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Author Topic: Official Dominion Tournament at U-Con, Nov. 21 2015, Ypsilanti, MI, 2pm - 10pm  (Read 20004 times)

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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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Roadrunner7671

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Just remember Shark Bait, Adam is having one Jan. 30.
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Elestan

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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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dethwing

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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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AdamH

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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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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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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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