Some weeks back, I finally figured out how to fit the “victory pile” back into the Norvendae card game. I’m a big fan of the Victory Points concept, … and apparently so are a large percentage of European game developers, since Victory Points tend to be indicative of a game designed and developed in Europe. I like ’em is ’cause they can be used to abstract progress toward a goal.

Now, hit points and health bars and whatnot can be used to indicate progress toward a goal, and they tend to be pretty common in lots of video games — namely, the hit points or the health bar of whatever big bad evil guy whose face you’re battering. But that’s a negative sort of progress. It’s how much you have left, you’re taking something away from someone else. You aren’t really … adding or creating anything.

In older iterations of the Norvendae card game, Victory Points were the only way to win. You would spend cards to spread your factions “influence” throughout the city, thereby gaining points toward securing victory for your side. I liked it, but it was difficult to develop rules that worked around Victory Points ’cause you have to be careful of what effects winning the game. Early playtests were like a really slow tug-of-war.

So, when I developed the current version of the Norvendae rules, Victory Points were one of those things that didn’t make the cut. (Along with attaching cards to one another.) It was difficult to word the VP rules in such a fashion that they didn’t mean automatically winning, losing, or breaking the game. Now (rather, a month ago), I think I have a way to make them work within the rules I’ve already established.

Incidentally, it works with the attachment rules…

The field is supposed to represent everything the player has put forth to represent, uh, them in the context of the game environment, whether it be with heroes, villains, monsters, dungeons, … you know, pretty much everything. Important to understanding the concept of the field, of course, is understanding the concept of zones within the context of the game. Destiny is a zone, as are the flux (discard pile) and stockpile.

Using attachment mechanics, it should be possible to create “sub-zones” within the field, which is how I’m currently thinking of implementing Victory Point mechanics. It then becomes incredibly easy to imagine how they might work: attach more and more cards, filling a “victory sub-zone” until it reaches a preset threshold, at which point a victory condition is filled. Meanwhile, opponents try desperately to banish it.

Right off the bat, it gives me a way to introduce both attachment and victory points into the game at the same time, and in direct connection with one another and the rest of the rules of the game. Banishment gains a new purpose, perhaps its best function yet, not to mention the most obvious application for it.