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Reusing unused cards

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larienna
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I have a game in mind where the core idea is that each player combine 2 deck of 9 cards to create a new deck and play with those cards. The goal is to have high replayability by having different mix each game. It's a 2 player game, and there are 2 x 5 deck of cards available. Which means that out of 90 cards, only 36 will be used during a game.

So far, I have been thinking of designing a game around those 18 cards per player, but since small game require intensive reuse of their components and having multi use on those 18 cards is cool, but once they get put into play, they are out of the player's deck which seriously thin the deck and makes the game less playable.

So I thought, what if I could reuse those remaining 54 card for other purposes. Ideas I have so far:

- Use the back of the card as a counter like crop in San Juan. It prevents the need to add additional components like tokens and cubes.

- Expose only the bottom of the card. Create a column of cards where only the bottom part is exposed. It could represent for exemple a list of buildings the player can put in play. And this list is the same for all players. Throught the game, only the bottom part must remain exposed.

- Use as die. Have dice value on each card, flip a card and check only the value.

The possible problems are that it could get pretty confusing pretty fast and cards could easily get mixed up especially for new players. Maybe with some icons I could mark each group of card to prevent mix up. Players would get acustomed to see certain icons for certain functions.

Tim Edwards
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Another idea might be that

Another idea might be that the thematic 'meaning' of the card doesn't change once played, but a different range of options become attached to it, like moving it to a different location or attaching it to a different set of cards on the table.

For example, we're gang bosses in prohibition USA

Maybe someone played a 'speakeasy' for a VP (it's all about making cash)
I played 'Jack the Hammer' on top of it. I'll get that VP now because he can do Protection Rackets
Later someone plays another card and I can use my go to move Jack there instead.

Our decks are revealed as the game progresses, but options remain plentiful.

let-off studios
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Deck of Tales

What you're describing makes me think of EPIC PvP or Smash Up mixed with something like the Deck of Tales. In the event you've not heard of DoT:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/178039/The-Deck-of-Tales

Long story short: sure, you can have cards that stand-in for other things. Just make sure your instructions are clear.

wob
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as tim says there are ways to

as tim says there are ways to add extra meaning to a card depending on location (in different zones of the play area) and relative location (above, below, next to other cards) and amounts (1copy of a card gives n attack. 2 copies gives 3n attack)
you can also add meaning with orientation (which edge is facing your opponent for example- gives you 4 card states + face down as "inert") and if the players hands dont need to be hidden there are 8 states.
there are also the (slightly more convoluted) game state modifiers (if you have x treasure in your pool this card has y attack) or the worker placement modifiers (this card generates x treasure for each miner on it)
i dare say someone can give you better explanations and proper terms.

Jay103
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larienna wrote: So far, I

larienna wrote:

So far, I have been thinking of designing a game around those 18 cards per player, but since small game require intensive reuse of their components and having multi use on those 18 cards is cool, but once they get put into play, they are out of the player's deck which seriously thin the deck and makes the game less playable.

Can you clarify this? Are you saying that when you play cards from an 18-card deck, the deck is then very small? If so.. the issue is the deck size, not the other 54 cards sitting unused.

Tbone
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Double sides cards?

You could essentially add double the content by having double sided cards. The only annoyance is if you want concealed information, it can be difficult. But if you only have one or two cards in hand it could be an option. Though, this kinda doesn't leave room for your "counter" idea. BUT one edge of a card could be used as a counter! Slip it under a card to signify something while concealing the rest of the card.

Also, what is the mechanic scheme look like? Are you trying to kill one another with combos of cards? Build a machine by placing multiple cards on top of one another? Exploring a cavern? What are your ideas?

larienna
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Quote:Can you clarify this?

Quote:
Can you clarify this? Are you saying that when you play cards from an 18-card deck, the deck is then very small? If so.. the issue is the deck size, not the other 54 cards sitting unused.

Yes, 2 cards are remains face up. 16 cards compose your deck. 54 cards remains unused. There could also be another set of scenario/location cards which does not belong to any player. Think a bit like scenario cards in rune age. Or course, I can alway add more cards, but it's just an idea to keep the game small and production cost low if reusing those dead 54 cards could be an interesting solution.

Quote:
Also, what is the mechanic scheme look like? Are you trying to kill one another with combos of cards? Build a machine by placing multiple cards on top of one another? Exploring a cavern? What are your ideas?

Rapidly, It's again for a master of magic theme (civ + magic) with similarities to microcosm and impulse/glory to rome. The goal is to create some sort of tableau builder game, where 2 player face off with each other. Not sure of the new victory condition due to the recent changes.

You have a 9 cards for the race civilization (elves, orcs, etc), and you have 9 cards for your covenant of wizards (necromancers, arch mages, alchemist, etc.). 1 race and covenant card remain face up as a permanent ability or for reference data. Each player might have a dash board with tracks to keep track of army, creatures, merchant, adepts. Markers could be cards.

In the latest version, card cycles more and have between 3-4 usage. They each have a special action modifier like san juan. Possibly, a card will also be that action. An idea I want to use is if you have a "Fire Storm":warfare action card, you do the action and use the special ability on the card. Or you could research the card and place it in play so that from now on, all other warfare cards would get that permanent modifier. This is the tableau building aspect. So whort term benefits, vs long term benefits. Maybe you can discard any card to perform any action but get no benefits.

For the conflict resolution, maybe like microcosm, you could values of cards in your hand + any forces on the tracks above, reveal and sum the strength. Highest player wins. You would have a military and and influence strength. Giving you 2 path to victory. .

Also not sure if each card has a gold/mana value to be used to perform non-conflicting actions like building something. Like san yuan, you play a card to perfrom the action and discard a card to get the value. It depends if I want to grade an action strength. What is the difference between a strength 3 development action and str 8 dev action if it just consist of putting a single card in play?

The biggest problem is always the possibility space. So I want to have a bit of everything to increase the possibility space. Thus the idea of adding more card zones that could be affected.

This is vaguely the look and feel of my idea. The compactness of the idea seems to make it a pain to design.

larienna
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I had a new idea to use a

I had a new idea to use a tracking system like player's health in "Bang".

It would require 20 cards. Each race would have 2 cards (civils, military units), and each wizard would also have 2 cards (summons + adepts).

Card have 2 unit configuration per faction, one on each side. Players choose at the begining of the game which configuration they use with maybe the option to use an action to flip it mid game.

When you acquire new unit types, you just slide the corresponding card 1 step to unlock new abilities and stats. Some effect could destroy units and reduce the number of unit types.

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