Drafting in board games is not about beer or wind resistance….though there are games out there that incorporate both of those things.
In board games, the mechanic of drafting is quite simple. It is when all players are dealt a number of cards to start. Each player then chooses one of those cards to keep and use. The players then pass the remaining cards, that they did not choose, to the player to the left or right of them, depending on the game. You then choose one of those cards that you got from another player and choose one, then pass the rest. All players do this until there are no more cards left or a certain number of cards are taken. It’s that simple!
What makes drafting so great is that it gives you choice. Many times in games you are dealt a handful of cards and you are stuck with that hand. Your hand may be crap while another players cards are great. This gives you a chance to get the cards you want or need, not with just luck of the draw. It also forces you to make tough decisions that will map out what your strategy is going to be for the rest of the game. Deciding whether to keep a card because you need it or to keep it from other players who might want it, is fantastic.
Drafting is a great addition to a board game because it is simple and quick to implement. If you play a game containing cards and it is just not working for you or you need a little bit more spice….just add drafting! It can turn a snoozer of a game into a strategic, nail biting experience.
I tend not to do so well at games with drafting but I still love the mechanic of it!
Now …… onto my Best 3 Games with…Drafting!
3. Blood Rage
What makes Blood Rage’s drafting so good is that ALL the cards are better than the next. You really have to think about what you want to do and what is going to help you the most. You also do a drafting step at the beginning of each of the 3 rounds. The cards you draft at the beginning of each round will set you on course to either do the most damage, control certain areas, upgrade your units, summon monsters or actually die the most. The drafting makes a huge difference when determining your strategy.
2. 7 Wonders
7 wonders is a game that is entirely about drafting. Again you will draft cards in each round then use those cards immediately in your city. Every card you draft will either give you resources, military, technology, or just straight up points. The thing that sets 7 Wonders apart from other drafting games is that the direction you pass cards changes each round. First round you will be passing cards to your left, then the next round you will be passing cards to your right.
I absolutely love Seasons. It is my top 10 games of all time. Every time I play it I like it more. The awesome part in this drafting is that ALL your drafting comes at the beginning of the game. The game lasts for 3 “years” but you draft everything at the beginning of the game. After that, you separate the cards you drafted into 3 separate piles, one for the first year, then the second and last the third. You start the game with the first year cards and won’t get the other cards until the following years begin. I just love that aspect on deciding what card I want to keep then choosing when I want to use it.