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GendoIkari

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Attack definition
« on: September 26, 2012, 05:19:56 pm »
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This discussion got me thinking... yes, of course we know that in Dominion an attack card is anything that says "attack" at the bottom. But I agree with eHalcyon's definition that an attack is something that attempts to hurt others. But that's still subjective. I think we can quantify it, though...

If playing a certain card during a game causes, on average, an opponent's deck to be slower*, that card should be an attack.

*Slower is defined as taking more turns to accomplish the same thing (whether that thing is gaining 5 Provinces, or reaching some other sort of Engine that wins the game).

So with this, Masquerade and Tribute and Possession are not attacks because, on average, an opponent playing those cards will not slow your deck down. Of course, there are edge cases. There's always edge cases. Here at f.ds, we live and breath edge cases. Yes, Masquerade can slow you down if it forces you to pass a good card. Yes, Possession can slow you down if there's also Ambassador or Masquerade or Island in your deck. Tribute, I'd argue, is completely neutral, over 1000 games you should get just as many times that Tribute helps as the number of times that it hurts.

And of course there's edge cases in the other direction. Thief and Pirate Ship could quite possibly make your deck faster instead of slower. They are really dependent upon your strategy. But I'm willing to bet that if you took 100 different random simulator buy rules, checked how long it takes them to get 5 Provinces, and then played them against any official attack card, on average it will take them more turns to get 5 Provinces.
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Drab Emordnilap

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 05:53:00 pm »
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I'm pretty sure that every attack in Dominion both

A) Is a mandatory effect
B) Affects all opponents "equally"

I put equally in quotes because of cases where there's not enough curses to go around, or I militia when one person already has a 3 card hand and someone else doesn't. Edge cases.

The only exception I can think of to these is Masquerade. Maybe you have to say an attack doesn't affect yourself?
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Young Nick

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 05:56:34 pm »
0

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.
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Drab Emordnilap

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 06:02:43 pm »
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What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

I think so.
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Archetype

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 06:04:16 pm »
0

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

I would think so. A same argument can be made with an Estate giver.

It junks your deck, but not as badly as a Curse. This card just isn't doesn't feel like an attack in games where Copper isn't a bad thing, but it still.

Same thing with Militia on a Tunnel board. Sometimes your helping them, other times, it's an Attack.
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clb

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2012, 06:15:09 pm »
0

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

I would think so. A same argument can be made with an Estate giver.

It junks your deck, but not as badly as a Curse. This card just isn't doesn't feel like an attack in games where Copper isn't a bad thing, but it still.

Same thing with Militia on a Tunnel board. Sometimes your helping them, other times, it's an Attack.

Ambassador is a perfect example of all of that. Some games, you are happy to have the copper or estates thrown at you. Not usually. Sometimes you can ignore the junk, but in general, you would rather they have not "gifted" you with that card.
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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 06:19:44 pm »
0

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

I would think so. A same argument can be made with an Estate giver.

It junks your deck, but not as badly as a Curse. This card just isn't doesn't feel like an attack in games where Copper isn't a bad thing, but it still.

Same thing with Militia on a Tunnel board. Sometimes your helping them, other times, it's an Attack.

Ruins aren't always so bad either.
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theory

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 06:19:53 pm »
0

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

I would think so. A same argument can be made with an Estate giver.

It junks your deck, but not as badly as a Curse. This card just isn't doesn't feel like an attack in games where Copper isn't a bad thing, but it still.

Same thing with Militia on a Tunnel board. Sometimes your helping them, other times, it's an Attack.

Ambassador is a perfect example of all of that. Some games, you are happy to have the copper or estates thrown at you. Not usually. Sometimes you can ignore the junk, but in general, you would rather they have not "gifted" you with that card.

Ambassador is different.  It's not an attack because it sends over coppers, it's an attack because the player can choose to send over coppers.
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Insomniac

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 06:22:57 pm »
+3

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

I would think so. A same argument can be made with an Estate giver.

It junks your deck, but not as badly as a Curse. This card just isn't doesn't feel like an attack in games where Copper isn't a bad thing, but it still.

Same thing with Militia on a Tunnel board. Sometimes your helping them, other times, it's an Attack.

Ruins aren't always so bad either.

I did once have a hand of KC, Ruined village, Goons, Goons, Goons...

Man was I ever happy KC+Ruined Village = a REAL village.
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werothegreat

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 06:52:52 pm »
+1

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

I think so.

It's an Attack if it's labeled as an Attack.  The only real reason to have the label "Attack" is so that you know what Moat is used for.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 07:10:35 pm »
+1

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

I think so.

It's an Attack if it's labeled as an Attack.  The only real reason to have the label "Attack" is so that you know what Moat is used for.

Well yes, and I said this in the OP. But the question at hand was when should the label "Attack" be used on a card?
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Titandrake

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2012, 07:18:42 pm »
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Originally, I would have said that Attacks are cards that both force your opponents to do something and apply that attack symmetrically. Except Governor and its gain Silver effect messes with that definition.

I think the real answer is that an Attack is a card that causes a symmetric effect you want to be preventable. You want to prevent Militia and Torturer effects (ignoring edge cases), but you don't want to prevent Governor (once again, ignoring decisions about whether you want Silver in a Governor mega-turn deck). Masquerade isn't preventable because if it was, Moat would ruin it. One player reveals Moat and doesn't have to pass a card, but gets a free card from someone else? That would be terrible. Possession is a combination of lack of symmetry and iffy reaction interactions. Moat stopping Possession would be somewhat annoying, and revealing a reaction like Horse Traders or Secret Chamber just makes the Possessed turn better.

Edit: I think the word to use here is "affects all players", not "symmetric effect". Consider the following card that should never be printed:

Silly Action
$2
The player to your left gains an Estate, the player 2 seats left gains a Curse, the player 3 seats left gains a Copper. This cannot cause you to gain any cards.

This should be an attack: you gain nothing, and each other player gains something bad. Sure, the things given are different, but it should be preventable. In comparison, an action that only affects 1 opponent should not be an attack. If it was, then unaffected players could get the benefits of Horse Traders and Secret Chamber at no cost.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 07:25:40 pm by Titandrake »
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SirPeebles

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2012, 09:20:34 pm »
0

Originally, I would have said that Attacks are cards that both force your opponents to do something and apply that attack symmetrically. Except Governor and its gain Silver effect messes with that definition.

I think the real answer is that an Attack is a card that causes a symmetric effect you want to be preventable. You want to prevent Militia and Torturer effects (ignoring edge cases), but you don't want to prevent Governor (once again, ignoring decisions about whether you want Silver in a Governor mega-turn deck). Masquerade isn't preventable because if it was, Moat would ruin it. One player reveals Moat and doesn't have to pass a card, but gets a free card from someone else? That would be terrible. Possession is a combination of lack of symmetry and iffy reaction interactions. Moat stopping Possession would be somewhat annoying, and revealing a reaction like Horse Traders or Secret Chamber just makes the Possessed turn better.

Edit: I think the word to use here is "affects all players", not "symmetric effect". Consider the following card that should never be printed:

Silly Action
$2
The player to your left gains an Estate, the player 2 seats left gains a Curse, the player 3 seats left gains a Copper. This cannot cause you to gain any cards.

This should be an attack: you gain nothing, and each other player gains something bad. Sure, the things given are different, but it should be preventable. In comparison, an action that only affects 1 opponent should not be an attack. If it was, then unaffected players could get the benefits of Horse Traders and Secret Chamber at no cost.

Revealing a Secret Chamber usually wouldn't make the Possession better.  If I were to reveal a Secret Chamber, I would use it to push forward my best cards out of your reach, or at least break up any combos.
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Drab Emordnilap

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 10:19:55 pm »
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Originally, I would have said that Attacks are cards that both force your opponents to do something and apply that attack symmetrically. Except Governor and its gain Silver effect messes with that definition.

Also Council Room, et al.
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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2012, 02:22:00 am »
+3

I think a card should be an attack if you usually buy it at least in part for the direct effect it has on your opponent/s when you play it.
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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2012, 02:36:53 am »
0

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

What if you replace Copper with Silver? With Duchy? Potion? What is a "bad card"?

I think an Attack should be any card that's named after a mean person. The only official exceptions I can think of are Ghost Ship, Pirate Ship, and Scrying Pool.
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Young Nick

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2012, 03:14:26 am »
+2

And of course all of the Knights. We know they are mean because they get to play-test cards and don't leak spoilers to us, obviously.

tl;dr: Knights are obviscum.
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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2012, 04:12:34 am »
0

Don't forget that IGG isn't an Attack either because you don't attack on-play, you attack on-gain. You can therefore not block it with Moat.
Govenor isn't an Attack either although giving out Silvers might be hurtful in edge cases.

I think a card should be an Attack if playing the card hurts your opponents in the majority of the games. Giving out Coppers does that, giving out Silvers not.
Giving out Curses and Estates is an Attack, although it would be interesting to see a card which gives out Duchies. I think this wouldn't be an Attack.

aaron0013

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2012, 08:05:37 am »
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Governor should totally  be an attack card.....if your opponent is a newbie and forgets that the card he trashed must be replaced by one costing exactly one more!

Oh, ha. Sorry about that gold... :D
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GendoIkari

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2012, 08:17:38 am »
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Don't forget that IGG isn't an Attack either because you don't attack on-play, you attack on-gain. You can therefore not block it with Moat.
Govenor isn't an Attack either although giving out Silvers might be hurtful in edge cases.

I think a card should be an Attack if playing the card hurts your opponents in the majority of the games. Giving out Coppers does that, giving out Silvers not.
Giving out Curses and Estates is an Attack, although it would be interesting to see a card which gives out Duchies. I think this wouldn't be an Attack.

Right, I ment to mention IGG but forgot. It's definitely an attack in terms just about any definition you can think of, it's just that to avoid Moat confusion reasons, Donald chose to not put that label there.
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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2012, 08:39:07 am »
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Well, no, the Attack wording is not there because it's not an Attack. It's an aggressive card, but it's not an Attack - Attacks (as far as the game is concerned) must be played it seems. To lump everything into 'Attack' then nullifies the actual terminology. It would be clearer to use a different word, but even that is flawed. I think trying to label cards as one or other is inaccurate - it's the move within the context that's aggressive/attacking and that can come in lots of forms and with lots of cards. Sometimes Attacks are not used to attack the opponents, you're just running a pile down to end the game perhaps. As stated in the beginning, sometimes a cards helps, sometimes it hinders, it all depends, it and doesn't depend on the card, it depends on the context and the intent, so labelling things outside of that sphere will always be inaccurate to some extent.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 08:51:46 am by Octo »
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werothegreat

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2012, 08:58:41 am »
+1

What do you classify this card as?

$3
Benefactor
+$1
Each other player gains a Copper.

Is this an attack? Maybe so. I've always wondered.

I think so.

It's an Attack if it's labeled as an Attack.  The only real reason to have the label "Attack" is so that you know what Moat is used for.

Well yes, and I said this in the OP. But the question at hand was when should the label "Attack" be used on a card?

Whenever you feel like it.  But it does have to fit certain criteria.

1) It makes your opponent(s) do something.
2) That something could be construed as undesirable to said opponent(s) in a majority of cases.
3) It makes sense for Moat to block it.
4) Unless it makes you trash or gain Curses, it should give some benefit to the player if it is blocked by Moat.
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Brando Commando

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2012, 09:18:26 am »
+1

I'm not sure that coming up with a hardcord definition for Attack is possible or even super useful. For one, I'm having a hard time thinking of situations where an attack is straight-up bad for you in every circumstance. Witch seems like the most likely candidate (off the top of my head) since all it does is give you a curse.

(The only situation I can think of where this is a net advantage for the attacked player is where they use Watchtower to trash the curse in a situation where that ends the game on 3 piles to their advantage...which only makes sense if attacking player was relying on the that curse for the win.)

So I guess my question is, what do you gain by (re)defining "attack"?

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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2012, 09:24:43 am »
0

Whenever you feel like it.  But it does have to fit certain criteria.

So, not whenever you feel like it.

Quote
1) It makes your opponent(s) do something.
2) That something could be construed as undesirable to said opponent(s) in a majority of cases.
3) It makes sense for Moat to block it.
4) Unless it makes you trash or gain Curses, it should give some benefit to the player if it is blocked by Moat.

You lose me on #4.  Saboteur.  Often Rogue.  But even if there weren't any official counterexamples, why would you say this anyway?  Consider this:

Poor Militia
$3 - Action
Each other player discards down to 3 cards in hand.

Are you saying that if this card existed, it shouldn't have the Attack type?
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Re: Attack definition
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2012, 09:27:20 am »
+1

So I guess my question is, what do you gain by (re)defining "attack"?

This comes up all the time in the variants subforum.  People post fan cards that straddle the line between what should and shouldn't warrant the Attack type, and there is debate about it.

Even outside the context of fan cards, though, it's not unfruitful to think about the logic and order of the game.
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