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Dice as pieces, a good idea?

10 replies [Last post]
Nix_'s picture
Joined: 09/23/2009

I've created a couple of dice fest games where massive amounts of dice are used during the battle mechanic, but in the process I've thought of what may be a much better use for lots of dice.

What if dice were playing pieces? There must be so many different possibilities; anything from a war game to a resource production game. For example a players die value could denote how far the die could move, or the attack strength of the die, and because its a die a turn could be used to re-roll it and hope for a better value. What do you think could be a use for this?

simons's picture
Joined: 12/28/2008
I don't think I've ever

I don't think I've ever specifically tried that, although will often used them as counters, terrain, etc. The one worry I have about dice as playing pieces is that they tend to get mistaken for dice (instead of pieces). This results in, "Wait, what happened to my commander? Oh, when I was aiming my rocket I threw him across the board."

If you can somehow get around that, it seems like there is real potential there.

Joined: 09/20/2009
Dice as a piece

I have two specific experiences with dice as pieces, one in which dice were used to keep track of various resources which was successful, and another game where having dice stand in was very confusing. People seem to expect to roll dice regularly, and if they are used to keep track of information this is an issue. Just my thoughts.

Joined: 07/08/2009
I could certainly . . .

. . . see dice being used as counters in a game. That's a common use for them in Magic Cards.

I thought about using them as resources in a game, but it seems kind of awkward. If I end up with five different resources, for up to four players, that can be in multiple places at once, the dice add up pretty quickly (60 dice is probably as expensive as a pile of wooden cubes, or a few pages of chipboard counters.)

If the game involved rolling dice, especially a lot of dice . . . I'd think that was probably to much to ask of the average person.


Joined: 02/16/2010

My friend, magic should be the furthest from your mind.
What I would seek if I were you is the grail. Dice have been used for a host of things, the least of which is as a squirrel or elf counter.
Dice have been warriors in Dice Wars in a variety of incarnations. Re-skinned and covered in rules and stats as their own little people. Even retooling them as skulls, shields, trees, monkeys and dang near anything else you can think of .
My point is that the answer you seek is the most obvious. They wouldn’t have been used so many times in so many ways if they weren’t a GREAT idea. The only real issue now is the same issue we all struggle with, from cards to cardboard.
“How do I make it mine.”


Nix_'s picture
Joined: 09/23/2009
Dice Wars

I checked out dice wars (I didn't know such a thing existed). I find it interesting that the board game concept surfaced as an online game. The way it implemented using dice as pieces has to be one of the simplest, but I'm certain that there are other great ways to pull it off.

slam's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I make abstract games with

I make abstract games with the dice as pieces concept. The number are the movement ability, and they are rerolled when they encounter other pieces.

Warp 6

Joined: 02/25/2010

Chase is a great example of an abstract game using dice as pieces.

Joined: 11/24/2009
Physically challenging

I have been working on a game where the dice are pieces. The biggest problem I see is actually acctidentally knocking over or dropping the dice while picking them up and moving them from one area to another and not remembering which side was up. This happens when picking up a clutch of them. I would recommend using dice with non-rounded corners, to help cut down on this.


Joined: 11/07/2009

Kingsburg actually uses dice as a resources. You roll the dice, and then place them on the board based on summed value onto advisors that grant you different things. Obviously the higher the value, the better the reward.

Joined: 04/10/2009
I created a game that used

I created a game that used the dice as peices as well as hp. It was a cross between chess and risk

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