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Messages - Worblehat

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Improving play at 3+ players
« on: February 01, 2020, 05:14:18 pm »
I've seen it several times. Especially with cards that don't help your deck, like Sea Hag.

That is, to put it mildly, an unconvincing example. Sea Hag is very often skippable, in 2-player or multiplayer.

Re: Militia, agreed, that's not an attack that scales in multiplayer. Though it's safe to assume not everyone will skip it, since getting the first attack out there is still good, and people aren't going to let that first player be the only one not affected by a handsize attack.

Re: good junking attacks (Witch/Cultist/Torturer etc., rather than the weaker ones like Sea Hag or Marauder), the argument seems to be as follows. In 2-player, both players must get them. In multiplayer, it can be reasonable to ignore them in favor of some other useful card. Put in more concrete terms, you're saying that on a board with Witch and Lab, in 2-player your first $5 is always Witch, in multiplayer one should take Lab. Am I correctly understanding the argument being presented here?

In my experience (playing this game for ten years, almost exclusively multiplayer), that is not correct. Eating 2-3 curses/ruins per turn will cripple you, and the "but when the junk runs out" end state is irrelevant because the game is over. Remember, piles run really fast in multiplayer.

If the card you buy instead of the junker is a trasher like Sentry or Junk Dealer, yeah, that could sometimes work. But if something like that is on the board there's a decent case to be made that they should be the first $5 you buy anyway.

Suggestion for those of you in the "attacks are weaker in multiplayer" camp: play the Invasions recommended set (Dark Ages + Intrigue). Compare 2-player and 4-player, particularly as player 4. That was the most memorable, though not the most enjoyable, Dominion game I've ever played.  ::) At least in 2-player there's a chance shuffle luck can keep you afloat...

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Improving play at 3+ players
« on: January 30, 2020, 10:34:05 pm »
Exactly. Tempo is a big deal.

I think the specific example I had in mind was Torturer. In 2-player, it takes a while before the "should I take the curse because there may be another Torturer incoming anyway?" dilemma comes up, but that happens almost immediately in multiplayer (as soon as two other players have a Torturer).

More generally, I think fraction of junk is a misleading metric to care about. What's important is do you get enough junk, fast enough, that it cripples your deck? That is much more likely to happen in multiplayer, getting two or three Curses before your next turn instead of the one you'd get early in a 2-player game in the same kingdom.

Same thing with some other forms of attacks - how many cards do you lose to Swindlers, Knights, etc. before your next turn?

It's certainly possible to win while skipping the attack(s), but if that works in multiplayer it also works in 2-player. I can't think of an example where an attack would be a must-have in 2-player but becomes ignorable in multiplayer.

For clarification: When the original card was trashed, would it or would it not have the duration effect on the next turn?
Trashing a Duration card doesn't stop it from functioning (except for below-the-line stuff e.g. Bridge Troll's cost reduction).

But it should stop it from functioning - if there's no card in play, how can one be sure that the players will remember all the effects on that player's next turn? If this Bonfire-a-Duration scenario ever came up in my group (and why on earth would it?? :P) I'd certainly say that it means there's no duration effect on the following turn.

To me, that's the key issue in these kinds of discussions. Duration effects must be represented by cards in play; one Duration represented by the card itself, two by Throne Room or whatever caused a second copy of the effect. And in the case of Bonfire, the number of Duration effects on the following turn must be zero because there's no way to have any cards in play to remind everyone. (Again, not that there's any reason I can imagine why anyone would Bonfire a Duration...).

Using this interpretation of trashing Durations would allow the errata on Procession to be lifted. Go ahead, Procession a Caravan, you get two cantrip effects and draw no extra cards at the start of your next turn (that's something I could see occasionally being worth doing, at least).

Sometimes my friends and I need a game that really will go no longer than 45 minutes.  We don't play online.

The phrasing suggests that the number of players is likely more than two. In that case hitting a 45 minute deadline is pretty tricky. My group normally plays 2-4 players during the lunch hour, and the 4-player games usually run a bit long. 3-player tends to be 50-60 minutes depending on the board.

You might want to favor pre-defined kingdoms rather than using a randomizer, to make sure you have a reasonably quick kingdom. And avoid wasting setup time repeatedly hitting the randomize button when it gives you kingdoms with "slow" cards.  :P

For what it's worth, the fastest 4-player game we ever had was a (random) kingdom with Workshop & Garden; two of us went all-in on the rush, the other two still picked up a few Workshops, so it was a super-fast 3-pile, done in half an hour (including setup time).

In general I'd expect the later expansions to be more of a problem for playing speed. There's just more to keep track of both in gameplay effects and physical fiddly bits on the table. Our slowest games tend to involve Empires and Nocturne (and Prosperity of course).

Specific cards:

Emphasizing the previous point on strictly banning Black Market, even worse than the analysis paralysis, it greatly adds to the setup time.

Rats are good to have. If there's a viable way to trash them, they'll likely self-pile, speeding up a 3-pile ending.

Lurker should be good. Works as a gainer of sorts early, can quickly finish a 3-pile late.

Swindler and Jester are good attacks for quick games since they also reduce piles (particularly in multiplayer).

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Improving play at 3+ players
« on: December 27, 2019, 04:36:37 am »
The blog has a good series on multiplayer: card strength, strategy, gameplay considerations.

Wizard_Amul's post summarizes most of the content, though the phrasing "attacks are still pretty good" is misleading - attacks are in general much better in multiplayer than in 2-player. For example the "Invasion" recommended set for Dark Ages + Intrigue is quite an experience, particularly for player 4...  :P

It's also worth mentioning that one should seriously consider buying Province whenever you hit $8 (unless it's a Colony game, of course). Provinces run fast in multiplayer, so continuing to build risks not having enough VP available to catch up later. I'm not saying auto-buy Province when you hit $8, just that it's worth thinking about, and you probably shouldn't skip more than one or two opportunities to buy Province. The jump from 3 to 4 players is significant here; at least in 3-player you still have the same 4 Provinces/player in the supply as you do in 2-player, so building is a bit safer.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Lessons learned
« on: November 14, 2019, 11:08:15 pm »
Those niche cards are really good though. Menagerie is worth buying in almost every game, as is Peddler.

That was my reaction as well. Particularly for Fortress - odds are you'll want it just as a village, and if there's any kind of trash for benefit it's absolutely bonkers-good (the Grim Parade recommended set being a fun example).

To me a "super-niche card" would be something like Masterpiece or Beggar.

To answer Teamlyle's closing question, a corollary to "It can be beneficial to score if it prevents your opponent from building further." is that in multiplayer, people are going to buy VP earlier, so you have very limited time to build. Continuing to build the first time I hit $8 usually works, but trying that twice has always ended in losing badly since there just wasn't enough VP left to catch up.

Identify any key card(s) that are likely to pile quickly, and make sure to get your share of the split. Example, four player game, Port is the only village. Opening Port is totally reasonable in that situation, since it's the limiting factor on how good your engine can be, and they will run very quickly. That game, the two players experienced enough to know that opening with a normal village is generally bad didn't, and ended up with only two Ports apiece. We lost rather convincingly. :P

What people in my group sometimes do if they realize they're hopelessly behind is to focus on ending the game, possibly with a bit of kingmaking as well. If piles are low, they'll work on finishing that off. One memorable game, Contraband was the only +Buy, and all game long everyone had denied Province when it was played. Last turn of the game, active player plays his Contraband, player to his left denies Estate because there was one Province left, ending the game two turns early (I had $8 in hand for my turn, had I gotten to it...  :P ).

And of course one can always play towards a better finish. Better to finish 2nd than 3rd, even if one player has already run away with first place.

On the logistical front, I bring the base set plus two expansions (counting Alchemy, Cornucopia, and Guilds as half-sized) to the table. That usually gives a nice amount of variety without too much effort to carry. Sometimes the randomizer doesn't pick cards from one of the expansions, but that's randomness for you.

When I started with my regular group, we did recommended sets for quite a while before switching to random. Either approach works. Since you mentioned Dark Ages, perhaps consider a kingdom of Rats plus 9 random cards, since it's Donald X.'s favorite card. Showcase the pinnacle of Dominion card design! :D Probably best to warn your friend that Rats must be handled with care, else it will eat their deck, though. If you're interested in recommended sets, one of the most memorably enjoyable I've tried was Infestations (Dark Ages + Alchemy).

You asked about the Travellers in Adventures - both lines are quite good. The Peasant line might be a good choice for strategizing, since it can be non-obvious whether to promote your first Disciple to Teacher or keep it as Disciple. Though maybe the slower pace of 2-player makes Teacher usually correct, I'm not sure.

Adventures and Dark Ages are my two favorite expansions, but they're all good, so you should be fine whatever you choose to do.

other players have already been buying Provinces and itís often too late for me to catch up.

Depends on the number of players. Wizard_Amul covered the 2-player case but it sounds like you play multiplayer like I do. I've found that in 4-player, buying a province is always a reasonable option. Depending on the kingdom, if you know what you're doing it can be possible to keep building the first (and maybe second) time you hit 8. In 3-player, continuing to build is often the better plan since there are four provinces per player just like in 2-player. Though bear in mind that 3-player games are still rushed compared to 2-player, both due to a 3-pile ending being more likely, and because any given player has less control over when the game ends (no such thing as a Penultimate Province Rule in multiplayer).

The blog has some good articles on this:
When to start greening (2-player analysis)
Multiplayer analysis (general gameplay not just greening)

When I teach new players Dominion, the first game is First Game, the second is Size Distortion. As you say, trashing is the key concept (mostly) missing from First Game, plus Size Distortion includes the contrast you mention between the Chapel trashing engine building strategy and the Workshop/Gardens rush. Granted, I haven't done this since 2nd Ed. came out, but both options are still present in the new Size Distortion. Though at first glance it looks like the engine is even stronger now...

Torturer is a great card to include in multiplayer games, particularly since the OP's friends complained about "low interaction". Attacks that scale (like Torturer and Swindler in The Plot Thickens) are obviously fantastic in 3-4 player. Though I'd warn against going much further than that in 4-player; being the fourth player in the Intrigue/Dark Ages recommended set Invasion (6 attacks available) was quite ugly.  :P

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