Monday, August 1, 2011

Loaded Dice - An Unsavoury Episode

While I was away I was contacted by a TO from Melbourne, Australia with regard to a pretty unsavoury episode. He contacted most of the major TOs in the region to bring into daylight what was a most unsavoury episode.

It transpires that a gamer in Melbourne had allegedly been using loaded dice at 40k tournaments for at least the past nine months. At those tournaments he had podiumed and taken significant prizes in recognition of this “success”.

Know Your Enemy - The Offending Dice

I say “allegedly” but in my mind there is no room for doubt at all. Why? Because the people who exposed this cheating took their time and prepared a strong body of evidence that they confronted this person with. They then offered an avenue whereby the suspect dice could be tested and innocence could be proved unequivocally. This avenue was refused. Multiple times.

So what was the nature of this cheating. The dice involved can be purchased on eBay and provide an outcome whereby a specific result can be guaranteed. The dice are filled with oil and have a weight that sinks to a certain position. By placing the required face up and then either tapping or giving the weight time to settle, when you roll the dice you get the required result.

Cut "Good" Dice

The investigators watched (and in some cases videoed) tournament games involving the offending player and witnessed the dice being “set” then used for specific dice rolls. Early on in the process the player was accused by one of his friends of using crooked dice and allowed his opponent to use them. As they didn’t know how to set the dice they rolled randomly. In one tournament it was requested that he use shop dice and the offending player promptly left the tournament.

Cut "Bad" Dice

In the end the player was confronted with the accusation, now backed with evidence (video and written affidavits) and offered the opportunity to prove his innocence. This could be done by a very simple water test where the dice is dropped into at least 4 inches of water and its behaviour observed. To demonstrate the people making the accusation had purchased some of the same dice off eBay and were able to show how loaded dice differed from normal dice.

When confronted the player became aggressive, called his accusers small–minded and jealous (three written accounts) but refused to allow his dice to be tested. He maintained his innocence but said he would check his dice when he got home. He also claimed that his dice were casino dice, bought for him by a friend and perfectly weighted to his throwing style.

Actual Casino Dice - Can You Spot The Difference?

Subsequent to this ‘outing”, the player concerned has been given a two year ban from all tournaments in Australia, while some TOs have indicated they will not accept future registrations from him after the two year ban. the player in question has offered no explanation, no apology and not returned his ill-gotten gains. He has also stopped frequenting forums where he expoused the need for people to "play hard".

So it’s finally come to this. Where toy soldiers, man barbies, whatever is worth cheating your peers for. Well, it’s not. This guy has a serious character deficiency.

Really, your self-worth tied to your toy soldier success, really?


  1. "Perfectly weighted to his throwing style" What.. what does that even mean? What a turd, pity someone didn't have a samuri sword and elite skill on hand during the accusation, whereby they were able to cut one of his dice in half whilst he held it.

    Pretty desperate, but human nature not being our finest asset, I am not overly surprised. Our hobby is not as noble as you'd think, given we have knights and stuff.

  2. Hard to believe someone would be that desperate to win a game with little toy soldiers.
    He did win prizes, so I guess it could be argued that there was monetary gain involved, but I don't think that's the real issue. How low does someone's self esteem have to be that they would use rigged dice to win a game with toy soldiers. Dear God, the mind boggles...

  3. Thanks to that guy we now have a new way to psyche out our opponent. Line up your dice, sixes up, and the tell him with a straight face "I'm just letting the weights settle".

  4. It is quite sad that people do this sort of thing, however at least the offending person is now caught and it looks like they won't be playing in tournaments for quite some time.

  5. Oh, and in case you've been living under a rock, the name is "Raymond Barbulescu" - on the off chance you ever find yourself standing across from him at a table :). The hilarity came from him using them for deathwing saves, particularly wound allocation.
    Dishing out the wounds provided the perfect opportunity to tap the dice without anyone knowing.
    People are amused when you make 10-20 invulnerables in a row. People are pretty much disgusted when that number becomes 100-200.

    The sad thing is he would probably never have been caught if he didn't take the piss so much with it.

  6. I think I've just about heard it all now.... what an absolute numpty! Is it really that important to win a game of 40k? How can he go home and even look at his "winnings"....

  7. I played him at one of the qualifiers for Arcanacon in January and it must have been pre-dice, because there was no way he was making that many invulnerable saves.
    The guy was pretty intense, and it's a shame that he went to such lenghts. After all, tis only a game, isn't it?

  8. I will never understand people who behave like this. I know I'm very much at the casual hobby player side of the spectrum, but what was he thinking?

    I can't help but think the guy either has serious self esteem issues, or is just one of those insanely competitive people.

    The battle I played last night was my first in years. The fact that it ended in a loss did not in any way detract from the fun I had playing it!

  9. Golden D6 - read "pretty intense" as "pretty insane" We all pray to the Dice Gods when we need to make that game-saving roll but that is all the fun of the hobby surely, if I could guarantee a dice roll each and every time I would soon get very bored indeed. I lose as many games as I win and thats just the way I like it! I like to think that I win not because of dice but because of my skill (or lack of) as a tabletop general...

  10. I think my dice are possessed rather than loaded - they roll 1's when I need 6's and 6's when I need 1's must be something fishy going on there.

    But this guy thats just plain ?$?!? really its a game I just dont get it

  11. Wow - The extremes some people go to. I am stunned that he was permitted to use them for so long and I think his punishment is too light.

    I have heard of one other instance of a player using loaded dice at a tournament. He used them unwittingly once and an opponent raised it with the umpires. The dice were investigated and the player was disqualified. The player immediately apologised, accepted responsibility. It was accepted he was not intending to cheat but He was stripped og his rankings and banned from competitive gaming for a year.

    In my view, the current situation is far worse and the person in question has been treated extremely fairly, but far too lightly. He should be banned for life for his behaviour and his reluctance to accept any wrongdoing. While I do not play GW if the person registered for a conmp I was organising I would not be accepting that registration.

  12. There has been some comment around this incident that everybody deserves a second chance.

    My view is that he had second, third, fourth and fifth chance - when he continued to use the dice after first questioned.

    Level of sympathy - Nil

  13. +1 to that. You get a second chance when you are repentant and obviously willing to change your behaviour. When you don't even admit to your obvious cheating and continue to behave so poorly... Well, that demands public ridicule.

  14. What an idiot.
    Mainly for being jerk enough to cheat like that.
    But also for being so shit at cheating that he got caught out so easily.

  15. Mark (Tampa, Fl USA)August 8, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    I heard of a father at a tournament using loaded dice and was caught. He was with his son and was banned/disqualified. I wonder what explanation that kid received from his father?

    On a side note, I live to see what score I'll get after a multiwound hit actually hits and the ward/regen has failed. I hit a steggy twice with cannon and wounded it both times. Each time, I rolled a '1'.. Such are the perils of our game. Rolling dice are only one aspect of the uncertainty of the game. Take that away, now we are playing chess or checkers?

    Lastly, painting is also a facet of the game. I spend more time painting that I will ever be playing. Showing your friends, your newest models and/or units are always a plus. Currently, I'm working on my Dwarves.

    Winning isn't everything but it sure is good when it happens (legitimately)... So, it seems to me.

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  17. @Charlie St Clair - Now Raymond was caught cheating at Golden Demon 2011

    Naughty boy he must be ^^

  18. I've faced the guy at a Brisbane Tournament. He was polite, courteous, friendly and he got his butt kicked by my chaos army and had no where near the amount of saves as claimed in the article. I personally think it's a case of sour grapes and I reckon it's pretty shameful how people are jumping on the band wagon. The guy had a beautifully painted army (gave me lots of great tips) and was a friendly and mature opponent. This all sounds suss to me.

    1. No, as the only one with this opinion, it is you who sounds suss.

  19. Just found this as Dicegate has reared its head again on wargamerau. Funnily enough after just playing the Aus masters I heard from some of the Victorian players that Ray B had gone onto forums under another name saying how he had played Ray B and everything was sweet so everyone else was lying about his cheeting - could this be steveo?

    Man what a complex he must have...