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A Game Loss is given out when a player has committed an infraction which is not severe enough to forfeit an entire match or to be removed from the premises, but has a significant impact on the game. A Game Loss is appropriate for situations where a Game state is irreparable due to the actions of the player receiving the penalty. If a Game Loss is given out during a game, the player forfeits the current game. If this penalty is given out in between games of a match, the player forfeits the upcoming game. If the penalty is given out before a match, the player forfeits the first game of the upcoming match. In the case where a Game Loss is applied before a match, neither player may use their Side Deck prior to the beginning of the first played game. This penalty is given if the judge believes the infraction was unintentional (See Unsporting Conduct for Exception). A Game Loss should always be followed by a brief education of the player, explaining why the penalty was handed out and that a further infraction can lead to an upgrade. An upgrade to a Game Loss is a Match Loss.
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Is the Game State truly irreparable?
This is an important concept to understand – whether or not a game state can be repaired can mean the difference between a Warning and a Game Loss. If both players can provide clear information and a judge can determine a way to fix or rewind the game state, the game should be repaired as far as possible and play should resume. A Game Loss is not an appropriate penalty for a repairable game state, unless as an upgrade from previous infractions.
- Irreparable Game States:
- A player returns a face-down monster to his Deck to Special Summon “Gladiator Beast Heraklinos” from his Extra Deck, without revealing it to his opponent. There is no way to tell if the face-down card was a Gladiator Beast, so the action is irreparable. It is appropriate to give the player a Game Loss.
- A player forgets to discard down to the legal hand limit at the end of his turn. During his opponent's turn he plays a card that draws a card. There is no way to know which cards the player had in his hand prior to drawing the card. This is not a missed mandatory effect but a mandatory game mechanic. This action is irreparable, and it is appropriate to give the player a Game Loss.
- Repairable Game States:
- A player shuffles his hand with his Deck. However, he had revealed his hand to his opponent earlier in the turn, and has not drawn or played any additional cards. Both the player and the opponent can clearly remember the contents of the player’s hand. It is appropriate for the player to restore his hand, reshuffle his deck, and continue play with a Warning.
- Neither player has been keeping track of Life Points on paper, and there is a disagreement about the totals. The players, with the aid of a judge, should reconstruct the game from the cards that have been played, and either reach an agreement or accept the judge’s decision on the totals. Both players should receive a Warning and be allowed to continue play.