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Combat Card Mechanic

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JohnKoch92
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I am running into a problem with a card combat mechanic. Below are the steps that are taking place in combat what I would like to do. Would love any suggestions!

General idea of the game:

There will be 5 different spaces where workers/armies are sent. You roll the dice (this is your worker/army, you have two of them, pips will represent current strength) and then all discuss (negotiate) where a certain worker/army will be placed, then you simultaneously reveal the location using a card. You then place your army and repeat the above steps with your second worker/army.

Each space will have 2 resources on it (each round) as well as an action. If you lose combat you are bumped out of this space and are unable to collect the resources or action associate with that space.

Combat:
- Once each player has designated their workers/armies to an area, if this space is occupied by another player then combat would ensue (if they fail to negotiate).

- Each player has a set of combat cards with the following values: +3,+2,+1,-1,-2,-3,Re-roll. Each of these cards manipulates their personal die, thus changing the values of their armies. They must play one card from their hand during combat.

Example: Player 1 contributes a 2-pip to an area while player 2 contributes a 3-pip to an area. Both players fail to negotiate and now combat takes place. Player 1 selects a +1 combat card while player 2 places a +2 combat card. Player 2 is the victor of the combat with a value of 5 to 3

- After each battle, the player must discard the combat card into a personal discard pile face down and are not able to use that card in the future.

*At this point I enjoy the system above; it makes negotiations more important when love on good cards and will eventually weaken those who get in combat a lot.

I would like there to be a mechanic where players can receive the cards back into their hand, but want to keep the balance that the system provides by weakening those who fight too much. Please provide any suggestions that would get combat cards back into players hands or any tweaks to the above system! Thanks!

let-off studios
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Compensation

Maybe you want to reward the loser of a combat with their lowest-value discarded card as a consolation prize? Re-roll might be considered the mid-value card, between -1 and +1 (or slightly higher, I suppose). This ability kicks in when a player's discard pile has at least 3 cards in it.

This allows people to pick-and-choose when they want to use their cards of various strengths, knowing that they will need to "pick their battles." This may sometimes be obvious, depending on the resources up for grabs. Testing would bear this out.

Another interesting dynamic may be how players choose when to use high-value cards, knowing they can reclaim them later: front-loading and using them as soon as possible, "turtling" until later in the game, or sprinkled throughout the game: the strategy that's likely the most effective, but also likely the most risky.

You could make it more interesting by making players mix their discarded cards and then draw one at random to add back into their pool without the other players knowing. That might make things a bit too unpredictable though. Again, testing would help you make some effective decision about whether or not this adds to the game.

Adam Leamey
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Perhaps have each player have

Perhaps have each player have a set deck of cards once all the cards are used they become available again. Also is it possible for multiple players to be on the same place or is it capped at 2 players per space.
.

Daggaz
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There are only 7 cards and

There are only 7 cards and you state that players MUST play a card in the event of a battle.

So the game is limited to maximum 7 battles? If that isn't the intention, then you definitely need a way to regain cards.

Perhaps just picking up the entire pile once you play the last card.. players are getting punished if they fight too much, but this is a counter mechanism that rewards them if they punish themselves enough. That can add a lot of dynamics into a system, especially since if there are more than two players, it changes the sets of cards that are being played against each other.

What happens if there is a draw, by the way?

Rick L
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Why not have a common deck of

Why not have a common deck of cards that players can draw from, paying a certain cost in resources to get a new card? Or if no common deck, just pay a cost to take your earliest (or last) played card from your discard pile?

Also, why negative point cards? I don't think I've seen a combat system where you have to choose to penalize yourself as often as you boost your score.

FrankM
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Because of Reroll

Mokheshur wrote:
Also, why negative point cards? I don't think I've seen a combat system where you have to choose to penalize yourself as often as you boost your score.

If the Reroll card wasn't there, it wouldn't matter if the range was shifted up by three. But Reroll is there, and it looks like it's supposed to be nominally balanced with the other cards.

For recharging, maybe the player gets two random cards back for using the -3? Then you need to handle the case of running out of cards, perhaps draw two cards but not until after committing to the attack.

let-off studios
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Why Go Negative

Mokheshur wrote:
Also, why negative point cards? I don't think I've seen a combat system where you have to choose to penalize yourself as often as you boost your score.
This is the equivalent of a feint. You would want to use a negative point card when the outcome isn't so important for you, but you want your opponent to use a high-value card now.

If your bluff is successful, then they've expended a lot of their energy when essentially it would otherwise be no contest had they known your true intentions. If you still win when you use a low-value card, then luck was on your side and you feel great (while your opponent has just experienced a "teachable moment").

JohnKoch92
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Ties and Cards

Daggaz wrote:
There are only 7 cards and you state that players MUST play a card in the event of a battle.

So the game is limited to maximum 7 battles? If that isn't the intention, then you definitely need a way to regain cards.

Perhaps just picking up the entire pile once you play the last card.. players are getting punished if they fight too much, but this is a counter mechanism that rewards them if they punish themselves enough. That can add a lot of dynamics into a system, especially since if there are more than two players, it changes the sets of cards that are being played against each other.

What happens if there is a draw, by the way?

I am wanting a way to receive some cards back into hand (not all at once) and am willing to drop the negative ones and have a set of (1,1,2,3,4,5,reroll). If there is a draw, both lose, which is the risk of fighting. This is why negotiating would be important

JohnKoch92
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1 vs 6

Mokheshur wrote:
Why not have a common deck of cards that players can draw from, paying a certain cost in resources to get a new card? Or if no common deck, just pay a cost to take your earliest (or last) played card from your discard pile?

Also, why negative point cards? I don't think I've seen a combat system where you have to choose to penalize yourself as often as you boost your score.

I am starting to think a negative combat system is a bad choice after reading this. Appreciate your insight! I wanted there to be an outside chance that a 1-pip would be able to beat a 6-pip if needed. Do you have any thoughts on how to do that? Thanks!

JohnKoch92
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Adam Leamey wrote:Perhaps

Adam Leamey wrote:
Perhaps have each player have a set deck of cards once all the cards are used they become available again. Also is it possible for multiple players to be on the same place or is it capped at 2 players per space.
.

Yes, you place one worker/army (on space) and then you go through the planning stage again. So you can negotiate about where you are heading. Then you all reveal where you are going. Once everyone has placed, that is when a battle will occur.

Adam Leamey
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I think perhaps have a

I think perhaps have a communal tide of battle deck we're both players draw 1 cards from it so that the outcome of the battle isn't always based on superior numbers. Your game sounds interesting though I think I have played something similar with dices representing armies.

JohnKoch92
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let-off studios

let-off studios wrote:
Mokheshur wrote:
Also, why negative point cards? I don't think I've seen a combat system where you have to choose to penalize yourself as often as you boost your score.
This is the equivalent of a feint. You would want to use a negative point card when the outcome isn't so important for you, but you want your opponent to use a high-value card now.

If your bluff is successful, then they've expended a lot of their energy when essentially it would otherwise be no contest had they known your true intentions. If you still win when you use a low-value card, then luck was on your side and you feel great (while your opponent has just experienced a "teachable moment").

This is the outcome I want to happen and the reasoning for negative cards. Is this possible with only positive cards though?

Rick L
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I think you can accomplish

I think you can accomplish the same thing with cards ranging from 1-5 points, so basically if you have a bad roll and want to make a "feint" by only using a 1 point card, when your opponent might think you will play your 5 point card...

The thing about negative numbers is, what if I roll a 2 pip result and use my -3 card, putting me at -1. Then my opponent rolls a 1 and uses his -3 card also, so he is at -2. So I win with -1 points? Not likely to happen much, but still seems like a weird score to win with!

FrankM
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That could never happen... could it?

Mokheshur wrote:
I think you can accomplish the same thing with cards ranging from 1-5 points, so basically if you have a bad roll and want to make a "feint" by only using a 1 point card, when your opponent might think you will play your 5 point card...

The thing about negative numbers is, what if I roll a 2 pip result and use my -3 card, putting me at -1. Then my opponent rolls a 1 and uses his -3 card also, so he is at -2. So I win with -1 points? Not likely to happen much, but still seems like a weird score to win with!


The Mouse That Roared

JohnKoch92
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Mokheshur wrote:I think you

Mokheshur wrote:
I think you can accomplish the same thing with cards ranging from 1-5 points, so basically if you have a bad roll and want to make a "feint" by only using a 1 point card, when your opponent might think you will play your 5 point card...

The thing about negative numbers is, what if I roll a 2 pip result and use my -3 card, putting me at -1. Then my opponent rolls a 1 and uses his -3 card also, so he is at -2. So I win with -1 points? Not likely to happen much, but still seems like a weird score to win with!

This sounds good and I understand your reasoning. How do I go about making an outside chance for a 1-pip to beat a 6-pip in a contest? Or do you believe this is unnecessary.

Rick L
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You could call a 6 pip to 1

You could call a 6 pip to 1 pip a "critical hit" instant win, no cards will be played. That way the player who rolled the 1 isn't forced to waste a card when it's obvious he lost.

let-off studios
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Negative Wins

Mokheshur wrote:
[...]So I win with -1 points? Not likely to happen much, but still seems like a weird score to win with!
Yep, what Mokheshur said. :)

Seriously though: all the comments regarding simply upping the numbers to all greater than 0 seem to make sense and are likely more thematically viable.

...So stop discussing it and start playing it already! :)

JohnKoch92
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Thank you!

On it! Thank you all for the advice. This is my first time on here and I will start play testing next week. You all have been such a huge help.

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