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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tales of nice dice and killin’ fury little mice.

You can skip to the last paragraph if you know all about dice and shenanigans.

Articles have been done, redone and outdone on cheating or the perception of cheating with dice. A few simple internet searches will easily give you more material than you would probably want to research. Yet every tournament I see similar shenanigans. Now I am not accusing any of my opponents or any participants, in the last tournament I played, of cheating. I am saying that some assisted in causing the perception of cheating or more precisely did thing that caused the perception of cheating to not be debunked. Hmmm, sounds overly wordy or complicated. Let me make a little list to be clearer.

If you roll a specific set of dice only when you need to roll high, such as leaderships and morale, you create the perception of cheating.

If you paid more for your dice than you did for your custom Forgeworld Landraider painted by Baraccass from (how’s that for product placement), your opponent might think you are up to something.

If you pick up the good dice when rolling a large number of them, instead of the ones and other failed dice, your opponent is going to raise an eye brow.

If you use small tiny dice that have odd hard to see paint schemes like black pips on grey/black swirl dice, your opponent might have to borrow my glasses.

If you load a bunch of dice on your hand and just drop them on the table, your opponent might have the urge to shake the table.

If all your dice are white with black pips and you declare that the alabaster ones are the melta, the ivory the plasma gun, the milky one is the storm bolter, the pale one is the heavy stuber and all the white ones are not worth mentioning, your opponent might think he is colour blind and need a ref.

If you use casino dice, incase you missed a previous bullet, your opponent certainly will consider the fact that you might just be cheating.

If you do funny things with your hand, like rolling dice of your fingers, two at a time, always with certain pips up, your opponent will ask to talk to a pit boss,…err never mind.

The short of it is, if you do certain things that are questionable, even though in most cases you are not even thinking about cheating, you are creating a perception that cheating is going on. Why alienate players our community is small enough and we are after all playing with toy soldiers. You will not gain the respect of your fellow peers and the admiration of mighty fine women, nor will the prize pot buy you a fancy sports car. You will, however, end up with a reputation that people will talk about for years.

Now to the point of me writing this in the first place, for the people that stayed with me the whole article and people that skipped ahead to this point. My game 5 at endless, in Raleigh NC, saw me rolling hot, maybe even white hot. My opponent was rolling 1’s like he needed to win a Yahtzee tournament. After a bit of grumbling, my opponent asked if we could share my dice for the rest of the game. I found that to be a unique and great solution. Instead of calling me a cheater, or faulting me for creating the perception of cheating, he presented a solution that satisfied both our interests in the game. I piled my dice in the center, and we really enjoyed the rest of the game. His dice luck did not, regrettably improve by the way. You may say this only worked because it was the last game, and we were both not in the running, but I would have gladly used this same solution with the player I played with his big bag of casino dice. Props to my opponent for finding a table side solution, without causing hate and discontent.


  1. That was an excellent solution. When we went to the Grand Waaagh last year, I was tearing through a Imperial Guard army like it was hot butter. My opponent did much the same thing:
    He looked at his dice, looked at mine and said, how about you let me use your dice, since mine seem to be in need of replacing. I found the solution amicable and creative and we shared my dice.
    Much like your opponent, my dice still didn't seem to work for him. However, it made the game less tense.

  2. I've heard of some events providing dice as part of the entry fee, that way people are using the same stuff. Sort of like having sealed decks for card games.

    I have no trouble sharing dice, and sometimes when WA is an issue, we'll simply use the wound dice to make saves with since they're already differentiated.

  3. Often the best solutions are the simplest.

    No if only he could have prevented any pregame animal sacrifice.

  4. I'm still a bit torn on a couple of these issues.

    Declaring several different colored dice and rolling together simply confuses me. I'm sure my opponents do that a lot and they have memorized which color goes with what. I may have to just write it down to keep it straight, which should alleviate any misgivings I have.

    Not a fan of separating dice and only rolling Ld tests from one pool of dice, and rolls to hit/wound with another pool of dice. I can't say the dice roll differently; it may be something completely superstitious. I do agree that it does raise an eyebrow, though.

    Casino dice: I really don't like these. I don't think I've played anyone with so much skill they can manipulate the dice rolls without anyone spotting. But, I do conceed those particular dice need some room to bounce/tumble to ensure a fair roll has been performed. Sadly, these dice will just bowl through your models if you tried to roll these correctly.

    However, my real issue with dice is this:

    Don't use dice to represent markers in the game! They are not crater outlines, wound counters or damage markers. It's crazy how many times I've noticed folks will pick up those dice by accident or simply forget those dice represent something significant in game. Simple solutions:

    Cut out felt in the shape of the vehicles to use as vehicle craters. Cheap and easy and the crater is the same shape/size as the offending vehicle.

    Counters: These are fairly cheap and the AoBR boxset even included some.

    Ok, not exactly the same as dice rolling perceptions, but it's at least dice related.

  5. i use 4 sides little pyramid dice as markers and wound counters just so i don't pick them up by mistake. My opponents rarely have cutouts of their tanks, but still want to take advantage of craters...

  6. The cutouts can be as elaborate or as simple as one wants. For my Orks, I cut balsa wood the width/length of my BWs and Trukk, based and put little Ork bits on them. For my Eldar, I simply went with felt and cut pieces into the shapes of my Wave Serpents. Both were fairly cheap.

    4 sided dice work fairly easy in this game system. I never thought about it, but it makes sense for both vehicles and wound counters.


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