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Messages - Something_Smart

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1
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: November 27, 2020, 01:05:56 am »
I wanted it to be viable as a Copper trasher as well as a Province gainer, and without the buy it compares super poorly to Bonfire.

I don't follow your Fisherman example; the trashed cards need to be differently-named, so you would need to trash Fisherman along with other cards costing $5 or more to get a Province-- if you can repeat that for 5 turns, you had a pretty good deck to begin with.

2
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: November 26, 2020, 09:20:51 pm »

3
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: November 08, 2020, 04:12:08 pm »
Yeah, that was intentional. Given that gaining Barren Region has the alternate effect of uncovering Bountiful Region, I thought it was all right.

I did consider making Barren Region cost $4, which would make the cost of the pile constantly shift which could be weird, but it would also probably fix Barren Region's power level, so maybe that would be better. (It'd still be strictly worse than Cemetery, but the strength of the card isn't just in the card itself but in the timing of revealing Bountiful Region.)

4
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: November 08, 2020, 03:49:24 pm »
The Regions share a single pile which is like a Split pile but a little bit different. The pile starts with a Barren Region on top and then alternates between the two. So in a 2-player game, there will always be 4 of each Region, and in a 3- or 4-player game, there will always be 6 of each Region.


5
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: October 27, 2020, 01:40:35 pm »

6
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 09, 2020, 05:59:03 pm »
All right! Sorry this took so long! I got a chance to test most of these (anything that was submitted before like Friday, pretty much).

Contest #86 Results

Litharge by grep
This feels not all that distinct from Nomad Camp to me, except it's even less interesting because you sometimes get Nomad Camp for the +buy and have to suffer through the topdecking. And in the opening it has the same issue Nomad Camp does, which is that you might open it to hit $5... and then not hit $5. In fact on a 4/3 you have only a 40% chance of hitting 5, and the other 60% of the time you've opened silver/$4 and slowed your cycling. Sure, it's marginally better than buying Silver in money, but it is probably just a waste of a landscape most of the time. I'm not sure that I ever actually wanted to buy this in testing.

Migrate by faust
This is quite swingy in the early game. Opening it on turn 1 has a 60% chance of getting you Gold and a 40% chance of getting you nothing (except for stuff like Nobles). Later on, it becomes a slightly cheaper way to add actions if you have multiple buys and are drawing deck, which is... well, it's something, but that's kinda underwhelming. It's nice to get Golds for cheap, but it's not so nice to get nothing and it's especially not nice to see your opponent getting stuff like Goons or Grand Market while you flip Estates and get zip.

Tend by spineflu
This is a really cool idea! It feels wrong to just stick an 11th card in the otherwise nicely-ordered 10-card starting deck, but it's kinda cool. In terms of not messing with openings, making it a cantrip is definitely less irritating than the old version without the +1 Card, since you could be stuck with a 3/3 on a board where the $4's are important. That said... holy crap this thing was already strong, and with the +1 Card, it's now insane. One of the reasons Church is strong is its ability to save green cards across shuffles, and this is like Church on steroids. It's a cantrip so you can spam it, and it costs $2, and you start with one already in your deck, and it has no cap on the number of cards it can set aside, and it gives you economy too? Sign me up! And this came out in testing, too-- Tend just makes engines work, and work really well. Turns out permanently removing all the green cards from your shuffles while also letting you start your turn with a bunch of coin is very good. So while it's a great idea to make a card that starts in your deck, I don't feel like it should be this one. It's just too crazy good.

Highwayman by mandioca15
This is somewhat interesting; it has the Villa effect of being buy-neutral to pick up when you anticipate needing more buys on future turns. But it doesn't really feel like it has a leg up on Villa; it's just far less interesting (aside from needing less cost reduction to autopile, but it sucks way more to autopile). If you think about it, it's really just a Woodcutter for $2 that's also buy-neutral. You get it when you want a Woodcutter, you don't otherwise, it just lets you wait a little longer before getting it. It's nice, but it doesn't feel that impactful to me.

Chancellory by LordBaphomet
Whoa, this is so good! Topdecking is a powerful effect, especially in the early game-- that's why Royal Seal is bad, and Tracker is sometimes a good open. Being able to open Chancellory and take advantage of the topdecking both immediately and consistently is crazy. I was only able to play against bots, and I didn't bother making a bot smart enough to contest this, so I basically got free rein of it. And it feels kinda like the Flag-- you pretty much have to contest it if your opponent goes for it, but there's not nearly as much of a first mover disadvantage since the first mover gets a $4 card onto their deck instead of a garbage terminal silver junking them up. A fun way to spice up the openings for sure, but way too centralizing in my opinion.

Manufacture by Aquila
I didn't get a ton of time to play with this, but it feels underwhelming. The first choice is awkward, since early on it will probably just get you a free $2, which is not all that great. (Unless it's a power $2 like Peasant or Chapel, of course.) The second choice is... also awkward, since you need to already have to have the card you want, and there are not a ton of $5's that you want to spam but that don't help you as much on-play. As a result, you probably already hit $5 that turn, so instead of buying the $5 you can copy the $5 and buy a $3, so this option gets you a free $3, after a few shuffles. Also not that impressive. The third option... well, like I said, I'm not playing against humans, so I can't have intricate endgame dances. But I'd imagine that it's not really all that intricate; as soon as you get into greening, if you haven't cashed your Manufacture yet, you cash it for points asap.

Mausoleum by D782802859
Fun! But as other people have pointed out, overpowered. And also usually not a good source of spirits, because $6 is greater than the cost of an actual Lab and instead I get a worse Lab and a green card, or for $4 I can get a Wisp and a dead card that Wisp can't even draw. Ghost as the only village... maybe, but that seems on the level of awkwardness as Prince as the only village, possibly more because Ghost's effect isn't nearly as good as Prince's. So I'm mostly taking Mausoleum as a cheaper Duchy (and maybe grabbing some free spirits because why not), and in most cases it will be a cheaper Duchy because the condition is so easy to hit.

Sailor by Fragasnap
This is kind of a hard card to evaluate. It seems very good; it's like a slightly worse Caravan Guard/Supplies mashup that has a great on-gain effect (especially with gainers). I noticed that you said it's a net stop card, but it's actually not-- since it draws one card next turn, it's a net Peddler, like Supplies. Its Peddler mode is weaker than Supplies, but the +buy and the on-gain probably more than make up for that. And it has a high chance of hitting $5 for you in the opening (at the expense of triggering a probably-bad shuffle), so it seems pretty good. In testing, it usually felt like a nice supporting card, but never the star of the show, though I never got a board where it was the only +buy.

Lease by LibraryAdventurer
I don't think I ever ended up testing this one, unfortunately. It seems to have little middle ground between useless and centralizing... but now I'm comparing Leasing Witch to Expedition, and I'm realizing that this is actually quite good. Though it still seems to me that Leasing attacks, especially junking attacks, is going to be dominant, and you usually won't be Leasing other things unless either you have nothing better to do or there's a strong synergy (such as Feast). Also, there might be tracking issues on when it "leaves play"-- for instance, I think as written you can Lease Fortresses and then steal them with Improve. Which is funny, I suppose. But overall... it's probably just right to be Leasing cursing attacks most of the time when they're on the board, which is just gonna lead to an infuriating game.

Fold by NoMoreFun
Cute. Powerful in a lot of situations, to cycle around to your better cards faster, or skip hands that you know will be bad. The main disadvantage? It requires constant deck tracking, because unlike Messenger you have the option to do this every turn. But in general, it doesn't REQUIRE deck tracking, since if you can afford it, it will help you shuffle faster and that's something you usually want (assuming your deck is better than it was last shuffle). I don't have much else to say about this. It's reminiscent of Save and Borrow-- not game-warping, but something to constantly be aware of.

Haunted Cruise by silverspawn
I don't think I ever bought this. I can imagine a board where you might... but it would not be pleasant. First, it only even works to hit $5 on a 3/4, so if it is that important, one person can just get screwed. And it's really only important with $5's that are either great junkers or great trashers-- Old Witch, Witch, Mountebank, Recruiter, and Sentry come to mind. Maybe Counterfeit. I guess it's also good with other Exilers, like Camel Train or maybe Stockpile. But it just feels like a sad cross between Borrow and Desperation that really only works in the opening.

Smuggled Goods by artless
Interesting! But probably not too great unless you have something to do with the Smuggled Goods after gaining it. Watchtower does nice double duty. Copper trashers like Spice Merchant or Counterfeit don't mind it... but most other things don't really have much to do with it. And it's a pretty sad hand that can generate $1 with 5 spare cards, but can't generate $5. So it seems like the extra junk is often not going to be worth the gain.

Stud by gambit05
I didn't get a chance to test the new version, but it looks way worse. The old version is a cantrip with a nice on-gain and Peddler potential if you had a Horse in hand, and this is... a really bad village, with a marginally better on-gain. I haven't tested it, but it's hard to imagine buying it, unless the nonterminal draw was REALLY good and I REALLY needed a village. Even the on-gain only has a 50% chance of getting you to $5 on turn 2, which is rarely gonna be worth it (and frustrating if my opponent hits it and I don't).

Navy by mail-mi
This is quite strong. It's hard to see the impact of the attack versus bots, but it's about as strong as Minion's attack (just delayed by one turn), and Minion's attack is good. And this is a weaker Caravan Guard/Supplies, but it makes up for that by being playable on gain. There's a bit of a question of how this interacts with Squirrel/Flag and the like, but that seems like a minor issue. A more major issue is probably just that this attack is on what's effectively a cantrip, so it's very likely going to be inflicted every turn or almost every turn, and it's quite an annoying attack for that, so it probably isn't skippable, and it probably makes games less fun (though it being duration draw does counter its own attack, much like Haunted Woods).

Phoenix by pubby
This is so cool!! However Phoenix itself is pretty, uh, underwhelming. It doesn't look like it can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way :P Single-card trash for no benefit is... not great. One-shot trashing self to grab back a trashed card such as a Mining Village is... a little better, but hard to pull off. So I may never actually buy Phoenix, but still appreciate its presence, like Baker and Fool. That doesn't really feel like something you should be aiming for, though. I get that it's good to have multiple Potion-cost cards together, but one thing that does is always ensure that on the opening turn when you could blow up Gunpowder for Phoenix, you could also blow it up for something else... and that something else is probably going to be better.

Underling by anordinaryman
This is a pretty sad card. It suffers from the same syndrome as Haunted Cruise and Smuggled Goods-- the junk is just not worth the benefit. And one of the hallmarks of bad cards with good on-gain effects (think Skulk) is the ability to feed it to trash-for-benefit... but because this has the debt cost, you can't even do that (barring things like Sacrifice and Zombie Apprentice). So you get a slight speed boost in return for a permanent slowdown. I would definitely be in favor of changing its cost to $3 and adding a clause to prevent autopiling, but I think improving the top would probably be a better way to fix this. I think it would be not too strong if it gave +$2, and probably more interesting.

Brazier by Marpharos
I had to implement this as a Reaction, because it basically is. It's also kinda unintuitive that it works during Clean-up as well? But as written, it does. Anyway, that makes it seem pretty dang strong. It's effectively a +1 Card, since it keeps one junk card out of your shuffle, and on top of that it works both on gain and on discard. And then there's the can of worms of it being strictly better than Woodcutter, which is still a design principle DXV adheres to, even though Woodcutter is removed.

Glamour by chronostrike
I was unimpressed by this at first glance. A weirdly focused attack, along with adding a deliberately OP card to the supply? That just seems bad and unbalanced. It took me about thirty seconds of playing with it to change my mind. The balance might not be completely right... but the design is amazing. Even playing against a dumb bot, I got burned by Glamour a lot-- getting to open the Lure is great, but having to discard it sucks! And gaining Glamour for no reason is bad, but when your opponent starts picking up Lures, you probably want to find time for one, especially if the Lure is an engine piece like a village or a draw card. This is just such a fun and interesting card.

Ancient Settlement by xyz123
This marks the point beyond which I wasn't able to test, sadly. This is kind of a weird one. I think it has enough going for it to be useful, especially on the 3/4 where you can open a $5 and still make out with a coffer. It's annoying as the only village... but sometimes you build Shanty Town engines. When Necropolis is useful, you don't mind hanging onto it. And this gives a buy, so it does serve two purposes, although neither of them well. I do like what the coffers do to the timing-- I wouldn't expect to trigger the coffers more than 2 or 3 times, but it might lead to me buying villages too early or intentionally not playing actions in order to get them. Interesting design.

Vagabond by X-tra
The idea here is neat. I just wish the call condition were a bit... flashier. The combination of +Cards and +$ is particularly ill-suited to a card like this, since you don't know whether you'll need the money after you see what you drew, and you'll probably just use it as a Sinister Plot-esque dud saver, with the money being ancillary. That feels bad. The dead card floating around in my deck ALSO feels bad in the absence of trash for benefit. I like the pure Reserve idea... but I think this was the wrong place to try +2 Cards, +$2.

Negotiate by Fly-Eagles-Fly
This is the kind of thing that would drive me up the wall, which isn't a bad thing per se, but I think this is pretty bad, because of the chance that the coffer gets your opponent to $5. This might legitimately be a second player advantage card, because it can (and should) only be bought by the second player on turn 2, unless the second player buys a $4 on turn 1 in which case the first player can buy this on turn 2. Beyond that... well, it seems to be a mostly desperation play, because unlike Bargain, the benefit to your opponent is immediate, which basically makes this not worth it most of the time. The reason Bargain works is because they need to wait one shuffle to play the Horse, and a second shuffle to play whatever they were able to buy because they had the Horse. Here, if they get a $5 because you got Negotiate, you both see your $5's at the same time, and you're out $1 extra.

Workhouse by Xen3k
This card's on-gain is so bad that I don't really think I would go for it unless it was late and I already had deck control and really needed the buy. I don't really think buying this in the opening helps your odds of hitting $5 much; at best it will put you with 7 Coppers, 2 useful Ruins (Library/Mine), and 1 Estate going into turn 2, which is... bad. You have to wait an entire extra turn to even have a chance of seeing your opens, and then you have more garbage in your deck which it will take a bit for Workhouse to clear out. If Workhouse is the only village... well that can't possibly be worth it. Though it is nice with Fortress, but what isn't.

Metronome by alion8me
Hmm. Interesting. I think I like it. In general, big turns and terrible turns are better than a bunch of mediocre turns, at least early on. And the fact that it makes you discard your two worst cards, and then draws you two random ones, makes it significantly better than just doing nothing. I suspect that this will be unskippable on most boards, like Sinister Plot (though probably not quite as powerful). But it will be a lot of fun to play with. It might be marred by certain attacks like Swamp Hag that are more devastating on the big turn which will cause it to be annoying if one player's big turn is perpetually right after the other's. Maybe it would be better to make the whole thing optional (no drawing or discarding unless you flip), but that would make it even STRONGER, and it's already really good.

Owl Tower by Jonatan Djurachkovitch
I must admit this surprised me; it looked terrible at first glance, like an even sadder version of Harbinger that's already a pretty sad card. But, actually, it plays out closer to Scheme-- it lets you set up any card for your next turn, with the obvious downside of being a duration and not being a cantrip. But the upside is pretty big: you get to pick which card you want after you see your hand. That does a heck of a lot for reliability. It still feels underwhelming in a consistent enough deck, but on sloggier boards where consistency is hard to hit, this can be pretty useful.

Young Smithy by majiponi
Eh. It's a better draw card than Moat? It's pretty bad as the primary draw in an engine, though getting to start with one on top of your deck each turn while building is nice I guess. But the discards really add up, especially if you want to gain and play. I don't think this is a weak card, and it's not a bad design, but it's really not all that exciting. I much prefer the cards that let you topdeck other gains; they do similar things, but a lot more varied in what exactly you can accomplish with them. I get that this was shoehorned to fit the contest, but it definitely leaves the card worse off for it.

Winner: Glamour by chronostrike
Runner-up: Ancient Settlement by xyz123

7
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 08, 2020, 06:40:04 pm »
Judging will be... soon. I might get to it tonight, sorry if I don't.

8
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 02, 2020, 08:41:35 pm »

Made a few changes here. Just a shot in the dark. Thoughts?
I don't know if it's just me, but I can't see this image. Can you re-upload it or post a text version please?

9
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 30, 2020, 10:04:45 pm »
Also, for official things that qualify, Nomad Camp counts, yeah?
Yep. I'm sure there are other examples as well, just wanted to give a few in case people couldn't think of anything.

10
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 30, 2020, 07:48:54 pm »
All right, sorry for the delay. I've had quite a busy weekend.

This seems like a pretty simple theme, but as far as I can recall it's never been used before, so here goes.

Contest #86: Not just 4/3 or 5/2

Design a card or card-shaped object that can in some way affect opening splits. This could be a card with an on-gain effect that can draw or sift cards (Cavalry, Night Watchman, Den of Sin, Doctor), or one that affects setup in some way (Baker, Pooka), or anything else, as long as it allows you to get an opening split other than 4/3 or 5/2.

11
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 29, 2020, 07:59:57 pm »
Thank you!

I'm going to be out of town during Labor Day weekend, so if I judged the next contest, I'd have to push back the judging until at least Monday, and probably Tuesday. Would that be a problem?

12
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 24, 2020, 04:25:10 pm »
That updated version of Canary doesn't seem to fix the infinite loop. The Treasurer gets set aside and then returned to play when you play it again.

13
Variants and Fan Cards / Perks - random fancard idea I had
« on: August 23, 2020, 10:47:21 pm »
I just had this random idea for a mechanic and then I brainstormed a bit and came up with a bunch of stuff. Feedback is welcome but I'm mostly just dumping this here because lol why not.

The idea is called the Perk deck. Cards that use the Perk deck have the Favor type.

Perks are pretty much a cross between Boons and Artifacts. Like Artifacts, there is one copy of each, and once taken by a player they are held by that player and provide a permanent effect until another player takes them away. When a player is instructed to take a Perk, they may choose to either draw a random one from the deck, or steal one from any other player.

This is a pretty rough idea and I haven't playtested it at all. My main fear (in 2p) is that it will be obviously better to take your opponent's Perk than it will be to draw a random one, even if your opponent's is bad. I tried to make up for this by having Favor cards that cycle out the Perks or are easy to play en masse, but I'm still afraid that a lot of times it will devolve to stealing the best few back and forth.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the Perks I've come up with so far:






And the Favor cards:


14
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 20, 2020, 03:27:09 pm »
I just decided to roll a random card and see what kind of Heirloom I could come up with.

I'll probably do this multiple times to try to find the best one, but I came up with this one almost instantly, so I'll at least see if anyone has any feedback about it:


15
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 20, 2020, 03:11:41 pm »
Paperwork still does some weird things if you draw it turn 2. 5/2 with turn 2 Paperwork is amazing, but 2/5 with turn 2 Paperwork is terrible.

16
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 14, 2020, 09:58:44 pm »


This looks very similar to Artificer, but I would expect it to play out a lot differently, because its gain is mandatory rather than optional. Generally you'll want to be discarding 1 card to avoid having to gain something; use with Poor House at your own risk.

17
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 11, 2020, 12:02:38 am »
Oh oops, it seems I did. That's not small at all, sorry majiponi!

Tenshukaku by majiponi
This feels like a less swingy King's Court, since it is slower to get started but still pretty crazy once you get enough of them. But it's probably pretty hard to justify getting these unless you already have a pretty big engine. It feels like it snowballs harder once you actually get going, so it's maybe not less swingy at all, it just takes longer for the swing to come out. Strategically I feel like you'd usually only get this when you would get a $5 Throne Room. It doesn't seem obviously unbalanced, but it also doesn't seem really all that fun to play with either-- kinda like Mastermind, if there are good targets for it then you can't really skip it, but it's pretty easy for it to be underwhelming when you're still building.

I do like this card but I wouldn't have put it in the top 2, so it doesn't affect the judging results at all. Once again, my apologies.

18
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 10, 2020, 07:22:50 pm »
Oh yes, that was bad wording on my part; I did understand the card correctly. I should have written "another time," because the opportunity cost is one extra play for you and one extra Wish for them.

19
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 10, 2020, 03:38:48 pm »
Okay, time to get to this. I was able to playtest some of the cards last week, but unfortunately I was busy over the weekend and today so I was not able to playtest the later entries. I'll try to keep things fair despite this.

Inquisition by pubby
This feels surprisingly balanced for how potentially nutty it looks. Its closest relative is Camel Train, which is way easier to get ahold of, but more costly to use. The condition of having no cards in Exile makes it a bit of a gamble; you can spring for expensive cards but it's going to be a long time before you can use it again, or you can grab some cheaper cards and be able to get Inquisition again in a few turns. A comparison to Pilgrimage can also be drawn; Pilgrimage is essentially $8 and 2 buys for whatever 3 non-Victory cards you want, whereas this is $6 and 1 buy for the same with the added requirement that you have to gain a copy of each before you get it from this. I like it.

Colorburst by NoMoreFun
So this is nuts. I sure did bring it on myself with this prompt, but oh boy does this make potions into a powerful payload. It certainly biases towards engines, which is interesting, but it also just makes building big really really easy, like if you have a good enough engine you can just add potions until you can buy out everything. It's fun to play with, but it might be frustrating if your opponent collides potions while building and you don't. There's skill to colliding them of course, like Treasure Map, but unlike Treasure Map it does something you actually want in the early and midgame.

Stronghold by silverspawn
In playtesting I never bought this, but admittedly I was playtesting against a not-particularly-strong bot and usually Provinces were enough to win with. Stronghold is, well, it's a victory card. It's almost always another Province pile, and usually better. In fact it pretty much seems like another Colony pile to me. Assuming the decks get big enough, winning the Stronghold split should decide the game. Given that the price tag is so high, it seems pretty unlikely that you would play this that differently than you would play Colonies, except for obviously not getting it if you don't expect your deck to reach at least 30 cards-- like I wouldn't skip trashing probably. I might load up on cheap cantrips I suppose. But a lot of the time I feel like this has a similar flaw to Fairgrounds where specifically building to maximize the score from it is not worth it so you just pick it up when you want some VP and whatever it's worth it's worth.

Sorceror by spineflu
This is brokenly powerful. The price of $4P makes it worse because it's easy to build to hit $4P on your third shuffle and then still miss it, and if your opponent hit it then you just lose. Being able to gain four good cards (Gold is a good card if you're not buying it) while thinning an Estate is absolutely centralizing, it's like Populate but you don't have to build to it. And god help you if there's a $7 in the kingdom... sure I'll take a King's Court and a Province on top of all the other goodies I'm getting.

Uprising by JimJammer
While I was playtesting this I forgot about having 20 in a pile and I only remembered it after I no longer had the time, but it doesn't seem to make a huge difference. This just does nothing unless it does everything, and I think the type of deck where you actually have use for it is like no thinning, no draw, no fast money strategy, good villages, and a particular reason to want your whole deck in your hand. And even then you need to waste enough turns getting Uprisings so that you can actually have one at the bottom of your shuffle. Like... maybe I can use this for a Bridge or Horn of Plenty megaturn? But that's still quite slow, and outside of the specific situation mentioned it seems pretty useless.

Bequest by mandioca15
Pretty interesting given the question of whether to use it in the opening or not. It has a similar vibe to Seize the Day where you use it to pounce on something important, but less impactful. (Unless there's no +Buy in which case Seize is just sad.) I don't have a ton to say about this; it's nice, but a little dull, and it does feel kinda bad to use this for just +$1 to open with a $5, though there are surely situations where that's right. I do like stuff that gives more opening options though.

Warband by Xen3k
Top part is pretty cool, though it could probably benefit from the Sea Hag restriction to keep Ruins from stacking up in multiplayer. I don't really get why the bottom half can give you free Provinces, though. Like doesn't that seem a little unbalanced to you? Gaining free Provinces is pretty good.

Bank Teller by Marpharos
This might be me being dumb, but I really don't see the appeal of this card. I'm paying $5 for a terminal stop card that lets me save a little bit of my money for later in return for... taking on a bunch of debt? It lets you go crazy with coffers but the cost of doing so is so high, I really struggle to see when this would be helpful. It's obviously better when playing bigger treasures, but the more you're able to collide it with big treasures, the more deck control you have and the less useful the coffers are anyway. I bought this a few times for playtesting purposes, but I felt like I was hurting myself each time I played it, rather than helping.

Committee by scott_pilgrim
This is too crazy/situational. I like the idea, but this just becomes bad as soon as there's one bad card on the board. Non-stacking actions like Counting House and Watchtower, forced trashers like Trader and Remake, drivel like Beggar, not to mention that if you play this as the payload for an engine your opponent can just name a draw card which doesn't help you much. I get that some cards are bad on certain boards. But this is bad if any other action in the kingdom is bad, which is just too common.

The Round Table by gambit05
Flexibility is nice. Balance seems pretty off. Wishes are, like, insanely good. There are very few actions that it would be worth giving the opponent a Wish to play a second time, unless I'm trying to end the game (like sure, The Round Table/Bridge can megaturn just like KC/Bridge can, but only a few cards are like that).

Pumpkin King by segura
I would like this more if it could find some way to be useful on money boards. As it is, it pretty much exclusively exists as an engine payload, and a pretty strong one at that although you need to basically already have the engine so it will be frustrating to build with. It seems pretty narrow in its use cases; you need to have at least two cards played before it for it to really be useful at all, and really at least three for it to be good, so you need to reliably be able to play that many actions. And, like, it's fine when you are? I wouldn't go out of my way to add more uniques like I would for Horn of Plenty or maybe Menagerie. And it's terrible when you aren't.

Investor by faust
This is quite a cool card. It reminds me of stuff like Rats in how it can wreck your deck if you're not really careful, but it can be pretty strong when played right. I tried playing an engine with Investor payload, and it was not overpowered or anything, but it was pretty inconsistent, and you really have to take care to add the Investor(s) late enough that you can just stop building (unless you have gainers). Quite an interesting card, and close enough in the realm of balanced to make me not hate it.

Fountain of Tears by grep
You know what the problem with Beggar is? That it doesn't give you enough Coppers. I'm sure if Beggar gave you even more Coppers then more people would buy it! :P Jokes aside, I don't really see the appeal of this outside of a few combos that people have mentioned (Gardens, Guildhall, arguably Triumph, arguably Monastery). Gaining Coppers is just... not something I'd like to be doing most of the time. I don't buy Beggar very much and when I do it's usually purely for the reaction.

Mountain by WillhemSchulz
My main complaint with this is similar to my one with Stronghold, only even worse because it costs the same as Province. When I have $8 and want to green, it's easy to determine whether Mountain or Province is going to be better for me. And, it's unlikely that I'll really build my deck around scoring with Mountain-- if I can use actions rather than treasures for my economy, I'd often want to be doing that anyway. There are times I can think of that I would build a deck with fewer treasures so I could score with Mountain, but I feel like that's obviously the right choice on a lot of boards where it's feasible. And then there's also the issue that someone pointed out of no Copper trashing making this garbage. I think Vineyard just does the concept of encouraging Actions better.

Refine/Graveyard Key by anordinaryman
At first glance, Refine looks terrible to me. It's like a bad Rebuild, or a bad Mine, or a bad Graverobber. Sure, you get all three modes for only $4, but it also loses pretty much all the attractive parts of all three (if they can even be said to be attractive in the first place). Graveyard Key, on the other hand, is quite cool at first glance and at least partially saves the weakness of Refine by giving you an incentive to trash good cards for benefit. But even then... you're usually going to be trashing weak actions into stronger actions, and maybe Silvers into Golds? So it's not like the payoff for Graveyard Key is that great, and if people have been thinning their Coppers, then woo, have a bunch of Coppers too. See Fountain of Tears for why that's a bad idea. So I really like Graveyard Key, both mechanically and thematically, and I think the idea has potential, but I don't think the potential is really realized here and both cards end up feeling too limited to me.

Depot by Jonatan Djurachkovitch
I tested the old version of this with +2 Coffers. It was insane. This new version is probably a bit less so, but now it doesn't even need a village to function which is pretty crazy as well. The sifting is gonna end up looking like +7 Cards, discard 6 cards when played from the starting hand, and if you have a couple more Depots in your deck, then now it's a nonterminal +7 Cards, discard 6 cards. Whoa, that's like Forum on steroids, on steroids again, and due to the reaction it self-synergizes even more when you get more of them. This is still very strong, too centralizing I would say, especially when there's any sort of disappearing payload.

Master Plan by X-tra
I tested the old version of this as well (the one that cost $8). It's... well it's like a Royal Carriage. It doesn't play out all that differently from it. To be precise, it's like two Royal Carriages. Horribly awkward as the only village, otherwise a nice thing to pick up one or two of for use when you need it. Since it doesn't self-chain, it isn't as crazy or centralizing as King's Court, but I feel like that means it can almost never be centralizing, unless it is the only village and you REALLY need a village in the kingdom.

Automaton by LordBaphomet
Tracking is gonna be a pain, especially with things like Thrones where you play one Automaton while another one is still resolving and then you have to put the cards back in the right order afterward. This is why Golem and the like discard first, then play. As for the card itself, wow that's strong, and wow that buy restriction is annoying. This is even more centralizing than Grand Market, but it actually makes it harder to buy copies of itself rather than easier, so it's gonna end up being annoying and luck-based a decent portion of the time, while also forcing you to try to hit $6 sans Coppers as much as possible which is already irritating with Grand Market.

Migrate by Aquila
This is a cool take on Seize the Day. Timing of it is interesting, though you probably want to try to save it for a dud if you can. You can also do tricks similar to the ones you can do with Villa/Cavalry, but you have to time it since you can only do them once. In big engine games this is less than impressive, but it still is neat to use it early on to get a boost while building.

Way of the Chupacabra by spheremonk
I gotta hand it to you, this is pretty big. In multiplayer games, it's probably pretty political, especially if you're playing with someone you don't like. First-player advantage in Shelters games is significant, and it also seems like it would be tricky to implement online.

Fortification by D782802859
Holy cow this is good, especially on a 5/2. I'm also with LordBaphomet that this will be really annoying in face-to-face games; City Gate is already bad enough. The $5 price tag gives it a decently steep opportunity cost, but I suspect that it will almost always be worth getting on your second $5, if not your first, barring extremely strong trashing-- you'll immediately start seeing your good cards way more often, and the handsize reduction probably won't matter much given you can dig for your draw cards anyway. (And if there are no draw cards, then the sifting is even more valuable.)

Arboretum by alion8me
We talked about this one in the Discord. Really sad I didn't get a chance to test this one to see how it played out, but my impression was that you buy it turn 2 in a lot of games. Gain to hand is just an enormous flexibility and even if you don't manage to do much with your deck before it kicks in you will just start having good turns super reliably once it does.

Scribe by Rhodos
This technically needs a "you may" for accountability, but that's very minor. As for the effect itself, it's not at all minor, and while it's probably too slow in a money game (by the time you collide it with Gold, you want to be buying Provinces, which this probably hinders), it seems quite strong in an engine game, especially with nonterminal draw like Hunting Party or Laboratory. I think like many of the cards submitted this week this one is niche but very strong when it is viable. That's not bad-- look at Counting House or Scepter for niche-- but it's pretty disappointing when the board isn't high-powered enough to reliably collide your Scribe with your other $5 actions. And in the midgame it's probably pretty RNG dependent as to whether you do get this along with good actions to copy.

--

Don't feel bad if you felt my criticism was harsh-- if I criticized something minor, it was because there were no major flaws for me to talk about. Overall I'm quite happy with how the contest turned out, there were a lot of concepts that were explored in some very cool ways, and I really liked a lot of the ideas even if I didn't end up liking the resulting cards.

Winner: Inquisition by pubby

Runner-up: Investor by faust

20
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 09, 2020, 08:13:34 pm »
I will extend the deadline by an extra 12 hours to account for the fact that I was out of town over the weekend and haven't had much of a chance to look at the new entries. So this is an 18 hour warning.

21
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 04, 2020, 11:24:53 pm »
Would sinister plot count for this contest?
Hmm. It would count, but it doesn't feel very big, so it probably wouldn't do that well. But you can do something that uses a similar mechanic, yes.

22
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 03, 2020, 08:22:14 am »
couple questions: 1 - the printed number has to be big, not that a card has "explosive synergy potential" or whatever?
So like, this doesn't cut it?:


2- does Mountain Pass qualify as an official landscape w big number?
1 - As I said I'm not going to DQ anything, I see the contest criteria as less of a requirement and more of an inspiration. Your card doesn't literally have a high number printed on it, but in practice it seems to be pretty easy to use it to gain 4 or more cards at once which is certainly a lot, so I would say it fits well enough.

2 - Absolutely! I knew there were a few I was forgetting.

23
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 03, 2020, 02:00:23 am »
Thank you, X-tra! I know I was tossing around some earlier ideas using the same concept of returning a card to your discard pile after drawing a new hand, but I'm happier with this one where it's a curse rather than a blessing.

Anyway, on to Contest 83. I bet this name has already been taken, but I can't be arsed to check.

Contest 83: Bigger is Better: Design a card or landscape that has a big number in it.

Obviously, what qualifies as a "big number" is subjective and context-dependent. Drawing 3 cards isn't very big, but gaining 3 Golds definitely is. My advice would be to compare your card to other cards with similar effects and see where it stands; if it's on the higher end of the spectrum, it's likely going to be fine. I won't disqualify anyone if I don't think their card is big enough, but I would say that for vanilla bonuses other than +Buy a big amount would be 4 or more, and for most other things 3 or more would be enough.

You can have a card with a big cost, but it would be nice if the big cost were there because of some big effect the card has, rather than just being unrelated.

Some official cards and landscapes that would satisfy this criterion include: Council Room, Baron, Treasure Map, Tactician, Platinum, Trusty Steed, Embassy, Poor House, Beggar, Feodum, Death Cart, Hunting Grounds, Wine Merchant, Capital, Royal Blacksmith, Windfall, Dominate, Fool, Pooka, Acting Troupe, Scholar, Snowy Village, Animal Fair, Stampede, and Envoy.

24
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 02, 2020, 12:54:02 am »

25
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: June 27, 2020, 06:44:55 pm »
I have a concept that seems to be promising but I'm not really satisfied with either of the cards I've made using it yet. I will tentatively submit this:

Quote
Opera House - Action - $4
+1 Buy
+$4
--
While this is in play, when you buy a card, the player to your left may reveal a copy of it from their hand. If they do, take 2 Debt.

My other idea for the bottom half is "While this is in play, you can't buy cards that the player to your right played a copy of on their last turn." That solves the victory problem but it is a pain to track and also has nastier FPA. The first version has FPA but there's a lot more variance of whether they will have the card in hand or not, so it's probably less bad for the second player (but more prone to randomness).

Like I said I'm not satisfied with either version; I'll keep thinking about them. Any feedback is welcome.

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