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Abstract spatial card/board game

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dplepage
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Joined: 08/11/2010
Example of an early game showing four players' trees

After some of the discussion regarding omnidirectional movement in http://www.bgdf.com/node/3755, this game occurred to me; I thought I'd toss it out there to get some feedback.


Untitled Game

for 4 players

The Board

The board consists of a large circle marking the boundary of the board, a small circle in the middle (where the draw pile will be kept), and four starter spaces at the boundary of the circle where the four players will begin.

Game board

The Cards

There are 90 cards, numbered 1-15. Some of them may also have special properties; more on that below. Each card has its number written on each of its four corners.
Each player starts with a hand of 6 cards.

Layout

During the course of the game players will play cards to build sets of cards connected to each other by overlapping. The set of all cards connected this way to your starter space is called your tree. Player's trees can never be connected to one another (though they may contain loops back to themselves). Cards on the board that are not connected to any player's tree are collectively called dead wood.

Trees

Card ranking

The cards are ranked circularly so that each number beats 7 other numbers and is beaten by 7 numbers. In particular, a card numbered X beats a card numbered Y if X-Y <=7 or Y-X > 7. Thus, 8 beats 1-7 and loses to 9-15, but 2, for example, loses to 3-9 but beats 10-15 and 1. To avoid making players do math all the time the cards might show on them a list of which numbers they beat and which they do not.

Gameplay

You take your turn by taking a card from your hand and placing it anywhere on the board, in any orientation, subject to the following four rules:

  1. A card you place MUST overlap a card in your tree (so that every card you play expands your tree)
  2. Every card on the board must have at least one of the numbers in its corner fully visible (so any play that would obscure the only fully visible corner of a card is illegal)
  3. A card can only be played if its number beats the numbers on EVERY card it overlaps
  4. Cards must be entirely inside the outer circle of the board, and entirely outside the inner circle.

After you play a card, you draw a new card to replace it, taking the top card of the draw pile OR the discard pile.

Attacking

When you play a card that overlaps a card not in your tree, one of two things happens:

  • If the card was dead wood, then you absorb it - it and all cards connected to it become part of your tree.
  • If the card was part of somebody else's tree, it is removed from the board and put on top of the discard pile.

Attack

Winning

You win if your tree ever contains a complete loop around the center circle. Winning

Variations

Possible variations I'm considering include:

  • Having some cards have special properties, e.g. "this card destroys dead wood instead of absorbing it", or "this card can only be destroyed by even numbers".
  • Having other regions on the board with special properties, e.g. "If you play a card overlapping this region, take another turn".

Thoughts?

My biggest worry is that it will be too hard to keep the cards from shifting, especially when for example a card that is partly underneath several other cards gets taken. My second biggest worry is that the game would go in circles forever, with nobody ever finishing a full loop because the other players keep attacking them.

Pastor_Mora
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Two concerns

I also see this game never ending, unless you attack the "root" of the other player and absorb the whole circle about to be finished. I foresee this happening again and again, going back and forth between two players.

I'm also concerned about the size of the board (or playing area), if your cards are of regular sizes. If they are smaller, they could be trickier to manipulate.

Maybe change winning condition to reaching certain points (locations marked in the board). Maybe number those points or color them. Have random secret objetive cards with the required sets drawn by the players at the start of the game. You could also have many starting positions (say 12, good for 2, 3 or 4 players) and have players respawning from different locations each time. This could increase replayability.

It may sound weird, but this game reminds me of Small World (??!!).

Thanks for posting the images. I got lost in the last thread.

Keep thinking!

rcjames14
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Two Causes for Concern

Both of your concerns are justifiable.

I can see intentional or unintentional alterations to the position of objects on the board during attacks could cause a lot of conflict in a game where precise distances matter. You can circumvent this problem by standardizing the size and/or orientation of objects so that co-occupation is a binary identity. Blokus does this with its grid and introduces a very interesting element of conflict vis a vis the shape and possible orientations of the pieces.

You might consider, instead of using the cards as objects on the board, to use them as commands to place objects on the board. So, everyone is dealt a handful of cards with tetris/blokus like shapes on them. And, when you play a card, you take the type of piece written on the card from the common stock and place it where you want to adjacent to your own piece on the grid. This would avoid any contention about where things are located or inadvertant adjustments through the game. And, in additional, it would impose an additional limitation on what can be played by each player to help address concern number two.

However, your second concern is built into the rock-paper-scissors cycle you built. Although I am fascinated with the more technical puzzle of how to intuitively represent a 15 point cycle where each object beats 7 others and is beaten by 7 others. [the best I can come up with is using compass bearings and pictorially represent it as you beat everything in the opposite direction past perpendicular], logistically this makes it such that with a 5 card hand, you are almost always going to have a card that can attack a piece of another person's tree. The only defense that you have in this circumstance is by building two branches off one trunk so that there is no space to attack (which takes a lot of time/turns to do) or to count on the fact that their piece has to beat both yours and theirs.

This question of double conquest introduces a non-intuitive nature to the building of trunks. Basically, you have to alternate low and high cards. But it doesn't significantly overcome the fact that half of all cards can be beaten by half of all others... so on average, I only need 2 cards in my hand to be in a position to attack you no matter where you go.

This is a problem for two player games, and a nightmare for multiplayer games where gang up on the leader is possible and optimal. I foresee this game never ending because no one will be in a position where they can defend an attack from all other players at once. And, the other players have no reason not to attack.

I would suggest instead a more modest cycle... something like Stratego, where the Spy is beaten by everything except he can beat the marshal if he attacks him. But, I think that the idiosyncratic nature of objects that comes from a more Blokus style approach might be even better since it allows for a lot of strange orientations to be used for either attack or defense.

And, finally, why can't you play a piece of dead wood? Why must everything attach to your root?

dplepage
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Further Thoughts

Regarding the attack cycle

Attacking isn't as easy as you describe - you can't place your card unless it beats EVERY card underneath, which in an attack means at least the trunk card off of which you're building and the card to be attacked. For example, if you have an 8, and I have a 1 right next to it, neither of us can attack the other because there are no cards at all that beat both 8 and 1. More usefully, if I have a 9 I might put a 2 in range of your 8 because I know that while it's very unlikely that you'll be able to attack me, I'll definitely be able to attack you.

I'm not sure that "ganging up on the leader" will be an issue - as soon as you attack the leader near the root of one of his card tendrils, he loses control of the entire tendril; any other player can then claim the tendril and immediately become the new leader. I haven't had a chance to build a prototype of this and try it out, but I think in the end game a couple of long segments will change hands continuously until somebody will get an opportunity to do more than one.

Regarding playing anywhere

I didn't want players to be able to attack each other without reaching them, since otherwise attacking becomes far too easy. Likewise, playing dead wood could be too powerful - in the example I gave above, I might put a dead 1 right next to your eight to stop you in your tracks.

Also, if there are special spaces worth capturing, it would silly to let people cover them from a distance.

Regarding bumping the cards

I was pretty attached to the freeform movement idea, but I can see why it's almost certainly going to break down. I've played around with a couple of ideas - heavier cards, some sort of velcro board, etc. - but I can only see one way to make it work out, which is to make it a computer game; but that may be less interesting (I might hack it together later just to see :-) ).

Even if it's going to be more structured it'll be tricky because I'll still have cases where the player needs to remove a card that is underneath several others, and it'll be hard to see what all cards are in a square if several pile over the same cell. I'll have to think about this more.

Regarding representing the attack cycle

Maybe instead of 1-15, I should have 16 cards, where each beats the 7 above it, loses to the 7 below it, and ties with itself or with the card opposite it... Then this can be represented by replacing each number with itself modulo 4 and grouping them into four sets, each of which beats another set.

Call the sets A, B, C, D, so that the 16 cards are A1, ..., A4, B1, ... , D3, D4.

Then set it so that A always beats B, B always beats C, C beats D, and D beats A; within a group, higher numbers beat lower numbers; within two opposing groups (e.g. A vs C), lower numbers beat higher numbers.

Then replace the letters with something slightly more intuitive... I'll work on that.

Regarding everything

Thanks for all your feedback, both of you!

innuendo
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I think you are really over

I think you are really over complicating the card numbering. Why do you need 16? Why not make it 10, and make it so the higher card always wins, and then have specialty cards like "Flashfire" that trump any number and destroy all cards it touches when played (including your own). Maybe a card called "Rotwood" that is indestructible (or in some other way preventably hard to destroy). This makes a very distinct hierarchy of cards and allows players to build sort of "strong branches" by combining sections of high numbers and would allow you to be defensive as well as offensive. "Do i play this 10 by my base to protect my tree or try to capture another players section and spread out?" Choices like that are good. If all cards are effectively the same power (which is what you've been describing), their distinction is meaningless, you'll play whichever card you can play, there is basically no player choice.

Plus a mechanic I've used in a card game of my own to help the "same number" situation in games were higher card trumps lower is if you play a card with the same number on it you get a bonus play. So you could play for a combo of 3>3>3 to get a growth spurt so to speak. This could be very dynamic and allow for some very cool plays. And if you do this I would weight the deck inversely. This means most growth spurts would be of smaller, weaker numbers and be easier to kill by a player who is playing slow and steady building a branch of 6's.

Example deck breakdown:
12x 1 cards
11x 2 cards
...
4x 9 cards
3x 10 cards
2x each special card

With this set up the root card would be 0 value, meaning it can always be played on.

I think this is a much simpler base with which to build off of. Something to remember about games like this is that they don't have to be exact. This is a pretty casual game so worrying about "if it's exact" or not should be a minor concern. Most players will work a sort of house rule out about how exact they want the game to be, just the way some catan players have house rules about what can and can't be discussed when trading.

The beauty of omnidirectional movement is that every game is going to be so very diverse and if you keep the rest of the game as simple as possible the divergent game play possible is already there from the mechanics of movement. You don't have to try as hard to make interesting cards or complex scoring systems, the movement of the cards themselves will add a layer of strategy and interest to the game that you don't have in hex/grid games.

That said I hope you continue this brainstorm, the flavor of this game is amazing and even in those line drawing the board looks pretty, imagine it with color art. Lots of potential here, I'm glad my thread helped spark something.

rcjames14
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Idiosyncratic Spaces

innuendo's idea of adding the possibility of an extra play if you match the underlying number may add novelty to what appears to be a tactically limited set of options.

Even though you allow people to grow in any direction they want and there is a tremendous amount of variance in the cards in hand, the fundamental trunk building mechanic combined with the victory condition feels like it would not generate as much novelty in board position/structure as you imagine. I can see this game, because of the constraints imposed on building/attacking, developing a very similar pattern every time. This is why I introduced that idea of playing dead wood directly. I think you want to encourage novel branching and a diversity of offensive and defensive tactics. The players should be forced to confront an idiosyncratic space, not just a probabilistic range of numbers that they can attack.

But, I'm not sure that the technique that requires me to beat both the number on my trunk and the number on your branch will be as limiting as you anticipate. You are right, a 1 opposite 8 is unbridgeable. But an 8 opposite 8 can be bridged by 50% of the cards. So, the odds of you having the right bridge card is between 0 and 50% at each point of attack. However, if I can rotate the card in either direction off of each branch, I may be able to circumvent your 8 and attack the number the 8 is on top of (which because of your building rules, I know I can attack). Now, it may not be available as I imagine, but if you are faced with attacks from all sides by each of your opponents, it is hard to imagine that there will not be one opening. And, that's really all that a gang-up on the leader dynamic needs.

If you are going to win, then there is no reason not for one of us to attack you, except that they will give the game to the next person who grabs the dead wood that they dislodge. But, this is a degenerate defensive strategy and players will realize it. If I attack you and a third person benefits, you have run into an Illuminati problem: why do I attack you so that a third person can win? Well... I don't, so we instead spend fifteen minutes bickering over who's job it is to stop the winner, trying to convince everyone else that it shouldn't be me because I'm not the one who is next in line.

Of course, range of attack is not unlimited in this design. So, not just anyone can counter attack. But, if I can't, then my best strategy is to build a branch that can next turn and hope to convince you to do my attacking. The obviousness of this strategy will be clear enough to all the players, that you will be back in the same discussion, only deferred by one step.

innuendo
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I really think the

I really think the fundamental flaw in this system is that each card is exactly as powerful as the next. There is nothing wrong with a card hierarchy. I think if you change from balanced cards to tiered cards the game will greatly benefit.

I think this is clearly explained in all of james' posts

dplepage
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Thanks!

Thank you all for your feedback! I see your point about the symmetric cards - I'd been thinking that the freeform board layout would make it complicated enough that the other mechanics should be very simple, but in point of fact having the cards in a ring modulo 15 is kind of complicated to think about anyway, and you're right that tiered cards would lead to gameplay that is more interesting as well as conceptually simpler.

Part of the reason I had equal numbers of all cards is because I originally sketched this out as a Mini-mao starter rule :-) (see http://kevan.org/games/minimao.php).

So, I'll retool this with a different card system. I think innuendo has the right idea, with tiers where more powerful cards are rarer; I also like the idea of allowing multiple plays (for that matter, many rules from common mao-style card games could be ported over), though I think since 1s will be so common in the deck the first few turns will largely consist of huge, fast-growing webs of 1s; maybe this isn't a bad thing. I also think I'll have a few of the numbered cards have special properties, like "this can only be destroyed/absorbed by a card at least three greater than it". I'm thinking about alternate victory conditions as well, in case building a ring proves too difficult - maybe the deck can be larger, but is never reshuffled, so when it runs out the game ends and people get points for various properties of their trees. That imposes a time limit in case of a stalemate.

I'll think this over more and maybe have a new version up tomorrow.

Thanks for your help, all of you!

dplepage
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Revised Game

Ok, here are a bunch of changes to the original game. The goals of these changes are:

  • To give players more interesting choices regarding which direction to build and which cards to use
  • To redefine the victory condition so that the game won't run forever
  • To make the card ordering more intuitive and more interesting

The most important changes, summarized, are:

  • The board is more interesting - it has four quadrants and four special regions called "nodes", with bonuses for occupying multiple quadrants and controlling nodes
  • The cards are in a hierarchy from 1 to 10, with lower cards being more frequent and higher cards being more powerful; some of them have special properties, and there are five numberless special cards with powerful effects
  • Players can gain extra plays by playing cards in sequence, and can increase their hand size by playing their entire hand in one turn.
  • While encircling the center still wins you the game, the game also ends if the draw pile runs out; scoring rules reward players for having large, widely spread trees and the highest-scoring player wins.

(still) Untitled Game

1. The Board

The board consists of a large circle marking the boundary of the board, a small circle in the middle (where the draw pile will be kept), and four starter spaces at the boundary of the circle where the four players will begin. The circle is divided into four quadrants; there are also four "nodes" on the board that convey bonuses when cards overlap them.

Game board

2. The Cards

There are 90 cards, 85 of which have numbers on them, distributed as follows

  • 13 x "1"
  • 12 x "2"
  • 11 x "3"
  • ...
  • 5 x "9"
  • 4 x "10"
  • 5 special cards (below)

Some subset of these have special properties (exact proportions TBD):

  1. Cards can't be played on top of this card (to destroy, absorb, or build off it)
  2. If you play this card to destroy a card, you may also destroy an additional card overlapping the destroyed card
  3. This card can be played to extend any player's tree; if it's destroyed, it destroys all cards overlapping it
  4. This card can be played to extend any player's tree; if this card is in a player's tree at the end of the game, that player loses 8 points.

Each card has its number and special properties written in a large circle in the middle of the card.

The special cards are:

  1. Draw a card immediately. Your maximum hand size is increased by one for the rest of the game.
  2. Choose a card that only overlaps one other card. Destroy both of these cards.
  3. Play any number of cards from your hand.
  4. Play up to three cards from the top of the discard pile.
  5. Stand at least two feet from the board, directly behind your starter space, and throw this card. Destroy all cards it lands on.

3. Layout

During the course of the game players will play cards to build sets of cards connected to each other by overlapping. The set of all cards connected this way to your starter space is called your tree. Player's trees can never be connected to one another (though they may contain loops back to themselves). Cards on the board that are not connected to any player's tree are collectively called dead wood.

4. Gameplay

Each player starts with a hand of 5 cards.

You take your turn either by playing a special card, in which case you follow its directions and put it in the discard pile, or by taking a numbered card from your hand and placing it anywhere on the board, in any orientation, subject to the following four rules:

  1. A card you place MUST overlap a card in your tree or your starter space (so that every card you play expands your tree)
  2. Every card on the board must have its center circle complete visible (thus you cannot play to completely cover a card)
  3. A card can only be played if its number is higher than the numbers on EVERY card it overlaps EXCEPT other cards in your tree
  4. Cards must be entirely inside the outer circle of the board, and entirely outside the inner circle.

After you play a card, you draw new cards until your hand reaches your maximum hand size (initially 5). Your first draw must come from the draw pile, but if you draw more than one you may choose to take the top card of the discard pile instead of the draw pile.

5. Bonus plays

If you play a card with value X so that it overlaps a card with value X-1, you may immediately play another card.

If you manage to play every card in your hand in a single turn, then your maximum hand size is immediately increased by one (so you will draw one additional card at the end of the turn).

6. Attacking and Absorbing

When you play a card that overlaps a card not in your tree, one of two things happens:

  • If the card was dead wood, then you absorb it - it and all cards connected to it become part of your tree.
  • If the card was part of somebody else's tree, it is removed from the board and put on top of the discard pile.

7. Nodes

There are four "nodes" on the board, shown as small orange circles. Initially, each node has a counter on it. If a card in your tree overlaps a node, then you "own" that node; you can't play a card that overlaps a node owned by another player unless your play destroys all that player's cards on the node.

During your turn, you may play an extra card for each node you own with a counter on it; if you claim such a node during your turn, you get that extra play immediately. At the end of your turn, every node you own with a counter loses it, and every node you own without a counter gains one. (In effect, controlling a node gives you one extra play every two turns; the token is just a convenient way to keep track of this.)

8. Winning

The game ends when a player's tree forms a complete loop around the center circle, or when the draw pile runs out, whichever happens first. At that time, each player gets points according to the values below, and the player with the most points wins:

  • Each numbered card in your tree: 2 points
  • Each 9 or 10 in your tree: An additional 1 point
  • Each node you own: 5 points
  • A complete circle around the center: 20 points
  • Each quadrant with at least one card of your tree fully inside it: 10 points
innuendo
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Since I'm not home I'll give

Since I'm not home I'll give you the short version of my thoughts.

I think you went too far into complex territory. There are too many card rules now, it will be hard for a player to keep track of them all durring a game. I love the idea of the 5 special cards (not sure I like the designs; throwing doesn't suit my personal tastes, for example).

But if you are doing special cards I would do something like this for other cards.

5 one off special cards, like you proposed
All 8's are -8 points to the tree they are on
All 10's can't be overlapped; they are rotwood or something.
Etc.

By making all. Of a certain number special it's easier to remember for players and to score at games end. Plus this lines up with other card games with scoring rules (rook, hearts, etc.)

That was longer than I thought it would be...

Overall, great addidtion, I just think you went a bit to far (not much though).

rcjames14
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Chaos Confetti

This design is significantly more complex, intricate and strategic than the previous one. It is also much more sound. Though I think that it needs a number of significant changes, I can already begin to see it as a publishable game... perhaps even a collectible card game. It has the right element of physicality to appeal to a kid's market (a game mat, cards placed in a physical space, dexterity), so I think, with some modification, it could be quite easily transformed into a constructed deck type of game. It is, after all, a type of war game and thus well suited to the head-to-head environments of the genre.

But, there's still a lot of work to be done.

I don't know if you have playtested this game yet, but you may not need an inverse ratio between number and card count. If there is a strategic advantage to having a lot of one number in your hand, then players will naturally accumulate that number. By flooding the draw pile with low numbers, you actually take away a principle component of the game... hand management. So, give each number equal representation and let the players make their hands.

Also, your special cards are jokers. They have unlimited range and no down side. As a result, players who are dealt them get a windfall and those who don't get them will feel abused by chance. This may work in a game with lots of different powers, but variance on 5 cards is very high. These should not be 'I drew the best card, I win' cards... they need a counterbalance.

Which brings me to the main point, all of these special powers are exceptions to the rules of the game rather than integrated into the actual game mechanic itself. As I see it, every card should have a number and a power. The number is used to determine two different things: 1. whether the power 'activates' and 2. who wins in a conflict. These two things should be opposed. A higher number card beats a lower number card in a conflict. But, a special power only activates if its number is lower than the number of card it is played on. This eliminates a tremendous amount of fiat rules in your game and turns the game into a real strategic game of hand management and deck construction. If each card is either good for attack/defense or for its special powers, players will have to weigh the costs/benefits of each card when determining what to play (or put in their deck) and what to keep (or leave out of their deck).

This simple relationship of the cards liberates you from the need to make ANY rules about what card can be played on top of another. Instead, it makes the question of what card to play a question of strategy. This is exactly what all games want to do. Keep the rules simple, streamlined and unambiguous, but to open up a space where innumerable options exist and players are forced to decide for themselves what is a good play and what is not.

As a result, I would strip the 'fluff' out and boil the game down into two things... numbers and powers. Attacks succeed against lower numbers, powers activate on top of higher numbers. And, perhaps, if you want to use cards with 'special attacks', you need to have both. If you do this, then each card can be used many many different ways and it is up to the players to decide for themselves what to do.

And, finally, the persistent and intractable issue of branching and victory conditions. Here's my suggestion:

There are 5 nodes of power in the game. Four of them create a diamond around the fifth in the middle of the board. Each of the four surrounding nodes forms an isosceles triangle with two of the mid (starting) points of each zone so that they equal distant from those mid (starting) points but also pretty close to the center node. In order to win, your network must touch three of the five nodes.

Now (and I know we already discussed this but...) this game should not have one trunk but as many as the players wish to make. I agree that each player's network should be mutually exclusive. But, I think that the shape of the network should not be pre-determined by the rules of the game. It should instead be defined as all cards that connect to any part of the circumference on your zone of the board. So, you can have multiple tendrils going off at once. You can even build tendrils (and dead wood) floating around in other zones. But, as soon as it is connected to an arc edge of the game board in a player's zone, then it belongs to that player.

The end result of these rules will allow players to strategically play dead wood around the board and near the nodes at the beginning of the game. Some of it may be used to try to 'block' others, but its really more about posturing and positioning until you try to connect them to the edge of your zone. This will make the game infinitely more diverse and the patterns profoundly more unpredicable than requiring them to connect to a starting point.

dplepage wrote:

1. Stand at least two feet from the board, directly behind your starter space, and throw this card. Destroy all cards it lands on.

And what is this? Chaos Orb come back, baby!

innuendo
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I think there are divergent

I think there are divergent ways to take this game, both of which would probably work well

One is a ccg approach that james is favoring. Where each card can be highly unique, and in fact the basis of this game would make an amazing mtg variant. So this could work amazingly if you wanted to invest the time in designing what would essentially be 100's of new cards for the game. I do love the idea of this being like that tough, it's just going to be more complex. Not necessisarily bad, just not what I think you set out to make.

The 2nd is a game with an uno-esque deck of vanilla cards where the mechanics make the game, not the cards. It's a simpler game to learn/teach and emphasizes tactics and dexterity instead of card choice but it's a more casual version of the same game above, something I'm probably partial too since most of my work is in CCG's and this is a nice mental break from that.

You can honestly take it either way, but you need to decide what you want to make and commit to that style of game, trying to walk the line between these two types of games will cause the game to fail I suspect. It wont be diverse enough for ccg fans, and it will still be too complex for casual game crowd.

For the record, whichever version you decide to itterate on, I would gladly continue work on the other ;)

rcjames14
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Card Game or Tile Game

Like innuendo, I believe this game could go either way. The reason I suggested a CCG is because I think that it combines just the right elements that might make it work in that genre (unlike the thousands of "iwannabemagic"). But, it is also because in my mind, I see this only working as a kids game.

I believe that serious adult gamers would prefer a tile laying game over the amorphousness of the card placement. And, since it is hard for me to see a casual audience of adults adopting this game with something like a normal deck of playing cards unless it IS actually a normal deck of playing cards, I don't think this game is a causal game. It is either a kids game (collectible or not) or a serious hobby game (collectible or not).

But, as a serious hobby game, it would have to leave the cards behind. It is not really essential that you have them though. I think you could replace the cards with hexagonal tiles (with numbers on the edges) and you would get much the same directionality that you want while avoiding the ambiguity and dexterity problems of cards. In fact, hex tiles might even add an additional dimension to the game by allowing you to place different values (or properties) on different sides.

One side of a hex could have 'armor' which increases its defense against attack while a different side has 'weapons' which increase its attack against others. If you open up the possibility for different numbers on different sides of each hex tile, you could potentially create a large number of combinations of tiles very easily. Of course, you'd have to be careful not to make it more complicated than you want the game to be.

innuendo
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james I love the idea of a

james I love the idea of a hex tile laying game, I really really do.

That sounds like the perfect mix of carcassone-ian tile laying and cathedral-esque board control.

Again, 100% a different game than the above, but man does that sound just stupidly fun. The only issue I can see arising is that to get enough interesting play space the board would either be cumbersomely huge or the tiles prohibitively small. Still, It's worth exploring.

152710914
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Joined: 10/23/2008
Love the idea, but I think if

Love the idea, but I think if you want to get some commercial success, a hex game will just turn away too many casual gamers.. but alas, it all depends on your "style" and ideas. Personally, I dislike hex style games...

I see this game more as a sort of Family tree game, where each family is fighting for "power" to win the game. Cards would have a dial on it that displays the "ranks" of other cards it can overlap. Some can overlap just a few, but have a nice bonus (draw an extra card), others will be able to overlap a lot of cards, but have no power (or even a penalty). Like a range from 0-10, where card X will be able to beat numbers 4-8, while card Y only beats numbers 6-8, but draws you an extra card when played.

to make it even more interesting, why not let cards have 4 (different) numbers on it, one in each corner? That way, you can let go a bit of the "not touching, yes it is!" arguments and fights. Circle each number in each corner, and only cards that completely overlaps a circled number (including the circle itself) can be counted as a valid play. (Maybe cards with square corners work better in this game than rounded ones.)

sure, bumping the table and taking away cards underneath a line will always shift cards a bit. Just add a rule that cards may only touch each other if they overlap one whole circled number, and a re-arrange of "shifted a bit" cards is not a big deal. If there was a way to create cards that sort of click onto each other (on each corner), you could get away with it easily (magnets, or pin-in-hole), but add another whole level of costs to the game as well...

2 win conditions are always better than one, so the
• Touch 3 nodes to win
• Circle the center node
are good, so I would keep them.

Being able to play dead wood wherever I want will create a lot of mess early game, and might result in some players being "stuck" for a few turns, but it creates enough impact to be play tested, because it adds so much fun and depth to the game, especially if players start to slowly add those dead wood cards to their branches, expanding suddenly.

Maybe some extra rule that no player may "expand" dead wood, unless it connects to their branch might help.

Thomas_M_Hanna
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Joined: 11/19/2010
Great Idea!

I'm very intrigued by the spatial mechanic that you've based the game around; being both fundemental in concept like go or checkers and still tying in that element of creativity and space management. Props to you!
Get this game published and on the shelves because I know I would surely buy it!

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