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Author Topic: Why is Possession hated so much?  (Read 2038 times)

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ackmondual

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2018, 10:53:06 pm »
0

Any board with coin tokens or villagers: always spend all of your opponent's tokens so they can never do anything.
I understand that post-Empires rule change but previously Possession was much more fun as there were such soft counters in the presence of Coin and VP token gaining cards.
I guess you could always house rule it that Debt goes to the Possessor, while all the good things (VP, Coffers, Villagers) go to the Possessed.


There's probably a better way to do "get a benefit based on how good the deck of the player to your left is". Or a better way to do extra turns.
And they're known as Smugglers and Outpost, respectively.
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ConMan

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2018, 12:21:34 am »
+2

Any board with coin tokens or villagers: always spend all of your opponent's tokens so they can never do anything.
I understand that post-Empires rule change but previously Possession was much more fun as there were such soft counters in the presence of Coin and VP token gaining cards.
I guess you could always house rule it that Debt goes to the Possessor, while all the good things (VP, Coffers, Villagers) go to the Possessed.
You mean like the Alchemy 2nd edition version?
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buckets

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2018, 01:42:19 am »
0

Possession creates a form of anti-Dominion, as other has pointed out, it's pretty fun the first few times but it's just get old in a way other types of games doesn't and even if I never hated Possession I don't miss it the slightest not being available on DO.

Possession and KC is a crime however. The fact that I never experienced it is perhaps why I don't hate the card.

you can play with it on DO, but it doesn't come up in random games—you have to select it
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LittleFish

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2018, 07:48:47 am »
0

For instance, getting a province from treasure requires that you draw 3 stop cards on a standard board. Their minimum cost is $15. They take three gains to get.
Actually it's to get money for a province because Platinum and Gold is also.
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Dwhit

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2018, 08:12:14 am »
0

Still $15
Gold costs $6
Platinum costs $9
=15
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LittleFish

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2018, 02:01:36 pm »
0

I can't add
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GendoIkari

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2018, 03:23:23 pm »
+1

Any board with coin tokens or villagers: always spend all of your opponent's tokens so they can never do anything.
I understand that post-Empires rule change but previously Possession was much more fun as there were such soft counters in the presence of Coin and VP token gaining cards.

I know ConMan mentioned this, but to be clear, that post-Empire rule change has been changed again, and Possession does not cause the possessor to get the Coin tokens or VP tokens. The version you are thinking of was never actually printed, and that rule fortunately doesn't exist in print anywhere. I do think it's the version that still exists online, which is strange.
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Chris is me

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2018, 01:03:28 pm »
0

Any board with coin tokens or villagers: always spend all of your opponent's tokens so they can never do anything.
I understand that post-Empires rule change but previously Possession was much more fun as there were such soft counters in the presence of Coin and VP token gaining cards.
I guess you could always house rule it that Debt goes to the Possessor, while all the good things (VP, Coffers, Villagers) go to the Possessed.


There's probably a better way to do "get a benefit based on how good the deck of the player to your left is". Or a better way to do extra turns.
And they're known as Smugglers and Outpost, respectively.
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It doesn't matter where debt GOES when you take it. If you HAVE debt and no way to pay it off, your opponent can't do anything with your deck. The house rule doesn't fix it.
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Commodore Chuckles

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2018, 01:13:13 pm »
0

Any board with coin tokens or villagers: always spend all of your opponent's tokens so they can never do anything.
I understand that post-Empires rule change but previously Possession was much more fun as there were such soft counters in the presence of Coin and VP token gaining cards.
I guess you could always house rule it that Debt goes to the Possessor, while all the good things (VP, Coffers, Villagers) go to the Possessed.


There's probably a better way to do "get a benefit based on how good the deck of the player to your left is". Or a better way to do extra turns.
And they're known as Smugglers and Outpost, respectively.
Tribute!

It doesn't matter where debt GOES when you take it. If you HAVE debt and no way to pay it off, your opponent can't do anything with your deck. The house rule doesn't fix it.

It does matter where the debt goes, because if it goes to the possessed you can shut them down completely by buying a bunch of debt cards and not paying it off.
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ackmondual

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2018, 04:54:07 pm »
0

Any board with coin tokens or villagers: always spend all of your opponent's tokens so they can never do anything.
I understand that post-Empires rule change but previously Possession was much more fun as there were such soft counters in the presence of Coin and VP token gaining cards.
I guess you could always house rule it that Debt goes to the Possessor, while all the good things (VP, Coffers, Villagers) go to the Possessed.
You mean like the Alchemy 2nd edition version?
Yes. 

I was not aware there was yet another errata to this.  So Empires Errata vs. Dom. Alchemy 2nd edition errata
http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/Possession
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allanfieldhouse

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2018, 02:03:57 pm »
+1

Why is Possession hated so much? I don't have Alchemy, but it still seems like a decent card.

"Because it leads to degenerate games." This has been mentioned several times, but I wanted to show a clear explanation of why this is the case.

If player A goes for a normal strategy (say 1 province per turn), player B can simply go for a strategy of "play more than one possession per turn". Since both players are using the identical deck to score points (player A's deck), player B will basically always win because they get to take more turns with that deck.

Keeping that in mind, both players will try to build a deck that can't do anything except play possession. Which leads to a stalemate. Even when stalemates don't happen, the games tend to not be very fun because you're playing with decks that were designed to not be good.
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jomini

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2018, 07:31:40 pm »
+1

Why is Possession hated so much? I don't have Alchemy, but it still seems like a decent card.

"Because it leads to degenerate games." This has been mentioned several times, but I wanted to show a clear explanation of why this is the case.

If player A goes for a normal strategy (say 1 province per turn), player B can simply go for a strategy of "play more than one possession per turn". Since both players are using the identical deck to score points (player A's deck), player B will basically always win because they get to take more turns with that deck.

Keeping that in mind, both players will try to build a deck that can't do anything except play possession. Which leads to a stalemate. Even when stalemates don't happen, the games tend to not be very fun because you're playing with decks that were designed to not be good.

It is even worse than that. Suppose Possession is the only way to gain an extra card each turn - no other +gains in the kingdom at all. You gain your first prov, I get Possession (swapping a Silver to a Pot).

With reliable decks you get prov 2, I get gold/prov 1. You get prov 3, I get prov 2(my deck) and prov 3 (your deck).

Now it is back to you. You can get prov 4, I go duchy/prov 4 and win.

It gets worse building out to double prov engines. I get my Possession when you get to $12. You get two prov, I get two prov/duchy.

Even when the decks are unreliable, Possession typically wins. After all, Possession can trash or discard-for-sift more as it needs only one card to gain whatever the other guy gets, worse with 2 gains the Possession player can opt to buy reliability cards (Scheme, Haven, Forum, etc.) on busted hands and still maintain score parity.

It is freakishly hard to outrun Possession when your points are coming from standard green, colony, or the current online implementation. Gardens and slogs can make a go of it because that such an easier price point to hit than $6, but there really is no card in Dominion that can be more space efficient than Possession. Sure, the odd money board can outrun it when you cannot build an engine or otherwise make Possession reliable ... it is just that Possession is literally the easiest card in the game to make reliable if your opponent doesn't degenerate.

Trash the rest of your deck? You can easily gain a province/turn. Run with playing 4 Warehouses a turn? Sure, whatever.

Back in the day it didn't seem so bad, but back in the day people had not figured out how quickly engines could get up and ruining. As money strategies have increasingly declined Possession has gotten stronger. I mean when you can legitimately run Wisp engines it has to be a pretty bad board for Possession not to be idiotically strong. 


Ultimately Possession was supposed to be held back by the opportunity costs of buying a Pot, having it in your deck,  buying a Possession, and carrying it in your deck ... but it just doesn't work with efficient engines as buying the Pot eats one turn, buying the Possession eats another ... and then gives it immediately back next go round. After two rounds, Possession has the whip hand. Carrying around two stop cards is a bit harsh ... but not insurmountable (particularly as you can trash the Pot back out sometimes with non-terminal trashers). And you have to be awfully ballsy to trust that your deck will win just because you won the "Lab split" 6:4.
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Holger

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2018, 09:00:30 am »
0

Ultimately Possession was supposed to be held back by the opportunity costs of buying a Pot, having it in your deck,  buying a Possession, and carrying it in your deck ... but it just doesn't work with efficient engines as buying the Pot eats one turn, buying the Possession eats another ... and then gives it immediately back next go round. After two rounds, Possession has the whip hand. Carrying around two stop cards is a bit harsh ... but not insurmountable (particularly as you can trash the Pot back out sometimes with non-terminal trashers). And you have to be awfully ballsy to trust that your deck will win just because you won the "Lab split" 6:4.

Is Possession really so strong? In Qvist's last card ranking, it was only #5 out of 10 potion cards, behind Alchemist. So there should be many boards on which Possession can be ignored, or where you at least have to carefully decide whether to go for it.

FWIW, you could easily remove practically all stalemate situations by adding a "Once per turn" clause to the card text, though it would substantially weaken the card. Has someone tried this as a  house-rule? You could even do this online by mutual agreement on most boards (whenever there's no Throne Room variant or forced action play like Golem, agree to never play a second Possession in one turn).
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crj

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2018, 09:41:16 am »
0

As discussed, it's dominating rather than strong.

It would be strong if your opponent built a deck worth having, but an serious and experienced player won't if Possession is on the table, preferring a horrible game to a losing one.

I guess limiting Possession to once per turn would help a bit, but I don't think it's enough to save the card.
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aku_chi

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2018, 11:03:40 am »
+1

Is Possession really so strong? In Qvist's last card ranking, it was only #5 out of 10 potion cards, behind Alchemist. So there should be many boards on which Possession can be ignored, or where you at least have to carefully decide whether to go for it.

The Dominion Discord community recently ranked Possession as the second strongest card in Alchemy, behind Scrying Pool (ahead of Familiar and Apprentice).  Almost any time you can reliably play more than one Possession per turn, it dominates the game.  This is possible pretty often.
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jonvs

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2018, 02:24:31 pm »
0

Part of why Possession is hated (or at least why I hate it) is because you can end up sitting around forever while your opponent takes multiple turns.  Especially when Throne room variants are involved.
This is pretty much exactly what I was going to say. Possession is very polarising. In England, it'd be known as a Marmite card: you either love it or you hate it. I have friends that refuse to play with Alchemy unless Possession is involved, and there are others (like me) who'd really rather avoid it. Here are my reasons for disliking it:

  • My biggest complaint is that it lengthens the game considerably. The player has to get out of their seat, peer over their neighbour's shoulder, make all their decisions, and wait for clean-up, sometimes more than once. Then the Possessed player has to take their own turn. In multiplayer games, you can usually go make a sandwich and eat it by the time it's your turn again.
  • It's such a dominating strategy that as soon as someone buys Possession, their neighbour needs to buy it too for fear of having their own strategies turned against them.
  • Combinations not covered by the rules can lead to absolutely devasating consequences, so you have to suddenly be picky about your Kingdoms instead of relying on random selections. Yes, I'll admit to a certain degree of hypocrisy here, because occasionally I will request new Kingdoms when certain combos come up, such as Apprentice and Rats, or Shepherd and Tunnel. But those combos aren't nearly as devastating as when Possession is combined with Throne Room variants (especially King's Court) to give the opponent multiple turns with their opponent's hands. But those aren't the only cards to avoid with Possession. Masquerade and Ambassador are especially evil in two-player games, when Possessing players can steal Victory cards (or even other Possession cards) from their opponents. They could also Inherit a useless card to steal their opponent's chance at something better. They could even activate Cathedral to force their opponents to trash something every turn for the rest of the game. So if you don't want a complete runaway victory every time, you have to cherry-pick your Kingdom, which flies in the face of the intercompatibility that makes Dominion so great.

For these and many other reasons, I avoid Possession. I have enough base cards for multiple games, so I usually let my friends play with Possession while I play with a different Kingdom around the corner. ;)
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crj

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2018, 03:24:52 pm »
+1

The player has to get out of their seat, peer over their neighbour's shoulder, make all their decisions, and wait for clean-up, sometimes more than once.
Wait... people don't literally do that, do they? On those rare occasions when I've played using Possession, the Possessed player has just passed their hand to the Possessor who's taken a turn then passed back the discards. The phrasing about the Possessed person taking a turn and the Possessor making the decisions is just to make clear who "you" is in card text!
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ackmondual

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2019, 10:41:44 pm »
0

As discussed, it's dominating rather than strong.

It would be strong if your opponent built a deck worth having, but an serious and experienced player won't if Possession is on the table, preferring a horrible game to a losing one.

I guess limiting Possession to once per turn would help a bit, but I don't think it's enough to save the card.
Possession more dominating than Dominate  ;D
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Sheogorath

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2019, 12:33:35 am »
0

I guess limiting Possession to once per turn would help a bit, but I don't think it's enough to save the card.

I have always wondered this, but why doesn't Possession limit itself to once per turn similar to Outpost? Similarly, unable to play Possession during a possessed turn? My guess is space availability on the card since there is so much more explaining to do and it's at a limit already.

Also, while I understand the logic to it not being an Attack, would giving it an Attack type help make it less dominating in games since you could use Moat/Lighthouse/Guardian etc?
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Donald X.

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2019, 06:14:50 am »
+2

I have always wondered this, but why doesn't Possession limit itself to once per turn similar to Outpost? Similarly, unable to play Possession during a possessed turn? My guess is space availability on the card since there is so much more explaining to do and it's at a limit already.
I didn't think it would be as much of a problem as Outpost, given how expensive Possession is. It didn't come up as a problem for us. I wasn't yet thinking in terms of how much text would fit well on a card; Possession has especially small text to get all those words on there, and that's just because, those were the words I handed over.

Sure if you couldn't play two in a turn the card would be some amount less of a problem, but as usual the real fix is to not do Possession.

Also, while I understand the logic to it not being an Attack, would giving it an Attack type help make it less dominating in games since you could use Moat/Lighthouse/Guardian etc?
Making it an attack doesn't work at all. It's too big of an effect for you, the person playing it, to let it sometimes be shut off by your opponents; if I had felt it had to be an attack back when, I would have successfully not made the card.
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Sheogorath

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2019, 05:12:55 pm »
0

I have always wondered this, but why doesn't Possession limit itself to once per turn similar to Outpost? Similarly, unable to play Possession during a possessed turn? My guess is space availability on the card since there is so much more explaining to do and it's at a limit already.
Sure if you couldn't play two in a turn the card would be some amount less of a problem, but as usual the real fix is to not do Possession.

That's unfortunately an unsatisfactory answer, but I understand. Was there any thought about limiting it for the 2nd edition of Alchemy (a la Masquerade's major change), or was that going to be too dramatic of a change?

Also, while I understand the logic to it not being an Attack, would giving it an Attack type help make it less dominating in games since you could use Moat/Lighthouse/Guardian etc?
Making it an attack doesn't work at all. It's too big of an effect for you, the person playing it, to let it sometimes be shut off by your opponents; if I had felt it had to be an attack back when, I would have successfully not made the card.

Ahh...yeah that makes total sense. It's a very expensive card and turning them into a completely useless card for your turn would be terrible and probably not worth the risk of even buying a Possession.
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Donald X.

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2019, 05:25:40 pm »
0

That's unfortunately an unsatisfactory answer, but I understand. Was there any thought about limiting it for the 2nd edition of Alchemy (a la Masquerade's major change), or was that going to be too dramatic of a change?
No, the intention was not to just change cards functionally, because some people would feel like we had to sell those changed cards separately, and that would be an awful product.

Masquerade's change almost never comes up, unless you set up a board to prey on people. Most players would never have known it could do that trick anyway. So I would not call it major.
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Holger

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #47 on: January 13, 2019, 04:39:51 am »
0

Also, while I understand the logic to it not being an Attack, would giving it an Attack type help make it less dominating in games since you could use Moat/Lighthouse/Guardian etc?
Making it an attack doesn't work at all. It's too big of an effect for you, the person playing it, to let it sometimes be shut off by your opponents; if I had felt it had to be an attack back when, I would have successfully not made the card.

Ahh...yeah that makes total sense. It's a very expensive card and turning them into a completely useless card for your turn would be terrible and probably not worth the risk of even buying a Possession.
It depends on whether your opponent can draw Moat as reliably as you can play Possession. (Prince and KC can also be totally useless if you draw them without other Action cards, but you can do something about the chances.) So I suppose Possession would be too swingy rather than too weak in such kingdoms.

Back when, I had the idea that in multiplayer games, Possession could be an Attack applying to the first other player in turn order that is affected by it (i.e. if your left neighbor reveals Moat, you just possess another player, similar to the updated Masquerade). This would mitigate the swingyness somewhat, but probably not enough.

But anyway, most kingdoms don't contain an anti-Attack Reaction, so making Possession an Attack would usually just be psychological. It would be most interesting in kingdoms containing Secret Chamber/Diplomat, where the Possessed could mess up their hand before the extra turn...  ;D
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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2019, 12:38:58 pm »
0

Back when, I had the idea that in multiplayer games, Possession could be an Attack applying to the first other player in turn order that is affected by it (i.e. if your left neighbor reveals Moat, you just possess another player, similar to the updated Masquerade). This would mitigate the swingyness somewhat, but probably not enough.

You could have it so that if everyone reveals a Moat it circles all the way around and you Possess yourself. At least then you'd get the extra turn :P
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LittleFish

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Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2019, 03:06:11 pm »
0

Back when, I had the idea that in multiplayer games, Possession could be an Attack applying to the first other player in turn order that is affected by it (i.e. if your left neighbor reveals Moat, you just possess another player, similar to the updated Masquerade). This would mitigate the swingyness somewhat, but probably not enough.

You could have it so that if everyone reveals a Moat it circles all the way around and you Possess yourself. At least then you'd get the extra turn :P
Would be great with cards with trashing when all you have is good cards. you could forge every thing and then get all your cards back.
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