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Game Reports / See Mercenary, Trash Mercenary
« on: September 22, 2013, 02:15:09 pm »
Gain Curse.

See Turns 9 and 10.  Ouch.  I felt bad.

Dominion Videos and Streams / A Three Player Experiment
« on: September 19, 2013, 11:38:14 am »
I recently discovered how to easily record YouTube Dominion using Quicktime.

I made a YouTube video of a game with two IRL friends (well, one friend Polk5440, and one wife Bella Cullen).  I haven't watched all of the videos on YouTube that have Dominion in them, but I think this format is fairly unique.  In a 3P game, we can all hear each other, and all comment on the game.  Thus, I talk less freely (and more strategically) about my strategy than the typical YouTube video.*

As for strategy, it's a Colony game with Wharf and Farming Village.  Remodel and Quarry are important too.  At some point in the game's early stages, I reveal why I am not a top player by debating internally between Quarry and Cutpurse.  Quarry is the right play, and I go for it, but I didn't really reason it through like I should have.  Remodel turns out to be the difference in this game, I think.


FWIW: I didn't realize how forcefully I laugh until recording this.  I'll try to be less abrasive on your eardrums in the future.


*I have tested out recording in other contexts, but I don't have a critical mass on my channel yet.  This is my favorite recording so far -- a game where Mic Qsenoch runs me over on the Highway:

Game Reports / Down to the Squire
« on: September 18, 2013, 11:28:44 am »
This was a strange kingdom and a strange game.  I feel like I played suboptimally, but this felt different from most games of Dominion I've played.  I guess that's the point of Dominion.  Variety.

Game Reports / The Intimidating Pirate?
« on: September 13, 2013, 09:04:30 pm »
Games like this make me go ARRRG.

Going back to my roots (I am the pirate ship economist), I saw this board and thought "Hey, I can do some kind of Scrying Pool-Pirate Ship - Hermit -Farming Village with Workshop to pull it all together."  And, if I could do that on this board, that would be pretty cool.  Anyway, my opponent quickly gets a Soothsayer, and for obvious reasons, my deck is taking a while to build. I'm behind 15 points (15-0) on my turn 14, but I line up a solid turn to start building my Pirates with Farming Villages (thanks Madman). 

After I play my first of 3 Pirate Ships, he immediately resigns.  Why?  If it was obvious that I was going to win, I don't see it.  No extra source of +buy, and at the time, my Pirates had very few tokens.

I want to preface this post by saying that I love the match-play scoring system used in Gokodom.  What follows is not a critique of this system, but an alternative scoring system that might be fun to try in a small (or large) match-play tournament.

Total Victory Points Scoring.  This system has the following features:
  • Each match consists of an even number of regulation games of Dominion.
  • Each player has the opportunity to sit as first player the same number of times.  Alternating first seat is an option, but you could use the Gokodom seating chart, too.
  • The score for the match will be determined by the player who obtains the largest number of VP across the games in the match. The player with the most VP wins the match. 
    • In the event of a tie in the number of VP, the player who took the fewest turns across all games wins the match.
    • If, in addition to having the same number of VP, both players took the same number of turns, the player who won the most regulation games of Dominion wins the match.
    • If the number of points, number of turns, and number of regulation Dominion wins is equal for both players, the players rejoice in their shared victory.
  • In the event of an outright win, two points are awarded to the victor.  In the event of a shared victory, both players earn one point.  Non-winners get zero points.
  • To make sure everyone gets to have fun, you could run some number (to be determined) of Swiss rounds where playing better means you play better opponents.  At the end of the Swiss rounds, the best players could match up against one another in a bracket-style tourney.

Basically, I got the idea by watching a re-run of a Jeopardy Teen Tournament Final.  This scoring system is to Dominion as pooling winnings across multiple days is to Jeopardy.  And, if it is good enough for Jeopardy, it is good enough for me.

Moreover, I think it would be fun to play a Tournament that is governed by these rules.  If I had the ambition and/or time, I would organize a tournament to be played through Goko's lovely interface that adheres to these rules, but I don't have time (yet... right now... we'll see). I think this tweak in the scoring would lead to some interesting changes to how people play.  To cite two examples: (1) the scoring system would tamp down risky endgame strategies that rely on praying for the perfect storm -- i.e., it will usually be optimal to end a game while behind so as not to lose by too much; and (2) the scoring system would facilitate running up the score when you could easily end the game.  Obviously, the latter scenario is an issue in fun.  A modified system could mitigate this by capping the margin of victory in any particular game, but I'd rather not modify the system that way.

Some questions for discussion:
  • Would you play in a Tournament governed by a refined version of these rules (keeping the spirit of Total VP Scoring)?
  • Are there natural extensions to 3P or 4P matches?  Multiplayer games can be fun, too, and I find that my only excuse to play multiplayer is if there's a multiplayer tournament (OK, not really... looking at you Polk5440 and Bella Cullen).
  • Are there any fun hybrids of Total VP and Gokodom style matches?  One thought: You play 6 games, and each match has a Total VP point and a match point up for grabs.
  • How often do runaway boards happen where one player wins by an insurmountable margin in one game, making the rest of the match moot?  If this probability is low enough, maybe the system is as broken as the KC-Discard-Masq pin.  If it is likely, what changes would fix it?
  • Any other thoughts?

Game Reports / (When) Is Procession Good?
« on: September 08, 2013, 02:03:23 pm »
I played this game against Polk5440.  As it was a friendly game, I decided to take an exploratory "stupid" strategy of trying to do Procession when there isn't a continuous chain of actions to the high end (no $5 cost cards here).  Somehow, I get a Courtyard-Menagerie-Procession-Monument-Salvager thing to work.  How did this happen so quickly?  Any Procession Gurus out there care to weigh in on what made this work?

Game Reports / My Baron is a Madman
« on: September 02, 2013, 11:54:58 am »

I was playing my wife (Bella Cullen), and when I pulled off the Madman+Baron turn, she started clapping.

Game Reports / I think my opponent did too much wandering in this one
« on: August 26, 2013, 11:48:14 pm »
I didn't know a game like this was possible. 

Wandering Winder + Wandering Minstrel + Knights < Alchemist + Mint + Softly Singing Angels.

FWIW: This must have been luck, right?  What are the chances that WW doesn't trash my Potion for the entire game when he plays 4 Knights each turn?

** His game also said "Recording for Youtube" ... Will it make its way to the channel?  Or, is it not interesting enough? **

Game Reports / Stoned
« on: August 21, 2013, 12:48:39 am »
Stonemason + Market Square -> Pile-O-Gold
1/2 Pile-O-Gold + Stonemason -> Pile-O-Cities + 1 Outpost
Pile-O-Cities + Stonemason + 1/2 Pile-O-Gold + 1 Outpost -> 8 Duchies on Turn 14 (Technically, a proper turn and an outpost turn)

Game Reports / Non-Luck
« on: August 18, 2013, 01:54:01 pm »

Game Reports / Baronly Any Time to Pirate Ship
« on: August 13, 2013, 12:30:30 am »
When I first learned Dominion, I fell in love with Pirate Ship.  Now, I Baronly play with it.

Game Reports / Hermit-Madman-Coppersmith
« on: August 11, 2013, 02:04:22 pm »

Game Reports / Duchess > Rebuild
« on: July 22, 2013, 11:24:35 pm »
Obviously, Duchess is the most powerful card in the game.  Rebuild, by contrast, is weak.

Game Reports / Buy all the IGGs in one turn
« on: July 21, 2013, 06:10:36 pm »
to end on piles.  Menageries, IGGs, and Curses are out.

Game Reports / KC-KC-Remake-Remake... Fortress
« on: February 28, 2013, 04:58:39 pm »
with Duke Duchy.

I set this game up to try out with a bot, but someone joined the game. It probably worked better.  I'm not sure if the bot would see this.

Variants and Fan Cards / Nook
« on: September 30, 2012, 11:39:22 am »
In my submission to the rinkworks contest nonterminal draw, I attached the following idea (choice between self-Minion and draw up to 6) as an externality to a Laboratory.  I'm wondering how it would do on its own -- as a card you'd voluntarily play.

Here's one version.

$3 -- Action
+1 Action
Choose one: Discard your hand and draw up to 4 cards in hand; or draw up to 6 cards in hand.


Here's another version that may help with the self-combo aspect.  I think this would be more fun to play, but I'm seeing from the rinkworks reaction contest, that I'm not great at judging the likely consequences of reactions.

$4 -- Action - Reaction
+1 Action
Choose one: Discard your hand and draw up to 4 cards in hand; or draw up to 6 cards in hand.
When you discard this other than from play, you may reveal this and put it on top of your deck instead.



Variants and Fan Cards / Mining Settlement
« on: August 06, 2012, 10:56:07 pm »
My Village card for the rinkworks design contest received quite a bit of skepticism (maybe more like dislike/hate), but a surprising amount of support in the vote (placing 6th).  It was originally worded as:

Mining Settlement
$5 - Action
Gain a Copper, Silver, or Gold in hand.
If you gain a Copper, +2 Cards, +2 Actions.
If you gain a Silver, +1 Action.
If you gain a Gold, discard two cards.

The discussion convinced me that this was overpowered.  Here's my proposed fix:


Mining Settlement
$5 - Action
Gain a Copper or Gold in hand.

If you gain a Copper, +2 Cards, +2 Actions.
If you gain a Gold, gain an Estate and discard five cards.


The Copper option is the same, the Silver option is gone, and now, the Gold option plays more like a gimped early game Hoard (previously, there was no Estate gain and only discard two, so it was more like an amped Horse Traders).

I think the card could expose an interesting tradeoff between deck clog / quality reduction and ability to draw a lot of cards.  Any comments/ suggestions for improvement?

Variants and Fan Cards / Tax Collector
« on: August 01, 2012, 12:31:12 pm »
Here's an idea that came out of modifying my Peddler variant from the rinkworks competition. 

Tax Collector
$4 -- Action -- Attack

If you reveal and discard an Estate from your hand, each other player must discard a Treasure or reveal a hand with no Treasure.

+1 Card, +1 Action, +$1


Initially, I had the card reveal and discard a Province and it cost more, but that was deemed too weak by the community.  In modifying the card, my goal is to make the card into an attack that is sometimes better than Cutpurse (worse for the opponent), but most of the time worse (better for the opponent).  The matching with Estates to "activate" the attack sort of limits the power.

Any comments/ suggestions?

Variants and Fan Cards / Textile Factory
« on: July 29, 2012, 01:30:53 am »
I came up with this card for the fan design contest (Village challenge), but after some deliberation, I decided to go with a different card.

My goal was to make a Village card that would gain and draw its own actions, but I didn't want to draw them into hand because that felt too good.  The result was a mixture between the "Hidden Village" and University.


Textile Factory
$5 -- Action -- Duration

You may gain an action card costing up to $5.  If you do, set it aside with this card.


At the beginning of next turn, +1 Action.  Restore any cards that were gained and set aside with this card to your hand.


I am a little worried that the card makes it too easy to set up a Village-Draw action combo, and hence, it feels like it is on the stronger side (especially on boards with lots of draws; Smithy, Council Room, Margrave, etc.).

Thoughts?  Suggestions for improvement?  Has someone suggested a card like this before?

Note: Original Post edited to specify that only the gained cards are restored to the hand.

Variants and Fan Cards / My TFB Card: Downgrade
« on: July 27, 2012, 11:25:59 pm »
Hey all,

I wanted to post a revised version of my trash-for-benefit card that failed to get many votes in the TFB contest.


$5 - Action
Trash a Victory card from your hand.  If you do, +2 VP, and you may gain a Victory
card costing less than the trashed card.  If you gain a Victory card, +$4.


My goal with the card was to make a viable TFB that gained a card costing less.  The original wording gave the +$4 bonus even if you trashed an Estate, and I think the voting and comment suggested that was too powerful -- too big of an advantage of opening 5/2 rather than 4/3.

Now, the card is a Bishop on Estates (nothing more), but it lets the player make an interesting (I think) tradeoff by cashing in green at some cost, and you get some spending to buy even better Victory cards.  I also think this would shine with alternative VP cards.

Any comments / suggestions for improvement?

Game Reports / Golem-Familiar-Upgrade-Tunnel-GOLD
« on: July 27, 2012, 10:31:29 am »

I saw Golem-Tunnel on the board, so I thought I'd give it a try.  Given that there was Upgrade, it was nice that Familiar was there as a base camp on my way to Golem.  In the face of the Familiar Curses, I picked up my first Golem on Turn 9.  By Turn 20, two Golem plays fetched me 10 Golds.

In the end, I won by 12 and grabbed 6 Tunnels... with 23 Gold (3 left in the pile)

Game Reports / Duke-Duchy in Colony Game
« on: July 05, 2012, 10:34:11 am »
I didn't mean to take this route, but I felt behind in the game when my opponent had two golds by turn 6, and started venturing for Colonies.  So, I loaded up on Expands, lucked into a couple of Colonies, and churned out as many duchies and dukes as I could.

I feel like my opponent could have easily beaten me by softly contesting Duchies (by my count, 3 would have done it), but I'm not sure if that would have hurt his ability to get the 5 Colonies he actually got.

Game Reports / 370 points, 304 on VP chips
« on: June 30, 2012, 12:24:28 am »
This was an old game log, but it is my favorite of all of the games I have played.  What do you get when you have Chapel, Quarry, Governor, Conspirator, City, and Goons in a Colony game?

370 points in 13 turns.  I'm sure someone out there has done something similar, but this was off the charts in my Dominion universe.

Game Reports / My first real megaturn
« on: June 29, 2012, 01:06:07 am »
I saw this board and I couldn't help but try KC-KC-Bridge-Bridge-Bridge.  I trashed stuff with Steward and used a Tactician turn to bring it all together.

As this is the first time I got the KC-Bridge megaturn to work, I piled the provinces because they hadn't been touched.  Amazingly, my opponent didn't see it coming.  Could I have connected this faster if I hadn't bought Lighthouses?

Introductions / Ahoy
« on: June 24, 2012, 12:33:08 am »
Hello Dominion Fans:

Just saw the "Introductions" category, so I thought I'd put mine out there. To start off, my name is Tony and I am the pirate ship economist.  I just now decided to register for an account in the Dominion Strategy Forum, but I have been playing on Isotropic since about last November and reading posts in my Google Reader for a few months now. 

About me & Dominion: I'm a PhD student in economics in Chicago.  My friend in my economics program introduced me to the game around last October, and I have been hooked ever since.  My wife (who plays under the name Bella Cullen, and at one time, Amy Farrah Fowler) and I play quite a bit on Isotropic.  I hope to learn a lot more about the game, but most of all, I'm here for fun.

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