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Messages - Fangz

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Challenge (non-terminal drawer)
« on: August 24, 2012, 07:05:49 am »
I think that cards that favour leading players are basically bad ideas.

What happens when the two cards have the same cost?

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: how much should this cost?
« on: August 20, 2012, 03:47:07 pm »
I think it's very dangerous to generalise as 'coins are more valuable than cards', or whatever.
I would think, in general, coin is indeed more valuable than cards (not something ridiculous like +$1 is always more useful than +20 Cards, but +$ is usually of higher priority than +Cards).

Ultimately players don't gain Provinces by reaching a specific hand size, they use cards that give coin (or else they do really weird things like playing 4 Highways and using Workshop to fetch one (but even Highways are giving coin value in some way)). Buying Silvers and Golds (and maybe whatever other Treasures or non-terminal coin sources are available) will increase the average coin value per card in your deck, but Smithies do not.

Players will eventually want Smithies, of course, to make better use of their deck as a whole instead of gambling on every new hand giving $8. I think though, a player would be far more doomed if he ignored Golds than if he ignored Smithies (and yes Gold is more expensive than Smithy, but one gives +$3, the other gives +3 Cards, I would think there's a good reason why one costs more than the other). I don't want to make it sound like I am endorsing BM as a foolproof strategy, just that having 100 cards in hand coming out to $7 somehow, is probably not as useful as a 3 card hand of Duchess and 2 Golds.

Now regarding Blacksmith... yeah I could probably see it as being pretty nice at $3, and maybe not as nice at $4. Early game without taking into account the card bought on the other starting turn, drawing 2 cards means you either get CC, or CE, or EE. Drawing CC makes Blacksmith better than Silver. Drawing CE makes it as good as a Silver and gets a dead card out of your next hand. Drawing EE mean you likely won't deal with them for your next hand and you have $4 anyway (due to a hand of CCCEB). It would be interesting if Blacksmith offered +$2 and +1 Card instead, that would probably be worth it at $4.

Also I am a self-professed village idiot, so I think I have some personal experience in understanding how +$ can be more valuable than +Cards =\

Again though, my point is that I oppose the general statement. You can't swap out a +1 card into a +$1 and say, oh, coin is better than cards, because that generalisation doesn't apply.

Comparing Golds to Smithies is just not enough. (let's not forget that Golds don't require actions to play, multiple golds in hand are awesome, while multiple smithies with no villages are terrible, etc.) You need to think about what roles this card is going to fit into, as a strategy. And in general, a +3 card drawer is going a enable a heck of a lot more strategies than a +2 card drawer, and that +$1 is going to seem like scant consolation a lot of the time because you failed to land the other half of the engine you were looking for or whatever and ended up with a lame-ass $7 hand. Just look at the whole array of cards out there that enable you to trash coppers (thus swapping a future copper for some other card), or which let you swap out a copper for another card (cellar, stable), and how cards which add coppers to your deck are effectively punishing you (Cache, Ill Gotten Gains, Mountebank, Ambassador). Blacksmith is basically a smithy combined with a feature that does the reverse - it turns out of the three cards you drew into a virtual copper. That's not very good.

As it's proposed, it just falls between two stools - it's not a power cash giver, because if you are reliant on that $1 to push you over the edge you'd be crazy. And it doesn't draw enough to easily enable chains of cards.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: how much should this cost?
« on: August 20, 2012, 09:50:32 am »
I think it's going to have to cost $4, and it would be on the upper end.  Coin is consistently valued more than cards.  Consider Wharf vs. Merchant Ship.  Wharf ended up getting +Buy, not MS.  Coins were more valuable.

This is indeed comparable to Smithy, and it would probably be the stronger option.

I think it's very dangerous to generalise as 'coins are more valuable than cards', or whatever. Firstly, pricing is not linear - a mix between two cards is not necessarily of intermediate value - it could be much better, or it could be much worse. Pricing should be considered in terms of what the impact this card might have on the game. A terminal gold needs to be pricy, because golds are important for getting more golds and $5s, and indeed provinces. A terminal copper, however, would be virtually worthless. In addition, the difference between $4 and $3 is generally not about which is 'better', but rather which is more dangerous to have en masse to start with.

Smithy has to be at $4, because tons of smithies at $3 will easily allow a player to chain them up and draw their entire deck. The increase from +2 cards to +3 cards is that big a deal. Without the possibility of the large chain, a smithy could easily be priced at $3 without changing its power substantially in a BM-Smithy strategy. Reducing the card draw even weakly like with courtyard drops the price all the way down to $2 (which admittedly is a bit underpriced). Consider also Stables, which compared to laboratory effectively forces you to trade usually a $1, sometimes more, for 1 additional card, at the risk of being a dead card in the hand. And yet Stables is usually a superior card to laboratory!

I think the proposed card would be reasonable at $3. What it actually is, to my mind, is basically one of the pawn options with an extra card. And that extra card is usually not going to let you chain up more cards, except in very rare cases. In BM type strategies it'll perform fairly equally at $3 and $4, I expect, and I don't think the increased ease of setting up an engine is going to make it too powerful at $3, so why make it especially difficult?

Well... this is a serious nerf for early trash-for-benefit cards, like remake, develop, and so on. I can definitely see the need for Rats now...

Dark Ages Previews / Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« on: August 09, 2012, 11:45:47 am »
Re: Pillage...

I think that actually, in some sense, what you are *really* buying with this card are the two spoils. Because the attack is one time, it (in most cases, without Graverobber shenanigans) only works to offset your tempo loss from buying the pillage - in most cases, the damage you do by discarding one card of theirs would be, in my mind, pretty similar (or perhaps, even inferior) to the price to you of soaking a $5 turn on it and then playing it with an action.

Seems like rats, hamlet and poor house would combo well enough together. Extra buys, extra actions and a deck o crap.

Surely hamlet/poor house would be the combo here.

Dark Ages Previews / Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« on: August 09, 2012, 11:26:32 am »
I feel like rats are going to be very situational, and dependent on there being a trash for benefit card. Rats + salvager, remake, apprentice, upgrade or remodel would rule. Rats with anything else would be almost as bad as a curse.
Quote from: lespeutere
Just counted: technically, there were 21 cards that may trash action cards before dark ages, + graverobber and hermit from this expansion.

Yes, but not any old trasher will combo effectively - the trasher must derive effective value from the fact that you have a rats there, and not an estate or a copper, and the trasher must be inexpensive enough to be picked up despite having a deck with many non-self replacing cards.

Hermit, for instance would be just as effective trashing estates for silvers directly. And buying a rat, then a hermit, to have a poor man's Mine would probably be a bad idea. Forge would probably only be effective in a very rare sort of engine, because it'll be difficult to afford in time. Graverobber or expand might work, but without a strong $7, would function identically to a more expensive, less flexible remodel.

Dark Ages Previews / Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« on: August 09, 2012, 11:16:55 am »
Cool theme, but it seems terrible at first glance. You have to gain a Rats if you trash a card and you can't trash Rats with Rats. So you definitely need another trasher if you want Rats. But with another trasher, why buy Rats in the first place?? I'm still not understanding this card, especially for the high cost of $4. Again there's a combo with Watchtower. You can trash a card with a Laboratory. This will be great.

I think you are misunderstanding the cost issue - if anything else, the high cost helps Rats, because it means the cards have more value, since it can be upgraded or remade into a $5, as a potentially fast way of increasing the value of a deck. If Rats were $3, they would be much worse.

Dark Ages Previews / Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« on: August 09, 2012, 11:08:36 am »
I feel like rats are going to be very situational, and dependent on there being a trash for benefit card. Rats + salvager, remake, apprentice, upgrade or remodel would rule. Rats with anything else would be almost as bad as a curse.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Male vs Female Cards
« on: December 31, 2011, 08:01:15 pm »
Dominion has a medieval theme and I think those dark ages were more male centered than female.
So it's not the game's fault if there is an uneven balance.

Basically all women at that time were either (Young) Witches, Whores (not yet a card) or Nobles.

Dominion's time period is fairly varied, ranging from maybe dark ages to early renaissance. And well, there were a number of famous female leaders. Elizabeth I, Isabella I, Catherine the Great, Joan of Arc. And there's a fantasy element to the game (transmute, for example. Oracle and fortune teller having an actual effect, golem etc) so there's no reason there can be no deviation from historical reality. It's not a big deal (after all, I doubt anyone sees the characters in dominion card art work as role models), but it could be neat to have some variety, yeah.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Helping your opponent - that bad?
« on: December 14, 2011, 04:23:53 am »
I guess it boils down to this: in what circumstances is a Lab a better buy than a Governor? Or, in what circumstances is it best to not give your opponent that extra card? Which I'm keen to know. (The implication seems to be that two 6s are better than one 7, so perhaps always. However, obviously Governor is more complex card than that which muddies the waters - no comparison is that perfect.) Note that playing a militia et al. at the end of a Governor chain is a kind of a moot point in this question, as the thread is about giving your opponent a boost, and if you militia them then, well, you're not really giving them that much of a boost (other than giving him a better choice of 3).

The main thing is that laboratory engines have a tendency to overshoot. And governor engines more so. An engine might one turn have you draw $12 worth of stuff, and then the next draw two provinces and nothing else. In the absence of oodles of cash and convenient +buy, it's more useful to distribute that handsize increase amongst your turns than have it all hit one particular one.

Game Reports / Re: In which I use Chapel to trash 2 Provinces
« on: December 13, 2011, 08:47:25 am »
Yeah, DG has it right. This is exactly the situation cellar is designed for.

Dominion Articles / Re: Updating the Top 5 lists
« on: December 08, 2011, 11:11:09 am »
I'd go...

1. Chapel
2. Hamlet
3. Courtyard
4. Lighthouse
5. Haven
6. Pawn
7. Native village
8. Crossroads
9. Cellar
10. Embargo
11. Fool's Gold
12. Pearl Diver
13. Herbalist
14. Moat
15. Secret Chamber
16. Duchess

A lot of these is quite dependent on number of players, though. With 3 players, moat will be quite a lot higher, and probably fool's gold will be dead last.

There's also horn of plenty, which can be used for mega turns, and can be surprisingly fast to set up.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: The World's most precious Copper
« on: December 07, 2011, 06:32:09 am »
I don't really understand what you mean by 'with a single copper', but well, e.g.

TR-KC chain playing 20 KC'd possessions (using outpost)
Masquerade them the single copper.
TR-KC chain on each possession turn, playing 10 KC'd coppersmiths.

Total value attained from that copper before the opponent sees a turn:
20*3*31 = 1860

It seems difficult to define what's counted here. If on discard cards is allowed, then what about trash with benefit? With develop, mint and remodel/expand, you can concievably turn that single copper into every (non-potion cost) card in the game in a single turn.

Dominion Articles / Re: Updating the Top 5 lists
« on: December 06, 2011, 01:53:26 pm »
The discussion hasn't mentioned the power of the governor for the gain gold/trash gold and gain a province power. I really feel like the card deserves to be a runner up for best $5 card.


I wholeheartedly disagree, and I don't like you denigrating the skill to remember what's in people's decks, which I think is a pretty important part of the game, not some kind of 'random luck' thing.

It can be a factor, sure, but if it becomes too dominant, then I'd argue that it detracts from the fun of the game. Dominion isn't, and shouldn't become just a variant of blackjack.

Also, personally, I'd consider things like the WoW +5 agility thing as actually a bad gameplay design, albeit one necessitated by wanting to make games massively scalable. But that's a separate topic.

IMHO, the chunkiness and simplicity of dominion is to its advantage as a game generally, not just as a board game. The game would be awful if (as an extreme case) each card, for example, RPG style gave you a +0.12 wealth stat which you add and multiply by a level modifier then roll to generate your money this turn and discount percentage. With that sort of obtuseness, you'd be reduced to either gut feeling 'oh this card feels a bit better', or looking up the optimal formula on the internet.

That said, I can think of one mechanic which might be neat:

'Blessings'. Which would be modifers you tag on to individual cards. For example, you might tag on a spectral laboratory blessing to a copper, so that you can play that copper as an action for +2 cards +1 actions. Or a blessing to draw an extra card whenever it's drawn.

There are things that you can do when designing a computer game that you simply cannot in a real-life game.  How could you imagine changes to Dominion, if you didn't have to worry about messy real-life decks of cards?

For instance: you can have cards like Philosopher's Stone, but much more in-depth.  A Treasure whose value depends on Victory cards: like Silk Roads or Gardens, but dynamically changing on each turn. 

Alternatively: many, many more kingdoms, with a greatly prolonged game time.  Make it a war, not a battle.

I don't think the possibility of complexity is equivalent to it being desirable. For example, even with Isotropic, I loathe the philosopher's stone and silk roads cards. The issue is that though the software might be able to calculate their values, the player generally cannot. Which means that if the player has to make strategic decisions on whether to buy or play a card, it's too hard for the player to know in advance how much a silk roads is worth, or how much cash a philosopher's stone is going to generate. With sufficient complication, the results of cards becomes effectively random, or worse the game becomes a race of who is best at card counting or crunching sums in their head, decreasing the fun of the game. It's pretty lame if one player beats another because one bought silk roads and the other duchies, when, unbeknownst to both players, the silk roads were worth more.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Exception to the rule, part 4
« on: December 04, 2011, 10:23:32 am »
It's nearing the end of the game, they are far from a reshuffle, and you know that they are playing a baron strategy and have non-terminal draws available to them (especially if you've played cutpurse).

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Exception to the Rule, Part 5
« on: December 04, 2011, 10:19:20 am »

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Groupthink with Noble Brigand
« on: December 04, 2011, 10:07:44 am »
Well, if no one can reach $5, grab all the estates and crossroads you can and end the game on piles. Or yeah, develop those noble brigands - mandarin will give you enough money for duchies, at least.

Dominion Articles / Re: Counter: Native Village/Fortune Teller
« on: December 03, 2011, 09:19:48 am »
If you want to use the NV as a defense against Fortune Teller, you'll only be able to use it as storage so it won't help your strategy all that much (unless the +2 actions is enough and you don't need the cards from the mat to get big turns).

Yeah, I'm pretty skeptical about it for this reason. And if you don't make use of the +2 actions, and use the NV only once as a counter, you've merely shifted the bad card hand from one turn to another. You've basically gotten yourself the world's lamest lookout.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: How do you play this board?
« on: December 03, 2011, 09:10:21 am »
I'd try, hmm, minion/forge/jester (and a shanty town or two) into a province rush? Jester to hopefully bathe him in curses and coppers, minion to ensure he only ever gets a 4 card hand, and then forge to deplete provinces as quickly as possible. If possible, forge province + shanty town into colony as well.

With a 4/3 opening I think I might open develop/quarry.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Really bad card ideas
« on: December 02, 2011, 08:52:47 am »
Shifting gears a little to more traditional bad cards, here is a card that genuinely intrigues me even though I suppose I am convinced it would be terrible:

$5 - Action
Trash this card.   Choose any 3 kingdom piles.   Shuffle all the cards from these piles together, then deal them back out in 2 kingdom piles.  The missing supply pile does not count as an empty supply pile.

Of course only the top card of a supply pile could be purchased or gained at any given time.  This seems like a cute way to limit availability of key cards, especially spammable ones.  I'm sure it's not a very viable idea, but I wish it were.

On this theme:

'What Penultimate Province Rule?' $5
+1 card, +1 action

Combine the Province and Curse piles, and shuffle them. This becomes the new province pile.

(Game still ends when all the provinces have been bought)

'Buyer beware!'
Victory +6 VP

When this is gained, combine all the cards in supply into one stack, shuffle, and place it face down. All cards in the future must be bought from this face down pile. If the player buying cannot afford the price of the card uncovered, it is trashed.

Game Reports / Re: On not giving in to temptation
« on: December 02, 2011, 08:36:17 am »
But wait, on this deck you need to consider the additional complication of Governor. Governor helps chapel a lot by (a) allowing you to draw a lot of cards to trash at once, (b) allowing you to remodel your chapel into something else, and (c) allowing you to gain gold easily and quickly while at the same time throwing silvers at your opponent to slow down his familiars. In turn chapel helps governor by upping your number of plays of it and helping with governor/gold collisions. I'd probably have taken the chapel, really - but that's probably partially my visceral hatred of mirror matches talking.

Game Reports / Re: On not giving in to temptation
« on: December 01, 2011, 11:04:17 am »
Getting the chapel is probably a reasonable gamble. To make it work, though, I'd have gone with a focus on governor - getting governor before even gold, and certainly before getting wharf. Governor's a great complement to chapel, really.

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