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2015 / Post on the main blog?
« on: August 29, 2015, 08:36:04 pm »
It might be worth making a post on the main blog for this. I didn't know about the tournament until I saw the subforum had new posts - people who don't frequent the forums definitely won't see it.

I'd say it was pretty successful. We played the first game set, then a full random set out of the Base game.

The first game set ends up being really nice. It's pretty easy to explain, because most of the cards are straightforward, and the only things I needed to explain were the 1 action limit, 1 buy limit, and what gaining/trashing meant. They knew going into it that I had played a lot before, but since it was a 3 player game I didn't bother holding back, and I basically played the first game engine. It wasn't optimal, I made some building mistakes and skipped Militia because I didn't want to make it too painful, but 3 player is a nice dynamic for learning - I can have fun building up the engine, and the other 2 compete against each other and get their minds blown by my Village + Smithy + Remodel engine that's getting $13+ a turn. Then after the game I got to explain how my Remodel open let me change Estate into Village/Smithy early, how my actions let me shuffle cards into my deck faster, etc.

The second game ended up being a nice random set, because it included Village, Smithy, Throne Room, and also Witch, Bureaucrat, Gardens, with no trashing besides Remodel. So, after that engine game I got to show off a slower Bureaucrat + Witch + Gardens based deck that beat the engines both of the other players tried to build, which was a nice way to show that different approaches are better on different boards.

I'd definitely recommend teaching in a 3+ player game first, I didn't appreciate how multiple players lets you have tiers of competition until now. For the interested, our 2nd board was
Code: [Select]
Moat, Chancellor, Village, Throne Room, Bureaucrat, Gardens, Smithy, Remodel, Library, Witch

(Note: in 2 player, I actually wouldn't be surprised if an engine gaining VP through Remodel could beat out the Gardens deck. It's definitely an uphill battle, but Throne Room puts in a lot of work here.)

Help! / Haggler-BM loses to...something
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:04:14 am »

I have 5/2 with Haggler and Masterpiece out. The engine is tempting with Black Market, Bishop, Possession, but I'm 95% certain it's a trap. No cantrips or villages in kingdom, at best you have Conspirator but you need cards from BM to activate it. There's one Plaza and one Nobles as villages in the BM and that's it. I don't think it can race Haggler-BM with Masterpiece support and I have 5/2 anyways, so I go for it.

I get to an early lead, then stall out, hit $7 a bunch, and my opponent catches up in time after pivoting off from Black Market after buying the Plaza in it.

The main misplays I see is that I shouldn't have bought the Copper when I played Merchant Guild and Bishop-trashing Haggler was way too early, but it doesn't feel like that should have hurt as much as it did.

Game Reports / A lesson in minor optimizations
« on: February 08, 2015, 03:30:33 pm »

Code: [Select]
Candlestick Maker, Pawn, Lookout, Village, Wishing Well, Alchemist, Bureaucrat, Plaza, Rats, Goons

I don't think there are many big picture lessons to get here. Goons is clearly very good, and with Alchemist as the only way to increase hand size, Alchemist-Goons is the only viable option. This also means CM isn't worth picking up here. Although accumulating coin tokens is promising, you want your only hand size decreaser to be Goons. There's an argument that you could go for Rats, but I don't think it's worth the detour with Lookout on the board.

qmech played pretty much how I would have played it, so why am I posting this? Well, it's to show how important the small choices can be.

- On my turn 6, after playing Alchemist, I decide to play my Lookout. I haven't played it yet this game, and I want to make sure I can trash. However, I think it's the wrong decision. Playing Lookout guarantees my Alchemist and Potion miss the reshuffle. I have 8 cards total in my draw + discard: 1 WW, 1 Pawn, 3 Estates, 3 Coppers. The only way I can draw my Potion next turn is if I get very lucky on a WW or Pawn play. Yes, not trashing a card hurts, but I really don't want Potion to miss the reshuffle. Especially because I can topdeck the Alchemist this turn, so I get more chances to redraw that Potion.

- On turn 8, I buy a Silver. I know I'm behind on Alchemists and think that getting the early first Goons will let me catch up. As it turns out, I could have gotten $6 without the Silver, and buying Goons over Alchemist on turn 9 is the wrong call. Without the +Cards to support it, the attack doesn't hurt enough, and I get slowed down by having another stop card.

- By turn 14, the game is basically over, since I've lost the Alchemist split 4-6, and the better cycling has let qmech trash more starting cards with Lookout. However, there's still one more lesson to get here. I topdeck 4 Alchemists instead of 3 at the end of this turn. I should be only topdecking 3, since I expect to get Goonsed every turn. By topdecking 4, I leave 1 more card in my drawpile than I should. This is a minor difference, but it actually matters. On my turn 15 I miss the Potion by exactly one card, and topdecking only 3 would have let me keep my Alchemist stack.

The lesson here? The little things in Dominion matter, and most big picture issues come from those little things.

Goko Dominion Online / Dominion replay system alpha is live
« on: January 22, 2015, 02:22:37 am »

Since I'm too lazy to do all the web hosting properly, for now it's running through Heroku. URL is, enter the plain text log url, not the prettifier log url. I'm using the free plan of one dyno - this translates into "please don't make tons of requests and kill the server".

Very minimalist, it's very much still proof of concept, but I think it's sharable.

Click the line in the text log to display game state on that line.

If you run into a bug, first check it's none of the below:
  • It involves Throne Room, King's Court, Procession, or Counterfeit. They're currently not supported. Golem is kind of supported but I'm sure that's buggy too.
  • A card isn't removed from play when it should be.
  • The player bought nothing, then topdecked Alchemist, Scheme, Treasury, etc. during cleanup.

If it's none of those, then please give the log url, turn/line that shows the bug, and describe what's going on. Generally, a player having extra cards is a lower priority bug than a player not having the right card.

The biggest feature to add is showing how many cards you have left in your draw pile and how many actions/buys/money you have. With school starting I can't guarantee I'll be able to implement those promptly, but I do mean to get that working.


Goko Dominion Online / Interest in a Dominion replay system?
« on: December 23, 2014, 02:49:26 am »
So I'm on break right now, and there's a Dominion-related project that I've wanted which doesn't exist yet.

Basically, when I was writing an article (I think it was Leveraging Information), I realized that the log prettifier is really helpful in comparing decks between turns, but not for seeing choices made in the middle of the turn. With a little work, you can figure out what order people played actions in, but without keeping track yourself, it's hard to, say, find out what actions a player didn't play because it would cause a reshuffle. For engine games, this is especially bad - there's no way I'm going to go through a page worth of text to figure out exactly how much buying power the player had that turn, even though that's one of the most important things to know. In short, right now it's easy to understand the macro strategy of what cards people buy and when, and it's much harder to understand the micro strategy of how people actually play their decks.

However, in game log, we have a record of every action made. Therefore, from that log, we should be able to rebuild the game state at any point, even in the middle of the game, and then you can learn whatever you want to learn. I remember mentioning this to AI one time, and he said he tried to get something similar working in Goko, but he couldn't.

If people think this is worth the time, I can start looking into it, but I'd probably need help. My Javascript is like a solid 1/10, and there's a lot of parts. In terms of design, I'm seeing the following:

- From a log, correctly reconstruct the exact hand, board, and supply state for each player. The existing log viewer code may do parts of this, but I think you'd need to write your own parser.
-- I'm envisioning a slider that you can move back and forth to apply/unapply actions. The game state constructor must be able to both apply and unapply a line of log text to handle this. Alternatively, whenever a client moves the slider, start from the beginning, and apply each line until you reach where the client stopped. Actually, the way that gives best performance is probably going to be saving the state after every line in an array of game states on initialization, then choosing the proper game state from this array on client-move. (DP FTW)
- Reconstruct the Goko interface, or at least a decent enough interface to display all this information. Given that AI had issues doing this within Goko, this most likely will need to be written from scratch, meaning an Iso-looking bare-bones interface is most likely. Frontend people can help here.
-- At a given game state, list what cards are in each players deck. Ideally, display what cards are in discard, in draw, in play, and in hand, all separately, since deck tracking is important to explain things like Wishing Well decisions. Figuring out how to lay this all out is tough.
-- This interface is going to need the ability to switch between player perspectives. Well, maybe not, there might be enough space to have full information displayed. This is up for debate.
-- Same issue as the backend code - rebuilding all DOM elements for each game state is easier to code, but worse performance. Updating the elements dynamically is better performance but trickier to write.
- Get general networking going, so that people can actually use this.

This feels like a lot of parts to me, but it probably isn't actually that bad. It certainly feels like less pieces than the extension itself, and there's no dealing with Goko's code since this is presumably made from scratch.

If people are interested in helping out with this (or have comments in general), let me know. If people think this wouldn't actually be that useful to have, also let me know.

Game Reports / Butcher ALL the things!
« on: June 07, 2014, 09:51:17 pm »

Code: [Select]
Haven, Herbalist, Vagrant, Workshop, Cutpurse, Farming Village, Remodel, Spice Merchant, Butcher, Count
There isn't any draw to make a traditional +Cards, +Action engine, but there's enough for things much cooler. Spice Merchant is very, very good at trashing Coppers in an engine, but is balanced out by quickly becoming dead weight, forcing you to trash better treasures to use it. However, in this game you have trash for benefit, which lets you turn that $4 cost into a useful card once you run out of Coppers.

I get semi-lucky on the early turns to make it happen, but soon I have 2 Spice Merchants punching through my Coppers, lots of Butchers, and a couple of Vagrants made from Shelters. On turn 11, I trash the last of my starting cards, Butchering a Necropolis all the way up to a Province along the way, and from there can quickly close out the game.

Dominion Articles / Leveraging Information
« on: May 31, 2014, 12:25:54 am »
(Turns out I only got the motivation to write this when the server stopped working. Of course.)

This article should be considered a supplement to


What do you track?

The correct response for a new player should be, "What?".

The response from an okay player should be, "The amount of VP in both players decks", to at least think about PPR.

The response from an absolutely perfect player should be "Everything derivable from a log of all cards played and bought." Does anyone actually do this? I'd wager, no. However, a strong player should get pretty close, and utilize that information to make better tactical plays to get small advantages that snowball up. Personally, I consider myself to be strong in understanding and getting information, and pretty terrible in actually using it properly.

Things worth tracking:

The number of each Victory card in the game in both players decks. This is better than just tracking the amount of VP, because it accounts for Silk Roads and gives you good intuition about whose deck is more clogged, which can influence whether you build more or go for points.

The number of each action card in the game in both players decks. Sometimes, knowing the exact counts is overkill, but knowing how many +Buy, +Cards, and +Actions there are can be a big help.

In games with Cursers/Ruins, how many of the 10 junk cards you have. Again, often not immediately applicable, but useful as a heuristic for whose deck is more clogged.

Alone, the above don't help very much. However, in combination with tracking how many are still left in the current shuffle, you can make vastly better plays. Knowing that you're due for $8 because you've seen mostly junk can help in PPR situations. Knowing that you have seen most of your good treasures can influence you in the other direction. This applies to tracking your opponent as well; if they've blown through their Gold and Silvers, you can be much more bold with PPR than you normally would.

However, this deck tracking helps the most with playing engines. Just for your own deck, you should be thinking about
- Number of terminals your deck can support. This should affect your buy decisions and overall strategy.
- Maximum money your deck can produce, if you draw your deck. In the late game, you should be thinking about how you get this to $16 or $22, or whatever important cost point you want.
- Number of Buys/cards you can gain in one turn. Important to keep in mind for 3-pile considerations.
- In games where you can't draw your deck, a rough estimate of how strong the cycling in your deck is. If your cycling is strong, you can trigger reshuffles with much less fear. In general, it also lets you make better reshuffle decisions: if you know you've played most actions, you can decide based on number of non-action cards in your discard. If you still have actions, you can trigger the reshuffle with a good chance of continuing to go off.

Again, tracking this for your opponent helps you immensely more. For example, if your opponent has played all +Buy cards this shuffle, and aren't going to reshuffle soon, you can empty victory piles much lower than you normally would.

In addition to this, you should be keeping information on the piles. Which ones are running low and are potential 3 pile targets, which piles are important to win the split on. Usually +Actions, more rarely +Cards because you don't usually have the +Actions or time to empty those piles.

This, in addition to actually making the right buys, and managing your reshuffles correctly, is what makes engines so hard to play correctly. There are many more decisions to make than it may seem, and continually making the right ones can make top players get wins for seemingly weird reasons.

Sample Games - on turn 12, I buy an Alchemist instead of a Familiar. At that point, there are 4 Curses left, and we each have 2 Familiars, so if I had bought a Familiar, it would be a very slim chance I could play all 3 before my opponent only plays 1. - on turn 14, I buy 2 Envoys, both because I knew my deck could support more, and because I hadn't played many of my Festivals or Highways that shuffle yet, so I knew I was due for a megaturn and wanted to set up a 3-pile. - on turn 14, I draw my deck and hit $21. I buy Province-Province-Mystic-Copper, giving me a total of $24 in my deck and setting up a triple Province. After this turn, there are 5 Provinces left, meaning if I hit the triple Province, I'll have 5 out of the 8. This pays off when I manage to draw my entire deck the next turn for the win. - on turn 13, I know my Forge is in one of the next 5 cards. Although I have the option of Throne Room-Envoy, I instead Throne Room Mining Village, to maximize my chances of drawing the Forge instead of losing it to Envoy. I still play this turn a bit incorrectly: if I had known I had a possible TR, I should have played Mining Village first instead of Treasury, because Mining Village is much worse to Throne Room at this point.

(Edit: There was another game where I left one Province in a game with a small VP lead but lots of +Buy. I knew my opponent had played all sources of +Buy and didn't have enough cycling to trigger a reshuffle on his turn, so I could go for the win over the next 2 turns. Unfortunately, I can't find this game anymore, so you'll have to live with the summary.)

Concluding Remarks

The unfortunate truth is that a lot of this isn't generalizable. Of course, everything depends on the kingdom, but when you start talking about game state, any hope of generalization flies out the window. The best advice I can give is to get in a habit of considering the information at your disposal whenever you have to make a decision.

 - Obtain as much information as possible, on both your deck and your opponent's
 - Synthesize that information into useful insights
 - Use those insights to make better plays

Above all else, think about your turn. Autopiloting is easy; it's also one of the worst ways to play.

(Edit: Did some revisions, fixed some typos.)

Help! / What
« on: May 22, 2014, 03:13:47 am »

I mean, what?

So, my plan is Swindler + Soothsayer BM. I can see some pretty big mistakes, like
1. Opening Swindler/Swindler over Swindler/Silver (hits $5 much less often, on T5 they collide and I would have had $5 if one was a Silver.)
2. 2nd KC is definitely too greedy.
3. First KC is maybe too greedy.

Then my opponent opens Hermit/Spy, trashes out Estates, and wrecks me with two KC-Soothsayers? I mean, I know I played this pretty badly, but I'm having trouble believing that what my opponent did is correct.

Game Reports / Anything better than BM here?
« on: May 03, 2014, 07:00:26 pm »

I feel like this is the kind of board where just one different card turns it into something completely ridiculous. I ended up playing Expand-BM, didn't pick up Fortune Teller because it would make Lookout better, but is any Golem madness reasonable here?

Game Reports / Oof
« on: October 15, 2013, 03:13:51 am »

I herp derped a lot here, could have done some stuff better. It's a Tournament game, we both get 1st Province turn 10. I had nicer early luck, so I should have gotten the 1st Province first, but oh well.

Mike Harris then connects Tournament + Prov turn 11, gets a Trusty Steed, draws entire deck off Council Rooms + Steed, THEN gains the Followers by discarding the same Province. Then draws the Province with Followers to discard to a 3rd Tournament, to get Princess in the same turn.

It's just, here is proof that execution is so important. And gaining + playing the 3 best prizes as soon as possible is nice as well.

Dominion General Discussion / When do you overpay for Doctor?
« on: September 30, 2013, 05:28:32 am »
I've used the Stonemason overpay a lot, just to pick up actions.
I've used the Herald overpay occasionally, just to set up a nice turn or to topdeck a card I bought to get a use in this shuffle.
But, I still have no idea how to use Doctor overpay. I've only done it in the opening, and otherwise I haven't been able to get much use out of it.

Dominion Articles / Musings about Taxman
« on: September 22, 2013, 09:58:14 pm »

I like this card. I really want this card to be good. But I'm pretty certain it's not. I haven't played many games where I picked up Taxman yet, certainly not enough for an article, but I've thought about it a bit and I figure I should put stream of consciousness stuff out here, to at least start a conversation.

Why is Taxman underwhelming?
Fundamentally, Taxman does almost nothing for you on your own turn. The immediate comparison is to Cutpurse. While Taxman gains you a Silver on top and trashes a Copper, Cutpurse gives you the +$2 right then, and that's a lot stronger, especially because Taxman hurts your hand, now. Because of this, a Taxman opening is, at least, pretty bad. But the point of Taxman is to upgrade your Treasures into better ones, so you want Taxman early to give a better shot of colliding with your Treasures. It's a card you both want and don't want early, and that makes it awkward to ever justify picking up; by the time you'd want it, you probably have $5+ and there's something better.

What are good situations to buy Taxman?
Underwhelming cards need underwhelming boards. Something slow, with not much going on. Something that lets you pick up Taxman in the opening, to give you time to buy Treasures worth Taxmanning and use the treasure you gain. Discarding a Copper is good and all, but it's really not worth it, not for a $4 Action. You want to be hitting Silvers as much as you can, especially because hitting a Silver discard is so strong. It's almost a Militia.

Quantity Matters
To me, Taxman compares most closely with Noble Brigand. Both act as ways to counter primarily money based strategies, both are very underwhelming the turn you play them, and both need many plays in order to be useful. So, if you do want Taxman, my guess is you don't want just 1 or 2. You want something like 4 or 5, something that lets you play Taxman every turn. Playing an attack every turn hurts no matter what that attack is, and given that Taxman slows down your shuffles, you probably need to have lots of copies, rather than 1 copy + an engine, to make it work nicely.

The "Next Turn" Counter
Just a small note; Taxman makes your current turn worse for your next turn being better. So it might be a decent counter to discard attacks. Topdeck something good, make your current turn awful. My guess is that this "counter" is actually awful, but food for thought.

Kingdom Treasure Interactions
It's worth thinking through what Kingdom Treasures could work well with Taxman. Potion could help; Taxman gives a way to get a Potion, now, if you really need it. Quarry doesn't feel synergistic.

Loan is interesting in that you can trash Coppers, then Taxman the Loan into a Gold, but Loan also discards the treasure you topdeck with Taxman, so it's an overall wash.

Hoard? Well, maybe. But you aren't Taxmanning those Gold you're gaining, so eh, not the best.

Harem? Seems pretty nice actually, just as a way to get VP now.

Plat? Mine is better with Plat out, Taxman is also better, not much else to say.

Talisman? Actually, Talisman gives a way to get lots of Taxmen/Silver, and then you can turn Talisman into a Gold when you don't need it. Might be worth exploring. (Speaking of which, Explorer/Taxman? Probably the best 2-terminal-in-deck-that-probably-has-no-villages combo yet, besides Chancellor/Counting House.)

Masterpiece. Again, an interesting combo. Overpay, get lots of Silvers, turn the Masterpiece into Gold. Again, this is all assuming Taxman on $3 cost is the ideal play for Taxman.

Venture. The card that inspired all of these musings. Taxman + Venture sounds very interesting. Taxman increases your average treasure quality, it gives a way to gain more Ventures than usual, and you can play Venture to hit your topdecked treasure, so Taxman doesn't kill your current turn as horribly. So mini-challenge: try playing, or simulating, Taxman-Venture, tell me what you get.

The tl;dr
Taxman is pretty bad.
If you never buy Taxman, you probably aren't missing much.
If you do buy it, make sure you can play it every turn, or it's likely a waste.
Even in the niche it fills, it's still not very strong.
But it's worth thinking about.
And when someone wins with their Taxman-Market Square-Venture engine, just remember, that it didn't come out of the blue, and you could have seen it coming.

Until then,

stay bald, everyone.

Game Reports / So ending the game with 35 copper is pretty fun.
« on: September 20, 2013, 05:10:04 am »

Beggar + IGG + Apothecary. What can you do. I'm actually not sure if this is the right call or not, because my opponent didn't pick up IGG, and Apothecary seems like it would die to the Curses. I had a decent chunk of Ruins, but it didn't seem to be an issue, so it might be okay. Idk, I feel like the core is so resilient that you could take on literally anything, except maybe getting Ambassadored Estates every turn. I have a ridiculous amount of junk towards the end and my Apothecary still pulled 3 or more Copper pretty often.

Edit: Oh and I literally buy no Silver or Gold. I Smuggle one Silver, but otherwise it's IGG + Copper all the way. Not every day you get to do that.

Goko Dominion Online / Possession and Resigning
« on: September 13, 2013, 05:33:18 am »
I just got this bug, and I'd like someone with cards to try replicating it.

I was in a Possession turn, and was in the middle of resolving my opponent's Apprentice when he resigned. Instead of taking me to the game over screen, I got stuck in the game. No clicking on any cards in hand, but I could access all the buttons to show the log, change settings, resign the game, etc. I did not auto-leave from a timeout, and eventually had to refresh Goko to get out.

drunkensailor found the game and says that I won, so I'm hoping it still counted as a win, but I didn't track my rating that closely so I don't know if I was credited with a win/rating change or not.

Help! / Not sure where it went wrong
« on: September 01, 2013, 10:36:00 pm »

Maybe it's the Urchin/Urchin opening, but our starting turns seem equally awful.
Maybe it's when I trash Copper+Silver to Mercenary to try to get a smaller deck, leaving me with generally bad cards in my deck.
Maybe it's when Mercenary+Market Square never seem to collide.

But really, I'm not sure what I do here. The one thing I'm sure of is that I want Outpost, but I feel like I only want that when I have a decent number of Alchemists and a reliable stack.

Edit: Okay actually now I do see, I don't want Silver here at all, I want Market Square over Silver, because that lets me rely on those Golds for economy. I was thinking that I want economy -> buy Silver, but small deck with Market Square + Mercenary is a lot better. I also didn't need that Black Market that turn.

Game Reports / I finally buy Beggar
« on: August 25, 2013, 03:53:25 am »
Well, I may have bought it before, but this is the first time where it felt like a key part of my win.

Baker in kingdom. Because my opponent buys Cultist turn 1, I'm safe in picking up Beggar for the reaction. My Beggar activates almost literally every time it's in my hand. Might be luck, might be Cultist stack. That, plus Trading Post to help thin my deck early on, plus Fairgrounds + Ruins, means I get a "slog" deck that goes for large Fairgrounds, except because of the Beggar Silver flood I can actually afford Provinces (which I skip because Fairgrounds are just better for my deck.) This is despite losing the Ruins split 8-2.

First time I've noticed how strong the Beggar reaction is. It doesn't stop the attack, but two free Silvers is a lot.

Game Reports / An amusing end game
« on: July 13, 2013, 09:02:24 pm »

I misplay early. I also misplay late. Really, I misplay all over the place. In my defense, I think it's very tricky to play this board correctly, because there are so many pieces that revolve around abusing Fortress on-trash. Long story short, my opponent goes for Pirate Ships, I realize this is the right call and follow too late, and my Ships are only worth $2 instead of $3 (we had trashed all out treasure, so this actually hurts a lot.)

But I got really really close! 2nd last turn, I feel like my opponent will double Colony, so I buy Province + BoM. My opponent does get 2 Colonies, and now I'm hoping my gut instinct that I can still do something is correct...

Last turn, I have 2 Colonies + 1 Province + 1 Estate to my opponent's 5 Colonies. After thinking for a while, I use Develop shenanigans to gain 4 Duchies, and buy the last Colony. And lose by 1 :(.

If I had played the last couple of turns better, I'm quite sure I could have won, but I'm sharing this mostly to point out that, hey, Fortress + KC + trash for benefit can get really degenerate really fast.

If you open Storeroom/Silver, you have a very, very good chance of getting $5 on turn 3/4.

I haven't mathed it out, but here's the gist: if Storeroom collides with Silver, guaranteed $5. If Storeroom doesn't collide, you can discard your hand, and if you draw a Silver it's guaranteed $5. There's not that many configurations where you miss the $5, because your deck has to be pretty specific in its layout.

Dominion Articles / Witch
« on: June 25, 2013, 09:22:35 pm »
It's good.

Buy it.

If you don't, you better have a good reason, and I mean a REALLY good reason.

Works with:
Almost everything

Conflicts with:
Ambassador, Masquerade

--end article--

Game Reports / Okay, Menagerie is that good.
« on: June 23, 2013, 03:37:14 pm »

Now, to be fair...
1. This is almost a perfect Menagerie board. I mean, all it's missing is Inn, there's not much more you could ask for.
2. I got 5/2 which I think is the better opening here. You get a Loan later, but Market lets you acquire more good $2/$3 cards much faster. The 3/4 player has Workshop, but Market gives you economy and is non-terminal.

6 Provinces, 3 Duchies in 15 turns. Good lord, now I remember why I like this card so much.

Game Reports / Interesting almost victory
« on: June 22, 2013, 06:06:50 am »

Base only game. I open Chapel/Silver to Chapel/Spy. No economy opening is a little questionable, especially with Witch in the kingdom, but Spy has a huge reward if it hits Chapel.

Turn 3, we both get a Witch. The difference is that his Spy discards my Chapel, which was already going to miss the reshuffle, and his Chapel doesn't miss the reshuffle. Pretty bad, but then my Witch then gets discarded on turn 5, my Chapel misses the reshuffle, and I finally get to play Chapel on turn 7. Meanwhile, my opponent has already played Chapel and Witch once...

I mean, it's difficult to think of worse starting luck. It could be worse, but it's already quite awful.

At this point, my opponent starts buying Golds and Provinces. My only chance is to build an engine the best I can. There's enough parts (Festival, Lab, Throne Room, Spy), but the issue is getting it started up from such a bad position. This leads to some interesting decisions: on turn 10 I buy a 2nd (!) Chapel, which I haven't done in a long time. I need to trash now, before Witch makes it impossible to catch up. This ends up working really well (see turns 12/14), and soon I have a half decent engine. Unfortunately, it comes together a bit too slow, and I can't win by 2 VP on my last turn.

So, I guess the lessons here are:
1. That if there are Cursers and trashing, it is very important to trash a lot, more than you would normally. If you don't trash enough, and start greening too early, the opponent can get to a small deck that plays a Curser every turn, and then your deck is getting bloated twice as fast.
2. That you can overcome a lot of luck, if you make smart enough decisions.

Game Reports / Menagerie's good, but it shouldn't be this good.
« on: June 15, 2013, 02:23:50 am »

Turn 13: I play 3 activated Menageries. 4 uniques, then 6 uniques, then 7 uniques. A Junk Dealer between the second and third lets me trash an extra Copper, but it was still very lucky.

Turn 15: I play 3 activated Menageries, in a row, without needing to use Junk Dealer at all. 4 uniques, then 6 uniques, then 8 uniques.

I don't know if this shows shuffle luck or that Menagerie activates a lot more than you'd expect without you needing to go out of your way very much. But it was a couple of very ridiculous turns,

Game Reports / An example of bad engine VP buying
« on: June 13, 2013, 12:37:03 am »

I don't think there's much particularly remarkable in the engine. The main key is that with Cartographer out, the engine is much more resilient to greening that it would otherwise be.

The turns I want to focus on in particular are:

T14: I have $17, and buy Province + Duchy + Silk Road. This feels wrong to me: I should either be doing Province + Province or Province + Silk Road + Silk Road, not this weird compromise buy.

T16: I have $17 again. This time, I buy double Province. This is just a completely bad call. At this point, there are 3 Provinces in the supply. In order to get this hand, I had to play KC-Council Room, meaning my opponent is almost sure to have a big hand. My tiebreaks are that I have 1 extra Duchy and 1 extra Silk road. Me going double Province is me basically saying, I'm going to hope my opponent doesn't have a good enough hand. But I gave a 8-card starting hand! The issue is that I didn't think it through enough, and got lazy.

Although I'm not sure of it, I'm more and more convinced that the right buy on T16 was 4 Silk Roads. This both stalls out the game a bit more (it's not a close 3-pile), and gives me a lot of inevitability in my VP, and actually gives me more +VP that turn than double Province does. Each Silk Road is worth 3VP, and the 2 SR I have get boosted by 1 each.

I'm interested in getting a second opinion on this, because by that logic it would have been better for me to get 4 Silk Roads on turn 14 as well, for the inevitability. But picking up four victory cards that early feels risky.

Goko Dominion Online / Yeahhhh, Goko leaderboard milestone
« on: June 08, 2013, 01:32:16 am »
Got over 6k on Goko.

I have no idea how that translates to Iso level, but yay, round numbers! We'll see how long it lasts.

Edit: Aaaaaand it's gone. Oh well.

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