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Subject: Things I look for in a random set rss

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Greg Jones
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These are the things I look for when I am trying to decide my strategy for a random set of kingdom cards. For that matter, I do the same with one of the preset sets the first few times I play it. These are in order of importance according to my opinion.

Actions I look especially for cards that give +2 actions. When these are present, it's easy to play a lot of action cards on one turn. When instead, most of the action cards give no +actions, it can really slow things down. You'll likely only be able to play one action card per turn. It also means you should think about buying gold more. A hand with two action cards in hand has dead weight. The ideal hand would be one action card and four treasure cards.

Village
Festival
Throne Room A Throne Room is a way to get extra actions if the set has no +2 action cards. Playing a Throne Room on a +1 action card gives you +2 actions but only uses up one. Playing a Throne Room on a Throne Room lets you play two more action cards (and double them).

Cards What action cards are there that let me draw extra cards? Combining +action cards and +cards cards is an effective way to keep chaining your turn. The idea is to play a +action card, then a +cards card. You draw a lot more cards, which hopefully include more +action cards and +cards cards. If you still have an action left, you can play these and repeat.

Smithy
Council Room
Laboratory This can chain reasonably well on its own without other +action cards.
Moat

Treasure How will I get better treasure cards? Of course there is the obvious way of buying them. That's a good way, but there are ways to speed it up. There are also other ways.

Moneylender Actually this gets rid of money, but it's often a quick route to get Gold on the second shuffle.
Bureaucrat
Mine
Remodel You can Remodel 4-cost action cards into Gold.

Getting rid of bad cards The cards you start out with will quickly become the worst cards in your deck, and are a drag on the strength of your five-card hand. So it's important to have a way to avoid them. When the Witch is in play, it's also nice to have a way to get rid of curses.

Chapel
Moneylender Gets rid of those Coppers while earning you better treasure cards and/or action cards.
Mine
Remodel This is a particularly good way to deal with Estates. The Chapel can get rid of them faster, but gives you nothing. You can Remodel them into valuable 4-cost kingdom cards. Remodel can also get rid of curses. Turn them into 2-cost action cards early in the game, or into Estates late in the game for an immediate 2-point net gain.
Cellar Doesn't get rid of them permanently, but lets you temporarily bypass them. When your deck gets bogged down with victory cards, this is a good card to have. You don't want to get rid of those permanently, but you do want to avoid them clogging your hand.
Chancellor Works like the Cellar if you luck out and get your unwanted cards at the bottom of your deck. Skip that entire portion of your deck.
Thief Well it can get rid of your Coppers if you're lucky. But the more important point is that if you trim down your deck, it's vulnerable to the Thief. Your deck is dense with valuable treasure cards.
Adventurer In the same way, if you can get rid of your Coppers, then the Adventurer is guaranteed to get you a lot of money.

Speed Having or not having cards in the above categories will give you an idea about how fast the game will play out. A good supply of each will mean the game will end with the Province stack quickly running out. If it looks like the game will go slowly, these are good cards:

Gardens A slow game will allow building up a large deck and make Gardens worth at least as much as Duchies. You can also usually end it by running out three piles before anybody can really start affording Provinces.
Remodel A slow game gives you time to gradually Remodel your cards from 0- and 2-value cards to 4-value cards to Golds to Provinces.

Attack cards If there are attack cards in play, I watch out for these. Other than the Moat, the defense against these is different for each card.

Buys I actually don't pay much attention to cards that give +buys, but maybe I should. I usually don't want additional buys. Usually I like to buy the most expensive item I can afford, or at least one that costs one money less. In that case an extra buy just lets me buy a Copper, which I usually don't want to do. However, sometimes I really would like an extra buy, and I often don't have one if I haven't been planning for it. One case is when I want to buy a cheap card in the mid- or late-game (the best time for buying Cellars, for example). Usually my hand will generate much more money than it costs, and I don't want to waste the money. In that case I could buy the cheap card and get something else with the rest. Also, when the set enables building a really strong deck, turns can frequently generate more than 8 money. It would be nice to buy a Province and a Duchy, a Province and a Gold, or even two Provinces.

Action cards with +coins I don't always pay special attention to these. They can be good when the Thief is in play. If you can get your money out of these instead of treasure cards, you're immune to the Thief. Also, the Throne Room can combine nicely with these. The Throne Room can't double a Silver card to give you 4 money, but it can double a +2 coin action card to give you 4 money.
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Timothy Hunt
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The Witch also gives you +2 cards. Can be very important if +X cards actions are light.
 
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Jeff Wolfe
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+x Coin cards work well against the Thief. I played the "no money" strategy against the Thief, played it poorly, and still almost won.

+x Buy cards work well with the Gardens. In that case, you do want lots of Coppers clogging your deck. If all you draw on a turn is Copper, you can still afford another Gardens.
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Greg Jones
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jeffwolfe wrote:
+x Buy cards work well with the Gardens. In that case, you do want lots of Coppers clogging your deck. If all you draw on a turn is Copper, you can still afford another Gardens.


Yes I agree. But if you draw 2 Gardens and 3 Coppers, you can't afford another Gardens.
 
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Jeff Wolfe
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morningstar wrote:
jeffwolfe wrote:
+x Buy cards work well with the Gardens. In that case, you do want lots of Coppers clogging your deck. If all you draw on a turn is Copper, you can still afford another Gardens.


Yes I agree. But if you draw 2 Gardens and 3 Coppers, you can't afford another Gardens.


Buy a Silver and move on. The last time I played a Gardens strategy, I had one hand with 5 Victory cards in it. I took my Copper and kept going. And won handily.
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