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Thread: Help me create a new fun format

  1. #1

    Help me create a new fun format

    Back in my Magic-playing days, my team and I would grind through a heavy playtesting schedule. Sometimes playtesting became like a job, so we played a fun variant called Beast to mix-up the schedule and make sure that we were still loving the game. I won't go into too much detail about how it's played, but it served as the jumping-off point for a new format that I've affectionately called Beast Masters.

    So here is what we (my son and I) have done so far:

    1. Selected 10 cards (and corresponding dice) from each set to be used in the game. The number is somewhat arbitrary, but it works well with an extra set-up box I have to store the game. These cards become a deck from which cards are drawn each turn.

    2. Each player begins the game with only 8 sidekick dice and neither player has basic action dice.

    3. Each turn begins with a player drawing two cards from the deck (with the exception of the first player on the first turn of the game, who only draws one card). These cards can be added to your available pool of dice to purchase (by placing them on the table and putting the corresponding die on it from the box of available dice), discarded to provide one of any type of energy to your reserve pool or held in your hand for later use.

    4. Turns function essentially the same as a normal Dice Masters game with the exception of the added card draw step. We haven't messed with the core idea of the game. You start with 20 life, draw 4 dice per turn, etc.

    As we've played, we have enjoyed the format. Things that we have done which may or may not be good for the game:

    - We have avoided Global abilities entirely (though my son proposed making global available to the player who controls the character).

    - We have considered (but not actual implemented) requiring a cost of one generic energy to add a character to your pool of available dice to purchase.

    - We have played with no hand size limit.

    - Because finding dice could conceivably be a pain in the neck, we separated the dice by set and have used a small number of dice per set (ten, as mentioned above). The box we are using looks like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So here's why I'm posting: While we think this is a fun idea, most ideas benefit from being scrutinized by several minds to come-up with the best version of the idea. So, if you have the time and the inkling, let's bat this thing around and see if we can make a format that will allow for some fun casual play to supplement the hard-core grinding that tournament play can become.

  2. #2
    So in section 3, you have 3 options available to you?
    a. Add any number of cards and die to your team build.
    b. Place any number of cards in the discard pile, gaining 1 wild card energy for each.
    c. Keep any cards in your hand.

    I would suggest:

    a. Keep it free, but retain 8 card team limit.
    b. These discarded cards are available to your opponent as part, or both, of your opponents draw 2. but only on the draw immediately after the are discarded.
    c. Hand size limit. 3-4???

    I'm not sure about global rule. I've always liked the "play your own globals" variant.

    I'd like to see basic actions incorporated into this.

    EDIT: Not having a maximum hand size is effectively a form of ramp... I like that. Have you found that to be necessary?
    EDIT 2: I've attempted something similar (drafting while playing) and found it to be way too un-synergistic. (if that's a word)

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Perhaps it wouldn't be necessary if you created the draw pile in rounds.
    round 1 - 0-3 cost
    round 2 - 4 cost
    etc.

  5. #5
    I would consider going the opposite on Globals: only make them available to the opposing player.

  6. #6
    I also forgot to mention that we avoided cards that referred to specific affiliations.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by alleyviper View Post
    I would consider going the opposite on Globals: only make them available to the opposing player.
    You've been hanging around Patrick too much! That's evil! I love it!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cbone3 View Post
    I also forgot to mention that we avoided cards that referred to specific affiliations.
    what you've done, knowingly or not, is created a cube. leaving out the affiliations is both a mistake and a blessing. because now you can make other ' affiliation specific ' cubes. My Avenger Cube is hands down the best cube I have. (and I'm not really a fan of MARVEL).

    shameless plug: have you tried the drafting variant I wrote about in my blog? we've played it a million times, and it works, but we've recently decided that it just takes too long (usually longer than the game) so I'm looking for alternatives.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SarkhanMad View Post
    what you've done, knowingly or not, is created a cube.
    It essentially is a cube without the drafting aspect, which speeds it up. It also removes some of the skill aspect, which makes it more about PLAYING.

    I haven't seen your blog post. I'll have to check it out.

  10. #10
    oh, I see. My suggestion for allowing the other player to draw from your discarded cards, was gearing it back towards draft... which you don't want?

  11. #11
    I'm not sure. I'll play it both ways and try. Originally, the M:tG Beast format was just about removing skill and having fun. I'm not grinding in Dice Masters like I did in Magic, so it's different.

  12. #12
    we did a format not to long ago at the store I play at where-in you treated every card like it was a BAC for purposes of purchasing dice. So you could buy your opponents dice from their cards and they could buy yours. It brings a new depth to strategy because your opponent can use your win condition against you.

    Another one we are tossing around, but havn't tried yet is a format where neither player can actually damage the opponent until the 5th round, you can still knock out characters and use effects but you can't damage your opponent. This can lead to some very interesting deck design choices that you wouldn't normally see.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Zephernaut View Post
    we did a format not to long ago at the store I play at where-in you treated every card like it was a BAC for purposes of purchasing dice. So you could buy your opponents dice from their cards and they could buy yours. It brings a new depth to strategy because your opponent can use your win condition against you.

    Another one we are tossing around, but havn't tried yet is a format where neither player can actually damage the opponent until the 5th round, you can still knock out characters and use effects but you can't damage your opponent. This can lead to some very interesting deck design choices that you wouldn't normally see.
    definitely trying this one...hold off the damage for a few rounds, build up the force. As long as you no one gets Spiderman - Webslinger ready to force everyone to block while everyone gets through and kills it in Round 5 very cool ideas here!

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