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Kirian

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Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« on: July 12, 2011, 11:22:23 am »
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Some wonderful person over in this thread suggested that Dominion lingo could take some getting used to, and that there were abbreviations etc. used that aren't immediately obvious to the novice coming to our board.  This thread is intended to remedy that.  I'll start with a few; as others post important definitions, I'll index them here at the top of the thread.

Mod Edit: The most up to date version of this list can be found on the DS.com Wiki.

Definitions:

Base: The original Dominion, with no expansions.  E.g., "In base, Chapel is the best early-game trasher."
Big Money:  Strictly speaking, a strategy where no Actions are bought at all, only Treasure and Victory.  In practice, often used to refer to a strategy emphasizing Treasure and Victory cards that is merely supplemented with one or two Actions.  Compare Engine.
Board (or Set, Table, or Tableau):  The set of cards that make up the game of interest.
Cantrip:  Any card that gives at least +1 Card, +1 Action; it costs no action to spend it and it replaces itself in the hand.  Can technically refer to Villages, but in practice usually refers to cards like Spy.
Chain:  A deck in which the same card(s) are played either multiple times per turn (or simply every turn for some powerful cards).  E.g., "Lab chain".
City Trap:  Purchasing multiple Cities in a game in which no piles (other than Province or Colony) are likely to be emptied; the Cities are very expensive Villages in this case.
Clog (or Bloat, Gum Up...): Add cards to a deck (preferably an opponent's) that interfere with the engine being used.  Often happens voluntarily in the endgame.
Colony Game:  Any game in which Colony and Platinum (from Prosperity) are available for purchase.
Counter:  A card that acts to neutralize another card (usually an attack), whether directly (e.g., Moat) or indirectly (e.g., Library vs. Militia/Goons).
Cycling:  To move quickly through your deck.  Chancellor provides an extreme example of cycling, but cards like Warehouse and Laboratory also cycle your deck effectively.
DoubleJack: A strategy involving buying only two copies of Jack of All Trades, and otherwise exclusively Treasure and Victory cards.
Draw Dead: Generally refers to drawing an Action card when you have no more Actions to play.  In context, may refer to drawing an Action card that cannot be effectively used (e.g., Baron without Estate, Moneylender without Copper).
Duchy Dancing: Towards the end of a game, when both players are buying Duchies and neither side is willing or able to take the final Province(s)
Early Game:  Most purchases are low-cost cards; players are defining their overall strategy.
Endgame (or Late Game):  Players are purchasing almost exclusively victory cards.  Often accompanied by jockeying with lower-value victory cards, e.g., PPR.
End on piles:  Force the game to end by emptying three or more piles (four or more with 5+ players). 
Engine:  Loosely defined, the Action cards that "drive" one's deck.  An "engine-based" strategy refers to a strategy emphasizing Actions.  Compare Big Money.
Envoy/Big Money: see Smithy/Big Money
Golden Deck: A deck designed to gain Victory tokens for multiple turns with just five cards.  The classic example is Bishop/Gold/Silver/Silver/Province, which trashes a Province for 5 VP and replaces it each turn.
Greening / "Go Green":  Begin purchasing victory cards.
Isotropic (or Iso)http://dominion.isotropic.org -- an exceedingly popular online implementation of Dominion, often linked to from these forums.
Level X City: A shorthand for referencing the power level of a City. Typically follows either a 1/2/3 or 0/1/2 (which references the number of empty piles) formatting.
Midgame:  Most purchases are actions or treasures of value $5 or higher, but rarely with hands above $6 (Province game) or $9 (Colony game); players are refining their strategies and attempting to tune their engines.
Mirror Match: When both players pursue identical or near-identical strategies
Non-Terminal (or Non-Terminal Action, sometimes NT):  Any action card that gives at least one additional Action.
Opening:  Purchases made on the first two turns.  Usually clarified by a 4/3 or 5/2 opening.
Piles: see “end on piles”
Province Game (rarely, Non-Colony Game):  A standard game in which Colony and Platinum are not available.
Pseudo-Trash:  Remove cards from your deck without trashing them, e.g., Island.
Sift:  Filter through your deck by drawing and discarding unwanted cards.  Similar to cycling, but with more finesse.  See, e.g., Warehouse.
Smithy / Big Money: A strategy involving one purchase of a Smithy and otherwise exclusively Treasure and Victory.  Reaches 4 Provinces in approximately 14 turns.
Split:  Treasure values of the first two hands (5/2 or 4/3).  Tournament and league play often gives players the same split.
Terminal (or Terminal Action):  Any action card that does not provide another Action when played.
Terminal clash: Drawing multiple terminal cards together, such that you can only play one of them
Terminal Silver:  Any terminal action that gives $2.
Three-Pile: See "End on Piles."
Top-Deck:  Place a card on top of your deck that would normally go elsewhere (e.g. Alchemist, Royal Seal).
Trasher (or Deck-thinner):  Any card that allows one to remove cards from one's deck.
Trash-for-Benefit:  Any card that gives a benefit at the cost of trashing a card.  Apprentice draws additional cards, Salvager gives cash, etc.
Village:  Besides the card of the same name, can refer to any card which gives +2 Actions; most (but not all) such cards have "Village" in their names.
Village Idiot:  Village seems like a great card to an inexperienced player, and it is good--but taking Villages without any terminals makes the Villages worthless.  Hence, Village Idiot.  More loosely, refers to any poor strategy that buys too many Actions.
Virtual +Buy: Cards like Ironworks and Workshop, which allow you to gain an additional card on your turn along with your ordinary Buy

Abbreviations:

C, S, G, E, D, P:  Sometimes used in game analyses for the basic treasure cards and basic victory cards.

Amb: Ambassador
BM: Big Money (rarely, Black Market, in context)
BMU: A particular algorithm for playing Big Money that intelligently purchases Duchies
BV: Border Village
CR: Council Room
CY: Courtyard
DXV: Donald X. Vaccarino
FG: Fool's Gold or Fairgrounds, depending on context
FV: Fishing Village (rarely, Farming Village, in context)
GM: Grand Market
Hag: Sea Hag
HoP: Horn of Plenty
HP: Hunting Party
HT: Horse Traders
IGG: Ill-Gotten Gains
IW: Ironworks
JoAT: Jack of All Trades (also often "Jack")
KC: King's Court
Masq: Masquerade
MV: Mining Village
NV: Native Village
OGE: Overgrown Estate
Lab: Laboratory
PPR: Penultimate Province Rule
SR: Silk Road
TFB / T4B: Trash-for-benefit
TM: Treasure Map
TR: Throne Room (rarely, Trade Route, in context)
UAS: Unstoppable Alchemist Stack
UCS: Unstoppable City Stack
YW: Young Witch

Common Forum References and In-Jokes:

Blue Dog: In this BGG post, DXV attempts to explain the interaction between Ironworks and Trader, using a strange analogy to a blue dog.  Not only does the blue dog confuse the issue, he later changes his mind about the ruling.
Marin (v.): Marin has a tendency to come from far behind using engines or strategies that were not obvious from the board, and in many cases are difficult to understand afterward.  To Marin someone is to win in this manner.
Rrenaud's Law: Any significantly long forum thread will inevitably discuss the FunSockets version of Dominion.  Has also been invoked to refer to people hearing about isotropic disappearing and then asking "OMG, Iso's going away? What?"
X Makes Scout Better! (and Scout is Overpowered/Awesome): It is common knowledge that Scout is one of the worst cards available for its price, and possibly any price.  Even those combos where it should shine don't show real improvement with Scout.  Any card that makes Scout better is... well, not getting much praise that way.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 08:12:20 pm by greatexpectations »
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ShuffleNCut

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2011, 12:23:30 pm »
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Cantrip:  Any card that gives at least +1 Card, +1 Action; it costs no action to spend it and it replaces itself in the hand.  (Definition is disputed.)

Also known as cycling (to me at least, EX MTG player)
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theory

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 12:39:23 pm »
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Stickied.  Here's a couple more:

UCS: Unstoppable City Stack
TR: Throne Room
KC: King's Court
HT: Horse Traders
TM: Treasure Map

Big Money: The strategy of buying nothing but Treasure and Victory cards.  Beats most beginners; loses to more advanced play.
Envoy-Big-Money/Smithy-Big-Money: Same as Big Money, except with a single Envoy or Smithy added.
Cycling: Getting through your deck.  See, e.g., Warehouse.
Draw: Drawing more cards into hand.  See, e.g., Laboratory.

Early game: The first few turns, where you define your overall strategy
Midgame: The turns where you're hitting $5/$6 consistently (in a Province game) or $5-$9 consistently (in a Colony game), where you're buying mostly Kingdom cards (some green cards) and refining your engine
Late game: The turns where you buy almost exclusively green cards, and concepts like the PPR come into play

"Ending on piles": Ending the game by emptying 3 or more piles
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Kirian

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 01:02:51 pm »
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Stickied.  Here's a couple more:

Thank you!!

Quote
Big Money: The strategy of buying nothing but Treasure and Victory cards.  Beats most beginners; loses to more advanced play.
Envoy-Big-Money/Smithy-Big-Money: Same as Big Money, except with a single Envoy or Smithy added.

I think standard strategies probably warrant their own thread, with more information about each.  What do you think?
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Taco Lobster

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 01:33:26 pm »
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I'm not sure if this is general parlence, but I always refer to the set of Kingdom cards as "the Board".

Example: "The Board had City and University, so I went for a potion on my first buy."

Not sure if you want to include "hit" in there as well.  It's pretty intuitive, but it might be confusing enough to put in.  Usually, it seems to mean "I drew card x" and not necessarily "I played card x."  It's also often replaced with "drew into" which is even more intuitive.

Example:  "I played Smithy and hit my Goons, but I was out of actions."
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 01:36:28 pm by Taco Lobster »
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Kuildeous

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 01:34:09 pm »
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I like the definitions for mid-game, late-game, etc. I'm sure many new players are unaware of when exactly mid-game happens. If you don't have dozens (hundreds) of games under your belt, you may have difficulty knowing when the game shifts.

Not to open a cantrip debate, but I think the definition should change from:

Cantrip:  Any card that gives at least +1 Card, +1 Action; it costs no action to spend it and it replaces itself in the hand.  (Definition is disputed.)

To:

Cantrip: Any card that gives +1 Card, +1 Action; it costs no action to spend it, and it replaces itself in the hand. It usually has some other benefit, but the end result is that you usually end up with the same number of cards in hand and the same number of actions while getting closer to a reshuffle. (Definition is disputed)

I bring that up because with the current definition, Laboratory, Warehouse, and City all would technically qualify as Cantrips.
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rls22

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 01:35:45 pm »
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How about "stackable"?  Cards that work very well when multiple copies are bought (e.g, Laboratory).  I think this may refer only to action cards, but in my head, I usually put something like Venture in this category too.

Like Taco Lobster, I also usually call the set of Kingdom cards "the Board", but I know many people call it "the Kingdom" (which is probably more proper).
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DG

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 01:39:55 pm »
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Quote
I'm not sure if this is general parlence, but I always refer to the set of Kingdom cards as "the Board".


I always refer to a set of Kingdom cards as a Kingdom. It sort of makes sense.
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tko

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 01:45:58 pm »
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@Kirian, if possible, please edit the original post to follow the "PPR:  Penultimate Province Rule" with a link to the article:
http://dominionstrategy.com/2011/03/28/the-penultimate-province-rule/
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Taco Lobster

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2011, 01:47:00 pm »
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Quote
I'm not sure if this is general parlence, but I always refer to the set of Kingdom cards as "the Board".


I always refer to a set of Kingdom cards as a Kingdom. It sort of makes sense.


It does, but I don't even refer to the cards as Kingdom cards.  I don't think I'm alone in that.  The strong concepts are Action Cards/Victory Cards/Treasure Cards.  I'm not even certain what the concept of Kingdom cards is - does it refer to all Dominion Cards, or just the 10 that are randomly determined?  If so, are Potion, Platinum and Colony Kingdom cards? 

Actually, assuming that Kingdom Cards refers only to the 10 piles, and not the base cards, Board and Kingdom are not synonyms; the former encompasses the later.

Plus, Kingdom sounds dorky.   It diminishes the cool factor of playing board games.   8)
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Superdad

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 01:55:20 pm »
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Critical missing lingo:

The Hoff = David Hasselhoff
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guided

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2011, 02:36:06 pm »
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"The Board" is common usage for the entire supply or the set of Kingdom cards, even if some people prefer to use the official term "Kingdom".

To "draw [a card] dead" is to find it in hand when it cannot be of good use. Some examples:

-Playing a +Cards effect with your last action and drawing action cards (these action cards have been "drawn dead")
-Finding Baron with no Estates in hand early in the game (the Baron is "drawn dead")
-Finding Shanty Town with exactly one (non-drawing) terminal action in hand (the Shanty Town is "drawn dead")
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DG

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2011, 02:44:08 pm »
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Quote
Plus, Kingdom sounds dorky.   It diminishes the cool factor of playing board games.   
Do we live in the same universe? :)
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Taco Lobster

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2011, 03:10:50 pm »
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Quote
Plus, Kingdom sounds dorky.   It diminishes the cool factor of playing board games.   
Do we live in the same universe? :)

I live on Earth 616.  You?
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Kirian

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2011, 03:16:16 pm »
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Cantrip: Any card that gives +1 Card, +1 Action; it costs no action to spend it, and it replaces itself in the hand. It usually has some other benefit, but the end result is that you usually end up with the same number of cards in hand and the same number of actions while getting closer to a reshuffle. (Definition is disputed)

I bring that up because with the current definition, Laboratory, Warehouse, and City all would technically qualify as Cantrips.

The problem with this definition is that certain cards are conditionally cantrips.  Menagerie is a cantrip iff your hand has duplicates; Scrying Pool is a cantrip iff the top card of your deck (after choosing whether to discard) is not an action; etc.  I'll put a section specifically for various disputed definitions.

Any MTG players want to shed further light on this?
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Superdad

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2011, 03:25:03 pm »
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Only that something like Upgrade would not be considered a true cantrip (note that I'm pretty sure that the gaming definition of Cantrip originated from DnD, and not MtG, I'm not 100% sure though). Also I believe the term cantrip was originally (bolded for emphasis) coined for a card that essentially cost nothing but provided a very very minimal value. It's this latter part that is often overlooked.

For example, Familiar would certainly not be a true cantrip, but can loosely be lumped into the category. I'd say just leave it as anything that gives +1 card/+1 action. It won't be historically 100% accurate, but that doesn't *really* matter all that much.
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michaeljb

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2011, 03:29:08 pm »
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I like the definitions for mid-game, late-game, etc. I'm sure many new players are unaware of when exactly mid-game happens. If you don't have dozens (hundreds) of games under your belt, you may have difficulty knowing when the game shifts.

Not to open a cantrip debate, but I think the definition should change from:

Cantrip:  Any card that gives at least +1 Card, +1 Action; it costs no action to spend it and it replaces itself in the hand.  (Definition is disputed.)

To:

Cantrip: Any card that gives +1 Card, +1 Action; it costs no action to spend it, and it replaces itself in the hand. It usually has some other benefit, but the end result is that you usually end up with the same number of cards in hand and the same number of actions while getting closer to a reshuffle. (Definition is disputed)

I bring that up because with the current definition, Laboratory, Warehouse, and City all would technically qualify as Cantrips.
I disagree that Warehouse qualifies, as it results in a decrease of your handsize. Additionally, I have no issue with Laboratory and City, etc. qualifying as Cantrips, because they give +1 Card, +1 Action and some other benefit; Lab's is +1 Card, City's is +1 Action, and later more.

Cantrips are readily spammable because of the +1 Card, +1 Action, they're worthwhile because of the "other benefit" the card gives you, and if a card's other benefit is +Cards or +Actions, why should that disqualify the card from being called a Cantrip?
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Taco Lobster

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2011, 03:32:57 pm »
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Yeah, cantrip is originally from D&D, and was used in Magic for cards that weren't powerful enough to exist by themselves, and thus had a "draw a card" clause on them (the timing of which varied over the years).  Magic also has pure card drawing spells, and only a very tiny number of those are referred to as cantrips (they have a very minor effect, but let the caster draw two cards instead of one).

I don't think the technical definition of what is/is not a cantrip matters.  The concept that is trying to be captured is a card that (a) replaces itself through the drawing of a card and (b) replaces the action used to play that card.  These cards are different from terminal actions or even non-terminal non-drawing actions in that they are "free" in most instances (the exception being terminal card draw).  These cards will fit into 90% of decks without slowing them down.

I don't think it's worth the effort to get an absolute or technically correct definition.  It may be worth noting though that some cards are conditional cantrips (e.g., Ironworks on a board with Island/Great Hall).
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2011, 03:33:52 pm »
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Trashing: Cards that get rid of cards from your deck, primarily by literally trashing them, but often pseud0-trashing is included
Pseudo-Trashing: getting rid of cards from your deck in ways other than directly trashing them, i.e. Ambassador, Native Village, bridge
Sifting: similar to cycling, setting up which cards get drawn together. Cellar, Warehouse, Scout, etc.
Gumming up: stopping one's engine from working efficiently
Clogging: Cards which are useless to you are said to clog your deck/hand
Village: Usually, any card which gives +2 actions; occasionally used only to describe cards which also let you draw a card.
Pseudo-Buy: any card which lets you gain more cards without needing +Buys, i.e. ironworks, workshop, horn of plenty, black market
Terminal silver: Any terminal action which provides +2 coin
Curse-Giver: Cards which reliably give curses
Interaction Cards: Non-attacks that have a lot of interaction between players, a la masquerade, possession, and somewhat tribute, etc.
Alternative Victory: planning to win in some way other than buying the most of the most expensive green cards available.
Double ____ (generally province): Buying two of that card in a single turn
Tactician Chains: Playing tactician every turn (always with some way of making money in the action phase - vault, secret chamber, conspirator, black market, etc.)

Lab: Laboratory
HP: Hunting Party
Masq: Masquerade
SH: Sea Hag

I also call the set of kingdom cards, officially the kingdom, "the board" or even "the spread".

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2011, 03:44:57 pm »
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My gaming group has this acronym: CUPS (Cities' Unstoppable Peddler Stack)

Pseudo-Trashing: getting rid of cards from your deck in ways other than directly trashing them, i.e. Ambassador, Native Village, bridge
Bridge?
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Tiger

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2011, 03:58:44 pm »
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"Terminal (or Terminal Action):  Any action card that does not allow one to take additional actions."

Anyone finding themselves here presumably knows enough Dominion to understand what this means, but it could be read as stopping you from playing more action cards ("discard your hand" or "you cannot play any more action cards this turn" or something). What the entry should say is something like "Any action card that does not give any +Actions", and then maybe explain that this means that if it's played as your last action you can't play any more actions.
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krawhitham

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2011, 04:40:00 pm »
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Some wonderful person over in this thread suggested that Dominion lingo could take some getting used to, and that there were abbreviations etc. used that aren't immediately obvious to the novice coming to our board. 

I'd like to protest: I'm not remotely wonderful.

All I did was put an idea forward, rather than actually do anything to solve the problem myself.

I can only see one thing that is not defined so far: Isotropic.

I'm sure that 99.9% of people here have been on Isotropic first, but there is always one awkward customer who insists on playing the real thing :P

Isotropic: An online implementation of the game Dominion (and all its various expansions). You can play against other people on the internet (there's no AI) located at http://dominion.isotropic.org/

The definition could be expanded further by explaining that the game has permission from Donald X and uses unofficial art... but it's getting into the realm of unecessary text.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2011, 08:19:32 pm »
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My gaming group has this acronym: CUPS (Cities' Unstoppable Peddler Stack)

Pseudo-Trashing: getting rid of cards from your deck in ways other than directly trashing them, i.e. Ambassador, Native Village, bridge
Bridge?

An obvious and massive mistake. Should say Island.

Axe Knight

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2011, 08:31:02 pm »
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Two proposed terms:

Duplicator - Cards like TR/KC
Defensive Struggle - A game that is characterized by low trashing, low buying power, low scores, and usually high deck size...
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Eagle

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Re: Dominion Lingo Dictionary
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2011, 09:11:13 pm »
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If we're going to define "village idiot", I propose "city slicker"

But I'm way too lazy to write the definition...
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