My thoughts on each of the games and WW commentary.
Game 1: After listening to WW's talk about Spice Merchant/Embargo... I kinda wish I headed in that direction (I never considered it). It sounds like a very plausible plan although the lack of serious $actions makes it tough. I was set from the start that I would try to diverge from BM (especially mirror matches) from him because that is a serious advantage for him. Unfortunately, I did not see that alternative method. Yet, IGG + first player should be good. Me not hitting $5 was horrendous. If I remember correctly, I got militia-ed out of $8 at least once (T15). I had a turn 8 province ready, but I thought it was too early to go for provinces since I needed to gain a copper. Correct move? i'm not sure. After watching the video, nobody had ridiculous luck (my no $5 essentially counteracts first turn). He takes it quite convincingly. http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120127-171123-95c1268e.html
Game 2: Here I very much considered FG/margrave... envoy BM... margrave BM... I ended choosing Margrave BM because I was certain I needed the +buys (lighthouses for sure, FG if he went for them). I was a little surprised he was not going for lighthouses, but after him talk about FG wanting sifting, I agree with his decision. For my lighthouses... for two of those to stop EVERY attack... EVERY... has got to be great luck on my part. I do end up grabbing 3 FG which luckily turn into gold at good times. I do end up winning the game at the end, although I do think I should have. My strategy was not as good as his. At this point, I have played well... "I suppose" =) http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120127-171905-fe9aa96c.html
Game 3: Yes indeed it was my favourite game. Upfront, I do not think he was outplayed as he says. Unfortunately you cannot see my hands, but they were tough to mustard up any sort of dollars. He battled the noble brigands (yes noble brigands) quite well by switching towards bazzars. Double tactician is actually pretty bad here, but once I knew he was going BM (I assumed he would), a constant engine with noble brigands is actually pretty scary to be honest. I've done this at least once before (having 1/2 brigands in a serious engine against BM) and it worked out nicely.
So my thought process was this, there are clearly materials here to draw your whole deck out... envoy, fishing village, ghost ship but with no plus buy, this makes engine building tougher. Also I chose to go double tactician route because there is an underrated money source here with mandarin. The top decking ability is quite nice for this sort of engine building deck. However buying my first mandarin was a challenge. It would require me to 1. not use my tactician and 2. top deck my coppers. So i needed to build "engine dollars" to get me mandarins ASAP. Second problem I ran into was that ghost ship does not work well with Noble brigands so I needed to get around that as well. It was VITAL that I knock a gold as that would limit his envoy's power vastly (T15). Third minor problem, man copper/estates/provinces really get in the way. My play order isn't anything interesting, quite simple. I will say that if I did not have the dollars to get Province/duchy in last turn, i would have felt confident getting duchy/duchy and waiting next turn, there was no way he was getting $8 after snagging his second gold.
Ways to improve my engine... 2nd envoy instead of ghost ship I think. More Warehouses... just more... that was a mistake not getting any. Also: was WW's defence (not buying gold) correct? That was my intention, but was he right?http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120127-173236-cfa32855.html
Game 4: After showing off the modest power of noble brigands, I try pirate ship after he goes for jack. Normally he's right, there is no point in trying this, it would be way too slow, but I have a couple things on my side.
1. Trashing, and what better than chapel, it makes for quick trashing for me to build a reliable engine fast.
2. +actions, Worker's village would allow to me to get + actions with ease, although at a higher price it may be tough.
3. +buys, This is key, if I do not have worker's village here, I do not choose this route. Without the ability to catch up and multi-buy provinces, this plan becomes much harder.
4. + cards, Not as vital as I could have easily just done worker's village/pirate ships... However, with alchemist being able to duplicate, I want that to be apart of my plan. (WW said that I should've gone just WV/PS, and I agree they are relatively equal choices. But I figured this way would be 'safer' as it could withstand things as I green.)
WW comments that I get bad luck at the start, but I say I got near perfect luck. Having chapel/PS collide is a bummer, but having $4 with that other is great. Then on the next two chapel I eliminate all estates and go down to 6 cards. I can now carefully plan my deck. I'm not sure I played it perfectly, but I was happy with my buy orders. I was very much concerned after he greened, it would be hard to fight. So i chose to build towards a super turn and constantly attack. Now that my engine is ready, Jack is a huge target nearly hitting on every turn. Then I hit $9, 3 WV gets me to 4 buys and I clean up. http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120127-173902-406d5900.html
This is all I could mustard up for now. As expected, I do well in engine games and he did well in BM games. The BM games I win were based off first turn and probably shuffle luck.