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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 "÷3" 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 — 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...?!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 — 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 — 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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Still thinking about how to present the choices

As far as the rounds are concerned, the idea of using Turn-Phases seems like a viable option at this time.

However I still need to work on the persistence of the cards (statiscal variations, abilities, combinatorics, etc.) There is a lot of a variation with regards to the cards themselves even if there are similarities as well. Not yet certain how the distribution from the type of cards (Common, Uncommon, Rare and Mythic) to the stats (different HPs, basic attack values, even Advanced Tactics, etc.) to the combinatoric (there are currently three (3) possibilities — I'm pretty certain that not all cards will have all of them...)

So definitely something to think about.

Tomorrow I will continue to work on the TableTopia "Trial Version" for TradeWorlds (as promised). I've been a bit slow getting back to this task considering it's an 8 hour effort... Just thinking about the time is a bit discouraging ... but I might as well do it soon (as promised to our backers).

That's tomorrow. Cheers!

Mensian
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another approach

Since your playground is small, and available cards per player are also limited, you could forget about round scoring: the game ends as soon as the table is full or players run out of resources and/or cards. At the end check the relations (connections, synergy, combos) between cards, color bonus, etc. and add score for each destroyed opponents cards during the game (instead of round scoring).
Less counting = more fun.

questccg
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Very interesting...!

Mensian wrote:
Less counting = more fun.

Okay I'm interested in learning more about your idea. First let state that IF the board has nine (9) positions for cards and that two (2) are reserved for each player, ultimately means that there are seven (7) position in the play area.

Moreover, you draw three (3) cards and can play only two (2). This means that at most you can draw eleven (3 + 2x4 = 11) cards. This is assuming that you can only play two (2) cards per round. The result is five (5) rounds of play... to exhaust your entire deck.

A player may run out of resources because he is "taxing" and being an alpha player (aggressive attacker). Both players may see fit as to how they use their "resources" and attacks. So I don't think I can make this a trigger for an end-of-game since it varies per play style.

How do you propose to "score for each destroyed opponent"? Combat has been added to "free up space in the play area" and to "mess with a player's best laid plans in terms of connections". To swing the table to your advantage to score more points and wreak havoc.

I'm not against what you are proposing... I'd just need some clearer examples or more detailed thoughts as how to handle all of the cases... For example Health is a track from 1 to 9 units. It may take several rounds to defeat an opposing card. And if you do this, will this make YOU successful??? You've got to weight the pros-and-cons too...

Anyhow I'd like to hear more about your ideas... Cheers!

Mensian
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questccg wrote: How do you

questccg wrote:

How do you propose to "score for each destroyed opponent"? Combat has been added to "free up space in the play area" and to "mess with a player's best laid plans in terms of connections". To swing the table to your advantage to score more points and wreak havoc.

All units should have a "KILLING SCORE" value, and the opponent gains that much VP when she destroys your units. The better units, the higher the score. I think this way combat becomes more important.

Pro: NOW it's important which units you kill, and you must think about not to include only the games best units into your deck because you could be beaten by killing them. You should think about defensive tactics too (keeping your units alive on the board). This gives you more opportunities, and that is essential if you want to build a TCG.

Con: the game has to avoid cheap removal spells.

Another possibility: you could limit the deck size by score points, not by number of cards, if you want.

Are the connection patterns printed on the cards (units) that you deploy? If so, the killing score could depend on the value of units pattern, life and combat stats/abilities.

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Like Heroscape?

Mensian wrote:
...Another possibility: you could limit the deck size by score points, not by number of cards, if you want...

This is sort of what Heroscape does... You have a "Point Total" and you can select any "armies" that add up to that total. So it let's you have a variation of units based on the play style you want to have.

I'll think more about your idea of having VPs for "defeating" a unit... It's going to take me some time to process this concept and see how it can work with the remainder of the game. Also I LIKE that this "encourages" combat. But I also have to be conscious of the fact that "currently" the primary focus of the game is "combinatorics". Making the game more about "combat" and defeating more enemy units will have an effect on overall game play... So I need to think about it.

I'm saying the idea sounds good... But I need some time to reflect... And see where it can lead.

questccg
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Some early thoughts...

So in another previous iteration of this design, I would use a die roll as a point pool and attribute it to various cards. What this meant is that you would roll the die and have that many points to distribute among up to three (3) cards. And those points invariably would become that cards Hit Points (HPs).

You explained that the idea would be to "attribute" a specific amount of points to a "scoring mechanic"... And well I started to think: "What if the card's HPs are the Victory Points (VPs) as in the other iteration?" And that it could DIRECTLY affect the SCORE in some manner.

This became rather evident that it would be rather TRIVIAL and "straight forward" if HPs == VPs (in some way).

Therefore you have HPs that ranges from 1 to 10 HPs and one "operator" (+, -, / and x). How you SCORE is HPs AND the operator. So if I had a Human Knight worth 5 HPs and a "+" operator, that card would score +5 VPs.

So far this sounds pretty basic and makes a lot of sense.

If the opponent would ATTACK my Human Knight and do 2 HPs of damage, that card would now score (5 - 2 = +3 VPs).

In addition, I am thinking that the "adversarial" relationships should vary per card and that five (5) relationships exist, one being a "Critical" attack, two being "Normal" and two being "Weaker"... Given a small "mini-chart" of the relationships on each card. This is going back to my EARLIER concept with the five (5) attacks permissible by a card.

This will require MUCH "balancing" but that's the cool part of the game: not every card can attack all opponents. And that's very true to the logic of it... because you don't want ALL cards being capable of attacking all of the other cards because then there is no "meta-strategy".

It's 2:51 AM, so I'm still a bit hazy and will review this during the day tomorrow ... to see if this all makes sense. My mind seems to think so.

Cheers!

questccg
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This is all fine and dandy ... but

I still need to think about the "Combinatorics". Do I want them? What are the possibilities with/without them?? And how do NEGATIVE operators affect the overall "scoring" of the game???

This means that although we can all "understand" that a "minus" (-) or a "divider" (/) lower the score... They must be in relation to the opponent's cards not your own.

How to make this SELF-EVIDENT is still debatable. Something to think about and share my thoughts on this further tomorrow.

Cheers...

Mensian
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Some more details

questccg wrote:
I still need to think about the "Combinatorics". Do I want them? What are the possibilities with/without them??

Let's see what can you do without.:) All proposals here are replacable, disposable.
1. You have the board of 3x3, and both players base inside, immune to attacks and indestructible.
2. Players build their decks of X points. Each card is worth some points (Y), sum them to get the X.
3. Players are allowed to see and use ALL their cards in their deck (What a dream!!!), all cards are in their "Hand".
4. Cards are "SPELLS" or "UNITS". Each turn, player can play two UNITS (deploy on the board on ANY empty field), and unlimited SPELLS.
5. When a SPELL is played and resolved, it goes to your graveyard, and GIVES its Y points to your opponent!!!
6. On the UNIT cards there is a combination pattern printed (something like in the Vlaada Chvátil's Tash-Kalar), along with its worth. At the end of your turn, you earn VPs for each of your filled patterns.
7. When you deploy a UNIT, it battles enemy units that are on its PATTERN!
8. Already deployed units may move to any empty field on its pattern, once a turn, and may battle an enemy unit on its pattern, once a turn. (This may seem complicated at first, but think of it as the chess figures have their own movements)
9. When you destroy an enemy UNIT, it goes to its owner's graveyard, empties its field, and you score its Y points. (so, no dead bodies on the board)
10. SPELLS may have any effects: damage/destroy/move opponents UNITS, heal/boost/move your UNITS, and add some additional PATTERNS you may fulfill at end of your turn to get more VPs.
11. The END OF GAME is triggered when a player collects X VPs. (The SECOND player has one more turn to respond - or not. Testing will show it.) Or simply play 5-8 rounds. Testing decision again.

So, units are the key: they can live more turns on the board and score more VPs at the end of each turn if its pattern is used. If the pattern is fulfilled more times, it can earn even more VPs!

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Tash-Kalar looks interesting

The combinatorics were various "inter-connections" between cards. However in an earlier version of the game, I did not have these. I just had simple rules like "Top-Left corner" to "Bottom-Right corner"... And it worked, but the only problem was that the die made it too "luck-based".

I've been thinking of other "scoring" mechanics too.

Remember it's only a 3x3 board... So it makes it rather hard to have too complexe rules. Which is why I'm thinking about removing "Combinatorics" altogether because it makes the design "too fragile". All you need to do is "destroy" or "defeat" one (1) card and the whole graph is broken. I don't like that...

Thank you for mentioning "Tash-Kalar", I took a look at it. It's kinda cool with the various patterns... Different than what I was going for but I'm still looking for a more generic approach.

Cheers!

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Simple rule to "scoring"

I think that the "Top-Left Corner" to the "Bottom-Right Corner" is how computation of the score will be handled.

If you lose an important card, it could affect your score, but it doesn't mess up all of your plans "completely". You can still score points and try to re-capture a position in play.

Obviously the MOST "Powerful" Position is the "Bottom-Right Corner". Playing a "Multiplier" (2x or more) gives you the opportunity of scoring the highest possible score (just superficially). This doesn't take into account penalties from your opponent (obviously).

It's also a position of "strength" since it's on your own side of the play area. This means it's easier to PROTECT that card and score HIGHER points. But some cards have higher RANGE and can be dangerous exposing your most powerful scoring card too early...

Any ways still some things to think about. But I think I have a SOLID "strategy" with regards to how to use the play area and Victory Points (VPs).

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Some changes

Okay I think I will adopt @Mensian idea for the "KILLING SCORE". Each card will have HPs + VPs (and they are not the same). Why did I change my mind? Well because to "out-smart" the game, instead of KILLING units, all you have to do is attack until they have 1 HP. In the old system, 1 HP = 1 VP.

So basically you would "cripple" your opponent by not allowing them to play NEW cards with more HPs (and VPs) from their HAND... Very sneaky... I know. I need to evaluate if there are ways to BREAK the game. And this is one way to do so when HPs = VPs.

Therefore each card will have TWO (2) VALUES: Health Points (HPs) from 1 to 9 and Victory Points (VPs) from 1 to 5.

I've also re-worked the DIVIDER ("/"). Instead of requiring EXACT matches, I simply resolve to the LARGEST possible INTEGER.

Examples: 4 / 3 = 1, 7 / 3 = 2, 6 / 5 = 1, 9 / 5 = 1, 9 / 4 = 2, etc.

This is damn cool since it was getting to be TOO complicated with decimals/fractions. INTEGER DIVISION ("÷").

I've also abandoned the "Combinatorics" and favor simple "Operator" + "VPs" and computation follows a logical order.

But I also need to revise the card classes (Common, Uncommon, Rare, Mythic). And this is because without the "Combinatorics" there are LESS possibilities (and obviously a more flexible engine). But there are still question about the "Boosters" like:

1. Are they ONLY "Humans/Order (Blue)" cards in a booster?

2. Are we going to go with an LCG model with "fixed" boosters??

3. How to design MORE cards with more stats but less artwork???

Those are my hottest topics for the moment. I still need to think about them some more.

But thanks again to @Mensian for proposing some good ideas and giving me more to think about!

Cheers...

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