• Sponsor

    In my 18 years of experience playing Axis & Allies, nothing has been more reflective of my self improvement than how I react to poor dice rolls. From 98 to 2001, I played my best friend every weekend it seemed, and I lost more games than I care to admit, but like clockwork, I was always garunteed to lose my temper with the dice gods. I would scream obscenities and throw my dice across the room, I once even throw them off the belcony of our apartment. It was like this for a long while until I started to improve my attitude about other areas in my life, which eventually helped with my rage toward the dice gods. Of course anyone with this type of emotional investment in something as uncontrollable and random as dice rolls, must be obsessive compulsive or superstitious right? Ya…. For me the throwing surface had to be corse like on a cloth so the dice would tumble and not slide like they would on the cardboard lid of the game box. I had to toss them just right, not drop them or throw them hard, but enough that if I were some how responsible for the out come. I would even build my own dice boxes to roll in and shop all day for the perfect dice to buy.

    Well all that history was a primitive state that alowed me to learn the right attitude about reacting to poor dice rolls. Yes, I still like to throw them a certain way, and on a certain surface, with certian dice. However, my perseption has changed greatly, instead of metaphysically demanding a 1 or 2 every roll, I simply ask the universe to be fair. If this doesn’t happen, I no longer throw my dice in anger… I shrug my shoulders in disappointment and continue the game. I have plans and strategies in mind, and if my dice rolls are crap, I view it as a challenge to my ideas. I say, “if my plan is challenged by poor dice rolls and still works, than I have a good game plan”, or “if I continuely roll bad this game, than the challenge is to win in spite of them”. This is my current philosophy toward the dice gods, but it took years of emotional maturity to arrive here.

    There is nothing more rewarding when playing Axis & Allies than winning a game in which you had horrible dice rolls. In the past I wouldn’t have even tryed, I would have blamed the dice for my failures, and flipped the table. I’m writing this because a friend of mine has recently lost faith in the game because of it’s unpredictable element of chance. Although I have had my issues with the dice, I have always loved the game. However, Vance has fallen out of love for the game because of its chance mechanic. I can’t bestow my lessons learned, those must be experienced personally, but I’m hoping that my friend has an enlightenment that will allow him to see Axis & Allies differently, and to spit into the faces of the dice good and all their misfortunes of war.

    Please help me shine a light on the pain of crappy dice rolls by sharing your stories, and how you react to them. Let’s bring this ugly monster to task, and peel back the layers of control by talking about it here. Let’s begin the healing for all those that have had victory stolen from them because of the unluckyest of rolls. Let’s bring the love of the game back for those that have lost their way.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    One reaction for me is to just acknowledge that i lost due to poor dice and smile at misfortune. You got to accept the fact that this is less like Chess and more like Poker and i’m glad for it.

  • '17 '16 '13 '12

    The randomness is a good substitute for the fog of war and all the unexpected that war is about (intelligence, surprise, deception, logistical problems, weather).

  • Sponsor

    Ironically, I just got finished playing a game today in which my 18 Russian infantry defending in the far east, took all of 3 infantry in 3 combat rounds. I still won the game though.

  • Customizer


    This is a TRUE STORY !

    ––One game some time ago, we were desperate for another player so we could play a Global-40 game. My brothers’ neighbor happened by at the right time. He’s a very passive guy and not the least bit competitive. But he had some time so he thought maybe it’d be fun. We let him play China so he could have an “easy” time of it. There’s not necessarily much strategy to playing China so he could learn and have some fun.
    ----It was my 1st time playing Japan in Global and I had a powerful “Asia Blitz” planned-out, and had invested lot’s of IPC’s in Transports to fuel my attack. I took Hong Kong and several other key points, then went to follow that up with some attacks on China to cut the Burma road and take some countries.
    ----BAM!, All ones or twos rolled by the “rookie”.
    ––2nd roll,…BAM!, All ones! This “new guy” that didn’t really even know how to play anhiliated my Japanese cutting them off at the knees. Wow, we patted him on the back and said, "you’ve learned that part well, haha!
    ––My 2nd turn I alterred my plans a litttle because of the unexpected heavy casualties and when I attacked the “rookie” Chinese player he again devastated my attackers. If I remember, he had ALL hits with his Infantry except for ONE dice, once! Something like 14 out of 15 hits, with Infantry!
    ----Wow,…my whole plan had been shredded because of an early and complete anihilation of my original S.E.A. forces. I wasn’t able to fully recover because the UK-Calcutta player re-enforced the Chinese player and from then on it was rough for the Japanese.
    ----TIME is probably the most precious commodity in this game of A&A, and this “rookie” completely took away my momentum with serious repercussions! From then on it seemed it was just a slow, drawn-out death for my Japanese.
    ----Although this is a game of “chance”, I always attack with good odds in my favor as far as numers go. I’ve rolled dice and gotten the averages down in my head pretty well for how many hits every situation should get in a hundred rolls. I even had “test rolled” my gameplan several times to make it as feasible as possible. But it was all for naught that day.
    ----After being completely shredded by a small force of only Infantry, by a “rookie” no less,…I suddenly wasn’t smiling at his good fortune anymore. I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Damn it, next game you’re on my side!” It was all I could salvage out of the debacle.
    ----I still like the randomness of dice rolls and think it’s an important, and fun(?) part of the game.

    ----What a GREAT GAME A&A is! Sometimes it’s more fun than others, though(grin).

    “Tall Paul”

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer


    The randomness is a good substitute for the fog of war and all the unexpected that war is about (intelligence, surprise, deception, logistical problems, weather).

    I have tried to use that as a pleasant justification for unfortunate happenstance, but such logic usually matters little in the heat of battle.

    Not that I disagree with your point. Just that, when crap dice happen, I will still be spitting angry about it. Especially when I had the numerical superiority and expectation to win.

  • Sponsor

    Great story Tall Paul,

    I know what you mean…. I was having a game with a buddy of mine who was playing his first ever A&A game and he rolled snake eyes when I tried to bomb London with 2 Bombers. However, your story about rookie rolls was much more incredible.

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