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Subject: In regards to non-attack Opponent affecting cards (ie Tribute Possession) rss

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J
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In regards to cards like Tribute and Possession although they affect your opponent people say they are not attack cards. I for one agree. Though you are affecting your opponent the card itself gives you no guaranteed way to affect your opponent negatively (I know the there are exceptions like thief which doesn't guaranteed a negative effect either and if you possess someone when they have a hand of alchemists they will be crying but I see these as edge cases). In fact most people say that the next effect of cycling random cards through your deck is positive. This works great in 2 player games where both players are directly affecting the other

That being said I've never understood why or liked how possession and tribute specifically name the person on your left in larger than 2 player games. It changes how good those cards are from one person to another but not by a means controllable by the user.

For example I had a game where the person on my right got a tribute early and then because of a heavy thief/pirate ship game I switched to a pure action strategy. It got to a point where the person on my right knew he was getting +4 actions whenever he played the card (game was going slowly). While not bad once I started getting point cards in the intrum when I was still making my deck better he had several turns when it wasn't useful at all to him.

If instead I was the only one buying dual card type than it would have been amazing for him but not so much for everyone else.

Possession has this even worse and is why I pretty much never play with it. If everyone is of comparable skill than this is not a huge problem but I personally go to a lot of public groups and play with friends who only play when they are with me.

In the case of my friends they more or less stated they never want possession in because they know there's a chance good chance that any of them will put together a really bad deck because of a lack of experience but that the person on my right can always count of possession being a good in not best buy cause I know the game a lot better than them. In a public game group we're constantly teaching new people so the same issue comes up (not that we should ever have possession in a game with new people to begin with)

That being said is there anything wrong with allowing possessing or tributing people to pick who they want the card to "hit"? I know Donald has stated that he doesn't want "targeted cards" but if it's not an attack does it really matter? Better people at this game might argue say that the person being constantly tributed/possessed has a unfair "advantage" but if they put together the best deck to be chosen like this they deserve their "advantage".

In fact responding to this card could be viewed as a targeted attack. What I mean is the person on my right buys a possession so in response I start investing in them. I'm basically making a deck that specifically weakens a card that the person on my right is buying. If the card could affect anyone you could say I was defending myself cause anyone on the table could use it against me but in the case of possession I'm indirectly targeting another player to make their deck specifically worse.
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Rob Neuhaus
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I agree with you that pretty much all of the seating order effects are ugly and inelegant. They are, however, beautifully simple.

Targeted tribute or possession seem fine and even an improvement for competitive multiplayer Dominion to me. I like how it improves tribute with regards to deck inspection. Someone flips an action, you leave it there so you can be guaranteed to get your action fork.

OTOH, I expect the purists to vigilantly defend every and all of Donald's design decisions.
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David desJardins
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allstar64 wrote:
That being said I've never understood why or liked how possession and tribute specifically name the person on your left in larger than 2 player games. It changes how good those cards are from one person to another but not by a means controllable by the user.


I think that's good, not bad. We call it "terrain". It's like the effect in a multiplayer wargame, where you might come into conflict with the player on your left or your right but not the player on the opposite side of the table for you. You might want to take into account what I put into my deck to some extent when deciding what to buy, and vice versa.

Quote:
For example I had a game where the person on my right got a tribute early and then because of a heavy thief/pirate ship game I switched to a pure action strategy. It got to a point where the person on my right knew he was getting +4 actions whenever he played the card (game was going slowly). While not bad once I started getting point cards in the intrum when I was still making my deck better he had several turns when it wasn't useful at all to him.


In principle, he should anticipate such possibilities and take them into account when deciding to buy the card.

Quote:
In the case of my friends they more or less stated they never want possession in because they know there's a chance good chance that any of them will put together a really bad deck because of a lack of experience but that the person on my right can always count of possession being a good in not best buy cause I know the game a lot better than them.


Hmm. I think this is backwards. When I know I might get Possessed I'm more likely to buy more VPs early and do other things that make those turns less valuable to the player who possesses me. I think having a player who knows the game better sitting on your left is something of a disadvantage, not an advantage, if you're considering Possession.

Quote:
That being said is there anything wrong with allowing possessing or tributing people to pick who they want the card to "hit"?


Well, it makes the cards significantly better (when they are already pretty good), and it eliminates all of the strategic considerations above (which I like, even though you don't).
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Nate S
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Possession and Tribute both become significantly more powerful if you can target them. They definitely veer toward "targeted attack" territory if you can do that. Examples (by no means exhaustive):

1. In a game with duration cards (or Alchemists, or Treasuries, or even Herbalists) I could Possess whoever has set up the best turn next hand, getting an awesome turn for myself and wrecking their next turn.

2. I can play Tribute against whomever is buying dual-color cards, or whomever only has one card left in their draw pile to deliberately trigger a shuffle before they want it to be triggered.

In addition to these issues (and others) you run into some very confusing scenarios with nested Possessions. Imagine a game where everybody's buying Possessions and Golems... you'd never know whose turn it was! I think the official rule is best just to avoid this kind of confusion.

I agree there are somewhat unsavory or undesirable effects inherent to the semi-targeted nature of Tribute and Possession in multiplayer games--Masquerade too!--but I don't think allowing them to be truly targeted is a good solution. And indeed, I don't have a good idea for how to ameliorate these effects.
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Nate S
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rrenaud wrote:
OTOH, I expect the purists to vigilantly defend every and all of Donald's design decisions.

I would invite you to start keeping this sort of thoughts to yourself.
 
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Tony Chen
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Play 2er.

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Hmm. I think this is backwards. When I know I might get Possessed I'm more likely to buy more VPs early and do other things that make those turns less valuable to the player who possesses me.
In a 4er game? You are just hurting yourselves relative to the other two players.
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Rob Neuhaus
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You take something that isn't an attack. Let it be targeted, and then it becomes a targeted attack. Now if you remove the targeting, do you have an attack?
 
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David desJardins
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
Quote:
Hmm. I think this is backwards. When I know I might get Possessed I'm more likely to buy more VPs early and do other things that make those turns less valuable to the player who possesses me.
In a 4er game? You are just hurting yourselves relative to the other two players.


I play with 3 players more often than 4.

But I wouldn't describe it as "hurting myself", I would describe it as "taking all factors into account in choosing from the set of available strategies". You have to judge how long the game is going to run, what other players are going to do, how it's going to end. The effects of Possession are just one more factor in that mix.
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Nate S
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rrenaud wrote:
You take something that isn't an attack. Let it be targeted, and then it becomes a targeted attack. Now if you remove the targeting, do you have an attack?

Your point being...? You would do well to spend less effort on being clever and more on actually laying out a coherent argument.

Possession and Tribute can cause bad things or good things to happen to the affected player. Targeting tilts the scales heavily toward "bad things" since you can often pick the player to whom it will do the most damage. I don't favor this since I think it would be bad for game balance, not because I unquestioningly follow some dogma about the evil of targeted attacks.

Being to the left of a good Possessing player is a disadvantage on many boards, over and above the disadvantage of being to the left of a good player in general. It can be used in many situations as a semi-targeted attack. I'm not denying it, just saying the proposed cure is worse than the disease.
 
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Dave Goldthorpe
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I think these non-attack cards force a decision on the player whose deck is used in resolving the effect:

1) Play for optimal vp which may give a big advantage to the player on the right
2) Play to reduce the benefit of these cards but gain less vp in the process

In a 2 player game this is a straightforward decision. However in a multi-player game the dilemma is that option 1) will give victory to the player on the right but option 2) will mean you lose to the other players instead.

There are more problems with targeting these cards though. I've had a game where someone swindled my swindler into an ambassador and then played a lot of possessions. In a 4 player game I'm guessing I'd have been the target of everyone's possessions.
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Nate S
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DaveGold wrote:
I've had a game where someone swindled my swindler into an ambassador and then played a lot of possessions.

Oh lord, that's the meanest thing I've ever heard.

Yet another reason to add to my "why I hate Swindler" list.
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Leon Zhou
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I think most of the rationale behind making Possession and Tribute non-targeting is that it's just more practical. Certainly with Possession; having to keep track of turn order with nested Possessions would be a major hassle, as Nate pointed out.

Donald mentioned in another thread that the person to your left is the one least likely to be shuffling during your turn, which is actually a pretty big deal when it comes to making game pace bearable (especially in games with Possession ).
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Jeff Wolfe
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Fun fact: For much of playtesting, Possession went right instead of left.
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Edward Montgomery
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ghorsche wrote:
DaveGold wrote:
I've had a game where someone swindled my swindler into an ambassador and then played a lot of possessions.

Oh lord, that's the meanest thing I've ever heard.

Yet another reason to add to my "why I hate Swindler" list.


I think it's one of the *funniest* Dominion ploys I've ever heard.

Obviously mileage varies.


I'm sharing this one at game night tonight. Not only it it sure to get a nice reaction, but if the opportunity arises most of us will attempt it! Just being able to say you did it once (or had it done to you once) would be worth it.
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Kevin Costello
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Targeted Possession would be an absolute nightmare and would make the card even more hated than it already is. People have already mentioned the rules issue of multiple possessions being played, but it would also create ridiculous arguing when someone is trying to decide who to possess.

You might like the arguing and mind games that go on when one person says "Please don't Possess me!" which would imply that they have a good hand and you should possess them, but they know that you would do that, so maybe they're lying, and then eventually after a lot of yelling, you just say screw it and possess some random person, who actually had a great hand and is now super pissed because you totally arbitrarily decided to screw them over. There are other games where this sort of thing might be appropriate, but I'd rather leave it out of dominion.

Tribute it usually wouldn't matter so much, but you're still adding an awkward new rule for very little gain. Whats worse, since a lot of people *think* tribute is an actual attack, you'd still get arguments and resentment over who you choose to hit with it. Even though it probably doesn't even matter at all, somebody is still going to feel like they're getting singled out and get mad when you burn their best cards.

Its just a whole can of worms that I want no part of. Even if everyone is a good sport about it and doesn't get mad or take it personally, its still going to slow the game down. Not interested.
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David desJardins
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kevincos wrote:
Tribute it usually wouldn't matter so much, but you're still adding an awkward new rule for very little gain. Whats worse, since a lot of people *think* tribute is an actual attack, you'd still get arguments and resentment over who you choose to hit with it. Even though it probably doesn't even matter at all, somebody is still going to feel like they're getting singled out and get mad when you burn their best cards.


Or the reverse, I've been counting and I know my last two cards in my draw pile are a Cellar and an Estate, and I'm shouting, "Tribute me, tribute me!"
 
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Patrick G.
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Honestly most of you are missing the most annoying non-attack card ever: Masquerade.
The depths of hell cannot contain my hatred for this card. I like to make a deck that has no extra cards that people can have, no fluff... just a lean mean colony buying machine. Masquerade punishes people who make decks like that.
Possession does as well... but I am usually the one buying it so I don't mind that one. :-p

Tribute is a non issues as it doesn't make you lose any thing really.
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David desJardins
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corkysru wrote:
I like to make a deck that has no extra cards that people can have, no fluff... just a lean mean colony buying machine. Masquerade punishes people who make decks like that.


Wow, that's like the best argument FOR it, ever. The presence of cards in the game is supposed to affect how you play. That's the whole point.
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Tim Stellmach
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allstar64 wrote:
In regards to cards like Tribute and Possession although they affect your opponent people say they are not attack cards. I for one agree.

You say "agree" as if it were a matter of opinion, when it's merely a trivial fact. "Attack" is a defined term in Dominion, and Tribute and Possession are not covered.
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ghorsche wrote:
Possession and Tribute both become significantly more powerful if you can target them. They definitely veer toward "targeted attack" territory if you can do that. Examples (by no means exhaustive):

1. In a game with duration cards (or Alchemists, or Treasuries, or even Herbalists) I could Possess whoever has set up the best turn next hand, getting an awesome turn for myself and wrecking their next turn.


I actually view this as a bid in favor of making possession targeted. 4 player game again if the person on my right early on is clearly investing in possessions (by say buying potions and money early) then I'm clearly going to avoid duration cards if I know what's good for me. Meanwhile the person on my left doesn't show any sign of investing in possession immediately. Now the person across from me has an advantage in that he doesn't need to worry as much about buying durations. True the person on my left can always switch and try to invest in potions if the person across from me is investing in durations but most people don't switch strategies mid game and midgame potions are usually risky.
If possession is targeted right off the bat then as soon as it's clear somebody is investing in them then the whole table is put into a high alert that durations are risky rather than just one person.

ghorsche wrote:

2. I can play Tribute against whomever is buying dual-color cards, or whomever only has one card left in their draw pile to deliberately trigger a shuffle before they want it to be triggered.

Tributing whomever is buying dual-color cards isn't targeting somebody for an attack. It's doing what's statistically best for you (by which I mean your benefiting yourself rather than picking somebody to hurt because you think they are doing better than you) which I consider completely fair considering the person to the right of Mr dual type has an unwarranted advantage in that example.
Flipping somebodies deck can also help them if they have a particularly bad hand at the time so this just falls into the category of "tribute is not an attack because though it can hurt the person, cycling their deck is usually a good thing and will help them sometimes too.

ghorsche wrote:

In addition to these issues (and others) you run into some very confusing scenarios with nested Possessions. Imagine a game where everybody's buying Possessions and Golems... you'd never know whose turn it was! I think the official rule is best just to avoid this kind of confusion.


kevincos wrote:
Targeted Possession would be an absolute nightmare and would make the card even more hated than it already is. People have already mentioned the rules issue of multiple possessions being played, but it would also create ridiculous arguing when someone is trying to decide who to possess.

You might like the arguing and mind games that go on when one person says "Please don't Possess me!" which would imply that they have a good hand and you should possess them, but they know that you would do that, so maybe they're lying, and then eventually after a lot of yelling, you just say screw it and possess some random person, who actually had a great hand and is now super pissed because you totally arbitrarily decided to screw them over. There are other games where this sort of thing might be appropriate, but I'd rather leave it out of dominion.

Tribute it usually wouldn't matter so much, but you're still adding an awkward new rule for very little gain. Whats worse, since a lot of people *think* tribute is an actual attack, you'd still get arguments and resentment over who you choose to hit with it. Even though it probably doesn't even matter at all, somebody is still going to feel like they're getting singled out and get mad when you burn their best cards.

Its just a whole can of worms that I want no part of. Even if everyone is a good sport about it and doesn't get mad or take it personally, its still going to slow the game down. Not interested.


These are by far the best argument in favor of keeping them the way they are. I forgot about how annoying nested possessions were cause I haven't played with if for a while. I also won't deny the anoyance of tons of arguing is an additional plus though that's more of a group to group issue rather than a rules/play issue.
That being said normally you don't play possession for other people while possessing them and any game that has both possession and golem in it is already going to be a nightmare. Still think that tribute should allow for picking though

timstellmach wrote:
allstar64 wrote:
In regards to cards like Tribute and Possession although they affect your opponent people say they are not attack cards. I for one agree.

You say "agree" as if it were a matter of opinion, when it's merely a trivial fact. "Attack" is a defined term in Dominion, and Tribute and Possession are not covered.


I say agree because there are several people who are of the opinion that tribute and possession are attacks and if I don't making it clear that I am not one of these people then the issue I'm trying to discuss does not make sense.
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Donald X.
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jeffwolfe wrote:
Fun fact: For much of playtesting, Possession went right instead of left.

Well. In 2007 and 2008, and for most of 2009, it went left. In late 2009, Wei-hwa pointed out that it created a political situation when the possessed player had Masquerade in hand in games with 3+ players. You decide to make them pass a good card or not to the player to their left, based on who's winning. If Possession goes to the right then this isn't an issue - you're passing the card to yourself, which is good for you and bad for them but not political. Then when I handed the file off to Jay, he changed it back to to the left because that's more natural.

The Possession story perhaps makes it clear how down on politics I am - I was willing in the end to change Possession just to get rid of that one situation. You can only maximize one variable, so if you want to maximize fun, maybe you will be stuck with politics sometimes. And in general you can't completely eliminate politics from games with decisions. But minimizing politics tends to make games more fun for me and is a top priority. Dominion has politics but sure struggles to minimize it.

And one of the ways it does that is by not letting you pick players to affect. That leads to politics. It may seem an unlikely situation that you happen to know that two players have say Gold on top of their decks, such that picking who to Tribute amounts to picking who to hose. These situations are still likely enough that they're a big negative for me. And I sure don't want to have to avoid making a card in the future that would create a political situation with Tribute. Any potential benefit to letting you pick for Tribute is just dwarfed by these issues.

There are cards in Dominion that can only exist if they interact with a specific other player, and if they're worth doing they specify the player to your left/right. They don't let you pick a player, because that might lead to political situations. I can avoid that problem by not letting you pick and it's so easy to do. If I had such a card that didn't look like it would ever be a problem I probably still wouldn't let you pick, just to be safe.
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J. Smith
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Donald:

Okay, so your philosophy is to remove political decisions from the game. Fair enough, but might we ever see some cards or mechanics to make things less seat order dependent?

One of the things I and my gaming groups really like is that in Dominion there isn't as much politicking for who sits where (unlike say Puerto Rico). Though, there still is some for some sets and first player advantage seems to be getting worse (this is just ancedotal). Would you ever consider something that,say, allows a player to reverse the flow of the game counterclockwise or clockwise? Alternatively would you ever make some cards that would reward a player in 3rd or 4th position to play? Something like a reaction card for +1 VP whenever you are attacked? The most decidedly imbalanced games have been ones where cutpurse, sea hag, embargo, etc. completely hoses the 4th player for the first few rounds.

Just curios what, if any, thoughts you have about adding variety to the anisotropic parts of dominion.
 
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Patrick G.
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Hart wrote:
Donald:

Okay, so your philosophy is to remove political decisions from the game. Fair enough, but might we ever see some cards or mechanics to make things less seat order dependent?

One of the things I and my gaming groups really like is that in Dominion there isn't as much politicking for who sits where (unlike say Puerto Rico). Though, there still is some for some sets and first player advantage seems to be getting worse (this is just ancedotal). Would you ever consider something that,say, allows a player to reverse the flow of the game counterclockwise or clockwise? Alternatively would you ever make some cards that would reward a player in 3rd or 4th position to play? Something like a reaction card for +1 VP whenever you are attacked? The most decidedly imbalanced games have been ones where cutpurse, sea hag, embargo, etc. completely hoses the 4th player for the first few rounds.

Just curios what, if any, thoughts you have about adding variety to the anisotropic parts of dominion.

Well actually things like Witch, sea hag and ambassador favor the last player in your example. The pile might run out by then. I would always be happier if the person to my left bought all of those cards.

Embargo favors the last person as well.
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Donald X.
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Hart wrote:
Okay, so your philosophy is to remove political decisions from the game. Fair enough, but might we ever see some cards or mechanics to make things less seat order dependent?

One of the things I and my gaming groups really like is that in Dominion there isn't as much politicking for who sits where (unlike say Puerto Rico). Though, there still is some for some sets and first player advantage seems to be getting worse (this is just ancedotal). Would you ever consider something that,say, allows a player to reverse the flow of the game counterclockwise or clockwise? Alternatively would you ever make some cards that would reward a player in 3rd or 4th position to play? Something like a reaction card for +1 VP whenever you are attacked? The most decidedly imbalanced games have been ones where cutpurse, sea hag, embargo, etc. completely hoses the 4th player for the first few rounds.

In general my rule is, that for cards that make the seating order matter (such as Tribute and Smugglers), it's fine if people grumble "oh man I wish I was sitting there," but no good if they actually want to randomize seating at the start of the game.

Switching turn order lets two players bounce the direction between them, thus locking the other players out. Not that I've tested this for Dominion, but you know, I've been around the rules-on-cards block.

Embargo? If I made Cutpurse today it would probably have a hand size limit on it, clumsy though that is, to stop it from slaughtering you in multiples. It can be too vicious on turns 3-4, and for some groups the only thing holding that back is people underrating the card.

I've rejected cards for being too favorable for earlier players, but I don't specifically try to make cards for particular seating positions.
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David desJardins
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donaldx wrote:
In general my rule is, that for cards that make the seating order matter (such as Tribute and Smugglers), it's fine if people grumble "oh man I wish I was sitting there," but no good if they actually want to randomize seating at the start of the game.


Some people prefer to randomize seating for almost every game, even when it's hardly relevant, while others think that's overkill even for heavily order-dependent games like Puerto Rico.
 
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