Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

Twilight Struggle» Forums » Variants

Subject: NO DICE, less random version, well tested rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Tomasz L
msg tools
Hi, after 100s of games with my gaming group, we came to the conclusion that maybe 10-20% games between players at about the same level may be decided purely by couple failed rolls.

To make game LESS random, but still not losing dose of uncertainty

1. Get two non-transparent bags and put there 18 tokens.
Each token is numbered 1 to 6, so there are 3 sets of these.

2. Each time the dice should be rolled - player randomly draws one token from the bag. The number symbolizes the dice roll.

3. Once there are only 2 tokens left, the bag is filled up again.

4. Information about drawn token is open for two players ( yes, you may estimate some chances of future draws, but you're almost never sure )

5. Important: All "rolls" on space track are reversed - it means 1-3 success is now 4-6 success, and 1-4 success is now 3-6 success.
Drawing 6 is always good for you, drawing 1 is always bad.


Instead of tokens I used colored pawns

red - 6
yellow - 5
green - 4
white - 3
blue - 2
purple - 1


7.* for advanced users: you may manipulate number of tokens: eg. more tokens for 3's and 4's or more good tokens for player as a handicap
for a new player (MUCH better than OP for free) etc..

What do you think ?


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Rubin
United States
Trenton
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If, as you posit, a couple of dice rolls are determinative, they are still so with this change. What you're doing is forcing the mean roll to have less variance about 3.5, thus reducing the odds of an *extended* streak of bad (or good) rolling. THAT determines the outcome a lot less than the 10-20% you claim.

Moreover, the players now have information about future rolls; if the pool is rich, they will try to capture that for themselves, and will avoid important rolls if it is poor. I prefer chaos (and the challenge of coping with same) to the distortion your more orderly future brings.

Let the dice be dice!
24 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Haytil Reivesman
msg tools
Yes, this does have very little effect on the fact that a few die rolls are much more important than other die rolls - so if they go very well (or very poorly), that will still have the described "game-making" effect.

Rolls like the Turn 1 Iran coups are much more important than the Arab-Israeli War rolls or 1-stability African BG coups (or even the space race rolls, most of the time).

Playing with this variant would significantly alter the strategy of playing, based on what's been drawn so far. Suddenly, events like Arab-Israeli War become much more important to play (or not to play) given their ability to potentially draw out the opponent's remaining "6 token" or "1 token" from their bag.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Kiefte
Canada
Dartmouth
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
laniol wrote:
What do you think ?


I think I would start paying very close attention to what tokens have been drawn.

I don't think this will have the effect you want.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Snooze Fest
United States
Hillsborough
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you really hate the randomness, you could just make every roll a 3.5 and use ops to modify the value.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim McNaughton
United Kingdom
Derby
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The randomness is a necessary part of the game. Actors in international relations cannot be certain of the outcomes of their actions.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Draper
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Get The Deck of Dice. It's an easier way to achieve what you desire.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Haytil Reivesman
msg tools
snoozefest wrote:
If you really hate the randomness, you could just make every roll a 3.5 and use ops to modify the value.


This does not work for realignment rolls or the space race. And what is 3.5 - a 3 or a 4? How does that resolve with Korean War, for example?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Snooze Fest
United States
Hillsborough
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
haytil wrote:
snoozefest wrote:
If you really hate the randomness, you could just make every roll a 3.5 and use ops to modify the value.


This does not work for realignment rolls or the space race. And what is 3.5 - a 3 or a 4? How does that resolve with Korean War, for example?

Obviously. But we're talking options for someone who might hate dice and want to remove the randomness ... a fundamental change to the game. There are several options:
- alternate 3 and 4
- pick one and use it for the entire game
- if it's an odd round, make it a 3; even = 4
- spend ops points to modify; every op changes by 0.5
These would require additional card(s) to be spent, including for Korean War -- spend the ops to modify the number as you like. Heck, if you want a lot of control then give everyone extra cards each turn ... really screw with the game system!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eruantalon _
msg tools
mb
I have an idea, that really balances the luck.

Play more games.

It is easy to see, that in the league environment better players ultimately prevail. Sure, you can lose one-two games to bad luck and win some to pure luck, but in the end most of the games will be decided by skill.

And in non-competitive environment just clear the table and play again! Most of the games will be decided by skill anyway.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tomasz L
msg tools
The purpose is NOT to eliminate randomness, but only reduce possibility edge cases rolling 3 consecutive bad rolls against opponent's 3 decent or better.

Quote:
Yes, this does have very little effect on the fact that a few die rolls are much more important than other die rolls


That's true, but wouldn't it at least some consolation prize to have slightly bigger chances to get into space, after failing Iran coup? Or be just a little bit better on Alliance rolls after wasting 3 turns getting out of Quagmire?

Quote:
I think I would start paying very close attention to what tokens have been drawn.


It may give a new layer of planning, which is in fact, a good thing. Most of the times, you'll draw 1's and 6's evenly so it isn't huge by any means. And still, there are 2 last tokens which are never drawn which has a big impact.

Quote:
I have an idea, that really balances the luck.
Play more games.


I played hundreds of games. I estimate I won 10% them purely on rolls and lost 10% purely on rolls. It means I lost 20% playing time.

I hope some people may find this variant interesting, give it a try, and then come back to write some comments.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Earl
United States
Portage
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I continue to be baffled by variants like this. Random chance is a part of everything you do, and it's certainly a big part of combat. Doing everything you can to manage that uncertainty is part of the fun for many of us.

Instead of complaining about randomness, you should be working to avoid situations where a die roll is a huge factor. Of course, there will always be the occasional 1 on a coup roll that foils your plans, but then you have to use your skills to overcome adversity.

There's randomness in the card draws as well. Do you want to alter that?

Finally, there are many cognitive biases which lead to overestimating, and I suspect you've done that here. (The availability heuristic and the clustering illusion come to mind). 20% of all the games you've played were decided by rolls? I doubt that.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
King in Green
Japan
flag msg tools
mb
I would prefer a computerised version with 100 sets of rolls, far more than will actually be used. I wouldn't be surprised if that sort of controlled randomisation becomes an option for some tablet-format games in the future. Though pure randomness also has its appeal as it preserves the randomness of isolated tactical decisions.

By the way even if 20% of games are determined by luck this time does not seem wasted to me if fun was had & knowledge gained. But after hundreds of games I doubt that 20% of my games were decided by dice rolls. Knowing when and when not to roll the dice is part of good play as well perhaps?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eruantalon _
msg tools
mb
From my perspective <10% games among top players is decided by luck, even less by only rolls. Of course it depends on the definition of "decided by rolls"...

But it's a different thing to say if we desperately need this variant and another is if it improves the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
N P
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My experience has been that the person who gets stuck with a bunch of scoring cards at the beginning has a much higher loosing percentage than having bad dice rolls.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roman L
msg tools
I think this is a nice variant to give it a try.

I don't think this variant is better or worse than an orginal game. It's slightly different.

I think there are two situations when this can be a nice choice:
1. If someiny seeks for somthing new in the game then this variant wouldm't break the game. And might add some shift in probability. Especially when a 6- tokens are left in the pool

2. If two similar level players wan't to reduce chances of randomness skewing the game (i.e. they don't have a time to play a second game)

Roman
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kris Wei
China
flag msg tools
1. I think more games are decided by who draw CNS/OSS, De-Stal, Junta, ABM, Wargames and Aldrich Ames than coup rolls.

2. I don't understand why it's 18 tokens, since you can do this variant with any number(2*6, 4*6, 5*6 etc.), how can we calculate that 18 is more balanced, or it's just a number?

3. ALL these dice-advancing mechanics have to face a problem - malicious realignments: ok I have only 2,3,3,3 while you have 5,6,6,6, then I realign with a 4 op to reshuffle all, DO YO THINK THIS MOVE REASONABLE? At least I can't explain it under the background of the game.

Conclusion: Variant is a variant, most people are willing to play with variants they like, but I do think this variant is less balanced, at least it doesn't prove it's more balanced.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tomasz L
msg tools
Quote:
1. I think more games are decided by who draw CNS/OSS, De-Stal, Junta, ABM, Wargames and Aldrich Ames than coup rolls.


Totally agree. Coup rolls just add randomness on top of that. I see people complain without understanding that the purpose of this variant is to mitigate randomness, not to get rid of it.

Quote:
I don't understand why it's 18 tokens since you can do this variant with any number(2*6, 4*6, 5*6 etc.), how can we calculate that 18 is more balanced, or it's just a number?


As far as it has been tested, 18 is a sweet spot. 2*6 is too predictable. I also wanted to make sure there are some reset during the game.

Quote:
ALL these dice-advancing mechanics have to face a problem - malicious realignments: ok I have only 2,3,3,3 while you have 5,6,6,6, then I realign with a 4 op to reshuffle all, DO YO THINK THIS MOVE REASONABLE? At least I can't explain it under the background of the game.


First of all - remember that you never draw last two tokens. And there is virtually never a situation when both playes have the same number of dice.

In your example you're 6 OP behind on two last rolls. Is it much? At this point you have probably succeed Iran coup, Panama, maybe Korean or Indian war and your opponent is thinking if he should forfeit the game.

Secondly - of course that managing rolls becomes a point of your strategy. So a better player may take more advantage of it than worse player.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.