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Topics - scott_pilgrim

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Variants and Fan Cards / Territories: New Landscape Mechanic
« on: October 12, 2020, 03:42:47 pm »
This is an idea I came up with in the shower yesterday, for a new landscape card-shaped thing. The idea is to use a self-balancing mechanic to create player interaction, and lead to more unique things that can happen in games. The mechanics can also be combined with existing Projects, Landmarks, and Events (though it doesn't work well with a lot of events).

Basically, Territories are like Projects, in that they (usually) give the owner some ongoing ability that they can use, with the following differences:
  • Only one player may have their cube on a particular Territory at any given time.
  • Territories have no fixed cost. Instead, the first player to ever buy a particular Territory pays at least $1 for it, and then each subsequent player must pay at least $1 more than the current owner. When they do, the current owner is kicked off and the new player takes over ("claims" the Territory).

So when another player out-bids you, they take over the effect and you no longer get it. There is nothing about the nature of partial orderings that prevents the mechanic from working with potion- and debt-costs in addition to coin-costs, but I think that feels a little wonky and gets hard to track (I imagine the way you track it with coin costs is by simply putting 1 token on the card per $ you paid), so I recommend just using $ costs.

Some ideas I came up with (none tested):
At the start of each of your turns, +1 Card.
At the start of each of your turns, +$1.
At the start of each of your turns, each other player gains a Curse.
At the start of each of your turns, gain a card costing up to $5.
At the start of each of your turns, each other player discards down to 3 cards in hand.
At the start of each of your clean-up phases, gain a copy of every card you have in play.
Whenever you play an action card, +$1.
Whenever you play an action card you do not have a copy of in play, +1 Action.
Cards cost $2 less on your turn (but not less than $0).
Copper produces $1 extra on your turns.
Whenever you gain a card, you may trash it, exile it, or put it on top of your deck.
Whenever you play a Horse, +2 cards. When you claim this, gain 2 Horses.
Whenever you trash a card, put it into your hand.
When you claim this, trash up to 2 cards from your hand or play area.
At the start of each of your clean-up phases, put up to 2 cards from play onto your deck.
Whenever you play the Special card from your hand, play it again.

Set-up: Choose a random Action card in the supply to be the Special card.
At the end of each of your clean-up phases, draw an extra card per $1 you left unspent.

As mentioned above, existing Projects, Landmarks, and Events can also be turned into Territories. For Projects, the conversion is trivial: ignore the printed cost and follow the rules above. For Events, the conversion is also straightforward: you are basically just changing the rules for how much the Event costs. For Landmarks, it's a little more complicated, based on several cases:
  • Landmarks that hand out VP throughout the game: Only the current owner of the Landmark can receive the VP.
  • Landmarks that score positive VP at the end of the game: Only the owner of the Landmark at the end of the game gets the VP.
  • Landmarks that score negative VP at the end of the game (e.g. Wolf Den, Bandit Fort): Everyone except the owner of the Landmark gets the VP.
You could even use this mechanic for buying cards, but I don't think that works well for most cards. The way I originally came up with the mechanic was by thinking about a Flag Bearer variant that would cost $1 on top, and then each subsequent Flag Bearer costs $1 more than the previous. Maybe something similar works for certain cards.

Additionally, you can have negative Territories. These introduce a new rule that applies for the game (if the Territory is chosen), which usually hurts players, but the owner of the Territory can ignore the effect. A few examples:
At the start of each of your turns, gain a Copper, putting it into your hand.
Whenever you buy a card, take 1 debt per copy of that card you have in play.
At the start of each of your turns, discard down to 4 cards in hand.
You cannot buy victory cards. When you claim this, +1 buy.
That last one might be a terrible idea.

Anyway, what are people's thoughts on this mechanic? The intent is to add some self-balancing to the game to enable more variety of crazy effects, but maybe it causes problems with sunk costs in multi-player games, or maybe it can lead to un-ending games, or other problems I haven't considered.

Variants and Fan Cards / Action-Treasures
« on: October 12, 2020, 03:17:54 pm »
It has always sort of bothered me that Crown, and a lot of fan action-treasures, have a separate effect for the action phase and the buy phase. There's nothing wrong with that, but it just seems like it would be really elegant to have an Action-Treasure that has the exact same effect in both phases, but has some inherent advantage/disadvantage in each phase, just based on the timing of when it is played. Since Treasures have the inherent advantage of being non-terminal, that means you usually want to come up with an effect that is inherently stronger in the Action phase to compensate. Here are some ideas I came up with (disclaimer: I'm not sure about the balance on some of these):

Name: Bribe
Cost: $3
Types: Action, Treasure
+3 Villagers
(credit to NoMoreFun for the analogous idea for an action-night card that produces coffers)

Name: Trinket
Cost: $5
Types: Action, Treasure
+3 Cards
Reveal the top 3 cards of your deck. Discard the revealed Treasures and put the rest back on top in any order.

Name: Quicksilver
Cost: $5
Types: Action, Treasure
+3 Cards
+3 Actions
Trash a card you have in play.

Name: Bauble
Cost: $5
Types: Action, Treasure
For the rest of your turn, when you play a card costing $5 or more, +$1.

Name: Scrying Venture
Cost: $5
Types: Action, Treasure
Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal a Treasure. Put the revealed cards into your hand.

Name: Horse Trainer
Cost: $5 $4
Types: Action, Treasure
Gain 2 Horses, putting one into your hand and one on top of your deck.

The loose categories I was able to think of for ways to distinguish the action and buy phase from each other were:
  • +cards are more useful in the action phase, and in particular, you only care about drawing treasures in the buy phase
  • +actions are only useful in the action phase, villagers are more useful in the action phase but still good in any phase
  • In your action phase, you've played fewer cards (quicksilver), but you have more cards yet to play (bauble)

What other ideas can you come up with?

Other Games / Some Miscellaneous Game Reviews
« on: March 14, 2017, 12:48:19 pm »
Some reviews for some games I've played/been playing recently.  The first three are video games (on steam), the last three are board games.  I think I'm going to try to post new reviews to more games as I play them.  Other people can post reviews here too.

Concrete Jungle

This is a deck-building puzzle game.  People will call it a city-building game, but that's the theme, not the genre, and the theme is very loose, so it's comparable to calling Dominion a kingdom-building game: not necessarily inaccurate, but a bit misleading.

Each card in your deck lets you place a building (well, forces you to place a building; sometimes you might not want to).  Each building usually either makes some set of adjacent tiles (or occasionally, entire rows or columns of tiles) worth 1 more point (or -1 point, or some other number of points); or else collects the points on the tile it's placed on.  This is why I call it a puzzle game, because you have to find ways to fit the buildings together to score as many points as possible.  Whenever you reach a certain number of points (usually 3 as a baseline) in the frontmost column, it clears, and a new column is added to the back of the board.  Your goal is to clear a certain number of columns, while avoiding filling up the frontmost column with buildings without clearing it.  Each card also when played gives you some number of yellow points (good) and some number of red points (bad) (I forget what they're actually called).  Once you've accumulated a certain amount of yellow points, you can add a new card to your deck.  You just pick one of four randomly selected available cards.  (Personally I think it would be more interesting if each card cost a certain amount of yellow points, and you just buy them whenever you have enough to spend on the card you want; as it is, you're often just buying the most powerful card without considering how it fits into your deck.)  Once you've accumulated a certain amount of red points, the number of points you need to score in a column to clear it increases by 1.  I think this is quite a clever mechanic.  You'll get weak or "bad" buildings that are balanced by giving you lots of yellow points (for example, a Factory just adds -1 point to each adjacent tile, but gives you lots of yellow points); or powerful buildings that are balanced by giving you lots of red points.

Those are the core mechanics of the game, and I wish it stopped there.  I had quite a lot of fun playing the introductory levels.  The core mechanics are very solid and make for very interesting gameplay.  Unfortunately (and I think a lot of video game designers fall into this trap), it seems like they thought they should just include every single mechanic they thought of, which just ends up adding so much unnecessary complexity to the game that it becomes a lot less fun.  I was also frustrated by the pace at which they introduced these new mechanics; it seemed like every time, just as I started to get the hang of something and was starting to figure out how to incorporate it into my strategy, they threw a whole not set of things at me so that I didn't know what I was doing anymore.

One of the biggest examples of the unnecessary complexity is with tech trees.  When you accumulate enough yellow points, instead of buying a card, you can get a tech skill instead.  There are several characters to play as, and each one has their own tech tree.  The tech skills are usually just "gain card X" or "replace card X with Y" or something to that effect, so they're really just alternative card buys.  The only thing I can really think that this adds to the game is that it means you have some foreknowledge of what's going to be available to add to your deck throughout the game (you don't have to rely on the right things showing up in the rotating supply), so that you can actually plan out to some extent what kind of deck you want to build.  But if that's what they wanted, it seems like giving each character the same set of skills in every game is going to just mean you build one particular deck every time you play that character.  So instead of fixing the rotating supply problem by adding tech trees, they should have just made the supply be fixed (but varying from game to game), and that would have been simpler and let you plan things out.

Another example of totally unnecessary complexity is with office towers (and similar buildings).  There are a few buildings which you can stack on top of each other.  (I don't think I've seen any such buildings that actually make adjacent tiles worth points.)  There's nothing really wrong with this, except I just don't think it adds anything to the game.  It basically just means that if you get lucky and do things just right, maybe you'll get to place one building without taking up a tile.  That's just such a small benefit I don't think it's worth introducing a whole new mechanic for.

So anyway, all of that is stuff that makes the game a bit less enjoyable, but doesn't totally ruin it.  However, the versus mode does totally ruin it.  For some reason there is a versus mode, and a lot of the levels have to be played in this mode.  I stopped playing once I reached a point where I was going to have to do three (I think, maybe it was only two) more versus levels to continue.  The idea is, each player places three buildings at a time, and each player has a "zone" of the board that only they can place buildings in (as well as a neutral zone where anyone can placed buildings, and the frontmost column is always entirely neutral).  However, buildings you place can still affect things in the neutral zone.  So this really screws up the balance of a lot of cards, which seem to all be balanced specifically for single-player.  For example, the Factory I mentioned earlier gives you yellow points (good), but in exchange for hitting adjacent tiles with -1 each (bad).  However, in versus mode, you can place the Factory near your opponent's area, so that you get yellow points (good) and also hit some of their buildings for -1 point (also good).  Additionally, red points don't matter nearly as much anymore, because it doesn't matter so much whether you actually hit the number of points needed to clear; the column will clear when it's filled up and whether you score points for it is independent of whether you reach the threshold.

But this is what makes versus mode completely infuriating and practically unplayable for me: When you clear a column, whoever has more points in that column scores however many points total they and their opponent had in that column.  In other words, you steal your opponent's points whenever you have more points in a column than them.  I cannot even begin to fathom why the designers would have thought this was a good idea.  It makes the game incredibly swingy, as you can be competing for a particular column and then whoever ends up winning it gets credit for their opponent's work.  (You might have 5 points in a column on your turn, your opponent overtakes you with 7 points, you get it up to 8, and then they manage to clear it with 9; now they get 17 points (a huge amount) because you worked so hard at getting it up to 8.)  It also means that if you think you're going to lose a particular column, your best play is to try to score negative points in that column to bring your opponent's score down.  For example, if they're going to score 3 points in a column, but I have -4 points in that column, they'll actually end up losing points when that column clears.  I think this completely destroys the balance of the game, makes it incredibly swingy, and is also an example of the game adding extra complexity when it was fine without it.  As I mentioned before, you have to win some versus levels to access more single-player levels, so there's no getting around it.

The aesthetics of the game are pretty nice, I think.  The visuals look pretty and the music is really good.  The game uses an isometric camera, for whatever that's worth.  It's also fairly cheap (I think it was $13 on steam when I got it).  So if the core mechanics of the game interest you enough that you think you would be willing to push through some of the versus levels, it's worth picking up.

Mark of the Ninja

I think this game was pretty popular when it came out five years ago, so it's likely you've heard of it.  It is often regarded as the best stealth game ever.  I believe it is the first stealth game I've ever played, so it's hard for me to compare it to anything else.

According to Extra Credits, the key to making a good stealth game is to make waiting fun.  It seems like a very difficult thing to do, so the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed most of my time playing Mark of the Ninja should speak to an impressive accomplishment on the developers' behalves.  I think the main source of fun in this game comes from feeling like a boss from all the cool stuff you do.  However, as the game went on, those things began to feel increasingly routine.  I did not finish the game, but I think I was close to the end, which, if true, makes the game fairly short, which I think is good, because it was beginning to feel a little repetitive after a while.

What this game really does a phenomenal job of is relaying information to the player in ways that are easy to understand and somehow don't clutter the screen.  Generally speaking, you can only sense what your character would be able to sense.  So if you're in a duct and there's a room above you with a guard walking by, you can't see him because your character wouldn't be able to see him from the duct, but if he's close enough that your character would be able to hear his footsteps, you'll see little circles emanating around where his feet would be, to show you the sound his feet are making.

There was also one segment of the game that I thought was fantastic, and it doesn't spoil anything plot-wise, but in case you want everything in the game to be a surprise to you, I'll put it in spoilers.  There's a scene where you have to pull a lever to open up a hatch, and it takes 90 seconds for the hatch to open, but as soon as you pull the lever, all the guards know something's wrong and storm the room and you have to survive for 90 seconds in a relatively confined area.  This was probably one of the most intense and exciting periods of 90 seconds I've ever experienced in a video game.  Unfortunately, it auto-saved me 45 seconds in right between two guards who both had just noticed me, which was nearly impossible to get out of (though I did manage it eventually).

One thing to note is that the game is clearly intended for people who have a mouse (like the computer kind, not the rodent), which I don't.  The game is still playable without one though, because there are few (if any) places where you actually need to do something quickly with the mouse, so it's sufficient to just leave both hands on the keyboard and jump over to the trackpad when you need to.

Mark of the Ninja was $15 on steam when I got it, and I think it's worth it for what you pay.

Planet Coaster

I just downloaded this game on Friday, and have been playing it quite a bit since then.  As you might have guessed from the title, it is a roller coaster simulation game.  I've played a ton of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 and very little of any other roller coaster sim games, so I'll mostly be comparing to that.

First thing to note is that it is $45 on steam, so it's a bit on the pricier side.  Another things to watch out for is to make sure your computer can handle it (I guess you should do this before downloading any computer game, but I never think about it).  It's a little slow on my computer, and I think the specs requirements are fairly demanding.  Even though I've already played it for hours, I feel like I'm just scratching the surface of what the game has to offer, so it's possible that some of the things I say here will not apply with more play.

So the big difference between Planet Coaster and RCT2 is that RCT2 is grid-based and Planet Coaster is not.  Really everything sort of follows from that difference.  Planet Coast is much more realistic, which is the main appeal of it I think.  You can look at your park and it really feels much more satisfying because it feels much more like a realistic theme park.  Obviously the technology going into the game is also much more modern (being probably about 15 years newer), so the simulations are much more detailed and realistic than in RCT2.  For example, if there's a crowded walkway in RCT2, people will just sort of walk through each other, whereas in Planet Coaster, they will sort of naturally divide into lanes, and hey, that's what actually happens on crowded walkways in the real world.

Being not grid-based gives you much more flexibility with what kinds of roller coasters you can build, which might sounds like a good thing, but it is a double-edged sword.  On any given track piece you have so many options for what to do with it, that it can be tedious to actually build a roller coaster, because you have to manually set the turn angle, banking angle, steepness angle, and length of the piece every time (they'll usually default to whatever you did on the previous piece, or whatever is closest to that and still possible to place, so you don't actually have to change all of these things every time).  One of the consequences of not being grid-based is that it is very difficult to get the pieces of track to connect when you're trying to finish the coaster.  Fortunately, there is an auto-complete feature which tries to close the circuit in the most natural way possible (and you can start building from the beginning and end if you like and then use auto-complete to meet in the middle).  (Actually, that just gave me an idea: the issues I'm about to bring up might be resolved if you begin building from the end and then use auto-complete to fill in the beginning, though that's a little awkward.)  The problem with this is that what the auto-complete fills in is not always "comfortable".  For example, I would usually want to finish a roller coaster with some brakes before turning back in to the station, to make sure it doesn't go around the final bend too fast.  Sometimes you can get away with placing the brakes and then using auto-complete, but other times there's just no simple way to do it.  However, the game does include a "smooth banking" feature for the auto-completed section of track, so presumably that helps out.  I have not figured out how to use it though.  I see that there is a button that says "smooth banking" and then if I click it more buttons show up, and then I'm lost.

Unfortunately, not all ride types have the auto-complete feature.  I have yet to be able to build a log flume because every time I try, I can't get the ending to quite match up, and I end up having to delete about two thirds of the ride just to be able to get to a point where it looks like maybe it will match up and then it still doesn't and then I just give up.  Maybe if you were disciplined enough to act like you're building on a grid even though you're not it would be easier.

One thing that bothered me in RCT2 was that if you built a footpath and then deleted it, you net lost money.  (It costs $12 to place but you only get $10 when you delete it.)  The problem with this is that it punishes you for making simple miscalculations (like oops that didn't line up how I thought it did).  At first I thought Planet Coaster had this problem too, and even had it when building rides, and that it would be much more of an issue because it's easier to make miscalculations without a grid.  But when I played last night, I noticed that I was in fact getting the same amount of money back at least when deleting track pieces, so the jury's still out on that one.

I've been playing through the career mode, but am still on the beginner levels (the Pirate ones).  They are all extremely easy (like you could just do what they tell you to and then let your computer sit for a bit and then you would win), but I assume that's because they are just intended to introduce you to the game, the mechanics, controls, etc.

There is also a sandbox mode.  What I have not seen so far is a roller coaster sandbox mode (by which I mean, a big empty field where you can just build roller coasters and not an entire park), like RCT2 has.  Of course you could just do this in the sandbox mode and ignore your guests, but I don't know, just knowing that there are guests wandering around on a tiny chunk of walkway watching me mess around with silly ride designs and ignoring them bothers me.

Overall this is a really great game.  I've mentioned a lot of problems that I have with it, but they're all vastly outweighed by the fun of building your own amusement park in a realistic simulation.  I expect it to be something that I end up sinking a ton of time into.

The following three games are board games I played for the first time this weekend.

Lords of Xidit

This is an action-programming game, and I believe it's the first I've ever played (though I've been familiar with the mechanic for a while).  Despite the theme, it plays like a Euro.  Each round, you set your actions for what you want to do for the next six turns.  Your options are to either move in one of three directions, to take an action in the city where you currently are (either recruit someone or fight a monster, depending on which of those things is possible in the city where you currently are), or pass the turn.  Each city has up to five different kinds of people to recruit, and you are generally required to recruit the worse ones before the better ones, and you can only recruit one person from a given city per round.  So if you and another player are standing on the same city and your turn comes before theirs, you might want to pass the turn to trick them into taking the worse guy first, and then you take on your next turn so you get the better guy.  In the game I played this particular situation only actually happened once or twice, but there was still a lot of mis-predicting what other players would do in other ways which resulted in varying degrees of hilarity in the outcomes.

To fight a monster, you spend some fixed combination of people as listed on the monster, so really this is a set collection game.  When you kill the monster, you pick two of the three rewards listed on it to take.

The scoring mechanics in this game are pretty cool.  Before the game, you randomly choose an ordering of {Gold, Castles, Culture}.  In our game, we got Castles first, then Gold, then Culture, so I'll use that as an example.  At the end of the game, whoever has the fewest Castles is eliminated first; then whoever has the fewest Gold of the remaining players gets eliminated; and then of the remaining players, whoever has the most Culture wins.  This forces you to have a balance of all these things, but focus more heavily on each one depending on the ordering chosen for that game.

The game was quite fun and it was pretty easy to understand.  Even from the very first round I felt like I had a pretty good sense of what I was trying to do, and I was already trying to out-guess my opponents.

The outcome of the particular game was extremely close.  I think I could have won if I had played the last turn more carefully.  I was safe on the castles, but the gold end up being a tie between me and another player (we were all very close, with 16-15-15 gold), and I had the most culture out of everyone, so if I hadn't lost the tiebreaker on gold I would have won the game.

The only thing that's a real strike against this game for me is that there's a lot of things that are in theory perfect information, but require you to memorize them to keep track of them.  I generally consider this to be slightly bad design, but not terrible.  I think if no one attempts to track information (there's so much of it that it's very difficult to do I think even if you have a pretty good memory), then this makes the game more fun because you can't calculate exactly what to do, but it always bothers me when I have to feel like I'm playing suboptimally by not memorizing everything that goes into and out of players' possession.

Tyrants of the Underdark

If you're posting on f.ds you will probably not like this game because you'll think Dominion is a million times better.  This is a deck-building area control game.  Like many other deck-builders, it has a rotating supply, which makes it very difficult to come up with any sort of plan for what you want to do with your deck.  Instead I found myself generally just buying the best card that was out there at any given time.  For some reason you get extra points for the cards you trashed at the end of the game, because I guess trashing is not already good enough.  This made it so that basically any time a trasher was available it got taken immediately by whoever was taking their turn.  The game was also political, which I consider to be bad design (unless the entire point of the game is to be political).  We played a three-player game and this didn't happen to us, but it seemed like there was a lot of potential for the game to turn into 2 vs. 1.

I don't really see the appeal in games like this.  It seemed like it would have been more fun as an area control game without the deck-building, or as a deck-building game without the area control.  As it was I sort of felt like I was playing to independent games, that really didn't go together at all, but just happened to be tied together by the fact that some of the cards told me what to do on the board.  I get the impression that a lot of deck-builders are like this, which I think is sort of the designers' way of justifying the existence of their game, because Dominion already does pure deck-building very well.

Council of Blackthorn

This is possibly the worst game I've ever played.  Well, it's probably not as bad as Monopoly, but at least they have the excuse of it being 1930 when they made their game.  I probably should have dropped out after the rules explanation because it really seemed like it was going to be very bad.  The design felt like there was no thought put into it at all, like the designer just came up with a bunch of card ideas, some random mechanics, and threw them all together without thinking about it.

Probably the worst thing about the game is the treason mechanic.  Over the course of the game, various things give you treason cards (which are worth 0-3 treason points each), and at the end of the game, the player with the most treason points automatically loses.  This is totally fine in a vacuum.  The problem is that there are tons of effects in the game that let you give a treason card to another player.  As soon as this was explained, I said "so shouldn't we all just give our treason cards to the same player every time?".  They sort of laughed and said yeah, I guess so, but that is exactly what happened, and that made what was already a really bad game unplayable.  Whenever you have a choice of whom to give a treason card to, there's no reason to ever choose someone other than the player with the most treason cards, because that minimizes your chances of auto-losing.  So basically within the first few rounds you know who is auto-losing and that player (who happened to be me) has no reason to play the rest of the game.

The cards in this game are horribly unbalanced, and the mechanics are very dull.  (You draw up to five each turn and then play a card, which have various effects, many involving moving you or other players along one of four tracks which score points over the course of the game or at the end of the game.)  The game is extremely political.  There are a lot of cards that just target one other player, that you choose.  There's no strategy to the game at all, because you don't know what kinds of cards you'll get or what they'll do, what your opponents can do to you, etc.  You make decisions but they're meaningless because you can't possibly predict what effect they'll have on the game.  It baffles me that the other players seemed to like this game.

Non-Mafia Game Threads / Math Games
« on: February 02, 2017, 08:09:56 pm »
Math Games


This thread will contain a series of mathy/game theory-y mini-games.
Each game will have its own set of rules, to be posted at the start of the game.  (Some games will require that there be no communication after rules are posted, until the game ends.)
Each player will be awarded 100 points the first time they /in.  Each game played will usually add or subtract to this total.  The points are carried over from each game to the next.
There most likely will not be a well-defined "end".  At some point I may decide I don't have enough time to keep running this, or maybe I'll die or something.
Generally, you are playing to have as many points as possible.  This is different from playing to have more points than any other player.  (Think of it like every point you have is worth $1.)

General Rules

Players may /in at any time.  If there is a game in progress, you may be added to the next round of the game, if possible; or else you will be added to the next game.

Players may also /out at any time; however, they are strongly encouraged, if possible, to finish whatever game they are currently playing.  If a player /ins after having previously /outed, they will come back with however many points they had when they left.  As a courtesy, please do not /out before playing a game you think you will do badly at, just to avoid taking a points loss.  If you need to /out for a single game and then /in again, that's fine, but don't abuse this rule.  (Generally speaking you should gain points on average from most games anyway.)

Players may argue with the mod via PM, if they believe the rules or scoring of a game are unfair.  I reserve the right to change rules and/or scoring for a game in the middle of the game, but it's unlikely that I will act on this right unless a convincing argument is made.  I also reserve the right to ignore completely legitimate arguments made in this regard.

Please be sure to respect the no communications rule present in some games.  Communicating with other players about the game via PM, thread, or any other means is strictly forbidden for these games.  I will try to make it extremely obvious if a game has a no communications rule.

If the mod posts "Thread Locked" (usually in big bold letters), there is to be no posting in the thread until the mod posts "Thread Unlocked", even if the thread is not actually locked.  If the mod posts something indicating that there is to be no communication, please do not post in thread, even if no "Thread Locked" post is made.

If you have questions about the rules, you may ask via PM to the mod, or, if communication is allowed for the game, you may ask in thread.  If communication is not allowed for the game, and your question is important and relevant, I may post the answer to the question in thread to make sure everyone is on the same page (without saying who asked the question).

The title of the thread is "Math Games", but for the most part, knowledge of math is not a requirement to play.  Many of these games are original creations of the mod, and others are inspired by game theory or other math problems.  They are generally designed to be simple, but also to encourage some mathematical thinking, without being easily "solvable".  If you're not sure whether these games would be well-suited for you, the sample game (the first game that will be played) below should give you a good sense of what the games will generally be like.  A small percentage of games will require some high school-level math to understand exactly what is happening in them, and certainly higher-level math can be used to reason about the games, but anyone with enough knowledge to play Dominion should be able to at least play all of the games.

If you have an idea for a game that you think should be played, please PM me (regardless of whether you're currently playing; if having thought of the game might give you an unfair advantage, I can try to work out a fair solution, probably involving you sitting out for that game).  If I end up using your game, I will give you credit when it is played.

Likewise, if you like one of the games that has already been played and think it should be played again (possibly with new parameters or variants), let me know.  If there's enough demand for a particular game, I might rerun it.

Most of the games are designed for a variable number of players.  Many games work best (or only work) when played in smaller groups, or pairs, so I may split the player list into small groups as necessary.  The process by which players are divided up may be random, or may be based on how many points each player has, as appropriate for the current situation.

Play time for games will vary, but I will try to avoid having any single game last more than two weeks.  Players will generally be expected to check in about once every 24 hours (and I will try to keep up with that same time frame).  When I say to "check in" every 24 hours, what I mean is really this: any time a game requires you to make a decision, you are expected to make that decision within 24 hours of acquiring all information relevant to that decision.  (You don't need to post if there's no decision to be made.)  If you're reasonably close outside of that time frame that's fine.  If you know you won't be able to keep up with that, please /out (or PM the mod for special permission) until you can keep up with that.

I reserve the right to kick players out based on level of activity, or other reasons (repeatedly deliberately playing against their win condition, breaking rules, being rude to other players, etc.).  I also reserve the right to change the 24 hours in the paragraph above to 36 or 48 hours (I don't know if I can keep up with 24 hours as a mod; the help of a co-mod might make it more do-able); or also to take long breaks or do away with activity rules altogether if I can't keep up.

Please understand that a lot of games will involve some random chance.  The games are generally meant to be enjoyed by being played optimally; the outcome itself should not be what makes the games fun.

Because of the flexible rules about /inning and /outing, there will be no spectator thread.  Spectators generally should only post in thread about games that have finished, and NEVER post when the thread is locked or when communication among players is prohibited.

As stated above, you should play each game as though each point is worth $1.  In other words, you should generally play as if you don't care how many points other players have.  (There is no ultimate "winner", just a list of who has how many points, and you don't care about your position on that list, just the number next to your name.)

You can only get integer amounts of points.  (Usually if something might cause fractional amounts of points, a rounding scheme will be specified.)  Points can go negative.

Please do not edit your posts (or other players' posts).

General Discussion / Cars and Phones
« on: July 10, 2016, 06:54:10 pm »
Because I generally trust the opinions of people on f.ds more than those of random people I don't know on the internet, I'm hoping people can give me some input on this.

Because I still live in the twentieth century, I have never owned a smart phone before.  However, I am planning on getting one soon (I swear it's not just for Pokemon Go).  Can anyone give me some advice on what kind of phone I should get?  An overview of pros and cons, cost, etc. would be nice, or just a description of your own experiences.

And I also may be buying my first car in the next few months, and I know very little about cars.  I think I would want something reasonably inexpensive, but I value long-term cost more than short-term I think (as a silly example, a $15000 car that gets 2 miles per gallon is probably worse than a $20000 car that gets 40 miles per gallon, so I understand base price doesn't translate to cheaper necessarily).  I know there's some subjectivity with how you like the feel of a car and stuff, but I feel so overwhelmed by how many different cars and so many variables to take into account, I have no idea how to find what's best.

I have some vague ideas for both of these, but I really want to hear other people's opinions.

Puzzles and Challenges / Empty the Supply in Two Turns
« on: June 14, 2016, 01:10:37 am »
This is my first draft.  There are probably some errors in it (especially towards the end), but unless I've done something horribly wrong in the build-up, it's certainly possible now.  And I don't make much use of shuffle-luck, so it is probably possible to do it with only stacking your deck at the beginning, and it might even be possible totally independently of shuffle-luck.

I'm attaching an excel spreadsheet because I think that's the easiest way to follow along, but I have no idea how attachments work on the forum.  I was going to use Google docs, but I'm not sure if it puts my real name on there and I prefer to keep that private (I don't use Google docs much so I don't really know how they work), but if someone else could help me make a more convenient/readable version that would be nice.

Starting deck state:   
Overgrown Estate   
Black Market   
Council Room   
Border Village   
King's Court   
Travelling Fair   
Black Market deck (in the order the cards are bought):   
Royal Carriage   
Throne Room   
Hunting Grounds   
Counting House   
Death Cart   
Wishing Well   
Royal Seal   
(Really none of the Black Market deck matters after RC, TR, and HG, and Baker for the coin token and Death Cart for the Ruins.  A few cards need to be expensive, and Coppersmith+Counting House explodes your money at the end, but you already have plenty of resources to empty the supply.)   
How to read the spreadsheet:   
   The things on the left tell you the things they say they tell you.
   They tell you how much of those things you have AFTER that row has been resolved.
   Don't get confused by Black Market.  You get +$2 and then you buy something (with some cost reduction), so that's why sometimes you come out with more coin and sometimes less or the same after playing Black Market.
   The actions increase by 1 when you gain Villa, don't forget about that.
   Below each black horizontal line, the current game state is shown.  If you get lost you can try to go back to the last checkpoint and try again.
Unless otherwise specified, top-deck everything whenever possible (except Villas obviously, put those in your hand).  There are some sections where I say not to top-deck stuff.

Here's the text version:

Play 4 Coppers, Buy TF, TF, 2 Ruins; Advance, trashing Necropolis, gaining Border Village and Library.  Top of the deck is now Library, BV, Ruins, Ruins, Copper.                  
Play Copper+coin token.  Buy Borrow, Buy TF.                  
   Buy Advance, trashing Ruins, gaining BV+Bridge.               
   Buy Advance, trashing Ruins, gaining BV+Villa.               
Play Villa                  
Play Library, (skip -1 card token), draw Border Village, Bridge, Border Village, Copper, Copper, Hovel                  
Play Bridge                  
Play 2 Copper                  
Buy Stonemason, overpaying by $3.  Gain Bridge, Villa.                  
Play Villa                  
Play Border Village, drawing Stonemason                  
Play Stonemason, trashing Border Village, gaining Library and Library                  
Play Border Village, drawing Library                  
Play Library, drawing Library, Bridge, OGE, (re-shuffle), Copper, Copper, Copper                  
   (Your draw pile is now just one Copper and your discard pile is empty)               
Play Bridge                  
Play 3 Copper                  
Buy Stonemason, overpaying by $4, gaining Border Village, Library, Border Village, Haggler                  
Buy Stonemason, overpaying by $2, gaining Procession, Villa                  
Play Villa                  
Play Library, drawing Stonemason, Procession, Stonemason, Haggler, Border Village                  
Play Procession                  
   Play Border Village twice, drawing Library, Border Village               
   Trash Border Village, gain King's Court               
Play Haggler                  
Play Stonemason, trashing Border Village, gaining Haggler and Library                  
Play Library, drawing Library, Haggler, King's Court, Copper                  
Play King's Court on Haggler                  
Play Copper                  
Buy King's Court, gaining Border Village, gaining Haggler; gaining Border Village, gaining Procession                  
Buy King's Court, gaining Border Village, gaining Library; gaining Border Village, gaining Villa                  
Play Villa                  
Play Library, drawing King's Court, Border Village, Library, (skip Border Village, King's Court), Procession                  
Play King's Court on Procession                  
   Play Stonemason twice               
      Trash Border Village, gain Haggler, Procession            
      Trash Hovel            
   Trash Stonemason; gain Black Market               
   Play Library twice               
      Draw Black Market, Procession, Haggler, Border Village, Haggler, (skip Border Village), (re-shuffle), King's Court            
   Trash Library; gain Border Village, gaining Library               
      !!! Border Villages are now empty            
   Play Procession twice               
      Play Border Village twice            
         Draw Border Village, (re-shuffle), Library         
      Trash Border Village; gain King's Court (top-deck)            
      Play King's Court twice            
         Play Haggler three times         
         Play Black Market three times         
            Buy Royal Carriage, gaining Procession, Procession, Procession      
            Buy Throne Room, gaining Black Market, Black Market, Black Market      
            Buy Hunting Grounds, gaining Haggler, Haggler, Council Room (top-deck Hunting Grounds)      
      Trash King's Court            
   Trash Procession; gain Haggler (don't top-deck this Haggler)               
Play Haggler                  
Buy King's Court (top-deck this)                  
   Gain 3 Gold, 1 Villa               
Play Villa                  
Play Library, drawing King's Court, Hunting Grounds, King's Court, Border Village, Border Village                  
RESUME TOP-DECKING STUFF                  
Play King's Court on Hunting Grounds                  
   Draw Haggler, Haggler, Haggler, Council Room               
   Draw Royal Carriage, Throne Room, Procession, Procession               
   Draw Procession, Black Market, Black Market, Black Market               
Play Royal Carriage                  
Play Throne Room on King's Court                  
   Play Haggler three times               
   Play Haggler three times               
   Call Royal Carriage (on King's Court)               
   Play Procession three times               
      Play Procession twice            
         Play Procession twice         
            Play Black Market twice      
               Buy Peddler, gaining 5 King's Courts, 1 Gold (don't top-deck the Gold or Peddler)   
               Buy Altar, gaining 3 Hagglers, 2 Council Rooms, 1 Library (don't top-deck Altar or Library)   
            Trash Black Market, gain Procession      
            Play Council Room twice      
               Draw Procession, Council Room, Council Room, Haggler   
               Draw Haggler, Haggler, King's Court, King's Court   
            Trash Council Room      
         Trash Procession, gain Council Room         
         Play King's Court twice         
            Play King's Court three times      
               Play Council Room three times   
                  Draw Council Room, King's Court, King's Court, King's Court
                  Draw Gold, Gold, Gold, (re-shuffle), Gold
                  Draw Peddler, Altar, Library
               Play King's Court three times   
                  Play Haggler three times
                  Play Haggler three times
                  Play Haggler three times
               Play King's Court three times   
                  Play Haggler three times                  
                  Play Black Market three times                  
                     Buy Forge, gaining 2 Libraries, 6 Council Rooms, 1 Procession, 1 Gold (don't top-deck Hoard or Gold)               
                     Buy Bank, gaining 10 Gold (don't top-deck any of this)               
                     Buy Counting House, gaining 6 Black Markets, 3 Copper, 1 Bridge (don't top-deck the Copper)               
                  Play King's Court three times                  
                     Play Council Room three times               
                        Draw Counting House, Bridge, Black Market, Black Market            
                        Draw Black Market, Black Market, Black Market, Black Market            
                        Draw Procession, Council Room, Council Room, Council Room            
                     Play Procession three times               
                        Play Procession twice            
                           Play Black Market twice         
                              Buy Chancellor, gaining 10 Copper (don't top-deck the Copper)      
                              Buy Coppersmith, gaining 10 Copper (don't top-deck the Copper)      
                           Trash Black Market, gain Procession         
                           Play Black Market twice         
                              Buy Cache, gaining 10 Copper (12 Copper total; don't top-deck any of this)      
                              Buy Death Cart, gaining 10 Copper, and 2 Ruins (don't top-deck this stuff)      
                           Trash Black Market, gain Procession         
                        Trash Procession            
                        Play Council Room twice            
                           Draw Procession, Procession, Coppersmith, Chancellor         
                           Draw Council Room, Council Room, Council Room, Library         
                        Trash Council Room            
                        STOP TOP-DECKING STUFF            
                        Play Procession twice            
                           Play Procession twice         
                              Play Black Market twice      
                                 Buy Baker, gaining 8 Copper, 2 Silver   
                                 Buy Feast, gaining 10 Silver   
                              Trash Black Market, gain Bridge      
                              Play Black Market twice      
                                 Buy Rogue, gaining 10 Silver   
                                 Buy Graverobber, gaining 10 Silver   
                              Trash Black Market, gain Bridge      
                           Trash Procession         
                           Play Black Market twice         
                              Buy Scout, gaining 8 Silver, 2 Ruins      
                              Buy Wishing well, gaining 10 Curses      
                           Trash Black Market, gain Bridge         
                        Trash Procession            
                     Play Black Market three times               
                        Buy Witch, gaining 4 Ruins, 4 Bridges, 2 Stonemasons (top-deck everything except Witch)            
                        Buy Royal Seal, gaining 5 Stonemasons, 5 Villas            
                        Buy nothing            
            Play Bridge three times                        
         Trash King's Court                           
      Trash Procession                              
      Play Coppersmith twice                              
      Trash Coppersmith                              
      Play Altar twice                              
         Trash Gold, gain Province                           
         Trash Gold, gain Province                           
      Trash Altar                              
Play Counting House, putting 53 Coppers in hand.
Play 53 Coppers
Buy 6 Provinces, gaining all the Gold
Buy 8 Duchies
Buy 5 Travelling Fairs
Buy 8 Estates

Rules Questions / Simple Rules Questions
« on: June 12, 2016, 02:40:00 am »
I just want to double-check that all of these are right.  In all cases, I bought Travelling Fair earlier in the turn.

1. I buy Border Village and gain Bridge.  I can put them on top of my deck in either order (because Border Village's effect is on gain, not on buy).
2. I buy Stonemason, overpaying, gaining BV then Bridge and BV then Procession.  Depending on the gain order, I can do (BV and Procession) in any order, and (BV and Bridge) in any order, and I could have switched those two groups if I wanted (I could have done (BV and Bridge) then (BV and Procession)), but if the Stonemason's going on top of my deck, he's the last to go, since the overpay effect happens on buy.  I couldn't finish with an ordering like BV-BV-Bridge-Procession (if the BV's are consecutive they have to be in the middle).
3. A Haggler wants to join in on this party.  I can resolve it before or after the Stonemason overpay effect.  So I can go like Poor House-((BV-Procession)-(BV-Bridge))-Stonemason or ((BV-Procession)-(BV-Bridge))-Poor House-Stonemason, where the parentheses denote that I can choose the ordering of the stuff inside them.  These are my only options.
4. If I am doing some shenanigans involving Stonemason, BV, Haggler, etc., I can choose to put anything I want in my discard pile and anything else on top of my deck.  There's nothing stopping me from putting some on top of my deck and some in my discard pile (barring Nomad Camp and Villa).
5. If I gain Villa, it goes to my hand, assuming that's where I want it.  I could also choose to have it go to the top of my deck.  I could not choose to have it go to my discard pile.
6. Hagglers gain stuff from cards bought via Black Market.
7. Bridge reduces the cost of cards in the Black Market.
8. Are there any official rules for setting up the Black Market with split piles?
9. Cards bought from the Black Market end up on top of their Haggler gains.

I think that's all for now, but I might come up with more later.

Mafia Game Threads / BM20: Dark Ages Insanity (Cult Wins!)
« on: April 29, 2015, 01:20:03 am »
Welcome to BM20: Dark Ages Mafia

Mod: scott_pilgrim

Player List:
1. Hydrad
2. Awaclus killed N2; Town-aligned Rogue
3. XerxesPraelor lynched D4; Villain-aligned Pillager
4. 2.71828
5. Witherweaver
6. chairs killed N3; Town-aligned Beggar
7. EgorK lynched D1; Misfit as Town-aligned Forager
8. Seprix
9. Joseph2302 lynched D2; Bandit-aligned Marauder
10. skip wooznum
11. silverspawn lynched D3; Town-aligned Forager
12. Ghacob
13. liopoil killed N1; Town-aligned Mystic

Spectators tagged:

scott_pilgrim's Golden Rule of Bastard Mafia: If you take this game seriously, you will not have fun.

In general, assume that the standard Rules of Mafia are in place, unless there is reason to think otherwise.
Days will generally last 7 real-life days, but I may adjust deadlines depending on the pacing of the game.
Nights will last 48 hours.  Please try to submit night actions within the first 36 hours of the night to give me time to process everything.

I have roles for up to 16 players, but some of those roles can be cut if necessary.  If there are 12 or more players and everyone is ready to start, we'll start with fewer than 16 players.  If there are fewer than 12 players for a while after signups have been open, I may start the game with fewer than 12 players.  This game will not start until M60 is over.

Variants and Fan Cards / Ideas Inspired by Adventures
« on: April 19, 2015, 04:49:08 pm »
Since Adventures adds so many new ideas and mechanics to the game, and since it's still completely new to us, I thought there should be a thread for this.  Also, because I wanted to bring this up in the discussion about Caravan Guard but didn't want to make that thread to fan-cardsy.

So here's a couple ideas I was thinking about that use the Caravan Guard reaction mechanic:

Action-Duration-Reaction $3
Trash a card from your hand.
At the start of your next turn, +$2.
When another player plays an attack card, you may play this from your hand.

The trashing and lack of card draw makes it a good defense against handsize attacks, and the trashing in general makes it a response to cursers in the long run I guess.  You also get the money sooner when an attack is played, which is usually good for you.  So it feels more like the reactions we're used to, that actually interact with attacks in some way (rather than just triggering when attacks are played).  Another version I was thinking of:

Action-Duration-Reaction $3
Trash a card from your hand.
At the start of your next turn, draw until you have six cards in hand.
When another player plays an attack card, you may play this from your hand.

This probably counters discard attacks too hard though, and I feel like that interaction is being made too explicit, since drawing up to six at the start of your turn usually just means +1 card otherwise (I guess it also makes it not stack).

Mafia Game Threads / M60: Kirby and the Amazing Mafia (Mafia Wins!)
« on: March 01, 2015, 02:29:15 am »
Welcome to M60: Kirby Mafia

Mod: scott_pilgrim

This is a 13-player game that will use a semi-open set-up, described in the post below.


1. Hydrad, vanilla townie (killed N3)
2. ADK, mafia 1-shot Bulletproof
3. chairs/2.71828, vanilla townie
4. XerxesPraelor, mafia goon (lynched D3)
5. Seprix, town-aligned 1-way Lover (lynched D1)
6. Witherweaver, town-aligned Innocent Child (killed N2)
7. faust, vanilla townie (killed N5)
8. silverspawn, vanilla townie (killed N1)
9. Ichimaru Gin, vanilla townie (killed N4)
10. Robz888, mafia goon (lynched D5)
11. AndrewisFTTW, town-aligned Doctor (lynched D2)
12. Awaclus, vanilla townie (lynched D4)
13. mcmcsalot, vanilla townie (lynched D6)

Tags: Joseph2302, ashersky, Archetype

The rules of mafia are in effect with the following changes:

- Day deadlines will be 10 days.
- Night deadlines will be 48 hours.
- Prods of absent players will be issued upon request after 24 hours. A replacement will be located starting after 48 hours with no reply to a prod.

The set-up will be described in the next post.

Mafia Game Threads / RMM21: Yoshi's Island Mafia - Mafia Wins!
« on: January 05, 2015, 01:49:16 am »
Welcome to RMM21: Yoshi's Island Mafia

Mods: scott_pilgrim, EgorK

This is a 13-player game that will use an open set-up, described in the post below.


1. Hydrad
2. faust; killed N2, town 1-shot doc
3. pacovf; killed N1, town 1-shot doc
4. ashersky; killed N3, town doc
5. chairs; lynched D3, town watcher
6. silverspawn; lynched D1, town 1-shot doc
7. XerxesPraelor
8. sudgy
9. Witherweaver
10. A Drowned Kernel
11. EFHW
12. Ichimaru Gin; lynched D2, mafia goon
13. Awaclus; lynched D4, town 1-shot doc

Tags: Joseph2302, Archetype, e

The rules of mafia are in effect with the following changes:

- Day deadlines will be 10 days.
- Night deadlines will be 48 hours.
- If a lynch is not reached by the deadline, the player with the most votes at deadline will be lynched.  If there is a tie, the first player among the tied players to reach the given number of votes will be lynched.
- Prods of absent players will be issued upon request after 24 hours. A replacement will be located starting after 48 hours with no reply to a prod.

The set-up will be described in the next post.

Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Fiefdom (WIP)
« on: July 29, 2014, 05:46:59 pm »
So Iíve finally started sleeving my cards, which means playtesting fan cards will be a possibility (in the past Iíve only been able to use one or two proxies at a time, and even then Iíve only done a few games with fan cards).  I took a bunch of card ideas Iíve had written down in a spreadsheet, pulled a few of my favorites, changed and added stuff until I think I now have a complete set.  As most of the cards are completely unplaytested (and those which have had playtesting have had very little), I expect Iíll be making a lot of changes.  But, I would like some preliminary feedback before I print these cards for playtesting.

The main theme of the set is, uh, ďset [cards/actions/buys/coins] equal to XĒ, if that makes sense.  For cards, that just means ďdraw up to XĒ.  For the other vanilla bonuses, itís a new mechanic, that sets your total number of [actions/buys/coins] equal to X.  (Iím not sure I like the wording Iím using for this mechanic; I think itís clear but a little wordy.)  To clarify, if a card says ďSet your current total number of actions equal to 3Ē, then you can imagine that little bubble on Goko that tells you how many actions you have left, that number is now 3, regardless of what it was before.

Sub-themes are, ďstuff that deals with green/purple on top of your deckĒ, and I guess, a reactions sub-theme?  The reactions thing wasnít really intentional, I just kinda noticed I had four reactions in the set and that seems like a lot.

Anyway, cards:

Ghost Town
$1 Ė Action
+1 Card
Set your current total number of actions equal to 2.

A simple fixed village.  I think it will take finesse to build an engine with Ghost Town as the only (or main) village.  Ideally, you want to alternate Ghost Town, draw, Ghost Town, draw, etc.  It costs $1 because itís the sort of card you want as many of as possible if you want to get the full mileage out of it, but Iím considering putting it back at $2, just because costing $1 is sort of Poor Houseís thing.

$2 Ė Action
Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal two actions or treasures.  Put the revealed cards into your hand.

A nice simple cheap terminal draw card.  Itís +2 cards, except the cards are guaranteed to be ďgoodĒ.  Iím not sure the wording is precise as it is; itís supposed to mean ďtwo actions, or two treasures, or (one action and one treasure)Ē, but it could be interpreted as just ďtwo actions or two treasuresĒ.  Iím not sure if I like that it doesnít discard the dead cards it finds.  This wording is simpler and it usually wonít make a difference, but since thereís four draw-up-to-X cards in the set, it feels like it would be nice if it skipped and discarded the dead cards.  But I think having a simpler wording is more important.

$2 Ė Action-Attack
+1 Card
+1 Action
Reveal a card from your hand and put it on top of your deck.  Each other player with five or more cards in his hand discards a copy of that card (or reveals a hand with no copies of that card in it).

My attempt at a $2 attack.  You top-deck a card and they discard it.  I'm really not sure whether itís way too strong, way too weak, or just fine.

$2 Ė Action-Reaction
+1 Card
+1 Action
Set your current total number of buys equal to 2.

When another player buys a victory card, you may discard this.  If you do, +2 cards.

This is the only ďset buys equal to XĒ card.  The first Vassal is a Market Square, subsequent Vassals are plain cantrips.  The reaction turns it into a lab when the opponent starts greening.  Itís possible to trigger the reaction up to two times (meaningfully) in response to the same purchase, I think thatís fine and kind of funny.

$3 Ė Action-Reaction
+1 Card
+1 Action
You may discard a card.  Draw until you have 4 cards in hand.

When another player plays an Attack card, you may discard this.  If you do, gain an Artisan.

Usually cards that explicitly gain themselves have problems, because they snowball like crazy.  Rats has 20 of them in the pile and you donít want too many of them, which makes it okay.  Artisanís self-gaining ability only triggers when other players let it, so I think itís okay in that regard.  Iím not sure the rest of the card is exciting enough though.  Obviously the top half is quite weak by itself, but a lot of Artisans together can work as sifters, and theyíre cantrips, so at least they donít hurt.  Printer (later in the set) likes lots of cantrips, so the self-gaining of Artisan can maybe be used to pick up cantrips fast for Printer.

$3 Ė Action
Trash a card from your hand.  Look at a number of cards from the top of your deck equal to the cost of the trashed card, in coin.  Trash any number of them and discard the rest.

A trash-for-benefit card, where the benefit is to trash more cards.  Iím worried itís too swingy if it misses Estate early on, and Iím also worried it compares too favorably to Doctor.  I think itís a fun way to clean up after a Curse war though.

$3 Ė Action
+1 Action
Trash a card from your hand.  The player to your left chooses a card in the supply costing exactly $1 more than it.  Gain a copy of that card, putting it into your hand.

A whacky take on the remodel-to-hand concept, the catch is that your opponent chooses the card you gain.  I imagine the power level will vary heavily with how many options there are for your opponent to choose from.  Iím really not sure if the $3 price is suitable, but I guess Iíll start testing there.

$3 Ė Victory-Reaction
2 VP

When you would draw a card, you may reveal this from your hand.  If you do, instead of drawing that card, reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal an action or treasure.  Put that card into your hand and discard the rest.

A while ago there was a card design contest, to which I submitted a card with this reaction, but a cantrip on top.  I'm not sure if it's worth keeping since itís wordy and clunky, but I think it's unique and interesting.  As a victory-reaction card, it skips over itself, so maybe you can get away with picking up a couple of them if you're planning on doing a lot of drawing.  It helps you to green without clogging your deck too much.  I had originally priced it at $4, but I bumped it down to $3 just because the set needed more $3's, and I expect it to be weakish anyway.

$4 Ė Action
+1 Card
Set your current total number of actions equal to 1.

A nice, simple, on-theme Peddler variant.  I wanted a card that set your actions equal to 1, and I think a Peddler was a nice simple way to do it.  I think it will be on the strong side at $4, but it should be okay.

$4 Ė Action-Attack
+2 Cards
Each other player reveals the top four cards of his deck, discards two of them that you choose, and puts the rest back on top in any order.

I wanted a deck-mucking attack to make Farmer and Barnhouse more useful.  This is sort of a weaker, cheaper Rabble.

$4 Ė Action
The player to your left names a card.  Gain a card costing up to $5 that is not the named card.

This is a nice simple card I came up with a while ago.  It's good whenever there are two or more $5 costs you want.  It may be particularly crazy/interesting in Duke or Rebuild games.  I'm worried it may be too strong in general.

Mountain Village
$4 Ė Action
+2 Actions
Look at the top card of your deck and choose one: put it into your hand, or discard it and +1 Card.

A simple spy village, not much to say about it.  It may be unexciting since Ironmonger exists.

$4 Ė Action
+1 Card
+1 Action
Each other player with 4 or more cards in his hand discards a card.

The set wanted another cantrip, and I wanted a discard attack that could discard down to three to interact with the draw-up-to-X cards.  I'm not sure this was the best way to do it, but I think it's reasonable, though maybe too similar to Urchin.

As Iíve thought about it more, Iím worried it just looks really lame next to Urchin.  On the one hand, the first Page is the same as the first Urchin, and then the second Page just makes them discard another card whereas the second Urchin gets you a Mercenary; plus, Urchin is cheaper.  On the other hand, if Urchin and Page are both on the board, I think it would be reasonable to pick up one of each, since playing a Page with an Urchin in play still gets you the Mercenary while also making the opponent(s) discard an extra card, so maybe itís fine.  Still, Iím not really attached to Page and wouldnít mind replacing it.

$4 Ė Action
+3 Cards
You may play an action card from your hand.  Trash it or trash this.

They may self-synergize too well (you can play Inventor-Inventor-X, which is like +6 cards, +1 action, and only trash one Inventor).  Otherwise I think it's a fun, cool, whacky card.  Obviously itís good with cheap cantrips.  I'm actually not convinced the wording works the intended way; if you don't play an action card with Inventor, you're supposed to have to trash the Inventor (so it's not strictly better than Smithy), but I think you have the option to choose "Trash it" even if "it" doesn't exist.  Any wording suggestions would be appreciated.

$4 Ė Action-Reaction
Victory cards cost $2 less (but not less than $0).

When another player gains a card, you may reveal this from your hand.  If you do, he discards the top card of his deck and puts the gained card on top of his deck.

I really liked the bottom-half, meant to punish greening and combo with junking attacks.  The top half started out as a Curser so that there would be self-synergy, but then it just looked like an awkward Sea Hag.  So instead, the top half makes it easier to green, and now it anti-synergizes with the bottom half, in the sense that other players can punish you for making use of the top half.  TR-TR-Aqueduct-Aqueduct makes Provinces cost $0, but you need your own +buy card to take advantage of it, so I hope that's okay?  I like how with Vassal it means you canít get more than 2 Provinces in one turn.  The reason for the Bridge-style thronable wording is because I didn't want all of the text on the card to come below a line, or to have both the "main part" and the reaction part to be together below a line; I would prefer it to be non-thronable.  Parade-Aqueduct is crazy.

I think itís weird if the opponent wants to trash a card with Watchtower and you want to make them top-deck it with Aqueduct, but I assume that just resolves in player order, starting with the player taking his turn?

$5 Ė Treasure
Set you current total number of coin equal to $4.

Simple on-theme treasure card.  You want it in decks without virtual coin.  I had it set $ equal to 3, but that just seemed really weak (probably on par with the other $5 treasures, which are all weak (obviously not counting IGG)).

$5 Ė Action-Attack
Each other player with five or more cards in his hand trashes a card from it.  If it costs $2 or less, he gains a Curse.

If they trash Copper, it's like a Cutpurse-Swindler.  If they trash Estate, it's like -2 VP.  I'm worried it's too nasty, since both of those are pretty bad, and it's probably worse if it hits a $3+ card.  But, it's completely blocked if the opponent has a curse in hand (and even benefits them if the curses are out).  Maybe it should return to the supply instead of trashing?

$5 Ė Action
You may play an action card from your hand twice.  If you didnít, draw until you have 6 cards in hand.

This card has really nice self-synergy: you play one as a throne on another, using it to throne a non-drawing card, and then draw back up; or you throne one to draw with another so you have more cards in hand to throne.  The reason that I think the self-synergy here is okay (whereas the self-synergy on cards like Minion can lead to dull games) is that Parade really needs other cards to work; a deck of just Parades doesn't do anything Watchtower can't do (I know thatís not 100% true but close).  It's a support card for an engine.

$5 Ė Victory-Action
+1 Action
Trash up to three cards from your hand.

Worth [VP] equal to the cost of the lowest-costing card in your deck, in coin.

I submitted this card to the Intrigue card design contest, and it did reasonably well.  It hasn't changed since then.  Some people liked it, some didn't, I like it but I understand people's complaints about it.  I still think it's a nice new alt-VP card.

$5 Ė Action
+3 Cards
+1 Buy

When you discard this from play, if you didnít buy a card costing $5 or more this turn, you may put it on top of your deck.

A simple Smithy+, it gives you +buy so that the bottom half is easier to trigger.  It's meant to encourage engines.

$5 Ė Action
Set your current total number of actions equal to 3.

Similar to Festival, without the +buy but giving you more actions if used correctly (and fewer if used incorrectly).  It's also a disappearing village, meant to interact with the draw-up-to-X cards in the set.  I actually think a Jubilee-Watchtower engine is a lot more interesting than a Festival-Watchtower engine, because in the former thereís the question of ďdo I play Jubilee or Watchtower first?Ē (playing Jubilee first gets you more cards, while playing Watchtower first gets you more actions), while in the latter you just always play Festivals before Watchtowers whenever possible.

$5 Ė Action
+1 Action
Draw until you have 7 cards in hand.  Each other player draws a card.

The first one is like a double-lab for you and a lab for everyone else, but you can follow it with a couple Bandits or Serfs (or a Parade of Bandits/Serfs) for extra damage.  I like how it anti-synergizes against itself (like Vault).

$5 Ė Action
+1 Card
+1 Action
Discard any number of cards.  +$1 per card discarded.

I wanted a discard-for-benefit card, to combo with the draw-up-to-X cards.  It made sense to make it non-terminal so that you could easily follow it with draw-up-to-X, but I feel like maybe someone has done this exact idea already?  It looks familiar (and obv. itís really similar to Vault)Ö

$6 Ė Action-Attack
+2 Actions
+2 Buys
Each other player gains a Curse.

Specifically designed to combo with Aqueduct; the actions help you play lots of Aqueducts, the buys help you buy lots of cheap Provinces, and the curse can be top-decked by an Aqueduct in hand.  It's the most expensive curser, and it doesnít draw, so I think itís okay that itís non-terminal.  I expect that itís on the weak side, which I think is great, since itís nice to have a curser thatís not a must-buy in every game (yes I know not all cursers are must-buys in every game, but they tend to be way more powerful than other cards on average).  Also I think itís okay that itís weak, because itís also a village and a source of +buy, so there are good reasons to buy it even with other cursers on the board (though it is quite expensive to be just a +buy village).  But it may be even weaker than Iím anticipating, not sure.

$6 Ė Action
+1 Action

While this is in play, when you play an action card, +1 Card.

This (along with Inventor maybe?) is the setís card of insanity.  I may end up cutting it just because of the sheer crazy factor.  I imagine it will be ignorable on boards where youíre not planning to play a lot of actions every turn; probably it will be ignorable roughly when and only when Kingís Court is ignorable.  I expect that even just Scheme-Printer will be a mega powerhouse combo (not only is Printer the sort of card you want to play as early in the turn as possible, but top-decking a bunch of cantrips (excess Schemes) is exactly what Printer wants); and then thereís Printer-KC-Scheme, which is just, like, start every turn with 3 actions and a 9-card hand.

Anyway, I think Printer will be fun, but it may be insanely strong, and it may just be too crazy.  And maybe it wonít be fun if it means ďfirst player to the Printers winsĒ.  Oh, and thereís also this concern where, a player may forget (or ďforgetĒ) to draw cards from Printer in a case where it would be advantageous for him not to draw cards, and then other players are supposed to catch him.  I know cards arenít supposed to do that, thatís sort of a result of Printerís ďwhile this is in play, when X, do YĒ nature.  It could be fixed I guess by saying ďyou may draw cardĒ, but I prefer less text.

So anyway, thatís all the cards.  Right now I think the distribution of card costs and functions is fine, except maybe too many reactions if thatís a thing?  Iím open to any suggestions, comments, questions, etc., like I said most of these have had no playtesting, and Iím hoping to get some feedback regarding any changes that should be made before I make images, print them, and start playtesting.  Thanks in advance!

I've been working on designing "a few" games over the past few years, almost exclusively euros.  Most of the good ones I have playtested some IRL, and I've thought about trying some in a PBF format but most of them wouldn't really work or would be too slow in that format.  However, I just remembered this game I had been working on a few months ago and never got a chance to playtest IRL, and I think it would work well in a PBF format.  Rules are in the next post, but a basic summary: you move around on a map and try to sell stuff in cities for VP, and bid on stuff (the stuff you're selling for VP) using action points.

So, any interest?

Player list:
1. Kirian
2. Jimmmmm
3. ipofanes
4. XerxesPraelor

Rules in the next post.

General Discussion / Smash Bros. 4
« on: October 01, 2013, 11:14:42 pm »
Looks like there's not already a topic on this.

Sonic was just announced today.  What are people's thoughts on the characters that have been announced so far?  What characters are people hoping/expecting to see?  Are there a lot of Smash Bros. players here?

Personally I'm really hoping for King K. Rool.  I am a huge Donkey Kong Country fan and I just feel like K. Rool would be such an awesome character to play as.  Like, you would never hit with any attacks ever because he would be absurdly slow, but then you manage to land one attack and just instantly win the match because you're K. Rool.  But I'm not really sure his chances of getting in are that great.

Puzzles and Challenges / Empty the Supply with Bad Shuffle Luck
« on: July 06, 2013, 05:23:59 pm »
Trying to beat the Lucky Chancellor got me thinking about this.  What is the fastest you can empty the supply, assuming worst case shuffle luck?

You can choose the kingdom, and set the Black Market deck however you like.  (I would also be interested to see what people can do with a shuffled Black Market deck, but that probably just means it goes unused.)

In order to prevent a giant tree of possibilities (or at least, to minimize those possibilities), I would guess you want to trash down with Chapel and/or Doctor, then try to build up a megaturn starting from just a few cards.  I don't have a baseline solution.  I would expect good solutions to be around 11-13 turns.  If someone can do it in 10 or less I will be very impressed.  Actually, I would be impressed by any solutions at all, regardless of number of turns.

I recently played a game in which I opened Remake/Market Square.  Turn 3 I drew Remake, Overgrown Estate, and 3 Coppers.  I play Remake, trash Overgrown Estate, draw a card because I trashed Overgrown Estate, and hey that card is Market Square.  I get excited because now I can reveal Market Square, so I eagerly click on it to discard and gain a Gold...but it trashes it instead, as the second card trashed from Remake.  Goko never gave me an opportunity to reveal Market Square.

This is incorrect, right?  I should be able to reveal it, even though I drew it from the trashed Overgrown Estate?

Dominion General Discussion / Plaza/Poor House
« on: June 17, 2013, 08:37:50 pm »
This seems very powerful.  Each plaza you play gets you a coin token and makes poor houses each worth $1 more.  Having a Poor House in hand ensures that you can buy Plaza (assuming you didn't get a HoP for some reason), and you can almost always buy Poor House, so it needs very little support.  +Buy probably speeds it up.  Discarding attacks can hurt a little, but with multiple Poor Houses in hand it might actually benefit you.  I'm guessing cursing hurts a lot.

Thoughts?  Is this as awesome as it sounds?  How fast is it?  What counters it?

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