Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hot Dice

There has been a lot of talk lately about “hot dice” or “trick dice” in table top gaming.  This has been a very big topic for tournament gaming as well, as it seems it is becoming very common for people to bring trick dice to the gaming table.

            There are numerous articles on the web regarding trick dice and where you can buy them.  I have personally seen some of these trick dice at my local hobby store.  They are very easy to get.  With these dice being so accessible, I think this is becoming more and more popular at the gaming table due to WAAC gamers.  I think this is the epitome of the WAAC mentality.  Doing whatever you have to do to win a game.  This has become a very hot topic due to gamers bringing these trick dice to local and grand tournaments. 

            Something that I thought of for trick dice is how often people use them during the game.  I have heard of people rolling handfuls of these dice during the game.  But what if it is more subtle than that?  What if the person using the trick dice only uses them in certain situations?  For example, what if a person only rolls one die for a melta gun along with a handful of bolter dice, or if a person uses the trick dice to roll for their reserves and doesn’t use them anymore for the rest of the game?  That wouldn’t raise very many red flags to people, but it is something that tournament gamers should be looking out for.

            The owner of a certain “blue blog” on the internet has just written a very long article about what he feels is wrong with 6th Edition 40k.  Trick dice was one of the main topics for his article.  He even stated that he doesn’t like to participate in grand tournaments due to people frequently bringing trick dice and the tournament organizers not doing anything when gamers are caught with them.  This has to be extremely frustrating while participating in a tournament, especially if you have already played this person, and lost an earlier game to them.

            I like to read up on numerous blogs and forums to stay in touch with the tournaments going on around the country.  While I was reading through those web sites I came upon a post for a grand tournament that was held on March 1-3, The Bay Area Open.  On the forum, someone posted up a video of the final match between an all Daemon army list (Screamers/Flamers) facing off against a Space Wolf/Imperial Guard list.  This was a very interesting game to watch.  But the main thing that caught my attention was the results of the dice rolling of the Daemon player.  Now the video of the game didn’t show any of the actual dice rolling, but some of the results were posted up by other members of the forum.  In one instance, the Daemon player caused 17 wounds out of 21 shots.  That is 81% accuracy in shooting.  And they also made 10/11 saves on a squad of Pink Horrors with a 4++ model.  Now I don’t pretend to be a math genius by any stretch of the word, but 10/11 (91%) saves for a model that has a 4++ base/invulnerable save is pretty ridiculous.  The average should have been 66%. Even the other player in the finals was commenting in the video that he couldn’t believe how good the rolling was for the daemon player.

            The thing that raised a red flag to me is other participants in the BAO posted up that they had played the Daemon opponent either in doubles or single play.  They posted up that they also had noticed that the Daemon player’s rolling was excessively good during the whole tournament.  Which brings up the question, did the Daemon player cheat by using trick dice?  Again, with not being at the tournament, and only getting the information from the video and other forum posts, it is difficult to make a clear cut decision.

            I am not making any accusations as to if this person was cheating or not, I am simply stating that I was very surprised to see how successful the rolling was for armor/invulnerable saves.  Someone also posted up how successful the Daemon player was when rolling for deep striking squads due to the squads rarely if ever deviating.  This is all speculation on my part, but it brings up a great question…What steps should be taken to make sure people are not using trick dice during tournaments?

            Some have recommended that dice be handed out by the TO’s of the tournament.  This would allow people to know for sure that people are not using any trick dice.  Also, some feel that a block of dice should be provided as part of the door prizes for each participant, for example a block of Chessex Dice.  I could see this as being beneficial to the participants of the tourney as well as provide a little something extra for the participant to take away from the tournament itself.  Everyone would know that every participant is on an even playing field as far as dice rolling goes. 

            What steps do you think tournament organizers should take to make sure trick dice are not used and what punishment should be handed out to the cheating player if they are caught? 

            I would like to hear what others have experienced in tournament play as well as how things were handled by you or the Tournament Organizer.  Please post your comments below. 

Happy Gaming!
Tin Man

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