I was thinking about game mechanics this morning because I’m a big nerd, and that’s what I think about instead of things like food and walking and what I don’t like about waking up in the morning. I was thinking about mechanics specifically from the Star Wars CCG. Again, ’cause I’m a big nerd.

Back as the end of May, I wrote “briefly” about Combat in Star Wars, and this morning I was thinking about Presence, Location Control, and Force Drain, and how it relates to the game I’m developing. Force in SWCCG refers not just to the FORCE of the Star Wars ‘verse, but to the character’s deck. The deck is composed of your forces.

Stormtroopers, locations, weapons, armor, starships, hypderdrives, Jedi … all of them are your forces. A Force Drain, then, is literally a drain on your forces. Now, to initiate a Force Drain, you must control a location where your opponent has influence — places your opponent draws power from. Influence is determined by the number of lightsaber icons on a location. (Usually one or two, never more than three.)

To control a location, you must first have a presence there, determined by having some characters of some level of ability. You must also be the only presence at the location, which may necessitate combat or some effect-related shenanigans to incapacitate, capture, drive off, or destroy any opposing forces.

Once you have control of an area where you maintain a presence, you use the location against your opponent. They continue to draw power from it, but now you can initiate a drain on their resources. So long as you remain in control of the opponent’s location (a form of territory control), you can drain their forces each turn.

By comparison, Magic is far more abstract. The “locations” being controlled are more ambiguous, and are represented by the entire playing field. There are no individual territories, and every creature in play is considered to be in the same location, though evasion abilities like Flying create an illusion of different battlefields, such as the sky.