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Haddock

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Coloured back cantrip
« on: July 30, 2015, 07:30:21 pm »
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So I was thinking about the possibility of a new kind of junking attack, say "Snake Charmer", which gives out special action cards "Snakes", which are forced-play and do something nasty. For accountability, I figured, give them venom-green backs. Etc. I concluded that this was a dumb idea, and couldn't figure out what exactly a "Snake" should do, anyway.

But it got me thinking about coloured back cards. I'm sure there's lots to be done here, but the fundamental unit would be a card like:

Landmark - $1 action
+1 Card
+1 Action
*****
Has a yellow back and is slightly taller than a standard card. (or some such, making its location visible constantly.)

*****

This isn't worth making or testing as a card, but I thought it was interesting from a theory point of view. How useful is it to know the position of a particular (in this case otherwise useless, but the idea could be applied to other cards) card in a deck? Should this be worth 1 or 2? (Instinct tells me 1) Would it be improved by giving it shuffle placement, Stash-style? How much is the mystic synergy (and such) worth?

Just a thought experiment really. Thoughts welcomed.


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M Town Wins-Losses (6-2, 75%): 71, 72, 76, 81, 83, 87 - 79, 82.  M Scum Wins-Losses (2-1, 67%): 80, 101 - 70.
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ConMan

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2015, 01:53:52 am »
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I'm not sure what I think about this idea specifically (I don't think adding trackability to a cantrip really adds anything to it), but I offer two examples of where a similar mechanic *is* used to help stimulate ideas (one of which you've already mentioned):

Stash - the Dominion Promo card, which is a boring old Silver (i.e. a Treasure that produces $2) except that it costs $5, has a distinctive back, and when you shuffle your deck you choose where to place them. Combos really nicely with Chancellor (and even moreso Scavenger).

Chestbursters - in Legendary Encounters, which is a co-operative deckbuilder based on the Alien series of movies (and soon to include Predator, I believe), you may be attacked by a Facehugger, which if not dealt with swiftly results in you gaining a Chestburster card. Once you shuffle it into your deck, you are essentially a ticking time bomb, and when you draw it you're killed. I recall them having exactly the same backs as the other cards, but it would make sense to give them a unique back so you'd know that it was coming up.
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scott_pilgrim

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2015, 02:13:17 am »
+3

Something to consider if you want a differently backed card is that players might be able to "cheat" their shuffles by waiting until the card is on top (or until it's not on top, if that's better).  Stash is okay because you just put it wherever you want anyway.  I had a game I was working on where cards are shuffled into a deck, some face-up and some face-down, and I said you can't stop shuffling until a face-down card is on top.  So you'd probably want to say something similar here, like don't stop shuffling until a normal-back card is on top.  Depending on how you shuffle, you might still be able to manipulate its position by watching where it lands as you shuffle, so maybe it's still a concern.  If you can get down to a deck of only special-backed cards, you have another problem (but hopefully at least that would be rare).  It would still be annoying if you get down to a deck with very high density of special-backed cards (if you have say 8/10 special-backed cards, you'd have to shuffle a lot before you get a normal-back card on top).

So there might be cool things you could do with the idea, but it's probably too much of a hassle to be worth doing, outside of the Stash mechanic.  I guess you could also do something like "the player to your left chooses where this goes when you shuffle".  That could either be a nerf on an otherwise powerful card, or a nasty thing to add onto the Snake idea you were talking about.
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Asper

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2015, 06:12:10 am »
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Something to consider if you want a differently backed card is that players might be able to "cheat" their shuffles by waiting until the card is on top (or until it's not on top, if that's better).  Stash is okay because you just put it wherever you want anyway.  I had a game I was working on where cards are shuffled into a deck, some face-up and some face-down, and I said you can't stop shuffling until a face-down card is on top.  So you'd probably want to say something similar here, like don't stop shuffling until a normal-back card is on top.  Depending on how you shuffle, you might still be able to manipulate its position by watching where it lands as you shuffle, so maybe it's still a concern.  If you can get down to a deck of only special-backed cards, you have another problem (but hopefully at least that would be rare).  It would still be annoying if you get down to a deck with very high density of special-backed cards (if you have say 8/10 special-backed cards, you'd have to shuffle a lot before you get a normal-back card on top).

So there might be cool things you could do with the idea, but it's probably too much of a hassle to be worth doing, outside of the Stash mechanic.  I guess you could also do something like "the player to your left chooses where this goes when you shuffle".  That could either be a nerf on an otherwise powerful card, or a nasty thing to add onto the Snake idea you were talking about.

You just brought up all the concerns i was going to write (you can always play a card with a different back like Stash) as well as the solution i would have suggested ("the player to your left chooses where this goes when you shuffle"). Have these +1s.
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horatio83

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2015, 05:06:37 am »
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This isn't worth making or testing as a card, but I thought it was interesting from a theory point of view. How useful is it to know the position of a particular (in this case otherwise useless, but the idea could be applied to other cards) card in a deck? Should this be worth 1 or 2? (Instinct tells me 1) Would it be improved by giving it shuffle placement, Stash-style? How much is the mystic synergy (and such) worth?
Obviously it is strong when Mystic or Wishing Well is in the deck.
Otherwise it is stronger if the marked card is an action cards than a treasure card due to actions management.

I doubt that marking a card warrants much of a price increase but this is just a guess, the folks who sleeve Dominion can easily test it.

About a marked cantrip, I'd agree with you and say that it is worth 1 or perhaps even 0. Unless there is TR, KC, Herald, Scrying Pool, Peddler or Conspirator (have I forgotten a card?) in the deck, a pure cantrip is not just worthless but bad as you might draw it while having 0 actions. I don't think that it is totally useless though to have the pure cantrip marked as there are situations when this knowledge is helpful, e.g. when you gotta decide between playing a terminal draw and another action and the terminal draw looks bad precisely because you know that you will draw a marked, dead card.

By the way, I like the idea of the Snake mechanic. Not because force-playing a card is interesting per se, decision-density wise it is obviously bad but so are dead cards like curse, but because instead of dead curses you'd have active nasty thingies in your deck.
They probably shouldn't be too nasty though as one already has a pretty large incentive to trash curses but it could introduce some nice tension, wanting to direly get rid of the snakes quickly, into the game. So I'd say that the idea is quite  interesting from an atmospheric perspective.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 05:15:16 am by horatio83 »
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horatio83

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2015, 05:57:59 am »
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About your hypotehtical Snake Charmer, here are some quick ideas about what Snakes could do.

"Discard a card" is in my opinion bad as you could discard a second snake you have in your hand and to prevent that you'd have to make some messy 'simultaneous play' rules for the card. On the other hand this does not have to be a liability but can be an asset if you want to prevent the scissors effect/ dampen the effect of being massively snake-spammed.

"Gain a Curse" would lead to snowballing so in a game without trashing Snake Charmer would be perhaps be too much of an automatic early buy.
A milder effect of that could be achieved via "Gain a -1VP token".

"If your -1 Card token isn't on your deck, put it there." OR "Take your - token" are obvious ideas with the malus Adventure tokens. The problem is that multiple Snakes in your hand would not stack (again, the question is whether you want them to stack or not)

"Take a Venom token" is also an idea if you wanna play around with different effect for the token (from a practical perspective this has the advantage that you do not have to print new versions of Snake when you modify its effect). With the Venom token you could e.g. stuff like "draw one less card during your Clean-up phase" (compared to the -1 card token milder as the malus is potentially delayed and stronger as stacking is enabled).
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 06:04:10 am by horatio83 »
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liopoil

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2015, 01:03:34 pm »
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Wait, this can totally work. Here's an idea:

Snake charmer - $4 (5?) action

+1 card
+1 coin
Each other player gains a snake

Snake - $0* action

+1 action
+1 coin
Discard a card from your hand
You may not play cards that aren't snake while this is in your hand.

When you shuffle, you may put this anywhere in your deck (green back)
(This is not in the supply)

Okay, so this can be super annoying and get very sloggy, but I think it's worth testing. Could even make snake the dreaded action-treasure.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 01:06:23 pm by liopoil »
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Haddock

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2015, 01:51:19 pm »
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Something to consider if you want a differently backed card is that players might be able to "cheat" their shuffles by waiting until the card is on top (or until it's not on top, if that's better).  Stash is okay because you just put it wherever you want anyway.

So there might be cool things you could do with the idea, but it's probably too much of a hassle to be worth doing, outside of the Stash mechanic. 
Completely agreed, which is why I mentioned the Stash mechanic in the original thing.  I also agree that this particular card isn't worth bothering with, I was just looking to stimulate some theory discussion, which worked! :)

Loving the responses to the Snake Charmer idea, others following through with my half-assed start. :P  I think it's a slow enough attack that making it stackable wouldn't be totally ridiculous - the discard is probably about right.  Curse-gaining would be a bit painful, but then the more curses you have the less often you have to play a Snake! (Valid logic, right? Right?)

Wait, this can totally work. Here's an idea:

Snake charmer - $4 (5?) action

+1 card
+1 coin
Each other player gains a snake

Snake - $0* action

+1 action
+1 coin
Discard a card from your hand
You may not play cards that aren't snake while this is in your hand.

When you shuffle, you may put this anywhere in your deck (green back)
(This is not in the supply)
That's pretty much what I was thinking; though I saw Snake as the slightly more awkward (and actually nastier, as an attack):
"<Something nasty>
***
As soon as this enters your hand for any reason, you must play it (this does not cost an action)"
But yours is better, and avoids not-your-turn plays like Lost City.  Plus makes it less stackable, by allowing you to discard other snakes.

One thing I like is that you can't trash these from your hand.  Indeed the best trasher of them is Doctor, which is nicely thematic.
. Could even make snake the dreaded action-treasure.
You might have to help me out here.  How would that work?
EDIT: Wait I get it.  So that you can't say "I'm not playing anything in my Action phase", but play Treasures and then just BM through it.  gotcha.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 01:53:23 pm by Haddock »
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M Town Wins-Losses (6-2, 75%): 71, 72, 76, 81, 83, 87 - 79, 82.  M Scum Wins-Losses (2-1, 67%): 80, 101 - 70.
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liopoil

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2015, 05:03:02 pm »
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. Could even make snake the dreaded action-treasure.
You might have to help me out here.  How would that work?
EDIT: Wait I get it.  So that you can't say "I'm not playing anything in my Action phase", but play Treasures and then just BM through it.  gotcha.
Not quite. Note that you already can't play ANY cards with snake in hand, regardless of phase, even treasure cards. Making it a treasure as well would protect against it being drawn dead and you not being able to do anything at all about it. However, since you know where it is that should be preventable. So not worth it to make it action-treasure, imo.
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Haddock

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2015, 06:12:59 pm »
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Right. For some reason I read your card as "may not play actions that are not snake", which would actually avoid that issue anyway.
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The best reason to lynch Haddock is the meltdown we get to witness on the wagon runup. I mean, we should totally wagon him every day just for the lulz.

M Town Wins-Losses (6-2, 75%): 71, 72, 76, 81, 83, 87 - 79, 82.  M Scum Wins-Losses (2-1, 67%): 80, 101 - 70.
RMM Town Wins-Losses (3-1, 75%): 42, 47, 49 - 31.  RMM Scum Wins-Losses (3-3, 50%): 33, 37, 43 - 29, 32, 35.
Modded: M75, M84, RMM38.     Mislynched (M-RMM): None - 42.     Correctly lynched (M-RMM): 101 - 33, 33, 35.       MVPs: RMM37, M87

GendoIkari

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2015, 09:48:31 pm »
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Note that any card that has a different back, like Stash. pretty much also has to have the same rule as Stash, that when you shuffle, you can put it anywhere in your deck. It's not really possible to shuffle correctly without such a rule, unless you agree to shuffle blindfolded or something. Otherwise there's nothing to stop a person from noticing where that card is as they're shuffling, and simply shuffle until it's on top, or near the middle, etc.
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horatio83

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Re: Coloured back cantrip
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2015, 07:17:32 am »
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If one wants to enable Snakes to be trashed not just by Doctor and Lookout one can make Snake a Reaction card with something like "When you draw this reveal it and <bad things happens>.". If one wants Snake to be forced-revealed if one gets it via Masquerade (are there any other border cases?) one has to change the text.

Furthermore a Reaction card avoids potential rule issues due to force-playing. For example the text "As soon as this enters your hand for any reason, you must play it (this does not cost an action)." has the problem that you cannot play action cards during your cleanup phase. So you'd have to add quite some text to clarify that a) this is an action card which can be played during the cleanup phase and b) you do not draw a substitute card for it (if I remember correctly the rulebook says that you draw UP to 5 cards).

Of course, if one can trash Snake from hand one would have to make the effect of it harsher .
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 07:24:12 am by horatio83 »
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