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Subject: Is there such a thing as high quality dice? rss

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Suns Anvil
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This may be a really stupid question to some, but I was wondering the other day if there is any brand of "primo quality" dice? I mean, for everything else in this world, someone somewhere takes it to the top shelf (for a price). Cars, food, clothes, you name it.

Surely someone is producing dice of a rare high quality?
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Executive Bear
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Chessex dice are very good dice

http://www.chessex.com/

I own a few different sets and they are all top quality.
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Nate Straight

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Google "precision backgammon dice".
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J C Lawrence
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Ian Radford
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Lou Zocchi's amazing Game Science is the place to go if you want precision-engineered dice (and a fascinating introduction to the engineering behind them). Chessex dice are, in scientific terms, pretty poor random number generators. Just don't listen to anybody who tells you to buy casino dice...

Edit: ninja'd.
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Barry Hood
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Not sure if you would equate price to quality, but if so, and you have $10k to throw around (excuse the pun), you could get a couple of solid gold diamond pipped dice from here laugh
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Jordan S.
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The Great Sun Jester wrote:
Lou Zocchi's amazing Game Science is the place to go if you want precision-engineered dice (and a fascinating introduction to the engineering behind them). Chessex dice are, in scientific terms, pretty poor random number generators...

+1 for Game Science dice. The sharp edges and good-quality plastic make for very satisfying dice to roll, plus I have a lot of respect for Col. Zocchi and his former tenure in the business. Whether they significantly impact actual dice probabilities is debatable but, as gaming consumer, they absolutely feel like a better quality product than your average polyhedrals.

The Great Sun Jester wrote:
...Just don't listen to anybody who tells you to buy casino dice...

Casino dice have their place. Since they are machined rather than molded plastic and because of the strict quality control, they do tend to be about as precise as you can get with six-sided dice. Not all manufacturers are created equal, of course, and you still only get what you pay for but good quality casino dice are great to roll, have wonderful weight and just make you feel like you're getting even randomization.
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Pokey 64
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Webhead123 wrote:
The Great Sun Jester wrote:
Lou Zocchi's amazing Game Science is the place to go if you want precision-engineered dice (and a fascinating introduction to the engineering behind them). Chessex dice are, in scientific terms, pretty poor random number generators...

+1 for Game Science dice. The sharp edges and good-quality plastic make for very satisfying dice to roll, plus I have a lot of respect for Col. Zocchi and his former tenure in the business. Whether they significantly impact actual dice probabilities is debatable but, as gaming consumer, they absolutely feel like a better quality product than your average polyhedrals.

The Great Sun Jester wrote:
...Just don't listen to anybody who tells you to buy casino dice...

Casino dice have their place. Since they are machined rather than molded plastic and because of the strict quality control, they do tend to be about as precise as you can get with six-sided dice. Not all manufacturers are created equal, of course, and you still only get what you pay for but good quality casino dice are great to roll, have wonderful weight and just make you feel like you're getting even randomization.


I think Great Sun's view on casino dice is that they are not practical for board gaming use. They are large (18mm), heavy, have very sharp edges and corners and will damage your game board if you roll them there or your table if you miss the board.

It's not that they are poor dice it's that they aren't meant for normal game purposes. Casino dice do have their place, yes. On a crap table in a casino, not on your dining room table.
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Digren K
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sunsanvil wrote:
This may be a really stupid question to some, but I was wondering the other day if there is any brand of "primo quality" dice? I mean, for everything else in this world, someone somewhere takes it to the top shelf (for a price). Cars, food, clothes, you name it.

Surely someone is producing dice of a rare high quality?


http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/charliebrumfield/artisan...
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/charliebrumfield/artisan...
 
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Ian Radford
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Oh, I wasn't criticising the quality of casino dice. The problem with using them for gaming is that they're intended for throwing down a padded craps pit, not for rolling onto a tabletop, where their size and weight make them difficult to roll properly.

Edit: ninja'd again.
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Jordan S.
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The Great Sun Jester wrote:
Oh, I wasn't criticising the quality of casino dice. The problem with using them for gaming is that they're intended for throwing down a padded craps pit, not for rolling onto a tabletop, where their size and weight make them difficult to roll properly.

Edit: ninja'd again.

I agree. If you're someone who's considering using casino dice for board gaming, I recommend getting a dice tray or even just a small piece of felt for rolling them on. Their size does also make tossing more than 4 or 5 of them at a time a bit problematic. There aren't too terribly many games that call for that many dice at once but it is an important consideration.
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Jordan S.
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For those interested, here's Col. Zocchi's 2-part pitch in which he discusses the process of dice manufacturing and talks about all the potential concerns surrounding low-quality dice.

Part 1:


Part 2:
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Tarjei Aasen
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I heard a lot of female dogging about Games Workshop dice, so I took a batch of 18 of them and rolled them 500 times (so 9000 rolled dice in total) and they're about as even as you could possibly hope for.

So I think just about all dice you buy are perfectly fine, and almost all biases people feel are due to expecting the "law" of large numbers to kick in sooner than it tends to.
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There are some very nice wooden dice and metal dice that come up on Kickstarter every now and then. Shapeways also has a selection of pretty inventive styles that you can get cast in a variety of materials.
 
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Ian Taylor
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TarjeiAasen wrote:
I heard a lot of female dogging about Games Workshop dice, so I took a batch of 18 of them and rolled them 500 times (so 9000 rolled dice in total) and they're about as even as you could possibly hope for.

So I think just about all dice you buy are perfectly fine, and almost all biases people feel are due to expecting the "law" of large numbers to kick in sooner than it tends to.


I've often wondered about that. I've read a lot of people saying that standard dice that you get in board games or buy in your game store are not perfectly shaped and have inbuilt biases. But I have never seen anybody actually try quantify that bias. To be frank, if a dice rolls 99 3s for every 100 6s that is going to be perfectly adequate for you to play Eclipse with for evermore.

Impressed you carried out this experiment, and interested by the results. The slight flaw with the experiment is the dice could all be slightly flawed, but as long as the flaws are evenly distributed across the numbers you would never notice (assuming you didn't record which die rolled which number each time).
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Ian Radford
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TarjeiAasen wrote:
I heard a lot of female dogging about Games Workshop dice, so I took a batch of 18 of them and rolled them 500 times (so 9000 rolled dice in total) and they're about as even as you could possibly hope for.

So I think just about all dice you buy are perfectly fine, and almost all biases people feel are due to expecting the "law" of large numbers to kick in sooner than it tends to.


As it happens, some scientific study of GW's (Chessex-made) dice has indeed been carried, out, notably this excellent article on Dakka, which (from a sample of 144,000 rolls), found an average of 29% ones, rather than the 16.6% that should be expected from an "ideal" die.
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William Bowers
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I think part of the problem with dice arguments comes from a misunderstanding of what randomness is.
 
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From Dilbert Website
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Liz Spain
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I consider myself a bit of a dice aficionado, and yes, there are certainly luxury quality dice.

Iron Dice are made by the same factory that makes designer belt buckles and purse hardware in Italy and painted with the same paint they use on Ferrari cars. The casting quality is amazing and they feel great in the hand. Also, they put dents in my table and most are hard to read.

I also have a number of 3D printed dice from Shapeways that are steel, bronze and gold-plated. Really lovely and since they're hollow they don't dent the table, but are really expensive.

Crystal Caste also has a number of dice that are carved from semi-precious stones and even a set of tiny D10s cast in solid silver. I remember a while ago they even had a set carved from meteorite.

As scientific as Game Science dice may be, I'll never choose to use them over something that looks and feels like sparkly candy or is stylishly sculpted. Sharp edges are ouchy.
 
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William Boykin
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I use dice from Koplow. They're quite nice.

Plus, they're made in the US!

Crystal Caste also makes nice quality 'normal' (ie, non mineral or metal) dice that are quite pretty.

Chessex is also quite nice, but I generally prefer Koplow and their prices.

Darilian
 
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The Great Sun Jester wrote:
Lou Zocchi's amazing Game Science is the place to go if you want precision-engineered dice (and a fascinating introduction to the engineering behind them). Chessex dice are, in scientific terms, pretty poor random number generators. Just don't listen to anybody who tells you to buy casino dice...

Edit: ninja'd.

Huh? I hate d6's but casino dice have to be the beset random ones.
 
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Ian Taylor
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The Great Sun Jester wrote:
TarjeiAasen wrote:
I heard a lot of female dogging about Games Workshop dice, so I took a batch of 18 of them and rolled them 500 times (so 9000 rolled dice in total) and they're about as even as you could possibly hope for.

So I think just about all dice you buy are perfectly fine, and almost all biases people feel are due to expecting the "law" of large numbers to kick in sooner than it tends to.


As it happens, some scientific study of GW's (Chessex-made) dice has indeed been carried, out, notably this excellent article on Dakka, which (from a sample of 144,000 rolls), found an average of 29% ones, rather than the 16.6% that should be expected from an "ideal" die.


That is a massive result, not only indicating bias, but a large and consistent bias for a single number. But something about this test troubles me. If the bias is that pronounced (nearly a third of rolls a 1?!) then the experiment should be easily reproducible. And you wouldn't need hundreds of thousands of rolls either, with an effect that pronounced even 200 rolls should make the bias abundantly clear.

So why are the people in this thread not getting similar results? I don't have any GW dice to hand but I am tempted to go into the attic to get my copy of Warhammer Quest and test this out (especially as the alleged '1 bias' is probably most famous in that game)
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Clark Rodeffer
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http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/124127689/precision-mach...

She also ran a follow-up campaign for gaming d6 dice, and eventually plans to do polyhedral dice as well.
 
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piemasteruk wrote:
So why are the people in this thread not getting similar results? I don't have any GW dice to hand but I am tempted to go into the attic to get my copy of Warhammer Quest and test this out (especially as the alleged '1 bias' is probably most famous in that game)

The complaints about GW dice are related to the more recent dice, not that far back. I'm more confused by how the came up with their 29% result by "removing statistical anomalies". What does that mean? There shouldn't be any anomalies in dice rolling.
 
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Ian Radford
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piemasteruk wrote:
So why are the people in this thread not getting similar results?


Well, you'd have to ask the author that, but, unless you wish to infer he has some anti-rounderd-corner dice with pips agenda, I'd be apt to trust him. Certainly I can't fault his research methods or his grasp of statistics. That casinos use sharp-cornered dice without pips strogly (if circumstantially) reinforces his conclusion that the weighting of pipped dice strongly affects the results they give.

cornixt wrote:
I'm more confused by how the came up with their 29% result by "removing statistical anomalies". What does that mean? There shouldn't be any anomalies in dice rolling.


I presume he is referring to the use of Chauvenet's criterion to remove outliers.
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