Effective July 25, 2019
In order for the competition inherent in a game to have meaning, the competitors must implicitly agree to play the game correctly, and to challenge one another and themselves within the confines and structures of that game. This document provides Judges of Fantasy Flight Games (“FFG”) Organized Play (“OP”) the appropriate procedures, guidelines, and penalties involved in properly handling rules and conduct violations that may occur at an FFG tournament. In addition, these guidelines explain the general philosophy behind several of FFG’s Organized Play policies.
All of the points described in this document are intended to promote a fair and enjoyable gameplay experience for all players at any given FFG event.
How to Use This Document
It is the players’ duty that all steps and sequences in a game are observed and executed accurately, and that the experience is enjoyable for both parties involved. It is the Judges’ duty to determine the proper resolution to any issues that may occur over the course of an event, be they gameplay-related or related to the event itself. Making these judgment calls is one of the central skills of being a Judge. The ability to assess the details of a specific situation and make the ruling that best upholds both the letter and spirit of the rules is one of the most important reasons to have human Judges at events. If necessary, a Judge can refer to a Head Judge or the event Tournament Organizer for assistance.
This document empowers leaders of FFG Organized Play events to make these critical decisions.
A spectrum of possible resolutions exists for each disruption that could occur, and these guidelines exist to help Judges and Head Judges determine which resolution best fits the situation at hand. When issuing a greater penalty than a Normal Warning (read this document further for details about different penalty types), the Head Judge and Tournament Organizer should both be aware of the penalty and approve it. If there is a dispute about a particular issued penalty, the final call is up to the Tournament Organizer based on their respective knowledge of the event and the disruption in question.
Any disputes, arguments, or other issues regarding a Disqualification or other penalty should be reported directly to FFG Organized Play at OrganizedPlay@FantasyFlightGames.com.
Philosophy and General Guidelines
Fantasy Flight Games’ Organized Play events uphold a mindset of providing an enjoyable experience that is open to anyone who wants to come and play a game. This philosophy holds true across all of FFG’s brands, regardless of a game’s age or legacy.
Penalties are intended to educate players who have made a mistake, whether that mistake was gameplay-related or conduct-related. The reason a penalty is applied at all is to help players learn from their mistakes, and to deter them and other players from making similar mistakes in the future.
FFG Organized Play observes two tiers of events: Casual and Competitive.
Casual Tier events are welcoming to all players, regardless of experience level. Players are encouraged to help each other improve and learn, so long as it does not significantly disrupt the game. The focus of Casual Tier events is on creating a fun and friendly environment where new players can learn and enjoy the game alongside long-time veterans. Open Play Nights and Store Championships are Casual-tier events.
Competitive Tier events are more prestigious. At this level, players are expected to have a moderate to expert amount of knowledge and experience with the game. Players should be familiar with not only game rules, but also the most recent Rules Reference and tournament regulations, and they should be prepared to exercise that knowledge to play at a reasonable pace. The focus of Competitive Tier events is on a friendly, competitive, and fair environment. Prime Championships, Grand Championships, and other prestigious events are Competitive-tier events.
The Role of a Judge
Note: Judges, Head Judges, and Tournament Organizers are all leaders at an Organized Play event. For definitions of these roles, please refer to the Fantasy Flight Games Fundamental Event Document.
As a mediator and conflict resolver, it is a Judge’s duty to remain impartial and objective no matter what situations may arise. Judges should not involve themselves in a particular match unless they have reason to believe a rules or event guideline violation has occurred. If a Judge witnesses a mistake being performed by a player, they may approach the table and explain to the players the mistake that was made and then correct it accordingly. A Judge should be capable of identifying an issue and determining the correct response based on the guidelines laid out in this document.
Sometimes the players of a game may realize that they made a mistake and attempt to fix it themselves. If a Judge sees this happening, they should watch over the players’ resolution and only step in if the players do not resolve the situation correctly.
A leader should be able to realize if a situation may call their impartiality into question. When they recognize this, the Judge should inform the Head Judge of the event and have either a different Judge or the Head Judge make the decision.
All Judges are human, which means they are capable of making mistakes. Upon making a mistake, a Judge should acknowledge it and apologize for their error, then attempt to fix it if it is not too late. If a player commits an event disruption directly because of incorrect information from a Judge, the Head Judge is allowed to downgrade any penalty that player may receive because of it.
If a player believes that a Judge has issued an incorrect ruling or penalty, that player may appeal to the Head Judge. The Head Judge should listen to both the original Judge and the player before deciding on a resolution. Once made, the Head Judge’s decision is final.
Judges should not deviate from this document’s guidelines. If a Judge feels that deviation is necessary, they should consult with the Head Judge first. The Head Judge of an event has the final say on rulings. Both the Head Judge and the Tournament Organizer have the final say on penalty decisions. If the Head Judge and Tournament Organizer disagree on a particular penalty decision, the Tournament Organizer’s decision is the one used, and the Head Judge should report the dispute to FFG OP after the event is over.
There are four types of penalties that are used to enforce the guidelines laid out in this document: Warnings, Game Losses, Match Losses, and Disqualification.
Warnings and Penalty Points
Warnings are the most common form of penalty. The purpose of a warning is to notify the player that their behavior has moved outside of the rules, to prompt them to correct their behavior, and to educate them so they do not repeat the mistake. Whenever a player is issued a warning, the involved Judge should write down the player’s name and the reason they have been given the warning, as well as how many penalty points that player receives from it (explained below).
Warnings come in three types: Normal Warnings, Hard Warnings, and Severe Warnings.
Normal Warnings are given when a player causes an intermediate gameplay disruption or minor event disruption, such as a simple error on their deck list or unintentional slow play. These warnings are worth 1 penalty point.
Hard Warnings are given when a player repeats an infraction or causes a significant gameplay disruption or an intermediate event disruption, such as a heated argument between players or bad attitude towards a judge. These warnings are worth 2 penalty points.
Severe Warnings are given when a player causes a significant event disruption that does not quite warrant a Disqualification, such as aggressive behavior toward an opponent or spouting unnecessary profanities. These warnings are worth 4 penalty points.
If a player ever accumulates too many penalty points (5 or more at a Competitive event, 7 or more at a Casual event), then that player is Disqualified.
As a general rule, warnings granted due to gameplay and non-behavioral event disruptions should be worth 1 fewer penalty point each at Casual events. This is because, at events where newer players are still learning the game, it is more appropriate to be lax on disruptions related to players making honest mistakes as they play. However, warnings due to poor behavior, unsporting conduct, or cheating should never have their penalties reduced.
For events that have a streaming table, a Judge may, at their discretion, increase the penalties for any infractions that happen on stream, particularly for behavior-related disruptions or unsporting conduct.
While reporting the results of an event to FFG, the Tournament Organizer should include the names of all players who received 3 or more penalty points throughout the event and how many penalty points each of them received.
For a clear overview of what infractions can lead to a warning, see Appendix: Warning Guidelines.
Game Loss and Match Loss
Note: A “match” is all the games played between the same pair/group of players in a given round of the tournament. For example, a “best-of-three” match involves the players playing two to three games to determine the winner of that tournament round.
A Game Loss is a standard penalty if a player commits a more severe disruption for which a warning alone is not a sufficient penalty. The player scores as if they lost the game (or came in last place at a multiplayer table), and the winning player is awarded a full win.
A Match Loss is similar to a Game Loss but takes it a step further. For tournament rounds where there are several games to a match (i.e. a best-of-three match), a Match Loss means the penalized player scores as if they lost the whole match, not just a single game. This is a more severe penalty that should be applied if a Game Loss is not sufficient. Note: for tournaments that only have one game per round, a Match Loss and a Game Loss denote the same level of penalty.
While reporting the results of the event to FFG, the Tournament Organizer should include the names of all players who received a Game/Match Loss penalty throughout the event and why they received that penalty.
Disqualification is the standard penalty if a player has received 5 or morepenalty points in a Competitive event or 7 or more penalty points in a Casual event. The player receives a match loss for that round and is dropped from the event.
Note: Only the Head Judge and the Tournament Organizer have the authority to disqualify a player from an event. Judges may recommend a certain player for Disqualification to the Head Judge or Tournament Organizer—such as when that player receives multiple penalty points or Game Losses—but only the Head Judge/Tournament Organizer themselves are able to actually Disqualify them. After issuing a Disqualification, the leader must report it to FFG as detailed in the FFG Organized Play Participant Suspension Policy.
At the Tournament Organizer’s discretion, a disqualified participant can also be removed from the event venue.
Leaders are strongly encouraged to inform FFG OP about any Game Losses, Match Losses, and Disqualifications they issue out. In addition, if a player consistentlyearns Game/Match Losses or Disqualifications across multiple events, this information should be shared with FFG OP as well.
If a Tournament Organizer is aware of a player who has demonstrated a tendency to cause disruptions in events, then the Tournament Organizer should alert the judges before the start of the event. Organized Play events should operate under the assumption that all players are given the benefit of the doubt; that said, patterned disruptive behavior should not be ignored. If the player in question begins to disrupt the event, then leaders are encouraged to respond with whatever penalties they deem appropriate.
What Defines a Gameplay Disruption
A Gameplay Disruption occurs whenever a game step, sequence, or mandatory occurrence is overlooked or performed erroneously. Essentially, this type of disruption is associated with someone making a single, honest, unintentional mistake during gameplay. For dealing with issues regarding repeated or intentional abuse or violation of the rules, see the Cheating section of UnsportingConduct under Event Disruptions.
The potential for one player or the other to gain advantage by overlooking a step or mandatory occurrence is very real, which is why these disruptions are taken seriously. Even if a player did not intend to overlook a rule, they could still benefit enough to turn the game in their favor.
Thus, it is imperative that these disruptions be dealt with in order to restore the integrity of the game. To do this, Judges are encouraged to use one of three main resolutions: play on, resolve now, or rewind.
The play on resolution means that, after both players acknowledge the mistake and the Judge determines that neither player was given notable advantage because of it, the game is continued without “going back” and resolving or correcting the mistake.
The resolve now solution is used when the overlooked rule or ability in question can still be retroactively applied without giving either player major advantage while not applying it will give one player advantage over the other.
The rewind solution is used when neither of the other two solutions can be used without giving one player significant advantage over the other. For this solution, players reverse their actions and “back up” the game to the point where the mistake was made, correct it, then continue on from that point as normal. Please note that this solution can be very disruptive to the flow of the game and the tournament round, and therefore should only be used if neither of the other two solutions will work.
The further from an oversight a game advances, the more complicated the rewind procedure becomes. If the game has advanced to a point where rewinding would undo a significant portion of the game, the Judge can decide, on their judgment, that the game cannot be rewound. If this happens, then the players must simply play on.
As a general rule, it is up to the Judge to decide what action is necessary to resolve an issue. If a Judge is uncertain about what to do, they should call the Head Judge to help determine a solution.
The three types of gameplay disruptions are: Missed Mandatory Abilities, Missed Game Steps, and Illegal Game States. Generally, if the gameplay disruption is relatively small and only happens once, then the player receives a Normal Warning, if even that. If a disruption is larger (meaning it significantly disrupts the flow of an event) or a player commits the same gameplay-related infraction more than once, then a larger penalty may be warranted.
Missed Mandatory Abilities
A missed mandatory ability occurs whenever a forced or automatic card ability that should have occurred is skipped or overlooked. A forced mandatory ability that should not occur, but is resolved by mistake, also counts as a missed mandatory ability.
Players are expected to play the game accurately, and to resolve all mandatory card abilities as necessary. All players are responsible for all mandatory abilities.
Examples of mandatory abilities include conditional card text (“when X occurs, do Y,” etc.) and non-optional keyword abilities.
Missed Game Steps
A missed game step (or game effect) occurs whenever a forced or automatic game occurrence that should have occurred is skipped or overlooked. A forced game occurrence that should not occur, but is resolved by mistake, is also considered a missed game step.
Players are expected to play the game accurately, and to resolve all mandatory game occurrences as necessary. All players are responsible for all mandatory game occurrences.
Examples of game steps include the collection of resources at the beginning of a round or the removal of tokens/cards at the end of the round.
Illegal Game State
An illegal game state occurs any time an ability or game step is resolved in an incorrect or inaccurate manner.
Players are expected to play the game accurately, and to resolve all game steps and abilities correctly. All players are responsible for maintaining a legal game state at all times.
Examples of illegal game states include when a player performs an illegal action or incorrectly resolves a card ability (such as if they misread a number).
Repeated Gameplay Disruptions
The guidelines laid out in this section have been in reference to the first time a player accidentally commits any of these infractions over the course of an event. Even expert players are capable of making the occasional mistake, thus the first time one of these incidents occurs in an event is often excusable (unless it leads to a much larger disruption of the event overall). However, if a player repeats the same mistake a second or third time over the course of the same event, then this is a more serious infraction.
As mentioned earlier in this document, the purpose of a Warning—of a penalty system in general—is to inform a player when they have committed an infraction and to educate them so that it does not happen again. If a player does not heed this warning and performs the same mistake again, then this suggests that either the player failed to take the warning seriously or the “mistake” was actually intentional. In the case of the latter, the involved leader should investigate for cheating.
Regardless of the reason behind it, a repeated infraction should be taken seriously, and thus warrants a Hard Warning at the very least.
What Defines an Event Disruption
An Event Disruption occurs whenever a participant makes a mistake or behaves in a manner that threatens the integrity, hospitality, or general safety of the event itself. While gameplay disruptions can throw off an individual game, event disruptions can affect the entire event, and thus should not be taken lightly. Event disruptions can be intentional or unintentional—it is up to the Judges, the Head Judge, and the Tournament Organizer to interpret a situation and determine the best course of action.
The goal of FFG’s Organized Play is to promote a safe, welcoming environment for players of all kinds to come and enjoy the games they love. Event disruptions, even minor ones, can lower or even ruin an attendee’s enjoyment. Players do not need to be overly friendly towards one another, but all of them are held to the expectation that they treat every person around them with politeness, respect, and general courtesy. Those who violate this expectation risk being deemed unwelcome at the event, and, at the Tournament Organizer’s discretion, may be removed from the premises. Repeat offenders may be suspended from attending official FFG OP events—see the FFG Organized Play Participant Suspension Policy for more details.
Tardiness and Absences – Normal Warning / Match Loss
Each player in an Organized Play event is responsible for being present at the correct table at the start of a tournament round. If a player is not in their correct seat by the scheduled start time of the round, then that player is tardy, and their opponent may call a Judge and ask them to start a timer. The tardy player receives a Normal Warning at this time. If a certain amount of time passes (determined by the type of game in question, see below) after the start time of the round and the tardy player still has not shown up, then that player is absent and is given a Match Loss.
The absent player’s opponent receives a full win for the round. If the absent player does not show up before the end of the round, then they are also dropped from the tournament roster. This is not a Disqualification—if, after being dropped from the tournament, the absent player shows up again, the player may be re-added to the tournament roster upon their request, though they still receive a Match Loss for the round they missed.
Generally, a player is tardy if they are between 1 and 5 minutes late (for card games) or between 1 and 10 minutes late (for miniatures games). Beyond these time frames for their respective game type, the player is absent.
At Casual events, if a player sits at the wrong table and plays against the wrong opponent, then the resolution of the issue is left up to the Tournament Organizer’s discretion.
At Competitive events, a player must take care to arrive at the correct seat and play against the correct opponent. If a player sits at the wrong table and plays against the wrong opponent, this counts as being tardy for their actual scheduled match. The player who sat at the wrong table receives a Game Loss, and the opponent they incorrectly played against receives a Normal Warning—this is because both players in a match are responsible for paying attention to the pairings and making sure that they play against the correct opponent.
At Competitive events, if a player receives two Match Losses due to being absent, then that player should be Disqualified from the event.
For events that have a streaming table, the streaming table is treated the same as any other table regarding tardiness and absence.
Errors with Decks/Forces and Lists– Possible Game Loss or Disqualification
Note: This section deals with list errors that take place during Competitive-Tier events. When list errors take place during a Casual event, these penalties may be reduced at the Judge’s discretion.
Deck, squad, army, and fleet lists are tools used by Judges, Head Judges, and Tournament Organizers to ensure the validity of a particular deck or “force” (army, squad, or fleet) as well as check during the course of a tournament whether or not a player has altered their deck/force’s contents. At any time in between rounds, a Judge may check a player’s deck/force to see if it matches their list.
If an error or illegality is found on a player’s list before the beginning of a round—such as a deck having less than the legal number of cards or the combined points value of a squad being more than the legal maximum—a Judge should explain the error to the player and ask them to fix it before the round begins. If the error is discovered before the first round of the tournament, the player may fix it without penalty. If the error is discovered in between rounds, however, then the player receives a penalty (described in the table below) in addition to having to fix their deck/force or deck/force list. If the Judge thinks this error may have been committed intentionally by the player to gain an advantage in some way, then the Judge should investigate for cheating.
If a player ever repeats this infraction within the same event, then that player should be immediately Disqualified.
The following table provides a quick glance at common types of deck/force and list errors and what sort of penalty should be issued in response to each (if any) as well as how the error should be corrected. Whether a penalty is issued or not, the player must immediately correct the list error as appropriate for the specific situation (explained in the “resolution” column of the table on the next page). Any corrections made to a deck/force or deck/force list should be made under the careful supervision of a Judge or other leader.
Note: For ease of reference, everything in the following table refers to “deck lists” and “decks,” even though these guidelines apply to games that use forces (armies, fleets, and squads) as well.
Table: Deck/Force and List Errors
|Time of Discovery
|Both the deck and list are legal, but do not match each other.
|Correct the deck to match the list.
|Before the start of Round 1.
|In between rounds.
|Game Loss for next round
|During a round.
|The deck list is illegal, but the deck itself is legal.
|Correct the list to match the deck.
|Before the start of Round 1.
|In between rounds.
|Game Loss for next round
|During a round.
|The deck list is legal, but the deck itself is illegal.
|Correct the deck to match the list.
|Before the start of Round 1.
|In between rounds.
|Game Loss for next round
|During a round.
|Both the deck list and the deck itself are illegal.
|Player must create a legal deck and matching list and have them approved and checked by a judge.
|Before the start of Round 1.
|Normal Warning. Also Game Loss for round 1 if the deck and list are not made fast enough.
|The player is disqualified.
|In between rounds.
|During a round.
Marked Cards – Normal Warning
All objects eventually become affected by wear and tear, and cards and sleeves are no exception. Over the course of a tournament or several tournaments, a sleeve for a card may become marked in a way that would allow the player to distinguish it from the others in their deck. If a Judge notices this, they should perform a deck check for that player’s deck, then, if the marked cards seem unintentional, the Judge should ask the player to change the sleeve so that it better matches the other cards in its deck. If it is clear that the player was not intending to take advantage of this (or may have not even noticed the mark), then this solution should be sufficient. The Judge should make sure the player understands the importance of maintaining the integrity of their sleeves.
If, at a Casual tier event, a card in an unsleeved deck is distinctively marked in some way, then the Judge can issue a warning and ask the player to either replace the card with an unmarked copy of the same card or use opaque sleeves that will obscure the mark from view.
Players are responsible for maintaining the quality of their game materials, and if a Judge believes a player may be intentionally using marked cards or sleeves to gain an advantage, they may want to investigate for cheating.
If a Judge deems it necessary, they may create proxies if a card or cards become marked/damaged over the course of an event. For more information about how this is done, please refer to the game’s Tournament Regulations.
Drawing Extra Cards – Normal Warning
Mistakes happen, and sometimes a player grabs one too many cards while drawing or absentmindedly draws a card when not allowed to do so. When this happens, it is largely up to a Judge’s discretion on how best to proceed depending on the situation.
This section addresses disruptions involved when a player accidentally draws extra cards. If the Judge has reason to believe that the extra draws were intentional, they should investigate for cheating.
If a player drew one or more extra cards and is able to distinguish them from the rest of the cards in their hand, they must first confirm that the cards are the extra cards with their opponent, then the Judge can take those cards and shuffle them back into the player’s deck. The Judge should take care to maintain the position of any cards that are known information (such as if a player previously used an ability to reorder the top 2 cards of their deck, for example). This does not count as a shuffle in-game for the purpose of any abilities that may trigger off of such an event.
After shuffling the extra cards back into the deck, the Judge issues that player a Normal Warning.
If neither of the players nor the Judge is able to deduce which cards were incorrectly drawn, then the integrity of the game has been compromised. To remedy this, the Judge should first make absolutely sure that the players cannot recreate the situation and deduce which cards are the extra ones; then, if this remains the case, the player who drew the extra cards must reveal their hand to their opponent. The opponent chooses one card for each extra card drawn—the chosen cards are then shuffled back into the player’s deck by the Judge.
Slow Play – Normal Warning
Even at Casual events, players are expected to play at a pace that will not set their opponent at a disadvantage because of the time limit. Slow play is an issue that arises when a player takes more time than necessary to perform one or more game actions. There can be a very fine line between slow play, which is unintentional, and stalling, which is a form of cheating. Players should openly communicate if they believe their opponent is playing too slowly—oftentimes a simple “I need you to play more quickly” from the Judge is all that is needed to remedy the situation.
If a player continues to play slowly even after being asked to speed up, then the Judge should issue a Normal Warning. Repeated offenses, even after receiving warnings, can also warrant a Game Loss if the Judge thinks it is appropriate.
If a Judge believes that a player is intentionally stalling to take advantage of the time limit, then this is a form of cheating and should be dealt with as such.
Unsporting Conduct – Varies
Unsporting conduct occurs when a person behaves poorly toward another person at the event, seeks to gain advantage in the game by intentionally exploiting a factor that is external to the game or event, or cheats while playing in some way. Unsporting conduct directly violates FFG’s goal for Organized Play events, and thus will not be tolerated.
Minor – Inappropriate Behavior (Normal or Hard Warning)
This kind of unsporting conduct involves actions that make other event attendees—be they players, spectators, or leaders—uncomfortable around the person committing the act. It is mostly up to a Judge’s discretion on which acts could be classified as “minor” conduct violations; as a general rule, any situation that causes social discomfort in the moment but can “blow over” after things calm down could be considered a minor disruption. The typical penalty for minor unsporting conduct is a Normal Warning, but a Head Judge may upgrade the penalty to a Hard Warning at a Judge’s request if they deem it appropriate. A reminder: only the Tournament Organizer and Head Judge are authorized to Disqualify a player from an event and have them removed from the premises. If a Judge believes a player should be removed from an event, they must recommend that player for Disqualification to the Tournament Organizer or Head Judge.
Any incidents that could significantly sully or even ruin an attendee’s experience for that event are considered more severe than what falls under this category.
The following are some examples of inappropriate behavior that fall under minor unsporting conduct:
- A player uses vulgar or profane language or makes profane or offensive gestures towards another person.
- A player inappropriately demands that a Judge issue a penalty to their opponent.
- A player insults another person, be they another player, a spectator, or a tournament leader.
- A player fails to follow the instructions of a Judge, Head Judge, or Tournament Organizer.
- A player leaves excessive trash at the table or play area after getting up and leaving.
- A player stomps around, throws their deck onto the ground, or performs other frustrated outbursts after losing a game. If a player begins to act too aggressively, this is a more serious disruption.
- A player celebrates a victory loudly and excessively beyond what could be deemed appropriate or is rude and condescending towards the person they defeated (“rubbing it in,” for example).
- A person attending the event is wearing offensive clothing or has offensive images on their game materials, such as a play mat. The player must remove or cover up the offensive imagery or risk an upgrade to their penalty. “Offensive” in this context is:
- Anything that could be deemed as racist, sexist, or discriminatory in any way.
- Graphically violent/gory imagery.
- Sexually suggestive or explicit material.
- Strong language, i.e. swear words, slurs, etc. (keep it PG!)
Major – Harassment (Severe Warning and Match Loss or Disqualification)
This kind of unsporting conduct involves actions of malicious intent or great inconsideration that could ruin another person’s experience or cause them to want to leave the event. Harassment of any form is absolutely not allowed at FFG Organized Play events and will be dealt with severely. Harassment can include (but is not limited to) any language or behavior that is hostile, threatening, demeaning, solicitous, or objectifying.
To make a person feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or unwelcome at an event directly goes against FFG’s goal for Organized Play events. Players who harass another person even once will receive an immediate Match Loss (or a Game Loss when a Match Loss is not applicable). A player who continues to harass someone or commits a particularly severe offense should be immediately Disqualified and removed from the event space if necessary.
It is possible for a misunderstanding to cause a person to feel harassed. A player may make a comment or act in a way that offends or disturbs another person without them meaning to. If a Judge assesses the situation and determines that the offending player did not intend to cause offense, and the player is genuinely apologetic about it, that Judge may ask a Head Judge to downgrade the penalty to just a Hard Warning at their discretion. However, if the same player commits a second offense of this nature later during the event, then that player should be immediately Disqualified. It is important that the Judge clearly communicate this with the player and, if necessary, educate the player to make sure they understand what was wrong about their behavior.
The following are some examples of harassment-related behavior that fall under major unsporting conduct:
- A person uses a racial slur or other derogatory term or phrase against another person.
- A person takes inappropriate photos of another person without express consent.
- A person makes unwanted romantic or sexual advances on another person and does not stop when denied.
- A person purposefully gets in the way of another person with the intent of causing physical contact.
- A person intentionally touches another person in an unwanted or threatening way (i.e. grabbing their shoulders or shirt, touching their head or face, slapping their rear, etc.)
- A person bullies another person through social media or manipulative language.
Bribery and Collusion – Disqualification
Players come to Organized Play events with the intent to enjoy themselves playing a game they love while competing against others in a welcoming environment. Bribery and collusion can violate the integrity of this environment by putting more emphasis on manipulating the system than actually playing the game, which is not the kind of event that FFG wants to promote. Bribery involves a player offering some form of reward or incentive to their opponent in order to convince them to concede, draw, or even alter the results of a game. A bribe can come in any form that the opponent finds desirable, whether it be money, promotional material, prizes, or even personal favors. Bribery in any form, involving anyone at an FFG Organized Play event, is strictly forbidden and warrants a Disqualification from the Tournament Organizer for the player offering the bribe. If the opponent accepts the bribe, they are also guilty of this disruption and should suffer the same penalty.
Collusion occurs whenever two or more players discuss an outcome for their game before the game’s conclusion and then artificially or randomly determine the results of the game based on that discussion. Collusion can take place at any time, even between tournament rounds, and is never tolerated. Collusion violates the integrity of a tournament as a whole by invalidating the efforts of those who earned their place in the standings purely through the skill of their gameplay. This can drastically decrease the enjoyability of the event as a whole, and thus collusion warrants a Disqualification for each player involved.
Please note that concession, in and of itself, is not collusion. Players are allowed to concede a game at any time before the end of the game, so long as there was no discussion or solicitation involved. However, convincing or manipulating an opponent to concede in order to give any person a distinct advantage is dishonest and is considered a form of cheating. Asking an opponent to concede in any shape or form falls under collusion and is grounds for Disqualification.
The following are some examples of collusion:
- A player offers to concede to their opponent in return for some of the prizes their opponent will win. This is also a form of bribery.
- Two players realize that they both will make the top cut regardless of who wins. After discussing it with each other, they decide to randomly determine the outcome of their game rather than play it out. As soon as there is discussion, the integrity of the game has been lost. If players do not want to play the game, then one of them should concede.
- Player A and Player B are friends. Player A is already going to advance to Day 2, but Player B needs one more win to do so. After discussing it with each other, Player A offers to concede so that Player B can also advance, and Player B agrees. As soon as there is discussion, the integrity of the game has been lost. Player A is allowed to concede the game at any time, but should do so without soliciting the concession.
For the purpose of determining collusion, a “discussion” is when the involved players negotiate and agree upon an outcome of some sort. It is largely up to a Judge’s interpretation on whether or not a particular conversation between players is a discussion leading to collusion.
Stalling – Hard Warning and Game Loss or Disqualification
Stalling occurs when a player intentionally plays slowly in order to exploit an advantage they could gain from the time limit. If a player is unintentionally playing slowly, this falls under the 3.6 Slow Play section.
If, after addressing and warning a player who is playing slowly, a Judge believes that player is intentionally stalling, the Judge may give that player one final warning to speed up their gameplay or suffer a Game Loss. If the player still does not improve their behavior, then this penalty is issued.
Stalling not only sours the experience for the offender’s opponent, but also can throw off the timing and integrity of the tournament as a whole. In addition, stalling is often viewed as a form of cheating. Because of this, should the Tournament Organizer wish, they may instead Disqualify a player who is intentionally stalling to gain advantage in their games.
Aggressive Behavior – Disqualification
An FFG Organized Play event is meant to be a safe place where players can enjoy their game without worry. Any person—be they player, spectator, or leader—that disrupts this sense of safety with aggressive or violent behavior will not be tolerated. The Tournament Organizer may deny entry to a player who exhibits this behavior or have such a player removed from the venue as necessary.
The following are some examples of aggressive behavior:
- A person moves to strike another person or verbally threatens to do so.
- A person pulls a chair out from under another person, causing them to fall to the ground.
- A person intentionally overturns a table.
- A person begins shouting at another person in anger.
- A person brings a weapon to the event or threatens to bring one.
None of this or like behavior will be tolerated in any capacity. If a player acts aggressively in any fashion, the Tournament Organizer should immediately Disqualify them. Then, it is recommended that the offending person be asked to leave the venue. At the end of the event, the disqualified player and the incident in question should be reported to FFG OP.
Vandalism and Theft – Disqualification
Just as people come to FFG Organized Play events with the expectation of their personal safety, they also come expecting their belongings to remain safe as well. FFG will not tolerate the destruction or theft of other people’s belongings at FFG Organized Play events. If a person destroys or renders unusable any tournament-related materials or game components belonging to another person, the offending person will be asked to leave the venue immediately. If that person was a player, the Tournament Organizer should also immediately Disqualify that player from the event.
If a person is discovered to have stolen any items belonging to another person, they will be asked to return the belongings to their original owner, then they will be asked to leave the event venue.
Cheating – Disqualification
If a player attempts to gain advantage in the tournament by intentionally breaking a rule, lying to tournament leaders, intentionally altering or misreporting match results, or somehow abusing any other part of the system for their own benefit, they are guilty of cheating. Players attend FFG Organized Play events in order to enjoy playing the games they love with like-minded individuals. There are few things more upsetting to a player than having their efforts in a tournament be invalidated by someone who reached a similar or better position through exploitation and dishonesty.
If a Judge verifies that a player is cheating or has cheated, then the Judge must immediately report it to the Head Judge or Tournament Organizer. The Head Judge/Tournament Organizer must then Disqualify the offending player in order to preserve the integrity of the tournament and the other players. At the end of the event, the cheating player and how they cheated should be reported to FFG OP.
Note: As a general rule, in order for a player to be confirmed as cheating, two criteria must be met: first, the player must either be gaining an advantage from their actions or putting someone else at a disadvantage; second, the person must be aware that what they are doing is against the rules. If both of these criteria are not met, then the disruption might fall under a different category and should be addressed as such. That said, each instance is largely up to a leader’s interpretation and judgment. If a leader is uncertain whether or not a player is cheating or has cheated, then they should consult with another leader about what action to take.
Appendix: Warning Guidelines
|Things to Keep In Mind
|Minor Gameplay Error
A simple, honest gameplay mistakewas made, and it only takes thejudge a minute or two to identifyand correct the error
|None, but a reminderto be more carefulabout following therules might be agood idea
|If the player keeps making these mistakes, thenissuing Normal Warnings is appropriate.
|Intermediate Gameplay Error
A larger gameplay mistake ormultiple smaller mistakes weremade, and it takes the judge adecent amount of time to correct theerror, possibly necessitating a timeextension for the game
|A time extension should be about the same amountof time that it took for the judge to correct theerror, up to a maximum of 5 minutes. If it takeslonger than 5 minutes to correct the error, then thismight actually be a significant gameplay error (seebelow).
|Significant Gameplay Error
A significant, possibly long-lastinggameplay mistake or several largermistakes were made, and it takesthe judge a significant amount oftime to correct the error (if they canat all).
|If the integrity of the game has been irrevocablycompromised, then the judge may want to considerissuing a Game/Match Loss instead of a HardWarning.
A player is late to their matchwithout notifying a judge beforehand.
|For card games, “late” is generally defined asbetween 1 and 5 minutes late.For miniatures games, “late” is generally definedas between 1 and 10 minutes late.
A player does not show up withinreasonable time for their match.
|Deck/Force and/or List Errors
A player’s deck/squad/army and/orlist is found to contain an unintentional error or illegality
|If the error is discovered before the beginning ofthe first round of the tournament, the leader maychoose to not issue a penalty.Regardless of whether or not a penalty is issued,the player must fix the error as soon as it’sdiscovered.For information on how to fix these errors, seepages 9 and 10 of this document.
A player has distinctive markingson one or more of theircards/sleeves.
|In addition to receiving the penalty, the playershould replace the card/sleeves with an unmarkedversion.
|Drawing Extra Cards
A player accidentally draws morecards than they were supposed to.
|In addition to receiving the penalty, the judge willneed to shuffle the extra cards back into the deck(this does not count as an in-game shuffle).If the players and judge are unable to determinewhich cards are the extra cards, then the player’sopponent may choose a card from their hand toshuffle back into their deck.
A player is unintentionally takingmore time than necessary toperform one or more game actions
|Normal Warningafter second instance(see right)
|The first time a player is asked to speed up, nopenalty is necessary. If the player plays too slowlya second time, then issue this penalty.Intentional slow play (stalling) is a form ofcheating and necessitates a more severe penalty.
|Minor Behavioral Infraction
A player acts in a way that causes abit of tension or awkwardnessamong their table and neighbors,but it blows over after a short whilewith relatively little judgeintervention
|Most behavioral infractions should be dealt withon a case-by-case basis—if the incident isrelatively minor but causes a larger disruption inthe event overall, it might be worthwhile toupgrade the penalty to a Hard Warning.
|Intermediate Behavioral Infraction
A player behaves inappropriately ina way that causes a noticeabledisturbance to more than just theirimmediate surroundings. A judge’sinvolvement is necessary to resolvethe issue, but it does not take verylong to do so
|There is a very small window between minorbehavioral infractions and significant ones. It islargely up to a leader’s call on whether aninfraction needs a harsher penalty than a NormalWarning but not quite as severe as a SevereWarning or Match Loss.
|Significant Behavioral Infraction
A player causes a major disturbancethat threatens to sour the experiencefor a large number of attendees,necessitates a significant amount ofjudge intervention/involvement, orblatantly ruins the event for one ormore people.
|Match Loss or Disqualification
|All forms of harassment fall under this category,regardless of apparent severity.If a player commits a particularly serious offense,then immediate Disqualification may be necessary.If a player commits two of these infractions in thesame event, then they should be immediatelyDisqualified and reported to FFG OP.
A “second offense,” the player hascommitted the same infraction thatthey were penalized for earlier inthe event and needs to receiveanother penalty.
|Same penalty asbefore, but upgradedone step (at leader’sdiscretion)
|Normal Warnings upgrade to Hard Warnings.Hard Warnings upgrade to Severe Warnings.Severe Warnings, Game Losses, and Match Lossesall upgrade to Disqualification.This is geared towards more severe infractionsthan minor gameplay errors. The first time a playerrepeats a minor gameplay error, have them receivejust a Normal Warning instead.If a player has repeated the same infraction morethan once or has more than one repeatedinfraction, the Tournament Organizer / Head Judgemay want to consider Disqualifying the player.
A player attempts to gain advantagein the tournament throughdishonesty, tampering with results,exploitation, or intentional rulebreaking.
|A player is cheating if their actions are intentionaland/or they can gain an unfair advantage throughthem. Things like unwitting slow play oraccidentally drawing an extra card are notcheating—doing those things a second time afterbeing given a warning, however, very well could be cheating
|Too Many Penalty Points
The player has accumulated toomany penalty points throughout theevent (7 or more for a Casual event,5 or more for a Competitive event)
|Normal Warnings are worth 1 penalty point.Hard Warnings are worth 2 penalty points.Severe Warnings are worth 4 penalty points.