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Dominion (the card/online game)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by RS, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Who plays and who is good at this game? I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent and good at games with similar concepts, but am failing miserably at this. Any tips/tricks? I read a couple articles online but if anything I am losing to the bots more often then when I started. I suspect some serious cheaterman during some games with the computer.

    Here is the online version-
  2. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    I play the card game a lot. Here are some random ramblings.

    I've always felt that Dominion is won at the onset of the game. Look at the cards, see which cards synergize, and keep getting them while trying to maintain the optimal card density of tools you need. Sometimes it doesn't work because of unlucky draws, but that's nothing to fret about. You look at the cards available, decide on a tactic, and then playing the game is a fairly thoughtless process. That's why recently I prefer playing Ascension or Quarriors, similar games but with some thought to be had while the game is going on.

    If there is a mess-with-your-enemies card out you can count that someone will try to win by playing them all the time. If there is a Thief and an Festival out, get Festivals instead of Gold, for example. They cannot be stolen. But also know that those cards that mess with others are uncontrollable, they harm others fairly randomly and sometimes luck is just luck, for better or worse. I don't like them for that reason, and if you build your deck considering that an enemy might be playing those, you'll probably fair better than them.

    Card density is what you're trying to balance through the game. Ideally, you'd have 8 bucks available to spend at the end of each turn. Having a lot of card draw makes this much easier. The same goes with being able to trash bad cards, for example using Moneylender or a mid-game chapel. Finally, at some point, you can reliably expect to have mulitple card draw cards available and miss actions. At that point you start getting +action cards, if any. Note that you don't need +action cards until you can assume to have multiple actions available.

    I won two games last night. One was a combo of Moneylender, Festivals and Smithys. Amazing card rotation on a small deck (e.g. high gold density) means that you get what you want every time.

    The other was a combo of Counting House and Worker’s Village, where I was buying coppers only, and as many as I could. My deck was half and inch tall by the end and had very little card draw, meaning that the discarded coppers remain available for a long time. Unless I was buying multiple cards, I would not play Worker's Village as I wanted to slow down the rotation of my deck and keep discarded coppers discarded for as long as possible.

    Hope some of these might inspire you to think about the game or some combos. Take your time to consider your options when the game begins and don't just grab a Silver. In my group we stare at the board for a couple of minutes until everyone has something in mind and after that turns go insanely fast with smalltalk on top. There's nothing to it once the game actually begins.
  3. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks for the thoughts. I agree/see that you have to understand what the set-up is and make a strategy decision from there (and stick with it). It also seems to me that if you don't have a balanced deck before early-mid game you are almost certain to lose.

    I've played Magic before I would like to think I have a good sense as far as managing deck density and make smart value choices based on what is left in the deck. However, in practice, I often find that I am short an extra $1 or 2 every round, that my deck is quickly clogged with curse cards, that my attack cards by mid-game aren't effective and clogging my deck, or simply that the bots get so much gold in the first 10 turns there is nothing I can do.
  4. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Yeah, it's surprising how efficient is the simplest Province-Gold-Silver-Skip play. It can be optimized in most cases, but the fact it's not that bad is discouraging. I've had a friend follow that routine while the others play properly and it's good.

    It's not a bad idea to juts drop the gimmicks and follow that routine with a few actions that would be beneficial to you every time you play them. No crazy, fancy recursion is required and it can get easy to get lost in a crazy combo that just misfires.

    It's easy to find yourself at that dreaded 6 gold mark. Mid game, keep investing into more draw/economy/whatever the deck is about. Late game, get a Duchy. That's why I like Prosperity, it adds cards to get at both 7 and more than 8.

    I don't like attack cards personally. They slow others down potentially but most definitely slow you down. In addition, they slow the game down as everyone has to stop and discard or something and make it less enjoyable for me. Finally, if there is a way to lose Curses (Chapel, Forge etc) they're the worst thing you could play.
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  6. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Province-gold-silver-skip play?
  7. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Not sure if that's an actual term. Just follow this routine: If above 8, buy a Province. Otherwise, if above 6, buy a Gold. Otherwise, if above 3, buy a Silver. Otherwise, just do nothing and rest assured that the next hand will have more money in it.

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