More Swing Die Theory

Ethan Glasser-Camp, Jan 29 2000

One of the great things about Button Men theory is that anything you “discover” is likely to be noticed because of how little has been done with Button Men as yet. Anyhow, the other day en route to a gaming place in Manhattan, I got kind of bored and considered:

Let’s say I’m playing as a character, X, who has a sides total without Swing Die of 60. I’m playing against character W, who has a sides total with Swing Die of 54. What would be the Swing Die that I could choose that would be the only one I would have to keep? Or, in other words, since I have to keep 2/3 * (X-W), what die could I choose that would equal 2/3 * (X-W)? Since whatever die I choose will add to X, I found myself facing a problem similar to the rocket equation that engineers find themselves facing. More weight requires more thrust. More thrust requires more fuel. More fuel means more weight.

Anyhow, after algebrizing the equation, I found that the swing die I sought was equal to double the difference of the two sides totals. Thus 2 * (X-W) or 2 * (60-54) or 2 * 6 or 12 was the number of sides I was looking for. I decided to call this the round swing die, and realized how rarely it was going to be used, since double the difference of sides totals is rarely between 4 and 20. But anyhow I noticed that since the sides total is always a whole number, the difference would also always be a whole number, and so would the round swing die. The other thing I noticed was that a round swing die would always be a multiple of 2.

As I said, I haven’t found a use for this yet, but hey, Rome wasn’t burned in a day. And when in Rome..