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Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Guess the kingdom
« on: September 22, 2018, 09:21:51 pm »
Wolf Den, knights, pearl diver, hamlets, no 3 cost cards in kingdom, need no other piles bought. Palace, obelisk, plan, training, bonfire could also fit.

Dominion Articles / Re: Chariot Race
« on: September 19, 2018, 04:21:30 pm »
Chariot Race likes a high-value deck and thus encourages heavy trashing.
I think heavy trashing within a kingdom can be a problem for chariot race. A great way to defend against chariot races is to have a high value deck with heavy trashing and that innate defense is hard to overcome by having more chariot races. Moreover, the construction method for a chariot race deck can lead to lower coin incomes and lower cost cards in the deck, typically through an aversion to gold and provinces. This is pretty much covered/assumed by the article but not always directly mentioned.

So the relevant question is how far should you go out of your way to get Chariot Races?  How often is Chariot Race better than a weak $5 cantrip (say, Treasury)?  Is it often correct to invest in early +buy to try to get double Chariot Race on $6?  When (and how much) does winning the split matter?  I don't know how to answer these questions in general, unfortunately.
I don't really know the answer either but I'm guessing it's based on the innate defense of the opponent's deck.

General Discussion / Re: Music talk
« on: September 19, 2018, 01:57:56 pm »
This is compounded by so many modern songs lacking the musicianship of previous decades, so there's no point in me listening to a vocal I don't appreciate, put onto a synth backing track or looped sample, probably overproduced

There's probably way more musicianship going into the creation of the "overproduced" synth "backing track" than The Beatles playing their instruments.

Hmm, have you forgotten that Sir George Martin and the Beatles are renowned for their innovation in the studio as well?

General Discussion / Re: Music talk
« on: September 19, 2018, 01:07:26 pm »
As another older poster here, I'd have to say that I've separated out my cd collection into a 75% that I don't listen to and a 25% that I do, and the 75% is mainly composed of CDs that I bought in my teens and early twenties. I'm willing to dig out stuff from any decade now and if an album has great songs, or the artist can take you a specific time and place with their music, then the decade doesn't matter.

What stops me from appreciating a lot of modern pop music is that I don't like the vocal style, much in the way that I don't like musical theatre vocal style. If I'd grown up listening to that style all the time then yes I might appreciate that and not appreciate the Beatles, say.  This is compounded by so many modern songs lacking the musicianship of previous decades, so there's no point in me listening to a vocal I don't appreciate, put onto a synth backing track or looped sample, probably overproduced, even if the song is good. On the plus side, I heard a great new track from Rodrigo y Gabriella the other day so I might have to search out their new album.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: When seating order matters - Chariot Race
« on: September 17, 2018, 11:39:11 am »
Generally it is bad practice to plan your strategy around the fact that your opponent is weak.

In multiplayer this isn't strictly true. For example, it makes a big difference in three player games whether two players are buying provinces and one player is buying alt vp, or whether one player is buying provinces and two are buying alt vp. There isn't a single optimum strategy without knowing how your opponents will play. Part of your judgement may need to be "I would do this, but this other player isn't good enough to think of it so will probably do that instead".

I can also remember way back to Theory losing some competition with a 4 player final. There was a kingdom with some fishing villages, island, seas hag, ambassador, and Theory did the sensible thing with ambassadors while the others bought sea hags or islands. The sensible thing lost to the person who bought islands and scored some points before the islands, curses, and fishing villages ran out. In this case Theory needed to plan the strategy around the weak decks the opponents were actually building.

Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing more to add but when there is nothing more to take away. Efficiency is very much part of Dominion.

Other Games / Re: Pandemic Legacy (spoiler-free zone)
« on: September 04, 2018, 03:54:49 pm »
My group found each play through  to be either quite easy or an old fashioned Pandemic beating with early exploding epidemics. Failing any play through just gives the game another chance to turn nasty on you.

Dominion Articles / Re: Storyteller
« on: August 28, 2018, 07:33:04 am »
For me, the basic maths of the storyteller is that you spend each coin to draw each card. If your deck is worth on average less than a coin, curses maybe, then a storyteller might be poor value for money (unless you do want storyteller to cycle rather than draw). As card quality goes up, the value for money goes up. All draw cards face this problem when considering their purchase cost but you have to consider this each time you play storyteller too.

'Virtual coin' is probably not the right term as it is just as real as any other coin. Trying to use coin from terminal actions with storyteller seems weak but I wouldn't discourage players from trying to build a fishing village-monument-storyteller deck if they want to.
Sifters like cellar are good with storyteller both for getting the right type of cards in hand and use with big hand sizes.
Card counting and deck memory are important with stoytellers. You have the most coins to spend if you can spend exactly the right number of coins on storytellers.

Dominion Articles / Re: Groundskeeper-- Draft
« on: August 23, 2018, 05:05:02 pm »
I think you can be more straightforward in saying that groundskeepers fit into decks with multiple buys/gains that can play out most/all of its cards (groundskeepers) i.e. an engine or megaturn deck.

I think groundskeepers work well with cheaper vp cards and duchies that are easier to accumulate in bulk than provinces. The example you gave isn't really as relevent as one player buying 8 provinces vs another buying 8 estates with 5 groundskeepers in play. Also the notional value of each groundskeeper isn't so hard to estimate - it's just the number of green cards you will gain with it in play.

Groundskeepers have a self-synergy in so much that a strategy designed to maximise one groundskeeper will probably maximise all your groundskeepers together. As soon as one becomes valuable, they all become valuable. This drives the emptying of the groundskeeper pile.

I suspect that groundskeeper end game play has a lot of unique problems if you can't deliver a clean killing blow with one big turn. A groundskeeper deck is usually built to have one big turn but what if it has to compete for green cards too early or without a decisive advanatage? I'm guessing it's all too difficult for an article to cover.

Rules Questions / Re: Gain copy of heirlooms?
« on: August 14, 2018, 10:05:36 am »
The online bots will happily play a masquerade and give you a magic lamp.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: A Dominion Chronology
« on: August 07, 2018, 02:23:21 pm »
I would put Nocturne before Dark Ages. Nocturne represents a superstitious era of bards and druids that was largely eradicated by the fuedal era of Dark Ages.

Scheduling / Re: Season 29 - C3
« on: July 30, 2018, 02:34:41 pm »
I will generally be free on UK evenings, except Tuesday, and some UK weekend afternoon+evenings.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Question- What is an Engine
« on: July 26, 2018, 12:16:38 pm »
An engine is a collection of cards that can repeatedly be used together for extra benefit. I think main critieria of an engine definition is not to define specific ideas but to exclude
  • A good stuff deck that succeeds because individual cards are working well in a suitable environment
  • A planned deck that never uses cards together (like workshop - gardens)
  • Some megaturn decks that do little apart from hitting the megaturn

There really isnít a card thatís better when it misses the first shuffle, because otherwise why would you have bought it if you didnít want it?
I think cards like marauder can miss the first shuffle without much loss. It certainly doesn't seem decisive in games when it happens. A spoils might slow down your cycling just as much as a ruin slows your opponent. The ruins might be too late to catch an opponent's second shuffle anyway. Hands without marauder are more likely to buy decent 4-5 cost cards.
The cards that really need to be played early are the terminal trashers like count and trading post. If a card like sentry misses the shuffle it can be bad but you can buy more sentries to recover. You can't conventiently buy more copies of the terminal trashers.

General Discussion / Re: Email notifications?
« on: July 12, 2018, 07:03:02 pm »
Try setting up another e-mail address, if you don't have a spare already, and trying getting messages to that.

Rules Questions / Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« on: July 12, 2018, 07:00:41 pm »
As a general answer, I don't think the Dominion rulebook omits assumed rules that players generally don't know about. Players know what a card game is like and don't need to be told that they shouldn't write on the cards.

As a theoretical answer, any concise rulebook in plain English is going to be open to the bending of the rules without breaking the written rules. If a rulebook tells you that you can't write on the cards, maybe you can train your dog to write on the cards for you.

General Discussion / Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup
« on: July 11, 2018, 10:35:05 pm »
I have a friend who now works, after a takeover, for Belgian company and he was so glad that France beat Belgium so that they wouldn't have another chance to brag about things or have a chance to beat England in the final. Guess who England now play in the 3rd place play off?

I could look at an opening forever really, if it wasn't polite not to. I can think about the long term strategy and scoring, what the final deck looks like, then go back to the opening, and how the buys are sequenced after that, and what the mid game looks like, and whether 3 piles will be running out, and whether a lead in the game is important or worthelss, and if nothing is conclusive I could go back to square 1 and try again. I dunno but it's part of Dominion that I quite like. I don't play enough to make automatic choices and some of the most enjoyable decks go beyond the obvious and do something else cool instead.

What I don't like doing is thinking a long time about turn 1 then stopping to think again on turn 3 or 4. It's an admission that all your long thinking wasn't good enough to last a few turns.

Scheduling / Re: Season 28 - C1
« on: July 07, 2018, 09:05:01 am »
I'm free to play on UK afternoons and eveninings this Sunday and next weekend.
If any Americans think they can match my UK evenings then I can be free most nights except Tuesday.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Beat two bots on this Kingdom
« on: July 05, 2018, 11:52:55 pm »
Knowing that the bots play fortune teller +envoy., you can open conclave/silver, aim for tactician + temple next, then trash down and buy engine cards until you have 2 tacticians, ghost ship, 3 conclaves, 5 conspirators, some patricians, temple, some remaining copper. That should beat them comfortably and that's without emporia and without really thinking about the sequencing too much.

Dominion Articles / Re: Making the Most of Your Turns
« on: July 03, 2018, 09:56:37 am »
Be prepared to stop your turn earlyIf you just have a few good cards left in your draw deck and you don't need them this turn, stop drawing. They can start in hand for your next turn.

(As a general note, the introduction should mention that these concepts are for engine decks with card play options. Plenty of games don't have this much flexibility.)

There are plenty of edge case reasons such as buying your guardian to feed your exorcist, setting up bonfire+tomb points, but it is always there to get that +1 coin next turn.

There are all sorts of things, generally a collection of edge cases strategies, but why not?
  • Build the next hand onto the top of the deck every turn to establish consistency with a travelling fair style strategy
  • Sift the deck each turn to give consistentcy with a scouting party style strategy
  • Golden decks that generate vp each turn with no deck changes
  • Use improved cards with +action, +card, or +coin tokens that can be the centre of a strategy even without draw
  • Find methods to get more cards into play without draw, such as Prince
  • Beat your opponents down with attacks using an abbreviated engine with an ambassador style strategy

  • Buying Gold and Silver is inefficient payload; do so only if there's nothing better.
I wouldn't say that silver and gold are inefficient if you only look at payload. If you compare them to minion or conspirator, say, they are reliable and have better ratio of income to cost. All the other elements of Dominion can make the actions cards better as long as you can get those action cards played. Even so, there are some interactions such as counterfeit that will favour treasures as payload.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Mountain Pass
« on: June 15, 2018, 09:40:36 am »
In a simple two player game, I don't think this such a big decision as long as you know a ballpark figure. It's a bit like thinking whether to buy another gold instead of a province apart from you need to look at both decks. The occassions where it gets more interesting are when
  • A player is trashing down to build an engine but hasn't much income yet. Taking a lot of debt might cut off deck development unless the engine can gain cards directly.
  • Certain kingdom cards are less effective when you are paying off debt. For example, if you can get hagglers into play each turn then you are losing gains each time you pay off debt instead of buying stuff. There's a big variety of cards like this such as peddler, buying stonemasons, black market, and plenty others.
  • The decks are not similar. This can be different strategies or it can be different stages in deck development. For example, if both players are planning to trash down and use windfall to add income, a player who gets ahead might have a chance to buy a province and force the mountain pass bid when they have the golds and the opponent doesn't.
As another example, if one player is a using an advanced treasure deck and the other is trying to make a bridge troll engine, the player using bridge trolls probably has little income. If they have to pay off big debts over a number of turns they are probably missing out on buying many cheap cards. Here the treasure player probably wants the engine player to take the debt and can aim to buy the province at the worst time for the engine player. However, if the engine player is building a bridge troll megaturn deck, which will sweep up on the final turn, the treasure player still needs to plan for getting 50% of the points before the megaturn and that might include mountain pass points.

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