Monday, October 27, 2014

Commentary: The World Is Flat (Or At Least Shaped Like A Cube)

We spend hundreds of hours every year (or maybe every month) involved in our 40K life.  Did you ever stop to think that the hobby you love (and sometimes hate) depends entirely on rolling a small pile of cubes?

I will never forget the quote of a seasoned player that I heard in my early days of gaming; “it’s a dice game.”  Those words didn’t mean that much at the time, but how profound they would turn out to be.  Think about it.  All of the time and money you invest.  The friends you have met.  The places you have traveled.  Then you realize the foundation of the hobby that sometimes consumes your life is a small six-sided object.  I find it incredibly ironic that we spend much of our lives planning, working, saving; trying to minimize the random nature of life itself (unless you believe in fate/destiny).  Yet, when it comes to the time we invest in our hobby, we willingly accept the randomness of the result of rolling those ubiquitous dice.

Sure, we may not like the result of those rolls.  We may fling our precious, and sometimes cursed, dice across the room or in the direction of our opponent (who by the way has only rolled 5s or 6s the entire game).  However, after having our evening spoiled by bad dice rolling, we happily pick up an aluminum can, sink into a comfortable chair, and realize that none of it really mattered (much).

The point of stating the obvious you might ask?  Think about all the time and effort we put into list building, learning the rules, and trying to create some advantage over our opponents; literally dozens of hours for one game or tournament.  We listen to podcasts and read blogs trying to wring out a single drop of wisdom from other experienced gamers.  We then read our own codices again and again, trying to find that hidden gem that will be the key to victory.  What do we do next?  This is the part that makes me laugh hysterically; mostly at myself! 

We throw ourselves to the tender (not!) mercies of a pile of small, cubed-shaped daemons that we euphemistically call dice.  Using all the tricks of the trade to avoid the dreaded side with a single pip, we throw the pile of cubes onto the table and hope like hell our time preparing for this confrontation has been well spent.  Alas, it is not to be.  We can plan calendars, shopping lists, budgets and retirement.  But we cannot plan for an evening of crappy dice!  Those little imps just don’t get it!  You did everything you were supposed to do.  Brought the right list with units that were synergized to function together.  Your list is cheesy to the point of being obnoxious; but you still lost!!!

It just seems to me that we (40K gamers) are all certifiable.  What sane individual would do this week after week?  Well, no one ever showed me a list of things I would need to play this game that included being sane.  Damn, that cold beer never tasted so good!
Create, grow, feed, adapt
For russ and the all-father!


  1. The image of the dice being demons is great. I like the theory of dice, as it promotes a randomness to the battle. War is a dirty/messy/unpredictable affair. The dice ensure that no matter what your planning, there is still a chance for things to go horribly wrong. Just like real life.

  2. Without dice it'd be chess! Much less fun!


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