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Messages - Holger

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1
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Why is Way of the Butterfly optional?
« on: November 28, 2021, 04:18:32 am »
That doesn't really explain the "may" though, because "Return this to its pile to gain a card costing $1 more" would also be un-throneable. It's not the "you may" that makes it unthroneable, it's the "Do X to do Y" format. For it to be throneable, it would have to be worded as "Return this to its pile. Gain a card costing $1 more"

You seem to be missing the second half of this though:

And Donald X. isn't a fan of "do this. If you do..."

So the "you may" isn't needed to make it be non-thronable, but non-thronable cards tend to have "you may" because of a preference of Donald's that it feels more natural. And I agree; saying "Do X. If you do, Y" would leave some players confused as to why it says "if you do" since you didn't have a choice but to do it to start with. And "do X to do Y" is just newer wording for "Do X. If you do, Y".

Right, but I mean, the current phrasing is already just "do X to do Y" with a "you may" added to the beginning. "[You may] return this to its pile to gain a card costing exactly $1 more than it"

I suppose Donald never uses "do X to do Y" without a "you may" in front of it (at least I didn't find a counterexample in Menagerie).

However, it's strange that Way of the Turtle does actually use "Do X. If you did" wording without "you may" in the same expansion, although it's analogous to Butterfly.

2
Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #134: This is Worthless
« on: November 21, 2021, 04:45:07 am »
Quote from: Pilgrim
PILGRIM
ACTION
Cost: $3
+1 Card
+1 Action

Reveal the top card of your deck. If it's a non-Treasure card, you may trash it. If it costs $6 or more, gain a Luck.

Pilgrim looks like it will often be quite weak, and therefore Golden Shrine will not get revealed. A cost of $2 would help fix that, but it still won't feel great when one player luckily trashes all three Estates with Pilgrim and another player trashes none (and gaining Luck to set up Pilgrim to trash Estate is itself random and would be expected to happen pretty late in the game, so it won't do much to lessen the sting).

It's very unlikely that one player is three times lucky and the other never. I think Pilgrim would be less swingy than many $5 trashers like Sentry, Count or Trading Post are in games where only one player has a 5/2 opening.

But reducing the $6 cutoff to $5 or even $4 could reduce the swinginess further, as you'd no longer mind revealing such a card instead of an Estate. Luck is a one-shot better Cartographer, which is nice to get but probably not better than trashing an Estate.

3
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Allies
« on: November 14, 2021, 02:19:02 pm »
So the expansion title is translated to German this time ("Verbündete"), after the last four expansion titles kept their English names in the German versions. (While "Renaissance" is the same word in German, the other three titles aren't.)

I don't like this inconsistent approach, it's very inelegant IMO. The first German publisher Hans im Glück also flip-flopped between translating and not translating the titles, keeping "Dominion" itself, "Seaside" and "Dark Ages" in English, but translating the other expansion titles. ::)

rough translatation of (part of) answer by ASS Altenburger to similar complain in German forum: Basically we try to translate the titles, but if the English one fits or sounds good or we couldn't find a really nice translation or a catchy match, we stick with the English one. (supported by several users)

EDIT: by the way Nocturne and Menagerie one can find in any German dictionary, same spelling!

Okay, I didn't know that. I'm a German native speaker, but I don't think I've ever heard either of the two words being actually used in German.
FWIW, duden.de notes that the word "Menagerie" is becoming outdated ("veraltend"), and "Nocturne" only refers to music compositions in German. I'd say this meaning is completely unrelated to the expansion's theme -- but then it seems also to be the main meaning of nocturne in English... ???

Either way, thanks for linking to ASS' statement!

4
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Allies
« on: November 06, 2021, 07:16:56 am »

Coins (to account for whatever mechanic) return! The German publisher at their best...
I can't really figure out any names though, nor the expansion icon. But the weird purple strawberry art of that Treasure-Something bugs me (it doesn't look like its a Treasure-Attack at least).
https://www.facebook.com/dominionwelt/posts/4699312943421501

So the expansion title is translated to German this time ("Verbündete"), after the last four expansion titles kept their English names in the German versions. (While "Renaissance" is the same word in German, the other three titles aren't.)

I don't like this inconsistent approach, it's very inelegant IMO. The first German publisher Hans im Glück also flip-flopped between translating and not translating the titles, keeping "Dominion" itself, "Seaside" and "Dark Ages" in English, but translating the other expansion titles. ::)

5
Rules Questions / Re: Coffers Rules Change
« on: September 27, 2021, 06:51:04 am »
You give a good reason for errata-ing Patron in the wiki, but could you expand on the reason for errata-ing Merchant Guild? Its wiki article only says "With the new rules to Coffers, you would be able to spend Coffers that you gained from Merchant Guild during the same Buy phase."

Though this would strengthen MG significantly, I don't see why it would make MG overpowered. If you immediately spend the gained coffers on further buys, MG essentially becomes kind of a Bridge variant: Instead of a cost reduction by $1, you immediately get $1 back for each buy.
While Bridge is a very strong $4 card, MG costs $5, so it should be okay for it to be usable as an "almost immediate" cost reducer.

Spices seems more problematic to me: With the coffers change, it effectively becomes a $3 card that's strictly (and significantly) better than Silver whenever you have 2 coffers (or a spare $2) at the beginning of your buy phase.
The fix to Merchant Guild preserves its existing functionality, as well as possible. The intention of the Coffers change was not to make cards turn into different cards; Merchant Guild would still like to be Merchant Guild.

There was no such simple fix possible for Spices. I can e.g. Remodel into Spices, then use the tokens the same turn.

At the same time I consulted experts. The feeling was that Spices was not really so different. The value in the tokens lies in saving them for later.

Thanks for your answer, Donald! Yes, changing the wording to keep the existing functionality of Merchant Guild makes perfect sense.

For Spices, I will of course defer to the experts. (FWIW, I would consider you the topmost Dominion expert yourself  ;) .)

Still, I think it would be possible to change Spices' wording in order to keep its functionality in most cases, by changing it to:
"When you gain this, at the end of this phase, +2 Coffers."

This would still allow you to gain Spices in your Action phase (e.g. with Remodel) and use the Coffers in the same turn's buy phase, but would not allow you to immediately use Coffers received by buying Spices.
The only difference to Spices' current functionality (AFAICS) would be the rare case when you gain Spices during the "play treaures" part of your buy phase (e.g. with Horn of Plenty or with Scepter+Artisan).

6
Rules Questions / Re: Coffers Rules Change
« on: September 24, 2021, 09:30:34 am »
To those of you not in the TGG discord server (the company making the mobile version of Dominion), the rules for Coffers are getting changed, and this change also requires errata to 2 cards.

The change: You can spend Coffers at any time during your turn.

The reason: The original rule was awful and goes against intuition. How often have you bought a card, and then either realized you didn't spend enough Coffers, or you spent too many?

Side effects include being able to use Coffers to power up action-phase Storytellers, and you can immediately use the Coffers that you get from Spices.

Now there are two cards that need errata because of this. The reasons why is an exercise for the reader (or you can just go to the wiki, where I explained why).
-Merchant Guild: It will give Coffers at the end of your buy phase, and is no longer a dividing line ability.
-Patron: Only gives Coffers during an Action phase.

[...]

You give a good reason for errata-ing Patron in the wiki, but could you expand on the reason for errata-ing Merchant Guild? Its wiki article only says "With the new rules to Coffers, you would be able to spend Coffers that you gained from Merchant Guild during the same Buy phase."

Though this would strengthen MG significantly, I don't see why it would make MG overpowered. If you immediately spend the gained coffers on further buys, MG essentially becomes kind of a Bridge variant: Instead of a cost reduction by $1, you immediately get $1 back for each buy.
While Bridge is a very strong $4 card, MG costs $5, so it should be okay for it to be usable as an "almost immediate" cost reducer.

Spices seems more problematic to me: With the coffers change, it effectively becomes a $3 card that's strictly (and significantly) better than Silver whenever you have 2 coffers (or a spare $2) at the beginning of your buy phase.

7
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Allies
« on: September 19, 2021, 08:43:13 am »
400 cards and 31 kingdom piles. If they're all normal-sized non-Victory piles, that would account for 343 cards, leaving 57. [...]

310 kingdom cards  plus 31 randomizers account for 341 cards, not 343. ;) So there's still 59 other cards left.

8
Using picture 3...

Eyrie (Action, $5)

+4 Cards
You may discard 2 Cards, for +1 Action.

If you choose the discard option, this is already a better effect than Laboratory. And it can also give +4 cards as a terminal. So it has to cost $6.

Wasn’t sure initially if it should cost $5 or $6 - will modify it.

Eyrie (Action, $6)

+4 Cards
You may discard 2 Cards, for +1 Action.

I like the simplicity of this card, it could have been in the base game (or maybe Intrigue, due to the choice).  :D

With regard to the pricing, Eyrie gives you the choice between playing it as either a Hunting Grounds, or as a Lab+Forum in one card. And you get to make the choice AFTER you know which cards you draw, a huge advantage.
Therefore I suggest to increase the price further to $7.

9
Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #125: What's the Draw?
« on: August 16, 2021, 06:07:12 am »
Finally a home for this card that pairs with Cartographer!

Spiral Staircase
Reveal the top card of your deck. Then continue to reveal cards from your deck until you reveal one that does not cost more than the previously revealed card. Put the revealed cards into your hand.
$4 Action

Interesting concept. :) In the absence of top-decking/deck-ordering cards, this is somewhat weaker than Smithy on average: The probability of a random card costing more than the previous (random) one is less than 50%, so it draws less than 2+1/2+1/4+1/8+...=3 cards on average.

10
Dominion Articles / Re: Dominion is getting worse with each expansion
« on: August 10, 2021, 09:05:41 am »
There is no such thing as a "bad" kingdom, and in fact:

Theorem: All kingdoms are interesting.

Proof:

Suppose there exists an uninteresting kingdom.
Order the countably many kingdoms by the minimal number of decisions it takes to empty the supply in a two player game with perfect shuffle luck.
There then exists at least one minimal uninteresting kingdom with respect to this ordering.
But this property makes these kingdoms interesting.
This is a contradiction.

I see what you did there ;) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interesting_number_paradox

But the reasoning doesn't quite work in this case, as there are plenty of kingdoms in which it is impossible to ever empty the supply - specifically, in any kingdom without +buy and without gainers, the 3-pile rule ends the game long before you could empty the supply. Your argument only proves that any kingdom in which you can empty the supply is interesting - but if the uninteresting kingdoms are a subset of the kingdoms in which you cannot empty the supply, there is no ordering and no "minimal number" exists ...

11



This is strictly better than Hunting Grounds, except for the latter's on-trash ability.

12


Quote
Second Chance
Project
$5
At the end of your Action phase, you may place put a card from your hand onto your deck.

Most of the time, you'd probably use this to topdeck an Action card that you were unable to play. One particularly good use would be with Ghost, to choose an Action card from your hand for Ghost to hit. You could also choose to topdeck Tunnel if you have something like Venture or Ghost in hand. It would also work nicely with Moat in a kingdom with attack cards, to keep the Moat moving from one hand to the next

I'm not sure of the price. Is $5 a good price? Should it be less?

I think it could be cheaper.  When used on an Action card, it's essentially a Way of the Frog that can only be used once per turn (except when there's treasures or night cards that draw or otherwise care for the top of your deck).

13

Quote from: MochaMoko

Compost • $3 • Action - Duration
+1 Action
At the start of each of your turns, if this has set aside 3 or more cards, trash this and them, and gain a card to your hand costing up to $6.

Until you trash this, when you gain a card, you may set it aside face up (on this).

This has some issues for two reasons.
First, you have the "using with a command card" issue - a quick fix would be to give this the command type (which, I'm sure others will balk at, given that it isn't playing anything); a more thorough one would be to include a "while this is in play" clause in the (already pretty wordy) top paragraph, or change the "until you trash this" to "while this is in play".

The second issue is the setting aside is optional. This leads to some wild power creep like essentially automatically exiling green you buy. That's a bit too busted at non-terminal $3, imo. There's a fix for this, though: make it no longer optional to set aside your gains on this. You want to gain cards, you've gotta get rid of your Compost first.

The setting aside is optional, but the trashing isn't. So you can only permanently set aside two VP cards before this stops doing anything. I dont see this as overpowered when compared to Island, which also sets aside two VP cards permanently.

Quote

I'm less concerned about the "this blocks junkers" part than others in the thread - so does lighthouse or guardian or champion. It's not that hard to adjust your play style away from an attack when someone goes hard on defense.
But unlike Lighthouse or Guardian (or Moat), this protects you permanently from being junked after playing a single copy (unless the Compost pile is depleted before the Curse pile, you can just gain and play a new Compost for free whenever you trash the "full" old one). And it is much faster to get into play than a Champion, as you can always open with it.

14
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Credit Card
« on: July 02, 2021, 08:49:43 am »
I don’t like it. The cost is weird (you want it to be cheap but ungainable via Workshops and Remodels or what is the idea?), you need at least one copy to prevent one dude from running away with eternal debt but then it is basically just a Copper/Silver.

Good Credit only lets you buy cards with no debt cost while having debt - you'd still need to pay off debt before you can buy something with debt in its cost, so if there's good debt-cost cards in the game, then you'd still want to pay off your debt, while in games without other debt-cost cards, it becomes rather useless
This is wrong. The card is a Gold in Kingdoms without any cards that cost Debt as long as it is uncontested.
Sure, contesting it lately implies that the player who ran away with it now has to pay back a huge pile of Debt but I nonetheless think that you want a copy of this early on in most situations. Which is precisely what I don’t like about it. All players are likely forced to go for at least one copy and this is then a bad card in your deck.

I'm not clear on how you run away with it. Each copy gives you a debt when you buy it and another debt when you play it; and if you want to buy another one, you have to pay off the debt. I guess you get to turn them all into Gold eventually, but not until after you have bought as many as you want; they're basically either Silvers or Coppers until then.

Agreed. They only turn into Golds once you stop buying more, and there's always the huge threat of another player retroactively turning all your Credit Cards into Silvers (kind of). Depending on the kingdom, buying Credit Cards first may be worth it for the tempo effect of only having to pay back the debt much later, but it doesn't seem like a must-buy to me.

E.g. buying Skulks in any kingdom with a decent trasher is a much safer way to gain lots of cheap Golds early.

15
One of the things I kind of like about this is it makes it so the players aren't playing exactly the same game. Those who don't win the auction have to figure out a way to make up for the deficit, while the player who did win needs to figure out how to keep the head start while playing with a weaker deck. There is a gameplay element that can sometimes be missing from Dominion.
I understand the appeal in that, but still it seems that one player is playing a game that is less fun. But maybe it's not as crippling as I imagine.
I suppose you could "invert" the card to make it more appealing psychologically to win the bid:
 
VALLEY RETREAT
LANDMARK
Before the first turn, players bid VP, continuing until no player wants to bid higher. Unless several players bid above 40, the highest bidder gets two extra turns immediately, and at the end of game loses the VP they bid.

16
I think there are certainly boards on which it is optimal for no player to bid on Valley Retreat at all.
I think that's possible, although I'm not entirely convinced. Holger suggested it might not be worth bidding in "a kingdom with a strong pin or golden deck strategy. Or in one of those puzzle solutions "win the game in 1 turn"...  ;)"
I was mostly thinking of megaturn engines like KC-Bridge or Horn of plenty with support. If you're clearing out the Provinces in one turn, then it doesn't matter that the other player has a 40 VP lead. I agree that Golden Decks aren't a threat.
I was thinking of a Golden deck like Fortress-Bishop which gives you 12 VP per turn if you get 5 Fortresses and 4 Bishops. With 2 turns ahead, it's almost certain that you can gain e.g. a sixth Fortress, which prevents the Retreated player from building the same deck (in the absence of other villages, they only get 10 VP with 4 Fortress and 4 Bishops). So the non-Retreated player nets 2 more VP than the Retreated player every round, and can thus overcome any starting point deficit.

17
Mountain Pass - only official card that involves bidding

My Submission:


Quote from: Valley Retreat
VALLEY RETREAT
LANDMARK
Before the first turn, players bid VP, not more than 40VP, continuing until no player wants to bid lower. Lowest bidder takes 7 Debt and the VP they bid.

I'm not sure why, but this challenge was especially tough. Fortunately, I had previously created Valley Retreat, which fits the criteria, as it involves bidding. Valley Retreat was meant to be a variant (or reverse) of Mountain Pass. Instead of bidding Debt to collect a fixed number of VP tokens, players bid VP to collect a fixed amount of Debt.

I had previously created this Landmark while contemplating the question "what is your opening worth?" and thinking about how to put that question directly into the game. The answer was this Landmark. Players must decide how much VP they need to forego those two opening buys. As a point of clarification--when the bidding happens, the players not only know what is in the Kingdom and the turn order, but also what their opening hand will be. All of that information contributes to the decision of how much to bid, and may make the opening less valuable to some players than others. This (maybe) can have the effect of making the randomness of your opening position have less of an impact on the game, as the player who has it worst can trade their lousy opening away for VP.

I wanted to set the maximum bid very high so it would never be higher than a reasonable bid, but I did not want the maximum to be unlimited so that players spent an hour slowly bidding down from 1000VP. I wanted to allow players multiple bids because I did not want to advantage any players (unlike Mountain Pass, which rewards the player who buys the first Province with the final bid, no player at the start of the game has earned such a benefit). That said, I would definitely encourage house rules to streamline the bidding process.

That's an interesting concept. But
I'd suggest to reword the card to say "...players may bid VP...": It's possible in principle (though extremely rare) that the optimal bid would be above 40, e.g. in a kingdom with a strong pin or golden deck strategy. Or in one of those puzzle solutions "win the game in 1 turn"...  ;)

18
Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #112: Steal the Show
« on: April 28, 2021, 06:14:11 am »
That is far too harsh, it is like Knight and Rogue combined without any mitigating factors like Knights slaughtering each other.
Rogue alone can also steal a card from an opponent if you play it twice. But unlike Dark Knight, Rogue also gives a +$2 vanilla bonus. So two plays of Rogue roughly equal one play of Dark Knight (minus the Coffers recompensation) plus one play of a terminal +$4 Action card, which on its own would be strictly better than Harvest and probably a reasonable $5 card.

I've considered increasing the recompensation for losing a $5+ card to 2 Coffers, so the attacked player could easily rebuy the lost card on their next turn. But I'm not sure it's necessary, as Rogue and Knight are also fine without any recompensation.
Rogue and Knights have mitigating factors. The Knights kill off each other and Rogue oscillates between a trashing Attack and gaining. If you combine a trashing Attack with gaining this is simply too strong. Some Coffers for the opponents do not compensate for total deck annihilation.

It is not like this is new or controversial, we know since Intrigue (Saboteur had the anti-Remodel-ing as mitigating element) how super nasty trashing Attacks are. Your attack would be likely be too harsh even without the gaining (makes it more or less a Dame Josephine).

Saboteur wasn't removed for being too nasty, it was removed for being too weak and not giving resources to the player. Giving out Coffers is a similar mitigation as Saboteur's anti-remodeling, but with more flexibility for the attacked player. (I'll change my card to giving 2 Coffers to increase the mitigation.)

Knights only have a "mitigating factor" when both players buy it. But for evaluating the strength of a card, I would mainly consider the non-mirror, in which case Knight's attack is harsher than Dark Knight's (because of the lack of compensation). Without the gaining, Dark Knight would be strictly worse than any Knight in the non-mirror.

19
Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #112: Steal the Show
« on: April 28, 2021, 04:11:19 am »
That is far too harsh, it is like Knight and Rogue combined without any mitigating factors like Knights slaughtering each other.

And a Dark Knight can steal other Dark Knights, which could easily snowball

That's true. I'll add "other than a Dark Knight" to the gaining clause.

20
Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #112: Steal the Show
« on: April 28, 2021, 04:10:18 am »
That is far too harsh, it is like Knight and Rogue combined without any mitigating factors like Knights slaughtering each other.
Rogue alone can also steal a card from an opponent if you play it twice. But unlike Dark Knight, Rogue also gives a +$2 vanilla bonus. So two plays of Rogue roughly equal one play of Dark Knight (minus the Coffers recompensation) plus one play of a terminal +$4 Action card, which on its own would be strictly better than Harvest and probably a reasonable $5 card.

I've considered increasing the recompensation for losing a $5+ card to 2 Coffers, so the attacked player could easily rebuy the lost card on their next turn. But I'm not sure it's necessary, as Rogue and Knight are also fine without any recompensation.

21
Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #112: Steal the Show
« on: April 27, 2021, 07:13:22 am »
My submission: (updated version 2)

Quote
Dark Knight - Action-Attack, $5
Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of their deck, trashes one of them costing from $3 to $6, and discards the rest. If they trashed a card costing $5 or more, they get +2 Coffers. You may gain one of the trashed cards other than a Dark Knight.

I've always wondered why there wasn't a thief variant which can steal other cards than treasures. Comparing the Dark Knight to Dame Natalie, I think it should be fine at $5: Dark Knight has the potential to gain better cards than Natalie, but it may not gain anything if no opponent reveals a card in this price range. Since stealing a $5 or $6 card is often quite harsh, I've added the Coffers "compensation" for the affected player(s). 

Edit: Changed from version 1:
Quote
Dark Knight - Action-Attack, $5
Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of their deck, trashes one of them costing from $3 to $6, and discards the rest. If they trashed a card costing $5 or more, they get +1 Coffers. You may gain one of the trashed cards.


22
Great expansion name ;D and many interesting ideas.

I don't think Sabbatical needs the "(including you)" - you can always buy it after all the cards you want to buy, so it doesn't hurt you either way.

Way of the Mongrel sounds very nasty with e.g. Sea Hag set aside and Necropolis or Ruins in the game.

Way of the Gecko is strictly better than Way of the Pig (as you can always choose to gain the returned card itself). It also seems very strong compared to Butterfly, and turns Peddlers into one-shot cantrip Province gainers. I think I'd drop one of the two vanilla bonuses...

23
That is definitely not true, and easy to prove that it's not. Take a variant of Dominion where all the rules are exactly the same, except you have 1 additional option: Instead of taking your turn like normal, you can choose to gain all Provinces from the Province pile.

Regular Dominion has a smaller set of options than this variant would, yet it's cleary harder to find the optimum strategy.

This is not representative of the typical case where you're adding more options, because you're adding one option which is disproportionately powerful. By allowing players to order the starting deck, you're adding more options that are roughly as powerful as the existing options (you're only adding options that do in fact already exist in the game that are just randomly made unavailable to some players).

And I think that on some boards; allowing you to choose you opening hand would reduce the number of meaningful options. Maybe a lot of boards; I honestly don’t know. Like if Chapel and Mountebank are on the board; or Chapel with a lot of things. Or Cultist or Witch with a lot of things; especially with a good $2. Being forced to randomly start 3/4 forces you to make a tough strategic choice; while being allowed to choose 5/2 would reduce your meaningful choices to one.

Yes, that is the one case out of the 8 possible cases I listed. Why is that one case more important than the other 7?
Maybe because it happens more often than the other 7 cases? You haven't provided any rationale for why they should all have the same probability. Besides, in the third case in your list,
choosing is also less strategic than shuffling when considering several games: Shuffling forces you to make different choices in different games, choosing splits always gives you the same choice (namely for the better opening split).

I think the 8th case of your list in which shuffling improves strategy is fairly common, certainly more than 1/8=12.5%.

If the best 4/3 is obvious 50% of the time, it's obviously better than any 5/2 50% of the time, and the best 5/2 is not obvious 50% of the time, you get 12.5%. Which of those 50%s you disagree with?

There's no reason that ANY of these three probabilities should be exactly 50%. Why should they?

24
That is definitely not true, and easy to prove that it's not. Take a variant of Dominion where all the rules are exactly the same, except you have 1 additional option: Instead of taking your turn like normal, you can choose to gain all Provinces from the Province pile.

Regular Dominion has a smaller set of options than this variant would, yet it's cleary harder to find the optimum strategy.

This is not representative of the typical case where you're adding more options, because you're adding one option which is disproportionately powerful. By allowing players to order the starting deck, you're adding more options that are roughly as powerful as the existing options (you're only adding options that do in fact already exist in the game that are just randomly made unavailable to some players).

And I think that on some boards; allowing you to choose you opening hand would reduce the number of meaningful options. Maybe a lot of boards; I honestly don’t know. Like if Chapel and Mountebank are on the board; or Chapel with a lot of things. Or Cultist or Witch with a lot of things; especially with a good $2. Being forced to randomly start 3/4 forces you to make a tough strategic choice; while being allowed to choose 5/2 would reduce your meaningful choices to one.

Yes, that is the one case out of the 8 possible cases I listed. Why is that one case more important than the other 7?
Maybe because it happens more often than the other 7 cases? You haven't provided any rationale for why they should all have the same probability. Besides, in the third case in your list,
choosing is also less strategic than shuffling when considering several games: Shuffling forces you to make different choices in different games, choosing splits always gives you the same choice (namely for the better opening split).

I think the 8th case of your list in which shuffling improves strategy is fairly common, certainly more than 1/8=12.5%.

 

25
New entry, wansnt happy with the earlier entry



A mixture of Prince and captain, with a bit of thinning.

Edit 1:

Wording fixes. (thanks CRLUNDY and S-SMARTS for pointing out loops and such.)


Edit 2: Segura thought it was too strong, so i nerfed collector: now the player to your left chooses what card you play with Collector. You may then trash the card that was played with collector


This version is still strictly better than Prince by a lot (at least the first copy), unless some other card forces you to Exile cards: You can just keep a single card in Exile, giving the other player no choice. Even without the extra trashing option, this should cost more than Prince.

You leave the played card in Exile and have to Exile a card from play every turn. Unless you plan to play just one card per turn, you can't "just keep a single card in Exile, giving the other player no choice."

Oh, you're right, I  missed the "leaving it there" part. So assuming the Exiling during clean-up is supposed to happen every turn, I retract my above post - this version of Collector is significantly different from Prince in an interesting way, and no longer strictly better.

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