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3 x 3 grid Micro Game — Need feedback

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questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

I am playtesting a Micro Card Game which features a deck of 10 cards per player. The game is played in a 3 x 3 grid (picture Tic-Tac-Toe) and on each turn, players have 3 cards in their hand.

The rules to playing a card are pretty simple:

1. You can play a card into your side of the grid (3 positions).

2. You can play a card in the middle if it is next to one of your cards.

I had/have a problem with rule #1.

Basically it means that you cannot "occupy" the opponents' side of the board. I did this because otherwise players would just "flood" the board with ANY three (3) cards from their hand to "block-up" the board.

Yeah, I was simulating some "a-hole" player who doesn't give a cr@p ... and just wants to manipulate a shortcoming in the game. In 3 turn the board area would be flooded and nobody would be any closer to winning (it would be more random — the win in such a situation).

And because one player would do this, the opponent would also do this too. Making it a "style of play" which is "not desirable".

I was wondering if anyone had other ideas about how to "manage" the board and/or play area(?)

So right now:

3. You cannot play any of your cards into the opponent's side of play (top row).

Anyone have ideas and/or other solution(s)???

Also if you have questions or want some more details, feel free to ask away and I will do my best to respond.


questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
A few considerations

Some of the ideas that I have are:

1. Limit each player to ONLY play at most 2 out of 3 cards.

This means that advancement into the opponent's territory would take more time and there would be no "flooding" the game area.

2. Only make the bottom-most "center" position the only position that the opponent cannot occupy.

Combining #1 and #2, means that the first item ensure that the board is not "flooded" and item number two ensures that both players are "encouraged" to play cards into the play area.

I think the combination of both these ideas MIGHT solve the overall "flooding" and "holding back" on too many cards. Generally it SLOWS the progression and opens up the number of positions a player can play his/her cards into the play area.

Right now, that's what I got. But maybe someone else might have other suggestion(s)...

Again nothing set in stone — still needs more playtesting.


questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Other points to consider...

I really want to KEEP the 3 x 3 grid. Although it seem light... There really is some good strategy with this size grid. Anything larger and the competition for space would be drastically lowered, and therefore making the feel of the game "too open".

With a ten (10) card Micro Deck ... that also limits the size of how many positions you can "control" on the board. And it would force would be players to PLAY a card rather than hold on until the LAST round of play...

This is another "issue" with the Warlord cards (Multiplier).

If the bottom-most row is not available in whole, then the opponent can WAIT until the very last turn to play his strongest card, altering the overall outcome of the battle WITHOUT any way of "countering" it.

Yeah, I'm really playtesting the cr@p out of this "little game".

The more I play, the more I find ways of "manipulating" or "taking advantage" of a situation because the rules don't cover an exception (for example)...

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
More on the mathematics

This game features a mathematical "formula". It's basically HOW you score points to WIN the game.

There are four (4) operators like in normal math: "+", "-", "/" and "x".

I have been re-considering HOW to use the "-" and "/" operators. Because these two in general LOWER a player's score, it's not really desirable to play these cards (or it can be but in stupid was like "/1" which is divide by one ... for example).

Minus cards just lower your points and it makes them also difficult to play.

What I am "thinking" is that those two (2) operators would affect the opponent's "formula" and not your own.

So playing a "-2" and a "/2" would be acceptable and result in a "-1" result (pending the opponent's calculation of his/her own operators, the pluses and multiplier)...

I'm going to playtest these ideas to see if they work reasonably well.

It's hard to tell if there will be any additional issues... There may be problems with the "formulas", IDK — Yet.


Joined: 06/09/2017
- and ÷ wont necessarily

- and ÷ wont necessarily lower scores. if you have negative numbers they can be used to make your - or ÷ effectively a + and × or vice versa to interfere with an opponent. this might not fit with the micro 10 cards, but i think most people consider a micro game upto about 18.

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