I don't know what's up with the "More cards required than available" errorWould it be easy for you to record a video of you playing back the two games, and posting it somewhere? It'd be a shame for the work you put into creating the games to go to waste, and I don't know how to progress beyond the error message.
I could possibly do something like that. I would want to put in a little bit more effort so that it can be more interesting/useful for other people to watch as well though, so at the very least it'll take some time and ultimately I'm not going to promise anything, but I'll think about it.
Bandit every turn [is good, but not that good]Sure, I agree with your more nuanced statement. I was engaging in a bit of hyperbole :-) I think in the limit, as the number of turns approaches infinity, my stated effect will happen with probability one, but then the Bandit deck will be flooded with Gold and not be able to play Bandit every turn, and piles will run out, and... infinity is not relevant for Dominion, you just buy up all the provinces :-)
Actually, that's not exactly how it would work out, either. It's easier for the big money deck to have $6 than it is for you to trash one of his Golds, so he can just replace the Golds you trash at a faster rate than you can trash them. Normally, big money doesn't clog at all and it can just keep alternating between Gold and Province pretty much forever
, so in this case, he just buys Golds more often than he usually would to replace the ones you trash, gains Provinces at a slower rate as a result, and still doesn't clog at all. But the fact that he gains Provinces at a slower rate is good enough for your purposes.
Cellar also helps Library more because the engine isn't as reliable to begin withInteresting. I guess the reason is that you have fewer Libraries (per total number of cards) than V/S has Smithy, so you're more likely to have an opening hand with no draw in it.
That's true, and Festival doesn't draw so that's another factor.
[Lab engine is sometimes good]Yeah; I figure that's mainly when the other draw and/or village cards are expensive and/or weak? I guess Lab is trivially the best when everything else is weaker; is Lab-engine worse than the median village plus the median draw (for being more expensive)?
Short answer: yes.
Long answer: Well, there are also Lab engines of different strengths. A Lab engine with Gold for payload and no trashing is really bad, whereas a Lab engine with Chapel for trashing and Goons
for payload can be really good. In the usual case, you would rather build a Village variant/Smithy variant engine every time, but sometimes you might have to work with less than ideal conditions and the fact that your draw doesn't cost +actions can be crucial. It's also possible that Lab is literally the only draw in the entire kingdom.
This is the bit where I'm not certain I understand the reasoning. Well, I understand winning the split, but let's say Festival is uncontested; you still want several Festivals early, and a second Library later, I take it. Why?
I can think of some reasons:
- Economy -- Festival gives you money, which makes it more likely to hit $5, which is critical for buying more engine pieces. I guess the underlying rule would then be "buy whatever maximizes the expected ratio of turns in which you hit $5 in your next shuffle (over the total number of turns in that shuffle)", and Festival is (almost?) always be the card that satisfies this criterion. Even more generically, buy whatever makes further engine development most successful, in expectation.
- It's the payload -- I'm thinking it sometimes makes sense to get the payload of an engine first, if it does something interesting on its own, and the connective parts later; either if the payload kinda' sorta' works without the connective parts, or if it does something interesting on its own. I don't think that's the reason here, though, except perhaps that it does economy, in which case see the previous point.
- Situation-specific: with only one Festival, a second Library doesn't have anything useful to draw, except on the freakishly rare occasion where you pull of a Festival+Library+Moneylender turn. Also, for Library action draws to be useful, you have to play some kind of village first, so you want to have plenty of Festivals to make it likely that the Libraries collide with them.
- Here's a (bad?) rule of thumb: in the first k turns, you should buy engine components in proportion to how you want the end product to look like, for almost all values of k. I would ask: why? That seems pretty arbitrary. In case of Village/Smithy, I would lean towards a little bit more Smithy early, for economy reasons (drawing copper). But maybe that's bad, because it clutters your deck with colliding terminals and not enough money density to buy even a Village.
It is situation-specific, but it's a bit more specific than that. The reason is that you already have a Moneylender in your deck. If you get a Library, the chances are pretty good that either you collide your terminals or Library skips Moneylender, both of which are super bad. If you get a Festival, you can collide it with Moneylender all day and everything is completely fine and it helps you hit $5 without having to take the risk of skipping the Moneylender.
After the first couple of Festivals and the first Library, it just becomes the case that having a bunch of Festivals with your one Library is super good, having any number of Festivals without a Library is fine, having a bunch of Libraries with your one Festival is pretty bad and having any number of Libraries without a Festival is super bad. So you want to maximize the odds of getting the super good situation while minimizing the odds of the pretty bad situation and the super bad situation, which you do by getting more Festivals than Libraries.