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Subject: Simple Variant: Pay to draw cards rss

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Eric Pietrocupo
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Rune age is a wonderful game but there is a lot of problems, especially with the quest, that can sometimes make the game hard to play or even impossible to win. There is also the constant need to thin the deck, but the problem is that deck thinning is hard because you must buy cards to use them later to destroy card. So you can destroy at most 2-3 cards per game other than combat casualties. Second, deck thinning is generally something that should be reserved for experts, when it is essential to win the game, it makes all the newbies go away.

So I came up with a simple mechanic idea that should make wonders. It should not be too abusive and it will solve many problems in the game without making any conflicts and without having to change adventure manually to make them work.

On a player's turn, a new action is available. This action can only be used once per turn. A player can tap city, or 1 reward with influence value, to draw 1 card per influence point on the card. So a player could raise it's hand up to 8 cards if he has a lvl 3 city. It also make senses that controlling strong cities gives you more resources to work with.

This can solve many of the problems listed below:

Elves: Some races like elves has an hard time to cycle their hand, with the rule above, this is solved. And the elves could even use the storm sorceress to draw more cards.

Monument adventure: This adventure is flawed because it set reward to acquire in play that you need to be able to build your monument and then it destroy them with "hoarding dragon". Ii takes around 2-3 turns to get 1 reward (hold card, upgrade deck and failure), and when the event gets reshuffled, "hoarding dragon" passes every 2 turns. So there is no advantage to get rewards because you will lose it without having a chance to use it.

By having a larger hand, it will make it easier to defeat the reward, some players might be able to win before "hoarding dragon" pass. Else, players will have more reward in hand, so when they will lose them, there will be more cards in the event deck making sure that "hoarding dragon" does not pass every 2 turns.

Cataclysm adventure: This is make the adventure simply possible to survive. Last time I played, I could not buy a single gold/neutral card. Since cities comes in play tapped, that new rule will not be too powerful and the adventure will still be challenging. One of the problem with this adventure is that the event strip your resources and ask you to attack do something every turn. But you have so few resources that you can simply not do anything.

City Reap: By drawing more cards, there is more chance that a player has extra unit cards that he could keep in hand with influence to have some sort of defense against other players. This is useful to avoid city reap when you draw a hand full of gold/action cards and the enemy can take 5 of your cities in 1 turn.

Thinning less essential: Since you can draw additional cards, thinning becomes less essential and a player could try no to thin their deck. So thinning becomes a different strategic path, do I get more influence and thin my deck, or do I not bother much about thinning but draw more cards.

When modifying games, it's hard to find 1 rule that will make all the changes that you need without creating any conflicts. It's hard to design a variant without having to manage exceptions. But this variant is a simple rule that solve almost all problem and does not create any conflict (ex: "Holy War" event). In other hand, this variant is perfect.

I don't know what you think about it, but I am going to try it for sure in my next games.


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Guido Gloor
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Don't you think that this will lead to runaway leaders in versus scenarios? They have influence from cities, they can use that to draw more cards, they can use those additional cards for capturing all the enemy cities?

I guess it would work for solo plays - "work" as in "make the game a lot easier" - and coop, too, but for PvP I'm sure it'll lead to balancing problems.
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Paul Beakley
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Man...you sure want this game to be something it isn't, don't you?
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Eric Pietrocupo
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Quote:
Man...you sure want this game to be something it isn't, don't you?


I am not asking the moon, it's just a very small modification that could give good results.

As for player versus player, true a player with 8 cards is advantaged against a player vs 5 cards, on the other hand, players might be more likely to keep cards in their hand since they draw more cards on last turn. So players in general should have a slightly better defense.

Second, if players always spend their influence to draw more cards, then they are not spending it to buy neutral cards and gold.

The general idea is to make the game more accessible by making deck thinning a strategic path for experts rather than an essential path for everybody. Deck thinning is not something easy to grasp by everybody and it's hard to do in rune age without any experience.

I played with 2 groups of players, most people like the game, but they are not 100% enthusiastic about it. There are a few things that annoys them to make it a great game. The "buy to draw cards" variant proposed above could be what is missing.

 
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I haven't tried your variant, but I think this would imbalance the game too much in the way Haslo already pointed out.

Elves:
You could simply buy a few cards that destroy other cards to thin your deck in the first rounds. Since the elves focus on influence, it's easy to buy some of them before the other players do. This also makes it more difficult for the other players to get rid of their 1-gold cards.

Monument:
I think the "Hoarding Dragon" is even supposed to attack each round in the end, because the text on "Change of seasons" says "For the rest of the game..." (german version translation) - so this card seems to be taken out of play after it's activation. The only time we played this scenario my girlfriend won, although the dragon already was the only event card left (2 player game).

Cataclysm:
I haven't tried this scenario yet.

City reap:
If you draw a hand full of gold or action cards you don't have enough troops in your deck
Moreover the defense bonus of some cities usually hinders attackers from conquering every city you have, even if you don't have any troops left (except you only have cities without a bonus).

Deck thinning:
A lighter variant would be to allow destroying cards for influence, have you already tried this?.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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I made a solo test, It looks interesting, but I need to revise it because there is a conflict with the "Pegasus rider" special ability. So the variant rule will change as follow:

Players gain a new action: On their turn they can exhaust a CITY card (not strongholds) to draw X cards and keep 1 card where X is the influence value of a city.

So only 1 card is drawn per city tapped, but tapping a stronger city gives you a better choice of card. Since "Storm Socrceress" are not cities anymore, they cannot be used to draw cards.

Players has in average 1-2 cities, at most 3 cities (in rare situations). So players will be able to draw in average 1 or 2 additional cards and the price will be pretty expensive (4-6 influence). People could think that elves could abuse of that because they can untap cities. Still, as the game progress, the elves should have much less deepwood archers in their deck which will not give them much chance to untap cities.

Does that looks Better?

Quote:
I think the "Hoarding Dragon" is even supposed to attack each round in the end, because the text on "Change of seasons" says "For the rest of the game..."


Damn!, So in the end, if you deplete the event deck, you automatically lose the game, because if you have no reward it is very hard to assemble the amount of gold needed to win, and even if you could hold cards into your hand to do so, "dragon hoarding" also destroy your gold. So you need to win with level 2 cards. Not impossible, but still, you need 5 x 2 gold cards, and if your monument cost 11 or 12, then it's impossible for you to win. Definitely, this quest is broken.

My personal point of view, is that "hoarding dragon" should pass only once and The event deck never gets reshuffled. Players are already racing to be the first to build the monument, why should there be any mechanic preventing them to do so.

Quote:
A lighter variant would be to allow destroying cards for influence, have you already tried this?.


I have some ideas for a building variant. Building cost gold and influence to build and gives you a 1 time use ability each turn. Many of them consist in destroying cards or upgrading cards. So it's indirectly use influence to destroy cards ... and some other things.
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Tomas Hejna
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I like this variant, however the conflict with Pegasus Rider is bitter reminder of wrong direction.
What about your original idea - but instead of card drawing, executing card cycling? i.e.:

spend 1 Influence point, discard 1 card: draw 1 card
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Eric Pietrocupo
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This could be an interesting alternative.

Peronally, i'll be aiming more on the building variant I wanted to do. I just did not have the time to test it.
 
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Tomas Hejna
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And I can understand why. Your second proposition is in fact slighly stripped Pegasus Raider ability. Maybe could be a way in increasing price... lets's say:

2 Influence points = 1 card
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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It depends on the scenario you are playing. The dragon scenario is somewhat easy and when you start having good chances to win, you simply hold cards into your hand for a turn, and on the next turn, you can get a very strong hand. So additional cards are not necessarily required.

If you deck is very thin (which is the case with the elves) you also do not need extra cards. But for some scenario and races, you feel like you are short in cards all the time, this is why I first suggested this variant.

This is why I think my building idea will give better results, because each faction will have a different way to draw extra cards which will be adapted to the race's playing style.

The list of cards can be found here:

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/index.php?n=Variants.Variants...


It is still in development and not tested yet. But I did a lot of effort to balance the abilities between the factions. I just need to design the cards and find building names.
 
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Tomas Hejna
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Those developments are mentioned to be cards? And all of them should be placed in playdeck or kept outside it, once acquired?

For my taste this is too much options which has to be balanced: I think I'll stick with your original idea and most likely I'll introduce both options at once (cycling/drawing) for the next plays:

1 Influence spent + 1 card discarded = draw 1 card
2 Influence spent = draw 1 card


But the main issue this game IMO has is the necessity of Gold reduction - as one can use it only for replenishing of fallen units and 1-2x Gold3 OR 1x Gold3 and 1x Gold2 are enough (commonly). Gold cards are simply too redundant and obstructive.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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Quote:
Those developments are mentioned to be cards? And all of them should be placed in playdeck or kept outside it, once acquired?


They are small building cards put in front of the player and most of them can be used once per turn. They cost a combination of gold/influence to build (split as the player wish) and they could be destroyed if the stronghold is attacked.

The original goal was to give players more options, but especially give a second use to the influence ressource when most of the neutral cards are gone. It also gives the player something to do when there is nothing to do.

I don't expect for a player to build all of them. A player might be able to build from 1 to 3 building per game.
 
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Tomas Hejna
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2 Influence per one card is functioning wonderfully
-> however, I'm toying with changing it to 2 Gold per one card instead... or to add another permament use for Gold cards in a playdeck.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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Thanks for the testing.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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BY the way, do you limit the player to do it once per turn, or they can repeat the spend 2 influence to draw a card.
 
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Tomas Hejna
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They can repeat as much as they like/can - because, if they wish to keep the cards, they still need further influence for it (which complements the 2 pay very well).
 
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Tomas Hejna
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For the Gold use, I'm thinking of this:
4 Gold = remove 1 Damage token from your Home Realm

-> but I'll have test it first, of course.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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Personally, I think there is already a use for gold in late game.

- Because you lose your units and they must be replaced.
- Nobody can buy your units, so you are less likely to run out of cards to buy. which is the opposite for neutral cards.

Second, consider that damage to the home realm does not have the same importance for each adventure.

 
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Tomas Hejna
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This is correct, it hugely differs per scenario. I'll first try this variant rule in Cataclysm, where the damage is probably most important..
 
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