A different method of playing card activationPosted: November 28, 2013
‘I would suggest having counters labelled or linked to the units, and draw one at a time to determine which unit acts next, so that one does not know in advance the order in which one’s own/enemy units will be activated. A bit more preparatory work, perhaps, and slightly slower in play, but surely more realistic?
This set me thinking, and I have come up with an idea that I want to play-test as soon as I can.
In an ideal world I would produce a special playing card (or unit card) for each unit. Together these would form a pack which could be shuffled and laid face down next to the playing surface. The top playing/unit card would then be turned over and that unit would then be activated. This is basically what Arthur1815 suggested … but I have an idea that might take the whole thing one stage further.
My idea would be to allocate a suit colour and particular card number to each unit (i.e. the Frontier Guides are Red 1). The relevant cards would then be extracted from a normal pack of playing cards and used to make up a pack of unit cards for that battle. The pack would be shuffled and placed face down somewhere convenient. The top card would then be turned over, and the relevant unit would be activated. This would continue until all the cards – and units – had been activated. The pack would then be shuffled again … and the process repeated.
An example of a unit – in this case Red 1 – and the playing card that will activate it. This unit has a multi-figure base and a magnetic marker that represents its current strength. This magnetic marker would be changed as the unit begins to suffer casualties.
This simple system could easily be made more complex … and more unpredictable. If all the cards in a normal pack of playing cards – with the exception of the Jokers – were used rather than just the relevant ones, each unit would have two potential activations (i.e. Red 1 would be activated when the Ace or Hearts and Ace of Diamonds was turned over). This would mean that a unit might be activated for a second time immediately after it had been activated for the first time.
If the Jokers were included things could be made even more unpredictable by reshuffling the pack when a Joker was turned over. Using this method you could get rid of conventional ‘turns’ and have a continual series of unit activations. Not only that, but a unit might be activated more than once before a Joker is turned over … and some units may never be activated at all! This might seem a bit extreme, but it would certainly ensure an element of uncertainty in a game.
It seems to me to be a concept that is worth trying out once just to see whether or not it works, although my predisposition to making small evolutionary changes mean that I would probably want to start with the ‘one unit has one unit card’ option first.