Don’t be that guy: Dice edition

No matter what brings you to the WM/H table I can bet it’s not a strong desire to listen to someone whine about their dice rolls for an hour or two.

But sometimes they are so damn annoying! Take this internal monologue:

  1. “Damn you dice, couldn’t you have just made one tough roll!”
  2. “Just one! It’s all I ask.”
  3. *Rolls another 3*
  4. “Arg it’s so frustrating! I literally lost the game because of that roll! “
  5. “I always end up loosing the game because of a roll like that.”

Been there? I think we all have been in a similar situation before. I still remember this game when I failed those 7 tough rolls in a row. In fact many of us (including me) have walked away thinking just that, the dice beat me! It’s a really easy trap to fall into. And I’m here to tell you that 99% of the time, it’s dangerously wrong.

Let’s revisit that monologue, italics is future me after learning what I did wrong during that game.

  1. “Damn you dice, couldn’t you have just made one tough roll!” (Well you have made 23 out of your 32 tough rolls this game so I’d say you’re doing well)
  2. “Just one! It’s all I ask.” (Odds say you aren’t going to make this next one!)
  3. *Rolls another 3* (Told you so!)
  4. “Arg it’s so frustrating! I literally lost the game because of that roll! ” (No, you lost the game because you bet your whole game on making those tough rolls.)
  5. “I always end up loosing the game because of a roll like that.” ( Doesn’t every game end in a dice roll? )

As infuriating as it would have been, I would have loved someone at the end of that game to tell me those exact things. I walked away from that game legitimately thinking I had lost because of my dice. I have never been more wrong.

Not only is it disrespectful to your opponent when you chalk up their hard fought victory to dice rolls, but you are also stunting your growth as a player. I went on to lose another game in exactly the same way because instead of asking myself a couple honest questions about my loss I walked away saying that dice had lost it for me. And that’s just sad.

There are two things I’m going to try and do differently from hence forth.

1. Never attribute another loss to dice rolls

At the end of the game I’ll ask myself such things as:

  • Did I play a perfect game?
  • There wasn’t anything else I could have done better besides a couple dice rolls?
  • How did I get in a situation where my whole fate rested upon a few dice rolls?
  • Is there something that I could have done to avoid that?

Attributing a loss to dice rolling is the easy way out. It allows you to ignore your failings as a player and will probably ensure that you lose the same way again. Be better.

2. Never whine during a game about dice rolls

One of my buddies had a great way of getting out his frustration on rolling poorly in a key situation. Whenever he rolled abnormally poorly he would calmly take his dice aside and not use it for the rest of the game. Afterward he would take great pleasure in lining up all of his dice in formation, looking at the offending dice. Then he would take a hammer and SMASH THAT FUCKER INTO A MILLION PIECES.

Didn’t that feel good? And I bet those other dice took a long hard think before failing a toughness test again.

Now I’m not advocating that you go around smashing all your dice, but find a better way to express your dice frustration. Get a bonsai tree. Paint a few models. Get a rock garden. You don’t need to moan and whine (not to mention disrespect your opponent) all game. Be better.

For me though, I think I might stick with the dice smashing. :)

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4 responses to “Don’t be that guy: Dice edition

  1. In the 2+ years I have been playing, with multiple games a week, there is one game I can point to in all of them that the dice were a major factor in the game. At the end of the game, I told my opponent “I am sorry – you may have outplayed me. I don’t know, because I couldn’t make anything work.” He agreed with me.

    That said, that is clearly the exception, and not the rule (law of large numbers and all that). Good article on this – I really think more people could use this. Humans are terrible at understanding statistics, and confirmation bias is very easy to fall in to inadvertently.

    • I know that even though i try not to be one of these people, that i have days were i end up being that guy. We all hate losing, but its not the dice’s fault!

  2. Totally agree… I do this myself sometimes as it gets so frustrating when every single roll for a turn comes up bad. Not jsut one or 2, but every one…. Sometimes it makes you so mad you just can’t help but vent to your opponent, not so much that he is a bad player as your entire turn feels wasted because not a single roll came anywhere close to average.

    I really want to get myself out of this mindset too, as it really doesn’t promote friendly competion and is more a downer to the game in general. My vow for this week is to not complain once about dice in any games if i do… Call me on it and i will buy you a drink!

  3. Pingback: Competitive Play – Taking Notes | Sustained Attack

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