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Subject: A question for those who have played. rss

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Marion Jensen
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I just purchased and played my first Thunderstone game. I am a huge fan of Dominion, and very much enjoy the fantasy theme, so I figured Thunderstone would be a winner.

I've only played one game, and I wasn't overly impressed. However, it may be because I haven't seen the strategy yet. I wanted to ask more experienced players about what they think.

The think I like about Dominion is that it's a game where you pick a strategy, build an 'engine', and then turn that engine on and collect victory points. I feel like I have a lot of control about how that engine is build.

With Thunderstone I felt like I should be going after monsters right at the first. Because I did so, I felt like I didn't have much control over my strategy. I had all those dead monsters clogging my hand. I won the game, but I felt it more because I drew lucky, rather than fine tuned my engine.

So, did I just play it wrong? Should I have gone to the village 5-6 times in a row and built and engine and then go after monsters? Or do you need to go after monsters right at the beginning.

For what it's worth, we were playing the first game setup.
 
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David desJardins
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Firemeboy wrote:
With Thunderstone I felt like I should be going after monsters right at the first.


That seems pretty much like playing Dominion by going for VPs right from the start.
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j s
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I think the game will feel like dominion more to you after a few more games, it did for me. That being said though the card interaction in this game is much more straight forward then dominion and it will probably feel less like building an engine to you. It's a good game but i already feel like i need more then the base card set to really hold my interest.
 
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Craig Groff-Folsom
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The catch to Thunderstone is that you need to make decisions regarding which monsters are available. Once you play more, you'll know roughly what to expect from the Dungeon in terms of value and difficulty.

Unlike Dominion, where there are (almost) always 1, 3, and 6 VP cards available, Thunderstone only offers three random cards. Sometimes big, sometimes small, but constantly changing.

In a recent game, I won handily by building a very strong military deck, but only going to the Dungeon for 4 VPs or more. With Outlands and Elves, I'd hit a high-VP Monster, and cycle another decent VP Monster to prevent my opponents from killing it. While it's vaguely similar to a Remodel/Salvager "mill" strategy in Dominion, it had a bigger impact. In Dominon, taking a Province off the stack makes the stack shorter, but it doesn't stop your opponents from buying Provinces. In Thunderstone, it can take a Dungeon with 2, 4, and 5 VP and turn it into one with 2, 2, and 1 VP.

If you build your deck appropriately, you can benefit from lots of low-VP Monster cards. Outlands gets a bonus at Level 2 and 3 from revealing Monster cards; Trophies are especially good for this (Enchanted and Dragons).

As with Dominion, it's a matter of reading the board and deciding which strategies look most appealing.

Also, I wasn't particularly inspired by Thunderstone until I played it multiple times with random Heroes, Monsters, and Village cards. The first game setup is okay, but doesn't have any exciting combos in my opinion.
 
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Brent Keith
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To me one of the biggest differences between Thunderstone and Dominion is the emphasis on tactical decisions. In Dominion, once you have chosen your strategy the rest of your game is mostly predetermined. You know which cards you will be buying, and the amount of money in hand from one turn to the next simply points you at one purchase vs. another out of your predetermined set. With Thunderstone, you still need to choose a strategy, but the varying availability of victory point cards (monsters) forces more tactical choices into the mix. Generally the player with the best long term strategy will most likely be the winner, but tactical decisions play a much more important role in tipping the balance between two players with similar strength of strategy.

And I agree that in both games, it is common when learning to go for quick VP early - but in both games, players who bide their time and build stronger decks early on tend to do better.
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David desJardins
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AEGBrent wrote:
In Dominion, once you have chosen your strategy the rest of your game is mostly predetermined. You know which cards you will be buying, and the amount of money in hand from one turn to the next simply points you at one purchase vs. another out of your predetermined set.


This is absolutely nothing like how I play Dominion. I also think it's a dramatically inferior way to play.

We sometimes play the same set of kingdom cards twice. Due to different sequences of shuffles and draws, I often end up with completely different decks.
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Robert
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AEGBrent wrote:
To me one of the biggest differences between Thunderstone and Dominion is the emphasis on tactical decisions. In Dominion, once you have chosen your strategy the rest of your game is mostly predetermined. You know which cards you will be buying, and the amount of money in hand from one turn to the next simply points you at one purchase vs. another out of your predetermined set. With Thunderstone, you still need to choose a strategy, but the varying availability of victory point cards (monsters) forces more tactical choices into the mix. Generally the player with the best long term strategy will most likely be the winner, but tactical decisions play a much more important role in tipping the balance between two players with similar strength of strategy.

And I agree that in both games, it is common when learning to go for quick VP early - but in both games, players who bide their time and build stronger decks early on tend to do better.


HEY! Get back to your (infinite) CITY!

I tell ya, between these two games, (T-stone and IC), AEG has moved up the ranks in my list of favorite game design / publishers. Now if we could just do something about the rule book for T-stone... oh wait, they are! YAY AEG! cool
 
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Todd N.
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Escher26 wrote:
AEGBrent wrote:
To me one of the biggest differences between Thunderstone and Dominion is the emphasis on tactical decisions. In Dominion, once you have chosen your strategy the rest of your game is mostly predetermined. You know which cards you will be buying, and the amount of money in hand from one turn to the next simply points you at one purchase vs. another out of your predetermined set. With Thunderstone, you still need to choose a strategy, but the varying availability of victory point cards (monsters) forces more tactical choices into the mix. Generally the player with the best long term strategy will most likely be the winner, but tactical decisions play a much more important role in tipping the balance between two players with similar strength of strategy.

And I agree that in both games, it is common when learning to go for quick VP early - but in both games, players who bide their time and build stronger decks early on tend to do better.


HEY! Get back to your (infinite) CITY!

I tell ya, between these two games, (T-stone and IC), AEG has moved up the ranks in my list of favorite game design / publishers. Now if we could just do something about the rule book for T-stone... oh wait, they are! YAY AEG! cool



I would have to agree with Escher26. Infinite City and Thunderstone are both great games and both me and my wife love playing them. With games like these and the way AEG listens to their customers I see a bright future for them on the board game front.

They have been on a good run. Straw is a good fun fast card game, Adventurers is a fun light adventure game (ala fireball island and what not), and Tomb was a very cool use of their Warlord CCG property. I haven't played some of their other releases yet but they are definitely off to a good start with their board game lines.
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Jim Neuschwander
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Furunkulus wrote:

They have been on a good run. Straw is a good fun fast card game, Adventurers is a fun light adventure game (ala fireball island and what not), and Tomb was a very cool use of their Warlord CCG property. I haven't played some of their other releases yet but they are definitely off to a good start with their board game lines.


Also, The Isle of Doctor Necreaux is pretty good too.
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Ted Vessenes
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DaviddesJ wrote:
AEGBrent wrote:
In Dominion, once you have chosen your strategy the rest of your game is mostly predetermined. You know which cards you will be buying, and the amount of money in hand from one turn to the next simply points you at one purchase vs. another out of your predetermined set.


This is absolutely nothing like how I play Dominion. I also think it's a dramatically inferior way to play.

We sometimes play the same set of kingdom cards twice. Due to different sequences of shuffles and draws, I often end up with completely different decks.


I wholeheartedly agree with David. The difference between hitting 5 for a good action and 6 for gold can completely color your strategy. For example, suppose you open with Silver + Baron. If you draw 6 on your third turn, you'll probably buy gold. This solidifies you in a cash heavy deck, meaning you want mostly money and two terminal card drawing actions like Wharf or Council Room. But if you draw 5, you might go with a Minion dominated strategy.

Also note that even in the mid game, your strategy can change dramatically based on the number of buys you have. If you have 11 and one buy, you're grabbing a province. But if you have two buys, you might grab a gold and a lab, or perhaps a province and a warehouse. The difference between adding one province and two high end infrastructure cards will have a big impact on how your deck plays for the rest of the game, and it's an important tactical decision. You simply cannot make that call at the onset of the game, when the initial 10 stacks have been dealt up.

For the record, I feel like Thunderstone's cash flow is a lot looser than Dominions. Most of the time I can buy whatever I want as long as I want something that costs 7 or less. And it's not unreasonable to buy a 4 cost card when I have 7 in hand. I'm not sure if this is because the costs aren't as well tuned as Dominion or because card synergies matter more in Thunderstone. It's probably a bit of both.
 
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Todd N.
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Winterfella wrote:
Furunkulus wrote:

They have been on a good run. Straw is a good fun fast card game, Adventurers is a fun light adventure game (ala fireball island and what not), and Tomb was a very cool use of their Warlord CCG property. I haven't played some of their other releases yet but they are definitely off to a good start with their board game lines.


Also, The Isle of Doctor Necreaux is pretty good too.


I forgot about that one. It has saved me money having to hunt down a copy of Chainsaw Warrior since it plays so similar and has the bonus of multi player.
 
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