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Subject: Tomb of the Rat King rss

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Ross Hubbard
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Over the weekend I played a three player game of the suggested kingdom setup between Empires and Dark Ages titled "Tomb of the Rat King." The ten kingdom cards are death cart, fortress, pillage, rats, storeroom, castles, chariot race, city quarter, legionary, sacrifice. The event was advance and the landmark was tomb.

I got to a point where I had a hand of mostly rats, a few fortresses, a storeroom or two and a city quarter. I was able to trash the fortress with a rats and put it back into my hand. Each time I trashed fortress I got a victory point from tomb. I was able to play my whole deck each turn and accumulate around 10 VP a turn and buy nothing.

We stopped the game and quickly admitted that fortress with tomb and +1 card trasher (like rats) is broken. Did we miss something, or is it broken? I want to believe that since this is a suggested set up that I am missing something.

We did try the kingdom set up again by removing fortress and replacing it with a scavenger. I went after six city quarters, almost all of the rats, a few storerooms and around four death carts. My deck became mostly these cards with some ruins where I was able to play my whole deck because of the city quarters, gain points from trashing with rats trashing ruins, and then play storeroom to discard around 9 cards for money and use my death carts to trash other rats. This would give me over $24 with three buys and I would buy three provinces. I did this three times and ended the game (other players had the other 3 provinces). I ended with 85 points and the next highest was 30 points. That was a fun game that made me buy cards unlike the previous one with fortress.
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Conan Meriadoc
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Before Empires, a Fortress + Bishop golden deck had a similar effect, allowing huge VP gains without advancing the game. It can be a problem, but isn't unprecedented.

In your case, the potential was quite obvious; all players should have rushed for the rats and with a bit of luck, they'll split evenly, or better, in your favor. Hence the "Rat King" theme. :-)
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Clive Jones

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Just to check: you know that cards you play aren't discarded until clean-up, yes?

A Rats+Fortress deck isn't infallible: if you draw a hand of Rats, you have to work through them until you reach one of your more useful cards, and then you can't play those Rats again that turn once you've drawn a Fortress.

Then again, if you're saying you were getting around 10VP a turn because the other two players let you get, say, fifteen of the Rats then you deserved the win!
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Simon Armstrong
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I haven't played this set (as Empires is only arriving this evening and I don't have dark ages) but wanting to keep the game going for ever is only in the favour of the player(s) that have on average the highest amount of victory point gaining power per turn. For all other players they should immediately swap to another tactic once they know they haven't won that particular race as otherwise the player who got most will gain a bigger and bigger lead on them each turn. Their best tactic would be to try and gain provinces (or Colony or any other good Victory Cards they can (say an Action+Victory would work well and not stop the rats+... running as well)) very very quickly which would then end the game.

Even if all players are gaining the same amount of victory points per turn on average shouldn't you then try and on the side get yourself some green cards to swing it in your favour if anyone tried to end the game.
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Jeff Wolfe
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BoilerUp wrote:
Over the weekend I played a three player game of the suggested kingdom setup between Empires and Dark Ages titled "Tomb of the Rat King." The ten kingdom cards are death cart, fortress, pillage, rats, storeroom, castles, chariot race, city quarter, legionary, sacrifice. The event was advance and the landmark was tomb.

I got to a point where I had a hand of mostly rats, a few fortresses, a storeroom or two and a city quarter. I was able to trash the fortress with a rats and put it back into my hand. Each time I trashed fortress I got a victory point from tomb. I was able to play my whole deck each turn and accumulate around 10 VP a turn and buy nothing.

We stopped the game and quickly admitted that fortress with tomb and +1 card trasher (like rats) is broken. Did we miss something, or is it broken? I want to believe that since this is a suggested set up that I am missing something.

We did try the kingdom set up again by removing fortress and replacing it with a scavenger. I went after six city quarters, almost all of the rats, a few storerooms and around four death carts. My deck became mostly these cards with some ruins where I was able to play my whole deck because of the city quarters, gain points from trashing with rats trashing ruins, and then play storeroom to discard around 9 cards for money and use my death carts to trash other rats. This would give me over $24 with three buys and I would buy three provinces. I did this three times and ended the game (other players had the other 3 provinces). I ended with 85 points and the next highest was 30 points. That was a fun game that made me buy cards unlike the previous one with fortress.

Why would you buy nothing with Advance in the set? Buy Advance, trash Fortress (which goes back to your hand), and then gain an Action. If you gain from the most-depleted piles, the game will end quickly on three piles. Even if Advance was not in the set, you could push to (eventual) ending by buying Curse and Copper.
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Uncle Lar
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We have to remember that the suggested Kingdoms are recommended to showcase the Empire cards. My nephew whipped my butt with the Rats engine and I let him have Castles because i wanted to see how some of the other cards worked.
 
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Peter Waters
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Played it today, and the Rats, Fortress and Storeroom engine lost by two points to a Death Cart and Storeroom engine. However, it was a two player game.
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Ross Hubbard
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Peter.

Thanks for that information. The other two players were not trying to build an engine with death cart.
 
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Ross Hubbard
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Jeff,

I didn't need other cards in my hand (actions or greens) to risk not drawing a fortress or city quarter with my rats. I could have eliminated the fortress pile and then tried to eliminate storeroom to three pile with rats, however, the other two players conceded before that could happen. I did not want green cards. It would slow down the deck.
 
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Jeff Wolfe
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BoilerUp wrote:
Jeff,

I didn't need other cards in my hand (actions or greens) to risk not drawing a fortress or city quarter with my rats. I could have eliminated the fortress pile and then tried to eliminate storeroom to three pile with rats, however, the other two players conceded before that could happen. I did not want green cards. It would slow down the deck.

You want to draw those cards you gain along with Rats so you can trash them. The point is not to use them, it's to push the game to conclusion.
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