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Most dominion players notice early on that different kingdom sets have GIGANTIC effects on how the game ends up being played. This also means that some games will end fairly quickly, while others will go on longer.

What Dominion kingdom-card setups tend to lead to the longest games when all players are trying to win? What kingdom-cards specifically tend to contribute most to making games longer? Feel free to give specific setups if you like, but I'm also interested in what cards/combos make for longer games and why/how they do this.

I get that a player in the lead should try to end the game and win as soon as possible, making very long games highly unlikely, but there is still a strong variation in game length due to the cards used and I'm curious what cards tend to be in the setups that are toward the longer end of the spectrum.

Related: What Dominion kingdom-card setups tend to lead to the SHORTEST games?

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What problem are you trying to solve here? It seems you are trying to lead a discussion, which contradicts our faq. If you could restate as a clear problem to be solved, that would be great. –  Pat Ludwig Mar 22 '12 at 15:33
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closed as not constructive by Pat Ludwig Mar 22 '12 at 15:33

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2 Answers

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Alex in Paris is correct that cursing/attacking kingdom sets do tend to lead to long games.

Another variety that tends to lead to long games is kingdom sets that include good "engine" combos, particularly non-terminal ways to draw more cards.

Cards like Laboratory, Menagerie, Crossroads, Caravan, Stables, and Hunting Party can easily lead to everyone having a deck that draws dozens of cards per turn. These games don't take a long time in terms of number of turns (if everyone has a good engine piles will disappear quickly, in fact) but everyone's individual turn ends up taking a long time as they draw more cards they have to make decisions about.

When there's less draw power, players can decide what they'll do in advance and turns are quick. When they have unknowns (the next 10 cards they draw) things take longer, especially if the combos are tricky and require a lot of thought about the "correct" order to play the cards. King's Court and Throne Room combined with "engine" cards can particularly lead to lots of slow decision-making.

Additionally, including Platinum and Colony will usually make a game slightly longer as players are slightly more likely to spend time building a deck that can buy Platinums and then Colonies rather than focusing on Provinces or rushing Duchies.

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You only gain actions from Crossroads for the first one you play in a turn (but you get +3 Actions for the first one...) –  Powerlord Mar 22 '12 at 15:26
    
Yup, but that can still make for some ridiculous action chains especially if you've got a handful of greens to start. –  lilserf Mar 22 '12 at 15:38
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Basically, any card that denies opponents their resources (i.e. cards in hand) or pollutes their decks (e.g. curses) makes for a longer game because it is more difficult to buy victory point cards for lack of money or just forces an interaction that requires a decision in your opponent (i.e. this increases the time, not necessarily number of hands).

Examples:

Militia - reduces all opponents to three cards, also increases time by a bit.

Bureaucrat - forces all opponents to put one of their victory point cards on top of their deck.

Spy - cycles through good cards in opponent decks, leaving until only a victory point cards or useless card is left on top, also just increases time.

Thief - trash or steal opponent treasure cards, also just increased time.

Witch - adds useless cards to opponent decks.

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Thief can go either way. Since one of the coins is always trashed, if they flip a Copper (and no other coins) later in the game, it can actually help them. –  Powerlord Mar 22 '12 at 15:24
    
Sure but, later in the game, flipping only a Copper becomes much less likely if the person is buying Silver or Gold and either transforming Coppers with Mines or finding some other way to trash them. –  Alex In Paris Mar 22 '12 at 15:37
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