Deebz (Deck Battle System)

Deebz (Deck Battle System)

Purpose

This document describes a system that provides the users with a platform for building a deck and then testing the deck’s strategy within a tactical simulation that occurs on a Gridmap.  

The objectives of the deckbuilding component of the system are:  

  • Allow users to plan ahead by selecting cards to put into their deck

  • Allow users to attempt to defeat each other's strategy by making users telegraph their intentions during deck customization.

  • Provide a simple learning curve and a large number of viable strategies.

The objectives of the Gridmap simulation system are:   

  • Allow users to express their deck strategy in the simulation by pursuing an objective.

  • Provide a platform for direct conflict between users in the pursuit of the objective(s).

  • Provide a large number of viable plays each turn.


Terminology

Activation

Each Unit can be Activated by its controlling player once per turn.  Further Activations require Effects to be played.  An activation allows a Unit to perform 2 Short Actions or 1 Long Action.

Adjacent

        Two spaces are adjacent if they share a side.  (Orthogonal)

Round

            Each player gets 1 turn per round.

Rank

The face value of a card, from least to greatest, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A

Series 

A group of cards with matching Suit that includes every Rank between the lowest and highest Rank in the group.

Bench

Cards removed from play during deck adjustment.

Draw Limit

This is the maximum number of cards that a player may Draw at the beginning of their turn. I recommend 7 because it allows for a statistically variable play each turn.

Hand Limit

This is the maximum number of cards that a player may keep at the end of their turn.

Hand Limit = Draw Limit - (number of cards drawn during the Draw phase)

Example:  Assuming Draw Limit 7, valid options include:

Draw 3, Keep 4

Draw 5, Keep 2

Draw 7, Keep 0.

Bonus

Increases the Draw Limit of a Player by 1.

Temporary Bonuses are lost at the end of the turn.

Penalty

Reduces the Draw Limit of a Player by 1.

Temporary Penalties are lost at the end of the turn.

Unit

Usually represented by a miniature on the gridmap.  This is the primary method Players have of interacting with the map. 

Units block Movement for hostile Units and Line of Sight for all Units.

Line of Sight

Determines if a Unit can initiate Combat with another Unit.  A Unit has Line of Sight to a space if a line segment intersects the center of the Unit’s space and the target space and is not obstructed by Blockers, Walls, or Units.

Map Modifiers

Modifiers span one space and affect any Unit occupying their space.  

Blocker

Blocks movement, line of sight, and spawning.

Cannot be placed in occupied Spaces.

Discarder

When a Unit moves onto a Discarder or ends its final action of the turn on a Discarder, the Unit loses a card from its deck. 

Discarders can be stacked.  

Each Discarder can only affect a given Unit once per turn.

Teleporter

A Teleporter is considered adjacent to another Teleporter of the same designation.  

The designation of a Teleporter is selected when the Teleporter Modifier is created, such as by an Effect or during map creation.

A Teleporter also has a facing so we have a point of reference when drawing line of sight through it.

Vectors are preserved for Units or lines of sight that pass through Teleporters.

*Advanced Modifiers

Multiplier|Divisor|Attribute Restrictor|Reflector effects persist until the end of the current Round.

Activation Restrictor

Corresponds to an Attribute (suit).

Prevents and/or cancels activation of Units whose revealed cards of matching Suit have the highest count among revealed cards in the Unit’s deck.

Attribute Restrictor

Corresponds to an Attribute (suit).

Prevents Units from using the Attribute.

Multiplier|Divisor

Corresponds to an Attribute (suit).

Doubles|Halves the effective value of an Attribute.  

Multipliers|Divisors of the same Attribute on the same space do not stack.

*An Armour Multiplier stacks with Defend.

Reflector

When a Unit on a Reflector is targeted by an Effect, the player controlling the targeted Unit may discard a card of the same suit as the card used to play the Effect and cancel the Effect or redirect it to any Unit or Space.  

When an Effect targets a Space that is affected by a Reflector, any player may discard a card of the same suit as the card used to play the Effect and cancel the Effect or redirect it to any Space.

Effects that require multiple cards to play use the highest Ranked card as the suit. Ties are decided by the player of the Effect.

Objective Token

A game piece that marks the position of the objective, typically used when the objective is movable via Unit actions.

Spawn Point

A game piece that marks where each Player can place Units.  Spawn Points obstruct movement and line of sight for all Units except Units controlled by the Player who controls the Spawn Point.

Unit Attributes

Armour (?)

This value is compared against an attacking Unit's Attack Damage to determine the outcome of combat.  fractions truncate.

Attack Range (?)

This value is the number of spaces that the Unit's attacks can span before reaching a target.  fractions round up

Attack Damage (?)

This value is compared against a target's Armour value to determine the outcome of combat.  fractions truncate

Movement (?)

This value is the number of orthogonal spaces that a Unit can travel during a Move action.  Fractions round up.

Note: we round up for attributes relating to the gridmap because being stuck is no fun.

Status Effects

Single Immunity

Choose one Suit and one Map Modifier type, target Unit is immune to Map Modifiers of that type and Suit

Modifier Immunity

Choose one Map Modifier type, target Unit is immune to Map Modifiers of that type.

            Suit Immunity

Choose one Suit, target Unit is immune to Map Modifiers of that Suit.

Immunity

The affected Unit is immune to Map Modifiers, all of them, even Teleporters.

Card Retention

The affected Unit does not lose cards from its deck.

Defending

The affected Unit’s Armour is twice the normal value.

The affected Unit can redirect attacks from other Units to itself.  This requires Range and Line of Sight to the targeted Unit and Line of Sight to the attacker.

This effect is lost if the Unit changes ownership.

Carried

The affected Unit or Token cannot take Actions or be affected by Actions or Effects other than the Carry action in progress.

Enlarged

The affected Unit doubles in size and can carry Objective Tokens and Spawn Points by itself.  This effect can stack.  That means a double Enlarged Unit can carry two things.  Enlarged Units start counting movement from any space that they occupy.

Absolute Line of Sight

The affected Unit does not need to draw Line of Sight.

*All types of Immunity are conferred to Carried Tokens and Units.

Game Phases

1. Gather Materials

  • 1 deck of playing cards per player

  • 1 gridmap

  • Some miniatures and tokens

    • Poker chips work well

2. Pick an Objective

Objectives that have a low card cost will allow Players to make more aggressive plays from a narrowly tailored deck build.  Objectives that have a high card cost will force Players to retain larger decks and play more defensively.  A balanced approach is to target 10 turns for achieving an objective.

Suggestions for the objective:

  • Be the only player controlling Units in target area for 3 turns.

  • Carry a token to your spawn point.

    • Distance from spawn to objective should be about 7 to 12

  • Amass 3 Units in an area

  • Be the first Player with a Unit in target space

    • Distance from spawn to objective should be about 30

    • Also Teleporters can make this quite short no matter the distance

  • Sacrifice 3 Units in target space

  • Carry opponent’s spawn point to target space

    • Distance should be about 10 between the spawn points

3. Build a Map

  1. Alternate placing/drawing map segments until both players agree that the map is great.

  2. Place spawn points.

  3. Place Objectives. All players must agree on Objective placement

* Variant:  If all Players agree, they may choose to build Units before the Tactical Maneuvers Phase and place them on the Gridmap.  This choice can speed up the process of simulating conflict.

* TIP: 18 x 18 is a good map size.

* TIP: The more redundant paths the better. A narrow corridor probably shouldn’t be the only entrance into the Objective, unless you want a race to get a Unit with Immunity.


4. Adjust Decks

Players may remove cards from their deck and place them face up, stacked in order by rank and separated by suit in their Bench.  Each Player shuffles their Deck.

*Variants

Players might choose to disallow readjustment during play, if so, they might want to use a draft format for this, customising one suit at a time.  

Because of their varied and powerful effects, face cards should be drafted separately from the number cards.  Remove jokers unless you want a counter heavy game.

Draft proceeds as follows:

  1. For each suit, one at a time, each Player selects a number of cards from the suit to add to their deck.

  2. Then Jacks

  3. Then Queens

  4. Then Kings

  5. Then Aces/Jokers

Players can stack instead of shuffle their Decks.  The choice to stack a deck rather than shuffle can allow a Player to plan quite far ahead.  This can create a style of game that is purely strategy vs strategy.

*TIP: be sure to understand the purpose of each card before adjusting your deck.  That means you will need to continue reading about Effects and Placing Units.

5. Take Turns

Turn Order

Decide who goes first.

Round table initiative Mechanics: After the first player goes, initiative proceeds clockwise.

Popcorn Initiative Mechanics: After the first player goes, they select any other Player who has not acted that turn. That Player then takes a turn and does the same. The last player to go selects the first player to act in the next round (which can be themselves).

Each player then, in the chosen order, performs all Turn Phases.

Variant:  All Players perform each Phase at the same time, in order.  The Strategy Selection Phase determines turn order during the later Phases.  During the later Phases, Players go in order of most cards drawn to least.  During the Activate Units Phase, players will want to use Popcorn Initiative.  This will allow them to Activate some of their Units before other Players and some of their Units after other Players.  If two Players drew the same number of cards, the Player who controls the Unit with the highest Movement (?) goes first.   

Turn Phases

  1. Strategy Selection

  2. Place Units.

  3. Global Effects.

  4. Activate Units

  5. End Turn

How to do things during your turn

  1. Strategy Selection - Choose One

Customise:

Acquire 2 Penalties

Start drawing cards if you want

Consolidate your Discards and Bench back into your Deck

Adjust (per phase 4 Adjust Decks rules: Bench unwanted cards, then shuffle or stack the deck)

Finish Drawing cards <= Draw Limit.

* Note:  This process reduces the incentive to adjust a deck every other turn to get an optimal hand.  That practice becomes less a game of planning and strategy, and more a game of reaction.

Reclaim Discards:

Acquire 1 Penalty

Start drawing cards if you want

Consolidate your Discards back into your Deck

Shuffle or stack the deck, as previously agreed upon

Finish Drawing cards <= Draw Limit.

Draw:

Draw cards <= Draw Limit.

*Experimental

Acquire a Bonus:

Acquire 3 Temporary Bonuses

Draw cards <= Draw Limit.

  1. Placing Units

Place cards face down to create a Unit.  These cards become the Unit’s deck.  These cards remain in play until the Unit leaves play or until an Effect or Action causes them to be discarded.

Remove a Unit from play if it has no cards in its deck.

Each face up card in a Unit’s deck adds 1 to an Attribute.  Attributes have default values of 1.  

2?3?4?5? = 5 Armour

Each pair in a Unit’s deck gives that Unit an additional Short Action per turn.

Each triple in a Unit’s deck gives that Unit an additional Activation per turn.

Use a pair of matching tokens to associate a group of cards to a Unit on the grid. Units are placed adjacent to or on top of the spawn point of the owning player.

* Note:  Making cards remain in play for the duration of the Unit limits the number of Units in play at a given time.  Strong Units will be few in number and weak Units can be populous.  It also requires some bookkeeping to keep track of from which deck a card originated.

*Advanced Rules: The biggest Series of each Suit adds to its corresponding Attribute the size of the Series - 1.

2?3?4?5? = 8 Armour

* Variant:  Cards used to create a Unit do not remain in play, but instead are discarded.  This allows for Players to create many more Units.  In this variant, use a proxy to represent a Unit’s Attributes.  I recommend using playing cards for this proxy because it seems most convenient for the Revealing mechanics.

Revealing Cards

Units can only use cards from their deck that are face up.

When revealing cards from a Unit’s deck, organise them by suit.

There are two ways to handle revealing cards from a Unit’s deck.

  • Beginner:  Players may reveal a card in a Unit’s deck that they control at any time, except once a Unit has declared an attack, each Unit in the combat gets one chance to reveal any number of cards from its deck.  The attacking Unit reveals first.  

  • Advanced:  Cards from a Unit’s deck may be revealed at the end of that Unit’s activation.  This method requires forethought and forces players to telegraph their intent.

  1. Playing Global Effects

Global Effects are played directly from the Players’ hands.

Cards played for Global Effects are discarded.

F (face card) = J, Q, K, or A

Playing Effects From Units (Advanced Variant)

Effects can only be played by Units in the advanced variant of the game.  Range and Line of Sight apply in this case.

Effect List

A + at the end of the card combo means that each F added doubles the numeric value of the Effect.

Sets - Actions

  • Pair - Target Unit performs a Short Action (chosen by the player of this effect).  The Unit’s owner controls the chosen action.

  • Pair + A - Target Unit performs a Short Action (chosen by the player of this effect).  The Player of the Effect controls the Action.

  • Triple - Target Unit activates. The Unit’s owner controls the activation.

  • Triple + A - Target Unit activates.  The Player of the Effect controls the Activation.

Jacks - Map Modifier Placement

  • J+ - Place Blocker

    • Blockers cannot be placed in occupied spaces

  • J+ - Remove Blocker | Discarder | Multiplier | Divisor | Attribute Restrictor | Activation Restrictor | Reflector

  • JQ+ - Place 2 Discarders.

  • JQ+ - Place 2 Divisors | Attribute Restrictors | Activation Restrictors of the same suit

  • JQA+ - Place 3 Divisors | Attribute Restrictors | Activation Restrictors

  • JK+ - Place 2 Multipliers of the same suit

  • JKA+ - Place 3 Multipliers

  • JA+ - Place 2 Reflectors.

  • JAA - Place Teleporter

    • Players may choose to limit the number of Teleporters of a given designation to two.

Queens - Negative Unit Effects|Unit Effect Removal

  • Q - (Persistent) A chosen Attribute of target Unit is halved. 

  • Q - Remove a persistent Effect from a Unit.

  • QQF - Remove target Unit from play 

  • QQAF - Take control of target Unit.

  • *Q+ - Target player gains 1 Temporary Penalty next turn.

Kings - Positive Unit Effects | Spawning

  • K - (Persistent) Target Unit gains Absolute Line of Sight

  • K - (Persistent) Single Immunity.

  • KA - (Persistent) Modifier | Suit Immunity.

  • KAF - (Persistent) Immunity.

  • KK - (Persistent) Target Unit is Enlarged.

  • KF - (Persistent) Target Unit gains Card Retention.

  • KJ - Spawn a Unit adjacent to target Unit that you control. 

  • KJA - Spawn a Unit adjacent to any Unit.

  • *K+ - Target player gains 1 Temporary Bonus next turn.

Aces - Effect Redirection 

These effects can be played at any time.

Optionally use Jokers as Aces for a more counter heavy game.

  • A - Play an Effect or Place a Unit during another Player’s turn.

  • A - Cancel an Effect as it is played.

  • AF - Redirect an Effect, as it is played, to any Unit or Space. Treat the player who redirected the effect as the player of the effect.  

  • AAF - Redirect an Effect, as it is played, to all Units or spaces. Treat the player who redirected the effect as the player of the effect.

    • Redirecting a remove mod effect in this way removes all mods of any type.

  • AAAF - Redirect an Effect, as it is played, to any Units or spaces.  Treat the player who redirected the effect as the player of the effect.

  1. Activate Units

A player may activate Units under their command during their turn.  Each Unit may activate once per turn for free.  Units can perform 2 Short Actions or 1 Long Action during an Activation.

Short Actions

  • Move a number of orthogonal spaces up to their Movement Attribute.  This action can be interrupted by an Attack action (move some distance, attack, move the rest).

  • Attack a Unit

    • Check Line of Sight

    • Check Attack Range >= number of intervening spaces

    • Check Attack Damage >= target Armour

      • The player who controls the target removes (Attack Damage  - target Armour) + 1 cards from the target’s deck.

      • Remove a Unit from play if it has no cards in its deck

  • Interact with an Objective, if it has an associated effect, which should be discussed during map creation

  • *Lend Effect

    • Allows a Unit to share its face cards with another Unit for making Effects

    • Requires at least one other Unit to Create a Combined Effect

    • Requires Line of Sight to the Creating Unit

Long Actions

  • Move a Unit

    • Apply the Carried Status to an adjacent Unit, pick it up, move, place the Carried Unit in an adjacent space, and then remove the Carried Status.

  • Defend

    • Gain the Defending Effect until the controlling Player’s next turn.  

  • Move an Objective Token, Spawn Point, or Blocker (if Enlarged or paired with another Unit)

    • Pick up an adjacent Token or Spawn Point, move, and then place the Token or Spawn Point adjacent to both Units in an unoccupied space.

    • Movement is halved.

  • Leave play

    • Discard all cards in the Unit’s deck and all Effect cards that are attached to the Unit.  Remove the Unit’s miniature from the Gridmap.

  • *Create a Combined Effect

    • Allows other Units to share face cards so this Unit can create an Effect

    • Requires at least one other Unit to Lend Effect

    • Requires Line of Sight to all other Units and target

*Variant: Players can use cards from their hand to augment their Units’ Attributes for the duration of the Round.  Cards used this way are discarded at the end of the Round.

  1. End your Turn

Discard cards in excess of Hand Limit.

If you chose Draw or Acquire a Bonus as your strategy this turn, lose 1 Penalty (minimum 0).

*Experimental

Lose all Temporary Penalties.

If you chose Acquire 1 Bonus as your strategy, acquire 1 Bonus.


Scenarios

Scenarios may require adjustments to the rules above.  Likely, some scenarios will require a subset of the available Effects to be disabled for balance.

Spawning Units:  If a scenario specifies the spawning of Units, build the Unit’s deck before starting play and set it aside to use as a template from which to spawn copies of that Unit when the scenario requires.

Map exploration rewards:  Use a token to represent a deck of cards that a player will acquire for exploring an area of the gridmap.  These cards can be single use or added to the player’s deck, depending on what the scenario is intended to simulate.

Single use cards:  single use cards are removed from play after being used to produce an effect or add to a Unit’s attributes.

Written by Arconom

Cheat sheet: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1JCzwNsOcuInMHIFKWmtZ9a7c411jrUAbvQ3PAA61KLQ/edit?usp=sharing

Cards: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AIxikpdANxRrcpsdkqRDKdXZxaacQSkM/view?usp=sharing

Steam Workshop: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1701170171

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