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Subject: Interesting combos that aren't worth it rss

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Matt N

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What are some combos that seem nice but don't seem to be effective in a real game, for a variety of reasons?

My vote would be for bureaurat followed by saboteur. It would be great to selectively snipe a VP card from someone'
s hand, but if they can discard an estate, it's a wash, and there's no guarantee that they'll have a duchy/province in their hand. I would like to try it, just to see someone kick themselves for discarding a province the first time.

Any other ones?
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Ben Bateson
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Bridge-Bridge-Saboteur. Guaranteed to make everyone hate you and not benefit your own deck one iota.
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Ted Vessenes
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Any combo that requires playing two terminal actions in the same turn is Not Worth It(tm).
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Chris Ferejohn
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Stunna wrote:
What are some combos that seem nice but don't seem to be effective in a real game, for a variety of reasons?

My vote would be for bureaurat followed by saboteur.


Leaving aside the fact that this will improve your opponent's deck more often than not, this doesn't really count as a "combo" since it requires 2 actions. In order for this to be a "combo" you'd need to add Village, Festival, or some other +2 action card, and then of course you're talking about a 3-card combo.
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Roberta Yang
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tedv wrote:
Any combo that requires playing two terminal actions in the same turn is Not Worth It(tm).


Really? Is Festival so popular purely because the +1 Buy justifies how much more expensive it is compared to Silver?
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Ted Vessenes
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salty53 wrote:
tedv wrote:
Any combo that requires playing two terminal actions in the same turn is Not Worth It(tm).


Really? Is Festival so popular purely because the +1 Buy justifies how much more expensive it is compared to Silver?


There's a difference between cards that take advantage of extra actions and those that rely on them. If your strategy relies on it, then it's a bad combo because you essentially need 3 cards for it to work: Your Village variant, Terminal A, and Terminal B.

Festival is great because it's a silver that doesn't cost actions and gives you a source of extra buys. The fact that it lets you play two terminal actions instead of one is just gravy, but not the primary reason I would buy the card. I would happily pay 4 for a card that said "+1 action, +1 buy, +$2."

That said, I think Festival is overrated. It's a great card and worth $5, but it's overrated. Without a source of card drawing, it's not that amazing. To maximize the card you need to find two terminal actions inside of 4 cards. Even the Village lets you find two terminals out of 5 cards (since Village draws a card for you).

I think the best use of the Festival is in conjunction with effects like Minion, Tactician, and Library that give you benefits for playing them when your hand size is small. Note that these are just two card combos.

To summarize: Three card combos are bad, two card combos are good.
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Matt N

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cferejohn wrote:
Leaving aside the fact that this will improve your opponent's deck more often than not,


Assuming your opponent has a brain, they bought their province/duchy because they wanted the points. If you then sabotage their province/duchy, they then get 3 fewer points (at least, excluding weird gardens scenarios). It's wrong to consider some action card an "improvement" over a province when the game is near its end.

I really don't understand your logic here.

cferejohn wrote:
this doesn't really count as a "combo" since it requires 2 actions. In order for this to be a "combo" you'd need to add Village, Festival, or some other +2 action card, and then of course you're talking about a 3-card combo.


That's implicit in what I said. I didn't say village because a list of village, festival, shanty town, mining village, etc is annoying to write.

Again, these aren't supposed to be actual strategies that would let you win a game; just combos that seem cool when you first look at the cards.
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Greg Jones
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Spy - Thief

Occasionally I have been able to make this work. It takes a lot of Spies. Then you can pretty frequently snatch their Gold. The game has to be pretty slow for you to get this going before it's over.

Spy - Swindler

Similar idea.

Ghost Ship - Spy

Sometimes people put good cards back on top of their deck when you play Ghost Ship. With the Spy, you can get those out of there. The problem is similar to the two-terminal-action combos. You have to have +2 actions before your Ghost Ship to make this work.

As you see a lot of my ideas involve the Spy. The Spy seems to be one of the least-bought cards in the game, although it is potentially interesting. It would be nice if it was a little more powerful. How about if it would reveal 2 cards and you choose one to go in their discards and one to go back on their deck. Could cost 5 if you also give it +2 actions instead of +1.

Ghost Ship - Thief
Ghost Ship - Swindler

Similar idea.

Workshop - Remodel

Use the Workshop to get a 4-cost card, then Remodel it into a Gold. This doesn't have to happen on the same turn. I usually find you're better off just buying your 4-cost cards or Remodeling 2-cost cards into them.

Laboratory - Chapel

Controversial. A lot of people say this does work really well. It doesn't for me. You can trash your initial cards really fast, but the Laboratory doesn't by itself give you any income to replace them. Maybe I just don't play it right.

Nobles - Nobles - Nobles

Ok this one kinda works. While it's not really as strong as some other things you could be doing with that much money, you get some VPs while you're at it, so it stays competitive. But at least buy one Gold first I think. It seems like you can justify a pile of Nobles more if you have some Villages and Smithies. Not that you should buy a Village or Smithy instead of a Nobles, or even one of each with 7 coins and a +buy. Just if you expect to have some 3- and 4-coin turns, either of those will be almost as powerful as a Nobles if you have a lot of Nobles already.

Throne Room - Bureaucrat

It's not bad. You are guaranteed to start with 4 coins next turn. And when it hits your opponent both times, it's pretty devastating. 3 card hand this turn and next. It just doesn't hit them very often.

Throne Room - Mine

You can change a Copper directly into a Gold. Sounds good, but it just doesn't come up enough to be worthwhile. Maybe this combo is lukewarm just because the Mine is only a mediocre card.

Throne Room - Spy

If there are no +2 actions, it seems like a halfway decent way to simulate it. Plus you get to double Spy. It's not really worth it though. If there are no +2 actions, just deal with it. Throne Room - Laboratory and Throne Room - Market are pretty awesome though.
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Jon
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morningstar wrote:

Laboratory - Chapel

Controversial. A lot of people say this does work really well. It doesn't for me. You can trash your initial cards really fast, but the Laboratory doesn't by itself give you any income to replace them. Maybe I just don't play it right.


This works well once you have all of those provinces choking your deck after you are down to 8 coin.
 
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Jon
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morningstar wrote:

Nobles - Nobles - Nobles

Ok this one kinda works. While it's not really as strong as some other things you could be doing with that much money, you get some VPs while you're at it, so it stays competitive. But at least buy one Gold first I think. It seems like you can justify a pile of Nobles more if you have some Villages and Smithies. Not that you should buy a Village or Smithy instead of a Nobles, or even one of each with 7 coins and a +buy. Just if you expect to have some 3- and 4-coin turns, either of those will be almost as powerful as a Nobles if you have a lot of Nobles already.


Nobles ad absurdium is good because it is like Lab for deck cycling, but is worth points. That you can play the last Nobles in a chain of 3+ for more cards is icing.
 
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Dave Goldthorpe
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This is an interesting idea that might be worth it on occasion. Treasuries and Feasts present an opportunity to get victory points without ever throwing away your treasuries. Just get a couple of treasuries, buy feasts every turn without needing a better draw than a couple of copper, then convert your feasts to duchies in later passes through the deck. I think it loses as it's slightly too slow and doesn't put any pressure on your opponents deck.
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Brandon Richards
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JonPrud wrote:
morningstar wrote:

Nobles - Nobles - Nobles

Ok this one kinda works. While it's not really as strong as some other things you could be doing with that much money, you get some VPs while you're at it, so it stays competitive. But at least buy one Gold first I think. It seems like you can justify a pile of Nobles more if you have some Villages and Smithies. Not that you should buy a Village or Smithy instead of a Nobles, or even one of each with 7 coins and a +buy. Just if you expect to have some 3- and 4-coin turns, either of those will be almost as powerful as a Nobles if you have a lot of Nobles already.


Nobles ad absurdium is good because it is like Lab for deck cycling, but is worth points. That you can play the last Nobles in a chain of 3+ for more cards is icing.


Nobles pairs even better with Village than it does with itself.
 
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Roberta Yang
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filovirus wrote:
JonPrud wrote:
morningstar wrote:

Nobles - Nobles - Nobles

Ok this one kinda works. While it's not really as strong as some other things you could be doing with that much money, you get some VPs while you're at it, so it stays competitive. But at least buy one Gold first I think. It seems like you can justify a pile of Nobles more if you have some Villages and Smithies. Not that you should buy a Village or Smithy instead of a Nobles, or even one of each with 7 coins and a +buy. Just if you expect to have some 3- and 4-coin turns, either of those will be almost as powerful as a Nobles if you have a lot of Nobles already.


Nobles ad absurdium is good because it is like Lab for deck cycling, but is worth points. That you can play the last Nobles in a chain of 3+ for more cards is icing.


Nobles pairs even better with Village than it does with itself.


Which is exactly why Village is actually decent if it's actually used correctly.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Stunna wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
Leaving aside the fact that this will improve your opponent's deck more often than not,


Assuming your opponent has a brain, they bought their province/duchy because they wanted the points. If you then sabotage their province/duchy, they then get 3 fewer points (at least, excluding weird gardens scenarios). It's wrong to consider some action card an "improvement" over a province when the game is near its end.

I really don't understand your logic here.


An action card isn't an improvement over a province at any point in the game. The points are just too much. I was talking about the fact that much of the time you're going to kill an estate.
 
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Rob Neuhaus
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I think you mis-understand. If you play the bridge, cards cost less. This makes the province/duchy replacement even worse (now your province replacement becomes 5 cost rather than 6, your duchy replacement 2 rather than 3), but estates are still immune to sabotage.

Edit: Strike through text wrong, see SevenSpirits post below.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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cferejohn wrote:
An action card isn't an improvement over a province at any point in the game. The points are just too much. I was talking about the fact that much of the time you're going to kill an estate.


Saboteur skips over cards that cost 2 or less.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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rrenaud wrote:
I think you mis-understand. If you play the bridge, cards cost less. This makes the province/duchy replacement even worse (now your province replacement becomes 5 cost rather than 6, your duchy replacement 2 rather than 3), but estates are still immune to sabotage.


Bridge doesn't actually have that effect since it reduces the cost of the replacing cards too. What it does do is effectively raise the Saboteur's "skip" threshold by one, so it only hits higher cost cards. That might or might not be good depending on the card set and your opponents' deck composition.
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1. Play 9 villages to get up to 10 actions.
2. Use 5 of those actions to play 5 council rooms, getting up to 20 cards in hand.
3. Play Throne Room - Throne Room - Bureaucrat - Bureaucrat. Repeat four more times.

you now have 20 silver stacked on top of your deck! buy a province for the next four turns. then buy the 10th village to end the game.

I have done simulations on my abacus and this wins against Big Money 92.17638% of the time if it has a 50 turn head start.
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Andrew Hardin
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morningstar wrote:

Laboratory - Chapel

Controversial. A lot of people say this does work really well. It doesn't for me. You can trash your initial cards really fast, but the Laboratory doesn't by itself give you any income to replace them. Maybe I just don't play it right.


Wow. Interesting opinion and I respect it. I just disagree. Having talked with some people doing simulation data this combination is very fast. I can't think of very many strategies that are faster, or even potentially faster on a regular basis.

I agree you don't get Coin, but it causes your other Coin to get into play more consistently. It really helps against the stalled decks. My suggestion to people playing it is to use 2 Gold, 1 Silver and nothing else except more Gold or Labs if you get stalled. And it doesn't stall until you are choking on VP.

- Lex
 
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Matt N

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hazered wrote:
1. Play 9 villages to get up to 10 actions.
2. Use 5 of those actions to play 5 council rooms, getting up to 20 cards in hand.
3. Play Throne Room - Throne Room - Bureaucrat - Bureaucrat. Repeat four more times.

you now have 20 silver stacked on top of your deck! buy a province for the next four turns. then buy the 10th village to end the game.

I have done simulations on my abacus and this wins against Big Money 92.17638% of the time if it has a 50 turn head start.


You can just play 10x throne room in a row, then play 10 bureaucrats, so you only need 5 villages! It's a good thing that combo doesn't come up much, or else the game would just be unbalanced.

Here's another one: Chapel your whole deck to death except for 8x throne room and 8x ironworks, with 12 great halls out. Throne room-Ironworks 12x great halls, which will give +2 cards and +2 actions each time to keep your hand size at 5, then finish off the throne room and ironworks piles and win the game, if your opponents forgot to take their buys.

It might even be viable if your opponents partially empty the piles and you pull the trigger much earlier.
 
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