So, I’m comparing Force Drain and Combat in the Star Wars CCG, and Depletion/Banishment in my own game. The mechanics in my game draw clear inspiration from SWCCG — Depletion is functionally similar to Force Drain, as Banishment is functionally similar to Combat. Depletion directly attacks the opponent’s Resources (and indirectly attacks their Destiny). Banishment targets their Reserves.

When you initiate Combat in SWCCG, you add up the Power of the cards on your side and compare the total to the Power of your opponent’s cards at the same location. You may or may not add Destiny draws to the totals. The losing side suffers attrition, which must be satisfied by discarding (called forfeiting) cards equal to the difference.

Banishment in my game works just like this. You activate one of your reserved cards to attack one of your opponent’s reserved cards, and they have to exile Destiny equal to the difference. The bit that’s different from Star Wars, is that your opponent can exhaust one of their reserved cards to virtually negate any losses incurred this way.

Depending on how many cards your opponent has reserved, you may have to expend a lot of Resources to “punch through” their defenses and deplete their Resources and Destiny. This system also bears a superficial resemblance to Magic: the Gathering in that it’s necessary to remove an opponent’s blockers before you’re able to strike at their life total (though they have the option to simply not block your creatures).

Now, because my game isn’t location-based like Star Wars, Depletion is more straightforward than Force Drain, and only requires that you have at least one reserved card and the Resources necessary to activate it. The drawback, of course, is that you have no control over what Resources your opponent loses, as they can choose any resource with a value greater than your activated reserve.

…Why did I base these powers on the Star Wars Customizable Card Game? Well, I like the game, and I think the mechanics are more flexible and interesting than simple creature combat. I see a potential for far greater variety in deck themes and card strategies when conflict isn’t based solely on individual confrontations. This way you can have competing quests, wars, spells, ships, gods, philosophies, or artifacts.