This year, over 200 players entered to compete in the Dominion 2019 Online Championship. Only 8 players remain. This interview features RTT, who will be playing Quarter Finals against amoffett11 this Saturday, October 26 at 18UTC.
Congratulations again on making it this far in the Championship!
xtruffles: Can you tell me a bit about yourself? (Ie. where are you from? What do you do?)
RTT: My name is Tobias and I am 26 years old. I live in Berlin, Germany. I am already married with 2 kids (3 years old and 1 year old) and am working as a software developer.
xtruffles: You are definitely a lot younger than Captain looks. How long have you been playing Dominion and how did you discover the board game?
RTT: It all started Christmas, 2011 when I got Dominion Intrigue Edition as a gift. I used to like board games ala Catan as a Teen, but in my youth I was more into video games and lost interest for physical games. The first Dominion game I played with my sister took 2 hours since we both didn’t know what to do or what cards were good. I opened Great Hall, for example. I didn’t get why I would want a Scout or a Duke. Scout, I still don’t know to this day.-
xtruffles: What is your favorite and least favorite card?
RTT: Captain is one of my obvious favorites, but then there are Capital and Tragic Hero which I like for their strategic depth. Do you try to hold on to your Hero or pop it now for an economy boost? Do I invest in better cards with my Capital and get a lot of debt?
My least favorites? Well they are all on my ban-list now and I don’t even think Possession is a card that exists now. So I will pick a card I still play with as my least favorite: Ambassador. You rely a lot on where you find it in your opening draw and you often have to open 2 of them just to not fall behind in junking. When they collide you just cry. They make the games really long and you constantly have to build in a low risk low reward way to not die to the junking. Once you are sunk, there is no coming back. Oh, and I also dislike Rebuild because it’s weak but let’s people win every now and then by pure luck.
xtruffles: What do you find to be the most challenging card to play with in Dominion? Why?
RTT: If Develop is your only extra gainer but playing money is out of the question – man, that’s just a headache. Also, playing a Smugglers centric board is also very challenging. You have to constantly weigh the risk of them playing multiple Smugglers so you try to buy stuff thats not too beneficial for them to gain. Often thats just another smugglers. I think I shouldn’t give away any more of my weaknesses though, as my opponents might read that too!
xtruffles: Congratulations on being a card, Captain. Before the card was revealed to you, what were you hoping the card would be? (Action card, treasure card, attack card, etc.)
RTT: I asked Donald early on if it would be an attack so I could pose for it accordingly. It wasn’t, so I knew that much about the card type. It turned out the artist cut my smile anyways. It kind of had to be an action card I thought, since it was a person. And I wished it would be a strong card but not over the top like Governor. Well you can’t have it all.
xtrufffles: What are your impressions on the new promos? Church and Captain.
RTT: Church is a weak trasher and strong haven. You can spike huge turns with it, but like tactician you might have to sacrifice your current turn. It’s great if you build a deck with overdraw that you can set good cards aside for your next turn. But building like that is sometimes a losing play because it’s too slow. Captain is just a powerhouse. On the right board there is no card that’s better. Every now and then, it’s a very sad Captain without a crew though. I have tried running down key piles to stop my opponent who invested into captains. That didn’t work out too well so far.
xtruffles: What has been the most memorable Dominion game you have played? (Doesn’t necessarily have to be from the championship)
RTT: After playing over 6000 games on ShuffleIT Dominion Online alone, they are all kind of blurred for me. I remember some key moments people liked from my play like skipping a Peasant opening and going for Develop and Remodel. I think that was a World Cup game against Dan Brooks, but I might be confusing that with a match against Mic Qsenoch in League.
And the meme Dismantle, Masquerade pass against markus in League is another fan favorite. But really the most memorable games are the ones with Physical Cards. There’s just something about shuffling, drawing and playing cards in person that makes the brain memorize the moments better. Out of the real games I played the most memorable has to be the finals of the German Championship 2018/19 (the one that made me Captain). In addition to it being played with real cards, it was against a nice opponent (tuffteah). There was really something big on the line and the spectators stand right next to you all around the table. The board was nothing special but I still remember almost every card and many of the turns.
xtruffles: Other than yourself, who do you think will win the championship? Why?
RTT: Freaky is an exceptional player who has very high odds of winning it all. I think his strongest opponent is himself. Other than him, Mercury444F and drsteelhammer look very strong. This tournament hasn’t been shy of upsets though so anything is possible. Ospond is the big surprise to me, we will see how far he can make it.
xtruffles: You have been in A League for a very long time! How does playing in the Championship compare to playing in League?
RTT: There is a huge range in opponent strength. You might win your first match handily and become too sure of yourself and struggle hard in the next game. In League the opponents are constantly in your skill range so you know what to expect. Scheduling is also different. It’s sometimes hard to find a time in championship since all you have is one week and you don’t know your opponent beforehand. The pressure of being out on a single loss is also harder to deal with
xtruffles: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time outside of Dominion?
RTT: A lot of my spare time is occupied by my family really. I really love my two sons and can’t wait to dive into the world of board games with them. I enjoy playing video games on Nintendo Switch at the moment. Fire Emblem Three Houses is what I currently play and I spent quite some time on Mario Maker and Zelda before. I play guitar and sing but not as commonly anymore due to having little kids in the house.
xtruffles: What advice do you have for Dominion players looking to improve at the game?
RTT: insert mandatory Improve joke here 😀 Don’t be afraid to lose. Losing is often the best way to learn from your mistakes. And play against players who are stronger than you. You might lose a lot of games but from them you learn a lot more. Spectate high level play and discuss the strategies you see or think about with the other spectators. And lastly do your Homework.
xtruffles: If you haven’t, check out RTT’s Dominion Homework Series on YouTube! Thanks for doing the interview RTT!