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Author Topic: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL  (Read 4294 times)

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guided

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A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« on: December 05, 2011, 12:48:23 pm »
+5

cards in supply: Baron, Goons, Grand Market, Market, Masquerade, Nomad Camp, Silk Road, Tactician, Village, and Warehouse

This board is a Dominion strategy geek's wet dream. With the exception of Silk Road every single card in the Kingdom should prove useful for building a colossal multi-Goons double-Tactician fear engine. I was glad to draw this one against a top-flight opponent in chwhite, since I knew he wouldn't miss the possibilities here. It can be fun to beat up on less experienced opponents with double-Tac decks from time to time, but I logged on today to practice for the tournament!

I wasn't altogether pleased with my 5/2, since there are no helpful 2s, and Masquerade was a much more important opening card than Tactician, but I regained tempo parity by drawing Tactician at turn 3. At turn 5 we had essentially the same deck, though I finished ceding my first-player advantage by drawing Tactician with Masquerade. chwhite was the first to Grand Market, while I got a critical 6-4 Village split thanks to the one really important Masquerade trap I managed to catch him with. (He later got a Market off me since I refused to pass a Village instead, but that was late enough to be of little consequence.)

Late in the game I was looking at the writing on the wall and feeling none too confident. We had similar decks (though I was happy with my extra Villages), but chwhite had a small VP advantage and a 1-turn tempo advantage. At turn 19 I made the decision to leave enough Grand Markets and Markets left on the piles to make it impossible for him to buy out both those stacks to end the game. And then he bought a Grand Market.

"Squee! I can totally empty out the GM and Market piles next turn!" I thought. (I don't mean to bag on an excellent player here; I've made that mistake a hundred times before in megaturn games and paid the price for it.) So I played out my action phase at turn 20, ending with $21 and 14 buys, just enough cash to buy out the two stacks, with more than enough buys left over to pump up my VP chip stack with Coppers. But hey, since it's my last turn, why not play out my treasure cards so I can grab a Duchy too?

Several seconds later, I'm frantically clicking the Grand Market pile to no effect, and my heart sinks in my chest: Oh no. I can't buy the last GM after playing out those Coppers I never needed in the first place. And I don't have anywhere near enough money to empty the Markets and another pile (not even the Estates). Epic fail! I bemoan my idiocy in the chat, and chwhite confides that he had realized his mistake last turn upon buying the 2nd to last Grand Market. I sit there staring at it for a while, and I'm about to take the desperation move of grabbing 4 Provinces, an Estate, and a big pile of Copper and just praying it's enough VPs to hold him off until I can end the game.

And then I see it: Hey, Curses are a pile, with 3 Goons in play they're worth 2 VPs apiece, and I do have enough buys to empty the Curses and Markets. Ha!

led buys a Market.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Market.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Market.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Curse.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
led buys a Province.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
... getting +1 ▼.
(led reshuffles.)
(led draws: an Estate, a Silver, a Grand Market, a Market, and a Goons.)

Curses, Villages, and Markets are all gone.
led wins!


Thanks to chwhite for an excellent game! I can honestly say this is the first time I've ever bought the entire Curse stack in one go before. That's a possibility I'll have to keep in mind for the future.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 01:59:27 pm »
0

My initial reaction here: GM>Goons?

guided

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 02:20:26 pm »
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My initial reaction here: GM>Goons?
GM draws while Goons doesn't. I would add that Goons requires Villages, but I had good Village density already. Priority was to get a single Goons, then worry about multiples later. This game was always going to be 99% decided on the final turn so the minor bonus VPs on midgame engine-building turns were less important than maintaining a reliable double-Tac engine. You miss your 2nd Tactician once, you're dead, period. Indeed, I did miss my 2nd Tactician on the last turn (though I wasn't terribly worried since I had planned it to be my last turn).

I may have been unnecessarily conservative in waiting to get my 2nd Goons, but I was making a conscious decision to prefer GM each time I chose it. I never once missed the first Goons before I got the second, so I had no trouble maintaining discard attack pressure with one copy.
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chwhite

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 02:56:41 pm »
0

Yeah, as soon as I bought the pentultimate GM, I realized what a blunder that was.

Excellent game, and also a good example of how high-level play is still frequently littered with mistakes. :P
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Geronimoo

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 03:13:57 pm »
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Excellent game, and also a good example of how high-level play is still frequently littered with mistakes. :P
Maybe this isn't high level play (yet). If there were a Kasparov of Dominion he'd be lvl 65 something .... But I doubt anyone will ever go for that kind of proficiency (there isn't really a tournament scene apart from the online one)
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guided

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 03:19:54 pm »
0

This is by no means the first time WW has posted a legitimate critique of one of my games (or offered such in the chat after beating me :P), even after I'd noticed other mistakes I made in the same game. Yeah, none of us are Kasparov yet (or at least I'm not ;)).

I think I recall losing to WW once with a Scrying Pool deck, where I suboptimally chose attacks given that I was likely to be playing Jester at the end of each turn. I ended up stuffing him with Coppers instead of digging for VP cards (to give out Curses) or good cards (to gain myself). edit: And here it is! http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20111017-093752-7ffd11fb.html
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WanderingWinder

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 03:20:40 pm »
0

Excellent game, and also a good example of how high-level play is still frequently littered with mistakes. :P
Maybe this isn't high level play (yet). If there were a Kasparov of Dominion he'd be lvl 65 something .... But I doubt anyone will ever go for that kind of proficiency (there isn't really a tournament scene apart from the online one)
I seriously doubt you can get there, because unlike with chess, dominion has a significant luck element which draws you ever back toward parity.

WanderingWinder

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 03:23:23 pm »
0

This is by no means the first time WW has posted a legitimate critique of one of my games (or offered such in the chat after beating me :P), even after I'd noticed other mistakes I made in the same game. Yeah, none of us are Kasparov yet (or at least I'm not ;)).

I think I recall losing to WW once with a Scrying Pool deck, where I suboptimally chose attacks given that I was likely to be playing Jester at the end of each turn. I ended up stuffing him with Coppers instead of digging for VP cards (to give out Curses) or good cards (to gain myself).
And I know I make mistakes all the time, sometime pretty big and blatant ones. I hope guided (and everyone else I critique) understands that when I say something about a play that he, or anyone else, has made, that I don't mean to be critical of them personally, but rather I'm just trying to figure out what the best play is for future games, 'cause I want to know.
And indeed, I wasn't even very sure at all that Goons>GM here, it's just what my not very thought out gut was saying.

guided

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 03:25:06 pm »
0

I think somebody serious enough about the game could at least avoid blunders almost all of the time. chwhite only lost this game because he bought a GM at turn 19. Absent enough buys to empty the Curses I would subsequently have lost only because I played out Coppers I didn't need to play at turn 20.

With specific regard to reaching level 65, I totally agree though. I don't think even utterly perfect skill would get you there.


WW: No offense taken! That Scrying Pool game in particular, it was very sound advice.
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Buggz

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2011, 03:27:00 pm »
+1

I seriously doubt you can get there, because unlike with chess, dominion has a significant luck element which draws you ever back toward parity.
So we're looking for the Phil Ivey of Dominion instead of the Kasparov.
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ftl

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2011, 03:34:49 pm »
+2

The higher-level you get, the smaller a mistake needs to be to count, also.

I'm not sure I can think of a single game or sport where 'high-level play' involves 'no mistakes' - as you get better, the mistakes you make become more subtle, to the point where lower-level players might think you're playing with 'no mistakes', but equally-skilled opponents get better at exploiting small ones that they're now good enough to see.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2011, 03:38:54 pm »
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The higher-level you get, the smaller a mistake needs to be to count, also.

I'm not sure I can think of a single game or sport where 'high-level play' involves 'no mistakes' - as you get better, the mistakes you make become more subtle, to the point where lower-level players might think you're playing with 'no mistakes', but equally-skilled opponents get better at exploiting small ones that they're now good enough to see.
Generally true. But on the other hand, even the world's best can make very simple mistakes very rarely. Kramnik blundering mate in one against the computer, which my doesn't-probably-remember-quite-all-the-rules-of-chess sister probably could have seen comes to mind, as does the double blunder of a mate-in-two in the Topalov-Kramnik WCC match, which, while much much more complicated, didn't really need a master to see, much less the World Champion.

guided

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2011, 04:02:31 pm »
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The higher-level you get, the smaller a mistake needs to be to count, also.

I'm not sure I can think of a single game or sport where 'high-level play' involves 'no mistakes' - as you get better, the mistakes you make become more subtle, to the point where lower-level players might think you're playing with 'no mistakes', but equally-skilled opponents get better at exploiting small ones that they're now good enough to see.
Good point. I mean, what level of play do you have to reach before it classes as a "blunder" to buy the 2nd to last Grand Market to leave $21 worth of cards in 2 stacks instead of $27? I only noticed because I'd specifically been thinking about the same issue on my previous turn. As I said, I've made similar mistakes myself in numerous past games, and I could easily have made the same mistake in this game! OTOH, playing out my Coppers was a legitimately boneheaded, obvious blunder ;)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 04:05:25 pm by guided »
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ackack

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2011, 04:11:32 pm »
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I think somebody serious enough about the game could at least avoid blunders almost all of the time. chwhite only lost this game because he bought a GM at turn 19. Absent enough buys to empty the Curses I would subsequently have lost only because I played out Coppers I didn't need to play at turn 20.

chwhite would have lost the game regardless of what he did on turn 19, provided you noticed the Curse maneuver. While it wasn't a good move, obviously he couldn't have saved himself by not buying it either. Probably a much bigger error was not taking advantage of his 3 Goons turn when the piles are almost out and maxing out Copper buys for immediate points. Especially since he's going 2nd, which is just awful in this sort of game where 1 extra turn near the end can be 30+ points easily.

added: Eyeballing it, he's leaving 27 or 30 points on the table in a game that is real likely to end in the next turn.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 04:13:37 pm by ackack »
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guided

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2011, 04:20:25 pm »
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chwhite would have lost the game regardless of what he did on turn 19, provided you noticed the Curse maneuver.
Heh, right. I'd put the chances of me noticing it around 50/50 if I hadn't already expected to win that turn by emptying the GMs.

I had hesitated to mention the decision not to take VPs for Copper buys, since it's not really a clear mistake. He thought about it for a long time before deciding to end his buy phase. In the end, he left 24 points on the table, which would not have been enough.
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jotheonah

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2011, 04:33:13 pm »
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I think the key thing here to notice is the sheer absurd awesomeness (awesome absurdity) of buying out all the curses in a single turn to pull off a win.  Hopefully we'll see this one back for next year's Createst Moments.
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ftl

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2011, 04:42:53 pm »
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I think the key thing here to notice is the sheer absurd awesomeness (awesome absurdity) of buying out all the curses in a single turn to pull off a win.

Word. Awesome game, and thanks again for posting it.
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Deadlock39

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2011, 04:55:57 pm »
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If I counted Correctly, chwhite had 12 buys on his final turn and could have used the same strategy to buy the final two Grand Markets and all 10 Curses to win the game.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 05:00:50 pm by Deadlock39 »
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guided

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2011, 05:05:31 pm »
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If I counted Correctly, chwhite had 12 buys on his final turn and could have used the same strategy to buy the final two Grand Markets and all 10 Curses to win the game.
11 buys, unless I've repeatedly miscounted.
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Deadlock39

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2011, 05:08:43 pm »
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3 Goons, 3 Markets, 4 Grand Markets, 1 Tactician, and 1 that you start with is 12 by my count.

It appears you had $17 and 13 buys on your 2nd to last turn, so if you happened to have your one Silver in hand, you could have played it and grabbed the final 3 Grand Markets and the Curse pile to win one round earlier.

guided

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2011, 05:10:10 pm »
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You're right about the 12 buys. Amusingly, I was counting the extra buy from Tactician... but not the intrinsic buy you start with every turn :o
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Deadlock39

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2011, 05:15:44 pm »
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Well, if you just count the word "buy" in the log, you get 11.  The buy you start with is the one I always forget when I am combing through logs.

Kirian

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2011, 06:08:07 pm »
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Good point. I mean, what level of play do you have to reach before it classes as a "blunder" to buy the 2nd to last Grand Market to leave $21 worth of cards in 2 stacks instead of $27?

I think that's a reasonable definition of the equivalent of "grandmaster" level play there.
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Marcus316

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Re: A victory snatched from the jaws of EPIC FAIL
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2011, 07:50:20 pm »
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You folks continue to amaze me. After two weeks on iso, I'm thrilled to have reached double-digit level ... but I can see there's a long climb to go.

Cudos to you, guided for a great game!
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