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Card Drafting

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jspence
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Joined: 09/11/2011

I have an issue where I'm trying to use card drafting, but in my game I have 5 unique spots for a certain type of card. The game is in the early stages so I dont have much to say on it. Basically its a simple card where you are trying to be the best suited person for a mission. I want each player to take card(s) then pass like (7 wonders / Fairy Tale). I dont have how scoring would work, because I was stuck on this issue, so if the solution involves scoring that works too.

Mission Card: Some random mission card

Player Board
Spot 1: Weapon
Spot 2: Secondary Weapon
Spot 3: Vehicle
Spot 4: Race
Spot 5: Job

If a pile of cards is made up of all those types, and each player is given 6 cards, there is a chance he could end up not filling up his spots because of the randomness.

I could take out the randomness and make each player hand contain 1 of each card type. I could also allow players to stack cards onto the same spots for some sort of bonus.

The reason 7 wonders, and Fairy Tail work is because you can always play any card regardless of it's good or not. I am wondering if there is a good solution for this if cards have designated spots, and a there is a limit of 1 per spot.

wombat929
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Joined: 04/17/2015
A simple answer would be to

A simple answer would be to do like 7 Wonders does with the Wonders, and say any card can go in any slot for some low default value. This way you are guaranteed to fill all slots with a minimum value, but are rewarded for planning ahead to maximize other values.

andymakespasta
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Joined: 07/26/2015
If you give players more

If you give players more cards to choose from, they'll have an easier time filling the slots.

Instead of drawing five, draw seven and discard 2 will give a much greater likelihood of filling five slots.

Some ways to make sure you can play cards you don't need:

Each card has two ways to play:
cards are split in the middle, and are two different things depending on the orientation.

Cards can be played as bonuses:
for example, race cards have a colored strip on the bottom that says "+ 1 range to weapon", when you slide it under a weapon, it becomes "dwarven sniper rifle", which has 1 more range than "sniper rifle"

Cards can be upgraded:
On a vehicle card, you might have: "mount weapon, place a weapon card underneath to get +2"

Cards can be boosted:
You discard any card for a temporary bonus (place the discarded card face down beside the boosted card until end of turn)
"Overcharge: sacrifice 1 card to gain +2 this turn"

Cool Among Camels
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Joined: 07/26/2015
Type-Specific Drafts

Why not just separate the cards for each round of drafting?

Draft 1: Everyone draws 3 Primary Weapon cards. Take 1 and pass to the left. After each Primary Weapon card has been drafted, each player chooses one and discards the others.

Draft 2: Everyone draws 3 Secondary Weapon cards. Take 1 and pass to the right. After each Secondary Weapon card has been drafted, each player chooses one and discards the others.

Draft 3: Everyone draws 3 Vehicle cards. Take 1 and pass to the left. After each Vehicle card has been drafted, each player chooses one and discards the others.

Et cetera, et cetera.

It's still a draft, there's no chance of anyone missing a card they need, and maybe it's more fair because everyone is choosing the same card type at the same time.

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Seconded - Type-Specific Drafts

I'd endorse this method of type-specific drafts, too.

Epic Spell Wars includes cards that work in one of three specific locations. To compensate for this, players are given a hand of eight cards to start, and this can be expanded to even more. The idea is to give players a large enough hand to fill in the three slots. They also allow "wild cards" that can fill in any slot.

The downside of this is having to deal with a large hand of cards, and in some cases there's a measure of analysis paralysis, when your hand can hold two or more "best case scenarios," when neither of them is an optimal situation - and then it often boils down to the luck of one's dice roll regardless.

I'd predict that with a more rigid drafting mechanic of type-specific drafts, turns will go quicker for a number of reasons and players will be more satisfied/confident with their results. Additionally, you can allow players to use their unused cards on "pop-up missions" that are displayed after players have bid for the main mission but may be worth fewer points. Their leftover cards may be able to fit into these pop-up missions for extra points or other accomplishments.

JohnMichaelThomas
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Joined: 05/30/2015
Another vote for multiple card uses instead of separate rounds

FWIW, I find these suggestions from anymakespasta much more compelling than separate drafts.

Having separate drafts is fiddly and takes alot of the strategy out of it. Giving players more cards to choose from and/or having multiple uses for each cards allows players to make more choices about how to use the cards they have, and choices are what make a game fun (and strategic) for me.

The main down-side to having multiple uses for each card is that you have to pay alot more attention to the graphic design to make it easy both for players to identify where and how they can use the cards, and to make it clear how the card is being used when it's played. But icons to match capabilities and card placement (which edge of the card is placed against the main player card/tile) can probably take care of most of that.

I'd offer suggestions for other ways to have multiple uses for the cards, but I think andy nailed it.

andymakespasta wrote:
If you give players more cards to choose from, they'll have an easier time filling the slots.

Instead of drawing five, draw seven and discard 2 will give a much greater likelihood of filling five slots.

Some ways to make sure you can play cards you don't need:

Each card has two ways to play:
cards are split in the middle, and are two different things depending on the orientation.

Cards can be played as bonuses:
for example, race cards have a colored strip on the bottom that says "+ 1 range to weapon", when you slide it under a weapon, it becomes "dwarven sniper rifle", which has 1 more range than "sniper rifle"

Cards can be upgraded:
On a vehicle card, you might have: "mount weapon, place a weapon card underneath to get +2"

Cards can be boosted:
You discard any card for a temporary bonus (place the discarded card face down beside the boosted card until end of turn)
"Overcharge: sacrifice 1 card to gain +2 this turn"

Centaur255
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Joined: 06/23/2015
Agree with John and Andy

Really like what John and Andy mentioned; another option to easily distinguish where you can play the card (and this goes back to card design) is that each "slot" for a player is a different color. Similar to games like Ave Ceasar (and in many ways Seven Wonders) different types of cards are different colors, it makes it easier for the human eye to associate them, and allows you to avoid having another icon on the card.

This is especially helpful if you have two different sides to a card: one half is colored one color, the other half is colored a different color for the background, and the players get used to seeing the same five colors for backgrounds. This allows us to designate which "slot" the card goes in without cluttering the card (as we're using colors, not icons). My 0.03 Euro.

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
Me, too

I also agree with multiple uses, and you start with one card more than you use (just like 7 Wonders).

A variant to Spaghetti-Andy's :-) proposal is that some cards might be usable in several spots, some in only one. This adds more strategy to the drafting if the super-specialized cards are the highest values. Do I take that 12-point Vehicle card, committing to it, or do I take the jack-of-all-trades card that is 5 points in any spot? With the latter, I can afford to take more specialized cards later, since I can always move the JoAT card to whatever spot I otherwise couldn't fill.

If everyone can see all the boards, I might even take a point or two less on the penultimate card, in order to pass to my opponent two cards that don't fill his empty slot of his over-specialized board. So you'd need some way to handle it if someone does end up with an empty spot, or has a card that is completely useless in a spot. (Just counting it as zero is fine, as long as that is not COMPLETELY crippling.)

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