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The Game Mechanics: Weighted Drafting

On its surface it sounds like a fix for a broken game. I believe that this is a very intentional mechanic a designer can use to allow that last player to still have agency. This might be correcting deeper problems in a game where in the last player to draft may stay the last player in the draft for most of the game. In Twilight Imperium this is specifically addressed by what is contained on the cards. The cards with the actions t items after all or one player has drafted from the common pool of resources. For this article I am going to refer to this mechanic as Weighted Drafting.


Why Weighted Drafting? Well lets take a look at the game Twilight Imperium and see how this is used in a practical sense. The first phase of game play in Twilight Imperium is the Strategy Phase. In this phase players choose a strategy card, each of the strategy cards imbue the player with the Primary action of each card while the other players may then take the secondary action of the card. The cards also determine initiative order so you may pick something that you don't necessarily want in order to go before another player. In this game there are more strategy cards than players.


What is to be done with the cards that do not get chosen well in Twilight Imperium there are extra goods placed on the cards that are not chosen that round. This will entice player to choose the cards that haven't been picked in the next round of drafting. In this case study this allows you to have more actions than players and lets the game have a variety of actions to choose from even if you are the last to choose in the draft.



On its surface it sounds like a fix for a broken game. I believe that this is a very intentional mechanic a designer can use to allow that last player to still have agency. This might be correcting deeper problems in a game where in the last player to draft may stay the last player in the draft for most of the game. In Twilight Imperium this is specifically addressed by what actions contained on the cards with the better initiative. The cards with the actions that would score victory points or advance you in that direction are lower initiative cards, you will need to choose these at some point in the game to advance. This then creates a elegant dichotomy with the Weighted Drafting mechanic. This offers a robust set of interesting decision that a player has to make on their turn and is a lot of the fun and conflict in Twilight Imperium.


In conclusion use Weighted Drafting as a means to make the game interesting for each player and not as a fix for other broken mechanics in your game.

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