Dominion Strategy Forum

Innovation => Innovation Articles => Topic started by: Hideyoshi on May 06, 2013, 06:03:37 am

Title: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 4
Post by: Hideyoshi on May 06, 2013, 06:03:37 am
Hi everyone, that's Hideyoshi again~

I am sorry that it takes really long time for me to write age 4 as it is quite difficult to write on age 4 compared to others. I hope that's would not happen again anyway. I am also very happy to see some guys reply my article last time. 8) I hope these article would help you guys anyway~

PS. Starting from this article, I would use some game log as example. That's not too many, just very few of them would be used. I hope you would not mind for using them. If you find that I use yours and do not like them, please tell me and I will delete it soon.

To me, both base and echoes set age 4 give me the same feeling: They are not always useful and very dependent on the situations. That’s really what I feel so, even in base game. In echoes set, I often try to tech up at age 4 if I cannot find the card which is suitable in the situation.


In echo age 4, Chintz is the only card helping you to score which are not dependent to others. In order to draw two 4s and score a 4, there is a restriction which you must have no cards in your hand. Well, it is not a very good card overall as you often have some cards in your hand. Score a 4 is not too bad but you cannot claim a new achievements by just gaining a 4, as you need to gain at least 5 to claim a new achievement. It is a good card if you can claim a new achievement by gaining score 4. But if you are lagged behind too much, no matter by technology, icons, scores or achievements, Chintz cannot help you too much. If you lead your opponents, Chintz also do not help you to lead further as it just does something a little bit. Anyway, if you have something which can use all your cards in hand in one action, such as reformation to tuck all cards, it is a good combination to repeat Chintz effect.

Tech Up

Slide Rule
When I play this card at my first time, I feel this card quite strange as you cannot splay your blue cards right. Anyway, slide rule is a good card for tech up, but you need to do more things first for a successful tech up in most cases. If you just aim at age 5, I advise you use pencil or experiment as they are simpler. The first point for slide rule is you should not have any top cards which too low value, which means 1 or 2. The next point is you should have a good way to splay colors no matter in which directions. Globe is a good one which helps you to splay three colors in one action. Paper also helps you as you can splay green and blue. After all, slide rule can probably help you to tech up to 3-4 ages higher, by probably 3+5=8 to age 8. You need to notice that you can tech up to highest age as 9 by 4+5=9, but your opponents can share it and tech up to higher than 10. I have tried once to reach 11 by sharing, which you may find amazing. Well, just once, so do not aim at it in normal games.

Compare to slide rule, it is an easier and simpler way to tech up by draw a 5. I will not repeat the advantages of getting an echo effect when you splay your yellow cards right which you may find it is useful when it combines with ecology or perspective or something you need cards in your hand. I will focus on the foreshadowing issue. Some players, mostly beginners, do not find pencil useful, as you actually use 3 cards in hand to foreshadow 1 card. However, pencil is the age 4 echo card which I love most. There are some points you may need to know about pencil:
1. At age 4, it is often not suitable to return the 5 you just draw, or otherwise you just draw 6s to foreshadow one. Then the situation will become similar to glassblowing which you foreshadow a too high card which you cannot use it in the few turns.   
2. In most cases, return a 4 and some lower cards is the best choice to choose and foreshadow a 5. After all, you may just forecast it by melding the 5 you draw. It is somehow like you use experiment and dogma it in one turn. But for pencil, you have the right to choose which card you meld and dogma it.
3. You do not need to return 3 cards in all situations. Even if you just return one card and foreshadow it, such as return a 4 as foreshadow a 5, you also benefit from it by forecasting the card.
4. The most important point, you need to choose the best card for your situation. I do not talk about which card in age 5 are the best, but you just fit the best card in your situation.

Yes, I do not put it in wrong place. To me, barometer is really a tech up card rather than foreshadowing. You can tech up to age 5 by drawing the 5 in your forecast. You may combine it with telescope, or just barometer itself. In real game, I seldom use it to foreshadow unless I can forecast the card in a short period. One reason is that you actually draw and foreshadow a too high card. I have tried to foreshadow a 10 by having an ice-cream in my board, but I actually cannot use it in the game as I never reach to age 10 to win. You may find it is more useful if you have a bonus of 2 on your board to foreshadow a 4 and forecast it in next action, but in most cases you can do something better than this. Claiming Destiny by barometer is somehow just a bonus. You can use it to claim the last achievements which is often cannot be blocked by your opponents, but it is not suitable to continue foreshadowing at age 4.


It is probably the card which can help you to splay most colors in one action. The other one may also do so is cell phone at age 10, but you probably do not need splaying at age 10. Anyway, Globe helps you to splay up to three colors left by returning three cards from your hand and with a bonus of draw and foreshadow a 6. This time, I would consider this foreshadowing as a good one. It is because you are not just foreshadowing a high card as an action, but you also splaying your cards. Well, if you need to use globe, the first point is that you need some cards in your hand, no matter which value they are. The second point is you need to know why you want to splay left in age 4 as you can start splaying right at age 4. One possible reason is that splaying left may be more helpful to let the echo effects visible for some colors, such as purple and blue. But in most cases, I dogma globe is for a good combination with other cards. In my game, I often use it with slide rule for splaying all five colors and tech up by slide rule. As you have foreshadowed a 6 using globe, the tech up of slide rule also help you to forecast the 6. The other combination is with invention and paper, but this time you need to meld the card over globe.

Score/Hand Attacking

The echo effect of the clock is splaying your color with most cards right. It is one of the first cards to splay your colors right, which it benefits more if you have some colors with the same number of cards with the most cards. The echo effect is just simple, but the demanding effect is actually a complex. It is probably the first card which attacks all cards of a value from your opponents, but the value is not chosen by you but by luck. Some people may love it for scoring a lot of cards, but I do not like it anyway. You may try it if you are really lagged by a lot of score and you cannot find any methods to catch up other than clock. But if you are just leading or lagging by a little bit, clock is not a good choice as the effect is too random. You cannot control which value you are attacking and you may just attack nothing. The most common values of attacking are 3, 4 and 5. If your opponents get a lot of these cards, you may try; but if not, you may need to try other routes.

It is also a card which can return opponent’s score just like homing pigeons. Compared to the pigeons, however, toilet is somehow too weak. The main problem is you need a suitable highest bonus on your board in order for successful returning, as well as your opponents have such cards in their score pile. In most cases, you find the values do not match each other, leading to the returning not efficient. You may also find the other effect for you which “draw and tuck a 4” and “returning and drawing a card of the same value” are not too useful in most cases. That is why toilet is seldom used in most games. Well, draw and tuck a 4 is useful as an echo effect. Redraw a card is somehow a trick in some special cases in the new drawing system. You may return an echo card to a empty pile, and then you can draw a higher echo card.

Board Attack

Well, this card is somehow useful in some situation. At age 4, I seldom dogma the demanding effect of Shuriken, but when I dogma it, I probably repeat and repeat and then I win the game. The problem is that you can steal both castles and bulbs using Shuriken, which means your opponent may just give you a castle at age4. However, castles are generally dangerous at age 4 which may be attacked by gunpowder. The effect of castles are also not too useful in most situation at age 4, especially for the non-red one. At the later stage of the game, however, I often consider Shuriken as a dangerous weapon to steal bulbs. Most players would not have a top card with a castle after age 5, so you may just steal bulbs using Shuriken. Compared to societies which also steal bulbs, Shuriken is better as the compensation for Shuriken is just drawing a 4. In echoes game, you may find that it is common to have some 4 left in the pile, and drawing a 4 is actually just a small compensation compared to drawing a 5 in societies. On the other hand, Shuriken can steal purple cards with bulbs while societies cannot; and red cards with a bulb are generally less useful and there are just a few of them. You may steal something like Democracy which becomes a key card to the game.

To be frank, I do not like this card. I classify it as board attack rather than board splaying as at age 4 you seldom splay cards left. It is probably the only card which can splay your opponent’s cards, which mean you can splay it from right or up to left. It often occurs at later stage but not at age 4. In 2P game, unless it serves as echoes effect, otherwise you may not have time to splay others board. Forget about the splaying first, if compared to Engineering, Gunpowder and Katana which also attacks castles, Kobukson return all castles from other board rather than scoring it. That’s why I do not like this card as you have at least three cards being more useful than just returning. It also gives a compensation to your opponents, but other three does not. For the compensation to yourself as tucking a 4, you may find you at most draw and tuck two 4s in 2P echo game, which often you just draw and tuck a 4 rather than two. It is more useful in team play or 4P game, but 2P game I often consider Kobukson as a dummy.
If you are interested, you may read the game log below, which is probably my best game to use kobukson. Starting from around turn 7, I want to splay my green cards left for Chintz with the echo effect of umbrella. However, I do not want to share the effect as my opponent antony get some dangerous cards if share the effect of philosophy. Kobukson probably the best card to splay my green cards left due to the leading of factories.


I do not know whether I should put it as forecast or achievements, as this card is not too useful in any aspect anyway. Let talk about forecast first. You can draw and foreshadow a 5. That’s it. You may forecast the card if you have a 5 in your hand, but it is quite a dummy action if you are still at age 4. The other problem is that there are too many ways to draw and foreshadow a 5, even glassblowing can do so. I may consider a blue card for foreshadowing only is not a good blue card, as you often need blue cards for tech up. The main effect of telescope is for achievements, which you need to have at least 2 cards in your forecast to do so. Among the cards which help you to achieve more achievements, telescope is the one which I usually consider it as useless. The main problem is you do not have so many cards in your forecast, especially in 2P game. The forecast are also most high cards, at least value of 3, which are not easily to be claimed at the second time. The third problem is you cannot repeat it to claim more achievements, compared it with hot air balloon and television or something like that. In most cases, I do not think you have so many forecasts to repeat it. If you consider this as the last resort to win the game by claiming the 7th achievement, telescope is a good card for sudden attack. But generally it is not worth to do so if you are not going to win. You may answer the question: why I need to claim an achievement by telescope with a lot of work, but not claim the standard one directly? If the standard achievements was claimed, then why I need to claim an extra one rather than just going on to catch up the next one?

Some base cards changes

Well, I just think the base cards are just doing the same things as base game. You may consider invention which can claim Wonder easier, but that’s not really a big change.
Title: Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 4
Post by: theory on May 06, 2013, 09:36:23 am
I like the use of game logs.  They do help clarify the point quite well.

Are you going to write an Age 1 article, or am I going to have to explain on the main blog page why it skips to Age 2?  ;-)
Title: Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 4
Post by: Hideyoshi on May 06, 2013, 02:15:04 pm
Well, I will write Age 1, but my plan is age 1 is my last article about echoes guide.

Well, as I did not know that you put my article in the blog, then I just finish age 1 first. That's not really matter for me, but I need some time to do so.
Title: Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 4
Post by: ksasaki on May 13, 2013, 11:18:20 am
Hi theory, I can write an echoes strategy guide for age 1, I think I have a pretty good grasp having played almost 1000 games, not to mention the ~500 IRL :O
Title: Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 4
Post by: ksasaki on May 16, 2013, 12:54:35 pm
so I wrote up half of my thoughts on the 1 cards, then i accidentally browsed away from the forum.  Then, I wrote up another new blurb and had it on notepad, but didn't save it and my computer reset for stupid windows updates.  so now I don't even know what to say....i'll just hang my head resignedly
Title: Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 4
Post by: Hideyoshi on May 16, 2013, 01:12:25 pm
I think you may write on Word or something like that first, just as I did before to prevent sudden crush of computers.

Well, I would like to apologize that I was too busy in the previous two weeks and I do not really have much time to write. (And I have not played innovation for about 10 days, as some may discover that I disappear on iso.) I have finished the age 5 before, but not proofread yet. I hope I can post it in these days. If ksasaki can write age 1, then I think I can skip age 1 anyway. Anyway, I may have more spare time to write in the coming weeks, so I hope I can finish the guide in May.
Title: Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 4
Post by: theory on June 03, 2013, 10:22:33 am
Still waiting on Age 1, you know ;-)  I really like these subsequent articles, but I cannot put them up for now! :)
Title: Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 4
Post by: blank101 on August 09, 2013, 11:58:09 am
One note re Kobukson, it is a *monster* tucked under other cards.  When you're still stuck in a few lefts early game and an opponent has gotten something right (and there are plenty of ways to do so by 4, or even up via Expansion in Figures), you can claw back icon advantage from opponents (and its even fine shared), and later once red is up, you can knock out their favorite icons / echoes with ease (though obviously not as fun when shared).

I agree that it's castle destruction is pretty lackluster relative to Engineering / Katana / Gunpowder, but I hate seeing an opponent meld Kobukson even if I have no top castles.