Some concerns about mechanics before I back

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Chrondeath
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Some concerns about mechanics before I back

I'm tempted to back the kickstarter, but I have some concerns after reading the rules and I'm wondering if they were considered during the design (and if so, what aspects of the design are addressing them).

For relevant background, I've played Sentinels of the Multiverse, Dominion, Ascension, Thunderstone, the Marvel and DC deckbuilding games, Eminent Domain, Copycat, and Shadowrift (the only other co-op deckbuilder I've seen).  Most of these were without expansions.

First:  double-sided cards that get shuffled into decks?  What the hell?

That's going to be a hard sell to...well, anyone who's shuffled a deck before.

The BoardGameGeek review suggested that stacking decks is allowed; are there at least specific shuffling instructions that make sense out of this, like "Whenever you shuffle, shuffle your same-backed starting deck cards first, then insert your double-backed cards wherever you want" so it's codified that you will be setting up your draws each time?

Second: I hope I don't draw the wrath of Ascension (and derivatives) fans for this, but I really haven't been a fan of the deckbuilding games where the purchasable card selection changes each turn.  They seem to come down to lucking into good flips at the end of the last player's turn, expensive (or bad) cards clog up the tableau, and it feels impossible to focus on a strategy if the cards that would have synergy don't flip (or are good enough on their own that they get snapped up by other players unless they showed up just before your turn).

Possible things I see that might mitigate this in Galactic Strike Force are the co-op nature (theoretically, the other players won't try to screw you by buying the best cards out from under you), the splitting up of purchasable cards across sectors (so there are factors other than "buy the best card you can afford" going into purchase decisions), and the unengaged opposition ships sweeping the tableau (so bad cards don't clog things forever, although this one seems like it may not actually apply--the sectors that would get clogged with bad cards would be the ones where people are buying out the good things, not the ignored ones...)

Simultaneous turns could go either way (maybe it makes things better because everyone has to discuss where cards go; maybe it makes things worse because there's no defined way to resolve buying conflicts...or is there?)

Third: I had some concerns I was going to talk about from the only co-op deckbuilder we've played, Shadowrift, but on further thought I think they may have had more to do with Shadowrift's specific set of cards and mechanics.  It seemed difficult for all players to successfully build their economies to acquire the better cards...but building up economy is maybe more important in fixed-tableau games, and maybe the built-in money on all cards here addresses that anyway...

Rabit
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1) Yep, double-sided cards. Honestly, I don't have any issues with it, but it's something to get used to. As to shuffling, the designers are planning to include something like "Shuffle in a way that you feel you have truly randomized the contents of your deck. If you are not certain you can manage this, shuffle thoroughly, and then have someone sitting next to you cut your deck for you." in the rules. The intent is that you have shuffled without really looking. Can you stack it? Sure, you can do anything you want - it's a cooperative game. Kinda like a friend of mine who likes playing Brawl as a turn-based game. It work, it's just a very different game.

2) You pretty much answered that one for us - thanks. wink

3) Never heard of Shadowrift, so I have no answer for you on that one - sorry!

Hopefully the information that'll be shared as the Kickstarter progresses will help you make up your mind.

Thanks for at least being willing to consider it! cool


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Rabit
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Oh, and had another thought: If you've played Sentinels of the Multiverse, you might have already seen cards shuffled with a different "back" when Ambuscade's traps are shuffled back into his deck. It's actually pretty easy to just shuffle and not pay attention to the card backs - I got very used to it, but I suppose not everyone is going to feel the same.


"See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart." - Mal

Until we have an H emoticon:

Chrondeath
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Rabit wrote:

1) Yep, double-sided cards. Honestly, I don't have any issues with it, but it's something to get used to. As to shuffling, the designers are planning to include something like "Shuffle in a way that you feel you have truly randomized the contents of your deck. If you are not certain you can manage this, shuffle thoroughly, and then have someone sitting next to you cut your deck for you." in the rules. The intent is that you have shuffled without really looking.

That's a cop-out.  If the rules say that I'm supposed to act like I don't have knowledge about the card backs that I obviously have, then that's going to make me feel like I'm cheating even if I'm not intentionally arranging the deck....and I really don't like that feeling.  Having another player cut the deck just shifts it onto them (and doesn't help stuff like "did I subconsciously set up my deck so that the purchased cards are evenly distributed, making the cut irrelevant?")

Ambuscade's traps (the old Decipher Star Wars CCG had a couple similar things) are a difference in scale, but even those make me feel sketchy if I start thinking about them in-depth.

Why couldn't they go with something like the half-upside-down cards Magic had for a while, so you could give everything the same back and just rotate the card if the opposition takes it?

Ronway
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As long as you're not looking while shuffling, than you won't know what every other card other than the top one is in your deck. It doesn't matter if you know what the next card you draw is, infact if you have all 30 cards memorized front and back, more power too you!

 

That would be a lot of information to put onto a single card, meaning everything would have to smaller. Or omit the flavor text and art of the cards, and do we really want that to happen?

lynkfox
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coop simultaneous turns removes the aspect of worrying about players buying cards you want just because. discussion is key, and it's an pretty lively debate but I a good clean fun way. Also the ship strategies, if you're sticking with what each ship is 'good' at mean you're rarely buying the exact same cards. it is rare I my experience to see someone fight over a card. more often its hey, I want the next card that's going to come up (cause you can see the opposition side so you can always look to see the Stoke Force side) will you buy a card so I can buy that one?

second to that, is that there are only 30 types of cards to buy. You'll see the one you want pretty easily. In Play testing it wasn't unusual to see cards flip through the stations and see 6, 7, even 9 or 10 cards in a req phase. add to that techs get removed from your deck as you play them, and for the most part all bought boosts range from good to awesome, you rarely feel trapped with cards.

As for 'bad' cards getting locked that's where the double sided part comes in. As you buy card all the cards move over so the new card is always in the right most slot (bottom now I guess with the rotation change to station s). during the aftermath phase opposition ships steal (use the opposition aide of the card) from the /top/ meaning you won't see the same cards in a slot for very long at all. It's designed that way specifically because of deck building 'bad' card lock. and bad is relative. There are no really /bad/ cards. some are better than others yes, but even the less awesome cards are still good for you and still provide a benefit. There really isn't any card you /dont/ want because if it's tech it s going to give you more energy or more options, and if it's a boost its going to give e you more options.

Also maybe you really dont want that opposition side to come into play, so you buy the card even if you dont want it to prevent it from playing.

As for Shuffling, its admitted that you can semi stack your deck. yo me it seems part of the strategy. The game is based around finding that perfect turn order t accomplish your goals. A little bit of stacking is part of that strategy. or if you don't like it, as suggested, shuffle under the table a d have a buddy cut it.

Last on economy... The prices may have changed in the latest build, but even so you don't have to worry. You'll have the feed its in hand to purchase at least one or two cards if not more.... and honestly purchasing more isn't always better as it may make your deck to big.


Lynkfox.
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