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Author Topic: Weekly Design Contest #155: Warlord's bane  (Read 3405 times)

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #155: Warlord's bane
« Reply #50 on: June 26, 2022, 05:18:33 am »

And I am finished with judging all the entries! Each one gets a score from 0-10; I am stingy so getting a 7 is already a pretty good result. My comments below are in alphabetical order by card author.

Some cards in here play stuff from your discard. For these, I am going to assume there is an implicit rule that in games using them, you may look through your discard pile at the appropriate moment.
4est's Town Gossip
This looks like a lot of fun. I worry a bit that its usefulness will drop off sharply towards the midgame, but there are enough combos that would make it better, so I don't think it's too niche, and it also helps that it will be fairly useful as an opener.
One change I would consider it whether it may not be better to discard the non-matches, as choosing the order of the putting back is often tedious and unlike with Doctor, here the leftover cards are often of worse quality than the average card in your deck.
AJL828's Town Hall
I think this is pretty straightforward. It's a Lab+ and that is completely fine. I think it's well balanced.
However, I think there's a mild problem: If you play a deck with lots of Town Halls then most of the time when you play them your discard will just be empty. I'm not convinced that the "play from discard" will trigger often enough to make the play experience sufficiently different to just having a Lab.
Augie279's Wand
An Attack that only Attacks upon a very specific trigger it interesting; Legionary and Idol are both cool for that reason. I also think that this card is quite thematic; it will feel like magic when you get it to attack. It can attack when it's not your turn, that might cause issues but it's probably fine.
It may be a bit disappointing it you manage to trigger the reaction but it's actually your Buy phase. But of course getting to play it may still be useful then. I also wonder if being removed from reveal area while other cards continue resolving may get weird, but can't think of any broken interactions at the moment.
Builder_Roberts's Lodestone
This is kind of a Treasure version of Courier. I wonder if it might not be more fun if, like Courier, this could also play Actions. But as it is, that change would definitely make it too powerful. It already is pretty strong. In any sort of non-engine deck, it will not be that uncommon to get $5 from playing this.
It might turn out not to be overpowered, but I feel like it needs a bit of a nerf.
Chappy7's Shopper
I think this is an overall nice design. A Workshop that is also a Mini-Band of Misfits is a cute idea.
I am not super convinced about the below-the-line effect though. Shopper prefers decks with a bunch of $4s in them anyways, I don't think it needs this extra complication.
And then there are some technical concerns: The setting aside is a bit strange as it's not completely clear to me that the set aside cards are then returned to the play area. It should probably be restricted to cards you played the same turn, like Scepter, to prevent Duration abuse.
Dubdubdubdub's Enchanted Forest
The on-play effect on its own is not particularly powerful, so this is really only worth it if you trigger the Reaction. And hey, it can react off of itself! So the strategy is just, get a bunch of these I guess. I feel like in the absence of other enablers, it is not reliable enough to be worth it, 2 cards just isn't a very big search space. If you can dicard from your hand, this becomes pretty good, but that's not most games.
It also bothers me a bit that you can play this on an opponent's turn, but it doesn't do a whole lot then. Just imagine your opponent playing Fortune Teller to reveal 5 of these and then you play them all just to get the bestest 2 cards on top of your deck. That sounds tedious.
emtzalex's Phoenix
Even without the below-the-line effect, it seems to me like this is an extremely powerful card. Sure, the trashing might at some point be a downside, but most of the time it's something you want. And then you can chain these like Cultists, only it's much easier because you draw 2 more cards.
It's also quite insane with Lurker, but that would be fine on its own. I just feel like the overall power level is a bit too high, but I would like to see some version of "when you trash this, play it".
fika monster's Chain Reaction
This is certainly a bit of an odd one. The effect is definitely unique. It's not immediately clear whether you always want the Chain Reactions, though on average I would expect they are beneficial.
Design-wise, I feel like it would be better to keep the on-play effect simpler if you're going for this effect. Right now it's just a bit much. And then I have two balancing issues: First, this pile will drain very quickly especially in multiplayer, and second, when Chain Reactions are important, the first player has opportunities to just gobble some up (e.g. with Port/Experiment/Stonemason) and then these allow him to get even more and well the game could be decided very quickly.
Galaxi's Donkey
The first thing I notice is that a blanket "+$1, +2 Buys" feels just a little bit too strong on a $2, for me; seems like Donkey could stand to cost $3.
The other thing is that the on-gain effect seems a bit too restrictive. Traveling Fair does a similar thing to this, and paying $2 for extra Buys is already only marginally useful. Here, you have to pay $4 just to get it in play. There are ways to make this a bit more useful, for instance making it so that you still get the +$1 when you do that, or just not requiring to pay $2. I get that the latter one could lead to pileouts though, so maybe it could be a once-per-turn thing.
grrgrrgrr's Horse Tamer
Definitely wins best art for the contest!
Play it on-shuffle is a nice effect. Of course, you will often shuffle during cleanup, meaning the +$2 goes to waste. But then again, getting a Horse makes it easier to shuffle during your Action phase in the future.
I kind of dislike the mandatory playing, that feels potentially punishing if you'd have needed the $ this provides in the shuffle. Also, making the playing optional means you can drop the differently-colored back.
I also kind of wish the on-play effect was a bit more different from Paddock.
Gubump's Harbor
Alright, this is a pretty straightforward counterpart to Village Green. I think it's fine. Not sure a draw card necessarily needs the Duration effect; it would still be pretty useful to play out of turn if you always got the effect immediately.
Of course compared to Village Green Harbor is kind of disappointing when there's no way to get the reaction. A Village is still good to have, but +2 cards, +1 buy? Eh. Still, it's a solid design. Not quite exciting because it's pretty close to an existing card, but solid.
infangthief's Folly
Looks like fun. The on-play effect is a bargain Raze; something you still probably want in the absence of other trashing.
What is the best number of Follies to get? Figuring this out is probably most of the fun. I'm not entirely convinced that the trigger "after your finish playing an Action" is ideal, it just creates so many decision points where most of the time you don't want to take it. I think it would be sufficient to just have this trigger at the start of your Buy phase, if you have an Action in play.
It may be a bit too good with Ways? Way of the Horse was pointed out, but other Ways could also be useful with this. But it's probably not a big issue; Rats is plenty fun with Ways too.

J410's Tales
First I should point out that there is already an official card named Princess.
There are some issues here. First, Sheep is not a card you want early. Without external supprt, want want it only when you also have Princesses, but you can't get Princesses unless you get the bad Sheep first. And then your opponent can you get Princesses without bothering with Sheep. The top card of a rotating pile needs to be good early so that the rotation happens, and I don't think that's the case here.
Princess is fine as a cross of Magpie and Great Hall, but not particularly innovative. Saint George provides an Avanto effect for the pile, which is cute, though it's a bit sad that that doesn't really affect Sheep.
Dragon can trigger the when-trash effect of Saint George, but the problem is it's otherwise pretty bad. By itself it could be a decent card but you uncover it so late that trashing is probably not longer useful.
Overall I think this just needs a bit more work. Designing multiple interlocking cards is just a bit more difficult than a single one.
Jonasssss's Kleptocrat
So overall I think this feels weaker than Lab. If you can play 2, you get the same effect as 2 Labs, except the card you play next has to be one that you already drew with the first Kleptocrat.
There is also a bit of a dissonance in the design: Why can this only Exile Actions, but nevertheless also play Treasures from Exile?
I think this needs a bit of a buff: One option might be to just also allow the Exiling of Treasures (but maybe you only get +1 Action if you Exiled an Action); or keep it at Actions only but add an extra card draw and raise the cost to $6.
Joxeft's Alley
This is a clever way to essentially implement "trade one Action for +1 card". There is a bit of rules confusion: What happens when this is set aside but something other than itself? (for instance via Inheritance) By the text, you'd still be able to play it then, but that's weird. A second open question is "could I use Throne Room to play this?"
Overall, I am not convinced that this is interesting enough to justify the rules trouble when you compare it to the much cleaner implementation as a Project.
Stage Director
$5 - Action
If you didn't spend an Action to play this, discard up to 2 cards.
Draw up to 6 cards in hand. Play the top card of your deck. If it has no play effect, you may take your -$1 coin token to replay this.
LibraryAdventurer's Stage Director
Overall I think it's a fun design. I'm not completely convinced that it's a good idea to play pure Victory cards, but I guess there's not too much harm in that (though it could just discard those).
"If it has no play effect" probably needs an FAQ, for instance if that applies when I play a Treasure and am attacked with Highwayman. That can be dealt with. Another potential issue is that this can go infinite if you put your +$1 token on it. I'm not sure it would ever be beneficial it enter the infinite loop (and to do it at all you'd have to make sure you never hit a playable card), but these things are best avoided. Both of these are minor concerns though.
Mined Silver
cost $4 - Treasure - Reaction
In games using this, at the start of your turns, if this is the top card of your deck, play it.

(This card has a different back like Stash.)
majiponi's Mined Silver
The biggest problem with this is that having a different back means we need to know how to shuffle, since with that you could always shuffle until Mined Silver is/isn't on top. This card does not provide any rules for that.
The second issue is that this a pretty straightforward Silver+. While these are no longer quite so frowned upon as they were, in this case the card really is strictly better.
Finally, as this is a Treasure, it would feel more natural to me if the playing from the top of your deck happens at the start of your Buy phase rather than the start of your turn.
Action/Reaction - $4
Gain a card costing up to $4
In games using this, at the start of your Buy phase, you may  play a Beacon from your discard pile
NoMoreFun's Beacon
Technically speaking, I am not convinced that this needs the Reaction type. Though giving it a different color certainly makes it easier to find in your discard, maybe that's reason enough to keep it.
It's a cute Workshop variant. I am mildly worried about how strong it would be in Gardens rushes or something, but that doesn't happen all too often. Other than that it's just quite neat as a design, and reacting at the start of the Buy phase gives it some extra interesting interactions with sifters and the like.
spineflu's Kibitzer
I feel like the fact that this also allows playing of Treasures breaks it a little, because unless you're drawing your deck it's pretty likely that you have some Coppers in your discard pile, and then this becomes a pretty bad deal. If you discard 2 Estates with this to an empty discard, then it's a crap Warehouse. Even if the stars align and you get to play exactly the card you want with this, all you got was a Fugitive-like effect. I don't think this card works.
Xen3k's Muse
I have to be honest, this card just has a bit too much going on for my taste. I cannot really say what it does in one sentence, and it's kind of hard to wrap your head around what happens in which situation.
Rules-wise, this creates an interesting limbo state: you leave out the Duration if it will still do something - but will it? Well it will if and only if you leave it out. I assume the idea is that it stays out by default.
From what I can gather, this is probably not too strong or weak but it's hard to judge without playtesting.
Fast Track
Action - Reaction

+1 Card
+1 Action
When you gain an Action or Treasure card you may reveal and discard this from your hand to play the gained card.
xyz123's Fast Track
As far as wording goes, I think you can drop the "reveal and"; see Market Square.
This is a Peddler that doubles as Innovation. It' a bit tricky that way; usually you'll want to play it before you know what cards you'll later be able to afford and whether it's worth it to keep it in your hand. But that is an interesting tension.
I wonder how often you will get an effect better than Peddler from a card gained during your Buy phase. It is probably often enough to make this worthwile.
I do have to subtract a point because while you can technically use this to play itself, that is really not very useful at all (unless you draw it dead, I suppose). So it kind of stretches the boundaries of this contest.

And with that, we come to the conclusion:

Runner-Up: Beacon by NoMoreFun

Winner: Town Gossip by 4est
The quiet comprehending of the ending of it all


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Re: Weekly Design Contest #155: Warlord's bane
« Reply #51 on: June 26, 2022, 09:52:15 am »

Thanks faust! Great contest prompt, great entries, great comments. I'll get the next contest up later today.
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