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Messages - ChaosRed

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1
 The trash ability works well, in cases where you only buy it as a defense against Curse attacks, it makes sense. You can trash what you just gained instead and then replace the traced card with something from your deck, making the Architect a neutral card in that situation.

It goes really well in 3-piling schemes where the VP are coming from other sources and the piling of Estates is there to just to end the game faster. In situations where the VP situation is close, you can elect to discard the Estate for a victory token.

It's not a great card, it's just a card that can help in certain situations. I like it now, and I will be ready to test it.

I'll move on to other cards with a new report shortly.

2
It lets you trash the Estates, if in the situation you've inherited too much green, too quickly. In a lot of cases, you just want to deplete the pile, you don't actually want the +1 the Estate gives you. It sounds odd, but it is sometimes a way you can win. The idea, thematically, is the "architect" builds an alternate victory path.

3
Well I could not fit the "if you do" on the card, (but I'll house rule it for now)...



I think this is a decent card now when you want to 3-pile and makes a nice companion to a Gardens deck.

4
I think a +buy might be nice for it. I was thinking that, now it's just a matter of finding the real estate on the card itself. :)

5
Well I can add another option, this one essentially turns Architect into a Lab if you have an Estate in your hand:



It might be too much, 3 options and a reaction, might mean that new third option should really be a Village and not a Lab.

6
Yeah, I am cool with getting two Estates off a double-gain (like on a Mountebank attack), just not being able to reveal on the same gain endlessly. I don't think Traders functions that way, so I should be okay.

Agree about putting the Estate into your hand, makes it stronger. Not sure I want a Baron interaction, but you might be on to something there. Interacting with a victory card specifically does make sense for the card.

7
Thanks again, all of you. Nice idea you have there Ty, worth considering.

Pops, I did test Gypsy with Big Money, it did fairly well, but like most BM decks, it wasn't that hard to defeat either. It does do well, and I never did test BM+Smithy vs. BM+Gypsy, that's a worthy test.

I'm considering this now for Architect, making it tied to Estates, but changing it now to a reaction on gain, rather than discard. Makes it a tolerable defense against curse attacks. I am tempted to add a +buy to the card now:



I think that's not the most superb card for 3$, but since it can trash, earn VP and fight off Curses (albeit by slogging you with Estates), I think it has some  utility.

What do you think? Did I take it too far in the other direction and now the card is too weak?

My understanding is that like Trader, you can only reveal at the moment you gain, so you could only gain 1 Estate on any gain. I had thought of revising it to:

When you would gain a card, you may reveal this from your hand. If you do, trash the gained card, gain an Estate, put it into your hand.

This would ensure, you really could only get 1 Estate, and would also put the card into your hand (where you could perhaps discard it, or trash it, if the reaction happened on an opponent's turn, or you gained the card during the action phase).

8
Estate gaining is too weak though. I'd suggest duchy-gain as an reaction, and increase the cost to $4.

I find that strong, but thank you for the feedback.

I think you are right about the VP accrual being too easily exploited, but the Estate-gain function would be part of a 3-pile strategy, that wanted a fast accrual of green. It is weak, but I think in some cases you'd reach for it, especially in this expansion where some cards want green, and other cards let you put green to the side.

Alternatively, I could award an Estate and a VP, as in "you may gain an Estate, if you do +1VP".

I am looking for a way to deplete the Estates, it's a useful thing to do when combined with other cards in the set.



9
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Cards That Care About The Trash
« on: November 25, 2011, 01:27:07 am »
I think he meant 3$ of treasure. You trash 3 Coppers, your River Ford is now worth 1VP. The thing is, getting to 9$ is really easy with Chapel. I think this card might be worth 4$, because getting it to the level of "Dutchy" is probably pretty easy with any kind of trash capability in the kingdom.

The concept is growing on me.

10
ARCHITECT

GRADE:  F
RATING: 0.6 +/- 0.15
RATING POSITION: 25th out of 25
POPULARITY POSITION: 22nd out of 25


BEST COMBO:
No real rhyme or reason to this combo being successful. In fact this "combo" only had a 50% win rating across 4 games, it's just that this happens to be the best rating of them all (as Architect had a DEPLORABLE win-loss rating).

ASSESSMENT:
This was just a dreadful card. The card was meant to have three utilities, (none of which were really worth 3$). The fact it was versatile though, was supposed to accommodate for the fact that each option was weak. Turns out, those kinds of cards are lousy.

This was the WORST rated card of the lot. And by the end, we had to force ourselves to buy it just to get it some more test data. It was hated and my wife loathed the artwork too, so I'm even changing that.

RECOMMENDATION:
I am going to completely change this awful card.

Since Summon is getting moved to 4$, I elect this card to be moved down to 3$. I also recommend the card get some serious revision. I want to keep the fact that card does three things (none of them spectacular), but make each option just a little more broad. One of the utilities is now a reaction.


SUGGESTED VARIANTS
Complete revamp, similar utility as before (just broadened) and a whole new reaction:


It's the reaction ability I worry about most, how broken is it? Like Tunnel it fires after the discard, so there's no danger of repetitive reactions. My worry though is that you can build a deck to break this pretty easily. Things like Embassy or Inn can focus purely on getting a lot of VP. But I also wanted that to be the appeal of the card, as in, provide an extremely compelling alternate-victory route.

One solution is I can set Architect aside as part of the discard reaction, then put Architect into the discard pile at the end of your turn. But maybe I don't need to?

I do know people have depleted the gold pile with Tunnel (and people have depleted Silver with Traders), so I worry the potential for massive VP-gain is too silly really for me to keep the card the way it is. I can test to be sure, but if any of you feel it's not worth testing (that it is easily broken), then I can adjust accordingly before I test.

Much obliged for any and all advice, as always.

One option is to provide a "gain estate" instead of a +1VP. Although this is significantly more hassle, for 3-pile strategies it could be quite useful.

11
Thanks Arya, yeah I think the card looks pretty cool too.

12
GYPSY

GRADE:  B
RATING: 1.03 +/- 0.1
RATING POSITION: 14th out of 25
POPULARITY POSITION: 10th out of 25


BEST COMBO:
No surprise that Gypsy worked best with cards that put +2 Actions on the stack. And of course this tactic had all the problems Village+Smithy runs into. The one advantage was Gypsy helped your hand the next turn, (which turns out to be really strong, I guess people who love Wharf know this).

ASSESSMENT:
This expansion is pretty starved for card draw. It has other neat tricks it can do, but getting a lot of cards in your hand is not easy with this expansion. The expansion has lots of ways to keep your deck dense and ways to mitigate the risk of drawing green. In that context, Gypsy did pretty well.

I think you can make an argument Gypsy is only worth 3$, but at 4$ it did okay for us. It was purchased slightly above average and performed just slightly below average, but neither statistic was alarming. +2 Cards stinks as a primary ability, it's really only +1 Card, because the first card was the card you would have had in the first place if you hadn't bought Gypsy.

But starting your next turn with 6 cards instead of 5 is massive, getting a +VP along the way is just gravy, but there were a few games these tokens made the difference. It's amazing how just having a +3 token advantage can really swing a Province game.

I gave this card a "B", because it is just a bit underwhelming for 4$, and of course it steals all its creative thunder from Seaside (apologies, what can I tell you I am just a fan so lots of my cards are going to be derivative). But overall the card did well, it was well liked, it looks cool and I think it deserves a "B".

RECOMMENDATION:
The card stays as is, no changes at all...

SUGGESTED VARIANTS
Nothing changes, the card stays the same:


13
Small wording issue: as per Trading Post, Bureaucrat, and Explorer, it should be "Gain a Silver card," instead of "Gain a silver." Trading post and Bureaucrat say "... card; put it into your hand," and Explorer says "... card, putting it into your hand."

You also trash cards "from" your hand. Chapel, Trading Post, etc. use this wording.

Thanks for this, I like to get the wording as consistent as possible. Cheers.

pops, I think you are right, renaming the card is probably a good idea. I tried to find good art that represented an auction, and all I could find was the original black and white line drawing and I wanted to find something in color. Let me see what I can come up with.

EDIT:

Okay here's the revision based on both of your feedback:


14
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Cards That Care About The Trash
« on: November 24, 2011, 05:00:21 pm »
I think the card is interesting, but personally I disapprove of any interaction with the trash. I think you are better of creating a mat/area that a card (or cards) can interact with. I have this idea I want to try for a later fan-variant, that is sort of similar to this.

1 VP for every 3$ seems strong, Chapel and a +buy can go to town. But your testing will find whether I am right or not on that one, the concept itself is quite fun and interesting.

I would imagine a Bank is worth 0$, according to the rules, no point in sending it to the trash.

Good luck  with it!

15
AUCTION

GRADE:  B
RATING: 1.07 +/- 0.1
RATING POSITION: 12th out of 25
POPULARITY POSITION: 12th out of 25


BEST COMBO:
Well this combo was a no-brainer. In fact, really Auction is kind of made for a Silver Vein deck, (it's often a pain in the butt in Province decks).

ASSESSMENT:
A non-terminal trasher has to get everyone's eyes open. You can trash and you can keep going with your turn! And hey, it gives you +2$ to your buy phase by inserting a silver into your hand. Well come on ChaosRed the card is practically broken.

But of course, it really isn't, because it trashes but it does not condense. It replaces what you trash with a Silver. Which is pretty damn cool in turns 3-7, and pretty much a pain in the rear after that. In fact, the best way to play Auction was to buy it early and then find a way to trash the card or set the card aside once you hit the middle rounds.

It's also pretty slow, trashing one card and replacing it will a Silver isn't really a great way to consolidate a tight deck.

I gave the card a "B" because it blends well with the expansion's theme, it's a nifty little card in the early rounds and overall it tested fairly well. It wound up smack-dab in the middle in terms of both card rating and card popularity.

I can't give it an "A", because, well it isn't particularly bold or interesting.

RECOMMENDATION:
The card stays as is, with just new art.

SUGGESTED VARIANTS
Here's the variant with new art work only and some minor tweaks to the text. Feel free to discuss, I have the game logs of this card, so I know how it performed the way it did and why, so if you are curious ask, otherwise, I'll move on to the next card report.


16
I gotta say, I liked the previous art for Land Grab better  :(

Oh, also, have you considered renaming the card to "Land Run" or "Land Rush?" Apparently, looking up "land grab" on Wikipedia redirects you to that page instead. Granted, it's a historical phenomenon restricted to the expanding United States, and it may not be the same as the original intended meaning, but I think it's a good thematic correlation.

Interesting comment! I can indeed consider a rename for the card. Land Rush is nice, because sometimes you do actually "rush" the card early, in an attempt to 3-pile Dutchies, Land Grabs and Estates. It was too slow when we tested it, but it certainly has a nice ring to it. Loved the comment about the art too, thanks for that. Although I want to see the new version printed out first to truly decide. What a card looks like as a JPG and what it looks like printed out and sleeved can be really different.

17
Thanks guys, appreciate the support as always, to close the loop on a few items, here is the Summon I will be play testing and here is also the final Land Grab (with new art and the slightly revised text to accommodate King's Court and Throne Room):


I've moved both cards to the beta thread. Meanwhile, I post a new 4$ card report, shortly.

18
I should note that I am really grateful for all your help pops, so I don't want this post to come across as ungrateful of your advice:

It complements Minion to be sure, but not that much, it essentially adds one more Minion for 4$. And really after you buy more than one you get diminishing returns out of it.True, you can scatter more Summons in there, but some of the time you just Summon a Summon, which means in the end all you do is eventually tutor one Minion. And now you paid 8$ to get to it (or maybe 12$ who knows). And because you discard to fire each Summon, you are now possibly in danger of killing your Minion engine entirely.

So the most cost-effective way is just to buy one...well congrats you added one more Minion for 4$ and you probably bought it on a turn you didn't have 5$, and early on it let you play one Minion you didn't normally run into...and as we all know Minion engines aren't that strong in the early going. It might allow you to add one more Minion when Minion is piled, but okay, you spend a late-buy to acquire just that. And really Minion is one of the best examples for Summon. It does work really well with it.

Again, I feel really strongly that making it terminal destroys it's usage. It would be often dead on the board. It has marginal utility, because you have to get the actions on the stack and then what you wind up drawing is probably something that just puts actions on the stack (sometimes not of course, but once you add more than action card to summon, you create a randomization scenario that isn't that strong). Making it terminal, kills a fun card, just kills it. It doesn't work that well with engines, even rink discovered this is so. It works, but not as effectively as really just acquiring more of the engine itself. It's real elegance and utility is to summon one powerful card for you.

Actually it's a superb BM-enabler, more than an engine-enabler. Because in a BM+Smithy set up, it can ensure the Smithy fires very often (especially early which is when BM likes to dominate anyway). It tested well when put to this task. One Embassy+one Summon would do well to support Big Money, but I am not sure it would be broken, just effective.

So far, I've seen that Summon is not that great a card to fuel a good engine, because you'd probably rather have the engine card itself. Because usually the cards of the engine itself are better than just tutoring for one piece of the engine. You see your engine card is going to probably keep some of those cards your Summon is going to discard just getting to your engine. (Early in the game for example, that gold can go bye-bye into the discard pile and you won't see it for a few turns, you would have seen it however if you'd just stuck to your engine).

The only real argument I can see against it, is I should govern it somehow so it can't tutor a card that costs more than 5$. That is something I'm willing to concede, but I think making it terminal is no fun at all. The other strong criticism I need to accept is that the "summon treasure" portion is an atrophied limb. It's almost NEVER used, and therefore not really necessary. It helps you only when you do follow the Summon+1 attack tactic, because I guess you can handle the collision of the two by simply tutoring a treasure card.  It's like a weak consolation prize when that happens. I could lose that portion of it and not shed a tear.

I think I can make it work as a non-terminal card though and I'll use this next wave of testing to see if I am right.

19
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Plague (Fan Expansion for Dominion)
« on: November 23, 2011, 07:04:13 pm »
Well, there's the practical issue: a sufficiently annoying player could just lock the game up, preventing anyone else from winning because they never get to their turn.

Yeah its true, there is a potential for an infinite loop if you have just three remaining Rats.

Quote
Pseudorats:
+1 Card
+1 Action
If an even number of Pseudorats (including this one) are in play, +1 Card.

Nicely done. A mat would work too of course, where Rats go to a Mat rather than a discard pile. Then go to the discard pile when the turn ends.

Yours is cleaner, not sure I'd pay 3 for it, but if there was no other engine-enabler I might. I think I'd just rather have one Lab though than two Pseudorats, mostly because you need to draw two to really make it worthwhile, that might be too much work just to save yourself 2 bucks.

I still very much like the notion of Rats gaining more Rats. Thematically, that's really want you want to achieve. The idea is you easily obtain Rats, they are annoying cantrips that sometimes become a Laboratory (which in itself is great thematic synergy with Laboratory if you think about it), and they keep growing in your deck. I love that whole idea. Your idea has half the equation, but is missing the "wow, that's really clever" element from a thematic stand point.

Solid, solid way to word the primary ability though, nicely crafted.


20
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Plague (Fan Expansion for Dominion)
« on: November 23, 2011, 04:52:52 pm »
Cards don't usually do that. Usually played Actions stay in the play area until clean-up, with a few moving to the Trash pile or the Island mat or somewhere else you can't get at them.  The issue with a card's moving itself to the discard pile once it has been played is that it then becomes eligible to be played again during the same turn.

True, true, but in this case, all you get is more Rats. I mean at some point, if this is all your engine will do, and you don't really go too far. It's the "village idiot" problem all over again. I mean you could set them aside on a mat or something, but we'll lose a lot of the card's flavor and theme. And what we're really talking about is a Pawn, then a Lab effect. Why worry that you can chain that with Rats after Rats?

I think ensuring there's never more than +1 Action (so it only adds cards on the second play) helps the danger. Withouth actions on the stack, the engine is a little harder to break. Adding actions as well, ensures you can slip in a terminal along the way and the thing becomes very broken quickly. +1 Action limits quickly how much you can break it. Sure you can add Villages, but your Villages will slow your Rats engine down.

I like the fact the Rats can "come back" it makes the card unique, you just need to govern the thing carefully to make it work. At some point if your deck is dense enough, all your Rats do is draw more Rats, infuriating, but hey isn't that what Rats are like once you start getting infested with them? The theme of the card is fun...which is why I think the card has promise, if we can just guide plastic to a version of it that's not entirely broken.

21
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Plague (Fan Expansion for Dominion)
« on: November 23, 2011, 04:30:45 pm »
Here, in all humility is my suggestion:

Rats Action 2$
+1 Card per Rats in play, +1 Action
If there are 2 Rats in play, immediately put them into your discard pile and then reveal your hand, if you have no action cards in your hand, gain a Rats.

My thoughts are this:

1. 1$ cards create problems, I think creating a balanced one is really tough, keep it at 2$, it becomes easier to measure and contrast with other cards.

2. The "fast depletion" aspect of Rats is both a feature and a problem. It's a feature because its one of the key reasons someone would want to invest in the card, also its thematic that you wind up littering your deck with them. I like thematic cards, so trying to make the depletion aspect of the card work, is something I think is worth solving. But the depletion feature is a problem, because you can't make that depletion too fast, otherwise the first person to chain two, will likely deplete the pile very quickly.

This card provides solutions to both problems. It sticks the card at 2$. Now you can decide if you want a Pawn or a Rats. This is useful, it helps you judge the card easier, (both in-game and at the design phase).

In fact, the first Rat is a basic Pawn (the most commonly selected utility of Pawn anyway) and the second is a Lab. That's it, that's all you get, then you discard the Rats and start the process over. That's not stunning for two 2$ purchases, but it isn't horrible. But what you really get is a cheap, effortless gain of a Rats (assuming your hand has no more Rats in it). This is the appeal you want. You want Rats to be a bit cumbersome, but they get you to a 3-pile condition, which at times is a sublime way to win.

This isn't the most elegant solution, but I think it might behoove you to think more in this direction.

The solution here makes the free Rats gain, on the condition you have none left, which really governs it to just one Rats gain per turn (at most). This helps govern the "lottery" effect of chaining early and often to deplete the entire pile. Also it pretty makes having an "odd number" of Rats slightly less appealing than an even number. You get to the point where on the second Rats, you kind of hope you don't draw the third, otherwise you may need to spend a buy getting a Rats. There's some playfulness there I think you might enjoy.

22
Note that there is no condition on gaining the Victory, so Throne Room/King's Court tricks are possible, which might be a little to strong, esp. as you can gain Land GRap by IW/Workshop without further tricks. So a KC-KC-IW-Draw-Landgrap can clean a stack all of its own.

Yes, yes, it needs a "if you do" clause. I've been meaning to make that change for a while (in fact I think it might have been you who pointed this out before). Thanks for reminding me!

23
Moving on...

LAND GRAB

GRADE:  B
RATING: 0.92 +/- 0.08
RATING POSITION: 17th out of 25
POPULARITY POSITION: 3rd out of 25


BEST COMBO:
This "combo" was really an artifact that Silver Vein was the best and strongest alternate card to gain (more on Silver Vein later it needs revision). Land Grab doesn't really "combine" with anything of course, it fires quickly off the top of your deck and inserts a green into your deck and plops a VP token down for the hassle.

ASSESSMENT:
I gave this card a "B" because it was, well, a hard card not to like.

The card isn't broken, it isn't even really that good, but damn if you don't find yourself reaching for it in the later rounds, when you need it. The fact you do need it, usually means something went wrong of course, it means you fell short of a Province probably, can't afford to buy Gold this late and its too late to tune the engine, you need points, you need them fast and this gets you there. Of course, it all comes at a price, you are essentially forcing yourself to draw just four cards next turn, all for a Dutchy and a VP. Is one card worth 4VP? Well sometimes, you apparently concede that it is and this explains why its gain/buy rating is so high. It also explains why its rating is slightly below average though, because often the card was a last-ditched attempt by a player behind on points.

That makes the card pretty decent, it has a niche, that niche comes up often and the end-result of its usage is just about average. It strengthens a little when good alternate victory cards are there and it can accelerate "middle road" games, where 3-piling mechanisms are intriguing (and this certainly helps that tactic).

I call this a pretty good card, I hesitated to give it an "A" because let's face it, the card isn't that exciting or creative.

RECOMMENDATION:
I am going to just adjust the art on this card, that's it. Feel free to discuss the card if you like, but otherwise I'll move on quickly to the next card in the set.

SUGGESTED VARIANTS
I'll post the new variant later tonight, but only the art will have changed, the card stays exactly the same.

24
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Plague (Fan Expansion for Dominion)
« on: November 23, 2011, 12:27:26 pm »
I think the discarding has a large effect here: When you've played two of them for the Village-Lab effect, they then go into your discard pile, so they can be called again... and again... and again... (this is, I grant you, thematically appropriate for rats). A sufficiently rat-infested deck can probably play as many terminals as it likes.

And it is easily depleted...really guys I can't emphasize enough how this changes the tactics of a kingdom. All it takes is one easy, effortless depletion to really change the entire dynamic of a kingdom.

25
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Plague (Fan Expansion for Dominion)
« on: November 23, 2011, 12:04:24 pm »
One "advantage" to Rats is, you are pretty much guaranteed to pile-it once you buy two. That can be a useful thing in games.

I have tested variants that gain themselves as you play them, and it immediately opens up a fast opportunity to 3-pile. Games like that can be exciting, because you have to think about just how fast the game is going to be and it can change the structure of chasing Provinces (or it might not, chasing Provinces might still be the wiser route, which is good, that's what you want, you want alternate victory paths that sometimes work and sometimes don't).

I suspect, one of the things that makes Rats functional, isn't just the ability (which rinks breaks down perfectly), it's that its a virtual guarantee to pile without a lot of effort and without slowing you down on getting the other two piles to deplete.

Test it and see, I could be wrong, but the one card I had that provided this additional dynamic, was actually quite fun to both play and assess. It was a vastly different card and price, but cards that gain themselves and deplete their own supply make for some interesting tactics.

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