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Card game: Units attacking player or other units?

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/28/2011

In MTG, each creature declared to attack will attack the opposing player to damage his life. After the attacking player declare the attacking creatures, the defending player then chooses which of his creature is going to block and which attacking creature to be left unblocked. This means that the combat system favours the defending player since he is the one to choose which creature lives and dies.

Contrast MTG with Yugioh, where your creatures attack your opponent's creatures and the attacker choose which creature he is going to use to attack and which opponent creature to attack. Yugioh favours the attacking player and the match usually ends up with which player having the strongest creature wins.

I am actually trying to decide which combat system is better, whether to let creatures attack creatures like in Yugioh or to let creatures attack player and allow the defending player to choose creatures to block like in MTG.

The MTG way seem to have more strategic choices compared to the Yugioh way. I also know about WOW TCG allowing creatures to attack creatures but there are complaints where all you need to do is summond many creatures with high attacks and you win, making it more simple compared to MTG (I havent play enough WOW TCG to verify it.) I have also heard that WOW TCG favours aggro over control.

I want my game to have more interaction between the players. In that case, the game cannot focus too much on aggro since aggro is basically dealing damage fast enough before the opponent can set up any defence. If the attacking player gains more advantage than the defending player, the game will become heavily focused on aggro and I don't want that. I prefer the tense atmosphere of a control based game. However, I have seen many TCG following in MTG model(Duel Masters, Battle Spirits and many more) and I don't want my game to be another MTG clone.

Please advice me.

GreenO's picture
Joined: 11/14/2011
Use both

V:TES uses both mechanisms. The default (cardless) action is for your vampires to attack the player (which the player may block with their own vampires) or use either: a card-based cation to enter combat directly with an opposing vampires; or the vampires innate ability to do so.

V:TES is murderously complex, even for a TCG, but a simplified system might work in the same way. Using stronghold cards like those seen in the L5R CCG would give you an easy way of implementing a state-based strategy to attack both players and creatures. Stronghold cards could do the following, as examples:

- attack the opposing player (or player's stronghold, thematically) directly
- attack any creature controlled by the opposing player (your choice).
- attack any creature controlled by the opposing player (opponent's choice).
- attack a creature with [keyword] directly

You would have to work that into your victory conditions, but that's how I would approach it to avoid it feeling cloned whilst keeping a range of tactical decisions open. Both L5R and V:TES are worth looking at for those mechanisms, incidentally, a great deal of innovative thought for CCGs occurred away from the mainstream titles.

Joined: 12/12/2011
check out EPIC tcg

The system I most prefer, and the one I'm going to be using in the card game I'm developing, is similar to what Epic did (which sounds a lot like the V:tes explanation).
Basically combat works like magic in that you attack the player, and defending creatures can block, however there is a keyword special ability called 'Hunter' which gives the creature the ability to attack opposing creatures directly.
Epic had a very good combat system, but overall the game had some major flaws.

The reason this system works in my opinion is that only creatures with a specific ability can attack opposing creatures. So you don't have the imbalance of all creatures being able to 'hunt' and destroy enemy creatures. As well, you can still block hunters, and prevent them from damaging their target, so you have more strategy there as well. You can't just hunt their 1/1 with an awesome ability because they might have a 5/5 ready to protect it.

papastucker's picture
Joined: 12/20/2011
You have a long ways to go

Your hunt ability is just like the lure (I believe it is called lure) ability in MTG where you can choose which defending player creature to defend against your attacking creature. MTG is a very hard card game to beat because the way they designed it makes the game have infinite ways of designing your deck to be different with new cards. I once tried making a card game that has similar infinite ways to design the game and it's not easy.


Joined: 07/28/2011
L5R is too complicated

I tried reading the rules of L5R, the game is too complicated. It has so many things to take note of and the rules are hard to grasp. And I still don't really understand the combat step, can somebody simplify it for me?

I would also like to know how the combat in WOW TCG look like. Is it done in such a way where allies only keep attacking the opponent's hero and players ignore the opponent's allies? I have seen some matches where both players attack the opposing hero with their hero and not using any allies.

GreenO's picture
Joined: 11/14/2011
Steer well clear of V:TES then.

CCGer wrote:
I tried reading the rules of L5R, the game is too complicated.

The combat isn't the good bit about L5R, the Strongholds are.

Combat in L5R, short version: Both players spend turn after turn putting more and more guys into play until someone draws some sort of ninja-shapeshifter, attacks, then wins.

Long version: Each player takes the first four cards of their Dynasty deck face down on the table in front of them next to each other, between their two decks. This represents their Provinces, the lands their clan control.

The player has the option of attacking one of his opponents (directly). If he does so, the attacking and defending players takes turn assigning personalities they control to attack or defend the defending player's provinces. The attacking player assigns his cards first, allowing the defending player to position his cards in response to the attacking player's choices. Once all assignment is done, the battles at each province are played out, with players using abilities on cards they control or in hand in turn until both player passes- the battle is then resolved with the side having the highest total force becoming victorious. All cards on the losing side are destroyed; if the defending player loses, the province may also be destroyed.

Destroying all of a players' provinces leads to the attacker declaring a 'military victory' on of the four (?) ways to win the game.

It's aggressively dull IMO, even if it is supposedly similar to combat in feudal Japan. Unfortunately, battle realism in any world with magic is a fairly moot point.

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