Dice War is Six Sided Hell
August 2, 2006 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Dice Wars is a flash game, similar to Risk. The goal is to conquer the entire board. Start easy, with just the two player version (play goes up to 7 players max). In order to "win" a square, the randomized total of your die roll must be higher than your opponent's total. Tie/Lose, and all your dice (but one) are removed from your square. After each turn, the number of dice you earned is randomly distributed among your conquered squares. Strategically, it's good to build a solid base of contiguous squares, and staff your front lines with more dice than your edge squares.
posted by jonson (32 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
That was strangely fun. Was Risk that easy? I haven't really played it or anything like it in a very long time. Seems like the same strategy works for this as most war scenarios. Don't freak out and overextend yourself; move gradually. Those dice are depending on you.
posted by blacklite at 6:19 PM on August 2, 2006

The number of new dice you get is equal to the longest chain of tiles you own. It took me forever to figure that out. So, the first step towards victory is to connect your starting tiles.
posted by Sibrax at 6:31 PM on August 2, 2006

why does a flash game simulate rolling dice?
posted by Miles Long at 6:34 PM on August 2, 2006

Sibrax - thanks for that! I see now that's why I always seemed to fare better when I built a "base" of connected tiles. I just assumed it was because no one could wade through my ranks too easily (you lose a die for every forward move you make on the offensive).
posted by jonson at 6:37 PM on August 2, 2006

My one gripe about the game is that you can be totally blown away before you even get to roll. The best strategy for me so far has been to slowly build up area, never letting the front line get too thin. Once you've got 7 contiguous regions with 8 dice on each every time you gain ground you'll actually get a fully occupied region. At 13 you get two etc.

Once that happens you spend a bit of time burning your enemies stockpile of die and eventually can win.
posted by substrate at 6:45 PM on August 2, 2006

wow my board started with a lot of people and now it's down to just a few. Three. And now I'm out. Damn that's fun. I wish there was a chat and a way to form aliances.
posted by delmoi at 6:50 PM on August 2, 2006

It's too easy. Needs to be massively (if 7 is massive :) multiplayer.
posted by jewzilla at 7:17 PM on August 2, 2006

Nice find jonson, thanks.
posted by tellurian at 7:22 PM on August 2, 2006

It's intresting some of the aliances that form automatically. At the end of the game before last I had two of my enimes traped on one side of the board. I kept forcing them next to eachother but they wouldn't fight. Oh well.

In my last game I got saved by the fact that people didn't gang up on me, even though they should have.

It's intresting, I still havn't exactly figured out the rules that generate new dice for you. It seems to have something to do with how many you capture. But how does the game decide what sections to put them on? I thought it had something to do with contignuity.

One intresting thing. In games without a 'bottle neck' at the end, a lot of dice are going to flip each turn. You have to have a 'follow' feild around you of one-dice boards so that by the time they get to your stockpiles their armies are depleated.
posted by delmoi at 7:41 PM on August 2, 2006

I saw this on Mark Hurst's (really previously) excellent Good Experience Games, a great resource for when you're looking to kill a few minutes (or hours).
posted by joshuaconner at 8:02 PM on August 2, 2006 [2 favorites]

Also agree that it needs to be MM; the real secret - and fun - to winning Risk is manipulating your fellow players.
posted by joshuaconner at 8:08 PM on August 2, 2006

Also note that you can save up extra dice once all your territories are maxed out at eight dice. You'll see these extra dice when you territories are replenished at the end of your turn.

Attackers seem to get a bit of en edge in a even battle.
posted by jeblis at 8:26 PM on August 2, 2006

Don't wast your time with territories that aren't connected to your main mass. Your number of replenishments is based upon your largest contiguous land mass. Having extra territories will spread you reinforcements out in areas you don't need to keep.
posted by jeblis at 8:30 PM on August 2, 2006

the key to winning in large games is to stay in second place and leave the computer room to attack each other. Then grab 8 contiguous territories and wait until they fill. Then, grab one at territory at a time, with the dice filling into 100% behind.

Also, try not to let any of the computers get taken out completely until you control more than half the board.
posted by empath at 9:08 PM on August 2, 2006

I'm with substrate -- this is fun and addictive but needs more balanced gameplay. (Also, for whatever reason, playing the default 7 player game, I'm the 7th player about 2/3 of the time, the first about 1/4, and the 2nd the remainder. Maybe that's a crude way to balance?)

There's a tremendous first-move advantage in this game, so it's extremely frustrating to be at the end of the line. You usually get 4 territories to start (with 7 players) and they can be whittled to one before you get to play (I don't think I've ever been completely eliminated, though -- another hack no doubt.) I also find the inability to place your own dice insanely frustrating, as very often they end up way behind your front line or placed on an isolated square you consider a strategic sacrifice (per jeblis).

And no, it isn't multiplayer at all, in case anyone's confused. It woudl be fun that way though.

Key strategies: Yes, contiguous tiles count (that's the number at the bottom, and how many dice you get added to your territories when your turn ends). Isolated regions don't. So connect territories.

You also need to frustrate your opponents, so make every opportunity to split their total region in half by punching through. (Note that the computer players do this all the time, even though it must be somewhat easier on them psychologically to deal with the territory loss that can come from an overextension.)

Avoid overextension. Build one region at a time if you can, but sometimes you have to do it to execute a split. If done right you can keep reconnecting to an isolated territory, but unless you get some strong towers into the split, they're likely to fall into enemy hands again. It only counts what you have at the end of your turn, so you need to make sure the enemy eventually can't split you back.

Always look for the shortest path to a split, but take the weakest if you have to. Don't worry about cutting off and surrounding the enemy unless they have a big tower.

Attack equal-on-equal, or weaker-to-stronger, only when you have no other choice. Your chances of losing and then losing your attacking territory after your turn are high.

Make use of turn skips if you need to. Build up your forces. Often your enemies will fight each other rather than your stronger towers and then you can seize their weaker piles.

Peninsulas. Peninsulas. Peninsulas.

Finally, recognize stalemates and attrition games, and quit.

24 hours and I'm a friggin' expert.
posted by dhartung at 9:15 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]

Wow! Thanks, dhartung - you saved me a ton of time just now.
posted by jonson at 9:17 PM on August 2, 2006

Is it Friday already?
posted by oddman at 9:19 PM on August 2, 2006

I think an important key is to not play this game too much like Risk. Instead of going after weak countries, I fight the biggest opponent I have a one or two dice advantage over. This leaves my own weaker countries relatively safe against weaker opponent countries. Since there is only one roll per battle and you only lose one die per victory, it doesn't make any sense to take out the weaker opponents first anyway. If you have 4-8 dice, you might as well take out the 3-6 die opponent, because the chances are not much worse than going up against a single die. Leave those single and double die countries for later, after you have built up your continent.
posted by jkafka at 9:38 PM on August 2, 2006

This game is great.

One more risky strategy for when you have a feel for the game; in the late stages you will likely have big towers in the back of your territory that can't ever do anything. Sometimes it is good to let the enemy penetrate slightly into your territory. This lets you move dice from the back to the front and perhaps gain an extra territory or two.

Note; this wont work if your enemy can fully reinforce his new territories.
posted by Justinian at 9:39 PM on August 2, 2006

Is this actually multiplayer? It seems like the other players always make moves instantly.
posted by delmoi at 9:48 PM on August 2, 2006

No, not actually multiplayer, delmoi - I think it's just you vs an increasing number of AI opponents.
posted by jonson at 10:02 PM on August 2, 2006

is Risk that easy

no, Risk lets you place your armies at the start, right? and then reapportion your troops between countries, or use two countries together in joint assault?

Instead of going after weak countries, I fight the biggest opponent I have a one or two dice advantage over.

That was my strategy too. But I haven't fared well.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:24 PM on August 2, 2006

Dicewars + XBLA = instant hit

(XBLA = Xbox Live Arcade - for the Xbox 360)
posted by SirOmega at 11:10 PM on August 2, 2006

This would be a really fun multiplayer game if there was a timer, and each person got to make one move per turn.
posted by delmoi at 11:43 PM on August 2, 2006

I think an important key is to not play this game too much

Damn, that's what I've been doing wrong.

That godawful "win" whistle -- if you click on the arrow on the upper right quickly enough you can actually skip it.

By the way, this was a natural pick-up for me -- I'm already addicted to TurboRisk and its configurable selection of AI opponents. Era$or.bot and Wyrm are my sworn blood enemies. But eventually you get tired of the winning strategy being Australia.
posted by dhartung at 12:18 AM on August 3, 2006

That was fun, dhartung. Human has conquered the world! Apparently I'm secretly a brilliant war strategist.
posted by blacklite at 2:48 AM on August 3, 2006

(Okay, I'm definitely not, never mind)
posted by blacklite at 3:13 AM on August 3, 2006

This darned game has been sucking my time ever since I saw it on Jay Is Games awhile back. I even wrote a program to calculate the odds for each number of attacking and defending dice.

My most important bits of strategy are to try to leave a buffer of "nearly empty" enemy territories next to my border (i.e., don't go for that 1-er if it leaves a 7-er on your border), and to remember how many "left over" dice I have in the end-game so that I can make the maximum number of attacks and still repopulate all my territories.

The computer players just don't understand about not overextending, but they sure are good at not attacking each other in the end-game.
posted by jepler at 6:17 AM on August 3, 2006

That godawful "win" whistle -- if you click on the arrow on the upper right quickly enough you can actually skip it.

The "win" sound is what I like best about the game. It has that pleasant 80's arcade game vibe.
posted by martinrebas at 6:19 PM on August 3, 2006

This is really neat.
posted by geekhorde at 10:18 PM on August 3, 2006

Too much advantage to the player who goes first!
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 1:44 PM on August 4, 2006

I disagree that this would be as fun multiplayer. It works because it moves fast. You don't get to choose where to repopulate because that would slow it down. This is like speed Risk: reflex over strategy. Once you slow the game down to let real people think and take their turns it's gonna lose appeal, I bet.
posted by rikschell at 4:02 PM on August 4, 2006

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