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Dominion General Discussion / Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« on: January 08, 2018, 03:41:45 pm »
Maybe I am incompetent, but I find Discord very difficult to follow and worse, not entertaining. My usage of it has dropped significantly. These forums are far better for finding helpful tidbits or juicy knock-down, drag-out fights.

General Discussion / Re: STAR WARS
« on: January 03, 2018, 05:33:52 pm »
I enjoyed The Last Jedi well enough as an action flick. I feel like Star Wars movies have the capacity to say something meaningful about power, corruption, government, and politics, but fall short.

Lingering questions for me:

1. Snoke says he is responsible for the connection between Kylo Ren and Rey, but that connection continues after his death. The movie also makes a big deal of pointing out the Luke/Leia sibling telepathic force connection or whatever it is first introduced in Empire. Are we supposed to infer that there is a chance Kylo Ren and Rey are blood relatives? That is, are we to infer that Kylo Ren is lying or mistaken about the origin of Rey's parents?

2. Is anyone else bothered that the film set up an attraction between Finn/Rey in VII, Finn/Rose in VIII, and only briefly had a scene of all three of them together at the end? Awkward...

3. Like silverspawn, I am also really bothered by the state of the Resistance. What happened after the Return of the Jedi? What happened after A Force Awakens? Normally I don't care about background that much, especially for action flicks, but it is weird (depressing?) to see such complete victories, but then by the end of the Last Jedi the totality of the military resistance fits inside of the Millennium Falcon.

4. Is it confirmed that Snoke/Kylo Ren are Sith? I didn't think so. While their journey mirrors the Sith (one master, one apprentice, apprentice kills master), I didn't think they were actually Sith.

Dominion Articles / Re: Dominion phase diagrams
« on: November 30, 2017, 09:23:47 pm »
Let's use "reliability" to refer to the probability that you draw forever.  I don't have an explicit expression for the reliability, but I know that the larger D is, the larger the reliability is.

Well, we can do the calculation for the Lab engine.

Define p to be the probability that a Lab draws finitely many cards. Then

p = probability of drawing two Coppers
   + probability of drawing one Copper and one Lab that draws finitely many cards
   + probability of drawing two labs that each draw finitely many cards


p = (1-d)^2 + 2*(1-d)*d*p + d^2*p^2

Solving for p gives

p = 1 or ((d-1)/d)^2

Therefore, the probability that a Lab draws infinitely many cards is

1 - p = 0 or 1 - ((d-1)/d)^2

That curve looks like this:

The probability that your deck will draw forever depends on how many cards you start out with in your hand. I will do the easy case: a two card hand. Drawing a two card hand is just like playing a Lab, so the two-card hand reliability curve is exactly the graph above. I will now take the cop-out and leave the 5 card hand as an exercise for the reader.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: How to Win Less...
« on: November 14, 2017, 06:20:56 pm »
They aren't complete newbies.  They'll ask stuff like "what cards trash?", before the game start, because they haven't memorized the cards, but know how important early trashing is, and don't want to miss something.

This is exactly why I stick with 2-3 expansions and try to keep the amount of "newness" to a minimum by keeping some cards the same game to game. Until people have memorized what a card does, they cannot effectively think about strategy. They are simply spending all of their "thinking" time reading cards while you are actually strategizing. I stuck with Seaside, Intrigue, and Prosperity for years with a particular trio of friends for this reason and we all had fun.

As far as generating simple kingdoms on the spot? There are apps/generators, but I've had the best luck with sticking with the early expansions (which tend to be simpler) and drawing randomly. For a while, I had an alternative base Dominion set of cards I used. It was basically Hoard instead of Adventurer, Lighthouse instead of Moat, etc. plus some simpler cards from later expansions like Border Village. But the duds are mostly gone now, so I just use the early sets straight up.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: How to Win Less...
« on: November 14, 2017, 04:57:12 pm »
Is there anything about this kingdom that screams "the newbies will get crushed"?

Yes. You've generated it in advance of play and thought about it.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: How to Win Less...
« on: November 14, 2017, 04:52:36 pm »
Go last.

Don't play full random. Instead, try to get more repetition with fewer cards. You can do this by sticking with 2-3 expansions and don't reshuffle the entire kingdom each game. Instead, let each player remove a card from the kingdom and shuffle in a new one.

Oh, and Remodel trashes, but I don't think there is anything in the list that I would rank more than 1 level different. I would put Moneylender in A and Remodel in B. Vassel could be C in my opinion; I just don't use it very much successfully, but maybe that's on me!

Curious what prompted you to make the list? Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of having a tiered list that helps people quickly identify key cards, but I thought you would be one of the last people to post one...

The 4 tiers would include an “S” tier, an “A” tier, a “B”, tier and a “C” tier.
We have Qvist rankings and now Adam rankings, do we need a third list? Just take Adam's rankings and tier those.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Asking for Undo
« on: November 08, 2017, 01:59:39 pm »
I will grant undos related to misplays and obvious mistakes because currently that is the work-around for the unintuitive and clunky UI. If someone asks for an undo when it's not an obvious misplay (especially if it's multiple steps back), I will ask "why?" before considering granting.

To your specific questions:
Do you find it poor manners to be denied an undo? Is that not an asshole move to refuse a quick undo? No. In rated games denying is more competitive and allowing is more friendly. Maybe in practice games?
Am I doing these players wrong by resigning and blocking them?  No. Just don't leave and make them wait for a time out.
Is it normal to refuse an undo and still be someone people want to play with? Yes, I think? Only Stef would have the data on that.

Dominion Articles / Re: Etiquette in Dominion Online
« on: October 31, 2017, 10:35:21 am »
Don’t: whine about luck. A simple ‘ugh’ every now and then is warranted and certainly forgivable – and I would always allow a ‘ffs’ when Warrior trashes a Warrior or Sea Hag hags a Sea Hag – but claiming that your opponent is “a lucky boy” or is only winning because of unbelievable luck is not very respectful and probably a sign you should take a break.

Strike the parenthetical ("and I would always allow a ‘ffs’ when Warrior trashes a Warrior or Sea Hag hags a Sea Hag"). Not everyone would appreciate that comment. I certainly would not.

Do: acknowledge your opponent’s bad luck and your own good luck. You pulled Locusts from the Hex deck and trashed their Overlord? “Oh man, sorry. That’s harsh.” Be humble. Sometimes you are a lucky boy and you are winning mostly because of your unbelievable luck.

I would strike this point entirely or strike everything before "Be humble". If you keep it, say "lucky" instead of "a lucky boy".

Do: acknowledge your opponent at the end of the game. A common convention is for the losing player to say ‘gg’ (good game) first, and the winner to respond in kind. The winner saying ‘gg’ first is seen in some circles as taunting or poor sportsmanship, especially if it’s prior to the end of the game. If you win and your opponent says nothing, a simple ‘thanks for the game’ is fine.

Don’t: say ‘gg’ before the end of the game unless you are going to resign. In this context, ‘gg’ is usually interpreted as, “You’ve got this. I concede.” If you don’t follow this with a resignation, it may come across as a meta-gaming tactic2.

Keep the focus on politeness. If you insist on including something like this, I would rewrite as follows:

Do: Acknowledge your opponent at the end of the game.

Don’t: Say ‘gg’ before the end of the game, unless you are going to resign immediately. In some gaming circles ‘gg’ is interpreted as, “You’ve got this. I concede.” If you don’t follow a `gg' with a resignation, your opponents may see it as taunting, poor sportsmanship, or a meta-gaming tactic2.

Don’t: resign in the middle of your opponent’s turn. 

I agree, but others may not. It seems way less impolite than the other things on this list. Strike it.

Don’t: run up the score. Victory margin counts for nothing. If you can end the game quickly on your turn, do it. With rare exceptions, your opponent does not want or need to see your amazing engine one more time.

Strike or reword. "Victory margin counts for nothing" is a very ratings-implementation-specific statement.

Do: End the game quickly if you have the win in hand.


Also, stylistically, I think it would be better to either capitalize the first word after the colon in each paragraph or remove the colon.

Dominion Articles / Re: Etiquette in Dominion Online
« on: October 31, 2017, 10:04:25 am »
Do: Blacklist players you do not want to play against again.

You could think of an event as a thing that is printed on a card, but which is distinct from the card itself.  You cannot buy the card that the event is printed on.  You can, however, buy the event which is described by the card.  The names of the specific events are the same as the names of the card.   For example, I might say that Donate (the card) is a really strong card; then later I might buy Donate (the event) and claim that I had nonetheless not bought a card.  Sometimes we refer to the card as an "event card" or simply an "event".

Exactly.  Very nicely said. 

Re: redundant responses. It's really ok to completely eliminate duplicate answers from the final transcript or combine 4 people's identical answers into one as part of the editing process. Not everyone has to say something for every question and the editor doesn't have to present every answer even if they do.

I do also prefer round tables to be no more than four plus host.

village -- card that gives at least +2 actions
psuedo-village -- card that can be used to play at least 2 additional actions

However, I prefer descriptive phrases as opposed to treating "village" as a card type (which it's not). "Extra actions" and "acts like a village" are good. As in, "I am using Throne Room to play extra actions" when playing TR-TR-terminal. Or, "Here, Summon acts like a village". Or, "Procession-Pearl Diver gives me extra actions". Or "Crossroads is a village only the first time you play it."

Big Money Ultimate (capitalized)-- the optimized strategy of buying only basic Treasures and buying only basic Victory cards. Comes from simulation subforum.
Big Money + X (capitalized) -- the optimized strategy for card X which allows for only buying/gaining X, basic Treasures, and basic Victory cards. " Comes from simulation subforum.
Y + X -- the optimized strategy of buying mostly Y with limited numbers of X, basic Treasure, and victory cards. As in "Hunting Party + X" or "Rebuild + X".
Big Money (capitalized) -- The loose deck type laid out in WW's 5 deck type article which people seem to reference, but not have read. Thus, it's becoming an undefined term in casual usage and I try not to use it in favor of describing decks directly.

It seems better to simply describe the deck you are trying to build rather than say "I am going engine here." Great. Thanks for telling me nothing. Try instead, "I want to build a deck that gains as many Minions as possible and thins out coppers and shelters." Or "I will gain a lot Mystics, cantips, and other cards that do not draw dead because I expect a fat and bloated deck." Or "I want to build a deck that consistently draws itself and generates a lot of buys to give control over the end of the game. I will accomplish this by buying Ironworks to gain villages and draw cards, trash with Junk Dealer, and use Squire for buys and a way to get Familiar to slow down my opponent".

I do not like splitter or good stuff. These terms mean nothing to me. And proposed definitions seem sloppier than simply describing what you mean directly.

Dominion Articles / Re: Why is trashing good? (Newb-oriented)
« on: October 01, 2017, 06:41:56 pm »
I like the idea of a 101 article that focuses on trashing a lot.

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

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

These two paragraphs stand out to me in a negative way, though. I do not like the analogy and I think the prose is muddy. The paragraph after ("For fun, imagine that instead of starting with 3 Estates and 7 Coppers...) is fine.

I like the "But what about the Coppers?" Section better.

Maybe condense those three "But what about the points?" paragraphs into one?

Something like:
But what about the points? The points you have at the start of the game don't matter! For fun, imagine that instead of starting with 3 Estates and 7 Coppers, you start the game with just 7 Coppers. That's 0 points, but you're guaranteed to buy a card costing $5 on your first turn and have a chance to play it on your second turn! That's insane, isn't it? That's how much those starting Estates slow you down. You are able to build a much better deck capable of scoring much higher much quicker without those Estates.

Also, maybe consider removing the term "Big Money" from the second to last paragraph? You could just rephrase to eliminate it; something like "Or maybe you just want to buy mostly Treasures and maybe a few Action cards." Basically the same idea, and in those deck compositions, I agree, trashing can sometimes hurt.

Also, much like the feral cats analogy, the phraseology in the concluding paragraph ("(Coppers and Estates are not, they hate you, they say nasty things about you behind your back.  KILL THEM ALL)  Ahem.  At the very least, trashing away your starting cards can give you an edge over your friends, and maybe then you can teach them something about how to play Dominion.") just seems off to me. The KILL THEM ALL joke has a different tone than the rest of the article and I don't know if 101 should conclude with an encouragement on edging out your friends so you can "teach" them a thing or two. At the risk of being stereotypical, people seeking out strategy advice do not need further encouragements to be competitive.

Dominion Articles / Re: Public Service Announcement: Mandarin/Capital
« on: September 26, 2017, 10:15:47 am »
This would be a great combo article for the blog. The blog did used to do combos; just because those old combos are now mostly overshadowed (or were not that great to begin with) doesn't mean there isn't a place to highlight particularly strong or unique card interactions. I enjoyed thinking about the combos posted on the blog when I first found DominionStragtegy; having someone highlight why two cards work particularly well together really got me to think deeper about Dominion and learn something appropriately bite-sized.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Need Help Developing a Ranking System
« on: September 22, 2017, 11:03:41 pm »
I like ehunt's approach and would like to see it updated. I like the idea of "key" card for the following reason: these are the cards you look for first around which to build your deck. Cost/benefit puts the focus on the wrong place: on the turn to turn buying decision at the expense of the overarching strategy decision.

Dominion Articles / Re: Gold
« on: September 21, 2017, 06:02:09 pm »
One thought on the challenge: maybe change from "never gain a Gold" to "never buy a Gold." 


Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: Official Dominion Online FAQ [Draft]
« on: September 21, 2017, 05:37:37 pm »
While this all looks like useful stuff, it doesn't look like an FAQ.

It reads a lot more like an instruction manual. The FAQ is the place someone goes when they have a question, not the place they go before they begin to work out what they're doing.

It is part instruction manual, part FAQ.  See the final section, titled FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

Ideally this would be split into separate documents.

Dominion Articles / Re: Gold
« on: September 21, 2017, 05:12:52 pm »
Edited section headings; minor tweaks to first half of article; removed some wishy-washiness making it clear that this article is directed more to beginner/intermediate level play; added example games; added concluding challenge.

I don't plan on any other major additions or changes. If you see anything you think should be changed, or any typos, please let me know.

If you think the "challenge" is stupid and the article should end with the examples, or you know of better archived video examples, please let me know that, too.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: Official Dominion Online FAQ [Draft]
« on: September 21, 2017, 10:43:08 am »
I have only reviewed the FAQ section so far. Here are a few suggestions.

New answer for "Can I play offline or on my mobile device?" -- Dominion Online is an online only game supported by browsers X, Y, and Z on platforms P, Q, and R. Mobile apps and offline play are in development, but are not available at this time. (obviously, fill in the blanks)

Delete "It is believed by the designer and playtesters that these changes have made the first two sets of Dominion more well-balanced, and more enjoyable to play."

New answer to "Where are the Campaigns?" -- Dominion Online does not have a campaign or story mode. To play a single player game of Dominion, set up a new table against bots.

Dominion Articles / Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« on: September 20, 2017, 12:33:24 pm »
Even more confusingly, in part 2, you define a new deck type (stockpile) by deck composition rather than in your new way: the answers to the seven articles. In fact, you never outline its solutions to the seven obstacles at all. Further, in the comments you go back and forth between deck composition definitions and seven obstacles definitions as it suits you which is very confusing.

Do you think the article should be just a database of solutions? That's not what I wanted to create. You're not supposed to memorize this, you're supposed to learn how to implement this approach in your own thinking.

Well, since you asked... ;)

If your ultimate goal is for readers to learn how to implement this approach in their own thinking, then I would work to eliminate much of part 2 because part 2 just gets me thinking "how on earth is Awaculus thinking about all of these different terms for which I seem to have different definitions?" and totally distracts me from your intended purpose.

Here's my concrete suggestions:

Keep a distinction between describing decks by their contents and by their strategy and be clear when you are referring to one but not the other.

Have three examples.

1. Keep Hermit/Market Square, move it first. Except, eliminate the final paragraph of the example (we'll save it for later).
2. Add Native Village/Bridge as a specific example; lay out its solutions to the seven obstacles.
3. Rework the big money/good stuff example; it is too general. Replace it with an easy to describe money based deck like BMU or Smithy-Big Money that you can link to; lay out its solutions to the seven obstacles.

Now you have the "Conclusion" paragraph, only I would actually eliminate the word "conclusion" and make the bolded first sentence the new paragraph header.

Ok, now you've laid out the big reveal. Now you can review what this means for the three examples and thinking about grouping and and naming strategies.

1. Insert that cut paragraph explaining why Hermit-Market Square is a specific strategy all to itself (modified to fit its new location in the article).
2. When describing example 2, say something like "In contrast, Native Village/Bridge is NOT unique. The same answers to the seven obstacles apply to other deck constructions like Royal Carriage/Bridge and Duplicate Bridge, that accumulate large quantities of Reserve cards, cards on the Native Village mat, coin tokens, or other resources and then it suddenly uses them for a megaturn. I like to call this useful category stockpile."
3. Have another paragraph that explains that other money-ish decks (even ones with a lot of non-terminal actions) also answer the seven obstacles in the same way as example 3 and be lumped together strategically with Smithy-Big Money. They are all playing the same strategy but with different cards. Maybe even say you like to call these decks "good stuff" or "money" decks. Don't use the term Big Money (capitalized) with regards to this general strategy category. Like wero points out, many other people have a very specific and different idea about what Big Money (capitalized) means.

Eliminate everything from "Figuring out the answers that rushes, slogs, and engines have..." all the way to the last paragraph.

Rewrite last paragraph to something like this "When you are thinking about a strategy, it is a good idea to figure out how your strategy would address the obstacles. As the number and the complexity of card-shaped things keeps going up, we are going to see more and more of completely new types of strategies. There certainly needs to be some kind of framework that allows us to understand what makes a strategy work, and this has been an early attempt at that task."

This keeps the focus on what you most intend and makes it clear about with what you disagree in regards to the term "combo decks" and the five deck types in a more specific way. I think this will be less confusing to people. 

Dominion Articles / Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« on: September 20, 2017, 08:11:53 am »
The main point of your article seems to be this: a strategy should be defined by its answers to overcoming the seven obstacles, not the composition of the deck, and all deck compositions that answer the questions in the same way are in fact the same strategy. But 1) to make this reversal in the “conclusion” that is halfway through the article, you have to assume the common compositional definition of a deck type and everyone has to be on the same page, and 2) you fail to follow through on your new definition in the second half of the article. I will try to make these criticisms clear below.

Your Hermit/Market Square example is a really good example because everyone is clear about what you are talking about. It's a very explicitly defined deck and build order and you link to an article that describes it, so anyone who does not know what you are talking about can get on the same page before reading about its solutions to the obstacles. Great, we know how to build a Hermit/Market Square deck, and now we know that we can think of its definition as not the build order laid out in the linked article, but instead as the solution to overcoming the seven obstacles.

The "Big money (also known as good stuff)" example is actually a pretty terrible example even after the edits. It seems like you are talking about something a lot more ill-defined than the Hermit/Market Square example. The example fails to provide the same cathartic reversal as the Hermit/Market Square example because you do not get us on the same page for the position from which you want to reverse. Then you try to generalize other deck compositions as “big money” based on the answers to the seven obstacles and the disconnect increases because we weren’t on the same page to start.

How exactly do I play a "Big money (also known as good stuff)" strategy mechanically? What’s the composition of the deck? What’s the build order? Not based on your definition, but based on the definition you are trying to refute: the before-the-reversal, composition-based definition.

If it's so simple, why am I (and many others) so confused every time you talk about "Big money (also known as good stuff)" or really any other “strategy”?

Much better would be if you first used Big Money Ultimate (only basic treasure and basic victory cards) as the example. To be really specific, maybe pick a bot in this thread. Then, after the conclusion, in part 2, generalize. Make the point that how BMU overcomes the seven obstacles applies to other deck compositions, as well, for example, a deck that buys only Mystics. Because they have the same answers, they are the same strategy.

But even this is not obvious. If my answer to #4 for BMU would have been “The high-quality cards you add to your deck are all Basic Treasures”, rather than what you wrote, then the Mystic deck would not be the same strategy as BMU. So you have to impose some kind of generalization in the answers to group deck compositions into strategies. How general can you go while still being useful? It's not obvious.

In Part 2, you NEED to define big money, engine, slog, and rush in the context of the seven obstacles. What exactly are you thinking? I have no clue based on your article and responses to comments in the thread. (Well, maybe more for engine because you endorse faust’s post.) Because answering the seven obstacles at the right level of generalization is not trivial, you cannot leave it to the reader as an exercise. You need to do the work to lay them all out yourself because clearly people do not agree with you.

Even more confusingly, in part 2, you define a new deck type (stockpile) by deck composition rather than in your new way: the answers to the seven articles. In fact, you never outline its solutions to the seven obstacles at all. Further, in the comments you go back and forth between deck composition definitions and seven obstacles definitions as it suits you which is very confusing.

I think it’s important that you are very explicit about laying out all of these definitions for big money, rush, slog, combo, and engine in the article because I really do not understand your distinctions and I do not agree with your characterization of WW’s articles on the deck types. I think if you are more clear, there would be less confusion.

For example, you say:

the concept of there being a continuum between big money and engine with all sorts of strategies with different numbers of moving parts in between was invented by you and I never heard of it before today.

But Wandering Winder says:

Basically, [big money] gets the bulk of its income from treasures bigger than copper, so silver, gold, platinum, fool’s gold, venture, etc. It also doesn’t cycle particularly quickly.

there are a number of different types of Big Money deck… Terminal Draw… Terminal Non-Draw… Engine Hybrid… Treasure Flood

Under Engine Hybrid:

Also, you will sometimes add a little nonterminal draw to the terminal non-draw money deck, and this can maintain a money feel. Do both, and you are creeping into engine territory. A weak dividing line is how often you will pass up gold for a cheaper component, though this isn’t foolproof.


Of course, every deck is different, and every particular kingdom is different. And there aren’t necessarily big bright dividing lines between all five deck types – indeed, I think every type fits fairly nicely ‘between’ two others, and at some point, the two can bleed into each other.

So it is incorrect of you to say you have never heard of the concept of a continuum between big money and engine. It’s right in the WW articles you supposedly agree with and are expanding upon.


In short, I agree very much with
I think this is a useful article, but I think the title puts the focus in the wrong place. In my opinion, the valuable insight here is thinking about the "obstacles" and the need to determine a strategy that can address each one.

Dominion Articles / Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« on: September 19, 2017, 06:14:48 pm »
Regarding Attacks: I am not sure that Attacks add entirely new obstacles so much as modify the existing ones. For example, junking attacks modify #1 to "Your deck consists of crappy cards". Sure, every game you start with crappy cards, but some games that's not the extent of the crap; it just keeps coming. Discard attacks modify #3. Militia, for example, "You only get 3 cards and 1 buy a turn". And so on.

That's true for those attacks, but Enchantress, for instance, does something unique. I didn't want to write a novel about attacks, so I thought that this covers all the cases sufficiently.

Sort of? But not really. I just don't agree that Attacks should be thought of as completely orthogonal to the existing 7 obstacles. 

Enchantress makes the first Action you play a temporarily crappy card, "adding" a crappy card to your deck. Again, a modification of 1, "Your deck consists of crappy cards". But this time it's only temporary. The tougher example for me to think about is attacking trashers like Knights and Noble Brigand. They simply remove good cards (theoretically) from your deck. But that leaves crappier cards for you to deal with, so again, "Your deck consists of crappy cards" could still apply as an obstacle.

Dominion Articles / Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« on: September 19, 2017, 05:40:44 pm »
I like the direction the re-write is taking and the new title of the thread.

I like the idea of a stratgey being a particular solution to obstacles.

  • Your starting deck consists of crappy cards
  • The main source of VP comes from putting crappy cards into your deck
  • You only get 5 cards and 1 buy every turn
  • You can only play one Action card every turn
  • When you buy a card, it takes a while before you even get to use it at all
  • You don’t always draw cards in the order you would like
  • In order to win, you need to be able to end the game by emptying the Provinces, Colonies or any three piles while you’re ahead

The obstacles are a combination of explicit rules (#3 and #4), immediate consequences of the rules (#5, #6, and #7), and immediate implications about the cards once you understand the goal and rules of the game (#1 and #2).

When I teach Dominion to someone, I go through an example hand. Once the realization that "There is no way to afford a Province unless I do something about it" clicks, then we are golden and ready for a real game. So basically, I like this list of obstacles because if a person doesn't understand them, they basically can't play a game of Dominion.

Regarding Attacks: I am not sure that Attacks add entirely new obstacles so much as modify the existing ones. For example, junking attacks modify #1 to "Your deck consists of crappy cards". Sure, every game you start with crappy cards, but some games that's not the extent of the crap; it just keeps coming. Discard attacks modify #3. Militia, for example, "You only get 3 cards and 1 buy a turn". And so on.

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