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Player Property: Using a variation for d6

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X3M
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What if
To allow players to choose the output of their damage dice.

Either at the start of the game, for the entire game. Or right before a battle starts.

I think it is a neat idea.
But counterarguments are welcome.

If I am to implement this, the CRT dice that I use will have to gain an upgrade.
Besides of the 1,2,3,4,5,6. There are also number of hits.
The default game uses 0,1,1,2,3,3 for hits. A total of 10, or 1.666 as average.

Other options are for example:
022222
000055
00000-10 or 00000X
112222
etc.
All having an average of 1.666 and a total of 10 points distributed on the 6 sides.

In fact, there are 35 different options.

The dice certainly have room for 2 more figures on each side.
Thus a total of 4 numbers per side.
1 for the normal numbers. And 3 coloured ones for 1 of the 3 options.
That is, if different colours are possible per side.
black die, white normal numbers, red/blue/green for the options. With the game having 2 or 3 players in most situations. I think, 3 options is a good number. "I think"

I am however, looking for the right options. I made a big table of calculations in excel. That covers the standard deviations for each possibility. Up to 9 dice rolls of the same damage output.
The SD is divided by the average. Giving me the SD in % compared to the average.

I discovered some weird results.
I thought that the %SD development form 1 to 9 dice would provide me leverage on choosing. But it just so happens that no matter which die I use. The SD of 9 is always 1/3 than that %SD of 1.
The true differences are that some start with a %SD, way higher then others.

Some dice have the exact same SD and thus %SD, while their damage output can differ greatly by chance.

I don't know how to continue to close in on the final choices.

Maybe some advice on what other figures I could look at.

X3M
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I could post a list of the 35

I could post a list of the 35 possibilities.
But I am sure you can imagine what is possible.

Pondering about what I would like to use.

But it has gone back to the logical reasoning. When does a roll, kill?

A clean shot of 5 works best on most opponents.

A combination that reaches 5 also works good.
Second level: 1+4 and 2+3.
Third level: 1+1+3, 1+2+2.
There is a fourth and fifth level. But those have a very low %SD. That includes dice that combine the second and third level. Not only that, but certainty for 1 kill, removes the chance on a second.

A clean shot of 10, works best when you are running away, and want a smaller chance, but are trying to snipe 2 opponent during the run. With 16,7%, this is very reasonable.

Any shot that does 6, 7, 8 or 9 hits, are either overkill or insufficient during combat. There is healing nowadays. Not only that, but gaps in hits are created with multiple dice.

Gaps in the combination rolls are worse, when the gap is exactly 5.
eg. 000028 will never make 5 hits. It does however with 10. But all in between are overkill or insufficient.
000046 is exactly the same. And 000226 is even worse.

But if you think that is bad. 111115 is a disaster. While with 5 dice, you have a certain kill. If one of those dice roll a 5. The kill will remain just 1.
In fact, the gaps move along the axis when adding dice. 1 die or 5 dice make a kill. 5 dice will have multiple occasions with overkill, that is also insufficient for the next target.
With 2 or 6 dice, the same story applies. But then everything shifts up 1 hit. Which even means, more inappropriate gaps.

***

With 35 choices. I need to think of a way. To get myself a good overview of how much overkill and inefficiency there is.

FrankM
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35 is too many

How are you calculating the standard deviation? SD is defined as the absolute value of the expected deviation from the average. Since you have the entire distribution there is no need to generate random rolls: just use Excel's function to get the "sample" standard deviation of all six sides. The mean and SD of one roll will be 1.6666,SD and for N rolls 1.6666N, SD/sqrt(N). As N gets up into double-handfuls of dice, the SD won't really matter anymore.

Although it's more expensive, I think this system would need distinct dice for each option. But it should not include "bad" options at all. My intuition is that "bad" would include any option with no possibility of adding up to 5.

Multiple numbers per side could work if they are player options after the die is chosen. For example, a die might have a fairly even distribution and an extreme one representing a normal attack and a "haymaker" with the same weapon.

Generally, people are more tolerant of high variance in two situations: trying to get out of a hole (for example, a hockey team behind by one goal pulling their goalie in the final minutes) and when upside is available while downside is limited (for example, a stock option, or one disposable/wounded unit in the path of several attackers).

X3M
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Thank you FrankM for your response.

Now that you mention that formula for N rolls. Well, let's just say I wasted a lot of my own time :)
Didn't know that; thank you, and lesson learned.
Making a note of that one in my files.

I still can use the tables to see which dice do overkill or are inefficiënt. It is up to 9N, and can easily be expanded.

I find it interesting to see SD higher than the average roll. Some still have this, even with 5N. But it is only with those single shot dice. Which in their turn, don't really show a difference with other dice when going into eg. N36.

So, it will be a matter of taste for the players.

You have named a wonderfull example of why and when the "haymaker" is going to be used.
I guess the 000055 and 00000X are still both fighting for their right and are even valid choices to each other.
Haymakers are a form of balancing the weaker player too. :)
Could the same be true for the opposite?

I am thinking to have the normal die. One of the haymakers, probably the 000055 and then the absolute certain kill that starts with 1?????.

***

I have no experience with 16 mm dice. I got 12 mm with 2 numbers each side. I guess 4 is doable on 16 mm. But is more then 4 also possible, eg 6 on 16 mm?
I dislike the 19 mm dice.

X3M
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Discarding the gaps

I think you meant
SD*sqrt(N)
not
SD/sqrt(N).

And while the SD% is less and less compared to the whole. A part of my game depends on that one kill or not to kill.
With SD being 5 or more since units have 5 health, it really is a difference.

***

I don't have much time. But thought of 2 things:

One; the CRT dice
The CRT die will probably have 6 figures on each side, not 4. Meaning, I have room for 5 different dice.

I tested visibility on a blank 16 mm³ die. Having six 8's. The sticker was 14 mm², it is visible for me.

I like the colour blind to be able to make use of the dice as well.

A side looks like this:
2 columns, 3 rows.
The background "colour" rows from top to down are white, grey, black.

The numbers:
Top left is 123456 and black.
Top right is red.
Middle left is Yellow.
Middle right is Blue.
Down left is Green.
Down right is White. Which is probably going to have 00000X.

I need to test on other people though.

Two; first round of discards
First I am going to map out all the gap dice. Those that do not touch the 5 hits at all with 2d or more. Are out of the race. The exception on this is 00000X.

let-off studios
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Stepping Back A Moment

A few quick but worthwhile questions, maybe serving as contrary opinions. I do feel like I am challenging you on this.

- What is the connection to the theme of allowing the player to select attack dice/outcomes?
- Will you need to use dice at all? Have you thought of using chits or tokens in place of dice? I wonder if in the long run this may be a more affordable choice than depending on dice.
- Have you considered how much time will be added to the game if the player must select their dice outcomes? Will this be part of the setup time of the game, instead of during the game itself? Do you feel like this is a suitable addition to game length for it's worth?

Again, I don't feel like I know much about the usefulness of this mechanic, and these questions are mainly so I can have a better understanding of how they fit in to your game as a whole. Generally speaking, I don't recall many wargames that allow players to choose damage rolls (as opposed to types of weapons or even types of projectiles, for example) so I'm asking these to help wrap my head around it all.

X3M
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Legit questions

let-off studios wrote:
A few quick but worthwhile questions, maybe serving as contrary opinions. I do feel like I am challenging you on this.
I appreciate any comment on this.

let-off studios wrote:

- What is the connection to the theme of allowing the player to select attack dice/outcomes?

Errr. Well, the weapon theme as you put it is a separate accuracy roll.
But the situation theme could be: Steady/Chaotic/Tactical/Cautious/Normal/Last chance/Gambler???

It is kinda the same as having to choose between a rifle, machine gun or shotgun. That I had last year. Will a player take the gambe, play it normal, or play it safe?

And most "kill rolls" take 2 or 3 dice to do the job. Players pick their roll for the tactic or strategy that they are choosing.

Do you think that the theme should be more obvious?
Or should the die roll be linked to the action that a player chooses?

let-off studios wrote:

- Will you need to use dice at all? Have you thought of using chits or tokens in place of dice? I wonder if in the long run this may be a more affordable choice than depending on dice.

I don't understand this question. I think it is the viewpoint on the game?

I already use chits for the pieces. Then there is this white chit that can be written on with whiteboard markers. To keep track of health. But health is only tracked on the surviving pieces. From which, only 1 is added every battle.
Dice are for rolling only. And to keep the number of dice down. I made CRT dice already, 123456 alongside 011233.

let-off studios wrote:

- Have you considered how much time will be added to the game if the player must select their dice outcomes? Will this be part of the setup time of the game, instead of during the game itself? Do you feel like this is a suitable addition to game length for it's worth?
It would only be a choice before every action is taken. Or it will be a choice before the entire game.

I can imagine the downtime for this extra choice. And you are right, it would indeed not be worth it if the down time is to long.

If I limit it only to the start of the entire game. Then the downtime would be a one time only. But the choices should be less extreme as well. This to prevent imbalances.

In most cases, if there are only 2 options, it would be obvious what to choose. But in some cases, downtime would certainly be long. Play tests should help me out here, to see and decide on the final choice.

let-off studios wrote:

Again, I don't feel like I know much about the usefulness of this mechanic, and these questions are mainly so I can have a better understanding of how they fit in to your game as a whole. Generally speaking, I don't recall many wargames that allow players to choose damage rolls (as opposed to types of weapons or even types of projectiles, for example) so I'm asking these to help wrap my head around it all.

I knew it was new. And since it is a hobby game of a select group. Well, some complained about the "same roll".

That is why I like to experiment. We don't know yet if it is good. I am still researching it. Maybe we stick with only 3 choices, not 5.

We could pick from the 35 list. But we have become fond on the CRT dice that we already have. It would be a simple upgrade.

(((Types of weapons and types of projectiles, I have that too. But you need to pick the right unit for that at the start of the game, the pile of units is like a pile of MtG cards. And what you pick determines your play style, not much more.)))

I hope this made things a bit clearer.

Cheers, X3M

X3M
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CRT?

It has come to my attention that players dislike CRT dice in general.

Correct?

What are the reasons?

X3M
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A conclusion

let-off studios wrote:
A few quick but worthwhile questions, maybe serving as contrary opinions. I do feel like I am challenging you on this.

Again, I don't feel like I know much about the usefulness of this mechanic, and these questions are mainly so I can have a better understanding of how they fit in to your game as a whole. Generally speaking, I don't recall many wargames that allow players to choose damage rolls (as opposed to types of weapons or even types of projectiles, for example) so I'm asking these to help wrap my head around it all.

I think I have the exact answer now. To this question. Regarding my game.

In general, choosing the damage sequence only matters when 1 or 2 targets remain. Or a 'multiple targets with low health each'.
And the demand here is that all targets can possibly die by the dice.

There are 35 possibilities. Each have their pro and cons. And if only 5 are chosen, you get the situation that the choices are insufficient or overkill. It is rare for the player to have the most optimal choice on the dice.

In short. Whatever the choice might be on the dice. Players will not be using them much.
So, I will not use CRT for this.

***

At least, I have gotten more insight on what I could use as primary damage die. And I don't know how. But it seems that I have chosen the best damage distribution there is, for most battle's.
I could go into detail about the how and why. But I am happy with the result. And I am 100% sure now, that I have chosen the correct damage distribution as a basic.

***

Now it is up to me to start pondering about my Event Cards.
Should I add 34 new Event Cards? Each to accommodate another damage distribution?
No! That would be silly.
Perhaps just one Event Card that allows players to change the damage distribution?
Again No! That would be to confusing.
I think that I need to discard the whole alternate damage distribution.

***

There could still be need for the CRT to be expanded. The game has a Bonus rule for units that are outnumbered.
They have a 50% chance that they may roll 2 dice per projectile, instead of 1 die.
This is normally an extra die roll too. Just to determine 50%.
Perhaps, I can add 50% to the number of hits. But it would change the distribution, compared to the roll and re-roll.

X3M
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idk, mixed feelings about this

I am confused that it could become this simple.
Not only that, but the distribution feels sooo goood.

Quote:
http://anydice.com/program/c2a8

When I take a look at that (see link). I might as well, not even use CRT for the bonus rule.

So, with normal dice
123456

As a damage die, every number -2, and -1 counts as 0.
001234

As a damage die, while having bonus damage, every number -1.
012345

The difference with the situation of past 2 years;
which used
011233
We get that 3d yields 9 damage max.
2d with bonus, yields 12 damage max.

If re-rolling and CRT are removed:
We get that 3d yields 12 damage max.
2d with bonus, yields 10 damage max.

In the new situation:
+ a double kill is always possible.
+ SD is higher.
+ No re-rolling. -1 minute per battle.
+ CRT is not needed, no special dice. Roughly -50% costs.

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