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Author Topic: empires: groundskeeper  (Read 1744 times)

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schadd

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empires: groundskeeper
« on: July 26, 2016, 07:14:30 pm »
+3



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it only makes sense. it's an alt-vp that doesn't let you sidestep the standard green cards like most do. so hopefully, one way or another, you'll be able to sidestep having them in your deck by having the game be over. and i see that happening much of the time: it's empires now, engines are great, they buy tons of stuff at a time. but, absent an engine, i couldn't really imagine buying groundskeeper would be better than whatever other thing you might be rushing for, even though it does trigger on e.g. ironworks. yet not even that will stop me from starting sentences with conjunctions, you philistines.
  but yeah, it is one of the simpler things to do with vp tokens. they will generally want to reward you for playing action cards, and well monument and goons had strings attached, and don't get me started on the new ones. groundskeeper just sits quietly in a corner somewhere and then waits to pile on the victory points, and quaintly does so in such a way that a stalemate-y situation couldn't really emerge.

-how pure of a soul is this groundskeeper? in terms of design, but also maybe thematically; look at that expression.
-what's the largest spread of turns on which you could imagine getting use from groundskeeper? it's kinda bounded at 8 in engine mirrors unless it is quite the bad engine
-do you usually keep the grounds that you groundskeep, then? as in, do you buy victory cards and then trash them in very many groundskeeper games
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 08:53:45 pm by schadd »
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Seprix

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 07:58:54 pm »
0

Yeah, Groundskeeper looks about as innocent and as much a symbol of purity as Maria Falconetti's Joan of Arc. Love that movie.



Anyways, I love Groundskeeper. It's such a fun card. Buying Estate with 6 Groundskeepers in play is better than Province, easily. Only one problem. Groundskeeper looks so modern. Look at her pliers. Her attire. Her gloves, for gosh sake!
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 08:01:16 pm by Seprix »
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Dingan

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2016, 08:38:32 pm »
+1

I don't know what it is about the artwork.  She just looks... modern.  Or something.  I don't know.  But I really like it.  She definitely doesn't fit into the whole medieval theme.  I mean just look at Baker -- so different.

I guess a cantrip +VP thing is kind of like Ironworksing a Great Hall.  Eh, whatever, I can't stop thinking about the groundskeeper and what her story is..
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Roadrunner7671

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2016, 09:15:30 pm »
0

It's important to note that, unlike Goons, Groundskeeper gives you the VP when you gain a card, not buy it.
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trivialknot

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2016, 10:04:17 pm »
0

I always thought she looked like Donna from That 70s Show.

Even after playing a few games, I'm still puzzled as to how good Groundskeeper is.  There were a couple games where it seemed really good, but maybe that was only because of Ferry and Stonemason respectively.  Stonemason is a great Groundskeeper enabler.

I played another game where both players went for Groundskeepers, and we had a lovely Estate slog.  If we had a 3rd player going for Big Money would they have just won?  Eh, probably.
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jomini

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 11:15:32 pm »
+2

Groundskeeper + Ambassador = fun times unless you mirror. Then it is a stalemate.

Getting down to Grounds keepers, a gold, a silver, two greens and Ambassador lets you just continuously gain points (return two green, buy a green). You can setup similar cycles with Graverobber/action-VP (Dame Josephine/ Small castle cycling FTW)or 3-card combos like Trasher/VP/Graverobber or Rogue.

You can also build a a lot Golden variety decks with Gkeeper - gain an estate, trash it next turn, keep the VP. In a non-mirror, this can make Gkeeper active for well over 8 turns as you burn through both Estates and provinces. I suspect these Golden decks will be too slow without good enablers (like Expand, Butcher, Quarry, etc.), but you can utterly hose BM plays by scoring more off estates. Ideally you want exactly as many Gkeepers as VP cards you plan to gain before game end if you have to choose between VP and a Gkeeper (obviously this in turn will be contingent on opponent tactics).

I imagine the big trick will be timing. Obviously you want Gkeepers right before the ending green, but if you wait and finish off making a robust engine you risk losing the split (which can easily be a 4 VP per turn disadvantage. Is suspect mirrors may end up like Gardens - gain all the enablers first and wait to splurge on Gkeepers later ... unless the other guy is competing to get them in which case win the split sooner than your deck would like.
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Chris is me

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2016, 07:39:15 am »
+1

It's hard for me to mentally grasp how useful this card is, but it's really pretty good. Even just splashing a few into an engine is good, you don't *have* to commit hard like most alt-VP. And unlike a lot of alt-VP, that means contesting the split even when it's not your primary strategy pays off.

I've played about seventy games with this and Charm at the same time, and it's basically a combo with Charm and any other $5. The best way to get Groundskeeper is for free. $5 for a cantrip is so hard to justify sometimes.
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Deadlock39

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2016, 09:44:12 am »
0

I think this card will most commonly be used to position for the end game.

As a simple example, say you are playing an engine against a BM opponent.  You finally get your engine up, but are down 4 Provinces to 0. You expect your opponent to get at least one more Province before you can end the game, so this means you need at least 4 Duchies to make up that 5-3 split. But wait! You can buy Grounds Keepers instead. If you do buy those 3 Provinces, each one is worth at least as much as a Duchy, they cost the same, and they don't clog your engine up.

The same type of positioning can happen in engine vs engine.  If I know my opponent can't end the game next turn, picking a bunch of these up greatly extends the scoring potential of my deck on the next turn.

McGarnacle

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2017, 05:51:33 pm »
0

I got the Simpsons reference. Always think of that when I see this card.

I like Groundskeeper because it is a lot like Distant Lands. You really need to think about when to buy it. It is quite good I think, especially in a kingdom with no +Buy.
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Jfrisch

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2017, 06:05:13 pm »
+2

It is quite good I think, especially in a kingdom with no +Buy.

I'm pretty sure the opposite is true. Groundskeeper isn't usually worth it unless their are gainers or +buys. It is a humongous payload for a functioning engine but, on the other hand, pretty mediocre in Big Money, single province engine, or Slog types of games.
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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2017, 03:34:34 am »
+3

While everyone knows that groundskeeper is excellent when you can multi-gain green cards, another situation where it can shine is the converse, a deck where you want as little green as possible. Imagine a board with chapel and some great cantrips, but no way to increase your hand size. This sort of deck will be really great until you start adding stop cards to it, where it risks suddenly falling apart. In this sort of deck, your deck can chug along for a lot longer if you can add less green cards by making the few you do buy worth significantly more. And these sorts of decks really struggle with end game dancing, so it's a major boost to minimise the amount of that you need to do. Heck, if you can get into a strong enough position you can trash your green and avoid the issue entirely!

Bonus groundskeeper combo: Farmland. Buy farmland, trashing farmland into province, that's taking two green cards with one buy, doubling your groundskeeper points!
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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2017, 09:00:29 am »
+1

It is quite good I think, especially in a kingdom with no +Buy.

I'm pretty sure the opposite is true. Groundskeeper isn't usually worth it unless their are gainers or +buys. It is a humongous payload for a functioning engine but, on the other hand, pretty mediocre in Big Money, single province engine, or Slog types of games.

If you are each going to get 4 provinces (mirror match on engine board) the guy with the Groundskeepers is going to win, even if the other guy manages to pick up an extra Duchy. While, it does work well, arguably better in a +Buy situation, I think it is potentially more game-changing with no +Buy.
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faust

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2017, 09:19:57 am »
+4

It is quite good I think, especially in a kingdom with no +Buy.

I'm pretty sure the opposite is true. Groundskeeper isn't usually worth it unless their are gainers or +buys. It is a humongous payload for a functioning engine but, on the other hand, pretty mediocre in Big Money, single province engine, or Slog types of games.

If you are each going to get 4 provinces (mirror match on engine board) the guy with the Groundskeepers is going to win, even if the other guy manages to pick up an extra Duchy. While, it does work well, arguably better in a +Buy situation, I think it is potentially more game-changing with no +Buy.
Well, but an engine board isn't all that likely if there is no way to gain extra cards... that was the point. Also, if you're spending a buy on Groundskeeper and your opponent does something that improves his deck instead, it's less likely that you'll split the Provinces 4/4.
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McGarnacle

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 08:59:56 am »
0

It is quite good I think, especially in a kingdom with no +Buy.

I'm pretty sure the opposite is true. Groundskeeper isn't usually worth it unless their are gainers or +buys. It is a humongous payload for a functioning engine but, on the other hand, pretty mediocre in Big Money, single province engine, or Slog types of games.

If you are each going to get 4 provinces (mirror match on engine board) the guy with the Groundskeepers is going to win, even if the other guy manages to pick up an extra Duchy. While, it does work well, arguably better in a +Buy situation, I think it is potentially more game-changing with no +Buy.
Well, but an engine board isn't all that likely if there is no way to gain extra cards... that was the point. Also, if you're spending a buy on Groundskeeper and your opponent does something that improves his deck instead, it's less likely that you'll split the Provinces 4/4.

Well, if he buys a Duchy, you buy a Groundskeeper and split on the Provinces, you have a good chance of winning.
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Chris is me

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2017, 09:20:41 am »
0

Obviously gaining one card per turn is the worst case for Groundskeeper and significantly hurts its viability, but you really don't need much more support than the ability to gain more than 1 $5  for it to be worth it.

Ignoring other victory cards: you need 4 Groundskeeper to make up for a 3-5 Province loss split against someone who ignored it. A similar number of Groundskeepers lets you go for Duchies to force your opponent to drain the whole Province pile to end the game. If you both contest the pile and you win the split 6-4, all other things equal, 3 Province 2 Duchy from the 6 easily beats 5 Province from the 4. (24 + 30 > 30 + 16)

Thus Groundskeeper is one of those odd cards like Highway and sometimes Port that forces you to buy it way before you "should" to win (or avoid losing) the split in order to try and stay in the game long before it is officially over. It's quite interesting.
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Jack Rudd

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2017, 01:50:13 pm »
+1

If you can legally do so, it's quite a nice Inheritance target.
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McGarnacle

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Re: empires: groundskeeper
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2017, 10:38:25 pm »
0

If you can legally do so, it's quite a nice Inheritance target.

Talk about self-synergy!
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