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Author Topic: Questions for the pros (35+ players)  (Read 2776 times)

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Narz

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Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« on: October 22, 2014, 02:52:24 am »
0

Somehow I'm getting better, from hovering around 20 or so up to level 27 & almost 5500.  However, my problem I think is lack of rigor (counting cards, paying attention to what's bought, keeping track of the points & who has what, etc.).

I'm wondering if the top players super carefully keep track of everything, have a pretty good idea of whats still in their deck if they have a wishing well to use for instance.

I'm lazy & distractable when it comes to Dominion, have to time I'll browse away if my opponent is taking a long turn (I try to get back in time & 99% of the time I do so don't judge me! :) ).

Or are you guys just geniuses who play by instinct & aren't all that rigorous about the exact status of the game?

I'm curious what separates the decent (like myself) from the really, really good players.

Cheers,
Narz (FirstWorldProblems)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 03:43:22 am by Narz »
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Narz

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2014, 03:47:46 am »
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I just watched one of SheCantSayNo's vids from another thread (the match against PerryGreen).  It seems like he isn't counting cards throughly (though he keeps track better than I do) its just he has a very good understanding of all possible strategies & card interactions.  I guess that's why my rating is improving slowly but surely.  When I get my preconceived notions smashed (like disregarding a torturer strategy because I have some tunnels) I do try to learn from it.

While I'm here, do they have Dominion championships (IRL)?

Also, it'd be cool to have a Swiss style tournament open, lets say, to the top 500 players (obviously not all 500 will enter so maybe it'll be 50 players).  Or maybe even Round Robin, everyone plays everyone.

I dunno what the best format would be but I like tournaments. :)
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assemble_me

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2014, 04:07:44 am »
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Welcome to my world. I'm feeling still uncomfortable with deck tracking. There's been a thread about leveraging information and I posted my thoughts about deck tracking getting some neat answers which helped me a bit: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=11232.msg383537#msg383537

In short, the advice is:
- Just try to count what you have during one shuffle
- Look at piles and what's in the trash and just calculate
- Practice more
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Awaclus

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 04:49:12 am »
+3

I keep track of things, but that alone isn't enough to make the difference. It can be the reason why I win a certain game, or when I fail to keep track of something, it also can be the reason why I lose a certain game, but I don't think anyone's Iso level is suddenly going to get +10 or -10 just from tracking or not tracking your deck. Though, tracking things is very closely related to a lot of other things that are more useful I think, such as winning important splits and planning ahead how many copies of some cards you want.
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silverspawn

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 06:16:19 am »
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I think I'm one of the few players who actively tries to memorize numbers. which numbers, that depends on the game. the most usual ones are: VP difference (not counting chips), and Villages/Terminals. I try to decide that before I buy my first card.
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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 08:16:44 am »
+4

One thing I like to do is think about what my final deck wants to look like, then try to get there.  Kind of like what Awaclus said.  Then think about alternate strategies and see if they are any better.  Sometimes I will go into a game trying to force a certain "elegant" strategy and lose to BM or something like that.  It happens.  The biggest thing for me was just playing a lot of games.  I finished on Iso around level 25, and it probably took another year or so of playing before I was consistently around that 35+ range. 

but if you want the true secret to getting up in the leaderboard, who better to ask then Mic Qsenoch.
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DG

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 09:28:00 am »
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There are some things you can count that will improve your play but you need some discipline to do it. The main thing that top players track would be the number of cards an opponent can buy/gain in a turn. This allows a top player to control any 3 pile end game. Aside from that, there are other important things to track with key card splits, deck contents, draw deck contents, points for alternate vp, and so on. I generally keep a focus on one or two of those and and get more confused when tracking more. If you are playing online you can always keep tally of something with physical coins when you know you are going to struggle with mental counting. Remember that you can deduce some unknowns by looking at the decks, discard piles, and trash piles.

Top players can usually pick the most important thing to watch for in a kingdom. Nobody can really give advice on that. Experience just tells a player when something is going to be important or not.
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 09:51:46 am »
+10

but if you want the true secret to getting up in the leaderboard, who better to ask then Mic Qsenoch.

It's a simple two-step process!
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Narz

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2014, 12:25:27 pm »
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Thanks for all the info guys.  I think I'm gonna watch more Dominion vids to soak up more of the process.
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Voltaire

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2014, 12:26:50 pm »
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Also, it'd be cool to have a Swiss style tournament open, lets say, to the top 500 players (obviously not all 500 will enter so maybe it'll be 50 players).  Or maybe even Round Robin, everyone plays everyone.

It's not a "tournament," but you should check out the Dominion League if you haven't already.
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Narz

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2014, 12:29:42 pm »
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Cool, looks like I missed the cutoff for Season 4.  I'd like to enter Season 5 though (around early December?).
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Polk5440

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2014, 12:45:52 pm »
+1

It is getting to be that time of year -- for another GokoDom or a return of the f.ds championship???
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ThaddeusB

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2014, 12:55:36 pm »
+3

Tracking your deck can help, but even if  you were able to perfectly remember every stat, the amount it would help pales in comparison to the gain from really understanding card interactions well. To take a trivial example, everyone knows Village-Smithy can build a string engine, but knowing which to buy when, when to add treasures, when to throw in a market for buy, etc. is a lot more complex. Once you get to the L25-30 range, the amount you will gain simply from playing more games is not that great. Instead you have to make "purposeful practice". That is study your past games to see where you could have increased you're chances (replay it solo). Study games of top players and try to figure out why they did what they did. Ask questions in the help forum on perplexing games.

There was a study that found a chess player's skill was much better correlated to the amount of time they spent studying Grand Master games than the amount of time they spent playing. The same is likely true of Dominion.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 12:58:19 pm by ThaddeusB »
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noughtpointzero

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2014, 01:40:49 pm »
+2

Er,  mega stupid question here but what exactly are the levels and how do you know what level you are? I play on goko and keep an eye on my casual rating and pro rating,  but I never noticed levels before.
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Polk5440

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2014, 01:43:36 pm »
+3

Er,  mega stupid question here but what exactly are the levels and how do you know what level you are? I play on goko and keep an eye on my casual rating and pro rating,  but I never noticed levels before.

Not stupid at all -- you wouldn't know about it unless you have been on the forum for a while or were familiar with Isotropic.

The "levels" are from the Isotropish leaderboard: http://gokosalvager.com/leaderboard/
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noughtpointzero

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2014, 02:07:15 pm »
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Oh,  ok,  thanks. Never come across that before.
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Narz

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2014, 02:19:27 pm »
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You can see you level & everyone else's if you add the extension - Dominion Savager (google it).  I have a lot of problems with it on Firefox (crashes alot though that may be Goko's fault) but none at all using Chrome.  You can also get a cool avatar & see who all the other members of the secret club are (at least the ones who've bothered getting avatars). ;D

Tracking your deck can help, but even if  you were able to perfectly remember every stat, the amount it would help pales in comparison to the gain from really understanding card interactions well. To take a trivial example, everyone knows Village-Smithy can build a string engine, but knowing which to buy when, when to add treasures, when to throw in a market for buy, etc. is a lot more complex. Once you get to the L25-30 range, the amount you will gain simply from playing more games is not that great. Instead you have to make "purposeful practice". That is study your past games to see where you could have increased you're chances (replay it solo). Study games of top players and try to figure out why they did what they did. Ask questions in the help forum on perplexing games.

There was a study that found a chess player's skill was much better correlated to the amount of time they spent studying Grand Master games than the amount of time they spent playing. The same is likely true of Dominion.
As a chessplayer myself I know that to be true.  I know players who've been playing for decades stuck at various levels.  Massive amounts of play can only take you so far.
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soulnet

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2014, 02:24:28 pm »
+1

I don't know if I am a pro, but I am 35+. I almost never track the deck, though I sometimes do it when the deck is still small or new, because it is easy enough. I usually don't track anything, but would try to reconstruct things in my head to see the Curse or Ruins split or the score when playing without VP counter (which I hate).

I would say concentration is way more important than tracking. And multitasking takes away your concentration. I know because I do multitask when playing (other than tournament games -do not confuse with Tournament games-) and I notice it seriously affects my play. If I play concentrated and slowly, I play much better, even if I track nothing.

Of course, tracking helps, but I would try to concentrate more, I think it affects your game a lot more and, well, it is impossible to track anything without concentration anyway.

In my experience, when I concentrate, I maintain a 40 something level. When I do not, I fall to 35 or so. I usually choose not to, because I enjoy it more when I am not tense trying to win. Tournaments provide enough full-concentration games for me. Also, people you play against is also not taking it seriously many times, so ranking is not really the best measure on how good you are. Tournaments are. So, if you really want to get better and keep track of it, my advice is, join Dominion League or some other when there are others and use that to test your current skill, not the rankings.
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Narz

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Re: Questions for the pros (35+ players)
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2014, 02:44:27 pm »
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I sent a private message to Stef, definitely want to get in on the next tournament (just missed season 4 it seems, so will try to get in on season 5). :)
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