Combat Cards

Where’s The Risk? by docboffin
8 +00002008-03-31T22:29:12+00:00312008b+00:00Mon, 31 Mar 2008 22:29:12 +0000 2006, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Balancing, Doc Boffin, Game Design

Mich gave me some great feedback about the new horror beta cards recently. He thinks that the cards are far too powerful, because they will only be used when players know that their heal effect won’t be blocked and so will cancel out their large unconditional sacrifice effect.

The cards are supposed to be a gamble: if the heal is blocked, the sacrifice causes the player to lose a lot of health when they play the cards. In reality, Mich think’s there’s little gamble involved: good players will just learn their opponent’s hand and only play the beta cards when they know it’s safe.

This cuts to the core of how the current Combat Cards have been balanced. The cards are mostly balanced if players play cards randomly. When played in this way attacks will be unblocks 2/3rds of the time, while blocks will block attacks 1/3rd of the time. This explains why horror cards are often considered weaker than fantasy cards: they have slighty stronger attacks and so have considerably reduced blocks to compensate: each 1 point of attack is worth 2 points of blocking using the current balancing system.

If Mich is right then this balancing approach doesn’t work as good players don’t play randomly, they play cards at exactly the right moment having learned their opponent’s hand and guessed correctly what’s coming next. Good players also look for cards that are as flexible as possible, so will pick fantasy cards that can be used as blocks and attacks over horror cards that are attack biased. When a good player knows where the next attack will target, they want to be able to use that information by having a strong block to put in its way.

Of course when playing a good opponent it then pays to not be too predictable. Playing completely randomly should always be punished, but appearing to be predictable and then deviating just when your opponent thinks they know what you’re up to creates a lot of the interest and tension in the game. Cards should reward you correctly predicting your opponent’s move, risky cards should require you to predict exactly what you opponent will play and punish you heavily when you get it wrong.

The current horror beta cards like don’t do that, they just require that a single location will not be heavily blocked: chances are that it won’t be. To make it a real risk, a real gamble, they should require that you guess exactly what your opponents card will be and punish you heavily if you get it even slightly wrong.

What Does That Mean Again? by docboffin
8 +00002008-03-19T23:49:23+00:00312008b+00:00Wed, 19 Mar 2008 23:49:23 +0000 2006, 11:49 pm
Filed under: Blog, Doc Boffin, Game Design | Tags:

A number of new effects and counters have been added to Combat Cards since we made the tutorial video and now they are all described in a new reference page.

Every Sunday @ 2pm by Osprey Therian
8 +00002008-03-08T00:44:07+00:00312008b+00:00Sat, 08 Mar 2008 00:44:07 +0000 2006, 12:44 am
Filed under: Events, Osprey Therian

Dueling at the Europa Arenas (of course you can fight any time or even set up a free anvil at home).

Constructed Cup Winner! by Osprey Therian
8 +00002008-03-03T01:05:26+00:00312008b+00:00Mon, 03 Mar 2008 01:05:26 +0000 2006, 1:05 am
Filed under: Events, Osprey Therian

Michalius Oppewall won the Spring 2008 Constructed Cup – congratulations!

Open Cup Winner! by Osprey Therian
8 +00002008-03-03T01:03:16+00:00312008b+00:00Mon, 03 Mar 2008 01:03:16 +0000 2006, 1:03 am
Filed under: Events, Osprey Therian

Kat Burger took home the Open Cup today at the tournament finals in Europa.