Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Night Dice

LokiCon (see previous) made me think about how well some of the dice games I played would translate into things to play with my kids. When I returned home, we started almost immediately with Liar’s Dice…and the kids are getting really good at it. The other game I wanted them to try was Zombie Dice. I explained to them how it worked, and they were both very interested. So I figured I’d get them/us a set for Christmas.

Only today they both brought home some pretty good report cards. I wanted to reward them and started looking around for somewhere local I could pick up a set. Unfortunately that was much harder than I thought it might be. I even considered driving to Game Plus, about an hour or more away (during rush hour). But a sudden headache took me unawares and the thought of leaving the house vanished with its arrival.

Zombie Dice

So I should probably explain Zombie Dice. It’s a set of 13 six-sided dice – 6 green, 4 yellow, and 3 red. Regardless of the color, each die face will be one of three things …a brain (yum!), footsteps, or a shotgun blast.  One takes three dice from a cup and roles them. You keep the Brains off to the side – those are your points. You keep shotgun blasts off to the side in a separate pile…those you want to avoid – you’re a zombie, after all. Footsteps are kind of like a tie…you’re still chasing. So those you set in a third pile. Now, add more dice from the cup to that pile of footsteps until you have three dice again and repeat. At any time you can stop the cycle and add up all your brains. However, if your total number of shotgun blasts reaches three, you lose everything – you get no brains that round.

So, for example, if on your first roll you get a brain, a footsteps, and a shotgun blast you would have a pile of one brain, another pile of one blast, and a third pile of one footstep. If you wanted to stop at this point, your score after this round would be one brain. If you wanted to roll again, you would add two dice to your pile of footsteps (bringing that set to three) and roll….and hope to not get two more shotgun blasts making you lose any brains you've accumulated.

You repeat this process for each player in turn. The first one to 13 wins (for simplicity’s sake – there’s actually a way to beat someone who gets to 13 first, but I don’t want to complicate things further).
The twist? Each color dice has a different number of the three possibilities making some dice more likely to get shotgun blasts and others more likely to roll brains. Green dice have 3 brains, 2 steps, and one blast. Yellow Dice have two of each. Read have 3 blasts, 2 steps, and one brain.

Rolling Your Own

I had a thought while I let the headache recede. What if I just made my own temporary set to use until the joys of Christmas morning brought us a Real Set ™? What would I need?

  • 13 six-sided dice – no problem.
  • Stickers – also no problem.

These two were the minimum. It would be really sweet if I had the proper colors for the dice and stickers that resembled the originals.  I figured I had the dice, I just wasn't sure about color – but I’d fake that.  I knew we had a metric s**t-ton of stickers in the house. The kids have been receiving them for years. I just didn't know if we any that were small enough and, if so, if we had enough of each kind.

I started by separating out all my six-siders from my set of dice. Then I tried to find dice that would best match a basic set of Zombie Dice.

Oh look, over to the left! Three reds (Squirrel Dice, ironically), four yellows, and six near-greens. Incidentally, the sets of black and sets of blue dice near the top of the pic were set aside for Liar's Dice. So now I have the 13 dice I need:

Now all I needed were the appropriate stickers. My lovely wife dug through the crafting...stuff...and found the drawer with many of the sheets of stickers. From them I noticed these sets:

After some perusal, I settled on some red hats to use for brains:

Onto the dice with them, I say!

Next, I found on the same sets of sheets a whole bunch of sandals and other footwear. Imagine I have the footsteps! Here's the dice with both:

Last I had to find something for the shotgun blasts. Honestly, this proved the most difficult. There were some snowflakes in a set of Christmas stickers, but not enough of them. With the headache still bearing down on me, the kids and I settled on the dreaded Candy Corn. So the kids set about making it happen:

And here are the final sets:

Roll 'Em If you Got 'Em

And so we got down to using the dice. They worked like a charm. The shapes were easy enough to distinguish. the only thing my kids immediately figured out was the dice were shaped a bit differently - the red ones have rounded corners so you could pull out squared-off corners by feel. We had to institute the rule that you poured the dice into your hand to avoid being able to pick and choose the dice with better odds.

The dreaded Candy Corn:

Storm chooses her dice carefully...

 To no avail:

Collin faced a difficult choice.

His sister had 12 and she was next after him. He had 5, so he needed to get to 13 or more in a hurry.

At this point, he has reached twelve (8 on the books, and 4 on the table) but he has 2 shotgun blasts. He was always the risk taker in games, so he went for it. yo can see the results:

We played two games of Zombie dice with our makeshift set. We had a lot of fun. My wonderful wife won the first game after tying my daughter and winning the dice-off. My daughter won the second game. Then it was time for a milk and cookie break and on to Liar's Dice:

My daughter won both games of Liar's Dice - I have a monster on my hands.

All in all a good fun night.

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