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faust

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Inheritance
« on: August 08, 2016, 09:23:00 am »
+19


It is the craziest Event in Dominion so far (Sorry, Donate). It impacts the game like few other card-shaped things do, sometimes completely warping the way you approach building your deck. And, I think, it is still heavily underrated by a large part of the player base.

In this article, I try to highlight two different ways to incorporate Inheritance into your strategy, and also offer some thoughts on when going for Inheritance is the wrong move. This we will start with, because it is the easiest part.

When to not go for Inheritance

If you see Inheritance in a kingdom, your first impulse should always be to ask yourself "Can I make Inheritance work here?" In most cases, you will want to use Inheritance, but there are boards on which you don't. Aside from obvious cases like, there is no possible Inheritance target, you should look for these conditions:

- Do you start with Estates?
- Is there a non-terminal action costing $4 or less?
- Is there an easy way to buy/gain multiple Estates in a single turn?

If you answered at least two of these questions with "no", then you can probably ignore Inheritance. On the other hand, if you answered at least two of these with "yes", chances are you want to go for Inheritance in some way.

This evaluation is the easy part. But how to incorporate Inheritance into your strategy? There are two different strategy archetypes for this. I will outline them first and then talk a bit about when to go for which.

The Inheritance Rush

In an Inheritance Rush, you first and most important goal is to buy Inheritance as soon as possible. After that, if your opponent also goes for Inheritance, your next move is usually to try and win the Estate split.

To reach your first goal, you must throw some of your Dominion wisdom out of the window: Trashing is not a priority. Instead, you should focus on getting $7. Copper-trashing can still be worth it if it also provides economy (like Moneylender/Counterfeit) or cycling (like Spice Merchant). But you want to hold on to your starting Estates, if you have those. This strategy wants to open with cards that can spike high price points (Baron excels at this; but even Coppersmith or Death Cart can be worth it). Events such as Save or Expedition are a big help too.

Also, remember that you will soon get three copies of some card at once; you may want to delay buying those. If your plan is to inherit Villages, don't buy one when you have only 2-3 terminals in your deck.

Once you managed to murder your parents and snatch the Inheritance, often you will want to get as many Estates as possible. They're good for your deck, and winning the split provides a comfortable VP lead over your opponent without slowing you down. At this point, you will need to add +buy and gainers to your deck, which you probably didn't want earlier since they don't help you reaching $7.

After the Estates have drained, you should have put together a decent deck. From then on it's just usual Dominion play until the end.

Example games:
Game 1 - Here I focus on economy early on (opening Moneylender/Silver) while my opponent chooses a more traditional trashing approach with Amulet. I never gain more Estates, but choosing the Inheritance Rush is still worth it.
Game 2 - Here my opponent and I both choose to build similar engines, but due to using Inheritance, I get a sizable lead in VP and villages, promting my opponent to resign.
Game 3 - again I forego trashing in favor of more sifting (Dungeon), and use a spiking card (Wine Merchant) to get to Inheritance quickly.

Inheritance as support

Sometimes, the Rush is not the way to go, but Inheritance may still be useful. If Inheritance is only used as support, then you play the game much like a usual game, but at some point - maybe instead of your first Province - you buy Inheritance. Playing "normally" means you focus more strongly on trashing, maybe even trashing your starting Estates.

You will reach $7 much later in such games, and then you have to ask yorself whether Inheriting is still better than greening. Often enough, it will be.

There is less to say about this way to play Inheritance, since it is less a strategy on its own and more fitting Inheritance into whatever strategy your were already playing.

Example games:
Game 4 - here, the presence of Sea Hag turns the game into a slog, which means getting to $7 will be hard. You still want to get Inheritance since Ironmonger is such a juicy target.
Game 5 - here, lack of amazing targets means that building the engine takes precedence over inheriting, which is why I open Loan. I still luck into an early $7 thanks to Borrow.
Game 6 - my opponent goes for the Rush, while I focus on getting to Champion first. That turns out to be important, as I can later destroy his deck with inherited Pages and Warriors.

When to go for which strategy

Now that we saw both ways to play Inheritance, let's tackle the most important question: When do you want to do which? Obviously, that one is not easy to answer. The main reason not to go for a rush are attacks. Going for the Rush often means delaying the attack, which is particularly bad with junking. Also, most attacks will actively prevent the other player from getting to $7 anytime soon.

The other thing to consider is: would you normally open with the card you want to inherit? If your inheritance target is best in the earlier game stages, then the Rush is better. If it is more of a mid- to late-game support card, then you can also delay Inheritance.

Finally, I would like to address some more specific issues that may come up when playing with Inheritance:

Selecting the right target
Usually, the best target for Inheritance on a given board is glaringly obvious, but there are cases when things are not that easy. Usually, some cantrip is the best option - remember, you will have lots of them in your deck. Select a target that will not only benefit you for the next shuffle, but for the rest of the game. Sometimes, you might not want the cantrip at all if it does too little for your deck.

Example games:
Game 7 - I go for Scheme while my opponent picks Tournament. The problem with Tournament is that it's not a true cantrip - if I have a Province in hand and you have a hand of all Tournaments, it's a dud. Tournament just gets too risky in the late game, and my Schemes are just as good at lining up Tournament with Province.
Game 8 - here, I sheepishly go for Wandering Minstrel (it's a cantrip after all!) while my opponent chooses Envoy, and that's just so much better in this Big-Money-like game.

Cost reduction
This is a tricky one. Cost reduction enables you to Inherit more valuable targets, but it also means that you have to delay your Inheritance more than you'd like. The main problem is that Cost-reducers don't actually help you to buy Inheritance, so you better have some plan to get there. If you do, it can work out beautifully. These games are usually not Rushes, but only use Inheritance as support.

Examples games:
Game 9 - I use Highway to inherit more Highways and my deck just explodes from there.

Cost, type, triggers, tokens
It's important to remember where your inherited Estates are like the original cards - and where they differ.
Cost: The Estates still cost only $2. Remember this when planning to inherit Band of Misfits or Border Village.
Type: You will have lots of Action-Victory hybrids in your deck. This is great for cards that care about that stuff (Crossroads, the Iron family, even Scout) and changes the interaction with some attacks (Rabble gets hard-countered while Bureaucrat gets stronger).
Triggers: The Estates become yours as soon a you buy them, and stay your until they are trashed. That means you can make use of any on-buy, on-gain of on-trash triggers. Ever wanted to trash a Hunting Grounds, gaining 3 more Hunting Grounds?
Tokens: Tokens placed on the pile you inherited from are sadly not copied, and you cannot place tokens on the Estate pile.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 09:25:09 am by faust »
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Chris is me

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2016, 09:31:34 am »
0

This is a good and thorough article.

One thing that I think needs to be explored more is when Estate trashing actually is the right call. I think there are a very small but important subset of games where you actually do want to trash everything, Estates included, then spike Inheritance and rebuy.

The article probably should mention some of Inheritance's Greatest Hits in extensive detail - some of your games / logs feature them, but like Inheriting Highways or Ironmongers or whatever probably deserves their own section since they are so critical to spot and do first.
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Roadrunner7671

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2016, 09:33:29 am »
0

I like the mention of Scout. Could the article include a list of 'which is better to inherit?' I struggle with that. Village or Great Hall? Fishing Village or Urchin?
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2016, 09:34:32 am »
+1

I like the mention of Scout. Could the article include a list of 'which is better to inherit?' I struggle with that. Village or Great Hall? Fishing Village or Urchin?

Well, you sure can't inherit Great Hall, as it is a Victory card.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2016, 09:36:15 am »
+1

Capital is also really good at getting to Inheritance early.

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2016, 01:08:19 pm »
0

I think there are a very small but important subset of games where you actually do want to trash everything, Estates included, then spike Inheritance and rebuy.

This.  I think the biggest thing I struggle with in regards to Inheritance is do I (1) thin down, build a strong deck, quickly spike $7, then re-gain Estates, or (2) not thin and get $7 probably a little bit later than when I would have had I thinned?  I think to answer this question, you have to look at how much sooner (1) would make you spike $7, how beneficial that is, how long the game is going to last, and how easy it is to gain Estates later.

This kind of reminds me of Tournament/Province in a way.  Do I just buy a Coppersmith in hopes to spike an early Province, or do I thin & build the old fashion way?  Would depend on how crucial the Prizes are, how often you will be able to play them, how your deck can handle Duchies, etc.  Again, can be very hard questions to answer.

An unrelated factoid (or maybe urban legend??) was that Inheritance was solely responsible for why the release of Adventures was so delayed.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 01:10:08 pm by Dingan »
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AdrianHealey

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2016, 01:14:57 pm »
0

Is there anything better to inheret than IronMonger? I mean, sure, edge case and all, but besides that: probably Iron Monger is the absolute best.

(Or, if you can, try to inheret prince, like a real bad ass. :p)

I think I managed to inheret bridge troll once (using bridgetroll). Combined with a village card that was one the field, winning was a pretty easy breeze.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 01:18:40 pm by AdrianHealey »
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2016, 01:25:31 pm »
0

Is there anything better to inheret than IronMonger? I mean, sure, edge case and all, but besides that: probably Iron Monger is the absolute best.

(Or, if you can, try to inheret prince, like a real bad ass. :p)

I think I managed to inheret bridge troll once (using bridgetroll). Combined with a village card that was one the field, winning was a pretty easy breeze.

Depends on the board, but I think Highway might actually be better. An even split of the Highways and Estates ends up with 8 per player, which means a megaturn is always possible even if contested. It's probably the most game-warping one I think. I guess Ironmonnger is basically always good, while mega Highway requires cantrip +Buy.
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AdrianHealey

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2016, 01:26:39 pm »
0

Is there anything better to inheret than IronMonger? I mean, sure, edge case and all, but besides that: probably Iron Monger is the absolute best.

(Or, if you can, try to inheret prince, like a real bad ass. :p)

I think I managed to inheret bridge troll once (using bridgetroll). Combined with a village card that was one the field, winning was a pretty easy breeze.

Depends on the board, but I think Highway might actually be better. An even split of the Highways and Estates ends up with 8 per player, which means a megaturn is always possible even if contested. It's probably the most game-warping one I think. I guess Ironmonnger is basically always good, while mega Highway requires cantrip +Buy.

Fair enough. Probably when Highway is on the board, I'd go for highway too, I think. If there is +Buy, otherwise, yeah, not so useful.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2016, 01:53:05 pm »
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Nice article. I will suggest a couple of unusual things to consider in inheritance games. Firstly, estates become a pile that will often run out quickly and this can lead to early three pile endings. One vp from each estate is more important in these short games than in longer games. Secondly, in multiplayer games you need to be careful of a key pile running out before you can inherit a card from it. This can certainly be true of actions like ironworks that can replicate themselves quickly. Extreme card gainers like stonemason and messenger can empty piles quickly too.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2016, 02:57:45 pm »
0

Good article!  I have a few Inheritance thoughts which are worth mentioning (IMO):

The coin token cards are all great Inheritance enablers because you can save up coin tokens and spike $7 easily.  Post-Inheritance, Candlestick Maker provides +buy for additional Estate buys and Butcher can remodel Coppers into Estates.

Cantrip +buy cards (Worker's Village and Market Square) are especially good Inheritance targets, because they let you buy a bunch of additional Estates right after Inheriting.
Game with Baker and inherited Market Square

Beware inheriting cards that refer to themselves by name, because they might not work as expected with Inheritance.  Inheriting Treasure Maps can never provide Gold.  Inherited Crossroads won't provide +actions.  Inheriting Rats is confusing and probably bad.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 03:03:43 pm by aku_chi »
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2016, 10:50:38 pm »
+1

The bad thing about inheritance is that if one player had a hard time hitting $7 due to shuffle luck, the game can very quickly snowball.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2016, 10:25:08 am »
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Inheriting Rats is confusing and probably bad.

But you can use your Estates to trash those junk Estates from your deck!  That's synergy. 
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2016, 01:41:50 pm »
+4

Important point to note:  While Estates gain the Type and Abilities of the inherited card, they do not gain the name.  I learned the hard way when I Inherited Crossroads expecting that I would get +3 actions with my first Estate play, not realizing that the ability specifically requires that a card named "Crossroads" be played to get the +3.

Granted, I should never have gone Inheritance in that game, but leaving that aside, it is important to remember that where card name is important, an Inherited Estate may not do what you are expecting.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2016, 10:38:52 am »
+1

On the other hand, Inherit Port, when you buy an Estate, gain a Port.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2016, 10:49:53 am »
0

On the other hand, Inherit Port, when you buy an Estate, gain a Port.

I'm not sure this true - on-buy abilities happen before you gain the card, right? And the Estate isn't yours yet? Maybe I'm wrong.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2016, 10:51:22 am »
+4

Step 1: Inherit X.
Step 2: Get really confused about the rules regarding Inheritance and X.
Step 3: Profit.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2016, 11:02:45 am »
0

On the other hand, Inherit Port, when you buy an Estate, gain a Port.

I'm not sure this true - on-buy abilities happen before you gain the card, right? And the Estate isn't yours yet? Maybe I'm wrong.

I'm pretty sure this was discussed and you gain a Port with the Estate. I remember talk about the "another" being strange in this situation.

My recollection is that Estates become yours when you buy them and trigger on Buy actions such as Noble Brigand.

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2017, 01:47:07 am »
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Very late but Inheriting Villa is ridiculous; for $2 (which becomes $1 since Villa gives $1) you can get a village in hand to kick-start a hand of terminals, practically like an on-demand Coin of the Realm.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2017, 08:06:10 pm »
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Is there anything better to inheret than IronMonger?
I've only just noticed this thread. People have mentioned a few things, but I'd like to add a few.

Firstly, Baron stands out to me as the ultimate Inheritance. If you can see some trashing and a village, one actual Baron lets you Inherit quickly, then the +Buy means you can empty the pile of self synergising Estate-Barons very quickly while using the other $2 per Estate-Baron to buy your other engine components.

Secondly, the closest I've ever coming to resigning in a Dominion game was when my opponent managed to Inherit Hireling.

And thirdly, Bridge is a pretty nice thing to Inherit, if you can just reach $7 without polluting your deck in ways inimical to a Bridge strategy. I once had what this article would characterise as an "Inheritance as support" game: Bridge and Bazaar is already a nice basis for an engine, but then I found myself with $7 to spend and a couple of Bridges in play; Inheritance and two Estates was an extremely powerful purchase. Once Bridges were free of charge, I could spend my money on Bazaars and my megaturn was almost immediate.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2017, 09:49:41 pm »
+3

Shepherd/Faithful Hound/Inheritance is nuts too FYI.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2017, 10:08:43 pm »
+6

Is there anything better to inheret than IronMonger?
I've only just noticed this thread. People have mentioned a few things, but I'd like to add a few.

Firstly, Baron stands out to me as the ultimate Inheritance. If you can see some trashing and a village, one actual Baron lets you Inherit quickly, then the +Buy means you can empty the pile of self synergising Estate-Barons very quickly while using the other $2 per Estate-Baron to buy your other engine components.

I think Baron is actually a pretty weak target. Baron + Estate is the same amount of money as 2 Silvers. In games without Inheritance, that can be good because Estates don't do anything. Turning a junk card into a Silver is pretty nice! Also, sometimes you just need the Buy, and with a bit of overdraw you can discard the same Estate to multiple Barons.

In games with Inheritance, Estates actually do something - they turn into whatever $4 or less Action you want. If you Inherit Baron, then without overdraw, each Estate is a terminal +$2, + half a buy, which is worse than Woodcutter. Surely there's something better to do than Woodcutter. With overdraw, it gets better, but most games don't have enough overdraw to justify getting a lot of Barons.

TL;DR Baron is best when when your Estates are bad and Inheritance is the best at making Estates good.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 10:10:39 pm by Titandrake »
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2017, 12:27:31 am »
0

Shepherd/Faithful Hound/Inheritance is nuts too FYI.

Probably even better to just Inherit Shpeherd though, yes?
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2017, 12:37:29 am »
0

Shepherd/Faithful Hound/Inheritance is nuts too FYI.

Probably even better to just Inherit Shpeherd though, yes?
No, you want to play your shepherds not discard them.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2017, 07:14:57 am »
+1

Shepherd/Faithful Hound/Inheritance is nuts too FYI.

Probably even better to just Inherit Shpeherd though, yes?
No, you want to play your shepherds not discard them.

Those arenít exactly mutually exclusive. On the given board I would probably inherit Faithful Hound, but without it, itís probanly totally worth it to inherit Shepherd.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2017, 01:28:47 pm »
0

Inheriting shepherd sounds pretty good. It effectively turns a hand of N green cards into a hand of 1 dead card and N-1 labs, so long as at least one of those green cards is an estate.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2017, 04:12:01 pm »
0

Is there anything better to inheret than IronMonger?
I've only just noticed this thread. People have mentioned a few things, but I'd like to add a few.

Firstly, Baron stands out to me as the ultimate Inheritance. If you can see some trashing and a village, one actual Baron lets you Inherit quickly, then the +Buy means you can empty the pile of self synergising Estate-Barons very quickly while using the other $2 per Estate-Baron to buy your other engine components.

I think Baron is actually a pretty weak target. Baron + Estate is the same amount of money as 2 Silvers. In games without Inheritance, that can be good because Estates don't do anything. Turning a junk card into a Silver is pretty nice! Also, sometimes you just need the Buy, and with a bit of overdraw you can discard the same Estate to multiple Barons.

In games with Inheritance, Estates actually do something - they turn into whatever $4 or less Action you want. If you Inherit Baron, then without overdraw, each Estate is a terminal +$2, + half a buy, which is worse than Woodcutter. Surely there's something better to do than Woodcutter. With overdraw, it gets better, but most games don't have enough overdraw to justify getting a lot of Barons.

TL;DR Baron is best when when your Estates are bad and Inheritance is the best at making Estates good.

You can still use Baron to spike Inheritance early, then use it to pile out Estates quickly (thanks to its +buy and gain an Estate), so there is some synergy between the two.
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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2017, 07:56:39 pm »
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There isn't much more I can say.

I've tried it for real when the opportunity arose in an RL game, and it Inherited-Baron worked really well.

Compared with a normal Baron engine, Inherited-Baron provides you with not one but two ways to pick up more Inherited-Barons really cheaply while leaving you with enough economy to buy the other engine components you need. But what I found even better was that you can get two Inherited-Estates in hand much more reliably than one Baron and one Estate; 2*n Inherited-Barons are better to have than n Estates and n Barons.
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Titandrake

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2017, 12:57:18 am »
+2

There isn't much more I can say.

I've tried it for real when the opportunity arose in an RL game, and it Inherited-Baron worked really well.

Compared with a normal Baron engine, Inherited-Baron provides you with not one but two ways to pick up more Inherited-Barons really cheaply while leaving you with enough economy to buy the other engine components you need. But what I found even better was that you can get two Inherited-Estates in hand much more reliably than one Baron and one Estate; 2*n Inherited-Barons are better to have than n Estates and n Barons.

It's more that it's hard for me to see a game where you want that many Barons in your deck. 2n Inherited-Barons is indeed better than n Barons n Estates, but 1-2 Barons + Inheriting an engine component you need sounds better than both.
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crj

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2017, 01:42:35 am »
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If you can draw four Baron-Estates with two actions available, that's a Province. If you can draw eight with four actions available, that's a double-Province.

I seem to remember it was actually a Colony game; I managed to play five (including the one real Baron I'd bought to reach $7)  on five others, then play the Steward I'd used for thinning as a final $2 for double-Colony turns.
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faust

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2017, 02:10:42 am »
+2

If you can draw four Baron-Estates with two actions available, that's a Province. If you can draw eight with four actions available, that's a double-Province.
That's not particularly impressive. 8 Silvers and a buy is also double-Province.
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JThorne

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2017, 12:22:08 pm »
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Quote
That's not particularly impressive. 8 Silvers and a buy is also double-Province.

And there's the core principle. Baron isn't a single card that generates $4. It's a set of two cards that generate $2 each. That's Silver. Inheriting Baron is basically allow you to buy $2 Silvers that also give you a +buy but cost actions to play. Using up those extra actions is a steep price for a tiny upgrade over Silver.

Inheriting Baron is basically Delve with downside.
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crj

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2017, 08:22:57 pm »
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Is Delve actually bad, though?

(I'd argue that the ability to use a single Baron-Estate as a Baron-Estate gainer, plus the three free starting Baron-Estates, minus the three inert Estates you'd start with otherwise make Inheritance on Baron not necessarily worse than Delve. Plus, it might synergise with the rest of the kingdom in ways Silver can't.)
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Chris is me

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Re: Inheritance
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2017, 10:18:02 pm »
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Is Delve actually bad, though?

(I'd argue that the ability to use a single Baron-Estate as a Baron-Estate gainer, plus the three free starting Baron-Estates, minus the three inert Estates you'd start with otherwise make Inheritance on Baron not necessarily worse than Delve. Plus, it might synergise with the rest of the kingdom in ways Silver can't.)

Terminal Delve would be. Thatís basically Duchess.

An engine running on several Barons isnít the worst thing (you donít need a UNIQUE Estate per Baron), but it isnít very draw or action efficient, and is usually the kind of thing you only do if itís the main thing on the board.
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