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Subject: Megadeck Clash Variant (and Regular Clash Rules w/ Clarifications) rss

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John Q.T. Nguyen
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The point of this post is two-fold:

1. To share a variant that I worked out to play with all cards combined into one deck, and get feedback.
2. To provide a written version of the rules with clarifications for those looking for such a thing.




About the Variant

Whenever my friends and I play card games that have set, configurable, and/or pre-determined decks, we will usually end up just jumbling them all together to draft them or just deal them out at random rather than stopping to sort through them each time in order to maximize our game time. However, that can lead to unbalanced gameplay, and an uneven experience for the group.

I set out to create a variant for DropMix where we could play with one, giant draw deck of the base game and multiple packs, but have mechanics that helped foster fair gameplay in spite of the chaos, and that would also fit within the defined, immutable rule set implementation of the DropMix app. In short, what I came up with was the ability to exchange cards under when the Equalizer is spun, if certain conditions are met.

It's been playtested quite a few times, and what's been landed on seems to be the most fair. In addition to the full Variant Rules that are listed below, we tried playing with different combinations of the ability to exchange cards on each Equalizer spin (i.e.: without any restrictions), allowing exchanges when the score was even, having someone exchange all of the cards (instead of selecting which cards), etc. What we landed on is what felt best and consistently had the best overall experience, giving players the most agency with the least amount of people spamming the Equalizer in excess.

It should also be noted that, although I designed this to be played with a "Megadeck" (named after the Rock Band Network's [Megamix](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcDjw_bHCjs), it could just as easily be played with standard decks. Do note that, since this gives extra incentive to use the Equalizer Button, games can take run a little bit longer and, if playing with a standard deck, you will likely cycle through it at least once (i.e.: probably more than you are used to doing).

About these Written Rules

When I was trying to determine whether or not DropMix was something that would be a good fit for me, I tried to find a PDF of the rules. Unfortunately, none seemed to exist, but I did find multiple postings where other people had gone out in search of the same thing.

For anyone who is looking for the Official Rules, you can download the DropMix app and, even without the game, you can browse through its guide to read the rules, and learn about other aspects of the game in more detail.

However, there are some nuanced points that are not made immediately clear in the app, and have either been answered on the DropMix subreddit or can be found in other parts of the guide.

That being the case, the Variant Rules written below take a lot of their wording and cues from the rules within the app. The aforementioned clarifications are baked-in and some things have been re-ordered, but If you were to read the Variant Rules below and omit everything that is in red, that would essentially be the Standard Rules.

In any case, without any further ado...




Megadeck Clash Variant Rules

(Rules in red are Variant Rules in addition to the Standard Rules.)

The Megadeck Clash Variant is a competitive game for 2 to 4 players where all available cards are combined into one deck that each player will draw from. (Note: if you are playing with additional copies of the same cards, it is recommend that you DO NOT have more than two copies of any given card in the deck.)

You can play in teams of 1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, or even 1 vs. 2. Your goal is to be the first team to reach 21 points.

If there are 2 players on your team, each player draws a starting hand of 3 cards. If there's only 1 player on a team, each player draws 5 cards instead.

After determining which team will go first, players on both sides each individually decide whether they would like to discard their entire hand and draw new cards up to the amount of their starting hand.

Actions

On a 2 player team, each player does 1 action per turn. Teams can talk to each other and show their hands to each other, but one player cannot take both actions.

On a 1 player team, the player does 2 actions per turn.

On your turn, you have a choice of two actions. 1) You can play cards into the mix to score points or 2) spin the Equalizer to clear the other team's cards to take away their points and exchange cards!

Play a Card and Score Points

You must play cards into matching colored slots. Multicolored Wild Cards and black & white FX cards can be played in any slot.

To replace a card in a mix slot, you need to play an EQUAL or HIGHER level card. A card's level is displayed in the top left of the card.

Each card you drop instantly scores a point.

You'll earn a bonus point if your team has cards in all five mix slots!

After the first turn, you'll also earn a bonus point when you add a new color to the mix. Glowing indicators appear when color bonuses are available.

Black & white FX cards can earn you bonus points, let you play extra cards, clear opponent cards, and more. Each card's special effect will be shown on screen when the cards is played.

You cannot play a duplicate of a card that is already in play. For example, if the James Landino "Break For Me" beat is already in play, a second James Landino "Break For Me" beat cannot be played over the existing card or in a different blue slot. The second card can only be played once the first card is either cleared or played over.

Spin the Equalizer and Exchange Cards

Press the DropMix button on the board to spin the Equalizer. If the Equalizer lands on level 1, 2, or 3, the other team must clear any slots where they have a card of that level. They'll lose a point for each slot cleared!

If the Equalizer lands on X, the other team must clear the contents of ALL slots where they have a card. All cards that are cleared should be placed into a discard pile.

After resolving the results of the Equalizer, if your team's points are LOWER than the other team, each player on your team may choose to discard any numbers of cards from their hand to exchange them and draw the same number of new cards.

There are some additional stipulations on exchanging cards: 1) You cannot exchange cards until after both teams have taken a turn (i.e.: after the first full round of play). 2) You cannot exchange cards if your team already exchanged cards earlier in the same turn.

End of Turn

After your team does 2 actions, your turn automatically ends, and then you draw cards if you are not at your hand limit. If the deck runs out of cards, shuffle the discard pile to form a new deck.

On a 2 player team, draw 1 card at the end of the turn if you do not have 5 or more cards in your hand.

On a 1 player team, draw 2 cards at the end of the turn if you do not have 7 or more cards in your hand.

The first team to 21 points wins!
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