$35.00
Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn» Forums » Variants

Subject: 2-Player Draft w/ New Rules rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Gene Moore
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I was very happy to see the new draft rules that PHG posted, and so far it sounds like the format is a hit. The only thing that's missing from the document is a decent 2-player draft setup. If we just did a straight adaptation of the 4+ player setup, then each player would get a hand of 11 cards, and swap hands with each other over and over while drafting. This is okay, I guess, but the thing that's most interesting about a normal draft is that you don't know what cards are going to be available to you later. With 2 players, that mystery is gone after the first pass, so I've been thinking about an alternative.

I love 7 Wonders Duel. That game fixed the boring 2-player variant that was included in 7 Wonders. Why can't we use that same structure in an Ashes draft?

2-Player Draft Rules

Prepare the Phoenixborn-decks according to the official draft rules, then randomly select 4 of them (number of players plus two). Shuffle those 36 cards together and discard 14 cards without looking at them. Deal the remaining 22 cards into 3 pyramids, with some cards face-up and some cards face-down, following this pattern:

Decide who goes first, then alternate choosing cards from any of the 3 pyramids. A card can only be taken when it has no other cards on top of it. When a face-down card has no other cards on top of it, turn it face-up.

After the last card is taken, each player should have 11 cards. Proceed with deck construction according to the official draft rules.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julius Besser
United States
Memphis
Tennessee
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That is an interesting idea. Have you tried it out yet? Perhaps only three decks need to be selected when in this mod, so that only four cards are discarded at setup.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gene Moore
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
jayelbird wrote:
Have you tried it out yet?

Not yet. I get my Leo and Victoria decks soon, and then I will try it out.

jayelbird wrote:
Perhaps only three decks need to be selected when in this mod, so that only four cards are discarded at setup.

I thought about that. The main thing that I like about having 4 decks is that you really won't know what the face-down cards are until they're revealed. Plus, it's consistent with the "number of players plus two", though that is not critical to the format.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julius Besser
United States
Memphis
Tennessee
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
lwdgames wrote:
jayelbird wrote:
Perhaps only three decks need to be selected when in this mod, so that only four cards are discarded at setup.

I thought about that. The main thing that I like about having 4 decks is that you really won't know what the face-down cards are until they're revealed. Plus, it's consistent with the "number of players plus two", though that is not critical to the format.

A reason for having only a limited number of Phoenixborn-decks is to ensure that there are a consistent percentage of the cards in each of the card types (ready spells, action spells, allies). My concern having such a big amount of cards removed from the draft pool would be that you might end up discarding too many of the ready spells, for example, which may lead to a less than interesting game.
With a higher player count draft, you will still regularly see enough cards to know which decks have been selected after your second or so hand of cards (although it does depend on the number of cards). You are likely, in this draft set, to immediately know which decks got built in to the draft, but you won't know where those are.
This sounds interesting. Looking forward to hearing more results.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gene Moore
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Julius, I took your suggestion and tried drafting with only 3 decks instead of 4. We ended up with Aradel, Maeoni, and Coal, and these were the final constructed decks after drafting:

Lulu 2-Player Draft
Dimona 2-Player Draft

Overall, I think that the format worked really well. The three pyramids give each player a lot of options at the start, but just like with 7 Wonders Duel, you eventually get to a point where you're making certain decisions based on which cards unlock others, and what your opponent is likely to take.

I should add that the reason we ended up drafting from three core set decks is because I used the custom draft deck that you designed (thank you, BTW), and I haven't yet printed and cut the decks for Rin, Brennan, Leo, and Victoria. I want to test the format again after I've finished with those decks, since they will give a lot more variety to the draft pool.

I am considering a change in which the first player chooses one card, then the second player chooses two, and then each player chooses one card the rest of the way; in other words, the order flips after the first cards are chosen, so that the last card will go to the first player. I don't know if it's important, however. I went second, and I like the deck that I ended up with.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gene Moore
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Rather than use purely anecdotal evidence, I decided to crunch some numbers to see what kind of distributions you can expect from drafting 4 decks instead of 3. I focused specifically on ready spell distribution, since it's the one card type that is truly necessary for a decent game; a lack of allies is not a big deal if you have conjurations, actions are great but not critical, and reactions and alterations are more for variety than anything else. An empty spellboard sucks, so let's see how many ready spells we should expect.

Not counting exclusives, a Phoenixborn deck has anywhere from 2 to 5 ready spells (Coal has 5, Noah has 2, everyone else is 3 or 4). The average you will get from choosing 4 decks at random is roughly 13 ready spells, while the minimum is 11. I'll use those numbers for the calculations.

When choosing 22 cards from 36, of which 13 of them are ready spells:
The most likely distribution (28%) is 8 ready spells.
There is a 71% chance of having between 7 and 9 ready spells.
There is a 93% chance of having between 6 and 10 ready spells.
There is a 4% chance of having less than 6 ready spells.
There is a 3% chance of having more than 10 ready spells.

When choosing 22 cards from 36, of which 11 of them are ready spells:
The most likely distribution (28%) is 7 ready spells.
There is a 53% chance of having 6 or 7 ready spells.
There is an 86% chance of having between 5 and 8 ready spells.
There is a 5% chance of having less than 5 ready spells.
There is a 7.5% chance of having 9 ready spells, and a 1.5% chance of 10 or 11 ready spells.

Overall, this doesn't look too bad. Noah's deck is the one that throws everything off, with just 2 ready spells. If his deck isn't drafted, then the distribution should be pretty good. Also, if you do end up with very few ready spells, then you could choose to play one of the 4 current Phoenixborn who have summon spells as their exclusive card (of which Noah is one).

I think this is worth trying out. Drafting 3 decks offers stability at the cost of variety. Drafting 4 decks offers variety at the cost of stability, but the odds don't seem that awful after all.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gene Moore
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Finally getting back to testing out this draft format again. This time, we went with 4 decks instead of 3, and I gotta be honest... it just feels better. We ended up with Aradel (again), Maeoni (again), Saria, and Rin. No love for the ceremonial dice, but with 4 decks in play, the variety of cards was so much more interesting than it was with only 3.

I made note of the distributions that we ended up with after dealing out the cards.
Total Cards (36): 12 ready spells, 12 actions, 3 reactions, 6 alterations, 3 allies
Our Draft (22): 9 ready spells, 7 actions, 2 reactions, 2 alterations, 2 allies

Those are pretty good ratios. Overall, this was another successful draft, and I feel a little better now about keeping it at 4 decks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward Haag
United States
Hamburg
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I haven't actually tried any of these with Ashes, but there are a few nice two player draft formats that have been developed for Magic that should work.

SOLOMON DRAFT

Take your drafting cards, shuffle them into one big pile. Player A takes the top 8 cards from the stack and splits them into two piles. Player B chooses the pile they want, with player A getting the rejected pile. Continue through the stack until all cards have been chosen, with players A and B alternating splitting and choosing.

8 cards at a time is the standard for Magic. For Ashes, with the smaller deck sizes, you probably want to use a smaller number of cards for each split. Maybe 4 or 5. Players are not guaranteed to have the same number of cards at the end, so you'll have to overdraft decks a little bit, and then trim down.

WINSTON DRAFT

Again, shuffle the cards into one big stock pile. Deal three cards face down to form 3 additional piles of one card each. (Piles A, B, and C)

Player One looks at the card in Pile A. If they want it, they take it and replace it with a face down card from the top of the stock. If they don't want it, they put it back face down, and add another card from the stock to the pile, and then look at Pile B, doing the same thing there. If a player looks at all three piles and doesn't want any of them, they get a random card from the top of the stock.

Once Player One has a card, Player Two then looks at Pile A (which might now be 2 cards) and either takes it or puts it back, adding a card to the pile, then Pile B, and so on.

Keep going until the stock is gone.

The main advantage of Winston draft is that every time someone looks at a pile, there's one card in it that the opponent doesn't know about. The players end up only learning about half of the other person's deck before playing, unlike with Solomon draft, where someone paying attention has perfect knowledge of what the other player has access to.

Naturally, with either of these formats adapted to Ashes, there would be only one of each card in the stock, and you get two more copies of every card you draft. I'd recommend that you try to have each player get 15 cards or so, so that there's room to discard cards you're forced to draft, but don't really want.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.