Jump to content
MidWestScrub

[Blog] Muh Dice!

Recommended Posts

Nice article.  "Don't blame the dice!" is a great principle in general, but it's good to call out that risk is an element of the game and that good strategies won't always pay off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the conclusion of needing to practice making the distinction between when you've made a mistake and the dice didn't bail you out, and when you've made the best choices but got diced. 

It really feels good for the other guy when either of those things happen.

It's one of the most important elements in the game: the other guy always has a chance. 

If X-Wing ever loses this feeling, I'm afraid were not playing X-Wing anymore. 

So whenever we do something "right" or "wrong" or clutch, remember that the other guy always has a chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I always try to avoid blaming the dice in my games (my flying usually leaves a lot to be answered for, after all!), but last night I had a string of very below par rolls which saw ships (with tokens or other modifiers) fail to perform. 

I'm fine with it, however. I'd prefer to have my opponent roll dice and have the result be uncertain, rather than having 101 ways to alter the result which mean that the result is almost guaranteed to do what they want. It makes those clutch moment where their double-modded ace shot at range one only scores two hits which your unmodded two-defence dice (on a single hull, no less) come up natural evades feel so good.

EDIT: It also means that a game isn't determined entirely in the list-building, where certain ship&upgrade combos are guaranteed to deliver results in all circumstances. Give me anarchy and hilarity, even if it means me losing Soontir to blank evade dice, any day.

Edited by AceDogbert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bucknife said:

I like the conclusion of needing to practice making the distinction between when you've made a mistake and the dice didn't bail you out, and when you've made the best choices but got diced. 

It really feels good for the other guy when either of those things happen.

It's one of the most important elements in the game: the other guy always has a chance. 

If X-Wing ever loses this feeling, I'm afraid were not playing X-Wing anymore. 

So whenever we do something "right" or "wrong" or clutch, remember that the other guy always has a chance.

Agreed. I just watched one the GSP Poland matches where I guy rolled triple blanks twice on Seventh Sister, triple blanks on Vader, and QUADRUPLE blanks on a defender all in the same match, and he was still able to squeak a win out of the match with moderate to good decisions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I don’t like blaming dice, however I think it is instructive to evaluate decisions based on the dice results. 

What I mean by that is evaluating the probabilities of certain outcomes when evaluating performance. If, for example, you lose a match look back at critical moments and evaluate whether your decisions put you in the best position.

My most recent game I had rather poor dice, and while it may not be the sole factor, I do feel it was the determining one. Case in point I had one sequence where I managed to, against two ships moving after me, to line it up so over three rounds I took one single, unmodded, shot at range 3. I blocked Wedge 3 consecutive turns. In that span I had, among other shots, a four dice focus and locked attack on Wedge, a four dice locked shot, and a three dice focused locked shot. All on a mod less Wedge. Plus several other modded shots at other ships. On the third turn he got a single unmodded 3 dice shot at an evading faster Ric.

I took 2 damage on Ric, and did a single damage to a B wing (and none on Wedge despite all that nasty)

Now I lost the match, but that was emblematic of the match. I take modded shots, do zero or one damage, he does unmodded shot against my modded defense, I take 2-3 damage every time. When you have two four dice defense blank outs it feels bad. And so when evaluating I calculated the probability of those results, to see if the risk was greater than I anticipated.

The answer is no, there were multiple 1 in 10,000 or worse die results in the game. And in a game I lost in the final round when I had a 75% kill shot miss and a .02% kill shot against me kill where if those results invert I win on points? I can confidently say that my choices through the game were broadly correct. And though I was relying on the dice in the final round (due to consistently poor dice to get to that point) I was not relying on poorly modded or particularly unlikely dice outcomes. I was making a choice at the end of the game with a high probability result.

And in another game where I rolled literally 2 evades and 5 paint on 40 defense dice!! Yeah, sometimes it just is the dice. But it is important to understand the difference between a calculated risk with a high probability of success (or one where the game state demands you make riskier plays to get back in), and an unnessecary risk where despite the poor result you never should have been there in the first place. 

Edited by millertime059

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, millertime059 said:

I don’t like blaming dice, however I think it is instructive to evaluate decisions based on the dice results. 

What I mean by that is evaluating the probabilities of certain outcomes when evaluating performance. If, for example, you lose a match look back at critical moments and evaluate whether your decisions put you in the best position.

My most recent game I had rather poor dice, and while it may not be the sole factor, I do feel it was the determining one. Case in point I had one sequence where I managed to, against two ships moving after me, to line it up so over three rounds I took one single, unmodded, shot at range 3. I blocked Wedge 3 consecutive turns. In that span I had, among other shots, a four dice focus and locked attack on Wedge, a four dice locked shot, and a three dice focused locked shot. All on a mod less Wedge. Plus several other modded shots at other ships. On the third turn he got a single unmodded 3 dice shot at an evading faster Ric.

I took 2 damage on Ric, and did a single damage to a B wing (and none on Wedge despite all that nasty)

Now I lost the match, but that was emblematic of the match. I take modded shots, do zero or one damage, he does unmodded shot against my modded defense, I take 2-3 damage every time. When you have two four dice defense blank outs it feels bad. And so when evaluating I calculated the probability of those results, to see if the risk was greater than I anticipated.

The answer is no, there were multiple 1 in 10,000 or worse die results in the game. And in a game I lost in the final round when I had a 75% kill shot miss and a .02% kill shot against me kill where if those results invert I win on points? I can confidently say that my choices through the game were broadly correct. And though I was relying on the dice in the final round (due to consistently poor dice to get to that point) I was not relying on poorly modded or particularly unlikely dice outcomes. I was making a choice at the end of the game with a high probability result.

And in another game where I rolled literally 2 evades and 5 paint on 40 defense dice!! Yeah, sometimes it just is the dice. But it is important to understand the difference between a calculated risk with a high probability of success (or one where the game state demands you make riskier plays to get back in), and an unnessecary risk where despite the poor result you never should have been there in the first place. 

That pretty well covers the balance that I was trying cover strike in the article.

"if the dice don’t play along at all, it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to overcome."

"The problem, really a glaring massive fault with the “no blaming the dice” line of thought, is that sometimes the dice really do just screw you."

"Learning to recognize the sometimes subtle differences between situations where you genuinely made the correct decision and the dice screwed you, and situations where you messed up and the dice didn’t bail you out can be a difficult process. But it is a big step toward becoming a better X-Wing player. Generally speaking, we are much more to blame for our own losses than the variance swings of dice results are. If you want to improve at the game, you must make an effort to look past your biases to identify the point at which you lost the game, and to assign blame where it is actually due."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 points on dice:

 

1.) Always share dice. It skips over all the hard feelings and whining(even your own). I fail to do this regularly and I regret it every time.

 

2.) The more dice you bring the better people think they are. I’ve been flying a list with 18 red dice for awhile now and even I feel like they’re above average(they aren’t when I do the math). It’s just normal human confirmation bias and with enough attack rolls you’re going to get a few great ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, TasteTheRainbow said:

The more dice you bring the better people think they are. I’ve been flying a list with 18 red dice for awhile now and even I feel like they’re above average(they aren’t when I do the math). It’s just normal human confirmation bias and with enough attack rolls you’re going to get a few great ones

This was kind of the secret to Rebel Beef, and why it performed so well. It could make mistakes all day long, and have miserable defense rolls, but it didn’t care. It had enough that no single roll or series of rolls would eliminate ships. Wedge wasn’t ever going to get one shot, so you never felt the sting so acutely as the person flying an Alpha squadron interceptor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, TasteTheRainbow said:

1.) Always share dice. It skips over all the hard feelings and whining(even your own). I fail to do this regularly and I regret it every time.

The thing is, many of us who recognize wrong-tail-of-the-bell-curve results are also not superstitious.  In other words, I don't think the problem is actually my dice, or actually my opponent's dice.  In fact, I dismiss "bad dice" stories from people who genuinely believe in bad dice, while I'll sympathize with people who just rolled horrendously.

(It's true that there are dice with statistically significant differences.  But even the very worst of these dice aren't going to produce noticeably more of the extreme outlier results.)

Quote

2.) The more dice you bring the better people think they are. I’ve been flying a list with 18 red dice for awhile now and even I feel like they’re above average(they aren’t when I do the math). It’s just normal human confirmation bias and with enough attack rolls you’re going to get a few great ones.

Or, as it feels to me, more chances to blank out on 18 red dice while I'm holding focuses.  "Normal human confirmation bias" can go both ways!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, TasteTheRainbow said:

2 points on dice:

 

1.) Always share dice. It skips over all the hard feelings and whining(even your own). I fail to do this regularly and I regret it every time.

This. I now share dice every game. Psychologically, it makes it a lot easier to move on to the next game without taking the emotional baggage of the just concluded game's dice results with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Jeff Wilder said:

Or, as it feels to me, more chances to blank out on 18 red dice while I'm holding focuses.  "Normal human confirmation bias" can go both ways!

At this point, I've simply accepted that if I take a Focus, I'll roll blanks; while if I take a Target Lock, I'll roll all Eyeballs (which will reroll into blanks or eyes).

Edited by JJ48

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, millertime059 said:

This was kind of the secret to Rebel Beef, and why it performed so well. It could make mistakes all day long, and have miserable defense rolls, but it didn’t care. It had enough that no single roll or series of rolls would eliminate ships. Wedge wasn’t ever going to get one shot, so you never felt the sting so acutely as the person flying an Alpha squadron interceptor.

Oh boy. My Wedge has bit the dust to a total of 7 attack dice, four times now. 

It's gotta happen sometimes, but it always sucks when it does. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Jeff Wilder said:

The thing is, many of us who recognize wrong-tail-of-the-bell-curve results are also not superstitious.  In other words, I don't think the problem is actually my dice, or actually my opponent's dice.  In fact, I dismiss "bad dice" stories from people who genuinely believe in bad dice, while I'll sympathize with people who just rolled horrendously.

 

You can still trick your lizard brain into being happier by sharing. Your brain wants to put dice in a good or bad box. Don’t let it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, TasteTheRainbow said:

You can still trick your lizard brain into being happier by sharing. Your brain wants to put dice in a good or bad box. Don’t let it!

I genuinely don't understand this

The physical dice themselves are functionally irrelevant and I have literally never considered them once

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, RampancyTW said:

I genuinely don't understand this

The physical dice themselves are functionally irrelevant and I have literally never considered them once

Whether or not you consciously consider it your brain will still try to see a pattern. That’s what you’re keeping from happening to either you or your opponent.

 

also: Bad dice do genuinely exist. So do good dice. Sharing makes their impact slightly less frustrating. FFG manufacturing isn’t exactly up to NASA tolerances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TasteTheRainbow said:

also: Bad dice do genuinely exist. So do good dice. Sharing makes their impact slightly less frustrating. FFG manufacturing isn’t exactly up to NASA tolerances.

This applies to the majority of mas produced dice not just FFG's. It is a flaw in the manufacturing method most commonly used. That method is also what keeps us from having to pay casino dice prices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, bad dice exists.

I was at the Spanish system open, 2-1 at that moment. Same result to my rival. In round 4 or so, he said: “your dice are rubbish, please let share my dice and throw it into a bonfire”. I was flying 2 Scruggs with veteran turret gunner and ion in one of them and dorsal in the other one. Drea Renthal with dorsal and y wing with ion turret and veteran turret gunner.  Even with reroll with drea I was unable to roll more than 2 hits with each ship. Since I changed the dice I was able to roll properly and I managed to ended in 17th place.

On day 2, the strategy was the same, ask to the opponent to share dice. First game, top 32. We share dice, but in this case I cannot blame the dice, we were sharing, but still my rolls were completely rubbish and his were incredibly good. Each time he rolls with Vader he never blanked and when I roll for attack, his result was always enough to block the attack. I.e. I rolled 3 dice, hit, critical and blank. He rolled 2 evades. Second shot with ion, hit, hit, eye. Spend focus, and his result evade, evade, eye. Spend 1 force and evaded.

in this case, what I could blame? Dice, we were sharing? Luck? Bad rolling technique? 

The only way to make this more even, I will suggest to use new dices in the top tier events at the top cut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...