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Deeper card game strategy

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questccg
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Hello fellow Game Designers,

I have been working on one of my future games and have ran into something a bit odd. Let me explain and then I'll ask for your opinions.

So this design has crystallized and has a very unique combat mechanic which features three operators per card: "+", "-" and "x". Each card when battling the SAME card results in the identical points.

What this means if Card A is a Fighter and Card B is a Wizard... It doesn't matter who attacks who, the result is the same in terms of points. It just matters which player loses points.

The problem with this is two-folds:

+ A card with a LOW multiplier ("x") exposes the player to an expensive counter

+ A card with a HIGH multiplier ("x") does the exact same...

What this means is that both low and high multiplier cards pose the same RISK is allowing counters for the opposing player.

My issue is how to offset this???

Please note that I have not yet created any special abilities for each card.

Feel free to respond, share your thoughts, offer advice, and ask questions in the event that I'm not being sufficiently clear.

Many thanks for all your feedback.

X3M
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1 idea

Sounds like the difference is the multiplier.
Maybe turn it into a chance for exposure?
A low multiplier has a low chance on exposure.
Something like that?

Either die or a card to determine, I guess.

polyobsessive
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How does this system work?

I'm feeling a bit dim here and don't understand how this system is meant to work. You have + - and x, but how are they applied? I assume they have scores attached, hence the "low and high multiplier" reference?

Could you give a worked example of this so we can see what is going on?

let-off studios
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Some Suggestions

I know little about this combat system, so these are some general thoughts.

SIMULTANEOUS REVEAL
Maybe there's too much information revealed, so an opponent sees too much and can optimize which card to use, fending off the attack and gaining the most points. Perhaps finding a way to simultaneously reveal cards/hands may be worth a try.

FLAT BONUS FOR VICTORY
Additionally, you may want to award the same amount of points/penalty to a winner, regardless of the margin of victory. For example, someone has a Fighter with a "x8" multiplier, versus a Wizard with a "x7" multiplier, and the difference between the two is 1. The player using the Fighter wins, and earns a point bonus of 5.

Meanwhile, a player can have a Rogue with a "x6" multiplier, and their opponent has a Cleric with a "x2" multiplier. There's a difference of 4, but the bonus would still be 5 points to the player with the Rogue.

Seems to me this would keep things simple and move them along, while still rewarding those who play the higher-multiplier cards. I doubt that mathematics is the focus of your game, so if that's true I suggest de-emphasize math problems.

Jay103
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I think a very concrete

I think a very concrete example would be helpful. Like, show the exact values for a sample combat so we can see what's going on. In particular, I don't understand:

Quote:
What this means is that both low and high multiplier cards pose the same RISK is allowing counters for the opposing player.

questccg
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Example of Fighter vs. Wizard

+ (6 - 2) = +4 = +4
- (2 - 2) = 0 = -0
x (1 - 5) = -4 = x -4

-16 Tribute Points

This is a concrete example which involves 2 cards. It's the same if computed the other way too.

As I have explained... Both these cards are dangerous. Why? Because of a player puts down the Wizard, his opponent can play a Fighter resulting in a loss of 16 points. The same goes for the Fighter too: the opponent can play a Wizard and also results in a loss of 16 points.

Now while the bi-directional nature of the cards is a bit circumstantial... It introduces a difficult challenge in figuring out how to play the game...

I am reflecting about let-off's suggestion of hidden information and a unified scoring system. Need some time to review and consider. I will get back to these 2 ideas... Because they have some merit no doubt. Feel free to respond now that I have an example to explain the system...

Will review...

questccg
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Chess like targeting

questccg wrote:
-16 Tribute

Instead of targeting any card, perhaps I can use chess like moves with partial hidden information.

For example: a Fighter can do melee and therefore could target 3 positions IN THE ROW IN FRONT of him...

Another example: a Wizard can have some range and therefore target the 3 ROWS DIRECTLY IN FRONT of him...

This would restrict which cards may be attacked and by which other card(s).

I am really LIKING this idea... Because it adds even more value to the cards. All kinds of combinations and if it's a partial hidden information... Maybe with colored cardbacks (to help in the memorization)...

To be determined. Will explore this further... Cheers!

polyobsessive
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Eh?

questccg wrote:
+ (6 - 2) = +4 = +4
- (2 - 2) = 0 = -0
x (1 - 5) = -4 = x -4

-16 Tribute Points

Yes, but what does all that mean?

Is one card (+6 -2 x1) and the other (+2 -2 x5)? And then you find differences for each: attacker - defender? Then calculate (A - B) x C? Then who do you apply the "damage" to?

questccg
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You are exactly correct

The damage is applied in two ways.

1. If the result is positive, that many points get added to the attacking player's total.

2. If the result is negative, that many points get deducted from the defending player's total.

Cheers.

questccg
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What do you guys think?

Right now... prior to playtesting, I have defined ten (10) different "Attacks", one for each of the ten basic roles.

The question I have: Is this enough or is this not enough variety???

Chess has 6 pieces and moves. In Monster Keep (MK) there are 10 roles. It makes it a bit harder than attacking ANY opposing card in play.

It adds depth to the game's strategy, in that you have RULES to dictate how each role can attack.

What do you guys think???

questccg
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Here are the Attacks inspired by Chess

Click on the image for a larger preview.

As I said, this is inspired by Chess...

Do you think 10 attacks is enough variety???

questccg
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I have found some time to EDIT the cards

Just a quick follow-up... I've been on the road this last month ... And it's taken me away from my home-based setup/office. As such I have been following the various topics on my Mobile device (Cellular). I recently had to update my cell plan from 1GB Data to 10GB data. So I've had almost no more bandwidth this month and with the update... I have enough to read e-mails, follow BGDF topics and do things like read/download updates to things like our Rulebooks (For TradeWorlds) and such.

I will be trying these UPDATED cards this week... I've got a busy schedule in front of me... But hopefully I can find the time to CUT and TRY out the latest modifications. The "Attacks" have been added to the cards and all that remains is to create the latest (and greatest) prototype... And give it a try (Soon).

I'll update this thread once I get some experimentation done and have experience with the new attacks. This direction beats BY FAR the older one which was to have abilities on each card (Unique). But I found that the attacking was too EASY (target any adjacent card)... With the Attacks it makes it much more strategic and more of a challenge too.

Keep you all posted, I'll have a look on the other thread topics soon too.

Cheers.

questccg
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Looking Good (so far...)

questccg wrote:
I'll update this thread once I get some experimentation done and have experience with the new attacks. This direction beats BY FAR the older one which was to have abilities on each card (Unique). But I found that the attacking was too EASY (target any adjacent card)... With the Attacks it makes it much more strategic and more of a challenge too.

I did one playtest tonight ... And the results are very positive. I will do some additional playtesting tomorrow and provide additional feedback.

Cheers!

questccg
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Fine tuning is required...

So from 3 playtests, I have learned that there needs to be some minor adjustments to the rules.

Things like lowering the starting hands to 3 cards and Player #1 draws a +1 additional card for his hand (so 4 cards for his starting deck).

General Housekeeping which is draw +1 card after playing a card into the Keep. This is to maintain hands to the right counts (until nearing the end of a game).

Other items are like EITHER play +1 card into the Keep or ATTACK 1 opposing card. Obviously this is constrained by each card's Attack positions.

I'm still playtesting today... To get the best possible feel for the game.

Cheers!

questccg
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Very FUN game indeed...

It would seem like my little card game is actually FUN to play. And believe me it takes A LOT for me to make such a statement... Usually I would shelve most of my prototypes, however this latest version is actually very strategic and it's sort of a unique puzzle each time you play. Considering that I have only tried with 2 players... 4 players will probably be more interesting.

But for now, I'm going to focus on the 2 player duels. Will do some more playtesting tonight and see how things go...

Cheers!

questccg
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Not 100% symmetrical ... But pretty close

More playtesting has revealed a "small" flaw in the design. Specifically it means that one player may run out of cards and his opponent may have 1 or 2 cards depending on the outcome of the game...

Now while this isn't too "bad" of an issue, it ruins a bit of the building component of the game. Namely you may land up with the Keep missing 1 or 2 spots in the play area.

But overall, the game is DEFINITELY "FUN". It's taken some time to get the design to this LEVEL and like I said earlier, I OFTEN shelve my designs because they don't achieve the level of play I am looking for.

Bottom line: this will be my 2nd design that will be "cool". Can't wait to move on with the artwork (which has been delayed a couple months already).

Keep you all informed...

questccg
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Some more streamlining

I believe I have a solution to the card issue. I will playtest this tomorrow. Hopefully this change to the rules will insure that the game ends with ALL cards being played into the Keep...

I'll let you good folks on the results tomorrow.

Cheers!

let-off studios
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Attack Patterns

Took a look at your attack patterns earlier. They all seem fairly useful with the exception of "Soldier_2," which doesn't seem aggressive enough at first glance. Have you used that pattern at all? How does it play out in game? Any other patterns that have emerged as exceptionally useful or useless?

Meanwhile, I'm pleased to hear your initial playtests have been so positive... Keep it up! :)

questccg
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More on Attack patterns

I've playtested 8 out of 10 patterns... The two (2) that have not been tested are Soldier_2 and Guard. But even with a less aggressive attack, I'm pretty certain that they will be relevant.

And the reason I say this is because the patterns each have a WAY of playing that induces a certain strategy.

Like Soldier_1 is weaker in frontal attacks, but if you place 2 next to each other, they can serve as a wall.

Soldier_2 is the opposite, he has direct frontal attack but using 2 next to each other they serve as a nice defensive wall.

The other factor to remember is that direct frontal attacks are very easy to use... You basically know that FRONT is a direct attack (no brainer).

However you would be surprised at how well the Beast, Priest and Mage cards perform...

I still have some playtesting to do today... Just to ensure that the game plays as intended with no hiccups.

Cheers!

questccg
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Fine tuning seems to have RESOLVED all issues!

The extra steps that I have taken seem to do the trick... No more asynchronous card counts. Everything is symmetrical. Which is fantastic and makes the game smoother.

I will do some more playtesting in the eve just to wrap things up... And be certain that the game is SOLID.

Cheers everyone...

apeloverage
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After looking at this thread,

After looking at this thread, I don't feel like I know how the game works.

So, when writing the rules document, I'd advise posting your drafts to this forum to make sure people can understand it.

questccg
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apeloverage wrote:After

apeloverage wrote:
After looking at this thread, I don't feel like I know how the game works.

Well this thread is ONLY about the combat mechanic and not the whole game. We as designers need to hone our skills in the design world by grasping PIECES of a game because usually designers don't want to re-evaluate the ENTIRE design, only one aspect.

Quote:
So, when writing the rules document, I'd advise posting your drafts to this forum to make sure people can understand it.

I'm still working on the design. And I use The Game Crafter's (TGC) Sanity Tests to PROOF my rulebooks. So most likely my rulebook will be at earliest available on BGG or KS... I usually don't share full rules until they are over 90% done.

It's one thing to design a game, it's another thing to write the rules. And TBH the game isn't too complex either. As usual: easy to play, hard to master.

Thanks for taking a read... Cheers!

questccg
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Rules writing

Just as a small comment... While the game is simple enough for a 9 year old to play... The rulebook is another beast. What I mean is that simple things you can explain in person can sometimes take more words and require better wording too.

I already have a good format which has already been through the TGC Sanity Test... So I know I'm using a format familiar to gamers...

questccg
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I hope to get some 3rd party advice

This design FEELS so simple... But sitting down with someone with a different perspective would be great. The game is a CCG (Customizable Card Game) and I would like some professional opinion and thoughts.

Hopefully I can sit down with one of my contacts some time soon.

questccg
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Keywords and Powerwords

Reviewing the design has made me conclude that the "cards" need one LAST "extra" to add just a smidgen of additional strategy. Of course what is I think is needed is something from an "earlier" iteration. What am I talking about? Keywords and Powerwords.

Keywords are just generic words that take effect under preset conditions of that specific word. Powerwords are similar to Keywords with the exception that they allow a numeric value to follow the word.

As of this moment, I have no UPDATED Keywords/Powerwords. But from the OLD iteration I can provide two (2) examples (One for each):

Keyword = "Dispel": No spells may be used against this unit.

Powerword = "Absorption ?": This unit takes ? damage instead of an opposing unit in play.

Those are some of the OLD ones... Obviously I need to revisit and RE-THINK every single one of them. Why? Because none of them seem to conform to the cards of Version 10.0 (my current version).

Clearly having this LAST element to each card opens up a bit more flexibility when it comes to how the various cards can interact... I think this will be "the icing on the cake" that just adds that FINAL TOUCH to the game and gives it a "Bonus" layer of strategy which gives the game that 10% extra that was missing with the 90% current design.

Any thoughts???

Note: I have to see HOW I can apply these ... because all I have "ROOM" for on the cards is a Keyword/Powerword. I don't have a lot of room to explain each word. The rulebook will require a "Glossary" in which each Keyword/Powerword is described in full detail.

As players gain more experience with the game, it is my hope that these words will become familiar and experienced players know/remember the meaning of each one of these.

My goal is to have about 30 of these words (15 Keywords and 15 Powerwords). That should suffice.

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