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Subject: Deck Building rss

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Fires
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Hey all!

I have been investigating into a deckbuilding design for a bit and I wanted to throw out some ideas, specifically about the components a card might have.

When you are building a deck you cater to a unique strategy that you feel comfortable or ambitious to try. This depends on the cards available and even though descriptions of cards may contain special tactics, they all have the general components.. such as movement, purchasing power, attack points.

Example (CLANK!): In this game the cards have either
-Movement
-Spending Points
-Attack Points

Three things. That's it. I want to know what fun other components can you add to a deck builder to allow more strategy.

An example I have come up with that may be in a game already:
-Defense: A shield icon that blocks an attack and stays in play for one full round. Obviously you can't really use it during your turn because no one is going to attack you since it's your turn. But it carries over for a full round, providing protection.

What are some thoughts or ideas you guys have? Love to hear it all.
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Arvid
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Victory points could be a component of any card.

Some kind of "reveal this card from your hand" -mechanic (used against attack cards in Dominion, for example).

There could be a symbol on every card indicating where to put it after it's acquired (discard pile, top of the deck, in your hand, in your tableau...).

Different factions could be denoted somehow (like the colors in Magic, Houses in KeyForge or the different factions in Star Realms).
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marc lecours
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peaceful diplomacy: This means you have two ways of doing things: By attacking or by being nice.

Flexibility (i.e. intelligence): this allows lots of multi use cards



Also Defense and Victory points have already been mentioned.



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David Gregg
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For cards in play there can be attack/strength, defense/health, card cost, etc.

 
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Matt The GM
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Have a look at Lords of Maleryth. Take pretty much all the facets of something like Twilight Imperium, and throw them into a deck building mechanic.. It's a chaotic result! (Our group enjoys it though.)
 
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Jay Klitz
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Another part of deck building games is thinning out your deck so more powerful cards are drawn more often.

A mechanic I would like to see in more competitive style deck building games would be an ability to dump cards to your opponent. Have a card ability that allows you to take 1 card or maybe 2 cards from your hand or discard pile and place it in an opponents discard. This would work 2 fold by strengthening your deck and weakening your opponent's deck.

(The dump mechanic)
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Card draw.

Cards the retrieve others from the discard pile.

Forcing shuffling to happen earlier.

Searching for cards matching a description.

Discarding cards -- either to replace with newly drawn cards, as a cost, or because you don't discard your hand at the end of your turn; also forcing other players to discard.

Matching symbols with other cards in your hand for bonus abilities.

Cards that stay out to be used later.

Cards to no (or negative value) collected as a punishment.

Choice between options.

Push your luck drawing cards -- you can draw as many cards as you like, but too many of a symbol and you lose your turn.

There are a vast number of mechanics in use. You can look for yourself: Deck / Pool Building (I suggest sorting by number of ratings).
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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wolverinejay wrote:
Another part of deck building games is thinning out your deck so more powerful cards are drawn more often.

A mechanic I would like to see in more competitive style deck building games would be an ability to dump cards to your opponent. Have a card ability that allows you to take 1 card or maybe 2 cards from your hand or discard pile and place it in an opponents discard. This would work 2 fold by strengthening your deck and weakening your opponent's deck.

(The dump mechanic)


You will probably like Fine Sand.
 
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Benj Davis
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wolverinejay wrote:
Another part of deck building games is thinning out your deck so more powerful cards are drawn more often.

A mechanic I would like to see in more competitive style deck building games would be an ability to dump cards to your opponent. Have a card ability that allows you to take 1 card or maybe 2 cards from your hand or discard pile and place it in an opponents discard. This would work 2 fold by strengthening your deck and weakening your opponent's deck.

(The dump mechanic)


With a suitably steep cost, I agree.
 
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J.D. Top
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I'd definitely check out wiki.dominionstrategy.com. Across all of its expansions there are a LOT of different mechanics that you can take inspiration from.
 
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Harald Torvatn
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Fireflow wrote:

Example (CLANK!): In this game the cards have either
-Movement
-Spending Points
-Attack Points

Three things. That's it. I want to know what fun other components can you add to a deck builder to allow more strategy.

You could start by looking more closely at clanc, it might be that you found a thing or nine those Cards do that you have not understood.
 
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Tony Mammel
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Unfortunately most things being discussed are already things which Magic the Gathering has been doing for years.

Every new set released seems to have at least one (or usually several) new game mechanics. Sometimes these mechanics are new (having never been seen before), or sometimes they reinstate mechanics which have not been used for a while.

Because there are several formats for play of MTG (standard, modern, legacy, etc...) depending on which format you play, they have different rules for the age of the cards you can legally play with. The introduction of some old mechanics in new sets often gives new life to some older cards (in some formats) because of some new interactivities that get created.

Its an extremely wide ranging and varied system (if you are not familiar with it - you should investigate this further). Its not a perfect system I grant you, but I cannot really see how you could make it better with that level of variability.

Though MTG does not have any game elements that deal with movement (as there is no board element); I would say they have done a fairly good job of digging into all game areas to change the tone and feel of each new set they release.

I think there are ultimately limits of what you can do within the frame work of any existing game (whatever game that is); and once you have no more room to create anything new (within that framework) you start looking at modding the framework itself. Magic has also done this many times (in my opinion) over the years by doing things like:

1) Creating multi-colour cards (where previously all cards were only one of the 5 colours)
2) Creating legend cards (which you can only use 1 of instead of the usual 4).
3) Creating Planeswalkers, which were an entirely new type of card type.
4) Creating Saga cards.
5) Creating a 6th colour (colourless)

The list goes on. Its a very deep game, and takes a long time to really understand a lot of the interactions, timing and game play.

 
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Fires
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Guys! Thanks so much for all the information I am still processing it all.

Here is a follow up question.

What other strategy can I do for obtaining cards other than a random river? Right now I see the having five or six cards randomly put out and as one is purchased replace it with a new card from the top of the deck. What other ways can I give players a pool to pick from besides the river technique?
 
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Arvid
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Check out how the cost of tiles is decreasing the longer they remain "un-picked" in Suburbia. That could be a nice very nice twist on the river. Newer cards are more expensive, but the longer they stay available, the cheaper they get.
 
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Jay Klitz
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Fireflow wrote:
Guys! Thanks so much for all the information I am still processing it all.

Here is a follow up question.

What other strategy can I do for obtaining cards other than a random river? Right now I see the having five or six cards randomly put out and as one is purchased replace it with a new card from the top of the deck. What other ways can I give players a pool to pick from besides the river technique?

My wife and I play quite a few deckbuilding games and it's either the random display or the fixed stacks. In my basketball deck-building game, which is a 2 player competitive MVP race, I have the dump mechanic as well as the achievement mechanic. I already described the dump mechanic above. The achievement mechanic is where the player performs a preset condition in order to receive the powerful card beneath it. The card is an unknown bonus that is added to your discard pile. A condition might be play 10 cards on your turn or defeat the Super Team by at least 10. This powerful card is earned not purchased and it isn't easy to obtain, but it definitely helps when it is drawn.
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David Gregg
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Fireflow wrote:
What other strategy can I do for obtaining cards other than a random river? Right now I see the having five or six cards randomly put out and as one is purchased replace it with a new card from the top of the deck. What other ways can I give players a pool to pick from besides the river technique?

You have some different options, but it basically boils down to:
- dynamic (river) or static (stacks)
- mixed (most rivers) or same (most stacks)
- known (face-up) or hidden (face-down)
- public (anyone can buy) or private (only you can buy)

Dominion for example uses stacks of the same cards that are known and public

Nightfall is the same but adds some private stacks

Ascension has a couple stacks and also a river, though they're all known

Millennium Blades has stacks that are hidden as well as a known river populated by the players (store to buy/sell from)
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Luke K
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In general, I like cards that do different things depending on how they're used (discarded gives you vp, played as part of a pair is defensive, played in a fight offensive, etc.).
 
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Romain Lesiuk
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Fireflow wrote:
Hey all!

I have been investigating into a deckbuilding design for a bit and I wanted to throw out some ideas, specifically about the components a card might have.

...


I play a lot of Star Realms and Hero Realms, and the mechanics I enjoy the most are being able to draw cards directly from your deck with card effects, and thinning down your own deck for increased efficiency.

The latter feels nice, because you're playing the odds and I like the whole probability game (I have 1 chance in X to pull this card I need).

The former is awesome, especially when you pull 14 cards in 1 turn with some insane combinations.

I also really like being able to sacrifice cards to gain one-time powerful effects. It becomes all about timing, trying to decide when to pull the trigger. Makes for some great situations.

As for your other question, other ways to get cards, you could always add a mechanic where you draw from the main stack, like Draw 3, Keep 1, Discard the rest, with an added cost to buy the card for example.
It could be a card effect or a normal rule of the game.
Then you add the ability to draw from the discard (the main one, not yours) and you can pull some nice combos. Or create an opening for a combo by your opponent. It would increase randomness somewhat, but it happens quite often in my experience that the river gets stuck because no one wants to (or can afford to) buy the cards shown.
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