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cards optional?

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Donahue
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Joined: 04/01/2013

i am trying to balance out a mechanic of the game i am working on. as it stands, my game is sorta like axis and allies but set in space. in the game there is a common deck that all players can draw from to get cards that will help them do various effects. the problem i am seeing is that if drawing the cards is mandatory, then it will be some time before the players are able to use them (as the players do not start with enough resources to pay the casting cost).

i can either leave it as is and just assume that these players will hoard up several cards before they are able to start using them, or else change it to where the players dont start the game drawing cards, but that they gain the ability to draw them as the game progresses. i have considered two different ways to implement the drawing of cards.

1. have the drawing of cards be one of the many "tech upgrades" that are already part of the game. this would allow the the player to choose between being able to start using cards and some other upgrade that pumps up their units or something. this choice would be made once and would effect the rest of the game perhaps (delaying other techs).

2. have the players pay for a card. using this option would mean that if a player wanted to draw a card, they would have to pay "the bank" to get one. this would mean that the player might have to choose between drawing a card or building more units, etc. this choice may only effect that turn (until their resources were renewed) and then the player could make a different choice the next time. this might also allow for two different types of players to emerge, those that favored cards, and those that didnt. perhaps if i wanted to keep a player from buying a lot of cards i could make them each expensive, or only able to draw one per turn, or perhaps i might want to allow a player to draw several and keep a large hand.

are there any other games that have a similar setup for their cards?

Stormyknight1976
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Joined: 04/08/2012
Free choice... Or pick one or the other?

Can you allow players pick up cards on 1 turn and buy the card or cards from the draw pile as a buy blind? For 2 cards it XX amount and 3 cards are XXX amount and 4 cards are XXXX and so forth? This way the options are random for players to outway their choices to buy or not? 1 card pick is free option. The more cards the player wants buys?

werhner
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Joined: 01/30/2012
Depending on the total number

Depending on the total number of the 'ability' cards that you have in that common deck, you could make the price of playing/casting one of the abilities a certain number of ability cards. More basic abilities would only require you to turn in one card, whereas more powerful abilities might require turning in three or four cards. If you did it this way, you could still have each player draw 1 card each turn, but people may still end up not using an ability for a few turns if it was worth saving up for. Conversely, it may allow for a 'rush' tactic for other players if they want to use a more basic ability a few turns ahead of other players.

I think this would work better if you had a large number of different abilities. Otherwise, you may end up with only a few abilities seen in any one particular game since most of the cards would have to be discarded as part of the using/casting cost. Perhaps that could lead to greater replayability though?

Yamahako
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Joined: 12/01/2010
Another way to do it is

Another way to do it is simply to have each card have a discard value. So that you can sacrifice a card in your hand in order to make another card cheaper to play. This allows people to play cards earlier, but less often. As the game goes longer, then they likely won't use that mechanic as they have surplus resources to spend on additional cards.

That can even create some additional design space, as you then have more options for card creation. Maybe your less expensive cards to play, have a higher discard value - so that you have to decide between using them early to gain an advantage or saving them for later to use on a more costly effect. This makes weaker cards effective late game and early game.

Dulkal
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Joined: 02/07/2012
Donahue wrote:i am trying to

Donahue wrote:
i am trying to balance out a mechanic of the game i am working on. as it stands, my game is sorta like axis and allies but set in space. in the game there is a common deck that all players can draw from to get cards that will help them do various effects. the problem i am seeing is that if drawing the cards is mandatory, then it will be some time before the players are able to use them (as the players do not start with enough resources to pay the casting cost).

I am not sure that is a problem. In fact, it seems like knowing ahead of time what you will be able to cast later on, and adjusting your play accordingly, would be an aspect of strategy.

Donahue
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Joined: 04/01/2013
thanks for all the replies,

thanks for all the replies,

if the cards are drawn every turn then i will want to have a activation cost that will vary depending on the strength of the card. some cards might have the option to sacrifice other cards to replace the activation cost, but in that case it would likely be on a per card basis (specified on that particular card if it has that option). if i stick with this method, i will probably not allow players to buy more cards per turn because there are some other abilities and also some cards that allow the player to draw more under certain circumstances. one of the questions of this method is do the players start with any cards, or do they draw the first one on their first turn, etc. if they started with no cards and only built up their hand slowly, then the problem of not being able to play them earlier may be reduced quite a bit.

if the drawing of cards was a buying option, then perhaps the cards do not have an activation cost (similar to catan development cards) and this makes them potentially more powerful because you essentually paid the cost earlier when you bought it. this means that all the cards (unless the card specified otherwise) could be used even when the player was out of resources. i am not sure yet if i like this or not, because i think i want the player to have to mind how they spend their resources every turn. there is also the question of does the player start with say 3 cards, and have to buy the rest. or do they start with none?

perhaps they do have to buy the cards, but the cost of playing is split between the activation cost and the buying cost, as in the players pay a smaller amount to buy it (flat rate for all cards) but still have an activation cost (also smaller but varied based on the strength of that card).

after typing out my thoughts, i think i want the player to have some activation cost associated with the cards, particularly having to spend specific resources for specific cards (resource type management is a large part of the game).

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