Skip to Content

Clock mechanism in drawing cards from deck

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 04/16/2015

I'm curious about what type of clock mechanics can be built into the drawing of cards from a deck. The simplest example would be a turn based game where a card is drawn at random and if it's a certain card it ends the game or ends that portion of the game. I'm particularly interested in mechanics that make use of a number of cards, so that players have a sense of how close they are to the end of the game.

Can anyone point me to a game where this is implemented well? Or if where it's done poorly and why it doesn't work there?

ErnstFourie's picture
Joined: 06/18/2014
Maybe you can have cards

Maybe you can have cards stacked in a clockface, 12 piles.

You can have a way of indicating from which you you draw the card, and that could change with each card played. Maybe each card could have a small clockface with a time on, which dictates from which hour pile you draw from. Obviously you'd then be able to have a quick way of gauging which decks are close to empty, and when one is depleted that could be the end of the game? Maybe.

Joined: 03/02/2014
I forget the game, but one

I forget the game, but one mechanic I've seen that works well is this one.

Each turn you roll the "Doomsday dice" and the game-ending event happens if the roll is higher than the Doomsday target. The event cards (which you turn up one each turn) have neither, one, or both of the Doomsday icons. One icon means that you add a Doomsday die, the other icon means that you reduce the Doomsday target.

You start with zero Doomsday dice and the target is, I think, 15 or 16. So the game-ending event can't happen at least until you've acquired 3 Doomsday dice or 2 dice and a lot of target reductions. Once you get to 4 dice, it becomes pretty likely, but you still might last a couple of turns. At 5 dice and a few target reductions, it is almost guaranteed.

Soulfinger's picture
Joined: 01/06/2015
Chainsaw Warrior by Games

Chainsaw Warrior by Games Workshop. Not easy to find, but there is an app, which is quite fun . . . in a throw your tablet at the wall out of frustration sort of way. A very hard solitaire game, but with a day/night mechanic, having to get through a portion of one deck to proceed to the one with the objective, and all sorts of other inspiring tidbits from back when GW was a bona fide game company. I wish FFG would license it.

JohnMichaelThomas's picture
Joined: 05/30/2015
Simple mechanism is when you reach the end of the deck

The simplest card mechanic I've seen is just that when the deck runs out of cards you enter a new phase. Up the ante, reshuffle the deck and continue.

Although you could just have different decks for each phase, that seems like a waste of cards, and a fairly abrupt transition (though that might actually be what you want, depending on the game).

For my game I'm considering having some cards that add new and/or more challenging results, but setting those aside at first and adding them in when reshuffling the deck. With this it's clear to the players when you reach the end of the deck, but there's also some variability in whether you'll get a new, more challenging result or just one of the discarded results from the previous phase.

One thing I like about phase changes when you run through the deck is that it ends up being fairly efficient with cards - you can keep a smaller deck and run through it multiple times, with the phase changes modifying the results. And if you've looked up the costs to have cards printed, this can be a real concern - I love lots of cards to allow for more novel results, but if I ever want to run a KS for one of my games I don't want to have a game that has a $100 ground floor pledge.

wombat929's picture
Joined: 04/17/2015
clock cards

Does pandemic's use of epidemic cards do what you're looking for? They get distributed in segments of the deck, so you encounter one every now and again, in semi-regular fashion, but not exactly every X cards.

The comment about the Doomsday mechanic reminds me of the Omens system in BETRAYAL AT HOUSE ON THE HILL, where each omen you accumulate makes it more likely you will roll BELOW the number of omens that have been found and trigger the betrayal.

Hope that helps!

Evil ColSanders
Evil ColSanders's picture
Joined: 12/08/2010
Mice and mystics is a great

Mice and mystics is a great example. You add cheese to the cheese wheel with enemies popping or enemy abilities. When the wheel fills, the chapter advances, more mobs spawn, and the story ends quicker. You have to finish the scenario before the designated chapter ends it.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut