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Charles Ting
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Hi all:
I want to like this game-gameplay's short, easy to teach/learn and involves certain strategies and all that-played it once but just seem unable to convince myself getting it (as I always choose Thunderstone and its expansions over it)-yet I still can't get it off my head! One thing I don't understand about this game though, the objective of the game is just trying to accumulate the most VPs. So what's the point of playing all the other action cards? Somebody please convince me into this game.
 
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David desJardins
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Why don't you just buy only Victory cards and demonstrate the superiority of your approach? Either you win, or you learn something, so you come out ahead either way.
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Andrew Rice
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This is a hand management game -- you start with a rather anemic deck, and build it by purchasing progessively more expensive and powerful cards (you cannot buy the largest victory cards with your starting hand).

I had heard LOTS about Dominion, and finally had the chance to play it at our Game Night -- I was instantly hooked, and bought the Basic Set and Intrigue that week! I have since introduced it to over a dozen friends, and they have ALL loved it :-)
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Edward
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charlesting wrote:
One thing I don't understand about this game though, the objective of the game is just trying to accumulate the most VPs. So what's the point of playing all the other action cards? Somebody please convince me into this game.

Here's something I don't understand about soccer. You just have to kick the ball into the net, right? So what's the point in kicking it in any other direction?
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Sicaria Occaeco
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Play the game. If you like it then buy it, if not then don't.
 
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John Anderson
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I nominate theory for the "Perfect Analogy of the Month" award. Seriously, try to find a flaw in that analogy.
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Rob Neuhaus
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The problem with trying to kick the ball directly at the goal is that your opponents will get in the way.

The problem with immediately buying VP is that it over optimizes short term gains over future gains. Your opponents aren't going to be able to block your first turn estate buy.

A more apt analogy is something like, I want to go 10 km west, but my car is 50 meters to the east. I will proceed to walk directly to the west, since for 30 seconds, I will be ahead of my alternate car driving self.
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Tim Seitz
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I nominate rrenaud for the "Perfect Pedant of the Month" award.
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Dave G
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charlesting wrote:
Somebody please convince me into this game.


Why? If you really wanted an answer to your questions, you could have easily found many, many strategy and review threads. If you play Thunderstone, you understand the basics of deck-building, and I don't buy the sincerity of your question about action cards. If you're just setting up an opportunity to argue with people who like the game about the reasons they like the game, there's a word for that.
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Justin
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charlesting wrote:
Somebody please convince me into this game.


Play it here if you want to actually give it a shot.

That said, needing to be convinced to like Dominion tells me that you don't actually like Dominion. Personally, I don't buy games I don't like, which is a variation on my cardinal rules #1 (don't listen to terrible music) and #2 (don't watch terrible movies).
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Charles Ting
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
charlesting wrote:
Somebody please convince me into this game.


Why? If you really wanted an answer to your questions, you could have easily found many, many strategy and review threads. If you play Thunderstone, you understand the basics of deck-building, and I don't buy the sincerity of your question about action cards. If you're just setting up an opportunity to argue with people who like the game about the reasons they like the game, there's a word for that.

I'm not trying to argue anything--I'm just looking into some games to get.
 
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Tim Seitz
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charlesting wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
charlesting wrote:
Somebody please convince me into this game.


Why? If you really wanted an answer to your questions, you could have easily found many, many strategy and review threads. If you play Thunderstone, you understand the basics of deck-building, and I don't buy the sincerity of your question about action cards. If you're just setting up an opportunity to argue with people who like the game about the reasons they like the game, there's a word for that.

I'm not trying to argue anything--I'm just looking into some games to get.

If you like Thunderstone, get Dominion. It's the game that Thunderstone is based on, except the original Dominion is much cleaner, more developed, and plays faster.
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Dave Daley
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charlesting wrote:
One thing I don't understand about this game though, the objective of the game is just trying to accumulate the most VPs. So what's the point of playing all the other action cards? Somebody please convince me into this game.

That, for me, is one of the really elegant things about Dominion. It IS definitely about the VPs - AT THE END OF THE GAME.

You start with just crap, and the idea is to build some sort of "engine" that will get you the VPs at the end of the game. That is where the Money, Actions, Attacks etc come in.

But the elegant thing is this : TIMING.

Wait too long to start buying VPs, and you will lose. Buy too early, and you will lose. You have to know exactly when to start the VP rush, and that is different with every set of cards.

I couldn't tell you how many times I play exactly the game I want. I have an absolutely perfect hand, great engine to buy VPs, and I end up with 1 province (out of 12). So my perfect engine took too long to build, and some doofus with 2 villages and 2 council rooms whooped me. Better try again. And again, and again.

And therein lies the hook. Building the better engine. Sure I lost, but "Let's play that set again.. I have a new plan this time ... "
 
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Charles Ting
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elkabong wrote:
charlesting wrote:
One thing I don't understand about this game though, the objective of the game is just trying to accumulate the most VPs. So what's the point of playing all the other action cards? Somebody please convince me into this game.

That, for me, is one of the really elegant things about Dominion. It IS definitely about the VPs - AT THE END OF THE GAME.

You start with just crap, and the idea is to build some sort of "engine" that will get you the VPs at the end of the game. That is where the Money, Actions, Attacks etc come in.

But the elegant thing is this : TIMING.

Wait too long to start buying VPs, and you will lose. Buy too early, and you will lose. You have to know exactly when to start the VP rush, and that is different with every set of cards.

I couldn't tell you how many times I play exactly the game I want. I have an absolutely perfect hand, great engine to buy VPs, and I end up with 1 province (out of 12). So my perfect engine took too long to build, and some doofus with 2 villages and 2 council rooms whooped me. Better try again. And again, and again.

And therein lies the hook. Building the better engine. Sure I lost, but "Let's play that set again.. I have a new plan this time ... "

In other words, you WILL be spending LOTS of time studying these cards/fuguring out these plans because that's where the high replayability/addiction of this game comes from. But once you get it, the game becomes stale (it's what some of you are sayin')
 
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Jack Rudd
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charlesting wrote:
elkabong wrote:
charlesting wrote:
One thing I don't understand about this game though, the objective of the game is just trying to accumulate the most VPs. So what's the point of playing all the other action cards? Somebody please convince me into this game.

That, for me, is one of the really elegant things about Dominion. It IS definitely about the VPs - AT THE END OF THE GAME.

You start with just crap, and the idea is to build some sort of "engine" that will get you the VPs at the end of the game. That is where the Money, Actions, Attacks etc come in.

But the elegant thing is this : TIMING.

Wait too long to start buying VPs, and you will lose. Buy too early, and you will lose. You have to know exactly when to start the VP rush, and that is different with every set of cards.

I couldn't tell you how many times I play exactly the game I want. I have an absolutely perfect hand, great engine to buy VPs, and I end up with 1 province (out of 12). So my perfect engine took too long to build, and some doofus with 2 villages and 2 council rooms whooped me. Better try again. And again, and again.

And therein lies the hook. Building the better engine. Sure I lost, but "Let's play that set again.. I have a new plan this time ... "

In other words, you WILL be spending LOTS of time studying these cards/fuguring out these plans because that's where the high replayability/addiction of this game comes from. But once you get it, the game becomes stale (it's what some of you are sayin')

I'd call that a radical interpretation of the text.
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Alex Pseudonym
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charlesting wrote:
elkabong wrote:
charlesting wrote:
One thing I don't understand about this game though, the objective of the game is just trying to accumulate the most VPs. So what's the point of playing all the other action cards? Somebody please convince me into this game.

That, for me, is one of the really elegant things about Dominion. It IS definitely about the VPs - AT THE END OF THE GAME.

You start with just crap, and the idea is to build some sort of "engine" that will get you the VPs at the end of the game. That is where the Money, Actions, Attacks etc come in.

But the elegant thing is this : TIMING.

Wait too long to start buying VPs, and you will lose. Buy too early, and you will lose. You have to know exactly when to start the VP rush, and that is different with every set of cards.

I couldn't tell you how many times I play exactly the game I want. I have an absolutely perfect hand, great engine to buy VPs, and I end up with 1 province (out of 12). So my perfect engine took too long to build, and some doofus with 2 villages and 2 council rooms whooped me. Better try again. And again, and again.

And therein lies the hook. Building the better engine. Sure I lost, but "Let's play that set again.. I have a new plan this time ... "

In other words, you WILL be spending LOTS of time studying these cards/fuguring out these plans because that's where the high replayability/addiction of this game comes from. But once you get it, the game becomes stale (it's what some of you are sayin')


If you play a randomly generated set, the game won't get stale since each time you play it's a different combination of cards.
 
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Tim Seitz
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Axxle wrote:
charlesting wrote:
elkabong wrote:
charlesting wrote:
One thing I don't understand about this game though, the objective of the game is just trying to accumulate the most VPs. So what's the point of playing all the other action cards? Somebody please convince me into this game.

That, for me, is one of the really elegant things about Dominion. It IS definitely about the VPs - AT THE END OF THE GAME.

You start with just crap, and the idea is to build some sort of "engine" that will get you the VPs at the end of the game. That is where the Money, Actions, Attacks etc come in.

But the elegant thing is this : TIMING.

Wait too long to start buying VPs, and you will lose. Buy too early, and you will lose. You have to know exactly when to start the VP rush, and that is different with every set of cards.

I couldn't tell you how many times I play exactly the game I want. I have an absolutely perfect hand, great engine to buy VPs, and I end up with 1 province (out of 12). So my perfect engine took too long to build, and some doofus with 2 villages and 2 council rooms whooped me. Better try again. And again, and again.

And therein lies the hook. Building the better engine. Sure I lost, but "Let's play that set again.. I have a new plan this time ... "

In other words, you WILL be spending LOTS of time studying these cards/fuguring out these plans because that's where the high replayability/addiction of this game comes from. But once you get it, the game becomes stale (it's what some of you are sayin')


If you play a randomly generated set, the game won't get stale since each time you play it's a different combination of cards.

There are only 1239028753920949820344 combinations of possible kingdom arrangements. That seems like it would get stale quickly.
 
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Nate S
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89196105660948, but who's counting?

178392211321896 if you include the option of Platinum/Colony, but sadly, only 2497473260425 if you abide by "0 or 3-5 alchemy" and only allow Platinum/Colony if there's at least one Prosperity card.
 
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Jeff Wolfe
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There are currently 116 Kingdom cards, including promos.

116 choose 10 = 81,572,506,886,508

The thing about including 3-5 Alchemy cards is explicitly a recommendation, while the Colony/Platinum rule is not. Accounting for Colony/Platinum, you get:

156,718,112,493,723

That is, until Cornucopia is released.
 
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Nate S
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jeffwolfe wrote:
116

Oh, bugger, I had 117. I was skimming a card list that had 13 Alchemy cards because it listed Potion in the middle of the Kingdom cards.

But wait... we've forgotten to configure the Black Market deck!
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jeffwolfe wrote:
There are currently 116 Kingdom cards, including promos.

116 choose 10 = 81,572,506,886,508

The thing about including 3-5 Alchemy cards is explicitly a recommendation, while the Colony/Platinum rule is not. Accounting for Colony/Platinum, you get:

156,718,112,493,723

That is, until Cornucopia is released.

Just to be completely transparent, I was making up my numbers for irony.

Maybe it would have been funnier if I had used a a bigger number, or did it on a site where "geek" is not in the URL. Maybe not.
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Jeff Wolfe
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out4blood wrote:
Just to be completely transparent, I was making up my numbers for irony.

Maybe it would have been funnier if I had used a a bigger number, or did it on a site where "geek" is not in the URL. Maybe not.

Yeah, your absurd number wasn't absurd enough.

For my part, I probably should have quoted the post above mine, because that's what inspired me to join in.
 
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Dave F.
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Well, deciding on the exact number is a moot point, perspective is more important.

I am 25 now, if I die at 80, I have some 20,000 days left.

With 156,718,112,493,723 possible combinations, I have to play 7,835,905,624 games per day to try every different combination. That's over 5 games per minute for the rest of my life and I'm not even sleeping, eating or doing anything other than playing Dominion!

It is true however that kingdom sets can easily be categorized into groups and there aren't that many differences per group. I would doubt that replacing Pawns with Pearl Divers has an astonishing impact on a high number of games.

Most kingdom sets are dominated by the cards with higher costs. A set with Goons will likely have most players rush to get one as soon as possible. A set with Laboratories almost always spawns a rush to get the most of them, Minions likewise. Games with Torturers and King's Courts can be really brutal.

The most fun games however have players going for different strategies. One player can go full throttle for Cities, trying to empty the pile to get a bonus and his opponent can try to grasp as many Provinces as possible before the City player shifts into high gear.

I'm sure Theory (with almost 1000 games on Isotropic) still has some a-ha moments every once and a while with certain sets. Moreover, micro-optimization becomes even more important in the upper echelons of the leaderboard. Let's assume you have $6 early and can get the first Laboratory or a quick Gold, which do you choose?

It's just like poker where during one hand you can have all the bad luck in the world, but you still have to make decisions based on the long run. You have to trust luck to even out in the end and at that point you will see those long term decisions paying off.

I would say you have barely scratched the surface of Dominion and encourage you to look harder and play some games against more skilled opponents. Why do you think Magic: The Gathering is so popular?


Some psychology here may also explain the finesses of learning something new. There are four stages of learning (excuse the bad translations, English is not my native language, Dutch is).

1. Unknown Inept: This is the stage in which you are just playing around, not having any clue about consequences of your actions. Things happen, but you do not know why they happen. When learning a new game, this is often what happens. I played Dvonn this week with a friend and beat him and don't have any idea how I did it. I was confused most of the time and just moved the pieces around in a seemingly random order. Only later I noticed some key moves I could win the game with, but how I came to that stage was pure luck.

2. Known Inept: You are beginning to understand you've been living in the dark for a long time. You are beginning to see that your strategy doesn't work against more experienced players even though you can't exactly understand why.

3. Known Adept: Your deduction skills have taught you that some early game choices gain long term effects which can help you beat your opponent. Chapeling those starting Estates to the graveyard and still beating your opponent while starting with a 3 point deficit was very satisfying. You have to think long and hard why certain choices are better than others, you learn by trial and error and try to remember what worked in the past.

4. Unknown Adept: You no longer have to reason why some choices are better than others. You blindly buy a Chapel on most opening turns if it's available and invest more in Laboratories than in Gold because your experience teaches you it's the right choice.


When learning new games, we often start in the first stage. Sometimes it's hard to understand in the beginning what a good strategy will be in the end. Only after having played the game one or more times you begin understanding faux-pas and sneaky tactics.

I would consider myself to be at stage 3, often reasoning and trying (and often horribly failing) different strategies and the leaderboard giants like Theory to be somewhere between 3 and 4. I don't think 4 is attainable in practice, since it's a somewhat perfect 'Bliss' stage, but it's what we strive for nonetheless...
 
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Vince Lupo
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charlesting wrote:

In other words, you WILL be spending LOTS of time studying these cards/fuguring out these plans because that's where the high replayability/addiction of this game comes from. But once you get it, the game becomes stale (it's what some of you are sayin')




It takes MANY MANY MANY plays for it to approach staleness. Also it's easily expanded by the many expansions that have come out that introduce all kinds of new cards.

But even without the the expansions it still would take a while to get stale.


Also, you can try setting up your set of 10 cards, or go fully random, or find a good list off the internet. And even playing one setup again multiple times, the game is different.
 
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Nate S
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The base set alone can get stale, but it has more fresh-and-new replayability (100 plays or so) than most other games I own. Since the release of Intrigue the game hasn't remotely begun to approach staleness for me, after 2000-3000 plays.

Davio wrote:
Well, deciding on the exact number is a moot point

Nooooooooo, you don't say? whistle
 
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