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Author Topic: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)  (Read 668 times)

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BobbyZim

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Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« on: June 06, 2018, 12:26:54 am »
+1

In another thread, where I expressed - as a stupid newbie - some confusion as to how +1 Actions/Buys/Coins work, I received this response [in part]:

Imagine that you represent actions by using beads or tokens. (You could even actually do this for a few games if it helps.) The game gives you one action "token" at the start of your turn. In the action phase, you are allowed to play an action card at the cost of giving up one of your action "tokens." Some action cards say "+1 Action" or "+2 Actions"; when you play those, you take that many action "tokens" back. If you have any action "tokens" left after playing an action card, you may play another one, again handing in one of your action "tokens." When you run out of action "tokens," or when you decide you're done playing action cards, you move on to the buy phase.  At the end of the turn (or at least before the beginning of your next turn), you lose any action "tokens" you didn't spend.

I must say, this was a fantastic idea, and my housemate and I figured out exactly how to do it, and I thought I'd share to a new thread so it doesn't get buried. Here's what we agreed:

For the +X Actions, that's the use of Blank cards. Blank cards are a sort of place mat on which we play an Action card. (For Throne Room or Procession or - where applicable, say - Cultist or Vassal, we don't lay out a new Blank card.) But for each Action card, we lay it on top of the Blank card, and then when we get +1 Action, we lay out an additional Blank card. If we play a Festival, for instance, that's two more Blank cards. We do this just like drawing cards with a +1 Card, in order.

For right now, we're using Embargo tokens as "Buy markers" and Coin tokens as "Coin markers." Because we've realized from that other thread we need to relearn the game a little bit, we've gone all the way back to the First Game set from the basic game, and now we've played Size Distortion, and so forth and so on, until we've done all the recommended sets and all possible combinations from all four of our "original flavor" and three expansions (Intrigue, Seaside and Dark Ages). Given that we play a game a day on average, there's no doubt we'll be caught up to speed next month, when we plan to get Prosperity. Well before we get to Seaside, though, so as not to confuse ourselves, we intend to find our old Pente set and use the red stones for the Buy markers and the yellow stones for the Coin markers.

(I should say, my housemate got very annoyed at having to pull out Coin markers for Treasure cards she had played and had in front of her, so we compromised by only taking Coin markers for something other than a Treasure card, or for Treasure cards not in play - e.g., gained from a card like Festival, or from, say, Spoils once it was returned to the Spoils pile - but that can be a "house rule" kind of thing.)

We have further agreed that on Duration cards that give us +X Cards, we cross that number of cards across our decks on Clean-Up. That way, even if, say, another player plays a Bandit before our next turn, and we reveal the top two cards of our deck, we do so, but then cross the next two down so as to be sure to remember to draw them at the start of the turn. This way, we don't forget to draw those cards, even if the Wharf is trashed. (Like, say, because we played a Procession on a Wharf.)

So in brief:

Under normal circumstances, at Clean-Up, we return all Blank cards to the Blank card pile except one. We return all Buy markers to the Buy marker pile except one. We return all Coin markers to the Coin markers pile. In the event of a Duration card having an effect, we lay out additional Blank cards for + Actions, additional Buy markers for + Buys and additional Coin markers for + Coins.

We found, while this slowed game play down a little bit at the beginning of First Game, by the end, we were doing this so quickly that it was not really an issue. And we intend to keep doing it from now on, because to be honest, my housemate is an older woman who gets confused otherwise, and I like to enjoy some beers while playing and could otherwise get confused. But even sober young people get confused sometimes.

Also, with 20 Blank cards (between the basic set, Intrigue and Seaside), there is little danger they will ever be insufficient, even in a six-player game, which we may have.

Simple, elegant, a very good suggestion from chipperMDW, and maybe something worth considering for future editions/expansions.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 01:01:01 am by BobbyZim »
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sudgy

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2018, 02:32:01 am »
+1

We have further agreed that on Duration cards that give us +X Cards, we cross that number of cards across our decks on Clean-Up. That way, even if, say, another player plays a Bandit before our next turn, and we reveal the top two cards of our deck, we do so, but then cross the next two down so as to be sure to remember to draw them at the start of the turn. This way, we don't forget to draw those cards, even if the Wharf is trashed. (Like, say, because we played a Procession on a Wharf.)

Another suggestion having to do with duration cards is to turn them sideways when you play them and then turn them normal once you finish their effects.  This way you will both remember that you have special effects, and you won't accidentally discard your durations as easily (an extremely common mistake).
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Chris is me

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2018, 08:50:53 am »
+2

Other ways to do this:

You can use dice (D8s are good) if you need to.

If you only have +2 Actions, +1 Action, and terminal cards (no Throne Room variants) - play all your Villages in one row, terminals in a row immediately below it, and your cantrips off to the side. When you run out of Villages to put terminals under, you can place your last terminal at the end of the village row to signify the end of your actions.

Throne Room variants are often best done with trees but you may want dice counters to add up the +Actions and +Buys if you canít keep track.

I would also tap Duration cards the turn they are intended to be discarded.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2018, 11:22:18 am »
0

For tracking actions, the best thing is to just build a tree... if a card gives +1 action, play the next action directly below it. If a card gives +2 actions, play the next action under it to one side:


        Village
      /          \
  Smithy      Market
                       |
                   Village
                 /          \
             Village     Market
           /          \         |
         Smithy


You can quickly look at the cards you have on the table and see that you can still play 2 more actions.
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BobbyZim

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2018, 03:01:08 pm »
+1

For tracking actions, the best thing is to just build a tree...

This is not a bad idea, and if it works for you, it certainly works, but not everybody (cough) has a dining room/gaming table large enough to do that, especially with four or more players.

EDIT: Also, there is the issue of playing, say, a Procession on a Village, where the Village is trashed within the tree. But yeah. We had been doing a semi-tree-like layout, and we found it confused us, because we have limited space on our table to make those rows, even without the "trashed card" problem.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 03:04:58 pm by BobbyZim »
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BobbyZim

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2018, 03:02:43 pm »
0

Another suggestion having to do with duration cards is to turn them sideways when you play them and then turn them normal once you finish their effects.  This way you will both remember that you have special effects, and you won't accidentally discard your durations as easily (an extremely common mistake).

We do, in fact, do that already. But I should also say we have not yet had a situation where we would (for whatever reason) trash a Duration card while it still has active effects, which is the anticipated problem our solution solves.

But yes. We do that already, and it is a great idea.
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Chris is me

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2018, 03:14:20 pm »
+2

For tracking actions, the best thing is to just build a tree... if a card gives +1 action, play the next action directly below it. If a card gives +2 actions, play the next action under it to one side:


        Village
      /          \
  Smithy      Market
                       |
                   Village
                 /          \
             Village     Market
           /          \         |
         Smithy


You can quickly look at the cards you have on the table and see that you can still play 2 more actions.

Trees take up way, way more space than the linear method I listed above, for not really any benefit. Itís also easier to see how much you have left.
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markusin

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 04:14:05 pm »
+1

For tracking actions, the best thing is to just build a tree... if a card gives +1 action, play the next action directly below it. If a card gives +2 actions, play the next action under it to one side:


        Village
      /          \
  Smithy      Market
                       |
                   Village
                 /          \
             Village     Market
           /          \         |
         Smithy


You can quickly look at the cards you have on the table and see that you can still play 2 more actions.

Trees take up way, way more space than the linear method I listed above, for not really any benefit. Itís also easier to see how much you have left.

I do the linear thing as well, except I don't bother to play the cantrips on the side and just stick the next to the Villages in the village row according to the order I played them.
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BobbyZim

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2018, 04:19:43 pm »
0

Trees take up way, way more space than the linear method I listed above, for not really any benefit. Itís also easier to see how much you have left.

I do the linear thing as well, except I don't bother to play the cantrips on the side and just stick the next to the Villages in the village row according to the order I played them.

Exactly on both of these, and that's why we found the "Blank cards as Action place mats" method worked so well for us. We can put them to the side, underneath, pull out a TV tray if we need more room, but whatever we have to do, we can easily see how many more Actions are left to play this turn, even if we're playing on something significantly smaller than the table where Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale ate their first dinner in "Batman."  :P
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2018, 05:14:36 pm »
0

Shows how groupthink things happen in games... pretty much everyone I play with does the tree thing; and I just assumed almost all Dominion players did...
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BobbyZim

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2018, 12:40:34 am »
+1

Shows how groupthink things happen in games... pretty much everyone I play with does the tree thing; and I just assumed almost all Dominion players did...

I don't want to use a word as loaded as "groupthink." If the tree method works for you, by all means, continue to use it.

But not all of us have that much physical space we can use, and again, when it comes to trashing cards or returning them to Supply piles, as you're supposed to do, some of us - for various reasons - get confused, and the Blank card "place mats," Buy markers, Coin markers, crossed card markers are much easier to track and can be done in a much smaller space.

I did not want to be mistaken for saying your idea was a bad idea. Again, whatever works for you should be what you do, and I sincerely appreciate your suggestion.  :)
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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2018, 01:16:48 am »
+2

I used to just count actions out loud. That works reasonably well. When I saw other people doing trees, I switched to that, or rather, when I have lots of villages I do trees, and when I don't I have a line and it's still a tree but going the other way on the table. I've done pairing up villages with terminals some, that is a fine method also. When I have a crazy number of villages sometimes I do that.

I turn duration cards sideways at the start of the turn they're leaving. Other people flip this, and play them sideways, which is fine too, though it would confuse me at this point.

If a card conditionally makes $, e.g. Pawn, I tilt it ~45 degrees to indicate that. Tracking +Buys tends not to be an issue, because it's memorable, I really wanted that +Buy, and it's much less often conditional. But once in a while I try somehow to track that too with tilting.

When something is going to happen at the start of my turn and I might forget it, I turn the top card of my deck sideways as a reminder.
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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2018, 09:31:05 am »
+4

To state the obvious: when going for the tree layout, you can overlap the cards so that only the names are showing. That's about as space-efficient as anything else I've seen.
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Chris is me

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2018, 09:51:08 am »
0

If a card conditionally makes $, e.g. Pawn, I tilt it ~45 degrees to indicate that. Tracking +Buys tends not to be an issue, because it's memorable, I really wanted that +Buy, and it's much less often conditional. But once in a while I try somehow to track that too with tilting.
I usually invent all sorts of gymnastics for conditional cards. Eg for Hamlet it goes in the Village row if it gives +Action, I put it in upside down if it also gives +Buy, I put it in the cantrip area upside down if itís only +Buy, etc. For pawn it goes in the cantrip area if it gave an action, tapped various ways for Buy and coins and such; but these usually are near the end of the turn anyway.

Thereís a lot of stuff you have to do if youíre limited on table space; the tree method is only really something I do with Throne variants because it takes up so much more space than I tend to have. Iím usually playing on a ~2x~5 coffee table.
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guidobass

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2018, 10:04:08 pm »
+1

EDIT: Also, there is the issue of playing, say, a Procession on a Village, where the Village is trashed within the tree. But yeah. We had been doing a semi-tree-like layout, and we found it confused us, because we have limited space on our table to make those rows, even without the "trashed card" problem.
Turn your tree layout on it's side and play it left to right. You'll be able to play more cards that way.
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BobbyZim

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Re: Tracking + Actions/Buys/Coins (Use for Blank Cards)
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2018, 04:27:57 pm »
0

Thereís a lot of stuff you have to do if youíre limited on table space; the tree method is only really something I do with Throne variants because it takes up so much more space than I tend to have. Iím usually playing on a ~2x~5 coffee table.

Yeah, if you're talking in feet (because a 2x5 meter table would be pretty huge), it sounds like you're playing on a table with about the same area as ours. For two-player games, we have about 3.25x3.5 feet (roughly one square meter) of playing space to work with. (That's slightly larger in area - about 10.5 square feet vs. 10 square feet.)

But also bear in mind: For two-player games, we sit next to each other - not across the table - and tilt the Supply piles at a 45-degree angle so neither player is reading the Supply cards upside down, which eats up a lot of space.

So yeah. I mean, we have found playing left-to-right without making too many rows works better, because we have far more room left-to-right than top-to-bottom.
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