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Creative imput needed for combat system in CloneWars card game

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152710914's picture
Joined: 10/23/2008

I am creating a card game based on the Clone wars television series (3d). This will be purely for free Print and play, so I do not worry too much about copyright infringment right now...

What I do worry about, is the level of complexity and primarily the "combat" part (forcedrain). If you ever played the old Decipher starwars game, you know what I am talking about. I have played CCG´s since 1995, so I have a vast knowledge of do´s and don'ts. (especcially don'ts.. haha)

I want to create a fast and easy to learn, hard to master card game. I also hate to have like a zilion different card types, so I will stick to one for now (characters) and maybe add one or two more down the road (weapons/ships/special cards). No resource system, because winning or losing because of this has little to do with playing skill and I want the only random factor to be the cards you draw.

I guess you can say that I like simplicity on cards, deepness and complexity in play desicions.

Since I only have one card type, the game could become very..very.. boring. that is why each card will have three functions:
1. Play it as a character on table
2. Use it's action text and discard it from hand
3. Discard it from hand to generate Force.
(each action has it's own "stop" or "go" button)

here you can see an example for the "darkside" template: (also attached to this post.)
As you can see, this card only has 2 "stats". the bottom one in the black circle is the one you use to generate Force. (Force is used to draw cards later on and for other effects), and The "3" in the blue cirle in the upper right is used for Draining cards from opponent draw deck.

here is where I get a little stuck at the moment. I do not want to add like more stats for STR, Health, block/defense and such, so one number it will probably have to stay.

How I have it work is like this:
I play a character with forcedrain (3). If my opponent does not play a character (or more), I will forcedrain him for 4.

(forcedrain rule: total of my force strength (3) + number of characters I have in play(1)).

Draining will make your opponent lose cards from the top of their drawdeck. Drawdeck empty=lost the game.

In practice and playtesting this turns out to go a bit too fast for my liking. Easy fix you say, just reduce the Forcedrain number on characters..... That would be the solution, but it will not leave much room for variation in characters. (0,1,2,)

If you take the (+ number of characters in play) out of the frocedrain equation, it would serve very little purpose to play characters with just (1) forcedrain. (remember, no resource system).

Next to this, it all boils a bit down to adding up numbers each turn. and it turns out to be a bit "too" simplistic. Next to that, cards played as a character on the table have little to no interaction with opponent's cards in play, which I would like to see increased a lot.

How can I make this part more interesting? would it be possible to even have my characters face my opponent's characters while "keeping it simple"? with just one "attibute" number? Maybe the stat used to generate force can be used as well for "battle"? hmmm...

any imput would be appriciated!

Joined: 09/20/2009
A question, and a thought (or two)

Having no idea about card games of this type... Is the drain deck also the deck which a player draws character cards from?

Perhaps if drain decks start equally (10 cards) the more cards taken away the more difficult it is to make a KO attack. Full draw deck = 0 defense, 9 = 1, 8=2 etc. This might cause an added challenge, as well as deciding with what force to attack, a large initial attack might weaken them, but make them harder to take out long term.

Drafting, perhaps if you add an element of drafting, or the reverse. Where there is some choice of which cards you make your deck up of (ala Dominion) or perhaps the opposite, by discarding cards to build force you are shaping your deck towards a specific strategy (knowing the remaining cards will come up more often, perhaps work together better)?

Just observations, again as a card game newb.

SiddGames's picture
Joined: 08/02/2008
I may be missing something,

I may be missing something, but it does seem light on interaction. If the characters in play don't actually interact with each other, then they are, in fact, just resources (even if your deck is full of them). I might be stuck thinking inside the box here, but it seems like any Star Wars game ought to have some sort of fighting between characters.

152710914's picture
Joined: 10/23/2008
Yes, this is indeed my

Yes, this is indeed my problem..

most gamecreators would just add some Attack/defense numbers on the card and let them fight it out. I do not want to add more numbers to the cards.

I already got a nice idea from a friend that could work out quite nice:
Use the "generate force" value in combat as well. That way, a character with a high "generate force" value is a good card to use for generating force (obvious), but you would also want him on the table to fight off your opponent.. so you have to make a tough choice... do you play him or sack him? I like that.

Then the actual fighting rules.. do I simply "pair ´em up", or add totals, or some other rules? ugh.. so many choices..

While writing this down, I got a good idea:

Player A has 4 characters in play with these stats:

character A B C D
Forcedrain 1 1 2 4
GenerForce 3 1 3 4

Player B has these 3 characters in play:

character E F G
Forcedrain 1 1 2
GenerForce 2 2 3

Player with the LEAST characters in play gets to pair characters first. Player B will thus pair (for example) his character G with character B.
Then player A gets to pair a character, and so forth until there are no more pairs possible. (players A will have one leftover character in this example).

then resolution will be done.
Since character G has a higher Generate force number than character B, he "wins" the fight and gets to drain opponent. In this case 2 cards (2 is the forcedrain number on character G).

The rest of the pairs resolve in the same way, and any leftover characters automatically "win", thus draining their value against opponent.

hope this made sense...

Joined: 07/24/2009
Working on a somewhat similar game

How does the opponent stop forcedrain in your current rules? I haven't played any star wars card games so I'm not familiar with your source.

Regardless, I'm designing a card game that has some similarities to yours, in that you can play cards onto the table as "Units", play then discard them to use a "Tactic" ability on a card, or discard them to get "Coins" that you can use later to buy cards for your deck.

The way I do combat is that each card's Tactic ability usually does a certain amount of damage (or several damage "chunks" at once) and the defending player chooses which Units in play to distribute damage onto. Tactic abilities can also add resist, which reduces how much damage is dealt to your units on a particular turn (even reducing to 0). The goal being to destroy 10 of the opponent's units.

Each player plays their tactic ability simultaneously, so you don't know which style of Tactic ability they are going to use.

An additional restriction I added is that you cannot use a card for its tactic ability unless there is a similarly classed unit in play on your side. This gives players incentive to keep a certain number and type of cards as units, since units don't really do much right now in my game except allow you to distribute damage efficiently.

Anyhow, the main thing about each of my cards is a health, a coin value, and the tactic ability text.

Hopefully this will help you think of a way to set up a fun combat system for your game - you could use force gen as a health aspect when your characters are on the table, and as a resource for powering discard abilities or in-play abilities when it is in your hand.

Some other things you could try:
- Hand/Deck management abilities (drawing cards, searching through your deck, returning cards from discard to hand/deck)
- Characters that do something other than force drain when you play them
- Characters that do something special when you play another character
- Abilities that let you return Characters to your hand
- Abilities that let you spend force to drain the opponent or heal your deck
- Characters that generate force slowly each turn they are in play
- Character you can discard from play to stop a force drain from happening

Also, you could try some top-down design and come up with a neat combat situation that might happen in the star wars universe, and try to come up with some rules that fit into your current system that could make the game play out similarly to your imagined combat situation. Some good questions to ask yourself:

- What is a 1 v 1 battle like?
- How do two characters help each other out when they are on the same side?
- How do characters prevent themselves from being harmed?
- What special tricks to characters use to get the upper hand?

152710914's picture
Joined: 10/23/2008
Thanks for the WOT! I love

Thanks for the WOT! I love comments like these. very helpful!

I think I already (sortof) worked out the combat system, just like the system I described above. Players would, in turn, pair 2 character together and compair their Force against eachother. Winner of each fight gets do drain cards.

This alone would make it pretty straightforward, so I will have to come up with some nifty gametexts that come in effect. For example: "This card may not be paired", "This card must be paired first", "when this card is paired, do X", etc.. etc..

Cards with high force will do double function as Force generator and a good character to have on the field, so I will make sure their gametext is more... bland/weak than characters with low(er) Force.

I will have to test it though, but thanks all for the feedback, I got a lot of good new ideas from it.

Joined: 07/24/2009
How about ties?

Sounds good. You will need to be able to handle ties though, if both players have the same number of characters, who pairs first?

Also, if two characters are tied in ForceGen, what happens? Do they both drain/not drain? Maybe they damage eachother and can't fight next turn?

Perhaps leftover characters can also help out in another pairing, adding their ForceGen to the other guy's. If they do this though, they don't get to Force Drain, though the original guy does if the team wins out. That might not work, but you could try it.

Having abilities that affect the order of pairing sounds like a good area to work in.
- This guy can only pair with certain other guys (a restriction that can work for or against you)
- This guy has to pair against two guys at once
- This guy doesn't do anything if he isn't paired
- This guy gets +1 ForceGen per guy he is paired against
- This guy can only pair if there are no guys of higher forcegen on your side
- If this guy isn't paired, you can draw a card at the end of the turn (or get some other bonus)
- If this guy is paired first, you get some kind of bonus
- This guy gets -1 ForceGen if he isn't paired first, but +1 ForceDrain if he isn't paired at all
- This guy can lose 1 forcegen and 1 forcedrain temporarily to add a forcegen to another guy on your team
And so on. Sounds like it could be a lot of fun! What other mechanics do you have?

152710914's picture
Joined: 10/23/2008
mdiehr wrote:Lots of useful

mdiehr wrote:
Lots of useful hints and tips

I always find it hard to decide who can go first in a 2-player game, and who goes second during a turn, because of tie-possibilities. If you go with whoever has the most life, what happens when this is tied? etc..etc.. This usually resulted in some weird obscure rules like: the player with the most cards in hand goes first, if tied, the most wounds, if tied, the least fingers..etc..etc..

I think i solved all of it (in this game atleast) be adding a new card type: Locations.

Players use locations in their deck, but only one location can be active at a time. thus if my opponent has one in play, and I play mine, mine comes into effect and my opponent's is discarded.

this way, there can never be a tie, and I can simply add the rule: the player with the active location goes first/last. Tadaa! one hurdle less.

Not only does it solve the "players are tied" problem, it also brings a bit more random turn order. most games are like: I go first, you go first, I go first, you go first.. now it could be: I go first, I go first, I go first, you go first, you go first, I go first...

To the poster above: I thought about players being able to "double" up on paired characters with leftover characters, but I think I will leave that to an expansion set (if that ever comes)by adding a keyword. I do not want to make the game too complicated in the beginning. I will just keep it 1-to-1 for now.

Ties in Force between paired characters are (currently) counted as ties: Nothing happens. But with the introduction of Locations, that can be easily solved by adding some gametext on the location: "Whenever a combat is tied, the player owning this location wins the combat".

and thanks for the "Pair" texts. they offered me some nice new options to make combat more interactive and complicated, hurray!

for those not interested in long posts, but they want to see some cards, hop on over to:

cards are added on a daily basis, and after the response I got from here and over at the lackeyccg boards, I can make a zillion possibilities now. there might be some spelling and grammar errors (not native english speaking here), so just read past it and if you want, inform me about it so I can change it into something readable..

Joined: 10/28/2009

FYI, just because you are offering something for free does not mean it is not infringing upon a copyright. I just thought you should be aware of this. One of the rights a copyright owner gets is the ability to control who does or does not create derivative works from the copyrighted material. This would certainly include your card game which uses copyrighted source materials. Therfore, your game would, in fact, infringe the copyright, and you should not, therefore, assume that you don't have to worry about copyrights.

With that said, I'm not sure they wold ever try to enforce the copyright against you--although there is no way to tell. Furthermore, if you did get sued you may have a "fair use" defense, but without to many more details, it would be difficult to determine how likely success of that defense would be.

I would recommend making your game more generic. That is, you can use the idea of an intergalactic war involving clone soldiers--which would likely be an idea or concept which is not, in and of itself, copyrightable.

This is just my advice. I have a J.D. and focused my degree in IP law. I am not, however, a licensed attorney; nor do I claim that my advice is certainly correct. I just wanted you to have all of the information because your first post seemed to make assumptions which disregarded the complexity of copyright law.

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