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Dominion: Guilds Previews / Re: Masterpiece
« on: June 16, 2013, 04:36:24 am »
With 5/2 opening or 6-2/5-3 (Baker), there's probably occasions where getting a Masterpiece on turn one is really strong. Obviously depends on what fives are out there, but going MP+3, then Courtyard gets you off to a flying start I'd say.

Dominion: Guilds Previews / Re: Preview #2: Doctor
« on: June 05, 2013, 04:57:45 am »
This might have been covered, but I wonder if overpaying is obligatory if you throw down more money than the cost (eg a platinum is all you have in your hand). Now the trashing effect is fine because you can just continually replace the top card if overpaying is obligatory, but you may be in a situation where it triggers a reshuffle to draw that top card and that might be undesirable. Another scenario could be that you only want to overpay by one, but have a gold and silver down.

I suspect it won't be obligatory, but it could make certain situations interesting. :)

In general about this card: could it be a reasonable-ish response to attacks that clog up your next card or inspect your deck? The on-buy is to speed it up and make it hit at least once when you want it. It's not an ace response, but then it's only a $3 cost card *shrug*.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Playing Dominion with 5 or 6 people
« on: December 14, 2012, 08:21:38 pm »
5 players or more is problem with many games to be honest, not just dominion. The games have to be really careful to either enforce really quick turns, have simultaneous turns, have some kind of player interaction not on your turn or have not individual turns at all (there's other solutions too but you get the idea). Games that aren't specifically designed for larger groups and simply have mechanics that don't prohibit it usually suck in my experience, something I've found the hard way as my group expanded. Even some games specifically designed for many are still better with fewer though in my opinion eg Citadels - great game that's really solid with 2 or 3 where you have 2 roles each, but 5,6 and 7 can often veer into boredom if people aren't really really on the ball. So it's a common problem.

The particular problem with dominion is not so much the wait between, but that your own turn is so quick. Games where you have a longer turn with a lot more phases and stuff, sure you have to wait longer because everyone else's turn is longer too, but the wait feels a bit more worth it because you have a big chunk of doing stuff in one go, you make progress. Dominion on the other hand, you wait for 2 guys to churn out their engine and then 2 more to um and ah over what to buy, and then you throw down $6 and buy a gold in 1 second, something you've known you were going to do since the instant you picked up your cards. Worth the wait? Not really. As mentioned, 4 is passable but not ideal, particularly with new cards and inexperienced players, 5 just crosses that line into tedium.

Strategically - yeah I would agree with the OP: 4 upwards it's much the same, just take a punt on a strategy and see how it goes, almost always incorporating an attack as far more attacks are not ignorable or counterable. You have to chat with other off players in between turns to keep the game lively, so hard strategy just isn't sensible really. Just play for fun.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Math in Dominion
« on: December 07, 2012, 07:18:58 pm »
you led off your statement with an explanation of the potential sampling bias in that sort of poll, not sure that end clarification was necessary
Ha, yeah, I guess, but I didn't want to be too much of a poo-pooer!

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Math in Dominion
« on: December 07, 2012, 08:43:11 am »
Yeah, I was going to echo what Watno said in that a straw poll might be misleading unless compared to other board games because I think in general mathy and techy people are drawn to board games slightly more than average. That might only apply to certain types of games, but if so I think those types of games are in the majority, and the others (perhaps discussion-based games) are in the minority, which is what can lead to a certain characterisation of people who like board games.

However, while many people are not naturally drawn to these things and don't seek them out, I find very few who don't enjoy them or want to play more once introduced, regardless of 'mathiness'.

Oh yeah: Musician & Programmer here. Pretty mathsy is me.

Almost all, in this order:, Base > Intrigue > Prosperity > Seaside > Cornucopia > Hinterlands > Dark Ages.

So no Alchemy, don't enjoy those cards online so not fussed about it. (No promos either yet)


Interesting points in that post you linked.

To elaborate on the blocking: I like the barter/trade element of the game and of course refusal must be an option. However, I think the problem stems from having so few options sometimes - you have 2 pinks and 1 blue, maybe a station too, and the guy with the last pink is just not trading it with you. You really need the pink because getting both of the blues is usually not going to happen, but you only have one real way of getting it in a timely fashion - from the other guy. It's the lack of alternative routes the causes the block I suppose, rather than that player refusal to trade.

The collection of money on Free Parking etc is something I was thinking of mentioning, just in terms of there's always house rules that people want to play with varying levels of silliness, but ran out of steam. I think these combine with the length thing for me and makes me want to clarify my position in so much as saying that while the game may or may not be a dud, I find the experience of playing is pretty much always a dud. Regardless of why it's so long (house rules, hesitant to eliminate etc.) is just always is - it's never been 90 mins for me, though I'm sure it could be - and combine this with frustrating blocking, occasional house-rule spats and everything-is-negotiable chaos and I find that I never want to play Monopoly. These may not actually be the fault of the rules as such, but I still rarely enjoy the experience of playing monopoly. I feel the same way about football for example - it's a fun game to play really, but unless it's really really casual among friends there's often an unnecessary amount of argy-bargy, fouling and generally macho nonsense & aggression that sucks the fun out of it for me, particularly if you play with strangers. Some people might dig that, but I don't, and it's not the fault of the rules.

Regarding Agricola:

I've not played that but obviously it has pretty legendary status. I'm trying to decide whether to get it for my gaming group, but I wonder if people who've played it could help me out:

Is it a long game in your experience? (bgg says 120 mins, but what's your take) And does that time go down significantly when people are familiar with it?

Is it good with 5 players?

I've heard there's a lot to do with the cards and that there's a massive stack of them. Does this take quite a few plays to get a feel for what's in there or is knowing that stuff not very important? Does the game take a good few play to learn in general? (say compared to settlers)

People are saying really good things about Ora et Labora which is in the same vein. Anyone played both and care to comment?

Thanks in advance.

Why Monopoly is rubbish (and it is genuinely bad in my opinion):

1) Too long. Games that are too long kill the evening (for my group at least) as everyone feels drained afterwards and doesn't want to play any more. It's so long that people usually give up or wander off before it ends (this is true of many classic games actually).
2) Player elimination. This is not inherently bad in games, but in a long game like monopoly it is bad because people will be sitting around out of the game for ages. Not fun. Because of this, a lot of people don't like to be the one that eliminates someone, so ...(see next point)
3) Players have to be restrained from making all kinds of crazy deals (eg rent-free landing on property in return for letting them off the mayfair rent this time), often as they don't want to elimate someone, and they can make the descend into unending chaos.
4) Cash. Change and all that jazz gets really fiddely. The cash is fun, but never having enough change is annoying.
5) Player blocking. If you need a 3rd property to finish a set so that you can build on it and that person simply refuses to sell it to you ... you're stuffed. You could try and barter with other people to get something that guy wants, yeah, but blocking behaviour is common and really craps the game up.
6) First player advantage can be strong. First players round the board can snap up the properties. Last player in a larger game could land on owned properties a lot. In one game I went twice round the board without landing on single buyable property.
7) It gets needlessly complicated by mass-mortgaging of properties.
8 ) Not the game's fault, but so many people don't play the auction rule (any unsold property landed on has to be bought or auctioned)

There's more, but whatever.

It's a fun beginning and scooting round collecting properties is enjoyable, as well as a bit of trade and haggling, but after that it starts to go downhill and the game ends up being decided on really stand-out unlucky moments (like landing on the one property that has a hotel). Eesh. I don't mind playing it, but now that I have so many better games I would only play this if someone really was desperate.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Play Variant 2: Blitz
« on: November 14, 2012, 06:19:09 am »
Would this variant run the risk of increasing the first-player advantage? The 2nd player has even fewer opportunities to gain a tempo on their opponent.

Regarding provinces vs. alt VPs, yeah that's interesting because with provinces the time taken to crank up to 8 Gold per turn will still be the same, it's just the greening phase will be shorter (probably oversimplifying it there though). So maybe with alt VPs like those mentioned you might stand a better chance of winning that race. However it should be noted that half as provinces is half as many points, but - to take an example - half as many dukes (assuming half as many duchies also) is a quarter as many points. This could maybe be the death knell right there.

The gardens scenario pointed out only has 22 cards, so the gardens are costing 4 and are only worth two, and it only gives you a total of 15 points, the same as 2 provinces (including starting estates obviously), where as traditionally you're looking at say all 8 gardens and probably under 50 cards (you bought out the estates say) giving you 43 points, which requires 7 provinces to equal. The Blitz version is much weaker in that sense, so it really does need to be super quick.

I think I've done this in order to pick up a Curse for Ambassadoring purposes when I didn't have a +Buy.
That's odd. Rather than buy an embargo, wait for it to come round, use an action embargoing the thing you need, then hope you have enough money for it, what  made you decide you couldn't just buy a curse straight off instead of the embargo? Did you already have embargoes kicking around for other reasons and just decided to use one like this out of necessity? Or were you combing the effect of the embargo, embargoing a card that you'd both want while gaining a useful curse?

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Talisman -- oh how little we meet
« on: November 06, 2012, 08:35:39 am »
For some reason this has made me ponder the possibilities of using Talisman to drain the coppers pile, before moving on to Gardens. I wonder how doable that would be.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: All reactions in 1 kingdom
« on: October 26, 2012, 11:34:03 am »
This is precisely why I didn't want an attack.
But without one half the cards on the table have been hamstrung haven't they? You're dealing with a table of weak weak cards (eg a $2 cost with half it's abilities unusable - eesh) What are the chances of cards like that beating Big Money + Fool's Gold? Well, I suppose as mentioned Horse Traders could be an interesting shout but will that be good enough for provinces? Maybe a market Square for plus buy but that's only to try and get more FG's than the other guy.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: All reactions in 1 kingdom
« on: October 26, 2012, 09:01:01 am »
This is tough because 5 of them react to attacks, so to not have an attack in there essentially turns them into normal actions and defeats the point of the set. However, if you put an attack in there there's so many ways to respond to it that the attack could be really weak. Interesting idea though.

Edit - I wonder whether swindler would be an interesting attack to have. Potentially vulnerable to Market Square, but a lot of potential in terms of swappable targets that confound the other's plan.

@Aaron - ha yeah, but handling the regular boxes at the table just gets too much after a while, there's just not enough space.

Dominion Strategy Wiki Feedback / Re: Dominion Wiki
« on: October 22, 2012, 11:12:35 am »
Could I suggest if this does go ahead that contrary to things already stated you start with logged in access not anon (though freedom to setup account) otherwise you tend to just end up with a ton of spam-bots posting crap on it (or at least that's been my experience with modding wikis and stuff). Not the end of the world, but a pain in the arse to clean up unless you're checking it all the time.

I've not set up a media wiki before, but I work in PHP and MySQL/DBs all day, so how hard can it be? :) I'll give it a whirl locally when I have some spare time this week and see what the crack is with it. (Though it sounds like I'm in a similar boat to Qvist in that I'm not really a server admin - I have done the odd bit here and there though)

Regarding putting cards back "in the right place" - why do they have to have a right place? Just bung them back in the box in any order if you want them auto-randomized.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Spy/Ghost Ship
« on: October 19, 2012, 04:23:19 am »
I think you're confusing Spy with Wishing Well.
Which makes me wonder - surely Wishing Well is a better response to Ghost Ship than Spy?

With Spy you're still only using a 3 card hand. The only benefit was you got to slip over a dud card. Is this really worth $4? (I suppose you get the lack lustre deck inspection on them too) At least with Wishing Well you can get back up to 4 cards, and only for $3.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: 2 vs 3 vs 4 vs 5+ player strategy
« on: October 16, 2012, 04:07:00 pm »
@blueblimp: your comparison doesn't really work.

You're trying to make a point about mirror matches, but the example you use has P2 having gained a tempo on P1 (i.e. he has the opportunity to take the province lead) yet they're still down 2VPs some how, so it's not even nearly a mirror match, which totally confuses your point. To illustrate this, the situation you describe could equally apply to the players the other way round, and in fact it will be P1 who has to deal with the PPR normally in a hypothetical mirror match, not P2.

I don't really think Karhumies (stop me if I'm wrong) was thinking that mirror actually happened enough to have strategy ready, but was talking in terms of statistical probabilities/advatnages in the same way that the simulators do - an 80 - 20 win ratio is still no guarantee of a win, but it's still worth discussing right? As it turns out, P1 does have an advantage in a 2P game, but the (flawed) assumption does bring some interesting points to light.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: 2 vs 3 vs 4 vs 5+ player strategy
« on: October 16, 2012, 11:31:11 am »
I think mostly due to "luck" favouring P1 as they get more turns on which to be lucky.
Just to expand this with a bit more detail (if I understood you correctly that is) - if player 1 gets lucky then they have created a real advantage. If player 2 gets lucky then usually they have just gained a tempo of sorts - while P1 was originally going first, now it's P2 leading the buys. This is exemplified directly in loppo's comment about +buyers: At 3 kingdom cards each, P1 buys their 4th, then P2 lucks out and buys both their fourth and fifth in one turn. P1 buys their 5th next turn and it's all square at 5 each - P2 didn't really gain a whole lot there, they just switched the lead buy around. Compare with having 3 each and P1 lucking out this time and getting 4th and 5th in one turn. P2 can only buy 4th, then P1 finishes up with 6 to P2's 4. P2 needs 2 bursts of luck to get a real advantage, while P1 only needs 1.

I see the appeal of 2P and also how it leads to a more clean analysis of the strategy, but I find a lot of the advice on here is often wasted on me as I rarely play 2P (though it took me a while to figure out why the strats just didn't seem to work as strongly as people suggested). Attacks are just a whole different ball game with more players, as well 3-pile endings. Some of the change comes from it being harder to distract the opponent from their strategy - with 3 opponents at least one will likely just stick to their guns and not get dragged into some alt-VP-who-wants-to-make-the-final-push standoff type affair that is more common in 2P.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Bishoping VP Cards
« on: October 11, 2012, 08:55:56 am »
I'm no expert, and neither are the players I play with, but sometimes I just buy 2 bishops and see how it goes (trashing the second bishop when the time is right of course). Obviously they risk clashing a lot, but you can get through your cards quickly that way.

One thing to remember is that while chapel is obviously way faster Bishop nets you VPs in the process. So if you eliminate your starting deck entirely with bishops then you're already 13 VPs up before hitting the provinces (16 including the 2nd bishop), which is a pretty sizeable lead (assuming the other guy is not going bishop too) which requires a 3 province difference to overcome.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Copper, Silver, Gold
« on: October 11, 2012, 06:12:42 am »
Oh yeah of course.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Copper, Silver, Gold
« on: October 10, 2012, 11:07:59 am »
Cutpurse? :)

What about Thief too. Could be interesting in a 3/4P game, stealing coppers and actually using them yourself.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Copper, Silver, Gold
« on: October 10, 2012, 06:21:46 am »
Great idea, but I do think there's a danger of laying this out with the strategies being a little too prescribed. Be sure to leave a little plenty up the imagination :).

With that in mind I think Mine is a good suggestion - it goes both ways and especially with some irregular treasure on there. I think also Counterfeit could be interesting because it could generate some decision tension between keeping your coin or doubling and trashing it. I suppose Mint would be the other obvious suggestion but then does it actually add anything to the game more than it normally would?

Embassy.....not sure how much that fits in. The one silver it gives out will be pretty negligible.

For copper, other relevant cards include Gardens of course, but then would that just turn it into a regular Gardens game?

Dominion General Discussion / Re: What would make Scout better?
« on: October 09, 2012, 12:44:25 pm »
I really don't see where is the problem with a card that refer to other expansions ...
In the long run, and assuming you have all the expansions, it's not a problem as really the expansions are artificial boundaries. However, in real terms it unnecessarily complicates expansions by mentioning other game features without explaining what they are. In terms of game design that's not very desirable.

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