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Author Topic: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?  (Read 1160 times)

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weesh

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How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« on: September 19, 2017, 04:42:14 pm »
0

It seems the potential for finding great boards is limitless....once you have all the sets.  But with only 5 expansions, the reddit KOTW, dominionkingdoms.com, and other sources for kingdoms are unhelpful.

So I use my jack of all dominion app, and heavily curate what comes up until it can hardly be called random anymore.  My kingdoms play substantially similar to each other and I'm looking to branch out.

Do you guys go full random? 

Or do you have tips for making interesting and diverse boards?

I'd love to see some examples of your process as well.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 05:04:36 pm by weesh »
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Awaclus

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 04:54:51 pm »
+1

Picking some cards that have funny synergies or anti-synergies, having two or more completely different strategies that seem competitive, and then just filling the rest of the card slots with stuff that doesn't do anything if any are left is what I do.

weesh

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2017, 05:16:27 pm »
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Picking some cards that have funny synergies or anti-synergies, having two or more completely different strategies that seem competitive, and then just filling the rest of the card slots with stuff that doesn't do anything if any are left is what I do.

So, let's say I pick villa/library, and Smithy/lost arts...
How might you pick the other 6 cards?  I'm not sure what you mean by "stuff that doesn't do anything".
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Awaclus

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 05:30:49 pm »
+2

Picking some cards that have funny synergies or anti-synergies, having two or more completely different strategies that seem competitive, and then just filling the rest of the card slots with stuff that doesn't do anything if any are left is what I do.

So, let's say I pick villa/library, and Smithy/lost arts...
How might you pick the other 6 cards?  I'm not sure what you mean by "stuff that doesn't do anything".

I'd pick a trasher on the weaker end of the spectrum, such as Trader, to complement the engine strategies, and then figure out something that preferably uses one of those cards that could potentially beat them, like Feodum for the interaction with Trader and then something else that also interacts with that stuff, like Conquest, and you could put in a Sea Hag because the Trader counters that in an interesting way that doesn't make it obvious that the Hag is ignorable, and then you can put in a Courier because it's not particularly strong payload for the engine here but the engine needs something, and then the other 3 kingdom cards can be Silk Road (could have some very marginal use but it's not really going to upset the balance in any way), Transmute and Navigator if you don't come up with anything better.

MatthewCA

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 09:05:32 am »
+2

I use a random variant. I feel 10 cards from my randomizer deck, then 1 more card per player. Then each player gets one veto, they can remove one of the first 10 cards for one of the extras I also dealt. I do a similar thing for events/landmarks. First 2 are put face up, then I'll deal one more, and we can veto one of them in favor of the alternate. Obviously, I'll police it a little bit, if we get like 3 villages, I'll draw something else to replace one or two of them, but I've had success doing it t hat way.
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werothegreat

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 09:57:14 am »
+6

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Awaclus

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 10:09:30 am »
+1

Oh, and another way is to build a kingdom where the dominant strategy is obvious, but very difficult to play (usually an engine).

Chris is me

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2017, 12:38:25 pm »
+2

I hit random a few times, sub out a card or two in order to make the board more interesting or more / less complicated as desired by the play group.
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2017, 10:56:15 pm »
+2

A surprisingly effective option is to play semi-random (if you are playing a set).

Play with the normal random 10 setup.

At the end of the game, the loser gets to vote one card in to keep and one card out of the next game. The winner then gets to do the same. Alternate until 5 cards are kept, deal up 5 randoms.

Cards which synergize will often be kept. This ends up allowing a lot more games where there are more strategic choices. E.g. you can vote to keep in a village and not have dead Bm-ish boards; you also get to explore what makes each type of village superior. You even get sequences of combo vs combo over several games to see what can beat Herm/Ms.

With strong players, I also like bidding on starting hands. If we tie, then we both get mirror image starts of whatever is interesting and starting player is random. I bid higher, I get my choice of either determining who gets to be P1 xor determining the hands of P1 and P2 (e.g. I vote to pick the hands and give out 3/4 and 5/2 openings; you get to pick to be P1 or P2). This tends to result in either a lot of mirror image starts or pretty high handicaps for terribly strong P1 advantages. This, in turn, makes a lot of games with too strong of opener luck (e.g. opening Altar on a Hparty board) much more interesting.
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crj

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2017, 11:03:46 pm »
+1

I feel 10 cards from my randomizer deck, then 1 more card per player. Then each player gets one veto, they can remove one of the first 10 cards for one of the extras I also dealt.
An interesting idea. But wouldn't it be simpler just to deal out 10+N cards and let each player veto one of them, rather than having that notion of the "first ten" and the "extras"?
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MatthewCA

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2017, 09:12:52 am »
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I feel 10 cards from my randomizer deck, then 1 more card per player. Then each player gets one veto, they can remove one of the first 10 cards for one of the extras I also dealt.
An interesting idea. But wouldn't it be simpler just to deal out 10+N cards and let each player veto one of them, rather than having that notion of the "first ten" and the "extras"?

Functionally, you described what actually happens when I play irl better than I did. Most of the people I play with don't know the cards as well as I do though, so I almost always end up using my veto, but most other players don't.
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josh56

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 02:17:42 pm »
+1

Do you guys go full random? 
Half-random. If total crap emerges or if the lady protests because no village or trasher are present I exchange one or 2 cards. Also, stuff like Baron in a Shelter game and I am also exchange-eager with Events and Landmarks.
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2017, 05:19:59 pm »
+1

Do you guys go full random? 
Also, stuff like Baron in a Shelter game...

But see, then you miss the opportunity for some friendly mockery when someone buy a Baron before realizing they have nothing on which to use it.
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Doom_Shark

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2017, 08:27:36 pm »
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I tend to pick sets that either compliment each other or are very against each other mechanically or thematically (so like prosperity+guilds+empires for complimentary or prosperity+dark ages for not), then go full random from those sets. What I also do is a three-step random. I start with a random number of sets, (counting the promos as one full set of course) then I choose those sets randomly. Then I randomize from those sets. Sometimes interesting thing happen, sometimes not.

With the first method in mind, I'm excited to try Dark Ages+Nocturne, Nocturne+Empires, and Nocturne+Prosperity
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 08:29:02 pm by Doom_Shark »
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2017, 08:24:34 am »
+2

This is the card picker I use: http://inprogressgaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/dominion_picker140.html
I find it to be far and away the best. Play around with this a bit and see if you get something cool.
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weesh

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2017, 04:50:09 pm »
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This is the card picker I use: http://inprogressgaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/dominion_picker140.html
I find it to be far and away the best. Play around with this a bit and see if you get something cool.

I do like that this has mins AND maxes, like the last dominion app I used, but inability to veto things like banes, landmarks and events is a bit annoying.  It's also annoying that you can't change the ordering without making a new selection, but showing all the cards is fantastic.  I think I'l use this one from time to time to keep things mixed up.
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2017, 05:53:53 pm »
+1

This is the card picker I use: http://inprogressgaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/dominion_picker140.html
I find it to be far and away the best. Play around with this a bit and see if you get something cool.

It doesn't seem to have the second edition cards.
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2017, 01:54:13 pm »
+1

I use Dominion Shuffle. Mins and Maxes for sets, card types (treasure, action, etc.), card cost, and specific outcomes/effects (vp tokens, gainers, cursers, etc.). All cards currently in existence that I am aware of, and the ability to require or ban specific cards, which can be changed directly in the randomized set (you will have to reshuffle to have banning change the set though)
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ackmondual

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 12:34:47 am »
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Open the rulebook... paper or digital copy, your choice, and hit up some of the presets. I'd like to call them "random with a purpose"  8)
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2017, 07:34:37 am »
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Sometimes it can be fun to create a kingdom with an obvious strategy, and then a second, less obvious one. Then see which one is better.
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2017, 08:06:34 am »
+2

Another method I have used before I call “Black Market Drafting” because it works similarly to the Black Market deck. Each player gets 3 cards, chooses one to be in the kingdom, and discards the rest. Repeat until there is a kingdom. This tends to result in slightly less overpowered kingdoms than straight up picking.
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2017, 01:17:46 pm »
0

A surprisingly effective option is to play semi-random (if you are playing a set).

Play with the normal random 10 setup.

At the end of the game, the loser gets to vote one card in to keep and one card out of the next game. The winner then gets to do the same. Alternate until 5 cards are kept, deal up 5 randoms.

Cards which synergize will often be kept. This ends up allowing a lot more games where there are more strategic choices. E.g. you can vote to keep in a village and not have dead Bm-ish boards; you also get to explore what makes each type of village superior. You even get sequences of combo vs combo over several games to see what can beat Herm/Ms.

We often do some variation on this: give every player one veto; or choose 2-4 by consensus to replace for the next game. Interestingly, both strong and weak cards are removed this way in roughly equal proportion.

What I like about this approach is it helps you see how the power level of certain cards or strategies are influenced by small changes.

(It also takes less time between games)
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2017, 04:38:08 pm »
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I tend to play mostly 3-4 player games with the same people. We use Jack of All Dominion as our randomizer. Before each game, each player is allowed to pick 1 or 2 rules, then we hit "shuffle". The rules can be 1,2,3+ cards of a particular type, veto cards (or card type), etc. Basically any of the options.

Sometimes we don't bother to clean out the rules between games. So the first game may have 3+ Adventures cards, 2+ trashers, and no attacks; the second game might then have 3+Adventures, 2+Prosperity, 2+Trashers, 1+Villages, 1+ +Buy, and no attacks. The third has more restrictions. When JoAD gives up, we reset the rules.

When we end up with Black Market, we grab a stack of randomizers from a shuffled pile. We discard in-play kingdom cards in the black market if and when we get to them. Bought black market cards are fished out of storage when bought.
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ackmondual

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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2017, 11:37:11 pm »
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It seems the potential for finding great boards is limitless....once you have all the sets.  But with only 5 expansions, the reddit KOTW, dominionkingdoms.com, and other sources for kingdoms are unhelpful.

So I use my jack of all dominion app, and heavily curate what comes up until it can hardly be called random anymore.  My kingdoms play substantially similar to each other and I'm looking to branch out.

Do you guys go full random? 

Or do you have tips for making interesting and diverse boards?

I'd love to see some examples of your process as well.

some of the "major variables" include sources of +2 actions ("glue"/"branch actions"), +Buys, good trashers (For example, Chapel is significant enough in most games), Attacks, and those that dole out Curses, so I'd mix and match those.
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Re: How do YOU pick interesting kingdoms?
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2017, 08:07:36 pm »
+1

I prefer full random as sometimes what is missing can contribute to making a kingdom interesting just as much as what is present.
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