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2012 / Re: Thief Division: Bracket and Results
« on: December 20, 2012, 01:01:06 am »
Round 3, quasi 4 samath 2

This was easily the best series I've played in, including last year's tourney.  Some really interesting boards here (games 2-5), and samath played really well.  I'd definitely be interested in strategy for a particular board, see below:

Game 1: quasi 38 samath 22
I think I had some nice draws in this game.  Everything was clicking for me.  Not an especially interesting game.
Game 2: quasi 42 samath 46
As second player in a game with governor and with samath playing efficiently, I knew I was in trouble.  Needed one more action card to sneak out a win via vineyards.  A very fun game.  It's possible that a slight tweaking of my strategy could have produced a win, but we both played well and I ended up down.  I bought the last province, which I think was the right play, albeit I didn't have a count on my actions.
Game 3: quasi 29 samath 40
I somehow had a chance to win this at the end, but I definitely got outplayed in this one.  Minion cycles better than nobles by precisely one card and attacks, and I think buying minion was the right move.  Once samath had three posessions, I was feeling quite sad.  Samath remarked on how useful the trade route was, and I'd have to agree. 
Game 4: quasi 54 samath 46
A very interesting board.  It has scrying pool, with no other +1 actions, and no other buys.  It also has duke and ghost ship.  I decide to buy tons of scrying pools, and leverage the large number of vps on the board while pinning samath every turn.  I'm not sure what the best strategy is on this board is, and a lot of the strategy depends on reacting to how your opponent is buying victory cards: I ended up blocking samath on duchies, and going for provinces, which is somehow the opposite of what you would think would happen.  Anyone have an opinion on this game??
Game 5: quasi 60 samath 56
An interesting board, although somehow it doesn't seem that way at first.  I ended up going with the old "have exactly how much money you need in your deck to buy the green card" strategy.  Samath opened walled village/fortune teller, a strange opening to me.
Game 6: quasi 36 samath 22
An anticlimactic embassy big money game.  Samath opened upgrade over embassy, which hurt him in my opinion.

Overall, a great series.  Thanks samath.

2012 / Re: Thief Division: Bracket and Results
« on: December 12, 2012, 10:00:53 pm »
Round 2: quasi 4 Brutalitops 0

Game 1:
quasi 74 Brutalitops 54
I get the lucky draws.  Was feinting IGG for some reason.

Game 2:
quasi 51 Brutalitops 39
One of those crossroads paradise boards.  I like my strategy in this one.  Don't like the trader opening.

Game 3:
quasi 33 Brutalitops 31
I made some mistakes here (taking an action instead of a buy from a pawn some turn) and so does Brutalitops (possibly, upgrading his potion to a duchy on what would be his second to last turn).  Was lucky.

Game 4:
quasi 52 Brutalitops 29
Brutalitops opened Outpost, which hurt him.  I got six of the nobles.

Thanks for the games! 

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Tactics
« on: December 05, 2012, 01:50:56 pm »
Yeah actually when I think about you should probably play it last.  If you're wishing for the same card no matter what, it doesn't affect your expected card draw*.  But you can leverage some gain by choosing your card based on what is most common in your deck.  Even so, should you be optimizing that way, or should you instead be wishing for the one Mountebank you have.

*posterior is a martingale  :)

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Tactics
« on: December 05, 2012, 12:59:53 pm »
This is a broad subject, but definitely an important one.  Probably every card has tactical decisions associated it.  Here are a couple off of the top my head.  I think the concept of tactics is maybe broader than this, but I'm interpreting the question as

What decisions are important with respect to playing the cards that you already have, as opposed to ones that you will get

For me, the classic card is Wishing Well.  This is like a complicated optimal stopping problem.  Someone can probably write a lot about it, but this is the tip of the iceberg for me. 

1.  Optimal Play Order of Wishing Well You have Wishing Well and other cantrip type-cards.  Do you play the wishing wells first, last, in the middle?  You could play them earlyish, and wish for your most common card, i.e. copper.  But if you have other card drawers, as you draw through your deck, your posterior distribution for the remaining cards gets lower in variance, and in the extreme case, you always know your last card.  Or do you play it last, wishing for a particularly important card?  Your expected +card goes down, but that's not the whole story.

2.  In general, play cards that require decisions last  This is a trivial observation, but players mess it up for no reason.

3.  Trigger a reshuffle  The first question is whether a reshuffle is good or bad for you.  If you have a lot of bad cards in hand, it's good.  If you've played through an engine and discarded a lot of bad stuff, it is very very bad.  In more intermediate cases where a shuffle is more moderately bad, consider the tradeoff.  I'd generally play a Witch even if it triggers a reshuffle.

4.Masquerade + Discard If your opponent makes you discard to three cards and there's masquerade, save a bad card.

5.  What to discard  In a game with torturer, militia, etc, never (ok usually don't) discard your engine pieces if you're building an engine.  Always discard your treasure first.

6.  When to play gainers This maybe violates my definition.  If you have a strong engine, you should realize the opportunity to gain cards for play the same turn.  Picking up another torturer via upgrade and playing it that turn can change the course of a game.  So don't just save them until the end after you've played three labs for zero cards.

More if I think of them.  Great topic btw.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Reason enough to skip Mountebank?
« on: December 02, 2012, 11:28:32 am »
On the topic of which curser in particular, Mountebank is the only curser I ever buy against Masquerade.

I think almost all of the time you want the curser and the masquerade.  When you give them a curse and they play a masquerade, it's still one more card in their deck than otherwise, and you accept the fact that curses will get passed to you sometimes. (and then you can pass them back)  With witch and mountebank theres almost no opportunity cost to grabbing these.  Familiar has a higher one, but if there are no other plus actions, you just load up on familiar, and very quickly they are net +10 cards in their deck if they dont fight back.  Sea hag is maybe border line since its so slow.  I would maybe only grab that if I had an end goal of building an engine.  In general the more engin-ish your goal, the more cursers you want, but you rarely want to forgot them completely.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Reason enough to skip Mountebank?
« on: December 02, 2012, 12:08:35 am »
Even wharf-bm beats familiar quite handily.

Is this generally accepted?  It seems a little iffy to me, especially since you can just buy familiars and wharves, and that's without anything else good on the board.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Reason enough to skip Mountebank?
« on: December 01, 2012, 12:42:50 pm »
I'd try Counting House/IGG here. With the probable exception of Sea Hag, it's my policy never to buy cursers with IGG on the board. (Not saying it's right.)

That is definitely not the right policy, the presence of other cursers is often a reason not to go IGG.

Sorry to move this thread off-topic, but why is that? IGG is on-gain and gives you the money density to get duchies for the 3-pile...

It makes the curse pile and IGG pile uneven.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Reason enough to skip Mountebank?
« on: December 01, 2012, 12:29:47 pm »
I think the question of whether or not to buy a curser is almost always independent of the particular curser, i.e. it's hard to think of a situation where you would want Mountebank, but not Witch.  In some games, however, there could be a dichotomy between Witch/Mountebank and Sea Hag/Familiar, since the latter two cost you much more tempo.

Having said that, in the vast majority of games a cursing card is mandatory, and you have to work a little hard to find a game where you can definitively say you don't need such a curser.  I can think of one game I played that had throne room, wharf, lighthouse, and familiar.  My opponent picked up at least three familiars.  I went heavy on throne rooms and wharves, and bought two lighthouses.  Relatively soon, I was drawing my deck entire deck, and I always had protection from lighthouse.  Wharf is the kind of really strong card you need to avoid cursers.  Still, given that I gave an example with so many cards, you can see that such an event is relatively rare.

The key thing here is mostly that you can draw your entire deck EVERY TURN, and wharf is best for doing this robustly.  Instead of lighthouse, you can throw in a strong trasher (forge is best, but expensive, or chapel).  But you have to be careful, because you're vulnerable before your engine is set up.  Also crucial to this example is the fact that it was familiar, which is slow and forces you to lose a lot of tempo to set up.

Even if you think you can protect yourself from cursers, that still doesn't mean you don't want them.  Cards like familiar and sea hag you might ignore in this case since they hurt you offensively, but Mountebank and Witch are not so onerous, so its pretty rare that you wouldn't want these at all.

One sort of mystifying case is in the presence of Trader.  In a game with Trader and Mountebank, I see players buy multiple Traders, and no Mountebank.  Trader is a hedge against being hit by Mountebank, but you still want the curser.

Also in general, I think some players see strong trashers and think that consequently they can ignore the cursers.  For example, suppose I buy three familiars, and you buy three upgrades but no cursers.  The problem is that youre thinking asymptotically, i.e. in the long run you won't have any curses.  But you neglect the whole midgame where your position is considerably weakened.  There is a large time dependent aspect to cursing cards.  In a chapel game where your deck is miniscule, I would love to buy three familiars.  Putting three curses in your deck in one turn is huge, even if you will eventually trash them.

Dominion Articles / Re: Oasis
« on: November 27, 2012, 08:46:01 pm »
The strongest case for oasis is menagerie.  Even in this case you still want a single silver, which I would still probably buy first in most boards.
Library et al are also important.

2011 / Re: Schedule and Results, Part II
« on: December 29, 2011, 10:38:41 pm »
Quasi (2) versus v3ck (23) in the Witch division:

quasi 74 v3ck 55

basically vanilla big money with envoy.  i go first, probably ill-advisedly buy an upgrade.

quasi 27 v3ck 30

another big money game.  i open masquerade/silver against militia/lookout, and lose.

quasi 33 v3ck 40

another big money game.  i open double swindler against swindler/warehouse.  he got a key swindle of gold to adventurer which ended up hurting.

quasi 34 v3ck 33

I open silver/chapel against silver/masquerade.  Get great shuffles in the beginning and open a huge lead.  Then i mismanage things a little bit at the end and squeak out the win.

quasi 39 v3ck 33

another big money game.  we both pick up a couple shanty towns as labs, and he buys some treasuries when he had 5 but nothing exciting.

quasi 68 v3ck

In a match of mostly boring games, this one was slight less boring.  Sort of hoped v3ck would fall into the trap of opening ambassador, but we both go for a lot of jacks, into a hybrid gardens strategy.  Maybe a dedicated colony deck would have won, but I don't know.

Overall: quasi 4-2 over v3ck.  Thanks for the games.

Game Reports / Re: Missed opportunity for double-Outpost?
« on: December 25, 2011, 09:10:56 pm »
Nice post (the original one).  In general scheme + outpost has a lot of potential.

2011 / Re: Schedule and Results, Part II
« on: December 23, 2011, 08:11:55 pm »
Witch division: Quasi (2) vs. Hurr (7) 

quasi 62 Hurr 42

I went for a junky duke strategy, it beat vanilla big money.

quasi 1 Hurr

Er, kind of embarrassing.  I think we had the same strategy in mind, he just got his running much much much quicker than me.  I welcome your thoughts on openings here: his loan/bridge opening trounced my silver/potion.  I was worried about getting to 7 for king's court, without which there were no actions.  Margrave was probably not a great move either.

quasi 36 Hurr 13

Hurr said he didn't think he had any chance going second in a militia big money board.  So he did something with university and margraves.  Got an early lead, and then salvaged away.

quasi 48 Hurr 73

My stupid experiment with fool's gold in a colony game crashes and burns, which I'm sure surprises no one.

quasi 33 Hurr 39

His wharf/BM beats my sort of bad attempt at making an engine, although I came close to squeaking out a win.

quasi 31 Hurr 18

Nice engine game, assuredly my first turn advantage is the reason for winning.  The provinces got bought up in 3 consecutive turns.

quasi 43 Hurr 36

Hurr got shafted by militia the first six times he got to six.  In my defense, I did have two militias to his one in the early game.  Then things sort of slowly crawled to a close three-pile for me with goons.

Thanks for the games Hurr.  Final score is quasi 4, Hurr 3.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Stables vs Lab
« on: December 20, 2011, 03:43:51 pm »
If there's heavy trashing of coppers, you probably want at most one stable for the early mid game, and then go labs.  However, even discarding a silver to stables is sometimes preferable to playing a lab.  Having labs make your stables more robust to low treasure density.

Obviously though stables is better without copper trashing.  I'd buy ~4 stables first, then I guess I'd switch to labs, but the game probably won't last that long.  I think you'd be ok buying only stables.  If all your coppers are around, it's relatively rare to never get one. 

In cursing games, the calculus changes a little bit.  You still probably want stables first, but I think you could run into trouble if you went all out on the stables.  I'd probably get 2-3 then start alternating between lab and stables. 

With discard attacks, again go a little less heavy on the stables, but still probably get at least 2 or 3 then alternate. 

Overall, without trashing stables is significantly stronger than lab.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Farmland vs Silver
« on: December 19, 2011, 04:20:50 pm »
Also, if you're behind in the end game, buying a farmland and trashing a silver can net you 5 points which might help you catch up.

You could have played that Silver and bought a Province instead, for 6 points instead of 5. Although, if there's 1 Province left and you are behind, that could be a pretty good move.

yeah that's what i meant.  buying a farmland and not holding one already in your hand

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Farmland vs Silver
« on: December 19, 2011, 04:15:18 pm »
I think it's a pretty marginal card.  I can't really think of a time when I'd want to buy it before the end game, although at that point it is definitely useful.  As jomini said, getting an 8 point turn is useful.  Also, if you're behind in the end game, buying a farmland and trashing a silver can net you 5 points which might help you catch up.

In most other situations, it's sort of hard to imagine that you would want to pick up a farmland over a gold or another good six cost card.  Trashing a copper/estate usually doesn't justify putting a green card into your deck, especially when you could have had a gold instead (compare with remodel, a really weak card already, it can trash those cards multiple times, and you don't have to take it over a gold).  The farmland, once it's in your deck, is basically only good for trashing to get a province, and it's useless for buying anything else.  If nothing else, farmland is almost strictly worse than harem.

Cards like hoard make it better, but still probably marginally better in many setups.  Buying one with a hoard and gold to trash in your hand is certainly nice, but not something you can really count on unless you're drawing a ton.  Same thing with contraband.  This card has the best synergy with farmlands I think, especially if you need buy.  If you're blocked on gold, you buy farmlands, and in the end game if you're blocked on provinces, you buy farmlands and hopefully trash.

2011 / Re: Schedule and Results: 2011 Championships
« on: December 18, 2011, 03:56:50 pm »
In the Witch division, quasi (2) over WrathofGlod/Michael Harris (15) by a count of 4-3.

quasi 43 Michael Harris 18

quasi 2 Michael Harris 19

quasi 35 Michael Harris 39

quasi 49 Michael Harris 27

quasi 41 Michael Harris 29

quasi -100 Michael Harris ~15 Lost the game log for this one, but I was stuck in ambassador hell.

quasi 9 Michael Harris -2


Game 1.  His engine building is a little too slow.  Edit: actually I don't know, i'm not sure how much draws played into it.
Game 2.  IGG race.  I got a bit outplayed here.  Not sure what I could have done to win this one.
Game 3.  Similar rough strategies, was a little surprised to lose this one.
Game 4.  His engine building is a little too slow.
Game 5.  Light bishoping into conspirators and stuff beats apothecary
Game 6.  I resign in shame.
Game 7.  Festival/Torturer, my draws were too lucky to beat.

Thanks for the games WrathofGlod.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: When to buy Explorer
« on: December 13, 2011, 03:12:26 pm »
I could see it being of decent use in an apprentice-based engine.  Something like: trash gold with apprentice, and then replenish with explorer with your big hand that has explorer/province.

2011 / Re: Schedule and Results: 2011 Championships
« on: December 07, 2011, 04:02:30 pm »
In the Witch Division, quasi (2) over ma_trix (34) by a score of 4-1

quasi 45 ma_trix 9
quasi 39 ma_trix 30
quasi 53 ma_trix 50
quasi 32 ma_trix 35
quasi 44 ma_trix 32

Thanks for the games ma_trix.

Edit: a couple game notes.

In game 2: apparently contraband + farmlands is a pretty efficient combo.  Play a contraband, and you can use farmlands to get a province if it's banned.  Or pick up a farmlands if gold is banned.

Nothing too strategically mindblowing in the other games.

2011 / Re: Nomad Camp: a place for people to find their opponents
« on: December 05, 2011, 10:35:58 am »
Has anyone seen ma_trix?  Looking to set up a time to play, he hasn't responded to a pm sent about five days ago.

Dominion Articles / Re: A Few Combos
« on: December 04, 2011, 07:30:39 pm »
It seems that most people are of the opinion that opening with a spice merchant is a strong move.  Is this the case?  If your priority is to get to a 5 money hand by the second shuffle, spice merchant doesn't really help you out there, right?  I've been leaning towards deferring its purchase to turns 3 or 4 after opening something like double silver etc. 

Game Reports / Re: Aggressive Noble Brigand Opening
« on: November 24, 2011, 10:58:05 am »
I think in this game I wouldn't go heavy on noble brigands, just because of the presence of secret chamber.  Secret chamber is a great counter to noble brigand: you put a copper in your hand plus something crappy onto the top of your deck, and the attack helps you.  the secret chamber also helps you pick up grand markets.

2011 / Re: 2011 Championships Registration
« on: November 21, 2011, 07:58:07 am »
1) quasi
2) est

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Why can't i get any better?
« on: November 20, 2011, 09:34:52 pm »
Post some game logs?

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