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terminalCopper

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Engine payloads
« on: March 27, 2014, 10:44:54 am »
+9

Many (good) articles have been written about engines. But even after reading quite a dozen, I didn't capture the necessity of doing something special with my engine. It's really frustrating to trash, build a cool deck and watch your opponent pick VPs just to realize ... that you don't have a concrete target.
To avoid this, it's useful to know about the quality of different payloads - cards, which add some powerful effects, e.g. attacks.
There is no exact definition, and it's easier to define what is not supposed to be a payload, namely all cards which make the engine run: Cards that trash, draw, sift, give +actions or +buy.
I consider these cards to be "engine enablers", but not "payloads". I also ignore terminal money unless the amount is really big (say, $4 or more).
This article classifies the quality of different payloads, beginning with "mostly bad" ones, and ending with the supreme one. Onto the list:

Level 0: Deceptive payloads

Rebuild might be a wonderful addition to any engine - unfortunately, your opponent will have trashed/grabbed all the VP's earlier.

Cultist is another card you would love to kingscourt - but when? With few cultists in your deck, additional cultists are stronger; and when the ruins are dealt, it is often stronger to go for money and VPs directly.

Fools Gold/engine is another kind of nombo: Doesn't it look sweet to draw your deck, and your FGs are guaranteed to meet? The downside is, that your opponent might have bought them all ... and if you mirror him from the start, it's mostly too late to build engines once the FG-race is over.


Level 1: Rarely strong payloads

(Most) junk attacks (Familiar, Witch, Young Witch, Mountebank, Marauder, Soothsayer, Sea Hag):
"Draw your deck and play a junk attack every turn" sounds like an awesome plan, but it's rarely realizable. If no decent trasher is available, your decks are frequently too crappy to turn them into a viable engine. And in the presence of decent trashers, by the time you have built an engine, your opponent might have done so as well - and the few remaining curses/ruins won't hurt him that much.
Sure, there are some edge cases like late junking or unmirrored junk attacks - but usually, an engine should look for other payloads.

Baron is also rarely a good payload, as you need those useless estates. Even if you were guaranteed to hit estates, both cards are just worth two silvers, with +buy instead of the action you used for baron.
Though, there are some edge cases,e.g. draw-to-X-engines; and if you can't trash your estates, it's nice to have $4.

Coppersmith , Masterpiece and Bank can also be payload cards - if you can handle the big downside that engines usually don't like too many treasures.

Level 2: Occasionaly decent payloads

Poor House shines in treasure-less decks.

Saboteur and Rogue are mostly weak cards. But if you can set up quickly a  decent engine, you might have the time to trash down your opponent.

Death Cart as well needs a very stable engine. If available, with +5$, it can be the star of the show.

BM-Counters: Noble Brigand, Pirate Ships and Thief usually aren't terrible. But played repeatedly against BM, even Thief can shine.

Discard-for-benefit (Vault, Storeroom, Secret Chamber): Those can shine with menagerie, with draw-to-X, and in the presence of abundance of draw, e.g. scrying pool or caravans.

(Some) peddler variants: Baker, GrandMarket, Market, Treasury and Peddler itself are more useful in the presence of good trashing.

Playing a single Pillage each turn is often much better than any other discard attack although it is harder to pull off as you need to either purchase or gain a new Pillage each turn.

Level 3: Often decent payloads

M-discarders: Milita, margrave, mercenary, minions nerf BM hard and are constructive in the same time.

Ghost ship does so, too, and it could even be the best of all handsize-reducers, if there weren't two big downsides: it stacks poorly, and it has many counters.

Rabble is not a handsize reducer, but can have a similar effect against decks containing green cards or junk.

Trash-for-benefit cards (including Governor, Mine, Taxman ...) are also a big plus for going engine. If you see all your cards at once, you can easily grab multiple provinces. Another option is to upgrade/remodel/expand[insert tfb-verb here]... a card and play the upgraded card in the same turn.

Cost Reduction (Bridge, Highway ...) stacks perfectly in an engine. Merchant Guild is very similar to a card providing "cost reduction".

Knights and Swindler are stronger than Saboteur/Rogue, if played repeatedly.

Monument is both viable for BM and engines.

And of course, Conspirator loves engines.

Possession , too. Just be careful you are the one who profits the most of your deck.

With a trasher on board, market squares can solve your economic task fast.

Level 4: Excellent payloads

Free Province gainers: There's basically three ways to get Provs without paying: Massive cost reduction to 0, reduce costs to 3/4/5 and use a gainer, and horn of plenty. In the presence of these megaturn options, engines are highly recommended.

As said, junking engines are difficult to set up, but there's a major exception: ambassador can deal out curses, even if no other card did before.

Torturer, if stackable, is such a brutal attack, that going BM looks ridiculously weak - unless you will answer "no" to the question "Would you mind being dealt 10 curses within few moves?".

Level 5: Goons

Goons is the ultimative reason to go engine. It is the only card that extends the spendable time for engine building in two ways: First, the attack slowsdown BM concurrents as massively as the m-discarders do. And second, even if they manage to get seven provinces -and  being permanently under fire, they will need an eternity- goons can score more than this in one single turn.
Even without having a village, goons are still excellent engine payload. Just imagine a card saying "+card, +action, +buy, each opponent discards down to three cards". This is significantly stronger than market, and probably a powerful $6-card by itself. Now imagine, this card is followed by an improved monument which gains one VP per card you buy - and here we go: Playing a single goons is like playing these two cards in a row. Amazing.

Beyond any levels ...

Only few excellent cards help building engines which don't need any of the described payloads. Scrying pool, Wharf and hunting party are strong enough on their own, and a draw-to-x-engine can be viable if there is enough disappearing money.

To build or not to build an engine?

To answer this question, the most important aspects remain, how strong your engine components are, and how challenging the best non-engine-alternative would be.

But if the decision is close, payload strength is mostly an important tie-breaker. Example given, if goons are out, you might even consider a lousy engine based on shanty-town with moats. Otherwise, if none of the above mentioned payloads fits into your plan, a simple BM-strategy with reasonable terminal draw is often better.


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Looking forward to get some feedback of all kinds :)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 06:29:08 pm by terminalCopper »
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KingZog3

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 10:48:59 am »
+1

Fools Gold and Possession, especially Possession, are good payloads. Fact is, my opponent won't want to play my Possessions, but if I can play three of them every turn, I don't mind if he uses my deck on occasion. In fact, he probably did the same thing, so we're just Possessing each other. But the fact is if you go BM against someone playing 3 Possessions a turn, you will lose.
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soulnet

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 11:09:57 am »
0

I agree with KZ, and also, Junking attacks, especially slow ones like Marauder or Sea Hag and drawing ones like Witch, can be way better for the engine than for BM. Cultist is a weird exception, because BM+Cultist feels way more engine-y than any other BM.
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DG

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 11:21:04 am »
0

I would question your questionable payloads. I think you've got an interesting concept there but the detail isn't exactly right. For example, you can talk about vp tokens and coin tokens as assets that do not degrade your deck with goons as the highest scoring card.
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Awaclus

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 11:23:16 am »
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Possession is the next candidate you might admire to play every turn in an engine. This is quite a strong plan - unless your opponent will share your awesome deck, and usually, he will do so ...
Not if all your awesome deck does is play four Possessions every turn.

Also, your list is missing some payload options, most importantly Merchant Guild, which is pretty good. Treasure cards (mostly Gold) are viable, too, as long as your engine is strong enough and you have enough time, and cards that gain Gold (Governor, Market Square, Mine, Taxman and Soothsayer which is on your list but too low) can help with the speed problem. King's Court can make some cards that normally aren't very good payload options into viable options. Noble Brigand and Pirate Ship (and Thief, if you absolutely have to) work well enough as payloads against Big Money, but they aren't very good otherwise.
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soulnet

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 11:27:57 am »
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You are missing also some major attacks like Swindler and Rabble.
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terminalCopper

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 11:48:54 am »
0

Thx for feedback. Quick adjustments:

I probably had some possessed situations in mind which felt ugly, but weren't representative. So let's move possession to "decent payloads", what do you think?

Swindler, Rabble and Merchant Guild as well.

Market Square, too.

Governor is tfB, imho. I will precise it. Same holds for Taxman and Mine.

Payload against BM: Interesting point, which probably belongs to "occasional payloads".
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markusin

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 11:49:14 am »
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Where's Poor House? It shines in treasure-less decks, and engines are so much more reliable when you're playing a treasure-less deck. And KC/Poor House can generate so much money.

Coppersmith and Bank can also be payload cards. They just want big handsizes, and you don't need to waste time getting other treasures. Wharf/Bank and Council Room/Bank are not able examples of Bank's power. However, they often don't work out so great for payload purposes.

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markusin

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 11:51:25 am »
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Payload against BM: Interesting point, which probably belongs to "occasional payloads".
Occasional payloads against BM? Pirate ship. At least, it works as payload of you can play it with King's Court against BM.
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shark_bait

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 12:02:58 pm »
0

Nice article, knowing the strength of an engine payload is crucial in understanding the viability of building up said engine. 

Pillage is often a decent payload card, I'd throw in in tier 3 as it cripples your opponents next hand in addition to providing 2 one-shot Golds.  Playing a single Pillage each turn is often much better than any other discard attack although it is harder to pull off as you need to either purchase or gain a new Pillage each turn.
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KingZog3

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 12:22:04 pm »
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I agree with KZ, and also, Junking attacks, especially slow ones like Marauder or Sea Hag and drawing ones like Witch, can be way better for the engine than for BM. Cultist is a weird exception, because BM+Cultist feels way more engine-y than any other BM.

Yeah, some of those junking attacks work very well for engines. Marauder is slow in BM, but can allow you to rocket into an engine with Spoils and then play it more and more. Witch too. You shouldn't be trashing to defend against Witch, you should be trashing to play Witch more.
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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 05:47:43 pm »
+2

I actually kind of disagree. The strength of a payload just doesn't matter all that much, in general. Really all that matters is how much time you have. What's important for that is how much you can slow them down, and how much VP you are going to have available to you if they've blocked off lots of provinces. And then of course, you balance against how fast you are to build your engine up. But of all the things an engine needs, payload is one that you're just going to be able to find something on whatever board. Okay, not really, but pretty close.

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2014, 06:14:14 pm »
+2

You define what is not a payload, but I disagree.  +Buy can certainly be part of a payload, and at the same time it isn't necessary to make an engine run.

Fool's Gold is a fine payload.  If there's a strong way to play FG without an engine then maybe you should go that way from the start, but if FG is otherwise a poor choice then it can fit right into an engine.  Pick up 3+ and they are better than Gold.

I would say that junk attacks can certainly be a payload.  Putting IGG in that list is weird because it isn't an attack when you play it.  Mountebank, Marauder and Soothsayer can all be fantastic payloads -- Mountebank keeps hurting even after the Curses are gone and the other two can help you get some decent Treasure to draw into.

I think Rogue is usually a poor payload.  The attack is inconsistent because it doesn't trigger when there are $3+ cards in the trash, and it may end up clogging your deck with cards you didn't want (Silver, most notably).

I'm really wondering why Ghost Ship is singled out as having downsides.  It doesn't stack, but neither does Militia or Mercenary.  Margrave stacks worse than Ghost Ship, as far as the attack goes.  Many of the counters to Ghost Ship also counter other discard attacks.

Highway doesn't feel like a payload to me because it requires +Buy to really be useful.  A highway deck doesn't exactly have a specific payload you want to play over and over.



Overall, I would say that the key thing is to figure out what your engine's goal is.  It's cool if you can draw and play your entire deck, but that doesn't mean you can win the game.  You need a way to catch up to and overtake the opponent.  This can mean slowing them down (various junking and discard attacks), dismantling what they have (Saboteur, Knights), or just getting lots of VP very quickly (+Buy, gainers, VP token cards).  Often this requires a source of money, which makes many cards viable as a payload -- including the higher tier treasures -- Gold, Platinum, FG.
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dondon151

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2014, 06:27:00 pm »
+1

Junking attacks are in no way questionable payloads. They can really help turn the tide in your favor in a tough match, or in an engine match against money.
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terminalCopper

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2014, 05:44:01 am »
0

Junking attacks are in no way questionable payloads.
Probably, "questionable" is a questionable title. I will change it to "rarely strong".
The reason I put junk attacks here is that in the wide majority of cases, I don't think that the plan "Hey, there's witch, let's build an engine to deal out tons of curses" works very often.
It is true that nowadays junk attacks are easier to be countered than before dark ages. But still, in more than 60% of all games, there is no decent trasher available. And even if there is one, by the time you have built your engine, all curses/ruins might be given out.
I don't want to say that engines/junker are a general nombo; if it works, it's great. It just doesn't work that often.

  Playing a single Pillage each turn is often much better than any other discard attack although it is harder to pull off as you need to either purchase or gain a new Pillage each turn.
That's true - in other words, it's occasionally decent. That's how the level should be called.

Poor House [...] shines in treasure-less decks
I'll add this.
Coppersmith and Bank can also be payload cards.
This also, though it seems rather edge-casy to me, isn't it?

[...] What's important for that is how much you can slow them down, and how much VP you are going to have available to you if they've blocked off lots of provinces.[...]
I agree, so where's the controversy? How much you slow down, how much VP you can get and how fast you will get them: these are the most important criteria of "payload strength", don't you think so?

  +Buy can certainly be part of a payload
Sure - but there has to be another significant advantage to be the dominant card which makes you catch up.


Fool's Gold is a fine payload.
I'm not yet persuaded, but I will think about it. Feel free to post interesting logs.

Putting IGG in that list is weird
Yes.

I'm really wondering why Ghost Ship is singled out as having downsides. 

It's not the only card with downsides. But is has more counters, and if you compare the strength between the first and the second play, Ghost Ship loses more strength than the others. E.g, you mentioned Margrave: I'd prefer to have

+3 cards,
+Buy,
each opponent (with 3 chosen cards) draws and discards a card

than

+2 cards.



« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 05:48:34 am by terminalCopper »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2014, 07:10:54 am »
0

[...] What's important for that is how much you can slow them down, and how much VP you are going to have available to you if they've blocked off lots of provinces.[...]
I agree, so where's the controversy? How much you slow down, how much VP you can get and how fast you will get them: these are the most important criteria of "payload strength", don't you think so?
Well, Vineyards is a great 'payload', colony is a great 'payload', gardens and silk road are fine 'payloads'; lots of the cards you have are passable payloads, but not really good: Conspirator is the poster child here, but really anything that just makes money, well they're fine, but they're a dime a dozen. Market Square is not a good payload at all. Trash for Benefit is also pretty lousy.

And my largest point is that payload just doesn't matter as much as the ability to build the engine. Which isn't necessarily a disagreement per se, but... well, like what you're saying in your last blurb about if there's no good payload, don't go engine is pretty much wrong. The number of boards where I can build a fine engine but shouldn't because there's an insufficient payload is very, very small. There's always a payload.

terminalCopper

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2014, 09:00:20 am »
0

Market Square is not a good payload at all.

Seems like there are very different opinions about Market Square. Yours is quite the opposite of Stefs, who mentioned it among the strongest possible counters to rebuild:

[...]
 But how about the really powerful ones? Any ideas on the following matchups?:
  • Rebuild vs bishop-chapel?
  • Rebuild vs some powerful goons engine?
  • Rebuild vs Native Village-Bridge?
  • Rebuild vs Some Forager-Market Square-draw-thingy

Regarding the following two aspects, I feel like there's a big misunderstanding:


And my largest point is that payload just doesn't matter as much as the ability to build the engine.

It is somewhat obvious, that the ability to build an engine is more important. If you can't build one, you needn't think about payloads. And vice versa, if you can build an excellent one, go ahead.


 what you're saying in your last blurb about if there's no good payload, don't go engine is pretty much wrong.

Ouch, I never said "if there's no good payload, don't go engine". That would indeed be blatantly wrong.
What I said was "Don't be too eager", which means, in case of doubt, if you aren't sure about the quality of your engine, and if payload options are rather bad, automatic engine mode might be wrong.

Maybe I contributed to both misunderstandings because I didn't point out, that this article doesn't want to provide a "complete" heuristic whether to go engine or not - really, by no means, this wasn't my purpose. The quality of payloads is one of many aspects in this decision; not the most important, but an interesting one, which is often relevant in close decisions.









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DG

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2014, 10:55:07 am »
+3

Just to bring some new ideas into this.

Junkers and other attacks may not be highly effective but sometimes all they need to do is delay an opponent just one turn over the whole game to be effective. Many engines have a very steep increase in power in the end game so finishing a turn later may mean scoring an extra 25%, 50%, 100%, or all the remaining vp. A card that gives curses or ruins can also control the emptying of that pile.

Buys are always useful in engines. They help you acquire cards more quickly, help control 3 pile endings, let you build longer for a bigger finish, and make it difficult for your opponent to buy defensively (PPR). It's surprising how often a card like baron is the only buy in the kingdom. I would say that end game control is the most major omission from your article as it can frequently be decisive, particularly when players build similar engines and piles run low.

Gains can give many of the benefits of +buys but they can also provide cards that fuel other actions (forge, apprentice). This is essentially the rats principle. A card like soothsayer can therefore be important when gained gold becomes a high cost asset. Cards that can cannabalize your own deck (salvager) are important too.

Non-treasure income can be important for some specific engines. Drawing the treasure cards (or keeping them in hand - minion, tactician) is a big overhead for an engine. Spoils are worthy of a mention as they can often be gained and played out in the same turn with a much smaller overhead. Action cards that provide big coin income are important as supplying +actions can be another major overhead to an engine. A card like merchant ship can provide +4 coins for one action and it does not hinder drawing for the duration turn.

Cards like throne room and king's court can allow you to maximize your best card for that turn, rather than your strongest overall card.  For example, if you want to empty the province pile for a win you can play a throne room on your salvager to trash two goons.

Anyway I personally like articles that talk about principles and then show cards that serve those principles, rather than just talking about specific cards. Maybe that's just me.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2014, 04:36:59 pm »
+1

It is somewhat obvious, that the ability to build an engine is more important. If you can't build one, you needn't think about payloads. And vice versa, if you can build an excellent one, go ahead.
The thing it seems to me that people don't get is that the quality of your ability to build that engine is much more important than the quality of the payload at the end.

Quote

 what you're saying in your last blurb about if there's no good payload, don't go engine is pretty much wrong.

Ouch, I never said "if there's no good payload, don't go engine". That would indeed be blatantly wrong.
What I said was "Don't be too eager", which means, in case of doubt, if you aren't sure about the quality of your engine, and if payload options are rather bad, automatic engine mode might be wrong.
"Don't be too eager" is technically correct advice by tautology - "too" eager is obviously more eager than you should be, by definition. But that you say it implies that it's an important factor to think about when deciding when to engine or not. And my point is that people generally consider it to be a far more important factor than they actually should.

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2014, 05:11:22 pm »
0

Yeah, how easily and quickly you can set up the engine, that's the big thing. And the biggest part of setting up an engine is almost always trashing your starting cards. That's why the elite trashers--Chapel, Masquerade, Ambassador, Steward, Junk Dealer, Upgrade, etc.--are now by and large considered to be the truly best cards in the game, and occupy many of the top slots.
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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2014, 05:13:22 pm »
0

I'm really wondering why Ghost Ship is singled out as having downsides. 

It's not the only card with downsides. But is has more counters, and if you compare the strength between the first and the second play, Ghost Ship loses more strength than the others. E.g, you mentioned Margrave: I'd prefer to have

+3 cards,
+Buy,
each opponent (with 3 chosen cards) draws and discards a card

than

+2 cards.

So how does GS have more downsides?  Sometimes you can use Mystic or Wishing Well, I suppose.  But straight discard attacks like Militia and Margrave can be countered by discarding VP cards or junk cards.  The attack from GS usually hurts more and does more to slow down the opponent thanks to the anti-cycling.

As for Margrave, I was speaking about the attack.  You call out Ghost Ship for not stacking, but it's just as good as Militia and Margrave is actually worse.  Margrave might be preferred thanks to its other bonuses, but that's irrelevant to the point about attack stacking.
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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2014, 07:45:49 pm »
+1

I'm really wondering why Ghost Ship is singled out as having downsides. 

It's not the only card with downsides. But is has more counters, and if you compare the strength between the first and the second play, Ghost Ship loses more strength than the others. E.g, you mentioned Margrave: I'd prefer to have

+3 cards,
+Buy,
each opponent (with 3 chosen cards) draws and discards a card

than

+2 cards.

So how does GS have more downsides?  Sometimes you can use Mystic or Wishing Well, I suppose.  But straight discard attacks like Militia and Margrave can be countered by discarding VP cards or junk cards.  The attack from GS usually hurts more and does more to slow down the opponent thanks to the anti-cycling.

As for Margrave, I was speaking about the attack.  You call out Ghost Ship for not stacking, but it's just as good as Militia and Margrave is actually worse.  Margrave might be preferred thanks to its other bonuses, but that's irrelevant to the point about attack stacking.
Well, +2 cards is quite weak, and a weak bonus is arguably a downside, although it's not like margrave where it actively anti-synergizes with itself.
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terminalCopper

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2014, 04:19:30 am »
0

  The attack from GS usually hurts more and does more to slow down the opponent thanks to the anti-cycling.

You are definitely right, that Ghost Ships attack is way stronger. Especially, if you have two bad cards, Ghost Ship doesn't say "discard them", but rather "unless you accept a bad move right now, pick up your bad cards again". This can be countered by draw-to-x, top-deck-inspection and diggers, e.g. Rebuild or Farming Village ...

  As for Margrave, I was speaking about the attack.

Ah, I see. Well, when talking about "stacking" I consider the constructive part as the relevant aspect, as handsize reducing rarely stacks. Margrave's attack even kind of "anti-stacks", that's true.

To balance the stronger attack, DXV made the constructive part of Ghost Ship weaker, and this is what stacks poorly.

my point is that people generally consider it to be a far more important factor than they actually should.


Interesting, I thought quite the opposite, which is obviously a very subjective point of view. I've seen many people (including me) building fancy engines, losing to BM because of bad payload planning.

And I really don't want to offend you, but if I compare

Well, Vineyards is a great 'payload', colony is a great 'payload', gardens and silk road are fine 'payloads'

to your own definition in your article about engines

Quote from: WanderingWinder link=http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/Engine
a “payload” of whatever important actions you plan to play a lot

i wonder whether you have a sufficiently clear concept of what payloads are. Maybe this is why we have some disagreements about the relevance.

Nevertheless, your remark

Quote from: WanderingWinder link=http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/Engine
"Don't be too eager" is technically correct advice by tautology - "too" eager is obviously more eager than you should be, by definition. But that you say it implies that it's an important factor to think about when deciding when to engine or not.


is very useful for me. You have certainly realized that I am not a native speaker, so I really need this kind of feedback :)
I reworded my final passage to make things clearer, do you agree a little more now?

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WanderingWinder

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2014, 07:48:48 am »
0

  The attack from GS usually hurts more and does more to slow down the opponent thanks to the anti-cycling.

You are definitely right, that Ghost Ships attack is way stronger. Especially, if you have two bad cards, Ghost Ship doesn't say "discard them", but rather "unless you accept a bad move right now, pick up your bad cards again". This can be countered by draw-to-x, top-deck-inspection and diggers, e.g. Rebuild or Farming Village ...

  As for Margrave, I was speaking about the attack.

Ah, I see. Well, when talking about "stacking" I consider the constructive part as the relevant aspect, as handsize reducing rarely stacks. Margrave's attack even kind of "anti-stacks", that's true.

To balance the stronger attack, DXV made the constructive part of Ghost Ship weaker, and this is what stacks poorly.

my point is that people generally consider it to be a far more important factor than they actually should.


Interesting, I thought quite the opposite, which is obviously a very subjective point of view. I've seen many people (including me) building fancy engines, losing to BM because of bad payload planning.

And I really don't want to offend you, but if I compare

Well, Vineyards is a great 'payload', colony is a great 'payload', gardens and silk road are fine 'payloads'

to your own definition in your article about engines

Quote from: WanderingWinder link=http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/Engine
a “payload” of whatever important actions you plan to play a lot

i wonder whether you have a sufficiently clear concept of what payloads are. Maybe this is why we have some disagreements about the relevance.

Nevertheless, your remark

Quote from: WanderingWinder link=http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/Engine
"Don't be too eager" is technically correct advice by tautology - "too" eager is obviously more eager than you should be, by definition. But that you say it implies that it's an important factor to think about when deciding when to engine or not.


is very useful for me. You have certainly realized that I am not a native speaker, so I really need this kind of feedback :)
I reworded my final passage to make things clearer, do you agree a little more now?


I don't think I would put it that way, but at the same time, I don't think I would have said anything about it if it had started out like it is now - so yeah, it's fine.

As for the comment about payloads on the wiki, if I said it then, I don't agree with it now.

HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Engine payloads
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2014, 11:48:25 am »
+1

I'm in agreement with the people saying the most important thing is understanding the idea of how much time you have. There are two major ways to affect this:
1. Slow down your opponent's ability to (effectively) end the game
2. Speed up your engine (either building or scoring or both)

(1) is accomplished by:
 - alternate sources of VPs, since then your opponent needs more points to have taken over half of them
 - attacks

(2) is accomplished by:
 - strong trashing
 - gains
 - mega-turn potential (or just ability to get a lot of points per turn once going)

The more of these things there are, the less strong each needs to be. The engine does not have to be about an individual payload card.
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