Monday, February 11, 2013

Judges v Ref's and Non-Random Thoughts:

It really has been six months since my last blog post.  I use google reader to get updates on all of the blogs that I follow and/or subscribe to.  In the eight months since 6th edition hit, more than half have fallen completely silent.

Does this trend indicate some sort of mass exodus from 40k among players?  Personally, my local group has done almost nothing 40k related as a group since the time we sat down and first read through the rules of 6th edition.

However, the competitive groups seem to be doing just fine.  The internet presence is still strong and new lists are being developed all of the time.

Since the release of 6th, two codices have been released by GW.  These two books mark the first time since third edition that I have not purchased the current codex release by GW.  Unless the price on new codices drops significantly, I will not ever be purchasing a codex from Games Workshop ever again.

For the $50 price tag and sub-par product, they can go fuck themselves.

Now for the brighter news.  I have been asked (and have accepted) to be the head judge for the 40k portion of the NOVA Open this year.  So, naturally I need to learn the rules and play more games of 40k.
I don't actually hate playing 40k, but I have no desire to invest anything needed to be "good" at the game.

Nevertheless I thought it would be a good exercise to discuss the difference between a rules judge and a referee.  As a rules judge, I will not actively interact with ongoing games.  If I happen to walk by and notice someone doing something that is against games rules, I will not intervene in the game, unless prompted by one of players in that game.

The stance that I take is born out of an issue of fairness.  I cannot referee every game, so in fairness to everyone, I will not referee any game. (Unless I am refereeing invitational games, where every table has a ref, of course)

As a follow-on, I will be very hard pressed to change something that both players have agreed upon.  I have seen games where players will agree to something at the beginning of the game only to have a judge rule that "no, X is not Y" and affect the outcome of the game.  As a judge, I do not want to affect the outcome of any game.  If I can make it through the NOVA Open 2013 without affecting any game, I will be very pleased.

The best example of a judge ruling affecting a game is the "do we have time for another turn?" question.  This is a big one, and actually one of the biggest problems in competitive 40k.  I have certainly had my fair share of games where I know how much time is left and either I, or my opponent intends to use ALL of it in order to make the game end when he or I desire.  Anytime I rule on something like this, it appears that I am playing favorites.  This subject could easily encompass an entire blogpost, so I will shelve this articular nuance.

One thing I have noticed recently (on the internet) is the subject of cheating with loaded dice.  If you really believe that your opponent is using fixed or loaded dice at the NOVA Open I want you to do two things.  First, convince yourself that the person is actually using "fixed" or "loaded" dice in your game.  If you really, really, really believe that they are, and not that they just rolled three sixes to blow up your Stormraven with a Hunter-Killer missile, then consult the NOVA guide and ask to use their dice for your rolls as well.  If they refuse, then call me over.

I have a 40k game scheduled for Wednesday evening where I will continue to playtest missions from the NOVA packet.  I also have a few more judge-related posts to make in the coming weeks/months.

Until next time,
Saint Omerville

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