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Vorpal Sword

So how *exactly* do you tell whether dice are fair?

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I remember someone posted something here about a machine they made to roll their dice. Using robotics and a video scanner to input the result into excel.

So he was able to roll each die 5,000+ times. He found the dice were actually fairly decent as a whole, some where better than others. But as a set they rolled about as expected.

Edit: The thing about the saltwater test. That's great for a D20, because in theory each side should come up about the same. But for D&D, Pathfinder, ect... A 20 is always good. So if you find your D20 is weighted in such a way that the 20 is more likely to come up, that's a 'good' die.

The same doesn't really work with X-Wing dice, since they effectively have 3 results vs 20, and each die has multiple sides with a good result.

Edited by VanorDM

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You know what?  Thanks!

 

That was well written and thoughtful.  Your summation makes me feel better about my own dice.  I always feel like my dice hate me, but this goes a long way to alleviating that stress.  Even if my dice are poorly made it would take so much effort to discern the truth of it that it is far simpler to just roll the damned things and accept your fate.

 

Or... use communal dice.  No one seems to want to use mine though, haha!

 

Funny Story Time!

 

I played a match at the shop and my dice were just unbelievably bad.  HLC, TL & Focus, one hit.  Evaded.  Autoblasta, all crits, all evaded.  That sort of game.  So this fella comes by and says oh dude, it's just you!  You suck at dice!  He then proceeds to pick up my 6 red dice and throw them.  All blanks.  On six dice.  Red ones no less!  He's like... Oh.  Tries again.  One hit, one focus, the rest blank.  He's like, oh...  Picks up all 6 of my greens and before he throws I say FLUB!  And sure enough, one focus, five blanks.  Buddy just looks at me and says "You're cursed!".  We all laugh.  Game continues.  Buddy starts to play a game at another table and first dice roll he makes, all blanks.  He just looks at me with death in his eyes.  I was like, hey I told ya!  You should have left the devil-dice alone, now the mojo is on you.

This made my day. My dad and I like to use the force as an excuse for bad dice.

Edited by Sir Orrin

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I'd like to know more about the salt water test - I read up on it and my buddy and I performed it on our Xwing and Armada dice... but nowhere have I read that the test doesn't matter for a D8.  I'm curious about it because after a dozen or so rolls, we could watch some dice spinning differently than others when they floated to the top (usually landing on the same face, or on 1 of 2 adjacent faces).  When we noticed that on a particular die, we thought the die was probably biased and shouldn't be used (regardless of whether it was a "good" result or not).

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I'd like to know more about the salt water test - I read up on it and my buddy and I performed it on our Xwing and Armada dice... but nowhere have I read that the test doesn't matter for a D8.  I'm curious about it because after a dozen or so rolls, we could watch some dice spinning differently than others when they floated to the top (usually landing on the same face, or on 1 of 2 adjacent faces).  When we noticed that on a particular die, we thought the die was probably biased and shouldn't be used (regardless of whether it was a "good" result or not).

It certainly can be used with a d8, I'm just not convinced that under typical conditions it's a useful thing to do. Some questions I'd want to have anyone who did this test answer:

(0) Exactly how was the test performed? For instance, did you use table salt or Epsom salts, and how much? What was the temperature of the water? Did you aim to get the dice to float at the surface, or to get them to neutral buoyancy?

(1) How consistent are the results? Have you repeated the experiment, noting whether the same dice were still biased toward the same faces?

(2) How precise are the results? There's a big difference between balancing with the same face up and balancing equally well with two adjacent faces up.

(3) How meaningful are the results? That is, assuming you've observed a genuine issue with the die, how much does that issue actually impact the distribution of results?

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The problem with testing X-Wing dice like this is... If you do it with a D20 and the 5 shows up every time, you know which side is heavy.

If with a X-Wing die a <hit> result turns up most times, how do you know which <hit> face that is. It may not be the same face every time.

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The problem with testing X-Wing dice like this is... If you do it with a D20 and the 5 shows up every time, you know which side is heavy.

If with a X-Wing die a <hit> result turns up most times, how do you know which <hit> face that is. It may not be the same face every time.

 

If you were truly trying to find the 'hot dice' in your pile you would need to mark each side uniquely so that you could get a proper accounting of the results.

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Awesome post VS, but this really feels like a Storm Squadron in a teacup.

It really feels like loading dice is either going to leave you with a result that's either a) too small to make the difference in most games or b) fairly bloody obvious if someone gives your dice more than a cursory examination.

Not saying it's never happened or will never happen, but it seems like such a lot of work for big risk and relatively small reward that I can't imagine it ever being a significant issue. And anyone who's willing to put the amount of hours in necessary to make a set of dice that reliably roll 10-15% better than average would probably have gotten better results spending that time learning to play X-Wing better.

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Awesome post VS, but this really feels like a Storm Squadron in a teacup.

It really feels like loading dice is either going to leave you with a result that's either a) too small to make the difference in most games or b) fairly bloody obvious if someone gives your dice more than a cursory examination.

Not saying it's never happened or will never happen, but it seems like such a lot of work for big risk and relatively small reward that I can't imagine it ever being a significant issue. And anyone who's willing to put the amount of hours in necessary to make a set of dice that reliably roll 10-15% better than average would probably have gotten better results spending that time learning to play X-Wing better.

I agree. Anything that's really effective won't be subtle, and anything that's subtle probably isn't very effective. The time spent painstakingly working on someone's dice is basically wasted.

On the other hand, my wife teaches creative writing, and has had to deal with academic grievance committees more than once because students spent longer finding work to plagiarize and then trying to hide their plagiarism than they would have spent actually doing the assignment. And FFG had to institute a banned list based on someone in... the WH40k LCG, right?... brazenly drawing extra cards, on camera and in public. And the absurdly wealthy are still occasionally caught shoplifting.

There's always going to be the occasional bad apple who gets a thrill out of cheating regardless of the stakes--where the actual fun is in looking for and exploiting shortcuts, rather than winning. That problem is going to get worse as our hobby keeps growing, and that means that our community is increasingly likely to accuse players based on well-intentioned false positives.

So the point of posting was to be perfectly clear that there's very little point in accusing someone of using loaded dice. Not only is it unlikely for exactly the reasons you outlined, but it's also impossible to prove one way or the other without a lot of work that just isn't going to happen in a break between rounds at a tournament. So we either need to accept that the occasional cheater could slip through as the cost of maintaining a cohesive community, or we need to build a new norm around something like shared dice.

Anything else is just laying the groundwork for bullies and bad blood.

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The problem with testing X-Wing dice like this is... If you do it with a D20 and the 5 shows up every time, you know which side is heavy.

If with a X-Wing die a <hit> result turns up most times, how do you know which <hit> face that is. It may not be the same face every time.

 

If you were truly trying to find the 'hot dice' in your pile you would need to mark each side uniquely so that you could get a proper accounting of the results.

What do you care which particular hit is the most likely, as long as the die itself comes up hit more than three times out of eight?

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The problem with testing X-Wing dice like this is... If you do it with a D20 and the 5 shows up every time, you know which side is heavy.If with a X-Wing die a <hit> result turns up most times, how do you know which <hit> face that is. It may not be the same face every time.

 If you were truly trying to find the 'hot dice' in your pile you would need to mark each side uniquely so that you could get a proper accounting of the results.
What do you care which particular hit is the most likely, as long as the die itself comes up hit more than three times out of eight?

Because the dice are constructed in such a way that, for instance, floating with a hit up might also mean floating with a hit down. Increasing the likelihood of the die landing on a particular hit face is only an improvement if it doesn't come at the expense of another hit face.

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The answer is simple. Make dice like rocks, each opponent brings 3 and you both share during the match. The starter set only comes with three anyway. Need 7 dice is such a corner - case it does not really matter.

Edited by balindamood

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I think a better question to look at is dice modification by tokens. In a passed SC I was accused of having loaded dice per my opponent cause he was just making bad judgments. Since I always had ether a target lock, focus or both I was able to keep my poorer dice rolls from affecting decisive rolls. This game comes way to often down to very close roll offs but the best players modify dice with token always. This is the span of talent verses skill that has certain people always placing high in rankings. Everyone will have periods of cold dice but it is the skilled player who can keep themselves in the game till the odds turn. Also I worked my ass off for my clear dice, running two sets, they are my badge of trial by fire. Do they roll better than the others, no but it makes me feel great rolling them. On the off miracle roll they always are unfair to too many.

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Discussions about loaded dice are like discussions about, "hacking" in online multiplayer games. 99% chance the person isn't actually doing it and someone is just salty and stupid, letting confirmation bias cloud their judgement. This game is filled with people who think Expose or Marksmanship are good cards, or that sigh when they roll 4 unmodified attack dice and /only/ get 2 hits, of course people will fixate on a string of hot dice.

However, if you're ever accused of cheating by loading your dice, don't be an ******* and get all pouty about being accused of cheating. Just offer to use other dice or share dice or whatever.

It would be far more productive to start regularly checking damage decks if you wanted to stop cheaters. I've been checked exactly zero times in the year and a half~ I've been playing. I would never stack my damage deck, but I could get away with it.

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This game is filled with people who... sigh when they roll 4 unmodified attack dice and /only/ get 2 hits, of course people will fixate on a string of hot dice.

 

Hah, so true. I'm always laughing so hard at these people on the inside every time they do this.

Outside:  "Yea, man, that sucks, tough luck..."

Inside: "Gawd dang, you're a doofus.  Go to a math class, you salty salty dog..." 

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My only fear is having to share with dice with someone after I watch them use the restroom and not wash their hands or something, haha.

Also, since they give dice out as a prize, we can't expect people to buy new dice for tournaments, they are a point of pride. Sharing makes the most sense. However, I might only make it on a request basis still, and not enforce it for every match.

Also also, people sure are strange, haha.

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I'm fine with using one unified dice pack, all I would say is there be enough to divide between the two players and both players aid in 'mixing' the dice together. I have enough dice that I can actually outfit both sides with attack and defense dice with enough to spare, leaning over the table tends to end bad for me and other players with ships being nudged out of the way and such, the downside of this is that I don't have my larger pool so if my dice roll all blanks I cant set them asside and use any of the remaining dice in some vain effort to somehow leave failure behind. :P

 

Generally it's good flying that keeps me alive longer and not my dice rolls, which even in RPGs are abysmal.

 

As long as the same set is used and distributed fairly and randomly between the two players (assuming there's enough for both players to make their own pool) I don't see an issue since if the player is cheating, they cannot gaurentee they will get the loaded dice (unless they are all loaded...but then his opponent has loaded dice too so... a very interesting match is about to occur!)

 

Cheaters will always find way to game the system, it's the sad truth, I remember reading about a damage deck cheat that someone was using awhile back.

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During championships with actual prizes, the championship should provide the dice required to play the game for each match.

This would remove the doubt about either players validity.

Sure, it'll add a bit of cost to the organizer, but only the first time they run the championship. They'll still have the dice the next time.

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*Thanks to VanorDM: I even went and checked the rules for good measure, and just automatically lumped dice in with the other components you can request to share. It's something that probably should be added, and I think it would be good if people wrote in to Organized Play to let them know it's something they would like to see.

Turns out you weren't wrong, just a day early. :D

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The problem is... The rules don't actually say you can request a shared set of dice.

It seems some people are adding dice to the following rule. "Before a tournament match begins, any player may request that a single range ruler and/or set of maneuver templates be shared for the duration of the match."

But I looked at the latest PDF again and nowhere does it say you can request a shared set of dice.

It perhaps should, but the fact is that it currently doesn't actually say that, and so if someone requested it the other guy has every right to refuse.

 

True, but it would cast immediate doubt upon the player refusing to share his dice :/

 

Note that sharing dice is not a true solution to this.  Dice Cheats could still bias the results if their dice are used for the match.  If I'm flying dual aggressors or a TIE Swarm, I'd just bring untrue Green dice that favored Evades.  If I'm flying Y-Wings or B-Wings or a Ghost or something, I'd just bring untrue green dice that favor blanks.  I'm still them imparting a huge advantage to myself, and at worst it's a wash if my opponent is also flying low/high agility ships.

The answer to that is to not play with any of the players dice. Use a new set of dice provided by the tournament holders.

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