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Dominion General Discussion / Moneylender or Baron?
« on: May 05, 2014, 01:52:34 am »
I just played a 3-player game with this kingdom (no Colonies, no Shelters):

Vagrant, Fishing Village, Woodcutter, Baron, Bureaucrat, Moneylender, Bazaar, Upgrade, Goons, Hunting Grounds

Is it better to use your $4 opening on Baron (to try to spike an early Goons) or Moneylender (to get an early start on trashing)? Or something else (e.g., a double–Fishing Village opening)?

Once people have said what they think the right approach is, I'll say what I did and how it worked out.

Puzzles and Challenges / What's missing?
« on: April 06, 2014, 12:49:57 am »
What do these cards have in common, and what is the one other card that has this property but isn't on the list?

Band of Misfits
Horse Traders
Hunting Grounds
Market Square
Secret Chamber

Honorable mention: Vagrant

Edit: Also Prince!

Dominion General Discussion / They learn fast
« on: February 17, 2014, 10:26:05 am »
A friend of mine got the base game recently. She reports: "We've been playing Dominion at least three or four times a week since then. We've played so many games, we actually played one board where Adventurer was useful! …I still didn't win with it, though."

Dominion General Discussion / Nonterminal percentage
« on: January 23, 2014, 11:58:13 pm »
So, the base set has way fewer non-terminal Actions among its kingdom cards than any expansion except Prosperity (which makes up for its small number of non-terminal Actions with a large number of Treasures). Any idea why this is the case?

Prosperity: 26%
4 nonterminal, 12 terminal, 1 King's Court

Dominion: 27%
6 nonterminal, 18 terminal, 1 Throne Room

Hinterlands: 37.5%
6 nonterminal, 11 terminal, 3 variable

Seaside: 38%
10 nonterminal, 16 terminal

Intrigue: 41%
7 nonterminal, 11 terminal, 5 variable

Guilds: 42%
5 nonterminal, 7 terminal

Cornucopia: 45%
5 nonterminal, 6 terminal
…Maybe demote it to 42%, since Tournament can add terminals to your deck.

Dark Ages: 45%
13.2 nonterminal, 16.8 terminal,  2 variable, 1 Procession

Alchemy: 72%
6 nonterminal, 3 terminal, 1 Golem

Puzzles and Challenges / Gain and play
« on: January 07, 2014, 10:15:43 pm »
With the famous University/Watchtower combo, you can gain a card and play it the same turn: gain with University, topdeck with Watchtower, play Watchtower and draw the gained card, play the gained card.

There are lots of other ways to gain a card and play it the same turn, but most of them involve having a deck-drawing engine.

However, there is at least one other two-card gain-and-play combo: two cards X and Y that are sufficient to guarantee your ability to gain a card and play it on the same turn.

(By "sufficient" I mean that no cards' abilities other than X and Y are used to execute the gain-and-play, and it can be done regardless of the condition of your deck and discard pile. There may still be edge cases that could prevent you—e.g., University/Watchtower fails if your handsize is larger than 7 or if there are no Actions costing up to $5 left in the supply—but I'll trust you to recognize such situations as mere edge cases that don't invalidate the premise.)

What are X and Y? There may be more than one valid answer, though I only have one in mind.

Game Reports / Bad opening shuffle luck
« on: November 22, 2013, 09:03:48 am »
Debating with yourself over whether to open Wharf/nothing or Young Witch / nothing becomes moot when you draw 5/2 on turns 3 and 4 also and your Wharf and Young Witch collide on turn 5.  :-\

…That's all, I just wanted to whine about that.

Innovation Game Reports / Order is important
« on: November 11, 2013, 09:01:09 pm »
I'm very proud of one particular tactical point in this very close game:

Talia had built up a huge lead in points, most of it via Lighting and therefore in 7s. When I lucked into drawing Mass Media, then, returning all her 7s was the obvious way to go. (Turn 20.)

When I was about to return Talia's 7s, I realized that I had Atomic Theory on my board, and the 7 pile was otherwise empty. That meant if I paid careful attention to the order in which I returned Talia's 7s—rather than just shoving them at the bottom of the pile the way I usually do—I could plan out exactly my next however-many melds with Atomic Theory. And so I made a point of putting the 7s in the order in which I thought I could use them.

And it worked out exactly! Well, Combustion may have been a bit of a wash. But if I hadn't melded Railroad and Publications when I did, I wouldn't have won; and if I hadn't known exactly what cards Atomic Theory was going to draw, I probably would have tried drawing 8s instead of 7s since there are so many duds in the 7 pile. So paying careful attention to the order in which I returned a whole pile of cards absolutely saved the day for me.

Variants and Fan Cards / Token
« on: November 04, 2013, 12:46:19 am »
Extra cards with the "Curse" type may cause confusion.

I see what you did there.

(New thread so as not to distract from the discussion in that thread.)

Dominion General Discussion / Okay, Halloween kingdom:
« on: October 30, 2013, 05:47:44 pm »
Band of Misfits
Horn of Plenty

Dominion General Discussion / Non-terminal attacks
« on: October 14, 2013, 05:56:13 pm »
I just noticed how few non-terminal Attack cards there are. This makes sense, of course—repeatedly attacking your opponent can be very strong and very annoying. Having Attack cards be mostly terminal makes it that much harder to just load your deck up with Attack cards so you can Attack every turn; to do that you need to either also invest in a lot of villages or run the risk of your terminals colliding.

So what are the exceptions?

Sir Bailey and Dame Molly—these are only 2 out of 10 Knights, so you can't load your deck with them
Familiar—has a Potion cost so you can't get a lot of them fast
Urchin—a very weak attack
Spy—a fairly weak attack, especially if not stacked
Scrying Pool—has a Potion cost and the fairly weak Spy attack

...and what does that leave?

Minion. The only non-terminal Attack that (a) is relatively easy to stuff your deck with and (b) reliably has a decently-strong effect on the opponent (discard-5-draw-4 is probably on average at least as effective as Margrave, and it's idempotent rather than weakened by repetition). So no wonder people find Minion annoying to play against—not just because it's disappointing to discard your hand, but because it's the only card that makes it really easy to very reliably hit with an attack of pretty decent strength.

Rules Questions / Parentheses are meaningful
« on: September 22, 2013, 09:50:08 pm »
Parentheses are meaningful!

I think.

Cutpurse says: "Each other player discards a Copper card (or reveals a hand with no Copper)."

If it said "Each other player discards a Copper card or reveals a hand with no Copper," I think standard Dominion interpretation would give the opponent the choice of which to do. And then, if you had Copper in hand, you could choose "reveal a hand with no Copper", and then just "do as much as you can", as the saying goes (just like with Torturer, you can choose to gain a Curse even if no Curses are in the supply).

Obviously you can't do this, so we have to infer that "X (or Y)" doesn't mean the same thing as "X or Y" on Dominion cards.

Puzzles and Challenges / Breaching the Fortress
« on: September 22, 2013, 04:47:10 pm »
I trashed my Fortress. It did not return to my hand. Why not?

Dominion General Discussion / Digging Vagrant more powerful?
« on: September 19, 2013, 01:35:09 am »
Quote from: Donald X.
Vagrant: It's a Lab where the extra card is always bad. Actually that would be more powerful
—Secret History of Dark Ages

...Wait, is that true? If Vagrant were a Lab where the extra card is always bad—i.e., if it were +1 card, +1 action, dig for a Ruins, Shelter, Curse, or Victory card—wouldn't the main result of that be making you miss your good cards a lot of the time? Kind of like a worse Advisor (or anti–Hunting Party). There are boards where increasing your handsize is more important than not skipping your good cards, but it's not obvious to me that there are enough such boards to make Digging Vagrant more powerful than Vagrant.

I dunno, maybe Donald just meant "+1 Card, +1 Action, +1 more card which magically is always a bad card that coincidentally happened to be on your deck" would be more powerful, which I suppose is the case.

Puzzles and Challenges / Spot the theme
« on: July 21, 2013, 09:27:43 pm »
Let's say I were to build a Kingdom consisting of the following ten cards:

Fishing Village
Merchant Guild
Worker's Village

What is the unifying theme that guided my choice of cards here? I.e., what do they have in common?
Hints, in order of increasing helpfulness:
  • This set of ten is not totally unique for the theme, but it's close to unique; in a few cases I got to choose which to include out of two or three possible cards.
  • You have to look outside of Dominion to spot the theme—but not very far beyond Dominion.
  • There is a third hint, but this isn't it. Can you find it?

The Self Service lobby is fine, but the Collaboration lobby is empty for me—no list of people, no "propose game" button, no "your status is empty" message or expansion checkboxes.

Dominion General Discussion / King's Court–Big Money combos?
« on: July 01, 2013, 01:55:42 pm »
So, on another thread,

I've yet to play a board with KC that hasn't been an insane engine or megaturn game.

...and there followed some discussion about boards where King's Court is a bad investment because there aren't any other good engine pieces.

But what I'm interested in for this thread is boards where KC can be a good investment even without other engine pieces. Do they exist? Ordinarily KC isn't good in Big Money because you don't have enough Action cards to reliably line up your KC with one. So, you know, KC-Bridge is a great combo, but KC–Bridge–Big Money is not a winning proposition because you've got no good way of getting your Bridge and KC in the same hand, and when they're not, KC is a $7 Confusion.

KC-Wharf is probably fine for Big Money, but if you're doing that, you may as well make a whole draw engine out of it, nesting KCs to play multiple Wharfs a turn?

I'd like to nominate KC-Navigator as a decent Big Money combo, though (I mean, it can't really be called an engine): KC plus Navigator plus two Coppers or a Silver makes a province and three chances to try to ensure that your next hand has the combo in it as well, which in a deck with a decent number of KCs and Navigators could make pretty good odds. I played this combo once and won with it, though it was ages ago and I don't remember whether my opponent was playing well at all or not. What do you think?

And are there other good Actions to pair with King's Court for a non-engine strategy?

So, I played a game with the following kingdom and took a risk with the opening; it worked out, but I wonder whether others think it was a good idea or not:

Merchant Guild
Philosopher's Stone
Candlestick Maker

...So obviously what you want to do here is go University/Vineyard. It seems like there are three reasonable openings on 4/3:

Potion / Candlestick Maker

Potion/Potion is the riskiest, obviously; it'd be nice to get two Universities on the second shuffle (or a University and a Familiar), but if the Potions collide you'll be sad. That's how I opened, and it worked out fine (i.e., the Potions didn't collide); but I'm wondering if people think one of the others is a better bet.

Dominion General Discussion / Common misconception
« on: June 23, 2013, 10:20:42 am »
It seems to be a common misconception that Intrigue has "a lot of Attacks". Like, in this what-expansion-should-I-buy thread, the poster says maybe he shouldn't get Intrigue, because "there are so many attack cards"; I feel like this happens a lot.

But Intrigue has fewer Attacks than either vanilla Dominion or Seaside (or Dark Ages)! It has the same number as Cornucopia (if you count Followers) or Hinterlands (if you count Ill-Gotten Gains).

I guess when people think Intrigue has "so many Attack cards", what they're really thinking of is how Intrigue has the most annoying attack cards: two trashing attacks (which as Donald has said people don't seem to like much), the only discard-your-whole-hand attack (which means it's harder to plan your upcoming turn), and the aptly-named Torturer. So their estimate of the number and severity of Attacks in Intrigue is thrown off by their memory of the emotional response to those Attacks, I guess.

Meanwhile, as usual, the consensus of the thread was that the expansion he should get to play with his friends who don't like Attack cards is the one that includes Ambassador, Ghost Ship, and Sea Hag.

Dominion General Discussion / Tasty kingdom
« on: June 06, 2013, 07:35:18 pm »
The Guilds previews have inspired me to create the following tasty kingdom:

Horn of Plenty
Spice Merchant


Innovation Game Reports / Unexpected Monument
« on: June 05, 2013, 01:34:33 am »

I don't usually use Masonry to get Monument as my sixth achievement.

But somehow I went through the whole game without melding anything over Masonry, and so when a shared Specialization unexpectedly put Fermenting into my hand, suddenly I had four castle cards in hand after achieving ages 1–5. So... I'm glad I noticed I had that!

Game Reports / Anything to do other than Library-BM here?
« on: April 22, 2013, 01:21:49 pm »
I played this kingdom with a friend last night; it was her first introduction to Prosperity cards, a random selection from Prosperity and base, and I fear it didn't do a very good job of showing off what makes Prosperity so stylish. I opened Library/Moat and basically played Library-BM from then on, picking up Bank on $7–8 hands. Is there anything more interesting to do here?

Moat, Workshop, Trade Route, Bureaucrat, Spy, Counting House, Library, Royal Seal, Venture, Bank

Innovation General Discussion / Non-optional
« on: April 06, 2013, 12:25:57 pm »
I think I would like it better if the special achievements said "you may claim this immediately...". Just because in IRL games that means that if you don't happen to notice e.g. that you've got three of each icon, then you're playing illegally; and then if someone else happens to claim Empire when you should have already had it, the game's a trainwreck. "You may" would make explicit that if you don't notice you qualify for an achievement, you're out of luck, but you don't have to cancel or backtrack the game.

Dominion General Discussion / Scrying Pool vs. Ruins: really?
« on: March 20, 2013, 01:36:54 am »
So people tend to say that Scrying Pool is a good counter to Cultist and Marauder, since they flood your deck with Actions and Scrying Pool will draw through a bunch of Actions. But if that happens, then you end up with a hand full of Ruins, which is... not that much better than having a hand with no Ruins (unless you've got a really good surplus of villages), is it? And there are situations where Ruins can interfere with your Scrying Pool draw—if your decktop is Ruined Village and Copper, you'll scry and draw them; but if the Ruins aren't there, the Copper is on top and you might discard it and draw the goodies below. ...So it's not all that obvious to me that Scrying Pool counters Ruins as effectively as it sounds.

This post is basically a whine/rant, so if that's not your sort of thing you can go ahead and skip it.

It bugs me when people state one of the endgame conditions as "when you try to draw a 10 and there aren't any, the game ends". This isn't the correct statement—if you Agriculture a 10, the game ends, even though you obviously weren't trying to draw a 10. And yet even the full Innovation FAQ that theory linked to in another thread phrases it that way. Stating the condition as "the game ends when you try to draw an 11" also isn't right, since e.g. Education can make you try to draw a 12. "Try to draw a card higher than 10" is the correct description, but people keep seeming to want to state the rule in one of the other ways.

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