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rubikbeggar

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Annex
« on: August 24, 2017, 05:43:47 am »
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Hi everyone!
I was wondering why is Annex considered so powerful as to cost . I mean, maybe it's just me, but I can't bring myself to see it as a strong event.  :-\
So I was hoping you could talk - maybe not about why it's as strong as Donate, but about why it's as expensive.

Jack Rudd

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Re: Annex
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 05:57:46 am »
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Because stacking your deck for your next turn could easily be worth $3 by itself.
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Awaclus

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Re: Annex
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 06:25:35 am »
+7

I can't bring myself to see it as a strong event.  :-\

Because it isn't. It's mostly useful for being a free Duchy if you have an extra buy on the turn when you end the game. Otherwise, it requires very special circumstances to be barely worth it.
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rubikbeggar

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Re: Annex
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 07:19:53 am »
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Quote
it requires very special circumstances to be barely worth it.

that's what I was thinking, but what are these circumstances for example ?

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Re: Annex
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2017, 07:57:15 am »
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Quote
it requires very special circumstances to be barely worth it.

that's what I was thinking, but what are these circumstances for example ?

All of the following need to be true:

  • You need to have a thick deck
  • You need to have not drawn it last turn
  • You need to have not drawn it this turn
  • You need to have good cards in your discard pile that are significantly better than the average card left in your deck
  • You need to not have more than 5 cards that you don't want to shuffle in
  • You need to want to buy a Duchy

The problem is that if you're playing an engine, at least one out of 1-3 is pretty much always false, and if you're playing any other strategy, the odds are that 4 is always false. It's possible that you're playing some sort of a big money strategy where you have a lot of Curses or Ruins around and you just happen to draw your cards in exactly the right order at exactly the right time, but that's really the only practical example that I can think of.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Annex
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2017, 09:31:40 am »
+1

All of the following need to be true:

  • You need to have a thick deck
  • You need to have not drawn it last turn
  • You need to have not drawn it this turn
  • You need to have good cards in your discard pile that are significantly better than the average card left in your deck
  • You need to not have more than 5 cards that you don't want to shuffle in
  • You need to want to buy a Duchy

#4 and #5 don't need to be true at all. If I have $6 or $7, I'll happily buy Annex to boost my deck. That being said, it still seems very niche.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 12:25:38 pm by LastFootnote »
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Awaclus

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Re: Annex
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2017, 09:47:32 am »
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#4 and #5 don't need to be true at all. If I have $6 or $7, I'll happily buy Annex to boost my deck.

If #4 and #5 aren't true, Annex doesn't boost your deck.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 10:41:45 am »
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You can occasionally buy it with <$5 when duchy dancing.
Usually on a board with no +buy.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 11:54:51 am »
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I've found it useful for mitigating poor shuffle luck.

If you've got a good deck, but get two crappy hands in the same shuffle, you can buy Annex using the second and shuffle in all of your discards except the first crappy hand.
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Awaclus

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Re: Annex
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 12:00:30 pm »
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If you've got a good deck, but get two crappy hands in the same shuffle, you can buy Annex using the second and shuffle in all of your discards except the first crappy hand.

If you get two crappy hands in the same shuffle and buy Annex on the second, what you shuffle in is the first crappy hand.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 12:26:34 pm »
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I think in the typical big money mirror, it's correct to buy Annex once or twice.  3D to make 5 cards miss the shuffle, that's better than Expedition.  Trouble is you also make the current hand miss the shuffle, so I guess you want to buy Annex on a bad hand.

I think it would be interesting to see simulations of pure big money + Annex, to see what strategy is best.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Annex
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 12:30:04 pm »
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#4 and #5 don't need to be true at all. If I have $6 or $7, I'll happily buy Annex to boost my deck.

If #4 and #5 aren't true, Annex doesn't boost your deck.

If you would otherwise hit your next shuffle before end of game, it helps by putting off that shuffle. Even shuffling average cards in can help if you're leaving behind enough chaff. And as for #5, it's fine to have more than 5 cards you don't want to shuffle in. Let's say I have 6 Victory cards in my discard pile. I'll shuffle in one of them if it means also shuffling in a bunch of good stuff. Plus the Duchy you gain misses that shuffle as well.
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Awaclus

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Re: Annex
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 01:37:28 pm »
+1

If you would otherwise hit your next shuffle before end of game, it helps by putting off that shuffle. Even shuffling average cards in can help if you're leaving behind enough chaff. And as for #5, it's fine to have more than 5 cards you don't want to shuffle in. Let's say I have 6 Victory cards in my discard pile. I'll shuffle in one of them if it means also shuffling in a bunch of good stuff. Plus the Duchy you gain misses that shuffle as well.

It doesn't matter whether or not you're delaying that shuffle if you're shuffling in average cards. If you let that shuffle happen naturally, you still shuffle in average cards so it makes no difference. You need to be shuffling in stuff that's better than the average card on average, and if you're taking two debt for it, that difference needs to generate more than and it'd better generate it fast because you have to take the debt immediately.

As for #5, it's specifically referring to cards that you don't want to be shuffling in. If you're fine with shuffling in one card alongside a bunch of good cards, then you're fine with it. The point is that it's not good enough that you have a bunch of crappy cards and a bunch of good cards so you get to select just the good ones; you only get to filter out up to 5 crappy cards so all the remaining cards combined need to make it worth it.

3D to make 5 cards miss the shuffle, that's better than Expedition.

That's not how costs work. Annex doesn't cost for the Duchy and for the effect, it costs for the whole thing, which is worse because it forces you to get both. Normally, you would very rarely buy Duchy and Expedition for and two buys, because that's enough for a Province. Instead, you can buy Expedition when you can't get or don't want Duchy in order to reach for Province, which is something that you can't do with Annex on the contrary, Annex makes it more difficult to reach for the Province because it gives you debt that you have to deal with on your following turn.
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pacovf

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Re: Annex
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 01:54:08 pm »
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How much would you be ready to pay for Annex, in straight money or in debt, if it didn't give a Duchy? And if it gave a Province instead? Question for everybody.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2017, 02:17:51 pm »
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How much would you be ready to pay for Annex, in straight money or in debt, if it didn't give a Duchy? And if it gave a Province instead? Question for everybody.

That depends on the situation. There are times when I wouldn't want to spend a buy on it for free, and I can think of a situation where I would pay for just the effect (i.e. when you would normally buy actual Annex but the Duchies are gone).
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pacovf

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Re: Annex
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2017, 02:45:49 pm »
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ok, I will rephrase. At what cost would the median number of times that you buy it in a game be greater than one.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2017, 03:08:24 pm »
+1

Well, if Annex didn't give a Duchy, it would be better as a turn 2 buy.  Like, consider opening 5/2 on a board with a power $5.  I would often pay $2 or up to ~5 debt to guarantee that I see the power $5 on turn 3.  And there are plenty of situations while building when it would make sense to spend a turn to ensure that your next turn is great.  By giving a Duchy, Annex is relegated to a late-game card, I think. 

Though, now I'm thinking about possible golden decks with Counting House and Annex...  Like:
  • Get near the bottom of your deck.  You should have a bunch of Copper in your discard pile.
  • Play Market Square, Counting House, and treasures.
  • Buy Annex + Province, shuffle a Market Square and Counting House into your deck so that you're guaranteed to draw them next turn.
  • Rinse and repeat.  At some point, you won't be able to exclude enough cards to guarantee a Counting House draw, but hopefully you have a bunch of Provinces and Duchies at that point.

Any source of non-terminal +buy would work for this (including a village and terminal +buy).  With extra +buy, you could add more Copper while the golden cycle is active.  Squire might be one of the best supporting cards for this.  Candlestick Maker and Market Square also seem pretty good.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 03:15:16 pm by aku_chi »
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LastFootnote

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Re: Annex
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2017, 03:24:39 pm »
+1

It doesn't matter whether or not you're delaying that shuffle if you're shuffling in average cards. If you let that shuffle happen naturally, you still shuffle in average cards so it makes no difference. You need to be shuffling in stuff that's better than the average card on average, and if you're taking two debt for it, that difference needs to generate more than and it'd better generate it fast because you have to take the debt immediately.

I don't think I'm communicating well. Let's try again. Here are your claims:

4. You need to have good cards in your discard pile that are significantly better than the average card left in your deck
5. You need to not have more than 5 cards that you don't want to shuffle in

Let's say you have one card left in your deck, maybe Gold, since we're assuming a non-engine game here. And in your discard pile you have maybe 6 Victory cards, some good cards, some average cards, and some Copper. Even if I take away 5 of those Victory cards, the cards in my discard pile aren't better than the "average" card in my deck (Gold). And I have plenty more than 5 cards I'd prefer not to shuffle in. I should probably still buy an Annex rather than a Duchy if I have $5, though. It's worth 3 debt to keep 6 junk cards (the five I set aside plus the Duchy) out of my shuffle.
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Awaclus

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Re: Annex
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2017, 03:41:31 pm »
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It doesn't matter whether or not you're delaying that shuffle if you're shuffling in average cards. If you let that shuffle happen naturally, you still shuffle in average cards so it makes no difference. You need to be shuffling in stuff that's better than the average card on average, and if you're taking two debt for it, that difference needs to generate more than and it'd better generate it fast because you have to take the debt immediately.

I don't think I'm communicating well. Let's try again. Here are your claims:

4. You need to have good cards in your discard pile that are significantly better than the average card left in your deck
5. You need to not have more than 5 cards that you don't want to shuffle in

Let's say you have one card left in your deck, maybe Gold, since we're assuming a non-engine game here. And in your discard pile you have maybe 6 Victory cards, some good cards, some average cards, and some Copper. Even if I take away 5 of those Victory cards, the cards in my discard pile aren't better than the "average" card in my deck (Gold). And I have plenty more than 5 cards I'd prefer not to shuffle in. I should probably still buy an Annex rather than a Duchy if I have $5, though. It's worth 3 debt to keep 6 junk cards (the five I set aside plus the Duchy) out of my shuffle.

I don't agree that it's worth three debt in that situation, but I get your point. Let me rethink #4:

4. You need to have good cards in your discard pile that significantly improve the average turn you will take with the cards left in your deck (by at least the amount of debt tokens you're left with after this turn)

I guess #5 could also be clearer about what it means, so I'll rephrase that as well:

5. You need to not have more than 5 cards that you don't want to shuffle in for #4 to be true
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trivialknot

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Re: Annex
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2017, 03:58:25 pm »
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3D to make 5 cards miss the shuffle, that's better than Expedition.

That's not how costs work. Annex doesn't cost for the Duchy and for the effect, it costs for the whole thing, which is worse because it forces you to get both. Normally, you would very rarely buy Duchy and Expedition for and two buys, because that's enough for a Province. Instead, you can buy Expedition when you can't get or don't want Duchy in order to reach for Province, which is something that you can't do with Annex on the contrary, Annex makes it more difficult to reach for the Province because it gives you debt that you have to deal with on your following turn.
Yeah no one argues Annex is a powerhouse.  I will point out another weakness: If you make 5 cards miss the shuffle, that's +5 draw over the course of this shuffle--and presumably it's a long shuffle, if Annex is to be any good.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2017, 08:39:40 pm »
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If you've got a good deck, but get two crappy hands in the same shuffle, you can buy Annex using the second and shuffle in all of your discards except the first crappy hand.

If you get two crappy hands in the same shuffle and buy Annex on the second, what you shuffle in is the first crappy hand.
The ability to omit five cards deals with the first crappy hand; the second hasn't been discarded yet.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2017, 12:08:53 am »
+3

Dominion Strategy 101: Annex is almost never worth buying.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2017, 05:27:38 am »
+5

Dominion Strategy 101: Annex is almost never worth buying.
Which is a bit sad.
I think that - in the spirit of Delve - it could be just 5D and tilt our strategy towards getting more Duchies on that board.
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Chris is me

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Re: Annex
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2017, 09:17:20 am »
+2

The funniest thing about Empires is how Annex is 8D but Triumph is 5D. That's pretty much backwards.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2017, 09:21:01 am »
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It doesn't matter whether or not you're delaying that shuffle if you're shuffling in average cards. If you let that shuffle happen naturally, you still shuffle in average cards so it makes no difference. You need to be shuffling in stuff that's better than the average card on average, and if you're taking two debt for it, that difference needs to generate more than and it'd better generate it fast because you have to take the debt immediately.

I don't think I'm communicating well. Let's try again. Here are your claims:

4. You need to have good cards in your discard pile that are significantly better than the average card left in your deck
5. You need to not have more than 5 cards that you don't want to shuffle in

Let's say you have one card left in your deck, maybe Gold, since we're assuming a non-engine game here. And in your discard pile you have maybe 6 Victory cards, some good cards, some average cards, and some Copper. Even if I take away 5 of those Victory cards, the cards in my discard pile aren't better than the "average" card in my deck (Gold). And I have plenty more than 5 cards I'd prefer not to shuffle in. I should probably still buy an Annex rather than a Duchy if I have $5, though. It's worth 3 debt to keep 6 junk cards (the five I set aside plus the Duchy) out of my shuffle.

I don't agree that it's worth three debt in that situation, but I get your point. Let me rethink #4:

4. You need to have good cards in your discard pile that significantly improve the average turn you will take with the cards left in your deck (by at least the amount of debt tokens you're left with after this turn)

I guess #5 could also be clearer about what it means, so I'll rephrase that as well:

5. You need to not have more than 5 cards that you don't want to shuffle in for #4 to be true

5 is still trivially wrong. Really these need to be the same constraint.

New 4: Your discard pile, minus up to 5 of its worst cards, will improve the average turn you will take with the cards left in your deck.

You don't need it to "significantly improve", honestly, just improve enough to be worth taking a couple Debt vs outright buying a Duchy.
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