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Subject: Dominion: Card by Card Review with Poll results. rss

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Kirkwb
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Last week I posted a Poll (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/356544) for everyone to rate the Kingdom Cards on a scale of 1 to 5. It was a loosely based power rating with 5 being the most powerful and I'm sure everyone based it on different criteria. With that said these results can just be considered a general consensus power rating to be used for fun/entertainment/discussion.

As of 11/24/2008 all the cards had from 87-91 votes each. The results are as follows:

Market 4.2
Laboratory 4.2
Festival 4.2
Village 4.0
Throne Room 3.9
Mine 3.8
Witch 3.7
Chapel 3.6
Smithy 3.6
Bureaucrat 3.5
Remodel 3.5
Cellar 3.5
Library 3.4
Gardens 3.4
Council Room 3.4
Adventurer 3.3
Militia 3.3
Moat 3.3
Moneylender 3.1
Woodcutter 3.0
Workshop 3.0
Spy 2.9
Feast 2.7
Thief 2.3
Chancellor 2.2

Before I get into my thoughts and opinions on the cards and how they've been rated I need to define a specific term that I think helps describe a card type in Dominion. A Free Card is one that replaces itself completely with +1 Card and +1 Action. Examples: Village is a Free card that gives you an additional Action, Market is a Free card that gives you an additional Buy and a Coin.

Market 4.2 - Of all the cards in the base set this is the one that seems to be bought up first in my play group regardless of what the other 9 cards are. Any card that gives you an additional Buy seems to be among the more powerful in the game. The game is about deck building and being able to purchase an additional card in a turn maximizes that turn. You can play a chain of 5 actions in, but in the end, if you only Buy one card you've done a lot of huffing and puffing with nothing to show for it. You can draw your whole deck and have a lot of coins to spend, but if you can only buy 1 card you have a lot of wasted resources at the end of the turn. Market gives you an additional Buy for Free, and an extra coin to put towards those Buys. Ratings wise I think it's more around a 4.8 if not quite a full 5 (5 being some unattainable super card that's still balanced). Of all the Free cards it's the most versatile in that it fits into and compliments almost every strategy as it's never a dead card and an extra Buy and a Coin is good no matter what kind of deck you're going for.

Laboratory 4.2 - All Free cards should be rated highly, but when you compare them to each other, what they give you for free should be taken into account. Market gives you an extra Buy and a Coin, Village gives you an extra Action, Laboratory gives you one more card than you had before you played it. There is value in the cantrip card it replaced itself with, but all the Free cards give you that. I think it should be highly rated but without giving you +1 Buy it's not the same caliber as Market or Festival. I'd rate it 4.0.

Festival 4.2 - Not a Free card, but amazing none the less. You already know I value extra Buys higher than extra Actions so it gets a definitive edge on Village. An additional Silver during your Buys makes this card great, giving +2 Actions makes it Combo-licious. Play this followed with Library, Smithy, Moat or Witch and you'll have some serious options and Buying power. I'd give it a 4.5 on combo potential alone.

Village 4.0 - Cheapest of the Free cards it's one that is most recognizable by new players as fun and powerful. But don't be lulled into buying too many, you really need good actions to take advantage of the extra Action it gives. Without cards that Gain a card or Give you additional Buys it can create an endless cycle of redundant Actions. Because of it's cost almost every deck can stand to buy a couple early, but then you need to focus on getting more powerful cards to go with it. I'd give it a 3.9 myself.

Throne Room 3.9 - The ultimate Combo Card. It's only as good as the cards you play off of it. By itself it does nothing, draw two of them and you can do nothing 3 times. It's sole power and reason for a high Rating is it's power to Amplify. The only thing better than a Market or Witch is two Markets or two Witches. In the case of Free Cards like Market you're probably better off just buying another Market if that's what you're going for. Throne Room is better when it's amplifying cards that aren't Free but are still powerful like Festival and Witch. Throne Room is another powerful card like Village that needs to be tempered by solid deck Building and a good card pool to take advantage of it's power. But it still is only as good as the Action you draw with it. 3.4

Mine 3.8 - Slow and steady will win the race (Sometimes). Thinning your deck of Coppers and gaining a Silver, or upgrading Silvers to Gold is awesome but spending your whole action for the turn can be a slow process. Putting the gained card into your hand makes it worth it in most cases, though. Sometimes you'll draw this card and another Action card and have to make a choice, but sometimes it'll be a card that gives you an extra Action(s) anyway. It all depends on how you build your deck and what else is out there. A solid utility card but not a must have, gets better in combination with other cards. I think it deserves a solid 3.5.

Witch 3.7 - Is Witch the most powerful of the Attack Cards? I think it's pretty close. In this base set of cards it has a whole stack of Curse cards dedicated solely to it. At 5 it's expensive and it's only effective if you're the only one applying it as a win condition. The problem is everyone else has access to it too. I think It's pretty powerful but because of the cost I'd rate it about a 3.5.

Chapel 3.6 - This is the one I was most curious to see rated by everyone. Thinning your deck to the best optimal cards will give you the best Buying engine. Your starting 10 cards are the bane of your deck. Coppers just don't have enough buying power and Estates are stone blanks until the end game. Chapel gets rid of these for you but there is a cost. The most valuable asset in this game is not Coins, it's your turn and the Actions it gives you (1 Action and 1 Buy, with the Buy being more important imho). You have to spend about 4-6 turns worth of Actions acquiring the Chapel and thinning your deck. Luckily you're not wasting your Buys with Chapel as you can buy Silver and Gold after the initial Purchase of your one Chapel. But, if your opponents are savvy they can spend the turns you're thinning your deck on going a different route and build a quicker buying engine. If they get their's going first you'll be playing catch up. Add to that that going with a Chapel is dependent on whether or not a counter like the Thief is out there and it becomes an even more specialized card as opposed to a Market that is good no matter what is out there. I think a 3.6 is just about right.

Smithy 3.6 - The Ancestral Recall of Dominion (Well, more like Concentration). In Magic, because you're only drawing one card a turn, cards (and the card advantage they give you) become the most valuable asset. In Dominion cards are valuable too, but you get 5 new cards every turn and card drawing comes in so many forms and so cheaply with all the other cards in the set that Smithy is a little overshadowed. When compared to Moat that draws 2 cards for the cost of 2, 3 cards for 4 is a little high. I think it's best used in combination with cards that give extra Actions and Buys, but that's the beauty of this game and flaw with rating cards, the actual power of most cards is dependent on the pool of 10 cards. I think over all this rates more around a 3.4.

Bureaucrat 3.5 - I'm not gonna lie, this is probably my favorite Attack. It gains you a Silver so it's almost as good as an extra Buy action and if your opponents are screwed with a stone blank card this turn they will be next turn too. Memory lapse was a great card in Magic because it stuck your opponent for a turn, Bureaucrat is a great card because it can sticks them in a similar way. In a 3-4 player game it's likely to stick someone every time it's played and close to end game when everyone is racing for the win a sticking is almost guaranteed. I agree with the 3.5 rating.

Remodel 3.5 - Another crowd favorite, Remodel thins your deck of the chaff for something more valuable. I agree with the Poll, I think it's a good way to spend an Action. And then there's the ever popular end the game buy Remodeling a Province into a Province to stir controversy. Being able to end the game to your advantage is part of Dominion whether you do it this way or not. Don't hate the Player...

Cellar 3.5 - I think it's a solid utility card for many occasions. The most obvious is end game when your deck is filling up with Victory Points. Another is when you're working on combos and need the right combination of cards, Cellar helps you cycle through your redundancies into your varieties. Because it's good Utility but not a must have I think it's good around a 3.4.

Library 3.4 - Probably one of the most powerful card drawing cards in the game. I think the ability to sift through unneeded and redundant Actions at 5 compared to Smithy's 4 is well worth it. Add to that that whenever I play a Smithy I will only draw 3 cards, if I combo Library with Festival or use it as a counter to Militia I'm drawing and sifting through more than 3 cards. I see it easily getting stronger with expansion sets. I think it's closer to a 3.7.

Gardens 3.4 - As a win condition I like Gardens quite a bit. More often than not if you're not playing a Chapel Deck your deck will be in the 30's, card count wise. If in the rush to buy Victory you don't have 8 coins to Buy a Province, you'll get the same value per coin spent on a Gardens. If you're building your deck specifically to try to get over 40 cards you're getting an even better deal at a 1:1 ratio on Coins to Victory. I've used thieves in 3 and 4 player games to just grab as many cards as I can in a turn and buy Gardens on the cheap even though I was clogging my deck with Coppers. I'd run it up to 3.6.

Council Room 3.4 - I played in a 3 player game where we bought out the Council Room pile before anything else. Then we started on the Throne Rooms. Drawing 4 cards is great, getting an extra Buy to spend the extra coins drawn is even better. Giving your opponents a free card is worrisome, but when they catch the Council Room fever, you'll be drawing extra cards too. The +1 buy is what makes this card great. I think it's closer to a 3.6.

Adventurer 3.3 - A very solid 6 cost card, but not too game breaking. I like it a lot in Chapel Decks, obviously, or even with decks using Moneylenders and Mines to thin out your Coppers. I agree with the rating of 3.3, its power is tempered by its cost.

Militia 3.3 - Almost evenly split on the votes to rate it a 4 or a 3, I think this card is subject to a players tastes and playing style. I think it's also very subject to the 10 card pool and whether or not there's a counter available. If there isn't a Moat or Library on the board it's a 4.5 in power easily. Denying your opponents cards during their turn can be debilitating. 3.4 is good for an overall general rating due to it's dependence on the card pool.

Moat 3.3 - This is the rating I'm most surprised about. If it was just +2 Cards it would be the best value in card drawing for the mere cost of 2. I've grabbed these with extra Buys when I've had just two extra coins to spend even if there weren't any Attacks to worry about. Compared to Smithy, if I had a deck capable of giving me extra buys I'd purchase this card every time and use the saved coins on buying something else. The fact that it negates all of the Attacks in the game for Free is nothing to sneeze at. All of the Attack cards general power ratings are affected just by this card existing. 3.9 if not more.

Moneylender 3.1 - A situational card that's dependent on drawing a Copper with it. When you do, it's a great opportunity to thin your deck, although very slowly. It's also a card that gets worse every time you use it, but that may be balanced by making your deck better. I can't really complain about it much more than that and I will probably see value in including 1 in many of the decks I build where it's available. 3.1 sounds good.

Woodcutter 3.0 - Hrm... I love me some +1 Buy cards and this is the cheapest by far. For the same cost of a Silver I get 2 Coins in addition to that additional Buy anyway. It must be that many players have a problem spending their Action for a Buy. Like most cards, Woodcutter gets better in combination with other cards... or is it really those cards are getting better in combination with Woodcutter? I think in comparison, Actions are fun and flashy but the war is won in the trenches and the trenches are in the Buying. It's a Deck Building game and you build your deck by Buying Cards. Woodcutter isn't a Free card, but It replaces your Action with a Buy and adds the same Buying power as a Silver. I'd have to rate this almost equal to a Village at least, it's not a Free card, but with it's benefits it may as well be. It has to be the most underated card here and at 3 cost it's a steal. At least a 3.8.

Workshop 3.0 - Another great 3 Cost card, it's value is dependent on what 4 cost cards are available. But this is a Deck Building Game and when there are great 4 cost cards, this one basically Buys you a new card every turn it's played. I think it's more of a solid 3.4.

Spy 2.9 - I think people either love this card or they hate it. In my play group the more experienced TCG players tend to take options that actually do something. Just being able to get a say in the next card drawn for everyone is not enough to justify spending a Buy and 4 Coins on it. Once you have it, it is a Free card that's not really taking space in your deck, but the turn you lose purchasing it could be spent on better options. So you get to look at the next random card I get, if it sucked I would have drawn it anyway, if it's awesome, well I get the next card at random too. Can you tell if I'm a hater or a lover of this card? Other players just love it and think it's effect is worth it, and that's cool with me. 2.7.

Feast 2.7 - Appears to be another love it or hate it. I guess my friends and I love it, 'cause we tend to buy this one up. If there are great 5 Cost cards out there, there's no reason not to buy this card when you can only squeeze out 4 Coins. Obviously it's slower, but what are you gonna do? Buy a Spy instead? 3.2.

Thief 2.3 - Every game I've went with Thieves I've won. Granted it was only when there were Gardens out there, but those two cards work great together. The first time I played it was in a 3 Player game with Thieves, Witches and Gardens. Two of us went Thieves and the third guy went with Witches. We stripped his deck of ALL coins and he played a Witch every turn filling our decks with Curses. He managed to grab some Chancellors and Markets for alternative money and bought a few Estates. I started Buying Gardens before the other Thief player and eeked out the win in an epic scoring game of 7 to 6 over the Witch guy. The other Thief guy had -2 or something. You can get over glutting your deck with Coppers if Gardens are available. My heart tells me more, but my mind tells me 2.8 is probably good.

Chancellor 2.2 - I've only seen Chancellors used as an alternative source of Coins when Thieves are about and there aren't any other options. I'm down with 2.2.

To summarize my opinions on rating the cards:

Market 4.8
Festival 4.5
Laboratory 4.0
Village 3.9
Moat 3.9
Woodcutter 3.8
Library 3.7
Chapel 3.6
Gardens 3.6
Council Room 3.6
Mine 3.5
Bureaucrat 3.5
Remodel 3.5
Witch 3.5
Militia 3.4
Throne Room 3.4
Smithy 3.4
Cellar 3.4
Workshop 3.4
Adventurer 3.3
Feast 3.2
Moneylender 3.1
Thief 2.8
Spy 2.7
Chancellor 2.2
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IMO the most underrated card here is the Moneylender. As an early buy it is fantastic, as it not only gives you a boost (which could translate into early Gold) but it also gets rid of a Copper at the same time. Its only flaw is that it becomes less useful as the game advances. Still I will very often buy it on round 1/2.

The most overrated card is easily the Village. I'm not surprised at its popularity though, as it is notoriously a favorite of novices. I think the reason is because novices tend to buy action cards as often as possible, cause they're "cool" (who wants to buy coins anyway, they're boring ). Given this approach the Village comes in handy given the high density of actions in your deck. That isn't to say that experienced players will never buy the Village, but personally I only consider it after my deck becomes a little dense with actions that don't give extra actions, which happens only occasionally.

If I had to nominate a card as the best card, I would say either the Laboratory or the Chapel. The Lab is so strong because it has synergy with itself, which in a game where you can't control the order in which you draw cards is extremely powerful. The power of the Chapel to cull your deck and make each individual card that much more effective cannot be underestimated. These are the only two cards I personally rated a "5" on your poll.
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Kirkwb
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I do like an early Moneylender myself, I suppose there are just so many good cards it has to fall somewhere and average is where it ended up. I think there are sleeper cards like that, that after awhile playing the obvious choices people will start to pick up on cards like Moneylender and valuate them higher.

Do you mean Library instead of Laboratory?
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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I'd rate Moneylender above average, too.

But I'd rate Chnacellor *much* higher than most. Used right, it's better than a Militia or a Woodcutter (two other +2 treasure cards). Why? I'm not going to tell you if you can't work it out for yourself, I'm just going to beat you with it.
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Sean McCarthy
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I rated Moneylender a "2". That's because I "want to get it into my deck" between 0 and 50% of the time. For example, I would almost never buy a second one.

Quote:
Power ratings are 1 to 5 with 5 being card you always want to see in your 10 card set up and get into your deck and 1 never making into your deck.


I'm not surprised people rated the "free" cards highly and situational cards like Moneylender and Thief lower. This also explains how the Village beat out the Chapel.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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The Thief is totally situational though. There are set ups where I'd rate it a 5 and set ups where I'd rate it a 1.
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Sheamus Parkes
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RDewsbery wrote:
But I'd rate Chnacellor *much* higher than most. Used right, it's better than a Militia or a Woodcutter (two other +2 treasure cards). Why? I'm not going to tell you if you can't work it out for yourself, I'm just going to beat you with it.


Have to agree. The original raters all seem to be too narrowminded. For me, the Chapel and Chancellor are probably the most powerful cards. Especially since you *know* you can buy them on your first or second turn.

For those who don't understand Chancellor, it's all related to card counting in Black Jack. If the count is against you, then flop your deck. If the count is in your favor, then let it ride. You'd be amazed how much impact this card has.


I'm definitely not a combo player. I need to try it some more I think, but I just haven't seen a solid combo build yet. Thus far silver->gold->province has served me well.
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Thanks for the detailed evaluation of each card. It's interesting to read another perspective. I have some similar views, but also a number of different ones. For example, I don't value extra buys nearly as much as you, nor does anyone else in my game group. But maybe I should try using them more.

It's also quite difficult to evaluate a single card in isolation. As many of your comments suggest, some cards are excellent if a certain other card is or is not available and other cards are weaker in a set of ten cards. For example, if the thief is available, the cards that provide extra coins for a buy are of much greater value to me. Still, a useful review - you've given me some ideas to think about.
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Tim Seitz
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kirkwb wrote:
It's a Deck Building game and you build your deck by Buying Cards.

It's an economic game, and if you are filling your deck with multiple buys of cheap cards, you won't have much money in your hand when it comes time to buy provinces. The only times I need more than one buy is when Gardens is in play.
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SevenSpirits wrote:

I'm not surprised people rated the "free" cards highly and situational cards like Moneylender and Thief lower. This also explains how the Village beat out the Chapel.


I don't see how the Moneylender is situational. What are the situations when it is a good buy (as opposed to most of the time when it's not)? There are relatively few situations when I personally wouldn't strongly consider the Moneylender as a first/second buy. It seems to me a card of very general use- it gives you +2 buying power AND eliminates a Copper from your deck, both pretty desirable goals for most strategies.

The Village, on the other hand, strikes me as a more situational card- I only buy it when I (a) have a high density of actions cards that (b) don't give extra actions- not altogether common in my experience (perhaps it is my play style that has an influence?).

Interesting discussion.
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The Chapel is ridiculously strong. I certainly can't think of another card that routinely enables double/triple province buys.
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Sean McCarthy
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verandi wrote:
I don't see how the Moneylender is situational.


As I said in my previous post, I would almost never buy a Moneylender if I already had one.
 
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Sheamus Parkes
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kirkwb wrote:

Market 4.2 ... Of all the Free cards it's the most versatile in that it fits into and compliments almost every strategy as it's never a dead card and an extra Buy and a Coin is good no matter what kind of deck you're going for.


I don't understand this logic. The Market isn't free. You bought it instead of something else. Especially in the early game, wouldn't it do much better to have a card that did more than just replaced itself? In the mid to late game, gold is only $1 more and I'd always buy gold over a market. I think you need to look more at opportunity costs instead of action and card costs.

Still, thanks for doing these cool polls!
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Quote:
...and if you are filling your deck with multiple buys of cheap cards, you won't have much money in your hand when it comes time to buy provinces.


Who says cheap buys are bad? You know what's better better than buying one Province in one turn? Buying a Province and an Estate in 1 turn. Who's gonna win that race? What about mid game? While you're buying one Gold in a turn and I'm buying a Gold and Moat I'm increasing my chances of drawing more money and options (options coming from the card advantage). It's about deck building because if I build a deck that draws 10 cards in a turn I have more options and more buying power than you working on getting to an end game where you buy 1 province a turn.

I've likened playing Dominion to playing Combo decks in Magic (like Mind's Desire) because if you build a good deck that lets you maximize your turn buy taking multiple Actions and Buys and drawing a ton of cards (which means I'm drawing more money in a turn than you) I'm doing more in the same amount of time that your doing the economical thing. It's about breaking the rules, about doing more than the norm. The best deck I've seen so far is one that drew every card in the deck almost every turn. That means you have all your money to spend in a turn and if you have that you need more than one Buy or it's all a waste.

Here's an economics question: If we play a game and it takes 25 turns to play and you take 25 Buys and I take 40 Buys, who do you think has a better chance of buying more win conditions in the end game? In the mid game who has a better chance to build a better engine in the same amount of time? I say it's the guy who has more Buys. You talk about it being an economical game, what's more economical than maximizing your options by giving yourself more Buys?

It's awesome to see others view points of strategy and the game, that's why I did the Poll in the first place. I love discussions like this, but the beauty of it all is that neither of us is really wrong. The beauty of this game is that it's open to interpretation like this and that in the end either strategy can win a game.
 
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Isamoor wrote:
kirkwb wrote:

Market 4.2 ... Of all the Free cards it's the most versatile in that it fits into and compliments almost every strategy as it's never a dead card and an extra Buy and a Coin is good no matter what kind of deck you're going for.


I don't understand this logic. The Market isn't free. You bought it instead of something else. Especially in the early game, wouldn't it do much better to have a card that did more than just replaced itself? In the mid to late game, gold is only $1 more and I'd always buy gold over a market. I think you need to look more at opportunity costs instead of action and card costs.

Still, thanks for doing these cool polls!


You're welcome!

You need to read my definition of a "Free Card" again. I'm not referring to its initial cost I'm referring to cards that replace themselves when played by giving you +1 Action and +1 Card. What they give you beyond that is what I'm rating those cards by. Free Cards are good because they give you something for Free. In a normal turn you have

5 cards, 1 Action and 1 Buy to Purchase with.

In a turn where I've drawn a Market and played it as my first card I now have

5 Cards, 1 Action, 2 Buys to purchase with and +1 Coin toward those purchases.

Which is the better turn?

Let's stack a hand with your favorite card, all Gold. With 5 Gold in hand I have 15 Coins to spend but I only have 1 Buy. That's an expensive Province.

Now let's replace 1 of those Gold with a Market and when I play it I draw a stone blank anyway, I draw an Estate. I have 12 Coins and 2 Buys. I can Buy a Province and a four cost card. I've maximized my turn and didn't waste any cards.

I'm not saying Markets are better than Gold, what I'm saying is that you need a well built deck with a balance of good cards to win games. It's a Deck Building game, if it was just about drawing cards and playing what you draw optimally it would just be Cribbage or Rummy. The reason it's a deck building game is because a better built decks optimal draw is way better than a bad decks optimal draw.

People have said that the choices playing your hand is always obvious... well yeah, but the important decisions are made in your buying and buying is building.
 
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Tim Seitz
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SevenSpirits wrote:

I don't see how the Moneylender is situational. What are the situations when it is a good buy (as opposed to most of the time when it's not)?

When Chapel is not in play, Moneylender is good. When Chapel is in play, Moneylender is usually not worth the cost.
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kirkwb wrote:
Quote:
...and if you are filling your deck with multiple buys of cheap cards, you won't have much money in your hand when it comes time to buy provinces.


Here's an economics question: If we play a game and it takes 25 turns to play and you take 25 Buys and I take 40 Buys, who do you think has a better chance of buying more win conditions in the end game?


Me, because I can easily end the game in < 25 turns; it will never get that far.

See, if it were just a deck building game, then you'd get rewarded for having a deck that would stomp mine at the end of the game. However, it's a RACE. You don't get points for a great deck, you get points for VP cards. While you're building your "dominion" I am getting all the provinces.
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Kirkwb
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"Me, because I can easily end the game in < 25 turns; it will never get that far."

The number of turns in my example is is just that, an example.

If I can buy better cards early and mid-game and build a better buying engine than you, then it doesn't matter how quickly the race ends.

When we start racing if I'm pacing your Province buys with my own and grabbing an extra Estate or Duchy while I'm at it because I have more Buys than you I'll win that race.

People have complained this is too much like playing multi-solitaire. I totally disagree, if I'm not reacting to your playing style then of course you'll win the race. But if I pay attention and make adjustments on the fly in reaction to what you're doing I can still apply my own strategy just enough to eek out the win.


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kirkwb wrote:
If I can buy better cards early and mid-game...

Why do you get better cards?

kirkwb wrote:
If I ... build a better buying engine than you, then it doesn't matter how quickly the race ends.

Absolutely does.

kirkwb wrote:
When we start racing ...

The race starts on turn 1.

While you are filling your deck with all those extra actions and extra buys, I am filling my deck with money. When you start getting your extra buys in gear, I'm drilling down the province pile and unless you have a deck that gets you at least 13 gold per turn, extra buys aren't going to catch up. You can't catch a leader buying estates.

Obviously, game length is dependent on the assortment of kingdom cards, and obviously you will end up adjusting to the speed at which your opponent plays, but my point all along is that the object of the game is NOT to have a great deck. The object is to have the most points. What your deck looks like at the end of the game is irrelevant.
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kirkwb wrote:
If I can buy better cards early and mid-game...

Then you are already on your way to winning regardless of the number of buys.

Your examples are skewed. You compare getting a Gold with getting Gold + Moat, and getting a Province with getting a Province + something else.

If you are ahead in that sense, of course you'll win. In that case, however, it's not just the extra buy that makes the difference, you also have more money. So you have a much better deck already.

Early game, you will have 3-5 coins available on most turns (hopefully 6 pretty soon). What will you do with 1 buy vs. 2 buys?

With 3-4 coins, the extra buy is nearly useless (two Moats? shake )
5: Market, Witch, or Village + Moat?
6: Gold, or 2 Villages, or perhaps Silver + Woodcutter?

There will certainly be cases when 2 cheap cards will be better than one 5- or 6-cost card but in most cases I'll take a thin deck with powerful cards over a thick one with medium-powered cards, thank you very much.

Extra buys are awesome - but mostly late in the game, by the time your engine is already humming.
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mac_s_1 wrote:
kirkwb wrote:
If I can buy better cards early and mid-game...

Then you are already on your way to winning regardless of the number of buys.

Your examples are skewed. You compare getting a Gold with getting Gold + Moat, and getting a Province with getting a Province + something else.

If you are ahead in that sense, of course you'll win. In that case, however, it's not just the extra buy that makes the difference, you also have more money. So you have a much better deck already.

Early game, you will have 3-5 coins available on most turns (hopefully 6 pretty soon). What will you do with 1 buy vs. 2 buys?

With 3-4 coins, the extra buy is nearly useless (two Moats? shake)
5: Market, Witch, or Village + Moat?
6: Gold, or 2 Villages, or perhaps Silver + Woodcutter?

There will certainly be cases when 2 cheap cards will be better than one 5- or 6-cost card but in most cases I'll take a thin deck with powerful cards over a thick one with medium-powered cards, thank you very much.

Extra buys are awesome - but mostly late in the game, by the time your engine is already humming.

Yea... what he said...
 
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kirkwb wrote:

You need to read my definition of a "Free Card" again. I'm not referring to its initial cost I'm referring to cards that replace themselves when played by giving you +1 Action and +1 Card. What they give you beyond that is what I'm rating those cards by. Free Cards are good because they give you something for Free. In a normal turn you have


But we're consumerists, so we think Free=Good. I much prefer calling them cantrips. Cards that fully replace themselves (with cards and actions.)

kirkwb wrote:

5 cards, 1 Action and 1 Buy to Purchase with.

In a turn where I've drawn a Market and played it as my first card I now have

5 Cards, 1 Action, 2 Buys to purchase with and +1 Coin toward those purchases.


Yup, I agree that that's how it would play out.

kirkwb wrote:

Which is the better turn?

Oh so tough to tell.

kirkwb wrote:

Let's stack a hand with your favorite card, all Gold. With 5 Gold in hand I have 15 Coins to spend but I only have 1 Buy. That's an expensive Province.


Now that's just silly. I've never drawn a hand of all Gold in any of my games. As soon as I draw 8 money, I'm pounding the provinces. I might pass on 1 or 2 provinces max, but never more than that. In fact, it's pretty rare that I ever see more than 2 gold in my hand at once.

kirkwb wrote:

Now let's replace 1 of those Gold with a Market and when I play it I draw a stone blank anyway, I draw an Estate. I have 12 Coins and 2 Buys. I can Buy a Province and a four cost card. I've maximized my turn and didn't waste any cards.


Now you've gone silly. You just drew a hand worth (6x4)+5=29 money. That's probably not going to happen.

The better way to look at it would be:

I draw 3 copper, 1 estate & (either market or gold). If I draw gold, I can buy another Gold. If I draw a market, I'd be lucky to even churn up enough money to make that extra buy worth crap.



kirkwb wrote:

People have said that the choices playing your hand is always obvious... well yeah, but the important decisions are made in your buying and buying is building.


I agree wholeheartidly and stressed this point a lot in my review.
 
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I prefer to keep the word Cantrips reserved for cards that give you +1 Card. That's what cantrips have been since the Ice Age and that's what they should remain.

It costs you one Action to play any Action card from your turn. A card that replaces that Action and is a Cantrip is virtually Free because after you play it you still have at least everything you started the turn with.

I'm proposing an official shorthand naming of Effects. A card is one of the following if it gives you at least what I'm proposing as a definition, anything beyond that is basically the cards effect and is gravy:

Cantrip: any card that gives you at least +1 Card.
Free Card: any card that gives you +1 Card and +1 Action.

Example: a Laboratory is a Free Card that nets you one card.


 
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Or, if you don't like using the word "free" how about a Fulltrip? Because it's more than a Cantrip.

I just have a problem redefining Cantrip.
 
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kirkwb wrote:
Or, if you don't like using the word "free" how about a Fulltrip? Because it's more than a Cantrip.


In magic, the "cantrip" is a card that has an effect, but also replaces itself.

To me, it would take a +card and +action to fully replace yourself, so that's why I liked the cantrip reference.

Of course, it's all just personal taste and I'd recommend using whatever makes sense to you.

Have a good turkey day!
 
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