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Messages - BadAssMutha

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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Casino: Copper-counting Victory card
« on: October 29, 2013, 02:10:00 pm »
This seems... way strong. Option 2 seems even better than Ill Gotten Gains, in that you give out a Curse AND a worthless VP card, PLUS get to trash junk from your own hand. The only other double-junker, Mountebank, at least gives a Copper so it doesn't completely drive the victim's economy to nothing. I don't see how you could pursue a viable Casino alt-VP buying strategy, since by the time you get even half the pile all your opponent's Copper will be gone. Maybe you could do it with some Mountebank shenanigans, or possibly Ambassador, or if some idiot tries an Apothecary engine, but I just don't see this card being worth many VP in almost any game.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Topdecking Scheme
« on: October 25, 2013, 04:16:12 pm »
With monument you are still forgoing +2$ next turn, which is probably above-average for your deck, and thus are improving less (say, buying Silver instead of Gold) which, because of the snowball thing, can still be suboptimal even if you play Monument more. But anyway, I think usually you use Schemes by massing them, and if you have several Schemes, it is better to topdeck the terminal because it is not too unlikely that you will have a new scheme to re-topdeck it in the next hand.

$2 now is generally better than $2 next turn, but it doesn't matter as much so long as it comes before the reshuffle. I don't care if I get a small hand now and a big hand next turn or a big hand now and a small hand next turn, so long as I get them both before I shuffle again. Either way, the deck will be the same at the shuffle. The problem is when I get a small hand now, shuffle, and then get a big hand. This is where the snowball effect starts, because I could have had big hand, shuffle, small hand, which would give me an extra "good" card in the deck. So long as the Monument doesn't miss the reshuffle, it shouldn't matter too much.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Topdecking Scheme
« on: October 25, 2013, 03:02:29 pm »
I agree, once we're talking about attacks, the timing becomes more important. One Militia or Witch now might be better than two a little later, if you can affect your opponent before HIS next reshuffle. I actually did briefly mention that at the very end of the post. The point with Scheme is probably better illustrated with a non-attack card that doesn't draw other cards and isn't a duration - let's say Monument. If you can consistently play that twice a shuffle while your opponent only does it once, you'll be in good shape.

Dominion General Discussion / Topdecking Scheme
« on: October 25, 2013, 12:36:55 pm »
I'd imagine that most of us play Scheme pretty similarly - use it to topdeck good actions when possible, putting Scheme itself on top only if you can't topdeck anything else worthwhile. This can actually be less effective than topdecking a Scheme instead of your good action - namely, this occurs when you are close to the reshuffle.

Suppose a case where I have 16 cards in my deck - all treasure, plus a Scheme and a Militia. It's the end of a turn where I just played both the Scheme and the Militia, and I'm at the very bottom of the shuffle, with no cards left in my draw pile. I imagine most people here would just automatically topdeck the Militia. You'll actually play it more if you topdeck the Scheme. Putting the Militia on top, you have a 4/15 chance of drawing your Scheme with it, and getting to play the Militia twice during this shuffle. If you miss, you only play Militia once this time around. Putting the Scheme on top, you have a 5/15 chance of drawing the Militia with it and getting to play it twice. Even if you don't, you can just topdeck the Scheme again and have a 5/10 chance of getting the Militia and still playing it twice this shuffle. Worst case, the Militia is in the last 5 cards and you only play it once this shuffle. Overall, you have a 66% chance of playing your attack twice during this shuffle if you topdeck the Scheme, compared to 27% by topdecking the Militia.

This happens because topdecking at the bottom of a shuffle might not have any effect - you might have gotten lucky and drawn that card anyway. You're better off topdecking your topdecker, so that you can play it early in the shuffle when it will certainly have an effect. This seems counterintuitive; I usually play my Schemes on autopilot, only Scheming Schemes as a last resort (or to enable Conspirator or KC shenanigans). This gets a little more complicated in reality because by not topdecking your attack, it might miss the reshuffle (playing it 0 times this shuffle), but this gets less likely as your deck gets bigger. Plus, timing of attacks can be important - sometimes it may be better to play an attack earlier rather than an extra time. Overall, though, I think the right play might be to topdeck the Scheme if you're about to shuffle, and hope your attacks get drawn at the top of the deck.

Dominion Articles / Re: Request: Rogue
« on: October 25, 2013, 10:24:16 am »
I don't understand this. Instead of drawing 5 cards, say ABCDE, you will draw the topdecked card plus ABCD. Thus, you have replaced the fifth card (E) with the topdecked card, right?

To compare them:

1.) In general, E has an average value above 1$ (Copper)
2.) Cards gained by Graverobber/Rogue virtually never have an average value beyond 3$ (Gold)
3.) Thus, the average difference between a topdecked card and the replaced one is almost never above 3$-1$ = 2$.

Which of these points don't you agree with, BadAssMutha?

Whoops, I thought we were talking about cost of the card, not the $ it gives you (topdecking a $3-$6 card vs. a $0 cost copper). I see now, Rogue can get you $2 now vs. Graverobber topdecking an extra $1 or so to spend next turn. At any rate, topdecking is a little different than just replacing the top card, which is what Sea Hag does. Topdecking any cantrip or Lab variant gives you the same 5 card hand you would have had anyway, plus a bonus (extra card, cash, whatever). I look at gained cards in terms of how many plays per shuffle I can get - topdecking boosts that number a little. Sometimes an extra action play can make all the difference.

After thinking about it some more, I see that topdecking does have its limits. You only get one extra play out of the topdecked card. Topdecking at the end of a shuffle may not even have any effect (you could have drawn that card anyway).

How often do you avoid playing Watchtower just to have it in your hand so that you can reveal it for topdecking your bought card? Considering that Watchtower draws actions dead a lot of time, it's not that much better than just plain +$2, so it's a pretty good comparison.

Quite often. If I can already buy what I need, certainly. Sometimes I'll hang onto it with $4 if it's only going to draw one card. Like I said, I think I'd "pay" $1 for topdecking, but $2 might be too much. I guess this is why Royal Seal works as almost a Gold with  -$1 and topdecking. Rogue's +$2 > Graverobber's topdecking.

Dominion Articles / Exploiting Asymmetry
« on: October 24, 2013, 12:43:34 pm »
In most games of Dominion, everyone has equal access to the same cards. There are, however, three cards that cause  unique elements to come into play. There is only one copy of each Black Market card, one copy of each Tournament Prize, and one copy of each Knight. Sometimes, these unique cards can be extremely important because they can offer a potentially crippling asymmetry.

This is most apparent with unique cursing attacks. In a kingdom with no cursing attacks, Followers can be a game-winning Prize. Getting the only Witch out of the BM can be a huge boon. With other cursers, however, these situations become less important. Other unique cards may have their uses as well. If you're playing an engine with no +buy, Princess can really shine. Got Bridges? She's much less important. Getting an early Monument or Goons out of the BM can build you a nice pile of VP chips that your opponent has to match with green.

Knights are unique, but most have powers usually found elsewhere in the kingdom - +$, +cards, +action. One important possible exception to this is Dame Anna. If she's the only trasher on the board, it can be the only way to build an engine if that's what you're after. I had an opponent once forego other strong $5s to open with Dame Anna. Knights weren't great on their own, but Anna was the only was to trash anything on a board with good engine potential. Dame Molly can be useful for extra actions, if she's the only +2 actions available.

It's interesting to note that the widely-regarded booby Prizes, Diadem and Bag of Gold, are weak due in part to the fact that their effects aren't really unique. There are plenty of ways to get +$, and buying Gold is always possible given the cash. Similarly, cards without unique effects in the Black Market tend to be a bit weaker. The key is to find cards that are not only good, but that are even better if you're the only one who has it.

Overall, my point is that when unique cards are on the board, it's very important to identify which ones are key. Abilities unique to the kingdom (only +buy, only curser, only trasher, only VP tokens) can be game-changing, so don't pass up an opportunity to grab them if you can put them to use.

Dominion Articles / Re: Request: Rogue
« on: October 24, 2013, 11:30:45 am »
The difference between a topdecked card gained by Graverobber -worth 3$ to 6$- and an average card is almost never higher than $2.

I disagree with that. With no trashing, in most games I'd say at least 1/3 of your deck is usually copper/estate. The difference between a topdecked card and what's already on top is frequently much more than $2.  At any rate, you're probably right that the +$2 is worth more than topdecking, but I'm not totally sure. By the time you're gaining good cards out of the trash, you should be getting $4-$5 each turn anyway, so the +$2 may not be critical at that point. I think that +$1 would be worse than topdecking the gained card, so it makes me wonder about +$2. The key with topdecking is that you don't replace anything, you (possibly) get an extra play out of the gained card before the shuffle. Especially important in large decks and slow games.

Dominion Articles / Re: Request: Rogue
« on: October 23, 2013, 02:10:29 pm »
Rogue is a weird card that's almost a combination of two other weird cards - Dame Sylvia and Graverobber. When it attacks, Rogue plays exactly like Dame Sylvia (except it can't get trashed itself). When it doesn't attack, it plays like a weak Graverobber, in that it doesn't top-deck, and you have no in-hand option.

Dame Sylvia is usually a pretty decent card; the +$2 means it won't slow down your economy much. The attack is worthwhile if you can actually hit good cards with it. So here, Rogue synergizes with deck-inspection much like the knights do.

The limited Graverobber option can be useful, but as has been pointed out, only if there's good cards in the trash. Rogue is helped by trash-for-benefit, which can put cards in the $3 to $6 range in the trash for your taking. Keep in mind that Rogue is likely more often a Graverobber than a Dame Sylvia - it only attacks if there are NO cards between $3 and $6 in the trash. Every successful Rogue attack is followed by a non-attack play (unless there's an actual Graverobber in play, or cost-reduction shenanigans), and if there's other trashers on the board, the trash will fill up even faster than you can empty it.

All in all, I think Rogue plays like the other deck-destruction cards - worthwhile if you can play them often and consistently. Other attacks that let you "steal" cards (Noble Brigand, Theif) do so in one swift play, but it take two Rogues to successfully convert an opponent's card - a bit slow if you have grand ideas of stealing your opponent's deck.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Top 4 Common Archetypes
« on: October 23, 2013, 11:06:42 am »
Good general classification of actions, but I would include +3 Cards (terminal draw) as an archetype as well. Your only non-cantrip archetype gives +$, but +cards is an important one as well. Cards in this class include Smithy, Hunting Grounds, Ghost Ship, Moat, Catacombs, Margrave, Council Room, Wharf, Library, and many others. The village archetype would be a lot less useful without these important cards!

Dominion Articles / Re: Stonemason
« on: October 15, 2013, 03:11:48 pm »
Great article, but I'd add one very important synergy for Stonemason: cost reducers.

We all know that cost reducers work well in games with +buy, and it's no different for the Stonemason's virtual +buy. Using a cost reducer (Bridge, Highway, Quarry) before buying Stonemason can get you a lot more mileage out of the overpay - your cost reducer is basically working triple-duty. Not only do you get the SM for dirt cheap, you can hit your overpay target much easier. Couple this with regular +buy, and you have a nice little combo that can score lots of expensive cards on the cheap. The only thing to look out for with cost reducers (as you mention with Peddler) is that you don't drive your overpay target down to $0, which would render it un-gainable from Stonemason.

Here's a nifty play where I pick up 4 Nobles and 2 Cartographers with my 3 Stonemasons, and it's only Turn 5!

BadAMutha - draws Squire, Squire, Quarry, Quarry, Copper
---------- BadAMutha: turn 5 ----------
BadAMutha - plays Squire
BadAMutha - takes 2 actions
BadAMutha - plays Squire
BadAMutha - takes 2 buys
BadAMutha - plays Quarry
BadAMutha - plays Quarry
BadAMutha - plays Copper
BadAMutha - buys Stonemason
BadAMutha - overpays for Stonemason with 2 coins
BadAMutha - gains Nobles
BadAMutha - gains Nobles
BadAMutha - gains Stonemason
BadAMutha - buys Stonemason
BadAMutha - overpays for Stonemason with 2 coins
BadAMutha - gains Nobles
BadAMutha - gains Nobles
BadAMutha - gains Stonemason
BadAMutha - buys Stonemason
BadAMutha - overpays for Stonemason with 1 coin
BadAMutha - gains Cartographer
BadAMutha - gains Cartographer
BadAMutha - gains Stonemason

I think Goons might play a bit differently in this setup, since there's no $0 cards to use all the +buys for VP (besides curses). Still, a viable alternative to actual VP cards.

Game Reports / Re: Butcher/Duchy is better than Workshop/Gardens
« on: October 09, 2013, 09:23:27 am »
You rush to get the Gardens, but only wind up with 4 of them. After that happens, you probably need to readjust and try to get some Silvers, rather than plodding ahead with the Estates. Your opponent has a better deck with some cash and the Butcher, so you have to expect he'll get some Duchies and maybe even a Province. The size of your deck isn't blowing up by leaps and bounds (2 cards per turn at best), so you can't expect to win on deck size alone. I think I might have opened with a Militia to slow my opponent down, and possibly even picked up a Copper over Stonemason on turn 3. You're unlikely to be able to play the SM with all the Workshops floating around, and you really need a double Gardens turn to pull ahead in the split.

Why didn't Azusu pick up two Gardens on turn 6 (or buy anything for that matter)? He could have put the nail in the coffin right there.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: More FLAVOR! Yes, I said it again!
« on: October 04, 2013, 03:16:11 pm »
Bar Brawlers has an interesting self-synergy with Bar Brawlers in your opponents' decks. Being a cantrip money source, BBs would be good to get a lot of, especially if you can thin your deck - from other Bar Brawlers. I could imagine some funny mirrors: Both players buy lots of BBs, trash their deck down to just the cantrips, and then no one wants to fight ever again.

What about making it a $4 attack, where you have the option to reveal the top 2 cards and trash one OR gain a curse? It wouldn't give out curses much early, but you could get caught with a deck that's too thin to fight. I think getting cursed out for not fighting fits the theme perfectly.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: More FLAVOR! Yes, I said it again!
« on: October 03, 2013, 11:09:13 pm »
I think the optional Bar Brawlers attack is too weak, it's practically a free Lookout play for your opponents if they want it. Going down to 2 cards might do the trick, but I think the savvy player would just not take the option after awhile. Being optional, it's not much of an attack (in fact, it should only benefit the opponent), and gives your opponents a chance to reveal reactions, too.

Help! / Re: Apothecary+Ambassador+Mercenary, no idea...
« on: October 02, 2013, 02:31:02 pm »
You did get unlucky with the Ambassador early on, getting caught twice with Copper Copper Potion Estate Ambassador when your opponent Urchins you. You ditch the ambassador the first time, and ditch the estate and ambassador a potion the second time. Not sure what the right move is - you may not want to ambassador copper, since returning it ruins your potion hand, and not returning it just gives your opponent a copper, which he won't mind. I think revealing the potion wasn't a bad move, given your options. I guess you could skip your own Apothecary on those hands and thin your deck some, but it's tough to pass up the potion card.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: When do you overpay for Doctor?
« on: September 30, 2013, 10:42:45 am »
I agree with SirPeebles - sometimes you can plan for the Doctor, but sometimes you can get a lucky opportunity. It's something to look out for in games that otherwise don't have any trashing, or in games where you might not get Doctor for the on-play ability (e.g., games with Ruins, Shelters, or lots of cheap engine parts). I've never done it myself, but I've seen a savvy opponent use an unusually good hand of $9 to clear out the remaining junk in his deck after playing most of the actions he'd already bought.

Your post is kinda confusing, but I think you're getting at the self-synergy of a card which counts VP in the trash, when it winds up in the trash itself. This is a really confusing, terrible way to word a VP card. There is no unique solution to the problem. With 1 estate and 4 landfills in the trash, the landfills could be worth -1, 0, or 1 VP. With 1 estate and 3 landfills in the trash, you do get an indeterminate score, but that's because ANYTHING works, not nothing. Landfills can be worth ANY amount when there are exactly 3 in the trash and not more than 2 VP otherwise - 1 million VP landfills, woohoo!

(1 Estate VP + 0 Landfill VP x 3)/3 = 1VP/3 = 0 VP per Landfill
(1 Estate VP + 1 Landfill VP x 3)/3 = 4VP/3 = 1 VP per Landfill
(1 Estate VP + -1 Landfill VP x 3)/3 = -2VP/3 = -1 VP per Landfill
(1 Estate VP + 1 million Landfill VP x 3)/3 = 3,000,001 VP/3 = ONE MILLION VP per Landfill

The way the card is worded, I don't think landfill could be worth negative VP.

Also, gardens in the trash are worth 0 VP - since there's no owner, there's no deck to count!

Name either a Foo or a Bar in the supply. Gain it.

I don't think it'd be too feasible to have an attack at $2. It'd probably have to be terminal and so weak that it's rarely worth buying. Let's look at the options for attacks:

Trash - trashing from someone's hand would be too powerful. Cards that trash from the deck can cost $5 (Rouge, Saboteur), $4 for trashing restricted types (Thief, Noble Brigand), or $3 if there's replacement (Swindler). Maybe you could do a weak Swindler that says "+$1, Each other player trashes the top card of his deck and gains a differently named card costing the same amount".

Discard - Urchin is already discard down to 4 cards for $3. All you could do to make it $2 is eliminate the +1 card... but then you wind up with a 4-card hand as well as your opponent. Useless.

Junker - The only way you could give out Curses or Ruins with a $2 card would be at significant penalty to yourself (also gain junk), or significant gain to others (e.g., each other player gains a Ruins and a Gold). Even so, it'd be pretty dicey to balance a card like that. Other types of junk (copper) are still pretty bad for most decks, too.

Deck-stacking - A pretty weak class of attacks, so this might be the answer. "Deck inspection" or "Place on top" cards like Oracle and Fortune Teller already aren't that great, so it's tough to find something costing less that would still have a place in the game. Maybe a weak Rabble, "+2 cards, Each other player reveals the top card of his deck and discards any revealed action or treasure."

Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Mathematics of Venture Chaining
« on: August 14, 2013, 09:17:35 am »
Neat stuff! However, we all know that Dominion is a game of big turns and small turns, not one of averages. I'd be interested to see a probability distribution over the Venture values instead of just the average value of a Venture. If I play a Venture in a deck that contains of 4 Ventures and no other treasures, I will always get $5 total. If I play Venture in a deck of Venture, Copper, Silver, Gold, I get 3/12 chance of $2, 4/12 of $3, 4/12 of $4, and 1/12 of $5. The distribution of these values says a little more than just the average of $3.25. I'm imagining a situation where you don't want to trigger a reshuffle with Venture, but the $ from it could be enough to end the game in a win. The probability distribution would tell you a lot more about whether it's a good idea or not. In the second example, needing only $3 (just a quarter under the average) gives you a good 75% chance of making it. Needing $4 (a full $0.75 more than the average) still gives you a 41% chance. I did the example by hand, care to figure out the formula for the distribution? I suppose it would require a list of Treasures in the deck, rather than just the number of them, though.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: A really bad variant idea
« on: July 28, 2013, 12:24:21 am »
Worker's Village could also be the worst village in this case. Also, I didn't think Scout could get any worse, but here we are...

Dominion General Discussion / Re: What is your favorite vanilla card?
« on: July 23, 2013, 02:50:46 pm »
While I do enjoy Monument piling up a small but decisive pile of VP chips in even a short game, I have to go with Festival. I often find myself buying it for just the +2 action and +$2, even if I don't need extra buys. I love it when it shows up with Minion, Watchtower, or Jack, since the lack of +Cards isn't a liability.

So I've recently had some unlucky games where my opening terminal action winds up at the bottom of my deck and misses the reshuffle. In these cases, I've tried "doubling up" on my terminal on turn 4, so that I can hopefully get 2 plays in on the next shuffle, and not fall too far behind (especially important for card-givers like Sea Hag or Maurader). Let's assume an easy case where there's no extra actions in the kingdom, I open Silver/Terminal, and the terminal in question doesn't give +Cards. I don't draw the terminal on turn 3, and buy a coin or a nonterminal. Then don't draw my terminal on turn 4. Should I buy another, or stick with what my plan would otherwise have been?

As I figure it, there's only a 25% of collision between the two terminals on the second reshuffle - draw the last 2 cards in the deck (one of which is terminal), then there's a 3/12 shot of getting the other terminal at the top of the shuffle. Seems having the second terminal might be the way to go, even if I normally wouldn't have gotten that terminal until my deck got a little bigger. Obviously, this depends on the kingdom and all, but I just wanted some thoughts. I got burned by this a few times in a row, so I'm forced to wonder if I'm thinking about this wrong somehow, or just got unlucky.

Goko Dominion Online / Re: Goko UI Issues
« on: July 10, 2013, 09:17:40 am »
5. The chat window
I hate how this thing keeps popping up all the time, just have a "+1" icon or something similar layed over the button to open the chat. And I hate how it's over the Continue button at the end of the game.

This one is probably my biggest peeve. Why would they put the chat window right over the cards you're trying to play? I hate it when I'm trying to consider my options for a big hand, and then my opponent says something - great, now I have to click to even see my hand again, because apparently seeing someone say "OMFG d00d ru still there??" is more important than the cards.

Also, for times you need to pull stuff out of the discard or trash, is there any way to actually see the faces of those cards? When the pile you're looking through gets big, it's pretty difficult to tell one card from another given only a tiny left-hand slice of the picture.

Dominion Articles / Re: Save the Hovels!
« on: May 29, 2013, 01:01:23 pm »
So by saving the Hovel, you may get a mid-to-late-game free trash, with the opportunity cost of 1VP. This discussion makes me imagine a card with a "pay VP" mechanic.

Civil War
+1 Card
+1 Action
You may trash a card from your hand.
If you do, -1VP.

Ignoring the price point and all that, assuming you had it your deck, how often would you use the trash clause? Of course, it depends on the kingdom and the stage of the game and all, but I'm not sure I'd do it once I was buying Provinces.

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