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Subject: interesting variants? rss

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Joris Peijs
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I own Dominion and Intrige, both are ok games. We played about 10 games, and cameto realize that the decks looked alike alot... its always a matter of making the obvious combos or just buy the strongest cards.

We were discussing that it would be better to just shuffle all cards you own and make 10 random piles of cards. That means that useful cards will be bought right away, and you end up with weaker cards on top of each pile,... that may lead to people only buying gold cards and victory points cards.

This is a problem that can be solved in many ways, I'm just wondering what you people came up with (if anything) to keep this game interesting... I m very interested, bacause the game as 'meant to be played' will not hit the table very often in the future.

 
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Ben Bateson
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Joriz wrote:

and cameto realize that the decks looked alike alot... its always a matter of making the obvious combos or just buy the strongest cards.


I think this is the biggest problem.

If the most obvious combo, cards and - perhaps most importantly - timing of a deck is always 'obvious' to you, then you're a much better Dominion player than many I've met. I know many people who can identify a good combo, but not many who are confident that it's the BEST combo, or whether to buy a certain card on turn 3 or turn 4.

Unfortunately (for you), I don't believe that you have these magic skills after just a couple of games.
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Matthew M
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Moved to Variants
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Blorb Plorbst
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Buy other sets?

Between those 2 sets, games can be quite different depending on the cards drawn but you're right, Dominion feels like Dominion.

Buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy too.
 
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David desJardins
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The best thing for you would be to play with better players who would sometimes clobber you when you're doing what you think is "obvious", and then you'd discover there's a lot more to the game.

It's intentional in the design that sometimes some cards aren't very good in certain layouts. Letting those cards clog up all the stacks will make the game more boring, not less. There are still usually plenty of good choices, if you just play the rules as written. Try not buying the "obvious" card that everyone else has decided is the sure winner, I think you'll win far more often than you think.
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Maarten Robinson
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When we started, with Dominion [base] and Cornucopia we found that the different selected 10 kingdom cards were so varied that boredom was never the case. We did then buy the 5 promos and that provided an interesting extra dimension ... specially with Black Market, which was included now and again.

I know that I've said it before ... but if you want to add a certain je ne sais quois [spelling?] then get an expansion set in another language ... we've managed all the expansions now ... of which two are in Dutch, one in German and another in French ... and whomever it was that said that Dark Ages adds something extra special, was dead right.

Randomly select the kingdom cards each time and every game is different!

I reckon, though, that I'll be joining Dominion Anonymous soon ... it is addictive! But it's great and safe to play.
 
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Matt E
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CrankyPants wrote:
Buy other sets?

Between those 2 sets, games can be quite different depending on the cards drawn but you're right, Dominion feels like Dominion.

Buying only Silver and Gold is often virtually never the best strategy too.


Fixed that for you.
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Roberta Yang
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If everyone goes for the same strategy, then someone who went for that strategy will win. But that says nothing about how good or bad that strategy actually was.
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Matt N

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Joriz wrote:
its always a matter of making the obvious combos or just buy the strongest cards.


Joriz wrote:
I m very interested, bacause the game as 'meant to be played' will not hit the table very often in the future.


Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're not playing the game as "meant to be played". That is, you could certainly be following the rules correctly without trying anything more complex, but the game isn't that simple.

People who are learning often undervalue:
-silver
-chapel
-gardens

Plenty of other cards have depth that isn't observed; do you buy moat whenever you have two coin for instance? What about if there is an attack like militia and some other action card like library out? Do you get remodel as a defense when witch is out, or do you get chapel, or a cellar, or a witch?

Alternatively, just get expansions and see how obvious combos fare against each other.
 
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Michael Brandt
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CrankyPants wrote:
Buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy too.
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Richard Morris
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Joriz wrote:
This is a problem that can be solved in many ways, I'm just wondering what you people came up with (if anything) to keep this game interesting... I m very interested, bacause the game as 'meant to be played' will not hit the table very often in the future.

Actually most people came up with playing the game as 'meant to be played' because it IS ALREADY interesting. As others have implied, you probably do not understand the game well enough yet to realise how interesting it is.
 
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Joris Peijs
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Thanks for all the answers.

But it seems I made a mistake; I explained why I didnt like the game, and then asked for alternative rules. This must have been confusing because I didnt get any variation on the rules. Only people who try telling me how great this game actually is, and that I didnt really quite understand it yet.


Are there any fun variations??

Thanks
 
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Matt E
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Joriz wrote:

Thanks for all the answers.

But it seems I made a mistake; I explained why I didnt like the game, and then asked for alternative rules. This must have been confusing because I didnt get any variation on the rules. Only people who try telling me how great this game actually is, and that I didnt really quite understand it yet.


Are there any fun variations??

Thanks


Well, in the Dominion forums, it's only natural that you mostly get responses from people who like playing Dominion. If you want to play another game with Dominion cards, that's your prerogative. I recommend you look through the other threads in this Variants forum and pick your favorite.
 
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Simon Kamber
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Joriz wrote:
But it seems I made a mistake; I explained why I didnt like the game, and then asked for alternative rules. This must have been confusing because I didnt get any variation on the rules. Only people who try telling me how great this game actually is, and that I didnt really quite understand it yet.


It's not just that you explained why you didn't like the game. It's also that you proclaimed that your purpose was avoiding similar decks. If people are to help you achieve that purpose, they need to at least accept the premise.

I don't mind variants per se, but I do recommend giving it a few more shots. Dominion does have a 'blind spot' in your progression where you've started buying the cards that win you the game, rather than the ones that look interesting, but haven't yet reached the level where you realize just how interesting buying the cards that win the game can be. A lot of players back out of Dominion because they realize that big money and buying the most powerful cards is a superior strategy. That's a big shame, because there is yet another level above that.

Did that make sense?
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Simon Kamber
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michaeljb wrote:
CrankyPants wrote:
Buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy too.


But it is! In a game between (relative) beginners, using only the base set, Silver and Gold is quite often a winning strategy. It's not that there is no better strategy on the board, but it will be superior to trying (and failing) to find a better one.
 
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Joris Peijs
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Dulkal wrote:

It's not just that you explained why you didn't like the game. It's also that you proclaimed that your purpose was avoiding similar decks. If people are to help you achieve that purpose, they need to at least accept the premise.




I can see all replies are to make me have a better game experience with this cardgame. I'll give it a couple of more tries, who knows I'll enjoy it more.

Thanks alot.
 
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Matt E
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Dulkal wrote:
michaeljb wrote:
CrankyPants wrote:
Buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy too.


But it is! In a game between (relative) beginners, using only the base set, Silver and Gold is quite often a winning strategy. It's not that there is no better strategy on the board, but it will be superior to trying (and failing) to find a better one.


Just because a strategy is a winning strategy against people who are bad at the game doesn't make it the best strategy, or even a good strategy. Buying only Silver and Gold is pretty much never the best strategy on the board.

I like how you even contradict yourself in your post. You insist that it is often the best strategy, then immediately admit there will be a better strategy available. Can't have it both ways, dude.
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Jake Lj
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Dulkal wrote:
michaeljb wrote:
CrankyPants wrote:
Buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy too.


But it is! In a game between (relative) beginners, using only the base set, Silver and Gold is quite often a winning strategy. It's not that there is no better strategy on the board, but it will be superior to trying (and failing) to find a better one.


But it's not. The thing is, pure Silver/Gold is always beat by Silver/Gold + 1 or 2 card(s) with at least +2 draw, or silver/gold + 1 of any card with +2 coin and an extra effect.
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Michael Brandt
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Dulkal wrote:
michaeljb wrote:
CrankyPants wrote:
Buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy too.


But it is! In a game between (relative) beginners, using only the base set, Silver and Gold is quite often a winning strategy. It's not that there is no better strategy on the board, but it will be superior to trying (and failing) to find a better one.


(quite often winning against beginners) =/= (the best)
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Eric Matthews
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Jp,
Dominion might just have a short life with you. I find people either hit a plateau with the game or they start experimenting and finding some of the less obvious strategies for fun. Or they want more and more new cards and buy up every expansion.

I say try experimenting with cards you have ignored in in the past even if you know you will probably lose. And consider reading some of the strategy guides/sites like dominion strategy which have articles that discuss individual cards that may give you some thoughts on what to experiment with.

I say go ahead and try your random card variant to see if that reinvigorates the game for your group. I'm skeptical it will last more than a few games, because it will add a lot of luck to buying phase and will actually remove a lot of the stregic elements while shoehorning every game to be more like every other Dominion game rather than more different.

I'm also goig to agree with the expansion recommend as every box you don't own adds new elements you dot own. Of all the dominion boxes available, dominion and intrigue are the most alike, as both are made to be introductions to the game.

If you really love the mixed up decks variant you might want to try Arcana which does this, but with bidding instead of buying new cards. Also Thunderstone with the Epic variant does this in a "smart" rather than random way.

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D Stu
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When every game feels the same you have definitely not discovered the whole game yet.
There are at least 4 completely different modes on how to play a board, and every one of it played differently if your opponent follows you in hit or choses a different one.
Cards that seems weak when one only considers one or two of them are usually strong in another mode.

And of course, you have to adopt to every board.
 
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Simon Kamber
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michaeljb wrote:
(quite often winning against beginners) =/= (the best)

Ok. Let me reword:

Big money is quite often the best strategy a player with 10 games under his belt is able to play. That means that this player, if he chose another strategy while playing opponents of similar experience, would most likely lose.

Yes, a player with 100 games clocked could easily trash him. That doesn't change the fact that the beginners best shot at winning is Big Money, and that this can get quite stale rather quickly.

I'd argue that it takes a playcount in the triple digits to reach the point where your odds of winning improve by going with an engine strategy in the first game setup (assuming you didn't read the DS article on how to build the first game engine).

So yes, you can tell players that what they do is not the best strategy, because a complex, tuned and simulated engine can do better. You can also tell a beginning golfer that the best way to play a hole is to drive 200 yards across the water. That doesn't change the fact that given their abilities, it will not be a good strategy 'for them'.

EDIT: Admittedly, the 'first game' setup is not ideal for engines. On a lot of other boards, the threshold for successful engine play is much lower. But these boards are not nearly as common in the base game as they are with later expansions.
 
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Michael Brandt
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Dulkal wrote:
michaeljb wrote:
(quite often winning against beginners) =/= (the best)

Ok. Let me reword:

Big money is quite often the best strategy a player with 10 games under his belt is able to play. That means that this player, if he chose another strategy while playing opponents of similar experience, would most likely lose.

Yes, a player with 100 games clocked could easily trash him. That doesn't change the fact that the beginners best shot at winning is Big Money, and that this can get quite stale rather quickly.

I'd argue that it takes a playcount in the triple digits to reach the point where your odds of winning improve by going with an engine strategy in the first game setup (assuming you didn't read the DS article on how to build the first game engine).

So yes, you can tell players that what they do is not the best strategy, because a complex, tuned and simulated engine can do better. You can also tell a beginning golfer that the best way to play a hole is to drive 200 yards across the water. That doesn't change the fact that given their abilities, it will not be a good strategy 'for them'.

EDIT: Admittedly, the 'first game' setup is not ideal for engines. On a lot of other boards, the threshold for successful engine play is much lower. But these boards are not nearly as common in the base game as they are with later expansions.


I wasn't beating my head against the wall at the idea that Big Money is better than what a standard beginner can do; the post I quoted simply said that buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy. Was I supposed to infer that CrankyPants was only talking about beginners? There was just no reason for me to make that leap.

And you don't even need a fine tuned engine to beat buying only Silver and Gold; BM+X or BM+a few will beat BM most of the time on most boards. Sometimes a Big Money-focused deck will be better/faster than any engine on the board, but again, saying that is not the same as saying "buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy."
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CrankyPants wrote:
Buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy too.


I've noticed that buying Provinces in addition to these silvers and golds increases dramatically the success of this strategy.
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Bruno
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senseless wrote:
CrankyPants wrote:
Buying only Silver and Gold is often the best strategy too.


I've noticed that buying Provinces in addition to these silvers and golds increases dramatically the success of this strategy.


Yes, absolutely.

Also, for best results, avoid getting Curses at all costs.
 
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