Friday, 27 February 2015

Drafting

quote [ Card drafting games are games where players pick cards from a limited subset, such as a common pool, to gain some immediate advantage or to assemble hands of cards that are used to meet objectives within the game. ]

Second in my collection of themed entries -- tonight it's a favorite hobby of mine, games where drafting is a core component. Main link is a new burger-themed drafting flash game by Terry Cavanagh, the creator of popular platformer VVVVVV. More drafting related links in extended.

So I draft Magic: The Gathering on Friday nights at my Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). For those that have played MTG before this is different from normal play in that each player brings 3 packs, rather than a pre-built deck to play. Each player opens a pack, picks a single card from it, and passes the remainder of the pack in a fixed direction, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. The result after the drafting being that each player has 45 cards and unlimited basic lands from which to build a 40 card deck. Magic is then played as one normally would. It combines the fun factor of opening packs ("oh man, that's a $30 card!) with a metagame of strategy that makes for a more egalitarian experience: no longer can someone just buy up all the best cards and form a deck.

If you'd like to give Magic drafting a shot, visit Bestaire. Stupid name, great place to draft against smart computer opponents. (NB: You can only draft, not play the actual games)

For an overview on one of the most well-loved non-collectable drafting games, check out this review of the modern classic 7 Wonders.

For some thoughts on drafting as a mechanic from the perspective of game designers, check out
This piece that talks about core tenants of good drafting games (as well as referencing 7 Wonders)
and
This more in-depth article that briefly touches on drafting as it appears in popular MOBAs like League of Legends and DOTA2.
[SFW] [games] [+4 Interesting]
[by MFDork@7:08amGMT]

Comments

steele said @ 2:06pm GMT on 27th Feb [Score:2 Insightful]
I know some of those words!
b said[1] @ 10:42pm GMT on 27th Feb [Score:1 Interesting]
My cousin and I plus a couple of buddies on rotation general buy a booster box of each Magic set as they come out and then we do a booster draft. We can get two separate drafts with three guys, but we've done a four man followed by a two man.

After that, I (it's generally me) take one copy of eah card from the set to include in a cube. Eventually we combine the singles from each set into a cube for that block, which we then use to draft.

Essentially we get the most amount of cards for a one time cost and great replay out of them. It's really the only way we play these days. When some of us have more time or drive to construct decks, it generally ends up tilting the table in that guy's direction. With the cube format any one of use can dominate, but it often ends up being relatively equal.

For constructed deck card games, my cousin and I play the Decipher Star Wars ccg. Probably the best designed card game of all time, in my opinion. It's a bit dated in some ways, not quite as streamlined, but once you figure out the game it is an absolute blast to play.
ENZ said @ 1:50pm GMT on 27th Feb
I never got into drafting, I preferred to keep up with Inquest to have a complete description of what every card was and what it did to meticulously construct decks... that cost about $25 to build. I couldn't afford to throw down $50 for boosters every week, and I still can't. Which really bothered me when I went up to my local card shot for the first time in nearly a decade a few months back after watching the Magic episode of South Park. They don't do casual games anymore, it's all draft and ranked tournaments. Hell, most of my decks were built around those 6-way free for all games people used to play back in the day.
LurkerAtTheGate said @ 6:36pm GMT on 27th Feb
MTG has the "Commander" format which is supposed to be the big multi free for all things with 200 card decks and a number of cards that are impractical for normal play but specifically target use in that format.
MFDork said @ 7:13pm GMT on 27th Feb
Commander is the other format I play. Far more casual -- you build a 100 card deck around a legendary creature and its colors. It's alternately described as Rube Goldberg magic or Battlecruiser Magic, for the format's propensity to ply impractically awesome things that don't see play in competitive Magic. Games themselves are most typically 4 player free-for-alls, so even if you don't have the most powerful deck you stand a chance of winning if you understand things like threat perception and table politics.
ENZ said @ 10:25pm GMT on 27th Feb
Sliver Queen + Heartstone + Ashnod's Alter = my friends not wanting to play with me for a while.
b said @ 10:44pm GMT on 27th Feb
That's why my friends and I play cube drafts exclusively these days.
mechavolt said @ 5:59am GMT on 28th Feb
Yeah, there's no casual entry point. I checked out my local comic book shop that as a Magic meetup every week...that is every single time a draft tournament. I don't have the cash for that.

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