Dice Wars


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Rating: 4.8/5 (211 votes)
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dicewars.gifDice Wars is a unique new turn-based strategy game from Taro Ito of GameDesign in Japan. Using nothing but dice and a randomly generated territory map made of hexagons, the game is similar in gameplay to that of the board game, Risk, though much simpler and quicker to play. The objective is to conquer all territories and eliminate all your opponents by attacking them with dice.

The single-player game may be played with up to seven (7) computer opponents, selectable at the game's main menu. Simply choose a number and let the game begin. You always play as violet.

Each turn you may attack any opponent's territory from one of your adjacent territories as long as your territory has more than one (1) die on it; and you may attack as many territories as you wish. Your turn ends when you click the "End Turn" button.

dicewars illustrationThe rules of combat between two adjacent territories are simple (see illustration): all dice on the attacking territory are thrown and the total number of pips are added and compared against the total of throwing all dice from the defending territory. If the attacker's total is greater than the defender's, all attacking dice (minus one) move onto the defender's territory thus capturing it, and the defender dice for that territory are all removed. If the defender's total is greater than or equal to the attacker's total, the attacker loses all but one die for that territory.

No movement of dice is allowed between territories other than by attacking as noted above. At the conclusion of each turn, the greatest number of adjoining territories you have is calculated, and you are awarded a bonus of that number of dice. They are then automatically and randomly placed throughout all of your territories, up to a maximum of eight (8) dice on a single territory.

Analysis: As usual, Ito-san delivers a compelling casual game experience that feels both familiar and unique. It is amazingly simple to pick-up and play and yet difficult to master. The game relies heavily on the luck of the dice (obviously), which may turn some people off, and yet there are definite strategies that emerge as you play to help counter those seemingly random odds.

The game moves pretty quickly, so it may take a game or two to get used to. But play through a couple of games and you'll likely be hooked as I am. And when you finally do conquer all 7 computer opponents, just click the "History" button and sit back and watch the whole game again in instant replay. Sweet!

Dice Wars is an excellent single-player casual game experience that I'd like to see made into a true multiplayer online game.

Play Dice Wars

Looking for a bit more of challenge than the computer AI can give? Try Ryan Dewsbury's multiplayer version of Dice Wars, kdice!!.

133 Comments

this game's too complicated for me.
:(

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Desincarnage June 26, 2006 1:11 AM

The Click word isn't clickable! *clickclickclicknot*

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carldec June 26, 2006 2:09 AM

great stuff. thanks for showing us this game.

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Good find, Jay. Addictive. I think it's easiest to play against 4 people... or computers. a 69/100 -MANAX

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I won! Much more stratagy than I first expected is involved. Great game, came close to losing a few times ;P.

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I love Risk, and this is only better. My one and only complaint is that you can't play against other humans.

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In a 2 player game at least, it seems whoever goes first wins :)

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I was expecting multiplayer option too. Also, the game only counts biggest number of your connected territories and not your total number of territories. So when you control several parts not connected with each other you will not gain as much new dice as you would if they were all connected up. This is little confusing, I would of maybe preferred some sort of Capital City system where one territory is marked as your main base and you get bonus dice for all territories connected to capital. And maybe lose the game if lose the capital city. Or get simply new dice for total number of your territories.

Also an optional marking of all the available attacking armies would be nice.

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4 player option worked well for me too. You have to think ahead to where you can move, so you don't block yourself in.

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And I'd say that for the rest of it too, if you don't get a good start it is so difficult. Going first means you have more units than anyone else in their first turn, which is a big advantage.

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An advantage, yes, but insignificant.

The overwhelming influence in this game is the luck of the dice. Pair some good luck with playing your position well and anyone can win having gone last.

I made a miraculous comeback from being almost down and out. Quite a spectacular feeling it was, too. =)

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long time reader first time poster. great blog, one of the few i constantly read although hundreds of feeds are added to my reader..

a great example of a fast play it got me hooked instantly .. :)

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Cheers, mersenne!

Always nice to hear feedback like that. =)

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I have the feeling that starting first (or close) is quite important for victory... also since you can't move your armies between your territories, you must be careful not to finish your moves close to enemy territory and not get stuck inside yours ...

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Sure, the luck of the dice is important, but knowing how many dice you have versus how many your opponent has allows you to calculate what the probability of winning is.
I made a table:

--> # of opponent dice
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 0.38 0.10 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
2 0.83 0.45 0.16 0.04 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
3 0.97 0.79 0.47 0.19 0.06 0.02 0.00 0.00
4 1.00 0.94 0.76 0.48 0.24 0.08 0.03 0.01
5 1.00 0.98 0.91 0.70 0.47 0.25 0.10 0.04
6 1.00 1.00 0.97 0.88 0.68 0.47 0.27 0.12
7 1.00 1.00 1.00 0.95 0.85 0.68 0.47 0.28
8 1.00 1.00 1.00 0.99 0.95 0.86 0.68 0.48
|
| # of your dice.
\/

So, for example if you have 3 and your opponent 2, there is roughly a 80% chance of beating him. If you have 8, and he has 7, about a 68% chance.

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lavkian Author Profile Page June 26, 2006 6:10 AM

that was just freaking lame. i went last.

blue went out very early. pink and green left, i'm just biding my time with two territories (one with five dice) while pink and green duke it out.

green was totally leaving me alone... he never attacked me once. pink would attack me if he had the clear advantage, but mostly focused on green.

i waited and took several spots from green when he left them overextended, but pink took a lot back from me afterward. i built up some more, then finally took all but one from green. he was history next turn.

i had a four die territory beat a six somewhere in there, that was really cool.

then it turned on me as i was cornered in the upper right corner with some strong territories and pink breathing down my neck. his territories were matching my borders but they kept tying; his massive territories meant that his border dice usually matched mine after his turn anyway.

so i just tried to strike out, and through two even matches and one 5-on-4, i couldn't get a higher number. bummer.

three matches so far and i haven't won :( oh well. i'll do it eventually, dammit.

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I finished it with 8 players, great game jay.

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I agree : lame!

You just wait for your turn to happen and then - by miracle - you only have one or two miserable territories left! And since your opponent have all played and earned thair new dices, you are confronted to an overwhelming force...

Okay, for sure, the game is quickly played!

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Some kind of a draw :s

I'm playing that one for around 10minutes now xD
I started with 8 players and now everything went down to this :s (and I don't have luck with the dices)...

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Nice game, I love it!

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Great game - though I lost the first time I played without having a turn!!

So far I can beat 5 CPU players...

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Having played Risk obsessively for like...a year...this game is a godsend to me. :D Awesome.

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I'm with you John. =)

Nevermind the lamers, this game is addictive, quick and fun.

Brilliant casual gameplay.

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It's not about being lame (or any other name-calling), I've not had trouble in any of the games I've played, which is up to 7-player so far, unless I've started last and then had some unlucky rolls. It's just a fact that the person who starts gets an early, significant lead.

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Don't take it personally, Rob, and I wasn't referring to your comment.

There is always a vocal few who thumb their nose at any game reviewed here. Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion and I respect that.

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I've played 8 players twice now and have won both times. Easy game.

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Haha beat it with 8 people! Took two tries. (How do I post my screenshots?)

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I think playing with less people is harder :(

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claydon Author Profile Page June 26, 2006 1:32 PM

I have to say its a surprisingly easy game. The main thing you need to do is discover the strategy of it since in this unlike risk you get points for connected territories. So i just do a path of destruction that is easy to defeat again but you get so many dice you have an advantage

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Michael June 26, 2006 2:43 PM

This game is way more fun than it should be. I highly recommend this one.

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I've clearly won, now i'm just taunting them

have you noticed i think each color has a specific playing style

pink always waits till it has more dice to attack a spot

light green always moves out in straight line attacks starting from one point

But i think this games great
and amazing

now back to my taunting

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I always lose when I play the 4 player one lol
I win in 2 and 3 players

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the link isnt working :( or atleast not for me.

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Won with 7 players.

For those still having trouble getting started:
Your bonus dice come from having a string of territories that are connected. It may be worth sacrificing on the next turn so you can get the bonus on the current one. You can also hold your ground and not advance, giving you more bonus dice to replenish the front lines.

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billybob - it sometimes happens to me when I click the link and the game window pops up but the game doesn't appear. Not sure what causes it. But if you simply close the window and try again, it should eventually work for you.

slgalt - 7 players seems to be the best experience for me as well. While sometimes I'm eliminated early on due to some unlucky rolls of the dice, I can generally win with an emphasis on strategic play, similar to what you suggest.

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I find simply holding my ground and not advancing, as slgalt says, will often do more good at the beginning than fighting for every scrap of land I can win. This is especially true when you have fewer territories, as the dice have a better chance of getting spread along the front lines that way. Another tactic is to head for corners and knock down the surrounding territories so that you have a fallback position.

So far I've played and won two games; one with 2 players and one with 8 (7 computer opponents). In the endgame, when the computer has a stronghold (more than one territory with 8 dice), I find simply reverting to a war of attrition does the job nicely (though I've not seen a situation like bimbel's o_o). Basically, you allow an 8 dice to beat up several territories (knocking down the dice one by one), then use an 8 dice territory in the back to beat up the forward marcher and clean up the rest of the rabble. Rinse and repeat until all the strongholds have been routed, and the game is won (with some luck, of course).

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wow i really enjoyed this game. i found it rather addicting, and now that ive won(7 computers)i think i can stop plaing.

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Ahhh I'm so addicted!!
Been playing the game for hours
So far I can beat:2,3 and 5

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The probability of winning is highly sensitive to the initial distribution of dice and colors, the topology of the board, and the order of play, in rough decreasing order. The most important things to have at the outset are (1) your spaces are contiguous or easily linked up, and (2) most of your dice are distributed on relatively few spaces.

A general strategy to winning is to prevent the computer from developing contiguous land masses, and to take over spaces in such a way that there is a large area you own that is not directly open to attack by your opponent(s). Once you start generating more dice to roll with than anyone else, the game will quickly end in your favor.

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Impressive. The game never loads for me.

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It doesn't work for me in Firefox or IE.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Hmm. Have you tried clicking the link a couple of times? For some reason unknown to me this particular Flash game sometimes does not always appear when launched. It does work eventually, however.

If you've tried that to no avail, then I would try updating the Flash Player you have to be sure you have the very latest. There is a "Get Flash" button in the sidebar that will take you directly to the file you need.

If that doesn't work, are you able to play other Flash games linked to from this site?

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I've won both games I've played (once where I was 3rd to play of 4, once 6th of 8). In the 8 player game, no one was knocked out for several (4-5?) turns, which might be atypical going by what other commenters have said.

In that 8p game, my forces were basically confined to two corners, so I had little effect on the main part of the battle and it took a while before I could get any significant territory. When it came down to 2 players remaining, I had control of two disconnected patches (one large, one small) while Yellow controlled the center. In other words, I had a bit more total territory while Y had a bit more connected territory. My expectation was that I would probably not be able to win from there since Y was getting more resources distributed onto fewer squares, and while it's possible the dice may have been slightly favorable to me, they were not especially so. On offense, I think I fared about average, but when I was on defense Y seemed to have more trouble than expected winning 8v8 die battles.

So anyway, my point is that it is possible to win in this kind of two front situation. Though if the computer players do have distinct playing styles, I'm curious as to whether a different computer opponent would have won – Y was fairly agressive but was in a situation which probably favored a relatively conservative strategy.

My general verdict is that the game is overall fairly easy, but requires enough care and strategy to still be fun.

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It works for me in Firefox, but I have found that sometimes I have to open and close it a couple of times before it started.

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The only thing Id have asked for, and this has probably been mentioned, is the ability to assign dice to where you want as opposed to a little all over. Since the dice is the big factor in how things play out it really wouldnt matter a whole lot but atleast you would have that one single dice out amongst the world when you could have 4-5.

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Having beat everyone from 2 to 7, I keep stumbling on 8; this game has me obsessed I think. The red guys always seem to roll high.

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Thought this was a pretty cool game, the only downside is you don't get to place your dice where you want to...but I guess that makes it all more of a game of chance. But I guess you have to take some time to look at how to move so you don't end up getting a huge stack of guys stuck in a corner!

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I've won them all. When there are more opponents, i found it easiest to find a corner or nook to lay low in until i could move in for the kill. 9 times out of 10 it was down to me and red.

LONG LIVE VIOLET!

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This is a great game; a unique concept that is so simple - like many of the innovations in game design it's essentially a combination of two existing games, in this case I'd say Risk! and Backgammon. Or perhaps it's Risk reduced to its most essential qualities.

I find it a perfect blend of chance and strategy - there's always the possibility of losing, but as in other chance games such as Poker or Dominoes, a skilled player can win most games against an unskilled opponent (the AI is good, but its patterns are predictable once you've played several games).

I tried to come up with a list of strategies, but found the list got too long as the strategies to employ in order to win are actually quite complicated - but are essentially the same as in Risk: maintain a solid front, don't get overextended, split up the opponent when possible, let your enemies defeat each other when possible, create opportunities for your opponent to overextend himself, etc. (sounds like Sun Tzu's 'Art of War' now:))

There are some games that are unwinnable, as in standard Solitaire, but in general if you blitz on the first turn and then just attack once or twice per turn after that you'll win nearly every time.

My only question is whether armies should be replenished only in the largest group of territories you control. As it is armies are deployed in all countries regardless of whether they are connected to the others.

Anyway, a real find.

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Another thing Ive found is that once the game has progressed to the point where you at the dominant force, the computer stops fighting itself. Seems like a flaw considering the computer controlled 'nations' are all different and were fighting each other before. :\

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Hmm, the formula for how many dice you get at the end of a turn is more complicated than I initially thought.

Yes, you receive one dice for every adjoining territory in your largest contiguous area...

AND, you must get a bonus for each territory that is maxed out at 8 dice. But how many? 1 die for each set of 8?

Has anyone else noticed this?

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benetnash Author Profile Page June 27, 2006 2:45 AM

If you are still having trouble getting this to work (or if you want/need to play offline), there is a downloadable version on the "GameDesign" link that Jay put in the review. Click the link, go into the site and on the right side under "Windows Games" it's called "Dice Strategy." It looks different and there are a couple different controls (see below), but is basically the same gameplay.

You play as gray. The left set of asian (sorry, don't know the difference) characters after starting a game is the "yes" to select to play the shown map and the right set of characters is "no" to select a different map. If you click a territory and decide you don't want to use it, you have to right-click it instead of left-clicking it again. To end your turn, right-click without having selected a territory. I think those are the only differences...I didn't play all the way through a game.

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benetnash Author Profile Page June 27, 2006 3:12 AM

...and you can left-click after you finish the game to see the "History"

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benetnash Author Profile Page June 27, 2006 3:15 AM

scratch that....it only works after you win

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Since there is no where else to put it: Exmortis 3 is on its way. Cheers!

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I won this the first time, but I am a master Risk player. The percentages are important, but positioning yourself to break a line is very important. Not being able to move dice that don't attack is a very challenging twist. I also want a multi-player version so I don't have to play against the obvious programming of a computer.

Jay, GREAT find. Love IT

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"AND, you must get a bonus for each territory that is maxed out at 8 dice. But how many? 1 die for each set of 8?"

I don't think there is an 8-die bonus per se, but full territories do have a beneficial effect because they can't receive more dice. All their dice go to the other territories which reinforces them faster. But I did have one game that it seemed that way.

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Well, I have experienced games in which one of the computer players had about 7 territories, and yet it received about 15 dice. It's either a bug, or there is something about the bonus dice calculation that is still unknown.

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I'm also fairly certain that you don't get bonuses for having 8 on a territory, but if all of your territories have 8 before you've placed all the dice you've been allotted, you will store the unplaced dice until you can place them (up to a limit, which I think is somewhere around 50 or 60 unplaced dice).

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Aha! That must be it. Cheers, Tiralmo!

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Tiralmo is correct, and before I go on a rampage in later game, I usually wait for that space to fill up, for when you attack and spread out your forces, it can replensih them fully to 8 dice making one less vulnerable to attack. This is an effective strategy when facing off against the computer, especially less agressive players like yellow and pink.

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Ruisperkele June 27, 2006 6:32 PM

Good and addicting game. Though I really don't like map construction, makes too much bottlenecks, when there's only two players left games tend to last quite a long time :S

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I just did some simple testing and found out that the max stored dice is 64.

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Fun game; strangely similar to Risk, but much simpler. I managed to beat it on the first try after a massive struggle against light blue. :)

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roseann June 28, 2006 4:29 PM

Hooray!! finally a good strategy game ....having a hard time playing 2,3,4 players tho. have won several times in 7 player mode. This game takes the boredom away while waiting for a table at Last Call Poker,hahaha.... slgalt, you know what I'm talkin' about!!! Nice game Jay, thnx

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AWESOME game!!!

so much fun (and frustration) just like risk except for the interesting rules of not being able to choose where your armies go, the importance of connectivity, and the max army limit to each territory... cool stuff

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Very addictive.

One odd bit of the AI: when I am left with, say, 4 other countries and 1 is dominant with me (our end counts are both around 10 or 12 or so), the other 2 will stop attacking. Until, of course, I attack an adjacent square to them, and then they will immediately attack me. While they don't 'work together' per se, it does make the game a little harder. I've watched blocks of 4 build up 20 or 30 reserves before they attack. It might be they wait until a territory changes hands to attack (even though it is almost always 8 against 8), or perhaps they recognize the human player as 'different' in some way.

One other aspect of strategy others have not mentioned: I often balance attacking a low dice (especially a single die) country with what is behind it. Early on, you can create buffer zones where you cannot get attacked, minimizing the effects of poor placement of the subsequent groups.

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I'd like a board game of this. risk is too complicated.

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Great game!!
at first I thought is was too simple but then i realised that if you asre not carefull you will get destroyed
for those of you having trouble, try regenerating the map several times until you have a corner where you are dominant, and remember that if one player is too big, the other players won't attck other players. You can use that to let them destrpy themselves while you get reserves. but be carefull if you have a lot of countries suddenlly, because everybody will come after you.
Fore the last challenge play with 8 players and accept the first map always, i manage to win 3 out 4 more or less
great game!

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This is fun, although getting annoying; I won my first game just me and one computer player after a TWENTY MINUTE standoff at a bottleneck--growl--but I haven't won any games since. In fact, not only have I lost them all, I've lost them all MISERABLY and QUITE early on.

I don't mind the random placement--I think it adds fun to the game. My one complaint, and I'm surprised no one ELSE has pointed it out by now, is when you tie with the spot next to you, you lose. Every time, I find that hysterically frustrating. Four dice versus two should NOT be a tossup, and if we tie, we should tie and stay there. I don't think I should lose my three dice and they keep their two (and then take the spot on the next turn). Darn game!

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Come on guys!!! This game is great. I love Risk and this game is close to it and I always enjoy it on my breaks at work. But seriously.... I always play with 8 people, and where I start never matters! Starting last is one of my favorites. Usually everyone around me are so strung out that I can go in behind them and gain 4 to 5 areas with ease. Great link Jay... thanks.

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Sorry, the game is well programmed stuff, BUT something goes wrong, if i have 4 times 8vs8 dices attack lost and the computer goes with his 8 dices three steps throught full towers of 8 dices. The average from me as human player is for 8 dices 26(!!!), for computeropponents 33-35.

Overall it seems like there is need a balance for missing tactic of computeropponents.

This game made a lot of fun, but now it really begins to su.... :(

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argh cant play it! got flash player 9, ie and windows xp! whta should i do?

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This is a great game design, with fantasitcly addictive gameplay.

With that said, The randomness really can ruin the game sometimes. There is not less fun that getting a wave of bad luck and wiping out a game that should be in the bag.

I think one element could help. A check box allowing the player to place his dice instead of the computer randomly placing the dice. This would help off set this randomness. And make gameplay more fun.

Just a thought.

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kaedinger July 9, 2006 12:16 PM

yo!

great site, jay!
great game, but dicewars cheats: http://www.kaedinger.de/various/dicewars_cheats.GIF

anyway, i love it!

kaedinger

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Thanks, Kaedinger, but your screenshot isn't evidence that it cheats. Instead, if all dice cannot be deployed due to the 8-dice per territory limit, it saves them up for future turns.

This was pointed out previously in the comments, and a point about the game that I did not mention in the review.

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MARCOOSE July 12, 2006 4:43 PM

first time commenting

i LOVE this game.. beat the 8ppl game twice now.. thx for the find!

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lavkian Author Profile Page July 13, 2006 4:29 AM

http://www.kaedinger.de/various/dicewars_cheats.GIF

I was noticing that too.

I FINALLY WON! Hurrah.

When it was down to two countries I was in a map with a severe choke point, with Green and Orange on my right across the land bridge.

Orange wasn't getting many dice, but Green was getting a bunch.

It took far too long but eventually having to go 8-on-8 went my way, which it was going to, because I had over 20 countries so every time I lost a battle, after my turn it went back to 8 dice :D

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lavkian Author Profile Page July 13, 2006 5:10 AM

I've won twice now and the most aggrivating part is the 1-on-1 end game.

Both of you have reserves and neither one wants to do anything, so basically you have to take a territory, then attack 7-on-8 and take the loss so that the enemy will overextend.

Then it's drawn out even further by ties and losses (I swear I saw a 4 beat my 7 and a 6 lose to a 3... damn random), but eventually you win.

Also I can never win going first, my wins have come going closer to (but not) last. With your dice spread out more, you just watch them kill each other, then take your dice and clean up the surrounding ones. It's usually in the bag there as long as your territories don't get divided.

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Parmeisan July 14, 2006 10:52 AM

The real trick is when you can consistently win against all numbers of players. Strategy is noticibly different depending on that, because even though you may think that if you can win against 7, you can obviously win against 2, it's different when you don't have the other players to help provide bulwarks, distractions, and extra conquests. I still can't win the 1 on 1 game often enough to consider myself good enough to lose this addiction... I like to immediately quit any game that it pitches me first (otherwise it's too easy) but I will also use my advantage of being able to choose which games I play (if my dice are too spread out, there's no coming back from green's initial conquest). But I can only win these about half the time, whereas I get better as more players are added. By the time it gets down to 1 on 1 when it's started with more, I'm usually the clear winner.

I have found that a decent strategy, when the game is 1 on 1 and very close, is to leave your opponent so that he's got no real place to attack you (don't attack right up to the strong territories, even if it leaves you with fewer territories than him) and then build up until all your territories are very strong. Then fight once or twice (or sometimes more) each turn, and generally the strongest-but-not-maximum territories, or those that cut through his biggest area. This is good because you have greater chance of winning on defense, and also because when he's built up decently well, he's apt to fight as many times as he needs in order to win a territory. Then he's weak again.

My difficulty is *getting it* to be close when it's 1 on 1 and he starts. But perhaps there isn't really any strategy that consistently works to do that?

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I'm fascinated with Dice Wars, I want to take part in its development to add the multiplayer support (porting it to Java applet). I have some experience in this area. Can anybody help me with contact with the author of the game? I haven't found any email at the http://www.gamedesign.jp Thank you.

madratdev@mail.ru

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The dice rolls really do not seem random. When it's me against one guy, we've each got half of the board covered with 8s and we're stacked pretty evenly in reserves ... the guy just walks all over me. Way too much to be random. If he's got five attacks, he wins all five rolls. Over and over. FYI: I am not blind to the "cops think there are more crazies during a full moon" effect. I knows me some statistics. Has anyone run any analysis on this?

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Work on a better dice rolling system. When an opponet has three dice and can double what you roll, there's a problem. Just tone down the enemy six's, okay? Otherwise, awesome game.

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this game is too easy i beat all 8 of my opponents easy

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Hassle Free Author Profile Page September 10, 2006 2:04 PM

I love this game so much that I play it often. Unfortunately, either there is something wrong with my computer, or there is something wrong with the game link. It doesn't work when I click on ANY of the links it just says: The web host www.gamedesign.jp is not accessible. HELP! Your other games work, but I seem to be having problems with this one...

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Error messages like that generally mean the server is offline at the moment, which can be caused by any number of things. My guess is that the situation is only temporary. Try again in a little bit.

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I love it. Good at it too; makes a change really...

I'm not really posting to rate it; I'm posting to ask if anyone knows anywhere you can download the actual .fla file of Dicewars. The only thing that bugs me about it, is that you have to load the game while being online. I'd like to download the .fla file. Please reffer me to a site, thanks, Andy.

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Andy - the game is from the GameDesign.jp website where there is also a downloadable version of the game available for Windows.

There is no place that I know of where Taro Ito provides the .fla files to his games for download. You might be able to locate and download the .swf file, on the other hand, as that should be readily accessible directly from the GameDesign website.

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Thanks man. I downloaded it, but it's in another language, and therefore can't read it. However the flash one is perfect. Do you know where you can get the .swf file from then?

If you could help, it would be awesome. Thanks, Andy.

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This game is sooo addictive. I am able to beat 8 player games a little more then half of the time, but strangly I have only did a 1 on 1 game once. I normaly am very defensive in 8 player games so the AI can weaken each other. When i take a chance is normally when i die... I decided to not do that on the 2 player game and just try to kill green's dice and i was doing very well but then on the 4th turn i almost lost most of my territorys! After that i played more defensively and i won pretty easily. That whole game taught me to never think like an AI again...

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I like this game, but hate the fact that the other dice can be "intimidated." That is, if they have 4 dice and you have 5, there is no way whatsoever that they will attack.

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The trick to this game is to have your biggest stacks of dice on your borders.

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I love this game! It's so addicting! I found that the secret is to pretty much find a layout where your pieces are close together and you start first. Then just try to connect all of your pieces to get a higher reward! love it!

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I love this game and I am not alone, I saw a similar thread discussion on majorgeeks

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Annoying as heck.

In many games, I find is absolutely amazing as to how often my dice "randomly" roll a lower number than the opponent's dice, even when the number of dice I am rolling exceed the opponent's by two, or even three dice.

I wonder if the random number generator of this game is truly random, or skewed in some way to sometimes favour the computer player.

The laws of probability certainly allow for this to happen, but I have never seen so many consecutive bad dice rolls in any other application than this one.

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Tony Cappucino April 9, 2007 3:51 PM

Yes, I've run statistics on this game and found it's pointless to play. The dice rolls are not random, they are designed to keep you in check when your teritories get too agressive. It would be a fantastic game if the dice rolls actually were random, maybe someone can modify it and make the rolls random instead of predetermined?

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Put your money where your mouth is, let's see these statistics you speak of. Otherwise, it's merely conjecture.

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Dice Wars is an interesting variation of good old Risk. it is quite an interesting game only on a tactical level. However I agree with other comments that you need to be able to place your own reinforcements yourself. Of course some people find this an interesting twist and challenging. Due to this lack of reinforcement phase the game becomes too long towards the end and is less strategic.

Nevertheless, it is kind of addictive to play. It makes you think on border expansion and also how to eliminate other players for good.

You can easily use successful strategies from Risk to win in this game. I have presented many strategies in my Risk book (Total Diplomacy: The Art of Winning Risk) and there is a dedicated website for the book and risk strategies. It is sometimes amazing how certain tactics are universal and can be applied to games that look completely different and even have different rules. Strategy after all can be timeless as beautify demonstrated by the success of Sun Tzu's Art of War after so many years.

[Declaration: I am the author of the book and the website]

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Remko's probability table is good, though it has rounding errors. I made a quick program to simulate dice rolls. My results are based on 100000 rolls, repeated 3 times. Some vaguely interesting results are:

Attacking 8 v 8: P(win) ~ 0.48 (same as Remko)
8 vs 7: ~0.67 (same)
8 vs 3: ~0.9991
5 vs 1: ~0.99984
2 vs 5: ~0.006
2 vs 8: 1 in 100000.

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I would first like to thx my cousin Tyler(g3ko)for showing me this. It is a good game and requires strategic thoughts, who said it was too complicated!!!

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Straeph June 7, 2007 5:26 PM

I've noticed that the strategy of this is very similar to some other board games where you can bait the opponent into taking strings of territories which causes them to overextend right up to a territory in which you have 8 dice. The tide can turn as quickly as in the game Othello (reversi).

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Juggler4071 June 13, 2007 12:19 PM


Not a chance this game is random.

The number of times I've lost large armies at vital points in the war has been deeply supicious.

Losing 3 consecutive fights when the dice were loaded 5-2, 5-3 and 4-2 in my favour turned the game against me.

The odds of that happening are minute, yet the same thing seems to occur roughly every other game.

The last game I played, I kept a note of my dice rolls, and in critical engagements (with the opponent who eventually won) I averaged 2.9 per roll to my opponent's 3.9. When fighting other opponents, I averaged 3.6 to the opponent's 3.4.

I still win more often than not, mind. The computer may be 'luckier', but it's also not that tactically aware.

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Juggler4071 June 21, 2007 11:43 AM


Just fought a 2 player war.

Lost.

TWENTY-SIX consecutive defeats in 'random' battles where I had 4 or more dice and was either equal or numerically superior.

Twenty-six.

Random?

Hmmm.... anyone read 'Rosencrantz And Guildernstern Are Dead'...?

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there is a multi-player version, it's called kdice.

http://jayisgames.com/archives/2006/12/kdice.php

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Streaph July 12, 2007 9:14 AM

Juggler4071, you're totally right! I've noticed that if the opponent has more territories, it seems their "luck" improves! It is HIGHLY frustrating to the point of not wanting to play, but I keep going back hoping that the randomness isn't totally fubar'd! But alas, it always seems to be!

Juggler, what's your favorite scene from R&G are Dead?

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Remko's table is just wrong-- it's not only rounding errors. For example, 1 v 1, the attacker will win only 15/36 times, which is 41 2/3%. On the other hand, this is about as far off as it gets; Remko's table is as accurate as anybody would really care for.

It's actually a bit of a hassle to get the precise numbers, but as it happens I worked them out a few months ago. (Why? I'm a geek, and a professional mathematician) Here is a corrected table:

(0.0 means rounded down to 0.00; 0 means exactly no chance)

defended across
attacker down

0.42 0.09 0.01 0.001 0 0 0 0
0.84 0.44 0.15 0.036 0.01 0.001 0.00 0.00
0.97 0.78 0.45 0.19 0.06 0.015 0.003 0.00
1.0 0.94 0.74 0.46 0.22 0.083 0.025 0.01
1.0 0.99 0.91 0.72 0.46 0.24 0.10 0.04
1.0 1.0 0.98 0.88 0.7 0.47 0.26 0.12
1.0 1.0 0.99 0.96 0.86 0.69 0.47 0.27
1.0 1.0 1.0 0.99 0.95 0.84 0.67 0.47

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The dice rolls are not "random" at all. The odds are stacked against the player's dice and the rolls more often than not favor the computer's roll. I've played enough to know this is true. It was a good game for a little while, but I'd love for someone to write a similar game where the dice rolls are truely random. That would be a much better game. Why won't the game let the player choose his color? That was my first tip off that there are no random dice results. This game will let you win only enough to supposedly keep you hooked, but it's just a waste of time once you figure out it is rigged.

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The player is so handicapped with an average roll of around 24 with 8 dice while the other colors have an average around 28. Its a good game if you like to be a victim.

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Has this game just become harder?

I play this a *lot* and I used to win 80% of my games, on any level, on any map. I started handicapping myself to get a better game.

Suddenly about a month ago, I've started *losing* 80% of my games :-0

I think there's been a code change, as suddenly the AI is far, far stronger now. Its become more canny about trying to split me, and goes for the corners more now, and cares more about linking up and protecting its terrorities now.

Also, before, the AI players would only attack the most dominant player. Now, if any AI sees an opportunity to grab one off you, it will do so, even if you're only a small guy cowering in one end of the board.

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Love this game. It had me hooked from the moment I started. I started with one other opponent, beat him and went to two others, then after beating those, went up to the seven others. That was a fun game.

The best thing to do in this game is to consolidate a "fortress," where you have three or four territories with ten dice on them. As long as you have this, and then try to keep all fronts covered with more than one die, then there is virtually no way you can lose (unless you're just unlucky :P )

Also, always fight an offensive war. If you fight a defensive war, then you may have more dice (a nice fortress), but you won't have enough territories to launch the final strike.

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i find the shape of the board makes a huge difference. having played compulsively for several days now the shape can definitely override the advantage of going first or early. boards with separated 'continents' minimise the disadvantages of going last, because your opponents stretch themselves away from areas of security, while the players who go later are forced into compact, easily defended heartlands which pay dividends later

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This could be a fun game if someone could fix the code by taking out the anti-player stuff. It is to easy to see when you are going to lose and a gamble when you are going to win. 3 dice fend off 6 and 7 dice three times in a row, come on. If could throw as many 5s and 6s as the other colors I would go to Vegas baby. I can open the game with my visual basic.net but I don't think I have the right wersion. Till its fixed, I've thrown it off my system.

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would someone share their strategies here?? I am trying to find a good strategy to win

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It's funny reading about all the anti-player stuff on here, I have never noticed it. Sure I have had my numbers of bad rolls, but I have been lucky to, that is what happens when you deal with probability. I win on a regular basis, and the AI is somewhat easy to trick by playing them out against each other. I have come back from owning 3 to 4 territories against 2 or 3 opponents.

One tip I can give is, since you get reinforcements after your attack phase, it can be good to not attack that territory with one or two dice on between you and his eight. If his only got one dice on a territory he can't attack from there. Pretty simple advice, but it has helped me out a lot.

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****ATTENTION****READ ON FOR MULITPLAYER****

If this isn't already posted, the website kdice
http://jayisgames.com/archives/2006/12/kdice.php
is a multiplayer game that was modeled after DiceWars. So for all you people looking for multiplayer there ya go.

Enjoy!!!

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To win consistently:

1. Head for an edge or corner
2. Only capture territories that you expect to keep.
3. When you have about 12 territories, slow down your expansion to allow 8-stacks to build up.
4. When all your territories have 8-stacks, despatch the other players in this order: Players who threaten the continuity of your territories; The smallest players; Players with stacks of 6-7; the largest player.
5. The AI has two weaknesses: (1) the computer players gang up on the player who is doing best, while that player attacks indiscriminately. Use this to your advantage (allow the other players to fight each other). (2) When there are 8v8 stacks, the AI players will always attack. Since the chances of winning are slightly less than 0.5, to win a war of attrition you should always allow the computer players to attack your 8 stacks, then when they lose, counterattack their weak points.

Check out the kdice wiki for more tips:
http://kdice.wikispaces.com/

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I too crunched the numbers on this game after I became suspicious when I lost three 8-5 matchups in the same game. I calculated the probability of this happening to 1 in 985,000.

So imagine my surprise when it happened a week later.

After I began to fixate on how many times I've lost an 8-5 attack, I decided this game is rigged and not for me.

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Do I smell a conspiracy theory over here??? :-)

It's fun... It's luck... And even some strategic thinking...

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RedTomato October 24, 2008 9:55 AM

I *still* play this a lot. And I still think it's rigged against the player. But I don't mind. The AI is much weaker than you, so it needs some sort of compensation.

I like playing kdice sometimes, but it's much slower, and sometimes opposing players will form secret alliances to wipe out everyone else. I don't mind open alliances but secret ones are a hassle. It's part of the game, even if it's illegal, but it wastes my time.

I always return to dicewars for a quick 5 minute strategy blast. I'm back up to winning 80% of the time now.

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Hassle Free Author Profile Page November 3, 2008 8:37 PM

I agree with some of the things Tom says for strategy, but there are some things I would like to add:

1) I find it easier to capture 8 territories, then stockpile until 8 dice are on each territory. Once you are completely stockpiled, attack one territory per turn either until you have 16 connecting territories, or have enough saved up to replenish all of the territories you just gained. This means that you have 8 dice on each territory to defend with every turn!

2) I don't like attacking 6-7 strong territories as it is a toss up who will win, but instead, I attack the ones I am fairly certain I will win before those because remember ties go to the defender.

3) Also if unsure whether or not to attack again (always try to attack at least once if you have stockpiled and have 8 or more territories) I always err on the side of caution and let them attack me, because then I will have the advantage.

4) To make stockpiling easier, when you go for the corners (this way you have a shorter boarder to defend!) try to capture territories where it has a short border and try to keep a strong force on these spots. Also try to make it as close to 8 as possible, but it is better to have a short boarder where you can't be easily cut in half than to have exactly 8. 7 or even 6 is better if it is more easily defensible.

5) Lastly, If you are the big dog and everybody is ganging up on you, try to deal with as few as possible at a time. For example, if a tantalizing square opened up but you have to deal with a color that is completely stockpiled, hold off on it unless you are sure you can easily defeat this foe, if you are unsure then stockpile yourself and let them attack you, since you have the advantage when you defend.

I hope the people reading this find this helpful. Hopefully these strategies won't be used against me anytime soon!

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Intriguing game - but the 'randomization' is suspect to say the least. Did the programmers bias the rolls against the player intentionally - to 'balance' the flaws in the AI? Or did they simply botch the random number generation that badly?

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I have compiled some results from my rolls. I only captured when I attacked, because the computer rolls too fast for me to capture every one of their rolls.

I captured 180 rolls and here are the results:

My average roll: 3.30 (above the average of 3 expected)

Computer Average: 3.39 (Not much above mine, but statistically significant)

When both computer and I had the same number of dice I won 42% of the time with 3.6% ties. That means the computer is outright winning on 54.4% of it's rolls and defending successfully on 58%. I don't feel like I defend nearly as successfully.

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Anonymous February 9, 2009 9:44 PM

The 'expected' result for rolling a 'standard' six sided die is 3.5, not 3.

(1+2+3+4+5+6)/6 = 21/6 = 3.5

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I've played Dice Wars a number of times. The following tactics seem to me to be more successful:

  1. Gain a corner quickly. Avoid multiple fronts.

  2. Early in the game it might be smarter to sit tight with a few high stacks. The AI will attack until they only have 1 die left in each land. That's when you conquer them, connect and close off your land with a respectable border force.

  3. Protect your borders. An AI bordering you with one or two dice is better left alone, if behind it there looms a huge stack of dice which will overrun you later. Thus, that small enemy border force may be your best security guarantee. Remember that no one can transfer dice.

  4. That lack of transferring ability means you are better off in the middle of the game to "saturate" your territory with 8 dice. Having done so, replacements will guaranteed show up where you need them.

  5. Keep your lands connected. You (and the AI) only get replacements for the largest connected area. If you have two areas of lands, you only get 6 replacements. Conquer the one land area that connects them, and you get 13!

  6. Accordingly, other things being equal, split your opponents by attacking "bridges" thus reducing their replacements. Remember to attack with enough dice to have a reasonable chance to hold it.

  7. Avoid attacking if you have equal or fewer dice. Let the AI do that - because they will lose in the long run. Exception: it might pay to attack 2 on 2, because you lose only one die if you lose. With probable replacements you may defend yourself when the counterattack comes.

  8. When territories are established avoid over stretching your attacks like the AI do. You will probably lose all your recently conquered land plus a little more. It is better to conquer a little and hold (clear, hold, build...). Attack when you outnumber the enemy, and can maintain a strong defense line. Build yourself to 8 dice per land (i.e. saturate).

  9. If you get caught on the defensive by one or more superior foes, saturate your lands to 8 dice before you attack. Better yet, wait till you have 8 replacements coming in for each land you attempt to conquer. This fills your recently conquered lands and forces the enemy to attack 8 to 8. If you're not too unlucky, you will turn the tide.

  10. Only conduct a widespread attack an opponent when you are sure you can defeat him or you leave him so devastated that you can mop him up after his counterattack(s).

  11. You finish off an enemy quicker if you, like the Germans in Russia in 1941, attack weak spots to isolate him in pockets thus reducing the amount of replacements. Other things being equal, it is better to kill more of his armies than to conquer more of his lands. If you reduce his replacement rate, you can mop up later swiftly. But don't rush it.

  12. Notice that the AI will only attack the largest nation if it has over 50 % of the land. Exploit this by:

    • surviving and building your forces if you don't border on the big guy. The others will leave you in peace.

    • limit yourself to a number of lands just under the big guy if you are not saturated with forces so that the AI leave you alone. Again, this only works if you do not border on the big guy.

Sun Tzu's wise remark that an army may be more successful when retained and used as a threat than when spent in battle is highly applicable in this game.

May the dice be with you...if your tactics are not!

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"

The 'expected' result for rolling a 'standard' six sided die is 3.5, not 3.

(1+2+3+4+5+6)/6 = 21/6 = 3.5"

You are right. My math had been from zero to six rather than one to six. Good catch.

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I find that color makes a difference in the attacks. With the 8-color/player game, I don't think I've ever seen orange in the end-game (final 2-3 colors with me), but light blue and dark green are frequent contenders.

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I love this game, have been playing it regularly for years.... BUT....

I HATE the annoying sound effects, which cannot be turned off.

I would actually PAY to buy this free game if it came with an option to turn off that annoying noise. It makes it exactly NON-relaxing. I can't play music or do anything else while it's going, because of that sound effect!

Please god let someone read this who can actually fix this oversight on the part of the developers.

Anyone know anyway to turn off volume to one site or one browser tab, without turning off all volume to all browsers or to the entire computer?

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It cheats. I ran the game to 8 dice in every territory and watched how often my stack won vs the computer one - this should be about 50-50 (slightly defender biased on ties). The computer won (out of 2000 battles) 69%. And it attacked most of the time. Given a binomial distribution with 1 for a win, 0 for a loss, the computer gets 0.69, more than 4 sigma from the mean (0.5).

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PlayerofRisk November 26, 2009 7:47 PM

Turn doesn't affect your play as much as luck does. And being placed close together. Those who talk about having to watch where you go to keep from playing into yourself, jeebus. Strategy. That's why you have territories inside you. This is really an excellent game, and now I want to go play some Risk. If this game has a flaw, it's the- okay, no flaws.
It just makes it harder to have your 'nations' scattered across the 'continent.' Which isn't a bad thing. Good game, guys. Good game.

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AceScanner August 17, 2010 11:43 AM

I noticed a couple of things about the AI.

1. The dice rolls are biased against the player at the beginning of the game. It looks like it's only the first few turns, then the bias either stops, or it drops to a level low enough that it will take hundreds of games to determine it.

2. The dice refresh cheats. A player's leftover dice don't always carry-over. For example, if you are playing with all 8's and make 2 attacks (one winning and one losing) you've 'spent' 8 dice. If you end up with 11 zones, your refresh will have 11 dice. Subtract the 8 dice you spent, and you should have 3 left over. On your next turn, you should start with 3 dice, then add one for each contiguous zone you own. However, sometimes, you don't get those 3 dice.

3. The dice refresh cheats. The AI occasionally will add extra dice to your opponent's refresh.

I had to use Camtasia screen capture to slow the game down enough to finally figure this out. Anyone else notice these?

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yup, i *like* zombies...

hilarious to see ppl making such a fuss about it... there *is* no AI. Everything you need to know to win *any* game, no matter what:

1. Computer will *never* attack unless having at least equal number of dice.

2. Computer will only attack the player leading in number of territories at the start of the turn... unless that's the active player, of course.

3. Computer has *no* algorithm to do *anything* else than just blindly go for max territorial gain in its attacks... it does *not* plan a single turn ahead.

4. That means you *always* win if you don't fall for provocation... and just plain choose to stockpile instead of bashing every 2-dice area with just 4 of yours if there's 5 of theirs waiting one step behind it.

SCNR, it's [repeat]HILARIOUS[/repeat] how much fuss ppl can make about an "AI" which presumably consists of 3 (three) algorithms...

...and i wouldn't have bothered if i wouldn't like it... just played it *again* :D

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The Rogue Puzzle Game> Satori Clear your way through the dungeon in this unique Sokoban-like puzzle game by carefully selecting which swords to shove into which monsters to vanquish them all. The Rogue Puzzle Game was picked as one of only three finalists in the Game Nomad competition and is set to be presented at Gamer's Day, Arabia's largest gaming event.  ...

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