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Author Topic: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages  (Read 3050 times)

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4est

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Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« on: January 02, 2024, 08:41:43 pm »
+4

WDC #208: Back to the Dark Ages

Happy New Year everyone!

Over the past few years, DXV has made second edition updates to many of the older Dominion sets, notably removing weak, overpowered, and boring cards and adding in new ones. At this point, it feels like there's only one set left that could reasonably still get this kind of 2e treatment, and that's Dark Ages (I don't see DXV ever coming back to Alchemy, and the other two small expansions in Cornucopia and Guilds feel unlikely to get a big update).

Here's this week's challenge:

Design a new card that fits the theme of Dark Ages (and optionally, replaces a current card from Dark Ages)

Other rules and suggestions:
  • You may NOT use unique mechanics from other official expansions. Your card should be one that could reasonably fit in an actual Dark Ages Second Edition without requiring additional components or mechanics explanation in the Dark Ages expansion rulebook. So no landscapes, durations, travellers, reserves, split piles, VP tokens, Coffers/Villagers, Debt, Exile, Horses, Night cards, etc.
  • Your card does not have to be a direct replacement for an official Dark Ages card, but you are welcome to design one that is (and maybe let us know what card yours is intended to replace).
  • Try to think about how your card would fit in Dark Ages as a whole (and its unique themes/mechanics, including Shelters, Looters/Ruins, Spoils, non-supply cards, trashing/when-trash, etc.). How will your card interact with other Dark Ages cards?
  • You're welcome to include a new non-supply cards as part of your submission or mess around with new Shelters, Knights, or Ruins if you like, so long as you don't stray into expansion mechanics outside Dark Ages.
  • As always with my contests: Don't make me squint. Eliminate unnecessary words and complexity where possible.

Judgment Details:
  • Entries and revisions must be submitted by 5:00 PM CST (11:00 PM UTC) on Wednesday, January 10. I'll have results posted on Friday, January 12.
  • Entries will be judged on ingenuity, balance, simplicity, and appropriate overall fit within a Dark Ages Second Edition.

Have fun! I'm excited to see your designs!



Entries:

Rabid Dog by Will(ow|iam)
Profiteer by NoMoreFun
Booty by segura
Rapine by gentlefish
Cult Leader by JW
Salvaged Goods by Cutepelican126
Plague Doctor by Gubump
Junk Dog by anordinaryman
Silversmith by Augie279
Gongfarmer by D782802859
Ruinous Route by BryGuy
Redoubt by SignError
Squatter by faust
Street Rat by Zoyarox
Ruined Duchy by n_sanity
Loanshark by fika monster
Feral Cat by emtzalex
Abby by RovingBear
Scrapheap Village by silverspawn
« Last Edit: January 12, 2024, 09:25:31 pm by 4est »
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Will(ow|iam)

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2024, 01:34:41 am »
+2

Quote
Rabid Dog
$5 Action
+1 Card
+1 Action
Trash a card from your hand. If it's an Action, exchange this for a Madman.

This is meant to replace Urchin and Mercenary. I think having an extra card in the set that gains madmen would be cool, like how most of the extra piles in most sets have multiple cards that can gain from them (The only exceptions I can think of are the Travelers, Mercenary, Madman, and Bat).
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2024, 04:34:11 am »
+2

Profiteer
Action/Reaction - $5
Gain a Spoils, then you may play an Action or Treasure from your discard pile.
_________
When you gain or trash a card, you may reveal this from your hand, to exchange the card for a Spoils

Edit: An earlier version was called "Alcove" and cost $3. The card has been changed to $5
« Last Edit: January 05, 2024, 11:15:55 pm by NoMoreFun »
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2024, 04:44:42 am »
+2

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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2024, 04:52:23 am »
0

Alcove
Action/Reaction - $3
Gain a Spoils, putting it anywhere in your deck.
_________
When you gain or trash a card, you may reveal this from your hand, to exchange the card for a Spoils
This would be funky with Chapel. Open Chapel/Alcove. T3: Chapel, Alcove, 3 Estates. Blow the green up for 3 Spoils.
I don't want to imply that it is OP though, it is a very cool design.
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silverspawn

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2024, 05:04:05 am »
0

OP still isn't a coherent concept (OP -- over what?) but the ability to turn random +buys into spoils is pretty bonkers. Any cantrip +buy is going to have a field day with Alcove. Counterfeit will, too.

emtzalex

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2024, 07:39:50 am »
+2

(Not a real submission, obviously):

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Thanks to Shard of Honor for his Extended Version of the Dominion Card Image Generator, which I use to mock up my fan cards, and to Violet CLM, who made the original.

segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2024, 07:59:01 am »
0

OP still isn't a coherent concept (OP -- over what?) but the ability to turn random +buys into spoils is pretty bonkers. Any cantrip +buy is going to have a field day with Alcove. Counterfeit will, too.
Card strength is not existing? Now that is a crazy notion.
There are obviously overpowered cards in Dominion, e.g. Cultist and Rebuild.
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BryGuy

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2024, 08:15:26 am »
0

:)
Withdrawn
:)
Quote
Copper Mine ē $1 ē Treasure - Shelter
Gain a Copper to your Hand. If you did, gain a Spoils to your Deck's top.
:)
I like Shelters and would like to see more. I'm currently using 20 with plans for another ten more - partially thanks to Weekly Design 22 and 158.
This uses Dark Age's theme of self junking.
My other idea would be to replace Necropolis, which i already do.
My other idea was a split pile using Beggar, but then it would be the only split pile in the box, so maybe not?
My other idea goes against the contest rules, modifing Mystic by adding a sentence and its own Heritage.

:)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2024, 09:42:16 pm by BryGuy »
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silverspawn

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2024, 09:56:35 am »
0

OP still isn't a coherent concept (OP -- over what?) but the ability to turn random +buys into spoils is pretty bonkers. Any cantrip +buy is going to have a field day with Alcove. Counterfeit will, too.
Card strength is not existing? Now that is a crazy notion.
There are obviously overpowered cards in Dominion, e.g. Cultist and Rebuild.

the "power" in "overpowered" (which is card strength) does exist. It's the "over" that makes no sense. Overpowered usually implies that a component makes one set of stuff stronger than another set of stuff. E.g., one unit makes a race stronger than another. Or one move makes one fighting character stronger than another. In dominion this doesn't apply since everyone has the same set of cards, so there's no equivalent to "character" or "race". And one card being stronger than another, even far stronger, is a normal part of the game, both in terms of absolute strength and in terms of strength relative to the board. So if the only thing "over" (which is a comparative word) can target is other cards, and if it's not a bad thing if a card is stronger than other cards, well then "overpowered" is obviously not an applicable concept. (I've been saying this for years now.)

Case in point, Donate is much, much stronger than Cultist, but I don't see many people complaining about Donate. If strength itself were an issue, Donate would be a completely broken design. In fact, I would bet that if Donate were not an official card and someone posted it in a design threat, at least one person would call it overpowered and several people would agree with that person.

Donate of course has the property of not being spammable, but that just makes my point. If Cultist is a bad design, then it's because it dominates a strategy by itself, which donate does not. So it's not that about its card strength, it's about the effect of the card strength, so you need other properties as well to make the argument. Rebuild is an even better example, since it's not even all that strong (lots of 5$s are stronger), it just leads to very boring strategy when it is bought.

segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2024, 10:21:18 am »
0

So if the only thing "over" (which is a comparative word) can target is other cards, and if it's not a bad thing if a card is stronger than other cards, well then "overpowered" is obviously not an applicable concept. (I've been saying this for years now.)
As Dominion does feature a fixed and not a rotating card pool like other deckbuilders, gama balance is indeed not that sensitive to varying card strength. As you neatly pointed out via Donate, Events are even less sensitive to them and e.g. Summon being virtually strictly stronger than Demand is not a huge issue.

All this does not mean that card strength does not exist and that you cannot, and when analyzing fan designs should not, deeply care about it. It is the first thing you do when you check a design, is it too strong or too weak. It is also far easier to do than analyze how interesting and fun a card is.

This is also the case with official cards. I will never understand how Cultist and Rebuild got through any playtesting in Dark Ages, they are far too strong and centralizing which is why they suck.

Back to the card, you yourself pointed out sitatuons in which Alcove could be far too crazy. And even though this does perhaps not imply that you run more than one, perhaps two, copies of Alcove, even though Alcove as a gainer of one-shot stop cards can hardly make the game wild, this could nonetheless be a serious issue which makes the card overpowered.
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gentlefish

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2024, 10:43:21 am »
0

I'm completely new here and this is my first card ever - so please don't judge me too hard.

This card would replace Pillage:

Quote
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand reveals their hand except one card and discards one of the revealed cards that you choose.
If a player discarded a card costing $5 or more, trash this.
-
When you trash this, gain 2 Spoils.
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silverspawn

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2024, 11:50:21 am »
0

All this does not mean that [...] you cannot, and when analyzing fan designs should not, deeply care about [card strength]

Why not? I think that's exactly what it means.

I mean the "you should think about" thing is bit of an applause line because you can always say that it's better to think about something than not think about it. But I claim that "overpowered" is not a valid criticism and there's no reason to ever make that critique in writing (or judging). And you didn't give any reason why this would be a reasonable thing; you just stated it.

Even when designing a card, I don't think about powerlevel. I think about what kind of new idea I want to do. Then sometimes when it's done, I think about whether this particular idea would work better as a strong or weak card. And if it's too weak, I do something to fix that.* But it's not a key concern.

* since "underpowered" is a different category because if a card is consistently the weakest card on the board that is actually an issue.

Ethan

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2024, 11:55:01 am »
+2

I don't think it's better than Archer.
I'm completely new here and this is my first card ever - so please don't judge me too hard.

This card would replace Pillage:

Quote
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand reveals their hand except one card and discards one of the revealed cards that you choose.
If a player discarded a card costing $5 or more, trash this.
-
When you trash this, gain 2 Spoils.
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gentlefish

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2024, 12:18:46 pm »
+1

I don't think it's better than Archer.

You're absolutely right. Didn't think of archer. A price of 4 makes more sense:
Quote
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand reveals all but one and discards one of them that you choose.
If a player discarded a card costing more than this, trash this.
-
When you trash this, gain 2 Spoils.
-
Cost: $4
Type: Action - Attack
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2024, 01:08:42 pm »
0

All this does not mean that [...] you cannot, and when analyzing fan designs should not, deeply care about [card strength]

Why not? I think that's exactly what it means.

I mean the "you should think about" thing is bit of an applause line because you can always say that it's better to think about something than not think about it. But I claim that "overpowered" is not a valid criticism and there's no reason to ever make that critique in writing (or judging). And you didn't give any reason why this would be a reasonable thing; you just stated it.

Even when designing a card, I don't think about powerlevel. I think about what kind of new idea I want to do. Then sometimes when it's done, I think about whether this particular idea would work better as a strong or weak card. And if it's too weak, I do something to fix that.* But it's not a key concern.

* since "underpowered" is a different category because if a card is consistently the weakest card on the board that is actually an issue.
You can put overpowered in quotation marks as often as you want to, it does not make card strength any less relevant. If you ignore power level in your designs, you will sooner or later come up with things than cannot be salvaged.
Let us take Fugitive. It is obviously a $4.5 card, i.e. it could never be done as normal Kingdom card because you cannot change the price to fix it. Of course you could buff or nerf it to put it into $4 or $5 territory but then that buff or nerf better be interesting.

Mechanical soundness and power balance are absolutely mandatory (in any game). They donít make a design interesting, fun or novel; they are necessary but not sufficient for good card designs.
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2024, 01:16:45 pm »
0

I don't think it's better than Archer.

You're absolutely right. Didn't think of archer. A price of 4 makes more sense:
Quote
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand reveals all but one and discards one of them that you choose.
If a player discarded a card costing more than this, trash this.
-
When you trash this, gain 2 Spoils.
-
Cost: $4
Type: Action - Attack
I donít know whether it is stronger or weaker than Archer. But Pillage is a guaranteed Coin spike that you want either early in the game or in situations in which you need that very Coin spike (you trashed down quickly, got decent draw but not much payload, Ö). The Attack is nice and strong but not the reason you buy Pillage.
Your card on the other hand is Archer without Coins that can convert itself into Spoils somewhen in the middlegame (early on this is weak, you played a stop card to discard a Copper or whatever). I donít really like a weakish Attack with no resources except the one-shot blow-up over which you have no control.
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JW

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2024, 01:58:00 pm »
+3

Cult Leader

Action - Attack
+3 Cards. Each other player may discard an Action for +1 Card. If they don't, they gain a Ruins.
----
When you trash this, +2 Cards.

Notes: Replaces Cultist, of course. Cultist is one of the Dark Ages cards most worthy of being replaced, especially because I entered a Rebuild replacement in a previous contest: https://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=21418.msg896526#msg896526.
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Cutepelican126

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2024, 03:20:43 pm »
+2



A simple treasure to benefit from the junk getting trashed. If it was to replace anything in particular, I dunno it could replace Feodum maybe?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2024, 06:54:03 pm by Cutepelican126 »
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2024, 12:19:42 pm »
+8

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All of my fan card mockups are credited to Shard of Honor and his Dominion Card Image Generator (the new fork).
If you're having font issues with the generator, click this link and click on the button to request temporary access to the demo server that loads the font.

anordinaryman

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2024, 02:25:07 pm »
+3

Edit: I have updated the entry in a later post here


Quote
Junk Dog | Action - Looter | $3
+2 Cards
You may gain a Ruins from the Supply to play it.
-
When you trash this, play it

If ruined library is showing as the top Ruins, you could make this a smithy this turn (at the cost of self-junking the Ruin Library in your deck for future turns)

Junk Dog ties in a lot of Dark Ages themes. It's got a when-trash, which is of course fun. It also is a looter. It incorporates a sub-theme of self-junking for a gain this turn, like Beggar and to some extent Death Cart does. Lastly, it continues the "play a terminal action" theme from Cultists.

Open to feedback. Specifically I'm wondering whether I should do "You may gain a Ruins from the Supply. You may play a Ruins from your Hand" which makes it a lot stronger at handling Ruins from itself on future turns and other sources. I feel like that would push the cost to $4? Not sure if that would be worth it.

One thing is that I find Knights is often monolithic. They're fun, but it feels like you can't ignore them. I love having soft counters like fortress; Junk Dog is another counter, though it's terminal so you can't over-load up on them like you can with fortresses.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2024, 10:41:14 am by anordinaryman »
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2024, 02:34:52 pm »
+2

ĄYou may play a Ruins from the Supplyď is a shorter wording. It works mechanically the same except for gain triggers like Trader.
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Augie279

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2024, 04:23:26 pm »
0



Scavenger's weak. This probably is too, but being able to guarantee one of the cards you draw is a Silver must be good, right? Certainly worth making the Silver gain that comes with it mandatory.
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D782802859

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2024, 05:55:26 pm »
0


Quote
Gongfarmer
$4 Action
Trash a card from your hand.
Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal one costing more than the trashed card.
Put two of the revealed cards into your hand and discard the rest.
A play on Sage, reborn as a trasher.
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BryGuy

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2024, 10:05:44 pm »
0

:)
Quote
Ruinous Route ē $4 ē Action - Looter
Gain a Ruin.
Review your Deck's top five cards, trashing up to three and returning the rest.
Choose one: +$2; or play up to two Ruins from the Trash, leaving them there.
:)
Sadly there are only three official Looters, but none of them allow you to use them as Actions - Death Cart merely uses them as fodder. Cultist and Marauder use Ruins like Curses. The last choice offers some use until there are enough Ruins in the trash to be more useful.
This uses Dark Age's theme of self junking, like Beggar, Death Cart; Count.
This would replace Beggar - a card i have never bought, nor have seen a kingdom where it would be of much use. Beggar is ranked 477 out of 488 Dominion cards. Only Feodum and Pillage rank lower amongst Dark Ages cards.
I would also toss-out Survivors.

Update-20240105: Changed both option: "+1 Action and +$1" to "+$2"; from two to three ruins in the trash.
Update-20240109: removed Ruin gain to Deck's top. Add deck inspect and potential trash, like Sentinel. return choice to play two Ruins

My other ideas include:
* adding a Treasure-Shelter
* replacing Necropolis, which i already do.
* adding a Night-Shelter
* modifying Mystic by adding its own Heritage which goes against the contest rules

:)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 10:30:35 pm by BryGuy »
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SignError

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2024, 12:35:24 am »
+5



Quote
Redoubt
$3 - Action - Looter

+3 Actions

Gain 3 Ruins to your hand. This turn, after playing a Ruins, return it to its pile.

It uses ďafterĒ instead of ďwhenĒ in the same way that Inspiring does.  The timing of the return to pile matters for Way of the Mouse using Redoubt as the set aside card.

Redoubt is a friendly Looter like Death Cart.  You are tempted by the possibility of Peddler or a Lab.  But some combinations are comparable to $2-cost cards (e.g. Ruined Village x2 + Ruined Mine ≈ Squire). The best effects hinge on Ruined Library.  Careful play order is needed so that the desirable Ruins donít get buried deep.  Lean too heavily into Redoubt, and the opponent may just gain and trash the Ruined Libraries, leaving you with a mess of stop-cards.  Itís still a double Necropolis if you can get draw elsewhere and have a way to deal with the undesirable terminal Ruins.  And it helps counter the unfriendly Attack - Looters.

Redoubt could partially replace Beggar as a card that gains a lot of cheap cards to your hand.  It has strong synergies as does Beggar, but Redoubt is more usable in a normal kingdom without those specific combos, while Beggar usually just sits there.   Another 2E card can replace Beggarís defensive Reaction.
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2024, 04:32:37 am »
+1

:)
Quote
Ruinous Route ē $4 ē Action - Looter
You may gain a Ruin to your Deck's top to trash two cards from your Hand.
Choose one: +1 Action and +$1; or play up to two Ruins from the Trash.
:)
Sadly there are only three official Looters, but none of them allow you to use them as Actions - Death Cart merely uses them as fodder. Cultist and Marauder use Ruins like Curses.
This uses Dark Age's theme of self junking, like Beggar, Death Cart; Count.
:)
Early on, i.e. until the Ruins are out, it net trashes one, gives you two vanillas and basically something like -1 Card as the junk is topdecked.
That is really similar to Forager but I think that I would prefer Forager.

So I think that this has to be buffed (e.g. don't topdeck the Ruins) or be reduced in price to $3.

Quote
This would replace Beggar - a card i have never bought, nor have seen a kingdom where it would be of much use. I would also toss-out Survivors.
Beggar is pretty decent in Knight games and centralizing with Guildhall.
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segura

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2024, 04:42:37 am »
+1



Quote
Redoubt
$3 - Action - Looter

+3 Actions

Gain 3 Ruins to your hand. This turn, after playing a Ruins, return it to its pile.

It uses ďafterĒ instead of ďwhenĒ in the same way that Inspiring does.  The timing of the return to pile matters for Way of the Mouse using Redoubt as the set aside card.

Redoubt is a friendly Looter like Death Cart.  You are tempted by the possibility of Peddler or a Lab.  But some combinations are comparable to $2-cost cards (e.g. Ruined Village x2 + Ruined Mine ≈ Squire). The best effects hinge on Ruined Library.  Careful play order is needed so that the desirable Ruins donít get buried deep.  Lean too heavily into Redoubt, and the opponent may just gain and trash the Ruined Libraries, leaving you with a mess of stop-cards.  Itís still a double Necropolis if you can get draw elsewhere and have a way to deal with the undesirable terminal Ruins.  And it helps counter the unfriendly Attack - Looters.

Redoubt could partially replace Beggar as a card that gains a lot of cheap cards to your hand.  It has strong synergies as does Beggar, but Redoubt is more usable in a normal kingdom without those specific combos, while Beggar usually just sits there.   Another 2E card can replace Beggarís defensive Reaction.
I like this but I am pretty sure that this is a $4. Anything but Ruined Village and Survivors is decent. Supposed you get Library, Mine and Market. Then you get Market + 2 Villages.  Suppose you get two Mines and whatever, then this is strictly better than Conclave.

The notion that the opponent might gain and trash Ruins seems dubious, self-junking is after all a heavy price to pay. If you run 3 copies of Redoubt, he has to buy at least 2 Ruins to hurt you in turns in which you draw all 3 of them. And at worst you still got a Double-Necro whereas he had to self-junk & trash for little benefit.
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2024, 05:57:39 am »
+1



Quote
Redoubt
$3 - Action - Looter

+3 Actions

Gain 3 Ruins to your hand. This turn, after playing a Ruins, return it to its pile.

It uses ďafterĒ instead of ďwhenĒ in the same way that Inspiring does.  The timing of the return to pile matters for Way of the Mouse using Redoubt as the set aside card.

Redoubt is a friendly Looter like Death Cart.  You are tempted by the possibility of Peddler or a Lab.  But some combinations are comparable to $2-cost cards (e.g. Ruined Village x2 + Ruined Mine ≈ Squire). The best effects hinge on Ruined Library.  Careful play order is needed so that the desirable Ruins donít get buried deep.  Lean too heavily into Redoubt, and the opponent may just gain and trash the Ruined Libraries, leaving you with a mess of stop-cards.  Itís still a double Necropolis if you can get draw elsewhere and have a way to deal with the undesirable terminal Ruins.  And it helps counter the unfriendly Attack - Looters.

Redoubt could partially replace Beggar as a card that gains a lot of cheap cards to your hand.  It has strong synergies as does Beggar, but Redoubt is more usable in a normal kingdom without those specific combos, while Beggar usually just sits there.   Another 2E card can replace Beggarís defensive Reaction.

i think this could either be a $4 or just give 2 actions.
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2024, 06:46:04 am »
0

Remember not to make the card a 3$ if you think it's stronger than the average 4$. If you do, terrible things will happen. Donald X would never do this, either.

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2024, 06:49:04 am »
+6

On a serious note, I'd consider returning the card to the bottom of the pile to avoid playing the same Ruins over and over again, and I'd also consider making it more difficult to work with. Right now, it gives you actions to play 2 of the 3 Ruins, so if one of them is a Ruined Library (a whopping 48.8% chance), the card is completely self-sufficient. I think a powerful but difficult to use design (requiring other actions?) would generally be more interesting than a safe design.

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2024, 12:51:36 pm »
+1



Quote
Redoubt
$3 - Action - Looter

+3 Actions

Gain 3 Ruins to your hand. This turn, after playing a Ruins, return it to its pile.

It uses ďafterĒ instead of ďwhenĒ in the same way that Inspiring does.  The timing of the return to pile matters for Way of the Mouse using Redoubt as the set aside card.

Redoubt is a friendly Looter like Death Cart.  You are tempted by the possibility of Peddler or a Lab.  But some combinations are comparable to $2-cost cards (e.g. Ruined Village x2 + Ruined Mine ≈ Squire). The best effects hinge on Ruined Library.  Careful play order is needed so that the desirable Ruins donít get buried deep.  Lean too heavily into Redoubt, and the opponent may just gain and trash the Ruined Libraries, leaving you with a mess of stop-cards.  Itís still a double Necropolis if you can get draw elsewhere and have a way to deal with the undesirable terminal Ruins.  And it helps counter the unfriendly Attack - Looters.

Redoubt could partially replace Beggar as a card that gains a lot of cheap cards to your hand.  It has strong synergies as does Beggar, but Redoubt is more usable in a normal kingdom without those specific combos, while Beggar usually just sits there.   Another 2E card can replace Beggarís defensive Reaction.
I like this but I am pretty sure that this is a $4. Anything but Ruined Village and Survivors is decent. Supposed you get Library, Mine and Market. Then you get Market + 2 Villages.  Suppose you get two Mines and whatever, then this is strictly better than Conclave.

It takes actions to play the Ruins in that example.

I also agree with silverspawn that returning the ruins to the bottom of the pile would make the card more interesting (and less powerful). Edit: to clarify, I donít think it needs to be less powerful; it doesnít seem strong as presented. If the ruins returned to the bottom of the pile, I think it could easily cost $2.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 08:59:41 pm by JW »
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2024, 12:59:29 pm »
+4


Quote
Squatter - $2
Action/Looter

This turn, directly after you finish playing an Action costing $2 or less, +1 Action.
-
In games using this, when you gain a card costing $0 from the Supply, exchange it for a Ruins.

Dark Ages does not do enough with the Ruins pile, and a second edition would certainly need to change that. Here's a card that essentially turns any Curses into a Looter (at least until the Ruinses run out). It does other things too, and has a strange relationship with cost-reducers.

The restriction to "in the Supply" is necessary in the current format so that this does not mess with the Dark Ages non-Supply cards, but in an ideal world a second edition would give those cards non-zero costs analogous to what we have seen from non-Supply cards in later sets. In this case, the restriction could be dropped.
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2024, 01:07:06 pm »
+1

^ I don't know how the rules work here; can you gain Curses once Ruins are out?

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2024, 01:35:48 pm »
+1



Quote
Street Rat
$3 Action
+2 Actions
Look at the top card of your deck.
You may trash or discard it. If you did and it costs $2 or less, gain a Spoils.

Toss a Copper (and Shelters, Curses, Ruins, Rats etc.) to your Street Rat! Gets rid of them nicely, later still helps you pass green, while not forcing you to discard the upcoming good card.

EDIT: $1 -> $2; $1 was a leftover from an older playtest version, that turned out to be too good with $2 Treasures and Actions.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 10:27:45 am by Zoyarox »
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2024, 03:02:28 pm »
+4

I wasnít expecting this much discussion.  I originally had this at $4, but realized pretty early on it cannot cost $4.  An easy, quick comparison is Ironmonger.  You get a fixed +1 Card, +1 Action, and half Survivors, along with one of +1 Card, +1 Action, and +$1, which are the best bonuses to spam.

But in case you want to go into all the details, the following is a list of all the raw possibilities along with their probability of occurrence and estimated value.  You might notice that certain individual effects are valued higher than you would think; weíll get into more of that later.


+3 Cards (0.612%) Smithy, but better (~$5.5)*
+2 Cards +1 Action (2.296%) Lab ($5)
+2 Cards +1 Buy (2.296%) Silk Merchant, but better?!? ($5.3)*
+2 Cards +$1 (2.296%) Fortune Hunter, but better (~5.6)*
+2 Cards Survivors (2.296%) Oracle, but better (~$5.4)*
+1 Card +2 Actions (2.296%) Village ($3)
+1 Card +1 Action +1 Buy (5.102%) worse than Market Square (~$2. 8 )
+1 Card +1 Action +$1 (5.102%) peddler (~$4.5)
+1 Card +1 Action Survivors (5.102%) most comparable to Spy (~$3.6)
+1 Card +2 Buys (2.296%) multiple +Buy bad (~$3.3)*
+1 Card +1 Buy +$1 (5.102%) not a lot of reference (~$3. 8 ) *
+1 Card +1 Buy Survivors (5.102%) not a lot of reference (~$3.4)*
+1 Card +$2 (2.296%) could maybe justify this as a terminal Silver+ (~$3.9)*
+1 Card +$1 Survivors (5.102%) not a lot of reference (~$3.6)*
+1 Card Survivors x2 (2.296%) not a lot of reference (~$3.2)*

+3 Actions (0.612%) strictly worse than Port, comparable to Snowy Village and Crossroads (~$3)
+2 Actions +1 Buy (2.296%) not a lot of reference (~$2.5)
+2 Actions +$1 (2.296%) worse than Merchant Camp (~$2. 8 )
+2 Actions Survivors (2.296%) not a lot of reference (~$2.3)
+1 Action +2 Buys (2.296%) multiple +Buy bad (~$1.5)
+1 Action +1 Buy +$1 (5.102%) worse than Candlestick Maker (~$1.9)
+1 Action +1 Buy Survivors (5.102%) bad, but not a lot of reference (~$1.7)
+1 Action +$2 (2.296%) Silver-ish (~$3)
+1 Action +$1 Survivors (5.102%) bad, but not a lot of reference (~$1. 8 )
+1 Action Survivors x2 (2.296%) bad, but not a lot of reference (~$1.5)
+3 Buys (0.612%) multiple +Buy bad (~$1.2)
+2 Buys +$1 (2.296%) worse than Squire (~$1.9)
+2 Buys Survivors (2.296%) multiple +Buy bad (~$1.5)
+1 Buy +$2 (2.296%) Woodcutter ($3)
+1 Buy +$1 Survivors (5.102%) bad, but not a lot of reference (~$1. 8 )
+1 Buy Survivors x2 (2.296%) bad, but not a lot of reference (~$1.3)
+$3 (0.612%) probably slightly better than Fortune Hunter (~$4.2)
+$2 Survivors (2.296%) Worse than Navigator, which was already bad (~$2.7)
+$1 Survivors x2 (2.296%) (~$1.4)
Survivors x3 (0.612%) Bad (~$1.1)

Remember not to make the card a 3$ if you think it's stronger than the average 4$.

Like I said, itís easy to think of the Labs and Smithies and Peddlers and forget all the other junk thatís possible.  If you tally the weighted value itís about $3.  Weighted value of everything above the line (with +Cards) is about $4, and weighted value of everything below the line (without +Cards) is about $2.

A lot like Knights, the value of Redoubt fluctuates based on what the top card of Ruins is at the start of the game.  Ruined Library and Ruined Mine provide the most value.  Ruined Village is good in the absence of a Village, and Ruined Market is great in the absence of +Buy.  Survivors is only good if the kingdom has no trashing and little draw.  So you can use the knowledge of the top card to adjust the probabilities and be more informed about the value of the card.

For example, say itís a 2-player game without Ruined Library on top.  The chance of NOT having Ruined Library in the next 2 cards is about 80%, so if you want your Redoubt drawing cards (the most valuable effect), then you have to get decently lucky.  If you really want to dig into the Ruins pile for that Ruined Library, you need to gain 3 Redoubts and collide them in the same hand (difficult in itself). Youíre most likely to get 1 Ruined Library (43%), with the next likely outcome being no Ruined Libraries (34%).  That leaves a (23%) of hitting 2 Ruined Libraries and those spicy $5+ effects.  Not very good odds.

Any combo using Ruined Library and other terminals is actually better than its face value because you can play some Ruined Libraries to potentially draw more villages before playing your last terminal card.  I already adjusted the card values for that above. (*)

Everything below the line doesnít have +Cards, so it tends to be worth a lot less.  You may notice I rate the bad terminal stop-card combinations a little higher than they deserve face value.  Thatís because you always have the option to not play the Ruins and keep the innate +3 Actions, which Iím valuing at about $3.  Then you could play other terminal draw for the chance at drawing more villages while risking junking yourself.  Or you could just play terminal payload and take the junk.

The notion that the opponent might gain and trash Ruins seems dubious, self-junking is after all a heavy price to pay.

Removing Ruined Library as an option lowers Redoubtís value to about $2, so itís worth it if your opponent has a ton of them and is using the draw a lot.  Itís kind of like when you have 1 Poacher and the opponent has 8; you just gain the last Poacher to turn them into Oasis.  But here you donít need to gain extra Redoubts or Ruins.  Just play one Redoubt (you probably got one early on), get the Ruined Library thatís 3 cards down, and thatís it.

And at worst you still got a Double-Necro whereas he had to self-junk & trash for little benefit.

To get the double Necropolis effect for ~$3, the opponent has to trash or keep in their deck the Survivors and other terminal Ruins, so thatís not free either.

On a serious note, I'd consider returning the card to the bottom of the pile

Returning the ruins to the bottom of the pile is something I hadnít considered, and could probably work.  My worry is that it makes it too unpredictable early and too uncontrollable late.  Remember the average effect is actually $3, and you have to work to make it worth more than that.  Also Black Market is supposed to put cards on the bottom of the pile, but dominion.games doesnít do that because then you have to track the pile (I think TGG lets you see the card order, but Iíve never been in a game that when through the whole pile to find out for sure).  But the Ruins pile is smaller unless you have a ton of players, so tracking is less of an issue here.  Iíd probably want to playtest it both ways to see how it works.
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2024, 03:32:58 pm »
+1

Awesome analysis  :D

Remember not to make the card a 3$ if you think it's stronger than the average 4$.

Like I said, itís easy to think of the Labs and Smithies and Peddlers and forget all the other junk thatís possible.  If you tally the weighted value itís about $3.  Weighted value of everything above the line (with +Cards) is about $4, and weighted value of everything below the line (without +Cards) is about $2.

Hm I thought the sarcasm would be obvious in the context of my previous posts lamenting the misuse of the overpowered concept. What I meant to say was: the idea that you have to figure out whether your card is above or below a certain powerlevel to figure out whether to price it at 3$ or 4$ is extremely silly. Imo you'd do better just not thinking about card strength at all when deciding this. The major thing you should think about is whether it would be fun if people can open with two of the thing. After that, I mean 3$ will allow people to buy it slightly more situations later in the game.

I made the reference to Donald X because he's released tons of busted 3$'s that are much stronger than 4$s. In fact it was sort of loosely held that the average 3$ is stronger than the average 4$ at some point (this probably isn't true nowadays), but in any case, it was common knowledge that "weaker cards cost 3$ and stronger cards cost 4$" isn't a thing. Apparently that's not common knowledge anymore, but it's still true.

In fact I vividly remember being a very nooby person in this forum and someone was indicated that 3$s are stronger than 4$s, and I was like, that can't be right, and then they were like, no literally, and I was like huh, but I didn't write it because back then I didn't admit mistakes.

Anyway your analysis convinced me that it's weaker than the average 4$, which has precisely zero bearing on how I would price it. (I'd price it at 3$ so you can open with two of them.)

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2024, 03:34:01 pm »
+2

^ I don't know how the rules work here; can you gain Curses once Ruins are out?

From the Trader Official FAQ 2022:

Quote
You can only exchange if both cards are available to be exchanged; you have to be able to return the gained card to its pile (only possible if it came from a pile), and you have to be able to take the Silver.

So once the Ruins are out you can no longer do the exchange, and you gain the Curse



On a side note Squatter with lots of cost reduction means your Provinces turn into Ruins.  I actually think thatís neat; you just have to make sure what you want costs at least $1.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2024, 04:08:04 pm by SignError »
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silverspawn

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2024, 03:41:18 pm »
+2

Also kudos for modeling proper drawing-without-replacement for the Ruins probabilities!

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2024, 03:41:49 pm »
+1

Awesome analysis  :D

Remember not to make the card a 3$ if you think it's stronger than the average 4$.

Like I said, itís easy to think of the Labs and Smithies and Peddlers and forget all the other junk thatís possible.  If you tally the weighted value itís about $3.  Weighted value of everything above the line (with +Cards) is about $4, and weighted value of everything below the line (without +Cards) is about $2.

Hm I thought the sarcasm would be obvious in the context of my previous posts lamenting the misuse of the overpowered concept. What I meant to say was: the idea that you have to figure out whether your card is above or below a certain powerlevel to figure out whether to price it at 3$ or 4$ is extremely silly. Imo you'd do better just not thinking about card strength at all when deciding this. The major thing you should think about is whether it would be fun if people can open with two of the thing. After that, I mean 3$ will allow people to buy it slightly more situations later in the game.

I made the reference to Donald X because he's released tons of busted 3$'s that are much stronger than 4$s. In fact it was sort of loosely held that the average 3$ is stronger than the average 4$ at some point (this probably isn't true nowadays), but in any case, it was common knowledge that "weaker cards cost 3$ and stronger cards cost 4$" isn't a thing. Apparently that's not common knowledge anymore, but it's still true.

In fact I vividly remember being a very nooby person in this forum and someone was indicated that 3$s are stronger than 4$s, and I was like, that can't be right, and then they were like, no literally, and I was like huh, but I didn't write it because back then I didn't admit mistakes.

Anyway your analysis convinced me that it's weaker than the average 4$, which has precisely zero bearing on how I would price it. (I'd price it at 3$ so you can open with two of them.)

I absolutely agree with this, but mostly did the analysis for others who seemed more fixed on $4 cost.

The greatest difference between $4 and $3 is the double open, and this is fine there. You would rather have a cheap trasher or a guaranteed Silver to afford a good $5, and early Redoubt is a huge risk, given you donít know what the cards below the top one are.
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n_sanity

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2024, 04:04:12 pm »
+3

My entry:

Ruined Duchy
$4 Victory - Looter
3 VP
---
When you gain this, gain a Ruins.


« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 09:37:11 am by n_sanity »
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2024, 10:40:13 am »
+3

Updated entry



Quote
Scavenger Dog | Action - Looter | $3
+2 Cards
You may play a Ruins from the Supply or your hand.
-
When you trash this, play it.

I've updated Scavenger Dog, it's now a soft-counter against most of the attacks in Dark Ages, similar to Watchtower was. You can choose to play a Ruins from the Supply which puts it in play without gaining the card, next turn it goes into your deck. Or, you could play a Ruins from your your hand, maybe you got junked by Marauder, or maybe you self-junked yourself with a previous Scavenger Dog. This doesn't defend against discard attacks though. Then there's the on-trash aspect, which defends against knights. I think the only interaction Scavenger Dog is missing is Spoils, but you can't put everything on one card then it would look like Junk as opposed to just a Junk Dog
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fika monster

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2024, 04:53:18 am »
0

Updated entry



Quote
Scavenger Dog | Action - Looter | $3
+2 Cards
You may play a Ruins from the Supply or your hand.
-
When you trash this, play it.

I've updated Scavenger Dog, it's now a soft-counter against most of the attacks in Dark Ages, similar to Watchtower was. You can choose to play a Ruins from the Supply which puts it in play without gaining the card, next turn it goes into your deck. Or, you could play a Ruins from your your hand, maybe you got junked by Marauder, or maybe you self-junked yourself with a previous Scavenger Dog. This doesn't defend against discard attacks though. Then there's the on-trash aspect, which defends against knights. I think the only interaction Scavenger Dog is missing is Spoils, but you can't put everything on one card then it would look like Junk as opposed to just a Junk Dog

You may want to add "other than in in cleanup" about the trash-play part to mimic trail
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2024, 05:11:50 am »
+1

my submission:
LOANSHARK.
(v3)





Quote
Loanshark:
$5 action-duration card.

Look through your discard pile, and Set aside an Action Card from it or your hand under this. Trash it at the end of your next turn.

Until then, when you play a copy of that card or a card from that pile, you first get +1 Card, +1 Action, +1 Buy and +$1.

Obviously busted with fortress, but a lot of things are.
v3: just buffed this across the board: now this makes whatever card you set under it a market for that turn (or two if you can set it up well), in exchange for trashing an action card.
Its essentially like getting to put every traveller card token on one pile temporarly.
Potential strong combos:
rats, magpie, trail, very cheap cards like poor house or pawn. It makes ruins good for a bit.

I considered making loanshark be +1 action, but that felt like it took away from the central dilemma of the card: sacrafice momentum and a good action card now, for a big boost that will get back at ya later.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 03:32:17 am by fika monster »
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2024, 05:45:57 am »
+2

^ I think this needs to say "look through your discard pile" first (Eremit, and in general, you're not allowed to search it otherwise), and I think it also needs to be stronger to be viable. Right now, even if you get +2 Actions off of this (which you very rarely will), it's "+2 Actions, trash one card, discard this delayed", which is weak since you can't straight-forwardly use it on junk. And the floor is that you get no Actions at all. (Also, "action card" -> "Action card".)

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2024, 06:31:12 am »
0

^ I think this needs to say "look through your discard pile" first (Eremit, and in general, you're not allowed to search it otherwise), and I think it also needs to be stronger to be viable. Right now, even if you get +2 Actions off of this (which you very rarely will), it's "+2 Actions, trash one card, discard this delayed", which is weak since you can't straight-forwardly use it on junk. And the floor is that you get no Actions at all. (Also, "action card" -> "Action card".)

good points. Posting an updated version, added "+1 action +1$" and cards from that pile as well. so you can get the benefit from ruins, or split piles from later expansion
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2024, 09:41:08 am »
+5

Updated entry



Quote
Scavenger Dog | Action - Looter | $3
+2 Cards
You may play a Ruins from the Supply or your hand.
-
When you trash this, play it.

You may want to add "other than in in cleanup" about the trash-play part to mimic trail

Trail needed it so that the trigger didnít happen when-discard during cleanup.  Fortress is fine without the non-cleanup clause, so Scavenger/Junk Dog should be too.

Edit: Fortresses probably isnít the best comparison here because it doesnít play itself.  There could be some really exotic combo like WotMouse Improve Tomb that generates infinite VP.  Still, there are infinite combos amoung the official cards, and making Junk Dog more complex just to kill a rare combo doesnít seem good.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 11:09:25 am by SignError »
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emtzalex

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2024, 12:58:23 pm »
+8

My Submission:



Quote
Feral Cat ē $2 ē Action - Reaction
+2 Cards

When you trash a card, you may play this from your hand.
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Thanks to Shard of Honor for his Extended Version of the Dominion Card Image Generator, which I use to mock up my fan cards, and to Violet CLM, who made the original.

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ag
« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2024, 02:13:47 pm »
+2

^ I think this needs to say "look through your discard pile" first (Eremit, and in general, you're not allowed to search it otherwise), and I think it also needs to be stronger to be viable. Right now, even if you get +2 Actions off of this (which you very rarely will), it's "+2 Actions, trash one card, discard this delayed", which is weak since you can't straight-forwardly use it on junk. And the floor is that you get no Actions at all. (Also, "action card" -> "Action card".)

good points. Posting an updated version, added "+1 action +1$" and cards from that pile as well. so you can get the benefit from ruins, or split piles from later expansion
It is still too weak. Even with Looters in the Kingdom, it would be highly unlikely that you can play splitter, Loanshark, 2 Ruins which is really the only situation in which this shines. Being able to play one Ruins is OKish, the card then had the same vanillas as Junk Dealer. But how often do these stars align (splitter, Loan Shark, Ruins in hand, identical Ruins in discard)? If you donít have a copy of that Ruins in hand, the card is kinda like  Ą+1 Card Trash a cardď which is worse than Maroon.

But why would I want to play Loanshark without Ruins? Even if you had a deck with two dead Actions, e.g. two Sea Hags after the Curses are out, you would not want Loanshark.

A simple buff, although unlikely to be strong enough, would be to postpone the trashing until the end of the next turn.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 02:20:07 pm by segura »
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2024, 03:32:48 am »
0

my submission:
LOANSHARK.
(v3)





Quote
Loanshark:
$5 action-duration card.

Look through your discard pile, and Set aside an Action Card from it or your hand under this. Trash it at the end of your next turn.

Until then, when you play a copy of that card or a card from that pile, you first get +1 Card, +1 Action, +1 Buy and +$1.



Buffed loanshark across the board and made it cost 5$.
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2024, 08:05:37 am »
0

Now it's pretty interesting. You can use it to fuel one (or two if you can do it in the same turn) mega turns by loan-sharking an engine piece, and if you do have a bunch of ruins and can make it work, you get paid off quite well.

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2024, 06:37:31 pm »
+1

24 hours
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RovingBear

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2024, 02:13:02 am »
+2



Another trasher for the dark ages. This one should work very well for all the trashing for benefit cards, and for trashing shelters which cost 1.
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2024, 06:54:42 am »
+3



A village for 3$ that also trashes! Isn't that busted? Don't I always say every card that trashes without handsize reduction is one of the best cards in the game?

Well, careful. This logic only works if you consider the Ruins non-junk since they now give at least +1 card, but that only works in conjunction with this village, which itself doesn't give +card. At the turn where you use it, you get great value, but a deck of these + Ruins for your starting cards is much worse than a deck of villages + trashed starting cards.

(Extends the set rather than replacing a card.)

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2024, 07:27:40 am »
+3

^ I would be worried that this breaks the set's theme. For the other Looters, it is kind of important that the Ruins really are junk, and if these cards are in the same set, they will appear together frequently.
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2024, 07:35:37 am »
+1

I did consider this breifly, and my thoughts were roughly

- Cultist is going to be much weaker, but actually still not garbage and occasionally playable; seems okay
- Death cart is going to be much stronger; seems okay
Edit: oh yeah and I didn't think about Marauder. Well marauder is trash now; that one is a legit loss.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2024, 08:11:38 am by silverspawn »
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2024, 10:52:48 am »
+1

CONTEST CLOSED

Please check the OP to make sure I have your most updated submission.

I'll have commentary and results posted in the next day or two.
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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2024, 12:46:53 am »
+7

WDC #208: Back to the Dark Ages

Commentary & Results

Thanks everyone for the submissions, there were some really great entries and I enjoyed seeing the many different directions people went with this one. Dark Ages was a long time favorite set for me when I first started playing Dominion so it was fun to revisit the mechanics here in more depth and dream about what a 2e might bring.

OPs are linked, shortlisted entries are bolded, enjoy!



Rabid Dog by Will(ow|iam)
A cantrip trasher that can turn into a Madman if it eats an Action. A nice opener on $5-$2 and plays nicely with Ruins. It's a little easier to get Madman than Hermit, but harder to mass them since Rabid Dog is $5. The flavor and simplicity are good, though I don't think Dark Ages needs another cantrip trasher when it already has Junk Dealer and Rats. Perhaps a cheaper card with a different on-play, and better yet, make it a reaction, since it's a dog. 

Profiteer by NoMoreFun
Without a discard pile, this is a terminal Gold, weak for $5, but it can be a nonterminal Spoils gainer if you have Actions in your discard. Bandit Camp is usually better. The reaction is where things get a little more interesting--sort of like Trader, this lets you turn junk into Spoils. The trash exchange is unique, though I'm unclear on how the rules work here--once a card is trashed, can it still be exchanged? It's a neat way to use Spoils in a Reaction, but the card still feels weak for $5.

Booty by segura
A super simple Spoils gainer, sort of a delayed Crucible. Much stronger opener than Marauder, and it combos with many Dark Ages cards. I actually think it would be more interesting without the discard option and as a mandatory trasher. Solid entry. 

Rapine by gentlefish
Welcome to the forums! A new Pillage that works very similar to Archer where opponents keep a card in hand and then discards one you choose. It's a strong attack, but weak in the early game. If they discard a $5 or more, then this becomes a one-shot just like Pillage, gaining 2 Spoils. Pillage isn't a great card--and while I think it's interesting that this one sticks around a little longer usually before getting popped, I don't like that it doesn't produce any resources for the player. +$ would make it too similar to Archer, but I would recommend giving it some other benefit as well.

Cult Leader by JW
Agreed that Cultist needs an overhaul Cult Leader feels much more balanced without the chaining, and it's neat that the Ruins help players defend against future ones (also, make sure to add the Looter type). Clever design, and a worthy replacement.

Salvaged Goods by Cutepelican126
A cheap Copper with +Buy that can be a Gold if you trashed something. Should use +$3 and +$1 wording instead of "worth" wording. Sad when there's no trashing in the Kingdom, and will usually lose its power in the midgame and endgame when trashing slows down, but a Dark Ages treasure that cares about trashing is interesting. It would be fun to have several of these as your payload and try to activate them each turn.

Plague Doctor by Gubump
Smithy meets Doctor. A solid opener on $5-$2 though you don't get Doctor's overpay. Nice that it retains utility once you're done thinning and can deal with stray Coppers and Curses. It's much weaker in Shelters games and will trip on Ruins, but at least it won't leave the unnamed junk on top of your deck. Love the simplicity and I'm always a fan of name a card cards. 

Junk Dog by anordinaryman
Another dog that isn't blue! This one is a Moat that gets another semi-random effect at the expense of junking you (hence the name). Ruined Library and Ruined Village are usually the best to get here since they effectively make this a Smithy or Lab respectively, whereas the others tend to be less helpful. The on-trash has some fun combos in Dark Ages, but I think the junking and randomness combined make this a tough sell on most boards unless you have some way to deal with the ruins.

Silversmith by Augie279
A Silver gainer that can draw the Silver (or something else you choose from your discard). Seems okay, though I actually don't think it's that much stronger than Scavenger, especially if you don't want the Silvers. Has a few some nice combos with other gainers and TfB but suffers from the classic Harbinger issue of no discard.

Gongfarmer by D782802859
A terminal trasher and draw card that gives you better options if you trash better cards. Solid as an opener, since it draws and cycles, sort of like a better Maroon, but it seems like it will get a little more awkward to use later. Sad when you trash Copper/Ruins and immediately draw something that costs more, but getting to pick the best two cards from a bigger reveal is nice. I think it works, but it is a little more finicky than I'd like. Also I just learned what a Gongfarmer is.

Ruinous Route by BryGuy
Another self-junker with Ruins. The wording here needs to be adjusted to be consistent with other Dominion cards (i.e.. "Look at the top 5 cards of your deck. Trash up to 3 and put the rest back in any order"). This trashes from the top of deck like Sentinel but eats 3 cards instead of 2 at the cost of adding some junk. You then get a choice of terminal Silver or two semi-random effects based on what Ruins are in the trash. I think the Silver option is best most of the time unless a Ruined Village is in the trash to make this nonterminal. Personally, I'd suggest dropping the +$2 option which I think would make this a little more interesting. 

Redoubt by SignError
Let's keep the Looters coming! So this one does the Beggar thing of gaining three of them to your hand, but makes all your Ruins one-shots for a turn, while also giving you enough Actions to play them all. It's a tricky one to wrap my head around since it has 30+ different possible play effects (the in-depth breakdown of options analysis is helpful, thank you). In general, I think it's worth the price of admission so long as you don't get too many Survivors--like Ironmonger, you usually get a Village effect, plus other occasional $ and +cards and such. Granting the ability to skip playing the Ruins and keep the +Actions (and the expense of potentially junking yourself) makes for some interesting decisions. It does weaken Cultist and Marauder's attacks which I guess is fine? I think it's generally a more interesting card to keep the Ruins on top since it makes for something players can control and count on a little more, though leaning into the randomness isn't necessarily a bad thing. Really fascinating card to think about, and definitely the most intriguing of these new Looters.

Squatter by faust
Squatter causes all $2-cost Actions and Ruins to give an extra action (making cantrips villages and Moats Labs). It can be a really powerful effect in the right Kingdom, though lining it up with your $2s and drawing things in the right order could get tricky. The bottom makes the game feature a neat little Ruins-Changeling where all junkers give out Ruins instead. Thank you for including the "from the Supply" clause so it doesn't make Hermit and Urchin really sad. Another really fascinating one   

Street Rat by Zoyarox
A Necropolis that can trash from the top of your deck and gain Spoils. A nice opener that does a few different things for you. It loses a lot of utility in the midgame though once the trashing and Spoils gaining become inconsistent.

Ruined Duchy by n_sanity
Very simple, a cheap Duchy that junks you with Ruins. A VP card that uses the Ruins is neat, and the flavor fits Dark Ages well. However, I worry it will lead to a lot of degenerate rush games, like Workshop-Gardens except Ruined Duchy empties two piles at once for you.

Loanshark by fika monster
So you spend a terminal Action to then get a bunch of extra vanilla effects any time you play a copy of that card for the next two turns, and then trash it. It's possible to set up some mega-turns with this, sort of like Procession, but the tricky part is going to be lining it up with targets--it has to be something you have multiples of (and can ensure you draw them!) otherwise this trashes the card for nothing. I think it's an interesting idea worth exploring, but as written this feels a little too challenging to set up for most boards.

Feral Cat by emtzalex
Finally, we get a blue pet. And heck yeah, I love this one, it's Sheepdog but with trashing instead of gaining, such a simple variation. Dark Ages is the perfect expansion for it to hang out in with all sorts of fun combos to play with, and it's a cool little minigame to try and activate and chain a bunch of them off of one trash. The only issue to speak of is, unlike Sheepdog, it is very possible to have games without trashers which make for some very sad kitty cats. But I think for Dark Ages itself, it's a worthwhile entry. Very well done!

Abby by RovingBear
A trasher that can be a Junk Dealer if you trash Shelters or Estates (but terminal on Coppers). If you trash more expensive things, you get a Salvager effect. Apart from Rats, I feel like there aren't that many $4+ cards you'll trash with this, so I could see lowering the threshold to $3 instead of $4. Seems fine, if a little uninspired.

Scrapheap Village by silverspawn
A Village that converts cards in your hand into Ruins, which doesn't sound very good at first, except that Ruins all get an extra +Card tacked on. The randomness makes this a little tricky to depend on, based on what the top Ruins is. It doesn't help you thin though, so you'll want another trasher. I agree that I think this unnecessarily hoses Cultist and Marauder and feels a little off brand when it comes to what Ruins are trying to do. 



Honorable Mentions: Booty by segura, Plague Doctor by Gubump, Cult Leader by JW, Squatter by faust

Runner Up: Redoubt by SignError

WINNER: Feral Cat by emtzalex



Congrats to emtzalex and thanks everyone for participating!
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emtzalex

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Re: Weekly Design Contest #208: Back to the Dark Ages
« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2024, 12:04:22 am »
+1

WINNER: Feral Cat by emtzalex

Thanks. New contest is up.
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Thanks to Shard of Honor for his Extended Version of the Dominion Card Image Generator, which I use to mock up my fan cards, and to Violet CLM, who made the original.
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