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Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

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Julius
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Shuffle and deal, right? Not so simple.

I'm working on a robot fighting game, where your robot is a collection of cards in front of you. For example, the player needs a 'head' card, and a 'torso' card, and some sort of 'legs' card, plus 'arms' and weaponry... among others (rocket boosters, and other upgrades).

Because it makes it easy to balance, all parts go in the same deck, and your starting conditions are somewhat random. Each player should have the same opportunity to get the parts they need.

My problem is this: As a minimum, all players need a head and torso. The object is to destroy either one of those parts, to eliminate your opponents. How can I ensure that a player getting cards at the start of the game has at least those two?

Brykovian
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Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

Would this work: Separate out the head and torso cards and place them face-up in the middle of the table. Allow each player to select one of each. Take the remaining cards and shuffle them into the deck before the normal dealing of facedown in-hand cards.

-Bryk

Rick-Holzgrafe
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Re: Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

Julius wrote:
How can I ensure that a player getting cards at the start of the game has at least those two?

The following suggestion is stolen from Ticket to Ride: Europe's method of ensuring that every player has exactly one "express ticket" at the start of the game.

In your setup instructions, tell the players to separate the head and torso cards from the rest, so that they now have three decks. Shuffle each deck separately, and give each player one card at random from each of the head and torso decks, and as many as your game needs from the 'miscellaneous parts' deck.

To make it easier to separate out the special cards, give the head and torso cards a distinctive appearance (on the face; I don't care what you do with the backs). TtR:E uses a brown background for the standard tickets and a blue one for the 'express' tickets, for example. This makes it easy to riffle through the cards to recognize and pull out the ones you need.

If you players will need more head and torso cards during the game, then shuffle the remains of all three decks back together following the initial deal.

Kreitler
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Re: Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

Julius wrote:
My problem is this: As a minimum, all players need a head and torso. The object is to destroy either one of those parts, to eliminate your opponents. How can I ensure that a player getting cards at the start of the game has at least those two?

WARNING: I'm making a bunch of assumptions about your game that probably aren't correct. Try to see through the specifics of the post into the spirit behind it. :P

It sounds like you need head and torso parts to represent fixed universal quantities like armor and hit points. Other body parts probably supply unique powers like special weapons and defenses. You need different heads and torsos so players start with different armor and hit points. If the torso and head also supply unique powers, we'll ignore that, as that duplicates functionality supplied by the other cards. Let's call this System 1.

So...why not give all players the same generic head and torso pieces with fixed universal values, then let all other cards modify these values to provide random starting conditions? Let's call this System 2.

Now imagine the same robot built using the two systems.

System 1:
Head: armor 3, hit points 2.
Torso: armor 4, hit points 5.
Other cards:

    fusion torch (arm) force field generator (3 uses)
    ECM jamming
    Guided missiles x4

System 2:
Head: armor 2, hit points 2.
Torso: armor 3, hit points 4.
all robots start with these head and torso values

Other cards:
When these are equipped to the torso or head, they add their bonus to the base value.

    fusion torch (armor +0, hit points +0) force field generator (armor +1, hit points +1)
    ECM jamming (armor +1, head only)
    Guided missiles (armor +0, hit points +0)
Using system 2, if the player mounts the force field generator on the torso and the ECM system on the head, his robot's stats will match those from system 1.

The specifics of this system are probably all wrong, but the idea is solid. Ask yourself, "why does everyone need head and torso cards?" Whatever the answer, those qualities are shared amongst all players and must fall within a fixed numerical range. So just give the players the average value to start with, then let the variation come from the cards dealt out of the single deck of parts.

Good luck!

Kreitler

[/][/]
akacamper
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

Kreitler wrote:
So...why not give all players the same generic head and torso pieces with fixed universal values, then let all other cards modify these values to provide random starting conditions? Let's call this System 2.

Kreitler

If i understand what you are making, i think this would be a very good idea. I was thinking about the same kind of thing. Have generic head/torso and then use the other head/toso/arm/weapon cards to upgrades your robot inbetween rounds.

You could have a
1) building round where you can add 4 upgrades to your robot
2) fight round one
3) have a repair round where you can repair 1 item and/or add 1 upgrade
4) fight round two
5) repeat 3 and 4

Kreitler
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

akacamper wrote:
If i understand what you are making, i think this would be a very good idea. I was thinking about the same kind of thing. Have generic head/torso and then use the other head/toso/arm/weapon cards to upgrades your robot inbetween rounds.

You could have a
1) building round where you can add 4 upgrades to your robot
2) fight round one
3) have a repair round where you can repair 1 item and/or add 1 upgrade
4) fight round two
5) repeat 3 and 4

Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking.
You might even consider letting players trade parts in the building phase.

Your game sounds like a winner. Keep us posted.

Mark

Julius
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

The more I think about this, the more I think I'm going to divide the decks up into separate parts. So there will be a 'head' deck, a 'torso' deck, a 'legs' deck, an 'arms' deck, etc.

I played with the idea of an 'assembly card' (think character sheet), where players use markers to indicate which parts they want, but I decided against it.

Thanks guys!

nomadsgames
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

Just an Idea

How about making the head/torso a single generic robot/vehicle/unit that each player starts the game with. The starting robot/vehicle/unit can be enhanced by different robots/vehicles/units that can make up the arms/legs/jet pack/shield and weapon...... Something that goes along the line of Power Ranger's Megazoids, Transformers or Gforce.
It could also add a new dynamic to the game. The player could have a group of robots/vehicles/units that can act independently and act as single "super" duper robot or whatever you would like to call it.

NoMADSGames
"Just Say No To CCGs"
http://www.Nomadsgames.com

Julius
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

You just gave me a neat idea for a wargame:

Imagine a wargame where you control armies of robots. However, the standalone units can combine together to form new, bigger units (just like you described). So you could have an army of like 8 small units, or combine them into two gigantic units made up of 4 small units each.

Oooh, the possibilities... I just need a new theme (girlfriend will probably leave me if she heard 'robot' one more time)... perhaps take it microscopic and have 'single-cell warfare,' with the ability to morph cells together to make new, bigger cells. Oh! and divide into smaller cells! I could have specialists and...

/me runs off to work on this idea

onew0rd
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Best way to distribute cards at start of game?

What you could do is have players start with generic head and torso cards. Like weak head and weak torso. All the same. Then as they draw cards, they could add to their robot. Also, I would make it a draft mechanic rather than a Draw mechanic. For example, at the start of each turn, reveal X number of cards from the top of the deck. The player who drafts first picks then passes, etc. Until all the cards are taken. This way, you could remove some of the randomness plus add a new layer to the game...i.e, "I have a great laser arm, but if I pass this buzzsaw arm, Joe Blow will get it and he has no arms...hmmmm....those rocket legs sure would help me this turn as I have to do blah blah...

Honestly simpler is better. Try the generic/blank head and torsos.

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