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Author Topic: Feedback wanted on my Dark Ages kingdom designed to make Rebuild interesting  (Read 591 times)

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jonaskoelker

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I tried designing a kingdom with Rebuild and 9 other Dark Ages cards that would be interesting. This is my first revision:




(Shelters and Provinces, no landscapes)

Would you consider this kingdom interesting to play (and also: fun)? If an interesting Rebuild kingdom (100% Dark Ages) is something that exists in your world, could this be made more interesting, and if so how?

My design process is not particularly sophisticated: pick Rebuild, then pick all the cards that interact with how a normal Rebuild game plays out.

Trashing non-Rebuild cards increases your Rebuild density and trashing your money density up to $1 increases your Rebuild and Duchy gain rate. Junking un-trashes your opponent. Scavenger and Pillage do card (de-)selection, Market Square and Rogue interact with the trash(ing). You know, "+$2, gain a Duchy" is great. Feodum gives Overgrown Estate two paths along which it can be promoted into Duchy, and Squire lets you gain the expensive attacks without Rebuild or Duchy being part of the opportunity cost. Death Cart might give you Province money, and if 2xMarauder pile the ruins it's nice to gain. Squire/Feodum with Rogue support might let Rebuild play a non-mirror for once. Is Rebuild/Feodum a thing? ???

The missus and I had fun playing the kingdom and I found it interesting, so mission success, mostly. I have been underwhelmed by Marauder and Death Cart; everything else played roughly how I expected. Maybe I'm underestimating Marauder, though? Forager is happy to trash the ruins, but making $1 off of two cards makes it hard(er) to hit $5.

The card selection effect of Scavenger is very overt. Sage and Wandering Minstrel are more indirect in their Rebuild-finding effects, and maybe more interesting but perhaps also clumsy enough that they won't see play? Sage will find a lot of non-Rebuild cards and Wandering Minstrel will help your terminals collide. Maybe making them work is an interesting challenge? I think not, but it seems worth experimenting with.

I think Poor House might be a worthwhile Death Cart replacement in v2 of the kingdom. It'll help you hit $5 with support (Silver, Forager, Squire), but at the cost of terminal space; it might be easy to pick up off a spare Forager buy.

Anyways, I've rambled enough. Would you find the kingdom interesting and fun to play?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 03:34:20 pm by jonaskoelker »
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Isis

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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 11:41:48 pm »
+1

I think it's an interesting kingdom because you don't buy Rebuild here.

Having Estates instead of Shelters is a huge deal, and I usually view the reason to go for rebuild even though you have to buy the estates yourself to be because the kingdom is bad.  This kingdom has some good cards so I don't think this is that case
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Awaclus

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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 11:22:55 am »
+2

I think it's an interesting kingdom because you don't buy Rebuild here.

Having Estates instead of Shelters is a huge deal, and I usually view the reason to go for rebuild even though you have to buy the estates yourself to be because the kingdom is bad.  This kingdom has some good cards so I don't think this is that case

It has some cards in it that are good cards, but it doesn't mean there is a strong non-Rebuild strategy available. And there isn't. On the contrary, there is a lot of stuff that works well with Rebuild, and it is not actually the case that Shelters are substantially weaker with Rebuild than Estates. Overgrown Estate means you can get value from your Rebuild immediately, and if you have to spend $2-4 turns buying Estates (or Feoda), it's not that big of a deal because nothing that you would be buying at that price point is super important anyway.
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jonaskoelker

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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 03:33:10 pm »
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It has some cards in it that are good cards, but it doesn't mean there is a strong non-Rebuild strategy available. And there isn't.
I'm interested in this point. What's the strongest one or two non-Rebuild strategies you see here, and why do you think they're too weak? Are there moderate tweaks that could be made to make them approximately competitive?

I see something moneyish with Squire, Forager, Market Square and maybe a Rogue or two to steal Duchies. I also see Squire/Feodum, again with an opportunistic Rogue or two thrown in. I have a hard time evaluating them, but they at least seem coherent and potentially good.

How would you play Rebuild against them, and why would they fail?
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Chris is me

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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 04:09:15 pm »
+1

I think it's an interesting kingdom because you don't buy Rebuild here.

That's kind of the thing about Rebuild. It's not that it makes 80% of boards into Rebuild-only boards (that hasn't been the case for years). It's that it is either basically the only important card on the board, a card that basically has you skip building altogether, or it is a nonfactor. There's no sprinkling in Rebuild into the middle of a normal game, and unlike other hugely powerful cards like Governor, there's no board interaction or meaningful build decisions or what have you in a game where it actually is the most important card.
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Awaclus

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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 06:13:27 am »
+1

It has some cards in it that are good cards, but it doesn't mean there is a strong non-Rebuild strategy available. And there isn't.
I'm interested in this point. What's the strongest one or two non-Rebuild strategies you see here, and why do you think they're too weak? Are there moderate tweaks that could be made to make them approximately competitive?

I see something moneyish with Squire, Forager, Market Square and maybe a Rogue or two to steal Duchies. I also see Squire/Feodum, again with an opportunistic Rogue or two thrown in. I have a hard time evaluating them, but they at least seem coherent and potentially good.

How would you play Rebuild against them, and why would they fail?

I see Feodum, and I guess you could use Foragers and Rogues to gain Silvers but I don't really see that working out too well. The Silver gaining is just not strong enough to make Feodum a competitive strategy. I would play Rebuild like I normally play Rebuild and I would win because the Feodum strategy just isn't strong enough.

There is also something moneyish, like there always is. I wouldn't use Squire in it unless I had a $2 hand, but Forager, Market Square, possibly Marauder, possibly Rogue, and a bunch of Treasure — that's a deck that you can play for sure. The problem is that nothing about it is particularly exciting. Market Square doesn't do anything if it doesn't connect with Forager and even when it does connect, you've spent 3 out of 5 cards to gain a Gold and a Lab and may or may not be able to do anything useful with the other 2 cards, which is a good turn, but it is not an earth-shattering turn, it's in the same ballpark as playing a Jack of all Trades, trashing an Estate and then buying an Ironmonger or something. Forager is an okay trasher even for a money deck and trashing is such a strong effect that you probably want it even if there was no Market Square, but it isn't Masquerade, it slows you down on the turn you play it. Marauder is kind of a slow card and it doesn't hurt Rebuild as much as it hurts normal decks, I'm not sure if you even want it here. Rogue is good, but the Rebuild player has their own Rogues too and if it works conveniently for them (which it mostly shouldn't, but it will sometimes), they Rebuild D->P and then they immediately gain the Duchy back from the trash with their Rogue, and on your turn you play your Rogue with nothing good in the trash. And that's the problem, Jack/BM with Rogue loses to Rebuild with Rogue and you're probably not as strong as Jack/BM with Rogue.

If you replace Marauder with Jack, I would expect the Rebuild vs money matchup to be more even, possibly in the money player's favor.
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jonaskoelker

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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 03:55:54 pm »
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That's kind of the thing about Rebuild. It's [everything or nothing]. There's no sprinkling in Rebuild into the middle of a normal game, [and when Rebuild dominates] there's no board interaction or meaningful build decisions or what have you [...].
I haven't played a lot with Rebuild but I've seen it played on video. Most random rebuild games look a lot like this: get a few silvers, get two rebuilds, try to win the duchy split, and on $0-$4 hands you consider whether you want more silver or more whatever-the-only-support-card-is. (Assuming you do go for Rebuild.) That agrees with what you're saying 100%.

I tried building a kingdom where that is not true. Did you mean to say that in your eyes I failed? If so I would love to learn where I went wrong. I can believe that even though Rebuild interacts more with this board than with random Rebuild boards, the build decisions are straightforward and thus uninteresting. Do you find that to be the case?

Alternatively, are you saying you don't go for Rebuild on this board? If so, what would you go for, and why do you think it's stronger than Rebuild?

... or am I reading to much into your comment? :)
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jonaskoelker

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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 04:17:12 pm »
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[analysis of Feodum stuff and the moneyish strategy]
If you replace Marauder with Jack, I would expect the Rebuild vs money matchup to be more even, possibly in the money player's favor.
Noted, thank you for the suggestion.

I was considering adding Hermit, which trashes shelters and gains silver about on par with Jack; the draw and self-spy effect is less strong with Hermit. If Hermit going in is not kicking out Market Square I think I'm no longer going for Rebuild. Hermit instead of Market Square is probably not as good for money as Jack instead of Marauder. How do you think Madman impacts Rebuild vs. other strategies?

My super duper hot take: the biggest effect of Madman is to draw your broadly-understood gainers (Rebuild, Rogue, Squire/Forager/Feodum), so it amplifies the difference between the gainer-oriented strategies—whichever was stronger becomes stronger still. Madman in big money to me feels... you know, nice but not earth-shattering. Most likely 8 cards is not going to get you a double province turn—a money density of $2/card with a +buy probably means you overbuilt.
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Awaclus

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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2020, 05:19:00 pm »
+1

Noted, thank you for the suggestion.

I was considering adding Hermit, which trashes shelters and gains silver about on par with Jack; the draw and self-spy effect is less strong with Hermit. If Hermit going in is not kicking out Market Square I think I'm no longer going for Rebuild. Hermit instead of Market Square is probably not as good for money as Jack instead of Marauder. How do you think Madman impacts Rebuild vs. other strategies?

My super duper hot take: the biggest effect of Madman is to draw your broadly-understood gainers (Rebuild, Rogue, Squire/Forager/Feodum), so it amplifies the difference between the gainer-oriented strategies—whichever was stronger becomes stronger still. Madman in big money to me feels... you know, nice but not earth-shattering. Most likely 8 cards is not going to get you a double province turn—a money density of $2/card with a +buy probably means you overbuilt.

Ah, I forgot that you were going for a Dark Ages only kingdom. I guess Jack doesn't work then.

Jack is good for BM because it gives you trashing and a Silver and an acceptable hand for buying stuff. Hermit doesn't help you have an acceptable hand for buying stuff, which is why it's substantially worse and for that reason, I wouldn't expect it to be competitive against the Rebuild strategy anymore (Hermit/Market Square will of course beat it handily). You could try it out and see how it goes though. I think that Madman is mostly a way to get rid of the Hermit when you no longer have a use for it, and I guess you get a super-Horse on top of it. I wouldn't buy a Hermit for the Rebuild strategy. In the money strategy, it's pretty much as you say, but it does help you hit a single Province turn which can be important.

Hermit/Feodum with Rogue for gaining back the trashed Feoda is somewhat better than what you can do on the original board. I still don't think it would be strong enough to beat Rebuild though.

If you can't make the other strategies strong enough without including Hermit/Market Square, you could try making an engine strategy available.
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Isis

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+1

eh I think Awaclus caught me skimming, the average power level is high but there's not actually an actual strategy

There's no +card, I didn't pay enough attention to components.

I think it probably is Rebuild BM even with the estate handicap then
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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2020, 09:05:19 am »
+2

I think it's an interesting kingdom because you don't buy Rebuild here.

That's kind of the thing about Rebuild. It's not that it makes 80% of boards into Rebuild-only boards (that hasn't been the case for years). It's that it is either basically the only important card on the board, a card that basically has you skip building altogether, or it is a nonfactor. There's no sprinkling in Rebuild into the middle of a normal game, and unlike other hugely powerful cards like Governor, there's no board interaction or meaningful build decisions or what have you in a game where it actually is the most important card.

I disagree. Rebuild is very underappreciated as an unorthodox milling tool. When you have a Province or Duchy in your deck/discard, you just need to click Rebuild and poof, the Province pile is depleted by 1. This is especially dangerous in the presense of Throne Room or King's Court, as this effect is throneable. Rebuild being nonterminal is also an advantage.

I think it's an interesting kingdom because you don't buy Rebuild here.

Having Estates instead of Shelters is a huge deal, and I usually view the reason to go for rebuild even though you have to buy the estates yourself to be because the kingdom is bad.  This kingdom has some good cards so I don't think this is that case

Shelters vs Estates doesn't matter a whole lot, usually. E->D is by far the least useful/most gimmicky part of Rebuild. Sure, you have those Rebuild-only builds, but these builds are viable on crappy boards only, and the presence of starting Estates doesn't really matter there either.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 09:13:19 am by grrgrrgrr »
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Awaclus

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Re: Feedback wanted on my "make rebuild interesting" Dark Ages designed kingdom
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2020, 01:31:51 pm »
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I disagree. Rebuild is very underappreciated as an unorthodox milling tool. When you have a Province or Duchy in your deck/discard, you just need to click Rebuild and poof, the Province pile is depleted by 1. This is especially dangerous in the presense of Throne Room or King's Court, as this effect is throneable. Rebuild being nonterminal is also an advantage.

Sure, in principle. In practice, how often does it happen that 1) you're playing an engine 2) you're able to set up a Province or a Duchy in your discard pile 3) you're ahead in points but your opponent is playing a slower strategy with a higher payload and could catch up 4) you have a $5+ buy and the best way to spend it is on a card that just mills Provinces?
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grrgrrgrr

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I disagree. Rebuild is very underappreciated as an unorthodox milling tool. When you have a Province or Duchy in your deck/discard, you just need to click Rebuild and poof, the Province pile is depleted by 1. This is especially dangerous in the presense of Throne Room or King's Court, as this effect is throneable. Rebuild being nonterminal is also an advantage.

Sure, in principle. In practice, how often does it happen that 1) you're playing an engine 2) you're able to set up a Province or a Duchy in your discard pile 3) you're ahead in points but your opponent is playing a slower strategy with a higher payload and could catch up 4) you have a $5+ buy and the best way to spend it is on a card that just mills Provinces?

I think you are oversimplifying a bit. I'm talking about Rebuild as a card that you sneak in at some point, not as a card that is integral to your build. Being able to set up Province/Duchy in your deck/discard pile is a huge plus, but by no means mandatory. Rebuild also works when you draw it before all green cards are drawn, especially since it is nonterminal. And it definitely doesn't "just mill" Provinces, it also has the bonus of netting 3VP when there is a Duchy in your deck (undrawn).

You are right about opportunity cost - it's a stop card and it's useless when there are no green cards in your deck. And it dislikes Estates. So yeah, it probably fails to make it into anyone's deck the majority of the time. But the milling effect it provides is definitely more valuable than adding a card that makes your deck a teeny weeny bit more reliable.
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