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Dominion General Discussion / Would you buy Dominion Collector's Edition?
« on: February 05, 2019, 10:30:08 am »
I've been following along with the Kickstarter campaign for the Suburbia Collector's Edition (

It got me thinking about a Dominion version.  One big box with everything.  Improved art (bleeding edge instead of borders?) and production quality.  A comprehensive rulebook.  Maybe oversized landscape cards.  Suburbia is doing 20 player colors for an extra price...not sure that is a huge deal in Dominion, but you get the idea.

If Suburbia can do US$1,000,000 and counting, Dominion should do pretty well.  However the one big problem is the price point.  I'm guessing it'd have to be in the ballpark of $500.  Would you buy it?

Dominion General Discussion / How many games have you played?
« on: November 22, 2016, 11:20:10 am »
I'm curious about the number of plays of Dominion that we each have.  I think most of our plays are either isotropic, Goko/MF, and IRL.  Perhaps some have a few on BSW or on Androminion, and maybe there are others.  If it helps, here's a link to the final isotropic leaderboard:

Here are my current counts:

IRL:  258 (per my BGG plays log)
MF:  1715
Iso:  2458
BSW: 10 (estimated)
Androminion:  300 (estimated)

Total:  4,741

Okay, time to pick a winner.

You have three days to select the winner of this matchup.  (Voting will end sometime Thursday.)  Use whatever criteria you like to select the "greater" card/event of the two.

4 Teacher (d. #29 Lost Arts 24-4, #20 Inheritance 17-10, #28 Disciple 17-7, #1 Champion 15-14)
3 Donate (d. #30 Colony 25-3, #19 Tournament 26-1, #6 Goons 17-7, #2 King's Court 16-13)

Also, here is the third-place match.  Pick a winner here too, if you'd like:

1 Champion (d. #32 Artificer 28-0, #17 Ambassador 21-6, #9 City Quarter 12-12, lost to #4 Teacher 15-14)
2 King's Court (d. #31 Princess 26-2, #15 Possession 27-0, #10 Chapel 17-7, lost to #3 Donate 16-13)

Because I'm apparently bad at counting, even though we have four cards left, we are at the FINALS.  So after the Finals, we will have the Actual Finals and then have a winner.

Champion and City Quarter tied 12-12 in the last round.  Based on more votes in previous rounds, Champion has advanced.  Also, it was a good run for the Cinderella story, #28 Disciple but now we are down to the top four seeds.

You have three days to select the winner of each of these matchups.  (Voting will end sometime Thursday.)  Use whatever criteria you like to select the "greater" card/event of the two.

1 Champion (d. #32 Artificer 28-0, #17 Ambassador 21-6, #9 City Quarter 12-12)
4 Teacher (d. #29 Lost Arts 24-4, #20 Inheritance 17-10, #28 Disciple 17-7)

3 Donate (d. #30 Colony 25-3, #19 Tournament 26-1, #6 Goons 17-7)
2 King's Court (d. #31 Princess 26-2, #15 Possession 27-0, #10 Chapel 17-7)

You have three days to select the winner of each of these matchups.  (Voting will end sometime Thursday.)  The 8 winners in the Semifinal Round have advanced.

Post your 4 winners in a list.  Use whatever criteria you like to select the "greater" card/event of the two.

1 Champion (d. Ambassador 21-6)
9 City Quarter (d. Mountebank 14-13)

4 Teacher (d. Inheritance 17-10)
28 Disciple (d. Madman 22-5)

6 Goons (d. Wharf 24-3)
3 Donate (d. Tournament 26-1)

10 Chapel (d. Fortune 18-9)
2 King's Court (d. Possession 27-0)

You have three days to select the winner of each of these matchups.  (Voting will end sometime Sunday.)  The 16 winners in the Preliminary Round have advance.  There were two ties--I chose the winner of each tie.  Yes, I gave myself that kind of power.   ???  I'll try to time the end of future rounds with an odd number of votes.

Just post the 8 winners in a list please, with any commentary outside of your list.  Use whatever criteria you like to select the "greater" card/event of the two.

1 Champion (d. Artificer 28-0)
17 Ambassador (d. Trusty Steed 15-13)

8 Mountebank (d. Prince 25-3)
9 City Quarter (d. Salt The Earth 25-3)

4 Teacher (d. Lost Arts 24-4)
20 Inheritance (d. Mercenary 16-12)

28 Disciple (d. Cultist 14-14)
21 Madman (d. Rebuild 17-11)

11 Wharf (d. Pathfinding 15-13)
6 Goons (d. Black Market 26-2)

19 Tournament (d. Dominate 16-12)
3 Donate (d. Colony 25-3)

10 Chapel (d. Scout 26-2)
7 Fortune (d. Scrying Pool 15-13)

15 Possession (d. Followers 14-14)
2 King's Court (d. Princess 26-2)

You have three days to select the winner of each of these matchups.  (Voting will end sometime Wednesday night.)  There were 31 cards nominated, so I picked a 32nd to fill out the bracket.  Seeding of cards tied for nominating votes was done randomly.  Just post the 16 winners in a list please, with any commentary outside of your list.  Use whatever criteria you like to select the "greater" card/event of the two.

1 Champion
32 Artificer

16 Trusty Steed
17 Ambassador

8 Mountebank
25 Prince

9 City Quarter
24 Salt The Earth

4 Teacher
29 Lost Arts

13 Mercenary
20 Inheritance

5 Cultist
28 Disciple

12 Rebuild
21 Madman

11 Wharf
22 Pathfinding

6 Goons
27 Black Market

14 Dominate
19 Tournament

3 Donate
30 Colony

10 Chapel
23 Scout

7 Fortune
26 Scrying Pool

15 Possession

2 King's Court
31 Princess

Dominion General Discussion / The Greatest Card -- NOMINATIONS OPEN
« on: October 21, 2016, 08:32:48 am »
Please see this thread:

Then list here up to ten cards you think are contenders for "The Greatest Card".  Define that however you'd like.  My original thought was "when I play this card (or buy this event), I know I'm significantly improving the chances that I win this game" but others have suggested the card you'd most like to have along with your ten starting cards, and others still submit that the card's cost should be a factor (strength relative to cost, so something like Chapel is in the discussion.)  I think that last one might infringe on Qvist's master rankings a bit, but again, define it how you'd like.  The top 8 or 16 nominees will get seeded into a bracket and we'll get a champion that way.   ;D

Dominion General Discussion / The Greatest Card
« on: October 20, 2016, 10:55:31 pm »
Something I've been thinking about...which individual card is the most powerful?  To be clear, I'm not trying to infringe on Qvist's outstanding effort to rank.  I'm talking any card in the game.  Off the top of my head, here are the candidates:

King's Court

Am I missing anything else?  Anything that has no business on the list above?  (I'm looking at you, Princess.)

If there is interest in this topic, maybe we'll do a nomination round, vote for the top 8 or 16, then do a little head-to-head playoff.

Rules Questions / Disciple + Overlord
« on: September 11, 2016, 06:02:51 pm »
I play Disciple then choose Overlord.  I choose Stables as the card for Overlord.

1.  Both plays of Overlord are Stables, correct?  I can't choose something different for the second play.

2.  The card I gain due to the Disciple:  Overlord or Stables?

In this thread, I'll recap my experience at the 2016 WBC Dominion tournament.  Please join in with comments and strategies for each of the kingdoms in the event.

For the 7th straight year, I played in the Dominion tournament at the World Boardgaming Championships.  The event runs for four rounds.  Players are randomly sorted into tables of four (yes, four-player games) to play a pair of games with predetermined kingdoms.  These kingdoms are not revealed by the Game Master until players are seated for the round.  Order of play is reversed in game 2.  Advancement points (AP) are awarded for 1st (8 ), 2nd (5), 3rd (2), and 4th (0) place finishes, and all players are ranked by AP after each round (with round VP as tiebreaker).  A certain number advance to repeat the process until a final four finish things up the same way.  I've done pretty well in this event.  We typically have 90-130 players, and I've been 1st, 5th, 4th, and 2nd the last four years.

Due to a varying degrees of familiarity with the game and number of copies available, players were given an option in the opening round--play Base only or Base+Prosperity.  I suspect the competition is softer on the Base only side, but I love Prosperity so I opted for that this year.  A table next to me had the 2013, 2014, and 2015 champs, and the unluckiest guy in the building in the fourth seat!

Here's game 1.  A bit later I'll share what happened at my table and then post the next game.

Preliminary Round Game 1 (Base + Prosperity option)
2 Cellar
3 Trade Route, Village
4 Monument, Spy, Talisman
5 Contraband, Council Room, Library, Vault

I’ve played about 25 games now, about half recommended sets from the rulebook and the rest full random with a weighting toward Empires, most games including 2-3 Empire cards and 2 total Events & Landmarks.  Having played a few games with each card, I thought this was a good time for my first impressions.
First, I believe this set increases the complexity more than any other set thus far.  Yes, even Dark Ages and Adventures.  Granted, these sets I’m playing are designed to promote certain synergies.  But these games have felt more like a real brain burn than others I’ve played.  Each decision seems much more crucial with more room to make big, or even game-deciding, errors at every turn.
They’ve also been the most fun I’ve had playing with new cards at least since Prosperity, and maybe ever.  Yes, Adventures player tokens and the introduction of events were serious paradigm shifts, and maybe it’s a fallacy of perception coming from recency, but considerations in these games have not just been about how to get to $8 or how to get the big turn.  They’ve been about how to race for VP tokens while not setting back the engine building too much, or the timing of a crucial event, or the management of debt, or even to get not the big turn, but the super mega turn.  So far, so much fun.
First, some highlights of some of the games:
The One Where the Magic Villa Does Its Thing
1 Poor House
2 Crossroads
4 Pirate Ship, Villa, Worker’s Village
5 Charm, Graverobber, Groundskeeper, Legionary, Wild Hunt
Defiled Shrine, Wolf Den
I won this one, 53-42.  I stumbled across the power of Villa accidentally on this one.  I had Crossroads, Worker’s Villages, Wild Hunts, and Groundskeepers (2+ of everything of course) and one time with some extra buys two Poor Houses.  *light bulb*  Go to buy phase, play all the money, buy Villa, go back to Action phase and play all the Poor Houses.  I felt stupid for not seeing it sooner.  Also Crossroads and Groundskeeper like each other quite a bit.
The One Where Overlord Proved His Value
<8> Overlord
2 Courtyard
3 Scheme, Steward
4 Farming Village, Marauder, Noble Brigand, Nomad Camp, Talisman
5 Minion
Inheritance, Tomb
I lost this one, 70-59.  We both used Steward to get rid of all 10 opening cards.  We both went heavy Overlord, since it seemed so flexible on this setup.  I only got 3, as I was adding other cheap parts like FV and Courtyard.  My opponent got 7 of them.  I had the early jump, once using Overlord as a Marauder and using that Spoils to get the first Platinum.  However, the Overlord edge was crucial.  Overlord as Minion for money and then for draw, as Steward to finish off the trashing, as Nomad Camp for the +Buy.  I bought the third-to-last Colony with a slight lead.  My opponent had $15 or something next turn and went Platinum/Gold, and I couldn’t just go Colony with $11 because he likely to have $19+ and beat me with Colony/Province.  I had $13 and went Province/Duchy and volleyed it back like that for a turn but he got his $22 and that was that.
The One Where My Opponent Missed the Key Combo
3 Oracle
4 Procession, Spice Merchant, Ironworks, Treasure Map, Sacrifice
5 Groundskeeper, Mandarin, Laboratory, Tactician
Ritual, Lost Arts
I won, 43-19.  Lost Arts on Oracle was the difference.  It was interesting to see Groundskeeper muted by the lack of much in the way of +Buy.  Sacrifice was helpful early; while it trashes a bit slowly, the benefit more than makes up for it.  And Ritual was an excellent consolation prize for sub-8 turns in the late game.
The One Where I Overbid and Got Crushed
2 Chapel, Fool’s Gold, Stonemason
3 Castles
4 Coppersmith
5 Cartographer, Horn of Plenty, Torturer, Tribute
7 Bank
Seaway, Mountain Pass
Ugh, 99-43.  I made so many mistakes.  My Chapel missed the shuffle, never a good sign.  I got distracted by Castles, probably a bad idea in most Colony/Platinum games, and probably even worse when your opponent is buying Tributes.  I spent most of the rest of the game buying Silver with $4.  I shoved a couple Cartographers into my deck but they didn’t help much.  I slowed myself down further with a <12> bid for Mountain Pass after he bought the first province.  Three turns lost and I never recovered.  My opponent had Tribute clicking away with money and a couple Torturers and Cartographers for good measure.
The One Where Ritual Slowed Us to a Crawl
2 Native Village
3 Caravan Guard, Enchantress, Fortune Teller, Lookout
4 Remodel, Scavenger, Treasure Map, Sacrifice
5 Tribute
Banquet, Ritual
I led 50-34 with one Province left when my opponent resigned.  Sacrifice, Silver, and Gold were most of my buys, with a couple NVs and a Tribute or two.  One early NV parked an Estate for me, and the next couple plays were just Enchantress spoilers, leaving it parked while I Sacrificed the other Estates and Coppers.  I had 3 or 4 Golds before I got to $8, then shifted to an end-game mode of $8 for Province, or $4 for Ritual, chewing up Gold, Silver, and even Province.  My opponent cluttered himself up with Fortune Teller (cycling for me especially in the midgame with no Victory cards) and Caravan Guard (clearly a mistake IMO).  By the end I only had $8 left in my deck and was just consuming the rest of it with Ritual, and 26 of my points were tokens.  Perhaps it would’ve been closer had we played it out as I would’ve had to scrounge up some more money, but it likely would’ve been quite a few more turns.
The One Where the Chariot Races were Rigged
3 Chariot Race, Develop, Fortune Teller, Oracle, Storeroom
4 Magpie, Walled Village
5 Charm, Inn, Merchant Ship
Bandit Fort
I win, 36-28.  Any game with Bandit Fort forces you to evaluate how you are going to get spending power.  Merchant Ship seems nice, and so does Charm (basically an overpriced Silver in this one).  However, I went Chariot Race.  In order to win them reliably, I grabbed a couple early Magpies which of course multiply quickly and increased the density of $4+ cards in my deck.  After a couple Inns and WV for +Actions, I added some Oracles to impact what is on top of my opponent’s deck and used Develop to impact what was on mine.  This edge was sufficient against WV/Merchant Ship, although it still wasn’t extremely fast.  With BF in play, I’m not sure there is something significantly faster.
The One Where Ironmonger Owns Saboteur
2 Peasant, Raze, Settlers/Bustling Village
3 Loan, Caravan Guard (bane)
4 Death Cart, Ironmonger, Young Witch
5 Capital, Graverobber, Saboteur
A 28-12 win for me.  Probably no surprise here, where Saboteur is held in a well-deserved amount of disdain, that it didn’t work.  But my opponent who opened 2/5 couldn’t resist.  I opened Ironmonger/Peasant, and had his Saboteur hit my Ironmonger before the first play of it, I could’ve been in trouble.  But that didn’t happen, and I loaded up on Caravan Guards to benefit from Saboteur and to take a lot of bullets, and while my first Peasant didn’t survive to old age, the second one made it to Teacher, dropped a +1 card on Ironmonger, and that was all she wrote.  Ferry got ignored; I wanted to make it work but I couldn’t see how to do so.
The One Where I Bought the Same Event 24 Times
<8> City Quarter
1 Poor House
2 Fool’s Gold, Encampment/Plunder, Settlers/Bustling Village
3 Market Square, Castles
4 Feodum
5 Haggler, Laboratory
I won 79-63.  The combo jumps right out—Delve+Feodum.  Get all the Silver you can each turn for a discount rate.  I bought one Haggler early, and a couple Market Squares.  Otherwise it was Feodum and Delve.  I went Feodum earlier and won the split 5-3.  After that it was just Silver for me until they were gone, and then Province.  My opponent dabbled with Laboratory and Encampment/Plunder.  I tried to help on Encampment/Plunder for the three-pile, but he put a couple Encampments back so I gave up on that.  My 40-15 Feodum scoring edge advantage was basically insurmountable.

Next, some random thoughts on some of the new Events:

Advance – Will be a key part in some of the empty-the-supply challenges, and is of course a Ruins killer.

Banquet – Meh.  Bought it a couple times to get to 10 Coppers for Fountain, but it will always take a Copper-friendly deck, a setup with lots of trashing, or a crucial $5 to get a second glance in most games.

Delve – Game-changing by its mere presence, similar to Colony/Platinum.  The anti-engine card will force you to consider if your plan is fast enough against this accelerator.

Dominate – I understand why we didn't get a 15 VP Victory card named Continent or whatever--this is a clever way to pull it off.  Such a fun event to just build an entire plan aimed at it.

Donate – Just one play with this so far, and it will take more before I feel confident with how to best use it.  My opponent pulled the trigger on Turn 4, even keeping a couple Coppers; I waited until Turn 7 when I had a better deck remaining.  My way worked better in our particular setup, and he desperately bought it again around Turn 11 but it was too late.

Ritual – Has been heavily used in each game I played with it, significantly changing the midgame and endgame.

Salt the Earth – I haven't used this yet, but like most others, I think this card looks like a lot of fun.  I once envisioned a way to extend the game (something that adds 2 Provinces to the supply or something like that).  This is the opposite of that and absolutely impacts the player who builds the one-big-turn engine.

Tax – I want this to apply more tax than it costs, but I'm confident that the playtesters must've tried that out.  Obviously it can be important in games with divergent strategies; I had a game where I crippled my opponent who was collecting Castles while I was ignoring them.

Triumph – Love this card.  If you can sync up some gains and +Buys, this can pay off big.

A bit about some of the Landmarks.  All in all, I find these very intriguing.  The days of 27-27 ties are over:

Bandit Fort – Forces everybody to alt-money, which can cause some identical strategies, which is never good.

Defiled Shrine – I've played with this 3 or 4 times already.  Around 12-14 tokens made it over there each game; I've seen the first Curse buy as early as 4 VP and as late as 8.

Fountain – Trash and forego the 15?  Trash and try to get them back late?  Just keep them all?  And what if there are no plus buys, when (and if?) do you spend 3 turns buying Copper that are basically worth 5 VP each?  Lots of decisions which is at the heart of Dominion.

Obelisk – Like Bandit Fort, this can force some similar or identical strategies.

Orchard – Sets of 3 seem to be valued just right at 4 VP.  Cards you normally want 1 or 2 of?  It may or may not be worth it to spend time and money to complete the set.

Palace – Also valued very well.  It makes a decision to balance your engine building with a little more treasure than you'd normally like a bit more difficult.

Tomb – Players want to trash anyway, so I've found it to be not that impactful in the games I've played with it.

Wall – I want this to be an interesting Landmark, but I'm not sure yet.  I've played one game with it, and it forced both of us to try to manage our deck size but in the end, the 1 or 2 card difference had no effect on determining the winner.

And finally, here’s my current rundown of card strength:
Weak to Meh

Bustling Village – Has not been important to a strategy for me yet.  I’m sure +3 Actions may be in some set up, but until then it belongs in the bottom group.
Gladiator – Man, I want to like this card.  A $3 that provides $2 is usually a solid start, but it’s terminal and the extra benefit, while often reliable, is just $1.  Timing the ability of trashing the last Gladiator to get to the Fortune isn’t easy, and you have to have $8 that turn to grab the first one.
Emporium – The on-gain bonus feels like it should be important, but as yet I haven’t seen it be so.  A Market without the +Buy and 2 VP (one time) is rarely going to be a good $5 option in the mid-to-late game when these are exposed.
Rocks – I haven’t seen one played yet.  I get that they are good for Catapulting, but there has just been something better to do in each game I played that they were part of.
Settlers – I might be wrong about this card, as I have seen it work very well once when I didn’t contest it.  My opponent got most of these and most of the BVs with a +$1 token and I couldn’t beat that.  But it just hasn’t excited me as yet.
Temple – The point is nice, and the trashing is slow without benefit unless you want to buy some more Temples later, and then what do you do with them in the midgame and late game?

Middle of the Road

Catapult – A $3 trasher is always solid, but it always feels a little wrong to catapult an Estate, because apparently those don’t hurt at all when they land on you.  A Silver gainer makes these more interesting, but lacking that, well, trashing Copper one at a time is a bit slow even with the attack.  One note:  the discard-to-3 attacks haven’t hurt much in my Empires games.  It could be that with 5 Empires cards in the game, often strong, that a hand of 3 selected from 5 still has some solid power.
Enchantress – While the attack can occasionally be annoying, it more often is easily neutralized.  However, the +2 Cards on the following turn will sometimes pay off.  Get a couple in play, then take a turn with a 9-card hand similar to a Tactician turn.  It can kick things off for you.
Farmers’ Market – In a high-scoring game with Castles or Colonies this may not be too valuable.  But if you have the +Actions, this can be a piece that both provides the cash and some non-deck clogging VP.  String five plays together in a big engine and +$10 +4 VP +5 Buys might be huge.  Without the +Actions, it’s pretty ignorable.
Plunder – The +1 VP is only good if you can play it often enough to make a difference, and you can’t get these early most of the time.  OTOH, hanging on to your Encampments is huge.
Wild Hunt – It has the set’s obligatory drawing power, and you get to play a bit of a game of chicken as to when to blink and forego the cards for the points.  It’s a fun card, and crucial to handsize in a game without other gainers, but it’s also a Smithy in disguise that costs more.
Good to Strong in the Right Setup

Chariot Race – For just $3, worst case you cantrip and no harm, no foul.  However, when you win the race, the extra $1 can be important early and the +1 VP adds up over several plays.  The tricky part is that if you can win Chariot Races, you already have a better deck.  Chariot Race does open up getting some victory cards early when that matters (the split, Opulent Castle, Battlefield) without suffering so much from the clog.
Charm – Sometimes Charm is a $5 Silver with a +Buy.  And sometimes it gains you a card you didn’t really want or need all that much.  Yet it still can be an important component.  Engines get built faster when you are getting two pieces at a time.  And +Buys are always good, especially on Treasure cards, to help one threaten or control three-piling.
Engineer – This can help you jumpstart your collection of the smaller pieces of an early engine.  It can be quite helpful if you are trying to win a split, or to clear off the fifth card in a split pile in order to be first to buy the sixth card.  In the occasional $5/$2 split open with a strong $5 and an Engineer, and you are quickly putting things together.
Forum – I’ve played with this maybe 5 times, and I think it was basically ignored thrice.  However, it was crucial in the other 2.  I believe we can declare it King of the Sifters, and with strong combos in play, sifting can be the trigger for the mega-turn.  The more rapid deck cycling and the opportunity to put, say, Crown and City Quarter in your hand together is yet another game-accelerator.
Groundskeeper – Chain these up and buy a bunch of Victory cards.  Seems simple, right?  Well, you’re going to need a source of +Buy.  And some additional, cheap green like Tunnel or Great Hall helps as well.  Without that, the extra point or two that comes from the times you have them in play *might* tip the scales in a 4-4 Province split.  But with Landmarks, the 28-27 or 25-24 games are going to be more and more rare.  And it’s tougher to get that 4-4 split when you are using your $5 Buys on a cantrip.
Patrician – I’ve had one game in which these were valuable for my deck.  A $2 Laboratory sounds great.  But you need a deck heavy with $5+ cards, and if you have that you are probably already winning.  With the right +Buys and trashing, it can be a draw your deck card.  Without it, it can be ignored.
Important Most of the Time

Castles – I’ve played one game where Castles were ignored.  Wall was in play, and Castles work best when you have a lot of them.  Otherwise, there are some key jockeying points that can swing the game.  The $5 Small Castle could pay off later, but do you really want to expose Haunted Castle for your opponent?  Opulent Castle is good if you are heavily green or drawing a lot, but then you may be handing off a Sprawling Castle.  King’s Castle?  It often sits until somebody has $19 and 2 buys in my limited experience, as it is rarely better to spend $9 for the Grand Castle and expose the big dog versus just getting a Province for $8.
City Quarter – Obviously, you need an action-heavy deck to make this worthwhile.  But also, you want an action-heavy deck more-and-more often as Dominion expands.  The days of Big Money, or Big Money + One Key Piece being the right strategy on 10 or 20% of kingdoms are gone.  Get two or three of these and end up with your deck in your hand a few moments later.  This also lets you build a heavy-terminal deck because you can pretty much always add another CQ when you need to.
Legionary – A $5 that provides $3 is always worthy of consideration.  Add to that an interesting, brutal attack and you have a card you shouldn't ignore often.  The twist is that the attack usually hurts more early, but that it doesn't get triggered often in the first 7 or 8 turns.  The nice design feature is that not only doesn't it stack, but more than one hit actually helps the player being attacked.
Royal Blacksmith – I mean, +5 Cards.  If you have had some early trashing, this is better than a Hunting Grounds.  It can be a key piece in a draw-your-deck engine.  If you are lacking +Actions or +Buys, however, it is slightly less powerful.
Strong & Flexible

Archive – A new power 5, and while I only have a few plays, I’d suggest it is a contender for the top spot.  Own a few and play one—you’ll choose one of three to replace it in your hand, possibly another Archive, then repeat.  Now you have a hand made up of all cards you want, especially those that work well together.  For the next two turns, you’ve either got junk parked out of the way or more good stuff coming.  Your hand size grows rapidly, and the improvement to your deck is exponential.
Capital – This is a card you have to consider each time it is in play.  I initially thought it may be weak (I get 6 but then I owe 6 right away?  And I have to pay 5 to buy the card?) but I was wrong.  It basically turns every card into a debt card.  Grab one or two early to add key expensive parts, then a few late in a big engine deck to create a huge final turn with debt that will never be repaid.
Crown – Crown is just intoxicating.  I’m not sure if it is the functionality or the pretty white/yellow striping.  Actually I think it is for all the painful times we’ve drawn Throne Room and King’s Court dead, Crown makes it all better.  There are very few decks in which a Crown isn’t helpful.  Two types can be useful for cards that care about that.
Encampment – I’m ready to put this in the top tier of $2 cards—probably #4 behind only Chapel, Page, and Peasant.  There are two different kinds of Encampment buys—those where you expect to be able to get multiple plays out of it because of your Gold/Plunder density, and those where it is likely you will only get one play.  For the former, it is a no-brainer.  Without the restriction, it is probably worth about $7—quite a bargain at $2.  For the latter, it really works when using leftover buys and money.  A $7 & 2 Buys turn in the early to midgame?  One Gold or an Archive and a one-shot Encampment?  I’m taking Door #2 most of the time.  String a couple together and get a relatively early big turn, which can sometimes propel you to an insurmountable lead.
Overlord – The flexibility of this card should not be underrated.  On any setup with a nice blend of +Actions, +Cards, and +Money, this card can be your entire standalone strategy.  You can literally skip everything else until you start greening.  If we rank this with the $6+ cards, I’d put it at #2 behind only King’s Court.
Sacrifice – The top five rated $4s are Remake, Tournament, Ironmonger, JoaT, and Magpie.  I’m not sure this cracks that group, but it’s probably in the next five.  Early, chew up the coppers for extra buying power and Estates for bonus points.  Later, trash a past-its-prime Action (or another Sacrifice) to jump start a turn—better yet if Ruins are in play.  And if you are playing the recommended set Tomb of the Rat King, murder all the Rats while drawing your deck and scoring points for doing so.
Villa – As noted above, this card can help pull some tricks we haven’t seen before.  Workshop + $7 in your hand?  You can still get that Province.  Need to get some treasures in play before doing something like Poor House or Tactician?  Go right ahead.  The lack of a +1 Card on it can slow you down in the occasional setup, but I think this will be gained 5+ times in 80% or more of games it is in play.  It’s one of those cards where its mere presence should make you consider creating an entire strategy around it.
The Strongest Card in the History of Dominion Now and Forever

Fortune – Look, I was skeptical too when it was previewed.  There are only five of them.  They aren’t easy to get to.  They are so expensive.  Do I really want to spend $16 on a card I might only play a couple times before the game is over?  Shouldn’t I just be greening at that point?  Yeah, ignore all that.  Build an engine.  Make sure you have some money in there—Capital is great, but Platinum, Gold, Silver, Legionary, Farmers’ Market, Festival, Swamp Hag, Goons, Merchant Ship, you get the idea–these all work.  Then draw a big handful of cards, slap them all down and then hit it with the doubler and end the game.  The second-best use I’ve had was to double $35 to $70 in a Colony game to pick up 58 final turn points in a 78-55 win.  The best use was in the recommended set Big Time.  Some Grand Markets and Capitals helped me get some pieces, then a few more Capitals, then a $120 turn to end the game by buying Dominate 7 times.  Crazy.  Sorry my opponent!

Dominion General Discussion / Kingdom Images
« on: June 18, 2016, 08:46:17 am »
Not sure if this is the right place for this question.  Has someone created a tool where I can select the cards used in a game I played love, and make an image out of the kingdom?  My local game group uses a Facebook group and we like to discuss the games played.

Dominion General Discussion / Dominion (in real life) accessories
« on: June 06, 2016, 10:44:58 am »
I enjoy finding accessories to make games easier to set up, clean up, and store, or just to pimp them out.  I'm wondering if any of you have Dominion accessories that you find helpful.  I've got the Hobby Lobby box with the Broken Token insert, which should manage to just barely hold it all with the Empires expansion, although my extra sets of base cards have to come out.  I've got some screw-together bead containers like these ( that are good for holding tokens and for fitting in the insert.  One addition I made recently, idea stolen from somebody at a convention, is using popsicle sticks as place holders in the box for the kingdom piles in play each game.  This way I can quickly put them away.

The one thing I'm missing is some kind of card organizer for use during game play.  The inevitably messy piles trigger my OCD.  Anybody have anything they use?

Puzzles and Challenges / Most cards in hand
« on: May 30, 2016, 03:37:04 pm »
I'm sure all the puzzles have been solved by now, but in case this one is new:

How many cards can you have in your hand at any moment in the first three turns?  How about at any point in any game, 4p or less?

Dominion General Discussion / Card Name Themes
« on: May 16, 2016, 09:10:51 pm »
I suspect something like this may have been done before, but I failed to find it search.  Somebody noted a theme where a few cards with similar names do similar things.  I wondered how many more themes are out there that I haven't recognized.  Here's what I have so far, with (?) marking those that are a bit of a stretch:

Church (trashing):  Chapel, Bishop, Altar, Temple, Tomb (?)

Town (+2 actions):  Village, Shanty Town, Mining Village, Native Village, Fishing Village, University (?), Worker's Village, City, Farming Village, Hamlet, Border Village, Inn (?), Fortress (?), Bandit Camp, Plaza (?), Port (?), Lost City, City Quarter, Bustling Village, Villa

Sellers (a little of everything):  Market, Grand Market, Peddler, Market Square, Farmers' Market

Horror (cards back on the deck):  Ghost Ship, Haunted Woods, Haunted Castle

Royal Settings (repeated actions):  Throne Room, King's Court, Procession, Crown, Royal Carriage

Travel (discounts):  Bridge, Highway, Bridge Troll, Ferry

Witch (curses):  Witch, Young Witch, Sea Hag, Swamp Hag

Iron (cantrip + variable bonus):  Ironworks, Ironmonger

Real Estate (victory cards):  pretty much all the victory cards except Harem, Nobles, and Dame Josephine)

Storage Rooms (discard/sifters): Cellar, Vault, Warehouse, Catacombs, Stables, Storeroom, Dungeon, Secret Chamber

Wisemen/Wisewomen (sifters): Sage, Scrying Pool, Apothecary, Cartographer, Jack of All Trades, Spy, Navigator, Oracle

Diplomacy (draw + benefit to/involvement of others): Council Room, Embassy, Envoy, Advisor?

Trade (Silver): Trading Post, Trader, Trade

Wilderness (Draw): Hunting Grounds, Ranger, Scout, Guide?, Pathfinding

Blacksmithing (Draw): Smithy, Royal Blacksmith

What have I missed?  What have I mis-categorized?

Edited to update the input from others.

Dominion: Adventures Previews / Event Speculation
« on: April 02, 2015, 12:54:14 pm »
So now that we know what events are and how they work, we have a few days to guess what the other 17 are.  Here are a couple SWAGs:

Land Grab (cost 3)
Take a VP token. (Yes I know this isn't compatible unless you also have Prosperity so it won't happen, but anyway....)

Shopping Spree (cost 1)
+2 buys

Cleanup (cost 2)
+1 buy
For the rest of this turn, you may buy from the trash.  Cards in the trash cost half their normal price rounded down.

Dominion Isotropic / 197-147!
« on: March 07, 2013, 02:24:31 pm »
Strangest game I've played in a long time.  Unlike any of the 3,000 games I've played so far.  Don't have the game log, sorry.  Anyway, here's the board:

$7: King's Court
$5: Counting House, Mint, Royal Seal
$4: Moneylender, Monument, Spy
$3: Watchtower
$2: Chapel, Moat

Good opponent in this one.  As I recall, I opened Royal Seal/Chapel and my opponent went Silver/Chapel I think.  We quickly trimmed to 5-7 card decks then started engine building.  Before long we were loaded up with KC, Monument, Spy, and Moat, and the last 75% of the game was mostly playing Monument as many times as possible, and a little engine tinkering.  My opponent realized he was a bit ahead so he helped finish off the KC and Monument piles before we both switched to green.  Long game, I'm guessing 35 turns?  Not sure if there was something more efficient that would've ending things more quickly.

Copied from my geeklist on BGG at

Dominion is my favorite game. I play a fair amount on Isotropic, almost exclusively 2-player. I've had mixed results in this event in the last two years. In 2010 I made the semis but ran into a strong table that included Rob Renaud of and did okay (a 2nd and a 3rd) but not good enough to advance to the final. In 2011 I had the bad fortune of drawing theory of in the first round! I lost badly but learned an important lesson about the bigger picture of the WBC Dominion tournament. In this tournament, each round consists of 4 players playing two games with two different setups. Advancement points are earned in each game for order of finish. Had I played the table with theory with second place finishes in mind, especially after his engine started humming early, I may have advanced.

In this year's first round, I had some bad luck early but recognized the time for some late Duchies and finished 2nd. Then I cruised to a win in the second game, ensuring advancement to the quarterfinals. This lesson would come in handy later on as well.

The quarterfinals of Dominion included 44 players I think. There was one other strong player at my table. I don't remember the setups but I believe we used quite a few Intrigue cards. I finished 2nd in the first game, so I almost certainly needed a win in the second game. It was brutal with Swindler, Saboteur, and, just for fun, Masquerade. I don't think anyone got a Province in our game. I went heavy Ironworks early and controlled the tempo, speeding the game up while buying Duchies and gaining Ironworks and Estates. I won and the good player finished last which eliminated him.

Up next for me was the Dominion semifinal. We had 16 qualifiers, organized into four tables of four players each. The same advancement points system applied (1st=8, 2nd=5, 3rd=2, 4th=0) so each semi table wasn't guaranteed to advance someone to the 4-player final. I drew a table with three female opponents. Two of them were average players, but one was very strong. It turned out to be the 2011 2nd place finisher named Laura. Here is the first game setup:

Trade Route
Royal Seal
also Platinum & Colony

I opened Bishop/Silver and added a couple Trade Routes when it was evident my opponents were going Hoard. I mixed in a couple Cities but no one went with me on that so they were nearly useless. I had a lead in VP chips but my opponents had a couple Colonies and Provinces. I added a Forge in the mid-game which proved crucial. I was tracking the points and saw an opportunity to end the game in second place, Forging two Bishops into a Province while buying a Duchy. The winner was one of the average players, which was another positive for me.

Here's the Game 2 lineup:

King's Court
Grand Market
with Colony & Platinum

We all opened 4/3 and my strong opponent and I both went Quarry/Silver while the other two went Talisman/Silver, which looks like a big mistake to me. I went Mountebank/Mountebank on Turns 3/4 and added a King's Court shortly thereafter. My strong opponent went with a couple Banks and before long I hit KC/Mountebank, which led to me buying more KCs, which led to two more KC/Mountebanks. I hit that combo 3x, the last of which emptied Copper after Estate was already empty, and left just one Curse, which I bought for the big win. Final scores were something like 17-10-4-(-3).

With 13 advancement points I was in a good position for the final but certainly not clinched. The tiebreaker was total VP and with my low-scoring win I was in no position to advance on that. But two other tables finished with nobody earning more than 10 advancement points so I was in! That meant my first WBC plaque and our team's first-ever team points!

For the final, the Seaside and Alchemy sets were featured. This is a good spot to shout out the GM, Thomas Browne. He did an excellent job running the event and putting together sets with multiple potential strategies, and sets that worked with both 4/3 and 5/2 splits. I was joined by Nick, who won both his semifinal games, and Derek and Cal. Here is the setup for Game 1:


Quite a few ways to play this one. I opened Moneylender/Silver intending to get cash for Laboratories. But on Turn 3 I had $7 with the Moneylender! So I went Gold instead. The next time I had more than $4 I had $7 again so I went Gold again. I mixed in an Island or two and with two early Golds, I got the first two Provinces. Just when I started to think I was in control, Derek's deck, neatly trimmed by Ambassadors, started humming. He wisely picked up a Curse along the way, and started spamming those out to us ("I reveal a Curse, and return zero copies to the supply," over and over!) it looked like he was going to cruise to the win and I was picking up Duchies and Islands trying to hang on to 2nd. Then Derek's deck stalled on him with one Province left! I lost track of the score and I thought 2nd was slipping away. I had a crucial last turn where I Ambassadored a Curse and bought a Duchy, IIRC, and then Cal ended the game on the last Province. Final tally was Nick 20, Cal 27, Derek 30, and I had 32! I did not expect that. Those early Provinces, an extra Island, and 7 Estates were key (I never Ambassadored any of them away).

Now I started to think about actually winning the event. I did have the disadvantage of going last in Game 2. Here's the setup:

Fishing Village

That's easily the most interesting set I've ever seen. The risk of buying durations is that you will just be setting up your neighbor for a big hand when he possesses you, or that he just wont play your durations for you. Derek, Cal, and I all got the 4/3 split; they went Potion/Fishing Village and I went Potion/Silver. Nick got the 5/2 and went Wharf/Haven I think. He did come back with Potion on Turn 3 or 4. My plan was to get a couple Golems, so that if I got Possessed the Golem could hit my Possessions or duration cards. Three of us bought Possessions fairly early but I got to play mine first and I think the first one hit Derek's deck for 6P earning me a second Possession. Cal, sitting opposite me, Possessed Nick a couple times passing by Nick's Possession, slowing him down. I kept hitting Derek's strong hands, once for $14 (Province+Gold), at least one for $8P (Province+Vineyard), and one for $5P (FV+Herbalist+Vineyard). When it was all over I had 4 or 5 Provinces plus 4 four-point Vineyards plus some other VP for 50+ points and a big win! I re-counted my score several times to be sure that I had just won my first tournament! Derek finished 2nd again for 2nd overall and I think Cal was 3rd.

I'd love to hear thoughts on how these setups could have (or should have) been played differently.  And thanks for reading!

Game Reports / Down by 26 with one colony left...
« on: July 13, 2011, 11:47:51 am »
My favorite wins are the come-from-behind, last turn wins that leave my opponent stunned.  Here's one from a few minutes ago.  I was losing 62-36 with one colony left in the supply.  I got a little lucky on my KC-->Tribute for sure:

— Your turn 25 —
(You reshuffle.)
You draw a Native Village, a King's Court, 2 Worker's Villages, and a Merchant Ship and get +1 action and +1 buy from your Tactician.
You play a Native Village.
... You get +2 actions.
... Your Native Village mat contains a Platinum and a Curse.
... You put the mat contents into your hand.
You play a Worker's Village.
... You draw a Merchant Ship and get +2 actions and +1 buy.
You play a Worker's Village.
... You draw a Province and get +2 actions and +1 buy.
You play a Worker's Village.
... You draw a Duchy and get +2 actions and +1 buy.
You play a King's Court.
... You play a Tribute.
... ... [opponent] reveals and discards a Copper and a Tactician.
... ... You get +2 actions and +$2.
... You play the Tribute again.
... ... [opponent] reveals and discards an Estate and a Copper.
... ... You draw a King's Court and a Woodcutter and get +$2.
... You play the Tribute a third time.
... ... [opponent] reveals and discards an Estate and a Duchy.
... ... You draw an Estate, a Woodcutter, a Forge, and a Merchant Ship.
You play a Worker's Village.
... You draw a Woodcutter and get +2 actions and +1 buy.
You play a King's Court.
... You play a Woodcutter.
... ... You get +1 buy and +$2.
... You play the Woodcutter again.
... ... You get +1 buy and +$2.
... You play the Woodcutter a third time.
... ... You get +1 buy and +$2.
You play a Merchant Ship.
... You get +$2.
You play a Merchant Ship.
... You get +$2.
You play a Woodcutter.
... You get +1 buy and +$2.
You play a Forge.
... You trash a Merchant Ship, a Curse, and 2 Woodcutters.
... You gain a Colony.
You play 2 Platinums.
You buy a Province.
You buy a Province.
You buy a Province.
You buy an Estate.

The game is over! (All Colonies are gone.)
Orange has 66 points (3 Colonies, 5 Provinces, a Duchy, and 3 Estates) and took 25 turns.
[opponent] has 62 points (5 Colonies, a Province, a Duchy, and 3 Estates) and took 24 turns.

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