Looney Labs Fluxx Mailing list Archive

Re: [Fluxx] After Andy's "Draw First" ruling

  • FromAnthony Kozar <anthonykozar@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 09 Oct 2007 20:17:42 -0400
Joseph Pate wrote on 10/9/07 5:03 PM:

> I don't remember whether I expressed this point or not -- feel free
> to e-slap me if I did -- but the way I look at a turn in Fluxx is not
> "do the following in this order", but instead, "your turn is done when
> you have done the following".

This is a good way to think about it.  In fact, as I continue to mull this
over I realized that most of my previous arguments really assumed that
"drawing first" is better, thus begging the question.  So, I guess it is not
really whether playing this way "breaks" any cards or makes some "unfair",
the important question to answer is "how much does this affect how the game
plays and are any of the resulting situations undesirable or unbalanced?"

I think that I have already pointed out that there are more than a few ways
in which "playing first" can have a significant affect on the outcome of a
game, but I don't think that I have yet shown that any of those effects are
unhealthy for the game.  So, I gave it some more thought ...

> Certainly cards like Composting make this interesting, especially if
> you manage to have a high draw & play count in effect with a small
> discard pile -- it'd be very possible to end up playing the same card
> more than once in the same turn.

And this is exactly the situation that I want to discuss in light of the
above question.  In any "modular card game", the ability to play an
arbitrary card over and over can be very dangerous to game balance.  If it
is too easy to do so, it may end up limiting what other types of cards the
designers are willing to make.  (Or players with Fluxx Blannx)

Composting is already a powerful combo with Take Another Turn.  If you set
things up just right, you can probably take turns until you win.  Even
though you can potentially convert every draw into another turn with "can
play first", this is perhaps not signficantly worse than the situation under
"must draw first."  (Is Take Another Turn still in Fluxx 3.1 anyways?)

But the combination of Composting and "play first" has the potential to make
lots of cards seem degenerate if you can play a card before every draw on
the same turn.  With Draw 5, Play All, and an empty discard pile, you could
draw up to 18 cards from the deck with just one Jackpot instead of the usual
8 and then continue with your turn (*).  Fortunately, you cannot get the
Jackpot back using one of the draws that it gives you, or you could draw the
entire deck regardless of the current draw rule (**).  Maybe this isn't as
bad as I fear?

> I've had turns where I played more
> than 20 cards, due to a perfect storm of some Draw 5-Play 1 hand buildup
> and judicious use of Play All, Pilfer The Trash, Jackpot, Trade Hands,
> Let's Do That Again, Draw 3 Play 2, etc.  You get the idea.  Astoundingly,
> I never did get a winning combo in all of that, and IIRC I didn't win
> that game.

I don't think that playing 20 cards in one turn is bad in and of itself.  I
think that this case, where you used a lot of different cards in combination
over the course of your turn to "keep the ball rolling", is a great example
of what I _like_ about Fluxx.  But being able to play the same card over and
over on the same turn makes me worry about balance.  (And maybe Composting
is more at fault here, but I love that card too :)

> It's hard to enjoy a brilliant play sequence if everyone
> thinks you're cheating, and still thinks so even after you explain why
> it was legal.  By all means, play to maximize fun for everyone.

Agreed :)
> I really really hope my zombies are waiting for me when I get home...

(I had to laugh out loud at the idea of someone reading this out of context

Sorry to everyone for making this thread so much longer.  I hope not to have
too much more to say on it ...

Anthony Kozar
anthonykozar AT sbcglobal DOT net

* You would only get 12 cards if you need to play Empty the Trash first.
(Or is it 15?  I don't know where the Empty the Trash card ends up after it
is played).

** However, with two Jackpots, Play All, and Composting, you can draw the
entire deck regardless of whether you observe the draw rule first.