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GendoIkari

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Farmland vs Silver
« on: December 19, 2011, 01:00:37 pm »
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So why is Farmland better than Silver? Everyone has talked about how you can Farmland a Farmland into a Province. That requires having $6 to spend, plus a Farmland in hand. Well, if you had $6 to spend, plus a Silver in hand, you'd have a Province anyway. The only difference is you have an extra card for an extra 2 points. I feel like if you never use Farmland for anything other than Farmland to Province, you'd be better off with a Silver.

Of course, the first Farmland you buy can't be used for that, so you should get some benefit from that first Farmland purchase. Anyway, here's a sample game where I dominated with Farmland:

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20111218-125055-2425fe2e.html

A couple notes:

  • Crossroads is great with Farmland.
  • On turn 14, I buy 2 Farmlands to turn 2 other Farmlands into 2 Provinces. But again, if each of those Farmlands had been Silver, I could have bought 2 Provinces.
  • I used Farmlands to trash my Estates also. There was no cost 4 on the boards, which helped.
  • On turn 10, I bought Farmland and trashed an Estate, assuming that I gained nothing, because there were no cost 4 cards. I was very confused when later in the game I had a Peddler in my hand. Because I had played exactly 2 actions, Peddler had cost $4.

I'm sure this game isn't typical because of all the Ghost Ships. But in general, what makes Farmland better than Silver? Not to mention the fact that you could be buying Gold instead.
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Epoch

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 01:12:42 pm »
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I don't think of Farmland as something that you ever buy in quantity -- so I don't think that Farmlanding a Farmland is something to look to.

I think its role is, "it's the late game (<=4 Provinces in supply), and I have 3 gold in my hand.  I could get a Province, or I could buy a Farmland and remodel my third Gold into a Province."  Or, you know, similar.  The ability to get a tie-breaking extra 2 VP along with however many VP you'd already buy -- turn $6 that you'd usually use to buy a Duchy into a Farmland and turn an extraneous $3 card into the Duchy you'd buy anyway, or whatever.  Turn Plat + 2 Gold into Colony + Farmland instead of just Colony.

Limited use, but potentially quite valuable at the end of the game, where the situation of, "Any point differential higher than Province (or Colony) is game-winning."

Think of it as like Chapel in terms of being a card that can be desirable without ever being something you'd get more than one or maybe two of.
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 01:24:06 pm »
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Using Farmland to remove Estates from your deck isn't as effective as you seem to think. Instead of having an Estate in your deck, you now have a Farmland, so if there are no $4 cards in play (like in your case), you've spent $6 to change a 1VP card into a 2VP card, and nothing else. No deck thinning has happened at all.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 01:29:10 pm »
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Using Farmland to remove Estates from your deck isn't as effective as you seem to think. Instead of having an Estate in your deck, you now have a Farmland, so if there are no $4 cards in play (like in your case), you've spent $6 to change a 1VP card into a 2VP card, and nothing else. No deck thinning has happened at all.

I understood that when I did it; but my thought was that now I had a $6 card that could become a Province with just $6. In that respect, the Farmland was like a Silver. And a Silver that replaced an Estate.
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Epoch

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 01:33:44 pm »
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Is there maybe a very fragile Farmlands/Peddler interaction?  Like, if you get Peddlers down to $4 or $2, then you can Farmlands Estates or Coppers into Peddlers.  Get Peddlers to $6, buy Farmlands, then turn the Peddler into a Province?  I dunno, probably too fussy to actually be useful in play.  But it seems appealing to get a remodel during the buy phase when Peddler price has changed.
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jomini

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 01:38:54 pm »
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For a start, farmland works well with green friendly cards - silk road, scout, farming village, cross roads, hoard, venture, adventurer, etc. Where a silver isn't that great or may even clog things up (if I'm running a lean venture deck I don't want silvers stopping my venture chains early).

For a bigger thing, don't overlook the value of trashing estates & coppers for better cards. Strong 2's & 4's make farmlands much more valuable (for instance getting a village out of an estate and having province bait in deck can be quite helpful). Or consider a swindler game, buying farmland lets me turn my 4th chancellor (in a no +actions game) into something useful (like a royal seal) and if my opponent swindles the farmland I don't care - he can only give me something better.



Other concerns:
Silver is vulnerable to thief, noble brigand, and ghost ship while farmland is not.

Farmland can be fed to something else next turn (e.g. a salvager) while also allowing the remodeling of another card. E.g. buy farmland, turn a village into a festival ... apprentice a farmland for six cards. This is almost strictly better than gold if you are certain of trashing your 6 coin purchase for benefit instead of playing it.

Bridges, highways, etc. can allow for fun hijinx - eg. a TR/Bridge lets you turn coppers into TR. It is also a good bit easier to get farmland down to marginal prices and spam it.

Farmland can work well as a late game tie breaker - a hand of S, S, S, G, Estate can become +8 points instead of +6.

However, going back to your narrow scenario - using every farmland remodel to remodel a farmland. Well lets look close at that. Say you have an empty hand the first time and some engine that allows you to always have the previous farmland up for remodel (say scout/cross road). With a farmland your VP totals climb up:
2, 8, 14, 20, 26 (game ends)

Without farmland:
0, 6, 12, 18, 24 (game ends)

So in the case where you always purchase farmland and always remodel farmland to a province, then you come out 2 points ahead instead of buying treasure.
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quasi

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 04:15:18 pm »
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I think it's a pretty marginal card.  I can't really think of a time when I'd want to buy it before the end game, although at that point it is definitely useful.  As jomini said, getting an 8 point turn is useful.  Also, if you're behind in the end game, buying a farmland and trashing a silver can net you 5 points which might help you catch up.

In most other situations, it's sort of hard to imagine that you would want to pick up a farmland over a gold or another good six cost card.  Trashing a copper/estate usually doesn't justify putting a green card into your deck, especially when you could have had a gold instead (compare with remodel, a really weak card already, it can trash those cards multiple times, and you don't have to take it over a gold).  The farmland, once it's in your deck, is basically only good for trashing to get a province, and it's useless for buying anything else.  If nothing else, farmland is almost strictly worse than harem.

Cards like hoard make it better, but still probably marginally better in many setups.  Buying one with a hoard and gold to trash in your hand is certainly nice, but not something you can really count on unless you're drawing a ton.  Same thing with contraband.  This card has the best synergy with farmlands I think, especially if you need buy.  If you're blocked on gold, you buy farmlands, and in the end game if you're blocked on provinces, you buy farmlands and hopefully trash.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 04:18:26 pm by quasi »
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GendoIkari

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 04:18:19 pm »
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Also, if you're behind in the end game, buying a farmland and trashing a silver can net you 5 points which might help you catch up.

You could have played that Silver and bought a Province instead, for 6 points instead of 5. Although, if there's 1 Province left and you are behind, that could be a pretty good move.
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quasi

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 04:20:50 pm »
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Also, if you're behind in the end game, buying a farmland and trashing a silver can net you 5 points which might help you catch up.

You could have played that Silver and bought a Province instead, for 6 points instead of 5. Although, if there's 1 Province left and you are behind, that could be a pretty good move.

yeah that's what i meant.  buying a farmland and not holding one already in your hand
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werothegreat

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 04:24:18 pm »
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Let's say you have $8 through whatever, plus a Gold.  With two Buys, that would mean just getting a Province and an Estate - 7 points.  Or, you could buy a Farmland, remodeling the Gold into a Province - 8 points.  Plus this works if you only have one Buy anyway.  Or you could Farmland an Adventurer or Border Village into a Province.
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Epoch

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 04:29:56 pm »
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You could have played that Silver and bought a Province instead, for 6 points instead of 5. Although, if there's 1 Province left and you are behind, that could be a pretty good move.

Yeah, there are a bunch of problems with Farmland.  Maybe the biggest is that it doesn't even work on the cards you'd MOST likely want it to work on.

Like, sure, playing the Silver would get you a Province.  Okay.  So what about a different $3 card that's not redeemable for the Province?  Sounds better!  Except...  what is that card?

There are a bunch of $4 early enabler cards that you could totally see yourself drawing essentially dead in the late game and wanting to Farmland into a Duchy.  Baron.  Moneylender.  Remake.  A dead Throne Room (no Actions to play it on, and you aren't expecting a reshuffle).  Dead Conspirator.  Sea Hag after the Curses are out.  Potion.  Quarry.  Young Witch after the Curses run out.  Spice Merchant that has run out of Treasures to trash.  Trader in the late game.

Like, I could really, legitimately see myself in a ton of games buying any of those cards, and I could see drawing them uselessly in the late game and saying, "Oh, cool, I can convert them into Duchies in the late game, that's useful for Farmlands."

There are a lot fewer $3 cards that I'm going to want to buy and then they draw dead.  I guess I can always Farmland one of those dead $4's into another Farmland, but, obviously, that's less useful than turning them into a Duchy.

It feels like, as weak and situational as Farmland is, it wouldn't have hurt to let it remodel an "up to $2 more" rather than "exactly $2 more."  Is there some specific exploit that makes that problematic?
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GendoIkari

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2011, 04:40:02 pm »
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You could have played that Silver and bought a Province instead, for 6 points instead of 5. Although, if there's 1 Province left and you are behind, that could be a pretty good move.

Yeah, there are a bunch of problems with Farmland.  Maybe the biggest is that it doesn't even work on the cards you'd MOST likely want it to work on.

Like, sure, playing the Silver would get you a Province.  Okay.  So what about a different $3 card that's not redeemable for the Province?  Sounds better!  Except...  what is that card?

There are a bunch of $4 early enabler cards that you could totally see yourself drawing essentially dead in the late game and wanting to Farmland into a Duchy.  Baron.  Moneylender.  Remake.  A dead Throne Room (no Actions to play it on, and you aren't expecting a reshuffle).  Dead Conspirator.  Sea Hag after the Curses are out.  Potion.  Quarry.  Young Witch after the Curses run out.  Spice Merchant that has run out of Treasures to trash.  Trader in the late game.

Like, I could really, legitimately see myself in a ton of games buying any of those cards, and I could see drawing them uselessly in the late game and saying, "Oh, cool, I can convert them into Duchies in the late game, that's useful for Farmlands."

There are a lot fewer $3 cards that I'm going to want to buy and then they draw dead.  I guess I can always Farmland one of those dead $4's into another Farmland, but, obviously, that's less useful than turning them into a Duchy.

It feels like, as weak and situational as Farmland is, it wouldn't have hurt to let it remodel an "up to $2 more" rather than "exactly $2 more."  Is there some specific exploit that makes that problematic?

Well you can always take another Farmland with any of those $4s. It's 2 points instead of the 3 for Duchy. As for $3s, there's Lookout and Loan I guess. But you're right.

I was also wondering if it would be overpowered if it were "up to" instead of "exactly." The best move I can think of with that is if you are tied or winning with 1 Province left, and you draw $6 + Province. You could buy Farmland and remodel Province into Province. That would also be good even if there weren't just 1 left, but any time you'd want to Salvager or Remodel a Province into a Province.
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Epoch

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2011, 04:44:00 pm »
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Well, remember that unlike Salvaging or Remodeling Province -> Province, Farmland Province -> Province does add a dead green card to your deck.  Not a problem if you're in the very late game and are not expecting a reshuffle, but something I'd do much less aggressively when there were 5 Provinces in the supply and I was 1 Province up.
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ackack

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2011, 05:10:19 pm »
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You can't buy Farmland to remodel Province into Province anyway - it's an exactly +$2 Remodel. Farmland on Province = no more Province. I got burned by this early on in the Hinterlands release.
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Epoch

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2011, 05:18:19 pm »
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You can't buy Farmland to remodel Province into Province anyway - it's an exactly +$2 Remodel. Farmland on Province = no more Province. I got burned by this early on in the Hinterlands release.

Yeah, we know.  We were discussing whether there would be an exploitable interaction if it were the case that Farmland allowed "up to $2" instead of "exactly $2."
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rod-

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2011, 07:24:11 pm »
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It might or might not be considered an exploit, but you could empty the entire stack of farmlands with a single buy, assuming you had a residual 4+ card in hand to remodel.
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DG

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2011, 07:30:48 pm »
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Farmland is incredibly useful. I predict that players will find some extreme uses for it and some very subtle ones. By subtle I mean changing your play because farmland is in the supply even if ideally you never buy it, safe in the knowledge that it will help you if you get certain draws.

Quote
t might or might not be considered an exploit, but you could empty the entire stack of farmlands with a single buy, assuming you had a residual 4+ card in hand to remodel.

You only trash a card when you buy farmland, not when you gain it.
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Anon79

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2011, 08:17:35 pm »
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Anyway, here's a sample game where I dominated with Farmland(...)
Your opponent failed to buy Golds... 3 Ghost Ships and 2 Adventurers, really?
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timchen

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2011, 02:30:10 am »
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It's interesting to think Farmland as a silver when you have $6 in hand. Indeed, in this case it is 2VP and $2 and cost the same as a harem!

The problem is that you cannot have more than one in hand to take advantage of the effective +2 for both.

On the other hand, I have a similar feeling with DG. Somehow it has some funny uses which is not apparent yet...
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2011, 02:33:23 am »
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Yeah, the comparison to harem is one I've thought about. In most cases it's simply worse than harem, and harem is already like the least interesting kingdom victory card (maybe great hall is worse). Most of the other kingdom victory cards can be the centerpiece of a strategy, so I feel like farmland should be able to do that too.

I think the key has to be trash-for-benefit cards. When you buy the farmland, you get a $6 card and add $2 of "value" to another card, netting you $8 worth of trashable assets.
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Robz888

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2011, 03:12:14 am »
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Nobles seem to work well with Farmlands. Since Nobles are so good (better than Harem, IMO), you want to fill your deck with them as soon as possible, as they help you draw. When you eventually draw a Nobles dead after playing one, its not a bad thing to do with only $6 in hand.
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jomini

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Re: Farmland vs Silver
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2011, 08:44:23 am »
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I think the big thing people are missing is that green decks are not as nasty as they used to be. Back in early dominion, sure a deck full of green was pretty weak - the only thing to do with it was remodel it and that was horridly inefficient (duchy/garden -> gold -> province) and the only card with anything like green synergy was garden. Now every expansion has some better way to trash high value cards for benefit, some green synergy, or both. Without buys scout/cross roads loves a fat green deck and farmland is an excellent way to covert dead copper into engine turning green. Salvager doesn't care what it eats, so go for it if you have the odds. May as well get +2 coin onto something else rather than buy a gold never to use.

I mean take just one quick & dirty combo - bishop. With bishop you can trash down to a 5 card hand pretty easy (particularly if your opponent is also using a bishop or you have some other trashing in the mix). Your goal hand is Bishop/silver/gold/two other cards. Your play is to bishop one of your other cards, buy a farmlands & remodel the last card to anything that cost +2 coin. Your next hand - bishop the other card, buy a farmland & remodel the old farmland to a province. Every turn from then on, you gain 5 points and have a residual 6 points in VP.

Now every board won't be setup for using green cards, but enough of them are that farmlands is not a bad play. I mean Hinterlands, in particular is a great set for green cards. Develop, Oasis, Oracle, Scheme, JOAT, Crossroads, Silk Road, Trader, Cartographer, Haggler, IGG, Inn, and Mandarin all work better than BMU with green cards, often by a lot. Farmland is a decent enough card that seems quite well balanced once you consider the full mix of cards out there.
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