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What if... Hidden information in Dice Masters

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Our recent discussions in the podcast regarding quadrant theory and role assignment are just as important in this game as they are for any other CCGs. However, some of the nuance is missing. Not only do we know all of the dice that are available, we know every global, every possible ability that can be used, and everything else. It makes a level of bluffing and deception in this game impossible because we simply know too much.

That's the nature of the beast in a deckbuilding game, when players pick from a common pool of cards. But except for the basic actions, we don't have cards in common.

So, just for fun, what if we could find ways to hide a little more from one another...?
Hidden information can be fun. It creates a new means of forcing a decision. If I'm playing Magic: The Gathering and my opponent is blue and leaves two islands and some other land untapped going into my turn, I have to worry about a counterspell, because that's exactly what one costs - but he may not even have a counterspell in his hand! We have none of that dimension in this game. If someone saves a mask, we know what it's for because we know what's on the board. Always.

<h3>A New Way to Dice Masters?</h3>Here's one thought that came to mind. What if your character cards were placed face-down? You could still see the dice that were on top of it, but not necessarily the iteration of the card that is there. The card wouldn't be flipped until the controller wanted to purchase a die from that card or play a global ability on the card.

Some things would be a dead giveaway. A facedown card with a single Mr. Fantastic or Professor X die on it is going to be pretty obvious. But then there's the fact that the global isn't available until the active player chooses. That could add an interesting dimension to the game. A facedown card with a couple of Black Widows on it could cause an opponent to act one way... until it is revealed that it is, in fact, "Natural" and not "Tsarina" sitting there.

Sometimes the different characters that are present will enable you to deduce what the team must be. But that could still present it's share of surprises, too!

<h3>On the one hand...</h3>There are a few pros. This gives the players a chance to bluff a little more because we don't always know for certain which globals are available right away. We could bring the "wrong" version of a card just to bluff the type of deck we're playing or to pretend that a global is present that we either never use or is never actually there.

<h3>But on the other hand...</h3>We still have a lot of information. It isn't perfect and a smart player will likely be able to figure out a lot of the board anyway. Denying a global until you break the ice and use it first could be abused.

Perhaps we can develop the game to where we can have a card just for the global, but not include the die - the blank card itself could count toward the die limit. Then someone truly could make a surprise play with a spare energy.
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  1. Tim Scott imported's Avatar
    I think more hidden information would be a good thing in this game, I like the concept for face down cards but I think it would be too much hidden information to handle. I think as they add more ways that interact with the dice bag that will be the hidden information we crave, the main issue with hiding things is everything can be tracked, if you know your opponent brought 4 beast dice and there is one fielded and none is used or prep, you know it's in their bag. I think that fact that we have all the information is a challenge, it's about how well you built your team and how well you can handle someone throwing a wrench in your gameplan, if you can keep track of everything your opponent has going on you can plan for your next turn, or plan out an efficient attack to push through damage while not dying to a counter-attack.
  2. Dave imported's Avatar
    I do like the idea of a little hidden information added to this game to allow some bluffing.

    Another variant I'd like to see developed is how to mitigate the first player advantage. I like how Star Realms handles it by having the first player begin with a reduced hand size.

    I've been experimenting with having the first player have a reduced first turn draw of 3 and/or the 2nd player begin with a sidekick in prep.

    Any other ideas?
  3. Stephen Mitchell imported's Avatar
    I've played games where I try to have as many globals as possible, on both the basic actions and characters that I bring. Why? Because saving 1 '?' energy really tends to mess with my opponents head. Yes, all the information is there...but in the time it takes for them to think of every possible scenario that I would use the energy...they've already out-smarted themselves and typically make a mistake based on a theory that I MIGHT do something.

    It's an intimidation tactic, because they're afraid they might miss something and focus so much on what I'm doing...they tend to forget what their plan is.
  4. Tim Scott imported's Avatar
    I've noticed with a dice refill on turn 2 it might be able to help, your first buy would be allowed into your bag giving you almost a similar chance to draw it on turn 2. Maybe if play 2 started with 1 sidekick in transition at the start of the game, it would be subtle enough to give player 2 a better mitigation of turn 3 attack with almost nothing on board.
  5. Dave imported's Avatar
    I like that idea. PXG really exacerbates the first turn advantage. Sure both players get to use the global, but the potential that your opponent may be rolling 10 dice, including the purchased dice from the first 2 turns, while the other player has thus far only been able to roll sidekick dice is such a massive advantage. The second player just doesn’t have enough opportunity to set up an adequate defense…
  6. Dave imported's Avatar
    Sorry, I meant to respond to Tim's comment above...
  7. Dave imported's Avatar
    Perhaps you could keep the character dice you brought secret as well until the card is played/revealed. Keep a second dice bag and only place out the dice once the card's global is activated or the die purchased.

    Also, sorry that my replies also come up as Dave, it's the default for my google account...
    - Different Dave
  8. Patrick Shepard imported's Avatar
    How about a global ability in a future set that allows each player to bring an additional card (or perhaps cards) to the table that is face down, and you can keep the dice hidden? To keep it thematic, maybe this could be a global on a character that has a teleportation ability (nightcrawler) or extreme speed (flash, quicksilver) or invisibility (invisible woman) or multiplication effect (Multiple Man, Jamie Madrox).

    There would probably have to be restrictions on this global so that it wouldn't completely change the game...maybe the hidden card has to be purchase cost of 7 or higher, or can only have 1 die, or can only be used if you are loosing by 10 points...something like that.

    I like the concept of bluffing and the unknown...would definitely add a new element to the game