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Help! / Advice on how to play this board
« on: August 18, 2016, 05:20:50 pm »

Code: [Select]
Doctor, Masquerade, Gardens, Militia, Duke, Festival, Harvest, Highway, Market, Wharf
The only thing that was clear to me was that this was strong engine and that I don't want Gardens, Duke or Harvest in my deck. Everything else was under question mark. So:

1) Basic strategy I went for was Festival-Wharf engine with Masquerades for trashing and Highways for payload. To build up and gain insurmountable lead in one megaturn. As a strategy, this was good and fast, but is there anything better?
2) Do you want Market here? It just seemed abundant to get them, with Wharf being just better in any way.
3) Is Militia useful here at all? Early in the game for hinder your opponent from reaching $5 and later in the game for infamous Militia-Masq combo? My opponent got one early and he didn't manage to utilize it well, with many terminal collisions with Masq and Wharf.
4) Let's say you trashed enough and want to gain these lovely $5 cards. In what order do you gain them? I'd like to hear answers like e.g. "'I'd first get 1 X, then several Y, then gang up on X and Z..."
5) How would you open on 3/4 and on 5/2 (mind you, not 2/5. With Doctor distinction is important)


edit: posted wrong log

Help! / Engine or money?
« on: November 28, 2015, 09:49:28 am »

Code: [Select]
Fool's Gold, Fishing Village, Loan, Lookout, Tunnel, Bazaar, Council Room, Laboratory, Farmland, Grand Market
Yey, a great engine...

is what I first thought when I saw this board. Loan and Lookout to thin, Lab and maybe CR for draw, mass Grand Markets as payload - what could possibly go wrong here? Many things, as it turns out, especially the way I played it. I opened FV/Lookout (in retrospect, I think this is one of 5% boards where Silver>FV) and starting thinning. As it happens, reaching $6 with just FVs, and Bazaars and Loan was not an easy task, so I was forced to add a Silver and a Gold to my deck - just to buy this ever-imporant Grand Market and steamroll it from here. My opponent, who forsake trashing for the sake of economy, got an early lead, and I was only able to catch up and win due to some fortunate Farmland shanenigans in the last few turns.

Now, my question. After the game, it dawned to me that I gained my 1st province only on turn 16, and I started to wonder if simple Council Room+ Fool's Gold would have easily crushed both mine and my opponent's strategy. Just open FG/FG (or FG/CR if you're lucky), spam these FGs and you should have an insurmountable lead by turn 15.

So, what's the optimal strategy on this board? Is it truly BM or did I just horribly misplayed an engine? Should I have included FG in en engine as a payload? I thought about massing FG early, coupling it with trashing and using them to buy GM - but it seemed to slow and unreliable. So, how would you play this board?

eta: I forgot to add game link:

Dominion General Discussion / About kingmaking
« on: May 20, 2015, 05:40:48 am »
Kingmaker (in the context of gaming) = player who can decide the winner of the game while having no chances of winning himself.

Ok, I realize this is a niche subject, as it encompasses rare scenario in already rare multiplayer Dominion; but I think it would be an interesting topic to discuss, as it touches upon fair play, etiquette and ever-loved edge cases.

I firstly encountered it years ago, while still unfamiliar with the term and while playing a different game. It was a 4 player Ad Astra game where, in the end, only leading two players had the chance of victory, while myself and 4th player were way far behind. So, in the last round where everybody was prepared to cash in points, I played in a way that completely screwed up one of leading players and enabled his rival an easy victory. It was not my intention, of course - I simply played in a way which would maximize my own score (regardless of having zero chances of winning), while messing up with other guy's plan was just a side-effect. After the game we had a discussion of whether this was a fair play from me or not.

I found myself on the other side of this case a while ago, in a 3P Dominion game. Basically, Player B was much ahead of me, but my deck was quickly catching up. Problem was, Province pile was running low and Player A, whose turn it was and who had no chances of victory at all, could effectively decide the game by buying penultimate Province and a Duchy. That way, I wouldn't have enough VP cards to buy to catch up with Player B. However, Player A, whatever his motive was, bought only Duchies, which enabled me to Double Province and tie for first with Player B.

So, how should I and Player A have played in our respective cases? Was it right for us to play our best, or was it more important not to mess up with the players vying for victory. I personally think the former is more fair, but I've met people who don't share this opinion. Hence, I'm asking - and I'm interested in hearing your opinions on this subject.

Help! / Back to Engines 101
« on: April 18, 2015, 11:59:43 am »
Hello, I'd like feedback on following two games:

I. The game that inspired the title:

Code: [Select]
Moat, Pawn, Fishing Village, Masterpiece, Bridge, Coppersmith, Farming Village, Outpost, Stables, Vault
Here I was soundly and utterly beaten. Plan here is obvious: mass Bridges, have many Fishing Villages to support them, and Stables to draw your deck. I had 5/2 and went for Stables/Moat (I thought with many FV around, draw from Moat will be useful). However, despite making some suboptimal decisions in the start, my opponent was ahead from the beginning, was in control the entire time and finished the game on 3 piles when it suited him. I obviously did something wrong, and I'm eager to learn what. What were my mistakes?

II. Money-ish game:

Code: [Select]
Workshop, Feast, Island, Monument, Throne Room, Treasure Map, Baker, Bazaar, Cartographer, Rogue
No real +buy (Workshop and Feast being inferior substitutes), no trashing and no draw - looked like a money-ish board to me. I decided to try Island+BM, while my opponent opened with Workshop/Baker, which seemed too slow to me. I had misfortune of his Rogue hitting my Gold on turn 5, but still I managed to amass solid Province lead. When it seemed that game might slog out for a while, I bought Baker for tokens. Game ended on 3-piling (Islands, Estates, Duchies), as neither of us wanted to break the PPR. I won barely (2 points), although I thought my strategy should be much better. Is this assumption wrong or was my execution bad?

edit: posted wrong log

Help! / How to approach this kingdom
« on: March 26, 2015, 06:14:41 am »
I played this interesting kingdom today (Shelters/Provinces):

Code: [Select]
Fool's Gold, Develop, Swindler, Tunnel, Nomad Camp, Band of Misfits, Bazaar, Explorer, Tactician, Vault
I started pretty cluelessly, and only during the course of the game began noticing various (and numerous) interesting card interactions. So, how would you approach this board (on 4/3 opening):

1) Swindler + BM, maybe later transposing into Vault+BM
2) Vault + BM from the start, or Vault + FG
3) Nomad Camp + FG, with Tactician later
4) Double Tactician with Vault
5) anything else I'm missing?

Actual game may not be most interesting, since both myself and my opponent missed many stuff, but if anyone's interested in log: here it is.

Help! / Analyzing interesting kingdom
« on: October 22, 2014, 10:28:15 am »
Game is Shelters/Provinces. Cards are:

Code: [Select]
Fool's Gold, Watchtower, Pirate Ship, Spy, Mandarin, Merchant Ship, Rogue, Grand Market, Harem, Nobles
Actual game was not what I found most interesting, since my attempt at building an engine was greatly helped by opponent's Pirate Ships. What I'd like to ask instead is few questions regarding this kingdom, since I found it most interesting and providing lots of food for thought:

1) What would be an optimal strategy here? There are powerful cards, true, but only trashing is opponent's PS, only village is Nobles and only draw are Nobles and Watchtower (conditional). This is actually where I was glad that this was Shelters game - since it adds Hovel (trashable quickly due to Nobles) and Necropolis (adds much needed +actions) to the mix. I'm interested in is engine quicker than e.g. MerchantShip+BM or Mandarin+BM.
1a) If engine mirror, where, say, Nobles split is 4-4, how effective would Nobles be as almost only source of +actions and +draw? Can Watchtower be useful here?
1b) How would you assess this kingdom with Estates instead of Shelters?

2) Which money strategy would be optimal here? Fool's Gold or not? MS or Mandarin? How much is moneyish approach hindered by Pirate Ship? Would anything change in your evaluation if this kingdom is played without PS?

3) How would you open with 3/4 and 2/5? Which do you prefer?

Thanks for all comments and help.

Help! / Engine advice
« on: September 19, 2014, 04:07:56 am »
Looking for ways to improve my engine play, I've looked at some I've boards I (mis)played in the last couple of weeks. I'd ask for any opinion and advice on how to approach these:

Game 1:

Code: [Select]
Native Village, Warehouse, Horse Traders, Ironmonger, Tournament, Baker, Mine, Minion, Tribute, Hoard
Despite my best efforts, I feel like I horribly lucked out here getting Princess in my last turn helped a lot. While my opponent played what could only be described as BM+various vards (opening Mine Native Village), I tried to built Minion engine. What slowed me down the most was lack of trashing and clumsy +buy (Horse Traders), so by the time I managed to start engine going, my opponent was already much ahead in points.

Despite this, I'm convinced engine should be the right call here so I'd really like to hear how I should have played it.

Game 2:

Code: [Select]
Crossroads, Oasis, Smugglers, Advisor, Monument, Remake, Council Room, Graverobber, Highway, Jester
I can't say much about this one, except I think I got completely outplayed. There are tons of interesting combos here, and my opponent utilized them better than me.  I tried to connect pieces  for a Highway megaturn, but something went awry, and I collected only 16 points after 20 turns (terrible for an non-attack board). Any advice is welcome.

Game 3:

Code: [Select]
Lookout, Sage, Scheme, Caravan, Smithy, Spice Merchant, City, Saboteur, Border Village, Hoard
An interesting board, I'd say. All of engine elements are in place, except for one Spice Merchant is the only (conditional) source of +buy. Naturally, I trashed down first, only to find out that SM was running out of fuel, and due to lack of virtual money I didn't want to trash all of my treasures. After 15 turns, the game ended in tie.

So how would you play this board? Is simple Smithy-Hoard-BM best option here, or does some kind of engine beat it?

Game 4:

Code: [Select]
Candlestick Maker, Moat, Loan, Cutpurse, Ironmonger, JackOfAllTrades, Harvest, Horn of Plenty, Journeyman, Hoard
Not en engine board at all factors such as lack of proper villages should make moneyish approaches superior. What I'm interested in is would e.g. replacing Moat with Village make an engine viable? If so, how would you open and play it? Some kind of Village-Journeyman-CM deck with Loan for trashing? Is Horn of Plenty fast enough? Or does money-based strategy still work best?

Variants and Fan Cards / Questions on online tools for card designing
« on: July 29, 2014, 09:16:36 am »
I hope this is the right forum to ask these questions. If not, my apologies.

1) I've seen a lot of memes in Homage to the best card thread ( which are basically Dominion cards with changed picture and/or text. The question is - how do you make these changes? By using Photoshop (which I'm total noob at) or is there any online tool which allows it?

2) Is there any online tool / plugin / website / whatever which allows for designing of custom cards for card games? I'm thinking along the line of , but hopefully with larger amount of options with regards to card layout - e.g. option to expand card image across the whole card, instead of limiting it to upper part of the card.

Any answers would be greatly appreciated :)

Rules Questions / Chapel question
« on: April 28, 2014, 01:14:56 pm »
When you play Chapel, is it obligatory to trash at least one card? Or can you simply play Chapel and not trash anything? Card text: trash up to 4 cards from your hand doesn't explain whether zero can be considered in "up to 4" part.

Goko thinks trashing is not obligatory - which helped me a lot in recent Horn of Plenty game; but I'd like to know what's the official verdict on this?

Help! / Improving Alt-VP strategies
« on: February 26, 2014, 05:29:13 pm »
Being relatively inexperienced player (Goko rating about 4500) and looking to improve my play, I registered here and thought to ask for feedback regarding some my games. So, hello all :D

In particular, I've been having some interesting sets recently where various alt-VP strategies were rivaling or overwhelming traditional Province-based ones. Since I have little experience playing alt-VP sets, it's quite probable I've erred in various ways in these games. Any feedback is welcome.

Game 1: Feodum

Code: [Select]
Hamlet, Smugglers, Steward, Feodum, JackOfAllTrades, Tournament, Cultist, Ill-Gotten Gains, Knights, Saboteur

Before this game, I used to underestimate Feodum. Not any more - as I got completely trashed here without ever coming nowhere near contesting my opponent. We both opened Jack of all Trades/Steward, and while my opponent trashed consistently and got his first Province ASAP, I got carried away, abandoned trashing and opted for Cultist. With his thin deck, opponent connected his Tournament and Province relatively quickly, got Trusty Steed and started pumping more and more silver into his deck with each play. In the end, each of his 8 Feodums were 9 points worth.

So, is Trusty Steed/Feodum right way to go here? Is some Province plan quick enough to stop it? Would Feodum still be right way to go without Tournament on the board?

Game 2: Duke/Silk Roads

Code: [Select]
Candlestick Maker, Doctor, Horse Traders, Silk Road, Smithy, Cache, Duke, Haggler, Margrave, Stables

This set, as it seemed to me, heavily favoured Duke strategy - Horse traders, Cache and Silk Road should all go splendidly with it. I opened HT/Silver and started gaining Caches and 1 more HT, while my opponent basically went Big Money + Margrave. Despite winning by relatively narrow margin (76-70), my opponent would have probably won if he bought Silk Roads instead of Dukes and Estate (T18).

My gut feeling is that Duke is best possible strategy here and that Province player should not have come so close. So, did I misplay my game? Started greening too early? Gotten too few Horse Traders? Or am I wrong and Province-based strategy is viable here?

Game 3: Duke/Silk Road

Code: [Select]
Duchess, Chancellor, Coppersmith, Sea Hag, Silk Road, Bandit Camp, Duke, Explorer, Haggler, Border Village

We both opened Sea Hag/Silver and went for Duchies with some Haggler support. I started buying victory cards earlier, while my opponent took his time to buy 3 Bandit Villages - whose Spoils enabled him to snatch some Provinces later. It turns out that his Provinces ensured him insurmountable lead. On my last turn, I bought the last Curse to 3-pile the game, as I couldn't know the score and feared it would only get worse for me it the game went on. I ended up losing with four points.

Any improvements here on my general plan or its execution? Was Bandit Camp really the way to go here?

Game 4: Gardens

Code: [Select]
Fool's Gold, Moat, Storeroom, Bureaucrat, Gardens, Navigator, Harvest, Journeyman, Mountebank, Grand Market

The question here was - whether to go for Mountebank and/or Grand Market or Storeroom/Gardens. My opponent went for former, I decided to try latter. Game ended on turn 22, with Gardens, Storerooms and Estate pile empty. Though I won by a small margin, I'm convinced I would be toast with better play from my opponent. Had he snatched more than 1 Gardens from he, I would have lost. Had the game lasted 1 turn longer, I would have lost. Had my opponent not helped me empty Storeroom pile, I would have lost. Had he ignored Grand Market and Fool's Gold and went straight for Money + Mountebank or Money + Journeyman, I'd probably lose convincingly.

So, was Gardens really the best option here? Should it win the game against Mountebank player? Or did I somehow misplay my hands?

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