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Card Game Combat Systems

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NomadArtisan
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Joined: 12/12/2011

I have a system for a card game where each turn players must balance increasing their board presence, long term resources, and drawing new cards. Increasing in one area means increasing less in the others.

Right now I’m looking for a combat system to use for initial play testing.
Currently I'm considering borrowing from keyforge, hearthstone, or magic in that order of preference.

Do you have any recommendations of games with quick to resolve attack/combat systems I should check out?

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Hearthstone is probably

Hearthstone is probably tricky, since most of it is designed specifically with the video-game nature of the thing in mind. All sorts of stuff that's hard to do on a tabletop, like tracking health on each card, dealing with permanent enhancement, etc.

I don't know Keyforge.. but I'm sure you can come up with a basic card combat system (don't steal mine!) that fits your world.

bottercot
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This wouldn't really work

This wouldn't really work with a player turn system, but I really like the combat system of the Star Wars Trading Card Game. It involves a significant amount of RNG, but this can easily be phased out.

How it works is each unit has three stats: Speed, Power, and Health. During a round, players take turns activating and attacking with their units. The units with the highest Speed can be activated first, going down in decreasing speed until all units have been activated. In the case of ties, the "evil" player wins. This, obviously, can be changed for your own game.
An activated unit has the ability to attack an enemy unit of their choosing. They roll dice equal to their Power and deal 1 point of damage to the target unit for every die result 4 or higher.
Damage on a unit is represented by damage tokens, where they are eliminated when they have as much damage as they do health.
Typically, the scale for this game is 10-70 for Speed, where 10 is typically slower but more powerful units, 30 is the average for non-superhuman units, and 60-70 is very fast. The units are not typically counted in increments smaller than 10, but this can of course be changed.
Power is scaled from 1 to 7, where 1 is extremely weak and 7 is extremely powerful.
Health can range anywhere from 1 to 8. 1 is usually extremely fragile things like speeders or small fighters, and 8 can be anything from capitol ships to extremely powerful Sith.

It's also worth noting that the game is played across 3 fronts: space, ground, and character. Each front has its own designated set of cards.

The reason I like this system is that it feels clean and flexible, allowing certain traits to be represented that other games just can't. The Speed trait is probably my favorite feature. Aside from traits, units also have special abilities that increase their lethality, allow them to heal other units, or even in a few cases attack units in other fronts.

The game uses a Force currency to pay for certain abilities.

If you're interested, there are pages where you can see all of the special traits and how the game works.

NomadArtisan
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Joined: 12/12/2011
Hearthstone was actually a

Hearthstone was actually a paper game first with the exact same mechanics for combat, it was then called the WoW TCG I think.
When I speak of combat system, I mean only the attacking/defending of cards specifically, not any other mechanics of the game.

NomadArtisan
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Joined: 12/12/2011
@bottercotThank you, that

@bottercot
Thank you, that system sounds awesome.
I don't think it'll work with this specific idea of mine as my turn structure is asynchronous, but I'll definitely hold on to that speed concept for a future game. Thank you for sharing it!

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Oh, in that case just go with

Oh, in that case just go with whatever you think is good and fun. You know.. game design ;)

It's just some form of attacker cards and defender cards and modifiers.

My own system is based on simplicity and ease of tracking.. An attack stat and a health, no defense stat. Everyone deals damage and if it's over the card's health, it's dead. No persistence of damage.

I'm sure you have an opinion about what makes good card combat.. just use that :)

NomadArtisan
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Joined: 12/12/2011
If I was going to choose

If I was going to choose right now, I’d use KeyForge’s basis.
It’s very simple. Creature have a power stat which is how much damage they deal and how much they can take before being destroyed. Damage is persistent. There’s also armor, which I may not use.
Mostly I’m still looking too see what else is out there to get more ideas.

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