GW Grognard: Perception is Reality

Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio here to dispel the illusions of your mind.

So there is a big convention this weekend, Adepticon! There are a lot of events going on for a lot of game systems.  Although their main event is the 40K Team Tournament, the is a big focus in their 40K Champs event, especially due to the fact that they report their scores to the ITC. Unfortunately, during the event their were accusations of illegal lists, and cheating, but we will never get the true story as the player dropped before punishment could be handed out. What I’m here to talk about, though, is not the really about the person that cheated, but the issue some players, TOs, and even events, have in that the perception people have is many times the reality that many people see.

What do I mean when I say “Perception is reality”? it mainly has to do with people’s opinion of someone, or something. Whether they experienced it personally, or heard it from another source, information that people gain forms their opinion(perception) of a person, place, or thing. As time goes on and things happen, the opinion, or view, will become common with a lot of people and they start to be convinced that what they perceive as being true, is true, regardless of facts, or even actions, to the contrary. This can lead to misunderstandings between people and even cause some frustration as people try to explain the truth. A good example of this is the perception the “Reece hates Tau”. During 7th edition, when we were modifying the rules and having polls to determine how the community wanted to rule things, there were times when Tau players felt like they were being picked on. Now we know that Tau players are all very level headed and never complain, but Reece wasn’t really picking on Tau, as he has a Tau army, the people voted on how to determine how their rules should work, and even Games Workshop ruled it the same way. The perception persists, however, although mostly as a joke nowadays.

In the case with Adepticon, the perception is of a player is actually a hindrance in his growth as a player. A certain player publicly announced that they are trying to change their image as a cheater and negative experience player. When you make such a statement, and you still conduct yourself in a manner that calls your actions into question, the perception of you by the public will cause them to automatically assume you are cheating.  Now you may be in the right, technically, but the fact that people have the well deserved perception of you as a cheater, the fact that you still act in a way that looks like you are cheating does not show that you are trying to change and the perception will continue. If you want people’s perception of you to change, you either need to stop playing for a while, or play in such a manner that their is no question that you are on the up and up. You do not want to give a hint of anything that can be seen as wrong. The longer you are able to do this, the easier it becomes for people’s perception of you to change.

That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and best 40K cheaters stories, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is one of the head judges for LVO and other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

26 Responses to “GW Grognard: Perception is Reality”

  1. Venkarel March 30, 2019 5:20 am #

    Huh so no names in the entire article. If you are going to write this article, name names and sources on the record, otherwise this is just gossip. From what I can gather, Josh Death or someone from Team Happy (cough Aleung, Goreham) did something again. But I should not have to guess, as it defames the person who did not do it. Look cheating happens in all games. If we had a penalty guideline and an organizing that can enforce actual consequences across multiple tournaments something might change. we should expose the cheaters and the methods that they practice their trade, give them reasonable consequences based on degree of infraction and repeat offense and in most cases a path to redemption (lifetime bans should be very very very rare). I come from a magic background (started in 1994) and I can tell you Warhammer present is rhyming with magic’s past. We need a DCI varient and a person like Pikula who is willing to take the heat and grief to correct this dirty part of the game.

    • Petey Pab
      Petey Pab March 30, 2019 7:24 pm #

      The article wants to focus on a specific point. Not glorify witch hunting. I too played a lot of Magic and am familiar with the old days. Wizards didn’t write articles directly addressing the cheaters beyond announcing who was banned and explaining (vaguely) what happened.

      If you want something like what magic does, we first need transparency from the Adepticon TOs on what actually happened. A statement would go a long way to clearing things up.

      • Mercutioh March 30, 2019 7:50 pm #

        If you would like a statement here is a Statement from the Team Mate of Josh Death who informed him of his list error in Round 2 after seeing the mention on The stream about Josh Death Cheating. I’m using his name because I have permission to do so. Now, as to the actual issue, Joshua gave a list to the TOs that had Brood Brothers marked with a Cult of the 4 armed emperor keyword. He had 4 other units in the game that legally had the Cult. So any benefits from said keyword were already established making this a true Clerical error. However, realizing that it was, in fact, an illegal list, Josh stepped up and withdrew himself after I informed him. This should be something we, as a community, celebrate. Josh held himself to the highest letter of the law and is having an article like this written where if he is not named in fact can easily be surmised who this article refers to. He withdrew over a clerical error to avoid a misperception.
        There is something to be said about perception being reality. There is another thing to be said about this behavior. It is called confirmation bias. My name is Matt Ludwick. I am a teammate of Joshua Death on The Enclave. I am proud to see what he did at Adepticon. I stand by his play on our team. I celebrate his participation in the local Cleveland community and am proud to call him a friend.

        • Venkarel March 31, 2019 8:19 am #

          Thank you for posting this Matt. This is what I am talking about a first hand sourced statement. I apologize to Alueng and Goreham if anyone took my prior post as an indication they did something wrong (it was not, it was a statement that because we did not know who did this we are free to make up wild suppositions and attach those to whomever). This supports my point, if a third party organization in charge of penalty guidelines and enforcement (and as a byproduct judge certification) would have come out and said something like, “DQ (disqualification) Josh Death – illegal list. Followed by, “During the second round Josh Death made the head judge aware that he had submitted an illegal list, he voluntarily DQed himself as a result and the judge does not recommend further punishment.” Instead of people gossiping and spreading rumor and unsupported speculation.

      • Venkarel March 31, 2019 8:31 am #

        Pablo this article IS a witch hunt. It does no one a service and clarifies nothing, just ignites wild unverified speculation and gossip.

        Wizards was actually part of the problem at the time, so was the “old guard” of magic player whom resisted bring the cheats and their methods to light. If anyone is interested just search for Chris Pikula Magic the Gathering cheating, or Team Dead Guy (no it was not named after the beverage) Magic cheating, etc. Team Dead Guy was Pikula’s team, it also included David Price, Tony Tsai, John Finkel (at times) and others. There are many great articles and interviews regarding the methods they used to expose people, the push back they received from players not wanting to rock the boat (surprise most of them were later outed a cheaters themselves) and is directly pertinent to the place the Warhammer 40K is at right now.

        Finally ,I have for two years now been advocating for a third party organization to publish, maintain and update a penalty guideline, and enforce it across multiple tournaments, along with certifying judges for events. I though maybe ITC would take this roll and with their recent closer relationship with GW hopefully this comes about.

        • Heldericht March 31, 2019 10:45 am #

          The article is not a witch hunt. It’s making a point which you are choosing to ignore and being needlessly defensive.

          Calm down.

          • Venkarel March 31, 2019 11:39 am
            #

            Huh I don’t think anything above is defensive at all. The tone is pretty neutral.

        • Petey Pab
          Petey Pab April 1, 2019 10:07 am #

          So, i’m in an interesting camp. Because I do kind of agree with you, I think most of the people reading this article know who the player in question is, and don’t think Adam can feign complete ignorance when it comes to calling out the player in question. Considering the tone of the article, I feel like some of the shade takes away from the main point of the article.

          Having said that, the main point of the article is still very valid. I have spoken candidly with the player in question both about this article, their reputation, and the events at Adepticon. Unfortunately they are on a very short leash, and can’t afford a slip up. It’s unfair sure, but the court of public opinion isn’t logical or just.

          Also, Chris Pikula is a pariah, and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He fought the good fight. But, you are comparing apples and oranges. Chris was fighting a systemic problem at the highest levels of MtG. He also went after people who didn’t deserve his higher, and his McCarthyist attitude lead to him being very unpopular.

          I think he had the right idea, but it was executed poorly.

          We are NOT experiencing a similar problem in 40k. Prominent players are not cheating every single tournament. The ITC isn’t casually looking the other way when a star player breaks the spirit of the game.

          • Venkarel April 1, 2019 9:39 pm
            #

            Pablo,
            I agree Warhammer 40K is not rife with cheaters, I would say 95% mabye more of my games are completely clean as far as intentional misplay (what many would call cheaters).

            tldr:
            I think unintentional misplay should be a punishable offense at the highest level of play (how to break out highest level I have not really thought about it), but the misplay should have to be brought to the attention of the judge by the opponent. There should be an exception for intentional misplays, if a judges sees active cheating (moving units/misreporting or rolling dice/intentionally misrepresenting rules, etc) they are required to actively step in a adjudicate. For unintentional misplays, a player should receive something like a yellow card in soccer (or a warning in Magic). Where two (or three) yellow cards in the same game/tournament/till whenever the TO wants to reset them, is a game loss that is treated like a tabling at the time you receive the last yellow card (some offenses would give you two or three yellows immediately). Unintentional list errors would have to have a different set of rules governing them, I haven’t spent much time thinking about it. Finally, prior record of enforcement activity should also be considered (your record from official judges).
            I know these changes (or something like them) would initially be controversial, but at most levels it would change nothing. Could even give players the ability to opt out of certain rules after the second round if they have a .500% record or less. But at the highest level it would reward skill and knowledge of the game.

  2. N.I.B. March 30, 2019 9:21 am #

    Dude, every sound person hates Tau.

  3. Yorrik March 30, 2019 11:55 am #

    Can we not use “retarded” in this way? Gives a certain perception.

    • abusepuppy March 31, 2019 12:25 am #

      Seconding this. It’s not fucking 1997 anymore, we should be past this.

      • Adam March 31, 2019 11:28 am #

        I wish it was 1997, I’d be 22 years younger

    • Adam March 31, 2019 9:27 am #

      Did I use that word? I can’t find it in the article. *edit* oh, its in the mem I used. Oops

  4. Mercutioh March 30, 2019 7:01 pm #

    So. This article is smacking of some serious, serious shade. Full disclosure. Im the persons team mate. Im the one who shot him a message about his roster error. And when he saw what he did. He withdrew. And is STILL getting an article like this written. We are happy to talk about changing perception. If youd like to write this article. We, The Enclave, and the player you decided to write this article about, will be happy to discuss the games and the issue. I can personally say, that this player has spent MONTHS in the local community investing in a growing competitive scene. Working with new players, and helping a shlep like me. Whose first run at a Major resulted in me coming in dead last to a 3 2 record at glass city against a pretty respectible field. I could talk about the charitible contributions this person has made. But none of it matters as articles like this will enforce. Perception is reality. My name is Matt Ludwick. And i am happy to discuss this issue with anyone who would like to. I stand by the player so referenced. Hes my team mate and his actions made me proud.

  5. WeirdHog March 31, 2019 4:06 pm #

    ” A certain player publicly announced that they are trying to change their image as a cheater and negative experience player. When you make such a statement, and you still conduct yourself in a manner that calls your actions into question, the perception of you by the public will cause them to automatically assume you are cheating. Now you may be in the right, technically, but the fact that people have the well-deserved perception of you as a cheater, the fact that you still act in a way that looks like you are cheating does not show that you are trying to change and the perception will continue. If you want people’s perception of you to change, you either need to stop playing for a while, or play in such a manner that there is no question that you are on the up and up. You do not want to give a hint of anything that can be seen as wrong. The longer you are able to do this, the easier it becomes for people’s perception of you to change.”

    This sums up the entire article for anyone who ever finds themselves in this postions.

  6. Rob Butcher April 1, 2019 1:17 am #

    After four days of watching the official GW stream, I was unaware of any cheating. Which leads me to question why such a poorly written article (it would fail a grammar check even in US grade schools) is published? Indeed this is the first site to mention any problems.

    There have been perceptions of cheating and under-handed approaches ever since wargaming started. It’s nothing new, just more pundits wanting to share the news normally without any facts, evidence or more than a gut feeling.

    This just smacks of a non-FLG tournament getting attacked on an official FLG post – yet the cheating was stopped by the player withdrawing. And hopefully now their lists will be well-checked before they enter any more tournaments.

    • Roberto Butcherer April 1, 2019 2:52 am #

      FLG is secretly working with the Russians to make Bolt Action more popular than 40k, and one day I’ll convince the world.

    • Petey Pab
      Petey Pab April 1, 2019 9:40 am #

      Yeah I suppose the hours i’ve spent talking about the ETC and promoting other non-FLG tournaments really amounts to nothing… Especially after one vaguely worded 500 character op-ed written by a grumpy old grogsnard.

      I guess it’s back to nerfing Tau, and arbitrarily banning specific playstyles for us then!

      • SaltyJohn
        SaltyJohn April 1, 2019 10:00 am #

        How dare you make sense in the age of righteously indignant internet outrage syndrome! Take it back, Pablo.

      • ujayim April 1, 2019 10:04 am #

        Pablo I fear you may have missed the meme on this one

        • Petey Pab
          Petey Pab April 1, 2019 10:10 am #

          Oh? Can’t tell the loons from the trolls these days.

          • ujayim April 1, 2019 11:22 am
            #

            No, I was wrong, Butcher is 100% a real person, I thought you replied to the one mocking him lol

  7. SaltyJohn
    SaltyJohn April 1, 2019 6:41 am #

    My favorite part was when the author didn’t call anyone out by name, but then people in the comments outed people for cheating because they suspected it was about their friend. Why would you name and shame your own friend, when the author went out of his way not to? With friends like that…

    • happy_inquisitor April 2, 2019 4:57 am #

      Josh Death has explained what happened on his own podcast. It’s a bit hard to see that he would be upset at other people mentioning that it was him when he has explained the whole thing in public.

      Made a list mistake, withdrew from tournament when it was brought to his attention. Totally above board sporting behaviour. No drama. No problem.

    • Venkarel April 2, 2019 5:27 am #

      I had heard nothing of this incident before I read the article. By the end I was 85% sure it was Death, 13% Aleong and 2% Goreham. After checking BCP and seeing Goreham wasn’t there, Aleong didn’t drop and Death only report scores for one game, I was 99.99% sure it was Death. So no the author did not protect the subject of the article at all and even caused me for a brief moment to suspect other people.

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