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Author Topic: Official Dominion Tournament at U-Con, Nov. 21 2015, Ypsilanti, MI, 2pm - 10pm  (Read 20012 times)

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Elestan

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Here we go again!  Join us for the largest in-person gathering of F.DS players in the world!  Compete against all the handles you've gotten to know here, using real cards!

This tournament is sanctioned by Rio Grande, and will be a qualifier for the World Masters, if there is one in 2016.  Top finishers get free games courtesy of Warriors 3 Comics and Games, and all players receive the new "Summon" promotional card!

The competition will feature custom-designed kingdoms drawn from all of the Dominion sets and expansions, and will emphasize strategy and high-level play. 

Tournament seating is limited, so pre-register for the event here; just click on the 'Add' button and proceed through the checkout process.  You'll need a tournament ticket ($10), and a convention badge ($20 for Saturday, or $25 for the whole convention).

As previously posted on this board, our own AdamH will also be running Dominion tutorials, and will be joined for the advanced session by our reigning world champion, A Drowned Kernel!  The defending tournament champion is Robz888, but shark_bait is sure to be hungry for victory after close second-place finishes in both of the last two years!

If you can, I'd encourage everyone to pick out other games to play in and attend the whole convention, which runs from Nov 20-22, all day (and late into the night Friday and Saturday).  For out of town visitors, discounted hotel rooms are available for only $89/night.

And, if anyone would like to get their convention badge for free, you can register to run events until early October, or volunteer some time to help out.

  I hope to see you there!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 09:44:02 pm by Elestan »
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Voltaire

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Is anyone else from f.ds going who would be interested in sharing a hotel room Saturday night? I haven't bought tickets yet as I'm trying to figure out if my travel plans/budget could handle this.

I now have my lodging confirmed. Hope to see many of you there!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 11:55:44 am by Voltaire »
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AdamH

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1. Do you know yet if you'll have any copies of Summon to hand out?

2. Voltaire, I already have arrangements to share my hotel room with the IRL friends I'm bringing with me, but you may consider asking AHoppy? I've recently pestered him about going to this and he might be staying there?

I really, really, really want to win this year. My body is ready.
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Robz888

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I unfortunately will not be there to defend my crown--I've moved to Washington, DC, and won't be back in Michigan until Christmas time. Good luck, all!
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Kirian

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I'll miss you guys now that U-Con is no longer in driving distance.
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There is little chance that I won't be there. Hope to see many of you there!
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Chris is me

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Saw this tournament for weeks on the forum, always sad that I lived in Connecticut and would never get to go to something like this. Well, I was just put on a work assignment where I'll be moving out to Michigan for two months, so apparently I'll be here. Sweet. Looking forward to it!
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Elestan

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The promo materials from RGG just arrived, and yes, we will be handing out the new "Summon" promo.  If you haven't registered yet, sign up now to reserve yours!

Sorry you won't be there, RobZ, and you too Kirian!  But Adam, if you want to steal the crown, you're going to have to go through shark_bait.

Good luck to all!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 09:45:56 pm by Elestan »
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shark_bait

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Well, I seem to have a pretty good track record of getting 2nd place by prematurely ending the championship game on my turn while unknowingly behind in points due to poor counting.  With that in mind, I think Adam might want me in the championship game with him  ;)

But then again, I have yet to play with a single Adventures card and have not been playing nearly as much Dominion since starting my new job, so I definitely need to bone up if I want to even make it to the championship.
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Voltaire

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Okay, convention badge/ticket bought, let's do this.
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shark_bait

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Finally got around to signing up.  I'll be around for the tournament and maybe during the morning too.  If any F.DS people are around I would probably be up for some board gaming in general before things get started for the tourney in the afternoon.
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Elestan

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If any F.DS people are around I would probably be up for some board gaming in general before things get started for the tourney in the afternoon.

You could sign up for Adam and ADK's advanced strategy session from 11a-1p.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 10:14:37 am by Elestan »
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shark_bait

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Hmmm, that sounds doable.  Should be a fun day!  :)
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Well, I signed up for the tournament and Adam's advanced strategy thing. I guess I couldn't withstand his enthusiasm any longer.

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Saw this tournament for weeks on the forum, always sad that I lived in Connecticut and would never get to go to something like this. Well, I was just put on a work assignment where I'll be moving out to Michigan for two months, so apparently I'll be here. Sweet. Looking forward to it!

See, my first though was "wait, but UConn is in Connecticut..."
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Saw this tournament for weeks on the forum, always sad that I lived in Connecticut and would never get to go to something like this. Well, I was just put on a work assignment where I'll be moving out to Michigan for two months, so apparently I'll be here. Sweet. Looking forward to it!

See, my first though was "wait, but UConn is in Connecticut..."

That is always my first thought.  And my second thought is "Terrific!  I live fairly close to UConn."  And then my third thought is "Wait, this doesn't work nearly as well as I thought."

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Saw this tournament for weeks on the forum, always sad that I lived in Connecticut and would never get to go to something like this. Well, I was just put on a work assignment where I'll be moving out to Michigan for two months, so apparently I'll be here. Sweet. Looking forward to it!

See, my first though was "wait, but UConn is in Connecticut..."

That is always my first thought.  And my second thought is "Terrific!  I live fairly close to UConn."  And then my third thought is "Wait, this doesn't work nearly as well as I thought."

I had the same thought as well at first. If only there *was* an official Dominion championship at UConn. Or anywhere in New England at all. (How would one go about setting one up, anyway?)

Unfortunately I've learned that I won't be put on the work assignment that would bring me to Michigan after all. So I'll have to miss this event :(
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AHoppy

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I'll also be in Adam's advanced strategy session, and probably up for playing other games before then for anyone interested.  Also excited to hear we're getting a brand new promo.  That's pretty sweet!

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Are any F.DS people interested in meeting up for dinner Friday night and/or lunch Sunday at a place near the hotel? If you are, PM me and I'll give you my contact info. We'll find something that works for everyone.

I'm going to dinner Friday night (I think there's a pizza place nearby that's supposed to be good?) with the IRL friends I'm carpooling up there with, F.DS people are welcome to join.

As for Sunday, there are no actual plans other than the session I'm hosting that morning about the tournament sets. We do have to make a long drive afterward but we'll probably want lunch before we leave.
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Elestan

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For those that haven't been there before, the convention also runs a food stand in the hotel, the proceeds from which go to the convention.  A previous year's menu can be found here.
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Videos or it didn't happen.
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I got word today that Adam is getting in late Friday night and as a local, thought I would take over Friday night. 

If any F.DS people are interested in meeting up/hanging out send me a PM.  The ideas I had range from hosting a game night at my house or heading out to a local tap house for drinks/socializing.

I'll have more details closer to the event.  :)

EDIT:  No longer true, had other plans come up friday night.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 10:32:10 am by shark_bait »
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Elestan

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The ideas I had range from hosting a game night at my house...
Note that the convention is in full swing Friday night...why host a game night, when you've got a whole convention center full of people running and playing games?

Check out the Friday game schedule!

EDIT:  Just noticed I'd linked the schedule admin page, which needs a login.  Now fixed to point to the public schedule.  For those arriving late, there's a mixer scheduled in the hotel bar at 11pm!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 09:54:31 am by Elestan »
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AdamH

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So this weekend keeps on changing for me -- ish. I still won't be there until late Friday night.

But due to some changed plans for one of my friends who I was planning on driving down there with, she will now be arriving at the Detroit airport about 4PM on Friday (and the rest of us won't be arriving until later that night, like 11PM).

She's up for hanging out with people Friday night, but mostly would want a ride from the airport to the hotel at some point if that's not too much trouble (followed by hanging out if desired). If anyone can do all or part of this, PM me and I can give you her contact info.

Thanks :)
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ghhhhhhhhhhhhhh. ONE weekend later and I could be there.
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Elestan

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ghhhhhhhhhhhhhh. ONE weekend later and I could be there.
One weekend later would be Thanksgiving, and we'd lose half of our attendees because they'd have family obligations.
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Roadrunner7671

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Is the tournament full?
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Elestan

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Is the tournament full?

No, but preregistration has closed, so if you want to get in, you'll have to register at the door.  We're unlikely to fill up, though (Previous years have had 15-20 players, and I have room for 27), so please, come and play!  If you want to be absolutely certain, come to the con on Friday and buy your tournament ticket then.  And then hang out and play games with all the cool people until the wee hours of the morning.  :-)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 08:59:43 pm by Elestan »
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Roadrunner7671

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Is the tournament full?

No, but preregistration has closed, so if you want to get in, you'll have to register at the door.  We're unlikely to fill up, though (Previous years have had 15-20 players, and I have room for 27), so please, come and play!  If you want to be absolutely certain, come to the con on Friday and buy your tournament ticket then.  And then hang out and play games with all the cool people until the wee hours of the morning.  :-)
You might want to check, I think it said 27 people preregistered. Or maybe it said there was room for 27. The latter seems more likely.
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Elestan

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You might want to check, I think it said 27 people preregistered. Or maybe it said there was room for 27. The latter seems more likely.

It's the latter, trust me.
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You might want to check, I think it said 27 people preregistered. Or maybe it said there was room for 27. The latter seems more likely.

It's the latter, trust me.
Whew, hopefully I will be registering at the door too!
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Whew, hopefully I will be registering at the door too!

Awesome...can we expect EFHW as well?
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You might want to check, I think it said 27 people preregistered. Or maybe it said there was room for 27. The latter seems more likely.

It's the latter, trust me.
Whew, hopefully I will be registering at the door too!
Liopoil will be there?! I thought you said you couldn't make it. Or maybe I thought it was because of your forum break...

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I got word today that Adam is getting in late Friday night and as a local, thought I would take over Friday night. 

If any F.DS people are interested in meeting up/hanging out send me a PM.  The ideas I had range from hosting a game night at my house or heading out to a local tap house for drinks/socializing.

I'll have more details closer to the event.  :)

EDIT:  No longer true, had other plans come up friday night.

I just got word that an out of town friend is going to be around that night.  So I will no longer be free for hosting a mini F.DS meetup.  I will still see all of your bright shining faces at U-Con the next day though.  :)
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Just found out about this so my husband and I are hoping to register day of.  What are the tournament rules/structure?
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Just found out about this so my husband and I are hoping to register day of.  What are the tournament rules/structure?

Everyone plays four preliminary games, then the nine players with the best records go on to the semifinals to play three more rounds, then the top three play the final game.  Games are three-player, with 1-2 four-player if the player count requires it.  All kingdoms are pre-designed.  Each game starts with a five-minute planning period, during which players may stack their initial decks as they desire.

Right now I don't expect to sell out completely, but if you want to play it safe, I would show up and buy your tournament tickets on Friday.  I hope to see you there!
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A couple of pre-tournament notifications/requests:

First, I want to give a heads-up that the forecast is predicting the first serious snow of the season on Saturday, so everyone leave plenty early, and drive safely!

Also, a request for all of the f.ds players:  I had a couple of last year's local players comment that some of the f.ds-ers came off as a bit condescending or cliquish.  I'm not going to try to enforce any kind of social code, but let's just all try to make sure to demonstrate our best sports(wo)manship, and maybe try to keep the f.ds lingo and in-jokes in check around people who won't understand them.

Thanks to everyone who's coming, and I look forward to seeing you all on Saturday!
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If anyone has a car and is willing to pick me up from the Ann Arbor Amtrak at 1 PM (about 20 minutes from the con), I will buy you a very nice lunch or dinner.

Otherwise, I'll be arriving via taxi and spending about the cost of two nice dinners.  :)
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If anyone has a car and is willing to pick me up from the Ann Arbor Amtrak at 1 PM (about 20 minutes from the con), I will buy you a very nice lunch or dinner.

Otherwise, I'll be arriving via taxi and spending about the cost of two nice dinners.  :)

Done. PM me an address.

EDIT: I will have to leave Adam's advanced strategy workshop a half hour early or w/e so hopefully that is OK with Adam.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 06:44:29 pm by iguanaiguana »
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If anyone is going to be around tonight, send me a PM and we can try to meet up. Otherwise, I'm just going to go to the con and what's up.  Excited for tomorrow!

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Whew, hopefully I will be registering at the door too!

Awesome...can we expect EFHW as well?
Yes!
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Good luck everyone!
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I won this. <3
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I won this. <3

Congrats!

I sincerely hope shark_bait wasn't second again.
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I won this. <3
This means I was the only one who beat Adam, but unfortunately it was in the first round :(. I lost to him on the Doctor board in the semifinals, and it was bad.

I really wish I had won that Watchtower board. I also probably would have won that last semifinal round and been in a 5-way tie for the third spot in the finals if I had ignored cultist (how often do you say that??), but super props to roadrunner, that was well played. That board (yes, the one with 6 attacks) was probably my favorite one. The Watchtower board was great because of Watchtower but for my deck at least there were just too many decisions-per-turn for me in an IRL tournament. And then the third semifinal board with Doctor, well let's just not talk about it.

I want to play that counting house/peasant/king's court and other lame cards board from the qualifying rounds again. Oh, and I'd like to try the 5-player tiebreaker board too! What was the finals board?

Thanks Elestan, it was a lot of fun!

EDIT: For others, here were a few of the kingdoms that I remember:

Qualifying Set 4: King's Court, Counting House, Remodel, Scout, Chancellor, Woodcutter, Peasant, Secret Chamber, ???, ???, Inheritance, Seaway

Semifinal Set A: Vineyards, Scrying Pool, Ambassador, Familiar, Procession, Trader, Pirate Ship, Cultist, Pillage, ???, Scouting Party, Save, Colony/Platinum

Semifinal Set B: Lookout, Smugglers, Watchtower, Spy, Bridge Troll, Tribute, Ghost Ship, Hunting Grounds, Prince, ???, Mission, Borrow, Shelters

Semifinal Set C: Doctor, Develop, Market Square, Oracle, Bridge, Band of Misfits, Distant Lands, Nobles, Prince, ???, Pilgrimage, Lost Arts, Colony/Platinum

Tiebreaker Board: Chapel, Stonemason, Market Square, Ironworks, Gardens, Jester, Council Room, Border Village, ???, ???, Ball, ???
« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 10:47:27 am by liopoil »
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iguanaiguana

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Tiebreaker Board: Chapel, Stonemason, Market Square, Ironworks, Gardens, Jester, Council Room, Border Village, ???, ???, Ball, ???

Two of the missing cards are Talisman and Travelling fair. Turns out that Talisman/gardens/travelling fair is a synergy to that gets you a lot of copper really fast. That was arguably a better gardens enabler than the simple tried and true "Jester in a five player game."
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The last missing card is Bridge.
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Roadrunner7671

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I came in second.

The only kingdom that I feel inclined to talk about is the one with: Vineyards, Scrying Pool, Ambassador, Familiar, Procession, Pirate Ship, Silk Road, Trader, Cultist and Pillage, with Save and Scouting Party as events.

The Ambassador was was a big deal. Both my opponents get Traders and saved them every turn with Save. I missed that combo until someone jokingly pointed it out. So I had gotten a ton of Estates, Coppers and Curses. I even got a few ruins! Liopoli got some Cultists for a Cultist deck, my other opponent (Jodan?) got Pirate Ships. I got Scrying Pools. Everyone (including me) thought the game was over, then I noticed Vineyards! With my Ruined Market and my Processions on Ruins, I managed to draw my deck many times, and thin all my Curses and most of my coppers. I got 11 Vineyards and an Estate. It was 45 points, which tied Liopoli. We both got four tournament points, which was enough to advance me.

I think I got super lucky, but I guess there was a little bit of skill involved.

Good games everyone!
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I won this. <3

Congrats!

I sincerely hope shark_bait wasn't second again.

After going 4 for 4 in the prelim games I got stomped in the semifinals.  I was about 3 turns shy of winning my first semifinal game but got 3 piled before I could start greening with Colonies.  Adam played a nice counter to a traditional slog type game.  But I underestimated how long it would take to get a clean deck in a 3-player ambassador game.  Adam was immune to the slog with Save/Trader but with both myself and Iguana Iguana having a wet noodle Ambassador war, by the time I got clean the Silver pile was almost empy, Curses ran from Familiar and the Scrying Pools were done. 

In this game if two people go Trader/Save, the Scrying Pool player wins every time if played optimally.  Without another player doing Ambassador they can get their deck cleaned at least 10 turns faster.  The engine is so strong with Scrying Pool/Procession/Pirate Ship with Colonies and Vineyards for potential endgame payload.  There was even a nifty counter to Save/Trader counter via Pillage to discard their saved Trader.  But I think it's really cool to see a 3-player game wherein the optimal strategy goes to the person who does something different.  Definitely was not in my favor to be the 1st player here.

Then in the 2nd and 3rd semifinal games a combination of bad luck and bad play in response to the bad luck put me out of it.  I also just mentally gave up midway through the 2nd semifinal.  After starting to play dominion at 11:00 in the morning playing those games at around 9:00 to 10:00 at night was exhausting. 

The defining moment of my bad luck came in my last semifinal game.  It was a Doctor/Market Square with Pathfinding and Lost Arts with Bridge for endgame payload.  The first time I have Doctor and Market Square in hand I name Copper and reveal Estate and 2xMarket Square, ergo, no Gold.  Not getting that Gold seriously put me behind in where I needed (and was planning) on being.  Then later when I'm a bit behind from earlier I have 3xMarket Square and Doctor in hand.  With 4 cards left in my draw pile I jokingly say that my Copper will be the last card in deck.  Lo and behold I play Doctor, name Copper, and yup, it's on the bottom. 

Overall though, it was a fun tournament.  I enjoyed playing with the adventures cards for the first time.  Maybe I'll get the set in the next month or two so that I can play it with my wife.  :)
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The tournament was a blast.  Thanks to everyone who helped organize it.  I'll definitely be back next year!
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The first time I have Doctor and Market Square in hand I name Copper and reveal Estate and 2xMarket Square, ergo, no Gold.
Wow, this is exactly what happened to me too. The worst part is that I was going to name estate, but I counted that I had three copper in my deck but just two estates, and that it was important enough that I hit something that I decided to take the 'safe' choice. With the third player ignoring bridge, Adam managed to get all the provinces before I could hit $6 for lost arts.

The only kingdom that I feel inclined to talk about is the one with: Vineyards, Scrying Pool, Ambassador, Familiar, Procession, Pirate Ship, Silk Road, Trader, Cultist and Pillage, with Save and Scouting Party as events.

The Ambassador was was a big deal. Both my opponents get Traders and saved them every turn with Save. I missed that combo until someone jokingly pointed it out. So I had gotten a ton of Estates, Coppers and Curses. I even got a few ruins! Liopoli got some Cultists for a Cultist deck, my other opponent (Jodan?) got Pirate Ships. I got Scrying Pools. Everyone (including me) thought the game was over, then I noticed Vineyards! With my Ruined Market and my Processions on Ruins, I managed to draw my deck many times, and thin all my Curses and most of my coppers. I got 11 Vineyards and an Estate. It was 45 points, which tied Liopoli. We both got four tournament points, which was enough to advance me.
I was about 3 turns shy of winning my first semifinal game but got 3 piled before I could start greening with Colonies.  Adam played a nice counter to a traditional slog type game.  But I underestimated how long it would take to get a clean deck in a 3-player ambassador game.  Adam was immune to the slog with Save/Trader but with both myself and Iguana Iguana having a wet noodle Ambassador war, by the time I got clean the Silver pile was almost empy, Curses ran from Familiar and the Scrying Pools were done. 

In this game if two people go Trader/Save, the Scrying Pool player wins every time if played optimally.  Without another player doing Ambassador they can get their deck cleaned at least 10 turns faster.  The engine is so strong with Scrying Pool/Procession/Pirate Ship with Colonies and Vineyards for potential endgame payload.  There was even a nifty counter to Save/Trader counter via Pillage to discard their saved Trader.  But I think it's really cool to see a 3-player game wherein the optimal strategy goes to the person who does something different.  Definitely was not in my favor to be the 1st player here.
Yeah, definitely a great board. As first player, I opened Ambassador on turn 1, then I saved an estate and bought a second ambassador on turn 2. I'm convinced that this is the best opening no matter what your long-term plan is, since it makes two good ambassador turns very likely. On turn 3 I sent away two estates and saved the second ambassador, and on turn 4 I got rid of my last estate and bought a potion. My plan was not initially to go trader/save; I was going to get scrying pools too. However, with such a thin deck, my potion got pirate-shipped away just after I got a familiar. That's when I decided it was best not to re-buy the potion and to instead transition to pirate ship-save. I still had a lead on the junking/thinning, so I think that instead of going for cultists which gave out silvers, vineyards points, and scrying pool fodder, I should have gotten Pillage on $5, Gold on $6-7, a couple Platina, and gone for provinces. I also needed to keep up the ambassador plays. Instead with Cultist I ended up helping my opponents for the most part and giving myself some fairly lame terminal draw. It was pretty cool to trader a cultist for the final 5 silvers and three cards though. The game dragged on long enough for roadrunner to put the ruins to good use, eventually with some multi-vineyard turns.

This kingdom is one of few I've seen where the best strategy is radically different depending on what your opponents do. Usually you just do a different version of the same thing. My guess is that best play results in one player going ambassador into scrying pool, another with ambassador into trader, and the third just going full trader. I'll also go out on a limb and guess that the pillage pile empties.
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iguanaiguana

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I came in second.
...

I think I got super lucky, but I guess there was a little bit of skill involved.

Good games everyone!

Hey, congrats on second place!

From what I saw and heard, I believe you played all of your games exceptionally well... except you know for that one where you thought double jack would beat a storyteller engine  8) 8) :o
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I did not think I would win, I just knew you could play it better than me. I needed an alternative strategy. It obviously didn't win.
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It was great seeing Adam, Ahoppy, Voltaire, iguana, RR, shark_bait, ADK, grbsmd and Elestan!
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I hope RR did a Scout pose to rival Robz's. The torch must be passed.
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I hope RR did a Scout pose to rival Robz's. The torch must be passed.
Scout pose?
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I hope RR did a Scout pose to rival Robz's. The torch must be passed.
Scout pose?

I went looking for the original picture but couldn't find it. It's in an older thread from some meetup where Adam H and Robz attended.
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I hope RR did a Scout pose to rival Robz's. The torch must be passed.
Scout pose?

I went looking for the original picture but couldn't find it. It's in an older thread from some meetup where Adam H and Robz attended.

Scout: http://www.adamhorton.com/files/dom02.jpg

Advisor: http://www.adamhorton.com/files/dom03.jpg
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So this was a blast - well-run, fun, exhausting, and the other thing...oh right, fun!

Came in tied for fourth, would have been one of the five players mentioned in the theoretical five-way tie for third if that had happened, so I was very pleased.
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EDIT: Better formatted here

Code: [Select]
Will write more later, but I have the kingdoms:

[b]Prelims set 1[/b]
Poor House
Vagrant
Wishing Well
(edit) Tunnel
Procession
Counterfeit
Cultist
Ghost Ship
Library
Adventurer
Trade

[b]Prelims set 2:[/b]
Gear
Duplicate
Horse Traders
Militia
Rats
Transmogrify
Apprentice
Saboteur
Raze
University
Ball

[b]Prelims set 3:[/b]
Crossroads
Bureaucrat
Feodum
Herald
Noble Brigand
Silk Road
Stables
Bank
Vineyard
Scrying Pool
Plan
Training
Platinum/Colony, shelters

[b]Prelims set 4:[/b]
Duchess
Peasant
Secret Chamber
Chancellor
Fortune Teller
Remodel
Scout
Woodcutter
Counting House
King's Court
Seaway
Inheritance

[b]Prelims set 5:[/b]
Poor House
Fool's Gold
Gardens
Rats
Taxman
Thief
Contraband
Horn of Plenty
Hunting Party
Mandarin
Alms
Bonfire

[b]Prelims set 6:[/b]
Doctor
Wishing Well
Develop
Fortress
Artificer
Harvest
Haunted Woods
Highway
Merchant Guild
Forge
Travelling Fair
Expedition

[b]Prelims set 7:[/b]
Forager
Gardens
Jack of all Trades
Mining Village
Throne Room
Treasure Map
Counterfeit
Rogue
Royal Seal
Storyteller

[b]Semis set A:[/b]
Ambassador
Silk Road
Trader
Pirate Ship
Procession
Cultist
Pillage
Vineyard
Scrying Pool
Familiar
Save
Scouting Party

[b]Semis set B:[/b]
Lookout
Smugglers
Watchtower
Spy
Ghost Ship
Tribute
Bridge Troll
Rogue
Hunting Grounds
Prince
Mission
Borrow
Shelters

[b]Semis set C:[/b]
Develop
Doctor
Market Square
Oracle
Armory
Bridge
Distant Lands
Band of Misfits
Nobles
Prince
Lost Arts
Pathfinding

[b]Finals set:[/b]
Peasant (bane)
Hermit
Scheme
Watchtower
Fortress
Transmogrify
Young Witch
Band of Misfits
Graverobber
Royal Carriage
Upgrade
Ferry
Summon
Platinum/Colony, Shelters
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 12:51:10 pm by AdamH »
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Finals set:
Peasant (bane)
Hermit
Scheme
Watchtower
Fortress
Transmogrify
Young Witch
Band of Misfits
Graverobber
Royal Carriage
Upgrade
Ferry
Summon
Platinum/Colony, Shelters
I don't know whether to be happy Watchtower was included or bummed I didn't get a chance to play it. What a board. I would probably summon a fortress turn 1, buy Hermit turn 2, draw at least 4 coppers on turn 3.

Unfortunately this board looks like a race to set up Upgrade-Upgrade-Fortress-Watchtower, so really a lot of luck involved. Not sure what the point of platinum/colony is, since I can't see them ever being bought.
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This was so much fun!  I appreciated how inclusive everyone was.  Even though it was our first time there and we didn't know anyone going in I felt welcomed and like I was a part of the group.  The advanced strategy session was fun, though perhaps shark_bait shouldn't have given grbsmd any pointers ;)

We will be back next year and I will be studying up in the meantime in hopes of (at least) making the semi-finals!
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With no editing, sorry this was a little bit thrown together, I also never managed to find AHoppy for the video :-\

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Why would you need to do any editing? I looked stunning.
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No Final Four Interview videos? 0/10

j/k looks like a lot of fun. Maybe one of these days the southeast/east coast can have a legit tournament.
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We should totally have final four interviews.
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Maybe one of these days the southeast/east coast can have a legit tournament.

Easiest way to make this happen: host one yourself.

I'm putting together a set of tools that hopefully by the end of the next two tournaments I'm hosting will automate the process of hosting a Dominion tournament to the point where all you really need is a moderator who knows the rules well enough to make judgment calls, a venue that will let you play there, and the sets to play with.
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...and congratulations to our new Champion, AdamH!  Honorable mention to second and third-place finishers, Roadrunner7671 and grsbmd!

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the trip to come up to our snow-covered convention for the tournament.  It was great to see all of you, and I had a lot of fun running it.  My thanks especially to ADrownedKernel for coming in to guest judge, to AdamH for running his tutorial sessions, and to Voltaire for hanging out and playing some Dominion afterward when I was totally fried.

Kingdoms, reformatted for easier quoting, with suggested fixes noted:

Preliminaries:
1:  Poor House, Vagrant, Tunnel, Wishing Well, Procession, Counterfeit, Cultist, Ghost Ship, Library, Adventurer, Trade

2:  Gear, Duplicate, Horse Traders, Militia, Rats, Transmogrify, Apprentice, Saboteur, Raze, University, Ball

3:  Platinum/Colony, Shelters, Crossroads, Bureaucrat, Feodum, Herald, Noble Brigand, Silk Road, Stables, Bank, Vineyard, Scrying Pool, Plan, Training

4:  Duchess, Peasant, Secret Chamber, Chancellor, Fortune Teller, Remodel, Scout, Woodcutter, Counting House, King's Court, Seaway, Inheritance

5:  Poor House, Fool's Gold, Gardens, Rats, Taxman, Thief, Contraband, Horn of Plenty, Hunting Party, Mandarin, Alms, Bonfire
5':  Fool's Gold -> Native Village

6:  (No 5/2), Doctor, Wishing Well, Develop, Fortress, Artificer, Harvest, Haunted Woods, Highway, Merchant Guild, Forge, Traveling Fair, Expedition

7:  Forager, Gardens, Jack of all Trades, Mining Village, Throne Room, Treasure Map, Counterfeit, Rogue, Royal Seal, Storyteller

Semifinals:
A:  Ambassador, Silk Road, Trader, Pirate Ship, Procession, Cultist, Pillage, Vineyard, Scrying Pool, Familiar, Save, Scouting Party

B:  Shelters, Lookout, Smugglers, Watchtower, Spy, Ghost Ship, Tribute, Bridge Troll, Rogue, Hunting Grounds, Prince, Mission, Borrow

C:  (No 5/2), Develop, Doctor, Market Square, Oracle, Armory, Bridge, Distant Lands, Band of Misfits, Nobles, Prince, Lost Arts, Pathfinding

Tiebreaker:
T: Chapel, Stonemason, Market Square, Bridge, Gardens, Ironworks , Talisman, Council Room, Jester, Border Village, Traveling Fair, Ball

Final:  Platinum/Colony, Shelters, Peasant (bane), Hermit, Scheme, Watchtower, Fortress, Transmogrify, Young Witch, Band of Misfits, Graverobber, Royal Carriage, Upgrade, Ferry, Summon
Final':  Upgrade -> Advisor

As always, I look forward to reading everyone's posts about how they analyzed the boards, what they tried, and whether it worked as they expected.  If anyone is inclined to try streaming matches with these sets, please let me know!  I love trying to get the rock/paper/scissors effect in a 3-player Kingdom, and I was glad to see that some of these boards successfully pulled it off.

For those of you interested in attending next year, U-Con 2016 will be the weekend of November 12.  I hope to see you all back then!

« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 07:23:43 pm by Elestan »
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Prelims set 1
Poor House
Vagrant
Wishing Well
Procession
Counterfeit
Cultist
Ghost Ship
Library
Adventurer
Trade
(apparently I missed something here?)

Tunnel
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...

Thank you for the video Adam!

One day I'll teleport somehow to one of these tournaments and get my ass kicked :)

Lio, you are a handsome young man!

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Why would you need to do any editing? I looked stunning.

Holy shit, you weren't kidding about being like 9.

I suppose I should muzzle the swearing a bit.

----

On another note, since I'm living across the country now, watching this has made me sad.  :(
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OK, time to talk about the things. I ran three session at U-Con and it turns out that people really don't like to go to 9AM sessions because it's too early. I'm up at like 5:30 every day so it was sleeping in for me, but I guess that makes me weird. Who knew? There was a small crowd at those early sessions, but the highlight for me was my advanced session on Saturday. We expanded the capacity for this sort of last-minute and ended up filling that. I got to talk to a lot of people about a lot of topics and it seemed pretty well-received. I think I want to make that happen again next year.

It was cool to meet F.DS people I had never met before, I don't often get the "you don't know me but I know you" thing from people watching my videos but it happened a couple of times and it made me feel much more important than I really am. :P <3

So the tournament, I really wanted to take it down this year. I've made some deep runs before, but never really won anything on a larger scale before. I saw a crowd there when we were signing up that had a significant number of people that I not only knew, but knew they were quite good at Dominion. All right, bring it.

3:  Platinum/Colony, Shelters, Crossroads, Bureaucrat, Feodum, Herald, Noble Brigand, Silk Road, Stables, Bank, Vineyard, Scrying Pool, Plan, Training

My first game with Liopoil and RR's mom. What do you do here? Well there are several options but they all seem worse when they're contested, so the most important thing to me was to stay flexible until each of us had committed to a particular strategy. The three strategies I had in mind were:

1. Mass Stables with maybe a Bank or a Training and Crossroads to stay viable
2. Scrying Pool with maybe a Bank or a Training and Crossroads to stay viable
3. Bureaucrat slog with Feodum, Noble Brigand, and probably some Crossroads there too

You can get some mileage out of Plan here with all three strategies.

Of these three, I actually think the third one isn't nearly as strong, Colonies are a lot of points and gaining enough Silvers to really compete is just going to take too long if your opponents play good decks. I figured Stables would be good in any deck I could build here so as first player I peed in a circle around the Stables pile and that seemed to work. Lio went for Scrying Pools and Alyce (I really hope I'm spelling that name right, it's much easier to just say it :P) went for the slog.

Things did not go well for Adam while deck building here. I found myself drawing hands of four Coppers and an Estate while Lio's pools skipped three of my Stables. I also managed to get a starting hand of three Stables and two green cards, that was amazing. Lio won this convincingly and I took second, being two or three turns behind the whole way; YMYOSL. Would I do anything differently here? I don't think so, actually. I like the decisions I made for the most part, and the only thing I can think of is that maybe I should have played more conservatively and picked up a single Silver before getting Plan, but I'm not even sure that's right. It turns out that this is the only game I didn't win in the whole tournament, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

4:  Duchess, Peasant, Secret Chamber, Chancellor, Fortune Teller, Remodel, Scout, Woodcutter, Counting House, King's Court, Seaway, Inheritance,


This is Elestan's troll kingdom. He's trying to trap people into inheriting Scouts (which is not actually good, for the record. I remember seeing some debate on this a while back but inheriting Scouts is just bad. Don't do it.) I played this one with EFHW and a lovely young woman whose name I don't think I ever learned.

So the only relevant cards on this board are Peasant, Remodel, and King's Court. The Dream™ is to get your Teacher and put the card token on King's Court, then King some Fugitives to draw your deck and King Remodels to get tons of green. Having nightmares about losing games to decks like this that I didn't think were better than Big Money, I went for this.

The nice thing about this strategy is that it looks a lot like Big Money with Remodel and Peasants for quite a while. You need several Silvers and several Golds here. And oh yeah there's really no way to reliably line all of your stuff up or even to thin or cycle to speed up your Teacher. I had my opening Traveller miss two shuffles so this took me FOREVER, but luckily I got like seven King's Courts, and luckily the turn I called my Teacher, I started with a hand of King, King, King, Fugitive, and something else. From this point I needed to call ADK over to help me track this nightmare of a turn that ended the game and emptied what was left of the green piles.

I play a King's Court, I draw a card, I have one tripled action left. I play King's Court, I draw a card, I have three tripled actions left and two pending card draws. I play King's Court, I draw a card, I have five tripled actions left and four pending card draws. Now I play Fugitive number one, draw two, discard one...

I won't go on. Elestan, I hope you're happy with yourself. This kingdom should never be played again :P (this is the one I mentioned in the video)

5:  Poor House, Fool's Gold, Gardens, Rats, Taxman, Thief, Contraband, Horn of Plenty, Hunting Party, Mandarin, Alms, Bonfire,

Elestan had been announcing which table to go to by player numbers, so we all kind of mozy on over to our table and see who we're playing. I walk up to this table and see Nick and Josh -- the other two Cincinnati people. We look at each other and we're all like "did this really just happen?"

So we uncover this board. I see a few things going on here, but only one good thing.

There's Hunting Party and Horn of Plenty, which is kind of a synergy--ish. Then there's the Mandarin/Horn trick that doesn't actually work because you need Contraband to hit $8 and that breaks the combo -- well you can just get a Duchy every turn instead of Province which seems pretty sad (and will still take a while to set up). Then there's Thief/Gardens with Alms to make it ridiculous. The other issue is that Thieves totally wreck the other strategies on this board, so not only is Thief/Gardens already bonkers-sauce with Alms, but nothing else can survive having Thieves played on you. So really I think there's just one thing to do here.

So Nick and I use Alms to open double Thief while Josh goes for one of the HP/Treasure things. The next couple of turns do not go well for Josh; he kindly buys me two Contrabands, a Horn, a Silver, and a Gold, while Nick and I trade Coppers and use Alms to pick up Gardens for the next six turns. Then, some ridiculous things start to happen. I get hands of 5 green cards (which is amazing here) and then I get -- wait for it -- a Province hand. My luck was ridiculous in this game, and Josh's was quite terrible.

6:  Doctor, Wishing Well, Develop, Fortress, Artificer, Harvest, Haunted Woods, Highway, Merchant Guild, Forge, Traveling Fair, Expedition,


<3 this board. Big engine, big payload, lots of Develop tricks. I played this with nanaking and a guy I had seen around whose name I don't remember. Nanaking and I saw Develop and Wishing Well on this board, looked at each other and laughed because this was exactly the kind of board I had talked with her and grsbmd about earlier on the day at the advanced session.

So she goes first, straight-up outplays me for the first several turns of the game (I spaced on the fact that I could trash an Estate with Doctor overpay on my opening) but has slightly worse Doctor luck (still pretty good). She gets a Silver or two while I start piling Wishing Wells, but she's ahead on Highways. Through some good wishing, I think I narrow the gap a little bit when time starts to run low so we both green unnaturally early as a result instead of going for Haunted Woods next. I get one or two good turns with four Highways in play which would normally lead to some really interesting endgame decisions and delightful Artificer shenanigans, but running out of time gave me a huge advantage as last player and I won the game off of that.

So there was a tiebreaker game happening while I took the video at this point. Nanaking and grsbmd are in the video, but they're playing this board as I interrupt them to talk to the video. Grsbmd made the semis and nanaking didn't but she wanted to play this board with him to help him practice for the semifinals. I learned that they got married about the same time I did earlier this year; my wife and I sometimes get approached by people who ask if we're newlyweds, we say yes and then wonder how they know, and they tell us it's obvious; we are very confused by this, because to us being married feels basically the same as being engaged. After watching these two this weekend (and this moment in particular) I get it; you two are adorable <3

A:  Ambassador, Silk Road, Trader, Pirate Ship, Procession, Cultist, Pillage, Vineyard, Scrying Pool, Familiar, Save, Scouting Party

This board has been talked about already so I won't go into too much detail, I played it with shark_bait and iguana. This was my first time playing shark_bait at this tournament in three years and he was undefeated up to this point, so suffice it to say I was a little bit intimidated. I like a Trader opening for sure, but nothing exists here without a counter to it so you have to pay attention very closesly to what your opponents are signaling and adapt quickly. I saw that I could just turtle up and go Trader/Save and the two of them would empty the Silver pile into my deck, so that worked out for me. I actually think I greened way too late but it didn't matter. I will say that I really like opening Trader and adjusting your second buy to what your see your opponents do (Ambassador or Scouting Party+Save to guarantee you draw your Trader T3 and make an Estate miss the shuffle).

I must say that shark_bait played this game very well, but I really like defense on this board. I'm still struggling with whether or not I should have picked up Cultists, I ended up not doing it but I still don't know if it was right.

C:  Develop, Doctor, Market Square, Oracle, Armory, Bridge, Distant Lands, Band of Misfits, Nobles, Prince, Lost Arts, Pathfinding


I played this with Jordan and Liopoil. There are multiple options for payload here, but you want to make sure you have enough components if you're going for Bridges in any fashion so you have to pay attention to your opponents (notice a theme here?). We all open Doctor for $4, trashing an Estate, then Jordan gets a Silver and Lio and I both get Market Squares. Jordan does some light thinning, but sticks Lost Arts on Nobles and just tries to build up a money-based deck with that -- I believe this is a huge mistake on his part, by committing to something and not thinning more aggressively, he can't deny options to the other players, and while Lost Arts on terminal draw is certainly sexy, it's nothing compared to everything else that's here and he had very little flexibility at this point.

My Doctors go well enough and I'm able to get a couple of Golds with Market Squares and quickly Prince a Market Square. Lio gets terrible draws and is out of the game because his Doctor just can't hit. He's getting really frustrated and I feel terrible for him because I would be too; it's my game to lose at this point and Lio can't really do anything; did I play better than him? Absolutely not, he just got unlucky and I didn't -- it's this kind of thing that can leave a really bad taste in your mouth because of Doctor :-(

I grab a couple of BoMs and put Pathfinding on them, then a couple more and put Lost Arts on them, and there's nothing that Jordan and Liopoil can do quickly enough to stop me from ending the game in two turns (man, Cantrip Bridges are OP, they should do something about that :P ). I get 8 Bridges and 3 Market Squares in play and I do one of the greatest-feeling things you can do in all of Dominion: pick up the entire Province stack.

B:  Shelters, Lookout, Smugglers, Watchtower, Spy, Ghost Ship, Tribute, Bridge Troll, Rogue, Hunting Grounds, Prince, Mission, Borrow

This one was really weird. I don't believe an engine is viable here unless the person to your left commits to getting good action density, so I'm watching Voltaire (to my left) very closely to try and get into his brain. He opens Lookout/Smugglers and I open Lookout/Watchtower (Nick is second player here and goes for Ghost Ship/Borrow+Silver, which pushed me towards Watchtower). Voltaire starts signaling Big Money after this and so I feel like my hand is forced: I'm going for Big Money too. At this point I think any hopes of an engine for anyone are toast, Nick doesn't even have a Lookout yet.

Voltaire manages to smuggle four Golds from me. I hate Smugglers. The Big Money-fest ensues and the game is over lightning-fast. I come close to getting last place here because I was third player, but Nick comes up just short and I'm able to get my fifth Province to seal it right afterward. I must say, there was a lot of finesse to this Big Money game and I think people really underestimate the significance of deck tracking in games like this. Do I have a Watchtower coming up? Has Nick seen his Ghost Ships? Maybe I should Borrow.

Final:  Platinum/Colony, Shelters, Peasant (bane), Hermit, Scheme, Watchtower, Fortress, Transmogrify, Young Witch, Band of Misfits, Graverobber, Royal Carriage, Upgrade, Ferry, Summon

It's me versus grsbmd and Roadrunner here: this board was missing Upgrade when we first saw it and I thought it was super-interesting, then RR was like "shouldn't we have 11 kingdom cards?" and they brought over Upgrade and I was like "oh, well then it's just Upgrade/Fortress. Cool." Granted, there are directions the game can go from there, but certainly the most important thing in the world is to get 900 million Upgrades in your deck as quickly as possible.

I believe Young Witch has a place in the mid-to-late game here, but not knowing what my opponents were going to open with, I felt that Ferry/Upgrade was a better opening for me than Ferry/Hermit to gain more Upgrades because I really want to shuffle that Upgrade into my deck if I needed to get Peasants quick. Grsbmd did the Hermit thing and RR went straight for Upgrade (I think? I might not remember this correctly). My ambitions were rewarded when I hit the Golden Sombrero (hey at least I got two more Upgrades though) but at least no Young Witches were out. Through my sincere dedication I managed to get like 5 or 6 Upgrades which turned out to be key: my opponents left piles too low and I was able to find a forced win, getting a Duchy in the process. I won the game 3-0-0 and all of my dreams came true. But that was not the highlight of this game.

I'm sitting there TriHarding on my turns, trying to make sure I play cleanly, and Roadrunner is the master of the deadpan to my right. We're all like dying laughing at his witticisms. It was amazing. If this guy ever gets a streaming setup going and gets to stream Dominion, everyone needs to watch him. He's hilarious.

-------------

Overall this weekend was amazing for me, I went there wanting one thing: to win this tournament, and I did it. I finally have something to hang my hat on and I will be going to GenCon next year to represent in that tournament (Indy and Cincinnati are right next door to each other). The F.DS crowd is getting larger and the IRL scene is growing for competitive Dominion. Every F.DSer I saw here is a wonderful, beautiful person and I can't wait to play more Dominion with you guys (shameless plug, you should all come to Cincinnati on 1/30/2016 for my tournament).
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Elestan

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Quote from: Elestan
Final:  Platinum/Colony, Shelters, Peasant (bane), Hermit, Scheme, Watchtower, Fortress, Transmogrify, Young Witch, Band of Misfits, Graverobber, Royal Carriage, Upgrade, Ferry, Summon

...they brought over Upgrade and I was like "oh, well then it's just Upgrade/Fortress. Cool."
Yeah, in the future I plan to substitute a terminal remodeler there, to make people have to play more of their Fortresses.
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Quote from: Elestan
Final:  Platinum/Colony, Shelters, Peasant (bane), Hermit, Scheme, Watchtower, Fortress, Transmogrify, Young Witch, Band of Misfits, Graverobber, Royal Carriage, Upgrade, Ferry, Summon

...they brought over Upgrade and I was like "oh, well then it's just Upgrade/Fortress. Cool."
Yeah, in the future I plan to substitute a terminal remodeler there, to make people have to play more of their Fortresses.

You already have Graverobber for this, I don't think you need anything else TBH.

EDIT: maybe you wanted to add Copper trashing? I dunno, I think it's pretty interesting without, you're really forced to invest in Young Witch to cycle, which means you want lots of Hermits, and moving your Ferry token around becomes really interesting for planning. It's a much more difficult board but I think it's still really good without Copper trashing.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 10:46:30 am by AdamH »
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Regarding the finals kingdom, I wasn't watching too closely but I feel like Summon got underplayed quite a bit here. With being able to stack your deck, a turn 1 Summoned Transmogrify (if I have the rules right) can get you a Soldier, a trashed Hovel, and a Ferry token on the card of your choice (Upgrade) by the end of turn 2. You miss out on opening Upgrade but getting such a head start on getting to Disciple seems like it might be worth it.
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Deadlock39

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Regarding the finals kingdom, I wasn't watching too closely but I feel like Summon got underplayed quite a bit here. With being able to stack your deck, a turn 1 Summoned Transmogrify (if I have the rules right) can get you a Soldier, a trashed Hovel, and a Ferry token on the card of your choice (Upgrade) by the end of turn 2. You miss out on opening Upgrade but getting such a head start on getting to Disciple seems like it might be worth it.

Um... mind blown. This type of thing makes me want to beg for a stacked start option in Dominion Online.

Elestan

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Oh, and <3 to Adam for that great recap of his tournament experience!  I'd love to see something similar from the other players if they can remember how their games went.  If anyone has feedback for the convention outside of the tournament, I can also forward it to the appropriate person(s).
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 03:24:53 pm by Elestan »
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Roadrunner7671

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Oh, and <3 to Adam for that great recap of his tournament experience!  I'd love to see something similar from the other players if they can remember how their games went.  If anyone has feedback for the convention outside of the tournament, I can also forward it to the appropriate person(s).
Man, I got outplayed in all but one of my kingdoms. I don't think anyone really wants to hear from me, but I might later just because.
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Why would you need to do any editing? I looked stunning.
like 9.
#triggered

That's your fault for calling me twice as old as you are.
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Roadrunner7671

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Why would you need to do any editing? I looked stunning.
like 9.
#triggered

That's your fault for calling me twice as old as you are.
Links or it didn't happen.
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Fine, it happened. I guess you're just mature for your age, Awaclus.
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Oh, and thanks to everyone who showed up to the Advanced Strategy session, and special thanks to Iguanaiguana for sitting through thirty minutes of me trying to explain why Minion is a good card.
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Man I really wished I had been around for the video, but I was having such a bad Dominion day that day... After getting my Summon card I just left and got dinner with other non-F.DS people.

I also don't have anything to say about my games... I came in last in every game except my first one.  I started on Adam's second board and was one board ahead of him (so the one he hated) and was always one board ahead of Adam.  I did the inherit scout thing with the intention of using +1 card token on it.  My downfall:  I put my +buy token on it with seaway thinking I could still put the +card token on it later because I slipped on the rules... So I took the time to remove the token, then put it on later.  It cost me at least 3 turns.  Finally on my last turn I got things to come together to buy the last province, a duchy and an estate.  I feel like if I hadn't lost so much time I could have done better, but none of us were doing anything fast and were just spinning out wheels... I'm not defending my choice, but I think I could have done better had I not screwed up teacher.

The thief/alms game, I tried the fancy Horn/hunting party stuff.  Didn't wok at all...

The develop board, I lost to liopoil.  I opened develop fortress hoping to get jump started on the highway/wishing well split but got distracted by the +buy on merchant guild and also trashed my doctor before I could thin enough.  The third person did big money and so when my engine didn't fire and lio's did, I lost because she had a few more points than I did... Ah well.

My last game was the board with treasure map and storyteller.  Since I really had no chance to do well at all in the tournament I decided to try something different.  I bought treasure maps hoping to use storyteller to get them to collide, then later use counterfeits to make them awesome.  It worked, but it wasn't quite fast enough to work.  I think I got a few unfortunate draws near the end and my counterfeit never collided with any of my like 5 golds...  It was a bit out there, but  I thought it was worth a shot.

Thanks so much for organizing this Elestan!  Thanks to ADK for modding and answering our rules question on my first table.  And thanks to Adam for the advanced strategy session.  I would have come to the tournament review if I were staying in the hotel.  My arrival time was not chosen by me though. 

Also thanks to Voltaire for playing one league match with me really late.  I would have stayed and played more, but I didn't want to keep people up who I depended on to get a ride home.

I'm glad I got to meet all of you even if we didn't talk all that much or ever play a game together.  You're all wonderful people.

I'll definitely see some of you in Cincinnati on 1/30/16, I really need some Dominion redemption after that lousy showing.

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Umm, if you put your +1 Card token on Scouts and then inherit them, your Estate-Scouts don't draw cards because they aren't from that pile. It's just your real Scouts that do. Am I missing something on this?

Like, I don't see how "inheriting Scouts" can "come together" in any way unless you're taking an extra card for Estate-Scouts.
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AHoppy

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Then we played it wrong because I was drawing cards with mine...

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Umm, if you put your +1 Card token on Scouts and then inherit them, your Estate-Scouts don't draw cards because they aren't from that pile. It's just your real Scouts that do. Am I missing something on this?

Like, I don't see how "inheriting Scouts" can "come together" in any way unless you're taking an extra card for Estate-Scouts.
You'd inherent Scouts so that you could buy them for half the cost and to get 1 VP per Scout in your deck, obviously.
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Elestan

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Man, I got outplayed in all but one of my kingdoms. I don't think anyone really wants to hear from me, but I might later just because.
You won three games, actually (your third and fourth prelim games, and the second-place playoff at the end), but the interesting thing about your record is that you never came in third.  That means that across all of those kingdoms, you were always able to select and execute a strategy that worked, even if it might not have been optimal.  Nobody else except Adam managed that feat, and I'm certainly interested to hear about it.
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Okay Elestan, I can talk about when you should and shouldn't use big money to shoot for second place.

I will post in a few hours.
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Here we go. I played nine tournament games of Dominion, yet I found none of them tense. There was no pressure at all. I guess we'll get right into the games.

Game One
I'm sorry, but I can't really post the kingdom from a phone. It's so much work. But I played this kingdom with Iguanaiguana and some guy named...Michael. Michael was the kind of guy who would pick up Coppers if he remembered. No offense Michael, I didn't see you as a threat. Iguanaiguana on the other hand was on fire in the tournament!
So this board had JOAT, Storyteller, Gardens, Mining Village, Forager, Throne Room, and some other cards. No events though, the only attack was Rogue.
So I knew Iguanaiguana could outplay me in any mirror, I still know that. He went for a Storyteller unreliable engine that could've blown anything else out of the water. I went for double Jack with two Foragers. Look at how boring I am! Iguanaiguana didn't win by so many points, and I think I made a mistake where I should've broken PPE. I took second place that game.

Game Two
I got to play my mom (Alyce) and AHoppy. The cards that mattered with Thief, Gardens, Taxman, Contraband, Hunting Party and Poor House (just kidding, Poor House was terrible).
Alyce did what she normally did, bought random cards (including two Contrabands) and AHoppy didn't let her get Hunting Parties.
No offense AHoppy, but you and this board did not get along. He went for Horn with space for one terminal. He got too fancy, and I think he was a tad frustrated.
I tried to do like a Hunting Party stack with only a few Hunting Parties. I opened Mandarin though. I ended up ending the game and losing by one point to Alyce. So she got her win for the evening on that board.

Game Three
Ah yes, the 'we hate RR now!!!11' board. There was Scrying Pool, Herald, Plan, Training, Stables, Vineyards, Crossroads, and no +buy.
I used both the events on Scrying Pool and grabbed six of them. With a Herald, a Crossroads, and a Stables, I had enough support to humiliate my opponents and win by about 50 points. Sorry guys.
One of my opponents didn't thin and went for a Stables stack. He also picked up Heralds, which was an error in my opinion.
One of my Opponents tried Scrying Pool, but they planned on Heralds. With less thinning and only like two Pools, she had a lot of trouble. I felt bad playing this. Be my opponents, proud adults entering the Dominion tournament. Some nervous, tousled kid sits down at your table, then cracks the game open. It must've sucked.

Game Four
Hello Voltaire! I met him over a Cultist board! Welcome to a one card kingdom! I got perfect shuffle luck, split the Ruins 9-8-3, picked up two Counterfeits and won a joke of a game.

But it wasn't that simple. If Laura is on the forum, she should read this too. There was a woman playing with us who ignored Cultist named Laura. But she was very...strange. All the cards had to be facing the same way! She sorted all the piles, then got poor ADK to sort the Ruins. No offense Laura, but I am slightly scarred.

I ended up with a shocking 16 points, enough to keep me alive. I watched a brutal five player game, then the semis started.

Game One
The kingdom was Doctor, Oracle, Nobles and Market Square. I think that was it. There was also Lost Arts and Pathfinding.
Voltaire missed the 4/3 Doctor opening and was DOI. My opponent got his Golds first, and that was that. He only bought Pathfinding, which he put on Market Square. I put both my events on Oracle, which didn't feel super.

Game Two
Oh, boy. It was me, Shark Bait (his real name is Bruce, that's awesome.) and my bitter adversary, Iguanaiguana. It was a dramatic showdown between ole Bruce and Iguanaiguana. They built Prince engines with Necro and Spy for Prince food. Watchtower was draw for Bruce, Iguanaiguana stuck with Hunting Grounds. I cowered on my side of the table and played Hunting Grounds BM. It was so good. Borrow is a very interesting card. I hate Ghost Shop even more, even with a Lookout. When Shark Bait lost and Iguanaiguana won, they eliminated each other. That was amazing news for me.
I would like to point out that Iguanaiguana's neck is very long and Shark Bait has an amazing mustache.

Game Three
Ah yes, the best game I ever playef. Scrying Pool, Trader, Save, Scouting Party, Cultist, Familiar, Vineyards, Ambassador, Pirate Ship, Procession, Silk Road, Pillage, the works. I could go on and on about this board, but I already did that earlier in this thread. I'm glad liopoli didn't take the game personally though, he's a cool guy. I feel like this board was the best one. I would love to have more discussion about it.


Onto the finals!
It came down to this: Adam (his body was ready), me (an underdeveloped 13 year old), and Sam Dave Ben.
Fun board. Upgrade ruined it! I wanted to do the Peasent line, Adam wanted to three pile. Ben wanted to buy the shiny action cards! It was a depressing board. 10/10 would not recommond. Adam won with his impressive 55 points (he obviously did not get 55 points, he got 3).

Now it's midnight
Ben and I are still tied at 0-0. He was ready to split the second and third place prize (store credit). I was not. Ben's wife and my mom, however, were totally ready to call it quits. So what do you do? Well, of course you make Ben feel bad about not being able to beat a 13 year old.

Our tiebreaker
Disclaimer: I am not trying to offend Elestan.
BUT WHAT AN AWFUL BOARD!!! There was a nice Border Village/Chapel/Bridge/Coucil Room engine. Ben went for it. What did I do? I did stupid Ironworks/Gardens! Ben helped me three pile the Market Squares, I had support with Travelling Fair, and I won. The game sucked though. Apparently it's the same board (with one modification) every year.

So, people like me in real life.
I don't know if people want me sharing this, but I am Facebook friends with several of the people who were there, and I am still searching for a few.

It was an awesome event. Totally worth the drive that I slept through.
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Elestan

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Our tiebreaker
Disclaimer: I am not trying to offend Elestan.
BUT WHAT AN AWFUL BOARD!!! There was a nice Border Village/Chapel/Bridge/Coucil Room engine. Ben went for it. What did I do? I did stupid Ironworks/Gardens! Ben helped me three pile the Market Squares, I had support with Travelling Fair, and I won. The game sucked though. Apparently it's the same board (with one modification) every year.

Is there an engine that will beat IW-G on this board?  Anybody want to try to simulate it?

EDIT:  The board is:
Quote
T: Chapel, Stonemason, Market Square, Bridge, Gardens, Ironworks , Talisman, Council Room, Jester, Border Village, Traveling Fair, Ball

The primary purpose of this kingdom is to produce an extremely short game, so that I don't keep everyone standing around waiting for the tiebreaker to finish.  Two-player games of it take about five minutes, and the five-player game took about 15.

I'll probably have to mix it up some for next year...it's been publicized enough here that the f.ds people would have an unfair advantage if I use it again.

Quote
It was an awesome event. Totally worth the drive that I slept through.

Thanks!  I hope your mom still takes you next year, even knowing that it'll be a late night.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 10:16:13 am by Elestan »
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Also thanks to Voltaire for playing one league match with me really late.  I would have stayed and played more, but I didn't want to keep people up who I depended on to get a ride home.

I'll definitely see some of you in Cincinnati on 1/30/16, I really need some Dominion redemption after that lousy showing.

#teamD2

The Thief/Alms/Gardens game was my favorite board (it was my first game of the tourney). It's got great rock/paper/scissors. One opponent went Thief, myself and another went Hunting Party and then I was getting outclassed in Hunting Party and destined to get third. So I switched to Thief to play for second, and that destroyed the Hunting Party player (no money left!) and I actually probably could have won if I'd not misplayed the middle stages.

Switching strategies in a Dominion game, when does that ever work? I actually kinda like three-player after this weekend. I always liked it casually, but this showed me that three-player can thrill competitively.

Also I hate that Cultist board I played with RR. Ugh. (He's better, no doubt though. You played well)

Second-favorite board was the Fortress/Develop/Wishing Well/Forge/Artificer. I think I spent $8 on a Province once, but ended with I believe 6 in my deck.
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No offense AHoppy, but you and this board did not get along. He went for Horn with space for one terminal. He got too fancy, and I think he was a tad frustrated.
I like being fancy. But it hardly ever is the right thing to do... I think I was inspired by Adam's talks of Horn during the advanced session and wanted to prove to myself I could use it. Alas, I could not.

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There was a woman playing with us who ignored Cultist named Laura. But she was very...strange. All the cards had to be facing the same way! She sorted all the piles, then got poor ADK to sort the Ruins. No offense Laura, but I am slightly scarred.

All of my cards have to be facing the same way too, the way I discard, shuffle, and draw naturdally makes this happen but I had to re-learn those habits that way. One of my passions, along with playing board games, is putting board games away. You should see my board game bag, notably my Agricola or TTA sets. Putting my games away takes much longer than taking them out and is very comforting to me.

Our tiebreaker
Disclaimer: I am not trying to offend Elestan.
BUT WHAT AN AWFUL BOARD!!! There was a nice Border Village/Chapel/Bridge/Coucil Room engine. Ben went for it. What did I do? I did stupid Ironworks/Gardens! Ben helped me three pile the Market Squares, I had support with Travelling Fair, and I won. The game sucked though. Apparently it's the same board (with one modification) every year.

Is there an engine that will beat IW-G on this board?  Anybody want to try to simulate it?

The game will be short, yes. OTOH, I'm pretty convinced that IW/Gardens is best here because the engine is made weak. The only village is Border Village and the only non-terminals you can pick up with it help your opponent empty piles, so building the engine is pretty rough. Throne Room makes it pretty explosive but then it would be really good and now you've got this engine with Bridge, huge draw, and mid-turn gains so your game takes forever.

The more I think about it, the harder it is to make a kingdom that is over quickly but is a good test of skill because those things a fundamentally at odds. I may be able to think of some things that are quick and not awful at testing skill, like having a whole bunch of cards like Governor, Lost City, City, Council Room, Embassy, etc. that help your opponents?
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Prelims:
1:  Poor House, Vagrant, Tunnel, Wishing Well, Procession, Counterfeit, Cultist, Ghost Ship, Library, Adventurer, Trade

What do you do with Ghost Ship and Cultist when you can stack a 5/2 start.  Open Counterfeit and play Library/BM.  Seriously, with Vagrant support and Trade[not "er"] you can easily swap 2 ruins for 2 Silvers almost at will.  Then end-game when you would rather get green you just skip any Ruins with Library.  Interesting BM counter to a typical Cultist slog.

2:  Gear, Duplicate, Horse Traders, Militia, Rats, Transmogrify, Apprentice, Saboteur, Raze, University, Ball

Apprentice/Rats stands out easily for the engine.  University comes for gaining Fodder.  Duplicate was exceptionally useful for rapidly getting the economy up to double Province.  Probably could have used Transmogrify better here, lack of Adventures experience just made me not aware of how useful it could be.  Gear was incredible for smoothing draws.

6:  (No 5/2), Doctor, Wishing Well, Develop, Fortress, Artificer, Harvest, Haunted Woods, Highway, Merchant Guild, Forge, Traveling Fair, Expedition,

Develop/Fortress shenanigans with Highway and Merchant Guild for endgame payload.  This is a tough engine to play optimally.  The draw is unreliable and quite poor.  I played this part quite poorly.  I was able to line up the Fortress/Develop combo to then use Wishing Well with a guaranteed hit but that was not enough to be consistent.  I needed a couple of Haunted Woods but for some reason I never got them.  Time ended on this one and I barely had the lead.

7:  Forager, Gardens, Jack of all Trades, Mining Village, Throne Room, Treasure Map, Counterfeit, Rogue, Royal Seal, Storyteller

Favorite set of the Tourney for me I think.  Forage/Jack opening leading into a Storyteller draw engine.  Counterfeit is fantastic with Storytell and easily allows Treasure Maps to hit.  The one thing I did not do but should have is gotten a Rogue so that I could play Storyteller, play Counterfeit to play Gold and then play Rogue to gain the Gold back. 

Semis:
A:  Ambassador, Silk Road, Trader, Pirate Ship, Procession, Cultist, Pillage, Vineyard, Scrying Pool, Familiar, Save, Scouting Party

B:  Shelters, Lookout, Smugglers, Watchtower, Spy, Ghost Ship, Tribute, Bridge Troll, Rogue, Hunting Grounds, Prince, Mission, Borrow

C:  (No 5/2), Develop, Doctor, Market Square, Oracle, Armory, Bridge, Distant Lands, Band of Misfits, Nobles, Prince, Lost Arts, Pathfinding


A combination of bad luck and bad play hit me hard in the semis.  Things went downhill for my set B engine when my Watchtower never lined up with my Necro.  I had numerous dud mid-game turns that sent me downhill.  I never really put things together here.

Final:  Platinum/Colony, Shelters, Peasant (bane), Hermit, Scheme, Watchtower, Fortress, Transmogrify, Young Witch, Band of Misfits, Graverobber, Royal Carriage, Upgrade, Ferry, Summon

As always, I look forward to reading everyone's posts about how they analyzed the boards, what they tried, and whether it worked as they expected.  If anyone is inclined to try streaming matches with these sets, please let me know!  I love trying to get the rock/paper/scissors effect in a 3-player Kingdom, and I was glad to see that some of these boards successfully pulled it off.

For those of you interested in attending next year, U-Con 2016 will be the weekend of November 12.  I hope to see you all back then!

It was fun but tiring to watch the Finals.  If I had made it in I would have been beat.  It was a long day and I was already tired.  I totally would have missed a lot of the Adventures reactions in that last set.  Perhaps the saddest part of the day was that I was never put on a board with the Travelers. 

I'll be back next year and I will be ready to win.  I'll put in a little Rocky Balboa pre tourney training session to get me ready.  ;)

It was awesome to meet everyone.  Maybe we can do a little AA F.DS dominion hangout sometime.  I think there are a fair number of people in the area.  Stay tuned, maybe I'll get something together to cure the Michigan January/February winter blues.  :D
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Chris is me

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Our tiebreaker
Disclaimer: I am not trying to offend Elestan.
BUT WHAT AN AWFUL BOARD!!! There was a nice Border Village/Chapel/Bridge/Coucil Room engine. Ben went for it. What did I do? I did stupid Ironworks/Gardens! Ben helped me three pile the Market Squares, I had support with Travelling Fair, and I won. The game sucked though. Apparently it's the same board (with one modification) every year.

Is there an engine that will beat IW-G on this board?  Anybody want to try to simulate it?

The primary purpose of that kingdom is to produce an extremely short game, so that I don't keep everyone standing around waiting for the tiebreaker to finish.  Two-player games of it take about five minutes, and the five-player game took about 15.

I'll probably have to mix it up some for next year...it's been publicized enough here that the f.ds people would have an unfair advantage if I use it again.

Quote
It was an awesome event. Totally worth the drive that I slept through.

Thanks!  I hope your mom still takes you next year, even knowing that it'll be a late night.

I think I've played the tiebreaker board or something similar to it before in a different context. You can make a Bridge engine that will pile the game out and grab enough Provinces to outpace a pure Ironworks / Gardens strategy with a bit of luck. A few BV / CR pickups, like four Bridges (and is there Throne Room involved?) plus some money from Market Square / Chapel and you can cut the Gardens player off before their deck is big enough to compete, like turn 11 or 12.
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iguanaiguana

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Our tiebreaker
Disclaimer: I am not trying to offend Elestan.
BUT WHAT AN AWFUL BOARD!!! There was a nice Border Village/Chapel/Bridge/Coucil Room engine. Ben went for it. What did I do? I did stupid Ironworks/Gardens! Ben helped me three pile the Market Squares, I had support with Travelling Fair, and I won. The game sucked though. Apparently it's the same board (with one modification) every year.

Is there an engine that will beat IW-G on this board?  Anybody want to try to simulate it?

The primary purpose of that kingdom is to produce an extremely short game, so that I don't keep everyone standing around waiting for the tiebreaker to finish.  Two-player games of it take about five minutes, and the five-player game took about 15.

I'll probably have to mix it up some for next year...it's been publicized enough here that the f.ds people would have an unfair advantage if I use it again.

Quote
It was an awesome event. Totally worth the drive that I slept through.

Thanks!  I hope your mom still takes you next year, even knowing that it'll be a late night.

I think I've played the tiebreaker board or something similar to it before in a different context. You can make a Bridge engine that will pile the game out and grab enough Provinces to outpace a pure Ironworks / Gardens strategy with a bit of luck. A few BV / CR pickups, like four Bridges (and is there Throne Room involved?) plus some money from Market Square / Chapel and you can cut the Gardens player off before their deck is big enough to compete, like turn 11 or 12.

All I know is that in five player, the optimal strategy is to buy a jester and gain four cards per turn, then ball it up for double gardens for the rest of the game.

That and a little splash of talisman/travelling fair to get some 6-8 copper turns won me the 5 player version of this game.

I had 47 cards in what I want to say was like 12 turns.
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Elestan

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Quote
T: Chapel, Stonemason, Market Square, Bridge, Gardens, Ironworks , Talisman, Council Room, Jester, Border Village, Traveling Fair, Ball

I'll confess, I did not have a 5-player game in mind when designing this kingdom, but it's what I had.  My other options would have been to decide randomly (which I don't think anyone would have found satisfying), playing a random or untested kingdom 5-player (which would have taken way too much time), or doing some kind of multi-round tiebreaker (again, too much time).

All I know is that in five player, the optimal strategy is to buy a jester and gain four cards per turn, then ball it up for double gardens for the rest of the game.

That and a little splash of talisman/travelling fair to get some 6-8 copper turns won me the 5 player version of this game.

...but if four players are going Gardens, they're going to be splitting the pot.  Does that open up room for another strategy?
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7:  Forager, Gardens, Jack of all Trades, Mining Village, Throne Room, Treasure Map, Counterfeit, Rogue, Royal Seal, Storyteller

Favorite set of the Tourney for me I think.  Forage/Jack opening leading into a Storyteller draw engine.  Counterfeit is fantastic with Storytell and easily allows Treasure Maps to hit.  The one thing I did not do but should have is gotten a Rogue so that I could play Storyteller, play Counterfeit to play Gold and then play Rogue to gain the Gold back.

That's good, but there's more that can be done on this board.  I didn't see anyone play it to its full potential (including me, when Adam and I did a for fun game afterward - I was too fried to remember how to put it together).  :-)

It was awesome to meet everyone.  Maybe we can do a little AA F.DS dominion hangout sometime.  I think there are a fair number of people in the area.  Stay tuned, maybe I'll get something together to cure the Michigan January/February winter blues.  :D

Count me in!  I also have the week between Christmas and New Years' off, if there's interest around that time. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 10:49:09 am by Elestan »
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iguanaiguana

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Aw come on, you can't say something like that and then not deliver the goodies!
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7:  Forager, Gardens, Jack of all Trades, Mining Village, Throne Room, Treasure Map, Counterfeit, Rogue, Royal Seal, Storyteller

Favorite set of the Tourney for me I think.  Forage/Jack opening leading into a Storyteller draw engine.  Counterfeit is fantastic with Storytell and easily allows Treasure Maps to hit.  The one thing I did not do but should have is gotten a Rogue so that I could play Storyteller, play Counterfeit to play Gold and then play Rogue to gain the Gold back.

That's good, but there's more that can be done on this board.  I didn't see anyone play it to its full potential (including me, when Adam and I did a for fun game afterward - I was too fried to remember how to put it together).  :-)

It was awesome to meet everyone.  Maybe we can do a little AA F.DS dominion hangout sometime.  I think there are a fair number of people in the area.  Stay tuned, maybe I'll get something together to cure the Michigan January/February winter blues.  :D

Count me in!  I also have the week between Christmas and New Years' off, if there's interest around that time. 

I'll be gone over Christmas and New Year's seeing both my family and my wife's family.  So that probably won't work out.  But I think January or February for sure!  My wife and I enjoy hosting people at our place so I'll see if I can convince her to host a bunch of people that she doesn't know from the internet with me.  :)

She's also finishing her prospectice document for her doctorate program early January so I think that planning a big event like this would be best done after that.
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Just remember Shark Bait, Adam is having one Jan. 30.
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Aw come on, you can't say something like that and then not deliver the goodies!
#icanandidid
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Don't really have too much to say that hasn't already been said.
Grats to Adam for a well earned victory.
Thanks to Elestan for organizing yet another amazing tournament and wonderful boards.
[Except for the Thief/Gardens. Sorry Josh.]
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Here are my experiences with the different boards.  It was a great tournament with really well-designed boards.  There are going to be a few themes that recur throughout:

1. Luck on my part
2. Saved by the bell (I was helped out by the match time limits more than once)
3. A, B, and C boards.  Certain strategies were either great or terrible depending on what the opponents did.
4. Pile control is tricky in 3-player games

4:  Duchess, Peasant, Secret Chamber, Chancellor, Fortune Teller, Remodel, Scout, Woodcutter, Counting House, King's Court, Seaway, Inheritance,


This was my first board in the big round.  My opponents were AHoppy and another guy whose name I don't quite remember (David?).  Outside of Peasant, Remodel, and King's Court, there's not much here that looks very good.  Counting house is good for occasionally spiking a King's Court, but with no trashing, it seems really hard to draw your deck even with Fugitive and a +1 Card token from Teacher.  I decided to go for Remodel + Kings Court (though maybe they would have just been better as Golds), but at one point, I did get suckered into inheriting Scouts, which did absolutely nothing for me.  I think AHoppy had a stronger deck than me here -- he was also inheriting scouts, but using them to get a large hand that he could discard with Secret Chamber.

Anyway, this game took a long time and ended on time rather than piles or Provines.  My Remodels, King's Courts, and Golds put me in a strong position to grab provinces before time ran out.  I drew a good final hand and ended up narrowly beating AHoppy.

2:  Gear, Duplicate, Horse Traders, Militia, Rats, Transmogrify, Apprentice, Saboteur, Raze, University, Ball

It seems like there are two strong things to do here: Gear+BM+(probably some trashing) and Apprentice+Rats.  I chose Apprentice+Rats, choosing not to go for Universities, because I thought the game would go so fast that Universities would be too slow to make much of a difference.  The opponent to my left (don't remember his name) didn't end up building a deck that really factored into the equation.  The opponent to my right (whose name I also don't remember, but she was wearing a fancy purple dress) built a real nice Rats+University+Apprentice engine.  Her Universities ended up being quite important.  I tried to be careful with piles, but the opponent to my left grabbed the penultimate Province and then it was over again before it got back to me.  I now wonder if Gear+BM is stronger.

7:  Forager, Gardens, Jack of all Trades, Mining Village, Throne Room, Treasure Map, Counterfeit, Rogue, Royal Seal, Storyteller

I played this game with Voltaire and Alyse (Roadrunner's mom).  Voltaire and I both really had a feeling that there had to be some kind of Storyteller-based engine here (the missing piece was realizing that we could use Storyteller to line up Treasure Maps), but we both ended up going with Jack + Counterfeit.  Voltaire beat me by one turn. 

5:  Poor House, Fool's Gold, Gardens, Rats, Taxman, Thief, Contraband, Horn of Plenty, Hunting Party, Mandarin, Alms, Bonfire,

I played this one with Jordan and another opponent whose name I don't remember.  Thief/Gardens is probably the thing to do here, but Jordan was my only opponent to pick up a Thief, and I think he only had one.  This opened the door for me to play Hunting Party + Horn of Plenty and get the whole Hunting Party stack.  Any fewer than the whole stack, and I think I would have lost.  I was able to grab Provinces consistently once I got a Mandarin and narrowly beat Jordan.

Semis:
B:  Shelters, Lookout, Smugglers, Watchtower, Spy, Ghost Ship, Tribute, Bridge Troll, Rogue, Hunting Grounds, Prince, Mission, Borrow

I felt like I was underwater pretty much this whole game.  Jordan opened with Ghost Ship and Liopoil got an early Bridge Troll.  The only way I was even able to stay close in this one was the Smugglers that I opened with and used to copy a bunch of Liopoil's engine parts.  Tribute was a key card for him,as he was able to Spy and get an action on my deck and then use Tribute to get enough actions for his engine.  I really wanted to build an engine too, but Jordan, the player to my left, was going mostly money, so Tributes would have whiffed for me. 

At some point, I spiked a Prince, which I wanted to connect with a Spy, but after top-decking it with Ghost Ship multiple turns to try to line it up with one, I had to settle for Princing a Lookout, which ended up being way better than it sounds.  I was able to put junk on top with Ghost Ship and then trash and discard the junk.  With a few well-timed Watchtowers, I was able to get some big turns and grab Provinces before time ran out.  Without the time limit, I have no doubt that Liopoil would have won this game.  His deck was much better than mine.

A:  Ambassador, Silk Road, Trader, Pirate Ship, Procession, Cultist, Pillage, Vineyard, Scrying Pool, Familiar, Save, Scouting Party

I was playing Voltaire and Dethwing here and I got stomped.  There are obviously a lot of junking cards here and Trader should be an OK defense, but you can't always have a trader in your hand, right?  (foreshadowing).  I figured at least one of my opponents would get a Cultist, since that's the only real way to draw your deck here.  I figured I'd get a bunch of ruins and not even mind that much, because I'd draw them all with Scrying Pool.  Fast forward a few turns, no one has a Cultist and since I opened with a Potion, I got my Trader later than everyone else and started getting snowed under with Curses and other Ambassadored stuff.  Voltaire discovered Trader/Save and was sailing smooth the rest of the game.  Toward the end of the game, I managed to trash quite a few curses and coppers with my Trader and tried to rush victory cards.  I somehow came within one of Dethwing, but in reality, it wasn't nearly that close.

C:  (No 5/2), Develop, Doctor, Market Square, Oracle, Armory, Bridge, Distant Lands, Band of Misfits, Nobles, Prince, Lost Arts, Pathfinding

My opponents here were shark_bait and iguanaiguana -- they were a riot.  I was third player, and after they both opened with a Doctor overpay, I was super nervous that I was missing the obvious opening.  I opened with Armory + Market Square (I think) and thought that I'd be more reliably able to line up Market Squares with trashing on a Doctor overpay.  I think that was the difference, that plus really bad Doctor luck from my opponents.  I was able to get a few golds and spike a Pathfinding, which I used to turn my Market Squares into Laboratories with buy.  A turn later, I got Lost Arts to make them into Lost Cities with buy.  After that, I grabbed Bridges and Oracles and had enough pile control to grab a Province and empty piles.

Final:  Platinum/Colony, Shelters, Peasant (bane), Hermit, Scheme, Watchtower, Fortress, Transmogrify, Young Witch, Band of Misfits, Graverobber, Royal Carriage, Upgrade, Ferry, Summon

I have no idea how I got into the finals.  I guess everybody else just beat each other up?  Opponents here were Adam and Roadrunner, who is hilarious by the way.  The thing to do here is just tricks with Fortress to run piles and grab a VP card before it's over.  That's pretty much what we all did, but Adam just did it a little better than Roadrunner or me.  Adam grabbed a bunch of Upgrades, while I tried some tricks with Summon+Transmogrify, using Scheme to make sure there was a Fortress on my deck.  Once again, pile control is tricky with 3 players.  I thought I had left enough cards in the piles, but Roadrunner had a turn between me and Adam, and obviously, he has to make his own deck stronger.  So Adam was able to find a way to empty the piles and grab a Duchy -- I was really hoping he would find himself one card short, because I had a hand that should have been able to end it on the next turn.

But I'm not disappointed at all.  I didn't feel like I had any business being in the finals anyway. Roadrunner and I tied for 2nd and he convinced me to play a tiebreaker game, even though it was after midnight.

Tiebreaker:
T: Chapel, Stonemason, Market Square, Bridge, Gardens, Ironworks , Talisman, Council Room, Jester, Border Village, Traveling Fair, Ball

Not much to say here.  I went for the engine, which I think can win on this board.  Roadrunner went for Gardens.  After both my opening buys missed the shuffle, I pretty much gave up.  Props to Roadrunner.  He definitely deserved 2nd place.

I have to say that all the F.DS members there were all great people.  Can't wait to run into you all again soon.  Thanks to Elestan and ADK for running the tournament!
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iguanaiguana

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Thoughts on the tourney!

Prelims set 7:
Forager, Gardens, Jack of all Trades, Mining Village, Throne Room, Treasure Map, Counterfeit, Rogue, Royal Seal, Storyteller

It looks like a big storyteller engine, but I've only played one storyteller game with goons before, so I don't know for sure. Turns out, I was right, and the engine is similar in some ways to a library engine and very easy to build. So I open forager/Jack and get another forager and another jack, with the goal in mind of trashing estates and replacing all of my coppers with silvers down the road. From there, I add two storytellers, two counterfeits, and a mining village (so that I can play Jack every turn for two silvers to trash to counterfeit) and soon enough I have big draw so that I can double province pretty reliably. My opponent (Roadrunner) keeps the pressure on me by playing DoubleJack, so I kinda scramble to get the engine together and double provincing and then go off from there. I saw a lot of potential in treasure map, but no time for that. Once I got storytellering, royal seal would have probably helped with reliability, except that once i was going off, I was just buying two provinces/turn anyway. Moral: storyteller is cool.

Prelims set 1
Poor House, Vagrant, Wishing Well, Tunnel, Procession, Counterfeit, Cultist, Ghost Ship, Library, Adventurer, Trade

Its a cultist board, and I'm stupid and think "I can open counterfeit and get cultist next." No, you can't. Get cultist first, never get counterfeit. People keep calling trade bad. Well, it's really good here. You draw with cultist then you turn two ruins into silvers. Now you can get provinces instead of duchies. Fun fact: If you get counterfeit, then proceed to lose the ruins split hard here, your best strategy might be adventurer/tunnel.


Prelims set 2:
Gear, Duplicate Horse, Traders, Militia, Rats, Transmogrify, Apprentice, Saboteur, Raze, University, Ball

There had been some talk before the tournament about how good gear/big money is. So I'm looking at this engine and thinking, wow, it looks pretty difficult to do correctly. Better play gear big money! Before I know it, I am clogged up with so many provinces that I buy an apprentice in order to trash the provinces, get a huge hand and buy two more provinces using all my gold and a single horse traders. If an opponent had been able to play militia on my every turn, I feel like this could have fallen apart rather quickly, but luckily for me no one got there.

Prelims set 3:
Crossroads, Bureaucrat, Feodum, Herald, Noble Brigand, Silk Road, Stables, Bank, Vineyard, Scrying Pool, Plan, Training, Platinum/Colony, shelters

Oh boy! The board where I planned on scrying pools and then trained them so that my deck produced exactly 11 and got a colony every single turn thereafter, only to be beaten by a guy who planned on stables and played his bureaucrat on me every turn and another guy who just bought a ton of bureaucrats for no reason, with the result that I could never trash my estates. Estates? But it says shelters! Yeah, that's right. We did it wrong and used estates instead of shelters on this board. Changing that would have probably won the game for my strategy; oh well. I still got 2nd and made the finals.

Semis set A:
Ambassador, Silk Road, Trader, Pirate Ship, Procession, Cultist, Pillage, Vineyard, Scrying Pool, Familiar, Save, Scouting Party

Shark bait and I play the junking engine, Adam does trader/save. I get ahead on the amabassador war, then make the mistake of thinking that I can safely trader my second ambassador for some much needed economy and still draw my deck with scrying pool. Big mistake. As soon as I do that, Shark bait plays like three familiars on me and its all over. Adam ends the game with basically the entire silver pile in his deck and I end the game with -10 points, lol.

Semis set B:
Lookout, Smugglers, Watchtower, Spy, Ghost Ship, Tribute, Bridge Troll, Rogue, Hunting Grounds, Prince, Mission, Borrow, Shelters

This is the main board I wanted to talk about! Adam calls this a big money board; I think that is basically wrong. His reasoning is that tribute is not reliable here unless your opponent *also* goes for an engine. I think that doesn't matter because you don't really need to get tribute to make the engine work.

Here, I opened lookout/ghost ship and got a second lookout ASAP to get trashed down. I don't really remember the order of purchase but I remember I ended up with Prince of Necropolis & Prince of spies in order to start out with a 6 card hand & four actions per turn. From there, I played one of my two hunting grounds with my ghost ship to draw a very thin deck (my yellow economy was gold/gold/silver/copper) and play two bridge trolls. With four bridge trolls in play per turn, I could easily purchase two 4 cost provinces and two 0 cost spies every turn, and the spies helped make sure that I could discard a few provinces every turn and keep drawing my deck. Maybe I got lucky, but prince of spies and opponent's ghost ships did a LOT to make sure that my lookouts could trash all of the junk out of my deck, and then one lookout could trash the other. Adam kind of shrugged off ghost ship here because of watchtower and lookout. But unless you have a princed watchtower, a ghost ship every turn is still going to cripple you. And if you have a princed watchtower, you are probably building the engine and not playing big money. So yeah, the engine here wins I think.

Semis set C:
(No 5/2), Develop, Doctor, Market Square, Oracle, Armory, Bridge, Distant Lands, Band of Misfits, Nobles, Prince, Lost Arts, Pathfinding

Well, I was playing this at 11PM and by this point I was thinking more about a two hour drive home through heavy snowfall than dominion. I never tried to line up doctor/market square really, and GRSBMD had won the game by like turn 5. I guess my crowning glory here was that while shark bait and I both were floundering, I was able to pick up a single nobles right before GRSBMD three piled the board and therefore I got second place. Lol.

Okay, Elestan told me he would tell me the "full potential" of the storyteller board if I wrote this, so here it is : )
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liopoil

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Semis set B:
Lookout, Smugglers, Watchtower, Spy, Ghost Ship, Tribute, Bridge Troll, Rogue, Hunting Grounds, Prince, Mission, Borrow, Shelters

This is the main board I wanted to talk about! Adam calls this a big money board; I think that is basically wrong. His reasoning is that tribute is not reliable here unless your opponent *also* goes for an engine. I think that doesn't matter because you don't really need to get tribute to make the engine work.

Here, I opened lookout/ghost ship and got a second lookout ASAP to get trashed down. I don't really remember the order of purchase but I remember I ended up with Prince of Necropolis & Prince of spies in order to start out with a 6 card hand & four actions per turn. From there, I played one of my two hunting grounds with my ghost ship to draw a very thin deck (my yellow economy was gold/gold/silver/copper) and play two bridge trolls. With four bridge trolls in play per turn, I could easily purchase two 4 cost provinces and two 0 cost spies every turn, and the spies helped make sure that I could discard a few provinces every turn and keep drawing my deck. Maybe I got lucky, but prince of spies and opponent's ghost ships did a LOT to make sure that my lookouts could trash all of the junk out of my deck, and then one lookout could trash the other. Adam kind of shrugged off ghost ship here because of watchtower and lookout. But unless you have a princed watchtower, a ghost ship every turn is still going to cripple you. And if you have a princed watchtower, you are probably building the engine and not playing big money. So yeah, the engine here wins I think.
Yeah, Watchtower-in-an-engine rules and BM drools. Tribute is nice if your opponent has actions (with spy his density doesn't have to be too high), but not necessary because of Prince. It's also nice if you don't make mistakes. Definitely not the easiest engine, but it definitely works and I'd bet will beat BM in a two-player game at least two-thirds of the time.
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In a 2P game, things are different than in a 3P game -- Spy + Ghost Ship + Bridge Troll is probably enough of an attack to shut down a Big Money player in 2P, and contesting components has much more value. The landscape is probably different in a 3P game, particularly with Prince as the only village -- you need multiple Princes if you aren't getting actions from Tributes. I'm not convinced that the uncontested engine beats two big money players (I'm willing to try that out, though).

There was another thing I wanted to mention about Elestan's sets: if you're reading this and you're going to play some tournament sets designed by him, many times the best strategy depends on what your opponents are doing -- how do you wait to choose your strategy until you know what your opponents want? You trash all of your cards. You build a stem cell of a deck that can become many different things, exploiting the weaknesses of your opponents' decks and using the components that are available to you. I found myself doing another "big think" two to five turns into some of the games to really assess what my opponents were going for, and I think there's a lot of value in doing this.

If there's no way to thin and you can't get by adapting to what your opponents have done, then either there's a clear path from the start that you need to take, or Elestan has goofed in making his board: and I haven't seen that happen yet :)
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Elestan

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If there's no way to thin and you can't get by adapting to what your opponents have done, then either there's a clear path from the start that you need to take, or Elestan has goofed in making his board: and I haven't seen that happen yet :)

Oh, it's happened.  Upgrade was a late addition to the finals set this year that I should have re-tested, for example (Advisor or Messenger would have been more interesting), and Poorhouse needed more support against Thief in set 5 (I'm thinking of replacing Fool's Gold with Native Village).  But I do usually try to put in some counter- and counter-counter strategy play because, well, that's what makes 3P interesting.  I was glad that shark_bait found the Cultist counters I built into set 1, that at least one person found the Pillage counter-counter in set A, and that Smugglers and Tribute are strongly influencing the strategy for set B.  And I still believe that under tournament rules, an engine is viable against Jester in the tiebreaker set if you plan your opening properly.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 07:25:10 pm by Elestan »
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Roadrunner7671

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I know this is a little late, but how much more fun would've the last game been if Upgrade was replaced with Scout?
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Elestan

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I know this is a little late, but how much more fun would've the last game been if Upgrade was replaced with Scout?
Please move any discussion on this topic to another thread; I'd rather not have this one hijacked.  Thanks.
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Roadrunner7671

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I know this is a little late, but how much more fun would've the last game been if Upgrade was replaced with Scout?
Please move any discussion on this topic to another thread; I'd rather not have this one hijacked.  Thanks.
I'm actually serious. Sure, the card didn't have to be Scout, but the game sort of turned into Upgrade/Fortress with distractions. A 'nine card kingdom' would've played very differently.
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Elestan

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T: Chapel, Stonemason, Market Square, Bridge, Gardens, Ironworks , Talisman, Council Room, Jester, Border Village, Traveling Fair, Ball
Our tiebreaker
Disclaimer: I am not trying to offend Elestan.
BUT WHAT AN AWFUL BOARD!!! There was a nice Border Village/Chapel/Bridge/Coucil Room engine. Ben went for it. What did I do? I did stupid Ironworks/Gardens! Ben helped me three pile the Market Squares, I had support with Travelling Fair, and I won. The game sucked though. Apparently it's the same board (with one modification) every year.
Is there an engine that will beat IW-G on this board?  Anybody want to try to simulate it?
The game will be short, yes. OTOH, I'm pretty convinced that IW/Gardens is best here because the engine is made weak. The only village is Border Village and the only non-terminals you can pick up with it help your opponent empty piles, so building the engine is pretty rough. Throne Room makes it pretty explosive but then it would be really good and now you've got this engine with Bridge, huge draw, and mid-turn gains so your game takes forever.

Incidentally, Roadrunner, AdamH, grsbmd, and I have done some further testing on this set IRL, and so far, the engine is beating IW/G 2-0.  Thanks to all three of them for testing and being good sports.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 06:43:46 pm by Elestan »
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Roadrunner7671

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Hey, this thread got revived! But Gardens will prevail! And Gardens is my least favorite card.
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liopoil

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T: Chapel, Stonemason, Market Square, Bridge, Gardens, Ironworks , Talisman, Council Room, Jester, Border Village, Traveling Fair, Ball
Our tiebreaker
Disclaimer: I am not trying to offend Elestan.
BUT WHAT AN AWFUL BOARD!!! There was a nice Border Village/Chapel/Bridge/Coucil Room engine. Ben went for it. What did I do? I did stupid Ironworks/Gardens! Ben helped me three pile the Market Squares, I had support with Travelling Fair, and I won. The game sucked though. Apparently it's the same board (with one modification) every year.
Is there an engine that will beat IW-G on this board?  Anybody want to try to simulate it?
The game will be short, yes. OTOH, I'm pretty convinced that IW/Gardens is best here because the engine is made weak. The only village is Border Village and the only non-terminals you can pick up with it help your opponent empty piles, so building the engine is pretty rough. Throne Room makes it pretty explosive but then it would be really good and now you've got this engine with Bridge, huge draw, and mid-turn gains so your game takes forever.

Incidentally, Roadrunner, AdamH, grsbmd, and I have done some further testing on this set IRL, and so far, the engine is beating IW/G 2-0.  Thanks to all three of them for testing and being good sports.
Hey, does this mean I can say that I TOLD YOU SO! (Not you Elestan, rather, the chapel haters)? IW/G isn't better with any number of players, though it can win with 4+ if people choose the right strategies. I am completely confident in this despite having never played the board so you can definitely trust me.
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AdamH

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To be fair, I sort of dismissed the combination of Travelling Fair and your ability to stack your opening shuffle -- you can T-Fair and top-deck a Chapel on T1 and trash three Estates on T2, which takes a lot of the variance out of the engine and is a huge boost. Makes picking up Border Villages pretty easy.

Without travelling Fair or against a 3/4 opening IW/G is better, though. I'll stand behind that statement.
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Elestan

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Without travelling Fair or against a 3/4 opening IW/G is better, though. I'll stand behind that statement.

I dunno...the things that make Chapel unreliable are:
  • Having it on the bottom of the shuffle, and
  • Having it collide with your Coppers repeatedly, such that using it to full effect would kill your economy.
With a 3/4 and no deck stacking, I would open Market Square/TF-Chapel, guaranteeing a T3 Chapel.  With a MS in my deck, I don't really have to worry about killing my economy; I can full-trash every time I draw my Chapel, using the MS to replace with Gold.  I think it's still competitive, and probably has the advantage if Chapel doesn't end up one of the bottom 2 (of 7) cards on the second shuffle.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 10:18:36 am by Elestan »
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AdamH

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Sure, this is pretty good. It does still require Travelling Fair, though. Also, there's no guarantee anymore that you're going to hit your Estates with your Chapel so this line will probably end up being 2-3 turns slower in many cases.
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