# Dominion Strategy Forum

## Dominion => Dominion General Discussion => Topic started by: Raeven on June 15, 2011, 05:23:25 pm

Title: Card Counting Strategies
Post by: Raeven on June 15, 2011, 05:23:25 pm
Anybody have little tricks that they use to count cards during the game?  I'm pretty good at keeping track of the victory card count in a 2 player game, but that's the easy stuff.

What I'm interested in is a way to keep track of the per card value of your deck.  I tried a +/- system that sort of works but that is hard to keep track of.  The rules are pretty basic and the math is distorted, but it can give a rough approximation of deck value:

Each card starts with a -1
For each +cash, you give a +1
For each +card, you give a +1 (because it means the card replaces itself)

Thus, the opening deck starts as a -3 (3 estates = -3; 7 coppers = -7+7 = 0)

If you were to buy silvers on your first 3 turns then the deck would then be a 0, which essentially means that your average card value is 1 (3 estates = -3; 7 coppers = -7+7 = 0; 3 silvers = -3+6 = +3)

If you were to buy villages on your first 3 turns then the deck would still be a -3 (3 estates = -3; 7 coppers = -7+7 = 0; 3 villages = -3+3 = 0)

If you were to buy saboteurs on your first 3 turns then the deck would be a -6 (3 estates = -3; 7 coppers = -7+7 = 0; 3 saboteurs = -3)

To figure out the average card value of your deck, you divide the +/- difference from zero by the total number of cards in your deck and add 1. (so the above examples would be 0.7, 1.0, .77 and .54)

The problem with this approach is that it's not complicated enough to be truly accurate, and it's not easy enough to be executable on the fly.

Another weakness is that +cards shouldn't really count as a +1 because its effect is not linear (+cards is more valuable the more monetarily valuable your deck already is).
Title: Re: Card Counting Strategies
Post by: Thisisnotasmile on June 15, 2011, 05:31:53 pm
If you were to buy saboteurs on your first 3 turns then the deck would be a -6 (3 estates = -3; 7 coppers = -7+7 = 0; 3 saboteurs = -3) you would be cheating.

Fixed that for you. But yeah, that seems like a pretty good system. You don't want to make a counting system that goes into too much detail, afterall it's only a 20-30 min card game (and even quicker online).
Title: Re: Card Counting Strategies
Post by: theory on June 15, 2011, 06:40:55 pm
Plus you have to deal with the fact that Smithy is really twice as good as Moat, but Lab is more valuable than either of them.

I suggest keeping track of your opponent's power cards.  It can be helpful in the late game to know that so-and-so can't buy the last Province because all his Golds are already in the discard.
Title: Re: Card Counting Strategies
Post by: Axe Knight on June 15, 2011, 11:58:11 pm
I suggest keeping track of your opponent's power cards.  It can be helpful in the late game to know that so-and-so can't buy the last Province because all his Golds are already in the discard.

I agree with this 110%, and I've always done the same thing.  It's led to some very judicious use of cards like Scout and Apothecary when I know that a Saboteur or Possession is coming up.   :)
Title: Re: Card Counting Strategies
Post by: WanderingWinder on June 16, 2011, 08:28:49 am
Plus you have to deal with the fact that Smithy is really twice as good as Moat, but Lab is more valuable than either of them.

I suggest keeping track of your opponent's power cards.  It can be helpful in the late game to know that so-and-so can't buy the last Province because all his Golds are already in the discard.
And this is the main reason you sometimes break the PPR.