# Why so much randomness in Miniature Wargamming?

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I was checking out miniature war games recently, starting with probably the most popular : Warhammer 40k. There seems to be A LOT of dice rolling and luck factor in these game. Many of the games that I see involve people cursing at their bad luck or winning due to lucky rolls. Do "strategy" players actually enjoy having so much randomness? I always thought they like miniature wargaming due to the strategy, tactics and planning involved.

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Randomness can be used to approximate the results of deterministic systems with a reduction in record keeping. For example, let's say you want a unit to take about three hits before going down. One way would be to give the unit three hit points and every time you attacked it, reduce the hit points by one. Another way would be to give the unit a one in three chance of going down whenever it got hit. On average it would still take three hits to go down, but it wouldn't require keeping track of the hit points.

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Most tabletop games are extremely simplified to make gameplay move faster and I would recommend that if your making a computer game to make a bit deeper combat mechanics.

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The more dice that are used, then less luck is a major factor. Basic probability says that if you have a 1 in 6 chance of hitting an enemy, and you roll 6 dice, then on average you would expect to get 1 hit every roll (but you might get none or oyu might get more than 1). If, instead, you rolled 24 dice, then you would expect to get at least 1 hit and on average get 4 hits.

In these cases, you can still get lucky rolls and unlucky rolls, but you can factor in to your plans that you will get an average hit rate based on the probabilities.

In this way, these games can simulate more complex factors (wind, dust, the training of the troops, etc) without actually having to have the player calculate all of them. As these factors are highly variable, they use a variable device (dice) to simulate these variations.

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 Original post by EdtharanIn this way, these games can simulate more complex factors (wind, dust, the training of the troops, etc) without actually having to have the player calculate all of them. As these factors are highly variable, they use a variable device (dice) to simulate these variations.

Quote:
 Original post by SiCraneRandomness can be used to approximate the results of deterministic systems with a reduction in record keeping. For example, let's say you want a unit to take about three hits before going down. One way would be to give the unit three hit points and every time you attacked it, reduce the hit points by one. Another way would be to give the unit a one in three chance of going down whenever it got hit. On average it would still take three hits to go down, but it wouldn't require keeping track of the hit points.

Ah yes...should have thought of these.

Quote:
 Original post by KazeMost tabletop games are extremely simplified to make gameplay move faster and I would recommend that if your making a computer game to make a bit deeper combat mechanics.

Please elaborate. What do you feel should be included in a computer game but was excluded for tabletop games? Thanks!

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Quote:
 Original post by EdtharanIn this way, these games can simulate more complex factors (wind, dust, the training of the troops, etc) without actually having to have the player calculate all of them. As these factors are highly variable, they use a variable device (dice) to simulate these variations.
And don't forget that even the most perfect strategies can fail due to bad luck - communication or identification mixups, equipment failure, etc.

Sometimes, someone just gets obscenely lucky - in real life or in a game. Last time I played Risk, I lost 24 consecutive die-rolls, to be defeated by a single army [wink]

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Original post by Girsanov
Quote:
 Original post by KazeMost tabletop games are extremely simplified to make gameplay move faster and I would recommend that if your making a computer game to make a bit deeper combat mechanics.

Please elaborate. What do you feel should be included in a computer game but was excluded for tabletop games? Thanks!

I cant really answer this without knowing what type of game you want to make but at the very least you shouldn't restrict yourself to the limitations of tabletop gaming given the trivial costs of basic math operation on a computer.

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 Original post by GirsanovDo "strategy" players actually enjoy having so much randomness? I always thought they like miniature wargaming due to the strategy, tactics and planning involved.

Risk management is a part of strategy.

Things always go wrong. A good strategy stacks the odds in your favour, and ensures that on balance, more things go right than wrong. It is also better able to adapt to potentially disastrous isolated failures.

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Sandman's beat me to it. It's all about risk versus reward. Knowing the exact outcome of your actions can suck a lot of the risk out of the outcome - and as a result, you're not likely to make moves that may not have the best result. Whereas, in a more random scenario, you might have by far the upper hand, but your actions still carry an inherent risk of something going wrong. Better yet, you might be acting against the odds, and come through significantly better than would have been expected. These potential, more unpredictable outcomes are what keep the game interesting, and prevent things become a stagnant repeat of tried and tested methodologies.

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Risk management is one thing. Being unable to lower the fumble probability below 5% is another thing.

Why approximate things by a dice throw ? If you want to approximate things, use 3.5 as an average result. Why have a 10% hit chance at X meters ? Have 10% the damages. That is how it would work on the real world anyway.

Sure in the real life things can go lucky, but is that interesting as a game mechanics ? Is it interesting that a player with a superior strategy can lose ?

I'll tell you the true reason for dices in miniature wargamming : it gives the losing side something to put the blame on. The games that don't have randomness are less popular for this reason : it clearly shows who did use the best strategy. I also suspect that randomness is convenient to hide balance problems.

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