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Rules Questions / Moving action cards when you play them
« on: July 08, 2021, 11:44:38 am »
I can't believe I'm really asking this, after years of playing Dominion, but I've just gone down the rabbit hole in considering the repercussions of a fan card, and I didn't like what I saw. So...

What happens when you play an Action card? The rules seem superficially simple enough:
Playing an Action card has three steps: announcing it; moving it to the "in play" area - the table space in front of you; and following the instructions on it, in order, top to bottom.

If you're playing a card from your hand, all is well.

If I Command an Action, it explicitly says you play the card "leaving it there"; is that just a clarifying remark, or would it otherwise have ended up in your "in play" area?

When you use Innovation or Summon, it seems clear playing the card moves it to your "in play" area. That also suggests there's no requirement for a card to be in your hand in order for playing it to move it to your "in play" area.

When you Throne a card and play it for the second time, it doesn't much matter whether or not you move it to the "in play" area, since that's where it is already. Except...

When I Throne a Mining Village and trash it on the first play, when I play it for a second time, what actual rule of the game stops it being moved from the Trash to my "in play" area?

Rules Questions / Discarding multiple cards - a definitive ruling?
« on: June 21, 2021, 07:52:34 am »
I'm 99% sure this has been answered somewhere already, but I can't find it in the rules, in the wiki, or indeed via Google. So apologies...

What, precisely happens when you discard more than one card? There are two rulings I can see which pertain, both in the base rules:
  • "If you discard multiple cards at once, you do not need to reveal them all, just the one you put on top."
  • Cellar: "discard them all at once"
I guess my first question is: does that "discard them all at once" apply by default to any effect that discards multiple cards, even though I can only see it stated explicitly for Cellar?

The second question is: does that mean all the cards have been discarded before any of the effects are applied? For example:
  • You've drawn your deck (deck and discard pile are empty)
  • You play Cellar
  • You choose to discard Tunnel, Curse, Curse
  • You react to the gained Gold by playing Sheepdog
Is it possible to gain the Gold and play Sheepdog while only Tunnel,Gold are in your discard pile, before you've put the Curses there, or is it unavoidable that the Curses will also have landed in your discard pile?

Rules Questions / Taking Artifacts from Border Guard
« on: April 23, 2021, 01:08:39 pm »
You have played Border Guard. All the cards you revealed were Actions.

It's clear that if you have neither Lantern nor Horn, you must take one of them (your choice).
If you have both, nothing happens.

But what if you have only one of those two Artifacts? Are you required to take the other, or are you permitted to choose to "take" the one you already have?

My guess, on general principles, is that you can choose e.g. to take the Horn when you already have the Horn but not the Lantern. It would be good to get confirmation, though.

Rules Questions / Looking at cards as you draw them
« on: March 25, 2020, 10:48:42 am »
I was considering this puzzle. I wondered: could the Road Network Project establish a chain of events that resulted in one acquiring VP?

Answer: no. Dominion currently has no on-draw effects.

But that set me thinking: are such effects even possible? In particular, when you draw a card are you allowed to look at it before adding it to your hand? If not, there'd be no way to keep such effects honest. At least not without some fancy trick like different card backs or only triggering when you draw into an empty hand.

I appreciate this question is of no practical significance at the moment, but it amused me enough to share anyway. (-8

Rules Questions / Haunted Woods / Trader
« on: June 18, 2019, 08:26:53 pm »
A knotty little situation arose in a game this evening.

It was Player A's turn, and Player B had a Haunted Woods on duration. A wanted to buy a Curse and reveal Trader from their hand to gain a Silver instead. Does A have time to reveal the Trader before they have to put it on top of the deck because of Haunted Woods?

My ruling at the time was yes, but on reflection, and on browsing the wiki, I'm pretty sure I got that wrong and the on-buy trigger has to occur before the on-gain one.

This seems counterintuitive to me: the player can order on-buy triggers however they like, and I would have expected gaining to be just another thing that was triggered by buying. Is there a definitive ruling anywhere?

(Fortunately, if it affected the outcome of the game at all, I'm the one who suffered.)

This thread has veered into speculation about what the card might do. It's a Duration, and it has an ecclesiastical name, so seems likely to be a trasher.

So what might it be?

My own wild speculation, which might be a nifty idea for a card in any case:

Schwerin Cathedral
Action, $3

Trash up to 3 cards from your hand.
At the start of your next turn, trash the same number of cards from your hand.

Rules Questions / Inn and Watchtower
« on: March 07, 2019, 01:31:39 pm »
I feel like this must have been asked before, but I'm not finding it. (This is a rather different question.)

I have a Watchtower in hand. I have many cool things, including an Inn, in my discard pile. I buy another Inn.

Firstly, am I correct that I can choose in which order to invoke Inn's "when you gain this" and Watchtower's "when you gain a card"?

Suppose I choose to deal with Inn first. I choose a bunch of actions from the discard pile, including the Inn I already had, and shuffle them into my deck.

Now I want to react with Watchtower to top-deck the Inn I just gained. Can I do that? Obviously, I'll have taken care to leave it on top of my discard pile rather than covering it with some other card, but does the mere act of selecting cards from my discard pile make Watchtower Lose Track of my newly-gained Inn?

Variants and Fan Cards / Aggressive Reserve cards?
« on: November 12, 2018, 10:21:30 am »
Following on from this mini-discussion, the idea of a Reserve Attack continues to intrigue me. How might that happen?

As I said there, the most obvious thing would be the Wine Merchant trick: a really strong attack which then went in Reserve and cost you something to get back.

Another possibility would be a "Put this on your tavern mat. At the start of your turn you may call it. When you play or call this..." thing. That would mean it was an "Attack" when played, but not when called. My instinct is that this would be an issue, but then again Noble Brigand got made.

Or maybe a nasty attack that is its own defence: "[Evil stuff].Put this on your tavern mat. -- During your clean-up phase, you may discard this from your Tavern mat. -- While this is in reserve, when another player plays [one of these], it doesn't affect you." Whether or not to keep it in reserve could be an interestingly difficult decision.

Though I started out thinking about how a card might have both the Attack and Reserve types, Donald X later in the thread said "Yes, it would be confusing if calling a card hurt the other players."

So... what about cards that aren't attacks, but hurt other players when called?

My first thought is a "+1 Action. Put this on your Tavern mat. -- When you would gain a card, you may call this. If you do, the current player gains it instead." Is this actually a workable version of the oft-discussed defence which turns an attack back on the attacker? (One key point is that the attacker could see in advance what they were up against; another is that it looks uncommonly intuitive and free from nasty corner cases.)


Has anyone put work into this area before, that Google isn't finding for me?

Dominion General Discussion / When seating order matters - Chariot Race
« on: September 17, 2018, 10:11:21 am »
I play quite a lot of multi-player Dominion. I happen to feel it works really nicely for three players and is one of my favourite games at that player count.

However, there are just a handful of cards where seating order matters in multiplayer games: Masquerade, Tribute, Possession, Contraband, Advisor, Chariot Race, Gladiator, Envoy.

A long time ago, I played a really messed up five-player game in which player A Possessed player B and forced them to play King's-Court Possession "for a laugh". Needless to say, when player B then possessed player C three times over, they won easily. We all just shrugged and wrote it off.

For Contaband, Advisor and Envoy, although left-hand opponent has the final say, the other players can offer opinions on how they should choose. (Does everyone allow that, out of interest?) The left-hand-opponent effect is very minor.

I've been in the occasional game where one person got noticeably nicer stuff passed to them than the others via Masquerade. I've been in games where Tribute was much more powerful for the player to the left of someone with a diverse deck of multi-typed cards. An issue, but not a big deal.

But then I had a Chariot Race game last week where the seating order annihilated me.

Three players. Me, another strong player to my left, a weaker player to my right. I focused on Chariot Race, mindful that I could ramp up really quickly, then have an amazing turn each time I found something costing $2 or less on top of opponent's deck. Left-hand opponent pursued a Tournament strategy but also, seeing what I was up to, thinned even more aggressively than usual, avoided buying the nice $2-coster and didn't nab Followers which I believe is normally their favourite Prize. Other opponent went for a Dismantle strategy, flooding their deck with Copper faster than they could mop it up.

I got eight Chariot Races. Left-hand opponent picked up a couple, largely to deprive me of them. Guess which of us won more races. )-8  (Yes, my Chariot Race did hit a Prize. Once. Too little, too late.)

If we'd been seated the other order around the table, I'd have had plenty of epic Province+8VP turns.

Has anyone else ever encountered similarly extreme problems with cards in this category?

A trend I've noticed recently is for people on f.ds to look at, for example, Skulk and say things along the lines of "but you don't want Gold anyway in modern Dominion". The impression I get is that some people have decided Treasure-less engines are now the only game in town and you want virtual coin, VP tokens, gainers, etc. instead.

Once upon a time, Gold was just fine as an engine payload. Once upon a time, a key skill in the game - on a par with choosing when to start greening - was to balance your purchases of Treasure against Actions.

Is Treasure genuinely now playing second fiddle, or is this just groupthink, or hyperbole by a vocal minority?

I can't help noticing that Nocturne contains more kinds of Treasure than any previous set, as well as plenty of Treasure gainers. That suggests to me that Donald X., at least, thinks Treasures are still relevant.

Help! / A lot going on, here...
« on: March 15, 2018, 02:25:20 pm »
I played an RL Adventures and Nocturne game last night:

Kingdom piles:



I lost badly.

Both I and opponent wanted Inheritance on Shepherd. Both I and my opponent opted for Gold from Leprechaun as our economy. But there we diverged.

My opponent opened Magpie/Leprechaun, and used the flood of Magpies to get Wishes instead of Hexes after a shuffle or two. They only bought one Shepherd, and one Estate. But they ramped up to Province turns pretty quickly.

I instead opened Peasant/Leprechaun, intending that the Peasant would give me double-Estate turns early on and double-Province turns later. While waiting to spike $7, I bought Estates, and a couple of early Shepherds to lubricate things.

Annoyingly, two of my first three Hexes were War, trashing one of my Shepherds and Locusts, turning an Estate into a Curse. And I reached $6 three times before I managed to spike $7. Meanwhile, my opponent's shuffling seemed to be alternating Magpies with Treasures an uncanny proportion of the time. By the time I'd managed to Inherit and get my engine going, my opponent had choked on green... but it was too late.

Each of us once used Alms to buy Cemetery and trash Copper. Opponent took out four Copper that way; I trashed three Copper and held back my Haunted Mirror. I'm not sure if that was a mistake, or if it could have paid off if I'd got going more quickly. A Ghostly Shepherd feels like a fine start to a turn!

It feels like the luck went heavily against me, but did I also choose the wrong line of play? My instinct was to focus somewhat on winning the Estate split, but then my opponent didn't compete. Neither of us bought Artificer; if I'd got going two or three shuffles sooner I expect I'd have picked one up as a way of parlaying all that spare green into a Province once I'd started drawing my deck.

Opponent used one Wish to gain a Hireling. I'm not sure that was a smart choice, but they were winning comfortably by that point anyway. With hindsight, I wish I'd picked up one Ratcatcher instead of an Estate early on, to thin things out a bit. (And to trigger Haunted Mirror more easily than Cemetery can.)

Nobody even thought of touching Crypt or Exorcist.

Let's Discuss ... / Let's discuss: $2 defensive cards
« on: February 27, 2018, 11:22:38 am »
There are now quite a lot of these: Moat,  Lighthouse and Guardian offer straightforward immunity; Secret Chamber (retired), Beggar and Faithful Hound let the attack through but affect how it pans out.

It's easy to see mechanically how they differ, but which ones defend you best in practice? And which are the best to have in your deck when not being attacked? Would any of them be worth buying in a kingdom that had no attacks?

An alternative to defence is retaliation; instead of buying these, you could be buying attacks and trying to give as good as you get. Another alternative is repair: trashing the junk, draw-to-N, etc. Where's the balance there?

Do Hexes, with their unpredictable variety of effects, make repair harder and shift the balance in favour of offence/defence?

If you're going to buy these cards, when's the right time? Are they worth spending a $3 on before the first shuffle? Do you buy them in advance, or wait until your opponents have started picking up attacks? Guardian protects you the same shuffle you buy it rather than waiting for the next shuffle; how much of a benefit is that?

Dominion General Discussion / The Fool is a pity
« on: December 18, 2017, 10:23:25 pm »
Nocturne has arrived in the UK. I got my copy last week, and took it along to play with friends this evening.

Often, I just pull out whichever cards seem cool, but not really knowing how the cogs would turn with Nocturne, I started with the first recommended kingdom in the rulebook.

The (four-player) game took two hours! )-8

The chief culprit was Fool. Once one player bought a Fool, another did; once two had done so, the other two did as well. And we were seeing those Fools pretty often!

Every time somebody plays Fool, they need to take Lost in the Woods, take three Boons, digest what they are, choose an order, receive them, keep track of which should be discarded at once v. which should be kept until Clean-up, and finally re-evaluate their strategy for the turn.

For added fun, sooner or later somebody takes the Earth's Gift and decides they would have preferred a different Boon. So in the middle of resolving Fool, they gain a Blessed Village. And try to work out whether to receive that Boon at once, or keep it until next turn. And then figure out how to represent in terms of table layout which Boons they've not yet received, which are being held until clean-up, and which are being held to receive at the start of next turn.

Meanwhile, with Fool in the kingdom, the Boons deck needs shuffling very frequently and every time that happens people need to stop and double-check the correct subset of the Boons has been discarded.

People also struggled, albeit to a lesser extent, with the inconsistency where some Night cards are gained to hand and others are not. And most of the players both in that game and a subsequent one where I picked the kingdom myself to go light on the Boons felt pretty strongly that Night was an unnecessary complication compared with Actions that had +1 Action and a deferred effect. Especially, they seemed to destroy the rhythm of the game because you can no longer begin playing as soon as the previous player has made their final purchase. A lot of turns had false starts, further adding to the confusion.

None of us found it our most enjoyable game of Dominion ever. Some of the players are soured to Nocturne entirely; most are at least vowing never to play another game with Fool.

This is somewhat startling and dispiriting. I assume that if playtesters had had this experience something would have been done about it, so why were things different for us. We're all experienced gamers, not especially slow, and everyone was already at least somewhat familiar with Dominion.

I'd be really interested to hear anyone else's experiences. /-8

Dominion General Discussion / Nocturne: a minor ergonomic gripe
« on: December 15, 2017, 07:55:06 pm »
If a pile comes with an Heirloom, it says this on the cards.

But wouldn't it have been nice if things were symmetric and the Heirloom also said which pile it came with?

Peering around the box trying to remember where, say, Cursed Gold goes is a bit of a pain. Especially when another well-meaning player has already put away (visits the Wiki to look it up) Pooka.

Help! / Mainly Empires and Hinterlands
« on: November 20, 2017, 11:04:52 pm »
I thought I'd share a kingdom we played earlier this evening. Since we played face to face with real cards rather than online, I have no log.

I hand-picked this kingdom to be interesting; I frequently do that and try really hard not to have any specific strategy of my own in mind while doing so.

  • Crossroads
  • Encampment/Plunder
  • Enchantress
  • Spice Merchant
  • Jack of all Trades
  • Mill
  • Highway
  • Archive
  • Crown
  • Border Village
  • Event: Banquet
  • Landmark: Battlefield
(No Shelters/Platinum/Colony.)

There were three of us playing, and I was struck by how completely different our strategies were, ending up very closely matched on points (39/38/35, I think.)

I got 2/5 and opened Crossroads/Archive. I then immediately bought some Mills, using them plus Archive as a springboard to an early $6 to buy a Gold. Then I bought some Encampments, and finally a couple of Spice Merchants to help me thin. I was pretty reliably drawing most of my deck for a Province a turn, 38VP.

Opponent A opened Spice Merchant and Banquet-for-Highway, then quickly bought a second Spice Merchant. Soon, they had an engine going which each turn trashed two Coppers with Spice Merchants for +2Buy,+$4, did Banquet-for-Border-Village, picking up Mills, Crossroads and Highways until they could switch to double-Province turns. For some extra villages, they bought Encampments cost-reduced to $0 and treated them as disposable. But the game ended before they could catch up, 35VP. I think their engine was actually pretty solid, and especially with Crossroads to lubricate things they'd have won easily if they'd switched at the right moment to gaining Duchies with their Border Villages instead of more engine components.

Opponent B focused on Mill and Jack of All Trades, very lightly seasoned with Border Village and Crossroads: discard all your cards using Mills, draw back to 5 with JoaT, spend some Silver, buy Province. This was quick to set up and got them the lion's share of the Battlefield VP in the process, but started greening early and became unreliable, stalling a few times. B beat me by a single VP.

Opponent B bought one Enchantress, but regretted it because the attack didn't hurt us at all: A just played a Highway first; I usually took the opportunity to cantrip an Encampment if I didn't have my Gold in hand, or a Spice Merchant if I didn't have any Copper. Nobody bought a single Crown.

If I played this kingdom again, I'd have bought a single Spice Merchant, but I'd have bought it sooner. I may have been seduced overly by the 3VP for an early Mill. I was expecting to be able to play around with Plunder, possibly even Crowned Plunder, but in practice opponent A's steady trickle of returned Encampments precluded this. Maybe I should have focused more wholeheartedly on taking the Encampments, perhaps using +Buy from the Spice Merchant I know I should have bought sooner? I suspect that my gambit of Mill+Archive to get an early Gold and support my Encampments was solid, though.

But I'm still none the wiser. None of us executed our strategy anything like perfectly; any one of them might be a killer in expert hands. It also feels as though there could be something even better we all overlooked.

Any thoughts welcome!

Rules Questions / Changeling: rules bug?
« on: November 16, 2017, 01:23:05 pm »
I see what the Changeling card says, and its intent is pretty clear.

However, the rulebook (which, by my understanding, takes precedence over the card text even if it's directly contradictory) says:
you cannot do it if the cost is neither more or less than $3

Um! Er. While the intent of that is also pretty clear, it doesn't say what it means. A card costing exactly $3 has a cost that is neither more or less than $3 and the rules therefore say you can't exchange such a card on gain for a Changeling. /-8

Dominion Strategy Wiki Feedback / Adventurer - oh really?
« on: November 07, 2017, 08:30:47 pm »
I've just noticed Adventurer in the All Cards list looks a lot like Apothecary in disguise...

I think, as usual, the correct behaviour can be determined by a literal reading of the rules, but it feels a bit peculiar so I thought I'd check.

Defiled Shrine's setup step only puts 2VP on each non-Gathering Action Supply pile, but gaining an Action moves VP from its pile to the Shrine even if it is a Gathering, yes? When there's a Defiled Shrine around, you can gain a Farmer's Market and thereby postpone playing existing FMs trashing themselves for VP? Curious interaction!

So then, when you gain a Temple, you take all the VP from the Temple Supply pile, and also move 1VP from the Temple Supply pile to the Defiled Shrine? And, as usual, you get to choose which happens first?

Presumably you choose to collect VP before failing to move one to the Shrine. Unless you're Possessed. Or engaged in some nightmarish metagame where you want to give Alice an incentive to gain a Curse before Bob does...

Rules Questions / Haggler, Farmland, Border Village
« on: September 29, 2014, 10:37:21 am »
Here's an intriguing question that just occurred in a game where Haggler, Farmland and Border Village were all in the kingdom.

I had a Haggler in play. I bought Farmland.

Now I have two side-effects I can perform: trash-and-gain with Farmland and gain-a-cheaper-non-Victory with Haggler. By my understanding of the rules, I may perform these in either order, my choice? So far so good.

I choose to take the Farmland on-buy trigger first. I trash a $4 card and gain Border Village. As a side-effect of gaining Border Village, I may gain a cheaper card.

So now I can gain a cheaper non-Victory from the Haggler's while-in-play effect, and gain any cheaper card from Border Village's on-gain effect. But can I do them in either order? Or, now I've started resolving the Farmland on-buy trigger before the Haggler while-in-play effect, must I completely resolve Farmland first by dealing with the Border Village's on-gain before I may use the Haggler while-in-play effect?

Rules Questions / Cards that "play or modify" Durations
« on: April 11, 2013, 09:18:36 am »
Hi all,

In Dominion, we have actions which cause another action to be played, possibly multiple times. We also have Durations, with effects that linger to the following turn.

And we have lots of discussions about how they interact. I've found at least:...all containing statements by Donald X, plus remarks by others with varying degrees of definitiveness.

As I understand it, the way things stand at the moment is:
  • "If you play or modify a Duration card with another card, that other card also stays in your play area until it is no longer doing anything." (The actual rule.)
  • This does not apply to cards which "play or modify" the card which "plays or modifies" the Duration -- if you play Throne Room, choose Throne Room, then choose Wharf, only the second TR stays out.
  • The rule should be construed as "until you clean up and it is no longer doing anything". If you Throne Room a Haven, you don't get to discard the Throne Room (and possibly cycle your deck enough to re-draw it) immediately the two Havens come in at the start of your next turn.
  • Golem is "no longer doing anything" the moment it's played the actions you drew.
  • Tactician only has its effect once even if doubled or tripled, so a Throne Room is "no longer doing anything" and gets discarded during clean-up.
  • Conversely a Throne Room used on an Outpost is still "doing something" according to the BGG rules FAQ?
  • If you Procession a Duration, the Procession stays out, but the Duration gets trashed for gain this turn. The Procession is your reminder that something is afoot next turn.
  • If you Procession a Throne Room then choose a Duration, the Procession trashing the Throne Room takes precedence over the "stays in your play area until it is no longer doing anything" rule; the Throne Room is trashed for gain this turn.
  • If you use a Band of Misfits as a "play or modify" card, or as a Duration, it stays out precisely as long as the card it's impersonating would have done.
  • You have Durations "in play" until clean-up at the end of the following turn (for the purposes of Peddler, etc.)
  • However, you have not "played" it on the following turn (for the purposes of Conspirator)
  • Throne Rooms, Kings' Courts, Processions, Bands of Misfits, etc. that are left out are "in play" but not "played", similarly.
Is that all correct?

One question I've never seen asked: what happens if you Procession an Outpost or Tactician? (On the one hand, maybe Procession stays out if and only if a Throne Room would have done; on the other, maybe the Procession is "doing something" by marking that there's a trashed duration to apply next turn.)

More generally, am I the only person who thinks this all feels unduly gnarly? I see a three-way conflict between:
  • Consistency and clarity of the rules
  • Having cards cleared up if they serve no further purpose
  • Giving players the best chance possible of remembering what's supposed to happen at the start of their next turn

I can see two simpler alternative rules:
  • Everything is cleaned up at the end of your turn, including Durations and cards which played or modified them.
  • Any card which causes a Duration to be played is itself a Duration until it leaves play, and all Durations (even Tacticians on which you discarded nothing) stay in play until your next turn.
The first one causes obvious memory problems. But what if there were "duration proxies" for each kind of Duration? They could be full-size cards, or perhaps mini cards or some other kind of token. When you play a Duration you stick a duration proxy in front of you; at the start of your next turn, you get the benefit. Throne Room a Duration? Place two proxies. Band of Misfits a Duration? Place a proxy corresponding to what you chose. Procession a Duration? Trash the Duration, but leave the proxies standing. Play Tactician; have you discarded any cards? If so, place a Tactician proxy.

The second would mean that if you chain Throne Room -> Throne Room -> Duration, both Throne Rooms stay out. For players like me who lay out the actions they play hierarchically, it just means you leave the entire hierarchy out as-is.

Has anyone tried playing in either of these ways? How much difference do they make to gameplay and/or strategy? My instinct is that the first is by far the tidiest option, it's just a shame it needs several dozen extra game pieces.

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