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Author Topic: Your reviews of the previews  (Read 2828 times)

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brokoli

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Your reviews of the previews
« on: September 29, 2018, 05:29:31 am »
+12

So we have finally seen all previews and that was a very exciting week.
In this thread I'm interested to read your opinions about all the previewed cards, and of course, I'll give mine.
This thread is not about discussing power level of the cards (it can be part of the discussion though). It's more about the design.

I think a perfect dominion card (kingdom or card-shaped) has to fulfill three criteria : creativity (new ways to think the game), fun, and depth. Also, simplicity is welcome because a complex card is not necessarily more interesting than a simple card, but adds unnecessary work for memory.

So here are my thoughts :

Moutain village : This makes the player really aware of what is in his discard pile. So you may want to order actions differently to make the best use of the dig-in-discard part. It rewards clever plays. A very interesting village variant ! Excellent.

Priest : With priest you can create degenerated deck that works. A lot of combo potential here : but having to play priest before the trasher is a constraint, so building the perfect priest deck seems not so easy. Excellent.

Seer : Seer also needs a particular deck to work at its best, but it's very versatile and can work even in non-optimized decks. With seer you may focus a little more on the 2-4 range and sometimes you may want to trash coppers before estates. So this is a nice lab variant and we needed more lab variants. Very good.

Scholar : While simple, this is a brillant card design. With experiment, it shows that there is still room for simple cards. Scholar plays differently than the library variants because you have to discard your whole hand first. This is often a benefit but it can hurts when you have other terminals (especially payload) you have to discard. So a deck with Scholar has to be built differently than a classical draw to x : with more action space, or with fewer terminals. So scholar use a known concept (draw to x), but with a different twist. Excellent.

Experiment : This is a very interesting lab variant and the tempo is crucial here. If you get experiments early, you will benefit from its natural deck-cycling and you will get $5+ more easily, but at the cost at losing experiments early. If you get experiments later in the game, losing the experiments hurts less and they are pretty much cheap laboratories. So, the most important about experiment seems to be gaining them at the right moment : very interesting decision. Excellent.

Acting Troupe : I like the villager concept and this is the the most simple way to use villagers. Villagers play differently than usual village, and that's good for the creativity aspect of the game. Very good.

Sculptor : The fact that you get the villager when gaining a treasure and not an action brings a very interesting constraint. This makes sculptor a very tricky gainer. I love the gain-in-hand concept : sculptor pushes it even further than Artisan. Excellent.

Recruiter : I love all tfb, there is no exception. They are all among the deepest cards of the game in my opinion. Recruiter was the obviously missing trash for actions, with villagers it can now exist. Love it. Excellent.

Villain : I love the fact that attacks are getting weaker now, but still strong enough to be useful in the right circumstances. While maybe a little too luck-based, the attack of villain is an interesting variant of the usual hand-reducing attacks. Good.

Ducat : I don't see the point of a candlestick maker treasure, although the discord did a good job at catching their differences. Disappointing.

Silk merchant : I was skeptical at first, but it turns out that the on-gain/on-trash abilities are very useful and leads to very interesting combos and tactical decisions. A very elegant way to use villagers and coffers. Excellent.

Flag bearer : I'm worried that the battle for the flag can turn games into ridiculous slogs, because it seems to me that even if you are getting more flag bearer than your deck can afford, the flag is too powerful to be ignored. The on-trash effect is very useful for that kind of situations. But what if we have no trashers ? Time will say. Anyway flag bearer a nice card that use the artifact mechanic in a very elegant way. Very good.

Swashbuckler : I'm not sure how often treasure chest is really worth it, to me it's not the most important part of the card. The most important seems to gain the coffers, and this is where the card gets interesting... but also a little bit too random for my taste. Good.

Treasurer : It seems to me that with treasurer players have two ways to play : either they fight for the key, or they trash coppers. Gaining from the trash is potentially interesting with tfb. Very versatile. But like flag bearer, the artifact seems strong, maybe too much. Good.

Fair : An interesting thing about projects is that they are limited to once per turn. So a game with fair as the only +buy means maximum 2 buys every turn. I like that kind of game, between no +buy and full +buy. If other +buy in the kingdom, deciding if it is the right move to spend $4 for fair is not so evident. The timing on when to get fair is, in both case, very important. It's a simple project that really adds something to the game. Excellent.

Silos : I like card that makes copper better (rip coppersmith). With silos, you often still prefer to trash your coppers but at least silos almost garantee a good starting hand. This is not the most interesting project to me but I think we needed more ways to play around coppers. Very good.

Citadel : The thing I like the most about citadel is the once-per-turn village potential. A recent game showed me that it can be a vast trap, but I think in the right situations it can work very nicely. Otherwise, citadel still seems to be an auto-buy almost always, it bothers me a little. Also there is the randomness about having the best card to throne in your hand. Good.

Star chart : This project is not so automatic, a well thinned deck usually doesn't need the power of star chart. I don't find star chart very exciting, but it's well balanced for its price. Good.

Sewers : I have to say sewers is very fun, but also too much an auto-buy with soft trashers like moneylender, spice merchant, etc. I find Plan (the event from adventures) more interesting while probably weaker. But anyway, sewers is fun. Very good.

Innocation : I love this new way to play actions during the buy phase and I did so many awesome things in just few games : With estate in hands I bought free barons, with golds in hand I got Governor for the remodel effect, I princed a candlestick maker... This one of the funniest and most creative cards of the new set. Might be too strong but I don't care. Excellent.

So overall I think this is a very promising expansion. I love the fact that cards are simpler than the cards from Nocturne and Empires. The new mechanics are not mind blowing, but very efficient. Of course after playing more, my opinion will probably change a little. But what I've seen so far woke up my love for Dominion. Thanks a lot to Donald X and playtesters for this awesome week of previews !
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Holunder9

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2018, 07:41:02 am »
+2

Swashbuckler : I'm not sure how often treasure chest is really worth it, to me it's not the most important part of the card. The most important seems to gain the coffers, and this is where the card gets interesting... but also a little bit too random for my taste. Good.

Silos : I like card that makes copper better (rip coppersmith). With silos, you often still prefer to trash your coppers but at least silos almost garantee a good starting hand. This is not the most interesting project to me but I think we needed more ways to play around coppers. Very good.
Just to show that Swashbuckler isn't totally random, Silos is a way to often put something into your discard at the start of your turn.

You are right that Silos make sifters and Copper trashers worth less as Copper is worth more but I would rather phrase it as "Copper is less bad". Also, the sifting is really incredible and you sometimes want it even if sifters/trashers are present and you can e.g race quickly through a Traveller line.
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Commodore Chuckles

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2018, 09:51:10 am »
+4

The previews were awesome. The cards were not only great on their own but so was finding the subtle interactions between them.

I didn't dislike any of them. Some of them were weak power-wise, but not in an annoying way.

My favorites were:

Experiment - This turned out to be better than I expected. Having to constantly re-buy them is usually fun rather than annoying; the fact that you get 2 of them was a good design choice.

Swashbuckler - Also turned out to be better than I expected. There are plenty of ways to get cards into your discard, and gaining the coffers and Golds is fun.

Scholar - Minion without the stupid, which is fantastic.

Seer - Might be my favorite. It's often surprising how good it ends up being and the fact that it can't draw itself is also a terrific way to limit the spam potential.

I agree that the main disappointment was Ducat, but the fact that it's basically a way to replace your coppers with something slightly better is kind of interesting.

Overall, this appears in first glance to be the most meticulously designed set yet. My hat off to Donald for this excellent piece of work.
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merlyn8804

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2018, 10:55:10 am »
+2

Sewers is nuts with lurker!

I found silk merchant to be considerably better than I had expected

Overall, lots of interesting cards, it's going to be a lot of fun to play with these.
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Trogdor the Burninator

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2018, 11:38:23 am »
+1

I think Renaissance is going to be a very good expansion for facilitating the Engine-type strategies and decks. The Villager tokens are probably my favorite new mechanic that's been introduced so far.

My favorite cards were Mountain Village, Recruiter (I'm a big fan of Apprentice, it may be my favorite Alchemy card, so it's nice to see a similar effect on Recruiter with the Villager tokens), and Acting Troupe. I also thought that Ducat was really interesting. The Projects also look pretty cool, too.

Renaissance will probably be one of my top 3 favorite Dominion expansions, until the next one comes out  :P
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 11:40:56 am by Trogdor the Burninator »
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tripwire

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2018, 11:40:20 am »
+6

I'm too lazy to go card by card. But I just wanted to give a shout-out to Donald X for awesome work with these previews. I am really excited about this expansion in a way that I haven't been with some of the more recent expansions (I was really excited about Empires as it focuses on many of my favorite things in Dominion, but I'm not a huge fan of Adventures and still haven't bought Nocturne).

I really appreciate the focus on elegance and easy-to-understand mechanics in Renaissance. I play primarily with more casual (and often younger) players in person, so I appreciate the accessibility. This expansion also seems much less fiddly than Adventures can be and Nocturne looks to be. What's most impressive is that despite their "simplicity" I don't think any of these cards are boring. Most of them still provide unique experiences and decisions. And, I think the biggest testament to villagers being awesome is that now, after playing with them, I already miss them when they aren't available on the board. Ultimately, I think this is going to be one of the most refreshing expansions that's come out in a while.

Good work Donald and thanks! I look forward to seeing the rest of the expansion.
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ObtusePunubiris

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2018, 11:49:11 am »
+5

I didn't try out the preview cards online and can't really talk about them individually.  I can give impression of the set in general though.

While I didn't have an issue with the complexity of the last few expansions, I also don't mind the simplicity of this one.  To me, new Dominion cards are good Dominion cards.  Some of the people in my gaming group, however, are somewhat less enamored of the more complex cards/mechanics.  They still enjoy the game and all, but I'm sure they will be happy with this turn towards simplicity.  Which means they will want to play more often, and that makes me happy.

I also think it's impressive that Donald was able to find design space this simple, and yet still compelling, this far into the evolution of the game.  The increasing complexity of the last few did make me think that perhaps there wasn't much further the game could go without becoming unwieldy.  Renaissance gives me hope that such is not the case.

The one minor disappointment I have, and several people have mentioned this, is that Projects aren't multi-stage.  I envisioned having to buy them in 2-3 stages with either no or small benefit until they were complete.  I can imagine some of the complexities (and I'm sure there are some I haven't imagined) such a mechanic would present, both in design and game play, so I understand the decision to simplify.  I still think they would have been cool that way though.  I'll be especially interested to read the Secret History for Projects since Donald mentioned that they were more complex at one point during development.

Overall, I think the set looks great.  I like the theme, the cards look fun to play, they seem impactful, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it.  Bravo!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 11:50:25 am by ObtusePunubiris »
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markusin

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2018, 11:57:11 am »
+1

I gave my impressions of the preview cards in a video recording that I uploaded to my YouTube channel.

Watch here:
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Gherald

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2018, 06:08:46 pm »
+3

The one minor disappointment I have, and several people have mentioned this, is that Projects aren't multi-stage.
Really? Base Dominion already has pretty complex multi-stage projects that change with every board; they're called a deck ;)
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ObtusePunubiris

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2018, 06:41:59 pm »
+2

The one minor disappointment I have, and several people have mentioned this, is that Projects aren't multi-stage.
Really? Base Dominion already has pretty complex multi-stage projects that change with every board; they're called a deck ;)
Sure, but what I want is a deck-building game so complex that even my multi-stage projects have multi-stage projects.
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Donald X.

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2018, 08:28:16 pm »
+5

The one minor disappointment I have, and several people have mentioned this, is that Projects aren't multi-stage.
As usual, people had to guess at what the mechanic would do from the name, but I had these cards and had to call them something. The fact that they were originally more complex is just a coincidence there.
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ObtusePunubiris

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2018, 09:05:41 pm »
0

The one minor disappointment I have, and several people have mentioned this, is that Projects aren't multi-stage.
As usual, people had to guess at what the mechanic would do from the name, but I had these cards and had to call them something. The fact that they were originally more complex is just a coincidence there.
I guess that did sound like I was suggesting that if they use to be more complex, they must have been so in the specific manner I envisioned.  Obviously, I have no way of knowing that.  And to be sure, any disappointment I have is the result of my own speculation, not because of any flaw with the final product.  I do think Projects will fun play with.
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jomini

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2018, 09:13:54 pm »
+3

Star chart is basically an automatic buy. In a thin deck it is a permanent Scheme - worth it at $3 any day - always starting the shuffle with a village in hand is pretty amazing from the mid-game onwards. In the early game it prevents you from missing your clutch card to the shuffle (e.g. always hit Steward at the top of the shuffle). In the mid-game you can often turn mediocre turns into power turns by pick the card to top deck if your draw triggers the shuffle mid-game (e.g. place a silver on deck top if you are dead drawing, a Seer or something is you have one live draw left). In the late game you can ensure your last shuffle starts with the good card (e.g. top decking the Remodel you just bought with a spare $4). Outside of engine games, ensuring that each shuffle starts with your clutch card (e.g. your gainer for a slog, your draw for BM) is actually pretty strong.

After all your odds of missing the shuffle with important cards is something like [one to five + dead draw]/[deck size]. Spitballing the top to average out around 5 and the bottom to around 25 means that each shuffle we have 20% of whiffing.   With 3 shuffles in a game, expectation value is just under 50% of saving you a whiff. With more you are getting down to territory where you are all but assured of converting a whiffed (e.g. duchy) hand into a hit (e.g. province).

Timing your charting, well that is different. When is it worth it to give up a Silver? What happens if you want a power $3 like Fishing village? Very non-trivial. Should you get it? Pretty much any time you have $3, a good card in deck, and more than 3 shuffles left in the game.

Remember the clutch thing in Dominion is to play your good cards more often. Doing that at the top of the shuffle can make that happen for so many reasons - protection from trashing attacks, not missing the shuffle, control of sequential card effects (e.g. trash the copper with Moneylender before Foraging an estate), starting each hand with unreliable villages (e.g. Xroads, Nec, Ghost, Tr), etc. Add in deck tracking (e.g. knowing I can do an easy Tmap/Urchin lineup) and the value of charting rises to pretty high levels.
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Donald X.

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2018, 09:39:38 pm »
0

I guess that did sound like I was suggesting that if they use to be more complex, they must have been so in the specific manner I envisioned.
I wasn't saying that I had any idea what you thought they might be.
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Minotaur

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2018, 10:18:23 pm »
+1

Empires was too much token mini-gaming for me.  There's a little of that here, but for some reason it's not as oppressive.  Travelers and Spirits also annoyed me a bit, but Reserve and Night were fine.  Split piles were a headache...  Anyway, it sort of feels like this is a new expansion I could actually ask other people to play.
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ben_king

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2018, 10:49:43 pm »
+1

I gave my impressions of the preview cards in a video recording that I uploaded to my YouTube channel.

Watch here:


It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out who Melisha was.
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ObtusePunubiris

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2018, 12:19:44 am »
0

I guess that did sound like I was suggesting that if they use to be more complex, they must have been so in the specific manner I envisioned.
I wasn't saying that I had any idea what you thought they might be.
Gotcha.  Well, even so, what you said made me realize I was being unclear.  So thanks.
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Donald X.

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2018, 12:55:41 am »
+3

Gotcha.  Well, even so, what you said made me realize I was being unclear.  So thanks.
I'm there for you, even in these obscure weird ways.
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Asper

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2018, 05:59:13 am »
+3

Said this before, but I'm incredibly glad about the route game design has taken with Renaissance. It just shows that, yes, there still is enough room for simple card designs.

As a fan designer, I'm just happy none of my cards (or card-shaped things) was shot down by redundancies.

Awaclus

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2018, 06:07:18 am »
+8

As a fan designer

Cool, I never knew that you designed fans!
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Asper

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2018, 08:04:58 am »
+7

As a fan designer

Cool, I never knew that you designed fans!

I will forgive your ignorance out of sheer habit.

Donald X.

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2018, 12:09:16 pm »
+9

Cool, I never knew that you designed fans!

I will forgive your ignorance out of sheer habit.
And let me just say, that sheer habit is quite fetching.
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MatthewCA

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2018, 12:41:52 pm »
0

Cool, I never knew that you designed fans!

I will forgive your ignorance out of sheer habit.
And let me just say, that sheer habit is quite fetching.

I'll be fetching this expansion as soon as I can.
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2018, 01:57:07 pm »
+2

Cool, I never knew that you designed fans!

I will forgive your ignorance out of sheer habit.
And let me just say, that sheer habit is quite fetching.

Nunnery project all-but-confirmed.
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markusin

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Re: Your reviews of the previews
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2018, 09:20:20 pm »
+1

I gave my impressions of the preview cards in a video recording that I uploaded to my YouTube channel.

Watch here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWHyjnEjE0k

It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out who Melisha was.

And it took me maybe ten seconds to figure out what you were talking about.
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