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Messages - theJester

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Personally I'd include all the cards when teaching newbies, including trashers, VP token and coin token cards, cards with special mats etc. New players won't, of course, immediately understand the best way to play them, but they'll see how complex an interesting the game can be and will be drawn to it. In general, what can be intended as "I'm slowly teaching you layer by layer of Dominion omitting more complex cards at start" can unintentionally be viewed as "I'm not allowed to play with all the cool stuff" from the part of the newbie.

The only cards I'd exclude would be the ones which in one way or another reduce fun factor when playing: cars such as Spy (which prolongs the decision-making and game, making it less fun for everyone), Scyring Pool (ditto Spy), Torturer (being subjected to Torturer chains from experienced player is a sure way for newbie to learn to hate the game), KC-Masq-Goons combo (similar to Torturer). Similarly, I'd include cards that promote interaction between players, even if they may not be the best ones. One such example is Contraband - far from a strong card, but very fun to play with.

Overall, I think fun and enjoyment are the key here. If you show newbies how enjoyable DOminion can be, they'll eagerly play it. Hence, they'll start improving and discovering new and better strategies, all by themselves; and all while having fun playing.

Game Reports / Re: My Favorite Engine
« on: September 02, 2016, 03:35:59 am »
Turn 3 or 4 Chapel + other opening buy drawn together.
It is nearly always best to trash 3 cards.

1. I believe I should have bought the Outpost earlier. I'm thinking a buy order for the +5 cost cards of Festival, Witch, Festival, Outpost, Library, Festival, Festival, Library, ... 

This will be draw dependant, but I think you often want Witch as the first $5.

I agree with you about trashing 3 Coppers instead of 2, in turn 3's Chapel/Silver/Copper/Copper/Copper draw (I did not draw Chapel again until turn 7).  Whether Witch first was superior was not as obvious to me, so  I ran some simulations of both strategy options with a 4/3 start and compared results.  There was extremely little difference in win rate between the Festival first and Witch first strategies.  With both players going for this type of engine, always buying Festival first beat always buying Witch first 50% to 49%.  However, when only going for the Witch first strategy on certain draws, then Witch first has a slight edge.  The best result I had was going for Witch first with a threshold of 3+ Silvers in deck, which gave 49.9% win rate for Witch first on threshold vs 49.4% for always Festival first. I also checked when playing against an opponent doing a generic Witch non-engine strategy, which had similar results.  Festival first and Witch first with 3+ Silver threshold both had 84% win rate, while Witch first without threshold had a 83% win rate. 

Simulations can be useful for simple BM/Slog and maybe 2-card combos, but the fact is that they don't play engines very well. Not nearly well enough to trust their judgement about which card to buy first in an engine which needs 5+ cards overall.

My gut feeling agrees with Rabid's. You usually want Witch as your first $5 - as it's important to start screwing up with your opponent's deck ASAP.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: How good is Alchemy?
« on: August 29, 2016, 12:15:10 pm »
It's the only expansion I haven't bought for Online Dominion, and for a good reason: good part of its cards are plainly unfun to play with. Scyring Pool turns take forever to resolve, Possession breaks several fundamental DOminion concepts and is one of most hated cards, Familiar is way to swingy compared to how powerful it is (if you fail to connect 3$+P on your 2nd shuffle and your opponent does, it's basically gg already), Transmute is just plain bad most of the time.

If there was any way to buy cards individually rather than buying the whole set, I would have been happy to purchase only Vineyard, Appretnice and maybe a few others and be done with it.

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

So basically TerminalDraw-BM vs Minion-BM ? Minion is good, but not that good that it beats good BM strategy without support. I'd expect any of SmithyBM, JourneymanBM, WharfBM, CouncilRoomBM and CourtyardBM to comfortably beat unsupported Minions, and traces Around's simulator data seems to confirm this.

This is an old interested game: strong BM strategy with Courtyard/Hoard/Island/Harem against Minions with awesome support (Forager), and even then - these two seem to be more or less evenly matched:

I've never played with TT or Peasant line, so take my opinion with a little bit of salt.

I think I agree with you - you want to go for an engine here. It's how you do it that I consider wrong - opening Bishop can't be good here (it rarely is). Yes, it trashes and gives you VPs, but at the same time it also speeds up your opponent's deck completely for free (and he is unlucky that your Bishop never connected with his Estate-hand).

Your goal as and engine player vs BM player is pretty simple - trash as fast as you can, establish Lost City - Oracle engine and then smash your opponent with everything you've got: Possession (or multiple Possessions), Bishop VPs (this phase: mid- to end-game is the right time to play Bishops), attacks etc. He may establish a significant Province lead, but if you do all of the above - you'll be able to catch up quickly while his deck will stall. Add Bishop VPs in the mix and you should win comfortably.

In light of that approach - I'd open something like Oracle/Silver to get to $5 and Junk Dealer as soon as possible, start trashing while simultaneously grabbing Lost Cities. On your low-value hand get a Peasant for the +buy. Once you think you'll be thin soon enough, buy Potion and get Possession. Etc. Get Bishop later in the game - but certainly do not open with it.

Cultist is awfully powerful here. Lack of good trashing make whoever gets Anna in a great position.

You can freely replace Advisor with another card - as it's nearly useless in this kingdom. With all of this junk in form of Ruins, Estates and Coppers floating around, playing Advisor will only make you miss your good cards.

From my experience at teaching Dominion, I don't find this babysitting approach to be optimal. When teaching any new game (no just Dominion) to new players, I want their reaction to be "This is fun" and not "This maybe could be more fun if we were allowed to play with all these cool cards". I want them to see Dominion in all it's variety and be awed by the game. What I don't want is to limit their first and most important Dominion gaming experience to basic cards.

I own three physical sets - Base, Prosperity and Intrigue. Whenever I introduced new players Dominion for the first time, I always had the same approach - shuffle the randomizer deck and randomly select 10 cards which constitute a kingdom, only banning out Spy (because in 4p new players buy it a lot and it takes forever for game to end) and Torturer (because 3+p Torturer game is truly a unfun torture) for the sole reason they reduce the "fun" factor. And before anyone asks - if I had more complex sets (e.g. Dark Ages), I would include it in randomizer as well.

This approach always worked. Every single time. Yes, new players didn't play their decks optimally. Yes, they bought wrong cards and played them in less than good way. Yes, they lost games. But, and it's indeed a big "but" - they had fun. They were intrigued. They liked Dominion very much. They always wanted at least 1 more game. I count these as a success.

I would dump Caravan, Hireling and Upgrade.  You're introducing a new game to people, your goal is to introduce them to the basics without giving them too many confusing decisions (like Pawn or even Remodel can) and without adding more subtle mechanics whose benefit might not immediately be apparent (so no Chancellor, no Durations).

To replace them, I would add a gainer (either Workshop or Smugglers), a universal trasher (Salvager works well, and is easier to intuit than Remodel - Upgrade is bad because you have to explain that Upgrading Copper gives you nothing), and a cheap, simple (Cellar is redundant with Warehouse in the kingdom, I would go with either Moat or Pearl Diver or Courtyard).

Man, I've seen lots of people (myself included) being taught more complex games than Dominion - games such as Agricola or Terra Mystica. And, in my experience, new player being confused about clear strategy is a great sign - it's a sign that he has to actively involve and "immerse" himself in the game and start thinking out on his own. In order to figure out what's the best play he has to explore various options and possibilities, which in turn shows him how diverse a game can be.

Really, Upgrade is a card I've never had any trouble explaining. "You'd get a card worth 1$, but since there isn't any - you get nothing" is a basic mathematical concept. I have difficulties understanding who would have troubles with this card.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Dark Ages: Count
« on: May 24, 2016, 03:58:26 am »
Great card, one of my favourites from Dark Ages. Pretty versatile, comes useful in a number of situations:

1) engines in general, where early whole-hand trashing is incredibly useful, while later in the game +3$ or "gain a Duchy" takes its place
2) Duke games, where Duchy-gaining is simply game-winning
3) Duchy-dancing in general in the last few turns
4) Gardens games - where both "gain a Copper" and "gain a Duchy" come in handy. +3$ as well. It's not the best Gardens supporter, but if it's a Gardens game where you have some time to build a little before greening - Count is your man.
5) it's ok in BM decks. However, if BM strategy is dominant on the board, usually there'll be a better card to supplement it
6) slogs in general

It sucks against hand size attacks, though.

  • Does the cost of Count potentially hold it down from becoming very good?
Don't tell me you think Count is overpriced at 5$ ?

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Card Name Themes
« on: May 17, 2016, 04:42:41 am »
Great thread :)

Bullies (discard down to 3): Militia, Goons
Prophets (some kind of attack): Soothsayer, Oracle, Fortune Teller
Bandits (gain a treasure): Thief, Noble Brigand, Bandit Camp, Pirate Ship
Merchants/sellers (give +buy): Spice Merchant, Wine Merchant, Horse Traders, Herbalist, Merchant Guild (but not Trader or Merchant Ship)
Poor wanderers (cantrip+bonus): Ironmonger, Junk Dealer, Urchin, Vagrant
Army (attacks): Militia, Soldier, Marauder, Margrave, Pillage, Knights

Let's Discuss ... / Re: rēs cornūcōpiae consultēmus: harvest
« on: May 09, 2016, 01:35:43 pm »
Harvest is one of my favourite cards from Cornucopia. It's usually ignorable, but when I see it one the board, I always try to see whether I can include it in my strategy. It has netted me a few wins :)

Perhaps Harvest excels best in an engine with high diversity, where optimal play includes buying many different cards. It should synergize well with other cards that reward variety - Menagerie, Fairgrounds, opponent's Swindler (to a degree) etc.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite $0-2 card bracket.
« on: May 07, 2016, 12:49:27 pm »
1 Chapel vs 9 Squire

13 Coin of the Realm vs 12 Crossroads

2 Page vs 10 Ratcatcher

3 Peasant vs 11 Candlestick Maker

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite $0-2 card bracket.
« on: May 06, 2016, 05:13:19 am »

1 Chapel vs 17 Native Village
25 Poor House vs 9 Squire

4 Stonemason vs 13 Coin of the Realm
5 Courtyard vs 12 Crossroads

2 Page vs 15 Raze
7 Hamlet vs 10 Ratcatcher

3 Peasant vs 14 Alms
6 Fool's Gold vs 11 Candlestick Maker

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite $0-2 card bracket.
« on: May 04, 2016, 09:50:27 am »
Secret Chamber


Dominion General Discussion / Re: Fools Gold/X Combos
« on: May 01, 2016, 06:29:18 am »
Stables is an engine card. Treasure cards hurt engines. Therefore, Stables strongly anti-synergizes with Treasure cards.

While I agree with the rest of your post, the above simply can't be true. Stables absolutely requires Treasure cards to do anything - without them it's just one giant Confusion. In fact, while playing Stables-based engine deck, it's often hardest task to find a right balance of how many treasures should you trash - trash too little and you'll clog up your engine; trash too much and you'll render your Stables useless. But saying Stables anti-synergizes with  Treasures is like saying Throne Room anti-synergizes with Actions.

EDIT: and to answer original post - FG is great with anything that gives +buy and/or +cards. So, stuff like Wharf+FG, Margrave+FG and Council Room+FG are pretty strong BM strategies.



As noted a few times, Witch is way less ignorable than the other two. Skipping it is very situational, right now I can only think of:

1) your opponent is going for strong Garden strategy
2) good trashing, better $5s on the board and easily buildable deck where you can protetc yourself with Watchtower/Lighthouse every turn
3) strong engine with key $5 or $5s other than Witch, accompanied by Hermit

Sea Hag is skippable with any good trasher. Masquerade kills Sea Hag so hard it's not funny; Hermit counters it pretty well; while the presence of e.g. Chapel, Remake, Forager, Ambassador etc. simply mean that Sea Hag player will slow himself way more than he'll slow his opponent.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Favorite big terminal draw bracket
« on: April 21, 2016, 03:42:31 am »

1 Chapel
17 Count - more interesting

9 Mercenary
25 Bishop - ugh, I hate Mercenary. So powerful and so luck-dependant

4 Masquerade - both are great, Masq is just a little bit cooler
13 Forager

12 Counterfeit
5 Remake - awesomely designed card, fantastic in the opening and later usable for various shanenigans

34 Raze
18 Apprentice - just seems more straightforward and interesting out of two

55 Rats
7 Junk Dealer - I so rarely find a game where Rats could be useful. When they are, they're awesome, but most of the time...

3 Ambassador
14 Butcher - I really dislike Ambassador tennis in the start. And it's often unavoidable due to Amb's strength

11 Upgrade - tough choice. I like both.
38 Forge

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Base Set Cards: Village
« on: April 19, 2016, 11:01:38 am »
Village is well priced at 3$. In fact, when I need a Village or several, I'm more than willing to pay 4$ for it (such as e.g. Framing Village after I've trashed all the green, Walled Village when I0m sure I'll play 3 or more actions this turn etc.).

People tell me one of the problems with Scout is that Scout BM is apparently worse than straight BM.

I look at Village then look back at them.
Village is cheaper and, unlike Scout, is assured to draw you a card.
so it's a good BM enabler?
No, it's terrible; but it's still better BM enabler than Scout.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Base Set Cards: Village
« on: April 19, 2016, 08:37:01 am »
Village is well priced at 3$. In fact, when I need a Village or several, I'm more than willing to pay 4$ for it (such as e.g. Framing Village after I've trashed all the green, Walled Village when I0m sure I'll play 3 or more actions this turn etc.).

People tell me one of the problems with Scout is that Scout BM is apparently worse than straight BM.

I look at Village then look back at them.
Village is cheaper and, unlike Scout, is assured to draw you a card.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: House rules you use
« on: April 18, 2016, 06:38:11 am »
With 3 or 4 player games, when we randomly shuffle randomizer deck to decide which cards we'll play our kingdom with, I usually draw again in case I drew Torturer (which turns 3+P game into a torture) and Spy (which new players tend to use a lot, making game go forever).

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Cards you forget exist
« on: April 16, 2016, 11:22:35 am »
Cards you forget exist
11th card when I fail to notice Young Witch is on the board :P

On a serious note, cards I ignore are usually ones that are bad in majority of the kingdoms they appear in - as soon as I see them on the board, I usually don't bother with a serious thought. It has, unfortunately, more than once caused me to miss some actually useful Royal Seal, Scout, Stash or Rats combos.

On the other hand, my criteria are completely arbitrary. There are several other suboptimal cards which aren't worth buying most of the time, and yet I find them cool and wonder if can I somehow include them in my deck: cards such as Harvest, Saboteur, Adventurer, Coppersmith etc.


1 Chapel
32 Bonfire

17 Count
16 Amulet

9 Mercenary
41 Trading Post

25 Bishop
8 Steward

4 Masquerade
29 Procession

45 Expand
13 Forager

12 Counterfit
44 Miser

28 Salvager
5 Remake

2 Rebuild
34 Raze

18 Apprentice
15 Stonemason

55 Rats
42 Graverobber

26 Altar
7 Junk Dealer

3 Ambassador
8 Remodel

46 Mint
14 Butcher

11 Upgrade
22 Watchtower

38 Forge
6 Governor

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