Looking ahead

We’ve decided to take a moment to ask the readership what you would like to see more of on the blog. General strategy posts, more card analyses, guest articles, annotations of sample games, or anything else — just let us know in the comments! We greatly appreciate the feedback all of you have already provided, and hope to make the blog even better in the future.

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51 Responses to Looking ahead

  1. Dominion_geek says:

    I like the card analysis, and think that should continue, but I would like to see more articles focused on thinking about a full set of kingdom cards. Strategy articles about how to analyse a kingdom set or full game annotations with explanations of why the players are choosing that strategy would be extremely helpful for players at the level of “I know that a couple of well-chosen kingdom cards will beat BM, but I’m not at the über-elite combo level yet” (which is me).

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree. I’d really like to see an assessment of a set of kingdom cards. Describe the plan of attack, then demonstrate how it worked (or didn’t) with an actual game summary.
      But don’t stop with card analysis or combos/counters that you discover. I got into a Sea Hag/Steward game with a much higher-rated player the day after reading the Sea Hag article and I attribute my stunning upset victory to what I learned from that article.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was going to write a proper reply but this sums up my feelings exactly.

    • theory says:

      Sounds great! I imagine this would work best when combined with a game log of a particular game where two people went for different strategies?

  2. Sarah says:

    I love the variety of posts on here. One thing I’m not familiar with is the league BGGDL. I know what the acronym stands for but know very little beyond that. Could you do a post giving more information? (Or maybe there is already some information out there about it…)

    • theory says:

      I can answer this without needing a full blog post. metzgerism runs a Dominion league on BoardGameGeek that you can find here. We play on the Isotropic server. Essentially you just register, then play other people with BGGDL in their name/status on the server. The games get recorded in the forum topics and at the end of the round get tabulated.

      • Axxle says:

        It might be good to have a full post about BGGDL though, just so people who don’t read all the comments and want to know about BGGDL can see it.

        I am definitely a fan of the card analyses. I’d love to see more.

  3. jambarama says:

    I’d like some general strategy posts about different expansions. Like – “top 3 strategies with base set” or “three strong combos with base, seaside, & intrigue.” Single card analysis is good too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the above, and would add only… more! I like all of the suggested content and am always happy when something new has been posted. Thanks for it all.

  5. Anon says:

    I think an article/articles dedicated to knowing when to start buying provinces… it’s always a delicate balance between buying power and deck dilution. It almost always seems like when my opponent buys first, he’s ahead… should I always be spending my first 8 on a province?

    • ;) says:

      i think its easy. just buy province EVERY time you have an oportunity:) (unless you have very good reason not to) i’m starting buying duchy’s and estates when there are less than 4 provinces left, and i think its generally good strategy

      • ;) says:

        i think counting VP’s in memory also helps a lot. just try beeing one vp ahead during the game;D i know its greedy algorithm, but its simple and works in most cases

  6. Nightwish says:

    I’d like a few articles on cards I have no idea how to make them worth it, like Conspirator, Navigator, Scout, Outpost…

  7. 1. I really like the card analysis
    2. I love to see more game analysis, the cards in real game contexts.
    The game session last night i went for “Sea hag” and “Village”-combo. According to my experience it worked well because …

  8. Bob dole says:

    I’m going to add to the calls of more card analysis and more looking at a set of kingdom cards in context, which is something that I find the card analysis to be lacking in at time.

  9. Philippe Rey says:

    It would be interesting to emphasize the importance of the number of players on cards power in a card analysis or full set of cards. On isotropic site, most games are 2p, but in “real life” playing with 3 to 5 friend is more common – and maybe more fun too – and strategy is very different at 2, 3 and 4 or 5 players.
    All cards that target all players, like witches, thieves, sea hag, etc., are more powerful when the nb of players rise, and a pirate ship gets more chances to hit a coin too.
    Sometimes I would play a completely different strategy at 2p as compared to 3 or 4p.

    Meet me on isotropic with “Marquis de Sade” nickname 🙂

    • theory says:

      Unfortunately, I play almost exclusively 2p games 🙂

      It’s hard — really hard — to be good at 3p and 4p games, not in the least because your opponents add a chaotic factor. In 2p games, your opponent’s mistakes only help you; in 3p games, an opponent’s mistake might hurt you because it helps the other opponent even more.

  10. Keith Grant says:

    1) I agree about the analysis of a 10-card tableau. I think that would be worthwhile.
    2) I’d also love to see a few articles on adjusting your strategy mid-game. Say you find something just isn’t working or something an opponent is doing is hurting your strategy more than you expected. If you find yourself is Situation A, here are a few things that might help get you out of it.
    3) More of the same! Keep the card analysis and combo write-ups coming.

  11. adf says:

    My favorite article so far has been the one about Silver. I’d love to see grand articles about major topics such as trashing, action chaining, cycling, and “remodeling” effects.

  12. Newbie says:

    The first thing that really popped into my mind was “I wish you guys updated once a day” I always look forward to new articles, because while I prefer learning on my own, outside help never hurt anyone. When I play on isotropic it usually lags like a mofo so I don’t have the requisite experience, which is why confirming some of the strategies I’ve thought up independently by reading this blog is pretty neat. And then of course there’s Talisman-Watchtower-Treasure Map, something I haven’t come up with (I didn’t know about Seaside at the time, but whatever), and you just know that this blog is an amazing source of information for newer, less experience players.

    This is where many might disagree with me; analyzing certain 10 card tableaus would probably be counterproductive, in a sense. I suppose there are certain 10 card combinations that would require special attention, or some that would be fun to discuss because of the possibilities, and I think that we should all be left to analyzing the sets of 10 by ourselves – imo, outright spoonfeeding would be detrimental to the development of a dominion player. I suppose you can make the argument that you can learn vicariously (i.e., say a post detailing the thought process that ultimately led to identifying the strategy chosen, etc.) but it can only help so much; at some point, people have to be able to put “unrelated” pieces of information in their brain, and make that quantum leap of logic when faced with an unfamiliar set of 10. It is what makes Dominion so fun and so challenging, imo.

    • Newbie says:

      sorry, edit: I didn’t mean to sound so grumpy about you guys not updating once a day. I know there’s still real life and all, so no worries 😀

    • theory says:

      Not a problem. I wish I could update daily as well; the problem is I can’t keep to that schedule. So given a choice between regular, but slower updates, or irregular, but faster updates, I’d rather be slower and more regular.

  13. susie says:

    On some people’s comments about the ten card analysis, that might be a lot to handle in a lot of depth, but it would certainly be helpful to look at which ones would be strong to open with and which ones to move into. It also might be fun to do a little quiz/challenge. Submit ten cards a day or two in advance of the post in order for readers to look at it (or play a game with those cards) and then post an analysis of them.

    Anyway, basically I love reading this blog so thanks for taking the time!

  14. Dekker says:

    I think it is hard to find good preconstructed decks on the internet where every card has its use and there are several strategies to go for victory. Maybe its an idea to collect and/or design decks which met these criteria and put them on this site. Or does anyone have a link where I can find preconstructed decks?

    • rrenaud says:

      This site is designed for building/rating custom decks.


      I’d wager that theory would be a lot better at random decks than pre-constructed ones and has mostly optimized his play for random decks. On the other hand, some strategies for the scenarios in the rule books could be interesting. The tend to be a lot more complicated and branchy (if opponent does X, counter with Y) than random setups and some of the cards that are usually really bad (say, Counting House), can shine in them.

  15. Tejayes says:

    I’d like to see something along the lines of a “This vs. That” feature, where similar cards are compared to see which is better in specific situations or just generally preferable. For example, is there a time where focusing on regular Markets is better than shooting for Grand Markets? Who wins in a fight between Mining Village and Worker’s Village? Or Bazaar and City? Heck, are any of those four much better than the simpler and cheaper Village? Are you better off choosing a Rabble over a Torturer, or the other way around? Is there any point to taking Woodcutter if Festival is also on the board? Is it always worth messing with a Potion to get Familiars over Witches? What about Apothecaries over Scouts? Etc. etc. etc?

  16. Arthur says:

    I like the individual card analysis most of all. Something I’d like to see would be analyses of each of the expansions, like a broad reaching essay on what they add to the game and how they changed things.

    • Anonymous says:

      Love the site, particularly the individual card anlyses. Really looking forward to hearing about some of my (probably mistaken) favourites or lesser favourites and gaining ideas about how they might be useful/ less useful that I’d not previously considered.
      An idea I’d throw in is to potentially have a forum on what ideas people may have for new cards and how they might be an interesting challenge or support to existing cards and their strategies or just completely new (e.g. being able to gain cards from the trash, taking card stacks out of the supply and so on).
      Keep up the good work.

      • rrenaud says:

        There are lots of variants discussions on boardgamegeek Dominion forums. In general, the discourse here is better than the discourse there, and in particular, the variant discussions are often the worst discussions on BGG. There are just lots of obviously bad and untested ideas posted, and in the spirit of keeping the signal to noise ratio here high, I’d want to avoid variant discussions unless we were guaranteed that people actually tried their ideas beforehand.

  17. Personman says:

    I really like the idea of generating and posting a (preferably random) spread once a week, having all this blog’s readers play it, and then discussing strategy for it, and we can all post game logs in the comments and discuss each other’s play.

  18. Tim says:

    I’d like to see some of the below (the more the better :P)
    1. When to buy VP
    2. How to manipulate around end conditions
    3. How to incorporate luck factors into your play (oh no! my opponent got a turn 3 gold! What should I do? Or ha. I discarded your gold with my Sea Hag. Shall I play more conservatively?)
    4. You name a play! Throw out a set and ask around how people will play. Share your own thoughts afterwards.

    Ex: How do you play a set with Steward, Watchtower, Talisman, Treasure Map, and Minion?

  19. Nimmy says:

    Blog is fine as it is.

    I would like articles specifically on both endgame and openings.
    As an example, when to start buying provinces/colonies, when to decide you will most certainly not see again the cards you buy…
    For openings, some example: If you start 5/2, is Mint/Secret Chamber a good opening ?

  20. Nimmy says:

    Also, it would be great if you could talk to the people at http://simulatedominion.wordpress.com/to elaborate and test some interesting strategies..

    • Frisk says:

      Things I’d like to see more of:

      * Long detailed articles about a specific card. (The chancellor guest article was pretty great
      * Top / Bottom lists. Not as meaty, but still fun to read and debate.
      * I like Nimmy’s suggestion to pair up with the simulators for some analysis
      * Diving into learnings from the isotropic log parsing by Nate would be neat.
      * Annotated interesting game logs (probably a side by side view of game log on the left and commentary on the right, with pauses throughout to highlight game state (deck makeup, and VP totals)), highlighting interesting notes: diverging strategies, areas of good luck (and why it gave you / the enemy an advantage), areas of poor luck, and interesting decision points.

      Things I’d like to see less of:
      * I don’t really like the “counter / combo of the day” type articles. They rarely contain new information, and are of limited utility if you don’t happen to play a game with that combination. With ~100 cards now, the chances of given combo appearing are on the order of 1%?

  21. Lost Alpaca says:

    I’ve been liking the Top 5/Bottom 5 lists.

  22. ;) says:

    since i read every single article its kinda indefferent to me:D but i would like to see more combos and card analisis. when you describe all the cards, maybe try whole games?

  23. DaleBraun says:

    As a novice player who is still trying to get his head around the mechanics and interactions of the cards, I like all the articles! I take advantage of the RSS feed and save each day’s article(s) for further analysis, which is why I don’t post on the actual forum.

  24. Tim says:

    Oh, and I forgot one more important thing:

    5. Some numbers! I think it is good to be quantitative.

  25. Kirian says:

    I wanted to second the analysis of a 10-card set… my suggestion would be to examine the BGGDL matches for games that are close, look interesting, and in which the players use different tactics, even if only slightly different. An analysis of the set and of the players’ actions would be quite interesting.

  26. Matthew Ryan says:

    More single-card analyses would be great. Combos and counters, while worthwhile discussion, are not as relevant just because a given pair of cards is in tableau far less often than a given single card.

    I like the idea of “talk about whole sets of kingdom cards”, but in a generalizable way. Like, “what do I look for in a tableau with no way to trash cards / no action-chaining / no good terminals / etc?” “How do I judge whether this will be a fast or slow game, and how does that affect my strategy?” “How to decide whether to buy potions or go potionless” could be a worthy topic.

    Also, the “fallacy of cycling” article was a fantastic correction to a common misperception. Several of the posts on this blog prior to that piece still commit that fallacy — it would be worthwhile in my opinion to revisit the older articles and amend as needed. eg “Attacks that give you Curses are blunted when you can use the Loan to skip over worthless cards.”

  27. joel88s says:

    Wow, lots of great feedback on this.

    I guess I would still feel individual card analyses are my top priority, maybe aiming in the direction of making the list complete or close to it some day. (That would certainly make it a fantastic resource for new players into eternity!…) There are still any number of times reading a post when I hit something like “Of course this maneuver is much less effective in the presence of ‘Turkish Bath'”, or “syncs beautifully with ‘Coffee Mill'”, or whatever, and I find myself immediately checking to see if there’s an article on those cards to help explain why. Of course I understand some are going to be a lot less interesting to write about than others…

    Maybe it’s my background as a chess player, but I also would enjoy seeing some annotated games, especially with comments about how early decisions end up affecting the overall direction of the game, something that’s still hard for an intermediate player like me to see.

    Finally, I’d love to see some discussion of ‘board analysis’, which is clearly such a big part of the game. It’s obvious for example there’s little point in building up huge money generating action chains when there are no +buys on the board. But too often I find myself becoming aware of something like this only as the game goes along, and realize I should have seen it from turn 1. I’d love to able to look at a new board and quickly wrap my head around which of the main elements (+actions, +cards, +buys, trashing, VP chips, etc.) are present and which are absent, and what the implications for strategy are, but I find this suprisingly elusive to do.

    Of course there’s no substitute for experience, and few problems that playing 1000 games won’t improve; still it would be interesting to read about how experienced players look at a fresh board and how they parse it out for themselves. You could use past games as examples, with the result justifying (or belying) the initial impressions; or just shake random kingdom cards sets out of your iPhone app and talk about what you see; both would be interesting!

    Thanks anyway for all the fun reading.

    • joel88s says:

      PS Just realized Matthew’s second point in the post prior to mine is exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of in my final one (just more succinctly put). 🙂

  28. lympi says:

    Theory, I hope you’re still reading these, I’m a little late to the game. I’m (mostly) reiterating points others have already made, but here we go.

    I was originally going to rally against annotated games, lest this turn into a website version of BGG isotropic log forum posts, but your first annotated game was actually super interesting, so that’s awesome.

    I’d like to see more guest articles (if only to make your life easier), either about big topics (silver) or single cards (Chancellor). I’ve even got a few ideas, actually.

    I think the occasional Dominion puzzle could be good (“here’s an eight card deck, generate the most VP in two turns,” that sort of thing.)

    I love the combo/counter of the day. I love the individual card analysis. If you could get on some sort of schedule (Monday: card, Tuesday: combo, Wednesday: annotated preview, Thursday: annotated game, Friday: strategy essay or guest article or puzzle), that would truly be the best of all worlds.

    Basically, keep doing what you’re doing, just don’t burn yourself out.

    • theory says:

      Man, I wish I could be on that writing schedule 🙂 Thanks for the feedback: I think I’ll make annotated games a regular feature, but they take up quite a bit of time and necessitate cutting back on other features.

  29. lympi says:

    Okay, yeah, maybe that five-posts-a-week schedule was wishful thinking on my part. Too bad that annotated games are such a timesink. I liked your first one, but I really like the individual card analysis and combos articles. I realize there’s only so many combos worth writing about, but there’s still like 80something individual cards to write about! Farm that stuff out. Hell, I’ll call dibs on Smithy right now.

  30. Aaron says:

    I’d like an article on treasure/action card balance. I always seem to have one or the other in excess.

  31. J.Co. says:

    I love everything about this site, so I only could ask for more of it. I particularly love the idea of a 10-card set analysis. Maybe give a new, pre-thought out set each week? Or maybe even random, just for the fun of it. Heck, you could a poll on which set people would be more interested in playing out of a given pair of 10-card sets.

    I’d love to see more topical articles. I enjoyed the write-up on the silver as well as the others. And I love to see combos and counters of the day.

    Other ideas:
    1) Hand/play of the week – kinda hard to do on a Web site, but describing the kingdom set and prefacing the play with what’s been bought, etc. could make for an interesting read.
    2) Topical story: Rules analysis – there’s plenty of ways to take advantage of a card that some people don’t think about. An example was drawing and discarding cards without putting said discards (like VPs) back in the shuffle because you waited to use the action card (I think the example was Cellar) until after shuffling.
    3) Topical story: What if? – I’ve seen people say they play the game differently based on what cards are available. What about a story on changes/additions to the game that would be interesting? Like varying the rules. What if bought VP cards didn’t go in your hand? What if the end-game rules were completely different? What if there was only one type of VP card? Thinking outside the box may lead to some interesting trains of thought.
    Or, what if there were only a couple of each kingdom card, and you buy only those until they’re all gone, then see who can get the most victory points?! That’d be an interesting alternate style.

    Just some crazy thoughts, but basically, keep up what you’re doing. It’s great.

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