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Dominion: Intrigue» Forums » Strategy

Subject: The Noble Idiot rss

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Greg Jones
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Remember the Village Idiot from base Dominion? Well, sometimes people get promoted despite their incompetence. Now it seems he's got a minor title and is a Noble Idiot.

Disclaimer: I've only played Intrigue on BSW with the 5 cards implemented there.

Short summary of the Nobles card for people who don't have the game: +2 actions OR +3 cards; 2VPs.

I see a lot of people, when they get their first 6 coins, bypass Gold and go straight to Nobles. And they keep right on at it. Every time they get 6 coins, Nobles.

The Nobles are a very fine card. I would say they are priced correctly at 6. But even just think about it from the point of view of assuming the game is balanced. Since the Nobles are worth 2VPs, it follows that they aren't worth 6 coins for the strength of their power alone. You wouldn't buy a Duchy the first time you get 5 coins, right? When you buy Nobles with your first 6, part of your purchase price goes to VPs. You should buy pure deck strength early, and pure VPs late. Nobles should be somewhere in the middle.

Now look at it in detail. What does your first Nobles do, assuming you have no other relevant action cards? At best it's a Smithy. At worst it's not quite a Village. Those cards are much cheaper than 6.

Of course, people probably realize this. They see that the power of Nobles is really when you get two of them together. Oooooh! Think about it. You play one Nobles and take +2 actions. Play the other Nobles and take +3 cards. Now where are you. You have played 2 cards and gained 3. You have gained 1 card net. You have 1 action left to play. Ok, that's actually pretty good. But, it's not that good. That's what a Laboratory does. Play 1 card, gain 2: net 1, and still have 1 action. So you could either buy 2 Nobles for a total of 12 coins, or one Lab for 5 coins. It's even worse if you have two Nobles in your deck but don't draw them together. Then you have two Smithies.

That's to say nothing of the comparison to what you could have had. If you drew two Gold instead of two Nobles, you have 6 coins already. Probably you have enough for a Province. Without improving the rest of your deck first, having 6 weak cards from playing two Nobles is worse than having 6 coins and 3 weak cards.

Just like the Village Idiot, the Noble Idiot drags out the game by playing like 6 Nobles, ending up with 8 weak cards in their hand, and buying another Nobles. At least unlike Villages, the Nobles are worth points. But if you get the lion's share of the Provinces, they can't compete. If they manage to snag 2 or 3 Provinces and a couple Duchies, they might be competitive. Often I have seen Noble Idiots lose by only a few points.

Just like Villages, Nobles are good in combination with certain other cards. Depending on what's in the set, I might buy Nobles with my second 6-coin hand. Very rarely, I buy them on my first 6-coin hand. But a pure-Nobles deck doesn't work.
 
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Mikael Ölmestig
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It's also discussed on http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/420104
 
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Eliot Hemingway
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I think that where Nobles get good are with Scouts. Being able to scrape a Noble or two into your hand and then draw three more cards, after the dross has been scraped away, is rather handy. With the caveat that you actually have cash cards in your deck worth drawing.

Scouts, Nobles, and Conspirators turned into a rather solid deck the last time that I played. Draw everything, play everything, buy a province.
 
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Jeff Goodin
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The net gain of one card just like a Laboratory isn't a valid analogy IMO. You have actually drawn three cards and played two, one of which was your first Nobles. If you started your hand with two Nobles and drew three cards with the second Nobles you would have three brand new cards in your hand to play instead of the two that you would draw with a Lab. The odds that in those three drawn cards would be a valuable combination of coins and/or actions and that you would then be able to continue playing is much higher than if you just drew two cards with Laboratory and had one action left.

I have played several hands where the Nobles ran out of gas, but if you have made wise purchases otherwise in either coin or actions the Nobles can net you a huge buy phase. Just my $0.02.
 
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Jon
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jeffronc wrote:
The net gain of one card just like a Laboratory isn't a valid analogy IMO. You have actually drawn three cards and played two, one of which was your first Nobles. If you started your hand with two Nobles and drew three cards with the second Nobles you would have three brand new cards in your hand to play instead of the two that you would draw with a Lab. The odds that in those three drawn cards would be a valuable combination of coins and/or actions and that you would then be able to continue playing is much higher than if you just drew two cards with Laboratory and had one action left.


But wouldn't two of the three cards you just gained have been in your hand if you hadn't had Nobles in you deck? Which is the same as having no nobles and having played a Lab. I think that is the meat of the analogy. The analogy falls appart when counting VPs, tho.

I personally like Nobles and can use them effectively. I like their flexiblity.
 
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Harald Korneliussen
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morningstar wrote:
What does your first Nobles do, assuming you have no other relevant action cards? At best it's a Smithy. At worst it's not quite a Village.


But it's the one of them you need at the time. If you sorely need actions, it's gives you actions. If you've got actions to spare, it gives you cards. That makes them much stronger than either the village or the smithy. So a cost 5 then. And you pay the sixth coin for the victory points - that's a pretty good deal.

Which is not to say that there isn't such a thing as too many nobles, or that you never should buy gold. But Nobles usually go quickly on most tables when I play on BSW, and I think there are some good reasons for that.
 
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Brandon Richards
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Quote:
But it's the one of them you need at the time. If you sorely need actions, it's gives you actions. If you've got actions to spare, it gives you cards. That makes them much stronger than either the village or the smithy. So a cost 5 then. And you pay the sixth coin for the victory points - that's a pretty good deal.


The problem I have is that I draw my one Nobles with a turn ending action, such a Militia. Then it just becomes a useless victory point in my hand if I decide to play Militia (Militia is just an example).
 
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Ian Kelly
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filovirus wrote:
The problem I have is that I draw my one Nobles with a turn ending action, such a Militia. Then it just becomes a useless victory point in my hand if I decide to play Militia (Militia is just an example).


I would agree that Militia is not the best card to play in conjunction with Nobles for exactly this reason. Witch and Torturer are much better.
 
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