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Subject: Idea for a new Reward Deck rss

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Shane Brewer
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So I haven't fleshed this idea out completely. I'm sure there are some additions that could be made and some unintended consequences. So be gentle (Ha! - I've seen how passionate y'all are.).

As I see the current Rewards deck it is meant to: provide some new and exciting cards; give players more choices when choosing rewards; and provide visually distinct cards to consider when taking compensation. So here is my idea for Rewards Deck 2 - The Gith Deck (just kidding, Insert your favorite CE-esque name here.

1. All cards in the deck are two-sided. On each side they have the usual encounter cards, artifacts, and such. When the card is on top of the deck the player knows what is on one side of the card but not the other.

2. Each side of the card (hereafter simply referred to as the card) comes with limitations printed on the card similar to power limitations. That is, each card possesses the limitations: offense only, defense only, any player AND optional or mandatory. These limitations dictate who can use the card and when. These limitations come in all combinations (i.e. all cards don't say offense only on one side and defense only on the other side).

So while a card on top of the deck may show an Attack 40 Defense Only Optional, the backside (unknown to the drawer) may be a Negotiate Offense Only Mandatory, forcing the player to use the card on his next offensive encounter. When players have some of these double-sided cards in hand they hold them as normal with one side of their choice visible to all.

At this point I have only considered putting Encounter Cards (Attacks and Negotiates) in the deck and haven't considered types of artifacts. I have also not considered how this type of deck might interfere with flares and alien powers.

The two parts of this idea that I love are the double-sided cards and the use restrictions.

One problem I see is that if someone has memorized the deck so that they know what is on each side of the card. That might or might not be a problem. If the deck is large enough it would be more difficult.

Your thoughts?

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Mi Myma
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How does the "Mandatory" thing work? If one side is mandatory, and the other is optional, can you use the optional side to not use the card at all? If so, then there's no point in having the other side be mandatory. If not, then there's no point printing anything at all on the optional side. Can both sides be mandatory? What happens in that case?

Some of the idea is interesting, but I'd get rid of the mandatory/optional thing. You should always have some choice over what cards to play.
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Shane Brewer
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Say the top card is an Attack 27 that says Offense Only Mandatory. Then on your next offensive encounter you MUST play the 27. However, if your next encounter is as defense then you cannot play the card. Opposite sides couldn't both be mandatory. Mandatory sides would take precedence over optional sides.

The reason I like the optional/mandatory distinctions is because they force the player to decide if they should take cards from the deck or not. Say, the top card of the deck shows (visible to everyone because it is the faceup side) an Attack 40 Offense Only Optional. Should you take it? What if the other side (unknown to you) is a Attack 00 Defense Mandatory? What if you are the next offensive player, how does that affect your choice? What if you won't have an offensive turn for 4 more turns?

In creating this deck I am thinking of forcing players to decide if they should gamble and grab the card or not. The perfect knowledge of the up-side needs to be offset by some hidden knowledge. Plus, this perfect/hidden knowledge not only affects the player who draws the card the first time, but every other player who might consider taking the card later as compensation.

 
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Jack Reda
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I suggest sets of cards that alternate their other side. That is, if you have an Attack 23, there would be three of them, each with a different side. Each of those sides is a set of three, each with a different side. That should make the guess work just complex enough that players won't know what the other side of a given card is most of the time.
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Shane Brewer
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The Warp wrote:
I suggest sets of cards that alternate their other side. That is, if you have an Attack 23, there would be three of them, each with a different side. Each of those sides is a set of three, each with a different side. That should make the guess work just complex enough that players won't know what the other side of a given card is most of the time.


Yes, that would work I think.
 
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Roberta Yang
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How does having a card with different types on different sides interact with effects like Plague, Wild Disease, Hate, etc? How do the double-sided cards interact with choosing cards at random?

I also don't like the idea of the Mandatory cards. Not having choices of what to play isn't fun, and it creates the potential for some truly anti-climactic endgames. A lot of players would default to just never drawing from this deck because there's too much risk of being screwed over, and those who do choose to draw from this deck will have extremely large swings based on luck alone - if I get the Mandatory Attack 00 while your Attack 40 has a much more benign back, you have a massive advantage. That might be fine for an alien power (I'm a fan of the Trickster), but as a global variant I doubt my group would ever use it.
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Mi Myma
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If there's a Mandatory Attack 00 in this deck, and the players know that it could be on the other side of the top card showing, no one will ever draw from the deck for the rest of the game (unless they are Anti-Matter or Loser). Likewise if the mandatory Attack 00 comes up with that side showing. Then this new deck which you've worked so hard on becomes an inert thing taking up room on the table.
 
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Shane Brewer
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Ok. You've made good points about the Mandatory/Optional restrictions. What if that was removed? Would the deck offer something interesting to gameplay?
 
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mar hawkman
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I know I'm not alone in loving the idea of encouner cards that have differing values depending on when you play them. the mandatory aspect seems kinda awkward to me though. I'd rather just have cards that have different numbers depending on if you are offense or defense.
 
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Gerald Katz
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It might be referenced at Jack's website, but a long, long time ago, I think even before Mayfair, someone came up with the idea of dual cards. These cards have two values of which you can play either one. For example, a card could be used as Attack 15 or Kicker x2. Another could be Attack 40 or Cosmic Zap. Hypothetically printing the card, the face would show two values split by a diagonal line. If some game effect specifies the type of card, even if one of the values is not that type, it's affected. For example, if Sniveler whines he has no attack card over 20, the Attack 40/Cosmic Zap dual card is affected by the whine despite the artifact option.
 
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Jack Reda
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I wouldn't abandon the mandatory/optional idea. You don't have to use it for every card, and if there's one on top of the deck that isn't desirable, it might cause a temporary log jam with the deck, but it all depends on when you'd have to play it. If it's Defense Only, you might be fine taking it if you're next to have an encounter, especially when the other side of an Attack 00 is certainly going to be something better.

There are plenty of different conditions you can impose on the cards.

Mandatory Play As Offense (if you have 3 or more foreign colonies, or if you have more than 10 cards in your hand, or if you have no ships in the warp, etc).

 
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mar hawkman
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also it's good to remember that whether something is a "good" card is situational.
 
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Mi Myma
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DrBrewhaha wrote:
Ok. You've made good points about the Mandatory/Optional restrictions. What if that was removed? Would the deck offer something interesting to gameplay?

Yes, it would. In general, I think dual-valued cards are a bad idea. They can create all sorts of rules problems and may be overly complicated and confusing. But the concept is not a deal-breaker, like mandatory is.

OTOH, I'm probably overstating this a bit. Take the advice of nay-sayers (like me in this case) with a grain of salt. The devil is in the details. If you can make it work, then go ahead. Who knows, maybe even the mandatory thing might work.

Not that the mandatory thing causes a rule problem. It just seems to me to be less fun if a decision is taken away from the players. It makes it more frustrating, more arbitrary and luck-driven, all while making the game more complicated, for no real benefit.

The dual-valued card concept doesn't take away player decisions, doesn't make the game more frustrating or luck-driven. But it does make the game more complicated, and can lead to lots of rules problems.
 
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Barney Bustoffson
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I am okay with the idea of having a few Mandatory effects on cards- it makes the really good cards a little more balanced, I think. That way, the opposite side doesn't necessarily have to be weak- just more flexible.
 
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Gareth M.
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I quite like the idea of dual-valued cards and Mandatory/Optional cards. I think the problem is with having dual-sided, as if you see a rubbish mandatory card, it is unlikely to be picked up (though there probably are some tactics that could be used).

One question: What happens if you have multiple mandatory Encounter cards?
 
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Shane Brewer
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dragonster wrote:
I quite like the idea of dual-valued cards and Mandatory/Optional cards. I think the problem is with having dual-sided, as if you see a rubbish mandatory card, it is unlikely to be picked up (though there probably are some tactics that could be used).

One question: What happens if you have multiple mandatory Encounter cards?


Yes, holding two mandatory cards in hand might be a problem. But for me, the dual-sided cards is what I really like about this idea. 1) I like the idea that if something good us showing on the upside of the card and you decide to take it there is the chance that you might get something on the opposite side that might hurt you or limit you in some way. and 2) I like the fact that this game effect applies even after the card is drawn, is being held in hand, and is being offered up as compensation.
 
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mar hawkman
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holding mandatory cards would require you to use one of them. Just phrase it something like "if you have one or more of these you must play one if able"

Oooh!!! A mandatory Cosmic Zap sounds like fun. angry
 
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Go for it.

The only "problem" about card variants is that new cards are hard to add to the existing set of cards without players being able to distinguish them. Or, for the case of double-sided cards, printing out such cards in the first place.

One thought is to revisit the Mayfair Comets deck. With the Comets deck, you flipped over a card from the separate Comets deck at the start of an encounter (turn?) and it would add an effect to the game. A more strategic use would be to flip over the cards for the next five or so turns, so players could plan ahead for the effect. Physically, the Comets were separate cards with a different back from the Encounter cards, so the two cards were not normally miscable.

So for your variant, you could have one or more Comets out in play, either temporarily or permanently. These Comets would affect certain cards (eg. Attacks).

As someone who's created homebrew CE sets, adding cards is a *lot* of work!
 
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