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Messages - DrFlux

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Also, quarry is SO important here with the + buy. This is also part of what makes silver so unnecessary. You want one pronto, its so good here with all the good 2-4 cost cards, and nobles as well!

In a related point, you weren't optimizing your buying power well. You gained crossroads with your ironworks early on, when you could have gained WV or envoy or quarry. The crossroads could have been bought with your $3 hands instead of silver (as could courtyard).

Salvager is like #11, and remodel is in the 30's. Now I would agree that salvager is better, but THAT much better. In most cases, I feel like their advantages and disadvantages are similar.

Both are good for clearing out early estates, but are a swingy opener. Remodel is better with cheap engine pieces, salvager is better with more expensive desirable cards. Both can be used to accelerate the end game, by trashing golds and provinces for more provinces.

Clearly salvager is better, because its more flexible, for example you could trash a gold so that you can buy a platinum or colony. However 20+ places? That can't be right. My feeling is remodel is probably underrated. Salvager might be a little high, but not drastically.

The comobo is neat, nice when you reached the point where you don't want more rats, but still want to trash, but there some better "cards" you can get via specific combos.
Like: Ironmonger/Tunnel
+2 Cards
Gain a Gold

This isn't a fair comparison. With the watchtower/rats combo, you need the watchtower to be in your current hand, or the next card (5 cards). With your example, you need the tunnel to be on top of your deck. This is the weakness of ironmonger, it can be great, but usually can't be depended on.

Dominion Articles / Re: Article Request: Knights
« on: February 14, 2013, 12:44:41 pm »
I really think the best ones are the actions/cards ones, because they fit nicely within an engine, and are the easiest to play repeatedly. Really, I think most of them are good in an engine, with the exception of the VP one. The trashing one and the workshop one seem to be very context dependent, over trashing might become risky if your opponent is also Knighting.

Urg, Knights are really tricky. On their own they seem like crappy buys at $5, but then they start hitting your good cards and sometimes your opponent gets the cantrip or +2 actions one and plays them repeatedly. So you get your own Knights, except those also seem like crappy buys at $5, and they end up killing each other and you feel like they've gone to waste.

They just seem like a bad investment, except they're probably better than that...

Dominion Articles / Article Request: Knights
« on: February 13, 2013, 02:34:33 pm »
So I've only had a few games with knights: the first few were IRL and Dark Ages only. Many of these games had Rats or Fortress, and both of these are very effective counters to knights. Beggar is also passable in some cases. I played some other games without good engine potential, and once again knights was lackluster, as one might expect.

Then I played a game with no obvious defense, where Throne Room, Laboratory, and knights were all in the kingdom. After buying one province, a few throne roomed knights left him without anything useful in his deck. It seems like a deck that can play multiple knights a turn is really tough to beat. Its like a much better saboteur: it gives other benefit, and there is no "replacement" so 3 piling is harder.

It didn't seem like gaining lots of extra junk in your deck was that effective at stemming the onslaught. Having 2 cost engine pieces does seem to help (squire/native-village/hamlet). Am I right in my assessment though that if an engine is on the board with the knight, and no obvious defense, the game should be defined by the knight battle?

I'm not ready to write an article, but I'm starting to think more about this card.


Dominion General Discussion / Re: Iso or Goko?
« on: February 11, 2013, 11:30:17 am »
I play on both. I'm currently debating whether to pay the $45 for all sets.

For anyone who tried the beta and gave up, Goko is way better than it used to be. It doesn't crash, and it is quite fast. It has a log. Really I was quite pleased when I tried again.

The only huge issue for me is the lack of auto-matching, preferably by rank. It often takes too long to find a game, and I think its because of this lack of auto match. A related issue is just the player base and current ranking: I am currently level 45 and really appreciate the high level of play, thoughtful analysis, and courtesy among many of the better (35+) isotropic players. I don't have that yet in Goko, and that does affect my desire to play there regularly.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Starting with 14 coppers
« on: February 11, 2013, 10:51:21 am »
Even if curses don't come up very often once you have them, you are going to hit your opponent with curses much less often too. So you'll get many more of them. What are you going to do with silver-copper-copper-curse-estate every(ish) turn?

If you buy a trasher early, it will take many more reshuffles to pair your deck down. Copper is horrible for engines, and not good for money either (just not as bad).  Cheap alt-vp is really the only case where this is approaching reasonable, and even in many of those cases I'd rather have the tighter deck. Duke is the main case I think of, as it gives enough points to compete with province, but has a price of 5 - which copper helps you reach. Silk-road and gardens in most cases will be too slow unless you have a gainer like ironworks. BUT if you have ironworks, I'd rather have the tighter deck, at least for silk road. Maybe for gardens the larger deck size might be enough of a benefit.

Game Reports / Re: Ambassador ain't worth Jack!
« on: February 10, 2013, 08:24:08 am »
It has to be useful for colony games, I mean it doesn't really hurt your speed dramatically in province games. In addition, I don't really want to buy double-jack in colony games -- the silvers just aren't that good. 1 jack and one spice merchant though, will help me play my jack more early, get rid of copper, and later on can always get rid of silver. This will make golds/plats come up a lot more, which has to be good.

As for engines, spice and jack definitely combo well, especially when there's no other way of killing estates.

Game Reports / Re: I was Destroyed By Saboteur, and I Demand An Explanation
« on: February 10, 2013, 08:17:16 am »
Oh, guess I forgot about that. He Saboteured it.

After you helped him trash a curse, an estate and a copper with it.

Game Reports / Re: I was Destroyed By Saboteur, and I Demand An Explanation
« on: February 08, 2013, 09:50:15 pm »
It seems counter productive to me to buy a bishop just before buying witch. If your opponent trashes a curse when you bishop, you REALLY aren't gaining any significant benefit out of it. I think you helped his strategy to work by doing this. And ironworks could have helped you as well. Ironworks could produce mining villages, that if hit with sabs could be turned into havens. The havens can be used to protect your provinces potentially.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Hermit/Madman + Market Square
« on: February 08, 2013, 09:29:37 pm »
I think this is likely to happen if there is no other (preferably non-terminal) draw on the board, and no other trashers. On many boards though, there will be alternate trashers, meaning up to 5 madmen, which is plenty. Also I could imagine some boards where extra draw would be critical. Particularly wharf/tactician/caravan, or perhaps village/smithy. Obviously with more expensive components you would have to play this differently, and it might be tricky to balance economy with racing for the key combo components.

I wish this was on isotropic, I'd love to test it out. Maybe its time for me to check out Goku again, see if its  more playable now.

Has anyone ever examined the mirror match? I feel that at a 5/5 split of the Hermits (and I suppose Market Squares) results in either insufficient trashing (if you trash Hermits somewhat early for Madmen) or insufficient draw (if you don't trash all of your Hermits and/or can't draw a second Madman after the first). Not only that, but you don't have enough buys to empty out a third pile with 5 MSs and your engine is dead after it fires once.

It's the same thing that happens in NV-Bridge mirrors, except NV-Bridge can usually grab a couple of other cheap cards along the way whereas this is much less able at doing so.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Hermit/Madman + Market Square
« on: February 08, 2013, 06:48:29 pm »
First, I would hope to be able to trigger the market squares more than once (ideally another trasher is on the board and it should be possible to get 4-5 madmen), which would give about ~10 gold. If you manage to get 11, this gives you enough for 5 provinces. With your opponent having only 6 buys, there is no way they will catch you in a single mega-turn. So this is your goal, and I wouldn't do it by buying gold beforehand unless that was the only way.

In your example, if your opponent gets 3 provinces, how long is it going to take you to get 6 gold? Are you assuming they are doing nothing in this time? If they buy two more provinces in that time, you are out of luck again.

In a mirror with a 5/5 split of each component, I would imagine you'd want to hit the trigger earlyish -- as in all likelyhood every turn AFTER the combo will also produce a province, due to all those gold.

Actually in a 5/5 split you might be better off waiting and pulling the trigger second. If you pull the trigger as soon as you can, say with no golds in your deck beforehand, you'll end up with 7c + 5g = $22. Not much of a mega turn- only two provinces and a duchy/gold. Say you managed to pick up two golds before hand, it's still only $28 for 3 provinces and a couple estates.

Rather I would suggest pulling the trigger second, which gives you control over when the game ends. In the situation of a 5/5 split I think I would try to avoid trashing my hermits into madmen until I had picked up most/all of my share of the market squares. Then as you trash you can gain multiple golds. If you can pick up at least 6 golds before pulling the trigger it will net you 11g + 7c = $40, enough to pick up 5 provinces. If your opponent went before you and only managed to grab 3 provinces then you just won the game.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Hermit/Madman + Market Square
« on: February 07, 2013, 09:49:44 am »
Very nice article! Its interesting that these combo pieces work well together even without the mega-turn. I imagine depending on the board, it would be good to snag an early gold to help pick up other support cards. You'd have to be cautious of course, as chaining madmen is key. In a mirror with a 5/5 split of each component, I would imagine you'd want to hit the trigger earlyish -- as in all likelyhood every turn AFTER the combo will also produce a province, due to all those gold.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Counterfeit + Hermit/Madman
« on: February 07, 2013, 09:15:47 am »
Yeah, this doesn't really seem like a combo, both pieces are just doing what they normally do.

They slightly compliment each other, b/c counterfeit can trash copper, and hermit can trash other things. But I wouldn't really call moneylender and remodel a combo, even if occasionally it works well to have both.

Game Reports / Re: Ambassador ain't worth Jack!
« on: February 05, 2013, 05:56:22 pm »
Has anyone played around with adding a single spice merchant to double jack? Or single jack + spice merchant? I tried out some solitaire games and they seemed comparable to double jack in speed. Seems like with ambassador on the board, it would be almost certainty worth it.

Dominion Articles / Re: Single tactician decks
« on: February 05, 2013, 11:49:59 am »
I agree with DG. Scaling is really only one thing that can enable a "single tactician" deck. Tactician can even be helpful with slower trashing cards like forager and remodel, allowing you to get full use out of these cards. The whole idea of single tactician is that a big turn is better than two smaller turns. This is equally true whether you are talking about a scaling card, or a "dependent" card like baron or remodel. And there's not really much that's different about the fact that in these decks, you want to play tactican often, making a scheme or two very good.

Help! / Re: Aargh.
« on: February 03, 2013, 03:33:52 pm »
If you read my quote, I decided that GS IS good on this board. However, I stick by that I would probably skip it if not for trading post and bishop. I agree that it is not a bad choice, but it would occasionally lead to awkward things happening, like a turn where you play village, 1 torturer, draw into a ghost ship, and then they don't have to put anything back.

As for bishop, my main point is that I wouldn't open with it. A few points are not going to help you if your opponent wins the torturer war. And it really does help your opponent just as much as it helps you until you have your engine reliably firing, ideally after a Ghost ship. Until then it just isn't good to give your opponent free trashing that they don't have to waste an action on.

Your main priority is to chain torturers as fast as possible. Possibly with a ghost ship involved, but I'm not convinced its much better than another torurer. I mean, if they know you have GS, they should just discard to the first torturer, and then GS will not hurt that much. I think I'd rather just have the extra card, so that its easier to chain.

Play Torturer. Opponent discards to 3 cards.
Play Torturer. Opponent gains Curse in hand (if he discards down to 1 card, his turn is dead anyway).
Play Ghost Ship. What's he going to do? He has 4 cards in hand, one of which is a Curse, and so he has to put something back on top of his deck.

Or say that you played 3 Torturers previously: opponent gains Curse in hand, discards down to 4 cards, and then gains another Curse. You're still forcing him to put something bad back on top of his deck with a Ghost Ship.

Or say that you opponent has a Trading Post (or any other card that trashes multiple cards) in hand, so you play 2 Torturers and he just takes the Curses because he's going to trash them anyway. Normally he'll still have a decent turn, but if you Ghost Ship him after the Torturers are done, he has to pick between trashing and buying something.

You don't even have to play Ghost Ship at the end of a chain; if you know that your opponent put back a Curse on his previous turn, you can start out with a Ghost Ship to bring him down the 3 cards in hand and then start your Torturer chain from there. Heck, you could have a second Ghost Ship that you play after the Torturers.

tl;dr handsize attacks in tandem with Torturer chains are powerful and not at all redundant.

Also disagree with skipping the Bishop. VP chips are important in a game that's likely to 3-pile (Torturer, Curse, NV) and NV doesn't draw very well, plus as pointed out Ghost Ship doesn't draw very well either, so trashing is desirable. Bishop also soft counters Torturer if your opponent doesn't kill your handsize some other way.

Help! / Re: Aargh.
« on: February 03, 2013, 02:03:22 pm »
I wouldn't touch bishop here at all, certainly not till late in the game. A: as an opener it keeps you from hitting 5 as often, and B: as others have commented, if you are not careful, it allows you opponent to trash curses.

Your main priority is to chain torturers as fast as possible. Possibly with a ghost ship involved, but I'm not convinced its much better than another torurer. I mean, if they know you have GS, they should just discard to the first torturer, and then GS will not hurt that much. I think I'd rather just have the extra card, so that its easier to chain.

On second thought, GS is good here, because otherwise the other player can buy a trading post, which is FABULOUS against torturer, as you can just take 2 curses, and immediately trash them and gain a silver.

I'd open silver/silver. Especially if my opponent opened bishop, as this would get me free trashing.

So I've come to feel that treasure map, while not quite a "good" card, is under-rated. At least its better than feast/nomad-camp/rats/pirate-ship. Obviously waiting for your maps to line up at random is bad, but I win lots of games by using haven/warehouse/courtyard/tactician to line them up. Also, in a situation where you have heavy trashing, or draw your deck every turn, it can be great. Its hard to beat four gold for two installments of $4 for boosting your economy. I often play games where people forget this option exists.

PS. The jerk in me wants to say that I hope no one actually listens to this post, because there's nothing more fun than beating someone with a "bad" card like treasure map.

Help! / Re: Is Moneylender worse than Spice Merchant on this set?
« on: January 28, 2013, 10:19:55 am »

Looks like a big money board to me, but having Colonies certainly mixes things up.

BM-Envoy would almost surely be the way to go on a Province board, but I wonder if it might take too long to build up on a Colony board? 

Another option is BM-Courtyard, which does reasonably well with Colonies. 

I would comment that BM-Courtyard is superior to BM-Envoy even on a province board, actually by quite a bit. On a colony board though, the mantra of "copper trashing is bad for money" is not true. You also want something to take care of your estates here, but that could just be cartographer or oasis.

It wasn't my first thought, but obviously as stef has shown, apothecary is quite competitive here too.

I think I've played the DA presets too much in real life. It makes me feel like rats are a very good card, but I think its just because the presets put it with good combos like apprentice and remodel.

Also its awesome against Knights or other trashers.

But yeah, this is probably biased by the presets. Also by the fact that it is a fun card. It is almost useless without a trash for benefit card. I'd definitely put pirate ship lower than it, but that's more a function of pirate ship...

Absolutely I agree. But at least with Market Square you have the CHOICE to use them as resources right now, whereas with tunnel you don't have that choice. Tunnels do get in the way sometimes, and they do sometimes actively hurt you when you don't draw them with your enabler. That's why Market Square is clearly better than tunnel, and then you can add in the cantrip +buy, which can be very useful. Both market square and tunnel can have potential in engines, but market square has MORE for many reasons: +buy, trashing is what you want anyways, cantriping.

That's true enough for Tunnels, but the same goes for Market Square. You don't really want to buy all that many of them in most cases.  I've had my share of games where I've overdone the Market Squares.  You think they can't hurt since they're cantrips, but even beyond opportunity cost, they are not functioning as cantrips if you chuck them for Gold every hand.

I think the point HiveMind is getting at is that usually, if there is a tunnel enabler, you don't actually in most cases want to buy a ton of tunnels, and on this point I agree with him: usually 1-3 will suffice, depending on the board. Winning the province split is still the most important thing, and having too many tunnels can hurt your chances of doing that.

2 VP isn't absolutely useless, but it certainly doesn't change the character of the games very much at all, in the way say fairgrounds does.

I think tunnel is awesome with its strongest enablers (warehouse, vault, etc). But its not always the best with weaker enablers, like oracle. I think its at about the right place.


And when you'd ever want five Tunnels, other than trying to run out piles, is beyond me...

Silk road?

I'm trying to think of other cases, like IGG, but that involves piles running out. There are perhaps other corner cases where the game will end VERY soon, and you have lots of buys, so with 9 and 3 buys, I could see buying 3 tunnels in the case you don't want a province.

I agree with you 2VP is WAY worse than being able to cantrip in general. At the same time I like thinking of counter examples.

Dominion Articles / Re: Big Money
« on: January 17, 2013, 04:00:32 pm »
I agree that hybrids are typically weak, but there are some special cases: hamlet/jack doesn't exactly feel like either an engine or money, but it is very strong, for example. (I can get it to hit 4 provinces consistently in 12 turns)

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