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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: How can I handle this deck of simulation cards? rss

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Paulo Santoro
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Hello!

I’m designing a football simulation game, and I use a deck of “simulation cards”. Players draw cards for a lot of things: to check a succesfull pass or dribbling, to get an event, to pick some numbers etc. etc. etc. Well, there are 100 cards. It will be hard for a player to keep track of all the cards already drawn, but it’s possible to keep track of some specific information on them, and he could use this knowledge to choose his actions. I mean, if event X, Y and Z happens 1/3 of times each, but by half of the deck he could see that cards with X and Y were drawn above this average, then he can choose to be prepared for event Z, with more chances of success. Yes, both players could do this, but I wish no one could “foresee” this way.

First idea was make 2 piles, use the pile 1 and, when pile 1 exhausts, shuffle the discard pile into pile 2 and split again. But in this case I would be increasing the chances, for a given game, of the events on the cards already drawn, meaning, events X and Y had already take place above the average, and now they can appear again on the average.

This happens because I use only one deck of simulation for every aspect of the game. It’s a lot easier. But even if I create a different deck for each aspect, the problem would remain. I mean, the ideal way to handle this would be reshuffle the deck after each draw!

Thank you for any help!
 
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Russ Williams
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If you don't want the probabilities to change after each draw (i.e. you want random events with replacement, not random events without replacement), then it seems like you should not be drawing cards at all, but rather rolling dice and looking up results on a table.

If drawing is somehow preferable (e.g. you don't want to add the extra step of looking at a table), then perhaps instead of cards which would indeed be a PITA to reshuffle after each draw, then perhaps you could use large chits (large enough for a text summary of the effect to be printed on them) drawn from a sack and dropped back into the sack after use.
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Jeremy Lennert
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PauloSantoro wrote:
I mean, if event X, Y and Z happens 1/3 of times each, but by half of the deck he could see that cards with X and Y were drawn above this average, then he can choose to be prepared for event Z, with more chances of success.
...
First idea was make 2 piles, use the pile 1 and, when pile 1 exhausts, shuffle the discard pile into pile 2 and split again. But in this case I would be increasing the chances, for a given game, of the events on the cards already drawn, meaning, events X and Y had already take place above the average, and now they can appear again on the average.

You don't like your current system because the probabilities of future events are influenced by the events you've already drawn.

You don't like your first proposed fix because the probabilities of future events are not influenced by the events you've already drawn.

Sounds to me like you have ruled out all possible systems.
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Paulo Santoro
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Very good answer, Russ. Thank you for your time!

I really don't want to have to look at a table, it's not cool, but the chits thing can be interesting. I will think about!
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In addition to what was already said, if you use a deck of cards in the way you described, your game will never be a simulation. It might still be a fine game, it might still be highly strategic, but it will not be a simulation. If that's what you're going for (and I have no idea how important that aspect is to you), you'll probably have to ditch the cards.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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E Decker wrote:
In addition to what was already said, if you use a deck of cards in the way you described, your game will never be a simulation.

Are you using some specialized technical definition of "simulation" that I'm unaware of?

In normal parlance, a "simulation" is anything that tries to imitate something else, so all football-themed games could be considered simulations of football. One might draw a distinction between games where realistic simulation is the primary goal and games that prioritize fun over realism, but whether the game uses cards or not has no obvious relation to that, so I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.
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A simulation is supposed to behave like the thing being simulated. It can include approximations or omissions, but should generally steer clear of things that run contrary to the real deal.

In video gaming, for example, where most sports simulations can be found these days, a distinction is drawn between sims and arcade games.

And cards aren't very good at simulating this sort of thing. Let's say, for example, that the odds of a player getting hurt when going for a header are 1%. When using cards, once that card is drawn from a 100-card deck and an unfortunate player goes down in a heap, the odds that the next player going for a header will also be injured drop to 0%. If you're rolling dice instead, they remain at the correct level.

In other words, cards used this way will make independent events interdependent. That's perfectly fine for a game, and might even be an interesting feature, but it's definitely not something you want to see in a sim.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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E Decker wrote:
It can include approximations or omissions, but should generally steer clear of things that run contrary to the real deal.

I don't see what distinction you're drawing between "approximations" and "things that run contrary to the real deal". Any approximation will give inaccurate results in some cases, and can therefore be viewed as a deviation from reality.


It seems to me that you're saying that using cards makes it a bad simulation, not that it makes it not a simulation.

And I don't think that either of those claims could be justified without a lot more information about how the cards are being used.

I also think your claim that constant odds of an injury are "correct" is pretty shaky. I would guess that the first injury during a game probably affects how the athletes play out the rest of the game in a way that could easily change the probability of further injuries (in either direction).
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