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Dice Games as Mechanics-Sources for Board Games

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Daggaz
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I am working on a board game that uses dice to resolve combat, and the knee-jerk reaction is to just go with the standard solutions for those core mechanics. This is not necessarily a bad thing; those solutions exist because they are tried and true, and they are also immediately familiar to a large number of people in your player-base.

But....

One of the reasons I am making a game (other than it is fun) is to implement solutions to problems that havent been solved in the standard formats, or which are seemingly inherent to those formats. And to simply try new things.

To this end, I started looking at Danish dice-games. There are many variations, most of which have a very long tradition from the generations of Danish sailors, who shared and evolved games with sailors from around the world. Today, these games are popular among young people, they are played mostly in bars, and they often revolve around hiding information and lying about, and drinking if you are discovered. You can quickly see how the games are actually gambler designs, now evolved more into social drinking games, though no doubt the sailors of old played them often in bars, as well.

The problem I am currently looking at, is how to boost a static situation without overpowering the players or introducing hard to remember or overly complicated mechanics. For example, lets say that we are using d6's (to keep the game easily marketable), and the player or the enemy needs to roll a 6 to score a hit.

Obviously you can include power-ups, so a 5 or even a 4 is a hit, but before the players start moving up the power-scale, you have the problem that a small battle between 2 or 3 units can get annoyingly long. Some battles are resolved in the first round, but others can draw out for great lengths of time as the players try, and fail, to roll an elusive 6.

That got me thinking about the various "win" mechanisms in danish dice. One popular method is the 'ladder'. The player rolls a handful of dice and needs to hit preferably a 6 on each one (sure looks like a lot of war games already). However, if the player rolls a 6 and a 5, then the 5 counts, too. If they roll a 6, 5, and 4, the 4 counts as well, and so on. Some ladder games allow for doubling or wild-card dice or other variant mechanisms, so there is a lot of room to play around.

I am going to try to incorporate ladders into my game. To avoid power-creep, I can limit them to only helping low-power units, simply by stating that a ladder must start with a 6, even if the unit can hit on a 5 or lower. Maybe this will get too complicated, especially with different kinds of units in each battle, or maybe there is a simple method that works.

Are there other dice games, where you have seen solutions or openings to new mechanisms to use in board games? Lets get some ideas on the board.

X3M
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You can try out new dice

You can try out new dice mechanics here:
http://anydice.com/

Daggaz
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Thanks, but that is for

Thanks, but that is for calculating probabilities. I am more interested in the different rules systems used to control the dice. The easy part is to test out probability distributions, it's a lot harder to draw up the mechanics that produce those distributions.

X3M
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There should be a topic about

There should be a topic about this on this forum. After using the search option. It seems I don't know the search criteria to get to that topic. (BHFuturist?)

But all the same topics regarding this, start the same. The basics. I think, you are looking for something advanced. Which in general, is a combination of the basics.

Things you can do with dice:
-Anything mathematically.
-Comparing to a table of reference. Effects or choices.
-Discarding certain dice.
-Allowing to choose certain dice.
-Re-rolling dice.

But that is very summarized. I am sure there are bigger lists out there.

Daggaz
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Ive read most of the forums

Ive read most of the forums through before I started posting here, don't recall seeing a thread like this but it's very possible I just missed it.

I asked about dice games specifically, rather than a generalized discussion about what you can do with dice, because existing games have undergone evolutionary testing, and because they exist so there is a ready body of knowledge out there as to these solution sets.

But if you have some dice tricks you have played with (mathematically or physically), that you know give you some fun or useful behavior, feel free to add to the discussion.

X3M
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Math

The only thing that was relatively new was the following:
http://www.bgdf.com/forum/game-creation/mechanics/reducing-number-dice
I asked too if others knew other ways for dice. That would make things easier.

Sometimes I work backwards.
What are the chances that I want to apply? Because, that is what I seek. Then I design the dice mechanic around it.

A new inovative way isn't really there. Because you want to keep things as simple as possible for players.

***

There is one more thing that I just thought of.
Rolling dice as attacker, and the enemy as defender.
Add up the numbers for both. And you have attacker vs defender.
Now choose the lowest amount, and the defender looses that much.
This means that having a higher and higher amount of dice as attacker is good. But not for the defender.

You can work 2 ways with this.
One way is a mechanic that tells you that the defender has to add dice to its roll. Which is bad for the defender.
A weapon with overkill in dice, will not benefit any more.

It is counter intuitive to 99,9% of the games out there. And while I am not using it as a dice roll. I am simply using it as a rule instead. But it sure can be used as dice rolls.

I am not sure, but rolling for attacker AND defender, might give lower numbers. Then when you only roll the lowest amount of dice.

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