Games that could benefit from using a d5 or d7
Chris Farrell
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Cupertino
California
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As I'm sure you're all aware, the dice comapany Gamescience now makes fairly nice 5 and 7-sided dice. No, really. Here are some links:

The 7-sider: <a href="http://shop.rpg.net/product_info.php?products_id=35373" title="http://shop.rpg.net/product_info.php?products_id=35373" target="_blank">http://shop.rpg.net/product_info.php?products_id=35373<;/a>

The 5-sider: <a href="http://shop.rpg.net/product_info.php?products_id=35686" title="http://shop.rpg.net/product_info.php?products_id=35686" target="_blank">http://shop.rpg.net/product_info.php?products_id=35686<;/a>

Of course, not too many games use them. OK, none that I'm aware of. But I can't help but think that there are a few games out there that might actually work better if they used a d5 or a d7 instead of being more or less locked-in to the Microsoft Windows of dice, the d6. Maybe even more than a few. Plus, I now have some of each and I need something to use them for other than a conversation piece.

The idea is to pick games that would not require too many canges to support the new dice.

Most of these are wargames, for the simple reason that surprisngly few Eurogames use dice in a way that allows seamless replacement. But give me what you've got.
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1. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Chris Farrell
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Settlers really works mainly for 4 people, and hasn't been scaled well for 3. With 3 the board seems a little sparse, and things get a bit more chaotic. So how about a variant for 3 people that uses a slightly smaller board and 2d5? This might help with the resource distribution, so more often somebody is getting something. A 2d5 variant for 4 players might be interesting too, as with fewer different numbers (2-10 vs. 2-12) you get more people getting more payouts more often and might have fewer dry spells. Just the tweak for people who think the dice luck is just a touch heavy! This might even be a big win for Cities & Knights, where the chaos is a bit high already. And hey, why not switch to 2d7 for the 5-6 player game too? You could even use the same number chits for the 2d5 (the probability indicators would be wrong, though), but you would need to make a few new ones for 2d7. You'd also need to pick an appropriate number for the robber (might not be one of the two "central" numbers any more, as it might lead to too much robbery - maybe a 4 or 8 with d5's to keep the frequency the same).
 
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2. Board Game: Lock 'n Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:2369] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Chris Farrell
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This actually is the first game that came to mind. In the new demo for the Falklands expansion, the British Paratroopers get to add a d8 to their firepower rolls rather than a d6. Why not reflect more subtle differences with a d7 (say, US Marines or Airborne) and a d5 (VC)? Completely transparent.
 
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3. Board Game: Breakout: Normandy [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:941]
Chris Farrell
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One of the complaints some people have about this generally excellent system (Adam Starkweather recently voiced this on another list) is that there are potentially quite large swings in combat resolution since it uses a 2d6 vs 2d6 roll; in small battles the dice can potentially overwhelm other factors. Why not tone this down just a touch by using 2d5? Again, completely transparent.
 
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4. Board Game: Sword of Rome [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:846]
Chris Farrell
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The hugely random CRT in Sword of Rome has taken some flak; switching to 3d5 would tone things down a touch. You'd need to rework the loss table, but that should be easy.
 
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5. Board Game: Grant Takes Command [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:2470]
Chris Farrell
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Unlike most wargames, the dice are in fact used for movement in this game. Due to the tyrrany of the d6, the Confederate get do move 1d6+1 while the Union get 1d6 (generally). If you think this overstates the advantage the Confederates enjoyed, with our new freedom we could now give them a 1d7 instead, which would be a minor but flavorful adjustment.
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6. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:621]
Chris Farrell
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OK, this is a more substantial upgrade. But one of the weaknesses of Can't Stop is that it doesn't scale to 3 players. One way to scale it down would be to require capping 4 instead of 3 columns, but that isn't interesting with respect to this discussion. So why not develop a new board for 3 players using 2d5 probabilities (and rolling 4d5) instead? And while we're at it, this would give us the option to create a 5-player version of the game using d7's. Of course, it might be a bit slow with 5. But if you asolutley, positively, want to play Can't Stop, and you've got 5 players, at least you'd have an option.
 
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7. Board Game: Starship Catan [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:809]
Chris Farrell
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OK, here's another option that requires no fundamental change - if you wanted to handicap a new player in this game, you could give them a d5 to use instead of the blue die. A small little statistical bump, but it would help.
 
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8. Board Game: Candamir: The First Settlers [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2647]
Chris Farrell
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If you find the challenges just a touch to easy, just swap a d5 for the d6 to make the world just a touch more dangerous. You could also handicap new players by giving them a d7. There are also some intruiging possibilities here during character creation.
 
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9. Board Game: Button Men [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2995] [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Clark D. Rodeffer
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Ann Arbor
Michigan
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Several of the Button Men use unusual dice, such as d3, d5, d7, d16, d24 or d30.
 
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10. Board Game: Formula Dé [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:578]
Tim Benjamin
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Los Alamos
New Mexico
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A little variation in the low gears?
 
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