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Messages - Donald X.

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1
Rules Questions / Re: Command cards + Distants Lands
« on: Today at 07:40:14 pm »
How do the new command cards from the 2019 errata work with Distant Lands? For instance, if you Overlord a Distant Lands do you put a Distant Lands from the supply onto your tavern mat (and thus gain 4 VP at the end of the game)?
Distant Lands tries to move itself from play, and doesn't find itself there, so it doesn't move.

2
If this was at all common, I'd be suggesting that instead of trashing cards from play, Bonfire should put tokens on cards to designate that they should be trashed when discarded from play.

If such a mechanic were introduced, it could also deal more neatly with Improve, Scheme and self-trashers - albeit not identically.

It would, IMHO, be way cleaner. But a lot of trouble to go to for a corner case.
The cleanest way to do Bonfire is just, trash up to two Coppers from play. You are almost always trashing Coppers, and they aren't Duration cards. Putting tokens on cards to remember to do things later is in no way clean.

3
For clarification: When the original card was trashed, would it or would it not have the duration effect on the next turn?
Trashing a Duration card doesn't stop it from functioning (except for below-the-line stuff e.g. Bridge Troll's cost reduction).

But it should stop it from functioning - if there's no card in play, how can one be sure that the players will remember all the effects on that player's next turn?
If I got to make the game from scratch today, sure. It's bad to have an effect you're supposed to remember without the card reminding you. I would totally get rid of that.

I'm not making the game from scratch today though. I'm dealing with not just an existing game with all its cards, but also an existing body of players. So like, ideally you wouldn't be able to "play" a card without putting it into play - if you can't put it into play, you fail to play it, and nothing further happens. A similar thing. I considered this change when doing the errata to fix Band of Misfits etc. People absolutely hated it. So I didn't do it. In a new game though, sure, don't let cards function without being in play, absolutely.

As things stand, the fix here is to not provide ways to get Duration cards out of play, since with the errata to Procession there's just Bonfire and and Mandarin. Bonfire is easy. Mandarin would look weird. But, it's something I can consider still when those sets get reprinted.

4
So if I gained the Merchant Ship with Graverobber, the Vassal would stay out?

Edit: what if there are multiple Merchant Ships in the trash? Do I get to choose which one I gain?
In the OP I am making a ruling that specifically says, it's a different Merchant Ship now, Vassal does not stay out. Prior to this ruling, there was no way to know f Vassal should stay in play or not.

5
For clarification: When the original card was trashed, would it or would it not have the duration effect on the next turn?
Trashing a Duration card doesn't stop it from functioning (except for below-the-line stuff e.g. Bridge Troll's cost reduction).

Ideally there would be no way to get Duration cards out of play until the Clean-up that they're done. Procession has been fixed; Bonfire and Mandarin have not.

6
so if you top-decked it with mountain village, then vassal'd it, it would be the same merchant ship? or once it is face-down, it is anonymous and couldve been any merchant ship?

basically: is the shuffle the key operation, or is the returning-to-deck?
We let you remember a topdecked card, e.g. I can gain a Nomad Camp and trash it from the top with Watchtower. So the shuffle is the key thing. We can conceivably know the 10th card down and well. When we do, we do know it; that's not a rules hole to fix and this situation was never happening to start with, and is even less likely there.

7
so if you top-decked it with mountain village, then vassal'd it, it would be the same merchant ship? or once it is face-down, it is anonymous and couldve been any merchant ship?

basically: is the shuffle the key operation, or is the returning-to-deck?
The current version of the rule is, if card X causes a Duration to be played multiple times, like Throne Room or Royal Carriage, then card X remains in play with the Duration. But if card X causes a Duration to be played only once, like Herald or Vassal, it's cleaned up as usual this turn.

Right, so why would Vassal ever stay in play? It's not a Command and it's not Throne-like.

Yeah I’m missing something. Even if it were considered the same Merchant Ship; the Vassal wouldn’t have cause it to be played multiple times... it would have caused it to be played a second time. It wasn’t responsible for the first play; so it doesn’t get credit for playing it multiple times no matter what.

Scepter and Royal Carriage stay in play, even though they're not responsible for an Action being played the first time, only the second time. In the scenario in question, Vassal is responsible for playing the card a second time like those.
Correct. Vassal (and other cards will do this too, e.g. Herald, Golem) is just like Royal Carriage here. If it played a Duration card for a second time, it should stay in play. But there's no way to know if it did or not, in this very contrived example.

8
I play Merchant Ship. I buy Bonfire to trash it and Villa to go back to my Action phase, more to do. I gain the Merchant Ship with Rogue and trigger a shuffle with Vassal and it plays a Merchant Ship. Is it the same Merchant Ship? It matters. If it is Vassal stays in play, otherwise it doesn't.

But there's no way to know. Throne Rooms care "is this that card" in just the way I was trying to get rid of in other cards.

So, the ruling in these situations is, once you've shuffled a card into a deck, there are no cards that are "that card." For my example, Vassal does not stay in play.

9
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« on: January 24, 2020, 04:07:26 pm »
Just played a game with Changeling, maybe for the first time. It never actually got bought, but made me realize... what's the point of the on-gain ability? It seems like it would only be useful in somewhat rare edge-cases... The vast majority of the time that you are gaining a card costing or more, it is because you bought it, or because you got to "gain a card costing up to X". In either of those cases though, you could have just gained Changeling directly instead.

So it seems like there are only 2 situations when you would actually use that ability... when there is another card that has an on-buy or on-gain ability that you want, but you actually want Changeling. Or, when you play something that allows you to gain an action, treasure, or victory card specifically; and you would rather have a Changeling.

Are these situations common enough to warrant what amounts to more than half the text on the card? Or is it just that it's very late, and after playing a bunch of games of Dominion in a row after having not played for a while, which is causing me to miss something obvious?
Changeling started out as just the top, and I liked it. The bottom half gave it more flavor (which comes at a cost in complexity), but also made it way more interesting. It comes up plenty, mostly with ways to gain Silver but certainly with other cards. There's that game Mic won due to taking Changeling instead of an Ambassador'd Province, for example.

Changeling is pretty fun. For people who know the published card, I think any positive feelings they have are due to the bottom half. They can't compare the simple card that doesn't exist, and it can't sound that great. But Nocturne is too complex over all and Changeling does its part there. So, it's really still a question, should it have been the simpler card. It's hard not to go with the more fun thing and Nocturne is full of that decision going that way.

10
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion 2019 Errata and Rules Tweaks
« on: January 14, 2020, 06:30:13 pm »
I don't want to make it specific to Durations. I changed the Mining Village part.

How do you see it as different to the TR+TR+Duration rule in this respect?
I don't understand the question. There is no TR+TR+Duration rule; just a FAQ since people will ask rather than work it out.

11
Rules Questions / Re: Necromancer + Band of Misfits + Duration
« on: January 14, 2020, 06:25:29 pm »
Donald, I'm actually wondering if Necromancer is supposed to be covered by this rule? I know that you included it in the rule, but you later stated that the FAQs for each card would explain how this works. Are you really planning to cover it in the FAQ for Necromancer? Necromancer can't play a Duration directly, so the only way for it to be affected by this rule is if it plays a BoM, Overlord or Inherited Estate, playing a Duration. Captain is exactly the same.
These days I try not to go too nuts in the FAQs these days; I try to answer questions people will actually look in the rulebook for the answers for. Here we're dealing with errata so probably I do need to cover it in the FAQ when the time comes.

So you're saying that the tracking rule also applies to Necromancer and Captain, even though it means that you have to specify just this corner case?
It's possible I don't understand the question or your perspective.

There's a general rule for dealing with tracking when playing a card without putting it into play. It certainly applies to Necromancer and Captain.

12
Rules Questions / Re: Necromancer + Band of Misfits + Duration
« on: January 14, 2020, 03:08:34 am »
Donald, I'm actually wondering if Necromancer is supposed to be covered by this rule? I know that you included it in the rule, but you later stated that the FAQs for each card would explain how this works. Are you really planning to cover it in the FAQ for Necromancer? Necromancer can't play a Duration directly, so the only way for it to be affected by this rule is if it plays a BoM, Overlord or Inherited Estate, playing a Duration. Captain is exactly the same.
These days I try not to go too nuts in the FAQs these days; I try to answer questions people will actually look in the rulebook for the answers for. Here we're dealing with errata so probably I do need to cover it in the FAQ when the time comes.

13
Rules Questions / Re: New lose-track rule: The Sun's Gift
« on: January 14, 2020, 03:03:05 am »
I gain a Blessed Village onto my deck (e.g. with Artificer) and receive The Sun's Gift. I leave the Blessed Village on top. I'm pretty sure that under the old lose-track rule the Blessed Village was now lost track of. I can't see any reason that it would be different with the new rule?
You do lose track of the card still. It moved to set-aside.

14
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion 2019 Errata and Rules Tweaks
« on: January 14, 2020, 02:39:59 am »
(I still think the best option is what I wrote in my previous post.)
I don't want to make it specific to Durations. I changed the Mining Village part.

Quote
Some cards, like the new Band of Misfits, can play a card that isn't put into play. When you play Band of Misfits, leave it in play as long as you would have left the card it plays in play. Normally that will be the same turn's Clean-up. For a Band of Misfits playing a Duration card, it will be the Clean-up of the last turn the Duration card has any effects. For a Band of Misfits playing a Throne Room playing a Duration card, it will be the Clean-up of the turn the Duration card leaves play. For a Band of Misfits playing a card that can move itself from play, like Mining Village, the Mining Village can't move itself, and Band of Misfits would still stay out until Clean-up anyway, due to the normal rule for leaving cards out until Clean-up. If a Band of Misfits plays multiple Duration cards (e.g., you used Throne Room on it), leave it out until the Clean-up of the last turn that one of them still had effects.

15
Rules Questions / Re: Gaining Spirits, Bats, and Non-supply cards
« on: January 13, 2020, 05:24:16 pm »
Is there any condition under which they can be gained outside of specific verbiage on particular cards?  For instance, is there any other way you can gain a Bat besides exchanging via Vampire? 

Same with Spirits . . .
As noted above, by default you can only gain from the Supply, those cards aren't in the Supply, and so e.g. Workshop can't gain them. There are a few ways to gain cards from other places, e.g. Lurker, and those can gain non-supply cards that are in the appropriate place. And Masquerade can pass a Bat just fine.

16
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion 2019 Errata and Rules Tweaks
« on: January 13, 2020, 05:20:07 pm »
2. Tracking for the former shapeshifters

Some cards, like the new Band of Misfits, can play a card that isn't put into play. When you play Band of Misfits, leave it in play as long as you would have left the card it plays in play. Normally that will be the same turn's Clean-up. For a Band of Misfits playing a Duration card, it will be the Clean-up of the last turn the Duration card has any effects. For a Band of Misfits playing a Throne Room playing a Duration card, it will be the Clean-up of the turn the Duration card leaves play. For a Band of Misfits playing a card that can move itself from play, like Mining Village, the Mining Village can't move itself, so Band of Misfits doesn't leave play any earlier than normal. If a Band of Misfits plays multiple Duration cards (e.g., you used Throne Room on it), leave it out until the Clean-up of the last turn that one of them still had effects.

I think this rule is not consistent. It says to leave the BoM as long as you would have left the card in play (if it had entered play). This is accurate for Durations, and for TR playing Durations. But it's not accurate for Mining Village. If Mining Village had entered play, you actually would have trashed it. So then there seems to be an exception to the rule for cards that would have moved from play during the Action phase(?), which is hardly the intention.
I think I'm okay. Obv. "would have" is hand-wavy. The rule is trying to be clear to people without being super-technical. You can say, "if I'd actually put that card into play I would have made whatever decisions and things would be different" and you know it's not what "would have" is talking about there and I bet that's not messing people up.

One thing is to consider the rule as just saying, under what circumstances we leave Band of Misfits out extra-long; it doesn't cause us to discard or trash the Band of Misfits ever. If we're not leaving it in play due to that rule, we're leaving it in play until Clean-up because of the normal rule that stuff stays in play until Clean-up.

17
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: January 13, 2020, 04:58:01 pm »
Would you ever consider bringing back the adventures tokens? I feel like there's still a bunch of design space left there.
I considered repeating the +$1 token for Menagerie, but didn't do it.
Would you ever consider bringing back the adventures tokens? I feel like there's still a bunch of design space left there.

The Adventures tokens aren't out of the question, but in retrospect I don't like how many different tokens Adventures has, it's annoying pawing through them looking for the boot or whatever. I should have tried to get more use out of a smaller set of tokens. But, with that approach, that kind of thing in the future is okay.

At least, that was the verdict on this almost a year ago. It could have changed.
Correct, I might bring back a single token and use it on multiple cards. I considered this for Menagerie but didn't end up doing it.

18
Rules Questions / Re: Help to check logic re: Lantern and Inheritance
« on: January 12, 2020, 04:09:36 pm »
They all look correct to me.

OTOH, do you really think players will mix pre- and post- 2019 errata versions of different cards?
It will happen for some people who just play what they open, once errata versions are in print. Of course people looking at the document are more likely to play by errata.

19
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: January 11, 2020, 03:31:54 pm »
Something I've only just realised: there has never been a Victory promo card.

Is there some reason for this, or is it just coincidence?
When Jay talked about doing a Power Grid anniversary promo, it was going to be a Victory card, because one of Friedemann Friese's things is the color green. I did Governor for Puerto Rico instead; I didn't have a good Power Grid tie-in. Later LastFootnote rose to the challenge, and we playtested his card some.

Aside from that it would be nice to not do one. It's 2 extra cards for a thing we give away, and people especially like Victory cards, why isn't it in an expansion instead. Of course most promos would rather be in an expansion.

20
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: January 11, 2020, 03:26:14 pm »
Do you ever regret some of your earlier names for cards because a newer card that you came up with fits that name better? I'm thinking specifically with University being an apropos name for a card with the debt mechanic.
Not so much. It's a bummer that if I wanted to e.g. do those changes to Hinterlands, the changed cards would all need new names. And the namespace gets more and more full.

21
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: January 11, 2020, 03:23:40 pm »
I am not thrilled with the variety of tokens in Adventures, because you know, oh this game we need Plan tokens, and you have to search through the pile of tokens for them.
I store the tokens by type, not by player. We need Plan tokens? I pull the Plan tokens out of the organiser tray. Sure, I get all six colours not just the ones we're playing, but that's trivial to resolve.
I don't store them by type or player; I have a little hard candy container filled with chits. The expansion itself is in a long box like people use for Magic cards.

22
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Menagerie
« on: January 11, 2020, 03:54:12 am »
It's more of a battle between simple things, and exciting things. The lack of vanilla villagers is mostly because of how unexciting and low-hanging fruit they are compared to e.g. Recruiter.

Quote from: Renaissance outtakes
There was a village that was, cantrip, +1 Villager; man it's fine, you can argue about, does it need to cost $5, but it's nice. The village that's always there when you need it. But really, the experience it gives is the villager experience, and other cards are giving us that experience. Another village just came with +2 Villagers; we already have that experience too.
I'm not against low-hanging fruit, and love to do vanilla stuff when I can. Acting Troupe and Lackeys are both exceptionally simple +villagers cards; sure they're not pure +'s but man, that's not the only way to be super simple.

Cantrip villager was the first villager card in the file. Soon there were a bunch though. It didn't provide an experience we weren't getting other ways, and eventually it was crowded out. It was fine, but every card is trying to add something, and what it added was just "villagers." That isn't always how it goes. Inventor is just a Bridge-Workshop, but the experience seemed different enough and there it is in the set.

Another thing is, if you have a sleek pretty vanilla card, wait this could be a good place to slap that when-gain or whatever you wanted to fit in the set somehow. Patron could have just been the top, but I had this ability to do and that was a good place to do it. So this also cuts into vanilla cards. And hey Baker has one of those, it's not vanilla at all, certainly not more vanilla than Lackeys and Acting Troupe.

23
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: January 11, 2020, 03:35:50 am »
Hunh, I never thought of Vampire as "having to read 18 cards".  I just thought of it as two cards - Vampire and Bat - and Vampire has an attack that's "sometimes really bad sometimes just annoying", and once I played it a few times, and got used to what the various hexes do, it seemed fairly simple.  It feels less complex, strategically speaking, than some landmarks and projects, even if those are generally pretty simple as far as knowing what they do (like, Wolf's Den is a really simple concept, but trying to remember "Have I bought a second copy of this card?" can be really tricky).  But I guess if you're the kind of person who wants to know exactly what the card does before trying it out, I can see how the hexes would make cards like Vampire really complex
Sure you just read Vampire and Bat; bad things will happen, you get it. But man. I had the experience, I played the set with casual players. We turn over the first hex. The game stops. Reading the card once wasn't enough, they didn't grok it. They have to hear it again. They take the hex for themselves and read it. Okay. They know what to do now, but still have to deal with it, it may cause decisions or involve a procedure. Eventually the game is back in motion. Next turn: another hex.

There are 12 Boons to read too, but it's a world of difference. You turn over your Boon. Gain a silver. Okay, done. There are a few wordier ones but they are not the problem the hexes were. And only one player has to read and understand the Boon, that helps too. (Sacred Grove: one of the cards to not do in my five.)

Strategic complexity is great. It's not a problem at all, I can have as much as I manage. Having to deal with 18+ concepts over the course of playing with a card is a nightmare.

24
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: January 11, 2020, 01:16:50 am »
This suggests that, a year on, you're still pretty happy with how Renaissance turned out?
I'm pretty happy with it still.

Artifacts didn't work out as well as I'd hoped; Flag Bearer worked great, and then the rest were a lot of trouble. In the end I also like Swashbuckler, but Border Guard and Treasurer were both artifact-free cards that were totally worthwhile, and now they're saddled with artifacts just to have artifacts somewhere.

There are a few other individual cards I might tweak today. This is always the case though. Overall it's great; villagers are great, there was enough good stuff to do to revisit coffers, and there are lots of nice individual cards. Projects are good times. The set feels way simpler than Nocturne, as intended.

The big problems with Renaissance of course are that the printer gave us lighter backs and the layout guy lighter fronts.

25
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: January 11, 2020, 01:05:47 am »
Out of curiosity, what parts about Nocturne do you feel are too complex?  Because to me Nocturne seems like a relatively simple set - there's no landmarks, projects, tokens, etc., and only one thing (Lost in the Woods) that's equivalent to Renaissance's Artifacts
The most complex single element is the Hexes. I put some work into having a simple set of Boons, to make sure they didn't bog the game down, and then that all went out the window with the Hexes. They were attacks, they couldn't be simple. Instead of "oh so I shouldn't do them," there they are. We had lots of fun playtesting them; then at the release event I saw casual players interacting with them and it's just, every Hex shuts down the game while people come to terms with it.

As I have pointed out many times now, to fully understand what Vampire does, you have to read 18 cards. That's ludicrous, that can't be right. Vampire, Bat. Twelve hexes. Envious, Deluded, Miserable, Twice Miserable. Even Tournament, which is record-setting complex, with a 2x2 grid of results to understand, still has only 5 more cards to read.

The set has too much going on in it; today I would do it as two expansions. One would be called Nocturne and would have Night, Boons, and Spirits; the other would have Heirlooms and some other new thing to go with them. Probably only 5 cards would make Boons, dodging less-fun situations e.g. "Idol could get you a Boon that actually hurts you." And well those attacks would need to do something other than hand out Hexes.

The Spirits and other extra cards aren't a problem by themselves; I do think it's better if an extra card is either used by one card or by several. If it's one card you can just put it away with that card, e.g. Madman with Hermit, and get them both out at once. If it's a bunch of cards, like the Tavern mat, you can get that out and then have it the whole evening. When it's just used by Cemetery and Exorcist, you have to get it out special for that game.

Adding e.g. Landmarks doesn't compare to that stuff. You can just not put out a Landmark if you want, if this game has a new player or you're new to the set or whatever; bam, a simpler game. The basic concept is simple and most of the cards are straightforward. I'm not aware of any issues people had with Landmarks. The tokens aren't tricky either; they're fiddly, you have to go dig out the tokens. I am not thrilled with the variety of tokens in Adventures, because you know, oh this game we need Plan tokens, and you have to search through the pile of tokens for them. Fewer tokens, more use out of each, would have been better. But Coffers and Villagers and VP tokens do just that, the sets get lots of use out of them, you just put them on the table for the evening.

Nocturne was great to playtest; for a sufficiently experienced player, it's full of great stuff. But for sure it's too complex.

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