All about deck building

All about deck building

GalaCollider mixes aspects of Deck Building and Deck Construction with a novel “tech pool” concept. Today we will explore in greater detail how you build a deck:

Core worlds explained

coreworld-explanation

In our last post about Sectors and Core Worlds we went into depth describing Sector cards. The image above is a quick recap. Core Worlds are special sector cards, they are where you will begin your game, your home among the stars…

The Makings of a Deck

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 3.41.41 PMAll your decks will first begin by selecting a Core world. On the left edge of your core-world card you will see 3 parameters, as shown in the image (left). These are, from bottom to top: Your minimum deck size, your tech slots and your flex-tech points.

Deck minimum tells you how many cards you can include in your core deck, provided your core deck is, in this case, at least 40 cards big.

You do have a four-copy limit enforced of any one card, furthermore your main deck has one additional important restriction: all the cards in it can not be any higher than tech level 1.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 3.42.37 PMWhen the game begins you will draw an initial hand from your main deck of 5 cards.

Tech levels of cards is something you see on the bottom-left edge. The image on the right here shows a tech-level one card.

Once you are happy with your main deck, its time to build your tech pool.

Tech Pool

GalaCollider’s tech pool is perhaps best thought of as a shop of options you pre-seed before the game begins. Over the course of the game you will then select which cards from your tech pool you actually want to purchase, and add to your main deck. These could be cards that help support your strategy or they could be cards to counter enemy technological decisions.

For example you could pack in your sideboard a card that provides high levels of armor protection to your ships, making them impervious to the unprepared. However if your opponent can ascertain the threat fast enough (did she “spy” on you to see what you bought?), she could buy weapon piercing technology to bypass your armor plating, foiling your plans. Other interesting technological innovations you could make might include such things as: improved engines to out maneuver your opponent, cloaking technology to move hidden on the board, upgrades to your ships that modify and augment their capabilities (for example retrofitting your craft with planetary bombs), close range rapid-tracking pulse weapons to combat smaller swarms of ships, multi-fire gatling guns, torpedoes for anti capital ship combat, reinforced hull, long range missles, energy shields, flux destabilizers, neutrino weapons; to name a few…

The cost to buy a card in your tech-pool increases the higher the level of the card.

Unlike your main deck, the techpool can contain any tech level card. The current rule we are working with is that all tech levels in your pool are immediately available to buy. However the research-price of the card increases the higher the tech level it is. Making is very difficult to afford tech-level 3 cards until you’ve established a strong economy.

Effectively your tech-pool is a giant “what if” Swiss army knife. Do you build your pool with defenses and counters while completing epic wonders and cultural projects? Or do you forgo higher tech cards to support a more rush-style play? Or do you have several branches that lead to different synergies, depending on the type of opponent you encounter? Do I need specific counter-tech to cover my weaknesses? Or do you focus on a dominating end-game and a defensive early game? These are options you will need to consider when building your tech pool.

Tech pool “slots”

Above you will notice that we often talk about slots and buying slots, rather than buying “cards”. This is because your tech-pool is actually defined as a fixed number of slots, and each slot can have in it up to 4 copies of the same card. When you buy a slot you actually buy all copies of that card together! The price you pay is per slot, not per card. So if you have 15 technology slots, it means that you have 15 slots: which each can contain 1 to 4 copies of a card. Buy them all and your deck will become rather big!

Which slots you have available to buy will change slowly from turn to turn, on this “in progress” image of our UI you can see on the left-edge we have 3 slots visible that you can purchase from:

Hypothetical techpool with prices.
Hypothetical tech-pool with prices.

Each turn the lowest tech-slot option disappears and then a new research project is offered to you. So in effect you have three turns before it is disappears back into the pool.

With all these new cards coming into your deck, you might think to yourself: “shoot I can’t buy too many of them or my deck will become too big”, ruining its consistency. While this is true to a degree, your deck will also be shrinking in size just by playing your cards. Every time you build a ship or a development the card “transforms” into a 3D model and stays on the map, leaving your deck until destroyed.

Flex-Tech points

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.49.20 PMThe last value on your core-world is its flex points. This number represents how many tech-levels you can import into your deck from other factions. The import-cost of a card is equal to its tech level. So higher tech cards will eat up your flex points faster and you will be able to bring in less foreign cards of higher tech than lower tech.

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Disclaimer: These are our current deck building rules that are being play-tested. I should mention that these rules could still undergo major changes before we finalize the game and make our Beta available. We will be listening to everyone, including you, to get feedback on the mechanics behind crafting your decks to ensure that what we come up with is interesting, varied and as dynamic as possible. It should also go without saying that the card-values you will see above are also tentative and may not end up being “typical” card values in the long haul.