Last spring, some guys from the Bolter & Chainsword forums got together to do a custom order for dice. Naturally, since it was a group of Ultramarines players, the dice pattern design that was finally settled on was the classic “Omega” pattern, or as most players know it: the iconic Ultramarines “U.”
I learned a few things in this order that I thought I’d pass along to the teaming masses of fans I have. Ok, but seriously, there are some things that you should be aware of when ordering custom dice, so here goes:
- I’m sure there are plenty of places that make custom dice, but before I even stumbled upon the post, the B&C crowd had already settled upon Chessex as the manufacturer. They’re pretty much the industry standard in dice making though, so I had no problem with that. Keep in mind that my experience is wholey dealing with Chessex, so if you do decide to go with another manufacturer, everything else here should be taken with a grain of salt.
- Pricing for custom dice is done “per side.” The important thing to note is that while dice have six sides, you only pay for the sides that will have custom printing on them. I’m sure the common answer is for people to substitute just a single side, which makes the prices far more reasonable.
- When choosing which number to replace with the custom logo, the logical answer seems to be to replace the 1 with the logo (as it most resembles the 1). If you do this though, you’ll typically hate seeing your custom image pop up, so the better solution is to replace the 6 instead. I did make a comment earlier that you should replace half of them on the 1 face and the other half on the 6 face. That way, when a bunch of icons come up, you can have your opponent quake in fear of your mighty rends (sort of).
- When determining pricing for your order, you can have only a single icon (or set of icons) for your dice. That is to say, you can’t receive the bulk discount for ordering 50 ultramarines dice and 50 blood angels dice. They look at those as two orders of 50 dice. Color, however, does not have the same requirements. In fact, they told us that they could have as many five different color schemes of the same dice, and pack them into a single order.
- They claim to be able to make any of their dice available in custom orders, but this isn’t exactly true. Some color combinations just aren’t available in custom orders (at least this is what I was told). Case in point, you can’t have the lustrous green with silver (though they can substitute the lustrous green with white pips). Just be sure to email them and find out what’s available for committing to something in your mind.
- They claim to be able to put most anything on the die, as long as you supply a high quality drawing. Keep in mind, that it’s going to be rendered in two colors, so make sure it’s not super detailed. Also, for common die patterns (like army logos) they have many on hand already, so if you can’t find the logo you want and it’s a pretty standard thing, just ask them–they might already have it on hand.
- With that said, keep in mind that not all colors may be in stock at the time of order. When we placed the order for the Ultra dice, some people requested the “black blue with gold” version of the gemini dice, but they just didn’t have the dice on hand to handle a custom order at the time. We could’ve delayed the order, but instead we chose a different color scheme. They didn’t give us an option to pay up front and have the other colors delivered when they were back in stock.
- The time frame for custom dice depends upon their stock on hand, competition with other orders, and the size of your purchase. Smaller orders are easier to fulfill and are therefore shipped faster. When you pool dice together with 20 other guys, naturally it goes slower. When you have them all shipped to the U.K. to then be distributed back to the U.S., well, that slows things down as well…
- Before you place an order with a huge amount of friends, think about the benefits you’ll get. Yes, combining more people will get you a greater discount, but after 100-200 dice, there really are some diminishing returns. Look at the quantity you’d like, and the chart to determine where it makes sense to buy. As a 40k player, you’re going to need at least 30-40 dice yourself, which automatically qualifies you for the first tier of discount. 40 dice will cost you $30, whereas 100 dice will set you back twice that (for savings of 20 “Free” dice). So, if you can pool $30 with a single friend, you can get 50 dice each. Trying to get too many more into it, could lead to a huge logistical effort, for $3-4 in savings.
I’m quite happy with the dice, as I was able to get the group to include the colors that I liked (red was a hard sell, but they’re ironically my favorite of the lot). I haven’t used them in a game yet, so I have no idea how good they are (honestly though, I’m hoping they’re just average), but I’m sure they’ll get their chance soon enough.
If you’d like to order some dice of your own, be sure to check out Chessex’s website.