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Author Topic: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine  (Read 7086 times)

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Witherweaver

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Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« on: May 05, 2014, 01:03:37 pm »
+2

I'm not sure if this should go in Help! or not since it isn't an actual log.  I played a game in real life with a friend, but I remember what the board was:

Haven
Pawn
Shanty Town
Smugglers
Spice Merchant
Jack of All Trades
Silk Road
Trading Post
Margrave
Harem

I made the deck on deck builder to look at: http://www.dominiondeck.com/games/home-game.

I'm interested in seeing what people think the best strategy is.  It seemed to me that Jack was good here.  Since it draws to refill your hand it seems a decent defense against Margrave.  Plus Spice Merchant can trash your Copper and Shanty Town, Pawn, Haven seem like they would all work well.  My friend and I talked about strategy before the game, and he hasn't played a lot with Hinterlands cards, so in general he doesn't see the power of Jack.  He wanted to go Trading Post for faster trashing and more immediate money.  After we discussed this, he saw my point, but wanted to play it out where we tried different strategies.  I disagreed on going the Trading Post strategy, but I wonder if pure Jack (double-Jack) and money is best.

So I tried Jack with Spice Merchant and Shanty Towns, and eventually a couple of Margraves.  He went Trading Post and early Margraves with a lot of Shanty Towns.  He also got a Smugglers and used Havens while I neglected to. 

I ended up losing, but I think I made a card-handling mistake (after I had played Jack twice and was certain I trashed both times, I still had 2 Estates) and possibly some game-playing errors.  But I'm more concerned with the best way to play Jack here. Shanty Town as a village is not that great, but the downpoint is somewhat mitigated by Jack drawing back up 5.  I was envisioning Spice Merchant getting rid of the Copper, and eventually extra Silver if I had to, but it may be too slow.  And with a lot of Silver you may not be mostly drawing your deck all the time.   Margrave isn't a huge issue, because Jacks and Shanty Town both counter.  The problem is, though, if you keep just a Jack in hand you're drawing actions dead.  So you need to have a Shanty or you can't kick off drawing. With just Jack+money, I don't think the Margrave would be a problem at all.  With enough Golds on $6 hands or a Jack in hand, you could hit 8 after being hit by a Margrave much more easily (because now if you have a Jack, it will replenish with mostly money instead of actions). 


What's the best strategy here?
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sudgy

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 01:41:52 pm »
+1

I personally would go for an engine, using Jack and Spice Merchant for trashing, Shanty Town for a village, Margrave for +Cards and +Buy, then get Pawns and/or Havens with any spare coins.  This engine looks fairly fast since both Jack and Spice Merchant trash while keeping your tempo going.  I don't think Margrave not being the greatest as an attack is a problem here, as I'm sure you can easily set up double province turns here and any benefit your opponent gets from Margraves will probably be less than the benefit you get from them.
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   Quote from: sudgy on June 31, 2011, 11:47:46 pm

BadAssMutha

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 01:42:22 pm »
0

I think Jack is a good move on this board, but it's also probably important to hit your opponent with Margrave from time to time. The Jack's draw-to-5 seems great vs. Margrave, but really isn't much better than your own Margrave. With a 3-card hand and a Shanty Town, the Jack draws 4 cards, compared to the Margrave's 3. If you're playing them dead, though, they both draw 3 cards and the Jack doesn't get the buy or the attack. In a full 5-card hand, the Margrave is almost always much better unless you really need more Silver.

If you're going for the engine, I think the Shanty Towns are key here, bolstered with mostly Pawns (for +$1, +1 action) and a few Havens to keep them drawing. A double Spice Merchant might be something to consider to trash the coppers quicker, as well as to possibly get some extra $2 buys in early. I don't see the Trading Post as a good idea either, since you can probably accomplish the same thing and more using both Jack and Spice Merchant.
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AdamH

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 01:46:24 pm »
0

Tough board. For me it rides the line between Jack-in-an-engine and Jack-with-money, and it seems I'm the one around here that thinks Jack is most viable in engines.

Shanty Town is indeed the problem here, and Jack's draw does not mitigate that. I mean, you see Spice Merchant here which is Jack's BFF, but you really have to rely on Margraves for draw here, not Jack, which makes the engine weaker.

In fact, the best strategy here appears to be a Silk Road slog, in my opinion. Jack (as a Silver gainer, not as an Estate-trasher -- don't be afraid to decline to use one of Jack's four abilities because getting the other three is still very strong), Smugglers, and Harem are prime enablers, and even Pawn and Haven can be nice on early $2 turns (which you shouldn't have many of).
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Davio

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 01:48:42 pm »
0

Don't forget about Smugglers here!
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soulnet

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 01:53:54 pm »
0

I don't like the slog against constant Margrave attacks. The engine can even deny-and-trash Silk Roads, and that is killer for the slog. Plus, I think the engine can manage the 8 Provinces, and I don't see SR getting the 48 VP total fast enough. My money is on the engine (pun intended) 100%.

EDIT2: If you go Jack-money against engine, you probably want as many Jacks as you can get, at least 4, although you can wait on the 3rd until the opponent gets Margrave and maybe get a Silver in the meantime, because Jack in hand after Margrave is important, and you can discard whatever collision you have.

EDIT: BTW, we are all assuming Estates and no Colonies, is that correct? In any case, both Shelters and Colonies point harder in the engine direction.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 01:57:23 pm by soulnet »
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 02:04:22 pm »
0

Yes, Estates and no Colonies.

Thanks for all the feedback. 

It seems to me like the engine is pretty hard to build, and Shanty Town + Jack/Margrave is like suboptimal village + suboptimal draw.  It leads me to think that you have to be a pretty skilled player to play it correctly and overcome a money strategy. 

Edit: And there are also a lot of choices to be made, aside from just regular Dominion I mean; most of the cards on this board have a "choose" option somewhere. What to keep against Margrave (some cases it will be obvious but not always), what to choose with Spice Merchant, playing Jack or Margrave in cases that you can only play 1, Pawn choices, using Smugglers, possible Haven choices, going Provinces or alt VP, etc.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 02:09:42 pm by Witherweaver »
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AdamH

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 02:08:45 pm »
+6

You know what? I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is here, on my stream tomorrow night I'll try this out. I'm fairly certain the engine isn't fast/strong enough to outpace the slog, when played correctly. Maybe WW will be up for playing the slog, since I know he'll be much better at it, and I'd like to think I'm one of the better people around here to pilot a Jack-in-an-engine deck.

Of course, there's the fact that WW is a better player than I am. We might switch after the first game if that seems necessary :)
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Witherweaver

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 02:10:39 pm »
+2

You know what? I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is here, on my stream tomorrow night I'll try this out. I'm fairly certain the engine isn't fast/strong enough to outpace the slog, when played correctly. Maybe WW will be up for playing the slog, since I know he'll be much better at it, and I'd like to think I'm one of the better people around here to pilot a Jack-in-an-engine deck.

Of course, there's the fact that WW is a better player than I am. We might switch after the first game if that seems necessary :)

I'm sure I'm not a better player than you :)  But yeah I'd be up for trying if I'm available.
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 02:12:50 pm »
0

You know what? I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is here, on my stream tomorrow night I'll try this out. I'm fairly certain the engine isn't fast/strong enough to outpace the slog, when played correctly. Maybe WW will be up for playing the slog, since I know he'll be much better at it, and I'd like to think I'm one of the better people around here to pilot a Jack-in-an-engine deck.

Of course, there's the fact that WW is a better player than I am. We might switch after the first game if that seems necessary :)

I'm sure I'm not a better player than you :)  But yeah I'd be up for trying if I'm available.

I was actually talking about Wandering Winder :-[ but I can try it against you too. He's quite good at slogs, which is why I suggested him.

Oh yeah, and that last post, Polk's +1 on that was my 1000th respect on the forums! ;D
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soulnet

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 02:13:53 pm »
0

I would play either side (preferably switching) and stream or record my side if we find a good time slot. Today would be nice, for instance.
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 02:15:26 pm »
0

This is not impossible. I'll PM you/post here if I end up with time tonight.

Will I end up with time tonight? Well, flip a coin, I have no idea. Sorry :-\
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Witherweaver

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2014, 02:15:40 pm »
0

You know what? I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is here, on my stream tomorrow night I'll try this out. I'm fairly certain the engine isn't fast/strong enough to outpace the slog, when played correctly. Maybe WW will be up for playing the slog, since I know he'll be much better at it, and I'd like to think I'm one of the better people around here to pilot a Jack-in-an-engine deck.

Of course, there's the fact that WW is a better player than I am. We might switch after the first game if that seems necessary :)

I'm sure I'm not a better player than you :)  But yeah I'd be up for trying if I'm available.

I was actually talking about Wandering Winder :-[ but I can try it against you too. He's quite good at slogs, which is why I suggested him.

Oh yeah, and that last post, Polk's +1 on that was my 1000th respect on the forums! ;D

Oh, that makes sense.  I was wondering why you thought I would necessarily be good at slogs.

Edit: Or thought that I was the better player, but I had thought you said "chance" and not "fact".
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 02:17:09 pm by Witherweaver »
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 02:25:44 pm »
0

This is not impossible. I'll PM you/post here if I end up with time tonight.

Will I end up with time tonight? Well, flip a coin, I have no idea. Sorry :-\

Its fine. I wonder what "tonight" means for you. I am at GMT-3, and I could play from now up until 4 or maybe 5 hours from now.
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2014, 02:29:14 pm »
0

GMT-4 (Eastern Time) here. "Evening" means anywhere from 5PM to 10PM; I wish I could tell you something more specific but I can't right now. Sorry :-(
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2014, 03:50:25 pm »
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The margrave attack is really weak here, hardly an attack at all. I see a jack based deck just building a lead and keeping it to the finish.
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2014, 03:55:26 pm »
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The margrave attack is really weak here, hardly an attack at all. I see a jack based deck just building a lead and keeping it to the finish.
It's still pretty strong if it hits a hand without JoaT.
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2014, 04:05:27 pm »
0

The way I see things here is:

- SM and Jack trash the starting cards and replace them with Silvers, so as long as cycling is good, Jack should be a self-sufficient economy.
- ST and Margrave is not a terribly strong combo, but it's not something that can be passed up; ST also works if it gets drawn with Jack.
- Margrave gives +buy, which can be important in an engine beating either a slog or a Province race. The attack can also hurt if the opponent doesn't have a Jack.

Haven can move cards between hands and Smugglers might also do something useful, too.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 04:06:35 pm by dondon151 »
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2014, 04:39:25 pm »
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Quote
It's still pretty strong if it hits a hand without JoaT.

Not really. If you play three margraves in a row the opponent will have a good three card hand, quite possibly province buying.
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Witherweaver

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2014, 04:46:00 pm »
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If people do test out these strategies, I'd be interested to see how the money strategy (with or without Spice Merchant) compares.  Playing around with bots seems to suggest it's faster than the engine, but I didn't keep trying until I made the best engine, and I'm not the best player at it.
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2014, 05:44:38 pm »
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Anyone around interested in trying this out with me? I have a little bit of time right now.
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Awaclus

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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2014, 05:51:07 pm »
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Anyone around interested in trying this out with me? I have a little bit of time right now.
Sure.
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2014, 05:54:31 pm »
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I can in 10-15 mins.
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2014, 06:11:54 pm »
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Re: Jack BM vs. Jack pseudoengine
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2014, 06:19:54 pm »
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Live now

http://www.twitch.tv/adamhorton

Awaclus' engine is drawing so much more and getting off the ground so much faster than my attempt ever did. 
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