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Messages - Titandrake

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Dominion Articles / Re: Combos/Counters Article list
« on: June 09, 2020, 02:54:45 pm »
you need to buy 3 HG to really slow the rush down.

The Lurker/HG player can also pivot to 3-pile on Estates/Lurker/HG instead of Duchy/Lurker/HG if they recognize they're going to run out of time, so it only slows down when the 3 pile happens. You still need to score enough in time as well.

There was a Lurker/Fortress/Advance/Hunting Grounds board I watched once, with engine vs pure Lurker/HG rush, and the Lurker/Fortress/HG engine got the win, but was only about 1 turn ahead. I am not optimistic about many combos outdoing what you could do there.

Dominion Articles / Re: Better engine option?
« on: June 02, 2020, 09:05:19 pm »
Adendum: remaining 3 cards were moat, gardens and burocrat or something equally unimpressive.
Moat would actually be pretty relevant because it defends against Council Room/Militia.

Even if Moat could defend against Council Room, you wouldn't want it to. And I doubt you would want to get it just to defend against Militia; your best 3 cards should be enough to kick off a bunch of draw often anyway, and having another bad terminal in your deck is basically doing half a Militia on yourself whenever you draw it anyway. And that's assuming you actually have it in hand when Militia is played.

If they are playing Council Rooms, you have decent odds of drawing into the Moat.

Moat draw isn't great, but it's definitely not a dead card here. Almost all your Actions are cantrips, and you'll likely be Throne-ing Merchant for money, so you shouldn't be too action constrained. Your Moat is also preventing the discard of 3-4 cards, rather than just 2, so it's better than normal here - if they have Militia the upside is better, if they don't the downside is the same.

Also, it only costs $2. I'm looking to pick up 1 or 2 Moats when the opportunity presents itself.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Can you win this turn?
« on: May 27, 2020, 01:59:22 pm »
There's an old thread for these sorts of endgame puzzles that hasn't been used in a while.

People also post these to the #puzzles channel on the Dominion Discord. If you have a subscription for Dominion Online and you see the situation in a real game, you can share the game ID and people can reload the old game to try their solution for real, which can be helpful.

I think a few lines work here but the simplest one I see is TR-TR-TR-Artisan (Vassal + Vassal, topdeck 2 Artisan)-Vassal (+$4, play Artisan topdecking Duchy and 2nd Vassal play hits nothing)-Vassal (+$4, 1st play hits the 2nd Artisan for a 2nd Duchy), buy Province.

Proof of concepting a turn 3 Province empty. It's pretty tight at the start, it's possible that you can get there without Stockpile + Gamble + Destrier, but it makes it harder to get enough actions to play the terminals you want.

Stockpile, Cavalry, Hostelry, Scrap, Coven, Hunting Lodge, Livery, Destrier, Wayfarer, Animal Fair
Stampede, Populate, Way of the Chameleon, Gamble

Turn 1: Stampede
Turn 2: Play 1 Horse drawing 2 Copper, play rest as Chameleon, buy Populate. Draw 2 Estate off Cavalry, now you have 1 Estate left in your draw.
Turn 3: Draw Estate, Hostelry, Hunting Lodge, Livery, Wayfarer
Play everything as draw -> draws 8 cards and you have 1 action left.
Draw: 3x Estate 4x Copper Coven
Coven as draw -> Copper + Destrier
Destrier as draw -> Cavalry + Scrap
Scrap Cavalry for +1 card +1 action +$1 +buy -> Copper.

Your hand is: 3x Estate 6x Copper
Your draw is: Animal Fair, Copper

Play everything, you have $7 and 2 buys
Stockpile -> $4, 1 buy
Gamble 2x -> $5, 1 buy, at end of shuffle
Gamble plays Stockpile -> $6, 2 buys, draw and discard empty

Stockpile -> $3, 1 buy
Gamble 2x playing 2 Stockpile -> $5, 3 buys

Stockpile -> $2, 2 buys
Gamble 3x playing 3 Stockpile -> $5, 5 buys

(Now you have Stockpile-Gamble set up, empty out Stockpiles, then empty Destriers + Gamble them to get actions, then Populate. You have a Livery out so the Horses should be enough draw to get you to loop.)

I got a turn 4 Province empty in game #45234451, which I've having trouble reloading for some reason.

I went for:

Stockpile, Cavalry, Hostelry, Village Green, Coven, Hunting Lodge, Livery, Destrier, Wayfarer, Animal Fair
Stampede, Populate, Way of the Chameleon, Gamble

It's poorly maxed, but the idea is that you get Stampede turn 1, you spend turn 2 and 3 trying to setup for Stockpile-Gamble, then on turn 4 you go for it. With some luck, I got Stockpile-Gamble set up, emptied Stockpiles to get to about $30 with 30 buys, emptied Destrier and Wayfarers for free, then started Gambling those, always playing as Chameleon. Destrier gives +$2 and Wayfarer gives +$3, so Gambling to the end nets you money and also gets you to start with 10 Actions, thanks to Gamble netting +Action when you Gamble a cantrip.

You can then do Populate junk, and with Livery out Populate is a loop because extra Horses turn into +$2 each, making it pretty trivial to draw your deck. I did Populate twice, got to $70, and decided to stop, but I'm pretty sure you can empty the supply if you wanted to.

My setup was a bit janky and I wouldn't be surprised if turn 3 were possible, but you might need crazy luck for that to work.

Edit: Game #45236725 is a better maxed run where I empty all supply piles except Gold on turn 4. I got that pile down to 18 Golds left. I think you might be able to empty Golds if you play it a bit tighter, but it's already a lot of clicks. From a VP perspective, that game ends by giving all 10 Curses to the bot through Coven, while buying all VP cards, and since there are no VP tokens in Menagerie, that's the largest VP differential you can give out.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: Logs
« on: May 15, 2020, 06:58:38 pm »
All logs from the Goko and MakingFun era were hosted on Amazon S3. As far as I know, no one did a bulk download of those games when the site shut down, so those logs are gone forever.

Shuffle IT has game logs, but doesn't save them in raw text, they're saved in a different format (my understanding is that this is part of how the replay system is implemented).

I really wish Shuffle IT exported the raw text logs somewhere, but I'm guessing it's pretty low on priority.

Some projects have direct access to the Shuffle IT database. DomBot on the Dominion Discord is one of those projects. However, I think there's a special agreement between Stef and Cave-o-Sapien for how that works. You could try but I'm not sure how up to date it is, might have broken with Menagerie's release.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Logic behind "special things"
« on: May 15, 2020, 02:09:32 pm »
If you can't think of a reason, it's probably because it makes the card a bit more interesting, or because the below-the-line text was the point of the card and it had to be attached somewhere. The Secret Histories will often explain this.

Quote from: Donald X. link=topic=17955.msg734732#msg734732
Changeling: For a while this was just the top, a sleek simple classic card. We liked it but Matt's group not so much. I tried putting the gained card on your deck, but I like to go light on that as it's easy to forget and a more complex concept. Then I thought of the bottom as a way to hit the flavor harder; your Skulk is swapped at birth for a Changeling.

Quote from: Donald X. link=topic=15660.msg609291#msg609291
Forum: This started at $2 with +2 Cards instead of +3. There were several possible ways to do "when buy +buy" to try to not empty piles too quickly; the solution here was, a more powerful card costing $5.

Spamming Forum is fine, if you get enough of them you can sculpt the 5-card starting hand you want, while almost always getting to the end of the shuffle.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Price this event
« on: May 07, 2020, 08:53:28 pm »
My first instinct says $5. I know IGG costs $5, but IGG comes with a treasure you don't really want. This comes with nothing.

Rules Questions / Re: Considering Trader errata
« on: May 06, 2020, 01:02:55 pm »
This fixes a lot of silly rules junk and dumb infinite's.

Trader + Forum + cost reduction still lets you empty the Silver pile, but doesn't keep going past that since Exchange requires at least 1 Silver to be in the supply.

You do get an infinite with Cavalry now. If you can reduce Cavalry's cost to $2, then you can gain Cavalry, exchange for Silver, get +2 Cards +1 Buy to draw the Silver, then repeat. Reducing to $1 gives you net money that should let you pile Cavalry + Estates afterwards.

I don't think that's a problem though.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Animal Fair & Way Of The Butterfly
« on: May 04, 2020, 06:13:54 pm »
4 Provinces in 11 turns is pretty fast, but still beatable on some boards. I think trying to play this as a pure Animal Fair rush is a mistake. Instead you should play the board about as normal, partway through you convert actions to Animal Fairs, then start cashing in Butterflies. That should speed it up.

It's good enough that I assume you do Animal Fair + Butterfly in some capacity whenever those two cards show up.

There is a lot here, I'll try to summarize.

Pre-post edit: Looks like a bunch of people posted while I was typing this up...

goal #1) update my knowledge/competence
- I have just finished reading all of the dominion strategy blog posts.
- I am aware of the DS wiki, and I have started using that to learn about new cards/concepts/etc.  However, with some concepts, I have difficulty wrapping my mind around its context or significance (such as these 2019 rules changes).
- I think I "get" the basics of the following new concepts: Reserve cards, Traveller cards, Adventures Tokens, Events, Debt, Split Piles, Gathering cards, Night cards, Heirlooms, Projects, Coffers, Villagers, Exile, and Ways.
- I struggle to wrap my mind around the basics of: Fate/Boons, Doom/Hexes, States, Zombies, and Artifacts.

It is a bit of a meme that the wiki's strategy advice can be pretty bad, but it's still a good source of info for what the cards are.

- I get the basics of Reserve cards, but it seems like they aren't Throne-able since the card doesn't stay in play.  Or has this changed with the changes to the lose-track rule (which I kinda got)?

You can Throne a Reserve card, and you'll duplicate the effect before it goes to the Tavern mat, but you can't Throne calling a Reserve card.

- I get the basics of Travellers, but I see from Qvist rankings that they are both ranked VERY high.  What is it about this progression that is so powerful?  It seems like it would take quite a long time to make them come online...

The end effects of the Travellers are great. Champion, Teacher, Disciple, and in rare instances Hero are all really powerful cards, and they all require a very small investment of $2 early in the game. They don't take that long to come online if you build your deck to cycle faster, and that's worth it for the Travellers.

- I get the basics of Debt, but it seems like Donate is game-warpingly strong and Capital is weak.  Can someone walk me through the significance of these cards?

It's just a classic case of cards having uneven powerful levels for different gameplay. Donate is intentionally an Event that rewards planning out when you Donate and what you buy before doing so.

- I get the basics of Split Piles, but several seem pretty underwhelming.
- I get the mechanics of Gathering cards, but Farmer's Market utterly confuses me strategically... when is this good?

Most of the split pile cards are alright. Farmer's Market is a huge mess. One of the themes of Empires is that it adds tactical decisions, where a card's value depends a ton on the current state of the game. The Gathering cards are part of this. It's one of the most popular expansions for avid players, since it's one of the most skill-rewarding.

For Farmer's Market, the short version is that the prize is trashing for 4 VP, not getting +$4. It tends to be better when you can play several Farmer's Market in one turn, to quickly move up to the 4 VP trash and leave the pile at 0 VP for your opponent.

- Nocturne seems crazy overwhelming!

Nocturne is a lot of crazy effects, but in practice you can treat Boons and Hexes as randomness that gets sprinkled into the regular game. It's very "fiddly", but I found the cards were less confusing once I played them.

- I get the basics of Villagers, but how strong are they?
- Renaissance seems like a little bit of a power-creep set... or am I missing something?
- Ways seem 'way' cool!  ;D

Villagers are really good. Renaissance does have a reputation of power-creep. Ways are indeed cool.

- Coming back, I hear that Butcher is considered one of the best cards in the game.  Can someone help me understand this?
- Also, it appears that the strategy space has shifted in favor of 'gainers' - what's the story there?
- Can someone point me in the direction of good Dominion content-creators on YouTube?  Twitch?  I hear there is a Discord?  Apparently Podcasts too?!?

It's a little tricky to explain why Butcher is so good. It mostly comes down to flexibility. Butcher is one of
  • +2 Coffers
  • Remodel by $2
  • Remodel by $1 and +1 Coffers
  • Remodel by more than $2 if you stockpile Coffers. Notable uses are $5 Action --> Province by spending 3 Coffers
  • +2 Coffers while turning Province into Province
It gives you a way to turn junk cards into useful cards. It gives you a way to mill the Province pile while building up Coffers to turn $5s into Provinces, or buy Provinces outright. If you don't have good trash targets, it's still +2 Coffers, which isn't a bad card at all. It just does a lot for you during the entire course of the game.

Strategies have shifted to "gainers" because having more gainers gives you more control over when the game ends, and also lets you build your deck faster. Empires in particular added a lot of alt-VP that gives you more time to build an engine.

goal #2) figure out ShuffleIT

The Dominion Discord and Shuffle IT discord both have people that can answer questions about the client. You are supposed to ask in the Shuffle IT discord but people tend to ask in both. Unfortunately the Shuffle IT forums tend to be less staffed.

- What does 'extra Menagerie' mean in the options?
- Is there a difference between ranked/unranked play?  How do you manage this with the automatch?
- When playing Isotropic, I would specifically try to play as random a kingdom as possible.  How do I achieve something similar here?  Do I need to create a table myself?

Menagerie is a new expansion, so during release, Stef added an "extra Menagerie" option which biases the randomizer to use cards from Menagerie. It'll probably go away soon.

Automatch is ranked play by default. The only difference is that ranked affects your rating.

Everything you don't specify is picked randomly, so automatch is full random.

- I've been playing automatch with "prefer expansions" to try and include these daily-rotating expansions in my games (I am not yet subscribed).  However, so many matches have been just the base set.  Can I exclude base-only games without changing my preference to those with all of the expansions (as I still haven't really figured out the vast majority of Nocturne, Renaissance, Menagerie yet)?

There's a "Familiar Cards" page on your profile, that lets you mark which cards you're familiar with and which ones you aren't. I forget if it's respected in automatch or not.

- I never acquired Guilds, but it seems that it is now unavailable for purchase except in conjunction with Cornucopia.  Is there a stand-alone, updated Guilds set for sale?  Is the change from "Coin-tokens" to "Coffers" on the cards as they are currently being published?
- I have just bought the Intrigue 2nd-ed. update pack.  But I can't find the Dominion (base) 2nd-ed. update pack anywhere.  Other than re-purchasing the entire base game, any helpful suggestions on how to get these new cards?
- I have been using the Hobby Lobby artisan case for my storage - if/when I acquire Guilds, Nocturne, Renaissance, and Menagerie, plus the missing promos and 2nd-ed. update pack(s), I am concerned it may not all fit.  What all-in-one storage solutions are being used for the complete Dominion experience?
- Any creative ways of acquiring the promos that I am currently missing (other than BGG store)?

There are 2nd edition versions of a few expansions. Only Intrigue and Base had changed cards, the other 2nd editions were just updating the wording. I believe 2nd edition Guilds is always bundled with Cornucopia.

As far as I know, the 2nd-ed update packs were a temporary thing and aren't produced anymore. If you can't find one then you'll have to re-buy all of 2nd-ed base.

No comment on storage solutions or promos, that continues to be a struggle.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Stockpile/Gamble
« on: April 20, 2020, 05:05:21 pm »
Tried this a bit. It's the real deal, at least against the bot. I'm less sure how big it'll be against humans that contest Stockpiles, but it does enable 3-piles out of nowhere.

Some notes:
  • This needs fairly good trashing, since you need to draw your deck for this to work well. Gamble can help here, since you can Gamble into your trashers if you track things well.
  • The power grows quadratically: when you're set up with only Stockpiles in your discard pile, Gamble reads "+$1, +1 buy for every Stockpile in your deck". Each Stockpile becomes "-$3, bring back all your Stockpiles". If the pile isn't contested, you can reach about $30 pretty easily, because your first Stockpile Gambles into $4 - $3, the 2nd into $5 - $3, the 3rd into $6 - $3, and so on, up to $10 - $3 for the last Stockpile.
  • More importantly, the number of buys also grows quadratically. Since the stockpile will naturally be empty, if uncontested you'll have about $30 and 30 buys, which is easily enough to empty Estates and Curses, plus a Province or Duchy to make up the Curse VP.
  • When setting up, it is better to only take Stockpiles off the mat if you need them to afford more trashers. Taking them off too often slows down your trashing. You want to start with something like 2 Copper + Stockpile in hand, several Stockpiles in Exile on the final turn.
  • You do not literally need an empty discard pile to get started, but your extra cards need to be Treasures or Actions that don't draw any cards. Any junk card denies $2 every loop. Drawing any Stockpile from an Action denies $1 every loop. You're going to be looping 5-7 times, you're losing a lot of money if you have to Gamble past junk every cycle. However, clearing out 1-2 Coppers through Gamble before going off is entirely okay.
  • If you are contested, this doesn't work very well anymore. The first Stockpile your opponent buys denies you $7 on the final turn. The second one denies $6, and so on. Losing Stockpiles in the pile hurts a lot. But the math is such that I think you still have to watch out. If they contest 2 Stockpiles, you can still 3-pile on Estates and Curses and have money leftover for a Duchy. If they contest 3 Stockpiles, you can no longer 3-pile this way, but you can still empty the Stockpiles.

Game Reports / Re: Just made a buy phase engine...
« on: April 10, 2020, 03:31:37 pm »
If you join the Dominion Discord, you can message DomBot to request the IDs of your most recent games. Then you can reload those games in the online client, as long as you have a subscription for all cards used.

This exists, it's just hidden pretty deeply.

1. Click your username
2. Right-click your Exile map.
3. There should be an autoplay option to keep bad cards on the mat, where bad = Estate, Duchy, Province, Copper, Curse

Dominion Articles / Re: Watchtower+Populate+Tomb
« on: April 03, 2020, 05:04:24 pm »
Tomb is not too important here, but Populate + Watchtower is. Generally, whether Populate is worth it or not comes down to how many Kingdom cards you want, how many you can tolerate, and whether you have ways to trash the ones you can't tolerate. Watchtower is good at the last one.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Menagerie
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:28:32 pm »
If you play an action, then return to your buy phase spending coin of the realm, then buy cavalry, are you supposed to be able to call coin from your mat? Or is that not "directly after you play an action"?

What do you mean by "return to your buy phase"? Do you just mean move onto your buy phase? It is definitely too late to call CotR; you cannot do anything between playing the action and calling CotR other than something else that triggers on finishing playing an action, like calling another CotR. Even if you already had CotR on your Tavern Mat and didn't involve any buying Calvary and returning to your action phase shenanigans, you can't play an action, then move to your buy phase, then call CotR. You can only call CotR in the same phase in which you played the action you are triggering off of.

@underlined: yes

Okay, that makes sense. I think was mostly expecting it to work because I had thought of CotR as "whenever I'm in my action phase, I can call it to make actions" which was basically correct until villa and cavalry and it only matters for cavalry.

Why would Cavalry be different than Villa there? The key is that CotR is a normal triggered ability just like Tunnel or Moat... you can only use the ability exactly when it says you can.

The question never came up with Villa, because Villa also gives you +1 Action when you gain it, but Cavalry can return you to your Action phase but without the ability to actually play any Action cards.

Villa also directly went to your hand, Cavalry doesn't.

If you have an Action leftover, then when you go back from Buy phase to Action phase, you can call the CotR when you play your next Action. But you need to have 1 action leftover (I made the mistake of spending all my actions during Menagerie previews week, and got a nasty surprise when I wasn't able to play an Action to trigger Coin's reaction.)

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Musings and Pixie strategy
« on: March 26, 2020, 02:04:29 pm »
This was not a board about hitting $5 reliably, it was a board about getting lots of Destriers ASAP. Then use Destriers to draw, possibly with Patrician support to draw Destriers.

Pixie is especially good for this because it's a cheap cantrip, that will randomly give you +Buy from the +buy boon, or one of the Boons that gains you cards (like Earth's Gift, or the one that gives Will o the Wisp.) Eventually you hit one of these and leverage that to get a good turn.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: March 24, 2020, 07:06:38 pm »
Any reason Reap says to play the Gold at the start of your next turn, instead of just putting it into your hand? The two are mildly different, but it doesn't feel like there's a good reason for this to play Treasures in your action phase, compared to cards like Storyteller and Black Market.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Menagerie Bonus Previews
« on: March 13, 2020, 03:03:37 pm »
Animals will become verbs.

A horsed ruin
A turtled moneylender
You could rats a grand market
Ox your smithy

The problem what that is that Horse and Rats are cards. Ratsing a Grand Market could sound like trashing it with a Rats. I guess Horsing a card is clear though.
EDIT: It's actually "Way of the Rat", not "Rats". So it would be Ratting a Grand Market.

My instinct would be to say "I Rats my Grand Market" to mean "play with Way", and "Rats trashing my Grand market" to mean trashing it. I would guess ways are not ambiguous in practice.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Menagerie Previews 5: More Cards
« on: March 06, 2020, 05:12:20 pm »
Wayfarer is a brave soul in the shrinking realm of big-money enablers

Obviously it depends on the kingdom, but it's felt better in engines than big-money to me. With +Buy you can pick up your +Cards for cheap (this is normally the expensive part of your build), and you can focus on trashing down, using the free Silver gain to add payload when you want it. Silver isn't the best payoff, but when it comes for free and you can choose when to gain it, it gets better.

Mastermind is just straight busted.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Menagerie Previews 3: Exile
« on: March 04, 2020, 02:08:34 pm »
Nonetheless, I suspect ignoring it will be the correct play quite often. Coven is a silver for most of the game; if other 5$s are sufficiently strong you should win with them even on a clock and with -10VP.

I don't think you can win on that clock in most kingdoms.

If it was just -10 VP, you could win on that clock pretty often. See Defiled Shrine as a reference. The problem is that the -10 VP comes with 10 Curses - when that hits your clock will get much slower, so you need to be fast.

My first impressions are that Coven will be more skippable than most Cursers, but you still want it most of the time. You probably buy 2 copies ASAP and then build draw around it.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Menagerie Previews 2: Horses
« on: March 03, 2020, 01:50:46 pm »
After playing a bit my impressions are:

* Having Horses be 1-shot Labs that live in your deck is a cool design that removes the stockpiling +Card tokens problems people were worried about in the previews. Now there's cost to keeping the Horses around too long.
* Livery feels good. I'm not sure exactly when you pick it up, but the important part is that it triggers on every gain, not just the 1st gain. You know how Bandit Camp is sort of like a Village that comes with a Gold, as long as you play it every shuffle? Livery is like that, except instead of 1 Lab, you can get multiple Labs if you have +Buy or other gain synergies. Pretty solid payload all around.
* Scrap has felt underwhelming. It's great at trashing Estates but it gets so much worse trashing Copper. It feels like a Develop-tier $3 cost trasher, it's just a bit slow overall, but if there isn't other Estate trashing you are always picking it up.
* Supplies is good. Basically, you give up one card from your current hand to get 1 more card in your next hand. That's definitely worth $2 when you add that it gives +$1, is essentially non-terminal, and extra Horses can be stockpiled. If you can draw your entire deck, it goes from delayed-Peddler to actually-just-Peddler.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Menagerie Previews 1: 5 Cards
« on: March 02, 2020, 02:59:50 pm »
Hot takes without playing any preview games:

Snowy Village: Looks good, isn't good. Making cantrips and other +1 Action cards terminal will hurt too much. Those non-terminal actions are often the glue that makes engines work. Functions best if you can play it late in your turn, which makes it harder for your deck to go off. However, the fact it comes with a +1 Buy means you'll likely pick it up at some point. Probably average.

Sheepdog: Busted in the right setup, not great otherwise. Kinda like Faithful Hound I guess.

Animal Fair: Man I have no idea. This seems pretty good in cases where you have actions that aren't good anymore, like Moneylender. I foresee this card creating many new 3-pile puzzles where emptying a pile mid-turn gets you enough buys to 3 pile. You don't want to actually pay $7 for this if you can help it, but hey, those +Buys, you never know.

Kiln: Seems great. You get this early, you start by gaining cantrips and Villages, then you can gain draw cards once you have the actions to play Kiln then +Cards, then you get treasure gains late if you want them. I think this will compare slightly worse than Haggler, but not by much. Con: need the card in your deck to gain a copy, instead of buying a more expensive card, takes a bit longer to set up. Pro: gaining immediately opens up reshuffle tricks, gain is optional.

Barge: I also have high hopes for this card. The base rate of +3 Cards +1 Buy for $5 is already a card I'm interested in buying. The option to set up duration draw on top of that makes this go up a lot for me. It's not Wharf tier or top-10 tier, but it's going to be better than Den of Sin and Haunted Woods for sure. This is not a card where you only play it as Duration when you've drawn your deck. This is card where you play it as Duration when you are almost out of actions for the turn, or don't want to trigger a bad reshuffle - both those scenarios are reasonably common and the reliability sounds pretty good to me.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Is Recruiter too good?
« on: February 23, 2020, 06:02:36 am »
Rebuild is not nearly as one-dimensional and automatic as people make it out to be. A very underrated benefit is as an unorthodox miller. You don't really care whether Rebuild hits Province or Duchy; your goal is to annihilate the Province pile. A very annoying way to bolster your lead, or to punish overbuilding.
I agree, Rebuild is often tricky to play, especially in those asymmetrical situations you mentioned ... and in multiplayer you gotta keep in mind what Victory cards the Rebuild-using players have in their deck which is mentally more tasking than a less interactive card like Recruiter.
Not that Recruiter cannot be tricky, e.g. if it is the only splitter, liquidating good stuff into Villagers well isn't always as straightforward as using it only to trash junk.

There's a difference between how hard a card is to play, and what kinds of play experiences it gives you. Rebuild relies heavily on deck tracking to be played well, but in the end you're still using it to run down Provinces almost all the time, with the exceptions being things like Duchy/Duke. Meanwhile, the heuristic of "trash Estate, then Copper, then trash something I don't need if I need more Villagers" may be less tricky for Recruiter, but the kinds of games you get out of it are more varied.

Basically, Rebuild games turn all your decisions into "how do I Rebuild", and Recruiter games turn some of your decisions into "how do I Recruiter", but also leaves lots of decisions for "okay, now how do I abuse all these Villagers I can get".

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Is Recruiter too good?
« on: February 23, 2020, 12:54:34 am »
Rebuild isn't as good as Recruiter for sure - but to say it has more strategic depth than Recruiter is laughable. There's not zero depth, sure, but almost all Rebuild strategies are highly monolithic. Recruiter plays very differently on different boards.

This was actually part of an article I was planning to write at some point, but I never got around to doing it.

Rebuild combos really poorly with most cards in Dominion, because Rebuild requires buying VP cards early. So Rebuild strategies are monolithic, but they also haven't gotten much better with expansions. Between more VP chips from Empires, more powerful cards from Renaissance, and better play in general, Rebuild has gotten worse relative to other options.

I still think the game would be better if Rebuild didn't exist though, it's pretty boring to play.

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