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How to "handle" scoring

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questccg
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I will briefly introduce "Monster Keep"'s latest incarnation. Basically the game is played on a 3x3 grid (Much like Tic-Tac-Toe) where one player is on the bottom (middle) and the opponent on the top (middle).

Each player has a Micro-Deck of ten (10) cards. Each player discards one (1) card permanently such that the full deck will not be available for the game. This adds some additional strategy and makes it harder to build a "Deck" that works in ALL scenarios.

That one (1) card is then revealed for BOTH players. It becomes the "color" bonus. For example the player with the most of BOTH colors on the board earns a BONUS at the end of the game. If both cards revealed are the same, the player with the most of THAT color earns the BONUS.

Next the game begins...

One player rolls four (4) dice: Red, Green, Blue and Black. Each of those dice correspond to: Food, Loot, Battle and Wild. Each player writes these 4 dice values on his score card.

Next each player decides what three (3) dice he will use for his various "resources" (Food, Loot and Battle). Each of those stats become the total for that player and the "attacks" he may use during the remainder of the game.

Trying to condense things a little...

Each card has a "score bonus" like "+1" or "x2" or to penalize the opponent "-4" or "รท3" and may be played if logical. Cards are connected using combinatorics (Graph connections).

How to compute scoring???

As you form your "equation" and score points... My problem is determining how SCORING should be computed.

A> Should it be multiple ROUNDS (like 3) and the player with the HIGHEST ROUND is the winner?

B> Should the TOTAL of all three (3) rounds be used to determine the winner?

C> How does the COLOR BONUS "relate" to this computation? Could be a five (5) point bonus. If it's a tie, no bonus is awarded.

This implies that a player may play up to nine (9) cards from his deck. Each turn a player may have three (3) cards in his hand and play those three (3) cards on the table when possible. Sometimes a player may want to WAIT and not play a card until the later round... This also is possible...

Anyone have any ALTERNATIVE(s) to HOW TO SCORE???

questccg
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What are the "combinatorics" for???

Well there "was" an additional catch:

+ Only CONNECTED cards to the "Home" card (Top or Bottom Middle) are actually used to compute a score...

And therefore this is rather a more "difficult" PUZZLE to solve and makes it very challenging to get your optimal configuration based on the cards in play.

If a card is ISOLATED and "not connected", that card doesn't count towards your score.

I'm not sure about the "combinatorics" because it will severely LIMIT the amount of points available to score. That's why I am UNSURE if it should be a TOTAL or only the HIGHEST SCORE to determine which player is the winner of the game.

Tricky to figure out... I'd like to hear other designer's thoughts on the matter...

Cheers!

Jay103
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I'm missing some information,

I'm missing some information, I think. What do the card colors have to do with anything. What does battle look like. Why is there food? Why are the dice different colors if you just choose which die you want for which purpose?

I think I just don't have any sense of what the game would look like, other than that there are some cards played on a grid, and something with attacking, and I don't even know what the color bonus does.. if all my cards get played on the board during the game, is the color bonus something that I can't strategize about? I just get it or don't get it based on what cards got flipped?

questccg
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Some clarifications

Jay103 wrote:
What do the card colors have to do with anything.

It's just a BONUS you can earn. If there are two (2) colors: Green and Blue. The player with the most Green and Blue cards earns +5 VPs. If BOTH cards are the SAME color, the player with more of that color earns +5 VPs. It can ultimately AFFECT which cards you decide to play...

Jay103 wrote:
What does battle look like.

A battle consists of a unit "attacking" another based on RANGE with either a Basic Attack or using an Advanced Tactic. That player must then expend a certain amount of "Resources" to attack (as indicated by the choice: Basic or Advanced). Players' expend "Resources" and only have a limited amount of each of the "Resources".

Jay103 wrote:
Why is there food?

Food is one of the THREE (3) "Resources": Food, Loot and Battle. Each attack defines what are the "Resources" required for using the Attack. So for example: a Short Sword may attack TWICE and cost "1 Food" for each attack. The idea is that you are REWARDING your troops for doing battle.

Jay103 wrote:
Why are the dice different colors if you just choose which die you want for which purpose?

By default, you roll: Red = Food, Green = Loot and Blue = Battle, the Black die is Wild and may be used to replace ONE of the previous three (3) "Resources". So you write each result of the various dice and then mark each track (Food, Loot and Battle) with either the corresponding die or the Wild die if you want to substitute that "Resource". You can only use the Wild die to replace ONE (1) of the other three "Resources".

Jay103 wrote:
I think I just don't have any sense of what the game would look like...

What other details are you missing or are unclear about and need some more clarification???

questccg
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Another possibility

Instead of only three (3) rounds, the game could take FIVE (5) rounds. How this would work is at the START of the game, each player draws THREE (3) cards. They then may play a maximum of two (2) cards per turn...

This totals up to 3 + (2 x 4) = 11 cards + 1 card left as the Color card.

Why I'm thinking this? Is because THREE (3) ROUNDS seems a bit SHORT and too quick of a game.

So instead of ten (10) cards, it could be TWELVE (12) cards.

That might work better... I would just need to adjust my "Booster" Packs for TWELVE (12) cards instead of ten. No biggie... I've already done this on "paper" and it works just fine!

Note: My "Updated booster" distribution looks like this:

  • 6 Common cards (50%)
  • 3 Uncommon cards (25%)
  • 2 Rare cards (16.7%)
  • 1 Mythic/Legendary card (8.3%)

Previously I only had "4 Common" cards. Just added two (2) extra and made the deck 50% common cards (which are also very useful unlike traditional CCGs/TCGs)...

questccg
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You play cards adjacent to your existing cards

Jay103 wrote:
...I just get it or don't get it based on what cards got flipped?

Players place cards ADJACENT to existing cards already in "the Keep". The idea being that you create connections to the other cards and have the "longest path" to score the most points.

If a card "dies" (that card's amount of HP drops to 0), then you FLIP that card ... signifying that now there is an open space in the playing area.

Certain races have the ability to "revive" lost cards (that's the plan, I'm not there yet...) This is one of the abilities of the "Undead" (Death Race). Or plans for something similar... Still a WIP.

Example: The "Dark Elves" (Chaos Race) can alter the COLOR of cards. Like "All adjacent cards become Purple" or "Your adjacent cards become Blue" or "Select 1 adjacent card to become Green", etc. There is a HUGE amount of variability in these "Chaotic" cards...

questccg
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The two (2) scenarios

Let's just think about the two possibilities and how they would affect the game.

A> Player with the HIGHEST round is the winner.

Gives you FIVE (5) turns to do so... But your opponent will be trying to foil your plans at every possible opportunity. So it may be difficult to plot a very large SEQUENCE of cards due to the other player.

Secondly there are only 7 positions in the "Keep". 2 are reserved as starting points for each player (Top/Bottom Middle position). Not much room for each player to "spread out" his forces.

B> The TOTAL of all five (5) rounds be used to determine the winner.

Each round is important, making smaller connections is GOOD because you score SOME points and overall the player with the best use of his cards will be the winner.

I'm sort of now leaning to the total... Especially because it will be DIFFICULT to have very large SEQUENCES and have cards "killed" that are key (like some middle point in your sequence) could have significant effect if it's about the HIGHEST round.

In this scenario, all points are RELEVANT and it seems like it gives more chance for a player to swing a victory from someone who was IN THE LEAD โ€” but the opponent had better play in the last few rounds to catch up.

Jay103
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Maybe have the last round

Maybe have the last round count double?

Or alternatively, your highest-scoring round counts double.

questccg
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Hmm... Not sure about that

Jay103 wrote:
Maybe have the last round count double?

The problem with the LAST round is that the SECOND player gets to score points without ANY "interference" from the opposing player.

While it is true that the FIRST player gets a free score on the very FIRST turn (no opposing units to counter or attack), the card count on the first turn is only 2 cards. This seems like a "minor" boost compared to the final round where a player may have much more cards in play that could affect the scoring...

So the idea of "doubling" the last round just favors the second player even more... Therefore that would not be a good option.

Jay103 wrote:
Or alternatively, your highest-scoring round counts double.

The idea behind the TOTAL was to "closen" the amount such that the FIRST player get perhaps an early bonus and the last player gets a stronger finish... Doubling in any way seems like just a way to unbalance the scoring system...?!

This is especially TRUE if the "highest" scoring round for Player #2 is the last round. So not only does he have no interference, if this is the last round, if it's the highest score it's worth "double"??? Seems a bit unfair, no?!

questccg
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Some more information (s'more please)!

Jay103 wrote:
...What do the card colors have to do with anything.

  • Each card has a "Race/Faction".
  • Each "Race/Faction" has an "Alignment" (ex. Neutral Good, Chaotic Evil, etc.)
  • Each "Race/Faction" will have a style of play (custom for each race).
  • Each "Race/Faction" has a COLOR.
  • Colors are used to compute a BONUS per game.
  • Everything about the game is about SCORING Victory Points (VPs).
  • A color BONUS at the end of a game allows one player to get +5 VPs.
  • Some cards have the ability to ALTER a cards' color.

This gives you an insight to HOW colors are being used in the game...

Jay103
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questccg][quote=Jay103

questccg][quote=Jay103 wrote:

Jay103 wrote:
Or alternatively, your highest-scoring round counts double.

The idea behind the TOTAL was to "closen" the amount such that the FIRST player get perhaps an early bonus and the last player gets a stronger finish... Doubling in any way seems like just a way to unbalance the scoring system...?!

This is especially TRUE if the "highest" scoring round for Player #2 is the last round. So not only does he have no interference, if this is the last round, if it's the highest score it's worth "double"??? Seems a bit unfair, no?!

Well, doubling is sort of halfway between your two ideas. It's the total of every round, plus your highest (the highest counts twice)

questccg
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Too risky...

Jay103 wrote:
Well, doubling is sort of halfway between your two ideas. It's the total of every round, plus your highest (the highest counts twice)

Ah I see what you mean now. Just as an after-thought, the DOUBLING is too risky especially if it's the LAST ROUND for Player #2. It's just too unfair because Player #1 can't do anything to "counter" that score.

So while I appreciate the cleverness of the idea... I don't think it will work towards "balancing" the overall "Scoring" process.

But if you have other ideas concerning the "Scoring System" ... well I'd be open to hearing more of your ideas...?!

Jay103
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questccg wrote: But if you

questccg wrote:

But if you have other ideas concerning the "Scoring System" ... well I'd be open to hearing more of your ideas...?!

Well, you could also double a specific, known round. Round 3 for example. Then people have to try to play to maximize that round's score a little better than the others.

questccg
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I understand what you are saying

However I feel it's a bit "unbalanced" to have the HIGHEST score in Round #3 and get a supplemental "doubling" as an added bonus. You already have the higher score and that improves your own total. I fail to see how doubling makes the scoring more relevant.

Doubling makes for very swing-like scoring. I don't like that. I'd prefer a mechanic that is more like "small victories" rather than a "boom take that" kind of mechanic.

What this means is that I'd prefer lower scoring per round and an accumulation of several victories is what determines the winner... Not a specific round and some arbitrary multiplier which means either a player wins Round #3 or they lose the game.

See what I mean???

Fri
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Score after each turn

Could you have both players score after each turn? So player one has an advantage after the first turn and player 2 has an advantage after the last turn. Admittedly this may not be a complete solution because the last turn is probably more powerful than the first, but maybe you can use it as part of the solution.

questccg
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What do you think about this idea?

Fri wrote:
Could you have both players score after each turn?

I am thinking that perhaps a round is divided into three (3) separate phases.

1> First Player #1 plays his cards and then Player #2 plays his cards.

2> Next Player #2 resolves his attack and then Player #1 does the same.

3> Scoring is done at the end of the round for BOTH players.

Rounds ALTERNATE who is the starting player... This way Play has three (3) distinct phases and for each of the two (2) first phases, they alternate too giving one player the advantage of "playing" cards first and the other player gets to resolve his "attack" first.

Update: I really feel like this PHASED approach removes the who goes last in the last round LESS important than the previous scenarios. Clearly this boosts the tactical advantages based on the various rounds.

questccg
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What do you all think about Round PHASES?

Just wanted to know if there was something I might have missed and to know generally what people think of the Round "phases".

From what I see this is a more balanced approach leading to "Advantages" on each player's turn (in each phase). What I mean by this is that while one player has a "card play" advantage, the opponent has a "card attack" advantage, and then vice-versa on the next round.

Let me know your thoughts...

Note: I know it "sounds" like a logical idea and it seems like it will give more overall balance to the game... But this is just theory, I have yet to test it out and see if it is really reasonable or not.

questccg
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Biggest issue right now are the Combinatorics

Since I have identified that some cards have "obligatory" graph links and some have "optional" graph links which are configurable. I'm having trouble determining how I am supposed to define these combinatorics in a spreadsheet... and be able to have different lists of card types (Common, Uncommon, Rare, Mythic/Legendary). Originally there were 15 combinations. And then I thought of adding "optional" graph links which will probably increase the number of combinations (if I decide to allow all combinations โ€” which is probably not the case because some combinations may be more "valuable" and therefore I may want to limit their availability)...

It's a bit of a conundrum... I need some more thought on this matter before moving towards defining what cards are in a booster.

TBD โ€” keep you all posted as to my progress...

Jay103
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Maybe a small bonus for

Maybe a small bonus for winning 3 of the 5 rounds, which lets several smaller victories have a better result vs. one large victory?

questccg
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Various Connections

I currently have three (3) types of Graph connections:

+ One is a mandatory connection which connects cards together.

+ One is an optional connection which may connect cards together.

+ One is a specific optional "player" connection which may connect cards.

The third type is a special type ONLY available to the player who plays that card during the 3rd phase of a round (Scoring Phase). It's meant to be an optional connection which is decided on-the-fly.

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