$5.00
$20.00
$15.00
Alison Mandible
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A lot of games I play need a randomizer at the beginning. Either they have random setup (Dominion: pick 10 items from this list of 250) or they're games where you can pick a character/faction, but might want to do so randomly (40 options in Summoner Wars, 75+ options in BattleCON).

Suppose that for some reason you wanted to do this without a phone app and without homemade cards. How would you do it?

Last night I wrote 60 For The Crown card types on centimeter cubes in tiny tiny letters. Put them in a bag, draw 10, and voila. But this has a few problems, namely that they're hard to read and only one face per cube is labeled. Using 10 cubes and writing a different type on each face would take up less space... but that makes most combinations of card types impossible, because two faces on the same cube can never come up together.

I realize cards might just be the best choice, all things considered. But again, if you couldn't use cards or your phone, what would you use?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
PJ Cunningham
United States
Greenfield
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Number all options 1 to X. Roll dice.

For a list numbered 1 to 60, I'd roll a d8 for the tens' place (7 = reroll, 8 = 0) and a d10 for the ones' place, generating a random number from 01 to 60. Put the list in the box for later use. Add to the end of the list when you buy an expansion.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Sonora
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
grasa_total wrote:
Using 10 cubes and writing a different type on each face


Do this. Pull one cube, roll it, and return it to the bag. Repeat 10 times. If you roll an already rolled face, reroll. Simple.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alison Mandible
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
HaNd_SoLo wrote:
Do this. Pull one cube, roll it, and return it to the bag. Repeat 10 times. If you roll an already rolled face, reroll. Simple.


My fear, thinking about this, is that it would be slow-- you'd have to roll a cube, pull out cards, and then go back to the cubes. Having the whole list of things to pull at once, you can make one pass through the pile/stack/box of cards and grab everything you need. But maybe not? And it's probably still faster than shuffling a deck of cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Phillips
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I use homemade cardboard tokens to do a random pull for Smash Up, but that's just cards in a different form.

Why don't you want to use cards?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Sonora
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
grasa_total wrote:
HaNd_SoLo wrote:
Do this. Pull one cube, roll it, and return it to the bag. Repeat 10 times. If you roll an already rolled face, reroll. Simple.


My fear, thinking about this, is that it would be slow-- you'd have to roll a cube, pull out cards, and then go back to the cubes. Having the whole list of things to pull at once, you can make one pass through the pile/stack/box of cards and grab everything you need. But maybe not? And it's probably still faster than shuffling a deck of cards.


Cards (or individual chits, cubes, tokens, whatever) and Apps have memory. Anything else you use will have to be done one at a time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alison Mandible
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
lukerazor wrote:
I use homemade cardboard tokens to do a random pull for Smash Up, but that's just cards in a different form.

Why don't you want to use cards?


These aren't dealbreakers, just reasons I looked for something else!

- Cards take up space. Worse, when I've PnP'ed or homemade cards, it was by putting a slip of paper and a Magic card into a sleeve. Add that all together and it's noticeably thicker than a regular card. I don't really want a stack of 60 extra cards in my For The Crown set. I definitely don't want a deck of 250 extra cards in my Dominion box.

- Shuffling a deck of randomizer cards is extra shuffling. I don't actually like shuffling.

- Cards are the usual thing! I wonder what else is out there. A way to make homemade cardboard tokens relatively uniform would be neat; I don't think I could cut cardboard in any consistent shape, especially not dozens of them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Sonora
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
grasa_total wrote:
A way to make homemade cardboard tokens relatively uniform would be neat;


Not cheaply, unless you are fairly handy: Make your own square die cut counters the easy way!. There are punches and presses for doing that. Anything that can punch cardboard is going to be pretty heavy duty.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Domenic
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The most common alternatives I'm aware of for random selection without cards are drawing chits from a bag and rolling dice with a table for lookup. To expand on PJ's suggestion, you could have one die roll correspond to one particular setup, but it could also correspond to an individual option. Roll a D250 10 times, re-rolling duplicates, and you've got your Dominion setup.

Personally, I prefer cards to either of these, but I'm sure there are some gamers for whom shuffling is rather onerous, and one of these would be better. Another option would be a spinner, where each spin chooses one option. I haven't seen a spinner in a new game for a long time, though.

The Real Ghostbusters Game includes a plastic piece in the center, through which a ghost marble is dropped. The marble is randomly shunted to one of the four areas of the board, effectively working as a D4. Something like this would be another alternative to the spinner/dice option for selecting an item from a list without removing it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Phillips
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
250 of anything is going to take up space

How about this
1) Take 1 card of each type and make a single "selector deck"
2) Shuffle and deal to choose your cards for the game
3) During cleanup put one of each used type back in the selector deck for next time.

Pros
1) No making anything
2) No roll->roll->roll again
3) No extra space needed

Cons
1) You have to shuffle (if you don't like shuffling have you thought you might be in the wrong hobby )
2) If you want to draft cards rather than randomise them you'll have to find the cards in the selector deck to play with
1 
 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.