Thursday, 9 December 2010

I'm not superstitious but I am a little stitious.

Wargamers are a funny lot.

We've all seen it and probably done it. You've just rolled a pile of ones and you put those dice to one side. It makes no difference of course to the stats, dice aren't trained to roll ones. As a Scientists I know this but it still doesn't stop me and it got me on to thinking about the other crazy things we do as wargamers due to superstitions.

The first one and one that I believe although of course I have no proof that it actually occurs is new model syndrome. You have just finished painting a new tank or unit or HQ and first turn that its on the board it dies horribly normally against all the odds. Of course there may be the rationale that you don't actually know how to use the model so its far more at risk of dying. This is often occurs in January, I expect my Land Raider Achilles not to survive long.

Second one is one of my Dads observations and it is that people with big dice win more than people with little dice. Our fearless leader claims that he has seen research that this is true but I know it was from my Dad observing me getting destroyed a number of games in a row by people with big dice. It didn't seem to matter that the people that I were playing were excellent players IT WAS ALL DOWN TO THE DICE.

Another one is the use of new dice, before open war I was told don't forget your dice because you don't want to have to buy new ones! Why? Why would it ever matter but apparently it does to a number of gamers. I once came across a gamer who did roll an incredible number of sixes who claimed it was because he practised rolling them. I watched him carefully and there was no cheating but he solidly believed that it was down to the hours he put in practising rolling sixes.

So what superstitions do you follow if any?


  1. "As a Scientists" was this intentional? Well it made me lol :P
    My voodoo practise is when rolling to hit, I put aside the successful dices and roll new one for to wound. You see, I am under the belief that the previously well performing dices are now "tired" and cannot perform as well in the new round of rolling.

    And as for bigger dice rolling better I think it is true. I remember reading a study about how the chessex dice we normally use have a higher possibility of rolling "1"s. It is down to them being too small and light and having rounded edges to hold back the momentum of the heavier side where the "1" is on. They recommended using larger, clear dice with sharp edges like the ones used in casinos for more fair odds.

  2. You could spend the rest of your life searching for my spelling mistakes they are that common mate, I like the tired dice one.

  3. Haha, sorry I thought it was something along the lines of "I WILL FIGHT THEM WITH SCIENCE" not a spelling mistake. Yeah the tired dice thing is fun. Also I remember when I was playing with Necrons I used to have metallic dice and green dice.

    Every time I rolled a handful it had to have an equal number of metallic and green dice all the time. I would meticulously pick them up so that they would be equal. When I had to roll an odd number of dice I would get really upset because I couldn't have an equal amount of dice!

  4. I have a couple of mates who will pick up a huge chunk of dice and sort of 'pre-roll' them in a pile on the side of the board before being asked to make any saves, hits, penetrations, wounds etc...they will pick up the required number of 'to hit' rolls for example and use ONLY dice that have rolled really low on the 'pre-roll'!!
    Takes time, but these guys swear by it.

    it does literally nothing of course to thier rolls.

    I find it amusing/irritating. Irritating when it actually works! lol.

  5. I actually do this at times, I call it "rolling down my dice" my buddy does it too, possibly because of me. Different from your description though we do this between games after our dice "failed us" in a game.

    I also have a couple other dice related behaviours.

    1. Color for purpose - I have in my standard gaming kit like nearly 200 small dice of various colors. And depending on the army I'm playing I will only use certain colors for basic/special weapons, armor saves, LD, etc.. And not deviate from that armies chosen dice colors.

    2. As an example to the others - i have on several occasions turned a die into powder with a hammer when it consistently rolled badly.

    3. Fresh Dice - I try to never roll a die twice until every die of that color has been been rolled once.

    It is funny though how I have never met any kid of longterm/ serious wargamer without at least a minor dice associated behaviour.

  6. The thing on chessex dice is actually right on the money. The (relatively) poor quality of these dice does affect the way they roll. It has to do with the way they get 'tumbled' during production. It doesn't wear the surfaces evenly, skewing your averages. Granted, that's not necesarily a bad thing. Disproportianate numbers of sixes are a good thing, at least until you have to roll that leadership test.

    For better statistical rolls, I'd reccomend casino dice if you can afford them, or Gamescience dice as a good middleground.

  7. I've read online (so it must be true!) that bigger dice roll closer to the statistical average and also that rolling dice together is more statistically average compared to rolling them individually.

    I have to admit that, despite being a mathematician, I tend to change dice between rolls if they've rolled well as they've "used up their 6s"

  8. Cheers for that link. Could you reccomend a website I could purchase these dice?

  9. When we play we always joke that "you've used up all your sixes" or that sort of thing. Obviously we never really think it. It's one of those things where you can convince yourself of it because you chose to ignore when it doesn't work. It's like people saying bad luck comes in 3s. A couple of bad things happen and they are then on the look out for the third. They ignore all the good stuff in between!

    Obviously there's dice that statisically will roll 6s more than others because they aren't uniform density but I doubt it's that significant in a big enough pot of dice.

    All that being said. We do seem to get more hits with the scatter dice with the word "hit" on it so we only use that one. That and lascannons have to be rolled on red dice!

  10. This should do it:

  11. Thanks! They are a bit pricery but I guess in the cut-throat business of die casting you get what you pay for!

  12. Some very interesting views into the psyche of wargamers.

  13. The dice certainly didn't punish me for doubting their power last night when I played Andy and through more 5's and 6's than I ever had before,

    only rolled less than a 5 for MOTW once, hardly ever missed with my power sword and my melta guns dealt death to his dreadnought on the first try.

    Andy on the other hand through one after one for Lysanders 2 up armour save.

    Faith in science is the future people.

  14. I do try and use red dice for lascannons and 1 one solitary green dice is plasma if required. Destroying dice is a whole new level however.

  15. While I did roll an unthinkable amount of ones last night that loss cannot be blamed on poor dice vs hot dice alone!

    There's another point to make here in terms of superstition, and that is reenforcement of those beliefs. Most dice rolls in the game are at least 50-50 if not statistically probable to succeed so if you have a habit that you think works for you it's likely to pay off more often than not simply because the odds are actually in your favour more often than not. It's no wonder that we all have our little dice rituals!

  16. once I'd had the luck with the dice first turn though it affected everything that we both did.

  17. Personally I believe my black dice roll better than any other colours of dice I own.

    Re: Big Dice:

    Big dice are easier to "fix" (when rolling a few) when rolling than the 16mm dice you would normally get from GW (for example).

    So next time check out your opponents technique and see if he keeps doing to same thing.

  18. Why do you have so much faith in your black dice? Purely experience?

  19. Experience, or more that I guess its a case of we (as humans) only remember certain good/bad events which either did or did not involve a certain factor, mine being my black dice (just normal GW ones)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails