• I used a dermal/moto-tool to scrap out the colours in the pips.

    Next I used a black/red sharpie marker in those “new” pips to blend better with
    the flat surface of the die.

    Only took a couple of hours to do 30 dice.

    Picking up some green dice tomorrow to make the “4 hits” dice.

    Just a thought for those without $75-$100 lying around for custom dice.

    battle dice.jpg

  • That’s a cool way of making battle dice. I made my own with inspiration from siredblood, just simply putting one hole in each side that was supposed to be a hit. But those look really cool

  • '18 '17

    Great job on the dice. I think I’m now in the market for a dremel tool…

  • Great idea, but how will it effect the balance ? You are adding weight on one side, and remove weight from the other side, are they still balanced ?

  • Dremel tools are very useful for a lot of things Highly recommend them.
    (I sharpen my old lawnmower blade with it as the blade is stuck on.)
    The bit I used was a ball shaped cutter so it went in nicely.

    As for balance, I was careful to not take much away. Some did get removed as I closely watched the dust colour.
    By and large though, the paint “chipped” off when scraped. They don’t use super adhesive paint for these dice as they are protected from direct impact.
    The balance issue is less than drilling out one side for a pip.

    Hopefully will get the green dice today and finish this project up.
    Then back to finding a better storage solution for my 1942.2 game. 😞

  • '14 Customizer


    Great idea, but how will it effect the balance ? You are adding weight on one side, and remove weight from the other side, are they still balanced ?

    We had a balance issue with some of Field Marshal Dice.  Ended up having to buy certified Vegas dice to satisfy my group, lol

  • With these dice, included in various A&A games, I think removing the paint helped rebalance the dice a bit.
    The weight of the paint was removed from the 5-6 pips lightened those sides.
    This countered the material loss from the 5-6 “holes” on those sides.

    All in all it is a more balanced solution to the removal of material of just one side.
    Hilltop Pillbox battle dice are probably the best solution as the “hit” symbols are painted on the surface and not inscribed.
    I just don’t have the $75 to spend on them, hence my “poor man” solution.

  • I did the same exact thing….and used yellow dice for 4’s
    10 x 1’s 2’s and 3’s and 6 x4’s

  • '20 '19 '18 Customizer

    Simply brilliant!! Good solution for those that bought normal dice and want to change to hit dice.

  • Thanks, worked out very well for hit dice.

    I picked up blue dice today and made the 4s.
    Since it is for fighters and BBs, the colour worked well. (sea and sky)

    A fast and inexpensive solution for getting battle dice IMHO.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    An alternate approach that wouldn’t involve buying a dremel, and would be less labour-intensive, would be this:

    • Get some normal dice.

    • Put all your dice on a table and, working on the top side of each die, paint the upper face in a colour which represents one of the particular hit / miss / whatever values you want to express.  In principle, the paint will not only colour-code the die face, it will also fill in the pip holes.

    • Let dry.

    • Repeat five more times, rotating the dice each time to position a new die face at the top side.

  • I actually pondered painting in the pips.

    In the end, using the deemed was faster. Even using 3 different tips so as not to remove the body material, it took 1 - 2 hours for 10 dice.
    The 1 hits took longer as more paint had to be removed and the 4 hits took under an hour. I also sped up once I had the technique down.

    Now, finding all the dice was where the real time was spent. I now have a “dice bucket” for all my large dice.
    Thankfully Chessex has those containers for the small dice. 🙂

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    I actually pondered painting in the pips.
    In the end, using the deemed was faster. Even using 3 different tips so as not to remove the body material, it took 1 - 2 hours for 10 dice.

    I guess it depends on the meaning of “faster”.  Painting a batch of dice, one face at a time, would probably involve (to be safe) an hour of drying time for each face…but the painting itself would only take a few seconds for each die, so in terms of actual work time the painting would only add up to a few minutes rather than 1 to 2 hours of work with a dremel.

  • 2022 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Just curious, what is the point of “hit dice”?

    Just makes it easier to determine hits?  I get that, if so.  Deprives you of a statistical perspective though on what you rolled.

    Also, what is the technical scoop on A&A dice?  For years I and my gaming companions have contemplated the relative reliability of the OOB dice in regards to shape and weight, knowing the reality that given the drilled holes for the dots they were likely biased towards 6’s as the lightest side.

    Also what was the scoop on FMG dice?  I suspect because the “1” is painted that they are even more biased toward 6’s?

    Further, why did they “round” the edges of the later A&A OOB dice?  Is that some technical thing to allow it to roll around more?  Are sharp edges undesirable?

    Finally, I’ve been told certified vegas dice are really the only truly reliable dice. Fact or fiction?



  • Faster = time from lining up the dice to alter to using them in a game.

    I’d like to to see anyone paint pips in a few seconds BTW.  😄

  • Hit dice speed up the dice rolling process.
    Each level is a different colour and only shows the numbers needed. So if you have four 1s, three 2s and one 4 attacking, you grab the appropriate dice and roll them all at once.
    You can at a glance see what hit and what missed.
    All game dice are suspect/unbalanced. This is balanced by both players using the same dice.
    Vegas or Backgammon dice are balanced and truly random. The ideal for any game of chance. The corners are square as well.
    Rounded corners make the dice look better when rolling as they move more.

    Check Hilltop Pillbox videos on youtube to see hit dice in action.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    I’d like to to see anyone paint pips in a few seconds BTW.  😄

    Actually, I wasn’t thinking about painting pips.  I was thinking about solid face colours: for example, red die face = hit, blue die face = miss.  No pips at all.

  • '18 '17 '16


    Just curious, what is the point of “hit dice”?

    I had thought that it would be a little quicker rolling all of the dice at once. It turns out that it is a lot faster because of the time saved determining what to roll. In the first round you gather all of the dice you need, then you roll them and take your casualties. When counting your casualties you simply remove that number of dice from your pile of dice that you gathered before the combat began. It’s easier to count them too. If say you’re using white dice for infantry then you’ll want to remove the white dice before you start removing the red dice. Remove the red before the blue, remove the blue before the green.

    In a large battle you are not stuck counting up how much of everything that you have left in the battle because the number of dice left in your hand has already done that for you. That’s where the real time saving is found.

  • Ah, I see. Then I’d recommend spray painting as it is faster and dries faster.
    You would eventually need to touch up chips but with the new
    sprays which adhere to plastics…

    Interested to see the results.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17


    I’d like to to see anyone paint pips in a few seconds BTW.  😄

    You likely could do so if you made a guide to help line up the pips. But then you have to consider the amount of work to set up the guide or guides (say, one guide for painting out 6’s, one for painting out 5’s, etc…)


  • '16

    I don’t like homemade dice.

    Before I got into Axis & Allies, I was an avid player of Heroclix, which is a kind of superhero chess game that uses dice to help resolve combat.

    It was very common for conventions, both local and regional or national, to provide customized dice as part of sign-ups, and per tournament rules, players could bring their own dice. When one player bought certified used casino dice and kept getting crushed, we began to feel something was up. After a few months of suspicion, we cleared the calendar and spent an evening testing the dice everyone was using. The results were sobering: even though not designed for cheating, custom dice were sometimes badly biased, both up and down.

    My resort was to buy packs of dice from Hoyle, which I could at least put my faith in. I wasn’t seeking perfection–just something better than predictable, detectable bias.

    Axis & Allies and HeroClix both try to get around the dice issue by allowing players to roll one another’s dice, but the problem is that, depending on which side you play, you either need better rolls on the attack more often (Axis) or better roles on the defensive more often (Allies at game start), so even using the same dice doesn’t really help if they’re meaningfully off.

  • The great thing about A&A is both sides need to roll low.
    This, to a great degree, negates bad dice.
    If the dice keep coming up 5-6’s, then this will effect both sides the same. Misses.

    With all games using dice, there is a probability of skewed results.
    This is why if you need a territory, put a lot more than needed into the battle.

  • '17 '16 Customizer

    Dice roll and tumble and land where they may, to think too much about is crazy… roll this one, roll that one… “if I only rolled it with this side up, would be different outcome”… it’s too much… granted if every roll was a six, be weird, but that don’t happen, least in my games… I say just “roll” with it… you win some, you lose some.

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