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Messages - trivialknot

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1
Dominion: Renaissance Previews / Re: Teaser
« on: September 21, 2018, 10:47:59 pm »
Cubes to track project progress makes sense.  There are probably 2 cubes per player because projects follow the same selection rules as landmarks/events, and there can be at most two projects in play at a time.

If there were an artifact that simply said, everyone must trash a card at the beginning of each turn, would that work?  Hmmm... no that would be devastating with Militia.

35 tokens seems like kind of a small number if some of those are coin tokens and some are action tokens.  I was thinking there could be a card that simply says +2 or +3 action tokens, but it seems like the action tokens would run out really quickly.

2
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Log Statistics
« on: September 20, 2018, 07:41:59 pm »
Another question: can you extract statistics on Mountain Pass bids?

3
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Log Statistics
« on: September 18, 2018, 11:36:39 am »
What is very interesting to me is that a lot of trashers have negative gain advantage. Amulet is at -11%, Raze even at -18%, and Chapel and Steward both at -4% (numbers where only 1 player gains it). That seems to indicate that trashing is overvalued in the current metagame.
I'm not sure that's true of trashers in general.  Sentry is at +13%, Plan is +3%, Cemetery is +1%.  There isn't an easy way to look at them all together though, so I'm not sure.

Raze in particular is interesting, because it's -18% if you correct for skill, and -1% if you don't correct for skill.  That suggests to me that Raze really is overrated by higher-ranked players.

4
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Log Statistics
« on: September 18, 2018, 11:20:59 am »
Castles!

The likelihood that each castle will be gained are, in order:
73%, 60%, 51%, 47%, 43%, 38%, 33%, 26%.

Lower-ranked players are more likely to gain each Castle, so I think the most common situation is a lower-ranked player going for the Castles pile, and the higher-ranked player tactically swiping a few.  Which ones are the best swiping targets?

Gain % for higher-ranked player / gain % for lower-ranked player:
35/38, 25/35, 22/29, 23/23, 19/23, 16/22, 16/17, 15/11

So the favorite swiping targets appear to be Humble, Haunted, Grand, and King's.

5
Dominion Articles / Re: Chariot Race
« on: September 18, 2018, 10:48:24 am »
Since I was just looking at markus' statistics, I went ahead and checked out Chariot Race.  Among highly ranked players, if they gain at least one Chariot Race, the average number gained is 4.  So if you need a rule of thumb, I would place it higher than 3.

When Empires came out, we thought that Chariot Race was one of the weakest cards in the set.  But when we learned how to play it better, it became fairly powerful.  It's more important to trash your starting deck than it is to add more expensive cards, or to find cute combos.  And even if you don't get Chariot Races yourself, you still need to think about defending from your opponent's chariot races.

6
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Log Statistics
« on: September 17, 2018, 09:51:58 pm »
That's really neat!

I haven't looked through the spreadsheet yet, and I was just browsing the images.  A few random observations...
-People who gained Dame Anna apparently didn't have a significantly improved chance of winning.
-Going by win rates for only one player receiving, the best boons are Earth, Field, Sea, and Wind (57%), and the worst ones are Moon, Mountain, and Sky (54%).  But the confidence intervals are all 1.4% so they're all pretty close.
-The worst hexes to receive are Greed (43%), War (44%), and Misery (44%), and the least bad ones are Envy (48%), Delusion (47%), Bad Omens (47%), and haunting (47%).  Confidence intervals are 1.5%.  (Edit: as pointed out by markus, these are error bars not confidence intervals)
-Trusty Steed is the most popular prize (gained 77% of the time), closely followed by Followers (71%). Princess is 57%, Diadem is 32%, and Bag of Gold is 31%.
-Save is bought 5-6 times per game on average.  That's more than Alms (4-5 times), so I think it might card with the highest buy/gain/receive rate.

Hey, is it possible to sort the cards by skill multiplier?

7
Dominion General Discussion / Re: When seating order matters - Chariot Race
« on: September 17, 2018, 03:04:27 pm »
Seating order is always an issue in Puerto Rico.  A weaker player provides a major advantage to the player to their left.  In our play group, our way of dealing with this is to just accept it, since it's just a casual game.  We also offer friendly strategy advice to newbies.

In Dominion, I could see this being more frustrating, if one player is getting lots of VP with Chariot Race, and that option is totally unavailable to you, and you know you lost, but the game is still going.  It's good to have a play group that will occasionally agree to end the game prematurely, if one player is winning and it's not fun for the other players.

8
Dominion Articles / Re: Storyteller
« on: August 28, 2018, 02:10:49 pm »
Solid article, BTW.  I agree with everything, although I think there should be less emphasis on specific synergies with kingdom treasures.

One mistake that I used to see streamers make, was getting into the mindset that Storytellers are for sifting coppers, therefore they should only play coppers with it.  For example, say you have a hand of Storyteller, 3 coppers, and a silver.  Rather than playing 3 coppers, you should play 2 coppers and a silver, because that's like sifting four coppers, despite only having three in hand.  That's my two cents.

9
Dominion Articles / Re: Storyteller
« on: August 28, 2018, 02:02:31 pm »
All too often, I've seen someone play Storyteller, play some Treasures, draw lots of cards, play another Storyteller, play more Treasures, draw the rest of their deck, then mournfully reveal they've only got $4 left to spend having sunk something like $10 into drawing.

This just sounds like a bad deck.  I think the only time I've had this experience is in a game with Mountebank and no trashing.
And Storytellers were still worth it to play Mountebank more often.
Wasn't there a legendary Dominion League championship match that involved Storyteller+Possession?  Storyteller could consistently draw Possession at the cost of any other payoff, which is exactly the kind of deck you want to build to defend against Possession.  I think the kingdom also had Mining Village as the only splitter, LOL.

10
Let's Discuss ... / Re: Lets discuss hinterlands cards:tunnel
« on: August 23, 2018, 05:30:18 pm »
Next question: what card is the best enabler? Personally, I think it is Dungeon, but what do you guys think?
I think Embassy/Tunnel is one of the best synergies, enabling a strong strategy just by themselves.

11
Dominion Articles / Re: Groundskeeper-- Draft
« on: August 23, 2018, 04:33:07 pm »
If I think back to when Groundskeeper was new, the three main questions I had were:

1. How strong is it?  Is it a centralizing force, a niche card, or something in between?
2. Suppose I'm playing a good stuff deck, and I'm lucky enough to draw most of my groundskeepers (say, 3 or 4).  Do I take the opportunity to green, even if it's a bit early?
3. Sometimes we played Groundskeeper slogs, in which we start with provinces, but switched to duchies and then to estates, eventually ending the game on piles.  Is this good or were we just playing wrong?

Saying Groundskeeper is a cantrip worth N VP is not the right way to think about it, because having groundskeepers in play can affect your decision to gain victory cards.  For instance, maybe a single Groundskeeper gives you 6 VP, which sounds amazing at first, but maybe most of that VP was from Estates that you wouldn't have gained otherwise, and which are really hurting your deck.  Groundskeeper also enables you to gain and trash victory cards, a strategy that you didn't even mention.

12
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Interesting Card Design Challenges
« on: August 15, 2018, 10:15:20 pm »
I am bad at card names, but

Quote
Vulture - $3 Reaction
When another player gains a card, you may reveal and discard this from your hand to gain a cheaper non-victory card, or to draw a card.

Pawnbroker looks pretty cool, but if you're able to stack it, it could get nasty fast.  Imagine playing it 3 times per turn, opponents aren't going to want to trash down to 2 cards.

Challenges: Create a treasure/action card that isn't Crown.  Create a pure debt-cost card.

13
Zombie Mason pairs with Zombie Spy, so sometimes you have control.  It can be a clutch way to mill a province to end the game.

I also think it's great to have a difficult-to-control trasher among the zombies.  Sometimes you accidentally trash a good action, and then everybody's like, welp!  Better get Necromancers this game!  Necromancer is great design, and Nocturne is an excellent set.  What was this thread about again?

14
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Ice Age
« on: August 12, 2018, 05:05:59 pm »
Some thoughts on the more recent cards...

Reclaim - This looks fairly strong to me, if you can trash from discard.  Compared to Remodel, Reclaim keeps one extra card in hand.  In the late game, that extra card is often Gold.  So you can imagine playing Reclaim, playing Gold to buy something, and then calling Reclaim next turn to trash the same Gold for Province.  Of course, often your discard is empty at the beginning of your turn, especially in engines, in which case Reclaim is a gimped Remodel.  So it's better than Remodel in good stuff strategies, but still works in engines.  I like it.

Bastion / Isle - I think the Duke comparison is apt, but Bastion is less interactive than Duke because $2 and $4 are fairly low price points that don't require you to build a good deck.  And because they're terminal stop cards, it's actively difficult to build an interesting deck that synergizes with them.  As for Isle, the higher price point is more interactive, but I think it's just too weak.  I don't like the setup rule because Isle+4 coppers is really sad.

Although Violet CLM's night card idea seems overly complicated to me, in a way I think it makes a lot of sense.  Hitting a high price point with an estate in hand is a more interesting hoop to make players jump through.

Outcast - This just seems very low impact, to the point of being uninteresting.  It's like caravan guard--a bland card IMO--but blander.  Or like Encampment but without the gold/plunder reveal option.

Supply Post - I think this is really neat.  It's a bit like Embargo in how it impacts asymmetric strategies, but it uses a carrot instead of a stick.  I really like Embargo and am constantly disappointed by the fact that Embargo simply isn't that good, but I think Supply Post is a lot better because coin tokens are pretty much always decent.

I wouldn't worry at all about the trade route interaction.  It doesn't actually seem to be imbalanced or lead to any contradiction, it's just a weird interaction kind of like the Defiled Shrine / gathering pile interactions. 

Summoner - I would compare this first to Cobbler, which is also basically a cantrip gainer.  Cobbler is faster though, and you don't have to decide what you want before you get it.  From Summoner, I'd expect some hilarious antics as I choose cards that it later turns out I didn't really want.

But now I'm thinking, does this card actually work?  The main usage seems to be winning important splits from piles you don't actually need right away--say, Advisor or Herald.  Or gaining Silk Roads, which looks pretty degenerate.  And once you gain all the things you wanted, you might gain estates and hope the game ends before the ice runs out.

Pioneer - It's sounds fine.  In general I would choose copper in hand over +$1, if only because that removes copper from the shuffle.  It's also better with discard for benefit--say, Warehouse.  But the benefit compared to peddler seems marginal most of the time.

15
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Question- What is an Engine
« on: July 27, 2018, 07:19:31 pm »
You know, for all the difficulty in defining the term "engine", I think the term "golden deck" is even more contentious.

The problem with a "golden deck" is that it was originally defined by pointing to a particular deck: Bishop, Silver, Silver, Gold, Province.  And that might have made sense in the days of Prosperity, but I think by this point it's not very common, and not very good either.  I'm not sure I've ever made a deck like that.  So the question is, do we expand the "golden deck" label to a larger set of decks?  Or do we just think of it as a narrow category, like the Hermit/Market Square deck, or the classic Hunting Party deck?

Some people seem to define "golden deck" as one of those decks that does the exact same thing every turn.  So, like, if I have the bishop thing, and I opt to buy Gold instead of Province one turn in order to manipulate the Province supply, it's not a golden deck anymore?  What if I added a few Chariot Races?  Honestly this definition is just weird to me.  In my play group, we use "golden deck" to describe decks that score points without adding dead cards, but maybe that's weird too.

I don't know why the term "golden deck" has such a hold on us at all.  Maybe if people had just called it the bishop deck, we would have forgotten about the very concept by now.

16
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Question- What is an Engine
« on: July 26, 2018, 07:14:21 pm »
Is the engine the thing you're building? Or is the engine the process of building it?
I think of an "engine" as a deck you build, and an "engine strategy" is a strategy that aims to build an engine at some point during the game.

Hm...  If an engine is a deck that draws itself, does that mean every strategy that aims to Donate down to 5 cards is an engine strategy?

17
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Question- What is an Engine
« on: July 26, 2018, 10:56:43 am »
I don't see why we can't just say an engine is where you draw/sift through your whole deck every turn (at least until you start greening.)


I don't like the "whole" in that sentence. If you can consistently draw 3/4 of your deck; and consistently generate enough coin and buy to keep going, I wouldn't think to call that not an engine just because you have a few more stop cards than you have draw.

I think the difference between drawing 3/4s and drawing the whole deck is significant.  If you're drawing your deck (and let's say you have at least 1 overdraw), then when you add a stop card, you get the whole value of that stop card.  If you're drawing less than your whole deck, then when you add a stop card, then it only increases your deck value if it's better than your average stop card.

A concrete example of this is a double tactician deck with ~13 stop cards.  I don't consider that to be an engine.  It can still be a good deck though.

18
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Question- What is an Engine
« on: July 25, 2018, 11:40:00 pm »
The concept of engine is easy to explain! "Hey, that strategy where you buy one smithy and money? Well it's not as good as this deck--see how efficient it is? It's sort of an....engine, you could call it".
That's what the philosophers call an "ostensive" definition.  You define the concept by pointing to examples of it.  The limitation of an ostensive definition, is that it doesn't explain what in particular makes a deck an engine or not an engine.  So we might each hear the same ostensive definition, but develop different theories of what makes an engine, and then ultimately disagree on the classification of decks that neither of us thought to point to when we started out.

The thing that we're trying to pin down is an "intensional" definition.  The intensional definition describes necessary and sufficient conditions to call a deck an engine.  There's also the "extensional" definition, which would literally be a list of every deck that would be called an engine.

There's also prototype theory, which argues that the way we understand concepts isn't really through definitions, but through prototypes.  That is, we adopt a few central examples of "engines", and we deem a deck to be an engine if we think it bears enough resemblance to one of the central examples.

...I really like Wittgenstein, okay?

It's fun to invent intensional definitions but I totally agree that they aren't necessary, nor are they accurate descriptions of how we understand concepts.

19
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Question- What is an Engine
« on: July 25, 2018, 10:52:33 pm »
An engine is a deck where you are able to both (a) potentially gain more than one set of points a turn and (b) seeks to increase consistency (or at least not decrease consistency) in the deck before greening. In this way, an engine seeks to expand further than a set boundary of one Province/Colony/Dominate a turn.
What if I have a deck with only one gain per turn, but I try to draw deck every turn just so I can play Ghost Ship every turn?  Does that fulfill (a) or not?

I don't understand why Workshop/Gardens doesn't fulfill (b).  You say that gaining gardens decreases consistency, but by the time you're gaining gardens, that would be after greening, no?

20
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Question- What is an Engine
« on: July 25, 2018, 10:34:37 pm »
My answer, as typed in the google form:

An engine is a deck whose average value per turn derives from its total deck composition, rather than its average deck composition.  So, if you randomly set aside some cards from your deck, it would hurt this turn.  Most typically, an engine has a nonzero probability of drawing or sifting through the entire deck.  The probability does not need to be high, i.e. I don't think "consistency" is a requirement.

Of course, there are a bunch of pathological cases:
-A Travelling Fair/Counting House is an engine because its value derives from the total number of copper. 
-A deck that gains Silk Roads technically derives value from its total deck composition, but I don't count that sort of thing.
-A 5-card deck, or say a deck with 10 peddlers and 4 stop cards, I would put in a third category, neither engine nor good stuff.
-There are also stockpile decks, that collect e.g. coin tokens, Royal Carriages, Duplicates, or Native Village cards for a big turn.  Here, the value of the megaturn derives from the total deck composition, but the rate of building the megaturn depends on average deck composition (e.g. how quickly you can play Royal Carriages), so I actually consider these to be good stuff decks.

21
Now I'm trying to think of a card that's better when it misses the first shuffle. Maybe an Herbalist you got just because you'll need the +Buy later? Humble Castle, if you decided you absolutely had to grab it before the other guy, maybe because of Keep?
Skulk.  Lurker, if you each got one.  The opening Mint.  Embargo, so you can first see what your opponent is doing.  Estate, which you bought to trash Hovel.  Curse!  Royal Blacksmith!

22
Also josh56.

I very sincerely recommend putting people on your ignore list.  It sounds like kind of a mean and hostile thing to do, but in fact it makes the world a nicer and brighter place for all.  The ignore list is hard to find, so for the benefit of those who can't find it... click "profile" on the top, then "buddies/ignore list" on the sidebar, then press "edit ignore list" and type in the user's name.

23
Game Reports / Re: Duchess or Pirate ship?
« on: July 10, 2018, 06:08:14 pm »
So Curses and Royal Carriages emptied? I think Duchess because I think I would buy Duchy....
Royal Carriages didn't empty, but maybe they should have.

24
Game Reports / Duchess or Pirate ship?
« on: July 10, 2018, 03:05:48 pm »
I played a game IRL with the following kingdom:

Duchess, Storeroom, Sea Hag, Worker's Village, Noble Brigand, Pirate Ship, Royal Carriage, Pooka, Tribute, Crypt, Arena

The big thing here is Sea Hag without curse trashing.  We both opened Sea Hag/Royal Carriage, using Cursed Gold, so you might imagine that our decks got junked up at record speed.  Once that happened, it seemed like the best way forward was to stockpile Royal Carriages, which could be bought with Cursed Gold.  The Royal Carriages could be called on Duchess or Pirate Ship to buy Provinces.  I went for Duchess, and my partner went for Pirate Ship.  We tied.

What would you have done here?  Is Duchess or Pirate Ship better, or would you have gone for something else entirely?

I think Duchess has the edge because Pirate Ship is slower, and you're happy to trash your treasures, which just get in the way of drawing Royal Carriages.

25
I don't think it makes any sense to say that luck and skill are correlated. Of course, we're all just arguing about definitions, so let me offer mind: I consider skill the component of variance that correlates with the players and luck the component that does not. In other words, if a competition tends to have the same players winning in head-to-head matches, then it is mostly skill, while if a competition leads to more random outcomes,

The difference here is this always depends on which skill gaps you're comparing. Between a moderately experienced player and a new player, random elements can add variance that will correlated with that skill gap, because the moderately experience player knows how to deal with that uncertainty. But between, say, a top player and a moderately experienced player who have both mastered that aspect, the random elements can instead decide the outcome in a way that does not correlate with their differing abilities. Hence why top players will see random elements as contributing to luck, while new players will see them as contributing to skill.
That's the correct way to think of it, if you think of luck and skill as two competing explanatory factors for who wins games.  But this has little to do with whether a game "feels" luck-based or skill-based.  I did an analysis a while back of Dominion League games among top players, and I concluded that those games were 80% determined by chance.  It seems counterintuitive, but it's actually about right, because when players are of very similar skill level, obviously the differences in their skill are not the primary explanatory factor in who wins.  (At least, not individual games.  In a 6-game match, skill differences add up.)  But does that mean that Dominion is a low-skill game, especially among the most highly skilled players?  I would say not.

I've since adopted the viewpoint argued by Richard Garfield (aku-chi linked to an article, but you can also find videos of talks he's given).  Skill is the difficulty in mastery, and the number of different levels of mastery that can be achieved.  Luck is the uncertainty, either during the course of the game, or in the outcome of the game.  I feel that this definition lines up with our intuitive understanding of skill in games.

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