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Subject: Smugglers, Most annoying card in Dominion? rss

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kono kono
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I like Smugglers. I underestimated it until I lost a game because my friend copied my turn 3 gold. Any card that causes me to change my opinion about it over the course of play, and any card that causes me to rethink my strategy, is a good card in my opinion.

 
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Under Toe
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It really just sounds like you're bad at adapting your strategy and would rather blame it on the card than accept responsibility. It also doesn't sound like you've played much of the game since you've only gotten up to Seaside, so arguing with individuals who have likely played over 1,000 games seems a bit arrogant on your part.
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Tim Seitz
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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There's a small set of folks I occasionally game with who have banned certain cards, and they always reserve a spot for the moat. I think they are missing out on one of the most appealing aspects of the game which is playing unfamiliar strategies.
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Dave G
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out4blood wrote:
There's a small set of folks I occasionally game with who have banned certain cards, and they always reserve a spot for the moat. I think they are missing out on one of the most appealing aspects of the game which is playing unfamiliar strategies.

Amen to this. Whenever I see one of those posts where someone says "We throw out X,Y, and Z because they're not fair/fun and we never have an attack without Moat" I think the game must be so dull for them.
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Tim Seitz
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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Dominion is one of my daughter's favorite games, but I keep all the base and expansion cards together in little baggies. When we play we just grab 10 cards. No bans, no reserves. Part of the fun is seeing what cards will come out. For the next game, everyone picks a card they want out and we draw a replacement.

There are still some cards we have yet to play with.
 
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Michael Link
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In my game last night, I opted not to play Smugglers once because the only target was another Smugglers. Having more than 2 in my deck would have simply been clogging. I also used Pirate Ship to put more coins on the mat instead of in my hand; to that end I was also OK with my opponent smuggling gold because it increased the targets for PS. Also, my opponent used Smugglers to gain a single copy of PS which netted one coin on the mat and one whiff.

The main weakness of my deck my lack of +Action cards, but fortunately my opponent bought plenty of Bazaars, which I then smuggled!

Smugglers is often a better opening buy than silver, even as a second terminal action, because you expect to pick up a few silvers and other cards over the course of the game. But it is a bit slower up front, so if you only buy a copy as a reaction to getting hit for the second time, it will likely not benefit your deck as much as it did your opponent. You really need it early.
 
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Rob Neuhaus
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I am surprised no one has mentioned hard counters to smugglers.

You buy a steward, your opponent buys a smuggler. You you have a copper, a silver, a steward, and an estate. You could play the steward for $2 to reach $5 and buy a lab. Normally that would be nice, but your opponent might just smuggle it away anyhow. So you trash the estate and the copper. Your deck got better, and your opponent can't smuggle anything.

Also, another good counter is to buy cards with potion in the cost, which are then unable to be smuggled.
 
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Michael Link
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rrenaud wrote:
I am surprised no one has mentioned hard counters to smugglers.

You buy a steward, your opponent buys a smuggler. You you have a copper, a silver, a steward, and an estate. You could play the steward for $2 to reach $5 and buy a lab. Normally that would be nice, but your opponent might just smuggle it away anyhow. So you trash the estate and the copper. Your deck got better, and your opponent can't smuggle anything.

Also, another good counter is to buy cards with potion in the cost, which are then unable to be smuggled.

Well cards with potion in the cost are not available every game, and even if they are, you both need a potion in hand and there needs to be a potion-requiring card that you need/want in your deck.

Steward is usually used early as a trasher anyway. But who says the Smuggler won't come up on your next hand? Or you buy a Haven with that $2 left over which the opponent smuggles anyway?

The only counters to Smugglers that I can think of is to consistently buy cards that aren't legal targets (cards over $6 or with potion), to force the opponent to gain many terminal actions with it (best done if your deck can handle terminal actions better than his: Smithy would be a good target for this as the +Card ability will lead to many wasted action draws...including Smugglers), or to specifically aim for a low-scoring 3 pile depletion endgame in which the opponent smuggling is helping you to deplete the piles in question.

It's a hard card to counter well. That's why I'm usually the one buying it on turn 1.
 
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Dave Goldthorpe
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I am surprised no one has mentioned hard counters to smugglers.

Smugglers work best when the opponent buys gold, one silver, village-type cards, or duchys. Most strategies that deviate from that will counter smugglers to some degree. Smuggler decks can also get bloated with moderate value junk and you can sometimes exploit that.
 
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Under Toe
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linguistfromhell wrote:
Whereas telling someone they're arrogant because they disagree with you is ... what? Noble?

If he doesn't like the card, he doesn't like it. I don't like it either, but as I normally play a pure random setup, it only comes up once every dozen games. Meh. I'll get by.

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Shrug. Trying to convince them that their opinion is flat-out wrong (for either side of the argument) is not going to do anything but annoy people.

So you're the linguist from Hell in that you put words in people's mouths and misconstrue their statements? I clearly stated why I felt he was being arrogant, and it had nothing to do with him disagreeing with me.

It's fine if he doesn't like it. If that was all he had said, I wouldn't have felt the need to respond. It's the reasoning that he provided that I take issue with. For example, if I open with Treasure Map and Chapel, quickly trashing my starting deck and soon acquiring another TM, would you really call it luck when I get both TMs in one hand? What if we throw a Tactician into the mix there? He is oversimplifying the game to a gross extent.
 
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Charles Waterman
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Mr. West and Mr. De Coster - what do you think of Contraband? I imagine you don't like this card either, although Smuggler would be more unpleasant for you.

Montebanc (no relation)
 
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James Sitz
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I'm really surprised to see Smugglers getting called the most annoying card when Thief, Pirate Ship, Ambassador, Witch, Sea Hag, Torturer, Ghost Ship, Spy, Possession, Militia, and Familiar exist.
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Tony Chen
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If we are talking about big swings of luck, I'd say Minion and Swindler are far more annoying.
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Mike West
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Jexik wrote:
I'm really surprised to see Smugglers getting called the most annoying card when Thief, Pirate Ship, Ambassador, Witch, Sea Hag, Torturer, Ghost Ship, Spy, Possession, Militia, and Familiar exist.

I'm not annoyed at someone screwing me over, i'm annoyed at a card that gets better the better your opponent is playing... It's cheesy .. I can build a deck to deal with curses or having money stolen, but it's very annoying that the best option to stop a smuggler is to buy something less useful with the possibility they might have one in their hand.

Just so you all know, we haven't banned it yet.. Just very tempted to...

 
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Mike West
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undertoe wrote:
It really just sounds like you're bad at adapting your strategy and would rather blame it on the card than accept responsibility. It also doesn't sound like you've played much of the game since you've only gotten up to Seaside, so arguing with individuals who have likely played over 1,000 games seems a bit arrogant on your part.

Thanks for that...

I have played many many games of the base set, and a decent amount of Intrigue, but we have only just added Seaside, due to not buying gamesthe moment they come out.

I was not arguing treasure map was 'lucky' when played with a chapel, i was saying it was lucky 'in general'. Even with a chapel, 2 people could play exactly the same way and with an unlucky draw, one player draws the chapel with the copper while the other with the estates, one therefore has enough for the 2nd treasure map in their 4th hand while the other player doesn't. One player now has 4 gold, the other player doesn't and with only luck seperating them, the game is all but over. That is what i don't like.

Obviously there is luck with every draw, but the difference with a TM is it's either a useless action, or 4 gold, the difference due to luck, is huge...
 
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Mike West
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montebanc wrote:
Mr. West and Mr. De Coster - what do you think of Contraband? I imagine you don't like this card either, although Smuggler would be more unpleasant for you.

Montebanc (no relation)

I haven't played Properity yet (Which clearly makes me an outrageous n00b with no decent opinion to Mr Under Toe) but looking at the card, it doesn't seem 'that' annoying or lucky as as an opponent i get to screw over the person who plays it and therefore it's my fault it i let them buy something useful.
 
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Tim Seitz
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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Gothnak wrote:
I was not arguing treasure map was 'lucky' when played with a chapel, i was saying it was lucky 'in general'. Even with a chapel, 2 people could play exactly the same way and with an unlucky draw, one player draws the chapel with the copper while the other with the estates, one therefore has enough for the 2nd treasure map in their 4th hand while the other player doesn't. One player now has 4 gold, the other player doesn't and with only luck seperating them, the game is all but over. That is what i don't like.
Well, that's Dominion. The whole game is like that. If you do not like the luck factor, then maybe it's not the game for you.
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Jared Heath
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Smugglers is great. It really requires significant luck (you got enough money to buy a gold turn 3? Oh, I've got a smugglers as well) to make it work exceedingly well.

In my example, above, if the 2nd player doesn't have a smugglers he probably lost right then, on turn 3, when the first player drew all money.

Honestly, if smugglers is in, I almost always buy it if there aren't any attractive trashers in the 3/4 buy range.
 
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Geoff Bridges
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Regarding Saboteur and Swindler, both cards can be answered to some extent by heavy silver decks. If you play against Saboteur (especially someone with multiple copies or a game with 3+ players with at least two buying Saboteur) then just jumping for a straight go to gold and rush for the provinces will work badly. Of course, if you have moats or other defenses in play, that can slow them down too.

Bureaucrat is a very nice defence against Saboteur, if played on your turn before the Saboteur.

Given these specialized strategies, I think they add a lot to the game and are not purely destructive.

As for smugglers, I usually just ignore them and do my own thing. Sometimes they get lucky and copy your new gold, but often they misfire and don't. And it is very sweet when you buy a province and they pick up Smugglers and there is nothing to smuggle.
 
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Branko K.
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out4blood wrote:
Gothnak wrote:
I was not arguing treasure map was 'lucky' when played with a chapel, i was saying it was lucky 'in general'. Even with a chapel, 2 people could play exactly the same way and with an unlucky draw, one player draws the chapel with the copper while the other with the estates, one therefore has enough for the 2nd treasure map in their 4th hand while the other player doesn't. One player now has 4 gold, the other player doesn't and with only luck seperating them, the game is all but over. That is what i don't like.
Well, that's Dominion. The whole game is like that. If you do not like the luck factor, then maybe it's not the game for you.

Agreed.

I have just played against an opponent who completely outplayed me; she built a lean, efficient deck and ambassadored me a bunch of Coppers and Estates.

I on the other hand played like crap, snagging two Coppersmiths out of frustration. Then I got a "Coppersmith, Copper, Copper, Copper, Copper" hand three times in the space of five turns and won by a landslide.

'Twas fun. Random as hell, but fun.
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Charles Waterman
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The reason I thought you wouldn't like Contraband is once again the person sitting to the left or right of you gets to interfere with what cards you buy if YOU play Contraband.

Montebanc (no relation)
 
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Damjan Makuc
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We played with Smugglers several times, card is good, and sometimes could be really ridiculous, depending what player before you bought. I find Smugglers too cheap (3$) and would probably more balanced if would cost 4$.

The other card that is maybe also too cheap is Pirate Ship.

I played only with base game and Seaside so far, what do you think, did any group change the cost of cards to buy or do you think this is bad idea?
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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alkemist wrote:
We played with Smugglers several times, card is good, and sometimes could be really ridiculous, depending what player before you bought. I find Smugglers too cheap (3$) and would probably more balanced if would cost 4$.

The other card that is maybe also too cheap is Pirate Ship.

I played only with base game and Seaside so far, what do you think, did any group change the cost of cards to buy or do you think this is bad idea?

I think that maybe unless you have played several hundred games with a particular card, changing cost is a bad idea.
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Smugglers are really good when it comes to getting something-for-(next-to)-nothing. But they aren't good.

Dominion players do their best when using customized, effective decks with synergy, combos, and controlled randomness. They are at their worst when throwing in random stuff "just 'cuz you can." Smugglers does the latter. Sure, you could simply not play it, if you right-hand opponent doesn't gain a valid card that you actually want in your deck, but then you are just staring at a dead card.

also, Smugglers tend to just cause the game to end really fast before anyone makes much use of all the extra cards they hoard like pack rats, because when Player A gets, say, a Menagerie, Player B uses Smugglers to drain another Menagerie (because "why not?"), then Player C uses Throne Room to play Smugglers and grabs two more Menageries. Then it wraps around to Player A, who is likely to benefit more from using his Smuggler now, since he'd intended for his deck to include Menagerie all along.

But now, the Menagerie pile is empty, after only a round or two. Next time, it'll be Villages, and after that, Conspirator. Then, *BOOM* game over, and not a lot of interesting stuff happened.

So you could say that the best way to handle this now is to just adopt your right-hand opponent's strategy, so that as you get the cards he gains "for free" and still can add what you can afford to buy to enhance this deck to out-perform said opponent, but even this is lack-luster, since when everyone tries to just do the same thing, the only thing you really learn by who ultimately wins is who shuffled better.

So, random crap in your deck, uninteresting game, and game ends prematurely. Still think its a good card?

Damme, I have a special note for you: A bad card does not become good simply by adjusting the price.
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Dave Green
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My biggest beef with Smugglers is in 3P games where one of the other players in the game is smuggling off the other. Even when I'm carefully planning my deck so that a Smugglers strategy will not be able to do much with the cards I'm Gaining, I can still get destroyed by Player 3 leeching off Player 2.

It's hurtful to my ego and I don't like it.
 
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