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Dominion General Discussion / trashing two hovels on turn 2
« on: January 28, 2017, 11:54:08 am »
Turn 1 - ehunt
e plays 4 Coppers.
e buys and gains a Masquerade.
e draws 3 Coppers, a Hovel and a Necropolis.

Turn 1 - Ewapores
E plays 5 Coppers.
E buys and gains a Lost City.
e shuffles their deck.
e draws a Masquerade.
E draws 5 cards.

Turn 2 - ehunt
e plays a Necropolis.
e plays a Masquerade.
e draws 2 Coppers.
e passes a Hovel to E.
E passes an Overgrown Estate to e.
e trashes an Overgrown Estate.
e draws an Overgrown Estate.
e plays 5 Coppers.
e buys and gains a Bazaar.
e shuffles their deck.
e draws 4 Coppers and a Masquerade.

Turn 2 - Ewapores
E plays a Necropolis.
E plays 2 Coppers.
E buys an Estate.
E trashes 2 Hovels.
E gains an Estate.
E shuffles their deck.
E draws 5 cards.

Rules Questions / "when you trash this"
« on: January 27, 2017, 08:06:06 pm »
If I use Lurker to trash a Cultist from the supply, I draw three cards (assuming ShuffleIt has it right). If I hit opponent's Cultist with a Swindler, my opponent draws three cards. Why is the "you" that's trashing this the current player in one case and the owner of the Cultist in the other?

Dominion General Discussion / combo: castles/keep
« on: January 23, 2017, 06:15:20 pm »
note: be first player

Game Reports / soldier!
« on: January 20, 2017, 12:03:42 pm »
normally you want to upgrade the Peasant line to Disciple, but in this crazy game where I had 2 disciples already and piles were running low, it seemed like maybe staying at soldier would be better. Sure enough, 2 soldiers generated 21 income on this final turn.

as a bonus, this is one of the few games where exchanging on the final turn mattered -- Wolf Den was on the board, meaning it was worth turning in those last two Disciples for a Teacher (to match the teacher already-in-deck).

Turn 15 - ehunt
e starts their turn.
e gets +1 Action and +1 Coin (Fishing Village).
e gets +1 Action and +1 Coin (Fishing Village).
e gets +1 Action and +1 Coin (Fishing Village).
e plays a Disciple.
e plays a Margrave.
e draws a Fishing Village, a Disciple and a Soldier.
O draws a Sauna.
O discards 2 Coppers and a Sauna.
e plays a Margrave again.
e draws a Province, a Teacher and an Avanto.
O draws a Margrave.
O discards a Margrave.
e gains a Margrave.
e plays a Fishing Village.
e plays an Avanto.
e gets +1 Coin (from Teacher)
e draws a Copper, a Fishing Village and a Sauna.
e plays a Sauna.
e gets +1 Coin (from Teacher)
e draws a Fishing Village.
e plays an Avanto.
e gets +1 Coin (from Teacher)
e draws a Copper, a Fishing Village and a Sauna.
e plays a Sauna.
e gets +1 Coin (from Teacher)
e draws a Margrave.
e plays a Fishing Village.
e plays a Fishing Village.
e plays a Fishing Village.
e plays a Disciple.
e plays a Margrave.
e draws a Margrave, a Sauna and an Avanto.
O draws a Margrave.
O discards a Margrave.
e plays a Margrave again.
e shuffles their deck.
e draws a Fishing Village, a Margrave and a Soldier.
O draws a Gold.
O discards a Gold.
e gains a Margrave.
e plays a Fishing Village.
e plays a Sauna.
e gets +1 Coin (from Teacher)
e draws a Margrave.
e plays an Avanto.
e gets +1 Coin (from Teacher)
e draws a Silver, a Province and a Margrave.
e plays a Margrave.
e shuffles their deck.
e draws a Margrave.
O draws a Silver.
O discards a Silver.
e plays a Margrave.
O draws a Hamlet.
O discards a Hamlet.
e plays a Margrave.
O draws an Avanto.
O discards an Avanto.
e plays a Margrave.
O draws a Silver.
O discards a Silver.
e plays a Margrave.
O draws a Copper.
O discards a Copper.
e plays a Soldier.
e plays a Soldier.
e plays a Teacher.
e puts a Teacher on their Tavern mat.
e plays a Silver and 2 Coppers.
e buys a Dominate.
e gains a Province.
e gets 9 VP.
e buys a Dominate.
e gains a Province.
e gets 9 VP.
e buys and gains a Province.
e returns a Disciple.
e receives a Teacher.
e returns a Disciple.
e receives a Teacher.
e returns a Soldier.
e receives a Fugitive.
e returns a Soldier.
e receives a Fugitive.
e shuffles their deck.
e draws a Copper, a Province, a Margrave, a Fugitive and a Sauna.

General Discussion / what computer should I buy?
« on: December 26, 2016, 01:57:19 pm »
hello Dominion Strategy Forum,

I know almost nothing of computers despite being a grown human. I need a new laptop. What would you recommend? I am not a big gamer except for online Dominion, and I don't need graphics. I know basic unix commands. I am cheap.

Dominion General Discussion / how many travellers do you buy?
« on: June 02, 2016, 06:08:45 am »
Depends on the kingdom, and, for that matter, the traveller, but what are your thoughts? Mine are below, but they are wishy-washy.

Page: if there's a source of draw on the board then one page will suffice, unless she gets hit by the opponent's Warrior. Buying two feels like "insurance" against the latter possibility (and also potentially pumps up your Warrior)... something akin to opening Feast on a Witch board in base Dominion, but better. Probably the optimal number on such a board is 2.

If there's no source of draw, then Warrior acts as a lab, but you're always adding a Silver to your deck to get that Warrior, so without trashing, your net draw power doesn't change.

If there's no source of draw, but there is a way to trash silvers, especially for benefit, and there's great engine payload like Bridge or Goons, then you should gain basically as many pages as you can.

Peasant: usually I find myself buying exactly one. The Peasant pile is never a good target for a token from Teacher, because it can never have both +1 card and +1 action. Disciple is a great card, and it sucks to have to play it on a bad card (or even on thin air) to rush to teacher, and this makes you want more than one Peasant, but the deck-clog of the terminal, non-drawing Peasant, then soldier, is often just too much to justify buying a second.

Dominion General Discussion / adventures tactics tips
« on: June 02, 2016, 05:57:43 am »
hi everyone! this thread is for pointing out small things you can do during a game with Adventures cards that incrementally improve your odds of winning.

- Use Save on bad cards if you're about to reshuffle.

- If Plan and Peasant are both out, the trash token from Plan can prohibit Teacher from putting a +1 token on a critical pile. Mentally note to yourself that you need to move it some time around Disciple time (and in any event no later than when you get the Teacher on the mat).

- If Expedition and Mission are on the board, consider buying Mission whenever you want to buy Expedition: you can (almost) always buy the Expedition on your Mission turn, and you may be able to buy two Expeditions or get something useful done. (This is not automatic, because your next hand might be really good for buying things.)

Dominion Articles / Who's who in Adventures Events?
« on: May 23, 2016, 05:39:40 pm »
Events increase the strategic and especially the tactical complexity of Dominion: now you don't just need to know what to do with your cards and add to your deck every turn, you have to worry about what to do with the game-universe too. Here's some tips on each event to help you. If the only piece of general strategy can be "it depends on the kingdom," the only piece of general tactics is "pay attention." Every buy phase, spend 2 seconds thinking about events. It's not 2010 anymore.

The constant vigilance events: Borrow, Scouting Party, Save-- if any of these three are out, you are going to have to think hard about them every single turn. Borrow is expensive but often worth it, especially in the late game. Scouting Party's free buy makes it an auto-buy on many Province hands. Save should be used virtually every turn that you have +1 to spend more than you need, and should occasionally encourage you to buy cheaper, just so you can save. Don't forget to save junk cards from missing the shuffle, to save Reactions, etc. Obvious but easy to screw up: Saving a copper effectively costs two, saving an action effectively costs one.

Honorable mention in this category to Travelling Fair (which is of the same caliber of constantly-possibly-useful as the others, but often too expensive). Can't mention travelling fair without mentioning the insane Counting House Combo, of course, or that it can provide the only +buy on a board. Honorable mention to all the "gainers" as well.

The game warper: Inheritance. Inheritance, inheritance, inheritance. Inheritance. Perhaps the most fun card of the set, maybe the whole game, certainly the one that least makes you feel like you're playing the same old game of Dominion. If this is on the board, ask yourself: how can I hit seven as fast as possible? The laws of Dominion have changed.  It can make sense to open silver/silver on a strong engine board if a sufficiently amazing target for Inheritance is around. Indiscriminate trashers are now mediocre openers, Moneylender, on the other hand, is good again. Oh, right, and the weird mid-game rush for the estate pile. The estate pile! The mid-game!

The steroids : Mission, Expedition. Mission tends to alternate between broken good and virtually useless. Sometimes you buy it in the early game just to play an important attack/traveler/etc, but often the early game is when you can least afford not to buy anything. Expedition, on the other hand, serves two very different functions: the obvious one (helping you get a megaturn or just a good early turn when you don't particularly want another Silver -- note there's no one per turn limit), but also the safety; if you're ahead in a Village/Smithy type game, an Expedition is probably better than an extra piece in the end-game to stave off a dud turn.

The cards that modify other cards : Gold medals to Lost Arts and Pathfinding. If you're not a fan of the Variants and Fan Cards subforum, consider going there briefly and reading some of the common arguments about how to cost cards, the non-linearity of card costing, the foolishness of adding +1 Action to a middling fan card just to make someone buy it. Then note that you can break all those rules, while literally playing Dominion, with these events. Festival + Pathfinding = Grand Market. Smithy + Lost Arts = unpriceable broken good. And yet Mountebank + Lost Arts = eh, when were you planning on drawing two Mountebanks together anyway, and did you really have nothing better to spend 6 on in a Mountebank game?

Silver Medal to Ferry and Training: Ferry's certainly also nuts. Not as game-breaking as you fantasize it to be, typically because the sorts of games where Ferry is unspeakably awesome are the sorts of games you could do something unspeakably awesome anyway, and Ferry just speeds it up. Training is still good, but it needs to go on something you're regularly playing more than one of per turn to be worth it.

Seaway, like many +Buy cards, is extremely important if it's the only +Buy card on the board, but is rather ignorable otherwise. Bronze medal.

The trashers : Bonfire, Plan, Trade. Bonfire in the early game is a little like a Mint open: good if you have some way to get treasures into an otherwise wretched deck, bad otherwise. Quite synergistic with the Page line. In the mid to late game it can trash silvers for you, if it's that sort of game.

Plan. Eh. Plan's useful in the early game the way Doctor overpay can be, but often gets useless pretty quickly. You find yourself buying a Shanty Town with a spare buy turn 12 and as the client asks, pathetically, if you want to trash a card in your hand, you remember, oh right, I had such big Plans back in the day.

Trade, like the card Trading Post, is at its best when there's handsize increasers and/or cursing. The comparison to Trading Post stops there; it's more expensive in the sense that you only have to buy Trading Post once, but it can gain you more Silvers, it can't cause you a disgusting turn 6 when you draw it with the only other good cards in your deck, and it isn't hanging out in your deck once you don't need it anymore.

The gainers: Quest, Alms, Pilgrimage, Ball. Quest you either totally ignore or you buy it almost every other turn, the latter in sloggy games where the two curse rule or an obsolete Sea Hag quickly takes you to gold-town. It's quite useful in Mercenary games as well; if your Urchins don't line up on the second shuffle, trade the second one for a gold; later it gives you somehting to do with a Mercenary you can't afford to play (or that you draw dead). And it gives yet another reason to consider Ambassador/Ambassador or Swindler/Swindler openings.

Alms, of all these, should maybe go in the constant vigilance category. The one-per-turn limit means it's never truly insane, but you still often give up a free Caravan if you fail to pay attention to this card throughout the game. Obviously best (not counting the early game) with money-producing-actions and +buy. Don't forget to consider Alms-ing for Estate/Tunnel/Island on an end-game dud turn. Also consider splitting 5/2. If you split 4/3 there's always the "I'll use my coin token" joke. The sequel to that joke is "I'll Alms for a Caravan" when neither is on the board and you don't want anything; you don't have to cite me, you can just use that.

Pilgrimage requires planning; you'll want to have bought the first one before your first mega-turn, but buying thin air in turn delays the average onset of that mega-turn, which can itself snowball. Most important when there's no +buy, or when there are annoying-to-gain cards like Scrying Pool or King's Court. The decision calculus changes with Ranger/Giant on the board, but there's nothing smart to say there except, you know, know which way your Journey token is flipped. 

Ball, hmm, it's sort of like Band of Misfits -- it's fine, it seems at first like it's going to be great, but it just can't be because it makes you gain 4s when you have 5 to spend and usually 5s are more important than 4s. The -1 token is a real kick in the pants too given that you're already a little sad to spend 5 on a 4. I mean remember that time you opened Talisman and then you drew it with 4 coppers on turn 3? Wasn't that already sad enough?

The attack: Raid. It's expensive and floods your deck with Silver, which means it's only a good buy if you're willing to commit to buying it a lot. But then the attack is quite strong, comparable to Minion. Problem: do you know what type of deck is extremely vulnerable to a Minion attack? One whose economy is based on Silver-flooding. The Raid-spam, and especially the Raid-spam mirror, is a bit of a psychological game too: gain a Province now? But then you're not attacking, and you're not gaining 4 silvers. Well, does the opponent look like someone whose next hand has 8 money in it?

Tournaments and Events / Dominion Empires -- Europe?
« on: May 18, 2016, 01:03:49 pm »
Not sure when the cards will come out here, but would anyone be interested in meeting up when they do?

Dominion General Discussion / Feodum
« on: May 17, 2016, 06:01:57 am »
Just a remark that the adventures cards double the size of the set of "insane silver gainers;" the elite club is now: Trader, Treasure Hunter, Masterpiece, Raid. As a consequence, Feodum almost doubles in how important it is. Which brings me to, when is Feodum good without these cards, and which of these cards is the best helper?

Guess: depends on the kingdom, but in general:

Masterpiece > Raid ~ Trader > Treasure Hunter

Trader is going to be better than Raid if there are cantrip buys or things like Peddler; Raid will be better on boards where its attack is important (almost a tautology-- which boards are those?). Masterpiece is clearly a cut above the others (hence the name); Treasure Hunter is certainly the fastest silver-gainer in a mirror, but in a non-mirror the opponent can trivially stop it it by not gaining too many cards; haven't played this out yet enough to see how it works.

Rules Questions / Inheritance and Crossroads
« on: May 16, 2016, 05:41:32 pm »
The first time in a turn that you play an inherited Estate as Crossroads on MF, you don't get +3 actions. This seems correct to me based on a strict reading of the cards, but conflicts the reported behavior of MF towards Hunting Party, so I wanted to check.


This is in the "Dominion General Discussion" section and not the articles section because
1) I don't truly understand these cards yet,
2) there's no thesis. It's just a bunch of rants in no particular order. Back to remedial writing class.

First of all, complaints of Warrior being OP are greatly exaggerated. Yes, you probably lose if the opponent's Warrior hits your Warrior, but the odds of this are less than, for instance, missing 3P after opening potion for a Familiar, or even splitting 4-3 where your opponent splits 5-2 on a Mountebank board. It's just not a game-warping asymmetry and not something worth disliking a card over.

Second, the common criticism of this line is: why am I filling my deck with treasures when I have Champion around who seems to really, really, want me to play a hard engine. And the answer is: well, sometimes that's tough, the line "junks" your deck with a couple silvers and golds so that you can get to champion and idk trash them and play your goons a bunch and buy out the pearl divers or whatever, but the other answer is, omg Champion is good in big money-ish decks. Ever played big money/smithy? Remember that part where you can't decide if you want another smithy or just a silver because you're scared they'll collide? Obsolete! I bought 8 rangers the other day. Ranger isn't a very good card. 8 non-terminal rangers, by contrast, make a deck pretty good.

I mean, Champion... Champion is ridiculous. The attack immunity and especially extra actions completely warp your early decisions. Laboratory becomes strictly worse than Smithy with Champion in play. But a Page on the board is so, so far from a Champion in play, that you have to revaluate the cost of everything several times over the game in light of "how soon is it to Champion time, when we're playing a completely different Game?" Same with attacks: do you really want to build a torturer chain when eventually your villages will become a waste of a buy and your torturer will become a glorified smithy? But conversely do you want to risk getting smothered before you get to Champion? Who knows?

other cards in order:

Page: She doesn't do anything but power up the Warrior.

Treasure Hunter: I'm with AdamH here, like, silver, whatever, some decks don't want it but those decks have ways of dealing with it; for every other deck, you add a couple silvers and you're happy. But treasure hunter can also do something funny in the end game, where you can easily gain a ludicrous number of silvers. Haven't yet had the pleasure of a treasure hunter/Feodum game, which I imagine is something like a duchy dance with an exponential growth function.

Warrior: The 3-4 limitation really hurts this attack (not that this is a bad thing). Now, cost reduction + lots of pages + Warrior is probably a thing, but even that is a damn tricky thing since whenever Warrior is available, Champion is available to perma-moot it. Doesn't feel like a cheap way to win at all; I'd have mad respect for someone that pulled this off against me (it has yet to happen).

Hero: the funniest, but again, not much reason to keep this one around. Maybe worth turning a second page into a hero on a colony board just to workshop platina? Dunno, haven't tried it. Good Combo with Horn of Plenty (the whole line is, of course).

edit: deleted and moved to correct subforum; theory please delete when you see this, sorry

Game Reports / raid
« on: May 14, 2016, 08:39:42 am »
around turn 3 i start thinking, why would anybody buy raid ever? it's way too expensive, the attack is middling, and why do you even want silvers unless there's feodum or something? and then i notice that there is, in fact, feodum.

Game Reports / slow dance
« on: May 13, 2016, 07:16:34 pm »
With two provinces left on turn 12, as second player, with plentiful draw and buys and both of us stocking dangerous amounts of coin tokens, and with me behind by two points, I clearly have to buy a Duchy. Now opponent is in the same position. It's already clear that he'll win, but it's equally clear that we're going to have to go through the entire Duchy and Estate piles before he can do it, which is what happens.

Game Reports / Giant seems ok
« on: May 06, 2016, 12:34:22 pm »
On a board of:

Events: Borrow, Scouting Party
Supply cards: Familiar, Baron, Horse Traders, Bridge Troll, Ghost Ship, Giant, Haggler, Lost City, Merchant Ship, Wine Merchant, Copper, Silver, Gold, Estate, Duchy, Province, Curse, Potion

we both split 3/4. My opponent opened potion and I was curious if Giant stood a chance against Familiar (remembering way back in the day that Sea Hag is probably a better opening than Potion on an otherwise boring board with Familiar and Sea Hag), so I borrowed for a Giant on turn 2, expecting to lose.


This ended up working out well. Curses split 6-4, with me taking one more than him, but counting the dead potion, this is really more like a 6-5 curse split. Meanwhile, after the curses run out, Giant is a nice card to have a few of in a crappy deck full of curses -- spiking 5 occasionally is way better in this sort of deck than just consistently giving 3. It's hard to say if I got lucky to get away with only getting 6 curses; my sense is that it was roughly par for the course (my opponent didn't get screwed out of any Familiars early, but my Giant never hit a 4-6 until after the Curse pile was empty).

But the real star of the show was Scouting Party. Man is that a good card when you are just trying to play your key cards over and over -- basically exactly the same sort of semi-slog deck that you are loath to fill with silver when you hit another 3 is the sort of slog deck that really wants Scouting Party all the time.

Goko Dominion Online / online version not working anymore?
« on: April 09, 2016, 04:23:19 pm »
I can't make Dominion run online in my browser anymore. When I try in Firefox it tells me my browser is incompatible and to use Firefox or Chrome. (?) When I try in Chrome my computer shuts down. I have an Ubuntu machine that I know nothing about.

Dominion General Discussion / doubling cube
« on: February 08, 2016, 06:45:13 pm »
Has anyone ever tried a series of Dominion games with a doubling cube? So you agree to play to some fixed number of wins, and then once per game you can turn the cube and pass it to your opponent to offer that they resign, or else double the stakes of the game. (Within the same game, the opponent can pass the cube back to you to quadruple the stakes or accept your resignation at double the stakes; if this happens, then theoretically you could repass it, etc...)

I think in general this would decrease the luck factor, but it would occasionally make it worse (you would probably pass the doubling cube right away if you split 5-2 on a Mountebank-Chapel board, for instance). The bigger advantage is making a tournament situation move faster.

Rules Questions / is the card chosen by Scavenger public information?
« on: February 07, 2016, 07:27:58 am »
i noticed that in the online implementation, the log tells me what card my opponent chose to put on top with Scavenger. Is this correct?

Puzzles and Challenges / Two buffs
« on: December 30, 2015, 04:27:44 pm »
1. Trade Route: +1 coin. (For a total of 1 + the number of tokens on the trade route map.)

2. Death Cart: +1 Buy.

I think the Trade Route buff is fine but the DC buff might make it too swingy.

Goko Dominion Online / memory leak ?
« on: November 29, 2015, 08:44:50 am »
I just started playing the new version the past couple days because the in-browser version was working, but just now I got an error message from my browser saying the tab was using too much memory. I wonder if this is a bug.

Note that otherwise I really like the new version. (I think this is probably because I don't own the cards, so I'm used to not being able to automatch against who I want to.)

Goko Dominion Online / attn:
« on: November 27, 2015, 01:20:35 pm »
I just tried the new implementation for the first time. I think the crystal ball animation is kind of cool.

Other Games / Bridge
« on: November 08, 2015, 07:36:12 am »
Bridge is the German board game to end all German board games, despite neither being German nor using a board. The scoring system has been relentlessly balanced to reward extremely precise, meticulous, strategic play. At the same time, there are elements of luck, deception, and communication, as in Poker, except, unlike in Poker, your reaction to the signals you receive informs the way you solve a logic puzzle. To win at Bridge requires not only exacting thought, but also a general feel for the lay of the hand, a lot of good judgment, and a little bit of luck.

To have fun at Bridge, on the other hand, requires none of these investments, but only a couple hours to get accustomed to the rules.

Three common objections to bridge:

1. The scoring system is needlessly complicated. Part of this is true -- the scoring system is complicated. But every little tweak matters. The scoring system was meticulously balanced in the early part of the 20th century (before Bridge was a distinct game from Whist) and has been rebalanced once or twice sense (most noteably in the late 80s, in response to a rarely-arising OP sacrifice bid). Every number has been thought about, and changes the strategy of the game (sometimes in big ways; sometimes in subtle ways). The good news is that strategy for beginners isn't very sensitive to the finer points of scoring; you can go ahead and start playing right away, looking up the scores as you go.

2. I don't have time to memorize the incredibly arcane bidding conventions. Fair! Nobody does -- you can't just pick up a book full of sequences and have it in your head. Start with a simple system that you can fit onto a page. As you gain experience, sequences stop seeming like artificial code and start seeming totally obvious. Then, add as many "gadgets" as you like, but never more than you can handle. You'll start to come up with clever meanings for some bids yourself; you'll ask yourself -- why don't they do it this way?

3. Bridge is for little old ladies. This one is true too: a lot of little old ladies play bridge. But here's the catch: those little old ladies will kick your butt. Spending 20 years doing the same thing after Tuesday afternoon has a way of making you pretty good at it.

OK, you've convinced me: now what?
Join your local bridge club! If you're in the US, Canada, or Mexico, it'll be listed on Most small to medium sized cities have at least one; try Google. For online play, nothing beats If you have Windows, they also offer a lot of free teaching software.

Dominion General Discussion / 5 cost treasures
« on: October 31, 2015, 10:47:19 am »
anyone else autopilot to ignore 5 cost treasures, only to fail to notice that Counterfeit is on the board? It turns out that this problem extends even to filling out Qvist's ranking chart.

(luckily, probably because of the artwork and the hyphen in the name, my autopilot doesn't miss IGG)

Game Reports / like an edge case puzzle
« on: September 21, 2015, 03:49:16 pm »
turn 30, i discard 7 tunnels, but don't reveal them, because if i do, the gold pile will empty, ending the game in my loss

this would be a cooler story if i had wound up winning, but it was close!

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