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How to "manage" turn order?

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questccg
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I wonder if all games that are "card-based" game struggle with this problem?

I'm sure games which are "Deck-Builders" have their own mechanic to build up your deck before using cards from it, and therefore starting play is less dramatic.

What I am specifically alluding to is:

How do you manage the order of play?

Let's say on the first turn, Player #1 can place one (1) card of his into any 4 concentric zones. Ok, sounds simple enough...

But since there are no other cards in play, he cannot "attack".

Now Player #2 sees what Player #1 played and can "effectively" counter that card and then "Attack" the other Player...

How is that FAIR???

I've been thinking that once a card is put into play... It cannot attack until the subsequent turn. Sort of a "waiting/grace period". What this does is allow early players to have time to "counter" opponent's cards and be the ahead (in terms of attacking)...

Does this sound reasonable? Is this what most card game do?? Do you have any additional comments/suggestions???

Please let me know.

questccg
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Also ...

It would seem like Player #1 is trying to "catch-up" with the previous round of play, whereas Players #2 to #4 are reacting to the earlier players of that round...

So even if Player #1 gets to have the FIRST attack, it is effectively the LEAST "strategic" attack of the match. Because he is more or less countering a move from the previous round of play.

Any thoughts on this???

Tim Edwards
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I don't quite understand the

I don't quite understand the exact processs you're talking about but I faced what might be a similar problem with my 'Nak Muay' card game, so I'll describe the solution I came up with which I'm pretty happy about.

The theme and feel of the game demanded that the guy with initiative play his cards first and the other chap response.

But playing second had a natural advantage: you know what you're countering. The second player has the advantage of information. This was bad.

I toyed with solutions like heaping various bonuses onto the initiative guy...but it felt artificial and contrived.

My system now is, the initiative-chap places his attack first, with a hidden bid.
The opponent (if he chooses to attempt a counter) places his own attack and (hidden) bid.
THEN the attacker has the privilege of declaring the winning condition of the bid:
Will the winning bid be the one with the highest total (bids have 2 numerical cards)?
Or the one with the highest card - regardless of the sum total?
Or...will the attacker declare "best pair", in which case the highest pair will win (and only pairs will win)

So, I suppose one way of dealing with your issue is to let the first card-layer also be the one who decides something important. Otherwise, as you described, going second is a natural advantage because you have more information.

I'm sure you have your own solution to this issue. This was mine. I'll be interested to read yours. ;)

questccg
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Reversing the turn-order does not help

Tim Edwards wrote:
...But playing second had a natural advantage: you know what you're countering. The second player has the advantage of information. This was bad...

This is exactly my same issue. Moreover the game plays from 2 to 4 Players. That means going LAST in a round is the best possible outcome. Because you see everything everyone else has played and you can best plan how to react to which ever player you choose.

San Juan has an interesting idea: the starting player shifts per round. So if Player #1 goes first in Round #1, in Round #2 he goes last. This I would guess balances out the situation: from 0 information to Perfect Information.

But I'm not really certain this will WORK for me. Why? Well take a look at the following example:

Player #1 starts the game (and round) and plays one (1) card in Zone #4. It is a support card with a Range of 3. Meaning that the card can attack any OTHER Zone but Zone #4.

Player #2 plays next and plays one (1) card in Zone #1. It is a melee card with only a Range of 1.

Now here is the PROBLEM (If I rotate turn-order as in San Juan):

Player #2 plays FIRST in Round #2. This means he can play one (1) card in Zone #4 to encumber Player #1 card in that Zone.

So it seems like I haven't really SOLVED the problem of order. In this example, it shows that by alternating starting players it actually FAVORS Player #2.

I guess that the solution will not be that simple and I need to think about something else...

Cheers!

jedite1000
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i dunno, usually with my

i dunno, usually with my games and commercial tcgs its just turn by turn, player 1 has its turn then player 2.

Next game im working on, i want the defending player who is not having their turn to block attacks, that is what im doing with the dice mechanic,i want the defending player to be engaged in combat when not their turn. it might work for other games it depends how you implement it

Fri
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Everyone starts with a card or cards in play?

Could you just have every player place a card or two face down into play? Then everyone reveals these cards at the same time. Then play proceeds as normal.

questccg
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This is interesting!

Fri wrote:
Could you just have every player place a card or two face down into play? Then everyone reveals these cards at the same time. Then play proceeds as normal.

It could be a "Two-Phased" approach:

#1. First everyone plays their one (1) card "Face-Down" (Hidden).
#2. Then everyone reveals their card and order go from Player #1, clockwise.

And then I could maybe use the "San Juan" approach and have different players start each "Round"... Maybe... It's sort of a Total Reaction even though you can "anticipate" what cards MIGHT (or are probably) played.

Very interesting idea... Let me think about it some more. But so far this sound like the best idea. Even if it's a bit adapted.

Many thanks for your wisdom!

questccg
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There is another reason why this is "interesting"

The other fact is that each card has a STANCE: Defensive, Normal or Offensive... Instead of choosing that RIGHT AWAY (when player put cards into play "Face-down"), the could wait until AFTER the revealing of the cards.

What this does is allows players in "weaker" position to be on the "Defensive" while players in advantageous positions to be on the "Offensive"...

This could maybe work (two-phased approach). It definitely doesn't mean that you've lost because your card is in a "weaker" position, it just means you need to re-think what you plan to do (and better anticipate what your opponent(s) may do too...)

I'll try playtesting tomorrow night with some of these NEW ideas.

Cheers!

questccg
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Another mechanic

I also wanted to add that I have "operators" for each different CLASS of cards. And I want to keep those. My ideas concerning these operators are not 100% but the idea is something like this:

  • Each player may place FIVE (5) Cards into 4 Zones.
  • Zone #1 can only have 1 card in it and gives a start of 4 VPs.
  • Each subsequent Zone has more cards according to its value.
  • Each card played into a Zone must have a UNIQUE value between 1 to 5.

So if I play a "Swordsman" into Zone #1 and give him 5 points... His score is 4 (+5) = 9 VPs. He will score 9 VPs unless he is killed (and then he is worth 0 VPs).

The winner is the player CLOSEST to the three (3) DICE rolls TOTAL. I'm thinking about keeping the Wildcard but have a TOTAL instead. So not using "colored" dice, three (3) WHITE dice may and one (1) BLACK die may be used and allocated as a player sees fit... (According to his deck).

Again I'll take all of this under consideration when I playtest tomorrow.

Cheers!

Tim Edwards
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Attrition

Another idea that might work for you is the one that came to me after lots and lots of reading and watching fights...the concept of attrition. This could mean that the FIRST card player will usually. "win", but the question is - at what cost? Since attacks cost something (I guess in your game they do too?) things get interesting when players have to consider the danger of phyrric (spelling ??) victories.

I think of some video games where blocking reduces damage, but doesn't nullify it completely. That can make for interesting decisions.

X3M
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I think like this:

Player one at its end of its round, plays new cards. These new cards start exhausted.

Player two will not be bothered by the new cards, since they are still exhausted. So any thing from player two could attack, maybe even attack the exhausted cards if their defence is low enough.

Player one can now take the exhausted cards into full play.

This is a bit different than MtG. Where new cards are not exhausted when they come into play. But then the reason is that they can defend. I say, exhausted cards are sitting ducks. So, now you get a strategy of bringing weak defence/strong offence cards into play, only if there is some fodder to use.

let-off studios
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Summoning, Exhaustion & Priority

X3M wrote:
Player one at its end of its round, plays new cards. These new cards start exhausted.
This seems a solid approach as long as you don't want an "instant action" style of game. Its advantage is that you discourage first-player advantage, as well as instant nullifications of previous actions. You also help prevent "third player advantage," meaning for example:

Player 1 summons a unit, but cannot attack with it.
Player 2 destroys player 1's summoned unit.
Player 3 has two defenseless opponents ready to be attacked.

Another possible solution is through prioritized cards in simultaneous play. For example, there are a number of games that allow players to reveal their chosen actions all at the same time (ranging from Robo Rally to the old Milton Bradley gem Screaming Eagles), and the highest (or lowest) priority is the one that goes first.

Maybe a bit of turn restructuring can allow for this priority mechanic to be utilized.

X3M
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Nice finishing touches.

That is a nice approach, let-off studios. I didn't even think about 3 or more players.
It sure intensifies choices. So I put this mechanic in my ender chest. :)

Lowenhigh
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Many card games counter this

Many card games counter this by placing value on the first action through “summoning sickness” of some kind (M:tG), or through permanents being in play already (Destiny).

First player needs an advantage for going first, and second player needs an advantage for going second. M:tG does not allow the first player to draw a card on turn 1, so player 2 essentially draws first while player 1 has the tempo lead.

Maybe considering trade-offs for going first or second. What would make a player want to start first or play second? Something to consider.

Tim Edwards
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Lowenhigh wrote:Many card

Lowenhigh wrote:
Many card games counter this by placing value on the first action through “summoning sickness” of some kind (M:tG), or through permanents being in play already (Destiny).

First player needs an advantage for going first, and second player needs an advantage for going second. M:tG does not allow the first player to draw a card on turn 1, so player 2 essentially draws first while player 1 has the tempo lead.

Maybe considering trade-offs for going first or second. What would make a player want to start first or play second? Something to consider.

Definitely agree with this. Very cool to have different pros and cons related to taking initiative vs countering.

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