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Stealing points VS earning your own.

7 replies [Last post]
Louard's picture
Joined: 02/09/2010

Some of you may have read my thread about looking for help with a cards game, this one is regarding the same game, which I'm dubbing Bragger Knights.

The game is played using two decks, the Knights deck, which players draw their hands from and the Exploits deck which is full of cards that you claim by playing down the melds found on them, kinda like Rummy. During play, a number of Exploit cards are laid face up on the table so everyone is, essentially, competing for these. They do get replenished from the Exploit deck during play though. Exploits can require melds of 3, 4 or 5 cards and are worth 1, 3 or 6 points respectively and some exploits form sets (Quests) for more points still. Ok, enough background, here's the question.

The Knight cards come in four flavours, (tentatively) Cunning, Strength, Charisma and Cleverness. These are the four traits required to claim the various Exploits. The twist is that Knight cards have a top and bottom half. One light and one dark. Every possibility is represented for a total of 64 cards. You claim an Exploit only by using the light side of the cards, but you may steal another player's Exploit (presumably to help with completing a Quest) by forming the meld using the dark side of your cards.

Obviously this makes Stealing overpowered because it's no harder than an honest claim but swings the score from the victim to you rather than simply adding to your score. This is where the wild cards come in, the Heroism trait... There are 6 of them, they only have a light side and so can't be used for stealing.

The question is...(Finally)... Does the inclusion of the 6 Heroism cards make an honest claim easy enough to do VS a steal to offset the fact that a steal not only boosts your score but lowers another player's score too.

PS: I'm considering disallowing steals that would brake up already completed Quests.

John B
Joined: 02/05/2011
Higher number of cards in a meld needed to steal

What if the Exploit required one number of cards in a meld to take it and another (greater) number needed to steal it?

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Heroism cards

You may want to allow a certain number of heroism cards permitted per player, and they can choose which Exploit to claim with it. Then, that particular Exploit is "locked" and cannot be stolen by another player.

Have you tried any similar kind of mechanism? That may increase the importance of the Heroism cards, and introduce the need to balance using them as soon as possible to secure points, or holding out to look for those high-value Exploit cards.

Joined: 05/25/2010
The issue I see is there is

The issue I see is there is no risk in going for a steal compared to a normal. Completion...there is no greater risk, but the reward is bigger. I would play dark 100% of the time.

James is right, make it harder to claim steals so that there is a risk another light side player may swoop in and steal it before you can complete the steal. That way there is risk

Louard's picture
Joined: 02/09/2010
Minimal risk, but...

I figure the risk of hinging your win on steals is that you might be gunning for someone's exploit only to have them complete the quest, thus locking out of the steal. No enough?

Pastor_Mora's picture
Joined: 01/05/2010

The issue with stealing other player's point is what we call "Kingmaking". That means, a 3rd player may have the opportunity to make one particular player win (if the leading position is tied or close to be) by stealing the points of one of the leaders.

So, tabletalk ends up debating whether the winner won by his own merits or because he was helped out by the 3rd player (who, btw, will be shouting "I got your crowned!" to one, and "I got you f...!" to the other). Well, that's just my AT gaming group maybe. Still, many AT games have kingmaking issues by definition, because they usually resort to direct interaction (conflict).

I'm not saying your game has that issue (I don't know much about it). Just keep that in mind.

Keep thinking!

ilSilvano's picture
Joined: 07/31/2008

>>You claim an Exploit only by using the light side of the cards, but you may steal another player's Exploit (presumably to help with completing a Quest) by forming the meld using the dark side of your cards.

...maybe you can add a rule that gives Steal a 50% of success, or something like this. For example, a player can play one or more cards to interrupt the Steal action in some way.
Or, just for example, if you try to Steal you throw a die to see if you succeed.

My one cent (the other was stolen!). ;)

Louard's picture
Joined: 02/09/2010
How's this for a trade off.

I think randomizing the steal may actually be TOO harsh..
However, I do see the point that steals may be the better choice just about 100% of the time, cards permitting. So I thought of this.. The player may claim any number of exploits on his turn OR steal ONE from another player. That way, cards permitting, a player could claim several available exploits on a turn but will only ever be able to steal one.

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