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Subject: dominion vs mtg cube draft rss

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ojannen

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I have been interested in putting together a magic cube draft deck for a little while. I have been out of the game for 5 or 6 years but it looks like I have about 75% of the standard cube cards before odyssey block.

For those unfamiliar with the idea of a cube draft:
In a magic booster draft, each player (normally 4 or 8 total) gets 3 15 card booster packs. Each player opens their first pack, picks a card, and passes to the next player. After doing this for all 3 packs, each player takes their 45 cards and uses about 22-25 of them to make a 40 card deck.

A cube draft uses this same system except instead of using the most recent set, about 500 of the most powerful drafting cards are used. This means that everyone has ridiculous cards with powerful interactions. 360 cards are used for an 8 person draft so there is a decent amount of variation between each draft.

How does this compare to the setup and play of dominion? Deck building looks fun, and the fact that you have to kill your deck to get points looks like a good mechanic. However, I am concerned about the lack of variety of cards. With only 25, you won't discover new tricks or interactions after the first few plays. Archetype selection simply comes down to memorizing card distributions in each set. Or maybe I am wrong.

How do the two compare, and how accurate is my perception of Dominion? Both will cost me about $60-70 for a few/many new cards and sleeves.

 
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Tim Seitz
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ojannen wrote:
However, I am concerned about the lack of variety of cards. With only 25, you won't discover new tricks or interactions after the first few plays. Archetype selection simply comes down to memorizing card distributions in each set. Or maybe I am wrong.


You're wrong about archetype selection (what ever that is). There's always 10 of each action card in the set, so there's no need to memorize any card distributions. With Dominion, what you see is what you get.
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ojannen

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I completely misunderstood part of the rules. Go ahead and disregard the dominion part of the first post.

New question. How scarce are the kingdom cards? With 10 each, are there enough to go around or is someone generally left out? Do people generally end up with very similar decks, especially with the Chapel card?
 
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There are 10 piles of 10 cards (exception for Gardens). That's 100 cards. There's plenty to go around, but the goal is not to gain cards, the goal is to gain VPs.
 
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Greg Payne
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ojannen wrote:
How scarce are the kingdom cards? With 10 each, are there enough to go around or is someone generally left out?

You can get left out of getting a somewhat useful card if the groupthink is to whore them up on sight. But this isn't a disaster...
 
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Robin Ashby
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I have, but haven't yet played Dominion, and I think I'll really like it, but damned if I haven't been enjoying the hell out of my Cube.
I built a 100% proxy Cube off of this list:http://www.cubedrafting.com/Construction.html/, and it's a hell of a lot of fun. I've only played a handful of times (3-4 player), and Blue-Green seems a bit powerful, but that was probably just good strategy on my part. One of the more interesting aspects I've found with this set is that you can actually pull off a (3 player at least) free-for-all without the usual turtling problem.

So: both look to be quite a lot of fun, Dominion get the advantage on play time (expect at least 2 hours for a full draft of the Cube, more with a larger number of players, however, you can probably get the draft time down to a bout a half-hour once everyone is familiar with the set), ease-of-introduction, rules complexity and learning curve, but everything else goes to the Cube, you can't beat the player range of 2-8 (or more, depending on how many cards you draft per player), player interaction is much higher, and the long-term appeal is probably greater (I haven't player Dominion though, and there's quite a lot of combinations of Kingdom cards there).

That said, you'll probably enjoy both, I know I will. But it all comes down to what your looking for right now, Dominion is easy to pick up and play, and easy to tech to new players, plays in 30-45 minutes and is surprisingly deep for the time. The Cube Draft is simply the most intensely strategic and skill-testing game of Magic you will ever play. It offers nearly unlimited combinations of strategies, and is customizable to your heart's content.

My instinct here tells me to advise you to go for the Cube. You sound like a seasoned MtG player, and it's the most fun and economical way to play magic with 2 or in a group. I highly recommend proxying the cards you can't get or afford right now. I use the higher-quality images from www.magiccards.info.

Hope that helps.
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Michael Webb
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FWIW, they're different things.

To me, Cube is a much more interesting, variable, and replayable format than anything Dominion can offer up, the gameplay is also considerably deeper.

Does this mean Dominion isn't good, even very good? Not at all. But Dominion is a 15 minute, crank it out kind of game. Just doing the draft takes longer than that in Cube, let alone the actual deck construction and gameplay.

Don't get Dominion to replace the value of a game like Magic, you'll be disappointed by its relative shallowness. Get Dominion because you want something that's replayable and compelling while fitting into a narrow time window.
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CortexBomb wrote:
FWIW, they're different things.

To me, Cube is a much more interesting, variable, and replayable format than anything Dominion can offer up, the gameplay is also considerably deeper.

Does this mean Dominion isn't good, even very good? Not at all. But Dominion is a 15 minute, crank it out kind of game. Just doing the draft takes longer than that in Cube, let alone the actual deck construction and gameplay.

Don't get Dominion to replace the value of a game like Magic, you'll be disappointed by its relative shallowness. Get Dominion because you want something that's replayable and compelling while fitting into a narrow time window.


Michael makes good points but I feel I should point out that 15 minutes for Dominion might be accurate with very fast players familiar with the mechanisms (as most any ccg player would be). I've played several games here with my colleagues from work and just finished playing with my mom, and I'd say playing with folks who are casual gamers the 30 minutes the box states is not inaccurate.

Cheers,
Van
 
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Tim Seitz
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vandemonium wrote:
CortexBomb wrote:
FWIW, they're different things.

To me, Cube is a much more interesting, variable, and replayable format than anything Dominion can offer up, the gameplay is also considerably deeper.

Does this mean Dominion isn't good, even very good? Not at all. But Dominion is a 15 minute, crank it out kind of game. Just doing the draft takes longer than that in Cube, let alone the actual deck construction and gameplay.

Don't get Dominion to replace the value of a game like Magic, you'll be disappointed by its relative shallowness. Get Dominion because you want something that's replayable and compelling while fitting into a narrow time window.


Michael makes good points but I feel I should point out that 15 minutes for Dominion might be accurate with very fast players familiar with the mechanisms (as most any ccg player would be). I've played several games here with my colleagues from work and just finished playing with my mom, and I'd say playing with folks who are casual gamers the 30 minutes the box states is not inaccurate.

Cheers,
Van

I don't think it's inaccurate to make published time assumptions for relatively skilled gamers.

learning time + play time > play time

When you know how to play it well, Dominion goes very quickly. The only thing slowing it down is all the dadgum shuffling.
 
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out4blood wrote:
When you know how to play it well, Dominion goes very quickly. The only thing slowing it down is all the dadgum shuffling.

After playing Dominion 40+ times on BSW, I thought I'd be bothered by all the shuffling, but honestly it didn't bother me in the slightest.
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We played a 5 player variant with new players. It was interminable. soblue
 
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As an addendum: there's absolutely no need to build a Cube out of power, you can build it out of almost anything. I got back into Magic last year and built a specifically Time Spiral Block Cube with a few extras thrown in for good measure.

I use this mainly to play 2 player draft with a friend, though I have enough cards for a full table draft. If you already have a lot of cards, there is no need to immediately purchase more to create a perfectly competent Cube...if anything it could be beneficial to separate the cards out by block and add another block or two here or there to keep things fresh. You might need to adjust the relative numbers of key cards to keep the draft interesting (i.e.: enough colour fixing, enough creature removal, make sure you don't have too many good cards of one or two colours) but you can often do this by removal rather than addition if you are already starting with a base.
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ojannen

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Looks like I will focus on the cube for now. I still have all my old cards so I have all the old money cards except the power 9. It is flexible enough that I can get the basic archetypes in without buying many new or expensive cards.

My original understanding of dominion (and the reason I compared dominion to cube) was that each set of 10 cards was a unique distribution of cards rather than being 10 copies of the same card. This meant that when you chose which sets to play with, there could possibly be 0 or 1 or many copies of each card. This idea of scarcity was interesting and why I was comparing it to drafting.

The big question I have not been able to answer from reading reviews and posts is how much replayability the game really has. The cards change but the choices you make as a player don't seem to change very much. What is stopping everyone from making the same 'best' deck for the set of kingdom cards?

My general feeling is that Dominion is a great game until you get good at it. At that point is it still good? Am I being too harsh?
 
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Tim Seitz
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ojannen wrote:
My general feeling is that Dominion is a great game until you get good at it. At that point is it still good? Am I being too harsh?

That was basically my sentiment in my review. It seems like a number of other people are arriving at similar conclusions.
 
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The replayability question is one that is hard to answer at this point because the game is still young. Most of the people who have played the game a lot have done so online, which to me, speaks very little to replayability because the ease of finding opponents and the extra speed makes the allure of any available game that much higher.

Based on my limited, 4 play knowledge base, the game will have a decent amount of replay. There is no "optimum" deck in the abstract for any pool of cards because your particular optimum deck should evolve during the course of the game based on what other players are doing. It's kind of difficult to explain this when you haven't played the game, but it amounts to paper - rock - scissors where all 3 strategies are viable, but the right one depends on what the other players are up to.

There very well could be true optimum strategies that will evolve though, that's definitely a danger because the card set is relatively small, and the ability to play it on BSW means that people will have a dangerously accelerated learning curve (i.e.: what happened to Puerto Rico, Caylus, &c.)

I think, again based on my limited experience, that the average player who avoids any strategy articles that are published (and avoids playing with people who read them as well) should be able to easily get their money's worth out of the game. If anyone here would bitch about depth of play and replay it would be me, because it's one the harps that I'm constantly strumming on, but I think Dominion is good for a pretty large number of plays given a "pure" environment. Replay is such a subjective thing though, and a lot of it comes down to personal idiosyncrasies that are hard to quantify based on the game itself. For example, my experience with Magic made me tire of Jambo before I even got to 10 plays because I felt the key power cards were too obvious and the flow of the game was already becoming scripted. Most people think the game has much more replay than I do, even those with a similar CCG background. The whole YMMV thing is the omnipresent elephant in the room in these types of discussions.
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CortexBomb wrote:
There very well could be true optimum strategies that will evolve though, that's definitely a danger because the card set is relatively small, and the ability to play it on BSW means that people will have a dangerously accelerated learning curve (i.e.: what happened to Puerto Rico, Caylus, &c.)

I think, again based on my limited experience, that the average player who avoids any strategy articles that are published (and avoids playing with people who read them as well) should be able to easily get their money's worth out of the game. If anyone here would bitch about depth of play and replay it would be me, because it's one the harps that I'm constantly strumming on, but I think Dominion is good for a pretty large number of plays given a "pure" environment.

This viewpoint rears its head quite frequently on BGG, and I believe it is the source of much of what perpetuates the "cult of the new" here. Many players play a game a few times and then once they have "solved" it, move on to the next game. The process of analyzing various strategies is frowned upon because it "ruins" the game.

My belief: If a game cannot withstand strategic scrutiny, then it's not a very good game.

I prefer to play games I understand against opponents who understand them. This provides a battle of wits and true test of gaming skill; contrast this with playing a game where all the opponents are equally clueless, as blind people fumbling around an empty room searching for the exit.
 
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I like playing with opponents of equal skill, I simply dislike anything which accelerates the learning curve and takes away from potential enjoyment of the game that can be had along the way.

This, to me, is entirely separate from any consideration of playing new games to the exclusion of old games, if anything, it would be supportive of longevity because it would force everyone to travel down the long road of learning the game themselves.

The reason why I initially was drawn to Euro style games over arguably superior designs like Go and Chess is because I don't have to deal with the baggage of learning all of the already accepted knowledge about the game to play it adequately and to find equally skilled opponents (this is a huge problem for both of those games, very few people are willing to just learn the game naturally and avoid reading about how to play it better).
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Quote:
There is no "optimum" deck in the abstract for any pool of cards because your particular optimum deck should evolve during the course of the game based on what other players are doing. It's kind of difficult to explain this when you haven't played the game, but it amounts to paper - rock - scissors where all 3 strategies are viable, but the right one depends on what the other players are up to.

That's wishful thinking. In most setups (I'd venture to say over 90%), there is one optimum deck. The size distortion setup though, offers many interesting options. But then again, using that same setup repeatedly would get old fast also.

Quote:
but I think Dominion is good for a pretty large number of plays given a "pure" environment.

So it's replayable if you avoid playing/learning it?
 
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On your first point I can't comment because I haven't played the game enough.

On the second, again, I frankly cannot understand the interest in strategy articles for any game. They take away the joy of personal discovery. Most modern games have plateaus, reading strategy articles will get you there faster. That's all I'm saying, I didn't think it would be so contentious.
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spearjr wrote:
out4blood wrote:
When you know how to play it well, Dominion goes very quickly. The only thing slowing it down is all the dadgum shuffling.

After playing Dominion 40+ times on BSW, I thought I'd be bothered by all the shuffling, but honestly it didn't bother me in the slightest.

After playing 300 games online and 3 offline, the shuffling doesn't bother me as much as it does other people...
 
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CortexBomb wrote:
On your first point I can't comment because I haven't played the game enough.

On the second, again, I frankly cannot understand the interest in strategy articles for any game. They take away the joy of personal discovery. Most modern games have plateaus, reading strategy articles will get you there faster. That's all I'm saying, I didn't think it would be so contentious.

I can see that, definitely. What I am saying is that a good game will have so much for discovery that even a most comprehensive reading of the strategy articles won't exhaust them all.
 
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CortexBomb wrote:
On your first point I can't comment because I haven't played the game enough.

On the second, again, I frankly cannot understand the interest in strategy articles for any game. They take away the joy of personal discovery. Most modern games have plateaus, reading strategy articles will get you there faster. That's all I'm saying, I didn't think it would be so contentious.


That is a really interesting point. I must say for me, the fun in gaming is just trying things. So even when I discover an "optimum" strategy, the way I tend to play is to then ignore it and try something else just to see what would happen. Can I make something else work? I think that gets to the "joy of personal discovery." Well said.
 
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out4blood wrote:
vandemonium wrote:
CortexBomb wrote:
FWIW, they're different things.

To me, Cube is a much more interesting, variable, and replayable format than anything Dominion can offer up, the gameplay is also considerably deeper.

Does this mean Dominion isn't good, even very good? Not at all. But Dominion is a 15 minute, crank it out kind of game. Just doing the draft takes longer than that in Cube, let alone the actual deck construction and gameplay.

Don't get Dominion to replace the value of a game like Magic, you'll be disappointed by its relative shallowness. Get Dominion because you want something that's replayable and compelling while fitting into a narrow time window.


Michael makes good points but I feel I should point out that 15 minutes for Dominion might be accurate with very fast players familiar with the mechanisms (as most any ccg player would be). I've played several games here with my colleagues from work and just finished playing with my mom, and I'd say playing with folks who are casual gamers the 30 minutes the box states is not inaccurate.

Cheers,
Van

I don't think it's inaccurate to make published time assumptions for relatively skilled gamers.

learning time + play time > play time

When you know how to play it well, Dominion goes very quickly. The only thing slowing it down is all the dadgum shuffling.


In general true, but I would argue that casual players, even ones familiar with the rules still take longer to figure out what they are going to do. That was my point. I can see 15 minute games with "gamers" playing for sure. But else wise, I do think it would be a tad longer. Either way it should be a fairly quick round
 
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ojannen

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Here is a slightly different perspective.

When I am playing games, my goal is to find one that is fun once it is mastered. For that reason, I have played things like magic, super smash brothers and counterstrike for years. The winner is the one who executes his planned strategy the best. Once you get to this level, tiny changes or improvements to your gameplay suddenly get interesting and unexpected suboptimal moves can sometimes win. I am having a hard time finding a game like this that isn't Go or Chess.
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
CortexBomb wrote:
On your first point I can't comment because I haven't played the game enough.

On the second, again, I frankly cannot understand the interest in strategy articles for any game. They take away the joy of personal discovery. Most modern games have plateaus, reading strategy articles will get you there faster. That's all I'm saying, I didn't think it would be so contentious.

I can see that, definitely. What I am saying is that a good game will have so much for discovery that even a most comprehensive reading of the strategy articles won't exhaust them all.


Fair enough, and I won't disagree with you that many good games will not reduce themselves to rote experiences in the face of heavy analysis. My personal stance is that as long as my group is at the same point on the learning curve, it doesn't matter to me how far ahead of or behind the pack we are in terms of a grand, full understanding of the game. This is fairly easy to manage if the group, by and large, opts to not pore through articles, and thankfully, one of my groups is not interested in doing this at all. I think the other rarely reads them, but I don't really know.

The problem I have with strategy articles is that unless everyone is interested in sitting down and poring through them, they give the one or two people interested in going through them a huge advantage in the game. This is not as fun for the other people, and it is not as fun for the people who read the articles because they're playing on a higher level. I play games for fun, and I don't like feeling as though I need to read articles to reach a certain level of play, or making other people in my group feel the same way. Again, this is just a matter of personal preference, and I can understand the idea of reading them, distilling the information down to the other players so everyone moves up the curve faster, &c., but I don't see the appeal of being further up the curve as such, it seems to be for its own sake, and I don't see the value in that when it comes to playing board games, which are, despite their mathy/analytical component, something I do to relax.

I also don't want to dog strategy articles too much, because I tend to ooze strategy thoughts in my personal conversations with my local groups (and sprinkle such analysis into my personal comments here)...but I think of this as being more organic. We're one small group, we sometimes discuss our strategic thoughts about the game, and our collective understanding of the game grows. I tend to dislike the larger scale ventures that take place on the internet because they seem to reduce games to rote moves much more quickly and to thereby decrease my subjective enjoyment of the game, which is partially tied up with personal exploration.
 
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