WHAT IS THIS?
The "5 Things That Are Hot and Not About Destiny" is our regular weekly segment here at the YOUR Destiny website and meant to be a column on what has been going on, either, in Destiny generally, or in the head of the columnist specifically.
The column will be written by our resident writers and their opinions are obviously just opinions - you might disagree, heck, we'd almost be disappointed if you don't disagree! Feel free to participate in the discussion on our Facebook Page!
Recently there has been a lot of discussions concerning cheating and I thought it would be interesting to go a bit deeper into the discussion, but from a somewhat different angle.
You can find some of the context in an article written by Agent of Zion of the Artificery Crew! And also in this Reddit discussion!
JANUARY 23, 2019.
TODAY'S COLUMNIST: Claus Staal
Read OUR PREVIOUS COLUMNS!
1. PLAYERS WILL LEARN TO SHUFFLE AND CUT:
Shuffling your own deck is not important. Really. If you could always start with a perfect starting hand that'd be awesome. Sure, it'd definitely take quite a lot of the fun out of a game of Destiny, but playing at a high level event, and we naturally have different definitions as to what can be considered highly level, is something entirely different from playing around the kitchen table, and you should expect players to do almost whatever it takes to win. Some will cross THAT line - others won't.
Shuffling IS mentioned in the rules of the game though as a part of setup, although it is not specified how you should shuffle your deck! The Tournament Regulation is a bit clearer on this matter!
When I'm playing in my local gaming club, ASK Gaming Cafe, for Destiny Tuesdays, it doesn't really matter whether I lose or not. It's not even about the game. It's about the camaraderie. I think most of you will agree with me on this one. I just don't care enough about Destiny to care about that. For casual games of Destiny I shuffle my own deck (surprise), cut it, and offer my opponent the deck to reshuffle and cut. I mostly cut my opponent's deck as well. Sometimes I don't. It's just good practice. It's a good habit that will carry into your competitive settings as well.
Playing at a tournament is a different matter for several reasons. I join tournaments to win. Always. It's in my bones to be competitive. I also shuffle my opponent's deck, ask for it if not offered, and cut it as well.
Watch both Mads Utzon (right) and Edwin Chen (left) in the Finals at Worlds 2018. They reshuffle their opponent's deck and cut it. Sometimes people, wrongly, assume that shuffling and cutting an opponent's deck is an expression of distrust. It's not. It's simply a part of the etiquette. It's not even about the possibility of cheating by stacking your deck. That can be the unfortunate consequence of NOT following etiquette.
Shuffling also gives you a bit of time thinking about the game, what's your strategy and what will be your plays, etc.
2. PEOPLE COME UP WITH SOLUTIONS:
Throughout the many comments that have been made in the wake of the Regionals event where stacking of cards were "documented", people have come up with really good ideas. Obviously not all ideas are equally good, but that's to be expected, while the vast amount of solutions offered as well as support for one position in the debate or the other has been quite impressive. I like it when people pitch in to find solutions to "common" problems.
3. EMPOWERING PARTICIPANTS:
The role(s) of all tournament participants, including Tournament Organizer (TO), Marshal and a Judge are all accurately described in the Tournament Regulations.
While the Tournament Regulations does not have a guidebook on how to handle "Unsporting Conduct" it does prescribe who's responsibility in the instances where it is suspected! I do hope that every single tournament organizer, no matter what kind of tournament they are running for Star Wars Destiny, have read the Tournament Regulations and considered how to deal with various situations! Keeping you fingers crossed and hoping for the best, i.e. no controversy at all at the event, is kinda naive, and probably NOT the best way of preparing yourself.
When I, as the appointed Marshal of the European Championship 2018, met with my judges prior to the event, I explained my expectations to them, told them not to go into rules arguments with players, but make concise decisions at the table if needed. Any and all disagreements could as per the rule be taken to the Marshal of the event, me, and I would then make a final ruling. Sometimes I would side with the judge, at other times I would reverse the ruling. I had a clear agreement with the Tournament Organizer, FFG Organized Play, on how to handle situations that could lead to possible warnings, forced game losses, disqualifications, etc.
Prior to the first round of the event, I informed all the players of the procedures so there would be no mistake as to who had the responsibility for what.
Even at small events, it is a good idea to have a clearly formulated organisational chart that specifies who is in charge of what and make sure that the players are being informed, including what your expectations are of them as tournament participants.
4. TRIAL BY INTERNET DOESN'T WORK:
Generally, I don't believe that "Trial by Internet" work. It's good for venting, but it undermines the process that takes place at a tournament and takes responsibility away from the tournament participants. If a Tournament Organizer, Marshal or a Judge is making a wrong decision, they have to own it. You can't be right all the time. There will always be players and spectators evaluating whether or not a ruling was right or a disciplinary decision was correct.
The most important thing is for Organizers to take responsibility for their decision, whether right or wrong, and players to respect it - and very often that is exactly what happens!
This doesn't mean that we can't discuss what has happened - and we should - but respecting what was the outcome, i.e. the decision made at any event by any organizer, is more important than "me" being right.
5. JUSTICE IS NOT BLIND:
There will always be saints and sinners, lions and sheep. I'd like more saints around, but that's just wishful thinking. Until such a time when the saints rule supremely, we probably also have to accept that we need deterrents for cheating.
The fact that people are watching, whether on stream or live by the table, might be such a deterrent. Speak up and don't be the silent majority.
See you shuffling around at the next tournament ...
Column written by