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Subject: My first card game rss

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Michael Barlow
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So, I designed a simple little solo card game. It's got 16 cards and is a rather abstracted war game (though not really a wargame). I'd like some first impressions, "playtester"'s comments, and re-theming ideas.

Who wants to cut out the 16 cards and try it?


You Cannot Hold the Mountain

Anatomy of a card:



You Cannot Hold the Mountain – Rules

1. Fight a war with "your opponent" for 6 rounds, and then tally each side’s wins to see who wins the entire war. Keep a tally for each round on scrap paper.

2. Each round (or battle) shuffle all 16 cards. Deal yourself 4 cards and your “opponent” 4 cards.

3. Look through the card-backs of the remaining 8 cards to find one of each Location (Mountains, Jungle, Village, and Swamp). Place these cards face-down in the middle of the table to represent the battlefield. If you cannot find every location, then you will fight on fewer fronts this round.

4. Of the remaining cards, draw one at random and follow the Order at the top when placing your attacks. If you cannot follow the Order, then you can ignore it. This is the only time you pay attention to the Orders.

5. Place your 4 cards as you wish, one per Location (as represented by the face down cards in the middle) to represent your attacks for the round. If there are not 4 Locations, discard what cards you cannot place.

6. When you have decided, then randomly place your opponent’s 4 cards on the opposite side, representing his/her attacks.

7. Examine each fight (FLANK>ADVANCE>HOLD>FEINT>RETREAT, or 4>3>2>1>0). The side with the strongest attack wins at that location. The side that wins the most attacks wins the battle.

If both sides use the same attack and there is a tie, then no one wins in that fight.

NOTE: If both you and your opponent retreat from a location, then set that location aside -- neither side can fight there for the remainder of the game (and there’ll be one less card in the game).

8. Optional Rules: You can determine the winner of each fight using the numerical value of each attack. Score the difference. So, for example, if you chose to "Advance" in the Mountains, and your opponent's choice was to "Hold" the Mountains, you would win the fight with (3-2=) 1 point. Keep track of both yours and your "opponent's" wins and the side with the greater score at the end of 6 turns wins the war.

You can also play with a real opponent, in which case both players each draw an Order that they must follow (treat Turmoil as “No Orders” if the other player gets the Spy) Feedback says that the game's too luck driven for 2 player. Oh, well.

Designer's Notes:
Location symbols from Tom Mouat’s Map Symbol free fonts collection. I’ve got to read up on those copyright rules.

Sorry for the small card size, but I wanted to fit it all on one page. The lame working title of the game comes from an earlier draft.

I think this is an original idea, but if I've inadvertently stolen this from another game, please let me know.

This is my first non-miniature ruleset design ever, so be nice.





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Shaun Austin
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Looks good and having only 16 cards to play the game, makes it very portable. The small size is actually a bonus, because you don't need a lot of space either. The symbols are clear and easy to track in the game.

The rules need some more explanation as it took me a couple of rounds to work out how everything fitted together.
The orders at the top of the cards can be confusing until you know the game better.
As an example, my first order was "You must hold the Jungle if you can"
I thought this meant you must win the battle at the Jungle. I now realize it means you must use a "Hold" attack in the Jungle.
The "orders" aren't just "orders" but also include restrictions on how you can use your cards.

I also didn't realize that the battles on the cards related to specific locations (I know there are symbols, but I didn't know their significance!! blush ) So I was trying to work out why there was two "Feints" or two "Holds" on some of the cards and did I add them up etc. (You don't BTW )

However once I got over my initial confusion the gameplay was easy enough.

It does seem to involve a lot of luck rather than strategy. There is no partially revealed information that can be used to help choose what cards should go where.

A simple way to remedy this could be to add a Battle Bonus to the back of the cards. If a battle occurs on that card using that attack you get a bonus.
Example +1 Feint on a Village. If you use a Feint in the Village, you will get a +1 bonus (effectively increasing it to a 'Hold')

However the game does work as it stands.
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Michael Barlow
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ShaunGamer wrote:

It does seem to involve a lot of luck rather than strategy. There is no partially revealed information that can be used to help choose what cards should go where.

Well, yes, but the stronger the value of your attacks the better. The "orders" are there to hinder card placement (and make the game less boring).

ShaunGamer wrote:

A simple way to remedy this could be to add a Battle Bonus to the back of the cards. If a battle occurs on that card using that attack you get a bonus.
Example +1 Feint on a Village. If you use a Feint in the Village, you will get a +1 bonus (effectively increasing it to a 'Hold')

Interesting, but not what I was going for.

ShaunGamer wrote:
However the game does work as it stands.

Thank you! Nice compliment from one such as yourself.
 
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Shaun Austin
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Reprint wrote:
The stronger the value of your attacks the better. The "orders" are there to hinder card placement (and make the game less boring).
They do that very well (especially the "You cannot advance at all" order).

I would probably call "orders" something else in the rules. Maybe "Combat Situation" as some of them are good while others are bad. It isn't really a problem except for first impressions when introduced to the game. If someone comes to you with a good idea for a re-theme then you might change it anyway. (I personally like the current theme!!)

I have also had the opportunity to play this two player now (my opponent played it solo, first). We both found the luck was too high in the two player game. There wasn't really any time where the loser could have done things differently to win. Both players used what they were dealt, as effectively as possible. It was purely the luck of the draw. However as it isn't designed as a 2-player, I wouldn't say its a big issue.

Thanks for giving us the chance to try it.
It has been enjoyable!
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This Guy
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ShaunGamer wrote:
I would probably call "orders" something else in the rules. Maybe "Combat Situation" as some of them are good while others are bad.

Maybe Challenges, as that can mean two applicable things.
 
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ɹǝpun uʍop ʞǝǝƃ
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Thanks for posting this. I've just printed it out and played a couple of times through (2 x 6 rounds).

It took me a little while to figure out step three as well...
Quote:
3. Place your 4 cards as you wish, one per location to represent your attacks for the round. If there are not 4 locations, discard what cards you cannot place. When you have decided, then randomly place your opponent’s 4 cards.
(Ah! So I'm choosing the best play for each location based on the icons -- D'oh!)
...but once I'd slapped my forehead from this, it was quite quick to play.

I have to agree with ShaunGamer that there is a lot of luck -- which I don't really mind for a p-n-p diversion. I won the first game against my imaginary foe, but the metagame must have kicked in for the second, as he was just being vindictive. It seems like it wants to have at least some of the opponents info showing to give you a bit of strategy. Perhaps, after you have placed your opponent's cards, you flip over the one matching the location of the card back for your orders. The remaining cards are still face down. Then you can place your cards based on your orders and the information at hand.

The orders work well as they do add a fair bit of variation, but they're still subject to the luck factor above.

I felt like there should be some continuation of each round... as though the battles could add to eachother to tell a story by the end of the game and offer some overall strategy. I don't currently have any suggestions on how that might be acheived (although it would need a lot more cards), it's just a feeling.

Overall, it's enjoyable and very easy to make! Cheers
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Michael Barlow
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Aetheros wrote:
ShaunGamer wrote:
I would probably call "orders" something else in the rules. Maybe "Combat Situation" as some of them are good while others are bad.

Maybe Challenges, as that can mean two applicable things.


Well, it's a war, and so it's "orders", as in, "I order you to hold that swamp!" or "We're running low on supplies, so retreat from one front!!"

I will, however edit the rules above for clearer understanding. Thanks!
 
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Shaun Austin
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Reprint wrote:
Well, it's a war, and so it's "orders", as in, "I order you to hold that swamp!" or "We're running low on supplies, so retreat from one front!!"

I will, however edit the rules above for clearer understanding. Thanks!
I hate it when I don't think laterally.
Yes, instead of changing 'orders' to another name, you could just make the text sound more like orders (as you have done in your quote, above). I also know that for playtesting purposes, short sentences that explain things accurately, are better, so this is only a suggestion.

The rule clarefications are excellent BTW!
 
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Ronald Pehr
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Had fun trying this out. Took awhile to realize that you have to target your cards such that the attack listed for a location on each card applies when that card is played at that specific locations; the rules implied that you could play any card on any location and get the benefit of the best attack. Which means you don't really have a lot of options, you have to "follow orders" for that round, and the other cards you have it's just a matter of luck if they happen to beat the "opponent's" random allocation of cards to locations.
 
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Michael Barlow
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ravensron wrote:
Had fun trying this out. Took awhile to realize that you have to target your cards such that the attack listed for a location on each card applies when that card is played at that specific locations; the rules implied that you could play any card on any location and get the benefit of the best attack. Which means you don't really have a lot of options, you have to "follow orders" for that round, and the other cards you have it's just a matter of luck if they happen to beat the "opponent's" random allocation of cards to locations.


Yup, nothing major here. But was it amusing for 10 minutes?
 
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Jeremiah Lee
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So, I feel like there's something here, but the game as it stands isn't enough to keep me interested. Perhaps I'm not getting the full game, but this is what I'm seeing as the only real choice:

We use the highest points possible for each different landscape. If there is a tie (for instance, we have two cards for the swamp that are both 3's), we can use either, so we decide by seeing which of the cards has the higher point value for another landscape (say, there's a 4 and a 1 for the mountain).

Then we see if the random opponent does better.

Am I getting it?

(If this is indeed the full thing, I think I have some ideas for furthering the interest.)
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Michael Barlow
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The game is a minor diversion to keep one amused while waiting for the phone to ring, etc. It's not that deep.

I'll just run over a battle to illustrate how the game is played. A battle is defined as the resolution of up to four fights over the Terrains available on a given turn.

Let's say your hand of cards happens to be the 4 cards on the fist line of the image:


The first card is pretty bad. You'll definately want to use it in either the Mountains or the Village, since those of both 2's and 2 is the best number on the card.

The second card's best attack is the 3 in the Swamp. You'll want to put the card there.

The third card's best numbers are both 2's, one in the Jungle and one in the Village.

The last card has a 3 for the Jungle and a 4 for the Swamp..

Okay, now before you can start placing your cards, you must draw another card and do what the Order says. Let's say the drawn card is the first card second row in the image. It reads, "You must hold the jungle if you can".
This means that you must play a Hold or a 2 onto the Jungle. That means, whether you like it or not, you'll be placing your second or third card in the Jungle column.

That's what you have to do. Now let's look at the other cards and see what you can do with them.

Looking over your hand of cards you decide to place the first card in the Mountains column to Hold (2). You decide to place the second card in the Jungle column also to Hold (2) (and satisfy the Order). You decide to place the third card in the Village column also to Hold (2), then leaving the fourth card with the nice Advance (4) to be put in the Swamp column.

You have placed your cards, now randomly where you face-down opponent's cards go. Do not look at them while placing.

Lastly, reveal your opponent's cards and determine which side won in each terrain by comparing the numerical values of each attack. The side that has won the most attacks wins the battle. Ties go to neither side.

So, let's say when you revealed your "opponent's" attacks, you revealed a 3, 0, 1, and 2. To recap, you had a 2, 2, 2, and 4.
Your "opponent" won the Mountain fight (3-2); you won the Jungle fight (2-0); you won the Village fight (2-1); and you won the Swamp fight (4-2). You won the battle since you beat your "opponent" 3 out of 4 times.
 
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Jeremiah Lee
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Reprint wrote:
The game is a minor diversion to keep one amused while waiting for the phone to ring, etc. It's not that deep.
It certainly works for this. It's quick enough to play for just a moment, and if you're ready to be done you don't feel bad about ending the game after any of the rounds.

This would work well for helping people learn a sorting method. I'm not sure at what age that kind of learning would be appropriate, but it's got another use there.
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Ronald Pehr
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Yes, absolutely!
 
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