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Dominion General Discussion / The Fool is a pity
« on: December 18, 2017, 10:23:25 pm »
Nocturne has arrived in the UK. I got my copy last week, and took it along to play with friends this evening.

Often, I just pull out whichever cards seem cool, but not really knowing how the cogs would turn with Nocturne, I started with the first recommended kingdom in the rulebook.

The (four-player) game took two hours! )-8

The chief culprit was Fool. Once one player bought a Fool, another did; once two had done so, the other two did as well. And we were seeing those Fools pretty often!

Every time somebody plays Fool, they need to take Lost in the Woods, take three Boons, digest what they are, choose an order, receive them, keep track of which should be discarded at once v. which should be kept until Clean-up, and finally re-evaluate their strategy for the turn.

For added fun, sooner or later somebody takes the Earth's Gift and decides they would have preferred a different Boon. So in the middle of resolving Fool, they gain a Blessed Village. And try to work out whether to receive that Boon at once, or keep it until next turn. And then figure out how to represent in terms of table layout which Boons they've not yet received, which are being held until clean-up, and which are being held to receive at the start of next turn.

Meanwhile, with Fool in the kingdom, the Boons deck needs shuffling very frequently and every time that happens people need to stop and double-check the correct subset of the Boons has been discarded.

People also struggled, albeit to a lesser extent, with the inconsistency where some Night cards are gained to hand and others are not. And most of the players both in that game and a subsequent one where I picked the kingdom myself to go light on the Boons felt pretty strongly that Night was an unnecessary complication compared with Actions that had +1 Action and a deferred effect. Especially, they seemed to destroy the rhythm of the game because you can no longer begin playing as soon as the previous player has made their final purchase. A lot of turns had false starts, further adding to the confusion.

None of us found it our most enjoyable game of Dominion ever. Some of the players are soured to Nocturne entirely; most are at least vowing never to play another game with Fool.


This is somewhat startling and dispiriting. I assume that if playtesters had had this experience something would have been done about it, so why were things different for us. We're all experienced gamers, not especially slow, and everyone was already at least somewhat familiar with Dominion.

I'd be really interested to hear anyone else's experiences. /-8

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Dominion General Discussion / Nocturne: a minor ergonomic gripe
« on: December 15, 2017, 07:55:06 pm »
If a pile comes with an Heirloom, it says this on the cards.

But wouldn't it have been nice if things were symmetric and the Heirloom also said which pile it came with?

Peering around the box trying to remember where, say, Cursed Gold goes is a bit of a pain. Especially when another well-meaning player has already put away (visits the Wiki to look it up) Pooka.

3
Help! / Mainly Empires and Hinterlands
« on: November 20, 2017, 11:04:52 pm »
I thought I'd share a kingdom we played earlier this evening. Since we played face to face with real cards rather than online, I have no log.

I hand-picked this kingdom to be interesting; I frequently do that and try really hard not to have any specific strategy of my own in mind while doing so.

Anyway:
  • Crossroads
  • Encampment/Plunder
  • Enchantress
  • Spice Merchant
  • Jack of all Trades
  • Mill
  • Highway
  • Archive
  • Crown
  • Border Village
  • Event: Banquet
  • Landmark: Battlefield
(No Shelters/Platinum/Colony.)

There were three of us playing, and I was struck by how completely different our strategies were, ending up very closely matched on points (39/38/35, I think.)

I got 2/5 and opened Crossroads/Archive. I then immediately bought some Mills, using them plus Archive as a springboard to an early $6 to buy a Gold. Then I bought some Encampments, and finally a couple of Spice Merchants to help me thin. I was pretty reliably drawing most of my deck for a Province a turn, 38VP.

Opponent A opened Spice Merchant and Banquet-for-Highway, then quickly bought a second Spice Merchant. Soon, they had an engine going which each turn trashed two Coppers with Spice Merchants for +2Buy,+$4, did Banquet-for-Border-Village, picking up Mills, Crossroads and Highways until they could switch to double-Province turns. For some extra villages, they bought Encampments cost-reduced to $0 and treated them as disposable. But the game ended before they could catch up, 35VP. I think their engine was actually pretty solid, and especially with Crossroads to lubricate things they'd have won easily if they'd switched at the right moment to gaining Duchies with their Border Villages instead of more engine components.

Opponent B focused on Mill and Jack of All Trades, very lightly seasoned with Border Village and Crossroads: discard all your cards using Mills, draw back to 5 with JoaT, spend some Silver, buy Province. This was quick to set up and got them the lion's share of the Battlefield VP in the process, but started greening early and became unreliable, stalling a few times. B beat me by a single VP.


Opponent B bought one Enchantress, but regretted it because the attack didn't hurt us at all: A just played a Highway first; I usually took the opportunity to cantrip an Encampment if I didn't have my Gold in hand, or a Spice Merchant if I didn't have any Copper. Nobody bought a single Crown.


If I played this kingdom again, I'd have bought a single Spice Merchant, but I'd have bought it sooner. I may have been seduced overly by the 3VP for an early Mill. I was expecting to be able to play around with Plunder, possibly even Crowned Plunder, but in practice opponent A's steady trickle of returned Encampments precluded this. Maybe I should have focused more wholeheartedly on taking the Encampments, perhaps using +Buy from the Spice Merchant I know I should have bought sooner? I suspect that my gambit of Mill+Archive to get an early Gold and support my Encampments was solid, though.


But I'm still none the wiser. None of us executed our strategy anything like perfectly; any one of them might be a killer in expert hands. It also feels as though there could be something even better we all overlooked.

Any thoughts welcome!

4
Rules Questions / Changeling: rules bug?
« on: November 16, 2017, 01:23:05 pm »
I see what the Changeling card says, and its intent is pretty clear.

However, the rulebook (which, by my understanding, takes precedence over the card text even if it's directly contradictory) says:
Quote
you cannot do it if the cost is neither more or less than $3

Um! Er. While the intent of that is also pretty clear, it doesn't say what it means. A card costing exactly $3 has a cost that is neither more or less than $3 and the rules therefore say you can't exchange such a card on gain for a Changeling. /-8

5
Dominion Strategy Wiki Feedback / Adventurer - oh really?
« on: November 07, 2017, 08:30:47 pm »
I've just noticed Adventurer in the All Cards list looks a lot like Apothecary in disguise...


6
Empires Previews / Defiled Shrine / Gathering / Temple interaction
« on: June 07, 2016, 01:30:40 pm »
I think, as usual, the correct behaviour can be determined by a literal reading of the rules, but it feels a bit peculiar so I thought I'd check.

Defiled Shrine's setup step only puts 2VP on each non-Gathering Action Supply pile, but gaining an Action moves VP from its pile to the Shrine even if it is a Gathering, yes? When there's a Defiled Shrine around, you can gain a Farmer's Market and thereby postpone playing existing FMs trashing themselves for VP? Curious interaction!

So then, when you gain a Temple, you take all the VP from the Temple Supply pile, and also move 1VP from the Temple Supply pile to the Defiled Shrine? And, as usual, you get to choose which happens first?

Presumably you choose to collect VP before failing to move one to the Shrine. Unless you're Possessed. Or engaged in some nightmarish metagame where you want to give Alice an incentive to gain a Curse before Bob does...

7
Rules Questions / Haggler, Farmland, Border Village
« on: September 29, 2014, 10:37:21 am »
Here's an intriguing question that just occurred in a game where Haggler, Farmland and Border Village were all in the kingdom.

I had a Haggler in play. I bought Farmland.

Now I have two side-effects I can perform: trash-and-gain with Farmland and gain-a-cheaper-non-Victory with Haggler. By my understanding of the rules, I may perform these in either order, my choice? So far so good.

I choose to take the Farmland on-buy trigger first. I trash a $4 card and gain Border Village. As a side-effect of gaining Border Village, I may gain a cheaper card.

So now I can gain a cheaper non-Victory from the Haggler's while-in-play effect, and gain any cheaper card from Border Village's on-gain effect. But can I do them in either order? Or, now I've started resolving the Farmland on-buy trigger before the Haggler while-in-play effect, must I completely resolve Farmland first by dealing with the Border Village's on-gain before I may use the Haggler while-in-play effect?

8
Rules Questions / Cards that "play or modify" Durations
« on: April 11, 2013, 09:18:36 am »
Hi all,

In Dominion, we have actions which cause another action to be played, possibly multiple times. We also have Durations, with effects that linger to the following turn.

And we have lots of discussions about how they interact. I've found at least:...all containing statements by Donald X, plus remarks by others with varying degrees of definitiveness.

As I understand it, the way things stand at the moment is:
  • "If you play or modify a Duration card with another card, that other card also stays in your play area until it is no longer doing anything." (The actual rule.)
  • This does not apply to cards which "play or modify" the card which "plays or modifies" the Duration -- if you play Throne Room, choose Throne Room, then choose Wharf, only the second TR stays out.
  • The rule should be construed as "until you clean up and it is no longer doing anything". If you Throne Room a Haven, you don't get to discard the Throne Room (and possibly cycle your deck enough to re-draw it) immediately the two Havens come in at the start of your next turn.
  • Golem is "no longer doing anything" the moment it's played the actions you drew.
  • Tactician only has its effect once even if doubled or tripled, so a Throne Room is "no longer doing anything" and gets discarded during clean-up.
  • Conversely a Throne Room used on an Outpost is still "doing something" according to the BGG rules FAQ?
  • If you Procession a Duration, the Procession stays out, but the Duration gets trashed for gain this turn. The Procession is your reminder that something is afoot next turn.
  • If you Procession a Throne Room then choose a Duration, the Procession trashing the Throne Room takes precedence over the "stays in your play area until it is no longer doing anything" rule; the Throne Room is trashed for gain this turn.
  • If you use a Band of Misfits as a "play or modify" card, or as a Duration, it stays out precisely as long as the card it's impersonating would have done.
  • You have Durations "in play" until clean-up at the end of the following turn (for the purposes of Peddler, etc.)
  • However, you have not "played" it on the following turn (for the purposes of Conspirator)
  • Throne Rooms, Kings' Courts, Processions, Bands of Misfits, etc. that are left out are "in play" but not "played", similarly.
Is that all correct?

One question I've never seen asked: what happens if you Procession an Outpost or Tactician? (On the one hand, maybe Procession stays out if and only if a Throne Room would have done; on the other, maybe the Procession is "doing something" by marking that there's a trashed duration to apply next turn.)



More generally, am I the only person who thinks this all feels unduly gnarly? I see a three-way conflict between:
  • Consistency and clarity of the rules
  • Having cards cleared up if they serve no further purpose
  • Giving players the best chance possible of remembering what's supposed to happen at the start of their next turn

I can see two simpler alternative rules:
  • Everything is cleaned up at the end of your turn, including Durations and cards which played or modified them.
  • Any card which causes a Duration to be played is itself a Duration until it leaves play, and all Durations (even Tacticians on which you discarded nothing) stay in play until your next turn.
The first one causes obvious memory problems. But what if there were "duration proxies" for each kind of Duration? They could be full-size cards, or perhaps mini cards or some other kind of token. When you play a Duration you stick a duration proxy in front of you; at the start of your next turn, you get the benefit. Throne Room a Duration? Place two proxies. Band of Misfits a Duration? Place a proxy corresponding to what you chose. Procession a Duration? Trash the Duration, but leave the proxies standing. Play Tactician; have you discarded any cards? If so, place a Tactician proxy.

The second would mean that if you chain Throne Room -> Throne Room -> Duration, both Throne Rooms stay out. For players like me who lay out the actions they play hierarchically, it just means you leave the entire hierarchy out as-is.

Has anyone tried playing in either of these ways? How much difference do they make to gameplay and/or strategy? My instinct is that the first is by far the tidiest option, it's just a shame it needs several dozen extra game pieces.

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