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Topics - Fabian

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1
Introductions / Remember me?
« on: August 26, 2017, 07:47:55 am »
Hey guys,

It's been quite a while since I've visited this place, but some of you might remember me. I used to be a top ranked player on Isotropic in 2012 or so, more or less quitting the game once that was shut down. I played a bit with Dark Ages, at least enough to recognize the cards these days, but everything released after DA is essentially new to me.

I recently kinda got back into playing, and oh my is it hard to play optimally when you only know half the cards!

Anyway, I'd appreciate some input on how the way the game is being played has changed in the last ~3-4 years. If you wouldn't mind, I'd also be interested in hearing your thoughts on how best to learn playing well with these latest expansions. Obviously my fundamentals are reasonably solid, but with a lot of rust and a lot of new knowledge requirements mixed in there. Reading the Articles on each card is probably a good start? Do you still do the card rankings you used to do back in the days? Seeing what new/unfamiliar cards are universally regarded as great (or really bad) would probably speed the process up.

Thanks for any tips, and maybe I'll see you at the table :)

2
Game Reports / Fabian's Game Analysis Series, Game #1
« on: July 22, 2012, 09:29:32 pm »
(this is a series where I take a real game I've played against a real opponent, and analyze the board in as much detail as I find necessary, trying to figure out how it should be played. I've not selected specifically interesting boards, I will go with whatever game happens whenever I decide to do a game like this. It is mostly an exercise for me to become a stronger player, but hopefully we can all learn something through discussion and shared analysis.)

Game #1
Feast, Jester, Margrave, Nobles, Remodel, Thief, Trading Post, Tribute, Walled Village, Witch, !Colony

4/3 opening, going first.


The key card early is Witch. You want to play it early, and often.

Option #1 is to open Feast/Silver, looking to get two early Witches and play them often with Walled Villages. This would transition into more of an engine, with Silver at 3, Walled Village at 4, Nobles at 6, and at 5 you'd likely want to pick up a Trading Post quickly, and possibly a Margrave in the midgame (although the +buy isn't that likely to be important on this board; as the cards you want are not cheap, it's not very likely you'll be able to start picking up stuff like Walled Village+Nobles with $10, and at that point you might prefer Province anyway if you can draw most of your deck reliably enough to get there). It's possible Tribute could be a nice card to pick up at $5 too in the midgame, and Remodel could be reasonable in the mid/endgame to turn Nobles into Provinces to accelerate the game ending.

Option #2 is to go for a deck focusing less on enginey things and go more for a money approach. Silver/Silver or Feast/Silver opening, looking to buy two early Witch, Silver on 3/4, Gold over Nobles at 6, and $5 cards to pick up would probably be.. Margrave? In a deck like this with less reliable card draw, Trading Post shouldn't be very impressive in the midgame since you can't reasonably rely on it to get rid of the cards you really want to get rid of (Curses primarily). Even buying Margrave might be bad as that would add a third/fourth terminal draw action; then again that might not be the worst as you're probably adding around 5 Curses to your deck, so clashing is less of an issue than normal.

After writing this out, I played a test game between the two strategies, and as I predicted option #1 crushed pretty hard. I would expect it to win very comfortably over the more money-centric approach if the two kept playing for a long time:

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201207/22/game-20120722-181313-818d312e.html

Trading Post seemed key here, to the point where I think the Money deck would want to add one early too. As mentioned above, it would run into problems of not being able to draw it consistently, or drawing it dead, too often, and at that point I believe the deck would want to morph into something like deck #1 anyway.



Some questions to get discussion started:

What do you think the optimal strategy on this board looks like? Does it involve Nobles over Gold? Is it close?

Knowing your opponent would go for this optimal strategy, what adjustments, if any, would you make to your own strategy to gain an edge? Does Jester come into play here at all?

Feast/Silver, Silver/Silver, or other for the opening? Why? Is it close?

What parts of my analysis do you disagree with? Why? What key things have I missed in my analysis?


General discussion is also very welcome!

3
Dominion World Masters / Tournament Report from Swedish Nationals
« on: July 15, 2012, 05:18:43 pm »
Today, Sunday July 15, Swedish Nationals in Dominion was held here in Stockholm, our nation's capital. Originally I wasn't sure if I would attend, as it was unlikely I'd be able to go to Worlds even if I won due to lack of sponsorship. In the end I decided that a day of Dominion wouldn't be the worst either way, and I did want to go to Gencon, after all. Plus the game store is like 15 minutes door to door, anyway.

We were 21 players, and because enough of us had brought complete sets of Dominion cards, we could play on seven 3 player tables, with more or less random cards (no promo cards, and a few tables had to share cards with each other, but that wasn't a big deal). We would play six rounds (3 points to winner, 2 points to second place, 1 point to last place), and the overall winner after those 6 rounds would go to the final. The players in places #2-#4 would play an additional 3 player play-off, with the winner of that game also advancing to the finals, which would be first to two wins.

I don't really know how the strength of Swedish Dominion players compares to other countries, but there's definitely a number of good players here, most notably our forum's Lekkit (who won Nationals last year when I was sick) and his girlfriend, as well as a few more isotropic regulars up to level 30ish or so. I'd be lying if I said anything but winning would be a huge disappointment for me though, and that's definitely the only goal I had in mind this morning.

I sat down for round 1 against Lekkit's father, who had traveled from southern Sweden to play (I believe, anyway), and a guy who was pretty new to Dominion (but who played quite well on this board but, though plagued with pretty bad draws). I opened Trading Post, while Lekkitdad opened Merchant Ship. There wasn't a whole lot of interesting things going on in this kingdom, and from there we mostly bought more money, some Caravans or Merchant Ships before the greening phase. Both Lekkitdad and I drew quite well, and with 4 Province each (and the third player having 3) I thought I'd be able to win comfortably when reshuffling into a 6 card hand with Merchant Ship (and Caravan) in play. My deck at this point was 4 Province, 3 Copper, Trading Post, a Duchy and a lot of good cards. Alas, my 6 card hand was 3 Province, 2 Copper and Trading Post, and Lekkitdad who had a similarly good deck could easily buy the last Province after me to take first place.

I felt pretty disappointed after the second place finish, knowing that it would probably take a very good record to win outright and not have to go to the play-off round. I sat down to a kingdom with Colonies, no trashing, no +action and no +buy except for Tactician, which provided a limited amount of both actions and buys. I, along with one of the other players, went for a Tactician/Bank (opening Tactician/Embargo, unfortunately the Tactician missed the first reshuffle and the super early Platinum I was hoping for didn't happen) kinda deck, but some key differences in how we built it (more/earlier Banks for me, for instance) meant I could get three double Colony turns while the other two players never got going in quite the same way, and I ended with 7 of the 12 Colonies.

The next few rounds are kind of a blur. I realize now I should have written down the kingdoms if I was planning on writing about them later. I can't remember the board in round 3 at all, I won that game though. In round 4 I decided to open Wharf/nothing and bought two more Wharves and Silver/Gold/Province for the rest of the game while my opponents went for things I deemed too durdly (Golem/Tribute/Bridge/Merchant Ship/Wharf concoctions), I won that one pretty comfortably. Round 5 was a scary/fun board with Hamlet/Menagerie/Stables/University/Salvager/Merchant Ship/Cartographer/Saboteur. I went for two early Salvagers to get rid of the crap, with the idea of gaining Universities and going nuts with Hamlet/Menagerie, eventually leading into (Universitied) multiple Saboteurs every turn. My opponents got pretty decent decks too, but slightly less focused on enginy things and more on Merchant Ship and buying Victory points earlier. My deck was coming together very well, but I failed to realize the 30 minute game limit should have been a much bigger consideration for me when choosing strategy. I tried to play as fast as I could, but towards the end of the game I was playing maybe 15-20+ actions per turn, and a lot of the cards I listed have some choices involved in playing them. I thought I wouldn't be able to win it in time, especially as my Saboteurs weren't hitting any green cards, and one of my opponents hit a Province of mine on her final turn, but in the end I managed just in time and won with 3 points or so. Phew!

Going into the final round, I was tied for first place with another strong player there, who had finished second in our Dominion League we had been playing this winter/spring. When I won round 6 in ~8 minutes from being the only player who was interested in Tournaments (on a board with not much else going on, one of my opponents went straight Big Money pretty much for instance), I went over to watch the game of my "rival", who was caught between two Pirate Ship players in a dragged out Familiar game. Things looked kinda hopeless for him, but he made it very interesting in the end with a 31 vs 30 vs 28 finish, with him getting second place. With five wins and one second place, I finished in clear first place, and got to wait around and watch the second through fourth place finishers play an extra match to decide who my opponent would be in the final.

After Lekkit's girlfriend (who reads/posts here occasionally, but I won't mention her name because I don't know if she wants to be anonymous or not) won their play-off game, our first kingdom of the finals had Swindler/Tournament/Hunting Party as key cards. I fell behind really badly when my first HP was Swindlered into a Duchy right away, and I was sure I was losing horribly. My Swindler was doing some good work too though, and after a long game her deck was reduced to a lot of bad and/or green cards (thanks in large part to the prizes (hi Followers), which she didn't really fight me for), and I won 38-19.

Game 2 of the final had Masquerade and.. those new full-art treasure/victory cards I hadn't seen before, I guess. We also started buying a few Noble Brigands somewhere in the midgame. I was careful to keep track of the score between our passing and/or trashing Estates, but in the end-game when she bought the penultimate Province when we were tied, doubt started creeping into my mind. I knew I had passed a non-Estate to her on an occasion when she had passed an Estate to me. Then we had trashed one Estate each.. right? Or had I trashed both of them? After trying to think back, I decided to go with my gut, as I was pretty sure I was right, all while imaging the stories of the supposedly good player who ended the game when behind in the finals of Nationals. Luckily, I was right, and we tied the game.

In game 3, the big key card was Mountebank. I opened Mountebank/Courtyard to her Mountebank/Crossroads. From there, we bought mostly money for a long long time. And Noble Brigand! Lots of Noble Brigand. Also a Horse Traders on her side and another Courtyard on mine. I won the curse split 6-4, some thanks to lucky draws and some thanks to Courtyard putting back Curses. In the mid/late game, we mostly traded Victory Card purchases with her being ahead on tempo. I decided to buy the penultimate Province when I felt her deck was comparatively bad and should have a much harder time than mine. Meanwhile, more Duchy dancing wouldn't get me anywhere, as she would be ahead by 4 points after they were empty, and I would need both Provinces anyway. She couldn't buy it on her next turn, and my Courtyard drew me into the Silver I needed to become national champion!

I'm very happy to have won the tournament, and I'd love to go to Gencon to play at Worlds. Unfortunately I won't be going if I can't find some way to make it cheaper, as even winning Worlds would set me back financially for sure, and that's before considering hotel costs. It makes me wonder whether other European countries are sponsoring their national champion to go; if not, I think dondon might be close to winning by default when he shows up at Gencon. Lekkit said Worlds last year had something like one American, one Japanese guy and the rest were European. With no sponsoring, I wouldn't count on (m)any Euros this time around; when asked at the beginning of the tournament if anyone was interested in going to Worlds, I was the only one who expressed interest (out loud anyway) because of the whole "pay for it yourself" thing.

Thanks for reading!

4
Dominion World Masters / Prizes at Worlds?
« on: July 12, 2012, 04:15:52 pm »
So, Swedish Nationals is being held this weekend. Long story short, this year there won't be any prize support going towards sending the winner to Worlds, like last year (when it was held in Germany). This is a shame, obviously, as it probably means we won't be sending anyone (flights across the Atlantic are kinda pricey). I was wondering, though, if there are any prizes at Worlds this year? I'm not counting on it, but if they were somewhat significant, maybe they would provide a decent incentive for me, or others, to go, should they win. Assuming there are no prizes of note, it's a pretty difficult trip to justify, especially with only a month's notice. I'm guessing the amount of people showing up to Nationals this weekend who are planning to going to Worlds, should they win, is somewhere between 0 and 1.

Any other info on Worlds would be cool btw, like what date it's actually being played, what format it will be, etc.

5
Dominion General Discussion / Fabian tries livestreaming!
« on: July 08, 2012, 04:47:27 am »
Hey guys,

I set up a twitch channel for streaming Dominion: www.twitch.tv/fsjoblom

I did a test video just now, if you guys want to check it out and let me know if it's crap (content wise (too detailed? too slow? too boring? too much talking? more action/faster games? is my english unintelligible?), audio/video wise, etc), that'd be cool: http://justin.tv/fsjoblom/b/324077232 I had to wait a while for an opponent so fast-forward ~2 minutes if you get bored.

The nice thing (imo) about twitch.tv is the subscribe function; If you click the subscribe button, you get an email notification when I go online, so you know when to watch. Other than that, I'll have the address in my isotropic lobby status message when I'm online and stream. Also, bookmark it and check it 10 times a day obviously :)

As for the test video, I think I played game 1 pretty well, and game 2 probably really bad. If someone watches it, feel free to tell me what I should be doing instead :)

Thanks for watching, hope you like it and feel free to subscribe and bookmark and etc!

6
I'm normally not one to start useless attention whoring threads, but I figure the off-topic section isn't exactly overrun by crappy threads, or indeed any threads, so maybe there's room for one anyway?

I've been making some piano videos in the last few months, covering some songs I like. I'm hoping to get back into it and making some new ones in the near future, and I thought I'd share them with you!

Elton John - Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Piano Cover) - this one is a lot older than the others, but it's become popular (~42k views yo!) so I'm probably doing something right :)

Disney - Beauty and the Beast (Piano Cover)


And, if you're brave enough to listen to my singing:

Elton John - Your Song (Piano & Song Cover) - I probably like this one the most of my singing videos, I think it's pretty decent actually.

Christina Perri - Jar of Hearts (Piano & Song Cover) - First piece of singing I ever recorded, was pretty scary to upload :) The song is awesome btw, I don't care what anyone tells me!

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Piano & Song Cover) - The singing is too challenging for me probably, but I think the second half turned out great. Still, it should probably have been a do-over since the first half is kinda sloppy. Oh well :) Plus the piano playing is totally sweet imo.

Elton John - Talking Old Soldiers (Piano & Song Cover) - Huge bonus points if you know this song! I think this cover is pretty ok, but it's not like anyone knows the song anyway :)


I hope you find something you like, any comments/praise/criticism/bashing/etc are very welcome :)

7
I've been thinking about what it is, specifically, that gives a level ~45 player an edge over a level ~40 player. Clearly a player at a skill level around level 40 is extremely strong, almost definitely among the 100-150 best players in the world, yet as far as I can tell, the difference in skill between a level 40 and a level 45 player is statistically quite significant.

You can of course extend this question to level 40 vs 35 or 35 vs 30 or whatever, but the reason I'm most interested in the very upper tiers of players is, that if you're a consistent level 40 player, I feel like you probably know almost everything that's "common knowledge" in Dominion. Yet, clearly there's the jonts26 and Obi Wan's, and there's the still extremely strong, but supposedly still somewhat weaker, tier of players. What is it that makes jonts and chwhite so particularly high rated, you think?

At its very core, I think Dominion only tests two skillsets; to identify the strongest strategy, and to execute that strategy optimally. Is there a difference between very strong players and exceptionally strong players in these areas, you think?

8
Dominion General Discussion / Playing a live tournament tomorrow
« on: September 17, 2011, 09:29:26 am »
Hey guys,

Tomorrow I'm playing a live tournament for the first time. From what I understand, it's going to be 4-player games, with a randomly chosen card set for each game, chosen from a pool of 10 pre-selected sets. The first few rounds will feature only the base game, with the finals also including expansions and 1v1 play.

I've really only played 1v1, random cards, on isotropic, and I think I'm somewhere between very good and great at that game (typically level 38-41 on isotropic), but 4 player, pre-selected, base game only, is obviously a rather different beast. I'm confident I can beat up random bad players well enough to advance to the later stages, but I feel like I should probably do my homework if I'm facing decentish players who have prepared with the sets we're playing with and are more familiar with 4 player strategy than I am.

So, can anyone give me a crash course in semi-advanced 4 player strategy, or point me in a direction where I can read about it? Additionally, maybe we can discuss proper strategies for the card sets we're playing? I know the 5 sets from the rulebook will be included, as well as 5 others which I don't know yet.

"Witch, Mine, Militia, Gardens, Feast, Workshop, Village, Moat, Market, Smithy"

This seems to be one of the sets, I'm interested to hear your thoughts on it. Gardens in 4p games isn't exactly my forte :)

Any thoughts on any of the sets from the rulebook would be interesting to read, as well. I don't know exactly which cards are included in those sets, so maybe someone could post them? :)

Thanks for reading!

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