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Subject: WIP All Hands on Deck and a question rss

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Bob Misenheimer
United States
Portville
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Your last advice was so helpful and encouraging that I wanted to get some more input into another game. The working title is " all hands on deck". It's a sort of deck builder. Each player starts with 15 cards: race ability, two tactics cards, two ship systems , and two shield cards. 

Each player uses the skill icons on crew they play to draft cards from their " shipyard" a race specific deck. Systems go into play in their ship tableau, all other cards go into their ship deck. Cards include systems, crew, tech/ upgrades and tactics. Most cards do multiple duty ala Glory of Rome and can be attacks or shield boosts.  

Players attack each other and successful attacks cause damage cards to be drawn.    Damage cards affect different systems and cause them to lose abilities. Ten damage and the game is lost. It's for 1-5 players each representing a different race. Each ship yard is 40 cards for a total of 55 cards per player plus damage cards. 

I can give more details if people are interested. Anyway here is my question for y'all. Looking at the game it occurs to me. Does it really need to be a deckbuilder?  Would it work just as well as a card game where each player has their own deck?  Is the mechanic  of deck building integral to the game or would it work without. I want deck cycling to be a part of the game but there are many other ways to do the same thing. Also does it sound like a game y'all would be interested in and want to help playtest in the future as I have no group near me to help?  

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Bob 
ReaLM Studio Games
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Byron Campbell
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From the way you describe it, it doesn't sound like deck building is a necessary component of the game. The only place it seems to come into it is the damage cards. In fact, I think the game sounds like it would be most interesting if each player started with identical decks of cards, especially if there were ways for them to gain/lose cards other than the damage cards (I don't mean by drafting, either).
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Nate K
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I could see the game working both ways. So I guess my question is, why do you want to use a deckbuilding mechanic?

Is there something you are trying to simulate through this mechanic? Or are you trying to ride the have of popularity/familiarity that the deckbuilding mechanic has right now? There's no shame if it's the latter, but my advice would be different depending on your intentions.
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Bob Misenheimer
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While a bit of it may have been that it was trendy, I like the fact that with a deck builder you can affect how your deck plays by the cards you choose to purchase or draft. Plus it means you cycle through the deck more which is good considering there is at most 2 of a card and most there are only 1 of each. You can also decide whether to go combat or work on the exploration part of the game which I forgot to mention in my previous post. There is also a planet deck that you can gain the planets by playing combinations of skills and cards.

I was typing on my Iphone and I have big thumbs and I was on massive painkillers as I am awaiting spinal surgery later this month. I am bringing out all my WIP to get input before surgery so I can work on them and make improvements while I am laid up.

So anyway, Yes I wanted to make a deck builder for multiple reasons but mostly because I thought the game would work well as one. It started with a central deck but I wanted to tailor the cards to each faction/race and didn't want to have to deal with other factions using your faction's units and what not, so I went with individual decks. Each turn the top 3 cards of the deck will be available for purchase into your deck. You can only gain one a turn unless you play certain cards, then they get recycled to the discard of the shipyard which is eventually shuffled and gone through again if the game goes on long enough. So you get to pick and choose how you want the deck to play.Thats why i wanted a deck builder. I can still force the cycling by making all cards be discarded at the end of the turn with normal decks though. Hopefully, this makes sense.

Thank you to all who have responded so far.
Bob
ReaLM Studio Games
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Brook Gentlestream
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When people think of deckbuilders, they tend to focus on the drafting and selection of cards. The act of buying the cards, and ask whether this is appropriate for a particular game.

For me, deckbuilders are not about the drafting of cards. They are about preparation, and predicting problems. I think an ideal deckbuilder will have a theme requiring preparation. When you buy the cards, they are usually going to be cards that you cannot use immediately but may become useful in a later time, in the next shuffle, or cycle of the game.

In Dominion, I tend to think of each re-shuffling as a "season", so when you are buying cards, you are trying to look at your problems and predict what you will need next season and what your next season will be like.

This was one of my problems with the recent superhero deckbuilder, is it didn't explain this preparation in the theme very well. It had a very action-oriented theme, which in my opinion doesn't lend itself to the predictive/preparative nature of deck-building.

Themes involving business management, construction, or anything that takes place over time, especially with time that can be measured in particular intervals works best.

This is all just my opinion. There's lots of popular deckbuilding games that don't meet this need. But in my opinion, these are the types of games that would thrive with a deckbuilding mechanic and are most served by it.
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