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Topics - convolucid

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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 / 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?

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.

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.

This is probably a Really Bad Card Idea, since it's a lot of complexity for questionable depth. But it is a fun thought exercise.

This turn, if you have played Ceremony...
Once: Look at the top two cards of your deck; you may trash any of them; discard the rest
Twice: +3 Cards
Three times: You may play an Action card from your hand twice
4 or more times: Gain a card costing up to $1 per Ceremony youíve played this turn
$4 - Action

FAQ would note that the steps do not stack, i.e. when I play my second Ceremony this turn I get +3 Cards, +Action, but I don't do the trashing from step 1.

Questions to discuss:
-Does a "Ceremony" deck have special challenges and corresponding rewards?
-What powers would you give the card at each step? Do you like my choices; why or why not?
-What is the optimal power curve of the card at each step? All 4 steps ~worth the $4 price tag? First steps overpriced, then ramping up? Odd steps drool, even steps rule?

Variants and Fan Cards / Two Embargo-esque Events
« on: November 20, 2015, 07:45:06 pm »

This one's pretty simple, and I'm sure others have tried something similar. It's not very strong; if you need a Levied card, you just buy it anyway, since giving an opponent $1 is not so bad. The fiance and I played with it last night, priced at $4. We both Levied Cultists, but there were other options, like Native Village, which probably would have made more money. Even underpowered, we thought the Event added depth to the Kingdom.

The card must be bought to trigger the Tax, so that you don't just Levy Curses. Plus there's nice counter-play with gainers. I specified non-Victory, which may not be necessary, but I thought Levying the Provinces would just go on your to-do list near the end of every game.

The tax could be a drawn card, of course that would be much stronger. You could make it cost $2, but I think that would be too good for many $5/2 splits. You could give it +Buy, but my gut says an event that makes you money should eat a buy.

  • This event causes there to be an extra pile in the game, but not in the Supply, called the Fallow pile. Cards from the Fallow pile cannot be bought or gained. During setup, randomly select an extra Kingdom card pile to be the first Fallow pile.
  • When someone buys the Crop Rotation event, they switch the Fallow pile with a regular Kingdom pile of their choice. Cards from the old Fallow pile are now Kingdom cards and part of the Supply (so can be bought, gained, and count towards the end-game condition). Cards from the old Kingdom pile are now Fallow cards and have left the Supply (so cannot be bought nor gained).
  • Basic Supply piles (Copper, Silver, Gold, Estate, Duchy, Province, Curse, and any added to the Kingdom such as Platinum from Dominion: Prosperity) cannot be made Fallow.
  • Cards that have been gained from a pile that is now Fallow continue to work as usual.

Whoa! Can you do that? Have a pile that only exists sometimes? You can; I'm doing it right now. I'm very excited about this idea, but haven't tested it yet.

At first, the idea was to designate two piles that would switch in and out (the two crops) and they'd be the same price and be assigned somehow like the Bane. I was trying to write all that in one poor event and began to wonder why it needed any extra restrictions. Why not just, there is an 11th pile, and you can put it in the Supply instead of one that is there. Did you want that juicy King's Court? Too bad, now it's a Pearl Diver, I hope you brought an extra $2 to get KC back!

It's an event with +Buy, but if you want to buy a valuable card and then banish it that same turn, you'll need to bring an extra buy yourself. Plus, including the +Buy makes it so you can always get the Fallow card if you're willing to fork over the extra cash.

The mechanic of removing a pile from the Supply may cause some weird interactions, but it should be no worse than Black Market. What happens to an exchanged Traveler when bought from the Black Market? Anyway, you can buy a Rats and rotate them out so you don't have to gain more Rats (until someone else rotates them back to mess with you). That sounds like a party to me.

Variants and Fan Cards / Next-turn Village
« on: October 29, 2015, 06:53:53 pm »
In a previous post I offhandedly threw out a duration that is terminal this turn, but gives +actions next turn. It's an interesting concept in its own right, so I shortlisted this simple version:

+2 Cards
At the beginning of your next turn, +2 Actions
$5 Action - Duration

We played this in 3 player with the following kingdom (random - District replaced Rebuild):
Amulet, Chancellor, Scheme
Bureaucrat, Conspirator, Rats
Bandit Camp, Catacombs, District, Storyteller

As you can see, it was a strong engine deck without +buy or attacks, so things were pretty straightforward. I bought mostly District at $5, after starting with one Bandit Camp for reliability. My dad ignored District and went traditional Catacombs + Bandit Camp. My fiance went Rats and was a non-factor, haha. I won, mostly on account of greening on the correct turn.

The presence of another village (+Necropolis) and Scheme made this a very mild test for District. I was never pinched into playing it terminally, and I would say I had some good luck too. It would be interesting to try in a kingdom with lower reliability.

What do you think?

Variants and Fan Cards / Strange attack idea
« on: October 12, 2015, 07:53:05 pm »
Each other player takes his Thunder token. Now and at the beginning of your next turn, +1 Action, +$1.
Directly after any other player with a Thunder token resolves an Action card, if he has more than 5 cards in hand, he loses his Thunder token and gains a Curse.
($4) Action - Attack - Duration

I was pondering an Attack that could punish Wharf-y mega draws without sending the game into a boring slugfest.
  • Does this concept seem like it might successfully implement the idea?
  • The wording is butts and it seems like a token is required. Could it be more elegant?
  • Would a game with this Attack be fun?

Variants and Fan Cards / Convolucid's Cards (Equality)
« on: September 24, 2015, 03:23:29 pm »
Here are three of my fan cards that my IRL group has deemed good enough to play with regularly. I hope FDS likes 'em too! The working title of the "expansion" is Equality- I haven't worried too much about keeping a theme, but it's a bit present.

  • You must choose which card to discard before looking through your discard pile.
  • The card you put into your hand can be the one you just discarded. If your discard pile did not contain a different card with the correct cost, this will be your only option.

I haven't printed this one out yet, but we've played it enough to say it works. As a $2, I like that it's simple, often weak, and occasionally awesome. Sometimes you draw it right at the start of the shuffle and it's just a copper. Other times you draw it with a bunch of terminals, and get to swap something out for a village! Of course it also excels in games with lots of junk or weak trashers.

  • If you trash the card from your deck, you must also trash a card from your hand if you can. If your hand is empty, just trash the card from your deck.
  • If you choose to keep the card from your deck, it goes into your hand, as well as a Copper which comes from the Supply. If there are no Coppers left, just put the card from your deck in your hand.
  • If your discard pile and deck are empty when you play this, there is no card to look at and so you cannot trash it. You try and fail to put the card in your hand, but still gain a Copper that goes to your hand.

Trashers with +Action are pretty uncommon, but the unreliability of the deck reveal offsets the increased reliability of +Action (see Lookout).

+Card +$1 +Action is the "bad" option, the copper makes it worse than plain Peddler. This plays differently than IGG, taking you on a roller coaster of junking / trashing which gets goofier with each Bathhouse you buy. It's loads of fun, and the "bad" option is never bad enough to avoid playing the card. But the card is way stronger if you pay attention to your deck.

IMO my best card, Bathhouse is well-loved by our irl group :D

  • You can name any card, even one that is not in the Supply.
  • All copies of the named card are discarded. If you name Copper and your opponent has a hand containing 5 Coppers, they must discard all 5.
  • After everyone has discarded the named card, you draw until you have 5 cards in your hand, while your opponents draw until they have 4 cards in hand.
  • Each player draws cards to reach the specified hand size regardless of how they got their current hand size. For example, if one opponent has less cards due to Torturer, they will draw back up to 4 cards even if they didnít discard anything because of Demagogue.

At one point in my card-brainstorming process, I landed on the idea of incorporating Go Fish into some cards. I tried a lot of variations and the discard attack is the only one that survived. It's powerful and flexible, but situational and skill-intensive.

The post-attack draw to X keeps the attack from being brutal, especially in repeated play. The self-discard often dissuades you from just naming the best card on the table. These conditions allowed me to avoid awkward requirements on which card you can name. Of course, if you're clever you can nail an opponent's linchpin card, which feels awesome.

Discarding from yourself also creates some interesting, less pugilistic options. Sometimes the best move is to name Estate, even if it might help your opponents. It would be fun to play this card with Tunnel; we haven't forced that playtest yet (all random all the time 8)).

Looking forward to your comments and (gentle) criticism :)

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