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Permanent & One-Use cards

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Nestalawe
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Hey folks...

I am hoping people out there can point me in the direction of any other games out there that have similar cardplay mechanics to what I am working on at the moment for one of my games (detailed below) so that I can go check it out and compare how they approach things.

I am working on an empire-building wargame in which players perform all their actions through cards - this is a card-driven boardgame, not a pure cardgame. Each player will have a set of 3 'Permanent' cards, which are always in their hand. These are basic actions, such as move, tax, build etc. In addition to this, there are decks of 'One-Use' cards, which have more interesting, and/or more powerful actions listed on them - usually two, of which a player may choose to perform one.

On their turn, a player will be able to perform say, 2 or 3 actions. They perform an action by playing a card. If they play a Permanent card, they are able to take the card back into their hand at the end of their turn. If they play a One-Use card, they must place the card on its discard pile.

This generally feels pretty good to me, as it gives players the ability to always do all the 'basic' actions, and also be able to do other interesting actions. Originally I was going to have it that a player could draw several One-Use cards at the start of their turn, to add to their hand (also need to consider hand limits...). But this may end up being very random, and players may get frustrated at never getting cards that they need or are looking for. Another approach would be to line up say three or four cards face up from which players can choose which cards to add to their hand. I could also have a mix, e.g. on their turn a player can either take two of the face up cards, or three face down cards from the deck.

So, does this make sense? Interesting? And what other games do people know of that do something similar?

Cheers!

Nestalawe'

Shellhead
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Fury of Dracula has something similar with respect to combat only. Both Dracula and the hunters have a set of three basic combat cards that they can always use in combat. Dracula has five additional combat cards that he can only use at night. The Hunters have a whole deck of equipment cards, and they get to draw from that deck when visiting larger cities. Some of those equipment cards are one-shot use, like garlic or a vial of holy water. Other equipment cards are semi-permanent, reusable unless Dracula manages to break one in combat or an event forces a discard. The hunters usually can only carry up to three item cards each, but those standard combat cards are always available.

Jebbou
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Permanent & One-Use cards

This mechanics sounds interesting to me, although I agree that frustration could occurs.

One game that has similar mechanics is Game of Thrones (with the expension). You get a set of permanent order tokens, which you can re-use each turn, and a limited number of one-use order tokens, one of them being faction specific. The difference AGoT and the system you suggest is that the one-time orders are always available, from the start of the game, whereas in your game, you aquire them as the game goes.

One way to aquire one-timers as the game progress could be to have players purchase them, maybe with Logistics Points. The major drawback of this, is that other players know what you've purchased. But if players purchase action cards at the start of their turn, just before acting, that becomes a non-issue.

Having a player draw multiple cards and keep only a few can be an alternate way of limiting the "luck" factor, without adding to much weight on the game. It can be resolved quickly, unlike the purchasing system.

Jeb

PS: If you go with purhasing of cards, you could look at the game Hacienda, in which a series of cards are always revealed on the table. You can either purchase a face-up cards for three pesos, or face-down cards for two pesos. The same system could be used, where face up cards are more expensive since you know what you get, and face-down cards cheaper, since you get something random. Face-down cards also benefits the player since others do not know what you just drew.

Jebbou
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Also, how many different one-timers will there be in the game?

Jeb

Nestalawe
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Cheers Shellhead, thats a good start - Can players only have three cards total at any one time? Including both Permanent and One-Use?

Also, at the moment I am looking at three different decks of cards - Military, Infrastructure and Religion. Thus each player will have three 'Hands' of cards, with Permanent and One-Use cards in each Hand. Considering that a player will only need to worry about one of these hands at a time (each hand relaets to a particular phase of the game) and a player will have from say 3-6 cards in each hand, does that sound too much/unmanageable?

Nestalawe
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Jebbou wrote:
Also, how many different one-timers will there be in the game?

Jeb

There are lots of one-timers ;) There are three decks (see above post) with 30 cards in each deck, so lots to go around. Many will be mulitples, but as I am looking to make an Epic game, I want a nice range of useful, interesting cards.

Cheers for your other notes as well. AGoT is one of my favourite games ;)

Jebbou
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Nestalawe,

Will players be allowed to keep one-timers in their hands for a later turn? Personnaly, I would find it difficult to manage three hands, especially if one-timers can be kept. My brain would be overwhelmed by too much information, and I would constantly refer to other hands even during another phase, to optimize the upcoming phases. :)

Jeb

Nestalawe
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Jebbou wrote:
Nestalawe,

Will players be allowed to keep one-timers in their hands for a later turn? Personnaly, I would find it difficult to manage three hands, especially if one-timers can be kept. My brain would be overwhelmed by too much information, and I would constantly refer to other hands even during another phase, to optimize the upcoming phases. :)

Jeb

Yep, you can keep one-timers for future turns ;)

I may just have to test it out. You will generally always be able to remember what your permanent cards are, in fact, once you learn them (they are the basic actions of the game) you can probably just leave them down in front of you...

Or, even though you have 'three' hands, you could just see it as one hand, split into three types of cards ;)

FateTriarrii
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Permanent & One-Use cards

There is also the Princes of Florince mechanism for card aqcuisition. Players drew the top 5 cards, chose one, and shuffled the other four back in.

Jebbou
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Not only this is resolved quickly, it can also be resolved simultaneously, which is even faster. Another approach could be like in poker. You draw your hand, and then you tell how many you want to discard and replace. This can also be fast and simultaneous.

bluesea
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Nestalawe

I guess I'm trying to find the reason for the permanent cards. If they are actions that can (potentially) be performed each turn, and the cards are revealed, is there an easier way to store or indicate this data. Just seems like a lot of cards in your hands. I understand that nature of the permanent cards (move, tax, build etc.), I just don't understand why they need to be cards here.

An example of possible hand of cards (permanent and one-time) might help. And what is played. Thanks so much.

-John

nnatee
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Permanent & One-Use cards

An idea that might work is each player at his turn draws X card. Now each player may play up to Y cards. Now after all actions are done player may throw Z cards out of thier hand and draw A cards instead (Z>=A). Of course there should be a hand limit.

Another possiblity that i thought about few days may work here but this adds a serious 'screw' factor. On a player's turn he draws X cards and may play up to Y cards. Now each player passes to only 1 player up to Z cards. While this don't fix the random factor it might help you get rid of bad cards you don't want and pass them to another player.

Just 2 ideas I had in mind when I read your post. Sounds like a good game!

NetWolf
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Re: Permanent & One-Use cards

Nestalawe wrote:
Each player will have a set of 3 'Permanent' cards, which are always in their hand. These are basic actions, such as move, tax, build etc. In addition to this, there are decks of 'One-Use' cards, which have more interesting, and/or more powerful actions listed on them - usually two, of which a player may choose to perform one.

On their turn, a player will be able to perform say, 2 or 3 actions. They perform an action by playing a card. If they play a Permanent card, they are able to take the card back into their hand at the end of their turn. If they play a One-Use card, they must place the card on its discard pile.

Yep. That is exactly the same mechanic as the Age of Mythology board game. Sorry to burst your bubble. =(

MPT
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Permanent & One-Use cards

I don't know 'Age Of Mythology' but if there are similarities here are some ideas I would think of using:

a) Make the effect of the 'Permanent' and 'One-off' cards different by empire. For instance one empires 'tax action' could gain 2 gold whilst anothers could give 3 gold.

b) Allow empires to gain more 'Permanents' in some way. (The Civilization cards come to mind here).

c) The size of hand of 'one-offs' could either vary by empire or by some other mechanism (e.g. controlling certain areas of the board).

d) Allow combinations of cards to be more effective than single cards. A 'bribe' card combined with a 'gold mine' card would be more effective than just a 'bribe' carrd by itself.

Nestalawe
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Cheers guys, lots of good stuff here...

bluesea - I realised after writing this that I could do away with the starting permanent cards, as they are just the 'basic' actions anyone could do, as long as the players remember what they are, and that they can do them. I think my main reason for wanting permanent cards was that it keeps all the actions 'in one place'. So you know that on your turn you can play three cards, and thats it, nice and simple. By taking out permanent cards, I could say 'players can perform three actions per turn, an action may be one of the basic actions, or playing a (one-use) card'. This is just a bit more fiddly. Also, by having cards, I can put all the information needed for that particular action on the card itself, so it acts as a reference, meaning players won't have to look up the rules so much for pre-requisites, conditions etc.

nnatee - I reckon I will try out a few different ways of drawing cards etc during playtesting, so cheers for your ideas!

NetWolf - AoM does something like this eh wot, cool, i'll check it out. And no worries, my bubbles are bursting all the time, but I keep on blowing 'em ;)

MPT wrote:

a) Make the effect of the 'Permanent' and 'One-off' cards different by empire. For instance one empires 'tax action' could gain 2 gold whilst anothers could give 3 gold.

I would really like to do this, and I am not sure if I will or won't have other bits of information on the cards as well as the main actions. For example I want to put a combat action on each card as well (ala War of the Ring) and these can be unique to each empire. As I want each empire to be unique, this would be a good way to help differentiate cultures and tactics, giving each empire some unique battle tactics etc ;) It does mean more cards, but hey, this is to be an Epic game anyways ;)

MPT wrote:
b) Allow empires to gain more 'Permanents' in some way. (The Civilization cards come to mind here).

Yep, this will be possible. One way will be through gaining Artifacts. Players will be able to send Leaders 'Adventuring' into various dungeons and lairs, through which, if successful, they main gain an artifact. This will be modelled as a permanent card. Thus the artifact will allow the player to use the card as one of their actions. I think this would be a pretty smooth way to implement this.

MPT wrote:
c) The size of hand of 'one-offs' could either vary by empire or by some other mechanism (e.g. controlling certain areas of the board).

Yeah I'm not sure exactly how I will do this but there are many options. Players will be able to Ally with neutral empires, so this may be a good excuse to allow a player to hold an extra card in their hand...

MPT wrote:
d) Allow combinations of cards to be more effective than single cards. A 'bribe' card combined with a 'gold mine' card would be more effective than just a 'bribe' carrd by itself.

I would really like to be able to implement something like this, to allow players to perform stauncher actions. Would take a lot of work though, and I may look at working on this after some preliminary playtesting when I head into my second iteration of the game ;)

bluesea - Some example cards -

Permanent Cards

Military -

- Move General
- Raise General OR Army
- Destroy Building

Infrastructure -

- Move Diplomat OR Merchant
- Raise Diplomat OR Merchant
- Build Merchant Guild OR Tax

Religion -

- Move Priest
- Raise Priest
- Build Temple

One-Use Cards

Military -

- Forced March
- Logistics
- Mobilisation
- Martial Law
- Military Strike
- Trade Blockade
- Military Presence
- Tax
- Marched In Chains

Infrastructure (Each card will have a Diplomatic and a Trade action)-

(Diplomatic)

- Alliance
- Diplomatic Spy
- Diplomatic Mobility
- Declare War
- Peace
- Quell Rumours
- Stir Rebellion
- Sweet Words
- Diplomatic Sabotage
- Diplomatic Banishment
- Insinuation

(Trade)

- Bribing The Clerks
- Blockade
- Tax Revolt
- Mercantile Takeover
- Feed The Masses
- Open The Gates
- Kidnapping
- Fear Of War
- Bountiful Harvest
- The Smugglers Route
- Grant Holdings
- Trade Monopoly
- Great Renown
- Wealthy Patrons
- Gracious Gifts

Religion -

- All sorts of cool stuff ;)

So, the Permanent cards do the basic stuff, making units, moving units and building structures. Thats the guts of the game. The One-use cards are either stauncher versions of these basic actions, as well as all the 'interesting' stuff - making and breaking alliances, stirring diplomatic unease, declaring war, blocking trade, assassinating leaders, stirring dissent etc.

Depending on what players are trying to achieve, they need to be able to plan ahead somewhat, and have the chance to get the cards that will let them best achieve their goals. I also need to get players drawing cards well before their turn to use them, to lessen downtime when their turn arrives.

Scurra
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Permanent & One-Use cards

I like the sound of this system (and I wasn't surprised to find that something similar has been used before*) but the idea of three separate hands fills me with horror. You know that discussion about "state-tracking" that has been going on elsewhere...? :-)

And you are right that you can't have two different methods for depicting the actions. Having everything on cards is a much smoother way of doing it.
Could I suggest one of my favourite mechanics - dual-use cards? IOW each one-off card has two possible actions on it, and you can only use one of them. That always adds a nice level of angst to the decision-making process whilst dramatically reducing the component count!

(*it does look as though you will need to take a closer look at AoM though - that game seems to have covered many of these ideas. That doesn't mean there isn't a lot more design space available, but you will need to be careful.)

Nestalawe
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Scurra wrote:

Could I suggest one of my favourite mechanics - dual-use cards? IOW each one-off card has two possible actions on it, and you can only use one of them. That always adds a nice level of angst to the decision-making process whilst dramatically reducing the component count!

At the moment that is what I am looking at -

- The Military cards each have a Military action AND a Combat action (card can be used as a tactic during combat)
- The Infrastructure cards each have a Diplomatic AND a Trade action
- The Religion cards each have two actions a player can choose from.

Another way to approach it would be to only have one deck of cards, but have each card have two actions from each of the four areas (Military, Diplomacy, Trade and Religion). But this would mean it would be even harder to get useful cards...

I have to really mock up some cards and test it out, but I don't think players would have to actually keep the three types of cards seperated into different hands. Players could even keep their permanent cards face up in front of them on the table for easy reference - thats 9 cards already. And if players have on average 3 one-use cards from each of the three areas, then 9 cards ain't too much to have in your hand at once is it?

Gogolski
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Permanent & One-Use cards

I didn't read the whole thread, but skimmed over it to see if "La Citta" was mentionned.
In La citta, each player has to play five cards in every round.
Players have three cards that alow for a standard action. There are three choices for a standard action, but you could use three cards to perform the same action three times.
There are seven cards open on the table. In stead of playing a standard action card, you could take one of these and it is immediately replaced.

This way, each player must play at least two face-up cards every round.

Now with three decks, you open up new possibilities:

=> If you have only one row of cards, you could let the active player decide which deck to choose from to replace the card he has taken from the row.
You could say that there must be at least one card from each deck in the row of face-up cards.

=> With a max-card allowance, you could let players decide to throw away cards at the start of a turn and draw extra cards one by one. This could increase the chance of getting the right card from the right deck. It also allows to take away face-up cards that will do you no good, but that you think are wanted by another player...

Cheese!

bluesea
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Permanent & One-Use cards

Wow this does sound like an epic game, thanks for more information!

Scurra wrote:

Could I suggest one of my favourite mechanics - dual-use cards? IOW each one-off card has two possible actions on it, and you can only use one of them. That always adds a nice level of angst to the decision-making process whilst dramatically reducing the component count!

Could I suggest taking this one step further. Instead of dual-use cards, triple-use cards. So at the beginning of a turn, the player must decide if he is the General, the Chief Engineer, or the High Priest and his actions can only follow along with the role he chooses. Maybe then there are some cards that are neutral that can be played by all three, and maybe there are some cards that require two turns to play.

So for example, your engineer builds a temple (one turn), and the next turn your high priest must bless it. But untill these two things happen, the temple is incomplete. And maybe for player interaction, another player (on the same turn) could build or bless your temple for you...for a price of course!

John

Nestalawe
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Permanent & One-Use cards

bluesea wrote:
Wow this does sound like an epic game, thanks for more information!

Hehe, yeah it will be an epic game, thats what I'm most interested in ;) But at the same time I want to keep the core gameplay simple. At the moment I have it that each turn is split into three Phases - Military, Infrastructure and Religion. During each phase, each player may perform three actions (i.e. play three cards).

And thats it, sounds simple eh ;)

Though this is in constant development, which is running hand in hand with my world design...

bluesea wrote:

Could I suggest taking this one step further. Instead of dual-use cards, triple-use cards. So at the beginning of a turn, the player must decide if he is the General, the Chief Engineer, or the High Priest and his actions can only follow along with the role he chooses. Maybe then there are some cards that are neutral that can be played by all three, and maybe there are some cards that require two turns to play.

I would like to be able to have triple-use cards, BUT I don't want to overload the cards with information. I want all the information needed to perform any particular action on the cards itself, rather than having to refer to any other rules. This keeps the entire action part of the game focussed on the cards, without having to refer anywhere else.

I am still flexible with how the Phases and cards are selected and played though, and your notes on choosing a particular role, or focus, during a turn could be worked in in some way. I am also not sure about how I want to order the three phases, and so this may be reworked quite a bit. I may even shift towards just having three or more phases during a turn, where a player may play any two cards, regardless of type. However it works out, I want to make sure that players come to their turn with a good idea of what they want to do, having had time to draw new cards, and prepare themselves whilst the other players are taking their turns. I also don't want a players turn to take too long, having quick turn-arounds, similar to Struggle of Empire's 5(or6) phases per war, and players may perform two actions per phase...

Anyway, I ramble...

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