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do i have too many things represented by facedown cards?

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 04/30/2013

Ive been working on the rules of a card game based on "Sun Tzu's Art of War". it will NOT be a trading card game, just a normal card game where all players draw from the same deck

some details to gain some ground of my problem

the theme is a bunch of states vying for control of each other to form one country, much like the conquest of Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of china, although it doesn't seem to have any relation to the book at all

i intend for all cards to be either terrain or stratagems, there are no cards to represent heroes, generals, or any form of people let alone iconic characters, since i intend for the view of the state to be from a ruler's perspective, where his/her subjects are mere statistics

one of the things terrain does is decide the maximum amount of population you can hold in your state. a player can own multiple terrains.

population consists of peasants and troops. peasants and troops are represented as face down cards, the only thing that sets peasants and troops apart is which row they are in. face down cards in the lower row are peasants, while face down cards in the upper row are troops, as a stack when inactive, and as small stacks of your chosen amount when active

the goal of the game is 1 of 2 things, the conquest for terrain through battle...or the accumulation of influence, which is an abstract representation of power over others through moral influence, money, blackmail, etc.

influence is also represented as a stack of face down cards a player places in a space on an even upper row above the troops.

my question is, from your experience, are there too many things represented by face down cards? will this lead to confusion problems? they are in 3 distinct rows but I'm still not sure that is orderly enough. what other problems can you foresee from this one element of many things represented by face down cards? in my case 3 things under 3 rows

Joined: 03/07/2012
Yes. If you have more than

Yes. If you have more than one thing represented by facedown cards, and they're not intended to be ambiguous (i.e. agendas and assets in Netrunner) that is too many things. This goes double if they all have the same backs.

If you can put counters on them to distinguish them, that'd help. If you can change their orientation, that can help, too. The issues I see with tons of facedown cards are memory/checking for the player that put them down, overload for the player the cards are hidden from, and potential to (accidentally or on purpose) move a card from one row to another.) If the card no longer matters once it's placed face-down, i'd consider changing it for a token of some kind.

Joined: 04/30/2013
one of the goals i hope to

one of the goals i hope to achieve is to have the whole game just made up by the cards with no other needed materials

in this game, the facedown card remains a facedown card until it is sent to the discard pile. what i am slightly worried about is that the information is based on positioning, with things like wind or accidents that move the cards, everyone might have to restart the game if one is too careless.

i was considering card orientation as a solution, aided by a functional card backing which shows what the facedown card is according to its orientation, in addition to position.

for now troops and peasants need to be represented by facedown cards, assuming i can change influence to not be represented by facedown cards, is 2 things represented by facedown cards still too much?

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