New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

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New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by Ravenchild » Thu Jun 02, 2011 18:24

I did some brainstorming and came up with a new card type and some ideas associated with it. These ideas conflict with some rules in the ORC, but maybe it's worth keeping the ideas and ditching the rules.

So let me present you the new card type: kingdom. A kingdom is a permanent card which costs no gold or threshold. Another thing that makes kingdoms special is that before any WTactics game each player is allowed to search his deck for a kingdom card and put it into play (before the game even starts!). The player then shuffels his deck, draws 7 cards and the game begins.

In our current ORC we already have a concept called "Kingdoms" with northern and southern fronts. I propose a replacement for this idea. Any player can have as many kingdoms as he likes as long as he has a corresponding kingdom card for each kingdom.

You probably have noticed a problem here: In our current concept a player's northern front is linked to the northern front of the enemy and the same thing holds for the southern fronts. How does this work if two players have different numbers of kingdoms? Well, it doesn't. Instead any unit may attack any kingdom.

There is one weakness in this concept: Let's say both players have 4 kingdoms and both players assign equal amounts of troops to each kingdom. Then the attacker may choose to attack one of the kingdoms with all his forces, being superior by the factor 4 in this battle.

I have the following idea to cope with this problem: A defending kingdom may call units from other kingdoms to help. But this is only allowed when the attacker attacks with troops from more than one kingdom. Let's say the enemy attacks with troops from X kingdoms, then the defending kingdom may call unmarked units from X-1 other kingdoms for help at no cost.

On the defending side, each unit must be associated with a kingdom. And each defending unit may only block enemy units, attacking the associated kingdom.

But how are kingdoms organized on the table? Well, simple:

Code: Select all

[kingdomA][unitA][unitA][unitA][kingdomB][unitB][unitB][unitB][unitB]
So the rule is: A unit is always associated to the kingdom left of it. The kindgom template should be easy recognizeable so that everyone can make out the borders.

What's more? I propose to drop the concept of influence/life and instead suggest that a player is defeated when he controls no kingdoms. That's why you are allowed to put a kingdom into play before the game starts. Later on, if a player draws more kingdom cards, he may put them into the game and assign units to it that will defend the kingdom.

Now, one notable thing is: Kingdoms may be conquered. If the enemy manages to kill all units of a kingdom and also defeats the kingdom itself (a kingdom has an atack and a defense value. But it may not be used to attack another player), he gains control of the kingdom.
[Sidenote: This idea is modular. If you don't like it, the remaining ideas would still work]

And of course each kingdom has some kind of ruletext which provides advantages to the controlling player.

Furthermore I suggest threshold abilities. Because kingdoms may be played without any cost, we need some way to support kingdoms with more exciting abilities. Therefore I suggest that certain ablities are only available when a threshold is passed. (This idea can also be transfered to other card types).

One thing I need to emphasize: Each kingdom has an attack and defense value. But a kingdom itself can not attack. This is neccessary because otherwise an enemy could attack with a 1/1 unit very early in the game and conquer the only kingdom the defender has.

edit: Typo
Last edited by Ravenchild on Thu Jun 02, 2011 21:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by Q_x » Thu Jun 02, 2011 19:31

I had quite similar idea of quests. Quest would be a card with a rule allowing to conquer it and a influence value.

Now, I think this could be merged with your idea. Let's forget about the influence. But how about adding "Conquer rule" or "Siege requirements" that attacker needs to fulfill to put a kingdom (I guess it will be rather fortress in my imagination) out of play? This may be defeating the crew, but might be as well crumbling the wall with some machinery, or attacking three times in a row.
Also, the kingdom may influence units that it holds in - that may be a slight bonus to defense, or a rule that saves one of the units due to good hospital located somewhere inside.

I can imagine a player that has only kingdoms in his hand, so that he is spawning faster than his enemy can beat him. So how about limiting the number of kingdoms to lets say 5 at a given moment?

Very last idea is that a kingdom has it's own "resource value". If it's 20 - it can hold units and equipment that in total cost no more than the value, plus some slack for playing events. Problem of playing strong cards quickly can be still coped well with threshold.
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Re: New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by Ravenchild » Thu Jun 02, 2011 20:03

Q_x wrote:I had quite similar idea of quests. Quest would be a card with a rule allowing to conquer it and a influence value.
Okay. Does that mean, when I play a kingdom card, the enemy automatically gets the quest "conquer that kingdom"?
Now, I think this could be merged with your idea. Let's forget about the influence. But how about adding "Conquer rule" or "Siege requirements" that attacker needs to fulfill to put a kingdom (I guess it will be rather fortress in my imagination) out of play? This may be defeating the crew, but might be as well crumbling the wall with some machinery, or attacking three times in a row.
Hm. Interesting. But "crumbling the wall with some machinery" is too specific. The enemy may not have a card with the right requirements in his deck.
Also, the kingdom may influence units that it holds in - that may be a slight bonus to defense, or a rule that saves one of the units due to good hospital located somewhere inside.
Yes. As I have written, each kingdom will have special abilities. These abilities can be anything.
I can imagine a player that has only kingdoms in his hand, so that he is spawning faster than his enemy can beat him. So how about limiting the number of kingdoms to lets say 5 at a given moment?
Playing so many kingdoms at once would be a very dumb idea. The enemy will easily conquer the freshly placed kingdoms and get an advantage. Normally you would only put a kingdom into play when you have troops that you can spare and assign to the new kingdom.
Very last idea is that a kingdom has it's own "resource value". If it's 20 - it can hold units and equipment that in total cost no more than the value, plus some slack for playing events. Problem of playing strong cards quickly can be still coped well with threshold.
hm. Not a bad idea. But it may get too annoying. And some players prefer decks with more kingdom cards and others prefer decks with less of these cards. This could create a serious problem for the latter players.
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Re: New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by aspidites » Thu Jun 02, 2011 20:55

Rather than 'drop' components from the ORC, wouldn't it make more sense to draft a new ruleset and post it in the wiki?

I always thought that ORC was simply a reference design and while it could evolve, shouldn't change too much. In the case that another ruleset became popular, it could then be adopted as the ORC.

Then again, maybe I'm missing the point all together.

As for your new rule(s), they sound very much like location/land/field cards of other games, so it's a proven mechanic. I'd even argue that given the nature of Wesnoth, it might even make more sense then a finite northern/southern front. Having not playtested either set of rules (or if you rather, your modification of those rules), I can't give an opinion on which mechanic I think works better.
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Re: New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by Ravenchild » Thu Jun 02, 2011 21:53

aspidites wrote:Rather than 'drop' components from the ORC, wouldn't it make more sense to draft a new ruleset and post it in the wiki?
Just because some rules need to be changed, I don't see a reason to introduce (and maintain!) a completely new ruleset.
I always thought that ORC was simply a reference design and while it could evolve, shouldn't change too much. In the case that another ruleset became popular, it could then be adopted as the ORC.
To my knowledge the ORC is still at a fluid state. So this is probably a good time to propose things with a greater impact on gameplay.
As for your new rule(s), they sound very much like location/land/field cards of other games, so it's a proven mechanic. I'd even argue that given the nature of Wesnoth, it might even make more sense then a finite northern/southern front.
True. (I'm pretty sure that snowdrop will soon argue that he doesn't care for Wesnoth-paralellism ;) )
Having not playtested either set of rules (or if you rather, your modification of those rules), I can't give an opinion on which mechanic I think works better.
These ideas look good as a concept. But of course we need to playtest to come to a reliable conclusion.
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Re: New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by snowdrop » Thu Jun 02, 2011 23:59

card types
For starters, it's unclear to me what these cards do that warrant a new card type: With the exception of the cards being put into play before game starts(?) they can probably be well incorporated into an already existing type, or even as a subtype if needed.

I posed the question to sweep and his crew(?) a couple of days ago in the forum:

When and why do we create new card types? My answer would be that we should only do so whenever the rules and ways a card is played in are "different enough" from the others for it to be justified to create a new card type. In general I also think we should keep the card type count below 10, and preferably not even touch that many. Whatever can be done with existing cardtypes should be so.

function
I don't quite get what they do and what they bring to the game: I have read the explanation three times without understanding what kingdoms(cards) are and do.

They are supposed to replace the current static 2-front system.... but...

spatial brokenness
a) Movement and almost all spatial b) strategy becomes totally broken by this suggestion, and is almost removed altogether.

Furthermore, it also has serious implications for c) the span/effect area of cards: Now all abilities/effects are local. Keeping it like so in a multi-fronted system where number of fronts are plenty and varying will fragment the whole game and break it into too many(?) mini-games: Say you have 4-5 kingdoms, every card you play would only have an effect in one of them. (If it had so in all of them, one must ask the question what function they fill and where spatiality went).

real table
Table space is somewhat limited, at least on normal kitchen tables. Our priority is to make a game thats playable on a real table. If that also happens to be playable online it's nice and all, but that's where prio should be, not the other way around.

I'm not claiming that this idea would cause a mess on the table, but am prepared to argue that every extra zone of some kind adds some additional clutter on the table. If these kingdoms are uncapped, then it sounds to me as they could end up becoming plenty. In addition to this, add movemenet in the mix (if it's around in it) and you might end up with some strange stuff and also a lot of questions about how something moves and how all is connected. :P

Speaking of, I also think the suggested solution for organising the cards was an interesting one.

conquer
How is the game won/lost?
How is a kingdom conquered? (Is it about beating it's DEF?)


bfw
Yups, it isn't not will it ever be relevant for this project what happens to relate to BfW or not. I also argue that anything can be related to anything should a persons imagination want it... BfW stuff is just flavour & fluff - that can't ever be an argument for or against certain game logic/mechanics etc. :)
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Re: New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by aspidites » Fri Jun 03, 2011 02:47

FTR, the BfW argument was more so a convenience argument than anything else. EG, a player that has played BfW that moves to a TCG that so happens to share similar characteristics might find it easier to migrate to said TCG. In other words, I think it makes a compelling argument to keep or introduce a mechanic, not necessarily to dismiss a mechanic. That said, it should of course not be the ONLY argument made for keeping or introducing a mechanic.

I will say that the argument against table space is bogus, considering the numbre of creatures on the table is infinite. 10 cards on the table is 10 cards, regardless of whether or not some of those are "kingdom" cards.

That said, it would get pretty hairy trying to figure out which monster belonged to which kingdom. Introducing a new row for each kingdom might help except that the table would easily get crowded after so many kingdoms were introduced.

I don't think scope would be any different than it is now. "One ore more kingdoms" takes care of the ambiguity issue. I would be concerned about the level of micromanagement introduced with this mechanic.

Anyways, like I stated before, I'm not so keen on dismissing a game mechanic without having first tested it. Some things that sound 'complicated' or 'bad' end up making a game exciting.
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Re: New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by Q_x » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:20

@Ravenchild - yes, basically I thought playing a kingdom will be in the same time giving the opposite player a quest to destroy it.

@Snowdrop, table size problem - I think this will not be a real issue. You can always stack creatures and kingdoms together (partially, not completely)

@"Playng the kingdom first" problem - player could always and mandatory play a kingdom with at least one unit, so that it is immediately defended. Also players could play first round with disallowed influencing eachother in any way, so that when second round starts - they would have to have at least one kingdom and one unit on the table.
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Re: New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by Ravenchild » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:37

snowdrop wrote:card types
For starters, it's unclear to me what these cards do that warrant a new card type: With the exception of the cards being put into play before game starts(?) they can probably be well incorporated into an already existing type, or even as a subtype if needed.

I posed the question to sweep and his crew(?) a couple of days ago in the forum:

When and why do we create new card types? My answer would be that we should only do so whenever the rules and ways a card is played in are "different enough" from the others for it to be justified to create a new card type. In general I also think we should keep the card type count below 10, and preferably not even touch that many. Whatever can be done with existing cardtypes should be so.
The major difference between kingdoms and other card types is that these kingdoms define how much "life" you have left. If you lose all of your kingdoms, you have lost the game. Additionally, you can conquer kingdoms which is not possible with other card types. And while kingdoms have an attack and defense value they can't attack like normal units.

An enemy always attacks a specific kingdom. It is then up to the defending player to select defenders within that kingdom. If no defender is chosen for an attacker, the kingdom card itself blocks each unblocked attacker. If this defeats the kingdom card, the enemy gains control of the kingdom. [Sidenote: The last sentence is a new rule preventing an exploit I discovered today]
function
I don't quite get what they do and what they bring to the game: I have read the explanation three times without understanding what kingdoms(cards) are and do.
Like any permanent card they may have any ability. For example the kingdom could give +0/+2 to all local units. It could also have abilties like "deal 2 damage to a unit attacking this kingdom (use this ability only once each turn)". Most abilities will probably help to defend the kingdom or support your own troops when they attack. But other abilities are also conceivable.
They are supposed to replace the current static 2-front system.... but...

spatial brokenness
a) Movement and almost all spatial b) strategy becomes totally broken by this suggestion, and is almost removed altogether.
Yes, you need different strategies with these rules. I'm not entirely sure if it will work out well, but I like the idea and therefore I presented it to you.

To remind you, there is this rule:
When a kingdom is attacked from X different enemy kingdoms, it may recruit any number of unmarked units from X-1 other kingdoms at no cost to defend the kingdom.
So, from an attackers perspective, if you attack a kingdom with only troops from one kingdom, you have a good idea what the defender may do. But if you send more troops from other kingdoms along, the defender has more choices how to compose his defense and the attacker may face a nasty surprise.
Furthermore, it also has serious implications for c) the span/effect area of cards: Now all abilities/effects are local.
Not neccessarily. That's up to us. A kingdom card may also have abilities that benefit all units of a player or even all units of the enemy.
Keeping it like so in a multi-fronted system where number of fronts are plenty and varying will fragment the whole game and break it into too many(?) mini-games: Say you have 4-5 kingdoms, every card you play would only have an effect in one of them. (If it had so in all of them, one must ask the question what function they fill and where spatiality went).
That could indeed become a problem. But it really depends on how the kingdom cards look like.
I'm not claiming that this idea would cause a mess on the table, but am prepared to argue that every extra zone of some kind adds some additional clutter on the table.
Therefore I suggest a distinctive card template for kingdoms that make them easily detectable on the table
If these kingdoms are uncapped, then it sounds to me as they could end up becoming plenty.
Kingdoms themselves won't make you win the game. They only assist you in this task (Remember: The can be played at no cost). And I am certain that we won't see too many kingdoms on the table. Each kingdom must be protected so that the enemy can't conquer it. So you are paying a maintainance cost for your kingdoms in some sense.
In addition to this, add movemenet in the mix (if it's around in it) and you might end up with some strange stuff and also a lot of questions about how something moves and how all is connected. :P
Yes, you can move units between kingdoms. And I don't see how this makes things complicated. There are two kinds of movements: The normal movement during your turn and the "emergency movement" when a kingdom is attacked by more than one other kingdom (as described above)
conquer
How is the game won/lost?
How is a kingdom conquered? (Is it about beating it's DEF?)
Yes, a kingdom is conquered when a player manages to deal at least X damage to a kingdom card, where X is it's defense value.
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Re: New Card type: Kingdom (and some rule changes)

Post by snowdrop » Mon Jun 06, 2011 19:08

aspidites:
I will say that the argument against table space is bogus, considering the numbre of creatures on the table is infinite. 10 cards on the table is 10 cards, regardless of whether or not some of those are "kingdom" cards.

That said, it would get pretty hairy trying to figure out which monster belonged to which kingdom. Introducing a new row for each kingdom might help except that the table would easily get crowded after so many kingdoms were introduced.
I think you captured it much better than me. :geek: The need to somehow mark out and organize more space/zones on a table and to do it in good intuitive ways isn't easy at all IRL. It is however also not a real or main problem maybe since spatiality almost doesn't matter in the version that Raven suggested, thus you're right that it's not much of an argument from my side.
I don't think scope would be any different than it is now. "One ore more kingdoms" takes care of the ambiguity issue. I would be concerned about the level of micromanagement introduced with this mechanic.
Agree that scope could work as it already does, but the system makes less usage of spatiality since a creature can defend and attack from everywhere, making it all very unintuitive in a new sort of way (but that's not a good argument either, I admit). The main worry I have is that it will fragment the game and make every hotspot have few cards around it and a simplistic behaviour instead of having fewer hotspots with more complex chain reactions and interactions: This goes without saying since the amount of cards in the deck are the same but have to be divided somehow between x kingdoms (in contrast to my suggestion, where they're divided between 2 fronts at most).

I'm not as worried about the microing, or administration of it as I call it elsewhere, as the amount of cards is the same. Asp might have a point when he points his it though as it would generate some additional admin if creatures can move between kingdoms.
Anyways, like I stated before, I'm not so keen on dismissing a game mechanic without having first tested it. Some things that sound 'complicated' or 'bad' end up making a game exciting.
I don't want to give the impression that I dismiss something quite yet. When I do it I do it more literary/explicit, as will be seen later in this post. :o

The dev of the ORC is an open and pretty transparent process where I'd welcome all contributions, and I'd be the happiest one around if somebody found flaws in what is still an unfinished and young ruleset that's in need of plenty of concept testing, to later be thrown into play testing. In the same manner I think it's refreshing and interesting to see suggestions on how it can be improved by new additions/mods. If it's done with my blessing or not is irrelevant as long as it is documented and worked upon by whoever wants to push the changes and believes in them - forking rulesets and alternative ones in the cases where devs have very incompatible point of views or come to very different conclusions have been encouraged since day one of the project.

I believe all ideas should be able to withstand a discussion and think that a good idea will survive the scrutiny in a forum. By asking, questioning and sharing we develop new ideas, improve old ones and trash some along the process. For example, I myself have already trashed one design I did since I eventually thought it had too many problems associated with it. It was playable but not what I could call "optimal" or even near what I would call the ideal set.

Sometimes great ideas are only great in theory and will prove bad in practice when doing concept testing, other times it's the other way around. I can't say what is "true" or not about the Kingdom concepts that Raven offered, but think they can only become better by us all discussing them. If nothing else Raven might get additional ideas :)

In this case the mechanic can't be tested since there are still many practical questions surrounding it, some of which I voiced.

To be extra clear on this one: I have no issues with anyone testing anything they want without me thinking it is a good idea or being excited about it. I even think that would be good as I often consider myself and my conservative and slow dev approach as one of the bottle-necks in the project. :?

I always thought that ORC was simply a reference design and while it could evolve, shouldn't change too much. In the case that another ruleset became popular, it could then be adopted as the ORC.

Then again, maybe I'm missing the point all together
.

No, you hit bulls eye: Project is open for any number of rule dev teams. They are expected to create the rules and the cards for their rule set, and also playtest it and eventually offer it as a candidate for the offical rules for WTactics. All rulesets will be tried out by the internet communities and benevolent me will eventually deem one as the official ruleset based on what goals are mapped out in the GDD.

raven:
The major difference between kingdoms and other card types is that these kingdoms define how much "life" you have left. If you lose all of your kingdoms, you have lost the game. Additionally, you can conquer kingdoms
When you have lost all your kingdoms you lose the game.

1. So.. each kingdom is "one life"?

2. And there's nothing stopping a player from putting for example 10 kingdoms in play?

3.
If I conquer a kingdom, does it mean that it then counts to my own life pool? And also, do I get it's effects?

In the case where that (3) is true I am very reserved to it: The result of losing a kingdom is double punishment: First it punishes the player by having him/her lose the "hp". Then, it punishes her by awarding the opponent once more by making his/her "hp" grow.
An enemy always attacks a specific kingdom. It is then up to the defending player to select defenders within that kingdom. If no defender is chosen for an attacker, the kingdom card itself blocks each unblocked attacker. If this defeats the kingdom card, the enemy gains control of the kingdom.
4. How does that work?

Is the combat against the undefended Kingdom resolved as it would be with an enemy creature, where the Kingdom "survives" (is unconquered) if the attackers combined ATK values are less than the Kingdoms DEF?

Or does the Kingdom have a "hp" that you have to keep track of? In this last case I think it just brings additional admin.
Like any permanent card they may have any ability. For example the kingdom could give +0/+2 to all local units. It could also have abilties like "deal 2 damage to a unit attacking this kingdom (use this ability only once each turn)". Most abilities will probably help to defend the kingdom or support your own troops when they attack. But other abilities are also conceivable.
With other words, they don't really bring effects that can't be brought by other means: Their real thing that set them apart from other types are conquerability & them being the same as the players HP.
spatial brokenness
a) Movement and almost all spatial b) strategy becomes totally broken by this suggestion, and is almost removed altogether.
Yes, you need different strategies with these rules. I'm not entirely sure if it will work out well, but I like the idea and therefore I presented it to you.
Movement is almost insignificant in your setup and the benefits it brings to the game are lost. I explain some of these in another recent post to aspidites in http://chaosrealm.net/wtactics/forum/vi ... p=940#p940

There might be other ways to use spatiality to bring strategic depth that I'm not aware of, but in the case with the ORC I won't ditch movement because of the intro of a new cardtype. I think the spatiality stuff the fronts introduce should be kept intact, at least in ORC, and that it is the cardtype that should be adapted to it instead.

That said, I am not claiming your suggestion as it is wouldn't work out in another ruleset or that spatiality is a must in a good ruleset: I'm sure there can be much more delicate and deeper rules created without involving spatiality, but I'm not the one that can deliver them. I would however love to read them and try it all out.


Quests
For the ORC, with the preservation of a two front system, it would perhaps make more sense to rename the concept you suggest (cards with effects + cards as win condition + cards that can somehow be coquered/completed/used by both players) to Quests instead to move it away from giving an impression that it somehow relates to spatiality.

The Quest idea has been presented by Q_x in the past and he also mentions it before me in this thread.

I think that Quest completion could potentially work as a win condition and add some interesting stuff to the game if it's properly executed. Most of Ravens ideas can be incorporated or be variants of Quests. (I wouldn't know myself how to achieve that right now and won't pursue that path too much unless I get some bright idea from following your discussions. I would love seeing it developed though...)

Q_x suggests an interesting notion when he mentions some kind of gold cap of who/what gets to achieve a quest. Another idea I had was that every quest can be worth different amounts of Quest Points and that the win condition could be to achieve x QP's. Then again, why can't the QP's just be the same as the Quest Cards gold cost? :P

I don't know how good quests could work out or the exact nature of them (e.g. should all quests be possible to be accomplished by any player or just some? wouldn't all-by-all lead to very flat and uninteresting stuff? how would interesting and action specific stuff look? would one of the criterias for a good quest be that the opponents can somehow intervene/make it harder or easier for a player to finish a quest? and so on...) I've seen them in other CCG:s and it could be worth investigating the topic further, arguably in another thread if it's about Quests.
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