I think people should be writing more articles about Adventures and Empires cards, instead of advice getting scattered in singleton posts across 20 different threads. I haven't played much Empires yet, so I figured I'd try to spark discussion around Adventures first. (I was planning to cover every card and event, but there are a lot of Adventures cards.)
Reasonably confident in these claims, but there's definitely room for these opinions to move around.Coin of the Realm:
Very good +Actions card for engines. The 1 turn delay on the first CotR is a little annoying, but between CotR acting like +3 Actions and only needed to take the actions when you need them, you should definitely pick up a few early if you need the actions. CotR staying out of your deck until you need it is a big help. Even if you're overdrawing, you shouldn't call excess CotR to get the extra $1 coin you get from playing it, it's not worth the inconsistency.Travellers in general:
Look, just go read DG's article instead, it's better than these blurbs.Page Line:
By themselves, they enable a plan of getting 1 Champion to turn all your Warriors into attacking Labs. I've never seen that plan vs a deck that didn't go for Champion, because Champion is so good that it enables a bunch of ridiculous things. Opening 1 Page almost always right, opening 2 Pages is insane, never getting the 2nd Page at all is ballsy because Warrior trashing Warrior kills you completely in that case.
- Page: Cheap cantrip, easy to pick up if you have extra buys later on, okay Silver replacement on engine boards if you don't have extra buys, and Champion boards are basically always engine boards. Keep extra Pages as Pages and move them towards Warrior when you're about to get Champion out.
- Treasure Hunter: The middle child of the Page line. The first play is good to get some early Silvers in, letting you focus buys on the Action cards, but past that not so much. Upgrade to Warrior ASAP. Occasionally you can try to do something goofy with alt-VP like Feodum or Gardens, but that's usually a sign of desperation, not a game plan.
- Warrior: Most Pages end here. You don't want too many of these until you get Champion out, at most 1 or 2. Remember the attack scales on Travellers you have in play, play Pages before Warrior if the attack's still relevant.
- Hero: The other middle child. The problem is that this usually caps at +$2, gain a Gold, which isn't good enough in most Champion games. If Platinum is in the game, maybe it could be okay.
- Champion: Get one, then make sure you can't draw it dead. Drawing it dead is often a 2-5 turn delay on playing it. For the lower rank Travellers, you can often risk it because you have more than 1, but that stops holding true for Champion.
Still don't have a good handle on these, but also very good. Really you should just read DG's article instead. Almost always open 1, almost always pick up a 2nd so that you can keep a Disciple around, 3rd and up can be worth gaining in some games but 2 Peasants is a good baseline.
- Peasant: Gives +Buy, which can be surprisingly relevant early when picking up the 2nd Peasant. Sometimes there's no other +Buy source and that's good enough. (Teacher is only kind of a +Buy source, because even though it has a +Buy token, the +Card or +Action token need to be placed first.)
- Soldier: Can be a massive source of income if there are Attacks in the kingdom, or if you can play a ton of Soldiers in the same turn.
- Fugitive: The middle child of the Peasant line, never really does much.
- Disciple: Can snowball pretty hard - a deck that draws reliably can gain the Action card it want, a deck that can't doesn't always have a choice. You really want to have a Disciple and a Teacher at about the same time.
- Teacher: Playing Teacher is straightforward, in that the choice of token and card isn't too hard at the time you call it, but building your deck up to that point is where the card gets very hard. Tokens encourage getting a lot of a specific action, and you need to keep this in mind as you're going for Teacher - it affects your deckbuilding decisions throughout the entire game.
Nice opener. Don't try to keep it on your Tavern Mat until you hit Estate. Calling it to trash Copper (and getting the Ratcatcher into your next reshuffle) is a lot better. Doesn't really do much late game. A Ratcatcher's value is based solely on how many rats it catches (how many cards it trashes), has no benefit outside of trashing so blindly buy a bunch of them.Raze:
Another $2 cost trasher that's worth opening. It's hard to get punished for buying too many Razes because you can always trash the Raze itself.Amulet:
Often worth opening. It's either 1 or 2 Amulets in most games and I don't have a good handle on when the 2nd is bad, because it does take up terminal space. Silver gain is a surprisingly relevant way to get more economy into your engine without spending a buy.Caravan Guard:
One of those cards you pick up when you don't want to buy Silver. The reaction matters a bit, but not a lot. In strong engine games, you need to remember that you only get Caravan Guard money every other turn at best.Dungeon:
Really good at digging for the card you want, I think even better than Warehouse, which is already a pretty good card for this. Generally want 2-3, past the 3rd is often a bit much but can be right in junkier games. Has a bit of a Cartographer effect - a few Dungeons let you pretend like your deck is thinner. Not as good as trashing, of course, but sometimes you don't have trashers in the game.Gear:
There was a lot of buzz about Gear-BM during preview time, but I haven't played a lot of those games. Maybe I've been playing too many engine-happy players. Very tricky card to play correctly, but it's a very good opener. You can be a bit looser about buying more terminals with Gear, but note that if you set aside terminals too often with Gear you'll make cards miss the reshuffle more often.Guide:
Guides are insurance. Guides are not a strategy by themselves. Don't buy too many of them, and don't be afraid to call Guide aggressively. If you're borderline on whether to call Guide, you should just call Guide.