Friday, April 26, 2013

Dice, Dice, Denominations

Quick post today.  It's Friday and lovely out, and I for one would like to go out and enjoy that weather.  Even though my running mates and I have collectively blown off the 4.5-miler we'd scheduled for this evening, citing a general hangover from my birthday party last night, and postponing it to tomorrow evening.

I've been thinking about Clear Black Sky (why yes, I have appended the working title) and dice denominations.  As I've outlined previously, the game involves using dice to represent different classes of ship, which is hardly original, and balancing the production and deployment of large Forces of small dice or smaller Forces of large dice, which I believe is original.

The rules are almost entirely written, as it's a relatively simple game (for a 4x), and I've even worked out my tiebreaker/simultaneity issues (see "On Red Dice", below) but what I'm pondering now is which dice I really need.  I currently have d2's, d4's, d6's, d8's, d10's, d12's, and d20's - the standard DnD set, plus coins.  But is this sensical? Could I, say, cut out d20's? d4's, d8's, and d10's? The d6 and the d12?
Here's some factors to consider: I currently have a rule where red dice that roll their max can destroy dice one denomination bigger.  So if I weed out the middle, it helps out the little guys.  And I currently have d20's as being impervious to critical failures, so if I cut them, do I bestow that ability on the largest remaining die?


  • d2 - d4 - d6 - d8 - d10 - d12 - d20 (Current)
  • d2 - d4 - d6 - d8 - d10 - d12
  • d2 - d6 - d12 - d20
  • d2 - d4 - d8 - d10 - d20
  • d2 - d4- d6 - d12
Boy I wish there was a viable denomination between d12 and d20.  But I should try and view that more positively; I'm inclined to keep the d20, because the gap between lower-d dice and the d20 mean it'll be harder for green dice to produce d20's, which should be the case.  I haven't settled on a set yet, but I think I have to cut at least one denomination out.  I don't want to cut too many denominations, though, as I want to keep diversity of "ship class".  And whatever denomination I cut, the sum total of all dice will probably remain the same - Fewer ship types will likely mean more ships of each type.  That's the next thing I should look at - how many ships a game of this actually uses.

On an unrelated note, The dice in the box should probably have a 4-2-1 breakdown of red to blue to green. And a corresponding number of pokerships or sails of each colour.  That'll need playtesting too.

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