Friday, April 13, 2007

A Roll of the Dice

I love dice. I love games that use them. I love rolling them, the feel of them in your hand, the throw, the random result. There's just something about dice that works on every level.

One game we used to play a lot was Axis & Allies. It involved lots of military miniatures and dice. I loved it.

One time at my old apartment I had a full five player Axis & Allies game. Me, Tim, Branko, Dean and Brian. (If I'm remembering right.) It got around to Germany's turn, played by Dean the Dictator, who decided it was time to smash Britain's production, under the control of Branko.

Dean built Bombers, five squadrons... very expensive. It took his whole production budget for two turns to build them all. Branko sat just across the water hating the fact that he was going to get pounded by those bombers. At last the moment came to strike.

Dean moved his five bombers from Western Europe, across the English Channel, toward Great Britain. Branko prepared his limited anti-aircraft defenses. His guns would get a free chance to fire upon the incoming bombers. One die for each bomber. Only a roll of 1 on the die would score a hit, anything else would be a miss. Out of five bombers, Dean fully expected to lose one, maybe.

The moment arrived. Branko picked up five dice and started rolling. The dice flew from his hand and began bouncing across the table. One by one they stopped.

Branko had rolled five 1's.

The odds against rolling five 1's with five dice are 7775 to 1. There was a moment of stunned silence. Then the shouting began.

Dean screamed in disgust, Branko with excitement. The rest of us howled with laughter. Dean pounded on the table and shouted, "UNACCEPTABLE!" Miniatures and dice flew. Dean did a great Hitler impression that night, we thought. It was grand.

I have rolled many dice since then, but I've never seen five of a kind ever again.

I guess it's just not in the cards.

Next Post: This Just In - Episode 5

Previous Post: The Worst Client Ever


Beki said...

I always have a dice on my desk. Somedays when I am really struggling to get on I write a to-do list, number items 1-6, roll a dice and commit to doing half an hour or whatever on that task.

I obviously have issues with decision making...!!

El Guapo said...

Actually, I myself have rolled five ones on five dice in an Axis and Allies. I was Germany, pushing east into Russia. I had five infantry, each attacking at a 1. Result: five 1s. Holy master race, Batman.

Of course, I believe that was the same game where I attacked the British Isles with two infantry and a fighter, but was thwarted by the lone defending bomber unit.

T. D. Fuhringer said...

@ Beki: I love your decision making method, I should try that.

@ El Guapo: Man the dice were loaded for you that game eh? Thwarted by a defending bomber never feels right. Darn dice.