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Sails of Glory» Forums » General

Subject: Dice vs Tokens design choice rss

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Ryan Caputo
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So wondering what was the thought process of token rather than dice.

I am thinking that specialized die could have done, dare I say it, a better job in design. Was it a conscience choice to forgo dice in lieu of tokens for a certain part of the simulation? Seems pulling tokens varies the remainder ratios depending on what is pulled. Was that on purpose, what is being simulated?


I find it somewhat strange, if I pull enough [2 leaks] no other ship in the fleet will get a [2 leak].
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Team Ski
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The designers felt that dice couldn't replicate the number of variables the chits produced. I'd prefer dice myself, but I haven't played the game yet.

-Ski
 
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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I'm more of a specialized dice guy myself, too. But which would folks rather? Roll dice and fish for chits to put on the tracks? Or simply draw the chits out of a bag? I think the chit-drawing is fine.

I took part in a demo for this game back in November. In that game, when a ship sank, we sorted the markers and returned them to their appropriate bags immediately. Not having the game nor access to the rules, that may not be how it's done. But it's what we did in our demo.
 
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Andrea Angiolino
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That's the correct procedure.

Tokens come from Wing of War/Glory (they were cards in WW1 and chits in WW2). Other biplane simulations use a variety of systems - mainly dice to be rolled and tables to be checked. Often more than one roll and more than one table to see if target is hit, how much damage is sustained, in which part/parts of the plane, with which special damages... And more rolls and tables to see if machineguns are jammed. Then pencils are used to write down damage on paper. And an eraser if damage is repaired afterward.
Drawing chits, you just avoid all that replacig it with a simple gesture - draw tokens and keep them.

So the real question is not Dice vs Tokens IMHO, but Dice+charts+pencil+paper+eraser vs tokens. And I think that tokens give an easier, quicker and more enjoyable game.

Same here, with slight differences.
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David J Schaffner
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Laminated ship panels to use dry erasable/grease pencils seems a plausible alternative method which saves on all the need to pull, place (and maintain in place any/all types of ship counters), and then the re-sorting and replacing of any of these into the individual bags (and finally not to lose/misplace them). So alternative methods might then only require a chart for rolling damage against, then the marking on the ship's panel, which could also be made smaller in size to allow for more table space, and then the final erasing before the next game's action.

Though providing the marker pens would be required.
 
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Mayor Jim
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Dice are okay...but for this game, IMHO, the chits should work just fine...
 
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Domo Jo
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Thanks for the explanation. That's why I like the WOW so much better than a dice + table resolution. I play with my sons and all those tables and charts would lose their short attention span. We just received SOG yesterday so I'll soon find out if ships will hold their attention. As I have been following the game thru the forums and threads, this game seems more difficult with resolution and tracking the damage but we'll see. Thanks for developing this game. My sons are age 8,9, and 13. We're big WOW/WOG fans and own everything!
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    Wings of War/Glory is a perfect example of where dice would work better than cards. Originally designed as a cards-only game I understand the choice they made, but it would be far better rolling one damage and one special effect die, and there would be no need for a table at all.

             S.

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Martin Gallo
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Chit draw offers advantage in randomization and allowing for damage to ships to be easily marked (just use the marker). One problem is that if you have "too many ships" for the number of markers some of the randomization goes away as the chits are drawn. This is ameliorated by returning chits to the cup as ships are sunk. It is true that using dice and tables does not suffer this problem, and you can always develop such a system and then use the provided chits to mark the results.

I do not know what the proper ratio of ships to chit sets might be and do not know if it was tested. It seems to work out just fine in the Wings of War games I have played, but I have never played with more than four planes on the table at a time.

I know my buddy Dave will figure it out and make any necessary changes.
 
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Roberto Di Meglio
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A token mix and an individual counter can provide a LOT of information in a very compact format that it's impossible to replicate simply with a die roll. There are a lot of consequences out of this.

First of all, you can create different kind of probabilities curves in a mix - much harder to do that with dice. You either need a lot of different dice, more complex rules, or both.

Second, to handle different ammunitions you just change the mix you draw from. If you're using dice, you should add a new set of dice, or rules, or tables.

Third, a token does in one go two jobs- determining the damage and tracking it - impossible with dice, who require a different device/system to track damage.

Fourth, tokens determine in one go hit, miss, normal damage and special damage.

And I could go on for quite a while...

The point is, if Wings of Glory and Sails of Glory manage to achieve an excellent balance between realism and complexity, that's mostly a merit of forfaiting dice in favor of tokens.

You could have a dice-based system with the same complexity and less realism. Or you could have a dice-based system with the same realism and more complexity. But not both.

If you try to design a damage system with the same amount of detail and ease of play of the current system, using dice - rather than just "imagining" it may exist - you will find out exactly what I mean.

I enjoy a good dice roll as much as anybody else, but tokens really work way better in this one.

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Terry Zembrzuski
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cybernex wrote:
A token mix and an individual counter can provide a LOT of information in a very compact format that it's impossible to replicate simply with a die roll. There are a lot of consequences out of this.

First of all, you can create different kind of probabilities curves in a mix - much harder to do that with dice. You either need a lot of different dice, more complex rules, or both.

Second, to handle different ammunitions you just change the mix you draw from. If you're using dice, you should add a new set of dice, or rules, or tables.

Third, a token does in one go two jobs- determining the damage and tracking it - impossible with dice, who require a different device/system to track damage.

Fourth, tokens determine in one go hit, miss, normal damage and special damage.

And I could go on for quite a while...

The point is, if Wings of Glory and Sails of Glory manage to achieve an excellent balance between realism and complexity, that's mostly a merit of forfaiting dice in favor of tokens.

You could have a dice-based system with the same complexity and less realism. Or you could have a dice-based system with the same realism and more complexity. But not both.

If you try to design a damage system with the same amount of detail and ease of play of the current system, using dice - rather than just "imagining" it may exist - you will find out exactly what I mean.

I enjoy a good dice roll as much as anybody else, but tokens really work way better in this one.



Plus the hidden damage system in WOG. That doesn't work out so well with dice.
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Team Ski
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Roberto,

Great explanations! I am seeing how chits were a better choice in the end.

-Ski
 
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Mayor Jim
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Yep...chits all the way for me. Ease of play, ease of tracking, no charts...just makes more sense.
 
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Steve Duke
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I did a demo one time for WoG WW1 and I left the damage decks at home, by accident.

I ended up making a dice combat system, literally 'on the fly', and it worked out ok.
I actually even liked some things about it.

But as was stated by the two esteemed designers, speed of play and minimizing all the normal things that go with naval and air games--record keeping--convinced me that chits and cards are so much smoother.

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Kevin Duke
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Dice and public knowledge can offer a lot of excitement. When a game is on the line, that "boxcars" or "snake eyes" can produce the loudest cheers you will hear at a convention.

But chit draws for hidden damage were the right thing for WoW/WoG (I wish WW1 had used chits-- we could avoid "B" deck problems and also built some things in for more distinction--like, should on Lewis on the top wing really shoot as well as a belt-fed gun up close?)

But die rolls have some limitations as well, and the more results and permutations, the more complicated it gets...The Ares folks have made "easy" the core of their brand.

I am curious if the "dice are better" folks have actually played Sails of Glory...
 
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David J Schaffner
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kduke wrote:
I am curious if the "dice are better" folks have actually played Sails of Glory...

My comment above wasn't a "dice are better" proposition, rather "there's ways to eliminate lots of counters to have to fiddle with" assertion.

kduke wrote:
I am curious if the "dice are better" folks have actually played Sails of Glory...

And "no", I haven't played Sails of Glory yet (still waiting for my game and ships to arrive), so Kevin a question.

What's the maximum number of all these various game counters might a player need to track on any one ship panel during a game.....not just damage tokens, but for all these pieces?

 
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Mayor Jim
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I did a quick glance at pg 8 of the rules and it seems to be 10 or 11. You can download your own copy of the rules and see if that's right.
 
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David J Schaffner
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Thanks Jim, that's a perfectly useable number to work with....now just eliminate whatever the number is, and transfer the information to a laminated ship panel that uses a check box system instead.

This isn't my idea (a laminated panel for ship status tracking), but the work of a buddy who's already done it. He did convince me to try it (did I mention we're still waiting for our stuff), and I can "imagine" where this could save lots of time not having to place counters, and all the sorting, storing, setup, and in-game maintenance required with them, by using a check mark method on adapted panels to do all the tracking. So no, it might not be a debate about a preference for dice vs. tokens, but some ideas about increasing efficiency and to streamline the hardware at same time.

The long range benefit of this effort could also be to enable more efficient fleet actions, and the increased ability of gaming with more than just a few ships per player at a time, by eliminating the token tracking, and also opening up the table surface (because smaller ship cards could be used as check boxes can be a lot smaller than those needed for finger-sized counters). In fact, the idea would probably work a lot better with most 8 year olds too, because the first thing that usually goes with them is some game pieces just waiting to be knocked on the floor.
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Mayor Jim
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Well, the check box idea also would eliminate having chits moved if the card got bumped or whatever. Got any pics?
 
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David J Schaffner
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I think Bob will probably make these panel files available (if he can) when he's done with the initial set, but they're needing reconciling against the final game copies/ships (did I happen to mention we're still waiting for our Sails of Glory stuff ).
 
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    Star Fleet Battles had a table-driven combat system that was very simple and worked incredibly well, because the nature of the table progression on any single shot actually had narrative. It added the concept of "if you've already hit one of these you hit the thing behind it instead" and it was super-easy to execute. It added tough decisisions to the game because there was a potential payback to holding your fire.

    Chits are fully independent of each other in a bag so you can't get that. I don't know if that matters in Sails of Glory but I'll be interested to see. I'll be honest -- SofG is a big pile of components looking for house rules. I wouldn't be surprised to see people buying to play it with a homemade rule set.

    I prefer WofG's cards to WofGWWII's chits. Easier to store, easier to work with. I play with a dozen kids at a time and bought two duel packs just to expand my A deck for use with ammunition rules. Cards make that super easy. (And yes, this is an example of where cards make tracking easier than dice and markers).

             S.
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Andrea Angiolino
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In WoW/WG the secret damage, realism apart, is also a good added value IMHO. 8 years later, I had some evidence fromn comments about another recent game with many mechanics in common, but with fewer hit points and dice to be rolled to hit. Several BGGers found it frutrating since you take a lot of effort to shoot and then you either do good damage, or you totally miss. Gradsual damages and the secrecy of it give you the satisfation to deliver one or more cards/chits of damage, thinking "most probably I did a few damage points at least". Even when you miss, and anyway this happens less often.
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Martin Gallo
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angiolillo wrote:
In WoW/WG the secret damage, realism apart, is also a good added value IMHO. 8 years later, I had some evidence fromn comments about another recent game with many mechanics in common, but with fewer hit points and dice to be rolled to hit. Several BGGers found it frutrating since you take a lot of effort to shoot and then you either do good damage, or you totally miss. Gradsual damages and the secrecy of it give you the satisfation to deliver one or more cards/chits of damage, thinking "most probably I did a few damage points at least". Even when you miss, and anyway this happens less often.
One fun aspect of the chits is the secret damage part. Tougher to do with a marked up display unless it is two sided, with one side public (smoke/fire, mast shot off, sail status, etc.) and the other private (captain loses a leg, powder wetted by flooding, rudder damaged, ship's mascot cowering in fear, etc.)
 
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    We house-rule in WofG that if you take damage you let the table know in narrative form -- "you see wood fly" or something like that. The number is hidden but we figure it's more entertaining to provide some level of feedback.

             S.


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David J Schaffner
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The "bag-o-death" token draw is something I always loved about the WWI air game Blue Max, and the mystery of putting your hand down into the damage tote to discover one's fate, and/or your aircraft's damage! Now conversely, in another game under development (War Stories), the combat resolution mechanism has transitioned from a card draw to a chit pull device, and in this instance I don't like the change at all, because it seems cumbersome in comparison....maybe it's the frequency required with a multiple unit type game that involves more "dipping" per turn, and then the novelty and suspense quickly wears off, and can turn into extra effort instead.
 
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