Living in the UK, it is part of our heritage to listen occasionally to Radio 4 from the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC as it is well known, especially on long car journeys. As well as Comedy Quizzes, Topical News programmes, Radio Dramas and many other delights, since January 1942, they have broadcast a programme known as Desert Island Discs.
In the program, a celebrity, politician or otherwise famous person, is invited to say what records they would take with them if they were to be marooned for a time on a desert island. The idea, if course, is that the records are so important to them that the couldn’t live without them.
Yesterday, I had the idea to transfer this to the world of Dragon Dice, and asked members of the International group on Facebook to tell me their three most important dice.
The Dragon Dice Fraternity
Interestingly, the Dragon Dice community appears to comprise a group of people who are a mixture of 3 ‘pure’ types. Each person in the community possesses each of the following attributes to a lesser or greater degree, with some, like myself, being more drawn to one extreme than the others.
The 3 pure types are:-
- The Collector – This type is what I refer to as the philatelist of the group, interested only in the physical item. Looking at the beautiful colours and iconography involved in the game, it is quite easy to appreciate the fascination of collecting these little objects of beauty. However, like the philatelist, the true collector will seek out rare and misprinted items to add to his or her collection, possibly never using them to play the game.
- The Statistician – This type of person is the scientist of the group who gets excited by the rules and the tactics that can be generated from them. This person does not actually need to play a game to enjoy the fascinating probabilities that arise from his dice selections. This person buys dice, see what they have and works out how best to use what they have. Unlike the collector, they are not interested if they are the wrong colour, have 5 IDs or have any other ‘imperfections’. In fact, this person, in all likelihood, would send the reject dice back to the supplier asking for ‘perfect’ replacements.
- The Player – This type of person is the one that I envy most. They are not bothered about collecting dice as long as they have the ones that they need to win a battle, neither are they too concerned about the mathematics behind what is going on. They play regular games on pairs, threes or more and turn Dragon Dice into a social event, rather than a science.
My First Interviewee – Mr D. Scott O’Brien
I have chosen Scott as my first guest, because he embodies the nearest thing to the ‘Collector’ type that we have. By that, I do in no way mean that he exactly fits the stereotype described above, but he does, to me, illustrate well the fascination of collecting dice, just for the sake of having them in your possession, as objects of art, and to be appreciated as such.
This is what DSO had to say when I asked for his 3 Desert Island Dice
Wow, a tough choice, but I’d have to say my TSR Unseelie, since that’s the Holy Grail of production dice, and there’s no concrete answer on how many are in circulation, my Emperor’s Die, (Kings Die with white ink), since they were only given out to a few people who were instrumental in getting the game off the ground, and my purple laser-etched Crusader, since I still owe someone chocolate for letting it go!
My Second Interviewee – Mr Steve Allen
I have chosen this person as my second guest, as I believe that he most closely resembles the Statistician stereotype (above). I do not believe for one minute that if, upon receipt of a Goblin Kicker pack from Midlam Miniatures, he were to discover a Pelter with 3 heads, that he would phone them up demanding that they replace it with a monocranial version, but he might consider the idea.
This is SA’s reply to my question.
As a lover of devious game mechanics and of all things Selumari, my three favourites dice are firstly, the Air Trebuchet, which can be carried by Coral Elf missile units to a coastland tower and create havoc by bypassing the normal ‘save’ rules.
Secondly, the air Heartseeker, with its Impale icon for the same reason, but with a slightly higher chance of success. The Trebuchet and Heartseeker together are a force to be feared.
My third is the Minor Death, who has the plague, and the ability to wipe out any size of army on his own, and the lesser ‘slay’ SAI which, once again, takes no heed of save results from the opponent.
My Third Interviewee – Mr Joshua Kaine Cavalchini
I have picked Joshua as my third guest as, to my mind, he represents the ‘essence’ of the game itself in that he plays regularly against other devotees of the art, and appears more interested in winning than how pretty his dice are or what the probability is of his Troll landing and balancing on its apex.
JKC replied as follows:-
If playing a 30 point army I use 6 Leopard Riders and 12 Bog Runners. For 36 points I drop 2 bog runners and add 2 monsters as my whim takes me, usually a choice between trolls and swamp beasts, but I’ve also recently used a Minor Death.
My Fourth Interviewee – Mr Glenn Moyer
My fourth guest is more representative of the vast majority of the group, showing a mix of my three stereotypes, but mainly those of the Collector and the Player, appreciating the aesthetic beauty of the dice, along with their use and playability. I particularly love the comments about the iconography.
Fireshadows are of course one of the most versatile units in the game…but in my mind I always imagined them as the spirits of former powerful firewalkers who just wouldn’t accept death.
Ashbringers are on my list as both reliable and awesome mages(even if they are cheated out of a cantrip) but just the id icon on the die makes them look wonderfully mysterious and intimidating.
The conqueror was my first rare die from my starter set, so it has sentimental meaning, but I love the menacing look of the id icon even if he just as often is all show as he is a devastating attacker.
Well, that is all for this episode. Please tune in next time when my guests will be Mr Travis Dean, Mr Tony Newton and Mr Greg Ison, along with, I hope, our delegation from Puerto Rico. Please add your own selection to our Facebook page if you would like to appear in future episodes.