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Messages - msw188

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Advice on my next expansion purchase?
« on: February 22, 2019, 01:35:57 pm »
I'm not sure if you've already made your decision, but I thought I'd throw in my own experience.  For friends of mine who have enjoyed getting into the game, Cornucopia/Guilds has been a great choice.  Sure there are some cards with lots of reading, but you read Journeyman once and then you know how to play it.  Or you read things about overpay, but they don't require any further thinking once they're in your deck (Herald, Doctor, etc).  Meanwhile, nothing in this box felt like it forced anyone to re-think the basic approach to the game.  So a plus for accessibility, I'd say.  And everybody seemed to like Coffers (although now that Renaissance already has them, maybe they're less of a selling point for C/G).

On the other hand, when involving Empires cards, games often seemed to take longer, and some of my friends would complain about some of the complications.  Not in terms of having to read so much (although Gathering cards are slightly word-y), but instead in terms of having to think/plan so much more, making turns take quite awhile sometimes.  The decisions on how best to handle the existence of Villa, how to properly gauge debt costs, trying to keep track of deck-based Landmarks, what to save with Archive, when to buy Groundskeeper if at all, etc.  All of these things are very interesting and definitely expand the types of games and paths to victory, which is awesome ... but for me they also seem to make infrequent players frustrated because they feel like there are too many versions of "getting the hang of basic gameplay".  Especially for impatient friends who originally liked the game because turns were short.

EDIT: Also in my opinion, Prosperity and Seaside do indeed have more 'duds' making for less fun random games overall.  Still fun though!

Just my own personal experience!  Also, your name just makes me think of the scene in the Houses of Healing where people are dying and the Healer is like, "oh well no, we don't have any kingsfoil, but here are like five other names for it and a poem about it in case you were curious."

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I know this is super-rare, but I had a neck-and-neck game a bit ago where I bought Inn just to stack my deck to allow my next turn to be the final turn, and then my opponent played Fortune Teller and they all went away and it was back down to luck of the draw.  I still won (it would have had to be a pretty unlucky draw to dud after at least having a "correct" starting hand), but it was still interesting to imagine that FT could have been a difference-maker!

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So I hadn't played online for awhile, but I had to try these out, and I have to say, all of these cards are amazingly fun.  Silos is so great, somehow despite feeling like a borderline-must-buy?  Like, even if you are going to trash your coppers away, it really feels like Silos gets your trashing moving way faster (and without the collision danger of just opening with two trashers).  I was a bit surprised by just how great Innovation is too, even if you can only get it working in the Buy phase (Minion was fun here).  Sewers, hm, yes please.  Actually, they're just all great.

I'm very excited about this new set!

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Interesting Card Design Challenges
« on: September 22, 2018, 03:07:17 pm »
Oh right, I didn't think about Gardens.  Hm...
What about the copper only comes from the trash?  So this only really hurts in cases where there were methods to thin down... in which case there should be a way to mitigate the damage (hopefully on the same turn).  And if there weren't any thinners, did you really want a throne room anyways?

King of the Dead
Gain a curse
Gain a curse and a copper from the trash
You may play any action card from your hand twice
You may play this again

I tend to prefer cards that are not strong enough to cost more than 5 or 6.  Cards that stand to get some use throughout the game, rather than cards you need to build towards acquiring.  Not a hard and fast rule by any means (I still love Inheritance!), but I still think it would be cool to arrange this card to be available early (and without large debt - although I also like that mechanic).  Adds to the challenge of the design in any case!

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Interesting Card Design Challenges
« on: September 21, 2018, 10:26:09 pm »
For the infinite loop challenge:
King of the Dead
Gain a curse and a copper
Gain a curse from the trash
You may play any action card from your hand twice
You may play this again

Could this cost 6, or even 5?  Maybe too bonkers with strong trashing, too self-damaging with no trashing?  Would be nice if Bridge didn't get doubled.

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite Expansions in 2018
« on: July 18, 2018, 10:26:52 pm »
Okay maybe I should have said "centralizing" instead of "monolithic" about Goons.  And it's more an opinion than an actual fact of any sort.  I feel that any board with Goons on it automatically becomes "how can I maximize my Goons output as early and as consistently as possible?"  Practically no other payload matters in comparison.  The attack is brutal, contributes to snowballing, and typically is impossible to ignore.  The coin payload is large enough to hold its own.  It comes with its own buy.  It comes with its own VP without necessarily worsening your deck.  Very few cards do even one of those things better than Goons, and it does them all.  Of course, it's terminal.  Like almost any other worthwhile payload.  So yeah, you need to use the rest of the Kingdom to support it.  But that feels like what always happens - the rest of the kingdom is relegated to support, and any other terminal better have something to do with playing more Goons (same as all the rest - draw, villages, trashing, etc).

I don't mind attacks!  I like Militia, Ghost Ship, Legionary etc, because alone they only provide about half of what Goons does.  You need some other payload together with them to make it all work at the end.  I like Witch and Torturer.  Even though junking can snowball too, it runs out after awhile and at least at the end of the day you need some other sort of payload.  A lot of the later attacks (Adventures, Empire) are more interesting and less snowball-inducing, which is great.  They also don't provide all the forms of payload you need.

I wonder if people would like Rebuild better if it were terminal.  In such a case, would we call it less monolithic, even though it might still have the ability to be centralizing?  Or would it even be so great in that scenario, since it doesn't really earn THAT much VP per play?

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite Expansions in 2018
« on: July 17, 2018, 03:45:18 pm »
I don't think I hate any expansion, but yeah Prosperity is at the bottom for me.  I remember a friend had this box, and we'd get groups together to play, and I'd always start out thinking "I should use cards from this since I don't get to play with it as often," then looking over the cards and having trouble picking some.

I'm no expert, but I will stand by Goons as probably the worst card in Dominion in terms of "promotes monolithic play".  I'd be interested to see a board with Goons where "be able to play as many Goons as quickly as possible" isn't the only winning strategy.  I guess maybe some sort of extremely fast pileout board, which would probably also trounce anything else considered monolithic (like Rebuild, say).

There are several cards in Prosperity that are fine, but a bit boring.  This isn't just because it's an early expansion.  Compare Worker's Village (a fine village!) with Mining Village which is probably a less helpful village, but a lot more interesting to play with.  In fact, Worker's Village ends up making buys on other cards feel less valuable, because you know you're going to need a couple villages anyways, so you'll be getting "buys for free".  Another example is Monument (I do like this card though!).  Loan and Trade Route are others where, it seems okay as a single card trasher, but is it really that fun?  If there's any other trasher, this is probably redundant and of questionable utility (and Loan can cause you to skip your other trasher).  If there is no other trasher, I always feel like these guys force themselves to be useful, rather than feeling fun/interesting in their own right.  I'd also prefer it if Loan could put the revealed treasure back on top as an option.

There are also cards that are just old cards +1, but where this extra +1 warps the potential strength of the card so greatly that it must be priced too high for early gameplay.  As a result I end up enjoying the earlier versions better, unless Platinum/Colony are in:
-Throne Room (almost always fun!) vs King's Court (sometimes just too bonkers for me, also 'sort of' monolithic).  Meanwhile, I love the middle ground of Royal Carriage.
-Remodel (almost always fun!) vs Expand (sometimes fun, but other times is this even worth it by the time you can afford it?).  Meanwhile, I love the middle ground of Transmogrify, Butcher, Taxman, some others.  I also like Forge as a more interesting version of an expensive super-remodeler.
-I think Market and Grand Market are both a bit boring, but at least Market is available for more of the game in some sense.

All that said, let me list some other cards from Properity I do really enjoy, since I claim not to hate it:
-Watchtower (super cool reaction especially for certain boards)
-Contraband (one of my favorite interactions)
-Rabble
-Bank

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite Expansions in 2018
« on: July 15, 2018, 04:59:40 pm »
Browsing by and saw this thread reappear, thought I'd post my own thoughts as a self-proclaimed 'intermediate' player.  Top is favorite, bottom is least favorite.  Asterisk is unowned, but played online plenty

1. Adventures - What's more exciting than going on an adventure?  Love events, love reserves, love tokens.  Less into the Travelers, but still think they're interesting.  Distant Lands is beautiful; I always want to force Miser to work out rather than trashing; Raze is cRaze-y; Dungeon is my favorite sifter, and I love it when sifting is strong enough to makeup for weak trashing; Amulet; Relic might be my favorite attack in the game; oh but wait there's Bridge Troll; Transmogrify is definitely my favorite remodeller in the game (sorry Butcher, you're still cool though); half the time when I look at a board I think, "wouldn't it be great if Seaway were an event here?;" Storyteller is so weird!!!; I could go on and on.

I think this set has a LOT of cards that are impactful in a large variety of ways, and the tokens just multiply the possibilities from there.  Nothing feels quite as bonkers as, say, King's Court, but a lot of stuff feels more powerful than the average card to me.  I think I'd recommend this as a third or fourth purchase to most players.  I think the events, reserves, and tokens are pretty intuitive concepts that absolutely alter the game without complicating it beyond 'Dominion'.  But I have a couple friends who disagree, and feel like this goes a bit too far.

2. Cornucopia+Guilds - I've only ever known these as a single box, and man it's a great box.  I recommend this as the second buy (after Base) to friends, and there are a couple reasons.  First off, once the player understands how money cards work, the coin tokens feel like a very natural offshoot.  We usually ignore the details and say use them whenever during the buy phase - very simple.  Second, there are a lot of fun cards in here that feel pretty balanced to me.  Merchant Guild is one of my absolute favorites; Herald is great; Butcher is second only to Transmogrify (like I said, you're still super-cool) as a remodeller; who doesn't love Menagerie?; I think Plaza is a great village for beginners who usually still have some treasures around to discard, and then feel clever about drawing again later; Jester is ridiculous; I'd probably put Advisor on 90% of boards if I could; Horn of Plenty!!

I think the simplicity here would threaten to trump the craziness of Adventures, but I have to admit that there are some cards I really don't like in this box.  Hunting Party just feels like an overpowerful Laboratory, which already felt like a pretty strong card.  Tournament isn't very fun, and seems to dominate the strategy on every board it appears.  I don't think I've ever successfully used Harvest to any good effect.  And I wish I felt like I knew how to win with Fairgrounds on a 'standard' board (ie no piles with individually named cards).

3. Base 2nd ed - Man, this box is great.  Not much more to say, really.  I need some Vassals.

4. Empires - This feels like a dangerous tipping point to me.  I like the Landmarks, but they don't feel like as much fun as Events, sometimes altering the rules beyond the point where it still feels like 'Dominion' to me.  There are lots of well-balanced cards here I think, but some of them can really require spending time thinking about the future.  Like, if Villa's on the board, not only could a turn have two action phases, the player also spends more time trying to figure out if it's worthwhile to plan on eventually having two action phases.  Does anyone actually know when to start buying Castles?  Archive is great, but it takes a minute, and the payoff is in the future, not now.  Debt necessitates comparing future costs with present gains (despite this, I really like Debt overall).  Groundskeepers are potentially useless until the right future turn.  So do I buy them now?  Also is it just me, or is Wild Hunt potentially bonkers?  If I complained about Hunting Party up above, I probably should complain about this one too.  I do love Farmer's Market though.

That was a lot of rambling to explain why this isn't higher.  It isn't any lower because, man, these are some interesting, thought-provoking cards!  Does Charm suck?  Probably not, that's probably just me sucking!  Also, Enchantress is actually probably my favorite attack, even though I still love Relic.  All in all though, I don't recommend this one as an early buy.  This set expands the 'headspace' around Dominion more than the 'playspace', if that makes any sense.  I really don't think the box should say 30min for a game on this one.

5. Hinterlands* - When I look at card lists for expansions I don't own, man does this one look great!  Maybe no game-changers in here, but so many interesting cards!  I haven't played with them as much so I won't do another goofy list, but this one's almost certainly next on my to-buy list.  How have I lived without Haggler in my life??

6. Intrigue 2nd ed - This is not at all a slight against Intrigue.  I like a lot of these cards.  Wishing Well is hilarious; Masquerade is a favorite; Lurker is super-interesting; Conspirator and Bridge are classics for sure.  The attacks are pretty great too.  Maybe Swindler and Torturer could have cost more...?  But they're still ok.  Love Duke and Nobles too.  It's interesting to think that, before this expansion, there was no concept of choosing between actions on a card, or Victory-Action cards.  But having been introduced to Dominion at a point far beyond that, I take a lot of this for granted now.  And there are not many true favorites for me in here.  I think Intrigue is the ultimate complement - I feel like I can always turn to it to fill out a board, but I rarely start here when thinking of cards it'd be fun to put in.

7. Seaside* - First off, the box has that nice shade of blue.  Secondly, lots of these cards are great!  Again since I haven't played with them as much, I won't do a list.  But I should point out that there are a few cards in here that feel like duds.  Merchant Ship for $5?  Explorer for $5?  And Ambassador sounds cool in theory, but in practice is it really that fun?  Same with Embargo, which is sad because this sounds like such a great idea, but I don't think I've ever played a game where it ended up adding much.

8. Dark Ages* - Looks like there are lots of cool interesting cards in here (Band of Misfits, Count, Sage, Storeroom, plenty more), but some real bummers to play with as well (Cultist, Rebuild, Beggar?, Knights).  I'm not sure how much Shelters really add for me - you want to trash them anyways usually, right?

9. Alchemy - I like several of these cards.  Golem is pretty fun even if it takes so long to get and probably wasn't the fastest option.  Apprentice is awesome.  Actually as I look over these cards, I really enjoy all of them other than Herbalist (which is just too boring), Scrying Pool (takes too long), Philosopher's Stone (takes way too long, and I was forced to read the first Harry Potter in grade school and thought it was awful before turning around on the series later), and Transmute.  The issue is, of course, that there are just not many cards in here period.  Also, even though I like Possession, I understand that it can create un-fun games.

10. Prosperity* - I know a lot of folks like this one, but honestly I look at the card list and I'm pretty underwhelmed.  Lots of treasures that are kind of neat, but only Quarry gets me actively excited.  Oh and I genuinely love Contraband.  But is Venture really worth $5?  City sounds like a cool idea, but I haven't played many games with it where it turned out to be very interesting.  The real problem though is that there are lots of cards here that feel super powerful without feeling very interesting.  Goons might be my least favorite card in the game.  Mountebank is also not very fun.  Grand Market has the cool buying condition, but it's not so interesting once it's in your deck.  King's Court is just bonkers - sometimes fun, but not always.  Is Expand really worth $7?

??? Nocturne - I've barely played with these cards at all.  In the few games that I have played, I'd say that Night is pretty cool and the alternative treasures to start with are great, but Boons and Hexes and States(?) push the game past what I think of as 'Dominion', at least at the moment.  Just reading the cards a bit, I really like the idea of playing a card that you don't yet have a copy of in play (Imp, Conclave).  I also remember liking the Vampire and Bat thing from a game I played.  Is Cobbler a good card?  Sounds pretty interesting, but like Band of Misfits (also an interesting card), I don't often get the feeling I want to pass up some other $5 for the chance to have more $4's.

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Engine with no extra cards per turn?
« on: March 23, 2018, 09:34:21 pm »
JSH:
Hey boss, how's it goin?

JW:
This is a great example, thanks!  See, I can't tell here if this is really the fastest approach.  I mean, it works out here because the opponent built an inferior engine-ish thing?  But would this really beat a money-bot?  Like, Moneylender-Silver, then buy two Witches (or maybe Witch-Sentry, I never know how much money-ish decks should worry about collisions, and Sentry can help discard greens and maybe even trash a curse or two) and all money, prioritize playing Witch over Moneylender until Curses run out, buy Province on first 8 (or maybe first 8 after first gold)?  I literally have no clue.  And this is with Remodel as part of the Kingdom, which I think wants to tip the balance toward the engine-player.  If it weren't there, maybe the money-ish deck is actually better?

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Engine with no extra cards per turn?
« on: March 23, 2018, 06:39:55 pm »
If my draw card is Torturer, I'm going for the engine, multiple gains or no multiple gains.
Torturer is multiple gains per turn .. for your opponent.
Haha true enough.

Ok, so I've thought just a little bit here.  I imagined attacks would be the important thing.  I thought of Witch, but I guess that's different - the money-ish player can probably manage to give out 3 curses or so (maybe?) before the engine player can empty the other 7 on them.  With Torturer, are you implying that the engine player should be able to discard rather than take the curse the vast majority of the time that the money-ish player plays their Torturer?  Whereas eventually the money-ish player will be forced to take all 10 curses once the engine player is able to play multiple Torturers per turn?

Also Haunted Woods is a great attack I didn't think of.  What a cool card!

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« on: March 23, 2018, 06:25:30 pm »
I did see the Tempo Challenge, and I think those kinds of challenges are a great idea!  I guess I'm just saying that I don't think tempo applies very well here.  The problem is the attack.  It feels reasonable that on a lot of boards, ignoring Page leads to more efficient deck-building and getting a good deck up-and-running faster.  So yeah, better tempo.  But the Champion - multiWarrior combo seems as though it would ruin this.  Is building a better deck quickly really better if it gets dismantled after only a handful of turns?

All of this leads me to a probably too-broad hypothesis: Page is only ignorable when the Warrior-attack is ignorable.  So maybe something like Lighthouse every turn, or decks with no necessary 3-4-cost cards (excluding cost reducing, etc).  I think someone earlier said something like this already, so I guess I'm just agreeing with an earlier post.

EDIT: It was aku_chi's post with the video that already said a lot of this that I think I agree with.

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« on: March 23, 2018, 03:56:15 pm »
I'm pretty interested in this question.  I remember first seeing Champion and thinking "Wow!", then after playing a couple times wondering how helpful it really was given how late you tend to get it.  Then I read about going for the 'multiple Warriors' route and it sounded powerful again.

It seems like a very difficult question.  I'm particularly intrigued by this line of reasoning:
You have to buy Villages anyway, otherwise your deck will suck until you get to Champion.
If the trashing and/or cycling is strong enough, you can get to Champion pretty quickly. I've opened Page/Guide before now, and only worked on buying payload when it didn't interfere with upgrading. That went fine.

In terms of turns, yes, but in terms of shuffles it still takes just as many shuffles and your opponent is also shuffling faster in those games. Also, if you spend the early game buying cards like Guide, you'll end up with a deck that just has cantrips and Treasures by the time you get Champion, which is super inefficient because then the Champion doesn't really do anything.

As a novice, I don't think the outcome is very clear from the outset.  I mean, imagine a scenario where P1 loads up on Pages and Guides / other sifters.  Meanwhile P2 ignores Page and builds an engine a bit more conventionally, sprinkling in Villages and payload as he goes.  Are the extra buys spent on Villages really that much more efficient than the extra buys spent on the Guides, given that at the end P1 can just leave the useless Guides on the tavern mat out of the way, while P2 requires his (vulnerable to Warrior) Villages for his engine to work?  There will probably be a couple turns when P1 has to add some worthwhile economy/payload while P2 already has his payload firing, but during those turns P1 is playing multiple Warriors and maybe ruining P2's deck.  Is the early advantage of P2 enough?  P1 is now immune to attacks and can't be 'slowed down'; his engine sputters only when he chooses to add green.  P2 runs the risk of his engine sputtering due to the attacks of P1, and may lose control.  Can P2 afford redundant buys due to the losses from P1's attacks?  It doesn't sound that much different to me than the clear early economy advantage of Big Money being nullified by the eventual control of a mid-to-late game Engine.  P2's quicker path to deck-control may be nullified by P1's eventual destruction of P2's deck control, leaving P1 with the true control of the late-game.

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Dominion General Discussion / Engine with no extra cards per turn?
« on: March 23, 2018, 03:19:07 pm »
Hello, I've been lurking here for awhile, but decided to register today to ask what a couple questions.

1. Is it ever correct to attempt to build an engine (ie attempt a deck that can draw itself and/or play all of its actions) when there is no way to gain more than one card per turn?  So no +buy, no gainers, no remodel-type cards, no digging in the trash, etc.  In this scenario, what could make an engine any faster/better than a money-focused deck?

2. Same question, but ease the restriction.  Is an engine the right move if there is no way to gain more than one victory card per turn (other than Estate), so allow something like Lurker with no action-victory cads, or Workshop and no Gardens/Silk Roads/etc / cost reducers.

I know there is probably not a super-broad answer, but I'm interested in what people thintk can make an engine strong in the absence of multiple gains in a turn, if anything.  I'm guessing there might be some cases where playing an attack every turn, even if it doesn't start happening until mid-game, might be worth it?  Oh, and some sort of limitless Victory Token scenario like King's Courts and Monuments, but this feels more edge-case-y to me than the requirements of my question to begin with.  But maybe it really isn't - I'm guessing my question only applies to a relatively small fraction of kingdoms.  But I'm still curious to see if experts think an engine can be viable if it can't gain things any faster than money.

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