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"Specialised and "Official" Dice?" Topic

27 Posts

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28 Aug 2018 2:26 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Game Design board
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30 Mar 2019 2:29 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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699 hits since 28 Aug 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Covert Walrus28 Aug 2018 12:25 p.m. PST

Havin just discovered that the Beta release of an updated rules set i am interested in explains that "an ordinary d6 may be used in the interim for rolls" I have been faced again with the idea that to play a game one needs the "right" type of d6 or such.

Obviously, the systems in some rules are built around special d6s, such as SW:Legion or X-wing, but has this concept spread too far? What are the members opinions of this trend – Good idea, good if the dice are custom and mechnaic-based, simply a promotional gimmick for the company, or a waste of time when a standard d6 istill works? Or any other opinions?

Rich Bliss28 Aug 2018 12:41 p.m. PST

I generally don't like it unless, as in X-Wing, using them makes the game play easier by eliminating tables.

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 12:51 p.m. PST

In general I'm not a fan of specialized dice.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 12:59 p.m. PST

I've purchased custom dice just to be cute--unit logos and such. But as far as I'm concerned, any rules set which requires me to go back to the dealer for dice which are only useful for that set of rules is a non-starter. There are plenty of other rules around. Same thing with fantasy & SF rules which require figures only available from the people who sold me the rules.

Can't imagine why so many of my fellow wargamers do such things

Ney Ney28 Aug 2018 1:17 p.m. PST

Custom dices with logos for fun = yes.

Necessary dices purchased at great cost = no.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 1:27 p.m. PST

Umm, why would you not want to have an excuse to buy dice?!?

All the games I k ow of that use them, the bespoke dice shave time from cross-referencing tables. Any time savings add up over the course of a game.

They also add flavour. Blood Bowl, X-Wing, Super Dungeon Explore all benefit from this. Seeing the graphic results on the dice adds to the dramatic fun of the game. The small incidental cost of dice is well worth the increased entertainment value.

That reminds me, I bought a bunch of blank dice with indentations and stickers that fit in, and have been meaning to print out the stickers to make my own Ogre CRT dice…

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 1:40 p.m. PST

I don't like it. Unless they come with the game I won't buy them.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 1:43 p.m. PST

Bolt Action. You have their dice them in order to play. Fortunately you don't have to use their figures.

Winston Smith28 Aug 2018 2:18 p.m. PST

Early Flames of War dice had the unit symbol to represent a 1.
With later dice, it represented a 6.
That was annoying.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 2:35 p.m. PST

I have my own "specialized" dice. Unfortunately, Las Vegas is on to me and they won't let meuse them anymore. :-(


Ivan DBA28 Aug 2018 2:47 p.m. PST

If it simplifies game play, then I'm all for it and happily purchase special dice. SAGA is an obvious example.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 3:24 p.m. PST

I guess English isn't my first language.

Bolt Action. You have to use their dice in order to play. Fortunately you don't have to use their figures.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 3:45 p.m. PST

QILS uses something in between – tailored regular d6. You allocate r/y/b colors to the pips on a regular die to spec out the stats for units. Regular dice, no tables, lots of design depth.

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 5:27 p.m. PST

Mechanically, it can simplify game play immensely.

Thematically, I think they can add a whole lot to a game.

If they're six-sided, I have plenty of blanks standing by to be labelled for short-term or when just testing the water on such a system.

Bolt Action. You have to use their dice in order to play.

No, you can draw pretty much any different-colored thing out of a bag, and place an appropriate maker on the table. Much less of a necessity there than, say, X-Wing or SAGA.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 8:13 p.m. PST

If official dice don't speed up play over regular dice, they have no justification at all--but of course, those rules were written to sell the dice. If someone can demonstrate to me that custom dice inherently make for a faster game than regular dice, I'll be very interested.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2018 8:13 p.m. PST

I generally avoid rules where such things are required. But in most cases normal dice can be substituted with ease.

Wargamer Blue28 Aug 2018 8:33 p.m. PST

I love these custom dice.

UshCha29 Aug 2018 1:43 a.m. PST

I use Specilaised die D20'S! Special die NO WAY! If you play a lot they are likely to get lost. That stops play untill you buy new ones at great expence, poinless. Adding to the game? Not for me its just a neccessary evil, a randum factor, less throwing more gameing.

Utimate gameing (for me), least amout of time doing things other than moving the models or screaming (inside usually) about having too much to do and too little time and your best plan going astray.

arthur181529 Aug 2018 1:48 a.m. PST

As others have stated, if custom dice can speed up play by removing the need to refer to tables – as the original kriegsspiel dice did – I'd be happy to buy some/make my own.

What I don't like are rules that require one to have a wide variety of different dice, and to have to remember/consult a list to find which one to use. If a rule set requires more than d6 and/or d10, I'm out!

Vigilant29 Aug 2018 2:05 a.m. PST

One of the reasons I don't play games like Saga. To me they are a gimmick and an excuse to get more money from players. Stick to normal dice and I'm interested in looking at your rules, make me use only your dice and only your figures, then the game had better be pretty damn good.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2018 2:39 a.m. PST

I generally have no problem with specialized dice, other than their high price(s).

Dagwood29 Aug 2018 3:01 a.m. PST

There is no great problem in using ordinary dice for Saga, 123, 45, 6 for the various symbols. (not that I've actually played ….)

shirleys painting29 Aug 2018 5:00 a.m. PST

@Vigilant does it really bother you to buy a set of dice for a game like SAGA? I play the game and the custom dice are a nice "gimmick".

My husband has about 60 different sets(a "set" being 3 dice) of Blood Bowl block dice. Thats about 120 dice.

He loves collecting them.

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2018 7:03 a.m. PST

I am a fan of the "trinkets". I like dice and markers for specific games. That being said, I wrote a set of rules "Vows of Iron", which have special dice that come with the game. I have found that it is harder to market them outside the US due to the increased cost of sending something other than just paper (customs declarations, etc…). Also, it is not possible to sell them as an electronic copy. Going forward, my next 2 sets of rules that are in the works have no special dice or markers inherent to the game so they will be easier to sell in some ways.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2018 10:08 a.m. PST

@shirleys painting, I don't have that many sets of Blood Bowl dice, but I do my best to have a set in team colours for each team.

And I have quite a few teams painted up!

Chuckaroobob29 Aug 2018 8:32 p.m. PST

I do not like specialized dice. I have avoided buying games that require them.

Vigilant31 Aug 2018 7:44 a.m. PST

@shirleys painting, it annoys me that the set up for the game seems to expect you to buy specialised dice. I already have D4s to D20s, so why buy something special for a game that doesn't really need them. To be honest I've had a couple of goes at Saga and never got on with the whole concept, so the dice were the least of the problems for me. I just used Saga as an example. If you need specialised dice for a game they should come with the game, like in X-Wing, and not expect you to buy them as extras.

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