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Author Topic: "Savings", treasure with overpay for coin tokens; balanced at what value/price?  (Read 397 times)

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jonaskoelker

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The basic idea is this:

Savings
Treasure
Cost: ?
?

When you buy this, you may overpay for it. For each you overpaid, take a coin token.



Assuming its on-play is just money, at which <price, value> points would this be non-broken?

The no-strictly-better rule suggests that it should cost at least if it provides , at least if it gives and at least if it gives .

At or greater, I wonder when you'd ever buy it.

At for , I have a hard time seeing myself taking it over Gold. Maybe when I'm playing big money and hit and I'm confident I won't shuffle again and a Duchy is no good, which is... nearly never?
At for , it feels underwhelming compared to Gold. If you only play it once and you pay for it, you get more money than a Gold would've gotten you, plus the flexibility of coin tokens.
At for , it's a $5 Silver with a coin token. Compared to other $5 Silvers, it seems... reasonable? You'll probably take it for some times, and it'll probably be quite good for in some situations.

At for it competes with Masterpiece. Most of the time, I think you'd rather have Silvers in deck, but it's probably worth picking up one. It seems not too different from for
At or for it seems like it could easily be quite good—it lets you pile up a lot of coin tokens on your penultimate shuffle, which lets you hit Province much more reliably on your last shuffle.

All of this assumes you're playing something moneyish that buys Provinces, preferably one each turn. On most boards, that's not the strongest strategy available. I have a hard time seeing myself buying Savings in an engine: if I can spend all my money I'd rather pick up engine pieces. If I can't, why not? If I'm choked on buys, a large stockpile of coin tokens isn't likely to do me any good.

One exception I can see: if I have a Surplus of buys and I would rather threaten quad province that buy double province, saving up money on a 1-for-1 basis with a minor deduction seems good. One might worry that it amplifies first player advantage in an engine mirror: if both players save up to octuple province turns, it's no good being the second player to have enough money and buys for eight provinces.

One obvious card to compare Savings to is Capital: both of them shift your money across time. Capital gives you benefit when you play it in exchange for a later payment. Savings requires payment first and gives benefits later, but that's in relation to when you buy rather than play it, so in some sense you get the benefits earlier than with Capital.



My first guess would that it would be okay but nothing to write home about at for . It'd be about the same at for , but I should definitely also try out for and for just to find out how bananas broken it is.
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somekindoftony

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I don't see a problem with having it generate $0 and cost $0
This means that  one turn you can bank your money in coin tokens but you have to pick up a dud card to do so. Without sufficient trashing it wont be hugely popular untill late game but it would really help people who fail to hit a certain price in one turn.
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faust

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I don't see a problem with having it generate $0 and cost $0
This means that  one turn you can bank your money in coin tokens but you have to pick up a dud card to do so. Without sufficient trashing it wont be hugely popular untill late game but it would really help people who fail to hit a certain price in one turn.
This seems a bit too good with stuff like Inheritance, as it guarantees you can hit $7 by turn 2.
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GendoIkari

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I don't see a problem with having it generate $0 and cost $0
This means that  one turn you can bank your money in coin tokens but you have to pick up a dud card to do so. Without sufficient trashing it wont be hugely popular untill late game but it would really help people who fail to hit a certain price in one turn.
This seems a bit too good with stuff like Inheritance, as it guarantees you can hit $7 by turn 2.

At the cost of self-cursing, that might be ok.

Actually, if it were going to be that, it would probably be much better as an event that gains you a curse when you buy it. Having a second card that simply does nothing in your deck seems like a waste of space. I don't think there's any particular rules confusion involved in having overpay be on an Event instead of a Card.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 11:28:30 am by GendoIkari »
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jonaskoelker

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[...] it would probably be much better as an event

Second Savings Account
Event
Cost: +
When you buy this, you may overpay for it. Gain a Curse. If you did, take a coin token for each you overpaid.

This looks pretty good in combination with Watchtower, but pretty much any trashing will do in most engines. It looks like a less good fit for money-ish strategies now—or at the very least, you want to use it very sparingly.

I like the design of Second Savings Account, though it has drifted from my original vision. I read your comments (thanks for those) as saying "You could also do this" and not "there are problems with your initial design, do this instead". Am I reading you correctly?

I was thinking a little about my original design. I think a good buff might be adding +1 buy.

Savings, revised
Treasure
Cost:

+1 buy

When you buy this, you may overpay for it. If you do, take a coin token per you overpaid.

I think it makes thematic sense: you save up money now, such that you can buy more things later.

It's a treasurized Woodcutter with an overpay option, and it costs $1 more. Seems familiar: Venture vs. vanilla Peddler for $4, Plunder vs. Monument, even Counterfeit vs. Moneylender, kinda'. In engines, it lets you focus on trashing and draw; on that turn where you draw deck and payload all your untrashed coppers and it's time to add +buy and payload, this is better than a $7 Herbalist because you get some of your money back next turn, and hey, Silver is a decent payload ;) — I think it might see some more play like this. It might also provide a lot of support for the build-up-to-octuple-Province megaturn play, so, you know, if I wasn't a lazy git I should playtest this ;D

On the other hand, another way of saying what I just said is that it diminishes the roles of at least one trade-off, that of getting +buy earlier vs. later, because you waste little by getting +buy later. Or maybe it doesn't diminish this trade-off, it just moves the right answer in one of the directions. I dunno.

Some analysis in the moneyish context: if you overpay by $1, Savings is like a Gold the first time you play it (if you save the coin token) and then a Silver. If you overpay by $2 it's a Gold twice, then Silver—but with the flexibility of coin tokens, of course. If you make it a $3 for $1 and overpay by $3 it's a Gold once, then a Silver, then Copper. That is, the lower the value of the treasure the fewer times you want to play it—so you'll want to buy it later in the game and play it less often, and you're more likely to want to get it out of your deck. That suggests I want $4 for $2 over $3 (or less) for $1, such that you'll want it sooner and play it more often.

At least that's what I think. Am I trying to optimize for the right thing? One of the warnings in a sticky thread was "don't make the card too powerful"—I think I'm avoiding the pitfall where you optimize for the attractiveness of your own baby to the detriment of the game as a whole, but I did just write a paragraph or two about how to tweak my card in the direction of 'more powerful' such that it'll be played more.

A quick observation comparing the two: Second Savings Account puts both the benefits and costs at a more extreme place than Savings (revised or not)—fixing the amount of $ spent, it gives you more coin tokens but adds a much worse card to your deck. It'd be cool to find a place between the more radical Second Savings Account and the more conservative and a little bit bland Savings, Revised—if for no other reason than just exploring the design space.
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Holunder9

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Savings, revised
Treasure
Cost:

+1 buy

When you buy this, you may overpay for it. If you do, take a coin token per you overpaid.
I think it is OK for Silver+ to cost $4 if the bonus is weak. For example Royal Seal could get away with costing $4. But this looks too strong because it does what Charm is often used for and it has the overpay thingy on top of that.
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jonaskoelker

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I think it is OK for Silver+ to cost $4 if the bonus is weak. For example Royal Seal could get away with costing $4. But this looks too strong because it does what Charm is often used for and it has the overpay thingy on top of that.
Oh hey—good catch that its on-play does exactly the same as one of Charm's modes, I hadn't noticed that. I have only played a bit with Charm, but I always figured the "gain another $5'er" ability of Charm was the strongest one; maybe the +buy that allows you to double Province is even stronger in some situations, though :) Also, modality is valuable as such. When Counterfeit trashes a Copper, it gives you $2 and +1 buy above just playing the Copper, but it also costs $5.

So this suggests some different variants to playtest think about:
 - $4 for $2, the first Savings.
 - $4 for $2 and +1 buy, the revised Savings—maybe it isn't a problem after all.
 - $5 for $2 and +1 buy, now the cost matches that of Charm.
 - $3 for $1 and +1 buy, now similar to Pouch, which I think is OK since Pouch is an Heirloom and not a kingdom card and power level depends in part on being able to get multiples.
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Holunder9

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I think it is OK for Silver+ to cost $4 if the bonus is weak. For example Royal Seal could get away with costing $4. But this looks too strong because it does what Charm is often used for and it has the overpay thingy on top of that.
Oh hey—good catch that its on-play does exactly the same as one of Charm's modes, I hadn't noticed that. I have only played a bit with Charm, but I always figured the "gain another $5'er" ability of Charm was the strongest one; maybe the +buy that allows you to double Province is even stronger in some situations, though :) Also, modality is valuable as such. When Counterfeit trashes a Copper, it gives you $2 and +1 buy above just playing the Copper, but it also costs $5.
Counterfeit is one of the strongest Treasures and trashers and in my limited experience you sometimes get a second one just because of the non-terminal buy.
I totally agree that Charm feels profane when you use it for the extra Buy and only shines when you gain $5s with it. But I still think that a Silver with an extra Buy for $4 would be too good.
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trivialknot

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I think it's more interesting without the +Buy.

There's an interesting deck you can build which is like a golden deck, but it accumulates coin tokens instead of VP tokens, and then greens all at once.  And you can still do that, if there are other sources of +Buy.  But if +Buy is limited, then there's the interesting question of when you stop accumulating coin tokens and start cashing out.  So I think it's more interesting if the availability of +Buy varies from kingdom to kingdom--ie if the +Buy comes from other cards, and not from Savings.
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jonaskoelker

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So I think it's more interesting if the availability of +Buy varies from kingdom to kingdom [...] and [isn't] from Savings.
That's an interesting thought. I think you managed to persuade me.

I observe that 'availability' can be understood both as a yes/no thing and a how-easily thing (i.e. at what cost). So the impact Savings has from kingdom to kingdom can span a non-trivial range, which makes it more interesting.

Cool, that puts $4 for $2 and no +buy to the top of the playtest list. If I ever... :D
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Holger

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Cool, that puts $4 for $2 and no +buy to the top of the playtest list. If I ever... :D

:) Without the +buy, it's just a Silver on play, so you could also just make it an Event:

Savings
Event
Cost: 4+ (or even 3+?)
Gain a Silver.

You may overpay for this. For each you overpaid, take a coin token.
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