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Topics - Commodore Chuckles

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Your challenge this week is to do for another expansion what Shelters did for Dark Ages: design 3 cards to replace opening Estates, themed on one of the official expansions other than Dark Ages and Base.

The winner will be decided based on how well the cards fit with the expansion, as well as how well they work as opening cards. Please keep in mind that, as these are opening cards, they are cards you should want to trash a lot of the time. You can also make up a new type and color for them to share if you like, but in my opinion the Shelter type is only thematic for Dark Ages. Also, please give the name of the expansion you are using as a base.

Variants and Fan Cards / Fan Mechanics Week #35: Getting Sneaky
« on: April 20, 2022, 10:36:22 pm »
This contest involves a mechanic I am developing called Sneak. This is the same as the Jackpot ability I wrote about a while ago, but I'm changing its name in order to better fit with a new theme for a new set I want to make.

Sneak is an ability that you can use any time on your turn other than clean-up, but only once per turn. It can be used before resolving beginning-of-turn effects, in the Night phase, or any time in between. When a card has the Sneak type, it means you can play it using its Sneak ability, indicated by the text "Sneak:", instead of its regular ability. So, if a card has both the Sneak and Action types, it means that once per turn, you're allowed to play the card at any time using its Sneak ability, but then any other plays of the card (or copies of it) have to be in the Action phase, using its Action ability. The Sneak type is indicated by a dark blue color, and Sneak - Action cards should have both colors.

Some examples (I'll make pictures later):


Action - Sneak - $5
+3 Cards
Sneak: +3 Cards, then put 3 cards from your hand onto your deck in any order.

It's just a plain draw card when you use the action ability, but the Sneak has lots of uses, depending on when you use it.
Action phase: It can possibly save you from a dud turn.
Buy phase: You can draw Treasures and then also top deck dead Action cards.
Night phase: You can draw and top deck cards you just bought.


Scheming Court
Action - Sneak - $5
You may play an Action card from your hand twice.
Sneak: Replay a card you have in play twice.

Again, a card where the Action part is already an official card (Throne Room), but the Sneak is a bonus. It's basically a once per turn King's Court, but it can also work on Treasure and Night cards.


Machine Shop
Action - Sneak - $4
Cards cost $1 less this turn.
Sneak: +2 Buys. Gain a card to your hand costing up to $3.

The Sneak is less useful here when used in the Buy or Night phases, but the gained card can be better if you've already played one or more Machine Shops. Also note that the buying power is overall more limited compared with Bridge because only the Sneak gives you +Buys.


Hidden Village
Action - Sneak - $4
+1 Card
+2 Actions
Sneak: +1 Card. Put a card you have in play on your deck.

Lets you replay a card if you have the Actions left over for it, or Scheme a card in the Buy or Night phases. The fact that it's a Sneak ability helps to avoid infinite loops.


This is an example of a pure Sneak type (or close to pure, at least):

Secret Mission
Sneak - Duration - $5
Sneak: Take another turn after this one where you can only play Action cards.

This is a redo of the Voyage card I made. Originally, it was a Night card that forced you to end your Night phase so you couldn't play another one. I realized that with the Sneak mechanic I could drop that part. Also, instead of an explicit Action-only restriction it had you discard your hand at the end of your Action phase, but it was pointed out that Village Green could still give you infinite turns. Making Action-only explicit is simpler anyway. I also had to choose a different name obviously!


Lastly, here's a card that uses the Sneak ability without actually having the Sneak type:

Action - Treasure - $5
If this is your Action phase, +2 Cards. Otherwise, +$1 and +1 Buy. Either way, you may use your Sneak to return this to your hand.

It's not a Sneak type, so it can only ever be played in the Action or Buy phases. But, once per turn, you can return it to your hand after playing it. I made it an Action - Treasure so that returning it to your hand is still useful even if there are no Villages on the board.


Things to keep in mind overall are all the different phases that the Sneak can be used in, as well as the fact that it allows things that would break the game if they could be used more than once per turn.

Also, I'd like some feedback on how well you think this mechanic works overall. My main concern is boards with more than one Sneak card on them. It seems possible that, because of the once per turn restriction, one of the Sneak cards would end up with only its plain ability being used. I thought about making the restriction instead "once per turn per pile", but that seems too complicated. Does anyone have any other ideas?

Dominion General Discussion / Is Rebuild ever fun?
« on: April 11, 2022, 07:33:38 pm »
Rebuild is generally not fun to play with because even if it doesn't automatically win, it still interacts with so very few other cards. Since it upgrades things that AREN'T in your hand and don't ever NEED to be in your hand, you don't want to draw and you don't want to trash.

Having said that, has anyone actually had a game where Rebuild was interesting? I remember at least one game where it had a somewhat interesting interaction with Wild Hunt, gaining Estates and then upgrading them.

Weekly Design Contest / Weekly Design Contest #148: Expand The Kingdom
« on: April 05, 2022, 11:05:18 pm »
Your challenge this week is to design something that introduces at least one additional Kingdom card into the game. Examples would be Black Market, Young Witch and Way Of The Mouse.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Royal Galley + Scheme
« on: March 27, 2022, 10:43:13 pm »
If you play Scheme with Royal Galley, it looks like it allows you to Scheme either the Scheme or the Royal Galley on that same turn. I don't believe this is correct; you can Scheme a card "when you discard it from play", but you can't discard the Scheme on that turn, and therefore you also can't discard the Royal Galley.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Hamlet + Fellowship Of Scribes
« on: March 12, 2022, 12:52:32 pm »
I have 1 Favor. I play Hamlet. I discard for +1 Action. I now have 4 cards in hand. Fellowship Of Scribes doesn't ask if I want to spend a Favor for +1 Card. I discard for +1 Buy. I now have 3 cards in hand. Fellowship Of Scribes still doesn't ask if I want to spend a Favor for +1 Card.

I suspect this is because Fellowship Of Scribes is activated when you've finished playing a card, and with the current implementation of Hamlet, it's ambiguous as to whether or not you've actually finished playing it: you can press the discard button (which means you're still playing it) or you can play another card (which means you're not still playing it).

Game Reports / Miser vs Ambassador
« on: August 10, 2019, 12:04:19 am »
#29488777, opponent was double-Ambassadoring Coppers to me, which I fed to my Misers. I got something like 12 Coppers on my Mat. Opponent tried to slow me down with Curses, but I just Ambassadored them back. Opponent resigned after I bought 4 Provinces in one turn.

Rules Questions / When do played cards have to enter the Play area?
« on: July 20, 2019, 12:46:40 pm »
I Throne Room a Wish. The Wish enters the Play area. I get +1 Action. The Wish then leaves the Play area and returns to the Wish pile. Because it was returned, I gain a card costing up to $6. The Wish is then played again, but apparently does not enter the play area this time. The Wish cannot return to the Wish pile because it is already there, so I do not gain a card this time.

So, why did the Wish enter the play area the first time it was played but not the second? Was it because it was in the Wish pile instead of my hand? Do played cards only enter the Play area if they are played from your hand? This clearly isn't the case, because Princed cards go into and out of the Play area, and Necromancer specifically tells you to leave the played card in the Trash. So what's the explanation for this inconsistency?

Game Reports / Golden Deck with City Gate and Native Village
« on: July 13, 2019, 12:03:30 pm »

I was able to set up a nice Golden Deck here: Put the Province on my deck with City Gate, set it aside with Native Village, use Misers for payload, repeat.

Game Reports / Is Mint - Fool's Gold actually that good?
« on: March 20, 2019, 09:01:08 pm »
Game #24778435. I opened Mint - Fool's Gold, he opened Hermit - Talisman. I didn't collide the Mint with FG once and spent the rest of the game flailing around trying to trash stuff, while he easily got rid of his Shelters and picked up FGs.

I know I had bad luck and that Hermit happens to be a particularly devastating counter, but this game still brought to light some problems with Mint - FG. You're left tripping over 3 dead cards in a small deck, and still have to get the important trasher you didn't get before the first shuffle.

Rules Questions / Nested Black Markets
« on: January 06, 2019, 06:06:33 pm »
I feel like this has to have been asked before, but I couldn't find it being addressed here or on the wiki:

What happens when you play a Black Market in the middle of resolving a previously played Black Market?

This should be possible with either Crown or Capitalism.

The top 3 cards of the Black Market deck are revealed, and during the "play Treasures" part, you play another Black Market. Do you reveal 3 more cards from the Black Market deck and set aside the previous 3? Do you then have to choose which, if any, of the 3 new cards to buy before going back to the original 3? And you can spend $ from the Treasures you played with the original Black Market in the nested Black Market, but then that money is gone when you go back the original Black Market?

Variants and Fan Cards / Possession as a one-shot Event
« on: January 04, 2019, 09:39:55 pm »
Would Possession work as an Event you can only buy once per game? I'm imagining this version would also have you possess every other player instead of just the one to your left, which would get rid of the political problems the card has now. I feel like this would solve a lot of Possession's problems, though maybe not all. One potential problem is that while it wouldn't discourage building a good deck as much as it does now, it might still discourage megaturns, since your opponent could win by grabbing your megaturn from you at just the right moment. That would require some skill, though, so it might add interesting strategy.

What would be a good cost for this?

Variants and Fan Cards / Cursed Bottle / Bottle Imp
« on: December 09, 2018, 12:58:57 pm »

Wacky idea, inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's short story The Bottle Imp In the story, the Bottle Imp grants wishes, but if you still have it when you die, you go to hell. You can sell it, but only for less money than you bought it with. This leads to the following paradox: No sane person would buy it for 1 cent, because they'd be unable to sell it (In the story you can't "buy" it for free; here you can get it for $0 but then you're stuck with it). But then no sane person would buy it for 2 cents, because they'd be unable to find a buyer. And so on. But at the same time, buying it for, say, $100 seems perfectly sensible.

So, is this even a remotely good idea? Is the Imp good enough that the first person to get a Bottle will often just pay $0 and keep the Imp?

Dominion General Discussion / Order of Types
« on: December 04, 2018, 10:47:58 pm »
I don't know if this has been done before. I made a diagram of the card Types based on the order they're listed on the card.

Action > Treasure > Attack > Knight > Victory > Reaction > Shelter
      |__ Night __|       |____ Duration ____||_____ Castle _____|
                  |____ Reserve ___|    |    |_____ Heirloom ____|
                                        |________ Spirit ________|

If a Type is to the left of another, that means it always appears to the left of the other. Types on top of each other means it's unknown what their order would be. So Treasure and Night are after Action and before Attack, but their positions with respect to each other are unknown. Similarly, Duration is after Attack and before Reaction, but while it's known that Knight is before Victory, it's unknown what Duration's position is with respect to either.

There's a bunch of types we don't know much about: Ruins, Gathering, Zombie are after Action; Prize, Looter, Traveller, Fate, Doom are after Attack.

Some patterns can be discerned. Types that indicate the phase a card can be played in are always at the beginning, and they appear in the order of the phases. Types that indicate how a card functions are usually before types used more for convenience (like Spirit and Castle). There also seems to be a bit of animacy hierarchy: It's interesting to note that Knight is before Victory and Castle is after, even though they're both types of convenience referring to mixed piles. Knight apparently comes before Victory simply because it implies something alive.

Cards with unique dual-types:
Crown: Action > Treasure
Werewolf: Action > Night
Coin of the Realm: Treasure > Reserve
Fool's Gold: Treasure > Reaction
Idol: Treasure > Fate, Attack > Fate
Diadem: Treasure > Prize
Followers: Attack > Prize
Distant Lands: Reserve > Victory
Dame Josephine: Knight > Victory
Ghost: Night > Spirit, Duration > Spirit
Caravan Guard: Duration > Reaction
Tunnel: Victory > Reaction
Pasture: Victory > Heirloom
Necropolis: Action > Shelter
Overgrown Estate: Victory > Shelter
Hovel: Reaction > Shelter

Dominion General Discussion / Card Rankings for 2018?
« on: December 01, 2018, 02:01:55 pm »
Are we going to do that?

Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Jackpot
« on: October 29, 2018, 08:03:04 pm »
This is an idea for a fan expansion I've been thinking about for a while. The basic themes are "a sudden, big effect" and things that happen when you shuffle. Some of the cards also have a Wild West theme.

It has some new mechanics.

First, it has the Luck Tokens I invented for the weekly card contest. I had actually come up with these tokens when I was thinking more about this set than the contest, and they serendipitously worked as an entry. For those who didn't read the thread, "+X Luck" means you gain X Luck tokens, and you spend Luck tokens when you shuffle. For each Luck token spent, set aside a card and then put it on the bottom of the deck after shuffling (in any order if you set aside more than one).

There are some cards with overpay as well.

The most important, though, is the new Jackpot card type, indicated with a bright green color. If a card has the Jackpot type, that means it has a special ability, indicated with the text "Jackpot: ".  When you play a card as a Jackpot, you do not get the card's normal effect, and get the Jackpot effect instead. There is basically one important restriction with Jackpots: You can only play one per turn. Once you play a card as a Jackpot, you can play other Jackpot cards, but you can only use their regular abilities. When can you use a Jackpot? Anytime on your turn except during cleanup. You can use it at the very beginning of your turn, before you resolve any lingering durations, or you can use it at the very end of your Night phase, or anytime in between. It does not use up any actions, the only restriction is once per turn. Also, these rules only apply if you're playing a Jackpot card as a Jackpot. If the card's other type is Action and you play it as an Action instead, the normal Action card rules apply instead.

So here are the cards (more coming.) I'm pretty clueless as to whether or not these are balanced, so any feedback is greatly appreciated!


A great example for how you can use (or abuse) the Jackpot mechanic. Play a Cultist and immediately trash it for +3 cards, or get a Monastery effect by playing it after your Coppers. Use the top decking to replay the same card, or set up your next turn. Lots of possibilities. By the way, I came up with the top decking thing before Eagles posted about his similar Heir card. This has the same tracking problems, but I might find some way around that.

Note that the Jackpot says "card", not "Action card". Since you can play Jackpots at any time, there's no need to limit the King's Court effect to Action cards; you can use it on Treasures or even Night cards!

A cute idea I came up with. It's like Council Room or Governor, but then you can force them back down to 3 cards. The attack is also the Jackpot, so you can use it after playing another with the Action effect even if there's no +Actions on the board. The net result is only +2 cards, of course, but hey, you also got +Buy and attacked everyone else.

It's an attack village! You can potentially force them to discard anything thanks to the play-anytime Jackpot rule, but the village effect itself is pretty crummy, so you decide if it's worth it.

Card from the contest, with a minor change. Similar to Ducat, but I like the idea of a slightly-better card you can replace your Coppers with, to maybe make Remodeling easier.

Another contest card. Curses everyone, but at least they can make the Curse miss a shuffle. Originally it was going to be "+$2, +1 Buy" with the name being a nod to Woodcutter, but I felt, hey, if this is a witch that hands out Luck for some reason, why isn't she giving you any of it?

The last contest card, again with a minor change. You can use the Luck to make this dead card miss some shuffles, or just trash it and use the Luck to bottom-deck the Gold.

A card from another contest. This was an idea I came up with a long time ago, but it has overpay so it fits here just fine.

Yup, it's a $2 attack! It's also something that cares about shuffling. Instead of giving you Luck tokens, though, it gives everyone else bad luck. It has to be weak given the price, but is it too weak to ever buy? Dunno.


And here's the Treasure-Jackpot I promised. Directly inspired by Leprechaun, one of my favorite cards, but Treasures and Nights will also count toward the 7 here.

More crazy colors! The Jackpot is a bit convoluted, but I wanted something that you wouldn't obviously want to do at the beginning or end of your turn, so it has the Lab-Discard-Wharf thing.

A lab variant with a nod to Secret Chamber. It's not a Reaction but it could be a reasonable defense to discard and junking attacks.

Another wacky effect. Empty your hand of all Treasures and Nights, then return to your Action phase and draw back up to 5.

It's the infamous Road! But you can't play it infinite times, at least. Note that while it can use your turn's Jackpot, the card itself does not have the Jackpot type, so you can only play it during your Action or Buy phases. If it's not clear, you get the $2 and nothing else if you play it during your Buy phase, and you get everything under the $2 but not the $2 itself otherwise. And you can't use any Jackpots if you do the return-to-hand thing. I made it an Action-Treasure so that the return-to-hand is still useful even if there's no villages.

Same principle as the last one.

More boring than the others? Eh, it's a village and it helps your engine consistency; it works.

Another old idea. Sift, or "reverse-sift" before trashing your hand.


Edict mechanic from Asper. I wasn't planning on having any landscape cards originally, but then this silly idea came up, and I think having some when-you-shuffle Edicts could be cool. This was originally going in RBCI, but the more I thought about it, it might actually be fun to have a deck where your Treasure is constantly multiplying. Might lead to some nice TfB tricks, or a combo with a good Kingdom Treasure. What do you think?

Another overpay card. The on-play is weak, but getting rid of some of those $0 cards can get easier if you use the overpay to replace them with 2s. And of course, you can also use the overpay to get some extra points or empty a pile at the end. It's like VP for overpay but not broken.


New card, with a new color combination!

The basic ability is pretty bad: Copper as an Action. The Jackpot ability gets a bit more exciting: you can get a Village effect, or return to your Action phase if you draw it dead. And then there's the Reaction part, of course: Stop Attacks cold, at the cost of next turn's Jackpot. Which will you choose?

Rules Questions / Should Prince be a Duration?
« on: October 06, 2018, 10:40:36 am »
I understand that Prince came out a bit before Adventures, but Hireling sets the precedent that Durations can stay out forever.

I think there's few things that are as good at making a game thoroughly boring as not having any +Buy (Or any other ways to gain multiple cards per turn.) No Villages usually makes a game less interesting, but there can still be some interesting strategy in how to navigate around the tight terminal space. The particular problem with no +Buy is that you're immediately at a hard cap of one Province a turn. Building a complicated deck becomes pointless, and if a really cool engine were otherwise possible it just feels sad. And then often it's already gg if you're 2 Provinces behind because it's mathematically impossible to catch up.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Watchtower and Guardian
« on: September 03, 2018, 08:23:38 pm »
This happened twice: I bought a Guardian with Watchtower in hand. I clicked "done reacting" so that it would go into my hand... but it went on top of my deck instead.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / "rat catcher"
« on: August 21, 2018, 09:09:44 pm »
This is a pretty minor thing, but...

The chat corrects Ratcatcher to "rat catcher". I'm pretty sure the single word is the correct form.

I noticed this because of something else that's not really a bug but still annoying: If you have only treasures in your hand, you can still accidentally play Crown in your action phase... because you have a Reserve card on your mat.


player 1's deck could be used for memory; Silvers for on bits and Coppers for off bits, since those are the biggest piles in the game.

Player 2's deck would store the instructions. Masquerade can be used to flip bits by switching out Silvers and Coppers from Player 1's hand.

Something like Shanty Town would be used for decision making; I'm not sure how exactly that could work. There also has to be a way to jump to any part of Player 2's deck so that instructions can be executed; I'm also not sure about that.

Player 2 would have to manipulate Player 1's hand so that memory can be read. Hands in Dominion are unordered, but this can be fudged a bit by saying the bit read/written is the last card drawn. Governor can draw Player 1's cards. The Fear Hex can force them to top deck (We'll say they have to top deck in reverse order they drew, to keep things in order) but the randomness factor of the Hexes would also have to be fudged somehow.

Dominion General Discussion / Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« on: June 26, 2018, 03:14:26 pm »
Seriously, is there any reason to buy it if there are no Attacks on the board? Besides, of course, diversity/Gardens stuff, where it's no better than literally any other card besides Curse.

It's occurred to me that this card seems to break with the general design principle that defense cards should provide some sort of benefit even if there are no Attacks. Moat and Lighthouse aren't great if there are no Attacks, but Moat can very occasionally be used for draw and Lighthouse can be useful with draw-to-X. A delayed Copper, though, is Ruins-level bad. If you're really desperate for an extra +1$ you can just get a regular Copper.

Dominion General Discussion / Mountain Pass
« on: June 14, 2018, 09:32:06 pm »
This is the one thing in the game that I literally have no idea what to do with. How much is 8 non-dead VP usually worth? Does it make a difference whether you're ahead or behind? What other sorts of conditions change your bid?

Dominion General Discussion / Labs
« on: March 11, 2018, 03:01:32 pm »
Non-terminal draw is a relatively simple concept: Handsize-increasers you can easily spam without needing villages. Based on their positions on the Qvist rankings, though, they actually seem to be some of the cards I least understand. Things that confuse me:

Laboratory - Lab gets trashed a lot. The main reason given is that "the draw is weak." Well, yes, it only increases your handsize by 1, but the fact that it combines drawing and non-terminality into a single card is huge. It seems to me that people are underestimating the number of Lab boards where there's either no villages or no terminal draw. In either of those cases Lab is a crucial card.

Even if there are both villages and draws, Lab is still likely to be really good. If the available villages or draws are weak, then Lab will remain the best option because of its consistency. If the villages or draws are good but expensive, then Lab might be the more economical option. In any case, Lab is still a valuable engine piece because of the consistency it provides. And yes, I know that Hunting Party is almost always better, but the chances of both cards appearing on the same board is miniscule.

Alchemist - This one possibly gets trashed even more than Lab. Yeah, it's expensive, but the Potion remains useful. The same arguments for Lab apply here: There might not be villages or terminal draws, or they might be weak. Whenever I don't go for this and my opponent does, I nearly always lose. The power and consistency of a top-decking Lab is very hard to beat. Maybe I just suck at building engines...

Den of Sin - I simply cannot understand why this is considered better than Lab. Yes, I'm aware of the amazing benefits: Gain to hand, can't be drawn dead, bigger hand at the very beginning. The fact remains, though, that if you're drawing your whole deck, which is something you should always try to do, you need two of these to do the same thing a single Lab does. In my experience playing with it, it's clearly inferior.

Caravan - I find it... a bit odd, or at least interesting, how similar this card is to Den of Sin but how it's nonetheless cheaper... and yet still considered overall worse. It's basically Den of Sin but one of the +1 cards gets moved to this turn instead of the next, and yeah, all those other aforementioned side benefits are removed as well. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think Caravan is super strong, and it's clearly worse than Den of Sin disregarding price. I guess I find it interesting that +2 cards this turn and +2 cards next turn are BOTH considered better than +1 card this turn and next turn. I guess draw is something you don't want to spread out?

Stables - I was definitely confused to see this higher than Lab in the new list. It's better than Lab if you can't trash your Coppers, but most of the time you can and should. The fact that this relies on treasures gives two ways it can dud: You can either draw a hand with all treasures or draw Stables with no treasures. Lab's consistency will beat it most of the time, I think.

Lost City - Lost City is great... but is it that much better than Vanillab? +2 actions is always good, but it's often going to matter less if you're already drawing a good chunk of your deck without terminal draw... which is what Lost City does. So is the village effect overall worth the on-gain penalty? I think it usually is, but I'm puzzled as to why this is so MUCH more highly regarded than Lab.

Dominion General Discussion / Best/Craziest Openings
« on: March 10, 2018, 03:16:13 pm »
Dominion has come a long way since the Mountebank/Chapel days, what with Events, Shelters, Heirlooms, Baker etc. Here's some of the things you can do now:

-Open Platinum, with 4 Coppers and a Cursed Gold and Baker and Borrow.

-Activate Magic Lamp on turn 1, with 4 Heirlooms and a Copper and Villa.

-Gain a Mercenary before your first shuffle, by paying $8 (using any subset of the things from the Platinum opening) for a Traveling Fair and 2 topdecked Urchins.

-A bit more mundane than the others, but still really good: Summon Ambassador on turn 1, removing 2 dead cards and giving your opponent one before the first shuffle.

I doubt we'll reach agreement on what the very best opening of all is, but what are some of the craziest openings you can think of?

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