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Merchant of Venus (second edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Fuzzy Dice adjustment ideas rss

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Matt Thrower
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It seems that people are fairly united in distrust and dislike of the Fuzzy Dice technology in the new FFG version of the game. And with good measure, in my opinion - how something that can literally win you the game based on a dice roll made at the conclusion of a fairly lengthy survived playtesting is beyond me.

But survive it did. And so anyone who wants to play the Standard game is going to have to chow down on it. It can of course simply be removed from the game but that leaves one race without a technology which seems wrong, somehow. Plus I find the dice to have a minor amusement value, much like the better-balanced Fancy Spoiler.

So anyone got a useful suggestion as to what else the Fuzzy Dice could do? Ideally the cost would remain the same although it's not essential.
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Chris J Davis
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I've changed it to:

"You may consider the value of dice assigned to ship upgrade techs to be 1 higher or lower (not Navigation or Throttle)."
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Bruce Gazdecki
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I haven't had a chance to play so take this for what it's worth. Myabe just roll one die worth of fame, and get rid of the doubles bonus. I mean, you would get some fame for having the fuzzy dice so it should count for something fame related.

I also suppose you could add some other rule like, if you roll a 1 for fame, roll again, and if you again roll a 1, your fame counts for 15 credits each or something. (or maybe you get 7 fame)

Just throwing up an idea.
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K S
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Bruiser419 wrote:
I haven't had a chance to play so take this for what it's worth. Myabe just roll one die worth of fame, and get rid of the doubles bonus. I mean, you would get some fame for having the fuzzy dice so it should count for something fame related.

I also suppose you could add some other rule like, if you roll a 1 for fame, roll again, and if you again roll a 1, your fame counts for 15 credits each or something. (or maybe you get 7 fame)

Just throwing up an idea.


That's not bad, although I might do as long as you keep sucking on your dice rolls (rolling 1's) just keep on rolling. But fame is still worth 10C, so if you're me I can pretend I'm rolling a save for my Terminators (Warhammer 40K) which basically have a 2+ armour save that I pretty much never make. I could net up a fair amount of fame, but because I'd have to roll a 1 I'd go roll a 2 or something instead.

I haven't played the game yet, just finished reading both sets of rules and am going to throw down the solitaire game tomorrow I think. But I'm thinking of maybe just altering the doubles one to just not double the credit payout for fame on it.
Yea throwing down boxcars could give you 12 fame (or 120 credits) but its not like the majority of the game isn't already dicey enough. Its certaintly something I will have options for and when I play it'll go to a vote amongst the players at hand. Most of my buddies would probably enjoy Fuzzy Dice's normal rules ironically but we'd all count up our credits and fame. Then whoever's got the Fuzzy Dice would roll and see if it gives them the game while we all await a cheer of epic failure or a cheer of them crushing the current leader... We're a sick and twisted group, the other night we cheered a guy for failing to defeat 1 dude in Risk: Legacy which would have won him the game, clearly knowing if he failed her the one dude who's pretty much locked the most wins on the board would crush through and win again but its that immediate failure we were excited about.
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Purple Paladin

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Yes, our first full game, we house-ruled out the doubles bonus. That was crazy.
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Tomas Inguanzo
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I don't think the Fuzzy Dice are broken. The Market Flux, License to Drill, Wave Emitter, and Zen Paint Job are all capable of giving a comparably big payout. You only get the payout from the Fuzzy Dice if you pass a 1-in-6 roll; that's a sucker bet.
 
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Tomas Inguanzo
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And another thing. If you want a really big payout from the Fuzzy Dice, you must commit yourself to a Fame chasing strategy. All things considered, a point of fame is not really equivalent to c10, because Fame is not liquid; you don't get the cash until the game is over.

Also, the Stealth Field is another tech that can yield hundreds of credits. Liquid credits.
 
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Chris J Davis
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hrhtomas wrote:
I don't think the Fuzzy Dice are broken. The Market Flux, License to Drill, Wave Emitter, and Zen Paint Job are all capable of giving a comparably big payout. You only get the payout from the Fuzzy Dice if you pass a 1-in-6 roll; that's a sucker bet.


Lucky dice are worth on average a bonus c40 at the end of the game (average roll of 7xc10, minus the c30 you paid for the tech).

However, there is a 1-in-6 chance that it could be worth around an extra c300, based solely on a single dice roll. I think it's the fact that this number of extra credits are based solely on luck that people have an objection to, whereas all the other techs grant a pay-out based on the player's actions.
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Brian Perez
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I thought this was ludicrous after the first reading much less the first playing of the game. We house-ruled to add 2-12 fame to total fame but ixnay on the oublesday.
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Derek Jones
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bleached_lizard wrote:

Lucky dice are worth on average a bonus c40 at the end of the game (average roll of 7xc10, minus the c30 you paid for the tech).

However, there is a 1-in-6 chance that it could be worth around an extra c300, based solely on a single dice roll. I think it's the fact that this number of extra credits are based solely on luck that people have an objection to, whereas all the other techs grant a pay-out based on the player's actions.


I hadn't even noticed that I had misread the rules that doubles multiplies your TOTAL fame. We read it that the doubles made the fuzzy dice fame worth c20 instead of c10, i.e. only doubling the reward for that roll.

So we essentially waved that tech off as worthless, since with that ruling, a perfect 6,6 roll would net you c210, whereas you are much more likely to end up gaining around c40 as you point out, and half of the time even less.

The way the rules actually read makes it at least a little attractive. And honestly, if it bothers people how much of a role chance plays in its value, just consider how many times you are rolling dice in this game. Chance is a big component, so while this tech may put it more in your face and assign a single value to it, your entire game is likely affected by chance far more than a swing of c3-400.
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Chris J Davis
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djnafai wrote:

The way the rules actually read makes it at least a little attractive. And honestly, if it bothers people how much of a role chance plays in its value, just consider how many times you are rolling dice in this game. Chance is a big component, so while this tech may put it more in your face and assign a single value to it, your entire game is likely affected by chance far more than a swing of c3-400.


Not as clear cut as you make it out.

"Just consider how many times you are rolling dice in this game" - you are referring mostly to the speed dice rolls. Over large numbers of dice rolls, the results tend to average out, with the more dice you roll, the more they average out. So the effects of chance in this case are mitigated hugely. Add to this the fact that the game offers many ways to manipulate and mitigate the effects of bad dice rolls anyway.

The Fuzzy Dice place a huge payout on the result of a single roll of two dice. In this case, the effects of chance are huge.
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bleached_lizard wrote:
"Just consider how many times you are rolling dice in this game" - you are referring mostly to the speed dice rolls. Over large numbers of dice rolls, the results tend to average out, with the more dice you roll, the more they average out. So the effects of chance in this case are mitigated hugely. Add to this the fact that the game offers many ways to manipulate and mitigate the effects of bad dice rolls anyway.

The Fuzzy Dice place a huge payout on the result of a single roll of two dice. In this case, the effects of chance are huge.


This is a valid argument only if the payout from a single speed die roll is much less than the payout of a single fuzzy dice roll.

However, I think the payouts are similar. Frequently a player enters the last round with a delivery worth many hundreds of credits that hinge on a speed die roll in the same way that fuzzy dice have hundreds of credits hinging on a die roll. If you accept this, then the fuzzy dice roll is equivalent to just another speed die roll for purposes of this argument.
 
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rbelikov wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
"Just consider how many times you are rolling dice in this game" - you are referring mostly to the speed dice rolls. Over large numbers of dice rolls, the results tend to average out, with the more dice you roll, the more they average out. So the effects of chance in this case are mitigated hugely. Add to this the fact that the game offers many ways to manipulate and mitigate the effects of bad dice rolls anyway.

The Fuzzy Dice place a huge payout on the result of a single roll of two dice. In this case, the effects of chance are huge.


This is a valid argument only if the payout from a single speed die roll is much less than the payout of a single fuzzy dice roll.

However, I think the payouts are similar. Frequently a player enters the last round with a delivery worth many hundreds of credits that hinge on a speed die roll in the same way that fuzzy dice have hundreds of credits hinging on a die roll. If you accept this, then the fuzzy dice roll is equivalent to just another speed die roll for purposes of this argument.


Except that the fact that the rule that the player gets no credits for goods aboard his ship at the end of the game (which I believe is a change from the classic version) is also an incredibly bad and stupid rule, for exactly the same reasons.
 
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Scott Lewis
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Except that the fact that the rule that the player gets no credits for goods aboard his ship at the end of the game (which I believe is a change from the classic version) is also an incredibly bad and stupid rule, for exactly the same reasons.

This rule is present in the classic version - your net worth only counts your cash, spaceports, and factories.

The same is true with the original game as well (unless I'm grossly misreading something). Goods on your ship do not count towards net worth in any of the versions that I'm aware of.
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
Except that the fact that the rule that the player gets no credits for goods aboard his ship at the end of the game (which I believe is a change from the classic version) is also an incredibly bad and stupid rule, for exactly the same reasons.

This rule is present in the classic version - your net worth only counts your cash, spaceports, and factories.

The same is true with the original game as well (unless I'm grossly misreading something). Goods on your ship do not count towards net worth in any of the versions that I'm aware of.


Actually, what I'm mis-remembering is this: that in the classic game, the game ends by the fact that you achieve a certain credit score, not after a certain turn limit. So whether goods count towards your total or not is irrelevant. Then the change from classic to standard introduced this aspect that whether or not you make your final run can cause a massive swing of scores on the final turn, which is (in my opinion) dumb. Just like the Fuzzy Dice.
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Derek Jones
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rbelikov wrote:
This is a valid argument only if the payout from a single speed die roll is much less than the payout of a single fuzzy dice roll.

However, I think the payouts are similar. Frequently a player enters the last round with a delivery worth many hundreds of credits that hinge on a speed die roll in the same way that fuzzy dice have hundreds of credits hinging on a die roll. If you accept this, then the fuzzy dice roll is equivalent to just another speed die roll for purposes of this argument.


Agreed. You can't always mitigate the rolls throughout the game, you just make decisions based on the chance given. And there are other random elements that can affect you by hundreds of credits (market rotation, for example) regularly throughout the game.

It's a game with dice, and there are not skill-based opportunities to augment the dice, so to me complaining about chance is somewhat moot. A good money strategy seems to be able to trump strategies that gamble for fame, at least enough to make the occasional Fuzzy Dice victory in perspective.

I do however see an opportunity for a house rule that at least puts some additional strategy behind Fuzzy Dice: Have everyone roll for their Fuzzy Dice roll either immediately after buying it, or even at the beginning of the game before anyone has decided to buy it, and record that result for end game scoring. That way it's not a shock at the end to anyone, and might impact people's actions throughout the game, giving them a greater sense of control on both sides of an advantageous Fuzzy Dice roll.
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Actually, what I'm mis-remembering is this: that in the classic game, the game ends by the fact that you achieve a certain credit score, not after a certain turn limit. So whether goods count towards your total or not is irrelevant. Then the change from classic to standard introduced this aspect that whether or not you make your final run can cause a massive swing of scores on the final turn, which is (in my opinion) dumb. Just like the Fuzzy Dice.


Bleached_lizard, not sure I understand this. In classic game, it is often the case in the endgame that two or more players are one sale away from 2000 credits, so that whoever can roll their speed dice high enough wins the game. In other words, hundreds of credits hinge on a single die roll and mean winning or losing, just like the final round of the standard game or a fuzzy dice roll.

I like your posts and you often make very good points, but I'm not quite seeing the logic of this one... maybe I'm not understanding something.
 
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rbelikov wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
Actually, what I'm mis-remembering is this: that in the classic game, the game ends by the fact that you achieve a certain credit score, not after a certain turn limit. So whether goods count towards your total or not is irrelevant. Then the change from classic to standard introduced this aspect that whether or not you make your final run can cause a massive swing of scores on the final turn, which is (in my opinion) dumb. Just like the Fuzzy Dice.


Bleached_lizard, not sure I understand this. In classic game, it is often the case in the endgame that two or more players are one sale away from 2000 credits, so that whoever can roll their speed dice high enough wins the game. In other words, hundreds of credits hinge on a single die roll and mean winning or losing, just like the final round of the standard game or a fuzzy dice roll.

I like your posts and you often make very good points, but I'm not quite seeing the logic of this one... maybe I'm not understanding something.


I've never played the classic game, so can't really comment regarding how close games are. However, I'd say that if this is a common occurrence and there is nothing in place to ensure that each player gets an equal number of turns, then that's also not exactly brilliant.

Basically, it boils down to:

- Results of a game partly determined by the averaged out results of many dice rolls: acceptable.

- Result of a game determined by one pivotal die roll: unacceptable.

If the payout of the pivotal single dice roll is disproportionately large compared to the total payout of the averaged out dice rolls, then that is an undesirable problem. Which in the case of the Fuzzy Dice, I think it is.
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
If the payout of the pivotal single dice roll is disproportionately large compared to the total payout of the averaged out dice rolls, then that is an undesirable problem. Which in the case of the Fuzzy Dice, I think it is.


Let's look at this question quantitatively.

Typical finishing scores for winner and runner-up in MoV are about ~3000 for a 30-round standard game. That's an average of ~100 credits per turn, with the first turns counting less and the last turns counting more, perhaps ~200 credits per turn or even 300+ towards the very end. The classic game has similar numbers.

A lot of those turns hinge on a die roll, in a sense that if you fail the roll, you effectively skip one turn and miss out on those ~200 credits for that turn. Managing that risk is a lot of what MoV is about.

Consider a very simple model of two equally skilled players who have a 50/50 chance of getting 200 credits per round on every round. After 30 rounds, each will have a mean of 3000 credits with a standard deviation of 547, which is more than the swing of a single die roll.

In this case any of the 30 die rolls could be considered "pivotal". Fuzzy dice is simply the 31st roll, one can think of it as part of the average. Basically, there is no such thing as a "single pivotal die roll" in a game that features many die rolls with similar risks and payoffs.

The averaging effect you're thinking of is that the ratio of the standard deviation of the score to the mean (547/3000) gets smaller with more die rolls. But in terms of actual credits, the standard deviation of many die rolls *never* gets smaller than a single die roll and will never get smaller than a fuzzy dice roll.

Bottom line: it doesn't make sense to me to object to the randomness of the single fuzzy dice roll in the face of the standard deviation introduced by the "averaged" dozens of speed dice rolls. It's a psychological illusion that the result of the game somehow depends more on one fuzzy dice roll than the combination of all the other rolls.
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rbelikov wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
If the payout of the pivotal single dice roll is disproportionately large compared to the total payout of the averaged out dice rolls, then that is an undesirable problem. Which in the case of the Fuzzy Dice, I think it is.


Let's look at this question quantitatively.

Typical finishing scores for winner and runner-up in MoV are about ~3000 for a 30-round standard game. That's an average of ~100 credits per turn, with the first turns counting less and the last turns counting more, perhaps ~200 credits per turn or even 300+ towards the very end. The classic game has similar numbers.

A lot of those turns hinge on a die roll, in a sense that if you fail the roll, you effectively skip one turn and miss out on those ~200 credits for that turn. Managing that risk is a lot of what MoV is about.

Consider a very simple model of two equally skilled players who have a 50/50 chance of getting 200 credits per round on every round. After 30 rounds, each will have a mean of 3000 credits with a standard deviation of 547, which is more than the swing of a single die roll.

In this case any of the 30 die rolls could be considered "pivotal". Fuzzy dice is simply the 31st roll, one can think of it as part of the average. Basically, there is no such thing as a "single pivotal die roll" in a game that features many die rolls with similar risks and payoffs.

The averaging effect you're thinking of is that the ratio of the standard deviation of the score to the mean (547/3000) gets smaller with more die rolls. But in terms of actual credits, the standard deviation of many die rolls *never* gets smaller than a single die roll and will never get smaller than a fuzzy dice roll.

Bottom line: it doesn't make sense to me to object to the randomness of the single fuzzy dice roll in the face of the standard deviation introduced by the "averaged" dozens of speed dice rolls. It's a psychological illusion that the result of the game somehow depends more on one fuzzy dice roll than the combination of all the other rolls.


Hmm... You're trying to confuse me with maths. ninja

I'm afraid if you're trying to win this argument with logic, we're done here!

(In seriousness, I can't really respond to your post, because I have little way to verify whether anything you say is true or not).
 
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Nate Owens
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Late to the conversation, but here's an idea.

What if you rolled two dice and got the amount of the higher roll? That would make a much lower swing. I would add that if you roll doubles, you get the total for both dice. So that's 20 to 120 credits, with 20-60 being more common.

I dunno, I don't really mind them in the first place. But if they become an issue I think that's how I'll use them.
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