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Messages - trivialknot

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Other Games / Aeon's End
« on: December 05, 2022, 12:49:44 am »
We were interested in trying a cooperative deck builder, so we got Aeon's End--specifically Aeon's End: The New Age.

It's a fun game.  Similar to Dominion, it has fixed supply piles.  However, there isn't as much variation in kingdoms, because the power level needs to be balanced from game to game.  Much of the variation seems to come from the choice of mage for each player, and the choice of nemesis.

The unusual thing about it is that you don't shuffle your deck.  Instead you just turn it over.  We were worried this would cause a lot of analysis paralysis, but in practice it feels like you're fairly restricted in your choices.  Spells are discarded first, and then cards you bought, and then cards in play--and usually we just put the best cards first, to draw them sooner.  As a consequence of non-shuffling, "missing the shuffle" isn't really a thing, and deck quality tends to be more uniform.  There's probably some advanced strategy here but we're not at that level.

We were thinking we'd get some expansions, but the expansions are shockingly difficult to navigate.  As in, there isn't enough of a fan community to find decent and up to date recommendations, without reading at least a dozen independent reviews.  Some of the expansions are "legacy" games, and I don't know what that means.  The New Age had some legacy elements, in that new cards were revealed over the course of your first campaign.  But we replay our board games extensively so I'm very leery of anything described as "legacy".  I don't suppose anyone here has experience with Aeon's End and could comment on the expansions?

Other Games / Re: Spirit Island
« on: November 15, 2022, 12:11:16 am »
There are variant rules to play without events, and that tends to speed things up.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss - Archer
« on: November 13, 2022, 02:03:14 pm »
As for what card to hide,

  • If you have a duplicate you should hide neither of them because you can't stop a discard anyways.
  • You should just assume your opponent can see your hand and not try to play mindgames or bluffing games. Maybe there is a small edge case where it matters, but information in Dominion is really cheap / lasts 1 turn. So just assume you'll be left with the worst 4 card hand possible given what you pick and find the least bad option.
That's far from clear.  For example, if you have two villages, two smithies and a copper, the only way you can limit your opponent's options is by hiding the copper.  But it seems clearly more valuable to choose based on what information you'd like to hide.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let`s discuss nocturne mechanics - Doom
« on: September 01, 2022, 12:02:06 pm »
Hexes combine three things that people tend to dislike: attacks, overt chance, and unnecessary complexity.  I think DXV has said he wouldn't include them at all if he did Nocturne today.  But I don't mind any of those things.  I like hexes.

-Would a straight +2$, each other player recieves the next hex be better or worse than militia? Assuming tormentor doesnt exist of course.

Militia is generically stronger IMO.  But hexes stack better, and attack from multiple directions.  Some decks are hardly hurt by militia at all, but chances are there's a hex that will really hurt.

- Is the self- hex of leprechaun or cursed village more unpleasent?

Leprechaun, easily.  The strongest use case for Leprechaun is to gain wishes, and that can lead to cases where you drew it too late in the turn, or had a partial dud.  You can still play Leprechaun to gain a gold, but people tend not to do that, because they want to play around the possibility of getting Poverty midturn.

- If you could remove or modify one single hex, what would it be?

I don't think Delusion is necessarily the strongest hex, but it's rarely fun when you get it.  If we wanted to preserve the flavor, we could replace it with a contraband effect, or force people to spend additional money to buy actions.  I'm sure there are a lot of other unrelated possibilities too.

- Are they too complicated because of the states?

I don't like the states much, because they oblige me to get more cards out of the box.  We just don't use the Envy and Delusion state cards, as they're mostly reminders.  I wish Misery just exiled two curses instead.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Log Statistics
« on: July 20, 2022, 07:02:41 pm »
The Dominion Statistics are actively updated and maintained.  They're regularly referenced in Discord, where there's a dedicated chatbot command to summon a graphical summary of statistics for any card.  However, unless you're on Discord it's a tool that's easy to miss.  It should honestly have its own Dominion Wiki page.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: barbarian continues to savage
« on: July 20, 2022, 01:11:56 pm »
Barbarian is a lot stronger than I initially thought, but the culprit in that kingdom is King's Court, not Barbarian.

Looking at card statistics since Allies, King's Court games have a resignation rate of 57%, and Barbarian games have a resignation rate of 44%.

I was, up until recently, unable to find any update packs for sale outside of Amazon (which had a markup).  As of yesterday, I noticed that many online stores finally had them available, and was able to order all three update packs at once.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: July 02, 2022, 11:32:21 am »
Is that something that tends to trip up newbies, in your experience?  Have you ever considered trying to address it? I mean, outside the coffers change.
For sure it's bad that the buy phase is really two phases. Either it should be clearly two phases - the easy fix to keeping all the cards mostly as-is - or it should be that you can keep playing treasures after buying cards - which breaks various things but would have worked great if done at the start.

Could you (or someone else) clarify what would "break" if you could play treasures after buying cards? With Merchant Guild errata'ed, I can't think of any card which would be broken when allowing this...
Alms?  I think such errata would be plausible.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: June 30, 2022, 06:16:19 pm »
Enjoyed the errata explanations.

One Dominion rule that seems particularly confusing--or so I presume, I don't exactly have a lot of experience trying to explain it to newbies--is the fact that the buy phase is secretly split into two.  There's the first part where you can play treasures, and the second part where you can buy cards.  So if you use Innovation to play a smithy you bought, you can't play the treasures you draw; but if you use Innovation to play a smithy you gained from Horn of Plenty, you can play the treasures you draw.

The coffers errata seems aimed at making that distinction not matter as much; you can spend coffers even on the second part of the buy phase.  But the distinction still matters in other cases, especially with more cards that let you play actions outside your action phase.

Is that something that tends to trip up newbies, in your experience?  Have you ever considered trying to address it? I mean, outside the coffers change.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Hinterlands 2E Preview 3
« on: June 29, 2022, 06:46:13 pm »
The ex-cards are all cards that I liked in principle, but are limited by how much they suck in practice.

Silk Road, the alt-VP that rewards slogs.  I like Alt-VP, and one less alt-VP card means it shows up slightly less often.  But the experience was usually very similar to Gardens, but narrower.  Gardens is already fairly narrow.  When is Silk Road better than Gardens, when half of your deck is Victory cards?  Isn't that the same condition for Scout being good?

IGG, a peddler variant that instead of drawing a card makes your opponent draw one card less.  Or a relic variant, if you prefer that analogy.  This isn't that strong as a baseline, and it's worse if your opponent can trash or sift the curse.  The main thing it had going for it was the IGG rush, which was fun for being a different experience, but arguably made the game worse.  I'm sure there are many ways to fix this card, maybe we'll see them in the future, or in variants.

Noble Brigand, I wish it trashed treasures besides silver and gold.  But it was a stepping stone to Bandit so I can't complain.  And Berserker, now that's an interesting card.

I remember at the time it came out, Hinterlands was more complex than previous sets, and it seemed like some cards just put multiple unrelated abilities together.  Mandarin puts together the on-gain ability, the +$3, and the topdecking ability, how do those gel together exactly?  Well maybe it never really gelled for Mandarin, but it gelled for Jack of All Trades.  Since then, card complexity has gone up, so the complexity of Hinterlands doesn't stand out as much.  What stood out was how Hinterlands pushes larger more money-ish decks.  Besides Spice Merchant, all the trashers are liable to gain more cards than they trashed (Trader, Develop, Jack of All Trades).  The villages are relatively non-standard and awkward (Border Village, Crossroads, Inn, and now Trail).  I like that the new cards preserve Hinterlands' invisible theme while also promoting more visible elements of the theme.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Hinterlands 2E Preview 2
« on: June 28, 2022, 09:55:22 am »
The fact that the blue dog didn't replace Trader makes it considerably more likely that Trader is staying in the set.
Also, Souk taking a +buy slot makes me think Margrave is leaving.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Hinterlands 2E Preview 1
« on: June 27, 2022, 02:23:40 pm »
Oracle and Embassy both had their issues, but in general I do like the idea of a draw card that sifts while only increasing handsize by 1.  It's a limitation makes engine building a bit more challenging, sometimes producing wheel-spinning engines that barely increase handsize at all.

Glad to see the concept live on in a much more interesting card, Witch's Hut.  It seems like the choice of whether to discard actions may often be an interesting decision.  I expect that sometimes it will lead to snowballs, where one player hands out almost all the curses.  In other games, it may lead to terminal draw decks that are happy drawing actions dead.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Prosperity 2E Preview 3
« on: June 13, 2022, 02:11:54 pm »
There's also Collection / Way of the Horse, which only uses actions from supply piles.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Prosperity 2E Preview 3
« on: June 10, 2022, 12:10:21 pm »
Even more nuts than Collection + Stampede: Collection + Cavalry + Academy + Way of the Butterfly. 

Yes, this actually happened.

I just got into a game that was completely broken because of Collection + Stampede. It would be an endless game if the other player wouldn't resign. I think that's broken game design.

It was a known issue, but what’s your suggested solution? Would it be better for Collection to have a confusing, hard-to-remember wording? It would be be great if the combo never came up in random sets online.
Is that an invitation to post fan variants here?  That's what it sounds like.

Oh, how about a rule that there are a finite number of VP chips available.  Automatically resolves all the VP-chip related stalemate problems.  Easy to house-rule IRL because you do, in actual fact, have a finite number of VP chips.

I feel like you're a bit irrationally attached to this "copper strategy", both as a useful category, and as a viable strategy.  I think it would be more useful to think about broader categories of strategies that:

- Don't thin your starting deck.  For example, if the thinning isn't available, or isn't very strong, or if you only have trashers like Hermit or Moneylender that can't thin all your starting cards.
- Produce additional value from your starting deck, or mitigate its downsides.  For example, Baron makes use of those Estates; Settlers make use of those Copper.
- Deliberately gain additional junk.  For example, you might buy a bunch of Estates with Groundskeeper or Copper with Gardens.

If you particularly like things that specifically interact with Copper, okay, that's an aesthetic.  But you only mentioned like 9 kingdom cards--some of which are dubious, and 2 of which are already removed--and that's simply not very much.  If you think about it more broadly, you might find more to like.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: June 07, 2022, 06:48:53 pm »
FWIW, we don't play with the errata, because the pre-errata rules are right there are on the cards, and what am I going to remember, the rules on some website, or the rules right in front of me?  The main issue is that if we ever have some rules question about, say, Band of Misfits, well the online faq pertain to a set of rules we're not using, so it's up in the air what we do about that.

And I guess in principle we still have the issue of, I Crown an opponent's Estate with the abilities and types of Caravan Guard, and use Way of the Mouse to play a Lurker to gain a Mandarin, and so on.  We'll live, somehow.

The Seaside 2E rulebook seems to confirm Farmland, Crossroads, Stables, Cartographer.  So if 9 will be removed, I'm going to guess they're from among:

The bottom 7 ranked cards (by the Thunderminion list above)
Oracle (very slow to play with)
Embassy (dominant and monolithic in multiplayer)
Ill Gotten Gains (DXV could probably make a better version today)
Margrave (I guess if we're killing powerful attacks?)

Personally, I don't hate any of these cards, but some of them I'd love to see better versions of them.  I like the ideas of IGG, Silk Road, Trader, Duchess, Mandarin, Cache, but they don't see much play.  It was pointed out on Discord that a new victory card seems unlikely because that would kick the update pack from 99 to 101 cards.  If so, that's a bit disappointing to me.

DXV on Hinterlands in 2012:

Odds are I wasn't going to be so unhappy with this one either, given how recent it is. The one thing I can say is, I thought the set was simpler than people think it is, and I would be strongly tempted to simplify it a little given that I know people think it's complex. Basically make it a little more like the standalone it didn't end up being. To that end the obv. changes are to drop the reactions from Fool's Gold and Trader, to drop the above-line text on Duchess (just leave it +$2), and make a version of IGG that just has $1 or $2 on the top. Possibly either Inn or Mandarin could change, I like them both as-is but they would be some of the wordiest cards left at that point. Noble Brigand is wordy but it needs those words. Probably all of these changes sound awful to you, dear reader, but that's the way of the world. It's hard to see the value in the simplicity I'd gain, but there really is value there. Anyway I went with the more complex versions and it's not so bad that I did.

Well, that commentary seems fairly out of date.  And here's from 2020:

Hinterlands: The problem here is that mostly I want to tweak cards but keep them, which results in an update pack we can't really sell. So e.g.: move +Buy from Margrave to Cache; drop the Reactions from Fool's Gold and Trader; make Ill-Gotten Gains a $6 that makes $2 and Curses on-gain. There are still cards to replace too though: Noble Brigand (weak), Mandarin (weak, rare weird issues), Oracle (so slow).

And here's the 2021 Thunderminion rankings from best to worst:

Border Village
Spice Merchant
Jack of All Trades
Fool's Gold
Ill-Gotten Gains
Nomad Camp
Silk Road
Noble Brigand

Yeah, it's real strong.

Hard to say what the appropriate price for a Peddler is, but there are plenty of Peddler-plus cards at $5, and Poacher at $4 is sort of a Peddler-minus.  Supplies is practically a Peddler-plus, since the draw is at the beginning of your turn, and it's slightly less likely to skip shuffle than a Peddler is.  And yet, it costs $2.

The main draw back is that the draw is deferred to next turn.  This might be best illustrated by imagining a hypothetical scenario, where you buy 5 Supplies, topdecking them all.  The cost wasn't just $10 and 5 buys, you also had to pay the cost of having a dud turn with 5 coppers.  Obviously it won't really happen that way, but until you get your horses, each Supplies adds a tiny bit of dud tendency into your next shuffle.  So Supplies is like a Peddler that costs a bit more than $2.  I think it's quite underpriced still.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: What cards do you ban and why?
« on: May 25, 2022, 07:34:42 pm »
I only play offline, so we don't have banlists exactly, so there are just some cards we keep out of rotation, or frequently veto.

Out of rotation: Alchemy, 1st edition cards except Tribute
Almost always veto: King's Court, Goons, Rebuild, Cultist, Ambassador
Sometimes veto: Chapel, Donate, Peasant, Page, Governor, Sauna/Avanto

We tend not to like the most powerful cards, I guess.  We're not so much bothered by randomness, we're more bothered by long turns with lots of tracking, or forced early resigns.  I actually like the cards in the sometimes-veto list but sometimes we draw them and we're just not in the mood.

Other Games / Re: Jelly Is Sticky
« on: May 23, 2022, 07:33:56 pm »
I've been playing this, I noticed you were in the credits, Awaclus.

It's a decent entry into the difficult puzzle game niche (Stephen's Sausage Roll, Snakebird, Baba is You, etc.).  I didn't watch that stream you linked, but it gets a lot more difficult in the extra puzzles after you get to the credits.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: May 23, 2022, 04:54:11 pm »
That's a neat interview, thanks for sharing dirkdebeule.

Not really a question, just a comment...

Donald, I don't know if you've seen this, since you say that you mostly don't play other deckbuilding games.  But a common pattern I've seen is to mix all the cards together, and then there are just a few random cards available to take at any time.

The advantage is that instead of 25 kingdom cards in a set, you could print 250 unique cards or something.  Also setup is easier, and there's less info to process upfront.  On the other hand, it feels incompatible with variable setup.  There are differences from game to game, but we're still drawing from the same random deck, so there's a sort of uniformity to it.  We've enjoyed lots of deckbuilding games, but a bit disappointing, and one of the reasons we play more Dominion.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Seaside 2E Preview 2
« on: May 17, 2022, 04:05:34 pm »
Is there a place for just taking 4-5 Tide pools, and taking half as many turns?  That's a huge penalty, of course, but it seems relatively easy to set up, and if there's no other way to build an engine, it might be competitive with the money deck.  It's definitely more compelling than trying to do the same thing with Lich.
So I just realized that there's a problem with this strategy, which is also a problem for the Voyage/Mission/Outpost strategies.  If you play a bunch of tide pools to draw deck, then during cleanup, you shuffle your deck without the tide pools, and draw a new hand.  The next turn, you discard your hand, but you still have the rest of the shuffle to get through before reaching your tide pools again.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Seaside 2E Preview 2
« on: May 17, 2022, 02:26:32 pm »
Is there a place for just taking 4-5 Tide pools, and taking half as many turns?  That's a huge penalty, of course, but it seems relatively easy to set up, and if there's no other way to build an engine, it might be competitive with the money deck.  It's definitely more compelling than trying to do the same thing with Lich.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Prosperity 2E
« on: May 06, 2022, 12:21:30 pm »
Kind of funny that in 2012, DXV thought Loan was the dud, but in 2020 doesn't even include it in the list of cards he'd remove.  Loan has probably benefited from shifts in the meta over time.

Assuming DXV hasn't changed his mind on those six (Trade Route, Talisman, Contraband, Mountebank, Venture, Royal Seal), that still leaves possibly 3 others to remove.  I'd bet on Counting House even if DXV said he wanted to keep it.  I'd like to see Goons be replaced with something that's a bit less dominating.  Vault and Hoard are probably the next weakest cards, so maybe we'd see one of those go.

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