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Card elimination mechanic

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X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013

Still pounding on a card game version. I suddenly had an idea. No dice needed or anything else (except a calculator?)

I don't know if this has been done before. But here goes the basic. And please tell me what you think about it.
For pleasant thoughts, imagine this to be a 2 player game.

Each player has an set of X cards.
Each card is of the same value and represents a group of units.
With 4 statistics on each card, there is a RPS system hidden in the numbers. There are also cards that are more powerful in attack than defence and vice versa. The so called meat and support cards. Players will find out by playing what role suits the card best.

The statistics are:

-Where Armor and Damage compete for the lowest number. And that lowest number is the real damage done for each projectile.
-Multiplier is multiplied with the worth of one projectile, thus true total damage. Although, the multiplier might be divided over the first and second card if the first card dies in the process.
-Health is what has to be reduced to 0 for death of the card. If a card does not reach 0, it will have full health again in the next round.


Now, each player can play any card. They select one. Lay it on the table faced down. When all players have decided on a card to play. All will flip the cards faced up. Now players have to decide on a support card. Once again they select one and place it behind the first card faced down. Now when all players have decided, this one is also flipped faced up.

By the statistics, we simply subtract the health until one player has lost his/her cards. The front card goes first, then the support card. Those cards which survived the battle are placed in a victory pile. And those cards which died are placed in a graveyard pile.

The players repeat this until all cards are played.
The victory pile is the new deck of cards for the player in the next round. The players battle once again in the same way. Until once again all cards are played. This round of battles will repeat until one player has no cards left. The only player with cards will win the game.

Each round, one player will have more cards then the other. These are reserves that are not going to battle.

A draw is possible. This means all cards die and go to the graveyard. There is even a chance for a true draw.


Possible modifications to the game:
- More than 2 players. The battle goes in a circular motion. Clockwise, players are eliminated until one remains. Next battle counter clockwise.
- More than 2 cards per battle. It is possible to lay down 3, 4, 5... all cards.


Example cards:

Rifle Infantry:
1 armor
120 health
120 multiplier
1 damage

Battle Tanks:
100 armor
1200 health
12 multiplier
100 damage

Bazooka Infantry:
1 armor
40 health
40 multiplier
25 damage

Attack Jeeps:
25 armor
1000 health
40 multiplier
1 damage


Can you work with the example cards?
Are the rules clear enough?
Is this game simple enough?

Tbone's picture
Joined: 02/18/2013
When cards lose life, would

When cards lose life, would it also makes sense to lose multpliers? I'm guessing multipliers are another way of displaying a lot of one type of unit?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
I have my reason why not to do that

In combat games, it is true that the strength diminishes of a force when parts die. However, for keeping balance, I rather not do that. With an all or notching package I can rule out at least that "imbalance creator".

The imbalance that you are talking about is the "durability imbalance".

By ruling out this imbalance, the rifle infantry have an equal chance again, against those combat tanks. The fight is simply very long. But by no means, unequal. They need to stall each other.

In another game of mine, the smaller guys actually do die faster due to the fact that they die one by one. While the big tank is still blasting at full power.
Luckily, there they have many advantages like:
- better way of a rebuild when dying.
- smaller size, thus can go through smaller pathways like canyons and bases.
- they can cover each other.
- they can take cover behind bigger units.
- XP spending goes better.
- they can spread out.
Even though, the big blasting tank still is better in direct combat due to the durability.

In the card game, we don't have those advantages. Nor the disadvantage of the durability.


But here is a question.
Those numbers, can you work with them?
Or is it to complicated?

Perhaps working with smaller numbers?
Or simplifying?


Target audience is at least 12 years old.
The cards should become collectors items. Even though they are worth the same.
Perhaps some better ones that are allowed only once or twice in a deck.
But by no means, resource management. Just battling it out is all there is too it.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Too complicated

I noticed that it is too complicated to be calculating those small battle's. Yes, the calculations are complicated. Even for me.

I need to add something to the game for tracking the health. But then I might as wel revert back to my original board game. And tracking health is a hassle in a continious battle if it is only a 2v2 cards.

How can I simplify the game in such way that only cards are needed?

- Lowering all the numbers helps, but limits the game diversity. This does not really reduce the complexity.
- Increasing health with a factor might help a bit too. And keeping track in Excel if the number of hits needed remain round numbers. I had numbers like 3.33333 etc. for 1v1 cards. Let alone 2v2 cards.
- Changing the rules that a battle is actually 1v1 and once a card dies, the next in line battles? This would remove the meat/support combinations that players could make. Unless I re-introduce ranged units. Where all battles are 1v1 cards, unless you can place a 1 ranged unit behind that will continieu the battle once the front unit dies.

Any other idea's?
And has any one tried to play with the above 4 card examples?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Discarding this

Discarding this mechanic.

Sure it is balanced. But way to complicated.
It bores players because they need to calculate outcomes. I need to find a way to make sure they see it instantly or in 2 steps.

The mechanic itself is fine. But the statistics are the problem. And when those are changed, the mechanic itself does not work any more.

If any one can tell me what card games out there use a RPS, I would be happy. Perhaps I am going to use the vanilla MtG mechanic.

JewellGames's picture
Joined: 06/03/2012
Two off hand that have very

Two off hand that have very different mechanics are Jak and Poi and
Super Hero Squad Card Game.

In Jak and Poi, you gain resource points if your basic RPS cards win, these are then used to play more powerful cards (cost based on gained RPS resource points).

SHSCG utilizes a simple system of attacks and blocks, players construct decks based around 6 power types (Energy, Tech, Strength, Speed, Animal and Elemental). Hitting your opponent causes them to lose cards from their deck. Deplete your opponent's deck completely, and you win!

So if an attack deals 8 damage, you would remove up to 8 cards 1-by-1 UNLESS lets say the 3rd card removed had a block symbol that matched the attack's symbol. It would block the remaining portion of the attack and stop at 3 removed cards.

You can completely avoid an attack by playing cards directly from your hand that blocks the attack.

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