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Author Topic: Getting lucky with Possession  (Read 1045 times)

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Deadlock39

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Getting lucky with Possession
« on: June 19, 2011, 12:40:29 pm »
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I had a recent game with Possession on the board, which allowed me to pull off a miraculous come from behind victory.  Looking back on the game, I realized that it exemplifies the reason some people hate this card.  When I first experienced it, I was definitely on the side of hating it.  Over time, I have come to see it as a interesting challenge that changes up the game, and don't usually mind seeing it on the board.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110523-200403-d7394778.html

My opponent and I both saw the obvious Chapel+Festival+Smithy route on this board.  Right from the gate, I knew I was in trouble when my opponent got the 5/2 start, and then I made it even worse on myself by making the idiotic move of opening Chapel/Smithy.  My mistake became painfully obvious to me when I drew EECCC on turn three and Smithy+ECCC on turn 4.  I knew that my Chapel was in the last two cards and I would draw it dead with my Smithy, so I settled for two Silvers on turn 3 and 4.  Had I opened Chapel/Silver, I would have gotten a Festival on turn 4. 

By the end of turn 8, I have 1 Festival, and 1 Smithy to my opponents 4 and 2.  As would be expected things only got worse and when turn 10 is over he was up to 6 and 3 and I was still at 1 each.  I did pick up a Harems on turn 9 and 11 because I knew hope was lost for a draw engine. 

On turn 12 his engine goes off for the first time, and I realize the game is all but over.  Then I took a look at the board, saw Possession, and thought, "Why the heck not, what have I got to lose".  That was where my luck took off.  I used Haven on a Festival, bought a potion on turn 12, and reshuffled.  At this point, I have 15 cards in my deck, and 2 (Haven/Festival) on the table.  My turn 13 draw managed to pull my Smithy at 5/13(38%) odds and my Potion I just bought at 7/13(54%) odds (could have been in one of the cards drawn by Smithy).  I also drew my second Haven at 7/13(54%) odds.  Playing my Festival from Haven, and then my Smithy and Haven drew me 3 Silvers and a Harem, the Harem going to the Haven.  This left me with 9+P to spend, and exactly 4 cards in my draw pile(Chapel, Silver, Harem, Copper).  I bought a Possession and another Haven.  This put 11 cards in my discard pile.  I don't know if the statistics work out perfectly this way, but for simplicity sake, I am pretending the Havens just don't count.  This gives me 1/9(11%) odds to pull the Possession I just bought along with the 4 remaining cards in my draw pile.  As you might guess by this point, my turn 14 hand was Chapel/Silver/Harem/Copper/Possession.

As if that whole string of events wasn't enough, with him up 2 Provinces to none, I went on to possess his first hand capable of buying 2 Provinces, his next hand only managed 1.  I managed to snag a Duchy on my turn.  Turn 16 he had another 1 Province hand, and got my only Festival and Smithy together again and picked up 2 Duchies as per the PPR.  Turn 17 was another single Province turn for him, and for me, my Possession came back around and I picked up an Estate.  I proceeded to possess his second hand that would have been capable of buying 2 Provinces.  Since there was only one left, I picked up Province/Duchy/Estate, and made out with a 3 point victory.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I thought this was worth sharing because I think it highlights one of the main reasons people come to hate Possession.  I used it to mount a huge come from behind victory in a game where my inferior starting split, and boneheaded choice of opening cards should have guaranteed a loss.  The outcome of this game should be attributed mainly to the unbelievably lucky (~1% chance) sequence I had of buying, Potion, then Possession, and then playing it in consecutive turns, but the player on the receiving end is more likely to notice the luck that caused me to possess the only two monster hands that were generated by the engine they built.

play2draw

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Re: Getting lucky with Possession
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 01:51:08 pm »
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Your opponent had a significantly better deck; trim and efficient. When possession is on the board, however, this can become a liability. Perhaps you were lucky is getting the card when you needed it, but your opponent was lucky with his 5/2 opening as well (and perhaps with a few other draws of his). You also did demonstrate some competence by not gunning for the provinces while behind. Ultimately, his ignoring the existence of the come-from-behind-victory action in the supply is what led to the loss.

Stranger things have happened :D
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Deadlock39

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Re: Getting lucky with Possession
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 02:23:56 pm »
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I was happy that I was able to demonstrate some competence at the end of the game, after my blunder at the beginning.  I hadn't ever thought a whole lot about the different details of opening with 2 terminals.  I try not to do it unless I feel there is a strong enough justification for it to take the risk of them colliding.  When I opened this game I hesitated a little on the Smithy, but the thought over paying for both opening cards caused me to slip up.  (Of course, I should never think this way, and certainly not with Chapel.)  When I got to Turn 4 and analyzed my position, I had a personal revelation about how a card drawing terminal compounds the already uncomfortably high odds of opening terminals conflicting. 
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