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Bluffing --> Educated Guesses --> Combat Design

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Joined: 12/12/2011

Hello Everybody,
I've recently been reading some of sirlin game's articles (if you aren't familiar, I'd suggest you look him up, he's quite knowledgeable This in conjunction with a recent interest in RPS psychology and how you can take most asymmetrical games and find a certain level of RPS functionality, this concept came to me.

I wanted to create a card game in which the cards you chose to play and those of your opponents clashed with each other in a meaningful way. I also wanted some way for players to be able to predict their opponent's plays on more than a purely psychological level.

What I came up with was a modification of my Forms fighting system, and works as follows.
Players start the game with their shuffled deck, and 6 form cards. Form cards are never shuffled and are kept separate from their deck. From now on I will refer to any card from the shuffled deck as a 'move'.

Players share turns.

During the 'form phase' each player chooses one of their forms and places it face down. Once both players have chosen, they flip their forms over. Forms remain in a player's 'sequence' from turn to turn, with a max of 3 active forms at a time. At the beginning of the form phase, if a player has 3 forms, they remove the oldest form to make room for a new one. The order of the forms does matter, as explained below.

A form by itself is arbitrary except for how it is ordered with other forms to play your moves. Moves all have a form requirement. This form requirement is the type of forms, number of forms, and order of those forms that you must have in your sequence to be able to play the move.

The form phase is followed by the 'action phase'. Both players choose a move in their hand and put it face down. Because you know what active forms your opponent has, you have an educated idea as to what moves they are capable of playing and therefore which moves of yours could best counter their choice/s.

That is what I have so far.
In summary, each round involves two double blind actions. The first may limit your options for the second, while the second is informed by what your opponent played for the first.

Hopefully that all made sense. I plan on adding more details after I get them hashed out. I have no inhibitions for sharing my ideas, I just don't want to overload my first post.

Have you seen any games like this before? Specifically any game that players don't know the opponent's move before having to choose their own, but can get an idea based on some shared information.
Is there any inherent weakness you see in this double blind system?
My goal is to create a strategically and tactically diverse CCG that requires a fair level of intellectual stimulation and reduces luck factor enough so that the 'better' player has a significantly higher chance of winning.

Thanks for reading,

Joined: 12/12/2011

Here come some updates...

I'm trying to incorporate incentives within the forms players play that will encourage specific types of cards over others. For example, if a player chooses a 'strike' form, they may get a bonus on playing an attack this turn.
While this may seem unnecessary, it adds an added mind game and, hopefully, added strategy to the game.

The plan is that players select forms specific to their deck and those are the only forms they can utilize during the game. Below is the list of forms and my general ideas so far.
Focus- when you play the focus form, draw 3 cards. There is no draw phase, so focus forms would be the only sure way to draw cards. Very few (if any) moves will require 'focus' to play, so by using focus, you fill up your hand but limit your options that turn.
Energize- not 100% sold on energy yet, but if it is used in the game, this will be the form that gains energy. This is similar to focus in that you have to weigh when you want to use this form. You gain energy for potential stronger plays eventually, but this turn you will be more limited.
Strike- the generic form you'll need to play most attack cards.
Shield- the generic form you'll need to play most defense cards.
Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Void are each their own form and are utilized in combinations with each other and strike/shield forms to play your moves.

More powerful attacks will require specific types of forms to precede them in your sequence. For example, your "Megaton Earthquake" might require earth, earth, strike in your sequence. If your opponent sees earth, earth, strike in your sequence, they know you can play the earthquake, and if you don't, must wait many more turns until your sequence cycles again.

You can know what options your opponent has based on the order of their forms, and play skill comes from knowing how to order your forms to give you the most perceived options and throw your opponent off. This is made more difficult by 'mandatory' forms (such as focus if you’re low on cards) and stun/knock down effects that can disrupt your form sequence.

Joined: 11/19/2010
You may want to check out

You may want to check out BattleCON: War of the Indines.

Joined: 12/12/2011

Thank you!

BattleCON is a good reference for sure. It has a lot of similarities to some of the ideas I've had and gave me some good ideas on ways to implement those ideas.
I've been considering giving speed values to the cards to determine which cards activate first, as well as having 'break values' and defensive values. So very similar to the system they're using. I never thought to have my forms create modifiers to those values though. That would definitely add to the shared information incentives I'm trying to achieve.

Thank you very much!

I'll get a basic rules set posted here, hopefully that will draw more feedback.

Joined: 12/12/2011
Phases of the Round

Here's the typed up phases I have established so far.
Players share turns. You may notice there is no draw phase as is normally present in card games. This is because drawing cards will be incorporated into the effects of your forms.

• Recovery Phase
o Each player gains 1 energy, up to their max starting energy.
o If a player has 3 forms in their sequence, they return their leftmost form to their hand.
• Form Phase
o Each player selects one form in their hand and places it face down furthest right in their sequence.
o Players simultaneously reveal their form.
o Players activate the effects of their forms simultaneously. Forms should never have an effect or choice that depends on an opponent’s form effect, this way timing will never be an issue.
• Play Action Phase
o Each player selects a move in their hand that they can legally play and puts it face down in their action zone. They must have the correct forms in the right order in their sequence and be able to pay any additional costs the move might require.
o Players simultaneously reveal their moves and calculate their move’s speed, power, and defense to be used in the resolution phase.
• Resolution Phase
o Whoever’s move has the highest speed activates first. If the moves are tied, then players grab their energy and secretly bid an amount. Whoever bids highest activates first and both players spend that energy. If this bid results in another tie, then that energy is spend and the players bid again until a winner is determined. If somehow it ends in a tie and players are out of energy, then both cards are considered to be broken. Whoever ends up activating first is called the first player, and obviously second player is the second to activate.
o If the first player’s move has power equal to or greater than the second player’s move, the second player’s move is ‘broken’ and will not activate.
o All activated effects of the first player’s move occur now, except damage, which is noted for later.
o Second player’s card activates if it is not broken. Damage the move deals is noted here as well.
o Damage is now calculated. Take the total damage the first player’s move would deal and reduce it by any modifiers from effects on the second player’s move. Now total damage of second player’s move, modified by effects from the first player’s move. Damage is then dealt to each player as/if applicable. When damage is dealt to a player, they lose life equal to the amount of damage. Pen and paper are an efficient way of tracking life.
• End Phase
o Player’s moves leave the action zone. Action moves go to their owner’s discard pile, support moves go to the player’s support zone.
o End the round, next round begins!

Next I'll be posting the general aspects of each card.

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