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Variants and Fan Cards / A Reaction to Junking
« on: September 29, 2016, 09:17:30 am »
Palisade $3
Action - Reaction

+1 Card
+1 Action
You may return all set aside cards to your discard pile. If you do, +$1 for each card returned.
When you gain a Curse, Ruins, or Victory card, you may reveal this from your hand. If you do, set aside the gained card.

The idea is that you still gain the "bad" cards, but don't have to have them in your deck (they will be added at the end of the game).
If you want to have a big turn, you can return them to your deck and they'll get shuffled in eventually.

I don't know whether adding them to the discard is fine, or it should be deck or hand, but it's just the instant-Island effect which I think is pretty cute.

Rules Questions / Inheritance
« on: June 17, 2016, 05:47:00 am »
I noticed something during Mic's match with Stef: If you buy an Estate while inheriting Ports, you get an extra Port. Stef said this was correct and I usually trust him on rule issues like this, since he has to check these things for the new online Dominion.

I guess this is because the "when you buy this" is checked after "this" has been bought (as was similarly discussed about when-gain). When you buy it, it becomes yours, so the Estate is yours and Inheritance kicks in, so you get an extra Port (the Estate doesn't know any better, it thinks it's a Port).

Pretty cool.

Now, you can have even more fun, buy an Estate, gain a Port, reveal Trader to get a Silver instead of the Estate.

Dominion: Empires Previews / Empires previews subforum
« on: May 06, 2016, 08:39:04 am »
Can someone make the appropriate subform for Donald to post his previews in?

Variants and Fan Cards / Reaction to Drawing
« on: April 20, 2016, 06:46:39 am »
Here's an idea for reacting to drawing:

Town Crier - $3
Action - Reaction

+2 Cards

When you are instructed to draw any number of cards, you may reveal this from your hand. If you do, get that many Actions instead.

The wording is like that, because I didn't want to make it possible to do this with Smithy:
Draw 1
Reveal to get +1 Action
Draw 1

You either get the Cards, or the Actions, not a mix of both by playing one card.

So with Smithy, you choose between +3 Cards and +3 Actions.
You can use this when an opponent plays Council Room or Soothsayer.

At the start of the game, each player is given a copy of their own Castle.

Each buy phase, players may choose to spend $1 building their Castle, putting a building token on their Castle if they do.

Castle reads:

Castle - Building

Once Castle has 5 tokens on it, when another player plays an Attack, it doesn't affect you.

The actual Castle card or the text on it doesn't matter here, how about these kinds of cards you can spend some of your money on? You have less money to buy cards, but get something good after you've built your Castle. Besides Castle, there can be various buildings.

Variants and Fan Cards / Thriftshop: a shared Native Village mat
« on: March 03, 2016, 06:21:38 am »
I had an idea for a card.

Thrift Shop - $3

+1 Action
Put a card from your hand on the Thrift Shop mat; or take all cards from the Thrift Shop mat into your hand.

The thrift shop mat is a shared mat so when players take cards from it, they also take cards that were put there by other players.
During the early game, it acts just like a regular trasher, say Forager, but there are certain points when the amount of Coppers and Estates reaches a tipping point. You can even add Curses to sweeten the pot!

When it hits $8 Coppers, it's a guaranteed Province, but you can even take it with less Coppers so that your opponent can't use it to get a Province.

Granted, the title is somewhat vague, but here's an example of what I mean.

Let's say I'm playing a money-ish game and I have $6 after a shuffle, there's some $5 I really want one copy of right now, but not two (just yet).
I'll often go ahead and buy the $5 with my $6 hand (fearing I won't have $5 later this shuffle), only having to buy a Silver with my next $5 hand.
If the situation was reversed, $5 first, $6 second, I could have gotten the same $5 with a Gold.

But of course when I buy a Gold with that $6 hand, I end up with $4's for the rest of the shuffle and won't be able to buy the $5 I so desperately want.

Something I can improve on is to think shuffle to shuffle instead of hand to hand. With any given hand, I tend to think only about the spending power of the current hand and getting the cards I would like to have right now (not next shuffle). So for example if I have too much terminals right now, I might be more inclined to overpay for a Village.

At the start of the shuffle, think: what does my deck look like now and what do I need for the next shuffle? Then try and get those cards in the order that optimizes your chances of getting all of them.

What are you guys' thoughts on this? Do you think about it this way, do you have the same problems as me?

Hello, puzzlers!

It's almost that time of the year again, time for one of the hardest puzzles on the internet.

This is from their page over at
The Logica Armchair Treasure Hunt was established in 1985 and became something of a Logica institution. In 2014, after the sun set on Logica, this independent web site was setup to continue the tradition of an annual Christmas hunt. Past setters of the Logica ATH are managing the transition of the hunt from a company activity to a standalone event. The competition is now open to all comers. If this is your first year you are advised to start here.

Every year, just before Christmas, a different setter buries or hides a small box somewhere in England. They then design a set of elaborate puzzles and clues that reveal where it is hidden. Those clues are posted on this website. The challenge is to be the first to unearth the box, a task that usually takes a dedicated team anywhere from a week to a month to accomplish.

There is a trophy for being the first to reach the box, the "Pablo Memorial Trophy", and a trophy for the best solution, the "Setters' Trophy". The winners hold their trophies for a year. The team that is first to the box cannot win the "Setters' Trophy".

Although the hunt is now open to all comers there are no cash prizes. If an individual or organization would like to contribute to the running of this site, or sponsor a prize fund, then please contact the Past Setters.

This site contains the Current Hunt, a History of previous hunts, some Guidelines and other useful material for new entrants, and Resources for Armchair Treasure Hunt setters. Refer to the Contacts page for the current website owner.

Pablo, who was responsible for the Logica Armchair Treasure Hunt and much of this website besides, sadly passed away after a long battle against cancer in October 2007. He is very much missed by all ATHers and this site has been named in his memory.

If you'd like to be part of this year's ATH, pm Ozle for access (is he still around?) and join us in the private forum to solve this year's puzzle.

Variants and Fan Cards / Something Simple
« on: October 03, 2015, 03:47:35 am »
Beer Wagon - Action - $4

+1 Action
+1 VP Token

You may spend any number of VP tokens. If you do, +1 card for every VP token spent this way.

Doesn't seem that original, but I haven't seen it before. $3 seems a bit too low for it.

Forum Games / Anyone for 7 Wonders Babel?
« on: November 09, 2014, 08:09:46 am »
Now that 7 Wonders Babel is finally out, who wants to have a go?

My suggestion would be to include all expansions, because why not?
7 Wonders Babel includes 2 exapnsions: The Tower of Babel and something where you can (try) to build common projects for a gain or a penalty.

Here's a vid review:

The moderator would only have to shuffle the cards, right?

Dominion Articles / Top 10 Cards beginners don't understand
« on: October 20, 2014, 02:52:08 pm »
This list is heavily inspired by shark_bait's list.

I would like to present my top 10 cards beginners don't understand. What I mean by this is cards whose power level isn't immediately apparent. Even beginning players will understand the power of Goons to some extent (as they will likely love Militia) and King's Court (because Throne Room/Lab is already a superdupercombo!). This list tries to point out a lot of the more subtle cards, cards which tend to be overlooked by beginning players, but are a big part of expert players' arsenal.

I was a beginner once and scoffed at these cards. Why would anyone ever buy that card? Only after I learned more and more about the game I came to realize that those cards held a secret power, only unveiled to initiates. Most of the time the experience curve of such a card is as follows: From "it sucks!" to "it's overpowered!" to finally realizing when it's good and when it isn't.

Having a good understanding of these 10 cards will help you a lot with your game.

Enough meta-discussion, on with the list!

Honorable Mentions
These cards just missed my top 10, but maybe they would have made yours: Wharf, Duke, Menagerie and Fool's Gold

10. Vineyard

At first it seems just a novelty, a card which gives VPs for action cards. It's much more than that. When you're playing any kind of engine, you will likely have a lot of action cards and the points from Vineyards can become enough on their own to beat a Province player. You need 18 action cards to make Vineyards worth as much as a single Province. That seems like a lot, but it really isn't. The upside of not needing any Provinces is that you're forcing your opponent to get all 8 which is quite hard to do. It's not uncommon for a Province player to take as long as 25 turns to drown the Province pile which gives a Vineyards player more than enough time to outrace him.

9. Bridge

When I first encountered Bridge I thought it was just a Woodcutter trying to be cute. That's true to an extent, a single Bridge gives as much buying power as Silver. Its true strength is shown when playing multiple copies. It's a great feeling when you pull off KC-KC-Bridge-Bridge-Bridge for the first time to clear out the Province pile. Highway pales in comparison to Bridge, because it can't be KC'd and misses a +Buy. These things give Bridge the immense power it has.

8. Scrying Pool

I remember playing against Scrying Pool players on Isotropic and thought other people were just wasting my time. How wrong I was. Scrying Pool is a killer card even without spying the opponent's deck. It's almost always a must-buy. Beginners tend to think it's just finicky and doesn't hold any real value (unlike Silver and Gold of course), but they will learn.

7. Tactician

Discarding cards and wasting turns is something beginners don't like to do. So why would they invest in Tactician? Well, because one good hand is usually better than two mediocre ones. It's much easier to do what you want to do if you start with 10 cards in your hand. Even money-based decks can benefit from a Tactician, since hitting $8 and getting a Province once is better than hitting $4 twice.

6. Masquerade

Intrigue was the first set I got and it had Masquerade. The card seemed fun for the interactive part of it, but nothing special. As I found out, it's actually one of the most powerful $3's in existence. Drawing before passing/trashing is a huge deal, it often allows you to get a decent card on the same turn you're trashing. There are cute combos and pins by playing a hand-reducing card first and anti-combos with Possession. Even without those card interactions, the card stands on its own.

5. Stonemason

Beginners often won't look past the on-play card. "Trashing an expensive card? I don't think so!" The overpay part is actually what makes this card a hidden gem. A lot of $5+ cards are even better when you get more of them. Stonemason makes this easier. It seems so harmless as it only costs $2 on its own, but 2 $5+-cards and 1 Stonemason is just often better than just 1 $5-card.

4. Butcher

At first I thought it was just a glorified Salvager. Being able to just take the coins without trashing makes it a very good card and not that apparently powerful. I have found that Butcher just works in most decks, engines, BM, hybrids; I think I ignore it a teensy tiney percentage of games it appears in. Being able to save up those coins is very nice.

3. Black Market

Another novelty card with a high impact on the game, I can't do it as much justice as Steff does, so just take a look at his article. Needless to say, it has a lot of hidden power.

2. Rebuild

You probably suspected it was on the list. I dismissed this card at first, thinking it would be weak. It was only after I discovered the wisdom of the F.Ds people I learned its true power. Being non-terminal is huge for a card like this. It just dominates most boards it's on and makes the game about finetuning its usage. It's so wordy that beginners might just skip it for the text, but what it does, it does brilliantly. I think it surprised a lot of advanced players as well, since it wasn't an obvious engine card enabling megaturns or something like that.

1. Chapel

This list wouldn't be complete without the granddaddy of cards "discovered" by evolving players. I remember when I looked it at and thought: That's only useful with Curses, why would I want to trash any Treasures or VP cards? Well, imagine that you could start with a fresh deck consisting only of cards you gained voluntarily (and Chapel). It's like using 10 Zaps to upgrade those pesky Coppers and Estates to Silvers and Duchies, but better! I'm preaching to the choir here, you all know Chapel's strength. Back then I didn't and a lot of beginners are still just discovering its power.

Dominion Articles / The Perils of Slow Trashing
« on: September 23, 2014, 05:46:39 am »
I love trashing, getting rid of those pesky Coppers and Estates/Shelters and starting over with a clean deck. It's a shame we can't use zaps for non-adventure games (maybe this is a great idea for handicapping?) to start with 7 Silvers and 3 Duchies instead.

One of my pitfalls with regards to trashing is "slow trashing". By slow trashing I mean cards like Trade Route, Develop and even badly shuffled Doctors. The benefit of trashing one, maybe two cards at a time has to be weighed against getting some good cards earlier.

This problem is most apparent when there are good cards costing $5+ and only crappy cards costing $4 or less. While you're trashing down, it's basically impossible to grab those $5+ cards. Quite often, I'm still cleaning up with little spending power while my opponent is grabbing Labs/Wharves etc.

So what am I doing? Removing one stop card (an Estate) and adding another (Silver), because Silver is the only thing I can afford. This goes on for a couple of turns until I'm finally able to reach $5 consistently. By that time my opponent has already built up a nice component lead and can switch to trashing if he wants. At that point it will take him just 2 turns to accomplish what I've done in 5.

The lesson to be learned here is to be careful and not automatically jump on the trash train just because it's available. Trashing is powerful, but if you can build up first, delaying your trashing may be better. Sometimes the $5's are so good that rushing them is paramount and trashing is only  a secondary objective.

The same goes for junking, but that's a story for another time.

What are your experiences with slow trashers? Do you tend to make the same mistakes as I do or do you find yourself skipping them too often when they're in fact helpful?

Goko Dominion Online / Preventing misclicks on Goko
« on: September 22, 2014, 03:48:49 am »
They still happen to me occasionally and they're very annoying.

End Turn and Play Treasures are way too close and I think End Turn should double check if you haven't played your treasures yet and/or bought anything.

General Discussion / Silicon Valley
« on: September 01, 2014, 03:24:06 am »
If you were a fan of The Big Bang Theory before it got mainstream (and boring) and are looking for something else, you might like Silicon Valley.

In the high-tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. A comedy partially inspired by Mike Judge's own experiences as a Silicon Valley engineer in the late 1980s.

I only watched half of the first episode, but quite like it. It's a good mix of The Social Network (serious) and The Internship (over the top comedy). It's a comedy, but not a sitcom like TBBT.

Other Games / General Other Board Games topic
« on: August 30, 2014, 09:25:10 am »
I think it's a good idea to have a general topic for other board games that you'd like to mention, but which don't need their own thread (yet). Or maybe you're looking for recommendations for a good game? And we can just chat about things board game related, but not concerning a specific game.

I'll start with a question: What was the last game that really blew your mind?

For me, it was Mage Knight. I always thought "ameritrash" RPGs were all about throwing dice and hoping for a six.
The genius of Mage Knight is that it does provide randomness, but controlled randomness.

You can choose whether or not to confront an enemy and look at the cards you want to use before you engage in combat.
And leveling up is cool, because you get to pick new cards for your deck and special customized abilities.

I'm a sucker for games with theme and with ameritrash games the theme is usually there until the fighting starts. With Mage Knight, maybe there is less theme overall, but at least the fighting is done in style.

Variants and Fan Cards / Gaining with Options: Carnival
« on: July 29, 2014, 07:36:54 am »
I like having options on cards, like Pawn and its hyperactive big brother Trusty Steed.
I also like getting a bonus when I get a card, like Border Village's free Torturer or Rabble.

I thought: Why not combine the two? So I present Carnival.
A harmless card with some fun on-gain options.

Action - $4

+1 Card
+1 Action
When you gain this, choose one: Gain a VP token; or trash a card from your hand; or gain a Silver.

Granted, I haven't given a great deal of thought to the options, but these seemed like good starters.
Would you be so kind as to give your thoughts about this concept?

Dominion General Discussion / Rebuild and Shelters
« on: July 25, 2014, 07:32:02 am »
Rebuild is a strong card, but I've always doubted it with Shelters.

When opponents go Rebuild against me with Shelters, it doesn't seem very effective as they lose time buying Estates. At least it gives me a lot more breathing room than without Shelters, but it's hard to quantify how big this gap is.

So what are your general feelings toward Rebuild and Shelters? Is it an obvious nombo? Still good, but needs some work? Or do you just tend to ignore it completely?

Game Reports / Any way around Rebuild?
« on: July 21, 2014, 03:40:07 pm »
Kingdom: Lighthouse, Apothecary, Wishing Well, Gardens, Procession, Rats, Pillage, Rebuild, Stables, Tribute, Copper, Silver, Gold, Estate, Duchy, Province, Curse, Potion

Caution: Shelters were used!!!

My opponent dove head first into Rebuild.
I chose to go with Apothecary and Wishing Well, managing to snag 5 Duchies in the process.
Only after that stage I grabbed Rebuilds and turned 5 Duchies into 5 Provinces for a come from behind win.

I had thought about doing some cute Procession-Rats thing, but thought it would be too much trouble for too little gain.

Forum Games / Mage Knight - Interest Check & Sign up
« on: June 09, 2014, 10:38:41 am »
I think Mage Knight is a fantastic game, it gives you an epic RPG experience in a reasonable amount of time and without having to roll 10 dice for everything. You use cards and even get to add more cards, like Dominion!

Who's interested in a PBF?

We can decide on how we'll run it and with what variants later.
Just post your /in with any kind of restrictions you'd like.

/in with no restrictions

Game Reports / I ignored Rebuild!
« on: May 06, 2014, 04:43:53 pm »
Here's the log:

Here's the kingdom:

Code: [Select]
Chapel, Masquerade, Scheme, Salvager, Smithy, City, Merchant Ship, Rebuild, Altar, King's Court
This was such an interesting board that I'm pretty sure I misplayed it, and will do so again the next 5 times.
My original plan was to get an Altar along the way, but it never happened. Also the Scheme might/should have been a Silver? I don't know. I chose Masquerade over Chapel thinking I could build up better that way. Cities would be nice once the Duchies are gone I thought. Of course I fought my opponent over the Duchies while passing him dead Estates, that was nice.

My opponent's 2 Rebuilds and Schemes were going off pretty fast so I had to step up and start greening fast!

I'm entirely unsure about this game, but it was really rewarding to outrace Rebuild. :)

LCG General Discussion /
« on: April 14, 2014, 02:54:05 am »
As I understand we have dedicated sites for Dominion, Twilight Struggle and a board for Power Grid.

I'm looking for a site dedicated to LCGs and struggling to find a good one. CarboardDb has some forums, there are some personal blogs, but I can't find anything community driven like or, so maybe we can start with a forum board?

I'm especially interested in sharing The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game strategies and experiences, but I'm fine with hosting any and all of the others there as well (Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Android: Netrunner, Ctulhu, some others I forgot).

Are any of you interested in building up a site and/or forum board for these kinds of games? I think the leap from Dominion to LCG's is not a big one. The problem of "you have more powerful cards than I do" is a bit less of an issue with LCGs (though it exists of course) and that's why I can still enjoy them.

I can mostly speak for LOTR and with that one, after a lot of expansions, it seems that most of the cards in players' decks still originate from the Core set and that is a big plus for me. I like how expansions are mostly bought for the new scenarios and less so for the new powerful cards in them. I don't know if this is the same with other LCGs. I also like LOTR the best because it is Coop and so the whole "power creep" issue doesn't exist.

LCG General Discussion / The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
« on: March 31, 2014, 01:51:07 pm »
I'm a big fan of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. No, not the deck builder, the Hobbit board games, the old coop board game, the semi-coop Nazgul game, the dice building game or even the trivia game. I do enjoy the War of the Ring though, but I'm losing focus already.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game (LOTR) is a living card game from Fantasy Flight's LCG stables. They also have A Game of Thrones, Android: Netrunner, Star Wars and Call of Cthulhu LCGs, so whatever your favorite universe is, there's enough to spend your money on.

For those not familiar with the term "living card game" or LCG, I'll explain a bit. An LCG is card game for which sets and expansion packs are released with predetermined contents. Unlike Magic sets, you will always know in advance exactly (or roughly) what a certain pack will contain and you will always get exactly the same as everybody else. There is no trading aspect in LCGs. You know what you want to buy, you buy it, you get it.

LOTR has different "cycles", these are time periods in which sets and expansions are released which all fit the same theme. The first cycle for LOTR is the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle.

The reason I like the game so much is because it's a very good game to play on your own and (it's a coop) forces you to be creative with the cards you put in your deck. As the enemy you are playing has a static deck with predetermined enemies and other pitfalls, you might think the game itself would be easy, no? You are wrong, you never know exactly when which cards are coming out, either for you or the enemy so you have to be able to deal with some slight adversity.

Also, it can become quite puzzly at times, which I also like a lot. If I do this and that, I will be able to do this to take care of that. And sometimes you are faced with tough choices, like having to discard a good card or advancing on a quest. The game can throw quite a lot of curveballs at you and I find it does a great job at this.

Are there any other players here who enjoy the game? I have been looking for a LOTR Strategy forum like this one, but couldn't find it. If anyone knows where the great LOTR players hang out, post it here!

Other Games / Donald X.'s new game Greed
« on: March 11, 2014, 09:33:52 am »
So Donald's publishing a new game, called Greed.

Anyone have any thoughts about this?

Apparently, it uses drafting which instantly makes me think of 7 Wonders (although other games came before that one obviously).
But 7 Wonders scratches my drafting itch like no other, so I'm wary of adding another drafter to my collection.

Seems to hit about the same player # (2-5) as Dominion and about the same playing time (30 minutes) while being maybe a bit more shallow.

Edit: Oh, someone either merge or close this, please.

Game Reports / Transmute?
« on: February 28, 2014, 02:29:52 am »
This board: Stables, Apprentice, Golem, Treasury, Bureaucrat, Feodum, Transmute, Quarry, Oracle, Poor House

...seems pretty slow.

Apprentice can accelerate things, but it's only safe when you're ahead of course and there's only 1 buy on the board, so getting more than $8 in your hand is a waste.

So I opted to go for Transmute just to do something else and because I could use the Potion for Golem which would come in handy later on.
My opponent played Stables-money and I beat him pretty handily with a combination of Transmute, Stables and Golem (and an Oracle). I aggressively trashed some Stables for Duchies as the Stables became more unreliable and the points more welcome after I had converted all of my Estates to Golds.

Another "option" here might be Bureaucrat/Feodum? But that seems like a pretty bad idea with Apprentice around for the Province player.

Forum Games / Good Forum Game Candidates?
« on: February 21, 2014, 06:44:33 am »
I enjoy forum games a lot, they give me the chance to do some actual boardgaming without being constrained to a certain time and place.

Which popular games out there would make for a good forum game?

Ideally the game would be structured in a way where players can take a complete turn and wait for their turn to come around, otherwise too much time is spent waiting. Not that games like that won't work, I just think they ask too much activity from the players involved. Coops tend to do well as a forum game, because if some player is unable or unwilling to do a lot of work, others can easily fill that gap.

How about Nations? Would it be too interactive? I'm curious about this game.

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