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Messages - trivialknot

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I like hexes.  I like them a lot more than Cultist and Ambassador, which can also be fairly swingy, and aren't as fun.

If you don't like hexes, one realization, which may or may not help, is that luck and skill are not mutually exclusive.  If hexes introduce more luck into the game, they do not necessarily reduce the amount of skill in the game.  Richard Garfield has a talk about this, which I think I originally found because Donald X pointed to it.

You can think of the luck factor as the probability that a less skillful player will win.  The more luck there is, the more games you need to play in order to determine which player is more skillful.  You can think of the skill factor as how difficult it is to master the game, and how many layers of mastery there are.  Often, luck actually makes it harder to master the game, because when you lose a game, it could be hard to tell whether you were unlucky, or if you just played poorly. 

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Most unique cards amongst each set?
« on: February 21, 2018, 06:08:04 pm »
Cards that generate the most rules questions:

Base: Moat
Intrigue: Secret Chamber in 1st ed., Masquerade in 2nd ed.
Seaside: Outpost
Alchemy: Possession
Prosperity: Watchtower
Cornucopia: Tournament
Hinterlands: Trader
Dark Ages: Band of Misfits
Guilds: Stonemason
Adventures: Inheritance
Empires: Overlord
Nocturne: Changeling
Promo: Black Market

I'm going by the length of the FAQ on the wiki, but I was too lazy to check them all.

Dominion Articles / Re: Shepherd
« on: February 20, 2018, 12:36:21 pm »
I scanned through some Dominion streams for games with Shepherd, and here are a bunch:

Mic Qsenoch vs LuciferousPeridot
Seprix vs Jimmmy
Seprix vs vsiewnar
Seprix vs Tracer
aku chi vs Gazbag
aku chi vs Gazbag
Mic Qsenoch vs Burning Skull
vsiewnar vs ehunt

I'm not saying the article needs to have a bunch of case studies, but maybe this will help in figuring out what the article should say in the first place.

I haven't watched most of the videos but it seems like players buy Shepherd in almost every game, and often pile them out.  I only found one game where players ignored Shepherd.

Dominion Articles / Re: Shepherd
« on: February 20, 2018, 11:32:04 am »
While the article is not poorly written, I flatly disagree with many of the specific factual claims in it.  For example...

-A pure Shepherd deck needs more green than Shepherds, so I don't agree that getting shepherds is "the more important thing to focus on".
-Shepherd is a good engine enabler.
-It's not clear to me that you need to add a green card for every stop card you gain in a shepherd deck.  And even if true, I don't see how this is worse than having to add a village/smithy pair for every two stop cards you put in a village/smithy deck.
-I fail to see how village + terminal draw is better for playing terminal payload than village + Shepherd.
-While handsize attacks hurt Shepherd decks, it's not clear to me that it hurts more than when playing a BM or village/smithy engine.
-Adding a Shepherd to a deck when it starts greening is good in many situations when you're drawing most of your deck.  It is not comparable to Scout.

Now it's possible that I'm wrong on each and every point.  I really don't know.  But the problem is your article didn't persuade me of anything, because it doesn't offer evidence of any kind.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Top 20 kingdom cards
« on: February 19, 2018, 01:03:17 pm »
Have we done a large favorite cards ranking recently? Not suggesting we do one, but I wonder what cards would gain the most ranks compared to their power ranking.
The Qvist rankings also include a favorite cards ranking, but the results have never been made public, and I don't even know if they had enough participants.

I participated in the favorite rankings in 2016 but didn't do it in 2017 because I realized nothing would come from it.

Dominion Articles / Re: Monastery
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:48:38 pm »
I think Monastery is slightly worse than Forager in the opener (ignoring cost).  With Forager, there's a small probability that opponent will trash a copper, allowing you to trash an Estate for +$1.  With Monastery, there's a small probability that it appears in a hand with $2 or less, and then the best thing to do is buy a copper.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Poor Scout
« on: February 08, 2018, 12:59:18 pm »
I hear it's now a meme.  Has it really been buried away to all but the most nostalgic of Dominion players?
I think it's more accurate to say Scout used to be a meme.

But Scout is transforming into something new.  Scout is a legend.

Other Games / Re: Dominion clones
« on: February 08, 2018, 12:47:18 pm »
When I said Puzzle Strike was a ripoff of Dominion, I didn't mean it like it was an unforgivably bad thing.  Honestly, Star Realms is even more of a ripoff of Ascension, and I like Star Realms.

The more problematic aspect of Puzzle Strike was the other part I mentioned, lifting the art design from a Dominion fan.  If you've never seen it before, behold. We liked Puzzle Strike early on, even though we thought of it as a Dominion knock-off with balance issues (we played 1st ed).  But learning about how Sirlin stole the art design made it less enjoyable for me.

Other Games / Re: Dominion clones
« on: February 07, 2018, 07:37:10 pm »
LOL I didn't realize that Puzzle Strike was on its third edition.  I suspect that they still have not solved all the balance issues; I see that they still price Necropolis at $4.

I've also played a few of the games that GendoIkari mentioned.

I played Clank! In Space a couple times.  My impression is that you're really at the whims of the rotating supply.  Often you'll want a particular resource (particularly movement) and there just won't be anything for you.

I thought Quarriors was neat when I played it a very long time ago, but the usual randomness of your draw order was compounded by the randomness of the fact that each "card" is a die.

Also now that I think about it, I also played Hyperborea once.  It's more like a territory control game that has a deck building mechanic in it.  The deckbuilding seems to borrow more from Eminent Domain, in that it's all about manipulating ratios of basic cards (in this case colored cubes).  One interesting wrinkle is that there are no midturn shuffles, you just can't draw more cubes until the next turn.  I mean, I'm not sure that's actually a good wrinkle.

Ascension - Ugh. The ability to play any number of cards and buy and number of cards removes what's great about Dominion. The 2 separate resource types is ok. Actually Clank feels more like a clone of Ascension than of Dominion. But also, rotating supply. At least it has several cards with abilities that let you mess with the supply; to remove some luck.
One of the things I don't like about Ascension is that the 2 resource types are not handled very well.  There are important price points to hit with each resource type (runes and power), and sometimes you just draw cards in the wrong order and manage to hit neither price point.  This feels more frustrating than Dominion, where there are important price points but only in one resource type.  In every other deck builder with multiple resource types that I've played, there are either fewer important price points to hit, or there's a way to save resources/cards between turns.

Of course, in Dominion, I guess you could see +Actions as the second resource type.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 07, 2018, 06:12:39 pm »
Given Donald X's unwillingness to mention Dominion clones, I suggest the conversation move over to another thread.  I started one.

Other Games / Dominion clones
« on: February 07, 2018, 06:11:46 pm »
Have you played any deck builders besides Dominion?  Did you like them?  Why weren't they as good as Dominion?

I'll start.

Ascension and Star Realms are very similar deck builders, where instead of having supply piles, there's a tableau of randomized cards.  This leads to a much more tactical game than Dominion, which I think is less fun.  Between these two, Star Realms is much better, because it's faster and more balanced.  The card design in Ascension suggests that the creators didn't realize trashing was so powerful.

Puzzle Strike: Bag of Chips is so close to Dominion I would call it an outright ripoff.  Also I heard that the chips and chip artwork was shamelessly stolen from a Dominion fan.  That said, we had some fun with it, and the theme is neat (it's based on a fictional puzzle arcade game).  As for the balance, it kinda seems like the creator thinks the village idiot strategy is OP, so every kingdom is over-terminaled.

Rune Age is a game by Fantasy Flight, in the Rune Wars universe.  It's kinda like Dominion, except that each player chooses one of four factions, and has supply piles that are only available to them.  Also, there are three resource types--money, military, and influence.  And there are several different game modes, including one coop mode.  I liked it, although after playing it a while I started to think some factions were better than others.

Eminent Domain is easily my favorite non-Dominion deck builder, because it's so different.  A major part of the game is about laterally shifting your deck instead of building upwards.  There are five basic card types which comprise most of your deck, and throughout the game you want to shift the relative densities.  Also, there's unlimited saving cards between turns, which adds a whole level of strategic depth.  My one regret is that there's hardly any variable setup, so it tends to be similar from game to game.

Dominion Articles / Re: Archive: Learning to Work with What Youíve Got
« on: January 30, 2018, 05:26:10 pm »
A single Archive, on average, draws 2/3 extra cards per turn, and sifts/pseudotrashes 1 card per turn.  I tend to think Archive is competitive with mid-tier thinners, say Plan.

I disagree with the general advice of stashing Archive.  If you want smoother turns (and you don't always), another way to achieve that is by buying more Archives.

Good article! Concise and actually focuses on specific low-level concepts. Should probably mention somewhere that you all else being equal, you want to skew the more powerful cards towards being picked earlier as then they will be in more shuffles/rotations of your deck. It's implicitly said when you talk about Archive's pseudo-trashing ability, but it's relevant enough to state explicitly as well IMO.
If you know you won't get any value out of the card from Archive this turn, then by default you should pick the 2nd best card.  Next turn, both the 1st and 2nd best cards will be available in your deck, and the best card is guaranteed to be in hand.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Holunder's cards
« on: January 29, 2018, 07:49:13 pm »
Here's some elaboration on my thoughts on Blackmail.  I say it's too strong because junkers are already on the strong side, and these are clearly worse than curses.  Imagine playing a 3-4 player game, where you end up with ~7 of these, and you can't even afford a City Guard anymore.  There's also the possibility of being pinned, and although I'm not sure how likely it is, it doesn't seem like fun.

And besides that, the reaction upon draw has issues.  Now I need to pay attention every time I draw cards, and players need to be honest about what they're drawing.  As an alternative, you could have a person reveal their hand at the end of their turn, or at the end of the buy phase, and take a debt for each Blackmail.  You could even have it trigger on buy, like Haunted Woods or Swamp Hag, which would eliminate the pinning potential.  Or it could be a cantrip that gives you debt, so it would be junk, but not the kind that takes up space in your deck.

I don't really like the idea of pairing Blackmail with City Guard.  City Guard has its own unrelated ability, which is interesting and strong enough on its own.  If Blackmail needs to always be paired with some defense, then I don't think an unrelated $5-cost is a good choice.  Worth noting that among the canonical cards, most reaction cards are cheap and terminal.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Right way to play when you canít win?
« on: January 29, 2018, 11:49:13 am »
1. Try to get 2nd or 3rd place.
2. Try to get as many points as possible, or as close to the other players as possible.
3. Try to end the game quickly.
4. Play the wackiest strategy you see, either for fun, as a learning experience, or on the off-chance that it's secretly game-winning.
5. Loudly talk about your power as kingmaker.
6. Resign and inspect the snacks.

In this case, I would have hexed a little while for fun, and then bought provinces if it seemed to be dragging on.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Holunder's cards
« on: January 27, 2018, 01:55:59 pm »
Racketeer/City Guard/Blackmail - I don't really like Blackmail, it's too strong.  The reaction mechanic slows things down and has accountability issues.  I don't think a $5/$5 split pile works.  City Guard is interesting, but does seem a bit strong.  I dunno, try it by itself.

Conjuration - This seems like it has issues in the opener.  Like say I open 4/3, so I buy Destructive.  Then it turns out the second player has 5/2, so they buy Destructive, and now I just wasted a turn.

Royal Guard - seems fine, except that if there are no attacks you would never buy it.

Glacier - An interesting card.  Could maybe cost $5.  Something you could do with this card is trash it, which makes it kinda like Distant Lands.

Black Cat - I don't think this is that much like Den of Sin.  It's missing the drawback of staying out for 2 turns.  I think if you have extra gains, Black Cat just draws your deck very reliably, and I think that's too strong.

Nightmare & Spectre - My feeling is that attack cards should pair complex attacks with simple benefits, or complex benefits with simple attacks.  There's nothing about the attacks and benefits here that make them pair particularly well.  Spectre might be dominating in some games, if one player manages to thin down, and plays enough Spectres that the other player can never thin down.  I mean, I guess Ambassador is the same way.

Owl/Key - The ability of Owls to find each other is stronger than Minion.  And it's also cheaper, and can gain copies of itself.

Icelands - I like this idea a lot.  Useful in all kinds of decks, and I find myself wondering if you should green earlier because of it, or take a Duchy over Province.

Dominion Articles / Re: Donate + Windfall
« on: January 23, 2018, 11:13:26 am »
What's the baseline for just plain Big Money + Donate?  Has anyone figured that out?

25) ▼1 Pilgrimage (Adventures)
24) ▼11 Salt the Earth (Empires)

How can this be, when Pilgrimage was rated higher than Salt the Earth in the $4 list?
That's a question for someone who has access to the statistics, but I can see how it's at least mathematically possible.  Suppose 55% of people rank Pilgrimage over Salt, but when people rank Salt higher, they put it a lot higher in the event rankings, while only slightly higher in the $4-cost rankings.  More than anything I think this indicates how close Salt and Pilgrimage really are.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Dominion Cards 2017 Edition: Boons
« on: January 22, 2018, 11:44:13 am »
Sun's Gift and Wind's Gift are not useless in deck-drawing engines.  You can play Bard/etc. midturn to increase the chance of your deck kicking off.  Of course if your deck is already really reliable, they don't help much.

I ranked Flame's Gift a lot lower.  Trashing is great but the reason we think that is because we deliberately get it early on.  That's not possible with Flame's Gift, outside of Druid.  After a few shuffles, Flame's Gift whiffs a lot and just isn't worth that much.  I put Swamp's Gift lower too for the same reason.

Events were in fact ranked in previous years, although nobody has put them up on the wiki yet.  Here are the ranking changes:

34) ▼5 Annex (Empires)
33) ▲1 Raid (Adventures)
32) ▼1 Banquet (Empires)
31) ▼3 Ritual (Empires)
30) ▲2 Tax (Empires)
29) ▲4 Quest (Adventures)
28) ▼3 Wedding (Empires)
27) ▲3 Conquest (Empires)
26) ▲1 Windfall (Empires)
25) ▼1 Pilgrimage (Adventures)
24) ▼11 Salt the Earth (Empires)
23) =0 Ball (Adventures)
22) ▲2 Scouting Party (Adventures)
21) ▲1 Seaway (Adventures)
20) ▼6 Advance (Empires)
19) ▼1 Trade (Adventures)
18) ▼2 Delve (Empires)
17) ▲4 Mission (Adventures)
16) ▼1 Training (Adventures)
15) ▲2 Expedition (Adventures)
14) ▲6 Travelling Fair (Adventures)
13) ▼1 Triumph (Empires)
12) ▼1 Borrow (Adventures)
11) ▲8 Plan (Adventures)
10) =0 Summon (Promo)
9) ▼3 Dominate (Empires)
8) ▼1 Save (Adventures)
7) ▼2 Alms (Adventures)
6) ▼2 Inheritance (Adventures)
5) ▲3 Bonfire (Adventures)
4) ▲1 Lost Arts (Adventures)
3) ▼1 Ferry (Adventures)
2) ▲1 Pathfinding (Adventures)
1) =0 Donate (Empires)

Hey, some of us care about landmarks.  I think these easily deserve more discussion than the Ruins rankings.

Keep is now in its rightful place at the top.  When a single treasure nets you a marginal 5 VP, almost as much as a province, it's kind of like there are 3 extra province piles.  And there are lots of engines that perform poorly against a big money strategy with a 15 VP lead.

Speaking of which, I don't agree with the drop in Fountain at all.  Sure, in most games, both players go for it, or they both ignore it.  But which strategy you choose depends heavily on the hypothetical non-mirror game.

Wall could stand to go lower.  I ranked it first last year too, but now I think it's overrated.  Like with Tomb, the problem is that it incentivizes things you already wanted to do.  It makes thinners and junkers even more powerful, and nerfs weak cantrips and gainers, but it's nothing special.

I'm honestly surprised that Baths wasn't dead last before.  People thought Labyrinth was last?  Why?

Tower could go even higher.  Emptying copper or silver is a powerful combo, but you're missing the other powerful combo, which is to cause any kingdom card pileout.  Empty three piles quickly enough, and you win.  Triumphal Arch can do the same, but it doesn't work quite so well, because players contest the piles and then nobody wants to do the work of emptying the third.

Inheritance is great when you can't trash your estates.  When you do trash your Estates, it's a glorified Ferry.  Which is still worth going for after all, but I ranked it around the 50% mark.

I put Border Village somewhat lower, and I think part of it has to do with my ranking method, which involved first ranking all villages together.  I have a hard time seeing Border Village as particularly good among villages.  Yeah sure it only costs an extra $1, and not even a buy.  But $6 isn't a good price point for a village, you'd rather have something that costs $3 or $4 so you can pick it up earlier, on low hands, or with gainers.  I put Border Village above a plain Village, but below several of the villages with nice utility.

Pooka + Bandit Camp

There's the obvious village+draw synergy, but also the treasure gaining + treasure trashing synergy.  It's really tricky though because if you spend all your spoils you might dud the next turn for lack of treasure.  And unless your opponent is mirroring, maybe you want to end the game before the spoils all run out.

I must be behind the times, I still think Duke and Treasure Trove are good.

I think Pooka is being underrated, although I see that I myself rated it at #82 so uh.  Pooka is hard to rate because it looks amazing at first glance, and plays really terribly on first game, and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.  I think the key point is that it's not actually good in the opening, because the average value of +4 cards is about $2.  But it's good after the opening.

My experience with nocturne tells that it really lowers action density in your deck (nights, treasure gainers), so the high rises for all the Villages, Throne room, and especially Procession has a strange timing. Maybe its just the fact, that people are just realizing by how much engines are better than money?
I think it's too much to expect the rankings to have fully absorbed the impact of Nocturne already.  It's more like, we're finally absorbing the impact of Empires and 2nd edition, and maybe a bit of Adventures too.  Recall that the last time we did rankings, Empires wasn't even on Dominion online yet.

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