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Martial art combat card game

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

I have made a discovery today in my game club. I found some martial art fighting card game made by dream pod 9 which was inspired from another of their game of the same kind for heavy gear. I am not sure if I have the rules, but all their games seems to share somewhat the same rule. What is funny is thet their game is distributed in a videotape box. Here are their references on board game geeks :

Video Fighter

Project A-KO

Heavy gear fighter

It is a bit frustrating that I now found two of my game ideas already published. But it could still give me some inspiration for my games or make sure I don't make the same mistakes.

Now I have been arguing with somebody in my game club that making a video fighting game as a board game is stupid. Because there is no strategy in a video fighting game, the game is normally set on Memory (remember the moves) and reflex. He said that a card game will result in: I pull out my greatest powerfull combo and the opponent try to pull out it's strongest defensive combo. In other words luck with what you have

But when I see my friend play and talk about Soul Caliber, it seems that there is some sort of strategy in what they do. Now what I am asking for is:

Do you think it is possible to make a STRATEGY game out of a combat card fighting game that is played somewhat fast? (aprox 15min a fight). By strategy I mean to either think ahead of time or having important decision to make that could change the outcome of the game rather than playing what's best in your hand. ( See the following thread for more details about my game idea, (look at my post))

Thread : help with Martial Arts Game

What I have tought so far, to make sure that there is some strategy :

- Make sure there are various path to reach your goal so that your opponent cannot just use his best cards. Yes, there is direct attacks, but you might use attack with special effect ( stun, critical ) that your opponent did not tought about, or try to win the match differently (ex: grab and throw down your opponent )

- Give many use to the same card which can force the player to think if he should save this card for later or use it now ( ex: mana system for duel master ). I tought of a priority system, so a card with good priority could be use for starting engagement. For evading throw down, you must discard a card with value ? higher than the grab strength, so some powerful cards might need to be kept in case you need to defend yourself against a grab. Some card could be used as a speacial move instead if your groove is high enough.

- As a customizable card game, it can create various strategy and specialisations.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

the simplest tip for eliminating the "best card" problem is to not make a "best card". If you use a Scissors/Paper/Stone relationship between the various cards then you eliminate the situation of a "Best Card".

Take for example these three moves:
Leg Sweep
Forward Kick

In this the Leg Sweep could beat the Forward Kick, The Forward Kick could beat the Stomp and the Stomp could beat the Leg Sweep. In this system, ther is no best move (card) that could be played.

Now this would probably be too simple for a card game and you could use a more complex one (like a 5 or 7 type instead of 3).

You could have each type as a style (Monkey Style, Tiger Style, etc) rather than a specific move (which would be the specific card). And then you could have each move also fit into a S/P/R relationship.

(this might get complext to describe so bare with me)

There are 5 styles: A, B, C, D, E
A beats B and C
B beats C and D
C beats D and E
D beats E and A
E beats A and B
Beating does not nessesarily mean 100% victory, it might just be a reduction in the damage inflicted or some other effect that gives a net advantage to the player who wins.

There are 5 Moves in each style, giving a base number of cards as 25 without considdereing any thing like power levels or other uses for the cards.
The 5 moves are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1 beats 2 and 3
2 beats 3 and 4
3 beats 4 and 5
4 beats 5 and 1
5 beats 1 and 2
Again, beating does not nessesarily mean a 100% victory.

For a simple system you could have a victory allow a defending player to reduce the power level of the attacker's card, by the defender's card's power level (half for single victories and full for double victories).

You could have special effects that are activated when a card can achieve 1 of the victories and another effect that can be triggered on 2 victories (this will allow up to 3 effects for each card).

I hope this can give some inspiration.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

My preferred solution would be to require players to design fighters who have move sequences rather than just a single card per move. Basically, the fighter is programmed ahead of time somehow. This provides the element of thinking ahead you wanted. I posted I similar idea in the 'Static Encounters' thread:

Here's an idea - give your static fighters a 'technique'. Their technique is represented by say 3-8 separate sequences of predetermined moves, with each sequence being say a few moves long. Each such sequence is recorded on a 'technique' card, with each move being listed one the card from top to bottom.

Once a sequence is begun it must be finished, even if the sequence is proving to be sub-optimal given the opponents sequence choice. The exception would be a 'player intervention move' as part of a sequence, which allows the player to change the selected sequence to a more appropriate choice. More powerful characters would have more such player intervention moves, making them more controllable.

The opposing player does not know the details of the sequence you have chosen since the moves are revealed one by one and resolved individually. To make it even more sophisticated, provide a means for sequences to be strung together based on conditional tests such as:

IF( I am winning)
choose sequence A; #an attack sequence
choose sequence B; # a defensive sequence.

I don't agree with your club member that you cannot make a card game based on video fighting games, you just need to select appropriate mechanics, like you said.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

allow these strategies to be in your game:

1. overwhelm & attack the target (need lots of powerful cards, by
far not the most efficient or skilled method)

2. defend and make your opponent deplete their energy & or attacks,
THEN destroy a much weaker opponent (trying to beat him when
they were fresh is too inefficient)

3. flow with go :)
very advanced, you make minor adjustments so that you attack whatever
weakness is presented right their on the spot to defeat your opponent
in the most efficient of ways.
You may have a best move, but it maybe your opponents favorite move
to counter.

4. Your Home
you set a trap, do everything you can to make them fall into it.
usually a very specific game, so if your taken out of your elements
then you have no chance of winning.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

My solution was to have each player choose a maneuver and a target, then everyone shows their choices simultaneously, with several specific interactions between individual moves (and all players sharing the same set of moves). For example, the Riposte defense says "if the targetted player targets you with an attack, that attack deals no damage and the targetted player takes 3 damage", while the Focus card says "If you attack the targetted player next turn, you deal +4 damage. The targetted player cannot use the Riposte defense against you next turn."

Nice and simple, feels like a samurai streetfight, and the simultaneous nature of the game makes it way more about bluffing and trying to predict your opponent's maneuvers than slamming the beatdown.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Martial art combat card game

Thanks for the replies.

I was thinking of setting some hidden stuff in the game. Maybe the initiative would be determined by a hidden card. I also tought of making the player set a defense card face down that he can flip up if needed. If he does not use it, he can put it back in his hand. But he connot play it from his hand. Only counter cards can be played from hand.

For the Rock, Paper technique, I'll need to use something that look close to this. One idea I had is to have 3 kind of attack : strikes, grapple and magic that each use a different kind of mechanic. As an optional rule, you can add weapon attack and thrown weapon. Some defense can only work against a few of these attacks ex: Magic can be dodged or deflected but thrown weapon can only be dodged.

Finaly, I have taken a look at the rules of the fighting game I listed at the beginning of the thread. Since they are not CCG, the cards does not contain the moves, but rather the move opportunities. Your character sheet contains a list of moves with the requirement has move type and color (strength). If you have the appropriate card that match theses, you perform the move and your character sheet will indicate additional information like special effect.

MusedFable's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Martial art combat card game

Here's a usefully link on Paper, Rock, Scissors in fighting games
(Attack > Grapple/Throw > Block/Reverse >Attack)

If I was you first I'd figure out what you want to emulate then move on from there.

From my limited understanding of Fighters there are only a few things to keep track of.
-Distance of enemy (grapple range, thrust move range, missile range)
-Movement capability (standing, crouching, jumping)
-Combos (are you able to start one; is enemy able to start one?)
-RPS (attack, throw, reverse)

I don't know to much else. I also think it might be worth a look at Robo Rally for the whole simultaneous action thing.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

one of the things I've noticed about Mortal Kombat & Street Fighter
is the ability to trap your opponent.

This happens in real life combat as well. You can set traps.

You mentioned a hidden card. perhaps that can also be a trap.
But you can only choose or have 1.
They may choose a counter trap card based on your character.

In Street Fighter an example of a trap would be, let's say
when using Ryu or Ken,
you throw fireballs and when they jump your trap is the
super uppercut. You were waiting for them to jump. This works well
when they are in the corner.

Another example is Dhalsim,
he hits you from afar with his long extending punches,
when you jump up he does the Yoga flame, or headbutt and then
throw you.

In your game let's say certain requirements need to be met,
for example, let's say you have a magical fire saw that can
be summoned from the ground, you can only do it if your
crouching down, enemy is jumping towards you from medium range
then they will fall into it.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

What about giving players a certain number of points to allocate to their fighter's characterstics (such as "Strength", "Size", "Speed" and "Technique"). The success of certain moves would depend on the fighter's and opponent's scores in one or more attributes. A "Body Slam", for example, would require mostly "Size" to be successful, while a "Block" might require "Strength", "Speed" and "Technique". Players could then customize their deck based on their fighter's attributes.

Also, since fights tend to go very quickly, what about making players choose two or more cards at a time, and they are set up in a queue? They each flip the front card of their queue, resolve them, and then add one more card to the back of their queue based on what they think their opponent is planning to follow up with. Perhaps faster/more skilled fights could have shorter queues, making it easier for them to adapt to their opponent's moves.

I hope this was helpful.

Jeff K.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Martial art combat card game

I like the trap idea. Maybe something more like if a certain kind of move is played to defend against my move, I can play another card that in this specific situation and makes it unblockable. This kind of technique would be usable either in offensive or defensive mode.

I intend to give 2 usage to each card to make sure it is useful in different situations. Maybe i'll make 2 series of rules on the same card where the second one is upside down.

For the character stats, I rather not make unique character stats unless there is a predefined set of characters with their stats available. I don't want to use pen and paper even if there can be many advantages ( character evolution through time). I don't think also I want to use randomness. The configuration of your deck will indirectly determine the stats of your character. So if you want a fast character, you will select cards with higher speed or initiative, etc.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

Just FYI, there's relatively new CCG out that is based on video fighting games - it even includes Street Fighter and Souldcalibur characters. Here's the BGG link:

Jeff K

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

fighting video game CCG?

it looks cool.

you said you didn't want to involve pen & paper
so no character creation details,

however to let a player customize their own character is a
good feeling to add to the game.

let's say you are using Ken from Street Fighter,
you can have all the Ken specific cards if you want,
Fireball, Super Uppercut, Hurricane Spin Kick, etc.
all of his trade mark moves that nobody else can use.
(the way Ken does his moves are a lil different than Ryu, Akuma,
or anyone else)

but it would be cool to get the same cards where the
illustration is blacked out so you only see the shadow of the
move, and it can be used by anybody.
so if I give this card to my big wrestler Zangief, he now has
a Ken style fireball. (maybe he learned it from Ken)
these should be rare cards.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

If you're looking for a combat system where the moves are "programmed" ahead of time and then revealed simutaneously, here's a link to a game called Fued.
That might give you a few ideas for a mechanic.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Martial art combat card game

that made me think of a hard core street fighter card game.
basically, you have
a character card. SF 1 Ryu for example, on the card it lists his
moves and how to do it. fireball = down, diagonal towards, towards
and punch simultaneously.
so when your fighting, you probably want to have a "back"
card most of the time, because back = block in street fighter
when you begin the fire ball command and put down a
down card, you are in jeopardy until the next turn.

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