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Subject: How are dice rolled in the games you most often play? rss

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Art Bugorski
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How are dice most often used in the games that you play. This interests me for 2 reasons:

1) It seems to me that rolling dice takes far more time than it should in games and I wonder what kind of custom dice could speed things up. There is a dice set for Arkham Horror that has the elder sign on the 5 & 6 faces that represent success.

2) I'd like to develop a comprehensive notation that encompasses all cases.


Is it sum of 2d6 ignoring individual numbers? perhaps doubles are special? Roll under X? Roll over X? Creating dice pools? d10s? d20s?
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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The games I play most are either straight d6/d10/2d6/etc. with the result read from a table, or a bucket-of-dice thing where you roll a bunch of them and count up sixes, or fives & sixes, or ones/twos/threes, etc.
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Confusion Under Fire
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The game I play mostly is Combat Commander: Europe which uses cards for orders, events, actions etc and also for the roll of the dice. Any special events that occur due to certain die rolls are noted on the card. Nothing can be faster then turning a card with all necessary results easily seen.

See below, the 3rd card at the bottom has a "Jammed" result on the double ones.
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O B
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You may want to look at the various die rolling program available in the interwebs (troll and ... um.. I can't remember the other one with the nicer GUI). They have very sophisticated syntax for all kinds of complex die rolling operations, and you'd be surprised at how many different mechanics exist.

I personally gravitate towards games with very little rolling precisely to optimize play time.

I hate roll to spot, to hit, to damage, to save, etc. style systems because they can generally be made much simpler with insignificant changes to the mathematical model.

I dislike roll 1dX systems because they in general feel too random. Very common to have the game hinge on one or two outlier rolls. Even when game systems recognize this and add a re-roll/roll mod mechanic it feels like a band-aid.

I'm a fan of simple roll 2dx or 3dx one time and either CRT or compare combat modifier systems. They seem to be the best balance of simplicity with less variability.

I'm personally prototyping an (admittedly crazy) new system idea that streamlines rolling even more by having all random outcomes (die rolls) decided before the player's turn starts.
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Moshe Callen
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This is only rally an issue when I played A&A games. Then I just drop handfuls of dice into a box lid.
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Sim Guy
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Lots of anti-dice sentiment here.

I love rolling the dice; it's the point where I get to take the shot. As the commander, I've put my men into their positions, trying to balance risk with reward and, right up to the point where the dice stop rolling, all outcomes are possible.

I see a lot of games these days where you have to roll handfuls of dice, and admittedly that can get a little tedious. But it's still a high point of a game for me. cool
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Philip Thomas
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Nowadays most ofen be means of the die-roller on ACTS:

http://acts.warhorsesim.com/home.asp

When I play face to face its generally euros sans dice (though Eclipse and Troyes have been recent exceptions).
 
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Hunga Dunga
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AngryStarAnarchy wrote:
How are dice most often used in the games that you play.

Poorly.

I've gotta find a book on dice-rolling techniques.
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Carl Marl
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In my experience, which I must confess is mostly miniatures, old school Avalon Hill and SPI board games, six sided dice are most common, either one or two dice (more often one) or sometimes buckets of dice typically rolled for 5's or 6's. Usually low numbers are bad, high numbers good, but sometimes it's the reverse.

The command and colors system uses six sided dice too, but the values are not numeric, but abstract. There's no plus one or minus one stuff to the die roll; adjustments are made by changing the number of dice you roll.

I do own one serious modern board game, Breakthrough: Cambrai. It uses both 1 and 2 dice rolls for different purposes, the former designated in the rules as dr, the latter as DR.

Most of my dice collection is six sided, although I also have 4, 8, 10, 12 and 20 sided as well.
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Brad Miller
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Poorly! cry

Beaten to the punch! modest
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Enrico Viglino
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whac3 wrote:
This is only rally an issue when I played A&A games. Then I just drop handfuls of dice into a box lid.


Titan was the problem game for me.

Used to roll 'em all in a pith helmet,
because I couldn't hold 40+ dice at once.
 
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Skip Franklin
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I like rolling dice. Here are a little over half of my dice. The big brown die holds all of the dice shown.




Click the pic to zoom in.
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Andrew Kluck
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I roll in a box, if they don't lean over to see the result that's their problem. Everyone else I play with rolls all over the place, knocking over pieces and often to the floor.
 
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We have an in the box rule for the EWR - clear plastic trays - drawer sorters from a Hardware Store.

---If ANY one dice leaves the confines of the box, all dice get re rolled.

--Exception - BOD games like TNW - not going to make you roll the 20 plus over - just reroll the errant cube(s).

--Where we can, we take the roll for both method, if all agree - certainly speeds up MMP / The Gamers OCS and Civil War games.

--Prefer a cup is used to toss them -

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David Boeren
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Different games use different systems. Some ones I have run into:

1. Roll a small number of d6's, sum them up, check for doubles

2. Roll a moderate number of d6's, 5-6 is a hit, count hits

3. Roll a variable (up to 20ish) number of d6's, 4+ is a hit, 6 is 2 hits plus a reroll, keep rerolling 6's until they peter out and sum the hits

4. Attacker rolls a d20 and compared to a difficulty rating

5. Both sides roll a d20 and compare to a difficulty rating. Higher roll that ALSO rolls under the difficulty rating wins. Rolling exactly the difficulty rating is a "critical" and beats normal success. If both crit, higher crit wins

6. Roll dice with special symbols on them, count the number of symbols of the appropriate type (which differs depending on some external factor)

7. Roll dice with special symbols for both sides. Count the hits on one side, subtract the "shields" from the other.

Die rolls, depending on the game and situation, exhibit a lot of variety. Modifiers may allow you to roll extra dice, take the X highest dice, take the X lowest dice, do something special in case of a tie or doubles, reroll some number of hits or misses, change to a die with a different number of sides, etc...
 
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Justin Hoffman
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Windopaene wrote:
Poorly! cry

Beaten to the punch! modest


Howsabout "with ill-will and bad intent," then? laugh

If I go with custom dice for anything, I generally prefer "art" over "function." E.g., I picked up a pile of dice off ebay that had various national symbols--hammer & sickle, iron cross, maple leaf [for the 3 games or so I have with a dedicated Canadian player laugh], etc.--in place of the 1-pip.

However, if you're looking for a good example of game-specific dice, ASL Battleschool does "sniper" and "ROF" dice for ASL. They're nice looking too...

http://asl-battleschool.blogspot.com/p/kitshop.html

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Jim F
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Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
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Not on the table. Amazing how hard it is to hit a six foot by four foot piece of flat wood right in front of you when that dice roll REALLY MATTERS...
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Kev.
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Wilhammer wrote:
We have an in the box rule for the EWR - clear plastic trays - drawer sorters from a Hardware Store.

---If ANY one dice leaves the confines of the box, all dice get re rolled.

--Exception - BOD games like TNW - not going to make you roll the 20 plus over - just reroll the errant cube(s).

--Where we can, we take the roll for both method, if all agree - certainly speeds up MMP / The Gamers OCS and Civil War games.

--Prefer a cup is used to toss them -


Bill please clarify your explanation as it relates to MMP games.
 
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Ryan Powers
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Wilhammer wrote:

---If ANY one dice leaves the confines of the box, all dice get re rolled.





Whatever your system, when figuring out whether to re roll one escaped die or the whole bunch: It doesn't matter provided you decide ahead of time

Given that, rolling just the escaped die (or dice) is usually faster, or at least extremely rarely EDIT: slower [don't know what happened to that word the last time...]and usually faster.
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Ryan Powers
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hipshot wrote:

Bill please clarify your explanation as it relates to MMP games.


I'm assuming he's talking about variations on the following:

CWBS Rules 3.2 wrote:

Play Tip: A way of making the combat
resolution system much faster and easier
is to roll all the needed dice at once and
to read the results as needed. To do this,
place the following combination of dice
into a dice roller: two large red dice, one
smaller red die, one yellow die, one black
die (white dots) and one white die (black
dots). (The actual dice and colors used is up
to you, but the above is a working example.
Using the above dice, they will be read as
follows. The two large red dice are for the
main combat table. The smaller red one
rounds any 1/2 results. The yellow die is for
the Straggler Table. The remaining two
dice are for the Morale Table with the black
die the tens digit and the white die the ones.
Use only the results from the dice which
are needed according to the Fire Table
result—in other words, if the Fire Table
result is no effect, ignore all the other dice.
This system speeds up play drastically—
although it might sound cumbersome at
first.
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A simple answer;

Imagine Squad Leader --- you roll 4 dice as the attacker - A red and white one on the IFT and a black and blue one (seriously) for the defender's potential morale check.


This works well for any game where an Attacker rolls with the potential the defender rolls for results "clarification" - nearly always a morale check of some kind.

-------------------

Specific to MMP's OCS games

It's brilliant CRT needs FIVE dice - two for the roll against the odds column; two for the surprise roll, and one for the possible shifts of the surprise roll.

Instead of three throws of dice, we now have one.
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john f stup
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my brother who was a math major in college came up with the idea of rolling more than one 6 sided die when a 1 through 6 result is called for. we usually roll 3 dice and divide the result by 6 and what is left over is the result. examples:13=1,3=3,18=6,11=5. this known as some type of equation that i don't remember and it is accurate and it works and it works with any # of 6 sided dice or 10 sided and others. it wouldn't work very though when rolling for a result of 2 through 12 when rolling 2 dice. the reason we do this is to cancel out the effects of a biased die and also dice control. i've used this method so long now that i am not comfortable just rolling a lone die.
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nhojput wrote:
my brother who was a math major in college came up with the idea of rolling more than one 6 sided die when a 1 through 6 result is called for. we usually roll 3 dice and divide the result by 6 and what is left over is the result. examples:13=1,3=3,18=6,11=5. this known as some type of equation that i don't remember and it is accurate and it works and it works with any # of 6 sided dice or 10 sided and others. it wouldn't work very though when rolling for a result of 2 through 12 when rolling 2 dice. the reason we do this is to cancel out the effects of a biased die and also dice control. i've used this method so long now that i am not comfortable just rolling a lone die.



By leftover, you mean the remainder?
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Enrico Viglino
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Overhand.
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Recently we have found that dropping dice in a LowBall or Old Fashioned glass works real well.

You drop the dice, put your hand over it, they bounce around nicely and everyone can see the result.

Suffice it to say we employ a lot of variety - we have a homemade dice tower lying around as well.

---------------------------------

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