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Author Topic: Variant - Dominion with a board  (Read 4329 times)

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Dsell

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Variant - Dominion with a board
« on: December 27, 2013, 01:10:48 pm »
+1

I thought of an interesting variant based on discussions I've been reading comparing Dominion to other deckbuilders. This variant adds an element to the game that I hope will change the strategic landscape of the game without adding much extra complexity or changing most of the core gameplay. I'm very curious to hear input from the community about this variant. What's good, what's bad, what tweaks should be made?

The main changes in this variant are the addition of a board with scorekeeping spaces (a bunch of eurogames are perfect for this, and a pen and paper would work just as well) and changing the text of the supply VP cards to say: "+1 Action; Move X spaces." Where X is the number of VP the card is worth. The game would end when a player reaches a certain number of spaces, let's say 100, or when piles run out.

I would suggest a few other rule changes:
-Curses would be a one time, one space setback (when the curse is gained) and would then essentially be confusions in your deck.
-VP tokens are tricky. Making them one-shots significantly weakens them, so my suggestion would be that every time you gain a VP token, you move spaces equal to the number of tokens you have. This makes these cards super strong when they appear together, but oh well.
-Alt VP would need to be reworked or scrapped. I'm not sure of a solution to keep them remotely balanced, but there might be something out there. For example, Gardens could be: "At the end of the game, do this twice: Move 1 space for every ten cards in your deck." It could be a nice catch up card.
-It's possible that the supply VP cards would need to be more expensive to keep some semblance of balance.

Effects on the game:
-Huge impact on strategy. The specific number of spaces needed to end the game should be balanced to give various strategy archetypes a fighting chance without forcing the game to last too long. Anyway, the addition of a board opens up new strategies focused on playing your VP more often, and also would impact building and playing for both big money and engines. Sadly, megaturns may not be as viable unless they use VP tokens or alt VP.
-Cursing becomes weaker. Mildly so, but a single curse early in the game is much more than offset by a single estate over the course of the game. Confusions still hurt though.
-Consequently, looters become stronger relative to cursers. Curses and ruins become more similar, and that could make cards like Cultist a must-buy.
-Trashing is likely a bit weaker. A thin deck is still very desirable, but estates are definitely pulling their weight more here!
-Filtering changes depending on the circumstances: you probably never want to discard a province, but sometimes you may want to dig for one.
-As written, these new VP cards combo with TR/KC and I'm not sure if that's good or even ok. Likely a very strong interaction.
-Weakens Rebuild
-Combos with Scout!

Let me know what you think!!
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cluckyb

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 01:36:48 pm »
+1

I thought this was dominion with a board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/121408/trains
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Warfreak2

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 01:41:19 pm »
0

No.

The thing about dominion is, you need vp cards to win, but they ruin your deck. +6vp (even without +1 action) would be the best card in the game by far though (edge case: colony), so almost all of the strategic depth is out of the window and the only viable strategy is the province rush.
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Dsell

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 01:57:58 pm »
0

I thought this was dominion with a board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/121408/trains

Right, that's the name it's earned. But I'm talking about a variant of actual Dominion. I don't think this will play anything like Trains, or at least any more than normal Dominion does.

No.

The thing about dominion is, you need vp cards to win, but they ruin your deck. +6vp (even without +1 action) would be the best card in the game by far though (edge case: colony), so almost all of the strategic depth is out of the window and the only viable strategy is the province rush.

You may be correct that it's totally imbalanced, but straight up +6 VP becomes less important when you're playing towards a large enough fixed VP goal rather than just more points when provinces are gone. A province rush is not going to be a better strategy than building an engine able to produce large amounts of VP every turn if you're playing to a thousand points (ignoring piles).

There are certainly issues with this variant but I really don't think that reducing the strategic landscape to nothing is one of them.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 02:03:46 pm »
+1

I think this is potentially a cool idea for a new deckbuilding game, but that you're going to encounter a lot of balance issues trying to convert Dominion.
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cluckyb

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 02:13:45 pm »
0

No.

The thing about dominion is, you need vp cards to win, but they ruin your deck. +6vp (even without +1 action) would be the best card in the game by far though (edge case: colony), so almost all of the strategic depth is out of the window and the only viable strategy is the province rush.

I wouldn't say its the only viable strategy. Using the simulator, I turned the VP cards into the versions mentioned here. On guy just used big money (without buying up estates and duchies at the end) and another guy used "LittleMoney" i.e. just buy estates. BM won just 56/42. Now granted, once its 7 to 1 BM could just sit there for a while churning points. Also 56/42 is nothing to sneeze at. But I don't think its as completely dominating as you're suggesting. (let LittleMoney buy duchies when he gets a hand of five copper and he wins 52/48)

Still agree that it really just weakens the strategic depth without adding much new, but it doesn't remove all of it.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 02:18:37 pm by cluckyb »
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markusin

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 03:33:45 pm »
0

Perhaps the number of steps you lose after each additional curse should be proportional to the number of curses already in your deck? And maybe you move steps when you trash curses?

This variant probably weakens mega turn decks to the point that they are no longer viable. It also affects the balance of cards in ways you might not expect. For example, Rabble could become much worse than Smithy, and Bureaucrat's attack gets a buff.

But really this change harms sifters a lot. Discarding VP cards with Warehouse and Embassy and stuff really starts to mess you up. On the other hand, having cards give you steps can make those sifters too strong. Perhaps the VP cards can give you half as many steps as they normally would when you discard them. I think that question is worth considering.

Just remember, the Dominion cards were not balanced with this variation in mind. Maybe it really should be a totally new game made from scratch.
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popsofctown

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 09:21:06 pm »
0

This is not really Dominion with a board.  A board suggests a two dimensional structure, but this VP track is more scalar.

That's a complaint about the thread title, not the idea, I like the idea.  It will be imbalanced with Dominion cards but could probably still be worthwhile to play.  The good thing is that you can play this with dominion cards.
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Nic

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 09:29:43 pm »
+1

I wouldn't say its the only viable strategy. Using the simulator, I turned the VP cards into the versions mentioned here. On guy just used big money (without buying up estates and duchies at the end) and another guy used "LittleMoney" i.e. just buy estates. BM won just 56/42. Now granted, once its 7 to 1 BM could just sit there for a while churning points. Also 56/42 is nothing to sneeze at. But I don't think its as completely dominating as you're suggesting. (let LittleMoney buy duchies when he gets a hand of five copper and he wins 52/48)

Still agree that it really just weakens the strategic depth without adding much new, but it doesn't remove all of it.
Okay, so Estates and Duchies are viable in comparison to Provinces, but what other cards would be worth buying? Nonterminal cards that make you cycle faster, and maybe a few Silvers early on to hit $5 more often? A Warehouse or two would be killer once you've bought your first Duchy. Lab and Stables would be great, but you can only buy them after Duchies run out. Minion becomes stronger than Rebuild ever was.
But really this change harms sifters a lot. Discarding VP cards with Warehouse and Embassy and stuff really starts to mess you up. On the other hand, having cards give you steps can make those sifters too strong. Perhaps the VP cards can give you half as many steps as they normally would when you discard them. I think that question is worth considering.
What? When you play Warehouse in this game, I think you discard anything that's not a Victory card. I agree that Embassy would no longer be viable. For the same reason, discard attacks become far stronger, because there's no longer any cards that you'd be happy discarding. Without some sort of bonus for discarding green cards, Militia will do way more damage than it did originally, and it would probably need its cost bumped up.
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markusin

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 10:36:52 am »
+1

But really this change harms sifters a lot. Discarding VP cards with Warehouse and Embassy and stuff really starts to mess you up. On the other hand, having cards give you steps can make those sifters too strong. Perhaps the VP cards can give you half as many steps as they normally would when you discard them. I think that question is worth considering.
What? When you play Warehouse in this game, I think you discard anything that's not a Victory card. I agree that Embassy would no longer be viable. For the same reason, discard attacks become far stronger, because there's no longer any cards that you'd be happy discarding. Without some sort of bonus for discarding green cards, Militia will do way more damage than it did originally, and it would probably need its cost bumped up.
I thought about that. You wouldn't be able to do much else on your turn if you keep discarding non-VP cards. Maybe that's still a winning strategy, but it doesn't come across as a very exciting strategy. And good point about the discard attacks. The result is a dull game where players do little else besides playing VP cards.
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Stealth Tomato

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Re: Variant - Dominion with a board
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 11:33:41 am »
+1

I thought this was dominion with a board: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/121408/trains

I played Trains a couple of times last month. As a deckbuilding game, it's worthless. Without a limited-Actions mechanic, none of the cards have any drawbacks besides opportunity cost, and the balance is rather shaky. There's also no trashing for non-Curse/Waste cards. The overall result is a complete lack of variety in deckbuilding. The board mechanics are interesting, but the deckbuilding is so bad that it totally overshadows the board play.
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