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Millennium Blades» Forums » Variants

Subject: Overhelming Number of Cards rss

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David Balotti
Italy
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Hi guys!
I already played a couple of games with Millennium Blades and everything is great, except maybe one thing: you get too many cards in your hand.
You have 9 cards from the starter deck, plus 3, plus another 12 every deckbuilding phase for free, plus promo, plus everycard you buy: too much informations and not enough "vision" for get what you really want.
I know that for a skilled player isn't exactly an issue and, with experience, you can see all the combos in a blink... but I need to play with unexperienced players that, usually, are not so good in English: the text on the card isn't difficult at all but is more hard to let your brain works if you use it also for translate and understand correctly all these cards in your hand and I see that the pre-release tournament isn't enough for "get into the game".
So, I'm going to ask if this little, but HEAVY, variant could work: you don't get any card for "free", except promo from tournaments or starter deck; instead you receive 40 Dollars, not 30, every Deck Building phase.
This mean less cards in your hand, you know from which set you get new cards and you see one card at time, with enough time for think where, and how, to use it.
The Deckbuilding phase will be 15 minutes plus 5 minutes of preparation where you can not sell/buy cards but just prepare your deck and your collection.
So, I'm going to ask to you all if this variant could work or if is just a bad idea... if can works, what will be the differences in balance between the 2 versions? I can see the collections more hard to complete, same for get promos... but can the game be fun and interesting also in this way?
 
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Jason Brown
United States
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1. You should only be getting 6 cards per deck building phase, not 12.
2. Set building and fusing are your friend.

You'll get many cards that simply don't fit anything you're doing, I like to keep them in a pile and fuse them for something better. Also, keep an eye out for if you get 3 of the same type or element and start building your set. The after market is awesome for adding those 4th, 5th and 6th cards.
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1. 12 total -- six at the beginning of the first segment (with first meta reveal), and six more at the beginning of the second segment (with second meta reveal).
 
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David Balotti
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tankbard wrote:
1. 12 total -- six at the beginning of the first segment (with first meta reveal), and six more at the beginning of the second segment (with second meta reveal).


That's correct, I was right!
Jason, your tips are good and I can explain them to the new players, I already did something like that... but the difference between "know the tips" and "apply those tips" could be quite big, overhelming I would say!
 
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Perhaps the easiest way to start is to pick A Thing and then Do It. Build your deck around a single card that you want to make work. Build your collection around some type/element you have a lot of excess of, or around a 6/7 star card that you're not going to use. Or hell, if you had a type/element based deck last tournament, think about just selling that for your collection.

Once you get decent at Doing a single Thing, you can move on to choosing among multiple possible Things.
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Christian K
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My first thought when reading this title:
You should buy the expansion
 
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David Balotti
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tankbard wrote:
Perhaps the easiest way to start is to pick A Thing and then Do It. Build your deck around a single card that you want to make work. Build your collection around some type/element you have a lot of excess of, or around a 6/7 star card that you're not going to use. Or hell, if you had a type/element based deck last tournament, think about just selling that for your collection.

Once you get decent at Doing a single Thing, you can move on to choosing among multiple possible Things.


And that's another good advice Tankbard, but I was asking if that kind of variant could works or simply ruin the game, destroying the balance or things like that.
I tried the game with 4 different people (plus me of course) and the feedback "too many cards to read/understand/do something" is escaped from the mouth of everyone... and from me as well, but I'm a LCG player and I own the game, so is for easy for me to "create order from chaos".
I just wish to know if with less cards in your hand to manage, the game could be the same, more or less... and only an expert of Millennium Blades can answer to that question.
 
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Dom Hiob
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Not an expert myself, but Tankbard makes a lot of very good points.

1) Whatever you do, make sure to have a pre-release tournament. That way, people will get to know 9 of their cards beforehand.

2) Deckboxes provide an "anchor" to a deck. Tell people to look at their available Deckboxes and see whether they have anything that fits that Deckbox in their hand. Tell them to try to build their deck around a Deckbox.

3) Remind people that they should think about their Collections early on. That will drain away quite a few cards.

4) The same goes for bronze/silver promos.

5) It's normal and good to be overwhelmed the first couple of times you play. Make sure to use the same setup a few times in a row. That way people will get to know the cards. Once everyone knows most cards, switch out a single set or one Expansion, one Master and one Premium set. That will change up the gameplay somewhat while people still know a lot of the cards that are out there.



To be honest, I don't think it's a very good idea to reduce the number of cards available to each player (12 cards for free are worth around $48, unless I'm totally mistaken (average cost per card is around $4), so giving out an extra 10$ doesn't even remotely make up for that). Also, players might be loath to buy a $5 card from the store, given that's one eighth of their total income. So certain sets might go unexplored and clutter up the store area.

Lastly, I think the fun in the Deckbuilding Phase lies in being given a lot of possibilities and then having to choose from them. Your approach would mean people had an idea for their deck first (but where would they take that idea from, I wonder?) and build towards that idea by buying specifically the cards they want.

So, to me it seems your idea, if anything might work better with highly experienced players rather than newbies.

That said, if you feel like it, go ahead an give it a try and come back and tell us of your experiences.


Edit: As a different idea. If all it is is people feeling overwhelmed, especially because of understanding cards in a foreign language -- why not go ahead and give them some more time? So make it 10/10/8 minutes for Deckbuidling. That's a very simple change, it's within the framework of existing rules, won't damage anything badly, can easily be adjusted to work with your group. "Too much information" is almost always: "Too much information to process in the given amount of time." To change that, there are two ways: Reduce amount of information, but leave the amount of time the same. Or: Increase the amount of time, but leave the amount of information as it is.
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David Balotti
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Quote:
Points from 1 to 4


Done! For the point 5, I still need to play the game with the same people... but I will try to not change anything.

However, let's analize what mean remove 12 cards for 10 bucks... 12 cards worth, more or less, 48 Dollars as you said... this mean 38 Dollars less every single deckbuilding phase.
Indeed, that's a lot of money... I would like to increase the amount, but isn't easy considering 5 players and this amount of Dollars inside the box:

10x10 = 100 Dollars
30x5 = 150 Dollars
40x1 = 40 Dollars
Total = 290 Dollars

I must not only think about cover 5 players, but also early sell cards, special powers and the money that someone can keep between the tournaments.
So, 50 Dollars for player leave just 40 bucks not used... not enough for change.
Maybe I could move up the value to 45 Dollars (2 x 10 + 4 x 5 + 5 x 1 for every player) leaving a change of 65 Dollars... would be enough for cover the game? I think yes, but I wish to hear your opinion as well!
So, we have 45 Bucks instead 30 for every Deckbuilding phase and no new cards at all... this mean that, with those 15 bucks, you have 4 cards (more or less) instead than 12... 8 cards less every deckbuilding phase... how I see that this will affect the game:

- Will be more hard to create a collection: less points for everyone from that part of the game; the tournaments will be a lot more important

- Will be more hard to get fusion cards: less cards for everyone, so less "garbage" to burn

- Basic Cards are now less useless and you can evolve the base deck into something better without change it entirely

I need to give to this variant a try as soon as possible... about the time issue, I gave out the timer following the rules but wasn't mandatory... I let the players do all the last minute things, like build a proper collection, also after the deadline.
Considering this variant, I would change it into this way:

First Meta - 8 Minutes
Second Meta - 8 Minutes
Preparation for Tournament (Deck, Collection, Binder) - 2 Minutes, during this time isn't possible any kind of action, just organize

I need to try it and I will give you all the feedbacks! Thank you Dom, and everyone else, for all your kind advices.
 
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Having a reasonable amount of time for the third segment is necessary, in part to prevent people from playing a denial strategy where they hold good cards they don't want to use and sell them at the last second. Since no selling is permitted during stage 3, this guarantees that if you want to hold a card someone else wants you must either shed it in a collection or sell it for cash, allowing the person who would want it at least 6 (default) minutes to decide if it fits into their plans.

The guaranteed influx of extra cards also permits a money-hoarding strategy, which is interesting and should not be eliminated.

Seriously, just extend the amount of time given to 10/10/10 or something if the cards are giving you that much trouble. The entire point of the game is that you have to make hard decisions in a limited amount of time. Allowing people to break the time limit more than once is unfair to players who actually had their shit together. If the game is too hard, then at least all players should be equally disadvantaged.
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Nathan Rine
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Couple things your doing wrong which is why there is information overload.

1: You shouldn't have 12 cards in your hand like.. EVER. You look at six cards you get when round starts decide what you want to get rid of via selling, or keep via putting in deck possibly switching cards out then you put rest aside. Also your deck is 12 cards max not you need 12 cards plus three cards are ALWAYS on the board and never in your hand during tournaments

2: I get your friends aren't fluent in English but you guys are taking too many 'errors' in play and confusing yourselves. You don't keep every card you buy and from starter deck in your HAND no wonder things are difficult.. Put some in your Binder what it's there for.

3: If you guys need more time to figure everything out why not just stick with one set? All cards from Base set and 5 green sets 4 blue and 3 pink sets and just use the basic choices for promos not like they have very difficult effects. Just don't switch out sets till your all used to the game and your friends get hang of English.

(but honestly I'm just stunned anyone ever thought to keep all cards they 'own' from deck and buying in hand no one can hold that much I often have like 46 if not more cards in my binder alone..)
 
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My understanding was that "in hand" was not intended to be literal. A person uncomfortable with the amount of information in play is still going to find themselves frequently consulting their binder, regardless of whether those cards are put down between consultations.
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Jared Voshall
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As the others have said, having that many cards available every round is very important to how the game is designed, and there's not enough money in the game to compensate for it being removed. Why?

Card Fusion: You need lots of extra cards in order to get the promos every round. Without that free 12 card influx, you generally won't have enough cards to make the Promos work out

Collections: Collections can also eat up a lot of points, particularly if you want to get a good amount of VP from them. Without having that available, there will be fewer VP going around to counteract (or enhance) the winnings you get from the Tournaments, which throws off the game balance.

Aftermarket: Without the extra cards to toss into the Aftermarket, there's not going to be as much money available, meaning there are going to fewer cards for everything else.

Finally, and probably most importantly, the extra cards give you the cards you need in order to change your strategy for the next tournament. While this really isn't a big deal if you've gotten a solid win in the last tournament, it can make a massive difference if you either completely failed in the previous tournament or won with a strategy that only works if the other players aren't expecting it (such as with the Exodius card). Without the extra cards, it can be very difficult to change your strategy for the next tournament.

All of that, plus the fact that the time limit on the Deck Building Phase is intended to very much be a loose guideline rather than a strict time limit, means that it's a much better idea to just take the time you need in order to understand the cards and build your deck. Easier to implement, and still keeps the game balance intact.
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David Balotti
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Well, as said I gave to this variant a chance: 2 players game with my girlfriend (her first time with this game), and, well, despite your comments the game worked pretty well and, in my personal opinion, also better than the "normal" version... yes, there are less cards around and make the collection is more difficult, but otherwise the experience was a lot better... still a lot of cards to earn/search for combos, we changed our strategy in all the tournaments and the game was pretty close until the end (3rd Tournament)... we had our promos, our trades, our sells, everything.
8 plus 8 minutes, plus a couple of minutes for collections and deck, enough time for us.
Is a better experience for me, so I will continue with this variant for now... yes, is a different game and isn't exactly how the designer thought about it, but for me it works and is also more fun and interesting, less "overhelming"... I think that for me and for our group will be a better way for play this awesome game!

P.S.: As said, this is my personal opinion (made by a player without so much experience) and not "the truth" about this game: I know that make these variants could change the feel of the game, his essence too, but if is fun for us, better for us in this way... well, that's enough!
 
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Christian K
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Hey if you found a way to enioy the game you bought, no one can say that you are wrong
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Arthur Duarte
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So ive finally played a few games and finally read all the cards. there's several things i suggest that important to the sink or swim of this game.

1. Start with the pre release this might sound obvious but the first time i played the person teaching decided to skip it and we were thrown into deck building without knowing any of the cards.

2. Make sure to explain all the type of the key words.

3. make a store deck that is coherent there's some "sets" that are really difficult to play and you want to set up as much synergy for your players as you can.

4. a tip to give your players is that "sets" typically are coherent in nature, since they come from the same set they do similar things this would help ease some deck building making players look for sets also.

5. if a player is having too much trouble suggest keeping their starter deck as their core and to alter it.

6. like someone suggested the best way to deck build is to make piles of things that can work togther and a garbage pile. typically my deck building is straight forward, lets say i have 2 clash cards and thats what i wanna build then just add cards to that pile that help with clashs.

it might be that i like tcg's so this game comes more naturally too me but it should be a pretty straight experince.
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