Tuesday, February 9, 2016

REVIEW: Assault Dice App

This changes EVERYTHING.

No more dice.

Just let that sink in. No more carrying dice to games. No more dice piles in the corner of the table. No more rolling dice on the play surface, hitting models or getting hidden in buildings or under vehicles. No more cocked dice. No more dice rolling off the table. No more ridiculous fistfulls of dice from shooty units - having to borrow dice from the other player because you don't have enough.

I'm still wrapping my head around just how much this app changes our gaming time.

GW and developer lifeform entertainment have taken what could have been a simple random number generator, and turned it into a versatile tool that speeds up the game, allowing players to focus on the more important aspects of play.

The interface is simple, easy to navigate, and highly customizable. A tutorial runs you through all the options when you first boot the app. Basic operation is a snap. Tap the dice button in the lower right to add a die to the pane. Have a shooty unit and need to roll 35? Don't tap the button 35 times, simply press the "rate of fire" tab and add  five or ten dice at a time. Hold the roll button and all dice on the pane will rattle about and settle to give you a result.

Need 3s to hit? Tap the number three at the top of the screen and any dice lower than that are placed in a "cup", leaving only the hits on the pane. Looking for 4s to wound? Simply press the roll button and roll the dice that remained on the pane. Tap the four at the top of the screen, keeping only the dice that are 4+. Your opponent can now simply tap the reroll button on the remaining dice to make his saves. No counting out dice. No asking, "how many wounds was that?"

Have preferred enemy? Need to reroll 1s (or any other value?) simply drag and drop the dice you want to reroll into the cup in the lower left. Alternatively, tap and hold the 1 at the top of the screen to move all 1s to the cup. Tap the cup to spill the dice back onto the pane, rerolling them.

To clear the pane, simply press and hold any die to select them all, and hit the delete button in the lower right.

You can change the color of the dice from over 20 choices, including marbleized and grungy variants, and you can also replace 6s with the Imperial Aquilla, like many retail sets. Over ten different backgrounds are available to customize your rolling surface, with themes that will fit almost any army.

Beyond cosmetic customizations, the app allows you to create custom panes and save them. Up to thirty unique panes can be created, customized and labeled. You can create a custom pane for your devastator squad, with multiple colors of dice, so you can tell your lascannon hits from your heavy bolters. Just tab over the saved pane when you need to access it.

The app also includes a permanent scatter pane. It contains a scatter die and 2D6 by default, but can be customized like any other panel. Rolling the dice creates a satisfying explosion on a direct hit, and also creates a long directional line on a drift result, helping you to more clearly define the direction of the stray shot. All of this sounds great, but in application, we've found using real scatter dice to be more practical. There's something disconcerting about holding a heavy electronic device over hundreds of dollars of fully painted, fragile miniatures. When we tried it the first time, all I could think was, "If I drop this, it's going to smash my two ghost arks - that's over 100 hours of work".

Shockingly, GW has created an essential app that is not only useful, but changes the face of the game.  It removes a major logistical thorn, beautifies tabletops (hated having $400 worth of scenery littered with dice) and speeds up gameplay. While you'll still need a few real dice around to mark objectives, count wounds and make quick 2D6 checks, I'd consider this app a MUST BUY.



  1. I was skeptical. I was wrong. This app is fantastic. And can we talk about the price? What is it, $1 still? The amount of time you save in one single game is totally worth it. No more counting out 35 dice. SO much faster.
    Truly a must-buy!

  2. I've been meaning to check this out. We have one hardcore gamer who swears he will table flip the game if anyone ever brings a dice rolling app instead of doing it the "old fashioned get off my lawn way"

    1. Anyone who will flip a table over...anything is not worth playing with.

  3. Hark! The seeds of Abominable Intelligence. Heresy, sir! Heresy I tell you.

  4. Trip-

    Thanks so much for the rave review. We worked very hard on this App and are so pleased folks love it (I'm the CEO of Lifeform).

    Plus, Android just came out!


  5. Thanks for the review! I'm the lead dev on the project and thought I'd throw some tech-details to those interested in knowing.

    The app uses a physics model to handle die rolls rather than a simple random number generator. This means that dice interact with each other, cause flips, knock each other around and all the other things dice normally do when rolled. What nice about this is that we were able to leverage the huge studies on dice mechanics and then create a system which replicated these in our virtual space. Case in point, we're "Vegas" approved with our dice engine.

    The other cool thing about the virtual space is that we're able to do fun things like "lock" dice to the dice pane preventing a re-roll from knocking anything over. If you're twin-linked, we've got you covered.

    There's an update in the works for iOS which will bring the updated/fixed features from Android to both platforms. This should go live in the next couple of weeks.

    Just FYI for anyone grabbing the android version. Android has a known issue with downloads of apps which can be resolved by googling the error code. If you have an issue, please, please try the fix first. The app is fine!

    If you have any questions or need support, we can all be reached via support (at) assaultdice (dot) com -- or just reply! Roger or I will chime in as possible

  6. The one thing I have noticed is that when you do the rerolls out of the cup it can knock other dice changing what they are. Making dice that originally were hits, into misses. This is the one barrier to me really commuting to this app.

    1. This is absolutely true, and something to watch for when using the soa.