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SettingFraming

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Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« on: April 03, 2017, 04:36:21 pm »
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Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms

Dominion has changed a lot. The cards have changed, the players have changed, and, well, perhaps what I’m getting at, is that the strategies have changed. Not completely or totally, of course. Many of us remember the terminology established by Wandering Winder on deck types: Engines, Big Money, Slogs, Rushes, and Combos. I would argue, however, that thinking about decks in these terms has become increasingly irrelevant, and therefore that re-thinking and generalizing our lexicon will help players adapt to the game more quickly.

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first, most glaring note is probably on the victory of the engine deck in Dominion. It has become excessively common for Engine to be the best strategy in Dominion, although of course a player like myself would argue that they are played too often, but nonetheless Engine tends to be obviously correct on a good number of boards, so much so that calling a board an “Engine” board is almost meaningless. We should establish more meaningful distinctions around different types of engines, since currently our only real distinctions in the lexicon refer to how the engines are drawn, i.e. draw-to-x, village/smithy, and non-terminal.

Other reasons, which I will not dive into with as much detail in order to hopefully retain some readers for pieces of this article in which I actually say something, include the growing confusion about the difference between Big Money and “Good Stuff” decks (a proliferation added later by Wandering Winder), the awkward melding of Rushes and Slogs, what even constitutes the difference between a Slog deck and a Big Money deck with junk (I actually think WW answers this question well. More on that later), and the overwhelming rarity of the relevance of rush and combo decks.

Defining the Engine Deck

An engine deck, in the general sense, is quite simply a deck that seeks to reliably play a bunch of action cards each turn. While that’s a useful distinction from other types of strategies, it doesn’t really give much insight into how to build the darn things. I am going to attempt to classify these decks into meaningful patterns, and then later (in different articles) circle back to distinctions to be made within even different subgenres of these classes of decks.

The Control Engine
Some engines don’t care so much about what you do with them so much as they care that you can do stuff with them. Notably, these decks refer to the importance of being able to reliably draw your deck every turn, for the whole game, and to get there as fast as possible. And, generally, this is important because if you are able to do so and your opponent isn’t, there is some way to just completely bury your opponent. These tend to be games where Silver and Gold become very bad cards quite quickly.

Some examples of these games include:
  • The very obvious Ambassador war, in which you can junk your opponent to Oblivion by playing multiple Ambassadors of various junk ever turn.
  • Games featuring cards that can slow your opponent like Ghost Ship, where if you slow down your opponent’s pace, it can be very difficult or impossible for them to recover. Militia-based games can be this way too, though control is slightly less fiercely important in those games.
  • Games where there are other ways to junk your opponent into oblivion while maintaining control of your deck. Think King’s Court/Mountebank. Or just Familiar.

Some important features of control decks:
  • Thinning tends to be very important in these decks. The thinning, however, should have a purpose, and that purpose should be to play as many cards as possible to slow down your opponent, as often as possible. If you’re the first one to slow your opponent down, and you keep the pressure on every turn, it can often snowball and be impossible for them to recover even if they have a card like Chapel in their decks.
  • Payload and greening should be delayed as long as possible in these decks. Draw and reliability should take absolutely priority. Points tend to really not matter, unless the game is ending incredibly soon, which, in these types of games, isn’t going to be for a long time.
  • On some boards, thinning can be slightly less important than splits, though be careful about making this assumption. Imagine, for example, a board where Alchemist is the only draw. If you have 6 and they have 4, you are going to be able to support 2 extra stop cards that your opponent can not, and if those 2 extra cards are something like Ambassador you may be able to recover from being slightly thicker as long as you aren’t completely overwhelmed in the thinning department. So focus on thinning, but don’t ignore key cards, either.

Control decks can draw from basically any engine draw paradigm. Draw-to-x, nonterminal, and village/smithy decks all apply. Note that non-terminal draw tends to be quite strong in these decks, since nonterminal draw becomes reliable much more quickly than village/smithy draw, and offers better guarantees of success. In games where you have choices, however, you should probably be using every source of draw available to you in order to maximize efficiency and reliability. Note that draw-to-x doesn’t apply here, since draw-to-x doesn’t mesh with other draw types, as drawing to 7 if you already have 10 cards in hand from your Lab stack is obviously quite poor.

The Mega-Turn Engine
This is an engine where there is the ability to do something really awesome, and you don’t need to green over multiple turns, but only one. I don’t have much thesis-level stuff to say about these decks, actually, so I’ll just hop straight into details.

Some examples of these games include:
  • Horn of Plenty megaturns, where you get a bunch of Horn in Plenty’s in play along with at least 8 unique cards, and you take all the green cards.
  • Bridge(Highway/Troll) megaturns, where you get a bunch of cost reducers in play, and with +Buy, you take all the green cards.
  • Humongous Engine megaturns. Think Council Room/Wharf/Champion, where there’s not any really great cards payload out there for a megaturn, but the deck supports so much draw that it’s simply not necessary to green over multiple turns unless the game state dictates that you do.

Some important features of control decks:
  • These decks are typically a race to mega-turn first, although sometimes in mirrors there can be enough denial to limit the effectiveness of a mega-turn. Nonetheless, you should be playing for the mega-turn all game, and then reacting to something else only if the game state (i.e. piles are too low) forces you to bail out early and start taking points.
  • Just because there’s amazing power on the board, you still shouldn’t neglect thinning. At the same time, however, it can be important to slightly favor economy. In a control deck, for example, you might open Amulet/Amulet to get thin, but in a mega-turn deck maybe you open Amulet/Silver to add that Wharf in early to get big turns kicking off sooner rather than later.
  • These games often end in pile-outs, not mega-turns, so be careful about that. While a Throne Room/Bridge deck certainly can take 8 Provinces, and if your opponent allows you, it should, Throne/Room Bridge decks are also very capable of buying a lot of cards from the supply and a single Estate in one turn, and ending the game with 1-0 lead. You need to track your opponent’s gains very carefully, and make sure that you’re never letting your opponent win on their next turn unless you’re far behind and need to take calculated risks that your opponent might dud on their turn.

The As-Good-As-it-Gets Engine
Sometimes, the engine is just not very good. It’s never going to draw deck, it’s never going to be reliable, and it’s certainly never going to mega-turn. But here’s the rub: Dominion is a game about turns. Namely, Dominion is a game about average turns. Sometimes the attempt to play a lot of actions cards every turn will be very finicky, but if you’re still going to have a better average turn than your opponent playing a money-centered deck (where their best case scenario is hitting $8 unreliably, for example), then you should build the engine deck.

Some examples of these games include (these are little more complicated to outline):
  • Cartographer/Wishing Well/Conspirator/Nomad Camp/Inn, with no thinning. This board features weak thinning, weak draw, and weak +Buy. Your turns are going to be very finicky, because essentially unless you have two nonterminals in hand to start your turn, you aren’t going to kick off, and that’s going to happen fairly often. But still, your average turn is going to be better than your opponent who is doing, what, playing Nomad Camp big money?
  • Fishing Village/Ghost Ship, limited to no thinning. That’s weak draw, and certainly going to be very unreliable. However, just the fact that you’re going to be playing Ghost Ships more often than your opponent puts you in a good spot. Note that this differs from a control deck, because you’re not actually going to be reliably playing Ghost Ships every turn.
  • Highway/Chapel/no Draw. Sure, you’ll have one or two pretty good turns with your 5-6 highways. But as soon as you green, you aren’t drawing deck any more. So temper your expectations, but of course you’re still going to be doing better than the deck that doesn’t play the weak Highway thing.

Some important features about these decks:
  • You’re going to lose with these decks, sometimes, even against a simpler strategy. Unlike a mega-turn or control deck, they aren’t going to have a 100% win-rate against even poorly played or weak money strategies. You need good draws throughout the game, and Dominion makes no guarantee of that. Nonetheless, they should be played as long as you’re giving yourself a >50% chance of winning with them.
  • These are also decks where Silver and Gold can be a very bad card, because every stop card that you add to your deck decreases your chance of kicking off, which is already pretty bad to start with. Don’t completely neglect payload, but add it in slowly, as you should be focusing on cards that help you kick off, even if that kicking off remains unreliable.
  • You green in these decks earlier than in Control and Mega-turn decks, since, well, you have to score points sometimes, and you’re never going to be too reliable anyways. Still, if you’re asking the question about if you should green or keep building, the answer is almost always to keep building.


The Standard Good Engine
I saved this one for last since, although it is probably most common (but not overwhelmingly so), it is also the least prescriptive. These decks tend to be decks where the payload is good but not awesome (think Wine Merchant/Courtier/Monument, heck, even Gold), but there are reliable sources of draw/actions/thinning/gains, and so the engine is the obvious choice.

Some examples of these games include:
  • Village/Smithy/Laboratory/Wine Merchant/Remake. Obviously this is a strong engine, but it’s okay if you dud a turn or two as long as you’re giving yourself a good shot at having nice big turns.
  • Alchemist/Worker’s Village/Amulet/Advisor. This engine is going to be a little slow to set up, but you’re going to be building for a while and then probably greening over 2/3+ turns. Your payload here is probably Silver, just because you can use your Amulets to keep gaining it while you can focus your buys on adding draw.
  • Storyteller/Treasure Trove/Chapel. Again, this is going to be a quite good deck, but you’re going to have to green before you have $30 of buying power in your deck. It’s not a mega-turn, and control is not terribly important, but it’s pretty reliable and can still pull off some fairly excellent turns (which is what differentiates this from a “As-Good-As-it-Gets” engine).

Some features of these decks include:
  • You still typically want to do everything you can to make these decks reliable. Dudding remains really bad, even if it’s not game over in these decks. This means you want to thin/trash persistently, add in sifting (such as Dungeon) if you can, and have some ability to overdraw your deck for (A) reliability, and (B) the ability to keep your deck running once you start greening, since you’re going to be greening usually over at least 2 turns in these decks.
  • Pay attention to the availability of +Buy. While +Buy is available on roughly 88% of boards, it’s actually usable on a decent number less than that, and if there’s not usable +Buy it’s usually in your best interest to build to a deck that reliably hits $8, and no more. Cards like Haggler can be really nice for helping you continue to hit $8 while staying reliable.
  • You can afford to take some chances on payload in these decks. Adding in extra payload that you’ll probably but not definitely be able to play on these boards can be okay, and you can take some chances to try and get ahead since typically these games are going to be pretty close. Don’t be stupid though, if you’re probably going to dud, you should be adding in reliability. But at the same time, feel free to make your deck less than 100% in the mid-game in order to get ahead.
  • Even if junk is eventually going to get cleaned up in these decks, you still want to do it. Don’t ignore Witch in these decks ever, please. This is less about control than pace. If you’re adding payload while your opponent is still cleaning up, that’s another way to get ahead. And getting ahead is how you win, of course.

Okay, so that’s it for the engine types that I think deserve distinctions. Of course there are meaningful distinctions to be made even within those paradigms, and many games tend to flirt between the lines. Keeping those deck types in mind, however, can help keep your expectations and buys aligned with a focused plan that will see you winning more games than you otherwise would with less focus.

Money, Big Money, Money-ish, Whatever

When it comes to money games, I take an opposite stance to that of Engines. Notably, it’s that I think distinctions tend to be harmful here rather than beneficial. I’m not going to focus on specific examples here so much as describe the kinds of things to look out for and exploit in these types of games, and also to a lesser extend when to play these sort of decks over the above “As-Good-As-it-Gets” engine choice.

Features of these decks:
  • Silver and Gold, are, of course good cards. Many kingdom cards tend to help out, however. A good rule of thumb is that two kingdom terminals is usually correct, and, if those terminals are durations, then three is usually correct. If the terminals are not draw cards (and, really, you should relatively rarely play terminal draw BM mostly because it prohibits this), you can add in other useful cantrips with impunity.
  • Kingdom Treasures are really good. Treasure Trove is tremendous for these decks (and also because it baloons your deck, allows you to play with extra terminals). But watch out for cards like Relic. If the engine is playing Relic most/every turn, you’re going to have a lot of trouble hitting $8 with 4 card hands.
  • Points are the name of the game. This generally means two things
    • Green early. You want to be ahead in these games, not have a better deck. Standard “Big Money” means you don’t Province until you have $18 in your deck total, but most Kingdom Card strategies allow you to buy Provinces earlier than that, which basically means typically you buy one Gold and then it’s all Provinces on $8.
    • Cards that give points are really great. This means Monument. But it also means Witch/Swamp Hag/Ill-Gotten-Gains, and doing things that would normally be dumb like buying Temple mostly just for the VP Chips, or taking the Defiled Shrine relatively early (but please, don’t over-do this. You still need to hit $8). If you need any proof that points are important, here’s some: 1. Swamp Hag BM beats Cultist BM 2. Buying a single Ill-Gotten-Gains and otherwise playing straight big money beats straight Big Money 70% of the time!
  • Any way you can add in reliability is great
    • Baker is a big help, because smoothing out your hands that are quite honestly completely random is great.
    • Cards like Gear are also really great to this, and to a lesser extent even Haven can be very useful. But be careful about opportunity cost, because Silver is great here!
  • Gaining extra cards is great, and trashing is good as long as it doesn’t take you too far out of your way. Don’t over-do it, as a single trasher is usually plenty.
    • An early Raze or Hermit can still be quite good to get some crap out, and, in the latter case, add some good stuff in.
    • In Colony/Platinum gains, put more emphasis on trashing since the game will go longer and it’s more important to clean out Copper.

When to play these decks, non-forced:
I’ve garnered somewhat of a reputation for being a player who plays a lot of non-forced money, i.e. I play money-based strategies on boards where a “As-Good-As-it-Gets” engine is available. Although not really, after all, because the as-good-as-it-gets deck isn’t always an engine, believe it or not. Here are some of the things I look for:

  • How well is the engine going to green? If the only engine draw is Menagerie and there’s no discarding, then the engine is going to start choking as soon as it gets it’s second province.
  • How fast is the engine going to grow? If there’s no +Buy and the other gaining is weak or irrelevant, then the engine is going to take forever buying parts while you’re adding green consistently.
  • How is the engine going to score? If the money player has to take (at least almost) all the Provinces to win, then he/she is probably not going to have a lot of success. But if you just need 5, you’re going to have a lot better chance at success.
  • How fast is the engine going to be reliable? Maybe the engine doesn’t have great payload, but if it can start having good turns relatively quickly, you’re not going to be able to out-run it with your relatively random money deck.
  • If the engine can’t compete on Junk without adding in cards they don’t really want into their deck, maybe the engine isn’t best. Think Jack as the only trashing or Soothsayer as the only cursing.

Don’t be afraid to play with a lot of kingdom cards in this deck, but be careful, and don’t try to over-complicate things by adding in cards that are only marginally useful. A village that might only sometimes be useful is probably worse than just sticking extra Silver in decks like these.

The Points Slog

Okay, this is really just a slog. The problem is, lots of people call games “sloggy” just because there is junk involved even if the game is more of a money game. Here’s the key thing with slogs, and this is something Wandering Winder pointed out long ago: It’s not about if there’s junk involved or not; it’s about playing a long game where you’re trying to amass an insurmountable number of points in a very unreliable, thick deck.

Some examples of these games:
  • Masterpiece/Trader | Feodum. Oh, did I mention that I’m in favor of killing the “Combo” deck? Because I am. These are slog decks.
  • Silk Road/Herbalist/Inheritance/Treasure Trove. I mention this because it occurred in a recent game, but the point here is that you’re inheriting Herbalist and playing a thick deck very quickly, in which you’re buying a lot of Herbalist Estates and Silk Roads very early, after probably 2 Treasure Troves before any of that. Your deck is going to be ugly, but it’s going to have a ton of points. And while hitting $8 remains nice, it’s not the point of the deck (which is why this is a slog and not a money deck).
  • Ironworks / Garden | Silk Road. I think it’s worth killing the “rush” distinction too. Because the reality is that you play rush and slog decks exactly the same way, only slog decks don’t attempt a pile-out while rush decks do. But every turn looks the same, as you’re doing something relatively weak but it’s scoring points every turn, and it’s starting early. Rushes just end faster because they have a natural third pile.
  • On the rush note, Ball/Death Cart/Gardens. This tends to end the game quickly with a decent number of points, but you’re still doing the same (relatively weak) thing every turn.
  • Horse Traders | Duchy/Duke. Yeah, I don’t need to explain this one.

Some Features of these games:
  • These decks tend to be very weak. If there is a good or even decent engine on the board, you’re probably going to get out-raced. However, strong enablers of these strategies tend to be able to far outpace money-based strategies and weaker engines.
  • These strategies tend to be focused around (A) getting to the part of the game where they score points very quickly, and (B) continuing to be able to score points throughout the duration of the game. This means you typically need extra gains, and to continue to be able to stick extra treasure and action cards in your deck while greening. Even if it’s just Copper.
  • Of course, some of these decks aren’t weak and will dominate almost every board. The above mentioned Masterpiece/Feodum, for example is one of those.

Okay, that will wrap up at least part one of my work on trying to define and describe decks in a meaningful and helpful fashion. I’ve purposely omitted some deck paradigms or sub-paradigms, such as golden decks, etc. I’m sure I missed some things, and I’m absolutely sure I said some things that merit disagreement. I’m also completely sure that many will find the entirety of these distinctions nearly completely useless. But I also know this: there’s still a lot of room for us (and I mean all of us, all the way from poor to good players) to get a lot better at this game.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 11:19:02 am by SettingFraming »
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Awaclus

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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 05:20:20 pm »
+1

Many of us remember the terminology established by Wandering Winder on deck types: Engines, Big Money, Slogs, Rushes, and Combos. I would argue, however, that thinking about decks in these terms has become increasingly irrelevant

And I would argue that it has become increasingly relevant. The fundamental deck types aren't a spectrum, they are very distinct from one another, and the existence of each type of strategy relies on particular rules and card interactions that are unique to that specific type of strategy. With new expansions, it's possible that new types of strategies pop up (such as the coin token hoarding strategy, which is technically a thing, it just sucks in practice because the coin token cards aren't strong enough for that to ever beat anything) and I wouldn't even be surprised if there turned out to be undiscovered types of strategies that are possible with the current cards, but the principles that the original 4 main strategies were built on do still exist.

Your engine classifications are, however, just arbitrary points on two spectra: how reliable the deck is and how big the payload is. For all engines, it is universally true that first you should thin as much as possible, keep a little economy around so that you can actually build the deck, start adding more engine parts, and when you're drawing reliably, you should add as much payload as you can considering that it makes your deck less reliable and that while you're spending time getting it, your opponent might be spending his time getting points and ending the game. If that means you're able to buy 8 Provinces on the turn when you finally start to green or that you're able to thin very quickly to build a very reliable deck or that you can't build a reliable deck at all or that you can build a decently reliable engine that doesn't have very amazing payload, none of it is particularly noteworthy, that's just how things sometimes work out naturally as a consequence of playing the strategy the exact same way every game.

Also, the fact that engines are able to play a bunch of Action cards every turn is neither useful nor a distinction from other types of strategies: there is no inherent strategical reason to care whether or not it says "Action" on the card, and some big money, rush and combo decks can also play a bunch of Action cards every turn.
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 05:43:46 pm »
+2

Many of us remember the terminology established by Wandering Winder on deck types: Engines, Big Money, Slogs, Rushes, and Combos. I would argue, however, that thinking about decks in these terms has become increasingly irrelevant

And I would argue that it has become increasingly relevant. The fundamental deck types aren't a spectrum, they are very distinct from one another, and the existence of each type of strategy relies on particular rules and card interactions that are unique to that specific type of strategy. With new expansions, it's possible that new types of strategies pop up (such as the coin token hoarding strategy, which is technically a thing, it just sucks in practice because the coin token cards aren't strong enough for that to ever beat anything) and I wouldn't even be surprised if there turned out to be undiscovered types of strategies that are possible with the current cards, but the principles that the original 4 main strategies were built on do still exist.

They still matter, of course, but my main argument is that with the vast majority of games being engine games nowadays, knowing the distinct deck types in the same manner as before is not as helpful as it once was when you more often played those non-engine distinct deck types.

Your engine classifications are, however, just arbitrary points on two spectra: how reliable the deck is and how big the payload is. For all engines, it is universally true that first you should thin as much as possible, keep a little economy around so that you can actually build the deck, start adding more engine parts, and when you're drawing reliably, you should add as much payload as you can considering that it makes your deck less reliable and that while you're spending time getting it, your opponent might be spending his time getting points and ending the game. If that means you're able to buy 8 Provinces on the turn when you finally start to green or that you're able to thin very quickly to build a very reliable deck or that you can't build a reliable deck at all or that you can build a decently reliable engine that doesn't have very amazing payload, none of it is particularly noteworthy, that's just how things sometimes work out naturally as a consequence of playing the strategy the exact same way every game.

I'll grant that for the most part the engine classifications above are generally based upon the criteria of reliability and payload. However, I do make the (and I know it's relatively weak) claim that you should play engines differently based upon those criteria. You mention that it's just "what ends up happening", which, while true, there are definitely things you can do if you properly anticipate "what ends up happening" that can give you an edge. For example, in the above no-draw Highway stack perhaps you should buy Gold before greening, or else you're not going to be able to buy anything useful after your first Provinces. These engines build differently, even if they do share the same core principles. Whether or not they build differently enough to deserve to be treated sub-categorically as different, well, that is not for me to decide; only to suggest.

Also, the fact that engines are able to play a bunch of Action cards every turn is neither useful nor a distinction from other types of strategies: there is no inherent strategical reason to care whether or not it says "Action" on the card, and some big money, rush and combo decks can also play a bunch of Action cards every turn.

You're missing the point here. Playing three Ironworks is not "playing a bunch of actions". Playing two Poachers and a Swamp Hag is not "playing a bunch of actions" Playing 8 Merchants and Goons is playing a bunch of actions. I didn't want to put a number on it, but hey, I'll do it. If you're playing on average 4+ actions a turn, it's an engine. Otherwise it's not. So it's definitely distinct, and I very much think it's useful because, hey, you should really know what your turns are going to look like. Of course there are shortcuts in any lexicon and formalization of a definition, but I would argue that this is completely sufficient.
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 05:49:29 pm »
0

You're missing the point here. Playing three Ironworks is not "playing a bunch of actions". Playing two Poachers and a Swamp Hag is not "playing a bunch of actions" Playing 8 Merchants and Goons is playing a bunch of actions. I didn't want to put a number on it, but hey, I'll do it. If you're playing on average 4+ actions a turn, it's an engine. Otherwise it's not. So it's definitely distinct, and I very much think it's useful because, hey, you should really know what your turns are going to look like. Of course there are shortcuts in any lexicon and formalization of a definition, but I would argue that this is completely sufficient.

If the only Actions you play are 8 Merchants and Goons, sounds like you're playing big money and not an engine to me.

I'll grant that for the most part the engine classifications above are generally based upon the criteria of reliability and payload. However, I do make the (and I know it's relatively weak) claim that you should play engines differently based upon those criteria. You mention that it's just "what ends up happening", which, while true, there are definitely things you can do if you properly anticipate "what ends up happening" that can give you an edge. For example, in the above no-draw Highway stack perhaps you should buy Gold before greening, or else you're not going to be able to buy anything useful after your first Provinces. These engines build differently, even if they do share the same core principles. Whether or not they build differently enough to deserve to be treated sub-categorically as different, well, that is not for me to decide; only to suggest.

If you have to buy Gold that isn't a part of your engine payload just so your deck can still do something after you've greened it to death, you probably shouldn't have gone for that strategy in the first place. If that Gold is a part of your payload, then that's still the exact same way of building the deck.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 05:52:59 pm by Awaclus »
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 11:16:54 am »
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Good article! I think this is what f.ds needs, some more in-depth articles. I totally agree about Big Money. I'm relatively new to the game (like 3-5 years) and I remember thinking: "why do we talk about BM anymore, it is so rarely a thing." Now obviously depending on your definition of BM, this can change a bit, but still, Engine boards are way more predominant. IMO if you play more than 3 actions a turn, you have an engine, otherwise it is BM or as-good-as-it-gets.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 11:19:10 am by McGarnacle »
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 11:35:35 am »
0

I agree with Awaclus; it is not useful to classify Hunting Party/terminal Silver or mass Baker as engines, and any definition that relies on the number of action cards played does this.

On the other hand of the spectrum, a deck that just plays KC/Scheme/X each turn, with sufficiently good X, is probably an engine, even though only 3 cards are played.
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 11:52:00 am »
+1

Landmarks changed everything. Game state and deck composition can be more important than reliably picking up VP through traditional means.
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2017, 12:07:14 pm »
+15

How deck-typing works:

1. Create a set of attributes by which to classify decks
2. Create a list of names, each of which is given to decks which share attributes

How deck-typing discussion works:

1. Come in with your own ideas about which attributes should be used and what decks should be called
2. Tell the person proposing a different system that they are wrong
3. Because there is nothing real to argue, nitpick little points in their classification
4. Devolve the conversation into categorization of a specific deck

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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 01:05:26 pm »
+3

2. Create a list of names, each of which is given to decks which share attributes
terence
good_deck1
b-engine-amin
grixis dragons
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2017, 01:06:47 pm »
+2

I'm fine with either names for engines, but I think there are two aspects in your BM section which are bad advice:

Money, Big Money, Money-ish, Whatever
[...]
  • Kingdom Treasures are really good. [....]
    • Cards that give points are really great.
Kingdom treasures are helpful for Big Money, but more often than not, they help the engine player
even more. You've named Relic, which is true, and there are so much more enginey kingdom treasures I don't want to make the list here.

However, your second advice is severely misleading: Cards, events or landmarks that give points are usually a major reason to go engine, even the as-good-as-it-gets-version! This is very important to understand, that's why I posted it. Your argument


 Buying a single Ill-Gotten-Gains and otherwise playing straight big money beats straight Big Money 70% of the time![/li][/list]

refers to straight BM, which is usually an irrelevant comparison. Nearly always, alt-VP favor the engine.




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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 01:38:44 pm »
0

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first, most glaring note is probably on the victory of the engine deck in Dominion. It has become excessively common for Engine to be the best strategy in Dominion, although of course a player like myself would argue that they are played too often, but nonetheless Engine tends to be obviously correct on a good number of boards, so much so that calling a board an “Engine” board is almost meaningless. We should establish more meaningful distinctions around different types of engines, since currently our only real distinctions in the lexicon refer to how the engines are drawn, i.e. draw-to-x, village/smithy, and non-terminal.

I agree that since Engine strategies are so dominant, we should create more Engine subcategories.  But a few additional points:
  • Another way to balance the deck classification is to consolidate non-Engine categories.  For instance, SettingFraming saw fit to consolidate Rushes and Slogs.  Another possibility is to consolidate Big Money with decks that play lots of actions, but don't draw lots of cards.  For instance, Lighthouse flooding is not meaningfully different from silver flooding.
  • Big Money is much more common in several of the well-known f.ds blind-spots.  Specifically, in games with less-skilled players, games with 3+ players, and games without a VP counter.
  • In general, I think it is useful for deck type classifications to also talk about decks that are not dominant.  Part of the point is to teach strategy to people who don't start out playing the best decks ever.
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 01:49:27 pm »
0

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first, most glaring note is probably on the victory of the engine deck in Dominion. It has become excessively common for Engine to be the best strategy in Dominion, although of course a player like myself would argue that they are played too often, but nonetheless Engine tends to be obviously correct on a good number of boards, so much so that calling a board an “Engine” board is almost meaningless. We should establish more meaningful distinctions around different types of engines, since currently our only real distinctions in the lexicon refer to how the engines are drawn, i.e. draw-to-x, village/smithy, and non-terminal.

I agree that since Engine strategies are so dominant, we should create more Engine subcategories.  But a few additional points:
  • Another way to balance the deck classification is to consolidate non-Engine categories.  For instance, SettingFraming saw fit to consolidate Rushes and Slogs.  Another possibility is to consolidate Big Money with decks that play lots of actions, but don't draw lots of cards.  For instance, Lighthouse flooding is not meaningfully different from silver flooding.
  • Big Money is much more common in several of the well-known f.ds blind-spots.  Specifically, in games with less-skilled players, games with 3+ players, and games without a VP counter.
  • In general, I think it is useful for deck type classifications to also talk about decks that are not dominant.  Part of the point is to teach strategy to people who don't start out playing the best decks ever.

You can't consolidate non-Engine strategies. Rushes and slogs aren't two slightly different versions of a similar strategy, they are two entirely separate strategies that don't have anything in common other than some superficial factors like the fact that they both can utilize Silk Road. Rush wins at rush speed (faster than any other opponent) and slog wins at slog speed (slower than any other opponent). A deck where you buy a bunch of Lighthouses is definitely big money though, it does everything that big money does and nothing else, other than some superficial factors like the fact that one buys cards that have the word Treasure written on them and the other buys cards that have Action instead.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 01:51:45 pm by Awaclus »
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 01:54:06 pm »
0

Cards, events or landmarks that give points are usually a major reason to go engine, even the as-good-as-it-gets-version!

Landmarks changed everything. Game state and deck composition can be more important than reliably picking up VP through traditional means.

I just came off a game with Keep, Relic, Royal Seal, and the only source of actions being Settlers/Bustling Village. The only source of +Buy was Goons. The game was high scoring but I nearly doubled my opponent's score by pursuing the Keep advantage and having a couple Goons lying around while he tried to do something with the split piles that I never touched.
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Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 02:21:49 pm »
+4

    However, your second advice is severely misleading: Cards, events or landmarks that give points are usually a major reason to go engine, even the as-good-as-it-gets-version! This is very important to understand, that's why I posted it. Your argument


     Buying a single Ill-Gotten-Gains and otherwise playing straight big money beats straight Big Money 70% of the time![/li][/list]

    refers to straight BM, which is usually an irrelevant comparison. Nearly always, alt-VP favor the engine.

    Sorry if this was misleading, but that's not what I meant to imply at all. You'll notice that the quote you've pulled is from the section on how to play money decks, not in the section on when to play non-forced money. So my point still stands: points (even just one) are really good for big money once you've already decided to play big money, especially in a mirror.

    I don't disagree that the presence of Alt-VP tends to make Engines better, of course, but "Curse" is obviously not Alt-VP.

    As for your first point on kingdom treasures, I must grant you that perhaps I've over-stated their general importance.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 03:07:49 pm »
    +1

    Just came off another game where the opponent got all of the Highways and went for the Tournament Prize Pile uncontested getting at least 3 Prize cards. He and I both leveraged Lurker to get our cards. Too bad I chose to go for Bishop and Fortress and 3 Pile win with a nearly 20 point lead despite him having 7 Provinces.

    So maybe, the lesson is don't ignore VP Token strategies because your cool engine that thought it could.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #15 on: April 04, 2017, 10:52:23 pm »
    +3

    I think we need to seriously rethink Dominion in terms of what VP resources are present.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #16 on: April 07, 2017, 12:45:51 pm »
    +2

    A few comments.

    Do we need another Engine category of duration-draw? I mean, sure, there's Wharf, but there's also Haunted Woods and Enchantress which don't draw until next turn, but which can dramatically increase the reliability of an engine if it can always set up the draw for the next turn. They're especially good with multipliers. I recently played a KC/Haunted Woods engine that needed almost nothing else. 14-card starting hands every turn works even with only a tiny amount of trashing.

    Is it really OK to add a few non-terminal actions into a Terminal Draw/BM deck? I'm not so sure. Their play value vs. drawing them dead seems dubious.

    Just the fact that there's some argument about what constitutes a weak engine vs. a money deck is illuminating. Is cantrip money still money? If you open Forager/Forager and manage to grab 8 Peddlers and simlutaneously trash down to just 8 Peddlers (Ok, fine, you throw the last Forager on a Bonfire) so that you can reliably buy a Province a turn, is that an engine or a money deck? Sure, you're drawing deck every turn, but you're not building up to anything interesting.

    Or what if you buy a few Village/Draw pairs and some cash, but you never draw deck and you start Greening at approximately a Province a turn, or maybe you get lucky once and draw a bunch of golds and a Nomad Camp and sneak in a double-Province. Is that an engine or a money deck? I suspect there's some disagreement here.

    And even if an engine can draw deck, there's a further reliability distinction. I would submit that the "golden deck" terminology be included as an archetype of engine-building where the construction and point-gathering mechanism is sufficiently robust that it is fundamentally impossible for it to stall. Not just unlikely; impossible. There are a number of mechanisms for this and it may be worth another forum thread. I'll start one just for fun.

    I suspect there may also be some disagreement about what exactly constitutes a rush or slog. That said, I wouldn't call them obsolete. However you do it, you may build up your deck to a particular point, then spend a few turns grabbing a particular set of VP cards with the intention of emptying piles before your opponent can finish building up to the bigger point cards. At what point does the distinction between the game being a "rush" and simply winning by intentionally piling out apply? Just because you were planning on winning on piles at the beginning? Or that you recognized that both players were likely to be grabbing alt+VP so fast that Provinces were going to be irrelevant? Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice might be: Watch for piles...starting with turn 1.

    And does a slog always involve curses or attacks? Could it just come from a really weak kingdom that happens to lack trashing and +buy, and particularly if it has cards that encourage junking your own deck for short-term gain like Banquet/Treasure Trove/Death Cart? It feels like there might be a bit of a continuum between slog and money, as well, if an engine is simply impossible, depending on the relative strength of attacks you can't reliably play every turn vs. money enablers.

    I know I've been asking a lot of questions, but I'll register an opinion:

    I think that the classic archetypes all still have meaning, but that the strategies are no longer as simple or as prescriptive as they once were.

    Instead, I would suggest that players look at a kingdom and ask "what does this kingdom want to do?"

    Are there junking or discard attacks that are going to slow the game down? Any trashing/engine pieces that can neutralize them? If not, it might be a slog, virtually guaranteed to end on piles before anyone gets to $8, so forget high-VP and plan accordingly.

    Are there strong cheap gainers, twofers like Haggler and Border Village, Remodelers, or other cards that are going to drain piles quickly? You might be able to plan a VP-rush. If you start gaining points a turn or two before your opponent and they keep building to a bigger payoff, if you can end the game on piles before they do so, that's pretty much what constitutes a rush in my book: A points sprint that can't be overtaken before a three-pile. I mention Remodelers because I would categorize many milling strategies as rushes, even if they rush the Province pile. Also, Salt. Just sayin'. Rush isn't irrelevant.

    Are the action/draw pieces good enough to draw deck? Is there +buy? Is there any payload? If an Engine isn't viable or interesting, it might be a money game. But don't just play money because there's no other option. Some cards like money a lot. Embassy not only hits $8 with startling reliability, it also junks engines with Silver in the mid-game.

    Finally, there's one more engine distinction worth mention that I've seen in other articles: Good ones can build exponentially. Gainers, +buy and multipliers can all make an engine "explode" once it gets going. Drawing deck isn't the end goal, it's sort of the minimum starting point. It's worth noting that some kingdoms have enough action/draw/sift power to draw deck, but without +buy/gains, the build may be linear instead of exponential. The difference is enormous; arguably bigger than the difference between some of the other classic archetypes.

    So if anything, we need more archetypes and distinctions, not fewer. And I agree that it would be pretty great if the wiki could get updated with concise articles on these subjects. The forums are a great place for learning and information gathering, but at some point it's worth boiling it all down to good advice for new players.
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    Awaclus

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #17 on: April 07, 2017, 01:56:02 pm »
    +1

    Or what if you buy a few Village/Draw pairs and some cash, but you never draw deck and you start Greening at approximately a Province a turn, or maybe you get lucky once and draw a bunch of golds and a Nomad Camp and sneak in a double-Province. Is that an engine or a money deck? I suspect there's some disagreement here.

    That isn't an engine deck or a money deck, it's just a bad deck.

    And even if an engine can draw deck, there's a further reliability distinction. I would submit that the "golden deck" terminology be included as an archetype of engine-building where the construction and point-gathering mechanism is sufficiently robust that it is fundamentally impossible for it to stall. Not just unlikely; impossible. There are a number of mechanisms for this and it may be worth another forum thread. I'll start one just for fun.

    Golden decks have very little in common with engine decks. Because they are such a rare subcategory with only a couple of different ways in which they can manifest, they are usually lumped together with all the other rare subcategories with only a couple of different ways in which they can manifest, i.e. combo decks. There's an argument to be made that perhaps there are enough different golden decks that it deserves its own categorization — in other words, you could say that it's more of a general principle that sometimes happens when certain cards are present rather than a specific interaction of specific cards.

    I suspect there may also be some disagreement about what exactly constitutes a rush or slog. That said, I wouldn't call them obsolete. However you do it, you may build up your deck to a particular point, then spend a few turns grabbing a particular set of VP cards with the intention of emptying piles before your opponent can finish building up to the bigger point cards. At what point does the distinction between the game being a "rush" and simply winning by intentionally piling out apply? Just because you were planning on winning on piles at the beginning? Or that you recognized that both players were likely to be grabbing alt+VP so fast that Provinces were going to be irrelevant? Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice might be: Watch for piles...starting with turn 1.

    It stops being a rush at the point where you build up your deck. One key thing about rush strategies is that they utilize cards such as Rebuild, Ironworks and Beggar to guarantee having a good enough turn even when your hand is shit, and they buy those cards as soon as they can and then they green, because they can green super early since they're already prepared for their hands being shit. If your hands are generally going to be good, there is no reason to use Rebuild, and that's one of the reasons why it is a clear distinction and not a spectrum.

    And does a slog always involve curses or attacks? Could it just come from a really weak kingdom that happens to lack trashing and +buy, and particularly if it has cards that encourage junking your own deck for short-term gain like Banquet/Treasure Trove/Death Cart? It feels like there might be a bit of a continuum between slog and money, as well, if an engine is simply impossible, depending on the relative strength of attacks you can't reliably play every turn vs. money enablers.

    No, it usually involves Duke, Feodum, Vineyard or other VP cards that are easy to acquire but still have the potential to outscore Provinces. There is no continuum between slog and money, they are two entirely different strategies, the key difference being that money tries to end the game while it's still ahead, whereas slog tries to stay ahead for the entire duration of the game so that the opponent can never end it.

    And I agree that it would be pretty great if the wiki could get updated with concise articles on these subjects.

    I actually don't think the wiki is a great place to learn strategy. It's good for looking stuff up.
    « Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 01:58:50 pm by Awaclus »
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    weety4

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #18 on: April 21, 2017, 08:28:41 pm »
    0

    Or what if you buy a few Village/Draw pairs and some cash, but you never draw deck and you start Greening at approximately a Province a turn, or maybe you get lucky once and draw a bunch of golds and a Nomad Camp and sneak in a double-Province. Is that an engine or a money deck? I suspect there's some disagreement here.
    That isn't an engine deck or a money deck, it's just a bad deck.
    Nope.
    Always entertaining to see how the dream of a smoothly running engine influences the opinion of so many Dominion players. Many games are precisely as messy as JThorne described.
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    Awaclus

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #19 on: April 22, 2017, 05:17:27 am »
    0

    Nope.
    Always entertaining to see how the dream of a smoothly running engine influences the opinion of so many Dominion players. Many games are precisely as messy as JThorne described.

    What's influencing my opinion is the experience I've accumulated in the thousands of games that I've played against other players in the top 50 range. If your game is as messy as JThorne described, you are misplaying it.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #20 on: April 22, 2017, 10:38:00 am »
    0

    Nope.
    Always entertaining to see how the dream of a smoothly running engine influences the opinion of so many Dominion players. Many games are precisely as messy as JThorne described.

    What's influencing my opinion is the experience I've accumulated in the thousands of games that I've played against other players in the top 50 range. If your game is as messy as JThorne described, you are misplaying it.
    Arguments from authority are not arguments. Unless your ideological space is pre-enlightenment.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #21 on: April 22, 2017, 11:41:47 am »
    +2

    Nope.
    Always entertaining to see how the dream of a smoothly running engine influences the opinion of so many Dominion players. Many games are precisely as messy as JThorne described.

    What's influencing my opinion is the experience I've accumulated in the thousands of games that I've played against other players in the top 50 range. If your game is as messy as JThorne described, you are misplaying it.
    Arguments from authority are not arguments. Unless your ideological space is pre-enlightenment.
    These snarky mumbojumbo arguments are my favorite part of FDS. Ideological space is pre-enlightenment? Yeah, well your non-confuscian triats are frankly plebian when contrasted with such apochryphal fruedisims of the mind.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #22 on: April 22, 2017, 11:57:35 am »
    0

    Arguments from authority are not arguments.

    Yes they are. Moreover, they are perfectly valid arguments as long as the expert quoted is an actual expert on the issue, such as in this case.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #23 on: April 22, 2017, 01:18:49 pm »
    +1

    Nope.
    Always entertaining to see how the dream of a smoothly running engine influences the opinion of so many Dominion players. Many games are precisely as messy as JThorne described.

    What's influencing my opinion is the experience I've accumulated in the thousands of games that I've played against other players in the top 50 range. If your game is as messy as JThorne described, you are misplaying it.
    The main problem with this argument, is that I'd prefer our Dominion paradigms to describe games that aren't just between players in the top 50 range.
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    Awaclus

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #24 on: April 22, 2017, 01:58:08 pm »
    +3

    Nope.
    Always entertaining to see how the dream of a smoothly running engine influences the opinion of so many Dominion players. Many games are precisely as messy as JThorne described.

    What's influencing my opinion is the experience I've accumulated in the thousands of games that I've played against other players in the top 50 range. If your game is as messy as JThorne described, you are misplaying it.
    The main problem with this argument, is that I'd prefer our Dominion paradigms to describe games that aren't just between players in the top 50 range.

    I don't really see why the paradigms should reflect what people actually do rather than what people should do. For instance, there was a game in which I accidentally bought a Borrow before playing my Treasures, effectively skipping a turn and giving myself the -1 card token. This doesn't mean that we should talk about the "buy Borrow before you play Treasures" strategy as if it was a thing. Similarly, just because people play "hybrid strategies" doesn't mean they are a thing.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #25 on: April 22, 2017, 02:20:17 pm »
    +2

    Nope.
    Always entertaining to see how the dream of a smoothly running engine influences the opinion of so many Dominion players. Many games are precisely as messy as JThorne described.

    What's influencing my opinion is the experience I've accumulated in the thousands of games that I've played against other players in the top 50 range. If your game is as messy as JThorne described, you are misplaying it.
    The main problem with this argument, is that I'd prefer our Dominion paradigms to describe games that aren't just between players in the top 50 range.

    I don't really see why the paradigms should reflect what people actually do rather than what people should do. For instance, there was a game in which I accidentally bought a Borrow before playing my Treasures, effectively skipping a turn and giving myself the -1 card token. This doesn't mean that we should talk about the "buy Borrow before you play Treasures" strategy as if it was a thing. Similarly, just because people play "hybrid strategies" doesn't mean they are a thing.

    In order to be a reasonably competent Dominion player, do I need to understand what the heck you guys are talking about?
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    Awaclus

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #26 on: April 22, 2017, 02:24:00 pm »
    0

    In order to be a reasonably competent Dominion player, do I need to understand what the heck you guys are talking about?

    After and including weety4's reply, the only thing you need to understand is that you shouldn't go for a "hybrid strategy".
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #27 on: April 23, 2017, 12:22:49 pm »
    0

    Quote
    If your game is as messy as JThorne described, you are misplaying it.

    This may be a shocker, but I actually agree here, with a small caveat.

    If I'm interpreting correctly, this statement is basically saying this: If you're buying village/smithy pairs, and a terminal coin/+buy card, then you're playing an engine. If you're only buying one Province a turn, then you are unequivocally doing it wrong. Either you should keep building until you can reliably draw deck and get to $16, OR you should NOT have been trying to draw deck in the first place and should just play a BM game. In BM, Villages are almost always do-nothing cards that might as well be Pearl Divers without the topdeck.

    If you're playing a BM opponent and they start buying Provinces first, if you get nervous and stop building and start singling Provinces, you're also doing it wrong and you have lost. If you stick it out and build for doubles and you still lose, then you chose the wrong strategy for the kingdom in the beginning. I totally get it. I've been both on the winning and losing side of this situation. Mostly winning.

    That's not to say I haven't played a single-province engine. In a kingdom with no buys and no gains, and especially with decent trashing, there are times when money and sifting can create an incredibly reliable engine that's more reliable than BM even if it's just singling, but that should be the plan from the beginning, not something you settle for when you realize you made a mistake.

    Anyway, the caveat, and it's going to make Awaclus roll his eyes.

    Multi-player.

    The best laid plans can go radically awry depending on what other players do, or if just one of a few opponents gets a lucky draw and grabs too many of a key card early. You may have to bail halfway through engine-building. In my experience, the most effective way to victory in multi-player is one of two things: 1. Figure out if there's an engine that can run on no more than 5 copies of any one card. 2. Pile control.

    4-player games almost always pile out, but I've certainly played deck-drawing engines that started doubling before piles emptied, forcing other players to play catch up (Thanks Donate! You're the best!) 3-player games give you more ingredients, and if one player ignores a key card, you can play that strategy like a 2-player game.

    But you have to keep your mind open to many possibilities. I just won a game where I had one opponent playing BM, one playing a Hireling engine (no, no, no a thousand times, no) and I won what basically amounted to an extremely weird rush. Procession/Lurker, with both Museum and Obelisk in play, and Lurker was the Obelisk card. You can guess how that went. One opponent was Processing Lurkers in order gain Hirelings. I was Processing Lurkers...in order to gain their lurkers from the trash. (And processing into $3 Chariot races, Processing them into more Processions, then into one of each $5...)

    In a kingdom with no decent draw, no trashing, and no +buy, I emptied piles with a final massive Lurker party, bought the last lurker, and landmarked my way to a victory over opponents with several provinces each (I bought one for the 8VP, because that's hard to pass up. That and the 5VP Duchy.)

    Also, another weird game: No +buy, no +actions, lots of terminals. I don't remember the rest of the Kingdom, but here's what I did: Banquet Catacombs, Transmogrify. Silver, Banquet two more Catacombs. On the first Catacombs play, buy a Gold. On the second, Donate all starting cards and take only one debt. Next, Transmogrify the Catacombs into a Gold and another T-Mog, buy a Province. Mat the T-Mogs. Start milling Province/buying Province. At some point I think I did a T-Mog a Catacombs into Gold/Remodel late for a Remodel Gold to Province ending. It was ridiculous fast. Game was over in close to ten turns, and I ended up with six Provinces (out of 12.)

    So, what's that? I only bought one Province at a time. It's definitely not an engine, because I never actually drew deck, but I could sure line up $8 with Catacombs pretty easily in a deck with that few cards. From my perspective, that seems like a BM strategy, but it certainly underscores the fact that BM isn't simply "buy money and a couple of terminal draw cards and then points."
    « Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 12:25:22 pm by JThorne »
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #28 on: April 23, 2017, 12:49:54 pm »
    0

    If I'm interpreting correctly, this statement is basically saying this: If you're buying village/smithy pairs, and a terminal coin/+buy card, then you're playing an engine. If you're only buying one Province a turn, then you are unequivocally doing it wrong. Either you should keep building until you can reliably draw deck and get to $16, OR you should NOT have been trying to draw deck in the first place and should just play a BM game. In BM, Villages are almost always do-nothing cards that might as well be Pearl Divers without the topdeck.

    Not exactly. Single Province engines are good a lot of the time. The statement is basically saying this: BM is a strategy that relies on buying cards that are good on their own, without any antisynergies between them. If you introduce an antisynergy (between Village and Silver), it falls apart.

    Multi-player.

     ::)
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #29 on: April 26, 2017, 04:05:58 am »
    +1

    Arguments from authority are not arguments.

    Yes they are. Moreover, they are perfectly valid arguments as long as the expert quoted is an actual expert on the issue, such as in this case.
    Nope. Do yourself a favour, jump into a time machine and get out of the Middle Ages or wherever you are intellectually stuck.

    If you are living in the modern world you evaluate arguments independently of who made them. A guy without a PhD in a particular field can nonetheless contribute to it and a Nobel price laureate can talk as much bullshit as self-proclaimed Dominion expert.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #30 on: April 26, 2017, 04:13:32 am »
    +1

    Arguments from authority are not arguments.

    Yes they are. Moreover, they are perfectly valid arguments as long as the expert quoted is an actual expert on the issue, such as in this case.
    Nope. Do yourself a favour, jump into a time machine and get out of the Middle Ages or wherever you are intellectually stuck.

    If you are living in the modern world you evaluate arguments independently of who made them. A guy without a PhD in a particular field can nonetheless contribute to it and a Nobel price laureate can talk as much bullshit as self-proclaimed Dominion expert.

    That's true. Anyone could make the argument that hybrid strategies are not a thing because Awaclus's experience playing against other top 50 players says so, and it would be a valid argument regardless of who made it.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #31 on: April 26, 2017, 04:22:27 am »
    0

    Arguments from authority are not arguments.

    Yes they are. Moreover, they are perfectly valid arguments as long as the expert quoted is an actual expert on the issue, such as in this case.
    Nope. Do yourself a favour, jump into a time machine and get out of the Middle Ages or wherever you are intellectually stuck.

    If you are living in the modern world you evaluate arguments independently of who made them. A guy without a PhD in a particular field can nonetheless contribute to it and a Nobel price laureate can talk as much bullshit as self-proclaimed Dominion expert.

    That's true. Anyone could make the argument that hybrid strategies are not a thing because Awaclus's experience playing against other top 50 players says so, and it would be a valid argument regardless of who made it.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #32 on: April 26, 2017, 06:42:10 pm »
    +1

    Arguments from authority are not arguments.

    Yes they are. Moreover, they are perfectly valid arguments as long as the expert quoted is an actual expert on the issue, such as in this case.
    Nope. Do yourself a favour, jump into a time machine and get out of the Middle Ages or wherever you are intellectually stuck.

    If you are living in the modern world you evaluate arguments independently of who made them. A guy without a PhD in a particular field can nonetheless contribute to it and a Nobel price laureate can talk as much bullshit as self-proclaimed Dominion expert.

    That's true. Anyone could make the argument that hybrid strategies are not a thing because Awaclus's experience playing against other top 50 players says so, and it would be a valid argument regardless of who made it.

    Spot on. The argument "a top 50 player said so" is an invalid argument from authority. But "a top 50 player's games have revealed that this is so" is a valid argument, and it is lent some credibility by the fact that the top 50 player in question is the one making the argument.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #33 on: April 26, 2017, 06:49:29 pm »
    +1

    Also, wow talk about Déjà vu:

    Every Kingdom is different and there are very well ample of Kingdoms in which you need some villages but don't end up with a sublime engine that draws the entire deck every turn. Typical psychological bias, we all love these games and thus forget all the mediocre games or the stuff that is somewhere between engine and BM.
    There is no stuff "somewhere between engine and BM".
    Yes there is. The density of Actions and Treasures in your deck is different in every game.  Which is e.g. why you might have some Silvers and some Action card in your deck and which is why Wandering Ministrel can be worse than Village in a particular situation.
    As I said, everybody loves sublime engines but you seem to willfully ignore those muddy games in which you have a mix of everything or in which one player goes for more Actions and tries to build up an engine while the other bought some Gold early on and is already greening.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #34 on: April 26, 2017, 07:33:55 pm »
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    There is no stuff "somewhere between engine and BM". must have won a bullshit prize somewhere in saner lands.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #35 on: April 27, 2017, 03:52:05 am »
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    There is no stuff "somewhere between engine and BM". must have won a bullshit prize somewhere in saner lands.

    It has also gotten me into the top 50.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #36 on: April 28, 2017, 07:50:18 am »
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    There is no stuff "somewhere between engine and BM". must have won a bullshit prize somewhere in saner lands.

    Why don't you think so? It seems to me that there really should be something in between.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #37 on: April 28, 2017, 08:09:14 am »
    0

    There is no stuff "somewhere between engine and BM". must have won a bullshit prize somewhere in saner lands.

    Why don't you think so? It seems to me that there really should be something in between.

    He does think so and he's wrong. The fundamental strategy types are built on very intricate rule and card interactions and they have basically nothing in common between any two strategies. By mixing them up, you throw the synergies out of the window and replace them with antisynergies and then you're basically playing "buy random terminals from the kingdom and wonder why your deck isn't doing anything" v. 2.0 instead of an actual strategy.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #38 on: April 28, 2017, 12:29:35 pm »
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    This is just begging for some edge-case discussion, though.

    Hermit/Market Square draws itself for one turn, followed by big money.
    Native Village/Bridge doesn't draw itself, until the last turn.
    Oh, and there was that one in the Game Reports forum where someone alternated between drawing deck, playing 3 goons and buying lots of copper, and the next turn buying Donate to trash all the copper.

    Awaclus, I'm curious what your take is.  Am I wrong to think of these as "hybrid" strategies?  Are they actually either BM or Engine?  Or maybe rushes or slogs or whatever?  Or are they another category that we don't need to talk about because they're rarely any good?
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #39 on: April 28, 2017, 01:02:45 pm »
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    My feeling about these unusual strategies is that it's not necessary for our dominion paradigm to account for them.  Similarly, as Awaclus said, it's not necessary to talk about strategies that are just bad.  It's fine if our strategy types neither include Counting House/Travelling Fair nor the Estate/Duchy opening.

    On the other hand, if our dominion paradigm can incidentally talk about edge cases and bad decks, why not go along with it?  We have this idea of "Big Money" because sometimes that is a good strategy, but it also incidentally allows us to talk about Big Money even when it loses handily to the engine.  Likewise, the hybrid BM/Engine is an easily accessible concept and I don't see why we should throw it out just because it seems like a bad deck in most cases.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #40 on: April 28, 2017, 04:27:21 pm »
    0

    We have this idea of "Big Money" because sometimes that is a good strategy, but it also incidentally allows us to talk about Big Money even when it loses handily to the engine.  Likewise, the hybrid BM/Engine is an easily accessible concept and I don't see why we should throw it out just because it seems like a bad deck in most cases.

    I wonder if sometimes we assume that in order for a strategy to be considered an "Engine" it HAS to not use Treasures.  But I'd argue that that's not the definition of an Engine at all. 

    First of all, "Big Money" and "Engine" are not so much rigid deck templates as they are more fluid deck archetypes which have fundamental guiding principles behind them that should inform how you build your deck.  To me, what characterizes the Engine archetype are its inter-working components: draw, +actions, trashing/sifting, +buy/gains, attacks, and payload--each Engine component is not very helpful by itself, but when put together with the other parts, it succeeds as a whole.  The cards that actually fulfill each component requirement will of course look different for every Engine depending on the kingdom, and it seems like a fruitless exercise to try and enumerate every different Engine "type" but regardless, if you're actually pursuing an archetypal Engine strategy (and not BM), it means you're trying to build a deck with each of these components. 

    One of these required components is payload, and naturally, there are sometimes games where the best payload option is indeed Treasures.  A deck constructed using Village-Smithy-Market-Moneylender-Bandit can still be considered an Engine, even if its main payload is a few Golds.  Using Treasures as payload does not make it a "hybrid strategy."

    I think what Awaclus is getting at in rejecting the existence of a "hybrid strategy" archetype, is that the Engine archetype and Big Money archetype are fundamentally different from one another, and the guiding principles behind the two archetypes directly interfere with one another and cannot mix efficiently without creating a mess of your deck.  The Big Money archetype seeks to gain money and points, which actively get in the way of the Engine archetype's pursuit of its inter-working components.  To that end at least, I agree with Awaclus: there really isn't such a thing as a "hybrid" archetype.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #41 on: April 28, 2017, 05:42:12 pm »
    +2

    This is just begging for some edge-case discussion, though.

    Hermit/Market Square draws itself for one turn, followed by big money.
    Native Village/Bridge doesn't draw itself, until the last turn.
    Oh, and there was that one in the Game Reports forum where someone alternated between drawing deck, playing 3 goons and buying lots of copper, and the next turn buying Donate to trash all the copper.

    Awaclus, I'm curious what your take is.  Am I wrong to think of these as "hybrid" strategies?  Are they actually either BM or Engine?  Or maybe rushes or slogs or whatever?  Or are they another category that we don't need to talk about because they're rarely any good?

    They're combo decks. They rely on the specific interactions between the cards that make them up.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #42 on: April 29, 2017, 02:55:20 am »
    0

    This is just begging for some edge-case discussion, though.

    Hermit/Market Square draws itself for one turn, followed by big money.
    Native Village/Bridge doesn't draw itself, until the last turn.
    Oh, and there was that one in the Game Reports forum where someone alternated between drawing deck, playing 3 goons and buying lots of copper, and the next turn buying Donate to trash all the copper.

    Awaclus, I'm curious what your take is.  Am I wrong to think of these as "hybrid" strategies?  Are they actually either BM or Engine?  Or maybe rushes or slogs or whatever?  Or are they another category that we don't need to talk about because they're rarely any good?

    They're combo decks. They rely on the specific interactions between the cards that make them up.

    That's exactly right. I've been playing around with the idea of classifying "spend the early game putting a bunch of stuff aside so that you can suddenly grab it in large quantities in the late game" as a fundamental strategy type of its own, and that would include the Native Village/Bridge deck, Duplicate and Royal Carriage based megaturn decks, coin token hoarding strategies, etc. Those decks are all based around the same principles, so it's definitely a good idea to group them together in that sense, but whether or not they're common enough that it's worth the effort is something to consider.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #43 on: April 29, 2017, 11:23:31 am »
    +8

    I think what Awaclus is getting at in rejecting the existence of a "hybrid strategy" archetype, is that the Engine archetype and Big Money archetype are fundamentally different from one another, and the guiding principles behind the two archetypes directly interfere with one another and cannot mix efficiently without creating a mess of your deck.  The Big Money archetype seeks to gain money and points, which actively get in the way of the Engine archetype's pursuit of its inter-working components.  To that end at least, I agree with Awaclus: there really isn't such a thing as a "hybrid" archetype.

    I suppose I disagree.  At least, I see a wide variety of strategies that simply "Engine" and "Big Money" fail to capture.  Consider a variety of strategies when Goons is the payload:
    • Can draw deck, available +actions: If the kingdom supports enough trashing/draw and +actions, the optimal strategy is usually to buy one Goons, get to the point where you can draw your deck, and then work towards playing as many Goons as possible while drawing your deck.  This game is most probably going to end on piles.
    • Can draw deck, no +actions: In this situation, you're likely to build as in (1), but stop once you can play one Goons while drawing your deck.  At that point, you might keep building, buying as many catrips or draw + Gold as you can.  If the kingdom doesn't have additional non-terminal +buy and bunch of cantrips, you'll eventually start buying Provinces.
    • Cannot draw deck, available +actions: Suppose either that (a) there's no trashing and insufficiently strong draw, or (b) trashing but no way to increase handsize at all.  In this situation, you'll probably want to get to a point where you're expected to play multiple Goons per turn.  You'll probably end up buying more Goons than you can realistically play in a turn.  You'll want to overinvest in villages, because you'll add consistency while getting Goons points.  At some point, you might use excess buys for Coppers.  This game might end on piles, or one or more players might dip into Provinces to make it harder for the opponent to end the game.  In situation (b) you might attempt a golden deck if the conditions are right.
    • Cannot draw deck, no +actions: Assuming Goons is the best terminal (easy assumption), you're going to buy treasures, ~3 Goons, and helpful nonterminals (e.g. Market on $5).  You'll be able to build a little longer than with most BM terminals due to Goons points, and +buy, but you will certainly be buying Provinces, and ideally more than your opponent.
    Strategy (1) is a archetypal draw-yo-deck engine with a huge payload.  In OP's terminology, this maps either to "The Control Engine" or "The Mega-Turn Engine".
    Strategy (2) is also a draw-yo-deck engine, but with a single-terminal payload.  This clearly maps to "The Control Engine" in OP's terminology.
    Strategy (3) is a messy strategy - no denying it.  It will undoubtedly combine Silver and villages.  Calling it BM seems wrong.  Calling it an engine seems dubious.  According to OP's terminology, this seems like an example of "The As-Good-As-it-Gets Engine".  I've heard it called a "Good Stuff" deck.
    Strategy (4) is a BM strategy, albeit one where you want to green later than usual.

    So, I think disagreement arises around strategies like (3).  There are a handful of cards that tend to encourage "Good Stuff" decks, IMO:
    • Tournament: Sometimes (often?) the best strategy when Tournament is on the board is to open Tournament + Silver, grab a Gold and extra Tournaments, then grab a Province ASAP.  Then, you want to discard the Province to Tournament to get a fabulous Prize.  At this point, you want to play your prize as much as possible, so thinning and draw become really important, but Province is still a great card, so the deck will probably never reach a consistent engine state.
    • Haggler: If Haggler is the best terminal, but the trashing and draw aren't super strong, you'll often be encouraged to pick up Gold + $5 engine piece in the midgame (when Gold is better than the sub-$5 options).  And without +buy, you're further encouraged to Province early, because you can pick up a Gold or $5 card along with it.  This leads to decks that just want to play some good stuff, ideally a Haggler, and then buy Province and gain more good stuff.
    • Swindler: Swindler is a good card, and you want to play a bunch of them.  But your opponent's Swindlers are going to be turning some of your stuff into treasures or extra terminals.  Because Swindler games can end quickly on piles, and Gold & Province are usually un-Swindleable, it's often correct to get Gold and Provinces early and often.  This despite the fact that you'll probably take the opportunity to get villages (especially $4 villages with no bad Swindler targets) in the hopes of playing multiple Swindlers per turn.
    • Fairgrounds/Museum: If trashing and draw aren't super strong, or if there are many terminals but no or limited +actions, Fairgrounds and Museum can encourage decks filled with cards with some antisynergies, because picking up that Jester and getting 2 VP in the midgame can be the best option, even if you wouldn't get the Jester absent Museum/Fairgrounds.
    • Archive: Archive in the absence of trashing leads to situations where you can draw through your deck, but your turns are still wildly inconsistent.  You'll end up getting redundant cards and green earlier than if you had other draw.
    And this isn't an exhaustive list.  Sometimes in Dominion, we play a messy strategy: we're trying to balance making our deck better and getting points at the same time.  And while frequent messy play is usually a sign of non-optimal play, sometimes it is the best thing to do in a kingdom.  If you disagree, let's play a cage match with one of the above cards and get some data on the issue.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #44 on: April 29, 2017, 04:12:27 pm »
    0

    I suppose I disagree.  At least, I see a wide variety of strategies that simply "Engine" and "Big Money" fail to capture.  Consider a variety of strategies when Goons is the payload:
    • Can draw deck, available +actions: If the kingdom supports enough trashing/draw and +actions, the optimal strategy is usually to buy one Goons, get to the point where you can draw your deck, and then work towards playing as many Goons as possible while drawing your deck.  This game is most probably going to end on piles.
    • Can draw deck, no +actions: In this situation, you're likely to build as in (1), but stop once you can play one Goons while drawing your deck.  At that point, you might keep building, buying as many catrips or draw + Gold as you can.  If the kingdom doesn't have additional non-terminal +buy and bunch of cantrips, you'll eventually start buying Provinces.
    • Cannot draw deck, available +actions: Suppose either that (a) there's no trashing and insufficiently strong draw, or (b) trashing but no way to increase handsize at all.  In this situation, you'll probably want to get to a point where you're expected to play multiple Goons per turn.  You'll probably end up buying more Goons than you can realistically play in a turn.  You'll want to overinvest in villages, because you'll add consistency while getting Goons points.  At some point, you might use excess buys for Coppers.  This game might end on piles, or one or more players might dip into Provinces to make it harder for the opponent to end the game.  In situation (b) you might attempt a golden deck if the conditions are right.
    • Cannot draw deck, no +actions: Assuming Goons is the best terminal (easy assumption), you're going to buy treasures, ~3 Goons, and helpful nonterminals (e.g. Market on $5).  You'll be able to build a little longer than with most BM terminals due to Goons points, and +buy, but you will certainly be buying Provinces, and ideally more than your opponent.
    Strategy (1) is a archetypal draw-yo-deck engine with a huge payload.  In OP's terminology, this maps either to "The Control Engine" or "The Mega-Turn Engine".
    Strategy (2) is also a draw-yo-deck engine, but with a single-terminal payload.  This clearly maps to "The Control Engine" in OP's terminology.
    Strategy (3) is a messy strategy - no denying it.  It will undoubtedly combine Silver and villages.  Calling it BM seems wrong.  Calling it an engine seems dubious.  According to OP's terminology, this seems like an example of "The As-Good-As-it-Gets Engine".  I've heard it called a "Good Stuff" deck.
    Strategy (4) is a BM strategy, albeit one where you want to green later than usual.

    The fundamental deck types capture all of these strategies perfectly well. 1 is an engine, 2 is an engine, 3 can be an engine or big money or a slog depending on how you play it but it can't be a combination or anything in between and 4 is big money.

    And sure, let's play a cage match. I'm probably available some time next week.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #45 on: April 29, 2017, 07:37:26 pm »
    +1

    The fundamental deck types capture all of these strategies perfectly well. 1 is an engine, 2 is an engine, 3 can be an engine or big money or a slog depending on how you play it but it can't be a combination or anything in between and 4 is big money.

    And sure, let's play a cage match. I'm probably available some time next week.

    I still don't know if we disagree about anything of substance.  Do our beliefs lead us to play the game of Dominion differently?  If not, I can't see any value in continuing the discussion.

    Do you believe that any of the strategies I described in my previous post could not be optimal strategies?

    Do you believe that it is never correct to play an enginey approach where you add payload before you draw your deck (assume that drawing one's deck is possible)?  For example: adding Gold and Province before Laboratories on a board with Tournament and weak/no trashing.

    Do you believe that it is never correct to add villages to a moneyish strategy?
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #46 on: April 30, 2017, 05:19:22 am »
    0

    The fundamental deck types capture all of these strategies perfectly well. 1 is an engine, 2 is an engine, 3 can be an engine or big money or a slog depending on how you play it but it can't be a combination or anything in between and 4 is big money.

    And sure, let's play a cage match. I'm probably available some time next week.

    I still don't know if we disagree about anything of substance.  Do our beliefs lead us to play the game of Dominion differently?  If not, I can't see any value in continuing the discussion.

    Do you believe that any of the strategies I described in my previous post could not be optimal strategies?

    Do you believe that it is never correct to play an enginey approach where you add payload before you draw your deck (assume that drawing one's deck is possible)?  For example: adding Gold and Province before Laboratories on a board with Tournament and weak/no trashing.

    Do you believe that it is never correct to add villages to a moneyish strategy?

    1) I don't know if you play Dominion differently from how I play it.

    2) They could be not optimal strategies. They could also be optimal strategies, that depends on the board and the exact way in which you execute them.

    3) No. If you were playing a solitaire game, that would be correct, but sometimes the availability of payload is very limited and you have to get it asap in order to get it at all. Tournament is one case where this is definitely true, but also Highways, Grand Markets and Peddlers tend to run out before you're done building your deck so you have to start going for them earlier than you otherwise would. There are other cases too, but those are probably the most common. This doesn't mean it's a hybrid strategy, it's just a race to get the payload at all and then you continue building the engine normally.

    4) It's not never correct, but it's very rarely correct. Fishing Village is almost as good as Silver anyway, so that's an obvious one you can definitely put in money strategies especially when there's little chance of drawing it dead. Wandering Minstrel can also be pretty good since it doesn't have as big of an antisynergy with Silvers as Village does, sometimes Border Village with a strong $5 terminal can be better than Gold, 1x Plaza over Silver is actually a slight improvement over BMU even if you never end up using the +actions for anything, etc. Basically the village needs to be on the stronger end of the spectrum and the circumstances have to be right. But for instance, something like Fishing Village/Wharf big money is actually super strong (although on that board you can probably build an even stronger engine).
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #47 on: May 04, 2017, 02:54:52 pm »
    0

    I think what Awaclus is getting at in rejecting the existence of a "hybrid strategy" archetype, is that the Engine archetype and Big Money archetype are fundamentally different from one another, and the guiding principles behind the two archetypes directly interfere with one another and cannot mix efficiently without creating a mess of your deck.  The Big Money archetype seeks to gain money and points, which actively get in the way of the Engine archetype's pursuit of its inter-working components.  To that end at least, I agree with Awaclus: there really isn't such a thing as a "hybrid" archetype.

    I suppose I disagree.  At least, I see a wide variety of strategies that simply "Engine" and "Big Money" fail to capture.
    This.

    Also: the action card density in your deck is not a binary variable, i.e. ample of games consist of a mix of Action cards and Treasure cards in your deck and fail to quality as "engine" or "big money".

    Also, some people play Dominion IRL with 3 or 4 players. Building a full engine with only 2-4 villages is not feasible, hence uncategorizable hybrid games emerge.
    « Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 02:58:20 pm by weety4 »
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    weety4

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #48 on: May 04, 2017, 03:01:40 pm »
    0

    There is no stuff "somewhere between engine and BM". must have won a bullshit prize somewhere in saner lands.

    It has also gotten me into the top 50.
    Being the best football player in the world does not imply that you can automatically talk intelligibly about the game and repeating arguments from authority doesn't make them any truer.

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #49 on: May 04, 2017, 03:16:10 pm »
    +2

    Also: the action card density in your deck is not a binary variable, i.e. ample of games consist of a mix of Action cards and Treasure cards in your deck and fail to quality as "engine" or "big money".

    Action card density isn't what determines what strategy you're playing. You can have a big money deck with 100% Action density, and that doesn't make it an engine in the slightest.

    Also, some people play Dominion IRL with 3 or 4 players.

    Some people also play Monopoly.

    Being the best football player in the world does not imply that you can automatically talk intelligibly about the game

    I don't think that word means what you think it means because having basic communicational skills does pretty much imply that you can automatically talk intelligibly about any subject regardless of whether or not you know anything about that subject. As far as being able to talk intelligently is concerned, being the best football player in the world does still imply that you can talk intelligently about playing football. In order to be the best football player in the world, you have to know how to play football, and if you know how to play football, your views on the subject are definitely a lot more credible than the views of someone who doesn't know how to play football.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #50 on: May 04, 2017, 03:32:44 pm »
    0

    Some people also play Monopoly.
    Some people live above the basement and play boardgames on an actual table, with real people.
    Some people also have some education and know that arguments from authority and not arguments.
    But some people are beyond good and evil and still living in the Dark Ages.

    Do yourself a favour, get some education and learn that arguments from authority are not actual arguments. Or remain an intellectual barbarian.

    User was temp banned for this post.
    « Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 05:49:52 pm by theory »
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    Awaclus

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #51 on: May 04, 2017, 04:06:47 pm »
    +2

    Some people also play Monopoly.
    Some people live above the basement and play boardgames on an actual table, with real people.
    Some people also have some education and know that arguments from authority and not arguments.
    But some people are beyond good and evil and still living in the Dark Ages.

    Do yourself a favour, get some education and learn that arguments from authority are not actual arguments. Or remain an intellectual barbarian.

    Oh, I see. So you have an education, and that makes you an expert at knowing what is or is not an argument.  ::)
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #52 on: May 04, 2017, 05:21:03 pm »
    +2

    Rather than responding to more weety4 nonsense, here's an interesting case study:



    This is a game between Qvist and Burning Skull.  Qvist tries a golden deck, but it transitions to a money deck under an onslaught of Embassies.  Burning Skull has a deck where the only real draw is Procession/Embassy.  What kind of deck is it?
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #53 on: May 04, 2017, 05:21:28 pm »
    +3

    Some people also play Monopoly.
    Some people live above the basement and play boardgames on an actual table, with real people.
    Some people also have some education and know that arguments from authority and not arguments.
    But some people are beyond good and evil and still living in the Dark Ages.

    Do yourself a favour, get some education and learn that arguments from authority are not actual arguments. Or remain an intellectual barbarian.

    Oh, I see. So you have an education, and that makes you an expert at knowing what is or is not an argument.  ::)
    Hey, he has an education! How dare you question him?
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #54 on: May 04, 2017, 05:30:14 pm »
    0

    Hey, he has an education! How dare you question him?
    Look, another guy from pre-enlightenment times who is fine with arguments from authority.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #55 on: May 04, 2017, 07:11:26 pm »
    +1

    Hey, he has an education! How dare you question him?
    Look, another guy from pre-enlightenment times who is fine with arguments from authority.
    Ooh! Ooh! Can I be an intellectual barbarian too?
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #56 on: May 05, 2017, 04:07:56 am »
    +5

    Hey, he has an education! How dare you question him?
    Look, another guy from pre-enlightenment times who is fine with arguments from authority.

    Actually, Faust is usually attributed to either Storm and Stress or Classicism, both of which are post-Enlightenment.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #57 on: May 05, 2017, 08:35:59 am »
    0

    Some people also play Monopoly.
    Some people live above the basement and play boardgames on an actual table, with real people.
    Some people also have some education and know that arguments from authority and not arguments.
    But some people are beyond good and evil and still living in the Dark Ages.

    Do yourself a favour, get some education and learn that arguments from authority are not actual arguments. Or remain an intellectual barbarian.

    Oh, I see. So you have an education, and that makes you an expert at knowing what is or is not an argument.  ::)

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    Loempiaverkoper

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #58 on: May 31, 2017, 05:36:50 am »
    0

    Rather than responding to more weety4 nonsense, here's an interesting case study:



    This is a game between Qvist and Burning Skull.  Qvist tries a golden deck, but it transitions to a money deck under an onslaught of Embassies.  Burning Skull has a deck where the only real draw is Procession/Embassy.  What kind of deck is it?

    First of all great game :) That golden deck was set up so fast, when I first saw it I would never expect it to fail. Really amazingly played by Burning Skull to make the comeback happen.

    But about his deck:
    It has lots of actions, draws the deck, he trashes, gets +buys and gains (which he makes use of) and goes for big turns buying multiple greens in the end. Seems like an engine to me.
    Of course it is unusual that the attacks come from a buy, but I don't see why that would make it an other archetype.
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    Awaclus

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #59 on: May 31, 2017, 08:33:51 am »
    0

    But about his deck:
    It has lots of actions, draws the deck, he trashes, gets +buys and gains (which he makes use of) and goes for big turns buying multiple greens in the end. Seems like an engine to me.
    Of course it is unusual that the attacks come from a buy, but I don't see why that would make it an other archetype.

    It's unquestionably an engine, but given the context of the thread, I would assume that the question was more about which category of engine (as proposed in the OP) would this kind of a deck count as. As I see it, that brings us back to the point that I was making, which is namely that the proposed categories represent arbitrarily chosen points on two spectra, not actual distinct groupings, because Burning Skull's engine is almost a megaturn engine but it's not quite there, making it an example of a good strategy that falls in between the categories, which is not something that happens with the usual "fundamental deck type" kind of categorization.

    In fact, Qvist's strategy is quite interesting from the point of view of the fundamental deck types. He tries to build a golden deck, but that doesn't work, and then it becomes a big money deck. What's noteworthy is that you can actually play Donate/Delve big money and even put a Bishop in there; that's a perfectly good big money strategy if there's nothing better on the board, and the practical implementations of that deck and just a Bishop golden deck have points in time where their respective deck configurations resemble one another very much and might even be identical. However, even as Burning Skull's Embassies are forcing Qvist to go for the big money route, he continues to try to play it as though it was the golden deck for a while before he gives up on that idea, which, I think, is a mistake. Instead of getting the second Bishop, I would have bought a second Gold or three Delves or a Delve and an Embassy to increase the chances of hitting $8 as often as possible.
    « Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 08:42:35 am by Awaclus »
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    Loempiaverkoper

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #60 on: May 31, 2017, 10:41:59 am »
    0


    As I see it, that brings us back to the point that I was making, which is namely that the proposed categories represent arbitrarily chosen points on two spectra, not actual distinct groupings, because Burning Skull's engine is almost a megaturn engine but it's not quite there, making it an example of a good strategy that falls in between the categories, which is not something that happens with the usual "fundamental deck type" kind of categorization.


    I think that even if the proposed deck types are just arbitrary points on a spectrum they could be of use if they are far enough apart and can help players with in game choices. I don't know if it will work that way, but it sounds like they could be helpful for me.

    Or maybe your whole argument is just that calling them decktypes is problemetic?

    The decks described in the OP do cover a lot of strategy advice for newer players. It is an important thing to learn that once your turn 9 engine is doing something to figure out where to go. First there is the reliability/payload balance and keeping control. And you also need to know if you are going for 2 province per turn buys which need overdraw or that you can save up more payload for a megaturn.

    In the case where the turn 9 deck starts adding more draw for green space or starts adding more bridges or HoPs for a megaturn, I don't see why these aren't different types of decks. And I can imagine there are kingdoms where it is unclear what route will lead to the win, thus making the pursuit of either deck a distinct strategy. (and not 'just things people play that are wrong' like you mentioned before, though that was about 'hybrids').

    But you are right that the game here is a perfect example of the deck being somewhere in between. And I agree that given a specific game it is often pointless to discuss after the fact whether it was a good-enough engine or a failed control engine. But on the other hand, given a new kingdom I think the deck-types discussed in this article give better tools to evaluate how to play it then only going as far as thinking of the fundamental types would.
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #61 on: May 31, 2017, 11:41:03 am »
    +1

    The decks described in the OP do cover a lot of strategy advice for newer players. It is an important thing to learn that once your turn 9 engine is doing something to figure out where to go. First there is the reliability/payload balance and keeping control. And you also need to know if you are going for 2 province per turn buys which need overdraw or that you can save up more payload for a megaturn.

    In the case where the turn 9 deck starts adding more draw for green space or starts adding more bridges or HoPs for a megaturn, I don't see why these aren't different types of decks. And I can imagine there are kingdoms where it is unclear what route will lead to the win, thus making the pursuit of either deck a distinct strategy. (and not 'just things people play that are wrong' like you mentioned before, though that was about 'hybrids').

    The thing is, this applies universally to all engines:

    1. Trash as much as you can. Add in the absolute minimum economy that you need for the purposes of step 2.
    2. Add more draw until you can draw your entire deck reliably or you can't add any more draw.
    3. Add payload while accommodating for it by adding more draw until you reach the point where continuing any further doesn't really improve your deck anymore or you're forced to green due to tempo concerns.
    4. Try to end the game in a win (well, you should do this as soon as you can even if you're not done with the previous points, but that is not how you're initially planning to have it work out).

    The case in which the turn 9 engine can start adding more draw to prepare for greening or adding Bridges to prepare for a megaturn is no different — if you have enough time that you aren't forced to green immediately, you add the Bridges every time, and if you don't, you don't have time to make your deck more reliable either so you just green immediately in that case and hope to get good enough draws. After that point, you repeat this exact same consideration every turn (sometimes, this might even manifest in the form of having to grab one Province to prevent your opponent from ending the game, then continuing to build as usual).

    If Bridge or other way to improve your payload beyond 1 Province/turn isn't available, you can spend some time in step 3 for just adding reliability to your deck if you have the time, and green when the returns get too diminishing, or just green as soon as you have to.

    I really can't imagine a kingdom in which you would ignore adding more payload for any reason other than the tempo concerns. The payload helps you add more components to your deck faster, so you should end up with a deck that's not only able to buy more things per turn, but is also more reliable than you would if you just added a couple of extra components in order to have room for green cards.

    As a crude example, let's say your deck is: 1x Lab, 2x Gold, 1x Silver, 1x Chapel. You have to start getting a Province every turn after two turns. You are essentially getting a 6-card hand every turn, except you only have 4 stop cards in your deck right now, so you have room for 2 more stop cards, which is not enough for all the Provinces you want to gain. You could buy a Lab this turn, another Lab next turn and then start to green — that would give you enough room for 4 Provinces (plus a 5th one that you don't need room for because you'll never draw it), but during the last shuffle, you could get screwed by having a Lab at the bottom of your shuffle. Alternatively, you could buy a Bridge this turn, a Gold and a Lab next turn and then start to buy Province+Lab turns, giving you enough room for all the green cards you ever want to buy and you will always have 1 extra room for a stop card (you could still get screwed, but it's much less likely), and on your last turn, you can buy Province+Duchy instead of Province+Lab and this takes exactly as much time as the former alternative.
    « Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 11:43:39 am by Awaclus »
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    Loempiaverkoper

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #62 on: May 31, 2017, 12:38:25 pm »
    0

    Thanks for the explanation. Makes a lot of sense. The difference I described would indeed arise through different evaluations of tempo concerns. And it is fair to argue that this is more of an in game tactical insight then it is a strategical difference of deck type.

    So the open question is then if there are deck archetypes that don't naturally arise out of your 4 point engine strategy. (and are not BM, slog or rush). (and can be optimal on a reasonable amount of boards). I wonder what ideas people have about this.

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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #63 on: May 31, 2017, 02:02:27 pm »
    0

    I thought the procession-embassy thing was interesting because it's clearly unsustainable.  Procession-Embassy nets you two cards, but removes a component and adds a junk card (Altar).  The only way to trash Altar is with Altar or Bishop, either of which decrease hand size by 2.  So, you can draw cards, but it's more like you're borrowing draw.  But practically speaking, it's the same thing, since the game ends before you ever need to pay it back.

    ETA: Oh yeah, you can trash with donate too. so...
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    Re: Refreshing the Dominion Paradigms
    « Reply #64 on: June 06, 2017, 06:01:10 pm »
    +3

    Thanks for the explanation. Makes a lot of sense. The difference I described would indeed arise through different evaluations of tempo concerns. And it is fair to argue that this is more of an in game tactical insight then it is a strategical difference of deck type.

    So the open question is then if there are deck archetypes that don't naturally arise out of your 4 point engine strategy. (and are not BM, slog or rush). (and can be optimal on a reasonable amount of boards). I wonder what ideas people have about this.

    My engine categorizations are pretty broad, so it's probably almost always going to be possible to categorize every engine in to one of the four (if, sometimes, the line being blurred on which category a deck belongs to). I could certainly see people dreaming up things that don't fit at all though.

    The main point of this article, really, was to try to introduce focus into engine play. Rather than just thinking "I'm going engine", to think more along the lines of, "I'm going engine, and this is what I anticipate this deck being capable of compared to the alternatives, and this is how I'm going to play this engine differently than that engine".

    Many experienced top players don't usually need to think along these lines as they can see a board and digest it on a more natural basis, but I think there's a lot to be learned by players who struggle to i.e. make big explosive decks work, or to choose between money strategies and weak engines, etc. And even top players can struggle with these things from time to time.
    « Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 06:04:35 pm by SettingFraming »
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