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Author Topic: Extending the game  (Read 998 times)

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Fuu

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Extending the game
« on: March 13, 2018, 02:30:02 pm »
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After playing a few IRL games recently that played out a bit too quickly, I started to wonder what ways there would be to extend the game. Playing with platinum and colony is one option: by making your end-game target cards more expensive, it usually means you need more turns to build up. So are there other ways, and are they any good?

One idea I had (I make no claims about whether it is a good one or not) is to start the game with more cards; for example, start with 3 estates and 12 coppers. Of all the 15-card (three starting hand), copper/estate combinations, this one at least makes sure that your minimum starting hand value is $2. Starting with more of these cards that you usually want to get rid of ASAP would usually mean that you see your newly purchased cards less frequently or at least less quickly, slowing your deck development. Of course there are cases where it might play differently than this, e.g. in a donate game (open 5/5/2, with two good cards and then donate).

If you're dealing more starting cards, it doesn't have to be a multiple of 5 even; why not start with 12 cards. Anyway, would this fly? Are there better ideas for extending the game?
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weesh

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 02:42:53 pm »
+1

i think you should start with a multiple of 5 cards.
if you don't, some of your initial purchases could be gotten a whole shuffle before an opponents, which is needlessly unfair.

in a two player game, you could require 4 piles, or 12 provinces to extend the game, but I suspect these would hurt the experience.
After all, a good game ends when you are still having fun, and a bad game goes a little past that.  if you manage to extend the game in a way that turns it into a big of a slog, you may have a worse time.

It's probably better to load the slog into the opening, like you would with a 15 card deck, because once your deck is fianlly trashed down, it will end like an ordinary game.

You can also slog up a game a bit by designing the kingdom with poor trashing.  if it is impossible or laborious to trash the estates and/or the coppers, the game will go longer.  For instance, if moneylender were the only trasher, you will still have, at best, 4 dead cards in your deck at the end of the game.

Strong attacks also slow the game.  And if you have witch, AND weak trashing, the game can slog.  I don't want to play slow boards all the time, but I find them to be fun in moderation.
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 02:50:44 pm »
+3

I think extending the game would make Dominion more fun, but shouldn't we be thinking about how to extend the endgame, when players are having fun and growing their decks, rather than extending the opening, by making everyone spend a few more turns trashing Copper?
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 02:56:16 pm »
+10

We actually tried an Heirloom thing that added five extra Coppers to your starting deck, during Nocturne testing. It sucked!
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weesh

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 03:22:54 pm »
+3

We actually tried an Heirloom thing that added five extra Coppers to your starting deck, during Nocturne testing. It sucked!

It doesn't sound that terrible, since the average treasure per hand goes up to 4$, and has very high odds of a 5$ in the first three turns...
But I certainly trust your playtest over my intuition. 

I might suggest it to one of my friends that has a bit of a designer's eye, and see if he would enjoy playtesting that.  Morbid curiosity and all that...

Speaking of morbid curiosity, I was playing World of Tanks a number of years ago, and was messing with vision mods.  One of the neat things I found was that i could change the minimum sniper zoom to 1x, which allowed you to see if you had line of sight, but gave you a better view of the battlefield than 2x.  But what about 0.5x? Would that give me an even better view of the world in sniper mode?  Nope, crashed the game. 

So of course I also tried -1x.  Ended up uninstalling the game and deleting all the game files to try to fix that one.  Didn't work.  Needed to hunt down additional files that weren't even in the WOT folder that had been corrupted so i could play again.

Worst thing that can happen on a dominion playtest is "that was a waste of time".
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LastFootnote

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 03:37:36 pm »
+1

We actually tried an Heirloom thing that added five extra Coppers to your starting deck, during Nocturne testing. It sucked!

It doesn't sound that terrible, since the average treasure per hand goes up to 4$, and has very high odds of a 5$ in the first three turns...
But I certainly trust your playtest over my intuition. 

I might suggest it to one of my friends that has a bit of a designer's eye, and see if he would enjoy playtesting that.  Morbid curiosity and all that...

Yeah, feel free. I didn't think it sounded bad either. An interesting twist, you know? It slowed the game way down in a not-fun way, though.
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crj

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 04:25:27 pm »
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Tweak that might not suck: players may start with up to 8 coin tokens, provided they also start with an additional Copper per token they take.
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Awaclus

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 10:36:27 pm »
+7

Play best-of-6 matches instead of games.
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 04:20:43 am »
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Make the Province pile bottomless. Use any card that's not part of the current game as a proxy. Or if your cards are sleeved, you could even stuff index cards in extra sleeves. Now the game can only end on piles, and you can spend lots of turns jockeying for position where it feels right to try to end the game.
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 05:08:59 am »
+2

This should be in the Variants subforum.
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Fuu

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 11:54:41 am »
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This should be in the Variants subforum.

Agree, didn't know about that subforum in advance. Can a moderator please move this thread?

Play best-of-6 matches instead of games.

Yeah, true. It's a lot of set-up though IRL if each game is fairly short, and you don't play the same kingdom twice.

Unrelated: why does everyone like best-of-6 for matches? Sure you can tie games and end something like 3.5 to 2.5, but best-of-<odd number> seems more intuitive.
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samath

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 11:57:31 am »
+3

Unrelated: why does everyone like best-of-6 for matches? Sure you can tie games and end something like 3.5 to 2.5, but best-of-<odd number> seems more intuitive.

An even number allows you to give both players an equal number of starts.
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weesh

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 12:08:15 pm »
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Unrelated: why does everyone like best-of-6 for matches? Sure you can tie games and end something like 3.5 to 2.5, but best-of-<odd number> seems more intuitive.

An even number allows you to give both players an equal number of starts.

Before there was "komi" (compensation of about 6.5 points to the player that plays second) in go, legendary player Honinbo Shusaku was asked if he won a match, and his response was "I was black", meaning "I went first, and I never lose if I go first". With komi, matches can now be an odd number, because there are no ties, and it isn't a disadvantage to go second more times than your opponent.

I wouldn't mind if there was a bit extra compensation for second players in dominion.

That said, if you are just trying to casually extend a non-competitive match between friends, playing an odd number of matches doesn't seem like a big deal, especially if you have more than 2 people playing.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 12:11:38 pm by weesh »
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samath

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 02:02:46 pm »
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That said, if you are just trying to casually extend a non-competitive match between friends, playing an odd number of matches doesn't seem like a big deal, especially if you have more than 2 people playing.

There's also less of a reason to play an odd number of games in that case. If you play 3 games with 3 people, you could each win one (and get second in another if you care about that).

In my opinion, you do need some kind of points handicap for the first player, but I think it very strongly depends on the board. I'm hoping at some point to run a cage match tournament with a point bidding process for the first position on the board, and after that I can tell you how it goes.
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Awaclus

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 03:04:27 pm »
+1

I made a thread in Variants and Fan Cards about first player advantage.
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2018, 03:50:38 pm »
+2

Worst thing that can happen on a dominion playtest is "that was a waste of time".

Come on, f.ds, let's think of an edge case!

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2018, 03:52:41 pm »
+7

Worst thing that can happen on a dominion playtest is "that was a waste of time".

Come on, f.ds, let's think of an edge case!

It's an infinite stalemate kingdom and someone starves to death.
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2018, 06:35:03 pm »
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Try adding Possession to the kingdom!
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2018, 07:12:40 pm »
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Tweak that might not suck: players may start with up to 8 coin tokens, provided they also start with an additional Copper per token they take.

This reminds me of my proposed variant from many years ago, where you can choose how many Victory cards you want to start with. Also I had a really cheap Province that you could only buy in your opening.
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2018, 12:38:01 pm »
+2

We sometimes play with a "one pile out" condition where Province (and Colony, if in play) cannot be bought until one kingdom pile is empty. This can lengthen the game in most cases.
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2018, 09:06:14 am »
+3

I contend that variable pacing is good for the game, in fact, one of the best things about it.

Some games will play out just like you describe, being over in a flash or escalating to the mid-game almost instantly, but others slog on with both players racing to get whatever control they can, and reading that is part of how you plan your strategy.

Some of my favorite games are when the player with an indisputably superior deck loses because he misread the game's pace when planning his build.

The game's length is all over the place, and I think that's a huge asset.
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crj

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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2018, 02:35:43 pm »
+1

Agreed. At the start of the evening.

If there's 30 minutes before home time and someone suggests finishing up with a quick game of Dominion, you don't want to go full random, shall we say!

(I very seldom play full random, actually. I rather enjoy crafting kingdoms, tuning them to the mood of the table, carefully keeping my kingdom creation hat separate from my playing hat.)
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2018, 05:56:09 pm »
+1

Here are some things I do to let engines get bigger:
- Always use Platinum/Colonies
- Always use Dominate (ideally with Platinum/Colonies, since Platinum makes players more likely to reach Dominate, and Colony makes them less likely to buy Provinces directly)
- Include 12 of each Victory card in a 2-player game and 18 of each non-Kingdom Victory card in a 3-4 player game (you'll likely own extra basic cards due to them being included in both the base game and Intrigue)
- Play to 4 (or more!) empty piles instead of 3
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2018, 06:02:24 pm »
+2

Play with Black Market, you can spend hours setting up the Black Market deck and then spend even longer playing a classic long winded Black Market game! It's never ending fun!
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2018, 06:07:20 pm »
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Play with Black Market, you can spend hours setting up the Black Market deck and then spend even longer playing a classic long winded Black Market game! It's never ending fun!

Don't forget to add Museum and Wall to ensure that there's never any reason to buy a card from a Supply pile!
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2018, 11:33:57 pm »
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I just make the victory piles 12 instead of 8, and the curses 30 instead of 10.
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Re: Extending the game
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2018, 12:58:31 am »
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Play best-of-6 matches instead of games.
Better yet, play 10 to 18 games, and call it Dominion Legacy  8)

Here are some things I do to let engines get bigger:
- Always use Platinum/Colonies
- Always use Dominate (ideally with Platinum/Colonies, since Platinum makes players more likely to reach Dominate, and Colony makes them less likely to buy Provinces directly)
- Include 12 of each Victory card in a 2-player game and 18 of each non-Kingdom Victory card in a 3-4 player game (you'll likely own extra basic cards due to them being included in both the base game and Intrigue)
- Play to 4 (or more!) empty piles instead of 3
Remember... Dominion Intrigue 2nd Edition does NOT include the "foundation"/start cards!
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