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Dominion Articles / Re: How to be good at Dominion
« on: March 24, 2018, 06:32:06 pm »
...donít pick the most fun strategy or the strategy that gives you the best odds of winning, pick the strategy that makes you feel the most uncomfortable...

I'm not even trying that hard to get good at dominion...but I still follow that because I like learning and experimenting.
I often let whoever i'm playing with go first, so I can guarantee that I don't pick the same opening.

It must be pretty rare for an Overlord to end up in the trash. Really bad luck for someone with Locusts?
It's a necromancer game, so blindly playing zombie mason?  usually it's ok to blind zombie mason because the vast majority of the cards in your deck you would be happy with a card that costs one more. if you'd already used the zombie spy, I'd be tempted to zombie mason if i had nothing better to do, even if there was a 10% chance of hitting my overlord.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« on: March 22, 2018, 11:05:30 am »
has anyone tried travelers with bans on turning in for champion/teacher?

I don't use travelers very often, because they are game warping on so many boards, but I love the mechanic. 
I think I'd veto them less often if you were going for things easier to get and less powerful.  Every time I turn in a disciple, I feel a bit sad. 

If the travelers are brought back, I'd like to see fewer steps, and thus, less power on the final cards. 

Also, TIL: there are two acceptable spellings for traveller/traveler. 

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Playing the new Guilds & Cornucopia!
« on: March 22, 2018, 10:37:46 am »
this change doesn't affect me at all.  I only play with my own 1st edition set.  Unless...
Is there any more design space for coffers/coins?  Like enough for it to be used again in a future set?

It's one of the blandest mechanics in the game, but it plays absurdly well.  There are not that many mechanics in the game where you think "i want that 4$ more than that 3$" and end up buying the 3$ anyways.  coffers in a game mean there are more meaningful and interesting decisions.

Other Games / Re: Dominion clones
« on: March 21, 2018, 06:16:47 pm »
I'm amazed at how many deck-building games don't have a buy limit. Since Dominion was my first deck-builder, this feels very odd to me.

Most deck builders are REALLY shy about letting you draw your whole deck.  And without that, you can't get great use out of your trashers, and there is no way to snowball to the equivalent of 16$.

I think even donald mentioned something about being shy regarding the ability to draw your whole deck but found that "drawing your whole deck was fun, so we left that in". 

limiting you to 1 buy is kind of a safety valve on dominion that is just not necessary on games less explosive.


i remember using "leaders" on a "sled team" in Arctic scavengers and being WOW'D that i had SEVEN cards in my hand. 
Of the slow deckbuilders, I still like arctic scavengers and valley of the kings because the ability to cull a card out of your deck every turn means you can actually sculpt the deck and see the cards often because the severely limited draw would not otherwise be enough.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: March 19, 2018, 05:24:07 pm »
for instance, "Slivers", were changed to remove the help for the other player, and there was major outcry because it was a defining attribute of the card type (to the players).


Right, that settles it.  I'm retroactively not playing M:TG for the last fifteen years in protest.

lol. you didn't see what they did to the visuals of the M14 slivers did you? wizards stands by the mechanical change, but even they have apologized for the visual change and called it a mistake.
don't look.
save yourself.


Donald, are all the new prints coming out at roughly the same time?  or do you know if the base cards are coming sooner or later than G/C?

just had a game with the settlers/bustling village stack and lots of discard.

These cards have always felt so lackluster to me, especially late game when you draw your deck.  But if you have cards that discard (druid with wind's gift in this case), and your opponents are making you discard (legionary), you can majorly mitigate the discard by discarding coppers or settlers as appropriate.  Even LATE into the game, when I had no coppers remaining, and I was fully drawing my deck every turn, I got value out of the combo.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: March 19, 2018, 11:58:12 am »
Iím sure this has been discussed before, but the problem with positive interaction cards isnít that helping opponents is unpopular, but that theyíre tricky to balance...
No, the main problem is that helping opponents is unpopular.

among top magic players, cards that help your opponents are very popular if they are powerful, and especially if there is a way to undo the help. 

For instance giving your opponent life doesn't help them if you are trying an alternative route to victory.
Such a person looks at counsel room, and seeks to combine it with militia...

There is another magic card that MIGHT help your opponent.  It's so powerful that players using it are ok because sometimes the help is meaningless.
The analog to this card is sacred grove. yeah, it's gonna help them sometimes, but also there will be times when they don't want a silver when the mountain shows up.

these powerful cards are not well liked by the casual crowd though. 

among LONGTIME casual players, cards that help your opponents are popular if they have a long history of helping the opponents.  for instance, "Slivers", were changed to remove the help for the other player, and there was major outcry because it was a defining attribute of the card type (to the players).

And then there is a TINY subset of magic players that like "Hugs" decks that intentionally help everyone, and don't worry so much about actually trying to win.

All that is to say, there should be SOME.  but not a lot of them. It's madness to try to make every card be for every person.
If you don't like a card, it will usually be correct to think "i wonder who the audience is for this card?" before "this should not have been printed".

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Surplus
« on: March 19, 2018, 09:23:20 am »
Recently, I've been seeing surplus trashing.
That is, people continuing to trash coppers when they are already overdrawing their deck, and thus reducing their economy...
Or finally trashing an estate that never lined up...on one of the last turns for the game.

Dominion Articles / Re: What's stopping AI from mastering Dominion?
« on: March 19, 2018, 09:16:42 am »
(and yes, I made an account on this forum pretty much just to say this.


Other Games / Re: Dominion clones
« on: March 19, 2018, 02:16:58 am »
The two deckbuilders that I think are worth it for a few plays, even if you are a dominion fan, are these:

Arctic Scavengers: this game is so full of interaction.  and not just direct interaction like using a sniper to shoot the guy they are trying to play, but also bluffing interaction, since at the end of each round, you compete for a rare resource.  it boasts multiple routes to victories, a nice theme, and two decks that function similarly to the black market in dominion.
It's great fun for about 6-10 games, but even with expansions, it doesn't have the best replay value. 

Valley of the Kings: this is one of those deckbuilders where the cards available rotate...but they do it in the most thematic possible way for an Egyptian game: you buy from the bottom row of a pyramid, and then the top cards "crumble" down, and new cards appear at the top.  yeah, it's not the best way to build a deckbuilder, but i give them a pass in this instance because choosing the crumbling direction and manipulating the pyramid with your cards is so much fun. 
the other thing this game has is cards that are powerful are also very valuable points wise....but not until you cull them out of your deck by entombing them in your pyramid. so the tension in this game is figuring out how long to use the cards before you start the race to fill your tomb with the best cards.  it's a neat puzzle.  unfortunately, there is NO variety, since you use the same cards every time, and you go through the entire deck every time.  good for about 4 matches. 

to be a truly great deckbuilder, you need to manage variety sufficient enough to hold your attention long enough to get over the hump of learning what all the cards do.
dominion really opens up once you get it, and it really simplifies once you are recognizing cards by the pictures.  arctic scavengers has thematic art that all looks exactly the same, and by the time you've figured out the cards, you are pretty much done.  valley of the kings is chock full of unique cards with tons of text, so you end up thinking "i'm done with this game" LONG before you've memorized what the cards do.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: March 18, 2018, 08:14:14 pm »
I do think those cards tend to be unpopular. Well they are unpopular among the group that talks loudly online. We always enjoy it when there's e.g. Sacred Grove in a game and it means that you'll be randomly getting some Boons from other players.

Count me as one of the guys that likes them.
Since I design kingdoms for my play groups, I can put sacred grove in a kingdom with zero other ways to gain cards, to encourage people to use it...but sadly, if I don't do that, they will not buy the grove :(

But then, i'm the kind of guy that played werewolf, as a werewolf, and convinced the werewolves to stop eating people, and convinced the towns people to stop their witch hunt...
So i'm not a great stand-in for the average gamer.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Really bad card ideas
« on: March 18, 2018, 10:55:53 am »
Fooling Gold
Cost: $2

When you play this, gain a Fooling gold. Worth $3 if it's the first time you played a Fooling Gold this turn, otherwise worth $0.

(There are 20 copies in the Fooling Gold pile.)

I like the philosophy, but feel this is backwards.
It should be worth 3$ if you've already played a real gold, and 0$ otherwise. 
You have to prove you are trustworthy before you hand out the fake stuff.

Like the markets in china, where the first couple of beers they sell you are legit, and once you're a little buzzed they throw in the counterfeits

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Lets discuss hinterlands cards:tunnel
« on: March 16, 2018, 04:06:12 pm »
You can debate whether Tunnel should cost 3 or 4 but it is obvious why Donald didn't price it at 5: to not make it weaker than Duchy in Kingdoms without discarding.
it's got other functionality, even if it isn't usable, so i'm not sure THAT would have been enough.
In a world where gold was great to stuff your deck full of it, it might well have been worth 5$.

Yes they do... any card that doesn't give at least 1 card and 1 action when you play it clogs up your deck. No matter how good that card is, that's a true statement.
Did you intend to say "OR"? 
Is it your belief that festivals and counsel rooms clog up your deck?  If so, your definition of a clogged up deck seems...too broad to be useful.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite Thematic Cards (part 2)
« on: March 16, 2018, 03:47:00 pm »
Jester is really thematic. Always surprising, sometimes effective.

Jester is one of my fav cards, but I've never really gotten it...from a flavor perspective.  I just thought it was a silly mechanic flavored with a silly job.
What's the story you see in it?

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Meld
« on: March 16, 2018, 11:44:27 am »
My only suggestion is that the chimeras should be called
"Small Chimera," "Medium Chimera" and "Large Chimera."
I disagree.
Those names are fine play-test names, but they are terribly uninteresting.

"Nimble" is flavorful and implies the flexibility of the card
"Majestic" is at least an interesting word, even if it doesn't describe the abilities.
"Raging" is also an appealing name, and implies that it is an attack.

There are maybe better names, but small/medium/large and bland.


I'm really underwhelmed by Majestic Chimera.  You say a "fat wishing well", but wishing well isn't great, and this doesn't even guarantee the draw that wishing well always grants you.

If it was +card, +action, name a card, reveal 2, it WOULD be a buff wishing well, and there would be major improvements:
1) after you draw the first card, you have more knowledge about what's remaining in your deck
2) revealing 2 cards means you are far more likely to hit what you wanted
3) if you changed it to leave on top rather than discard, like wishing well, and you completely whiffed, then a second majestic chimera would draw the top card, and at least the next card as well, since you would know what it is. self synergy!

The opportunity cost to get these is VERY high. I think you can push them harder.  Nimble chimera could be "pick 3", possibly with a "no option more than twice" rider. or it could come with a +action and a pick 2.

Also, it would be nice if they more synergistic as a group, for instance, wisp finds imps.  What if the majestic chimera found what you called AND any chimeras that it found? 

To push the raging chimera, you might make it cost less, or keep the "i get to make a choice" theme, and allow you to chose the attack, and not even make people reveal their hands.


As an alternative to pushing the chimeras, you could lower the opportunity cost. 
Here are two ways:
1) remove the hyper flavorful potion cost from meld, make it cost ~4$
2) give the meld forum's "when you buy this, +buy" ability, to make it less painful when you get a 3rd round draw of potion and 4 coppers. You might need to make the meld cost something like 1$P, to keep it from being stupid.

I really like that the meld can trash your potion for value when you are done with it.  there could be additional synergy if the cost or abilities of meld were modified to allow you to trash a different meld into a chimera.  the easy way to do this is to replace the potion cost.
Alternatively, there could be a chimera that had a potion in its cost. This would also create inter-alchemy synergies.

Port works at $4 because there are only 6 ďcopiesĒ of it and itís a card you donít usually want right away. So it has the extra ďcostĒ that you need to buy them before your deck really wants them, or risk not getting enough.

If there were 20 copies of Port in the pile, I bet it would have ended up costing $5.

Case 1: both players want port.
There is a cost, but there is also a benefit because if am aggressive with ports, then my opponent is also forced to be aggressive with them.

Case 2: only one player wants port.
It isn't a cost at all in this case because your opponent isn't applying any pressure on you to get them early.

I suspect that the bigger problem would be ports costed at 5$ could make it tougher to get what you need, since 4$ is so much easier to hit.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite Thematic Cards (part 2)
« on: March 15, 2018, 06:26:10 pm »
From really bad card ideas:

Well-Defined Gains
Action - $3
+1 Card
+1 Action

Name a card, then reveal the top card of your deck. If you named it, gain a copy of it.

I just realized that there is something philosophical about wishing well.

If you wish for something crazy, you don't get it.
If you wish for what was already soon coming to you, you hasten it.

You don't get what you want by just wanting any ol' random great thing. 
You get what you want by wanting what is already within your grasp, and that you took the effort to achieve already.

Alternatively, "wish" is pure magical silliness. Get whatever you want, right now.

My wife loves Dominion but hates complex or weird cards, she loves the simplicity of the base game and the further we go from that the less she likes it.

if i understand you correctly, it's ok to use other cards, as long as they are simple, and you don't slam tons of them at once at her.
I'd suggest getting guilds/cornucopia, and introducing the simpler cards from that, one at a time of course.

Guilds is probably the simplest most boring looking expansion, but I was shocked at how well the cards play, and the variety they add. coin tokens are easy to understand, and one of the coin cards has 6 total words. once she's got candlestick maker and baker and plaza down, there's a smaller complexity leap to the other coin cards.

Also, there are a few easy to add cornucopia cards too.

I've been wondering if I could take some of the Heirlooms and split piles and buy more of them so as to make whole kingdom piles with them.

I think the obvious thing to do with the heirlooms is to put them into your starting ten, replacing a copper as normal, and just not using the card that it pairs with.  Adding goat doesn't add barely any complexity, if you leave the pixie behind, and you'll never think "this is weird without pixie".

I also don't see a problem with including a half pile.  You want to use just the 5 settlers as a stack?  why not?  I wouldn't buy an entire extra empires to fill out that stack.


I think it's really easy to overdo the complexity in this game.  There's nothing wrong with just a splash of 1-2 new cards.  The game is much more relaxing when you aren't overwhelmed.

Dominion Videos and Streams / Re: How to Base Dominion
« on: March 15, 2018, 03:17:35 pm »
I have something very intriguing coming..)


did I encourage you to do it sooner than you would have otherwise?

Help! / Re: A lot going on, here...
« on: March 15, 2018, 03:15:20 pm »
I think i would have tried magpie/cemetery as an opening.  I might have trashed the 2 estate hand, and tried to outrace the inheritance.
cemetery is so good with a gainer and alms is amazing for that.

La plays a Warrior.
La draws a Bridge Troll and a Sacrifice.
Lo discards a Coin of the Realm, a Province and a Silver.
Lo trashes a Province.
Lo shuffles their deck.
Lo discards a Province.
Lo trashes a Province.
Lo discards a Province.
Lo trashes a Province.

This looks like a warrior that was played with 4 other travelers, and 4-5 bridge trolls in play?
It seems REALLY impressive to pull that off before your opponent can get a champion to protect themself.  did they get unlucky, or just not push very hard for the champion?

But why does the game record discard three warrior'd cards at a time pre-shuffle, but then discard two cards individually post-shuffle?
Makes me think I'm missing something.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Addressing the first player advantage
« on: March 15, 2018, 09:28:49 am »
That's funny, because looking at it now, I don't know what I was thinking when I said "on rare occasions". Somehow I was thinking that having to shuffle to draw a single card for turn 2 would mess everything up and set you back, but pretty sure I was way off. Drawing 4 cards might work out pretty well as a balance.

case 1: the 10th card is an estate
 seems reasonable.  you still get a regular opening. your third hand is worse, but you don't miss out on the cards that your opponents rushed into their deck.

case 2: the 10th card is a copper
 this seems like it could be tragic. if a critical trasher costs 4$, you could be hosed by a 3/3 opening.  if a critical trasher costs 3$, you could be hosed by a 2/4 opening. 

Getting messed up on your first 2 hands is a bigger deal than later on.

what do you think about drawing 4 cards on your third turn instead?  That simulates case 1. 

Dominion Videos and Streams / Re: How to Base Dominion
« on: March 14, 2018, 08:02:40 pm »
That sounds like work!


I have two things to say about that:
1) is anyone already actively doing it that you could point me to?
2) people that are actively making non-beginner youtube videos: check out what burning skulls youtube channel looks like sorted by views:

the 14 most viewed videos are ALL from his 25 video beginner series, and none of those 25 are among his 65 lowest viewed videos.

If people take up the challenge, post their channels on the blog so the less enfranchised people find them easily.

The cursed gold is in your deck regardless.
That much is true, but that doesn't mean that buying the Hireling is going to be a great option. If you ignore the CG that turn and use your coins to buy Silver, you can use that towards buying the Hireling on the next shuffle, which will be of similar overall utility to doing it the other way around, but won't cost you a point. And that's assuming that Silver/Hireling is the best you can do on the board, in which case heaven help you.

Case 0: There's no decent trasher. Hireling/Silver/Curse seems good to me. Without trashing, it going to be a long time before you are reliably cycling through your whole deck, and hireling draws at least 2 cards per shuffle, giving value well in excess of the lost value due to the curse.  You want it ASAP, because silver/silver isn't going to get you to 6$ before you can get value out of the Hireling

Case 1: There's a reasonable trasher (sifter?) at 3$ or less.
Case 1a: the trasher is terminal. I can see being underwhelmed by hireling/trasher.
Case 1b: the trasher is non-terminal. hireling/trasher/curse seems way stronger than silver/trasher.  Because neither silver/silver, nor silver/trasher are going to get you to 6$ very fast if you are intent on treating cursed gold as dead.

Case 2: There's a trasher at 4-6$.
Case 2a: if the trasher is strong, trasher/silver/curse is probably better than hireling/silver/curse
Case 2b: if the trasher is slow but reasonable, trasher/silver/curse feels bad, but hireling/silver/curse will probably be worse.  Even silver/silver beats those.

So basically, hireling is going to be satisfying if there is no good trasher at all, or if there is a good cheap non-terminal trasher like forager.
There might be as many as 10 cards that make the hireling good, and maybe 16 good trashers that are better than hireling, and maybe a handful of other non-trashers that make up for adding a curse to your deck.

The default case 0 is that hireling is good and reasonable!
How many exceptions are there?
maybe there are 20 trashers that support the trasher/silver and trasher/silver/curse openings...
maybe there are 15 (spitball!) non-trashing 4+$ cards that are worth the curse MORE than hireling is. 
How often is one of those 35 cards, out of about 300, in a kingdom where only 8 kingdom cards are up for grabs after pooka/hireling?

odds of none of the 35: (265/300 * 264/299 * 263/298 .... ) = 36.6%
So more than a third of the time that hireling/pooka are together, hireling will be strongly viable on a 6/3 split.

Alright, what did I fuck up?

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