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Author Topic: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?  (Read 1796 times)

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xyz123

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+1

The link to see the kingdom doesn't seem to be working but here is an example log.

http://gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?http://dominion-game-logs.s3.amazonaws.com/game_logs/20161126/log.0.1480158609632.txt

The kingdom is

  • Provinces/Estates
    Duchess
    Squire
    Doctor
    Smugglers
    Tunnel
    Duplicate
    Envoy
    Jack of all Trades
    Rats
    Artificer

    Events - Ferry

This board came up in a physical game. I lost to a variation of Envoy Big Money. Although there are some strong money options there is an interesting engine and my gut feeling is that if played correctly the engine is stronger, the problem is though how to play it correctly?

I have tried several bot games on this board to see if I can get the engine to work (an example log is linked) but most of the times I lose to the bot's money game. On the couple of occasions I did win I got very lucky with my early shuffle luck. I would appreciate any thoughts on how what the optimum strategy might be and how to play it. I look forward to hearing people's thoughts.

A few thoughts I have after my games.

One of the weaknesses the engine has is that the draw is not very good. Squire/Envoy for your village/draw combo is worse than Village/Smithy. I don't think it is possible to put together an engine that can reliably draw your deck and the engine can begin to choke when you start to green.

As I do not draw my whole deck one of the awkward decisions is when to discard a useful card to Artificer and when to keep that card to play it. I think I am making a lot of bad decisions here.

Squire is interesting on this board as it is the only village and the only plus buy. If both players go for the engine it will be important to win the split. You can make the mistake though of going too heavily for Squires at the expense of other engine components. I feel if your opponent does this you might be better off leaving them to it and switching to a money strategy.

What do you do with Duplicates here? They are very useful, probably critical, for pile control in the end game, but do you want them earlier?

Do you want Tunnel earlier on as discard fodder for Artificer? I think one or two, yes as a small number of golds in your deck is good for economy.

I think Ferrying Artificers is a given, but do you want to Ferry anything else? If so, what? I keep changing my mind on this one.


« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 07:12:55 am by xyz123 »
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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 08:23:01 am »
+5

While it's possible to play "engine" here, and I think the engine should beat any BM strategy, it certainly won't be overwhelming.
The engine has mediocre trashing and a lousy village. Artificer-Ferry is a strong combination though.

You need Artificers, lots of artificers. You correctly open by putting the ferry token on it, but after that you immediately deviate.
Instead, try piling those artificers. With the ferry token you'll quickly be able to take two each turn.

After the artificers are gone you have a deck filled with "super peddlers", which is great but doesn't handle junk cards very well.
I'd try to get a big doctor in, and at some (late) point probably a Squire and a Jack of all Trades. Don't get them too soon, they shouldn't stop your doctor from being effective.
Depending on the draws you might get a second doctor overpay. I'm not looking to double province here, certainly not consistently.
You could take tunnel & gold, but certainly not early. Those cards should not get in the way of your artificer-gaining or your doctor-cleanup.

This would be my plan against a BM player. If the other player is also snatching Artificers, the already weak engine would get even weaker. You need to time abandoning the engine carefully (=after you have enough artificers to have faith in the engine on the other side of the table never coming together).
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Chris is me

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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 09:57:07 am »
+1

This seems like a board where you could make an engine work if you really force it and play intelligently. But Jack BM picking up an Envoy over a second Jack is quite fast, and should hold up well while greening. The engine has other VP to try and stock up on, but it also doesn't handle junk well at all, so it will be tough for the engine to beat a polished BM player.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 09:58:09 am by Chris is me »
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Roadrunner7671

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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 11:22:15 am »
+2

Skip Envoy, the draw here is Doctor naming Rats to draw three cards! Hopefully they're all Rats!
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SettingFraming

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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 12:11:07 pm »
+2

The engine here is quite good, honestly. I play tested against banker bot who plays straight Envoy BM and it's not particularly close. Of course, the BM is better with a jack opening into single Envoy.

Anyways, here's how you play this engine: Ferry Artificers and pile them. Then move the ferry token to the envoys and you can very reliably make the squire/Envoy engine work since you can easily discard for components. This works well even without trashing (I was in a hurry while play testing), but would of course probably be improved by picking up a doctor overpay. The main concern I had with the engine was piles, since ideally you want 10 of everything, so you have to leave a few cards in the supply. Of course, the BM player has such limited pile control that this isn't too big of a deal.

If I have time to do a more thorough playtest later I'll post logs and stuff.

Edit: of course if contested (mirrored) this engine is utter garbage I would bail out into Jack BM with a bunch of Artificers.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 12:15:52 pm by SettingFraming »
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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 05:28:20 pm »
+1

This seems like a board where you could make an engine work if you really force it and play intelligently. But Jack BM picking up an Envoy over a second Jack is quite fast, and should hold up well while greening. The engine has other VP to try and stock up on, but it also doesn't handle junk well at all, so it will be tough for the engine to beat a polished BM player.

So I don't know what idiot made this post, but it's totally wrong, you absolutely can do the engine here. SettingFraming has it basically right - you just Ferry Artificer and as soon as you get one in hand you can gain 2 Artificer a turn guaranteed until they're gone. Then you Ferry Envoy and gain Envoy and Squire as needed to draw a lot of cards. You'll eventually be able to either double Province (get a single Tunnel to gain a Gold or two if you want to make this easier) or Province + other Victory card and go for an opportune three pile. Here is an example log against a bot (though I messed the last turn up by discarding too many cards with Artificer, so I was one Province short of what I could have done).

https://dominion-game-logs.s3.amazonaws.com/game_logs/20161127/log.0.1480285520255.txt
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xyz123

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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 01:37:58 pm »
+1

Thanks for all the advice and comments.

I didn't think of rushing Artificers at the start or using a late(r) Doctor overbuy for clearing the junk out of my deck.

The mirror game where you transition into money after gaining enough pieces to prevent your opponent's engine from firing sounds very interesting.
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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2016, 03:22:19 am »
0

I am not quite convinced that engine is good here. You have problem that BM should also get 4-5 artificers with ferry/artificer opening. After they are gone artifice two jacks for tempo and you should consistently buy provinces,duchies and tunnels. How you play it depends on draws and deck tracking. With two artificers or knowing that artificer+jack comes next turn make tunnel and discard it for gold+vp, or get squire to draw with jack. Single art+jack would probably discard junk topdeck silver.
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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2016, 10:55:12 am »
0

It's a Rock Paper Scissors board; the uncontested engine is good enough that you have to contest it, and then there are several intelligent ways to pivot to BM.

I think Tunnel is basically as important as Jack in the pivot. Having to draw Artificers dead with Jack really doesn't help it, and it'll be hard to line up trashing, but a pair of Artificers is all you need to gain a Tunnel and a Gold. So you want both intelligently in the money pivot.
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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2016, 12:26:02 pm »
0

Jack is quite decent here, and Jack-Artificer is also very strong, especially with Ferry! That is the plan I'd go with. The engine here is clunky and takes forever, by which time a Rush deck with Artificer and Jack should just win handily.
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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2016, 12:56:52 pm »
+1

It's a Rock Paper Scissors board; the uncontested engine is good enough that you have to contest it, and then there are several intelligent ways to pivot to BM.

I think Tunnel is basically as important as Jack in the pivot. Having to draw Artificers dead with Jack really doesn't help it, and it'll be hard to line up trashing, but a pair of Artificers is all you need to gain a Tunnel and a Gold. So you want both intelligently in the money pivot.
After trying few games vs bots I am fairly certain there isn't any rps. There are no scizzors as pure envoy bm or jack bm doesn't defeat anything.  Ferry+artificer is dominant strategy and my ferry-artificer+jack bm definitely beats other money variants. I restricted myself for 5 artificers to see how good it is in mirror. Here main factor that decides game is if you draw art in turn 3/4/5 or get unlucky 2-5 opening. 5-3 doctor+ferry art looks competitive. So its either that so some miraclous engine that manages to pile-up duchies+2 provinces+some tunnels by turn 14. This is time when art-jack bm typically gets sixth province. Typical bm game looks like this where it mostly differs by 2 turns depending when you draw first artificer.

https://dominion-game-logs.s3.amazonaws.com/game_logs/20161130/log.0.1480526386946.txt
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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2016, 01:06:36 pm »
0

It's a Rock Paper Scissors board; the uncontested engine is good enough that you have to contest it, and then there are several intelligent ways to pivot to BM.

I think Tunnel is basically as important as Jack in the pivot. Having to draw Artificers dead with Jack really doesn't help it, and it'll be hard to line up trashing, but a pair of Artificers is all you need to gain a Tunnel and a Gold. So you want both intelligently in the money pivot.
After trying few games vs bots I am fairly certain there isn't any rps. There are no scizzors as pure envoy bm or jack bm doesn't defeat anything.  Ferry+artificer is dominant strategy and my ferry-artificer+jack bm definitely beats other money variants. I restricted myself for 5 artificers to see how good it is in mirror. Here main factor that decides game is if you draw art in turn 3/4/5 or get unlucky 2-5 opening. 5-3 doctor+ferry art looks competitive. So its either that so some miraclous engine that manages to pile-up duchies+2 provinces+some tunnels by turn 14. This is time when art-jack bm typically gets sixth province. Typical bm game looks like this where it mostly differs by 2 turns depending when you draw first artificer.

https://dominion-game-logs.s3.amazonaws.com/game_logs/20161130/log.0.1480526386946.txt

It's RPS in the sense that if Artificers aren't contested you go full engine with squire and Envoy, but if they are contested (which yes, they should be) then you grab jacks and probably play around with tunnel tricks.
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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2016, 02:29:11 pm »
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It's a Rock Paper Scissors board; the uncontested engine is good enough that you have to contest it, and then there are several intelligent ways to pivot to BM.

I think Tunnel is basically as important as Jack in the pivot. Having to draw Artificers dead with Jack really doesn't help it, and it'll be hard to line up trashing, but a pair of Artificers is all you need to gain a Tunnel and a Gold. So you want both intelligently in the money pivot.
After trying few games vs bots I am fairly certain there isn't any rps. There are no scizzors as pure envoy bm or jack bm doesn't defeat anything.  Ferry+artificer is dominant strategy and my ferry-artificer+jack bm definitely beats other money variants. I restricted myself for 5 artificers to see how good it is in mirror. Here main factor that decides game is if you draw art in turn 3/4/5 or get unlucky 2-5 opening. 5-3 doctor+ferry art looks competitive. So its either that so some miraclous engine that manages to pile-up duchies+2 provinces+some tunnels by turn 14. This is time when art-jack bm typically gets sixth province. Typical bm game looks like this where it mostly differs by 2 turns depending when you draw first artificer.

https://dominion-game-logs.s3.amazonaws.com/game_logs/20161130/log.0.1480526386946.txt

It's RPS in the sense that if Artificers aren't contested you go full engine with squire and Envoy, but if they are contested (which yes, they should be) then you grab jacks and probably play around with tunnel tricks.
In insn't rps anymore making every board rps one by saying that if opponent opens curse/curse you could open copper/copper.  RPS definition is that A beats B, B beats C and C beats A.
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Re: Is the engine the best strategy here and if so, how should you build it?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2016, 04:47:36 pm »
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Okay not literally RPS, but the dominant strategy changes based on what your opponent does. In this particular case, Ferry Artificer leads into most of the good ones anyway, but uncontested the engine is the way to go.
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