33 Card Tournament Deck?

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#1 Dietrich

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:39 AM

50 cards is too many for a deck because during the course of a game I typically only get through 1/4 - 1/3 of my cards. Given the amount of time and thought that goes into these decks, this is very frustrating.

The best way to solve this is to scale-down both the total cards and allowed copies of each card by 1/3rd. This gives us a total of 33 cards (2/3 of 50 are 33), max duplicates of 2 (2/3 of 3 are 2!), and the following probabilities:

In a deck of 50 cards…
1) Each of 3 duplicates has a 6% draw-chance
2) Each of 2 duplicates has a 4% draw-chance
3) A single card has a 2% draw-chance

In a deck of 33 cards…
1) Each of 2 duplicates has a 6% draw-chance
2) A single card has a 3% draw-chance

As you can see, the 33-card deck keeps the identical maximum draw-chance as a 50-card deck and simply fuses/averages the 2 secondary draw-chance categories.

When compared with a 50-card deck, a 33-card deck is a) more easy to design/manage because it's smaller and b) more satisfying because the player gets to actually see all the cards!

What do you think?

#2 Dietrich

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:30 AM

A friend of mine had the following to say…

The main risk of lowering deck size is that game-changing cards like Light the Beacons and Path of Need become staples of your strategy rather than treats (instead of "Man, it sure would be nice to have Path of Need right now", you're more likely to hear "We just need to hold out until I draw Path of Need"). This would probably stifle improvisation and reduce replay value somewhat. As it is, I've played my current Tactics tank deck for a few games now: I've only gotten to use the low-risk but potentially powerful Keeping Count mechanic once, Thicket of Spears maybe a couple of times, Citadel Plate Gimli maybe a couple of times since bringing my deck up to 50 cards (when we were playing the core set with only 30 cards, I got Citadel Plate Gimli every game). With fewer cards, the game risks becoming kind of formulaic, in my opinion. I certainly wouldn't want to play with fewer than 50 cards.

I think this is simply an objection to the basic premise of the 33-card deck which is that at 50 cards, the strategy of the deck becomes obscured by the randomness of the shuffle. The only alternative to reducing the randomness is to accentuate the "formula" (which translates to "strategy").

In short, the "formulaic" nature of the 33-card deck is purposeful. Thus, instead of having 3 different formulas randomly shuffled into a single deck, you get 1 formula which you can rely on.

#3 Nerdmeister

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:45 PM

I think your friend just about summed it up. A bit of uncertainty with the draws will go a long way to up the replayability.

If you want to be "certain" you draw some specific cards then ad some card drawers to the mix or even a search card like word of command (which is pretty much invalidated by your proposal btw)

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