I'm looking for a simple hand management mechanic that has players playing cards in front of them in order from 1-10. Whoever reaches 10 first (or highest value) wins. Everyone starts with a 1 in front of them. Everyone draws three cards to start.
As it standing now, you can play one or two cards at a time. Always draw one card from face down draw pile for a replacement. Or you may discard 1, 2, or 3 cards and draw one more than discarded. Not sure of hand limit but perhaps 5.
The cards will be consist of these numbers on them (no suits).
-You need to play two 3a's to reach 3.
-You need to play one 7a before playing a 7, two 7a's before playing an 8, three 7a's to before playing a 9 and four 7a's to before playing a 10.
-Once you reach a higher number, you discard the previous card in front of you back into the deck.
Example 1: I have a 4 in front of me and play a 5. The 4 is discarded. Example 2: I have an 8 and three 7a's in front of me and play a 9. The 8 and three 7a's are discarded into the deck.
Does this sound like a complete luckfest? I don't mind a healthy amount but I want there to be some meaningful decision making.
One more element I was think of was allowing players to play some high cards early (3 & 7-10) but they are "tapped" until the prerequisite card is played.
Are there any games like there where you need to build up to high cards in order? Thanks for thoughts in advance.
It seems like it could be a bit problematic. What happens to the cards that you discard to draw new ones? Do they go to a discard pile or back into the deck? If they go into a discard pile, you are penalizing players for [luck] drawing high cards early in the game, because they will either have to hold them, or discard them to draw new cards, thereby limiting their chance of drawing that number again later.
Late in the game you are going to have players burning through their decks, because if you're aiming for a 10, you'll discard everything but a 9 or a 7a (if you don't already have them in play). So you'll burn 3 cards, draw 3 cards, and try to get to that 10.
Strategically speaking, players who establish an early lead are better off, because once I play a 3, I will start discarding any 2's that I draw until I pull a 4. This will give me more draws while simultaneously milling my deck, raising the percentage chance that I will draw a card that I need.
You also have a built-in lockup where you are forcing players to mill their deck. If my starting hand is:
I cannot play a card. So I discard my 10 and draw another card - a 4.
Next turn I still can't play a card, so I discard my 5 to draw another card - a 9.
This continues. I can't play any cards, I'm just milling through my deck. The chance of me drawing the card I need is N/T, where 'N' is the amount of copies of the desired card and 'T' is the number of cards in the deck. Every time I play a new card, I repopulate the deck with cards that I don't need (T). So it gets harder and harder to 'level up' as the game progresses.
I guess what it boils down to is - how many copies are there of each card in the deck? That way we can at least start running odds. And try picking up a pack of Bicycle cards and determining numbers - there are currently 4 copies of each card in a deck of 52, and then use the face-cards as your 3a and 7a cards. Just to test run it.
Thanks for the excellent feedback, and I think you're right, the luck and frustration factor will be too high. Instead of tweaking the system above, I am going to shift to trick-taking that should work well with what I have in mind.
I'm sorry if I just messed up your idea - I didn't mean to shoot it down, just to point out possible issues with your method.
It almost looks like a "level up" type mechanic, that you are using as a sub-rule for a larger game. Am I right? Or is this meant to be a stand-alone game?
Also, because I'm a newbie like you - what is "trick-taking" and how does that work?
I had pondered some more last week about my original idea and came up with the trick-taking idea instead by the time I read your post so no worries. It's a stand alone game and I actually want the core mechanic to be pretty simple so trick-taking seemed to be quite suited for the task. Spades and Hearts are the well-known trick taking games. Check this out: