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Thank you for hosting this contest and for the the comments.
The new contest is now open.

Weekly Design Contest / Weekly Design Contest #222: Take Five
« on: June 20, 2024, 06:17:26 pm »
Weekly Design Contest #222: Take Five

For this week's contest, design a card or card-shaped thing that has +5 Cards or a functionally equivalent wording in its text. You may incorporate any official components or mechanics. Your entry must encompass only a single card or card-shaped thing.

Functionally equivalent here means, it behaves exactly as +5 Cards would. That is, the number of cards drawn is exactly five, always and every time, except, of course, when not enough cards are in the deck and discard pile to be drawn. An example would be Guide with its "draw 5 cards" clause. Thus drawing up to X cards or looking at more than 5 cards an choosing 5 to put in hand are not permitted. Also not allowed is splitting the draw, i.e having multiple + Cards all adding up to +5 Cards. On that note, don't try anything cheeky like splitting higher + Cards into one +5 Cards and something else, without a very good reason.
That isn't to say, the hand size must always be affected in the same way as by a plain +5 Cards. You may include discarding, trashing, playing of cards from hand etc. The +5 Cards may be nested in a choose or conditional clause etc.

Although plain text entries will be accepted, I encourage you to submit your cards as images with card-art.

The contest will close some time on Thursday next week. I plan to post the judgment on the same day. I am aiming for a turnaround time for this week's contest of 7 days, thus the time you have to submit your entries is not quite that.


Cost reduction does not affect the debt cost of Victory cards.


I recognize that this is quite similar to the entry above. Despite that I still think it merits inclusion.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #218: Tokens
« on: May 09, 2024, 09:27:52 pm »
I have a few guesses

- Sometimes, complex cards are genuinely worse because they only happen absent a great idea. Like, if you have a unique idea, you make it into a simple card and are done with it. If you don't have a unique idea, you just start tagging on stuff onto a card (and then maybe scrap/re-add/modify) until you sort of have something. This is not always how complex cards are created, but if it is, it may well be justified that they don't do well

- Complex cards have more components and hence more to criticize. Especially relevant if, to whatever degree, you adopt a measure based on how many flaws you can detect rather than the more subjective sense of how excited you are by the card

- When you design a card, understanding it feels like a trivial cost/buy-in compared to the value that the card provides as an idea or if it were/is played with. But if you judge (or even just read other cards) then you have no prior investment into most designs, so trying to get the hang of it can feel like a significant cost. This can create a negative vibe and since everyone secretly decides everything on vibes, that lowers chances significantly

- As a judge, you don't want it to look like anyone can win the contest by force. E.g., say we make a contest and everyone submits a simple design except one person who makes a 5-step traveler line. If you give the win to that person, it sort of looks like you're rewarding the most work rather than the best idea. (This is probably the weakest point though, and in fact high effort cards don't tend to get a lot of upvotes from other people, either.)

It altogether seems like most people primarily like the "oh that's really clean and clever" type cards.

I feel like there is a bias towards cards that are always relevant in any kingdom, as in cards that fit into most "normal" engine strategies. On the other hand, card that need some more niche conditions to be viable, but don't drift too far into the realm of "this card is garbage unless in this 1% of kingdoms where it is all you care about", are often dismissed because of it.
It is very easy to design a card that doesn't work. It is pretty easy to design a card by looking at cards that already exist and simply remixing the things that are proven to work well and then be reasonably confident the result will also work. It is much harder to design a functioning card that actually has the property above.

I'd argue that the effect is stronger in contests with very open prompts. The more specific the requirements, the harder it is to design an adequate card. Maybe people have a tendency to submit cards that just clear the bar for entry instead of withholding their entry when the deadline draws near, even though they themselves would admit that the card could still use some work.


And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to . No more. No less. shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be . shalt thou not count, nor either count thou , excepting that thou then proceed to . is right out. Once the number , being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.'

Idk; it's like a +2$, +2 Actions variant for the most part, except you don't get the Actions up front. It's similar to Conclave but significantly weaker because the not-up-front thing is a big deal.

One copy of Marina can work across turns, so it also functions as a one time +Actions at the start of your next turn, which compensates for the not-up-front part. With that you can get some variant on Festival/Smithy going.

Also, why limit it to cards costing up to $7? There isn't much that is excluded from this. Just doing it for Prince (and maybe Platinum and Peddler) is silly.


Whoops, for some reason I thought the card you gained needed to be a copy of one you have in play.
In this case, probably should say non-Victory card instead.

I also just noticed it does not loop with Academy, because the next time thing triggers only once...
Pretend I didn't say anything


How long do you wanna keep it out?

This loops with Academy; remember you can spend villagers any time.
Also, why limit it to cards costing up to $7? There isn't much that is excluded from this. Just doing it for Prince (and maybe Platinum and Peddler) is silly.



Trying to keep with the games original balance.
The kingdom pile comes with 12 copies.

The call timing of this makes the card basically just a +$4 card, which is too strong at $4, even without the bonus.
The wording is unclear about what happens when you call 5 or more "together". There needs to be some safeguard against triggering the Prov/Duchy gain multiple times.
Also, the "together" part is not well defined, since, other than when e.g. discarding multiple cards, you don't call all reserve cards at the same time, but rather one after another.
How do you get $4 with this? On this page Reserve, under "Official Rules" it states "Calling a card does not repeat the abilities on the card above the dividing line; that part only happens when the card is played."  :)
You play it in your Action phase and get the +$2, then at the start of your Buy phase on the same turn you can call it for further +$2. You can play, call and then discard it from play, all in one turn, so +$4 in total each turn.


Trying to keep with the games original balance.
The kingdom pile comes with 12 copies.

The call timing of this makes the card basically just a +$4 card, which is too strong at $4, even without the bonus.
The wording is unclear about what happens when you call 5 or more "together". There needs to be some safeguard against triggering the Prov/Duchy gain multiple times.
Also, the "together" part is not well defined, since, other than when e.g. discarding multiple cards, you don't call all reserve cards at the same time, but rather one after another.


Build a deck that shuffles often.
The at the start of turn clause is to prevent this from simply being a soft limit on the number of turns, while the points from setup are added to prevent most turn 1 finishes.


This also triggers on itself, so you can chain any number of Treasures on your first turn, getting one of them twice and skipping any you don't want.
For example, in a game with Printing Press and no additional Treasures, you buy Silver, gain Gold, gain Printing Press, Gain Gold again, at which point the chain stops.
Even worse when Platinum and other Treasures are in the Kingdom. You could, for example, open Silver, gain a Gold, Printing Press, Counterfeit, Kingīs cache and two Platina.

Not the Bees!

You know you have spent too much time searching for suitable card images when you end up using some Ukrainian stamps from more than 20 years ago.


Pedestal synergizes well with Province; and other expensive cards.


I've played a lot of grand strategy games back when I was still in school. My most played of the bunch were Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings II. One prominent mechanic of those games is the Coalition (or similar concepts with other names, e.g. Defensive Pact). Many small nations form an alliance against a larger one that is displaying signs of aggression or overextension. In Dominion terms: Do you take the route of many cheap or few expensive Victory Cards?

In colony games, the break even point lies at $22 with 2 Colonies vs. Coalition (1VP + 2VP + 3VP + 4VP + 5VP = 15VP) +5 Estates (5VP) with 20 VP each.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #188: Make a Wish
« on: June 01, 2023, 11:06:40 am »

Golden Goose by Augie279

This card captures the core of the Fable of The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs really well. The mechanics used serve as good metaphors for the happenings in the Fable. Apart from that the card seems well balanced. Alone, it is quite slow and you need some engine support for it so it isn't immediately overpowered as soon as another Gold gainer is in the kingdom. Overall, Golden Goose earns the winning spot by being both a well thought out card as well as having a good theme to match.
As a note: The Fable "The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs" is not to be confused with the fairytale "The Golden Goose". From the art it is clear, which one is referred to here and I don't blame you for taking the shorter name.

2nd Place
Monkey's Paw by anordinaryman
Monkey's Paw scores very high on the theming aspect. Your Wishes come with a penalty. Very intriguing to me is attaching VP to not spending Wishes, which also matches the theme very well.
However, I think the mechanics here are a little wonky. Using Hexes to track how many wishes you are still to receive runs into the problem, that you can run out of hexes. Apart from that it might be too slow in most cases to even consider. Because it is so slow, you need to start buying Monkey's Paws very early if you want to use it as a viable source of Alt-VP, which doesn't seem like an enjoyable strategy to go for.

3rd Place
Wonderland by grep

Wonderland embraces the aspect of using a challenging criterion to gain Wishes. With shelters some Alt-VP or on the board. Wonderland becomes a very reasonably priced gainer, that still is basically impossible to solely rely on. Even without you, it is still not out of the question whether Wonderland is worth the investments.
Unfortunately, you missed the mark on the theming part of the contest. As far as I'm aware, and I tried to research some, there are no works in which a Wonderland or similar is connected to granting wishes. Perhaps I simply overlooked something. But even if there were, the connection to the mechanics is tenuous at best.

Birthday Party by NoMoreFun
Birthday Party
Event - $0
Once per turn: If your deck has exactly 10 cards in it, gain a Wish
Very straight forward. Blow out the candles and make a Wish. I think the condition is not worth actively going for. You can only get the wish if you have at least 10 unplayed cards, which only really happens by accident, you wouldn't ever sacrifice your turn for that. The only way to go for this is to either have ways to get back to the Action Phase or you are in a situation in which you donīt draw much anyway.

Forest Hike by BryGuy
Forest Hike • $5 • Action
+1 Action
You may discard a Victory card for +2 Cards.
You may play up to two Treasure cards.
If you have exactly eight cards in play, gain a wish, otherwise you may gain a silver.
Forest Hike has basically the same condition as Leprechaun. It is also non-terminal, makes fulfilling the condition way easier by allowing to play treasures, and doesn't mete out punishment for failing.

Hopeful by xyz123

When you gain a Hopeful card, you may reveal and discard two differently named Treasures to gain a Wish.
Hopeful is a very solid Trait. The condition has a reasonable opportunity cost and the amount of wishes is therefore limited.

Pact by grrgrrgrr

I like the theming, especially the use of the number 7. However, I think Pact suffers from the fact, that on a given board it is either a mistake to buy or, if it is good, the first to spike $7 just wins.

Shooting Star by 4est

The theming is nice and straight forward, being a night card and all. It needs a rewording to account for what happens when you reveal multiple copies of it on an opponents turn.

Offer by czzzz

This is just too good. The difference between 2/5 and 3/4 is too significant here. Also, just keeping two of your estates around is in no way challenging, if your reward is a Wish a turn.

End of the Road by sumrex
End of the Road 2P
Action- Treasure
+2 Cards
Once this turn, when you play a treasure or night card: you may reveal your hand, then use the following effects, depending on how many unique cards are in it:
0: Gain a Action costing up to 5
1-3: Gain a Gold
4-6: Gain 2 Cards costing up to 4
7: Gain a Wish
This is too strong. The way to go here is to get as many EotR as possible, get enough differently named cards and then get easy wishes out of it. Since it is a (also) treasure, it is trivially easy to first play all the treasures that get in the way of uniqueness and then activate all EotRs at the same time.

Fairy Godmother by faust

Fairy Godmother does not scale well with more players. In a four player game you can just open double FG, ideally get them on T3 and T4 and by the start of T6 you have 6 wishes in deck and don't need to return anything any more.
Fairy Godmother generally are not portrayed as wish granters.

Shooting Star by Will(ow|iam)
Shooting Star
$4 Event
Gain 2 Wishes. Each other player may discard 2 cards to gain a Wish.
This is too good. You pay $4 for two $6 Cards, while your opponent my pay by discarding 2 cards for a $6 card. The discarding is most likely to occur when their turn is not that great anyway. Also very problematic is that you can buy this several times in a turn. The more players are in a game, the more pronounced these problems become.

Enchanted Forest by X-tra

I really like this as an Event. I feel it would be a tough call when to use this. Considering you might trash a Province to get 3 Duchies out of this is just the beginning. Unfortunately there is not much to say about the theming.

Lucky Dragon by emtzalex

As a card, this seems fine. Though I canīt make Heads or Tails of how this fits with the theming.

Aviary by silverspawn

The condition to get the wish is certainly hard but you have next to no control over whether you succeed. The best way would be to get your hand size low.

Fairy Assembly by JW
Fairy Assembly

+1 Card and +2 Actions.

In games using this, at the start of your Clean-up, you may exchange two Fairy Assemblies and a Gold you have in play for 3 Wishes.
I like the idea of condition. The net gain is fairly low though. Additionally, other players might steal your villages and never give them back. So as it is, the card is fairly weak.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #188: Make a Wish
« on: June 01, 2023, 06:07:06 am »
Contest Closed

Results will follow later today.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #188: Make a Wish
« on: May 30, 2023, 05:30:41 pm »
24 Hour Warning

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