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The Coffers mat.

Coffers are the supply of tokens a player has on their Coffers (or Coffers/Villagers) mat, which can be removed during their Buy phase, before buying anything, for +$1 each. Coffers are represented by Coin tokens, which are also used by Villagers, Pirate ShipPirate Ship.jpg, Trade RouteTrade Route.jpg, and Sinister PlotSinister Plot.jpg. They were introduced in GuildsGuilds.jpg and revisited in RenaissanceRenaissance.jpg.

Before the second edition of Guilds, Coffers were simply called "Coin tokens", and may sometimes still be referenced as such.


[edit] List of cards and Projects using Coffers

[edit] Official Rules

[edit] Guilds

  • Some cards put tokens on a player's Coffers. "+1 Coffers" means "add a token to your Coffers mat." In a player's Buy Phase, before buying anything, that player may remove tokens from their Coffers for +$1 each.
  • Coin tokens are provided for this. They are not component-limited; players may use a substitute if they run out. The same tokens are provided in Dominion: SeasideSeaside.jpg and Dominion: ProsperityProsperity.jpg; they can all be mixed together.
  • Coin tokens being used in other ways, such as on the Pirate ShipPirate Ship.jpg mat for Dominion: Seaside, cannot be removed for +$1; just the Coin tokens on a player's Coffers mat.
  • Coin tokens come from the supply of Coin tokens, and return there; they are not taken from other mats or other players.
  • Coin tokens can only be removed from a player's Coffers in that player's Buy Phase (or when instructed by a card such as ButcherButcher.jpg); they cannot be used when buying a card via the promotional card Black MarketBlack Market.jpg.

[edit] Renaissance

  • Renaissance has mats for tracking Coffers, which let you save $ for later.
  • Cards say "+1 Coffers" to mean, add a token to the Coffers side of your mat. A token there can be removed in your Buy phase, before buying anything, for +$1.
  • Any number of tokens can be removed at once, each giving another +$1.
  • Coin tokens are provided. They are not component-limited; players may use a substitute if they run out. The same tokens are in Dominion: SeasideSeaside.jpg, Dominion: ProsperityProsperity.jpg, and Dominion: GuildsGuilds.jpg; they can all be mixed together.
  • Tokens being used other ways, such as on the Pirate ShipPirate Ship.jpg mat for Dominion: Seaside, cannot be removed for +$1; just tokens on the Coffers / Villagers mat.
  • Tokens come from the supply of tokens, and return there; they are not taken from other mats or other players.
  • Dominion: Guilds also has a Coffers mat, and uses tokens on it the same way. Early printings of Guilds said "take a Coin token" instead; in later printings, this is "+1 Coffers," and should be played that way.

[edit] Other rules clarifications

  • Buying a card via Black MarketBlack Market.jpg in your Buy phase stops you from removing any more tokens from your Coffers for the rest of that Buy phase.[1]

[edit] Basic Strategy

Original post by Polk5440

Coin tokens can be:

  1. Treated as virtual coin.
  2. Used for smoothing.
  3. Hoarded for big buys later.

[edit] Virtual Money

If you are playing an engine that produces X tokens every turn (on average), it's like you are producing $x in virtual money every turn (on average) in addition to whatever else your deck does. You can count on your overall buying power increasing by that much every turn thanks to Coin tokens. Your deck can usually buy a $3 or a $4, but also produces a Coin token a turn? Then count on being able to buy a $4 or a $5. Take that into consideration when making your buys.

[edit] Smoothing

Is hitting $2P the same thing as losing your turn? Is getting a hand that produces $7 only as good as one that produces $5? Consider saving a few tokens to make up the difference! How many tokens you need to have on hand depends on how critical the gaps are, how many tokens your deck produces, how many you plan on using every turn for virtual money.

[edit] Hoarding

Maybe the goal is to produce a large number of Coin tokens and go for one big megaturn (don't forget you need buys!) which ends the game. In this type of strategy, Coin tokens to some extent function as a delayed BridgeBridge.jpg or Horn of PlentyHorn of Plenty.jpg turn. When to pull the trigger and make those buys depends heavily on what you expect your opponent to do, too.

[edit] Pitfalls

Your goal should be to spend all your Coin tokens by the end of the game. If you are not hoarding and you find your Coin token total creeping up, 6, 8, 11, 15,... then you shouldn't be so stingy! Buy better stuff! You need to be treating more of your tokens as virtual money and bumping up your purchases to the next level.

Don't feel like you have to use your Coin tokens for their intended purpose. The Coin token you start Baker games with does not have to be spent on the opening. The two Coin tokens you get from Butcher do not have to be spent on Remodeling right now. You can spend 0, 1, or even 3 or more, instead! The Coin token you get from Candlestick Maker does not have to be saved. Sometimes you need to suck it up and treat your CM as a CopperCopper.jpg this turn. Think about what your overall strategy is and how Coin tokens fit into that -- don't think about where the Coin tokens came from.

You don't need to trash a card with Butcher in order to bank two coin tokens. Also, you can gain the same card you trash with Butcher without using any coin tokens (e.g. ProvinceProvince.jpg). Use this to your advantage.

When someone buys PossessionPossession.jpg, that is a good time to spend all of your coin tokens!

[edit] Intermediate Strategy

Original article by -Stef-

A coin token is worth slightly more than a coin, because you don't necessarily have to spend it at the end of your turn. For most of these cards you can imagine a variant that gives coins in stead of coin tokens, and you'd just have a slightly worse card. How much worse? That greatly depends on the kingdom, the game, your turn. The important thing to remember is this: most of the time you want to spend your money. You can use it to buy better cards, which in a turn or two will generate you even more money. So the most common case is that a coin token is exactly the same as a coin. If you don't spend it, it's sort of in your savings account, except you get a zero percent interest rate. Surely investing in your deck is better than that. There are of course exceptions, and that's where coin tokens get interesting:

  1. $3 + $5 could be better than $4 + $4. Sometimes you really want a more expensive card to kick-start your deck.
  2. $7 could be the same as $6. If there are no kingdom cards that cost $7, your coin goes to waste but your coin token doesn't.
  3. In the endgame it can be essential to buy multiple cards in one turn

Because coin tokens are slightly better than coins, they are also slightly more expensive. This is not actually a law of the universe but Donald made sure they are. However, for most of your spending power coins are just as good as coin tokens. You want to spend it anyway! So you should try to have the bulk of your money be cheap-ass plain old coins, while only a few in the form of tokens to provide you with all the flexibility you want. That is something all of these cards have in common: the first one you buy is the best. The second one is probably also ok. After that you need a good reason to go on. Of course this reason could exist, but that's card specific.

[edit] Mass Baker

This is just not a good strategy. The idea is to load up on a huge amount of coin tokens before you ever start to buy green cards, and then be totally unstoppable in the endgame. Although it is better than greening much too early, it's also far from optimal. You will lose to someone who starts the same but then mixes it up with cards that make more money. Spending $5 on something that makes $1 each turn is simply a bad ratio. Even something as simple as GoldGold.jpg + LaboratoryLaboratory.jpg (and that's really mediocre payload for a running engine) already has a much better payoff rate.

The only good reason to get more than a 2nd Baker is if they're free. Maybe UniversityUniversity.jpg gains them for you, maybe you RemakeRemake.jpg some FortressesFortress.jpg. A reasonable reason to get more is if you really like the cantrips (Scrying PoolScrying Pool.jpg engine).

[edit] Mass Candlestick Makers

This is very comparable to the mass Baker argument. But now the cost is not in buying the card ($2 is very cheap) but in drawing it. Even in a double TacticianTactician.jpg deck this doesn't really work out. Reasons to go on after the first two could be VineyardsVineyard.jpg, GardensGardens.jpg, or again Scrying Pool. But if that's not what you're going for - don't let the sweetness of your first Candlestick Maker lure you into buying a 3rd one, even if you have just $2 to spare.

[edit] Mass Plaza

Plaza is a village and sometimes you just want those. Maybe you can cheat (draw-to-X) and then Plaza is a really good card for $4 (in those decks the coin equivalent BazaarBazaar.jpg costs $5). If not, there is a reasonable chance mixing up Plazas with other villages is actually best.

[edit] Mass Butcher

This requires overdrawing your deck and a lot of extra actions. It's really rare that I take 3 or more Butchers. It's much more common that you want to maximize the usage of the first one or two you have.

[edit] Mass Merchant Guild

Don't go beyond your second Guild unless you think you can pull off the megaturn. You don't just need to be able to buy the 3rd, 4th and 5th Merchant Guild, you also need to draw them and have the spare actions to play them. Sometimes you can and then it's very powerful.

[edit] Endgame

Near the end of the game the value of coin tokens all of a sudden can go up very quickly. Buying a single ProvinceProvince.jpg may be losing while buying zero now and two next turn is winning. The tactical decisions involved can be very complicated, but in general it's something that is underestimated. Don't spend coin tokens near the end to get some extra components, unless you really know what you're doing. Feel free to buy extra CoppersCopper.jpg with Merchant Guild in play.

[edit] Trivia

Confusingly, Pirate ShipPirate Ship.jpg refers to its particular tokens as "Coin tokens"; however, these are only used to track its own $-production, and cannot be spent. This confusion was part of the reason why the term "Coffers" was introduced in the second edition.

[edit] Previews (Guilds)

The coin tokens are those metal things in Seaside and Prosperity. Guilds has cards that give you some, and then they’re yours, they don’t belong to some Pirates or anything. The significance of a coin token is, in your buy phase, before buying cards, you can cash in any number of coin tokens for +$1 each. That’s it, that’s all there is to know. They’re money you can spend later.

[edit] Previews (Renaissance)

Coffers are like Villagers but for coins. Bam. Also Coffers appeared already in GuildsGuilds.jpg, though it wasn't called that until the later printing. It's money you can save for later. You can only cash in the tokens before buying cards; they make +$1 each. Guilds originally said "take a coin token"; this set says "+1 Coffers."

[edit] Secret History

On my list of possible future mechanical themes, "tokens" was the easiest-sounding, so I went with that. There are a bunch of things you can do with tokens. My initial idea was to use them as money you could hang onto for later. This was simple and meant that any one card that used the tokens was useful by itself; there was no reason for anyone to insist on more than one token-involving card in the game at once, thus avoiding an issue that Alchemy had. The initial idea worked out and so there it is.

[edit] References

  1. A Couple of Buy Phase Clarifications

Cards $2 Candlestick MakerCandlestick Maker.jpg $2plus StonemasonStonemason.jpg $3plus DoctorDoctor.jpgMasterpieceMasterpiece.jpg $4 AdvisorAdvisor.jpgPlazaPlaza.jpgTaxmanTaxman.jpg $4plus HeraldHerald.jpg $5 BakerBaker.jpgButcherButcher.jpgJourneymanJourneyman.jpgMerchant GuildMerchant Guild.jpgSoothsayerSoothsayer.jpg
Combos and Counters Masterpiece/FeodumStonemason/VineyardCultist vs JourneymanPossession vs Merchant Guild
Other concepts CoffersOverpayNaming cards
Cards $2 Border GuardBorder Guard.jpg (HornHorn.jpgLanternLantern.jpg) • DucatDucat.jpgLackeysLackeys.jpg $3 Acting TroupeActing Troupe.jpgCargo ShipCargo Ship.jpgExperimentExperiment.jpgImproveImprove.jpg $4 Flag BearerFlag Bearer.jpg (FlagFlag.jpg) • HideoutHideout.jpgInventorInventor.jpgMountain VillageMountain Village.jpgPatronPatron.jpgPriestPriest.jpgResearchResearch.jpgSilk MerchantSilk Merchant.jpg $5 Old WitchOld Witch.jpgRecruiterRecruiter.jpgScepterScepter.jpgScholarScholar.jpgSculptorSculptor.jpgSeerSeer.jpgSpicesSpices.jpgSwashbucklerSwashbuckler.jpg (Treasure ChestTreasure Chest.jpg) • TreasurerTreasurer.jpg (KeyKey.jpg) • VillainVillain.jpg
Projects $3 CathedralCathedral.jpgCity GateCity Gate.jpgPageantPageant.jpgSewersSewers.jpgStar ChartStar Chart.jpg $4 ExplorationExploration.jpgFairFair.jpgSilosSilos.jpgSinister PlotSinister Plot.jpg $5 AcademyAcademy.jpgCapitalismCapitalism.jpgFleetFleet.jpgGuildhallGuildhall.jpgPiazzaPiazza.jpgRoad NetworkRoad Network.jpg $6 BarracksBarracks.jpgCrop RotationCrop Rotation.jpgInnovationInnovation.jpg $7 CanalCanal.jpg $8 CitadelCitadel.jpg
Combos and Counters None yet found
Other concepts ArtifactsCoffersProjectsVillagers
Dominion Game Mechanics
Turn Phases ActionBuyNightClean-up
Vanilla Bonuses +Card • +Action+Buy • +Coin
Tokens AdventuresCoin (Coffers, Villager) • DebtVictory
Other mechanics CallCost reductionDiscardExchangeGainOverpayPassPayRevealSet asideTrash
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