# Dominion Strategy Forum

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1
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: Coffers Poll Question
« on: November 08, 2018, 01:38:52 pm »
The argument in the above discussions then point to the probability being close to 50%, since the situations are really rare  where coffers really make a difference to your first purchase of \$7. So in most instances the two AIs will do the same thing and it is 50-50.

2
##### Dominion: Renaissance Previews / Re: Renaissance rulebook is up
« on: November 05, 2018, 11:28:21 am »
patron+ hunting party/library is kind of good?

3
##### General Discussion / Re: Random Stuff Part IV
« on: October 16, 2018, 02:27:14 pm »
The explanation is amazing. But once you think in terms of the Fourier transforms and realize that the denominators can just be anything not this sequence of odd integers and still give pi/2, it feels a lot less striking.

(Basically not a sequence any more... you could have missed a term in the multiplication and get the same pi/2)

4
##### Dominion Articles / Re: Castles
« on: March 29, 2018, 02:49:16 pm »
Fundamentally there is a contradiction in the article: if the biggest effect is like another province pile, how can that be you should start buying them 1-3 turns earlier than you normally would with provinces? Should you not build for longer?

Now that I think about this a little bit... the effect of humble and king's is actually linear so that the split of the castles do not affect their value, at least if they are not left in the supply. So maybe the correct answer would be that normally one should not think about buying them earlier and it is a cognition bias somehow that accumulating those castles early on can get you more points later?

5
##### Dominion Articles / Re: The Physics of Dominion
« on: March 02, 2018, 03:48:53 am »
Why does this show that if you want to go engine you want to go all the way? Also what does going all the way mean? If you mean just over the transition then it is probably too conservative when the deck size is large enough since you would have no reliability; if you go all the way toward a deck full of lab or village/smithy it is certainly not optimal.

6
##### Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: Some Statistics on Ratings
« on: February 09, 2018, 10:22:21 am »
Why is the update of mu proportional to phi^2?

7
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: farmer's market is pretty good
« on: December 08, 2017, 02:02:54 pm »
I read through all the discussion with understanding a single bit of it, until I realized I was thinking about farming village.

8
##### Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: Is it okay to buy Possession?
« on: November 09, 2017, 08:56:47 am »
Hmm... I wonder if there is an errata, limiting the possession to work only once per turn, will it be enough to make the card playable again?

I mean, that should eliminate the stalemate situation, since it will be a lot harder to get more out of your opponent's deck then your own. With the buff coming from messing up other's deck via debt tokens and vp tokens, I don't think the card is underpowered with this constraint.

9
##### Dominion: Nocturne Previews / Re: Previews #3: Blessed Village, Idol, Druid
« on: October 25, 2017, 02:45:03 pm »
As someone who hates the randomness of Black Market, and to a certain extent Knights, I'm pretty skeptical about Boons too. Wisp seems pretty great to me. In a game without trashing, weak trashing, heavy junking, or even before you trash that much, Wisps can be pretty close to Labs. The others are more situational, but most of them seem a lot weaker.

True except that Lab is pretty weak in that phase. Unless you have good 2s to draw.

Viewing in vacuum I am pretty meh on this mechanic. Some extra randomness trying to make something interesting but in the end, I don't know, does it worth the extra setup and is there that much extra fun after all?

But I liked the discussion on blessed village. Indeed on gain boon can somewhat change early game.

10
##### Dominion Articles / Re: Secret Passage: Cute Tricks and Creativity in Dominion
« on: September 28, 2017, 04:05:11 pm »
I am surprised that no one mentioned (as far as I read) that for the save-for-the-next-turn usage it is significantly worse than scheme, which actually lets you play the card. Also pretty obvious, secret passage does not work in this way when you can draw your deck.

Also, the save-to-skip-reshuffle is rather interesting to think about. If you always do that, in average it is equivalent to permanently trash 1-(since it can miss the shuffle itself, and you can happen not to have a bad card in hand when playing it) bad card from your deck. How good is that? Probably not so good in comparison, as many 3 cost cards can trash one card per shuffle.

11
##### Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / How to play Vassal, King's Court, Cartographer, Villa
« on: April 28, 2017, 12:03:49 pm »
In a recent game I have these four cards available. There is light trashing due to loan.

Not to be stuck with analysis paralysis I sort of just played randomly in that game.

But I have to think,

given you have trashed most of your coppers and have a few of each cards, what is the right way of playing these cards?

12
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: Sauna/Silver or Other Opening
« on: April 18, 2017, 02:58:21 pm »
Probably Sauna/Engineer is best?

13
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: Rage against the card - lots of swearing!
« on: April 11, 2017, 10:23:58 am »
Similar things can be said for sentry... But I agree Sauna is worse. The most offensive aspect to me though, is actually that this card itself is a too strong engine enabler.

You know, not the best feeling in the world trying hard, but can barely beat a mindless sauna+silver opening (and you know, it is not that bad once you start that pile, just to continue working on that pile).

14
##### Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: split piles
« on: March 22, 2017, 10:10:22 am »
Thanks for all the replies! This is pretty surprising. I don't see any difficulty showing two cards side by side when right clicking on it...

I guess for people bothered enough they will sooner or later learn and memorize the card so it can be claimed as a non-persistent issue lol.

15
##### Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / split piles
« on: March 21, 2017, 03:22:24 pm »
Simple question: how do I view the bottom card of the split piles?

There must be a simple way right? But I couldn't figure out...

16
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Replayability Factor
« on: February 27, 2017, 12:10:43 pm »
since there are ~200 kingdom cards and you take ~10 per game, a card appearance in any single game is around 5%. So seeing 5 appearances of those cards out of 100 games is entirely normal.

You will have reasons to doubt if you see a few two card combos appearing in 5 or more games, or any 3 card combos in 5 or more games  at all in the mean time.

17
##### Dominion Articles / Re: Opening Probabilities: A Study
« on: February 02, 2017, 10:54:03 am »
Yeah, opening double steward and hope to use one of them to spike \$5 or \$6 is definitely something that should be considered. It is an optionality that cannot be worth less than nothing. And comparing this to opening silver/steward one can see that it wins against steward/silver when silver is in the worse hand and loses when the two stewards collide (not including the trashing benefit).

If the goal is to spike a \$5 (along with trashing ofc) then I think steward/steward is the way to go. If spiking a \$6 is desired then steward/silver is probably better. Much of the probability of \$6 is from silver colliding with steward.

18
##### Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: Subscription pricing & structure
« on: December 15, 2016, 02:59:23 pm »
QE, Greece, Brexit... and FOMC just raised the FFR yesterday. They actually expect 3 rate hikes next year... so we may be looking at EUR/USD parity in the new year.

19
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: Meta?
« on: October 12, 2016, 07:40:39 pm »
Hmm, I am not sure why do you think there is implicit assumptions about the counter. Also not quite sure what costly means. For the purpose if the counter strategy does not deviate from the strategy you are going to play anyways then there is not much to discuss, isn't it? Also I am not assuming it can always be gone from later in the game. If not, then the optimal strategy is likely needed to have incorporated some key elements of the counter.

Good to talk about an explicit example though. Still I am not sure what is the point you are trying to get to. In this case, maybe you are saying money-uncontested FG is strong, comparable to engines without it? Engines hoping to get a few FGs in a turn later can only work when the opponent is not getting them initially but becomes a dominant strategy when both players are not going for it initially?

Sure, but how does these factor into your own strategy decision?

For me the first thing to consider is that whether I need to contend FG. I don't need to know whether the current "meta" strategy likes FG or not; I will assume my opponent plays well enough and will contend it if it
is strong. So if I end up with a conclusion that an engine cannot win without contending FG against a FG-money strategy, then I will incorporate this part into my strategy. Getting a talisman can be a good way to contend a few FGs later in the game and it has some other uses, so that can be something I open with.

I agree, situation can get pretty complicated, but overall it is just a pretty big decision tree consisting of what can the opponent go for and what options does one have. Thinking about certain meta is restricting oneself into a smaller subset of this tree; it can save your thinking time and can give you better results if the opponent plays as you anticipate. However, that is not the advantage of knowing the meta, but is instead from the meta being suboptimal and your opponent still following it.

"Knowing how Fool's Gold rushes versus engine payload games play out in the current metagame" this I am not sure what you are talking about... how it plays out, it will play out, how does that depend on any meta?

20
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: Meta?
« on: October 12, 2016, 05:13:37 pm »
Not so much in Dominion. The population can certainly have a preference on different strategies, but it is pure suboptimality. For a given board, one can always react to the way the other player is playing. The optimal strategy as a script of actions taken when seeing what opponent plays, that will give you the highest win percentage. This grand optimal strategy does not depend on any preference of the opponent so there is no meta.

OK, I like this... definition?

I just don't agree. Strategic choices become better or worse based on predictions of opponent choices, not purely reactions to ones that have already been made, and there are a nontrivial amount of boards with dueling / countering strategies and choices where popular and social influence will have an effect on the game. I do not believe every board has a grand, purely optimal strategy, and as long as humans are playing the game it will never be reached anyway.

Suppose for a given board you perceive a popular strategy that your opponent is likely to play.

Now, is it a dominant strategy on this board that has no counter?
If so, then it is at least close to the optimal strategy so there is no preference to begin with.

If it has a counter, and the counter is a dominant strategy that has no counter, then it is pure suboptimality.

If it has a counter, but the counter has some other counter as well - then one should not blindly commit to play the counter. There is no necessity either. In the game one can see what the opponent is doing and go for the counter if necessary. This is clearly a better strategy than blindly going for the counter. Anticipating your opponent's play is itself suboptimal (especially if there is a counter to the play you are going to commit; and if not it is close to the optimal play anyway and anticipation does not change the way you play.) there is no necessity to counter it before it is gradually played out.

So in all situations, no prior knowledge, unless you know something with certainty, will change the way you play. That is how I think there is no meta.

21
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: Meta?
« on: October 12, 2016, 04:58:02 pm »
I guess it is a definition, but it truly is (at least in principle) what the optimal strategy is.

I don't dispute that in a 2p game that is complicated enough such as Go, even though in principle an optimal strategy exists, there is still playing style shifting around as time goes forward. That is sometimes also called meta too, but it is understood as from our inability to play this game optimally too.

I just realized that in LoL we also called a similar thing meta. The current meta is induced by the game balance changes but in principle an optimal b/p strategy should also exist. The situation is blurred since there is this factor that different players can play a given hero to very different effectiveness as well. But in principle I guess I would say again, meta should not exist if we understand the game perfectly. Or maybe it is just called meta because we consider the b/p as a metagame perhaps.

For dominion I just don't think the game is complicated to the point that one should consider how his opponent would like to play more than trying to play optimally. To me that is the real implication whether there is meta or not in a game.

22
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: Meta?
« on: October 12, 2016, 04:11:08 pm »
There's PLENTY of hidden information in Dominon, that's ridiculous. You have no certainty over what cards the opponents will buy in the future, even if you know all their options, and you can use knowledge of the metagame as one of many factors in predicting their likely strategy. That alone is sufficient evidence of metagame influences in Dominion.

Future information does not count as hidden information. Think about chess. Or any board game. If you know for certain what your opponent will do then there is not much of a game right?

You seem to confuse between concepts. Meta is called meta because it is something that affects the game that is outside the game. Think about rock-paper-scissors. If you just play one game, you will do as good as you can by always play rock. But if your opponent knows this then you will lose all the time.

This is what meta is about: you have several mutual exclusive strategy options which counters each other (while nash equilibrium would be a probability mixture of them). How you choose one among is really by preference, and is the hidden information I am talking about. The population preference is the current metagame.

Not so much in Dominion. The population can certainly have a preference on different strategies, but it is pure suboptimality. For a given board, one can always react to the way the other player is playing. The optimal strategy is a script of actions taken when seeing what opponent plays, that will give you the highest win percentage. This grand optimal strategy does not depend on any preference of the opponent so there is no meta.

23
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: Meta?
« on: October 11, 2016, 05:16:10 pm »
Meta originates from hidden information in a 2p game. Since there is no hidden information in dominion (opponent cannot build deck without being seen) in principle there should be no meta.

In reality when the play is far from optimality or when the strategy landscape is very frustrated then there can be meta; i.e., what kind of strategy people tend to play. In theory they are just non optimal strategies but the difference is just too small to matter or it is just very hard to play in the optimal way.

StarCraft is an ideal example that has both. For one you can't know for sure what your opponent is doing so your strategy really depends on the expectation of what he is likely doing. On the other hand a part of the reason why meta exists, especially when the game is young, is just because that the game has not been figured out and it takes a lot of practice to play a certain strategy good enough to know whether it is really good enough.

In the case of dominion, there certainly are strategies that beat one another, but since it is turn based, the optimal strategy exists between these strategies. The perceived meta can only be from the population adhering to playing in some non-optimal way.

24
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: How important is making bad cards miss the shuffle?
« on: October 11, 2016, 03:46:56 pm »
I think it is better to separate two effects.

The first effect is about whether we want to make bad card miss a reshuffle. The answer is always yes. Or more importantly, you don't want to make your good cards miss a reshuffle if possible, for instance, by not playing a cantrip without much benefit.

Then the second effect is what do you discard before you force the reshuffle. This does not increase or decrease the frequency you use a card, but just whether you make a card miss this shuffle (discard now) or next (do not discard.) Then the decision entirely depends on what you can do with the current hand and what you want to do in the future turns. In general the current turn is worth more but if the hand sucks already then it pays to just give it up completely for a potentially better future turn.

25
##### Dominion General Discussion / Re: Seaside 2nd generation
« on: September 29, 2016, 02:30:11 pm »
hmm. Seems more people dislike Navigator than Explorer. I don't understand.

Navigator is pretty weak, but I think it's choice-to-cycle ability is decent in quite some situations. It can certainly cost \$3 but I don't feel there is a significant difference between \$3 and \$4 anyways. Maybe the worst aspect is that it is a terminal so one might want to think it does nothing when you choose not to discard, and it does not provide as much utility to other cards that care about the content of the deck. I feel that is actually not against the card though, because it makes the card more situational.

On the other hand I feel explorer is a card I care less of. It is almost a vanilla silver gainer. That itself is fine for its power level, just I feel it is a bit boring. The collide-with-Province ability I feel is very situational since except with TfB mostly when you want gold you cannot make them reliably collide. Then it almost make this card a vanilla silver gainer + 1 trick pony. In general I am just not a fan of a very special effect that only has one usage.

I voted for pearl diver, haven, and explorer.

Pretty funny, they all appeared in a puzzle I did a few years back, which I am still proud of the solution.

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