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tristan

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2016, 08:20:16 pm »
0

So here's an example of what I was talking about:

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=16382.new#new

Opponent buys a Province on T6.  And wins.
So your opponent palys different then you, buys a Province on turn 6 and wins. Still missing the metagame part.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 08:21:45 pm by tristan »
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2016, 08:26:14 pm »
+4

Any time I have seen streams or read game reports where a person seems to be using "meta" considerations about what their opponent is likely to do I've thought they made a worse choice because of it.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2016, 09:03:08 pm »
0

There's PLENTY of hidden information in Dominon, that's ridiculous. You have no certainty over what cards the opponents will buy in the future, even if you know all their options, and you can use knowledge of the metagame as one of many factors in predicting their likely strategy. That alone is sufficient evidence of metagame influences in Dominion.

Future information does not count as hidden information. Think about chess. Or any board game. If you know for certain what your opponent will do then there is not much of a game right?

You seem to confuse between concepts. Meta is called meta because it is something that affects the game that is outside the game. Think about rock-paper-scissors. If you just play one game, you will do as good as you can by always play rock. But if your opponent knows this then you will lose all the time.

This is what meta is about: you have several mutual exclusive strategy options which counters each other (while nash equilibrium would be a probability mixture of them). How you choose one among is really by preference, and is the hidden information I am talking about. The population preference is the current metagame.

Not so much in Dominion. The population can certainly have a preference on different strategies, but it is pure suboptimality. For a given board, one can always react to the way the other player is playing. The optimal strategy is a script of actions taken when seeing what opponent plays, that will give you the highest win percentage. This grand optimal strategy does not depend on any preference of the opponent so there is no meta.

So are you saying that Rock-Paper-Scissors has a meta?  Because your last paragraph could apply to it just as well:

The population can cetainly have a preference on different strategies, but it is pure suboptimality.  For a given series of RPS games, the optimal strategy is to pick your action with perfect randomness every round.  This grand optimal strategy does not depend on any preference of the opponent so there is no meta.

But in practice, people don't play optimally, they don't do perfect random.  So your RPS strategy can exploit that, depending on the meta.  Doesn't that also apply to Dominion?  People don't play optimally, they may favour certain strategies based on their own preferred style or perceived strength of cards.  Isn't that a meta?
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Witherweaver

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2016, 03:05:37 pm »
+4

Any time I have seen streams or read game reports where a person seems to be using "meta" considerations about what their opponent is likely to do I've thought they made a worse choice because of it.

Maybe you could track what people seem to use such 'meta' considerations in their game play and, when you play against them, use it to your advantage...
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Chris is me

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2016, 03:39:07 pm »
+1

There's PLENTY of hidden information in Dominon, that's ridiculous. You have no certainty over what cards the opponents will buy in the future, even if you know all their options, and you can use knowledge of the metagame as one of many factors in predicting their likely strategy. That alone is sufficient evidence of metagame influences in Dominion.

Future information does not count as hidden information. Think about chess. Or any board game. If you know for certain what your opponent will do then there is not much of a game right?

You seem to confuse between concepts. Meta is called meta because it is something that affects the game that is outside the game. Think about rock-paper-scissors. If you just play one game, you will do as good as you can by always play rock. But if your opponent knows this then you will lose all the time.

This is what meta is about: you have several mutual exclusive strategy options which counters each other (while nash equilibrium would be a probability mixture of them). How you choose one among is really by preference, and is the hidden information I am talking about. The population preference is the current metagame.

Not so much in Dominion. The population can certainly have a preference on different strategies, but it is pure suboptimality. For a given board, one can always react to the way the other player is playing. The optimal strategy is a script of actions taken when seeing what opponent plays, that will give you the highest win percentage. This grand optimal strategy does not depend on any preference of the opponent so there is no meta.

So are you saying that Rock-Paper-Scissors has a meta?  Because your last paragraph could apply to it just as well:

The population can cetainly have a preference on different strategies, but it is pure suboptimality.  For a given series of RPS games, the optimal strategy is to pick your action with perfect randomness every round.  This grand optimal strategy does not depend on any preference of the opponent so there is no meta.

But in practice, people don't play optimally, they don't do perfect random.  So your RPS strategy can exploit that, depending on the meta.  Doesn't that also apply to Dominion?  People don't play optimally, they may favour certain strategies based on their own preferred style or perceived strength of cards.  Isn't that a meta?

I don't know how you define optimal, but random is not the RPS strategy which maximizes your win rate in competitive play. That's why people who competitively play RPS sustain win rates of more than 33%.

RPS absolutely has a metagame. That is basically the entire strategic depth of RPS, the metagame.
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Witherweaver

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2016, 03:51:41 pm »
+1

I'm sure Wine Merchant would have something to say about meta.
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madeofghosts

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2016, 05:25:38 am »
+2

I don't know how you define optimal, but random is not the RPS strategy which maximizes your win rate in competitive play. That's why people who competitively play RPS sustain win rates of more than 33%.

RPS absolutely has a metagame. That is basically the entire strategic depth of RPS, the metagame.

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markusin

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2016, 07:31:38 am »
0

There's PLENTY of hidden information in Dominon, that's ridiculous. You have no certainty over what cards the opponents will buy in the future, even if you know all their options, and you can use knowledge of the metagame as one of many factors in predicting their likely strategy. That alone is sufficient evidence of metagame influences in Dominion.

Future information does not count as hidden information. Think about chess. Or any board game. If you know for certain what your opponent will do then there is not much of a game right?

You seem to confuse between concepts. Meta is called meta because it is something that affects the game that is outside the game. Think about rock-paper-scissors. If you just play one game, you will do as good as you can by always play rock. But if your opponent knows this then you will lose all the time.

This is what meta is about: you have several mutual exclusive strategy options which counters each other (while nash equilibrium would be a probability mixture of them). How you choose one among is really by preference, and is the hidden information I am talking about. The population preference is the current metagame.

Not so much in Dominion. The population can certainly have a preference on different strategies, but it is pure suboptimality. For a given board, one can always react to the way the other player is playing. The optimal strategy is a script of actions taken when seeing what opponent plays, that will give you the highest win percentage. This grand optimal strategy does not depend on any preference of the opponent so there is no meta.

So are you saying that Rock-Paper-Scissors has a meta?  Because your last paragraph could apply to it just as well:

The population can cetainly have a preference on different strategies, but it is pure suboptimality.  For a given series of RPS games, the optimal strategy is to pick your action with perfect randomness every round.  This grand optimal strategy does not depend on any preference of the opponent so there is no meta.

But in practice, people don't play optimally, they don't do perfect random.  So your RPS strategy can exploit that, depending on the meta.  Doesn't that also apply to Dominion?  People don't play optimally, they may favour certain strategies based on their own preferred style or perceived strength of cards.  Isn't that a meta?

I don't know how you define optimal, but random is not the RPS strategy which maximizes your win rate in competitive play. That's why people who competitively play RPS sustain win rates of more than 33%.

RPS absolutely has a metagame. That is basically the entire strategic depth of RPS, the metagame.

I think this was another topic somewhere, but can you clarify something on this? Is pure random not the best strategy because there are players who are not playing pure random that can be exploited? Is it because even if you play many matches against a pure random opponent, and only a pure random opponent, there is a strategy that beats it somehow?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 07:32:40 am by markusin »
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Chris is me

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2016, 08:38:20 am »
+1

I'm not the biggest RPS expert, but for a few reasons:

  • RPS is usually played best of 7, so past throws and psychology come into play, as well as "popular" opening algorithms (Rock Rock Rock, or Paper Scissors Scissors)
  • Humans are extremely bad at making "random" decisions unassisted. They just can't do it.
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markusin

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2016, 09:36:37 am »
0

I'm not the biggest RPS expert, but for a few reasons:

  • RPS is usually played best of 7, so past throws and psychology come into play, as well as "popular" opening algorithms (Rock Rock Rock, or Paper Scissors Scissors)
  • Humans are extremely bad at making "random" decisions unassisted. They just can't do it.

Oh, I meant in the RPS programming competition DXV had brought up at some point. That involves computer bot programs playing RPS against each other, and even there the random bots apparently don't win the championship.
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Witherweaver

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2016, 09:37:26 am »
+1

Humans are extremely bad at making "random" decisions unassisted. They just can't do it.

Ha!  We have three threads that say otherwise!
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eHalcyon

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2016, 07:37:10 pm »
0

I'm not the biggest RPS expert, but for a few reasons:

  • RPS is usually played best of 7, so past throws and psychology come into play, as well as "popular" opening algorithms (Rock Rock Rock, or Paper Scissors Scissors)
  • Humans are extremely bad at making "random" decisions unassisted. They just can't do it.

That was my point though.  The meta develops because players aren't optimal and can't do perfect random.  But against a player that is perfectly random, you can't do better than pure random yourself.  Why doesn't this apply to Dominion, where players are  also unable to be optimal?

If you define "optimal" and "meta" to account for that sort of exploitation (of other players psychology, etc.) then it should also apply for Dominion, in which case Dominion can certainly have a meta.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 07:39:23 pm by eHalcyon »
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markusin

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2016, 07:48:30 pm »
0

I'm not the biggest RPS expert, but for a few reasons:

  • RPS is usually played best of 7, so past throws and psychology come into play, as well as "popular" opening algorithms (Rock Rock Rock, or Paper Scissors Scissors)
  • Humans are extremely bad at making "random" decisions unassisted. They just can't do it.

That was my point though.  The meta develops because players aren't optimal and can't do perfect random.  But against a player that is perfectly random, you can't do better than pure random yourself.  Why doesn't this apply to Dominion, where players are  also unable to be optimal?

If you define "optimal" and "meta" to account for that sort of exploitation (of other players psychology, etc.) then it should also apply for Dominion, in which case Dominion can certainly have a meta.

What about Dominion with more than 2 players? Surely there is sort of meta that can develop there where the best strategy is more likely to be dictated by what the other players do.
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Awaclus

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2016, 12:10:15 am »
0

I'm not the biggest RPS expert, but for a few reasons:

  • RPS is usually played best of 7, so past throws and psychology come into play, as well as "popular" opening algorithms (Rock Rock Rock, or Paper Scissors Scissors)
  • Humans are extremely bad at making "random" decisions unassisted. They just can't do it.

That was my point though.  The meta develops because players aren't optimal and can't do perfect random.  But against a player that is perfectly random, you can't do better than pure random yourself.  Why doesn't this apply to Dominion, where players are  also unable to be optimal?

If you define "optimal" and "meta" to account for that sort of exploitation (of other players psychology, etc.) then it should also apply for Dominion, in which case Dominion can certainly have a meta.

What about Dominion with more than 2 players? Surely there is sort of meta that can develop there where the best strategy is more likely to be dictated by what the other players do.

The best strategy in Dominion with more than 2 players is to not play it.
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pacovf

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2016, 01:28:13 am »
0

I don't know how you define optimal, but random is not the RPS strategy which maximizes your win rate in competitive play. That's why people who competitively play RPS sustain win rates of more than 33%.

I get what you mean, but surely 50% is the number you wanted to use here?

I'm not the biggest RPS expert, but for a few reasons:

  • RPS is usually played best of 7, so past throws and psychology come into play, as well as "popular" opening algorithms (Rock Rock Rock, or Paper Scissors Scissors)
  • Humans are extremely bad at making "random" decisions unassisted. They just can't do it.

Oh, I meant in the RPS programming competition DXV had brought up at some point. That involves computer bot programs playing RPS against each other, and even there the random bots apparently don't win the championship.

Not knowing any specifics about RPS bot competitions, the moment somebody submits a bot that isn't perfectly random, then the optimal strategy ceases to be a random bot, because random bots won't be able to exploit any deficiency in the programming of that one non-random bot.
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Re: Meta?
« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2016, 05:28:51 am »
0

I don't know how you define optimal, but random is not the RPS strategy which maximizes your win rate in competitive play. That's why people who competitively play RPS sustain win rates of more than 33%.

I get what you mean, but surely 50% is the number you wanted to use here?

If your strategy is full random, your win rate is 1/3 (and so are your lose rate and tie rate).
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AdrianHealey

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2016, 06:13:54 am »
0

I could be wrong, but it doesn't seem to hard to go full random in RPS.

Just throw X amount of dices (x=how many games you are playing) and do whatever the result of those dices tell you.
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Titandrake

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2016, 12:35:57 pm »
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I could be wrong, but it doesn't seem to hard to go full random in RPS.

Just throw X amount of dices (x=how many games you are playing) and do whatever the result of those dices tell you.

When RPS is normally played, you don't get to flip coins or roll dice before making your throw. You can mentally roll dice, but that turns into the same problem. People are bad at simulating random behavior.

I guess you could roll a bunch of dice before, memorize how they landed, and call on that stream of random numbers whenever you're asked to play RPS, but that seems like way too much work. (And it also seems less fun than trying to predict your opponent's throw.)
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Re: Meta?
« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2016, 12:40:14 pm »
+1

I guess you could roll a bunch of dice before, memorize how they landed, and call on that stream of random numbers whenever you're asked to play RPS, but that seems like way too much work. (And it also seems less fun than trying to predict your opponent's throw.)

It is, however, a strategy that has been actually done by some competitive RPS players.
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Re: Meta?
« Reply #44 on: October 15, 2016, 01:50:42 pm »
0

If your strategy is full random, your win rate is 1/3 (and so are your lose rate and tie rate).

That's only true for a single round. Draws only happen (1 + 7*6 + 7*6*5*4 /4 + 7*6*5*4*3*2 /(6*6)) / 3^7 ~ 18% of the time for a best-of-7 match, and the probability decreases as the number of rounds increases, which, for bots, can be arbitrarily large.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #45 on: October 16, 2016, 08:48:41 am »
+1

I'm not the biggest RPS expert, but for a few reasons:

  • RPS is usually played best of 7, so past throws and psychology come into play, as well as "popular" opening algorithms (Rock Rock Rock, or Paper Scissors Scissors)
  • Humans are extremely bad at making "random" decisions unassisted. They just can't do it.

That was my point though.  The meta develops because players aren't optimal and can't do perfect random.  But against a player that is perfectly random, you can't do better than pure random yourself.  Why doesn't this apply to Dominion, where players are  also unable to be optimal?

If you define "optimal" and "meta" to account for that sort of exploitation (of other players psychology, etc.) then it should also apply for Dominion, in which case Dominion can certainly have a meta.

This is less true in Dominion because in RPS, the best strategy is 100% based on what strategy your opponent chooses. In other words, knowing what your opponent will do, plus a very basic and obvious strategy for using that information, guarantees a win every time. In Dominion, this isn't true. With very rare boards, you can have A>B>C>A, but not normally. Normally if A is best, then A is best no matter what your opponent does.
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Re: Meta?
« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2016, 05:19:41 pm »
0

In an optimal strategy, you don't need to make any presumptions of your opponent's strategy.  You watch what they do, and react to that.  If you react to what you predict your opponents will do, then they can just not do the thing.

However, people don't play optimally, therefore there is meta.  The fact that there is meta is proof that people aren't playing optimally.

The most obvious kind of meta is when newbies think Thief is really devastating, so the best strategy is to prepare for some Thieves.  However, I suspect that the metagame online is more subtle, since the players are better?  I dunno, I play offline only.

If there is no dominant strategy, the optimal strategy is dependent on the plays of the other player(s). This is the core of game theory. Meta is trying to optimize if there is no dominant strategy: either beating a large as possible set of strategies (in ccg's, as you can't change your starting deck you just need to build a deck that beats the largest set of predicted strategies. Meta comes in when you have to predict the probability of a certain deck being played: One includes TeCH to try and beat the strategies with largest probabilites), or trying to adapt to your opponents strategy.

Adapting to your opponents strategy is all what dominion is about. If your opponent is playing a rush, you want your engine to go off earlier than if he plays big money. If Tunnel and Militia are on the board (and no other Tunnel enablers), you don't want to buy Tunnel except if your opponent buys 5 Militia, for instance. This is just adapting the strategy set to what the other player buys.

Anyway, I guess there is meta, it predominantly comes from the approach of greening. There is some optimal way to green, but it is not easy to understand it. The meta evolution made greening an ever-changing process. I don't know if there are other large meta-changes. Maybe the acceptance of JOAT and Rebuild after time (and simulations) as good cards can considered to be changing the metagame. But also the inclusion of new sets changes the approach of some cards. I take Upgrade as an obvious example. At first, everybody accepted Upgrade as a bona-fide copper-trasher if it wasn't used for anything better and the copper wasn't completely necessary. But then came Poor House, a card costing 1. It suddenly changes the approach of the card when that was on the board: the copper-trashing ability then is posed with the obvious problem of needing to gain a Poor House.

The small problem is that because of the 'we only use 10 cards'-approach, these additions can change the game, but don't necessary do it. Still, having the cards around in the selection procedure does change the value of some cards. This is most obvious with Alchemy. Most Alchemy cardss are better when fewer sets are included in the selection procedure.

So, there is meta in both ways: The decision making of the players given a certain set is meta, as well as the change in used cards in the selection procedure. It is not as huge as in a CCG like Hearthstone or Magic, or something like Pokemon battling. Also contributing to that is that there is no banlist or something: In Pokemon we consider Mewtwo to be way overpowered battling in Ubers, whilst Tauros is declined to the depth of Never Used. Both metagames with complete different banlists. Dominion doesn't consider these banlists, or rather, has a randomized banlist consisting of all of the kingdom cards except 10 of them. If one considers that, there are an enormous amount of possible metagames. Therefore, we can't analyse them (well, we can, but we don't consider all individual kingdoms obviously), and subsequently don't feel like considering a metagame analyzing kingdoms at all (or at least I do). But I guess they each include their own meta, strictly speaking.
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Re: Meta?
« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2016, 02:50:36 pm »
0

I think of the meta as generally being "the strategies that people use". Sure if there's one dominant strategy, everyone will just play that, and it wouldn't really make sense to use the word meta. But that doesn't apply to Dominion.

In Dominion you can see exactly what your opponent buys/plays, so there's less of a meta than there is in a game with hidden information like Starcraft (or Magic where you don't have the same cards as your opponent).

It's still important to have a general idea of what your opponent is probably aiming for in addition to what you can see from their actual buys.
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Re: Meta?
« Reply #48 on: October 18, 2016, 05:38:11 pm »
0

I'm not the biggest RPS expert, but for a few reasons:

  • RPS is usually played best of 7, so past throws and psychology come into play, as well as "popular" opening algorithms (Rock Rock Rock, or Paper Scissors Scissors)
  • Humans are extremely bad at making "random" decisions unassisted. They just can't do it.

That was my point though.  The meta develops because players aren't optimal and can't do perfect random.  But against a player that is perfectly random, you can't do better than pure random yourself.  Why doesn't this apply to Dominion, where players are  also unable to be optimal?

If you define "optimal" and "meta" to account for that sort of exploitation (of other players psychology, etc.) then it should also apply for Dominion, in which case Dominion can certainly have a meta.

This is less true in Dominion because in RPS, the best strategy is 100% based on what strategy your opponent chooses. In other words, knowing what your opponent will do, plus a very basic and obvious strategy for using that information, guarantees a win every time. In Dominion, this isn't true. With very rare boards, you can have A>B>C>A, but not normally. Normally if A is best, then A is best no matter what your opponent does.

I contend that even though there's less impact in Dominion, it's not totally absent.  Sometimes you have boards with A>B>C>A, so that already supports my point, even if it's rare.  But more commonly -- and more importantly! -- I believe that players usually won't perfectly identify and execute the optimal strategy.  Moreover, I reject the idea that Dominion is merely "multiplayer solitaire".  Your opponents choices matter and should be considered in your strategy.
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Amac

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Re: Meta?
« Reply #49 on: October 19, 2016, 08:32:37 am »
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I contend that even though there's less impact in Dominion, it's not totally absent.  Sometimes you have boards with A>B>C>A, so that already supports my point, even if it's rare.  But more commonly -- and more importantly! -- I believe that players usually won't perfectly identify and execute the optimal strategy.  Moreover, I reject the idea that Dominion is merely "multiplayer solitaire".  Your opponents choices matter and should be considered in your strategy.

The fact that we can't even determine for sure what the optimal play would be in quite some situations here on the site, and that the game is not 'score the most points', but 'score more points than your opponent', does imply there must be metagaming (possibilities) of some sort.

Even chess has metagaming (so-called 'plugging' is the most common way), and there have been many, many years of analysis on chess.

I'm inclined to say that every game that lacks a clear dominant strategy has possible hidden information and therefore implies the existence of metagaming.
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