The Roll of the Dice in Warhammer 40,000

Marcus Carter, Mitchell Harrop, Martin Gibbs


In this article we discuss the role that the physicality of dice has in the experience of the non-digital tabletop strategy game Warhammer 40,000. Numerous previous approaches towards the digital augmentation of non-digital games have considered dice rolling a menial or tedious computational task to be designed away. We disagree. In this article we argue that the physicality of dice has a positive effect on players’ experience and enjoyment of the game. This occurs through their tangibility, their role as a representational object (situationally, imaginatively and audibly), and through enabling shared experiences. Thus, while digital augmentation of physical games has the potential to make strong contributions to game play experiences, more careful consideration should be given to what might be lost through such efforts.


Warhammer 40,000, tabletop, war-game, non-digital, dice, game design.

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