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ben_king

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2018, 01:05:48 pm »
+3

My experience with other deck-building games has typically been that they remove most of what's fun about Dominion.  They don't usually have good trashing, they get rid of the limitations on actions and/or buys, and in a typical turn you play the five cards that you happened to draw that turn and not much else.

With all the people claiming that these other deck-building games are more fun/better than Dominion, I've come up with a theory.  I think if you're not good at Dominion, it tends to play like "try to play as many cards in my five card hand as possible" because you don't know how to get control of your deck and do much beyond your starting five cards.  These people get frustrated that they can't play their Woodcutter and their Militia in the same turn, frustrated that they drew Throne Room with four Coppers, and claim that Big Money solves Dominion.  So these other games have sprouted up that make "play these five cards" more fun than in Dominion.  And people who are awful at Dominion say these new games are better, and anyone who knows how to play Dominion thinks they're crazy.
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Holunder9

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2018, 02:02:08 pm »
0

The more problematic aspect of Puzzle Strike was the other part I mentioned, lifting the art design from a Dominion fan.  If you've never seen it before, behold. We liked Puzzle Strike early on, even though we thought of it as a Dominion knock-off with balance issues (we played 1st ed).  But learning about how Sirlin stole the art design made it less enjoyable for me.
Why? Intellectual property rights are only a matter for however came up with the idea and wants to make money from it.
For all other people it is beneficial when ideas are shared or "stolen". It might be rude to not give kudos to whoever came up with stuff that inspired you but that's just a matter of the personality of a designer, a guy you don't have any personal dealings with anyway.
If it weren't for Sirlin the idea to put data on large cardboard tokens instead of cards would have remained an idea and never let to something you could and actually did play.

I think it is important to differentiate between design and designer. If I ever meet Vlaada, which isn't going to happen, and he turns out to be a jerk I am still going to play Through the Ages.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2018, 02:41:38 pm »
+2

I think it is important to differentiate between design and designer.

Why? If I thought David Sirlin was an asshole (and I do), I think it's perfectly reasonable to avoid putting money in his pocket by buying his derivative games.
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Watno

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2018, 03:11:08 pm »
0

Why? Intellectual property rights are only a matter for however came up with the idea and wants to make money from it.

That's kinda like saying murder only matters to people who get killed.
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Kuildeous

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2018, 03:18:11 pm »
0

If it weren't for Sirlin the idea to put data on large cardboard tokens instead of cards would have remained an idea and never let to something you could and actually did play.
 

I remember a conversation on these forums about converting Dominion cards into tiles and putting them into a bag. I honestly couldn't tell you if this conversation predates Puzzle Strike or not, but I figure that if Puzzle Strike was a thing at the time, someone would've said, "Oh, like Puzzle Strike."

So the idea was already out there. Apparently Puzzle Strike put it into practice first.

Oh, and I forgot to mention Dice Forge. I've only played it twice, but I like it. Maybe it's the novelty of building your dice. As I understand it, DF wasn't the first one to do this, but reviewers seem to think that it does it better.

It's hard to compare dicebuilding to deckbuilding. There's no cycling since you just hope you roll the good faces and improve your luck that way.
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Holunder9

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2018, 03:19:30 pm »
0

Why? Intellectual property rights are only a matter for however came up with the idea and wants to make money from it.

That's kinda like saying murder only matters to people who get killed.
An inappropriate comparison. Murder is heinous crime and not comparable to far too tight intellectual property rights whose relaxation helps everybody, except for the folks who wanna monetize their ideas.


I think it is important to differentiate between design and designer.

Why? If I thought David Sirlin was an asshole (and I do), I think it's perfectly reasonable to avoid putting money in his pocket by buying his derivative games.
Ethical consumer choices are fine. When it comes to stuff that matters, like whether a product you purchase is produced in sweat shops or whether it was tested on animals. If you really cared about the behaviour of folks behind products you want you'd probably have to stop buying anything from multinational corporations.

In the case of a trivial product like boardgames I only care about the game, not the designer.

I wonder what Sirlin did to rationalize all these rude comments on the net. Not giving props to a guy who came up with the chips idea doesn't justify insulting him.
About how innovative his games are, Puzzle Strike might be very similar to Dominion but Codex is pretty innovative.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 03:22:49 pm by Holunder9 »
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GendoIkari

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2018, 03:20:26 pm »
0


Nightfall is a cool deckbuilder with direct battle, a neat chaining mechanism and a constant trade-off between offense and defense. It sometimes feels a bit random though and is sadly out of print.

Interesting, turns out I own Nightfall. Never played it... got lumped in with several other games I got from a friend when he moved. I'll have to check it out.
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Holunder9

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2018, 03:26:43 pm »
0


Nightfall is a cool deckbuilder with direct battle, a neat chaining mechanism and a constant trade-off between offense and defense. It sometimes feels a bit random though and is sadly out of print.

Interesting, turns out I own Nightfall. Never played it... got lumped in with several other games I got from a friend when he moved. I'll have to check it out.
Yeah, check it out. I don't think it is as good as Dominion by a long shot: it feels random and there are some imbalances concerning the "Wound" (basically like Curses with a discard Wounds to draw extra cards mechanism, whoever has most once the pile is empty loses) distribution.
But if you like direct confrontation games and a trashy postapocyptic undead theme it is OKish. Unlike Dominion It is political though if you play with more than 2.
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markusin

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2018, 03:57:11 pm »
0

I'm guessing no one has played Tanto Cuore (myself included). I am genuinely curious as to how good that game is, because it looks to me like one of the most blatant rip-offs of Dominion, mainly just adding Anime style Maids as the theme. It seems to keep most of the vanilla resources of Dominion.

The only other deckbuilder I have played besides Dominion is Marvel Legendary. My Dominion knowledge fails me there, as the trashing is typically on the level of a Bonfire that only trashes one card at a time and only shows up on occasion and there is much more emphasis on power cards than synergies. Also it has that dual currency problem where you tend to either spike on both currencies or neither one.

I guess it's good for more casual groups thanks to theme and simplicity in figuring out what cards are good. It also has semi-coop gameplay where you fight against the board but try to get the highest score. But wow, the setup and teardown is super tedious in Marvel Legendary, way worse than what you'd expect from Dominion.
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Chappy7

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2018, 04:16:27 pm »
0

Somehow I heard of and learned Thunderstone before I knew about Dominion.  I really enjoyed Thunderstone, and I bought most of the expansions.  I have never played advance, and I don't even know what it involves, but either way, Thunderstone is probably my favorite deck builder other than Dominion, although several cards aren't balanced at all.  Upgrading heros is fun, and I like the ability to skip your turn and trash one card. 

I also like Star Realms.  I mostly play that one because it is quick and portable, and I have fun with it.  I like the ally effect thing. I also like the epic space art.  when I want to do any serious gaming though, I leave it behind.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2018, 05:45:27 pm »
+1

I wonder what Sirlin did to rationalize all these rude comments on the net. Not giving props to a guy who came up with the chips idea doesn't justify insulting him.

He wrote a terrible essay called "Playing to Win" which lots of annoying Smogon people used (or misused) to somehow argue that their ridiculous metagame was the only valid one because it was the one that "everybody" was playing. And then he also rips off a lot of games and publishes them with his own "yomi" crap tacked on.

About how innovative his games are, Puzzle Strike might be very similar to Dominion but Codex is pretty innovative.

Puzzle Strike is Dominion with player powers.
Flash Duel is En Guarde with player powers.
The arrogantly named Chess 2 is chess with player powers.

And so on.
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blueblimp

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2018, 05:53:13 pm »
+1

Something I'd like to see more games copy from Dominion is the random kingdom mechanic. In card games, typically you either have extremely simple cards (as in traditional card games like Poker), or a key element of gaining skill is memorizing every card in the game so that you can anticipate what might show up later. Dominion manages to have interesting cards while not requiring any memorization, by restricting the relevant cards to a small subset of all cards and showing you them at the beginning of each match.

In a way, this is more about what mechanic Dominion doesn't have: a big face-down deck of all cards. What's clever about Dominion is that it's a very interesting game despite omitting this mechanic. As such, gaining skill in Dominion feels more satisfying, because the skill gains come only from learning how to think about the cards more effectively, instead of having a significant memorization component.

For me, the appeal of Dominion is to look out at the Kingdom and have a dream of a radically different deck from the one I currently hold in my hand. Then I get to try and make that dream a reality. Usually it works! Sometimes it doesn't, and that's fun too. But if I can't "radically" change my deck, it's just a boring exercise in shuffling cards and getting slightly better ones, something like BMU.

I also feel this way. And it's not just that you can build different types of decks, it's that you can make your deck extreme in its execution of your vision, instead of just being a modest deviation from average. CCGs have a similar aspect in that you can build totally different kinds of decks, but there, the deck-building is a metagame activity instead of being part of the game itself, which makes it less interesting to me.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2018, 06:13:12 pm »
0

I wonder what Sirlin did to rationalize all these rude comments on the net. Not giving props to a guy who came up with the chips idea doesn't justify insulting him.

He wrote a terrible essay called "Playing to Win" which lots of annoying Smogon people used (or misused) to somehow argue that their ridiculous metagame was the only valid one because it was the one that "everybody" was playing. And then he also rips off a lot of games and publishes them with his own "yomi" crap tacked on.

About how innovative his games are, Puzzle Strike might be very similar to Dominion but Codex is pretty innovative.

Puzzle Strike is Dominion with player powers.
Flash Duel is En Guarde with player powers.
The arrogantly named Chess 2 is chess with player powers.

And so on.

From what I understand, a lot of the flack he gets is about him personally at least as much as his games. For example: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/854583/david-sirlin-asks-solforge-ccg-supporters-leave-hi/page/1

He apparently just said on his forum / website that if you disagree with his opinions about CCGs, then you should get out.
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Donald X.

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2018, 06:16:51 pm »
+2

A BGG thread with images from the fan-made chip version of Dominion from Nov. 2008, and also some game, so you can compare them and think about how pro-humanity it all is.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/854583/david-sirlin-asks-solforge-ccg-supporters-leave-hi/page/9
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Holunder9

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2018, 06:39:35 pm »
+1

From what I understand, a lot of the flack he gets is about him personally at least as much as his games. For example: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/854583/david-sirlin-asks-solforge-ccg-supporters-leave-hi/page/1

He apparently just said on his forum / website that if you disagree with his opinions about CCGs, then you should get out.
Seems a bit immature to force your opinion on other people but it is his site and his rules. While such behaviour is questionable I agree with the opinion that CCGs with random content are a rip-off and the recent trend thankfully goes towards what FFG calls LCGs, i.e. non-random content.


A BGG thread with images from the fan-made chip version of Dominion from Nov. 2008, and also some game, so you can compare them and think about how pro-humanity it all is.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/854583/david-sirlin-asks-solforge-ccg-supporters-leave-hi/page/9
Not giving credit when credit is due is of course not decent beaviour but as a player I am not really that interested about such trivial behind the scenes stuff. His Codex is nearly as innovative as your Dominion (never played Puzzle Strike as it seemed far too similar to Dominion).
My point is basically only that if you ate babies with garlic sauce and Hannibal Lector provided the fava beans it wouldn't stop me from loving and playing Dominion. Except for the Zombies, they'd feel kind of weird then.
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Donald X.

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2018, 07:40:48 pm »
0

My point is
I think you've made that point already dude. Man, I guess this thread is about ethics now? theory, please move it to the Religion Sex Politics subforum.
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crj

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2018, 08:05:04 pm »
+4

Puzzle Strike is Dominion with player powers.
Flash Duel is En Guarde with player powers.
The arrogantly named Chess 2 is chess with player powers.
I get the impression from people who've played both that Codex is Magic: The Gathering. Presumably, with player powers.
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theory

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2018, 08:33:49 pm »
+3

Sirlin is a terrible person.  And sure, judge the person not his works, but his games are non grata because the reason he is a terrible person is because of his terrible actions involving his games.  If Hannibal Lecter's board game existed solely because of his cannibalism, I wouldn't play it even if it was the most finely-designed deckbuilder of all time, because I would be encouraging and subsidizing terrible behavior.

But they also happen to be terrible games, though, which makes it all much easier.  They fall into that particularly pernicious modern cluster of games designed by people who are excellent at marketing but not excellent at design.  See, e.g., Secret Hitler.
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sitnaltax

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2018, 08:53:23 pm »
+1

A couple years ago I posted my opinions about other deckbuilders in another thread, which I'll just link here:

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=9014.msg276179#msg276179

I still maintain that the scoring of Puzzle Strike is fairly innovative but Sirlin loses all benefit of the doubt, ever, for the art-style ripoff.

Star Realms is the game that Ascension wanted to be. This isn't to say it's as good as good as Dominion but it feels much more satisfying to play than Ascension. The games aren't as different that Dominion games but there's a lot going on strategy-wise, and 2p is the only way that the "shared shuffled pool" supply feels fair.

Trains started off strong but, fundamentally, was underdeveloped. The game offers these exciting ways to get points and make your deck bigger and smaller, but the crushingly dominant strategy is to ignore the board, build your deck, and buy everything at the very end, like if every Dominion game had Highway, Wharf, and Colony. I wrote an extensive strategy article on BGG here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1072266/strategy-guide
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scott_pilgrim

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2018, 08:57:24 pm »
+4

I don't know anything about Codex beyond what's been said in this thread, but here's why I would never buy a David Sirlin game: If people continue to support designers like him, we might stop getting good games in the future. The game itself isn't what matters; if he published one single amazingly innovative and fantastic game, I still wouldn't buy it, unless he was also willing to give back credit to all the designers he has ripped off from in the past. Most designers are not in it for the money, they are just in it to be able to share their ideas with the world. Sirlin leeches the main motivator for designers to publish their games, by copying them, out-marketing them, and claiming they were his ideas. It is incredibly demoralizing for a designer to watch someone else claim credit for your ideas, and then watch the general population buy into his claims when you not only had the idea in the first place, but you also executed it much better.

In a world where designers like Sirlin sell well, innovation in game design stops because the designers lose their motivation to put out good new designs. This is why if you want to see new, innovative games in the future, it's not sufficient to just buy individual games that you like; you have to care about what goes into them as well, and show the market that you're not interested in good games made by bad people.
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crj

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #45 on: February 08, 2018, 09:00:55 pm »
+1

...games designed by people who are excellent at marketing but not excellent at design.  See, e.g., Secret Hitler.
There's not much wrong with Secret Hitler. It builds on Resistance, sure, but it adds a lot, and the things it adds are mainly improvements. The one aspect I'm not so sure about is player elimination, but the game is at least engineered so it can only happen when things are almost over.

Edit: Exploding Kittens, on the other hand...
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Asper

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2018, 09:12:22 pm »
+1

I couldn't agree more to what scott_pilgrim said. Some people create things because they want to leave something good behind. Stealing those good things from such creators, claiming it was your own, and then using your position to overshadow them, means not only gaining something dishonestly, it also very much strips the people who put their heart into something from achieving their own little happiness. It's just cruel and cold.

ConMan

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2018, 10:25:40 pm »
+2

I'm guessing no one has played Tanto Cuore (myself included). I am genuinely curious as to how good that game is, because it looks to me like one of the most blatant rip-offs of Dominion, mainly just adding Anime style Maids as the theme. It seems to keep most of the vanilla resources of Dominion.
I've played it, and I think it's a decent game - questionable theme and art aside. It's probably the closest thing out there to an actual Dominion clone (not counting the official Touhou Dominion release that literally just renamed cards) - it's probably the one Donald often refers to when he talks about clones where the main innovation is apparently "make the Treasures cost $1 more". While it's one of the first things you might notice, the game does also have:

1. "Private chambers" that act a little like the Tavern/Island mats (some cards let you put them there, often ones that score points, although typically there's no way to retrieve them mid-game)

2. "Private maids" which is a pile of unique cards that usually give you a bonus at start of turn, but which you can only have one active at a time

3. Some interesting scoring cards - cards that are worth different values depending on whether you have an even or odd number of them, cards that score differently if you manage to chamber them (like Distant Lands), etc. Each expansion actually has a different set of basic point cards that score slightly differently, too, so it would be like if Hinterlands had replacement Estates and Provinces with different values.

4. The expansions add other new ideas, like a pile of cards that you have to meet certain conditions to claim.

Is TC a game as well-designed as Dominion? Probably not. I enjoy it, but it is very obviously a more "fluffy" game than Dominion in more ways than one. And there's definitely an essay or two you could write about the theme and art and the portrayal of women (and while some of the art is borderline pornographic, plenty of it is work-safe and downright cute). I'd also point out that it doesn't change a lot of the things that are causes for complaint when Dominion players play other games - it kept the one Action/one Buy rules (and has cards to let you do more of both), it has a fixed supply with only a few special piles that contain unique cards, it doesn't have much in the way of deck thinning (which relates to the more expensive base currency - if you could trash your deck you could potentially stalemate yourself) but it does have some means of replacing cards with better ones and/or taking cards out of your deck.
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blueblimp

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #48 on: February 09, 2018, 03:04:07 am »
0

I've been enjoying Slay the spire video game.
Is a deck building dungeon run.
I'm giving this one a try. I don't think I'd consider this type of game a deck-builder in the Dominion sense. It's more like fixed-deck encounters interlaced with a draft, which as far as I know was invented by Dream Quest. (Another notable example is Hearthstone's Dungeon Run mode.) This genre really has more in common with CCG draft formats than it does with Dominion.
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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #49 on: February 09, 2018, 05:38:29 am »
0

Sirlin is a terrible person.  And sure, judge the person not his works, but his games are non grata because the reason he is a terrible person is because of his terrible actions involving his games.  If Hannibal Lecter's board game existed solely because of his cannibalism, I wouldn't play it even if it was the most finely-designed deckbuilder of all time, because I would be encouraging and subsidizing terrible behavior.

But they also happen to be terrible games, though, which makes it all much easier.  They fall into that particularly pernicious modern cluster of games designed by people who are excellent at marketing but not excellent at design.  See, e.g., Secret Hitler.

I read the rules to Secret Hitler and they seemed an overly complex version of the Resistance, but I've never played it. What's up with that game?

I feel like your description fits perfectly the "Tiny Epic" series, though. I've only played Kingdoms, but it was a sad underdeveloped clunky thing.
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