1. Despicable Dice

Here’s one I made earlier

  • The deed- A large pile of dice is sitting in the corner out of the way, your opponent rolls their dice which scatter across the table and somehow end up bumping into the pile, well as it happens many of the dice your opponent picks up are quite high scores… Because they have picked up dice that they set up beforehand to ensure a good result…
  • Warning signs- Has your opponent been playing with his dice pile? When he finishes are there lots of 5’s and 6’s face up? If so he may be planning to pull this trick off when he needs it most, (or they could just be a bit OCD, so best give the benefit of the doubt if you aren’t sure)
  • Prevention- ensure there is a lovely clear area as far away from the dice pile as possible, if you can’t do this then you can ask them to move their dice pile perhaps? If you have a dice tray offer to share it, and keep it clear.
  • Dastardly rating- 2, this one’s pretty obvious to spot, and if you call them out they will usually have to submit to a re-roll.

Shadowy success

  • The deed- It’s a crucial roll, usually on just one or two dice, perhaps the enemy general just caught it in the face, or maybe it’s your meanest unit about to say bye bye, but why should your opponent leave it chance when he has been preparing for this very moment? The dice are rolled, and as they bounce across the table they stop behind a large terrain piece where you can’t see them, he crows his triumph before lifting the terrain so you can see the dice behind it, proving his honesty, of course what you didn’t see was him placing the dice there much earlier in the game, and palming the one he rolled as he picked the terrain up…
  • Warning signs- Are there lots of your opponents dice scattered around the table, are many of them in unlikely places? Maybe he’s just a messy type of chap, or maybe he’s getting prepared. Likewise if your opponent is meticulous at retrieving his dice to the pile but there are a conspicuous amount of 6’s lying around behind tall, solid terrain he’s probably up to something.
  • Prevention- Keep a tidy table, if you are keeping everything together it’s less likely they will try something so scandalous, again a shared dice tray will scupper this in it’s tracks, alternatively just keep on the move, and try to have clear lines of sight to dice rolls if your opponent is looking shifty.
  • Dastardly rating- 3,  fairly obvious, the sleight of hand plus the supposed ‘honesty’ is an indicator of a particularly dubious character.

“I played against one opponent at a staff tournament who was having fairly good luck, despite this the game was swinging my way toward the end of the last turn, he rolled his wizards ward save behind a building in table centre (the wizard had one wound and was worth a chunk of VP) declared "6, phew...”. And picked up the building to reveal the red dice behind it, I felt that I should  point out that he actually rolled a white dice.. He conceded the game before the end of the turn”

The scooper

  • The deed- With a crash of dice your opponents handful of shots tumble to the table, like the pecking of two pink hyperactive grasshoppers their hands rapidly pick out the successes faster than your eyes can follow, the failures are swept to one side as the next rolls are made as rapidly, more pecking is followed by a surprisingly high number of saves required on your part- did they cheat? Who knows, you’d need a 4th official and a slow-motion replay to know for sure, but they are being very lucky today..
  • Warning signs- very simple signs for this one: how far are they rolling the dice, and how fast are they picking them up? A typical practitioner of this deed will almost ‘drop’ the dice in front of them, as far from you as possible and within easy reach, then snatch the ‘successes’ out as fast as they can, snagging the odd failure as well.
  • Prevention- It’s always a good habit to pick up failures rather than successes, and asking your opponent to do the same will either solve the issue, or shame them into behaving, asking them to slow down can also help, but unfortunately there is little way to a solve this without confrontation.
  • Dastardly rating- 3, it’s usually very obvious when these speed demons are operating, and although they may react well to your requests to slow down, the confrontation element can spoil a game permanently.

“This guy was using an army that dropped templates- lots of templates, he was serving more pies then the local gastropub. He dropped the dice and scooped them up so fast, all the time keeping up a running commentary that Speedy Gonzalez would have struggled to understand. It wasn’t until he handed me more dice than he should have rolled initially that I realised he was just making it up as he went along.”

For a few dots more…

  • The deed- You opponent has a handful of dice to roll, and they are decent enough to pick up failures rather than successes, but as they pick the failures up your eyes play tricks on you- did he pick up 5 dice or 6? How many are left? By rolling just one or two extra dice and quickly scooping up the failures your opponent can increase their chances just enough to maybe swing the game.
  • Warning signs- whereas The Scooper relies on picking up successes, This player seems more honest- after all the successes are there for you to see. However the warnings signs are the same- the speed with which your opponent is picking the dice up, and the distance they roll the dice, if they are short rolls with rapid pickups then unless you are tight for time in a tourney, there’s a good chance he’s taking advantage.
  • Prevention- Ask him to slow down, this is a hard thing to stop otherwise, although if you want to call them out ask how many dice they have in their hand after they call successes. This is such a mean, low cheat that if caught they will usually feign innocence and slow down on their own accord for the rest of the game.
  • Dastardly rating- 4, hard to spot and resolve peacefully, the feigned honesty again elevates this deed to another level.

Congratulations, you scored PPhhrr’Ahth’Grr’Naaan!

  • The deed- Your opponent has their own dice, in interesting colours and with perhaps the odd unusual pattern on them,, they roll them across the table but even when they allow you plenty of time to view them, the horrific yellow dots on orange and purple marbling means the numbers may as well be in Cthulhu’s ancient tongue as far as you reading them goes, in fact the more you stare at them the queasier you feel…
  • Warning signs- It’s fairly obvious to spot this one- plenty of players have ‘gem dice’ and most dice manufacturers try and make them legible if at all possible, but sometimes mistakes are made and dice that are frankly offensive to behold are released. Now some players will purchase these dice where the only crime is a genuine lack of taste, but if they’re rolling them as far from you as possible on the table, then you may want to take a closer look.
  • Prevention- Lean over, take your time and really look at the dice, if they repeatedly don’t give you time to see them ask if they mind using your dice, or if they have any others- again if you have space a dice tray off to one side about halfway between you can end these shenanigans early doors.
  • Dastardly rating- 1½ , a cheap and blatant trick that’s easy to resolve, the extra half point is for the dizziness you may feel for days afterwards..

“I know that most Logo dice aren’t weighted, or are even weighted against the player in some cases, but these dice were coming up way too regularly- in a 5 game tournament the first three players all made a complaint to me about the dice being dodgy, as the TO I wandered over and asked if he would mind using different dice (his opponents, or I even offered to buy him some) or letting his opponent use his, he flipped out, screamed at me, hurled abuse at his last opponent and stormed out. His mates had to pack his stuff away for him, we’ll never know if his dice were dodgy, but his reaction certainly was”

Bad Dice (and not the Podcast)

  • The deed- Your opponent has their own dice again, but these dice are only unique in that they have a logo on either the 1 or 6 (or multiple Logo’s in some cases) now most reputable dice companies will attempt to keep these as fair as they can, and some may have a slight bias due to rounded edges etc (in tests once you get to a thousand rolls the odds are a little in your favour, but it’s barely worth worrying about) however some deep cut designs can weight the dice far too much, or just maybe your opponent has plain dice that are just weighted anyway, either way the dice can favour them far too much for it to be chance..
  • Warning signs- this can be almost impossible to spot, the human eye is geared to images so it can seem like a logo is cropping up more than it should, when in reality it’s just an issue of perception, and most gentlemen give the benefit of the doubt anyway. Non-logo weighted dice are even harder to spot, being just normal dice- if the game requires high and low scores for different tests, watch to see if your opponent has ‘favourite’ dice for high/low tests if you think their dice may not be rolling fair.
  • Prevention- what can you do? Asking an opponent whose dice seem crooked to share your dice, or let you use theirs is possible, but some players are very superstitious about dice so would say no even if they aren't cheating, (I have seen people walk out of a tournament when asked to use different dice, but I have also seen  a player happily swap dice in their entirety with their opponent in a cheering show of sportsmanship)
  • Dastardly rating- 2, (If they are just pretty dice that are accidentally weighted a little). if it’s deliberate it’s a 5: outright, blatant, pre-meditated, nasty cheating of the absolute worst sort- if a player is prepared to bring these dice to the table then I suggest you tell them to “sling their ‘ook” (or leave with haste if the northern vernacular doesn’t mean anything to you) as there is really no point attempting to get a fair game out of these cads.

Sliding scores.

  • The deed- Your opponent has a slightly unusual rolling style, in that they don’t have a rolling style. Whether they drop them softly, slide them off their fingers or just blatantly put them down, it’s obvious that they are trying to choose their scores. 
  • Warning signs- they aren’t rolling the dice. Not so much a warning sign as a massive neon giveaway really. They will also always try and roll dice in tiny amounts if they can.
  • Prevention- Tell them to roll the bloody dice! Many Tournament packs will mention that dice need to be rolled, and almost every ruleset does, so you are well within you’re rights to demand a re-roll here.
  • Dastardly rating- 1, this is cheating at its most amateurish level, and even the more barefaced slider should re-roll when confronted with his shoddy wristmanship. (I'm not sure if wristmanship is a word, but it certainly should be.)

“One of my regular opponents has a dice rolling technique that always looks very odd, he cups the dice in his hands, then very gently rolling them- always one at a time, in a line across the table, I’m pretty sure he’s not deliberately cheating, but the amount of hassle he’s had at tournaments is unreal, I’ve asked him why he doesn’t just roll them normally and he just shrugs and says he’s always done it that way so why should he change it..”

 (Un)Level playing field

  • The deed- Your opponent is repeatedly getting cocked dice all over the place, and they seem almost incapable of missing the very lumpiest bits of surface on the board, did he really need to roll all those dice inside the elaborately sculpted graveyard? The re-rolls he gains from these dice always seem to be in his favour, in fact his definition of ‘cocked’ dice seems remarkably fluid, especially when it’s your dice being questioned..
  • Warning signs- despite the huge open spaces on the table the cad insists on rolling in or around dense terrain, hoping to get a few dice slightly off flat, then cherry pick the failures as ‘cocked’ (along with one or two successes of course) with varying qualification of cocked.(if I can balance I dice on it he says, spending the next twenty minutes attempting to perform feats of balancing that Houdini would appreciate)
  • Prevention- Flat is flat, all of the bottom face  touching the table. Insist on this standard (for yourself as well) and this kind of cheat is easily stumped.
  • Dastardly rating- 2, a poor mans attempt to skew the odds.

The Tommyknocker

  • The deed- the scatter of dice rolled by your opponent are fairly close together,  but unfortunately they have an attack of butterfingers as they pick out the failures, knocking some dice over to whole new scores…
  • Warning signs- If they keep knocking dice over then asking you ‘that was a 6  right?’ and they don’t have the worst case of the shakes/sausage fingers ever, then they are quite possibly taking the mickey
  • Prevention- Not too difficult- really look at the dice every time they roll, and challenge them when they ask you what the score was.
  • Dastardly rating- 2, usually the act of a desperate gamer looking to scrape back into the game.

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