Thursday, May 2, 2013

(T)Rolling dice

This is a response to Natfka's post about Average Rolling Dice.

I just read his post and it was a really interesting read... go read it before you continue here.
Past this point, there may be spoilers...

UPDATE: Since Faeit 212 is down, I looked up the original article on Warseer, so you can read the study Natfka's article is based on.  HERE

I'm sure everyone remembers rolling some very important dice rolls that suddenly decided to only roll ones.

Let me give you a couple of real life examples:

3rd edition Dark Eldar Archon fully kitted out with close combat gear, shadow field and jetbike. (Shadow field was a 2+ invulnerable save, if you miss one save, the shadow field may no longer be used) Zooming around the battlefield, slaughtering enemies here and there. Suddenly the Archon is wounded for the first time this battle and needs to make 3 shadow field saves (coinciding with the fact that he has 3 wounds). I pick up 3 dice and roll a perfect 3 ones... ok, so actually after the first one the shadow field was already destroyed and I didn't get any extra saves, but that was just a mistake.

Some years ago, battle after battle, all missile launchers shot by Dries ended up with to-hit rolls of ones. He even started calling them rocket launchers to do away with the "miss" in missile. Even today, with his Tyranids, his favorite rule is "Old adversary", which lets you reroll all 1s to hit in CC and shooting.

For 40k, we only use GW dice. I have a set and Dries has a set. Usually, we use his, because he has more of them and of course, we need a lot of dice :D

A "perfect" D6 should statistically roll a 1 1/6th of the time, which is 16.66%. According to the study quoted by Natfka in his post, GW dice rolled a 1 on average 29% of the time.

This is a huge difference to the statistical theory. It might even be worth considering another set of dice, although I won't be buying any of those Vegas casino dice... it's far easier to roll 20 of the small dice than 20 of those big-ass casino dice.

Also, the rounded corners make them feel a lot better in hand than they would with square corners.

After reading the original article, are you inclined to buy new dice?


  1. I went to 1/2" vegas dice after I read this article a few months ago. It's remarkable how much of a difference it has made. I feel like I'm getting statistical averages instead of rolling half 1's the whole time. I bought 3 sets of 12 for maybe 20 dollars. Well worth the money. The GW dice are now purely wound and hull point counters.

    1. So you actually feel the difference in battles? Do you allow your opponent to use your dice or do you snicker behind his back because he uses GW trolling dice? ;)

      Hmm I might need to find out where I can get some accurate dice around here in Belgium...

  2. I snicker while I blow up half his squad until he uses GW dice to pass his morale test.

    It only a few games for me to tell that it made a difference. If you play a shooting army that overwhelms with dice rolls and you stop seeing 8/12 dice popping up as 1's you feel teh difference. It also feels like I can get all 6's as often as all 1's.

    When in doubt buy a set (got mine on amazon) and then roll them a hundred times vs. your GW dice and see if you can see a difference.


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