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Wednesday January 16, 2002
10:30 AM

Button Men

[ #2181 ]

This is the most fascinating two-player game I've every played. Games are short, strategy is deep, and there's a great combination of luck and skill. Equipment? A few dice, and a "button" (which tells you which dice you're playing with); if you don't want to buy buttons, you can just get a list of released buttons online for free. A game takes maybe ten minutes.

Each player rolls his dice; the player with the lowest die roll goes first (if the lowest roll is tied, the next lowest is used, etc.). The idea is to capture the other player's dice by either power attacks (your die is higher than his) or skill attacks (one or more of your dice add up to exactly the value of one of his). The twist is that you have to re-roll any dice you use to attack; so that 20 you rolled may come back up as a one (oog).

So how how does this tie into Perl? Well, a fellow by the name of Dana Huyler runs a fine Button Men online game (at, which is written completely in Perl. It's quite a well-done site, and makes playing a lot of games simulataneously easy and quite a blast.

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