I've been playing a lot of Hearthstone recently, and while I love it dearly, I do feel the lack of the physical element that accompanies other board/card games. In particular, I can't play it with my fiancée because she doesn't have a beta key. And even if she did, playing a game like this on two separate screens or tablets just feels silly. So, how can I make a physical version of the game that we can enjoy together? No, I don't mean a box with a tablet in it, cool though that undoubtedly is. I mean a real actual card game with cards and counters and the like.
Before we start, let's lay down some ground rules.
- No-one is allowed to say "but that's impossible". You can recreate the entire game with nothing more than a pen, (a lot of) paper, dice and a stop-watch. If you have a digital stopwatch you don't even need the dice.
- However, we want to make it as simple and easy to play as possible without changing the mechanics. Paper and pen (or more likely a small wipe-clean board and marker) is a last resort for cases like Lightspawn being buffed to 80HP and so on. I'm aware that other, real TTG/CCGs like MTG have wonderful things like damage counters and indicate status through card orientation and so on. Ideally I'd rather have something more obvious, even if it requires extra gubbins, because I've never played any other games like that and neither has my fiancée.
- Finally, we want to make it as cheap as possible. This is going to be horribly expensive and I don't want to declare bankruptcy until I've accumulated enough debt to really hurt the bank. Obviously this is in direct opposition to our second objective, so it will have to be something of a balancing act.
Right, let's get on with it.