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Communism the Card Game

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So I have a card game idea that I wanted to get some feedback on.

It is a deck building game where the main goal is to play the most victory point cards or leisure cards throughout the course of the game. The catch is that playing victory points cost money and somebody has to work for it.
There are two types of cards. leisure, or victory point, cards and work cards. leisure cards cost money to play. Work cards produce money to play for leisure.
Each player starts with the same deck of cards which will contain a mix of 10 basic leisure and work cards.
There is also a game deck of advanced cards that players will acquire throughout the game.

A round plays out like this.

Cards equal to the number of players are drawn from the game deck and placed face up where all players can see them.

Everybody draws 5 cards from their deck and chooses to play any number of cards from their hand. Everybody plays their cards at the same time.
For any hand a player can either produce more money than they need, satisfy only their needs, or not produce enough money hoping somebody else overproduced.

Next each player pays for their leisure points with the players who overproduced the most money going first followed by the next largest over-producer down to the player with the largest deficit going last.
For the pay for leisure step, each player uses their own money to pay for their own leisure. If they have excess money they add it to a collective bank. If they don't have enough money they take from the collective bank. If there isn't enough money to pay for their leisure even after the bank is empty then that player doesn't gain any leisure points.
Right after paying for leisure each player also chooses a new card from the face up set of cards drawn from the game deck at the start of the round to add to their discard pile. If the player didn't have enough money to pay for leisure they don't draw a new card.

After all players have taken their turn, any players who couldn't pay for their leisure points must place all of their money for that round in the collective bank.

Then all players discard their hand and draw another 5 cards for the next round. Once their draw pile is empty they shuffle their discard pile and that becomes their new draw pile.

I'm looking for feedback on what isn't clear and if this sounds like an interesting game to you? Would you change anything? I know that you can't really give valuable feedback about gameplay without playing it first but i'm more interested in finding out if this game has appeal. Edited by HappyCoder

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I guess this could work, but you will have to fight "being to similar to dominion" i think...

 

Will it be gritty and realistic or lighthearted and with a comical touch? I think the latter would work better.

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There are many deck-building card games that follow similar rules.  I agree it sounds very similar to Dominion.

 

> feedback on what isn't clear

You never really specified an end condition.  What is the goal? First person to 50? Largest total points after 10 rounds? Run out of stacks? Bankrupt the bank?

 

> Would you change anything? 

Yes, many things.

The description sounds like there is no interaction between players; everyone takes a simultaneous turn and collects simultaneous results.  While it works for some games that are entirely competitive, and the games can be quick, the individual games tend to not remain popular for long due to minimal player interaction.  I would add something that gives players an opportunity to interact.

I don't see thematically how it relates to the title "Communism".  Are you talking about Marxist philosophy? The Communist Party historically from China or Russia or another implementation? A more generic implementation like was seen in Israel's formation, or US Hippie camps?  You'll need to work out how you present your theme.

Your game description has all resources vanishing every turn, only the five cards you draw. Your description doesn't have anything that leverages the limitation, which Dominion does quite well. One reason to limit behaviors in a game is to see how players work around it, another is to provide ways to adjust the limiting factor. Dominion worked around it by +draw and +action mechanics, and allowed others to harm your deck through Attack cards, Curses, and similar. If you don't like that way, building up some resources on the board for spending could make sense. That might be more akin to Race for the Galaxy where you can only build up a single piece of stored funds per card played, or maybe allow stockpiling or accumulating value; for thematic reasons it could be accumulated by the government and spent on public works.

You might consider incorporating variations of Citadels, where you can accumulate tokens and spend them, and others have the potential to rob from you.  Thematically you could still have tokens built up by workers or people contributing to the collective good, and you could have attacks between players or loss built in as an alternate cost to cards by people taking from the collective good or failing to contribute to the collective. 

 

What you wrote for the title of the game doesn't seem to match what you wrote for the gameplay, and I'd work hard on correcting that through strong theme-building changes.

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It feels like a quick party game: perhaps an amuse bouche to kick off a boardgame night. The core mechanic seems to be a cooperate vs. mooch simultaneous decision, but I suspect the strategy will be limited from your randomly drawn hand. If you have 4 leisure cards this hand, you're going to be mooching whether that feels strategically correct or not. Still, that sort of chaos can make for a fun light game, where everyone has a chance to win. And the more game savvy will pick up on changing play based on everybody else's draws or even tracking whether key cards have been played this shuffle, so there's a bit of depth for those who want it. Keep it moving fast and I think it's a fun base.

If you want a deeper game, I'd figure out ways to penalize non-mooching play (grinding out your VP fairly is probably the safest and least interactive path) and some mechanism for shifting your strategy beyond your random hand of cards.

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I would add something that gives players an opportunity to interact.


Excellent point. I will think about ways to include more interaction. Thanks.

What you wrote for the title of the game doesn't seem to match what you wrote for the gameplay, and I'd work hard on correcting that through strong theme-building changes.


Noted. I will definitely explore this. Once I get the gameplay sorted out I will look for a better theme.

If you have 4 leisure cards this hand, you're going to be mooching whether that feels strategically correct or not


Yeah, good point. I will toy with players retaining cards between rounds.

If you want a deeper game, I'd figure out ways to penalize non-mooching play (grinding out your VP fairly is probably the safest and least interactive path) and some mechanism for shifting your strategy beyond your random hand of cards.



I did do some simulations where each AI only plays one of three strategies.
Overproducer - Play all work cards and any victory point it can afford
Match - Play as many victory point cards it can pay for exactly
Underproducer - Play all victory point cards and any work points up to their own cost

I found that each strategy would beat one of the other two and lose to the other meaning players couldn't just gravitate to one of those strategies to win.
I agree with penalizing non-mooching play, the point of the game is to anticipate and take advantage of mooching.


Thank you

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