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rubikbeggar

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Annex
« on: August 24, 2017, 05:43:47 am »
0

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 »
0

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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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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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 »
0

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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Beyond Awesome

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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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Chris is me

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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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Awaclus

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Re: Annex
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2017, 11:07:58 am »
0

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

Improving enough to be worth taking a couple Debt means improving more than enough for that Debt to pay for itself in one turn. So if you're taking 2 debt and you have a $5 hand in your deck, you need to be shuffling in a $9 hand or two $8 hands worth of stuff. If you already have an $8 hand in your deck, you need to be shuffling in some crazy good stuff or otherwise you're missing out on a Province buy you would have normally had. If you don't have anything in your deck and you're shuffling in a hand, that hand needs to be $2 better than your average hand . That's a pretty significant difference.

If you're only taking 1 Debt, it's also that much easier to make it worthwhile.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2017, 11:50:22 am »
0

I think that - in the spirit of Delve - it could be just 5D and tilt our strategy towards getting more Duchies on that board.
Well, it's an Event not a pile, so it only takes a scrap of Post-It note for you to have that alternative card if you want it.

Given Donald X's stated policy that cards should only be as expensive as they need to be, I assume it got playtested, possibly extensively, at lower prices. There may be some reason why even <7> is too cheap.


I've not actually simulated how things go if you keep shuffling Copper back into your deck and leaving Estates in the discard pile, but it feels as though if you priced it all the way down at <5> it would be possible to buy a Duchy almost every single turn of the game. And if you got into a mirror, you could definitely all buy a Duchy every turn until they ran out. Is that fun?
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Re: Annex
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2017, 12:16:01 pm »
0

I think that - in the spirit of Delve - it could be just 5D and tilt our strategy towards getting more Duchies on that board.
Well, it's an Event not a pile, so it only takes a scrap of Post-It note for you to have that alternative card if you want it.

Given Donald X's stated policy that cards should only be as expensive as they need to be, I assume it got playtested, possibly extensively, at lower prices. There may be some reason why even <7> is too cheap.


I've not actually simulated how things go if you keep shuffling Copper back into your deck and leaving Estates in the discard pile, but it feels as though if you priced it all the way down at <5> it would be possible to buy a Duchy almost every single turn of the game. And if you got into a mirror, you could definitely all buy a Duchy every turn until they ran out. Is that fun?

I don't dispute that you could do this, but why would you? In the scenario you've described there's a lot of game left after that Duchy pile has been emptied and no other cards have been purchased.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2017, 03:31:59 pm »
+1

The main situation where Annex seems okay:
-I have a BM deck with 25+ cards.
-I've been greening my deck is beginning to slow down.
-I'm near the bottom of the shuffle.
-I either don't have enough money for Province/Colony, or I don't want one (e.g. if it's the penultimate province).

So I buy Annex, and keep 5 green cards out of the shuffle, plus the Duchy, plus my current hand.  So for 15+ cards I get a relatively clean deck without the weight of those provinces.  The first turn I have to pay off debt so that's kind of a wash.  But on the next turn I can buy province.  And the turn after that, either Province or Annex again.

I've also toyed around with Annex to play key actions more often but this seems not to be very good.

Even when the value of Annex is non-zero, it's pretty subtle.  I can't imagine a kingdom where I would change the overall strategy just because Annex is present.  Even if Annex cost <5>, I think it would still be marginal.

If I were to modify Annex to "fix" it, I would allow it to gain any card costing up to $5.  It'd kind of overlap with Overlord, but Overlord is awesome so I'm fine with that.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2017, 04:29:31 pm »
+2

Given Donald X's stated policy that cards should only be as expensive as they need to be, I assume it got playtested, possibly extensively, at lower prices. There may be some reason why even <7> is too cheap.

Annex was an Event from late in development. It was never tested at any other cost. It was better than the other outtake Events tested around that time, what can I say. I liked it, though it was obvious at the time it was narrow. In retrospect it would have been nice to try at a lower cost, but I didn't personally push for doing that like I did with some other cards (Plunder, etc.).
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Re: Annex
« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2017, 10:54:41 pm »
+5

Annex was an Event from late in development. It was never tested at any other cost. It was better than the other outtake Events tested around that time, what can I say. I liked it, though it was obvious at the time it was narrow. In retrospect it would have been nice to try at a lower cost, but I didn't personally push for doing that like I did with some other cards (Plunder, etc.).
The non-Duchy part was its own Event earlier, for both Adventures and Empires. I tried that effect on a Victory card in Hinterlands.

The Debt and Duchy one was only ever 8D though.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2017, 04:35:07 pm »
+2

Edge Case: In Embargo games, where Embargo tokens are often put on Province and Duchy. Annex can be used to safely gain Duchies.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 04:36:15 pm by King Leon »
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Re: Annex
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2017, 07:05:44 pm »
+1

Played a kind of sloggy engine game with Royal Carriage as the splitter and no +Buy or trashing. You'd basically play cantrips and Royal Carriages for 2-3 turns, then get a bunch of Wild Hint plays in a row off called RCs to score a bunch of bonus points and spike a Province. In this kind of game Annex proved very useful as it took several turns to get through a shuffle and you could get your RCs back on the mat very quickly this way. Plus the big payload turn would often give you more than $8 to pay off remaining Debt with.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2017, 07:30:16 am »
0

I just had a game I won thanks to Annex (bought it thrice). I don't know if it was an optimal play, but here you go:

Rebuild
Capital
Worker's Village
Trader
Scavenger
Workshop
Hermit
Apothecary
Pearl Diver
Hamlet

Game 6359903

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Wins: M87, M85, M92, M99, M107, RMM37, RMM39, RMM44, RMM45, BM24, M86, M94, M95, M100, ZM24
Losses: M88, M90, RMM38, NM8, NM9, M97, M106, RMM46, ZM23, NM10, M108
Draws: RMM40
MVPs: RMM39, RMM44
Mod/Co-mod: RMM37, M89, M93, M91, M96, RMM41, M98, M101, M102, M104, M105, M109

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Re: Annex
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2017, 07:30:38 am »
0

Actually I just needed Duchies and had no money to buy them
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Wins: M87, M85, M92, M99, M107, RMM37, RMM39, RMM44, RMM45, BM24, M86, M94, M95, M100, ZM24
Losses: M88, M90, RMM38, NM8, NM9, M97, M106, RMM46, ZM23, NM10, M108
Draws: RMM40
MVPs: RMM39, RMM44
Mod/Co-mod: RMM37, M89, M93, M91, M96, RMM41, M98, M101, M102, M104, M105, M109

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Re: Annex
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2017, 09:40:24 pm »
+4

Today, I played a game where I used Annex to gain debt to make my opponent's Possessions useless.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2017, 04:48:15 am »
+4

Today, I played a game where I used Annex to gain debt to make my opponent's Possessions useless.

Oh my, not again one of these. Possession with Debt is the worst.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2017, 10:48:18 am »
0

I have found the most useful applications of Annex are...

1. A free extra Duchy on the last turn
2. Possession guard a la Debt while also scoring, making it one of the stronger Debt protection enablers
3. A weird turn guaranteer in a sloggish deck towards the end of the game while also being towards the end of the shuffle.

I also think Annex will rise in power slightly. Surely it can be used more than it is right now (almost nothing). Currently it's viewed as a bad card-shaped thingy and it might be true, but it also might be a Rebuild/JoaT thing where the power of it isn't instantly realized.
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Re: Annex
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2017, 11:07:42 am »
0

it also might be a Rebuild/JoaT thing where the power of it isn't instantly realized.

It's not.
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