Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Card-driven Turn Sequences: Some further thoughts

The comments I received in response to my last blog entry have really helped me to develop my design for a card-driven turn sequence.

Currently the simple version of the card-driven turn sequence looks like this:
  1. Before the battle commences, each commander is allocated a playing card colour (Red or Black).
  2. Then the command ability of each side’s commander is assessed, and this generates the number of playing cards they are allocated.(For example, an 'Excellent' commander may get eight cards, an 'Average' commander may get six cards, and a 'Poor' commander may get four cards.)
  3. Each commander is dealt the number coloured cards that their ability allows them (e.g. Six Red cards; Eight Black cards). These cards are then placed together and a Joker is added to the pack. This pack of playing cards will be used to activate units during each game turn. The remaining playing cards are discarded for the rest of the battle.
  4. The pack of playing cards is shuffled and put face down where the players can see them.
  5. The top card of the pack of playing cards is turned over, and the colour is exposed for all to see. The player whose side has been allocated that colour may now choose one of their units to activate.
  6. Once the activated unit has completed all the actions it can take during a turn, the next playing card is turned over, and the sequence is repeated.
  7. If a Joker is turned over, the turn ends.
  8. When the turn ends, the pack is shuffled again and reused. This continues until the battle is concluded.
I am in favour of making this slightly more complex and less predictable by making a slight change to the second stage in the process. What I plan to do is to use more than one pack of playing cards so that I can have a larger 'activation' pack that contains several Jokers.

For example, Red is an 'Excellent' commander, and gets eight Red cards, whilst Black is an 'Average' commander and only gets six Black cards. The 'activation' pack starts with eight red cards, six Black cards, and a Joker. The process is repeated, and the 'activation' pack now contains sixteen red cards, twelve Black cards, and two Jokers. This can be repeated again ad infinitum, although I would suggest in this case that a maximum of thirty two Red cards, twenty four Black cards, and four Jokers will suffice as the 'activation' pack will contain sixty cards.

I experimented with an 'activation' pack like this, and the results were interesting. Some turns were very short and one side was able to activate far more units than their opponent, whilst other turns were longer and more balanced. In some cases one side was able to activate three or four units in a row. They could also have activated the same unit three or fours times in a row, which might have had a profound influence upon any battle.

I will continue my experiments, but feel that I am getting closer and closer to a viable working solution that meets the criteria I have already set down.


  1. Bob
    I've just gone back over the last couple of posts, and I think I understand your method. But I've only just surfaced so I'm not fully compos mentis as yet.
    Do you intend to use your method soon? 'Cos I'd like to see it in action.


  2. Steve,

    I hope to get the whole thing down on paper sometime in the next week or so. I will then do some play-testing that I will report on via this blog.

    All the best,



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