# Dominion Strategy Forum

## Dominion => Variants and Fan Cards => Topic started by: metzgerism on November 02, 2011, 04:34:21 pm

Title: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: metzgerism on November 02, 2011, 04:34:21 pm
This one is pretty basic.

Untitled
Cost: ?
---
+1 Card
+1 Action
---
While this card is in play, when you play an action: +1 card.
---

Notes: Okay, the wording needs help, but you might be able to understand the point - every subsequent action card you play has "+1 Card" tacked onto it at the top of the card's text.

There's really no intent here, just wondering what this might cost to people - my initial guess is a \$5.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: rrenaud on November 02, 2011, 04:43:49 pm
Isn't this super good?  How does it stack?

Untitled, Untitled, Untitled, you draw 1 + 2 + 3 cards?
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: mnavratil on November 02, 2011, 04:48:55 pm
Yeah, seems pretty powerful. This would turn every peddler-variant into a lab +\$. Not too mention chaining multiples of these.

My gut tells me it should cost at LEAST \$6, \$7 might be better. You definately want to make it hard to get a critical mass of these.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: chwhite on November 02, 2011, 04:57:36 pm
I wonder if it would be easier to cost if you removed the initial +1 Card.  Just +1 Action, extra cards for later actions.  That might make it hard enough to chain that maybe you could actually cost it without resorting to exorbitant price levels or potions or whatever.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: ChaosRed on November 02, 2011, 06:02:52 pm
Yeah, my recommendation is take the +1 card on the primary ability. That way, you have to ignite the card draw with a second action card. Right now chaining a second and third, essentially brings up an exponential draw.

Without the +1 card on the primary ability, you could get try it at 6 and see how it tests out and might find it could be okay at 5. Because although sometimes it will fire and deliver a massive hand, other times getting one in your hand, doesn't get you very far.

But again, I've been preaching this same thing all week in the Variants forum: play test, play test, play test. You really, really don't know what you have until you play test it. Reading Donald' X's "secret history" posts, this is also abundantly clear.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: rinkworks on November 02, 2011, 07:41:48 pm
The +1 Card definitely needs to go, since chaining a couple of these together will already result in crazy draws.  Without it, it's still superpowered:  Play two, and then every non-terminal you play thereafter will have a Laboratory feature grafted onto it.  Play three, and if you weren't already drawing your whole deck, you will be.

At the same time, I might be more interested in this card if it were a Village, to allow more interesting combos on boards that don't have a source of +2 Actions.  So how about this?

Untitled
+2 Actions
While this card is in play, when you play an action: +1 card.

I think there's a chance this will work at \$7, but I'm going to guess it's still too powerful.  If it is, I don't think going back to +1 Action will fix it, because the extra actions are insignificant compared to the exponential increase of power when you chain Untitleds together.  It's kind of like King's Court in that way:  one of them is decently but not obscenely strong; multiples are ludicrous.  But King's Court has a slightly better chance of being dead in a hand with no other actions.  With Untitled, well, a single Untitled (my version of it, that is) in a hand with no other actions is still dead, but if you have a chain of them, not only can you probably find other actions to put with them, but you might not NEED to, since the card draw you get from a chain of Untitleds is sufficient on its own.

Despite that King's Court works at \$7, I kind of think cards like this -- cards that are great in singles but obscene in multiples -- are screaming for Potion-based costs.  The potion cards are mostly just the kind of card that this is:  a non-terminal card that needs to be non-terminal but which would be crazy powerful if you could get a lot of them quickly.  Potion-based costs slow down the accumulation of multiples without reducing the game to a simple matter of "Let's see who can get to \$7 first."

So maybe try \$3P or \$4P and see where that takes you.  I'm somewhat inclined to try this one out myself.  If I do, I'll report back.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: Fangz on November 02, 2011, 08:41:17 pm
I don't think removing the +1 card will do anything other than increase variance. It's inherently powerful, and therefore expensive, and as an expensive card, without the +1 card it has an increased chance of being drawn dead or with just one useless terminal, which would be absolutely disastrous and generally game losing. This is swinginess is part of the issue with KC, and so it shouldn't be replicated.

I think building engines with multiple copies of this seems powerful, but in practice, probably not as much as people assume. 2 untitled = 1 lab. 3 untitled = 3 labs. You need to chain together 4 or more to exceed laboratory, at which point you're probably drawing near your entire deck anyway and it ceases to be much of an advantage. It'd be (much) more powerful with villages and other cantrips, but usually building such engines are expensive and require slow buildup, whereupon your opponent can outdo you by grabbing the necessary cards. The closest comparison to this card is probably scrying pool.

So I actually like it as a \$5 card as originally proposed.

EDIT:

You know, an interesting thought experiment would be:

Imagine this card:
DRAW
Action \$?

+1 Action

How much would you value this card at? Can it possibly be balanced?
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: rrenaud on November 02, 2011, 08:54:18 pm
In a given turn, a single play turns pearl divers into labs, villages into level 2 cities, etc.  I am pretty sure it's monstrously good.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: Jimmmmm on November 02, 2011, 09:16:54 pm
Could this possibly work better as a prize?
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: Fangz on November 02, 2011, 09:36:21 pm
In a given turn, a single play turns pearl divers into labs, villages into level 2 cities, etc.  I am pretty sure it's monstrously good.

Sure, but where are those pearl divers going to come from? Until you draw this card consistently, you will be a village idiot most of the time, thus ensuring that your opponent will have the lead in gaining Untitled. If you are going village heavy, you can be often better off investing in a smithy instead of this card, and that'll often give you a better upside if you draw it dead. I mean, to make this work, you'd need:

Cheap cantrips
Multiple copies of untitled
Money

And you need all of these before the opponent can finish the game. So the comparison to scrying pool seems apt. It's scrying pool, minus the attack/inspect, with a more consistent but weaker-best-case draw ability.

EDIT: Then again I just love powerful cards.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: chesskidnate on November 02, 2011, 09:40:47 pm
I think it really depends on if theres colonies as to what its price should be, in a game without colonies it probably wouldn't be too powerful at 6. In a game with them, you have more time to build making this card probably worth 8.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: WanderingWinder on November 02, 2011, 09:57:29 pm
This would push King's Court as the strongest 7, I think. Mega-broken at something like 5. I do sorta like the idea of making it like 5p, but I'm still worried that it might never be balanced.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: Tydude on November 02, 2011, 10:17:57 pm
Could this possibly work better as a prize?

That's exactly what I would use this card as.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: rinkworks on November 02, 2011, 11:36:49 pm
I don't think removing the +1 card will do anything other than increase variance.

The +1 Card makes a monster into a mega-monster, I'm positive.  Say you play two Untitleds, which for starters is 20% easier to do with the +1 Card on it.  You'll draw a total of 3 extra cards by playing those two, which is pretty good.  But without it, now you have to have drawn both into your initial hand to play two, and after you do so, you only get a total of 1 extra card.

That's 6 vs. 4 cards remaining in your hand afterward, from which, if you have any action cards at all, be they more Untitleds or otherwise, you're probably going to kick off a megaturn.

The likelihood with which Untitleds can kick off an action chain -- of whatever kind -- is the only real constraint on this thing, and although the weaker version of the card is still stupendous, that constraint is a big one.  It's why Throne Room can be affordable:  the chance of drawing it dead is a real risk.  Similarly, this is exactly why Golem is orders of magnitude better than Village.  Both let you play two more actions.  Golem guarantees it.

Speaking more abstractly, +1 Card is an ENORMOUS buff on a non-terminal.  It turns a simple cantrip into a Laboratory, after all.  With +1 Card, Scout would suddenly become awesome.

Quote
I think building engines with multiple copies of this seems powerful, but in practice, probably not as much as people assume. 2 untitled = 1 lab. 3 untitled = 3 labs. You need to chain together 4 or more to exceed laboratory, at which point you're probably drawing near your entire deck anyway and it ceases to be much of an advantage.

That's not where the strength comes from.  The strength comes from the fact that any cantrip played after just ONE Untitled becomes a Laboratory all by itself.  One Untitled, and those Pearl Divers you picked up with extra buys just because they did no harm are now suddenly a Laboratory chain of their own.  Those Villages you picked up?  They become Laboratories that turn your terminals into Laboratories too!

All that, with ONE Untitled.  Chain together two Untitleds, which you'll probably be able to do since one can explode your drawing power so much, and I'm pretty sure that's a guaranteed deck-draw no matter how many greens and Curses you've got.  Because then your Moats are drawing like Council Rooms, and your Courtyards are doing even better.  Maybe if you're REALLY clogged, you need three, but no more.  Price this card like Minion, and it won't matter if the split goes 7/3 against you, because the guy who bought 7 is down 4 Duchies that might as well have auto-Islanded themselves for all the harm it did your deck.

I might well be exaggerating here, but I really don't think by much.  If you look at it another way and credit the extra card draws to the Untitled directly instead of talking about it in terms of turning Pearl Divers into Laboratories, consider that adding a single Untitled to any kind of engine that's not quite up and running but slowly gearing up (say, Village/Wharf or Worker's/Conspirator or Festival/Library or whatever).  Well, that one Untitled might very well be responsible for drawing 4-6 extra cards.  That's already enough extra oomph to turn that revving-up engine into a reliably-running one.

But you really don't need to wait that long.  Open with two action cards, get two more on the second shuffle, and then you can probably buy an Untitled on turns 5 or 6 and reliably draw it with enough of those otherwise clashing actions to roll.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: Fangz on November 02, 2011, 11:54:02 pm
Quote
All that, with ONE Untitled.  Chain together two Untitleds, which you'll probably be able to do since one can explode your drawing power so much, and I'm pretty sure that's a guaranteed deck-draw no matter how many greens and Curses you've got.  Because then your Moats are drawing like Council Rooms, and your Courtyards are doing even better.  Maybe if you're REALLY clogged, you need three, but no more.  Price this card like Minion, and it won't matter if the split goes 8/2 against you, because the guy who bought 8 is down 6 Duchies that might as well have auto-Islanded themselves for all the harm it did your deck.

But that's *exactly* the reason it should be not too expensive. Price this at \$7 or whatever, and you set up a massive ballooning effect whereupon a player that is lucky to hit \$7 first gets stronger turns and crushes his opponent. At \$5, it becomes more accessible to both players, and it becomes a matter not of who can spam the most of these cards but who can buy Untitleds whilst simultaneously building up the support cantrips and money at the same time. Like with Chapel, the matter isn't that it's powerful relative to its cost, but rather its cost has to bear in mind its effects on the game. I don't think \$7 or \$5P or making the card more variable or whatever would have the effect you think. If the smart play with the card is to buy 3 or so and do other stuff, then up-pricing it just penalises the unlucky, instead of what should be done - which is to shift focus away from this card to what *other* cards you should buy and when to go along with it.

Why not stop worrying and learn to love the big cantrip engine game? :p

EDIT: To clarify, in my view, it's perfectly acceptable to have one card which for its cost is a must-buy on any board it appears on, so long as that card alone doesn't create a degenerate strategy that recommends you forsake every other card on the board and buy only it and maybe a silver or two.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: danshep on November 03, 2011, 12:00:52 am
Maybe make the Untitled a self-trasher? That probably lets it work as a \$5.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: rinkworks on November 03, 2011, 08:20:55 am
Quote
All that, with ONE Untitled.  Chain together two Untitleds, which you'll probably be able to do since one can explode your drawing power so much, and I'm pretty sure that's a guaranteed deck-draw no matter how many greens and Curses you've got.  Because then your Moats are drawing like Council Rooms, and your Courtyards are doing even better.  Maybe if you're REALLY clogged, you need three, but no more.  Price this card like Minion, and it won't matter if the split goes 8/2 against you, because the guy who bought 8 is down 6 Duchies that might as well have auto-Islanded themselves for all the harm it did your deck.

But that's *exactly* the reason it should be not too expensive. Price this at \$7 or whatever, and you set up a massive ballooning effect whereupon a player that is lucky to hit \$7 first gets stronger turns and crushes his opponent. At \$5, it becomes more accessible to both players, and it becomes a matter not of who can spam the most of these cards but who can buy Untitleds whilst simultaneously building up the support cantrips and money at the same time. Like with Chapel, the matter isn't that it's powerful relative to its cost, but rather its cost has to bear in mind its effects on the game. I don't think \$7 or \$5P or making the card more variable or whatever would have the effect you think. If the smart play with the card is to buy 3 or so and do other stuff, then up-pricing it just penalises the unlucky, instead of what should be done - which is to shift focus away from this card to what *other* cards you should buy and when to go along with it.

Why not stop worrying and learn to love the big cantrip engine game? :p

EDIT: To clarify, in my view, it's perfectly acceptable to have one card which for its cost is a must-buy on any board it appears on, so long as that card alone doesn't create a degenerate strategy that recommends you forsake every other card on the board and buy only it and maybe a silver or two.

Well, you may be right that costing it high turns the game into a broken kind of race.  But I think you're wrong that it wouldn't be broken in a worse way at a cheaper price.  I think it absolutely would create a such degenerate strategy.  I think priced at \$5, you buy 2-3, a single Copper, and take a Province every turn thereafter.  After you've got your extra Copper, use any <\$5 turn to buy anything at all.  Probably doesn't matter what.

But, although I don't know, I don't *think* the game will degenerate into a race at \$7 or \$5P, at least no more so than KC already is, just because one isn't immediately unstoppable.  It would be more like Minions, where the race is to accumulate a critical mass, and that kind of race -- racing for a sustained income rather than a single lucky hand -- isn't so bad, as it depends on good strategy beforehand.

But, indeed, you don't need 5 or a favorable split, only 2-3 total.  So yeah, now I'm back to think you might be right that the card is still broken at that price.  I suspect we're both right, that it won't work at any price, and we're just seeing a different fail case better than the other.

I really need to try this.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: Fangz on November 03, 2011, 10:04:14 am
Quote
Well, you may be right that costing it high turns the game into a broken kind of race.  But I think you're wrong that it wouldn't be broken in a worse way at a cheaper price.  I think it absolutely would create a such degenerate strategy.  I think priced at \$5, you buy 2-3, a single Copper, and take a Province every turn thereafter.  After you've got your extra Copper, use any <\$5 turn to buy anything at all.  Probably doesn't matter what.

As I said previously, playing 3 or fewer per turn is equivalent or worse to having laboratories. So on its own this doesn't form a degenerate strategy any more than massing laboratories does (I'd think that on its own, most of the time it's worse than laboratory, since it's just that bit weaker at starting off a chain, and at the high end when you are chaining together tons of cards it doesn't matter anyway since you'll probably already have enough \$ for your province.). It's combining it with cantrips or villages that gives this card real power.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: rinkworks on November 03, 2011, 01:30:03 pm
Quote
Well, you may be right that costing it high turns the game into a broken kind of race.  But I think you're wrong that it wouldn't be broken in a worse way at a cheaper price.  I think it absolutely would create a such degenerate strategy.  I think priced at \$5, you buy 2-3, a single Copper, and take a Province every turn thereafter.  After you've got your extra Copper, use any <\$5 turn to buy anything at all.  Probably doesn't matter what.

As I said previously, playing 3 or fewer per turn is equivalent or worse to having laboratories. So on its own this doesn't form a degenerate strategy any more than massing laboratories does (I'd think that on its own, most of the time it's worse than laboratory, since it's just that bit weaker at starting off a chain, and at the high end when you are chaining together tons of cards it doesn't matter anyway since you'll probably already have enough \$ for your province.). It's combining it with cantrips or villages that gives this card real power.

The "After you got your extra Copper, use any <\$5 hand to buy anything at all" was supposed to mean "any action card," preferring non-terminals, of course.  By the time you amass 3 \$5 cards, you've certainly had enough chances to buy other action cards that your 3 Untitleds will be immediately outperforming 3 Laboratories immediately upon obtaining them.  Because the other action cards in that Untitled deck will also be Laboratories or better.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: dondon151 on November 03, 2011, 08:23:48 pm
What if we made the second part of the card a Reaction that (obviously) only occurs when the card is in your hand?
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: Karrow on November 04, 2011, 02:27:52 pm
Why not stop worrying and learn to love the big cantrip engine game? :p

EDIT: To clarify, in my view, it's perfectly acceptable to have one card which for its cost is a must-buy on any board it appears on, so long as that card alone doesn't create a degenerate strategy that recommends you forsake every other card on the board and buy only it and maybe a silver or two.

I would disagree.  A must-buy means you're not playing, your following a script for the first X#-turns.  I would rather just put X in each players deck before the beginning of the game.  Then you can skip the script, and actually play.  (This would be an interesting variant to have a card that had a setup rule like this on it.)

And as mentioned if the must buy is too expensive, then it's higher variance.  So we should price it lower. So how about this?

Cost \$3
Type:  Treasure
Card text:  1\$  +1 Card.  As long as Must-Buy is in play, draw one card whenever you play a treasure.

It's pretty much the same as untitled right?  It just turns every treasure into a weaker Venture, no big deal.  Kinda like turning every cantrip into a lab.  It's weaker than Venture cause you could dead draw an action or victory.

Boring because it forces big money?  What if I like big money engines?

And I think that's the problem.  You like "untitled" because you like big cantrip engines.  But it forces everyone to play the way you like.  And the same goes for my "Must-Buy" card.  I could argue day and night on why it's a good card, but being overpowered it forces everyone to play big-money.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: popsofctown on November 05, 2011, 02:23:36 am
Maybe make the Untitled a self-trasher? That probably lets it work as a \$5.

This is my favorite subjective.  Mining Village is pretty fun, I'd like to see another interesting "spike" card in dominion.
Title: Re: Variant card needs a cost
Post by: Fangz on November 05, 2011, 07:30:20 pm
Why not stop worrying and learn to love the big cantrip engine game? :p

EDIT: To clarify, in my view, it's perfectly acceptable to have one card which for its cost is a must-buy on any board it appears on, so long as that card alone doesn't create a degenerate strategy that recommends you forsake every other card on the board and buy only it and maybe a silver or two.

I would disagree.  A must-buy means you're not playing, your following a script for the first X#-turns.  I would rather just put X in each players deck before the beginning of the game.  Then you can skip the script, and actually play.  (This would be an interesting variant to have a card that had a setup rule like this on it.)

The point with untitled is that you only get good value out of the card if you have the support cards in place. So there is some strategy connected with for example, whether you pick up initial silvers so you hit \$5 more often, or whether you go into cheap cantrips to fuel your final megaturn. Whether you opt for trashing first, and whether you start picking up duchies.

Giving everyone copies of untitled at the start isn't the same, just as though witches should not be ignored in witch games, giving everyone a free witch at the start isn't the same.

Quote