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Topics - werothegreat

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I posted about this a couple years ago, and I've done quite a bit of playtesting on it since then, and I think it's in a pretty good place now.  Good enough that I'd like to try showing it off to the Dominion community and seeing what they think.

Rules document (for reference)

First, to get it out of the way, how is this exactly like Dominion?
  • It is a deckbuilder.
  • 5 card hands, you play "Actions", play "Treasures" and buy stuff, then discard and draw.
  • Some of the cards are pretty similar to Dominion cards, but honestly there's only so many ways you can do "draw 2 cards".
  • There is a fixed Supply each game, rather than a randomized center row like Ascension or Clank.

So, how is it different?
  • Instead of getting Victory cards, you compete for the favor of Gods, who give the player who has them a powerful effect, as well as some points.  Gods can be stolen from other players!  This requires you to spend more resources, though, and a couple Gods are Steadfast, and remain with the first player who takes them.
  • There are four different resources - two for buying cards (Drachmas and Might), two for gaining the favor of Gods (Faith and Blood).
  • Faith and Blood are accumulated, like Coin tokens, and can be saved up for getting the expensive Gods.
  • You can play any number of cards per turn, and buy any number of cards per turn.  There are thus no "Village" or "+Buy" cards, but does mean I can focus interesting decisions elsewhere.
  • You can exchange resources for each other, at an unfavorable rate.  Exchanging Money/Might into Faith/Blood becomes more favorable if other players have more Gods than you do, as a catch-up mechanic.
  • There is an optional Adversary, which makes a rule change for the game, making it more challenging, and can also capture Gods, meaning it's possible for all players to lose, adding a slight bit of cooperative play.
  • Having no terminal Actions means there's no terminal draw, thus no unrestricted cheap draw (like Smithy), which has forced me to get creative with draw cards if I don't want them all to cost or something ridiculous.
  • Instead of Curses, there are Fate cards, which are more like Confusions/Ruins - they don't make you lose points, they just take up space, but you can also get rid of them if you take a penalty (losing 2 Faith, for instance).  So you might get "you are Fated to lose 2 Blood" and you lose your two Blood and you get to trash the card.
  • There are player mats!  Including little spots to put your Faith and Blood tokens.

I've played this with people who are familiar with Dominion, and with deckbuilder novices, and for the most part they've liked it.  I've made lots of changes in response to feedback, and I think the core game right now is pretty solid.

Let's see some of this:

Starting cards - each player starts with 3 Militia and 7 Silver.  These cannot be bought, but can be gained from the Sacrifical Pit (trash) if you're desperate.

These basic cards are in every game.  There are 3 different Fate cards, and the stack is shuffled.

The Agora is the resource exchange I mentioned.  It's also got a spot for the Sacrificial Pit (trash).

Here are some of the cards I've come up with:

And some of the Gods:

And Adversaries:

And here's my mock-up for a player mat:

Please let me know what you think!

Variants and Fan Cards / How much should this cost? Self-cursing lab
« on: April 01, 2018, 12:30:15 pm »
Let's say you have the following card:

+2 Cards
+1 Action

Gain a Curse onto your deck.

How much do you think that should cost?  My initial thought is , but that might be too expensive.  Is gaining the Curse onto your deck too much of a penalty?  Does this seem like a card you would ever buy?

Edit: added pic

Pretty straightforward: design a Kingdom where you'd actually want Harvest.  Extra points for creativity!

Dominion Articles / Leprechaun
« on: February 15, 2018, 10:23:37 pm »

Playing Leprechaun is a lot like being at a casino.  Sometimes you win a little bit, and sometimes you just screw yourself over, but the house always wins in the end.  Unless you cheat by counting cards and make off with a jackpot.

First and foremost, Leprechaun is a Gold gainer, and a cheap one at that.  To compensate for this, the spiteful fairy Hexes you for stealing from it.  Sometimes this does absolutely nothing, like if you get Fear, and Leprechaun was the only Action you played this turn.  Other times you wish you really hadn't played the card, like hitting Locusts.  So what are the odds of getting a good or bad Leprechaun?  Considering purely playing just Leprechaun from a five card hand, we have:

* 1 ignorable Hex (Fear)
* 3 that aren't too bad (Bad Omens, Famine, Greed)
* 4 that swing depending on what else you have in hand (Delusion, Envy, Haunting, Poverty)
* 4 that you want to avoid (Locusts, Misery, Plague, War)

So if you have a hand of Coppers and an Estate, that's 2/3 of the time that you don't really care what the Hex is.  If the rest of your hand is Silvers, maybe just play those instead.  But on average, you're running about a half chance of a good (or at least not that bad) outcome.

But if you're counting cards, none of this matters.  Get Leprechaun down as your 7th card, and you get the pot of gold AND the rainbow, and the mischievous little cobbler even lets you get off scot-free.  A Wish is a powerful thing, and if you have an engine that can reliably play Leprechaun at the right time, it is a worthy addition to your deck.

However, you have to make sure it's your 7th card.  This requires careful planning - if you want to play more Actions after, you have to get in at least one village first.  Prioritize sifting and draw to get to your Leprechaun in time.  If he's already in hand, it's okay to get some terminals down to fulfill the 7th card condition.  The main thing is to just keep track of what you're doing, and not just throw down cards without thinking.

A nice thing to look out for are Throne Room variants - while you can't normally play multiple Leprechauns in a turn for multiple Wishes, Throne Room can!  Though not Royal Carriage.  And maybe stay away from Prince.  And Golem and Ghost.

Dominion General Discussion / Nocturne: Yay or nay?
« on: January 02, 2018, 05:46:46 pm »
So Nocturne has been out for about two months now, and we've all had a decent chance to play around with it.  There have been some threads about certain cards, and there was Tom Vasel's pouty review.  So I figured, let's put it to a poll.  Do you like Nocturne?

Personally, I do like it.

Variants and Fan Cards / Banshee
« on: November 26, 2017, 03:19:59 pm »
I felt one of the missed opportunities in Nocturne was a Banshee card, so I made one!  I'm still toying with it, and not settled on the effects each card type should give.

(this article is definitely not finished - commentary invited!)

To some, it’s the only Dominion experience they will ever have; to others, it’s the boring introductory hurdle they have to get past before they can play with the fun stuff in the expansions.  But the Base Set has a lot to offer any Dominion player (particularly after the changes made in the Second Edition) - there’s a reason why each of these cards, which for the most part might seem pretty simple, were included in this first set.  Where CCGs like Magic or Hearthstone have a Core Set or Classic Set, Dominion has the Base Set, and it serves a similar function.  Let’s explore it!

First off, yes, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, Dominion has been revised into a Second Edition.  For the most part, that has simply meant a tidying up of wordings on cards, nicer-looking formatting, and a switch from masculine pronouns to gender neutral pronouns.  But a couple cards have seen functional changes, and twelve cards from the first two sets (this one and Intrigue) have been removed entirely, and replaced with new ones.  So that means no more Chancellor, Woodcutter, Feast, Spy, Thief, or Adventurer; they have been replaced with Harbinger, Merchant, Vassal, Poacher, Bandit, Sentry, and Artisan.  If you’re not familiar with the new cards, you can find images of them and transcriptions of their card texts on the DominionStrategy Wiki.

So what does being a Base Set mean, other than simply being first?  Firstly, the set contains the simplest forms of most categories of card: village, terminal draw, gainer, trasher, all the various attacks, et cetera.  These cards are so basic that many other cards from the expansions are considered “variants” of them; we have Workshop variants, Remodel variants, Throne Room variants, and most cards that give +1 Card and +2 Actions have “Village” in their name.  These cards are here not just because they are simple, but so that players can get used to these simple forms, and recognize when later cards are variations on their theme.  It’s a little easier to see a pattern when your first terminal draw card is Smithy, rather than, say, Journeyman.

It also means that the broad deck archetypes can be found here in their simplest forms: you have draw and payload for engines, you can go for a Workshop/Gardens rush, you can turn games into a slog with Witch, and if all else fails, you can always use Smithy or Council Room for big money.

Let’s take a quick look at the stand-out cards of the Base Set:

Chapel: Often cited as the most powerful card relative to its cost in the game.  As was discussed in the trashing article, trashing is very useful, and this is one of the best trashers in the game.  One of the key turning points in becoming a good player is recognizing the benefit of trashing, and that discovery is most often made when playing with Chapel, and seeing what happens when you just trash away all your starting Estates and Coppers.  Even with the release of newer trashers, Chapel remains dominant, and there are very few instances where you won’t want to open with Chapel.

Witch: Most players’ first encounter with Curses, and one of the strongest cursing cards.  Even though it only draws 2 cards, Witch can still be used for a big money deck, simply because of much it stymies your opponent.  The only reason you shouldn’t get a Witch as soon as possible is if there is an even more powerful junking attack on the board (and there are a couple out there).

Artisan: Added in the Second Edition, Artisan is a quite powerful gainer, especially if you can grab one early.  If there’s an engine to be made on a board, Artisan will get it up and running a lot faster.  Failing that, it can at least gain Duchies.

Throne Room: The ability to play another Action twice might seem innocuous at first, but Throne Rooms (and other cards like them) can form the backbone of an engine.  Consider that Throne Room on a Smithy has the same effect as playing two Smithies, but only costs one Action.  It can also be more cost efficient when you use it on more expensive Actions (like Artisan).  And when you start Throning Throne Rooms, the card acts almost like a Village.

Laboratory: The simplest form of non-terminal draw.  Winning the Laboratory split can often win you the game, as enough of them can easily draw most of your deck.

Village: The simplest Kingdom card to give +2 Actions, and thus also one of the cheaper ones.  Most engines require a Village-type card, and the original is still one of the better ones, if only for how cheaply you can get it.

An exhaustive look at each of the remaining cards would take far too long, and many of them have their own individual articles you can take a gander at.  Hopefully you at least have an appreciation for the solid foundation the Base Set provides.

Variants and Fan Cards / Night village: Candle
« on: November 25, 2017, 03:49:19 pm »
The idea was to have a Night card that let you play more Actions.  Flavor - you light a candle at night to let you do more stuff.

Variants and Fan Cards / Split pile: Attendants/Old God
« on: November 19, 2017, 11:46:24 am »
Attendants go on top of Old God.

I wanted a card that let you gain cards to your hand, and it only made sense to have it as a split pile, so you could guarantee having a gainer in the kingdom.  Well, I also made the gainer expensive and have an Attack.

EDIT: Quick change to Old God so it can't gain itself.

Puzzles and Challenges / Courtier's Wet Dream Kingdom
« on: November 18, 2017, 08:05:18 pm »
Can you set up a Kingdom that uses every possible card type for Kingdom cards?  (I'm pretty certain it's impossible to have one Kingdom cover every card type, including non-Supply card types like Spirit and Prize)

One rule: no Black Market.

Rules Questions / Vassal/Faithful Hound
« on: November 16, 2017, 10:10:40 pm »
So if you choose to set aside Faithful Hound when it's discarded by Vassal, Vassal will lose track of it and won't put it into your play area, but can you still "play" it?  I.e. get the +2 Cards?  Is "playing" and getting a card's on-play effect contingent on moving it into the play area?

Puzzles and Challenges / Puzzle: Smuggler's Choice
« on: November 15, 2017, 11:06:31 am »
You want to give the player to your left their pick of anything in the Supply (costing or less) to gain with their Smuggler.  Can you construct a turn where you gain every card in the Supply that Smuggler is allowed to gain?  Bonus points given for efficiency and creativity (so not just, I have a billion coins and a billion buys).

Your choice of Kingdom, though obviously Smuggler has to be included.

Dominion General Discussion / What do you forget IRL?
« on: October 28, 2017, 07:48:12 am »
Personally, I always forget the when-gain Gold-gain on Fortune.

Dominion Articles / Dominion 101: What is an engine?
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:54:22 pm »
Dominion 101 is a series geared toward newer players.

What is an engine?

One of the most important strategic concepts in Dominion is the engine.  Most experienced Dominion players will spend their first few moments of a game looking at the Kingdom and figuring out if an engine is possible, and if so, how they can cobble one together.  Engine strategies can reliably beat most decks that just buy bigger and bigger Treasures (called Big Money decks), and getting an engine running is for many players one of the most satisfying and rewarding parts of playing the game.

So what exactly is an engine?  An engine is characterized by two main features:
  • Strong draw, typically being able to draw your entire deck in a single turn
  • Payload, powerful cards that either help your deck, hinder your opponent, or let you gain multiple Victory cards in a turn
If the strong draw and/or payload is terminal (that is, not giving any +Action when played), an engine will also require a card that gives at least +2 Actions (usually called Villages, after the simplest Kingdom card that gives this effect).

For an example of each of these, we need look no further than the recommended First Game from the Base Set: Cellar, Moat, Merchant, Village, Workshop, Militia, Remodel, Smithy, Market, Mine.  (If you don’t recognize Merchant, it was added in the Second Edition, which we’ll discuss next time, and replaces Woodcutter in this game.)  For our strong draw, we have Smithy, which gives a snazzy +3 Cards for the low, low price of .  However, it is also terminal - if you play Smithy as your first Action on a turn, you can’t play any more Actions afterwards, which undermines the whole point of making an engine in the first place.  So we’ll also rely on Village to give us the extra Actions necessary to play enough Smithies to draw our entire deck.

But we can’t stop here; one of the common pitfalls newer players experience is grabbing a bunch of Villages and Smithies, but not adding in anything else to the mix other than maybe a couple Treasures.  That kind of deck can pretty reliably draw itself, but then you’re stuck with a bunch of coins and only one Buy, and now you’re not doing any better than the Big Money deck, except you’re actually a few turns behind; while you were picking up the Villages and Smithies, the Big Money player was picking up Silvers and Golds and has already bought a Province or two, and there’s no way you’ll catch up to them at this point.  What you need is the final, and most crucial, engine ingredient: payload.

Payload is just a fancy word for “whatever makes your engine worth it”.  This can be a +Buy card like Market, or an Attack like Militia.  An engine may have several different payloads, and the engine from the First Game has room for a few.  You could pick up a Mine, which increases the overall buying power of your Treasures.  You’ll also need Markets, so that you have the extra Buys necessary to gain multiple Provinces a turn near the end of the game, and a Militia would certainly be recommended, to slow down your opponent.

Engines do take a bit of time to get going, and an opponent that’s more focused on Treasures will probably start buying Provinces while you’re still building.  This process can be helped along by “engine enablers”: essentially any card that speeds up your engine construction.  In the First Game, both Workshop and Remodel serve this role, as both can help you add more than one engine piece to your deck per turn.  Remodel is also the only way to get rid of your Estates on this board, and as we discussed last time, that’s quite important to do, particularly so for an engine, which can’t afford to hit a snag like drawing an Estate instead of a card that can actually draw.  Besides gainers and trashers, enablers can include sifters (cards that cycle through your deck) like Cellar, and +Buy cards like Market.  There is a bit of overlap with payload cards, as many payload cards, like Market, also function as enablers.

If there are enablers on the board, you’ll most likely want to open with them, to get your engine going as quickly as possible.  Look specifically for trashers (like Remodel), and gainers (like Workshop).  Notice that Mine, despite being a trasher, is not an enabler, but only payload; this is because it replaces a trashed Treasure with another Treasure, keeping the number of “stop cards” (cards that don’t draw) in your deck constant.  While an engine will usually need a couple stop cards to serve as payload, most cards in an engine should be helping you draw the rest of your deck.  Once you’ve picked up your enablers, focus on getting your engine pieces (your draw and Villages), before starting to pick up payload.  Once your engine is mostly drawing your entire deck, and has enough payload to gain more than one Province per turn, you should start grabbing some Victory cards.  Be careful, though: start buying Provinces too soon, and your engine will sputter, and you will lose.  But hold off buying Provinces too long, and your opponent will get more Victory cards than you, and you will lose.  Knowing exactly when to start doing each step is not an exact art, and will take some practice to get right. 

Specifically for the First Game, my preferred method would be to open Silver/Remodel (or Workshop/Remodel, if I’m feeling lucky), then pick up a Mine with my first , and Markets with each subsequent , getting Villages, Smithies, and a single Militia as I can along the way.  Remodel turns my starting Estates into Villages and/or Smithies, then a Silver or two into an extra Market, and later in the game can turn Golds I get from Mine into Provinces.  A typical late game turn should see me draw my entire deck, play my Militia, Mine a Silver into a Gold, then immediately Remodel that Gold into a Province, then buy 2 more Provinces and maybe one other cheap card (usually Cellar).

Remember that, unless you’re pulling off a particularly wacky strategy, you’re still going to need some coins in order to buy everything.  The First Game provides this rather naturally, sticking it onto Market and Militia in addition to their +Buy and Attack payload.  Mine also serves this purpose in slowly upgrading your Treasures.  If a Kingdom has draw, +Action, and other sources of payload, but no useful Actions that give extra coins, then it’s perfectly fine to pick up a couple Golds to help serve as a payload.  However, in general, your engine should be made up almost entirely of Action cards, if possible.

So now when you see a board with good draw, a Village, and some cool payload cards, you’ll think to yourself, “It’s engine time.”

Dominion Articles / Why is trashing good? (Newb-oriented)
« on: September 30, 2017, 04:01:49 pm »
This article is aimed at newer players.  It is intended to be the first in an ongoing series entitled "Dominion 101".

Why is trashing good?

Dominion is a rich, complex game, whose strategic depths continue to be plumbed by even the most experienced of players.  But there are certain aspects of playing this deckbuilder that are considered fundamental to understanding it.  Once you’ve gotten a handle on the basic mechanics of the game, there are a few strategic concepts that must be mastered before you can start to become a better player.  It is the exploration of these fundamentals that will be the focus of this series, and our first topic is a concept that, when it clicks, can immediately improve how you play the game: the benefit of trashing.

Not every game of Dominion will have a card that lets you trash (hereafter referred to as a “trasher”), but quite a few do.  Some trash a single card, others multiple, some do other things in addition to trashing, but all of them trash.  The mechanic is simple: trashing removes one or more cards from your deck.  The difficulty lies in understanding whether or not it’s a good idea to trash.  New players usually understand the benefit of getting rid of Curses, which do nothing and detract from your point total.  Of course you want to get rid of those, who wouldn’t?  But often when a player is first told that they should trash their starting Estates and Coppers, they balk.  Estates are worth points!  And Copper is needed to buy cards!

So here we come to an idea of efficiency.  Yes, you need points to win the game.  Yes, you need coins to buy more cards.  But each Estate in your hand is wasted space.  That Estate could have been a Silver, or a Village, or a Market.  But because you didn’t want to trash it, it’s in your hand, giving you effectively 4 cards to work with instead of 5.  Would you rather have a hand of Estate, three Coppers, and Smithy, or a hand of Village, three Coppers, and Smithy?  Substituting one card can make a huge difference.  By getting rid of your starting Estates, you reduce the opportunities of wasted space in your hands from three to zero.

But what about the points?  Let’s look at a scenario.  Billy didn’t want to trash his Estates; he held onto them like an old woman onto her horde of near-feral cats, and that wasted space that keeps popping up in his hand means he keeps getting when he could have gotten or when he could have gotten .  His sister Lisa, on the other hand, has smartly cleared out her Estates with a trashing card, and that extra or in each hand because she drew a Copper or Silver instead of a worthless Estate means she was able to pick up a key Action, or a Province.  Now Lisa has three Provinces, and Billy still has his three starting Estates.  That’s 18 points to 3.  Having 6 points in one useless card is a lot better than only 1 point.  It’s more efficient.

Also consider that by the time you’re buying Provinces, your deck is probably a lot larger, and will be able to better handle a Victory card that just takes up space, compared to your first two turns, when you have 10-15 cards in your deck.

For fun, imagine that instead of starting with 3 Estates and 7 Coppers, you start the game with just 7 Coppers.  You’re guaranteed to buy a card costing $5 on your first turn, and have a chance to play it on your second turn!  That’s insane, isn’t it?  That’s how much those starting Estates slow you down.

But what about the Coppers?  They actually do something… don’t they?  Well, sure, they give you .  But there are better cards out there, and you’d rather be drawing those than a Copper.  Imagine replacing your starting 7 Coppers with 3 Silvers.  Or 3 Golds.  Not “add to your deck”.  “Replace with”.  That’s only possible with trashing.

Let’s check in again with Billy and Lisa.  Billy has finally figured out he needs to trash his starting Estates, but he’s holding onto his Coppers for dear life.  Meanwhile, Lisa has trashed all her starting cards, and has a deck of 5 Markets, 3 Silvers, 2 Golds, 3 Villages, and 2 Smithies, in addition to her trasher.  She is essentially guaranteed to draw her deck every turn, which will give her the ability to buy 2 Provinces.  Billy has (somehow) managed to get the same cards, in addition to his starting Coppers.  Theoretically, this gives him a higher coin output, even potentially buying 3 Provinces in one turn, but in practice, there’s almost no way that will happen.  It’s far more likely he’ll have a hand of 3 Coppers, Silver, and Village, and then his Village will draw another Copper, and his turn will be over.  While Lisa gets to draw her deck every turn and buy multiple Victory cards, Billy is stuck playing maybe one Action per turn.

Now to be fair, there are a few styles of deck that don’t really want to trash.  You could be going for Gardens, and want your deck to be as big and bloated as possible, and aren’t really too concerned about making more than .  Or maybe you just want to buy Silvers and Golds (and maybe one Action) and run a Big Money deck.  But Gardens needs certain other enabling cards to be present to give you more points than Provinces, and a Big Money strategy can never do better than buying one Province per turn.  These strategies are usually beaten by an engine, which we’ll cover next time.

In conclusion: trash early; trash often.  Trashing is your friend.  (Coppers and Estates are not, they hate you, they say nasty things about you behind your back.  KILL THEM ALL)  Ahem.  At the very least, trashing away your starting cards can give you an edge over your friends, and maybe then you can teach them something about how to play Dominion.

Dominion Articles / Cartographer vs. Forum
« on: September 24, 2017, 10:25:46 pm »

Cartographer and Forum are both doing similar things - sifting through your deck.  In a very general sense, you could argue that Forum is better (not strictly better, just better), as it puts more cards from your deck into your hand, and allows discarding from both the new cards and old ones in your hand.  However, I think it's worth considering:

- Cartographer has a reach of 2 more cards
- Cartographer interacts with your deck
- Cartographer does not require discarding

The first point doesn't matter too much, but the second is quite important.  Cartographer can activate Mystics, Doctors, Vassals, Heralds, Wishing Wells...  Now granted, a few of those could be argued as not mattering too much since Forum just draws the cards you would have been guessing with Mystic or Wishing Well, but being able to trash non-blindly with Doctor, and being able to set up Vassal and Herald chains, is quite nice.  And if you don't have a source of +Buy, maybe you don't really want too much going into your hand, and would rather set up for next turn.

Anyway, I don't really know where I'm going with this, just something I was thinking of, particularly with a lot of talk during the last Qvist rankings about how Forum was a lot better than Cartographer, or that Forum even makes Cartographer obsolete.  I think Forum is probably a better card in a broad sense, but if you do have the particular interactions described above, I think Cartographer does still have value.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Official Dominion Online FAQ [Draft]
« on: September 20, 2017, 12:12:48 pm »
Hello, all!  It's, uh, me, I guess.  I've written up an Official FAQ for Dominion Online, included a tutorial for how to play, and a guide to Dominion Online's interface.  We'd like y'all's's opinions on it!

(the formatting here is a bit weird, but that's because the original is in a Google Doc with actual pictures and stuff)


Welcome to Dominion Online!

Dominion Online, developed by Shuffle iT, is the official platform to play Dominion, the award-winning deckbuilding card game created by Donald X. Vaccarino.

[picture of Matching screen]

Getting Started

Once you have logged in, you will be presented with the above screen.  The buttons along the top of the screen will take you to several different menus:

* Matching: This is the menu you start on when you log in.  Here you can be matched automatically with another human player, in either a ranked or practice game, or you can start a quick game against the AI.  Any game started this way will be played with a fully randomized set of Kingdom cards, according to your settings.  You can also see which of your Friends (or players that you follow) are online here, and join their Table if they have set one up.
* New Table: Here you can set up a Table.  Think of a Table as a digital version of a real-life board gaming table: this is where you can set up a game, and people can join your table to play with you. Unlike a game started under Matching, here you can choose what settings you wish to play with, including what cards you want to use, whether to use a Victory point counter, and whether players and spectators can see each other chatting.  If a player has joined your Table that you don’t wish to play with, you can kick them out.  Once all players have signalled they are Ready, the game begins.
* Tables: Here you can view all Tables set up by other players, and join a Table that is open.  You can also spectate games that are already in progress.
Options: This menu has a number of options related to the user interface that you can toggle.
* Friend List: Here you can add a Friend if you know their username, and view Friends you have already made.  You can also view those who have requested to be your Friend, and potentially accept their request.  You can also end friendships.  You can also check your Blacklist, which comprises the users who are no longer allowed to join games with you.  You are able to blacklist a user on the end game screen after playing a game with them, by clicking the lightning bolt icon.
* Familiar Cards: Here you can view every card in the game, including cards that you are not currently subscribed to.  If you have seen a card before, and feel comfortable playing with it, you can mark it as familiar.  If a card is unfamiliar to you, it will show up in grayscale.  To change the status of a card from unfamiliar to familiar (or vice versa) simply left-click it.  Right-clicking a card will show you an enlarged view of it, including its text.  When setting up a Table, you can choose to only use cards that are familiar to both players (you can find this under Advanced Options).  Ranked games do not respect familiar cards, and will take from all cards that the players are subscribed to.
* Leaderboard: Here you can see the current rankings of the top 20 players, yourself, and all of your friends.  Note that your ranking will not be calculated until you’ve played at least one ranked game, and updates at midnight UTC.  The rankings for 2-player games and 3-4-player games are calculated separately.
* Account: Here you can set your username, change your password, enter bonus codes for free subscriptions, and confirm your email address.
* Store: Here you can purchase a subscription to Dominion Online, as well as view your current subscription status.  Subscriptions can be for any length of time, but will run for a year by default.  Two subscriptions are available: the Silver subscription, which grants access to Intrigue, Seaside, Prosperity, Cornucopia, Hinterlands, Guilds, and Promotional cards; and the Gold subscription, which grants access to all currently released cards.  Cards from the Base Set are available for free, and do not require a subscription.  When a new set of cards is released, subscribers do not automatically get access to them; you will have to renew your subscription to play with the new set.  Note that all prices are listed in euros.

You will also note the smaller box in the lower right corner, with four more options:

* Inbox: Here you can view messages sent to your account by the development team.
* FAQ: This option will take you to this page.
* Need Help?: This option will direct you to the Support section of the Shuffle iT forum, where a moderator or member of the development team can assist you with your problem.
* Logout: This will log you out of the game, taking you to the login screen. Note that you can only change language settings when you are on the login screen.

[picture of game in progress]

How to Play

Dominion is a deckbuilding card game.  Each player starts the game with a small deck of low-quality cards, which they can use to add more cards to their deck.  The new cards they add can have a variety of effects, from drawing more cards into your hand, to being able to play more cards, to removing unwanted cards from your deck, to gaining more cards per turn than you would normally be able to, to hurling detrimental effects at your opponent(s).  As your deck gets better, you will be able to acquire better and more expensive cards, including the very important Province cards, which are worth 6 points at the end of the game.  However, the supply of cards is limited, and competition for certain cards will be fierce.  The game ends when either the Province pile, or any 3 piles, empty out completely.  At that point, the player with the most points wins.

[picture zoomed in on your side of the board with labels to deck, discard, etc.]

On your side of the game board are a few different areas:
* Your Hand: These are the cards you’re currently holding, and can see.  When you play a card, it will come from here.  You normally start your turn with 5 cards in your hand.
* Your Play Area: When you play a card, it will go here.
* Your Deck: When you draw a card, it will come from here.  You cannot see these cards, but you know how many cards are left in your deck.
* Your Discard Pile: When you discard a card, it will go here.  At the end of your turn, all cards you’ve played that turn will be put here.  When there aren’t enough cards left in your deck in order to do something, such as drawing cards, your discard pile is shuffled, and put under your deck.  You can only ever see the top card of your discard pile.

Your opponent has the same areas, just on their side of the board.  You cannot see what cards are in their hand, but you can see all the cards they’ve played, and the top card of their discard pile.  There is also a resource tracker in the center of the screen, that will say how many Actions, Buys, and Coins the current player has (see below), as well as what the current player can do, or if the game is waiting for someone to do something.

[picture of Supply from 2nd Edition rulebook]

Between the players is a communal area called the Supply.  This is the set of cards that players can add to their deck this game.  There is a set of seven Base Cards on the left side of the screen - Copper, Silver, Gold, Estate, Duchy, Province, and Curse.  These cards are in every game.  There are also 10 other cards called the Kingdom, which will change from game to game.  Whenever a player buys or otherwise gains a card, it will come from the Supply.  Each pile in the Supply has a limited number of cards in it, and when that pile runs out, cards can no longer be gained from it.

Card Types and Turn Phases

There are 3 main types of cards in the game:

* Victory cards: These cards have green borders, and are worth points at the end of the game, but don’t do anything else; they are essentially dead cards that take up space in your hand.  If you have too many of them in your deck, you may find your hands clogged with these Victory (or “green”) cards, and unable to do anything of value.  However, if you don’t get enough Victory cards, you may not have more points than your opponent, and will be in danger of losing.  Thus a delicate balance must be struck, in deciding when to start acquiring Victory cards, which ones to get, and how many of them to add to your growing deck.
* Treasure cards: These cards have yellow borders, and will be your main source of Coins, the resource used to buy cards.  During your turn, you will be able to play any number of Treasures, each of which will produce some amount of Coins, typically shown on a large Coin symbol on the card.  With the total amount of Coins you’ve produced, you will be able to buy one card from the Supply - each card has a cost in Coins shown in its lower left corner.  After you buy a card, it is put into your discard pile; the next time you shuffle, it will be added to your deck, and you will be able to use it when it shows up in your hand.
* Action cards: These cards usually have white borders, though a few have an extra type (or two, or three) that gives them an additional or alternate color.  You can only play one Action per turn.  However, Actions have a wide range of abilities, and some can even let you play more Actions afterwards.  Actions are the most common type of card in Dominion.

There is also one card with its own, eponymous type: the Curse card.  Curses have purple borders, and are worth -1 points.  You will usually not want to buy these, but a few Attack cards can force you to add a Curse to your deck.

Each turn is broken down into 3 phases:

* Action phase: To start your turn, you may play one Action card.  Specifically, you have 1 Action to use, which you can spend to play an Action card.  Note that Actions, a resource you accumulate, are different from Action cards.  You spend an Action to play an Action card.  The resource counter tab in the center of the game screen tells you how many Actions you have remaining.  Often when you play an Action card, it will yield an extra 1 or 2 Actions, allowing you to play more Actions afterwards.  When you play an Action, it goes into your play area, and you follow the directions written on it.  While most effects are written out, there are a few very common effects that are written in a shorthand:
** +X Cards: Draw that number of cards from your personal deck, and add them to your hand.
** +X Actions: Add that many Actions to your total, allowing you to play that many more Action cards this turn.
** +X Buys: Add that many Buys to your total, allowing you to buy that many more cards this turn (see below).
** +X Coins (represented by a Coin symbol): Add that much Coin to your total, giving you that much more to spend on buying one or more cards this turn.
* Buy phase: After you have finished playing Action cards (either because you’ve run out of Actions or Action cards, or because you decided you didn’t want to play any more), you may play any number of Treasures.  You may then buy one card.  Specifically, you have 1 Buy to use, which you can spend on a purchase.  Some Action cards (and a few special Treasures) allow you to buy additional cards during this phase.  The resource counter tab in the center of the game screen tells you how many Buys you have remaining.  When you buy a card, the cost of the card is deducted from your current Coin total, and one of your Buys is spent.  You may then buy another card, and so on, until you have no Buys remaining, or have decided you don’t want to buy anything else.  Note that some cards cost 0 Coins - it still costs a Buy to buy one, though.
* Clean-up phase:  After you have finished buying cards, you then discard any cards you have played this turn, and any cards left in your hand.  Discarding cards puts them into your discard pile.  You then draw 5 cards from your deck, to be your hand for your next turn.  If there are not enough cards left in your deck to do this, your discard pile is shuffled, and is put under what remains of your deck, and then your new hand is drawn.  The same applies anytime you need to do something with the top of your deck and not enough cards remain.

Note that you are never forced to play an Action during your Action phase, and you are never forced to buy a card during your Buy phase, even if you have Actions or Buys remaining, respectively.  You can always choose to end the phase early, and move on to the next one.  After you’ve finished your Clean-up phase, play moves to the person to your left, and they take their turn, in the same 3 phases.  Once play returns to you, you will start again with a new Action phase, and have 1 Action and 1 Buy to use. If  either the Province pile, or any 3 piles, are completely empty after a player’s turn, the game ends immediately and each player’s Victory points are counted.

Secondary Types and Keywords

Some cards have more than one type.  The most common secondary type is Attack.  This does not have any special ability associated with it, it just signifies that this card has a hostile effect on other players.  Some other effects also reference Attack cards - several of these are Reaction cards, which have blue borders.  A Reaction card has an effect that can be used at an unusual time, which is most often detailed on the lower half of its card text, beneath a dividing line.  For example, the Moat card can be revealed from your hand when another player plays an Attack, to protect you from the Attack’s effects.  There are also other secondary types, with their own rules and peculiarities.

You will find that the text of most Dominion cards is fairly straightforward in detailing the effect of the card.  However, there are a few keywords with a specific meaning:

* Gain: Take a card from the Supply, and put it into your discard pile.  The Supply is the set of cards that make up the large part of the game board, as described above.   The most usual way to gain a card is to first buy it, but some effects instruct you to gain a card without buying it.
* Discard: Put a card into your discard pile.  If an effect doesn’t otherwise specify, cards are discarded from your hand.  Some effects will tell you to discard a card from another location, though, such as your deck, and all the cards you have in play get discarded during your Clean-up phase.  Note that when you play a card, it is not immediately put into your discard pile; it stays in your play area until your Clean-up phase.
* Trash: Put a card into the trash pile.  The trash pile is used by all players as a receptacle for cards removed from their deck.  Cards can only be trashed if an effect says so.  Be careful: discarding and trashing are different things.  If you discard a card, it will eventually be shuffled back into your deck and you will see it again in your hand; if you trash a card, it is removed from your deck entirely, and it will not show up in your hand again.
* Reveal: Show this to all players.  After a card is revealed, it is returned to where it came from, unless otherwise specified.
* Look at: Only you get to see this.  After you look at a card, it is returned to where it came from, unless otherwise specified.
* Set aside: Put this card off to one side, not in your hand, play area, or discard pile, or on your deck.  Cards are set aside face up by default, but some effects may tell you to set a card aside face down.  Cards remain set aside until the effect that put them there says otherwise, or else until the end of the game.

There are also a few other keywords, mainly to do with different types of tokens, but they don’t appear on very many cards.

You may sometimes see an Event or Landmark in the game - these are not cards, and cannot be added to your deck.  An Event is an effect that can be bought, just like a card, but the effect happens right away.  However, if you want the effect to happen again, you will have to buy the Event again.  Buying an Event costs a Buy, just like buying a card.  An Event’s cost is in its upper left corner.  A Landmark is not bought; it is instead a rule change for scoring in the game.  It provides a new way to acquire points other than buying Victory cards.  It is not recommended that you play with either Events or Landmarks if you are unfamiliar with the game.

Using the Dominion Online Interface

To play a card from your hand, or to buy or otherwise gain a card from the Supply, simply left-click it.  If you only want to view the card, right-click it instead, and you will be shown an enlarged version of the card, including its full text.  During your Buy phase, there is a button “Autoplay Treasures” which will play all of your Treasures from your hand so you don’t have to click on them each individually. 

Cards that you are able to play will have a shining green border around them.  Cards that you are able to discard will have a shining amber border around them.  Cards that you are able to trash will have a shining red border around them.  Cards that you are able to buy or gain will have a blue plus sign in their lower right corner.  Any other effect that requires you to choose a card will highlight allowed cards in green.

Each pile in the Supply, and each player’s deck, has a red number in the upper left corner indicating how many cards are left in it.  Identical cards in your hand, or that you have in play next to each other, are stacked, with a red number in the corner of the stack to indicate how many of the same card are there.

As a game proceeds, everything that happens is recorded in the log, on the right side of the screen.  The log is color-coded by card type, and can help you figure out what happened on a particularly complicated turn, or you can use it to check back on something if you forget what happened.  A few abilities must be done through the log: specifically, the calling of Reserve cards and the ordering of simultaneous effects are prompted in blue text at the bottom of the log.

Below the log is the chat, where you can communicate with any other players, as well as any spectators.

Above the log are three options:

* View trash: This shows you the current contents of the trash.  To switch back to the log, simply click “View log”, which replaces the “View trash” button when you are viewing the trash.
* Undo: Request to undo the most recent thing that happened.  Your opponent(s) must allow the undo in order for it to happen.  While refusing may seem unsportsmanlike, it is every player’s right to refuse an undo request.
* Resign: Concede the game, ending it.  This counts as a loss for you if it is a ranked game.  When another player resigns, the remaining players can choose to continue playing with a bot filling the role of the resigner.  However, resigning in games with more than two players is not encouraged; you will take a greater ratings penalty than if you had simply played the game through and lost.  While conceding to only one other person (or to bots) can be the right decision if it’s clear the other person will win, conceding to more players makes the game less fun for the players remaining in the game.

Next to each player’s deck is their username, and a point counter, which tracks how many Victory points that player would have if the game were to end at that moment.  If you hover your mouse over a player’s username, you can see any cards they have set aside or on mats, and any Duration cards they have in play from previous turns.  If a player has any tokens, their count is displayed next to the player’s username.

[end of game screen]

After a game has ended, you are shown the game end screen.  On the left are the options chosen for the Table.  On the right are the contents of each player’s deck at the end of the game, and the chat.  In the center is a description of the outcome of the game, including the winner, and the score of each player, including a list of the sources of their Victory points.  From here, you can choose to replay the Table by clicking Ready, or you can leave the Table or edit its settings.


If your question is not answered here, you can always post on the Support subforum, or join Shuffle iT’s Discord channel at

Getting Started

* Where do I go to play?  The URL for Dominion Online is
* I used an older digital Dominion implementation, why can’t I log in?  If you had an account with a previous implementation, your username from that implementation has been reserved.  However, you will need to create a new account for Shuffle iT’s implementation.  You should have received an email from at the start of January 2017, describing how you can create your account.  If you have not received this email, or are having trouble, please contact a moderator or member of the development team either in the Support subforum here, or on Shuffle iT’s Discord channel.
* How can I make a new account?  Click the Sign Up button on the login screen and follow the instructions.  This will give you access to the cards of the Base Set, and you can always purchase a subscription for more.
* Can I play offline or on my mobile device?  Unfortunately not.  Our development team is working on it, however.
How do I change languages?  To change languages, you must log out of the game, so that you’re on the login screen.  There is a list of flags on the left side of this screen; click the one corresponding to your preferred language.  Dominion Online currently supports English, German, Japanese, and Russian.


* I already bought all the expansions on a previous implementation, why do I have to buy them again?  Dominion Online operates on a subscription system.  If you had purchased any sets on a previous iteration of online Dominion, you will receive a subscription up to January 2018 to those sets at no charge.  However, after that time, you will need to renew your subscription to continue playing with them.  You can also subscribe to additional expansions at any time; if you do, you will only be charged for the sets that you do not currently have.
* Do all my friends have to buy their own subscriptions?  When setting up a game with another player, you can use any of the cards that either of you are subscribed to.  So if one player has subscribed to all cards, and another has a free account, they can still play with all the cards together.  In this case, it operates exactly like bringing your own expansions to a friendly board game night - everyone gets to play with whatever is brought to the table.
* I thought I had bought everything, why does the store say I haven’t?  When new content is added to Dominion Online, it is not added automatically to a full subscription for free. You will have to subscribe separately to the new content.  This does mean that Gold subscriptions will get more expensive over time as new sets are released.
* I have a bonus code from a physical set, how do I redeem it?  Go to the Account tab, and you will find a field to validate your code.  A bonus code can be redeemed for a year’s subscription to any set of the same size or smaller of the set you got the bonus code from.  (Large expansions are Dark Ages, Adventures, Empires, Nocturne; medium expansions are Base, Intrigue, Seaside, Prosperity, Hinterlands; small expansions are Alchemy, Cornucopia, Guilds.)  Currently, only the German version of the Second Edition of the Base Set comes with a bonus code.  Bonus codes from some first edition physical sets were meant for a previous implementation of online Dominion, and are no longer valid.

Cards and Content

* Some cards are missing from the Base Set and Intrigue, where are they?  In 2016, Dominion began to be republished under a Second Edition.  For the most part, this simply meant tidying up card text and adding gender-neutral wordings, but a handful of cards each were removed from the Base Set and Intrigue, and replaced with new cards.  It is believed by the designer and playtesters that these changes have made the first two sets of Dominion more well-balanced, and more enjoyable to play.  Shuffle iT has no plans to implement the cards that were removed.
* Where is Stash, and why is it banned?  Unfortunately, Stash has not yet been implemented.  Our development team is working on it, however.
* Where are the Campaigns?  While we all enjoyed the Campaigns of previous online Dominion iterations, we do not have a similar feature at this time.  Our development team is working on it, however.
* Why do my games only have cards from the Base Set?  Check your familiar cards settings.  If you haven’t checked anything outside of the Base Set as familiar, then you’ll only get Base Set cards when you set up a table.

Gameplay and Interface

* How do I look at the text of a card?  Simply right-click on a card to get an enlarged view of it, including its text.  Then click anywhere else on the screen to dismiss this.  You can also right click on card names in the log for the same effect.
* How can I see the bottom card of a split pile, or all the Knights, Ruins or Castles?  Unfortunately you can only view the top card of a pile at this time.  Our development team is working on changing that, however.
* How can I see what cards I have on mats, or Duration cards played last turn?  Hover your mouse over a player’s name, and the log will be replaced with the contents of that player’s mats, and any Durations in play from a previous turn.
* How can I call a Reserve card?  When a Reserve can be called, or when you need to choose the order of effects, blue text will appear at the bottom of the log, which you can click on.  Our development team is working on a better interface for this.
* Where’s the Trade Route mat?  Unfortunately this is not yet implemented.  Our development team is working on it, however.
* I wanted to play Crown during my Buy phase, but it didn’t let me double a Treasure!  Make sure you click End Actions before you play Crown if you want to double a Treasure.  Otherwise, the game will think you’re still in your Action phase.
* Which side of the Journey token is which?  If the Journey token is showing a boot, it is face up.  If it is a green circle, it is face down.
* Can I undo more than one step at a time?  Yes, just type “/undo” in the chat, without quotes, and a dot will appear at each step in the log.  Click the dot at the step you wish to go back to.
* My opponent is taking a really long time to do anything, is that allowed?  We can all take a while to think about our decisions sometimes, but if a player is consistently taking an inordinate amount of time to perform every single thing they do, this is called “slowplaying”, and is not allowed on Dominion Online.  If you run into such a player, you can Blacklist them at the end of the game, and if they are particularly egregious in this behavior, you can report them to a moderator or member of the development team on the Support subforum, or the Shuffle iT Discord channel.
* My opponent is refusing my undo requests, is that allowed?  Yes, it is. It is the right of every player to refuse an undo request.  If you don’t like it, you can always Blacklist a player for any reason (or no reason), but such behavior does not merit reporting.
* I’m stuck in a game, what do I do? or What is “kicking”?  On the login screen, there is the option to “kick” out any other instances where you are currently logged in.  Doing so will log you in on the instance you do this from, and log you out everywhere else, and also end any game that you’re in the middle of playing.  “Kick & Resign” does the same thing.  This can be useful if the game crashes and you get stuck with a loading screen.  If you experience such a problem, please report it on the Bug Reports subforum so our development team can look into it and hopefully fix it.

Rules Questions / Possession+Ball
« on: September 03, 2017, 11:26:59 pm »
Okay, just to check I have this right (starting a new topic because the old one is locked):

-If I Possess someone and make them take their - token (usually by making them buy Ball), I get the token instead.  Say if they're green and I'm yellow, I take their green token.  This much I understand.
-Following on that, if I buy Ball the turn I play Possession, that should mean that after Possessing the green player and making them buy Ball, I should have two - tokens - my yellow one, and their green one.  This seems pretty obvious.
-Then when green takes their unPossessed turn, they can buy Ball without taking a - token because I currently have theirs, and they couldn't take mine (or anyone else's) even if it were available.
-However, here we come to a tricky bit: let's say I (yellow) play a single Copper on my next turn, producing , triggering the - tokens.  Do they activate one at a time?  Do I choose which one?  My guess would be they both trigger, and you end up losing , but there is no stipulation on the token saying you can't go below , so does that leave you with - to spend?  What would that even mean?
-Let's say I've managed to lose the green token.  Now green player buys their own Ball.  Do they take that green - token again?  Or have my Possession shenanigans prevented them from ever having to take it again this game?

Variants and Fan Cards / King & Queen
« on: August 10, 2017, 01:04:14 pm »
An idea I had.  Thought of the King first, then came up with an idea for the Queen.


For the rest of the game, after you finish playing a card, if it was the first time you played a copy of that card this turn and it's still in play, play it again.
(This stays in play.)


At the start of each of your turns for the rest of the game, trash a Province from the Supply.
While this is in play, when you play a card, +1.
(This stays in play.)

EDIT: King should probably say "another card" so it doesn't trigger itself.

Dominion General Discussion / Cover artist credit
« on: August 05, 2017, 12:47:01 am »
I want to add the cover artists of each set to the list of illustrators, but I unfortunately threw away a lot of my boxes when I moved.  I was able to find a few of them by googling images for the backs of the boxes, but I can't find images for the backs of English copies of Dark Ages, Adventures or Empires.  Also, Alchemy and Cornucopia's boxes do not list a cover artist.  Does anyone know who illustrated the covers for those sets?

Another wiki overhaul is happening!  A while back, user Dbclick edited the "In other languages" and "Alternate versions" portions of Artisan and Bandit to be a single "Versions" section, using a table format to make everything more compact and easy to parse.  I quite like the format, and I'm going to start slowly changing all existing card pages to it.  The great thing about it is that there is now a way to document card texts in different languages!  This can probably be limited to the three non-English languages on Dominion Online to start with - German, Japanese and Russian.  I can take care of the German and Russian texts myself, but given that my current version of typing in Japanese is hunting for the right character on the "List of Kanji" page on Wikipedia and copy-pasting it, I would not be the best person to put up Japanese card text.  So I'm asking for help!  If majiponi (the user behind the Japanese translations for Dominion Online) could help himself, that would be awesome, but I'll take what I can get.

I also welcome any help doing any of the other transition work - adding the tables to the card pages, plunking card text, whether in English, German or Russian.  I'll get to it myself eventually, but if more people help, the faster it gets done.  I'm starting in the Base set, so feel free to start in a later expansion if you're up for it.

An example of the new format:

Question I found on reddit that I felt might be appropriate:  You are killed and Death lets you choose a game to challenge him at for another chance at life. What game do you choose?

Other Games / Temporum Rules Questions
« on: July 15, 2017, 12:06:28 am »
When I draw 2 cards for Age of Toys' effect, does that proc Explorer's coin gain?

Feedback / Mouse scroll not working?
« on: April 16, 2017, 11:14:10 pm »
I can no longer scroll with my mouse wheel on f.ds.  This is so far the only website I'm having this trouble with, so I don't think it's my mouse.

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