View Full Version : Rules Lawyers

05-09-2006, 01:42
For me I enjoy the challenge when someone knows their rules well. But, if the person is super niggly about the smallest of details, especially about biased situations, I would rather avoid them.

If I am playing a newbie, I will watch out if he makes any glaring rule mistakes, but would rather not be bothered to explain the difference between rally tests, psychology tests, and break tests.

Besides, I am here to have a good time. I want to win of course, but I would rather be seen as a fair and reasonable player instead of one that crushes his opponents with the slightest interpretation of a simple rule.

That doesn't mean that I don't have my opinions about certain rules. But if an argument arises, I would roll to see how we should play. Then I come back to this forum and find out what you folk say.

05-09-2006, 02:12
Just make sure you can distinguish between a "rules Lawyer" who plays the game correctly (by the letter as it were) and a "rule's abuser" who tries his darndest to find those little cases where perfectly fine rules can be turned into abusive and unintended situations. 7th edition is very tight and doesn't allow much of this but the old tale about building better idiots rings true here...


Crazy Harborc
05-09-2006, 02:45
I've played a few :) rules lawyers;) AND some real um, jerks who knew every rule that would benefit them and kept all the rest to themselves.

By the by, do not assume that a rules lawyer is ALWAYS right. Don't settle for a "I downloaded it, but I left it at home". OR another favorite...."oh, it's in a article/in a chronicle'.......somewhere.

05-09-2006, 02:52
Very true. If they can't produce it, it obviously isn't important enough to play by.:p

Knowing the rules and applying them evenly is fine.:D

Knowing the rules and only applying the ones that benefit you.....:eyebrows:

05-09-2006, 09:39
I'm generally quite tight on the rules but generally dont enforce any rules that provides me an advantage that I think is unfair, such as highly abusive charges or exploiting rules loops.

I also like to confirm actions during a my oppenet turn if an intent is clearly shown. For example if a character in 6th is being moved along with a unit for cover and ends up ending up a tiny fraction of an inch closer, I prefer not to weight til my turn and potentially bring the game into an arguement over whether the character is closer. I generally tell my oppenet that I think the character is close enough to target and allow them to shuffle it back a fraction to make it safe.

I also tend to agree with my oppenet either when Im moving or where they are whether a unit can be seen if they are trying to hide it. I obviously dont let anyone take the mick with this but I find agreeing things unfront allows following plan and avoids rules disputes or arguements.

This may sound like people arent punished for mistakes, which is wrong. they are just not punished for unintentional mistakes (like the charater situation, this avoids the movement phase becoming an age long process of super careful placement) and mistakes from misknowledge of the rules. Therefore more games are won and lost on the tactical mistakes and the exploitation of them.

Against rules Lawyering players (I take this to mean continually looking to expliot rules wording unclarities or abusive rules). I have no issue with people that just have a good knowledge of the game rules (with one exception, in the GT final I had a game on the Lizardman themed boards down warhammer world, their is a number of temples/ruin pieces of terrain. In the game I tried to cast master of stone from the building and he said I couldn't as it was an intact building. I believed it to be a ruined temple due to the moss and broken bits. His claim was that the building was not ruined, "it was in slight disrepair". An issue not covered by the rules we had to dice off and I lost, so no spell. Though I then decided it was a gloves off momenet and masacred his army for the loss of 7 models).

I've never really found playing rules lawyers much of an issue in game turns as Ive not found one rules lawyer who actually knows the rules. I do however generally find it an unpleasent experiece and generally involves my oppenet acting like a brat. In a doubles match our oppenets called an umpire 7 times becuase they were unset that we wouldn't let them play all this rules they were making up. They didn't win a single decision despite a 10 min arguement at one point about these extra rules were in a white dwarf not the annuals lol. The game ended on turn 2 and was of the worse Ive every played.

05-09-2006, 09:40
Just make sure you can distinguish between a "rules Lawyer" who plays the game correctly (by the letter as it were) and a "rule's abuser" who tries his darndest to find those little cases where perfectly fine rules can be turned into abusive and unintended situations. 7th edition is very tight and doesn't allow much of this but the old tale about building better idiots rings true here...

Spot on! There's a difference between knowing the rules so you can play the game correctly, which is what everyone should aspire to (it means you play a fair game with no disputes or arguments), and knowing all the rules so you can abuse them to your advantage. I try to make sure I know my rules by heart, as it makes games go more smoothly, but I remember the rules for my benefit and my opponent's.

05-09-2006, 09:57
Define rules lawyer.

If by this you mean "One who plays by the rules" then I love them! I CAN'T STAND people that don't know the rules properly and fudge the game, it is extremely frustrating.

If on the other hand you mean "One who attempts to twist the meanings of words to CHEAT", then I hate them! I CAN'T STAND people that attempt to twist the rules in such a way to benefit themselves, when all they are doing is cheating.

So I really only see two kinds of definition for a rules lawyer: a *CHEAT, or a PLAYER.

*nb A cheat is someone that does something contrary to the rules, it is NOT someone who does something you don't like. Similarly, a PLAYER is someone that FOLLOWS the rules, not a "cheater" that points out to you that the unit they are moving has a special rule you forgot.

Rules Lawyers in many ways are created by opponents. Am I a rules lawyer if I tell you that 6" movement EQUALS 6"?

Am I a rules lawyer for telling you that it's -1 to hit at long range?

No, I am a player that is using the RULES.


05-09-2006, 10:34
I agree with hellebore here. It depends on the definition you give to 'rules lawyer'...

I see no problem in playing against someone who knows the rules very well and is using them to his advantage. Generally that's what I'm doing.

It becomes a different story when that player is changing the interpretation of the rules from game to game just to win.
Luckily that does not occur in my gaming group...

Unfortunately there are still many players that just have a bad rules-knowledge. That's why I voted for 'A good Challenge, we need more.'

05-09-2006, 10:37
I always try and point stuff out from a rules perspective if I think a inexperienced player is about to do something they'll regret later but sometimes they remember it better if they have a bad experience. For example, my last opponent will always remember that, barring the exception of kroxigors and skinks, units cannot charge through friendly skirmishers.

I do prefer a game that is played by the rules but it is important that they are not the be all and end all.

05-09-2006, 12:21
well... nastiest rule lawyer I had to play against was unfortunately on a 40k tournament - second round, first round didn't go that well for me (only a small victory). he had two situations where he insisted on rules that made me loose in the end.

1. we had a night fight. his honorable cybot was 6'' away and I blasted him with a melter. before removing the cybot, he came up with 'hey, you did not roll for sight distance!' oh well... 2d6x3 is at least 6'', so... well... why should I do that? ok, here is the roll: more than 6''. happy now? 'now you have to roll to hit and to penetrate and everything.' guess what: he called imediately for a ref and he decided that I have to do it. rolled the usual melter one.

2. he wiped out one of my units (some marines and a chaplain) and rushed forwards. this stupid guy ran out of cover to the front of my vindicator in his turn. so my turn then, putting the 5'' over the unit and sent them up to heaven. now... I didn't get the point before, but the unit that I just vaporised, didn't really kill my chaplain. the attacks should not have been forwarded from the unit to him. ok. what would you do now? my opinion is 'okay, **** happens, let's go on!' as there is not a model on the table that should be dead 4 turns ago or whatever. his opinion was 'okay, let's go back 2 turns'. wtf? sure, I'll move back all my models and so on, ending up on an approx situation of what we had 2 turns before. the same ref as before solved the problem. guess what: it was exactly what this little rule lawyer suggested.

never was on a tournament from these orgs again.

05-09-2006, 13:08
I put I don't care.

If they simply know the rules off by heart and correct me when I'm wrong fair doos. If they complain over different ways of phrasing the rules I'm more likely to direct attacks against his face instead of his troops.

06-09-2006, 04:58
Great thoughts here. I too am in consensus. I prefer to know my rules and how my army works within them. I appreciate playing opponents who know this too. But, what I do not appreciate is when an opponent get very nigly on HIS interpretation of the rule, won't concede to a 4+ roll even, and is very stubborn about his rules (especially when I know that it is in doubt or just plain wrong). What is worse, is when after the game may be won by turn 4, he starts to let up on his rules to be "nice".

If he is a rules hound, then he should stay a rules hound for the entire game. But I do not like a rules hound in sheeps clothing. Playing hard to win and then letting up at the end does not suit my taste in opponent well.

If he plays hard, then I'll play hard too. It makes for a competitive game and that is alright with me. If he is playing for fun, then lets have some fun (make up some story line to go with the game infront of us). If he wants both, then I hope he will be consistent all the way through.

Of course this more easily said than done. But it is what I would ideally like to achieve.

06-09-2006, 06:02
One guy I play from time to time can be a real pain, disputing rules at random and often suggesting wrong explanations.

Another one, our local chaos klown, often only reads the first paragraph of item and troop descriptions, causing much confusion.

At our local game store, they have an armybook closed policy during games, I like it. You've got to have things written down in order to use them.

Crazy Harborc
06-09-2006, 20:11
"Armybook closed policy during games"........If it works out for the store AND the gamers. But how do you/they resolve disagreements?

Say is that just armybooks, not rulebooks too?

07-09-2006, 05:07
They use the rulebook for the miscast and combat tables, so it is open technically. Most folks who play there write everything down or bring copies of the special stuff so there's no guessing.

Disputes? D6

07-09-2006, 05:33
They use the rulebook for the miscast and combat tables, so it is open technically. Most folks who play there write everything down or bring copies of the special stuff so there's no guessing.

Disputes? D6

Hmm, doesn't sound too fun to me. I guess I'm more on the rules end of it. The rulebook isn't always perfect with their wording, but the vast majority of things can be cleared up with a good copy of the rules (rulebook or army book). "Without rules, there is chaos." The same can be said about not knowing for sure what the rules are, and nobody does know it exactly, you need to have it as a reference.

07-09-2006, 06:00
Yes, I agree, but it's their store and their rule.

I gotta say it makes the games go quickly.

When we play at Neil's or the Ruth's everythings open, usually because we have to figure out where the Ruth screwed up his army list this time.
You have no idea how badly Chaos can be mis-interpreted when only the first paragraph of every description is used. Sometimes I let him get away with his shenanigans and beat him anyway. Makes ya feel good inside.

07-09-2006, 06:09
I tend to follow the rules strictly and make use of rules that would asist me, however I also let my opponent know if there is a rule they could use to help themselves. Also if it comes down to an arguement I will often let it go until i can get the proper referance material for next time.

People that twist the rules are just cheaters and should be viewed as such and I have no time for them.


07-09-2006, 08:44
I`m not good at knowing the rules myzelf and it is nice when yur opponent can help you out with it.. unfortunately the greatest part of "rule lawyers" I`ve met were using it to ensure their victory

Crazy Harborc
08-09-2006, 02:02
In the last three years, I've observed and played only one person I won't play again. Fortunately, the person's not around too much.