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Messages - jonaskoelker

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1
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Tom Vasel Nocturne Review
« on: January 07, 2018, 05:07:26 pm »
Apparently our tastes differ. [...] "what even am I do?!?" [...] lots of fun.
You are saying you enjoy being thrown to the wolves, as much or more as there being just a little uncertainty? [...]
I think you might have read a little more into my words than I intended to put there, but only a little bit.

I like playing a game where I know some rules of thumb and understand why they're generally true—such as "trashing is good" and "drawing your entire deck is good" and "Chapel is better in engines than in big money" and "Port is often a better buy than Bustling Village" and "Mountebank is stronger than Fortune Teller".

I also like when my expectations are thrown out the window. I like it when there's no "there's one trasher, one village, one terminal draw, one +buy and an attack to slow a money player down—I'm building the engine; let's see, can I throw any of the other cards in for support?" and also not even a "there's Enchantress and City Quarter which is strong draw that I'm not used to mathing; there's only slow trashing in Sacrifice and there's alt-VP in Castles but that's a lot of green cards which will hurt my action density—gee, I wonder if it's better than the best money strategy?"

I like it when boards are just completely weird and nothing fits together and you have to glue something together that accomplishes something, but however you do it it's going to be weird and awkward and you'll always go "does this even make sense?"

But, and this is the thing I probably didn't convey all that well: I like that as a diversion. I like having a game that's somewhat reasonably well-understood most of the time and a completely crazy a handful of times every blue moon.

2
[I agree that part of what makes Embassy high-randomness is Embassy/BM being easy and good] [...] terminal draw overall is more random than other things.
Interesting. Do you mean terminal draw BM mirror games tend to be coinflips, or something more or less specific? Do you have an insight into why (as in 'by what mechanism')?
I wasn't saying anything about games being coinflips; obv. there's the usual, if we subtract out all skill [e.g. by formulaic play of Smithy/BM], what's left is luck, and that's not so interesting generally [...].

The mechanism that makes terminal draw more random is, you draw random cards. Sometimes you get to good numbers and sometimes not; sometimes you draw your other Smithy dead and sometimes not; sometimes you draw it with Village and sometimes not; sometimes it will trigger a shuffle at a poor time but your alternative is not great. It's lots of things.
Cool, thanks for your answer. One thing in your answer that distinguishes terminal from non-terminal draw is drawing actions dead; it would be interesting to do the math (later, 'cause I'm tired-ish now) and see if that makes non-terminal draw have lower variance than terminal draw.

The internet is a poor medium for carrying tone of voice. It was exaggeration for the purpose of levity and merriment, but in no way did I intend to mock it. On the contrary, I greatly appreciate rrenaud's work and think it's a very clever way of trying to answer a tricky question. I also think it's very interesting, and I have learned something from reading it.

When you say false things like calling actual data a mathematical proof [I think some other things you say are probably false too]
I assume it matters whether I'm being sincere or not. Like, if say "A man walks into a bar; [...]" but you know that [...] never actually happened, I guess you're not going to subtract from my credibility... ?
There's the message sent, and the message received. I only get to see the message I receive.
I'm with you so far: you don't get to read the things I don't write, such as e.g. the [joke] tags I added in later.

I imagined you were smiling, but still, you put down rrenaud's stuff by lauding it unrealistically. I don't know if you actually then went on to say false things; the point was how you modified my expectations by doing this.
I was indeed smiling; the ;) flavor of smile to be exact.

I think this is me being a total nitpick, but here goes:

If I had lauded rrenaud's stuff unrealistically by calling it something like "extremely convincing" but without implying the false claim that empirical data and mathematical proofs are the same thing, would you still adjust your expectations about the truth of what I would be about to say? I can see how it makes sense for you to think I'm a jerk, but not that I'm stupid—or ill-informed, muddle-headed, or whatever flavor of "has incorrect conceptions" you prefer.

... It sounds like maybe you're claiming something that would surprise me—but you've already half-surprised me once (but not in the way I conditionally expected), so maybe you'll do it again. And then I might learn something, again :)

3
Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Trash all the things!!
« on: January 02, 2018, 09:01:16 pm »
Normal: Build my infinite loop with Bonfire.
I've seen Qvist's "how to empty the supply in 5 turns", which uses Travelling Fair and Donate, plus the following loop: Overlord as Crown five times, played as a self-trasher (he used Embargo, you proposed Raze), then Lurker gaining Mandarin (trashing it with Watchtower), Lurker gaining Overlord back, Watchtower drawing cards, <your card of choice here>.

I take it you mean this solution? How quickly can you do it if you remove either Travelling Fair or Donate to make room for Bonfire?

Hard: Pass her Copper, Cutpurse it, Pirate Ship it.
Does that change how quickly you can do it?

4
Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Empty the Supply in 1 Turn
« on: January 02, 2018, 08:54:41 pm »
The setup plays 4xBridge. If Colony is not in the supply, the most expensive card is Province at $4.
This is wrong. The setup plays 7xBridge. Once with 3 Villas left, thrice with 2 Villas left and thrice with 1 Villa left.

Sneaking in more Bridge plays is thus not necessary.

play something crazy like 4xKC into 18xBr before resuming the loop, but even that only nets us 27 buys (from Bridge and Travelling Fair).

Playing more Bridge still saves us money, as you have astutely observed, but we already have enough.

By my count, your setup uses 5xLurker, which means we can sneak 15xLurker into the loop (with King's Court), which lets us gain 7xOverlord and trash the 8th. We already have 2 when we start the loop, so this gets all 10 Overlords out of the supply before entering the buy phase. Once everything else has been gained, the last play of a KC'd Overlord can be a Lurker, trashing King's Court, Pixie and Lurker. This way, you can empty the supply with a single Lurker being the only card you bought.

You can probably even end the loop by gaining the trashed Overlord instead of trashing Lurker; then KC/KC/Overlord/Overlord/Overlord as Lurker can gain some trashed cards; the last Overlord can trash and gain the last Lurker.

I'm a little tired atm, so my reading and counting skills are probably not the greatest, but I think you only trash Overgrown Estate and a Villa; so this means you can put the entire supply into your deck by only buying a single Lurker and leaving a single non-supply card in the trash.

I find this very neat and pleasing.

Once we have all the Will-o'-Wisps (~111 Pixie plays), we can use them to draw a big hand
Oh hey, 7xBridge makes them near-certain labs, that's a cute interaction.

I do puzzles on paper, you play them out. I suspect that makes me inclined to maximize elegance and nifty-ness, and you inclined to minimize the amount of clicking since you bear the costs of the solution. Today I learned [...].

5
Dominion General Discussion / Re: ambassador + groundskeeper
« on: January 02, 2018, 07:51:58 pm »
I wouldn't buy Estates with the strategy I mentioned (except on the last turn of the game). [...] I'd buy Provinces and more draw, as needed.

Man, sometimes reading is the hardest part of discussing things online:

With non-terminal draw, you can pick up some Gold and work on the Province pile.

Thanks for the reiteration :)

My understanding of the golden deck is to return 1-2 Estates (2 if the opponent sent you one) and buy and Estate every turn for 5 VP indefinitely.
I think my post calls the "indefinitely" part into question. Given that my post involved writing and not reading on my part, sure I couldn't have made any mistakes? ;)

Against your proposed strategy, where there is no terminal space for Skulk, I guess the deck really is golden though; and I should interpret "golden" as "golden (except in strategically irrelevant edge cases)" :D

6
Well, rrenaud's list isn't very nuanced. If I play against a level 40 player, Tournament is definitely going to help me win, but if I play against a level 55 player, it might help the level 55 player win. The list doesn't show whether or not that's true.
What was your level when you wrote this? From the non-numerical contents I assume >40, but I can't tell whether it's >55 or <55. Also, I'm not sure what to read into your use of "definitely" vs. "might".

Here are my interpretations:

1. Your level is ~54, and Tournament plays in all good strategies; due to skill you will approximate the optimal strategy significantly better than Mr(s). 40 and surely win. Versus Mr(s). 55 the difference in approximation quality is much smaller, and though both of you will play Tournament, playing Tournament is much less guaranteed to give Mr(s). 55 the win (due to the similarity in skill).

2. Your level is >55, maybe even >>55; due to great differences in skill, you'll definitely crush Mr(s). 40, but Mr(s). 55 still has a shot if they have good Tournament luck.

3. The low-or-high-luck-ness of a card is not constant wrt. the skill levels of the players. For example, if you understand some subtlety about shuffle control you might use that to tilt the mean of some high-variance distribution in your favor, but if your opponent also understands it they can compensate perfectly, and if both players do this it either increases or decreases the variance. Or, you know, something in this direction.

Which one, if any, is close to what you had in mind?

7
Somehow, rrenaud's ironclad mathematical proof—proof, I tell you!
Mocking rrenaud's actual data
The internet is a poor medium for carrying tone of voice. It was exaggeration for the purpose of levity and merriment, but in no way did I intend to mock it. On the contrary, I greatly appreciate rrenaud's work and think it's a very clever way of trying to answer a tricky question. I also think it's very interesting, and I have learned something from reading it.

I think it captures some interesting aspect of the cards. I also think that what I think most people use "swinginess" to mean is not one of them. (If you read the OP, you already knew this one I guess.)

When you say false things like calling actual data a mathematical proof [I think some other things you say are probably false too]
I assume it matters whether I'm being sincere or not. Like, if say "A man walks into a bar; [...]" but you know that [...] never actually happened, I guess you're not going to subtract from my credibility... ?

—that Tournament is high-skill seems not to have changed the common perception of Tournament as swingy.
There is no contradiction here. Skill and luck are not opposite ends of a spectrum.

I agree:

[according to rrenaud's measure] Tournament [is a] high-skill card [...]. I think I have a different definition of swingy which classifies Tournament as swingy. It allows for a 2x2 matrix of swingy yes/no and high-skill yes/no; we could for example use rrenaud's measure to indicate whether a card is high-skill.
The implication of these two things together is that Tournament would be classified as (swingy, high-skill).

Dominion itself is overall a high-skill high-luck game, like Poker.
I agree. Maybe it's high-skill, moderate-to-high-luck, but that's haggling over pennies.

[I agree that part of what makes Embassy high-randomness is Embassy/BM being easy and good] [...] terminal draw overall is more random than other things.
Interesting. Do you mean terminal draw BM mirror games tend to be coinflips, or something more or less specific? Do you have an insight into why (as in 'by what mechanism')?

8
Puzzles and Challenges / Trash all the things!!
« on: January 02, 2018, 06:16:20 pm »
Objective: put all the cards in the trash as fast as possible.

Pick a kingdom of your choice, satisfying the recommended rules. Solo play, the shuffles always favor you, 0 <= #Events + #Landmarks <= 2, Colony and Platinum are allowed if you have at least one randomizer card from Prosperity and required if all randomizers are from Prosperity; similarly for shelters.

I'm not sure that Black Market helps you; if you use it, some people like solutions that work online—bonus points for making them happy.

Hard mode: 2+ players, your opponents do nothing, you have trash all of their cards as well.

Rules reminder: if you trigger the game-end condition and buy Donate on the same turn, you never get to do the Donate thing. (That's a Dominion rule, not a this-particular-challenge rule.)

9
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Tom Vasel Nocturne Review
« on: January 02, 2018, 05:42:36 pm »
All that said, we are enjoying the new set, especially now that we know to roll it slowly.

Apparently our tastes differ. I have rolled several random all-Empires kingdoms where my first impression was "huh?", my second impression was "wtf?!" and my third impression was "what even am I do?!?", all of which turned out to be lots of fun. Most recently a clusterf*ck with Bandit Fort and almost no draw and almost no villages to power it, plus Catapult to slow down low-draw strategies. It made the game very slow for both of us, so it was fair, and figuring out how to navigate the maze of horrors was quite fun. (I've probably played less than 100 games with Empires. Certainly less than 100 kingdoms; we play 3+ on each.)

10
Dominion General Discussion / Re: ambassador + groundskeeper
« on: January 02, 2018, 04:56:31 pm »
I suspect the skeptic who keeps playing the 5 groundskeeper 2 copper 1 estate 1 ambassador golden deck probably still wins.

It's not clear to me what the turn (or pattern of turns) to be repeated is. Could you expand on that?

If I ambassador you a Copper, you can't both return 2xCopper and buy an Estate. If you return Estate and I give you a second Copper, you suddenly have 4xCopper plus one Ambassador, which is 5 stop cards, so you're no longer guaranteed to draw all 5xGroundskeeper, i.e. the deck is no longer (perfectly) golden.

If I play Skulk enough times, I can luck into trashing your Ambassador with War, I can give you differently named junk with Plague, I can limit your draw with Fear and Poverty, and maybe even trash your Groundskeeper with Locusts, thereby limiting your goldenness quite a bit.

Anyways, if you want to go for a golden deck, picking up a Gold on the way seems like a not completely crazy idea, I think.

Couldn't the Golden Deck player, if they're ahead on points, gradually drain the Wishing Wells and Secret Caves without ruining their deck?

^^ This would be the reason why.

I would be surprised if the golden deck is better than getting thin with Ambassador and then setting up alternating Ambassador + Bridge Troll terminal plays.
If over the course of two turns you buy 3xEstate, receive two junks from their Ambassador and return two of your own, you add 3 junks on net. The non-terminal draw looks to me like it can't absorb this for more than one or two pairs-of-turns. Maybe playing Bridge Troll every fourth or fifth turn is more sustainable and for that reason better? Or do you disagree, and if so why?

11
Dominion General Discussion / Re: How good is Goat?
« on: January 02, 2018, 04:34:37 pm »
I've bought Goat exactly twice.
You're playing the game incorrectly.
I'm playing a different game  :P
Is the winning move "The answer is 'Buying Nocturne = buying Goat, and I've bought Nocturne once for myself and once as a gift'"?

(In case it doesn't render well, the last four characters are <tee> <single quote> <double quote> <question mark>.)

12
Some cards are described as swingy.

User rrenaud once compiled a sorted list, based on how much entropy was left in the win-when-in-kingdom rates once rating was factored out, and concluded that Goons, Ambassador and Tournament are high-skill cards, whereas Embassy is a high-randomness card.

What makes Embassy high-randomness is the fact that there is an Embassy-centered strategy (Embassy BM) which is fairly strong and easy to play correctly.

What makes Tournament high-skill, I think, is that it requires good judgment and game sense to know when to go for it, how best to go for it, and which prizes to pick when you connect it with a Province. Somehow, [joke]rrenaud's ironclad mathematical proof—proof, I tell you![/joke]—that Tournament is high-skill seems not to have changed the common perception of Tournament as swingy.

I think I have a different definition of swingy which classifies Tournament as swingy. It allows for a 2x2 matrix of swingy yes/no and high-skill yes/no; we could for example use rrenaud's measure to indicate whether a card is high-skill.

Whenever you make a play, you can compare you chances of winning (assuming optimal play) in the game state before and after making that play.

Weak cards are cards that reliably only improve your win chances by a small amount (or not at all, or even harm you). Strong cards are cards that usually do something better than weak cards for your win chances.

Swingy cards are cards that are usually ok-ish but sometimes have an unusually large impact on your win chance when played. That is, your win chance after is significantly better than your win chance before. Playing it causes a big swing.

I equivocated between "making a play" and "playing a card". I only used the latter phrase for convenience—Cultist can be highly swingy, in particular if exactly one player opens 5/2 (but also if it misses shuffles, or the first ruins hit vs. miss shuffles). In the case of opening 5/2, it's the dealing of the opening hands that's the swingy play. That play is made by RNGsus, so really the definition should read "the move greatly changes the win percentages of the players", without using 'you[r]'.

And considering this further, having Province in hand when you play Tournament (and being first to do so) is often largely attributable to shuffle luck. When the shuffle has been made in a way that favors you, actually making the swingy play is just playing optimally—so really, I think swingy is something like "some of the moves made by RNGsus have the capacity to greatly alter the win probabilities of the players".

The degree to which a card is swingy is then the capacity of RNGsus to impact win chances, averaged across all the kingdoms in which the cards occur. The inherent swinginess of Tournament is attributed a little bit to e.g. Smithy, because they can occur on the same kingdom, but Embassy's randomness is also attributed a little bit to Smithy by the same logic. I claim without evidence that each card's inherent swinginess will be attributed overwhelmingly to itself, and each card's measured swinginess will be its inherent swinginess, adjusted a little bit in the direction of the average inherent swinginess across all cards, but the ranking by measured swinginess and the ranking by inherent swinginess will be the same.

A small pedantic footnote: instead of win probabilities I should probably use "expected number of match points" (loss=0 and win,draw=1/#winners), such that the players' win probabilities expected number of match points sum to 1.

I skipped over some rigor in a few places, but I think my definition roughly approximates what people mean by swingy. I would love to hear whether people agree or disagree, and especially if you think you can improve this definition. I think of it as a 'first draft' :)

Edit: today I relearned that the internet is a poor medium for carrying tone of voice, which is often crucial to indicate when you're joking. To address this, I have inserted [joke] tags in the appropriate places.

13
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Really bad card ideas
« on: January 01, 2018, 11:17:01 am »
Night Life [...] Normal supply pile of ten Action cards.
I see what you didn't do there...

14
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Really bad card ideas
« on: January 01, 2018, 11:14:22 am »
Ghost of Christmas Present
Types: Night/Traveller
Cost: $6*

Discard your hand. Gain five Copper on top of your deck. Exchange this for a Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

Synergies: Dungeon, Guide.
Antisynergies: King's Court, throne variants.
Pun: if I were to give the missus a kitten but it died, would its disembodied spirit be the Ghost of a Christmas Present?

15
Dominion Articles / Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
« on: December 31, 2017, 09:44:23 am »
Actions that are contextually powerful.

This is a huge takeaway. [...]

Here are a couple games where Overlord was extraordinarily strong: In the first game, vsiewnar uses Overlords to work around Lost City's on-gain drawback, and are used for trashing, draw, and payload. [...] In the second game, I used Travelling Fair + Overlord to accelerate my deck.  Here, Overlord can also be used as thinning, draw, and payload.

Two excellent games—great fun to watch, and they highlight the point about contextual usefulness quite well.

One lesson learned: with strong $5'ers, piling Overlords is a high-cost high-return investment.

A second lesson learned: when you already have Overlord, buying a Lost City is a sneaky way of increasing your payload.

16
Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Empty the Supply in 1 Turn
« on: December 31, 2017, 06:18:10 am »
Am I missing something here?
Yes I am. I'm missing that Travelling Fair can topdeck the Overlord you gain during the loop, guaranteeing that you can always draw it, no matter what other cards you gain.

If Pixie gives you The Wind's Gift, you might need to have two cards you can discard, in case you don't draw anything (or one card, if you draw one card you can discard). You have that in Hovel and Curse, though, so no problem. When you get the Boon, there's no Overlord on your deck which must stay there, so you'll have cards to draw and discard to subsequent Wind's Gifts. So it poses no problem.

Here's a part of your solution you haven't posted an analysis of:

The setup plays 4xBridge. If Colony is not in the supply, the most expensive card is Province at $4.

Repeatedly triggering Pixie will get you The Forest's Gift, The Field's Gift and The River's Gift twice each, after which they'll get set aside.

The remaining boons don't give you money, but The Mountain's Gift gains you Silver and The Sea's Gift lets you draw those Silvers. You can iterate the loop until you have all the Silver in hand—the other boons don't upset this process.

You can then use The Earth's Gift to gain (and later draw) all cards costing up to $4, which includes all cards with neither potion nor debt cost—i.e. everything except Overlord, in your particular kingdom. Well, except that you need to leave one in each Overlorded pile or else Overlord doesn't work.

Furthermore, if you modify the loop by injecting a tripled KC followed by KC, Bridge, Lurker (gaining Overlord), Lurker (gaining a second Overlord), Pixie or Fortress (drawing Overlords), you have one tripled action and two Overlords in hand with which to continue the loop. With this modification, Colony now costs $4 (and Platinum costs less) so you can gain those as well.

When you're done looping, you can play 40xSilver and 30xGold for $170. Spend at most $20 for 10xTravelling Fair and at most $80 to buy at most 10xOverlord, plus $6 for 3xTravelling Fair (and maybe some chump change) to buy King's Court, Pixie and Lurker.

To needlessly optimize this further: you already have some of the Overlords, and you could probably gain more using the King's Courts and Lurkers you gained with The Earth's Gift, and some of those Overlords could be played as more King's Courts and Lurkers to gain more Overlords. You could also just trash them—which takes fewer Lurker plays—if you're happy to empty rather than gain the supply. Also, with the +buy from Bridge you can skip some of the Travelling Fairs.

Using gaining with boons rather than infinite money to empty (almost all of) the supply is cute, I like it.

17
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Which Removed Cards Do You Use IRL?
« on: December 30, 2017, 06:45:36 pm »
I only own second edition, but I'm familiar with the removed cards from watching Dominion videos. This means I can't really answer the question as stated, but I can answer a related question: "which cards, if any, are you sad about not getting to play with?"

My generic answer is "any card with a unique ability".

Messenger, Nomad Camp and Scavenger replace Woodcutter and Chancellor just fine; I don't miss any of those. Scrying Pool has the Spy attack. Adventurer, meh, usually Smithy does the same job better.

I've used Feast and Thief in puzzles, but they're fully available in that context. I don't think I'm missing out on anything but not being able to play them in real games. Bandit is a fine replacement for Thief, and while Feast isn't exactly replaced by Artisan or Altar because you can't open with them, I still don't really feel like I'm missing out.

Mill replaces Great Hall perfectly and Patrol replaces Scout except as the butt of jokes—and in that context, Scout is a favorite of mint.

I think Secret Chamber has something unique—a reaction that interacts interestingly with top-of-deck attacks, e.g. Thief, Swindler, Knights, even Ghost Ship. But the on-play ability is sufficiently weak that you rarely go for it, so the thing that's lost wasn't very much there to begin with. And the effect, meh, okay, it's no huge deal. I don't think I'll miss it.

Next up on the scale of interest level is Tribute. It does something unique, though the thing it does is sufficiently unreliable that I would hesitate to build my deck around it. As the only village in an engine mirror, it has the interesting characteristic that my greening makes your deck less reliable. Eh, you know, I think it's more fun playing an engine with a reliable village. It had something unique, but of low value.

Penultimately there is Saboteur. "Swingy and often not great" sums up my impression quite well, but on some boards it can decide the game. Something of moderate value might be lost here. I'm very much open the possibility that I would think something else if I had actually played with it.

Lastly, Coppersmith. I think it only plays in engines, and I would typically rather trash my Copper and buy Gold than make my Copper worth more. But if you can't trash your Copper yet you can still build a viable engine, Coppersmith is a terminal +$7. That's more than Platinum, for $4. And it can be throned. That's pretty cool.

So out of the 12 removed cards, I think I'm missing out on two of them, and the value of those two cards is highly contextual and kingdom-sensitive, and I'm not going to buy 1E just for those two cards and the smaller font and the 'he' over 'they', and I'm not going to buy both 1E and 2E, so... I'm happy with my decision, even though it's only almost strictly better.

18
Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Empty the Supply in 1 Turn
« on: December 30, 2017, 04:48:53 am »
Ok, this should do it (unless I've made another dumb mistake somewhere)

[some shorthand omitted]

x = Pixie
o = Overlord
l = Lurker
k = King's Court

[long and impressive set-up]

Play:
  k
    k
      l (trash o)
      l (gain o)
      l (f)
    k
      o as x (trash, draw o)
      o as l (gain o)
      o as k
        loop

When you use Pixie as the self-trasher and you have to trash it on every play (or else you run out of Overlords), you will eventually receive The Mountain's Gift, which non-optionally gains you a Silver (each time, so two Silver in total). I think this makes it hard to draw the other Overlord.

Am I missing something here? I see you're using Library; I'm not sure the King's Court/Overlord/Pixie/Lurker loop can sneak in much draw, unless it's the self-trashing Tragic Hero (which requires a large hand to work).

19
If you have sufficient (8 definitely works) other cards in hand, then using Tragic Hero instead of Mining Village gives you unlimited buys as well as allowing you to gain the entirety of every Treasure pile in the Supply.

I used my loop as a solution to the Embargo-times-100 puzzle, alternating between using Embargo and Tragic Hero as the self-trashing card.

Using tricks that I think won't work online, this means that you can get infinite an arbitrary number of buys, dollars and VP tokens by turn 4. Using tricks that do work online, you can get the same by turn 5, or if you drop the VP tokens you can get everything else by turn 4.

This is in the Embargo-times-100 thread. My solution is hidden in spoiler tags. It spells out the exact turns in detail; it may be interesting to see how I use Tragic Hero, and the crazy stunts I do to pull it all off in turn 4.

20
Solo Challenges / Re: Embargo x100
« on: December 30, 2017, 03:35:58 am »
I think it can't be beaten. infinite Embargo tokens and infinite VPs in _5_ turns.
I think I can do the same number of Embargo tokens in a smaller number of turns, but with fewer VP tokens.
I take that back: I think I can get the same number of VP tokens as well.


The kingdom in my original solution would be as follows (by cost):

2: Beggar, Embargo, Lurker
4: Bridge, Feast
5: Baker, Cultist, Tragic Hero
7: King's Court
<8>: Overlord
Events/Landmarks: Donate, Travelling Fair

The loop generates infinite money and buys. To translate this into infinite VP, play a Goons and have Trader in hand, then for each VP you want, buy a Curse (or anything else) and reveal Trader to gain a Silver instead. (You probably won't gain the Silver because the pile will be empty by then, thanks to Tragic Hero.)

To play Goons and have Trader in hand, buy them from the Black Market deck. To have room in the kingdom for Black Market, put the Baker in the Black Market deck.

You still buy Donate in turn 2 and never pay off the debt, which means you can't actually buy anything from the Black Market deck until you pay off the debt. To solve this, go to your buy phase in turn 4, pay off debt, and return to your action phase by buying a Villa.

To make room in the kingdom for a Villa, add Young Witch to the Black Market deck with e.g. Embargo as the bane.

A detail: the loop alternates between having one and two Overlords in hand. Once you've iterated the loop enough times, stop when you have two Overlords in hand. What I haven't spelled out super clearly in my previous post is that you also have a King's Court in hand that's just sitting there.

So, let your last tripled action go to waste (ending the loop), go to the buy phase, pay off debt, buy Villa. Then play a KC'd Overlord as Black Market, buying Goons, Trader and nothing. Play the second Overlord as Lurker trashing Cultist, drawing the Goons and Trader. Play the Goons. Go to your buy phase. Repeatedly buy whatever and reveal Trader. (One card in the loop is Lurker which gives +1 action, so you definitely have enough actions for all of the above.)

Some much easier ways of getting infinite VP, which require the use of a third event/landmark, are Salt the Earth, Triumph, Wedding, Conquest and Tomb. We can get a finite number of arbitrarily large Triumphs; the rest we can trigger an arbitrary number of times, gaining a positive—non-zero—number of VP each time. But, eh, I prefer the recommended-kingdom solution.

Last I checked, the online Dominion doesn't support cards with setup in the Black Market deck, so my infinite VP solution can't actually work. Having 3+ events/landmarks is against the OP's rules, so that also doesn't work. And I haven't actually played out my solution, so technically this post contains a sketch for a solution to a slightly different challenge but not the challenge as stated. I think my first solution works, though.

(Note also: the Trader/Goons solution relies on a lot more shuffle luck.)

I think I can omit Travelling Fair and free up space for e.g. Tomb at the cost of delaying my megaturn by one turn. That would make my solution work in the online game and produce infinite money and VP in turn 5, i.e. as fast as Qvist's solution.


By the way, Qvist, is your solution the "empty the supply in 5 turns" solution you've made a video of?

21
Solo Challenges / Re: Embargo x100
« on: December 27, 2017, 02:36:56 am »
I think it can't be beaten. infinite Embargo tokens and infinite VPs in _5_ turns.
I think I can do the same number of Embargo tokens in a smaller number of turns, but with fewer VP tokens.


Shuffle luck required: opening 5/2

Turn 1: Travelling Fair, topdecking 2xLurker using Baker token.
Turn 2: gain a King's Court, buy Donate.
Turn 3: (hand: KLL) KC a Lurker to trash a KC; gain a KC; and trash a Cultist (drawing KC). Then KC the other Lurker to trash KC; gain KC; trash Overlord.

Turn 4: starting hand is KKKLL with Overlord in the trash.

KC a KC, KC'ing 2xLurker and the third KC.
The lurkers gain 3xOverlord (including the one already in the trash), then trash a Cultist to draw 3xOverlord. (Hand: OOO)
Off the third KC (we have three tripled actions), first play Overlord as Feast gaining Beggar then 2xBridge.
Then play Overlord as Feast gaining KC, Lurker gaining itself back and then Lurker trashing Cultist, drawing KC and 2xOverlord. (Hand: KBOO)

As the last tripled action, play King's Court; now we have three tripled actions.
The first one is Beggar, gaining 9xCopper to hand.
The second is Overlord as Feast gaining KC, then Lurker gaining itself back, then Lurker gaining the other Overlord back from the trash.

Hand: Overlord, 9xCopper; discard: King's Court, 2xOverlord. We have one tripled action.

From here the loop begins:
Play Overlord as
1. Tragic Hero, drawing 2xOverlord and one other card, trashing itself and gaining gold.
2. Lurker gaining itself back
3. King's Court
Then, with 2xOverlord in hand and Overlord+Gold in the discard, play Overlord as
1. Embargo
2. Lurker gaining itself back
3. King's Court
Now you have one Overlord in hand, with 2xOverlord and one other card in the discard pile, and one tripled action. That is, we're in the same situation as the start of the loop, except with one treasure gained effectively to hand, and one embargo token added to a pile of your choice.

Repeat this as often as you want.


22
Dominion Articles / Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
« on: December 27, 2017, 02:19:02 am »
Something that's true about Overlord but not Band of Misfits is that you can always open with it. Opening with (effectively) a $5'er is sometimes but not always good. I've heard AdamH suggest that opening Overlord planning to play it as a trasher or junker is more likely to be worth it than if you plan to play it as some kind of economy* card.

It'd be interesting to hear your take on this—or in general, when is a (very) early Overlord good?

*Note: in the early game, draw is economy because all it draws you is Copper. I define "early game" such that what I just said is true ;)

23
You can set this loop off as early as turn 4, starting with [CCCCC CCEEE] as your first shuffle:
  • Play 5xCopper, spend a Baker token, buy Travelling Fair topdecking 2xLurker.
  • Play 2xLurker to gain a King's Court; buy a Donate, keeping KC+2xLurker.
  • King's Court a Lurker to trash a King's Court, gain it and trash a Cultist (to draw the KC). Play the newly gained KC on the other Lurker, to trash a King's Court, gain it and trash an Overlord.
On turn 4, your starting hand is three King's Courts and two Lurkers, with one Overlord in the trash.

Play King's Court on King's Court on 2xLurker (and later King's Court).
The 2xLurker gain the trashed Overlord plus 2 more, then trash a Cultist.
Your hand is now 3xOverlord plus the King's Court you're about to play.
Play the King's Court (you have 3 tripled actions).
Play Overlord as Mining Village (trashing itself), Lurker (regaining itself) and Bridge.
Your hand is 2xOverlord and there's an Overlord in your discard pile. You have 2 tripled actions.
Play Overlord as Mining Village (trashing itself and drawing Overlord), Lurker (regaining itself) and Bridge.
Your hand is 2xOverlord and there's an Overlord in your discard pile. You have 1 tripled action.
Cost reduction is 2, so you're ready to go off. Repeatedly do this:
Play Overlord as Mining Village (trashing itself and drawing Overlord), Lurker (regaining itself) and King's Court.

Kingdom: Lurker, Bridge, Mining Village, Baker, Cultist, King's Court, Overlord (+ 3 more); Donate, Travelling Fair.

Footnote: really you only need to gain 2xOverlord; a starting hand of 3xKC+2xLurker with no Overlord in the trash will do just fine.

24
Solo Challenges / Copper Rush: Drain the Copper pile as fast as possible
« on: December 18, 2017, 05:36:38 pm »
Here's the challenge: empty the Copper pile into your deck as fast as possible.

Normal mode: you have to gain a Copper n times, where n is the number of Copper in the pile at the start of the game, and the pile must be empty.

Hard mode: all the Copper must be in your deck (deck includes hand and discard pile).

You pick the kingdom, including Shelters and Colonies (if you have at least one Dark Ages/Prosperity card), and 0-2 events/landmarks. Assume perfect shuffle luck.

Bonus points if you don't use an infinite combo, i.e. if there exists some n such that in the turn where you satisfy the ordinary win condition, you couldn't satisfy the same condition if the Copper pile started with n Coppers.

Example solutions:
  • Buy Copper every turn. This takes 53 turns. (Hard mode)
  • Banquet for a Copper every turn. This takes 18 turns. (Hard mode)
  • Turn 1 Alms for a Villa, buy King's Court off 5xCopper, Villa, Baker token. Turn 2 buy Beggar. Turn 3 through 8: King's Court a Beggar, gaining 9 Copper and buying Donate, trashing everything except King's Court and Beggar. (Normal mode)

25
Solo Challenges / Re: Become king at turn 3
« on: December 18, 2017, 03:42:07 pm »
It has become easier with time.

With Adventures, you can Ferry KC on turn 1 (with Baker token), buy it turn 2 and King your Necropolis turn 3.

You can also use 5xCopper plus Borrow plus an Alms'd Villa to buy King's Court on turn 1.

With Nocturne, you can play Cursed Gold and 4 Copper on turn 1, buying King's Court. Buy Pixie turn 2, for a Shelter-free solution, and King it on turn 3.

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