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Breezy Drafts - Thoughts on Drafting Games

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12 Oct 2021 00:00 #327130 by oliverkinne
I think the very first time I came across drafting...

Card drafting, and other forms of drafting, can be found in a large number of games and takes many different forms. In this article, I want to describe drafting in more detail and look at the benefits and disadvantages this board game mechanism offers.

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12 Oct 2021 01:30 #327131 by mc
I'm pretty ambivalent towards drafting myself. I much prefer just dealing with a bad situation - provided the game allows for that to some degree; if I get dealt a shitty hand I get dealt a shitty hand. Fairness/balance isn't too important to me - but then again I don't play a whole heap of longer games where a bad draw can lead to a boring long drawn out game where you can't do anything. One game I do play semi regularly is Agricola, but I'd never bother to draft- 14 cards is enough to find something that works.

Of the types listed, the market row is the one I do enjoy. I think it doesn't feel like drafting - which, in those pass around situations you can still get unlucky on - it's a slow drip of stuff that everyone manages and it's just a different kind of assessment as to what you can afford the card or whatever.
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14 Oct 2021 03:48 #327168 by oliverkinne
That's a good point, actually. Drafting is probably most important for longer games, if there is no way of dealing with a bad draw. I'm thinking Terraforming Mars for example, which I now always play with the draft variant. Thank you for your comment.

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14 Oct 2021 09:25 #327171 by jason10mm
I like the drafting mechanic quite a bit but it tends to be EXTREMELY punishing to new players since you kinda need to know all of the cards in order to make a somewhat intelligent draft pick. Having a "first time play" predetermined set helps, but usually just leads to a somewhat vanilla play experience and if you keep having new players each game you will never unlock the full potential.

Something like 7 Wonders is simple enough in concept that I usually just have new players play a round or two "for funsies" to learn the concepts, then start over so I can play cutthroat.

Explaining "hate drafting" and how it can be CRUCIAL to the game is also important, folks inexperienced with drafting will often overlook that mechanic and let a savvy player runaway with a card exploit that more experienced players could/should easily counter.
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