011 – Co-Op Mechanics to Encourage Teamplay in Card and Board Games

Hello fellow adventurers,

In today’s episode, we are discussing at least 8 mechanics that can be used to encourage team play in cooperative games

What is a Cooperative Card Game?

A co-op game is by nature a game in which players work together as a team, usually against some kind of AI. In most co-op games players tend to perform individual actions that all work towards a shared goal. That doesn’t mean there cannot be individual goals that may be in tension or even in direct conflict to the shared goal. Think about all the co-op games with a traitor mechanic in it. However, typically the group works towards a shared goal by combining their individual actions.

What are the main goals of co-op mechanics:

  • One problem in co-op games is the so-called quarterbacking. What it means is that one player makes all the decisions for the team. This can happen when one player is more experienced than the others or when one player is from his or her personality someone who likes to make decisions and lead the way. For some players that can lead to a feeling that they don’t decide anything themselves and ruin their gaming experience. Therefore, a lot of coop mechanisms are made to make counter quarterbacking.
  • The most important purpose of co-op mechanics is to encourage teamwork. Often this is implemented in a way that some player has access to something the other player needs. (a resource or a certain skill for example)
  • Another goal is to organize teamplay. Who is acting when? Who is getting what reward? Who plays which role in the team?
  • Balancing the power between players.   

Co-Op Mechanics to encourage Teamplay:

  • Specialization and Roles
  • The difference between a Shared Resource
  • and sharing a resource
  • Party Skill
  • Bonuses for teamwork
  • Ally only abilities
  • Assist Cards
  • Combining Spells

Games analyzed in today’s episode:

  • Pandemic
  • Aeons End
  • Warhammer Quest – Adventure Card Game
  • Arkham Horror
  • Dragonfire
  • Dresden Files
  • Runebound – Unbreakable Bonds
  • Gloomhaven
  • Legendary Encounters
  • Epic Spell Wars

Important Links:
Nerdlab Website 
Nerdlab Facebook Page
Nerdlab on Twitter
Nerdlab on Instagram

Sources:
Music by Mathew Pablo

 

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