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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Balancing abilities rss

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Paul Spencer
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I'm working on a game that has cards with 8 abilities.

The game is played with each player receiving a hand of 5 of these cards. I just wanted to get peoples thoughts on whether they'd prefer;

- each player having a set of the same starting abilities with additional cards either drafted of drawn.

- a randomly shuffled and dealt hand of cards, which may result in some duplicate cards

Would love to know what you think
 
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Matt Rozz
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I'm always a fan of having a set of the same starting cards, with additional cards being drawn or drafted. Adds some variety to the opening moves.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Rozz wrote:
Adds some variety to the opening moves.

Not compared to the alternative on offer!

I'm not sure there's an intelligent way to answer this question without more familiarity with the game, but I would generally expect fixed starting abilities if there are balance issues with random, and otherwise would expect random to make set-up easier.
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Warren Fitzpatrick
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More than likely, I'd go for the same setup, but it also depends on the type of game.
 
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Carl Nyberg
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I like the starting abilities option more, especially if you get to pick your hero.
 
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Chris Broadbent
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Covington
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Antistone wrote:
Rozz wrote:
Adds some variety to the opening moves.

Not compared to the alternative on offer!

I'm not sure there's an intelligent way to answer this question without more familiarity with the game, but I would generally expect fixed starting abilities if there are balance issues with random, and otherwise would expect random to make set-up easier.

This.

#1 don't break the game.
#2 make set up as quick and intuitive as you can.
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Jon Moffat
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Agree with Jeremy and Warren, very much depends on the kind of game, and the experience you want.

It may also very much affect balance, so you may just need to test both options. If one random hand of cards frequently comes out "better" than all others in a way that ruins the fun, don't do that.
 
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Paul Spencer
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Thanks for the insight everyone. More playtesting required I think!
 
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Tom Bruno
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yeah your play testing should tell you want you need to know.
gut feeling, what you choose will depend on how unequal your abilities are. if some are strong and other weak. then a random draw could leave some at a major advantage/handicap

If the abilities are roughly equal strength and duplicates are not a problem then random draw may be a simple solution.
If they vary in usefulness I'd maybe look at drafting, or some kind of purchasing/bidding system
 
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Robin Armstrong
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You could always go with the increasingly popular "play with this set of cards the first time, and then shuffle and deal randomly once you've grasped how the game plays" rule. Best of both worlds!
 
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