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Alex
Germany
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Here's the thing: I'm currently developing a thematic Trick-Taking Game for 2 Players, the cards are your soldiers and you'll try to win a number of battles against your opponent. Concerning rules and options the game is on the lighter side of things, I'm trying my best to keep everything logical and elegant, nevertheless there's some unique twists to gameplay: stuff like damage-values on cards, dice-rolling and -manipulation, Battlegrounds which slightly change the rule of each match, etc.

My question, however, is the following:
In the beginning, before each match, you'll exchange some cards with your opponent: you'll give him some cards face down from your hand, he'll give you some of his hand. This way you can prepare better for the challenges ahead. I'm calling this phase "Espionage", because that's what you're doing: you're spying out the enemy camp, looking for weakness in their defense - now, for purely thematic reasons - I'm thinking about NOT letting players choose which cards they're gonna hand to the enemy, but instead draw them blindly from each hand! It "feels" more like actual Espionage this way: you don't know what you're going to find there, you'll just take everything you'll find; on the contrary, when I do it like this, I'm taking away control from the players, their ability to prepare a unique tactic with the cards they've been delt.

Should I go through with this, or leave it the way it is?
Thanks!
 
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JT Schiavo
United States
Frederick
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I would think a better espionage phase would be this:

1) each player shuffles his hand then passes it to the other player face down
2) each player looks at the top three cards, but does not reveal them to the other player
3) each player shuffles the hand they were given then hands it back to the owner

Now both players have some knowledge of what the other player has to play, but what they know is kept secret. Feels more like espionage to me, allowing some planning and counterplay while keeping the theme.

Trading soldiers seems like an odd way to spy.
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Alex
Germany
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I like it!
It's true, I was looking for some better, more thematic way to do this classic "exchange knowledge" thing in Trick-Taking-Games. The only downside to this may be some increased "fiddliness" due to initial shuffling and passing back and forth in an otherwise fast-paced game - could be streamlined by just dealing the stacks first, then each player looks at top cards, shuffles stacks and hands them to the other player.
Thanks a lot, gonna try this!
 
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Bryan Kline
United States
Winter Park
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Since I have a poor memory for details like these, I would like it if each player played with, say, three of their cards face up on the table. As in, those cards are playable as if they were a part of your hand, but the other player can always look and see what they are.

This also opens up some design space. Perhaps refer to them as 'revealed' cards. Then you could create mechanics around that. Say, certain effects might cause you to move more cards from your hand to your revealed area. Or you might intentionally reveal a card to gain a bonus. Or a card might do something different when it has been revealed.
 
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Alex
Germany
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This is a nice idea for a mechanic, but perhaps better left for someone else to explore. It won't fit into my design anymore. I'm pretty much finished with streamlining, I'm doing polish-work right now, plus excessive playtesting - and I also noticed, that my game actually needs the exchange-cards-thing - it's a self-balancing mechanic, it mitigates a bad draw to some degree, and also introduces a choice vs. just passively looking at random cards.
 
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Gregg Jewell
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Its funny you had this idea because my game shares similarities base solely on drafting. The rules are very simple but all the strategy and brain burning lies in the card powers and synergies!

My game is here.
 
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