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Accatitippi

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Holy Cow
« on: April 29, 2015, 01:28:37 pm »
+1

Hi, I'm a quite old but still fairly inexperienced player who mostly plays against AI due to convenience (and internet gaming shyness).
I have this weird card idea, which I only playtested once against myself, I know it sounds pitiful but I don't play much f2f dominion since my group is pretty "meh" on it.
So, before bothering to switch from really-tiny-scale playtesting to very-small-scale playtesting, I'd like to know if you think that the card has any issues that would make it worthless to playtest.

Action, cost 4$. Holy Cow
+1 Action
+1 Buy

At the end of the game, if you have at least as many Holy Cows as you have Curses, your Curses are worth 3vp instead of -1vp.

The name is a placeholder, I like animal-themed cards but I think something religious like Shrine or Indulgence would be more appropriate.
The idea is that it can provide an alt-vp strategy on its own (with an inbuilt counter: if your opponent goes for the same strategy - or actually if he buys even just one Holy Cow, you'll have to find a way to trash a Curse to end the game on piles)
If you're running an Engine for Provinces/Colonies it should be able to compete with other +buys - it's really weak for its price but it is not terminal and it will give you a single free out-of-supply duchy at some point during the game.
If cursers are on the board, stuff gets a bit more complex, but I don't think it hard counters most cursers, since buying Holy Cows will slow down your deck even more (and then the +buy is worthless). Still I think they might be worth going for.

After my really very extensive and thorough playtesting I'd consider adding a Chancellor effect to avoid it getting trivial: on the last run through your deck, every time you draw Cow, buy a Curse. With a shuffle, those curses would have time to hurt you, and managing to play many Cows in the very last turn would be rewarded (a sort of Curse Frenzy megaturn).
I'm not really sure about how many VPs it should give for curses.
Thoughts?

(Edit: words. They are hard)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 01:40:48 pm by Accatitippi »
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enfynet

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 01:50:51 pm »
+1


Action, cost 4$. Holy Cow
+1 Action
+1 Buy

At the end of the game, if you have at least as many Holy Cows as you have Curses, your Curses are worth 3vp instead of -1vp.

I don't think that wording will work. I also think that this is basically saying 4VP for $4 as long as you maintain one HC per Curse.
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Accatitippi

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2015, 02:07:55 pm »
0


Action, cost 4$. Holy Cow
+1 Action
+1 Buy

At the end of the game, if you have at least as many Holy Cows as you have Curses, your Curses are worth 3vp instead of -1vp.

I don't think that wording will work. I also think that this is basically saying 4VP for $4 as long as you maintain one HC per Curse.
Re:wording: Why not? English is not my first language, sorry. Would: "If your deck contains..." work?
Re:4VP for 4$: uh... yes, but there's the fact that if you get behind and they run out then you've bought a lot of crap for minus points (again: unless trashing). Still, even if you manage it they are 2vp/useless card, which is not that good, is it?

It would also be cool to play with the relative quantities of cows and curses in the Supply, if it became a victory card it would get worse in 2p due to supply limitations.

edit: added quote box
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 02:09:25 pm by Accatitippi »
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LastFootnote

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2015, 02:08:42 pm »
+3

I think the wording is fine. Hard to say if the card is balanced or fun, but there's no inherent reason it won't work.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2015, 02:31:46 pm »
+1


Action, cost 4$. Holy Cow
+1 Action
+1 Buy

At the end of the game, if you have at least as many Holy Cows as you have Curses, your Curses are worth 3vp instead of -1vp.

I don't think that wording will work. I also think that this is basically saying 4VP for $4 as long as you maintain one HC per Curse.

I see nothing wrong with the wording. As for the balance; it's like 4 VP for $4 but spread out over 2 cards, both of which are pretty bad in your deck. So it could be balanced.

I think it would be cleaner though if they gave some VP for each Curse in your deck, instead of changing the value of Curses. With the all-or-nothing thing like it is; it could be way too swingy. It means that a single lucky play of an opponent's Witch at the very end of the game could cost you 37 points.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 02:35:05 pm by GendoIkari »
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polot38

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2015, 02:35:32 pm »
+1

I don't like it. The problem is that curses are always supposed to be a negative thing; it makes people timid to go for cursing attacks in two player games (wondering whether or not playing their card will actually hurt them). It also doesn't scale well; in a 4p game with cursing, it is utterly useless.
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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2015, 03:32:34 pm »
+7

Yeah I saw some terrible thing someone made up the other day that lets you discard two curses to gain a gold, for just 0$ and a buy..  Just like OP, it makes players think about whether or not they should get a cursing attack based on the presence of the card combined with other factors.  This just ruins Dominion.  Dominion is more fun when a cursing attack appears on the board and you just automatically buy it at the first possible point.  I would even say that using an inflexible algorithm for deciding what card to buy is the "spirit" and "heart" of Dominion, and I'd like to see all custom card submissions take that to heart.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2015, 03:42:45 pm »
+4

Yeah I saw some terrible thing someone made up the other day that lets you discard two curses to gain a gold, for just 0$ and a buy.. 

Wow, that's almost as bad as something like letting you discard a curse to not be hurt by an attack!
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Awaclus

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2015, 03:46:11 pm »
+1

Yeah I saw some terrible thing someone made up the other day that lets you discard two curses to gain a gold, for just 0$ and a buy..  Just like OP, it makes players think about whether or not they should get a cursing attack based on the presence of the card combined with other factors.  This just ruins Dominion.  Dominion is more fun when a cursing attack appears on the board and you just automatically buy it at the first possible point.  I would even say that using an inflexible algorithm for deciding what card to buy is the "spirit" and "heart" of Dominion, and I'd like to see all custom card submissions take that to heart.

Well, you shouldn't always go for Sea Hag, Familiar and Soothsayer anyway.

Although, I don't think this would make cursing attacks significantly worse. Either you're just giving out Curses just like normally, or you're giving out Duchies that cost $4 and a buy each for the opponent and come with a free Pawn that's stuck to the +action and +buy options; he can pay later but he gets the dead card now. That's still an awful deal for him.
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Accatitippi

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2015, 03:51:51 pm »
+1


Action, cost 4$. Holy Cow
+1 Action
+1 Buy

At the end of the game, if you have at least as many Holy Cows as you have Curses, your Curses are worth 3vp instead of -1vp.

I don't think that wording will work. I also think that this is basically saying 4VP for $4 as long as you maintain one HC per Curse.

I see nothing wrong with the wording. As for the balance; it's like 4 VP for $4 but spread out over 2 cards, both of which are pretty bad in your deck. So it could be balanced.

I think it would be cleaner though if they gave some VP for each Curse in your deck, instead of changing the value of Curses. With the all-or-nothing thing like it is; it could be way too swingy. It means that a single lucky play of an opponent's Witch at the very end of the game could cost you 37 points.
I don't think a "VP per curse in deck" would be a good idea, because in cursing games it would be a no-brainer (unless there's good trashing, then it's probably a bad idea) and a hard counter to all cursers . This needs dedication to pull off for big amounts of curses, so it doesn't destroy cursers altogether (but it creates swinginess, true).
About the swinginess: It's all about the Cow split, I think. It's not much about whether you get a last-turn curse that screws you (curses are usually the first pile to run out if a regular curser is around) but rather losing the Cow split can seriously set you back, since you already have invested a lot in them.

I don't like it. The problem is that curses are always supposed to be a negative thing; it makes people timid to go for cursing attacks in two player games (wondering whether or not playing their card will actually hurt them). It also doesn't scale well; in a 4p game with cursing, it is utterly useless.
"Curses are always supposed to be a negative thing"
This is a matter of preference. Note that this is still better than a "VP's per curse" Victory card. In this case you have to finely control the bad thing to make it a good thing.

"It makes people timid to go for cursing attacks in two player games (wondering whether or not playing their card will actually hurt them)."
Also a matter of preference. Cursers are often a no-brainer in games with curser. (I'd have to check the stats for Wins without Witch but no time)
"It also doesn't scale well; in a 4p game with cursing, it is utterly useless."
Good point, I'll think about it.
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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2015, 07:40:09 pm »
+2

I kinda like it. It's easily better than most other VP-for-curses fan card ideas I've seen.

ConMan

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2015, 09:51:39 pm »
+1

I definitely think it's interesting. In a cursing game, you still don't want to wind up with all 10 Curses if you can avoid it, because then your opponent just needs to buy a single Cow and you're ruined. So it's a little similar to the Duke-Duchy problem of the "optimal" solution not being the realistic one.

I also like card ideas that help break down the heuristics we build up around card design and gameplay. "Kingdom cards shouldn't cost more than $6"; "You shouldn't buy a Province too early"; "non-Victory Kingdom cards start with 10 identical copies in their pile"; "You don't want to get lots of Curses". The last one isn't even always the case in some games - such as when Gardens are involved, or when you need to empty a pile, although in both of those cases it's less necessary that it's the Curses that get taken.

I think it's worth some testing, to see if it works in games with and without cursers, and with and without Curse trashing, to see what kind of strategic decisions it promotes.
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Ghacob

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2015, 09:55:03 pm »
+2

I definitely like that this is testable within Goko. All it would require is people agreeing ahead of time to treat Pawns (or Candlestick Makers) like Holy Cows. This would only not work with TfB cards but if you're going for Holy Cows, you probably don't want to do that anyway.

I'd definitely be up for a Holy Cow game some time.


Definitely.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 09:59:04 pm by Ghacob »
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theblankman

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2015, 01:30:50 am »
+2

With the all-or-nothing thing like it is; it could be way too swingy. It means that a single lucky play of an opponent's Witch at the very end of the game could cost you 37 points.
I agree with this, but I also agree with everyone who didn't want to change it to VP-per-curse.  The idea is that each Holy Cow makes a Curse worth +3 instead of -1, but only if you have more Cows than Curses.  That last condition is what adds the swinginess you're worried about, but you could remove that condition without changing the card's power level too much imo, and with still simple wording:
Quote
At the end of the game, trash a Curse from your deck.  If you do, +3 VP.
Now if cows >= curses, you get +3 per curse.  If curses > cows, you get +3 per cow, -1 per excess curse. 
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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2015, 02:10:56 am »
+1

Could this make it more interesting?
Quote
Holy Cow
Action, cost 4$
+1 Action
+1 Buy
-
At the end of the game, trash a Curse from your deck.  If you do, +2 VP.
In games using this, curses are worth -2VP (instead of -1).

This would give a penalty if you have less Holy Cows than curses, but not be so swingy as a possible 37 points if you have one curse too many.
It would also make it so you're more likely to want to go for Holy Cows if there are cursers in the kingdom, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Seprix

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2015, 03:00:19 pm »
0

Sounds like Urchin.. Must buy. I don't like it. Why don't people stop making cards that make curses good?
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pedroluchini

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2015, 04:22:24 pm »
+1

I have nothing to add about the card's functionality. I will comment on the card's name, though: "holy cow" and "sacred cow" mean different things; are you sure you chose the right one? :)
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Accatitippi

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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2015, 04:33:51 am »
0

I definitely like that this is testable within Goko. All it would require is people agreeing ahead of time to treat Pawns (or Candlestick Makers) like Holy Cows. This would only not work with TfB cards but if you're going for Holy Cows, you probably don't want to do that anyway.

I'd definitely be up for a Holy Cow game some time.


Definitely.
Good idea!
If you're still interested in playing with it we can do it sometime this weekend. Sending you a PM. :)

Quote
At the end of the game, trash a Curse from your deck.  If you do, +3 VP.
Now if cows >= curses, you get +3 per curse.  If curses > cows, you get +3 per cow, -1 per excess curse. 
Could this make it more interesting?
Quote
Holy Cow
Action, cost 4$
+1 Action
+1 Buy
-
At the end of the game, trash a Curse from your deck.  If you do, +2 VP.
In games using this, curses are worth -2VP (instead of -1).
I thought about this possibilities, but won't this make them an easy, brainless buy?
They're definitely worth trying.

Sounds like Urchin.. Must buy. I don't like it. Why don't people stop making cards that make curses good?
While I respect your right not to like the card, I actually think it is a bit on the weak side. At 4$, it's a weaker point generator than Gardens - which are often worth 3vp at the end of the game - and it also needs to be activated (by gaining a useless card, even!). I don't know if the +Buy really offsets these disadvantages.
Playtest report:
I've played another "goldfish" game against a BM-Smithy strategy. I had all components for an engine on board, so I overbuilt a Village-Smithy-Workshop engine (enabled by Remodel) and quickly gained all Cows and then bought all Curses.
I won with my opponent having gained 4 Provinces (didn't count the turns). Had they pursued an engine strategy (or had better luck) I don't think I'd have managed to end the game before they got to 5+ (which is where Cows can't go alone) I also would have had problems with Village availability, since my deck relied heavily on terminals (it had 7 Villages, 5 Smithies, 1 Remodel, 3 Workshops, 4 Coppers and 6 Cellars).

I have nothing to add about the card's functionality. I will comment on the card's name, though: "holy cow" and "sacred cow" mean different things; are you sure you chose the right one? :)
Whoops. :)
But I like Holy Cow, so I'll keep it until I'm sure that I'll add it to my set. Then I'll find a real name (Sacred Cow is definitely out of theme).
I was thinking about Doves, or Holy Water. They are surely easier to find paintings for than Indulgences.
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Re: Holy Cow
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2015, 12:46:10 pm »
0

I don't mind it for the most part. Not necessarily the kind of card i'd like to play with, but it seems superficially balanced and the wording's fine.

I don't like that if you fail to reach Curse/Cow equilibrium by whatever amount, you ruined your deck for nothing at all. It's not like you bought some Duchies for Duke, and damn, an opponent got one more than you - because there you still got quite a few points and something else might still help you win. Instead, he got the points and you got nothing.

Of course the thing isn't as bad in no-Curser-games, but even then somebody might pass you a single Curse with Maskerade, or trash one of your Cows with his Knight (let the image sink in), shortly after the Cows run out, and suddenly you are one card behind and lost the game.
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