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Author Topic: Scout is bad, not horrible?  (Read 22959 times)

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LastFootnote

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #75 on: June 01, 2015, 01:57:53 am »
+1

4 Mystics alone = +2 Cards
4 Mystics + Scout = +4 Cards
4 Mystics + Spy = +4 Cards and a mild attack

If a Mystic whiffs, the next Mystic is assured a draw. 

Scout makes sure none of the Mystics whiff, but draws nothing itself.

Spy draws its own card, and makes sure one of the Mystics doesn't whiff.

You need to check your math there. 4 Mystics + Spy = +3.5 Cards and a mild attack. But of course you're also completely glossing over a bunch of other stuff. First, Scout may draw cards itself, so +4 Cards is only the minimum. "But Spy can do that too!" Yes, Spy can discard a Victory card on top of your deck, which is often as good as drawing it. But if Spy does this, it forfeits its ability to help Mystic. Whoops.

Second, much more likely than your example is the situation where you have some Mystics in hand and some near the top of your deck. Scout lets you use your Mystics to draw further Mystics. Because of the depth of Scout's reordering, you still know what the top card of your deck is, so it enables that Mystic as well, and so on. Spy doesn't do this.

Third, assuming you're in a situation where you have fewer than 4 Mystics in hand with Scout (a.k.a. the vast majority of the time), Scout gives you control over which card you're drawing with your Mystic, which Spy doesn't.

tl;dr: Scout is weak. Spy is weak. Scout combos way better with Mystic than Spy does.
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Dingan

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #76 on: June 01, 2015, 01:30:27 pm »
0

Thief: Gets pretty big in games with many players.
Coppersmith: Besides draw-your-deck strategies, this enables you to gamble for very early very expensive cards like Prince
Nomad Camp: A buy, and when you need it. Also interesting for openings (again, with a little gambling)
Talisman: Strategies that want a big deck or lots of Silvers. Strategies about cheap cards. Cost reduction.
Spy: Also very useless, but at least it's a cantrip. That and the card reveal make it better than Scout allready, attack is just a useless bonus.

Scout can't compete. I'm not sure it's the worst card in Dominion, because Adventurer is a terrible piece of junk too, but i find it very hard to make up any card as bad, especially a card that costs $4. And i'm out of this discussion now, because i don't think statements are given the proper thought here.

(Is this still on topic?)

Game in which Spy+Thief were paramount:



Code: [Select]
Native Village, Doctor, Forager, Masquerade, Warehouse, Ironmonger, Spy, Thief, Border Village, Prince
http://www.gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?20150530/log.516d4577e4b082c74d7b716e.1432990015835.txt

My point: Scout, Spy, Thief, etc. almost always suck.  They sometimes win you the game.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 01:33:13 pm by Dingan »
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swedenman

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #77 on: June 01, 2015, 05:32:15 pm »
0

Thief: Gets pretty big in games with many players.
Coppersmith: Besides draw-your-deck strategies, this enables you to gamble for very early very expensive cards like Prince
Nomad Camp: A buy, and when you need it. Also interesting for openings (again, with a little gambling)
Talisman: Strategies that want a big deck or lots of Silvers. Strategies about cheap cards. Cost reduction.
Spy: Also very useless, but at least it's a cantrip. That and the card reveal make it better than Scout allready, attack is just a useless bonus.

Scout can't compete. I'm not sure it's the worst card in Dominion, because Adventurer is a terrible piece of junk too, but i find it very hard to make up any card as bad, especially a card that costs $4. And i'm out of this discussion now, because i don't think statements are given the proper thought here.

(Is this still on topic?)

Game in which Spy+Thief were paramount:



Code: [Select]
Native Village, Doctor, Forager, Masquerade, Warehouse, Ironmonger, Spy, Thief, Border Village, Prince
http://www.gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?20150530/log.516d4577e4b082c74d7b716e.1432990015835.txt

My point: Scout, Spy, Thief, etc. almost always suck.  They sometimes win you the game.

I see how Thief is good, but why is Spy so essential? I suppose it helps with NVs, but no more so than Ironmongers. I'm pretty confident you could win on this board without a single Spy. Am I missing something?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 05:34:16 pm by swedenman »
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Dingan

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #78 on: June 01, 2015, 05:38:53 pm »
+1

Thief: Gets pretty big in games with many players.
Coppersmith: Besides draw-your-deck strategies, this enables you to gamble for very early very expensive cards like Prince
Nomad Camp: A buy, and when you need it. Also interesting for openings (again, with a little gambling)
Talisman: Strategies that want a big deck or lots of Silvers. Strategies about cheap cards. Cost reduction.
Spy: Also very useless, but at least it's a cantrip. That and the card reveal make it better than Scout allready, attack is just a useless bonus.

Scout can't compete. I'm not sure it's the worst card in Dominion, because Adventurer is a terrible piece of junk too, but i find it very hard to make up any card as bad, especially a card that costs $4. And i'm out of this discussion now, because i don't think statements are given the proper thought here.

(Is this still on topic?)

Game in which Spy+Thief were paramount:



Code: [Select]
Native Village, Doctor, Forager, Masquerade, Warehouse, Ironmonger, Spy, Thief, Border Village, Prince
http://www.gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?20150530/log.516d4577e4b082c74d7b716e.1432990015835.txt

My point: Scout, Spy, Thief, etc. almost always suck.  They sometimes win you the game.

I see how Thief is good, but why is Spy so essential? I suppose it helps with NVs, but I'm pretty confident you could win on this board without a single Spy. Am I missing something?

My opponent had bought 2 Golds throughout the course of the game.  I didn't buy any.  We each bought a Silver or 2 at some point.  Those were basically the only economy once the game matured because everything else was thinned out with either Forager, Doctor, or Mask.  We each had 2 Thieves.  Eventually, we each had Princed a Thief (we had a total of 5 Princes in play, wow!).  I had Spies; he did not (I eventually had 2 Spies Princed in addition to 1 Thief).  Basically, my Spies enabled me to hit the Golds and Silvers that were in our decks more often than he could the other way around (he was relying on luck to hit treasures in my deck).

Long story short, the Spies helped me put the only treasures on top of my opponent's deck so I could Thief them, and they were pretty much the only economy in either of our decks.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #79 on: June 01, 2015, 05:40:56 pm »
+5

Eventually, we each had Princed a Thief

Good ol' Prince of Thieves.
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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #80 on: June 01, 2015, 05:49:57 pm »
+4

Scout is bad, and should feel bad.
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swedenman

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #81 on: June 01, 2015, 07:05:37 pm »
0

Thief: Gets pretty big in games with many players.
Coppersmith: Besides draw-your-deck strategies, this enables you to gamble for very early very expensive cards like Prince
Nomad Camp: A buy, and when you need it. Also interesting for openings (again, with a little gambling)
Talisman: Strategies that want a big deck or lots of Silvers. Strategies about cheap cards. Cost reduction.
Spy: Also very useless, but at least it's a cantrip. That and the card reveal make it better than Scout allready, attack is just a useless bonus.

Scout can't compete. I'm not sure it's the worst card in Dominion, because Adventurer is a terrible piece of junk too, but i find it very hard to make up any card as bad, especially a card that costs $4. And i'm out of this discussion now, because i don't think statements are given the proper thought here.

(Is this still on topic?)

Game in which Spy+Thief were paramount:



Code: [Select]
Native Village, Doctor, Forager, Masquerade, Warehouse, Ironmonger, Spy, Thief, Border Village, Prince
http://www.gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?20150530/log.516d4577e4b082c74d7b716e.1432990015835.txt

My point: Scout, Spy, Thief, etc. almost always suck.  They sometimes win you the game.

I see how Thief is good, but why is Spy so essential? I suppose it helps with NVs, but I'm pretty confident you could win on this board without a single Spy. Am I missing something?

My opponent had bought 2 Golds throughout the course of the game.  I didn't buy any.  We each bought a Silver or 2 at some point.  Those were basically the only economy once the game matured because everything else was thinned out with either Forager, Doctor, or Mask.  We each had 2 Thieves.  Eventually, we each had Princed a Thief (we had a total of 5 Princes in play, wow!).  I had Spies; he did not (I eventually had 2 Spies Princed in addition to 1 Thief).  Basically, my Spies enabled me to hit the Golds and Silvers that were in our decks more often than he could the other way around (he was relying on luck to hit treasures in my deck).

Long story short, the Spies helped me put the only treasures on top of my opponent's deck so I could Thief them, and they were pretty much the only economy in either of our decks.

Oh duh. I forgot about the synergy with Thief.
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Just a Rube

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #82 on: June 01, 2015, 07:45:58 pm »
0

My point: Scout, Spy, Thief, etc. almost always suck.  They sometimes win you the game.
And the counter is that while Spy, Thief sometimes win you games, Scout never has that shining case. The best we've been able to determine is Scout/Mystic, in which it becomes, at best a lab. Now that's good ($5 value for a $4 card), but even there it's only that way if you have a high enough mystic density to draw 4 mystics in the same hand (plus 4 cards) as Scout. That's not winning the game.

But the biggest problem with scout is always the opportunity cost. Yes, you can imagine decks where having a Scout will help somewhat. But the thing is, you never just have a Scout magically appear in your deck (barring things like Swindler). You have to actively choose to gain Scout instead of some other card that you could be buying/workshopping/etc. at the same time. And that card will almost always help you more than Scout will. Dominion is not a long game; why are you wasting time getting a less useful card when you could be getting one that will help you more? And that's not even getting into the issue of having a Scout in your hand instead of some other card.
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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #83 on: June 01, 2015, 07:49:50 pm »
0

My point: Scout, Spy, Thief, etc. almost always suck.  They sometimes win you the game.
And the counter is that while Spy, Thief sometimes win you games, Scout never has that shining case. The best we've been able to determine is Scout/Mystic, in which it becomes, at best a lab. Now that's good ($5 value for a $4 card), but even there it's only that way if you have a high enough mystic density to draw 4 mystics in the same hand (plus 4 cards) as Scout. That's not winning the game.

Scout activating Herald makes it essentially a Lost City.
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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #84 on: June 01, 2015, 07:56:16 pm »
0

Say, no one in this thread has mentioned Scrying Pool—am I mistaken that Scout makes decent support for that?
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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #85 on: June 01, 2015, 08:07:03 pm »
0

Say, no one in this thread has mentioned Scrying Pool—am I mistaken that Scout makes decent support for that?

I don't think it needs the help.  Although I did once accidentally make a somewhat-working SP engine with Cartographer...
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Titandrake

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #86 on: June 01, 2015, 11:18:58 pm »
0

WW has stated that Scout/Scrying Pool is alright. You only need to pick it up near the end of the game though, before then I'd suspect the other <= $4 costs are better.
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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #87 on: June 02, 2015, 05:06:47 am »
+2

My point: Scout, Spy, Thief, etc. almost always suck.  They sometimes win you the game.
And the counter is that while Spy, Thief sometimes win you games, Scout never has that shining case. The best we've been able to determine is Scout/Mystic, in which it becomes, at best a lab. Now that's good ($5 value for a $4 card), but even there it's only that way if you have a high enough mystic density to draw 4 mystics in the same hand (plus 4 cards) as Scout. That's not winning the game.

Scout activating Herald makes it essentially a Lost City.

Scout activating Herald is -2 cards in hand, +1 action, +1 card, play an action you draw. That's not a Lost City, it's a Village.

If it's a Herald deck, Herald will work fine without Scout. If it's not, I highly doubt Scout will turn it into one.
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terminalCopper

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #88 on: June 02, 2015, 05:49:42 am »
+1

My point: Scout, Spy, Thief, etc. almost always suck.  They sometimes win you the game.
And the counter is that while Spy, Thief sometimes win you games, Scout never has that shining case. [...]

Well put.

Thief is a bad boy, most people avoid him, but sometimes his badness attracts a woman.

Scout is the grey, friendly guy who might know a couple of girls that like him as a friend in few occasions, but he is never brilliant, and so, none falls in love with him.

Sounds rather horrible to me.
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jomini

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #89 on: June 02, 2015, 11:31:48 am »
+4

The major problem with Scout is its opportunity cost.

I will routinely grab Scouts off of otherwise dead Iw gains in the mid-late game. Late game Scout is pretty good at increasing reliability - have a drawing village + Scout? Then your search space for your draw from 4 to 7 to line up the draw, deck ordering is pretty useful for those turns when you engine is starting to falter. Reordering the deck top is not a trivial ability - Golem (both so you can ensure that you draw Golems into hand and not skip them and to order actions so you hit the non-terminals first), Lookout (so you can efficiently trash & discard), Nv (use the mat as pseudo-trashing), and some other cards all care a good bit about what is on deck top.


Why is this rarely worth buying then? Because virtually always there is something else that gives you more reliability that is better up until that something runs out - e.g. more draw, or more villages. However if you've been using Iw to grab villages and silvers with Hunting Grounds for draw, once the villages are gone (and maybe slightly before) Scout is decent freebie. Sure you might have a spare +buy and $4 coin late game without components/silver you need to buy ... but when Scout starts to be useful you also need to consider Estate. Cards that can gain actions only (like Uni or Iw) may well say Scout is worth gaining just because Scout is marginally useful and it doesn't compete with estate.



Certainly I cannot fathom an equal opportunity cost Scout (e.g. from a Uni) being worse that a Pearl diver > 99% of the time. Do I win games off Scout? Ehh hard to tell. Certainly I think I have an edge when I mix a Scout into an Apothecary stack (very often making Scout a Lab or better, often letting me chain an additional Apoth that was buried 2-4 cards down on the deck) or when I add Scouts to a Pool deck (particularly if there is nothing cantrip at the opportunity cost). The marginal gain there is, at best, something like I might win 15% more of those games than I otherwise would (and this number will get smaller the better I become as a player), so most of the improved performance hard to pick out of the noise.

Scout does something useful that is often worth -1 card ... just not often worth it when you could buy a tiebreaker estate, silver, or an engine component instead.
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gamesou

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #90 on: June 02, 2015, 11:55:28 am »
0

Although I agree that Scout is terrible, I remember long ago playing a game where I believed I was right to open Scout. Do you agree?

Kingdom: Develop, Great Hall, Harem, Highway, Masquerade, Nomad Camp, Peddler, Scout, Silk Road, and Village

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120313-074928-6f49bdd8.html
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #91 on: June 02, 2015, 12:50:24 pm »
+3

Although I agree that Scout is terrible, I remember long ago playing a game where I believed I was right to open Scout. Do you agree?

Kingdom: Develop, Great Hall, Harem, Highway, Masquerade, Nomad Camp, Peddler, Scout, Silk Road, and Village

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120313-074928-6f49bdd8.html

No way. All that Scout nonsense was worse than just trashing with Masquerade, getting a stack of Highways, a few Nomad Camps and emptying Provinces.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #92 on: June 02, 2015, 12:53:41 pm »
+5

For what it's worth, I have replaced the Scouts in my physical set with a version that gives +$1 and is otherwise identical. So far it's been seeming very reasonable.
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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #93 on: June 02, 2015, 01:08:55 pm »
0

For what it's worth, I have replaced the Scouts in my physical set with a version that gives +$1 and is otherwise identical. So far it's been seeming very reasonable.
I was considering adding +1 Card to the bottom of Scout. That may actually make it as strong as Cartographer though.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #94 on: June 02, 2015, 01:35:18 pm »
0

For what it's worth, I have replaced the Scouts in my physical set with a version that gives +$1 and is otherwise identical. So far it's been seeming very reasonable.
I was considering adding +1 Card to the bottom of Scout. That may actually make it as strong as Cartographer though.

Yes, that card would easily be in $5 territory.
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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #95 on: June 02, 2015, 04:52:17 pm »
+1

My point: Scout, Spy, Thief, etc. almost always suck.  They sometimes win you the game.
And the counter is that while Spy, Thief sometimes win you games, Scout never has that shining case. The best we've been able to determine is Scout/Mystic, in which it becomes, at best a lab. Now that's good ($5 value for a $4 card), but even there it's only that way if you have a high enough mystic density to draw 4 mystics in the same hand (plus 4 cards) as Scout. That's not winning the game.

But the biggest problem with scout is always the opportunity cost. Yes, you can imagine decks where having a Scout will help somewhat. But the thing is, you never just have a Scout magically appear in your deck (barring things like Swindler). You have to actively choose to gain Scout instead of some other card that you could be buying/workshopping/etc. at the same time. And that card will almost always help you more than Scout will. Dominion is not a long game; why are you wasting time getting a less useful card when you could be getting one that will help you more? And that's not even getting into the issue of having a Scout in your hand instead of some other card.
Actually, you only need one Mystic in your hand and at least one in the top 4 cards of your deck. Play Scout, put Mystic on top, play Mystic, draw Mystic, play Mystic, draw other card.
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Seprix

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #96 on: June 04, 2015, 12:10:11 am »
0

Scout is weak because it does not replace itself. If it had a +1 card on it alone, it would be very strong, too strong for . It could very well be a cost instead. What you might want on Scout is a + or make it a village.
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Seprix

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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #97 on: June 04, 2015, 12:12:15 am »
0

Scout does something useful that is often worth -1 card ... just not often worth it when you could buy a tiebreaker estate, silver, or an engine component instead.

So you're saying Scout is really bad, and you shouldn't get it?

Princed Scout isn't terrible, if you really want to do that.
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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #98 on: June 04, 2015, 06:00:45 am »
+3

Princed Scout isn't terrible, if you really want to do that.

Well, it isn't terrible if you really want to do that. You probably don't, because it's usually terrible.
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Re: Scout is bad, not horrible?
« Reply #99 on: June 04, 2015, 06:14:08 am »
0

Princed Scout isn't terrible, if you really want to do that.

Well, it isn't terrible if you really want to do that. You probably don't, because it's usually terrible.

Depending on the game state, Prince of Scout is better than Prince of nothing. Obviously if you get a Scout just to prince it, you are skipping the chance to get Prince of something-better-than-Scout.
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