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S2E5 | Dice versus Decks | Debate

Decking Awesome Podcast Dice versus Decks

Today we are talking about dice versus deck randomness. There are plenty of awesome games out there using either dice or deck of cards for their randomness, sometimes both. We’re going to pit these two board game concepts at each other for the banter and see what happens.


hello and welcome to the decking awesome


my name is Ciara and i’m joined by the

awesome Eoin and Brian

hello hey today we are talking about

dice versus deck randomness

there are plenty of awesome games out

there that either use dice or

decks of cards for their randomness

sometimes they use both

we’re going to pit these two board game

concepts at each other for the banter

and to see what happens

first up what is randomness in games and

why do we have dice and decks

games without dyson decks like chess

are about a strategic fight against each


and they pit people’s strategies without


any sort of variation in the game you

can play a game of chess

a thousand times and the concepts always

stay the same and you don’t have to


any of your skills or strategy for

what’s happening on the board

whereas games with randomness which are

quite a lot of board games

from things like king of tokyo or

anything else involve

adapting to whatever happens with the

dice and the deck

so they added more variety they add

different things to happen each game

they make games less repetitive

and now we’re going to discuss which we

prefer which we think are going to work


in board games so debating that dice are


we have ono and debating that decks of

cards our best is Brian

so Eoin let’s kick off your opening

statement hey so i i totally agreed that

games with randomness are really really

fun i still love chess but yeah the


and the fact it’s it’s a purely skill

game means that

you know two people of different skill

levels can’t really enjoy themselves the

same way

so having that randomness in is always

kind of fun adds a

kind of cool layer to it and dice are

definitely better than decks

definitely so i have my time

the first thing i want to say is that

dice just have a really nice

feel to them they’re a really good

component to have in the game you know

you throw a few dice it’s really

satisfying you know you have monopoly

troll couple of dice it wouldn’t feel

the same with like decks

it’s just it’s just very satisfying uh

then dice can also reduce

the box sizes so you can have like

travel additions

because a deck of cards you can have

quite a lot of cards that can all be

kind of generally replaced with a set of

that dice

and then also when you’re dealing with

like decks of cards you know stuff like

pandemic we’re just

you have to set up the decks a certain

way and it can kind of get confusing

you have a bunch of dice everyone knows

just roll the dice and you get cracking

and that’s me okay so to counter this

we have Brian’s opening statement god if

i knew those were going to be your

opening points i wouldn’t i would have

i would have done half the preparation

for this it’s going to be so easy first

of all with

chess i’m going to throw it back a

little bit let’s add a bit of randomness

to it hide little cocktail sticks behind

your bishops

when your opponent goes to make a movie

you don’t like stab them boom

randomness and chess that’s paint

pending on that one so just i’m not sure

how that adds to the game

yeah pointless do you ever play chess

and expect to get stabbed in the hand of

the toothpick

random oh you’re just having the person

oh yeah

okay cool okay so for decks

which i suppose i’m actually here to

argue decks are way

cheaper way way cheaper first of all

like for prototyping

you know print off at a4 page chop it up

stick it in cards leaves everyone guess

what you’re doing

you know when it comes to manufacture

and we can attest to this

Ciara especially will attest to this

because me and you are constantly adding

dice into games

if you throw custom dice into games you

skyrocket your price which gets passed

on to the consumer

so buying games prototyping games and

making games

all cost a whole lot more if you want to

add dice into them

whereas dex cheap cheerful print lovely

with dice you’re very limited like most

dice you just use six sided

ones in games so you’re very limited

with what you can and can’t do

in them but you want to put in a deck of

cards there’s like 300 different things

you can do

with one deck of cards a really big deck

of cards

you say reduce the size of the box

actually i find that interesting because

i would have said

dice games were bigger than deck games

because like you get a deck of cards

it’s a small little cardboard box you

can have a whole game

compressed into that but dice now you’re

gonna have to put in a big cardboard

box where does that fit in your pocket

it doesn’t

crazy i also think that

decks they they keep the randomness

because you don’t know what cars are

gonna come up you don’t know when

they’re gonna come up but they allow you

an element of strategy

like if you have five or six cards in

your hand you can kind of start thinking

about what you’re going to do what you

want to do

what your next move is going to be you

can think two or three turns ahead cards

you want to save and stuff like that

whereas with dice you have to wait until

you’ve actually rolled them and then you

have to

see what they all are and everyone’s

kind of leaning over the table looking

trying to decide

what could happen what will happen

whereas when it comes to cards you can


boom great turn boom great turn boom bj

let’s dice let’s just roll

oh yeah first of all the best first of


fourth of all the very best thing about

carrots is that little shh

noise you get when you shuffle them

really well i can’t do it one day i’ll


but that little noise it’s beautiful

yeah also also also yu-gi-oh

you go i’m gonna bring it up i know i

know he said we’re gonna do but i’m

gonna bring it up

you believe in the heart of the cold

plastic dice you

believe in the heart of the cards and i

often find myself thinking what would

yu-gi-oh do

you know in times of trouble what would

yu-gi-oh do probably throw some cards at

someone and run away

save the world thanks for that opening

statement Brian

some interesting viewpoints there from

both of you i disagree with all of them

oh i should have done that in my opening


Eoin there are many games that have both

dice and deck choices

can you talk about some specific games

that are your favorite and why you would

pick the dice option

there are a lot of games out there

obviously there’s lots of games with

dice in them that i love

and there’s lots of games that have kind

of like two versions of the game which i

quite like where there’s

they’ve made a great game and they’ve

added dice to it and

they’ve just made the game better it’s

just become a better game

so the two obvious examples are roll for

the galaxy against race for the galaxy

race reality is a great game

dexa cards give a lot of variety but

what they’ve managed to do

is they’ve managed to keep that variety

but also the randomness becomes the dice

so they’ve kind of cordoned off the

randomness into its own little section

just for the dice

and they’ve kept the variety in the game

and that’s kind of added a whole

bunch of enjoyability to it enjoyability

is a word i’m pretty sure

i think it is a word i think you’re all


not in countdown anyway sushi roll is a

great game

more than nine letters i think i think

it is yeah uh sushi roll is a great game

as well and it has the

sushi go is the other one and sushigo

has card drafting

and it has you know all this kind of


kind of figuring out people and you know

kind of tactics around it and they’ve

really done a great job

at turning that into a dice rolling game

which is just really fun

lots of cool components good artwork

everyone loves to roll a few dice

except for Brian and

yeah it’s kind of added to the whole

aspect of it i have to say i’m a big fan

of roll for the galaxy i think uh

having hundreds of dice makes it a lot

more interesting

too how much must that have cost them to

make it they’re very tiny

there’s literally like 350 dice or

something in that game which i’ll admit

is really cool just throwing out a

handful of them

but my god the cost of it i can only

imagine it’s a better game though

do you think that the fact that there

are different types of dice in that game

there are multiple

dice but there also have different

probabilities of getting faces on it do

you think that

has an impact on the fact that it could

replace cards

i i think it’s it can get tricky when it

comes to dice

and deck comparing card games like that


role for the galaxy was an after race

for the galaxy so they learned a lot


race for the galaxy from people playing

it and then they came up with this


and so people liked the aesthetic so

they made sure all of the dice

kind of fit in with that team and i know

there’s only one symbol on each side

but under certain colors but i think

they add they make sure they kind of

it’s part of the game

and so they learned a lot and they kind

of used that knowledge

to create role for the galaxy in a very

great way

cool and Brian can you give us some

examples of your favorite game

with a dyson deck choice and why would

you pick the deck option

so we’re avid pandemic players and fans

like we’ve played

them all we played on the brink i don’t

know we’ll come back to them

but we’ve played all the legacy games

we’ve played the base game we’ve put

pandemic cure pandemic the cure is a

dice version of pandemic

and yes i’ll grant you it is a bit fun

but the problem is

this you take all the strategy out of it

like you’re now just going oh there’s

the disease over there i want to fight


roll the dice no can’t do it this time

what about you you give it a try

no no you didn’t roll any numbers either

you no oh okay well the disease one

like even having some pandemic as well

yeah i know

you can at least feel like you’re trying

in pandemic like at least if you’re

moving towards stopping outbreaks

you know you feel like you’re getting

there but with the dice game you could


perfectly positioned to stop the virus

spreading but

you just haven’t rolled any twos so

you’re you just you lose the game

because of look

you know it’s not strategy it’s not you


anything you’ve done it’s just lost the

game because

you roll the wrong numbers yeah it can

make me tricky because

uh sometimes people add in dice into

games like this

and it doesn’t work out so they try it

feels like for pandemic security they

tried to make a dice version of the game

but they kind of lost the concept of

pandemic because there’s no map of the


there’s no moving around to like you

know visiting madrid over here and then

flying off to cartoon

and so you kind of miss that team and

that’s kind of style but they did

create like a much smaller kind of

compact game with pandemic to cure but

it’s a totally i think they’re different


yeah yeah yeah i mean you’re right

they’re they’re different games they’re


it’s not like a pandemic and a pandemic

dice it’s it is a different version of

the game you’re still basically just

trying to cure

viruses but i just don’t think it works

as well because pandemic

in itself is is inherently a very

strategic game where you have to work

together you have to cooperate

you can’t cooperate and go you didn’t

pull your ways you’re not rolling any


i would say pandemic cure is easier to

set up and easier to play

although it isn’t probably not as

satisfying maybe to finish it

yeah that’s what they kind of set up to

do with pandemic to cure

yeah they also added in dice for

pandemic rome

which is instead of just taking a

disease cube off you roll a dice to see

if you

take a disease cube off and a lot of

people did not like that

because i think that when you’re putting

in all the work and you still might not


yeah that way in that case you have the

deck randomness and the dice randomness

it’s just too much randomness yeah and

there’s that tipping scale i think when

it comes to randomness

especially in games where it’s either

you’re playing a skillful game

or you’re just letting the game do

whatever it wants yeah and i think they

just didn’t get that right

i still love pandemic rom though and you

think that with pandemic

your problem is that the dice actually

forces your actions

so you don’t have action choice as much

as you would in

pandemic is all about like what you’re

going to do with your four actions

and things like pandemic the cure and

something like

star wars

destiny yeah you’re forced to do

whatever did i say and you don’t have


there’s no choice the dice takes away

the choice is that is that the the your

key problem with the pandemic yeah i

think that’s

that’s one of the big issues of a test

you know you can’t go okay well look it

looks like there’s gonna be an outbreak

over there we’ll move over there and try

to handle that

you’re just rolling your dice and going

oh i suppose i’ll

take a little bit out of here but it

wasn’t really a problem but i don’t have

a choice it’s either that or don’t use

the dice at all

like i think that’s just like while it’s

twilight is still a fun game i just

think that’s what lets it down very


by just adding complete randomness to

quite a strategic game

for a less strategic game you’ve you’ve

got i suppose like bang

and bang with dice dice bang bang dice

i actually don’t know what it’s called i

think it’s just bang with dice but like

with bang where you’re playing with a

deck of cards

you’ve got to hand the cards you can

play cards out in front of you that

protect you that defend you you know

you’ve got a

chance of saving yourself and beating

others while you’re at it you know you

can throw dynamite down and watch it

pass itself around the board

and maybe screw over someone else maybe

it screws over an ally

but with the dice version of it

again while objectively a fun game it’s

completely random so you could uh like

you could

plan to okay i figured out who the guy

is that i need to get

i know it’s him i have to get him and

you roll your dice and you just don’t

roll what you need to get

and i have no choice but to wait till

your next turn and hope you survive

or worse still you roll a load of arrows

and you just get shot by the indians

or you roll a load of dynamite and it

blows up in your face there’s no uh

there’s no strategy to it you need an

element of strategy for randomness games

if it’s just

all chaos and random it doesn’t really


yeah i it’s called bang the card game

and bang the dice game

yes it’s very close games okay i get

confused all the time with it

but i think i agree with you in the fact

that sometimes when they create diced

versions of games

they forget the concept of variety and

skill like you’re saying

and with the bang the dice game they

could have

kept the skill and variety they had in

the card game

because when you look at roll for the

galaxy they didn’t get rid of the cards

or the planets or all this kind of cool

stuff they added in the dice

and contained the randomness to the dice

and they

just got rid of all the randomness of

the cards and you still have the

obviously you have the randomness of the

cards when you’re trying to pick your

new planet to

you know you pick up a new one it’s

still random whatever you pick up

but they’ve kind of limited it a lot

more and it’s i think that’s the best

way of creating dice

alternative to games is you create one

concept whatever the main concept

of randomness is in your game change

that the dice but keep

the variety of the cards of the actions

of the skill

of the you know predicting things so

yeah bang with dice they could just

tweaked it a little bit more

so it wasn’t just rolling dice and

seeing what happens i do still think

it’s a fun game but it just

adds so much chaos to a game that

is at least a little bit strategy

previous to us

yeah i think you can get the same

problem with decks though of just being

at the

mercy of decks of cards and there’s no

skill involved

yeah so i on that question and Brian do

you think the

size of the deck makes much of a

difference in the randomness

and so terraforming mars and lords water

deep have very

big decks and in those games there

a lot of questions around whether the

card combinations that work together are

going to come up

do they happen to come up in such a big


and this makes the the deck part of the

game really unpredictable

so what do you think about games like

that i think on the whole

that it actually works quite well if you

have a huge deck of cards and the game

you play only gets you through about a

third of the deck

it allows for a big replayability in the

game so you know

maybe maybe when you play it this time

you get one assortment of

creatures monsters spells abilities

whatever it is the next time you play

you get a whole different one it’s like

it’s like playing a whole new game all

over again you’re not just

having the same repetition over and over

and over and over again

like you’ve never played a dice game and

gone oh we should play that again

and i hope i see the sixth side of the

dice this time you know you’re always


you know what’s on the dice and it comes

down a little bit to look

but big decks do add an element of

randomness and

i think we’re terraforming mars lets

down the decks a little bit

is that a lot of the cards are dependent

on when they come up

because you can have car you can like

you can pick up six or seven cards that

can only be played

earlier in the game and are now

completely useless mid-game or late game

and you find yourself stuck because you

have no you’ve nothing you can do and

you’re just

it’s bad luck with the order the cards

came up in i don’t know could that have

been split up

into you know different decks like for

the first until the temperature reaches


play with these cards or until the

oxygen reaches display with these cards

i don’t know i generally think that the

larger the deck makes for a more fun


because it gives you that randomness to

the whole game rather than just

individual randomness but as you said it

can work against you

it doesn’t it’s not always your friend

especially if uh

if cards become useless or like you said

you need combos

and you just can’t combo the cards yeah

i think uh

terraforming wires and large water deep

are great examples of why random decks

don’t work

well walk myself into that one i love

those games

i like playing them but the biggest

downsides to them is the random deck

which is just a if you’re talking a

massive pile of cards

and you don’t know what’s going to come

up next and it’s that the variety is


and i love games with that with the fact

that as i haven’t seen all the cards

that are going to come up yet

let’s play again and it really does add

a new kind of layer to it

but when it comes to the dice i think

you can have your cake and eat it too

you can have the randomness be you know

you roll a bunch of dice and that says

oh i want to pick a

it tells me i can pick a bio card you

know or like you roll like i said

maybe you have all your cards in the

deck set into separate decks

you roll a bunch of dice and it tells

you you can pick two bio and then one

manufacturing or whatever and then you

get the pick from those decks and that

gives you the variety of the cards

but the randomness is then contained in

within the dice and the best thing about


is that you can alter the probabilities

of things

that you can’t do in decks so if you

wanted to say

alter the probability of bio you want

more oxygen related cards in your deck

you have to create more oxygen cards and

put it into your deck whereas with dice

you don’t need to just flesh out your

deck you can have a really small

contained variety of cool cards

and then your variety your randomness is

in your cards and say i want bio to be

really important you pop it into your

dice and becomes manufacturing prototype

you say you don’t want that you get rid

of one side you put in a different one

and it’s a great way i like that your

argument is if you want more randomness

you have to put in more cards but you

just go i’ll just change the side of a


just change the whole face of a dice

yeah that changed the probability of

that of those

adding more cards yeah but what i’m

saying is that the cards you have to

come up with new cards and if you don’t

if you just some some people will just

copy cards and have

duplicates of cards in a deck and then

that becomes stale after a while you


but the advantage cards have there is

that say i want to increase the amount


utility cards i have by two percent i

can just add in one or two more cards

if you want to increase anything on the

dice faces you’re doing it by 17

each time true true boom


yeah usually you’re not you’re not that

specific usually you don’t care too much

about the

very minutiae of it how big is your deck

getting that you’re

having 17 or something yeah i suppose if

you’re not if you’re not playing with

the deck that’s at least 200 cards

what’s the point

so this is a question for both of you in

um something as simple as

ticket ride which is a card game that

doesn’t have

a lot of like the the cards are the main

focus of the game do you think having

players roll dice from a bag rather than

drawing cards

would make much of a difference i know

the cost of the game itself might change


do you think when it’s simple situations

like just picking a color that it would

have much impact on gameplay that’s

tricky because

uh in the ticket to right game they have

a deck of cards

and they’ve ensured that they have

things like the wild train

comes up a certain amount of time and

then you have the specific colors coming

up at a specific time

and there is some strategy in taking the

right of

when to take cards when to take from the


versus when thick outside if you know no

one wants pink cards

you see a pink card you’re not going to

jump at it because you know

no one wants it so you know it’s kind of

low value you can see the value based on

other players

if you translate that to dice kind of

like how sushi roll works

you end up almost playing single-player


and you don’t have to worry about this

kind of mechanism of other people’s

cards and

and gaining so it has pros and cons and

it really depends on what you want

so in ticket ride it’s tricky

when people like you have two people so

if it’s me if it’s just tree playing

me and Brian want blue cards and you

don’t mind

you’ve probably got a better chance of

winning because me and Brian are

constantly going to be

attacking each other over blue cards

whereas it was dice you don’t have that


now whether that’s a design choice as to

whether you want that or not yeah you


i feel though where dice would let you

down and again like take a dried is that

you know you pick up cards and you

either someone’s remembering 40 cards in

your hand or

they’re just a straight-up genius you

have an element of surprise people don’t

know what you have in your hand

especially if you’re taking cards from

face down off the deck whereas with dice

you have to have the dice out in front

of you

so people can go well there’s clearly

four black dice there so they’re

obviously going for at least the four or

five black route over there

so i’m just gonna build something beyond

that that blocks them getting through

it takes away the kind of secrecy and

strategy to the game so

the dice there tilted to too random

rather than and i know i know games like

roll for the galaxy you hide your

you hide your dice but i mean you’re

playing an

honesty game there where someone isn’t

just gonna you know knock their dice

over and go oh that’s a better face

that’s what it actually was did you know

people who play ticket to the right are

very competitive

and did she cheat a lot yeah

of all the games the least likely

i would agree that there’s the hidden

dice thing is

it’s you can have you can cheat easier

than hidden dice however

having playing having seen people play

poker and stuff like cheating

without text stills happen and they’re a

lot better than i’ll ever be

achieving with there you go it’s easier

to hide cards up your sleeve than it is


plain sushi roll in a roll for the


out of your sleeve i’d like to export


but you can you can keep the the variety

and stuff and thick through it so like

you know you could

one one solution to that is you roll out

the open

and you gain uh say you know two blue

and a pretty pink

you get the trains the two blue and pink

trains and you put that behind

your d your ting and everyone saw that

then you can’t cheat

and then people don’t really know what

your totals are so did you keep five

blues i haven’t really been counting

your blues do you have enough blues to

block me

so all you’re doing is adding random to

which cards you’re taking

yeah that’s that’s adding an unnecessary

extra element on top of now you’re

removing the deck randomness and you’re

putting in a much better

because dice are better than this

you know yeah so but what happens if the

three of us are playing ticket to ride

we all roll five dice and they all come

up as blue

just by sheer statistical coincidence

there’s only 10 say 10 blue cards there

who gets them why do you

you know there’s no strategy to it

there’s no blue roots left on the board

but you’re stuck

picking up things you don’t want because

look has dictated us

you’re not going i’m taking those cards

to block other people you’re going

i’m taking those cards because i’m stuck

and i now have to waste a turn doing

nothing with them yeah in that case

uh because you have the the variety in

ticket to ride of

choosing your cards or picking two

random dice

you could have a thing where you can

either roll two dice

or pick a card pick when you want or

roll two they kind of

take it to right works where you can

pick the one you want or you pick i

can’t remember water rules to take a

right you can

you can pick up two that you want or one

random card or one like any card

but yeah but you can also pick from the

deck right you can pick two from the

deck or you can pick two from that thing


so yeah then you would have like a

global dice you’d have like

uh you can roll a bunch of dice that are

for everybody

and you can get your pick from that or

you can roll your own or re-rolling like


king of tokyo what’s the difference

between rolling global dice and having


dice out there with colors that you

choose from versus five cards

of colors face up in front of you like

take a drive currently has

yeah ticket to ride suffers from all the

cards being pink at some point

yeah then everyone draws up the deck

yeah yeah so you have that re-roll


you also have this like you’re saying

that you could you constantly pick blue

all the time and dice

that doesn’t happen though in reality in

reality it just it uniformly

probably just means everyone gets

everything at some point

oh that’s a hole and if we’re going down

the season statistics

there’s a goat behind that door outside

and i say it’s a car

i can’t remember the name of that game

show probability

yeah if you if you change your guess

then it becomes it makes me think casino

royale but i know that’s not what it’s

called i’m making a very clever point

and i’ve dumped it down by not

remembering the name of a stamis

anyway but yes no i defied to argue

against this one ticket to ride

how satisfying is this when you’re just

like you’re just picking up cards for

like six or seven turns in a row

and everyone’s like oh he’s clearly not

getting what he wants and then boom

you just have five turns of building

massive trains and you go from last

place to first place

and it’s just so satisfying to see the

look on everyone’s faces

yeah but that has nothing to do with the

deck or dice but you can’t hoard with


you’ve already already argued that you

can’t hoard or dice no but you roll the

dice and you get the resources

so so you’re right in the fact that the

the decks your cards you pick up

are the resources so there is two they

have the ability to be two different


that’s the great thing about decks and

cards i know

is that they can be multiple things all

right they can be the randomness

and they can have the functionality and

the actions and also

real resources they’re really multi-use

and multi-use cards are awesome

but also the fact is that there’s

duplicates there’s massive amounts of

duplicates of cards so there’s a whole

bunch of pink cards

and whereas that could just be one side

of a dice

so you know yes but that one side of the

dice is just as likely to come up each


yeah but you can change the probability

with this so you can determine

take the pink off the dice then no one

gets pink and wouldn’t that be better

for everyone

so you can you can kind of change the

probability and but once you roll the

dice then you have to replace

all of the versatility of that card with

resources or with other things

so you end up with more components in a

in a ticket to ride one

but the components are better so you

have a little pink train

or you can have a little pink token and

then the dice instead of just a you know

an ugly deck of cards

so if you’re prepared to spend double

the amount of money on a game

dice are for you i would say card

artwork is beautiful but i don’t know

sometimes when i’m playing a board game

i do i want the artwork to be really


but i just don’t want it just to be

artwork and cards sometimes i want a big

handful of dice or some cool tokens to

hold in my hand

you know feel involved tactile feedback

so what are both of your opinions on

sushi go and sushi roll

so on had brought up that and

he enjoys sushi roll a bit more that’s

quite a bigger box than sushi go

and i think that we probably pay sushi

go more overall i think so um what do

you think

of the benefits of each of those well i

think you’ve nicely made a lot of points

and my favorite there so uh thank you


yeah sushi i like i like sushi roll i i

um that’s why they’re two very very good

games they’re strong

in their own they’re like they both have

really good

points i agree sushi roll is good fun i

guess i think but i think the

card one works better because so the

card drafting as you’re passing the

cards around you can kind of see

what cards are left over so you kind of

get a feel for what everyone is

collecting what everyone is hoarding

what’s available what’s not available

and it allows you the opportunity to

switch up kind of mid-stream that you

can go oh look no one’s collected any

wasabi i’m just gonna grab a couple of

them and

they’ll work in my favor whereas when

you’re playing with the dice

like everything’s out in front of you

you know everyone’s looking at the same

dice everyone’s making the same strategy

at the same time

everyone’s going i’m going to grab the

wasabi first and then i’m going to grab


sushi i forgot the name for all the

things nigiri thank you

i was thinking negroni but it’s like no

that’s a drink

but yeah so you like when you have the

hidden decks again it gives you the

opportunity to kind of strategize

separately and

if you can even vaguely card count you

can kind of

plan differently you can adjust your

plan midstream but like

you can see straight away what

everyone’s doing when all the dice are

face up in front of you and obviously

you can’t hide the dice because

you know people could just change them

yeah i’d i’d agree with that

you’re wrong though but um

is fantastic it has cards allow you to

card count

which is really fun so in ticket to ride

doesn’t really come up because you don’t

get through the deck really enough to be

able to pay attention as soon as you go

you have to get through the entire deck

so you have that ability to carry counts

so you know

you know like obviously how to play the

game a couple of times before you know

what the kind of

areas are and you never pick the little

cake thing because the cake thing is

always bad money

unless you get all the cake things yes

yeah i’m very lucky it has to be all or

nothing that’s yeah but even if

one person goes on and during one cake

yeah he gets half the points yeah

it’s it’s just not good but

which is great but the thing is it gets

a little bit predictable when you

play sushi go for the tenth time and you


what your tactics are going to be

because you can count it so many times

you know the first round you’re gonna

get that

you’re not really looking at the cards

you look at your own cards you go well i

kind of know what other people have

so i know what i’m gonna do sushi roll

has the same card counting ability

however it’s not done

on over the entire game it’s done per


everyone rolls their dice everyone card

counts what’s currently out and then

they have to figure out on their head

what the best opportunity is so you get

the same

card counting fun but you’re dice

counting and counting dice is more fun

counting cubes versus countings flat

rectangles because you can keep playing

a sushi roll over and over again and

they’ll always be different they’ll

always be well most of the time they’ll

be different

because you could roll the same thing


i do think though with kind of card

drafting games

it it forces you to switch up your

strategy it forces you to be adaptable

to adjust

like if you pick up sushi go and your

ice you know this time i’m gonna go for


i’m just gonna go for cakes i’m gonna

try and get all the points for cakes and

the first

two or three hands you get don’t have

cakes you now have to switch up your


you now have to go okay well i need to

pick something better i need to change

it up i need to do something different

whereas with dice because it’s random

each time

people tend to go i’ve got a strategy

i’m just going to keep rolling dice

until i get it

and then it either doesn’t work in your

favor at all or it works ludicrously in

your favor

but it’s all down to look it’s there’s

very little strategy to it

you know yeah but you couldn’t you say

that the the cake strategy

you’re if you don’t think the cake

strategy is going to work in the cards

then it odds are it’s probably never

going to work because

you’re never gonna have enough cakes or

the cake strategy at the end doesn’t

work like you’re talking about wasabi

and nagiri

that’s a pretty strong strategy but if

you play sushi roll

and then wasabi is kind of low or nigiri

is kind of low that strategy starts not


this guy over here has taken all the

cakes his strategy is starting to work


of the role of the dice have changed the

probability of all these

cards yeah but because you can see it

because you can see it as well you can

see he’s now

thrown three cakes in front of me like

well there’s no point catching him i’m

not gonna get

him on cakes can i make a comment here i

believe for our listeners

cakes are pudding oh yeah pudding

pudding that’s true just in case anyone

is wondering what the hell we’ve been

talking about for the last

little while pudding makes more sense

with sushi maybe

yeah for new for new players sushi go is

kind of fun

because uh i love the artwork i love the

fact that it’s

more predictable but the thing is the

replayability with dice

is kind of fun like you don’t get the

the big deck of cards

but in sushi go so there’s the variety

of cards there’s not that many

and i think sushi goes a really good

example of where if you don’t have that

much variety it’s not like terraforming


where every card is different every card

does something completely different

you can get a very strong alternative

with dice

i don’t know okay i think that was

pretty much

50 50 on what was working better there

soEoin a common concern we had when we

were making dice summoners was that the

dice can be too random

and we did a few things to address this

in the game

and in the design phase so that while

there is a randomness that

the dice bring to the game it doesn’t

destroy the gameplay

can you discuss some of the things that

we did here to balance that

yeah so i think that’s a very common

complaint when it comes to dice

is that they’re too random is that you

roll the dice you’re not really sure

what you’re going to get

and it’s just kind of chaos whereas

decks it’s much more kind of controlled

and stuff like that

but i would just say that they’re two

different forms of randomness

and it’s up to the game designers to

kind of control that randomness

and make sure that it works within the


confines you know obviously in dice

summoners when we’re thinking of the

randomness and stuff

we have symbols on our dice and it was


the probabilities of those symbols

allowed us to

make sure that certain things are more

valuable than other things and it gave

us this kind of

way of the sides of the dice are

resources that people can use

inside the game and it’s kind of like

having a deck of cards where you have a

deck of cards where it’s like

you know 30 cards or 40 cards and you’re

picking from that

deck except for you know we don’t

there’s not that many resources that we

wanted to be random

so we wanted to have a kind of a very

small set of random

resources and then we wanted to have the


in the cards that are laid out on the

table yeah so we made sure that

there isn’t actually that much

randomness in die summers when you roll

the dice

but the more dice you get it’s still

going to affect how yourself to deal

with that problem

you know but it’s not going to be like

you know

like from not to 100 you know it

depending on what dice you have and

how you’ve picked them you’re still

going to get a control you can still

kind of control what

results you’re going to get from those

dice you know i

know we developed the game together i

kind of saw it differently i kind of saw

that we you know

yes there was an element of make sure no

symbol on the dice is too overwhelming

right like that but

that we used the the dexa cards the

creatures that we had

to offset the randomness of the day so

even if you rolled and you didn’t get

any of the symbols you want

that you still had the deck there to

fall back on

that you know you could go okay well

that wasn’t what i intended to do but

now look

thanks to the cards i have a different

strategy something else i can do

something that works even better perhaps

but it was it was the deck of cards in

it that

allowed you to because i mean if you’re

playing an exclusive

lee dice game and you roll and you don’t

get what you want

great thanks my turns over whereas with

the deck of cards to balance us

you know you’ve got the option you’ve

got different options available to you

and i’ll grant you that

you know with just a deck it probably

wouldn’t have been as fun

but the good combination of balance of

the dice in the deck

but i don’t think he could have done it

with just the dice yeah i think the

uh how the dice and the decks interact

in die summers is really what makes the


and where you have the ability to have a

very high risk strategy

uh where you’re not really sure what’s

you’re gonna roll and then make sure the


kind of match that style and you can

also have ones which are much more


and that can only be done with the deck

because the deck has a variety of the


all different types of monsters which

are different abilities whereas the dice

are very much the resources

that kind of are given out so yeah we’ve

taken in dice owners we’ve taken the

resource management

of like how do you activate these

creatures how do you activate spells

and just made sure that the dice are

responsible for that

and then the variety in the game of what

you do and your actions and all sorts of

things in your strategy

is all done through the deck of cards

yeah so it’s good symphony

Brian there’s one type of game that

highly dice orientated which is the roll

and right games

and and those sort of types of games do

you think that they could be done

through decks

i do yeah thank you good question

for time while he thinks we’re good yes

um yeah no i do think you do think um

take a game like castles of burgundy or

you’re trying to build

a little town in front of you so you

could have a game where say players play

cards face down in front of them

on what areas they want to take over or

what they want to do in those areas

and you could play you can play the

randomness where you know

players playing against each other if

everyone goes for kind of high profile

or high value areas

that you know you all can see each other

out no one gets any rewards

whereas maybe the strategy to playing

going for some smaller areas

so you play a card no one else is

seeking that area so now you can

put out your tokens you can write out on

the board you can take control of that


you can color it in your color you can

gradually get more and more of the board

if people keep going for the high value

ones it doesn’t necessarily work out for


but that would be done with decks

playing out whereas if you’re just

rolling dice

you know we’ve all played castles of

burgundy where we just can’t roll the

right number

to place out a castle or a town or a

city or whatever little settlement

developments we’re trying to do you know

you’ve got you’ve got your

three little pigs sitting there that are

worth a load of points to you and you

just cannot roll a four

and it is driving you mental whereas if

you have the strategy of it you can go

okay well maybe i’ll try and focus on

other areas

everyone seems to be focused on getting

towards the center there getting the

high value ones ones that are worth the

most points

but while they’re distracted there and

there’s no competition maybe i’ll take a

lot of the outside areas

that’s in off the top of the head deck

and draw

deck and dice whether you got a dyson

draw nice and rice tyson rolling rice

roll and rice oh my god you created a

whole new role in writing i did yeah

we have smaller games okay deck of deck

and draw

painting it now i would i would say that

yeah when you’re rolling dice in roll

and write games

there isn’t really a hand management

aspect to it

which is kind of what you’re talking

about and there is you know you can

always kind of mess around with the dice

a little bit in roll and right games

to make sure you get like a little bit

different there’s always like resources

and stuff you can

modify your dice with but it’s never

that it doesn’t

usually only affect one round and it’s

it’s not something you can predict later


which is which is a weakness of role and

right games but i think that’s the kind

of point

of those kind of games so yes tricky

it’s tricky it depends on what you’re

kind of building

and what you want to do but what you’re

kind of describing is a different kind

of game

but you can definitely do it with dice

with resources

instead so like like what you’re saying

is you know if you can’t roll a four

you can maybe use the dice to generate a

multi-colored train

where you have to use for different


those are a train in this castle where

you have to use like additional

features of the game to offset the

randomness of the dice like the little

workers in

castles of burgundy where you can’t roll

four so now you have to

spend a turn investing and getting the

little workers so that you can adjust

the six-year-old next time

down to a fourth just so you can place

out three pigs you’re now spending three


trying to do what you could achieve in

one potentially i think that

role mode games don’t usually have that

adjustment feature

just for the oh okay i’ve only played

one or two of them so um

yeah i think usually it’s about adapting

to whatever the dice rolls

and being just being very flexible with

your design

of your gameplay it’s all about adapting

to what happens in that round and having


guess the probability of device in the

future in summary

decks are better i’m not sure

that either dice or death wouldn’t that


own so dice have a limited number of


and really um the limitation is

that they’re they’re designed for games

with a lot of repetition

do you think that hinders what sort of

games dice can be involved in well decks

have a limited amount of cards

with that attitude there is a limit to

dice but i have never seen it come close

to that limit and i need the games i’ve


dice in so yeah i think the problem

people have is they try and make

dice into multi-use things where the

dice can be used for future

goes and i think that’s a big problem

but if if you

focus on just a randomness in a game

and you try and if you so what i like to

think is how what would happen if your

game was very

like chess it was very scripted it and

there was no randomness

so take roll for the galaxy if you got

rid of roll for the galaxy

and you just made sure that each person

could just do so six things you know

what would that game look like and then

put in your randomness as your dice

then you can you can easily maintain

your game now the problem

obviously with that is cards are just

very handy to put a lot of information


you can just put and make it make make

them multi-use you can have them but

games like ticket to ride and stuff like

that they don’t

use that a pink train is the same as any

other pink train and it’s very little on


really having to go with the pink trains

here it’s

i think that mostly pink is the least


that we take whatever way the pink

trains are maybe

toxic masculinity

probably is a tick to ride with dice

which i’m sure we should play at some

point that would be pretty cool that’d

be pretty cool i don’t know that there


yeah i don’t i don’t know where i heard

about it that’s all to google afterwards

yeah but i think the

dice are limited but also i think decks

are limited as well and i think

you know decks have this issue of just

of people liking the fact that you can

have loads and loads of them but people

get caught up in it too much that

it kind of ruins the game i don’t know i

think i don’t like the idea of just a

massive deck of cards

for ones like there’s games like seven

wonders where there is

a whole bunch of cards and they’re all

like about you know creating these roman

civilizations and it’s like all these

wonders of the world and they’re really


and similar cards are really good but

then you have a whole bunch of them like

that are just like a chicken farm and a

blacksmith’s house and stuff like that

and it’s like

i don’t need that and i i think you just

you want to get rid of the boring


of deck randomness and you want to

replace it with dice randomness because

dice are just

you get the components you roll the dice

it’s quick it’s easy

you don’t have to set up anything and

you just it’s not it’s

kind of like getting it out of the way

like roll for the galaxy the reason it’s

so good is because you don’t have this

hand management you don’t have these


you’re not trying to read these cards

all the time you just pick up a bunch of

dice you throw them at someone

shower roll for the galaxy is very


i don’t know i i think i think decks

offer you the option i mean

it’s what you’re saying you don’t like

about the game so but

the variety that you can you can you

know build up to it if you want to have

12 different ways to get to a wonder and

seven wonders

the options are there you know you can

build your chicken farms and maybe 50

chicken farms equals a wonder

the giant chicken farm of babylon

there’s too many chickens no no there’s

just one chicken one the giant chicken

but with dice you know and maybe there

are games out there with you know custom

dice on

eight-sided 12-sided dice but the more

sides you put on us

the smaller the images get and the

harder it is to do custom stuff with

this you will end up defaulting back to

numbers that everyone can follow

without having to flick back to a rule

book to find out what the symbol means

but even with six sided you’re very


then even if you’re rolling five or six

of them you still have to

get combinations you still have to work

out what you can possibly do and

again just too much comes down to look

at least you know if you’re building

towards chicken farms you can

focus on chicken farms and you can hoard

the resources to get them

whereas if you’re not rolling well

you’re not rolling well

you know you’re losing the game and you

know even a couple of good roles

might not get you back into it but a

good long-term strategy

might have you losing throughout the

game but pay dividends in the last

couple of rounds

i’ll tell you a great example of why

dice are better than dex

and this is it comes to combat so

there’s loads of games out there where

there’s combat where one person’s

attacking the person so the

obvious example is risk where you roll


to attack each other and then there are

games with like

there’s gloomhaven where it’s scripted

and then you have a deck of cards so

it’s like dice versus deck

and then you have games like bloodrage

which are in the middle somewhere where

you roll a dice

and then you also can modify that with

cards and i think

that it depends on what you want out of

your game of which one is better

but if obviously i think blood rage is

really good

i think if you if you got rid of the

dice element out of that the random

element out of it it’s too scripted it’s

too much like chess

yes you might get into this issue of the

dice never being on your side

but it’s better than not having a chance

because you’re the players just better

at the game than you

so or they’ve already picked up better

cards because blu-ray has both

has the randomness of the dice and the

deck and that’s i think that’s what

makes risk

really interesting as well is that you

know you got us

you got six people the other guy’s got

two you’re going to try and take

australia you’re going to win the game

and the guy with two just wins just

because the dice are just on his side

and you just wasted everything and then

you can’t hold russia it’s just

it adds these kind of aspects that the


like in gloomhaven you wouldn’t get it’s

a little bit more predictable

it’s a little bit more carrot counting

and you don’t get that just

two guys in australia just holding down

i will grant you this dice are a great

leveler that

you know you could you could have played

the game a hundred times and you come up

against someone playing their very first


and they’re just crushing you because

they keep rolling better

so it lets them get involved it lets

them feel involved

and they’re like oh man i totally

crushed you you know i thought you were

good at this

and you cry that’s the flip side of it

is that you think yeah i’m finally

getting good at this game i’ve got my

strategy down and then you’re crying

because you’re just rolling badly

yeah that’s what there is there’s that

balance i don’t think risk is bounced

it’s it’s it’s way too chaotic but it’s

fun it’s it’s really fun you can play it

once every like every now and then

and have a great time doing it but it’s

not a strategy game whereas blood rage i


has that strategy you can keep come back

over and over and over again because the

dice are balanced

because of the modifications to the

cards and you need that you need that

when it comes to balance when it comes

to dice and decks

balance is key yeah okay one final


on all of this so i’m going to expect a

very quick answer from both of you

a sentence hopefully prudent poker have

are kind of the same

idea games or same concepts but they’re

one is dice and one is

card but the the dynamics leads to quite

a different

gameplay i think these are gameplays or

games a lot of people would have played

so what do you think makes them

completely different

um or what do you think dice and cards

add to the

to the difference for anyone who hasn’t

come across bruno it’s that that dice

cup game from

pirates of the caribbean yeah completely

forgot the movie was going to say lord

of the rings no

caribbean i think in this case

the with the dice it’s just

anarchy it’s just chaos because you

can’t like

if if everyone flips their cups and

you’re playing with six people there’s

30 dice on the table

30 dice could be a six you know and

then it’s just madness you’re looking at

your five six going well everyone can’t

have sixes

and while it adds that fun crazy element


completely unpredictable it takes all

the strategy out of it

like your entirely guessing

i haven’t heard a single con yeah


well they were cons but okay

but we’re like will poker you know you

can go okay well i have these cards

those are the cards everyone else is


say let’s just say hold them you’ve got

the cards in the middle you know what

people might be playing to you can work

out what people might be going for

and how people are playing based on what

cards come up and when they bid and

there’s strategy and this bluff and

there’s there’s tactics to it

whereas with perudo it’s just like i

don’t know 37s

yeah that’s i think well it depends on

where you get to enjoy without a poker


because my i think the most enjoyments

you get at poker is bluffing

or reading people and then then seeing

what people are are good at

so but the only problem i have with

poker is that i can have like a seven

and a king

and then i can see the flop of cards in

texas hold them and

i can calculate to an exact percentage

of my chance of winning here

we’re looking at anybody else’s face or

cards whereas in prudo

i get a whole bunch of numbers and it

doesn’t really matter

you know until someone starts bidding

this could be anything you know it’s

like a black box

everyone has a shirt on your cat who

knows what’s underneath their pruda cup

but there’s no such thing as a good hand

in peru like you can have

three sixes and two fives like okay

great well if anyone goes for either of

those numbers

and then some lunatic down the end of

the table comes in with ten twos but

where do you go from there

yeah i think there’s a bluffing right

it’s not like you in poker you can have

two aces and then it gets really fun

because you can bluff all right

but when you don’t have a good hand you

can’t really bluff doesn’t

matter you have to kind of back out at

some point but you have no chance of

winning like bluffing is just much more

difficult i find in poker when

everything is so predictable

there’s a percentage chance of winning

whereas in peru there’s no percentage

chance of winning

because you just don’t there’s no like

possibility okay

thank you very much for your comments

there i can keep talking about this

i can keep going so okay Brian

do you have any closing comments you

want to make yes thank you for awarding

me the victory on this debate

very pleasant to be here sorry dice are

good fun i can’t argue with that with

that base point that

they are brilliant it’s great to just

throw a handful of dice out on the table

you have been arguing with me

i can’t argue at that point i’m gonna

argue with a lot more

but they are just too random there’s no

strategy to it there’s no

balancing to it without adding in a deck

of cards

it’s just chaos on anarchy you can

tailor dice you can add in different

shades and colors and

different faces but you’re always just

relying on the look of the role whereas

with decks you can at least strategize

you can plan

you still have the randomness of the

deck of cards but there’s at least a bit

of planning thinking

doing working to it you can combo

and stuff like that but you know with

dice it’s just

too random the end okay

andEoin any last words so i wouldn’t say

that they’re too random

i think the points i’ve been making is


you can tailor the randomness of dice so

when you’re thinking about randomness i

believe when you want randomness in your


you want to make it short and sweet you

want to make it really tactile

you want dice oh that was punchy

and just it has a really kind of

satisfying feel to them and

you need it in combination with other

parts now i will say that the decks

are really fun to look at artwork and

the components and

like you know you get a good linen card

it’s very satisfying but when it comes


drones and bones which i think is what

people say

that’s very satisfying you’re gonna get

a whole i’m just and dice come in all

sorts of shapes and sizes

not necessarily made out of bone yeah

you don’t you don’t you don’t

have a deck of cards in d you want to

roll a dice i think i think

some in some cases it’s a natural fit

and in other cases

you should just squeeze it in there

definitely okay so that pretty much

wraps it up for

dice versus deck randomness did your

opinion change

and who do you think won the debate

comment on our social media to let us


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