A quick post to capture an idea I had about an AFL Trading Card game.
Trading Card Games (TCGs) comes in individually purchasable packets, usually with some kind of starter kit, and booster packs you buy to have a larger pool to customise your deck with.
The player customises their deck to suit the strategy of their choice from the cards they own. Two decks (one per player) are required for a game.
A deck will have rules limiting or affecting their construction. eg: A deck must have 50 cards in them. They should contain 22 player cards as you must be able to fill 22 player positions in your side.
Non player cards include the venue. The first player to get their venue in play claims the home ground. Each venue card has a benefit that it provides as a home ground advantage. eg: Adelaide Oval. Home Side Advantage: Adelaide and Port Adelaide players gain +1 rating and +1 tackling.
Player cards will include every player on the squad list going in to the current season, but their card stats will be based on the previous season. The key stat will be based on their player ranking. Secondary stats will relate to their scoring effectiveness, tacking ranking, clangers per game, contested marks, clearances, hit outs, intercept marks, goal assists, and weeks in the prior season missed through injury. The player will have a position (may include multiple positions or even utility). Players that are played outside of their preferred position receive a penalty of -1 to their rating. Also key things like Club B&F winner, Brownlow Medalilst, Coleman Medalist, Rising Star, ANZAC Day Medallist, etc will be noted.
Another non-player card type (working title: the Highlight card) provides bonuses to individual players in your 22 man squad, provided they have sufficient scores in secondary stats to meet the card requisites. These cards are based on key moments in the season proper, such as the mark of the week, or best plays. Essentially, created from the highlight reel for each match. eg: Last week, Buddy Franklin just monstered his way through 2 or 3 Essendon defenders and still managed to kick a goal. So the moment could be something like one of the newspaper headlines from the next day, such as Bullish Buddy Brilliant! To use on a player, that player must have Goalscoring > 7, and Contested Possession > 5. They gain Rating + 1. Additional Rating + 1 if played on Lance Franklin.
To play, each player shuffles their decks and draws 7 cards. Through whatever means, determine who goes first. The player that goes first gets to play the first card, but does not draw a card for their turn. They must play a card from the cards in their hand, or discard one card to a discard pile.
Cards are played to a play area, set out like a football oval. There are spots to play for the backline, half back, centre, followers, half forward, forward, and an extra area for the interchange. Each row has 3 areas, representing the centre and flanks/pockets, etc. There is also an area to play effects to the side, including a spot for the venue, global effects, and position effects. There should also be an area designated for decks, and discard areas.
Once a player is played to a location, it normally remains there unless either player effectively plays a Highlight card requiring otherwise. However, there are Injury type cards (from cramps to more serious ones). Once per turn, a player may replace an injured player with a player that has been played to the interchange area that is not injured.
Since each deck could have the same players in their construction, the first copy of a player on the table becomes that player. When the opponent plays their copy, it has a -1 Rating penalty.
At the end of a player’s turn, they draw a card from their deck. If they have no deck remaining, the game continues skipping the draw step until both players have no cards left in their hands.
If a player cannot play any of the cards in their hand during their turn, they must discard one of them.
Once all cards are played or discarded, each position is reviewed to compare the final Rating values of the two players, including all modifiers from Injury, Highlights and Effect cards. A winner is declared. In the event of a draw, the player that got their venue in play and claimed home ground advantage wins.
For each 3 player row on the field (F, HF, C, Fol, HB, B), a team is declared winner of that row based on the best of 3 result in each of the matchups.
If the 6 results obtained for the 6 rows results in a clear winner, then the game is thus decided. However, in a 3/3 draw, the outcome is decided based on the ratings of the first 3 players on the interchange bench (so move the really injured guy down to the 4th spot when you pull him off).
All players are categorised based on their prior season player ranking (applied in a curve?), splitting the players in to a 1-12 score (a base value of 3 is added to this score for all players).
NB: Rookies will have pretty low base stats, usually 3s across the board, perhaps modified by the known strengths in their game before getting selected. But also expect the Rising Star Highlight cards to offer some modifiers for them.
At any rate, the 12 levels of player ratings also drives the frequency with which those players will appear as random inserts in a booster pack.
Rating Score Rarity
1 Very Common
3 Slightly Common
4 Slightly Uncommon
6 Very Uncommon
7 Slightly Rare
9 Very Rare
A booster of 10 cards may be made up of 4 common (1-3) cards, 3 uncommon (4-6) cards, 2 rare (7-9) cards, and 1 other card, that 50% of the time will be Champion, 35% of the time will be Superstar, and 15% of the time will be Legendary (meaning a Legendary will appear on average one in every 9.5 boosters.
Non player cards will be spread across similar rarities.
Also, the rarity drives how many Highlights can be played on a player. Common = 1, Uncommon = 2, Rare = 3, Champion/Superstar = 4, Legend = 5.
Other cards might include global effects such as Night Match, which may give a +1 rating bonus to all players with a Night Match affinity on their player card. Sell Out Crowd to increase the home ground advantage bonus by +1 rating. Weather events, where players might have affinity to playing in the wet, heat, or windy conditions (all of which would be based on their actual performances across the previous year). Up to four global effects can be played provided they do not contradict each other (eg: you cannot have both a night match and a day match). Twilight Match, Indigenous Round, Friday Night Football, Western Derby, Q-Clash, Battle of the Bridge, Grand Final, etc.
Positional effects can have 1 per side per row. The benefits can only apply to players in that row if they meet the requisites. eg: Lion’s Roar gives +1 Rating to every Brisbane player in this position, additional +1 if playing at a Brisbane venue. if this was played on the Half Back, then the 3 players on HB for that team get the bonuses provided they are Brisbane players.
Injury cards are played on opponent players, but those players must have an injury value at least equal if not more than the requisite. A player has an injury score of 1 if they missed any games the previous season due to any kind of injury. Higher if they missed multiple weeks.
An injury card of Concussion may only require an injury value of 1 to play, and provides a -2 to player rating while not in the interchange area. No more than 1 injury card can be played on each opponent player. Certain highlight cards may allow for certain injuries to be removed from players. A more serious injury like a knee may require an injury value of 5 to play but provide a -5 while not in the interchange area. The risk being that your opponent may not have any players in their deck with an injury value of 5.
The game can be played in a current season format, where only players from the current season may be played (no restrictions on non player cards).
Also the given season format, where all players must be from the same season, but not necessarily the current season. Enabling you to simulate, how would the 88 Hawthorn team perform against the 2015 side?
Finally, the Legends format, allowing you to play any mix of players from any era.
Early on, players will be forced to construct their decks with lower ranked players, just because the best players are rarer. By continuing to collect, they will have more opportunity to get the top players and include them in their side. However, a well designed deck, with cards designed to work together, can prevail against a deck made up of all the rarest cards.