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Subject: Some official vague information about what's in Dominion: Intrigue rss

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Donald X.
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Here is some vague information about the set. The cards were finalized just as Dominion was hitting the streets; how the game-playing public responded to Dominion had no impact on Intrigue at all. Nevertheless there are things people have said they are hoping for and sometimes the set has them.

- Some people want to see more Victory cards. There are more Victory cards.
- Some people want to see more decision-making in your turn. There is more decision-making. This kind of thing was put off from the main set in order to keep the game fast for new players.
- Some people want to see the three pile ending come up more. It will come up more.
- Some people want more player interaction. There are not actually more interactive cards than usual - the main set has six (five attacks and Council Room, not counting Moat as it depends on attacks), making for ~2.5 per game if you deal out a random set of ten, and that seems like a good amount to me. The set is more interactive though, due to the interactive cards seeing more play on average relative to the main set ones, due to some of them being more interactive in their interaction, and due to the three piles ending coming up more often.
- Some people want more ways to hand out Curses. There are more of those.
- Some people want more Reactions. There will probably only be about one Reaction per expansion. The good ones are hard to come by. There is just one new Reaction.
- Some people want Copper, Estate, and Duchy to be more relevant. There are cards that make them more relevant.

Any expansion has to include certain kinds of things in order to keep the game working. For example there have to be new cards that give you +2 Actions. Those cards make some kinds of decks possible that I will always want possible (not every game, but you know, in general). Of course the rest of what the card does can be anything.

The most significant thing about the new set to me is that it adds more variety. You go from exploring a 25-card space to exploring a 50-card space. You can't see everything in the base 25 cards but you can sure feel like you have. With 50 cards the amount of variety drastically increases. You will see new deck possibilities much more often.

The card art is nicer on average than the main set's art.
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Doron Blake
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Holy smokes it sounds so amazing. I wasn't even this excited about a new expansion during my peak magic-playing days. surprise
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Myke Madsen
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Excellent news. I've heard nothing but positives from the playtesters who have posted about it, so I'm very excited.

Question for you and all developers/playtesters: how well does random setup work with all 50 (52) Kingdom cards? If we look ahead even further, how well will it work with 75+ cards? I can see people wanting to play with certain subsets of cards, even if it's narrowing down the list to 25 and then randomly choosing ten. Have those of you who have played with more cards experimented with that at all?

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The more cards, the more variety you have, but obviously some combinations will work better than others for your play style.

There are likely no cards which require some other specific card to work, unless that card is always in the game (Copper, Curse, etc)

As such, any combination of 10 kingdom cards will work. Even if the game grows to a large number of different cards, the game is still playable with random. I'd admit that a game with all 10 kingdom cards being variables of card draw might be less fun, but it's still playable even in that rare case that such a thing would occur.

You have to keep in mind however two factors:

A) You don't have to play random, you can make up your own way of determining the 10 kingdom cards.

B) You don't have to play with the first 10 random set you get.

If at 50 you get a combination of kingdoms you don't like, just retry another random set. If/when there are 1000 different kingdom cards, you'll still be able to random and the odds would be you'd get a combination you'd like in one or two tries, since they will keep maintaining a balance in the types of cards added to the game.
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Myke Madsen
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To clarify: I don't have any doubts the game will still work and I don't have any doubts our group will come up with a method of choosing 10 cards that will work for us (I like your simple re-deal suggestion). I'm just looking for feedback and/or suggestions from those who have already been dealing with a larger card set.
 
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Brendon Russell
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I've heard that Intrigue will come with all the cards needed to play it without the base game. It'll be interesting to see how well it works as a standalone set. (A possibility I'm considering, as I've played but don't own the original.)
 
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Tony Chen
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Some people want more player interaction.

Yes, but take-that attack cards aren't what we mean by interaction though. In the base set, there's more interaction in the timing of VP purchase and playing the game end condition than there is in the attack cards. It's hard to make Dominion interactive, because the core mechanism doesn't lend itself very well to it. Maybe the expansion will change my opinion.

Quote:
Some people want Copper, Estate, and Duchy to be more relevant.

They are already quite relevant as is. In fact, what separates an expert player from a good player is the way he buys his Duchies.

Quote:
Some people want more ways to hand out Curses.

Any voluntary curses, like my siren card?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/355084
 
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Dave Kudzma
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Quote:
Some people want more ways to hand out Curses.

Any voluntary curses, like my siren card?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/355084[/q]

Yes, there is a voluntary effect that will let you take a curse, and further there are 2 ways this can benefit you greatly.
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Or that reward you for having curses, like my Alchemist card?:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/2994862#2994862
 
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Donald X.
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HappyProle wrote:
Excellent news. I've heard nothing but positives from the playtesters who have posted about it, so I'm very excited.

Question for you and all developers/playtesters: how well does random setup work with all 50 (52) Kingdom cards? If we look ahead even further, how well will it work with 75+ cards? I can see people wanting to play with certain subsets of cards, even if it's narrowing down the list to 25 and then randomly choosing ten. Have those of you who have played with more cards experimented with that at all?

I usually play a mix of 50. Sometimes I play 25, to see how well an expansion works by itself - this is an issue even if later expansion will not be standalones, as when people first buy them they will probably still try to play them alone some, with just the treasures/victory/curse cards from the main set. So I try to make them work individually and that means testing them by themselves. Normally though I play an expansion with one other set, for 50 cards total; partly that's so I can use the other set as a benchmark to help identify if the new cards are at an appropriate power level, and partly because it's more fun to mix the expansions.

I've played with 100-card mixes, but I don't usually due to the logistics of it. If you aren't playing at home, you have to carry all these boxes of cards, and even if you have compact boxes, they add up. If you only play at home then you can just mix everything together, and there are no other issues. It's exciting to see decks that won't possibly come up otherwise.

Each expansion tries to have everything needed to make it play reasonably well by itself, and to support certain frequencies of effects - like the +2 actions example. So if you mix every set you have together, the variance will be higher, but on average it should work as well as playing with fewer cards. I am paying attention to that between sets too - if one set has one less +buy card than usual, another set will have an extra one.

The idea has always been that choosing a random 10 from all of the sets you have would be the default style of play (with maybe one or two cards left out that you and your friends don't like). As I said I usually play a random 10 from a mix of 50 cards from two expansions, and I think it works great.
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Donald X.
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
Quote:
Some people want more player interaction.

Yes, but take-that attack cards aren't what we mean by interaction though. In the base set, there's more interaction in the timing of VP purchase and playing the game end condition than there is in the attack cards. It's hard to make Dominion interactive, because the core mechanism doesn't lend itself very well to it. Maybe the expansion will change my opinion.

I don't have any plans to ever make that-that attacks. Most attacks will hit everyone else. It's conceivable I could make an attack that hit a specific player you didn't get to choose, i.e. the player to your left. I don't actually have any of those in sets at the moment, but it's not out of the question. But like "pick a player to hose," that's never happening.

drunkenKOALA wrote:
Quote:
Some people want more ways to hand out Curses.

Any voluntary curses, like my siren card?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/355084

There's a card that lets you voluntarily take a Curse, but telling you that is pretty misleading.

In general heinous penalties like "gain a Curse" result in cards no-one likes. You have to make the upside really blatant for the fair version of the card not to look so weak that no-one tries it. And there will still be people who never play it anyway. There are two main tricks to penalties: 1) make them things that you can get around somehow, and 2) don't do very many of them. You can get around "gain a Curse," but it's still a very tough sell.
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Tony Chen
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I don't have any plans to ever make that-that attacks. Most attacks will hit everyone else. It's conceivable I could make an attack that hit a specific player you didn't get to choose, i.e. the player to your left. I don't actually have any of those in sets at the moment, but it's not out of the question. But like "pick a player to hose," that's never happening.

That (targetting a specific player) is not what I meant by "take-that." What I meant was just because a card does something to others (like all the attack cards do now) doesn't necessarily mean it's interactive in a meaningful way.
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Donald X.
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
That (targetting a specific player) is not what I meant by "take-that." What I meant was just because a card does something to others (like all the attack cards do now) doesn't necessarily mean it's interactive in a meaningful way.

I see. I always take "take-that" to mean choosing who to hose. Maybe I've been reading lots of posts wrong.

I don't see how the main set attacks aren't interactive though. When you buy an attack, that changes how I value the available cards. My "moves" in the game change in response to your moves.
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Dave Kudzma
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Quote:
In general heinous penalties like "gain a Curse" result in cards no-one likes. You have to make the upside really blatant for the fair version of the card not to look so weak that no-one tries it. And there will still be people who never play it anyway. There are two main tricks to penalties: 1) make them things that you can get around somehow, and 2) don't do very many of them. You can get around "gain a Curse," but it's still a very tough sell.


And to supplement this with that I said:

There are other cards that will balance out the taking of curses; from the witch or otherwise.

There are several new cards that will allow to to deal with curses in a positive manner.
 
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HI I LOVE DOMINION! FYI I teach and bring this game in for the boardgame club. We have played many of the standard decks listed. Does anyone know of other such lists for the set of ten cards to use? I would really appreciate it. Please email me. Thank you steven
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Jim Leesch
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Donald, thanks so much for this update. I know our group is anxiously awaiting this release!
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Chris Schenck
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donaldx wrote:
Most attacks will hit everyone else. It's conceivable I could make an attack that hit a specific player you didn't get to choose, i.e. the player to your left. I don't actually have any of those in sets at the moment, but it's not out of the question. But like "pick a player to hose," that's never happening.


Cards with a fixed target (such as your example of "the player to your left") would be far worse than "pick a player to hose" cards. Generally, targetable cards will be aimed at the leader, or another target that is otherwise a high threat to the acting player. This has somewhat of a balancing effect in the sense that it's not a random act of violence.

But woe to the poor soul who just happens to be sitting to the left of the dude buying up the "attack the player to your left" cards. He's hosed, even if he's not a real threat to the acting player. With targetable cards, the guy would have stood a chance of surviving.


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dale yu
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HappyProle wrote:
Excellent news. I've heard nothing but positives from the playtesters who have posted about it, so I'm very excited.

Question for you and all developers/playtesters: how well does random setup work with all 50 (52) Kingdom cards? If we look ahead even further, how well will it work with 75+ cards? I can see people wanting to play with certain subsets of cards, even if it's narrowing down the list to 25 and then randomly choosing ten. Have those of you who have played with more cards experimented with that at all?



Donald has already answered from his perspective earlier in the thread

From my standpoint (as one of the developers)

-- I think it works just fine with a full random pull. We have really tried hard to keep the overall balance of +actions, +2 actions, +buys, attacks/reactions, etc. stable across the expansions

-- The biggest issue is: can you have all the cards ready to go if you choose from amongst 100-150 cards? For me -- yes. I've got everything in my traveling playtest case. But, it works just fine if you have just 50 as well.

-- As far as how the expansion(s) stand alone: They stand alone just fine. Our M.O. thus far has been:

1) Play the expansion by itself. This is probably 40-60% of the total playtesting time per expansion. I want to see how the new cards work and how they interact with each other.

2) Play the expansion cards with the base set cards. This is maybe 20-40% of the testing. The cards in the base set have most of the "staples" that you'll need to build decks. So, any features or flaws in the new cards will likely come out when combined with base set cards.

3) Rotate the expansion cards in with another expansion -- In general, I try to limit this set of testing to just 2 sets in order to try to find interesting/strange combos; but fully random choosing is also not out of the question here

-- In the end, you can just choose however you want to play! Sometimes it's fun to let one player choose all 10 cards (i.e. He has an idea he wants to try out or a combo he wants to exploit) -- and then have the other players see if they can figure out a way to beat it.

Dale
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Donald X.
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cbs42 wrote:
donaldx wrote:
Most attacks will hit everyone else. It's conceivable I could make an attack that hit a specific player you didn't get to choose, i.e. the player to your left. I don't actually have any of those in sets at the moment, but it's not out of the question. But like "pick a player to hose," that's never happening.

Cards with a fixed target (such as your example of "the player to your left") would be far worse than "pick a player to hose" cards. Generally, targetable cards will be aimed at the leader, or another target that is otherwise a high threat to the acting player. This has somewhat of a balancing effect in the sense that it's not a random act of violence.

But woe to the poor soul who just happens to be sitting to the left of the dude buying up the "attack the player to your left" cards. He's hosed, even if he's not a real threat to the acting player. With targetable cards, the guy would have stood a chance of surviving.

I agree that there's a downside to attack-to-the-left and such in a game where some players may never attack (I think it's fine in games where everyone is always attacking). I don't agree that it's worse than picking who to attack. If we are picking who to attack, I will be spending the evening trying to convince other players to do things that are to my advantage ("attack Tom, he's winning, man my draws have been horrible, did you see Tom bought the first Gold, ugh, we're not catching him anyway"), rather than, say, playing the game. I hate that. I feel like I'm a good whiner, but it's just not what I want to do with my time.

Whereas if there's an attack-to-the-left card, then I can be sad if I'm sitting next to the guy who always buys that card and happy if I'm sitting by someone who never does, but either way, I make the best of the situation via my strategy in the game, and spend no time on politics.

Dominion currently has a few cards that make seating matter in order to get at information in good-sized quantities. Envoy is an example; we can have the player to your left pick the card for you to discard, whereas having all opponents vote on it or something is just not feasible. It's nice if the player to your left is bad at picking the card for you to discard to Envoy (for the situations where it's not trivial), and sad if they're great at it, but it's not significant enough to have ever made someone ask to randomize the seating order. That is my target with cards like that. If there's ever an attack-to-the-left card, I expect it to be something that wasn't possible otherwise and which doesn't make people demand to randomize seating order.

In general attacking just one player doesn't work in Dominion anyway; the attack has to be three times as powerful as a normal attack, in a 4 player game, in order to be worth buying, and I can't make the attacks that powerful or it's too painful being hit by them. This is also why I don't have anything like a Moat that gives the attacker a Curse; it amounts to attacking that one player, and your attack is very small from your perspective (one out of three opponents got -1 vp, which is like you gaining 1/3 of a vp, ignoring the bit about how it also messes up their draws), but large from their perspective (if they played Witch, the Cursing part was completely nullified by just one player, and if multiple people have these Cursing Moats, you would have been better off not attacking). You're the one deciding to buy the reaction, and don't have sufficient incentive to buy it, and they're the one deciding to buy the attack, and there's a strong incentive not to. So it just makes cards go unplayed.
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David desJardins
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donaldx wrote:
Whereas if there's an attack-to-the-left card, then I can be sad if I'm sitting next to the guy who always buys that card and happy if I'm sitting by someone who never does, but either way, I make the best of the situation via my strategy in the game, and spend no time on politics.


I could imagine a political result like, "Tom is leading, I can't attack him directly, please buy/use attack cards that target him, in exchange I (on your right) won't target you."

Needless to say, that wouldn't be the way I would want to see the game go.

Your other points seem very sound.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I could imagine a political result like, "Tom is leading, I can't attack him directly, please buy/use attack cards that target him, in exchange I (on your right) won't target you."

Really? Because by the time one player is leading, I really can't see anyone taking seriously a threat by your RHO to alter the focus of his deck toward screwing you.
 
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Donald X.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
donaldx wrote:
Whereas if there's an attack-to-the-left card, then I can be sad if I'm sitting next to the guy who always buys that card and happy if I'm sitting by someone who never does, but either way, I make the best of the situation via my strategy in the game, and spend no time on politics.

I could imagine a political result like, "Tom is leading, I can't attack him directly, please buy/use attack cards that target him, in exchange I (on your right) won't target you."

That's true, but it's much more muted.

Generally you can't completely eliminate politics in multiplayer games (that aren't two teams or co-op or that have no decisions etc.). Dominion desperately tries to minimize politics. You will still see stuff like "okay guys you need to be buying up some of these Gardens too or Tom will just win with his Gardens deck."

With "pick who to hose," the game stops and we all argue about who exactly will be hosed. The person doing the hosing is just as happy to hose whoever; there is no extra charge to hosing one person over another. They already bought the attack; that's in the past. Convincing them to hose Tom is a result that's just as good for both of us (it's better for me that I'm not being attacked, but you know, we both get as much advantage from the attack on Tom). So it's not hard to convince them to hit Tom. OTOH when I say "you have to buy that attack to stop Tom" I'm asking you to commit resources to this plan. You are down those resources and I am not. It's a harder sell. Me promising that in return I won't attack you doesn't amount to much; I might not attack you anyway, and if I do that's a ways off. And of course by the time there can be a leader to hose, you add on the delay between buying the attack and drawing it and how much will you really get to hurt them. Politics in Dominion (sans "pick who to hose") will tend to be centered around accomplishing something just by buying something, like the Gardens example, because that's what you can do that's fast enough.

So, "attack-to-the-left" is still a source of politics; it's just much less political than "pick who to hose."

In any case I am committed to minimizing politics. I will not be making cards that I think make the game political.
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David desJardins
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donaldx wrote:
You will still see stuff like "okay guys you need to be buying up some of these Gardens too or Tom will just win with his Gardens deck."


Yes. Those guys never listen to me though. angry

Quote:
Politics in Dominion (sans "pick who to hose") will tend to be centered around accomplishing something just by buying something, like the Gardens example, because that's what you can do that's fast enough.


So we won't see cards like, "Perform this attack, or get this benefit for yourself"? In principle cards like that could fit in the game, their power comes from adjusting to be played in different ways at different times. But they do create a potential politicization.

I'm happy to wait and see. You seem well attuned to these concerns.
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Dave G
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I'm very excited to play this expansion, just for the record. I'm glad that the politics mostly stay out of this game--it's a great fast play, and anything that slows it down the way a "don't get me, get him" conversation would is just going to start leeching the fun right out of it. I actually enjoy the politicking in a longer game, but it just doesn't fit the spirit of Dominion.


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Myke Madsen
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Thanks to Dale and Donald for the additional info. Your involvement here on BGG really enhances my enjoyment of your most excellent game. I really enjoy hearing about design/development choices.

I appreciate and support the decision to leave game politics out of Dominion. Targeted attacks often most benefit a third-party (rather than the attacker) who didn't have to commit his/her resources to the attack.
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