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651
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« on: December 12, 2013, 02:52:41 pm »
Well, the simulations only consider BM, of course. But since Rebuild-BM loses to pure BM, I'd expect Rebuild+X-BM to lose against X-BM in most cases as well, because very few cards (like Rogue, Graverobber) combo specifically with Rebuild. And unlike Expand, Rebuild gets weaker, not stronger, in card-drawing engines due to more "collisions" with Duchies.

Wait, what? I'm pretty certain that's false. Is your simulator foolishly buying Golds instead of Rebuilds and Duchies?

I think he's talking about $6 Rebuild.

Ah, gotcha. Sorry about that.

Right, sorry for the confusion. Only $6 Rebuild loses to BM, while $5 Rebuild clearly wins, of course (with or without the +1 Action).

652
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« on: December 12, 2013, 02:50:20 pm »
[...]
In engines, Rebuild is also usually weaker than Gold - instead of Rebuilding a Duchy, you can just use the Gold to buy Province instead of Duchy directly, and Rebuild is dead if you draw all your Duchies to hand (or if you don't have a Duchy in your deck). So at $6, Rebuild may well be too weak to matter on most boards. (But I'd like to be convinced otherwise...)

I don't agree here.

Playing Rebuild as soon as you draw it mitigates the problem. It would be horrible luck to always draw Rebuild after drawing all of your expandable green. Any one sifter completely eliminates the problem in engines that draw your deck.

Yes, but most boards don't have a sifter. And even drawing Rebuild dead only every second or third time would weaken it immensely.

Even one Rebuild can help engines tremendously in games where trashing, extra buys, or extra gains are light. Those starting Estates likely become Provinces by the end of the game, no problem. What's better than buying a Province? Rebuilding a starting Estate and buying a Province, of course! It sifts to get to new engine cards faster, if you are not drawing your deck. Rebuild also helps end the game on your own terms (like Apprentice, Remodel, Salvager, etc.) if you are ahead and just want to clear out those Provinces. In the endgame a lot of engines can clog and you are buying Duchies, anyway. Threatening draining the Provinces or getting 3 points or both can be huge. I think $6 Rebuild would still be plenty useful.

Right, these may be reasons to go for a $6 Rebuild in an engine, at least when sifting is available. (But most games have a cheaper (Estate) trasher that may be preferrable to a $6 Estate trasher.)

Edit: However, "games where trashing, extra buys, or extra gains are light" tend to be BM games, not engines.

Edit^2: $6 Rebuild (as well as terminal Rebuild) could be very good in slogs, where it may be the only way to get to Provinces. If you get to $6 in slogs...

653
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« on: December 12, 2013, 02:11:31 pm »
(Assuming no Shelters [...], which do weaken Rebuild.)

Have you done extensive simulations? My experience tells me this specific claim--unfortunately a persistent myth--is utter nonsense, and the few limited simulations I've done show a few % difference at most, if I recall them correctly. So yeah, technically they weaken Rebuild, but almost never in a way that would have you switch strategies depending on whether there are Shelters or Estates (b.c. strategies that are close to 50% against Rebuild are so rare to begin with), which is the only criterion that should matter.

No, I haven't simulated Shelters at all, since they're not implemented on Dominiate AFAIK; it was just a caveat to the results I mentioned. I'd be interested to see your simulation results. (So is my claim "utter nonsense" or "technically" correct?  :P )

I'd hope that there are a few more BM strategies that beat Rebuild with Shelters, but I don't know any specific examples. Even a few percent difference can matter e.g. when playing Rebuild+weak support against Bank+Wharf.

654
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« on: December 12, 2013, 12:36:49 pm »
We've talked a lot about Rebuild often completely dominating whatever kingdom it shows up in. In what (if any) situations can Rebuild be safely ignored?

There are also strong BM decks which can snap up 4 Provinces and a Duchy in enough time. I'm not as sure about the BM claim, maybe there have been simulations that show otherwise.
I think you need a lot, standard Wharf-Bank wins by a bit only...

Indeed; only very strong combos like Beggars-Gardens and Masterpiece-Feodum convincingly beat Rebuild. DoubleWitch-BM beats Rebuild, but is beaten by "Witch-into-Rebuild"-BM, and similarly for Young Witch.
(Assuming no Shelters and Colonies, which do weaken Rebuild.)

655
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« on: December 12, 2013, 12:21:07 pm »
1.) Well, some suggested to make it cost $6. At first I thought this is a valid move, but later I realised that it probably makes Rebuild games only worse because the strength of the card is the same and if someone gets a lucky $6 after the first reshuffle and your opponent not, he's maybe already miles ahead. So, it probably only adds variance and luck, that's not want I want to do.

Actually, Rebuild becomes extremely weak at $6, as DStu posted at the quoted BGG thread: BM-Rebuild loses 25-75 to BM-Smithy, and even loses narrowly to pure BM. I suppose it's because you rarely get to $6 in standard Rebuild games.

2.) So, it was clear to me that the card itself has to be fixed, not the cost. But I really don't want a totally different card, like the one Donald X. suggested. The only thing I came up with is removing the +1 Action because, honestly, the +1 Action barely matters, but it can matter. [...]

Surprisingly, the +1 Action matters quite a bit; I simulated "TerminalRebuild" recently on Dominiate:

TerminalRebuild loses to the strongest BM cards: Wharf, Goons, GhostShip, DoubleJack, all Cursers.

It essentially ties with Monument (51:49), Envoy (48.5:51.5), Smithy (52:48) and Courtyard (50:50), and wins against all other implemented one-card strategies (Militia, Masq., HP, Amb., Library, ...).

I suppose 1 or 2 self-collisions per game are enough to lose many narrow games, even in the absence of terminal support cards. This seems to be a suitable fix to make Rebuild non-dominant on most boards.

I am glad you mentioned the simulation results, but I want to mention that I don't think the simulations show that Rebuild is too weak at $6. Just like with Big Money, a Rebuild strategy gets better with the addition of almost any <$5 card, so testing Rebuild only in the non-terminal $6 case doesn't show that it's weak. That would be like saying Expand only is weak because it loses to Smithy. It misses that Rebuild is still going to be a great addition to consider to almost any engine-based deck that doesn't end with buying all the VP on one turn (Province-Duchy or Duchy-Duchy buys become a lot more potent if you threaten Rebuild next turn). We just don't see those decks because right now if a hybrid deck is viable, then it is almost certainly dominated by Rebuild-only.

Well, the simulations only consider BM, of course. But since Rebuild-BM loses to pure BM, I'd expect Rebuild+X-BM to lose against X-BM in most cases as well, because very few cards (like Rogue, Graverobber) combo specifically with Rebuild. And unlike Expand, Rebuild gets weaker, not stronger, in card-drawing engines due to more "collisions" with Duchies.

In engines, Rebuild is also usually weaker than Gold - instead of Rebuilding a Duchy, you can just use the Gold to buy Province instead of Duchy directly, and Rebuild is dead if you draw all your Duchies to hand (or if you don't have a Duchy in your deck). So at $6, Rebuild may well be too weak to matter on most boards. (But I'd like to be convinced otherwise...)

656
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« on: December 11, 2013, 05:42:01 pm »
You don't need to buy Duchies if you buy Rebuild only in the mid- to late game; you'll have enough fuel for the rest of the game just by upgrading the starting Estates (if you didn't trash them in the early game already).

Bear in mind that Rebuild is a Dark Ages card, so you have to take into account the fairly likely scenario that you have no starting Estates to upgrade.

Okay, I was assuming all-random kingdoms, which usually have starting Estates. But even with Shelters you can still get 3 Rebuild uses out of the one Overgrown Estate.

Even in an Estate game, if you take the route of waiting until mid to late game to start rebuilding, there may not be enough Duchies left to rebuild your Estates into.

Occasionally, yes; so it's not an automatic buy. But usually Duchies don't run out long before the game ends if the Duchy rush is not viable, I think.


I can't believe I'm saying this, but... what if Rebuild was a Potion-cost card?

That would limit the number you could easily pick up per shuffle and it's definitely strong enough to consider buying a Potion even if it's the only Potion-cost card.

What should it cost? 3P or 4P?
That's an interesting idea. I think 3P should be enough, since 4P is even harder to get than $6. And the potion is useless for buying Duchies.

657
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« on: December 11, 2013, 04:35:23 pm »
1.) What I meant is that card strength is still the same and if you're lucky to get an early $6, that may be huge. The problem is getting to $6. If there's a strong attack, you may not even get to $6 for a while what makes Rebuild probably weak. I'm also not that surprised that it loses to BM+Smithy, but 75-25 is more than I expected. But all the wins where probably out of an early $6 after the first reshuffle. Anyway, it makes the card itself not more interesting or balanced. Changing the cost doesn't fix it. That's exectly what I meant.

Thanks for the clarification, now I see what you mean. I haven't looked into the simulation details of getting an early $6, but I think I would usually prefer Gold on an early $6 to a $6 Rebuild anyway: Rebuild is only really good when you can get several, since you have to "clean up" the Estates first (which only nets you 2 VP instead of 3 VP) and since you have to rush to the Provinces against engines; and one Rebuild doesn't help you to get another since it actually weakens your economy, unlike Gold. But I agree that a price change doesn't make the card any more interesting.


2.) I'm glad that you can confirm that the +1 Action matters, that's what I suspected. That lets me believe that a terminal Rebuild would be a valid fix for the card. It seems still strong, but not that overpowered anymore.

Yes, I'd also try this as a fix. I think this change might even make it a bit weak, since e.g. BM+Smithy is not competitive on most boards, and since Rebuild becomes weaker in engines.

The question is, is it an interesting, fun card? Simulations won't be able to determine that. It's worth noting that terminal Rebuild was tested and nobody won a game with it.

The root problem with Rebuild is that it forces you to buy Duchies to fuel it. Spending your $5 buys on Duchies is boring.

EDIT: Let me try to explain that further. I enjoy Duchy dancing as much as the next guy; probably significantly more, actually. But spending all your non-Rebuild buys on Duchies is dull. Duke doesn't really have this issue since you need some kind of support to go Duke. You can't just buy Duchies from the get-go or you'll choke. Rebuild doesn't really have that issue. So its strength is part of the problem, but even if you make it terminal or raise its cost, the Duchy rush still remains.

You don't need to buy Duchies if you buy Rebuild only in the mid- to late game; you'll have enough fuel for the rest of the game just by upgrading the starting Estates (if you didn't trash them in the early game already).
I'd expect the "no-fun" TerminalRebuild-Duchy rush to lose against most engines based on the comparison to BM-Smithy. But you could add one or two TerminalRebuilds to many decks as a mid-game addition like Harem or Great Hall, or try to build a Rebuild semi-engine with Villages or Throne Rooms, which seems potentially much more fun to me. But it's true that you'd have to playtest it to determine if the fix is worth it - can someone convince Goko to implement it? ;)

658
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« on: December 11, 2013, 11:24:19 am »
1.) Well, some suggested to make it cost $6. At first I thought this is a valid move, but later I realised that it probably makes Rebuild games only worse because the strength of the card is the same and if someone gets a lucky $6 after the first reshuffle and your opponent not, he's maybe already miles ahead. So, it probably only adds variance and luck, that's not want I want to do.

Actually, Rebuild becomes extremely weak at $6, as DStu posted at the quoted BGG thread: BM-Rebuild loses 25-75 to BM-Smithy, and even loses narrowly to pure BM. I suppose it's because you rarely get to $6 in standard Rebuild games.

2.) So, it was clear to me that the card itself has to be fixed, not the cost. But I really don't want a totally different card, like the one Donald X. suggested. The only thing I came up with is removing the +1 Action because, honestly, the +1 Action barely matters, but it can matter. [...]

Surprisingly, the +1 Action matters quite a bit; I simulated "TerminalRebuild" recently on Dominiate:

TerminalRebuild loses to the strongest BM cards: Wharf, Goons, GhostShip, DoubleJack, all Cursers.

It essentially ties with Monument (51:49), Envoy (48.5:51.5), Smithy (52:48) and Courtyard (50:50), and wins against all other implemented one-card strategies (Militia, Masq., HP, Amb., Library, ...).

I suppose 1 or 2 self-collisions per game are enough to lose many narrow games, even in the absence of terminal support cards. This seems to be a suitable fix to make Rebuild non-dominant on most boards.

659
But you can't just omit the middle step in an argument!

It'd be like saying "I ordered the cheapest entrée because I had some spare money to spend on food". It makes no sense, even if the full story is: "I went to a more expensive restaurant than usual because I had some spare money to spend on food. I didn't want to be too extravagant, so I ordered the cheapest entrée."
I'm not omitting the middle step, there never was a middle step in the scenario unless Donald X. is hiding something. What I'm saying is "I had some spare money to spend on food, therefore I decided that the cheapest entrée at an expensive restaurant would be the thing I'm getting, then I went there and ordered it". What you're saying is "I had some spare money to spend on food, therefore I decided to go a more expensive restaurant, and while I was there, I realized I couldn't afford anything but the cheapest entrée", and the conclusion you're drawing from that is that you actually didn't get a more expensive meal than you usually do, because it was cheaper than some other stuff you could have ordered in that restaurant.
I'm at a loss to explain this honestly because, to me, answering "what is the game design purpose of ending the game when 3 piles are empty" with "to reduce the strength of Duchy rushing" is obviously nonsensical, because Duchy rushing would be weakened without that rule. Am I the only one?
What's going on here is that you and Awaclus have different interpretations of what "without that rule" means. To you, it means "strike that rule from the current rulebook, leaving other rules the same as they are now"; to Awaclus, it means "return to the status quo ante before that rule was instituted".

In the latter case, what the game would be like without the 3-pile ending rule is that it would have the "game ends when any one pile is empty" rule, in which Duchy rushing is strong. The reason the game has the 3-pile rule is to eliminate that.

Right, but it's an interesting question why there is an "x-pile" rule at all. I suppose it's
a) to prevent infinite or very long games when no player can afford Provinces, and/or
b) because the game becomes less interesting when many piles are empty.

You could probably replace 3 piles by 4 (as in 5-6p) without too much detriment, if you prefer a longer/higher-scoring game.

660
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: OP with, or UP without?
« on: December 06, 2013, 07:33:18 am »
I think the card is too strong with the italicized part; you could then use it as a one-shot "+5 cards, gain a Ruins" or even better by discarding more cards. It'd also kill looter attacks by transforming ruins into better smithies. (Making them better moats is bad enough.)

The card seems still good without the Ruins clause to me; in an action-heavy deck it potentially becomes a not-self-trashing terminal Madman, with the chance to get two more cards for a Ruins or the trashing.

661
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Playing certain potion cards without potions
« on: December 03, 2013, 06:17:56 pm »
No way, Golem is nowhere near as good as KC - KC effectively lets you play more action cards than are actually in your deck, never mind your hand, and anyway KC is liable to put everything in your hand, and also lets you choose which actions it plays.

But KC may be drawn dead with a low action density. The higher the action density, the better KC becomes - it's better than Golem in engines, but Golem is better in BM games and slogs (except with looters). Overall, you may be right that KC would be better at the same price but I don't think it's so clear-cut.

And this begs the interesting question: why didn't KC get a potion cost instead of Golem? It's better in multiples too, due to its stackability...

662
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Playing certain potion cards without potions
« on: December 03, 2013, 03:38:03 pm »
Note that Donald X. himself playtested two potion cards at non-potion costs and found them okay: Vineyards at $4 (originally in Base) and Philosopher's Stone at $7 (originally in Prosperity). With University, you're following his "rule" by replacing the Potion cost by a $4 cost increase. I think this "translation" could work for most Alchemy cards, except maybe for the most expensive ones (and Alchemist, of course).

Golem  cost $5 and added this clause: You may only buy this if you discard a curse from your hand. (I thought it was appropriate to have to have something special in order to buy a golem, and this makes a minor use for having a curse without nullifying its penalty)
Essentially, you're just replacing the potion cost by a "curse cost". This may work in the absence of cursers, but it would seriously weaken cursers since they effectively give out (worse) potions.
I think Golem may work at $7 or $8; it's about as good as King's Court IMO (both let you play two more action cards that you don't have in hand "for free").

663
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Unlimited buys
« on: November 29, 2013, 04:47:14 pm »
What about, "You may buy any number of cards costing more than $0 this turn"?
I think this would be reasonable (though very situational) at $2 or $3; it's rarely better than Squire. (Edit: Ninjaed.)


For mail-mi's original card, I would try it at $6 or $7, and ban Gardens, Goons, Bridge and Highway. That price should prevent it from being an automatic buy in most games - you could usually buy a Gold or even a Province instead, which help you to win the game, not just give the option to end it one shuffle later. It does completely mess up the endgame, but I think that could be interesting. When there's no cursers or looters, the card effectively allows you to:

(i) end the game on 2 empty piles (by buying all Coppers), or
(ii) end the game on 1 empty pile when leading by >10 VP (by buying all Coppers and Curses)

This would shorten the game notably, but should not allow the Duchy Rush to be a viable strategy in most games. However, with cursers or looters (for an extra $0 pile) in the game, it might be too dominant.

664
Goko Dominion Online / Re: Theory about what is going on with Goko
« on: November 29, 2013, 07:41:15 am »

Rebuild and Scout were printed as currently written.

AND WE ARE PERMITTED TO USE THEM IN COMBINATION!

There's a house rule to fix both at once:

"You may only play Rebuild if you have a Scout in play."

665
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: New Dominion Cards by... Me!!!! :D
« on: November 27, 2013, 08:12:59 pm »
Chapel is an exceptional case.

Lookout is not cantrip.  The +1 card matters a lot.  Moreover, it gives you far reduced selection (3 cards instead of your hand) and it gets very dangerous to play in the mid game.

Loan is a copper, which is not at all like a cantrip.  And it only trashes treasures.  If you buy any other Treasures it will start to whiff (hitting your Silvers and Golds) quite a lot.

Lookout doesn't have +1 Card, but since it trashes from deck instead of hand, it keeps your handsize the same as a cantrip trasher would do, so it seems equivalent to a (nerfed) cantrip trasher to me. The same holds for Loan, which neither costs an action nor decreases handsize any more than Junk Dealer does. (If the top card of my deck is a Copper, playing Junk Dealer to trash a Copper and playing Loan actually do exactly the same thing, both for my current term and for my deck content.)
Of course both cards have the substantial nerfs that you mention, but they also have the advantage of mild filtering resp. giving $1 over a "vanilla" cantrip trasher.
The question is if Lookout and Loan are so weak only because of these nerfs, or if a cantrip trasher isn't that strong to begin with.

It's not about the hand size though.  With Loan, it's like you played a cantrip and it drew a Copper.  If you played an actual cantrip, you would get an average card from your deck which should be better than Copper.  Copper is the stuff you want to get rid of, after all.  But alright, "nerfed cantrip" is an OK approximation.  The nerfs do matter a lot though.

Upgrade without the card gain is easily worth $4, because you often play it without the card gain anyway (trashing Copper).  Sweeper does better because the trashing isn't even forced.  That is why I say that it is certainly too strong for $3 and quite possibly too strong for $4.
I agree that "Upgrade without the card gain" would probably be fine at $4; I'm not sure if it becomes too strong with the suggested buff. Anyway, thanks for the discussion!

666
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: New Dominion Cards by... Me!!!! :D
« on: November 27, 2013, 07:37:55 pm »
Chapel is an exceptional case.

Lookout is not cantrip.  The +1 card matters a lot.  Moreover, it gives you far reduced selection (3 cards instead of your hand) and it gets very dangerous to play in the mid game.

Loan is a copper, which is not at all like a cantrip.  And it only trashes treasures.  If you buy any other Treasures it will start to whiff (hitting your Silvers and Golds) quite a lot.

Lookout doesn't have +1 Card, but since it trashes from deck instead of hand, it keeps your handsize the same as a cantrip trasher would do, so it seems equivalent to a (nerfed) cantrip trasher to me. The same holds for Loan, which neither costs an action nor decreases handsize any more than Junk Dealer does. (If the top card of my deck is a Copper, playing Junk Dealer to trash a Copper and playing Loan actually do exactly the same thing, both for my current term and for my deck content.)
Of course both cards have the substantial nerfs that you mention, but they also have the advantage of mild filtering resp. giving $1 over a "vanilla" cantrip trasher.
The question is if Lookout and Loan are so weak only because of these nerfs, or if a cantrip trasher isn't that strong to begin with.

667
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: New Dominion Cards by... Me!!!! :D
« on: November 27, 2013, 07:07:07 pm »
You can't really assign linear value to vanilla bonuses like that, but I didn't say the benefit was marginal.  I said it was mild.  There's a difference. :P 

 :-[ Sorry, I meant to say I don't consider it a "mild" benefit, due to the comparisons I gave (which seem like reasonable heuristics in the absence of actual playtesting; of course they don't prove anything).

More specifically, the +$1 on Junk Dealer is nice, but it is small compared to the benefit of trashing.  Trashing is just that good!  I also said that I thought Sweeper would be too weak for $5 but too strong for $4.  The main point was just that cantrip trashing is extremely good.  Countering junkers isn't even a factor here -- it's about the early game momentum that you can build from quickly cycling and trashing through your deck.

And I did say at the end that it might still work at $4.  It would still be very, very strong at that price though.

I don't quite see why you think it to be so strong. Of course trashing is very strong, but a single Chapel can trash faster than even two or three Sweepers (even if you count the Chapel as a dead card afterwards, while the Sweepers remain "almost" cantrips).

Also, we already have two cards that are essentially ("nerfed") cantrip trashers at $3: Lookout and Loan (since trashing from the deck doesn't decrease handsize); and they're both quite weak.

(Edit to clarify; see also my next post)

668
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: New Dominion Cards by... Me!!!! :D
« on: November 27, 2013, 06:07:09 pm »
Sweeper (Action, Cost:3)

+1 Card
+1 Action

Choose a card in your hand. Discard it, or trash it.

There has been some discussion on this, saying that this should cost $4.  I am going to go further and say that it probably doesn't work at any price as is, but if a price had to be given it would be $5.

Sweeper gives cantrip trashing.  That is very powerful.  Off the top of my head I can think of 3 official cantrip trashers -- Upgrade, Junk Dealer and Rats.  Upgrade and JD are pretty similar -- $5 cantrip trashing with a mild benefit.

Junk Dealer's benefit is not marginal, but quite big - adding +$1 typically increases a card's cost by $2 or $3 (Silver vs. Gold, Village vs. Bazaar). Therefore Sweeper seems reasonable (if strong) at $4 to me, since its benefit is much smaller; I think it would be slightly stronger than Masquerade, which also has optional trashing. Sweeper might seriously hurt Junkers since you can spam it, but that might be considered a plus since junkers are so strong usually.

669
Simulation / Re: Dominiate: a Dominion simulator that runs on the Web
« on: November 27, 2013, 08:32:26 am »
Thanks. Not buying the third Rebuild changes very little; TerminalRebuild seems to become marginally (<1%) weaker against most cards, but now loses also to Monument (probably because BM-Monument tends to longer games).

I've also tried replacing one Rebuild by a Gold; this marginally helps against one card but hurts against another.

670
Simulation / Re: Dominiate: a Dominion simulator that runs on the Web
« on: November 26, 2013, 06:33:08 pm »
With Rebuild being so awfully strong, I've been interested to see whether removing the "+1 Action" would balance it. I expected it to remain strong, while Donald X. said that this version "couldn't compete". Since I didn't know how to add new cards to the simulator, I just "simulated" this with the existent Rebuild strategy (by ragingduckd and SheCantSayNo) by setting "WantsToRebuild" to zero when there's already a Rebuild in play, which seems to work as intended. The buying strategy is still close to optimal. This "TerminalRebuild" turns out to be significantly weaker than the original card:

TerminalRebuild loses to the strongest BM cards: Wharf, Goons, GhostShip, DoubleJack, all Cursers.

It essentially ties with Monument (51:49), Envoy (48.5:51.5), Smithy (52:48) and Courtyard (50:50), and wins against all other implemented one-card strategies (Militia, Masq., HP, Amb., Library, ...).

So BM-TerminalRebuild is about as strong as standard Smithy-BM, i.e. far from overpowered, but occasionally useful on BM boards. This seems to me to be an interesting "mediocre" card: It'd be worse in an engine, but great for slogs, or when combined with Walled Village (making it non-terminal again) or Tournament.




671
Dominion General Discussion / Re: What do you think about the house rule...
« on: November 24, 2013, 02:50:47 pm »
It's easier to take a lead, or end the game, than it is to take the lead and end the game. If Player 1 can win by doing those two on separate turns, and doesn't have to actually still be in the lead on the turn he ends the game, then he has an advantage.

But by my rule suggestion, Player 1 has to be in the lead on his last turn to win; and even this might not be enough if he didn't lead already before his last turn.


Interesting idea. Not sure whether I'd want to play with it though (as it's pretty complicated). I don't think it solves the 3-piling problem either, because P1 would still be reluctant to, say, 3-pile-plus-estate when ahead, because it'd be easy for P2 to match that for a tie. Because P1 is spending $ to ensure the game ends while P2 isn't, it puts P2 at an advantage in that situation.

P1 can still 3-pile for a secure win if he was ahead before his last turn (which is as it "should be" for a fair game IMO; you shouldn't be able to win just because of your extra turn). And if the players are tied before P1 3-piles by taking the last estate, P2 would need a duchy (or some other VP card) to tie, so the cases in which P2 has a potential advantage are very rare.

672
Dominion General Discussion / Re: What do you think about the house rule...
« on: November 24, 2013, 12:23:30 pm »
Currently Dominion does have a very significant first player advantage, and it would be nice if there were some reasonable way to fix it. Equal turns doesn't quite do that, but I think it would make things closer. It would however mean the first player could rarely trigger the endgame with a guaranteed win, but normally they'd be alright.

I think there is a way to remove the "extra turn" advantage without giving the last player an end-game advantage, when players count points during the game:

Play equal turns, but after the ending condition was triggered, a player may not gain more points in his "extra" turn than the "triggering player" did in his last turn* - or rather, any surplus points gained don't count for the score.

So in a 2P game, if the first player ends the game, he can essentially choose whether the final score, or the score after the penultimate round, counts.
This way, each player can end the game with a guaranteed win (the first player by ending the game when leading before their last turn, the last player in the usual way). The first player can also "risk" to end the game without a secure win, e.g. by buying the last province or doing a megaturn. The PPR remains in force for both players (though with different numbers for first/second player).
I haven't tried it yet, but this rule should substantially reduce the first-player advantage, though not remove it completely.


*and may not remove VPs from him (due to cursers, trashing attacks etc.)

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