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Author Topic: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)  (Read 30987 times)

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Burning Skull

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #100 on: February 20, 2016, 03:31:30 am »
+4

i should prob take a break for a couple days though!

Yeah, chill :) You just gave the best advise to yourself.

You are a good Dominion player and will be even better if you keep trying and experimentating.
(Also, you are already magnitudes better than the guy who started this thread)

Limetime

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #101 on: February 20, 2016, 09:58:36 am »
+2

I have experience with this kind of frustration.(mainly from the poster above me) Just take a break, get some sleep, watch WW videos.
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Burning Skull

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #102 on: February 20, 2016, 10:31:35 am »
+4

it's a lot of me calling the opponent a moron

I have experience with this kind of frustration.(mainly from the poster above me)

Thank you, Limetime. I also think you are a nice person :D

Limetime

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #103 on: February 20, 2016, 10:43:19 am »
+1

it's a lot of me calling the opponent a moron

I have experience with this kind of frustration.(mainly from the poster above me)

Thank you, Limetime. I also think you are a nice person :D
Excuse me I didn't read that part of his post.
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Burning Skull

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #104 on: February 20, 2016, 10:57:26 am »
+2

That's a pity!

I was hoping that my Dominion skills finally grew up to the point when I can constantly make someone angry by winning with seemingly absurd strategies, but nope, not today.

SCSN

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #105 on: February 20, 2016, 11:03:44 am »
+3

i experimented with ignoring urchin here.  i (wrongly, as it turns out) saw this as a race to get rid of all your starting cards & get grand market first, and thought 2x steward could be faster for that.  i win that split but get destroyed...seems like having tons of draw was better because you can add gold and such (and buy coppers for mercenary later), which NEVER entered my mind whatsoever.  really this game is a nice encapsulation of my typical flowchart atm.

You don't even mention Mercenary's attack part in your consideration here, which is very strong and the main reason you should pick it over Steward. Even given that you don't go for it right away, you should still be picking one up later just for this, and if not that at the very least get one Urchin. Not attacking your opponent at all is just suicide.
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markusin

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #106 on: February 20, 2016, 11:47:32 am »
+1

i experimented with ignoring urchin here.  i (wrongly, as it turns out) saw this as a race to get rid of all your starting cards & get grand market first, and thought 2x steward could be faster for that.  i win that split but get destroyed...seems like having tons of draw was better because you can add gold and such (and buy coppers for mercenary later), which NEVER entered my mind whatsoever.  really this game is a nice encapsulation of my typical flowchart atm.

You don't even mention Mercenary's attack part in your consideration here, which is very strong and the main reason you should pick it over Steward. Even given that you don't go for it right away, you should still be picking one up later just for this, and if not that at the very least get one Urchin. Not attacking your opponent at all is just suicide.

Yeah it's good to keep in mind how discard attacks make it more difficult to trash cards and gain good cards at the same time. Not to mention the +2 cards and +2 coins Mercenary gets upon trashing.
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smcrtorchs

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #107 on: February 20, 2016, 12:14:17 pm »
+3

Hey Funkdoc,

Defenitely take your break, then at a point note you own comment close at the end of your post: "but this game seems too board-specific for that to do a whole lot?" I could not agree more with this. The ration between getting better and studying a game is very much depended on the way that you study a game. While I believe that studying you tube videos can help, it should be incorporated in a much bigger learning plan. I will try to share some of my thoughts, but be aware that every person learns differently and what works for me, might not work for you.

People are really bad at studying any game for many reasons. If you try to just have a single way to understand the whole game of dominion you will eventually keep bettering and bettering that way until it becomes something different. As you start using the different way, you will slowly but surely forget what you already learned with the old way of thinking. Assuming that you can keep  bettering and bettering the way you understand a game, which is something natural, the process above might be repeated many times. This can lead to a non improving rating for a long time, especially if the new way of thinking creates new interesting decisions that you never faced before.

A much better way to study complex strategy games like dominion is to approach them like a concept with many many different areas that you have to master. One Area can be madman market square, another can be madman coppersmith, a third example can be cultist familiar etc.

What is important when you study those areas is to leave no unanswered questions behind. For example, Rebuild is also such an area and there are excellent articles written on it. I no longer remember their content, but I remember thinking: ok after 2 rebuilds I need to go for duchies, but why? As I understood later this was because we are expecting the opponent to contest the duchies. If opponent does not care for the split, we can probably get a third rebuild as it will turn it self into a duchy sooner or later. Another example of a question is whether I need to buy a Junk dealer first if I am playing Journeyman BM. I believe that no Junk dealer should be better at the moment but this question is one I should answer if I want to better my self in the Journeyman big money area and the broader big money area.

You can always ask for such details, or just go through the more time consuming path of playtesting. Asking is probably better, even if you flood the forum with questions. Just be sure that you reached the bottom of the why question. In many cases you will wrongly think that you reach the bottom, but this is good enough to progress and you cannot do better at that time. After you study an area, take written notes on it, revise them from time to time and do add new findings as you understand the game deeper and deeper. An example of what to take note might be for example on how many turns you expect on average to get 4 provinces with a specific strategy and how this can change when you play with colonies. This way you have a rough guide to use for comparing strategies when you play.

There is a specific excercise that certainly helped my game, although it is very time consuming. Take every drawing card and every village in dominion and some trashers and try to build continuously up to double province each time while you keep changing the villages, the drawing cards and the trashers that you use in your deck. Yes the list is long, but it does help. Take down notes on how the game differs with each cards.

Every learning process should start by identifying your leaks and coming up with a specific way to fill the blanks. Dividing a game to many many areas, makes sure that you can do both. It is hard to see how you can use the You tube videos of the best players directly to fill blanks and so I would defenitely not expect anything great from it. Watching those videos actually helped me more to identify my leaks, as people there were doing things I would not think at all on my own.

Finally note that maybe you do not consider fun such an approach and you prefer to follow a slower but more fun route. I defenitely believe that people should follow the funnier route which is not the same for everyone.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 01:04:08 pm by smcrtorchs »
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funkdoc

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #108 on: February 20, 2016, 04:58:22 pm »
+1

i experimented with ignoring urchin here.  i (wrongly, as it turns out) saw this as a race to get rid of all your starting cards & get grand market first, and thought 2x steward could be faster for that.  i win that split but get destroyed...seems like having tons of draw was better because you can add gold and such (and buy coppers for mercenary later), which NEVER entered my mind whatsoever.  really this game is a nice encapsulation of my typical flowchart atm.

You don't even mention Mercenary's attack part in your consideration here, which is very strong and the main reason you should pick it over Steward. Even given that you don't go for it right away, you should still be picking one up later just for this, and if not that at the very least get one Urchin. Not attacking your opponent at all is just suicide.

yep, and i usually follow this rule.  i just didn't think the attack would be all that relevant if you can get rid of your junk before it gets rolling, because you'll just have a deck with these godlike cantrips so you'll draw everything anyway.  but i guess having to discard even one of those cantrips gives you way less leeway if you don't have bigger draw!

i posted that game mainly to show my general building pattern, but there are others.  like say you have goons, one generic village, and warehouse w/ no trashing...you stick swindler on that board and i don't touch it because i see it as a stop card taking up an action that could go to goons instead.  i assume whoever plays goons the most wins that game so i try to maximize that, but the swindlers hit their mark and i end up spending 20 minutes on a lost cause.  or something like jester if we've both thinned our decks some but aren't quite drawing the whole thing - i just never even consider it until i get more draw, and by then it's often time to green anyway so i end up at a disadvantage to the player with that extra bit of payload.

basically i just try to boil every game down to doing one thing, and end up ignoring anything that gets in the way of that one thing no matter how much else it offers.  the frustrating part is that i notice these problems as i'm playing but can't figure out anything else to do instead.  guess it's gotta come with time!


thank you very much for the advice and kind words, everyone.  i did play this morning but not nearly as long as last night, and i'll stick to the "taking a break" thing now.  i should actually stick to my word of streaming my non-league games, that'll keep my rage in check too.

funkdoc

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #109 on: June 03, 2016, 04:23:03 pm »
0

so i haven't posted here in a while because i took a break and then adventures came out and i've been playing every night and keep losing and playing more to get back the points i lost and lose even more and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

here's my big hurdle atm: i don't enjoy looking at the board for more than a minute or two before my opening buys, and i hate the idea of playing a single turn that takes 5+ minutes.  i'm an action junkie, probably thanks to my many years in Street Fighter etc...i just wanna click buttons and do things that make me feel cool & powerful, ya know?  i find the more i play, the more i dread going for engines - especially those built around midturn gaining.

not a good feeling to have in the middle of a league season, especially one where i truly believed i could win the group before losing a 5-1 set.  i had this goal of making it to B in my "rookie year", and time is running out on that one...

i know exactly what my problems are and have known them for years; i don't know how to plan entire cohesive strategies in advance unless i've already experienced all the factors involved, and i don't know how to create logic from anything besides past history.  i have zero idea how to learn these things, so i've spent my life finding workarounds for them.  that only goes so far, though, and this game really exposes that for me.

i just feel so lost, in a way that goes beyond "just a game"

Seprix

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #110 on: June 03, 2016, 05:00:19 pm »
+2

I understand your pain. I used to feel that way all the time. You just have to accept the losses, and watch what other people do. Relax, it's just a game. I have also developed a system of analyzing boards, so I play a whole lot better as a result.

What I do is this, and in no particular order:

1. Scan the board for good combos/power cards I recognize, such as Rebuild, Mountebank, Chapel, Scrying Pool, etc.
2. Find a way to incorporate those cards into an engine, Big Money, etc.
3. Find a way to incorporate any of the rest of the cards into an Engine

Finding out whether to go for the Engine or not is an interesting one, and there are a lot of potential situations I have to consider.

1. Are there any gains? (this includes +buys)
2. Are there ways to capitalize on these gains?
3. Is there trashing?
4. Is there a horrific attack that is going to really suck if you don't have an engine? (Ghost Ship, Mountebank, Familiar, etc.)
5. Are +Actions easy to come by? Are there +Actions at all?
6. Is there draw?

An engine is not going to go so well if most of these things are lacking, but it can still beat many Big Money strategies. The trick is to know when an engine is weak enough to avoid in favor of Big Money. Engines always beat Big Money in the long run, and that's what Engines want. Long term. Big Money is short term. As Titandrake wrote in his wonderful article, Big Money is basically a bet that you can score more points in the short term than your opponent's engine can do in the long term. This scenario is of course very rare, and if there's any sort of real doubt, it is probably better to go for the engine. There are three primary reasons to go for the engine.

1. There is a legitimate Rush strategy available that squashes Big Money (Rats/Upgrade, Stonemason, etc.)
2. There is a way to get more than 1 Province a turn (this could be only Duchies or another alt-VP)
3. The weird exception; the awful attack that sucks if you just go for Big Money

Lastly, there is thinking about openings, mid game, and the end game. It is good to have all three phases in mind, much like chess.

Firstly, the opening. The goal of the opening is to get to the midgame as fast as possible.

Again, to put Titandrake's article into context, getting a gainer early (Butcher, Ironworks) is basically a bet that you will sacrifice short term economy or purchasing power to get a longer term advantage in economy. The earlier the bet, the better. If you get an Ironworks the last turn of the game, it does you no good. Trashing lets you get to your purchased cards quicker, and is again a bet for short term losses for a long term gain. With this in mind, it could be considered to get two trashers, a gainer/trasher, trasher/economy, gainer/economy, and so on. I did not mention attacks yet, but they are also crucial for the reasons that they slow the opponent's plan down. Attacks that do not give you some sort of economy/trashing/gaining are much weaker, like Sea Hag. Mountebank is strong not only because it double junks your opponent, but also because it provides such a boost in economy.

Secondly, the midgame. The goal of the midgame is to get to the end game as efficiently as possible. You can see where I'm getting at with this.

Notice that I did not say quickly. Efficiency includes speed in its definition, and it is not enough to simply be the first to get the Province if your opponent can simply triple Province a turn in 4 turns extra of preparation. When to get economy? When to stop buying engine pieces and go into the end game? This is what the midgame is about. It's much trickier than the opening, but this is where your pre-game planning comes into play.

Lastly, the endgame. Tables stated this best with his classic f.ds mantra: In Dominion, the objective is not to have the most points when the game ends. The objective to have the game end when you have the most points. This is likely the single most important rule in all of Dominion. The endgame can be a turn after the midgame. The endgame can be 90 turns away. It all depends on your plan to end the game while ahead.

There's a whole lot to consider for sure, but that's basically what runs through my head nowadays.
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Dingan

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #111 on: June 03, 2016, 06:38:57 pm »
+1


All good stuff.  I basically do a variation of what you do pre-first-turn.  I first look if there are engine components:
- thinning
- +Actions and/or Throne Room variants
- draw
- +buys and/or gaining
- virtual economy, or some way to have Treasures inside of all those other things

I then look if there are powerful attacks:
- is there an attack I want to play once ever turn (Militia)?
- is there an attack I want to play as many of as possible (Rabble)?
- is there a junker that I can ignore, and am I Ok with getting all of that junk?

I then look for the cool combos that can basically run away with the game if there's no counter to them: Hermit / MS, Traveling Fair / Counting House, pins, etc.

Pre-Adventures, I would always play my 3 or 4 Treasures and then think about all that stuff, and then buy something.  But now, because of things like Save, Alms, etc., I've realized you need to think before you even play any Treasures.

So that's kind of the back-bone of my thought process before my first turn.  Of course, there are always variations, and a lot of uncertainty will still remain.  Are Necropolis or Trusty Steed enough +Actions?  Is Outpost enough gaining?  Is this faster than straight Rebuild?  Can Swindler throw my entire plan out the window?  Will my opponent Embargo the Apothecary pile if I open Potion?  Etc., etc.

I am almost always very unsure on the answers to these questions.  And 8 times out of 10 I kind of just go with something and hope it works out.  But at least I'm thinking about it.  Also, unless it's like a super important league match or something, I try not to take that much time doing it.  If it runs into more than like a minute, I'll just say f it and go with Silver or whatever.

And it's fun to be wrong, so that helps.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 06:50:21 pm by Dingan »
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Infthitbox

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #112 on: June 03, 2016, 07:26:18 pm »
+2

I only have two rules:

Drink lots of water.
Don't get angry.

I'm not very good at these things. However, I find that thinking about doing these things accomplishes the primary goal, Slow the F--- Down. I don't know your music taste, but try listening to something calming, something slower and/or laid-back while you are playing, should help you slow down just enough to think about what is going on. And when you find yourself insta-rematching after a bad loss and throwing good rating points after bad, hit the Quit button. Its big, its green, its there for a reason.

I'm not going to try to give you Dominion advice, you can get that from players better than me.
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dondon151

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #113 on: June 03, 2016, 08:45:30 pm »
+2

i'm an action junkie, probably thanks to my many years in Street Fighter etc...i just wanna click buttons and do things that make me feel cool & powerful, ya know?

Isn't SF (and all fighting games) about being patient and finding openings? If all you do in SF is click buttons, then you must not be very good at it.
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Seprix

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #114 on: June 03, 2016, 09:34:19 pm »
0

i'm an action junkie, probably thanks to my many years in Street Fighter etc...i just wanna click buttons and do things that make me feel cool & powerful, ya know?

Isn't SF (and all fighting games) about being patient and finding openings? If all you do in SF is click buttons, then you must not be very good at it.

So THAT'S why I suck at SF5!
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jsh357

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #115 on: June 03, 2016, 09:37:42 pm »
+3

You can't be expected to see every possible combo all the time. I miss obvious things frequently; all you can really do is adapt and move on. There are painstaking pre-opening processes you can put yourself through to try and improve, but at the end of the day it doesn't make as big a difference as people think. Often your best gut guess will do you quite well. Of course, I'm no Stef or Mic. I personally play a lot better when I'm calm and not stressing the game so much. If I have any particular advice: pay more attention to the endgame than the beginning. Everyone goes nuts over that initial board analysis, but at some point no matter what strategy you chose, you are playing with the deck you have built and now you have to figure out what decisions to make before everything ends. I see novice players flub the end of the game way more than the beginning! Heck, they can just copy my opening and do well often enough. I think I started being particularly cognizant of this fact somewhere around level 53 on the iso board. What can I say; I'm a slow learner.

I would relax some. You're 80th on the leaderboard; that is very impressive. You can compete with any top player in all likelihood. Thousands are stuck below you, some of them probably trying as hard as you are.
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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #116 on: June 04, 2016, 12:28:11 am »
+9

Don't play at night even if you don't think your sleepy.
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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #117 on: June 04, 2016, 11:08:58 am »
+1

Don't play drunk either
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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #118 on: June 04, 2016, 03:04:07 pm »
+2

so i haven't posted here in a while because i took a break and then adventures came out and i've been playing every night and keep losing and playing more to get back the points i lost and lose even more and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

here's my big hurdle atm: i don't enjoy looking at the board for more than a minute or two before my opening buys, and i hate the idea of playing a single turn that takes 5+ minutes.  i'm an action junkie, probably thanks to my many years in Street Fighter etc...i just wanna click buttons and do things that make me feel cool & powerful, ya know?  i find the more i play, the more i dread going for engines - especially those built around midturn gaining.

not a good feeling to have in the middle of a league season, especially one where i truly believed i could win the group before losing a 5-1 set.  i had this goal of making it to B in my "rookie year", and time is running out on that one...

i know exactly what my problems are and have known them for years; i don't know how to plan entire cohesive strategies in advance unless i've already experienced all the factors involved, and i don't know how to create logic from anything besides past history.  i have zero idea how to learn these things, so i've spent my life finding workarounds for them.  that only goes so far, though, and this game really exposes that for me.

i just feel so lost, in a way that goes beyond "just a game"

About that 5-1 set.

In the one game you beat me, you won because I didn't think about how to end the game on a win once I had a better deck than you.

In at least two of the games where I beat you (the scrying pool game where I dipped into gardens and the one where I stupidly did stonemason/feodum), you didn't think about how to end the game on a win once you had a better deck than me. You had the deck that deserved to and could have won both of those games. But you were playing your fun deck instead of focusing on ending the game. So I found a way to come back in the meantime and you lost.

In the other ones I think I just had better shuffle luck.
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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #119 on: June 04, 2016, 04:26:51 pm »
+3

not a good feeling to have in the middle of a league season, especially one where i truly believed i could win the group before losing a 5-1 set.  i had this goal of making it to B in my "rookie year", and time is running out on that one...

Hey now! There's some mighty fine players in C1, if I do say so myself. You're not the only rookie looking to get to B on his first try ;).
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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #120 on: June 04, 2016, 06:11:35 pm »
+1

I don't know your music taste, but try listening to something calming, something slower and/or laid-back while you are playing, should help you slow down just enough to think about what is going on.

I had trouble concentrating during (competitive) Dominion matches. Usually because I don't know what to do with the time between my own turns (which is probably why I like playing bots) and then I started listening to Trap Mixes on youtube. I was never a fan of Trap Music before, but damn, this stuff works. I mean, it's not the most calming of genres, but I think Infthitbox is onto something here. Listening to the right music can really help with your focus.
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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #121 on: June 04, 2016, 07:10:08 pm »
0

here's my big hurdle atm: i don't enjoy looking at the board for more than a minute or two before my opening buys, and i hate the idea of playing a single turn that takes 5+ minutes.  i'm an action junkie, probably thanks to my many years in Street Fighter etc...i just wanna click buttons and do things that make me feel cool & powerful, ya know?  i find the more i play, the more i dread going for engines - especially those built around midturn gaining.

i just feel so lost, in a way that goes beyond "just a game"

Losing is good. It let's you figure out what works, what doesn't, and how different combinations of cards interact.

And, in the end, winning and losing is something you can't control. Sometimes you get a really bad draw and there's nothing you can do.

Decisions are the aspect of the game that you do have control over. If you want to play really good dominion, you have to focus on making really good decisions.

So, don't be afraid to mess up. And if you do make a mistake, take a look at the game log and learn from it. And if you're ever really lost, come consult your posse in this thread :)
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funkdoc

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #122 on: June 04, 2016, 07:57:32 pm »
0

haven't had time to read all the responses yet, but thank you very much!  i've got another league match today, so i'll probably say more after that's done.

just wanted to touch on this one~

i'm an action junkie, probably thanks to my many years in Street Fighter etc...i just wanna click buttons and do things that make me feel cool & powerful, ya know?

Isn't SF (and all fighting games) about being patient and finding openings? If all you do in SF is click buttons, then you must not be very good at it.

of course!  people think it's just mashing buttons but there's so much more.  what i meant is, it's all still really fast-paced.  it always feels like there's something going on, in a way that it doesn't when Stef or Adam sits there inactive for minutes on end.


little extra bit for everyone: part of why i talk about this being bigger than a game is that a lot of this reflects how i am as a person in general.  i've always been a "just wing it" sort who never has a plan B, and i worry that it holds me back in a bunch of ways.  a big reason i got into this game is that it runs so counter to my personality and i was hoping it could help re-train my brain, ya know?

-Stef-

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #123 on: June 04, 2016, 08:06:49 pm »
+5

haven't had time to read all the responses yet, but thank you very much!  i've got another league match today, so i'll probably say more after that's done.

Have you considered streaming those? Most streamers get a lot of comments on their play so if you watch it back it's great for your confidence you might learn something.
Slightly more serious - if you want to improve getting comments on your actions/decisions is good, but getting comments on your reasoning is even better.
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funkdoc

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Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« Reply #124 on: June 04, 2016, 08:49:44 pm »
+2

i figured someone would ask why i haven't been streaming lately!  couple reasons:

1. OBS + dominion overheating my laptop.  it's been better lately but still scary enough that i wouldn't want to stream any league matches.

2. no MMF mod for the time being.  without custom screen resolutions, i can't stream a decent-looking window thanks to my poor ol' laptop screen. =(
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