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Character cards with "flip" abilities

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Andrew B
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Joined: 10/30/2015

Hey there BGDF,

I am designing a card game where all players have the same actions to choose from on their turn. To spice things up a bit, I would love to have an expansion/variant that includes asymmetrical player powers. Right now, I have double sided cards (twice as big in size as the regular cards) that have "triggered" flip abilities on side (A); that is, when the game state matches the conditions specified on the card, the player must flip over the card to side (B). On side (B), there is a variety of bonus abilities. For example, some have endgame scoring, some alter the normal game actions, some flip back, some draw cards and pass them to different locations (other players, discard piles..).

This has been developed in a couple games already. My inspiration was the hero cards in the World of Warcraft TCG, but it is also used in MtG. It might be used in boardgames, but I have yet to see it implemented to the same degree.

So I'd like to know, how can I balance these cards and abilities?

How will I know they are balanced?

Does anyone have any general thoughts about this mechanic?

Thanks so much for your time,
Andrew

stoneagewar3
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Joined: 11/22/2015
Flip ability character cards

Inception has a few Characters with flip abilities
Basically the abilities can only be used during specific game states, once you use the ability you flip to the other side (which has a different ability). Again, if you could use the ability during the specific game state, you flip to the original side.
The two abilities are quite different on each of the characters that have those flip abilities. For example, there is one character with a great offensive skill on one side and a great defensive skill on the other (but since you can't trigger your ability immediately after you flip, what you would be able to do is a dead giveaway, and being read like that is never a good thing)

Another character has a skill that helps the Boss on one side, and a skill that helps the rest of the players, and both skills are very powerful, so it doesn't matter if he is among the all, or if he is one of the traitors, he would be torn between casting the skill that helps the other team just so he could fire off his skill that "one more time" or to just let it go and not use skills from then on.

As for how you find out whether they are balanced or not, playtest, playtest, playtest.

Stealthpike
Stealthpike's picture
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Joined: 12/30/2015
Check out Yggdrasil

Have you ever heard of Yggdrasil? It's a cooperative board game where players play as the Norse gods preventing Ragnarok. It has a mechanic that sounds very similar to what you're describing. Each god has a unique power, but you can choose to flip over as an action and lose your power, but give powers to other players. The drawback is that when you flip, you can no longer attack the forces of evil, although you can do other actions.

I guess the question is whether you want players to be able to flip back and forth or if you want them to flip to a more powerful ability, but they have to do something first.

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