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How many cards to play on a turn

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MarkD1733
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If there is no replenishing of your hand at the end of your turn, do you think there should be a limit on how many cards you can play in the course of your turn? At this time, I have five cards as the starting hand. The game does involve superpowers, so on one hand, it would be kind of cool to chain superpowers together for a really epic turn. Then, at the end of your turn, you would then be exhausted of cards. Or does it simply make sense to play a card only one card each turn. You can replenish cards a number of ways, including simply moving and landing on certain spaces.

questccg
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Some general advice about hands

Ideally you should never go over a hand of eight (8) cards. In most games this could lead to "Analysis-Paralysis" syndrome and may spoil a game's appeal. The usual hand size is five (5) cards and I guess this is because of the game of Poker.

As far as a limit of cards to be played per hand, that goes more into things like the "currency" of the game. It might be wise to have a COST to play certain (not necessarily all) cards. Think about games like Hearthstone where each turn your Mana goes up by one and you can play whichever cards you have sufficient Mana to put into play.

Other times you may want to "force" a certain number of cards to be played during a turn. This is like my own WIP "Monster Keep" where a player rolls a custom d6 (with values 1 to 3, 2x) and players draw the amount rolled and must play ALL their cards. No holding back cards in your hand.

In another one of my games ("TradeWorlds"), at the end of the turn you perform Housekeeping and what is meant by this is that you "refresh" your hand to five (5) cards. If you have five (5) or more cards, nothing happens... This step gets omitted.

Yet another example is "Crystal Heroes", players each starts with two (2) cards and at the start each turn draws one (1) additional card. The First Player gets to start with an additional card (and therefore three cards). So hands go from "3" or "4" cards. Each turn you MUST play ONE (1) card.

I've given you a bunch of example from my own designs which are all unique and different from one another. It's a matter of figuring out HOW you want YOUR game to play. Things like giving the "First Player" some kind of "bonus" (because going first is sometimes less advantageous). Be aware of too much time "figuring out what to do with a hand".

Going back to "Monster Keep", the hands vary from 2 to 4 cards. This again is to avoid the "Analysis-Paralysis" syndrome. With four (4) cards, you have to THINK a bit... But what game is good if there is no "thinking" involved???

So I think this widely depends on YOUR OWN game. What works best is figuring out what's the IDEAL HAND. And from there, how many cards can be played, and is there a "currency" for card play (like Mana or Gold), do you do Housekeeping at the end of your turn and if you do what are the best parameters for YOUR game.

X3M
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My idea

You might want to look at the average income of cards.

It is the gaining of cards that regulate the playing of cards.

The maximum hand will indicate the highest possible power. If you find this too much. You could change the maximum play for each round.

The maximum play is equal or higher than the income.
If the income is random, then there might be a possibility of a full hand. In that case, make the discarding in favour for the player. Meaning, the player may choose which card to discard.

let-off studios
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Hand Size = Scoring Options

questccg wrote:
Ideally you should never go over a hand of eight (8) cards. In most games this could lead to "Analysis-Paralysis" syndrome and may spoil a game's appeal. The usual hand size is five (5) cards and I guess this is because of the game of Poker.
I also like quest's comment regarding a game's "ideal hand."

The card game Phase 10 comes to mind, where players initially have a hand of 10 cards. However, this is because the goal of a round is to assemble a certain set of cards, which can require nearly 10 cards. Once a set is built, the player's goal is to be rid of the rest of the cards from their hand. Another advantage here is that the choices and requirements for a given set are relatively simple when compared to, say, Dominion, where each card has a specific ability. In Phase 10 there are the same qualities as a typical Uno game: numbers, colours, and/or a single-word instant ability.

In this case, a large hand of cards:

  • Is easy to interpret at a glance
  • Provides a lot of flexibility, yet...
  • Still restrains complexity

If that's the case for your game, then you may be able to increase hand size without subjecting the game to too much AP. Good luck!

MarkD1733
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5 cards feels right

I think 5 cards is a good hand size, so I will stick with that. I want some selection to provide combo options, but not so many that it bogs down the game. Thanks for the great ideas.

By the way, you can gain more than 5 cards, but, if you get to replenish your hand, you replenish back to five. That said, you don't gain cards or otherwise replenish unless you move and land on specific spaces. This makes movement strategic.

Tim Edwards
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let-off studios

let-off studios wrote:
questccg wrote:
Ideally you should never go over a hand of eight (8) cards. In most games this could lead to "Analysis-Paralysis" syndrome and may spoil a game's appeal. The usual hand size is five (5) cards and I guess this is because of the game of Poker.
I also like quest's comment regarding a game's "ideal hand."

The card game Phase 10 comes to mind, where players initially have a hand of 10 cards. However, this is because the goal of a round is to assemble a certain set of cards, which can require nearly 10 cards. Once a set is built, the player's goal is to be rid of the rest of the cards from their hand. Another advantage here is that the choices and requirements for a given set are relatively simple when compared to, say, Dominion, where each card has a specific ability. In Phase 10 there are the same qualities as a typical Uno game: numbers, colours, and/or a single-word instant ability.

In this case, a large hand of cards:

  • Is easy to interpret at a glance
  • Provides a lot of flexibility, yet...
  • Still restrains complexity

If that's the case for your game, then you may be able to increase hand size without subjecting the game to too much AP. Good luck!

Yes, the hand size issue is very dependent on what you're doing with the cards and what's on the cards. many games with standard cards have hands much bigger than 5. Think Bridge, Canasta, etc...but it's ok because 4 suits and a simple ranking system make it easy to digest what your hand *means*.

AP is usually an issue when it's difficult to sort out the *meaning* of your hand, before you even start thinking about how to actually deploy it. (the second part being, usually, not AP but just juicy decision making)

Trick taking games usually have considerably more than 5 cards in a hand and there are not problems with AP. In Hearts, you deal 13 cards, for example.

Conclusion: It's not about hand size per se. It's about how much information is in your hand. Lots of simple cards, no problem.

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