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1
Game Reports / A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« on: December 05, 2011, 12:48:23 pm »
cards in supply: Baron, Goons, Grand Market, Market, Masquerade, Nomad Camp, Silk Road, Tactician, Village, and Warehouse

This board is a Dominion strategy geek's wet dream. With the exception of Silk Road every single card in the Kingdom should prove useful for building a colossal multi-Goons double-Tactician fear engine. I was glad to draw this one against a top-flight opponent in chwhite, since I knew he wouldn't miss the possibilities here. It can be fun to beat up on less experienced opponents with double-Tac decks from time to time, but I logged on today to practice for the tournament!

I wasn't altogether pleased with my 5/2, since there are no helpful 2s, and Masquerade was a much more important opening card than Tactician, but I regained tempo parity by drawing Tactician at turn 3. At turn 5 we had essentially the same deck, though I finished ceding my first-player advantage by drawing Tactician with Masquerade. chwhite was the first to Grand Market, while I got a critical 6-4 Village split thanks to the one really important Masquerade trap I managed to catch him with. (He later got a Market off me since I refused to pass a Village instead, but that was late enough to be of little consequence.)

Late in the game I was looking at the writing on the wall and feeling none too confident. We had similar decks (though I was happy with my extra Villages), but chwhite had a small VP advantage and a 1-turn tempo advantage. At turn 19 I made the decision to leave enough Grand Markets and Markets left on the piles to make it impossible for him to buy out both those stacks to end the game. And then he bought a Grand Market.

"Squee! I can totally empty out the GM and Market piles next turn!" I thought. (I don't mean to bag on an excellent player here; I've made that mistake a hundred times before in megaturn games and paid the price for it.) So I played out my action phase at turn 20, ending with $21 and 14 buys, just enough cash to buy out the two stacks, with more than enough buys left over to pump up my VP chip stack with Coppers. But hey, since it's my last turn, why not play out my treasure cards so I can grab a Duchy too?

Several seconds later, I'm frantically clicking the Grand Market pile to no effect, and my heart sinks in my chest: Oh no. I can't buy the last GM after playing out those Coppers I never needed in the first place. And I don't have anywhere near enough money to empty the Markets and another pile (not even the Estates). Epic fail! I bemoan my idiocy in the chat, and chwhite confides that he had realized his mistake last turn upon buying the 2nd to last Grand Market. I sit there staring at it for a while, and I'm about to take the desperation move of grabbing 4 Provinces, an Estate, and a big pile of Copper and just praying it's enough VPs to hold him off until I can end the game.

And then I see it: Hey, Curses are a pile, with 3 Goons in play they're worth 2 VPs apiece, and I do have enough buys to empty the Curses and Markets. Ha!

led buys a Market.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Market.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Market.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Province.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
(led reshuffles.)
(led draws: an Estate, a Silver, a Grand Market, a Market, and a Goons.)

Curses, Villages, and Markets are all gone.
led wins!


Thanks to chwhite for an excellent game! I can honestly say this is the first time I've ever bought the entire Curse stack in one go before. That's a possibility I'll have to keep in mind for the future.

2
Dominion Isotropic / Bug report: Watchtower can dig through a shuffled deck
« on: November 29, 2011, 04:03:36 pm »
See turn 10 of this game: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201111/29/game-20111129-125341-55fad286.html

led's turn 10
led plays a Develop.
... trashing a Council Room.
... gaining a Border Village and put it on the deck.
... ... gaining an Inn.
... ... ... shuffling 5 cards into the draw pile.
... ... revealing a Watchtower.
... ... putting the Border Village on the deck.
... gaining a Feast and put it on the deck.

Develop puts the gained BV on top of the deck, then Inn shuffles the deck, then Watchtower digs through to find the shuffled BV and puts it back on top of the deck.

To my knowledge this bug only exists with a specific 4-card combo: Develop/Border Village/Inn/Watchtower. I've tried other permutations (swap Develop with Royal Seal, or try to use Watchtower alone as the only top-decker), and they don't exhibit the bug. i.e. I am not offered the choice to reveal Watchtower for BV after shuffling it.

There's a related and more general Develop/BV/Watchtower problem, in that Watchtower will dig down into the draw pile to find BV in a known location, with one or more cards on top of it (e.g. by gaining a Mandarin as the bonus card after dropping some treasures on an earlier Black Market play, or simply top-decking the bonus card with Watchtower so that BV is the 2nd card on the stack). Donald has ruled on BGG that this probably violates lose-track, though he did hedge that he might change his mind whenever lose-track is finalized.

3
Game Reports / Post your exotic engines
« on: October 10, 2011, 12:59:32 am »
Since I first stumbled upon the TR/Wharf engine (requiring no +action cards whatsoever), I've had a minor obsession with cobbling together bizarre engines on boards that you might not guess could support any engine at all. And this one is probably my favorite so far.

cards in supply: Bridge, Colony, Golem, Goons, Horse Traders, Ironworks, Platinum, Potion, Rabble, Remake, Throne Room, Trading Post, and Young Witch ( Chapel♦ )

I stared at the board for a long while before making my opening buy. Goons, Chapel, Young Witch, Bridge... all kinds of delicious candy you'd like to be able to play if you had unlimited actions. And yet, with no Villages, and not even a cantrip in sight to pair with Throne Room, you might guess this is just another boring Big Money-variant board. Open Young Witch and hope to outrace a Chapel opening with some decent luck? Open Chapel and pick up a few Goons over the course of the game, with no other actions in the deck?

Nah, that's boring. Clearly this calls for shoehorning in a really weird engine!

#1 led: 126 points (71 ▼, 4 Colonies, and 5 Duchies); 18 turns
     opening: Ironworks / Chapel
     [50 cards] 10 Rabbles, 10 Throne Rooms, 8 Goons, 4 Golems, 3 Bridges, 2 Ironworks, 1 Chapel, 1 Silver, 1 Potion, 1 Platinum, 5 Duchies, 4 Colonies

Ultimately the cards that make the engine run are Throne Room, Golem, Rabble, and (semi-critically) Ironworks for +action to keep going after possible aborted Golem chains. Chapel was entirely necessary to provide the density of engine cards required, with Ironworks enabling quick accumulation of engine cards during the initial trimming phase. Bridge makes for some fun Ironworks shenanigans (gaining Goons and Duchies with Ironworks) as well as providing a critical piece of the payload. Would you have guessed looking at the board that dropping 4 Goons in one turn was plausible? :o This is maybe the most interesting deck I've ever built, and it was an extra bonus to put it together against a top-flight opponent in ehunt who was himself following a perfectly good strategy.


What weird engines have you forced on action-poor (or draw-poor) boards? I'd love to see some other novel ideas!

4
Game Reports / Don't Call It a Comeback
« on: September 19, 2011, 11:09:25 am »
...OK, actually you can probably go ahead and call it a comeback.

I made the rather noobish mistake of trashing down to no coin sources beyond a Silver and a Steward at turn 9 (forgetting I was out of Copper for Moneylender), causing me to straight up lose 2 turns of tempo while I bootstrapped back up to Gold. That put me in a huge hole, and eventually I was down 4 Provinces to 0 with another Province trashed by Forge and the bitter taste of defeat rising in my throat. I knew it was time for Desperation Tactics(TM)!

I picked up 2 Potions and switched to Vineyards, giving my opponent no help in emptying the Province pile (until I emptied it myself to end the game). In 4 turns I managed to accumulate 7 Vineyards and enough cheapo action cards (Native Village) to pump them up to 6 VPs, just barely snatching victory from the jaws. (In retrospect, this actually looks like a solid Vineyards board from turn 1, but I'm quite bad at recognizing such boards.)

I particularly enjoy the score-vs.-turn graph on the CR game page ;D

5
Game Reports / Great Moments in Contraband
« on: September 16, 2011, 07:10:59 pm »
This isn't super flashy, but this game features some of my all-time favorite Contraband prohibitions.

We were both buying Contraband because it was the only $5 card on the board and we wanted to Remake them into Golds and Nobles. At first, sure, it's pretty mundane: I made sure he couldn't get his first Gold off a Contraband buy. Which isn't completely the end of the world for him, since he can buy Nobles instead.

Then the endgame rolled around, and he was behind, so he had to rely on Contraband for cash and buys attempting to catch up. Again, at first, it's mundane: It's greening time, so I prohibit Provinces, and he buys lesser VP cards instead:

    Leonard's turn 14
   Leonard plays a Contraband.
   ... led prohibits Leonard from buying Provinces.
   Leonard plays 4 Coppers and 2 Silvers.
   Leonard buys a Duchy.
   Leonard buys a Duchy.

    Leonard's turn 15
   Leonard plays a Contraband.
   ... led prohibits Leonard from buying Provinces.
   Leonard plays 3 Silvers.
   Leonard buys a Duchy.
   Leonard buys an Estate.
   Leonard buys an Estate.


But then we get down to 1 Province left in the pile, and I realize hey! If he buys it I've got enough VPs to hold him off. The only way I can lose is if he gets too many Duchies first and then buys it. So here's where I make a really fun play I've never gotten to try before:

    Leonard's turn 16
   Leonard plays a Contraband.
   ... led prohibits Leonard from buying Duchies.
   Leonard plays 2 Coppers.
   Leonard buys an Estate.
   Leonard buys an Estate.
   Leonard buys an Estate.
   Leonard buys an Estate.

    Leonard's turn 17
   Leonard plays a Contraband.
   ... led prohibits Leonard from buying Duchies.
   Leonard plays a Copper and a Silver.
   Leonard buys an Estate.
   Leonard buys an Estate.

6
Council Room Feedback / No game data for the last few days?
« on: September 12, 2011, 10:18:32 am »
Is it just me, or has councilroom not scraped game data off isotropic since the 8th? I'm just curious what's up.

7
Game Reports / Who says you shoudn't buy Masquerade in a Possession game?
« on: September 06, 2011, 12:14:19 pm »
http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201109/06/game-20110906-085939-0b1b921e.html

I opened Masquerade/Caravan thinking to just roll through on a Minion engine (drafting off his Bishop) if he didn't go for Potions. But he did buy a Potion, so I hatched an evil-er scheme: Bought a 2nd Masquerade, passed it to him (along with the Possessor's next-best friend: Upgrade) and got 2 Possessions myself. Then of course I Upgraded my remaining Masquerade out of my deck, just in case. Though I needn't have done since I managed to pass away his Potion before he ever got a Possession. With Nobles I managed a couple double-Possession turns.

This was a lot of fun :) He took it in good spirits, seemed amused by the unexpected "Take my Masquerade.. please!" gambit.

Of some small note: At turn 12 I passed a Gold out of his hand instead of a Province, because the interface failed to show me that Masquerade had drawn a Province until after I chose the pass card. Annoying bug, but it didn't repro later in the game.

8
Dominion Isotropic / seeing new entrants to the lobby
« on: August 12, 2011, 06:13:52 pm »
In my experience on isotropic, the only way to reliably find high-level games (say over level 25) is to propose to people of the appropriate level right as they enter the lobby. Proposing to random names on the list inevitably leads to much wasted time and frustration, because most people in the lobby at any given time are idling. But now the interface no longer appends new names to the end of the list, so it's quite difficult to watch for people entering the lobby.

I've taken to using auto-match, but this doesn't help me find high-level opponents. I'd very much like to have some way to easily identify people who have just entered the lobby.

9
Game Reports / My new favorite double-Tactician game
« on: July 14, 2011, 05:33:25 pm »
http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201107/14/game-20110714-142142-115e82fa.html

This one's got it all:

-Double Tactician, The Best Draw Engine(TM)
-Black Market: Great for double-Tac decks, and it also served as a critical source of engine cards.
-Outpost, for double-doubleTac turns! Bonus: I got the Outpost off the Black Market.
-Other notable BM pulls: Chapel (early enough to be useful), Throne Room (literally the only +2action source in this game), Laboratory (chosen early over Hoard, correctly I think)
-Ignoble BM temptation: Goons. I bought it and never used it. Gold would have been much better. Without actually looking at the BM deck, I figured I'd find another +2actions source in there.
-Other obvious mistake: I took 2 Duchies on my last turn, forgetting that Fairgrounds were available for 6 VPs instead of 3.
-Gained 4 Provinces with Horn of Plenty, including this gem of a turn:

Code: [Select]
guided's turn 16
guided picks up a card from a Haven.
guided picks up a card from a Haven.
guided draws 5 cards and gets +1 action and +1 buy from the Tactician.
guided plays a Throne Room.
... and plays a Laboratory.
... ... drawing 2 cards and getting +1 action.
... and plays the Laboratory again.
... ... drawing 2 cards and getting +1 action.
guided plays a Haven.
... drawing 1 card and getting +1 action.
... setting aside a card.
guided plays an Outpost.
guided plays a Black Market.
... getting +$2.
... drawing a Navigator, a Duke, and a Quarry from the Black Market deck.
... playing a Gold, a Silver, and 4 Coppers.
... playing a Horn of Plenty.
... ... gaining a Province.
... ... trashing the Horn of Plenty.
... playing a Horn of Plenty.
... ... gaining a Province.
... ... trashing the Horn of Plenty.
... returning a Navigator, a Duke, and a Quarry to the bottom of the Black Market deck.
guided plays a Tactician.
... discarding the hand (2 cards).
guided buys a Province.
guided buys a Silver.

...followed by the Outpost turn where I ended the game.

I had an inordinate amount of fun with this game.

10
Feedback / Busted post page formatting
« on: June 17, 2011, 06:29:21 pm »
I'm having a problem here that I've never had on another forum: the message text box extends way off to the right of the visible area of the posting form, truncated by the form border. So if I type anything longer than the visible portion of the box, it extends off invisibly. I've taken to typing up posts in notepad.

Any ideas?

Firefox 4 under Windows 7.

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