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If someone offered you a computer that could randomize all your dice rolls and compute the results (you tell it the roll to hit, the roll to wound, it tells you how many wounds, if there's no wound allocation it can tell you how many saves are failed...)
Would you use it? Would it save time? Would it be worth it? Is rolling dice an important part of the game?
I haven't made it yet, but this seems straight forward enough to make with excel... or stata..
I cant see myself using a laptop to roll dice, dice rolling gives you something active to do, and a laptop is probably to bit to be all that useful for this purpose. An iphone or android app I could see myself using if i forget to bring my dice with me.
Tyranids W/L/D - 13/4/3
Vampire Counts - 1/2/0
Space Marines - 2/0/1
For starters, it seems that you have a very intuitive mind, and it is a good idea to look beyond the standard game and see how one can enhance the gaming experience, and implement the use of technology in the realm of tabletop 40K. Props to you.
However I would have to agree with MHZ. The idea that the only physical interaction with the game is to handle your models would take away the whole demeanor of what the game is all about. I understand that a correct computer program that simulates a dice roll can be just as random as if you were to roll a real dice yourself. However, it seems like the fun is taken away, and the game would be over much quicker if all you had to do was click a mouse and 30 dice were tossed all at once. It would take away the anticipation of seeing what you roll, the anxiety and distress of not rolling what you wanted, and the exaltation and joy you get if you do roll what you wanted. This is what the hobby is about, making you feel all of these emotions at once, and all of these are bought out in a person just by the toss of a dice, rather than a mouse click.
It is a good idea in theory, though in practice I would not consider it. Besides, if I were in a tournament situation and someone bought this system along without any physical dice of their own, I would not play them, no matter how badly they pleaded it was failsafe, as they may be rolling extra dice behind my back, or changing the system then and there without my consent. Anyway, the tournament organisers probably would not allow it.
I would like to see what other ideas you can come up with though.So keep at it!
Light a fire for a man, and he will be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
Dice gods need you to roll dice to live. Every time you roll a 1 when you need a 6 or roll a 6 when you need a 1 it makes their presence in the warp stronger.
Green iz da' BEST!
Orkz is made fer' two fings! Fightin', and winnin'!
Yeah computer programs piss the dice god's off no end, I'm sorry to tell you this friend, but if you now have a spell of terrible luck at rolling this thread probably has something to do with it
Seriously though, Warhammer is old-timey with a rustic feel to it. We enjoy the feeling of rolling a dice which has been done for thousands of years more than clicking a button on a computer. Dice rolling builds suspense too, the small cube teetering on the edge, one way it's a 2 the other a 6... What will happen?!? Yeah it's split second but I get a rush from seeing a disastrous result flip over one more time and become a victory
Or maybe I'm just sad...
I completely agree with the above sentiments, which is why i haven't made a program like this yet (if i thought it was a great idea.. i'd just do it..) i was more interested in why we think its a bad idea.... like, why have the mechanics of our game survived the inevitable progression of technology, even where technology could make the game "easier" or "faster"
for orks, if a unit of 30 boys makes it to a target relatively unscathed, i'm rolling over a hundred attacks. that's a lot of dice.
The other thing that i was thinking about, I don't think all dice are "fair" in the sense that not all dice manufacturers go to the lengths necessary to ensure rolls are random draws from a uniform distribution (1,6). In fact, the dice used in vegas are super-extra engineered to ensure as much.. our dice arent... i think a computer will be more "fair" in that it more accurately represents random. (depending upon the software used... excel is notoriously bad at generating random numbers)
Dice are what this game was founded on. Dice add in a layer of chaos and unpredictability to the game. the dice itself are part of the game.
Why buy 5000.00USD worth of miniatures when you can represent marines with coins? Or poker chips for demons? Or cookies for orks? (ask me later about my groups "Warhammer FattyK" game we play) because the minis are part of the game.
I understand with technology growing, the choice to use dice rollers or programs to "crunch the numbers" is more and more easily available. Hell, I even have two dice rolling apps on my Verizon Droid, and one of them IS for Warhammer (scatter die and all)
But when it comes down to using these programs, it's a cool idea in theory, but practice, it lacks serious cred to me.
If I spend money on a block of dice to color match my orks and have put time into my army, painting, flocking, basing, and sealing the models, and place my pieces strategically on the table, just to see you whip out your cellphone because " you think the dice roller on your phone, laptop or excel sheet is just as good.." i'm going to give a long pause, then sigh, then hand you some dice.
Why put all that effort into my army? the dice are part of the game!
OKAY, Lets say we take your possible path to a higher technological step in gaming:
I will leave my minis in the bag.. Not place them on the table, then I'll pull out a spread sheet of my army, you then enter your army list into the spreadsheet and we hit one button. It'll say who wins and by how many points. Game over in 4 minutes.
Or even further:
I stay home, EMAIL my army list to you.
You and me crunch the numbers on a sheet, without hitting the gaming store.. I save gas, and I can play 40k in my underwear!!! but the LGStore doesn't see business.. and eventually then we lose our LGS to internet purchases, direct buys and ebay.
Would it get that bad? No. that was a bit extreme, but you see my point. I'm saying when does it stop?
I get perturbed when one of the guys in my crew is too lazy to print out his army builder list and opens his laptop on the table and says " here's my list."
I seriously cringe when i see that. first thing I ask is " show my your list." \
He gets this " you seriously want me to move my big laptop over there so you can see my list?" look on his face. This is the beginning of my extreme example above. Laziness.
I play Orks. I charge in I am throwing 30 to 40 dice on the charge. and I USE BIG 16mm Dice! why? because it's part of the game! to me, if I wanted to use a dice roller, i'd play a different game. I DM a D&D campaign at my house on the weekends too. I see a laptop or dice roller on the table, i freak out and someone is getting soda in their laptop. (not joking)
The power of true dice to me adds that possibility of that 'golden die roll"
When you see those dice hit the table, and they make you stand up, shout " HELL YEAH!" through the gaming store, run around the store, knocking stuff over and grabbing terrified nerds, who are throwing magic cards down and shaking them hysterically going " YOU SEE THAT!! BEAUTIFUL!" pointing to my 40k game!
...... and that is when my opponent rolls a good roll... not on my rolls! (Overboat showmanship is bad form, but cheering your enemy is fun)
You throw 30 orks charging into a remnant of 3 imperial guard, and you roll them bones, and the imperial guards hit and kill three orks, and my orks MISS EVERY SINGLE HIT(it's happened to me!), then the squad rolls dice again, failing leadership and RUN FROM THREE PIDDLY GUARDSMEN (who at that point have brown trousers, but besides the point) THAT is the kinda rolls (to me) a dice roller or excel spreadsheet would take away. I can't shout " DID YOU SEE THAT RESULT FROM MY EXCEL SPREADSHEET FROM THAT COMPUTATION?!?! OMG THAT WAS FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE!"
Just doesn't come off....warhammer-ish to me.
Summary= using tech to overcome the 'strenuous" and "tremendously heavy " task of rolling small bits of plastic...... I do not approve.
PS. Jcress410, I'll be emailing you my army list tomorrow for our game. *smirks*
Last edited by Shonuff; May 29th, 2010 at 07:00.
Rome wasn't built in a day, Either should good scenery.
Dice rolls is one of the parts in WH that I love I would never swap it for a computer.
*Nagash picks up his ornated chest filled with dice*
"My prrrrrrrecious! They're our's and we wants them!"
*Nagash drops the chest, and turns normal again*
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Well, from a purely technological standpoint I wouldn't even TOUCH an application like this unless it was a mobile app that I could put on my blackberry. No way I'm hauling a laptop along with all my stuff to the FLGS for a game.
More importantly, I do think that the rolling of the dice has certainly BECOME an integral part of the game. That doesn't mean it's absolutely necessary. Look at Malifaux, the new game Wyrd Miniatures came up with to go with their mini line. In that game you don't roll dice at all. Instead, you flip over playing cards, like playing "war" or something. Seems strange to us, but who knows? Maybe it will catch on.
Overall, though, I don't think an app can or should replace dice rolling for games that use it. I too applaud your interest in thinking outside the box. After all, just because it's been around for 20+ years doesn't make it by definition a good idea. In this case, though, the only time I can see dice rolling would be enough of a pain to warrant something like this is with a ridiculous amount of shooting, like, I dunno, an all-foot IG Apocalypse army *shudder*.
EDIT: Course, if anyone tried that against me, I think if his whole army got within rapid-fire range, I'd probably grab him by the hair and bang his head on the table a few times just for general principles.
Great post. I enjoyed reading it. I agree with basically everything you said. Your sentiments are appreciated by me, and I look forward to receiving your list . You've made me wanna go buy gigantic dice (a bunch of them) for my orks!
Again, I'm on the side of those who say "computers rolling dice is probably a bad idea". I'd like to offer one extension though that I haven't considered before, and maybe someone will have some feedback.
If a game (maybe 40k or whatever, just some game) used some sort of computerized randomization, suddenly the whole world of statistics is open to us in a way that it isn't with any sort of dice.
Most people have some idea of what a standard normal distribution is, right? Roughly 65 percent of the mass of the distribution is within a standard deviation of the mean (0) .. et cetera....
Imagine being able to write a stat line for a gun with a range of 48", AP 4 and the strength being a random draw from a normal distribution centered around 6. Most of the time, the strength will be something like 4-7, rarely it'll be strength 9, also rarely it'll be 3, even more rarely it'll be 10, and almost never (but still a nonzero probability) it'll be strength 3000.
We could truncate the distribution if we wanted it to stay above or below some value. We could use a poisson or negative binomial distribution... we could use a mixture of a gamma and a poisson, we could use.... (literally an infinite number of distributions.... )
We could randomize ranges, strengths, hits (what if instead of ballistic skill we have a variance parameter in a normal distribution! or We have the lambda parameter in the poisson! )
This all may be meaningless to people who don't care about statistics or math, but to me, this would be a new kind of exciting game, providing math geeks a new way to imagine the battlefield.
I mean, think about a real world infantry person firing a mortar. This person is running calculations (based on calculus) to determine the arc of the shot, their skill in making these computations and using their machinery determine the probability of their shot landing within a specific area, and the risk of wind interfering.. et cetera... What's going on here is a very complex dance between calculus, statistics, the human, nature.. et cetera.
Let me be super clear, i'm not saying we should re-write the rules of 40k so that us math geeks always win.... I'm just trying to describe a new kind of game... one that comes with a piece of software designed to determine outcomes... based on carefully calculated statistics...
(oh, that makes me think about issues of balance... given this system I think someone could *perfectly* mathematically balance one codex/gun vs another... lol... wow.. what a possibility)
I'd love any feedback / thoughts people might have about this sort of thing. I know math is not for anyone, but, if anyone else thinks this is a neat idea, i'd like to hear why... and if it doesnt sound fun a at all.. i'd like to know why too!