GW Grognard: Use Real Dice Please

Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio, here to randomly generate some letters into words!

I’m sure they were very nutritional

I like the feel of rolling dice. As much as I enjoy using the dice app to roll a large number of dice, I just enjoy the feeling of dice in my hands as I get ready to roll them bones. Almost all the dice I use have a symbol on them. Many of them are from my podcast, TFG Radio, but there are a good number from a wide range of companies, other game systems, and other podcasts, twitch users, and Youtubers. I make sure all the symbols are on the six and try to use dice that are easy for my opponent and myself to read. That being said, please stop using crappy dice that no one can read. *cough*GW Dice*cough*

As I just mentioned, I know that there are some dice, or features of a set of dice, that you may enjoy. It can be the material the dice are made of, the texture of the dice, or the faction that the dice represent. I’m not saying that you are a bad person for using those criteria to decide what dice you use. I am saying you are a bad person for using dice that are difficult to read. For your pickup game, or non-competitive games, they are perfectly fine. When it comes to playing in tournaments, and probably leagues, it just causes problems. The dice are difficult to read and is compounded if a person has vision issues. If you add this to players that tend to pick up their dice quickly after announcing the results, it can result in a negative play experience for the opposing player. In addition. The player may even accuse their opponent of cheating since they had trouble reading the dice, coupled with the quick pick up of the dice.

So, what to do? Let’s first identify the type of dice I’m talking about. Examples are easily seen with recent GW releases. They include the Death Guard and Gloomspite Gitz dice sets. Although both are very in tune with the fluff, the way the pips are represented, and the texture, causes some issues with reading the dice. One of the worst ones, in my opinion, are actually the Ultramarine dice. For those that don’t know, these dice use roman numerals in place of pips. It isn’t really a problem until you begin to mix up the 4(IV) and the 6(VI). The only difference is the color of the font and you’re not going to know he difference. Add in the fact that GW, at the time, puts the symbol on the 1, and it causes confusion. Adding to the confusion are players that mix dice that have symbols on either the 1 or the 6, or have symbols on both so their opponents are really confused.

Luckily, many tournaments are not allowing dice that are confusing, or difficult to read. We even have it in the ITC Code of Conduct that you must use dice that are easy to read. So if you do plan on bring those type of dice then have an extra set handy in case you are asked to not use them, or not allowed to use them at all.

That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and the type of dice you use, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is judges for LVO and head judges other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

30 Responses to “GW Grognard: Use Real Dice Please”

  1. Dakkath June 8, 2019 12:06 am #

    I really want to pick up a bunch of precision dice but they’re almost as absurdly expensive as GW’s models.

    • Reecius June 8, 2019 8:32 am #

      I use casino dice, they’re totally worth it, IMO.

      • Dakkath June 8, 2019 11:15 am #

        Those are even more expensive, last I checked XD

        • Reecius June 8, 2019 12:37 pm #

          They are, yeah, like a few bucks a die. $3 a die or something? They’re expensive but they roll as close to a statistical average as you can get so for me at least, it’s worth it as I know I am playing the game as close to mathematically accurately as possible.

  2. Vipoid June 8, 2019 2:20 am #

    Wait, why on earth did GW put the symbol on the Ultramarine dice on the 1?

    Surely putting it on the 6 would have been vastly more sensible, as it would have both associated the symbol with the best possible roll, whilst also removing any visual confusion between IV and VI?

    • WestRider June 8, 2019 12:47 pm #

      They did it with all their special dice for quite a while, until eventually the complaints hit critical mass and finally got through to them that we don’t want our Faction symbol to denote failure.

    • Calgar June 10, 2019 7:07 am #

      They did it because each number is color coded to the color of the company. So white/silver is the 1st company, and so on. Having a yellow ultramarine symbol for 6th company would not be as aesthetically pleasing. I agree though, its confusing, and as an Ultramarines player you never want to see your company symbol come up.

    • Anggul June 11, 2019 12:53 am #

      Yeah, I got the Tyranid dice in 6th edition and for some reason the symbol is on the 1

  3. John Palmer June 8, 2019 3:55 am #

    Those squig hopper dice can go and die in a fire, I played an Ork player who was frequently rolling 40 of them and spending a solid minute and a half finding them again. Every. Time.

  4. Anaximander June 8, 2019 5:18 am #

    I have the nurgle dice. Rolling them does not feel right somehow, but they look cool and make good wound counters.

  5. Reecius June 8, 2019 8:29 am #

    The Nurgle dice are the worst, lol.

  6. Nicolas Wenker June 8, 2019 11:11 am #

    I’ve used the Death Guard dice since they came out and am so used to them I’m always surprised when someone says they have trouble reading them. I love them because they are a great size and weight for rolling in sets of 5s or 10s. However, I will probably move away from using them as much just because I notice some of the dice in the set seem to roll 1s and 2s much higher than average. I just bought 10 casino dice for most of my rolls. The issue I am having now is that the sharp edges start to quickly hurt my hands for shaking them.

    • Jonas June 8, 2019 1:17 pm #

      You can always buy backgammon dice with same production standards as casino type dice, aka ‘precision dice’, except you get those nice rounded corners instead of sharp corners. Personally I like having my dice actually roll on the table.
      Picked up 10 green and 10 blue a couple of years back for my AL and I haven’t used anything else for my 40k needs since then.

  7. abusepuppy June 8, 2019 8:32 pm #

    People who mix dice that have symbols on the ‘1’ and symbols on the ‘6’ should be forced to fight each other to the death in arenas for the amusement of the rest of us. They are the worst.

  8. Hank June 8, 2019 9:32 pm #

    “The only difference is the color of the font and you’re not going to know he difference.”

    Or, you know, the V will be upside down on the dice if you think the 4 is a 6.

    Overall, I get the complaint. I love the Ork dice from GW (40k Orks, not the bouncy AoS dice), but I refrain from using them in tournaments because I’ve had opponents have an issue with them for a turn or two, before they get use to it. Better to just save myself the hassle of explaining and use regular dice.

    Now, someone, get GW to get the Assault Dice app back on Android, for god’s sake.

    • abusepuppy June 9, 2019 12:44 am #

      >assault dice back on android

      For Christ’s sake, this. I don’t mind that tournaments are picky and only let you use the Official Games Workshop Dice App™, but having that rule in place when there literally is no way to purchase that item is incredibly frustrating.

    • Venkarel June 9, 2019 1:56 pm #

      I just dropped and broke my old android phone (Galaxy S4) that still had the old app on it. I was more upset to lose the app than the phone.

    • Lex June 10, 2019 5:57 am #

      The Assault Dice app should be banned from all tournament play. If you use re-rolls on the app, the dice can collide with others still in the “Success” group, causing them to flip to different numbers. I and others have seen it to cause what were merely successes to flip to 6’s (exploding 6 mechanic). The player (of course he did) declared it a legitimate result because it’s the official app.

      • rivercitygaming June 10, 2019 6:54 am #

        Good luck getting an official GW app banned from tournaments supported directly by GW (ie. all the big tournaments)

        With some very simple book keeping in your head it’s easy to work around that happening. Just as if you were rolling them on a table and had some knock ones already rolled.

        • Lex June 10, 2019 7:43 am #

          I don’t think you understand what I was saying. Both players knew how many 6’s were rolled. Both players new what the re-rolls ended up being. Both players new that one die that was originally a non-6 hit, became a 6 after a re-roll collided and flipped it. However, the player with the app claimed that since the app was “official”, the subsequent result of the flipped 6 was therefore “official”.

          • abusepuppy June 10, 2019 9:05 am

            I mean, yeah, it was. It’s dumb, but that is a thing that happens with the app sometimes- and it also happens the other way around, where rerolls will “bounce” into successes and turn them into non-successes. It is intentionally programmed that way, not some weird cheat that the guy was using.

          • Lex June 10, 2019 9:36 am

            Well, sort of. The re-rolls can be made so that the original results are “frozen”. But they can also be made so that the dice can be affected by the collisions. It’s basically user option as to whether that happens or not. It then becomes one of those “Did they intend to do it, or was it ignorance” scenarios.

  9. Rob Butcher June 10, 2019 6:40 am #

    GW have changed the symbols to the 6 (so the author is again out of date!!)

    GW sell the dice for a GW game – for a short period of time which means only die-hard fans use them.

    GW also sell the dice app which i prefer players to use instead of 150 dice for 30 fully tooled up Ork boyz et al.

    ITC is independent, so why try to TELL US WHAT TO DO ??? 10k gamers out of millions of owners players is a small minority.

    • abusepuppy June 10, 2019 7:01 am #

      >GW have changed the symbols to the 6 (so the author is again out of date!!)

      It’s pretty impressive that Games Workshop snuck into everyone’s houses late at night and altered the symbols on the dice they had already sold. That is a level of customer service that I was not expecting, but good on them for providing it!

    • Jared Vail June 12, 2019 3:23 am #

      I wasn’t aware that Adam was telling everyone what to do. I thought he made it pretty clear that he’s telling people to bring real dice to an independently run tournament circuit that he promotes/runs. If you’re reading FLG for non-itc events I’m not sure of your brain capacity, I mean I guess you’re allowed to, and you can read (selectively). So either you’re just a troll or you have no idea what you’re talking about, I haven’t decided which one is worse yet.

  10. Zapntoo June 10, 2019 8:21 am #

    **Slow LOUD clapping**

    Nicely done Adam. My dice reading skills are mediocre for regular dice let alone the crappy ones you cant read without a reference sheet. “here is what my army does, and this sheet is how you read my dice.”

  11. Anggul June 11, 2019 12:59 am #

    Dice are a problem that we often ignore.

    Not reading them, but the different statistics of them. If one player is using precision ‘closer to a average’ dice, and another is using the typical mass produced dice that we know tend towards rolling 1s, that’s a big disadvantage for them.

    As important as skill is to put you in position to win, everything is still changed by your dice rolls. One player having straight up physically worse-rolling dice is such a problem.

    • abusepuppy June 11, 2019 6:18 am #

      People’s impression on the statistics of dice, most especially as a result of that shoddy article that came up with nonsense numbers like “31% ones”, are horrifyingly innacurate. The difference between “precision” dice and the standard Chessex/etc ones are, at best, a percentage point or three.

  12. CWDub June 11, 2019 6:53 am #

    Casino style dice or bust. I saw someone using blue Chessex casino style dice on a stream and I could see the pips from the overhead camera and was sold.

    The lack of the GW app being available on the Android store is absolute BS considering I paid for it and it’s been over a year. I’ve e-mailed GW and the app maker to zero avail.

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