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Author Topic: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair  (Read 10299 times)

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gamesou

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Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« on: June 11, 2015, 06:02:20 am »
+72

This combo seems to have some potential.

The idea is to never buy any card beyond Copper, Counting House and green.

Fill your deck with copper ($3 -> Copper x2, $4 -> Copper x3) and buy a Counting House when you get $5. It's likely that you will have a lot of copper in your discard pile when playing CH. If you have $7, buy and top-deck a Counting House.

When you manage to get $13, buy Travelling Fair x4, Couting House, Copper x4.  Top-deck everything. The "engine" has now started. You will no longer shuffle and get more and more buying power. Repeat and replace progressively coppers by green cards.

This can be killed by the opponent triggering a reshuffle.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 06:13:11 am by gamesou »
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ChocophileBenj

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 07:25:17 am »
+2

It's nice to point it out since it exploits nicely the mechanisms of the cards. But is it reliable ?

"When you manage to get $13" Good luck with that. Of course if you don't have an empty deck then you aren't forced to topdeck 5 cards but still :
-you need extra buys (so actions or lots of money for TF that acts like a "village of buys" (1 buy to get 2 but you spend $2) )
-it's very unlikely to work, since opponents should grab 2 provinces in the meantime with another strategy.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 08:27:39 am by ChocophileBenj »
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 09:49:43 am »
+4

It's nice to point it out since it exploits nicely the mechanisms of the cards. But is it reliable ?

"When you manage to get $13" Good luck with that. Of course if you don't have an empty deck then you aren't forced to topdeck 5 cards but still :
-you need extra buys (so actions or lots of money for TF that acts like a "village of buys" (1 buy to get 2 but you spend $2) )
-it's very unlikely to work, since opponents should grab 2 provinces in the meantime with another strategy.

I think you are underestimating the combo. You don't need to hit 13 to get started. The first time you get a counting house "at the right time" you can buy another and topdeck it to stack your deck with traveling fair. This greatly increaess the odds of getting 13 again in the near future. As soon as you hit 13, you're provincing every turn until endgame, with room for some duchies to tiebreak. Moreover, you're immune to discard or cursing attacks. If you can do this by turn 12 or so, you'll beat most strategies I can think of. I expect this to be pretty dominant.

I imagine this is a frustrating combo in a mirror, on the order of rebuild, where, once both plays have a vague idea what they are doing, the impact of minor differences in decision-making will be trumped by who draws counting house in the right part of the shuffle first.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 10:20:51 am »
+17

I just tried it.

Turn 8: 1st Province
Turn 9: 2nd Province
Turn 10: 3rd Province
Turn 11: 4th and 5th Provinces
Turn 12: Last 3 Provinces and a Duchy.

You basically have to be uncontested in Counting Houses, though. I bought 9 of them in order to pull it off.

EDIT: My deck had 36 Coppers by the end.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 10:22:42 am by LastFootnote »
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jsh357

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2015, 10:56:40 am »
+3

Lol
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2015, 11:15:04 am »
+3

You basically have to be uncontested in Counting Houses, though. I bought 9 of them in order to pull it off.

Well, even if you're contested in Counting Houses, that just means that it'll suck for both players so it's still fine.

jomini

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2015, 12:42:35 pm »
+3

This is also extremely vulnerable to Possession, Pillage and Minion.

Possession will of course steal your good turns, but it will also leave you without a Chouse on top (depending on if you have more in your draw deck, this might not matter). Getting Possession by T9 or so is hard, but doable (opening Silver/Chap can expect to hit Possession around T8).

Pillage, if hit consistently, can leave you without a Chouse in hand. Hitting once during the build up could be a severely crippling attack (as you won't have as many Chouses you can topdeck).

Minion can do the same, though given that you draw 4 more cards, it may not matter if you get enough early Chouses.

Cutpurse will work wonders on slowing this - all coppers means that Cpurse turns mean no Chouse buys in the early game. You will have a lot slower liftoff if you can't hit Chouse on T3/4. Cpurse/Masq can just destroy this by forcing the discard of 4 coppers and then getting rid of a Chouse from the game. Taxman might also work to buy time here.

You also might be able to disrupt this with Thief of all things. You can force a reshuffle (as can Tribute or Oracle), but you can also crush coppers. Something like Kc/Thief might be enough to trigger reshuffles and diminish copper stocks. Pirate ship works the same, but better. Knights make another option - kill Chouses, force a reshuffle, and kill any duchies. Rogue has potential, but you will have to play him a lot more and likely want a way to deal with the Chouses you gain. Most likely you'd need a way to play a lot of these quickly (e.g. Kc), but anything that flips your top two cards can get those bad reshuffles in sooner.
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2015, 12:52:31 pm »
+37

I love that suddenly it needs to be proved that counting house isn't completely unstoppable.

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2015, 02:01:17 pm »
+8

And now it has a wiki page.
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2015, 02:46:14 pm »
+2

I hadn't really thought about Traveling Fair until now. It's too bad Highway doesn't reduce the cost of Events.
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terminalCopper

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2015, 02:56:02 pm »
+3

And now it has a wiki page.

I think it is way too early for that.
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2015, 03:02:14 pm »
+5

And now it has a wiki page.

I think it is way too early for that.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
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werothegreat

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2015, 03:06:07 pm »
+8

And now it has a wiki page.

I think it is way too early for that.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

*bangs on screws furiously*

Can someone get me a file to get all these twisty bits off?
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AdamH

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2015, 04:17:34 pm »
+2

And now it has a wiki page.

I think it is way too early for that.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

*bangs on screws furiously*

Can someone get me a file to get all these twisty bits off?

Dude, just hit it with the hammer some more, it will work out :P
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Jimmmmm

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2015, 06:13:50 pm »
0

Do we finally have something which makes Counting House/Coppersmith work (with a Village of course)?
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2015, 06:15:46 pm »
0

Do we finally have something which makes Counting House/Coppersmith work (with a Village of course)?

You could maybe swing that with COTR or Lost Arts, but there's an opportunity cost if you go for the Coppersmith.
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gamesou

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2015, 03:20:03 am »
+1

Some more thoughts:

* even if the opponent manages to trigger a reshuffle, the Counting House player can regenerate like a phoenix, and possibly be even more powerful. For example I expect the combo to crush Oracle-BM or weak Scrying Pool engines.

* the biggest threat is perhaps the depletion of the Counting House pile. This means that a wise opponent can deny them, and in many boards this might be enough to stop the combo.

* however, some cards give more longevity to the combo player since they can be used as a virtual second stack of Counting Houses. I can think of Herald, Scheme and Inn.

* keep in mind that even if the Counting House pile is empty, the combo player will have some lucky megaturns if the game lasts.

* Coppersmith (+any village) has been mentioned as a card which helps the combo. Another one is Bank, which can be easily worth $30 or more. However, the biggest question on a given board is whether the combo is dominant or can be countered, and the presence of Coppersmith/Bank should be almost irrelevant to answer this.
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terminalCopper

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2015, 04:52:40 am »
+9

I figured out that its very important to hit $7 after at most two shuffles. The gaining of coppers has the downside that your first shuffle will take T3-T5, and your next shuffle T6-T9. If by then you did not get any $7-hand, you will have to wait for a counting house in, say, T10-T14; and if your $7 shows up at e.g. T12, you will probably need till T16 to get to five provinces. This is ok on a weak board, but too late compared to a good engine. In other terms:

The odds to hit $7 before a third shuffle is crucial, and to start with, I will approximate the simple scenario of opening 3/4 gaining 5 coppers in total:

In that case, you have 15 cards including 12 coppers and three estates, distributed on three turns, namely T3, T4, T5.

a) The risk to hit $4 three times is 10/14 * 5/13 (approximately 27.5 percent).
b) The chance to hit $5 twice (buying CH twice and two coppers) is 4/14 * 3/13 (approximately 6.6%)
c) in all other cases you get exactly one CH and it is recommended to gain 4 additional coppers (if you buy 5, it makes your decksize 21 cards, that creates an unnecessary 1/21 risk to miss CH next shuffle). The odds of c) are 1-27.5%-6.6% = 65.9%

-> a) If you miss a CH on T3-T5, you wont get 7 before the next shuffle.
-> b) If you have 2 CHs, you have 19 cards including 3 estates and 2 CHs. This leads to three turns T6, T7, T8, and four cards will be seen after a reshuffle in T9 (which is bad). That means, you will need a third shuffle, if both CHs show up in T6 or T9, the odds are 9/19 * 8/18 =4/19 (approx. 21.1. %).
-> c) You need a third shuffle, if your counting house comes in T6 (25%)

Total: The odds to need three shuffles in (27.5%*100%) + (6.6%*21.1%) + (65.9%*25%) = 45.4%.

The other way round, you will be able to hit $7 and rush the provinces before the third shuffle in 55.6% of all solitaire games starting 4/3.

This is, by now, not the whole story, e.g. you might start 5/2 or topdeck coppers on 4/3. But I think this analysis allows some rough ...

... conclusions:

Basically, its a kind of coinflip whether you will get to 5 provinces extremely fast (lets call this scenario T12") or solely with a mediocre speed (called T16").

If there is a strong alternative, that will certainly beat T16 and still has some potential to beat you at T12, the combo is too weak.
If the best alternative will certainly lose against T12 and still have trouble beating T16, the combo is strong.
In middling scenarios, T12 will likely win, and T16 will likely lose. In that case, Cutpurse (or similar) will make the difference, because with the attack, T16 becomes more likely than T12. And so:

  • On a weak board, go for it.
  • On a mediocre board, go for it if there is no attack like cutpurse.
  • Otherwise, skip it if there is an engine/combo that might beat 5 provs by T12.

In other terms: Counting House/Travelling Fair is more often the best way to go than not. Thx for posting it, gamesou :)
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gamesou

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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2015, 12:06:52 pm »
+3

What is totally unclear to me is whether you should topdeck your early copper buys.
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2015, 01:35:35 pm »
+6

1. It's a real shame we can't play with this online, it would be really educational to see how it matches up against lots of different strategies :(

2. I would be really interested to see the differences between Province games and Colony games in practice, I think that the Colony situation would be very interesting, since CH already likes Colony boards.

3. I too am skeptical of getting your first CH using only Copper. Granted, when you're top-decking Copper it's probably more feasible, but I really would like to be able to play lots of games with this and see what kinds of enablers can be worthwhile to help you hit an early $5.

4. This is actually really cool and groundbreaking. I'm sort of disappointed that the OP doesn't have like 55 +1s. This is probably the best post these forums have seen in several months IMO.
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2015, 02:09:35 pm »
+10

3. I too am skeptical of getting your first CH using only Copper. Granted, when you're top-decking Copper it's probably more feasible, but I really would like to be able to play lots of games with this and see what kinds of enablers can be worthwhile to help you hit an early $5.

If you have $3 on turn 1 you're guaranteed to hit $5 before you shuffle:

1. CCCEE -> CC (CCECC)
2. CCCCE -> CCC (CC)
3. CCCCC

If you have $4 on turn 1 and don't hit $5 before you shuffle, you're guaranteed to hit $5 three times before you shuffle twice:

1. CCCCE -> CCC (CECEC)
2. CCCCE -> CCC (CEC) (If you only get $3 on turn 3 you'll get $5 on turn 3.)
3. CCCCE -> CCC (C)
4. CCCCE -> CCC (CECECCCCCCCCCCCC)
5. CCCCE -> CCC (CECCCCCCCCCCCC)
6. CCCCE -> CCC (CCCCCCCCCCCC)
7. CCCCC (CCCCCCCCCC)
8. CCCCC (CCCCC)
9. CCCCC

EDIT: Obviously this is assuming no disruptive attacks.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 02:14:03 pm by Jimmmmm »
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2015, 02:34:10 pm »
+1

Travelling Fair: Open by topdecking Coppers and get three turns before your first shuffle.  It's like opening Mandarin, but more reliable.
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2015, 09:51:59 pm »
+3

I was thinking about this a bit today and I'm wondering when this would also work with Pstone?

Pstone has the advantage that you do not care about shuffle timing at all. You can also mix and match a lot of terminals that become dead weight for Chouse. To ensure a buy a Pstone you just need $10 (three Tfairs and $4 for the Pot), and this quite likely an overestimate as you only need $8 if you can hit copper for sure and $6 if you can be assured of hitting two coppers or silver (so looking at Jimmmm's numbers you should be able to start top decking to $6 around T5 without too much trouble). Getting a replaceable strategy going just requires $9P ($3P for the Pstone, $4 for the Pot, and $2 for the Tfair). Getting your Pstones to be worth $9P requires 45 cards in deck, meaning you need to gain 35 this I think isn't that hard. First, I think 3 cards per turn is not too hard with Tfair. Secondly, if you are bloating your deck with copper, it isn't too hard to count on just one copper in 3 when all you have in deck is estates; even $2 is a pretty safe bet. I'd have to do some work to see if this could be faster than Chouse, but the pricing isn't too horrid.

Now Pstone does not gain value as fast as Chouse (1/5 the gain in buying power), but you don't need as much build up ($19P for Province + reliable top deck), you could top deck Pstone/Pot/Pot to set up a double shot, and because you are cycling (possibly even setting something awesome like Storeroom on top with Pstone/Pot); you will have some double Pstone turns.

This is, of course, more vulnerable to discard attacks than Chouse, but you cannot ruin anything by forcing an early shuffle (Gov, Cr, Tribute, Knights, Rogue, Pool, etc.). Does it gain value fast enough to beat engines? I'm not terribly sure. At $9P you are gaining $.6 per turn. This does increase, but only slowly. However, unlike Chouse there are a lot of cards that can make this stronger - any sort of sifting (like Warehouse, Storeroom, etc.) can get you decent returns on lining up Pstones. Likewise have good number of enablers: Beggar (top deck him for $4, gain $3 this turn and 3 cards for next turn), Squire (lose a buy this turn, get it back with a spare next turn), Herbalist (defer a +buy, reuse Pstones/Pots), Cache (more quickly increase your bloat), Death Cart (cheap bloat, easily sling shot to high values), Stonemason (cheap bloat).


Some of these, like Squire or Beggar might help Chouse (you can top deck Beggar at the top of a shuffle for a quick Chouse buy, or to top deck another Beggar and quickly ramp up your Chouse yield) as well, but Pstone has flexibility with shuffles so you can try stuff like Scav or Sage. Gut impulse is that Chouse is stronger, even with the shuffle dynamics ... but I think Pstone can do the trick as well which might be fun.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 02:58:28 pm by jomini »
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2015, 03:12:47 pm »
+2

Someone Embargoing the Coppers early enough against this would be hilarious.

(Though, I'm not actually sure what would even qualify as "early enough"...)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 03:22:12 pm by mith »
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Re: Combo : Counting House/Travelling Fair
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2015, 03:28:08 pm »
+2

Someone Embargoing the Coppers early enough against this would be hilarious.

(Though, I'm not actually sure what would even qualify as "early enough"...)

I'm not so sure how much that would hurt actually. It seems like this combo would be very resilient to Cursing; you could just get all 10 Curses in your deck and maybe not care.
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