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Dominion: Dark Ages» Forums » Rules

Subject: Bishop+Fortress and the game that doesn't end. rss

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Mike Young
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OK, so it is possible using Bishop or Monument to put yourself in a position where you don't buy anything but instead just get VP chips.

However, its becomes much easier with Dark Ages. If you can get yourself down to a deck of three Bishops and three Fortresses (or two Villages and a Fortress), you can get 9VP/turn. And you don't want to buy more cards as they will get in the way.

I dunno, maybe it takes too long to set up. But what happens if all players decide to go that route? What happens if all players set up machines that don't want to buy cards? The game will never end.

I suppose once you get to a point where people are just gaining vp chips and not buying cards you could end the game there and whoever is earning the most vp/turn wins (for example, 2kc/3monument beats 3bish/3fort beats kc+monument ties with 2bish/2fort), but I'd like to know if there's an official ruling?

Thanks!
 
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Buggy wrote:
OK, so it is possible using Bishop or Monument to put yourself in a position where you don't buy anything but instead just get VP chips.

However, its becomes much easier with Dark Ages. If you can get yourself down to a deck of three Bishops and three Fortresses (or two Villages and a Fortress), you can get 9VP/turn. And you don't want to buy more cards as they will get in the way.

I dunno, maybe it takes too long to set up. But what happens if all players decide to go that route? What happens if all players set up machines that don't want to buy cards? The game will never end.

I suppose once you get to a point where people are just gaining vp chips and not buying cards you could end the game there and whoever is earning the most vp/turn wins (for example, 2kc/3monument beats 3bish/3fort beats kc+monument ties with 2bish/2fort), but I'd like to know if there's an official ruling?

Thanks!
In theory, if it's completely even, then you may as well call it a draw.

Otherwise, in practice, with the exception of some setups, it may take too long to set up, and you should be able to end the game normally anyways.
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Ron Laufer
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The designer has addressed similar scenarios before.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/5148561#5148561
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4417360#4417360

The official rule seems to be:
donaldx wrote:
The players continue playing until they starve to death
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Derek Thompson
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Buggy wrote:
OK, so it is possible using Bishop or Monument to put yourself in a position where you don't buy anything but instead just get VP chips.

However, its becomes much easier with Dark Ages. If you can get yourself down to a deck of three Bishops and three Fortresses (or two Villages and a Fortress), you can get 9VP/turn. And you don't want to buy more cards as they will get in the way.

I dunno, maybe it takes too long to set up. But what happens if all players decide to go that route? What happens if all players set up machines that don't want to buy cards? The game will never end.

I suppose once you get to a point where people are just gaining vp chips and not buying cards you could end the game there and whoever is earning the most vp/turn wins (for example, 2kc/3monument beats 3bish/3fort beats kc+monument ties with 2bish/2fort), but I'd like to know if there's an official ruling?

Thanks!


More Fortresses and Bishops won't get in the way. I imagine those two piles would then drain. And my guess is that to get to this point, you'd need help of some other card that would be mostly gone, which the person ahead could then work on draining and keep the engine going.

It would take pretty bad play on both parties to get into a true gridlock like this.
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Mike Young
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aldaryn wrote:

More Fortresses and Bishops won't get in the way. I imagine those two piles would then drain. And my guess is that to get to this point, you'd need help of some other card that would be mostly gone, which the person ahead could then work on draining and keep the engine going.


Assuming you had nothing but bishops and fortresses in your deck, you would need to play 4 bishops to buy another bishop or fortress. And you start to run the risk of not being able to play all your bishops. For example, if you have BBBFF in your hand and play a fortress and draw a bishop, you can only now play two of your bishops on a fortress (or on other bishops), and that leaves you with 2 coins and 6 VP, whereas if you had BBBFFF in your deck then you can always get 9VP/turn.

You run the risk of diminishing returns as you buy cards, unless you specifically can buy 3 cost +card/+action cards, like Village, or Market Square.
 
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Donald X.
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Buggy wrote:
I suppose once you get to a point where people are just gaining vp chips and not buying cards you could end the game there and whoever is earning the most vp/turn wins (for example, 2kc/3monument beats 3bish/3fort beats kc+monument ties with 2bish/2fort), but I'd like to know if there's an official ruling?

I have never seen this be a problem, although it's not as ridiculous as the Thief scenario.

If someone is pulling ahead in points each turn then eventually they can end the game with a win. So that situation isn't a problem. In practice I would expect players to agree that the winner had been determined, but if the other guy won't concede you can rack up enough points to abandon the vp engine and end the game ahead.

If both players have the same engine you still might not be locked up. If it's 2 Bishop / 2 Fort and I'm a few points ahead, I buy an Estate. If you play Bishop, I trash the Estate to your Bishop (if you don't, yeeha). In this way I eat through the Estates, Coppers, and Curses and that's that. This plan could potentially be messed up by an Embargo on Curses already in place.

That doesn't take into account turn order. Let's say it's 2 Bishop / 2 Fort and all tied up as of the 2nd player's turn, and I'm first. Emptying piles makes me win.

Okay let's say it's 2 Bishop / 2 Fort and the player who went first is 4 points behind. If I run out piles I just tie. But wait. I go through emptying piles but save Estates for last. If you let me go through with this plan, I don't trash the 3rd-to-last Estate. If you buy one I buy the last one and win. If you don't I buy the 2nd-to-last one; now I have 6 cards but I am still drawing them all because Fortress draws a card and I'm guaranteed to have one in hand. So I can buy the last Estate and win and you can't stop it. So you have to do something earlier to prevent this scenario, such as running out the Estates yourself before that ends the game.

Anyway it's not a trivial deadlock, though it might look like that to the players if it came up. A key thing is that it's just four cards, so I can have whatever 5th card, and that card can drastically change things.

King's Courts / Monuments does not have any such tricky resolution. But that potential deadlock has been there since Prosperity came out and does not seem to have caused problems.
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Jeremy Lennert
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donaldx wrote:
Anyway it's not a trivial deadlock, though it might look like that to the players if it came up. A key thing is that it's just four cards, so I can have whatever 5th card, and that card can drastically change things.

2 Bishop + 2 Fortress is only four cards, but I don't see any particular reason you'd stop there. Why not an 8-card deck with 4 Bishop + 4 Fortress? Then you're getting 12 VP per turn, and there's no wiggle room left to buy and trash Estates without sacrificing your lead against an opponent doing the same thing (even taking advantage of their Bishops).

Which still doesn't make this worse than King's Court / Monument, but I don't think it's better, either. And it's probably easier to set up (since the most expensive card is $4 and the Bishops can trash your bootstrapping cards).
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Simon Kamber
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Antistone wrote:
2 Bishop + 2 Fortress is only four cards, but I don't see any particular reason you'd stop there. Why not an 8-card deck with 4 Bishop + 4 Fortress?


4 Bishop/4 Fortress may flunk (but is probably still a better average), but 3/3 is a guaranteed 9 VP.

It is still not a trivial lockout, and the world will probably keep spinning if there is no rule, but this scenario might actually occur under circumstances where both players have played to win, and neither are able to break the loop without less-than-even odds of winning.

My suggestion would be that if both players agree that the game is locked, call it a draw. Whoever is not satisfied with that result is welcome to try and break the loop.

EDIT: In reality, I would probably go for 4 bishops because that allowed me to, on a good turn, buy another Fortress, and thus improve my decks resilience to foreign cards. Eventually, I think 4/4 is even less of a lockdown because you can empty the fortresses without even harming your deck, and buying other cards to empty piles is more viable because of the higher fortress density.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Dulkal wrote:
4 Bishop/4 Fortress may flunk

How so? If you draw 4 bishops and 1 fortress, you play your fortress to draw a second one, play that to draw a third one, play that to draw your last one, then play all your bishops. Your hand only locks if you have 5 terminals at once, which can't happen if your deck only contains 4.
 
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Simon Kamber
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Antistone wrote:
Dulkal wrote:
4 Bishop/4 Fortress may flunk

How so? If you draw 4 bishops and 1 fortress, you play your fortress to draw a second one, play that to draw a third one, play that to draw your last one, then play all your bishops. Your hand only locks if you have 5 terminals at once, which can't happen if your deck only contains 4.


Hmm. You are right.
 
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