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How many card stacks is too much?

1 reply [Last post]
Joined: 03/09/2010

I'm getting concerned about the component count and layout space for my game.

Right now the game has
-1 card stack for each game resource (there are 10)
-1 event deck
-1 operations deck
-2 stacks of property cards
-1 public objectives pile
-6 denominations of money
-1 small stack of patent cards, with small chips
-1 global projects progress board

(so 16 stacks + money)

each player also has
-2 miner boards
-1 private objectives pile

I have a plan that effectively consolidates 11 stacks into 5 stacks by making 5 grades of soil, preselecting a stack of resources for each soil, and randomly distributing the event deck throughout all 5 stacks. This move does solve a possible problem of events not happening enough (I need to playtest the new objectives) but it also adds even more luck to the game and it reduces the effective differences between properties (as there are 5 pseudorandom outcomes instead of 10 more distinct outcomes).

I guess the question is 16 card stacks too much? It tends to fill up our table but I think that's just because the cards are large.

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
Lots of ways to decide

Lots of ways to decide that.

You can look at other games. Like Monopoly, people will often divide the propoerties into stack and the two events, so that's 15 stacks with 7 stacks of money. Dominion has 10 selection stacks and 3 money and 3 VP. Advanced Civilization has 9 resource stacks with events sorted in, along with a ton of Civ cards.

There is the setup question. Do people spend more time setting up than playing? Is it easy to separate the different stack? How many different stacks take shuffling?

The playing area question. Is there so much going on that players can track what's what? Will players then have ten different stacks n front of them? Are they required to let everyone know how much they have of each thing all the time?

Setup a table with your max players, distribute cards and do the layout like it would be in the middle of the game and decide if it is too much. Ultimately, I'd think playtesters will have to judge, but you may find like you want smaller resource cards before playtest.

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