18 Card Legacy – Game 1 Playtest

This is a post about the design and development of a currently unnamed Shipwreck Game. You can see the other Blog posts at the Index for the Game.

Quick shout out to all those that provided feed back after playing the PnP for Game 1. I truly appreciate you taking the time to make the very basic first game to check out how it plays. And obviously, I am still interested in hearing back from anyone.

Double Sided Cards

The first PnP had only 12 cards in the deck, and was tested as a single sided deck. So once I had the Game 1 somewhat balanced, I quickly turned it into 6 double sided cards to check how it played. I am sure there are a few people that will immediately see the problem. With only 6 physical cards in use, if each player has 2 cards in their tableau, and there are 2 villains out, the deck is entirely used up. This is obviously unworkable.

Adding new cards to the Campaign

So, my initial thoughts were to start with half the deck, 6 double sided cards. Then add 2 more double sided cards after game 2, 4 and 6, when we would have the full deck of 12 cards/24 sides. Instead, we’re going to have to start with 10 cards, and only use one side of them. 2 more cards can be added at some point to get to 12, but how do we gradually add in the content on the other sides?

It seems that the solution is to define the deck at the start of the early games of the campaign. This will be easy enough to do, as all the cards are already defined by a unique suit and number. For the first game the instruction would be:

“Make a 10 card deck including cards 1 to 3 of suits * & Square and cards 1 & 2 of suits % & Triangle.”

This should work for the first four games, as we swap out card sides, to bring in new content.

Using Both Sides of the Cards

But we want to get to using all 24 sides in a game. So game 5, we’ll drop down to 8 cards again, but will start using both sides of them, flipping them after they have been discarded. Then we’ll add 2 cards in for games 6 & 7, when we will be using all 24 card sides. The plan is this:

  • Game 1 – Cards 1-10, side A
  • Game 2 – Cards 1-12, side A
  • Game 3 – Cards 3-12, side A, Cards 1-2, side B
  • Game 4 – Cards 5-12, side A, Cards 1-4, side B
  • Game 5 – Cards 1-8, side A & B
  • Game 6 – Cards 1-10 side A & B
  • Game 7 on – Cards 1-12 side A & B

So new cards will be added to each game up to 7, and the existing cards themselves will also be modified between games. There will be plenty of scope to alter the play during the campaign.

There is some planning involved in making multiple decks from two sided cards. This constraint has actually made planning the campaign a whole lot easier, and has led me to the obvious way to proceed in the game development.

The Last Game of the Campaign

I have roughly sketched out how the game will develop, adding a note of what elements will be added between, or during, each game. I was planning on working forward, building on what came before. But I think it might be better to construct the last game of the campaign, and get that balanced. And then work out the steps needed to get from Game 1 to Game 8.

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