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Subject: Rules of Thumb for Newbies rss

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Eric Clason
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These Rules of Thumb are normally discovered in the first few games of Dominion someone plays. Almost all of them have exceptions, which I don’t try to list. I avoided any Rules for specific Kingdom cards.

- Always play your Kingdom cards that give you more actions first.

- When discarding because of actions (examples: Militia or Cellar), discard Victory cards first.

- Usually no more that 1/5th of your deck should be Kingdom cards that don’t have +actions. Kingdom cards that do give +actions are exempt from this rule, especially if they also give +cards, because they allow you to play 2 or more Kingdom cards on your turn.

- You don’t always have to spend all of your coins.

- If you have 2 coins and there are no 2 cost Kingdom cards you want to buy, don’t.

- If you have 3 or 4 coins and there are no 3 or 4 cost Kingdom cards you want, buy a Silver (2 coin) card instead. As long as you have more Copper (1 coin) cards than Gold (3 coin) cards in your deck, adding a Silver card will increase the average coin total of your future hands.

- Later in the game, if you have 5 coins and there are no 5 cost Kingdom cards you want, consider buying a Duchy (3 VP) card. The closer it is to the end of the game, the more you should consider Duchy cards. Early Duchy cards can clog your deck though, so your first few 5 coin buys should be Kingdom cards.

- If you have 6 or 7 coins, you usually buy a Gold (3 coin) card.

- If you have 8 or more coins, you usually buy a Province (6 VP) card.

- Seldom buy a Copper (1 coin) or an Estate (1 VP) card.

- If you think the game is going to end before you will shuffle your discard pile again, only buy Victory cards even if it means buying an Estate (1 VP) card.
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Doron Blake
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Two things to add / ammend:

a) I would say you generally want to avoid buying more than 1-2 kingdom cards that don't give + actions, unless you have a lot of village type cards that generate extra actions.

b) make sure you buy money early. No matter what you are doing, you want to get a couple of silver (and hopefully a gold) within the first six turns or so.

Nice summary!
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David K
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- The thief is not as good as it looks.
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Myke Madsen
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KhyrosFinalCut wrote:
- The thief is not as good as it looks.


I might add: The thief is better than you think.

Clearly it's matter of expectations.
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Wot!
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HappyProle wrote:
KhyrosFinalCut wrote:
- The thief is not as good as it looks.


I might add: The thief is better than you think.

Clearly it's matter of expectations.

All the games we have played - the ones with Thief have meant most people start avoiding Silver/Gold, because it all gets stolen!
I am not sure what a good stratehy would be for winning in Thief games (ie those without Moat but with Thief)
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David desJardins
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twilightdruid wrote:
I would say you generally want to avoid buying more than 1-2 kingdom cards that don't give + actions, unless you have a lot of village type cards that generate extra actions.


Boy, I don't agree with that at all.
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David desJardins
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dwrigley wrote:
All the games we have played - the ones with Thief have meant most people start avoiding Silver/Gold, because it all gets stolen!
I am not sure what a good stratehy would be for winning in Thief games (ie those without Moat but with Thief)


Maybe if they just went ahead and bought silver they would find out it's not as big a deal as you think.
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David K
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The general Newbie reaction, as I have observed it, introducing many people to this game, is "oooh thief! Awesome!" partially due to the fact that it is one of the few really flavor-rich cards. In most games I have played, especially the ones involving newbies, the thief has been a wonderful deckthinner for the people who aren't playing it.

The thief needs a friend. Whether it's a spy to set up a gold snatch, or a bunch of gardens to make those extra coins do double duty for you. The thief alone (unlike say, a festival) isn't going to always help you. In most Newbies' hands, esp in newbie games, especially early game, the thief is just going to mess you up and make your opponents more efficient.
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Myke Madsen
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I got beat soundly in a game recently where I ignored thieves. In the early to midgame I thought: "Fantastic! You're thinning my deck for me!" and I jumped out to an early lead, getting to 2-3 Provinces before anyone else. But then my deck started stalling and my Gold was getting stolen... on top of that the person thieving had Gardens. In the end it was brutal.

Obviously I could've countered it much better than I did, but the point I'm trying to make is that I went into this game dismissing the Thief as relatively weak and left with a very different impression.
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Doron Blake
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DaviddesJ wrote:
twilightdruid wrote:
I would say you generally want to avoid buying more than 1-2 kingdom cards that don't give + actions, unless you have a lot of village type cards that generate extra actions.


Boy, I don't agree with that at all.


I feel this way because getting multiple "one-shot" actions is a great way to clog up your hand with stuff you can't use. Obviously, there are always exceptions, but one of the first things everyone in my group "learned" from our experiences was that we were buying too many actions (because they looked FREAKING AWESOME) and not enough money (because it looked boring and practical). Perhaps 1-2 is a little low for non-chapel decks; nonetheless, I think it's an important step in Dominion skill-development (or at least it was for me) to realize that non-action granting cards, +1 Action cards, and +2 action cards function differently from each other in an important, qualitative way, regardless of what other affects they may have.
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Myke Madsen
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How about:

It's pointless to buy a village until you have a few other action cards.
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David desJardins
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twilightdruid wrote:
Obviously, there are always exceptions, but one of the first things everyone in my group "learned" from our experiences was that we were buying too many actions (because they looked FREAKING AWESOME) and not enough money (because it looked boring and practical).


I have no problem with "advice for newbies" that says "it's not useful to draw more actions than you can play". I think most people would realize that after zero games, but certainly most people would realize it after a couple of games.

But, if you have 20-25 cards in your deck, you can certainly have more than 1-2 terminal actions. Especially if you include Moats, which might be somewhat useful to you even if you don't play them. OR if you have Remodels, which let you productively trash that extra action card you can't play.
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Myke Madsen
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Following what David said, I think it's more common for newbies to make the mistake of going for too many +Action cards -- hence my post about the Village.
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Kirkwb
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HappyProle wrote:
How about:
It's pointless to buy a village until you have a few other action cards.


Unless the Best strategy on the board with 4 players involves about 4 Villages.

My favorite is Village, Council Room, Cellar and Militia and all 4 players see it right away.

This is my favorite deck and for it work (Where you draw your whole deck every time) you need about 4-5 Villages, 2 Councils Rooms 1 or 2 Cellars and only 1 Militia. (You also need about 2 Gold and 1 Silver, to get to the buy 2 Provinces a turn state)

In a 4 Player game there's plenty of cards to go around except for Villages (if there's no Festival on the board). If I know I'm building this deck I will buy Villages early and often, there is no detriment to drawing them early even if you don't have other Action to go with them yet as they're "free" to play.
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David Murray
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I use the following "rukes of thumb" when teaching newbies:
1. If you have 8 or more coins, buy a Province.
2. If you have 6 or more coins, buy a Gold.
3. If in doubt, buy Money .

Of course their are exceptions, such as 6 cost cards like Adventurer changing 2.
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Bill Richardson
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HappyProle wrote:
I got beat soundly in a game recently where I ignored thieves. In the early to midgame I thought: "Fantastic! You're thinning my deck for me!" and I jumped out to an early lead, getting to 2-3 Provinces before anyone else. But then my deck started stalling and my Gold was getting stolen... on top of that the person thieving had Gardens. In the end it was brutal.

Obviously I could've countered it much better than I did, but the point I'm trying to make is that I went into this game dismissing the Thief as relatively weak and left with a very different impression.


Wow you just gave me a relapse of one of my games last night! I ended up getting 4 gold stolen from me by a single player wielding multiple thieves. He too went the garden route and smoked us all. The issue was that we were not playing with a moat so I had no real defense against it. Is there a way to get around a thief-heavy player with no moats? I'm still very new (5 games) so I'm sure I'm missing something.
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Timothy Hunt
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Divine Wind wrote:
Is there a way to get around a thief-heavy player with no moats? I'm still very new (5 games) so I'm sure I'm missing something.


There are a number of Action cards that provide coins, but are not Treasure cards, and thus unaffected by Thief. Examples are Market, Militia, Woodcutter.
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B C Z
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My advice:

Have a reason for every card you buy.

Don't underestimate the ability to remove or ignore cards you don't want.

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