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Author Topic: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?  (Read 2450 times)

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elj

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Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« on: January 29, 2013, 02:48:51 pm »
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Hello Dominion-ers,
I'm looking for recommendations for kingdom cards/combos to use (or avoid) in order for the gameplay to be less than 45 minutes. Last week I got some work friends to play a game during lunch, and they definitely enjoyed it, but since it was a colony game it took almost an hour and a half, and would have gone even longer if I hadn't started emptying piles. In general, I haven't really paid attention to how long different games took (and of course it's much longer with cards instead of online, and playing with newbies...), but it would be great to come up with some combos to use to fit a 3-4 player game within a reasonable lunch break :)

I've got the main Dominion set, plus Prosperity, Seaside, Hinterlands, Dark Ages, and promos. Any suggestions welcome!
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 03:01:39 pm »
+1

There are stats on the average number of turns in games with any give card here:
http://councilroom.com/popular_buys
Just sort by "turns".

The cards that shorten the game the most are Governor, Wharf, Caravan, and Council Room, as you might expect. Things that let you start your turn with more than 5 cards are going to lead to faster games. The cards that slow the game down the most are cursers, Goons, and Colony/Plat.

But you have to beware that this is about number of turns, not time per turn. If you have a lot of analysis-paralysis about Governor, it might not be that short. Obviously reactions and cards that require excessive interaction with choices for each player, like Spy, Scrying Pool, Bishop, etc. also take extra time.
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dondon151

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 03:05:00 pm »
+3

Avoid cards that give out Curses (though it is good to let new players play with Curses, otherwise they will never understand that it's a part of the game). Sea Hag is particularly potent at drawing out game length because it can be bought early and it doesn't benefit the attacker. Attacks like Spy, Thief, Saboteur, etc. tend to draw out game length because it takes a lot of time to reveal cards, discard them, etc.

Avoid King's Court.

Kingdoms that don't take very long to play tend to be money-ish kingdoms where the best strategy is a BM variant or something using kingdom Treasures. Those tend to get boring after awhile. If you want something more engine-y that doesn't take an exorbitant amount of time to play, cards that don't involve a lot of thinking, like Stables, Lab, and Market, are good. An engine that requires terminal draw and villages takes more time to play than an engine that requires non-terminal draw.

Sifting cards, such as Cellar, Warehouse, Storeroom, Cartographer, etc. tend to take more time because of the decisions involved (and in the case of Cartographer, the physical action of looking at and discarding cards). Conversely, trashing cards tend to take less time because trashing cards usually means that you kill the rest of your turn, and you will never have to make decisions regarding the worse cards in your deck once they're gone anyway.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 03:07:59 pm by dondon151 »
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elj

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 03:21:41 pm »
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Thanks folks for the quick and helpful suggestions! Hadn't thought about using the councilroom stats, I'll look into that some more.
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Taco Lobster

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 03:25:43 pm »
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As noted above, the cards that lead to fewer turns don't necessarily lead to shorter turns, so it's important to keep that in mind.  In particular, any kind of deck inspection combined with the card drawing all-stars identified by HME will probably slow things down (the drawing cards plus the deck inspection will mean that you will not only be shuffling a lot, but you'll also have to complete your shuffle before your opponent can complete his/her turn due to the need to inspect your deck).
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Polk5440

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 05:00:26 pm »
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Might want to avoid Colony games, too. They almost always take longer than Province games.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 05:04:54 pm »
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Embassy really speeds up big money games.

Eevee

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 05:06:28 pm »
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Embassy really speeds up big money games.
Any card that also gives some sort of a benefit to your opponent, really. Maybe less so live, though.
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Jerk of All trades

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 05:23:30 pm »
+1

avoid almost all of alchemy.  Scrying pool is probably the slowest card in the whole game. Golem is slow too, but alchemist, apothecary and others slow things down a lot. Any card that causes everybody to make a decision increases game time. (Attacks like goons/militia/margrave, Spy)

Cards with choices take a long time for newer players (pawn, steward, governor, and especially hermit)
Cards that do a LOT of drawing/sifting will cause mid turn shuffles which drastically increases game time. (warehouse, cartographer, embassy, envoy)

For 4 player games, cards that everybody wants lots of can frequently speed games toward a 3 pile ending. Caravan, fishing village, laboratory, oasis, etc.

But if you want to have quick games, just remove all the village-type cards.  People will onl play one or 2 actions, then buy something with money.  Should go fast.
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ddubois

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 02:22:25 pm »
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avoid almost all of alchemy.  Scrying pool is probably the slowest card in the whole game. Golem is slow too, but alchemist, apothecary and others slow things down a lot. Any card that causes everybody to make a decision increases game time. (Attacks like goons/militia/margrave, Spy)

Cards with choices take a long time for newer players (pawn, steward, governor, and especially hermit)
Cards that do a LOT of drawing/sifting will cause mid turn shuffles which drastically increases game time. (warehouse, cartographer, embassy, envoy)

For 4 player games, cards that everybody wants lots of can frequently speed games toward a 3 pile ending. Caravan, fishing village, laboratory, oasis, etc.

But if you want to have quick games, just remove all the village-type cards.  People will onl play one or 2 actions, then buy something with money.  Should go fast.
In other words, take out all the fun....
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Davio

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 02:42:35 pm »
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You could always include cards that give a little extra oompf in the end game like Salvager, Remodel and Apprentice.

In general avoid nasty attacks like Militia or Ghost Ship since in multiplayer games they can really lengthen the game.
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zporiri

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Re: Best kingdom cards/combos for short-ish games?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 03:38:03 pm »
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no +buys will make the game shorter, as you only need to build up to $8. no attacks will make the game shorter as well. most strong nonattack cards will make for a quicker game. this isn't really a combo, but play with chapel and governor for a quick game (just one possibility out of many).
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