Chapter Tactics #68: How to Overcome Cheating in 40k Tournaments

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game. Today Geoff recaps his London GT experience, and his controversial finals game. Also all 4 hosts show up to talk about cheating in tournaments, and how to overcome it and enhance your tournament experience.

Show Notes:

  • Don’t forget to check out our new sponsor! Broken Egg Games.
  • Click here to find all of the lists for the London GT! As well as more information about the event.
  • Click here for a link for information on downloading best coast pairings app where you can find lists for most of the events I mention.
  • Check out the last episode of Chapter Tactics here. Or, click here for a link to a full archive of all of my episodes.
  • Want more tactical information about the new edition? Check out our 8th Edition article archive to help get a leg up on the competition!
  • Commercial music by Music by:
  • Intro by: Justin Mahar

Visit their store!

got a list

Need help with a list idea? Got a rules question? Want to talk tactics? Then email me at… 

Please do not send an army list in a format such as Army Builder, send them in an easy to read, typed format. Thanks!



About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

30 Responses to “Chapter Tactics #68: How to Overcome Cheating in 40k Tournaments”

  1. iNcontroL May 28, 2018 11:00 pm #


    • krisbot4000 May 28, 2018 11:27 pm #

      Hey Geoff Im sure youve had a ton of people blowing you up about the LGT and youve been dealing with that, so i understand if not, but I was just wondering are you planning on doing a harlequin codex review any time soon? Enjoy your review vids quite a bit and have been looking forward to another one.

      • iNcontroL May 29, 2018 7:24 am #

        yeah! got the codex late/been sick but I hope to asap!

  2. Cy May 29, 2018 2:44 am #

    I don’t even need to listen to the podcast to know that the best fix would be to have numerous judges at events. Having a large group of neutral mediators who are all very knowledgeable about the rules(of the event and game) would solve issues very quickly.

    There’s a reason the DCI works so well for MTG. If you’re at a GP/PTQ(GT size or bigger) event hearing some one call “Judge” is common. The issue, be it suspected cheating, or uncertainty on some rule, gets resolved and play continues on.

    There’s no official sanctioning body for 40k and an extremely limited number of knowledgeable players, especially ones who aren’t playing at the event, and there’s _zero_ reward (from GW) or support for people who could be motivated. There’s also no massive rules database that catalogues all of the issues and past rulings on them.

    Short version.
    -More Judges
    -Reward people who are qualified to and volunteer to judge
    -Go over ‘common’ rulings that often appear at events, write a packet for judges to review before event so past rulings can be consistent.

    • Baron May 29, 2018 3:27 am #

      I believe the judges would be the best option however I dont think its realistic. Would you be willing to spend X hours just watching others play relatively wonky game (I mean there are a lot of shifting gears and you need to REALLY study the FAQs etc). How much would that cost? Would you be willing to pay e.g. 40% more for the ticket but you would get “your own” judge (or at least more judges). And also their passive role doesnt really help. But its better than nothing. I would suggest that the players really need to study the armies more and do “their own” homework. I mean they will probably not know 100% about their oponent armies but it can be good to know the basics and the “gotcha” tricks that the oponets army has. Just my opinion…

      • happy_inquisitor May 29, 2018 11:20 am #

        I am not sure that a company like GW would want to go anywhere near the minefield of employment law that a semi-amataur judge system would be.

    • Rob Butcher May 29, 2018 4:37 am #

      This has now taken place at two of the last four GTs where GW had a strong presence and cameras. They will now be looking into the ideas for judges, Code of Conduct for players etc. They have already said NO to chess clocks and implemented a 1750 points limit for their own tournaments. And no massive prizes to encourage the cheats.

      GW has a major interest in enacting a training/accreditation scheme for referees. BUT that would also mean only ONE SET OF RULES for W40K, not a variety at each tournament you play at. So a GW referee would not then need to do a separate familiarisation course for ITC etc. In the short-term this might mean higher entry fees to cover costs and/or the use of GW staff.

      Taken in isolation each method of cheating is pretty common amongst “gaming players”, I’ve faced them this season already. Taken together it just made the situation worse.

    • Petey Pab May 29, 2018 6:53 am #

      I agree with you, unfortunately this isn’t the status quo. So people need to learn other skills to deal with loose play.

  3. Ujayim May 29, 2018 5:02 am #

    RE: Geoffs attitude when he’s playing

    I think of two dudes when I think of top level 40k players who get very… intense while playing, and that’s Geoff and Brett Perkins, and both of which I personally think are funny, decent dudes.

    Just slightly unpleasant to watch play sometimes.

    That being said, watching Geoff mine Reece for his rich deposits of salt is one of my favorite things of all time, so I suppose there’s some give or take.

    The “aggression” is justified from this game, specifically. Lol

    • Reecius May 29, 2018 7:16 am #

      Lol, no one can bring out the salt in my like Geoff. At the LGT I got some favorite opponent votes and had some really awesome games, though. The incidents of bad sports/cheating etc. are really rare.

      • iNcontroL May 29, 2018 7:26 am #

        Reece is super pleasant when going 5-0


        • Reecius May 29, 2018 7:29 am #


          But for reals, my goal this past two years has been to be fun to play in addition to playing as well as I can at events. I represent the company and everyone who works hard here at FLG so I can’t let myself get caught up in the competition and get snarky, it’s not fair to everyone else on the team as it could reflect poorly on them.

          • Ujayim May 29, 2018 7:46 am

            Now THAT is one heck of an attitude. Good on ya.

          • Reecius May 29, 2018 9:24 am

            Thank you, sir =)

          • GhostValley May 29, 2018 7:58 am

            Reece – I am a completely different person when I play my two regular opponents vs going to a tournament or store. My friends can pound sand if I’m salty, but I never want to be the TFG for someone who paid money to go to a tournament. So I get it, LOL

          • Reecius May 29, 2018 9:27 am

            Right? Frankie, Geoff and I can have some salt-o-riffic games, lol. But generally, at an event, I know I have to think about how my behavior reflects on the entire company. It’s not just about me or my experience any more. The funny thing is, being conscientious of making the game fun has made the game more fun. Sounds stupid/obvious I know but it 100% is true. When you come in light hearted with the attitude to have a fun game first, you can still play to win but the process is just smoother and more enjoyable for everyone involved. I think for some of us that grew up in sports or competitive pastimes it can take a while to make that leap in our minds.

          • GhostValley May 29, 2018 11:29 am

            I like it. Might even try it at home!

  4. happy_inquisitor May 29, 2018 11:17 am #

    Really good podcast and one of the best ones on the whole cheating/sportsmanship issue around the game that I have heard.

    What you call sloppy play I regard – after running into it a few times and falling foul of it – as a strategy of blurring the lines and maximising the confusion in the game to take advantage of the reluctance of most opponents to confront it. Quite simply it works by taking advantage of the good nature of the average person. It is of course no surprise that a player who approaches the game in this way gets a reputation nor is it a surprise that other players start to go around and warn each other about that person – that is essentially the only way that a community of players can defend its good nature against an individual to looks to take advantage of it. Whether or not we call it cheating or not is immaterial – it is clearly corrosive to the building of a healthy community if it is not held in check by some means.

    I do think that having top games increasingly on stream will have a huge impact on this behaviour over time. A play style of clear and open communication of intent will almost certainly develop, both as a defence against mistaken claims of ill intent but also ultimately because it makes for far higher quality entertainment.

  5. Dunmer May 29, 2018 1:00 pm #

    Completely off topic but just would like to thank InControl for allowing me, an Irish long time starcraft fan to approach him a have a few mins to talk. Personally I didnt want to annoy anyone or make it feel awkward so I kept it short and sweet. Appreciate it none the less, didnt get to talk yo the FLG guys because again I didnt want to annoy people on their downtime!

    I was the AoS player with the sick Dragon ball Z sleeve haha.

    • iNcontroL May 29, 2018 1:17 pm #

      was awesome meeting you sir <3

  6. Cavalier May 29, 2018 3:58 pm #

    Always appreciate Geoff’s directness. Straight shooter all the way but capable of seeing shades of grey during gaming and social interactions in general. Great discussion all round.

  7. Cyto May 29, 2018 8:27 pm #

    So much sadness at your brief, 60 seconds of Necron discussion : ‘ (

    • abusepuppy May 29, 2018 10:14 pm #

      Well, this unfortunately wasn’t an episode dedicated to discussing lists and none of us are Necron players, so it didn’t get as much attention as perhaps it could have. There’s just too many GTs happening these days to cover all the results in detail while also discussing other stuff.

      I think there’s a lot of interesting things to talk about with regards to the C’tan power choices, troop options, Destroyers vs. Doomsday Arks, etc, etc, but this wasn’t the episode for that.

    • Requizen May 30, 2018 7:35 am #

      I agree, as a Necron player it was a bit sad to see 🙁

      I also don’t think this represents the future of Necron lists. Multi-Vault armies are fairly limited, and really suffer in certain matchups. Doomsday Arks are good and probably a staple, but I’ve had lots of success with 0 DDArks and instead a roaming unit or two of Destroyers (who are freaking amazing now).

      I think you can semi-mimic those DP spam armies with C’tan, especially since they can’t be denied. Hide them behind Warrior blobs or Scarab swarms and MW away to your heart’s content, while charging anyone who gets close.

  8. Tnid May 30, 2018 5:22 am #

    I love listening to Abusepuppy. His voice sound like a mix of an evil disney villain and Philip Seymore Hoffman in the talented mr ripley.

  9. Agent X May 30, 2018 1:57 pm #

    Streaming has changed and will continue to change competitive 40k.

    More eyes…more accountability

    When the Tony/Alex issue happened I was a random twitch person observing. Chat called out time stamps and other items to help the admins in their review (for example they wanted evidence of a gentleman’s agreement and we all verified it wasn’t exactly what we thought we remembered). However, with the crowd firmly against Tony the oversight continued into the finals against Nick. There were numerous times the crowd thought they caught something and spammed the mods to tell the players and judge. One example I remember was not getting the scoring correct in a round and flipping some points in favor of Nick as a result.

    Fast forward to Geoff saying he got a text (mid game or between days I can’t remember) and you have audience interaction impacting the outcome of games.

    Step 1 for tournament organizers going forward is deciding if you WANT audience interaction to that degree. Do you need to do taped delay or ban all communication interaction with a player (NFL has rules about no electronic devices/communication to the sidelines that was famously broken by the Browns GM Ray Farmer in 2015)

    Personally I think it is interesting that input can be provided by the fans that are CORRECT (with rule citations etc.) to fix a game before it goes too far with mistakes. That is even better than instant replay! Maybe that is the niche online/streamed games offer to become a bigger item (and eventually draw advertising money). The ability to draw LIVE eyes means a ton to advertisers and the ability of the crowd to influence the outcome and catch a cheater etc. will encourage live viewing.

    Anyways I love your podcasts I have mentioned before…keep it up. The perspective you offer as insiders with a variety of experiences is awesome.

  10. rvd1ofakind May 30, 2018 7:09 pm #

    Just a correction. Admech didn’t place top 20, it was a T’au list labeled as Admech

  11. N.I.B. May 31, 2018 6:09 am #

    “WHO THE FUCK IS FARTING!?” Yup, I’ve shouted that in a tournament.

  12. jifel May 31, 2018 8:00 pm #

    Best coverage of the “cheating” scandal that I have heard yet. I think every podcast I have heard has an opinion on it, it was good to hear Geoff’s unfiltered comments.

  13. relasine June 1, 2018 10:33 am #

    If people want the competitive Warhammer 40k community to have legs, then it needs to adopt a culture around clean play. That currently doesn’t exist for a number of reasons. Tournaments should start with the head judge gathering the players and giving them The Talk™, wherein it is made clear to all involved that sloppy play will not be tolerated. Remove the word “cheating” from the conversation entirely, because if that’s what you’re discussing then you’re going to get bogged down in arguments over minutia and intent and it’ll go nowhere.

    The Overton window needs to be set squarely over “clean play”. If you’re caught playing sloppy, you get a warning. Do it again, and you’re ejected.

    Playing clean isn’t just about fairness, it’s about being respectful of your opponent, the judges, and everyone involved in the event.

    I also completely agree with Geoff’s take on asking your opponent permission to do something out-of-sequence for an advantage, like measuring and discovering that you’re just outside 36″ with your Markerlight, then asking permission to nudge the model in when you’re already in the shooting phase. These types of requests hearken back to scorched earth sportsmanship score strategies wherein a player attempts to leverage the threat of being zeroed on sportsmanship to allow them to get away with horseshit. The request itself is, to me, an example of bad sportsmanship. Don’t do that.

Leave a Reply