Just got a hold of Hex: Shards of Fate. While the core engine is very similar to Magic, the mechanics and card designs and deck archetypes are so much more daring, complex, fun. Count it as my review after a few hours of gameplay.
For the longest time, WotC has been half-assing, half-stepping the creative possibilities of Magic. Partly because of limitations of physical cards (e.g. tracking complexity), and partly dumbed down to cater to the masses and new players. Thus progress and innovations are stunted. (Just look at the bare-bones mechanics in Battle for Zendikar.)
On the other hand, even the Hex starter decks, archetypes, and tutorials are so much more complex, yet grokkable and fun. Given the choice of 8 decks, I chose the weirdest one (none of that human, dwarf, elf generic tropes for me). This deck’s strategy is to put Spider Eggs into your opponent’s deck. When he draws it or puts in his crypt (graveyard) from deck (Hex calls this bury, cf. mill), you get a 1/1 creature unblockable. Fill his deck with so many that you get a bunch of free creatures and overwhelm him.
This and many more ideas are simply not possible with Magic. There are so many taboos and restrictions that forbid Wizards from fresh ideas. Such as putting cards into opponents’ decks, upgrading cards with equipment and gems during deck construction–thus reusing and customizing the same card for different strategies, permanent effects from one-time cards (Hex calls them Actions, equivalent to Instants and Sorceries)–even across zones, multi-layered tracking, etc. I’ve only played a few hours, so probably more that I haven’t seen yet.
Premise — Step is a climbing card game like Big 2. Except each person has a token that multiplies the value of the set he plays.
Deck — The 60-card deck has 12 ranks and 5 suits.
Token — There are 6 tokens valued from 5 to 10 points. Pass each player a token starting from the 10-point token downward. The lowest tokens are not used for fewer than 6 players.
Deal — At the beginning of each round, the player with the 10-point token shuffles the deck and deals all cards to every player.
Play — The player with the lowest token value plays the first set. Subsequent players play a set whose points can beat the previous set’s points. If you can’t or don’t want to play a set, you may pass. Continue around the table until all players pass. Then the player who played the last set can play any set. The round ends when one player has no more cards in hand.
Set — A legal set is any number of cards from your hand that follow these patterns: single, pair (2 of a kind), trips (3 of a kind), quads (4 of a kind), quints (5 of a kind), and sequence (run or straight).
Set Points — A set’s points is the product of the total value of every card in the set times your token points.
A single card value of 10 times a 5-point token = 10 * 5 = 50 point set.
A pair of 8 times a 9-point token = 2 * 8 * 9 = 144 point set.
Quint of 12 times a 10-point token = 5 * 12 * 10 = 600 point set
A run of 3 to 9 times 7-point token = (3+4+5+6+7+8+9) * 7 = 42 * 7 = 294 point set [alternatively, (3+9) * 7 (cards in set) / 2 (for sequence) * 7 = 294]
Score — When a round ends, count up all values of all cards in your hand times your token value. The highest score is the biggest loser. The winner gets 0 points. Redistribute the tokens so that the 10-point token goes to the winner of this round, 9-point token to the second lowest score for the round, 8-point token to the third lowest score, and so on until each player has a token. Then start a new round.
Credits — A dream by Xay Voong on 5/22/2014. Card name and deck composition are inspired by KARA, a legendary South Korean girl group.
Chakara is a gambling game using a newly designed deck of playing cards. Each card has 3 values (top, center, bottom) from 1 to 4, for a total of 64 cards. You also need an 8-sided die to signal the event (read below).
The rules are as follows:
a. Dealer deals 3 cards to each person.
b. Each player antes a small amount.
c. Dealer rolls an 8-sided die. Look at the events list to see if one of your cards can win this round.
d. Each player wagers if they can win with one of the cards in their hand, or folds. (equal style or matching style?)
e. All players reveal one card from their hand. If a card from a player who didn’t fold matches the event condition in step (c), that player takes the pot. In case of a tie, those players wager some more and continue with step (c) using the same revealed cards until there is one winner.
f. Remove the revealed cards, then replay steps (b) to (e) for the remaining 2 cards in hand.
g. Start a new round from step (a).
The events from rolling the 8-sided die are as follows. Whoever meets the requirements wins the pot.
1) Lowest TOP value.
2) Lowest CENTER value.
3) Lowest BOTTOM value.
4) Highest BOTTOM value.
5) Highest CENTER value.
6) Highest TOP value.
7) Highest TOTAL value.
8) Lowest TOTAL value.