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Author Topic: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer  (Read 4624 times)

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spiralstaircase

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How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« on: February 16, 2016, 03:00:56 am »
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I'm thinking about a card which says something like "until the start of your next turn, when an opponent buys a card, take a coin token".  It seems like a decent idea in single-player, but I can't solve the problems with multiplayer.

As written, in a four-player game, you'd get three times as many coins.  If I change it to 'the player to your right', then it feels like I'm putting pressure on one player to play a certain way that the others don't get.  Maybe that's fine, as you don't get to choose the player.  I wondered about limiting it so that you divide the number of buys by the number of opponents, rounding up, but that means that by buying less the early opponents can pressure the later ones.  I also thought about having it so that in 3p you don't get the first coin and in 4p you don't get the second, but then the the earlier opponents can pressure the later ones to buy less by buying more, which seems worse.

Is there a way to fix up the idea, or should I give up on it?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 07:03:20 am by spiralstaircase »
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tristan

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Re: How to balance a reverse Haggler in multiplayer
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2016, 03:15:10 am »
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Do you play Dominion with 4 (I think that Dominion is best with 2 and 3)? If you don't I wouldn't worry too much about scaling issues. It is not like there aren't ample of official cards that behave differently with a varying player count.
If you play with mockups you could simply price it differently like 2/3$ in 2 player and 3/4$ in 3 player games (I obviously did not think hard about the correct price and assumed that the card text would be precisely as you wrote it, i.e. a terminal duration).

By the way, perhaps I am stupid but I do not see the similarity with Haggler. Seems more aking to Merchant Guild to me.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 03:16:36 am by tristan »
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spiralstaircase

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Re: How to balance a reverse Haggler in multiplayer
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2016, 07:03:09 am »
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By the way, perhaps I am stupid but I do not see the similarity with Haggler. Seems more aking to Merchant Guild to me.

Quite right.  D'oh.
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AdrianHealey

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2016, 08:09:55 am »
+2

"At the start of your next turn, choose one opponent and gain one coin for every card he bought."
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spiralstaircase

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2016, 08:25:57 am »
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"At the start of your next turn, choose one opponent and gain one coin for every card he bought."

Ooh, I like that.  Thanks.
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AdrianHealey

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2016, 08:30:09 am »
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I'd add 'since your last turn', to avoid any confusion.

And if you change 'bought' to 'gained', it's even stronger.
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Asper

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2016, 09:09:17 am »
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For what it's worth, Treasure Hunter only targets the player o your right, too. Of course, it avoids the issue of that player changing his play style because of this by not being a Duration. I'd suggest to either make it the "choose a player" thing, or go directly with Treasure Hunter's wording.

Disclaimer: I actually dislike Treasure Hunter quite a bit for how hard it is to remember how many cards someone gained, but the reasons why it's a problem don't apply to Reverse-Guild. Unlike Silver, Tokens are practically strictly positive, so miscounting (and rounding down) is not an issue, and unlike Treasure Hunter, you play Reverse-Guild for its actual on-play effect.
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AdrianHealey

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2016, 09:16:33 am »
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For what it's worth, Treasure Hunter only targets the player o your right, too. Of course, it avoids the issue of that player changing his play style because of this by not being a Duration. I'd suggest to either make it the "choose a player" thing, or go directly with Treasure Hunter's wording.

Disclaimer: I actually dislike Treasure Hunter quite a bit for how hard it is to remember how many cards someone gained, but the reasons why it's a problem don't apply to Reverse-Guild. Unlike Silver, Tokens are practically strictly positive, so miscounting (and rounding down) is not an issue, and unlike Treasure Hunter, you play Reverse-Guild for its actual on-play effect.

And it sometimes happen that you dn't know in advance you won't play treasure hunter (imagine: village + smithy=> you draw treasure hunter, you play it and then you are like 'ow, wait, how many cards did you gained?'). This will never happen with reserve guild.

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Asper

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2016, 09:27:22 am »
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For what it's worth, Treasure Hunter only targets the player o your right, too. Of course, it avoids the issue of that player changing his play style because of this by not being a Duration. I'd suggest to either make it the "choose a player" thing, or go directly with Treasure Hunter's wording.

Disclaimer: I actually dislike Treasure Hunter quite a bit for how hard it is to remember how many cards someone gained, but the reasons why it's a problem don't apply to Reverse-Guild. Unlike Silver, Tokens are practically strictly positive, so miscounting (and rounding down) is not an issue, and unlike Treasure Hunter, you play Reverse-Guild for its actual on-play effect.

And it sometimes happen that you dn't know in advance you won't play treasure hunter (imagine: village + smithy=> you draw treasure hunter, you play it and then you are like 'ow, wait, how many cards did you gained?'). This will never happen with reserve guild.

Well, it might if you go with my suggestion of using the Treasure Hunter wording. To clarify, i was suggesting to make it a non-Duration.
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junkers

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2016, 04:38:44 am »
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It's been a while, but did you give up on this, spiralstaircase?

The notion of gaining coin tokens based on your opponent's buys is pretty intriguing. Actually, I just like coin tokens in general, so it's nice to see them given another spin.

Asper's notion of an Action, not a Duration, collecting from only the previous player sounds most fitting; whereas Adrian's selective targeting would probably inflate the price of this card.

What were you thinking of pricing it at?
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spiralstaircase

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2016, 08:36:50 am »
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Not saying I'd given up, but I hadn't thought about it much since February.

I like Asper's suggestion best - I think the Treasure Hunter wording is the best one.  Unlike Treasure Hunter, it won't snowball, and in a lot of games that effect would just give you one coin token, so I think it needs +Buy to be viable.  Even then, it's comparable to Candlestick Maker without the +Action, so let's give it +$2 as well.

That puts us in "Woodcutter with a bonus" territory, so I'd be tempted to start off at $4:

Lumberjacks' Guild
Action - $4
+1 Buy
+$2
Take a coin token per card the player to your right gained in their last turn.
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navical

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2016, 08:51:03 am »
+2

I think that needs to give $1 minimum not $2, since it'll be rare that it doesn't give at least one coin token.
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Mr Anderson

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2016, 10:33:18 am »
+2

You could also make it a Reserve card that you call at the start of an opponent's clean-up-phase. In multiplayer, that could lead to interesting decisions, and in 2p-games at least it would be harder to counter the card.

Lumberjacks' Guild
- Action - Reserve

Put this on your tavern mat.
--------------
At the start of another player's cleanup phase, you may call this, to take a coin token per card that player gained this turn.
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LastFootnote

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2016, 10:52:02 am »
+1

I think it's better if it's not sitting on the Tavern mat, constantly reminding other players not to buy too many cards. The Smugglers-like version seems better.
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math

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2016, 05:21:19 pm »
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I think that needs to give $1 minimum not $2, since it'll be rare that it doesn't give at least one coin token.

I agree.  Most of the time this would be "+1 Buy, +$1, take a Coin token", which is already better than Woodcutter, and the player on your right will gain 2 cards in a turn more often than they gain 0 cards.
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enfynet

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2016, 07:53:54 pm »
+1

Would a cheap reaction work?

(Some action text)
--------
When another player gains a card, you may reveal this. If you do, discard it and, +1 Card and take a Coin Token.

It's not as strong, but doesn't snowball.
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junkers

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2016, 05:36:06 am »
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Would a cheap reaction work?

(Some action text)
--------
When another player gains a card, you may reveal this. If you do, discard it and, +1 Card and take a Coin Token.

It's not as strong, but doesn't snowball.

I can't speak for spiralstaircase, but he did name this "a reverse Merchant's Guild", so presumably he wanted it to have just as much punch as that card. Even if you price your proposed Reaction low enough and discard them regularly by flooding your deck with them, it doesn't feel like it's getting same kind of value that Merchant Guild offers. The problem is the wording on a "discard for effect" Reaction - it can only pop once, after a single buy or gain...
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spiralstaircase

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2016, 06:02:36 am »
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I think that needs to give $1 minimum not $2, since it'll be rare that it doesn't give at least one coin token.

I agree.  Most of the time this would be "+1 Buy, +$1, take a Coin token", which is already better than Woodcutter, and the player on your right will gain 2 cards in a turn more often than they gain 0 cards.

I guess.  It still seems like a weak $4.  Perhaps "take one coin token plus one per..." or even "take two coin tokens per..." would be better.
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Max

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2016, 03:53:36 pm »
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Two tokens puts it on par with Butcher without the trash, but then gives a buy and a coin for this turn. That's probably better than butcher. If you're playing this two times a turn you could get +5 from two, that's way too much for a $4. I think it seems like an average 4.
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majiponi

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Re: How to balance a reverse Merchants' Guild in multiplayer
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2016, 06:41:06 am »
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How about gaining a Copper in hand non-mandatory? This works in multiplayer games!
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