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Feedback / F.DS could benefit from a clean up
« on: December 27, 2021, 09:33:13 am »
Right now, looking around the forums, there are many, many ancient and now completely disused subforums, often nested in ways that made for a quick and easy solution at the time but now makes the forum look messy. I feel like a bit of time moving things around, perhaps making an archive section and archiving a number of old subforums that haven't been used in years, could help make the forum look fresher and more modern.

I'm thinking things like:

  • The nested previews of old Dominion Previews could be organised into a single sub-forum in general, or even just all put into an archive as mentioned above
  • Several child boards in places like Tournaments and Events are now many years old and haven't been posted in since e.g. 2016
  • Forum Game Awards haven't been used in over 3 years
  • The entire Innovation section of the forum was last used two years ago

I think a bit of a clean up could really help make the forum look a lot nicer and cleaner.

As said, I dreamed this one up, so likely it would need heavy tweaking to be playable - and you'd probably just end up with Projects once you're done balancing and playtesting it anyway - but it seemed at least interesting enough to think about so I thought I'd post it. It seems kind of like a cross between how wonders work in Civilisation or Through the Ages, and Dominion projects anyway.

Wonders are a new kind of Horizontal card that can be built. They tend to be very expensive (think 15+ coins), but unlike regular cards you do not have to pay in one go. Instead everyone has their own supply towards building the wonder, and you can use a buy to put any amount of money towards the wonder. Once someone has spent equal to the wonder cost, they build it and gain its benefits for the remainder of the game. Everyone else who had partially built it gets compensation, probably Coin Tokens equal to half of what they had spent.

As for Wonder effects... I didn't dream up any. I expect they would be worth some reasonable number of VPs, as well as some permanent ongoing benefit that's likely stronger than a typical project. So for example, maybe something like a double Bridge effect (cards cost $2 less on your turn, but not less than $0). Or something like "at the start of each turn, +1 card, you may discard any number of cards, then draw that many." Basically, strong effects that might be worth investing into and racing to complete, strong enough that you have a chance to catch up once you complete them but also not so strong that you can just instant-win by completing them.

Feel free to suggest ideas, or to point out all of the less obvious reasons of why it just wouldn't work (which is probably the reality - if my conscious brain is bad at games design I can't imagine my subconscious is any better)

Other Games / Nintendo Switch
« on: October 20, 2016, 12:53:12 pm »
Surprised there isn't already a topic about it.

It looks pretty much like what I was expecting, for the most part, based on speculation from the patents Nintendo filed. A home console that can be undocked and used as a handheld, running on cartridges rather than disks. Nintendo Switch is a decent name, much better than Wii U and better than Wii. And some of the games teased in the trailer look cool - we have a new Splatoon, a new 3D Mario, a new Mario Kart, some kind of Elder Scrolls knockoff and a Basketball game - plus Zelda, of course.

I'll put my detailed thoughts from the trailer below. Just things I spotted and whatnot.

Dominion General Discussion / Most complex first game possible
« on: October 10, 2016, 02:41:31 pm »
Let's say I'm introducing the game to someone. What's the worst possible set of cards to use in terms of likely rules confusion, difficulty in explaining, difficulty in keeping track of things going on and so forth? I'm going to assume the answer probably includes Black Market, but what other kingdom cards/events/landmarks and so forth will maximise chaos?

Help! / Delving into the Royal Blacksmith's Catapults (IRL game)
« on: August 21, 2016, 05:40:59 pm »
I played this game IRL earlier today with a friend, and enjoyed it so much that we ended up playing twice. I won both times - in fact, I dominated (yeah I know that's frowned upon here, but I'm mostly asking questions at the bottom, not focusing on how I won) - but I still have no idea if what I was doing was the best thing to do, if I was focusing on the right things, what could have been done differently, and most of all, WHY I won by such a huge margin, especially the second time when we played similar strategies.



Fool's Gold
Walled Village
Wild Hunt
Royal Blacksmith

Colony/Platinum, Estates.

So as a preface, almost no experience with Empires. This was my first time playing with all of the Empires cards here, except Catapult. The first game was a bit of a mess. I saw Delve + Catapults was nice, and Catapults + Lookout could trash down coppers (while attacking for the formers case) and make Royal Blacksmith very effective, and with Walled Villages to power that, get a mean engine going. I went for it, my opponent wanted to go aggressive with the Catapults and score with Wild Hunts, but ended up getting bad draws early with his Catapults, prioritised playing Wild Hunts and ended up with a massively bloated deck. With Delve constantly providing ammo for Catapults as well as some payload, I won by a massive margin, something like 7 Colonies to 1. Also, I bought a Woodcutter with a single buy for $23, which I'm sorta proud of.

The second game we both had a better idea of what to do - trashing down was too important to ignore, as was constantly attacking with catapults to get those curses into your opponents deck and stop them using catapult efficiently while buying cards themselves, but you also need to grab that Woodcutter at some point and get your engine flowing so you can consistently attack, draw your deck and get Woodcutters into play for extra buys. This time I added Encampments in after getting a Gold - they weren't 100% reliably matched up, but for only $2 each they really helped the deck anyway, and it was okay to lose them back to the supply occasionally. I also laser focused on the Catapults and the engine, constantly attacking while building up, putting those Walled Villages, Royal Blacksmiths and Encampments in, along with two Woodcutters and enough Delving to keep Silvers around for curse slinging. My opponent did largely the same but opted for Wild Hunt over Royal Blacksmith, and got 3 Catapults to my 2 Lookouts. He also trashed his Estates with Catapult first, instead of Copper. And yet these small differences somehow ended up with the game going very similarly to the first - my deck ended up in a very powerful engine, playing everything fairly consistently, and regularly getting $20+ money to spend, while his stuttered along, choked on curses and not able to play Catapults enough to consistently hurt me, or consistently pick up the engine pieces it needed.

Based on these thoughts I have a few questions:

1) What do you think the best strategy here is? Even after playing twice, I don't think I was anything close to optimal in my choices (I feel like Ironworks should have been involved somewhere - somehow I didn't even realise it was in the game during the second match). Do Plunder, Ironworks or Wild Hunt have a place?

2) Based on the description I've given, how come my deck was so massively better than my opponents? I can understand if my deck was slightly better, due to better choices, but my deck just sorta dominating while his was so weak really surprised me. Did not prioritising attacking with Catapults, and going 3 Catapults vs. 2 + Lookout really slow him down that much? He's not a weak player, either. I probably win more often than not against him but he's pretty decent.

It was a very fun kingdom, I feel like almost everything was relevant in some way except possibly Ironworks for us, but even that could have been. It was kinda neat that most of the different basic treasure cards had this subtle attached effects in the game due to stuff going on - Copper was cheap Catapult ammo but also bad for Royal Blacksmith, Silver was a $2 card which took no buy but still triggered the full effect of Catapult, Gold enabled Encampment, and Platinum was your big money payload. It made them feel almost like kingdom cards.

Non-Mafia Game Threads / New game (currently unnamed) playtest
« on: August 16, 2016, 02:01:30 pm »
Alright, who wants to give a new and almost completely untested game a spin? I did a playtest on my own, but considering it's a bidding game that uh doesn't work so well. Still it worked and seemed interesting enough, after balancing a few notably broken things.

Rough rules overview
The game takes place over 3 main stages, with each being 3 turns long. There's also a setup turn (at the start) and a final scoring turn (at the end). Each turn, every player will collect income, in the form of three colours of cubes - Red, Green and Blue, and then take turns bidding for the card they want on a bidding track. Once everyone's bids are finalised, everyone buys their card. After everyone has bought a card, the turn ends and the next turn starts.

Notes about this being an alpha version
A lot of stuff might not be set in stone. The rules may be missing edge cases, cards may have unclear interactions, some stuff might be worded slightly incorrectly and have the wrong effect if taken literally, you know, that kind of stuff. On top of that, some things might become clearly broken as we play (especially a lot of the non-numerical stuff which is hard to quantify without seeing it actually in play). Hopefully, we won't need to change anything as we go, but as a last resort I may have to.

I also actually changed how the bidding works since my playtest version, which might have changed some stuff, but I doubt it'll change too much balance wise. Mostly it should make the game more fun and fair.

And of course, there's a very good chance the game won't be especially fun. Sorry. But it might be really fun!

Card List

Full rules

Firstly I apologise in advance that some of this stuff will be as though it were rules for a physical game, while others will be more like PBF format. Hopefully it'll be clear enough though.

At the start of the game, each player takes a copy of the base card, which reads:

Exchange: 5R>G and 8R>B. Income: RRRR

This gives the player their starting income, as well as an exchange option (explained later). From the stage 3 deck, shuffle and deal cards face up until two with the public scoring mark have been dealt. Put these two cards so everyone can see them, and shuffle the remaining cards back into the deck. At the end of the game, these cards will score points for everyone.

Shuffle each of the stage 1, 2 and 3 decks. With the stage 1 deck, deal a face up set of cards of size equal to the number of players. These will be the cards available in the first turn of stage 1. Put them to the side for now, however players may look through them at any time. Repeat this process two more times to make the turn 2 and turn 3 sets of cards for stage 1, then repeat this whole process for the stage 2 and then finally stage 3 decks. This will make 9 sets of cards.

Place the 6 start cards by the bidding track. Even in a game with less than 6 players, you still use all 6 cards.

Finally, choose a first player randomly and give them the first player card. This will rotate anti-clockwise each turn.

Each card does one/two of several possible things:

1 off: Gives you the listed cubes immediately, but nothing else.

Income: Gives you the listed cube(s) at the start of every turn from now on.

Exchange: Lists one or more ways you may trade cubes. For example: "8R>B" means you can trade 8 Red cubes to get one Blue cube. Most exchanges are one way. If they are two way, they will have the <> symbol, for example "3R<>G" means you can trade 3 Red cubes for 1 Green cube, or 1 Green cube for 3 Red cubes. Exchanges may be done any number of times per turn, when you are buying a card, and also during the final scoring turn.

Effect: This card does something special. Read the text carefully and apply its effects. Some effect cards do something immediately and only once, other effect cards may have an effect several times.

Scoring: Gives you points at the end of the game. Each Scoring card will give you points for a certain thing. Some scoring cards require you to do something immediately. Otherwise, they take effect at the end of the game during final scoring.

Cube values
Whenever anything revers to using cube values (such as bidding), these are used: Red cubes are worth 1. Green cubes are worth 3. Blue cubes are worth 5.

Each turn in the game proceeds the same way.

1) Deal out the cards for this turn by the bidding track, which were set aside during setup [the bidding track goes from 0-20 on each card]

2) Each player collects their income. This is shown on cards which say "Income:". With the base card, everyone will collect 4 Red cubes for the start turn. Subsequently, players may have to check all of their cards carefully for their complete income.

3) Starting with the first player and proceeding clockwise, each player may place their bidding token onto a card's bidding track, showing a bid for that card. Players may not bid higher than the value of cubes they own. If a player has already bid on a card and a player wishes to bid on that card themselves, they must bid a larger amount - i.e. they have to place their bidding token on a higher space. If a player outbids someone like this, that player immediately takes their token back and must place it somewhere else. If they place it on another bidding track above another player, this process may repeat several times. They may also place the token back onto a track they were initially outbid on, however of course they must exceed the current winning bid on that track to do so. This continues until a player choose to instead bid on a new card which does not yet have bids, after which play will continue clockwise on to the next player who has not yet bid.

4) Once everyone has bid one one card each, the bidding phase ends and players buy their card. This is done in turn order clockwise from the first player (often this can be done simultaneously, however players should pay attention to effect cards which may require the turn order to be followed, or if any player requests it be done in order, then it should be done player by player as well). Each player must pay their bid in cube value, and must choose to either buy or discard the card they have won. In the start turn, players may not discard the card they won. If they buy it, they must pay the cost printed on the card, and then put it in play in front of them, following any instructions or effects it has. If they choose to discard it (or find they cannot afford it), they place it into a discard pile away from the main play area and instead take 6 value worth of cubes, for example they could take a Blue and Red cube. They do not pay the cost printed on the card when doing this.

During a players turn to buy a card, they may exchange cubes. This can be done both before and after buying a card, but only during their turn. Players may only use exchange cards they own for this, such as the base card and any others they have earned during the game.

5) After everyone has bought their card, they take back their bidding token and the first player card is passed anticlockwise. If it was the start turn, discard the remaining unbought start cards in a 3-5 player game. Then, repeat from step 1 for the next turn's set of cards (unless this is the final turn of stage 3, in which case go to final scoring)

Final scoring

1) Each player takes their income, as normal.

2) Flip the bidding board over to reveal the score track [This step may be unneeded in PBF]. Place each players bidding token on the 0 space (if a player has already accrued VPs due to immediate scoring effect cards, place them at the correct space immediately)

3) Each player totals points from their own scoring cards, advancing their token on the scoring track to show this.

4) Then, everyone scores the points from the two public goals. These score points in the same way that scoring cards you have bought do, you do not need to pay for them.

5) The player with the most points wins! The player with the least points packs the game away.

Q: Didn't you just finish writing the rules? How are there already frequently...
A: Shut up.

Q: Do you get income during the start turn?
A: Yes. You will get income a total of 11 times over the game: During the start turn, during each of the three turns in the three stages, and once during final scoring.

Q: With Scoring cards, do I have to choose which cubes apply for which cards?
A: No, unless a card specifically requires you to spend the cubes. If a Scoring card says nothing, you could use the same cubes to score on two or more different cards.

Q: With [Card 22 Stage 1], do you keep the first player token forever?
A: No. First player continues to be passed around like normal, and first player still follows all of the normal rules except with bidding. All that changes is that before the first player places his first bid, you may choose to bid first, or you may choose to pass, ignore the normal clockwise order, and bid only once everyone else has bid.

Q: With [Card 27 Stage 1/2], can I just copy the other stage version of this card and cause an infinite loop where...
A: Shut up.

Q: Do cubes on [Card 25 Stage 2] still count as yours for final scoring?
A: Yes. Asides from sitting on the card, they're still your cubes in every way that matters. If you spend those cubes for anything however, they can never go back onto the card.



I'd like to get to about 4 ideally. 3-6 is the player count I currently think it'll work with.

Non-Mafia Game Threads / Secret Hitler II - Game Over
« on: March 24, 2016, 12:59:45 pm »
Germany, 1933:  The government is corrupt and paranoid.  No one can be trusted.  Can you bring about Hitler's rise or fall?

Welcome to Secret Hitler.  The full rules are available here:


The game is played in rounds, each of which has three phases:

Election Phase

1. The first Presidential candidate will be chosen randomly; after that, candidacy passes clockwise (down the list).

2. The Presidential candidate selects another player to run as the Chancellor candidate.  This cannot be either player who recently enacted a policy in the Legislative Phase.

3. You may discuss as much or as little as you wish.  At any time, PM your vote to the moderator.  After all players have voted, the moderator will reveal the results of the vote.  Ballots are simultaneous but not secret; all votes will be revealed.

4. If the vote is tied or a majority votes No, the next player becomes the Presidential candidate.  If this happens three times in a row, the top policy is immediately enacted.

5. If a majority votes Yes, the next phase begins.

6. In the case of a player failing to submit a vote within 48 hours of a proposal being made, a reminder will be sent to vote unless they have announced they are V/LA. If they do not vote within 24 hours of this reminder, they will be counted as not voting and the vote will be tallied as though they don't exist.

6a. "Not voting" is a mechanic to keep the game moving in case a player is AWOL, and should not be used as a strategic option to avoid voting.

Legislative Phase

The Legislative Phase happens entirely in PMs.  No discussion may happen during this phase.

1. The moderator will send a PM to the President with the three drawn policies.

2. The President will PM the moderator and indicate a discard.

3. The moderator will PM the Chancellor with the remaining two cards.

4. The Chancellor will PM the moderator and indicate a discard and a card to enact.

5. The moderator will reveal the enacted policy.  After this, everyone is free to discuss what happened.  As with all social deduction games, you are free to lie.

6. If a fascist policy is enacted, the Executive phase may occur.  Otherwise, another election is held.

Executive Phase

The President must use the power granted.  They are free to solicit advice from any or all players, but the President must make the final decision.

Investigation -- 2nd action with 7-8 players

The President publicly selects a player to investigate.  The moderator will PM the President with the party identity of the investigated player (Hitler will be identified as Fascist, but not as Hitler).  The President may keep the information secret, reveal it, or lie.

Special Election -- 3rd action with 7-10 players

The President publicly selects the next candidate for President.  After the special election (and any phases that would follow it), the candidacy returns to its normal turn order.

Execution -- 4th and 5th actions

The President selects a player to be executed.  If the player was Hitler, the moderator reveals this, and the Liberals win.  No other information is revealed.  The eliminated player cannot participate further, but will of course be recognized as a martyr for the cause if their team wins.

Veto Power -- 5th action

After the second execution, the Legislative phase changes.  The Chancellor may publicly decide to enact neither of the cards they are passed.  The President must publicly give the chancellor permission to do so, or refuse.  If the veto is used, none of the cards are revealed to other players, and this counts as a failed election.

Game End

If Hitler is executed, the Liberals win.
If 5 Liberal policies are enacted (of 6 in the deck), the Liberals win.
If 6 Fascist policies are enacted (of 11 in the deck), the Fascists win and Hitler rises to power.
If Hitler is elected Chancellor after three Fascist policies are enacted, the Fascists win.



Moderator text will be in red and usually in bold.

As with all games of this sort, Wheaton's Law applies at all times: Don't be a dick.  Private discussions or revelation of information, even between teammates, breaks the game and counts as being a dick.


(First post shamelessly stolen in its entirety from Kirian's Secret Hitler I)

This is a PBF of the new edition of Through the Ages. Three people are already signed up, this thread will sit here for at least 24 hours (but really mostly until I can be bothered to move on, heh) to give one more person a chance to sign up and join. The game will be run in a similar fashion to old PBFs, although unlike those I plan to just have one universal public document, and PM people their hands of military cards, since that seems easier to manage.

People who haven't played before are welcome to join - the rules can be found over on CGE's website, and samples of cards and stuff can be found on BoardGameGeek. However if you are curious, be forewarned that TtA is a pretty complex game, so you might need a bit of time to learn the rules (but don't worry - because it's a new edition you won't be at a significant disadvantage!)

Currently signed up:

Jack Rudd

I'm talking about ending on three piles, province depletion or colony depletion. Anyone got any numbers on it, or are able to check? I've looked at council room but can't see a way to check it on there.

Edit: For those curious about the thread that inspired this -

Help! / Big Money can't be dominant here... can it?
« on: April 28, 2015, 04:21:01 pm »

Kingdom: Moat, Village, Feast, Smithy, Spy, Throne Room, Council Room, Laboratory, Library, Market

Technically, this topic falls outside the board rules since I'm not providing an isotropic log to the game (sorry about that), but it still seems like the best place to post it. Anyway the BGG thread should give context - TC was asking about if anything can beat BM + Council Room on this board. Looking at the engine components you have - Village, Smithy, Throne Room, Lab, Market, it really feels to me like you should be able to manage something better. You do lack any kind of trashing or sifting, but you have extra actions, buys and draw, which means you have most of what an engine should need.

I did make a suggestion on how an engine could be built in the thread, but it didn't seem to get much interest - one person tested it and said it wasn't very effective. I doubt what I suggested was optimal, but I would at least think it should have a reasonable chance of working, so perhaps it needs adjusting?

Am I wrong? Is this really just a big money board? Or how can the engine work if not?

Rules & Player Aid (includes some basic hints to get started)

Game Document

In Amyitis the players are rival architects competing to earn the most prestige building one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The game is named after the daughter (or granddaughter) of Cyaxares, the king of the Medes, who married King Nebuchadnezzar II, ruler of Babylon. The myth says that Amytis' homesickness for the forested mountains of the Median Empire led to the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, as Nebuchadnezzar attempted to please her by planting the trees and plants of her homeland.

The players embody noble Babylonians in quest of prestige. All along the game, they strive to raise their status by building gardens and their irrigation network, and by trading and recruiting. At the end of the game, the player with the highest prestige is the winner.

In this game the players compete to build gardens, acquire plants, hire craftsmen, build irrigation and trade with ancient cities. Points can also be gained from building your palace and controlling the temples. On a turn the players chose one of the following actions: a) Recruit a craftsman, that grants an action (priest on temple, resource, irrigation or camel) b) Move the caravan (to purchase plant or court card or trade) c) Pass to potentially gain income. It is an interactive game where a player's actions directly affect the other players.

This is the first (and quite likely only) F.DS game on Amyitis. I don't have a huge amount to add, other than read the rules, and ask me about any queries relating to them (either here or in PM).

Players (order randomised):

If you think I can present anything better, please suggest it. I already want to know how to give tables fixed width because this information looks pretty cramped...

Current Player: Kirian

Caravan Location: Babylon
First player: Kirian
Round Number: 1
Garden tiles left: 16

Group 1Group 2Group 3


Link to game sheet

General Discussion / Awesome Games Done Quick 2015
« on: January 04, 2015, 03:07:34 pm »
Games Done Quick is a bi-annual charity gaming marathon. Volunteers play games at incredible speed ("Speedrunning") for entertianment. The event is streamed live online, non-stop, and all donations go directly to the charity. This is the winter event, with a summer event starting around July.

AGDQ this year started a few hours ago (as of the time of posting) and is continuing until the 11th, raising money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. You can find the stream here

If you're into gaming, I recommend checking it out, as I do most years. I've enjoyed the DK Tropical Freeze run and am looking forward to the Banjo Kazooie run, starting soon after I make this post. And there's a lot of other good games on the schedule.

Help! / Did I do something catastrophically bad on this engine board?
« on: June 05, 2014, 03:44:44 am »
No log, IRL game

Trade Route
Fishing Village


To me, this has basically all the makings of a good engine - Moneylender (and later Trade Route) for trashing, Fishing Village for +actions, three options for drawing, three options for +buy and a few attacks. Missing a good payload type card, but asides from that, it seems good. Witch's cursing made things interesting, but Trade Route was at least able to deal with the curses. However curses would definitely slow things down, especially combined with Margrave.

Game summary:

I have no doubt I got terrible luck in this game, but I still feel like I made mistakes, that if I hadn't, maybe I'd have still stood a chance. I've noted points I suspect may have been the most notable suboptimal plays with
  • - although any suggestions would be helpful.

Getting a majority of the Fishing Villages seemed important here as the only village, and so did winning the curse split. I decided to hedge my bets slightly and went for FV/Moneylender opening, and ended up getting 4/5 for a Smithy and Witch on T3-4. My opponent opened Trade Route/Moneylender (she's a lot less experienced in Dominion than me) and got a 3/5 T3-4 for Witch and a Fishing Village.

From there we did similar things, building up our decks with drawing cards, thinning down with Moneylender (and Trade Route in her case), throwing Witches at each other (no not literally). I decided to buy a Margrave with my first $6 [1], mainly because I wanted the extra buy. She got a second Witch ASAP (which wasn't that quickly actually, due to not having much money in deck), by which time I also had a Gold [2]. But as soon as she got that second Witch, my luck turned terrible. She managed on the next two turns to play both her Witches, drawing most of her deck each time. My Witch missed the reshuffle and came up once with a Moneylender with no actions left, on a turn I decided to take the money instead - I can't remember what I bought as a result, but I remember thinking it was important - probably to get one of the last FVs [3], and her first two Margrave plays ended up hitting my hands with nothing but good cards (I think the first Margrave she played I discarded two Fishing Villages and a Moneylender to, just to give you an idea) and I ended up losing the curse split 8-2 as a result. I bought a Trade Route in the middle of getting those curses, but my deck never actually managed to recover, I never managed to draw more than about half of my deck at once (it was around 25 cards with 5 FVs (she had the other 5) and ~6 Smithy/Margraves). I didn't buy any Embassys until very late in the game [4] but when I did, it was already over pretty much. Her Engine was buying Provinces every turn, mine was stuttering through and still trying to recover. I ended up losing something like 7-1 Provinces, plus her extra Duchies/Estates to my Curses.

[1] With no +buys in deck, was Margrave the right choice here? Should I have instead gone for, say, a second Witch or even an Embassy here, and picked up an extra buy from something like Trade Route/Woodcutter instead?
[2] Was a Gold the right choice? I was mostly at this point only getting money from FVs, Moneylender and Copper. It felt like I was usually not getting quite enough money, so went for the Gold. What might have been a better buy?
[3] This one's probably harder to judge since it's a tactical call, but play a Witch and probably not buy anything, or play Moneylender to get one more FV? I think I probably made the right choice on this one, as much as it sucked to make, but differing opinions would be nice to hear.
[4] Should I have grabbed an Embassy earlier in the game? Perhaps over my second Margrave? The silvers were definitely useful to her deck, due to being able to draw it all most turns and having fairly low money, but being able to sift through two more cards to find better things for me, maybe that'd have been better? I also like the attack and extra buy of Margrave here.

Those were my thoughts after the game. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I should have done differently?

Variants and Fan Cards / Psychic Bot
« on: March 17, 2014, 01:21:39 pm »
This is a half-baked idea I came up with after seeing Donald X talk about 'medium bots' in another thread.

What if there was a bot which knew the entire game state, including cards on it's deck, card in your hand etc. and made decisions based on it? It would still only be an AI, so it wouldn't play perfectly, but it might be able to be tailored to use it's information in certain ways, e.g. knowing if you can block an attack, or if Pirate Ship will hit or not, or what to Wishing Well for and other things. Obviously it'd 'unfair', but could it be fun to play against?

Dominion General Discussion / The disappearance of Big Money
« on: March 10, 2014, 07:19:30 pm »
I see this mentioned a lot nowadays, that Big Money is becoming less and less common, engines are now viable on more and more boards etc. All I can really ask is the simplest question: Why?

Is it to do with the newer expansions (Dark Ages and Guilds) having more cards which regularly enable engines far more than old sets (and with those two expansions covering close to 1/4 of the card pool, they'll often appear)? Or is it more related to the top level players simply getting more and more experienced at building engines in places people would have never thought it possible, and finding they're able to beat big money approaches more and more? Those would be my top two guesses, but what else is causing it? I haven't played much Dominion since Dark Ages came out (perhaps roughly 100-200 or so games, many of which were against the AI) so I'm not so experienced with the cards in those sets, nor the strategic development of the metagame (if you can call it as such).

Non-Mafia Game Threads / Village
« on: March 04, 2014, 11:03:33 am »
This is a PBF for the board game Village. The spreadsheet is found here:


Non-Mafia Game Threads / Flash Point Fire Rescue 3
« on: February 21, 2014, 12:06:29 pm »
Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a co-operative game. Players control a team of firefighters and have to rescue enough victims from a burning house while keeping the fire under control, before the house burns down.

The rules can be easily found through a google search. This game is for any number of players up to 6. We will be using this Google Doc as our board for the game. Updates will be posted in thread though. The game is also open to anyone - people experienced with the game and those who have never played alike.

Oh, and if anyone wants to play but is colourblind (or partially colourblind) just let me know and I can change the relevant colours around and/or use annotations as well as colour.

(Open Space)

These are the roles available to the players. Unless otherwise stated, all roles have 4 AP:
Generalist - (5AP)
Cafs Firefighter - (3AP), 3 free extinguish AP
Rescue Specialist - 1AP: Chop. 3 free movement AP. Extinguish costs double.
Imaging Technician - 1AP: Identify - flip a POI
Driver - 2AP: Use deck gun, may reroll dice
Hazmat Technician - 2AP: Dispose - remove Hazmat
Paramedic - 1AP: Treat - victim treated. Extinguish costs double.
Fire Captain - ?AP: Command - move another player. 2 free command AP.

Rules PDF

Still to decide: Difficulty and which house to use.

Advertisements / Bulwark - a co-operative deckbuilder
« on: February 20, 2014, 11:13:24 am »
A friend of mine has recently designed and published (and by recently, I mean it was actually about a year ago but he just published a new expansion, which kind of reminded me to talk about the game here) a co-operative deckbuilding game. I figured people here might be interested in it. The game is about building your deck up (unsurprisingly) and fighting enemies who are attacking whatever location you're defending.

Like Dominion, each game has a different setup - each player has their own Hero deck, starting with mostly the same cards ('Heroism', your basic currency plus three other weak cards depending on the Hero) plus a unique personal supply of cards, often built around some theme. For example, there's a cleric who doesn't have many options for attacking, but can rapidly clean out wounds (think ruins) from other players deck. On top of that, there's a location deck for the place you're defending, which usually contains 6 types of cards in the supply. And then there's the Foe deck, which contains the enemies who are attacking you. Some Foes are special and indicated with a crown - these are usually harder to defeat and/or have some nastier special abilities. Once you go through the entire Foe deck, you reshuffle all defeated crown foes and face them all at once, and if you defeat them all, you win. If ever the Wound deck is exhausted, or if everyone is killed, then the players lose.

Combining the abilities and powers in your location deck with the special abilities of your Hero, and tailoring purchases to the specific strengths and weaknesses of the foe deck while working with other players is the key to victory. And if that run-on sentence isn't enough to convince you there's a lot to think about, you can always turn the difficulty up with the game's adjustable difficulty settings.

The game plays in roughly 30-60 minutes I believe, depending on Foe deck and player count (some Foe decks are intentionally quicker or shorter than others). It's a fun game, and I think a good number of F.DSers might enjoy it as well.

Below is a quote from the designer, mainly on how to order and purchase, since I wasn't 100% sure on that myself :P.

The format is one 'base set', split into two products so it's not too big an outlay all at once - 'Bulwark' and 'The Winter of Death' together give you 4 heroes, 4 locations and 4 foes.

The other expansions are single decks, although they are released in waves with a common theme. They can be bought as pdfs.

'Travails of the Arcane'
- 'Magister Kelemen'
- 'Magistra Csenge'
- 'Jakab Startouched'
- 'The Tower of Secret Lore'
- 'The Arcane Messiah'

'Blood-Soaked Plains'
- 'Jedrzej the Hurler'
- 'Miksa's Redoubt'
- 'Traitor's Crossing'
- 'The Steppe Bandits'
- 'Fires of Fury'
- Extra Wounds

The principle differences from Dominion are things like the properly co-operative nature, and the player interaction it fosters. Fewer 'dead' cards is a thing, as well as money becoming less important as the game progresses, in favour of the ability to kill stuff. I also plays well as a solo game.

The main hub to buy/browse is at

Supporting material, such as rules and spoiler lists are at:

If people think it sounds interesting, I might be able to run a PBF if there's enough interest.

Non-Mafia Game Threads / Flash Point Fire Rescue 2
« on: January 14, 2014, 09:17:10 pm »
Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a co-operative game. Players control a team of firefighters and have to rescue enough victims from a burning house while keeping the fire under control, before the house burns down.

The rules can be easily found through a google search. This game is for any number of players up to 6. We will be using this Google Doc as our board for the game. Updates will be posted in thread though. The game is also open to anyone - people experienced with the game and those who have never played alike.

Still to be decided: Which house should be used, and what difficulty should be played on. The first game was played on Veteran in the harder house, and well you can see how that ended up. So want a rematch against it, something easier, or something harder? My initial suggestion would be stay on the same difficulty (Veteran), but change to the easier house.

Oh, and if anyone wants to play but is colourblind (or partially colourblind) just let me know and I can change the relevant colours around and/or use annotations as well as colour.


These are the roles available to the players. Unless otherwise stated, all roles have 4 AP:
Generalist - (5AP)
Cafs Firefighter - (3AP), 3 free extinguish AP
Rescue Specialist - 1AP: Chop. 3 free movement AP. Extinguish costs double.
Imaging Technician - 1AP: Identify - flip a POI
Driver - 2AP: Use deck gun, may reroll dice
Hazmat Technician - 2AP: Dispose - remove Hazmat
Paramedic - 1AP: Treat - victim treated. Extinguish costs double.
Fire Captain - ?AP: Command - move another player. 2 free command AP.

Rules PDF

General Discussion / Awesome Games Done Quick 2014
« on: January 05, 2014, 03:37:39 pm »
For all you video game fans out there.

AGDQ 2014 is a charity gaming marathon to raise money for Prevent Cancer Foundation. The event is all about taking popular (and sometimes obscure but always entertaining) games and beating them in ludicrously fast speeds, all to raise money for charity. The event started about 3 hours before this post was made and runs all the way through to the 11th (and possibly longer on a bonus stream).

I would encourage all video game fans to at least check it out, look at the schedule to see if any games you like are there, and donate if you feel so inclined.

Variants and Fan Cards / Convince me this is a bad idea
« on: December 22, 2013, 01:11:28 pm »
Action/Treasure - $4P
At the start of your buy phase, you may put this on top of your deck

(Clarification: If you play this as an action, it still produces the treasure value)

So I kind of accidentally stumbled into this idea while thinking through things that would be possible with a Potion price that wouldn't be possible otherwise (like Alchemist). I initially was just trying to make a flat +$4 treasure, decided it was boring, thought about how I could do something with Alchemy's action theme, decided giving some bonus if there were actions left might work, realised that would be awkward to word, though about playing it... as an action, and suddenly realised I'd managed to stumble into an action/treasure that existed because it wanted to run on both types, not a card which was shoehorned into having both types because "wouldn't it be cool?"

And now I kind of feel two things. Firstly I feel like it works. But secondly I feel like there's some glaring flaws which I'm not seeing. I mean more than just maybe the numbers are not quite right. It could easily become +$4 or +$2 and/or go up to $5P or down to $3P. I mean it feels like there's something more problematic, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Forum Game Awards / Non-mafia games awards - Nominations
« on: December 08, 2013, 04:44:36 pm »
As with the mafia games awards, nominations are now open for non-mafia games. Props to Ashersky whose format (and often text) I'm liberally copying.

Here are the categories:

Game-based categories
Non-Mafia Game of the year
Best conversion into PBF format
Best game Flavour
Best in-game moment
Mod of the year

Player-based categories
Best play/action of the year
Best player performance in a single game
Most enjoyable gamer
Non-Mafia player of the year

Derp of the year

Please use the submission form at the bottom of this post to submit nominations.

Here is a quick run down of each award, to help you in nominating:

Non-Mafia game of the year: The game which you feel was the most entertaining game, for whatever reason.

Best conversion into PBF format: The game whose conversion from another format into a PBF (Play By Forum) game was the best. This includes any external resources (e.g. spreadsheets or images) made for the game.

Best game Flavour: Any flavour created for a game beyond that which is default to a game. This includes flavour created by a mod, and that provided by players.

Best in-game moment: A short instance or series of events which you would like to highlight. If possible, please include links to the relevant section of the game nominated

Mod of the year: This award is for the best mod of the year.  Nominations should take into account not just game creation, but also responsiveness, accuracy, availability to players, and creativity.

Best play/action of the year: The most clever, ingenious or otherwise noteworthy action(s) by a player in a game. Please include links if possible.

Best player performance in a single game: Any single player's performance in any game.

Most entertaining player: The gamer who makes games most enjoyable or entertaining for whatever reasons.

Non-Mafia player of the year: The overall most successful player in the Non-Mafia section across all games.

Derp of the year: ...Wait, did I really make that play? OOOPS... You may only nominate something YOU did for this award

Sending nominations:

Please use this form and send me a message to nominate for awards.

Non-Mafia Game of the year:
Best conversion into PBF format:
Best game Flavour:
Best in-game moment:
Mod of the year:
Player-based categories:
Best play/action of the year:
Best player performance in a single game:
Most enjoyable gamer:
Non-Mafia player of the year:
Derp of the year:

Just list names/games/links next to each category.  There is no limit to how many nominations you can submit per award, but please limit your PMs to me.  Only your latest PM will be counted, so if you want to change or update your nominations, send me a new, full PM.

I do NOT need justifications for any of these at this time.  Once I parse the nominations and decide on finalists, I may reach out to nominators for descriptions if I am not familiar with something.

Discussion in this thread should be restrained to discussion of eligibility for awards, criteria, and clarifications.

Do NOT post nominations or ideas for who should be nominated in this thread.  They will be deleted.

Nominations will close 15th December @ 23:59pm. Nominations after this point may not be considered.

Non-Mafia Game Threads / Can't Stop
« on: November 28, 2013, 09:04:51 pm »
This is such a simple game it barely needs moderating and it's easy to learn and play, but thanks to the dice rolling on the forum it should be easy enough to PBF as well. And it's not the most serious of games but it can be competitive, so there's that.

It's one of those iconic games that's actually surprisingly good (apparently) but it's one I've never played so I want to fix that.

Rather than trying to explain the rules I'll just point at this review on BGG which has a "Flow of Play" section explaining the rules well enough.

Anyone interested?

Forum Game Awards / Non-mafia Games Awards 2013 - The Categories
« on: September 20, 2013, 04:33:32 pm »
After some discussion, we've decided to hold an Awards ceremony for the Non-Mafia games in addition to the Mafia games awards that were already ongoing. I've stepped up as the organiser for this, because my moderator application was so strong nobody else seemed interested and I'm pretty involved in the Non-Mafia forum games, so hopefully I can run a smooth, exciting set of awards.

But of course, no awards ceremony would be complete without some categories to nominate people for. I'm mostly going to try and follow the schedule Ashersky sets out for the mafia awards, which means these are currently just categories, and nominations are not yet open, however suggestions for additions or alterations to the awards will certainly be considered.

Game-based categories
Non-Mafia Game of the year
Best conversion into PBF format
Best game Flavour
Best in-game moment
Mod of the year

Player-based categories
Best play/action of the year
Best player performance in a single game
Most enjoyable gamer
Non-Mafia player of the year

As no Non-Mafia games awards have ever been given, all games in the Non-Mafia games section which have ended by the time Nominations open will be eligible.

The topic categories will be explained in more detail later on, but here's a brief description of each award currently:

Game-based categories
Non-Mafia Game of the year - The overall most entertaining, enjoyable or otherwise interesting game which has been played.
Best conversion into PBF format - The game whose PBF conversion is overall the most enjoyable, well made, well presented etc.
Best game Flavour - The game which had the best flavour beyond any generic flavour given by the game.
Best in-game moment - A single instance, or short series of instances, which was a real highlight of the Non-Mafia games over the year, for whatever reason.
Mod of the year - The mod who has overall done the best job of running games this year.

Player-based categories
Best play/action of the year - An action or short sequence of actions taken by a player which was notably impressive.
Best player performance in a single game - Which player really stood out among the crowd in a single game due to their play?
Most enjoyable gamer - The gamer who makes games the most enjoyable, perhaps due to being a good sport, entertaining posts or other reasons.
Non-Mafia player of the year - The gamer who has really excelled in their games during this year, and really stood out for their play.

Finally, as a reminder: Nothing here is set in stone. By suggestion, things can and will be changed.

Dominion: Guilds Previews / A few other interactions I've spotted
« on: September 06, 2013, 01:11:05 pm »
Just played a few games of Dominion (something I hadn't done for a while, actually) and realised, Guilds adds lots of subtle counters and combos that I'd have never thought of before. I'm making this thread here because I suspect most have already been mentioned, but ah well.

1) Herald vs. Ghost Ship

This one isn't just a flat 'you go Ghost Ship, I counter with Herald' strategy, but it makes building an action based deck in the face of Ghost Ship more consistent. The basic idea is that if you have Herald + another action in hand when an opponent plays Ghost Ship, you can just put that second action back as the second card from top, and something else on top. Herald will draw the first card, and play the second, seriously reducing the damage Ghost Ship deals (it kind of makes your turn act as though you started with 4 cards and 2 actions). Like I said - not a hard counter. But if an engine looks viable outside of Ghost Ship, Herald makes it likely still viable.

2) Coin tokens and Contraband

Contraband is typically only a nice engine card when there's good stuff at multiple high price points - e.g. other desirable $6 cards, perhaps $7 cards and the like. That way if you play a Contraband and Gold gets blocked, you can still buy e.g. a Hunting Party. Or if Wharf is blocked, you can still grab a Margrave. Coin tokens have a similar effect, but spanning price points. got 3 coin tokens and played a Contraband? Your opponent can block Province, which you could have probably afforded, but instead you get to still save your Coin tokens as you grab a Gold/Duchy/other. Opponent blocked that key $5 when you had only two coppers in hand? Pop a coin token, get a Gold instead. The key thing is that 'money smoothing' effect still plays into Contraband, but in a very different way. Typically if your opponent blocks a key card, you just lose out as a result - buy a $5 instead of the desired Gold, or get a Gold with your $8 when you wanted a Province. With coin tokens, the same thing happens - but you keep (some of) the extra money for later, seriously reducing the loss.
As with the above, I don't think this is a 'Contraband is a power $5 in games with coin tokens' type interaction, but rather, when coin tokens are available, Contraband is a little more worth considering than without them.

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