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Dominion: Nocturne» Forums » General

Subject: How do you feel about Hexes? rss

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Jay Brennan
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After ten or so games focusing on Nocturne, I'm starting to dislike hexes. They add an element of randomness that's very hard counter. In any kingdom with attack cards, you can plan your strategy based on any attack cards in the kingdom, after seeing what others are buying. Of course, sometimes a kingdom includes attack cards with no mitigating strategy (cursers without trashers, for example.)

The problem I have with hexes is they're so random. Case in point. I've had a couple games where people buy some hexers (like vampire.) Sometime during the first few turns after that, luck would have it that two or three players in a row can play a hexer, and you get hit with hex after hex after hex. Since they are all different, they can destroy any chance you had of getting what you wanted that turn. It only takes a couple of turns like that in succession to put you at a clear disadvantage. I had one 4 player game the other night where I was trying to buy Encampment. First player plays a hexer. I can't buy action cards that turn. He has two buys and the money to buy two encampments. Next player hexes again. Discard down to three cards. He gains an encampment using remodel, as recall. I can't buy an encampment. Next round, before it gets back to me, the rest of the encampments are gone. Having the encampments plus a couple more hexers and some gold turned out to be the winning strategy for two of the players, who wound up fighting it out while the other two of use suffered hex after hex after hex.

It's the variety and randomness of the hex attacks that I find problematic. In every game I've played with hexers, I find it extremely difficult to plan a strategy to mitigate attacks. While luck has always been, to some extent, a factor in Dominion, I find that hexers push the luck factor close to Munchkin or Fluxx.

Thoughts?

{edited for grammar}
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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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I tend to agree, they are a bit too random to prepare for. At least when Militia's on the table without a Moat, you know what to expect.

And Hexes seem much more punishing than Boons are rewarding. There is a balance issue there.

I've only played a few games with Nocturne, and from suggested setups. I'm waiting to see how it goes in a full-random Kingdom.

Maybe we'll see a promo pack of Hexes/Boons released in the next year that serve to rebalance them...

 
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mar daros
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The randomness of Hexes is a good option for the player who's up against pre-set strategy players. I've seen where some players use their standard, same-oh, same-oh strategy methods repeatably over & over. Hexes are just that : unpredictable and great to counter such strategist.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I think they are both balanced and fine. If getting an occasional hex throughout a game spoils your engine, it was a leaky boat to begin with. Boons and Hexes are both a great thing because they make Dominion even more balanced between strategy and tactics. If you want a game where nothing unpredictable ever happens, go to chess, checkers or even dominoes (that almost sounds like the same thing).
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Uncle Lar
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Hexes are now part of the game. There are, I believe, 6 that affect other players and 2 that affect you. You are playing heavy into the Nocturne cards, so you naturally are seeing their strong effects. Even without Hexers you're not going to have an easy win in every game, unless you set up kingdoms by choosing cards to use.

Playing random draw with all the other expansions you will see them less often and more by themselves, so in some cases the Nocturne cards aren't even the best buy to win with.

My point is (if there is one) lose the games you have to, and learn something other than you don't like Hexes. You are going to get beat by the strategy or you are going to play it and compete.

Hexes are random, just like the punches life throws at you.

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Matt E
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jozxyqk wrote:
And Hexes seem much more punishing than Boons are rewarding. There is a balance issue there.

No, there isn't. There's no reason that Boons and Hexes need to be comparable to each other, and they're not. Each Boon is trying to be about as strong as the other Boons (although they're not exactly as strong, and can't be), and likewise the Hexes are trying to be about as harmful as each other. But there's zero reason a Boon has to be as good as a Hex is bad. Hexes are stronger, and that's one reason that Tormentor costs $5 while Bard costs $4.

guidobass wrote:
Hexes are now part of the game. There are, I believe, 6 that affect other players and 2 that affect you.

There are 4 that affect other players and 2 that affect you.
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rickert wrote:
I think they are both balanced and fine. If getting an occasional hex throughout a game spoils your engine, it was a leaky boat to begin with. Boons and Hexes are both a great thing because they make Dominion even more balanced between strategy and tactics. If you want a game where nothing unpredictable ever happens, go to chess, checkers or even dominoes (that almost sounds like the same thing).

Dom DOES have a reputation for being the most strategic amongst the DBG out there. However, as it IS a card game, there is STILL going to be luck to contend with, no matter how well you plan things out.

As painful as it is, I just take that as simply... part of the game. One game that stands out is a 4p game where the only $5 card was Mandarin. No branches nor chains (IIRC, perhaps one that gave you +1 Action), so you couldn't go crazy with the Actions. Militia cost me the ability to buy Gold, and too many Mandarins weren't that great, so those who avoided Militia costing them $6 (they just discarded Estates, or didn't have to discard when they had $6 with a full hand) were able to buy Gold, Platinum, and carve out the Col. and Provinces.


LastFootnote wrote:
jozxyqk wrote:
And Hexes seem much more punishing than Boons are rewarding. There is a balance issue there.

No, there isn't. There's no reason that Boons and Hexes need to be comparable to each other, and they're not. Each Boon is trying to be about as strong as the other Boons (although they're not exactly as strong, and can't be), and likewise the Hexes are trying to be about as harmful as each other. But there's zero reason a Boon has to be as good as a Hex is bad. Hexes are stronger, and that's one reason that Tormentor costs $5 while Bard costs $4.

Also, Tormentor can be blocked with a Moat, mitigated or etc. with other Reaction cards, whereas there's no way to deny another player the benefit from a Boon.

LastFootnote wrote:
guidobass wrote:
Hexes are now part of the game. There are, I believe, 6 that affect other players and 2 that affect you.

There are 4 that affect other players and 2 that affect you.

Correct. In addition to having the Doom type/keyword/attribute...

YOU suck down a Hex:
Cursed Village | $5 | Action
Leprechaun | $3 | Action


EACH OTHER PLAYER sucks down a Hex:
Action
Night
Attack
Skulk | $4 | X X
Tormentor | $5 | X X
Vampire | $5 | X X
Werewolf | $5 | X X X
 
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Carl Hedlund
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Hexes are just fine the way they are, and function virtually the same as any number of past annoyance cards/abilities. For example, in a Seaside game, if Pirate ship is one of the kingdom cards, you can ignore it if you want, but if your opponents buy even one Pirate Ship and you do not, you WILL lose.

In an Intrigue game involving Masquerade, if even one opponent buys even one copy and you do not, chances are quite high you will lose.

You can go into a game with a strategy in mind, but Dominion punishes lazy players who refuse to deviate from rigid strategies. You must be willing to make adjustments on the fly and respond/react to what your opponents are doing and what opportunities present themselves. Hexes are no different. If a hexer is one of the kingdom cards in a game and other players start buying them, if you do not adjust you WILL lose. Period.
 
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Jay Brennan
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You seem to have missed my point. If a game has Pirate Ship or Masquerade in it, I can plan a strategy and adapt as the game progresses, because when a Pirate Ship or Masquerade is played, I know what will happen.

Hexes are totally random. When I am hexed, will all my silver and gold be copper this turn? Will I discard down to three cards? Will I be prevented from buying Actions this turn? Will I gain a Curse in hand? Will I trash a 3 or 4 card from my deck?

Of course Dominion was never a pure strategy game, because of the luck of how you draw cards. But my point is, I feel hexes make the game too random. How can you adapt your strategy when you can't reasonably predict what is likely to happen. The only strategy I've found is for everyone to get on the hex train as early as possible so all players have a relatively equal chance of hexing each other. And that's when Dominion starts to feel like Fluxx.

Of course, I've only played four player like this. Two player, it might not feel so random.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Dominion feels like Fluxx. Now I know this discussion has gone off the rails into some area of gaming hell. Time for me to quit treating this like a serious thread. Next there will be a post saying the game with Nocturne feels like Candyland or, no wait, Mr. Potatohead.
 
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Matt E
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ByloBand wrote:
Hexes are just fine the way they are, and function virtually the same as any number of past annoyance cards/abilities. For example, in a Seaside game, if Pirate ship is one of the kingdom cards, you can ignore it if you want, but if your opponents buy even one Pirate Ship and you do not, you WILL lose.

In an Intrigue game involving Masquerade, if even one opponent buys even one copy and you do not, chances are quite high you will lose.

Masquerade is one of the most powerful cards in the game. I agree that you very often want it, though I think you're overselling it a bit. If there's another powerful trasher, you won't necessarily lose by ignoring Masquerade.

Pirate Ship is super ultra weak. It's so weak. If your opponents buy one Pirate Ship and you do not, you should win. They're trashing your Coppers for free. You can outrace their decks easily.

If you're playing a 5 or 6-player game and everybody else gets Pirate Ship, and there's no non-Treasure money in the game, then OK, you could run out of money and lose. But Pirate Ship is not a strong card in general. Out of the about 300 cards that exist in Dominion, it's easily in the bottom 10.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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jayb3369 wrote:
You seem to have missed my point. If a game has Pirate Ship or Masquerade in it, I can plan a strategy and adapt as the game progresses, because when a Pirate Ship or Masquerade is played, I know what will happen.

Hexes are totally random. When I am hexed, will all my silver and gold be copper this turn? Will I discard down to three cards? Will I be prevented from buying Actions this turn? Will I gain a Curse in hand? Will I trash a 3 or 4 card from my deck?

Of course, I've only played four player like this. Two player, it might not feel so random.


But how can you prepare even if you knew which hex you would get the entire game? If you knew that each time you got a hex it was going to be that each silver and gold would only be worth the same as copper? Would you only buy copper? I'd like to play against someone who decides on that strategy. I like winning a lot. You seem to have a fear of the unknown that is taking over your game mind. Seems like chess would be up your alley. The pieces always start at the same place on the board and their movement is always the same every game. No unknown factors. Problem solved.
 
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Jay Brennan
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rickert wrote:
[q="jayb3369"]

But how can you prepare even if you knew which hex you would get the entire game? If you knew that each time you got a hex it was going to be that each silver and gold would only be worth the same as copper?


By that logic, there is no point in preparing for any attack card. If I knew for example that each time the hex would force me to discard down to 3 cards in hand, well, that’s Militia. If I see Militia in the Kingdom, ahould I give up and say screw this, now it’s too random? No. I look at the other cards and see what strategy I can use against Militia.

I never said I expect Dominion to be pure, predictable strategy like chess. I said there will always be some luck involved...but I feel that hexes add too much luck.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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jayb3369 wrote:
rickert wrote:
[q="jayb3369"]

But how can you prepare even if you knew which hex you would get the entire game? If you knew that each time you got a hex it was going to be that each silver and gold would only be worth the same as copper?


By that logic, there is no point in preparing for any attack card. If I knew for example that each time the hex would force me to discard down to 3 cards in hand, well, that’s Militia. If I see Militia in the Kingdom, ahould I give up and say screw this, now it’s too random? No. I look at the other cards and see what strategy I can use against Militia.

I never said I expect Dominion to be pure, predictable strategy like chess. I said there will always be some luck involved...but I feel that hexes add too much luck.


But what if there's no remedy for Militia? Give up and go home? It seems like you favor strategy and disdain tactics. Tactics have always been a part of Dominion due to not knowing what you're going to draw each turn. Hexes and Boons are merely an extension of that. You get with a hex, find out what it is, then react to it and move on. No big deal. If you do full random, hexes aren't going to appear all that often. When they do just hunker down and enjoy the variety.
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John Freeman
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There are some interesting points here. The comparison to the protracted exercise in 'wacky' randomness of Fluxx is, in my opinion, misguided. In fact, I think luck mitigation sits at the core of Dominion, and just as you can prep an engine to deal with attacks, you can brace yourself against Hexes to do the same. I'm also not sure that a Hex 'arms race' is necessarily bad... it doesn't seem that different from picking up a Witch to dilute a stream of curses.

However, I am sympathetic to the occasional feeling of annoyance at Hexes; there can be situations when your Hex attack does little and their's... I played a game where their Hex just happened to be Locusts, which just happened to hit my Province, which just happened to downgrade to an Estate. There's not much mitigation to be done there, and it lost me the game. So that stings. But then again, a convenient Militia can lose you a game if played against you at the wrong moment... so overall, just like with attacks, if Hexes aren't for you I'd say just give them a miss. There's plenty of Dominion out there.

Just my two cents.
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Dale Stephenson
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LastFootnote wrote:

Pirate Ship is super ultra weak. It's so weak. If your opponents buy one Pirate Ship and you do not, you should win. They're trashing your Coppers for free. You can outrace their decks easily.


Certainly true in 2-player.

Quote:
If you're playing a 5 or 6-player game and everybody else gets Pirate Ship, and there's no non-Treasure money in the game, then OK, you could run out of money and lose. But Pirate Ship is not a strong card in general. Out of the about 300 cards that exist in Dominion, it's easily in the bottom 10.


If you're playing 5-6 player and ignore Pirate Ship, while your opponents don't, you almost certainly will lose. There are very few kingdom cards that can withstand and outrace five pirate ship players. Pirate Ship is very strong in 5-6 player games. Perhaps ByloBand mostly plays with this player count?
 
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Jay Brennan
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Just to be clear, I love, love, love Dominion. It's my go-to game and one I'm always willing to play.

Hexes are the first mechanic introduced in Dominion that I don't love, or even like. I just wanted to get others' feedback on how they feel about then. Certainly, I've played games where one well timed card gave me a curse or trashed a victory card that cost me the game. You are absolutely right that Dominion is a game about minimizing luck. I believe that Hexes make that much, much harder to do. I've only played hexes in four player games so far, and when you get hexed two or three times in a single turn, it is brutal. I still have to try them out two player.

I'm torn about not using Hexes though, because I love the ideas behind cards like Vampire/Bat and the other night cards.

I appreciate the dialogue and opinions of everyone who contributed to this thread.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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jayb3369 wrote:
Just to be clear, I love, love, love Dominion. It's my go-to game and one I'm always willing to play.

Hexes are the first mechanic introduced in Dominion that I don't love, or even like. I just wanted to get others' feedback on how they feel about then. Certainly, I've played games where one well timed card gave me a curse or trashed a victory card that cost me the game. You are absolutely right that Dominion is a game about minimizing luck. I believe that Hexes make that much, much harder to do. I've only played hexes in four player games so far, and when you get hexed two or three times in a single turn, it is brutal. I still have to try them out two player.

I'm torn about not using Hexes though, because I love the ideas behind cards like Vampire/Bat and the other night cards.

I appreciate the dialogue and opinions of everyone who contributed to this thread.


I would be interested in your feedback if you play with Hexes in a 2- or 3-player game. Dominion is my all-time favorite game and I try to never, ever play it with 4 and above player counts. If we have 4 we will almost always set up 2 tables and do some round-robin play on them and determine an overall winner.
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Istaran Majin
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rickert wrote:

But how can you prepare even if you knew which hex you would get the entire game? If you knew that each time you got a hex it was going to be that each silver and gold would only be worth the same as copper? Would you only buy copper? I'd like to play against someone who decides on that strategy. I like winning a lot. You seem to have a fear of the unknown that is taking over your game mind. Seems like chess would be up your alley. The pieces always start at the same place on the board and their movement is always the same every game. No unknown factors. Problem solved.


So, a few things here:
1) I'd probably go for action-money if available, and/or defenses. Really depends on the setup. If it reached the saturation point, where this effect is hitting every turn, do you think you would be winning by having a bunch of silver/gold? But buying a bunch of silver/gold is relatively effective vs discard to 3. If there's one consistent attack card you can build a deck that is hurt less by it. I'd probably focus a bit on buying the attack card if there isn't a decent mitigation.
2) Another factor I haven't seen much in this thread though is the combination effect. In a normal game if you have one attack it can do one thing to you and multiple hits normally have limited impact. A ton of cursers can flood your deck quickly but then the curse pile empties and they have no more effect. A ton of discard cards normally just stop you at 3 cards in hand and that's that for the round. But a ton of hexers can add up to make you screwed in several cumulative ways, potentially round after round. A lot of attacks in dominion don't stack with themselves or not well, but it seems like hexers would.

That said, I haven't gotten/tried Nocturne yet, some I'm theorycrafting here.
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Istaran wrote:
2) Another factor I haven't seen much in this thread though is the combination effect. In a normal game if you have one attack it can do one thing to you and multiple hits normally have limited impact. A ton of cursers can flood your deck quickly but then the curse pile empties and they have no more effect. A ton of discard cards normally just stop you at 3 cards in hand and that's that for the round. But a ton of hexers can add up to make you screwed in several cumulative ways, potentially round after round. A lot of attacks in dominion don't stack with themselves or not well, but it seems like hexers would.

That said, I haven't gotten/tried Nocturne yet, some I'm theorycrafting here.
If the Curses are out, and we assume a more or less equal distribution of them, it may be a blessing that they won't be doled out anymore, but unless you can mitigate them (ie. good trashing, or go past them like with Cellar), it seems like you're hosed at that point anyways.
 
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What I *really* like about Dominion is that you can buy only the sets that match your play style.

* Eurogamers: the base set and Prosperity.
* Ameritrashers: Intrigue and Hinterlands.
* Advanced players: Adventure.

As soon as I saw randomness, I knew that the more strategic players would not like it. And the set's not for new players, either (although one or two cards won't hurt). Even if you don't like some of the sets, you still have *trillions* of game combinations you can still play. I'd rather have an expansion model where you don't feel like you have an obligation to buy *every* set for whatever reason. <Insert LCG or CCG here>
 
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