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Author Topic: Dominion clones  (Read 1063 times)

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Rabid

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2018, 06:05:31 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.
Certainly not a clone.
But has similarities to several games that I like:
Deck shuffle dominion.
Card play reminds me most of star realms.
Cards collection Hearthstone draft.
And map and death remind me of FTL
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Kuildeous

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2018, 09:19:11 am »
+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.
 

An excellent observation. I realized that the thrill of playing Dominion wasn't quite there with Ascension and Marvel Legendary. With the former, I just have to process the cards once at the beginning of the game. Maybe I give myself a periodic refresher, but since I rarely want more than three or four of the cards in a game, I easily absorb those cards into my brain and play without interruption. With the latter, I have to read each card as they come out, and that slows the game down. This is made worse by the fact that Legendary has cards with the same art but different text. In Dominion, you can expect each card that looks alike to act the same (disclaimer: I've not played anything past Guilds, so prove me wrong if you must). Even Knights were different IIRC. Trains has the same benefit as Dominion, but unless you're really into trains, you'll probably get confused by the artwork even though it's consistent too. Thunderstone has an interesting mix of the two.

But I guess it's not that I hate the pool. Or maybe there are ways for me to overcome that. Two deckbuilders I really like, Mystic Vale and Clank!, both have a common pool of cards. And yes, when it comes to my turn, I have to examine each one. Their purchases tend to be slower perhaps, so over half the cards are usually still out there when it's my turn. I do less scrutinizing of the cards. It's also why I don't like Smash-UpI have to read each card that I play and that others play.

But yeah, with the exception of the Ruins pile and the Knights, you pretty much know what you're getting in Dominion. And even those cards are not a huge surprise since they're face up, and you can read them on your turn. It's what makes Dominion more of a strategic game while Mystic Vale is more of a tactical game. My wife prefers reacting to the pool more than planning out her entire game. I'm pretty happy with plotting my moves 6 turns in advance (if shuffle luck is with me).
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werothegreat

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2018, 09:30:59 am »
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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?

It is exactly that.
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markusin

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2018, 10:22:29 am »
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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.

I've played Tiny Epic Galaxies once. It reminded me of Roll for the Galaxy a lot, to give you an idea of what it's like.

Edit: got the name of the game wrong.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 01:53:44 pm by markusin »
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crj

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #54 on: February 09, 2018, 11:46:05 am »
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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?
Well, the first thing to get clear is that Resistance is an underly complex version of the Resistance. I'll sometimes play base Resistance to introduce a new player to the game, but even then only if I'm sure they'll need it. Otherwise, you need to add the Commander and Assassin (Merlin and Assassin in the Avalon re-skin) at the very least to give the game adequate depth.

In my group, we tend to add either Bodyguard and False Commander or the Reversers to spice things up further.

That's what Resistance is, to us. So for us Secret Hitler is considerably pared down before adding comparable complexity in a different direction.

Right now, I'd say Resistance, Secret Hitler, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Secrets, Spyfall and Mafia de Cuba are the best hidden-role games. Yes, Resistance and Secret Hitler have more in common than the others, but they're still a very long way from being the same game.
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markusin

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2018, 11:57:26 am »
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Does no one find Thunderstone too expensive to acquire these days if you don't live in the U.S. and so can't just take advantage of the BGG prices? That's been a big deterrent for me and one of my friends to get it.
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pacovf

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2018, 01:05:07 pm »
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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?
Well, the first thing to get clear is that Resistance is an underly complex version of the Resistance. I'll sometimes play base Resistance to introduce a new player to the game, but even then only if I'm sure they'll need it. Otherwise, you need to add the Commander and Assassin (Merlin and Assassin in the Avalon re-skin) at the very least to give the game adequate depth.

In my group, we tend to add either Bodyguard and False Commander or the Reversers to spice things up further.

That's what Resistance is, to us. So for us Secret Hitler is considerably pared down before adding comparable complexity in a different direction.

Right now, I'd say Resistance, Secret Hitler, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Secrets, Spyfall and Mafia de Cuba are the best hidden-role games. Yes, Resistance and Secret Hitler have more in common than the others, but they're still a very long way from being the same game.

I find base resistance (with plot cards if more than six players) perfectly fine in level of depth. You just need to play with the right group. Its a social game, at the end of the day its going to be the most persuasive player (group) that will win.
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Sharajat

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2018, 07:02:48 pm »
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Ascension:  This game has a horrid snowball problem, where if you happen to hit a "breakpoint" hand at the right time to purchase a card you get an insane advantage.  Which might be okay, except that there's no way to control what's out.  So one player might hit $8 and have a few mediocre cards to buy, while the next player with $8 gets a card that's basically a cantrip Hunting Grounds.  That's the drawback of the entire "middle market" mechanic.  With no VP cards, buying expensive cards (With both currencies) is your entire endgame, so the rich tend to get richer, and the poor end up in the gutter.  Like monopoly, but with more shuffling. 

Star Realms:  So if you just make this a VP race, it's basically non-interactive outside of stations.  It actually has considerably lower interaction than Dominion.  A lot of the center row flaws of Ascension, but the card design is so overwhelmingly bland it is more balanced, but far less interesting. 

Thunderstone: So what if Dominion had random events that could do things like "reveal the top 5 cards of your deck, trash all actions that cost $5 or more there"?  Wait, that'd be horrible, you say?  Well now there's a gazillion action types, so you need "heroes" to play "weapons" and "rations" to give heroes the strength to use "weapons" and "light" to reduce the strength of the monsters and... oh god what an absolute clusterfuck. 

Nightfall: Innovative mechanic I like where you need to chain actions, but a lot of time it feels incredibly random.  Like you get a 50/50 to leave yellow or green up for your opponent (based on the cards you know are in their deck) and you guess wrong and they can go off.  Or the weird way you get your own private reserve of cards.   Good playtesting might have made something out of this, but good playtesting it doesn't have.

Eminent Domain: A cool mix of race for the galaxy and dominion.  It's definitely a "one more turn" game where you are just always so close when the game ends.  The expansions added a lot too, with a variety of ways to win.  It's actually very hard to compare to Dominion due to the tableau, it compares better to Race for the Galaxy - I find I like it much more than race, as the deckbuilding adds to the phase picking in a neat way.

Tanto Cuore: So Market and Silver cost the same.  Other than that, Dominion clone with nothing to recommend for it, and artwork that guarantees it's an embarrassment.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 07:04:48 pm by Sharajat »
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popsofctown

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #58 on: February 09, 2018, 10:53:37 pm »
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I think he's a bad game designer almost all of the time, he is very preoccupied with a very specific interpretation of how hidden information can benefit a game, and I don't think it works well. 
I totally disagree. Codex is one of the most brilliant designs of the last years, flawlessly merging the best of Dominion and Magic.
Unlike in Magic you build your deck during the game (except for some starting cards) and unlike in Dominion you don't buy the new cards from a Supply but draft them non-randomly and secretly from your private set, kinda like in Mage Wars. In Mage Wars you pay immediately when you play cards from the binder which makes it a CCG without deck-draw randomness whereas in Codex you only draft from your binder and still have deck-draw randomness. But both games are far less random than an ordinary CCG (Dominion keeps randomness relatively low due to the law of large numbers: you draw far more cards in a game of Dominion than in a CCG).
When you draw cards you have to pay for them with economy being out-of-deck and being correlated with trashing. Game itself is then some normal tactial stuff, familiar from other CCGs or LCGs.
The cool stuff is the secret deck-building, that you don't know what your opponent is going for until you see the card for the first time.

As it is Magic and Dominion inspired it also feels like something that DXV could have come up with instead of Dominion in an alternate universe.
Well, I said almost all of the time.  If I know about that one, I know about Chess 2, Puzzle Strike, Yomi, and that shitty Magic card he got to guest design too.

I doubt I'll get another warm body for trying Codex, but good to hear and all.
The net is full of pretty rude stuff about Sirlin so I take it with a grain of salt.

Perhaps the guys is a jerk (who cares, I am in it for the design, not the designer), perhaps he "ripped off" (a dubious notion in the first place given that boardgames constantly inspire each other; deckbuilders are not per se Dominion clone just like worker placement games are not per se Caylus clones) some games and ideas, perhaps he has designed some stinkers (even the greatest designers have) but the only game of him I know is utterly brilliant.

I think we're in violent agreement.  I think he spends a lot of time making bad designs - not that he's incapable of making good designs.  The gem crashing mechanics, the component of Puzzle Strike I praised, were all his ingenuity.

He has an above average stinker ratio, but yeah, so does Mark Macguire (i'm attempting a baseball reference I think that was the guy who struck out lots and home runned lots)
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Awaclus

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #59 on: February 10, 2018, 11:11:26 am »
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Secret Hitler is fun, but it isn't terribly elegant. I made a P&P copy for myself, I think it's worth it.

EDIT: thought the last post on page 1 was the last ITT
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 11:12:34 am by Awaclus »
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Kuildeous

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Re: Dominion clones
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2018, 01:45:09 pm »
+3

As I think more on Friday, I really like the trashing mechanism. I think it could be fun in a multiplayer game, but it does work perfectly for Friday. It's quite thematic, actually. You're teaching Crusoe how to survive. If he passes a task, he learns a new skill. If he fails a task, he eliminates bad habits. It's quite clever.

It's hard to put it into Dominion terms. Basically imagine your starting deck consists of Curses and Copper. On each turn, you flip over two Kingdom cards and choose one to try to buy. Let's say it's a Silver. You need to try to get 3 coins to buy the Silver with 5 card flips. If you hit 3 coins, then you gain the Silver. If you do not, then you lose the Silver and a VP (life) for each coin you're short. But for each coin you're short, you can trash one of your played cards. So that deck with a bunch of Curses will get trimmed down so you eventually may have treasure left. Furthermore, if you do gain that Silver, then you could likely get that Gold after flipping 9 cards.

I like that method a lot. Friday doesn't count as a Dominion clone IMO. It has cards, and it builds a deck, but that's about all the similarity the two games have.

My local board game pub has it, and I played it all the way through once. I pull it out when I show up alone, but I usually see someone I know arriving before I finish the game. First-world problems.
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