Dominion Strategy Forum

Dominion => Dominion General Discussion => Topic started by: ackmondual on September 22, 2018, 09:15:24 pm

Title: What percentage of the game can result in "power turns"? "Mega turns"?
Post by: ackmondual on September 22, 2018, 09:15:24 pm
Of course, the Kingdom dictates what you can and can't do.
Unless we have actual definitions for them, for the purpose of this thread, I'm going to define them as:

"power turn": being able to buy 3 Provinces or more in one turn, or its equivalent. 
So swap in Colonies, "lessor" Victory cards if that works out better, or factoring in pts from VP tokens Events, and/or Landmarks

"mega turns": Being able to end the game, or close to ending it in one turn, from what would otherwise be considered an early state of the game.

I feel "mega turns" aren't that often, but yet, not that rare either.  I'm going to say, 15% of the games out there?

Title: Re: What percentage of the game can result in "power turns"? "Mega turns"?
Post by: TheOthin on September 22, 2018, 10:19:10 pm
Are we talking about hypothetically possible, or would actually be feasible in a game? 22 Gold and 8 buys lets you buy 8 Provinces in one turn, which a lot of kingdoms could allow but wouldn't really support against an actual opponent.

More realistically, a kingdom where you can feasibly Remodel multiple times per turn can get (or mill) a lot of Provinces at once.
Title: Re: What percentage of the game can result in "power turns"? "Mega turns"?
Post by: ackmondual on September 23, 2018, 03:02:38 am
Let's go with the more practical side.  I feel if we're doing hypothetical stuff, it would've been better in the "Puzzles and Challenges" board.  That said, feel free to cover either/both, but just make it known.
Title: Re: What percentage of the game can result in "power turns"? "Mega turns"?
Post by: markus on September 23, 2018, 11:08:23 am
Using my log database ( and 24,000 games, I looked at the maximum VP gains of one player during one turn. This is the resulting distribution:


There are close to 40% of games in which no player gets more than 6VP in one turn. And in about 10% of games, one player gained more than 18VP.
I would consider this as a lower bound for games with mega turns due to resignations (early and during the mega turn) and players not maximizing their VP gains once they have a win.
Title: Re: What percentage of the game can result in "power turns"? "Mega turns"?
Post by: jomini on September 23, 2018, 01:29:13 pm
Being able vs being wise are two very different things. Virtually any board that allows you to build a traditional double province engine allows you to build a triple and lose.

Consider the most basic engine: Workers' village/Smithy/Gold/Donate. Getting to $16 is 5 golds & keep a copper. You draw deck with a single Wv/Smithy and though a lot of green with Wv x2/Smithy x2. Going up to $24 is just 8 Golds. Argueably you need no additional Wv/Smithy as you have only one turn to draw the green. Picking up $18 worth of Gold takes a turn and a half. So you spend you first turn of potential "greening" buying 2 G and your second getting G/Prov. Your third turn would be a triple province.

You opponent does the traditional run - so they buy 2, buy, and then leave you high and dry unless you went first. If you go first, you still lose a straight 4/4 tie and it is much harder to Duchy dance.

Going for multiple provinces a turn is a way to save on draw/sifting costs. It is often very powerful because trashing is not always Donate fast so you naturally buy more draw before your deck is thinned and then the opportunity cost is less. Having the draw to reliably hit 4 Prov turns is a full province in its own right so you make back the draw investment quickly. Going to 3 Prov/turn first has trouble with your buy efficiency/turn going up only 50% from 2 prov/turn (instead of the 100% from 1 Prov/turn to 2). Secondly, carrying around that much buying power costs a lot in draw (either you need to buy draw for coin efficient golds or buy cost inefficient, space efficient action-cash).

So any board that can support 2 Prov/turn allows 3/turn but is rarely worth it; what changes it to being wise?

Cheap value gain. Take Mint. You can gain $6 a turn of value for one action/one card of draw. You can green, but while you do that, you can keep adding buying power mid turn. Likewise, Artisan and Iw can also support further build out - just by making draw cheap enough that you can keep gaining more cards, quickly. Any other sort of card explosion (e.g. Upgrade/Fort, Procession/whatever, Disciple) can likewise drop the opportunity cost enough to be viable.

High cost for holding green. Rabble is the typical example. Holding 4 Prov in your deck is brutal against an overbuilt stack of Rabble. I have routinely lost the Prov pile 5:3 or even 6:2 but buried my opponent in a wall of green as they try to make progress on 2 or 3 card hands. Of course there are other penalties for green. Cost reducers/trashers can just gut decks of green. Discard/Masq can seriously slow you down when you need to fire an engine off just 2 cards. Mandatory card actions can become highly risky (e.g. using Remake/Golem is safe until you run out of coppers/other dross to safely trash).

What I think makes for true megaturns are cards that allow for multiplicative effects. Two Trolls are more than twice as a good as one Troll; Hop typically can progress for 1 Potential province to 3-4 to 6-8 in just three turns as each Hop becomes maybe one support card away from a delayed Prov/Col. Even something like Kc/Forge can rapidly make or burn provinces. How many cards exhibit this sort of potential self-synergy? At least 10% of Dominion. Even more cards have various combos (e.g. Hermit/Msquare) that scale up very quickly.

My spitball is something around 50% of Dominion have a viable megaturn if your opponent does not counteract it.