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SomeKittens

"It came down to dice"

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Seeing a lot of folks talking about games coming down to a few bad dice rolls as a bad thing, which surprised me.  I've always seen that as evidence of a tight game where both players were evenly matched.  Thoughts?

 

If you don't like dice, play games without chance.  If you want to play games without chance, you play Diplomacy.  If you play Diplomacy, you lose all your friends.  Want to keep your friends?  Play Armada!  :P

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if it's a game dependent on strategy and tactics...yeah, dice rolls deciding things should be a rarity

 

RNG is there to provide variety, not to win games for you. That's how it should be approached in games such as these. Otherwise, if you want dice to decide games primarily, then go play Yahtzee

 

 

In Armada, it very rarely comes to dice except in cases of extreme bull

Edited by ficklegreendice

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Dice can and will decide things, but that's a very rare case. Most times when people claim it was all about the dice, they're either poor losers or don't know how to properly account for random chance in a game like Armada.

I've seen games of X-Wing where someone loses because a ace killed in a single attack when the odds are so far in their favor it's almost pointless to roll the dice.

But they still still put that ace in a place it could get shot at, and odds just tell you what is likely to happen, that means there's always a chance for something odd to happen. Most times you just have to play the odds, because playing it too safely means you will lose.

In Armada however the dice are even less of a factor then X-Wing and very few games should truly be decided on dice alone.

However there are going be cases like you mention where both players are so evenly matched that random chance will have a fairly large effect. It's why you see stalemates in chess between masters, both played a 'perfect' game and there's no dice to break the tie.

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if it's a game dependent on strategy and tactics...yeah, dice rolls deciding things should be a rarity

 

RNG is there to provide variety, not to win games for you. That's how it should be approached in games such as these. Otherwise, if you want dice to decide games primarily, then go play Yahtzee

 

 

In Armada, it very rarely comes to dice except in cases of extreme bull

 

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I always find there are "turning points" in armada games. There is always an ebb and flow but in every Armada game there is one roll or two where if it had JUST GONE THE OTHER WAY the battle would have developed very differently.

 

I can think of 2 specific times in just the last tourney where this happened (if I rolled exactly 1 more damage in both instances a ship that hadn't acted yet would have been wiped out instead of getting another shot in), and in another tourney when if the opponent had rolled exactly 1 less accuracy or exactly 1 less damage my objective ship would have lived and I would have won.

 

I'm not complaining tho, you HAVE to have RNG and frankly I have as much fun rolling well as I do rolling poorly. I always groan in sympathy when my opponent blanks a sure thing and congratulate them on an especially brutal roll. As a previous poster so aptly put it: your agency is all about min/maxing the impact of the RNG and how well you do that is a much bigger part of the game than the actual outcome of the dice.

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Yesterday, a case in point with me:

 

 

3 Ackbar Corvettes on the Enemy Side, vs an Ackbar AFMK-II on my side.


Corvette 1, 4 Reds:   Double HIt, Crit, Crit, Doublehit
 

AFMK-II, Shot at Corvette 2:  Blank, Blank, Blank, Acc, Hit

AFMK-II Shot at Corvette 3:  Blank, Blank, Acc, Acc, Crit

 

Corvette 2, 4 Reds:  Doublehit, Crit, Hit, Hit

Corvette 3, 4 Reds:  Acc, Crit, Hit, Hit.

 

 

Was just not on my side.  Although my opponents Dice did cool down, despite rolling Reds, he did not get a single "blank" in the first two rounds.

When you have Positioning on your Side, and you simply cannot mitigate your own dice, and watch your opponent never need to worry - there's really nothing you can do but lose that engagement :)

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Dice should never, ever decide a game like this.  The dice are there to add a sense of tension and unknown to the game.  Which, typically is exactly how it goes.  On the other hand dice can also completely ruin the experience.

 

No one plays this game perfectly, and in my 15 years of tabletop I have yet to see a game played perfectly.  There is always a misjudgment, someone reads a play wrong and reacts in a way that costs them the game, forgotten rules or abilities.  The best games on the table are the ones where the dice roll out average over its course.  

 

Why it feels like such a big deal in Armada and games like it is the size of games.  You are only going to roll 10-20(at the extreme top end) attacks with ships throughout the course of a game.  Your odds of just completely failing are pretty good and easy to remember (kind of like in warma/hordes).

 

More over, to beat the crap out of this dead horse, the MoV system rewards good dice and punishes bad dice with no regard to how well you played.  Rolled good played bad(over the course of a 3 game tournament) well you stand a pretty decent shot at winning. 

Edited by Darkfine

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a ship that hadn't acted yet would have been wiped out instead of getting another shot in

I wonder how much difference that makes. In X-Wing, and many other games you know generally how pieces will activate, because there's a clear order, like X-Wing or activation order doesn't matter much, such as in 40k or Flames of War.

In those games, order doesn't matter much because I activate and move all my units on my turn then you do the same on your turn.

In Armada, like Imp Assault, killing something before it can activate can have a huge impact on the game. Especially if it's a powerful unit and the other person was holding back waiting for the right moment to strike with it.

Killing it in a case like that can have a huge impact.

But, in most cases when people talk about that one role that lost the game, they are forgetting everything that lead up to that point, all the minor mistakes that may not even seemed like a mistake at the time, that if they hadn't been made, would of made the outcome differently.

I mean if a single <hit> was the difference between victory and defeat, than there was almost always other effects in play that were they different, that one damage wouldn't of had the impact it did.

Which isn't to say it never happens, you roll nothing but blanks 3 or 4 attacks in a row and there's little you can do tactically...

The other case is perhaps it really does come down to that one die, but in those cases it's likely either that you were very evenly matched, and that's a great game win or lose. Or perhaps the dice had actually been in your favor the whole game and you were actually ahead of the curb when they returned to normal.

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a ship that hadn't acted yet would have been wiped out instead of getting another shot in

I wonder how much difference that makes. In X-Wing, and many other games you know generally how pieces will activate, because there's a clear order, like X-Wing or activation order doesn't matter much, such as in 40k or Flames of War.

In those games, order doesn't matter much because I activate and move all my units on my turn then you do the same on your turn.

In Armada, like Imp Assault, killing something before it can activate can have a huge impact on the game. Especially if it's a powerful unit and the other person was holding back waiting for the right moment to strike with it.

Killing it in a case like that can have a huge impact.

But, in most cases when people talk about that one role that lost the game, they are forgetting everything that lead up to that point, all the minor mistakes that may not even seemed like a mistake at the time, that if they hadn't been made, would of made the outcome differently.

I mean if a single <hit> was the difference between victory and defeat, than there was almost always other effects in play that were they different, that one damage wouldn't of had the impact it did.

Which isn't to say it never happens, you roll nothing but blanks 3 or 4 attacks in a row and there's little you can do tactically...

The other case is perhaps it really does come down to that one die, but in those cases it's likely either that you were very evenly matched, and that's a great game win or lose. Or perhaps the dice had actually been in your favor the whole game and you were actually ahead of the curb when they returned to normal.

 

 

One of the reasons I love this game is that I never have a bad game of Armada because I define a good game as one where I have fun.

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People are significantly less critical of situations then they think they are. Odds are in most cases it wasn't the dice, or just the dice, but a number of other things that may have occurred over the course of the game.

 

Agreed.  If it does come down to dice, I think about how I could have rolled more dice.  Law of big numbers & all that.  I had a recent game where I needed one good roll or two ok rolls to win (of three broadsides).  Flubbed all three.  It happens, both of us still had a great game play-wise as well as according to Hastatior's axiom.

 

When I got home I realized I hadn't used Home One on any of the qualifying attacks and thus could have targeted some defense tokens that might have won me the game.  Whoops.  Snatched defeat right out of the jaws of victory.

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This is a game of chance as well as judgement, this is the simple truth. Luck has a massive impact on individual games. You could roll 3 blue and 6 black dice and end up with zero damage (unlikely but possible) or you could role 15 damage and get a double damage crit. So in a single role of the dice you could do nothing giving your opponent a significant advantage or one shot a key ship winning you the game.

Yes you can manage the odds a bit by using resources to mitigate a small amount of random chance etc, a good player will manage play to give them the best odds. But the fact is if you role dice, it's a game of chance. The fact that you only tend to roll the dice a small number of times in this game actual increases the impact of random variables.

You coul remove the dice and just use the average damage score for that shoot (rounded up) so each black dice does .75 damage etc... It would be a far more boring game, but completely based on skill of play....

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I'm of the opinion that Armada doesn't really have these situations in any meaningful amounts. Sure, freak events might happen where you roll up an average of 2-3 damage every single attack and seem to get no where; but it's usually down to the context and other choices that make "bad rolls" seem to lose games for you.

 

For instance, I could claim this on my first Sullust game: demolisher get's 1-shot by dominator. He had a really good roll and killed me outright. Of course:

 

A. I deployed so that the GSD was in the path of the VSD

B. In my attempt to grab a token I barely bumpled a rock, that crit me and drained some shields (didn't come into play IIRC)

C. I moved too far which let me into his blue band

D. He rolled up enough damage to bring me to 1 Hull remaining

E. The crit happened to be double damage

 

All of these events lead up to a situation that, due to the impressive roll, seemed like "it came down to dice". When that is obviously not the case when you look into the context.

 

So far, I've never felt like I've lost a game due to to dice like I do in X-Wing (X-Wing is that game, hence I generally play a few times and tend to use beefy ships that don't rely on green dice so I feel less cheated when my 5green dice Ace dies to a long-range turret ship)

 

It seems, as another post on here is discussing, that deployment is far more important than dice; and, especially, your positioning, activation order, and objective play. That's why I love this game so much: it is the first mini-game I've played where I feel that you are rewarded for taking options instead of redundancies; and it seems to be almost completely about how you play and not how you roll. Of course, dice are dice, and they can screw any well-lain plan...this is why I love all the options to mitigate RNG on dice in Wave 2.

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I don't mind losing in this game. It means I have gotten to play. But it is, no matter what, still one of the variables you cannot control. I've been burnt and rewarded with dice and am OK with that. You can take things to add more dice and modify them, but ultimately you are rolling for a random result.

I still like Armada more than X Wing for that as well. Friggin green dice... I feel more out of control because of the dice and rigid maneuvers. But Armada has helped me get much better at X Wing absolutely.

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I don't mind losing in this game. It means I have gotten to play. But it is, no matter what, still one of the variables you cannot control. I've been burnt and rewarded with dice and am OK with that. You can take things to add more dice and modify them, but ultimately you are rolling for a random result.

I still like Armada more than X Wing for that as well. Friggin green dice... I feel more out of control because of the dice and rigid maneuvers. But Armada has helped me get much better at X Wing absolutely.

 

I think FFG has this in mind.

 

No green dice, and so many ways to re-roll or set dice if you need to.

 

So there is an element of chance, but one that's not "wild" enough to turn stuff completely around.

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Yep embrace the fact you can play the best game of your life and still lose to a person that did not play as well.... It's just the dice....life.....luck..... Whatever you call it....... Risk is fun..... Absolute certainty sucks raw eggs...

You somtimes win because your the best, or you sometimes get luckily and beat the best in both cases be gracious and play on. Sometimes luck beats talent, Suck it up, smile and play on.....

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Dice can and will decide things, but that's a very rare case. Most times when people claim it was all about the dice, they're either poor losers or don't know how to properly account for random chance in a game like Armada.

Agreed, but I do have one blue die that really deserves to be melted down, as a warning to others.

It was turn 6, and my last activation was the Millennium Falcon, and it was able to pounce up to the limping ISD, that needed only two more damage cards to finish her off... Han dutifully flew up right to the shieldless hull, open fired with one each of the blue and black dice... The black turned up one hit. The blue, with half the faces being hits, turned up blank (if memory serves - either way, not one of the four <hits> on the die).

Was the game lost from one bad roll? Technically, yes. But there were lots of other lost opportunities that I'm sure I should have taken advantage of. But that blue die!

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Dice can and will decide things, but that's a very rare case. Most times when people claim it was all about the dice, they're either poor losers or don't know how to properly account for random chance in a game like Armada.

Agreed, but I do have one blue die that really deserves to be melted down, as a warning to others.

It was turn 6, and my last activation was the Millennium Falcon, and it was able to pounce up to the limping ISD, that needed only two more damage cards to finish her off... Han dutifully flew up right to the shieldless hull, open fired with one each of the blue and black dice... The black turned up one hit. The blue, with half the faces being hits, turned up blank (if memory serves - either way, not one of the four <hits> on the die).

Was the game lost from one bad roll? Technically, yes. But there were lots of other lost opportunities that I'm sure I should have taken advantage of. But that blue die!

 

 

Must have been an ACC.  Blues don't have Blank Faces.  If you have one that DOES, wow.  Talk about a Handicap.  :D

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"The Dice decide things only rarely"

"Coming down to a dice roll is a sign of a close, even game"

 

   I contest these points. Dice are how things are decided.

    This is a lot easier to demonstrate in larger games, so let me start somewhere else, and work my way back to Armada:

    Let's go look at warhammer 40K. In a game like that, controlling the terms you roll dice under are what decides your game. and not just the outcome of the game, but also many things within it; what your position is( move D6 inches instead of shoot), what resources you have available and when (reserve/reinforcement), or what spells or special abilities your units know.... 

    Even ignoring all of that stuff, and simply focusing on the shooting and dying part of the game, there are SO MANY dice involved, that math and probability get to have their fun along with you as you play. When you build armies in 40K, you are making, first and foremost, a decision about how many dice you want to roll and how reliable you want those dice to be. But at the end of the day, the game is decided just as surely on dice that buck the odds, as they are by the dice that fall in line.  I have gamed long enough to see truly outrageous rolls occur. Seen units with a 50% hit chance generate 83 hits on 90 dice, and watched units that have armor that should stop 97% of those shots.....just melt away completely.(83 wounds vs 2+ re-rollable, still inflicited 16 lost wounds; a 19% failure rate....9 times what the odds suggest should happen) 

     Some armies are build around the concept of rolling so many dice so often, that the torrent of fire eventually makes an improbable roll. They are the D&D concept of taking 20 personified. granting themselves so many tries at a goal that it's achievement, no matter how unlikely, starts edging toward certainty. 

 

In X-Wing, you can change this paradigm.....but in Armada, you cannot. In X-Wing, you can build a list with so many Shields and Hull points, your opponent cannot destroy it before time is called, making dice less relevant. In X-Wing you can out-play and outmaneuver your opponent so that they never get to roll a meaningful attack at all.

  In Armada, that is simply not true. No Ship yet made has a blind spot. Regardless of what happens, there will come a point where you are shooting at them, and they are shooting at you. Sure you can reduce the dice you take, but by definition, if they are in range....well then so are we. In Armada, you are going to take fire. and if the dice favor one player over the other, that will have a profound impact on the game. 

 

Dice are the deciders of these games. The smaller the game, and the fewer dice involved, the devastating an outside the lines roll will be (positive OR negative). It is merely up to us to give them as many  chances to fall in our favor as possible, remembering that even perfect play will occasionally lose to sheer dumb luck.  

 

None of this is to say that this is actually bad. In reality, superior play is going to yield superior results. Control of what dice get rolled where and why is the core skill to be managed. If Run my corvette down the front arc of an Imperial Star Destroyer, that's obviously worse than skittering behind it. Why? Because of how many dice are there. and that's really kind of the end of the story in game terms.

 

-netace

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Seeing a lot of folks talking about games coming down to a few bad dice rolls as a bad thing, which surprised me.  I've always seen that as evidence of a tight game where both players were evenly matched.  Thoughts?

 

If you don't like dice, play games without chance.  If you want to play games without chance, you play Diplomacy.  If you play Diplomacy, you lose all your friends.  Want to keep your friends?  Play Armada!  :P

Hahaha Diplomacy. The best game ever IMO. I understand you. Id played diplomacy for a long time (and I still in) and dice make me cry sometimes but who cares. Nothing like throw amount of dice that I can't keep in my hand, well nothing but wins with Italy :D

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Take this last game I played for example..

 

Yes, I did roll like a BOSSK with the MC80 that sealed the fate of the ISD-II, but it's not like he was going to survive the follow-up shot from the MKII.

 

Did dice decide the ultimate fate of the flagship that game?  Yes.  But it's the previous turns of positioning and movement that the ships there in the first place.

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Take this last game I played for example..

 

Yes, I did roll like a BOSSK with the MC80 that sealed the fate of the ISD-II, but it's not like he was going to survive the follow-up shot from the MKII.

 

Did dice decide the ultimate fate of the flagship that game?  Yes.  But it's the previous turns of positioning and movement that the ships there in the first place.

Excellent point!  Instead, take the ISD killing shot and pretend it only does 2 damage before tokens but after everything you can do to affect the roll.  Now pretend that every shot after that for the rest of them game is about the same.  Unlikely?  Sure.  Does it happen?  Absolutely.  Is there anything you can do to mitigate it?  Nope cause you have to get that MoV to win.  Scoring a few more objectives than your opponent (playing better) means nothing.

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