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4est

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4est's Cards
« on: January 29, 2017, 06:40:21 pm »
+10

Hello friends!

I’ve been playing Dominion online and IRL for a few years now and only in the last few months have I started getting more involved with f.ds discussions and tournaments and such.  It’s an awesome community (one of the most friendly and respectful I’ve seen on the internet) and I’ve been learning a ton by reading and posting and playing.  And now, I’m trying my hand at a small fan expansion!

Currently it’s 15 cards, that mostly revolve around the theme of discarding for benefit and cycling cards that either like or can create small hand-sizes.  Since these are my first cards, I kept them simple—no durations, tokens, reserves, debt, potions, travellers and such—just 13 Actions (2 Attacks), 1 Treasure-Reaction, and 1 Victory.  All have gone through some playtesting, but I'm continuing to playtest and modify as I go. 

For now I’d love to get feedback from the community—do certain cards seem too strong or too weak, does wording need to be more clear, do certain mechanics need reworking, etc.  I appreciate your help!  Please post comments below.

Thanks!

4est



**Edit: With feedback and further playtesting, I'll be periodically posting revised or updated versions of cards here in the OP as well as below. 

New Card (see updates below!):
Corridor

Revised Cards (see updates below!):
Carpenter
Water Wheel
Astronomer
Marshal
Rebellion
Fish Market (minor edit only)
Investor
Peasant Village

Revisions Pending (still playtesting!):
Falconer
Rebellion
Granary

Removed Cards:
Cyptex



Kingdom Cards:





Individual Cards:



I’ve discovered a new planet—I mean, card-shaped thing!  I wanted a cheap Vagrant/Patrician that prefers variety.  The first version of Astronomer was effectively a mini-Hunting Party, but that immediately proved to be too strong in play testing—way too easy for them to just be $2 Labs.  This revised version checks another player's hand instead.





Unlike most of my cards which started with a card idea or mechanic, and got names and images later, Brewery started with the name and image.  Emulating the drunk monk, I wanted a weird hand-discarder like Minion that works out for you in the end.  You can keep your best 2 cards, or if your cards suck, discard them all and draw 3 more, to go with your extra Action and Coin.





My Butcher variant that uses discarding instead of Coin tokens for Remodeling.  Early on, it also drew a card, but this made it just a bit too easy to gain cards costing $4 more, so the +1 Card was removed. 





Corridor is a replacement for Cryptex, a card that I found to be too swingy after playtesting and feedback (see removed cards below).  Corridor is a discarder for coin, similar to Storeroom and Vault, but it plays very differently from them, since it has a limit on how much it can discard.  To go along with the theme of cards that either like or create small handsizes, Corridor handily does both (it's especially nice after getting hit with a handsize attack as it will draw you back up to five cards).  And of course the most compelling part of the card is its chaining ability.  The discarding and drawing synergize nicely to create an engine that can sift and generate payload at the same time, but this of course requires you connect your Corridors, which can be difficult to do since the first one often doesn't draw. 





Pretty simple digging card—like a Sage that only draws the type of card you want, at the cost of reducing your hand-size by one. 





Market is a nice card, but sometimes it feels sad to pay $5 and not use all the +Buys or Coin.  Introducing Fish Market, where you can build your own Market!  Need a Village?  Just discard a card.  Need +Buy?  Just discard a card.  Need Coin?  You know what to do.  Don’t need any of those?  Then just draw a card.  Need an actual Market?  Well you probably should have just bought one of those then.  It’s the flexibility you’re paying for in Fish Market. 





The very first card I made.  I’ve always loved Draw-to-X cards, and I’ve been sad that there aren’t more of them.  Granary skips either Actions or Treasures, and then offers a choice of discard for benefit at the end.  It has some fun self-synergy and can be useful for Big Money and engines alike.





My attempt at a fast Big Money enabler.  Also a lesson in basic personal finance: I can spend all my money now, invest a little in a short term return next turn, or invest a lot in a long term return next shuffle.  If only it was this simple in real life..





Everyday, the Marshal comes to town, demanding we turn over our fugitives.  Marshal is a handsize attack where what your opponents discard determine what the card gives you, +$3 or a cantrip.  You name the "fugitive" card and then other players have to decide if they'll discard it or keep it and discard other, probably better cards instead.  Can be nice payload, but the fact that other players have a bit of power over what you get makes the card sometimes unpredictable.





A cheap village that gives you a choice of what to do with the top card of your deck.  It can offer +Buy with a little sifting, light trashing, or a draw and discard--all useful things, but the randomness makes the card play a little bit differently each time. 





Another Draw-to-X style card, this time in Peddler form.  The fewer cards you have in hand, the better Poet gets.  With five or more, it’s a nonterminal Copper: okay, not so great.  But it has the potential to draw two, three, even four cards.  Good thing you’ve been playing all those discard for benefit cards!





The curser for this set, just a $5-cost Smithy plus that uses Mountebank-like moating with Victory cards.  Plus, with each one you get, everyone else can take a free Duchy--junking themselves in exchange for some extra protection and +3VP. 





I wanted both a trasher and gainer in the expansion, and then I had the idea: why not make a card that does both?  Smelter is flexible, trashing like Steward or gaining like Workshop, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can do both, but then your opponents get to trash too.  Better make it worth it!





Playing Treasures from your hand is so old school.  Nowadays we just discard them instead!  Introducing Trinket, the Treasure you can’t wait to discard!  On play, it’s just a nonterminal Herbalist, but you can also play it on your next Buy phase by discarding it.  Anything Tunnel likes, Trinket likes too.





The first version of Water Wheel had 2VP and could be discarded from your hand at the start of your turn for a bonus but it proved to be confusing, overpowered, and could lead to weird discarding loops.  So it was scrapped and replaced with this version, still with 2VP but now a Scheme-like on-buy effect.  Basically, you can discard whatever cards you have left in your hand to Scheme that many cards you have in play (including Treasures) to use next turn.  With just a few discards, you can set up an ideal next hand.  It’s pricey though, and only worth it if you actually have some cards left in your hand when you buy it, otherwise you just spent $6 for 2VP.  And of course, once it’s in your deck, Water Wheel is a dead card—and another prime target for discarding when you buy another one.



Removed Card:



Wow, a Lab + Horse Traders without discarding for $4?  Yeah, well guessing one card for Wishing Well is hard enough, this requires you guess two.  Cryptex can be a payload card, that rewards deck tracking and careful finesse with your discarding (or just good guessing).  And you’re not too sad if it misses, you get the best card of two cards (at the cost of reducing your hand size) and hey, now you know half the code for your next Cryptex—just don’t keep guessing wrong.

After more playtesting and feedback, I've decided to remove Cryptex.  Though it was a cute payload card, it's also pretty swingy and can be annoying when you repeatedly miss, so I've replaced it with another card, Corridor (see above). 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 04:59:45 pm by 4est »
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AdrianHealey

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2017, 08:00:54 pm »
+1

Some fun ideas! More later. :)
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 11:16:38 am »
+2

I don't want this to sound like shameless andvertising, but I highly suggest you look through my All the Fan Cards You Could Ever Need thread (click the link in my signature). Several of the cards seem simmilar to official or fan cards.

Falconer, look at Kru5h's Hounds. Different, but I like his version better.
Investor, see DBnator's Offertory. This is a stretch, but yours is pretty boring.
Peasant Village, see Ben King's Ghost Town (or MattLee's for that matter). It's usually a boring card, and of the other 2 I mentioned I think yours is the least interesting.
Trinket, see eHalcyon's Crystal Ball, way more interesting.

All in all most of the cards just aren't interesting. You can still use them, heck most look pretty balanced. But I still think a lot of them are boring that I would probably playtest a more interesting card over them: Carpenter, Falconer, Investor, Marshal, Fish Market, Peasant Village, Rebellion, Trinket. That said, Astronomer, Brewery, Poet, and Smelter look pretty interesting. I'd like to play with them.

Balancing wise, some could use some help IMO.
Cryptex looks really swingy and annoying, Wishing Well is already kinda disliked, and this seems worse.
Astronomer seems really bad. I'm surprised it's too good without the other player revealing their hand. I'd like it if it was just your opponent's hand.
Watermill is wayyyy underpriced, it's usually either a Lab or a Silver, and you get 2 VP, for 5? Could cost 7 and still be strong I think. Should be a Reaction.
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If you have a fan card you want to be created, just post about it here! I'd love to take a look at it.

LibraryAdventurer

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 02:59:28 am »
0

I think Cryptex would be fine if it didn't have the discard a card penalty for guessing wrong.
Waterwheel would probably be fine at $6. (@Theta, it's only a lab or silver if you start with it in your hand.)

Trinket is fine. It is very similar to eHalcyon's Crystal Ball, but I don't think Trinket is less interesting at all. Trinket might even be better balanced, because Crystal Ball seemed very strong in the games I've used it in.

I agree with Theta about Invester, Peasant Village, Rebellion, and Marshall.
Marshall is just a slightly stronger Militia with the drawback of discarding a card. It's not different enough to be worth the complexity. Similarly, Granary is too wordy and tries to do too many different things.

Fish Market looks neat, but I think discarding one card is enough of a drawback. It seems weak when you have to discard two.

My favorites are Brewery and Carpenter. Almost favorites which could become favorites with tweaks and/or playtesting: Cryptex and Smelter. Smelter seems like it might be too strong. Allowing other players to trash a card doesn't seem like as much of a drawback when there's obviously strong trashing on the board already with Smelter. It's comparable to Remake (which is the #1 strongest $4 cost card in Qvist's ranking).
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 03:08:04 am by LibraryAdventurer »
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weety4

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 05:09:21 am »
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Kinda nice to see a first post of actually tested fan cards (instead of just ideas that only sometimes get tested and revised). They all look very balanced.
While I agree with Theta that the discard mechanics of most of them is not that interesting not all fan cards can be wild and innovative.

About Water Wheel, I think that this would be too expensive at 6$. If there is a Lab (variant) in the Kingdom it is much safer to go for that then for a card which is only a Lab during the start of the turn. Now of course you could still chain them: if you discard a Water Wheel and draw another one it is still the start of your turn so you could again discard a Water Wheel for 2 cards and so on. But it is still riskier than a normal Lab and those 2 VPs might not make up for that risk.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 05:10:48 am by weety4 »
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weety4

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 05:10:58 am »
0

Kinda nice to see a first post of actually tested fan cards (instead of just ideas that only sometimes get tested and revised). They all look very balanced.
While I agree with Theta that the discard mechanics of most of them is not that interesting not all fan cards can be wild and innovative.

About Water Wheel, I think that this would be too expensive at 6$. If there is a Lab (variant) in the Kingdom it is much safer to go for that then for a card which is only a Lab during the start of the turn. Now of course you could still chain them: if you discard a Water Wheel and draw another one it is still the start of your turn so you could again discard a Water Wheel for 2 cards and so on. But it is still riskier than a normal Lab and those 2 VPs might not make up for that risk.
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Asper

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 08:07:41 am »
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Waterwheel would probably be fine at $6. (@Theta, it's only a lab or silver if you start with it in your hand.)
That's technically true, but only matters if you are buying sufficiently many drawing nonterminals (or terminal draw $ non-drawing villages). If you don't, there is no observable difference between Watermill and Lab. And as a Lab that also provides VP seems like a strategy in and on itself, this doesn't appear to be a bad thing to go for, either. Even though it's not strictly better than Harem, I believe it's still a monolithic path to victory for 6$.

4est

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2017, 08:32:32 am »
+2

Thanks guys for the comments thus far--especially Theta and LibraryAdventurer--super helpful stuff! 

I'm currently working to make slight revisions to Peasant Village, Falconer, Investor, Marshal, and Rebellion which I'll agree are all currently a bit vanilla.  I've got a few ideas which I think will add a bit of complexity and unique flavor to each card without becoming overly complex or overpowered.  I'll of course need to playtest revisions before posting updates (my playtesting schedule is currently somewhat determined by how much Dominion my incredibly patient wife is willing to play with me every evening haha). 

I like the idea of maybe trying Cryptex without the discard penalty.  I played a game the other day where that part got a bit annoying--will need to make sure it's not too strong without that.  And yeah, Astronomer needs more playtesting to figure out how much revealing (just my hand, just another player's, or both) will make the card sometimes a Lab (like Vagrant or Patrician), but not like all the time. 

On Water Wheel, that was the last card I made and has thus gotten far less play testing than some of the other cards.  Thanks LibraryAdventurer for pointing out that, yes, it's only a Lab or Silver if it's in your hand at the start of your turn.  But reading the comments and looking at it some more, I'm realizing some potential problems with this mechanic--for example, if your deck is small enough, you could theoretically discard and draw the same WW over and over which is weird (albeit usually pointless).  Gonna go back to the drawing board on this one too. 

Thanks again for the comments thus far, my friends!  Will start posting updated cards in the OP when I have time.  Please keep posting any other observations on the cards--I really appreciate the help!
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herw

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 09:04:47 am »
+1

Hello friends!
[...]


The last card I made.  Water Wheel is one point less than Duchy for the same price, but it gives a nifty bonus (that doesn’t use up an action) anytime you start your turn with one in hand.  It’s not an Action card, so if you draw it later in your turn, it’s just a plain old Victory card, but it might possibly need Reaction-typing.  For now, it just has the Victory type, but I’d be curious to hear what others think.

hmm - what will happen if i have more than one water wheel on hand? Am i allowed to play again a water wheel?
If so, i wouldn't like it, because there is a pre-action phase now.
I think it would be better to give in addition +1 action and set the card to Action-Victory.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 09:30:45 am by herw »
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Asper

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 10:12:56 am »
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Yes, herw, and as "the start of your turn" isn't over after drawing, you can discard any number, including those you just drew. Therefore, you can chain Water Wheels arbitrarily and still have an Action left for your Mountebank, making them Lab+ in such decks.
But 4est already decided to re-do it, so, let's see  what comes next.

herw

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 11:34:06 am »
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Yes, herw, and as "the start of your turn" isn't over after drawing, you can discard any number, including those you just drew. Therefore, you can chain Water Wheels arbitrarily and still have an Action left for your Mountebank, making them Lab+ in such decks.
But 4est already decided to re-do it, so, let's see  what comes next.
are there similar cards?
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4est

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 11:53:45 am »
0

Fish Market looks neat, but I think discarding one card is enough of a drawback. It seems weak when you have to discard two.

I still need to test this, but just wanted to throw an idea out there: perhaps changing the "Do this twice" clause to "You may do this once or twice" on Fish Market might strengthen it a bit.  That way, if you're satisfied after discarding once, it doesn't force you to discard again (Heck, you could not discard at all if you really wanted, but then you just paid $5 for a cantrip).  Not a super exciting revision, but it seems like this minor change would maximize Fish Market's main theme, its flexibility, without making it overpowered.  Thoughts?
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Asper

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2017, 12:20:31 pm »
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Yes, herw, and as "the start of your turn" isn't over after drawing, you can discard any number, including those you just drew. Therefore, you can chain Water Wheels arbitrarily and still have an Action left for your Mountebank, making them Lab+ in such decks.
But 4est already decided to re-do it, so, let's see  what comes next.
are there similar cards?
Well, all cards that trigger at the start of your turn. For example, you can first trash a card with Ratcatcher, then discard your hand and draw a new one for Guide, draw 3 for your Prince'd Smithy, then return Horse Traders to your hand, then draw yet another card to last turn's Caravan, and finally call your second and third Ratcatcher to trash 2 more of the cards you drew. They all have the same timing, and therefore you can do them all in any order. Water Wheels would fit anywhere in this.

herw

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2017, 03:19:32 pm »
0

Fish Market looks neat, but I think discarding one card is enough of a drawback. It seems weak when you have to discard two.

I still need to test this, but just wanted to throw an idea out there: perhaps changing the "Do this twice" clause to "You may do this once or twice" on Fish Market might strengthen it a bit.  That way, if you're satisfied after discarding once, it doesn't force you to discard again (Heck, you could not discard at all if you really wanted, but then you just paid $5 for a cantrip).  Not a super exciting revision, but it seems like this minor change would maximize Fish Market's main theme, its flexibility, without making it overpowered.  Thoughts?
the main idea (i am thinking about it too (see here) sorry it's german) to use dead cards with a new sense, means victory cards, curse cards f.i. is a change or better an upgrade of hand-cards.
The idea to change the use of duration-cards is nice. Because you can think about a strategy which is not depending on your temporary hand cards but your next moves.
There are two concepts of a duration strategy, normal duration cards (one more draw) and duration cards, which stay until the end of game.

The new idea here is to get a strategy to think forward!

An interesting discussion you find in the thread new mechanic - delay
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 03:41:15 pm by herw »
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gloures

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2017, 03:56:02 pm »
0

I quite like your cards, thought they were very interesting! ^^

Would just make a remark about one card, I thinkk Poet has the probability of being semi-useless in a lot of boards, specially if you add all the other expansions in the mix. I would consider adding an optional discard in the top, making it similar to Oasis with a 5 card hand, what do you think?


Edit: I´ll also add one thought about Criptex, I personally think it´s very high variance, for example, I think it´s an excellent opener, and just because if you   have it on your second hand in the second shuffle, it´s 100% guaranteed to work. Now consider a mirror where both players open Criptex, there´s a very high chance that if one player gets second hand Criptex while the other doesn´t, leads to a game that´s very much in favor of the player that had it´s Criptex activated.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 04:05:57 pm by gloures »
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4est

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2017, 05:11:15 pm »
+2

I quite like your cards, thought they were very interesting! ^^

Would just make a remark about one card, I thinkk Poet has the probability of being semi-useless in a lot of boards, specially if you add all the other expansions in the mix. I would consider adding an optional discard in the top, making it similar to Oasis with a 5 card hand, what do you think?


Edit: I´ll also add one thought about Criptex, I personally think it´s very high variance, for example, I think it´s an excellent opener, and just because if you   have it on your second hand in the second shuffle, it´s 100% guaranteed to work. Now consider a mirror where both players open Criptex, there´s a very high chance that if one player gets second hand Criptex while the other doesn´t, leads to a game that´s very much in favor of the player that had it´s Criptex activated.

Thanks gloures for the thoughts! 

Early on, I considered including some sort of discard effect with Poet, for the exact reason you suggested, but decided the card would be simpler and a bit more compelling without it.  Indeed, there will certainly be boards that are not as good for Poet than others, but all you need for Poet to "work" (aside from being hit by discard attacks) is to first play at least one card that doesn't increase or maintain your handsize--and there are lots of actions across all the expansions that either don't draw or even decrease handsize (Festival, Warehouse, Squire, Villa, Hamlet are just a few of many, many examples).  In fact, another Poet will do this--if your first one doesn't draw, any more consecutive Poets you play will.  I think Poet is a bit like Menagerie in this respect--neither are mindless drawing cards and both like a little bit of finesse to get the most out of them.  For now, I'm probably going to leave Poet as is and focus on revising some of the other cards.

As for Cryptex, like others have mentioned, it is indeed a swingy card, especially without enablers, which isn't great, but I'm continuing to try variations to see if I can find something that works a bit better.  I definitely agree with you about opening with Cryptex--it can certainly be easier to guess correctly depending on when you draw it. 

Thanks again, everyone for your comments, all very helpful!  Hoping to post revised versions of a few of the other cards later tonight or tomorrow once I can get a few more games in with them. 
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Asper

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2017, 11:30:26 pm »
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A little thing: Smelter could just say "Trash up to two cards from your hand" instead of "You may trash one or two cards from your hand" to be a tad shorter. It seems balanced and nice to me.

Trinket is okay, but I'm not sure it's really that interesting to have Tunnel 2.

While it's nice that Rebellion is a Curser that isn't as dangerous at the beginning of the game (as shameless self-advertisement has already be done, compare "Snow Witch" from Co0kieL0rd and my "Seasons" expansion  ;) ), I'm not sure whether the fact that having Curses makes it harder to defend against it is that cool. But indeed, the early-game niceness is cute.

Peasant Village could probably just always give the buy to make being able to discard the top card always feel like a bonus.

Marshal... is another Militia. I'm not sure it's actually stronger, so the discarding/topdecking might be unneccessary...? Of course, taking it away will make the card feel even more like Militia. And then, being able to topdeck a card might just as well be a benefit. Like Militia, this becomes much worse when hit by an opponent's copy of the card before playing yours, but that's not a new phenomenon. Edit: Actually I can imagine this being one of the cases where the topdecking might work to your advantage.

Carpenter seems like it might make it much too easy to just gain Provinces without ever establishing an economy. You trash a Copper, discard 4, gain a Smithy. You trash a Smithy, discard 4, gain a Province, buy a Copper if needed. Repeat, and if necessary just trash Provinces for Provinces to end the game.

Astronomer: You could use the Gladiator method instead of having the opponent reveal their hand.

I think Falconer is fine without discarding a card. Sure, sometimes it'll make sure to draw your Knight or Cultist, but that's, well, a combo.

4est

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2017, 02:45:16 pm »
+1

A little thing: Smelter could just say "Trash up to two cards from your hand" instead of "You may trash one or two cards from your hand" to be a tad shorter. It seems balanced and nice to me.

Trinket is okay, but I'm not sure it's really that interesting to have Tunnel 2.

While it's nice that Rebellion is a Curser that isn't as dangerous at the beginning of the game (as shameless self-advertisement has already be done, compare "Snow Witch" from Co0kieL0rd and my "Seasons" expansion  ;) ), I'm not sure whether the fact that having Curses makes it harder to defend against it is that cool. But indeed, the early-game niceness is cute.

Peasant Village could probably just always give the buy to make being able to discard the top card always feel like a bonus.

Marshal... is another Militia. I'm not sure it's actually stronger, so the discarding/topdecking might be unneccessary...? Of course, taking it away will make the card feel even more like Militia. And then, being able to topdeck a card might just as well be a benefit. Like Militia, this becomes much worse when hit by an opponent's copy of the card before playing yours, but that's not a new phenomenon. Edit: Actually I can imagine this being one of the cases where the topdecking might work to your advantage.

Carpenter seems like it might make it much too easy to just gain Provinces without ever establishing an economy. You trash a Copper, discard 4, gain a Smithy. You trash a Smithy, discard 4, gain a Province, buy a Copper if needed. Repeat, and if necessary just trash Provinces for Provinces to end the game.

Astronomer: You could use the Gladiator method instead of having the opponent reveal their hand.

I think Falconer is fine without discarding a card. Sure, sometimes it'll make sure to draw your Knight or Cultist, but that's, well, a combo.

Thanks for your feedback Asper! 

For Smelter, I agree that "Trash up to two cards from your hand" is definitely cleaner than the current wording, though I worded it that way intentionally so to prevent other players from asking the annoying, pedantic question: hey you trashed zero cards (which is technically "up to two") and gained a card, which means you did "both" so I can trash a card now, right?  Of course that's not the intent--other players only get to trash if you trash and gain, but I just wanted to make sure the card was as clear as possible.  If it's pretty obvious that trashing zero cards doesn't "count" for "trash up to two cards," I can certainly use the cleaner wording.  What do you all think?

Yes, for Rebellion, I was indeed trying to create a curser that was strongest in the midgame, after Estates are gone but before players start greening.  Still working on revisions to this card to make it a bit more unique.

One of my earliest versions of Peasant Village did give the +Buy unconditionally, but I worried it was a tad strong when compared with Hamlet (which needs to discard two cards in order to get the +2 Actions and +1 Buy).  In any case, I have a revised version of Peasant Village just about finished in playtesting that I'll be posting today (along with a revised version of Investor). 

Marshal is undergoing revisions as well to make it slightly less of a Militia clone. The topdecking option was actually one of my favorite parts about the original card and will probably be retained in the updated version. 

I had not considered that sort of strategy with Carpenter, and now I'm curious how feasible it actually would be.  You'd have to make sure to connect your $4 cards with Carpenter, though once you get a few of them, it probably wouldn't be too difficult.  Will playtest and see if it's too monolithic.  If it is, the simplest fix might be to just remove the +1 Card, which should nerf that strategy pretty well since you'd usually only have three cards to discard instead of four.  Good catch. 

And I like the Gladiator idea for Astronomer.  Definitely simpler, though I'll admit a part of me is still intrigued by the opponent hand-revealing as it's unique among official cards (I believe Pillage is the only other card that allows you to view another player's hand during your turn) and it feels thematically appropriate (the Astronomer uses his astrolabe to see across the heavenly spheres into your opponent's hand!).  In any case, I'm still testing this one to identify what conditions for drawing the second card are most balanced.

I appreciate the thoughts--helpful as always!
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2017, 03:05:21 pm »
0

With Watermill you can discard and draw them repeatedly. I can't see a practical use for this barring certain fan cards, but just thought I'd throw that out.
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2017, 03:27:34 pm »
+2

For Smelter, I agree that "Trash up to two cards from your hand" is definitely cleaner than the current wording, though I worded it that way intentionally so to prevent other players from asking the annoying, pedantic question: hey you trashed zero cards (which is technically "up to two") and gained a card, which means you did "both" so I can trash a card now, right?  Of course that's not the intent--other players only get to trash if you trash and gain, but I just wanted to make sure the card was as clear as possible.  If it's pretty obvious that trashing zero cards doesn't "count" for "trash up to two cards," I can certainly use the cleaner wording.  What do you all think?
Oooh, I didn't think of that. Good catch. Probably you could use my wording and say "If you both gained and trashed a card...", but that eliminates the advantage of the wording being shorter. Considering that, your wording seems fine to me now.

One of my earliest versions of Peasant Village did give the +Buy unconditionally, but I worried it was a tad strong when compared with Hamlet (which needs to discard two cards in order to get the +2 Actions and +1 Buy).  In any case, I have a revised version of Peasant Village just about finished in playtesting that I'll be posting today (along with a revised version of Investor).
I'd say the fact that it doesn't draw is enough of a drawback to justify that. It certainly isn't as unproblematic to load up on these as it is with Hamlet. But I'm curious for the next version.

I had not considered that sort of strategy with Carpenter, and now I'm curious how feasible it actually would be.  You'd have to make sure to connect your $4 cards with Carpenter, though once you get a few of them, it probably wouldn't be too difficult.  Will playtest and see if it's too monolithic.  If it is, the simplest fix might be to just remove the +1 Card, which should nerf that strategy pretty well since you'd usually only have three cards to discard instead of four.  Good catch.
You don't actually need to get that many 4$s for that Carpenter strategy. Just keep your deck very slim. Also, you can directly make Carpenters out of Estates. Even without the +1 Card, Estate->carpenter->Province works. But true, that one would seem much less feasible.

I appreciate the thoughts--helpful as always!
:D
You're welcome.

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2017, 07:29:11 pm »
+2

Hello friends! 

Here are my first revisions (also in the OP).  It's just three cards this time and one of those is just a very mild update.

4est



 

Fish Market remains largely the same, except with a "once or twice" clause, so if you're satisfied after discarding once and taking a bonus, the card doesn't force you to discard again.  This adds a bit more flexibility.





Investor retains its original topdecked Silver gaining but now can gain Golds--very powerful for a $3, but you usually have to significantly reduce your buying power this turn to do so.  Surprisingly, in my Investor-BM playtesting (about 10 games of each version), this addition actually didn't seem significantly faster than the old Silver-only version.  Discarding two Treasures is a big hoop to jump through, but having three options (no discard, discard one, discard two) helps with smoothing your money in BM games and makes for more interesting decisions in the late game where you have to gauge the benefits of Silver next turn vs. Gold next shuffle.  Additionally, the revised version makes Investor a bit more useful in engines too, as a cheap payload gainer that also draws.



 

Peasant Village gets an overhaul, also with more choices on how to play it.  It can still generate +Buy by discarding the top card of your deck, but now you can also trash that top card, or if you don't want to trash it or discard it, you can basically exchange it for another card in your hand, at the cost of reducing your handsize.  No longer can you leave the card on top.  Peasant Village feels a bit like Squire--three options, all of which will be used, but will probably play different each time you use it.  Early on, the trashing can be very nice, but it suffers from Sentry-Syndrome, only looking at one card.  Later, the +Buy and sifting can come in handy.  And that option to put the card into your hand is always there, so you're not sad when you turn over your needed engine component.  In games where Peasant Village is the only +Buy, it creates tough decisions when discarding for +Buy is the correct choice, but when the card you flip is good, the temptation to just take it is hard to resist. 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 04:58:16 pm by 4est »
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2017, 08:09:03 pm »
+1

I feel like perhaps I came across too negative the first time, these cards are great! I particularly like the change to peasant village, much better! Investor is OK but still maybe a little vanilla. Fish market:
Quote
+1 Card
+1 Action
Discard 1 or 2 cards, and choose one per card discarded: *boni*
Would this be better? Maybe to make it more interesting it could even be "discard an odd number of cards from your hand".
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2017, 03:32:36 pm »
+2

I feel like perhaps I came across too negative the first time, these cards are great! I particularly like the change to peasant village, much better! Investor is OK but still maybe a little vanilla. Fish market:
Quote
+1 Card
+1 Action
Discard 1 or 2 cards, and choose one per card discarded: *boni*
Would this be better? Maybe to make it more interesting it could even be "discard an odd number of cards from your hand".

Thanks Theta!  And no worries, I appreciated your initial feedback as it's challenged me to try some more innovative ideas in my card revisions.  I'm pleased with how the new Peasant Village turned out too!  I like Investor, and I can see how it is still a bit plain, but for now, I'm okay with it and am prioritizing editing other cards. 

Interesting thought on Fish Market--I guess it would force you to decide what bonuses you're going to take and how many beforehand, whereas the current version allows you to decide after discarding once if you want to discard again.  Not sure which I like better--I'll try it with this wording in my next game and see how it goes, though I'm still leaning toward the current wording.  The odd number idea is unique, but I worry that it might be a bit too restricting and result in usually only discarding one card, and only rarely three or more. 

I'm finishing up revisions to the two Attacks in the set now--I feel pretty good about the new version of Marshal (it's very different from the original), though Rebellion still needs some work.  Hoping to post updates in the next day or so.  Thanks all! 
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2017, 11:06:17 am »
+1

With current wording on Cryptex, if I name Copper and the Ace of Spades, and reveal 2 Coppers, I get the benefit. I think that's not intended.
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2017, 11:10:18 am »
+1

I feel like perhaps I came across too negative the first time, these cards are great! I particularly like the change to peasant village, much better! Investor is OK but still maybe a little vanilla. Fish market:
Quote
+1 Card
+1 Action
Discard 1 or 2 cards, and choose one per card discarded: *boni*
Would this be better? Maybe to make it more interesting it could even be "discard an odd number of cards from your hand".
Fish Market could also be this:

Discard any number of cards. For each card discarded, choose one: [boni] The choices must be different.
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2017, 01:22:03 pm »
0

With current wording on Cryptex, if I name Copper and the Ace of Spades, and reveal 2 Coppers, I get the benefit. I think that's not intended.
Hum, with Ace of Spades it actually isn't a problem. You could substitute that with naming Copper twice. However, you could name Copper and Estate, drawing both as long as neither card is something else. So you'll draw all of CE/EE/CC.

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2017, 02:31:47 pm »
+1

With current wording on Cryptex, if I name Copper and the Ace of Spades, and reveal 2 Coppers, I get the benefit. I think that's not intended.

Hum, with Ace of Spades it actually isn't a problem. You could substitute that with naming Copper twice. However, you could name Copper and Estate, drawing both as long as neither card is something else. So you'll draw all of CE/EE/CC.

I see what you all mean, yeah, that's not the intent, you should have to name both cards correctly and not get the bonus if you name a card that wasn't revealed.  In any case, the card will be revised, and given some of the other issues with Cryptex (such as its swingyness), I'm also considering replacing it with a different card entirely.  Good catch on the current wording though.
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2017, 01:15:26 pm »
+2

Hello again!

A few more revisions, Astronomer and the two attacks.  Especially interested in feedback on Marshal and Rebellion--attacks are harder to balance and I'm still not sure if I'm satisfied with the updates. 

4est





After testing a few different options, I've settled on checking only another player's hand for duplicates and using the Gladiator method instead of hand revealing (thanks Asper for the idea!). 





I scrapped the old Marshal and am trying something very different.  Still a handsize attack--except you first name a card which if other players discard, it's a terminal Gold.  Otherwise, it's a cantrip.  Early on, you'll mainly name Copper or Estate--the attack is stronger on your opponents if they try to keep the named card so you don't get the +$3.  Consecutive plays of Marshal make other players draw back up and then discard (so the attack isn't useless when other players are already at 3 cards)--the sifting can be helpful for your opponents (similar to consecutive plays of Margrave).  Later in the game, when Coppers and Estates are fewer, knowing what to name is important or else the attack won't generate coin.  Though I've playtested this some, I'm still unsure if this attack is balanced and I have not tried playing with the card in games with more than 2 players--I'm guessing more players will make it easier to get the $3, but not sure how much easier.  Would love to hear your thoughts!





Rebellion is very similar to the first version, except it now gives other players a choice of whether or not to gain a free Duchy when you gain a Rebellion.  A free Duchy that provides VP and protection from Rebellion's cursing is a bargain, but especially early on, it can be a big liability to take one since it's another junk card that will get in your way.  Sometimes, you're hopeful players will take them when you get Rebellion.  However, those free points you've passed out may come back to bite you later in the game.  Like Mountebank, Rebellion can definitely make the game sloggy pretty quick if people always take the Duchys, but as a Smithy, it can still be a strong engine component.  I found the choice of whether to take the free Duchy to be unique--it's such a good deal, but do I really want another dead card in my deck on turn three or four?  Perhaps the attack itself is still a bit vanilla, but this is what I have for now. 



Would love to hear thoughts on these, especially the attacks--so far, I've found attacks to be much more difficult to revise and keep balanced than some of my other cards. 

Thanks friends!
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2017, 04:52:08 pm »
+1

I like your fixes for Marshal and Astronomer.

Rebellion seems a bit weak, now Witch seems a lot better. Guaranteed cursing is pretty good. I think if it was an Estate on gain it would be fine, but now the chance of getting a -3 swing seems really bad.

I really think you should change Granary, it does too much at once. The Draw-to-x part seems fine but the discarding just makes it weird.

EDIT: GAHHHH I have 666 respect now where did I go wrong?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 04:53:14 pm by ThetaSigma12 »
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2017, 05:17:21 pm »
+3

Thanks Satan, very helpful comments.  Also, I fixed your respect problem, so now you can go by Theta again instead of Satan.

I had actually initially tried Estates on-gain for Rebellion but thought Duchies might be a bit more interesting.  You're probably right though, the VP swing is fairly strong currently.

I still rather like Granary as is, but indeed it is a bit wordy and might be trying to do too much.  I'll playtest some variants. 
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2017, 08:41:05 pm »
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Quick fix: Carpenter doesn't have to say you may discard any number of cards.
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2017, 10:24:00 pm »
+2

I don't think the new Rebellion seems weak at all*. A duchy is still junk until the endgame. You have to have junk (or a mutil-type VP card) in your hand to discard to avoid the curse for each Rebellion played by an opponent, and it draws three cards for them either way. Definitely not weak. It's probably balanced just fine, but it will make games sloggy unless there's very good trashing.

The new Marshal seems good, except for how it gets stronger and slightly political in multiplayer. It'll also be mostly automatic to name Estate in the very early game, and then Copper once most Estates have been trashed.

I like the fix on Astronomer.

*Apparently, my job in this thread is to disagree with Theta.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 10:25:09 pm by LibraryAdventurer »
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2017, 07:19:33 am »
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*Apparently, my job in this thread is to disagree with Theta.
Well you agreed with my other 2 points...
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2017, 06:54:09 pm »
+2

Hello again friends,

I've got some more updates--including a minor update, a major update, and a brand new card!  Would love to get your thoughts and feedback on these!

4est





Carpenter gets a minor text change, removing the redundant "you may" from the "discard up to" clause (good catch Theta).  More significantly, it loses the +1 Card it originally had.  As Asper pointed out, with the +1 Card, it was much too easy to just discard 4 cards to trash Coppers into Smithies (or other $4 costs), then discard another 4 cards to trash those into Provinces.  Without the draw, now you often only have 3 cards in hand after trashing, which is indeed still enough to trash Estates into Carpenters (and Carpenters into Provinces), but this is much slower and rarely a strategy enough by itself to win a game.  It still retains its function as a remodeler which was the original intent.





While it still retains the 2VP, everything else about the old Water Wheel has been scrapped and replaced with this new version, now costing $6.  The idea was to create a Victory card that you buy and allows you to discard remaining cards in your hand to Scheme cards in play.  Unlike Scheme, Water Wheel does allow you to topdeck Treasures too, not just Actions, and has the potential to topdeck a full hand of five cards for next turn, provided you can discard five cards after buying it.  Sometimes even just Scheming two or three cards is enough, to make sure your Kings Court or City Quarter is in your next hand.  I tried pricing it at $5 originally and you could discard any number of cards, but that was way too strong in playtesting, so now it costs $6 and has a limit of 5 cards.





And a brand new card, Corridor!  As mentioned several times, though I loved the idea of Cryptex, in practice it was just too swingy to really be worth it--either overpowered when you guess right or annoying when you guess wrong.  Corridor takes its place, still a $4 cost payload card, and one that better exemplifies the set's intended theme.  Corridor borrows from a lot of things, it discards for coins like Vault, it's best when you have a small hand like Menagerie, and it can chain itself like Cultist--all completely different effects, but together I felt they synergized surprisingly well.  Since it doesn't draw on a hand of five cards, your first Corridor won't guarantee you to hit $5, similar to Storeroom, but it's a cute counter to handsize attacks.  Once you have a few of them, the chaining ability is powerful, but connecting them, especially your first play with your second, can be difficult.  Thoughts?  Does this seem balanced?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 05:02:05 pm by 4est »
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2017, 08:06:45 pm »
+1

I like Corridor! At first glance, it doesn't seem too imbalanced. I wonder, though, if piling Corridors will be particularly strong or not (compared to, say, a Cultist chain, which has the attack portion to it).

Water Mill seems good, but it does have the small issue that it can remove a Duration card from play while leaving its Duration effect set up. Which can already happen (thanks Procession), but it is something that Scheme's wording specifically protects against.
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2017, 08:14:22 pm »
0

Quote from: Watermill
When you buy this, discard up to 5 cards, then, when you would discard cards from play this turn, put a card onto your deck instead per card you discarded.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 08:15:40 pm by ThetaSigma12 »
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2017, 08:30:09 pm »
+1

I still think Rebellion needs changing. Let's examine the cases:
  • Your opponents won't gain the Duchy.
In this case, the effect is useless, it may as well not be there. I think this will happen a good majority of the time, especially since you want Rebellion early when Duchies are bad.
  • Your opponents will gain the Duchy, and it's really good for them.
Now you won't buy Rebellion, the free Duchies is just too good. This could be an interesting deterrent, but I think all the times that giving free Duchies is really good for your opponents, a Duchy is good for you as well. I can't really see any major cases where you'd buy this and people will get Duchies, but buying this was still a good move for you.

So all in all, I think that 70% of the time this won't affect the game, and 20% of the remaining times it affects the game only because of a suboptimal play.

I do like the choice, though, maybe if it was
Quote
Each other player may gain an Estate, for +1.
Now it's more interesting. Comparing against the 2 scenarios above:
  • Your opponents won't gain the Estate.
I think this will happen more, a free token gives you a slight edge even if you TfB the Estate.
  • Your opponents will gain the Estate, and it's really good for them.
This should happen less too, a 2 swing is a little less than a 3 swing.

My fix probably isn't perfect either, and it could be better for your opponents then a Duchy. I think giving it +1 Buy might work if it's too weak. This isn't a random fix, I think the extra buy would help you lower the Estates and could make Rebellion a good 3-pile card.
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2017, 10:47:53 pm »
+1

Quote from: Watermill
When you buy this, discard up to 5 cards, then, when you would discard cards from play this turn, put a card onto your deck instead per card you discarded.

This wording doesn't make clear the cards that are put on your deck are the cards in play that would be discarded.
Here's another try:

"When you buy this, discard up to 5 cards. Per card discarded, you may put one of your cards in play onto your deck when you discard it this turn."

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2017, 08:23:25 am »
0

I like Corridor! At first glance, it doesn't seem too imbalanced. I wonder, though, if piling Corridors will be particularly strong or not (compared to, say, a Cultist chain, which has the attack portion to it).
I think it a kind of Minion Variant. It is an strong counter of Militia, it chains in itself. 3 draw, 3 discard, chaining is very fun. Very nice, I agree. But why does this allow playing only a copy of itself? Just +1 Action is simpler. Is it broken?
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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2017, 09:43:57 am »
+1

I like Corridor! At first glance, it doesn't seem too imbalanced. I wonder, though, if piling Corridors will be particularly strong or not (compared to, say, a Cultist chain, which has the attack portion to it).
I think it a kind of Minion Variant. It is an strong counter of Militia, it chains in itself. 3 draw, 3 discard, chaining is very fun. Very nice, I agree. But why does this allow playing only a copy of itself? Just +1 Action is simpler. Is it broken?

Hi majiponi, thanks for the thoughts!  I do see the similarities to Minion, interesting observations! 

On your question, technically it doesn't only "allow playing only a copy of itself," you can of course always play a different action after you play Corridor, provided you have Village support.  I hadn't considered using +1 Action instead--you're right, this is simpler than "you may play a Corridor from your hand" and would still allow for the same chaining effect.  However, in all of my initial drafts of the card, Corridor was always terminal--just like Vault and Storeroom.  These two official cards are both terminal for a few reasons, first a non-terminal Vault would be strictly better than Lab, but more significantly, the discard for benefit effect allows you to discard colliding terminals, turning them into a helpful resource.  These sorts of cards are "soft terminals" which still let you put remaining actions in your hand to use at some extent.  Taking some inspiration from Vault and Storeroom, Corridor is also a soft-terminal--I believe making it non-terminal would eliminate some of the unique choices that can come up when playing the current version.  Additionally, playing another copy from your hand is a much more difficult condition to fulfill than just +1 Action--there's a reason Cultist is terminal and only "allows" you to play another Cultist, rather than giving +1 Action. All that to say, I haven't played with a non-terminal version of Corridor--I doubt it would necessarily be "broken" but do think its terminal-ness (paired with the chaining) creates a more interesting card than if it had +1 Action. 

I appreciate the ideas though!  Helpful things to think about. 
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4est

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2017, 09:56:23 am »
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Quote from: Watermill
When you buy this, discard up to 5 cards, then, when you would discard cards from play this turn, put a card onto your deck instead per card you discarded.

This wording doesn't make clear the cards that are put on your deck are the cards in play that would be discarded.
Here's another try:

"When you buy this, discard up to 5 cards. Per card discarded, you may put one of your cards in play onto your deck when you discard it this turn."

Thanks guys for the help on the wording for Water Wheel!  I knew when I posted it that it probably wasn't quite right, but I couldn't figure out how to phrase it concisely so it would mirror Scheme's effect.  It's funny how with these sorts of things, I know exactly what the cards are supposed to do and not do but wording it exactly right to rule out all the pedantic edge cases is tricky.  I'll update the OP and this post with a reworded version later. 

Theta, I appreciate your thoughts on Rebellion, very helpful.  I'm still not totally satisfied with it either, I mean I think it's okay as is, but I want to give it some more thoughts and see if I can make it even better.  I like the idea of allowing opponents to gain an Estate and +1VP, that does seem a bit more balanced and compelling, however I would prefer not to have to use VP tokens on just one card in the set.  I'm going to keep working on this one.

Thanks friends!
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Asper

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2017, 10:00:43 am »
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Truth be told, I'm not sure I really like the self-chaining on Corridor. Usually discard-for-benefit goes best with somewhat junked decks, while the chaining goes best in small, clean decks. Getting into a situation where you both have junk to discard and can chain two Corridors will require quite a bit of luck, I feel. Even if you manage to do that, such a hand will rarely do better than e.g. Horse Traders. The nicest thing about the card is that it re-fills your hand after a Militia, so it doesn't get worse in games with discard attacks. Which, now that I think about it, is also something Horse Traders already does.

4est

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2017, 05:10:23 pm »
+1

Hello friends! 

I've been busy and haven't had much time in the past few weeks to work on my cards, but I do have a few updates and ideas to post. 

4est





First, I've corrected Water Wheel's wording as suggested to mirror Scheme (see above and OP).  Thanks all for the suggested wording fixes!





Next, I haven't actually playtested this yet, but I've been trying to think of other variations on Rebellion.  The Duchy-gifting was pretty close to what I wanted, however the 3VP swing might be a bit too strong for other players as indicated by Theta.  One alternative that doesn't require VP tokens or other mechanics would be "When you gain this, each other player may gain a Silver and an Estate."  This would be only a 1VP swing, would still "junk" with Victory cards that can be used for protection from Rebellion, and can also gives players a bit of extra economy with the Silver gifting, like Embassy, though again, they might not want Silvers or Estates and could decline to take them, creating some interesting decisions.  The Silvers also might help Rebellion-heavy games to not descend so quickly into green and purple slogs.  Thoughts? 



Finally, I have another new card to introduce as a potential replacement for Cryptex.  While I still like Corridor, Asper pointed out its similarities to Horse Traders and the more I think about it, the more it seems that the card is too similar, and may be a bit niche.  If this new one works out, I might use it instead of Corridor. 



Originally, I named this Drawbridge as a joke, but the horrible pun was just too much--so now it's called Causeway.  It's a cost reducer, similar to Bridge but without +$1, and fitting with the themes of the set it both benefits from and can create small handsizes.  Without the bottom bonus, it's strictly worse than Bridge, but if you manage to have no cards in your hand after playing Causeway, you draw another 3 Cards and can keep playing Actions.  Like Corridor, Causeway can chain itself under certain circumstances, and is a cute counter to handsize attacks.  Originally, it had a "while this is in play" clause like Highway, but I decided to try it without to be more like Bridge--Causeway likes Throne Room even more that way. 

I'd love to get feedback on this card too--I've found it to be trickier to playtest as cost reducers naturally tend to have more significant impact on a lot of other cards--gainers, TfB, trashing attacks, etc.  Is it balanced?  Fun or finicky?  Too strong or too weak?  Too similar to Bridge?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 05:34:23 pm by 4est »
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: 4est's Cards
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2017, 08:13:22 am »
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I like your fix to Rebellion and Waterwheel.

Regarding Causeway, it seems a bit much. The discarding and no caeds in hand is cool, but the cost reduction seems just annoying. Maybe if it was a simple +1 Action +1 Coin +1Buy and discard up to 2, then if you have 0 draw 3. That seems cool, but maybe too different from your first version.
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