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Need mechanic ideas for influence cards

4 replies [Last post]
larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

Situation: It's a light war game where every player controls a series of faction that will enter and leave the board through the game. Games that could look close are britania and vinci.

Component: I am using regular playing cards to create a deck in the following proportions: 4 cards of : 2, 3, 5, 8, then 8 kings (I use queen as kings) 2 jokers. I love number 2,3,5,8 because of the combinations you can do with them by adding numbers or by doubling them.

Each turn players acquire a certain number of cards. I would say from 2 to 7 cards. Players can spend cards during their turns to perform certain actions. I need 3 different action which could be performed. What I am looking for is a way to use these cards efficiently. All unused cards are used for scoring VP at the end. In average, player should spend 2 to 3 cards to perform 1 action.

So far:

First action: Create kingdom: Spend a total 10 points in cards plus a king or a joker. This is the easiest one and I don't think it would change.

Second action: Capture city: Used to capture opponent's city by influence. Attacker place up to 2 cards face down, so does the defender. The highest total value win. Kings allow players to play a second cards which would worth the double. Jokers nullifies all the kings abilities.

Third action: Corrupt Faction: Used to make a faction fall, it is easier to perfrom if the ennemy has more corruption. ??? under development ???

Finally, when defending for capture city or corrupt faction, you can decide to draw from the top of the deck instead of playing from your hand.

The third action is to be defined and this is why I need ideas. Still I am not really sure that the second action really gives the intrigue I need. So I thought I could limit the amount of cards in the deck so that players could try to guess more easily what the other players played. Or make sure that all mechanics has an open and closed information part. For example: like in black jack. Even making sure that closed and open cards could work differently so that you don't always play the highest or lowest cards face up.

By the way, I need something relatively simple because players has other things to do in the game. It's just one of the options they have besides building and battles.

Any ideas?

ilta's picture
Joined: 12/05/2008
What about allowing cards to

What about allowing cards to influence those battles or unit deployment? This forces the player to choose between pursuing a strategy of intrigue or one of direct military power.

Also, for the closed/open information aspect, you could consider having them lay down their cards in two phases:

1) Each player selects a card from their hand and places it face down on the table.
2) Each player reveals the card at the same time.
3) Repeat steps 1 and 2.

This will allow for players to have some idea of what the other person is up to and also allow interesting combinations: play a king and force the other player to play his joker (if he has one) with the second card; play a low card, followed by a high card, to bluff him into a weak counterattack; play a high card followed by a low card to drain his resources needlessly.

For modeling corruption, a mechanic of "greatest difference" strikes me as something to pursue. You'd need the support of the lowest and highest classes to overthrow a corrupt city. I assume you're measuring corruption in some other way within the game?

Joined: 08/01/2008
perhaps kings could be nobles,

and you can just lay down nobles. The person with the most nobles gets a set number of VPs (obviously this is taken from Settlers of Catan).

This raises the possbility of mechanics for taking other player's nobles, assassination etc.

Also, it sounds like something which wouldn't really need a board.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Reply to your comments

I am OK for the VP system. Right now, each card is worth 1 point (whatever value) and each king (which could be a noble) is worth 3 points. A joker make all kings worth 0 but is worth 1 point if there is no king. At then end of the turn, you lose approximately half of your cards ( since everyturn is a 50 years gap, or a bit less)

For playing cards progressively, that could be an idea that create an "I am thinking that he's thinking that I am thinking situation". I might try using it.

I like the idea of assasination, that is one of the ideas I had but I was not thinking that the cards would be in play face up ready to target.

Leaving cards face up on the board could be another idea, maybe only characters, or once played they stay face up. Then you could use the assasins just to lower the VP gained at the end.

it's Ok if the cards does not require a board because it's a mechanic added to a game, not a game itself.

For corruption, you corrupt a whole kingdom to fall, not just a city.

There is a game called condotierre that used some kind of cards with number and specials cards. I was not sure of using a system like this. One of the reason is because it's always a 2 player conflict. Maybe I could allow multiplayer conflict. It could be an interesting way to let other players help/hinder other players.

It also kept me thinking If I should have more special cards, like kings have various abilities because they are different characters which each act as a noble.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
What I am thinking so far

I think I am going to use the following method.

Attacker place a card face up defender place a card face down from the top of the deck or his hand. This is the only card played face down.

Then for every turn, attacker can

A- decide to place a card which allows the defender also to place a card.
B- Stop: the cards are revealed and the highest wins.

So the attacker never knows when he is actually winning. Placing more card also allow the defender to place more cards.

Kings are going to have special abilities inspired from condotierre.

I would allow other players adjacent to the conflict to play cards on any side they want to support.

The joker has special abilites which target your opponent instead of your score. Right now, I am thinking of moving a card or killing an king.

For making a faction fall, I might use the same mechanic but the defending player get extra cards face down from the deck according to the amount of corruption he has. If the defender is a kingdom, the attacker get 1 free hidden card from the deck.

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