# More card distribution woes.

14 replies [Last post]
Julius
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969

I have a robot fighting board/card game. At the start of the game, players need to have an initial hand of parts cards, from a deck of 100. Within that deck of 100, there are 15 power plant cards, 15 weapon cards, and 70 cards of other types (not too important right now, but these are upgrades, rocket boosters, wings, cloaking devices, shields, etc). At the start of the game, a player needs at MINIMUM one power plant and one weapon (or else they are useless).

The way I handled this during playtesting was to have a draft. We split the 100 parts into 7 piles as best we could. At the start, players could have 5 parts (the piles were passed 5 times), and players had instructions to get one power plant and one weapon.

My problem: Each player spent too much time looking at each card in the pile. It took FOREVER for players to figure out what they needed, or what card was better than others, and so forth.

The initial solution was to separate Power Plants and Weapons from the other cards and distribute them separately. I was unhappy with it. I also do not want generic engines or generic weapons, because right now I have 100 unique parts.

My new plan is this: Players are dealt X cards at random. They keep Y (where Y<=X). If in that X deal, they do not get both a Power Plant and a Weapon, they may discard all X cards and draw again. It is okay if they have multiples (say, 3 power plants and 2 weapons), but they need at least one of each..

Given 100 cards, 15 power plants, and 15 weapons, what values of X should I pick to ensure that the discard/draw again effect is minimized? I want players to keep something like 5 cards (i.e. Y = 5).

I'm thinking Draw 7 and Keep 5. Does this sound like it would work?

NetWolf
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
More card distribution woes.

I'm assuming that the power plants are all different. Otherwise I would say that you could just deal one to each player at the begining of the game. Another solution would be to grant every player 1 'generic' powerplant. It wouldn't even require a card, considering you wouldn't even be involved in the conflict if you didn't have the requirements.

Another idea is to have each player draw a 10 card hand at the begining of the game with the option of a 'mulligan' if they don't have both a power plant and a weapon. They just shuffle their cards back into the stack and draw another 10.

You could have a similar mechanic as Marvel Overpower used, where the Hero cards were chosen by the player and the actualy combat cards and super powers were random. In your case, the player would choose a powerplant and a weapon at the begining. Of course this would have to be limited in some way. For example say that their power output total and weapon damage combined cannot exceed 30 points. (Power Plant generates 15 power and the weapon deals 15 damage).

TheReluctantGeneral
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
More card distribution woes.

How about a two stage game. In the first stage players play some kind of card game in which they try to capture a hand incorporating the cards they need, followed by robot construction from their hand and then the battle.

For example:

1) Players draw an initial hand of say 3 cards, displayed face up.
2) Then they get dealt a number of cards face down
3) Some kind of game ensues based on the information on the face up cards and players individual knowledge of their own private hand.
4) Players then construct their bot from their hand at the end of (3). Since all players have numerous concealed cards, exact bot constructions will remain uncertain.
5) Reveal bots and fight battle. This could be augumented by cards collected and saved during phase 3 which can be played during the battle.

Jpwoo
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
More card distribution woes.

Why not just give everyrobot a baseline Powerplant and weapon. Newbie gear so to speak.

Cut right to the chase of the game. Obviously this makes all the robots the same at the start which isn't as interesting, but it is more elegant than having two card mechanics.

VeritasGames
Offline
Joined: 08/01/2008
More card distribution woes.

Alternately, if powerplants and weapons have different power levels, give each player X points to "purchase" a powerplant and a weapon before the game, and let them choose a crappy weapon and a great powerplant or a great weapon and a crappy powerplant or a middlin' good one of each kind. Alternately, they might buy a middlin' good powerplant and two weak weapons, or something.

Julius
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
More card distribution woes.

Though I don't want to spur a lengthy discussion of balancing factors...

All power plants are decently balanced. Each has a power rating, a number of AP (hit points), heat generation, and weight. In general, powerful, well armored power plants weigh a ton and make a lot of heat. Light, heat efficient power plants are easy to destroy and don't produce much power.

Weapons - Similar balance. Damage amount and Type (ballstic, missile, laser, plasma), Range (short, medium, long), AP, Weight, Heat.

This balance is something you'd all expect. What you don't know is something I left off: Theme.

Your giant killer robot is made from scrap parts from a robot junkyard. I want the game to represent that players don't have a choice of what parts are available to them.

I DO NOT want a 'generic' power plant or weapon to choose from. I also DO NOT want purchasing of either of those components with specific values. Random, mismatched robots are the spirit of the game.

Jpwoo
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
More card distribution woes.

What about players starting with different "starter bots" which would basically be play mats, that they would build onto as the game goes. You could make the starter bots different enough to your taste.

Alternatively, and I don't know how random your game is, or if players draw a hand of cards. But you could let players play three rounds before the action starts, basically a build phase. And one of the actions that you could take during those turns would be to draw a fresh set of cards, hopefully finding what they need.

And if you don't have all your bits after that! good luck!

Jpwoo
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009
More card distribution woes.

The game sounds fun and interesting too by the way :)

filwi
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
More card distribution woes.

Freshly excell(-ed) for you:

```<br />
X   No wp OR pw    No weapon AND no powerplant<br />
1	85,00%			70,00%<br />
2	72,12%			48,79%<br />
3	61,08%			33,85%<br />
4	51,64%			23,38%<br />
5	43,57%			16,08%<br />
6	36,69%			11,00%<br />
7	30,83%			7,49%<br />
8	25,86%			5,07%<br />
9	21,64%			3,42%<br />
10	18,08%			2,29%<br />
11	15,06%			1,53%<br />
12	12,53%			1,01%<br />
13	10,39%			0,67%<br />
14	8,60%			0,44%<br />
15	7,10%			0,28%<br />
16	5,85%			0,18%<br />
17	4,80%			0,12%<br />
18	3,93%			0,08%<br />
19	3,21%			0,05%<br />
20	2,62%			0,03%<br />
```

First one is the probability that you won't get either a powerplant or a weapon. Second columni is the probability that you'll get neither.

Say that they choose ten cards. They've got a 98 % chance of getting either a powerplant or a weapon but only a 82 %^2 = 72% chance of getting both. But if the player only get's one weapon and draws 9 new cards he has a 79 % chance of getting a powerplant amongst those cards.

(BTW the name of the first column is missleading. I mean that if you draw 1 card you have 85% risk of not getting a card from a set category, not a logical OR. Disclaimer: I suck at math ;))

MusedFable
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
More card distribution woes.

Why not let the player flip over a card one at a time until he finds the part he's required to have. That way you don't have to redeal.

Hedge-o-Matic
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2008
More card distribution woes.

Filwi's numbers seem strong enough for a ten-card deal. If the player doesn't have both required parts, they simple get a new deal of ten, which would happen about one out of five hands. That's not too bad, really.

On the other hand, a player may get nine power plants and one weapon, which might be equally rediculous, but that's what the game is about, it sounds like.

Epigone
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
More card distribution woes.

Hedge-o-Matic wrote:
Filwi's numbers seem strong enough for a ten-card deal. If the player doesn't have both required parts, they simple get a new deal of ten, which would happen about one out of five hands. That's not too bad, really.

Filwi is actually saying that drawing 10 cards gives you only a 72% chance of getting both required parts. And in fact even that number is too high.

The actual probabilities are somewhat different than Filwi's. Since you're drawing without replacement, if C(n,r)=n!/(r!*(n-r)!), the probability that a single person draws R cards and gets a hand that doesn't contain both a powerplant and a weapon is [C(85,R)+C(85,R)-C(70,R)]/C(100,R). That's the probability of getting a hand without a powerplant + the probability of getting a hand without a weapon - the probability of getting neither a powerplant nor a weapon (since we counted that possibility twice). What we really want to know is give K people drawing, about how many will have to redraw, and how many times... but this at least comes much closer.

Here are the probabilities for drawing R cards and getting a hand you don't have to discard:

2: 4.54%
3: 11.68%
4: 20.1%
5: 28.93%
6: 37.62%
7: 45.81%
8: 53.35%
9: 60.12%
10: 66.13%
11: 71.39%
12: 75.96%
13: 79.88%
14: 83.23%
15: 86.08%
16: 88.49%
17: 90.51%
18: 92.2%
19: 93.61%
20: 94.79%

mdpotter
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
More card distribution woes.

Why not just have the Power Plant and Weapons cards in thier own piles. Possibly using different card backs to distinguish between them.

Let the players draw one of each plus some from the main pile. Create new 'draw power plant' and 'draw weapon' cards for the main pile to keep the same odds as before.

Epigone
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
More card distribution woes.

mdpotter wrote:
Create new 'draw power plant' and 'draw weapon' cards for the main pile to keep the same odds as before.

I like this a lot. No, more than that.

Julius
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
More card distribution woes.

I upped the number of power plants and weapons to 20 each, while still maintaining a total 100 cards (I made a few hard choices about what to lose, but was able to move some of the abilities from some of them to the new power plants and weapons).

I've found that with this new configuration, an 8 card draw results in a playable hand more often than not.

Thanks, guys!