Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - trivialknot

Filter to certain boards:

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 24
1
Also josh56.

I very sincerely recommend putting people on your ignore list.  It sounds like kind of a mean and hostile thing to do, but in fact it makes the world a nicer and brighter place for all.  The ignore list is hard to find, so for the benefit of those who can't find it... click "profile" on the top, then "buddies/ignore list" on the sidebar, then press "edit ignore list" and type in the user's name.

2
Game Reports / Re: Duchess or Pirate ship?
« on: July 10, 2018, 06:08:14 pm »
So Curses and Royal Carriages emptied? I think Duchess because I think I would buy Duchy....
Royal Carriages didn't empty, but maybe they should have.

3
Game Reports / Duchess or Pirate ship?
« on: July 10, 2018, 03:05:48 pm »
I played a game IRL with the following kingdom:

Duchess, Storeroom, Sea Hag, Worker's Village, Noble Brigand, Pirate Ship, Royal Carriage, Pooka, Tribute, Crypt, Arena

The big thing here is Sea Hag without curse trashing.  We both opened Sea Hag/Royal Carriage, using Cursed Gold, so you might imagine that our decks got junked up at record speed.  Once that happened, it seemed like the best way forward was to stockpile Royal Carriages, which could be bought with Cursed Gold.  The Royal Carriages could be called on Duchess or Pirate Ship to buy Provinces.  I went for Duchess, and my partner went for Pirate Ship.  We tied.

What would you have done here?  Is Duchess or Pirate Ship better, or would you have gone for something else entirely?

I think Duchess has the edge because Pirate Ship is slower, and you're happy to trash your treasures, which just get in the way of drawing Royal Carriages.

4
I don't think it makes any sense to say that luck and skill are correlated. Of course, we're all just arguing about definitions, so let me offer mind: I consider skill the component of variance that correlates with the players and luck the component that does not. In other words, if a competition tends to have the same players winning in head-to-head matches, then it is mostly skill, while if a competition leads to more random outcomes,

The difference here is this always depends on which skill gaps you're comparing. Between a moderately experienced player and a new player, random elements can add variance that will correlated with that skill gap, because the moderately experience player knows how to deal with that uncertainty. But between, say, a top player and a moderately experienced player who have both mastered that aspect, the random elements can instead decide the outcome in a way that does not correlate with their differing abilities. Hence why top players will see random elements as contributing to luck, while new players will see them as contributing to skill.
That's the correct way to think of it, if you think of luck and skill as two competing explanatory factors for who wins games.  But this has little to do with whether a game "feels" luck-based or skill-based.  I did an analysis a while back of Dominion League games among top players, and I concluded that those games were 80% determined by chance.  It seems counterintuitive, but it's actually about right, because when players are of very similar skill level, obviously the differences in their skill are not the primary explanatory factor in who wins.  (At least, not individual games.  In a 6-game match, skill differences add up.)  But does that mean that Dominion is a low-skill game, especially among the most highly skilled players?  I would say not.

I've since adopted the viewpoint argued by Richard Garfield (aku-chi linked to an article, but you can also find videos of talks he's given).  Skill is the difficulty in mastery, and the number of different levels of mastery that can be achieved.  Luck is the uncertainty, either during the course of the game, or in the outcome of the game.  I feel that this definition lines up with our intuitive understanding of skill in games.

5
If you want to play the equivalent of "no items, Fox only, Final Destination" in Dominion—and I'm not saying you do, but if you did—I think the closest analogue you could get is to find the set of 10 Kingdom cards that most rewards skill, and only ever play that board. Just play the crap out of it. That way you never have to experience the endless variety that makes Dominion so much fun. It's not a perfect analogy, of course, but you can't get a perfect analogy between a fighting game and a turn-based card game.
Incidentally, when I introduced my partner to Super Smash Brothers, we had the problem where I was significantly better than him.  And I thought, based on stereotypes, that we could make it more luck-based by turning up items.  It turns out that items tipped the scales even more in my favor, because I actually knew what all the items did, and he didn't.  This is an excellent illustration of how luck and skill are orthogonal characteristics of a game.
I agree with your conclusion but your reasoning seems rather flawed.  The additional advantage didn't come from him being accustomed to the random way the items were distributed, but from knowing the mechanics of the items themselves, which isn't inherently random (except for a small subset of them, like pokeballs)

In  Brawl, a side effect of using the "Contra Code" to play Zero Suit Samus put her suit parts onto the floor, which could be thrown like a pitcher's fastball and dealt lots of damage.  It was incredibly easy for defending player to pick up some of them to use for themselves, you just tap A when the part is thrown towards you and you catch it.  There were infinite examples of players with a few dozen games against ZSS trying to deal damage with the suit parts as well as 3,000 game veterans of ZSS did, but the ZSS players always got far more mileage out of them, even though they were very nonrandom.  If you chucked 3 suit parts at your partner and he doesn't steal any of them, and then your partner randomly gets a green shell on his side, he throws it at you, and catch it, that illustration wouldn't solve for me the mystery of whether luck and skill are intertwined in game design.



Smash's history of controversy over stage legality would definitely stand on the same side of the fence as DXV's assertion that "not all Spikes want the same thing".  Stages with random occurrences have an uphill climb staying legal, but those that inject varying degrees of variety into gameplay get passionate groups both for and against.

My favorite experience with it was when I got to pick the stage against a large-stagelist-leaning player who is more competitive than I am.  I picked a stage with a super low ceiling, because his character was particularly susceptible to ceiling-kills, then I picked the best ceiling kill character, even though I had almost no experience using that character.  You could definitely say I am "unskilled" at that character, and my opponent stuck with his main.  And I beat him, and asked if losing that way made him reconsider his position on the stage.  He said no.  At the time I thought his opinion was weak in some sort of objective way, but nowadays I have a different view on it, people have their own definitions of what feels competitive to them.
I don't see how that conflicts with what I said.  I meant to say that adding items increased both the amount of luck and skill, which contradicts the viewpoint that increased luck comes at the cost of skill and vice versa.  I didn't claim that the skill arose specifically from the randomness of the items.

However, I suspect that in the generic case, luck and skill are positively correlated, because randomness typically increases the variety of situations that players need to be prepared for.  Also, luck tends to obscure the positive feedback for playing well, which means it's harder for players to figure out the best strategies even after playing many games.  I understand why some players prefer to reduce luck though, I'm not complaining about them or anything.

6
If you want to play the equivalent of "no items, Fox only, Final Destination" in Dominion—and I'm not saying you do, but if you did—I think the closest analogue you could get is to find the set of 10 Kingdom cards that most rewards skill, and only ever play that board. Just play the crap out of it. That way you never have to experience the endless variety that makes Dominion so much fun. It's not a perfect analogy, of course, but you can't get a perfect analogy between a fighting game and a turn-based card game.
Incidentally, when I introduced my partner to Super Smash Brothers, we had the problem where I was significantly better than him.  And I thought, based on stereotypes, that we could make it more luck-based by turning up items.  It turns out that items tipped the scales even more in my favor, because I actually knew what all the items did, and he didn't.  This is an excellent illustration of how luck and skill are orthogonal characteristics of a game.

7
Good for you.  Prismata is a great game too.

Since I only play casually and offline, obviously most of these problems don't really affect me (although offline play can be slow for its own reasons).  I can see them being a big bother though.

8
Having +Buy that's conditional on your Ironmonger revealing a night card seems pathological.  Perhaps not any worse than Forest's Gift being the only source of +Buy, but still.

9
DXV has said that the biggest design challenge for hexes and boons is that they tend to slow down games.  Giving players more choices makes it slower.

I do wish that the Sacred Grove boons were mandatory for everyone.

10
It's a very bad card for your deck (worse than Copper most of the time), so its two uses are attack blocking and seeding next turn with a coin.
Guardian is usually not as bad for your deck as copper, because the duration type means it skips shuffles more often.  You want coppers to skip shuffles more often.

11
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Kudasai's Random Dominion Cards
« on: June 26, 2018, 03:20:18 pm »
I definitely don't understand what Hunted does at cleanup.  It says,
1. If you have at least $3 unspent,
2. you may discard any cards on this.
3. Then you may remove a token from this.
4. If you don't, return this and all cards on it to their piles.

It's ambiguous whether 3 is contingent on 1, or if it's not contingent on anything.  I don't know whether the "if you don't" on step 4 is referring to step 3.

12
And is heavy-Idol really that strong?  I'm so skeptical.  I really want to try it.   :D

13
I guess I feel like, in terms of testing cards, what's the difference between 2 players and 3+ players? Well, if a card is great in multiples, then you'll want to be sure it's not crazy if you can get 6 copies of it, like you might in a 2-player game. I think the only cards in Nocturne that fit the bill are Idol and Werewolf, though you could make an argument for Vampire. Idol is admittedly way stronger than my group thought it was, though I don't think it's too strong. And we actually discovered that it was strong after Nocturne testing was over when a new player joined our games and went for a heavy-Idol strategy. So we got to see that play out despite it not being a 2-player game.
The blog has a pretty great series on strategy in 2P vs 3P+ games, and I would say that "you can get more copies of cards" is rather oversimplifying the matter.  If Dominion were mostly playtested with 3P+, the thing I'd worry about is if a card leads to degenerate engine strategy that usually isn't feasible in 3P+, and is particularly unfun in 2P.  So, something like Possession.

But I'm not especially worried, given that apparently the only recent set tested without many 2P games was Nocturne, and Nocturne is solid.  In fact, the one card that DXV seemed to agree has problems is Fool, because it plays too slowly--and arguably this is only a problem in 3P+.

14
Dominion Articles / Re: Settlers/Bustling Village
« on: June 12, 2018, 03:31:42 pm »
You should find and replace "Border Village" with "Bustling Village".

I find that in some games with copper trashing, you still use Settlers to pick up copper early on.  And then later you get Bustling Village and you don't mind that you ran out of coppers, because putting Settlers into hand from discard is already good enough.

15
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite/least favorite Landmarks?
« on: June 08, 2018, 10:27:54 am »
I like Keep...

16
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Transmute here?
« on: June 03, 2018, 12:11:23 pm »
Mint creates a problem by leaving you with an estate-dense deck with no good way to trash them.  Aqueduct exacerbates the problem by incentivizing even more early green, especially when players are relying heavily on silver/gold.  Transmute seems like it might help in that situation by offering the only way to trash green.  But it's not very good, because you're adding two *more* junk cards to your deck, and you don't even see the gold until at least 3 shuffles later.

There's a much simpler solution: don't get Mint.

I'd open Royal Seal/Silver, or maybe Merchant Ship comes first.

17
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Plotting cards with DATA
« on: May 26, 2018, 12:44:59 am »
What proportion of the variance is explained by PCs 1, 2, etc?
For the first ten components: 0.12466628  0.10312049  0.07666992  0.05565225  0.047911  0.04449083  0.03309127  0.02486287  0.02174379  0.02077453

In total, that's 55%, which means it's pretty hard to describe Dominion cards even with 10 dimensions.

18
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Plotting cards with DATA
« on: May 25, 2018, 09:35:49 pm »
I... don't understand what Component 1/2/3/4 mean here.  Could you give a brief explanation?
Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is a standard data analysis technique, but it's hard to intuitively understand.  Basically, it tries to describe data using a small number of dimensions.  If your data is spread more or less along a straight line, then the location along that line will be the first component.  If your data is spread more or less along a flat plane, then the location within that plane will be the first two components.

To give an example, suppose I had a survey to ask people about politics.  There are 10 questions, and the answer to each question is a number 1-5.  Thus each person can be placed within a 10-dimensional space.  But I could apply PCA to reduce it to just two dimensions.  PCA won't really tell you what the dimensions mean, but you might look at the data and say, "this first component looks like the left/right spectrum and the second component is the libertarian/authoritarian spectrum."

The same applies here.  PCA generates components that seem to be meaningful, but it won't tell you exactly what the meaning is.  When I say component 1 is "villages vs terminals", that's just my subjective judgment based on looking at the graphs.

19
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Plotting cards with DATA
« on: May 25, 2018, 01:58:24 pm »
I found a package that adjusts the positions of the labels to overlap less often.  The images are updated, although they may not refresh right away on your browser.  Thanks for the feedback!

20
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Plotting cards with DATA
« on: May 25, 2018, 11:25:23 am »
Could you make the pictures larger so that the labels are not all on top of each other? It's very hard to read the names of the cards now.
I can make the pictures larger relative to the text, but at some point the graphs just won't fit on mobile screens, and the text will be too small, and still overlapping anyways.  I'll look into solutions, and the images may be updated retroactively.

trivialknot suggests "cards that are best in thin decks" but that doesn't match my understanding of Thief and Bureaucrat, which are among the most negative in component 3. I can't think of a card property that is most exhibited by the pair of cards Thief and Outpost. They both often gain you mediocre cards?
Thief is usually terrible, but one of the few effective use cases is when your opponent has trashed down with e.g. Chapel, and is trying to build up with Silver.  Bureaucrat is also usually terrible, but might be good for injecting payoff in a heavily thinned deck.  Outpost is also best in a thin engine, because that increases the chances that the extra turn kicks off.  These three examples make a lot of sense to me, although I admit that some of the cards that are negative in component 3 appear to just be weak terminals, like Duchess or Navigator.

21
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Plotting cards with DATA
« on: May 24, 2018, 04:54:56 pm »
[reserved for requests]

22
Dominion General Discussion / Plotting cards with DATA
« on: May 24, 2018, 04:54:43 pm »
Recently I did some analysis of game logs in order to calculate the "impact factor" of each card.  This is based on 140k 2-player pro-rated games on Isotropic, in which at least one player was ranked in the top 100.  The data only includes expansions up to Guilds.

For my next analysis, I wanted not to rank cards by impact, but characterize/classify cards by type.  I applied Principal component Analysis (PCA), which basically uses a small number of dimensions to describe as much variance among the cards as possible.

The details

I'm going to start out by saying, if you don't understand any of this, and/or you think it's all bullshit, that's okay.  Really, it's just fun to look at the plots whether or not you think they reflect any deeper meaning.  Anyways I'm not going to go into every little detail.  You can ask me anything, or else you can pm me and I'll give you a github link.

In order to do this analysis, I defined two relations, which I call "promote" and "love".  Prom(X,Y) is the extent to which the gain percentage of Y increases when X is present.  Love(X,Y) is the extent to which the gain percentage of X increases relative to other cards, when Y is present.  For each card X, I calculated 412 features corresponding to Prom(X,Y) and Love(X,Y) for each card Y.  I also applied some normalization so that my analysis doesn't care so much about how much it promotes/loves other cards, but rather, which cards it promotes/loves.

Additionally, you might notice that each card is assigned a certain color.  These are based on a basic cluster analysis.  I created seeds for 9 clusters (villages, terminal draw, nonterminal draw, trashing, junking, gaining, payoff, victory), and I used some algorithm to infer classifications for the rest of the cards.  The clustering algorithm is not very good, don't ask me why Rats is a village.  Anyways, it's a guide to the eye.

Requests

Here I show a few sample plots, but I can generate more upon request.  Just ask for Component X vs Component Y.  You can also ask one or both of the axes to show the set of cards loved/promoted by component X.

If you would like to request I change my analysis completely, I'll consider it but I may not have time for that.

Plots

Without further ado, here are a few plots to start out.









Additional notes

By inspection, I believe the first 6 components correspond to:

1. Important terminal cards vs villages
2. 5-cost cards, vs things that help you get 5-costs
3. Thinners vs cards that are best in thin decks
4. Slog cards vs engine cards
5. Trashing vs draw
6. Cheap cards and defense cards vs strong attacks and gainers

After #6, I couldn't tell what the components were getting at.  Most components describe card types that are complementary to each other.  For instance villages tend to love/promote terminals.  Component 4 seems to be a major exception, in that engine cards seem to love/promote other engine cards.  So component 4 describes cards that prefer to be unmixed.

23
Other Games / Re: Prismata
« on: May 21, 2018, 06:12:15 pm »
It's not weak, but it can be difficult to use efficiently when you're inexperienced at the game. At best, Rhino can absorb for 1 the turn it comes into play, attack for 1 on the following two turns, and absorb for 1 for the rest of the game. That's way better than Tarsier. Even a Rhino that just absorbs 1, attacks for 1 twice, and soaks for 2 is better than par. If you don't absorb on the Rhino or if it dies before you get full value out of it, then it's weak.
I see.  I wasn't counting the absorption value, but if you get the absorption on the turn it comes out, it seems decent.

I think the training content might encourage over-reliance on walls, which makes the absorption value of Rhinos a bit useless.

24
Other Games / Re: Prismata
« on: May 21, 2018, 04:38:44 pm »
I was looking at Prismata on Steam for a while, and I finally got it while it was free.  So far, I've only played the episode 1 campaign, and some of the other single-player content.  I'm not sure I'm really interested in playing against randos, but I told a couple friends to get it too, so maybe I'll play with them at some point.  Here are some impressions so far.

Compared to Dominion, this seems far more optimized for digital/online play.  It's relatively easy to visually parse.  There aren't any mechanics like shuffling, which I think is far easier to track and understand when you're doing the shuffling physically.  It's designed for timed play, which solves the slow-rolling problem.  And it seems much more amenable to AI.

I couple things I'm less fond of: It's very math-y.  And I tend to prefer games that are about parallel building up, rather than direct confrontation.

I don't have a great understanding of the strategy, but this morning I had the realization that it's sort of like Temporum, where everything has a "par" value.  In Temporum the expected value of a turn is $8, with cards = crowns = $4, but you might make more or less depending on tactics.  In Prismata, there's a "par" interest rate of 33% a turn, so that 3 of anything this turn is worth 4 next turn.  We also have Gaussite ~ Replicase ~ $1, Behemium ~ $2, and a single point of damage/defense is worth a bit more than $2.  I tried calculating the values of a few basic units, and it seems that Gauss Cannons are about par, Tarsiers are above par, Walls are only better than par if they absorb damage.  Rhinos just seem weak...

25
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Card alchemy revelation....
« on: May 16, 2018, 06:26:42 pm »
Card alchemy revelation?



Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 24

Page created in 0.119 seconds with 19 queries.