When does ‘Competitive’ become ‘WAAC’?

So pretty much by definition the point of a war-game is to win the war…

But how far do we go along with this viewpoint before we become a cheating fuckwit or ‘WAAC’ gamer as they’re sometimes known?

First let’s first look at a few circumstances which would put a person in the cheating fuckwit WAAC category as far as I’m concerned.

My greatest fucking hate ever. There are subtle versions and blatant ones but however it’s done it’s still cheating. Each move has a set distance associated with it for a bloody good reason. Even an inch here or there can make a massive difference during a game when that inch could enable a charge that would never have otherwise happened or puts a melta-weapon into short range for that extra die roll of penetration.

Unspecified Dice Rolling.
I’m sure we’ve all had a game when a set of dice have been rolled across the table without a hint of explanation, followed by a random amount of them being picked up and rolled again after which some pronouncement along the lines of ‘that’s thirty eight armour saves you need to make’ is broadcast across the table at you. Unless it’s blatantly obvious what’s going on (which is only really possible if there’s only one unit on the table) I expect any dice roll to accompany some kind of explanation or as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t fucking count.

Interestingly enough I had almost exactly the opposite thing happen during a tournament…..I was in a game against an Ork player who I was having quite a close game with and the current combat was going to make the difference between a win and a loss for one of us. I rolled a load of dice for my Khorne Berzerkers (after clearly announcing my intent) and got way above average for my to hits than even Weapon Skill five could account for, I followed this by my to hit rolls which miraculously all hit with the exception of one stray roll of one. My opponent then claimed that he hadn’t seen me roll the dice at all and that they were blatantly the same dice that had been on the table for my ‘to-hit’ rolls despite them now occupying a different part of the table. After growing weary of hearing him whining to a judge I said fine I’ll roll them again while the judge was there and this time they ALL wounded…..My opponent promptly resigned and began to pack his Orks rather aggressively into his case but not before giving me a sportsmanship score of zero, lol.

This one should probably have gone at he top as it’s often the precursor to all the other WAAC tricks. Aggressive behaviour is fine if your defending the honour of a loved one or evicting a burglar from your house via the window…..It should not however appear in a game of toy soldiers.
I don’t like bullies and am quite capable of standing up for myself should the need arise but I’m still unpleasantly surprised at how often I see this tactic employed in tournaments by individuals attempting to intimidate their opponents into ignoring there blatant cheating. Any tournament organiser without the balls to throw these sort of people out of tournaments shouldn’t (imo) be running them in the first place. A bit of banter is fine up to point but there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed…..

I could list others but I think those three give a general enough overview of what should be considered unacceptable. However lets look at some less obvious examples,

Crimes against WYSIWYG.
Deciding to make a ‘Counts-As’ Lysander for your home-made chapter is fine and if you choose to give him two Thunder-Hammers because you also think that looks cool then you’ll get no objections from me as long as I know who the hell he is meant to be…..
Not everybody reads their opponents army list down to the last unit upgrade (I’m afraid a few bad experiences mean that I personally now always do but I’m probably the exception rather than the rule) which is why we have WYSIWYG as a fundamental gaming concept. If you’ve paid the points for all your Sternguard to have Combi-Meltas then I expect the models to have them too and if I drive up to them in my Land Raider and it gets toasted then that’s my own fault. If on the other hand there isn’t a sign of a Melta weapon anywhere on the model then there’d be a good case for me to be annoyed with you even if they were on your army list, don’t you think?

Modelling for an Advantage.
Somewhat different to WYSIWYG. Another point of debate that I’m sure in many cases was a genuine attempt to convert a model in an awesomely cool way that just happened to end up with the model a bit shorter than the official one. However I’ve also seen Daemon Princes that are small enough to completely hide behind a Chaos Rhino, Whole armies of crouching figures and standard models that could give a cover save to a bloody Trygon, lol.
The way your opponent uses the unit in question is going to give you a fair idea of whether he’s an innovative if slightly deranged converter of models or a cheating dick-head but the line can sometimes be too narrow to enable easy clarification…

Well those two could go either way depending on the player in question however there are a few more that are common amongst competitive gamers but are not WAAC because they’re not really cheating…

You can do WHAT???
I’m sure I’m not the only victim of a ‘what the fuck’ moment or two when I’ve questioned a tactic or rule only to discover that my opponent is actually allowed to move my models out of cover and into a nice circle just the right size to fit under a Plasma cannons Blast Template, Can make me take a Psychic test on three dice even though the guy with the ability is on the opposite corner of the board inside a vehicle or any number of other slightly improbable but entirely legal rules.

Optimised Army Lists.
Despite what portions of the internet like to think, there’s no way that a legal army list from a currently allowable codex with appropriately WYSIWYG models can be considered WAAC just because it’s more likely to win…

As far as I’m concerned Win At All Costs means that your willing to cheat to win and (at least in my case)  that’s not true. I am however quite happy to do everything except cheat to win though because I’m a competitive Son of a Bitch 😉

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

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