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"Is Drawing First Required?" continued - The Games Andy Looney Is Playing
October 10th, 2007
01:39 pm


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"Is Drawing First Required?" continued
So I've been continuing to brood about this Fluxx question ("Is Drawing First Required?"). The answer I gave has only served to intensify the debate on the Fluxx list, and as people point out the worms we get by opening this can, I find myself doubting myself. It's certainly the case that I've always played it as though drawing first were mandatory, and I'm not at all sure I shouldn't just declare it so to be, and end this whole question.

Declaring it mandatory may ultimately prove to be the right answer. It would certainly be the simpler choice - it seems like the correct and obvious answer to most people, and justification for it is found easily enough in the Turn Sequence on the rulesheet. But I think it's more interesting to try on the surprising answer, and wear it around for awhile to see if it fits, rather than just stodgily saying "No, you can't do that."

I'm ashamed to admit this, but I haven't actually played a game yet in which I've allowed this sort of behavior. It may well be that as soon as I do I'll say OMG I Was Totally Wrong What Was I Thinking. My thought experiments are still telling me that it will rarely come up and will almost never make a difference... but I'm just not sure anymore.

The main thing is, this is an interesting question, and no matter what official ruling I may give, be it yesterday or in The Future, you can always establish your own House Rules. If my ruling doesn't sit right with your group, or if I change my mind but your group decides they like playing it this other way, then you folks should do as you-all agree. That's the great thing about House Rules -- you get to decide on them. House Rules rock!

Anyway, I'm interested in hearing comments from people who've tried playing Fluxx with this option and what effects they've noticed because of it. Is it more fun or less fun this way? Or is it basically the same?

Was I wrong before?

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(15 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
I think you were right before. The way we've always played -- and I'm not sure if this is right or not, but it seems more and more with every message -- is that if the Draw amount is increased during the turn, you immediately draw more cards up to the current Draw value. Which could only happen if you can play before drawing. Aside from that we haven't made it a point to play some then draw, except for the occasional time where someone starts playing cards before they draw.

I personally like the idea of draw and play in any order.
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)

If you say that you have to draw at the beginning of your turn, then playing a new Draw rule is even fiddlier: "If you play this card and drew fewer cards than this at the beginning of your turn, immediately draw enough cards to have satisfied this Draw rule". Yuck!

And it's strategic to empty your hand of Draw cards like that. I like being able to draw when you want to. In most cases, it's best to draw first. But there are cases when it's not (Zombie Fluxx, re-dealing hands out evenly, etc.). Fluxx is more strategic than people give it credit for; I can win against new players a majority of the time. And I'd much rather play a game that gave me the option to use that strategy. There's strategy to playing Hand Limit cards in rapid succession. It makes the rule slightly more complicated ("You can have only N cards in your hand, unless it's your turn" vs "You can only have N cards in your hand"), but it makes the game much richer for it.

[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
The message I got from people was 'too much to think about'. The beauty of Fluxx is that there's strategy and luck in just about equal measure -- this ramps up the strategy to a huge degree. It also gives you something extra to think about when considering cards, etc etc. Maybe when we get used to it it'll be just as easy, but people are saying it makes the game harder (and thus more frustrating to non-gamers and kids)
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
I've always played assuming that playing before drawing is okay, and I've only ever played before drawing a handful of times, and I think only with Trade Hands and Rotate Hands. Even then, I forget to actually play first sometimes because drawing first is almost always the better option and so becomes habitual.

So I'd say that it's probably "basically the same."
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
I think more choice means more strategy, which is generally a good thing. However, you really have to squint to interpret the current rules to allow you to play before drawing. If you want to allow that, you should regard it as an official rule change and make it explicit in future printings. Otherwise (if you say you must draw first) it's just an official clarification of the way most players understand the rules as they are.
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
I've always played Fluxx as though the play and draw rules were quotas to be met by the end of the turn. I like it that way.

For me, a lot of the fun of Fluxx is being able to string together combos of effects, either to my own benefit or just to make my turn more ridiculous (and the ensuing fun is also to my own benefit). Giving players the flexibility to play, then draw, adds more possibilities to the game, and is good.

If you can rig it so that you're turn ends with just "Trade Hands" in your hand, and you're lucky enough to not have to draw cards before your next turn, then I think it's great that you can Trade Hands before drawing. Very clever; everybody else will be trying to do the same thing, once they've seen the trick. IMO, that's much more fun than just randomly playing cards and seeing what pops up -- that way lies Cosmic Wimpout (a fun game iff you're in the mood for randomness and little choice).

For that matter, draw-anytime means that we don't have to keep reminding eager players to draw their cards before they make that much-anticipated tasty first play. It feels a little less tedious.

So, yeah, please keep our options open. If a particular card's text needs to be tweaked, tweak it in the next version.
Date:October 10th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)

Draw or play

Personally... I plan on using the "draw first" rules when playing FLUXX and using the "draw or play first" when playing Zombie Fluxx. I see them as to different games and don't mind the different rule. New game new rules, old game old rules.

One reason I quit playing magic was that every year you had to learn new interpretations of the rules...

My $.02
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
In Fluxx and most other card games, people frequently forget to draw before playing. If correcting for this after the fact were verboten, what would you do when it happens?
[User Picture]
Date:October 11th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)

Pro-quota fast-effecter

I'm somewhat on the fence about this myself. By nature, I support the quota model for Fluxx, e.g. complete the following and your turn ends: draw X cards, play Y cards, adhere to any applicable limits in play. However, in practice, not automatically doing any and all drawing "immediately", i.e. at the start of the turn and whenever a new Draw Rule (or other rule) increases the draw quota, can be confusing to new players, young kids, and non-gamers,
because almost every card game they've played before that involves drawing
first (OK, not Go Fish or Uno, but I think it's still a big majority).

Personally, I like to be tricky. I was very fond of fast effects in M:tG, to
such a degree that the other players would usually turn to me and ask, "Am I done?" to indicate they are done unless they want to respond to a bunch of
fast effects I'm about to play...

My preferred Fluxx MO (if I can be said to have one) is High Draw / Low Play, build up a desired hand (hoping my opponents haven't spotted a winning combo of their own and/or don't have a high Play card to execute it),
then springing it all at once with a high Play card. Certainly if there's a multi-draw/multi-play rule set in force (even as low as Draw 2 Play 2), I always assume that I'm not getting another turn, because there are so many ways to win that someone else is bound to hit one before I get to go again.

Probably similar FLUXXophy to bobsquatch.

Date:October 9th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
What happens to all the new players that didn’t like pvp, and started working through the 5-mans, and the mans, and then couldn’t find a guild on their server still doing man dungeons .
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
I've not actually played a game with the "you can play before drawing" rule yet, but I did want to bring up the point of precedent. You mentioned in your previous post that you've never said that drawing first is mandatory, but the back of the box for version 1.0 of Fluxx (and version 2, I think, I don't have the box handy) clearly states: Fluxx has but one rule: "Draw one card and then play one card." What cards might... ...Do you not know the rule of Fluxx? It is this: "Draw one card abd then play two cards." Well, that's what it...

The important part being the "then." Not only that, but the instruction card gives the order of how to set up the game, 1, 2, 3, then the order of your turn:
1) Draw the # of cards currently required.
2) Play the # of cards currently required.
3) Discard down to the current Hand Limit.
4) Discard Keepers to the Keeper Limit.

Admitedly, I'm going back a couple of editions from the current here, but both the back of the box, and the game instructions seem pretty clear that drawing is first.
[User Picture]
Date:October 17th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
purplesnap has beat me to the punch here, and far better since I don't have those early editions to call on. The only rules I actually have intact and with the box is for my EcoFluxx, which also states the order of play, not as optional but in a numbered sequence of play (as quoted above). To me, while you say you've never really thought about it, this says that this is the intended order of play.

Now, I'm yet to get hold of Zombie Fluxx so I can't comment on the instance that sparked this debate, but to me there has never been a question of this. Draw, play, discard down (if necessary). That's the order. Now, as with any game, sometimes someone is, indeed, eager to play a card before drawing, but rarely has that changed their intended play (unless they suddenly find something juicier in the draw); and it's a fast and loose enough game to not get bogged down by a reminder to draw. The danger is that someone might get so wrapped up in their entire turn that they actually forget to draw! I've seen this happen in other games where drawing comes at the end, which is why drawing first not only makes sense but also works as a reminder and signal that your turn has started.

As you've said, there are a few gaps in clarity here and there, forcing you to make some interpretation of the rule for play. For example, playing EcoFluxx tonight the commonly encountered question of "If you're drawing more than one must they all be from the bottom of the discard or vice versa, or can I mix and match?" We've tried different rules and both effect the game differently, this is true. However, by the text on the card I ruled that you could draw from either because it says "Whenever you draw a card..." (my emphasis) and if you're drawing, say, 2 cards then you are drawing a card - twice.

But in other cases I think them quite clear. The Draw cards clearly state: "The person who played this card should immediately draw extra cards (if needed) so that they have drawn [x] cards this turn." This seems to imply that in order to have played that card you must have already drawn since it says "extra". To me, some rules simply don't need to be spelled out as they are inherently obvious. However, as the adage says, if you make a system fool-proof then it will take a fool to break it. Not that I'm calling anyone fools here, but I feel that this is suffering from over-analysis at the cost of the obvious. Sure, sometimes we miss what's staring us in the face. We've all done it at some point.

Sure, if someone wants to house rule that it is optional, fine. There's always room for house rules. But so far as "official" procedure I don't see it as an issue.
Date:October 22nd, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)

Creepers change your assumptions

My little munchkins would definitely prefer to play first, then draw, because too often they've drawn a creeper (which they need to immediately play), thus preventing them from winning on that move.

ie, the cards in their hand would win, regardless of what they draw, provided they don't draw a creeper.

Play-without-draw seems like too big a hole to leave in the game. You are allowed to win at any time in your turn (I believe), you don't have to wait till you've finished the 'Play All' or whatever. As soon as conditions are met, you win. Having must-play creepers in the draw pile seem to mandate that you must draw first.

(I should point out that despite having creepers, we aren't playing Zombie Fluxx, just Fluxx with the recent bonus card, and a few home-made ones like our evil 'Keeper to Creeper' - but we are playing vanilla rules)
Date:December 15th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC)


very interesting, but I don't agree with you
[User Picture]
Date:January 14th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
As stated a few times in-thread, it's clear that you must draw first based on the printed rules -- it's "follow the draw rule, then follow the play rule, then end your turn" with only the text on "draw X" cards making you draw more cards while playing.

That said, I could see a very interesting Fluxx game with the variant "you must have complied with the draw and play rules on the table before finishing your turn" without specifying order.
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