Tag Archives: dice

Solutions for “Flyaway Dice”

If you roll dice like me, you often spend more time picking dice up off the floor rather than rolling them across the table. To get any kind of decent result, you have to throw the dice, or at least I do. Unfortunately, this often results in bowling over my miniatures figures and a momentary pause in the game while we search for a missing d6 or d20. (We joke that I go “bowling for Clix” on a regular basis.)

But, since a dice rolling off the table becomes invalid, how can we stop dice from going everywhere? I’ve tried a number of solutions for my flyaway dice, and have come up with “what works” and “what doesn’t work.”

What Works

  • Using a box lid to roll dice in
  • Rolling against a pile of books or the side of a game box
  • Playing the game on a table with a raised edge around the tabletop (1/2 inch to 1 inch in height)

What Doesn’t Work

  • Rolling the dice around in your hand in cramped motions rather than larger motions*
  • Trying to keep the dice only on one tiny part of the table
  • Rolling directly on the miniatures map (if not held down by plexiglas)

*This causes uniformly terrible dice rolls–more Crit Misses than average, and much lower numbers in general. A full-bodied throw results in more “average” or “high” roll results–more sixes, sevens, and eights on a pair of d6s, and more 10s, 11s, and 12s on a d20. I believe this is because the dice don’t have a lot of chance to move around and settle on different numbers when you’re not moving your hand very much.

Other Solutions

Gaming companies have created other solutions to the flyaway dice phenomenon, which is more common than I thought–dice “boots” (not the wearable kind) and dice “towers” are both designed for players to roll their dice in. Even plans for a dice tower made of paper is available!

However, both these solutions do not allow for higher-powered throws like mine. It’s not like I hurl the dice across the room or anything, but I do like to toss them rather than shake them around in my hand a little, then drop them.

For me, I think I’ll always prefer a nice wide box lid, or tossing them handball-style against a stack of stuff on a table. The dice seem to like me better when I do that, at least. LOL

Bad Dice! Bad!

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Usually, I have horrible dice rolls while playing HeroClix. Lady Luck, I think, would rather have a good ol’ fashioned hair-pulling scrap in the ladies’ restroom with me than be my friend. Say I need a 5 on my pair of 6-sided dice to succeed–I’ll usually roll a 4. I need anything but “snake eyes?” Guess what I roll.

Why Do the Dice Hate Me? Several Possible Reasons

I’m not sure why I am so prone to bad dice rolls. Sometimes I think it’s how hard I throw the dice, or how tentative I am about rolling them. I tend to go “bowling for Clix figures” if I roll them too hard, or send the dice rolling off the table and away. Thus, I often hold and roll them very, very carefully so that they land just right. Perhaps this extra care is not good for my luck.

Also, I’ve often wondered if it’s the actual temperature of the dice–if the dice are cold to the touch, I have found that they will somehow roll better for me. If I’ve sat there holding them in my hand for a while, they get “hot” and start rolling badly. This might have something to do with the nature and quality of the plastic used to make most of my dice, but I’m not sure. All I know is that I’ve rolled far more double-sixes and single-sixes at the beginning of a game of HeroClix than I do at the end!

How I Try to Fix My Bad Dice Rolls

Many Clix players have posted on a topic about influencing dice, trying to get around their own runs of bad luck playing Clix, so I’m not alone in this. The primary way I get around bad rolls is to build in a lot of Probability Control for my teams, so that if I have a bad roll or two, it doesn’t have to “stick.” My habitually bad dice rolls are the #1 reason I play Destiny, Jason Blood, Jinx, Saint Walker, etc.!

Secondly, I try to roll the dice against something solid, either a box on the table or actually dropping them into a box lid, so I don’t worry so much about damaging figures or dice rolling off the table. (I find it helps if you don’t roll directly across the HeroClix map–those nasty little “hills” and “valleys” made by the map folds get my dice every time, turning a 5 into a 1 in a heartbeat!)

Lastly, I switch dice often (testing out the “cold” versus “hot” dice theory), and about 60% of the time, it works. (It’s probably still a placebo effect, but it just FEELS good to put aside a pair of dice that seem to be malfunctioning!)

I’m not sure if any of these fixes really get around my bad luck or if I’m just staving off my Crit Misses for later (LOL)…only time (and more games) will tell! But for now, it eases my mind just a little so I can get back to playing a good game of Clix. 🙂