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Author Topic: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.  (Read 17495 times)

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inverseParanoid

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Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« on: June 05, 2012, 05:44:22 pm »
+4

(Now available with two different images. Pick and print whichever you like best. And feel free to give feedback or suggest a new image in the thread below.)

OR

NOTE: The above description has been modified to include the feedback below. The original OP and a second draft are quoted below. Special thanks to pokeman7452 for the graphic creation, Thanar for his help with the image search, blueblimp for help with the final description, and ftl for his work on the second draft. And another round of thanks for the many great ideas and feedback from all the wonderful people below (including Schlippy, LastFootnote, Matt_Arnold, rinkworks and eHalcyon)!

Quote
*Second Draft*

Ghost Town

+1 card
+2 actions

Whenever someone plays an action card that requires counting the cards in your hand, you may reveal ghost town and set it aside; return it to your hand after the action has been resolved.

$4 Action-Reaction

Quote
*Original Version*

Ghost Town

+1 card
+2 actions

This card does not count as a card "in hand." All Ghost Towns are trashed at game's end, prior to tallying the final score.

$5


Ghost Towns can have a tremendous affect on all action cards with "in hand" in their description. I'll attempt to outline all the potential scenarios it might impact below.
  • When playing Library, Watchtower, or Jack of All Trades, draw until you have 7, 6 or 5 non-Ghost Town (non-GT) cards "in hand" (respectively), keeping any Ghost Towns but omitting them from your total "in hand" count.
  • When attacked by Militia/Goons/Margrave/Followers you only have to "discard down" to 3 non-GTs "in hand," keeping any Ghost Towns but omitting them from your total "in hand" count.
  • When attacked by Ghost Ship you only have to place cards on top of your deck until your hand contains 3 non-GTs. Note: you may still place Ghost Towns on top of your deck perhaps for use in combination with multiple Shanty Towns or Menageries (see below for more info on the relationship between Ghost Town and those cards).
  • If you're attacked by a Minion and you have a hand with 5 or more cards but 4 or less non-GTs, you may choose to discard your whole hand and draw 4 new cards, or reveal your Ghost Town(s) and keep your hand.
  • When you play a Minion or a Tactician, you discard Ghost Town with the rest of your hand (since those specific functions aren't impacted by cards "in hand").
  • Shanty Towns played with Ghost Town(s) and no other actions "in hand" still yield +2 cards.
  • When you play a Menagerie and reveal a hand with duplicate Ghost Towns you only draw +1 card. (Again if "in hand" isn't in a card's description, Ghost Towns are treated like any normal card.)
  • Since all Ghost Towns are trashed at game's end they do not count toward total deck size with Gardens, or as a unique card with Fairgrounds.

With #8 I wanted to create some sort of penalty to help balance the positive aspects of Ghost Towns out. I thought about it also not counting toward treasures like Horn of Plenty or Philosopher's Stone, but the card description already seemed too long to add any anti-HoP text, and the deck and discard counting function of Phi Stone means that it would make that card a real pain.

Let me know if you have any feedback.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 03:11:52 am by inverseParanoid »
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ftl

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Re: Ghost Town +2 action card that doesn't count "in hand."
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 07:21:36 pm »
+2

I'm a little worried that "does not count as a card in hand" is sort of weird wording. Because, well, Ghost Town IS a card in hand - if your opponent counts the number of cards in your hand, they'll count the ghost town because they don't know it's there, they just see the back. It is, in fact, a card you are holding in your hand, and if someone counts your hand, they'll see it as a card in hand, because it is. Do you have to reveal the card? If I play a militia, and an opponent doesn't discard any cards claiming to have ghost towns, do they have to reveal them at the same time?  And the way it's phrased, it's not optional - it says "it does not count as a card in hand", not that it MAY not be counted, it's mandatory, but how would anyone else know if it's not revealed?

I would suspect that it's a little better to word it as a reaction. Something like "whenever you or an opponent plays an action that requires you to count the number of cards in your hand, you may reveal ghost town and set it aside; return it to your hand after the action has been resolved". Same effect in that you can make it not be in your hand when you don't want it to be, but without the weirdness about "not counting" as something that it actually is. Maybe even simplify that to "whenever someone plays an action card, you may reveal Ghost Town and set it aside until the action is resolved; then, return it to your hand". That would trigger menageries though, but maybe that's okay, for a $5 village. Oh, and I guess it would have other effects, it would save you from Masq pins...

I guess mostly I'm playing with words and  trying to avoid having a card claim to be something it's not. It's like a card that says "Action" and then the text says "this card does not count as an action card" - just seems sort of self-contradictory, and the set-aside mechanic seems like it would be a way to get the same effect without having to clarify how, exactly, a card that's in your hand can "count" as a not a card in your hand.

Sounds like an interesting card though. A $5 village is expensive, but there are so many things that it either combos with or interacts with that it might be worth it in a lot of cases?

Have you playtested this at $5 and $4? My initial sense would be that $4 is better for the card, since that makes it usable even in a deck without one of those specific combos, but maybe there are enough of those combo cards that that it'll be playable often enough at $5?
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LastFootnote

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Re: Ghost Town +2 action card that doesn't count "in hand."
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 07:40:02 pm »
0

Wow, ftl said almost everything I was going to say, only probably better!

Another option is to give the card a special backing (like Stash), but rules-clarity-wise I prefer the Reaction card that you can reveal when any Action is played. The only problem there is that Action cards are played constantly. A card that reacts to such a common event could be very problematic.

I really like the idea of Ghost Town in general, though. I hope there's a good way to word it!
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Schlippy

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Re: Ghost Town +2 action card that doesn't count "in hand."
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 07:50:28 pm »
0

I like the concept, but the main problem is that this is just a really expensive village in Kingdoms without cards that react to hand size.


For the wording, I suggest simply this:

Ghost Town

+1 card
+2 actions

You may set this card aside or put it back into your hand at any time, unless you played it. If you have this set aside at the beginning of your cleanup phase, discard it.



That will also make it a lot easier to resolve attacks with it.
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inverseParanoid

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Re: Ghost Town +2 action card that doesn't count "in hand."
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 07:55:44 pm »
0

Do you have to reveal the card? If I play a militia, and an opponent doesn't discard any cards claiming to have ghost towns, do they have to reveal them at the same time?  And the way it's phrased, it's not optional - it says "it does not count as a card in hand", not that it MAY not be counted, it's mandatory, but how would anyone else know if it's not revealed?

Yes it would have to be revealed. And it would be labeled as an Action-Reaction like Secret Chamber.

Quote
"whenever someone plays an action card, you may reveal Ghost Town and set it aside until the action is resolved; then, return it to your hand". That would trigger menageries though, but maybe that's okay, for a $5 village. Oh, and I guess it would have other effects, it would save you from Masq pins...

I think the added Masq and Menagerie utility are fine as well. The only tricky part is that now you can set this aside when playing a Tactician.

So I think a hybrid of your two descriptions "Whenever someone plays an action card that requires counting the cards in your hand, you may reveal ghost town and set it aside; return it to your hand after the action has been resolved"[/b] would be pretty close to perfect.

That would strip Masq, Menagerie, Tactician and Shanty Town functionality, but would also justify lowering the price down to $4 as you've suggested.

Quote
I guess mostly I'm playing with words and  trying to avoid having a card claim to be something it's not. It's like a card that says "Action" and then the text says "this card does not count as an action card" - just seems sort of self-contradictory, and the set-aside mechanic seems like it would be a way to get the same effect without having to clarify how, exactly, a card that's in your hand can "count" as a not a card in your hand.

Thanks! I really appreciate your help in clarifying the wording / function. I was trying to think of a way to word it concisely and clearly and the original definition was as far as I got.

I'm going to update the OP with your suggestions.
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Schlippy

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Re: Ghost Town +2 action card that doesn't count "in hand."
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 08:02:42 pm »
0

Didn't you consider my wording? :(
It would leave everything intact, but it would strip Tactician functionality, which is pretty much what you want.
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inverseParanoid

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Re: Ghost Town +2 action card that doesn't count "in hand."
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 08:10:58 pm »
0

I like the concept, but the main problem is that this is just a really expensive village in Kingdoms without cards that react to hand size.


Hopefully dropping the price to $4 resolves this.


Quote
For the wording, I suggest simply this:

Ghost Town

+1 card
+2 actions

You may set this card aside or put it back into your hand at any time, unless you played it. If you have this set aside at the beginning of your cleanup phase, discard it.


That will also make it a lot easier to resolve attacks with it.

That would probably work well for live games, but I'm just thinking of playing on Isotropic and having to answer a reaction pop-up EVERY single time an opponent plays an action. I think narrowing it down to a limited number of actions that it directly interacts with (Library, Watchtower, Jack of All Trades, Minion, Militia, Goons, Margrave, and Followers) would make for much smoother gameplay.
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inverseParanoid

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Re: Ghost Town +2 action card that doesn't count "in hand."
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 08:15:10 pm »
+1

Didn't you consider my wording? :(
It would leave everything intact, but it would strip Tactician functionality, which is pretty much what you want.

I updated the OP before reading your post. If you have a way of wording it that also allow for smooth play on Isotropic, I'd be all for it.

However, I recognize the odds of a user-designed card actually making it onto Iso are very slim, but that's where I do almost all my playing, so it's hard to de-couple the association I make between Dominion and Iso. Would it be best for the thread to focus on optimizing this card only for real life play, and not for online?
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LastFootnote

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Re: Ghost Town +2 action card that doesn't count "in hand."
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 08:25:42 pm »
0

Didn't you consider my wording? :(
It would leave everything intact, but it would strip Tactician functionality, which is pretty much what you want.

I updated the OP before reading your post. If you have a way of wording it that also allow for smooth play on Isotropic, I'd be all for it.

However, I recognize the odds of a user-designed card actually making it onto Iso are very slim, but that's where I do almost all my playing, so it's hard to de-couple the association I make between Dominion and Iso. Would it be best for the thread to focus on optimizing this card only for real life play, and not for online?

Nah, I think it's totally reasonable to design your cards with both real-life and digital play in mind.
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Schlippy

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Re: Ghost Town +2 action card that doesn't count "in hand."
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2012, 08:30:22 pm »
+1

Isotropic could simply implement it by asking you to set it aside for every handsize attack and asking you when you click the card if you want to play it or set it aside until you played your next action.


If you want to have that in words:

Ghost Town

Choose one:
+1 card, +2 actions
or
+1 Action
Set this card aside. You may put back into your hand after you played an Action. Discard set aside Ghost Towns at the beginning of your cleanup phase.
--------------
You may set this aside when another player plays an attack. Put it back into your hand after the attack has resolved.

But this is a lot more complicated than just implementing it on Isotropic like I suggested.


edit: I just noticed that this could be abused with Throne Rooms. But every exploit I figured out is not really better than playing the first choice with Throne Room.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 08:40:16 pm by Schlippy »
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inverseParanoid

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2012, 08:45:25 pm »
0

The original idea behind ghost town was sort of a card that was there "but wasn't there." Almost like a ghost town. It's still a town, it's just that there's no one there anymore.

I wonder if with that explanation the card could take on a wider meaning or slightly different functions.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 08:52:25 pm by inverseParanoid »
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Schlippy

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2012, 08:53:17 pm »
0

The original idea behind ghost town was sort of a card that was there "but wasn't there." Almost like a ghost town. It's still a town, it's just that there's no one there anymore.

Quote
I wonder if with that explanation the card could take on a wider meaning or slightly different functions.
Like drawing six or seven cards in your cleanup phase when draw a ghost town, because it isn't there? ;)
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inverseParanoid

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 08:55:43 pm »
0

Like drawing six or seven cards in your cleanup phase when draw a ghost town, because it isn't there? ;)

Haha, that was one of the overpowered traits I was trying to avoid with the original wording.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 11:06:35 pm by inverseParanoid »
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Matt_Arnold

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 10:25:36 pm »
+1

I love it!
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LastFootnote

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 11:11:03 pm »
0

You know, the more I think about it, the more I like the original wording of, "This card does not count toward your total hand size," or whatever it was. With a special card back, I think it's probably fine. I generally like to avoid cards with different backs if possible, but I think it's worth it here.
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inverseParanoid

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2012, 12:49:29 am »
0

You know, the more I think about it, the more I like the original wording of, "This card does not count toward your total hand size," or whatever it was. With a special card back, I think it's probably fine. I generally like to avoid cards with different backs if possible, but I think it's worth it here.

Oh, I accidentally pasted over the original wording. It's been restored now in the quoted portion of the OP.

Quote
This card does not count as a card "in hand." All ghost towns are trashed at game's end, prior to tallying the final score.

What do you think of the original Gardens/Fairgrounds penalty (trashing the Ghost Towns at game's end so they don't count in your final card total or as a unique card for fairgrounds)?
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LastFootnote

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2012, 12:56:34 am »
0

What do you think of the original Gardens/Fairgrounds penalty (trashing the Ghost Towns at game's end so they don't count in your final card total or as a unique card for fairgrounds)?

I think it's cute, but unnecessary. If it were me, I'd remove it.
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inverseParanoid

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2012, 02:14:30 am »
0

I think it's cute, but unnecessary. If it were me, I'd remove it.

Yeah, it was the first thing to go once I realized proper wording just for the "not counting" affect was going to take a lot of words. Better to keep it focused in a singular direction.
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Matt_Arnold

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2012, 12:40:38 am »
+1

I hoped to find some way to phrase this card so that it simply triggers on any Action containing a certain word or words, without triggering for an absurd number of Actions that have no meaningful interaction. No such luck. I searched for a variety of uses of the word "hand" on the cards. I have bolded the cards which are obviously meaningful possible interactions with Ghost Town.

YOUR HAND

"into your hand"
Adventurer, Apothecary, Explorer, Farming Village, Hunting Party, Ill-Gotten Gains, Mine, Native Village, Scout, Scrying Pool, Wishing Well

"from your hand"
Ambassador, Apprentice, Bishop, Chapel, Courtyard, Develop, Expand, Explorer, Farmland, Fool's Gold, Forge, Haven, Horse Traders, Island, Jack of All Trades, Masquerade, Mine, Mint, Moat, Moneylender, Remodel, Salvager, Secret Chamber, Steward, Spice Merchant, Trader, Trading Post, Transmute, Treasure Map, Upgrade, Watchtower

"in your hand"
Throne Room, King's Court

"reveal your hand"
Menagerie, Crossroads, Shanty Town

"discard your hand"
Minion, Tactician

HIS HAND

"from his hand"
Bishop, Bureaucrat, Ghost Ship, Governor, Masquerade, Tournament, Young Witch

"in his hand"
Ghost Ship, Militia, Torturer

"discards his hand"
Minion

NO PRONOUN

"in hand"
Followers, Ghost Ship, Goons, Library, Margrave

I like the way you've taken it, even though I miss Masqerade, Menagerie, Tactician and Shanty Town interaction.
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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2012, 02:04:37 am »
+1

How about: "When you draw this card, you may set it aside. At any time during your action phase, you may return it to your hand." ? In a digital version, there'd just be some button you can hit that returns one to your hand.

Edit: There'd also need to be something like "During your clean-up phase, if this is set aside, discard it."
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 02:07:03 am by blueblimp »
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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2012, 09:42:38 pm »
0

How about: "When you draw this card, you may set it aside. At any time during your action phase, you may return it to your hand." ? In a digital version, there'd just be some button you can hit that returns one to your hand.

Edit: There'd also need to be something like "During your clean-up phase, if this is set aside, discard it."
This is my favorite. It interacts interestingly with Militia, Torturer, Margrave, Followers, Goons, Ghost Ship, Minion, Young Witch, Masquerade, Horse Traders, Tactician, Hunting Party, Menagerie, Shanty Town, Jack of All Trades, Library, and Watchtower.
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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2012, 05:55:27 am »
0

How about: "When you draw this card, you may set it aside. At any time during your action phase, you may return it to your hand." ? In a digital version, there'd just be some button you can hit that returns one to your hand.

Would this impact how many cards you draw at the start of a new turn? Doesn't seem like it will, but it's something to consider in case someone might misconstrue it.


Quote
Edit: There'd also need to be something like "During your clean-up phase, if this is set aside, discard it."

We'd probably need to tweak this a little so that it doesn't interfere with haven/native village/island (all of which include "set aside" language). Maybe we'd change the description to "When you draw this card, you may set it aside on the ghost town mat. At any time during your action phase, you may return it to your hand. During your clean-up phase, discard any cards on the ghost town mat."
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inverseParanoid

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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2012, 06:17:15 am »
0

How about: "When you draw this card, you may set it aside. At any time during your action phase, you may return it to your hand." ? In a digital version, there'd just be some button you can hit that returns one to your hand.

Edit: There'd also need to be something like "During your clean-up phase, if this is set aside, discard it."
This is my favorite. It interacts interestingly with Militia, Torturer, Margrave, Followers, Goons, Ghost Ship, Minion, Young Witch, Masquerade, Horse Traders, Tactician, Hunting Party, Menagerie, Shanty Town, Jack of All Trades, Library, and Watchtower.

The tactician trick might really make this over powered. Especially at just $4. You could play multiple tacts per turn, and that really unbalances a lot. I think we'd have to further tweak the language to:

"When you draw this card, you may set it aside on the ghost town mat. At any time during your action phase, you may return it to your hand. During your clean-up phase or if you're made to "discard your hand," discard any cards on the ghost town mat."

Hopefully there's a more concise way to put it than that...



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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2012, 02:13:25 pm »
0

How about: "When you draw this card, you may set it aside. At any time during your action phase, you may return it to your hand." ? In a digital version, there'd just be some button you can hit that returns one to your hand.

Edit: There'd also need to be something like "During your clean-up phase, if this is set aside, discard it."
This is my favorite. It interacts interestingly with Militia, Torturer, Margrave, Followers, Goons, Ghost Ship, Minion, Young Witch, Masquerade, Horse Traders, Tactician, Hunting Party, Menagerie, Shanty Town, Jack of All Trades, Library, and Watchtower.

The tactician trick might really make this over powered. Especially at just $4. You could play multiple tacts per turn, and that really unbalances a lot.

As I was saying in another thread, adding complicated wording just to stop you from doing something rare and cool does two bad things at once.  Why NOT allow this trick?  It's only possible when both cards are in the same game, which would be a minority of games with either card, and even then can't activate the combo without drawing two Tacticians AND Ghost Town in the same hand.  That's a non-trivial amount of money to spend to get the cards, and a non-trivial amount of work to line them up properly.  Seems to me you ought to be able to do it.

Crazier things are possible:  Golems + 1 Counting House + Tunnels?  Any number of KC-Scheme tricks?
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Re: Ghost Town: +2 action card that can be set aside.
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2012, 05:32:51 pm »
0

As I was saying in another thread, adding complicated wording just to stop you from doing something rare and cool does two bad things at once.  Why NOT allow this trick?  It's only possible when both cards are in the same game, which would be a minority of games with either card, and even then can't activate the combo without drawing two Tacticians AND Ghost Town in the same hand.  That's a non-trivial amount of money to spend to get the cards, and a non-trivial amount of work to line them up properly.  Seems to me you ought to be able to do it.

Crazier things are possible:  Golems + 1 Counting House + Tunnels?  Any number of KC-Scheme tricks?

You're right that multiple tacticians in one turn would be hard to pull off. Essentially you'd have to play your tact, and then draw another one somehow with only your set-aside ghost towns to start you off. This would be very hard to do without a +cards card to potentially draw to. And it would probably be optimal to just play this as more of a single tact (or single tact per turn), unless some serious trashing occurs. And you still need to buy treasure cards to have any buying power.

I divided the 17 cards that Ghost Town would affect into 4 categories, based on estimated impact they'd have when paired with GT. (Note: All percentages are based on there being Ghost Town + 162 kingdom cards available (which is base + all current expansions + promo).

Tier 1 (probability of a Ghost Town game including one or more Tier 1 cards: 15.85%)
Minion
Library
Watchtower

Tier 2 (probability of GT game including one or more Tier 1 or Tier 2 cards: 41.02%)
Ghost ship
Goons
Margrave
Militia
Tactician

Tier 3 (probability of GT game including one or more cards Tier 3 or better: 53.83%)
Hunting Party
Jack of All Trades
Menagerie
Shanty town
Torturer
(Note: I debated including Jack in Tier 2 but I think the silvers can get in the way of a Jack engine which isn't that good in the first place since it only draws to 5 cards anyway.)

Tier 4 (probability of GT game including one or more cards Tier 4 or better: 64.11%)
Tournament (Followers)
Horse Traders
Young Witch
Masquerade

That seems to be a pretty good level of interactivity. And it would mean that in approximately 50% of games Ghost Town would be better than the other four $4 villages (Farming Village, Mining Village, Walled Village, Worker's Village), and in 50% of games it would not. Making it of relatively equal value overall.

I think the final phrasing would be: "When you draw this card, you may set it aside. At any time during your action phase, you may return it to your hand. Discard any unreturned Ghost Towns during your clean-up phase."
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