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Messages - DrFlux

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Dominion Articles / Re: Shanty Town
« on: July 03, 2012, 03:07:03 pm »
I'm really beginning to like to kingdom supply based stats from the council room. This suggests the torturer prefers, from worst to best :  university, nobles, shanty town, mining village, hamlet, native village, inn, walled village, border village, farming village, village, festival, worker's village, bazaar, fishing village, city. It's interesting that three of the worst torturer partners are the villages from the Intrigue set.

The problem with this whole idea is you are confusing correlation with causation. Say village and city and torturer are on the board, with no + buys. Who is more likely to buy city over village? Probably the person who is winning the torturer war, slamming the other person and generating lots of money. Does that mean city is "better"? Heck no.

Similarly, do you really think bazar is a better setup for torturer than hamlet? I don't think so. A hamlet , with its extra buys, can enable you to buy two more with 4, or torturer+hamlet with 7. That's WAY better than bazaar in my experience.

Perhaps its just that the torturer combo is so good that if someone decides to skip it, even when the village costs 5, they usually lose. Most reasonable players will not skip the torturer chain with a village costing up to 4, but they might with one costing 5.

Game Reports / Re: Amb/Amb vs. Amb/Silver
« on: June 25, 2012, 04:02:05 pm »
This game is also yet another illustration of contraband being awful. It gets worse the better opponents you play against, because its not that hard to track roughly how much money an opponent could have and what their deck needs. Especially here where there really aren't that many good alternate options.

Help! / Re: Apothecary/Worker's Village
« on: June 20, 2012, 04:56:36 pm »
I wouldn't think of Apothecary as your end game here, as scrying pool + grand market seems too good. If you trim your deck, with scrying pool, you will be able to ambassador multiple times a turn, which I'm pretty sure will beat someone trying to just use apothecary. Apothecary is useful with scrying pool later on to stack your deck even without many copper.

What apothecary DOES do is it helps avoid the problem with ambassador where you have no economy early game. Grabbing a couple copper/potions with it allows you to ambassador AND buy something useful in the same turn. This is huge.

I would open potion/ambassador, and buy one or two apothecary, and then focus on trimming your deck and winning the ambassador war, probably by buying at least one more ambassador. Ideally I'd buy just enough money to start buying GMs (probably just two gold).

Game Reports / Re: Embassy Big Money questions
« on: June 19, 2012, 03:11:09 pm »
Also, alternate victory points might change the pace of the game a little bit... The simulators won't take this into account without some work.

Game Reports / Re: Embassy Big Money questions
« on: June 19, 2012, 03:08:25 pm »
I imagine being opportunistic makes sense. If you hit 6 early, goons seems obvious, but I feel like it would be sort of a waste to use your first $5 buy on a silver, in anticipation of buying goons. This is probably the biggest reason margrave beats the goons bot. Perhaps you could try buying goons on 6, and margrave on 5, till you get two total? (or maybe three in the long term? one margrave two goons?)

Dominion Articles / Re: Trader
« on: June 15, 2012, 04:13:09 pm »
I updated the Trader article at the head of this. Any other suggestions? Any game logs to suggest?


Dominion Articles / Re: Trader
« on: June 15, 2012, 02:30:35 pm »
I just tried some solitare games, and opening courtyard-jack or courtyard-trader is awesome. Way better than playing double jack or double+ courtyard. In both cases I was consistently scoring 4 provinces by turn 12 or 13, and not slowing down at all. I think this is mostly due to courtyards awesome ability to allow trader to trash your estates, which is really what you want it to do in standard province BM games. Its also nice that with 2xestate-2xcopper-trader, you can still buy an extra courtyard, which you want 2-3 of over the course of the game.

I also tested out trader-margrave, which was a lot less consistent, grabbling 4 provinces by about turn 15, with a lot of variance (due to mostly trader hooking up with estates or not). You do have the extra benefit of the attack though, so I think you could beat something basic like Smithy-BM with this.

Dominion Articles / Re: Trader
« on: June 15, 2012, 09:18:58 am »
A lot of good suggestions, I will rewrite the article soon.

I'm not sure Grand Market is a good combo though, sure you can buy it, but if you have a silver flooded deck, you can't make the kind of use of it other decks can. In games where Trader shines: alternate victory and curse games, the Market won't be much better than a gold, and even gold is less useful than usual in a heavily silver flooded deck.

You mention the advantage Trader gives you in a Cursing game, but I missed mentioning Trader as an especially good counter on Mountebank games.

I'm also not sure Trader is better against Montebank than Witch, believe it or not. Because you are are flooding your deck, you will be less likely to have a curse or a trader in your hand, which means Double-Montebank will actually give you curses and coppers maybe even more often than if you didn't have the trader. And those coppers hurt quite a bit, I've definitely had games where I get silver-silver-silver-copper-curse turn after turn in the late game, when I NEED to be buying provinces.

In short, I do think Trader is useful against Montebank, but I don't think its a magic bullet.

Dominion Articles / Re: Trader
« on: June 14, 2012, 03:13:07 pm »

I'll cut out the incorrect sim statement, I have not used the simulators extensively.

As for your other comments:

As for trader overall, the thing is, you should NOT look at it as a trasher.

I very much agree with this, that's what I was trying to get at with the first paragraph, I'll try to be more explicit.

I will add something about ambassador, gardens and cache.

Tradering silver may be the right play at some point, but you're almost never happy to do it. It costs you tempo right now, and it only nets two silvers, which isn't great.

Also agreed, that is why its so important early on to draw traders with Estates, in a similar way as salvager. You don't really want to be trashing silvers OR coppers, instead you'd rather trash estates or really expensive things. Trashing coppers is probably even worse than silvers, since you are going to be flooding your deck anyways.

Dominion Articles / Trader
« on: June 14, 2012, 02:18:06 pm »
Hi all, this is my first attempt at an article. I am I level 30 player, I love dominion and I think my strategic grasp of the game is decent. I've really appreciated these forums as a place to think about interesting strategies.

I would love any feedback about Trader, I think it is an interesting card that is rarely discussed. When is Trader good enough to convince you not to buy a curser, for instance? Interestingly, Trader's silver giving ability dilutes the density of the Traders themselves, making sneaking curses in easier than one might expect.


Trader is a strange card. Typically trashers are most useful in engine decks, where getting rid of estates and coppers will lead to drawing your combo pieces together. However, Trader is somewhere between mediocre and awful in these cases, as it only trashes one card, and the silvers you gain can be nearly as unwanted. Trader should NOT be thought of as a trasher, but as a way to flood your deck with silver. Who wants tons of silver? Money decks and only money decks.

The obvious place to use trader is in cursing games, as it is a clear case of a reaction that can actively punish your opponent for their cruel ways. It is important to realize that if you are attempting to beat cursers with trader, that flooding your deck with silver can be as important as the reaction ability. This leads to the second use of trader, which is in slow alternate victory card games, particularly Duke or Gardens. Duke/Trader plays as well as Duke/Horse-Trader. You buy two or three Traders on early turns, trash your estates, silvers, traders, and maybe a gold or even a province to flood your deck with silvers, so that all that victory chaff doesn't matter. Its important to note that terminal collision is not a big problem, as you can trash Trader to Trader. Since all you need is two silvers and a copper to buy duke/duchy, you should be golden.

The final place case where Trader can shine is with cards that give on-buy benifit, such as Border Village, Ill-Gotten Gains, etc. Its important to note that unlike more flexible "trash for benifit" options like remodel, you have to actually WANT lots of silver for this to be worthwhile.

It is difficult to provide stats on trader, as the simulators do not model it well AT ALL, as it is difficult to play correctly. Sometimes you want to trash silver or gold early to build up more silver, but when to skip this in order to buy something expensive is case dependent.

For this reason it is difficult to rank how different strategies rate against Trader. Trader-only stragies beat Sea Hag and Familiar consistently, as both of those cards are slow and provide little other benefit than cursing. With the strongest cursers -- Witch and Montebank, the games are a close slog, and I suspect Trader-Silver leading into eventually 2 cursers may be optimal. Interestingly, Trader's silver giving ability dilutes the density of the Traders themselves, making sneaking curses in easier than one might expect. Try to track your opponents Traders - if its turn five and they haven't played it, you may want to skip playing your Montebank if you can afford it. This is even more true with IGG-Trader boards, where you will typically want to buy something other than IGG if your opponent may have a Trader. IGG/Trader is very good for similar reasons as Duke/Trader. Here is a good example of a game featuring all three, and me trying to dance around my opponents Trader In general, Trader loves Duchies, and you can start buying them earlier than usual because of all that silver. Conversely, Trader hates Colonies, as it dilutes the density of those golds and plats that you need to by your Colonies.

The final use of Trader is in BM without any curses or interesting green cards. In this case is works like a much weaker Jack, trashing your estates and giving you silver, but not providing you the full 5 cards that Jack gives you to work with. For this reason, it is rarely the strongest BM option. Trader-Silver into a draw card like smithy is passable but swingy, as you really need to draw estates with your trader for it to be a worthwhile purchase.

This brings us to my biggest discovery during writing this article. Opening Trader+Courtyard is awesome. Much better than courtyard alone. Courtyard allows you to match up your Trader with your estates much more consistently, and its nice to be able to buy an extra courtyard if you have 2 left after Trader-ing. Playing solitaire, it can consistently get 4 provinces in 12-13 turns, with a lot of staying power due to all the silver in the deck. Courtyard-Jack works in a similar way and produces similar results, but you already knew Jack was good.

Other little combos with Trader include things that give you more copper, or more buys. Margrave+Trader is passible, as you can use your extra buy to get a silver in the case of terminal collusion. It gets 4 provinces in about 15 turns, with a lot of variance, mostly due to Trader hooking up with estates or not. Cache can be good if you are lucky enough to get Trader+$5. Finally, Wishing well can help you get Trader+Estate, and can be very likely to pick up extra silver later. Most of these last tricks are probably not enough to make you want to go trader by themself, but you should keep your eye out for them if other conditions are good for Trader.

As a final note, rare occasions do occur where you have an engine and are drawing your deck consistently, but you need more money. You risk killing your your combo in the long term, but you can use Trader provide yourself with a lot of money quickly, either with multiple buys or trashing.

Works with:
Cursing Games (especially slow ones like Familiar)
Ill-Gotten Gains
Alternate Victory Cards (Duke and Garden Especially)
Trashable cards (boarder village)
Cache, Wishing Well, Margrave, and extra-buys in general

Conflicts with:
Engine Games
Games where you need a "key" card like Tournament
Stronger Big Money Options
Colony games

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