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Author Topic: Official Dominion Tournament at U-Con, Nov. 15 2014, Ypsilanti, MI, 1pm - 9pm  (Read 7928 times)

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Elestan

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Everyone seemed to have fun last year, so let's try this again!  Once more, U-Con is proud to host a gathering of some of the top Dominion talent around!

This tournament is sanctioned by Rio Grande, and will be a qualifier for the World Masters, if there is one in 2015.  Top finishers get free games courtesy of Warriors 3 Comics and Games, and all players receive the new "Prince" promotional card!

The competition will feature custom-designed kingdoms drawn from all of the Dominion sets and expansions, and will emphasize strategy and high-level play. 

Tournament seating is limited, so Pre-register for the event here; just click on the 'Add' button and proceed through the checkout process.  You'll need a tournament ticket ($10), and a convention badge ($20 for Saturday, or $25 for the whole convention).

If you can, I'd encourage everyone to pick out other games to play in and attend the whole convention, which runs from Nov 14-16, all day (and late into the night Friday and Saturday).  For out of town visitors, discounted hotel rooms are available for only $89/night.

And, if anyone would like to get their convention badge for free, you can still register to run events until mid-October, or volunteer some time to help out.

  I hope to see you there!
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 02:17:12 am by Elestan »
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AdamH

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I'll be going again this year and bringing two IRL friends. One of them (dethwing/Nick) came with me last year and got 3rd place in the tournament. The other one you may know if you watch my streams, it's Megan. She won't be participating in the tournament.

We'll be registering this week and ironing out plans. We'll be coming up Saturday morning and either leaving Saturday evening after the tournament or staying Saturday night in the hotel -- not sure yet.

Robz, Megan wants to meet you so we'll be very disappointed if you don't show up :P

Does anyone else plan on going to this?
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liopoil

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EFHW and I will be there!
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dethwing

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Oh man, this was tons of fun last year, I'm looking forward to it again. Bring it on! :)
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AdamH

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Oh man, this was tons of fun last year, I'm looking forward to it again. Bring it on! :)

BROAD TRIP!
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Kirian

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I'll actually make it this year, so I look forward to seeing you all!
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AdamH

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Is there any interest in meeting up somewhere nearby for lunch before the tournament starts?
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Elestan

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Is there any interest in meeting up somewhere nearby for lunch before the tournament starts?
Note that the convention does have a relatively low-priced food service on-site, the sales of which help to offset the cost of the convention (see last year's menu).

Also, I've had to nix allowing people to reserve tickets at the last minute without paying, because last year several of the people who did so failed to show up, which threw a last-minute curve ball into my matchup charts.  So pre-register early!
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andwilk

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I just punched (bought) my ticket!  Actually, the wife and I will be attending the convention all weekend long so I'm looking forward to a weekend of gaming and especially this tournament.
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AdamH

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Is there any interest in meeting up somewhere nearby for lunch before the tournament starts?
Note that the convention does have a relatively low-priced food service on-site, the sales of which help to offset the cost of the convention (see last year's menu).

This looks promising. We could all meet up at noon, right before the tournament, somewhere near this place that sells food, and buy lunch, then? I'll bring my Dominion box so everyone can find us  :P
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My wife and I are officially signed up.  We probably won't do lunch beforehand.  We live close enough that we'll just be driving over a little before 1:00.
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Elestan

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Just a reminder that online registration will be closing soon.  So sign up now to reserve your place!
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Heisenberg

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I'll be attending and playing Dominion on Saturday and Power Grid on Sunday.
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Moneymodel

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I'll be there Friday and Saturday; on Friday I'm there for Smash Up and Betrayal at the House on the Hill
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Robz888

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I have not been checking the forums as religiously as I used to, and was just thinking to myself, I wonder when that convention is this year? Now I see it's next week! It appears that it's too late to register: Is that true?
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Elestan

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I have not been checking the forums as religiously as I used to, and was just thinking to myself, I wonder when that convention is this year? Now I see it's next week! It appears that it's too late to register: Is that true?
There is hope!  You can buy your tickets at the convention, which opens at 9am on Friday.  There are currently 15 tickets left for sale; the earlier you arrive, the better your chances.  :-)

Alternatively, our registration chief has indicated that she's also willing to take late payments via PayPal.  To take this route, send $35 or $40 to 'sendpaypal@ucon-gaming.org', with a subject of "Dominion Tournament".  $35 covers the tournament ticket + a Saturday pass; $5 more makes it a 3-day pass.

Unfortunately, we can't reserve tickets without payment this year, because some people took advantage of it last year, reserving and then no-showing.  :-(
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Robz! Will you be there? It would make me so happy if you were!

Also, remember this?

This looks promising. We could all meet up at noon, right before the tournament, somewhere near this place that sells food, and buy lunch, then? I'll bring my Dominion box so everyone can find us  :P

Is anyone planning on showing up for this? It would be good for me to know so I can tell the people I'm carpooling with when we need to leave (so we can be on time for this).
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Kirian

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Robz! Will you be there? It would make me so happy if you were!

Also, remember this?

This looks promising. We could all meet up at noon, right before the tournament, somewhere near this place that sells food, and buy lunch, then? I'll bring my Dominion box so everyone can find us  :P

Is anyone planning on showing up for this? It would be good for me to know so I can tell the people I'm carpooling with when we need to leave (so we can be on time for this).

Even though I won't be in the tourney, I'll totally meet y'all for lunch.
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Robz888

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I have not been checking the forums as religiously as I used to, and was just thinking to myself, I wonder when that convention is this year? Now I see it's next week! It appears that it's too late to register: Is that true?
There is hope!  You can buy your tickets at the convention, which opens at 9am on Friday.  There are currently 15 tickets left for sale; the earlier you arrive, the better your chances.  :-)

Alternatively, our registration chief has indicated that she's also willing to take late payments via PayPal.  To take this route, send $35 or $40 to 'sendpaypal@ucon-gaming.org', with a subject of "Dominion Tournament".  $35 covers the tournament ticket + a Saturday pass; $5 more makes it a 3-day pass.

Unfortunately, we can't reserve tickets without payment this year, because some people took advantage of it last year, reserving and then no-showing.  :-(

Okay! I definitely want to go. Let me PM you.
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mcmcsalot

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This looks promising. We could all meet up at noon, right before the tournament, somewhere near this place that sells food, and buy lunch, then? I'll bring my Dominion box so everyone can find us  :P

Is anyone planning on showing up for this? It would be good for me to know so I can tell the people I'm carpooling with when we need to leave (so we can be on time for this).

What day is this?
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Robz888

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This looks promising. We could all meet up at noon, right before the tournament, somewhere near this place that sells food, and buy lunch, then? I'll bring my Dominion box so everyone can find us  :P

Is anyone planning on showing up for this? It would be good for me to know so I can tell the people I'm carpooling with when we need to leave (so we can be on time for this).

What day is this?

I think it's day of the tournament, Saturday at noon.
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mcmcsalot

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Okay I'm tentatively in! Just need to make sure I don't have other commitments.

So if I can does it make more sense to come Friday/Saturday or Saturday/sunday? Friday I couldn't get there till probably 6 or 7pm and Sunday I would probably have to leave early afternoon.
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AdamH

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So if I can does it make more sense to come Friday/Saturday or Saturday/sunday? Friday I couldn't get there till probably 6 or 7pm and Sunday I would probably have to leave early afternoon.

If it makes any difference to you, my friends and I will be staying Saturday night and not Friday night.
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mcmcsalot

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So if I can does it make more sense to come Friday/Saturday or Saturday/sunday? Friday I couldn't get there till probably 6 or 7pm and Sunday I would probably have to leave early afternoon.

If it makes any difference to you, my friends and I will be staying Saturday night and not Friday night.

It makes all the difference! I'll be there all day Saturday, I may or may not come Sunday.
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Robz888

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So you can buy the convention badge at the door whenever you get there, and those don't run out, is that correct? Sorry, I don't understand even simple instructions.

If that's true, mcmc and I just need to figure out how we are supposed to secure the Dominion tournament tickets.
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AdamH

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So you can buy the convention badge at the door whenever you get there, and those don't run out, is that correct? Sorry, I don't understand even simple instructions.

If that's true, mcmc and I just need to figure out how we are supposed to secure the Dominion tournament tickets.

All of what you said is correct. Contacting Elestan is probably the best way to do that (which I think you've already done) -- I did this last year and he was good about working with me. You may remind him that you actually showed up at last year's tournament since I know he had issues with no-shows.  :)
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Robz888

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Okay, thanks!
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Robz888

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Alrighty, looks like I am going to swipe EFHW's extra ticket when I get there. Mcmc prefers to spectate. I will try to get there close to noon for lunching together. Sound good mcmc?
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Sounds fantastic! I can and will be there as early as others are for some tasty lunch and a fun filled day of cheerleading for all my friends!
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Moneymodel

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Robz! Will you be there? It would make me so happy if you were!

Also, remember this?

This looks promising. We could all meet up at noon, right before the tournament, somewhere near this place that sells food, and buy lunch, then? I'll bring my Dominion box so everyone can find us  :P

Is anyone planning on showing up for this? It would be good for me to know so I can tell the people I'm carpooling with when we need to leave (so we can be on time for this).

Definitely will be there for this.
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Kirian

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So who all is likely to be available for lunch?  It looks like quite a number of us!
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So who all is likely to be available for lunch?  It looks like quite a number of us!

From my count we've got:

Moneymodel
Mcmc
robz
Kiran
AdamH/Megan/deathwing

So 7 confirmed for lunch.
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EFHW

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I'm sorry I won't be there.  But fds is well represented!
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MXXI: VT (L) MXX: Goon (W) BMX: PGO/Cult (L) ZM12: VT (L) MXXIII: VT (L) ZM14: VT (W) RMM6:Witch (L) MVP ZM15: VT (W) RMM8: Bomb (L) RMM10:Backup Hobbit (W) M31: SK (L) RMM11: Maleficent (L) RMM12: The Doctor (L) M34: VT (L) RMM14: commuting lover (W) RMM18: multi-buyer (W) RMM20: Tracker/watcher (L) RMM21: Strongman (W) MVP M42(sub): VT (L) M43: Mason (L) M61: Rainbow Dash (L) RMM26: Grimace (W) MVP M74: VT (W) MVP RMM30 Enabler (W) MVP

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So who all is likely to be available for lunch?  It looks like quite a number of us!

I'm scheduled to be playing another game up until 1pm but if it ends early, I will definately stop by!  If not, I'll see everyone at the tournament.
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Congratulations to Robz888, shark_bait, and andwilk, the top three finishers in the 2014 U-Con Regional!   f.DS was well represented, with a very outsized share of the semifinal finishers, and all three of the finalists.

By request, here are the sets used in the tournament:

Qualifier Sets:
SET 1: Pearl Diver, Doctor, Oracle, Armory, Herald, Wandering Minstrel, Mystic, Graverobber, Saboteur, Stash

SET 2: Beggar, Herbalist, Market Square, Monument, Quarry, Remake, Taxman, Throne Room, Bank, Apothecary

SET 3: Beggar, Smugglers, Feodum, Mining Village, Rats, Taxman, Margrave, Governor, Mandarin, Rogue

SET 4: Squire, Lookout, Bureaucrat, Gardens, Spy, Embassy, Library, Jester, Forge, Familiar

SET 5: Conspirator, Harvest, Spice Merchant, Trader, Death Cart, Cultist, Merchant Guild, Tribute, Vineyard, Scrying Pool

Semifinal Sets:
SET A (No 5/2 Start allowed) (Colony/Platinum): Lighthouse, Warehouse, Nomad Camp, Armory, City, Mint, Goons, Grand Market, Hunting Grounds, Expand
 - This one has a hidden theme:  It's a "powered-up" version of the "First Game" Kingdom from the original Dominion set.

SET B: (Shelters, Colony/Platinum): Black Market, Swindler, Watchtower, Counterfeit, Cultist, Horn of Plenty, Mandarin, Tactician, Upgrade, Fairgrounds
Black Market Deck: Scout, Poorhouse, Duchess*, Pearl Diver, Embargo, Lookout, Oasis, Beggar, Vagrant, Vineyard, Rats, Haven, Crossroads*, Pawn, Native Village
 - *Based on later testing, I recommend replacing Duchess and Crossroads with Candlestick Maker and Great Hall in the Black Market Deck of this set.

SET C:  Loan*, Scheme, Storeroom, Gardens, Mountebank, Counting House, Inn, Minion, Graverobber, Golem
 - In which I started with -stef-'s beautifully constructed and infamous engine, and deliberately added cards to completely break it.
 - *Based on later testing, I recommend replacing Loan with Bishop in this set.

I'll be holding off on posting the final set for now, because I think AdamH wants to propose a challenge match with it.

I look forward to reading the reports of the forumites who attended!  Also, if anyone decides to stream matches with these sets, post links and results here!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 09:10:56 am by Elestan »
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Amazing!   Congratulations!   Where to next?
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Set 1:  Wandering Minstrel, Herald, Oracle engine that was a bear to play irl and finish in 45 minutes.  I built an engine using Armory for gain that eventually bought a Province and Graverobbed a Province each turn.

Set 2:  This was a tricky one.  I opted for a delayed Apothecary and opened Market Square/Remake.  I hit the jackpot trashing 2 Estates for 2 Market Squares and activating for a Gold.  Instead of building a engine that aimed to play Monuments I wanted to get to Province buying.  Apothecary engines choke hard on green so I didn't want to overly rely on them.  I used Market Squares to get some more Gold, Remade some Gold into Bank and eventually into Province.  Beggar was useful when in hand with Bank in helping end the game.  I took a huge early lead and maintained it over an opponent going heavy into Apothecary/TR/Monument.

Set 3:  Feodum all the way.  With opponents Margraves making Beggar reliable this was an easy choice.  I lost the Feodum split 5/7 to 1 opponent but my increase in Beggars and subsequently Silver got me a huge  Duchy advantage and eventual 3-pile victory.

Set 5:  Really cool Scrying Pool/Merchant Guild/Tribute/Vineyard engine.  I opt for the Spice Merchant Opening to start trashing early and then pick up the Potion.  Scrying Pool fishing my left hand opponents deck for Actions to enable multi-Merchant Guild turns.

SF Set A: I go heavy into Cities after Silver/Silver.  Card draws keep me hitting $5 perpetually and I get 5 cities (3-player game).  I decided to get HG before Goons and the next thing I know my opponent emptied the Lighthouses prior to my turn with 2 Warehouses left.  Literally all I need is $17 to buy 2 Warehouses and Colony.  I have 5 Cities, HG, 2 Warehouses with  3 Estates, 3-4 Silver, 2ish Copper, 1 Lighthouse and a Platinum/Mint.  Somehow my deck fails and I only play 2 cities and have $11.  I buy Colony and my opponent (dethwing) ends next resulting in a tie.

SF Set B:  This was a crazy set to play irl.  Fairgrounds are obviously attractive with BM. Plat/Colony and Shelters.  Double Tactician/BM is a thing here but draw is limited.  I eye the Native Village and the Crossroads in the BM as they are the only Villages available.  I set up the Double Tact, with BM to play treasure mid-turn.  Upgrading Cultists into Fairgrounds is a nice bit of card draw.  I work on buying from the black market and easily get my Fairgrounds to 10 points.

SF Set C:  I immediately recognize this as a mirror to Stef's set but with the presence of Minion you can't set up a goldenish deck.  Also Inn is the only Village apart from Golem so the price points for getting extra actions to pull off the combo is limited.  Everyone in my game went Mountebank/Gardens.  I was the lucky one to end up on top.

Finals:  It can be noted that for the 2nd year in a row I ended the game on my last turn only to realize after the fact that someone had more VP than anticipated.  An unfortunate draw after the 2nd reshuffle and a bit of poor play after that prevented me from winning.  I think my opening was correct but luck and proper execution brought me down.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 03:37:39 pm by shark_bait »
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Amazing!   Congratulations!   Where to next?

Well, I look forward to seeing the participants' posts of their strategies and how they worked (or didn't).  AdamH was talking about trying to arrange a challenge match between a couple of top-ranked players using the final set.  For me, I look forward to seeing what the new expansion brings, and figuring out how to use it to traumatizechallenge people in the next tournament I run.  :-)
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Amazing!   Congratulations!   Where to next?

Well, I look forward to seeing the participants' posts of their strategies and how they worked (or didn't).  AdamH was talking about trying to arrange a challenge match between a couple of top-ranked players using the final set.  For me, I look forward to seeing what the new expansion brings, and figuring out how to use it to traumatizechallenge people in the next tournament I run.  :-)

Spoiler: The final set does not contain Scout.
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SET 1: Pearl Diver, Doctor, Oracle, Armory, Herald, Wandering Minstrel, Mystic, Graverobber, Saboteur, Stash

I never got to play this one. Apparently I would have liked it. I'm looking forward to giving this one a shot.

SET 2: Beggar, Herbalist, Market Square, Monument, Quarry, Remake, Taxman, Throne Room, Bank, Apothecary

With no draw except for Coppers I just went for Apothecary/Bank with a couple of enablers (an Herbalist on an early $2 hand, a couple of Market Squares, a mid-game Beggar, and a couple of Golds on exactly $6). This honestly seemed like the least interesting of the boards that I played, but was still kind of cool. I won this game.

SET 3: Beggar, Smugglers, Feodum, Mining Village, Rats, Taxman, Margrave, Governor, Mandarin, Rogue

So I went for Governor/Margrave with Rats support. The guy to my right went for Taxmen, which turned out to be much, much more annoying than they should have been. The woman to my right opened Smugglers (which I took as a compliment :-) and went for Rats/Feodum. She went too heavy on the Rats, though, I was actually worried about getting enough Rats for Governor food.

The end of the game had a 3-pile looming with Rats and Governors empty and Feoda dwindling. I started getting lots of Provinces and ended up picking up a zero-point Feodum on my last turn to end the game on a win.

SET 4: Squire, Lookout, Bureaucrat, Gardens, Spy, Embassy, Library, Jester, Forge, Familiar

Well this one is clearly Squire/Gardens, I think that strategy is just a little too dominant. My opponents opened Spy/Lookout and Jester/Squire and only went for Gardens after they saw I already had like 8 of them, so I crushed here.

SET 5: Conspirator, Harvest, Spice Merchant, Trader, Death Cart, Cultist, Merchant Guild, Tribute, Vineyard, Scrying Pool

Well I went for Scrying Pool/Vineyard here. One opponent went for Cultist and the other didn't seem that focused at all. The unfocused one ended up buying a bunch of Vineyards which would have been amazing for me. I ended up losing this game by one point, so I'll have to assume I could have played it better.

SET A (No 5/2 Start allowed) (Colony/Platinum): Lighthouse, Warehouse, Nomad Camp, Armory, City, Mint, Goons, Grand Market, Hunting Grounds, Expand

City/Goons. I draw 5 Copper on turn 3 with a Nomad Camp and two Lighthouses in my deck, so I just sail to the win on this one. You make your own shuffle luck  :P

- This one has a hidden theme...can anyone recognize it?

Development of Civilization?  :P

SET B: (Shelters, Colony/Platinum): Black Market, Swindler, Watchtower, Counterfeit, Cultist, Horn of Plenty, Mandarin, Tactician, Upgrade, Fairgrounds
Black Market Deck: Scout, Poorhouse, Duchess, Pearl Diver, Embargo, Lookout, Oasis, Beggar, Vagrant, Vineyard, Rats, Haven, Crossroads, Pawn, Native Village

So this is the last semifinal game I played. If I won this I had a shot at making the finals. After it was uncovered, Elestan was standing right there waiting for my reaction when I saw Black Market. Apparently I didn't disappoint. I didn't look at the board for a full two minutes, but rather I was staring at Elestan with a look that said "I hate you so much." He was sitting there with this grin on his face, so proud of himself. Unfortunately, my reaction was exactly what he wanted, so we can expect him to design another kingdom next year just for the sole purpose of making me miserable. Can't wait <3

Anyways, on this terrible, awful board, I open Cultist and go hard for those. My opponents didn't invest in strong Watchtower coverage or in fighting back, so by turn 8 or so, 17 of the Ruins are in their decks and I can't possibly lose the game. I transition into a Tactician+Black Market deck and win the game while they fight over second place. This board drew a crowd because it was the last semifinal game and it always took the longest to play. Apparently it was impressive to watch me play it, but I don't really remember it. I'm just glad it's over.

SET C:  Loan, Scheme, Storeroom, Gardens, Mountebank, Counting House, Inn, Minion, Graverobber, Golem

I go for Mountebank/Gardens here and get last place. Not sure why it failed so hard.


I was in a tiebreaker match with Andwilk for the last seat in the finals, which he won. I'm happy with my performance and happy the F.DS represented the top 4 finishers in the tournament.

I'll be holding off on posting the final set for now, because I think AdamH wants to propose a challenge match with it.

Working on this now. Hopefully it will be a thing. Also, I'm probably going to do a stream where I just play some of these games, particularly the set I didn't get to play there.

Here's a group photo of some of us (it's high-quality and may take a bit to load, so I'll just link it)

http://www.adamhorton.com/files/ucon.jpg

From left to right: Robz888, Mcmcsalot, AdamH, Dethwing, Moneymodel

I also made a video, but it needs some editing still. I'll post it when I get a chance to edit/upload it.
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Eevee

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The brothers with the identical smile, currently valued at a million dollars!
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Kirian

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Elestan gave me a chance to look over some of these sets before the weekend, so it's interesting seeing some of these comments, as well as some changes...

SET 4: Squire, Lookout, Bureaucrat, Gardens, Spy, Embassy, Library, Jester, Forge, Familiar

Well this one is clearly Squire/Gardens, I think that strategy is just a little too dominant. My opponents opened Spy/Lookout and Jester/Squire and only went for Gardens after they saw I already had like 8 of them, so I crushed here.

When I looked at this pre-tournament, I told Elestan that Squire/Bureaucrat/Gardens should dominate.  I'm interested to know if people went for Bureaucrat there.

SET A (No 5/2 Start allowed) (Colony/Platinum): Lighthouse, Warehouse, Nomad Camp, Armory, City, Mint, Goons, Grand Market, Hunting Grounds, Expand
 - This one has a hidden theme...can anyone recognize it?

Development of Civilization?  :P

Hint on theme:  City was originally going to be Walled Village; I recommended the change entirely for thematic purposes.  In hindsight, that change may have made the obvious engine much more powerful.

Quote
SET B: (Shelters, Colony/Platinum): Black Market, Swindler, Watchtower, Counterfeit, Cultist, Horn of Plenty, Mandarin, Tactician, Upgrade, Fairgrounds
Black Market Deck: Scout, Poorhouse, Duchess, Pearl Diver, Embargo, Lookout, Oasis, Beggar, Vagrant, Vineyard, Rats, Haven, Crossroads, Pawn, Native Village

Anyways, on this terrible, awful board, I open Cultist and go hard for those.

I notice SB said something about Cultists as well.  My prediction here was that the first to three Cultists would win, without some sort of spectacular playing.  Also, I know at least one person lost their first Tactician to Swindler, which was something that worried me.

----

Also, after looking at that email, I think the change he made to the finals set was exactly what it needed.
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AdamH

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I notice SB said something about Cultists as well.  My prediction here was that the first to three Cultists would win, without some sort of spectacular playing.  Also, I know at least one person lost their first Tactician to Swindler, which was something that worried me.

This happened to me. I had my OGE Swindled early, and if that had been my Necro it would have really set me back. My deck eventually had redundancy, though, with 3 Tacticians.
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AdamH

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Not much thought put into this, we just wanted to say hi and I'm a nerd about the number 55.
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Elestan

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SET B: (Shelters, Colony/Platinum): Black Market, Swindler, Watchtower, Counterfeit, Cultist, Horn of Plenty, Mandarin, Tactician, Upgrade, Fairgrounds
Black Market Deck: Scout, Poorhouse, Duchess, Pearl Diver, Embargo, Lookout, Oasis, Beggar, Vagrant, Vineyard, Rats, Haven, Crossroads, Pawn, Native Village
So this is the last semifinal game I played. If I won this I had a shot at making the finals. After it was uncovered, Elestan was standing right there waiting for my reaction when I saw Black Market. Apparently I didn't disappoint. I didn't look at the board for a full two minutes, but rather I was staring at Elestan with a look that said "I hate you so much." He was sitting there with this grin on his face, so proud of himself. Unfortunately, my reaction was exactly what he wanted, so we can expect him to design another kingdom next year just for the sole purpose of making me miserable. Can't wait <3
<3 you too Adam.  Actually, the best part was that you didn't notice the Black Market at first, until you started wondering why there was a single Native Village mat under the cover.  :-)

The origin of this set was actually not to torture Adam (that was just a bonus).  When I sat down to make the sets for 2013, there were two cards that I swore I'd never use for a tournament.  One of them was Black Market, for the same reason that Adam hates it so much:  It throws so much of the resolution of the game into the fickle wind of Black Market shuffle luck.  Then when making the sets for this year, I was looking over my notes, saw that banned list, and challenged myself to find a way to make Black Market palatable. 

The solution I came up with was to add Fairgrounds, HoP, and Tactician, and then pack the BM deck with low-impact, mainly nonterminal cards, so that you really don't care what card you get; you just want to add variety to your deck and take advantage of the action-phase treasure play.  For good measure, I threw in Swindler, so that all those unique cards would be at risk.  And in fact, in one game, the Native Village got trashed, permanently stranding the cards on its mat.  The strongest card in there is probably Crossroads, and in my next iteration of that Kingdom I'm replacing Crossroads and Duchess with Candlestick Maker and Great Hall.

ETA:  Cultist is there because I wanted an attack, and it boosts the variety theme to absurd levels.  Watchtower and Upgrade to provide enough defense and trashing that Cultist wouldn't completely dominate.  Watchtower also potentially allows a fresh draw after using BM to drop your treasures.  Counterfeit gives +Buy and complements HoP, and Mandarin is there to allow a little bit of smoothing (a few people wisely passed Watchtowers to their next hand), and for the possibility of using its on-gain power to invoke lose-track on HoP and Counterfeit to keep them from going away.  I also eyed the possibility of someone doing (nonterminals)->BM->(treasures)->HoP->gain Cultist->Reveal Watchtower to trash Cultist for +3 Cards.  Did anyone try that?

Quote
My opponents didn't invest in strong Watchtower coverage or in fighting back, so by turn 8 or so, 17 of the Ruins are in their decks...
Actually, Jordan bought two Watchtowers very early, but they clumped and missed your first double-Cultist, and then missed again on your next one.  Shuffle luck strikes again.

Quote
This board drew a crowd because it was the last semifinal game and it always took the longest to play. Apparently it was impressive to watch me play it, but I don't really remember it. I'm just glad it's over.
I think everyone just wanted to watch you play Black Market, because they're unlikely to get another chance.  :-)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 01:09:08 pm by Elestan »
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andwilk

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Here are my thoughts on the sets.

SET 1: Pearl Diver, Doctor, Oracle, Armory, Herald, Wandering Minstrel, Mystic, Graverobber, Saboteur, Stash

This one was all about seeing the Doctor opening.  Open Doctor (overpay 2) and trash 2 Estates on turn 1 and you are off to the races.  Two of us saw that but I was late on getting Armory and kept Treasures around too long because I was worried about getting to $5 for Mystics.  As a result, my engine took too long to get going.  Result: 2nd

SET 2: Beggar, Herbalist, Market Square, Monument, Quarry, Remake, Taxman, Throne Room, Bank, Apothecary

I saw the Apothecary/Bank synergy here but too be honest I didnít pick up on Beggar here right away so I decided to go Remake instead and try to outrace the Apothecary strategy.  I end up losing by 3 points.  Result: 2nd.

SET 3: Beggar, Smugglers, Feodum, Mining Village, Rats, Taxman, Margrave, Governor, Mandarin, Rogue

Rats!!  I use Rats for trashing while both of my opponents ignore them and try to do something with Feodum.  I also use Governors for trashing the Rats into Gold and for draw and add a Margrave in the mid-game to force discarding when I use multiple Governors for draw.  I am able to draw my deck and double Province on my final turn to end it.  Result: 1st

SET 4: Squire, Lookout, Bureaucrat, Gardens, Spy, Embassy, Library, Jester, Forge, Familiar

This one is clearly a Gardens board the question here is how to support it.  Jester?  Bureaucrat?  Well, the answer turns out to be double Squire.  Jester and Bureaucrat both end up being a little slow.  This was my least favorite board of the ones that I played because it did not really offer any valid diverging strategy other than Gardens.  Result: T-2nd

SET 5: Conspirator, Harvest, Spice Merchant, Trader, Death Cart, Cultist, Merchant Guild, Tribute, Vineyard, Scrying Pool

I did not play this board but it looks fun to play (although maybe not IRL since I see a bevy of Scrying Pools being played each turn).

SET A (No 5/2 Start allowed) (Colony/Platinum): Lighthouse, Warehouse, Nomad Camp, Armory, City, Mint, Goons, Grand Market, Hunting Grounds, Expand

I thought the right opening here was Nomad Camp/Mint but that ended up hurting starting economy a bit.  Only Robz did not open this (he opened Warehouse/Silver and added a Mint later) and ended up winning the game.  He had the first double Goons turn and was able to end it on piles a few turns later.  Result: 2nd

SET B: (Shelters, Colony/Platinum): Black Market, Swindler, Watchtower, Counterfeit, Cultist, Horn of Plenty, Mandarin, Tactician, Upgrade, Fairgrounds
Black Market Deck: Scout, Poorhouse, Duchess, Pearl Diver, Embargo, Lookout, Oasis, Beggar, Vagrant, Vineyard, Rats, Haven, Crossroads, Pawn, Native Village

Very interesting board.  Usually I do not like games with Black Market but I liked this one.  The BM deck was set up with support cards and was there just to add variety to the board.  It also contained a few villages which had potential to be useful.  The strategy here is set up for Fairgrounds but I opt for a Double Tactician/Black Market and hopefully consistently into Colonies every turn but I never get my deck able to consistently do this.  Result: 2nd

SET C:  Loan, Scheme, Storeroom, Gardens, Mountebank, Counting House, Inn, Minion, Graverobber, Golem

I opened Storeroom/Silver and committed to collecting as many cards as possible and that meant never once blocking a Mountebank attack.  The only action card that I buy above $4 is one Counting House as I ignored Mountebank and Minion completely.  I am able to pump my Gardens up to 6 VP as the game ends on piles with the last Copper being bought.  Result: 1st


I will save my thoughts on then final until the challenge matches have been played, but let's just say it made my head hurt.
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Moneymodel

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SET 1: Pearl Diver, Doctor, Oracle, Armory, Herald, Wandering Minstrel, Mystic, Graverobber, Saboteur, Stash

This was the one I skipped. I don't think I could resist opening Doctor on $5 trashing two estates. Then I think I'd get an Armory or two to get Wandering Minstrels/Heralds/Oracles/Silvers. The goal would be to get up to Mystics (because Mystic + WM is AMAZING) and eventually Doctor the Silvers (WM would help you draw everything else and leave the Treasures in your deck). Graverobber is your road to Provinces. It can trash Mystics and gain them back, even Stashes if you have a chance to get them over Silver. The viability of Saboteur would sort of depend on what the other players go for, but I don't like it because even though you could play a number of them per turn, there's so many cheaper things the other players can gain that don't gum up the engine (Pearl Diver!), and you just get stuff back with Graverobber anyway.


SET 2: Beggar, Herbalist, Market Square, Monument, Quarry, Remake, Taxman, Throne Room, Bank, Apothecary

Apothecary/Bank was immediately obvious to me here. It was a very tough call on what to open. We all got Market Squares, but I got Potion while the others got Remake or Monument. I wanted everything on this board. I got Quarry, and Remake to turn Estates into Silvers, which I thought would be slightly less terrible for my deck because, you know, they count towards Bank. I got two Throne Rooms and a Monument. I thought my Apothecaries could handle that, but I didn't draw as much as I wanted. Beggar would have made my buying power insane, but I saw it too late. In the meantime, shark bait was finding another use for Remake with Gold-->Bank-->Province

SET 3: Beggar, Smugglers, Feodum, Mining Village, Rats, Taxman, Margrave, Governor, Mandarin, Rogue

I lost this one pretty much immediately because I opened Governor instead of Margrave. I had such dreams of Estates morphing into Mining Villages. A lot of the game consisted of multiple Governors into Margrave. I saw a lot of interaction to make Feodum work: Beggar and Governor, but I also got a Taxman (too slow). I briefly considered Rogue to steal Governors, but you really couldn't play enough of them. Smugglers helped another player pretty well.

SET 4: Squire, Lookout, Bureaucrat, Gardens, Spy, Embassy, Library, Jester, Forge, Familiar

I didn't see the power of Gardens here. I opened Squire/Lookout so I wouldn't have to invest in Potions. Familiar was good to me here, as Bureaucrat-->Jester wasn't reliable enough. Did a few Forge shenanigans, then got a couple Bureaucrats, which slowed the Gardens down a tad, but not enough.

SET 5: Conspirator, Harvest, Spice Merchant, Trader, Death Cart, Cultist, Merchant Guild, Tribute, Vineyard, Scrying Pool

I mean. Scrying Pool. Death Cart. Cultist. Vineyard just loves this board. It should beat Cultist-BM here, even without cheap Actions, but that didn't happen. The third player took enough Vineyards from me (emptied the last two in one turn). I think getting more Potions early would have helped, since my Action density was taking care of itself. Tribute or Harvest especially might have been a better investment than Merchant Guild, though I'm not sure because my MERCHANT GUILD WAS POOLED LIKE THREE SHUFFLES IN A ROW, IN A BIG DECK, WITH ALL THOSE TERRIBLE CARDS TO HIT.

Though I did get to do combos. Ruined Village-->Ruined Village-->Ruined Village-->Ruined Market-->end turn. Boom.
SET A (No 5/2 Start allowed) (Colony/Platinum): Lighthouse, Warehouse, Nomad Camp, Armory, City, Mint, Goons, Grand Market, Hunting Grounds, Expand

I was so excited for this game. No 5/2 opening so you couldn't do Mint/Lighthouse, but there was Nomad Camp. Andwilk and I opened NC/Mint, but Robz prioritized cycling and economy and just started attacking Cities. I didn't see them being the star of the show, but the Lighthouses went fast, so he was drawing his deck pretty soon. Grand Market was a trap here, as I think Qvist likes to say. Still, an early Expand would have been nice to turn Estates into Cities. I got third place, would have gotten second if I had bought a Province over a Platinum on what I didn't think was going to be my last turn.

And yeah, Scott told us what the hidden theme here is, but I'm not sure I should say.

SET B: (Shelters, Colony/Platinum): Black Market, Swindler, Watchtower, Counterfeit, Cultist, Horn of Plenty, Mandarin, Tactician, Upgrade, Fairgrounds
Black Market Deck: Scout, Poorhouse, Duchess, Pearl Diver, Embargo, Lookout, Oasis, Beggar, Vagrant, Vineyard, Rats, Haven, Crossroads, Pawn, Native Village

Oh this game. I think I played it well. Black Market was obviously the focus here, so that made Fairgrounds MY focus, and it made Tactician very very good. I got Watchtowers early and blocked a lot of Robz's Cultists. I got Swindler and was shocked that no one else did (yes, I was the one who trashed the Native Village :P So good). My key Black Market cards were Crossroads and Embargo. Crossroads gave +Actions that the kingdom desperately needed; it could draw, or it would enable draw through Watchtower (which, with Tactician, otherwise started to become dead cards. Draw a Watchtower, play a Watchtower, etc.). I Embargoed Colonies, which ended up being huge. I think by the end, we'd all gotten our Fairgrounds to either 8 or 10 VP. I was 3rd and Robz was 1st, but I think we were 15 VP apart, so the game was very close. This was easily my favorite game of the semi-finals.

SET C:  Loan, Scheme, Storeroom, Gardens, Mountebank, Counting House, Inn, Minion, Graverobber, Golem

I completely missed Storeroom/Gardens AND Scheme/Counting House here. I will not discuss this further.  :-[
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qmech

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I'll break the coyness around Set A: ~upgraded versions of base set cards?  Mine -> Mint is not entirely clear, but everything else works fairly well.
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Moneymodel

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Maybe if it were Taxman instead of Mint
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Kirian

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I'll break the coyness around Set A: ~upgraded versions of base set cards?  Mine -> Mint is not entirely clear, but everything else works fairly well.

That's not an upgrade, it's the same card.
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Elestan

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I'll break the coyness around Set A: ~upgraded versions of base set cards?  Mine -> Mint is not entirely clear, but everything else works fairly well.

Close enough; the prize goes to qmech!  More specifically, it's upgraded versions of the 'first game' Kingdom.

I changed Mine to Mint just because people mix them up.  :-)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 02:31:35 pm by Elestan »
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Elestan

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I'll be holding off on posting the final set for now, because I think AdamH wants to propose a challenge match with it.

Quote from: shark_bait
Finals:  It can be noted that for the 2nd year in a row I ended the game on my last turn only to realize after the fact that someone had more VP than anticipated.  An unfortunate draw after the 2nd reshuffle and a bit of poor play after that prevented me from winning.  I think my opening was correct but luck and proper execution brought me down.

Quote from: andwilk
I will save my thoughts on then final until the challenge matches have been played, but let's just say it made my head hurt.

This set was just used for the 4th game of the League Championship match.  Unfortunately (for my purposes), Mic had such great draws early on that the game was over before we had the chance to see many of the interactions come into play.  However, now that it's done, I can post the final set, with apologies for causing andwilk's headache:

FINAL SET (Colonies/Shelters): Develop (Bane), Advisor, Bishop, Bridge, Herald, Procession, Young Witch, Band of Misfits, Count, Graverobber, Prince

Thanks to everyone who played!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 12:33:07 am by Elestan »
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