One of my favorite things a game can do is to make spending money (or currency) draw from your victory pool. Some examples:
- Smallworld requires you to spend victory points to bypass races you don’t want to play.
- The Sheriff of Nottingham doubles the effect by encouraging you to bribe opponents with coins, which increases their score directly while lowering yours.
- The TV Show Cutthroat Kitchen requires players to spend their prize money to screw over their opponents
My all-time favorite version of this comes from the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle CCG. In this incredibly complex card game, you play as an elder vampire, controlling a stable of younger vampires by giving them your life force, blood, from your pool. Each thing you buy costs you blood from your pool, reducing your life force and hastening your death (and the other player’s victory). In my memory, it wasn’t uncommon to end the game on a knife-edge, gambling many of your last pool on a play that *should* put the other player out of the game.
I think the tension created by making players spend their own victory is an excellent way to augment a complex game. What other ways can we make players weigh victory and defeat against one another?