Wednesday, March 6, 2013

HIS - Card Driven Game

Sample Basic Card

Anatomy of a Card

Cards in Here I Stand have a few important features: primarily the card text and the command points.  The command points are located in a shield icon in the upper left corner.    Command Points (CP) are the "currency" in the game, used to perform any action: from building troops, to moving armies, to sending explorers to the New World.  When a player plays a card for CP, any points not spent are lost.

Sample Mandatory Card
with Turn Availability
The second major use of a card is for the text effect.  The text outlines specific events or modifies outcomes.  Normally, a card can only be used for one or the other, either CP or text.   But there are some cards which are "Mandatory", as shown to the left.  These cards have three  effects.  First, when played, the card text must take effect.  Second, the card provides its CP to the player who played the card.  Mandatory cards, as the names implies, must be played during the players turn.

Lastly, some cards have a "Turn X" written in their upper right.  These cards are shuffled into the draw deck starting on the given turn.  If a card is played for its effect, the card may leave play.  These cards have the words "Remove from play" at their bottom.

Home Cards

Hapsburg Home Card
Every player has a 'Home' Card.  These cards, unlike the others which are drawn randomly, are available every turn to their player.  Every player holds a single Home Card, with the exception of the Papacy which has two Home Cards.  These cards are Mandatory cards, they must be played every turn.


During the game players may "pass" their turn.  This allows the player to hold on to key cards until their next turn.  However, players may not pass until three conditions are met:
  1. All the player's cards saying "Mandatory Event" the player has in hand are played,
  2. The player's Home Card has been played,
  3. The player has no more cards in hand than their leader's "Admin Rating".

Effects on the Game

This system has several effects on the game and game style.  First, the more cards the player has, the more likely they are to have more CP to spend on performing actions.  Second, more cards leads to more options, particularly with text effects.  Lastly, the more cards a player has the longer the player may "delay" events or actions till other players have no or few cards.  This lets the player perform actions with a reduced probability of them being interfered with by the other players.

Running out of cards before the other players can be a risky proposition.  It leaves the player effectively defenseless against the player's other options.  A player must balance when it is a good decision to run their hand out of cards in order to achieve their goals, letting the other player's carry on with no danger.  Similarly, it is sometimes beneficial to hold on to a card as a "bluff", forcing the other player(s) to decide if preceding with their course of action may result in their action being interrupted, or plans foiled.

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