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Placing information on the back of the card

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

I am working on a card game where players create a deck of cards by combining 2 sets of : 9 civ cards and 9 magic cards into 1 deck. Civ cards cost 1 gold and magic cards cost 1 mana to play. The card play is similar to the 1 gold in the "Epic Card game"

Now because the cards hold information for 2 card using a card layout similar to the game below:

I do not want to use tapping in my game because it could become confusing. So I have 2 option, place tokens on them to indicate they are inactive (like in Scarab Lords) or simply flip the card face down. Fliping cards seems more convenient and does not require additional components.

I intend to make the refreshing of a card cost 1 gold or 1 mana at the start of their turn. Now the problem is that when the cards are face down you don't know if it cost a gold or a mana to refresh. So I need to look at each card to see which cards I can refresh.

A solution could be to put the type of card on the back so that you can know what is the cost to refresh. I could also place more information like identifying the card set for easier sorting later.

The drawback is that during game play, the opposing player will know if is opponent has civ or magic cards in hand. Players can also see from the top of the deck from which set the next card is coming.

My question is: Does it really matter?

Considering there is only 2 sets, it does not reveal that much information on the content of the card, and both civ and magic cards have the same type of gameplay, so you cannot really predict the opponent's behavior. Since players will draw in average 2 cards per turn, knowing the next card is not that much of an advantage

One thing predictable is since a player only has 3 cards in hand, if he has 3 magic cards in hand, you know he is going to play only 1 card this turn. Else If I have special abilities that trigger according to the type of cards in hand. For example, if a somebody plays a cards that say "your opponent discard a magic card" then the attacking player can know in advance if his spell is going to work or not. Which could be a good or bad thing according to my design objectives.

This is why I am asking because both solutions seems to offer interesting behaviors.

Finally, I could split cards on the side of the deck like shown in the picture above, but cards also have a political and military strength, so players might be more tempted to split their cards according to that criteria instead of the cost.

I know some trick taking games that shows the suite of the cards on the back of the cards, but it's already much more info than mine as those game can have 4-6 suites.

Do you know other games that does that?

Tedthebug's picture
Joined: 01/17/2016
Playtest both?

If both have advantages & disadvantages then I'd suggest playtesting both solo to highlight those plus any other things you may have missed.

Another option would be to have both on the one side of the card, 1/2 & 1/2. When played to the table, whatever is the one at the top is the one that can be used, when the player uses the card it is rotated 180° so next turn the player can use the option now at the top or they can have a 1-turn cool down by just rotating the card 180° again so that next turn the option that they want is at the top ready to be used.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I am somehow using 180 degree

I am somehow using 180 degree rotation for another set of cards used as location between players. The rotation allow to keep track of ownership/influence of locations. So using 180 degree rotation for tapping will be just too much.

I guess I'll playtest for now. Anyways, possibly my first prototype will not have double sided cards.

FreedomPortal's picture
Joined: 08/24/2014
If you simply move the used

If you simply move the used card to different row or lane will that solve the problem? Will that be too much work for players?

What about coin and mana, are they the objects that can somehow also be used as token?

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