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Author Topic: The Peasant-Teacher Line  (Read 5739 times)

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DG

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The Peasant-Teacher Line
« on: December 03, 2016, 09:05:01 am »
+20

From Peasant to Teacher, a traveler's guide

The traveler cards are some of the highest skill cards in Dominion and certainly some of the most explosive too. They radically change a kingdom and open up many imaginative possibilities. This article looks in detail at the peasant line.

So what's the point of these travelers anyway? The big plan is to call the teacher, put tokens onto action piles, and use these improved action cards to win the game.

When don't they work? The peasant line will generally fail with decks full of treasure and junk where it takes a long time to play the teacher and any tokens will have little impact.

What can go wrong? The game can be lost by the time a teacher is called from the mat, the tokens can't be used well enough to change the game, or the actions tokens are great but there are not enough of these actions in the deck. This shows that a deck without good focus will be unable to use travelers well. So lets look first at the heart of it all, the teacher.

Teacher Teacher is a lot more cumbersome than its cousin, the champion. It needs a terminal action to play, it still doesn't do anything until called the following turn, and it needs to be played and called again to put down another token. This suggests the teacher needs to be played as early as possible in the game so it can have plenty of effect. Since it might not be called many times each token needs to be placed carefully. The first token placed is often used to boost drawing with either with the +1 card token or by improving a drawing card with the +1 action token. This is good for most action engines but it also draws the traveler cards and teacher more frequently. All tokens can be excellent however depending upon the deck and the kingdom. After one or two tokens are placed the teacher might become redundant and it is then fine to leave it on the mat or trash it for any benefit.

To get the most out of tokens, look ahead and decide which piles need tokens then prepare the deck with cards from those piles. This focus is often better than variety, especially if opponents are competing to collect the majority of these cards too. Looking ahead can also prevent running afoul of teacher's golden rule teacher can't put a second token on a pile. Plans and ferries can get in the way. Use training and lost arts after calling the teacher to get a second token on a key pile.

Disciple Disciples are not just a stepping stone towards the teacher. They are also the perfect way to both maximize the benefit from placed tokens and collect more cards from piles with tokens. Disciples can also help compete against opponents to claim a majority of cards in a pile. A well focused deck with good drawing will allow the disciple to be played on the best actions. Cards gained with disciples have the potential be drawn and played the same turn, helping a slow starting peasant-teacher strategy to accelerate very quickly.

Fugitive Fugitives are generally just a stepping stone towards the disciples and offer little unique capability. With fugitives, and all other travelers, it is important to time the shuffling of the deck carefully so that the travelers spend as little time as possible in the discard pile (and draw deck).
Example With fugitive and laboratory in hand and 3 cards in the draw deck you should generally play the fugitive and not play the laboratory. The fugitive can then be exchanged for a disciple and immediately shuffled into the next draw deck.

Soldier At the start of the game soldiers are a rather transitory card. The income is moderate, the attack is mediocre, and they consume a valuable action when played. In the end game however they can change into an amazing income card. Once teacher tokens are on an attack pile it is sometimes possible to fill the deck with those attacks (helped by disciples), draw big hands using the token abilities, and then play soldiers for big income.

Peasant At first it seems as if peasants are only a problem. They certainly seem to offer little at the start of the game when they hold up deck development just to get this traveler line started. Their redeeming feature is the +buy and this can be absolutely vital to engine decks that might want to buy in more travelers (peasants), cards from token piles, and green cards in the endgame. It can be easy to overlook their long term value. Tokens can be placed on the peasant pile and they will affect peasants only and not the travelers.

Building the deck
In most cases, buy a peasant in the first two turns and exchange it through to become the only teacher as soon as possible. This is usually aided by actions that will trash, draw, or cycle through the deck (the teacher might arrive late if there are no such actions in the kingdom). Disciples are a perfect card to use with token piles so often a second peasant can be bought early to become a permanent disciple. Further disciples, soldiers, and peasants should be put into the deck for a specific purpose as they will often arrive too late to be a general asset. Don't keep buying peasants just because they are cheap.

While doing all that the deck needs to be functional, probably a functional engine. It is still important to use strong attacks, defenses, trashing, and so on. Victory points can usually wait until after the teacher has been called. The deck will also need cards from the key piles (the piles which will get tokens). The deck will get immediate benefit if it has a number of these cards when the teacher is called. Ideally the first disciple can gain a key card before it is exchanged to be the teacher. There are exceptions to this, typically when the deck is enabled by placing a +1 action token and without that token the deck will be a mess of terminals. It is always worth remembering that the teacher needs an action to play as well.

If the key cards cost 5 or more then the first peasant will probably not provide enough income to buy one. The first soldier has a better chance but it will only be played once before it gets exchanged so special attention needs to be paid to income from individual hands, not just overall income.

Consolidation
There may not be many turns between the teacher being called and the end of game. This means the deck needs to be brought under control rapidly, usually by drawing the deck and then getting maximum advantage from every action. More key cards can be added to the deck quickly for extra growth using disciples. After deck control comes kingdom control. Play strong attacks repeatedly. Collect a majority of the key cards. Prepare for the endgame with powerful point scoring and secure control of any 3 pile ending. Easy!

Opposition
Opponents will be competing for important cards such as the traveler upgrades and the key action piles. This can  severely restrict some strategies in multiplayer games and games where traveler upgrades can be trashed out (there are only 5 of each upgrade).  Competition for action cards can bring about early 3 pile endings. Attacks on decks can be more severe in multiplayer and this can add a lot more risk to a traveler strategy, particularly when travelers can get trashed.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 08:08:32 pm by DG »
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DG

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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2016, 09:06:17 am »
0

I've had this article written for months and been short of an example game. If anyone has a good example game then I'd be more than happy to give it a link now.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2016, 09:23:24 am »
0

I 'feel' that my strongest card is the Page-Teacher line. I rarely loose a game when they are in the kingdom.

Playing multiple pages (+buy), solider (attack + money), futigive (if need be for draw), disciple (gainer) is so good. And reall, all you need is one card that gives +actions (transform that into a village) and one card that draws (transform it into a non-terminal draw). If you have a card for +$1, that's just extra. +buy on page is hilarious.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2016, 09:43:06 am »
+3

This is a good start, but I feel like there are some remaining topics to be addressed:

Cycling: How much should I prioritize cycling (to get to Teacher faster) over gaining the key card?

2-card decks: How do I prioritze gaining cards when I want tokens on two different piles?

When should I ignore this?

Also, it should be noted that you don't want to use Disciple on Durations.
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AdrianHealey

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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2016, 10:06:34 am »
+1

This is a good start, but I feel like there are some remaining topics to be addressed:

Cycling: How much should I prioritize cycling (to get to Teacher faster) over gaining the key card?

2-card decks: How do I prioritze gaining cards when I want tokens on two different piles?

When should I ignore this?

Also, it should be noted that you don't want to use Disciple on Durations.

I mean, disciple-Wharf is still something to be considered.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2016, 10:45:45 am »
0

I also would like to hear what gamesou has to say about this line, he's the only person who I've seen to frequently skip Teacher altogether and just keeps several disciples. So far that looked really successful even on boards where the token looks pretty good.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2016, 11:31:31 am »
0

I 'feel' that my strongest card is the Page-Teacher line. I rarely loose a game when they are in the kingdom.

Playing multiple pages (+buy), solider (attack + money), futigive (if need be for draw), disciple (gainer) is so good. And reall, all you need is one card that gives +actions (transform that into a village) and one card that draws (transform it into a non-terminal draw). If you have a card for +$1, that's just extra. +buy on page is hilarious.

I think about 1/3rd of my games I use +Buy as the first token off Teacher. Sustaining a bunch of Peasnts just for the extra buys is such a nusiance vs putting them on your village or cantrip.
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AdrianHealey

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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2016, 03:12:53 pm »
0

I 'feel' that my strongest card is the Page-Teacher line. I rarely loose a game when they are in the kingdom.

Playing multiple pages (+buy), solider (attack + money), futigive (if need be for draw), disciple (gainer) is so good. And reall, all you need is one card that gives +actions (transform that into a village) and one card that draws (transform it into a non-terminal draw). If you have a card for +$1, that's just extra. +buy on page is hilarious.

I think about 1/3rd of my games I use +Buy as the first token off Teacher. Sustaining a bunch of Peasnts just for the extra buys is such a nusiance vs putting them on your village or cantrip.

I mean, that's even great too, but village (with a +card) or terminal draw (+action) is way better, especially with soldier and disciple support. Attacking your opponent consistently is great.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2016, 10:47:21 pm »
0

I 'feel' that my strongest card is the Page-Teacher line. I rarely loose a game when they are in the kingdom.

Playing multiple pages (+buy), solider (attack + money), futigive (if need be for draw), disciple (gainer) is so good. And reall, all you need is one card that gives +actions (transform that into a village) and one card that draws (transform it into a non-terminal draw). If you have a card for +$1, that's just extra. +buy on page is hilarious.

I think about 1/3rd of my games I use +Buy as the first token off Teacher. Sustaining a bunch of Peasnts just for the extra buys is such a nusiance vs putting them on your village or cantrip.

I mean, that's even great too, but village (with a +card) or terminal draw (+action) is way better, especially with soldier and disciple support. Attacking your opponent consistently is great.

The reason I pick up +Buy a lot is that you want to already be building a draw / action engine when you're upgrading those Travellers anyway. On some boards, you're already pretty close to done with that aspect of the engine (or if you aren't, one turn of multiple component buys will do it). Meanwhile, +Buy is an aspect of an engine that is often scarce and usually is incorporated later on in the process, which is around when Teacher becomes a thing.
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DG

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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2016, 09:09:48 am »
0

This is a good start, but I feel like there are some remaining topics to be addressed:

Cycling: How much should I prioritize cycling (to get to Teacher faster) over gaining the key card?

2-card decks: How do I prioritze gaining cards when I want tokens on two different piles?

When should I ignore this?

Also, it should be noted that you don't want to use Disciple on Durations.

It is difficult to balance trashing, cycling, and purchasing when making a peasant-teacher deck. Too complex for this article I am afraid. Any rules would only be there to be broken.

The disciple is not discarded during clean-up when played with a duration card. This means it will not be able to gain another card next turn and it can only be exchanged for teacher once it is discarded from play. I could put this into the article. It was going to be in an example game that I decided not to use!

I also would like to hear what gamesou has to say about this line, he's the only person who I've seen to frequently skip Teacher altogether and just keeps several disciples. So far that looked really successful even on boards where the token looks pretty good.

To be honest, I initially thought this would be a fair strategy but I never personally found a time when it was applicable. I suspect that it delivers aggressive end game control in tight games with functional engines where the teacher is too slow, i.e. something mainly needed by top level players who are not the target audience for this article.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 10:08:28 am »
0

I think that says more about Disciple than teacher. Keeping Disciples around and going for Teacher aren't even a little mutually exclusive; I think you basically always want at least 1 Teacher and 1 Disciple.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 12:24:09 pm »
+17

I also would like to hear what gamesou has to say about this line, he's the only person who I've seen to frequently skip Teacher altogether and just keeps several disciples. So far that looked really successful even on boards where the token looks pretty good.

I never thought hard about this and am a bit surprised to be singled out in doing that.

Some ideas :
- It's sad to sacrifice one of best cards of the game for a delayed Lost Arts, so if I can avoid this, I'm happy.
- Massive Disciples can lead to 3-piles before the Teacher player started to kick off.
- There are also boards when you want to exchange for Teacher at some point, but only once some key pile is empty.

As an example of game I can remember that one. I don't claim I played particularly well though
http://gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?http://dominion-game-logs.s3.amazonaws.com/game_logs/20160809/log.0.1470774535741.txt

Many people auto-exchange travellers to rush for Champion/Teacher, this is often fine, but sometimes it is even better to skip Teacher if all the engine components are available withoug the tokens.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2016, 03:33:30 pm »
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Also, it should be noted that you don't want to use Disciple on Durations.
Hireling disagrees.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2016, 03:39:32 pm »
+8

you give up your disciple for another hireling?
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tristan

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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2016, 03:51:37 pm »
+2

you give up your disciple for another hireling?
For a throned Hireling and another Hireling? Of course.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2016, 06:37:58 pm »
+8

If you actually think that is even remotely as good as Discipling, let's say, a Lab I wouldn't know how to convince you. But I don't think you will find anyone else here who thinks this is anything but bad.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2016, 07:25:10 pm »
+5

I like how the title says pea-ant.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2016, 12:33:46 am »
+2

I also would like to hear what gamesou has to say about this line, he's the only person who I've seen to frequently skip Teacher altogether and just keeps several disciples. So far that looked really successful even on boards where the token looks pretty good.

I never thought hard about this and am a bit surprised to be singled out in doing that.

Some ideas :
- It's sad to sacrifice one of best cards of the game for a delayed Lost Arts, so if I can avoid this, I'm happy.
- Massive Disciples can lead to 3-piles before the Teacher player started to kick off.
- There are also boards when you want to exchange for Teacher at some point, but only once some key pile is empty.

As an example of game I can remember that one. I don't claim I played particularly well though
http://gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?http://dominion-game-logs.s3.amazonaws.com/game_logs/20160809/log.0.1470774535741.txt

Many people auto-exchange travellers to rush for Champion/Teacher, this is often fine, but sometimes it is even better to skip Teacher if all the engine components are available withoug the tokens.

I was "singling you out" (that sounds so negative, which I surely didn't mean to), because I distinctly remember two streamed games, one against SCSN which you linked I believe and one in this season against someone I forgot (it's gotta be Derg or Assemble ;) ) where you kept your disciple on boards where it isn't "usual". I've seen others skip Teacher aswell, but only for the timing reason. So I actually think you're kinda unique, atleast among the the top players from f.ds. So thanks for your input, let us know about your ideas after thinking hard about this ;)

This is also a question where it would be really cool what the Japanese community thinks about this, as they seem to be as good as us with minimal exchange about strategy.

@Chris is me, Your point is not really valid: Your 1 Disiciple + 1 Teacher could be two Disciples instead. Or three (4?) in the aforementioned gamesou game. Of course one of each is the easy way out, but that doesn't make it the right one.
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tristan

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Re: The Peasant-Teacher Line
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2016, 06:27:35 am »
0

If you actually think that is even remotely as good as Discipling, let's say, a Lab I wouldn't know how to convince you. But I don't think you will find anyone else here who thinks this is anything but bad.
If you Disciple a Hireling you get two extra cards in all future turns and another Hireling at the cost of Disciple being permanently out of play. This is a powerful effect at a high cost and it worked great in the one game in which I played thus.

Now I am not claiming that this is always good. Hireling is only good if you get it early and you if that "lost Disciple" is the only one you got it could be very dubious as you might want another Disciple around or finally get to Teacher.
Disciple is not per se better or worse than Hireling, their relative strength depends on several factors. If you have several cards in the Peasant line in your deck and hit that Hireling early with Disciple the relative strength of both cards is tilted towards Hireling so giving up a Disciple for a throned Hireling and anoteher Hireling is good.

In short, your unconditional claim that discipling the most powerful Duration in the game is always bad is preposterous.
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Re: The Peasant-Teacher Line
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2016, 07:08:10 am »
0

If you actually think that is even remotely as good as Discipling, let's say, a Lab I wouldn't know how to convince you. But I don't think you will find anyone else here who thinks this is anything but bad.
If you Disciple a Hireling you get two extra cards in all future turns and another Hireling at the cost of Disciple being permanently out of play. This is a powerful effect at a high cost and it worked great in the one game in which I played thus.

Now I am not claiming that this is always good. Hireling is only good if you get it early and you if that "lost Disciple" is the only one you got it could be very dubious as you might want another Disciple around or finally get to Teacher.
Disciple is not per se better or worse than Hireling, their relative strength depends on several factors. If you have several cards in the Peasant line in your deck and hit that Hireling early with Disciple the relative strength of both cards is tilted towards Hireling so giving up a Disciple for a throned Hireling and anoteher Hireling is good.

In short, your unconditional claim that discipling the most powerful Duration in the game is always bad is preposterous.
I mean, I'm sure we'd all concede that in certain edge cases it would be the best option but I agree that roughly 95% of the time this is a bad idea. Disciple essentially becomes a hireling, and disciple is already way better than hireling.
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Re: The Peasant-Teacher Line
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2016, 08:32:05 am »
+5

Discipling Hireling is far more skippable than Tristan thinks
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Re: The Peasant-Teacher Line
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2016, 04:26:42 pm »
+1

I mean, I'm sure we'd all concede that in certain edge cases it would be the best option but I agree that roughly 95% of the time this is a bad idea. Disciple essentially becomes a hireling, and disciple is already way better than hireling.
Nope. Disciple thrones a Hireling and becomes another Hireling.
The notion that Disciple is better than Hireling is also dubious. If it were a non-Traveller Action card it would most likely be a strong 6$. Like Hireling.
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Re: The Peasant-Teacher Line
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2016, 04:45:23 pm »
+3

The notion that Disciple is better than Hireling is also dubious. If it were a non-Traveller Action card it would most likely be a strong 6$. Like Hireling.

Are you always just wrong about everything?
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Re: The Peasant-Teacher Line
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2016, 04:45:41 pm »
+1

I mean, I'm sure we'd all concede that in certain edge cases it would be the best option but I agree that roughly 95% of the time this is a bad idea. Disciple essentially becomes a hireling, and disciple is already way better than hireling.
Nope. Disciple thrones a Hireling and becomes another Hireling.
The notion that Disciple is better than Hireling is also dubious. If it were a non-Traveller Action card it would most likely be a strong 6$. Like Hireling.
It's worse then KC'ing a hireling. Disciple would be a or , it's easily on the same power level as prince. Plus it takes a long time to get to.
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Re: The Peaant-Teacher Line
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2016, 04:55:45 pm »
0

I also would like to hear what gamesou has to say about this line, he's the only person who I've seen to frequently skip Teacher altogether and just keeps several disciples. So far that looked really successful even on boards where the token looks pretty good.

I never thought hard about this and am a bit surprised to be singled out in doing that.

Some ideas :
- It's sad to sacrifice one of best cards of the game for a delayed Lost Arts, so if I can avoid this, I'm happy.
- Massive Disciples can lead to 3-piles before the Teacher player started to kick off.
- There are also boards when you want to exchange for Teacher at some point, but only once some key pile is empty.

As an example of game I can remember that one. I don't claim I played particularly well though
http://gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?http://dominion-game-logs.s3.amazonaws.com/game_logs/20160809/log.0.1470774535741.txt

Many people auto-exchange travellers to rush for Champion/Teacher, this is often fine, but sometimes it is even better to skip Teacher if all the engine components are available withoug the tokens.

You're also my complete hero. Win Division A, I'm rooting for you!
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