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Messages - trivialknot

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1
I made some rankings based on Markus' statistics, using the winner's gain percentage (or buy percentage in the case of projects/events), and I'm going to compare them to the Qvist rankings.

Using winner's gain/buy percentage, the top ten cards are: Governor, Wharf, Mountebank, Hunting Party, Recruiter, Vampire, Counterfeit, Butcher, Cultist, Margrave.
The bottom ten cards are (from bottom to top): Stash, Counting House, Harvest, Mandarin, Cache, Contraband, Royal Seal, Raid, Merchant Ship, Pillage.

Now to compare the "Markus" rankings based on winner's gain percentage, and Qvist rankings.  The top three winners in the Markus rankings are:
Market - Qvist 78, Markus 20, 76% gain
Festival - Qvist 74, Markus 27, 74% gain
Forum - Qvist 59, Markus 13, 80% gain

And the top five losers are:
Rebuild - Qvist 45, Markus 90, 44% gain
Torturer - Qvist 8, Markus 45, 65% gain
Catacombs - Qvist 51, Markus 87, 47% gain
Scholar - Qvist 76, Markus 111, 30% gain
Rabble - Qvist 48, Markus 82, 48% gain

In general it seems like harmless cantrips and non-terminals do better in the Markus rankings compared to the Qvist rankings, and terminal draw does worse.  This makes sense, and does not mean that the cards are necessarily ranked incorrectly.  So I looked around for more interesting outliers.  Here are some winners:
Ball - Qvist 79, Markus 46, 65% buy
Tormentor - Qvist 93, Markus 67, 55% gain
Sacred Grove - Qvist 96, Markus 74, 50% gain
Mint - Qvist 92, Markus 72, 52% gain

And losers:
Swamp Hag - Qvist 50, Markus 83, 47% gain
Fleet - Qvist 52, Markus 81, 48% buy
Count - Qvist 35, Markus 64, 57% gain
Junk Dealer - Qvist 13, Markus 28, 74% gain
Groundskeeper - Qvist 22, Markus 36, 69% gain

2
While Patron can be drawn dead, in practice you usually have an extra villager lying around, and can spend it to play Patron and get the villager back.  Not only that, but you can play any other non-terminals in hand before playing the Patron.  Terminal Draw + Patron + Cantrips is a thing, and it's good.

3
[Flag Bearer] is the third most gained $4 card overall!
From what I can see, it's in 4th, after Tournament, Magpie, and Silk Merchant.

Flag Bearer was even in my top 10.  I don't really stand by my rankings, but what can I say, we usually got Flag Bearer.  And when we did get it, we got a lot of them and it was very game-dominating.  And the stats show that other people have had a similar experiences, so I'm puzzled that people think it's weak.

Earlier I made a sim and it seems like first Flag Bearer is pretty bad in a single-card kingdom.  So, In the future I will think harder before getting the first one.  But I think first Flag Bearer is good in a lot more situations than the sim suggests.  The thing about the single-card kingdom is that your opponent only needs to pass up on gold to take the flag away from you, but in a real kingdom there are much better options than gold, so taking the flag comes with a more serious opportunity cost. 

4
Chris is me, you're welcome to take the simulation as a joke, I'm just trying to provide some objective information instead of my useless own opinion.  I'd love to participate in the whole "compare official rankings to my own rankings" thing but when I look at my own rankings I tend to think that they're a mess, so.

Hey, I made some rankings based on Markus' statistics!  I looked at the winner's gain percentage (or buy percentage, in the case of projects/Events).  The top 5 are Star Chart, Black Market, Forager, Dungeon, and Masquerade.  The bottom 5 are Masterpiece, Fortune Teller, Banquet, Changeling, and Trade Route.

Here are the biggest disagreements:
Secret Cave - Qvist 55, Markus 19, 81% gain
Cathedral - Qvist 4, Markus 34, 64% buy
City Gate - Qvist 45, Markus 16, 83% buy
Smugglers - Qvist 36, Markus 59, 44% gain
Pageant - Qvist 33, Markus 12, 85% buy
Market Square - Qvist 30, Markus 9, 86% gain
Changeling - Qvist 41, Markus 61, 35% gain

In general, it seems like do-nothing cantrips (and harmless projects like Pageant and City Gate) have high gain percentages, but do poorly in the rankings.  Makes sense, and it does not mean that they deserve to be ranked higher.  Changeling also makes sense, because I think exchanging for a changeling doesn't count as gaining.  The main thing I'm getting out of this is that people way underbuy Cathedral.

5
Star Chart is overrated. It should be with Scheme, the two cards do mostly the same thing.
I just tried a sim that opens Scheme + Conspirator, and then only buys estates whenever Conspirator is in play.  Then I tried the same sim with Star Chart.  The Star Chart strategy initially plays Conspirator every 2 turns, and drains estates by turn 20.  The Scheme strategy initially plays Conspirator on about 50-60% of turns, and drains estates around turn 18.  Oh and if you get neither, then it takes about 24 turns.

So yeah, Star Chart seems about as good as a single scheme, in a deck that doesn't draw.  But I'm guessing Star Chart really shines with duration cards and draw cards (since those are likely to miss shuffles if not at the top of your deck).  Star chart + Masq is a great example.

6
Instead of comparing Ducat to Candlestick Maker, we should really be comparing it to Market Square.

Isn't that like comparing Gold to Smithy? How does that work?

Well, if you buy it and trash a copper, ducat is like a nonterminal +buy that doesn't take up space in your deck for $3.
Market square is also like that.

I feel like this only works if the card you draw when you play Market Square is a Copper.
If by some fluke of the shuffle, Market Square always appeared immediately before one of the coppers in your deck, would that make a huge difference in its power level?

The Ducat/Market Square comparison is basically identical to the comparison people make between thinning a card, and gaining a lab.  There are a few disanalogies, for example if you thin a copper you no longer get the value from the copper every shuffle (which makes it more like gaining a Fugitive than a Lab).  And while you can't thin more coppers than you had to begin with, you can gain more labs.

Of course, a nontrivial amount of Market Square's power comes from the reaction.  Ducat's extra effect on top of the +buy is like a poor man's Pageant.

7
16: Travelling Fair (10) - You all know this event is good.  I think it's better.  The stats for this one are actually shocking.  It's bought by the winner in 81% of games, and in games where only one player buys it, they win a whopping 70% of the time!  I have some doubt about the causation direction on that stat, because Travelling Fair might occasionally be something you only buy on the turn you win, but I don't think that can explain the full effect.  Stats aside, +buy on demand is great, and topdecking is great.  Buy this often.
I am even more doubtful about the causation direction of Travelling Fair statistics than you.  Often you want to buy TFair when you hit $7 or higher (either to get two useful cards out of it, or to topdeck a $5-cost).  So we should be thinking of it like one of those really expensive cards like King's Court, where buying it isn't just a winning move, it's an indication that you were in a winning position to begin with.  That said, I put TFair at #12, so I'm not in much disagreement.

8
Instead of comparing Ducat to Candlestick Maker, we should really be comparing it to Market Square.

9
Simulation / BM + Flag Bearer
« on: January 31, 2019, 12:18:33 am »
Geronimoo implemented Rennaissance!  Yay!

I tried some simulations using Flag Bearer.  The conventional wisdom so far, is that getting the flag is great, but if you're the first person to get the flag then you're at a disadvantage.  In the context of a kingdom with only flag bearer, this appears to be mostly correct.

I used a modified version of WinderingWinder's BMU strategy.  The buy rules are as follows:
-Buy Province if $18 in deck
-Buy Duchy if <= 4 Provinces in supply
-Buy Estate if <= 2 Provinces in supply
-Buy Flag Bearer if opponent has Flag
-Buy Gold
-Buy Duchy if <= 6 provinces in supply
-Buy first Flag Bearer
-Silver

This beats an ordinary BMU strategy 97%/2%.  However, there is also a simple counter strategy, which is the same except that it never buys the first Flag Bearer.  This strategy beats Flag Bearer 90%/7%.  It also seems that if either player stops buying Flag Bearers before the pile is out, then that player loses.

Is it never correct to buy the first Flag Bearer?  Well I tried a few things, and it seems that if you buy the first flag bearer after turn 10, this gives you a very modest edge.  We're talking a 50%/42% win percentage (regardless of who's first player ETA: I think first player was randomized).

Using this pair of strategies, I played around with priorities.  It seems that both players should prioritize getting the flag over getting Duchies, and then the win percentage got reduced to 46%/42%.  It does not help to further prioritize the first Flag Bearer.  Basically, you buy the first Flag Bearer during the greening phase if you hit precisely $4, and you always take the Flag from your opponent unless you're buying a Province instead.  I looked at some sample games and it seems that you often get to keep the flag for several turns because your opponent doesn't want to pass on province.

I also tried a strategy that opens Flag Bearer, and tries to snag an extra one so that it keeps the flag when the pile is out.  This helps, but still worse than not opening Flag Bearer.

Conclusions?  Contesting Flag is super good.  The first Flag Bearer is not so good, but can be a tossup even in absence of support.

10
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Asper's Cards
« on: January 25, 2019, 11:43:18 am »
A couple more thoughts.

What if Contract were an heirloom?  It would guarantee a fair distribution.

And I suggested the Institute should discard a card.  What if it required that you discard a non-victory card, or maybe just a non-duchy?  A tiny bit of antisynergy could make it a little less common for the Institute and Duchy piles to deplete.

11
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Asper's Cards
« on: January 25, 2019, 11:30:08 am »
Contract/Bookkeeper - I made a fan card way back that had the "play a treasure, draw to X" mechanic, and I liked it a lot, so I like this card too.  I think the part I don't like about this, is that there are only 5 copies of Contract, and sometimes winning that split may be really important.  And because it gives +Buy, sometimes you lose the split just because your opponent happened to draw a Contract on the right turn.

Impostor - It looks fine, although a bit transparent that this your attempt at Leprechaun without hexes.  The +Buy is a great addition here, I love that part.

Institute - I'd lean towards "broken", even in absence of TFB.  If you compare to Distant Lands, this is worth 1 less VP, but you don't have to spend time to get it out of your deck.  Also, if they deplete, that's two piles gone.  A nerf I would try is, make it a fugitive instead of a lab.  But I think it needs a bigger nerf than that.

Convert - I think this is on the weak side, because you can't trash estates, which is usually the most important remodel target.  Would it be crazy at $4?

Promenade - This reins in some of the problems with King's court (i.e. crazy with certain actions, swingy because hitting $7 is hard), but fundamentally I just don't like King's Court, so I'm not really a fan.

12
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Thunderdominion Card List Results
« on: January 15, 2019, 02:02:27 pm »
One way to use that data, is to imagine a hypothetical judgment match.  Both players agree on Rebuild 30% of the time, and disagree 33% of the time.  Among the games where people disagree, Rebuild wins 42% of the time.  So that means Rebuild wins about 30%+33%*42% = 44% of judgment matches.

By that same metric, Catacombs is at 47% and Graverobber is at 33%.

But in general, I'm in agreement with faust.  I think I put a lot more weight into a card's centralizing factor.  For example, I would put Bridge Troll above Dungeon in a heartbeat.  Bridge Troll completely changes how you play, and Dungeon mostly just changes how many Dungeons you play; I don't care if you get Dungeon 100% of the time if it doesn't change the game.

13
I've played only a few games online, not since the goko days.  And, it's fine.  But I like table chatter and people online would probably find that annoying.  I also like the tactile sensation of handling cards--shuffling cards is a great feeling even if it takes too long.

But the main reason I don't play online, isn't that I think it would be less fun, but because Dominion is an activity between me and my husband, and I'm trying not to completely outpace him.  I kinda already do, because I watch competitive games sometimes.

14
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Who has all the expansions?
« on: January 13, 2019, 11:52:49 am »
I have all the cards, except for Black Market, and a couple of the newest promos (Saunavanto and Dismantle).  I suppose we're missing some of the 2nd edition stuff like the fancy trash mat, the bane indicator, etc.

15
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Are promos worth it?
« on: January 06, 2019, 03:03:57 am »
For people who think Black Market is one of the best: how do you do the setup IRL?  It sounds unusable.
Just grab one copy each of 20-30 cards that aren't in the current kingdom. What's so hard about that?
What's hard about it, is that it already takes a long time to setup and put away Dominion, with only 10 kingdom cards, and now this is tripling-quadrupling that time.
Sounds like you need a better storage solution to keep it from taking so long.
(Sorry, I don't have one I can recommend. The one I use involves a suitcase-like carrying case which was originally made for cassette tapes. I'm pretty sure they don't make them anymore.)
It's literally the time it takes to find the correct divider and take/return the appropriate card, but times 30.  I think you're just a lot more patient than me.

My partner said that when he used to play with Black Market, they would use the randomizers, and only take out the cards when they were bought.  This sounds less irritating, although the issue is we don't keep the randomizers on hand.  I think if we were to ever buy a copy of Black Market, I'd just pack it some randomizers and just use the same ones every time.

16
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Are promos worth it?
« on: January 06, 2019, 12:20:08 am »
For people who think Black Market is one of the best: how do you do the setup IRL?  It sounds unusable.
Just grab one copy each of 20-30 cards that aren't in the current kingdom. What's so hard about that?
What's hard about it, is that it already takes a long time to setup and put away Dominion, with only 10 kingdom cards, and now this is tripling-quadrupling that time.

17
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Are promos worth it?
« on: January 05, 2019, 11:53:07 pm »
For people who think Black Market is one of the best: how do you do the setup IRL?  It sounds unusable.

The promo I most recommend is Governor.  It's a very centralizing card, and difficult to figure out too.  If you like centralizing cards, then second and third place would be Black Market, and Sauna/Avanto.  If you prefer cards of more middling strength, try Prince, Summon, Dismantle, and Envoy.  Stash is widely regarded as very weak, and Walled Village is basically never better than village.

18
I also put 6 wishes with the Leprechauns, and 6 with Secret Cave.  It's rare that you need more than that in 2P.

19
Bandit Fort.

20
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Card ideas from Jeebus
« on: December 13, 2018, 10:23:30 am »
Shaft seems fine, if a bit weak.  I like it.

Panniers has me a bit confused.  If you use the reaction effect, do you get +1 card?  I'm also not sure why it returns a card rather than simply trashing it.  That's a valid choice, I'm just not sure what it adds really.  I think the on-play effect could be buffed.

Weaver seems rather strong.  I'm sure Weaver/BM could be beaten sometimes, especially with that sifting effect, but I worry that Weaver/BM might too often be the dominating strategy, and not interactive enough with the rest of the kingdom.  You should try it of course.  But I think it should be made less extreme.

Law, by contrast seems too weak.  For comparison, consider Catapult.  Catapult not only gives $1, but also provides a benefit upon trashing copper.

Midway seems pretty interesting, although not strong.  The reordering ability seems like a fairly important part of what makes it good.

Privateer, well here's a card that I think would clearly be more interesting without +Buy.  For one thing, you could make it cheaper.  And you'd find yourself in a variety of situations depending on the rest of the kingdom.  If the +Buy is on treasure, then you have that nice bit of synergy.  On the other hand, if the +Buy is on an action, you have to play the action before your buy phase.  So maybe you have a mix of Privateer and traditional draw, or else you hope to have the +Buy in your starting hand, or maybe you just do without +Buy.

I have issues with Alderman.  It seems kind of slow to play with, and without good reason.  Most often, you reveal at least one action, and now Alderman is an expensive village, hooray.  Maybe you reveal a victory card and can play your Mill, making Alderman a double village.  But so what?  I'm not sure what Alderman is really for, but honestly it sounds weaker and less interesting than a vanilla card that just says "+1 card, +3 actions".

I also have issues with Prowler.  Mainly it's a glorified woodcutter.  Or if you're buying treasure, and have extra buys, it's a glorified treasure.  I think you could do more with a simpler card, e.g. an action/treasure that only gives +Buy if you play it in your action phase.

21
Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition
« on: December 11, 2018, 11:47:18 am »
The Youtube preview page displays additional difficulties of the objects of rating. While the Castles are to be rated as a whole pile, is Plunder to be rated as a single card or as part of the split pile? (In my paired ratings I encountered both Settlers and Bustling Village.) Should I rate Avanto as part of the split pile or its use as a glorified Smithy on the Black Market? Rocks or Bustling Villages are of limited use on their own, while Patricians can be quite good even on their own with a good amount of desirable $5 cards in the Kingdom, even if Emporium didn't exist.
It seems reasonable to rate cards based on their average context.  For example, if you think Native Village is fine in a vacuum, but usually overshadowed by other villages in the kingdom, that seems like a good reason to downrate Native Village.  Well on average, Avanto only comes into play when there are already 5 Saunas floating around.

I used to rate Fortune lower because I felt it would often appear too late in the game to matter.  Now I think it's powerful enough that even late in the game it matters.  I also rate Gladiator a bit higher because sometimes it's correct to get Gladiator because revealing Fortune on your turn is just that good, even when your opponent gets their own Fortune immediately afterward.

22
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Cursed Bottle / Bottle Imp
« on: December 10, 2018, 11:12:21 pm »
I agree with Heron, at least in 2P.  Paying more than $0 for Bottle Imp gives your opponent strictly more options than they would otherwise have.  You can always hope that by offering your opponent too many choices, they will end up choosing the wrong thing, but that's not a good strategy against a good opponent.

For an analogy, suppose there's an artifact that says, "At the beginning of each other player's turn, they may get +$1.  If they do, you draw a card."  In 2P, you don't want this artifact.  Even if it helps both players, a good opponent will only choose the +$1 when they believe it will help them more than you.

With 3 or more players it's different.  You could have two players "cooperate" against a third by swapping ownership of the Bottle Imp.

23
Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition
« on: December 10, 2018, 12:51:29 pm »
I'm worried that these rankings are slowly becoming unsustainable.  It's just so much work to rank cards, and the number of people willing to do it has gone down each year.

My method is to first make a bunch of overlapping lists of card types (e.g. terminal draw, trashers, VP cards), sort each list, and then merge the lists with the help of the overlap between lists.  The idea is that it's usually easier to compare two cards that fulfill a similar function.  I did the work in excel.  Once I was done, I assigned each card a unique integer between 1 and 366 (I don't rate all the cards).  Then I sorted the list again to match the order that appears on Qvist's site, typed all the integers in rate mode, and then copied it to order mode.

It's pretty slow, and requires a bit of excel wizardry.  I do wish there were a way of just copy/pasting all these excel values directly into the form.

24
Variants and Fan Cards / Bottom-decking
« on: December 10, 2018, 12:10:25 pm »
So, here's a bit of unexplored mechanic space: cards that mandatorily bottom-deck themselves.  We see a little bit of this kind of thing with Stash, Star Chart, Secret Passage, or Neirai's Shipwreck, but I think it could be explored more.

Quote
Cavalry - Action, $5
+3 Cards
+1 Action
-------------------------------------
When you shuffle this into your deck, put it at the bottom.

A strong engine card, but by the time you get to the bottom of your deck, do you even need it anymore?  You can either accept that your draw is unreliable and spiky, or you can find a trick to get it in hand.  Pearl Diver OP.  Not sure if it should cost $5 or $6.

Quote
Spelunker - Action, Attack $4
Trash a card.  Per $ it costs, draw a card.
Each other player with 5 or more cards in hand puts one on the bottom of their deck.
-------------------------------------
When you shuffle this into your deck, put it at the bottom.

A terminal variant of Research/Apprentice.  The attack is mean, but if your opponent also has a Spelunker, they can bottom-deck a card they want to trash, or perhaps a village.

25
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Why is Possession hated so much?
« on: December 10, 2018, 10:34:44 am »
I wish I could find the video, but there was a Dominion League finals game way back that had Possession, Mining Village, and Storyteller.  Neither player could do anything except play Possessions, because Storyteller would use up all their money.  And with Mining Village as the only village, you could sprinkle a few in to play multiple Possessions, but if you had too many then your opponent would get more out of them than you.  The game was stuck in quasi-stalemate for over an hour.

Sure, the game was memorable in its own way, but that's only because it was the very worst.  There were lots of other unmemorable competitive games where Possession just dragged the game down, resulting in a long and tedious slog.  And I say this as someone who typically likes slogs.

Banning Possession was great as someone who spectates competitive games.  And if you wish to play with Possession in your own casual games, well you can still do that.

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