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Messages - Titandrake

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Haven't thought about this too carefully but I'll say Ironmonger. Doesn't quite take over the game but it's an Action you normally pick up, that can play a bit differently depending on how good the trashing is, and since it's a cantrip you still have some flexibility in what you combine it with.

Either that or Jack. Double Jack isn't as big of a thing as it used to be, and Jack has a lot of uses.

General Discussion / Re: TV shows
« on: December 12, 2018, 01:52:24 am »
I've been on a British comedy binge recently, first with rewatching episodes of The IT Crowd and second with rewatching Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.

Both are great shows, but I've learned that trying to explain Garth Marenghi's Darkplace's humor is just a complete crapshoot if they don't get the humor. I will say that you should give the 1st episode a chance, since if you like it, it's only 6 episodes and you can binge the whole series in less time than some movies.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« on: December 11, 2018, 04:09:25 am »
Even Outpost can be frustrating at times.  Your opponent(s) getting two turns in a row sucks, even if you're also getting two turns in a row.  It sucks even harder when they use the deck that you have been building all game.

I don't get why you're bringing Outpost into this. Outpost is fine, it's a bit inconsistent starting from a 3 card hand but it adds an interesting deckbuilding restriction of making a deck that can go off from 3 cards often enough.

Taking extra turns is fun but taking extra turns through Possession can lead to degenerate things. That's why we have things like Fleet now, the people who like taking extra turns can do so in a way that doesn't lead to sad gameplay.

I remember playing a game where my opponent was playing at most 1 Possession a turn with a deck that could just barely make $8, and I was playing 4 Possessions a turn with a thin deck that couldn't even buy Duchy. That was a funny game because it was basically a race to see if I could catch-up in VP if I got to take 4x as many turns. But it wasn't really that interesting because all the buy decisions were autopilot, and it took about 15 minutes of going through the motions before I got enough VP to make my opponent to concede.

I mean, instead of having a card that makes less interesting boards end fast, you could have a card that makes more boards interesting. IMO Rebuild isn't good for the game.

I recommend playing online to see which cards you actually like playing with the most. Unfortunately for this purpose though, Possession is such a universally disliked card that it has been disabled from automatched games on (although it is still possible to manually set up games that have it).

Wow I didn't know that! Any chance Rebuild will get the same?

Rebuild is unlikely to get universally banned. A lot of people think Rebuild isn't as good as it used to be, due to a mix of players getting better at building engines that don't fit Rebuild well, more powerful engine cards getting released in new expansions, and the heavy increase in alt-VP from Empires in particular. It's strong for a simple strategy but it's not as close to a must-buy as it used to be.

Star Chart + Masquerade

I just tried this out for about a dozen games... and it seems to consistently but barely beat Lord Rattington, who foregoes the Star Chart for double Masquerade (and sometimes does other weird things, of course).

It was okay, I guess? But nothing to write home about, and rarely seemed to be the best strategy. Masquerade and Star Chart both accelerate engines, too.

Is that bad? If it wins consistently by a small lead, that's still a consistent win.

It sounds like this may be one of those Gear-Big Money deals, where there's often an engine that's faster, but the money baseline can't be ignored.

General Discussion / Re: Maths thread.
« on: November 24, 2018, 02:13:37 pm »
That's the right approach (or the one I used, anyway), though much of the work is finding a way to do 2. without lots of cases. It can be done in just a few lines.

Well, depends if you want a solution or want a clean solution. The bash isn't terrible, you can exploit a lot of symmetry to reduce the cases.

General Discussion / Re: Maths thread.
« on: November 24, 2018, 06:11:39 am »
About to sleep so too lazy to fill in the details but I think I have the core ideas.

statement is equivalent to showing
1. There exists a graph with odd number of RGB triangles.
2. Given any graph, changing the color of 1 vertex to another valid color does not change the parity of RGB triangles.

Combined this is enough because every grid can be transformed into another by some series of color changes.

For 1. Just fill the interior with red, then color the sides all red / blue / green and show there's such a triangle.

For 2. You can enumerate all the cases. Changing 1 vertex affects at most the 6 local triangles defined by the 6 local neighbors so it should be bashable.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Forced Wins Training Sessions
« on: November 21, 2018, 11:01:04 pm »
I'm confused how you have $9 here with 7 Grand Markets and nothing in the discard. I guess you bought Fleet as the first buy?

Given that you have the Outpost turn coming up, this is just 3 Urchin this turn, then 7 GM + Poor House = 8 buys and $16 for Estate pileout on the Outpost turn. I suppose you could also pile Poor Houses on the Outpost turn then buy an Estate on the Fleet turn, since you're guaranteed to draw at least 1 Poor House or GM on that turn.

General Discussion / Re: Maths thread.
« on: November 19, 2018, 02:14:05 am »
Let me try.

We need to add n-2 more balls. Consider a fixed sequence of red and green balls, r-1 red and n-r-1 green. The probability of drawing balls in exactly this sequence is (r-1)!(n-r-1)!/(n-1)!. The denominator comes from having 2,3,4,...,n-1 balls to pick. For the numerator, at the time we are picking the kth red ball, there must be k-1 other red balls in the bag, and similarly for green. This logic holds for every sequence, and there are (n-2) choose (r-1) = (n-2)!/((r-1)!(n-r-1)!) such sequences, giving a probability of 1/(n-1)

PPE: I messed up my final step a bit but the core logic was correct.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Why Peasant Will Be On My Ban List
« on: November 09, 2018, 08:19:26 pm »
Honestly, I don't think the data is this big smoking gun. The old wisdom (idk if this is still true) is that Tournament and Black Market, two cards known for being swingy, are also both cards that make the better player win more often. The distinction is how swingy they are in the game, and how swingy they are across games.

Here's a simplified scenario. Let's assume that the reason good players win more with Black Market is because they can identify more cards that are important. So say, 20% of Black Market plays win them the game, instead of just 10%. These are just random numbers, don't read into them too much. Then, a better player wins more often because they can identify the extra 10% of wins that weaker players don't. But within the single game, it still looks like "Oh, I got the right Black Market buy and they didn't. That's no fun." Having better odds of pressing the "you win" button doesn't make actually pressing the "you win" button more fun, because there's no art in pressing a "you win" button. It's only fun if you like figuring out how to increase those odds, and it balances out the salt of losing despite playing it right.

So back to Seprix. I never said you didn't like King's Court. In fact, I like King's Court. I don't think it deserves hate, it's a fun card and I like playing with it on the board. I'm also not saying your opinion makes no sense because I can see parts of where you're coming from. The main thing I'm curious about is what makes Peasant special, because as far as I could tell, replacing "Peasant" with "King's Court" required changing very little about the rest of your argument. And as you noted, "Peasant" --> "Page" does a similar thing. It's not just that other cards share situations, it's that these card seem to share all the same critiques.

I wanted to know what piece was missing, that would make the argument only make sense with Peasant, and not with other cards. That, to me, is the interesting part of this. Logical self-consistency is a pipe dream, but in my experience there's usually something that resolves the contradiction (even if it takes a while to figuring out exactly how to say it.)

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Why Peasant Will Be On My Ban List
« on: November 09, 2018, 06:49:52 pm »

Not clever.

It wasn't clear to me whether you were being serious. It's hard to trust a person who decides writing a joke article about Pathfinding + Cursed Village is a good idea. I decided to troll back.

It's now clear to me that yes you were actually serious and okay I'll take this seriously now.

My take is that you have a point that is wrapped up in a lot of complaining that isn't actually important for your argument.

The TL;DR of your post is something like, "The Peasant line is very strong, so you always have to go for it, and if you miss a Traveller upgrade, or your Traveller upgrade misses the shuffle, then you're really far behind and the game isn't even close to ending because you still have to wait for them to hit Teacher first." That's not the whole TL;DR but it's most of it. But like, you haven't even written any of this. You've written around this point by complaining about a hypothetical player who's worse than you but is winning because of better luck. This certainly happens but complaining about a person who's only winning because of luck is the fastest way to make you sound petty.

If Peasant really is your number one most hated card in Dominion, it isn't enough to list reasons why Peasant is annoying, you have to list reasons why other cards aren't as annoying. Off the top of my head, why not KC or Swindler or Tournament or Cultist? I don't want hot takes, I want well argued hot takes.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Why Peasant Will Be On My Ban List
« on: November 09, 2018, 04:29:47 pm »
Let's talk about King's Court, why it is my number one candidate for most hated card in Dominion, and why it will be my first official selection for the Banlist once ShuffleIT implements it.

1. Centralizing

We all know you can't often play a King's Court board without buying one. In fact, it's often a cause for celebration when you don't have to! KC offers the same song and dance every time, and there's nothing you can do about it but play it the way you always do. Now this is not reason enough to ban a card, as there are plenty of cards that do in fact do this.

2. Incredibly Swingy

Oh, what's that? You bottomdecked your King's Court and now you're toast. Oh, what's that? You took a calculated gamble drawing 2 cards dead with a 15 card shuffle and you drew your King's Court. Oh, what's that? You drew KC without any actions? Oh, what's that? You drew KC on the very bottom of the shuffle, and despite your opponent getting KC much later than you, he drew it on his first turn and activated before you. Oh, what's that? You lost to a mediocre player for no reason other than how your shuffles went. My heart races with fear every time I roll King's Court on a board. Will I likely lose for no reason at all other than a random arrangement of cards?

3. Ease of Play

But you might remark, "but you can outplay a bad build! You can outplay a mediocre player." And indeed, you certainly can. But real talk, how hard is it to play King's Court, really? You buy King's Court more than once, mass up a ton of the right cards, and then slap a King's Courted King's Court on it, and if you at any point falter due to a bad shuffle, you're probably just straight up toast. There's no such thing as a bad KC build if you play with common sense (please don't make Treasure Map jokes, you know exactly what I mean). There's only more efficient builds, and less efficient ones.

4. Super Long Turns

All of the previous points are claims you can make about Rebuild, or Money strategies. Here's one you can't make: Length of time. Seriously, for all of the annoyances Rebuild and Money games provide, at least they end quick. You're waiting for a century when your opponent plays his King's Court, picks what action to triple, and then proceeds to play out his turn, optimizing all of the way (either in ways that are actually optimization or ways that are not, which only annoys you further) and eeking out extra plays, while he's up by a trillion and you still didn't play your first King's Court yet. Like why continue at that point?

5. False Hope

Always play out the games. Always play to your outs. Don't give up. You might just win. Yeah, that'll never happen. KC gives you false hope that you might be able to crawl back. "WOW, he tripled THAT Action???" And yet it doesn't matter. He's drawing his deck, and you're not. You can optimize all you like, but the man is up 4 Provinces and will never dud again.

6. A Realization

With all of this in mind, you roll a KC board and win easily. And then you have a chilling thought. Did you win because you outplayed your opponent, or because your opponent missed a shuffle? Boy, that blows. You won a game for no other reason than RNGesus decreed it.


Is King's Court the worst, most unfair, most unbalanced card in Dominion? No. But when you get whacked by it, you'll scramble for answers. You'll look at everything you did. You'll agonize for weeks on that loss, that one loss that could have been. And as it turns out, you did nothing wrong. You just didn't shuffle right.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: Where to find logs?
« on: October 23, 2018, 06:37:16 pm »
When you try to make a table, there should be a button that says "Load Old Game". There you can copy the game ID to load it.

This only works if you own the sets that were used in that game. If you don't, your best chance is hoping that someone uses Dominion Woodcutter to load it for you.

General Discussion / Re: Random Stuff Part IV
« on: October 13, 2018, 10:50:06 pm »
This is one of the least plausible apparently true things I've ever seen

This is one of my favorite "are you kidding me the pattern breaks down" examples. I've never looked into why exactly it breaks down, but basically it happens because 1 + 1/3 + 1/5 + ... + 1/13 < 2 and 1+ 1/3 + 1/5 + ... + 1/15 > 2. If I remember it right, you can use any arbitrary sequence of positive real numbers that aren't increasing, and it'll evaluate to pi/2 if they sum to < 2 and something else if they don't. Not only does this pattern not hold, it lets you create arbitrary length sequences where the pattern holds for k terms and then fails on the k+1 term.

Dominion Articles / Re: Draw-to-X engines
« on: October 11, 2018, 11:06:33 pm »
Letting Tragic Hero die is okay, but if you can consistently save your Tragic Heroes it can be very strong. On your final turn, you deliberately cash-in all the Tragic Heros, get a ton of money, and end the game.
If I get this correctly you need discard-for-benefit like Storeroom or Oasis to make consistently surviving Tragic Heroes worthwhile. This could be a thing but I am somehow still too stupid to see how this is related to draw-to-X. Seems more like "discard-for-benefit, then draw to reload, in the very end cash in for a megaturn".

It's related to draw-to-X in that both work well with discard-for-benefit. The difference is that the value isn't from drawing more cards from a draw-to-X card, it's from getting to keep your Tragic Hero.

This is why I feel it should be part of a Tragic Hero article and not a draw-to-X article.

Dominion Articles / Re: Draw-to-X engines
« on: October 10, 2018, 05:52:01 pm »
draw to X [...] Tragic Hero
Care to elaborate? I guess you imagine situations with reduced handsizes (only very remotely related with draw-to-X) in which Tragic Hero doesn't die yet in my limited experience killing off that dude and getting another often works unexpectedly well.

Tragic Hero is edge-casey enough that I feel it should basically have an article of its own (i.e. a Tragic Hero article that refers to a draw-to-X article, rather than a draw-to-X article that talks about Tragic Hero.)

Letting Tragic Hero die is okay, but if you can consistently save your Tragic Heroes it can be very strong. On your final turn, you deliberately cash-in all the Tragic Heros, get a ton of money, and end the game.

Villa + Pathfinding is pretty nice. You naturally buy a bunch of Villas for the on-buy effect, but they can clog up your deck afterwards. Pathfinding turns them all into passable cards. Odds are that Villa is the most common action in your deck by the time you get the +Card token. Additionally, because Villa effectively has an on-buy +1 Buy, you can quickly drain the Villa pile by paying $3 for each one, with the +Card token helping you draw into more money to buy more Villas.

I assume Villa + Training is also decent, but that there are limits to how many +2 Actions +$2 +1 Buy cards you want in your deck, even if they only cost $2 each once you get the +$1 token on Villa.

Dominion Articles / Re: Draw-to-X engines
« on: October 10, 2018, 04:56:51 pm »
For some reason you've not mentioned vp tokens as part of payload (or megaturn, or accumulating coin tokens) when all the principles apply. Technically, Ritual and Bishop can trash provinces for vp.

Not only vp tokens; but just payload in general. The article mentions needing disappearing money, but that's not the case. It just need disappearing payload. Workshops, attacks, TFB, etc... basically any of the things you would want to play a bunch of in any other type of engine.

This was something that was in an earlier draft, but it ended up disappearing at some point, not sure why.

I do think there should be another section for effects like Scholar but I don't have a good handle on how it plays.

I hadn't thought of the "you need more +Actions" point but I agree it makes sense.

Dominion Articles / Draw-to-X engines
« on: October 10, 2018, 04:44:23 am »
I started this a while ago, then ran out of steam when I realized it was a lot harder to write than expected. This draft is very rough but I'm putting it up now just to be done with it.

Draw-to-X engines are a special subcategory of engine, formed by two pieces.

  • An action that says "Draw until you have X cards in hand".
  • Disappearing money - a way to get money during your Action phase that decrases your hand size. This doesn't have to be fancy, a terminal Silver will do.

When they work, draw-to-X engines are one of my favorite engines to play. The core idea with these decks is that the fewer cards you have in hand, the more cards the draw-to-X action gives you, so if you can consistently turn cards-in-hand into money, you get to draw a lot more cards than you normally would. For $5, the going rate is +3 Cards and a bonus, with +4 Cards costing $6. Meanwhile, Library can draw up to 7 cards if the conditions line up.

The big question is whether the conditions line up. Draw-to-X engines differ quite a bit from more traditional Village-Smithy engines.

1. Treasures and Victories Super Super Suck For You

A Village-Smithy engine can get away with only using Gold for payload. This does not fly for draw-to-X engines. Like, it completely fails.

Let's suppose you play a Library and draw a Gold. If you don't have a way to get the Gold out of your hand, it effectively says "every future Library you play this turn draws 1 less card". This is really, really bad! It adds up to 3-4 missed card draws, depending on how many Libraries you have. (Cards like Scholar don't have this problem, since they discard your entire hand.) This has greening consequence as well. Eventually, you need points. Each Province hurts your deck a lot more than it would hurt a normal engine.

It's really hard to start a draw-to-X engine if there isn't trashing, just because of how many stop cards you start with. Trashing on its own is sometimes but not always enough for the draw-to-X engine. Eventually, you need to pick up points, usually through Provinces. You can't trash Provinces without losing the VP...

This leads to the other important piece: a discarder, like Warehouse, Artificer, or Storeroom, that lets you get unwanted Treasures and Victory cards out of your hand. That way you can dig for Actions instead. An effect like Villa or Black Market (to play Treasures midturn) can also play the role of a card discarder.

If either trashing or card discarding were missing, I would need an exceptional circumstance to consider the draw-to-X engine. The classic Base set combo is Festival/Library, but in my experience with Base-only games, the combo is really more like Festival/Library with Cellar and some kind of trasher.

2. +Buy is Great

Engines like +Buy since it lets them buy lots of engine pieces in one turn, then green later. The "green later" part is what makes them extra nice for draw-to-X engines. In draw-to-X games it's usually correct to build longer, then end the game fast, since your engine isn't designed to handle greening over several turns.

3. Your Deck Can Be Less Consistent

Often, Draw-to-X engines use a disappearing village to get +Actions, because it turns the drawback (not getting to draw a card) into a benefit (will draw the card for free off the draw-to-X card anyway). Buying Fishing Village instead of Village gives you an extra +$1 over the next 2 turns while not hurting your draw - it improves your payload.

Except, it kind of does. If you're playing a Village-Smithy engine and your starting hand is

4 Villages, 1 Copper

you're a little unhappy, but not that unhappy. You get 4 chances to draw into the Smithy.

By contrast, in a Festival-Library deck, if your starting hand is

4 Festival, 1 Copper

you're *really* upset. You're unable to "go-off" with a Library this turn, and your later Libraries are all likely to be dead because your Festivals collided. I've had this happen a few time and it sucks every time.

Because of this, it helps to have reliability increasing effects, like Scheme, Travelling Fair, Tracker, or Overlord. If a disappearing village and regular village are in the Kingdom, I personally like buying 1-2 copies of the regular village when my draw-to-X deck starts working, since I value the reliability more than the payload.

4. Hand Size Tactics are Sweet

The point of draw-to-X engines is to play lots of disappearing money, but there are other ways to get value while decreasing hand size. Trashers are one of them.

Consider this turn.
  • Play Festival, Festival, Library.
  • The Library draws a Steward and a Library.
  • Steward, trashing 2 cards.
  • Play Library
By trashing with Steward before playing the draw-to-X card, you get to draw 2 extra cards, which is a pretty great deal. You can't really plan for this, but it's an important tactical play. Ambassador 2 Coppers (handsize -3), then play Library. Remodel Silver into Festival (handsize -2), then play Library.

From a strategy perspective, plays like this don't tend to change what you buy - odds are you're buying trashing anyways. They're just important parts of optimizing draw-to-X builds.

5. Key Draw-to-X cards

An incomplete list of cards that are especially nice in draw-to-X games: Villa, Count, Storeroom, Steward, Inn, Warehouse, Cellar, Fishing Village, Squire, Junk Dealer. As an exercise it might be worth thinking through why some of these cards are so nice.

Sometimes it isn't your day for Swindler

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Complexity of Dominion
« on: October 05, 2018, 02:05:25 am »
From a strategy perspective, Dominion has been arguably more complex than Standard Magic for a long time. From a rules perspective, Dominion is almost certainly never going to get even close to Magic's level.

I would agree on Standard Magic but think Magic still has an edge in older formats like Legacy.

There's also the slightly infamous 350 page guide to playing Gush most effectively. People go pretty hard on the MTG theorycrafting.

Other Games / Re: Celeste
« on: October 02, 2018, 11:08:44 pm »
Spoil me this, are there any prize levels besides heart of the mountain and it's pretty low cost of 4 hearts?

I'm not sure I'm in enough to 100% this.
Each chapter has an associated B side (harder version comparable in length to the A side) and C side (hardest version, but short). Each B side is unlocked by finding a cassette in the corresponding A side. The C sides unlock once you have completed all B sides.

The quality of the B & C sides is generally very high so I would very much recommend at least trying them. (Start with 1B or 2B, as they are easier than the rest.)

Adding to this, the B-side to heart of the mountain requires getting every other heart in the game. (Well, you get hearts for the C-sides, but they won't be unlocked at that point.)

1B starts at a bit under Chapter 7 A-side in difficulty and then it ramps up from there.

If you can beat all the B-sides, you can beat all the C-sides, as long as you have the patience.

Help! / Is it possible to do better than tie here
« on: September 21, 2018, 02:14:49 am »
Game ID: 18509989

On my final turn I decided to go for the tie, I felt my deck was worse and there was a good chance my opponent would Province next turn. I got there by Butchering Artisan --> Province and buying Estate, hoping that would be enough to trigger my Silk Road. It wasn't.

I've been trying to see if I can do better, and there's a surprising number of tricks you can do here, despite the inability to draw. I've managed to get a tie on VP in 3 different ways. Is there a way to end the game on my turn with a win?

At the start of my turn, I have 5 Victory cards and 1 Silk Road.

Dominion Articles / Re: Chariot Race
« on: September 20, 2018, 02:23:51 pm »

  • This is a good article and I'm glad it exists.
  • I agree that you should think of it as a $3 cantrip you pick up on the side, rather than a core piece of your strategy, but I'm not sure about the rule of thumb that you should only take 3 (which is getting debated to death and I don't have much to add there.)
  • It's true that the marginal benefit of Chariot Race #4 is less than the benefit of Chariot Race #3, but what matters is the marginal benefit compared to other cards you could be buying, not the cards you've already bought. The 5th Village has smaller marginal benefit than the 4th, that doesn't mean you never buy 5 Villages.
  • As mentioned by other people, junking is a good way to punish people who don't trash.
  • The pitfall of a thin deck leading to Chariot Races that don't reveal anything could be moved to the overdraw section (since this is why Chariot Race + overdraw tricks usually don't go together.)
  • This is missing discussion of the variance of Chariot Race. I think this is important. If you have 3 Chariot Races and your opponent has 7, then their average VP per turn may not be much larger, but it comes in big bursts that can quickly change who has the VP lead in the endgame. This makes Chariot Race a better pickup when you're behind. It also means you need to be more careful about VP leads than you normally would be.
  • In late game I think it's enough if Chariot Race activates once before the game end. You aren't comparing to Tunnel, you're comparing to Estate.
  • As mentioned by tracer, this should mention that Chariot Race has an implied threat - if one player doesn't trash down, the other player can punish this by buying a lot of Chariot Races. So you have to prioritize trashing a bit more than normal, even if no one has bought a Chariot Race yet. (Or you need the ability to quickly end the game)

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