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Subject: Why is dice rolling so hated by true wargamers? rss

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Chris Strabala
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I'm relatively new to the concept of wargaming. I play light wargames such as Axis & Allies, Memoir '44, & Risk. I am curious as to why dice are so hated by a large majority of wargamers? Why is randomness such a bad thing? In what other ways is the chaos/confusion of warfare recreated? Any thoughts are appreciated.
 
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Clark Rodeffer
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Where is this from? I don't know any wargamers who hate dice as a matter of course.
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Peter Vrabel
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They don't.

It's the eurogamers who hate dice rolling, not the wargamers.

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M St
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You're missing the point. Virtually all wargames have randomness and use dice and wargamers are fine with that. It's not the dice that are hated by some people, but what some people consider an excessive amount of dice to obtain effects that on average can be obtained in a much less dice-heavy fashion.
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Wargamers have a love-hate relationship to dice.

Every too often they spoil the best plans.

But sometimes also they beat incredible odds.
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Lance McMillan
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I've been thinking about this statement and am having a hell of a time coming up with just about any wargames that don't use dice to resolve combat. In fact, about the only one I can come up with off the top of my head is AH's excerable "Kriegspeil" that used a card matrix and was pretty much universally panned by the hobby. This statement simply makes no sense.
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Chris Talbot
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I'm really not sure where you get the idea that wargamers hate dice in their games. The majority of "real" wargames have dice, and I don't really hear any complaints from the grognardy types.

Unless you mean that wargamers hate dice when they turn against them ... especially on a critical roll. I know I've cursed a few dice. There's a level of aggravation in, say, rolling boxcars in ASL. Dice ... the little bastards!

Chris
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Ed Bradley
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Snobbery about randomness in games isn't any kind of indicator of "true gamer-ness" be it wargames or any other kind.

Some people prefer more, some less, some none. But don't let any of them try to fool you by telling you that their way is the "one true way". It's utter tosh.
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William Gaskill
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surprise really odd comment,I wonder how the OP came
to that conclusionshake

OD
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Doug Iverson
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careless thrown dice tend to move the counters around and cause a mess.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Wargamers in general do not hate dice, but many of us hate buckets of dice, the way dice are used in games like Risk or A&A.
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Chris Strabala
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The reason I ask is I see lots of comments about different games such as Viktory II where different people use terms such as "dice-fest", "Too much randomness". So it led me to ask the question.
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Mark Christopher
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crsluggo wrote:
The reason I ask is I see lots of comments about different games such as Viktory II where different people use terms such as "dice-fest", "Too much randomness". So it led me to ask the question.


Are these wargamers who are saying that? It sounds more like a non-wargamer comment. Despite my utter adoration for the diceless wargames of Bowen Simmons, dice are wonderful in wargames, allowing that uncertainty that can give extreme results like the sort you read in actual histories.
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Mark Buetow
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crsluggo wrote:
The reason I ask is I see lots of comments about different games such as Viktory II where different people use terms such as "dice-fest", "Too much randomness". So it led me to ask the question.


But Viktory II is also a "light" wargame. IMHO, it's a great game; it scales well with multiple numbers of players and the mechanics completely discourage turtling; the terrain influences strategy and tactics immensely. Still, it really sucks to get crappy rolls and lose a key city to the enemy. That's because combat in something like VII is all dice.

But most hard core wargames use dice to some extent.

A good wargamer will, after completing his foul-mouthed tirade against the evils of dice following a bad roll, admit that in most well designed games (even VII), better strategy and tactics will be able to overcome wild variations in dice results.
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Pelle Nilsson
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crsluggo wrote:
The reason I ask is I see lots of comments about different games such as Viktory II where different people use terms such as "dice-fest"


That sounds like buckets of dice mentioned in my last post.

Quote:
, "Too much randomness". So it led me to ask the question.


Too much randomness can of course annoy a wargamer like any other gamer, but I don't see how that correlates to "more dice" since adding more die rolls in general makes a wargame less random. The most random game is most likely one where the game is decided by a single die roll. With the number of die rolls seen in most wargames you need an absurd amount of bad luck to lose if you constantly make better moves than your opponent.
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Alex
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Quote:
Wargamers in general do not hate dice, but many of us hate buckets of dice, the way dice are used in games like Risk or A&A.


Quote:
It's not the dice that are hated by some people, but what some people consider an excessive amount of dice to obtain effects that on average can be obtained in a much less dice-heavy fashion.


I think that's one of the points. What's wrong with "buckets of dice" or a "dice fest" if it doesn't skew the odds?

Whether I roll one die or a handful, it doesn't matter to me.

That said, I do wonder why some systems -- such as Warhammer or Flames of War -- have you roll a die or dice something like three times per potential hit just to see whether you've actually dinged your enemy.
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Henry Rodriguez
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Lancer4321 wrote:
I've been thinking about this statement and am having a hell of a time coming up with just about any wargames that don't use dice to resolve combat. In fact, about the only one I can come up with off the top of my head is AH's excerable "Kriegspeil" that used a card matrix and was pretty much universally panned by the hobby. This statement simply makes no sense.


Besides the Simmons games [Napoleon's Triumph] mentioned above, there is also We the People, Hannibal: RvC and Spartacus CDG's that use card play to resolve combat. However, the games still employ dice for other elements.
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Chris Strabala
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This is great information! I'm learning quite a bit in this discussion.
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Michael Debije
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I really love the dice, and even the bucket of dice used in Titan, Napoleonic Wars or Warriors of God are fine by me!

Not sure where you got the idea wargamers hate dice.
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Adam Brant
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Simon Mueller wrote:
Wargamers have a love-hate relationship to dice.

Every too often they spoil the best plans.

But sometimes also they beat incredible odds.


Unless you're the other guy. In which case,

All to often they beat incredible odds

But sometimes they also spoil the best plans.

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Rob Doupe
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pelni wrote:
Wargamers in general do not hate dice, but many of us hate buckets of dice, the way dice are used in games like Risk or A&A.


I've heard the same buckets of dice criticism aimed at block games.

Frankly, I don't get it. Does it take any more time or energy to toss eight dice in a dice cup and roll them than it does to throw one die in a dice cup and roll it?

I think the OP is on to something. A lot of old-school wargamers cut their teeth playing games with open information and a CRT. Their core skill is counting factors to hit that 3:1 column. They base their strategy on the prescribed spread of results on the CRT. The greater variability of buckets of dice (or hidden information) doesn't sit well with their CRT processors.
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David Dockter
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Huh? zombie

Wargamers don't hate dice rolling. Gives them a chance to complain and blame the dice when their strategies go wrong.

The luck and calculating the associated risk/return is a very important part of wargaming. Only silly chess players and euroweenies don't dig the random/chaotic element.
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David McKenna
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Maybe slightly off-topic: surely the Buckets of Dice approach is less random than basing it all on a single roll, due to the bell curve of expected result distributions (with 2D6: only 1 way of getting a 2 or 12, compared to 6 ways of getting a 7)?

Of course, that asssumes that every single instance of rolling is as equally important towards the over-all result ...
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Pelle Nilsson
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Rob Doupe wrote:
pelni wrote:
Wargamers in general do not hate dice, but many of us hate buckets of dice, the way dice are used in games like Risk or A&A.


I've heard the same buckets of dice criticism aimed at block games.

Frankly, I don't get it. Does it take any more time or energy to toss eight dice in a dice cup and roll them than it does to throw one die in a dice cup and roll it?

I think the OP is on to something. A lot of old-school wargamers cut their teeth playing games with open information and a CRT. Their core skill is counting factors to hit that 3:1 column. They base their strategy on the prescribed spread of results on the CRT. The greater variability of buckets of dice (or hidden information) doesn't sit well with their CRT processors.


I said "many", not "most" or "all". I disagree with your opinions of CRTs. If this is the time and place for yet another flame war about buckets of dice I'm ready and can keep at it for as long as anyone else, but since we all know we are not going to get anywhere, maybe it is better to not go there? OK?
 
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Christoph Haeberling
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Why complaining about many dice? You never can have too much dice!
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