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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #136: ‘Tis the Season
« on: December 03, 2021, 02:35:50 pm »
Getting a $5 is significantly better than getting a Silver or +1VP.

The main issue is that you cannot fix this card via changing the price. Expand and Altar, the only two official cards which trash and gain a $5, are not cards you can normally open with. This is not an accidental feature of these very cards but an intentional design decision.

Estate for a Silver is good value when it's offered to you freely, that's the difference. You're helping your opponents thin down their junky starting cards (Copper trash) while adding economy (Estate trash). A perfect recipe to make for a consistent deck that can afford many . Sometimes there are good Kindgom cards to gain instead of Silver too. I don't think there's something so blantatly broken about this card that it's impossible to "fix".

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #136: ‘Tis the Season
« on: December 03, 2021, 12:27:54 pm »
Not only that, but if you don't intent on freely trashing your Estates (I wouldn't, I'd trash these suckers in a heartbeat, Expand or not, so the notion that nobody would do it fails), you can still snipe a Copper, free of charge. That's desirable in my book.

I too would have this card costing .

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Arcadia
« on: November 18, 2021, 04:19:37 pm »
I also thought in my analysis above that Cliffside Village had a mandatory gain attached to it. Perhaps it would be worth considering a re-wording if the majority of people gets confused as well. Something like: "You may choose one: Gain a Silver; or gain a Copper to your hand." Just a quick idea.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Arcadia
« on: November 18, 2021, 10:56:28 am »
Congratulations on the good work you have put forth with Arcadia!

Oof, lots to go through, though! Card dumps are usually pretty intimidating, so I’d expect less traffic here because of it. In my personal opinion, in the future, I’d format the thread following Donald X’s way of showing new expansion cards. Doing little 3-cards preview over the course of a few days, for instance. It gives people time to discuss and ponder about the cards currently being shown too. Just a suggestion!

But enough of that. Let’s check some cards.

Tin: My first reaction was to scout for other Journey token cards in this set… but Tin stands alone using it. This feels a little tacked-on because of it. I think I would’ve slotted an outtake card into the set instead of Tin because of that. Plus, there’s already a very high proportion of +Buys in this set (4/14 → 28,6%). In the end, Tin doesn’t really excite me, I’ll be honest.

Statue: Statue suffers from the same problem as Tin to me. The only + giver in this set. And the effect is really… boring to me. It’s almost a non-card to me. Sorry!

Sawyer: Now this one is interesting to me! Sawyer might be a little too strong imo. Compared to the same-priced Woodcutter, it surpasses it by a very good amount. This can go nuts. A single copy will provide you all the buys you need in your big engine. It’s almost too easy of a solution! I’d check if maybe the cost condition could be changed to be more restrictive somehow.

Miller: It mills. I’d love for it to cost so that it may gain itself on an Estate trash, lol.

Cheesemaker: This will Laboratory more times than it won’t, I believe. And so, my initial hypothesis is that this might be too strong. Gotta play with it first to assess it better, though.

Pastoral Village: This seems good as-is. Cute little Village! Maybe a little strong, but not in a bonkers way. I feel like my evaluation could be off though. All in all, I like Pastoral Village.

Cliffside Village: Ah, the classic Copper to hand or Silver to discard choice. I also made a card that has this effect and so did uuuh Mocha I think. Here, it is on a Village though. This is a little counterproductive for the Village, since it just bloats the deck with many stop cards. And you tend to play Villages a lot. So I’d only ever pick this up with some nice trash-for-benefit, such as Salvager or Apprentice.

Potter: First of all, there’s a typo here. It says “+1 Actions”. The ‘s’ should be removed. Anyway, I believe Grep made a very similar card named Craftsman. Here it is (scroll down a little). Not sure which one I prefer. Craftsman works only once per turn, but offers more control since it doesn’t have to gain you stuff you didn’t want. Interesting trade-off between these 2 cards. I’d have to play ‘em both to decide which one I’d rather play with.

Redsmith: I don’t really have any strong opinions on that card. Seems very specific about what it does. But y’know, this probably works in practice! Draw is draw, as they say. As always, I’d crack a couple of games with Redsmith to truly know where I stand with it.

Whitesmith: When it comes to draw cards, I believe that Whitesmith offers a more interesting effect than Redsmith. The choice is a good one to take. This might be a little strong in money-centric games though. Still, I must reiterate that I love the choice given here!

Travelling Merchant: I feel like I’d have a hard time giving up my draw card. Especially since it cost me to invest in it. Cards returning to the Supply should probably be on the cheaper end of things, since the idea is that you want to re-gain them quickly and easily down the line. However, that’s not to say I would never use Travelling Merchant’s returning clause. In desperate times, I might just pull that trigger! And I guess, that sort of is the nice safety net that this card offers. I think overall, I quite like it!

Spinster: This is pretty strong imo. gainers are pretty strong in general. This one is cheaper than Artisan and Altar and fires off more quickly than Vampire. I think I’m not too hot on Spinster, but this only stems from my personal preferences.

Carpenter: “Buy a card to your hand now”, basically. This has some very nice gain and play implications. I’d definitely buy this card and try to do some crazy stuff with it. Only problem is that it cannot use your Treasures like Black Market would. You need to have some decent Action cards payload to get the better cards via Carpenter. In a pinch, add more Carpenters to your deck (if you have Village support, of course). A cool minigame!

Meadow: I know it’s going to sound harsh and I’m sorry about this, but I straight up do not like this… sorry. I thoroughly dislike scaling Victory cards such as Gardens or Silk Road that can actually decrease in value because A) You didn’t track your deck well and accidently crossed a bad threshold; or B) effects you have no control over made it worse. Meadow falls into the B) category here. You invest a whopping into some , only for it to be decreased by other players, something you have almost 0 power against. This uncertainty will probably make players scared to sink a huge opportunity cost into a Meadow war – because if someone gets a huge boost from a Meadow, you can and probably SHOULD fight it. This is a very feelsbad moment for everyone involved. As such, the pile will probably remain untouched, until a player finishes the game and gains a Meadow on the last moment, adding a massive boon to their score with everyone else unable to fight back.

As a final quick note: Both Tin and Meadow are missing their expansion icon.  :P

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: New Ruins and Looter Ideas
« on: November 18, 2021, 10:04:16 am »
I like both ideas to reshape Abandoned Chapel. I do love the suggestion of having it trash itself, plus a card from your hand. This is like Bomb from Gunpowder, lol.

As a side note, a Reaction Survivors sounds like a pretty appealing idea to me! I'd love to try such a card.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: New Ruins and Looter Ideas
« on: November 17, 2021, 04:19:10 pm »
Abandoned Chapel: I think this card is problematic. First of all, it is significantly stronger than other existing Ruins. Trashing 2 cards from your hand is not an underpowered effect by any means. Compare to Trade Route, a 1 card thinner costing that does nothing for you early on. But the main issue is, it's a solution for the other junky Ruins. If you so happen to have received an Abandoned Chapel via an opponent's Cultist, for instance, in a no trashing board, then you have a way out, whereas other players might not. You got lucky and gained the only trasher. Ruined Market has that problem too somewhat, what with it being the only +Buy in a given Kingdom. However, Ruined Market offers a nice minigame of fishing for it despite its opportunity cost. Plus, it is not as mandatory as what could be the only thinner in a game that offers junking and that's the beef I have with Abandoned Chapel.

Ruined Workshop: I like this! I'd toss Survivors out and slot in Ruined Workshop. Fits way more with the other Ruins thematically too. A poor gainer for sure, but y'know. All other Ruins are poor something. So this is pretty nifty.

Vacant Throne: I'm mostly meh on this. Collision problem of Throne Room buffed a notch. Which I guess makes it ok for a Ruins. I'd test it a bit to see how often, if ever, the effect gets used.

Ruined Village: Awwww... but I like the straight "+1 Action"... very thematic with the other Looters, minus Survivors. I agree that the current version of Ruined Village is the worst of the bunch, though.

Saboteur: I like the Attack. However, I'd consider making this cost . Otherwise, well... I just imagine that one 4-player game where everyone opens Saboteur. Gotta lock it behind a higher price point for it to not get degenerate! If that's the case however, I'd buff up the vanilla bonus to +. Less good in your engine than Torturer, but decent payload nonetheless. Just an idea!

Rebuild: This is almost strictly weaker than the aforementioned Replace. Usually, Ruins -> Curses. The difference is not much and in most games, it hardly matters, but it's there nonetheless. Thus, this is just a copy of Replace, but a weaker coat of paint. There would need to be a little extra something to balance it proper, imo

All in all, pretty good ideas! I do agree that Looters are too rare, even within Dark Ages. More Looters = more use of your 60 Ruins!

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #134: This is Worthless
« on: November 12, 2021, 03:37:16 pm »
Starting cards costing $0, such as Heirlooms or Shelters.

Just a very minor nitpick, but Shelters cost , not .

(Also not all Heirlooms cost , but we get the diea :P .)

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #133: A Time to Feast
« on: November 02, 2021, 02:09:00 pm »
A big Event, joining the ranks of Populate and Alliance.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #132: All Hallow's Eve
« on: October 26, 2021, 07:55:59 pm »

Trick or Treat is a $4-cost Silver that could be used to push your luck in a money-based strategy.  It might also be useful to have one or two in an engine in order to help cycle your deck or seed your next turn.

This has the problem of pulling your opponent out of their turn. Suppose they play a Witch. You gain a Curse. You react with Sheepdog, played as way of the Mouse, playing Black Market. Trick or Treat is a Treasure, so you play it for that Black Market. Since it is not your Buy phase, you are instructed to jump back to your Buy phase after drawing 2 cards. What happens then?

Since the interaction is a little funky, I suggest that the first clause of the card be: "If it's your Night phase, +2 Cards and return to your Buy phase. Otherwise, +." This means that you can only ever switch phase if you were already in one of your own phases.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #132: All Hallow's Eve
« on: October 22, 2021, 10:16:43 am »

"Top deck" is actually not an official Dominion term. It would have to be: "You may put any number of cards from your hand onto your deck in any order." I suppose the "any order" here is important as well. Likewise, according to Werewolf, the colour scheme (black/white) is reversed. The card is really neat though, I'm just being picky. :P

Here's my entry, another Action - Night card.

Masquerade but the draw and trash is split in 2. So you draw with Chantry. "Oh no, I drew another Chantry dead", says you, not unhappy to be able to trash nonetheless.

This is a very clever implementation, but it seems too strong because it provides so many buys and coins at little cost (just adding one mediocre card to your deck). For example, $20 and 1 buy becomes $32 and 16 buys.

I thought of that too. The benchmark here of course is paying the normal for a Province, but you overpay first for a Logs. The end result is that you get a Log and a Province for . But it scales pretty scarily indeed. In the situation you described, you go from double Province to quadruple Province. It is not nothing.

The idea is there. The most natural way to tweak the power level (after playtesting, of course) is to change the cost of Logs. It could be tried at , for instance. The problem is that the initial barrier of usefulness becomes harder to cross. If you yield in a turn, you're already doing good and Logs merely accelerate that good deck you've got going.

Edit: Here's a graph to better illustrate how the and Buy correlate to the amount you paid for Logs.

As we can see, it takes $36 (no icons for that one I'm afraid) to pileout all 8 Provinces. Cool beans!

I don't normally bother with the overpay mechanic, but sure, why not. Let's try something.

Hope this qualifies.

honeslty it'd be done better as a wiki - forum threads aren't condusive to this type of organization. I wish I had more time in the day / energy in my waking life to tidy this up a bit, add in more things.

Might not be a bad idea at all. The Wiki is actually currently in the process of being entirely revamped after all (I even participated in writing new strategical blurbs for outdated pages). Most of the discussion is happening on Discord. While the prime focus for the time being is to re-do card by card pages (they really needed a major cleanup), I'll still drop a couple of words to the good folks there about this idea. It's Dominion related after all. I think this atlas has a right to be documented on the official Wiki.

Yikes. My entries here are from a time where I wasn't very skilled at making fan stuff for Dominion. These gameplay mechanics of mine were largely untested. They do not play good and have a very uuuuh unpolished feel, if you will. But, I have learned from them since then. The Strength mechanic, for instance, while it doesn't play nice at all, I have been able to repurpose with another idea I have yet to post on these forums. Because that's kind of the difference between then and now: I test stuff thoroughly now to filter out bad ideas.  8)

Still, I appreciate the compilation you guys are making here. It's good to have it all documented in one place, if only to secure ideas to not be lost over time.


Finally, here it is! Judging time. So first of all, ever since WDC have become self-contained in threads, this competition holds the title of least amount of posts (at least, at the time of this judging). To me, this tell that perhaps the challenge imposed here was kind of a whiff. We still have entries, so it’s not all bad. Still, I’d like to apologize if the restrictions put forth this week were too hard, or too uninteresting, etc.

One thing I’ve noted is that most of the entries here are pretty expensive cards. We have lots of and cards. Big ones! And for something really cool: We have exactly 6 cards for each picture! So let’s jump right in.

First, we’ll take a look at the Boaty Mc.Boatface cards:

Knarr (Action – Duration)
Now and at the start of your next turn: Gain a card costing up to and set it aside on this.
At the start of your turn after next: Put the set aside cards onto your deck (in any order).
Heh, I actually tried to do something pretty similar to this in a hypothetical fan expansion of mine. To be fair, I’d prefer if it was Crypt-like. As in, it gains and sets aside 2 cards onto itself when you play it, and while any remains, at the start of each of your turns, put one of those cards onto your deck. Functionally, it wouldn’t be the same. Cards would be slowly gained over 2 turns instead of them being gained together onto your deck 2 turns later. But I think tracking wise, this could be more elegant like this. Anyway, this is just an idea. As it is, Knarr seems pretty elegant power wise. I’d spike to get that orange boat for sure.

Longboat (Action – Attack – Duration)
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand discards 2 of them.
Now and at the start of your next turn, +2 Cards.
I can see why this is priced at . This card is certainly no joke. A wharf that substitutes its Buys for a Militia Attack. Oh speaking of the Attack, I wonder if it should have simply told other players to discard down to 3 cards in hand. The only difference here is that it hurts less very few stuff like Expedition and the Flag Artifact. Anyway. So this card is a pretty good counter to itself, but not enough to bring a boring monolithic “well, you bought a Longboat, now I have to buy one too” experience. While the punitive nature of this card might prevent other players to acquire Longboats of their own, creating a considerable lead to whoever could fire off the Attack first, so too does Goons. So I think all in all, I’m fine with this being a thing.

Galley (Action – Duration)
Now and at the start of your next turn, you may Exile a non-Province card from your hand for +2 Cards.
I’d suggest having the “other than Province” wording instead of “non-Province”, it rolls off the tongue better. This card is extremely strong I believe. Draw + thin was always considered incredibly good in Dominion. See Recruiter and Masquerade. Here, it does it twice at the cost of one Action. This is an incredible deal and you’d better believe I’ll try my gosh darn best to spike . The fact that it can safely tuck away green cards (save for Province) is also a massive boon. Surely this will encourage Alt- strategies in slower games. This might fall into the whole Sanctuary conundrum that some people dislike, as it alters massively the greening stage (it becomes inconsequential whereas greening should, by design, slow winners more). This isn’t that big of a deal to me personally, but this might be something to keep in mind.

Greatship (Action – Duration)
+1 per Greatship you have in play. + at the start of each of your turns this is in play.
When you gain this, discard all Greatships you have in play.
I think the wording needs a “while” somewhere to make sure the comes in as long as it’s not discarded. This is… an interesting card, whew! We have not seen something quite like this in Dominion. It reminds me of Stockpile a little bit, where it self-Exiles on-play, but re-enters your deck when you gain a copy of it. I think that this is overall quite slow. I have not crunched the numbers myself, but I feel like you can simply make more economy and through Monument, which is cheaper and more straightforward. Otherwise, over-investing in Greatship, which is kind of what the card wants, seems like a very high opportunity cost. Still, I do appreciate the minigame presented here. We have not seen much stuff like this ever since Empires with Temple and Farmer’s Market.

Longship (Action – Duration)
Now and at the start of your nex turn, +1 Action and draw until you have 6 cards in hand.
I’ve playtested a similar card before. It played nicely and was unique in the sense that Duration draw-to-X was a pretty novel concept. Longship tries that idea too, and it still remains a good idea in my book. I mean, last time I judged one of these contests, I made Sheriff the winner, and Sheriff was a now and next turn draw-to-X card as well. The intricacies of Longship make this a worthy card. For instance, assuming a 5-card hand, the first copy of it you play is a Lab+. After that, they’re all half-turn cantrips. Unless you make a good draw-to-X deck, for which Longship is very well suited. It might join the rank of Cursed Village among the best draw-to-X cards in Dominion.

Longship (Night – Duration)
At the start of your next turn, +2 Cards. Return this to its pile.
(This is not in the Supply.)
Interesting idea! I did not expect an out-of-Supply card in this contest, but you made something pretty appealing here. This is a nice addition to Horses, Villagers and Coffers. Here, it’s a bigger next turn handsize “token”, which I think is a reasonable thing to do. While functionally different, I wonder if it could’ve simply afforded to be an Action card with a +1 Action slapped on it. Yeah yeah, there’s the whole “draw dead” business, but Horses manage just fine.

As a side note: I find it just a tad disappointing how thematically, this is a Night card, yet the art shows a boat in a beautiful and sunny day.

Next up, we will check the horsie dude cards:

Paladin (Action – Duration – Reaction)
Either now or at the start of your next turn, +2 Cards and +1 Action.
When another player gains a Victory card, you may trash this from your hand for +5 Cards.
Okay, so we have the “either now or at the start of your next turn […]” Village (Village Green) and Smithy+ (Barge). Late to the family reunion, Paladin makes a dramatic entry! Maybe I’m being overly verbose, but what I essentially mean is, I think it’s a beautiful addition among those 2 cards. Village Green costs , Barge costs and Paladin costs . There is some beautiful symmetry at hand here. So the top part is appealing to me. Perhaps very strong in nature, I can still definitely see this as a worthy addition to Dominion.

As for the Reaction, it’s unquestionably unique. I will admit that trashing an expensive card is a little oof however. I mean, I get it. People are greening and you want to spike. So bring on the big draw! I will definitely consider doing that way more often than the almost entirely pointless Reaction of Fool’s Gold. To draw 5 cards, I suppose it makes sense that Paladin should remove itself from your deck, but man. That beautiful Lab you were going to use on your turn could’ve done the job too. Only after you draw will you become smug; or full of regrets, haha!

Northern Regiment (Action – Attack)
+1 Action
Gain a Horse onto your deck.
Each other player discards down to 2 cards in hand, then gains a Horse to their hand.
Hmmm. So the non-Attack stuff is pretty much Supplies. It does the same. It’s kind of like Candlestick Maker vs Ducat. So, Supplies is already a strong card. I think this is already better than it, because lots of stuff in Dominion prefers Action-heavy decks. But Northern Regiment is also more expensive, so you can’t add them to your deck as quickly as you could with Supplies and extra Buys.

That leaves us with the Attack as the major different component. It’s a pretty unique discarding Attack. Stacked 3 times (which its non-terminality should help with), it actually increases your opponents’ handsize. In 3 or 4 player games, if multiple players open with Northern Regiment, it’s to their detriment, as it will eventually start being helpful toward your competition. So again, pretty unique in that regard.

Centurion (Action)
+3 Cards
You may discard an Action card for +.
Very nice! This card definitely is on the simpler side. This is mostly a good thing, because it is super easy to assess at first glance. And because it’s not overly intricate, it ain’t as big of a headscratcher. I don’t think we’ll ever find a player that goes “how the hell am I going to add this to my deck” in the face of Centurion. Because here, the idea is immediately apparent: You drew into Action cards, you have no more Actions left, bam, here’s a soft terminal to help you mitigate that situation. It’s a very feelsgood moment. Perhaps even more than playing dead Werewolves in your Night phase. I think the only minuscule and barely apparent negative thing I could say here is that perhaps the mechanic of Centurion is a little similar-ish to Vault? It’s really not that big of a deal.

Templar (Action – Attack)
+1 Action
Each player (including you) looks at the top card of their deck, then may trash it or put it back.
Each other player gains a Curse onto their deck.
The fixed version of Sea Hag. Quick, send this prototype to Donald X! I kid, I kid, but this really is a neat way to exploit the whole “Curse to deck” business. Here, it works half the time, which is a good way to mitigate the anger of getting a Curse onto your deck. Unlike Sea Hag, this gives a bonus when played, thank God! It’s a weird Zombie Spy/Duchess hybrid and I don’t dislike this. It’s very elegant how that bonus is directly tied-in with the Attack. I don’t know about the +1 Action, but I suppose this could work. I can definitely see people all opening Templar. You thin while you junk. Not much besides Ambassador does that. Well done!

Conqueror (Action)
You may play a cheaper Action card from your hand 3 times. If you didn’t, gain a Horse.
Whoa! King’s Court that does not have access to those beautiful cards. But who’s to say King’s Courting a Smithy is bad? Or what about a Horse, that seems pretty doable too. Although, that implies that you had to play Conqueror for a Horse, which is really, really bad for . No, being limited in what you can triple is not the problem here. The real problem is being unable to chain Conquerors. This takes a really big slice out of what makes King’s Court just so damn powerful. I can see Conqueror being totally worth it. It can be the Village you need, for instance. Or it can provide that massive draw you need. But man. The chaining. It’s all about the chaining.

Heh, I wonder if it should unconditionally give players a Horse. Yes, on top of playing a card 3 times. Honestly, I’d test both versions.

Mounted Vandal (Action – Duration – Attack)
At the start of your next turn, +2 Cards. Until then, when another player gains an Action card, they gain a Copper; and when they gain a Victory card, they gain a Curse.
The thing about Swamp Hag is… well first, people tend to dislike it, as it makes you fight every instinct that tells you to buy a card. Which is kind of what Dominion is all about. But I digress. Swamp Hag is a thing, which means that Mounted Vandal has a working model it can base itself upon. Oh yeah, the other thing about Swamp Hag. It only ever dispatches Curses. The Curse pile runs out in games. The Copper pile does not. There are a lot of Coppers in the pile. With Mounted Vandal, I fear that the junking phase will never end. Mounted Vandal costs , which means all players can open with one (which is not true to cards such as Mountebank). And why wouldn’t you? Duration draw is really good. People open Enchantress all the time. So the junking starts very early and does not ever really stops.

This brings me to the final problem that a card like this might arise: Giving up entirely on Action cards and focusing more on money-centric strategies. Silvers and Golds are not penalized, and so it might be more appealing to go down that route. Hey, you’ve got that Duration draw after all, that’s even more help for you.

Finally, we have that big castle thingy. Here are the cards that use that art:

Bastion (Action)
+1 Card
+2 Actions
Exile a card from your hand. If it’s a Victory card, Exile this.
The problem with these weekly contests is that you guys are too competent at making cards, much to the detriment of the poor judge! Bastion is no exception. It is a very beautifully crafted card. This is a Village that thins, not unlike Hideout. Both have a drawback when they thin green stuff. Hideout self-Curses, whereas this goes into Exile. Hideout nets you -2 when you do so early on with Estates, while Bastion keeps your . Both cards force you to thin. But Bastion can get good stuff back if you’re in a pickle, while Hideout removes those cards permanently.

Overall, Bastion seems on the stronger side. It even continues working later on in the game when Provinces start entering your deck. One should be careful though, because if people thinned their Estates early on with Bastion, especially in games with 3 or more players, then the Bastion pile could be running low. First, because it is a Village and, well, people need Villages. Second, because players who thinned Estates will probably want their Exiled Bastions back. So by the time you reach the endgame, it is possible that the Supply does not provide enough Bastions anymore for you to Exile Provinces while hopping to get your Bastions back. This is an interesting little battle that is not so obvious on the surface. And Bastion provides that minigame with so few words, too!

So while I stand by my initial opinion that Bastion has the upper hand over Hideout, it is not to the detriment of Bastion. It is interesting enough that I think it can allow itself to be overall stronger. And let’s remember, it’s not strictly better too. Even more reasons for this card to be allowed to exist.

Bastion (Action)
+1 Card
+2 Actions
The next time you get +Cards this turn, first look at that many cards from the top of your deck and either discard them, or put them back in any order.
Essentially, this is a Village that gives your next draw a Catacomb-like power. The bonus is very original. And helpful as well. This Village should make your deck a lot more consistent. Kind of like Wandering Minstrel. Perhaps it will take too long for players to always decide whether they should discard or not when you invest heavily in Bastions (which you probably will, what with it being a Village), but Catacombs, Navigator and other stuff like this exists as well, so this concern is probably unfounded. All in all, I like Villages+ for that give an extra nice utility. Bastion fits well in that range.

Castle Town (Action – Reaction)
+1 Card
+2 Actions
When you trash a card, you may discard this to put that card into your discard pile.
Whoa, I really like this! Castle Town has multiple uses, thanks to its very cool Reaction. Well first, it’s a Village, so you buy it, right? But the extra bonus here gives a unique twist and pairs nicely with other cards. It’s like a reverse Fortress in a way. So first of all, we have the obvious “don’t trash my stuff, meanie” defense. A Knight raids a Recruiter, and you want that Recruiter back. If in hand, Castle Town’s got your back. Then, we have all of the trash-for-benefit cards who will love to get their fodder back. Think Apprentice and Governor. Or even stuff like Cultist with its +3 Cards on-trash clause. The numerous possibilities make Castle Town a worthy addition to a deck that knows how to exploit this well. Lovely!

One thing I'd try is to make the Reaction simply on-reveal, not on-discard. Worth trying in my opinion!

Stronghold (Victory)
Worth 2 if copies of Strongholds make up less than half of all your Victory cards.
When you gain this, gain an Action card costing up to .
I believe this needs to mention “copies of Strongholds you have”, to be more precise.

I’ve always been a little on the fence about these all-or-nothing Victory cards. If you’re not tracking your deck efficiently, which I wouldn’t blame you for, then you can accidentally screw yourself. Victory cards you buy tend to increment your , that’s their whole shtick. But here, you can cross a threshold which would take a good chunk of your away and you’d be none the wiser. Maybe I’m exaggerating the problem here. Perhaps that, in practice, people will track their number of Strongholds better than I give them credit for.

The on-gain effect is, well, it’s nuts, isn’t it? Hitting in Dominion is probably everyone’s first goal in a given game. Stronghold’s doing it for you, right there and then. Adding a “junk” card to your deck is totally worth doing that, as it’s easy for you to snowball from there onward. Stronghold could even become a juicy trash-for-benefit card, or nice Shepherd/Crossroads fodder, etc…

Eyrie (Action)
+4 Cards
You may discard 2 cards for +1 Action.
Props to you for changing the cost of Eyrie, as I too believe it was too strong at . As it stands now, it is another Hunting Grounds, but it substitutes the trashing clause with a nice discard for Action effect. Discarding makes this a Laboratory with extra sifting, which is a good effect in itself. If you have Villages, then you do not even have to discard and can simply keep the big draw. This is incredibly versatile and seem like a clear superior choice over Hunting Grounds, save for some crazy Lurker + Hunting Grounds combos. Even if it’s one heck of a card, I still like the simplicity of it. I’d test it to see how dominant it is in games.

Stronghold (Action – Duration)
+2 Actions
The first time any player (including you) plays an Attack card before the start of your next turn, +2 Cards.
I can’t believe this is the only card costing or less submitted during this contest (well, there’s Longship, but it’s not a Supply card, so it’s a tad different)! Well, I can believe it. That castle in the picture looks pretty majestic after all.

There was some discussion about the wording employed here, but I get the idea. You get the +2 Cards first before the Attack. It’s kind of like a pseudo-Reaction of some sort. I think it will be stronger if it can trigger itself off your opponents’ Attacks, as it’s a free bigger hand next turn. Otherwise, trying to time it off your own Attacks can be sort of awkward. But it’s definitely not impossible. Drawing Attacks such as Ghost Ship will probably love Stronghold.

In the absence of Attacks though, we might run into a little bit of a problem. A good chunk of the card gets circumvented. In fact, the whole appeal of this gets pretty much nullified. Yes, we have stuff like this existing in Dominion, such as with Squire’s on-trash effect, or Moat’s Reaction. But most of the card still works. Here, we’d have an overpriced Necropolis. That only works half a turn too, yikes. People need Villages and will take whatever they can get, but this… with no Attacks, I’d probably not even bother with Stronghold, even if it’s the only Village in the Supply.

Since a lot of cards share the same name due to the nature of this contest, authors will have their names in brackets next to the card name.

Semifinialist: Centurion [AJL828] ; Longship [arowdok] ; Longship [The Alchemist] ; Northern Regiment [Xen3k] ; Templar [grep]

Finalists: Bastion [emtzalex] ; Paladin [Timinou]

Winner: Castle Town [majiponi]

Not only does Castle Town piqued my interest with its mechanically and innovative Reaction, but it also fits the art very well thematically. It mirrors Fortress as this big indestructible structure, walling off your precious cards against imminent destruction. I know the good folks of this thread seemed to have a soft spot for emtzalex’s Bastion – and so did I – but Castle Town edged over it in my own personal tastes. Paladin and the semifinalists were all good as well. Like I said somewhere in my wall of text above, it gets harder and harder to judge, as fan card quality has seriously skyrocketed over the years. You guys need to learn to stop being so good at it to make my life harder, harr harr. :P

Well, looks like I won't be able to make it today after all. But there's always tomorrow! All in all, sorry about those systematic delays. I try not to get there. It's hard to try to catch all those curveballs life tends to throw at you. :P

Submissions closed

Will try to get the results in tomorrow.


Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 14: 'Tis the Season
« on: September 06, 2021, 01:34:27 pm »
The reason why I asked for your typical player count was because games with more players tend to have scarcer engine parts and you are more likely to get hit by attacks, which would lead me to say that the average is more around 15 to 16 turns. While this may not seem like much of a difference, it shifts the beginning of Winter into the endgame (instead of its end), meaning that when you buy cards that are best later, you also make the estimation of whether the game will live long enough to use them to full effect (i.e. you can make a game cheap in Spring but great in Winter). This also gets lost here.

Either way, I apologize for complaining so much, I just didn't want to leave the impression 5 turn Seasons had been made on a whim. I think this is where the Seasons mechanic works the best and offers the most design space.

That said, thank you for using our mechanic in this contest :)

I never had the impression that this cool game mechanic was made on a whim. This is one of the most well-known fan mechanic out there in the Dominion community. I even have it on Tabletop Simulator, downloaded from the Steam Workshop before Rio Grande pulled the plug. It mostly comes down to a personal preference of mine. Me liking the shorter wheel better is just a reflection of what I prefer in Dominion, it's not to take a jab at the Season game mechanic at all!

Plus, the cards you guys have made, like I said, were designed with the bigger wheel in mind, and indeed stuff would cease working as intended if it used a different one. So all in all, the thing I was fundamentally trying to point at with my initial wall of text is: Cards should be made and should try to work within the bounds of the gameplay mechanics they use. Cards trying to go for the shorter wheel need to keep it in mind - and vice-versa.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 14: 'Tis the Season
« on: September 06, 2021, 01:16:50 pm »
I will say that thematic games are something I very much enjoy, but Dominion never was such a game. It's nice if it works out, but as far as I'm concerned Dominion is designed in a way where one shouldn't aim to let that get in design's way.

I actually agree about how theme should not be put forth to the detriment of gameplay. This isn’t just true to Dominion, but to all games in general. I think this design philosophy is very important. For instance, I tend to design cards without name and art, and then I slap some flavour to tie everything together (this isn’t always true, I sometimes succumb to flavourful ideas… I’m only human too, hehe). This is how Donald X. does it too I reckon.

That being said, if the theme can align with the gameplay and the two can coexist without one hindering the other, then bam! That’s a nice bonus and now both ideas benefit from one another. I believe this can be the case here.

I will admit that having the first two turns be Winter does improve the system, but it still means that you can't do opening on-gain abilities that aren't also endgame abilities, and vice versa. I suppose you can mostly emulate the original system other than that, but as I said, I don't see why one would want to lose on-gains solely for *theme*.

I don’t think it can’t do it, but I will concede that it is a harder goal to achieve indeed. A card could, for instance, do something very neat when gained during Winter, and stay mostly idle on-play until winter comes around again (turn 12 onward). The design space is not completely negated here.
But while some design doors shut themselves with this new wheel, others open. For instance, winter will come around more often in the shorter wheel, which means Season cards using it can exploit that better. Likewise, shorter seasons means more season changes. Cards that care about the number of time seasons have changed in a given game can do stuff with that. There are more ideas out there, probably.

And regarding 14 turns as the typical game length, should I presume you mostly play 1v1?

Online, I mostly do 2-player games, yes. In real life with the physical game, I vastly prefer 3-player games (and I prefer playing in real life overall). I don’t play 4-player games or above anymore.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Fan Card Mechanics Week 14: 'Tis the Season
« on: September 06, 2021, 12:30:05 pm »
The Season mat has 20 spaces, 5 per Season, to reflect the typical phases of a game of Dominion:
  • Spring is the opening
  • Summer is buildup
  • Fall is closing
  • Winter (if it happens) is prolongued endgame.

While three of these can shift, Spring is certainly the one that pushes 5 turns as the standard the most, as this is the lowest number which guarantees that you will see every single one of your opening buys in Spring. Giving Spring only 3 or 4 turns means that you might see some of them randomly miss the Season. This also means that only on-buy and on-gain abilities can care for Spring - at least if you want something that is more than just random happenings.

It's also very relevant for the other Seasons, though. The way we (Co0kieL0rd and I) designed Seasons, one could make an attack that distributes Curses only in Fall, which still works but is too late to hurt players during buildup. We made a Village that you buy during Spring to trash a card, even though nobody needs several Villages early. We made a victory card that rewards you for buying it early, too, and a pile that disappears at the beginning of Fall, a card that you need to open with and play during Spring to max out what it can do, an attack that makes you discard in the middle of the game and topdeck during Spring and Winter, and so on, and so on.

Reducing the turn count ruins this model imo.

NoMoreFun's Wrangler would likely be my pick for winner considering this.

This makes sense; cards made by Co0kieL0rd and you followed the design of the 5-turn per season wheel. Because of that, changing the wheel turn would strangle the intricate design of these Season cards.

However, that’s not to say that other hypothetical cards couldn’t be made following a different type of wheel, such as the 3-turn per season one. I think as long as it’s stated before, then cards can be properly judged according to which wheel they use. The premise of the Season mechanic is, after all, very much kept at heart.

As for me, personally, I do prefer and advocate for a 3 turn per Season wheel. The Alchemist made a beautiful rendition of it on the first page of this thread. I like it better not only mechanically, but also thematically. For the theme, the most flavourful aspect, we have:
  • A total of 12 spaces on the wheel, which is a perfect imitation of the Gregorian calendar.
  • 3 turns per season, which is like 3 months per season in real life. Pretty accurate once again.
  • The wheel starts in the middle of winter, just like the first month, January, starts in the middle of winter. The game starts at the beginning of a new year!
The matches are so well timed – my goopy brain couldn’t be happier!
Now, mechanically speaking, I think it too fills a nice niche:
  • Winter is for the first 2 turns. This is kind of funny, as your 2 opening buys fill that winter gap. As if the harshness of winter is the start of it all, and it’s slow for you and your opponents to get your kingdom going in these blizzard storms.
  • Spring ends on turn 5, just like it does with the 5 turn wheel. So turn 3, 4 and 5 is spring, which is exactly your first shuffle. You will see your 2 opening buys in Spring. Maybe you’ll even see them a second time with a nice turn 5 shuffle.
  • Winter ends on turn 14, which is exactly the average number of turns in your typical Dominion game. With rushes probably ending in Fall, and slogs going for a second turn of the wheel. This is a good way to see how you fare in your game too. Going for a second Spring tells your group that oops, the game was played too slow.
  • The game is also spliced in a nice way. Spring is for you to hit and to see your first two purchases. Summer is to build and get deck control. Fall is to build toward how you’re going to score, such as adding economy to your deck. Winter is to score, pile, and/or end the game. This isn’t always true for all games, but I think it’s a pretty good baseline.
Anyway, all in all, both systems work. If you design cards for either of them, then it needs to keep the length of the wheel/seasons in mind. I don’t think one can simply port a card from one system to the other, as there are fundamentals that are lost otherwise. For instance, the card I submitted for this contest actually would work way worse if it used the regular wheel with 20 spaces on it.

You are both correct. I don't spend money on Dominion Online (nothing against it, I just vastly prefer in-person play), and I haven't had menagerie for very long, so I didn't realize that card already existed. Sorry folks, I'll think of something new.

Also, just a quick note on how Landscape cards are exceptionally not accepted for this week's contest, sorry!

Castle Town
cost $4 - Action - Reaction
+1 Card
+2 Action
When you trash a card, you may discard this to put that card into your discard pile.

Just to make sure, this is using picture 3, right?

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #126: Seeking an Heir
« on: August 31, 2021, 09:07:59 am »
Yeah boi! While not the most creative of the entries submitted this week, I am glad you enjoyed Spectacle enough to give it the win. Thank you Gubump! :)

With that being said, contest 127 is ready and posted.

Weekly Design Contest 127: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Design a card that matches the theme of one of the 3 pictures below.

In this contest, you will be tasked to come up with a card that will thematically match one of the 3 suggested pictures. The pictures all come from artist Tomasz Jedruszek. His material can be found on Artstation. A very talented fellow with inspiring art, I believe he has that magic touch that very-well fit within the legacy of Dominion. Here are the 3 pieces of art in question, with links below them toward ShardOfHonor’s card maker with the picture well-adjusted to the card frame:


You can do whatever with these pictures. Name your card as you wish, price it as your heart desires and give it the best effect you can think of. And hey, make it any type you want too. So long as everything is bundled as a cohesive card. Like, if you take the first picture and name it “Mountain”, I’ll probably give the win to someone else :P . So take that into account, because judging will look at that aspect, alongside the balance of the card. The usual, more or less.

Some extra rules include:
  • The pictures are better formatted to fit a vertical, normal card (that’s debatable, but w/e). So exceptionally, to honour the challenge of this week, no landscapes please. Say no to Events, Landmarks, Projects and Ways.
  • If you're not going to use the card generator and simply want to write what your card does, please specify which art it would use. In most cases, I know this'll be obvious given the name of your card, but let's make it extra clear just in case.
  • I suppose if you’re feeling extra creative, you may use 2 or all 3 pictures to do something like a split pile or a mix pile. Or even use one of them as an out-of-Supply card à la Mercenary. If you do that, it will be up to you to find creative ways to thematically link the cards together. You may even do a mini 3-card Traveller line if you’re into that. Of course, just using one card is probably the simpler, safer bet here.
I will try my gosh darn best to do the judging on next Tuesday (21-09-07) around 8:00 PM… but we all know how it goes with my systematic delays. Sorry in advance if that’s the case…! Still, have fun, and do ask any questions if you’re unsure about stuff.

As a quick side note, I apologize to those for which I misjudged their cards last time (contest 122, the draw-to-X one). Re-reading it, I can see I made some bad mistakes in my judging. Please, don't let that deter you from submitting in this thread. You know what they say: people learn from their mistakes. So with that in mind, hopefully, I will do a more satisfactory job this week. :P

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Fan Mechanics Week 18: From A to B
« on: August 24, 2021, 02:24:14 pm »
I don’t get this. Ignoring cases where players use Route tokens for other stuff, it is basically a one-shot Curser. Once the Curses are out, it even hands out good stuff.

It should say: "And if they did, they get +1 Route.", to tackle the empty Curse pile thingy. I'll sketch a V2 soon-ish.

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