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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Variants

Subject: Modified die rss

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Skander S
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I ordered some 'balanced' dice, with results of 2/3/3/4/4/5, which are meant to make random results in games a little less extreme. Do you think they would work well for TS? I mean having them as an option (not mandatory, in case you need that 1-in-6 chance of knocking out 1 inf in Iraq with CIA, or 1 in South Africa etc.), for coups and realignments (obv. not war cards/space race). Do you think this would work well for TS?
 
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Jay Sachs
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We've seen suggestions like this before. And I've always (silently) thought, in my curmudgeony mind, "no way". TS is right the way it is, with all the sharp edges and "gotchas". If you sandpaper those off, you have something else. More initially palatable, but far less satisfying.

I realize though that this is coming from looking back (and hopefully forward) over 75 games. If I were looking at TS as simply just another game to sample 2x a year, and/or with newb opponents who will likely play just the once (or twice), I think the calculus would change. For those experiences, maybe it's not best to have a game which punches you in the gut. So the idea of a choice of "balanced" vs "non" seems like it might fit the latter case. I actually don't think it will ruin anything.

However, I have and continue to believe that the general focus on the dice as "what causes pain in TS" is misguided. You see the die rolls more visibly as the fists causing you pain, but the cards you're dealt are the things that will be slipping the dirk in your back, or slowly poisoning you.
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Dimitris Paraskevopoulos
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jaysachs wrote:

However, I have and continue to believe that the general focus on the dice as "what causes pain in TS" is misguided. You see the die rolls more visibly as the fists causing you pain, but the cards you're dealt are the things that will be slipping the dirk in your back, or slowly poisoning you.

I totally agree. Especially the distribution of the mid-war good neutral events affects the game much more than the dice rolls.
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Skander S
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Yeah I know, and I also have dozens of games played and don't mind the normal dice that much anymore, but it's just that I'm trying to think about if a variant with 'balanced' dice would work or if it changes the tactical possibilities of the game too much. Can't really think of anything specific so might just have to give it a try. It also wouldn't be necessarily about reducing overall unpredictability but more about somewhat reducing output randomness (a die roll which directly determines a result) while keeping the input randomness which gives you new challenging decisions each game (cards drawn).
 
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Mike Paladin
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RadiantRabbit wrote:
I ordered some 'balanced' dice, with results of 2/3/3/4/4/5, which are meant to make random results in games a little less extreme. Do you think they would work well for TS? I mean having them as an option (not mandatory, in case you need that 1-in-6 chance of knocking out 1 inf in Iraq with CIA, or 1 in South Africa etc.), for coups and realignments (obv. not war cards/space race). Do you think this would work well for TS?

Where did you get those dice and have you validated the accuracy of the claim to provide a more even distribution?

 
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Tim P.
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Thousand Oaks
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A d6 with the distribution 2/3/3/4/4/5 is also known as an average dice.

The use of such a dice will swing the results. I agree that it is not required for TS.

Btw, I suggested the use of average dice to replace standard d6 as a house rule in the game Wings for the Baron (second edition). A normal d6 gave a much too wide range of results for the Bank Action in the game. The game developer agreed with the problem, but not with the solution. The next version of the game, when and if it is printed, will use the result of 3d6 roll.

Here is the important things to remember:
1) You can do what you want as an unofficial house rule.
2) Be clear to state it's a house rule when you play the game with someone new.
3) If it ain't broke don't fix it. House rules have unintended consequences.
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Seth Homa
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I'm sorely tempted to get me one of these things after having rolled a "1" in 90% of my coup rolls this week. angry
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Jay Sachs
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So while we're entertaining variants: instead of permitting the choice of which die to use per die roll, the die to use is determined by:

1. if the China Card is face up, the choice belongs to the player who does NOT have the China card.
2. if the China Card is face down, the die in use must be the same as the previous roll.

I have not thought deeply (i.e. at all) how that might break things.
 
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Matthew McGeehin
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I would say this rule makes things a bit easier for the US, since the War cards are typically triggered against the US since A-I War and Korean are US required.
 
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Fred Shugars
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For our last 100 or so games, we've been using this variant: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/174882/initiative-card

It's a card that allows the holder of the card an opportunity for one re-roll (must use the re-roll). After use, the card passes to the opponent, where they have an opportunity on the next turn.
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Jay Sachs
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fredact wrote:
For our last 100 or so games, we've been using this variant: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/174882/initiative-card

It's a card that allows the holder of the card an opportunity for one re-roll (must use the re-roll). After use, the card passes to the opponent, where they have an opportunity on the next turn.

I love that mechanism in Combat Commander. I'd definitely be open to trying in a TS game.
 
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