Home Forums General Game Design d8 vs d10

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    Darkest Star Games

    I had a podcast playing the background last night while doing some cleaning, and one of the speakers said “X-wing by FFG would be so much better if it used d10s instead of d8s,” then later said something along the lines of “d8s and d12s are the work of the antichrist”.  Religious views aside, I didn’t hear any real supporting evidence as to WHY a d10 would be better than a d8 for X-wing type games.  I’m horrible at math (which is of course why I design buildings… ha!) and not a statistics guy, but it strikes me that you couldn’t get the same odds from a d10 as a d8, and that at least in the instance of X-wing a d8 IS better suited than a d10 for the style of play because you wouldn’t want to have too much variation in the odds.

    What do y’all think?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    Torben Kastbjerg

    The only thing I can think of would be that a d10 is, typically, used in increments of 10%. This makes it easier for anyone to value their chances, rather having 12,5% (d8) or 16,7% (d6) etc.

    With that said – it’s really just a lot of hot air. X-wing wouldn’t benefit from using a d10 anymore than Warhammer would benefit from using a d20 – the dice mechanics are not important, only the tactics, gameplay and speed of the game should be important.

    Mr. Average

    Personally I like D12s, mainly because 12 is a superior highly composite number so it has more factors than other similar quantities, which makes it particularly useful for measurement and geometry, albeit not so great for arithmetic counting. It works great in games like Horizon Wars and Dirtside II. Full disclosure: I’m also partial to 12 because I’m a builder in the United States so we use US Customary units, and they let you use a single unit to measure halves, thirds, quarters and sixths, which is extraordinarily useful for working things out in your head while in the field.

    I imagine the comment re: D8 is something to do with what Torben mentioned though, a desire to count in tens, but I also don’t see any reason to favor one die type over another when the main thrust of the game is positional and tactical.

    John D Salt

    The only thing I can think of is the question of how “rollable” a shape is. Obviously if you have two few sides, the thing will be hard to roll, like a d4, and if you have too many, the thing will keep rolling forever, like a d100. However, since d6s and d20s seem to me to roll just fine, it seems unlikely that there is some ideal level of rollability in between. Maybe the chap has an irrational dislike of platonic solids.

    All the best,



    Maybe they can’t fit all their weird symbols in a D10 smaller sides?

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism


    Not being an X-Wing player I don’t know how the dice are used. Is a single die being rolled? Is it an opposed die roll (attacker vs. defender)?

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    Les Hammond


    D10 is I would say better than D8 for the reasons stated by Mr Average, ie granularity, I think is the term.
    D2 is a 50-50 coin toss and D6 is stuck with increments of 17%.

    That’s why D% makes sense to me. Does what it says on the tin and can replicate the rolls of all other commonly used dice systems.

    6mm France 1940


    Don Glewwe

    In the words of the great Mr. Lehrer: Base eight is just like base ten…if you’re missing two fingers.

    Giving players a range is common. Giving them a range they can relate to is good (imo). 1-10 is common and therefore good.

    WARNING: Heresy ahead.  I converted the very popular ‘Pulp Alley’ rules (which uses d6 – d12) to d10 only.  The percentages work out close enough for the genre (again, imo) and makes for an easier game.

    1 – 10.  It’s built in, may as well use it?


    Darkest Star Games

    Not being an X-Wing player I don’t know how the dice are used. Is a single die being rolled? Is it an opposed die roll (attacker vs. defender)?

      It is red attack dice vs green defense dice sort of game, number of certain symbols that turn up either causes hits/crits or nothing hits if green prevails.


    Ratio-wise though, it seems to me that a d8, being less granular, could provide more “simplicity” over a d10.  d10 being more granular, as mentioned, could allow for greater range of results/variability.  In a game like X-wing, is that better?  I would think not, especially to the type of player that calculates odds (which a great many tournament style game players seem to be) a d8 would be more advantageous given the same ration of symbols (if possible).  It would be unknown if a d10 would speed up play or slow it down, yes?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

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