The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Things I knew and didn’t need to have confirmed

A 30 minute game of Dominion online is excruciating.

Chapel, Cellar, Chancellor, Woodcutter, Thief, Spy, Throneroom, Laboratory, Witch Council Chamber. 3 Players.

And then I misclick on what should be the last turn and add 2 more minutes to the game.

“– Heavenly, Tao, scores 47 points, leaving the opponents no chance. (36:52 min.)”

Felt less divine to me.


Written by taogaming

January 5, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Session Reports

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4 Responses

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  1. 30-minute games aside, I think three-player may be the sweet spot for Dominion. With 2p, the players are usually trying to do the exact same things, and the game isn’t very interesting (once you’ve got a handle on the basics). With 3p, the interaction cards seem better balanced, there can be some competition for critical resources, and the alternate ending (three decks run out) is a more viable option. (I haven’t played much 4p; that seems too slow even online…)


    January 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm

  2. The thing that bothers me about 3 or 4 player is that there is such a huge disadvantage for going later in the turn order. There are several parts:

    1) Critcal cards (Village?) will run out more quickly, probably on somoene else’s turn with you getting less of them simply because you went later in the turn order.

    2) You are much more likely to get hit by a negative card such as Militia on the critical turns 3 and 4. For example, suppose you wouldve had $5 on turn 3 and been able to buy a strong card. If you go first, you have that $5. If you go later, then you get militiaed and end up with less than $5 and cant buy the strong card.

    3) Your opponents are likely to get more turns than you, resulting in them likely getting more of the Provinces.

    These things are present in 2 player, but they grow even worse for each additional player added, if you are at the end of the turn order.

    If the players are closely matched, the chance that turn order will determine the winner just feels so high to me in 3 or 4 player.


    January 6, 2009 at 3:13 pm

  3. >3) Your opponents are likely to get more turns than you, resulting in them likely getting more of the Provinces.

    I have taken to playing sometimes a variant where players get an equal number of turns, particularly if the game ends on Provinces (if ends otherwise this variant introduces some different behaviors than normal but still think worth it). Let later players in turn order get a final turn, with ‘virtual’ Provinces (or whatever card ran out to cause game end) available to them.

    One of the games last night I particularly wanted this. I was going second and the person going first played a Council room and then bought the last Province. Not only do the others of us get less turns but she gets away with playing the Council Room with no negative effect of giving out cards to the opponents.

    I have found this rule to be changing who would have won in a very significant percentage of games (like 30-40%) and seems just basically better to me, at least when it is Provinces that end the game. Even with this rule, first player is still favored as Alex says but it isn’t nearly so extreme.

    Btw, I almost never play on BSW so can do this but would be kind of nice if they made this an option online.

    Aaron Fuegi

    January 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm

  4. Hi, I am new to your website and to BSW. I have had a surprising problem with playing dominion online. I am not able to figure out where the final score of the game is posted. Can someone explain how to see that? Either as it happens or after the game is over? Currently the game ends, the screen pauses – at which time I can roll over a players name and it seems to show some numbers by the cards maybe how many the player has of each. After about 15 seconds a new game begins. I never see the final score. What am I missing? Thanks, Jeremy

    Jeremy Goldberg

    January 14, 2009 at 4:06 pm

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