“C’mon, c’mon, c’mon … anything but a one!!” *
*CLATTER, CLATTER, CLATTER*
You’ve been there, don’t lie. I’m not even going to pretend that’s not one of my actual conversations when engaging in our favourite past time.
The history of dice is interesting. The word come from Latin “datum” or “something which is given or played”. Depending on how your rolling is going, you may want to give them away. Often at high speed and occassionally at the friendly, smiling face on the other side of the table.
Some of the earliest dice were excavated from a Mesopotamian tomb, dating all the way back to the 24th century BCE. They were found with a board game and the fact it was in a tomb leads us to the conclusion that Risk was causing people to fight even back then! The dice found in the tomb had consecutive numbering on them rather than the modern dice where opposite sides add up to seven.
Over the years, one tends to collect dice. New games come out with the weapon of choice packaged in. Retailers are always coming up with new and sparky designs to appeal to the Magpie in all of us. Of course, as proper wargamers, we recognise the existence of “other” dice in the multitude of sides and shapes. As you know, real men roll six sided dice.
One of my favourite uses of dice is as a promotional tool:
Tournaments and events often use dice just as a cool marketing tool and who doesn’t love being able to roll off in that first game with the official dice for the event?
In the picture above you can see the “offical” Bolter and Chainsword dice from a few years back. I don’t know what it is about these ones, but they are remarakably lucky (even when not playing Space Marines!). Maybe they are carved from the bones of deceased Space Marines and that’s why they work so well for my Plague Marines. If you see me rolling them, it means things are getting serious-up-in-here.
And here’s where we hit the rant.
At our core, humans are a superstitious lot. And I am no exception to that. When the action’s on and the bullets are flying, don’t be messing with my dice. I’m often found rolling them around in my hand to “keep them warm” or putting them in piles of lucky and unlucky dice. There’s a whole world of totally rational and sane behaviours at work and I’d hate for you to mess that up for me.
Most tournament player packs specifically mention bringing all the required componemnts to play the game: rulebook, army lists, deodourant and FREAKIN’ DICE!!! Seriously. Don’t. Touch. My. Dice.
Which brings us to my least favourite scenario. My opponent, for whatever reason, doesn’t have dice. This sucks. My nice guy side wins out and, “of course you can use my dice. Just don’t roll them well against me!”
Because, if you didn’t bring dice/don’t have/can’t borrow (at a stretch) dice, it’s not going to be a very interesting game, is it? Sure, you can move units around the table, check distances for shooting, but when it comes to crunch time … your guns have no ammo? You change your mind about pounding in my face with a Power Fist? I don’t think so.
The funny thing is, I’m NOT the extreme end of the spectrum. I KNOW you’ve got superstitions about your dice. What are they?
* I know that Malifaux doesn’t use dice. It’s the same basic concept. Sort of.