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Subject: Tactics yes, but not enough strategy rss

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Tim Edwards
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My Muay Thai card game has been developing with some breakthroughs that I'm really excited about. What I have at the moment is a game played across 10 hands, and each hand is satisfyingly (to me) tactical.

But...10 discrete hands doesn't provide the overarching strategic element that the theme needs.

There is SOME strategy because:

There are various different ways to win (KO, blood stoppage, points after 10 hands)- this gives some potential for strategising, because you may wish to play tactics suboptimally in the light of these variables. But it's not really enough. The tactical imperatives of your hand still dominate effective play.

Then there was a BIT more strategy because:

I decided that some kind of continuity between hands might help. New rule = at the end of the hand, you can choose to keep unused cards for you next hand (the number of cards played in a hand can vary.) Now, you can hold good cards back to make use of them later, which has the potential for strategy...but doesn't yet provide much because there isn't a LOT of difference between using a great card to hit you now, or hit you later.

So then, a solution to this was:

Add more in terms of being able to combine cards for exponentially increasing effectiveness.

And that's as far as I've got really. A couple of other thoughts to be explored might be:

Increasingly the amount of chosen cards, as opposed to randomly drawn cards (previously an average hand consisted of 1-4 chosen cards with 9-6 drawn cards.)

Giving the chosen cards different 'prices'

Has anyone got other ideas for how 10 tactical hands can come together to form 1 strategic contest?

It's probably hard to give specific advice because I haven't provided much detail about the mechanics, but general concepts would also be useful - and nothing is inflexible at this stage anyway.

Thanks very much for any ideas and insights!
 
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Mark Ehlke
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Wisconsin
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Offhand:
Add set collection (that's a popular thing)
Create combo-centric cards that require other cards to be played previously in the same round
Use other cards as a cost and increase that cost for the best cards, so it's worth banking big cards between rounds
Add a cost to gaining more cards, to favor holding them
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Tim Edwards
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EmZee wrote:
Offhand:
Add set collection (that's a popular thing)
Create combo-centric cards that require other cards to be played previously in the same round
Use other cards as a cost and increase that cost for the best cards, so it's worth banking big cards between rounds
Add a cost to gaining more cards, to favor holding them


Thanks very much for those ideas, Mark.

Could you clarify the penultimate one? I think I understand, but I'm not sure.

If it's useful, under my current rules you draw 10 cards (type A, let's call them) and then have the chance to exchange up to 5 of them for deliberately chosen cards (type B) - you need As and Bs to form attacks. Type Bs are reusable.

Was your suggesting to make some Type Bs stronger than others whilst requiring more Type As in return?

Thanks!
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Is your game with each player playing the role of a single fighter, and the two fighters engage in combat for up to 10 rounds?
 
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Mark Ehlke
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Tim Edwards wrote:
EmZee wrote:
Offhand:
Add set collection (that's a popular thing)
Create combo-centric cards that require other cards to be played previously in the same round
Use other cards as a cost and increase that cost for the best cards, so it's worth banking big cards between rounds
Add a cost to gaining more cards, to favor holding them


Thanks very much for those ideas, Mark.

Could you clarify the penultimate one? I think I understand, but I'm not sure.

If it's useful, under my current rules you draw 10 cards (type A, let's call them) and then have the chance to exchange up to 5 of them for deliberately chosen cards (type B) - you need As and Bs to form attacks. Type Bs are reusable.

Was your suggesting to make some Type Bs stronger than others whilst requiring more Type As in return?

Thanks!


The last one is adding a way to "pay" for more cards in addition to the ones you normally receive, or removing the "free" cards and requiring some sort of payment or tempo loss to get them. This creates a dynamic of using cards judiciously instead of trying to play them as soon as they're effective.
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Adrian Pillai
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Hi Tim,

I don't know if this would fit, but as I was reading your post, this image came to mind.

Each turn when selecting a move, you turn one of the cards in your hand to face the opponent. You no longer see this card, therefore can't make a combo with it, but your opponent can see this tell... or is it a feint.

Possible outcomes:
You play a different card from the card turned. The opponent chooses to confront the turned card. They fell for the feint and you hit them with the 2nd card attack. Or...

You play a card that matches the turned card. Opponent expects a different attack. You hit them for double damage (2 cards match). Or...

You play a matching card, opponent confronts your shown card, your attack is blocked. Or...

You play a different card, and somehow the opponent guesses that card and accurately counters it. No damage / instant counter attack.

Again, i just had this image of turning one of your cards in your hand to show your opponent is cost to play 1 of your other cards. They have partial info, and as your hand thins, can start to tell what you have left.
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mike hayes
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So many designers try to improve things by adding a rule (then another and another ad infinitum...)

I wish that they'd give equal consideration to subtracting a rule.

That doesn't mean having a minimalist result. Information on your cards can build up a rich picture.
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Cody
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Being allowed to carry cards over from round to round might become more strategic if your hand size shrinks in the later rounds? That also mimics a sort of fatigue in the fighters and may speed up your game.
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Tim Edwards
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EmZee wrote:
Tim Edwards wrote:
EmZee wrote:
Offhand:
Add set collection (that's a popular thing)
Create combo-centric cards that require other cards to be played previously in the same round
Use other cards as a cost and increase that cost for the best cards, so it's worth banking big cards between rounds
Add a cost to gaining more cards, to favor holding them


Thanks very much for those ideas, Mark.

Could you clarify the penultimate one? I think I understand, but I'm not sure.

If it's useful, under my current rules you draw 10 cards (type A, let's call them) and then have the chance to exchange up to 5 of them for deliberately chosen cards (type B) - you need As and Bs to form attacks. Type Bs are reusable.

Was your suggesting to make some Type Bs stronger than others whilst requiring more Type As in return?

Thanks!


The last one is adding a way to "pay" for more cards in addition to the ones you normally receive, or removing the "free" cards and requiring some sort of payment or tempo loss to get them. This creates a dynamic of using cards judiciously instead of trying to play them as soon as they're effective.


Sorry Mike. It was actually the second to last suggestion that I couldn't quite grasp. Thanks.
 
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Tim Edwards
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bwingrave wrote:
Is your game with each player playing the role of a single fighter, and the two fighters engage in combat for up to 10 rounds?


Basically yes.

Each player is a fighter, and we're throwing techniques based on what we have drawn (and chosen) to make our hand.

What exactly a hand represents is a bit abstract because a Muay Thai fight should be 5 Rounds, but one hand for one round didn't feel right; it meant a round consisted of a quick flurry of activity and then...all over. I'd like the fight to feel a bit like a campaign.

On the other hand, I worried that having multiple hands for a round MIGHT be a pain in the neck to keep track of. In the end, I thought I might do away with rounds and abstract the fight into "highlights", so a hand is a highlight and there are 10 highlights in a fight.

By doing away with thematic Rounds, I might be missing some strategic opportunities.
 
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Tim Edwards
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elfboy wrote:
Hi Tim,

I don't know if this would fit, but as I was reading your post, this image came to mind.

Each turn when selecting a move, you turn one of the cards in your hand to face the opponent. You no longer see this card, therefore can't make a combo with it, but your opponent can see this tell... or is it a feint.

Possible outcomes:
You play a different card from the card turned. The opponent chooses to confront the turned card. They fell for the feint and you hit them with the 2nd card attack. Or...

You play a card that matches the turned card. Opponent expects a different attack. You hit them for double damage (2 cards match). Or...

You play a matching card, opponent confronts your shown card, your attack is blocked. Or...

You play a different card, and somehow the opponent guesses that card and accurately counters it. No damage / instant counter attack.

Again, i just had this image of turning one of your cards in your hand to show your opponent is cost to play 1 of your other cards. They have partial info, and as your hand thins, can start to tell what you have left.


Hi Adrian,

I think your image of the game is quite close to what I've got.

Player A places a technique card (face up) with a "bid" card (face down)
Player B can use a Special Counter - if he has one for that particular technique - or he can try to counter by forming an attack of his own.
In the case of the latter, Player A's bid will be revealed and his total attack strength (bid + a score associated with the technique) compared with Player B's

There are special "bid" cards that switch things so that the bid is face up but the technique is face down. (There's partial information there because bid cards are connected to technique types. In other words, I'll know from the colour of your bid card that you've played a kick, but I won't know for sure what kind of kick, especially if you decided to bring several techniques into your hand at the start of the "highlight")

I hope that's somewhat clear. I'm trying not to bore you with the rules, but they seem to want to sneak out!
 
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Tim Edwards
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AHShole wrote:
Being allowed to carry cards over from round to round might become more strategic if your hand size shrinks in the later rounds? That also mimics a sort of fatigue in the fighters and may speed up your game.


Yes, I think you're right.

I'm representing fighter deterioration by having your deck gradually polluted by rubbish cards. I guess that's similar to shrinking your hand to all intents and purposes.

Cheers!
 
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Tim Edwards
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spike1 wrote:
So many designers try to improve things by adding a rule (then another and another ad infinitum...)

I wish that they'd give equal consideration to subtracting a rule.

That doesn't mean having a minimalist result. Information on your cards can build up a rich picture.


I absolutely take your point, especially since I'm not in a gamer milieu and if I make this game complex, it simply won't get played!

A typical conversation at home is:

Me - Diana, I've had an idea for how to make this Muay Thai game. Will you help me play test it.

Diana - (looks at me suspiciously) Is it complicated?

Me - I don't know yet.



Edit: this...

Actually, thinking about it, I more than take your point. I'm probably thinking along the same lines as you. I'm hoping to tweek the existing system rather than add onto it. And I think adding cards with special results might be a great way to flesh out the game without adding significantly to the rule book.
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