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Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #112: Steal the Show
« on: April 20, 2021, 01:50:20 pm »

Beguiler - $5
Action - Attack - Duration

Each other player takes Hoodwinked

At the start of your next turn, you may gain to your hand an Action or Treasure from the Trash

The next time you play a non-Duration Action or Treasure card from your hand: trash it, and gain a different, non-Victory card with the same cost.
Return Hoodwinked

Duration Swindler variant, with the key difference that other players are free to choose their alternative. However, it must be a different card, and non-victory, so most often it will still be unbeneficial. Coppers are still in most circumstances hoodwinked to Curses. Likely, another player will have to trash an engine piece you can make use of.

Edit: added "from hand" to the Hoodwinked trigger condition. This makes Beguiler more Prince-friendly (as per mxdata's comment below), along with giving more flexibility to delayed effect users wishing to hoodwink their terminals.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: New Weekly Contest: Fan Card Mechanics
« on: April 16, 2021, 07:40:07 am »

Kinslayer - $4
Action - Kin

You may trash a kin from your hand for +3 Cards, +1 Action, +$2
In games using this, when you gain a Kin, gain a Kinslayer (that doesn't come with another)

Pile size: 16

Somewhere between Experiment, Rats and Death Cart; non-terminal draw and payload that relies heavily on collisions. You probably don't initially want these clogging your deck, but once approaching deck control these become an incentive to buy kin.
Increased pile-size to give fair access/avoid trivial 3-piling.

(Minor edit: colour change)

Couldn't you add "when you trash or Exile this..."
If we're being pedantic, there's still the possibility of native village + swindler (when all your jetties are on your NV mat), or masquerade when the alternatives are key victory cards.

Maybe it's a different card, but you could have an embargo token that stays around for a turn like Deluded, and can be returned by playing your 3rd jetty in a turn. Or a token that stays around for a couple of turns, and this is sped up by playing jetty. These might be safer, if less edgy.

Accepting your initial challenge:

Chainsmith - $4
Action - Duration - Reaction

+3 Cards

At the start of your next turn, you may discard any number of cards, to remove that many
At the start of your turn, if you have no , you may play this from your hand

Duration draw; weaker than Smithy if you choose to ignore the .
When played by reaction, is a nice non-terminal duration draw/sifter. Playing more than one a turn this way is tricky, but in fact possible, if you are able to interleave the reactions with resolving last turn's Chainsmiths (hence the name).


Zombie Summoner - $3
Action - Zombie

Turn your Journey token over (it starts face up). Then if it's face up, gain an Imp.


First off, thanks again to everyone that entered. There were a great deal of high quality entries, and it pained me having to go through your creative cards with a fine tooth comb looking for reasons to avoid shortlisting them. If I sound dismissive or unappreciative in any of my feedback, please put it down to time constraints; I enjoyed reading every entry.
Needless to say, there's a limit to how well I can estimate the playability of entries without going to gambit05 playtesting lengths, and I apologise in advance for any margin of error on my part.


userentry nameLinknotes
pubbyDolmen entry from pubby: Dolmen asks how Dominion would differ with a victory card "stopper" under each supply pile. This makes an early 3-pile less likely, particularly in 2P where VCs are often looked down upon in favour of building. Posible downsides are the 4+ multiplayer swinginess of who randomly gets the first shot at each Dolmen, and in 2P we'd have to see whether a 13 card Province pile substantially increases the first player advantage
AquilaExpedition Camp are a cool addition; they're like spare parts for engine-crafting. The ability to check the second card when buying introduces a degree of luck, but helps get past the unwanted resources in a given game. Expedition camp is a cheap Outpost in the rare circumstances that you can set up the second turn, but more often than not looks to be a one-shot resource gainer. The lack of control over what resources you're gaining looks frustrating here, unless you're just playing a generic Action-based strategy.
gambit05Revenant brings those often taken for granted +Actions and +Buy to the table, in an often limited pile, with a one-shot card draw ability for the late game. I assume the modified pile size functions to bring the one-shot ability into play faster in small games, but I wouldn't expect this to pile in such games unless the actions or buy were valuable enough that you wouldn't wish to part with them.
X-traInstitute + Grant the starting deck size is new to me; I'm a big fan of how this blows open the typical opening. These cards complement eachother well; institute is likely your go-to draw card in this action-sparse deck, and in a 4-4-4 split (27.5% odds) you could open 3 of them. For completeness, the other opening splits occur with probabilities: 5-4-3: 65.9%, 5-5-2: 6.6% My first thought was that grant is too harsh on anyone trying to build an engine; that said, I think there is potential for avid engine fans to trash their grants on the second shuffle where the pieces are present. This would certainly make for a memorable game.
Xen3kPigeon enjoyed this card's flavour; pigeons are indeed the rats of the bird kingdom. The lonely pigeon is a self-gaining Copper, but collides to cantrip+silver. This walks the fine line of being an easily gained nuisance, without quite fully sabotaging your game.
mandioca15Stockade concept; as the game goes on, you could see this pile self-balancing. Having to return these from play when you start greening is a drawback, but more than made up for by the sheer amount of early/mid game draw. You'd likely let this do all your drawing while you build towards a three-pile, and it would do it easily; your first play of it could well be a full deck draw. This will all too often be an unskippable card in 2P, which makes it rather unfortunate if your opponent picks this up on a 5-2. I'm not sure how I'd balance this; but one thing you could consider is splitting the stacks into tiers, and drawing an amount depending on which tier the top card in the supply belongs to? Regardless, best of luck perfecting this idea.
fika monsterRing Master + Circus Members is fun; and appeals to my inner set-completionist. That said, I'm a little concerned by the power of the circus members; a 5-gainer is already rare at $5, but these cards, though limited, clearly transcend $5 value. Maybe Ring Master would enjoy costing more; or there could be another implementation for gaining circus members other than from a pile of gainers from which you'd only ever want one or two at most? Anyway, I look forward to seeing what you do with these guys.
infangthiefFlorist is a cantrip that gives you some control over the events pile from which it is gained. The idea certainly works, and I agree with the decisions made to avoid swinginess. With this card, either the top flower is useful and the card is gained organically, or a lower flower is game-changing and encourages buying a Florist directly. Either way though, I'm not convinced this adds enough to the game.
majiponiDevil’s advocate (+ Reverse Hierarchy)'s advocate asks whether you prefer cash or trash, and how much you mind giving the next player the trashier version of the card. I think there are a lot of situations in 2P where you simply don't ever buy this first.
mxdataDistant Island Island is a strong precursor for any players looking to start greening. For the extra coin, it significantly beats Island in that it requires less draw and actions to perform its task. You would only ever buy Duchy in preference ot this if the game were ending, or you couldn't manage deck control. I feel sorry for Duchy in games with this.
NoMoreFunKey to the City to the City takes the existing Key concept and runs with it. Depending on how awkward it is to pick up a $2, you may find yourself trying to get this in early, or just fighting it when your opponent gets one into play. Could be stalematey when both players have one in deck. Constantly having to empty the pile to thwart your opponents' key could be tedious.
faustTulip + Rare Tulip is sort of a Spoils that gains you a Rare Tulip. The interaction here is pretty neat; if one plays with these and then draws their whole deck with the tulip pile low, they can potentially buy out tulips, draw one in with rare tulip, play a tulip, buy a tulip, play a rare tulip... to duplicate their rare tulips at a price of -$1. Is this worthwhile? Probably, particularly if you can prevent the Tulips from returning to the supply.
silverspawnMissionary asks the question "how much do you love terminal card draw?". Naturally this depends on whether there are villages in the kingdom. In most cases there are, and having your draw buy itself is difficult to turn down, even if the uncontested pile would end up gaining you 20.
grepArmy of the Dead looks entertaining. $8@8 seems a reasonable price for this project if you can spike it first. The first mover advantage on it could be considered swingy mind.
GubumpDeveloping City is an interesting card, and I think I also prefer the updated version. Developing City is kind of a one-shot Lost City, with the option to sacrifice another action for two of itself. Coupled with a workshop variant, this can be a deferred Lost City, plus any WV perks granted, or at least until either pile runs dry. I like it.
emtzalexAstrologer + Zodiac pile is an interesting card to consider. With few enough in your opponents' hands, you may be able to build around them becoming one of the later effects, but such a strategy would require a lot of profitless setup, and could easily fall apart. More likely, you and your opponent would only buy some to take advantage of the early village zodiacs, and an underterminaled turn could still then see a player ruin them for everyone. Perhaps these are best spammed with gainers, and cycled to the nearest useful non-terminal option.
The AlchemistAir + Water + Earth + Fire is a novel idea, and does a good job matching elements to effects. The effects are generally pretty strong, though as you say, some more essential than others, depending on the kingdom. Earth seems the most likely to be a dead card, and players have little incentive to remove dead cards from atop the pile.
DunnoItAllMice feels like a deceptively weak-looking card. Opening with two of these, one could reasonably expect to gain another two T3, and gaining two mice or being in the money from there on out. Throwing in a trasher might be worthwhile, but I would expect a monolithic mice deck to be pretty happy greening in no time. I appreciate this quick analysis probably pales in comparison to your playtesting; it would be fun to see how this played out in your games.
spinefluGentry works for sure; a card similar to Great Hall, but more malleable to available draw/actions. Groom aficionados will be ecstatic to work their way through 16 of these. Gentry is fine.
spheremonkCaravel + Carrack is cute. Caravel is an expensive peddler variant that becomes easily worth the investment if you can collide them for Carracks. A good card, up against strong competition.
TiminouRabbit takes a little unrewarded investment to get started, but evens out once you can make a pair collide. With the use of throne room variants, you can milk a huge amount of value out of these, but otherwise these are a fairly static payload. I'm not fully convinced the gaining effect justifies the pile size tweak, but I appreciate the effort.

With all that in mind, our runners up are:
6th: Timinou's Rabbit
5th: pubby's Dolmen
4th: faust's Tulip + Rare Tulip

3rd: X-tra's Institute + Grant
2nd: Gubump's Developing City

And the winner:
1st: Xen3k's Pigeon

Quote from: Xen3k

Congrats Xen3k! Your scourge of a card nosed out in front of the competition for the novel way in which it unassumingly creates chaos, while creatively taking to the challenge requirement of varying a pile/deck size.

Thanks everyone

@mathdude If it's submitted in the next few hours I'll still allow it

Okay, that's the deadline. I'll aim to dispense feedback and announce the winner by this time tomorrow.
It's going to be quite the task; so many creative entries!

24 hour-ish notice: please post any updates to submissions below this post. The submissions I have are:

AquilaExpedition Camp
X-traInstitute (+ Grant)
fika monsterRing Master + Circus Members
majiponiDevil’s advocate (+ Reverse Hierarchy)
mxdataDistant Island
NoMoreFunKey to the City
faustTulip + Rare Tulip
grepArmy of the Dead
GubumpDeveloping City
emtzalexAstrologer + Zodiac pile
The AlchemistAir + Water + Earth + Fire
spheremonkCaravel + Carrack

@mxdata: Can I confirm you're looking to have your updated entry judged: the set aside version rather than the tavern mat version?

Since Mahowrath updvoted this post, implying that it qualifies, I take it that making your starting deck not 10-cards qualifies?

Yes, to be clear: I've made the ruling that your starting deck can be the not-10-card deck outside of the supply interacted with, if you wish to make a card that alters its starting size.
This wasn't clear either way from the original brief, so I'll add it the main post. Thanks for highlighting this Gubump.

Technically, any Victory card posted here would count, right? They either have 8 or 12 cards in them, and not 10. Would this count (just making sure)?
Yes, any victory card pile is eligible. I didn't want to make this contest too exclusionary, but considering "style in meeting the requirement": submissions like Rats would have potential to score more highly than say Gardens.

I take it there needs to be a good reason for having something other than 10 cards?  I.e., just making a random card and saying "there's 12 of these in the pile" wouldn't work?

Would split piles count, since there's only 5 of each part, or would they not count since it's still a pile with 10 cards?
A good reason for changing the pile amount would be appreciated; I'll be analysing for this, and no one likes complexity for complexity's sake.
A Split pile like Catapult/Rocks is ineligible, thanks for checking. I'll add that to the original post.

Weekly Design Contest #108: How Deep is your Pile? (hopefully not 10 deep)

Hey everyone, hope you're well. Without further ado:

I'm looking for cards or card shaped objects, that either come in a supply pile of not 10 cards, or interact with pile(s)/deck(s) outside of the supply, of not 10 cards.

Examples are: Rats (20 cards in pile), Port (12 cards in pile), Alt VPs (8 or 12 cards in pile), Tournament (Prize pile), Travellers (non-supply piles of 5), Black Market (Black Market Deck) and Fates/Dooms (Boons/Hexes piles of 12).
Non-examples are: Magpie (10 cards in pile), Urchin (10 cards in Urchin and Mercenary piles), Pooka/Cursed Gold (Heirlooms not interactable piles out of supply), Delay (no such affiliated pile/deck), Catapult/Rocks (still a 10 card supply pile).

Deadline: Entries by 23:59 (GMT) Saturday 20th. Will put out a 24-hour reminder Friday night, and list the nominations I've seen.

I'll be checking back frequently to answer questions, clear up ambiguity, and let people know if their entries aren't eligible. Feel free to ping me questions.

Judgement will be me looking over the entries and picking out the one(s) I like most at the time of judging.
Rough criteria for liking cards:
  • not having seen the card idea already
  • being fun to play with (thought-inducing, balance, minimal swinginess)
  • flavour (the entry represents something)
  • style in meeting the requirement (some of the reasons for a non-standard pile size are easier to work than others, and I aim to praise effort taken to meet this in an interesting way)

Good luck!

Addendum: I've made the ruling that your starting deck can be the not-10-card deck outside of the supply interacted with, if you wish to make a card that alters its starting size

Many thanks pubby! Also a big fan of Green Shelter, Tinker and Vagabond/Begging Bowl. New thread for next contest to follow shortly.

Cablemaker - $3

+1 Buy

You may trash a Copper from your hand. If you did, cards cost $1 less this turn.

I think this is a great idea, but I think it should cost $4. $3 is too strong for this. It's miles above trade route, which, we know is a weak $3, but seeing these two at the same price feels wrong to me. If you use the two buys this card is trash a copper for +$2 +1 Buy which then makes it comparable to Money Lender which is $4. So seeing this and Money Lender at the same price point feels right.
If you compare it to Bridge though, well, Bridge is better at the Payload game, but Cablemaker is not necessarily weaker. Trashing Coppers is great. So, again, this feels like it fits in the realm of $4s.

Thanks for the feedback, and glad you like it. I'm happy to hear this actually; I was worried this might get overlooked at $3 for its poor payload.

I think you're right that this could exist at $4, but I'm not convinced it's too strong for $3. Early game, this is likely to thin and to gain you two $2s if there are good ones. To compare with the cards you've brought up: TR's ability to trash non-Copper seems roughly equivalent to also gaining a peddler, so not sure it's miles better, and Moneylender's ability to thin & hit $5 feels generally stronger. The Copper trashing is a really bad dependency if trying to play for Bridge megaturn, the big benefit of cost reduction, so happy to think of Bridge as a stronger card in a different field.

Medallion | Treasure | $4*
The next time you play a Copper this turn, +$2 +1 Buy
This costs $1 more per Copper you have in play.
I like this card. It seems like a ripe target to remodel into, but having a stronger Gold that synergises and antisynergises with Copper is fun.
If you didn't want a bunch of these to fire off on the same Copper; something like "play a Copper, if you do" would do it.

I don't think it's terrible. Commission is a $5 gainer but it's conditional. If a player blocks another from using Commission then they are also blocking themselves on future turns and are turning the Commission they have into a worse card. And is that a trade-off worth making if they can't even be sure that the opponent has a Commission in their hand?

I don't want to include more counting as that makes it take longer to resolve.
Up to you of course, and no one's saying it's terrible. I do think the trade-off of trashing 2 Coppers is always worth making T3 if you haven't seen your opponent's yet, as the disadvantage is roughly symmetric, and the upside of having an extra $5 over your opponent is often decisive. I can see that the additional counting might be a pain though.

Commission - $4

Trash up to 3 Coppers from the supply.
Then, if there are fewer cards in the trash than in your deck, gain a card costing up to $5.

I wonder, would including discard pile in the calculation (as per pstone) help make this less swingy?
As it is, in a 2-player 4-3 mirror I make it ~35% that one player will immediately block the other's commission; and being a $5 gainer it's likely unskippable.


Cablemaker - $3

+1 Buy

You may trash a Copper from your hand. If you did, cards cost $1 less this turn.
Tricky Moneylenderish Bridge variant: On the one hand easier to acquire than Bridge, and who doesn't like trashing junk better than $1? On the other hand, this does less than nothing for your economy early game, and needs considerably more work to chain.

The idea is good, but there's no way this needs to cost $6. It might even be balanced at $3 or $4 IMO.

Honestly, I'm having a hard time evaluating it. My first reaction was that it's broken at $6 with 2 cards per green on gain; as when you're greening, this alternative to buying a Duchy frequently guarantees drawing deck next turn, for the mere cost of $1 more and 1VP less. That said, it's difficult to exploit: if you were to relying on this as your draw, you'd still need to build to the cash and buys in deck and have enough greens in hand ready for when you gain your first, and they could run out before you finish piling Provinces.

I'm sure it could exist at $3 or $4, but it would be game-warping.

Retriever • Action - Reaction • $5
I'm guessing this should be $2 as per the image; is it too late to edit the original message to save confusion going forwards?

You have to react with "Did somebody say..."

I don't get it.

He recently did a rap for a brand with that catchphrase. He says it himself halfway through. (Warning: advertising)

Replace the brand name with "Draw 3", and that's what I'd say reacting with this every game.

You have to react with "Did somebody say..."

(I'm going on the assumption that giving negative feedback is more okay for cards that everyone else likes.) This seems quite similar to Cavalry since both cards are Moat effect on-play and on-gain. The difference is that this card delays the on-gain effect whereas Cavalry has that instantly but delays the on-play effect -- which seems to me like the more interesting way to do it.

Thank you for the critique. I don't agree with you, though. I think this will play very differently from Cavalry, because setting up your next turn is very different from giving your current turn a boost. Also, Cavalry is a delayed Smithy on-play, not a delayed Moat.

It's funny, my mind immediately went to Lackeys with a delayed 2 cards on buy rather than 2 Actions. The difference in mechanic that delivers the bonus helps it feel fresh though.


Cloakroom - $1

+1 Buy
When you buy this, you may overpay for it. For each $1 you overpaid, Exile a card from your hand, and gain a Copper

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« on: February 19, 2021, 12:38:43 pm »
Sure. Nonetheless, you don't need to have the () on the card.

Having () on the card follows the Bureaucrat, Cutpurse, Rats, Taxman, etc. precedent. Has this changed?
Edit: I guess you can force the other attack, feels a bit mean for an edge-case

That said, I also wouldn't mind seeing the card do nothing if the player has 3 or fewer cards in hand already.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« on: February 19, 2021, 10:40:52 am »
Thanks for taking the time to check over my submission Mathsdude; let me respond to your points inline:

Balance - as it's currently written, this card punishes decks that haven't trashed junk effectively in two ways but doesn't punish decks that have removed all coppers and estates at all. This could be addressed by changing the second half's cursing to happen if revealing a card costing more than 2.
Similarly, Mountebank punishes decks that remove curses you've given them, and Young Witch punishes decks that don't build around the Bane pile. Wall punishes decks that want to grow too large. This is not a balance issue.

Milling a card that instead costs 2 or more doesn't strike me as a great idea. For starts, having your first round purchases milled in the early game is already a huge disbenefit; the contrast between milling copper for no penalty vs the double whammy of milling an important opener and delivering a Curse is too swingy for my liking.

Scaling - imagine a worst case game with no trashing cards and playing a 6-player game (I know, terrible).  5 players can keep a 6th effectively drawing the same coppers and estates over and over again without cycling the deck (depending on how the balance noted above and accountability noted below are addressed). Even so, in a 2 or 3 player game, getting hit by 2 or 3 of the by a player with a strong engine can wreck the top of your deck really fast.
Cursers already exist in 6 player games, and yes, they are more vicious. This card scales well to be a 50-50 curser in such games, as mostly any milled card yielding Curse can be topdecked between mills. Once the curses run out, this mills a card for no disbenefit. This doesn't have scaling issues.
edit: to be clear; you do not have to topdeck just because you can!

Accountability - if I was attacked with this, I "look" (without showing others) and do not reveal and top-deck any junk even if I find some. I'll take a gamble that the card I reveal will not make me gain a curse, especially as currently worded (if the change noted in balance above is made, I may top-deck copper, depending on my deck). But changing "look" to "reveal" and forcing any junk found to be top-decked would significantly increase resolution time and make this a brutal scaling attack.
I think you've misread the card (and possibly the contest - there has to be a choice involved in all entries); you aren't forced to topdeck if you don't want to: you choose, having looked first and decided this. There is no accountability issue.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #105: Attack with Choices
« on: February 19, 2021, 03:42:07 am »

Jilted Witch - $4
Action - Attack

+2 Cards

Each other player looks through their discard pile. They may reveal from it a non-Action card costing 2 or less, and put it onto their deck.
If they didn't, they reveal and discard the top card of their deck, and gain a Curse if it costs 2 or less.

Edit: Adding some explanation:
Jilted Witch is an early-game alternative curser/topdeck attacker. Attacked players must choose whether to topdeck Coppers and junk, or risk milling junk for Curses. In games where you may be attacked multiple times, it may be prudent to mix the options. Late game, accepting the mill may become more palatable.
The synergy with cost-reduction is a balancing act: letting your opponent topdeck Silver, but having a higher chance of delivering Curses.

Flavour-wise, Jilted Witch leaves you cheap "presents" onto your deck, and is upset if you don't accept them.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #104: Raise the Ceiling
« on: February 14, 2021, 07:27:33 am »
The penalty is negated if you have Watchtower in hand. And probably not much of a penalty as long as there is some trashing available.
The true penalty of taking two curses is losing tempo against your opponent(s). Heavy trashing isn't necessarily the best way to go, as your deck has infinite consistency without being thin.
Watchtower still isn't a golden bullet for winning omniscience games; if your opponent sees you pick it up, they can pick up something with better synergy for the omniscience endgame.
The ability to rearrange your entire deck at any time could slow the game down too much... that’s a huge number of decisions you have to make every time you shuffle, and at other times too. Also, “at any time” is bad in general... if you play a Knight can I quickly rearrange my deck at that moment before revealing my top 2 cards? What if you play a Smithy and I want to rearrange my deck after you draw 2 cards but before you draw the third? Not because it could matter but hey, it says I can. Maybe at the least restrict it to your own turn.
The ability to rearrange your deck at any time means you just take what you need from it when you interact with it. Yes, Knight attacks can be made to look silly. The "shuffle" consists of laying your discard pile out and taking your desired starting cards. This shouldn't be that time consuming.
Finally, why put your deck into your discard when you buy it? You’re getting a benefit for the whole game, does the one-time minor benefit really matter much?
The one time discard benefit is to avoid having your omniscience endgame hampered by the dregs of your last shuffle, which would be annoying and unthematic.
I wonder if the entire thing could be created simplified while keeping the same basic benefit by just allowing you to order your cards when shuffling.
This idea actually would take forever, particularly if having to account for milling.
*Edit* Also I’m unclear on what “face up and visible” means for your deck... are the entire deck contents visible, so that the cards have to be spread out? Or is only the top card of your deck visible, meaning that you basically play with your deck turned upside down from normal?
Hand and Deck entirely face up and visible: effectively permanently revealed, but avoiding overloading the "revealed" keyword reserved for temporary reveals. Spread out, or in piles; any way that lets players inspect it.

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