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Dirinel
08-06-2012, 13:37
Since I've started playing 40K there's been one thing that really annoys me and keeps being very time-consuming in almost every single game I have. For silly that it may sound, it is Dice Rolling.

I know it's a miniature game, and I know it is from Games Workshop (only D6s), so the game in itself comes with the assumption that every gamer accepts the dice rolling component. Still, I can't find peace, because of the typical rolling sequence required, which pretty much always goes like this:

1. calculation of the desired result to hit
2. roll lots of dices
3. remove lots of dices
4. calculation to wound
5. roll lots of dices
6. remove lots of dices
7. wait for someone to allocate
8. calculate saves
9. roll lots of dices
10. remove lots of dices
11. remove a couple of wounds/models (hopefully, most of the times).

Sequence is different depending on the situation, but more or less it is the one I described.
Reason of my concern is that, in the end, all this calculation/rolling looks like a very complex and long sequence to make up complex statistics based on a D6.

Doing all of this calculation and other is usually much faster when one becomes more experienced, but still it is a very bad way to cause errors, takes a lot of time, and on top of it all, it takes away a lot of concentration that I could otherwise use to think to the game or to talk nonsense to my friends.

In the last game I had I calculated beforehand some probabilities to see if the Fire Warriors are as bad as everyone says. While doing it I noticed that, in the end, the calculation was pretty straightforward, and in a moment all of my army had a chance to cause a wound assigned to the most common troops in my opponent's list.
Every shot simply had a chance from 1 to 100% to cause a wound or a penetrating/glancing hit, and it would have been totally easy and quick if it was possible to have just one roll of a D100 that takes into account all the stuff that was calculated beforehand and simply say "shot wounds" or "shot doesn't wound" without going through all the "it hits! it wounds! it's saved." process.

To make the long story short I was really hoping that someone else had the same idea, and maybe managed to find a way to play quicker, more relaxed, and less dice-intensive.
I know that it's a very old habit, and I seriously think that this type of dice rolling is a lot of fun with skirmish games. I don't feel quite the same with warhammer games though.

ChaplainCharlie
08-06-2012, 14:26
I once or twice entertained the thought of "Statistihammer 40 000" where we would calculate the statistics of every unit causing a certain amount of damage to the other unit and then just play a game in which every squad performed according to statistical averages every time. Needless to say, that was a very dull game.

The problem, if one wants to say it like that, is that 40k and GW in general lack the complexity of anything beyond D6. With a D6, the probability of things NOT happening like you want them to is very small. The more sides you add to a dice, the more variety. For example, hitting on 2+ or saving on a 2+ is immensely better than hitting/saving on 3+, because you increase the amount of failure probabilities by 100% (ie. from failing on 1s to failing on 1s and 2s). This makes for strikingly difficult balancing, because BS5 and 2+ saves are hugely better than BS4 and 3+ saves, for example. If we used a, say, D20 or something, we could have more balanced and interesting units that have nuance differences rather than either "good, poor or ****-poor" units with stats requiring either 2+/3+, 4+ or 5+ to do anything. The statistical gaps between these are huge. If we had dice with more sides, we could make it to a more flowing type of change so that you could have Pathfinders being better than Marines, but Marines better than Aspect warriors who are better than Guardians who outshoot Firewarriors that are better than Guardsmen who hit better than Gaunts and finally Orks who can't hit a barn from the inside. At the current, that is not possible, because the D6 only allows for 4 types of variety: almost never misses, almost always hits, hits half the time and almost never hits. (I ignored BS1 and 6s to hit because that is not common with any squad and even basic CC never requires better than 5s to hit)

Hence, we could actually use with MORE complexity. If you find the current D6-driven gameplay to be too complex, then it is mostly your own personal grievance. Besides, it is much more entertaining to watch the dice rolls in first to hit, then to wound and then to save, whilst imagining the shots/blows hitting their targets, then starting to burrow into armor only to be stopped just before punching bloody holes through whatever it was you were aiming to hurt.

sycopat
08-06-2012, 14:45
But 'it hit's. it wounds, it's saved' is so much more exciting than a single roll system! There's the budding of hope/despair as you see the hits, the tension building as the wounds are rolled and the joy as the wounds pass the armour saves! It also involves the other player, making each player turn a(little) bit more involving than just waiting 20-30 minutes and picking up the casualties.

Also, rolling lot's of dice actually helps make the results consistent. The more dice you roll the more likely you are to always get 'average' results overall. I.e. Rolling a large number of hits can be cancelled out by rolling a lower number of wounds or the opponent making a good number of saves. There have been many times I've seen a way above average number of wounds be stopped because the dice decided to roll more saves than normal, meaning I or my opponent only take the average number of wounds(and vice versa).

Nurgling Chieftain
08-06-2012, 14:51
An automated dice-rolling App is entirely possible, but I don't think it would save you any time, as you'd have to input everything it needs to know about the firer/attacker and the target each time.


To make the long story short I was really hoping that someone else had the same idea, and maybe managed to find a way to play quicker, more relaxed, and less dice-intensive.There's this game called "Dawn of War"...

hobojebus
08-06-2012, 15:12
Get a smartphone buy an app, problem solved!

Grocklock
08-06-2012, 15:47
you see lord of the rings dosent have armour saves the save is included in the defence roll, so you roll to hit and then too wound, nothing for the opponent to do but remove models. Not my idea of fun.
the stages fo rolling dice look like alot on paper but is really quit quick, yes working out the percentages will be quick but its on one dice. Im a fan of alot of dice, thats why i play orks.

Chapters Unwritten
08-06-2012, 16:13
The game has moved toward "MOAR DICE" over the course of 5th ed. The stats don't have a huge amount of variation between them so the best way to differentiate for GW is to add more layers of rolling. The standard roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save bit is pretty intuitive once you realize the pattern on the charts (the to-wound chart is the tricky one for most people I've met). There is a pattern to all the charts but it is just simpler to make the chart than make a rule that says "For each point of attack strength above the models toughness you need to roll one less" etc.

The problem, I think, is that the game has added a lot of times you need to roll dice on top of those. Difficult terrain, roll some dice. Dangerous terrain, roll one per model. Vehicle explodes, roll to wound models inside and roll to wound models outside, along w/ appropriate saves. And the biggest offender, TLOS and cover saves; many times when you wouldn't even be able to shoot in 4th, you can now shoot in 5th; this leads to EVERY UNIT getting EVERY SHOT it can output, EVERY TURN - along with associated to-wound and saving throws.

I like TLOS but I don't like the way cover saves are used to do basically the same job a -1 to hit for obscured targets would. This was probably done to make sure you still feel powerful, but it's unfortunate; introducing a slight modifier would've been an interesting way to balance different comparable units.

Dirinel
08-06-2012, 18:13
Well, as I said in the last paragraph, "this type of dice rolling is a lot of fun with skirmish games".
To be more precise, I have experience with Mordheim and Necromunda, where it is possible to isolate each and every single shot, and each and every of them is important. Lots of time we ended a game remembering "that single blow that took my hero out" and other similar and equally epic moments.

My problem with 40K arises from the much larger amount of hits. Of course, my opinion is by no mean law, and 99% of the gamers can appreciate the sheer amount of dices rolled without hearing a single complaint from me. It's just a consideration of my own that, as it is right now, the game may be involving more dices than actually needed.

The consistency of the results pointed out by sycopat is of course true and required, but that's simply because the D6 has a very low variance of results and values, as pointed out by ChaplainCharlie.
Instead of rolling four layers of D6 it could be possible to roll less layers of more sided dices. This would not change at all the actual number of dices rolled, but only the number of times they are rolled. A bit quicker, a bit easier, and, depending on personal taste, retaining the tension.

Scaryscarymushroom
08-06-2012, 18:35
You might find this interesting. I got it from another thread that started about a year ago.



WARNING: This variation is only for people who are not afraid of numbers. If either player is not VERY comfortable with probability and statistics, this will NOT be fun. It is complex and HIGHLY tactical, requiring many numbers to be tracked and extreme amounts of planning and forethought, due to the way the numbers are assigned. I'm only posting it here due to a request to do so. Before you ask, yes I know other Diceless variants have been posted, but I feel that they change the game too much. This was meant to be 40k implicitly, you just don't happen to roll dice

So, a friend and I were wondering: How could we play this game that is based so highly on dice in such a way as to negate as much in the way of chance as possible? Then I said the fateful line: "In order to do that, we'd need to get rid of the dice". Well, a very long discussion popped out of that, and we finally came to a very rough set of rules that I have since polished and tested in a couple of games. Both of us are long-time players, both very comfortable with mathematics (thus the chance-reduction discussion), and both had good programmable calculators (it helps. A lot). The game ended up being VERY tactical and fun, since nobody could claim that the result was just because of the dice: there were none to interfere.

Here's the deal: Leave your dice in the box except for a small handful, used as tracking assistants. At no time will they be rolled. The only chance that will ever occur is the very first time you and a given opponent play, and that will be a coin flip to determine who makes the first "choice". The game style now runs on average results. If you fire 24 shots at BS3, then you don't roll anything; 12 are hits. If those shots were S4 against T4, then 6 will wound. If the target has a 3+ save, they will fail 2 of them. Obviously the numbers will not work out so cleanly in most cases, thus the calculators and math-capable players. I'll get to it in a moment.

Throughout the game, whenever any situation comes up when you have more than one possible outcome tied for highest probability, one player chooses the result instead (in this document, it will be represented by the word "Choice"). In the games I've played, we set a tolerance of 10% in either direction as "tied" (thus, anywhere from 40-60%). You need not do so (and if you do it need not be this precise percentage), we just thought it more fair than a 51% chance going off every time and it turned out to be fun. The player making the choice alternates. With that in mind here are...

THE RULES

Setup: Players do not roll for setup. The winner of the coinflip makes the first decision (in this case, game type). If this is not your first game of the type against that player, then you alternate who makes the first decision. Choices for game type, deployment, number of objectives, and who plays first proceed. There is no stealing initiative.

Phases: Movement is conducted as normal. Difficult terrain will result in a 4" movement for normal troops, 5" for anything that has Move Through Cover. Shooting is conducted as detailed, with any results below the threshold discarded and any above the threshold upgraded to a success. All whole numbers are kept, this only happens to fractions of successes (Example: Four potential wounds are scored on a model with a 3+ save, it will take one since the average is 1.33). Anything within the threshold range is the subject of a Choice. Assault is the same way. Please note that leadership rolls will always come to 7 unless modified in some way, which means that it becomes MUCH harder to break opponents.

Probability Grouping: If the situation arises where several rolls with the same probability and for the same reason come back to back (say, Tank Shocking a single group at Ld7 with 3 tanks in a row), then any player can call for them to be grouped as one block of rolls, calculated together. In the example presented, any individual attempt would fail... but the group of attempts comes to a guaranteed success. Another example would be several small units firing into one or putting several units of antitank fire into one victim get high enough probability to kill a tank without Choice.

Many Possible Outcomes: There are situations that turn on the result of a since die rolled. Examples would include Vehicle Damage rolls or a weapon that fires d6 times. When they cannot be Probability Grouped, they are resolved by the player who has the Choice deciding what number it comes up as. The catch is that the number becomes unavailable until all 6 have been chosen this way. (Example: Player A hits with a railgun shell into a Land raider. It's his choice, so he chooses a 5 for the damage roll, a Penetrating Hit. His enemy now has the choice, and picks a 1 for the damage result, stunning the vehicle. Neither 5 nor 1 can be chosen this way again until 2, 3, 4, and 6 have been). Notably, the roll for Game End falls under this category.

Scatter Rolls: This is a specific exception to the way previous rules worked, since I wanted it to stay in the game. The Scatter Die is replaced by a Many Possible Outcomes Choice, with a 5 or 6 being on-target. If the attack scatters, then the direction of it is subject to Choice, and will always scatter exactly the average distance (7-BS inches normally)

That's all there is to it. Everything not mentioned runs precisely as the rulebooks say they should. I've played a couple of games under these rules, and haven't found any glaring holes. We calculated by simple multiplication of fractions (like the example I gave at the beginning) for speed ease of use, if you want to get into massive blocks of mathhammer you can (just keep in mind that it will slow the game down dramatically, and both players should be using the same method of probability). Feel free to post if you have a thought you'd like to share or if you can think of something I missed. Before anyone says it, yes this variant GREATLY changes the values and "best arrangements" of several units. Also, sequencing attacks becomes much more important, since forcing important Choices to come up as yours can make or break a battle plan.

Lord Damocles
08-06-2012, 19:41
I doubt very much that the majority of players could run the 1-100% calculation and then roll, more quickly than they could roll the multiple batches of dice required.

Dirinel
08-06-2012, 20:07
The idea of sticking to the expected results without rolling dices, even if very elegant, may be a bit too arid for a game. I don't think that me or my friends would like that. But thanks for the tip!

The probability calculation would, of course, not be immediate during a game, but if done beforehand, it's much faster. Not to mention the fact that it is always the same as long as the same type of units are involved, like in a campaign.
For example, in a campaign involving space marine and eldars, as Space Marine player I can be pretty sure that all the opposing infantry has toughtness 3. Also, I know that most of my models are BS 4.
So, when I'm shooting with a standard bolter fire (S 4), I hit on 3+ (67%) and wound on 3+(67%). 44% overall.
Or, on a D12, I hit and wound on a 8+.
Or, on a D20, I hit and wound on a 12+.
Saves are mantained (they are very exciting, plain and true).
Since the vast majority of the situations fall into this category, or similar to them, with just a handful of this conversions most of the to-hit-to-wound rolls can be merged into one.
Good? Bad? Weird?

Egaeus
08-06-2012, 21:12
Good? Bad? Weird?

Just different would be my opinion.

I've considered the "pure statistical" aprroach as well and agree that it's pretty static.

I suppose the biggest issue I've always had with 40K (I started playing just after 3rd edition was released) was that while it felt like the designers were making it a larger "army level" game they are still attempting to maintain the skirmish level idea that each individual model is important. And while they want you to use more and more models the idea that you're usually rolling multiple dice for each one makes the game unwieldy. Sure there's some fun in those assaults where you get to roll 40+ dice for attacks but when they end up with only about 8 actual wounds before saves (YMMV ;)) you sometimes wonder what was the point.

One methods might be created around having a "firepower" for the unit (based around the number of models in the unit & shots, strength, and AP of weapons) compared to some "defense" of the target (based again around numbers in the unit and toughness, may or may not want to include saves) and then a few d6s rolled (to create a curve) to determine the results. Although I think this would feel like it was oversimplifying things as well, and the fewer die you are rolling the more you are at the mercy of those outlier rolls...although with many of the rolls one makes in the normal game (special/heavy weapons, individual model saves, etc.) it might not present such a problem.

Oppressor
08-06-2012, 21:23
Use a free dicerolling program on your phone/tablet?

Scaryscarymushroom
08-06-2012, 22:44
Use a free dicerolling program on your phone/tablet?

I think it's the 11 step process here that's the problem. Virtual dice won't help that because it's just as redundant.

Oppressor
08-06-2012, 23:12
I think it's the 11 step process here that's the problem. Virtual dice won't help that because it's just as redundant.

It still cuts down on time spent physically hunting and pecking dice, making sure you only pick up misses or fails, and then having to wrangle them all up and do it all over again. Heck, some programs and websites will even only show desired results (as in rolls above a 4 for instance) if you want. I do admit I'm simply comming from a time expenditure perspective, I have no issue with the process.

AlphariusOmegon20
09-06-2012, 01:33
1. calculation of the desired result to hit
2. roll lots of dices
3. remove lots of dices
4. calculation to wound
5. roll lots of dices
6. remove lots of dices
7. wait for someone to allocate
8. calculate saves
9. roll lots of dices
10. remove lots of dices
11. remove a couple of wounds/models (hopefully, most of the times).



Between 2 opponents that know the to hit and to wound charts well, that whole sequence takes about 2 minutes from start to end, for both sides. 2 minutes is not that long. Even WFB, which uses far more dice than 40K, it's still about that same time to perform all those steps, albet only for one side.

Tarian
09-06-2012, 01:56
Here I thought this was going to be a thread about units throwing bricks at dice at each other. (Most I've done for one unit is 150 for FRSR) More on topic then, I believe that the current system is fine. And in my opinion, 40K uses more dice than Fantasy, though 8th has narrowed the gap. (6th Ed Fantasy had very few dice relatively speaking!)

Carlosophy
09-06-2012, 10:22
Your 'steps' is a little long-winded because you don't really work out the desired to hit roll or the desired to wound roll do you? I thought most players would just know these things off the top of their heads. I instinctively know BS4 is a 3+ to hit because I remember; I don't work it out. You just declare everything before rolling:

10x Tacticals w/Heavy Bolter and Plasma firing at Fire Warriors:

1. You pick up 16 Red D6 for the Bolters, 3 green D6 for the HB and 2 White D6 for the PG
2. You roll all the D6 at once, knowing full well they all need a 3+
3. You discard the missed and roll the rest again, declaring 3+ on the Red, 2+ on the others
4. Your opponent picks up the wounding dice and removes models the plasma and HB wounds (if any) were allocated to due to no save, and then rolls all the wounding Red D6, with any less than a 4+ being removed as casualties.

marv335
09-06-2012, 13:53
The problem with the pure statistical method is that you don't always make average rolls.
That is one of the main fun points of 40k.
No one remembers their game when the result was dead on the average, but that time five TH/SS terminators all rolled a 1 for their save when the gretchin assaulted them? Everyone remembers that.
Take that away and you ruin the game.

Thoth62
09-06-2012, 16:16
The problem with the pure statistical method is that you don't always make average rolls.
That is one of the main fun points of 40k.
No one remembers their game when the result was dead on the average, but that time five TH/SS terminators all rolled a 1 for their save when the gretchin assaulted them? Everyone remembers that.
Take that away and you ruin the game.

Quoted for truth. If you start taking out the dice rolls and using statistics to determine outcomes, the game becomes formulaic and boring. Don't get me wrong, I love math. I'm an engineer. But I get enough formulas and statistics at work, I don't need to take it into the game. As Marv says, some of the best and most exciting parts of the game are when things happen that are totally unexpected. I would have no interest in warhammer if the unexpected didn't happen. It's what makes the game fun. It forces you to make decisions you wouldn't have otherwise, and it gives you things to talk about with your buddies over a brew afterwards.

That's the kind of game I want to play. Bring on the dice!

ChaplainCharlie
09-06-2012, 16:19
Besides, involve your co-player! Throw dices 3 or so at a time and have the other guy pick away the hits or misses. He then hands you the hits once you're done and repeat. Quicker and faster. AND involves the other player, so it's less boring for them!

Egaeus
09-06-2012, 18:36
The problem with the pure statistical method is that you don't always make average rolls.
That is one of the main fun points of 40k.
No one remembers their game when the result was dead on the average, but that time five TH/SS terminators all rolled a 1 for their save when the gretchin assaulted them? Everyone remembers that.
Take that away and you ruin the game.

If you're using fair dice (although even this issue has been debated before) then overall your results should be about average. A big part of it is the distribution of those rolls. So, to use your example if those Terminators are throwing a bunch of dice for attacks (let's say they need a 3+ to hit) then you tend to overlook the actual distribution of rolls...all those 6s you roll in those groups are "just" hits, they aren't special...nor, really, are the misses.

But when you've got the sarge in the group who has to take his save on his own and needs anything but a 1 and fails...that isn't necessarily a statistical aberration, it's just bad timing on the dice. :p

So I'm not disagreeing that it's the vagaries of the dice that do make the game exciting and interesting, just with your premise that people don't roll "average".

Gorbad Ironclaw
10-06-2012, 07:53
You do end up rolling a lot of dice for what can often be rather little effect. 40k isn't the most streamlined/efficient game ever, its showing it's routes as a skirmish game that was transformed into a battle game. Unfortuantly the mechanics of it was never really updated to go with the new style of play, hence the possibility of rolling hundreds of dice for a single combat. The first time it's fun, the second time you are rolling batches of 50+ dice it starts getting a little tedious.