Thursday, 3 September 2009

Good Dice - Bad Dice

Jan and I have just had one of those really annoying games when one side (Jan) always rolls really good dice, and the other (me) very low. I have just been reading about this on TMP, with extreme examples of what some players do when they "lose it". Well nothing very extreme happened, but it did spoil a very good wargame.

The photo above is from the game. You can see in the foreground my horse grenadiers have routed and are being rallied by Napoleon. They had received one artillery casualty, rolled a 1 on a D6 and routed. They are about to roll another 1 on a D6 to rally, continue to rout - and take Napoleon with them!!

But that was not the whole story. To their right you can see a gun with a casualty marker (green dice) and a yellow (Shaken) marker. In our rules counter battery fire requires a roll at least 9 with 2D6 for a hit. The Russian battery opposite had managed two hits in consecutive rounds.

Worse yet. On the left (very hard to see) is the second French battery. They have already had one hit in counter battery fire. In the next round they will receive another, roll a 2 on 1d6 for morale and rout, leaving two Shaken infantry brigades due to poor dice also.

All of this happened in just five rounds, and the Russians had received two infantry casualties.

So what to do when this happens. As these are all campaign games, the consequences are not just a spoiled wargame, it can also have a very bad effect on the whole campaign.

Fortunately Jan and I feel the same about these "freak results". Neither of us like to win a game just due to exceptionally good dice. Changing the rules is not really an option, because by the nature of the game a 6 is exceptional good and a 1 exceptional bad. This all adds to the fun of the game, and makes it less predictable. But when it happens too often.....

Well we stopped the game, as there would be no point in the French carrying on, and we will refight the game tomorrow. I can almost hear the gasps of surprise, and the mumbling of discontent. I know that many would not consider this as an option. But we both feel that it would be silly to spoil a game, and possibly a whole campaign, just because of a bad run of dice. And don't forget its only a game - and supposed to be fun!

Mind, if the same thing were to happen in the next game? Well I think even we would have to accept that someone is trying to tell us something...........

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