Monday, December 16, 2019

Card Capture - deck building with regular cards

Okay. Card Capture is a solitaire deck builder that uses a regular deck of cards.

As someone who is interested in PnP and DIY gaming, it was pretty much inevitable that I was going to check this game out. Im fact, considering that it originally came out in 2018, I’m amazed it took me this long. Almost as amazed that it took so long for someone to make a deck builder just using a regular deck of cards.

Card Capture was designed to be an introduction to deck builders. Which could be an excuse to make the game simple and dumbed down. Card Capture is simple but I wouldn’t call it dumbed down.

Okay, the full rules are online and free but let’s give the thumbnail. The object of the game is capture all the faces and aces. At the start of the game, you divide the cards up into a player deck (the jokers and all the twos, threes and fours) and an enemy deck that’s everything else.

The basic idea is that you have a row of four enemy cards. Every turn, you have to take one away. You can capture/claim a card by spending an equal or higher value of cards from your hand _of the same suit_ If you can’t do that, you can discard a card and the first card in the enemy row to the enemy capture pile. BUT if a face or ace card ever goes into that pile, YOU LOSE! The last thing you can do is sacrifice. Discard two cards into the enemy capture pile and put a card from the row under the enemy draw pile.

What makes Card Capture tick is that is all about trashing cards and making it a double edged sword. Getting rid of all the twos as early as possible? Great! But having to make too many sacrifices can make you run out of cards. If you short-suit yourself (and it’s easy to do it you’re not careful), you will lose.

I have not played the game enough to know if there is a dominant strategy that would make the game boring and I don’t know for sure that that bad shuffles can make the game impossible to win (but I think that is true) What I am sure that the game doesn’t play itself, that your decisions make a difference. And I think even if the game can be broken or solved, it will take enough plays to figure it out to still be fun.

Card Capture isn’t flawless. I do think luck can overcome clever planning. And, like any game that just a traditional deck of cards, it’s dry and themeless and that can be a deal breaker for some folks. And, to be honest, if I was introducing someone to deck building using a solitaire, I’d still prefer to use Friday by Friedemann Friesse. 

However, I am having fun with Card Capture. I love that I have a new and different option if all I have on me is a deck of cards. The mechanics hold up and, if all you have to work with is a deck of cards, that’s a big deal.

So, yeah, if you’re at all into traditional card games, check out Card Capture.

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