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Too random

 
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stormywaters
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:59 am GMT    Post subject: Too random Reply with quote

This thread is mostly for my own masochistic love of argument. It often seems like people have become too entrenched that this may never change, but here we go!

Every time I have demoed this game, it's received rather well. Then after a couple of games, players inevitably feel the sting of the game-ending unlucky roll. For many serious gamers, that's the point at which they wash their hands of it and call it a day.

If strategy and planning can be destroyed - with no chance for recovery - then the game gets soured. It's not a chain of bad rolls, it's not small errors compounding each other, it's just rolling 3 saves on 9 dice. It's rolling 2 melee with 8 heavy melee units and getting wrecked by a counter-attack. It's that singular roll that spells the end of the game.

Now the common excuse I hear is "it's a dice game, there is randomness", but that's a specious argument. There are ways to reduce the pure randomness while maintaining the dice-rolling aspect.

Many dice games for instance offer a single reroll step before finalizing results. You roll the dice, select any number of them to reroll simultaneously before any effects are applied, then finalize the results. This allows for a degree of "smoothing" the numbers while still leaving the thrill of luck involved. This won't eliminate catastrophic failure entirely - those can happen no matter how much you tweak the probabilities - but it should at least remarkably decrease their likelihood to a more tolerable level.

Another option - more radical and game-changing - is to replace the concept of comparing total results with a point-buy system (used in another popular dice-combat game). Basically you roll for your attack and count up results, then spend those results taking one type of action - possibly a "common" action available to all player, or perhaps an action dictated by the race you are using.

To give an example: Say you're attacking and roll 8 melee results. You look at your available options and choose one. Your options might be:

    Basic Melee Attack (Cost 1): Deal one damage for each point of health in the attacking army
    Strong Melee Attack (Cost 4): Deal one damage for each point of health in the attacking army. Reduce saves generated by opposing army by 2.
    Charge Attack (Cost 6): Deal one damage for each point of health in the army. Generate an additional point for each Maneuver result showing on the attacking army's dice. Defending army's melee results deal damage that cannot be saved to the attacking army.

    Stampede (Feral only, Cost 6): As Charge Attack, but attacker may roll saves against defending army's melee results.


Now these are just made up on the spot and may be nothing like what we might want, and they might not be balanced. In any case, that's the basic idea.

So when you roll for saves, you might similarly have a couple of different options: Shields Up, Take Cover, or Counter-Attack for example, which generate a varying number of saves and secondary effects.

This would add a little time to attacks and save, though not too much if we only offer two or three choices. It also adds another level of strategy to the game.

Long story short, there are plenty of ways to tweak the randomness of the game without ruining the game. Adjusting these things can make the game more chess-like and less "beer-and-pretzels", if that's what we are looking for at least.
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:13 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: Too random Reply with quote

stormywaters wrote:
This thread is mostly for my own masochistic love of argument.


it's a dice game, there is randomness

Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green

seriously, what is the 'other' game? marvel?
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stormywaters
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:17 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: Too random Reply with quote

cliffwiggs wrote:
stormywaters wrote:
This thread is mostly for my own masochistic love of argument.


it's a dice game, there is randomness

Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green

seriously, what is the 'other' game? marvel?


I didn't want to talk about competitor's games, but yes. It uses both rerolling and spend-for-actions, kind of. If you've never played it, it's actually spend-to-add-dice-to-your-team.

I've played several other dice games recently, and they almost all allow one or more rerolls before finalizing results.
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:33 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to duplicate competitors, but I have to be aware of them so we don't reach the same natural conclusion.

I suppose an easier to get flashfire or an "every face" vortex would satisfy you?

seriously I'm open to ideas and discussion. it's implementing them that takes time and thought.
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stormywaters
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:43 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

cliffwiggs wrote:
I don't want to duplicate competitors, but I have to be aware of them so we don't reach the same natural conclusion.

I suppose an easier to get flashfire or an "every face" vortex would satisfy you?

seriously I'm open to ideas and discussion. it's implementing them that takes time and thought.


I'm not sure that "one reroll step" is really duplicating anyone. Like I said, most games allow it, except press-your-luck games. All you're doing is saying "Look, it's random because it's dice, but we're smoothing it out a bit for you".

I propose that we all just playtest the following rule:

Quote:
Each time you make an attack roll, save roll, maneuver roll, or magic roll, before finalizing any results or applying the effects of any SAI, you may choose any number of units rolled and reroll them simultaneously, replacing their original results with the new results.


Just throw it at the wall and see what happens. I predict a couple of things:

1. Fewer catastrophic failures
2. More SAI procs
3. Increased monster use
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:03 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, there are more melee/missile icons than there are save icons. So there should also be more damage over all.

And since more dice is more faces. this means that larger armies will more consistently do better than smaller armies. So once you start to lose units you will continue to lose units.

I've proposed to test this at Gencon. It will need to be a sealed event, because few people sign up for constructed ones.

but as Cliff's novelty event, it might work (even if just for one year)
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stormywaters
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:33 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

cliffwiggs wrote:
Also, there are more melee/missile icons than there are save icons. So there should also be more damage over all.


This may be the case. Time will tell how much it changes in either direction.

Quote:
And since more dice is more faces. this means that larger armies will more consistently do better than smaller armies.


To me, this should be the case. It should be strategically disadvantageous to move against a larger army. Consistency is crucial to strategy games.

Quote:
So once you start to lose units you will continue to lose units.


DD already has this aspect as it is. Games that take a bad turn tend to snowball into loss rapidly anyway. This really isn't something new.
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shoesan
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:30 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Each time you make an attack roll, save roll, maneuver roll, or magic roll, before finalizing any results or applying the effects of any SAI, you may choose any number of units rolled and reroll them simultaneously, replacing their original results with the new results.


Wow. I wanna play an all Leapord Rider army with that rule!
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:07 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

shoesan wrote:
Quote:
Each time you make an attack roll, save roll, maneuver roll, or magic roll, before finalizing any results or applying the effects of any SAI, you may choose any number of units rolled and reroll them simultaneously, replacing their original results with the new results.


Wow. I wanna play an all Leapord Rider army with that rule!


Obviously a change like this couldn't be made in a vaccum. Several other effects (ie the instant rerolls) would have to be tweaked as well.
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Indrid Cold
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:39 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everyone, new member of the forum here. I recently discovered Dragon Diceâ„¢ and I love the game. It is such a cool concept, the artwork and the variety of races is awesome and I see myself burning a lot of my disposable income in the near future.

My main "critique" from a newcomer's point of view would be the one mentioned in this thread: if there is a perfect sweet spot of strategy and randomness I would say that the game errs slightly on the side of too much randomness, particularly with the greater-sided dice such as monsters. However, the randomness factor wasn't significant enough to turn me off from the game.

Overall I love the game and the concept, just offering a first impression from a newcomer who also happens to be a massive lover and collector of board games.
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Drachenwurfel
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:45 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

If WE would allow to reroll, this game would fast be dead.
There Are so many SAI, that Are really strong, like smite or counter.
If you can reroll the carrying units, the SAI will come more often.
The Problem is, there is no Defence against Smite or others.

I Play Dicemasters too (But i don't Love IT as Dragon Diceâ„¢) and there the Dice may be rerolled.
But this Game workes in a complete other way.
There are no SAI, the diceroll is only to show If your Charakter die comes into Play and at wich level, or produces IT Energy.
There is nothing like SAI or such Killerrolls like in Dragon Diceâ„¢.
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Indrid Cold
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:23 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, I wasn't claiming that the game is broken by any stretch due to this high-randomness factor. So I don't think it necessarily needs to be "fixed".

Re-rolling dice, even if it balanced things out, I would consider more of an annoyance as it would slow everything down quite a bit.
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:15 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an older thread, so I'm probably repeating myself, but I've always viewed this game as managing randomness. Some games are pure random and some are pure strategy. Most games are in between, as is this one.

As much as the lower end of the curve sucks, the upper end of the curve feels that much better.

To paraphrase a de-motivational poster "Don't try to beat the odds, unless you can survive the odds beating you"

BTW - WELCOME! I'm glad you found the game!

Do you ever get to attend the Pax South convention that is held in TX?
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Indrid Cold
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:22 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

cliffwiggs wrote:
This is an older thread, so I'm probably repeating myself, but I've always viewed this game as managing randomness. Some games are pure random and some are pure strategy. Most games are in between, as is this one.

As much as the lower end of the curve sucks, the upper end of the curve feels that much better.

To paraphrase a de-motivational poster "Don't try to beat the odds, unless you can survive the odds beating you"

BTW - WELCOME! I'm glad you found the game!

Do you ever get to attend the Pax South convention that is held in TX?


I haven't, I'm actually not even familiar with it so thank you for letting me know about it.

Yes the game is awesome, all your hard work is appreciated - I'm in the process of learning the finer points of 3.0 and it looks to be great Smile
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:03 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a problem!

We attended Pax South for the first time earlier this year (it was the 2nd year of the con). We plan to attend again next year and are always looking for people who can help us teach others to play this great game!
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gorillanator
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:19 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

An easy way to mitigate the one disastrous roll is this house rule:

Each player gets a re-roll token at the beginning of the game. A player may spend that re-roll token to re-roll any roll during the game. Once the token is used, it's gone...so use it carefully.

You can even give more tokens to a newer player as a kind of handicap.

Something fun to tinker with...
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:22 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting concept. I've seen a lot of RPGs have something similar. You can get an automatic success on one roll or you can save it and get extra experience.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:46 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah,

I stole that from Blood Bowl. In that game you can actually buy additional re-rolls for points, etc.

Personally, I do like the full randomness that dice provides. Too many re-rolls and it takes the essence of the game away.
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Indrid Cold
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:51 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really do like the "one re-roll token" idea. It doesn't meddle with the original rules or make things more complicated.

It's a nice house rule even if it never gets implemented in the official rules.
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Joe October
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:17 pm GMT    Post subject: It came up in our Demo Game at GenCon 2016 Reply with quote

I rolled great.

My opponent missed his blocks.

Big Army disappeared.

Rather than a re-roll ... I would cap the amount of damage an army can take in a single roll. I think he lost 6 dice from my roll. If the number was capped at 3 dice total (perhaps 5 points) ... he would have been gut shot but not dead. (Perhaps it could be tied to the location in the battle.)

It did change the flow of the game.

I would recommend against re-rolling based on my limited experience ... it would slow the game AND break the current balance of SAI's etc.

Otherwise, I tend to agree with those who say, you're rolling dice ... what did you expect?
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