Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]

Author Topic: Engines: In-Depth  (Read 1734 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Warrior

  • Golem
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 187
  • Respect: +54
    • View Profile
Engines: In-Depth
« on: May 25, 2014, 04:56:35 pm »
0

A thread for some in-depth discussion regarding engine analysis. Here are some questions that I've often seen come up:

-What are the elements and factors to consider when determining the speed of a given strategy?

Knowing the answer to this question at the beginning of the game can often greatly impact the outcome. If there are two viable strategies on the board, but Player A knows which is faster when Player B doesn't, Player A has a better chance of winning, assuming he/she plays the deck cleanly. Any input on figuring out the approximate speed of one deck compared to another?

-Certain decks want to green early, whereas others like to green late. What factors determine when a given engine should green? Also, if I'm a bit behind mid-game, should I pick up that Duchy with 5, or continue building?

Another question I'm often asked but don't know how to answer besides saying "it takes some practice to get the feel for the correct timing." If anyone could explain this, it would be very helpful.


Warrior
Logged

silverspawn

  • Governor
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4600
  • Shuffle iT Username: sty.silver
  • Respect: +2241
    • View Profile
Re: Engines: In-Depth
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 05:25:26 pm »
0

Quote
-What are the elements and factors to consider when determining the speed of a given strategy?

Knowing the answer to this question at the beginning of the game can often greatly impact the outcome. If there are two viable strategies on the board, but Player A knows which is faster when Player B doesn't, Player A has a better chance of winning, assuming he/she plays the deck cleanly. Any input on figuring out the approximate speed of one deck compared to another?

you could just aswell ask "how do i play correctly". understanding strategies is like over half of the game, you can't just give a single answer to that.

Quote
Certain decks want to green early, whereas others like to green late. What factors determine when a given engine should green?
well, I can't give a clean answer here either, but generally there are two things to consider. #1 how fast does the engine gain strength whille you are building, and #2 how much do green cards hurt. an engine with hunting party will gain strength somehwat linear, an engine with highway has more of an 1/x character, meaning it will explode at a certain point. consequentially, you want to build a lot more for a highway engine.

#2 - well, you can take the exact same examples. a hunting party engine does care about green cards, but not that much, once you have one province on your hand, it willl just roll over the others anyway. a highway engine usually chokes really fast, because highways don't draw.

Quote
Also, if I'm a bit behind mid-game, should I pick up that Duchy with 5, or continue building?
::)
Logged

Warrior

  • Golem
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 187
  • Respect: +54
    • View Profile
Re: Engines: In-Depth
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2014, 05:38:09 pm »
0

I'm not talking about "how to play correctly," I'm bringing up a discussion regarding the main aspects one considers when determining the speed (how fast can I get to 4-5 provinces) of a given deck. For example, an Alchemist engine is generally slow, and an FV/Wharf engine is generally fast. Should I build Tactician/Vault engine or DoubleJack? Which is faster/more resilient to green?
Logged

Awaclus

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11414
  • Shuffle iT Username: Awaclus
  • (。 ω 。`)
  • Respect: +12209
    • View Profile
Re: Engines: In-Depth
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 04:44:30 am »
+1

I'm not talking about "how to play correctly," I'm bringing up a discussion regarding the main aspects one considers when determining the speed (how fast can I get to 4-5 provinces) of a given deck. For example, an Alchemist engine is generally slow, and an FV/Wharf engine is generally fast. Should I build Tactician/Vault engine or DoubleJack? Which is faster/more resilient to green?
That depends on everything. Gainers, trashers and cards that function as engine parts while helping your economy make the engine faster while not usually helping the big money player too much, attacks and +buy give you more time to build your engine. How much they make you faster or give you time to build the engine depends on how good the card is (Chapel makes you a lot faster, Trade Route doesn't). What is your opening? What kind of draws do you get later in the game, what about your opponent? Does your opponent do something unexpected? There are so many unique situations that giving advice on a general level is incredibly inefficient, since most of the time that advice won't be right.

-Certain decks want to green early, whereas others like to green late. What factors determine when a given engine should green? Also, if I'm a bit behind mid-game, should I pick up that Duchy with 5, or continue building?
That's easier to answer. What is your goal? If your goal is to buy a single Province per turn, start buying Provinces when you can buy a single Province per turn. If your goal is to buy a single Province and an engine component/Duchy in the late game per turn, start buying Provinces when you can do that. If your goal is to buy two Provinces per turn, start buying Provinces when you can buy two per turn. Make sure to start greening early enough to be able to gain enough points before your opponent has 50% of the points or empties the Province pile. Don't pick up that Duchy unless you know why you're doing it.
Logged
Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

The Twitch channel where I stream DominionThe YouTube channel where I make musicDownload my band's albums for free

c4master

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 167
  • Respect: +56
    • View Profile
Re: Engines: In-Depth
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 09:26:40 am »
+1

Quote
-What are the elements and factors to consider when determining the speed of a given strategy?

Knowing the answer to this question at the beginning of the game can often greatly impact the outcome. If there are two viable strategies on the board, but Player A knows which is faster when Player B doesn't, Player A has a better chance of winning, assuming he/she plays the deck cleanly. Any input on figuring out the approximate speed of one deck compared to another?

you could just aswell ask "how do i play correctly". understanding strategies is like over half of the game, you can't just give a single answer to that.

I quite disagree on that statement. It's more like tactics have a huge impact. I can see the right strategy on more than half of all games - yet I cannot apply it, because I'm lousy at tactics. The questions, when to pick up which card and how many of each, are way harder than "Is big money better than the Engine on this board?".

Anyways, IF you are making wrong decisions on your strategy, you're likely to lose the game no matter how well you play that bad strategy.

It's important to know, that gaining 5 Provinces by turn 13 is NOT winning the game. An Engine, that produces a lot of coins (or reduces prices) and buys can easily pile out duchies or alt. VP cards in 1-2 turns. It's more important to know: "How long would it take for the slog/BM to gain 50% of all VP available?". If there is no alternative VP at all, you can get 8x6+8x3+8x1 = 80 points plus up to ten curses to deal eventually. Gaining 50 Points on such a board means game over. However, the game might end on a 3-pile and it might end on Provinces. As a rule of thumb, I would say, if you're building an Engine and you are 3-0 behind on Provinces, you probably shouldn't buy Provinces unles you can get more than one. You'd better try to catch up a little bit before getting Provinces in order to not suicide-end the game.

Quote
Certain decks want to green early, whereas others like to green late. What factors determine when a given engine should green?
well, I can't give a clean answer here either, but generally there are two things to consider. #1 how fast does the engine gain strength whille you are building, and #2 how much do green cards hurt. an engine with hunting party will gain strength somehwat linear, an engine with highway has more of an 1/x character, meaning it will explode at a certain point. consequentially, you want to build a lot more for a highway engine.

#2 - well, you can take the exact same examples. a hunting party engine does care about green cards, but not that much, once you have one province on your hand, it willl just roll over the others anyway. a highway engine usually chokes really fast, because highways don't draw.

Quote
Also, if I'm a bit behind mid-game, should I pick up that Duchy with 5, or continue building?
::)

:)

Having a plan of how you want the game to end, e.g. on a megaturn for you, or maybe on 4 consecutive turns where you buy all your VP cards, really helps you. It's even better if you consider what it takes for your opponent to win the game and maybe deny this, but that's a level only few people have reached so far (and I am not one of those).

On your last question: What exactly does "behind" mean? "Behind on points" - if you've got the time, build some more. "Behind on building" - get something that helps you with green. Buying Duchies before Provinces is hardly ever a good idea, maybe in rushes and slogs, but not in an engine.
Logged

jomini

  • Saboteur
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1026
  • Respect: +735
    • View Profile
Re: Engines: In-Depth
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 01:26:29 am »
0

Quote
Buying Duchies before Provinces is hardly ever a good idea, maybe in rushes and slogs, but not in an engine.

Absolutely false in a lot of cases (enough I think we may be a bit beyond edges). You very often want to start hitting the duchies when your opponent is well positioned, but slow on provinces and you can hack the duchies. For instance, if I built my engine with Count, there are a number of times where $3 coin won't let me get another component (e.g. lack of +buy, components at 4 - 7), but that Duchy needs to be in my deck by game end. Get it now, use the flexibility later to take a Duchy/Province as needed.

If I know I have to dip into the duchies to win at some point, I may as well buy them sooner if the opponent is trying to end on provinces. Say my opponent has 3 provinces with a reasonably fast Big Money. If I can anticipate that I'm going for a 3:5 or 2:6 Province split with my balance being made up provinces, why would I risk the game ending before I can get the duchies? Particularly against Big Money players or engines that are province capped, I can often pile 6 or 8 duchies and then snap up 2 or 3 provinces. Likewise, if I'm building up to 2 province turns and I need just one more component (say just one more wharf), then if I have $10 and 2 buys, absolutely take the duchy now.

In non-mirror engine matches, you need above all time to bulk up your points. Delaying the duchies can make it really hard to get $15 hands when you end up needing them or forcing you to gamble that they don't hit $8 when you can't afford it.
Logged

c4master

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 167
  • Respect: +56
    • View Profile
Re: Engines: In-Depth
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2014, 03:04:15 am »
0

Quote
Buying Duchies before Provinces is hardly ever a good idea, maybe in rushes and slogs, but not in an engine.

Absolutely false in a lot of cases (enough I think we may be a bit beyond edges). You very often want to start hitting the duchies when your opponent is well positioned, but slow on provinces and you can hack the duchies. For instance, if I built my engine with Count, there are a number of times where $3 coin won't let me get another component (e.g. lack of +buy, components at 4 - 7), but that Duchy needs to be in my deck by game end. Get it now, use the flexibility later to take a Duchy/Province as needed.
First, gaining isn't buying. With Count, you cannot gain an engine component, you can just gain Duchies or take the money, if you want to build up. So this IS an edge case. When would yould you buy a duchy over an engine component?

If I know I have to dip into the duchies to win at some point, I may as well buy them sooner if the opponent is trying to end on provinces. Say my opponent has 3 provinces with a reasonably fast Big Money. If I can anticipate that I'm going for a 3:5 or 2:6 Province split with my balance being made up provinces, why would I risk the game ending before I can get the duchies? Particularly against Big Money players or engines that are province capped, I can often pile 6 or 8 duchies and then snap up 2 or 3 provinces. Likewise, if I'm building up to 2 province turns and I need just one more component (say just one more wharf), then if I have $10 and 2 buys, absolutely take the duchy now.


Quote from: c4master
It's important to know, that gaining 5 Provinces by turn 13 is NOT winning the game. An Engine, that produces a lot of coins (or reduces prices) and buys can easily pile out duchies or alt. VP cards in 1-2 turns. It's more important to know: "How long would it take for the slog/BM to gain 50% of all VP available?". If there is no alternative VP at all, you can get 8x6+8x3+8x1 = 80 points plus up to ten curses to deal eventually. Gaining 50 Points on such a board means game over. However, the game might end on a 3-pile and it might end on Provinces. As a rule of thumb, I would say, if you're building an Engine and you are 3-0 behind on Provinces, you probably shouldn't buy Provinces unles you can get more than one. You'd better try to catch up a little bit before getting Provinces in order to not suicide-end the game

I feel like I've recognized this before...

In non-mirror engine matches, you need above all time to bulk up your points. Delaying the duchies can make it really hard to get $15 hands when you end up needing them or forcing you to gamble that they don't hit $8 when you can't afford it.
Even good BM can hardly ever get more than 5 Provinces before turn 14 and it takes at least 18 turns to pile the Provinces if you do not contest them. If your Engine cannot get enough points or gains to end the game on a win before turn 18 while the BM can, you probably shouldn't go for the Engine at all. Of course, some Duchies can help you not to need a ridiculous super-megaturn but just a very good turn to end the game.
However, in all these cases you are more or less forced to buy Duchies before you can consistently hit $8 or more, which I still consider a bad thing. Maybe it was bad luck, but more likely you made wrong decisions that forced you into this position.
Logged
Pages: [1]
 

Page created in 0.07 seconds with 21 queries.