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Messages - samath

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Dominion Videos and Streams / Re: SamE Old Dominion
« on: August 15, 2018, 01:48:13 am »
And I'm back! Here's Interesting Games of the Week #4.

I love that idea for Barber. 'Just a little off the top please'. Trash the top card of your deck; you may gain a card with up to the same cost.
I didn't know my Barber was becoming a Zombie; thanks for the tip.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Easy Puzzles
« on: August 08, 2018, 10:46:50 am »
You have only 3 cards, which are in your hand. No token, no Duration. Your opponent has 7 Provinces, 8 Duchies, 8 Estates. Win in this turn.

Hard: No Events, no card in trash.
Lunatic: No Villa
Phantasm: 2 cards
No landmarks, presumably? Wall/Wolf Den/Bandit Fort could give your opponent a negative score despite all their green.

Dominion League / Season 29 - Standings
« on: July 28, 2018, 04:00:16 pm »

But then you don't want to open Stonemason very often. Fools Gold? Encampment? Lurker?
Doesn't work on Fool's Gold. Double Lurker and Cursed Gold openings for two $5's are the most likely situation. But unless both $5's are terminal, you often don't really mind using the Stonemason to trash a Copper or Curse.

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?
There really isn’t a card that’s better when it misses the first shuffle, because otherwise why would you have bought it if you didn’t want it?

Cards that you need two of in order to do something are better if they can potentially find their partner on Turn 5. Like a single Urchin (say, on a 5/2). Or Fool's Gold.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: July 21, 2018, 02:51:17 am »
I do not want to see them. You can share them with other people in the variants forum J Reggie linked to, or on reddit or BGG or elsewhere. I specifically do not go to the variants forum, and all fan-made cards posted on dominionstrategy should go there and nowhere else.

So this response doesn't sound harsh and villain-spawning like Mr. Incredible's, I'll offer this additional perspective that might help. In any creative endeavor, it can be hard to trace where an idea truly originated. If Donald X. read the variants forum, there would always be a question of whether some future canon Dominion card was inspired by something he read there without him realizing it. I'm sure you'd still be honored if that happened even without any actual recognition, but others might be disappointed that he forgot. In the extreme, someone could accuse Donald X. of ripping off their variant with his new expansion, which is not the kind of publicity he wants.

I think we all have to remember that we have different roles here. For Donald X., as accessible as he is to us here, Dominion is not just something he does for fun; it's a job for him. Like anyone, he wants to do his job well, and that involves being responsible about the origins of ideas that he will profit off of. Hence the firewall keeping the variants and fan cards in that subforum, which allows him to roam freely about these discussion boards and participate in our discussions about his game.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Easy Puzzles
« on: July 21, 2018, 02:14:36 am »
Is there another good idea?

The clear common thing to me in that hand with buying Farmland seems to be to buy Farmland using the Copper, Silver, and Contraband, and trash the Gold for Province for a (nearly) final turn 8-VP boost.

Of course, not naming Province also makes sense in a lot of other contexts: she might also still be building her engine, want to buy a different card to pile out, prefer Alt-VP at that point, and so on.

Dominion League / Re: Season 29 - Signups
« on: July 20, 2018, 03:39:02 pm »
Username: SamE
Discord: @SamE#8793
Time Zone: America/New_York
Last played in Season 25 Division B2, finished 4th.

Dominion Videos and Streams / Re: SamE Old Dominion
« on: July 18, 2018, 07:44:54 am »
Interesting Games of the Week #3 is up!

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Reactions
« on: July 17, 2018, 02:35:53 pm »
Is there a way to activate Diplomat's actions in a Reaction-only kingdom? I don't see one.
Trash Fool's Gold from hand on your opponent's turn.

Dominion League / Re: Season 28 - End of Season Deadlines
« on: July 17, 2018, 02:25:19 pm »
ok, so we can play....
Yes, you're free to finish up games within this grace week, which includes tomorrow. There is just the slight one-point penalty if this happens in consecutive seasons.

Game 1 and game 8 of the Butcher-Altar match come to mind.
I will defend Butcher winning 90%+ for either of those games. Both had a great Gold gainer in Leprechaun, and Butcher's ability to turn Golds into Provinces seems crucial, in addition to its usual cheaper cost and ability to mill provinces if necessary. Same offer applies: If anyone wants to actually play them out with me, I'd be happy to give it a try; just message me. If I had to pick between the two games, the first one seems less clear cut.

Well I could play, but I will say in advance that Peasant losing each time would not convince me that I am wrong.
Of course, Peasant would have to not just lose but lose convincingly. If you or anyone else wants to play the games, just message me (ideally in Discord, but forum messaging also works) and we can find a good time to do so.

Obviously playing 5 times is not near enough to determine whether a card has a >= 90% win rate.
Well playing five times is certainly better than playing zero. Again, I’m happy to put my money where my mouth is if anyone actually thinks Peasant has a chance on that board. More than just the random trials, actually playing the games gives us a feel for the winning percentage — you can tell if you’re just a turn behind or if the other strategy is just far better. I think it’s plenty sufficient for this estimation task.

I only started watching Page vs Peasant and imediately the first one I think has nowhere near >= 90%win chance for Page. Mostly it comes down to who gets to play multiple Bridges first, and Page and Peasant have the same speed (Peasant actually being somewhat faster due to not clogging your deck. I mean the Warrior attack is problematic for Peasant, but it takes a while before you can play multiple.
Peasant has no chance that board. Warrior can trash Provinces, which basically means it can overcome any deficit, and it's fairly easy to get through the deck with a Spice Merchant or two early and piling up on Courtyards. With no natural village on the board, the best Peasant is hoping for is +Action on Courtyard, which is basically what Page gets and more.

That said, if anyone is not convinced and wants to play it out five times with me, I'd be happy to try it out. Just message me on Discord.

As the season draws to a close, the Champion Match in the A division will be taking place on Sunday, July 15th at 18:00 UTC. It will feature Mic Qsenoch and markus for the third straight season.

Due to Mic's fantastic season (including two 6-0's), markus needs a clean 6-0 sweep to be crowned champion. If Mic Qsenoch wins or ties any games, he will win his third straight championship. Either way, they will be playing all six games, so we'll all get the fun of watching six games of high-quality Dominion.

There will be commentary as usual on Twitch by Sicomatic and another top player.

Just chiming in to note one interesting moment I had with Guardian and no attacks. I had the $2/$7 opening with Cursed Gold, and could use a Guardian buy Turn 1 to Donate Turn 2 and pay off all debt right away, leaving 5 coppers, allowing me to Windfall Turn 3.
I'll just note that if you had any other opening, you could have Donated Turn 1 to 5 Coppers, paid off Debt on Turn 2, and bought Windfall on Turn 3, the same turn as you were able to do so. The only thing the one-time Guardian did was save you from a super unlucky opening hand -- and it wouldn't have done so if there didn't also happen to be Pooka in the kingdom. It's clearly not nothing -- this was probably the correct play for you, but it isn't nearly as advantageous as, say, spiking an early Inheritance would be.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: Missing auto-plays
« on: July 14, 2018, 02:01:25 am »
Arena: Stop asking if I want to discard if there are no points left to be gained.

Apologies for the confusion. In that case, I think you are skipping way too many boards! It's a rare board that you skip where I'd guess that the favored card would win >=90 percent of games.
I disagree! Do you have any specific boards you think we shouldn't have skipped? I'd be happy to reply the games (with you or someone else) if you think they'd actually be competitive.

Hey JW! Thanks for watching and offering this criticism! I think your link in my video thread is incorrect, but I appreciate the thoughtfulness of not cluttering that thread.

Let me take your criticisms in order:

1) Transitivity. I agree that they aren't necessarily transitive, but such triples are interesting as well! I love it when a Dominion board presents a Rock-Paper-Scissors choice, because you have to remain flexible to be able to react to your opponent. (For a real-game example, see Game #4 of my Interesting Games of the Week #2. It was a single terminal Sentry/Groundskeeper board, and my opponent's Nomad Camp was beating my Mountebank until I switched it out for a pair of Swamp Hags.) I expect most of these intransitive triples would take the form of Attack versus Reaction versus Engine component, where the Attack would beat the Engine component, but the normally weak Reaction would be especially strong in the presence of the Attack. These and other sorts of specific interactions mean that I'm just not going to bother testing pairs where the direct interaction is significant, which probably includes most Attack-Reaction pairs.

So yeah, we're not going to be able to get out a total ordering of all cards this way. That's okay, though -- there are already plenty of other edge cases that this format can't handle, like Embargo, Smugglers and so on. But there's still plenty we can compare when the cards don't directly interact.

2) Counting. I think you misunderstand the process we go through at the beginning of each game. Basically, we only skip the board if we think that one of the cards is so clearly better that it'll win close to 100% of the time. This actually happens fairly frequently. If it's a narrow margin, we go ahead and play it out. Silly Smithy versus Smithy would always be a narrow margin, so we'd always play it out and eventually it'd converge to 50.1% to 49.9% or whatever (ignoring the Neither games). Of course, that would be really boring so I wouldn't do that, but that's how we treat boards where one card has a narrow margin, even if we're fairly certain which card has that narrow margin.

3) Playing cards against not being able to gain them. This is essentially what we do whenever one of the players in the Judgment Match wants to champion Neither. Basically, your proposal seems to be to just play every card against Neither (or "Not", I guess) and compare their winning percentages. It's a little different since we do require that a player championing a card intends to actually gain the card; if they don't, we would be recording our Neither wins as ties between the card and Neither/Not.

Of course, the problem is that those games are fairly boring, to play and to watch, and would be even more so if we didn't pick out the games that one of us thought Neither would have a good chance. It's a lot more fun to play and to watch closer games where the outcome is more uncertain, rather than trying to discern whether the player with access to the card has an 80% or 90% win rate.

4) Sample size. markus's numbers are a bit high, though admittedly it depends on what he means by "pinning down" a probability. The way I interpret that, it's saying that the standard deviation of your estimate is 5%, so you'd report it as 60% +/- 5%. But the variance of the binomial distribution B(n, p) is np(1-p), so the variance of the average is p(1-p)/n. Since p(1-p) is at most 1/4, we can upper bound this variance by 1/4n. If we want that to be less than 1/400, which would correspond to a standard deviation of 5%, we just need 100 games, not 400.

Moreover, if we're fine with a standard deviation of 10% (e.g. a range like 60-80%), then we need just 25 games by the same logic. That's around two judgment matches with the way we've been playing them. In other words, the standard deviation of our outcomes should be around 15%-20% for the closer ones (e.g. Page versus Peasant), and lower the more lopsided the match was (since p(1-p) is lower when p is closer to 0 or 1). So, for instance, our estimate of Minion's winning percentage over Groundskeeper would be something like 67% +/- 20%, but that of Menagerie's winning percentage over Wishing Well would be something like 90% +/- 10%.

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.

Dominion Videos and Streams / Re: SamE Old Dominion
« on: July 08, 2018, 01:15:51 am »
Judgment Matches #4 and #5, featuring Seprix and Gazbag, respectively, are up!

I still have a lot of Nocturne cards that I suck at playing, and I think that's mostly just because a lot of kingdoms just have the same old cards that I can already wrap my head around and the Nocturne stuff doesn't show up all that much. This is not really even a problem per say, but some kind of a standardized format (that you could automatch for) that leaves out some of the older expansions certainly wouldn't hurt.

IRL it’s easy, you mean? Or are there features for Dominion Online that I’m unaware of?
I meant IRL - so far I have merely considered playing online - but online you can checkbox two expansions at a time if you want, the new one and whatever, and rotate the non-new one. Which is what I did when testing online Nocturne. Or of course you can use an app to generate a list and then manually enter it. More options would be nice but these games can be played.

I suppose now would be a good time to bring back up my Google Spreadsheet of Nocturne Card Sets. Pick the number of Nocturne cards you want, and ten options of random Nocturne cards will appear. Copy a random row and paste into the kingdom selector, and your board will have at least however many Nocturne cards. The lists refresh every 5 minutes with ten new sets of random cards.

Of course, this doesn't satisfy Awaclus's desire for being used in automatch, but it would work for League matches (as long as both players agree, of course).

I think my two biggest suggestions regarding the beginning of the game are (a) to click "Start Game" so your opponent can start planning, too, and (b) to say something in chat like "interesting board," "give me a minute" or the classic "thinking..." (or, you know, something more specific) to let your opponent know you're actually there and planning to play, you just need some more time.

If you're curious how long I take to analyze a board, check out my Interesting Games of the Week series on YouTube. All of those games are just random automatch games, and you can see my thought process as I look at each board.

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