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Utilizing a "Mini" Deck of 35 cards

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questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

This is more a question about card "mechanics". Let's assume that the game I am working on has a "Mini" Deck of 35 cards.

And let's say that in a Player's Tableau (Setup) ALL 35 cards may be used during the game. The idea is to "build" an ENGINE that allows you to combat your opponent towards the "end of the game". What this means is that you build your engine first and the opponent does the same. At "some point" one of the two players will begin an attack on his opponent.

The question that I am having difficulty with is this:

"Should I have a HAND of 5 cards with a maximum of 8 cards"???

See because I DON'T want a "DISCARD" pile since you MAY use ALL of your deck to build your engine...

"How do I handle this"???

Anyone with some good ideas about how to somehow manage this type of setup??? Could there be some kind of rule like: "You must ALWAYS play at minimum 1 card into your tableau"! Any other ideas out there???

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Effects of "not wanting a discard pile"...

The main problem I am facing is two-folds:

1. I don't want people to have TOO LARGE hands.

2. I don't want a player to WAIT until he can get the "perfect" ENGINE construction each game that he/she plays.

Those are my primary concerns IN NOT having a "discard" pile.

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

Here are some options to consider:
- Allow player engines to do things besides combat abilities: earn victory points, add to life total, increase the number of attacks on future rounds, increase allowance of cards played on future rounds, etc.
- Penalize a player for having too many cards in hand
- Offer a bonus to life or other resources for playing 2 or more cards at a time (and not a "+1 per card played" bonus, because people will still hang on to cards until they can play several at once)
- Player hands need to stay the same size as the Dealer (if there's such a role in the game, or maybe you manufacture the role), or the player with more cards in hand suffers a penalty
- The player who plays more cards by the end of a given round earns a bonus, or the player who has played less earns a penalty
- Some factor independent of the players determines the number of cards they must play and/or have remaining in hand to earn a bonus or avoid a penalty
- Players start with a small amount of life points, and can add to them with cards played/banked on their turn. No more cards can be added to life points as soon as one player has launched an attack against the other.

Hopefully something in there might be worth keeping. :)

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
Well, you definitely want to

Well, you definitely want to push the game to completion, so something like "you must play at least one card per turn" is a good idea, and it will also tend to keep the hand size capped organically, without an extra rule where people keep counting to see if they're over 8.

And if you don't want to play a card onto the tableau, you can play it into the discard pile. But one way or another, you need at least one card leaving your hand every turn, so you can't just wait around.

So yes, I think that a play-or-discard-at-least-one-thing rule would probably meet the goals of (1) making sure the game ends and (2) preventing people from waiting and (3) keeping the hand size down.

Joined: 09/06/2017

Ideas for limiting number of cards in hand:

Why would a player want to hoard their cards instead of playing them to develop their engine? What ever the answer to that question is, if you can reduce or eliminate it I think you on the way to finding a solution for this concern.

Could you limit the number of cards played each turn? I know that this seems counter-intuitive, however if you place a limit on the number of cards played, players will try to make sure that always play that number of cards.

You could also allow a card to be placed down for some sort of default reward/action. This may also help in eliminating the discard pile.

Idea for elimination of discard pile:

Eliminate one shot cards or pair them with a permanent effect.

Ideas for encouraging/timing attack

Can you design the engine in such away that that after awhile there is a point of diminishing returns for each engine? This way when players begin reach that point they would start attacking the other player.

Could try to break things down into a build engine oriented deck and a attack the deck? There are numerous possible options from here. You could have to go through the build engine deck then the attack deck. You could have players draw a card from both each turn. You could let the players draw 2 cards and they get to choose from which deck(s).

Good luck. Feel free to disregard, use or improve upon these ideas.

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

Oh, what if they reach their hand limit, they must choose one card (or more) to move to the bottom of their draw deck?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
This could actually work!

let-off studios wrote:
Oh, what if they reach their hand limit, they must choose one card (or more) to move to the bottom of their draw deck?

Yes that's a great idea! Recycling is good because of so many reasons:

  • There is no need for a separate deck (or special area).
  • You can have a hand of 5 cards with a max of 8 cards.
  • Recycling means that you have to make a conscious CHOICE.
  • The decision to do so is very "strategic" (or sacrificial in a way).
  • You could "recycle" cards you know that are used towards the end of the game... Not of immediate use.

Really like it... It will work. Thank you! (And thank you all for your contributions). Let-off really found a "gem"... It makes total sense.

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