Yeah, those are a bit stacked on top of each other from the end of 2020 to the start of but I had a little money left on a gift card for the order, so let’s see what I have coming now, it isn’t big …
Tag: card drafting
So it’s that time of year again when everything goes on sale for Black Friday. This year, though, that looks different because with Covid, you don’t want hundreds of people rushing madly into your store, standing in long lines next to others and breathing the …
Back to our regular schedule for Board Game Mechanics. A board game mechanic is basically one of the key components of the game that makes it work, one of the things in the game that you do over and over again, and this time we’re looking at drafting.
So what is drafting, probably the easiest way to look at it is what is common in the rest of our culture. We have the NFL draft and NBA draft’s that are televised, people draft teams for Survivor or Fantasy Football. When you are drafting you are selecting one thing out of a pool of many things and that one thing is yours and no one else can have it. Game do something similar either with dice, actions, cards, whatever it might be.
There are primarily two types of drafts, the first being, I have a selection of things to pick from, you have a selection, we both pick, we both do our thing, and then we pass selections and repeat until they are all gone. This is how Sushi Go Party! works. You have a hand of cards, you pick one card putting it face down, once everyone has picked, you put them face up at the same time, pass your hand of card and repeat. Once all the cards have been drafted, you score, shuffle the cards back up, and repeat, passing the other direction this time, and then you do that once more back the original direction. It’s very common to draft in rounds like this where it goes one way and then another.
The other type of drafting is from an open pool. This is how something like fantasy football works, items are just removed from a general pool. In board games, this is how Sagrada and Roll Player work. You grab a certain number of dice, generally number of players plus one or twice the number of players, so that no one gets stuck with a single item to pick. You roll the dice, that’s the pool to draft from, then one person picks, and so on and so forth until all of the dice, except for one, are picked. Or if you do twice the number of players for the dice, you start selecting down one way and once everyone has gotten a die, the last person to pick a die gets the first pick of it going backwards, so last to first to select their second die.
The big difference between the two is open information and hidden information. With the general pool of things, the information is open, you and everyone else know what is available. But either way can bring up another item that is a part of drafting, which is hate drafting. Hate drafting is the idea that you take something that might not be the best for you, but would have been really good for the next person picking from the pool. It’s a balancing act of taking something that will still potentially help you, but might potentially give your opponent more points. Now, good game balance should generally make it worth it for you, except maybe late game, to take what you need versus what would block someone else. And while hate drafting is certainly a viable move, most of the time as a complete strategy it won’t help you win.
So let’s look at some games that use drafting:
Draftosaurous – I really like this little drafting game that is somewhere between a roll and write game and a drafting game. In it you are drafting dinosaur meeples and placing them on your board to either creates sets or get as many of a type as you can and then passing your fist full of dinomeeples to the next player and getting a new set from another player. So the main thing is drafting and you are just putting the dinomeeples down depending on what was rolled on a die and how it’ll help you with scoring. The roll and write aspect comes from the die roll that tells you were to place stuff, but also that the scoring is very similar to a lot of roll and write games as is the board. It’s a super fast and very fun little game.
Sagrada – This is just a beautiful game where you are trying to make the best stained glass window possible. In it you are drafting translucent dice and putting them, based off of various color and number restrictions on your board. The trick comes that you can’t have the same number adjacent to each other, or the same colors, so you have to consider where you are placing dice. Now, this would get really hard at the end, but they give you tools that allow you to manipulate the dice, which adds to the complexity of the game. This game just looks great on the table and has a lot of replayability with all of the tools, the different scoring cards, and just how the dice roll.
Roll Player – Now, I don’t think that Roll Player is a ton heavier than Sagrada, and I could have picked some other games, like Blood Rage that have drafting as a part of the game and a whole lot more going on as well. But Roll Player is my choice because drafting is the biggest part of it. In this game you are building an RPG character by picking dice out of a pool and placing them in for one of your six stats, strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom and charisma. You’re also getting to manipulate those dice or already played dice by which score you put them into. Beyond that you are buying skills and traits and getting equipment, all of which can help you score more points. Along with that, based off of your class, you need your stats to be at a certain level, based off of your background, you need certain dice to be in certain place, and based off of your alignment, you can use traits to manipulate it and get it close as possible. The main mechanic of the game, draft a die, place it, and do what it says to do in that stat is very simple, but there’s a lot to keep track of.
Overall, I really like drafting games. Now, I only have one in my three suggestions where that has you pick at the same time, which makes a lot of drafting games very scalable, but there are a lot of out there like that such as Sushi Go Party!, 7 Wonders, and even Blood Rage. What are some drafting games that you like? Does drafting seem like an interesting mechanic to you?
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It’s that time of year, with Black Friday and Holiday Shopping nearly upon us. That means that people are starting to think about the gifts that they’ll be getting for others or what they might want to ask for themselves. This list is basically the …
On to another list for my top 5 drafting games. Now, Board Game Geek only has card drafting for me to sort through, but I will be including a dice drafting game in my list as well (or two). So without any more clarification:
5. Roll Player
Do you just like making an over powered D&D character? That’s the feeling that you get in Roll Player as you are drafting dice to make the ideal stats for your character. You are also trying to line up certain colored dice in certain spots, depending on what card you’ve gotten. It’s a fun game as you try and equip and build your character, and there is a Monsters expansion that I’ve heard adds more to the game. The reason I have it this low on my list is because I haven’t playing with that expansion, and once you’ve built your character, the game just ends, so it feels like it’s a little bit lacking in terms of being a full game. It is still a lot of fun to roll up your character though.
4. 7 Wonders
This is very similar to a game that is further down on the list, actually sitting at #2. But 7 Wonders has a heavier theme to it, though, like most pure drafting games the theme is fairly pasted on. You are leading your ancient civilization through three ages as you try and build up your ancient wonder. Except, you don’t actually need to, to win the game. Instead you might focus in on building up other players that give you victory points or getting the strongest military or winning with a combination of science cards. It has some interesting mechanics as well where you can purchase resources that you might need to build something, but only from the people to your left or right, so there is some strategy with that as well.
Another dice drafting game on the list. I really like this game for the look on the table. In the game you’re drafting translucent dice to create a stained glass window. There are rules where you can place dice, sometimes you must use a certain color and other times a certain number. That part of the game adds in the strategy, also the fact you can’t have the same number next to another orthogonally or the same with the colors. The game goes fast, and when you are done you have a nice looking window in front of you. The game is very much a puzzle game, but not one that is too tricky.
2. Sushi Go! Party
This one is on the list as my favorite pure drafting game. The theme is fun, building out your meal and the scoring mechanics are pretty straight forward, though there are a few specials that I would consider to be more advanced. The artwork also makes it an easy sell as it leans into the cute anthropomorphized food items. The game also plays extremely fast and is easy for new players to pick up. I prefer the Party version to the regular version because you’re able to create a variety of set-ups so that the game doesn’t play the same every time.
1. Blood Rage
Hey, it’s on back to back lists. But Blood Rage does a really good job with the drafting in the game. That’s what really sets apart the strategies for people in the game. Do you load up on cards for battle, on quests to complete, do you spend your points playing monsters? It is a very big part of the strategy and depending on what cards you see, you might have to adjust your strategy on the fly as you draft cards at the beginning of each age. It’s also where a lot of the theme comes into the game, because Loki cards do really feel like Loki, same with Odin, Thor, and other players in Norse mythology.
I don’t have any honorable mentions this time. Board Game Geek has a lot of games that I wouldn’t call card drafting or drafting games on their list, such as Dominion, where you do get to choose what cards you add to your deck, but it is a deck builder, and I already did a post on that a few days ago.
So this is going to be a short post, what are some drafting games that you like? Are there any on my list that you want to play?
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