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short game idea

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iv been attracted lately to the idea of coffe break tcgs, games that are short designwise and probably wont run more than a few sets but have value as games. last for less/equal to a reasonable game in magic and far simpler in terms of rules but has alot of hidden depth to it as well - but still easy to pick up and play for a few minutes to kill the time with a friend

so i have an idea for a game i was wondering if i should flesh out. it has the following criteria, i was wondeirng if anyone had ideas for balancing it out or its success just from its core design -

1) the game doesnt use a cost system but instead uses a threshold system for playing cards. i dont know what limiting system it will use for cards played-per-turn and balance
2) every card in a deck must be unique i.e. there are no copies of a given card in your deck
3) every card is available to play from the start i.e. there is no 'hand'
4) there might not be a discard pile - this needs working on
5) there is a positional element to the game
6) the number of cards in the deck will be short
7) the idea of every card being playable from the onset might be daunting so some limits on what can be played literally on the first turn might be in order
8) you dont win by reducing the other persons hp to 0

i see this as limiting card design in two ways -

1) outlines for card hand advantage become meaningless since all of your cards are available
2) uniqueness means that outlines for cards will be over much much faster

does anyone have any comment and/or ways to combat the limits on card design placed by such a system? maybe some naysaying or some words of encouragment, doesnt matter which. as long as criticism is relevant and constructive, i wont mind

Sounds more like a board game than a card game by it's fundamental nature. With no draw luck you'll have an extremely tactical game that can potentially play the same way each time (although in practice it won't).

Seems like you're going to want to use some sort of positional win condition, with a deck of 20 cards or less (potentially as few as 12-8).

For the threshold have each extra can use one extra threshold, so that if you want to play 2 different 1 threshold cards you're giving up the chance to play a 3 threshold card.

I agree this sounds much like a board game premise, or box set game since there is no more than 1 of any card in a deck and no "hand", the daunting aspect immediately that jumps to mind is how do you lay the cards out so you can access them? Is it a deck that you can simply look through for the card you want to play? Without the aspect of luck of the draw, it screams board game, strategy game etc...

i guess i have a different view of what a card game is :S

every card is in your hand at first. as a result, theres no shuffling, you can spread out your card so that you automatically know whats in it. its akin to lackey having two or three extra super zones only for creatures or sorceries, so that you have organised your cards from the getgo

How many cards would you play with? And would it matter that your opponent would be able to see you cards? If more than a "hand" full you'd have them on the table face up I assume to know what is available which takes away surprise in what is being played, and also you would have to really fine tune cards to rule out killer combos if every card you have is available to be played at anytime, instant combo death / win / etc... would have to really be taken into consieration.

But it could be a very interesting concept if it works out! Good luck!


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