Wargames with bucket o' dice combat or six to hit
Jon Badolato
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Connecticut
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I was just thinking of different war games that use a bucket o' dice combat procedure and/or a six to hit procedure. Wanted to see what games came to other people's minds

Also, do you like the method of resolving combat in this manner as opposed to a CRT or some other mechanic ?

Do you think the mechanic is used to good effect in the game you are posting ?

If not, then how could it have been improved upon in that design or in other similar games in general ?

Thank you for any feedback or posts.
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1. Board Game: Soldier Emperor [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:8217] [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked]
Jon Badolato
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Connecticut
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Attacking units total their strength, and any leaders present, and roll that many dice. Sixes are a hit. If the number of hits exceeds the defense strength of any defending unit attacked the defender must take a step loss or if already reduced, be eliminated.

I think the bucket o'dice method actually works well here. Somehow I can not picture a CRT working quite as well here.I don't know about other combat methods. The game was not without rules flaws or ambiguities. New rules have been produced and I would like to try them out soon if I can get together several people in my gaming group willing to give it a shot. I think the game has potential and except for the cards is beautifully produced.
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2. Board Game: Tobruk: Tank Battles in North Africa 1942 [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:3586]
Davido
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California
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buckets of dice in the one as you roll for acquiring target then roll more/better for effect/hits etc. etc. Combined with some very detailed penetration vs. armor thickness matrices this was quite the simulation back in the day. "Tanks for the memories"

this may not fit the '6 to hit' criteria, but dang there are a lot of dice...
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3. Board Game: War at Sea (second edition) [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2490] [Average Rating:6.45 Unranked]
Davido
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Now THIS has the 'roll the bucket o' dice and hit on 6/5 etc.'
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4. Board Game: Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:1810]
Michael Mandelberg
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Baltimore
Maryland
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Here's the battle sequence, and dice count for a large battle:

ASW: eight
Subs: six
air to air combat: can be quite large, often more than twenty dice
AAA: perhaps between fifteen and twenty
air strike: twenty
surface combat: hard to say, as this can go on for some time, but let's say twenty
ground combat (with naval support): twenty

Let's see, that's... over a hundred dice! Cool!
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5. Board Game: Death in the Trenches: The Great War, 1914-1918 [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:7907]
Bill Lawson
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Vermont
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Nothing can beat this for buckets of dice! Typical battle one side rolls 42 D6 the other side rolls 37 D6. Its a great game too!
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6. Board Game: Buck Rogers: Battle for the 25th Century Game [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:2978]
Neil Whyman
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Danvers
Massachusetts
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Dicefest!

The biggest battle I've seen needed about 30 dice. But this game uses 10-sided dice, and you only get 5 in the box. Trip to the FLGS needed.

There are about about half a dozen unit types, and each hits the others on a different roll. As an example: Genetically engineered warriors will hit space marines on a 5+, but space marines will only hit genetically engineered warriors on 8+. Fighters hit each other on a 6+, but hit transports on a 3+.

The mechanic works well in my opinion.
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7. Board Game: EastFront [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:1338]
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And the other *Front games...

6's to hit, except for armour which hits on 5/6. Defenders can hit on a 5/6 or 4/5/6/ depending on their defensive status.

You roll one die per step involved in the battle.

It works reasonably well. There are times when I have 4 4-step units attacking a single n-step unit in the open where I wish there were a nice CRT to make it easier.

Like the time I had 9 dice in the blitz phase to roll a single 6 to eliminate the lone single step Russian infantry near Kursk that would have popped open the Russian line... and failed. shake
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8. Board Game: Tide of Iron [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:582]
M King
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Wilder
Kentucky
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The number of dice thrown can get pretty hefty when armor is involved.

I kind of like buckets of dice combat systems. I've noticed they are easy for my 11 year old son to understand, as opposed to CRT based systems.
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9. Board Game: Warriors of God [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:1043]
Jeff Curtis
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Plainfield
Indiana
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Sixes to hit, although leader ratings can give you pluses on your rolls. You might get to roll 9-12+ dice per round of combat if you stock some leaders with archers.
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10. Board Game: Volley & Bayonet: Road to Glory [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Kent Reuber
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San Mateo
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The miniatures rules Volley and Bayonet use this mechanic for most infantry and cavalry. Infantry throw a number of dice if they move and more dice if stationary. Each 6 causes one hit on the target. A few units like shock infantry or close range artillery hit on 4-6 or 5-6, but most are 6's.
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11. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:790]
 
David Gibbs
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Ottawa
Ontario
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Is Titan still considered a war game? I think it is, and it is definitely a bucket-o-dice combat system. Ye old serpent attacking ye old ranger -- 18 dice, needing 6s to hit, 4 hits to kill.
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12. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1184]
Robert Wesley
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13. Board Game: Fortress America [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1327]
Robert Wesley
Nepal
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14. Board Game: Ikusa [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:689]
Robert Wesley
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15. Board Game: Rome At War I: Hannibal at Bay [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:12935]
Kent Reuber
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San Mateo
California
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"In combat, each unit rolls a number of dice equal to its combat strength. Every 6 rolled is a hit against one enemy unit in the target area."
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16. Board Game: World at War: Eisenbach Gap [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:1565]
Michael Cox
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Tokyo
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Not quite a bucket of dice but with the right tanks and an HQ unit, you can throw more than the game provides. Depending on attacker, 4+ to hit and defender can also roll a handful of dice to see how many hits are blocked by his armor aka Armor Save.
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17. Board Game: The Napoleonic Wars [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1799]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Uses a bucket o' dice as well. Great fun.
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18. Board Game: Great War at Sea: The Mediterranean [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:3953]
Joshua Gottesman
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Las Vegas
Nevada
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I could put this entire system in the game, and this is a classic "buckets of dice" game. While the ships here are smaller than in SWWAS, some capital ships can be rolling 12+ dice per turn for hits. With a good sized fleet, make sure you have several dice towers on standby.

There is an article on AP's site about how this abstraction actually produces reasonable results. The Great War at Sea: Dreadnoughts supplement has optional combat rules that theoretically make the game even more realistic (I haven't played them) and the buckets of dice remain.
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19. Board Game: Second World War at Sea: Leyte Gulf [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:7814]
Joshua Gottesman
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Again, this is representative of the series. I picked this one purely for its massive size. While the tactical combat system is not quite the same as GWAS, it is very, very similar. Bigger ships = more dice. And of course now you have dice for all the carrier strikes, too!

Its always great fun to blast enemy fleets into little pieces, or to watch all your shots just barely miss, depending on the number of 6s you roll.

Of course in this one, there is a +1 when firing at a large ship, so battleships hit each other on a 5 or 6 which leads to even faster annihilation!
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20. Board Game: Zulu War [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
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Apparently a bucket o' dice dream. From the review here on the geek, entitled Drowning in Dice:

Quote:
Now things get interesting. Again, each artillery sp is worth 2 dice, but each gatling sp is worth 6. So we have 10 dice so far. But now the Martini-Henry. Each regular sp gives you 4 dice, so now the British get an additional 108 dice, for a total of 118 dice.


Anyone want my copy?
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21. Board Game: Britannia [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:540]
Neil Whyman
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Danvers
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Here's another game where you roll a D6 per counter. 5 and 6 hits . . . . unless you are Roman. The Romans hit on 4+, and are themselves only hit on 6. Everyone loves being the Romans!

This is a great game. The basic contest is one of area control, and the dice mechanism gets a result pretty quickly. There are statistical upsets, but by-and-large your luck will even out.

Most battles involve 6 or fewer units, and very rarely more than 10. It is very hard to engineer a massive force unless you have a Major Invasion.
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22. Board Game: Wellington [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2104]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Just played this the other night. Sometimes we had one side rolling 16 dice vs another rolling 12.

'6' is a kill, '5' a disrupt which could convert to a kill, depending on how combat goes.
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23. Board Game: Warhammer 40,000 [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1914]
Eirik Sandaas
Norway
Trondheim
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20-30 dice in a combat was commonplace. usually color coded so you could make all attacks from a squad in one roll

"The 2 blue dice are the laspistols, the green is the chaplains boltpistol, the black is the librarians lasergun, the 3 red are the other bolt pistols, the orange is the meltagun and the 21 white are the bolters"

Most players would carry a literal bucket of dice to the game
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