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Messages - Titandrake

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When you get baited by Sacred Grove

Code: [Select]
l plays a Sacred Grove
l takes The Moon's Gift
l receives The Moon's Gift
l looks at a card
l topdecks a card
l discards The Moon's Gift
T topdecks a Gold
l plays a Bandit
l gains a Gold
T reveals a Copper and a Gold
T trashes a Gold

Count me in the "Overlord is underrated" camp, although I think it's only very slightly underrated. I would put it right below City Quarter

My instinct tells me that Overlord is overrated. There's usually one killer 5 on the board, but you might as well just buy that instead of the Overlord. Then the Overlord gets drastically nerfed when the pile empties. I feel like $8 is a pretty steep price for what it does, even considering it's debt.

I think 8 debt is only a bit more than $5. I've never been afraid of somebody piling out the pile I was copying, because it's a lot harder to pile-out actions when you're the only one buying them.

Basically, this is what I expect to happen if a player skips Overlord: Player 1 buys a lot of Overlords. Player 2 skips it. The important $5 cost piles empty slower than usual, because only Player 2 is buying those actions. Meanwhile, the Overlord player has a much more consistent and flexible deck. By the time any piles are close to running out, the game should be almost done.

I'm a Steed > Followers > Princess player myself, but really, I think any ordering of those 3 Prizes is reasonable.

Rebuild seems too low to me. I skip Rebuild a lot because I find the game more fun if I try to outrace it, but in practice, my opponent often skips Rebuild on those boards too, so I haven't had to race against Rebuild in a while. I suspect I'm underestimating it. I think f.ds as a whole underrates money and simple strategies.

Between Upgrade, Sentry, and Junk Dealer, I'd have put Upgrade > Junk Dealer >> Sentry, so I'm very surprised Junk Dealer is all the way at #2.

Venture should be lower, Royal Seal should be higher.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: $3 Cost Card Rankings Bottom Half
« on: January 11, 2018, 02:08:11 am »
Develop seems pretty low for what it does. I open it surprisingly often.

I don't have a lot of experience with Night Watchman, but it also seems underrated. It's not just that Silver/Night Watchman guarantees $5 on turn 3, it also guarantees that the $5 you buy is shuffled in and potentially drawn on turn 4, because all your Coppers and Estates from turn 2 miss the reshuffle that Night Watchman triggers.

Storeroom is too low, but I could be forgetting what $3s are in the top half. It's rarely the key for anything, but it's nice early, and nice late. The main issue is that it's annoying to keep around in the middle.

Help! / Re: Double Tac, Villa, Bridge, Storyteller, HoP
« on: January 09, 2018, 02:13:32 am »
I have no idea what I'm doing on this board, but I'm not sure it's a megaturn board. It looks more like a 3-pile-from-nowhere board.

Other Games / Re: Zachtronics Games
« on: January 08, 2018, 04:36:01 am »
I like Zachtronics games a lot. I have finished SpaceChem, TIS-100, and Shenzhen I/O. I own Infinifactory but haven't tried it yet, and I have Opus Magnum on my wish list.

All of the Zachtronics games are programmy, Shenzhen I/O (and TIS-100) just happen to be more explicit about it. I would describe them as "programming, but only the good parts." Your actual programming ability matters very little because the instructions you get are just so limited, but your ability to do programming-like logical reasoning will help a lot. For context, one of the trickier puzzles in TIS-100 is "sort a list of numbers", which is wildly easy in any reasonable programming language.

I think they're fun, but if you're wary of the premise of writing assembly, I would recommend SpaceChem next. Note that SpaceChem doesn't teach itself very well IMO - there are a lot of tricks / details that are important to beating the later levels. If you do end up getting into SpaceChem, consider checking out the SpaceChem videos from GuavaMoment's YouTube channel.

Shenzhen I/O is in the current Humble Bundle if you're interested...

Dominion General Discussion / Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« on: January 08, 2018, 02:00:18 am »
Imagine this thread ends after post #17.  Would that be the kind of thread we want, or don't want, on this forum?

I think having the thread up to post #17 is better than not having it. I think having the entire thread up to this point is also better than not having it. Threads like this don't happen that often, and the meta-discussion is useful.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« on: January 06, 2018, 03:51:56 am »
I guess you mean to whine about me setting up a false dilemma for a subset of kingdoms, and it is a false dilemma for a subset of kingdoms (yes, perhaps the majority subset of kingdoms).  But there is a subset of kingdoms where it is a dilemma, several that have powerful 4$ cards or powerful trashers you're looking forward to at 5 or 6, or what have you.  And if you think Loan wins more of those dilemmas than Steward does, I'm pretty sure that's a very unpopular opinion.

I don't mean to whine. I mean to make it clear to anyone who read your post that Loan is not a weak card.

Awaclus, it's more like....pops's post wasn't about the power level of Loan. It was about poorly played engines being worse than Big Money, and that it's okay to just go for money and take the win if you aren't good at engines yet. The exact accuracy of the example of Loan and Steward isn't that important to the broader point.

But when you nitpick by quoting just the sentence about Loan, to talk about how Loan + Steward gives a better engine, and then defend the nitpick by saying that you just wanted to say Loan is really feels like you are missing the point of what the post was trying to say. Especially given that your Loan opinion is controversial, and that you should know it's controversial because this is not the first time people have fought with you about Loan. Your reputation is "that guy who quotes single sentences to make jokes, and who also really likes Loan for some reason." You are playing into your own stereotype with seeming obliviousness. That is why some people are sick of arguing with you.

(People are also sick of Chris is me playing into the "I hate Awaclus" stereotype, but I mean, what can you do, it's people on the Internet talking to other people on the Internet in a way you disapprove of.)

Dominion General Discussion / Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« on: January 05, 2018, 11:32:14 pm »
It's not really about handholding. It's more about playing people who don't realize why they're losing. Sometimes I play games online, win, and watch the other person complain about their luck, at which point I like pointing out decisions they made that I disagreed with. (I like doing this because it usually shuts up their complaining, and maybe they'll learn something new out of it.)


"ugh you're so lucky"
"Well when my Militia hit you on turn 4, I would have discarded Militia and trashed 2 with Chapel instead of discarding Chapel and keeping Miltia."

"my deck just wasn't giving me $5 that game"
"I mean you bought your first Silver on the 3rd shuffle, and none of your Actions gave money, so that's kind of your fault..."

I don't want to be handholding people through all of that. There are just layers to the strategy, and if you can't recognize the next layer of the strategy, it's hard to get better.

Good articles can help fix this, if they make you aware of things you didn't realize were important. But sometimes, the authors forget to mention things that are so obvious they're second nature to them, and that can limit their effectiveness.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« on: January 05, 2018, 01:16:10 pm »
The best broad advice is learned so quickly in Dominion, that by the time people reach the the second or third plateau described in the article, most players have it figured out. I think people get frustrated by losing games. This is because most people here are playing because they have fun winning. Winning is fun but, understanding why you lost and enjoying the game despite the loss will keep you playing until you get to the next plateau. This is compounded by the fact that it can be hard to see why you lost in Dominion sometimes if you don't know the ins and outs of the game. It's easy to blame a card instead of seeing that you chose the wrong strategy.

 My first IRL game with Adventures, My brother stumbled into Treasure Trove Magpie, while I tried to use Bridge Troll to get Hirelings cheap and draw my deck before my first action. He crushed me, but that was the first time I understood that it wasn't because the cards i was going for weren't bad cards, it just wasn't the best option on that board. You'll get better. It's just gonna be hard.

This is true for all competitive games but it's especially annoying for card games because sometimes you win anyways due to getting lucky, which helps disguise your mistake. Or you lose anyways because your opponent got lucky, which disguises your good play.

A while ago (~3-4 years ago?), there was a pro League of Legends player (imaqtpie), who was streaming, and someone asked him, "as a Gold player, what separates me from a Challenger like you?" (Gold = top 10%, Challenger = top 50). And his reply was "Gold? Everything. Challenger players do literally everything better than you do." In Loser's Bracket this year, I lost a game because I played an Urchin when I shouldn't have, which made my Merc gain next turn miss the shuffle, which put me 2 turns behind on Merc trashing, and then I lost. I made the mistake on...about turn 6? How am I supposed to explain this mistake to a new player? There's a tipping point where you're able to consistently self-diagnose your mistakes, and I'm not sure where it is, but until you get there it's a bit of a struggle, and after you get there it's all about doing better next time.

Dominion Articles / Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
« on: January 02, 2018, 12:27:08 pm »
then I played it as Patrician until those ran out

You never had two in hand that you could use as Treasure Maps? I was so geared on reading up on TM shenanigans, instead I got Particians.

While you can play an Overlord or Band of Misfits as a Treasure Map, you need an actual Treasure Map in your hand to get the payoff.

I also didn't think Treasure Map was worth going for this game, my target was 1 Province a turn because it's hard to increase handsize and Merc attacks are going to keep happening. I could have been wrong on this though.

Dominion Articles / Overdrawing
« on: January 02, 2018, 04:11:51 am »
In this article, I use "actions" to denote the resource that lets you play Action cards, and "Actions" to denote the actual cards.

What is overdrawing?

Your deck is overdrawing if the number of cards you can draw each turn is greater than the number of cards in your deck. As an extreme example, consider a deck of 5 Laboratories, nothing else. Your starting hand will be 5 Labs, and none of them will draw any cards, because there are no cards left in your draw or discard. A less extreme example is a deck with 5 Labs, 3 Coppers, 1 Silver. This deck is guaranteed to play all 5 Labs. The first 2 Labs will draw cards, and the remaining 3 Labs won't draw cards. Both of these decks are overdrawing.

You can calculate overdraw carefully if you want to, but usually you can figure it out on the fly. On a given turn, if you've drawn your deck and have extra drawing Actions left over, you're overdrawing. If you've drawn almost all of your deck and you're out of drawing Actions, you're on the cusp of overdrawing, and can get there if you buy more drawing Actions.

Overdrawing is only possible on boards where it's possible to draw your entire deck each turn, which limits the discussion to strong engine boards.

Is overdrawing good or bad?

Generally, overdrawing is a good thing, but major overdrawing is a bad thing. A deck that overdraws too much is inefficient, because too many buys have been spent on cards that could have been payload. However, a deck that overdraws a bit can do plenty of tricks that a non-overdrawing deck can't do. A big example is mid-turn gaining. An overdrawing deck can play a gainer (like Workshop), draw through the rest of the deck to trigger a reshuffle, then draw the gained card and play it the same turn it was gained. This can help if, say, you really need another $2 this turn. You can Workshop a Silver, then draw it with overdraw to get the $2 you need. I've done this several times in Base-only games.

With the right setup, you can do some explosive things. Here's an example from a game I played about two weeks ago. At the start of my turn, I had 2 Stonemasons, a Bandit, and tons of overdraw and actions thanks to several Lost Cities and Encampments.

  • Played Bandit, gaining a Gold.
  • Drew Gold with overdraw. Stonemason trashed Gold into Bandit and Plunder.
  • Drew Bandit and Plunder with overdraw. Played Bandit to gain Gold.
  • Drew Gold with overdraw. Stonemason trashed Gold into 2 Plunders.
  • Drew Plunders with overdraw.

So, to recap: in a single turn, I gained and played a Bandit and 3 Plunders, which gave me an extra $6 that turn (not to mention 3 VP). From here, I ran away with the game.

The core principle of overdraw tricks is simple: any time you could have drawn a card but didn't, you're wasting a draw. If there's a way to avoid wasting that draw, you can use it to get more out of your turns. Gainers are the easy way to do this, because it adds a new physical card to your deck. However, there are other ways to convert extra card draws into resources.

Consider Plaza. Plaza can convert a draw of a Treasure card into a coin token. If you draw your entire deck, you can repeatedly draw and discard a single Copper to multiple Plazas. letting you get several coin tokens. There's an elegance to this: Plaza both gives the overdraw and gives a way to convert your draws into something else. The same can be done with Baron, where you repeatedly draw and discard the same Estate to multiple Barons. However, you need other Actions to give you the overdraw required.

In a game with Storeroom and Scrying Pool, if you have extra Pools after drawing your deck, you can play Storeroom, discard all your Actions for coins, then play Scrying Pool to redraw all those Actions. Here, Scrying Pool is the source of overdraw, and it gets converted into coins with Storeroom.

Tournament is another big example. With overdraw, a single Province can be discarded to multiple Tournaments, to gain multiple prizes in one turn. It helps that the Prizes you gain can themselves help with triggering the reshuffle needed to get the Province back into your draw pile. I once played a game where it was clear Followers was the most important prize. My opponent got to Province first, and gained Trusty Steed first. I thought this was a mistake, right up to the point where he redrew Province and played a 2nd Tournament to gain Followers too. Gaining Steed first simply minimized the chance he would run out of actions to play the rest of his deck.

I've even had this happen with Castles. Opulent Castle lets you discard Victory cards for $2 each. Grand Castle gives you extra VP on-gain for each Victory card in your hand. So, in one game, I played Opulent Castle, got money out of my Victory cards, then redrew them with overdraw to get more points out of the Grand Castle I was planning to buy.

In these examples, we are not using our overdraw on newly gained cards to our deck. Instead, we are using our extra draws to draw existing cards multiple times, and using other card effects to make this useful. This principle is key to two of the most powerful combos in the game, Hermit + Market Square and Apprentice + Market Square. Heavy overdraw (from Madmen or Apprentice trashing Gold) lets you repeatedly redraw Market Squares, which can be repeatedly discarded to gain more Golds from the Market Square reaction.

I've focused on the flashy examples in this article, but that doesn't make the less flashy examples useless. Whenever you're in a position where you're about to waste card draw, take a moment, and see if you can gain a small edge by doing an overdrawing trick. Trust me: it adds up.

PS: a final exercise. Consider these comments from the reveal thread for the Dismantle promo.

One of the more useful things to do with [Dismantle] is probably "discard a Gold to gain a card costing up to $5".
Woodcutter can also gain $5s in combination with Gold, just not midturn.

Suppose Dismantle only worked with Gold, and it literally read "You may discard a Gold. If you do, gain a card costing up to $5." Is it clear that in some games, you'd still want this Dismantle over Woodcutter?

Dominion Articles / Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
« on: December 30, 2017, 06:17:24 pm »
Here's an especially nice Band of Misfits board I just played. Game #10114351.

I opened 5/2, which I was initially disappointed about, but it worked out well. I played BoM as Trader in my first shuffle to trash an Estate, then I played it as an Urchin in my 2nd shuffle to guarantee an Urchin --> Mercenary conversion, then I played it as Patrician until those ran out, then I played it as Urchin instead. Along the way I would occasionally play it as Monument, when I wanted to guarantee hitting $8. In the end game, I played it as Storeroom, to convert dead Provinces and Mercenaries into coins. BoM was the easiest way to get a +Buy into the deck, because there are no Villages in the kingdom. Without Villages, and with Mercenary, you really want a card that can double as either a cantrip or a terminal +Buy, depending on the hand.

Dominion Articles / Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
« on: December 27, 2017, 03:07:20 am »
Something that's true about Overlord but not Band of Misfits is that you can always open with it. Opening with (effectively) a $5'er is sometimes but not always good. I've heard AdamH suggest that opening Overlord planning to play it as a trasher or junker is more likely to be worth it than if you plan to play it as some kind of economy* card.

It'd be interesting to hear your take on this—or in general, when is a (very) early Overlord good?

*Note: in the early game, draw is economy because all it draws you is Copper. I define "early game" such that what I just said is true ;)

On a 5/2 or 2/5 opening with no $2s I want to open, I'm buying Overlord turn 1 all the time. On a 3/4 opening, if there are powerful $5s (the kind of $5 you go out of your way to buy on the 2nd shuffle), I'll probably buy Overlord turn 2. Powerful $5s include several trashers and junkers, but it also includes cards like Wharf and Margrave.

Dominion Articles / Band of Misfits and Overlord
« on: December 26, 2017, 05:03:14 am »

The ultimate "depends on the kingdom" cards. Also, the cards with some of the most annoying rule headaches.

For both Band of Misfits and Overlord, you're looking for Actions that are contextually powerful. What does that mean? Some Action cards are usually strong, and other Action cards are usually weak, but some cards are strong / weak depending on context. For example, Noble Brigand is strong if you know they have a Gold in their first 2 cards, and it's weak if no Silvers or Golds are on top of their deck.

Noble Brigand is an extreme example, because it goes between "+$1" and "+$1, opponent trashes a Gold, you gain a Gold", which is a huuuuge shift. However, the power of most Actions depends a bit on context. Consider a classical Village + Smithy deck. Village is contextually strong when your hand has a lot of Smithies and you only have 1 action. Smithy is contextually strong when you have plenty of actions. And, consider a +Buy card - strong when you have a lot of money, weak when you don't.

Band of Misfits and Overlord are especially powerful in games where you expect to run into several contexts where the best Action is different. This is because of an obvious observation: if you always play your Band of Misfits as the same Action, you could have just bought that Action. The only way you can get extra value is if you play your Band of Misfits as different Actions depending on the situation. For example, in a game from Dominion Championship 2017, I played Overlord as Rabble (when I needed draw), Village (when I needed the Actions), Explorer (when I had a Province in my hand), Chariot Race (when a previous Chariot Race revealed a low cost card on top), and Catapult (when I had good ammo for my Catapult). If I had wanted all of those effects, I could have bought an actual Explorer, or an actual Catapult, but it would have been much less consistent. I didn't want an Explorer or Catapult in my deck, because I don't always want to play an Explorer, or play a Catapult, and having the terminal when I don't want to play it is wasted space. But a card that could be an Explorer or a Catapult when I needed it, and a Village / Rabble when I didn't? Sign me up!

There are some trade-offs to this power. It costs more to buy BoM / Overlord, compared to buying the action directly. And, if the pile you want to copy is empty, you can't play BoM / Overlord as that action, which can strand your deck in some situations. In my experience, Band of Misfits is okay, but often has a lot of competition at the $5 cost spot. Overlord, on the other hand, is incredibly strong. Seriously, if you haven't tried it yet: just buy Overlord whenever you'd buy a $5 cost Action, or whenever you want to buy a $5 cost but don't have $5. 8 debt isn't that much more than $5, and the benefits are usually worth it.

Some final points: copying a Reserve card doesn't work, because once BoM / Overlord goes to the Tavern mat, it is no longer a copy of that Reserve card, so you can't call it anymore. Additionally, when Adventures tokens (+1 Card, +1 Action, +$1, +1 Buy) are on the board, BoM and Overlord get the bonus of both the tokens on their pile and the tokens on the Action they copy. If you have a lot of Overlords, consider placing your most important token directly on Overlords, instead of the Action you normally copy. Finally, for Conspirator, BoM / Overlord count as two separate Action plays, since you first play the BoM, then play the action it copies.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: How good is Goat?
« on: December 24, 2017, 01:25:46 am »
My sense is that Goat is a phenomenal card. Even if it didn't start in your deck, it utterly smokes, say, Loan. Is it worth skipping Chapel if Goat's on the board? Skipping masquerade?

But Loan cycles and is effectively worth 1$ more than Goat when trashing copper. Is the fact that Goat can trash Estates and doesn’t trip over Silvers and other copies of itself really enough to say that Goat smokes Loan?


So how much stronger or different is it that you get a Wish instead of getting a card costing up to ? I suppose that generally the Wish is a little stronger because you can choose what you need right when you have it in your hand; but I would think that 90% of the time you'll take the same card you would have taken if you had to chose back when you got the Wish instead.

On the other hand, it has a minor drawback in that you can draw a Wish dead, and if you do, you've delayed that card yet another shuffle. If you were going to gain an Action, that doesn't matter much,because that Action would have been drawn dead anyway. But if you were gaining a Night, Treasure, or Victory card, that could matter a lot.

As a whole, Wish seems like an odd card to have; do people find it actually plays much different from "gain a card costing up to "?

I haven't played with Wish that often, but yes, it is pretty different. A lot of things can change between when you gain the Wish and when you get to play it. Sometimes your money distribution is weird and you don't get to buy the cards you thought you could, sometimes you're just plain wrong about what the right card to gain was, and sometimes your hand needs a card it doesn't have.

The flavor argument for Wish is way better than any strategy argument though.

I'm probably too busy to play in the full tournament, but I could be an alternate if necessary.


General Discussion / Re: Song of the day
« on: December 18, 2017, 03:48:52 am »

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Tom Vasel Nocturne Review
« on: December 16, 2017, 06:02:22 am »
My theory is that with Fool's Gold / Tragic Hero / Small Castle, you're trashing it for another card, so it's like exchanging it for a card that you think is better - that feels like a good thing to do. For Mining Village / Hermit, you're trashing it for a one-off effect, and although that can be worth it, it can feel like you trashed a useful card for something that doesn't have a lasting effect.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: "But it worked"
« on: December 01, 2017, 12:30:17 am »
I once lost to a player that opened Estate/Mine.

Dominion Articles / Re: Inheritance
« on: November 30, 2017, 12:57:18 am »
There isn't much more I can say.

I've tried it for real when the opportunity arose in an RL game, and it Inherited-Baron worked really well.

Compared with a normal Baron engine, Inherited-Baron provides you with not one but two ways to pick up more Inherited-Barons really cheaply while leaving you with enough economy to buy the other engine components you need. But what I found even better was that you can get two Inherited-Estates in hand much more reliably than one Baron and one Estate; 2*n Inherited-Barons are better to have than n Estates and n Barons.

It's more that it's hard for me to see a game where you want that many Barons in your deck. 2n Inherited-Barons is indeed better than n Barons n Estates, but 1-2 Barons + Inheriting an engine component you need sounds better than both.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: November 29, 2017, 04:25:49 am »
I haven't made those fixes but I've considered doing it for ~5 Hinterlands cards.

Obligatory "what are those fixes?" question.
I missed this question somehow. I've been over this ground in other threads but it's like: IGG cost $6 worth $2 gives out Curses (no Copper business); Fool's Gold no reaction; move the +Buy from Margrave to Cache; would-less Trader; Duchess not including other players; something something Mandarin.

I like all of these except for removing the Fool's Gold reaction.

Back when WW still posted here, he said he was starting to dislike Margrave, because it gave too much of what you wanted for free. After thinking about it, I agreed. Getting rid of the +Buy would be nice for that.

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