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Topics - Aleimon Thimble

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Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Who played game #20,000,000?
« on: November 05, 2018, 04:03:14 pm »
I was just playing online, trying out Renaissance, when I noticed this:

Joining game #19999867 on tokyo.
Joining game #20000570 on tokyo.

Twenty million games played on ShIT, it seems :) Who was the lucky person to hit 20M exactly?

Let's Discuss ... / Let's Discuss Nocturne Cards: Conclave
« on: April 03, 2018, 03:40:28 am »

Yesterday I got destroyed in a game where I tried to build a Conclave engine. Clearly I was doing something wrong, so let's try to learn something about the card!

Conclave is a fairly exotic splitter, one that could have been in Cornucopia since it rewards variety. But it's here in Nocturne instead.

- Can you feasibly build an engine if Conclave is the only village/splitter?
- How many do you want with and without other villages, is it worth it to fight for the split?
- Are there any cards you can compare it to? Maybe some Throne Room variants?

Yesterday we discussed Tragic Hero, now let's go for something different!

It's Cemetery, one of the more exotic trashers. It's especially good with gainers and trash-for-benefit. Some questions to consider include:

- How many cards should you be able to trash before it's worth buying/gaining one?
- When do you get it early-game over an engine component?
- To what extent should it be considered as a source of Alt-VP when analyzing a board?
- What are some ways to increase your chances of activating your Heirloom, Haunted Mirror?

Let's Discuss ... / Let's Discuss Nocturne Cards: Tragic Hero
« on: March 29, 2018, 05:05:41 am »
Because only two Nocturne cards have their own topic and that's kinda sad. Let's add some more topics now that we've had a bit of time to try these shiny new Nocturne cards.

So Tragic Hero. What do you think about it?

- With the mandatory trashing if you have 8 or more cards, is it more of a BM card than an engine card?
- How do you circumvent the drawback of having to trash it in an engine?
- When is the drawback actually a boon?
(- If the answer is 'almost never', is it strictly worse than Margrave?)

Dominion General Discussion / How thoroughly should you analyze a board?
« on: January 08, 2018, 10:16:54 am »
Lately I've been playing Dominion online again. My skills are a bit rusty, but I've managed to climb up to the top 500 overall as I'm remembering more and more strategical aspects of Dominion, as well as learning all of the new cards (Nocturne, 2nd editions, Sauna/Avanto). Although the client is not perfect, I'm glad it's there and I'm certainly enjoying my return to the Dominion scene :)

However, I tend to be a bit on the slow side with analyzing a kingdom. I like to make a thorough assessment of possible strategies before buying my first card as it helps me plan ahead. Nevertheless, my opponents tend to get annoyed or confused because they think I'm either slowrolling them or having internet issues. So my question is: is there some kind of unwritten rule how much time you should take to analyze a board before starting the game? How do you handle this issue?

It's true! I didn't think the day would come. I picked 'Keizerrijken' up this afternoon. :)

Dominion General Discussion / The psychology of playing Dominion
« on: December 07, 2016, 06:11:42 am »
During the time I've been here, I have mostly been discussing the purely game-related stuff. Engines vs big money, strong and weak cards, and so on. But in the past months I haven't been doing very well online, falling from a 4600 rating in May/June to a 3700 rating right now and culminating in a very embarrassing recent 6-0 loss in the League, and I don't think it has anything to do with the ability to correctly assess strategy and tactical play. I think that I have entered a negative feedback loop caused by a loss of self-efficacy; that is, I've lost the ability to play Dominion well because I strongly believe I can't do it anymore. This is especially weird considering the fact that I'm doing pretty well in my everyday (non-Dominion) life, so there are no factors like depression or something influencing the way I play.

Is this a phenomenon other players are familiar with? And does anyone have any tips on how to break this negative spiral?

Dominion Articles / MDMA: deck types
« on: October 18, 2016, 09:23:32 am »
We've discussed before about the vague definition of a combo deck, and about the fact that the five standard deck types exclude the fairly common 'good 'stuff' deck that is kind of in between BM and engine. Today, I would like to propose and discuss ideas for a new categorization into deck types.

One of the most important questions when playing Dominion is: what kind of deck should I build? What I've noticed is that the answer to this question depends on two variables. The first one is: how long is the game going to last? The second one is: how often can you play an Action in this game?

Now I don't want to discuss what you need to build a good engine (we've been over that before - villages, draw, +Buy/gainers, trashing, attacks, and alt-VP all help). What I do want to point out that these two variables - game length and number of actions played - are exactly that: variables. This means that it is difficult to give clear-cut boundaries where one deck type begins and another one ends. But everyone knows that a deck with 8 Villages, 5 draw cards, a gainer or two, a trasher and a handful of strong payload cards is definitely an engine, and a deck with two Jacks and otherwise only Treasures is clearly BM.

Let's take a look at this graph.

It's ugly as hell, but that's not the point. (I could have done something cool with Photoshop gradients, except I can't actually do anything like that.) Anyway, the idea is that the boundaries between the different deck types are sometimes a bit vague, and that there is such a thing as a 'good stuff deck', which isn't quite BM or engine or rush or slog, but kind of in the middle of everything - average number of turns, average number of Action plays.

There's another important thing: combo decks don't exist. I don't think so anyway. Combos definitely exist, and some decks are based on them, but they can all be divided into another category as well. Hermit/Market Square is a (megaturn-style) engine. PStone/Herbalist is a slog. CH/TFair(/Bank) is a rush. KC/Scheme and KC/Bridge are definitely (part of) an engine. A Golden Deck is pretty much a Good Stuff deck, as is Scavenger/Stash.

Discuss. What did I miss?

So here's a thing I was wondering the other day. Say you have a hand of Dungeon, 2 Coppers and 2 cantrips. You play the Dungeon, drawing two Estates. Since your hand is pretty bad, you probably want to trigger a shuffle with the 2 cantrips you have in hand. But which cards should you discard? Normally you would discard the Estates, being your worst cards, but now that you are triggering a shuffle, discarding the Estates means you can draw them again, and keeping them in hand makes them miss the shuffle. So do you keep them, sacrificing your current hand in favor of your future hands, or is that idea not worth it?

Game Reports / Don't try anything fun on a Cultist board?
« on: October 03, 2016, 05:07:25 pm »

So Cultist sucks, right? You kinda always have to go for it, and games with it are almost always boring and degenerate into Cultist-BM more often than not.

My opponent managed to beat me here with a very cool engine, in a tournament match, on a Cultist board without trashing, WHILE IGNORING CULTIST. Yeah, you read that right.

Of course, Vineyard did make me think twice already, but the 'no trashing' part really was the nail in the coffin for me. I figured, if my opponent doesn't go for Cultist, I can just build a better engine and win the Vineyard split and go from there. Well, I failed. I must admit I forgot you could put the +Card token on the Ruins pile, which really did work wonders for my opponent - suddenly, Ruined Village was a cantrip, Ruined Library was a Moat, and the other two Ruins were gimped Pawns - not so bad after all. Especially if they're all worth a point or more.

And then there were other things that gave the Cultist-free engine a boost. Storyteller mitigates the lack of Copper trashing. Horn can gain more stuff. Peddlers are easy to pick up after a couple of Ruined Market and Herbalist plays. Pilgrimage is also a nice boost to the strategy. I thought about Possessing them, but I wouldn't have been able to win the Vineyard split then either. I think Cultist was just the wrong way to go here, which is not something you get to say very often. Kudos to my opponent. :)

Dominion General Discussion / Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: August 30, 2016, 10:20:20 am »
So there are plans for new card strength rankings (and maybe also tiers) on this forum, and I'm excited for them already! But they're not quite done yet, so instead, I decided to write about my favorite cards. These are not necessarily the strongest cards, just cards that appeal to me personally. Nevertheless, discussions about them are welcome. :) It's going to be a top 30 because I got a bit lazy after that, and there's not a lot of interesting stuff to say about all of those middle-of-the-road cards. There are cards I do truly hate, such as Cultist and Possession, and I could write about those, but let's just focus on the good times instead! Yay!

Without further ado, here are the numbers 26-30, and I will slowly move up to number 1 in the days to follow. :)


30. Quarry

I really enjoy cost reducers. Is it because Iím Dutch? It might be; weíre somewhat notorious over the entire world for being cheap and always looking for the best deal. Anyway, Quarry is good for getting multiple engine components quickly, but it really needs +Buy to excel, which can be a bit frustrating. Then again, engines that donít work out because a component is missing are always frustrating. Spoiler alert: not all cost reducers made it to this list. Bridge Troll is missing, and I suspect that it is because the attack is somewhat annoying to resolve, which makes it fall just outside of the top 30.

29. Goons

It has all the components of an awesome card. Obviously, itís the single best payload card in the game, and itís a very cool way to get a metric ton of Alt-VP. The only reason itís not higher on this list is because itís a bit too strong. Its presence seriously diminishes your interest in other cool payload cards like Bridge Troll and Merchant Guild, because youíd rather just have another Goons instead. So Goons is a bit too overcentralizing, which is a shame, because itís awesome otherwise. I kinda feel it shouldnít have an Attack, that way it would be way more balanced.

28. Saboteur

Yeah. Sue me. Iím probably the only person who likes this card. Interestingly, I donít like Knights at all; theyíre stronger on average because they give resources and donít give your opponent replacements, but I strongly feel that trashing attacks need to be on the weak side. Saboteur is rather weak, but excelling with weakish cards is cool in its own right. I actually like that it can trash Provinces, because that helps prevent the ability to have your opponent on points lockdown. Nothing worse than participating in a game you know you canít win.

27. Vault

One of the few draw cards in this list. Most draw cards are rather boring, although they are a welcome addition to engines; it doesnít feel like youíre doing something very interesting if you play a Smithy variant in most cases. Vault is cool though. It rewards overdrawing your deck and makes your payload variable, and it offers some more difficult decisions at times. I usually dislike cards that give a benefit to your opponent, which is why Council Room, Governor and Bishop will never make it to this list, but Vault is an exception probably because it usually doesnít actually feel like youíre helping them all that much.

26. Salvager

Time for another unpopular opinion: Seaside is my least favorite set. Itís about as vanilla as the Base set, but at least the Base set gets some love because I really enjoy teaching the game to new players, and there are a couple of cool cards. Seaside almost completely lacks those cool cards. Almost every card that is a bit more complex is clunky (Pirate Ship), overpowered (Ambassador) or just happens to be a card that I suck at (Tactician). Salvager is an exception though, and the only card that made it to this list. Itís a really nice and satisfying TFB card that will make sure you rarely truly regret buying something, as you can always turn it into something else.

Goko Dominion Online / Black Market Traveller bug
« on: June 07, 2016, 12:52:58 pm »
I seem to have found a bug in Dominion Online. If a Traveller (in this case Page) is in the Black Market, its upgrades can be found in the kingdom, which makes sense. However, after buying the Page, you are never prompted to upgrade it and it will always remain a Page. I'm pretty sure you should be able to upgrade it.

Has anyone else encountered this bug? Has it always been there or is it due to today's software update?

Dominion General Discussion / Empires: looking for the VP
« on: May 23, 2016, 08:29:01 am »
Dominion, so far, has mostly been a question of 'which deck are you going to build'. Do you want to go for the engine, or is the engine too weak so you go Big Money, or is there some kind of exotic rush/slog/combo on the board?

Empires, however, more than doubles the amount of ways to get VP. I think this will cause a dramatic shift in the way people will analyze the kingdoms. I think that, instead of first looking which deck would be best here, you should first look: how am I going to score points this game? Which ways of gaining VP are there, and which way is most efficient, or do I need to combine several ways?

Of course, sometimes you will see no alt-VP, no VP token cards and no Landmarks on the board. In that case, you will of course just win by winning the Province split (with maybe some Duchy dancing in the endgame), and the usual 'engine/Big Money/other' conundrum will return. Nevertheless, the extra opportunities that arise with the release of Empires will, in my opinion, change the first question players will need to ask themselves at the start of every game to 'How do I get VP?'

What do you think?

Dominion General Discussion / Playing speed
« on: May 16, 2016, 05:57:10 pm »
It happens quite often that I'm being called out in the chat while playing online, because my opponent feels I'm playing too slowly. Of course, this is especially the case on heavy, difficult engine boards. It kind of annoys me, because I just want to think through my moves; speeding is rarely a good idea if you're trying to improve your play, right? Dominion is a strategy game, just like chess, for example, and you don't want to be called out on being a slow player if you're playing chess either. On the other hand, chess usually has a clock, to limit your thinking time, so even in strategy games you're clearly not meant to think endlessly. But I don't think I play THAT slowly...

Who else has experience with this conundrum?

Dominion General Discussion / House rules you use
« on: April 18, 2016, 03:32:05 am »
Do you ever deviate from the official Dominion rules? Where and for what reason do you do that?

As for me:

- When there is a Looter, the Ruins deck always contains equal amounts of each Ruin. Just seems way more logical that way.
- In order to minimize confusion, I sometimes leave out the Curse pile if there are no cards referencing Curse and no other good reason to get them (Ambassador, Swindler, Goons+Watchtower, Fairgrounds), especially with newer players.
- I put Durations and other cards that stay in play (Prince) on the Tavern mat, to make it easier to track them.

Introductions / Hey, I never introduced myself!
« on: April 16, 2016, 07:28:46 am »
Hey everyone,

It occurred to me that I never even properly introduced myself on this forum. So here I am!

I'm Aleimon Thimble, IRL known as Thomas. I'm from the Netherlands, 24 years old, and a Ph.D. student in cognitive psychology.

I've been playing Dominion a lot since I joined a local board game club in late 2014, and discovered the DS wiki and later the forum in early 2015. Dominion has since grown to be my favorite game. Other games I enjoy include Agricola, Tichu, Evolution, Istanbul, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan and classics such as chess and Scrabble.

I also love all sorts of music and going to festivals and concerts. Everything from indie rock to power metal and from synthpop to hardstyle is cool. :)

I hope to see a lot more of this forum!

So the Wiki contains a page on the so-called Ambassador and Pirate Ship combo: . The article explains that Pirate Ship becomes stronger if your opponent has more Coppers to hit, so you should give them Coppers first with Ambassador.

I can't imagine that this ever works out. First of all, the attacks are both terminal, so you risk terminal collission. Second of all, even if you manage to avoid collissions, and you draw Ambassador with 2 Coppers on T3 and Pirate Ship on T4 (the best case scenario), you sacrificed a lot of opportunity cost. You'd rather have a different terminal instead of Pirate Ship, right? Maybe even another Ambassador to get rid of more junk and play the Estate tennis game. Third of all, the fact that you gave your opponent an extra Copper just to take it away again still means the Pirate Ship actually helps them. If it weren't for the Pirate Ship, your opponent would have more junk (Copper) in his deck. So the logic in the article is completely flawed.

The Wiki page links to the original article from Theory, which was posted in 2010, and features a link to an example game. Back then, everybody seemed to think Pirate Ship was good for some reason, so both players opened Pirate Ship. What's more, Theory's opponent back then opened not just Pirate Ship, but Pirate Ship/Estate. I think we can safely say it is not a good example of how to play Dominion.

I think we should delete the Ambassador/Pirate Ship combo page on the Wiki. It's not a combo, it's not even a synergy. It's just a terrible idea, and the existence of the page might confuse new players who want to become better at Dominion.

Any thoughts?

Game Reports / Interesting slog
« on: April 07, 2016, 05:57:32 pm »

I really liked this slog I played today. So many interesting decisions - Haggler or Merchant Guild for extra gains? When to go for PStone over Familiar? Is Counting House any good? All cards may be viable here in some way or another, which is rare in a slog.

That first Gardens from my side may have been premature, and I could have ended it a couple of times, but wasn't sure about the point count (VP counters were off). I really like my decision to go for PStone though, got me a lot of provinces even if it meant losing the Curse split 7-3. In the end it was probably what made me win.

Opening 5/2 is pretty bad on a Familiar board, but getting Haggler in play and $6 turn 3 more than made up for it, so there's that.

Variants and Fan Cards / Variant: Balanced base Dominion
« on: January 08, 2016, 08:23:32 am »
The base set of Dominion is probably the worst (least good) set out there. Not because there are so many vanilla cards - most of them, like Village, Smithy and Market, can still be interesting because they're the bread and butter of engines. But many cards that aren't vanilla are usually too weak to bother with. Instead of 10 kingdom cards from 25, you're often just playing with 7-ish from 18-ish - you'll probably almost never buy the others.

We can do better! I would like to discuss a couple of 'mods' - fixes for the weakest Base cards so they can be competitive, so that the Base game becomes more fun to play. And while we're at it, we can also nerf the strongest cards. I'll propose some of my ideas first, and then you can all comment what could be done to make it even better! Yay!

I want to try to prevent altering costs, because altering what the card does is probably more interesting, and it's more challenging to try and balance it at the specific price point the cards already have.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not trying to say Donald did a bad job, because he still made the most awesome game in the world. I also don't want to propose that my mod (or any mod) becomes the new standard. I just want to try out a variant that's more balanced, based on today's understanding of Dominion, and see what you guys have to add to this. :)

So the cards that could be nerfed: Chapel, Witch, maybe Throne Room
And the cards that could be buffed: Chancellor, Adventurer, Thief, Feast, Woodcutter, Bureaucrat, Spy, maybe Moat, maybe-maybe Mine (I personally think it's fine but some others think it's weak)

Some ideas:

Chapel: Trash up to 4 cards from your hand. Each other player may gain a Silver.

So Donald has stated before that trashing 3 cards will make it too slow. Instead, you can speed up the respective engine building even further - but make it so that it helps your opponent instead. Now, every time you play the Chapel, your opponent can choose to gain a Silver. This should be enough to make the other trashing cards more competitive against Chapel; going for Moneylender and/or Remodel instead doesn't give your opponent(s) free Silvers. Flavor-wise, there's something about the church giving to the poor, or something.

Witch: +2 Cards. Each other player gains a Curse card. At the end of the game, this is worth -1VP.

The penalty gives you less incentive pursuing a Witch strategy on boards without trashing. It becomes a liability when the Curses are out, because a Moat that's also a Curse is probably not worth having in your deck. Flavor-wise, the Witch is probably cursed herself.

Throne Room: You may choose an Action card in your hand that is not a Throne Room. Play it twice.

Being unable to Throne a Throne resolves some tracking issues and slightly weakens the card. It's also more consistent with cards like Golem. It also gets the 'You may' fix it should have gotten a long time ago  ;)

Chancellor: +$2. Choose one: Put your deck into your discard pile, or trash this and each other player gains a Curse.

Optional one-shot Curser. I feel the set should have another way to give out curses, and giving that option to the weakest card in the base game seems fine. Throning a Chancellor suddenly becomes awesome. Flavor-wise... looking at his ugly face probably curses you, or something?

Adventurer: +1 Action, +1 Buy. Reveal cards from your deck until you reveal 2 Treasure cards. Put those Treasure cards in your hand and discard the other revealed cards.

Not the weakest card in base Dominion, but probably the most overpriced one in the entire game. $6 for a Moat that skips over Actions and Treasures, really? I feel it needs the Action AND the Buy to become worth it over Gold often enough.

Thief: The player to your left reveals the top 2 cards of his deck. If he revealed any Treasure cards, he trashes them. You may gain one or both of these cards. He discards the other revealed cards.

Thief is the only card that needs a buff AND a nerf - only buffing it would make it horribly overpowered in multiplayer Dominion. So now it only targets the player to your left, but it can steal 2 cards instead of 1. Should be fine, right? It's still a bit niche though, let's be honest. Any ideas? Flavor-wise: why would a Thief leave any money?

Feast: Trash this card. Gain a card costing up to $5 and a card costing up to $3.

It's a one-shot self-Develop! Being able to get two cards upon trashing one makes you not lose as much momentum. Flavor-wise: if you're in the shop at the feast, you'll probably get talked into buying something small on top of your big purchase.

Woodcutter: +2 Buys, +$2

Adding another buy gives it an edge over other +Buy cards. In strong engines, having only 1 Woodcutter and no other +Buy cards is now enough to buy lots of cool stuff at once, or even triple-Province late game. It also becomes a better Gardens enabler, giving Workshop more rivalry there.

Bureaucrat: Gain a Silver card, putting it on top of your deck. You may trash card from your hand that is not a Treasure. Each other player reveals a Victory card from his hand (or a hand without Victory cards) and puts it on top of his deck.

A bit wordy, but stronger. The wordiness works well flavor-wise. It is now a Jack of All Trades variant, that doesn't draw but attacks instead, and doesn't spy but just topdecks the Silver. It also gives the set an extra trasher; it might need one, now that there is another Curser.

Spy: +1 Action. Reveal the top 3 cards of your deck. Put one of them into your hand, discard one, and put one back. Then, reveal the top card of each other player's deck. Discard it or put it back.)

Spy now provides improved sifting, and it's still effectively a cantrip. The attack remains the same. It might involve a lot of choices - but let's be honest, it kinda always did. Should that be fixed in some way? I'm not quite sure how...


So any thoughts about this so far? Should Mine and Moat also be fixed up a bit? If so, how?

Dominion General Discussion / Thanks for helping me win!
« on: October 04, 2015, 06:41:01 pm »
So today was the official Dutch national championship Dominion, and I managed to reach third place!  :D I'm really proud of it, since I've only played competitive Dominion for a couple of months and I managed to beat players who have been there like three years in a row. But I couldn't have done it without this forum and the Wiki. You guys learned me everything I needed to learn about engines, Big Money, combos and alt-VP strategies, and all sorts of other strategic concepts. So thank you! :D

I'm really happy, and on top of it I won the expansion Adventures in Dutch, which is good since I can now sell the English version to buy another expansion. ^^ Alright, I'll admit the English version is more awesome, but it doesn't fit well with my Dutch base game, so yeah.

Dominion General Discussion / Why don't we usually play with Colonies?
« on: August 13, 2015, 01:37:52 pm »
So I've been thinking about something. It has happened more than once that I built a pretty cool engine, but just when you've finally started to get it going, it's already time to green because the game is coming to an end. Kind of demoralizing if you ask me.

Colony games, however, are different. You can get away with building up your engine just a bit more, because (preferably) you want to reach $22 with 2+ buys anyway, and it takes longer for the game to end. Therefore, in general, I find Colony games a lot more fun, and I imagine most engine players would.

So why isn't Colony the standard? I understand the official rules say you can only play with Colony if you include Prosperity cards, and even then you have to raffle for it.. but can't we bend the rules just a little bit if it makes the game so much more fun? I mean, it's not like we're changing something big, rule-wise. Of course, some boards prefer no Colonies, but I'm not saying we should play Colonies every single game, just that it should be the standard from which we can deviate when needed.

I'm not an expert though, just started playing a bit more serious the last couple of months, so I wonder what the people here think. Do you prefer Colony games in general, and do you also think it would be more fun if it were the standard? Or is everything fine the way it is?

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