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Author Topic: Most Skill-Intensive Cards  (Read 15232 times)

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jonts26

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2012, 11:43:11 am »
0

If you're going that way you can probably add: Silver.

A bad player won't buy enough Silver.
A mediocre player will buy too many.
A good player will buy one too little or one too many.
A great player will buy just enough Silver.
And the very best player will buy it with $5 every single time instead of that Bazaar/Market/...

Really? But surely Bazaar/Market/Treasury/Peddler are generally better than Silver when your average card is worth > $1?

Edit: assuming no terminal drawing of course.

In a Big Money type game the silver would generally be better, though the +buy from market might help, I'm not sure. In any sort of engine the $5 money generating cantrip is going to be better.

O rly?

(Cantrip money-maker usually going to be better regardless, unless there's like a curser on board, or terminal draw).

Oh man, did I phrase that wrong. I just woke up and had a huge brain fart. Sorry. Yeah I was thinking big money/envoy or something. Please ignore me and move along.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2012, 12:01:28 pm »
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I was going to write a quite long reply about outposts, thrones, and so on but having re-read the question I'll answer ...

Quote
I'm not talking about the best cards necessarily, but the ones where there is the biggest disparity between what a good player will get out of them and what a mediocre/bad player will get out of them.

Copper.
If you're going that way you can probably add: Silver.

I've got to admit I was half expecting a smart-ass answer somewhere in the thread, but I actually disagree with this one.  If a player just learned to play Dominion this afternoon you could tell them "buy Province, if you can't afford Province, buy Gold, if you can't afford Gold, buy Silver" and in ten seconds you would have taught them how to use their treasure in a way that, while not exactly optimal, will make them competitive against the majority of players.
Hardly. This strategy is going to lose like 85% of the time to even just the best big money player.

Piemaster

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2012, 12:23:54 pm »
+1

I was going to write a quite long reply about outposts, thrones, and so on but having re-read the question I'll answer ...

Quote
I'm not talking about the best cards necessarily, but the ones where there is the biggest disparity between what a good player will get out of them and what a mediocre/bad player will get out of them.

Copper.
If you're going that way you can probably add: Silver.

I've got to admit I was half expecting a smart-ass answer somewhere in the thread, but I actually disagree with this one.  If a player just learned to play Dominion this afternoon you could tell them "buy Province, if you can't afford Province, buy Gold, if you can't afford Gold, buy Silver" and in ten seconds you would have taught them how to use their treasure in a way that, while not exactly optimal, will make them competitive against the majority of players.
Hardly. This strategy is going to lose like 85% of the time to even just the best big money player.
Well yes, of course it is, but the majority of players don't play as well as the best Big Money player.  Would you disagree that Basic BM is competitive (not necessarily better, or even as good, but at least competitive) against a player in the 50th percentile in ability?
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2012, 12:25:46 pm »
0

I was going to write a quite long reply about outposts, thrones, and so on but having re-read the question I'll answer ...

Quote
I'm not talking about the best cards necessarily, but the ones where there is the biggest disparity between what a good player will get out of them and what a mediocre/bad player will get out of them.

Copper.
If you're going that way you can probably add: Silver.

I've got to admit I was half expecting a smart-ass answer somewhere in the thread, but I actually disagree with this one.  If a player just learned to play Dominion this afternoon you could tell them "buy Province, if you can't afford Province, buy Gold, if you can't afford Gold, buy Silver" and in ten seconds you would have taught them how to use their treasure in a way that, while not exactly optimal, will make them competitive against the majority of players.
Hardly. This strategy is going to lose like 85% of the time to even just the best big money player.
Well yes, of course it is, but the majority of players don't play as well as the best Big Money player.  Would you disagree that Basic BM is competitive (not necessarily better, or even as good, but at least competitive) against a player in the 50th percentile in ability?
Yes.
Edit: Maybe I'm biased? But I taught a family member at Christmas and by like his 5th game, he'd beat basic BM probably ~60-40

Kore

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2012, 12:28:06 pm »
+1

Village is the most Skill-Intensive card.

Once you progress past the village idiot stage of the game (buy all the villages and nothing else), knowing when to buy a village is very skill dependent. You have to know the proper ratio of villages to terminal cards, the strength of whatever engine deck you are building and most importantly the strength of alternate strategies on the board. Is Village/Wharf going to to beat big money? Is Village/Wharf going to beat double jack? What happens when you add a witch in there? Village is an enabler and knowing when to buy an enabler demands a good understanding of dominion.
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Piemaster

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2012, 12:29:59 pm »
0

I was going to write a quite long reply about outposts, thrones, and so on but having re-read the question I'll answer ...

Quote
I'm not talking about the best cards necessarily, but the ones where there is the biggest disparity between what a good player will get out of them and what a mediocre/bad player will get out of them.

Copper.
If you're going that way you can probably add: Silver.

I've got to admit I was half expecting a smart-ass answer somewhere in the thread, but I actually disagree with this one.  If a player just learned to play Dominion this afternoon you could tell them "buy Province, if you can't afford Province, buy Gold, if you can't afford Gold, buy Silver" and in ten seconds you would have taught them how to use their treasure in a way that, while not exactly optimal, will make them competitive against the majority of players.
Hardly. This strategy is going to lose like 85% of the time to even just the best big money player.
Well yes, of course it is, but the majority of players don't play as well as the best Big Money player.  Would you disagree that Basic BM is competitive (not necessarily better, or even as good, but at least competitive) against a player in the 50th percentile in ability?
Yes.

In that case, the pool of players that you include in 'all players' is clearly a lot better than the pool of players that I would include in that set.

Quote
Edit: Maybe I'm biased? But I taught a family member at Christmas and by like his 5th game, he'd beat basic BM probably ~60-40

I have taught a few people to play since Christmas and I don't think any of them play significantly better than a basic BM strategy yet.  And these are all gamers, goodness knows what the 'average' Dominion player is like.  Even isotropic players don't seem that great (obviously some are very good, jus talking about on average).
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 12:33:11 pm by Piemaster »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2012, 12:34:06 pm »
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Well, if your standards are so low, I don't think they're terribly useful.

Piemaster

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2012, 12:44:36 pm »
0

Edit:  Forget it, I'm jacking my own thread, which can't be very smart.

Most skill intensive cards, as you were...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 12:49:39 pm by Piemaster »
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def

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2012, 01:05:02 pm »
+4

Well, if your standards are so low, I don't think they're terribly useful.

That sounds rude AND wrong. It's not about his or your standards, it's about the general standards, and they are not determined by how things should be, but by how things are according to the majority. I doubt that most players are taught the game by one of the best players out there, they learn it by playing. And where in the rule is the passage "Oh, and for the beginning, only buy money and maybe add one or two crucial action cards and see what happens"? They buy this and that action card, oh and add another village, and so on. While this is not high level play, it's the standard in the way that I think the majority of Dominion players prefers playing this way than playing like a bot, buying cards according to a clear algorithm. Casual players won't analyse the game the way we do here, not even nearly.
Take chess. It's easy work of 5 minutes to tell a beginner to normally develop central pawns, then minor figures, then castle and you are settled with a pretty solid opening. But how should a player without a experienced mentor and only playing against equally skilled opponents gain these insights? He won't.

For skill intensive cards, I'd go with Tactician and its various combos with itself and other cards, which are often ignored outside highlevel play, I think. The thread show very nicely that there are many, many cards with more or less subtile aspects about them and their synergy with other cards.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 01:08:52 pm by def »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2012, 01:24:25 pm »
+1

Well, if your standards are so low, I don't think they're terribly useful.

That sounds rude AND wrong. It's not about his or your standards, it's about the general standards, and they are not determined by how things should be, but by how things are according to the majority. I doubt that most players are taught the game by one of the best players out there, they learn it by playing. And where in the rule is the passage "Oh, and for the beginning, only buy money and maybe add one or two crucial action cards and see what happens"? They buy this and that action card, oh and add another village, and so on. While this is not high level play, it's the standard in the way that I think the majority of Dominion players prefers playing this way than playing like a bot, buying cards according to a clear algorithm. Casual players won't analyse the game the way we do here, not even nearly.
This is a thread about which cards were most skill-intensive, not about what advice to give to weak players or to the majority of players or whatever. My point is that what you and he are doing is the latter, which isn't very good (if you're right about the skill level of most or 'casual' players) for finding the most skill-intensive cards, because the players who play with the level of skill you're talking about aren't very skilled. Which isn't supposed to be a slam on them but... like I love baseball, but to say I'm at all good at it is preposterous. It's not my fault really, it just is. I'm terrible.
So I'm not trying to be rude, but I'm not going to tiptoe around to be dishonest in praising someone either.

Quote
Take chess. It's easy work of 5 minutes to tell a beginner to normally develop central pawns, then minor figures, then castle and you are settled with a pretty solid opening. But how should a player without a experienced mentor and only playing against equally skilled opponents gain these insights? He won't.
Oh so false. It takes much much longer than that to describe how the pieces move, then much much much longer for them to not just hang anything. And even past that, they aren't getting reasonable openings for more than like 4 moves unless you just teach them or for a long time. Nevertheless, it's quite possible to gain these insights on your own. I did, just took me a few years.
And the same is true for dominion. These boards have helped tremendously, but most of the way I got by myself.

DG

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2012, 01:43:25 pm »
+1

Quote
Well yes, of course it is, but the majority of players don't play as well as the best Big Money player.  Would you disagree that Basic BM is competitive (not necessarily better, or even as good, but at least competitive) against a player in the 50th percentile in ability?

When I said copper was better used by better players I wasn't talking about money decks. Essentially your deck starts with 7 copper so the management of these cards is more important than the management of the cards you buy on turns 6, 11 or 17. A good player can spot when the copper is an obstacle and can trash it in an effective manner. A good player can use the copper to buy key deck components without losing turns buying unnecessary cards. A good player can sideline unproductive copper within a deck.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 01:45:53 pm by DG »
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2012, 05:19:20 pm »
0

I'd say the main answer is victory cards (other than provinces, but including duchies and estates). You might say that in general, the person with the most provinces wins, but a lot of times it comes down to timings of buying duchies, or even estates. Plus, when there are alternative victory cards, it becomes much more complicated. When is it worth it to go for a vineyard strategy and how do you time your potion buys? When is it worth it to go fairgrounds, and in what order do you buy that huge variety of cards? How do you choose between gold/nobles/harem? When do you skip a garden for a duchy? When do you skip a duchy for a province when defending dukes? All of these are tough questions that require careful consideration of the current game state.

Other than that, I'd also add horn of plenty which, like fairgrounds, encourages a larger-than-usual variety of cards, and creates more difficult decisions about the timing of acquiring each.

In general, I think playing the cards requires much less "skill" than figuring out when to buy them.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2012, 05:23:26 pm »
+1

If we're talking strictly actually playing the cards, it's embargo, hands down.

DrHades

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2012, 11:05:54 pm »
+1

If we're talking strictly actually playing the cards, it's embargo, hands down.

I think it is more interesting when talking only playing cards, not choosing whether to buy them. In this case I think the most difficult are:

1. Embargo (this can completely change the game when you know how to use it)
2. Governor (very difficult what to choose, because you are also helping your opponent)
3. Tactician (do I really want to discard my Gold?)
4. Minion (do I really want to discard my Gold?)
5. Apprentice (how many cards do I need to draw to get that Province?)
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DrHades

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2012, 11:22:28 pm »
0

Well, if your standards are so low, I don't think they're terribly useful.

That sounds rude AND wrong. It's not about his or your standards, it's about the general standards, and they are not determined by how things should be, but by how things are according to the majority. I doubt that most players are taught the game by one of the best players out there, they learn it by playing. And where in the rule is the passage "Oh, and for the beginning, only buy money and maybe add one or two crucial action cards and see what happens"? They buy this and that action card, oh and add another village, and so on. While this is not high level play, it's the standard in the way that I think the majority of Dominion players prefers playing this way than playing like a bot, buying cards according to a clear algorithm. Casual players won't analyse the game the way we do here, not even nearly.
Take chess. It's easy work of 5 minutes to tell a beginner to normally develop central pawns, then minor figures, then castle and you are settled with a pretty solid opening. But how should a player without a experienced mentor and only playing against equally skilled opponents gain these insights? He won't.

There is a HUGE difference in these two things:

If you explaing BM to a starting Dominion player, he will learn nothing by playing it. He needs to buy actions to see what they do and which are good, BM is a stupid strategy that will make him defeat other begginers, but nothing more.
In chess on the other hand, you need to explore how the good opening works and playing "1. a3" is basicly a waste of time. Also you are wrong that learning this takes 5 minutes, it takes plenty of time.
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Stealth Tomato

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2012, 01:31:40 am »
+1

All cards have a context. In terms of deck balance (buying), these are some of the more difficult situations:
Bridge on a Village-free board, or Woodcutter on a drawing-light board (the value of trading your Action for a Buy)
Minor Tactician loops (Tactician-Vault with no support, for example)
Scheme on a drawing-light board
Envoy on a Village-free board with cantrips
Ambassador, always. It's easy to buy too many and not have enough buying power, or too few and get buried.
Bazaar on a terminal-heavy board
Menagerie on boards with light to moderate trashing
Conspirator on most boards, unless they lack +buys
Moat on a Village-free board with strong attacks
etc. etc.

DrHades covered the difficult cards to play very well above. However, I'd like to add one more: Salvager.
Salvager is the card whose play requires the best understanding of the transition from midgame to endgame. Salvage power cards for victory cards at the right time, and you gain a huge advantage. Pull the trigger early and your deck fizzles. Pull it too late and your opponent takes a lead, which is tough to overcome when he can salvage a Province to end the game.
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jimjam

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2012, 01:49:37 pm »
+1

Chancellor and Treasure Map. You could do quite well with "poor shuffling", if you can make it believable enough. Or Philosopher's Stone and you're really bad at counting.
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Mean Mr Mustard

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2012, 01:54:42 pm »
0

I think there is something to that, jimjam.  It takes a lot of insight to know when bad cards can shine.  Contraband, Navigator, Transmute etc are all much more powerful in the hands of top players because it takes skill to know when and how to play them.
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Deadlock39

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2012, 02:52:53 pm »
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I get the impression that jimjam might have been referring to the "skill" of cheating in a game with the actual cards.  As in, it would take "skill" to use sleight-of-hand to shuffle both your Treasure Maps to the top of your deck after playing Chancellor without your opponents noticing.

Perhaps I have misinterpreted his remarks.

ackack

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2012, 03:00:53 pm »
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Embargo as being more skill-intensive than Governor in use - and to such a point that it would be not close - seems way out there to me. If we're assuming that you've correctly decided that you want an Embargo in your deck, using that Embargo correctly is generally pretty obvious. Most of the time this happens there is a fairly clear cut card that you want to keep your opponent from. Situations where there are multiples and the order of operation really matters are quite rare. Meanwhile, Governor on a regular basis can reward those with strong knowledge of what's left in their current draw, what their opponent might have (in terms of trashing up, etc.)

In terms of straight play, I think Governor is probably the winner. I'd also agree with Stealth Tomato that trash for benefit cards like Apprentice and Salvager really shine in the hands of those with a good sense for when they can blow up their deck. I get real satisfaction out of ending a game with 5 Provinces, a Salvager or two and mostly junk otherwise.
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Qvist

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2012, 08:01:28 am »
0

I wanted to open such a thread too. But then I decided to make the lists, so I postponed that. So I'm glad to read this now.

As HiveMindEmulator already pointed out, you have to differ between buying and actually playing the cards.
Regaring buying: This is maybe the main part in Dominion and also the most difficult one. So I may say: Each card needs skill to buy it as you build your strategy around it, even Silver or Gold, as you pointed out. Yes, there are cards that need more skill in buying, this are cards that need special strategies, like
1) Rushes: Victory cards (Gardens, Silk Road, Duke), Ill-Gotten-Gains, etc
2) Strategies that center on one card and you need special supporters like: Horn of Plenty, Hunting Party, Apothecary, Minion, Scrying Pool
3) Bad or mediocre cards, that are ocassional very powerful: Quarry, Coppersmith, Duchess, Wishing Well, Pirate Ship (just to name a few)
4) Potion cost cards in general

But: I like to hear really something about really playing the cards. As I made some thoughts before (this is going to be a longer post), here are my opinions:
I have several categories here too:

1) Cards with several options: This one is the most obvious one. Cards with options need skill to know which option to choose in which situation. Governor is probably the most difficult one as you have to not only take your hand into account, you have to take into account the hand of your opponents too. The others are (not necessarily in order): Steward (e.g. with a hand of Steward, Silver, Copper, Copper, Estate. Trash or $2 and Buy Gold?), Spice Merchant, Minion, Native Village, Pawn (when is +1 card and $1 worth it?), Jester, Mining Village (do I want to trash it yet?), Trusty Steed. Cards like Pirate Ship, Nobles, Spying Decision Cards (Navigator, Spy, Scrying Pool, Oracle), Loan, Chancellor also have decisions, but are most of the time easy to choose.

2) Trash-for-Benefit cards and pure trashers in some extent too. These include:
Apprentice (which card should I trash to be sure to get that Province and still be able to have enough money later too?),
Salvager (not as difficult as Apprentice, but similar, especially the option to trash a Province for a double Province buy)
Spice Merchant again (should I trash that Silver?)
Upgrade (especially because of that additional card and if you don't want to trash necessarily),
Remodel (do I need that Gold yet or should I remodel it into a Province?), Expand is similar
Develop (what cards are on the board that I would get?)
Forge (long calculations measuring the card to gain and the money left in your hand)
Remake is lesser extent
Transmute (do I really want another Transmute or a Duchy?)
Lookout (what 3 cards may I draw?)
Trader (do I want more Silver?)

Moneylender, Mine, Chapel, Steward (if I already chose the trash option), Jack of all Trades, Trading Post, Trade Route are easier, because they have either restrictions (e.g. only treasure/no treasure card to trash), are "trash-for-no-benefit" cards or have decisions which are easier to calculate.

3) Discard-for-Benefit cards
These are not so difficult to play, but can be. Especially if you have still actions left and will draw more cards. And this is especially difficult if you can profit from bad cards like victory cards with other cards you may draw, but still haven't in your hand yet (Crossroads, Baron, Tournament, etc).
Cellar (do I want to discard my Copper and hopefully draw better cards?)
Hamlet (do I need that +Buy yet?)
Cartographer (not discard-for-benefit per se, but has decisions like Cellar and fits in category 1 too)
Stables (do I want to discard that Silver?)
Tactician (this may the most obvious one)
All other cards that need to discard, you just have to take the order in which you play them into account, but most of the time it is late in your turn.
But if you have nearly no cards left to draw, this can difficult too, like playing Vault before drawing more cards to get them all back into your hand.

4) other cards which let you choose a card
Throne Room and King's Court: Which card do I want to double or triple play? This isn't always obvious!
Cards that have to set aside a card like Courtyard / Herbalist / Mandarin / Haven / Island
Scheme (Which card do I want to put back?)
Library (when you have an action left and can choose to discard which action card. Hopefully there will be coming better ones!!)
Masquerade (especially when you multiples in your deck, the order of giving your opponent a card I found always confusing)
Ambassador (is mostly easy, but Estate vs. Copper first is still a valid question)
Embargo (on which pile do I want to put that token on?)

5) Cards that give benefits that aren't always good. So you have to think about it to play them at all.
Bureaucrat, Explorer, Mint and Trader (do I want more Silver?)
Smugglers (wait, which card have you gained?)
Contraband (do I really need $3 more?)
Baron (do I want an Estate?)
Extra gains like:
Haggler (you know that you have to gain a Copper for that Hamlet?!)
Talisman (you have to gain a second copy!)
Horn of Plenty (do I want another $4 card? or: do I want to trash it yet?)

6) Cards that profit your opponent:
Govenor like already mentioned, Vault (especially in cursing games), Bishop (can be difficult on both sides), Council Room, Duchess

kn1tt3r

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #46 on: January 13, 2012, 12:19:21 pm »
0

Possession. At least for me, I'm so bad with this card.
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ehunt

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #47 on: January 13, 2012, 12:36:30 pm »
0

For most games, I like to use the word "strategy" to mean "global game-plan" and "tactics" to mean "specific decisions you make to implement your strategy." However, for Dominion, I reserve the word "tactics" to mean, roughly, decisions you make before your buy-phase. I'm interpreting the original question as being one about tactics in this narrow sense.

Some tactical decisions aren't that skill-intensive once you learn them, even though they might require some cleverness to deduce, because the decision is always the same. For example, throne rooming a nobles or a minion is tricky and can lead you astray, but once you realize what to do, the answer is essentially memorized. (Sidenote: is there anything more frustrating than getting stomped in a Goons game, watching your opponent throne a nobles incorrectly, but then realizing it won't matter at all?)

Other tactical decisions are highly contingent, and these are the cards I think are truly skill-intensive. I think the most skill-intensive cards are deck manipulators. If your hand is

apothecary, wishing well, spy, farming village, cartographer

what order do you play them in?

OK, depends on the deck contents (welcome to Dominion), but even once you know this, what do you do in each specific case? If the deck has lots of garbage? If it doesn't have a lot of copper? What if you don't want to trigger a reshuffle? what if there are tunnels in the deck? what if you're hunting to match a tournament with a province?
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Geronimoo

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2012, 01:21:01 pm »
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If your hand is apothecary, wishing well, spy, farming village, cartographer
you better be aiming for Fairgrounds ...?
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dondon151

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Re: Most Skill-Intensive Cards
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2012, 01:24:59 pm »
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I don't think that's really such a difficult question either; you'll always want to play Wishing Well after Cartographer or Apothecary to almost guarantee +2 cards (unless you know what 2 cards remain in your draw pile), you'll probably want to play Spy after Apothecary so you can cycle through any bad stuff that Apothecary didn't pick up, or you'll want to play FV after Apothecary to skip any Victory cards and pick up Actions that it left on top of your deck. But you'd almost certainly would never play FV or Spy after Cartographer because you can discard the cards with Cartographer anyway.

And most of the time, it's just a crapshoot whether or not you get the most benefit out of playing the cards in a certain order.
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