We recently had a game night and it was my first chance to play Prosperity with more than 2 people. Although I usually like to choose randomly from all the available cards, I made an exception this time so my friends could see more of the prosperity cards. We decided to randomly pick 5 Prosperity cards and then 5 others from the other sets. I figured this would help speed up play as well because there would only be 5 new cards to learn each game. Platinum and colony were included in both games.
(Disclaimer: These session reports are slightly Me-centric, not because I won both games, but because I can't remember exactly what everyone else was doing or their final scores.)
Game 1 - 5 players (Me, Eric, Jason, Kevin, Josh)
Card setup: City, Forge, Expand, Grand Market, Fishing Village, Lighthouse, Contraband, Laboratory, Mining Village, Tribute
Jason was actually setting this up and he was editing the random draw so this wasn't completely random. Then he showed the "random 10" to all of us and immediately tried to switch out Forge for Bank because "Forge isn't very good". I objected because "random" is always more fun. At this point I decided to buy a Forge as early as possible and show how bad it is.
Initial rounds: Everyone except me started out getting a Fishing village and then either a Mining village or silver on 4/3 splits. I went for a silver and a mining village hoping that I could quickly pick up a Forge with a lucky draw and trashing the mining village. My draws were so poor that I ended up buying 2 more silvers and fishing village on my next 3 turns. Everyone else moved on to more fishing villages (the pile ran out very quickly) and when they had 5 they went for Contrabands and 6 they got Gold. My next draw I got 7 and took the Forge determined to show how it worked.
Mid-game: Everyone was loading up on contrabands except me. At one point I bought 1 but only to help drain the pile, and I forged it before I ever used it. Using his contraband, Jason was able to get an early platinum which led to a really early colony. Eric, Kevin, and Josh were sampling all the actions even so much as to buy laboratories even though the cities were better because 1 pile was already empty and contrabands would be empty soon. They also began picking up expands and forges. I forged away most of my copper, silver, and estates along with my fishing village and mining village. (At my lowest point I was down to 7 cards.) My deck had 3 platinums, two expands, 3 cities, and 3-4 random treasure or victory cards for the final push for victory points. Upon seeing this everyone began to take more forges and expands.
End-game: It didn't take very many turns for me to end the game. I would play my cities to draw most of my deck expand cards for victory points and then buy victory points. Everyone else caught on at the very end about forging, but they had so many other actions in their decks that they couldn't really get to them. I ended up winning the game by more than 10 points with 5 colonies, 1 duchy, and 1 estate. The game ended with the player to my right so I missed 1 turn compared to everyone else. (We don't play equal turns.)
-With 5 players Cities are a must buy (almost always going to be at least +2 chips +2 actions).
-Dominion always works better if you have a strategy. Thankfully Jason tried to throw away the forge and gave me my strategy.
Game 2 - 3 players (Me, Eric, Kevin)
Card setup: Watchtower, Lookout, Wharf, Vault, King's Court, Mint, Quarry, Venture, Workshop, Council Room
This set was completely random, but I accidentally took 6 from the prosperity set so we just went ahead with it. I based my strategy off the fact that Lookout was the only card that gave +actions. I decided that the Kings Court-Wharf was going to be my strategy.
All of us had 4/3 splits. I bought silver and Quarry. Kevin and Eric both took lookouts with a silver or quarry. Eric focused on getting a vault and started thinning/cycling with lookout, and used the Vault to get gold. Kevin again preferred to sample all the interesting action cards with no real strategy. I bought silver or Wharf when I could hoping for a 7 draw to get a king's court.
Kevin continued to sample everything. Eric vaulted ahead with his vault and Gold, but wasn't hitting 9 much so his jump to platinum got stalled. I think he should have pushed the province pile for a quick ending, but he loaded up on a bunch of King's Courts, Vaults, Wharfs and Lookouts.
I bought a gold and then on my next turn I bought a mint and trashed 3 copper a silver and my quarry. I picked up a second King's Court and at some point when I had a hand with only 5 treasure I bought a vault. Heading to the end-game, my deck was 2 King's Court, 2 Wharfs, 1 mint, 1 vault, and a bunch of treasure and 3 estates.
As soon as I got the King's Court-Wharf combination I was off and running. I'd play a Kings Court-Wharf and draw six chips and buy a colony. Then my next turn I would draw 6 chips, play another King's Court-Wharf draw six more chips, and then buy 2 colonies (or a colony and a province if my money didn't come out right). Kevin was king's courting everything he could. One turn he played King's Court-King's Court-Wharf-Council Room-Vault drawing his whole bag but still only having enough for 2 colonies because he never really invested in Gold or platinum. He also gave us 3 chips and let us trade in 3 times. This is one reason I kept getting King's Court-Wharf back in my hand. Eric kept getting King's court-Lookout combinations in his hand only to draw all his wharfs and vaults while doing 3 consecutive lookouts. He also kept passing up the King's Court-Wharf combination in favor of King's Court-Vault because he wanted to make the extra actions in his hand worth something. In the end I had 5 colonies, 1 province, and 3 estates (59 points).
-I didn't realize until we played that Council Room and Vault would make such a good combination for me especially with King's court. I wasn't using either of them, but both of my opponents were helping me with them. -I know some people are worried about power creep in the new set, but Wharf seemed like the most powerful of the 5 cost cards. As usual in Dominion, the power of the cards are highly dependent on the other kingdoms that are available.
I think half Prosperity half Seaside games are the best. I've been playing 4 Prosperity, 4 Seaside, 2 other games and they might be even better. This one has been a lot of fun:
...tried to switch out Forge for Bank because "Forge isn't very good". I objected because "random" is always more fun. At this point I decided to buy a Forge as early as possible and show how bad it is.
Upon seeing this everyone began to take more forges and expands.
Everyone else caught on at the very end about forging... I ended up winning the game by more than 10 points
Great work beating the groupthink! Games are a lot of fun when you can surprise everyone by winning with a strategy they initially dismissed.