Drafting games – Take your Pick.

Drafting is a mechanic where you pick one thing out of a selection then pass the selection on to the next person. So everyone either has a rough idea of what everyone else has or knows exactly what everyone else has.

The game is often built around collecting specific sets of cards/dice/tiles that you can then use for victory points or to further your goal, so in order to play properly you should not just focus on your moves but also what you can take that will stop other players moves.

Drafting can be as simple as having a hand of cards that you choose one from before passing them along or it can be used in complex tactical games where you need to figure out what movements you want to make and hope no one takes the moves you need!

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Faith Links

Drafting games can be tied to 1 Corinthians 13:9-12, and I prefer to use The Message  version for this, mainly because it doesn’t have that vague part of putting away childish things which is often used to smash us gamers over the head!

We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

1 Corinthians 13:9-12 The Message

In a drafting game you know part of the puzzle, you have a lot of the facts but not quite all of them as you don’t know everything that other players have taken before you, and you don’t know what options remain for future rounds either so you make a judgement based on the info you have at the time.  This is precisely how we must be with our faith – we don’t know everything, and different people are granted different perspectives by God.  We can only work with what we have which is the Bible, inspiration by the Holy Spirit, the Traditions built up over centuries of people studying before us and our ability to Reason.

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Key Questions to explore identity:

  1. How did you feel for the first few rounds of the game?  Was it different from the last few?
  2. Did you choices at the start have an impact on your choices at the end?
  3. Have you ever found that in your day to day lives?
  4. Did you find yourself deliberately making choices to stop other people progressing in the game?
  5. Do you think choices made by you in real life could also impact other people in a similar way?
  6. How does that idea make you feel?

Suggested Games: 

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Sagrada – A dice drafting game where you are building a stained glass window from rolled,. coloured dice each turn.  You can’t place dice of the same colour or showing the same number directly next to each other.  This is a fun game whose apparent simplicity makes it easy for anyone to pick up, but there is a lot of complexity to your choices as you start to realise around turn 7 as your board is filling up and you are starting to hope for specific numbers or colours to show up.

Sushi Go/Sushi Go Party – A Card drafting game where you are trying to make sets of sushi for a tasty meal!  Each type is worth a certain number of point either by itself or in conjunction with others, so you are constantly looking for the cards you need, whilst trying to stop your neighbours from getting their sets made. It’s a fast paced and fun party game.  Sushi Go is the original, but Sushi Go party increases the number of players and gives you a larger set of cards.

INIS – one of my favourite games, it is an area control game a little bit like risk but the actions you can take are controlled by the cards you draft at the beginning of the round.  You are a celtic clan trying to become the only clan to be visiting 6 areas, or have 6 settlements in areas, or be in control of 6 areas.  So theres a lot of scheming, fighting, throwing grand parties and relying on celtic myth to get you through.  Not to mention the game is incredibly pretty!  The first time I played this game we got so sucked into it that we didn’t notice the time passing, it was so fun.

7 Wonders – you are selecting cards to build your mighty empire up over 3 ages, looking to build as many technological marvels and wonders as you can, with cards being passed around the table for you to select from.  As its title suggests there are 7 empires and the game is best played with 7 people.  It is a really fun game when played with a large group, and its still fun with smaller groups as well – though for 2 player it can fall a little flat – which is why they released 7 Wonders Duel which condenses the action down to a 2 player experience.

Hero Realms/Star Realms – Another drafting game, this time where the cards are in the middle and you have to use cards already in your hands to purchase them.  You slowly build up your selection of usable cards and use them to whittle down your opponents health to 0.  Originally released was star Realms, which is a great 2 player games, and has expansions which make it 4 player.  Hero Realms came later and is 4 player right out of the box, and has ‘classes’ you can buy which change how your health and starting hand look. These are also part of another subset called ‘Deck Builders’ which I will go into more detail in another post.  Other key ones to look out for in this genre in the meantime are: The Ascension series, The Legendary series, The DC Deck builder, Dominion.

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