Games using cards for multiple purposes

In some games, cards do not only represent a single effect, creature or item but serve multiple different purposes instead.
The design of these cards is very clever from a game designers perspective as it saves not only production costs but also reduces the number of components a player needs to handle.
But this comes with a cost. The complexity per card is increased with every piece of information you try to add to it. Leaving you as a designer with the trade-off between multi-purpose cards and ease of use.

The following list is supposed to give you some example of multi-purpose cards in games:

  • Gloomhaven: (top and bottom ability. Often “attack” on top and “move” on bottom.)
  • Pixel Tactics: (Each card represents almost all of the card types: Leader, Hero, Order, Operation and Trap)
  • Strife: Each champion has two abilities (a battle ability that’s triggered during battles and a legacy ability that can be used only while on top of the discard pile)
Example of the multi-purpose card layout. Source: Rulebook