zwischenzug (ZVI-shen-tsoog) — noun

A chess tactic in which a player, instead of playing the expected move, first interpolates another move, changing the situation to the player's advantage (such as gaining material or avoiding what would otherwise be a strong continuation for the opponent).

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Favorite Game Movie and The Coolest Way to Roll Dice!

My favorite gaming movie is Dice Boot, which is the story of toy U-boat and its adventures before sinking in port from a bunch of small plastic cubes being dropped on it.  No, wait, I am confusing that with the movie Das Boot...

So, what is a dice boot?  Now that we have talked about dice trays and cups, its time to show the coolest way to roll dice:

This Chessex product is called a dice boot, which is a type of dice tower.  In general, dice towers are gaming accessories that are used to roll dice through internal baffles.  They come in all sizes and shapes, and are incredibly useful two reasons beyond containing dice and helping little hands; they help prevent "dice snatching", and they add to the fun.

A gaming group I once belonged to had one player whose dice vice was “snatching”.  Having rolled, this player would snatch the dice right back up, declaring the result but not allowing anyone to see it.  After a while, it gave, well… a poor impression.  While no one ever accused him of cheating, there certainly were some very timely rolls!   With a dice tower, not only can the group have the rule that only the next player may pick up the dice, but the dice tower itself will make dice snatchers think twice about risking damage to the tower.

Lastly, many of them add to the Awesomeness Factor of a great game!  Come-on, who wouldn’t want o play an epic fantasy game with one of these for rolling dice:

My palms are already starting to itch…

Not being the craftiest person in the world, though, our house has two purchased towers.  The first is a dice boot, as in the video, which travels well because it can be assembled and disassembled.  (See a video here.)  It is a bit noisy though.  The second is a permanently assembled mini-tower from Blue Panther.  I haven’t used it much, but it is a little quieter, and is always ready to go on my game shelf.  Either of them can be purchase online for about $20.00 (USD).  I may paint this one as the Dark Tower in Lord of the Rings, but I also like the look of the natural wood.  It may just stay the way it is.

Some day, I want to design a dice tower to look like the ghost towers of the Delaware coast, which are part of the old WWII coastal defense system.

Some day…

It’s Your Move!

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