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Author Topic: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking  (Read 6214 times)

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Kfm

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Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« on: October 22, 2015, 09:36:44 pm »
+1

I know deck tracking has been discussed but I think the advice was mostly just to practice tracking your deck and you'll get better.

I just feel like there's got to be some systems way better than what I do now, which is basically 'hey.. I know I bought a kings court, but I haven't had a rdiculously good hand with it recently at all...  Ok only five cards left in my draw now so it's pretty likely to be drawn dead if I play smithy with my last action right now.' That's ok but really only works for up to like 3 key cards max for me.

Also, I can track vp when the counter is off ok, but like feoda points and vineyard points and how many estates each person has... Sometimes I spend a lot of energy trying track those and get them wrong anyway.

Would appreciate any systems people have that they'd like to share.
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Chris is me

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 10:57:44 pm »
+3

One useful thing to do is to just look at the number of cards left in the pile. It's accessible information, and you can usually get a good enough guess of how the split went from there. If you know your opponent only bought 1 or 2 King's Courts and the pile only has 5 left, you must have 3 or 4. The more you keep track of this sort of thing, the easier and more intuitive it gets.

Keeping track of exactly how much your alt-VP is worth without a counter is pretty tricky. I rarely am able to do it for vineyard or feodum.
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2015, 11:19:11 pm »
+6

I don't have any useful suggestions, but I will say that the level of deck tracking you've described in your post is more than sufficient to play Dominion well at the highest levels. As long as the key things like "I haven't played my KC this shuffle" are jumping out at you, you will have most of the information you really need to play your turns correctly.

I don't know if you play mainly online or IRL, but online one can always scan the log for most important information (though many wish this wasn't possible).
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Kfm

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2015, 11:59:05 pm »
0

I play mostly online 2 player and that certainly makes it easier. Mic mentioned scannong the log, and tips for even doing that more efficiently would also be helpful.
Would like to take this opportunity to express that I was happy to see that in the new Post-Goko client application there is key word highlighting which will help. Didn't notice if shuffles are highlighted but if so that would help a lot.. And I believe the scrolling bug is finally fixed
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Awaclus

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2015, 12:40:39 am »
+7

I don't have any useful suggestions, but I will say that the level of deck tracking you've described in your post is more than sufficient to play Dominion well at the highest levels. As long as the key things like "I haven't played my KC this shuffle" are jumping out at you, you will have most of the information you really need to play your turns correctly.

Mostly this. At least 55% of the time when I play Wishing Well with just one card left in my deck, I have no idea what the card is.

But there's one thing that I think helps you get better at deck tracking while also helping you make better plays in general, which you should do if you aren't already, which is thinking in shuffles i.e. in the early game where your deck is relatively thin but you aren't drawing it every turn, instead of asking yourself "what should I buy this turn", you should ask "what should I buy this shuffle", because all of those cards are going to start appearing in your hands at the same time. This makes your buys more intentional, which will help you remember which cards you have bought. If you know what you've bought and you're at the top of your shuffle, it's easy to deduce what's in your draw pile since it's just everything that isn't in your hand now, and you get to know the number of cards in your draw pile so you can deduce how many starting cards you've trashed based on that. When you're making your first buying decision with that information in mind, it's easy to still have the information in mind when you're drawing your second hand, and if you only have three hands that shuffle, you already know the rest of the cards too.

And then there's going to be the point where you can't remember all the cards you've bought anymore, but the later that point comes, the less important it is to know it anyway.
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ehunt

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2015, 03:25:34 am »
+1

Keeping track of exactly how much your alt-VP is worth without a counter is pretty tricky. I rarely am able to do it for vineyard or feodum.

Vineyard I have two tricks for (both much easier online than IRL):
1) (what turn is it * approximately how many gains do you make on you average turn) - (number of vineyards in deck) - (number of potions in deck)

2) (how many action cards are missing) - (approximately how many action cards are in opponent's deck)

In general, neither technique works perfectly but both can give you a good lower bound if you're tempted to end the game (or to make a safety play to prevent opponent from ending the game).


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DG

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2015, 09:03:20 am »
0

If there's something that you could mentally track, but you'd rather concentrate on the game, then get some coins out and use those to count the important number. Share the information if the opponent asks.
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Chris is me

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2015, 09:58:38 am »
0

If there's something that you could mentally track, but you'd rather concentrate on the game, then get some coins out and use those to count the important number. Share the information if the opponent asks.

D20s for this are a lot faster. I also use D20s for Coin tokens and 2x D10s for VP chips. Probably a really common thing.
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Awaclus

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2015, 10:05:55 am »
0

If there's something that you could mentally track, but you'd rather concentrate on the game, then get some coins out and use those to count the important number. Share the information if the opponent asks.

D20s for this are a lot faster. I also use D20s for Coin tokens and 2x D10s for VP chips. Probably a really common thing.

I use a calculator or a phone for VP tokens.
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AdamH

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2015, 11:03:01 am »
0

55%

You know how to get a +1 from me, don't you? :P

If there's something that you could mentally track, but you'd rather concentrate on the game, then get some coins out and use those to count the important number. Share the information if the opponent asks.

D20s for this are a lot faster. I also use D20s for Coin tokens and 2x D10s for VP chips. Probably a really common thing.

You (kfm) probably already know this, but I put four 1VP tokens in front of each player and have a little bin for the 5 VP tokens. Every time you score VP, you move some number of 1VP tokens down a bit and take a fiver and push your 1VP tokens back up when you need to.

Online I'll use the fingers on my non-mouse hand to track things sometimes. IRL I usually only track VP in my head -- if I need to get more precise than that then chances are I'm drawing my deck. Once your deck is in your hand/play area, it's really easy to just count piles and figure out where all of the important things are right before making a lot of your important decisions.
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Awaclus

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2015, 12:07:26 pm »
+1

55%

You know how to get a +1 from me, don't you? :P

So the rest of the post wasn't good enough?  :'(
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Erick648

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2015, 12:18:44 pm »
+1

If there's something that you could mentally track, but you'd rather concentrate on the game, then get some coins out and use those to count the important number. Share the information if the opponent asks.
Note that technically, you'll need your opponents' permission to do this, since I'm pretty sure it counts as note-taking (which DXV has defined as "us[ing] anything other than your brain to handle . . . memorization").  It shouldn't be an issue in casual games, but it's still worth noting what the rule is.

Here's the full ruling:
Quote from: Donald X
In all games, within game contexts, you may only do things expressly allowed by the rules. This is what it means to have rules; it is the covenant you have agreed to by agreeing to play. You can play tic-tac-toe in a van while yodeling, but putting a Z in a box is out of the question. It is not up to any rulebook to say that you can't use a memory aid; rather it is up to the rulebook to specifically allow it, or else you can't use one. It doesn't matter how much the game for you is not about this memorization, how much the memory thing seems tangential to whatever fun the game provides; you do not get to use anything other than your brain to handle that memorization, unless of course you are explicitly playing a variant. You also do not get to - and this is important - scrawl notes to yourself on your belly using your own blood. Games between players are played between players, and "players" do not by default include notebooks or pencils, even makeshift ones that are constructed from the players. Expecting all rulebooks to repeat this is nonsense, and anyway would offend people who don't like to talk about blood.
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DG

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2015, 12:32:25 pm »
0

Note that technically, you'll need your opponents' permission to do this, since I'm pretty sure it counts as note-taking (which DXV has defined as "us[ing] anything other than your brain to handle . . . memorization").  It shouldn't be an issue in casual games, but it's still worth noting what the rule is.

The problem is that the online implementation breaks a lot of the information rules already, such as naming all the cards discarded together or giving a searchable text log. I don't have a problem with a player collecting information with simple counting instead of searching the text log. Of course we all have our own opinions on deck tracking. Some deck tracking software even created a bitter argument that almost ruined one tournament, so lets not go there again.
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BraveBear

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2015, 08:00:43 am »
0

I find that tracking what your deck is capable of (gains, potential money, buys) is more important.  Also being able to track what your opponents deck is capable of is just as important.

Being able to guess what your wishing well will hit or if your last 5 cards have a village and draw card in it is nice but small in comparison to the importance of knowing what you and your opponents deck can do on a given turn.  I find this has improved my game so much against skilled opponents.  If you know for a fact that your opponent can only gain one card, or he can gain 10 cards is so valuable at the end of the game.
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ephesos

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Re: Mnemonic devices for deck tracking
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2015, 01:41:51 am »
+1

A tip for tracking treasures; if you can remember how much money is in your deck, how much you had to spend on your last 2 or 3 turns since you shuffled, and remember the shiny ones, you can deduce your remaining Treasures from the total.

e.g. turn 8 I shuffle, play $6. Turn 9 I play $3. Turn 10, I know I had 2 Silvers before the shuffle, both of which I saw in my $6 hand. 2 Silvers and 7 Copper is $11, of which I've spent $9. So I know that if I have no Treasure in hand now, there's 2 Copper in my deck, so I can wish for one of them.

And remembering how much you had to spend is mainly a matter of remembering what you spent it on (plus how disappointed you were to see $7). I tend to remember what I bought over the last few turns, so it goes more like a Goons plus a Silver cost $9 and I had $11 in my deck.
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