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Back to the Future: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Ripple Cards... are they more than just thematic? rss

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Jason Blakeney
United States
Florida
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Hey guys and gals,

Just wanted to drop in and get your opinion on something regarding this game. I played 3 games of BTTF: The Card Game tonight with my wife and one other friend.

Firstly, I find the game enjoyable in the way one might find a "light" game enjoyable. Not too much thought, but keeps the focus on the game relatively well.

But I have a few issues with the "Ripple" cards and here they are: During our 3rd game, after my wife flipped the Sports Almanac linchpin for the 3rd time (my buddy and her were going back and forth a bunch of times with that specific linchpin), and after we once again had to flip all those ripple cards, I got to thinking...

Are those ripple cards REALLY necessary, or are they simply there to provide a cohesive "reason" to flip the cards in the first place? Isn't it really just thematic? Could you not just build the timeline only out of linchpin cards and just ignore everything but the main red or black icons on them?

The ID cards call for you to make certain events happen, but I am pretty sure you could play the entire game by only looking at the left-hand side of your ID card where the main black or red linchpin icons are, and totally ignore the affected ripple events. Sure there would be basically no theme, but does that make sense?

Am I missing something?
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Brandon M
United States
Branchburg
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That's what it looked like to me the one time I made the mistake of playing it.
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Malcolm Howell
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I hadn't noticed that before. In Chrononauts (the game this is based on) there is a "patch" card for each ripplepoint and IDs depend on certain patches being played, but with the patches removed from the system I agree with you that the ripplepoints don't serve any real purpose.
 
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Jason Blakeney
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I thought that might have been the case. I guess I was hoping for more from this game. It feels a little less like manipulating time and a little more like flipping switches.
 
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Corey A
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I think they matter when it comes to the "AND" and "OR" relationships.
 
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Regards,
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You are right, Hundreds, there is no mechanical reason for the Ripplepoint cards to exist in the game. The Ripplepoint cards could be phased out by simply changing the goal text on the ID cards to refer only to Linchpins. Aside from showing how the time alterations affect the outcomes of certain events -- for thematic purposes -- they don't change the game.

However, I recently bought the Chrononauts card game, and as I expected, playing it went a long way towards explaining why these useless Ripplepoint cards existed. In Chrononauts, as Nefrubyr mentioned, each Ripplepoint has a matching "Time Patch" card that must be played on it. Until the matching Time Patch is drawn and played, the flipped Ripplepoint shows as a "paradox," which 1. prevents players from counting it toward reaching their goals, and 2. runs the risk of ending the game for everyone (if enough paradoxes are showing on the table, the game ends and everybody loses).

I find this a lot more interesting, and to tell the truth, I think the BttF card game feels like it is sorely missing this mechanic. Paradoxes were taken out to simplify the game, and perhaps to make it thematically more similar to Back to the Future...but they didn't REPLACE the element with anything else, and that makes the game feel less satisfying.

Consequently, I am working on a print-and-play adjustment to the game. To implement it, you'll have to get a set of opaque-backed card sleeves for the draw pile cards, and a set of transparent sleeves for the timeline cards, so the printed cards will blend with the manufactured cards. Aside from some image manipulation, this doesn't require any creative game mechanics on my part; I'm simply reverse-engineering the game to make it work according to the Chrononauts rules.

Chrononauts also has an "Artifact" component, where you try to acquire items that can be used as an alternate way to win the game (called "Missions")...but at this time I'm refraining from adding in Mission cards, because that game mechanic feels WAAAAAAYYY too much like Fluxx, and it doesn't really make sense with the game theme, either.

I'll post a different thread when I come up with something along the lines of a usable PDF! I have a little more editing to do, and then I must figure out the best way to get it from screen to page at the proper scale.
 
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Yuval Grinspun
Canada
Toronto
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Sadly, this was my experience and revelation in the first game.... Too bad!
 
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