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Messages - BadAssMutha

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Game Reports / Re: An interesting game
« on: June 04, 2014, 10:53:24 am »
I think Apprentice/Rats is how I would play it. Urchin/Mercenery doesn't seem worth it - the extra Tunnel gold will really help the Apprentice player, and you can get some light trashing with Forager instead. You'd need a lot of Heralds to properly get an engine going, and what's the payload? Hopefully play a few Bridges a turn? Doesn't seem worth it, and it seems likely to choke at the endgame. An Apprentice player who's set his deck up right could buy Duchies for a long time to stall for points while the Herald deck grinds to a halt.

Forced trashers like Forager, Apprentice, and Rats don't go too well with Herald stacks, so you've got to be careful picking up any copies of those cards if you are going for the Herald deck, further limiting your options. You're playing a dangerous game at the end of this one with 5 trashing cards and really only 2 cards worth trashing, but you manage to pull it out in the end.

I think I'd open with Rats/Forager, or Rats/Tunnel after seeing my opponent go Urchin/Urchin.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: What is the worst BM+X card?
« on: June 02, 2014, 12:03:00 pm »
I think Pneumatiker is right that if you're not forced to play the card, it's mostly the opportunity cost of buying the card. If you are forced to play the card, Rats is obviously terrible, and I imagine a pair of Lookouts would kill a BM deck by the endgame.

Dominion General Discussion / Choking
« on: May 24, 2014, 10:01:46 pm »
We've all had it happen - you've painstakingly trimmed your deck, setting up a great engine that's poised to go off and win you the game. Maybe you've got mega-Menagerie draw, are about to pull the trigger on a Horn of Plenty deck, or have a nice Festival-Library thing going on. It's time to green - you've either just started, or are continuing to plow through the Provinces - just keep up that pace and you'll win.

That's when it happens. The shuffle comes around, and... your deck chokes. You draw two Provinces off the top, killing your Menagerie draw. All 5 of your HoPs are in your hand, earning you 5 Poor Houses. Maybe you drew all of your Libraries together with no Festival. Seriously? Your deck is so chock full of good cards, how the heck did this happen?

Even with a high density of excellent action cards, it only takes a few non-drawers to stop an engine dead after a shuffle. Usually, there's not a whole lot you can do, but I wanted to make a thread discussing some options. To make a choke-resistant engine, there's a few things you can do.

1. Single-card strategies. Monolithic engines like Hunting Party or Minion don't choke so often, since having only one in hand usually means you're off to the races. Engines that rely on multiple cards for +Actions, +$, or +Cards can fail to line up more frequently.
2. Deck control. It's not so common when you can do this, but if you're drawing your deck every turn, think if there's any way to help set up your next turn. Maybe you can Courtyard or Count a Hunting Party or Lab on top of your deck for next turn, or perhaps use Warehouse on an empty deck followed by a cantrip to effectively put two cards on top. Anything to ensure that you've got at least SOME good cards on top of your deck, and won't run into a full 5-card choke.
3. Watch out for absolute deck size. Considering two decks of the same action density (of less than 1), the larger one will choke more often. If you have at least 5 card that don't draw, it's possible for your deck to choke. Think about if you really need that extra treasure for your last turn, or if it's just going to increase the chances of a catastrophic choke.

Any other ideas?

Game Reports / Re: KC Sab or Tourney or both?
« on: May 16, 2014, 02:15:13 pm »
I think you have to for Tournament first to contest the Prizes, since Princess and Followers can really change the game in engine-friendly boards with no other cursers or +Buy. There's always time to pick up a few Saboteurs later.

I would open with Treasury rather than Cartographer. It'll help you hit $5 regularly, and once you pick up another Treasury with a Tournament or two, you're pretty likely to get an early Province, or at worst an early King's Court. With Treasury/Courtyard, you've got much better odds of getting a KC in your first shuffle, which would give you a big early lead. I feel like unless you can use Cartographer to line up engine pieces, or have a means to draw the good cards to put back on top, it's almost like a glorified Warehouse that doesn't decrease your handsize. I agree cycling is important, but there's nothing on this board you really need to play as early and often as possible (e.g. cursers). Once you have a KC or Tournament + Province, Cartographer will be useful to find them, but you should focus on getting them first.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: My opponent's obsession for...
« on: May 10, 2014, 12:04:51 am »
With Cities, you either need to beat him or join him. If piles are unlikely to run out, you should just let him buy expensive villages one by one. Until a pile is empty, Cities are way overpriced, especially if there's no payload to go with the extra actions. With at least 10 turns to build your deck, you should be comfortably getting enough points so that by the time the City pile is empty, it's too late to come back. If you go this route, DO NOT buy any cities yourself, since that will only help to activate his sooner.

If piles are likely to run out (usually Curses/Ruins, or good cheap cantrips like Caravan), you should probably get some Cities yourself, and aim for at least an even split. +2 cards +2 actions is very powerful, especially when there's useful things to be done with all the free actions. With just a little extra drawing power, a souped-up City deck will have no trouble drawing the deck every turn. Be careful about emptying the second pile on your turn, since the extra $ and buy from fully powered Cities can sometimes allow your opponent to end the game quickly and unexpectedly. Ideally, empty a pile on your own turn, using a gainer (like Workshop) or Remodel variant.

The key with City games is to recognize which situation you're in before the game starts. If the game will go on for awhile, you probably want Cities with lots of endgame power. Otherwise, you're better off ignoring it completely and shutting the door before the Cities activate.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: What Card Am I?
« on: May 06, 2014, 10:40:26 am »
My number is 78.

I am ignored by the noblest among us.

But I may be forged from the objects of their desire.

Platinum - atomic #78, not stolen by Noble Brigand, and forging Silver+Gold nets you one.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« on: May 05, 2014, 01:42:22 pm »
I think Jack is a good move on this board, but it's also probably important to hit your opponent with Margrave from time to time. The Jack's draw-to-5 seems great vs. Margrave, but really isn't much better than your own Margrave. With a 3-card hand and a Shanty Town, the Jack draws 4 cards, compared to the Margrave's 3. If you're playing them dead, though, they both draw 3 cards and the Jack doesn't get the buy or the attack. In a full 5-card hand, the Margrave is almost always much better unless you really need more Silver.

If you're going for the engine, I think the Shanty Towns are key here, bolstered with mostly Pawns (for +$1, +1 action) and a few Havens to keep them drawing. A double Spice Merchant might be something to consider to trash the coppers quicker, as well as to possibly get some extra $2 buys in early. I don't see the Trading Post as a good idea either, since you can probably accomplish the same thing and more using both Jack and Spice Merchant.

Dominion Articles / Re: Counterfeit
« on: May 01, 2014, 09:42:00 am »
I haven't won 2er with it yet, but I think Cntrft might be the rare card that can combo with Countinghouse. Yeah you need time to bulk up your deck and Cntrft doesn't help you gain coppers (until you use Cntrft on itself) ... but in 4er with other people playing attacks I think you might be able start hitting double province turns quick enough to win out. I'd be interested to see if it can work in 2er with players more skilled than I, but I doubt it.

I don't understand this at all. How does Counterfeit help Counting House, exactly? It gets rid of your copper for an extra $1, which isn't that great unless you're actually trying to get rid of the copper. There's probably better ways to get to $5 if that's what you're trying to do, and the single extra buy just means you'll just be treading water in terms of how many coppers you have. I'd think almost anything with +buy would work better with CH than something that actively trashes your copper (although sources of nonterminal +buy are limited, which is needed to double Province at the end).

Game Reports / Re: Pearl Diver Shines!
« on: April 29, 2014, 02:08:02 pm »
I agree, Pearl Diver + Mystic is worth the same as 2 Peddlers but is harder to line up. That said, Peddlers tend to run out quick in situations with cantrips and extra buys, so you probably won't wind up with more than 6 or 7 of them. That's only 3 Mystics, when usually you want a lot more than that.

I guess my overall point was that Pearl Diver really smoothed out the Mystic draw, making it a very reliable source of a considerable amount of money (more than Peddler might be, due to the tighter limit on the number of Peddlers). Peddlers probably won't get you to double Province territory, but Pearl Diver-Mystic might in the right situations. Of course, I didn't go into the game hunting down the combo, but Peal Diver proved to be an extremely useful card to pick up with $2 and an extra buy. Definitely needs some enablers, and I'm not saying it's the strongest thing on its own, but it was a situation where the Pearl Diver had a lot of "value added", and was worth more than your typical PD.

Game Reports / Re: Pearl Diver Shines!
« on: April 28, 2014, 11:07:46 am »
Good stuff. The Counterfeit ties it all together, giving you just enough trashing as well as the absolutely necessary +Buy that doesn't cost an action.

Another time I've seen Pearl Diver shine is in Mystic games - it's even useful for pulling dead cards off the bottom of the deck for the sake of the guaranteed hit.

Sometimes 5/2 is much better than 4/3. Sometimes it is much worse. Sometimes it's about the same, and makes for a very interesting game with competing strategies. Sure, on boards where one person opens Mint/Fool's Gold and the other can't, it's probably not worth playing, but you're missing out on some interesting games by skipping the different opens.

If the 5/2 is really that much better than the 4/3, I don't think first-turn advantage is going to increase its power that much more in most cases. I would imagine P2's winrate should be pretty close to P1's given the favorable split.

Game Reports / Re: Emptying the Curse pile with Embargo
« on: April 22, 2014, 02:50:28 pm »
Your opponent really shoots himself in the foot with that second Nomad Camp on turn 4. At that point, he has 10 cards in his deck, 3 of which are terminal - he guarantees himself terminal collision on every shuffle. The embargo was very effective psychologically, if Baber has just sucked it up and gotten the Silver off the bat, he would have been in much better shape and the Embargoes would have hurt him less in the long run. Shutting the door on Bazaar was a good move once you picked up a few, but Baber really should have been able to hit $5 earlier by skipping the second NC.

Help! / Re: People say saboteur isn't that great of a card...
« on: April 21, 2014, 12:25:34 pm »
Interesting board. There seem to be two things that make Saboteur stronger than usual here. The first is strong trashing, which enables an engine and makes Sab better off the bat. I also think trashing helps Sab a little in that when you lose a card from a trimmed deck, it hurts more than losing a card from a large deck. The second thing to note is that this is a strong engine board with no components at $3. Sabbing a $5-cost card forces the opponent to take nothing or a Silver, which is less than ideal with the engine. You're also likely to have quite a few $4's, which really hurt when Sabotaged. Your opponent kickstarts his cycling a little quicker by picking up the Loan with his opening buy, which lets him play the Sab a little more than usual.

Given that Saboteur did become a factor, you could start saving coin tokens for a megaturn. This lets you have money that's immune to the Sab, as well as make your green less vulnerable. Also, if you'd known the game would go this way, it could be interesting to try an Apothecary play, since they're immune to Sab and taking Copper for other things that did get Sabotaged wouldn't be terrible.

Also, I see people say watch out for discard attacks with topdeckers like Treasury, Scheme, or Alchemist, but it's really only necessary in games with discard attacks AND some form deck inspection (reveal top card of your deck). Unless a reveal forces a shuffle, it doesn't matter if whatever you're trying to topdeck winds up in the discard before or during your opponent's turn.

I guess my point here about the topdeckers is that people might be hesitant to put stuff back on the deck for fear of discarding it. For example, in a Militia game, someone might only put 3 Treasuries back on top instead of 5 of them. That strategy usually isn't necessary, since the Treasuries would be in the discard when you shuffle either way. The better move is to topdeck all the Treasuries, and discard only 2 when and if the time comes. The only games that this isn't true is ones with deck inspection, which could trigger a reshuffle before discarding the Treasuries.

I find it's not so much the fact that you had to discard your good cards (that can happen by chance anyway), it's really that the cards are costed in such a way as to take into account the topdecking, and with the discard attacks, you sometimes wind up paying for an ability that you can't use.

I agree that cantrips can be less useful with discard attacks, since they reduce the available information. That said, I don't think there are any topdecking cantrips that wouldn't be worth the decrease in information. I would gladly put an Alchemist or Treasury back on my deck at the cost of not knowing what the next card is. I suppose Walled Village might be an exception if I've been keeping good track of my deck and know there aren't anymore actions coming, as well as weak Schemed cantrips like Vagrant.

I think Treasury is about at the right place, as a card that is a bit too slow on some boards, but can be really nice on others for consistently hitting $4 or $5 instead of $3 or $4, which can be a huge difference. I wonder, though, does Treasury really do better in Colony games? The paltry +$1 doesn't seem to be worth going after when you need to hit $11, sort of how a lot of terminal silver actions lose some power in Colony games. Sure, you could buy and stack a bunch of Treasuries, but decks tend to be a little bigger in Colony games, so once you've gone green, it could be a while to line those Treasuries up again.

Also, I see people say watch out for discard attacks with topdeckers like Treasury, Scheme, or Alchemist, but it's really only necessary in games with discard attacks AND some form deck inspection (reveal top card of your deck). Unless a reveal forces a shuffle, it doesn't matter if whatever you're trying to topdeck winds up in the discard before or during your opponent's turn.

As someone who plays with 5 Prosperity cards at a time, I'd rank Counting House and Contraband significantly higher: above Royal Seal, probably. Contraband is a great opener when you have multiple cards in the $6-$7 range. Counting House is pretty niche, but it's just so good when it's good.

I think Royal Seal deserves to be above Contraband. Contraband's extra +$1 and +1 buy comes at a very steep cost, the ability to buy what you need. In a good proportion of games, I'd probably take plain Silver over Contraband. I find the bonus from Royal Seal to be pretty nice - if you draw it at the top of your deck, it can accelerate your game by 2-3 turns with just one play.

That said, Contraband is sort of tricky to rank, because its value is directly dependent on how good a player your opponent is. There's usually a few obvious choices for what to block, but I've seen elite players make some savvy moves against Contraband with game-clinching results. Against weaker opponents, however, Contraband is a somewhat better card.

Help! / Re: 8 point Fairgrounds... but still too slow to provinces?
« on: April 05, 2014, 08:27:36 am »
SCSN sums it up pretty well. Though you identify the combo, you fail to apply it by buying only two Oases and Menageries. Without trashing your initial cards (or even with trashing all of the starting copper), that isn't nearly enough actions to draw a significant portion of your deck. The $2 buys at the end of the game should be ignored, as the Estates don't help any, and the Beggar's extra copper will ruin whatever hope you have with your two Menageries.

The key here is extra buys and spamming the key engine parts. Once you have most of the Oases and Menageries, it's pretty much impossible to stop you from drawing your deck and getting a significant amount of $ while doing it. By halfway through this game, you should be playing 5-6 Oases every turn, along with 4-5 activated Menagie, a couple of Markets for extra buy, all capped off with the Ghost Ship to cripple your opponent. With enough of the cheap actions, you can very reliably do this every turn. Your opponent goes for a plain Big Money deck, which should have a very tough time in the face of constant discard attacks.

Game Reports / Re: The most uninteresting board I ever played
« on: April 04, 2014, 04:31:53 pm »
I see how you could autopilot this game, with Silver on $3, Caravan on $4, IGG on $5, Gold on $6-7, and Province on $8. That said, I think there are a couple of interesting decisions, like the possibility of getting a Feast instead of more Caravans in order to win the curse split. It could also help on Duchies. Matse declines an IGG copper with $4 a couple of times, when he should have taken it to buy another IGG. Late in the game, Cache could possibly be better than Gold, too. I have definitely played boards that were much more uninteresting.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Environment cards
« on: April 04, 2014, 02:16:28 pm »
At first I had something similar in mind but quickly dismissed the idea because it would be a pain in the a** in a game in real life to keep track of the turns. Actions that change the environment when you play them solve the aforementioned issue, too. You want to play the action to get the benefit from them, so the environment gets changed along with them.

True, you wouldn't be able to have Environment cards with an on-play effect if Environments entered play on a set schedule. I don't think it would be too bad to keep track of the turns, though, you could just use tokens. Say a new Environment enters play every other turn. Every time P1 takes a turn, he does one of two things: if there is a token on the Environment pile, remove it; or if there is no token on the pile, put the top environment into play and put a token on the pile. Just add more tokens if you want longer environment durations. A new Environment every other turn would last for 20 turns, which means most but not all of the Environments would get played in most games, but some slog games would have the last Environment stick around for the balance of the game.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Environment cards
« on: April 03, 2014, 11:12:49 am »
How about just having the Environment change every round, or after a set number of turns? "At the start of Player 1's turn, put the top Environment card into play." This gets around the issue of having to take a turn to buy it, and ensures that everyone gets a fair play in each Environment. Plus, it could help balance the Environments, getting rid of the costing issue, as well as the case where people stop buying Environments once the "best" one is in play. It wouldn't be a problem to have Environments of widely different value. You could even have negative environments like "Tithe - while this is in play, -$1". Playing one Environment a round would only last 10 turns, but maybe they could recycle or get replaced every other turn.

Rules Questions / Re: About Bridge/Princess/Highway/Quarry...
« on: March 31, 2014, 09:54:30 am »
All of theses "cost reducers" play a somewhat similarly, and it did take me a little while to really understand when and how to use them. Highway seems like a great card when you have dreams of getting Provinces for free, but is effectively +1 card, +1 action, +$1 if you're only gaining one card a turn - strictly worse than Market!

The key to cost reducers is extra buys. Cost reduction works on every card you buy, so buying multiple cards utilizes the cost reduction multiple times. Buying just 1 card with a Highway in play will save you $1, but buying 4 cards will save you $4.

This is why Highway can sometimes be a trap - without extra buys or some kind of gaining payload, the bonus alone is quite weak for a $5-cost card. Combo it with extra buys or gainers, though, and you've got a deck that can pick up Provinces along with some free actions to help in the endgame. Bridge is great because it has the cost reduction and the extra buy built in, which is perfect for picking up lots of cheap (now even cheaper) cards. I'd say I more often use Quarry to regularly pick up expensive actions, rather than lots of cheap actions. Its lack of +buy or drawing means that sometimes you can't put the cost reduction to work on multiple buys. Princess is quite strong because she has that extra buy with the cost reduction - if you use both buys, you'll effectively get +$4, which is awesome.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: YACI: a literal loan card.
« on: March 22, 2014, 01:33:08 am »
Endgame-warping potential! There's no downside to buying one in the last few turns, so long as you never draw it. Buy the last Province for $6 and suffer no consequences.

Also, opening-warping potential. Open with a $5/$6 hand to pick up some excellent trashers like Upgrade or Altar, and you shouldn't have too much trouble shirking on your loan repayment.

A -$2 penalty really hurts, especially since it's already a dead card. The dead card alone is usually a $1-$2 hole, and this makes it much worse. I think I'd usually prefer to hang onto it instead of taking the penalty, so long as it's past the middle of the game.

Here's an interesting idea - how about the player with the most unpaid loans at the end of the game gets a VP penalty, like -3VP? This might help prevent the last player from just sniping the last Province for $6 with the only loan buy.

It's been said, but the extra junk and no way to get rid of it kills you. With 8 Fool's Gold in even a 20 card deck, you should only expect to get 2 FG in a hand of 5 cards. With 8 FG in a 40+ card deck (like you wind up with), you should definitely not expect them to collide "all the time".

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion puns/pick-up lines
« on: March 14, 2014, 01:39:38 pm »
You're such a fine Duchess I'd pick you up even without buying Duchy.

Do you want to play Doctor? Show me your top three cards, baby...

Hey, you look like you enjoy getting pinned by Goons-Masquerade!

Want to collide terminals?

You're built like a Fortress - you get bought, played with, and trashed, but keep coming back for more.

Was your daddy a Candlestick Maker? Cause he sure made a Masterpiece!

Game Reports / Re: I Need To Rant
« on: March 10, 2014, 06:44:38 pm »
i don't think that's correct. Shanty will only be dead when you have more bridges than shanty towns in your hand, which is unlikely, otherwise you can play everything and then draw. In some cases it'll matter whether you're willing to trash a bridge

That's true (almost, ST is also dead when # bridges in hand = # STs in hand), but my point is you can't count on Shanty Town to draw very often. As long as you have more STs than bridges, you'll be able to draw, but only the last ST played will draw. I don't think it's possible for more than 2 of those 5 STs to draw cards. I suspect you're more likely to only get 1 or 0 of them to give you the +2 cards.

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