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Author Topic: MDMA: deck types  (Read 3009 times)

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Awaclus

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2016, 11:48:40 pm »
0

There exists a hypothetical deck type, which sucks in practice and doesn't have a name, where you play a crap ton of Bakers or other coin token cards, and hoard an enormous pile of coin tokens to guarantee continuous single Province turns even if your hand is full of green cards.

How is that anything besides a 'good stuff' deck, or even just Big Money?

Like I already said, good stuff == big money. The coin token strategy is different because it greens later and more consistently and has a different means of dealing with green cards.

trivialknot

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2016, 12:14:57 am »
+1

The thing about "money" is that treasures are basically just actions that you play during a different phase of your turn.  As it turns out, drawing more during your buy phase doesn't mechanically make much sense, so there's only one treasure that draws: Venture.

But when it comes down to it, I don't think there is a significant difference between a deck that plays lots of Ventures and a deck that plays lots of Markets.  And there isn't much difference between a silver flood and a lighthouse flood.  Or suppose you make some poor choices and Lost Arts your Harvests, it's basically money.  Okay, so all these decks really suck, but are we trying to classify all decks or just the good ones?

There exists a hypothetical deck type, which sucks in practice and doesn't have a name, where you play a crap ton of Bakers or other coin token cards, and hoard an enormous pile of coin tokens to guarantee continuous single Province turns even if your hand is full of green cards.
That's kind of what Merchant Guild does.  Say there's no draw so you can only play about three merchant guilds in a turn.  Well 12 coin tokens is probably enough to sustain a single province for a few extra turns.
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Awaclus

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2016, 04:38:20 am »
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There exists a hypothetical deck type, which sucks in practice and doesn't have a name, where you play a crap ton of Bakers or other coin token cards, and hoard an enormous pile of coin tokens to guarantee continuous single Province turns even if your hand is full of green cards.
That's kind of what Merchant Guild does.  Say there's no draw so you can only play about three merchant guilds in a turn.  Well 12 coin tokens is probably enough to sustain a single province for a few extra turns.

Well, Merchant Guild is certainly the clumsiest coin token card to use for this strategy, but it doesn't really matter because this strategy only exists in theory anyway.

McGarnacle

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2016, 08:08:50 am »
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There exists a hypothetical deck type, which sucks in practice and doesn't have a name, where you play a crap ton of Bakers or other coin token cards, and hoard an enormous pile of coin tokens to guarantee continuous single Province turns even if your hand is full of green cards.
That's kind of what Merchant Guild does.  Say there's no draw so you can only play about three merchant guilds in a turn.  Well 12 coin tokens is probably enough to sustain a single province for a few extra turns.

Well, Merchant Guild is certainly the clumsiest coin token card to use for this strategy, but it doesn't really matter because this strategy only exists in theory anyway.

I actually like Merchant Guild. It provides a bit of support while greening, like Artificer. It also provides +buy and costs five, which Artificer sort of does. Come to think of it, they are actually pretty similar, and I think Artificer is one of the best Adventurers cards. I plan on righting up a strategy article soon.
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Awaclus

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2016, 11:15:18 am »
+1

I actually like Merchant Guild. It provides a bit of support while greening, like Artificer. It also provides +buy and costs five, which Artificer sort of does. Come to think of it, they are actually pretty similar, and I think Artificer is one of the best Adventurers cards. I plan on righting up a strategy article soon.

Merchant Guild is a super strong engine payload and decent for slogs where you want Copper in your deck. You don't want it for that one strategy, and you don't want to go for that one strategy with any card anyway.

Seprix

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2016, 03:59:45 pm »
0

There exists a hypothetical deck type, which sucks in practice and doesn't have a name, where you play a crap ton of Bakers or other coin token cards, and hoard an enormous pile of coin tokens to guarantee continuous single Province turns even if your hand is full of green cards.

How is that anything besides a 'good stuff' deck, or even just Big Money?

Like I already said, good stuff == big money. The coin token strategy is different because it greens later and more consistently and has a different means of dealing with green cards.

The Coin Token thing can just be Big Money then, right?
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Awaclus

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2016, 04:02:39 pm »
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There exists a hypothetical deck type, which sucks in practice and doesn't have a name, where you play a crap ton of Bakers or other coin token cards, and hoard an enormous pile of coin tokens to guarantee continuous single Province turns even if your hand is full of green cards.

How is that anything besides a 'good stuff' deck, or even just Big Money?

Like I already said, good stuff == big money. The coin token strategy is different because it greens later and more consistently and has a different means of dealing with green cards.

The Coin Token thing can just be Big Money then, right?

No. It can't be big money because big money greens earlier than the coin token thing, less consistently than the coin token thing, and has a different means of dealing with green cards than the coin token thing.

Seprix

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2016, 08:32:06 pm »
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So it's a question of payload. It doesn't use Treasures. Coin Token cards are by nature Engine cards, and so Donald designed them to be weaker. If they were strong enough to play on their own, they would transcend Big Money an create a new oppressive way of playing Dominion, akin to the initial fears of Rebuild.
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Aleimon Thimble

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2016, 10:09:52 am »
+4

The way I see it, there are three types of paradigms in this topic.

Awaclus has a qualitative paradigm, where he says that any deck/strategy can be categorized in the basic types: BM, Engine, Rush, Slog and Combo/Other, and that there is a theoretical sixth deck type involving coin tokens that never works.

Chris and I have a more quantitative paradigm, where we suspect that there are underlying variables that distinguish these deck types from each other, opening the doors for hybrid decks to exist because they might fall somewhere on the borderline regarding one or more of these variables.

Finally, Traces Around has a nihilistic paradigm when it comes to deck types; they say that these graphs are useless in practice and we should only use terms like engine and BM to give strategy advise.

The nihilistic paradigm can be understood from a pragmatic point of view; if it doesn't actually help you win games, why bother discussing it? My answer to that would be: because I find it interesting. Another reason: by investigating this, we might get new insights into Dominion strategy that we otherwise wouldn't have gotten.

When choosing between a qualitative and a quantitative paradigm, I feel that the qualitative one has a big flaw in that it groups wildly different decks together under 'Combo'/'Other', as well as ignoring any decks that might fall on the borderline between two deck types. I'm not saying my personal quantitative idea is necessarily better: maybe the variables I distinguished don't say enough about the strategy of the decks themselves, which is why I encourage people to come up with alternatives. So far, only Chris has done that, which is nice, but I don't think we've hit the holy grail just yet.
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Witherweaver

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2016, 10:11:04 am »
+4

The way I see it, there are three types of paradigms in this topic.

That's, like, six dimes!
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Aleimon Thimble

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2016, 10:17:52 am »
+1

The way I see it, there are three types of paradigms in this topic.

That's, like, six dimes!

No.

No no no. Everyone, don't you dare. This is not a likable post. There's a lower boundary to the quality of jokes that deserve an upvote, and you've crossed that lower boundary.

I'm very sorry, but I'm going to have to give you a red card instead of a like.
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2016, 11:48:41 am »
0

The way I see it, there are three types of paradigms in this topic.

That's, like, six dimes!

No.

No no no. Everyone, don't you dare. This is not a likable post. There's a lower boundary to the quality of jokes that deserve an upvote, and you've crossed that lower boundary.

I'm very sorry, but I'm going to have to give you a red card instead of a like.
Heh, paradigms. +1.
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trivialknot

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2016, 12:02:35 pm »
0

The way I see it, there are three types of paradigms in this topic.

Awaclus has a qualitative paradigm, where he says that any deck/strategy can be categorized in the basic types: BM, Engine, Rush, Slog and Combo/Other, and that there is a theoretical sixth deck type involving coin tokens that never works.

Chris and I have a more quantitative paradigm, where we suspect that there are underlying variables that distinguish these deck types from each other, opening the doors for hybrid decks to exist because they might fall somewhere on the borderline regarding one or more of these variables.

Finally, Traces Around has a nihilistic paradigm when it comes to deck types; they say that these graphs are useless in practice and we should only use terms like engine and BM to give strategy advise.

The nihilistic paradigm can be understood from a pragmatic point of view; if it doesn't actually help you win games, why bother discussing it? My answer to that would be: because I find it interesting. Another reason: by investigating this, we might get new insights into Dominion strategy that we otherwise wouldn't have gotten.
I like the quantitative paradigm not because the other paradigms are bad, but because I find it fun to build models (and to subsequently destroy them).

If I were to pick out the quantities of note, I would say:
  • Build time - time before greening
  • Greening power - rate of vp gain upon greening
  • Sustainability - ability to sustain vp gain after greening
  • End control - ability to control length of game
The standard deck types identify common points within these axes.
  • Engine: long build time, high greening power, low sustainability, decent end control
  • Big money/good stuff: short build time, low greening power, moderate sustainability, bad end control
  • Slog: high sustainability, good end control (e.g. extending game by avoiding provinces)
  • Rush: very short build time, low greening power, good end control (e.g. by 3-piling)
Hypothetically, you could also build a deck with short build time, high greening power, high sustainability, and excellent end control, but we don't have a name for it because Dominion is balanced and usually no such strategy is possible.  The model also suggests distinctions between different kinds of engines, like the engine that buys 2 provinces per turn, the engine that just tries to get 1 province consistently, and the engine that eventually 3-piles while buying a single estate.

So now to break the model.  What about Nobles?  Distant Lands?  Or landmarks with VP that disappear early?  Some strategies involve "greening before you green", and this is going to become more common and important with Empires.  We may have to come up with whole new ways of classifying strategies.
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Chris is me

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2016, 12:05:49 pm »
0

Attacks also kind of break your model; they don't really fit into any of your qualities but they have a huge impact on strategy and performance
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trivialknot

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2016, 12:46:24 pm »
0

Attacks also kind of break your model; they don't really fit into any of your qualities but they have a huge impact on strategy and performance
Yeah!  Also, if it takes a long time to build because of Militia, does that make your deck into an engine?  Clearly not.
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Seprix

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2016, 01:00:05 pm »
0

There are only three deck types: An Engine, a Rush, and a Slog. All game strategies can be simply classified as types of Engines, Slogs, or Rushes.

Engine strategies worry about ending the game while ahead. because of this, Engines tend to have more deck and pile control with consistency, although not all three are required at one time.

Rush strategies worry about getting the most points when the game ends. Big Money decks are a type of Rush (a bad one most of the time), where they tend to pile out Provinces or Colonies, an end game condition. Rushes can also be quick pileouts, such as Ironworks Gardens.

Slogs also worry about getting the most points when the game ends, but they are not focused on ending the game quickly. Slogs usually involve maximizing points using an alternate method of VP, such as Feodum (Yes, Feodum Masterpiece is a slog), Gardens, Duke, or Castles.

Combo decks are simply hybrids of Engines and Rushes, and may be thought of as both or one, although I think of them as simply Rush types for simplicity.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 01:07:07 pm by Seprix »
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trivialknot

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2016, 01:14:20 pm »
+1

Hypothetically, you could also build a deck with short build time, high greening power, high sustainability, and excellent end control, but we don't have a name for it because Dominion is balanced and usually no such strategy is possible.
I just realized that the "best of all worlds" deck is basically what we call a combo deck.  That's why it's hard to categorize combo decks, because they're good at everything that all the other deck types are trying to do.

I also like Seprix's categorization of BM as a rush strategy.
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Chris is me

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2016, 01:15:22 pm »
0

Every strategy worries about getting the most points when the game ends; that's not really a useful distinction.

Rushes and engines more actively control the end game state than slogs and BM.

BM and slogs play less consistently than rushes (slightly), which all play far less consistently than engines.

Engines offer the most opponent control in all aspects; rushes generally limit control to pile interaction; slogs usually have good control in the sense of attacks, BM only offers attack control as a means to completing their strategy.

That's why I'm a fan of the 3 axis variant I've been trying to define further. But maybe attack control and endgame control are the same axis? Maybe not?
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Seprix

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2016, 01:39:10 pm »
0

Attacks are simply the opponent trying to decrease your game control or subtract points. With Curses, it is both. If an attack decreases game control for a certain strategy that badly, you may take another option instead, which does not hurt your chances as badly.
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Awaclus

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2016, 01:44:39 pm »
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Chris and I have a more quantitative paradigm, where we suspect that there are underlying variables that distinguish these deck types from each other, opening the doors for hybrid decks to exist because they might fall somewhere on the borderline regarding one or more of these variables.

Hybrid decks are something that low and mid level players like to build when they can't decide which of the two strategies is better. The actual deck types are based on actual strategy principles, and even something "simple" like big money has very complex and delicately (but not necessarily intentionally) optimized interactions between the cards you buy, the cards that are in your starting deck, the rules of the game, etc behind it, although it is not necessary to understand them in order to play big money strategies well. By mixing different strategies, you're throwing all that out of the window and practically conceding against someone who's going for a real strategy.

When choosing between a qualitative and a quantitative paradigm, I feel that the qualitative one has a big flaw in that it groups wildly different decks together under 'Combo'/'Other'

Hermit/Market Squire and a Bishop golden deck might seem wildly different on the surface, but they are super super similar in any relevant ways.

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2016, 01:50:25 pm »
+1

The nihilistic paradigm can be understood from a pragmatic point of view; if it doesn't actually help you win games, why bother discussing it? My answer to that would be: because I find it interesting. Another reason: by investigating this, we might get new insights into Dominion strategy that we otherwise wouldn't have gotten.

If this was your reading of my post, I am sorry for not making myself more clear. It was intended to echo this one, which is one of the two best on this forum (both happen to be by Titandrake): http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=13520.msg607172#msg607172

If a revisit of interpretation is what you want, I am all for it; at the same time, trying to place yourself into the confines of an article, which is what I feel was happening too much and why I sought to call that out, is not moving towards better understanding of Dominion.

Aleimon Thimble

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #46 on: October 20, 2016, 02:34:38 pm »
0

If this was your reading of my post, I am sorry for not making myself more clear. It was intended to echo this one, which is one of the two best on this forum (both happen to be by Titandrake): http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=13520.msg607172#msg607172

I don't think I had any way of knowing that, to be honest.

Quote
If a revisit of interpretation is what you want, I am all for it; at the same time, trying to place yourself into the confines of an article, which is what I feel was happening too much and why I sought to call that out, is not moving towards better understanding of Dominion.

Well, maybe I should have cut the 'MDMA' and placed this topic in the normal discussion forum to avoid the notion that I'd be preaching what I'd claim to be the unequivocal truth. I thought we might end up with a more detailed discussion if I placed it here. Not sure.
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Morghas

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2016, 12:23:24 am »
0

My friend and I have started a spread sheet to record all our games together and gather stats. We are adding what strat we think we went for to the stats and it is by far the most tedious and irritating part of recording with otherwise has been rather jovial. So this topic is rather interesting...

I dont think we are necessarily correct I am totally open to change or ridicule but our interpretation is a little different from anything discussed so here it is:
We have been using BM, Slog, Engine, Combo and Tempo as our defining strats, for us they mean this:

BM - Pure BM! Useless pretty much...
Slog - Big deck, bad cycling, lack of control by late game but if it has worked you are set up already.
Engine - High reliable cycling, often able to pick up whole deck, once its set up generally can get at least 1 prov per turn.
Combo - A deck that goes off in a monster turn or that is based totally on the interplay between specific cards.
Tempo - A deck that is nothing of the above but is timely. Something that would generally try to beat the other options through speed as opposed to great efficiency/cyclability. 

When we have the sheet totally set up I will post it.

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #48 on: October 21, 2016, 02:02:23 am »
+1

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Re: MDMA: deck types
« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2016, 10:21:44 am »
0

Quick thought to interject: How often is a pure BM strategy better than something you can't really call an engine because it's inconsistent but has a lot of good stuff in it? Imagine like a board with Ironmonger, Ironworks, and Smithy but no Village, trashing, or Buy. I think here the Good Stuff deck of "a bunch of Ironmonger and two Smithy" is better than Smithy BM, but that isn't what people usually call BM.
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