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Duel of Ages II» Forums » General

Subject: Dice versus cards (and replicating dice with cards) rss

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Slyvanian Frog
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I have mentioned in the past that one thing I do not like about the card draw opposed to dice is that card draws by definition limit the possible results of the next card draw (because an available number in the total pool is no longer available) in a way that dice do not.

As an example, if I have cards numbered 1 through 100, if I draw the card with #51 (and do not put it back in the pool), the next time I draw a card, I know that it will not be #51.

This is different than dice, where if I roll a 51 on a 100 sided die, I have just as much chance on the next roll of rolling a 51 as I did on the first roll (i.e. the number you roll on a die is not "removed from the pool" the next time you roll the die).

I do like the look and layout of using the cards. So though it is not exactly as convenient as using dice, I have decided to simply reintroduce each drawn card back into the overall deck (and randomize it, roughly) each time we draw one. That way, for example, once you draw (I'm making this up) the two "FOPP" card results, you will not know that there are none left in the deck when making draws thereafter.

I cannot immediately see how changing things to this method of drawing and restocking the deck would cause any material problems in the game balance, etc., but am curious whether I am missing anything. (I know that it is more of a pragmatic pain to have to keep mixing the cards back in and reshuffling after each card draw - maybe I need an iPad program that does that automatically.)
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Dr Who
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that's a good suggestion

as I prefer using the cards in this game over dice, I think it moves faster that way, but I have never tried the dice, so I could be wrong about speed
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Denise Lavely
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I've played with both cards and dice, I like the cards much better because it's faster, but I'm not bothered by the loss of a greater amount of randomness. If you don't mind all the shuffling, the method you describe should work well. And ipad app DOES sound like it would be helpful tho!!
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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What you see as a drawback of the deck I see as a feature.

Some have complained about the factor luck plays in DoA and not having the same cards come up again mitigates that.

That combined with speedier streamlined resolution are the deck's strengths imo.

The main drawback to the deck in my experience is the disconnect many players feel between the drawn cards and what it's replicating.

Even though it's still down to luck I find players feel more actively involved and in "control" of the outcome when they roll high or low themselves and can see how it compared to their opponent's roll.

The card draw skipping to the outcome seems to incite a much greater sense of being at the mercy of lady luck even though it's actually less random as you've pointed out.

So if I was concerned with maintaining true random number generation I'd actually go with dice to gain the additional fun factor people get by being in control of their own rolls.
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John
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I am a committed dice chucker, but I love DoA2's challenge cards and I think they give a great benefit that is not necessarily immediately apparent (at least it wasn't to me). I mean, right off the bat I saw that they would make things move along quicker by replacing two rolls with one card. And not having dice knocking chits around on the board is a nice plus. But after a couple of sessions I'm now fully on board with the challenge cards because they allow for momentum shifts. Here's an example from my last session:

Team Black had a run of lucky challenge card draws in the early rounds and it coincided with a horrible run of luck for Team White. Team White just couldn't pass an adventure, was getting double-amazed in fights, was missing easy targets, etc. But everyone at the table agreed that if Team White could survive long enough their luck would likely change. And boy did it! There was a huge momentum shift in the second half of the game, and Team White went on to win.

Now, this could have just as easily happened with dice as with challenge cards. And of course it's entirely possible to "waste" your great challenge cards on dome checks for dismissals. But what was so neat about this last session was that Team White was almost sure that things would turn around eventually if they could only ride out their patch of bad luck. That kept them hopeful and interested, and that's a wonderful benefit.
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John
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Oh yeah, one other thing that helped me assuage the concerns of my dice-loving friends. As mentioned elsewhere in this forum each card really does represent a virtual roll of two dice. The two digits in the lower right-hand corner represent the attacker's and defender's rolls. So a "53" down there means that the attacker rolled a 5 and the defender rolled a 3.

Again, this doesn't change the fact that you're drawing a card and that that particular combination won't happen again for quite a while. But at least the cards represent real rolls!
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Worth noting that such "momentum shifts" are only guaranteed to even out provided you have a complete challenge deck for each team. (2nd comes with the Master set)

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Slyvanian Frog
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NuMystic wrote:
What you see as a drawback of the deck I see as a feature.


Certainly, this is very much a "to each his own" type of issue. Some people like the reduction of luck (if you get hit with bad results early, you know you have a greater chance of good luck on later draws).

I just personally do not like knowing that I have a stretch of "good luck" coming based on the cards already drawn, and having that potentially affect what I or my opponents do.

It's just a personal preference toward game systems.
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Sithrak - The god who hates you unconditionally
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NuMystic wrote:
Worth noting that such "momentum shifts" are only guaranteed to even out provided you have a complete challenge deck for each team. (2nd comes with the Master set)



Was just about to ask about that, thanks.

I'm currently waiting for my set, and have been thinking about switching out the cards for dice right off the bat, because with a shared deck, the old joke ("Dude, you're rolling all of the sixes out of my dice! Stop it!") would actually become true. With two identical decks on the other hand there's a nice potential layer of added strategy there.
 
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John
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NuMystic wrote:
Worth noting that such "momentum shifts" are only guaranteed to even out provided you have a complete challenge deck for each team. (2nd comes with the Master set)

Oops, thanks for catching that! blush Yes, definitely that only applies if you have both challenge decks by virtue of owning the Basic and Master sets.

And I should add that nothing is truly guaranteed about those momentum shifts. One team might burn all of their great cards on less crucial checks, for example.

And it's easy to get superstitious and pin your success or failure on the luck of the decks but the decks do reflect the bell curve nature of a 2d10 conflict resolution system too.
 
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Bern Harkins
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I originally thought the challenge decks were a "cute" mechanic... interesting, time saving, and compressing a number of charts into one smooth mechanic.

The rest of my group hated them. I mean, really severely objected to their use. They felt the decks were too removed, that you didn't have the sense of, as one player put it, "agency" that you do rolling dice.

After a few plays, I have upgraded "cute" to "brilliant", and the others have gone from acceptance to active appreciation. Following a momentum swing very like the ones described above, the player who had complained about "agency" noted that he now considered challenge decks a fairer, and superior mechanic to dice. "And lots faster."

With familiarity, we've all grown more and more fond of the deck mechanic.

You do need two decks to get the full effect, though.
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