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Ascension: Deckbuilding Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Tactical Positioning for Center Cards - 2 player variant rss

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Matthew Henk
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Hey everyone,

I am a relatively new owner of this fine and very elegant game and was thinking about some additional options to spice things up a bit and work around some issues I was thinking about after my first games (mostly 2 player).

Some things I was thinking about how to alleviate them a bit:
1. The last draw you buy in your turn, might be a super lucky grab for your opponent.
2. It is pretty much impossible to judge/affect the likelihood of a card staying on the board until your next turn (unless you banish it)
3. There could be some interesting uses for 1 combat/money left over, or if you dont want to add these cards to your deck


I was thinking of splitting up the center cards into 2 sides, with half of the cards being on the side of each player, like:

The cards that are on your side, have the normal costs, while the cards on the other side have 1 more cost for buying/defeating. This in turn already helps in the early/mid game to have a group of cards that is easier to judge strategically, as cards on your side are harder to get for the opponent. Additionally, if you buy a card on your side at the end of your turn, the next card that comes up is more expensive for your opponent, giving it a higher chance to survive until your next turn. However, this would slow down the beginning a bit, as half of the cards are more expensive than they usually are, so I would suggest 4x2 setup:

However, this still does not change much about the luck factor for card draws, so how about adding a mechanic that will allow to adjust the position of the cards? Spending 1 combat/money will allow you to switch 2 opposing cards, like:

I am still undecided on the costs, but I am currently leaning towards each opposing cards being swapped costing 1 combat/money. Maybe there needs to be a rule that you can only use the other resource for it, as otherwise people would always choose to pay 1 combat to move a monster to your side and then defeat it, instead of making this a tactical decision (Do I really want to pay 1 money to move the monster before I defeat it, or use the money to buy something else?)

This technically also works with more than 4 players, but its a bit messy, like having a 3x3 grid of center cards, where each player can access the 6 cards closest to him, and the other 3 would need to be moved to your side first. This could be very interesting as 2x2 variant.

Added tactical considerations:
1. Do I buy the overpriced card, or do I buy a cheaper one and move the card to my side so its cheaper for me next turn?
2. Do I prefer buying a card on my side, as the next card appearing will be more expensive for the opponent?
3. Do I move this strong card to my side to raise the chance of my opponent not being able to buy it if I cant banish it?

What is your take on this? Any other ideas or suggestions?
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Jean-Yves Moyen
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Since the beginning, I've always (whatever the number of players) played with a "future market" variant as follows:
* The center row is 3×4 instead of 1×6 (but the 3 lines are the "center row" for cards that affect it (eg, banish in the center row).
* Cards in the bottom line cost normal price (rune or combat).
* Cards in the mid line cost +1, in the top line +2.
* When you remove something from the center row, slide down its column and fill the top line.

That way you have kind of the same decision (not exactly), notably sometimes you want to not buy something in order to avoid making something else cheaper. Especially in the early-mid game where hands with 6-7 runes are hard to achieve (thus, keeping that Flytrap Witch in the top line could be a good idea).

It works very well with the base set (CotGS+RotF) and the second one (SoS+IH), even if it makes cards like Druids of the Stone Circle or Arha Templar a bit less powerful (and Cetra/Adayu/Nethersnare a bit more). It works a bit less well with RoV+DU because of (i) cards that allow to aquire/defeat the entire center row (now its 11 others cards and not just 5, too powerful, we restrict it to one line and one column) and (ii) cards that add new cards to the center row (create a new line or a new column ?) Since I'm playing Rov+DU less than the other sets, that's not an issue…

It also works pretty well whatever the number of players and without making any change to it, which is cool.
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