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Tabletop: How to Deal with “Cold” Dice

4 Minute Read
Aug 01

Hello Frontline Gaming fans, SaltyJohn here from TFG Radio, bringing you a quick article about handling life when your dice go cold!

Cold dice, they happen to everyone.  You can play 3 games in a row with hot dice that go cold at the crucial moment in the third.  You can play a game where the dice are cold only at the moments when they really matter.  You can play a tournament where all day long your dice are so cold you throw them in the trash, buy new dice only to have them be even colder, which you didn’t think was even possible.  So how do you deal with cold dice?

First let’s get one thing straight.  I am not asking if you switch dice in the middle of the game. I’m not asking if use “cold” dice for when you need to roll low or “hot” dice for when you need to roll high, that can be considered cheating or at least less than ethical.  What I am asking is how do you handle when the dice, no matter which dice, just don’t seem to roll in your favor. I’ll start off with a few things I have done.

1.  Buy new dice.  I own a TON of dice.  I do a project every year with my 8th grade class where I ask them to make a board game based upon the expedition of Lewis and Clarke.  I tell them I would supply 6 sided dice and various other polyhedral dice, two baggies full of d6s of every size and color imaginable live with me at work.  Chessex, translucent, opaques, swirly colored dice, speckled, 16mm, 12mm, Casino dice from the Flamingo in Las Vegas etc.  Inevitably one of my students asks, “Why do you have so many dice?”  “Because I play a lot of games, moving on…”  I have bought dice to match most of my armies over the years and so I end up with a lot of dice because for whatever reason it never crosses my mind to send the dice with the army when I sell it on eBay.  Also, if my dice run cold for 5+ games in a row I usually call it quits on them for a while and buy new dice.

2.  Rotate dice.  I have so many sets of dice as a result of number 1 that I often just rotate a new set in.  For example I used just normal translucent colored dice last month for the tournament at our FLGS.  They don’t match my color scheme but I hadn’t used them since I played my old Necron army in the waning days of 6th and I had found them when I moved our family office from upstairs to downstairs.  I used them on a whim.  I have seen people alternate the dice they use in Warmahordes.  Meaning one game they use black for damage red for column, then red for damage black for column.  I also alternate dice between game systems.


3. Throw them away.  I have only done this once but I have witnessed it done many times.  I had a game once with my Space Wolves against a well tooled Blood Angel army.  I had Sanguinary Guard + Dante in the open clumped together in front of 3 PC totting Long Fangs.  3 overheats, 3 failed armor saves.  Ok, that happens sometimes I guess.  Same turn 5 Vanguard Vets Heroically Intervene on my Thunderwolf Lord and 4 Thunderwolf Cavalry all with Storm Shields.  I fail 6 of 7 3+ invul saves, roll a 12 for leadership , and roll enough to go off the table edge and die.  The hits kept coming in that game, so I threw the dice out and bought a brick of black GW dice to use the rest of the day.  Normally I wouldn’t change dice in the middle of a tournament but I just couldn’t bring myself to play another game with those dice.

That’s just me though and I have seen this discussion pop up from time to time so I thought I would pose the question.

~How do you deal with your dice going cold?


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