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Subject: Shocked - in the bad way, are we doing something wrong? rss

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Tom Roos
Finland
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Hello!

We opened dominion for Christmas and tried it out with my girlffriend and brother. All of us had heard that it is a very nice game and i know there are people who spend a lot of time playing this, so my bet is that we understood something very wrong. This is basically what happened to us.

We started our first game with the 10 card setup that is adviced for beginners. All of us figured out that the deck would need some speeding up, so we started competing on the draw cards. (FIRST CONCERN: It appeared to us that there are cards that simply are better than others for any tactic. This would give the starter of the game a very big advantage).
Anyway, when those draw cards were massed, we noticed another problem - if you take them, it´s very easy for someone to simply buy one of the lowest tier victory points and simply end the game by ending third one of the decks. If you don´t take those draw cards however (to make it harder for someone to finish), you´ll hurt yourself a lot.
Summa summarum, we found this version of the game last about 5 minutes and being simply a speedrace (who draws their dwar cards in the most sensible order).

As we felt that the game was so darn fast, we created a house rule - it doesn´t matter how many piles end, but the victory point piles have to be cleared instead. We also changed our card set to this game.
This brought yet another problem - we had feast, dungeon, village, smith and (caves? gives an action card double effect) in our pool. This game became a mindless race for these cards and anyone could go through their whole deck in just one turn easily. Turns lasted for several minutes and when those victory points became target, we could end those piles in just two full table rounds. We didn´t feel like our house rule worked very well, obviously.

So, here we are. Addicted to 7 wonders actually and played several nice games aswell during christmas, but left with a really odd feeling about Dominion. I´d love to know if we understood any of the rules wrong or has anyone experienced the same? We wouldn´t like to give up with this game just yet. Thanks in Advance.

- Tom
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Jeff Wolfe
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Columbus
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I can't tell from your description if you are playing any rules wrong, but I will agree that you can't learn anything useful about power levels if everyone is playing the same strategy. When we're playtesting a card to see if it's too powerful (or too weak), we always require that one or two people use the card and that one or two people avoid the card. That way, we have something to compare it to.
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Florian fL0w
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it seems to me,
you didn't play with the 1 action and 1 buy restriction -,-
else a game never ends in 5 minutes

the only card giving actions is the villages. but from your description it sounds you rushed for smithies. but with only one action you can't build mass smithies and actually use them
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Dave Goldthorpe
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Are you sure you're using the correct number of actions each turn?
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I've never even had a two-player game end in five minutes, so yes you must have done something wrong. You should describe a turn or two of your game so that we can see how you played.
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Chris G
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I would say based on your description you are definitely playing it wrong.

Turn order is play 1 action card, buy 1 card discard/draw back to 5. It's the action cards that allow you to do more in a turn, smith for example allows you to draw more cards into your hand. But if you draw more action cards you can't use them. You need certain combinations of cards to do multiple things.

Market for example if you play it you can draw another card and it gives you 1 more action so if you drew an action card or had an action card in your hand then you could play it.

Buying again you can by default only buy 1 card a turn. But if you had played market first you could buy 2 cards if you could afford them. Remember that when you buy cards you look at all the coins in your hand and spend it. So if you have 6 coins you can buy 1 card worth up to 6 coins. If you had 2 buy actions (because of market for example) you could buy up to 2 cards worth a total of 6 not 2 cards each worth up to 6.

Also it's important to note if a card says +1 coin you don't get to add a coper to your hand it just means that if you played say 5 coins that turn you count as having 6. You don't add a copper.

When it comes to running out the game buy, buying Victory cards it only ends if the Province pile is depleted. The other way the game ends is if any other 4 piles are depleted. So buying up all the Duchy's in and of itself won't end the game.
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brian
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I am going to throw out a possible guess here. When you buy a card, are you taking a single card or the entire deck of cards in that pile?

It seems to me that maybe you grabbed the whole stack of estates for 2 coin instead of a single copy. That would explain such a quick game and why choosing anything but a victory pile was so bad.

Something is off in your description as it does not sound like you were playing Dominion.
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brian
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kryyst wrote:
When it comes to running out the game buy, buying Victory cards it only ends if the Province pile is depleted. The other way the game ends is if any other 4 piles are depleted. So buying up all the Duchy's in and of itself won't end the game.

Game ends with 3 piles gone, not 4. Four is only a condition with more than 4 players.
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piotr s
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if cards don't give you action, you can use 1 of them
do you use 10 cards in each action pile?

if you have in your deck from top to bottom

gold gold copper Smithy Woodcutter Smithy Village copper

show me simple turn what you can do
 
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Jeremy Olson
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No game of Dominion should ever last 5 minutes, and no one should ever really be going for the low victory cards unless they have a specific strategy in mind. Also in our early game of Dominion (especially with the base set) the game almost NEVER ended due to piles, it only ended due to Provinces being gone. Also, while village cards are fun, chaining together actions is certainly not the only way to win, money is very important.
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Tom Roos
Finland
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Hello!

First of all, my apologies if i hurt anyone's feelings here - we really think 100% that we´re missing something, not that Dominion would be a bad game.

Thanks for all the replies, it gave us some insight (we indeed are doing the same thing most of the time, as we felt like we can´t beat someone who gets lots of draw).

One sample turn a bit later in the game:

5 card hand: Throne room, village, village, smith, smith. One plays two villages (draws 2 cards,3 actions left) plays throne room smith and smith (draws 9 more cards). This 11 card hand usually has a lot of more action cards (village, feast) and draw cards (dungeon, smith, village, market, library). When these cards are rotated, you tend to get enough woodsmen (+2 coins, +1 buy), feast (+2 action, +2 coin, +1 buy) and market( +1 buy, +1 card, +1 coin, +1 action) money to buy 20-30 worth of stuffm at which point you can buy entire piles of cards.
It could also be that we think this tactic to be super though and likely, someone more experienced would crush us with a different tactic.

Any insight is highly appriciated though.
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brian
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Blueblue wrote:
Hello!

First of all, my apologies if i hurt anyone's feelings here - we really think 100% that we´re missing something, not that Dominion would be a bad game.

Thanks for all the replies, it gave us some insight (we indeed are doing the same thing most of the time, as we felt like we can´t beat someone who gets lots of draw).

One sample turn a bit later in the game:

5 card hand: Throne room, village, village, smith, smith. One plays two villages (draws 2 cards,3 actions left) plays throne room smith and smith (draws 9 more cards). This 11 card hand usually has a lot of more action cards (village, feast) and draw cards (dungeon, smith, village, market, library). When these cards are rotated, you tend to get enough woodsmen (+2 coins, +1 buy), feast (+2 action, +2 coin, +1 buy) and market( +1 buy, +1 card, +1 coin, +1 action) money to buy 20-30 worth of stuffm at which point you can buy entire piles of cards.
It could also be that we think this tactic to be super though and likely, someone more experienced would crush us with a different tactic.

Any insight is highly appriciated though.

The question would be how did you obtain all those cards? Especially within 5 minutes. It is usually pretty rare to have a hand with no money. Also pretty hard to get up to 20-30 coin in the basic game.

So to make sure, your initial deck is 7 coppers and 3 estates for each player. You only have 10 sets of Kingdom cards with 10 cards each (excluding victory cards like garden, of course).

You play 1 Action, 1 Buy and modify from there. 1 Buy means a single card, not a whole set of cards.

You are paying 3 for Silver but only counting it as 2 -coin and paying a full 6 for gold but only counting it as 3-coin.

You discard your entire hand and all cards in front of you after each turn. You place a card you just purchased on your Discard pile and don't put it into your deck until after you run out of cards.
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Mark McEvoy
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Blueblue wrote:
(FIRST CONCERN: It appeared to us that there are cards that simply are better than others for any tactic. This would give the starter of the game a very big advantage).

Anyway, when those draw cards were massed, we noticed another problem - if you take them, it´s very easy for someone to simply buy one of the lowest tier victory points and simply end the game by ending third one of the decks.


Each stack has 10 cards in it (except greens that are 8 or 12 based on number of players).

Each time you buy one, you buy *one*. You add one card to your deck (by way of placing it in your discard pile). If I buy the Village on my first turn, I gain (to my discard pile, not my hand) *one* Village card. The stack still has nine more Village cards for other people to buy. The advantage of buying first is negligible.

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Thayne Weston
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Something is off. reread the rules, or even easier, get on isotropic dominion and play a game to see how the game works and if you missed some rules. Good Luck!
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brian
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Yeah, I am guess that since they are huge fans of 7 wonders, they may be collecting these cards they purchased and placed them on the table right away. Furthermore, they are not clearing them out at the end of the turn.

Sounds more like they are building a civilization instead of creating a kingdom.
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Jeffrey Speer
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It sounds definitely more like playing 7 Wonders than Dominion. Never had a game that ended in 5 minutes, myself. Where is the money coming from to buy these cards?
 
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Thomas Brendel
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And as a minor point: The card you're calling Feast is really called Festival. The card you're calling Dungeon is probably Cellar, but the Festival thing is more confusing because there's another card that is called Feast. (Trash this card, gain a card costing up to 5.)
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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In general, I do not enjoy playing with the Village card. It's not that it doesn't lead to interesting games -- it's just that most of my players get in this mentality that village is the best card in the game, and there's this needless rush for villages. It's a good card, and the village flood is a good strategy - but there are plenty of others and focusing on that one doesn't make for a fun game.

If its creating a problem for your group, simply swap it out with something else. If for no other reason than to try different things.

Once you've learned a couple other strategies, go back and see how it compares with the draw-everything strategy again.
 
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Vince Lupo
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When you buy a card, you take one copy of that card and put it in your discard pile.

From your description it kinda sounded like you were grabbing whole stacks of cards at a time.
 
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Jeremy Olson
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What are your usual end game scores?
 
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Ben Bateson
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While the rest of the thread work out which rules you're playing wrong, let me put in my 2 cents...

Quote:
(FIRST CONCERN: It appeared to us that there are cards that simply are better than others for any tactic.


This is 99.9% wrong. But you do need to get quite a few games under your belt to realise it. There is no card that is the perfect solution (although Chapel comes damn close). There is also no completely duff card (although Chancellor comes damn close).
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David Spitzley
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OOH! I think I may have it, based on a common confusion for new players: when you play the "Draw Cards", you are supposed to draw cards from your existing deck. You only take cards from the center stacks when a card says to "gain a card" or "buy a card".
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Tom Roos
Finland
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Heya!

Thanks for the replies again, i think i may have it. For card confusion btw, sorry for those - the game is in finnish, so i just translated those the best i could.

To the game concerns, i think it really simply is that we all think decks have to "swing" fast and we really seem to undervalue some cards, especially money cards. The 5 minutes was a bit of an exaggeration, but we´re kind of used to card games and play quite fast (especially when all of us thought to know the "only correct strategy").

Thanks for all the tips, we will all use different strategies for the next game (one doing the old, other going money, third maybe harrasment?) and see how it plays out - hopefully and likely it feels like a whole different game!

...and yes, we definitely need at least 5-6 games before i can say anything more.

Tom
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brian
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Blueblue wrote:
Thanks for all the tips, we will all use different strategies for the next game (one doing the old, other going money, third maybe harrasment?) and see how it plays out - hopefully and likely it feels like a whole different game!

I am still not convinced you have the strategy wrong but the rule set instead.

A lot of questions were raised on if you are even playing correctly. Can you please give us the courtesy to reply to the points raised? we took the time to help you out, it would be nice to know if we were correct in our assumptions.
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Vince Lupo
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Blueblue wrote:
Heya!

Thanks for the replies again, i think i may have it. For card confusion btw, sorry for those - the game is in finnish, so i just translated those the best i could.

To the game concerns, i think it really simply is that we all think decks have to "swing" fast and we really seem to undervalue some cards, especially money cards. The 5 minutes was a bit of an exaggeration, but we´re kind of used to card games and play quite fast (especially when all of us thought to know the "only correct strategy").

Thanks for all the tips, we will all use different strategies for the next game (one doing the old, other going money, third maybe harrasment?) and see how it plays out - hopefully and likely it feels like a whole different game!

...and yes, we definitely need at least 5-6 games before i can say anything more.

Tom



I highly recommend that you play it online and/or watch a video review.

edit: to make sure you're playing correctly.
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