“Just Double 1 it” part 2 – skipping rolls is unsporting

Fuck it. I’m in a self inflicted bad place with the KoW community. I originally skipped writing the second part to my “stop “just double one it”ing” article because of the negative feedback and how unsporting I was for suggesting that you shouldn’t skip parts of the game. Since I’m in the doghouse for other reasons anyway, I may as well do the second part now.

TL;DR of the first article: People really suck at recognising when it’s a situation where only a double 1 will save the unit, and underestimate how likely it is that you’ll need a 4+ on the nerve test, or perhaps even more. I presented a bunch of combat scenarios to Fanatics and even where it was only a 70% chance of being an anything-but situation, a significant number of people thought it was hopeless and would skip to “just double 1 it”.

People suck at guessing the odds.

Where’s the fuzzy grey line?

People responded to the original article by jumping to the extreme situations where it is genuinely an anything-but situation. A unit already devastated being flank charged by an unhindered knight regiment, knight horde into the rear of some gargoyles, a tunnel runner regiment into a war engine.

Yes, of course they are going to be anything but double 1 situations. I absolutely agree.

We know where the very black and white extremes are. A horde of scarecrows charging a Siegebreaker horde? Yeah you’re rolling that out buddy. It’s not going to be a double 1 situation. A siegebreaker horde charging the rear of some gargoyles? Yeah that’s going to be a double 1. We know it’s going to be a double 1, but you should still roll it out.

The problem is that there’s a very big fuzzy grey line between the extremes where it’s obviously a double 1 situation and obviously not a double 1 situation. No-one agrees on where that fuzzy grey line stops and starts. People suck at estimating where that fuzzy grey line is.

That was the whole point of the first article. I posted several scenarios and people got them wrong. They don’t know where that fuzzy grey line is. Wherever you think that grey line is, you’re wrong. I’d get it wrong. I guarantee you that much.

Even if you say “but I would just err on the side of caution” – so did several people when they responded to the scenarios by saying “I’d make them roll the attacks out if they rolled low on the nerve test.” They still got the likelihoods wrong.

Unless you’re going to sit there in every combat and work out the odds of it being an anything-but situation and set a threshold, say “if the chances of it being a non-double 1 situation are greater than 0.5% then we’re rolling the dice out”, then you can’t estimate table side whether a situation truly is a double 1. If you are going to work out whether it meets the threshold… why not just roll it out instead?

Yes, we know where the extreme black and white cases are, I’m not arguing that, but people have shown that they don’t know where the fuzzy grey line is where you do need to roll it out.

If your response is “but are you saying that if my knight horde charges the rear of some gargoyles that it might not be a double 1” then please re-read this section.

Can I take an extra free artefact because “it probably won’t matter”?

We have a point limit in tournaments. We usually have a time limit in tournaments.

On rare occasions you do get limited by the clock and have to choose to forgo certain actions to avoid a timeout. Time is as much a limited resource as much as points are.

Let’s imagine a scenario where I allow my opponent to skip a dice roll and “just double 1 it”. Let’s say they’re a slow player and it takes them 2 minutes to roll.

Now it gets to the end of the game. 3 minutes left on the clock and a couple of key combats to resolve. They roll those combats, kill one of my objective scoring units and because of that they win the game. They pause the clock at the end of the game and they have 30 seconds left. If they hadn’t had 2 minutes gained through skipping that dice roll earlier then they would have timed out and not killed my unit.

They’ve had an extra 90 seconds. That 90 seconds let them win the game. If I hadn’t let them skip a required dice roll – not an action that they chose to forgo but one that they chose to initiate – then I wouldn’t have lost the game. They’ve had additional time resource that wasn’t available to me, and it turned out to be a crucial resource.

If they can have extra time for free in their tournament game, can I get an extra artefact for free? They’re both limited resources. If I have a free artefact like the staying stone then it “probably won’t matter” because it won’t come up most of the time.

Except for the times where it does matter. And I’ve gained free resources over my opponent.

Time doesn’t matter in the vast majority of tournament games. Except for the ones where it does.

“I could do with another 2 minutes”…

It gets to my last turn and I only have 30 seconds left for some reason, however if I can do a couple of combats then I can win the game. Is it right for me to feel entitled to an extra 2 minutes, or consider my opponent unsporting because they won’t let me keep playing after timeout?

So why is it alright for you to get an extra 2 minutes to skip a dice roll?

“but I let you [have extra time for free]!”

Player 1 is a fast player. Doesn’t time out. Has an army that’s fast to play.

Player 2 is a relatively slow player. Occasionally runs up against the clock. Has a slow army.

In turn 3, Player 1 gets a black and white anything but double 1 situation. They are at no risk of timing out and if we could see into the future we’d know they’ll end the game with 10 minutes left on the clock. Skipping has absolutely no impact. Player 2 lets them skip the attack roll and jump straight to the nerve test.

In turn 6, Player 2 is right up against the clock. They have several key combats to do and only a couple of minutes to roll them. One of the combats is a clear black and white anything-but-double 1 situation. As obvious as Player 1’s situation earlier in the game. They ask if they can skip the dice roll, citing that they let Player 1 skip it earlier.

Player 1 was never in any danger of timing out. Them skipping the dice roll in turn 3 had absolutely no impact on the game. However, Player 2 skipping will have an impact. If they skip it, they could win. If they can’t skip it, they’re going to time out and won’t win.

Player 1 is under immense social pressure to let Player 2 skip. If they don’t, then Player 2 will label them unsporting because “I let you earlier!”. Player 1 got extra time for free, but they never needed it and it didn’t impact the game at all. Player 2 is now asking for extra resources and it is critical for the outcome of the game.

Do you know how this could have been avoided?

Roll everything out. Don’t “just double 1 it”.

“But I think it IS an anything-but situation.”

Remember that fuzzy grey line that no-one agrees on and everyone gets wrong?

Player 2 gets a clean rear charge with their knight regiment into Player 1’s Revenant Infantry regiment. Player 1 lets Player 2 skip the attack roll and “just double 1 it”.

Later in the game, Player 1’s Vampire charges Player’s KoM Artillery war engine. Player 1 feels that it is a foregone conclusion and very black and white. The only realistic chance of survival is a double 1. They ask to skip the attack and just roll the nerve, citing earlier when they let Player 2 skip in another black and white situation.

Except it’s not a black and white situation. I explored it in the original article. There’s a 3.3% chance that a nerve roll of 3 won’t rout the war engine. It could be even higher. Considering that a double 1 only has a 2.8% of happening, then surely a 3.3% chance of something happening should also be considered? After all, if you want to skip something that has a 3.3% chance of happening, then why even roll for the 2.8% chance?

47% of players in the original poll said that they would “just double 1 it” in this situation. They obviously think that it’s the only realistic chance of survival, and they were wrong.

So Player 1 let Player 2 skip a dice roll where an anything-but was the only realistic outcome, but now they’re putting Player 2 under social & sporting pressure to let them skip one that is not an anything-but situation. Someone’s going to walk away from the table unhappy. Either player 2 stands their ground and upsets player 1 for “wasting time” by making them roll, or player 2 walks away unhappy because player 1 rolled a 3 on the nerve test and that might have been enough to save the war engine.

Do you know how this could have been avoided?

Roll everything out. Don’t “just double 1 it.”

“Wasting time” arguments are bollocks

There’s almost something quite liberating about being in the KoW doghouse and speaking freely.

People talking shit about rolling dice out as if it’s some great time sink are talking absolute bollocks.

I timed Elliot with an anything-but situation. Ogre horde into the rear of a De5 unit. He didn’t know that was the situation until I started the time, he didn’t have the dice prepared, he didn’t rush, he went at a reasonable pace, he even recorded the total damage himself which is usually what the opponent does.

He took 59 seconds.

I feel sorry for the partners of anyone who thinks 59 seconds is a long time.

Let’s Weigh It Up

Let’s look at the pros and cons of “just double 1 it”

Pros

  • You get to save 59 seconds

Cons

  • Is it truly a double 1 situation? We don’t know. We’re terrible at judging what’s black and white vs fuzzy and grey. People demonstrably are unable to judge what is and isn’t truly a double 1 situation.
  • Players can’t keep playing after timeout. They aren’t entitled to extra time when it suits them, so why are you?
  • Those 59 seconds might actually be crucial to the outcome of the game, even if it’s not immediately apparent. The outcome of the game could be changed by giving the player extra resources for free.
  • Later in the game another “anything but” situation might be pressured or denied when it’s immediately apparent that it will have an impact on the outcome. Someone’s walking away unhappy.
  • Later in the game a situation that is not an “anything but” comes up, and a player is under social and sporting pressure to allow it, even though they know it’s not. Someone’s walking away unhappy.

For anyone arguing from a sporting perspective that you should skip dice rolls, I push it back that it’s the opposite. It’s unsporting to skip because you’re creating pressure and situations which will upset one or both of the players at the table. All for the sake of 59 seconds?

“But I only play casual games”

Great. If you and your opponent agree then you could skip the double 1 rule entirely if you wanted. You can do whatever you want in casual games.

However, if it’s a timed game or a tournament game then you should roll everything out. It should never, ever be considered unsporting to make someone roll a dice roll out. Much the opposite, there are so many problems with skipping to just-double 1 it that I’d consider it unsporting to expect it or put pressure on someone to allow it.

“But what about this black and white situation where…”

Seriously. Read the article again.

3 thoughts on ““Just Double 1 it” part 2 – skipping rolls is unsporting

  1. Also. Sometimes people roll extraordinary low. It create situation where units stand and still while no people would have expect it, and create memorable histories. The ones your friends and you gonna remember for long.

    Neither my friend and I will forget the time where it’s stormwind regiment cavalry rolled 11 ones out of 15 dices to wound on my 65 points rat swarm, failed to even waver it, and then got wavered two times only to be finally killed after a third round by the chaff unit.

    It wouldn’t have happened if we had just skip to double 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you always roll it out then there is never an argument or anything that slips through the cracks.

    Like with security checks.

    Like

  3. No throw dice in wargame like KoW ? What’s the point 😡 ? Anyway, my opponent never let me “just double 1” because my unluck is so awesome I can fail a charge of drake rider on a troop XD

    Like

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