Author Topic: Redemption Cube  (Read 4251 times)

Offline happyjosiah

  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Redemption Veteran
    • -
    • Northeast Region
Redemption Cube
« on: July 08, 2014, 10:32:55 AM »
0
I don't know if any of you are familiar with the concept of “cube drafting”, but I think there would be significant appeal to many of you. Especially those of you who love booster draft. “Cubes” in Magic: The Gathering are a format that is growing in popularity, and with good reason. So for those of you who don’t know, let me start with a brief introduction.

A cube can be considered “the greatest hits” of the game. Typically it contains a single copy of each of the best cards in each color, balanced across colors. So, for example, it might include one of each 10 best Pale Green Evil Charaters and the 5 best Pale Green Enhancements. Same goes for each other evil brigade and each other good brigade. Then add in multicolor cards, dominants, etc. You should end up with a collection of a few hundred cards. What you do then is divide the cards into random “booster packs” and draft with them, just as you would with a real booster pack. This format has several advantages:

1.   No garbage. Since you are only playing with great cards, the last picks are still going to be powerful, instead of 0/2 Bucklers and Strength in Weakness. This makes drafting more interesting and gameplay more fun.

2.   Cost. Since you don’t have to actually buy the boosters each time you play, you can get a lot of repeatable fun out of cards you already own.

3.   Design you love. Since you decide what cards go in your cube, you can remove stuff you don’t like, focus on themes you do, etc. Is Esau an awesome card in your cube? Totally depends on how much support you give him. Is Son of God too broken to be included, despite how powerful it is? No problem, it doesn’t have to be part of your cube.

4.   Breathing new life into mediocre cards. A format like this changes your evaluation of various cards. New Jerusalem features prominently in many winning decks. But in a format like this, it is a completely dead card unless you ALSO get the lone Son of God card. This makes it so weak it’s probably not worth playing. Conversely, a generally un-used card like Users of Curious Arts can be an easy first pick for the flexibility it provides to play various powerful enhancements. Lost Souls? Terrible without Burial, Shuffler, etc. Coat of Many Colors? Probably in the top 5 most powerful cards in this format.


Since you will need to make a 50 card deck after drafting, you will essentially need to have each player draft 43 other playable cards (generic lost souls are added afterwards). Since you don’t want to have to use everything you draft, you will probably want each player to end up with something like 60 cards after drafting. These numbers will determine how big your cube needs to be. If you plan to have each player draft 6 packs of 10, you will need a cube of at least 360 cards to accommodate a 6-player draft. If you plan on drafting with 8 players, you will need a 480-card cube. You may choose to build a cube that is even bigger than this, which provides more variety (as not every card will be used each time), but also will require including less powerful cards. Feel free to adjust the pack sizes and even numbers of total cards drafted based on how many players you have. But let’s assume 360 cards for our purposes.

I’d recommend something like this:
5 Good Dominants
5 Evil Dominants
7 sites (one of each color)
3 access sites
5 Good Fortresses
5 Evil Fortresses
10 Artifacts
5 Specialty Lost Souls
1 Philosophy (good/evil enhancement)
10 Characters and 6 enhancements from each brigade (16x14 = 224)
30 Evil Split/Multi cards
30 Good Split/Multi cards

This will give you a 360-card set that can be easily drafted with friends unlimited times. Feel free to tweak these numbers as needed, but try to maintain balance across colors and good/evil.


So, at this point, let’s discuss. A few talking points:

1.   Should stuff like Son of God (or maybe even stuff like CM and AOTL) be included here?
2.   Should the balance tip more towards good cards than evil cards, rather than being equal, so that games don’t grind to a stalemate?
3.   Most of all, what cards would you include?

Offline happyjosiah

  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Redemption Veteran
    • -
    • Northeast Region
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 10:33:16 AM »
0
{reserved}

Offline EmJayBee83

  • Tournament Host
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • *****
  • Posts: 5485
  • Ha! It's funny because the squirrel gets dead.
    • -
    • East Central Region
    • mjb Games
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2014, 12:14:01 PM »
0
Given the disparity in strengths between various card types, a Redemption cube would probably need some distribution algorithm (like FFG is doing for A:NR draft) rather than just randomly picking the cards in a pack. Here is a worst case example...In his six ten-card packs, Player A is always given the opportunity to draft a Dominant as his first pick.

I think that Dominants either need to be handed out to each player as a fixed-rarity starter pack kind of thing--as you are doing with generic lost souls--or done away with completely. They are too distorting to included in the cube.

I also dislike having fewer of a given card type than you expect players (i.e., if you are expecting 6 players you would need to have a minimum of 6 of each type.) It's one thing to lose because you failed to draft a specialty lost soul, it is quite another if you were never afforded the opportunity to draft one.

Remove Sites form the cube.

Offline happyjosiah

  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Redemption Veteran
    • -
    • Northeast Region
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2014, 02:28:05 PM »
0
Some interesting ideas there for sure.

I had actually considered the possibility of allowing single-color-text-free sites to be added at will, same as generic lost souls (Of course adhering to the usual deck construction rules). Keep in mind, sites are much less powerful in a format where decks are highly likely to be comprised of many different brigade colors. Can you elaborate on your feelings with regard to sites?

My feeling was the the power of dominants was high enough that only a few select ones could be included. Harvest Time would be reasonable for example. Son of God, not so much. But I am intrigued by the idea of giving players a core set of dominants (maybe the "basic 4") for a couple reasons. For one, it takes the number of other cards that need to be drafted down to 39, which allows for a smaller more powerful cube. For another thing, it would make the drafted decks feel more like actual Type I decks, and less like booster draft decks. I think the idea of a deck somewhere between the power level of a draft deck and a constructed deck is pretty appealing.

Offline Prof Underwood

  • Redemption Elder
  • Trade Count: (+7)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8597
    • -
    • East Central Region
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2014, 03:01:52 PM »
0
Some thoughts that popped in my head:

1 - One of the things that I enjoy about Booster is seeing all the cards that nobody would ever use in their "real" decks.  There have been some really fun combos over the years that never would have otherwise happened, and it would be a shame to lose that.

2 - Making a cube with the best cards of all brigades would be really expensive.

3 - Combining #1 and #2 makes me think that perhaps a more fun plan would be to create a cube based on the idea that all cards must cost less than a quarter.  Still pick the best ones that you can find, but many of these would still be cards that don't normally see the light of day.

4 - The main problem with sites in a multi-player game is NOT that no one can get into them.  Instead what usually happens is that there is one player who CAN get into them, and the player using the sites doesn't realize this and keeps putting souls in their site.  Thus one player gains a huge advantage simply because someone else doesn't know how to distribute souls in multi-player.  This can be very frustrating.

5 - All the dominants could be put in the same pack and sent around the table first.  That way each of the 4 people at the table get to choose at least 2.  The same could be done with artifacts/fortresses, covenants, and curses.  These could be the only cards in the cube that are allowed to be worth more than a quarter, and would start things off.  After that, the other 5 packs that each person starts around the table would be made of a random mix of characters and enhancements.

Offline happyjosiah

  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Redemption Veteran
    • -
    • Northeast Region
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2014, 04:00:52 PM »
0
1 - Playing terrible cards is sometimes fun. But playing "all the best cards" is more of the appeal with this format. That said, as you suggest in point 3, an artificial limit on cost of cards could make this more like the "real" booster draft experience, seeing peculiar interactions that don't otherwise come up. In Magic, some cubes are referred to as Peasant (no rares) or Pauper (commons only), and that kind of a limit would seem to mimic what you are going for here.

2 - Yes, but it's a one-time cost. Compared to a Type 2 deck which needs multiples of the good cards, this format requires only one player's collection to contain only one of each expensive card. And for 6 players to play, you don't need 6 decks, you just need one cube.

4 - I'm not sure that "players will do stupid things" is a valid critique of the format itself. On another note, cube drafts are typically played such that players draft as a group, but then break into separate 2-player games. This is why an 8-player draft is really the ideal way to draft, play three rounds, and have a "winner". So I wasn't actually envisioning multiplayer at all, though I do realize that is commonly the way booster draft is played in Redemption.

5 - That's certainly an option as well. Some cubes are even designed to simulate actual pack distribution (so one of each rare, a couple of each uncommon, several of each common) and then sorted into actual packs before distributing. To me, all of that seems like a lot of extra prep-work for an experience that isn't that much different. I also think making a decision between a powerful hero and a powerful artifact is interesting and skill-testing, such that I personally would not want to remove that aspect.

LukeChips

  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2014, 07:16:23 PM »
0
The cube idea sounds cool. ;D

Offline uthminister [BR]

  • Youth Minister
  • Tournament Host
  • Trade Count: (+19)
  • *****
  • Posts: 2582
  • Jesus Loves Gamers!
    • -
    • South Central Region
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2014, 11:04:56 PM »
0
It's official. I am putting together a Gem City Games Redemption cube together to bring to nationals. We have an awesome cube for another popular game and our customers love it. I will be starting a new thread about building a list of cards for the cube.

Offline happyjosiah

  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Redemption Veteran
    • -
    • Northeast Region
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2014, 08:46:15 AM »
0
I would love to see your preliminary list for it. That could generate some interesting discussion. Make sure you post a link here to your new thread when you start it!

Offline uthminister [BR]

  • Youth Minister
  • Tournament Host
  • Trade Count: (+19)
  • *****
  • Posts: 2582
  • Jesus Loves Gamers!
    • -
    • South Central Region
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2014, 02:00:49 PM »
0
I have started the thread as promised. If you want to help put the list together click the link below:

http://www.cactusgamedesign.com/message_boards/game-play-variations/want-your-input-on-building-gem-city-games-redemption-cube!/
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 04:40:21 PM by uthminister [BR] »

Offline EmJayBee83

  • Tournament Host
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • *****
  • Posts: 5485
  • Ha! It's funny because the squirrel gets dead.
    • -
    • East Central Region
    • mjb Games
Re: Redemption Cube
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2014, 02:15:03 PM »
0
I had actually considered the possibility of allowing single-color-text-free sites to be added at will, same as generic lost souls (Of course adhering to the usual deck construction rules). Keep in mind, sites are much less powerful in a format where decks are highly likely to be comprised of many different brigade colors. Can you elaborate on your feelings with regard to sites?
Between this...At one of the Type-2 Only tournaments, I ran a Type-2 Sealed event (each player received two matching starter decks and six packs). As the group consisted of experienced players, I did away with the site limit rule completely. One player traded his two starter deck sites, plus a couple form booster packs to his opponent, who then won because he site locked everyone.

-and this-

The main problem with sites in a multi-player game is NOT that no one can get into them.  Instead what usually happens is that there is one player who CAN get into them, and the player using the sites doesn't realize this and keeps putting souls in their site.  Thus one player gains a huge advantage simply because someone else doesn't know how to distribute souls in multi-player.  This can be very frustrating.

While I have sympathy with the argument, "I'm not sure that 'players will do stupid things' is a valid critique of the format itself," there is no reason to purposefully shoot yourself in the foot. Simply limiting the number of or doing away with sites will removes the possibility.

Sites are just a bad game mechanic when it comes to encouraging fun-itude, and cube drafting should--above all else--be about fun.

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal