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Topics - Jive Junkie

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Due to the fact that a lot of my gamer friends own a bunch of Dominion sets, I only have Intrigue and Dark Ages (which I mainly bought to fill in gaps in my friends' collections, and well, because Dark Ages is amazing). However, I've recently gotten a couple people interested in trying out Dominion for the first time. Two of them are somewhat casual strategy gamers (think Ticket to Ride, Race for the Galaxy), and one hasn't played much beyond the traditional stuff (Monopoly, Risk, etc.). Anybody want to suggest some good kingdoms with just these two sets that would be good for showing them the ropes?

Some cards I think could be good:

Steward - choices are fun, nice early trashing outlet (they won't trash prolly, but may notice me doing it)
Marauder - show the value of attacks and the suck of having bloated decks
Armory - gaining cards is fun, but this can also teach the value of clashing terminals, if they're gaining too many
Hunting Grounds - drawing cards is fun, but will teach another valuable lesson in terminals if they're drawing them dead
Mining Village - gotta enable an engine
Junk Dealer - will enjoy seeing the light bulb going off when someone figures out that the trashing is not a drawback

Any suggestions for cards and complete kingdoms would be welcome!

Goko Dominion Online / The Goko Dominion Release Prediction Contest!
« on: September 17, 2012, 02:39:09 pm »
Think you've got what it takes to be the game release Nostradamus? Then sally forth with a bold prediction as to when Goko Dominion will officially be (re)released to the public!

- Only 1 vote per date. The first post with a particular date will be counted, others will not. Popular dates (such as those coinciding with certain game conventions) may get snapped up quickly, so act fast!
- The closest date will win, with ties going to the later date - for example, if it's released 9/20 and people guessed 9/19 and 9/21, 9/21 would win (yes, it's arbitrary, but you're strategy game players and can take that into account).
- Release is defined as when the game is officially released to the public for the second time (the first being in mid-August 2012), regardless of its condition or even if it needs to be taken down yet again. Note: a beta test is not the same thing as a release.
- Prediction must be posted at least 48 hours before any official release announcement is made, and at least 7 days before the actual release.
- You may not edit your prediction - posts that have been modified will not be counted (with the exception of this one ;))
- You may vote "never", but you must also supply a date at which the official cancellation (or going out of business) announcement is made. If "never" does take it, the closest date wins.

What will you win? Pride! A claim to fame! The love and adoration of hundreds! Or, maybe if you go bug theory, a custom title? :)

My prediction: November 20, 2012.

For latest list of entries, click here.

Dominion Isotropic / "Play faster newb"
« on: September 16, 2012, 02:05:38 pm »
So I've been told some variant of the title a few times in the last month or so. It happens at the beginning of the game, because I sometimes like to take about a minute to examine the board and plan what to do. I'll usually say a greeting and play out my money to let my opponent know that I'm there, and then that's when I pause.

Is this really considered bad form? Once the initial thinking phase is over, I play pretty briskly. A couple of times I've explained that I'm just thinking, and it's been met with hostility: "I don't have time for this GO" or "OMG HURRY UP NEWB". One person has even left the game within the first minute.

I dunno, I actually like to think when playing this strategy game, and the most important thinking happens before the first Buy. What's the point if you're forced to treat it like a twitch RTS la Warcraft 2?

But I'm open to feedback if you think I'm the one being rude.

Dominion General Discussion / What do you keep track of while playing?
« on: September 13, 2012, 07:08:53 pm »
I often feel while playing that I'm a bit too surprised by things that I should already know. This sometimes causes me to lose games, or at least makes me feel sheepish when I win. Some things that can be advantageous to keep track of, for both yours and your opponent's deck:

Victory Points: I feel that most people try to keep track of this to some degree. I usually do just fine with this, except when alt VPs are on the board. I'll still try to maintain a differential in my head, but when variable cards like Gardens come into play, fuggedaboutit. Even though Isotropic makes it easy, I will also often lose track when VP chips enter the mix.

Terminal Actions: In games with no Villages, I am keenly aware of how many terminals I have. However, when there are Villages, I often lose track of my Village / Terminal ratio, relying on "feel" to get the balance right. I'm sure I get that balance wrong, and I bet if I did keep better track, I'd be able to home in on a proper ratio for different types of games.

Key Cards Balance (opponent vs. you): I'll always keep track of the Minion balance, as well as cursers, Fool's Gold, Governor (how much danger am I in for a Remodeling megaturn?), Platinum (will I win a straight-up Colony buying race?) and a few other cards I deem important.

Total Money In Deck: All right, I'm drawing my whole deck every turn now, but wait... I only have $15 total in it? I guess it only matters in heavy engine games, but I never remember to keep track until I do actually draw my whole deck and am pleasantly surprised or a bit disappointed.

Junk Cards Left In Deck: This applies to games with trashers, and at some point you're able to trash the trasher(s). OK, I guess I'll Bishop the Chapel now - and then my next hand shows me the remaining trash: an Estate and 3 Coppers. I reckon this is not a big deal, since when you're considering trashing a trasher, it's probably done most of the relevant work anyway. But I wonder how many of y'all do keep track.

Cards Played This Shuffle: I'm thinking this can be important with respect to playing Chancellor, buying Inn, etc. Also for Governor/Council Room, if you're deep into your deck and haven't seen your one Militia yet, you could be more likely to play it for +3/4 cards thinking you have a better chance of negating the benefit you give to your opponent. But I rarely have any sense of cards played post-shuffle, but I bet some of you do!

Total Buys/Gains (opponent & you): edited in, courtesy of Rabid. A good thing to keep track of to see if a 3-pile ending is possible, or maybe gauge the likelihood of piledriving something like Silk Road. Also may be useful to estimate what your (or their) Gardens will be worth by the end of the game. I tend to keep track of my own +Buys, but rarely my opponent's...

Overall Deck Composition: I think we all have a rough gauge of this, especially when it comes to key actions, but I'm pretty terrible at keeping track of treasure and specific action counts. This makes it so I never know how big my deck is for Gardens, or how many actions I have for Vineyard. And when making decisions as to buying/playing something like Scrying Pool, having a good approximation of deck composition is probably key.

As you can see, I'm pretty haphazard when it comes to mental bookkeeping. I'm curious to see what y'all keep track of - I also wonder how much it correlates with greater success in the game (as for me, I'm currently level 25 on Iso).

I was browsing some older posts earlier, and one of the top-level players here (I forget which) was mentioning that when he saw a kingdom where Big Money + Envoy was the winning strategy, he would die a little inside (or something to that effect).

That got me thinking: Are there many kingdom sets that are essentially solvable, with such a dominant strategy that even if your opponent knew exactly what you were going to do, it would still make sense to follow suit?

I definitely do think that some kingdom sets are highly variable and depend very much on what other players are doing - a lot of the official sets seem to have been designed with this trait in mind.

But how often, when looking at a kingdom set, do you think to yourself: OK, I have to do strategy X no matter what. As a side question, how often do you think you are correct when you do so?

Say some crazy billionaire Dominion enthusiast was offering $10 million in prizes (split up among the top 16 or so) for a Dominion tournament, but only if it could meet the following conditions:

a) Luck should be minimized, and it should be a very good (but obviously not perfect) indicator of players' relative skills - at the very least, the very best players should reliably place near the top. [i.e. if you were to run the tournament again, you'd see a lot of the same people in the final rounds]

b) You have 2 weekend days, of 8 hours at most each day.

c) It should be able to accommodate a player pool of at least 200 people.

How would you structure the tournament? Some random things to consider:
- How many players per game?
- Should players play a single game, two games (each going first), or a longer match (3, 5, 7)?
- If multiple games, should the Kingdom be changed or remain the same?
- Should it be single-elim, double-elim, swiss with points, etc?
- How will players be matched up?
- How do you deal with ties?
- How should time be managed?
- How will Kingdom cards be selected?
- Should players know the Kingdom cards beforehand for any particular round?
- Should players have the same starting hand?
- Should there be any banned cards, or perhaps a veto system?

Have at it! Note that the inspiration for this thread was my friend telling me that Dominion would never work as a serious tourney game, since it was too luck-based. I know there are Dominion tourneys out there, but they'd probably be structured very differently if a ton of money were on the line.

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