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Messages - ben_king

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Anticipating Renaissance
« on: October 10, 2018, 01:14:55 pm »
That version of Villain was my favorite Renaissance card that didn't make it.  So much fun (for people outside of California).

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: October 08, 2018, 11:09:08 am »
For those unfamiliar with the reference:

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: October 08, 2018, 10:25:41 am »
What's your main misgiving about working with big data from the online implementation?
When did you stop beating your wife? I don't have misgivings about working with data from the online implementation.

You just don't seem to do it despite having plenty of good opportunities and reasons to do so.

Man, I really don't get why people continually antagonize Donald X.  It's almost like you all want him to stop answering questions on the forum again.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: October 05, 2018, 02:31:44 pm »
Vanishing City
Action - Reserve - $3

+2 Cards
Put this on your Tavern mat.
When you play a Vanishing City, you may call this, for +1 Action.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Printing Fan Made Expansions and Online Play
« on: October 02, 2018, 10:33:07 am »
You're likely to run into trouble with this.  Donald X. and Rio Grande Games typically don't mind if you make these sorts of things for your own entertainment, but if you were to try to monetize them, I'd imagine things would be quite different.  It's in Rio Grande's best interest to ensure that its customers can clearly tell the difference between its own thoroughly tested and quality-controlled products and completely unverified fan products.  You could ask about a licensing fee, but don't hold your breath.

Online Dominion implementations other than the official one have been shut down.  If you wanted to make your own online version, it would need to avoid any copyright infringement. This includes, art, card text, card names, etc.  So don't plan on having any official cards available on the platform.  And even Estate, Duchy, Silver, Gold, etc. would probably need to be called something different with different art.  The platform you're building now is not sounding very much like Dominion anymore (at least to me).

But if you wanted to do any of these for your own personal, non-commercial enjoyment, those projects have typically been allowed.

Dominion: Renaissance Previews / Re: Your reviews of the previews
« on: September 29, 2018, 10:49:43 pm »
I gave my impressions of the preview cards in a video recording that I uploaded to my YouTube channel.

Watch here:

It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out who Melisha was.

How many Experiments are there? We have 12 Ports, will we also have 12 Experiments?

At least on the digital client, it's only 10.  And based on the numbers Donald X. has provided, it will need to be 10 to make the math work out.

The split of Ports tends to be important.  12 splits evenly for 2, 3, and 4 players.  The split doesn't matter as much for Experiments, since they go back to the pile.

(BTW, copper doesn't come from PIE *kap-. Or rather, copper 'police officer' comes from *kap-, but the Copper in Dominion is the metal; that word comes from the placename Cyprus.)

My bad, misread the etymonline entry.

Oh hey, are "Ducat" and "Duchy" Dominion's first pair of 100% etymological doublets?

I'm not sure on what exactly qualifies, but according to etymonline, but here are a few other quick ones I found:

* Village/Villa and Villain both share Latin villa, meaning farm or country house, but villain originally meant a farmhand.
* Dominate and Dungeon both share PIE *dem-
* Prince and Copper both share PIE *kap-
* Platinum and Plaza share PIE *plat-

+1 Coffer doesn't actually convey the idea. It's like saying +1 Safe. When really you're adding money to your safe(s). So, +1 to your Safe. You're adding money to your coffers. +1 Coffers.
I keep seeing this explanation, but it still makes no sense to me. One might as well say "+1 Storage Solutions" to mean "gain a Dominion expansion".

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 21, 2018, 09:17:45 am »

Treasure - Reaction - $2

When you play this, it's worth $1 per Silver you have in play
When you play a Silver, you may reveal and discard this to gain a Silver to hand.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 18, 2018, 02:26:28 pm »
The card you create based on this does seem incredibly overpowered though, since you removed the bit about needing to show a hand with no action cards. Your version is a $4 super lab that is just silver if you can't play an action first.

Yeah, I could definitely see sense in having it cost $5.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 18, 2018, 11:44:32 am »

$5 - Treasure/Reaction

During your turn, you may discard this to reveal your hand with no Action cards. If you do, +2 cards.

I like the idea of this card, but I think it can't be a reaction, since there's nothing it's reacting to.  You could say "Directly after you finish playing an Action card, you may reveal this..."

If I was going to design a card inspired by yours, I think I'd do a Storyteller variant:

Tales of Investments
$4 - Treasure/Reaction

Directly after you finish playing an Action card, you may reveal this, setting it aside.  If you do, +2 cards and discard this at the start of your cleanup phase.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Data Mining: Card Impact Factor
« on: April 30, 2018, 03:09:25 pm »
I love that Swindler's top synergies are terrible cards that you get Swindled into.

If I had the data in the appropriate format, I'd just try the analysis and see what happens.  Probably there are some pathologies in this method, but you never know until you try it.  As it is, I don't know how to access the data, and I imagine there'd be a lot of data prep work.

If you'd like, I could send you the data that I have.  It's all just plain text logs though.

For the last few years, I've had a hobby project of building my own Dominion client, so I can speak from experience about what cards are hardest to implement.

1. Possession -- in a league of its own.  So many rules around this and it necessitates sending all kinds of different information between the players that isn't required for any other card.
2. Extra turns and stuff that happens in between turns -- the rules here are rather complicated again.
3. Band of Misfits/Overlord/Inheritance -- there are an awful lot of ways that cards can interact with one another, and BoM/whatever needs to make sure it correctly captures all those different interactions.
4. Cards that require their own UI element -- programming the cards is actually super easy most of the time.  What's much trickier is displaying everything correctly.  So cards that have a UI element that is unique, e.g. Embargo, Tax, Necromancer, Druid, etc. tend to get bumped down the list, since the UI work isn't shared with any other card.  Little payoff for the work that it takes.

For the most part, it's not individual cards that are difficult, but implementing certain rules, such as Lose Track or cards that set up effects that happen later, such as Scheme, Merchant, or Durations.  For example, Ghost took quite a bit of time to get correct, since it's both a Duration and a Throne Room variant (which could be doubling a different Duration), but that was really about nailing down the correct behavior for both Duration effects and for when Throne variants stay in play.

Dominion Articles / Re: What's stopping AI from mastering Dominion?
« on: March 02, 2018, 12:24:05 pm »
An AI can correctly evaluate probabilities in the blink of an eye. If it's playing the odds, it can play them right. Humans have to rely on coarser heuristics.

An AI will be using heuristics as well -- there's no feasible way even for a computer system to enumerate the possibilities in a game like Dominion.  Even a much simpler game with less hidden information like No-Limit Texas Hold 'em is intractable for a computer to calculate exact strategies.  Even the best chess bots use heuristics -- enumerating the game tree is impossible.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Most unique cards amongst each set?
« on: February 21, 2018, 02:52:05 pm »
Raze. The only card that can trash itself

Also Changeling, Death Cart, Engineer, Farmers' Market, Feast, Hermit, Horn of Plenty, Mining Village, Treasure Map, and Urchin, and Watchtower.

(edit: forgot Changeling and the Watchtower edge case)

Other Games / Re: Dominion clones
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:05:48 pm »
My experience with other deck-building games has typically been that they remove most of what's fun about Dominion.  They don't usually have good trashing, they get rid of the limitations on actions and/or buys, and in a typical turn you play the five cards that you happened to draw that turn and not much else.

With all the people claiming that these other deck-building games are more fun/better than Dominion, I've come up with a theory.  I think if you're not good at Dominion, it tends to play like "try to play as many cards in my five card hand as possible" because you don't know how to get control of your deck and do much beyond your starting five cards.  These people get frustrated that they can't play their Woodcutter and their Militia in the same turn, frustrated that they drew Throne Room with four Coppers, and claim that Big Money solves Dominion.  So these other games have sprouted up that make "play these five cards" more fun than in Dominion.  And people who are awful at Dominion say these new games are better, and anyone who knows how to play Dominion thinks they're crazy.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Asper's Cards
« on: January 09, 2018, 11:51:22 am »
Anyone got any idea whether it's legally reasonable to post your own boardgame design on a webforum like these or BGG? I have made a little thing and would both love to stirr up some interest and get feedback (and if people have fun on the way, that doesn't hurt, right?), but I don't want to run into "this isn't fully yours now" territory. Maybe that's irrational.

If it makes a difference, I am not yet sure whether I want to have the work to go the crowdfunding course, or run the danger to have my game significantly altered by a publisher.

In the United States, the idea and methods of a game are not copyrightable.  So if you put your stuff online, anyone could steal your ideas and publish them themselves.  They could also just as easily do that once you've published the game.  Things that are covered by copyright are specific expressions of the ideas in your game.  That could include artwork, the rulebook text, the exact wordings on the cards, etc.

This is how "Words with Friends" gets away with basically being Scrabble.  Note that "Words with Friends" did change the board from what is used in Scrabble, anticipating the possible argument that the layout of the Scrabble board could be considered part of the artwork.


Dominion General Discussion / Re: Christmas Kingdoms 2017
« on: December 27, 2017, 02:48:47 pm »
"If it's not their turn" is supposed to clarify that.

Ah, I was reading it a different way, assuming that Relatives might have other Relatives even deeper in the extended family who hadn't played their turn yet, but that wording makes sense now.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Christmas Kingdoms 2017
« on: December 26, 2017, 12:05:52 pm »
So I'm trying to figure out what the best strategy on this board would be.

The villages and the trashing are both very weak. Vacation seems too slow and unreliable here, so that leaves Snowy Village as the only other village.  The problem with using Snowy Village is that it would nerf Magic Hat and Sleigh, which is the best draw.  So I think you'd probably plan on using non-terminal draw (Magic Hats and Sleighs) with a single terminal.  If I'm feeling bold, maybe I'd get one Snowy Village and try to play it after all my non-terminal draw.

So what should the single terminal be?  Snowball fight is the only trashing, but the points from Tree would probably help your opponents more than the junking would hurt, same with Santa's Workshop.  Grinch would probably be pretty good (especially with Tree points), but it seems like Visit would really be the strongest terminal, basically like taking a Possession turn.  We would need a clarification on what happens if Relatives play Visit.  Is it Relatives the whole way down?  Because that might lead to a Duchy rush.  Otherwise the Relative deck probably plays the same way, except the best terminal for the Relative to play is Grinch.

I think I'd open double Silver here on 4-3, or Visit-Socks on 5-2, and I'd sprinkle in a Duchy or two along with Sleigh and Magic Hat.  I would probably need to start greening pretty soon after my deck is able to hit $8, since Provinces will start emptying very quickly after the Relative decks are able to hit $8. 

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Cost Increasers
« on: December 15, 2017, 02:17:17 pm »
Donald actually just answered this recently on a BGG thread about Dismantle:

I've tried a few inverse Bridges over the years, starting with the card that turned into Cutpurse. They're problematic. In multiples you can shut people out; Empires was a chance to make a debt version instead (take a debt when you buy a card), which solves that, but that didn't happen (in part because there's already Bridge Troll). Also increasing costs means you need a rule for which happens first, Bridge or Anti-Bridge.

I think all it does is punish +Buy and Workshops - so, don't play it with those - and give you combos like the Dismantle one you cite, where the high cost is worth something. Those aren't ubiquitous but the card could have more going on too. However there's still the issue of needing to add timing for Bridge vs. it (probably the card itself would provide that timing). And I do have an existing card that gets at those combos, which is Peddler; and there you go, you can Dismantle a Peddler that cost you $0 into two Golds or what have you.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« on: December 04, 2017, 08:36:35 am »
I find Annex to be most useful in sloggish-good stuff type decks where reliability is the limiting factor.  Annex isn't the primary goal, but in the mid-to-late game, Annex can make you much more likely to kick off next turn.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: World Famous Dominion Picture Trivia
« on: November 30, 2017, 11:01:14 am »
11. Orchard Famine ?

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