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1
Dominion Articles / Re: Self-Synergy
« on: November 15, 2017, 12:23:01 am »
Well if it's not a meme...

To try and put it politely: what is the use case of this article? After taking it in the article and applying it's suggestions for a bunch of games, is there a kingdom + scenario where some player (of any rating of ones choosing) plays the game differently than he does without reading the article?

The article approaches things from a high level terminology standpoint and I don't see where someone isn't going to figure out "stacking [minions, city quarters, governors)" is good through simpler means than this article. It seems to be more about categorizing the concept than anything about applying or recognizing the concept. Since how good stacking is ends up being kingdom and case dependent anyways, it's not even clear that discussing that in a broad sense and not in a card specific sense would work in the first place.

And obviously, "will this help someone improve at the game" isn't necessarily the only metric for articles. But if it's about terminology and categorization, well, I thought we had a totally amazing lovely and productive discussion about this in another thread... if only I could remember that threads title.

Not every article has to be explicit advice. This article makes an implicit concept explicit. That in itself has value. Rather than just doing something you can know why you do it. Yeah self-synergy is pretty straightforward for some cards (Governor, Minion) or even printed on the card (Treasure Map, Fool's Gold), but sometimes it's a bit more subtle (Gear, Hunting Party). It also is a concept that provides a link between otherwise dissimilar cards.

And yes, all of this does have an effect on how you play, although it is subtle. It comes into effect when you're weighing two options; it might tip the scales ever so slightly in favor of the self-synergy (assuming you were previously unfamiliar with the concept).

Who was previously unfamiliar with the concept that you might want a bunch of one card?

There's a difference between wanting a bunch of one card and self-synergy that you seem to be missing. Anyway I'm not saying it's a brand new concept, but it's something that's in the back of a lot of players' heads, and it's nice to have it in writing.

2
Dominion Articles / Re: Self-Synergy
« on: November 14, 2017, 11:00:25 pm »
Well if it's not a meme...

To try and put it politely: what is the use case of this article? After taking it in the article and applying it's suggestions for a bunch of games, is there a kingdom + scenario where some player (of any rating of ones choosing) plays the game differently than he does without reading the article?

The article approaches things from a high level terminology standpoint and I don't see where someone isn't going to figure out "stacking [minions, city quarters, governors)" is good through simpler means than this article. It seems to be more about categorizing the concept than anything about applying or recognizing the concept. Since how good stacking is ends up being kingdom and case dependent anyways, it's not even clear that discussing that in a broad sense and not in a card specific sense would work in the first place.

And obviously, "will this help someone improve at the game" isn't necessarily the only metric for articles. But if it's about terminology and categorization, well, I thought we had a totally amazing lovely and productive discussion about this in another thread... if only I could remember that threads title.

Not every article has to be explicit advice. This article makes an implicit concept explicit. That in itself has value. Rather than just doing something you can know why you do it. Yeah self-synergy is pretty straightforward for some cards (Governor, Minion) or even printed on the card (Treasure Map, Fool's Gold), but sometimes it's a bit more subtle (Gear, Hunting Party). It also is a concept that provides a link between otherwise dissimilar cards.

And yes, all of this does have an effect on how you play, although it is subtle. It comes into effect when you're weighing two options; it might tip the scales ever so slightly in favor of the self-synergy (assuming you were previously unfamiliar with the concept).

3
Dominion Articles / Re: Self-Synergy
« on: November 14, 2017, 01:07:32 pm »
This is such a great topic. I've had a fascination recently with cards with self-synergy for a while but never thought to lump them together into one concept. In particular I was looking into soft terminals (mostly trash-for-benefit and BM cards) and multiplicative payload (Bridge, Bridge Troll, Goons, Merchant Guild). Would love to see this topic expanded upon even more.

4
Werewolf might be my favorite card so far. Not only does it make for some interesting decisions, but it also works well for both money and engine.

Money: Smithy variant that can't be drawn dead, so you can grab a few more than usual.

Engine: The power of this card in engines is obvious. It's extra sweet to be able to do something with your excess draw cards on turns where you've either already drawn the deck or have enough for your buy.

Obviously most boards are engine boards. I just like to see money get thrown a bone from time to time.

5
As for other cards and how they would be better with tokens on them by default. Chancellor would be reasonable, actually even kind of good if it had +Buy. Spy as a Village would be mid-tier; as a draw card it would be basically better than Lab. +Action on Tribute would make it far less risky. +Buy on Coppersmith would legitimately fix the card altogether, Iím pretty sure. +Card on Secret Chamber at least guarantees $5 but is still trash.

To add to and comment on this:

Chancellor and Woodcutter are probably fine the way they are even if they are kind of bad.
Spy and Tribute were removed for their bad interactions and therefore don't have a simple fix.
+Buy on Coppersmith is an excellent addition.
+Card on Secret Chamber would make it decent. It would also be the only terminal +1 Card.
+Action on Mine would make it more useable in engines on weak trashing boards.
Adventurer should give 3 cards instead of 2 and cost 5, making it a BM focused Smithy variant.

6
1. +Action is probably best. Splitter works as well (it makes about the same amount of intuitive sense as engine). I don't hate the term pseudo-village but can understand why people resist the term.

2. Pretty much any term besides "good stuff". All the rest are descriptive in some way while good stuff doesn't tell you jack (and is even kind of misleading).

3. Just be descriptive about the engine; it doesn't necessarily have to be hard categories. Maybe even state some of the key cards in the engine, particularly the draw and payload. Also, remember that it's also significant to declare what the engine lacks (+buy/gain, trashing, etc.).

Does it really matter what we call things?

I'm not a huge fan of this line of thinking.

I get where you're coming from: people shouldn't get so wrapped up in abstract concepts as to miss what's really happening. However, these abstract concepts are both important for how we decipher how to play boards and how we communicate strategy to one another. We're not able to calculate all the true probabilities related to Dominion so we have to break it down into generalizations and rules of thumb. We refine those generalizations and rules of thumb through trial and error and discussion on the forum. It's important to have coherent language to convey and receive advice on how to play boards.

7
Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Value of Loan
« on: September 26, 2017, 06:42:30 pm »
This feels disingenuous. Of course you only have a 1/8 chance on the first shuffle. But nobody buys Loan planning to use it only once anyway. On the first use of Loan, you're only breaking even (you bought a glorified Copper, and you used it's special ability to trash a regular Copper. Same money density and distribution as when you started). It's going to take a few more uses to pay off noticeably.

I think the more valuable point you made is that you may not need the Silver at all (and would argue that buying Treasures instead of Actions that give money is a poor move if you're going for Loan)
I agree that not needing Silver at all is the more valuable point. Maybe I'll add more emphasis to it. I just wanted to point out that opening Loan/Silver isn't the worst thing ever.

I'd love to see the calculations on this if you have it. I haven't finished doing the math, but so far it looks like it's going to be at least 10% (but certainly no more than 23%. So either way, your point stands about Loan not being likely to skip your other opening Buy)
I did a new calculation since I didn't consider all variables. It came out at 5/48 or 10.42%:
2*5/12*(1/11+3/11*(1/10+2/10*(1/9+1/9*1/8))
2*5/12: Chance of Loan being in your first or second hadn
1/11: Chance of $4 being the top deck
3/11: Chance of Estate being the top deck
1/10: Chance of $4 being the next top deck after one Estate
2/10: Chance of second Estate being the next top deck after one Estate
1/9: Chance of $4 being the next top deck after two Estates
1/9: Chance of third Estate being the next top deck after two Estates
1/8: Chance of $4 being the top deck after 3 straight Estates

8
Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Value of Loan
« on: September 26, 2017, 06:34:17 pm »
Problems with loan
- Is itself a fancy copper so even after you've trashed one copper it is doing no better than breaking even. You need to play the loan a lot more times to make it worthwhile.
- Getting multiple loans always seems poor (so doesn't solve the speed problem above)
- Bad with potions and other kingdom treasures
- It isn't good at creating a 5 coin hand on turn 3 or 4 and continues to erode income after that (depending upon the deck)
- hinders control of the draw deck and risks badly timed shuffles (especially if the starting estates are still around)

-This is true of literally every trasher that trashes one at a time. For Loan the payoff comes in the shuffle after you play it rather than the shuffle after that, so in a way it's faster.
-Getting multiple Loans is not always poor, though generally one is enough. As stated in the article collision with treasures is uncommon and not harmful enough to skip trashing.
-Kingdom treasures are not reason enough to skip trashing your Coppers. Fool's Gold, Quarry, and Potion are the only ones to really worry about anyway since most kingdom treasures are bad or acquired later.
-This is true, but on the flipside it doesn't risk colliding with your 5 coin spiker (generally a terminal Silver).
-This is also true, and certainly a downside of Loan later in the game. Loan sputters as you begin to control your deck.

The overall point is that
  • If Loan is the only Copper trasher, then you definitely need it.
  • Loan works great in tandem with other trashers when they are available (except for the strongest of trashers).

9
Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Value of Loan
« on: September 24, 2017, 09:09:31 pm »
Loan is certainly underrated, but no way it's ever better than a Spice Merchant.

When I said Loan has an early game edge, I meant in power of effect not power of purchase. You should always buy Spice Merchant over Loan because of its mid and late game power. Maybe I should clarify in the OP.

10
Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Value of Loan
« on: September 24, 2017, 08:01:07 pm »
While Spice Merchant has to decide between sifting and non-terminality or a consistent $2,
Drawing is much better than sifting.

I changed the wording to clarify what I was saying. Sifting was 100% the wrong word. My point basically is that Spice Merchant can't both give you $2 guaranteed and cycle your deck faster. If you choose the option that helps you cycle you have a good chance of not drawing the $2 that you otherwise could have had.

11
Dominion General Discussion / The Value of Loan
« on: September 24, 2017, 05:44:08 pm »



Loan is much-maligned trasher. It is constantly criticized for what it can't do, but seldom praised for what it does well. It's a card that occasionally "feels bad" when you play it. Perception, however, does not always match up with performance. Let's look at the specific things this card can and cannot do.


Cannot:
  • Loan cannot trash Estates
This is obviously a major thing not to have. Trashing Estates is excellent for your deck. However, there are plenty of respectable to great trashers that can only trash Copper (Moneylender, Spice Merchant, Counterfeit).
  • Loan cannot avoid skipping your good cards
Skipping a valuable card hurts, especially on your first shuffle, where you do not yet have the ability to cycle your deck quickly. However, there is only a 5/48 (about 10.42%) chance of Loan skipping your $4 buy on the first shuffle. That chance goes up the more good cards you have, but the impact of skipping cards goes down.
  • Loan cannot always trash Copper with Silver in your deck
This is actually not a big deal. First of all, when you're going for an engine (i.e. when you would buy Loan) you generally try to go as light on Silver as possible. Second, even if you buy a Silver, you only have a 1/8 (12.5%) chance of hitting it with Loan. Lastly, you may not even need Silver since Loan has pretty good economy for a trasher.
  • Loan cannot trash Copper from your hand
This comes into play late in the game when you're drawing your whole deck. It's kind of unfortunate, but generally most of your coppers will be gone by this point.


Can
  • Loan can trash a Copper from your deck
This is quite a bit better than trashing from your hand for two reasons. One is that you don't have to reduce your buy power for this turn, and the other is that you don't have to draw that Copper on this shuffle.
  • Loan can give $4 hands often early
Since Loan does not trash from your hand and it gives $1 of its own, it is actually pretty solid at having valuable hands early. In a deck of only the ten starting cards and one Loan, Loan's average hand value is $3.8.
  • Loan can be played with an action
Loan is a treasure, therefore it does not require an action to play. One does not have to worry about colliding Loan with your $4 buy on the first shuffle, nor does one have to buy villages to ensure repeated plays.

The "cannots" are generally overblown and the "cans" underrated. This has led to Loan being ranked 37th out of 49 $3 cards. Normally to argue against this one would compare Loan to another $3 cards that's above it, but it has a far more comparable analog:


Loan vs Spice Merchant

Early in the game, Loan actually has an edge on Spice Merchant. While Spice Merchant has to decide between drawing and non-terminality or a consistent $2, Loan gets non-terminality, $2, and cycling always. As the average value of the deck rises above Copper, +2 Cards becomes more valuable than $2. Once the whole deck is being drawn, Spice Merchant can give +Buy while Loan cannot hit the Coppers in hand. Even though Spice Merchant is clearly the better card overall, it's a testament to Loan's strength that it can compare to one of the stronger $4.

As for a comparable $3, the closest is probably Lookout, which is 17 ranks above Loan. Each has advantages over the other (Lookout can trash Estates but has trouble finding them, Loan can't trash Estates but can easily find Coppers), but overall they are about the same power level. Forager is another comparable card (rank 10) that can trash Estates, but provides no economy until someone trashes a treasure.


TL;DR: Loan could stand to move up 15 or more spots on the rankings.

13
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Need Help Developing a Ranking System
« on: September 23, 2017, 12:00:41 pm »
I also disagree that their is no META game in Dominion. Most Effective Tactic Available does show up in this game.

What?  That's not what "meta" means.  "Meta" is not an acronym.  "Meta-" means that there is something above, outside of.  Think about "metaphysical".  In a competitive game's meta, it's not about "most effective tactic available", it's about knowing what everyone else is playing.  So in Hearthstone I might include a card that destroys Pirates because a lot of people are running decks with Pirates.  That's what meta means - it's any gameplay decisions that aren't based on the specific match you're playing, but the overall, overarching competitive scene.  "Metagame" literally means "the game outside the game".

And that just doesn't exist for Dominion, not in the same sense as for CCG's, because you're given a random set of cards to play with.  You might make decisions like "They'll probably get Witch, so maybe I should get a Moat", but that's not nearly on the same level as "I'll probably play a bunch of people running a Pirate deck today, so I should include this card that destroys Pirates, even though it doesn't really fit the theme of my deck".

In competitive games, META is indeed an acronym that means "Most Effective Tactic Available".

Well, that just tells me competitive gamers are stupid and need to take more humanities classes.

I've played many different competitive games (and browsed forums for said games) for about a decade and I have NEVER seen that acronym.

14
I actually think you understate the power of cute tricks quite a bit. You say they won't win you games on their own, but... they sorta will? Like, making WW always hit is huge. Making Sentry trash more reliably is huge. Getting more effective draw from Farming Village etc is big. These are important synergies that make Secret Passage excellent.

While he may understate the power of those tricks, you overstate them. Most of them come down to making Secret Passage into a $4 Lab. For example: the WW + SP combination is basically $3 + $4 for a Lab. Meanwhile at the same price point, Village + Smithy is two Labs. Granted it's easier to make the WW + SP connect.

However I do think the SP + Sentry interaction is huge. That's basically a Lab plus a trashing effect.

15
Dominion Articles / Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« on: September 20, 2017, 12:05:51 pm »
Well he has the name there already: "good stuff".
To be fair "good stuff" is like a really bad name. It's totally non-descriptive and actually confusing. Are other decks "bad stuff?" Ironically, "good stuff" is something you go for on a board that lacks other strategies, because it's quite weak.

16
I strongly disagree with the idea for the wiki being proposed by Awaclus and AdamH. It's not the Dominion wiki, but the Dominion Strategy wiki. That means more than just the mechanics and rulings for cards; information on the proper usage of cards must be given (and yes, there is an amount of subjectivity there). The wiki is also not a dictionary, and should not simply define words used for the discussion of strategy, but should include the strategic discussion itself.

Yes there should be an effort to keep things impartial. No that doesn't mean we should strip down the wiki to the point of uselessness.

17
I've played my fair share of competitive games so I might as well chime in for the "gg" discussion.

"gg" originates from professional StarCraft, as far as I know. In StarCraft, the game is "over" far before it ends; the game drags on for quite a bit if no one surrenders, but the victor is absolutely certain. Because of this, the polite practice is to say "gg" and leave the game once you are at a decisive disadvantage. Generally the winner would respond with a polite "gg" of his own.

Even though saying "gg" was polite, it could also be used in a bad-mannered ("bm") way. If you felt you were at an insurmountable advantage and the opponent stubbornly stayed in the game, you could say what's called an "offensive gg" by typing "gg," as a way of scolding the other player for not leaving. Historically, it was always left to the loser to initiate the "gg" exchange.

In my opinion, if the loser doesn't say "gg," you probably shouldn't bother. It kind of comes off as patronizing to a person who's already in a bad mood (as indicated by their abstinence from saying "gg"). If they don't say it, they probably don't want to hear it.

As for "glhf" and variants, it's just being polite. It doesn't really mean much in a literal sense but is just a formality really.

18
Seems like this Wandering Minstrel vs Generic $4 Village debate can be broken down into four cases:

Case 1: Bad kingdom for villages
In this case Wandering Minstrel = Generic Village, since you won't be buying either. So this case can be ignored basically.

Case 2: Some villages come in handy
Wandering Minstrel's additional effect can hurt in circumstances by skipping over important treasure (or other non-action?) cards. Also if you cause reshuffles at the wrong time you can create dud turns. An edge case is ruins, which totally screw with the top-of-deck-sifting effect. Wandering Minstrel < Generic Village

Case 3: There wouldn't be an engine unless the village was Wandering Minstrel
Having strong sifting on your village can make an otherwise impossible engine possible. Every deck starts with 10 junky cards that you probably want to skip over until the last draws of your engine. In this case you need to be extra careful to draw up all your junk or you will eat it the next turn (or maybe it's a slogging game and you don't mind having boom-and-bust turns?). Still for this case: Wandering Minstrel > Generic Village

Case 4: Strong engine kingdom
You would buy any village available in this case, but you generally want to get your actions before your non-actions. Wandering Minstrel helps ensure that you draw your whole deck reliably. Wandering Minstrel > Generic Village


So the big question is: How common are cases 2 and 3?

To me case 3 seems far more common. A lot of kingdoms with little to no trashing, junking, or early greening fall into case 3. Case 2 feels more like an edge case. So most games where villages are relevant (most games), Wandering Minstrel is very good while the more vanilla villages (i.e. Farming and Walled) are inferior, or worse, aren't enough to make an engine work.

My overall take? Wandering Minstrel, Villa, and Port are all head and shoulders above the other $4 villages

19
Villa + Watchtower

Let's you play a bunch of treasures, use $4 for the Villa, and continue to draw your deck.

Note all of this is theory from a novice player

Villa + 'Draw-to-X'

Seems like there might be some pretty strong synergy between Villa and all the 'draw-to-X' cards. Obviously disappearing villages and 'draw-to-X' go well together, but Villa also lets you empty treasures out of your hand without your turn truly ending. In addition each 'draw-to-X' card has some individual synergy as well.

Villa + Watchtower
If you can get enough coins with a Watchtower in your hand, you can buy a Villa and another card, and then play all 3.

Villa + Library
Play Library -> draw a hand with treasures and a single Library, discarding other actions -> Buy Villa -> Play Villa + Library and draw through your treasure-thinned deck
Would work especially well with Estate trashing

Villa + Jack of all Trades
Buy Villa to get all the treasures out of your hand. Play Villa + Jack. Repeat if you draw another Jack. Villa + Jack can handle extra treasures as long as there are Villas available. Being able to draw through so many cards and play early Jacks makes this strong for Estate trashing as well, which is good because Villa + Draw-to-X is hurt badly by victory cards.

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