I’ve nearly finished sorting my Magic cards by year, and soon I’ll be able to split them up by block and use them to create some decks. While sorting out the cards, I’ve been taking mental notes about possible themes for decks, and how exactly to integrate the cards with Risk / Catan. Oh, then I remembered the life thing.

I’d forgotten, the last time I tried to use Magic cards to create another game, Magic’s life points thing threw everything off. I get how life points are kind of an abstraction of things, but there are so few things that actually interact with a player’s life points. Creatures and spells deal damage, but few things actually modify life points.

Losing life points isn’t so much a problem, as they can be represented by cards or armies, but how do you represent gaining life points? I was trying to think if maybe you could return cards from your graveyard to your library, or maybe place new armies on the battlefield, but if you gain twenty or more life at once? What then?

Next, there was the problem of deck size and land balance. If I’m going to have players draw land from controlled territories rather than having them draw it, what should deck composition be like? What should the creature-to-spell ratio be? Maybe keep card count around forty, which is close to normal when you take lands into account.

But with the board and the armies and settlements, you don’t necessarily need as many cards as you might otherwise, when Magic is all you have going for you. Something more like, I don’t know, twenty or so cards, should work. I want to try and preserve as much of the basics of deck-building as possible.

Finally, there’s this ongoing problem of there simply not being enough territories on the board for all the armies, and I thought of the Decipher Star Wars card game. So, here’s the thing — I’m not seeing a reason why armies can’t share space. What you have is a powder keg just waiting for someone to light it.

So, maybe all it takes to gain the land it takes to play is having some armies in a territory, and by controlling a territory, you can attack your opponents? *shakes head* No, this one’s going to take a little more thought.