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Game Reports / Nocturne Procession Synergy (ft. Donate and Tomb)
« on: November 16, 2018, 05:04:32 pm »

Boy, this kingdom was neat! Today's ultra-bargain: a Gold, +2 Buys, 2 Hexes (where not prohibited by law), +1 VP, and a Bandit Camp for the low low price of $4. Lots of little optimizations to make, and hexes that slipped through could disrupt the trajectory.

Random generation (w/ 4+ Nocturne, since we got it somewhat recently) delivered a fascinating kingdom- games like this make me love Dominion.

Game Reports / Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!
« on: October 24, 2016, 06:47:23 pm »

This was a 3-player game. There are a few intriguing interactions among the Landmarks and Kingdom Cards.

- Draw-to-X plays really nice with Fishing Village and Artificer.
- Expensive treasures are vulnerable to Pirates. The normal defense of silver flooding (and with such a good enabler in Jack) is a bit dangerous with Bandit Fort.
- Pirate Ship is the only major source of non-Treasure money.

Sitting in seat 3, I opened Chapel/Armory and focused on getting the hotly contested Fishing Villages (split 3-3-4 in my favor). My friend and I both decided to go all in on Pirates and, while he jumped out to an early Coin lead, I had one good turn that rocketed me from 1 to 4 coins (6 eventually). I won through Colonies, I think mostly because I used the draw-to-x synergy better than my friend or wife.

I think we all slept on Jack (I did use one before switching to Libraries). Definitely Chapel was capable of trashing excess Silver right at the end, but we were also afraid of powering up each others' Pirates since there were so few straggling Coppers. Do you think the immediate benefit outweighs the concerns?

I also have a hard time predicting how this Kingdom would play out if someone went for a 3-pile ending.

Game Reports / Keep the change
« on: June 20, 2016, 08:57:13 pm »

Do you remember the last time you played Dominion and honestly had no idea what the best move was or who was winning? I do, it was when I played this kingdom a few days ago with my fiancee. Empires is a beautiful and strange beast indeed.

OK, first things first:
  • Keep gives 5 points per Treasure pile, and there are six types of treasure in this kingdom for 30 points total. Wow, that's a lot of points, Keep is clearly a big deal.
  • Donate is here, the party can begin! Everyone is gonna have a slim deck, OK, I just have to think about when to do it and what my economy will be like afterwards - pretty similar to Chapel.
  • Catapult, man that attack seems strong, but I need fuel for my Catapults so I guess I can't Donate everything. How many Coppers should be retained? Also, the Catapult can fling Curses into the trash but that doesn't hurt my opponent, it just saves me a Donate. It's a tough call.
  • City Quarter will suffer from the Treasures from Keep and the handsize from Catapult. Dungeon is obsoleted by Donate and struggles with handsize anyway. Haunted Woods has good draw but the attack won't do anything. Settlers seems useless when most of the Coppers will be Donated or Catapulted.

Catapult makes games very medieval- consistent 3 card hands and a steady influx of curses, plus unlike Militia it doesn't make money for the wielder and reduces your hand size. Similar to a Mercenary melee, we both felt like we had to hold a 3 card hand of Catapult, treasure (to be launched), X. This left us with $1 + X, which made us both poor for a long time. Eventually it was quite difficult to find ammo for the Catapults, especially with Keep swaying the value of treasures. I wonder if the hypothetical correct move is to ignore Catapult, accepting the handsize & Curses (with Donate).

Fighting for the various points for Keep was really bizarre overall. It caused many irregular choices which felt necessary. It didn't help that the only extra buy came from the "consolation prize" mode of Charm. I never fired my last Rocks, deciding that 5VP was worth keeping a glorified Copper around.

Mystic seemed to be the best general-purpose card in the kingdom, although it was hard to compete for Keep points without getting unwanted variety.

In the end, we tied on points! My fiancee got the Keep points for Copper, CotR, and Silver, while I got Gold, Charm, and Rocks. We split the regular VP evenly, but she went first and ended the game, so I squeaked out a win. It was a fun & mind-bending game. If you think you know how to play this one, please share!

Game Reports / Re: Groundskeeper engine
« on: June 20, 2016, 06:20:04 pm »
Obviously it's super early in Empire's release, but I think Charm is excellent. Probably the key to this kingdom is getting $5 + Charm as fast as possible so that you can have an overwhelming majority of Groundskeeper/Stables/Storyteller.

Without having played either Aqueduct or Groundskeeper, I wonder when it's wise to grab green in the midgame just to cash in on points. My experience with Storyteller is that it's very feast or famine, so maybe in game I'd feel confident about my deck's tolerance for green. Hmm, I might try to pick up a few Vagrants just to give myself more leeway.

Game Reports / My First Empire - Triumph/Charm is nuts
« on: June 15, 2016, 04:47:09 pm »

Code: [Select]
Bazaar, Chancellor, Charm, Council Room, Crown, Harvest, Merchant Ship, Palace, Peddler, Shelters, Triumph, Warehouse, Wine Merchant
Alriiight, first Empires game! Got the fiance and 2 of our friends, and the randomizer has graced us with 4 hot new cards (ok there was a little encouragement there)

Right out the gate you can see this is gonna be a slow starter that absolutely explodes in the midgame. So:
- (as expected with Empires) what's the best way to make fat stacks of VP? Is Palace even worth thinking about? What's the deal with Triumph?
- What are my early 5s?

I decided to go with Charm as my first 5. I had opened with Silver/Silver (Palace + 4p village scarcity swaying me away from Chancellor), so I figured I might get lucky and get a double 5. nope, oh well. probably shoulda gone council room first.

Anyway once the engine gets going things are pretty obvious, load up on Bazaar, CR, and Crown. I got a second Charm which felt good. Now, I just thought Charm looked cool for building this pricy engine, but suddenly one turn I have $20, 5 buys, and triple Charm (from Crowning one of them). And it's like a ray of light reaches through the window and falls lovingly on Triumph.

First buy: Crown-CR-Bazaar-Duchy (didn't realize at the time that each Charm could get the same card, i.e. Duchy, but I ended up getting another turn so it was a happy accident)
Second buy: Peddler (free)
Third buy: Triumph, for 7VP counting the Estate
Pay off 5 debt
Fourth buy: Triumph, for 8VP
Pay off 5 debt
Fifth buy: Triumph, for 9VP
Pay off 5 debt

Not bad.

P.S. how does everyone feel about Empires game reports, since obviously these will never have logs?

Dominion: Empires Previews / Re: Favourite Card/Event/Landmark?
« on: June 08, 2016, 06:39:36 pm »
Card: I'll go with Royal Blacksmith, for using a new mechanic to enable something simple but interesting . Honorable mentions to Catapult/Rocks, Chariot Race, Temple, and Wild Hunt.

Event: Tax, which seems like a user-friendly Embargo that also mitigates turn order. Honorable mentions to Ritual and Salt the Earth.

Landmark: I'll say Obelisk because I think stuff like Obelisk of Chancellor will be so much fun, even though there's an equal chance for Obelisk of Minion. Honorable mentions to Fountain and Defiled Shrine. I think the Landmarks that really warp the game will be fun; like Colonnade may adjust your strategy a bit but often you want to buy a bunch of Peddlers turn after turn anyway. But ask me how I'm gonna have 10 coppers at the end of the game, or if that effort's even worth 15? Man, I don't know.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Early Adventures Impressions
« on: May 16, 2016, 02:33:43 pm »
Most people here only care about 2P, especially in the context of online, and that's cool. I can see how Warrior is not that bad in 2P. In 3P the odds of someone getting pinned are probably more than doubled (more warriors being played, and one more player as a potential target). In the games before we banned it, it seemed like Page always caused one player, selected at random, to not just lose, but get brutalized - and you can't resign in a 3 player game. So for the online-only people who are just now experiencing Adventures, the hate for the card may seem overblown because the IRL experience is different.

Game Reports / Re: Inheritance empowers Silk Road
« on: April 26, 2016, 03:25:30 pm »
My best guess is that B-crat and Swamp Hag are too overpowering for Inheritance / Silk Road here. The absence of any draw makes a hand-size attack really strong. Swamp Hag hits hard too. Sure, you can try to inherit Amulet to fight off the curses, but the Silk Road strategy relies on buying lots of little cards, which means getting lots of curses since there's no gaining tricks.

I think Merchant Guild is a red herring. Use Counterfeit for your buy (and to trash the Silvers coming in from B-Crat) and focus on having enough attacks to play some every turn.

Game Reports / Young Witch, Gear, Peasant, Oh My!
« on: April 20, 2016, 06:25:15 pm »

Bane: , & using
Code: [Select]
Adventurer, Bandit Camp, Counterfeit, Crossroads, Distant Lands, Fool's Gold (bane), Gear, Library, Noble Brigand, Peasant, Shelters, Young Witch
This was on IRL 3 person game, so I don't have a log, but it was a very interesting kingdom. There's no Curse trashing, so Young Witch looks strong, but FG is a great bane. Plus there's Gear and Counterfeit, so modified Gear BM seems like the way to go. But 3 player complicates the FG split significantly, and Curses that slip through will slow things down, so a Teacher-fueled mega engine might still be plausible.

Opponent 1 opened YW Peasant, then caught up on FG with Peasant's buy. She made it to Teacher and taught +Card to her Bandit Camps, then +Action to Gear on her last turn. She unluckily failed to draw her Counterfeits and was only able to buy the last Province, instead of also getting several Duchies. I think the +Action placement was definitely wrong, but the +Card placement is open to debate.

Opponent 2 opened YW Gear, and fell behind on FG. Seeing this, he opted hard into Gear and tried to rush an ending. After losing the FG split (2 to our 4 each), he got hit hard by Curses. He had a point lead at one time, but couldn't end it before stalling.

I opened YW FG and went hard on FG, ignoring other stuff for a while to keep up with the split. Then I transitioned into Gear and Counterfeit, picking up a second YW and a few Bandit Camps later. I also got a nice Counterfeit turn with Hovel in hand, so picked up a single Distant Lands to remove the extra card in the mid-game. I got the least number of Curses (2) and squeaked out a win.

No one went pure FG/Gear, which might have been optimal. What would you have done? Answers may differ depending on the number of players, so feel free to describe either situation.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss... Adventures!
« on: March 30, 2016, 04:23:07 pm »
Adventures contains some of my very favorite cards, and also a few of my least favorite. I think that's to be expected given the extreme complexity of the set.

I've posted my opinion about Page before; I think it is the worst card in the game, with poor design and high impact. My IRL group gave it about 5 tries and everyone hated those games. So we banned Page, and that's the nice thing about IRL - problem solved, there are still lots of other cards to enjoy!

There are some other cards that I've started to dislike more subtly. Swamp Hag comes to mind: it's a cool concept, and there are lots of cards that work around it, but sometimes you don't get any counters and then you're in for a slow, swingy, boring game where everyone skips half their turns.

But then there's the good, and boy howdy is there a lot of it! Artificer, Teacher, every single pile-modifier, all three Journey cards, every Reserve card, Magpie, Storyteller... I love 'em all! These cards are unique, nuanced, and just plain fun! What more can I say?

Adventures cards often lead to feast-or-famine gameplay. It is a "crazy combos" set, like Dark Ages but kinder. This can lead to some frustrating games, but more often it lets players get really experimental with off-the-wall, powerful tactics. The high moments are stratospheric, and overall I think it's an excellent, game-changing expansion. Just don't include it when teaching newcomers!

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Royal Carriage
« on: March 17, 2016, 06:22:49 pm »
Royal Carriage competes with other 5s less than you'd think, because it basically is another one of those same 5s. After the first you'd rather just have another RC unless it's part of a multi piece engine.

In games where you want to play an Attack early and as much as possible, Royal Carriage is nearly always better than a second copy of the same attack. Royal Carriage can't collide, it can be used the same turn you play it, and it can be saved for future turns if need be. It's almost strictly better than Throne Room because of this, and it is a lot less risky and more versatile.

I agree with this, but the caveat is that in strong kingdoms (common occurrence w/ RC), playing RC and nothing else is still bad, even though your RC is not dead in the way a Throne Room would be. A turn where your opponent draws everything and you only stack your Tavern can decide the game. Good trashing or deck control (Scheme, Scavenger, or just counting cards) can solve the problem, but if you can't do that, then you still want multiple RC targets so that you have something to multiply every turn.

Overall, RC is really strong, and it's much better than Throne Room. Don't underestimate the power of playing draw, and deciding afterwards whether to double it. The added information empowers your decision-making tremendously.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Hireling
« on: February 29, 2016, 08:45:53 pm »
Combos nicely with Throne Room variants. Royal Carriage in particular has an easy time lining up with Hireling, and can stack on a single Hireling too.

It does combo nicely, with the caveat that you lose your Throne Room variant for the rest of the game. Big drawback. I guess Royal Carriage is cheaper than a second Hireling.

Hireling is just nuts with Procession. I agree with the arguments about how Hireling's not as crazy as it seems, but they all go out the window when you are doubling 5s and getting Hirelings for free, or maybe doubling Hireling itself, depending on your shuffling. In the game we played, I got 5 Hirelings into play, and let me tell you, the world is your oyster when you start each turn with +5 cards.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Events: Lost Arts
« on: February 29, 2016, 08:35:38 pm »
We once played a 3p game with Lost Arts, Torturer, and no trashers. One player got Lost Arts a full turn ahead of us; we surrendered a few turns later. She still brags about it.

Overall, I like Lost Arts a lot. In my experience it is mandatory a little less often than Pathfinding, but that's not saying much. If Lost Arts is on the board, you can almost certainly build a good engine.

Choosing a good target is usually easy. The most complicated choice is when to buy the event vs. more of your planned recipient card.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Giant
« on: February 25, 2016, 06:46:04 pm »
If you want the "real" effect every turn, you have to allocate two actions for it instead of one. It's the opposite of Durations in this way. When terminal slots come at a premium, you may have to make some tough choices.

If you can't play two each turn, then like Tactician (et al.), you worry some about your late turns having dud Giants.

Other than that, I'd say it's a strong, straightforward payload attack!

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Guide
« on: February 25, 2016, 05:22:46 pm »
We had a game with Guide and Borrow. I remember Borrowing almost every turn, it was fun.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Action Attack Duration Reaction
« on: January 30, 2016, 04:04:42 am »
If you followed the card literally, the revealed card would be in "revealed cards land" when you gain the copper, and thus the copper would go on the deck first, followed by the revealed card.  I'm sure this isn't the intention though.

Damn, you might be right. I would probably have to add something like "reveals the top card, then puts it back." I can probably justify leaving it to the FAQ to keep the card text shorter. The intention is pretty obvious and the rules aren't super explicit about what happens with a revealed card if no other instruction is given.

The reaction will still get complicated if the +1 card token is on it.

This is true. There are still some gross edge cases but I think they're unavoidable within reasonable card text  :-\
Adventures in general makes the hypothetical FAQ like 2 pages longer. You can put +Buy on it, but it doesn't do anything if it's not your turn, etc.

The one complaint I have with this card is the name. It's not very thematic, is it?

Well, I toyed with Skirmisher, but the Attack is giving your opponent money. What are the skirmishers doing, running into the victims' houses and leaving small change?
Gladiator A) fights other attackers, and B) creates additional revenue for the coliseum owners, but maybe not in a good way.

Variants and Fan Cards / Action Attack Duration Reaction
« on: January 29, 2016, 07:15:20 pm »
Oh my, four card types! I know, I know, all the fans and their moms have tried to design the Attack card you can play when it's not your turn. Nonetheless I hope you will consider my attempt:

It took a long time to fix up this concept, but we finally playtested it recently and it was quite fun!

Some key points:
  • The reaction is easy to resolve and does not stack; lots of people can play Gladiator all at once and it doesn't matter what order it happens in.
  • Also, there's no confusion about what the card does if you play it when it's not your turn. It attacks, then waits until your turn to do normal stuff like drawing and giving actions.
  • It's a gentle attack by necessity, because the chance of one being played each round, especially in multiplayer, is very high.
  • If it's your turn, the attack hurts a little more- if you trigger a Gladiator with Minion, you get a Copper before drawing.
  • Even though the attack doesn't stack, you can still feel OK about picking up lots of Gladiators because they're kind of cantrips. Plus, if you manage to play them out of turn, you get a village!
  • The card can be strangely cooperative: if you opt in to the Gladiator war, the Duration cleans up the damage from your opponent's Gladiators, and you are both more likely to have surplus actions.

Resolving the card can still get cwazy with other Reactions, namely Secret Chamber and Caravan Guard itself, but it's no worse than "procession-procession-duration" and it shouldn't come up often.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Help with a reaction mechanic
« on: January 29, 2016, 04:43:46 pm »
I think the concept has legs! I also agree with Davio, you don't have to limit what causes the reveal, it's a rare enough trigger as it is. That's the main thing you have to test: how often does this card appear in a Kingdom where it matters?

The allowable complexity of the reaction (and the length of the text) is dependent on what you put on top. Since you are trying to discard this card (via the reaction) I assume you are heading towards a Victory - Reaction. In that case the top half takes basically 0 complexity budget, so you can afford a pretty wordy reaction.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Distant Lands
« on: January 28, 2016, 03:23:31 pm »
I'm late!

I just played a DL game last night! Maybe my Dominion group has no guts, because in several games with the card, we've never ignored it. Unless there's a solid megaturn strategy, there's just so much pressure on a no-DL player. It's hard to end the game with a lead when your opponent(s) have racked up lots of Victory points, but haven't injured their own deck strength besides the lost opportunity cost from buying DL instead of more 5s. In a way, it feels almost like a +VP card.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« on: January 06, 2016, 07:39:31 pm »
This card is really good. I would say I've bought at least one in every game I've seen it, and never regretted it. The amount of acceleration you get from gaining an engine part on top of your deck is enormous. If you use the Artficer's extra power once out of 4 plays, I would say you are easily getting your $5 worth.

As a Peddler, Artificer has a generous worst-case. Top decking an Action card can be absolutely nuts, so Artificer has a great best-case. The more I improve at Dominion, the more I value reliability and flexibility, and Artificer has both in spades.

I've also found Artificer self-enables and snowballs a lot like Grand Market. Having Artificers gets you economy for more Artificers (or other engine bits). Then, if you have lots of Artificers, you can get a pretty good read on when to pull the trigger for the gaining, as you play each one. And finally, your last Artificer can pick up the card you top-decked with your second-to-last one if you have no other way to do so. This doesn't mean that Artificer spam is always the way to go, but the self-synergy adds to the card's great baseline.

Additional analysis is extremely Kingdom dependent, unfortunately. The two questions to ask are:
- what price point am I reasonably going to hit?
- what do I want to top-deck at that price?

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Amulet
« on: January 05, 2016, 05:46:45 pm »
I'll just comment on Amulet's trashing role, not the BM support. My IRL playmates really love this card, but I've been buying it less over time. Here's my initial thoughts about the card and how they've changed:

- Hey, look how easy it is to trash specific targets with a duration trasher! ( Totally true, this is a major strength )
- On the turn you play it you can usually still buy something meaningful, especially compared to Steward ( True, but only marginally. Missing the shuffle seems to balance this out pretty evenly )
- You can buy more of these than a normal trasher, because it's a duration and it has non-trashing options ( It's strangely tempting to over-buy Amulet! The non-trashing options are pretty weak and you really feel the lack of draw in comparison to Steward. I originally thought maybe Amulets could cannibalize each other a la Mercenary, but if that's the right play I can't make it work. )

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Additional Game Ending Conditions
« on: December 21, 2015, 07:27:12 pm »
I believe the Prosperity rules say that VP Tokens are infinite. You're supposed to use a substitute if you run out.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« on: December 21, 2015, 07:18:16 pm »
2. Rabble

I'm particularly fond of the dude in the bottom left corner. You can almost feel the frothing spittle!

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dual Traveller Progression: Navy/Army
« on: December 17, 2015, 02:20:24 pm »
Sadly I think these cards would be frustrating to play with. The upgrading conditions are narrow and the rewards for success are enormous. What kind of deck do you expect me to build before I can get an Ensign? One that has exactly 1 Grunt, 3 (at minimum) terminals and a load of sifters to somehow get them all in play on the same turn. That's a lot of setup, and it's much worse in kingdoms without strong sifting or trashing. If both players go for it there will be a lot of luck involved in deciding who upgrades first. Contrast with the official Travelers, which have a simple but deep success condition - cycle your deck as fast as possible.

Also, they are just really complicated. Man. One kingdom card leads to reading an essay. I think you can get most of what you're going for here with way less stuff.

On a positive note, some of the ideas here are cool. I like the idea of General/Admiral buffing up your grunts. Grunt+Grunt=Lieutenant is actually solid, and "buy lots of Grunts" immediately shows synergy with the final stage of buffed Grunts. General's uber-junking is neat too, although I think Estate=Confusion is superfluous. I would try just Copper/Curse on top, Copper/Curse in discard pile, and find the right power level there with just two (which is a lot!) junk cards.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Enterprise (Beta)
« on: December 04, 2015, 08:10:42 pm »
Here are a lot of random little thoughts (man, it's hard to jump in to a thread of this size after the fact):

  • The corresponding name for Martyr could be whatever the Conscripts were before being trashed. So something like Annexed Village (based on what that card does)
  • What's the condition for the Treasure-Conscripts? "If you have another Sword in play, return this [...]"?
  • Also for naming, Bookkeeper does not sound like an attack. I have a similar card called Inspector, maybe that name fits here.
  • I agree that Barter is a prime target for replacement. It has a whole lot of words, but it doesn't seem any more compelling than its closest relatives.
  • Has Committee gotten tested yet? I really like it!
  • I agree with the general consensus about Conclave, don't give up on it yet! The simple version with putting the unmatched cards back sounds like the best nerf, especially because it will occasionally feel better for the player despite being worse- say you reveal Gold and Silver. If it needs more nerfs, would it destroy the soul of the card if it couldn't pick up Victory cards?

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