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Help with super simple card combat mechanic

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erobles
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Joined: 06/11/2017

Hi, Im trying to design a _super_ simple combat card game, think MTG but for 6-8 years, and in a non-TCG format. This guy´s original idea was just to have a Rock, Paper or Scissors icon on each card, and then having both players show a card at the same time... but it was super boring and purely luck driven.

He wants to somehow stick to the RPS format, but giving it a little more depth. I was thinking that each card has three symbols on the lower part, and the players choose three cards and puts them upside down on the table. Then, at the same time both players turn their cards so 9 fights ensue.

Each card fights with each opponent´s cards in the order of their icons, for example:

Card1 Card2 Card3
PXX RXX SXX

Card1 Card2 Card3
RRP XXX XXX

The first of "my" cards would fight the first or my opponent´s with Rock, their second with Rock and their third with Paper.

My thoughts are that it´s still very luck driven... I want to come up with a super simple mechanic, but one that has a little strategic value.

I´d love to hear your comments.

Thanks in advance.

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
Both methods are luck based

Both methods are luck based because you have no information to base your decisions on. If you want to enable players to be able to make strategic decisions they must have so information to do so.

I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I have heard that if that if a game has information that is supposed to be secret (like cards in hand), then the minimum target age for this is 8+. The example that they gave is that is is nearly impossible to play Clue/Cluedo with children younger then 8. (Yes, I sure there are some kids under 8 that could handle the hidden info).

Seems like a challenging design problem. Good luck.

Tim Edwards
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Joined: 07/30/2015
You could take a look at

You could take a look at Transformers and Star Wars by Shuffle.

They are combat games pitched at age 6+

Or maybe think about pasting a theme onto a very simple trick taking game.

I suspect that whatever you settle on, for that age group it'll involve a good dollop of luck. It just needs to be served up in an interesting way.

Keep us updated. :)

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
more types = more

more types = more combinations, eg have 5,7,9 etc instead of 3. you could als include "character cards" that give powers, eg troll- always wins rock draws, or

have limitations or bonuses on the position cards can be played, eg lava paper. can be paper or rock . can t be used in position 3. or

give effects for winning eg. the opposite position cannnot be used. this shouldnt e a problem for a 6 year old.and it gives an end point. or the card you play ontop of this one has scissors.

you could do all this with half a pack of cards each, two tribes, or make it extra complex by adding some kind of drafting.

on a side note if you want a good game for a young player with a normal pack of cards check out the ruoes for goofenspiel. its a clever blind auction game, and good game mechanic. i taught it to a 4 year old who pretty much just played randomly and was over the moon when she beat me.

young players dont need the choices to be complex or non random as long as they think they have won or lost.

Tim Edwards
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Joined: 07/30/2015
wob wrote:more types = more

wob wrote:
more types = more combinations, eg have 5,7,9 etc instead of 3. you could als include "character cards" that give powers, eg troll- always wins rock draws, or

have limitations or bonuses on the position cards can be played, eg lava paper. can be paper or rock . can t be used in position 3. or

give effects for winning eg. the opposite position cannnot be used. this shouldnt e a problem for a 6 year old.and it gives an end point. or the card you play ontop of this one has scissors.

you could do all this with half a pack of cards each, two tribes, or make it extra complex by adding some kind of drafting.

on a side note if you want a good game for a young player with a normal pack of cards check out the ruoes for goofenspiel. its a clever blind auction game, and good game mechanic. i taught it to a 4 year old who pretty much just played randomly and was over the moon when she beat me.

young players dont need the choices to be complex or non random as long as they think they have won or lost.

All of this. Perfect!

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
if you wanted to make a game

if you wanted to make a game for a young player vs an adult. you could try a game with an really difficult "ai" that has to make simple decicions. the young player makes them for the ai. the combined intellect of the child and game should be a good opponent for an adult.

Squinshee
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Joined: 10/17/2012
Double blind action selection

Double blind action selection mechanics are fun but tricky. I suggest instead off thinking that a player strictly wins and the other stricky loses depending on the reveal, think of it more like each action has some pros and cons. If you can balance them across three axis, you can create a whole bunch of fun, interesting actions. Potential axis:

1) effect (damage, debuff/buff, etc)
2) cost to play
3) an effect on some sort of shared system between both players

This example guarantees the selected action will occur but can lead to something interesting and unexpected depending on what your opponent reveals and how it also affects the shared system. What exactly that shared system is would be up to you.

Just some non-specific thoughts!

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Fri wrote:Both methods are

Fri wrote:
Both methods are luck based because you have no information to base your decisions on. If you want to enable players to be able to make strategic decisions they must have so information to do so.

Yeah, close to zero strategy there, unless the cards are face up before they're used (so you know what the opponent might use), but even then it would be very tough to do anything smart, and definitely not in that age range.

If you want MTG, why not start with MTG and strip away the complicated stuff? Keep attack and health and see what else you might need to keep to make things interesting. I think the land tapping patent has expired..

JewellGames
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Joined: 06/03/2012
Capturing Creatures

Ok, I totally came up with this on the spot so it has some rough edge but here goes:

Each player starts with a 1/2/3 of each RPS for 9 cards.

Shuffle the creature deck. Draw 3 creatures and place them face up between the players.

Rounds of Play
Each round consists of the claim, combat, and cleanup phases.

Claim Phase - Each player selects a card from their hand and places it next to a creature on their side of the table.

Combat Phase - If any creature has been claimed by both players, reveal those claim cards. The player with the higher powered card captures the creature and adds it to their hand! Note: Cards that have a symbol that beats the creature’s symbol gain a +1 power bonus! After combat, each player puts the claim card in their own discard pile.

If tied, the creature flees and is placed in the discard pile next to the creature deck. Return the tied claim cards back to their respective player’s hand.

Cleanup Phase - If any creatures were captured or fled, draw new creatures to fill the empty spaces.

Creatures have a power level and type just like your starting cards. However, some have special abilities too!! Once you start capturing them, you can play them from your hand to claim other creatures.

End of Game
The first player to capture 5 monsters of a type wins the game!

Examples of creature abilities could be:

If this creatures type beats your opponent’s claim card type, gain +1 power.
If this creature wins, you may swap the creature you captured with one in your discard one.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
i like it so far but i always

i like it so far but i always think dueling games need a catchup mechanic of somekind. if you dont in your game i can see a player claiming a few good monsters at the beginning an then be able to claim any monsters they want.

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