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Subject: Card Drafting Style? rss

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Daniel Baba
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Working on a deck building game that has 3 resources involved, so buying cards can be of any combination of these resources. As it is now, there are 6 cards available to buy on your turn, 2 that are 'cheaper', 2 that are 'expensive' and 2 that are in between those values.

I have tested it with these 6 options being stacks of 10 or so of the same card. This enables you to plan out what balance of resources you want and eventally get the cards and deck you want. The issue being that I feel like there needs to be more variance in cards; cards that help build the deck better (trash bad cards and buying better cards), cards that help your current hand be better (draw more in to your hand, play multiple of the same card) and cards that aid with the gameplay and earning points.

Another option is having 3 stacks; 1 cheaper avg, 1 standard avg, and 1 expensive avg cost. Draw 2 of these for each to have 6 options total and every time a card is bought a new card is taken from the stack. This option enables variance in gameplay and puts several types of cards in the cycle. The problme with this is you can't really plan out your resources and can likely get screwed and having no options cause you have the wrong resources compared to the cards available (this is particularly true for 4 players).

Another option I tested was having 6 stacks of 3 each, and when one is depleted, it is replaced with a new stack of 3. This was a fairly good mix of the two options above allowing planning and diversity. However the issue is scaling with # of players. I did not try this with more than 3 players and this would likely need to increase to stacks of 5 or so in a 4 or 5 person game. (I would like this game to be 2 to 5, but if i cant get it to work than 2-4.) The amount of cards removing from stacks or adding to stacks during setup seems really unappealing and a turn off before even starting the game. Maybe I am theorizing wrong?

Another option i have not tested yet is having 3 stacks of ~10 that are standard options and 3 that are replaced witha new card every time its bought. This allows both planning and diversity. The issue may just be balancing the 3 stacks and the potential of those being stagnant and boring. Likely solved through testing though..

I know most of this can all be solved through testing, but I wanted to pose the question up here to get some feedback and maybe some other fresh ideas.
 
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Jay Klitz
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You're on the right track. Variety is absolutely a necessity in a deckbuilding game. In my basketball game I have a buy row of 5 cards to choose from with cards costing 3-8. I also have a reserve row of 3 cards with the same types of cards but different abilities and the cost is either 3 or 4. Finally I have a reward row with 3 achievements under which is a reward card (more powerful than usual cards in the game). The achievements are difficult so the rewards are greater. Give players plenty of choices so they don't feel like they are wasting turns and in case a player cannot purchase a card (highly unlikely) the player can save 1 card for the next draw. Like I said earlier you're on the right track just add slowly to your game that way it's easier to test the impact.

Edit: Any new deckbuilding game should add new mechanics to entice people to play it over the older games, a vastly different or unique theme helps too.
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Sean Hagans
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The way I have most enjoyed deck builders solving this is your last option. Having a set of standard buys that are guaranteed to be available (until they run out) and then having a stack of other cards that are the random shop options.

All the deck builders that I've played that try to have everything in one stack, run into the occasional cost-locked shop issue. The deck builders that have all the cards available at the start (individual piles like dominion) work best IMO when they have a potential variety (like how dominion uses 10 out of however many options per game so each game can have variety or the aeon's end shop in a similar way). Some of the games that do the individual piles don't have enough variety for me so they see less play and become more of a static puzzle with build/buy orders and more fixed strategies.

From a personal preference, I would recommend to give the standard options and separate mixed options deck a shot.

As an additional thought, I've always wanted a deck builder to introduce a concept of manipulating the option deck. That could be a cool mechanic. Something like having a round trigger where the leader can add options to the shop deck and then shuffle it. - just throwing this out there.
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Daniel Baba
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shagans wrote:
As an additional thought, I've always wanted a deck builder to introduce a concept of manipulating the option deck. That could be a cool mechanic. Something like having a round trigger where the leader can add options to the shop deck and then shuffle it. - just throwing this out there.

That's a really cool thought, I would love to play a game that incorporates that well! Im gonna try to see if it fits in the game, but Im not sure itll fit.
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Jared Voshall
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Essentially, you are asking if Dominion, Space Base, or Xenoshyft has the best card buying mechanics, and the answer is... it depends. It sounds like you want a more strategic game, so I would suggest either upping the number of decks available to 4 per category, or 12 overall cards available, and create a pool of at least 8 per level, or 32 overall. Add in 3-6 basic cards that remain static or semi-static each game, and I think you'll be able to do what you want with the game. In the end, however, I think any of these options would be workable.
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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St Catharines
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If you have three types of resources and you need to pay using cards from hand then expensive cards are infeasible and moderately-priced cards will be hard to obtain. Just consider how swingy Dominion: Alchemy was. Things might work out of you have stacks of the same card and don't discard your entire hand at the end of turn. If you can save up resources or have lots of ways to convert resources during your turn (possibly from cheap cards that are always available) then purchasing from a display should be okay.
 
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