3-5 books, then plan to have read those books front to back and cross reference the rules. “Rules-lawyer” is a term because it actually requires someone to have done a fair bit of research. It can be done, and should be done by the player.

    As for events. This is how I run No Mercy. If an illegal list is found during the event, which happened last year during round 2. I stopped the game in question after I had reviewed the list and did the following:

    1. An apology was required to the 1st and 2nd round opponent. This was not optional if the player wanted to continue.
    2. The 1st round opponent (who had lost to the illegal list) was given a minor victory.
    3. The 2nd round opponent was given a choice to take a Win or have the illegal list player adjust his list to make it legal and continue the game.
    4. The illegal list player was unable to collect prize support from the GT, but was allowed to bring his “legal list” to the day 2 RTT and compete fresh.

    IMHO anything less tells players that they do not have to ensure that their lists are accurate and legal.

    • Mike May 7, 2016 1:50 pm #

      I agree with this methodology. Yes the game is complicated. But if you are showing up to compete at something decently large, you should be running a legal list. Mistakes may happen. If you make one, take your lumps and move on. Coddling the people that make mistakes sends a VERY BAD HORRIBLE message to everyone else in the event.

      For TO’s: would you rather lose 1 player that you have to cut because he made a mistake, or have 10 not show up next time because they saw a cheater (unintentional or not) take home prize support that THEY were playing legally for.

    • Nightman May 7, 2016 5:26 pm #

      While it might seem harsh to do it like this, i think it’s in the offending players best interest in the long run. Even if the error is minor and inconsequential, if you end up doing well at the event the internet will probably give you shit for it and dig it up whenever it runs out of ammo.

  3. Muzz May 7, 2016 2:08 pm #

    I have been a TO myself. So far my events have been relatively small (max 30 players) and as a measure to prevent illegal lists (by accident or design) I required all lists to be submitted to me a minimum of two weeks prior to the event. This gave me enough time to check the lists and, if necessary, alert any players to irregularities in their list so that they could correct and resubmit it.

  4. elwrath May 7, 2016 2:50 pm #

    Hey Captain A, thanks for writing this article. Ive been thinking and discussing this subject with my local buddies quite a bit lately.

    I like the solution of the facebook page and I’m going to go join it today.

    That being said I think that its important for the ITC to come up with a official stance on this. I’ve met both the main offenders from the big tournaments and I know they are good guys. They didn’t mean to cheat. That doesn’t change the fact that their ‘win’ is contributing to their overall ITC score. And that comes across as cheaters prospering. IMO a player found to be cheating during or after the fact, regardless of what the specific tournament does should not get ITC points for the tournament. Its just the safer road for the ITC to take. As the ITC gets bigger it needs to continue to show that its fair and impartial.

    • jy2 May 8, 2016 7:26 am #

      The ITC provides a guideline for the rules. They don’t decide the punishment. Each individual tournament TO does. Remember that these events aren’t ITC-owned events (like the LVO or BAO). Rather, it is owned by the individual organizations and they are the ones best fit to decide how they want to treat their local meta, not some “Big Brother” who has no attachment to the locales.

      Likewise, it isn’t the ITC’s responsibility to change one’s score. It is the individual TO’s. If they want to change the ITC score of one of players, it is up to them to re-submit their scores or to notify the ITC of any submission changes.

      Seriously, we don’t need some big brother to police international 40K. They wouldn’t even have the time. It is up to each regional locale to police their own meta.

      • elwrath May 8, 2016 2:16 pm #

        I’m not saying the ITC should ‘police’ local meta or decide some punishment based on the tournament. I’m saying that no one should get ITC points for winning a tournament by cheating, unintentional or otherwise. Its the same argument that people are making on a local level about players winning the tournament with an illegal list and it causing disillusion among other players and them not going back to that local tournament. The same thing applies to the ITC. If someone wins the ITC or is even high up in it with an illegal win that devalues it for everyone else. That is what many players in the middle of the pack feel when it comes to someone winning with an illegal list.

        This is similar to what happened to feast of blades a few years ago. FoB made the situation worse by handling it wrong and having a certain amount of being in ‘the in crowd’ attitude about it. It blew up in their face, and FoB doesn’t exist anymore. That was the level of backlash from the community. I’m not saying the same thing will happen, but it could and I believe it would be in the best interest of the ITC to get ahead of the possibility.

        As to changing scores didn’t Aaron Aelong choose to return his prices and step aside from his adepticon win? I believe the winner of the broadside bash was emailing the TO about it what they thought he should do. This isn’t even a thing the ITC would have to do necessarily.

        This wouldn’t be the ITC policing international 40k. At this point having an ITC score means something to the player who has it. A competitive person cares about it. Hell I know I do. And despite the fact that it was unintentional it bugs me that someone can and has cheated to get a better score. Whatever the level of cheating involved. one point or the wrong relic choice at the table. It makes that ITC score mean less. Obviously I know that it is a number on a internet page, and it is meaningless in the larger scheme of things, but it still matters. I bet your top performances in a couple of factions last year matter to you too. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s why I think the ITC should protect itself and its participants.

        • abusepuppy May 9, 2016 4:50 am #

          >I’m saying that no one should get ITC points for winning a tournament by cheating, unintentional or otherwise.

          Lemme put a hypothetical to you, then.

          Two people play in a round of a tournament; during the course of that game, they play it such that GCs can take Feel No Pain rolls against Destroyer weapons.

          Now, this is not just a wrong interpretation of the rules but cheating (specifically on the part of the GC player) just as much as having an incorrect list is. And you can make the exact same arguments about how it influenced the rest of the tournament, potentially denied people prizes, etc, etc.

          So do you think players that play rules wrong should suffer the same penalties as those that have lists that are wrong? How would that be any different? Cheating is cheating, after all.

          And if you accept that, then almost _everyone_ in the game is cheating- it is a very rare game that I watch where I can’t (potentially) correct at least one of the players on a rules fault.

          • Elwrath May 9, 2016 2:04 pm

            Sure you’re right no one plays a perfect game of 40k. The difference between that an illegal list is the players at the table can work it out between themselves. Or if one of them is cheating at the table that’s what a TO is for right?

            And you’re right I should have said anyone found to have an illegal list. Or a player that the TOs decided were cheating. Is that more palatable for you? It has the bonus of being easy to do.

          • abusepuppy May 9, 2016 3:31 pm

            >The difference between that an illegal list is the players at the table can work it out between themselves

            But by your own definition, they are still cheating. And by your own argument, regardless of what decision the players work out at the table _it’s still not a legal play_ and affects other players in the tournament. If you’re going to take an absolutist stance against “cheating” by the definition of “playing the game incorrectly” then you can’t just decide to slough some examples and say that they don’t really matter and shouldn’t be punished.

            And again, keep in mind that the players most likely to have an illegal list (or to play rules incorrectly) are not the players at the top of the tournament brackets- it’s the ones at the bottom. And, by any fair standard, you would have to inflict the same penalties on those players as you would the players who are winning- and I doubt that is a move that will garner anyone any goodwill.

          • elwrath May 10, 2016 1:23 am

            You ignored the last sentence of my first paragraph. I posed the question that if there is cheating beyond ‘wrong’ play or something the two players at the table can’t work out between them then there is the TO option.

            I also conceded that my statement was too absolute and changed it in my second paragraph to an illegal list or a player the TOs decided was cheating. So ya I stood back a bit from the ‘absolute’ stance of cheating = no ITC points. You made a good point about the ‘perfect’ game of 40k. The difference is if the two players can work it out amiably at the table that’s not really cheating is it? You know, the whole social contract between two players? Unless they’re colluding together but that’s an entirely different discussion. So ya I already agreed to that and it was in my last answer, but you didn’t seem to read that.

            Finally yes, this would effect players who aren’t at the top as well. So ya if someone in the middle or bottom has an illegal list or cheats in a way that the TO has to be involved then ya they shouldn’t get ITC points.

        • jy2 May 9, 2016 2:46 pm #

          First of all, I think the responsibility of determining whether the player gets ITC points or not should be the responsibility of each individual tournament, not the ITC. If there’s a problem with a player’s list or the way he plays, that needs to be dealt with on the local level. It should be up to the TO to notify the ITC if they need to make any changes to the scores of the players in their tournament. A 3rd party who wasn’t even there and who is basing his decisions off of unreliable info/hearsay should only step in at the request of the TO running the event. If you want to lobby for a player to not get his points, do it to the TO of the event, not to the ITC. The only tourneys the ITC should be responsible for are the ones that they run directly (i.e. LVO, BAO, Wargamescon, etc.).

          Secondly, isn’t it a little too harsh to punish people for every single mistake they make? Because every one makes unintentional mistakes, whether from ignorance or from bad info fed to them by other players. So does that mean we all should just disqualify ourselves because we all cheat? I don’t believe the world is so black-&-white. I think judgement/punishment should be based on the intent/maliciousness of the player and it is up to each TO to decide the severity.

          Ultimately, I think it is the responsibility of each and every TO to decide how they want to deal with offenders in their tournaments. The ITC provides the framework and basically an tracking system that incentivizes tournament play, but the ITC should not interfere with anyone else’s tournaments besides their own. The ITC has always encouraged TO’s to run their tournaments as they see fit, using the ITC ruleset as a guideline rather than as a hardline. It is this flexibility which has attracted many TO’s to the ITC system. They can use parts of the ITC that they like and modify those that they don’t. It would be extremely hypocritical of the ITC to begin dictating to independents what they can or cannot do or who in their tournaments can or cannot win. The system works better when the ITC gives more freedom to individual TO’s, not when they take it away. Then when the TO makes a bad decision (as in the case of Feast of Blades), they will suffer for it.

          • elwrath May 10, 2016 1:49 am

            You definitely make some good points. I just disagree that someone who has been found to have an illegal list or cheated enough that a TO was involved and some action was taken should get ITC points.

            I love that the ITC is open and free and doesn’t push their agenda on the individual tournaments. It means its grown explosively and will continue to. The points and their meaning on the other hand are something that is I believe directly in the purview of the ITC. How, when, and how many are awarded is exactly what the ITC/frontline does. I just believe they should also protect their participants from what basically amounts to fraud if you look at it from the right angle. I’m not trying to make it all black and white. There are many layers of gray here and would continue to be even ‘if’ some policy like I’m proposing were enacted.

  5. bogalubov May 7, 2016 9:04 pm #

    Most people function most efficiently when there is a bright line regarding conduct. However, it’s rarely that simple and there are many competing interests to consider.

    punchdub – Did you bother checking the lists of players who lost their first game? If during the 5th game of the tournament you discovered that a player who was 0-4 had an illegal list, would you parade that player to his previous 4 opponents with utterances of apologies?

    That sound ludicrous, right? That person spent the weekend getting their ass kicked and now they get to add personal insult on top of that because they went over the point limit by a point. I doubt any TO would heavily penalize this player if they want to make sure that player comes back.

    I think what we have is more like sports. The rules are clear, but their interpretation is governed by judgement calls. Did the breaking of the rule lead to a gained advantage? So the most realistic way forward is to keep doing what we’re doing and for TOs to be forced to make judgment calls when these situations arise.

    • Punchdub May 8, 2016 5:48 pm #

      I only check lists when there is a complaint, and of the 2 complaints I received last October, both lists were not correct. However, only one was over on points. The other was just attributed with incorrect points, but was still under the limit.

      I don’t feel that winning it losing is relevant. Having an invalid/illegal list warrants an apology to your opponents. So, had that issue come up, I would have required those 4 apologies if the individual in question wanted to play a 5th game. Apologizing for an error that was entirely preventable isn’t punishment. It’s honorable. When did owning your mistakes become ludicrous?

      Having lost to an illegal list at LVO this last year and only found out from a friend. Confirmed with the TO, who knew of the issue. That felt like a crappy way to find out that I was cheated out of a win path… An apology from that opponent would have been a nice gesture.

      We are playing a game that has specific rules of construction, like car racing. Our point limit is like a restrictor plate. If you mess with the restrictor plate you get a loss.

  6. frigobben May 8, 2016 12:14 am #

    Most Swedish tournaments post all tournament list on our community forum something like a week before the tournament starts. This allows everyone, both players of the tournament and interested non-players, to scrutinize the lists in order to find illegalities.

    Then the players with illegal lists, and there usually are a few, are allowed to change the lists with the minimum amount of changes to get the list to a legal state, since now all lists are public. What type of changes allowed is up to the TO, who will verify that the list has a similar character and not abusing the knowledge of having seen the other lists.

    This works quite well in proactively finding any errors (typically honest mistakes), since you get a lot of eyes on the lists. Each person watching is usually an expert on his/her “own” codex/codices and can verify the similar lists better than others.

    This will ease the workload of the TO dramatically, compared to if that person were to check all lists, and it is basically impossible for a single person match the knowledge of the entire player base.

    People are usually quite curious of seeing all the lists for the coming tournament, which is another upside of posting the lists in advance.

  7. Charlie May 8, 2016 2:34 am #

    I am interested in frigobben’s list checking concept, although I am sure there can be some minor issues that come up with it as well.

    Sadly, this is and has been a part of GTs for several years now. It’s happened at NOVA, Adepticon, Feast of Blades and I’m sure other events. I’m really not sure how to 100% eliminate it, but am kind of surprised just how common this has turned out to be. There has been multiple factors for my own drop in GT attendance, but not being able to know my opponent has a legal list (especially in 7th edition) does not further encourage me to attend more.

    • Happy-inquisitor May 8, 2016 3:04 am #

      I had a real feel-bad game vs an illegal list and did not bother going to another tournament for nearly a year. That sort of thing is just a waste of a weekend.

  8. Lord Krungharr May 8, 2016 6:11 am #

    I agree with what Adepticon did regarding the non-use of the unit having a mistake in its points. However they should have also not permitted that player to receive prize support. the valuable prizes are what make many of these events so cutthroat for many players.

    I mean didn’t the pajama pants Alan B win like $3k for something? Just playing for the win and glory itself certainly makes many more serious players but with anything worth money on the line it gets more serious. So mistakes of any sort need to have serious consequences regardless of intent.

    • jy2 May 8, 2016 7:32 am #

      Pajamapants won $3K for winning ITC Best Overall. That isn’t just one tournament. It is an accumulation of multiple tournament wins over the course of 1 season over 1 year.

      • elwrath May 8, 2016 2:17 pm #

        You’re making my point for me. What if PJpants had cheated one of his big wins earlier in the season? What would the other people in the running feel about that?

        • abusepuppy May 8, 2016 10:10 pm #

          And what if he was secretly a rapist, too? Wouldn’t that be even worse?

          We can attribute any number of hypothetical crimes to him, it’s easy! After all, if a man fails to notice an incredibly trivial error that literally never affected anything in all of his games AND then accepts a significant penalty for the remainder of the tournament as a result, clearly he must be a monster beyond all description.

          • elwrath May 9, 2016 2:55 am

            That’s some great hyperbole there.

            I’m not speaking about some weird hypothetical. This very situation happened a few years back with Feast of Blades. Admittedly Adepticon handled the situation as they said they would in their rules, that’s a plus in their favor. That hopefully has helped alleviate some of the backlash over the situation.

            People get upset and passionate about this hobby we all participant in and this thing Frontline has created. Its awesome and amazing. I’m taking the time to post about this subject because it is important to me and I think my concern is worth voicing. I’m not trying to demonize or put down the guys that this happened to.

          • abusepuppy May 9, 2016 4:44 am

            You say you’re not trying to demonize or put anyone down, but at the same time you’re accusing them of cheating and strongly implying that what they did was not just intentional but also malicious. I don’t really feel like those two fit very well together.

            I don’t disagree that having correct lists is important and that tournaments should have a system in place for handling- but Adepticon DID have a system in place and followed it and people are STILL angry about things. The whole subject is being blown vastly out of proportion.

          • Elwrath May 9, 2016 2:18 pm

            I’m not accusing them of cheating. They did, that’s fact. No accusation needed. They admitted it and neither one of them did it intentionally. They owned up to the mistake. You keep claiming that I’m going after them personally or insulting them. I’m not, I’m trying to talk about a solution to a problem.

            That being said, what’s to stop the next person who decides, eh whatever I can get away with it and then claim I didn’t mean to after the fact (in this case actually being malicious)? Or the next time (cause it will happen again) someone does well or wins and has an accidentally illegal list? There is no consequence as far as the ITC is concerned. That is the problem I’ve been talking about this whole time. I believe that the ITC should protect itself and its participants from this. Making a policy about it now would be like insurance for the future.

          • abusepuppy May 9, 2016 3:25 pm

            > That is the problem I’ve been talking about this whole time.

            Well, first of all, it’s still a 100% hypothetical problem. You’re dreaming up what _could_ happen someday, maybe, in the future, assuming your scenario is correct. I would argue that maybe we should spend more time focusing on _actual_ problems in the game rather than possible ones.

            And second of all, why should ITC have a system in place for handling this? ITC does not dictate how TOs run their tournaments, except very broadly. If the individual TO believes that the results of the tournament are valid and submits them, that is their choice to make- not ITC’s. As already noted, _Adepticon did in fact assess a penalty against the player in question_. Just because you don’t LIKE what the penalty was doesn’t mean nothing is being done about the matter.

            As for your not insulting or going after them, I’m going to have to disagree. You said that “it bugs me that someone can and has cheated to get a better score”- which is not just saying someone played with an illegal list, but saying that they did so _on purpose_. You’re not just making a statement of fact, you’re making a statement of intent- and all of your posts have been riddled with that same undercurrent, the idea that these players are doing this in order to improve their standings. It very much IS insulting to them.

          • elwrath May 10, 2016 2:30 am

            Its not a hypothetical problem. Aaron Aelong did in fact have an illegal list at adepticon. That’s fact. So my point has been and will remain that I don’t think a player who is found to have an illegal (winner or not) should get ITC points. That’s it, that’s my point. That’s the ‘problem’ as I see it. There are a plethora of solutions out there, some preventative some punitive. I would love to see the preventative ones work, but I do think its a good idea for there to be a punitive one as insurance as I said before. It certainly doesn’t have to be my solution, and hell I realize it almost certainly won’t be.

            As to your second paragraph I’ll quote myself from an above post: “The points and their meaning on the other hand are something that is I believe directly in the purview of the ITC. How, when, and how many are awarded is exactly what the ITC/frontline does. I just believe they should also protect their participants from what basically amounts to fraud if you look at it from the right angle.”

            As for your not insulting or going after them, I’m going to have to disagree. You said that “it bugs me that someone can and has cheated to get a better score”- which is not just saying someone played with an illegal list, but saying that they did so _on purpose_. You’re not just making a statement of fact, you’re making a statement of intent- and all of your posts have been riddled with that same undercurrent, the idea that these players are doing this in order to improve their standings. It very much IS insulting to them.

            I’ve met and played Aaron he’s a great, fair, and tough opponent. I haven’t met James personally or played him, but from all his opponents that I overheard talking at Broadside he’s the same. I never once said or meant to imply that they cheated on purpose. That doesn’t change the fact that they had illegal lists and received ITC points for those games/wins. I can be bothered by that and feel that the system is broken and can be defrauded by this situation or similar ones in the future and not mean to insult them or ‘demonize’ them. As you and jy2 have pointed out it can happen to anyone and does happen to people who are in the middle of the pack or the bottom. James and Aaron are the ones being focused on because they won big events with illegal lists.

        • jy2 May 9, 2016 3:09 pm #

          What if? If you’re talking about list-wise, his list has been available for public viewing for millions of people to see. If you’re talking about in-game play, well, unless you’ve played against him personally yourself, anything out there is going to be hearsay.

          If you want to use a “what if” scenario, better to stick to a generic example. A person like PJPants is a public 40K figure and his winnings have been fully documented. It’s a bad example.

          • elwrath May 10, 2016 2:38 am

            I was commenting in conjunction with my other reply to you from above. My point was and remains that if a player gets ITC points for a win with an illegal list or cheating (intent aside) it makes the points hold less meaning for other players. I’m not trying to demonize or attack individual players or call anyone an intentional cheater. I’m trying to say that the ITC should protect itself because awarding points to players with illegal lists will only hurt the ITC in the long run, in my opinion.

            Obviously Alan won legitimately. I was trying to give a hypothetical example to illustrate my point. Consider it in that context, I didn’t mean it in any other.

  9. Nate May 8, 2016 7:19 am #

    I’ve lost $500 in tournament prize to someone with an illegal list in Arkansas. That same person then brought a similar list and rolled warlord traits out of a codex their warlord wasn’t from in another tournament a month later. Not only did they not return the prize money from their first illegal win but somehow still can’t play by basic rules. In my opinion 3 strikes needs to be adopted before you are banned from ITC. Either that or let the community decide their future participation.

    • TinBane May 9, 2016 8:12 am #

      So, did you tell the TO?
      It’s a local event, the event TO needs to deal with it.
      You can’t expect Reece and Frankie to take complaints, “investigate” some event in another state, sanction the player, and kick them out of the ITC.

      It’s up to players to inform TOs, and if there’s a serious repeat issue, the TOs can talk to the ITC about it.

      • abusepuppy May 9, 2016 3:26 pm #

        Exactly this.

  10. Seconder May 8, 2016 11:21 pm #

    TOs could publish all lists on a forum, or could require players to post their own list. Let’s say this is done a week before the tournament, you can bet any mistake will be found by other tournament goers or the interested reader.
    Then all you need to do is define rules and (mild) punishment for anyone needing to change their list after publication.

  11. Hush May 9, 2016 12:42 am #

    I think it should a TO call based a a pre arranged bracket system fr no penalty to scores all set to losses. Sometimes it’s so minor it does effect the game sometimes it’s huge and wins someone an event. Without proper consideration of the effence and it’s impact a call can not be made.

  12. Variance Hammer May 10, 2016 3:36 pm #

    A first step, one that I use in my actual work, is to validate my results (in this case, the list) in two different ways.

    Sure, your list is fine because Battlescribe says it’s so.

    Now sit down and replicate that list, *without* Battlescribe, with a pen, a pad of paper, and a copy of the relevant codexes.

    Do you get the same answer? If so, great. If not, figure out why not.

    • abusepuppy May 10, 2016 4:58 pm #

      I don’t ever use Battlescribe, because just adding things up by hand is usually more accurate for me. But then, I’m also a bit of an obsessive weirdo, so…

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