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Author Topic: Ambassador v Jack  (Read 2125 times)

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theory

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Ambassador v Jack
« on: December 27, 2011, 10:35:12 am »
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It's always been my impression that if you can't transition out of Ambassador into an engine, then you're doomed against a focused Big Money deck that takes all the pain but runs out the Provinces before you get up to them.  Sort of like how you can beat Chapel by racing to the Provinces so fast that the Chapel trashing benefit takes too long to ramp up.

So here's a game where rrenaud stomps me with Ambassador/Tactician despite my best efforts to DoubleJack.  Is this proof that Jack loses to Ambassador?  (Since you can't trash Coppers.)  Or is there something unusual about this particular game?  Tactician guarantees him a Province every other turn, but is that fast enough?

The presence of IGG is very strange.  As Jack, I'm not going to buy it, since giving him Curses just gives him ammo.  OTOH, most big money engines have trouble deciding what to buy at $5, and once he takes a Curse, I might load him up with another Curse in hopes of delaying his Tactician.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 10:57:31 am »
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It's always been my impression that if you can't transition out of Ambassador into an engine, then you're doomed against a focused Big Money deck that takes all the pain but runs out the Provinces before you get up to them.  Sort of like how you can beat Chapel by racing to the Provinces so fast that the Chapel trashing benefit takes too long to ramp up.

So here's a game where rrenaud stomps me with Ambassador/Tactician despite my best efforts to DoubleJack.  Is this proof that Jack loses to Ambassador?  (Since you can't trash Coppers.)  Or is there something unusual about this particular game?  Tactician guarantees him a Province every other turn, but is that fast enough?

The presence of IGG is very strange.  As Jack, I'm not going to buy it, since giving him Curses just gives him ammo.  OTOH, most big money engines have trouble deciding what to buy at $5, and once he takes a Curse, I might load him up with another Curse in hopes of delaying his Tactician.

well he only beat you by 2 points, and that was with the extra turn.  to me, that is not convincing proof that ambassador/tactician/big money beats jack. (though this is a game that geronimoo could probably simulate for us pretty well.) if i was playing jack, i think i would have avoided the ill gotten gains and picked up another warehouse or two on turns 5/7. warehouse would be great at filtering the copper and trashing his curses.

and it is a personal style preference, but i think each of you might have benefitted from a hoard in this game.
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momomoto: ...I looked at the tableau and went "Mountebank? That's for jerks."
rrenaud: Jerks win.

theory

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 11:53:41 am »
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Well, you know, he had some bad draws, and could have beaten me more badly.  We both had bad draws, TBH, so I don't think I lost just because of the turn disadvantage.

I skipped Hoard deliberately since I suspect (though maybe Geronimoo/rspeer can back this up) that Jack wants Gold over Hoard, especially if you're getting slammed with Ambassador.  And I wanted Warehouse badly, but never really had a spare buy for it.
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DG

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 02:03:04 pm »
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Take fairgounds for 4pts instead of duchies.  The IGG isn't strange, it's just poor in this kingdom. The hoard is probably a marginal decision either way.

I'd take a guess that ambassador/warehouse followed by a jack and hoard would perform well.
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Davio

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 02:20:08 pm »
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Well, you know, he had some bad draws, and could have beaten me more badly.  We both had bad draws, TBH, so I don't think I lost just because of the turn disadvantage.

I skipped Hoard deliberately since I suspect (though maybe Geronimoo/rspeer can back this up) that Jack wants Gold over Hoard, especially if you're getting slammed with Ambassador.  And I wanted Warehouse badly, but never really had a spare buy for it.
Maybe Hoard is a good idea since you can just trash early Estates and Duchies anyway?
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greatexpectations

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 02:45:49 pm »
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to clarify my earlier comments, i think i would have read the board as jack/double jack, picking up 1 maybe 2 warehouses with $3/$4 in turns 3-5. seeing his ambassador open, i think that would prompt me to go a bit harder with the warehouses over silver early , picking up 2-3 of them. 

the shift in focus on warehouse is what makes the hoard more viable in my eyes.  you can handle that early duchy buy better because you get a gold with it and the warehouses can cycle the green.  if it was a jack mirror match i don't think i would bother with hoard unless i could hit $6 on turns 3-5.

and DG had a good point on the fairgrounds. not sure id have seen that in the endgame. 
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momomoto: ...I looked at the tableau and went "Mountebank? That's for jerks."
rrenaud: Jerks win.

theory

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 02:50:47 pm »
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Yeah, I can't believe I didn't notice the FG's being 4VP.  I think I actually said out loud to rrenaud, "I'm going DoubleJack, no way those Fairgrounds are up to 4VP".
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 02:56:11 pm »
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I'd definitely prefer gold to IGG here (see turn 14).
In general, villages, Tactician, Thrones, and Kings are good reasons to go for ambassador above the normal. Without them, I expect Jack to beat ambassador fairly nicely. With them, I'd generally expect ambassador to prevail (assuming there's some other halfway nice actions too), 'cept warehouse here should help jack a good bit too. So I imagine it's actually sort of close in this situation.

HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 03:00:14 pm »
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I also think warehouse is really important/useful here. With jacks, you're already getting a bunch of silver and you have the ability to refill your hand up to 5 cards if you just warehouse around to a jack.
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Geronimoo

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 05:33:35 pm »
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Simulations indicate the first Hoard is slightly better than Gold for the Jack player. Also open Jack/Warehouse instead of Jack/Silver. And IGG is a worse purchase than Silver/Warehouse because the Ambassador player can send the Curses right back. Finally the Ambassador player might want to buy Hoards as well to get bigger Tactician turns and Province-buying in non-Tactician turns.

Actual results of the matchup in the simulator are not reliable because Ambassador is played subotpimally, but I can't get Ambassador to beat Jack more than 3 games out of 10.
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dondon151

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Re: Ambassador v Jack
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 09:25:19 pm »
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Somewhat off-topic, but how good is Jack / Amb?
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