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Author Topic: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices  (Read 1959 times)

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NoMoreFun

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #100 on: February 20, 2021, 03:14:53 am »
+1

Moral Panic
Action/Duration/Command - $5
Until your next turn, the first time each other player plays an Action card, instead of following its instructions, they play a cheaper, non-Command, Action or Treasure from the supply (leaving it there).
At the start of your next turn, gain a card costing up to $4 to your hand.

I have a question here, as I am not really sure about this. The official cards Storyteller and Black Market allow playing Treasures during the Action phase. Their instructions are clear enough that there is no doubt how to proceed. With Moral Panic I suppose you can also play your Action card as a Treasure during the Action phase, e.g. a $4 cost Action card as a Silver. Does playing it as Silver means that the player cannot play another Action card thereafter when they do not have +1 Action (from a previously played Duration card) or Villagers? With other words is playing the card as a Silver counts as playing a terminal card?

It's not my entry any more, but no it doesn't end your Action phase.

If Alice plays a Moral Panic, and Bob plays a Smithy, he must instead choose from one of the cards costing $3 or less in the supply. He can choose Silver for +$2

I put that in there so $2 and $3 actions don't get completely nullified (they can be played as Copper for +$1).

At any rate, the wording for the Attack alone takes up 7 lines of text.
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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #101 on: February 20, 2021, 03:57:08 am »
0

Moral Panic
Action/Duration/Command - $5
Until your next turn, the first time each other player plays an Action card, instead of following its instructions, they play a cheaper, non-Command, Action or Treasure from the supply (leaving it there).
At the start of your next turn, gain a card costing up to $4 to your hand.

I have a question here, as I am not really sure about this. The official cards Storyteller and Black Market allow playing Treasures during the Action phase. Their instructions are clear enough that there is no doubt how to proceed. With Moral Panic I suppose you can also play your Action card as a Treasure during the Action phase, e.g. a $4 cost Action card as a Silver. Does playing it as Silver means that the player cannot play another Action card thereafter when they do not have +1 Action (from a previously played Duration card) or Villagers? With other words is playing the card as a Silver counts as playing a terminal card?

It's not my entry any more, but no it doesn't end your Action phase.

If Alice plays a Moral Panic, and Bob plays a Smithy, he must instead choose from one of the cards costing $3 or less in the supply. He can choose Silver for +$2

I put that in there so $2 and $3 actions don't get completely nullified (they can be played as Copper for +$1).

At any rate, the wording for the Attack alone takes up 7 lines of text.

Okay, thanks for letting me know. So, I misinterpreted the text. I thought playing the first card as a Silver consumes an Action.

I just put the text of your initial submission, Moral Panic into the Card Image Generator. It gives me 8 lines with a slightly smaller font. The 2 lines of the "next turn" instruction can be even separated by a space from the top part to make the text more readable and it still doesn't look too wordy, in the sense that the words are worth the length, if you know what I mean. I dislike the "non-Command, Action or Treasure" part somehow; I think that can/should be slightly changed, though this wouldn't have any effect on my judging anyway.

So, if your only concern with Moral Panic is the length of its text, don't feel obliged to replace it just because of that.

Edit: I just realized that there would be a problem with Moral Panic's text: That playing the first Action card as a Silver is not terminal is not clear from the text and would need some clarification, which likely would make the text more wordy.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 04:32:39 am by gambit05 »
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #102 on: February 20, 2021, 05:10:37 am »
0

Moral Panic
Action/Duration/Command - $5
Until your next turn, the first time each other player plays an Action card, instead of following its instructions, they play a cheaper, non-Command, Action or Treasure from the supply (leaving it there).
At the start of your next turn, gain a card costing up to $4 to your hand.

I have a question here, as I am not really sure about this. The official cards Storyteller and Black Market allow playing Treasures during the Action phase. Their instructions are clear enough that there is no doubt how to proceed. With Moral Panic I suppose you can also play your Action card as a Treasure during the Action phase, e.g. a $4 cost Action card as a Silver. Does playing it as Silver means that the player cannot play another Action card thereafter when they do not have +1 Action (from a previously played Duration card) or Villagers? With other words is playing the card as a Silver counts as playing a terminal card?

It's not my entry any more, but no it doesn't end your Action phase.

If Alice plays a Moral Panic, and Bob plays a Smithy, he must instead choose from one of the cards costing $3 or less in the supply. He can choose Silver for +$2

I put that in there so $2 and $3 actions don't get completely nullified (they can be played as Copper for +$1).

At any rate, the wording for the Attack alone takes up 7 lines of text.

Okay, thanks for letting me know. So, I misinterpreted the text. I thought playing the first card as a Silver consumes an Action.

I just put the text of your initial submission, Moral Panic into the Card Image Generator. It gives me 8 lines with a slightly smaller font. The 2 lines of the "next turn" instruction can be even separated by a space from the top part to make the text more readable and it still doesn't look too wordy, in the sense that the words are worth the length, if you know what I mean. I dislike the "non-Command, Action or Treasure" part somehow; I think that can/should be slightly changed, though this wouldn't have any effect on my judging anyway.

So, if your only concern with Moral Panic is the length of its text, don't feel obliged to replace it just because of that.

Edit: I just realized that there would be a problem with Moral Panic's text: That playing the first Action card as a Silver is not terminal is not clear from the text and would need some clarification, which likely would make the text more wordy.

Oh sorry if it wasn't clear. It is terminal. You play an Action, and the instead of following its instructions, you play either another Action or a Treasure. Back to the scenario:

Alice's turn:
Alice plays a Moral Panic
(etc.)

Bob's turn:
Bob has 1 action
Bob spends an action to play a Smithy (and now has 0 actions remaining)
Instead of following the instructions on Smithy (+3 cards), Bob plays an Action or Treasure costing up to $3 from the supply.
Bob chooses Silver. Bob plays Silver, which gives him +$2.
Bob has 0 actions remaining (Silver doesn't give +Action)
It doesn't inherently end your Action phase (e.g. you could spend a Villager or call a Coin of the Realm or Royal Carriage)

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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #103 on: February 20, 2021, 06:31:19 am »
0


Oh sorry if it wasn't clear. It is terminal. You play an Action, and the instead of following its instructions, you play either another Action or a Treasure. Back to the scenario:

Alice's turn:
Alice plays a Moral Panic
(etc.)

Bob's turn:
Bob has 1 action
Bob spends an action to play a Smithy (and now has 0 actions remaining)
Instead of following the instructions on Smithy (+3 cards), Bob plays an Action or Treasure costing up to $3 from the supply.
Bob chooses Silver. Bob plays Silver, which gives him +$2.
Bob has 0 actions remaining (Silver doesn't give +Action)
It doesn't inherently end your Action phase (e.g. you could spend a Villager or call a Coin of the Realm or Royal Carriage)

Okay, thanks. So, I understood it the way it was intended. I don't know where and how I got confused from your previous reply to Moral Panic. So, nothing serious about the text (length and clarity) of Moral Panic on my part.
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Gubump

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #104 on: February 21, 2021, 02:35:46 am »
+1

Updated my entry with art more fitting of an attack. Still functionally the same as it was before.
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #105 on: February 21, 2021, 02:56:17 am »
+2

It's also a 5-cost card.  So people usually won't open with it (when a double-junk would hit the worst).
Well, you are the mathdude so let’s get mathy. Chances for one player to open 5/2 or 2/5 is 1/6. Thus the chance that at least one player can open with this is 30.5% in 2P respectively 42.1% in 3P.

Does not qualify as „unusual“ to me. Opening with a gainer or junker is usually good and if the card can do both, all the better.
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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #106 on: February 21, 2021, 05:22:52 am »
+1


Deadline for Submissions in 24 hours (6:00 am Forum time)

I will post a list of your actual cards soon. Please check if I missed your card or the newest version of it. From now on, please note any changes of your card or cards that haven't been submitted yet below this post. In the case of card changes, please also update your original entry. If you do change your card after this post, please give a link (or reply#) to your original submission.
 


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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #107 on: February 21, 2021, 07:39:38 am »
+4


List of Submitted Cards:   

- Fragasnap

- faust

- spineflu

Valkyrie (Action-Attack, $5)
Quote

+3 Cards

   Each other player takes Jinxed.   

Jinxed (State)

Quote

   At the start of your turn, return this and choose one: -1 Action, -1 Buy, or gain a Curse.   

- mandioca15

- Gubump

- Xen3k

- emtzalex

- pubby

- fika monster

- X-tra

- segura

- silverspawn

- Aquila

- NoMoreFun

- Commodore Chuckles

- mathdude

- alion8me

- scolapasta

- Mahowrath

Ghost Smithy
cost $5 - Action – Attack
Quote

+2 Cards

Each other player chooses one:
   discard their hand and draw 3 cards;   
or trash a non-Victory card from
their hand (or reveal they can't).

- majiponi


- Timinou

  - D782802859

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mathdude

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #108 on: February 21, 2021, 07:46:26 am »
0

It's also a 5-cost card.  So people usually won't open with it (when a double-junk would hit the worst).
Well, you are the mathdude so let’s get mathy. Chances for one player to open 5/2 or 2/5 is 1/6. Thus the chance that at least one player can open with this is 30.5% in 2P respectively 42.1% in 3P.

Does not qualify as „unusual“ to me. Opening with a gainer or junker is usually good and if the card can do both, all the better.

You're right, it's not mathematically that unusual. There would be other 5-cost competing for an opening buy in basically every kingdom though (granted, not all are great openers).

And yes, getting en early gainer and junker combined is great... but if you are using the gainer to its potential (5-cost), it's also a gainer for opponents (as if they had a workshop).

But if you want to double-junk them, you are really stunting yourself - using a strong card to gain a silver or a village? There are always choices.
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Timinou

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #109 on: February 21, 2021, 10:01:05 am »
+2

I've updated Crusaders based on emtzalex's feedback and also buffed it slightly to give Coffers instead of coin:


http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=20687.msg862488#msg862488

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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #110 on: February 22, 2021, 07:15:20 am »
+11


Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices

Submission closed!



For those of you who don’t want to read too much text, but can’t wait to see the results of this contest round: Please have a look at the highlighted parts at the end of this post.

I’d like to give you some insight how I evaluate your cards for this contest round. I have been the judge for a few Set Expansion Contest rounds, which is a totally different task since those cards deal with known mechanics of one official expansion only and there were far fewer of them to evaluate. I’ve started to test my own Fan cards at about the turn of the years 20/21 and thought that it is a good idea to do the same with your cards. This looks like a lot of work, and yes it is more time consuming than judging cards by starring on their text and try to figure out how they would play in different scenarios, based on experience with similar cards if existent and then writing a short seemingly smart looking report. The latter approach is in the end more of a brain cell killing task and I would miss many more subtleties of individual cards than with the approach I did here.

So, how do/did I evaluate(d) your cards?

I first looked at your card the traditional way, but only for a few minutes. I made some (electronic) scribble notes about what I think about your card, such as similarities to official cards, types of attacks, types of choices to make etc. Mostly just first impressions. As you may will see, my first thoughts appear to be wrong in some cases, but hit the nail for some other cards. I’ll leave the notes mostly unchanged, just trying to make them a bit more readable.

I’ve set up a standard Kingdom including 9 official card (or a few of my own Fan cards) that are all useful in one way or the other and added your Attack card to this set. Then I played simultaneously for 3 (virtual) players, which means I made all their decisions. I gave those players different playing styles; for example one of the (fictive) players always has a $5/$2 opening advantage if your card costs $5. Usually I stopped those testing games after ~8-10 rounds. Sometimes I changed some cards of the Kingdom (e.g. to have trashing available or not); sometimes I tested your card in the context of a different Kingdom. During such test rounds, I scribbled some notes down about the different turns with a focus on the effects of your card. These game logs may will look a bit chaotic to you, especially when it is about a card from a different user, but maybe it will be helpful when it is about your own card. I will leave those notes mostly unchanged, but try to trim them down to the most relevant parts. Unfortunately, for some reasons I can’t remember, the notes to some of your cards are rather rudimentary, which doesn’t have to mean that this particular card was less interesting. Sorry, if your card is affected by this.

The 3rd part of the evaluation of your card will be my conclusion which is mostly based on the test game rounds; they may look similar to evaluations of other WDC rounds. It will take a while until I'll show you all of this as I still have to test a few late card revisions and I still have a good chunk of my notes to convert into readable text.

Then something new that I hope you will not find too annoying: I will present a short list of candidates without declaring a winner at that point. I’ve found those cards interesting enough for some reasons to be among the top something of the pool of submitted cards. I will test them by the same approach described above, but in the context of a different Kingdom and then (hopefully) post the final results and the winner of this contest within an appropriate time frame.

To make this post not too long (I am afraid many of you wouldn’t read it), I will present in a following post the Kingdoms I have used for testing and a description of the playing styles of the three virtual players. I hope you’ll enjoy this different approach to assess your cards.

There is still a lot of work to do. I have to test the latest revisions of some cards and I have to convert my notes to a readable text. Please be patient.


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fika monster

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #111 on: February 22, 2021, 09:08:13 am »
+1


Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices

Submission closed!




There is still a lot of work to do. I have to test the latest revisions of some cards and I have to convert my notes to a readable text. Please be patient.
Don't worry, take your time.
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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #112 on: February 22, 2021, 02:49:05 pm »
+11


Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices

Testing your cards:

I’ve decided early on to test all your cards one-by-one in a standardized Kingdom with a few individual changes. If time permitted it, and I felt the difference is relevant, I tested your card in a Kingdom with a potent trasher (Steward) and in (almost) the same set-up but without the trasher. For a few cards (e.g. Hawker), I changed the Kingdom in a direction that allowed testing the specific concept of your card to get a better idea. The standard Kingdom (besides your card) was (with some of the individual changes in parentheses):

Pawn (Twins*), Steward (Vassal), Workshop, Worker’s Village (Mountain Village), Conspirator, Caravan, Market, Archive, Spices (Golden Fleece**)

* Twins is a newer version of a powerful one-shot $2 cost card I once designed for a WDC.
** Golden Fleece is an Action-Treasure-Night card I have presented in my “Simple cards thread” a while ago. The only, but apparently necessary change is that it costs $6 now.

Here is the standard Kingdom I've used to test your cards and below that some of the cards I've used as substitutes:

Pawn, Steward, Workshop, Caravan, Conspirator, Worker’s Village, Archive, Market, Spices.








Sometimes I changed some of the cards shown above: Vassal instead of Steward (to have no trashing) or for Workshop, Mountain Village for Worker’s Village (to avoid the +1 Buy on Worker’s Village), Twins for Pawn and/or Golden Fleece for Spices (included more for the fun of it; these cards are my own Fan cards that I wanted to test anyway). There are a few more replacements in some tests (e.g. Scout was included when I tested Hawker), but I think I will mention them in the evaluation of your card.



I’ve tested your cards in simulated 3-player games in which I played all three players (like a permanent Possession player). With very few exceptions I usually played ~8-10 rounds for each game only. The playing styles of the 3 (fictive) players (A, B and C) are:

Player A (the Aggressive Attacker): Always goes for the attack cards and usually wants multiple of them. This guy is lucky (or cheating). When the Attack card costs $5, he always has $5 available in his first hand. Otherwise, he starts $4/$3 like the other guys, who always open $4/$3.

Player B (the Busy Buyer): A guy who likes gaining most of the different cards available in the Kingdom, but seemingly with some sort of plan. He can be smart and tries to adapt to the individual situation, but is not overly aggressive if a moderate approach seems to be more promising. He suffers sometimes from bad luck when drawing cards, e.g. he is usually behind in getting the critical $5 cost cards, especially your Attack card.

Player C (the Coin cards collector) He likes Treasures a lot and gains Action cards mostly for increasing the payload/card quality of his Treasure-based deck (e.g. a Steward for trashing junk and for its +$2) or when the Action card is not terminal. If your Attack card is cheap and provides $, he will also include this in his deck, though if not really pressured, only a single copy most of the times. Otherwise, he will ignore your card, but might take some measures to counteract its effects, e.g. trashing incoming junk. If allowed, he wants to mix yellow with green at the first opportunity or very soon thereafter.

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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #113 on: February 23, 2021, 04:08:16 am »
+10


Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices

Evaluation of your Cards – Round I – Selecting Candidates for the Final Round:   


- Fragasnap

First thoughts: Concept-wise some similarity to Raider. Warlock provides strong drawing combined with a hand-size attack and potential junking, which looks at first glance like its main function. Why including the option “reveal from hand”? Obviously, this allows including non-Supply cards from piles as targets, but is the additional complexity worth it?

In game thoughts/notes (here and for some other cards, they look terrible in hindsight):
Player A plays Warlock; opponents may have a Workshop or a Caravan in their hand, but it doesn’t matter much to choose one of those; there is a possibility that the other players can gain a Warlock (Note: In hindsight, I am not sure what I wanted to say here); player A chooses Curse.
Warlock allows quick cycling; if 2nd Cursing failed (opponents discard Curse), they cannot trash it with Steward and they are likely hit the 3rd time.
Player B plays Warlock first time, chooses Curse (player A doesn’t have any yet). Player A looks whether opponents trashed Curses. If yes, names Curse.
Player B plays Warlock, names Curse. Player C discarded a Curse before (and has 4 cards in hand now), C gets a Curse even if they would have a Curse in hand, since they can’t discard (only 4 cards in hand).
Strategy player A: 2-3 Warlocks, several Worker’s Villages. 1st Warlock: Curse, opponents discard Curse, 2nd Warlock: Curse (no defense, since 4 card hands)
Player C got hit in the same round by player B (has still 4 cards in hand).
At some point, player A plays 2 Warlocks in the same turn (supported by 2 Worker’s Villages): B can’t discard, gets Curse, can’t discard 2nd time, 2nd Curse. Player C discards Curse, has now 4 cards in hand, not eligible to defend, gets inevitably a Curse by the 2nd Warlock. Then 3rd Warlock is played… Then I stopped the game.


Conclusion:
Cursing is mandatory. During early turns, the attacking player can make an estimated guess whether opponents can hit $5. On the other hand, a reduction of $4 to $3 via Copper discarding doesn’t matter much. It looks like cursing other players is the dominant strategy. Once a few Curses are in the decks, a 2nd Warlock will ultimately hit. An alternative strategy is to first give a Copper and then curse the opponents, which seems to have a similar effect. I’ve not tried this since just cursing worked well enough. The best strategy for the attacking player seems to be to have multiple Warlocks and sufficient Village support, and always curse the opponents, which hits most of the times and even if it doesn’t, the attacked players are defenseless due to having only 4 cards in hand. This latter part makes Warlock quite weak concept-wise. I somehow miss the challenge to make decisions and the fun that would result from that.


- faust

First thoughts: A terminal Silver with a Cursing effect on a $3 cost card likely makes this an opening buy, even if you have no clue how to accurately play Shaman. Interesting and complex connection between cursing, providing Actions (which is also helpful to play/chain Shaman itself) and a mild hand-size reduction (as long as a player is not hit multiple times). Reminds me in that aspect of Torturer.

In game thoughts/notes:
All players $3/$4 start. All players buy Shaman (Silver has no advantage) and Caravan.
Round 3: Player A plays Shaman. All players discard an Estate (nothing happens).
Round 4: Player B plays Shaman (just by chance no player has any Estates in hand). Tough decision; B decides to take Bewitched (to keep $5; “stupid decision”). C decides to take Bewitched (no danger as they are next). A decides discarding a Copper: $5 to $4, but no crucial $5 cost card on board; C is next with a high chance for playing a Shaman; player C (still 4th turn) plays Shaman (Bewitched has no effect; no other Action card in hand): A takes Bewitched (no risk). B gets Curse. C has $4, discards Copper, buys Silver (that is what they wanted anyway).
Round 5: Player A plays Worker’s Village and 2 Shamans. B and C discard an Estate then take Bewitched. A discards Estate & Copper ($2 to $1), buys nothing; B plays Shaman; C gets Curse. A and B discard Estate; C plays Shaman: A takes Bewitched (no risk); B discards Curse; C discards Estate.
Round 6: Player A plays Worker’s Village and 2 Shaman (again!).
From around round 7 on it is difficult to predict for an attacked player whether a 2nd Shaman attacks (one is usually not too dangerous).
Funny situation at some point: Player B plays Shaman (no more Actions left), player C has 2 terminal Action cards in hand (Shaman and Steward), takes Bewitched; can play both now. Player’s hands get better, thereby having less junk available for discarding, i.e. an attacked player takes Bewitched more often. On the other hand, efficient attacks need multiple Shamans, which can hamper the player’s own decks if they do not have the proper support by Villages and/or Bewitched.


Conclusion:
A $3 cost Attack card that gives $2 is basically a must buy (even for money players). Since Shaman is so cheap, it seems that its attacks are faster than trashing junk from a player’s deck. It is tempting to open with Shaman as it also provides +$2, but then the deck needs more of them for carrying out efficient attacks. Getting more Shamans seems to be addictive in a way I yet have to figure out. Early in the game, the decisions the attacked players have to make are quite easy; i.e. they discard an Estate and no harm is done. If no Estate is available, a Copper will do the same trick, although here it can hurt if that drops the buying power below $5. Later on however, attacked players have to make tougher decisions, and doing this correctly isn’t a simple task. An interesting feature is that Bewitched can be helpful for the next player because it provides +1 Action and thus can allow them playing 2 Shamans without Village support. This is an interesting concept, which fits well to the criteria of this contest round. With the limited experience I have with Shaman/Bewitch I can say that the cards offer fun and challenging games and a great re-playability.


- spineflu

First thoughts: The text is simpler than that of the previous version. The part I liked about making decisions later, i.e. at the start of the turns of the attacked players is gone in the new version of Muster. Mechanically, this change means that the attacked players have to make the decision with less information at hand. On the other hand, since the other players have to decide immediately, it doesn’t require any reminder or tracking of a card that may have been played a while ago. My initial impression of the previous version of Muster was that it’s attack looks quite harsh. The new version may be even more brutal.

In game thoughts/notes:
Round 3: Player A plays Muster; B (Caravan, Steward, 2 Coppers, 1 Estate) chooses the tokens; C (Steward, 1 Silver, 2 Coppers, 1 Estates) also chooses the tokens; A buys Steward; B plays Caravan (without drawing), Steward, trashes Copper/Estates, buys nothing, returns tokens; C plays Steward, trashes Copper/Estates, buys Pawn, draws 4 cards at end of turn, returns tokens.
Round 4: A buys Golden Fleece; B & C buy Silver. Round 5: A plays Pawn, Muster; B (Caravan, Steward, 3 Coppers) takes tokens; C (Steward, Silver, 2 Coppers, Estate) takes tokens; A buys Worker’s Village; B plays Caravan (no draw), Steward, trashes 2 Coppers, buys nothing, returns tokens; C plays Steward, trashes Copper/Estates, buys Pawn, draws 4 cards at end of turn, returns tokens.
Round 6: A plays Steward, trashes 2 Estates, buys Worker’s Village; B and C buy Muster. Round 7: A buys Muster; B plays Steward, trashes Copper/Estate, buys Silver; C plays Pawn, Steward, trashes Copper/Estate, buys Silver.
Round 8: A plays Worker’s Village, Muster; B (Muster, Caravan, 2 Coppers, 1 Estate) takes tokens; C (Muster, Pawn, 3 Coppers) takes token. I stopped here.


Conclusion:
The idea of an attack letting opponents choose between penalty and benefit for the attacker is an interesting idea and the mechanic of Muster using the Adventurer penalty tokens in combination with the benefitting non-Supply cards is clearly a novelty. At some point during the test rounds I thought that Muster doesn’t work in the intended way. A very early attack can be quite oppressing, but even then, taking the tokens seems to be the better option than granting the attacker Horse and Spoils that early in the game as that would give a significant boost to the attacker. I can also imagine that the benefits increase immensely with an increasing number of players. However, I have to say that when I tested the previous version of Muster, I’ve found that in later rounds, when players have high quality decks with mostly powerful cards in their hands that it is often better to give the Attacker the benefits, and that this also creates some tension between the opponents. So, with my limited experience with Muster I would say that the challenging decisions occur relatively late in games. Taken together, Muster is an interesting card with a novel mechanic and provides some fun to play with and great re-playability.


Valkyrie (Action-Attack, $5)
Quote

+3 Cards

   Each other player takes Jinxed.   

Jinxed (State)

Quote

   At the start of your turn, return this and choose one: -1 Action, -1 Buy, or gain a Curse.   

- mandioca15

First thoughts: The attack is delayed via distributing the State Jinxed, which at first glance looks conceptually similar to some of the Hexes. I like the simple design.
Players generally want lots of Villages, for defense and for Valkyrie itself. So, the best seems to be to gain Villages a bit earlier than usual. I guess this clearly plays differently in games without Villages, without extra-Buys, no trashing etc.

In game thoughts/notes*:
Game set up: Worker’s Village looks like the perfect counter to Valkyrie. Therefore I used Mountain Village instead of Worker’s Village for testing Valkyrie/Jinxed as the latter would make the defense way too easy.
Early on: Having a hand without Actions doesn’t cause any problems; the same is true if a Steward is available, i.e. trash the junk, don’t buy a card.
In the middle game: Hands w/o extra Action/buy (some luck involved even with the best prepared deck): Taking a Curse is the best option.
-1 Action or -1 Buy (or Curse) looks like a stronger attack early in the game than the -1 Card and -$1 penalty vs the benefits of Muster (see above), at least in my standardized Kingdom. The best defense seems to be to have a bunch of Villages and Pawns (to mitigate the Buy penalty if required). However, doing it this way, also means that the Villages are degraded to cantrips. On the other hand, Valkyrie itself needs Villages for being efficiently used.

*For some reason, I do not have a game log, and I can’t remember why it is missing. My guess is that this was one of the earliest cards I’ve tested when I haven’t established a consistent format yet. Sorry for that.


Conclusion:
Valkyrie provides strong drawing and is just for that a card that players want to have in most Kingdoms. As a consequence, its presence doesn’t influence the composition of decks too much. It is more about the order of gaining different cards and maybe having a few more Villages and +Buy cards than usual. The Kingdom I’ve used for testing has a lot of + Buys cards and thus, a Kingdom with limited access to +Buy likely plays differently, which is a good thing in terms of re-playability of Valkyrie. It is also good that due to the State Jinxed, double attacks and the number of players to not cause any problems in terms of playability. Valkyrie is likely not dominating games too much and plays more like an engine piece that has the side effect to occasionally hit opponents. They are not getting in deep trouble, if their decks are (fairly) well prepared. What I really like is that the waiting time caused by the attacks is limited to a minimum due to Jinxed. After getting Jinxed, opponents have some time to think about their choice until their own turn starts. And, the attacking player just continues playing without waiting for opponents’ decisions. Not much more to say, I like the concept.


- Gubump

First thoughts: This looks like a hybrid of Werewolf/Giant. Being a Curser means that it has a “consumable junking” effect unlike Hexes distributed by Werewolf. Once the Curses are gone, Crone remains a strong card, i.e. keeping the token face up converts Crone to a permanent Smithy, which is not bad for an Attack card.

In game thoughts/notes:
Round 3: Player A plays Crone, turns token for Cursing.
Round 5: Player A plays Crone, turns token, Curses and draws; player B plays Crone (after Mountain Village), doesn’t turn token, draws.
At some point, player B drew all their deck, including token flipping and cursing.
Player A achieved a double-Crone: including Cursing twice and one draw of 3 cards. When Crone is played in combination with a Village, players rather keep the token face up for drawing. That means, a Crone after Village prefers drawing, independently of whether Cursing is involved through token flipping. If Crone is without Village support, i.e. terminal, having a face down token prefers flipping it for drawing and cursing, whereas a face up token is mostly flipped to get the cursing effect without risking to draw strong Action cards dead.

Conclusion:
Crone has some similarities to Werewolf and it is fun to play with Crone. You should definitely consider Crone for the Fan expansion you mentioned in your original post. However, the critical choices players have to make are limited. Thus, although an interesting and solid card that provides exciting game play, in the context of the contest criteria, it doesn’t score too high. Nevertheless, it's a nice card.


- Xen3k

First thoughts: An attacking Fool. The Hex/Boon combination on one card gives it some similarity to Idol (though there they are alternating). Interesting, but how much will the game flow be affected? I have some doubt that this will turn out favorable.

In game thoughts/notes:
3rd round: 1st Bogart played by A allowed getting from $4 to $5 via The Forrest’s Gift; opponents got Greed (alternative pair was Sky/Delusion)
After some more rounds: The usual strategy is to pair the less harsh Hex with the desired Boon and get it.


Conclusion:
Overall, a nice idea, a bit unconventional giving the general hate of the community to Boons and Hexes. The annoying factor isn’t as high as I expected (assuming players know the Boons and Hexes). Having said that, one should keep in mind that the game conditions I used were that only one player went aggressively for the Attack and one player totally ignored it. This is likely different when all players go heavily for Boggarts, which I imagine can become a bit annoying to play with, especially when too many players have to make a decision.
Quite often there is a more brutal Hex attack that the attacked players want to avoid and a better Boon that the attacking player wants to get. Since the attacked players have to choose the Hex, the attacking player just pairs the better Boon with the less brutal Hex and then usually gets what they want. In this aspect there doesn’t seem to be much of a decision making. Boggart is a solid attacking card that combines the Boon/Hex features. It has a lot of re-playability considering all the possible Boons/Hex combinations and that in different Kingdom contexts, but I doubt that many players will find this funny and challenging. Maybe, some people really enjoy it in a more social gaming environment.


- emtzalex

First thoughts (on the new version): This has quite a tiny text (omitting the part in parentheses would make it better); Stingy Witch is still a cantrip attack, but compared to original version lacks the +1 Buy, which is a good thing since I couldn’t find a good reason to have it there. On the other hand, the new version looks more complicated, which at a first glance doesn’t look like an improvement.

In game thoughts/notes:
Round 4: Player A plays Pawn, Stingy Witch; B discards Estates, gain Curse to hand; C does the same; A buys Silver. B plays Steward, trashes Copper/Curse, buys Pawn; C buys Stingy Witch.
Round 5: A plays Pawn, Stingy Witch; B discards Estates, gains Curse to hand; C discards Curse, gains Curse to hand, A buys 2nd Stingy Witch; B plays Caravan, buys Stingy Witch; C buys Stingy Witch.
Round 6: A plays Steward, trashes 2 Estates, buys Pawn; B draws card from Caravan, plays Steward, trashes 2 Estates, buys Workshop; C plays Stingy Witch; A discards Copper, gains Curse to hand; B discards Estates, Curse to hand; C plays Pawn, draws Steward, chooses +$2, buys Golden Fleece.
Round 7: A plays Stingy Witch; B discards Curse, gains Curse to hand; C discards Copper, gains Curse to hand; A buys Caravan; B plays Pawn, Stingy Witch, C and A discard something, gain Curse to hand, B buys something; C plays Steward, trashes Estates, Curse. I stopped here.


Conclusion:
Although the card instructions look a bit complicated, the execution seems pretty simple: Opponents discard a card, gain a Curse to hand; trash it now or soon after. Of course, in a Kingdom without trashing the procedure would be different. I haven’t tested this, but I guess every player has to aggressively go for Stingy Witches, and rather gains Curses than 3 Coppers, until either the Curses run out or near the end of the game. The concept doesn’t really impress me and there is neither a real decision to make (with the idealized Kingdom I used), nor is the fun factor very high. The original Stingy Witch wasn’t too exciting either, but I liked it more than this later version and it was simpler and less wordy.


- pubby

First thoughts: An attacking Copper+ with VP on stake. Dowry might play totally different with VP gaining cards in the Kingdom (which I will not test). For sure a quite unique concept.

In game thoughts/notes:
Early on reflecting the attack is in most cases done by discarding an Estate. However, in a 3-player game 2 Dowries can be played very soon. Then it is less likely that a 2nd Estate is available for discarding. This is even more critical when an attacked player has to decide to go down from $5 to $4 ($4 to $3 isn’t that critical) very early in the game and they are still not on the safe site if they gave 1 VP instead. I guess the best strategy is to discard whenever it is not too critical, but to give 1 VP when it is critical. I think in the long run it is better to loose the 3 VP and then being immune to the attacks. An aggressive Dowry player would then have a lot of useless junk (Dowries) in their deck.
Opening turns: Player A goes for Double-Dowry, Player B starts without Dowry, i.e. buys Steward, Caravan, C likes shiny Treasures but keeps it moderate and opens Dowry, Caravan.
Round 3: Player A plays Dowry, B and C discard an Estate (no harm). Round 4: Player A misses (5 Coppers in hand), C plays Dowry, buys Dowry. A has $5 in hand, discards Copper. Later rounds: Most of the times, players discard Estates or Copper if it causes a drop from $4 to $3. A few times VP was granted to the attacker. At around round 9-10: Player B gave all VP away, but has a very efficient engine and buys the 1st Province. C got 1-2 times a VP from the other players, but is back now to 3 VP (A has 6 VP). Comparing the decks, B has the best one, C the worst.


Conclusion:
Dowry has a funny and unique concept, though I somewhat doubt that it works properly. There is some appeal to it, but it may require some changes. A player aggressively playing Dowries has to invest a good part into a card that is close to being junk itself and players that largely ignore it and care more about building an efficient engine seem to make the better deal. There are probably scenarios where the 6 VP swing matters, or more importantly, the time that was spend to achieve it. However, my feeling is that at least in Kingdoms allowing strong engines, a Dowry player’s VP gain is worth less than the power of a running engine deck. I think Dowry itself should have better abilities to make it less junky itself, if a player wants to go for multiple copies; or maybe Dowry should just be treated as a sort of mini game giving some annoyance as a side effect. Having said all this, I like the general idea and the concept, but the actual card seems to have some flaws.


- fika monster

First thoughts: When I tested one of the previous versions (it was labelled with v5, whereas this one is v4.3), I came to the conclusion that the card doesn’t work well. It allowed opponents to improve the quality of their hands most of the time. So, what is the difference? With version 5 other players have to discard their best 2 cards and then draw 3 cards. In contrast, version 4.3 lets the opponents first draw 2 cards and then the attacker picks the best one for discarding. This looks pretty similar to Pillage, with some notable exceptions: Corrupt Middlemen is a potent drawer and not a one-shot. Looks pretty strong.

In game thoughts/notes:
Round 3: Player A plays Corrupt Middleman, draws 3 cards; B and C draw 2 cards; both reveal 1 Steward, 4 Coppers, 2 Estates; A picks Steward in both cases; A buys Golden Fleece; B buys Workshop, C buys Caravan.
Round 4: A plays Pawn, buys Steward; B plays Worker’ Village, draws and plays Steward, trashes Copper/Estate, buys Pawn; C buys Archive.
Round 5: A plays Corrupt Middleman, draws 3 cards; B and C draw 2 cards; B reveals Workshop, 4 Coppers, 2 Estates, discards Workshop; C reveal Caravan, 4 Coppers, 2 Estates, discards Caravan; A buys Archive; B buys Worker’s Village; C buys Caravan.
Round 6: A plays Pawn, draws and plays Steward, trashes 2 Estates, buys Worker’s Village; B plays 2x Worker’s Village, Pawn, Workshop, gains Silver, plays Steward, trashes 2 Coppers, buys Pawn; C plays Steward, trashes Copper/Estates buys Pawn.
Round 7: A plays Worker’s Village, Pawn, Steward, trashes 2 Coppers, buys Worker’s Village; B buys Silver; C plays Archive, puts Pawn to hand, plays Steward, trashes 2 Coppers, buys Silver.
Round 8: A plays Corrupt Middleman, draws 3 cards; B and C draw 2 cards; B reveals 2 Pawns, 2 Worker’s Villages, 1 Steward, 1 Silver, 1 Copper, discards Steward; C reveals 2 Caravans, 1 Steward, 1 Silver, 1 Copper, 2 Estates, discards Steward. A buys Corrupt Middleman and gets 2 Coffers (from Golden Fleece played at Night).
I stopped here.


Conclusion:
This version of Corrupt Middleman is miles better than the previous version I have tested. Although the situation where absolute critical cards, e.g. opponent’s Corrupt Middleman or a single Village among a bunch of terminal cards didn’t occur, it becomes clear that this Corrupt Middleman is doing his job and it can be hardly ignored. The mechanic of first increasing opponent’s hands and then pick the best card for discarding seems to work well. It is neither too harsh nor too harmful when multiple Corrupt Middlemen attack, since there is always some replenishment of cards. Taking together, it looks like Corrupt Middleman v4.3 works. The card offers player interactions and funny game play. Corrupt Middleman v4.3 looks like a solid and playable card, and is a real improvement of the previous version 5.


- X-tra

First thoughts: A cantrip attack for a cost of $4 usually means trouble, play-wise and conceptional. Looking a bit closer, Sacked Town is about giving the attacker a choice between a seemingly mild hand-size attack and Cursing opponents, but allowing them to draw back to 5 cards in hand; the more they draw the more Curses they get. As a sort of compensation, they likely replace the worst cards with average cards of their deck. Did I mention that I am a bit worried about the cantrip ability of Sacked Town?

In game thoughts/notes:
Since Sacked Town is a cantrip, even player C buys it in their opening turns.
Round 3: Player A plays Sacked Town, B and C discard Copper, which hurts as they both have a Steward in hand (Steward will trash Estate; they won’t buy $2 card).
A buys 2nd Sacked Town.
Round 4: Player C plays Sacked Town, B in same situation (Steward).
Round 5: A plays Sacked Town (B has 4 cards in hand!). A goes for discarding to affect both opponents (If A would have a 2nd Sacked Town on hand and then choose draw/Curse, B would get 2 Curses).
Round 6: A plays Sacked Town.
At around round 8-9: Double attack from player B, C gains 2 Curses, A gets one.
         
2nd game w/o trashing, i.e. Vassal replaced Steward. Early turns: Players not affected by Sacked Town (they discard Estates). There were again situations, where only one opponent can be cursed. I went for hand size reduction to affect both opponents, though in hindsight cursing might have been better, as hand size reduction really doesn’t hurt at that stage.
At around round 8-9: Double and even triple attacks (from single players) and double cursing occurred. Decks are of poor quality as there is no trashing available. Redrawing improve hands, but not that much since most cards are junk anyway.


Conclusion:
Overall, the attack seems to mostly hurt in early turns. The choices seem to be a bit limited. An attacking player lets first reduce the hand size of opponents, which is quite easy to do twice later on in a game, and finally curses them. The attacked players usually improve the quality of their hand during the attacks. With strong trashing, it is probably not worth to invest much into Sacked Towns and if so, to use the attacks more for hand size reduction. On the other hand, Sacked Towns don’t hurt the deck and picking up a few (e.g. via Workshop) doesn’t hurt either. Without trashing on board, which I have tested in the 2nd game, the outcome is quite different and players have to deal with a lot of junk. This shows that Sacked Town causes different consequences in different Kingdoms, though the general playing strategy doesn’t seem to change much. Is it fun to play with Sacked Town? I wouldn’t say it is bad, it offers some re-playability, but it somehow lacks a refreshing aspect. I am not sure whether it has something to do with Sacked Town being non-terminal, but getting and playing a bunch of them seems to be too easy to achieve.


- segura

First thoughts: Innovative and interesting concept. How will the Ruins interact with “discarding an Action card”? Are +3 Coffers etc. too much? There are interesting decisions to make, e.g. What helps my play, e.g. do I need Actions (Villagers) versus what hurts the opponents most. One aspect makes me a bit curious about how Witch Hut will function: Players can benefit from discarding Coppers, Estates and Ruins and simultaneously junk their opponents, but they can’t do that with Curses, meaning that the latter are the real junk that has to be mostly avoided.

In game thoughts/notes:
Round 3: Just by chance, player A had both Action cards (Twins and Witch Hut) on their hand, goes for the “Coffers” option of Witch Hut. However, also the alternatives look really strong, e.g. discarding an Estate for +3 Villagers (even without the attacking part) is super strong and player A wouldn’t have to take care for Actions for a while.
Round 5: Player A, similar scenario as in round 3. Player A has a lot of Coffers by now (or could have a lot of Villagers). I stopped here. Though it was absolutely drawing luck involved (starting the game with $5 in hand was set, but having the 3rd turn with Witch Hut and Twins was not manipulated), such situation (or at least some parts of it) are not too rare for simply being dismissed. The whole scenario would be even worse with a Kingdom without trashing.


Conclusion:
Witch Hut really looks like an innovative idea. It combines discarding a card for some benefit and at the same time junks other players. When I said some benefit, I have to correct myself, the benefit seems to be quite a lot, especially so when cheap Action cards are available. The attacking player even doesn’t have to care much about terminal collision as long as they can attack with their Witch Huts. An interesting scenario is when Treasures are discarded, as Coppers are the most abundant junk. This give opponents Ruins, which in turn can be perfectly used as fodder for their own Witch Huts for gaining lots of Coffers and cursing other players. I had some additional thoughts about the special role of Curses in this junking festival, but I am still not sure whether the concept is packed in a well balanced card, or if it rather doesn’t work in a proper way. As interesting as it looks, I think Witch Hut could be improved by some nerfing, but please don’t ask how that could be done.


- silverspawn

First thoughts: A bold concept. I am tempting to include Scout in my set-up testing Kingdom; maybe in a 2nd round if there is one. So, I will start testing this with mostly useful Action cards. To give you a bit of satisfaction at this point, I will use Scout as the substitute to represent Hawker in the test run.

In game thoughts/notes:
Early rounds: Limited cursing, since most decks can’t support too many terminal cards (Hawker, Steward, Workshop). Going for multiple Twins (one-shot “Lost Cities”) would likely be an aggressive approach to Curse opponents more heavily, but I didn’t want to base the strategy on a single powerful $2 cost Fan card and just mostly ignored it here (at this point) at least when it came to making Hawker non-terminal.
Around round 6: Player A plays Village supported double-Hawkers; still curses opponents. Decks (especially that of player A) are thin enough to permanently play multiple Hawkers. I stopped here (6 Curses left in their pile). After Curses run out, I would just continue for a while with naming Coppers, until the player with the most efficient deck goes for greening, when I would use Hawker for payload. For efficient junking opponents with $4 cards named by Hawker, they should be terminal and not of much use when too many copies are in a deck. Hawker itself seems not an option with good Village support available and would likely lead to endless junking until Villages, cantrips and trashers are overwhelmed by the junk.

2nd game: No trashing available (Vassal replaced Steward), I included terminal $4 cost cards (Scout for Conspirator, Sea Hag for Caravan, Pawn for Twins, and Hawker substituted by another card):
 First thought: Hawker looks stronger than Sea Hag, as it has after Cursing abilities. The game set-up is that player A will go for Sea Hag:
Lots of junking as expected. With some Silvers, players are able to buy Archive, which helps a lot to manage their decks, then players go for Golden Fleece to concentrate buying power on a single card. I stopped playing before the Curse pile emptied (4 left). I just realized at that point that it doesn’t matter whether $4 cost junk cards are available as the decks are already heavily junked.

3rd game: Trashing (Steward), otherwise the same cards as in game 2: Totally different situation: The +$2 for $4 cost card-junking seems to be the better option when $5 or $6 can be reached for at least a few times, i.e. to get 1-2 copies of Archive and 1 Golden Fleece or so. Opponents of course get junked with the precious Scout. Scout by the way is relatively decent here as it can get the most important cards to hand via a subsequent Pawn for example.


Conclusion:
With $4 cost target cards, the concept really seems to work, especially when there is at least some trashing (or, and that would be interestingly different, remodeling/trash-for-benefit cards). The question is how often are there Kingdoms with undesirable $4 cost cards? How would this work when an attacker grants opponents a more than mediocre $4 cost card, but with the own benefit to get to $5 or $6, and later in the game to $8? My gut feeling tells me that this could be the case much more frequently than I originally thought. So, I am not sure whether Hawker is sort of a niche card or whether efficiently playing it just requires some playing skills. Anyway, plus points for brevity, read for presenting an innovative novelty.


- Aquila

First thoughts: A simple Mountebank variant, even to the vanilla bonus. New is the association with a Heirloom “Curse” that will switch decks when played. I can’t find a reason not to play it, e.g. an Action card with the same instructions would be more challenging, or a “discard other than during Clean-up” Reaction. Redoubt, a terminal Curser for $3 with a +$2 bonus looks quite strong. I don’t see an immediate mechanical connection between Redoubt and Rook. Looks more like combining 2 different mechanics. Anyway, I wonder a bit about the choices. What about: “Each other player may discard a Rook. Those who…” as a Redoubt instruction? That would connect the pieces and would make playing Rooks on player’s own turns more challenging. Or at least like Cursed Gold, giving a penalty of not being able to play Rook as a requirement for passing it to the next player.

In game thoughts/notes:
The Rook Heirloom does not have the slightest impact on game play. I couldn’t find a good reason not to open with Redoubt. I stopped playing at round 4. Sorry, there are too many flaws with this concept.

Conclusion:
See my first thoughts. I don’t want to sound too harsh, but in light of so many excellent submissions, I felt that playing with Redoubt/Rook was less exciting. I can’t offer much on how to improve the concept other than what I have mentioned in the “First thoughts” section. I just feel like Redoubt and Rook don’t belong to each other.


- NoMoreFun

First thoughts: Racketeer is a Workshop variant with a striking similarity to Cobbler. If the attacking player has a good idea about the decks of the opponents, they can benefit in 2 ways, the guarantee of having a useful card in hand at the start of their next turn, and hurting opponents when they play a copy of it. The important difference of the Workshop part of Racketeer to Cobbler is that the player has to decide which card they want  before they know their next hand. On the other hand, choosing key cards such as Villages can be quite oppressive for the opponents. Overall, this looks strong.

In game thoughts/notes:
As Racketeer itself is a Workshop variant, I used Vassal instead of Workshop.
Round 4: Player A plays Racketeer, expects that B plays a Caravan this turn, gains and sets a Caravan aside, buys Pawn; B has indeed a Caravan in hand (the chance was 5/7), plays it (Steward is in their deck), gains a Curse, buys Silver; C buys Caravan.
Round 5: A plays the Caravan, draws and plays Steward, trashes 2 Coppers, buys Silver; B buys Worker’s Village; C buys Racketeer.
Round 6: B buys Golden Fleece. Round 7: C plays Racketeer, gains/sets aside Caravan, buys Market.
Round 7: A plays Caravan, gains Curse, buys Golden Fleece; B plays Caravan, gains Curse, plays Steward, trashes Copper/Estates, buys Pawn; C plays 2 Caravans, 2 Pawns, 1 Steward, trashes 2 Coppers, buys Conspirator. I stopped here.


Conclusion:
It is a bit difficult to evaluate the card since the test is based on a “I-play-all-3 players” set up, where I know a bit more about the decks than a player would in a real game with 3 individual players. I don’t know whether I like the concept because I have designed cards with similar mechanics or because it is a refreshing new way of creating player interactions. One potential problem is that in early rounds, players can make an estimated guess on what cards other players have in hands and there is not much the other players can do about it. With a strong trasher on board this is not a real problem as Racketeer, a Duration card with a cost of $5 isn’t too aggressive as long as there aren’t too many of them played. It reminds me in this aspect of Swamp Hag, which can be devastating in multi-player games. The attack of Racketeer can also be quite brutal if no trashers are available and when there is a single key card with a cost of $4 or less. I guess in other Kingdoms, players may chose to not play a copy of the racketeered card. With this in mind and in hindsight, I wonder why player C (the “Coin Collector”) just didn’t played a pure money-based deck in the test rounds, thereby avoiding any trouble (as long as the others do not choose Silver for their Racketeers). Anyway, it’s brutal, it’s fun and it’s innovative.


- Commodore Chuckles

First thoughts: Interesting and novel. Did I tell you that I like player-associated cards that enter decks sometimes later during a game? I’ve designed my own versions (called Equipment cards), though with totally different intentions. I am looking forward testing this.

In game thoughts/notes:
To evaluate the timing and the resulting effects of when the Disasters enter players decks, I slightly modified the player set-ups. Player A is as usual aggressive and once they can play double-Sorcerer, they will give 2 Disasters at once. Player B will do a modest approach and will Disaster the other players sometimes mid-game, though due to the efficient trashing, I expect that this won’t hurt other players too much. Although I haven’t played in the test rounds of other cards until the end so far, player C will have the Disaster-others- near the end approach, i.e. they will (widely) ignore the card.

Game 1: Without any real pressure, all players trim their decks efficiently within a few rounds. Player A is more focused on having enough Villages and an Archive available. The others focus on general engine building. I haven’t counted the rounds, but it took quite a while until player A was ready for a double-Disaster. Both opponents drew their whole deck (almost), and immediately trashed both disasters. I stopped the game at this point.

Game 2: No trashing available (Vassal replaced Steward). It turned out that buying Sorcerers early isn’t a good idea (if not used for “Disastering”, which I haven’t tested). It seems to be a card for the middle or end game. With the set-up Kingdom used (without trashing), the existing junk (Coppers, Estates) doesn’t hurt to built a decent engine and adding a few Disasters doesn’t significantly change that. Just having a few Villages is enough to avoid any Disaster problems, which are still easily removed from decks just by playing them.


Conclusion:
While my model Kingdoms are quite potent for all sort of things, even without trashing, Disaster really doesn’t have a remarkable impact. I haven’t tested what happens if Disasters are distributed near the end of the game, but I cannot imagine that it is fun to use Sorcerer just for “Disastering” other players in this way only. There are of course untested scenarios (e.g. no Village), but I doubt that this will help an aggressive Sorcerer player that much as they also have problems to set up efficient attacks. Another thing to consider is the presence of a real junking card in the same Kingdom as Sorcerer, but then again, the real Curses cause much more suffering. I think one problem is that Sorcerer is too expensive for what it does without “Disastering”. Maybe something like this would help: “+2 Cards. Each other player may gain a Disaster (from you). If they did, +1 Card (or some other even stronger bonus)” to make it more attractive to buy Sorcerer earlier in the game and to “Disaster” the opponents. I think there could also be some improvement of the Disasters. It is just too easy to get rid of them.


- mathdude

First thoughts: With the additional Reaction available, Dark Woods asks for complex (complicated?) interactions. It seems to be all about junking and getting junked, though looking not too close at the instructions, it seems like players live in Cockaigne. The Reaction part looks a bit superficial and adds another layer of complexity. It looks like a lot of Village support is required for an efficient Reaction, though why wouldn’t I rather play the other Dark Woods as well instead of reacting with it. Trashing incoming junk comes to my mind, but is it worth it? Is the Reaction part really necessary for the concept, or is it just too much on one card?

In game thoughts/notes:
There is a potential problem with my standard game set-up. Gaining Pawn (Twin has the remarkable difference in that it goes back to the Supply) leads to easy double-junking of opponents without hurting the attacking player. How many official $2 cost cards would allow that? How often would that be a problem with Kingdoms without $2 cost cards? A quick look to the wiki tells me that ~2/3 of the $2 cost cards are tolerable for being present in multiple copies in decks. In the cases where the $2 cost card is not tolerable in multiples, the Dark Woods player can gain $3 cost cards for double-junking the opponents. So, double junking seems to be unavoidable more often than not. After a while, the useful $2 cost card piles out, and junking continues via $3 cost cards. This looks like 3-pile endings are on the table more often than not.

Game (with Pawn, Vassal):
Round 4: Player A plays Dark Woods, gains Pawn, other players gain Curse and Copper. Side note. Player C gets $6, gains Golden Fleece.
Round 5: Player A plays Dark Woods again (drawn by a Pawn)!
Round 7: Same! Round 8: B buys first Dark Woods. Round 9: A buys 2nd Dark Woods (Reaction part becomes relevant). C buys Dark Woods out of frustration.
Round 10: B attacks. A has Dark Woods in hand, but no Steward, so Reaction isn’t an option (wouldn’t an option anyway even with Steward).
Round 11: A attacks, Pawn pile now empty! C attacks, goes for Steward, same Copper/Curse junking as usual. B has Dark Woods in hand, but doesn’t understand the reaction.
Round 12: A attacks. B attacks. Round 13: A attacks. Some piles low (2 Curses, 3 Stewards). B manages to get $8 via Stewards +$2, buys Province.
Round 13: A attacks, Curses gone, buys Province. Junking becomes almost irrelevant (Steward/Silver versus Copper). It’s about greening, trashing junk and 3-pile ending.
Final score after the Steward pile emptied: 13:4:7.


Conclusion:
This was a junking-festival that ended by emptying 3 piles. The reaction wasn’t used at all, though I have to say that a double-Dark Woods was never played. However, considering that junking had the highest priority, swapping a Dark Woods with a gained low cost Action card was never a real option. Maybe near the end of the game I missed to swap a gained Silver with a Dark Woods in hand, but I think it really never happened. The Stewards had no chance to fight the flood of junk and thus players had quite thick decks. And even if it happens once in a blue moon that the Reaction is used, it wouldn’t make Dark Woods an exciting card. So, how could the concept be improved? I suggest to first skip the Reaction part and make the attack part less harsh and altogether simpler. It would look like: “Gain a card costing up to $5. Each other player gains a cheaper card of their choice.” This would be a bit similar to the below-the-line part of Messenger, but in my opinion much more elegant.


- alion8me

First thoughts: Simple instruction, giving a choice between being a Peddler and Cursing the opponents. If cursing is chosen, Haunted Shed is terminal with a bonus worth less than that of a $2 cost card. It looks like the best strategy is to accumulate several copies of Haunted Shed, play them as Peddlers and use only the final one (which can be easily the only one in early turns) for Cursing when no other Actions are in hand and/or the goal of the turn is already achieved (e.g. getting $5). Very early, attacking is the only viable option in most cases (without other Action cards in hand). Aside of that, the card looks interesting and elegant because of its simplicity. First drawing a card and than deciding which way to go is certainly useful. My guess is that early in the game, a single copy is mainly used for Cursing, except when an important Action card wants to be played. Mid-game, the Peddler function is probably more frequently used. Late game, it may depend on the game status (who is leading for example). A major potential problem is the cost of $5 (which looks like the correct cost, no doubt), meaning that it usually competes with some tough cards.

In game thoughts/notes:
Round 3: Player A plays Haunted Shed, attacks. The potential of being non-terminal makes it attractive to buy multiple Haunted Sheds early on  as there is no terminal collusion to worry about.
Round 5: Player A has 2 Haunted Woods in hand, plus Steward and a Caravan in play, plays both as Peddlers, Steward trashes 2 Estates; the 2x +$2 plus 3 Coppers allows buying a 3rd Haunted Shed. My initial concern (see “First thoughts”) has no weight anymore. Player A wants more of that stuff.
Round 6: Player A chains all 3 Haunted Sheds, plays all as Peddlers, plays Pawn, 2 Caravans, finally Steward which trashes 2 Coppers, still $5 left for the 4th Haunted Shed. Player B still struggles to get to $5, player C managed it twice to get $6 (with the help of Steward’s +$2, but invested both times in Golden Fleece, then gained an Archive.
Round 7: Player A chains four of them, trashes again with Steward, realizes that he needs a +1 Buy, has $7, buys Golden Fleece. Player B finally hits $5, buys Haunted Shed.
Round 8: Player A is the first time unlucky as he has no Haunted Shed in hand, albeit he is ready for the attacks. B plays Haunted Woods as Peddler as part of a chain to trim his deck by trashing.
Round 9: Player A plays 1 Haunted Woods as Peddler, attacks 3x with 3 other Haunted Woods. For this, card drawing by the first Haunted Woods (and a Caravan) allows access to 2 of the much needed Worker’s Villages. B and C get a nice package of 3 Curses all at once. Player A’s deck looks almost perfect now, missing a bit $ payload power. B is a bit behind in everything. C looks okay with all the shiny Money, hits $8 with the help of Steward and a Golden Fleece played in the Buy phase, buys the 1st Province; overconfident? There are 3 Curses looming in the discard pile and more of them are inevitably coming soon.
Round 10: Player A starts with 3 Haunted Sheds in hand (after drawing 1 card from a Caravan in play)… I stopped here.


Conclusion
I was a bit surprised how attractive it is to gain lots of Haunted Sheds. In my initial thoughts I was probably misguided by the apparent non-terminality, which doesn’t seem to be a real problem. I also have to say that Haunted Sheds’ attractiveness is likely due to the lack of strong alternatives in the Kingdom I used for testing (Market is way too similar), and the fact that Haunted Sheds never hurt the deck. Haunted Woods gives +$1 anyway, allowing to easily buy more of them quite quickly. Then once supported by enough Villages, a chain of Haunted Sheds can become devastating, and that quite quickly and consistently. Player A told me he likes the card very much, the other players have some reservation though. I think the chaining ability paired with the payload makes it too easy to efficiently use Haunted Sheds for engines in general and for attacking when the deck is ready. Which choices to make seems to be relatively straight forward. Overall, a nice novel concept and fun to play with (says player A), but not too challenging.


- scolapasta

First thoughts: There was already a card with that name. Looking back: No, it was Bewitched. An Adventures-type Attacking token sounds interesting and novel. Playing with this is probably straight forward in terms of following the instructions and offers great playability as different Kingdoms and decks provide different targets. The relative high cost of $5 probably means that the Event will be bought only once per game. I am a bit curious about the timing and the effect of non-terminal cards when an Attack is attached to them. Are there cheaper versions of Bewitch possible that encourage multiple buys?

In game thoughts/notes:
I added Festival to the Kingdom as the 10th pile. The envisaged strategies: Player A will go for a quick attack with Worker’s Village; B is going for Caravan, and C for Golden Fleece, combining his favored Treasure with the attacking ability.
All players start $4/$3. First few rounds: Nothing remarkable happens. A and B buy an early Workshop to have access to their favorite card; C focusses on money; all players trash via Steward.
Round 5: Player C buys Golden Fleece. Round 6: A buys Market; C hits $5, buys Bewitch, places token on Golden Fleece. Round 7: A buys Bewitch, places token on Worker’s Village. B buys Bewitch, places token on Caravan. C plays Golden Fleece in the Buy phase, after playing Steward in the Action phase for +$2, curses opponents, buys 2nd Golden Fleece. From round 8 on: Permanent cursing by players A and B. Since the decks are all trimmed, and only a single Attack per player can be done, junk doesn’t provide any problems to any of the players. Players could have easily swapped their token with the possible exception of B who suffered a bit for some reason. However, I cannot come up with a good reason for doing that since all players have a lot of copies of useful targeted cards in their deck.


Conclusion:
This certainly offers interesting possibilities and guarantees different play with different targets, too many to get a good picture about all the different scenarios. With the standard Kingdom I used, each player easily found their own target, either cheap engine components or high quality cards they want to have anyway. Since only one attack per turn is permitted, this really doesn’t matter as long as the attacking card can be played often. This can be achieved with strong trashing and/or cycling of the deck, which is the case with the Kingdom I used for testing. I can easily imagine to ignore Bewitch at all, since its effects are not dramatic, though this is clearly different in a Kingdom without trashing. I have the feeling that there is more to this concept than my limited play testing revealed (to me), but it probably needs some changes. I think the major flaw is that neither the quality nor the cost of the target card really matters, since playing it once per turn is the limiting factor anyway and this can be achieved by the usual engine components, which do not have to be the target card. There is some potential to make Bewitch an elegant new type of attack, where players have to decide when the best time is to buy a Bewitch (in the test game all players did it as soon as possible), rather than what the preferred target is. Overall, a refreshing idea with a high re-playability, though I think it needs some changes, for example to make token swapping more attractive.


- Mahowrath

First thoughts: This has quite complex instructions. The first part is about self-junking opponents a la Ghost Ship and the Hex Bad Omens. The alternative is a Sea Hag-type Cursing attack, but limited to situations when the discarded card is not an Action and has a cost of $2 or less, i.e. in most cases Coppers, Estates or Curses, but with notable exceptions, e.g. Spoils. All this is combined on a $4 cost card giving +2 Cards. The first part is a mild attack as long as opponents are able to follow it. Attacked players are not obliged to do the top deck junking, which makes an end to the cursing when the Curse pile is empty. Double attacks that first top deck junk, followed by discarding it, inevitably leads to Cursing (if still available). So, a challenge for the attacked players is to estimate the likelihood if a second attack will follow. This is more likely to occur in multi player games.

In game thoughts/notes:
A bit tricky to simulate Jilted Witch with the “I play for all 3 players” testing set-up as the information about cards in the discard pile and a potential second attack is to a great extent available (to “all of me”).
All players buy Steward, A and B buy Jilted Witch, C buys Silver. Round 3: Player A trashes, B plays Jilted Witch. C has no discard pile; thus 2nd part of instructions: discards Estates, top decks Curse (no choice); A has discard pile (Steward, Pawn, 2 Coppers), decides to top deck a Copper; B buys Worker’s Village.
Round 4: A is unlucky (Jilted Witch not in hand), buys Worker’s Village. Round 5: A plays Jilted Witch, B and C no discard pile, thus discard. B discards Worker’s Village, C discards Copper, gets Curse onto deck.
At this point I realize that being able to manipulate the time of shuffling (having a discard pile) can be a challenging option for players to dodge Cursing. On the other hand, cards like Night Watchman would offer a different counter, though with some self inflicting handicap.
Round 6: B attacks (terminal); A and C top deck Copper. Round 8: A attacks, B and C no discard pile; B discards Worker’s Village (again!), C discards Copper (again!), gets Curse onto deck. I just realized that in this situation, if A would play a 2nd Jilted Witch, C would have the option to top deck the previously discarded Copper, whereas B wouldn’t have this option. A & B buy 2nd Jilted Witch, C’s deck looks like a mess.
A few rounds later: Exactly this happens, A double-attacks, First Jilted Witch: B & C do not have a discard pile, B discards Copper, gets Curse onto deck, C discards Golden Fleece. Then 2nd Jilted Witch: B has Copper in discard, decides to top deck it; C doesn’t have this option, discards Copper, top decks gained Curse. If now a 3rd Jilted Witch would follow (for C more likely as B’s turn is before), C would have the “top decking” defense, whereas B wouldn’t; B would discard the Copper he just put onto his deck. Looks like a self regulation that makes multiple Jilted Witch attacks less harsh.


Conclusion:
Jilted Witch offers a novel combination of junking attacks, which can be quite annoying for the attacked players. It is really difficult to tell much about the fun factor here when simultaneously playing for all 3 players in the test game. Anyway, for a single attack, Jilted Witch looks a bit swingy and this is exaggerated later in the game, when attacked players discard just by chance a Province or not. Also, when attacked once it is highly random whether the other players have a discard pile, and if so, whether it has a low cost card in it. This seems to be different after multiple attacks, which is more likely to occur with more players in the game. Overall, I am not convinced about the fun factor and I also have some problems with the decisions attacked players have to make.


Ghost Smithy
cost $5 - Action – Attack
Quote

+2 Cards

Each other player chooses one:
   discard their hand and draw 3 cards;   
or trash a non-Victory card from
their hand (or reveal they can't).

- majiponi

First thoughts: Attacked players can choose between a Minion-type effect (harsher if hit with 5+ card hands) and trashing anything but Victory cards from hand. Aside of Ruins, this will be Coppers earlier in games and relatively likely throughout games without any trashing. This is worth testing both scenarios. For multiple attacks by a single player and more likely with more players, discarding Coppers leads quickly to hands with high quality cards, which then will be replaced by a hand of 3 average cards. So, this will hurt most of the time. Single attacks per turn on the other hand don’t look too dramatic.

In game thoughts/notes:
Game 1: Round 3: Player A plays Ghost Smithy; B & C both have 4 Coppers, 1 Estate, both choose option 1; B draws Steward, Copper, Estates (will just trash in his turn); C draws Silver, Copper, Estates; no harm done. Round 5: A plays Ghost Smithy (terminal); B has Steward, Silver, 2 Coppers, 1 Estate, and a Caravan in play, trashes a Copper (will trash more in his turn); C has Silver, 3 Coppers, 1 Estate (this hurts a bit more), trashes Copper. Round 6: B buys Ghost Smithy, C buys Archive. Round 7: A has a problem. He attacked and helped opponents trashing their junk, but wasn’t able to trash his own junk (Ghost Smithy never together in same hand as Worker’s Villages, but unfortunately with Steward. B plays Ghost Smithy. After a few more rounds, players B & C have clearly the better decks than A. I stopped here. An early Ghost Smithy feels like a Ruined Thief/Abandoned Pirate Ship.

Game 2: Same Kingdom, but player A also starts $4/$3 and first improves his deck before attacking. C will not trash anything.
At around round 10: Decks are now trimmed and ready, except C’s, but even this guy has enough cycling and even more so, buying power; C buys 1st Province.
Round 11: A has now 2 Ghost Smithies in his deck; B has 1. C buys 2nd Province.
Round 12: A plays double Ghost Smithy; 1st: B trashes Workshop from hand; C trashes Copper. A buys Province. B plays Ghost Smithy; C discards hand, draws 3 cards (no harm); A trashes Workshop; B buys Province. I stopped here.


Conclusion:
If Ghost Smithy has a good timing for attacks, I couldn’t find it. Too early is bad, too late is –well- too late. It seems, at least with the setup I used, that players can totally ignore Ghost Smithy without major harm to their deck. Early on it helps trashing Coppers, later on cards can be trashed that are not anymore useful. Of course this doesn’t last forever, but sacrificing a few $3 to $4 cost cards at that point doesn’t seem to be too dramatic. Making the choices is mostly trivial, i.e. trashing junk. 


- Timinou

First thoughts: The previous version of Crusaders allowed players to quickly get very thin decks just by using Crusader’s trashing. It looks like the major change in terms of mechanics is that the attacking player trashes last now and thus has more control over what they can get out of the attack. I just repeat here my previous early thoughts on the earlier version of Crusaders:
Looks like a Sacrifice/Bishop-type bonus that is granted to the attacking player. Since the attacking player can also trash, they can manipulate the outcome to some extent. Especially the first attacked player may have the dilemma to choose between trashing what is best for improving their own deck and avoiding to give the attacker too much of a benefit. This could become critical in the case of Curses, which hurt the deck the most, but would give the attacker +2 VP. This however is relevant only when Curses are gained before and probably plays quite differently in Kingdoms with strong trashers versus those without trashers (other than Crusaders). It might be getting brutal (and interesting) when an additional Curser is in the Kingdom. Looks definitely like an interesting and novel concept.

In game thoughts/notes:
All players open $4/$3; Steward replaced by Vassal (i.e. no additional trashing).
Round 3: Player A plays Crusader; B & C both trash an Estate; A trashes a Copper for +2 Coffers and gets +2 VP, buys a Worker’s Village; B plays Worker’s Village, Crusader; C and A both trash an Estate; B trashes a Copper, getting +2 Coffers and +2 VP, buys Workshop; C plays Crusader; A & B trash an Estate; C trashes a Copper; gets +2 Coffers, +2 VP, buys nothing. Note: Already a heavy attacking/trashing round similar to what happened with the previous Crusader version.
Round 4: Players gain cards (most notable: A gains a 2nd Crusader; C buys a Golden Fleece). Round 5: A gains Archive and Worker’s Village; B buys Golden Fleece; C buys Archive.
Round 6 (now it’s getting funny): Player A plays Worker’s Village, Crusader; B and C trash Copper; A trashes Estates, getting +2 Coffers, +2 VP; A plays 2nd Crusader; all players trash Copper; A gets +2 Coffers; A buys Silver; B plays Worker’s Village, Workshop, gains Worker’s Village, plays Crusader; all players trash a Copper, B gets +2 Coffers, buys nothing; C plays Crusader; A gains a Curse; B trashes a Copper; C doesn’t trash, gets 2 Coffers, plays Golden Fleece at Night for +2 Coffers, buys a Pawn.
Round 7: A plays Worker’s Village, Crusader; B gains a Curse; C trashes a Copper; A trashes nothing, gets 2 Coffers, plays Pawn, Crusader; B gains a Curse; C trashes a Copper; A trashes a Copper, gets 2 Coffers, buys Golden Fleece; B plays Worker’s Village, Crusader… I stopped at this point.


Conclusion:
Similar to the previous version of Crusader, players get very quickly very thin decks, without the need of any other trasher. Playing all the Crusaders very quickly is on one hand a funny experience, but on the other hand looks a bit repetitive. What is new to the previous version is that getting lot’s of Coffers accelerates the game even more than before. Is that good? I am not sure, but I tend to say no. I’ll add here some of my conclusions about the previous version of Crusader: […] After all Estates and most Coppers are gone, this mostly leads to VP gaining, and giving Curses to the opponents, who themselves use those Curses immediately for the same purpose. The game will not change after the Curses run out, because attacked players can simply choose this option without effect, making Crusaders pretty useless at that point. I expected more thrill as the concept looks interesting, like giving other players “torturing” options, but it didn’t really worked out like that. Playing 2 (or more) Crusaders per player is a difficult task as the decks are so rapidly eaten up that it might be difficult to also have the right support in form of Villages, though Archive could help here. But would that be fun or challenging? I think the concept could survive when Crusaders is the bottom part of a split pile, or a sort of State or Event. However, I would look at some changes of the trashing/Cursing conditions first.


  - D782802859

First thoughts: A Woodcutter, whose simple instructions already makes it clear that the opponents have a choice to make. The Noose looks brutal; it looks like the +1 Buy of Executioner helps here and that it is there for a reason. A direct connection between The Axe and Executioner is less obvious. Maybe for those opponents, who don’t have an extra buy available in their hand.

In game thoughts/notes:
All players start $4/$3. Mountain Village instead of Worker’s Village to reduce the number of cards with + Buys.
Round 4: Player A plays Executioner; B has only Coppers/Estates in hand; he will draw his Executioner next time when it is too late; he takes The Axe; C, the fool, didn’t care about buying an Executioner, takes also The Axe (all players have Steward in their decks); A buys Mountain Village; B buys Silver; C plays Steward, gains a Curse, returns The Axe, trashes 2 Estates, buys Pawn.
Round 5: A plays Executioner again! B chooses The Axe (which he still has), C has 5 Treasures in hand, rage-quits, wait, he changed his mind and takes The Axe again; A buys a 2nd Executioner; B plays Executioner, gains Curse; C chooses The Axe (has it already); A also chooses The Axe; B buys Mountain Village; C buys Golden Fleece.
Round 6: A buys Mountain Village; B plays Steward, gains a Curse, returns the Axe, trashes 2 Coppers, buys Workshop; C plays Steward, gains Curse, trashes, returns The Axe, buys Pawn.
Round 7: A plays Executioner (after Pawn), (gets Curse/returns Axe); B has Executioner in hand, takes The Noose; C has Market in hand, takes also The Noose; A buys Mountain Village; B plays Mountain Village, Pawn, Executioner (the remaining cards in hand are junk, but the Steward is not in sight, sigh); A has the Executioner in hand, takes The Noose; B buys a Copper, trashes it via The Noose, return the latter, buys a Caravan. I stopped here.

Game 2: All players start $4/$3. Player C learnt from the first game and also gains some Executioners now.
Kingdom: Cellar, Vassal, Workshop, Caravan, Conspirator, Mountain Village, Archive, Lab, Crown.
Round 3: A plays Executioner; B (Silver, 3 Coppers, 1 Estate) takes The Axe; C (Executioner, 3 Coppers, 1 Estate) takes The Noose; A buys Archive; B buys Archive; C plays Executioner; A (Workshop, 2 Coppers, 2 Estates) takes The Noose; B (Executioner, 3 Coppers, 1 Estate) takes the Axe (already has it); C buys Copper, trashes it (via The Noose), returns The Noose, buys Archive (quite heavy round)
Round 4: A plays Workshop, gains Conspirator, trashes it (via The Noose), returns The Noose, buys Cellar; B plays Executioner gains a Curse (via The Axe), returns the Axe; C (Workshop, 3 Coppers, 1 Estates) takes The Noose; A (Archive, 4 Coppers) takes The Axe (hopes to draw Executioner); B buys a Lab; C plays Workshop, gains something that he trashes (via The Noose, which he returns), buys something for $3. Game stopped here.


Conclusion:
I've found it quite refreshing to play with this set of cards, though it was basically first a The Axe ping-pong and later with enough +Buy cards a The Noose ping pong game. The harshest penalty –trashing an Action card- could be easily avoided, and if this would not be possible, sacrificing a cantrip-Pawn isn’t the end of the world, especially since Workshop easily substitutes for such losses. Executioner would likely play differently in Kingdoms with fewer +Buy cards, though it would become more centralizing just for its own +Buy. Another critical factor is of course the ability to trash. Without trashing, gaining Curses is much more of a problem. In the second game with a different Kingdom, Executioner clearly played differently. Players are more worried about incoming Curses, but can’t (shouldn’t) always avoid them. In summary, a nice idea and well done. The fun factor and re-playability is high, and it gives the attacked players something to think about.



Short list of cards for the Final Round:

Shaman/Bewitched – faust

Muster – spineflu

Valkyrie/Jinxed – mandioca15

Corrupt Middleman – fika monster

Hawker – silverspawn

Racketeer - NoMoreFun

Executioner/The Noose/The Axe - D782802859



This list of Finalists is sorted by order of appearance and doesn’t reflect any ranking.
Among the candidate cards I have some favorites that I really like, but without more information it would be really difficult to declare a winner. I have also included some cards that I think are interesting enough to deserve a 2nd chance.

I am now setting up a new Kingdom and will test the listed cards under such conditions. I’ll likely do some changes between the testing rounds to better meet individual card specifics.


« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 05:19:00 am by gambit05 »
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silverspawn

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #114 on: February 23, 2021, 08:55:14 am »
+4

I just want to chime in to say that I strongly approve or putting more effort into contest judging.  :D

(although it's also worth mentioning that this is a new thing, so anyone participating shouldn't feel obligated to do it this well if they win in the future (or worse, not participate to avoid the obligation). Looking at page 50 of the old contest, people used to do it like this, which would still be acceptable today.)
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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #115 on: February 23, 2021, 10:42:39 am »
+3


I would like to make one thing clear here. Nobody, under any circumstances, should ever feel obliged to judge a Weekly Design Contest in the way I did/do it.

The reason I did it this way is simply that otherwise I would be overwhelmed by 20+ cards with a wide range of interactions and complexity. So, I thought the best way to assess them is to play with them. I am just feeling better this way, as I think I am coming a bit closer to the “true” quality of your cards than just by trying to figure out in my head how they would play in this and that context.

I am sure not all of you will like my assessment of your card and in some cases I didn’t took enough time to find nicer words to tell you that I just think your card isn’t good enough for whatever reason. Nevertheless, I just feel better about my assessments because I tried (with an emphasis on tried) to do it in the best way I can with the abilities I have (or not) to judge your cards within an (hopefully) acceptable time.

To make it clear again: It is not my intention in any way to change the format of this contest!
This shouldn’t be seen as a new standard. Everyone should make their assessment as they like or think is best.

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Timinou

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #116 on: February 23, 2021, 10:46:19 am »
+4

I just want to chime in to say that I strongly approve or putting more effort into contest judging.  :D

(although it's also worth mentioning that this is a new thing, so anyone participating shouldn't feel obligated to do it this well if they win in the future (or worse, not participate to avoid the obligation). Looking at page 50 of the old contest, people used to do it like this, which would still be acceptable today.)

It takes me several hours to do a shoddy job of judging, so I'm definitely impressed by the time and effort that gambit is putting behind this. 

Like you said, it's not expected of future judges, but kudos to gambit.  I'm quite happy to see my submission playtested and appreciate the feedback!
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fika monster

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #117 on: February 23, 2021, 10:57:12 am »
0

ay nice, you liked my card!

I actually made V5 after version 4.3, uploaded it, then promtly realized it was worse then version 4.3. Im just bad at properly signalling what the "submitted" version is i guess
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scolapasta

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #118 on: February 23, 2021, 01:23:46 pm »
+2

Let me say I'm also appreciative of this in depth judging, thanks for taking the time. If I ever were to win a contest, I don't expect I'd be able to manage it, so consider me even more appreciative!

While we wait, I hope it's ok to continue discussing our entries (at least those of ours that weren't finalists). If people prefer, I'm willing to move this to my own dedicated thread.

I do wonder how differently you would find Bewitch in a kingdom with no (or more limited) trashing. For example, in your test kingdom, how well would the official Witch card do?

Regardless, I think you made some very astute observations on Bewitch, namely that:
• neither the quality nor the cost of the target card really matters
• make token swapping more attractive

I think the 2nd is less of an issue, because in my experience I usually don't buy official token Events, e.g. Training). But it would be more fun if there were reason to, sure.

The 1st is definitely more problematic, as it does make the card somewhat less strategic.

So while I want the basics of the card to stay the same (namely, it uses an Adventures style token to "bewitch" a kingdom pile into giving out curses), the details clearly can be improved. In particular, it needs some sort of limiting factor.

I've considered something along the lines of letting you only have one card from this pile in play, but that seemed too difficult to express succinctly on the card.

My latest idea: what if it worked as a pseudo Way (and it's cost could probably change to $3 or maybe $4):

Quote
Move your Cursing token to an Action Supply pile.
(During your turns, cards from this pile are also Attacks,
and when you play one, either follow its instructions
 or each other player gains a Curse.)

I do like this better than limiting to once per turn (which I never loved), effectively you can make any Action pile into an inferior Witch (even inferior to Young Witch since that sifts). It also now adds some strategy as to whether to use this bewitching vs the original instructions of the card.

One challenge is that it is now 4 lines on the event, which is meh. I could maybe remove the attack clause and make it not defendable (at one point that was also a characteristic of the original Coven), since it no longer needs to qualify for this contest. Not sure, though.

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scolapasta

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #119 on: February 23, 2021, 02:51:26 pm »
0

Some other possible ideas for it:

if I really do want to get it down to 3 lines, drop the attack clause (as mentioned). As that makes it more more powerful, also change gain to exile:

Quote
Move your Cursing token to an Action Supply pile. (When you play a card from that pile, either follow its instructions or each other player exiles a Curse.)

OR if it really wants to be more strategic, force it to happen on first play (like Enchantress):

Quote
Move your Cursing token to an Action Supply pile. (The first time you play a card from that pile this turn, instead of following its instructions, each other player gains a Curse.)

This could be interesting, because it would may make you think more about which pile to put it on and figure out how to get +Actions (Villagers, Throning, playing Villages first)  before you play it. It might be too weak, though?
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Aquila

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #120 on: February 23, 2021, 03:08:13 pm »
0

I concur that the effort gone in here is very impressive!

Quote
First thoughts: A simple Mountebank variant, even to the vanilla bonus. New is the association with a Heirloom “Curse” that will switch decks when played. I can’t find a reason not to play it, e.g. an Action card with the same instructions would be more challenging, or a “discard other than during Clean-up” Reaction. Redoubt, a terminal Curser for $3 with a +$2 bonus looks quite strong. I don’t see an immediate mechanical connection between Redoubt and Rook. Looks more like combining 2 different mechanics. Anyway, I wonder a bit about the choices. What about: “Each other player may discard a Rook. Those who…” as a Redoubt instruction? That would connect the pieces and would make playing Rooks on player’s own turns more challenging. Or at least like Cursed Gold, giving a penalty of not being able to play Rook as a requirement for passing it to the next player.

In game thoughts/notes:
The Rook Heirloom does not have the slightest impact on game play. I couldn’t find a good reason not to open with Redoubt. I stopped playing at round 4. Sorry, there are too many flaws with this concept.

Conclusion:
See my first thoughts. I don’t want to sound too harsh, but in light of so many excellent submissions, I felt that playing with Redoubt/Rook was less exciting. I can’t offer much on how to improve the concept other than what I have mentioned in the “First thoughts” section. I just feel like Redoubt and Rook don’t belong to each other.
I probably am last place in judging, that's fine; but I'd just like to be clear, I intended for each other player to be able to discard a Rook to Redoubt, using 'discard a Curse' to mean the Curse type (which Rook is).
So, does 'Curse' only mean the card named Curse?
Or are you saying that Rook was still somewhat meaningless in that playing and passing it on is always correct despite the ability to block Redoubt with it?

The latter option I could believe, it's possible to be hit by the first few Redoubts despite someone's best efforts to keep Rooks; that's why I chose Curses blocking as well.

Similarity to Mountebank and cheapness at $3 I can buy as well.
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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #121 on: February 23, 2021, 03:51:31 pm »
+1

I concur that the effort gone in here is very impressive!

Quote
First thoughts: A simple Mountebank variant, even to the vanilla bonus. New is the association with a Heirloom “Curse” that will switch decks when played. I can’t find a reason not to play it, e.g. an Action card with the same instructions would be more challenging, or a “discard other than during Clean-up” Reaction. Redoubt, a terminal Curser for $3 with a +$2 bonus looks quite strong. I don’t see an immediate mechanical connection between Redoubt and Rook. Looks more like combining 2 different mechanics. Anyway, I wonder a bit about the choices. What about: “Each other player may discard a Rook. Those who…” as a Redoubt instruction? That would connect the pieces and would make playing Rooks on player’s own turns more challenging. Or at least like Cursed Gold, giving a penalty of not being able to play Rook as a requirement for passing it to the next player.

In game thoughts/notes:
The Rook Heirloom does not have the slightest impact on game play. I couldn’t find a good reason not to open with Redoubt. I stopped playing at round 4. Sorry, there are too many flaws with this concept.

Conclusion:
See my first thoughts. I don’t want to sound too harsh, but in light of so many excellent submissions, I felt that playing with Redoubt/Rook was less exciting. I can’t offer much on how to improve the concept other than what I have mentioned in the “First thoughts” section. I just feel like Redoubt and Rook don’t belong to each other.
I probably am last place in judging, that's fine; but I'd just like to be clear, I intended for each other player to be able to discard a Rook to Redoubt, using 'discard a Curse' to mean the Curse type (which Rook is).
So, does 'Curse' only mean the card named Curse?
Or are you saying that Rook was still somewhat meaningless in that playing and passing it on is always correct despite the ability to block Redoubt with it?

The latter option I could believe, it's possible to be hit by the first few Redoubts despite someone's best efforts to keep Rooks; that's why I chose Curses blocking as well.

Similarity to Mountebank and cheapness at $3 I can buy as well.

Oh sorry, now I understand why your cards played so poorly and seemingly without interaction when I tested them. I just haven't treated Rook as a Curse. At some point during the card submissions there was so much information coming in, embedded in endless posts with wording suggestions, that I stopped reading accompanying texts and just focused on the cards themselves. My apologies for doing a bad job in not realizing that Rook is a Curse, which is a bit counter-intuitive with my understanding of how a Curse is defined. So, yes I did a poor job in that I really haven't tested your submitted cards, but something else.
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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #122 on: February 24, 2021, 08:02:07 am »
0


I do wonder how differently you would find Bewitch in a kingdom with no (or more limited) trashing. For example, in your test kingdom, how well would the official Witch card do?

It seems that parts of your posts are addressed to me, at least the one above. I haven't tested Witch in a exactly the same Kingdom, but in similarly potent ones. Witch's Cursing effects mainly depends on how fast players can play them versus how fast they can trash, but generally the decks have enough power to not be affected too much by the Curses.
I've tested some of the submitted cards in almost the same Kingdom, but without trashing, by just replacing Steward with Vassal when I thought i needed the information for evaluating those cards. Without remembering the details now, I guess I came to a conclusion about how Bewitch works without testing it in a second game.

If some other parts of your posts are also addressed to me and if you like to know my opinion, I'll have a look at your posts later. I first want to finish this contest round (which will be soon) and then I would like to take a break from Dominion for at least some days.
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scolapasta

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #123 on: February 24, 2021, 09:54:42 am »
+1


I do wonder how differently you would find Bewitch in a kingdom with no (or more limited) trashing. For example, in your test kingdom, how well would the official Witch card do?

It seems that parts of your posts are addressed to me, at least the one above. I haven't tested Witch in a exactly the same Kingdom, but in similarly potent ones. Witch's Cursing effects mainly depends on how fast players can play them versus how fast they can trash, but generally the decks have enough power to not be affected too much by the Curses.
I've tested some of the submitted cards in almost the same Kingdom, but without trashing, by just replacing Steward with Vassal when I thought i needed the information for evaluating those cards. Without remembering the details now, I guess I came to a conclusion about how Bewitch works without testing it in a second game.

If some other parts of your posts are also addressed to me and if you like to know my opinion, I'll have a look at your posts later. I first want to finish this contest round (which will be soon) and then I would like to take a break from Dominion for at least some days.

I agree with your assessment on Witch ("Witch's Cursing effects mainly depends on how fast players can play them versus how fast they can trash") of course, which is why I asked, since that was what you were seeing with Bewitch.

Again, regardless of this aspect, there's room for improvement with it, which is why I threw out these other ideas. And yes, I would be happy to hear your opinion (and others!). But definitely focus on the judging (and break) first.
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gambit05

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« Reply #124 on: February 24, 2021, 11:42:14 am »
+8


Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices

Evaluation of your Cards – Final   


The Kingdom Used for Testing the Cards of the Finalists:

Cellar, Amulet, Gear, Conclave, Farming Village, Poacher, Haggler, Lab, Seer.

This Kingdom doesn’t provide a traditional Workshop, with the notable exception of Haggler, nor does it have a card giving +Buy. It has a less potent trasher than the Kingdom of Round I, but with some other benefits.










Assessment


- faust

In game thoughts/notes
Round 3: Player A plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Silver; B buys Silver; C plays Shaman, A discards Estate, B discards Estate, C discards Amulet, buys Seer.
Round 4: A gains Silver (from in play Amulet), plays Shaman, B and C discard Estate, A buys Seer; B buys Silver; C buys Silver.
Round 5: A buys Seer; B plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Silver; C plays Shaman, all players discard Estates, C buys Farming Village.
Round 6: A plays Shaman, B and C discard Estate, A discards Amulet, A buys Lab; B chooses +$1 from in play Amulet, plays Shaman, C takes Bewitched, A discards Copper, B takes Bewitched, buys Seer; C returns Bewitched for +1 Action, plays Seer, buys Lab.
Round 7: A plays Seer, Seer, buys Lab; B returns Bewitched, buys Gold; C buys Shaman.
Round 8: A plays Lab, Shaman, all discard Estates, A buys Farming Village; B buys Farming Village; C plays Farming Village, Seer, plays Shaman, all discard Copper C plays Amulet, trashes Copper, buys Farming Village. I stopped here.


Conclusion
It was fun again to play with Shaman/Bewitched, although I found it less appealing than last time. Maybe, I didn’t play enough rounds, e.g. waiting for the double-Shaman attacks, maybe I didn’t buy enough Shamans. However, what I found neat the first time, the instructions of Bewitched, I now found a bit strange, and with that I mean the +1 Action. The player who’s turn is the next one after the attacking player can make an estimated guess whether the attacker can play a second Shaman and thus can take Bewitched relatively risk free and thereby gets an extra Action for their turn, allowing to play two terminal cards. There is a funny interaction of Shaman/Bewitched with terminal cards in general. Players can have a bit more (cheap) terminal cards in their deck, and use then one of them for discarding when attacked. This was less prominent in the game I just played as there was enough junk available anyway, but later without that junk, this type of defense can become very useful, or then again doing rather the opposite, taking Bewitched when further attacks are unlikely or even impossible, and being able to play both terminal cards in their own turn. It looks like a clever design, but something doesn’t seem to work well enough to favor this over the other finalist cards.



- spineflu

In game thoughts/notes
Round 3: Player A plays Muster, B and C choose tokens, A buys Amulet; B plays Farmer’s Village (no draw, returns -1 Card token), has $3, buys Cellar, returns -$1 token; C has $5, buys Poacher, returns -$1 token, draws 4 cards at end of his turn, returns -1 Card token (I will simplify those token returns from now on without mentioning the accurate time).
Round 4: A plays Cellar, Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Farming Village; B and C buy Silver.
Round 5: A gains Silver (via in play Amulet), plays Cellar, Muster, B and C choose tokens; A buys Cellar; B plays Cellar, Amulet, trashes Copper, plays Farming Village, buys nothing, returns tokens; C plays Poacher, Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Cellar, returns tokens.
Round 6: A plays Farming Village, buys Muster; B trashes Copper (via in play Amulet), plays Farming Village, buys Poacher; C trashes Estate (via in play Amulet), buys Gold.
Round 7: A buys Farming Village; B buys Silver; C plays Cellar, Poacher, Amulet, trashes Copper, buys Lab.
Round 8: A plays Farming Village, Cellar, Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Silver; B plays Farming Village, Poacher, Cellar, Amulet, chooses +$1, buys Farming Village; C trashes Copper (via in play Amulet), buys Gold.
Round 9: A trashes Estate (via in play Amulet), plays Farming Village, plays Muster, B and C take tokens, A plays 2nd Muster, B and C choose tokens (again), A buys Cellar; B trashes Estate (via in play Amulet), buys Gear (had $4), ends turn by drawing 4 cards, returns tokens; C buys Lab (had $6), ends turn by drawing 4 cards. I stopped here.


Conclusion
There is not much to add to what I wrote about Muster in the first round. Early in the game, attacked players take the penalty tokens to avoid giving the attacker too much of a benefit, as the penalty can be usually mitigated to an acceptable degree. The benefit for the attacker options seems to be just too much in earlier rounds of a game. However, although not played up to this point, I know from my notes and my memory that the choices can change later in the game. All together, a solid card offering fun and exciting play to some extent, it can feel a bit monotonous after a while. Don’t understand me wrong, it is a nice concept and I don’t think there are any major flaws, it is just a bit less exciting and challenging than some other cards of the final round.



Valkyrie (Action-Attack, $5)
Quote

+3 Cards

   Each other player takes Jinxed.   

Jinxed (State)

Quote

   At the start of your turn, return this and choose one: -1 Action, -1 Buy, or gain a Curse.   

- mandioca15

In game thoughts/notes
Round 3: Player A plays Cellar, Valkyrie; B and C take Jinxed, A buys Lab; B chooses -1 Action, returns Jinxed; plays Farming Village, draws Copper, buys Amulet; C chooses -1 Action, buys Amulet.
Round 4: A plays Cellar, Valkyrie; B and C take Jinxed, A buys Amulet; B chooses -1 Buy, returns Jinxed, plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buy nothing;  C chooses -1 Buy, returns Jinxed, plays Poacher, Amulet, trashes Estate, buys nothing.
Round 5: A plays Cellar, Lab, Valkyrie; B and C take Jinxed, A buys Farming Village; B chooses -1 Action, returns Jinxed, trashes Estate (using the in play Amulet), buys Farming Village; C chooses -1 Buy, returns Jinxed, trashes Estates (using the in play Amulet), plays Amulet, gains Silver, buys nothing.
Round 6: A plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Silver; B plays Farming Village, Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Silver; C trashes Estate (using the in play Amulet), plays Poacher, buys Farming Village.
Round 7: A trashes Estate (using the in play Amulet), plays Lab, Valkyrie, B and C take Jinxed, A buys Farming Village; B chooses -1 Action, returns Jinxed, chooses +$1 from Amulet, plays Farming Village, Amulet, gains Silver, buys Gold; C chooses and gains Curse, returns Jinxed, plays Amulet for +$1, buys Valkyrie. I stopped here.


Conclusion
I still have the feeling that Valkyrie/Jinxed gives a fresh new way of playing, although it looks a bit monotonous after a while. The attacked players try to accumulate Villages and build their deck around those until it is strong enough to efficiently deal with Curses. Valkyrie is a strong attack card as it besides attacking also allows drawing cards. Likewise the attacked players, having Villages around is extreme helpful as usual for strong terminal drawing. The design is elegant and packed into short instructions, easy to understand and easy to execute. However, as mentioned, play becomes a bit redundant, but hey it’s not easy to find cards with higher re-playability, even among the official ones.



- fika monster

In game thoughts/notes
Round 3: Player A plays Corrupt Middleman, B +2 Cards, reveals Amulet, 4 Coppers, 2 Estates, discards Amulet, C +2 Cards reveals Poacher, 4 Coppers, 2 Estates, discards Poacher; A buys Farming Village; B and C buy Farming Village.
Round 4: A plays Cellar, Farming Village, Corrupt Middleman, B +2 Cards, reveals Poacher, 4 Coppers, 2 Estates, discards Poacher, C +2 Cards, reveals Amulet, 5 Coppers, 1 Estate, discards (tricky) Amulet, A buys Amulet; B buys Poacher; C buys Corrupt Middleman.
Round 5: A plays Corrupt Middleman, B +2 Cards, reveals 2 Farming Villages, Amulet, 3 Coppers, Estate, discards Amulet, C +2 Cards, reveals Corrupt Middleman, Farming Village, Poacher, 2 Coppers, 2 Estates, discards Corrupt Middleman, A buys Silver; B plays 2x Farming Village, Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Conclave; C plays Farming Village, Poacher, buys Haggler.
Round 6: A plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Silver; B trashes Estate (by in play Amulet), buys Silver; C plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Silver.
Round 7: A trashes Copper (by in play Amulet), plays Cellar, Corrupt Middleman, B +2 Cards, reveals 2 Farming Villages, 2 Poachers, 3 Coppers, discards Poacher, C +2 Cards, reveals Silver, 5 Coppers, 1 Estate, discards Silver, A buys Corrupt Middleman; B plays 2x Farming Village, Poacher, Conclave, Amulet, trashes Copper, buys Corrupt Middleman; C  trashes Estate (by in play Amulet), buys Lab.
Round 8: A plays Amulet, chooses +$1, buys Farming Village; B trashes Estate (by in play Amulet), buys Haggler; C buys Farming Village. I stopped here.


Conclusion
What can I say? Corrupt Middleman works. It seems not to be too harsh, but can’t be ignored either, and if it is just for its powerful drawing. To be efficient it needs some Village support, and once achieved, the deck is rolling and Corrupt Middlemen permanently attack. It can be a bit frustrating for opponents very early in the game to lose the only valuable card in hand, but all power attacks do it this way, right? Later, after players gave their decks some substance, the task to find which card the opponents have to discard is a bit more challenging, and here it is when the real fun starts. I like that Corrupt Middleman not just brutally tears apart other player’s decks, but gives them some consolidation. Players can counteract Corrupt Middleman’s attack a bit by not relying on very few key cards and better spread the quality of the cards a bit. Corrupt Middleman is indeed an interesting card, which is welcome on a lot of boards. Very nice idea. As a side note that doesn’t have any impact on my assessment of the card you present, I am curious how it come that you sometimes come up with early versions of cards that look like border line crap, but soon after you present a version that looks amazingly better.



- silverspawn

Pre-game thoughts
I wondered whether Hawker is able to junk other player’s decks with cards like Haggler, Conclave, Poacher that are usually not too bad. Can attacked players counteract by buying enough other cards (Farming Village especially), or will the decks collapse at some point? To test this, I played a quick game but without recording (except a few “milestones”), to get to the later rounds in an appropriate time. Originally, my plan was to play with Hawker just to refresh my memories and to get back the feeling of how this card plays. I first focused more on the idea to try to figure out how Hawker’s $4-cost-card junking function affects game play in different Kingdoms by letting a set generator create 25 random Kingdoms, and to look at those Kingdoms and then decide whether there is at least one such card present. My initial results (spending only a few seconds for each Kingdom) were that 12 Kingdoms had good candidates (in terms of being good as junk), 7 had potential ones, and 6 Kingdoms seemed to contain only useful $4+ cards even if present in decks in multiple copies or at least not being obviously harmful. However, this evaluation has a different problem. Some card interactions are quite complex and it is almost impossible to tell at which point, in terms of copy number and the time such cards enter decks, they start to become harmful, if they ever do before a game ends.
Anyway, as I’ve mention above, I also played a game with the same Kingdom I used to test the cards of the other finalist.

In game thoughts/notes
Here are a few milestones of the game:
Round 9-10: Curse pile is empty; players have terrible decks; Hawkers so far just used for Cursing.
From around round 20: Decks get a bit better now. Players mainly buy Silver or Amulet for $3, Farmers Village for $4, Labs for $5, Gold for $6, and they have been able a few times to buy Provinces. Some piles are low and at an increasing number of times, players use the Hawker for granting others a $4 cost card for their own +$2 benefit, and as far as I can see it, see best target is … Hawkers! I stopped the game a few rounds later.


Conclusion
Is Hawker a stroke of genius or does it rather reflect some sort of a Fool’s Card? It took me quite a while till I could “clear up my mind” and here is now what I am thinking about Hawker right now: In most Kingdoms, in the early and mid phases of games, Hawker should be used as a quick Curser, with rare exceptions, as granting opponents $4+ cards at that points will likely help them more than the Hawker player can benefit from. At the end of the day, even a Scout is better than a Ruins, and players can easily build there decks around one or a few copies of such unwanted cards by compensating too many terminal cards in gaining more Villages for example (not to mention any trashing or even trash for benefit cards). Late in the game, junking opponents with $4+ cards is too often too late and too slow to have a real impact on their decks, or if so it is subtle. However, at that stage the main function of Hawker is to give the player him/herself the required boost to get to a critical amount of $, usually $8 for buying a Province. At that point the few extra $4+ cards do not affect opponents decks that much, but they don’t help them either. In summary, in my opinion Hawker is an attacking Mining Village, and its extra function of granting opponents $4+ cards is mostly for the own benefit of getting the extra +$2. Hawker is indeed an extraordinary card, the biggest challenge this card produces -as far as I see it- is not during a game, but for me, the judge. Well done!



- Aquila

First thoughts
When I realized yesterday that I misinterpreted the instructions of your cards, I decided that the best way to correct my mistake is when I include your cards in the final round. As I have added a few “2nd choice” candidates anyway, I think this is the best solution in this situation. Looking at the cards now as the way they are intended to work, there is no doubt that Redoubt and Rook are mechanically connected and that they will play very differently than the cards I have evaluated in the first round. Still, Redoubts remains a cheap terminal Silver, likely a must buy, even for players that usually don’t bother much about attacking the opponents, as there is no disadvantage to Silver, at least in the opening turns. (The real) Rook now has a totally different and more sophisticated function. It has to be still considered as a junk card (like a Copper) that can be easily passed to the next player just by playing it. However, the important extra function (now) is that it can be also used as a defense for deflecting Redoubt attacks. This is all paired with -1 VP that the player will get at the end of the game if Rook is in their deck. Taken together, this looks like an interesting concept.

In game thoughts/notes
All players buy Redoubt in their opening turns; player A goes for a double-Redoubt.
Round 3: Player A plays Redoubt, B and C gain a Curse (no Rooks in hands), A plays Rook in the Buy phase (to get $5), buys Seer, passes Rook to B; B plays Redoubt, C and A gain a Curse, B buys Seer; C plays Redoubt, A and B gain a Curse, C buys Gold.
Round 4: A plays Redoubt, B discards Rook, C gains a Curse, A buys Farming Village; B plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Cellar; C does exactly the same as B.
Round 5: A plays Seer, Redoubt (thanks to Seer), B and C discard Rook, A buys Lab; B trashes Curse (via in play Amulet), plays Redoubt, C gains Curse, A discards Curse, B buys Cellar; C trashes Estate (via in play Amulet), plays Cellar, buys nothing.
Round 6: A plays Farming Village, buys Amulet; B plays Seer, plays Rook (picked up by Seer), buys Lab, passes Rook to C; C buys Gold.
Round 7: A plays Farming Village, Redoubt, B and C discard Curse, A buys farming Village, B plays Cellar, buys Silver; C plays Redoubt, A discards Curse, B gains Curse, C buys Seer.
Round 8: A plays Amulet, trashes Curse, buys Cellar; B plays Seer, Lab, Cellar, Amulet, trashes Copper, buys Farming Village; C plays Cellar, Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Farming Village.
Round 9: A trashes Estate (via in play Amulet), plays Seer, Lab, Farming Village (2x), Redoubt, B and C discard Curse; A plays 2nd Redoubt, B and C discard 2nd Curse, A has $8 now, but buys Gold. I stopped here.


Conclusion
Redoubt is cheap and everyone wants to have at least one of them. As a consequence Redoubts are played from the beginning on and in a proper deck (which the test Kingdom offers) quite often. Despite that, it never feels too harsh thanks to the defense attacked players have when discarding Curses or Rooks and importantly, when trashing is possible, as it is the case with the Kingdom I used. The dynamic of game play would likely look dramatically different in a Kingdom without trashing, which I haven’t tested.
Early in the game, it is worth playing Rook in the Buy phase to get to critical $, such as $5, and then putting it in the discard pile of the next player. After some real Curses are around, attacked players often have to make some decisions. If they have a Rook and Curse in hand, they can discard the Curse, to keep the Rook for its $1 just in case its needed. If they also have a trasher in hand, they discard the Rook to later trash the Curse. In the test rounds, there were a good number of Curses in decks and the priority of the players was to trash those first, as they do not offer any strategic benefits, whereas the Rooks do. Later in the game, Rooks lose their influence, strategically and for using them for purchases, though this was likely partly due to the specific feature of Cellar, which lets players cycle though the junk and thus were often not in hands in the Buy phase anyway. I wasn’t confronted with the effects of trashing Rooks as players were busy enough trashing other junk. Therefore, I can’t tell much about this. I guess the main function of this is to keep Rooks in decks to maintain some sort of tension. Taking all this information together, I’d like to say that Redoubt/Rook is a nice pair of cards that work very well together, and frequently lead to decisions such as do I want to use the $1 of Rook and give it away or do I keep it for reflecting Redoubt attacks? None of those have a heavy impact on the game overall, which is a good thing. Redoubt/Rook offer a refreshing way to play the game. One last word: You should make the wording more clear in the way that you explicitly mention Rook on Redoubt’s instructions. There is absolutely no need to save a few words when the last line of a short text offers enough space anyway. It may prevent some misunderstanding…



- NoMoreFun

In game thoughts/notes
Round 3: Player A buys Amulet; B plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Silver; C does the same as B.
Round 4: Player A plays Cellar, Racketeer, gains and sets aside Farming Village, buys Silver; B trashes Estate (by in play Amulet), plays Farming Village, gains Curse, buys Poacher; C trashes Estate (by in play Amulet), buys Farming Village.
Round 5: A plays set aside Farming Village, Cellar, buys Racketeer; B and C buy Racketeer.
Round 6: A plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Gear; B plays Farming Village, Poacher, Amulet, trashes Copper, buys Racketeer; C plays Farming Village, Amulet, chooses +$1, buys Gold.
Round 7: A trashes Estate (by in play Amulet), plays Farming Village, Cellar, Racketeer, gains and sets aside Farming Village; B trashes Curse (by in play Amulet), plays Farming Village, gains Curse, plays Poacher, Racketeer, gains and sets aside Farming Village, buys Gear; C trashes Copper (by in play Amulet), plays Racketeer, gains and sets aside Farming Village, buys Cellar.
Round 8 (now it’s getting interesting): A plays the set aside Farming Village, gains 2 Curses, plays Gear, plays Racketeer, gains and sets aside Farming Village, buys Conclave; B puts Farming Village to hand (doesn’t play it), buys Gold; C plays 2x Farming Village, gains a Curse, buys Province.
Round 9: A plays 2x Farming Village, Amulet, trashes Curse, plays Cellar, buys Haggler. I stopped here.


Conclusion
I found it a bit more exciting than last time, which could be in part due to the fact that I really liked Moral Panic, your original submission, before your replaced it with Racketeer. However, it is difficult for players to avoid the attack since there are always key cards in a Kingdom that are needed for efficient play, here Farming Village. Players gained more of them than otherwise necessary for the deck via Racketeer when opponents already had one set aside for their next turn, as this becomes an easy target. In summary, playing with Racketeer is fun, but the targets are too obvious to make it an extraordinary card. By the way, Moral Panic would have scored better (at least in my hands, literally).



  - D782802859

In game thoughts/notes
All players’ opening buys were Executioner/Amulet.
Round 3: Player A plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Cellar; B plays Executioner, C and A take the Axe, B buys Seer; C plays Executioner, gains a Curse, returns The Axe, A takes The Axe (already has it), B takes The Axe; C buys  Seer.
Round 4: A trashes Estate (via in play Amulet), plays Executioner, gains a Curse, returns The Axe, B takes The Axe (already has it), C takes The Axe, A buys Haggler; B buys Silver; C buys Farming Village.
Round 5: A plays Amulet, trashes Copper, buys Silver; B plays Amulet, gains a Curse, returns The Axe, trashes Estate, buys Cellar; C plays Seer, gains a Curse, returns The Axe, plays Amulet, trashes Estate, buys Cellar.
Round 6: A trashes Curse (via in play Amulet), plays Executioner, B and C take The Noose (!), A buys Farming Village; B gains Silver (via in play Amulet), trashes it, returns The Noose, plays Seer, buys Gold; C gains Silver (via in play Amulet), trashes it, returns The Noose, buys Haggler.
Round 7: A plays Haggler, buys Gold, gains Lab; B buys Haggler; C plays Farming Village, Executioner, A and B take The Axe, C buys Farming Village.
Round 8: A plays Farming Village, gains a Curse, returns The Axe, plays Executioner, B takes The Axe (already has it), C takes The Axe; A buys Farming Village and Cellar; B plays Seer, gains a Curse, returns The Axe, plays Executioner, C takes the Axe (already has it), A takes The Axe, B buys Farming Village; C plays Seer, gains a Curse, returns The Axe, plays Cellar, Haggler, buys Lab, gains Farming Village. I stopped here.


Conclusion
This game in a different Kingdom set-up confirmed my assessment I’ve made about Executioner/The Noose/The Axe in that they are an extraordinary set of cards that offer all a player wants from a game of Dominion. They are refreshing, fun and challenging and provide a lot of variety when played in different Kingdoms of which I could, naturally, only got a little taste of it. One potential caveat though is that the “ping-pong” of The Axe especially at the beginning of the game can feel a bit repetitive, but I attributed this to the special circumstance that I played simultaneously all three fictive players, which requires some more focus on the game than with most of the other cards I have tested in the last couple of days. In summary, a well designed set of cards, nice and with simple instructions!




Awards


Third Place: Corrupt Middleman by fika monster

Second Place: Redoubt/Rook by Aquila

Winner: Executioner/The Noose/The Axe by D782802859




Some final words

I really enjoyed playing with your cards and even when it was only for a few rounds in an artificial set up. There were many exciting cards out there, also a lot among those which didn’t make it to the final, but as you all know, the nature of contests is that there can be only one Winner.

I’d also like to mention that I enjoy it a lot when people discuss each other’s cards and it doesn’t matter (or more accurately, it should be even encouraged) when such discussions fill pages. However, what I have found particularly annoying was the endless posting of wording suggestions including all the original images and the “improved” versions too. Such things can be very helpful, especially when someone presents their own Fan made cards in their own threads. However, he felt it was a bit too much, which had several consequences for me: 1) I stopped reading many of your text contributions to the contest. 2) It was more difficult to find the card submissions or card revisions, i.e. the most important parts of a contest. 3) I haven’t looked back and thus I don’t know, but one important and helpful wording suggestion would have been on Aquila’s cards. If it is there, I missed it, likely because there were too many other wording suggestions.

Speaking of Aquila’s cards, some of you may wonder why those cards are in the final now and even got the 2nd place. This is because I misinterpreted the instructions and I basically tested and evaluated something completely different. The good thing, just by chance, is that this contest round actually consisted of two rounds and thus it was relatively easy to correct my mistake. I included some of your cards that were not among my top favorites, but interesting enough to give them a second chance. Therefore, I thought it would be more than fair to give Aquila’s cards at least a first chance. The least I wanted is to declare the Winner and Runner ups based on some mistakes that have been made earlier and thereby miss to honor an excellent design.

Finally, I hope you all had some fun and that you enjoyed this contest round in one way or another. Thank you all for your contributions.

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