Product Review: Metallic Dice Games Dice Tray

MDG Dice Tray in Red Velvet

Greetings, Everyone!

As with any hobby, there are many items that are not necessary, but can significantly contribute to the enjoyment of the experience. I don’t have to wear a Chicago Bears jersey on game day, seeing as they still haven’t signed me to the squad (I’m cheap, Ryan Pace!), but it makes it more fun when I’m out in public and run into other fans. In the same way, there are many gaming accessories that aren’t required but can be very useful and make the games we play more enjoyable.

Many games rely on dice to produce the random results needed to play the game, and most players develop a “style” of rolling those dice quickly and conveniently. Some like to use dice towers, relishing every clack and clatter of the die as it falls through the tumblers within. Others like dice cups, swirling the dice within like a fine wine before authoritatively slamming the cup down to show the game who’s really in control. Then, there are the troglodytes that like to bowl the dice across the playing surface attempting to knock over all your meticulously painted miniatures. But the most civilized, well-mannered, and discerning gamers use a tray to gently cradle their favorite dice and ensure the fairest result. (No bias here!)

Today I will be reviewing Metallic Dice Games’ Collapsible Dice Trays. These retail for $16 normally, but I was able to snag a two-pack of them on Massdrop for $23. The trays are very portable because they unsnap and fold flat, making it very easy to throw into a bag for game night without taking up a lot of space. There is a leather (maybe?) backing on the outside, and a soft, velvet lining on the inside with some sort of stiff material in between. If you like to roll with fancier metallic dice (can damage a table because of their weight) or the semi-precious stone dice (can chip if treated roughly), I wouldn’t be without one of these bad boys. Measuring in at 10×10 inches, they are large enough to let the dice roll a little bit without taking up too much of the table real estate, which can be an issue with bigger games or smaller gaming spaces.

I picked up a blue one and a purple one (to match our Blood Bowl team colors), and liked them so much that I picked up another two-pack in red and black so we can have more around the table on Zombicide nights. Recently, I saw that they released a multi-colored one in a chevron pattern the last time they popped up on Massdrop, but it looks like the lining on that one might be a more standard cloth rather than the velvet. I’m sure that there are other dice trays that would be just as nice, but the price point for these in the two-pack was good and I was very impressed with the quality of these trays.

Fancy!!!

At our table, my teenager has a tendency to send dice careening around the room when he gets a little excited, so we spend a lot of time chasing dice. Of course, whenever it is a good roll it counts, but if it’s not what he was hoping to see we need to re-roll since it fell off the table (Seems legit….wait a minute!!!) So, I implemented a house rule that if it doesn’t end up in the tray it doesn’t count, no matter the result, and must be re-rolled. This has eliminated 95% of the dice on the floor (there’s still the odd one that bounces out or misses the tray), and has had the added benefit of eliminating “cocked” dice when playing games that involved uneven terrain features. If I’m using the trays away from home, I always let my opponent know how I use the tray and I’ve never had anyone complain. In fact, many roll their own dice in the trays as well!

So, readers…how do you roll at your table? Let us know in the comments if you use a tower, cup, tray, box lid, Vegas-style craps table, the hollowed-out skull of your enemy, etc. We’d love to know!

Kill Team: Drukhari Part 1

I’ve been trying to decide what to do for my next Warhammer 40K army for quite a while now and honestly I’ve been leaning towards Dark Eldar (or Drukhari as the kids call them these days) pretty much the entire time. I finally got my Ultramarines to a place where I feel comfortable starting a new project and decided to start with the Kill Team box.

I’ll post updates throughout the next couple of weeks as I try to take the box from sprue to table. Below you can see the built wyches. I decided to only use one special weapon, the shardnet and impaler, because I plan to have one of those in every unit of wyches I run in regular 40K games.

After they were assembled and the glue had dried I began work pinning them to some custom bases I bought from secret weapon miniatures. Since wyches come on slotted bases I clipped the majority of the slot off, leaving just the portions directly under their feet. I then drilled a hole into the custom base to match the remaining portion of the slot and used super glue to adhere the model to the base and green stuff to fill in any gaps.

The first three have been ‘pinned’ to their new bases

The next step was priming the models and the two pieces of terrain. I did this with my airbrush since it hasn’t stopped raining here in about 3 months so I can’t use rattle cans. I’ll be doing the next steps with the airbrush as well and posting the results along with paints used when they are complete.

All on their custom bases and primed.
The terrain from the Kill Team box primed.

In Which A Nerd Is Introduced…

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Greetings, Everyone.

I wanted to make a quick post to introduce myself, since I’m going to start contributing to the page. My name is Jon, and I’m a nerd. I made peace with this long ago, which helps when you have a teenager. Then, when he points out how uncool I am, I can just respond with “I know.” I’m betting that you are also a nerd, since you’re hanging out on a website like The Goblin Beat, so I’ll say… Well met, fellow nerd!

My introduction to gaming of any sort began shortly after the turn of the century, when I walked in on a co-worker painting a Moria Goblin from Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings game. I was blown away by how tiny the miniature was and how well he painted it, but protested that I could never paint anything so small. He offered to let me try my hand at one, whether because he was trying to grow the hobby or just trick me into painting part of his horde I could not say. Either way, I found the experience oddly satisfying and here we are, years (and hundreds of dollars worth of miniatures) later.

I still actively play what is now called the Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game, as well as Blood Bowl (also by Games Workshop) and the X-wing Miniatures Game (by Fantasy Flight Games). I’m not much of a competitive gamer, so don’t expect much in the way of high-level tactics articles or tournament reports, but I will be writing about these game systems in the future. When it comes to table-top gaming, I’m much more drawn to campaigns and narrative-style games, which is probably why the transition into RPGs was so easy for me.

As for Role-Playing Games, I dabbled in some 2e Dungeons & Dragons, primarily set in Middle-earth rather than one of the established settings, but drifted away for several years. Then, the Goblin Beat crew invited me to join their Curse of Strahd campaign, which introduced me to 5e D&D and I fell back in love. Our weekly games were a blast, but they created an itch to DM my own games and I began running a second campaign on a different night of the week (which are not recorded…for now).

If you listen to the podcast sessions, you’ll hear my dulcet tones bringing Haleth (War Cleric of Lathander) and Einkil Ironfist (Charlatan Battlemaster) to life. In our Call of Cthulhu games, I play Dr. Lindsay Holt, who may be retired now that the rest of his crew is dead, but them’s the breaks when you face the Elder Gods and their minions.

Anyway, I look forward to interacting with you all over the coming weeks & months, and thanks for supporting the Goblin Beat.

May the dice rolls be ever in your favor!

JRB