The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Your open challenge

Dear Game Designers,

Campaign Manager is good, although the decks need more variety. But the drafting mechanism is begging to be stolen for another game. (I happen to like the Campaign Manager theme, but there you go). If you want to go 2 player, I think a boxing game or UFC-style game would work. Imagine that you have a fighter card that gives you a few special abilities, and you know your opponents fighter card … now draft! Strikes, standup defence,  grappling, grapple defence, a few specials…and done!

(I originally thought a football game would work, but I think the cards would get too complicated, since you’d have to use them on offense and defense, and you’d have to track yardage. MMA seemed simpler. But what do I know?)

If you want to get ambitious, I suspect that you could do a 4x space game (multiplayer), with each race having a 60 card deck, drafting 20 (and perhaps using the unused cards as markers for generic ships).  (Technologies would probably let you advance generic techs, but each race could have an advanced technology card … of course, that would be useless until the pre-reqs were met).

Why do I think 4x would work? Well, I think you could keep the number of basic card types reasonable:

  • Explore (the card could be a new planet to fight over, or let you ‘discover a route’ to an enemy planet).
  • Economy (extract resources, build ship)
  • Tech advances (Generic or non)
  • Fight (Move some ships, attack)

So a deck could be 50-75%”Basic stuff” and the rest “Cool race specific stuff.”

Would the core mechanism transfer? Well, presumably you’d want the game to be similar in the sense that you spend 1/3rd of the game discovering your opponents deck, then some time resolving it.

Anyway, I may still hack a design for this myself, but I know my limitations, so I’m throwing it out there.

Written by taogaming

February 13, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Posted in Open Thread

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4 Responses

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  1. Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    I would love to see a multiplayer game with the deck-drafting mechanic.

    Too much similarity between the decks was the main (only?) complaint I took away from my single game of CM.


    February 16, 2010 at 1:12 pm

  2. I’ve been working on a couple similar ideas for a couple years now. Drafting has always been one of my favorite mechanics. One challenge is that it requires a lot of player experience for any complicated drafting game to work. The game needs to play well with some preconstructed decks as well.


    February 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm

  3. True enough. Well, since the challenge has already been accepted, I’ll sleep well tonight!


    February 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm

  4. Joe Miranda’s Bulge 20 game more or less does this with wargames. At the end of your turn, you choose a certain number of cards for your hand (most of which perform basic game functions, but some of which can instead be used as one-shot events). You often play cards during your opponent’s turn, so you have to plan for what they might do as well as whatever you want to do next turn. Eventually, it works.

    Scott Muldoon

    February 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm

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