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What are your favorite aspects of deck building/dice pooling games?

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GiefCat
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Joined: 02/22/2016

I'm currently trying to build a game that would be inspired by games such as Quarriors, Dice Masters, Dominion, Ascension, The Cryptozoic Games, etc...
Basically a deck/dice building game. I have a few concepts, I'm just trying to get the core mechanics and rules down....without it being too similar to those games.

I read an article about these kind of games and what makes them all similar, which were:

Limited and equal starting resources
More starting resources than you can use in one turn
Card gaining and removing mechanics
Combo/engine building possibilities
Multiple paths to victory

So I was just wondering, to be able to make a better and much more fun game, what aspects of these types of games do you enjoy? Dislike? Things you'd change? Any info at all would help :)

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
Two additional points

* Some player interaction but it does not dominate the game. I know that some people's complaint with original Dominion is that too often it is just 4-player solitaire, except for a few really nasty attack cards that just make you angry when played on you. I know that the game designers addressed this by adding a bigger variety of attack cards and some interaction cards that are not attacks (Council Room, for example). It's important that the interaction not dominate the game, or else making engines of any sort seems hopeless.

* There is a key transition point during the game where play style changes. In Dominion, you go from trying to build an engine or accumulating high money cards to accumulating victory cards. Different strategies might want this transition to be at different times, which makes for interesting strategic decisions.

pelle
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I play a lot of Star Realms

I play a lot of Star Realms (both face-to-face using real cards and alone with the app-version on my phone when commuting). It is an excellent deck-builder and I like it compared to other ones I have tried (which I must admit only includes Dominion and Ascension) because you have real player interaction and you can even attack each other.

Other things I like are the bases that you can leave on the table, some of which are outposts that must be eliminated before an enemy can hit any of your other bases or your authority (hit points). There is a similar concept in Ascension, but I think the bases in Star Realms are more fun.

It is fun that many cards require careful playing of cards in the correct order. For instance I might play a card that allows me to put the next ship I buy on top of my draw-pile, so I make sure I do that first, and then I play a "draw 1 card" card allowing me to immediately draw that ship I just bought and put it in play. It is rare that you manage to pull that off, and it requires there to be something good to buy available, but it is so satisfying. There are some other combos of cards that allow you to draw/discard/scrap cards that can be a lot of fun to figure out how to make best use of when you have them.

But really just the fact that you are in direct conflict with other players and not just playing to optimize the amount of VP generated by your deck is a lot of fun. It can be really fun to play on three as well (Hunter). There are probably variants that work well for more than three players as well, but we tried a free-for-all with four players and that just dragged on forever. Hunter might work ok for four players, but might also be too slow. There are other variants to try.

Gabe
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Combos

For me, it's all about the combos. Winning is great and all, but I want to win after pulling off some crazy multiple card combo that my opponent never saw coming.

It's almost like adding a push your luck element to the game. I'll hold off winning until I can do it in grand fashion. Sometimes this costs me the game, but when it all works out, it's priceless.

So, please make your cards work together in fun, new, and interesting ways.

X3M
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I dislike snowball effects. I

I dislike snowball effects. I rather see players build up their forces for several rounds. Than that one player owns all with the starting hand. Or that a deck can be placed for 50% in round 1. Things like that make me throw away the game.

I like it when you have to make a choice between building up resources OR forces.

I too like to make combo's. As long as it takes several rounds to build these up.

Most games have that resources don't cost resources. Yet I rather see them asking resources for this. I also would like to see a game where the resources can be demolished when not protected.

Gabe
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X3M wrote:I also would like

X3M wrote:
I also would like to see a game where the resources can be demolished when not protected.

Some years ago, a friend of mine built a Magic deck specifically for destroying lands (resources). He wasn't even concerned with winning with that deck. He just got a great deal of gladness from frustrating his opponent.

However, this can be a very "mean" mechanic in a deck builder, so make sure you want that type of atmosphere in your game.

GiefCat
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Joined: 02/22/2016
Gabe wrote:X3M wrote:I also

Gabe wrote:
X3M wrote:
I also would like to see a game where the resources can be demolished when not protected.

Some years ago, a friend of mine built a Magic deck specifically for destroying lands (resources). He wasn't even concerned with winning with that deck. He just got a great deal of gladness from frustrating his opponent.

However, this can be a very "mean" mechanic in a deck builder, so make sure you want that type of atmosphere in your game.

It's funny you guys mentioned that, I have a bit of the core mechanics down, and one of the things you can do is steal their "victory points" if they're not protected properly :) Still working on a few things, but once I have something going, I'll try to get some test playing going!

X3M
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Gabe wrote:X3M wrote:I also

Gabe wrote:
X3M wrote:
I also would like to see a game where the resources can be demolished when not protected.

Some years ago, a friend of mine built a Magic deck specifically for destroying lands (resources). He wasn't even concerned with winning with that deck. He just got a great deal of gladness from frustrating his opponent.

However, this can be a very "mean" mechanic in a deck builder, so make sure you want that type of atmosphere in your game.

That is one way to go.
Another way is that you have to defeat certain forces first that protect a certain resource supplier.

Instead of blocking an opponents creature for protecting your life points. You block that same creature, so that it can't destroy a land.

I once tried to get this mechanic into my own card game. But I failed in another department in that same game. Have not touched the game since then.

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