One of the things I most enjoy about writing for publication is that it gets me thinking again about ideas I’ve been mulling over in the back of my head. So after I wrote my article on drafting, while I cooked dinner, walked down to the shops etc I gave the concept a bit more serious thought. I thought I’d share one of the ideas I came up with that might be interesting to play with.
The basic format is a draft based on the mechanics of the age old memory game concentration or matching games. A pool of resource cards is spread face down on a playing area and players take turns to flip a number of cards up (probably 3 or 4 rather than 2), draft one, then flip them down again.
This is a simple way of restricting the draft in such a way that it constantly generates interesting decisions- I flip two cards, One is good for my goal, one is good for my opponent’s. I know my opponent gets one, so which one do I choose- the one that better suits me, or do I counter-pick the one better for them to deny it?. Or, I’ve flipped a pretty good card, do I choose to flip bad cards which have already come up so as not to potentially reveal a new choice to my opponent, or do I risk it for a better pick?
A complication can be added where the cards have unique properties which affect the draft. For example, certain cards if flipped might constrain or alter choices that can be made: force your opponent to pick from the leftover cards you flipped on their next turn; or if you flip two of a kind you can’t pick either, but if you flip three of a kind you get them all. Others might alter the drafting environment: cause the remaining pool to be reshuffled, give you another flip etc.
This could be a game in its own right, or it could just be the resource distribution phase for another game as in most instances of the use of drafting mechanics.
I’ll probably spend some more time wrangling this idea over the next few weeks, it seems quite promising and fairly unique as a combination of basic mechanics. If anyone wants to join in a process of collaborative design with your own ideas about how the basic principle could be added to or developed, be my guest.