Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Dominion» Forums » Variants

Subject: Dominion: Retribution (redux) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Peter Williams
Australia
flag msg tools
Hi all,
A while back I posted an early version of one of my fan decks and got some great feedback and criticism. After a lot of mods and play testing, I think it's quite balanced now. So I present . . . Dominion: Retribution.






Some notes:
- The underlying concept behind Retribution is that it forces the players to make difficult decisions. Most of the cards have a benefit, with a sting in the tail. If you're going to get far, you're going to have to be prepared to take some hurt.
- I have designed Retribution in isolation, and it's intended to be played in isolation. Myself and my group dislike mixing expansions, and to balance the deck against all possible combinations of cards throughout the Dominionverse would be enormous.
- The idea of Curse Tokens (using the Victory tokens from Prosperity, just in reverse) was introduced after the initial testing of gaining Curse cards was easily circumvented via trashing. The tokens work really well (within the theme of Retribution, that is).
- Similarly I use the Trade Route tokens for Bail tokens.
- Several cards employ 'negative' money. We understand that if you have $0 or $1 the point is moot, so no need for extraneous descriptions on the cards.

That's about it! I intend to get the deck printed semi-professionally soon, so if you have any concerns or comments, please feel free to give them. Thank you in advance, and I hope you like Retribution.

Cheers,
Peter.


i have no autosig
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward
United States
New York City
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think several of them still need some work. For example:

1) How is Sewer not strictly worse than Steward?
2) Bodyguard seems like one of those vicious Reaction cards that is expressly disfavored, that end up with no one buying it or attacks.
3) Grave Digger is way too strong.
4) Virus is a worse version of Ambassador.
5) There is already a card called Oracle, and there is already a card that does what it does (Navigator) for cheaper and better.
6) Illusionist is going to lead to tons of rule problems. There's a way to do it right, but this isn't it. Just imagine its interactions with Feast, King's Court, Island, Horn of Plenty, Lighthouse, Herbalist, etc. etc.

EDIT: I see that you intended them not to mix with other expansions. I guess that solves some of the problems, but I encourage you to try to make it work with all expansions. Most of Dominion's depth comes from the limitless combinations available, so you should think twice before cutting yourself from off from all that strategy space.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Rudd
England
Bideford
Devon
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Hmmmm.

Orchard: when are the victory cards it refers to actually played? You'll need to alter the rules to allow single-type victory cards to be played with this. It also has some weird interactions:

Orchard/Harem: How much coin does the Harem give you when played? $0, $2 or $4?

Orchard/Silk Road (or Gardens, Vineyard, or Duke): No rules problem as such, but it'll take a while to resolve these.

Orchard/Loan: Can you still trash a card with the Loan?

Orchard/Quarry: Does the Quarry still lower the cost of Actions by $2?

Orchard/Talisman: Does the Talisman still give you a second copy of a cheap card?

Orchard/Royal Seal: Can you still top-deck the bought card?

...and so on.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DC
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
You may wish to be careful reusing the card name "Fool's Gold".
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew Spencer
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with the criticisms above, especially theory's comments.

I just wanted to chime in and say that those criticisms notwithstanding, some of these cards look damn good.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberta Yang
msg tools
There are a lot of major issues here. You've got a Reaction that hurts the Attacker, cards that gives -VPs, a card that cares how many VP worth of Victory cards (think about the problems this causes with cards like Duke, Gardens, Fairgrounds, Silk Road, Vineyards, etc), cards with unclear timing (at what time can you trash two Golds to gain Dowry? And from where do you trash them?), and cards that have the same names as real cards, all of which are considered faux pas - and that's to say nothing of the things that are just plain balance issues. For example, Sewer is just Steward except worse, Siliny Bauble is a super-Smithy for the same price, Virus is a weakened Ambassador that costs more, and Pyramid Scheme is just absurdly overpowered while Give and Take is far too weak to ever be worth buying (you could remove the negative side-effects without fear of making it too strong). And those are just a handful of examples off the top of my head; most cards in the set are just plain unbalanced.

I'm going to make to make two recommendations: first, that you read this to avoid problems like Bodyguard, and second, that you get more experience playing with real Dominion cards before you design your own, because this set just has so many balance issues that are so obvious to anyone familiar with the real Kingdoms.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Note: I'm reviewing these as if they were to be mixed in with the rest of the Dominion set, as I feel a Dominion expansion (fan or otherwise) should strive to do. If it is stand-alone, we have completely different balance issues to deal with which I do not claim to have the expertise of discussing (as I haven't played with this set).


Orchard
I think Jack has correctly surmised the problems with Orchard. There are too many Victory cards that do not have a set value and too many Treasures that also have abilities. How about something like this:
Quote:
Orchard
Action
Cost: 2
+1 Action
+1 Card

Discard any number of Victory cards. +1 Coin for each differently named Victory card discarded.

Still gives you a nice coin boost for having Victory cards in hand, but still works well with Treasures and differently named Victory cards. It's similar to Secret Chamber mixed with Scout... it allows you to cycle your hand a bit and gain something for worthless cards in your hand. It has a +Action/+Card to make it a bit more enticing than Secret Chamber.


Give and Take
This card is worse than many other cards in play. If I choose both Card options, it's worse than the Warehouse by a long shot, +2 Actions with Discard 3 Cards seems quite pointless and would leave you with only 1 card in hand if this was the first card played, and -2 Coin isn't appealing at all with either of the beneficial components. I think you have this weighted backwards:
Quote:
Give and Take
Action
Cost: 2
+1 Action
Pick one: +2 Cards; or +2 Coin
and Pick one: Discard 2 cards; or -1 Coin

Let this give an action outright, so it can chain better, and then let the person playing choose if it just cycles cards, draws cards at a coin expense, discards 2 cards for 2 coin (much like the Secret Chamber), or is just worth 1 coin. I think all of those options are decent, but not spectacular.


Smelting Pot
Good idea, but it should be worded similarly to Ironworks.
Quote:
Smelting Pot
Action
Cost: 2
Trash a Treasure card from your hand.

If it is a...
Copper, +1 Card
Silver, +2 Cards and +1 Action
Gold, +2 Cards and +2 Actions



Carnival
It's an interesting card. It's a very short term gain for a very long term penalty. You essentially double your Treasure output this turn, but are forced to deal with a load of Coppers. It would synergy well with Coppersmith and Counting House, but I've never found either of those cards to be that useful or effective.


Sewer
As stated by Edward, it is strictly worse than Steward, as well as Chapel. Perhaps something like this:
Quote:
Sewer
Action
Cost: 3
+1 Card
Trash up to 2 Cards from your hand.

This way, you can a card into your hand, and then have the option of trashing up to 2 cards. I also like the 'up to' part. It makes the card much stronger. I'd liken the above version to the Lookout. Small trashing possibility with some cycling as well.


Bank Loan
This is a tough one. It would be a nice early game boost for a single turn, but later in the game would be nearly worthless. You could also chain a number of these together and only suffer the negative side-effects once. Here's an alternate idea:
Quote:
Bank Loan
Action
Cost: 3
+2 Cards
+2 Actions
+1 Buy

During your Cleanup Phase, draw 1 fewer card for your next turn.

This prevents them from stacking. Looking at the card, it's actually an interesting counter for the Militia.


Merchant District
I like this one, but give it a standard +1 Coin to start. Otherwise, the first one you play is worthless. And, the bottom part should have a '+' in front of the 1 Coin. This make it even more evident that you gain these coins when playing the card (so future Merchant Districts don't increase the value of past ones).


Prospector
Draw 5 and discard down to 3? What am I going to use that +Buy on? Unless I have a huge income of virtual money (Festivals, Conspirators, etc.), it's not worth it. I think this one is way out of balance, and I don't have many suggestions for fixing it. Perhaps:
Quote:
Prospector
Action
Cost: 3
+1 Buy
+3 Cards

Discard down to 5 cards.

But, this could be abused a lot, if you were able to get your hand size down to a small amount. I'm not a huge fan of this card in either your form or mine.


Fallow Field
I think this one is fine. Not a huge advantage: it mostly just cycles cards from your hand, but can give some extra actions. I like.


Gaol
It's an interesting idea, but I think the Bail amount is too high. If you stack too many Bail tokens on one pile, it would never be purchased. I'd make the Bail amount 2 and leave it at that. Nice idea!


Fortune Teller
Look at Ironworks for wording and spacing of this card. (There should be a double return between your first two sentences, an ellipses after 'were', commas after card types, and the coin should have a '+' in front of it) Other than that, I like the idea. It's another version of the Tribute.


Industrial Quarter
Too much of a penalty for only +2 Cards and +2 Actions. If it was a permanent -1 VP, I'd still think twice about taking it. I know you posted you didn't want Curse cards, but I think one Curse card for taking this card would balance it out a bit more. The great thing about Curses is that they also clog your deck, making this card a bit less effective until you deal with the Curse card. And, I think this card needs a horizontal line in between the +2 Cards, +2 Actions, and the gain Curses/tokens part.


Grave Digger
Again, I agree with Edward. Way too strong. It nullifies your opponent's next two cards that they draw, and this disadvantage stacks. If you manage to play 3 Grave Diggers in the same turn (and your opponents had at least 5 Victory cards in their discard piles), you'd essentially deprive them of their next turn. Here's a more balanced idea:
Quote:
Grave Digger
Action-Attack
Cost: 4
+2 Coin
Each other player discards the top card of their draw deck, then searches their discard pile for a Victory card and places it on top of their deck.

This does interact interestingly with Harem, Nobles, Grand Hall, etc.


Bodyguard
Edward and Donald have stated it well. Reaction-Attack cards (which this basically is) don't work. Also, this card is completely worthless without Attack cards in the set (or without Attack cards being purchased and played by your opponents). No card should be completely worthless in a randomized set. I don't have any suggestions on fixing this. I think Moat and Lighthouse do this job well (without the 'attack back' effect, which has already been discussed).


Pride and Poverty
This is just a really bad version of the Wharf. In the game, your goal is to obtain enough treasure to be able to purchase the high-cost cards. This card goes directly against that. +2 Cards now and later doesn't do enough to offset that disadvantage. The idea of 'advantage counteracting disadvantage' must have an extremely strong advantage to be worth playing. Draw at least 3 cards both times for this disadvantage to be countered.


Shiny Bauble
Make the disadvantage only -1 Coin and make it draw 2 card both times and I think this is a winner.


Pillage
What happens when the Curse pile is exhausted? And, note that the Curse pile will be exhausted very quickly with this card (as you could dish out half of the curse pile in one turn easily). This card is again useless. Take a look at Witch. I think more than 1 Curse is asking too much for other players to cope with. How about:
Quote:
Pillage
Action-Attack
Cost: 5
+2 Cards
Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of his deck. They may either choose to trash those 2 cards or gain a Curse.

I think this has more of a Pillage-feel as well.


Virus
As Edward pointed out, it's a very weak version of the Ambassador. I have no ideas on how to fix this card without changing its inherent nature completely, but here's another riff on the title:
Quote:
Virus
Action-Attack
Cost: 3
+2 Cards
Reveal a Curse from your hand and Trash it.
If you do, each other player gains a Curse.
Otherwise, each player (including yourself) gains a Curse.



Tax Collector
I like this one, but don't forget that the Coin symbol needs a '+' in front of it.


Oracle
As stated by Edward above, it's a weaker version of the Navigator, Cartographer, etc. Here's a slight riff on this idea:
Quote:
Oracle
Action
Cost: 3
After your buy phase, look at the top 5 cards of your deck. You may either discard those 5 cards or put those 5 cards back on top of your deck in any order. If you discarded those cards, you may gain a card costing up to the total value of Treasure cards discarded this way.

It could give you an extra mini-Buy phase, if you want it. Or, you can keep the hand for next time.


Swamp Lurker
This is a very vicious version of Saboteur, a card I personally hate playing with. But, personal grudges aside, it's a good start. Let opponents reveal the top 3 cards and allow them to trash any card costing at least 1 to mitigate the damage it can cause.


Spiteful Witch
Again, put a '+' in front of the coin. And, I'm a bit confused to the wording of the card. Are you gaining a copy of the Attack card? If so, I like it. Here's how I would word it:
Quote:
Spiteful Witch
Action-Reaction
Cost: 4
+1 Buy
+2 Coin

----------
When another player plays an Attack card, you may reveal this from your hand. If you do, gain a copy of that Attack card; put it into your hand.

Or, if you intended it to work on the cards you are discarding:
Quote:
Spiteful Witch
Action-Reaction
Cost: 4
+1 Buy
+2 Coin

----------
When you discard or trash a non-Victory card, you may reveal and discard Spiteful Witch to gain a copy of that card; put it on top of your deck.

I dropped the cost a bit (it can't be 3, or it's strictly better than Woodcutter, but I think 5 is too much). I like the more general wording of the second one, as it can happen without being triggered by an Attack (so you can discard a card to gain an extra copy of it). But, to prevent discarding Provinces and gaining copies, it's non-Victory cards.


Illusionist
Great idea that needs some rewording.
Quote:
Illusionist
Action
Cost: 3
When you play Illusionist, choose an Action card in the supply; this card has the text and type of the chosen card.
----------
When you discard this from play, trash it instead.

I think that works around just about any card type (except maybe other cards that also changes where cards go in the Cleanup phase). Also, drop the cost, as it is a one-shot card. Otherwise, I'd just buy the card I want to copy.


Golden Age
I'm not a huge fan of this, as it just promotes a deck with one or two copies of this and a ton of Treasure cards. But, once you can afford this card, you might not need it. This card pushes players to play Big Money even more, and I don't think we need more encouragement to do that. I have no suggestions for this card.


Pyramid Scheme
Too much for one card. I see what you are attempting to do, but this is just too good in my opinion. It's considerably better than Laboratory (costing at 5) or Grand Market (costing at 6 with buying restrictions). I see what you're trying to do: use the numbers 1, 2, and 3 for the 'pyramid effect'. You can't make the +3 the coin, or it's quite a bit better than a Gold. Making the +3 the Cards makes it quite a bit better than most of the draw cards out there. Hmm...

Pyramid Schemes tend to be about cycling money: You invest a little and hope the people beyond you invest a little as well (in order to make your money back). It seems like a Mine. How about:
Quote:
Pyramid Scheme
Action
Cost: 5
+1 Action
+1 Card

Choose one: Trash 2 Coppers from your hand to gain a Silver; or, trash a Copper and a Silver from your hand to gain a Gold. Put the card you gained into your hand.

Or...
Quote:
Pyramid Scheme
Action
Cost: 5
+1 Action
+1 Card

Trash up to 3 Treasure cards from your hand. If you trash exactly 2, gain a Silver; put it into your hand. If you trash exactly 3, gain a Gold; put it into your hand.



Fool's Gold
+5 coins for almost a negative Province that I can never get rid of? No thank you. Look at Contraband. It is a Gold with a +Buy and has a minor setback. This is significantly worse in it's setback. Remember that your goal is to get points in the game, and this does exactly the opposite. Perhaps:
Quote:
Fool's Gold
Treasure
Cost: 5
3 Coin
----------
When you gain this card, gain a Curse.

You can get rid of the Curse later, which makes this a slightly cheaper Gold for a bit of a deck clog. (Note how here I don't use the '+ in front of the Coin. That's the standard for Treasure cards)


Dowry
It looks like your intention is to only gain this card by trashing 2 Golds. It's a bit awkwardly worded. How about:
Quote:
Dowry
Victory
Cost: 6
8 VP
----------
You can only buy this if you have 2 Gold in play. When you buy this, trash 2 Gold from play.

I have an inkling that the sweet spot for this one is at 8VP as well. I don't know why, but 9 is too close to Colony (and too far ahead of Province).


An interesting set. I'll subscribe to this thread if you have any other questions about these cards or my ideas. Remember, disadvantages can't outweigh the advantages or there isn't a reason to purchase the card. Also, the goal in the game is to earn points; cards that work against that are very difficult to balance. Hope my thoughts help!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dennison Milenkaya
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd echo the taboo of a Reaction that penalizes an attacker but more specific to the case of Bodyguard:

If that player's turn just abruptly "ends" then he won't be discarding anything from play now nor will he draw a fresh hand. Use game terms, bro.

...

Also, your original version of Grave Digger is just too powerful. I'd trim my deck down a bit, let someone get slightly ahead in the Victory points, then play three of these (super-easy with King's Court) and just laugh at his inability to ever do anything again.

Or maybe not because that wouldn't get us very far.

In fact, the whole set seems pointed at not getting anyone too far. But if these cards are meant to only mix with each other, then you may have built the Dominion stand-alone that rivals a game of Civilization in play time--and I'm talking about the live-action game of Civilization. It'd be way easier to just buy Silvers, Golds, and Provinces. I must agree fully that you want to make the cards attractive to buy. Your intention is to force some difficult decisions and I applaud that and the really cool artwork that you found for these entries but the only difficult decision I'd be making is how to cope with a deck that ignores 10/17* of the available card set. If the benefits are awesome and there is a small penalty, you are still exploring design space not often found in official cards.

* I'm not counting Coppers and Curses as attractive; some of these cards do look good enough to use.

(By the way, I'm often looking for a way to discard something from my hand for some reason or other. This isn't always a penalty.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lars Ericson
United States
Columbia
MD
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I just wanted to add that I always love see these fan-made sets. The original posted set has some interesting ideas and cards and is a foundation. The following posters are adding some great feedback. Together this could become a really good set that would gladly play with. Keep it up.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Williams
Australia
flag msg tools
Hi all,

Thanks for your feedback. I've made a few changes now, and left a few things the same.

Changes
Gaol -> reduced Bail to 3. Originally the attacker also had to pay to put the Bail on a supply, but this was removed, so it makes sense to lower the price. Needs more play testing to see if it should go down any further.
Oracle -> renamed Augur.
[NB: Fool's Gold hasn't been renamed. I've had this card much longer than Hinterlands has been around, and I can't think of anything suitable to change it to. Considering this won't go beyond my gaming group, I'm happy to leave it as is. The greater Dominion community may judge my soul as they will.]
Golden Age -> renamed Gilding. Only because my next expansion is called Golden Age.
Fortune Teller -> renamed The Gambler, because it was always that, I just couldn't find any artwork I liked. Now I've put in some dice which isn't great, but it's always been The Gambler.
Added "+" and otherwise tightened up the wordings here and there as suggested. (e.g. Dowry)

Not Changed
Give and Take -> I know this copped some criticism, but believe it or not it's actually a very popular card as is. It gets bought and used a lot. There are few options available for +Cards.
Bodyguard -> Yeah, I know. Begin flaming! And I'm aware of the Reaction-Attack faux pas, and I've read (and agree completely with) all the essays on creating balanced cards. We have collectively modified Bodyguard about 8 times, but when I sit alone in the dark and ponder the universe, I find that - for Retribution - it just fits. It is surprisingly well balanced and people like it. It adds a healthy element of fear and anticipation to the game.

General Comments
I have read all the criticisms above several times. I cannot argue or even counter them. I completely agree: if you were to mix Retribution with any other deck, none of these cards would ever get bought. You can take every card from this deck and compare it to all published expansions and you will always find something that is better. But that was the point. I wanted to make a game that wasn't easy. It makes you think about every decision, every buy. Retribution is simply a very difficult optimisation problem - you need to make sacrifices in order to make progress. It is the "Saw" of card games. It just has to be balanced within its own realm.

For those who dislike Retribution (and I can understand that!), please stay tuned and look out for Golden Age. I'll be posting the first edition soon. It is chock full of fun, happy times!! =8D

Thnx for the feedback.I hope you enjoyed a little bit of Retribution.






 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm sorry I misunderstood your original post. I wouldn't have put the time and energy into my response, trying to making this a truly great set, if you didn't want the feedback. There are some really great fan-based expansions on the Geek, and I can definitely see this being one of them. But, as it stands, it has many weaknesses (and a few grossly overpowered cards).

If your group enjoys them, I'm not here to say they shouldn't or can't find enjoyment out of these cards. But, I would bet I could win using just a Big Money strategy with a mix or nearly any of these cards. I would look at your playtest group size again. If you playtest these with the same people every time, I think you're not getting the feedback from your group that you need to refine this set.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.