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Dominion General Discussion / Another "How to Play This Board" Thread
« on: October 03, 2017, 06:06:53 pm »
I know there's a lot of these lately, but this one is sorta driving me crazy.

No Colonies or shelters.

Bandit, Poacher, Market, Bridge, Pirate Ship, Scrying Pool, Counting House, Baker, Peasant, Magpie.

Event: Donate.

Donate boards give you a ludicrous amount of control. Shuffle luck can cease to be a factor entirely if you get your deck to the ideal size. There's no limit to how far ahead you can plan. Somehow, though, I can't find the optimal strategy here. Obviously getting to Teacher as quickly as possible can win you the game, seeing as the +Action token enables a Bridge Megaturn that will crush your opponent. The importance of the race to Teacher seems to imply you want a Peasant / Donate opening to guarantee you'll always be able to play the Peasant line cards. On the other hand, doing this leaves you with very little economy to pay off the debt. You want to be able to pick up a few other actions in the few turns where you're waiting for Teacher to arrive. Without that, you won't be able to take full advantage of the tokens when they become available. But keeping enough coppers around to quickly pay off the debt and still play your Peasant means you can't add any more stop cards like Bridge. That's a considerable disadvantage, since Bridge seems like an ideal card to have access to once Teacher comes online. You can pick up some stuff like Scrying Pool to help with draw, but I'm concerned about when to incorporate the potion. Magpie is here, but doesn't draw you anything if all the remaining coppers are in your hand.

Enough of my rambling. How would you approach this board?

Dominion is full of glorious edge-cases. Obviously I can see picking up cards that give benefits other than trashing. Getting Steward for draw, for example. I can also see the addition of trash for benefit cards. Maybe a single trasher to activate Market Squares mid-turn. But cards where thinning is the whole point, like Chapel? They're borderline obsolete.

Puzzles and Challenges / An "Empty the Supply" Variant
« on: June 10, 2017, 01:40:18 am »
Am I allowed to submit a puzzle if I don't have my own solutions worked out yet?  A puzzle with 13 radically different variations?

Whatever, let's do this.

One of the most popular challenges on this subforum is the "Empty the Supply as quickly as possible" challenge. We have plenty of variants of it. Trying to reduce the number of needed turns, trying to carry out such a solution in Dominion online... one might consider this old problem thoroughly solved.

But I was bored and came up with a variant that makes it more challenging. What if you were only allowed to create your solution using cards / events from a single expansion? So far I've gotten close to developing an 8 turn solution for Adventures. I tried to do something similar for Prosperity and Empires, but couldn't quite get it to work.

If we count the 1st and 2nd editions of Dominion and Intrigue as expansions, we have 13 different expansions. 13 different solutions to the single-expansion supply emptying problem. As for special rules... I recommend we stick to only 2 events when finding solutions for Adventures or Empires. Everything else is fair game. Some expansions will have more interesting solutions than others (Alchemy in particular looks like a real slog), so only solve the ones you think would be particularly fun for you to try your hand at.

I hope you enjoy this challenge! Well... 13 challenges, technically.

Variants and Fan Cards / Return of Jacques's Fan Cards
« on: August 08, 2015, 02:04:15 pm »
Dominion: Fealty was something of a bust, but I have come up with some great ideas since then. I am aware of inadequacies in the format relative to official cards, and am prepared to accept criticism. Hopefully a few cards survive. My attempt was to go with a sort of "treasure chest expansion" model, which is why you will find smatterings of mechanics from different expansions. I suspect I have a lot of corrections to make.

Here are the cards as they currently stand:

Alloy: $4P Treasure

When you play this card, put a treasure card in your hand on the Tavern mat. Alloy produces $ and P equal to the total output of the treasures on the Tavern mat.

Appraisor: $4 Action-Reaction

+1 buy, +$ equal to half that produced by the player to your right on the previous turn (rounded down)
When another player trashes a card, you may reveal and discard this from your hand. If you do, gain a card costing up to $2 more than the trashed card.

Astronomer: $3P Action
+1 Card, +1 Action. Place your +1 card, +1 action, +1$ or +1 buy token on Astronomer.

Chosen One: $7 Action
Name a card type. Reveal cards from your deck until you reveal three of that type. Put them into your hand and discard the rest.

Crop Rotation: $5 Action
Set aside a single copy of each differently named card in your hand. Draw until you have 5 cards in your hand, and return the set aside cards to your hand.

Dwarf: $5 Action
Discard any number of cards from your hand. Draw cards equal to the number you discarded + 3.

Engineers: $4 Action
+2 Actions. Flip your journey token. If your journey token is face-up, gain a card costing up to $5 and put it in your hand

Excommunication: $3 Action-Attack
+1 Action, +1$. Each other player gains a curse. Each other player may trash a card in their hand.
If there are more cards in the trash than in the supply, trash this and gain an Interdict

Interdict: $0* Action-Attack
+1 Action, +2$. Each other player gains a curse from the trash

Heir: $2 Action-Traveler
You may discard an estate. If you do, +$2.
When you discard this from play, you may exchange it for a Profligate

Profligate: $3* Action-Traveler
Choose one: +3 cards and take your -$1 token, or +3$ and take your -1 Card token
When you discard this from play, you may exchange it for a Debtor

Debtor: $4* Action-Traveler
Put this on your Tavern Mat
If you have $5 unspent at the end of your turn, call this. You may take an additional turn. If you do not, exchange this for an Innovator

Innovator: $5* Action-Traveler
+3 Cards, +1 Action, every other player gains a card costing up to $4
When you discard this from play, you may exchange it for a Genius

Genius: $6* Action
Choose a Kingdom card that is not in the Supply. You may treat that card as if it were in the Supply.

Help: $2 Action
+1$, Trash a card from your hand. You may discard a card from your hand to play this again.

Jeweler: $6 Action
+2$, Trash any number of treasures in your hand. Gain up to three treasures with a total $ output equal to that of the trashed treasures.

Salary: $5 Treasure
+1$, +1 Buy. You may forfeit any number of +Buy. +1$ per Buy forfeited.

Surplus: $2 Action
+1 Buy. Name three cards in the supply. The player to your right chooses one. That card costs $3 less this turn.

Tomb: $6+ Victory
You may overpay for this. Take VP tokens equal to half the amount you overpayed, rounded down, and put them on your Tavern mat. This card is worth VP equal to the total VP tokens on your Tavern mat.

Tower: $4 Action-Reaction
Flip your journey token. If face-down, trash a card from your hand. If face-up, +3 cards and trash any number of cards from your hand.
When another player plays an attack, you may flip your journey token

Puzzles and Challenges / 20 Events Puzzles
« on: July 30, 2015, 07:17:11 pm »
As we all know, the options of having more than two Events in a game of Dominion can become truly dizzying. Introducing all 20 onto a table would lead to absurd degrees of analysis paralysis. But what if we eliminate... the Kingdom Itself?

How quickly can Provinces be emptied with all 20 Events present and:

1. No Kingdom Cards available (BM only option)

2. Scout as sole kingdom card

3. Smithy as sole kingdom card

Obviously, further questions can be spun from this, but for now, we have more than enough complexity.

Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Fealty
« on: December 10, 2014, 11:41:51 pm »
Hello, Dominion Strategy Forum! Iíve been semi-lurking here for quite some time, and itís high time I made some contributions of my own. I proudly present the opening draft of:

Dominion: Fealty

I have roughly 15 cards planned so far, with more on the way. I will post about 5 of them per post, with comments and design concerns. Naturally, I donít expect this to match the glory of an actual expansion or Dominion: Enterprise, but the closer I can come, the better!

Our first card:

$4 Action: Manor

+1 Card
+2 Actions

When you buy this card, place it on your Loyalty Mat.

As youíve likely guessed, the Loyalty Mat is the central mechanic of Dominion: Fealty. At any point during your action phase, without spending an action, you may move any number of cards from your Loyalty Mat into your hand. This is to Lab what coin tokens are to Peddler. In fact, given that the extra card you get is often exactly the one you need, it is substantially more powerful than Lab-on-demand!

To give an example, suppose you have a Smithy and an Oracle in your deck. You purchase Manor on turn 3, and discover a terminal collision on turn 4. You can choose to add Manor to your hand on that turn, play it, and then successfully play both of your draw cards. Hopefully you have some way to use the massive handsize!

After Manor is finally taken from the Loyalty Mat, itís just another village. However, the fact that you can insert it into your hand at exactly the right moment makes it very useful in adding consistency to decks with a high terminal draw-village ratio. Iíve wavered somewhat on a cost of $4 vs. $5, but have cautiously placed it at $4 due to the fact that its unique properties can only be utilized once.

Other cards in this set will make use of the mat, sometimes in game-altering ways. It is possible for any kind of card to wind up on the Loyalty Mat at some point during the game. I have waivered somewhat on how the Loyalty Mat should handle victory cards. For now, I suspect that allowing an Island-Style effect will lead to an excessive number of simple golden decks in the set. My solution: cards on the Loyalty Mat make no contribution to overall score. If a player is concerned about this, they can simply return the victory cards on the mat to their hand. Take note, however, that missing a three-pile becomes quite perilous with this ruling. If the game is about to end next turn, it is probably a good idea to get your victory cards off of the Loyalty Mat and into the deck ASAP.

Now for something a little different. This next card uses no flashy new variant rules, and sounds pretty simple on paper, but fits into a very interesting niche.

$2 Treasure: Ore.

+1$, +1 Buy.

When this card is in play, all Treasure cards cost $1 less, to a minimum of $0.

So, basically just Bridge for treasures. Hereís the thing, though: how many treasures do you want? Ore is obviously amazing at picking up other Ore. Get two of them in play, and you can guzzle up some Silvers. On the whole, though, it doesnít create the sort of condensed payload that an engine cares about. In my opinion, this is a plus. While still moderately useful in an engine that can play a bunch of treasure, Ore is substantially stronger in Big Money, and outstanding in slogs. And while Masterpiece might require a pricey hand to flood your deck with Silver, a relatively small hand with Ore might be able to get a little Gold as well. Pretty simple, but Iím glad it exists. Oh, and one more thing: the pile can empty pretty quickly if people use the discount to pick up free copies of extra Ore.

Village, buyÖ how bout some draw?

$5 Action: Crop Rotation

Set aside all cards in your hand with the same card type (Action, treasure, etc.). Draw until you have 5 cards in your hand, then return the set aside cards to your hand.

Iím personally pretty fond of this one. Libraryís great when you can spend the actions you draw, but sometimes victory or treasure cards will enter and clog things up. Crop Rotation can set them aside: your hand essentially doesnít count those for Draw-to-X purposes. However, Crop Rotation also has a smaller handsize cap. I hope that further playtesting will improve this card, but for now, I think itís off to a good start.

Iíve got two attacks thought up so far (although the second sorta splits, Urchin-Mercenary style). I also have two high-powered cards at $6 that I may need to tone down. They overlap. Here goes nothiníÖ

$6 Action-Attack: Assassin


Your opponent places their deck into their discard pile. Choose and set aside two cards in their discard pile. Shuffle their discard pile into a new deck, and return the two set aside cards to the discard pile.

Iíve always had a weakness for Chancellor and Scavengerís ability to bring about reshuffles, and tried to brainstorm an attack that would do the opposite. Ideally, this attack would increase the urgency of the reshuffle. Ghost ship worked at slowing the reshuffle, but didnít fit what I was looking for. I thought of a card that would take junk from the discard pile and shuffle it back into the deck like a perverted Inn, but this would obviously become a nightmare if stacked. Assassin is my solution. The attack is basically equivalent to two extremely lucky Spy plays, but itís still pretty nasty. This is priced at $6 because it can prevent an opponent from seeing either of their opening buys if I price it at $5. For now, $6 seems about right. Playtesting shows it to be very strong, but it certainly wouldnít be the first strong attack Dominion has had. I look forward to feedback.

$5 Action: Quest
+2 Cards
Set a card in your hand aside on the Loyalty Mat.

This is one of the simplest cards in the set, but fairly nice overall. It works nicely in Big Money, and the removal of simple cards like copper or estate makes into a sort of pseudotrasher. It is a very straightforward tool for adding cards to your Loyalty Mat, and manages to do so without cutting your handsize down. What to yíall think?

So thatís that. I have a few more cards to share in the future. Some are elegant, some complicated. Some are dreadfully unbalanced. Send me whatever feedback you can, positive or negative. I eagerly await it!

Variants and Fan Cards / Is this even good?
« on: October 17, 2014, 02:47:54 pm »
Quid Pro Quo: Action. $3

Reveal the top three cards of your deck. Trash a card that your opponent chooses and place the remaining cards back in either order. You may then gain a card costing up to $3 more than the trashed card.

The original version of this instead allowed you to choose the trashed card and gave the opponent the choice of a card costing exactly $3 more to replace it with. I rejected this when I realized that it anti-synergized with pretty much every other card, given that an increase in variety gave your opponent more bad options to damage your deck with. Under the current model, this card can act either as a limited expand or as a terminal lookout.

Currently, you may expand a trashed curse or copper into a copy of Quid Pro Quo. Is this balanced, or should the cost be adjusted to $4?

Note that in the late game, your opponent can empty the province pile by trashing a province of yours, and that this card holds little value in terms of cleaning up curses, as the opponent can likely target your copper instead.

Puzzles and Challenges / The Omniscient Spy
« on: July 07, 2013, 05:29:32 pm »
Reading through the Lucky Chancellor board, I got an odd idea. The original idea was to add an extra obstacle to the Lucky Chancellor strategy by giving the chancellor an "omniscient spy," guaranteed to always discard the cards you really needed. This complicated the original challenge too much to be really enjoyable, but the impact it had on the player's ability to build was remarkable. For instance, in the "worst luck scenario" that the Chancellor puzzle ran off of, the spy would easily prevent the player from ever using his chapel, or even his ironworks, by positioning the cards at the 6th and 12th spots in the reshuffles. This becomes increasingly more complicated as the cantrip-control over your draws increases, but still presents an interesting block. Interesting enough to be a challenge in its own right.

Here is the challenge: from turn 3 onward, you are subjected to a perpetual spying effect with a P1 advantage. Assume your deck's structure is such that the spy impairs your success as much as possible (always hits your key cards, anticipates you playing or not-playing draw cards). Given any other 9 cards you wish for the board, what is the fastest turn-time you can get in acquiring all 8 provinces? Assume worst possible shuffle luck.

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