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Author Topic: Lieutenant, an Island variant - seeking advice on balance and better wording  (Read 3936 times)

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Accatitippi

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Hi,
do you think this card would work?

Lieutenant - Action Duration (6)
Put a card from your hand face up on top of your Lieutenant deck.
At the start of your turn for the rest of the game, you may put one copy of the top card of your Lieutenant deck from your hand to the Lieutenant deck.

Rules: the lieutenant deck is a deck of face up cards on your lieutenant mat.
I think it might be too powerful for 6, and it has quite a lot of text for a pretty simple effect. Do you have any suggestion on how to shorten it?
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RelzeriZynx

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Sorry if I may sound like a dope, but I'm having trouble seeing how this card would be used in a game. Could you explain how you would use this card in combination with others?
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Jack Rudd

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Interesting. It's essentially a pseudo-trasher; the obvious use for it is getting your starting junk out of your deck.
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Oliver Reznik

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Maybe I'm missing something but I think this would almost all of the time be worse than chapel. Basically the only things these cards do is trash compared to most other trashers which give some sort additional benefit. The advantage of Lieutenant is that it wouldn't wreck your current turn as much as chapeling would (Also retaining victory points after removing from your deck). However chapel is so fast you'd mostly want to just stick to it anyway. Another problem is that Lieutenant seems to be locked in to the card that can be trashed until you buy and play another (I assume it stays in play after playing it the first time.)

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what it does but if Lieutenant were to ever be actually made I think it would be one of those awkwardly underpowerd cards (even costing 2) like trade route (forager being an almost straight upgrade).
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Awaclus

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Maybe I'm missing something but I think this would almost all of the time be worse than chapel. Basically the only things these cards do is trash compared to most other trashers which give some sort additional benefit. The advantage of Lieutenant is that it wouldn't wreck your current turn as much as chapeling would (Also retaining victory points after removing from your deck). However chapel is so fast you'd mostly want to just stick to it anyway. Another problem is that Lieutenant seems to be locked in to the card that can be trashed until you buy and play another (I assume it stays in play after playing it the first time.)

Well, Chapel isn't always available.
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pedroluchini

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Does it really have to be limited to the card on top of the Lieutenant deck? You could reword it to use a Lieutenant mat and then say:

Quote
Set aside a card from your hand. At the start of each of your turns, you may set aside a copy of it from your hand. Return them to your deck at the end of the game.

The Lieutenant mat then allows you to keep track of which cards are allowed to be set aside.

In any case, for extra clarity I would add "(This stays in play)" like Hireling.
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Accatitippi

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Well, it lets you keep the points, so my "intended use" would be getting rid of Victory cards while mantaining the points. Of course you can use it to get rid of starting stuff, in a much weaker way than chapel (but pretty much everything is slower than chapel at getting rid of copper/estates).
For example, you can tune your lieutenants to Duchies and start duchying earlier (note that each duchy will hurt your draw at least once anyway), or to Provinces and never have your deck really slow down or to Estates, getting rid of them and then also storing any spare ones you might throw at it later.
It might be too slow, so I'm considering letting it set aside an unlimited number of cards per turn, or even letting it do it at any time during one's action phase, but that's a tad too long to write I think.

Of course this card would shine in games where you'd expect to see each victory card you buy at least twice after you've bought it, so slowish games or alt-vp or maybe even early-greening strategies built around lieutenant.
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Accatitippi

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Does it really have to be limited to the card on top of the Lieutenant deck? You could reword it to use a Lieutenant mat and then say:

Quote
Set aside a card from your hand. At the start of each of your turns, you may set aside a copy of it from your hand. Return them to your deck at the end of the game.

The Lieutenant mat then allows you to keep track of which cards are allowed to be set aside.

In any case, for extra clarity I would add "(This stays in play)" like Hireling.

Yeah, that works, I don't know exactly why I didn't think about it. -.-'
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Oliver Reznik

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Maybe I'm missing something but I think this would almost all of the time be worse than chapel. Basically the only things these cards do is trash compared to most other trashers which give some sort additional benefit. The advantage of Lieutenant is that it wouldn't wreck your current turn as much as chapeling would (Also retaining victory points after removing from your deck). However chapel is so fast you'd mostly want to just stick to it anyway. Another problem is that Lieutenant seems to be locked in to the card that can be trashed until you buy and play another (I assume it stays in play after playing it the first time.)

Well, Chapel isn't always available.

I think part of Dominion's design philosophy is that if two cards fill the same niche but one does it better then they shouldn't be priced the same (sometimes mistakes like trade route and forager are made though). Lieutenant basically does the same thing as chapel just worse. It doesn't have enough unique strengths to make it stand in its own niche.
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Oliver Reznik

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Well, it lets you keep the points, so my "intended use" would be getting rid of Victory cards while mantaining the points. Of course you can use it to get rid of starting stuff, in a much weaker way than chapel (but pretty much everything is slower than chapel at getting rid of copper/estates).
For example, you can tune your lieutenants to Duchies and start duchying earlier (note that each duchy will hurt your draw at least once anyway), or to Provinces and never have your deck really slow down or to Estates, getting rid of them and then also storing any spare ones you might throw at it later.
It might be too slow, so I'm considering letting it set aside an unlimited number of cards per turn, or even letting it do it at any time during one's action phase, but that's a tad too long to write I think.

Of course this card would shine in games where you'd expect to see each victory card you buy at least twice after you've bought it, so slowish games or alt-vp or maybe even early-greening strategies built around lieutenant.

Yeah I can see that idea working now that I see the intention behind the card. The card just needs to be altered to achieve that goal in a strong way.
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Awaclus

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Re: Lieutenant, an Island variant - seeking advice on balance and better wording
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2015, 08:38:03 am »
+1

I think part of Dominion's design philosophy is that if two cards fill the same niche but one does it better then they shouldn't be priced the same (sometimes mistakes like trade route and forager are made though). Lieutenant basically does the same thing as chapel just worse. It doesn't have enough unique strengths to make it stand in its own niche.

It doesn't matter if they fill the same niche unless one card does literally everything the other one does and more. Chapel can't do everything that Lieutenant can, so it's fine. It's the same for Forager and Trade Route. The fact that sometimes you have strong trashers in the kingdom and other times you have weak trashers in the kingdom is a feature of the game, not a bug.
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popsofctown

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Re: Lieutenant, an Island variant - seeking advice on balance and better wording
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2015, 09:39:48 am »
+1

Maybe I'm missing something but I think this would almost all of the time be worse than chapel. Basically the only things these cards do is trash compared to most other trashers which give some sort additional benefit. The advantage of Lieutenant is that it wouldn't wreck your current turn as much as chapeling would (Also retaining victory points after removing from your deck). However chapel is so fast you'd mostly want to just stick to it anyway. Another problem is that Lieutenant seems to be locked in to the card that can be trashed until you buy and play another (I assume it stays in play after playing it the first time.)

Well, Chapel isn't always available.

I think part of Dominion's design philosophy is that if two cards fill the same niche but one does it better then they shouldn't be priced the same (sometimes mistakes like trade route and forager are made though). Lieutenant basically does the same thing as chapel just worse. It doesn't have enough unique strengths to make it stand in its own niche.
This isn't priced the same as Chapel.  In the OP it says 6.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Lieutenant, an Island variant - seeking advice on balance and better wording
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2015, 10:05:39 am »
0

Does it really have to be limited to the card on top of the Lieutenant deck? You could reword it to use a Lieutenant mat and then say:

Quote
Set aside a card from your hand. At the start of each of your turns, you may set aside a copy of it from your hand. Return them to your deck at the end of the game.

The Lieutenant mat then allows you to keep track of which cards are allowed to be set aside.

In any case, for extra clarity I would add "(This stays in play)" like Hireling.

I definitely wouldn't include "Return them to your deck at the end of the game." Although Island and Native Village have this, none of the other many cards that can cause cards to be set-aside when the game ends do. The cards are still in your deck for scoring purposes by the regular rules; they don't need to be returned anywhere.
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Asper

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Re: Lieutenant, an Island variant - seeking advice on balance and better wording
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2015, 11:50:13 am »
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The ability to set aside a VP card each turn without losing its points isn't something Chapel can do. Chapel kickstarts your deck, Lieutenant keeps it from choking. It strikes me as either a bit weak or expensive, though I wonder whether "Remove a Province, get a Province" isnn't maybe stronger than i suspect. I mean, it mostly removes the problem of trimmed decks choking on VP cards very quickly.
Edit: In fact i believe in a deck with both Chapel and Lieutenant, you might really want both. Gold, Gold, Silver, Chapel, Province hand each turn, fellas.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 12:28:54 pm by Asper »
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GeeJo

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Re: Lieutenant, an Island variant - seeking advice on balance and better wording
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2015, 12:21:56 pm »
+1

A quick question: can I rearrange the deck on the mat? Nothing on the card tells me whether or not that's possible. Are the cards added to the deck with the duration effect added to the top, or to the bottom, or can I choose where?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 12:23:49 pm by GeeJo »
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scott_pilgrim

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Re: Lieutenant, an Island variant - seeking advice on balance and better wording
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2015, 03:37:05 pm »
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I think the price is fine.  It's basically a cantrip trasher every turn after the first, but more restricted, but can also pseudo-trash victory cards.  I'd buy it pretty often for $6, and it's not like it's strictly worse (or anywhere near strictly worse) than any official cards.
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Accatitippi

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Re: Lieutenant, an Island variant - seeking advice on balance and better wording
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2015, 06:03:53 pm »
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A quick question: can I rearrange the deck on the mat? Nothing on the card tells me whether or not that's possible. Are the cards added to the deck with the duration effect added to the top, or to the bottom, or can I choose where?

My original idea was that since the rules do not allow you to rearrange the deck, then you can't. Also, it should have said "onto" when you're adding cards, but it actually makes no difference, the top card is still the same.
But I think that if I were to print and test it today I'd go with pedro's:
Quote
Set aside a card from your hand. At the start of each of your turns, you may set aside a copy of it from your hand. (This stays in play.)
Maybe I'd reference a mat, to make things cleaner.
It's significantly stronger but it's much simpler, and since it looks like the card felt underwhelming to the most, it probably needs that boost.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 06:11:50 pm by Accatitippi »
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Asper

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Re: Lieutenant, an Island variant - seeking advice on balance and better wording
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2015, 07:31:34 pm »
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With your current wording, a second Lieutenant would enable you to - from now on - set aside two copies of whatever the new card is, right?
Pedrolucini's variant is different, but i find it hard to say which is stronger. Of course you can now set aside different or identical cards, but on the flip side you can't change what an old Lieutenant sets aside afterwards. You'd probably have to create a pile per stack, set aside next to the corresponding Lieutenant, or at least as soon as you use a Lieutenant to set aside a copy of a card you allready set aside. Don't know whether you'd want to do that in a normal game, but nothing keeps you from doing it.
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