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Topics - rrenaud

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General Discussion / Any of you ever go to magfest?
« on: January 10, 2017, 03:07:43 pm »
I went this weekend and it was super fun.  All kinds of gamer nerds show up.  So many games.  So much fun.

I'd highly recommend it if you are in the vague vicinity of Washington DC. 

Here is a good 2 minute blurb about the game:

If anyone lives near a machine, I'd recommend getting a few friends and playing together.

If anyone is in/near NYC and wants to learn, I'd happily teach some noobs and burn some cash at the Chinatown arcade.

Game Reports / Pulling an anti-Stef
« on: June 01, 2015, 03:51:04 pm »
So I played a 3p face to face game of Dominion yesterday.  Key cards in the kingdom were Upgrade, Scrying Pool, Steward, Conspirator, Herbalist, and some source of actions.

So I trash my deck down so that I can draw it all up.  On the second turn that I draw my whole deck, I am like yeah, I need more monies!  So I upgrade my Herbalists to Stewards.  More monies, yay! Then at the end of the turn I have $22 and 1 buy.

Maybe we should take the best strategy post each month on the forum and throw it up on the DS front page?

Goko Dominion Online / Cute little idea for game based on game logs
« on: April 21, 2014, 11:41:14 am »
A game based on game logs?  We must go deeper.

Let's call it back seat driving for Dominion.  Or Dominion Offline.

Imagine you could find games between highly rated players in which the players strategies diverged meaningfully.  Further, imagine you could generate a terse summary of the strategy employed (say, Steward/Steward -> Minions or Tactician/Treasure Maps). 

You could show players the board and the strategies employed, and then the back seat driver picks who he thinks won.  Obviously, you want the guess correctly.  You could keep records of predictive accuracy, have a leaderboard, etc.

This sort of simultaneously selects for interesting boards (good players diverged) and focuses on the strategic part of the game rather than the tactical part.  It's totally plausible that this could actually be fun for hardcore F.DSers, and you could easily play it in 2 minute intervals, while on the subway, etc.

My wife and I are going to London, Bruges, and Amsterdam sometime soon, probably in May.

I love beer, especially Belgian beers.  My wife loves moules frites.  I am a vegetarian, she eats fish but no meat.  I certainly enjoy the wacky tobacky on occasion.  We both love cheese.  We are fans of Indian food.  We both love walking around sort of aimlessly through European cities.  We aren't super big museum people, though we'd happily go to a few.

News and Announcements / More server problems
« on: November 07, 2013, 03:34:14 pm »
Two crashes today.  I've been restarting the machine to deal with it, but I think we might be in for some instability.

General Discussion / An interesting article against asymmetry in game design
« on: September 25, 2013, 07:28:59 am »
Mostly a mindless link dump.  I personally love asymmetry, so it's interesting to see someone write passionately against it.

I am taking the free Linode memory upgrade on the server that runs the forum.  Linode says this should take about 20 minutes after it starts.

Maybe I have no sense of humor, but for the most part, april fool's day jokes suck.

Innovation General Discussion / Has anyone played team innovation?
« on: March 22, 2013, 12:29:40 pm »
I've played maybe 10 games of 2v2 innovation.  Perhaps I am too used to the pace of 1v1 innovation, but team games seem to advance through the ages way too fast.

Things like shared Pottery (edit: with teammate) are way too good, and Tools is just awful.

Dominion General Discussion / Provincial: Cool looking Dominion AI
« on: February 21, 2013, 10:07:00 pm »

Innovation General Discussion / Periodic table of innovation cards?
« on: February 17, 2013, 02:25:39 am »
Wei Hwa made a 'periodic table' of RFTG cards, shown here.

If you were going to design a similar infographic for innovation cards, how would you display it?  Of course, you can't really hope to display everything, choosing what information to omit or compress is a very important part of making such a display effective.

I was thinking it might be useful to focus on card movements.  Say there are 7 card locations, (hand/score/board) x (yours, opponents) + supply.  Most cards move cards around, so you could list them on the appropriate edges.  Maybe instead of card lists, you could put ages/colors/symbols involved in the various transitions.

I tried to come up with a measure of how much a card likes its own set, from the councilroom supply win API. 

Basically this is the average delta quality for cards when conditioned on cards in their own set.  So for example, Hoard doesn't like being with Prosperity (no mixed VP, Platinum makes Golds kind of the new Silver), but the Potion cost cards love other Potion cost cards.

But I don't really understand/trust the output.  EG, why isn't Scout better?  Do Chancellor and Woodcutter really dislike being with base?

Hoard -1.323
Chancellor -0.908
Woodcutter -0.788
Counting House -0.677
Pirate Ship -0.677
Coppersmith -0.565
Workshop -0.534
Bank -0.491
Secret Chamber -0.473
Saboteur -0.416
Smugglers -0.381
Baron -0.361
Navigator -0.361
Courtyard -0.358
Mine -0.351
Lookout -0.346
Monument -0.335
Bishop -0.331
Steward -0.330
Highway -0.324
Wishing Well -0.302
Swindler -0.302
Moneylender -0.296
Council Room -0.278
Talisman -0.269
Trading Post -0.268
Masquerade -0.263
Library -0.252
Develop -0.234
Vault -0.231
Scheme -0.223
Expand -0.209
Native Village -0.209
Royal Seal -0.205
Embargo -0.201
Duke -0.192
Noble Brigand -0.189
Smithy -0.185
Pearl Diver -0.173
Spy -0.167
Moat -0.166
Chapel -0.163
Fool's Gold -0.162
Bridge -0.156
Remodel -0.156
Horse Traders -0.151
Feast -0.135
Venture -0.123
Crossroads -0.122
Oracle -0.120
Platinum -0.119
Inn -0.111
Trader -0.109
Cutpurse -0.107
Pawn -0.107
Throne Room -0.100
Oasis -0.094
Salvager -0.087
Mandarin -0.076
Stables -0.074
Market -0.068
Haggler -0.054
Cache -0.046
Conspirator -0.033
Ambassador -0.024
Upgrade -0.020
Caravan -0.007
Ironworks -0.006
Shanty Town -0.003
Warehouse 0.006
Thief 0.006
Young Witch 0.008
Spice Merchant 0.011
Haven 0.015
Great Hall 0.019
Jack of All Trades 0.029
Militia 0.030
Cartographer 0.030
Ill-Gotten Gains 0.040
Treasury 0.047
Duchess 0.049
Island 0.053
Gardens 0.056
Village 0.059
Trade Route 0.071
Festival 0.095
Nobles 0.096
Minion 0.102
Border Village 0.106
Fishing Village 0.114
Tactician 0.115
Tribute 0.116
Cellar 0.116
Torturer 0.130
Silk Road 0.131
Sea Hag 0.132
Harem 0.132
Lighthouse 0.133
Bazaar 0.140
Nomad Camp 0.147
Contraband 0.151
Treasure Map 0.152
Farming Village 0.163
Jester 0.165
Colony 0.177
Laboratory 0.185
Margrave 0.188
Embassy 0.188
Bureaucrat 0.206
Hamlet 0.213
Adventurer 0.214
Merchant Ship 0.215
Remake 0.234
Hunting Party 0.244
Wharf 0.272
Tournament 0.273
Apprentice 0.273
Farmland 0.284
Mining Village 0.285
Goons 0.315
Explorer 0.329
Outpost 0.333
Ghost Ship 0.335
Tunnel 0.383
King's Court 0.428
Rabble 0.435
Grand Market 0.455
Mountebank 0.457
Witch 0.474
Scout 0.478
Forge 0.496
Menagerie 0.583
Worker's Village 0.587
Peddler 0.589
Fortune Teller 0.593
Mint 0.609
Watchtower 0.613
Potion 0.671
Loan 0.704
Harvest 0.712
City 0.712
Quarry 0.811
Scrying Pool 0.880
Horn of Plenty 0.999
Fairgrounds 1.021
Alchemist 1.168
Familiar 1.259
Herbalist 1.261
Vineyard 1.495
University 1.829
Golem 1.998
Philosopher's Stone 2.440
Apothecary 2.553
Possession 2.742
Transmute 4.435

Why aren't there more posts that use supply_win to make data based arguments about the quality of card combos?

This post is, IMHO, wonderful.

Is it that supply_win interface is too confusing?  Do people just value their own experience/intuition over data?  Is the data ruined by noobs (eg, if you could get supply_win data only for players > level 35, would that be good?)?  Is there something else going on?

I am not promising anything, but what kinds of game play stats would be interesting for innovation?

Distribution of game ending conditions.
Probability given scoring type is achieved (+what caused it).
Average number of turns per game.
Correlation with winning by given score advantage across ages. 
Card build/tuck/usage/dogma shared stats and their winning correlations.
Symbol supremacy correlation with winning.
Tech advantage by age correlation with winning.

So, I am definitely still an innovation noob, so I can't really write this post, but I want to read it.  Ergo, I'll take a first stab at it and then hope someone actually does a good job.

What does the skill curve look like for innovation?

Understanding the rules.
Knowing some of the important cards.
Learning some combos.
Paying attention to symbol counts.
A little understanding of game flow, having a feel for when to score vs when to tech.
Knowing all the win conditions.
Knowing how to counter important cards.
Knowing all the cards.
Ability to see plausible long term shots at a win.
Ability to see opponent's shots at at winning, and knowing how to prevent them.

Right now, you get a ! when you hover over a card where your opponent has more symbols than you.   Sometimes you want to share a dogma.  But if it's an attack, it will just do nothing.  I haven't played enough to know if there is a time when you want to just burn a turn by launching a futile attack, but it seems to me that there should be a difference between share a dogma (maybe a good idea), and totally waste an action with a impotent attack (probably not a good idea).

The money/VP icons inline in the text substantially hurt the readability of the text for me.  I guess my mind has a "text mode" and an "images" mode, and the icons trigger "images" mode.  This causes a kind of context switch in my brain and it is generally distracting.

I know it's well-intentioned, but I think the icons might be overdesigned.

It used to be the case that when theory posted an article on the main page, noobs had a chance to ask rules questions or comments about basic strategic interactions via the comments.  With the wiki, there doesn't seem to be like a good place for questions and comments like that.

Maybe it's fine, we still have the blog and the forum after all.  Perhaps trying to squeeze discussion like features into wiki format is worse than simple refusing to do so.  But it would be nice if there was one canonical source to rule them all.  Maybe we should encourage noobs to post questions in the talk page?  I don't know.

Council Room Feedback / Anyone want to maintain councilroom?
« on: August 25, 2012, 12:00:21 am »
I am just not into Dominion anymore. Councilroom is going to be down permanently in one week if no one agrees to takes it over.
If you want to take over maintainance and adminship, send an email to I'll happily lend a hand in getting it running and answering questions about the code. Some competancy with Python and Unix is all that's really required.

Advertisements / new Donald X game - Gauntlet of Fools - on Kickstarter
« on: August 15, 2012, 11:14:33 am »

The game seems plausibly fun from the intro, but I am pretty skeptical about this part.  What is the chance that a successful entrepreneur can't get access to $15k?

If you are so excited about this game, why do you need kickstarter funding to get it made?

It is all about what we call cashflow. Making board games is a cash intensive proposition.  The time between when I pay for games (now) and when I get paid for them is upwards of 7 months, and that is in the best of circumstances. That takes a lot of money sitting in inventory, and that isnít something that we have a lot of right now.

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