I have a confession. I am a dice addict. Well, that’s not entirely true. I hate dice.
When I talk about dice people often say the phrase ‘dice are dice’ referring to the fact that sometimes they roll hot and sometimes cold. There seems to be a magical nature about dice with wargamers. Every person has their own quirks when it comes to dice from choosing a certain colour, throwing in a certain way or using ‘that dice’ when its an important roll. Are these merely psychological barriers created by the individual? Or is there any truth behind the issue? Lets investigate…
Meet Louis Zocci of Game Science Dice
This guy is either one of the best salesmen in the world or there is some truth behind his words. In this 2 part interview on YouTube he goes into some of the science behind how dice are manufactured and explains why certain dice appear to roll high or low. Now, the cynical amongst you are probably thinking that phrase again ‘dice are dice’ but hear me out. This article isn’t about proving whether your set of dice rolls normal, high, low or whatever. This article is about one thing:
What happens if you could take away the doubt about your dice
As a tournament player I have both won and lost tournaments on dice rolls that shouldn’t on averages have happened. Chains of double 1s, double 6s – impossible odds. ’Dice are dice’ often came to mind in these situations. However the mental state it puts you in when these dice happen is not a positive one. Here’s an example:
Masters last year, playing Ash Mitchell. My dice were on fire for most of the game (Legion Gale Force 9 Dice). I was rolling several double/triple 6s, very rarely failing to hit, etc. Near the end of the game I had a combine ranged attack needing anything but double 1s to hit. Crucial roll as it would nearly guarantee a game winning situation. I rolled double 1. Thoughts rushed into my head – all based around the dice. It threw my game plan into chaos and I was quickly losing my train of thought. I lost the game in the end through Ash passing a tough roll on his caster, but with hindsight if I had thought about the turns more clearly after I failed that crucial roll I feel I could of engineered a win. But I didn’t as I was so hung up on that missed combined range attack.
I am hoping that example resonated with people reading this article.
So Whats the Solution? Take away the doubt.
By removing any possible idea your dice are rolling high/low due to imperfections, superstition or any other related issue. By removing the doubt from your mind, you are increasing your ability to look at a situation logically and objectively. To succeed in Hordes/Warmachine or any other miniature game strategic planning and logical thought processes are required. If anything is distracting you from this then your success outcome is lessened. Dice doubt is one of these issues that often goes unappreciated and put under the ‘dice are dice’ phrase – as if that eases the blow.
Introducing – Precision Backgammon Dice
Here is a quick quote from an online store that sells these dice – www.bgshop.com
…precision dice (with ball-corners) are the tools of the game of backgammon, they are required equipment at most backgammon tournaments, and are a must if you play for money. Cellulose acetate is the material used for precision dice. This material is completely homogeneous and free from minuscule air bubbles.
The spots on the dice are made by boring precision holes into each face, and then filling the hole with a “plug” of “cellulose acetate” of a different colour. The cost of this material is a contributing factor to the high production costs of precision dice.
Additionally, precision dice are cut with a precision laser, which once again contributes to the high production costs.
We supply precision dice with rounded corners of the highest quality, they are balanced to 1/1000 of an inch, and made by a leading US manufacturer that supplies precision dice and quality gaming equipment to licensed casinos throughout the world.
All dice are guaranteed against faults for 1 year.
Precision dice are suitable for many games including RPG games where unbiased rolls are required. Precision dice with rounded (or cut) corners are recommended where a limited rolling area is available, the cut corners allow the dice to tumble, in particular the smallest size of 1/2 inch (13 mm) are becoming increasingly used by many RPG gamers. Other sizes that are available are 9/16 and 5/8 inch (14.2 and 16 mm).
There are a few key parts as to why these dice remove the doubt:
- Use in Backgammon Tournaments for Money
If these dice gave bias results they could not be legitimately used within any cash based system as it would be unfair. The backgammon tournament organisers remove this doubt from players by enforcing these specifically designed dice to be used as they give a true, fair roll.
- Limited Rolling Area
Roll distance has a factor on dice probability and is why casino dice (larger in size) have to be bounced of a wall to give a true reading. Backgammon dice are made smaller with rounded corners (like traditional wargaming dice) as they are intended to be thrown a short distance but still give a true, fair roll – removing the doubt.
With all these factors considered, its fair to assume these are the most accurate, fair dice available for our hobby. I know that whatever they roll there is absolutely no bias in that result and as such it allows me to focus on the important issues – what I am doing strategically to win the game. There are other options out there such as game science dice that offer similar results, however there is still some doubt with these cheaper options. Backgammon dice are not cheap – setting you back around £6 each. However for me, that ease of mind and avoidance of the blame culture I suffered with my dice is priceless.