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Author Topic: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils  (Read 177718 times)

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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #200 on: August 09, 2012, 05:14:44 pm »
0

Bishop is great, Forge is great, Upgrade is great (non-terminal), Remodel is good, and so are salvager and remake. Aprentice is ok, so is Develop and Expand, and Farmland is.. usable, so is Transmute. Did I miss any?

Graverobber and Trader possibly.
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tlloyd

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #201 on: August 09, 2012, 05:17:06 pm »
+1

It's not even that simple. On the copper front, Cache gives you some, Ill Gotten Gains can get you some, and Goons engines often result in using the extra buys to get copper.  The copper becomes Rat food.  Trader can turn the Rat you would have gotten into silver and Watchtower can trash the Rat (both giving you the kicker for trashing a Rat).

Of course, it might be simpler just to use Trader/Watchtower on those coppers, so I'm not sure Rats is really adding anything here.

I think all the comments so far have assumed - as we usually do - a two-player game. But with three or four players the rat pile could empty quite quickly, and once the rat pile is empty Rats becomes merely a non-terminal trasher. The interesting part will be the strategy about who buys a Rats first, because if only one player does then he likely won't be able to play Rats (without some other trashing card available) without the rats consuming his whole deck.
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clb

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #202 on: August 09, 2012, 05:17:48 pm »
0

It's not even that simple. On the copper front, Cache gives you some, Ill Gotten Gains can get you some, and Goons engines often result in using the extra buys to get copper.  The copper becomes Rat food.  Trader can turn the Rat you would have gotten into silver and Watchtower can trash the Rat (both giving you the kicker for trashing a Rat).  There are probably more examples I can't think of offhand. 


Technically, if you use the reaction element of Trader, you don't trash the incoming rat -- you just never gain it, gaining a silver instead.  So you don't get the +1 card for that.

You forgot your blue dog reference.
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UltimaPenguin

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #203 on: August 09, 2012, 05:20:00 pm »
0

I don't know; in a deck without any TFB, buying a rats really seems exactly like buying an Estate. Playing it adds 0 value to your deck, and quite often you would rather just hold in it your hand than play it.

I'm not sure. Its a tricky card to evaluate for sure.

So, the first one you buy seems questionable. It's a cantrip, plus you have to trash a card from your hand (hopefully an estate). So the first time you play it, it doesn't do anything meaningful to your hand (estate wasn't helping and if you hadn't bought the rats, you'd have the next card in your hand anyway), and its only impact on your deck is swapping an estate for a Rats, which doesn't seem useful without TFB cards.

But next, consider the possiblity that you draw a hand that would have been EECCC. BUT, instead you've replaced that first estate with a Rats "for free" (didn't spend a buy on it). So now you get to play that Rats and draw a legitimate extra card to your hand. As a side effect, you have to replace the second estate with a Rats, but the point is the initial Rats purchase made the first hand it appeared in no worse, and now actually made this hand better. And if you're getting hit by curses or ruins, this kind of process can continue, giving you a cycling benefit as long as you have junk cards to turn into rats. Plus, its obviously extra good if you're trashing curses, since it actually nets you points. And at some point, sure, you want to stop playing your rats and just treat them as junk in their own right, but hopefully by that point they've already helped you.

I guess the point is that buying cantrips is a waste of a buy, since it doesn't do anything. But a single rats purchase can replace your junk with essentially limited-use cantrips (as soon as they would force you to trash something good they themselves are just junk), which could have a non-negligible and low-risk deck acceleration effect. I'm not sure if this would be helpful with trashing coppers though, since that seems like it would be hurting your deck, but against cursers or looters... maybe it would be worthwhile. Again, its hard to really visualize how helpful or not-helpful any of this would be in practice, but while we're theory-crafting I think there's a case to be made for properly played Rats having a positive impact on some decks even without TFB cards.

Really looking forward to seeing what simulators have to say...
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engineer

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #204 on: August 09, 2012, 05:25:21 pm »
0

It's not even that simple. On the copper front, Cache gives you some, Ill Gotten Gains can get you some, and Goons engines often result in using the extra buys to get copper.  The copper becomes Rat food.  Trader can turn the Rat you would have gotten into silver and Watchtower can trash the Rat (both giving you the kicker for trashing a Rat).  There are probably more examples I can't think of offhand. 


Technically, if you use the reaction element of Trader, you don't trash the incoming rat -- you just never gain it, gaining a silver instead.  So you don't get the +1 card for that.

You forgot your blue dog reference.

I know I'm gonna get roasted for this one...but could somebody explain the blue dog meme to me?
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #205 on: August 09, 2012, 05:27:18 pm »
+2

Common Forum References and In-Jokes:

Blue Dog: In this BGG post, DXV attempts to explain the interaction between Ironworks and Trader, using a strange analogy to a blue dog.  Not only does the blue dog confuse the issue, he later changes his mind about the ruling.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #206 on: August 09, 2012, 05:27:34 pm »
0

I don't know; in a deck without any TFB, buying a rats really seems exactly like buying an Estate. Playing it adds 0 value to your deck, and quite often you would rather just hold in it your hand than play it.

I'm not sure. Its a tricky card to evaluate for sure.

So, the first one you buy seems questionable. It's a cantrip, plus you have to trash a card from your hand (hopefully an estate). So the first time you play it, it doesn't do anything meaningful to your hand (estate wasn't helping and if you hadn't bought the rats, you'd have the next card in your hand anyway), and its only impact on your deck is swapping an estate for a Rats, which doesn't seem useful without TFB cards.

But next, consider the possiblity that you draw a hand that would have been EECCC. BUT, instead you've replaced that first estate with a Rats "for free" (didn't spend a buy on it). So now you get to play that Rats and draw a legitimate extra card to your hand. As a side effect, you have to replace the second estate with a Rats, but the point is the initial Rats purchase made the first hand it appeared in no worse, and now actually made this hand better. And if you're getting hit by curses or ruins, this kind of process can continue, giving you a cycling benefit as long as you have junk cards to turn into rats. Plus, its obviously extra good if you're trashing curses, since it actually nets you points. And at some point, sure, you want to stop playing your rats and just treat them as junk in their own right, but hopefully by that point they've already helped you.

I guess the point is that buying cantrips is a waste of a buy, since it doesn't do anything. But a single rats purchase can replace your junk with essentially limited-use cantrips (as soon as they would force you to trash something good they themselves are just junk), which could have a non-negligible and low-risk deck acceleration effect. I'm not sure if this would be helpful with trashing coppers though, since that seems like it would be hurting your deck, but against cursers or looters... maybe it would be worthwhile. Again, its hard to really visualize how helpful or not-helpful any of this would be in practice, but while we're theory-crafting I think there's a case to be made for properly played Rats having a positive impact on some decks even without TFB cards.

Really looking forward to seeing what simulators have to say...

Yeah, the single-card "warehouse" effect makes it slightly less bad than a Confusion, but that's probably at the same level as the Spy/Tunnel combo. It might get you something useful at some point, but probably not worth adding a dead $4 card most of the time.
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engineer

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #207 on: August 09, 2012, 05:34:36 pm »
0

I still think it will only be useful with other strong trashers, but it will definitely be useful in those cases, especially when ruins or curses are getting thrown around.  That's my theorycraft and I'm sticking to it.  I think that turning your trash into temporary accelerators will be a big benefit, and as everybody has pointed out, the TFB advantages are enormous.

Besides, this card is so thematically strong, it has to be useful.  It's too cool not to be!
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david707

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #208 on: August 09, 2012, 05:35:15 pm »
+1

I'm starting to think any card that has an effect when trashed (inc Rats) shouldn't be fully judged until shelter is revealed. There is so much in this this set that does something when trashed and you want to trash ruins. At this stage, I'd be really surprised if Shelter didn't trash and I suspect it'll replace starting Estates whenever playing with Dark Aged (possibly the condition will be a looter instead).
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ftl

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #209 on: August 09, 2012, 05:35:44 pm »
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Heh. I suspect that the simulators will be quite bad with Dark Ages. There's really a lot of combos that have to be done right. You can't just trash bad cards anymore, you have to know when to trash good cards.
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clb

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #210 on: August 09, 2012, 05:38:00 pm »
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Which makes it an incredibly skill-baesd set, with little opportunity to improve outside of playing it tons and a generally good intuition (from having played tons previously).
I'm good with that.
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engineer

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #211 on: August 09, 2012, 06:01:04 pm »
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Speaking of shelters...

Does anybody get why 18 shelters make sense?

I mean, if you have a 4-player game, and shelters actually replace the 3 starting estates, you only have 6 shelters left over for the supply.  On the other hand, if shelters replace estates in the deck but not in the supply, then why would you need 18 shelters?

The only explanation I can come up with is that you use 18 provinces in the super-multiball 6-player game which is discussed in Intrigue.  Inductively, if we assume that we get 18 shelters for the same reason, then we must still stuff our actual starting decks with estates.  However, we don't use 18 duchies in the supply, even in 6 player games.  So what gives?

Edit: as a possible answer to my own question, the prevailing theory is that there is no pile of shelters available.  The shelters only replace the starting estates, and we get 18 to support 6-player games.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 06:06:48 pm by engineer »
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clb

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #212 on: August 09, 2012, 06:10:56 pm »
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I think there are still 2 options - 1 shelter per person (up to 6) with a 12-card pile, or 3 copies per person (up to 6) with no supply pile.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #213 on: August 09, 2012, 06:15:18 pm »
+2

I think there are still 2 options - 1 shelter per person (up to 6) with a 12-card pile, or 3 copies per person (up to 6) with no supply pile.

It makes so much more sense to me that there is no Supply pile. The fact that there are 50 Ruins basically tells us that it supports 6 player; and the only thing we know about Shelters is that "they replace starting Estates." That sounds like a pretty strong implication that they would replace all 3... no need for an extra supply pile.
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engineer

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #214 on: August 09, 2012, 06:27:09 pm »
0

Has anybody actually tried dominion with 6 people?  I have no idea what that would be like.  It seems like the game would be over on piles really quickly, at least if anybody was trying to build an engine.  Is BM the dominant strat with 6 people?
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GendoIkari

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #215 on: August 09, 2012, 06:28:01 pm »
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Has anybody actually tried dominion with 6 people?  I have no idea what that would be like.  It seems like the game would be over on piles really quickly, at least if anybody was trying to build an engine.  Is BM the dominant strat with 6 people?

I did a long time ago... I think the general feel that people have is that it becomes more of a "party game" and less of a "strategy game." Still fun, but not for serious gamers. Do remember that when playing wit 6 people, the game goes until 4 piles run out.
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CaptainNevada

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #216 on: August 09, 2012, 06:29:46 pm »
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You're stopping the Rat population from overwhelming your deck, though I suppose Watchtower trashes what you don't want and Trader is a trash for benefit of a sorts (not only the reaction but the regular action makes it a trash for benefit).  Hinterlands and Dark Ages are sort of a ying-yang that was (particularly Feodum thrives on silver which many Hinterlands cards make it easier to get; Trader, Border Village, Embassy, Haggler, Noble Brigand, Jack of All Trades).  There is probably a good combo with Rat / Trader / Feodum allowing you to breed Rats to change into silver to buy Feodums which get more powerful with the more silver you have.

Rats also feeds on enemy cursing attacks (making them less powerful though possibly giving you a Rat problem).

I would actually be interested in the secret history of Rat.  $4 seems to be the right price point as it would be less useful at $3 and more powerful at $5 (particularly with trash for benefit on the board). 

It's not even that simple. On the copper front, Cache gives you some, Ill Gotten Gains can get you some, and Goons engines often result in using the extra buys to get copper.  The copper becomes Rat food.  Trader can turn the Rat you would have gotten into silver and Watchtower can trash the Rat (both giving you the kicker for trashing a Rat).

Of course, it might be simpler just to use Trader/Watchtower on those coppers, so I'm not sure Rats is really adding anything here.

I think all the comments so far have assumed - as we usually do - a two-player game. But with three or four players the rat pile could empty quite quickly, and once the rat pile is empty Rats becomes merely a non-terminal trasher. The interesting part will be the strategy about who buys a Rats first, because if only one player does then he likely won't be able to play Rats (without some other trashing card available) without the rats consuming his whole deck.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #217 on: August 09, 2012, 06:32:34 pm »
0

Has anybody actually tried dominion with 6 people?  I have no idea what that would be like.  It seems like the game would be over on piles really quickly, at least if anybody was trying to build an engine.  Is BM the dominant strat with 6 people?

Well, then it's 4 piles instead of 3.

Even bad Attacks can become essential in such a big game though.
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Insomniac

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #218 on: August 09, 2012, 06:37:18 pm »
0

Has anybody actually tried dominion with 6 people?  I have no idea what that would be like.  It seems like the game would be over on piles really quickly, at least if anybody was trying to build an engine.  Is BM the dominant strat with 6 people?

Well, then it's 4 piles instead of 3.

Even bad Attacks can become essential in such a big game though.

Saboteur, anyone?
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eHalcyon

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #219 on: August 09, 2012, 06:38:54 pm »
0

Has anybody actually tried dominion with 6 people?  I have no idea what that would be like.  It seems like the game would be over on piles really quickly, at least if anybody was trying to build an engine.  Is BM the dominant strat with 6 people?

Well, then it's 4 piles instead of 3.

Even bad Attacks can become essential in such a big game though.

Saboteur, anyone?

Is it supposed to be a counter example, or proving the point?  If even two other players pick up Sab, you might not be able to keep up with the attack. :\
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Insomniac

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #220 on: August 09, 2012, 06:42:31 pm »
0

Has anybody actually tried dominion with 6 people?  I have no idea what that would be like.  It seems like the game would be over on piles really quickly, at least if anybody was trying to build an engine.  Is BM the dominant strat with 6 people?

Well, then it's 4 piles instead of 3.

Even bad Attacks can become essential in such a big game though.

Saboteur, anyone?

Is it supposed to be a counter example, or proving the point?  If even two other players pick up Sab, you might not be able to keep up with the attack. :\

proving the point, I've played a 6 player game with saboteur...it was disgusting
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #221 on: August 09, 2012, 07:11:53 pm »
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I play 6 player in IRL often because that is the size of our group. Yes, Sab is strong in 6 player. Yes, you often run out piles even though you need to empty out 4 piles. And, no BM is not always prevalent. Sometimes, an engine can take off if other players ignore cards, but that doesn't happen too often. Attacks dominate in 6 player. I would also say things are more random in 6 player, and it isn't as skill dependent as two player. You can be a great player and get screwed over by circumstances beyond your control.
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tlloyd

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #222 on: August 09, 2012, 07:14:00 pm »
0

Has anybody actually tried dominion with 6 people?  I have no idea what that would be like.  It seems like the game would be over on piles really quickly, at least if anybody was trying to build an engine.  Is BM the dominant strat with 6 people?

Well, then it's 4 piles instead of 3.

Even bad Attacks can become essential in such a big game though.

Saboteur, anyone?

Is it supposed to be a counter example, or proving the point?  If even two other players pick up Sab, you might not be able to keep up with the attack. :\

proving the point, I've played a 6 player game with saboteur...it was disgusting

And swindler can deplete four piles in no time in a six-player game.
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dan11295

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #223 on: August 09, 2012, 07:15:13 pm »
+1

Rats is a card that a newbie sees and thinks "oh cool a cantrip that multiplies and lets me trash" and it is cool..at first..until you have trashed all your bad cards and have a hand full of Rats. As mentioned above, I would not buy this with no other trasher available, particularly one that gives a sizable benefit from trashing, like Apprentice or Salvager. Steward isn't going to cut it. If Chapel is on the board and i need to trash, I will just buy Chapel instead.
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Saucery

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Re: Dark Ages Preview #4: Rats, Pillage, Spoils
« Reply #224 on: August 09, 2012, 07:39:48 pm »
0

If you could ever sustain a pillage attack (such as with a +buys draw engine), you will completely shut down most decks i think. What type of deck could survive it? Maybe a wharf engine?
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