Three games with new dice.

Battles and discussion of tactics from the earliest days of our Academy.
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Sa'cea Mont'yr
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Three games with new dice.

Post#1 » Apr 20 2011 02:26

So, after a break from 40K, I bought some new dice and decided to ease my way back into the hobby. Of course it was against two armies I've never won against: Grey Knights and Necrons. Don't get me wrong, I've been playing Tau for ten years. But I've always considered myself a low-end mediocre player. Little did I know, it was my dice that were holding me back. I've always bought Chessex/GW dice with the little rounded corners, and apparently I've been paying the price in my W/L ratio.

Well, after buying some Bicycle dice, I took them to my LGS, opened them there, just in case I happened to win and prove that I hadn't done anything to the dice. Turns out it wans't a bad idea, as after three games (2 @ 1K, 1 @ 1.5K), I wasn't sure I hadn't done anything. Here's my list:

Shas'el
-[Plasma, Missile, Shield, HW: Multi]

Shas'el
-[Plasma, Missile, Shield, HW: Multi]

XV8 Team
-[TL: Plasma, Shield]
-[TL: Missile, Shield]

XV8 Team
-[TL: Plasma, Shield]
-[TL: Missile, Shield]

Fire Warrior Team
-[6 FW w/ PR]
-[1 DF w/ SMS, D-pod, TA]

Kroot Kindred
-[10 Kroot]

Piranha Squadron
-[1 Piranha w/ Fusion, TA]

XV88 Team
-[1 Shas'ui w/ Team Leader, ASS, HW: DC + 1 SD]

XV88 Team
-[1 Shas'ui w/ Team Leader, ASS, HW: DC + 1 SD]


For my 1500 point list, I added another Piranha, another XV8 Team with the same loadout as the other two, and a Pathfinder Squad with a DF, both with the same loadout and a multi-tracker added to both. I also added a second squad of Fire Warriors w/o transport and bumped the first up to a nine-Tau squad.

My first game was against the new Grey Knights at 1000 points. I was honestly pretty scared, as when I played against them in Alaska, they were the bane of my existence because even with outnumbering them two to one, I was having real issues dealing with them, as I couldn't seem to cause enough damage. With the new codex, the Grey Knights player seems to be spamming S6 and S7 Psybolt ammo, though with only the two Razorbacks, I was able to pretty significantly force him to come to me, destroying or immobilizing his 'backs and then simply hammering a squad at a time with Missile, Plasma and Rail fire. I'm not sure his approach is all that great, at least in regards to Tau, as his army seems to be more tuned for waiting for an assault army to break itself on his Purifier combat squads with their heavy weapons while the other half of the squads push forward in their Razorbacks to contest or take objectives.

My second game was also at 1000 points, this time against Necrons. It was three objectives, which by almost mutual agreement, ended up being in an almost straight line across the middle of the table. My opponent likes having an objective in the center of the table, and I ended up placing the other two in the open, anticipating having to shoot Necron Warriors off the objectives. We set up in a Dawn of War, after I won the roll-off and decided to go ahead and let him go first. Over the course of seven full turns, we duked it out, with me hammering a Res Orb squad until it finally didn't get up anymore, my Broadside spending five turns in h2h with three wraiths, and my Piranha dropping Gun Drones to tie up a pair of Destroyers so that my Piranha could contest the central objective while I took the other two.

My last game was against the Grey Knights player from the first game. Once again, he spammed Purifier squads and the HQ that lets you take them as troops, splitting them into combat squads and mounting them in Razorbacks. He ended up swapping out the techpriests for three vindicare assassins, of which I was able to eliminate two after stealing the initiative. I did lose one of my Shas'els, associated crisis squad and a Devilfish, but other than that, I lost the Kroot and Piranha for a total of five kill points to the seven I did to him. It was a better battle, because he was able to bring a bit more to the table, but him being a relatively new player and me having played long enough to know what should work, but he still brought way too much short-ranged firepower and allowed himself to be drawn into trying to close with me while leaving his heavy hitters in his deployment zone, opening himself up to be defeated in detail.

Anyway, thanks for sticking around and reading my ramblings, I've been trying to write this post for almost two days now, and I think I covered the important bits. I'm going to try to start taking pictures and possibly even some short video to better cover battle reports and not have such a wall of text. Thanks for reading, and please don't hesitate to ask any questions.
Shas'el Sa'cea Cal'Ka Mon'tyr

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Brokensword
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#2 » Apr 20 2011 04:01

Well done on kicking some butt!, I seldom have problems taking on SM or Necron, I actually look forward to facing them. It's that damned Chaos that I havent had any luck against. Both times that i've fought them, i've used Kroot and i havent fielded any suits! (small combat patrol game 400pts) .
I always play about with my dice before a game, just to "roll out the bad luck" which so far hasnt done me wrong. :)

I hope that your turn of fortune continues for many years to come.

Tau'va

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Troutmonkey
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#3 » Apr 20 2011 04:26

I have a similar problem with dice.
I have these really nice Chessex ones for Pathfinder, which always fail horribly for 40k (but do OK for Rifts/Pathfinder).
When I use the club dice, which are cheap ones from 'Mad Harrys', I seem to do OK.
However, after buying the GW Dice dice box for an upcoming tournament rolled amazingly! In one game my Hammerheads/Devilfish were constantly targeted, but I managed to pass every single cover save for the entire game - Over 4+ 20 saves! My opponent was absolutely raging inside! Still ended as a draw though, as most other things were not afforded a save at all.

Well done against the Grey Knights, I am really fearing what I am hearing from various people abou them. Some have told me they are more powerful then Space Wolves, and they were OP to begin with! :eek:

Necrons got hit hard with 5th, and so arn't too much of a threat these days. Still hard to put down, put not too hard to avoid
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gr1m_dan
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#4 » Apr 21 2011 05:09

Well done on those games mate!

I've read a few good reports for Tau facing off against GK. They are slowly beginning to not look so scary. They aren't no where near as OP as Blood Angels so that's so bonus.

Also - on the story of dice, I just got some really nice Koplow dice (quite large, maybe twice size of standard chessex GW dice) and they are rolling fantastically! It sounds stupid but I am sure I am getting less 1's and 2's. Maybe it's just me going crazy.
The Shadow that strikes, he that walks unseen

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Sa'cea Mont'yr
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#5 » Apr 22 2011 01:49

Glad to hear you guys enjoyed reading! I'm hoping to put up many more batreps in the future,win or lose. Keep in mind, with the new Grey Knights, I wasn't playing a super-optimized list. Multiple Purifier squads, and no serious long-range weaponry to speak of made for a very one-sided game.

If and when I go up against multiple Dread Knights and Storm Ravens, I could have a significantly more difficult time on my hands. Don't be afraid of the new GK, just be cautious.
Shas'el Sa'cea Cal'Ka Mon'tyr

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hownowbrowntau
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#6 » Apr 23 2011 01:31

There is considerable evidence around that the type of dice you use will have a big effect on the results. And no, I'm not talking about the "dice gods" type of thing, I'm talking physical effects. :D

The thing is, we tend to assume that dice are perfectly random when they're not. Small dice, those with dots, and those with rounded corners all have large variations in the centre of gravity within the die. A set of dice with all the obove characteristics will roll 1's about 22% of the time, instead of the expected ~16.67%

The problem is the drilling of the dots into the surface of the dice. Six holes in one side with only one in the opposite face alters the centre of gravity from the centre of the cube, making it spin differently. The smaller the cube, the greater the effect. Rounding the corners makes the die roll more often, but in a poorly balanced one, only makes it worse. Manufacturers can alter the cube to compensate for the dots, or alter the dot size, but numerals will give better results at a lower cost.

Casino dice are best, which is no surprise really, but usually well out of the price range of the average player, at least in my part of the world. A larger, square die, with numerals rather than dots is your best choice, and can usually be picked up relatively cheap.

If you're interested, test your favourite dice in a large clear container of water. Drop them in and see how they tumble. You'll see reasonably predictable patterns in badly balanced dice.

So bring your big square numeral dice and smile as you watch your GW dice armed opponent give away a 5% advantage to you, or be nice and share your new dice and pass on the word.
Wait a sec...there are rules for Chaos?

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RevRanDoM
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#7 » Apr 23 2011 01:40

hownowbrowntau wrote:The thing is, we tend to assume that dice are perfectly random when they're not. Small dice, those with dots, and those with rounded corners all have large variations in the centre of gravity within the die. A set of dice with all the obove characteristics will roll 1's about 22% of the time, instead of the expected ~16.67%


For those that haven't read the article here, it supports what Hownowbrowntau said. I found it to be a very interesting read.

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Kiten
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#8 » Apr 23 2011 01:51

RevRanDom wrote:
hownowbrowntau wrote:The thing is, we tend to assume that dice are perfectly random when they're not. Small dice, those with dots, and those with rounded corners all have large variations in the centre of gravity within the die. A set of dice with all the obove characteristics will roll 1's about 22% of the time, instead of the expected ~16.67%


For those that haven't read the article here, it supports what Hownowbrowntau said. I found it to be a very interesting read.

:eek:

This... Is just as funny as it is scary. Also very interesting, as it actually explains quite a lot of what I see happening in real life...

Thanks for sharing, guys!

PS:
Yade wrote:I am an engineer and I teach at ASU. In the beginning of every semester there is a lot of book work that my students need to do such as circuit board design and circuit mapping. During this time I have 4 students and a giant mechanical engineering lab at my disposal. So I decided to use my students to improve my 40K game.

This guy is genius :P
[Kiten's Cadre] Project Log and War Council

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lostinnm
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#9 » Apr 23 2011 05:52

I would agree that the bicycle dice seem to roll better than the chessex kind. I have a set of both and I'll usually rely on the bicycle dice when I have to roll less than 12 dice. But at the same time whn you are rolling more than that, even though the GW/Chessex dice are more likely to roll 1's it take too much time to roll the big dice multiple times. Imagine how long it would take to roll for 15 blood claws with a rune priest assaulting. That's 60 dice, with rerolling misses.

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Shas'O Wilhelm
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#10 » Apr 23 2011 10:42

What are "bicycle" dice?

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lostinnm
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#11 » Apr 23 2011 11:17

Bicycle Dice
They still have hollowed out pips and slightly rounded corners but less so than the chessex dice. Since they are larger, the hollowed out pips affect their rolls less

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Sa'cea Mont'yr
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#12 » Apr 24 2011 10:09

Gah! Thanks for posting that link, Rev. I totally meant to include it, but forgot to with the re-write of the OP.
Shas'el Sa'cea Cal'Ka Mon'tyr

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Tael
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Re: Three games with new dice.

Post#13 » Apr 24 2011 06:42

As I mentioned before in your officer lounge commentary, this is a great way to showcase an Army List. Clearly typed out and your usage and thoughts defined. For a self-proclaimed mediocre player myself, it's a worthy insightful read. :D

That article on Dice is superb, and my favourite line has always been :
..We dissected the dice using a hydrogen cooled diamond saw which prevents the blade from heating up and scarring the soft plastic...

You know they're serious. ;)

- Tael.

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