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The opposite of deck building

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

I had 2 game ideas recently that somewhat use a concept that is the opposite of deck building. It consist in having a deck where the more you play, the more cards you lose and the thinner your deck becomes. The first idea is similar to duel masters/magic the gathering, the second idea is similar to a combination of summoner's war and Lord of the rings confrontation.

Both ideas seem to share the concept of summoning monsters into play, but one of the problem is that I have to define a way to manage creature cost to make sure weaker creatures are placed first and strongers are placed afterward.

The first idea is to use a system like duel masters, you sacrifice cards into your Mana zone that will become "lands" for the rest of the game. So as the game progress, you have more mana available allowing you to summon stronger creatures.

My second idea was that you discarded card to generate mana for summonnning other cards. When your deck is empty you reshuffle (Or maybe there is no reshuffle). The problem is that stronger creatures could be placed right at the beginning of the game. I though of making stronger creature give more mana when discarded so that a strong creature could make you summon many small creatures, or you will need to discard many small ones to summon a strong one. I am not sure if mana could carry on from a turn to another so that a player could accumualte mana to summon strong ones.

Since my second idea use a battlefield, having strong creatures at the beginning of the game should not be so bad because that will means that you will have less creatures in play so you will be able to cover less territory. Than having many small creatures. So I think it will create some sort of balance.

Joined: 03/18/2012
I have recently been thinking

I have recently been thinking about a similar mechanic of reverse deck building.

My thoughts were that it would be a game where there would be several "factions", and they would all start shuffled in to both players hands.... then through some means, you can trash cards or give cards to opponents to fill your hand, or possibly trade. This is the part that I am very fuzzy on, but if you just think of the mechanic as a "reverse Dominion" type game, I think there is a potential issue with the game having far fewer interesting decisions... all the luck of Dominion without any of the interest. Because of this I think it is very important to have multiple uses for the cards in a players' deck in a game like this.

As to your specific game ideas, I think there are a few things you could do that would be interesting.
1. Summoning would require first playing the card face down, and only when you have enough resources could be flipped up. This would allow a player to have a short v. long term decision of how to use a monster, a decision of when is the most opportunistic time to actually activate it, and decisions of changing your strategy if you end up wanting to use your mana resources for other purposes.
2. I think discarding to build mana could work well with this. If all cards have the same value and you have a hand limit (similar to how drawing from your deck works in Dominion), you won't have an issue with big monsters coming up too soon because it will take a couple rounds to build up the mana required.
3. If there is a way to sabotage your opponents' mana pool you could prevent your opponent from getting a big monster, or if you have a monster face down, psych your opponent out into wasting their cards to reduce your pool size when your monster is actually rather cheap.
4. If all mana is consumed when you summon regardless of the cost (but only succeeds if the mana is above or equal to the cost) this would help with importance and mind-games of the above...

Food for thought. Especially for mine own. ;)

Willi B
Joined: 07/28/2008

Isamoor presented this concept here on BGDF in December 2009. We both have been working on deck-deconstruction games since then. It is a difficult beast.

I think mine has morphed into a deck-customization game. His has stayed the course, last I saw.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I asked the same on BGG and

I asked the same on BGG and people came up with very funny theme.

One thought of a Survival game.

Another about being the first player to bankrupt his company.

Joined: 03/15/2012
Weird idea, but cool

Weird idea, but cool nonetheless. I read your description from the point of view of a M:TG player - I have a 60 card deck, but I only really *need* 3 cards for my combo, so I have to mill the other 57 while getting those 3 out as quickly as possible, without crippling myself in the other aspects of the game.
Here's how I'd go about it, personally (although this may feel like deck building)

- Players have a deck of XX cards, preformed and/or of their choosing. The cards are dual-sided, with positive/desirable fronts, and negative backs.

- To start the game, cut your opponent's deck - he chooses which to flip to the "negative" side, and then rifle/bridge shuffles the two stacks together (this way you can't give him a huge pile of negatives - he'll always pick the smaller one)

- The game is "open hand", and instead of a hand, you have a run of X cards laid out in front of you, that are available to buy.

- Like YuGiOh, cards in play must be sacrificed to bring cards out from the 'hand'. Cards sacrificed are *removed from the game*. Value and Costs are all variable, that covers your "no big monsters first" idea.

- At the end of your turn, any cards in the 'hand' that have no been played, are flipped over to the "negative" sides, and shuffled back into the deck.

- On subsequent turns, any Negative cards drawn out into the 'hand' are played automatically and without cost.

- Cards which are not removed from the game through Sacrifices or card effects, are placed into a discard pile and reshuffled whenever your deck depletes. Reshuffles start with all-positive cards, are cut and flipped, bridged, just like the beginning of the game.

This game would create an interesting mechanic that forces players to carefully manage their cards - having very expensive cards in your deck that cannot be played until late game means that you are going to see them several times as Negatives before they come into play. Also, card effects could allow you to turn cards from your own/opponent's deck from negative to positive or vice-versa. Of course, you would always be able to see the top card of your deck, but that is partially a strategic advantage given to both players. High level cards might also "spike", where players sacrifice several smaller cards to play 1 large one, but are then forced to discard that large card in order to fuel more powers (likely breaking it back down into several smaller effects). Of course, not every card should be a Monster - there should also be one-use cards that you sacrifice cards to play, but get no mana-return from them once their effect is resolved.

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