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Game Reports / How to play this
« on: October 08, 2013, 11:35:18 am »
I stumbled upon this game I played against Psyduck. I won and he thought he chose the wrong strategy so we replayed it a few times. How would you play here in general - and then in detail, cause that is what it really is about.. ;-)

Game Reports / Vineyards again
« on: September 16, 2013, 05:18:50 pm »
So, Robz recently posted the game with 9VP vineyards, getting there with ruins.

I'm really surprised my opponent didn't go for Vineyards himself--this is like the Vineyards dream board, with cheap Actions, Stonemason, and even Border Village (though I don't take advantage of that). Well, not only does he leave me to get all 8 Vineyards, he actually buys 7 Cultists. This puts me in the awkward situation of not wanting to play my Lighthouses! Give me ALL the Ruins, please.

Now I just played a game which is close to the VY dream board, except for the lack of great halls, islands or nobles. ;-) Similar to Robz, I was surprised my opponent didn't go VY himself. I felt a little under pressure when he had 5 provinces and a duchy (this duchy being a clear mistake, imho, even despite the hovel trashing) after 15 turns and not a real sign of deceleration in his double embassy deck. But eventually my plan resolved itself really nicely and I stopped pushing my VY higher for the sake of ending this 15 VP VY game :).

Dominion Articles / Synergy: Bandit Camp / Possession
« on: September 12, 2013, 07:21:16 am »
I searched for "Bandit Camp" via site search and didn't hit anything related to possession, so here comes a nice little thing I stumbled upon.

If there is possession on the board and it's likely to be an engine mirror, a Bandit Camp is a very good choice of pieces you want to add to your deck. Why is that?

1. It is an important engine piece in that it provides +action.
2. It provides $. So even if you trashed all your money, so that your opponent cannot use it while possessing you, you still have some $ to use.
3. It provides $ - only for you. This holds if you can draw your deck reliably and are playing possession reliably every turn. In your turn, you'll draw spoils the same turn you played BC. On possessed turns, your opponent gains Spoils himself so he cannot use it immediately. Moreover, you can use it when you possess him since he didn't have time to use it between adding it to his deck and being subjected to your possession.

Here is a sample game, where poor yed suffered from exactly this for several turns.

supply (after vetoing scrying pool (MrEevee) and councilroom):
Lighthouse, Menagerie, Warehouse, Baron, Caravan, Quarry, Contraband, Counting House, Harem, Expand

So Eevee starts 3/4 while I have 5/2. Suggestions?

Log is at the end of this paragraph (hi -Stef- ;-)). So I start contraband/lighthouse, he goes warehouse/baron which I consider the right choice as it helps connecting baron and estates plus it is a starting point for warehouse/menagerie things. He blocks gold on my contraband turns so I go for lighthouse/baron and warehouse/menagerie. However, from now on we tend to mirror the other, so after he got some caravans, I get some, too, whereas he got a contraband. I'm very unsure about the caravan thing as it antisynergises with menagerie pretty strongly. He gets an expand much earlier than I do (although I only have 1 terminal, i.e. baron - poor play on my part here) - and he plays expand not so well, I think. He invests in harems while I go for some provinces as soon as I can to get the lead and see how I can defend it. Finally I can after some interesting buying and blocking decisions.

Rules Questions / gaining
« on: November 24, 2012, 08:19:50 am »
I briefly checked whether there is a question like this but didn't find anything. If someone knows there is something similar, feel free to point this thread out to me and I'll happily look at that existing one.

Anyway, so there is this question about gaining (it is an even bigger problem in German since translators didn't pay enough attention to the difference between gain and other words for getting a card). Up to now I understood that 'gain' always refers to taking a card from the supply and putting it (somewhere) in my deck (most often: discard pile). Some cards trigger when I 'gain' another card, i.e. I can reveal a trader when I'm gaining a curse because my opponent played a witch or because I bought one. Or I can reveal watchtower to trash the 'gained' card or put it on my drawing pile.
Now what about graverobber? It says I may 'gain' a card from the trash. Let's say I chose a death cart from the trash. Is it 'gaining' so that I can reveal a watchtower to put death cart on my drawing pile and immediately trash the 2 ruins that I would gain upon gaining a death cart? Or haven't I gained the 2 ruins at all because I didn't 'gain' death cart but took it from the trash? DXV uses 'get' in his secret history to describe what graverobber does.

So, in other words: is 'gain from the trash' a kind of 'gain' such that on-gain effects are triggered or is it an improper word since one might mix it up with gaining and gaining can never be from the trash as it is always from the supply?

(for completeness: in German, 'gain' = 'nehmen' but they also wrote 'auf die Hand nehmen' for 'put into your hand' as it is said for adventurer ('auf die Hand' = 'into your hand'), leading to a situation that I might look trough my drawing pile until I find 2 treasures (e.g. IGG), 'gain' them (i.e. from the supply, i.e. opponent gains 2 curses), discard everything but the treasure cards and put the 2 treasures that I found in my drawing pile back since there is nothing specified on those cards.)

Gonna copy Davio here:

Short version: I won with Tonks77 runner-up and Varsinor coming 3rd.

Detailed version below, if you're more familiar with German or like to learn it (who wouldn't?  ::)), here's the German report.

German Dominion championship 2012 Ė of the importance to study rules before playing

Itís Thursday evening, 11.30 pm, way too late since my alarm is set to 3.50, 4.00, 4.10 and 4.20 am (no oversleeping, please). So there are 4 h of sleep between me and my most exciting Dominion day ever.
Friday morning, 3.50, my alarm rings and I get up at 3.55. 4.00, brushing my teeth when the light goes off. Damn, there is some reconstruction going on which is why they would turn off electricity (which I forgot completely). Fine, candle light atmosphere in my bathroom, terribly romantic. Getting packed and controlling I really got everything (ticket!) with me is not that romantic, though.
5.00 am, on the train, everything worked out so far, half asleep my thoughts drift off: Did I really have everything with me, enough food (probably not), enough to drink (I guess so, yes)? Well, theyíll have something at the fair. Analyse setups really deeply, look at every card with respect to the other 9 cards, before I start playing. Will I recognise Tonks77? Whoelse I know will be there, others from or Guys from BSW? Varsinor? Analyse setups really deeply, look at every card with respect to the other 9 cards, before I start playing. How well does Arndt Feddersen (last yearís German champion and 3rd at the world championship) actually play? Will Brathannes moderate only or take part in the competition? Donít try to realize the impossible! No engines where there arenít any, Iím not Marin. Will there be long queues to get in? Analyse setups really deeply, look at every card with respect to the other 9 cards, before I start playing. Will other players know cards from the later expansions as well as I do? Will I find hall 4 immediately? Analyse setups really deeply, look at every card with respect to the other 9 cards, before I start playing. Do play better strategies even if you donít like them. Analyse setups really deeply, look at every card with respect to the other 9 cards, before I start playing.
6.00 am, my train is late some minutes, I only got 5 minutes to change trains. I hardly catch my next one.
7.00 am, v.v. 40 minutes to change trains in the middle of nowhere. Not even a bakery near the station, I get back to my own breakfast.
9.30 am, I reach Essen main station, get the next metro (which seems to have been the last, as they close it down soon afterwards, only shuttle buses run for the fair, then), no queuing needed to get in and I find hall 4 easily. Seems like they have been organising bigger events in Essen before..
10.00 am, I register for the tournament and have time until 10.45. I stay nearby, Iím actually waking up now. Still my thoughts remain the same. I find Tonks77 and others quickly, Watnoís there, too, I hear others talking about BSW and when I introduce myself the moderator introduces himself as Brathannes.
11.00 am, 30 players start playing for Germanyís Dominion championship 2012.

The modus operandi is as follows: 6 rounds, 2 player games, Swiss system with Buchholz tie breaker. Top 4 players proceed to the semis.
Round 1: 5 cards base, 5 cards intrigue
Round 2: 5 cards base, 5 cards seaside
Round 3: 5 cards intrigue, 5 cards alchemists
Round 4: 5 cards base, 5 cards prosperity
Round 5: 5 cards intrigue, 5 cards cornucopia
Round 6: 5 cards base, 5 cards hinterlands

Round 1: cellar, chapel, remodel, festival, adventurer (base), pawn, steward, duke, torturer, upgrade (intrigue)
I get the cards from intrigue out of the box, my opponent gets base cards out. As I donít look at the base cardsí names on the sheet we got, I donít realise he took lab out instead of remodel. Set is rather nice, I think which lifts my mood as it promises some more interesting setups. Duke will be to slow to compete against a chapelled engine deck with festival and torturer, I think, so I go for the latter. Still the torturer might not be that effective when we both have slim decks and chapel, anyway. I start 4/3 and open silver/chapel, while my opponent has 5/2 and starts lab/chapel. Iím a bit frightened to lose the first game as 1st player but when I see him chapelling away an estate only but keeping 3 coppers for a silver, I start breathing again. I use chapel normally and get my deck thin quickly. I get a torturer, a festival, another torturer etc. I do not buy as many torturers as I would normally what I ascribe to my nervs Ė there is a bigger difference between playing online and IRL than I thought; or maybe just a bigger one between playing for a championship and not. He gets the first province before I do but makes lots of mistakes, buys labs instead of torturers or festival etc. He takes curses when heís got chapel in hand and discards when he doesnít. Eventually I win clearly with  provinces.

Round 2: chancelor, moneylender, laboratory, library, witch (base), embargo, outlook, salvager, explorer, outpost (seaside)
My opponent did play at BSW so he hadnít played for 1.5 months, he mainly knows cards from BSW. He starts 5/2 and opens witch/- as he overlooks embargo. For whatever reason I start salvager/outlook for 4/3. The more I think about it the less I can believe I really did this. Anyway, t3 is salvager, outlook, 3 coppers which doesnít really help, especially when I do not salvage outlook as I shouldíve done. He, instead, makes minor mistakes only (3 labs which shouldíve been another witch and 2 silvers, I think), and cruises to victory with a moneylender, several golds, 3 labs and the witch. So, I played horribly and definitely deserved this loss. After 2 rounds, there are 8 players with 2 wins, among them Varsinor, Tonks77 and Arndt Feddersen. I most likely need 4 consecutive wins now.

Round 3: pawn, masquerade, steward, bridge, harem (intrigue), vineyard, apothecary, university, familiar, apprentice (alchemists)
I was still a little shocked by my round 2 performance and by the fact that I needed 4 wins out of 4 games. I contrast to game 2 which was pretty obvious (although I screwed it up) there were some ways here, I think. Simplest wouldíve been masquerade/BM but I think superior wouldíve been university/masquerade assisted by apprentices and bridges. I went, however, for a vineyard based strategy as I figured university would provide a lot of support. Still I didnít play it too well, started potion/steward and got an apothecary first for cycling. Due to this I didnít trash coppers aggressively which might have been a mistake, too. Well, my opponent didnít know some cards, but he went for vineyards, too. When he leads them 2-1 I get a nice turn where I trash 2 apprentices with apprentices and can play 2 or 3 bridges for 3 vineyards resulting in a 5-3 split for me. I then emptied piles and won this comfortably despite some duchies for him as he also had 2 or 3 curses from a late bought familiar. Still, this didnít feel like on top of my game at all.

Round 4: workshop, remodel, thief, festival, library (base), watchtower, city, mountebank, rabble, goons (prosperity); with platinum & colony
Somehow I had the feeling there would be this classic scenario in the prosperity game. Mountebank had to be taken into account, of course, since 2 or 4 more useless cards in your deck can render it hard to pair enough festivals, goons and watchtowers. My opponent was the youngest guy (10) of the participants and he didnít know the cards well, buying festival on his first 5$ and a very early thief (!) on t2-4 (donít remember exactly) which trashed 2 coppers for me which was huge. I started watchtower/silver which I still think is the right move and got 6$ after playing WT on t3. I chose mountebank over goons, bought festivals and watchtowers then, then a goons, more goons, festivals and WT. He never got back to 5$ or even 6$ so I had basically won this as early as t5ish. When festivals ran out I bought cities and before my last turn I had 8 goons, 9 festivals (he had 1), 8 WT (he had 2) and 75 points. My last turn gained me the missing 2 goons, a colony, a province and 13 coppers and a total of another 101 points resulting in the highest score of the day: 176-2.

Round 5: courtyard, great hall, shanty town, bridge, nobles (intrigue), hamlet, fortune teller, horse traders, horn of plenty, fairgrounds (cornucopia)
I had regained some confidence after these 2 wins, the last one really  convincing. I started 2/5 and chose courtyard/HOP while my opponent had 4/3 and opened horse traders/shanty town). A megaturn strategy with HOP was a little difficult to carry out since card draw was not great (expensive nobles or effectively 2 cards from courtyard), villages didnít draw cards either (shanty town, nobles, hamlet) such that big hands were a little hard to achieve. Nevertheless I tried to get through my deck with hamlets, courtyards and shanty towns, assisted by an occasional bridge. Piles were running a little low and we didnít have any victory points except few nobles or great halls when I managed to play lots of cards and have HOP so I trashed it for a province. I also had 2 golds which helped me to gain 6 provinces in the end. Iím not sure anymore how exactly I did it, but my opponent went for fairgrounds. For some reason I thought he had less than 15 cards and finished the game with 5$ and 3 bridges played with a province and some estates. It turned out I only had a 7 point lead (54-47) as he had 15 different cards (maybe I thought he had also trashed all his HOP which he hadnít), but won was won.

Round 6: By now, Tonks77 who I know well from BSW (same town there, for those who know ;-)) was the only unbeaten player in the field (and qualified for the semis) and I feared I would face her in my decisive match. This, however, was not the case, but I was drawn against Arndt Feddersen, the defending champion. Setups were announced and at least the experienced players among those who were fighting for relegation to semis will have sighed when they heard Ďjack of all tradesí:
Moat, chancellor, militia, moneylender, festival (base), crossroads, jack, cache, ill-gotten gains, margrave (hinterlands)
Luckily enough, I was starting player. As my opponent approved of after the game, we both thought about trying something else (IGG? Festival/Xroads/margrave) but quickly decided jack was the way to go. I think Varsinor and his opponent (1 loss both) who also fought for a semifinal spot went jack and IGGs in their game. Anyway, we both opened silver/jack and I got mine on t3, trashed an estate, picked up another jack and a silver on t4. He got 2$ on t3 or t4, bought Xroads and had his jack on t5 only, if I remember correctly. I felt well then as I had 2 jacks, more silver and trashed an estate. It went on really smoothly, my jacks didnít collide, I could always trash an estate, get a gold for 6$ before my first province and went green then. He, however, had 8$ without gold, bought a province but had another 2$ turn and went for another Xroads. He didnít trash his estates at all as his deck was already weaker and he had Xroads but finally my better deck payed off with 5 provinces and a duchy compared to his 3 provinces, 2 duchies and 3 estates. I was qualified for the semis now while he had to hope for a good tiebreaker.

Tonks77 had won her 6th  game as well and came in 1st, Varsinor and me were 2nd and 3rd with a 5-1 record (me having the worse tiebreaker) and the guy I lost game 2 against (named wuschel1 at BSW) had the best tiebreaker out of 7 (!) players on a 4-2 record, meaning there would be no title defense this year.
Setups for semifinals and finals were determined as follows: Out of 22 cards, 2 random cards were revealed. The other 20 were dealt to the 4 remaining players who chose one card but didnít reveal it. The remaining 4 were passed to the player to the left and s/he would chose one from these 4 such that there was a 10 card setup, kind of being an anti-veto system.
The 22 cards were:
chapel, courtyard, foolís gold, moat, chancellor, fortune teller, menagerie, oracle, shanty town, bridge, nomadís camp, salvager, talisman, cache, city, duke, ghost ship, margrave, market, torturer, tribute, witch
The setup then was:
courtyard, fortune teller, menagerie, bridge, nomadís camp, city, margrave, market, tribute, witch
Varsinor started 4/3 against me and opened nomadís camp whereas I started 3/4 and bought silver/courtyard. On his t2 Varsinor got 4$ and bought 2 courtyards. At this point I felt pretty well since the witch would be my 2nd action card compared to Varsinorís 4th and I already had a silver. I played courtyard on t3 so that I could empty my drawing pile on t4 and bought a witch. Varsinor drew horribly, I got a 2nd witch and was able to give him 2 curses before he bought his witch. He was not able to recover from this disadvantage, I won the curse split 3/7 and defended my lead with relative ease til the end so that I advanced to the final where I would meet Tonks77 who had won her 7th straight game.

The setup was determined as it had been for the semis. The 22 cards were:
courtyard, moat, pawn, great hall, menagerie, steward, village, milita, remodel, scout, explorer, harlekin, hunting party, library, merchant ship, tribute, witch, fairgrounds, farmland, harem, expand
The setup:
menagerie, steward, village, milita, remodel, harlekin, hunting party, library, witch, fairgrounds
We both cut decks and Tonks77 had 5/2 while I didnít. She opened witch and I spent what felt like 20 minutes on the decision how to play this now. I would definitely have been at a huge disadvantage in a mirror match. So -Stef- came to my mind both with his article on driving the 2nd player seat as well as one of his favourite openings: steward/steward. A problem for an engine deck was the lack of +buy and then there was hunting party which would allow Tonks77 to cycle her deck quickly and pump curses into my deck. Despite this I felt like I simply had to take a different route and go for the engine. Luckily, Tonks got her witch on t4 which caused the reshuffle then as she had opened witch/- providing me with some air. I trashed 2 estates on t3 and had another tough call to make on t4 with estate, 3 coppers, steward. I trashed again instead of buying a 5$ card to slim my deck down which I regarded as more important. I lacked +action, though, so I bought a village with 6$. Tonks77 got a steward, as well and hunting parties, then. My deck was slim and I could draw at least large parts of it and trash incoming curses. I then bought a milita to disturb her HP chains. Next was a harlekin which was of tremendous help as it got me a gold, a witch and a HP and I managed to even her 2-0 province lead to 2-2. At 3-3 provinces and 1-0 fairgrounds for here I bought a remodel just before the reshuffle with 8$ as I would be able to win with a province and a duchy if she bought the penultimate province. She did buy it and I drew my 5 cards when she had cut my deck: gold Ė steward Ė remodel Ė harlekin Ė gold. No HP, no village. I calculated and finished the game with remodeling a gold into a province and buying an estate. We both had 25 points as I had assumed (4 provinces each, 1 fairgrounds and 3 curses for her to my estate). The organiser came and declared her the German champion 2012. I canít describe the shock I felt when the meaning of his words reached my brain. I asked why and he said it was due to her first place during the Swiss stage while I came in 3rd only. I replied if I had known this I would never have finished the game. He said it was stated in the rules. Luckily for me, Tonks felt the same way as I did: we drew. So, what was declared the fairest move in several years of tournaments in Essen by Brathannes, she offered me a rematch. The organisers agreed but wanted a quick one. They chose a setup from intrigue for the

2nd final: courtyard, masquerade, shanty town, steward, wishing well, copper smith, scout, trading post, torturer, upgrade
Well, most plausible seemed masquerade/BM to both of us so we played it. Tonks got 2$ on t3 and bought a courtyard, I had masquerade on t3, bought a gold, she got a gold on t4 and I had a courtyard on t4. Nothing too interesting happened, there was a little back and forth, Tonks got a torturer for 5$ once but when she played it I had a masquerade in hand which helped me more than it hurt and I won with 4-2 duchies and 0(or 1)-2 curses when we both had 4 provinces.

It was a really nice event, there were free drinks throughout the day and lunch, setups were mostly rather interesting (especially games 1, 4 and 5 and the original final, games 2 and 6 were not, imho). I didnít like the commentary as it revealed strategies to other players but there was nothing to be done as it is regarded as a promo event for dominion as well. And then the speakers were placed inside the playing area and pretty loud which was a little disturbing when you really had to calculate. Nevertheless, all in all it was great since I rarely have the opportunity to play such a row of real life competition games against strong players with theoretically all the cards available. And finally, I really have to thank Tonks again for her fair rematch offer which technically was not necessary at all.

Game Reports / coppersmith shining - with a little develop's help
« on: June 29, 2012, 07:53:18 am »
It was a bit of a gamble since my opponent trashed his coppers, had the tighter deck and higher chances to connect his crucial cards with KC. But then I still had to try it - and it worked :-)

Dominion Isotropic / make resign button not appearing
« on: April 03, 2012, 05:50:17 am »
Has anyone of you ever encountered a situation where your opponent hasn't moved for longer than the normally tolerated inactivity period but the button to make him/her resign does not appear? I'm still in that game (for >30 min now) and can't make him resign. It's not like I desperately need to win this game; I'm just wondering how to escape this situation since I cannot resign/return to the lobby.

Game Reports / ambassador + tournament vs. ambassador + apothecary
« on: January 06, 2012, 09:30:58 am »
I hope this one has not been discussed before. My search told me it was not.

So, Empathy and I had this nice game:
Ambassador, Apothecary, Black Market, Contraband, Feast, Potion, Spy, Stables, Tournament, Tribute, and Witch

I used to start 2xambassador as soon as it appeared in a game but had been beaten recently by players starting amb / X. I also recalled somebody's simulation stating amb / tournament beats 2xamb which is why I started amb / t.
Empathy started amb / P with apothecary being the only potion card.
I bought a second amb on turn 4, he on turn 5.

My ideas were: 1st, I read amb / t performs well. 2nd, w/o any +buy, apo will be too costly.
His ideas were: I get my apos to cycle my deck faster to play amb more often and also filter coppers out of my next hand to increase chances of having amb with 2 estates.

In our short discussion after the game I pointed out that drawing coppers from your next hand does not make too much sense with amb in hand, since you'll then end up with green cards in your next and decreased chances of an amb. Another advantage could have been my amb buy on turn 4 compared to his on turn 5. In addition to that, he had colliding amb on turns 6, 8, 9 and 10. We agreed that I had been more lucky but guessed our strategies (it is strategies or tactics, in this case?) were pretty close.

Any comments? Would he have done better to only buy one amb? Was my 2nd amb necessary?

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