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Author Topic: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens  (Read 1297 times)

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Titandrake

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Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« on: August 29, 2017, 03:32:02 am »
+7

I've been playing a decent amount of Base-only games, and I'm surprised at how often people are messing this up.

It's okay to buy Gardens over Duchy when your deck has fewer than 30 cards. As long as your deck is 30 cards [by the end of the game, you'll break even. And on the off-chance the game turns into an endgame slog, your Gardens could tick up to 4 VP. If you know you'll hit 30 cards, buy the Gardens instead.

You judge cards not by how good they are right now, but by how much value they'll give you over the course of the game. It's easiest to get an appreciation for this by opening Monument. The 1st Monument play only gives 1 VP, which is okay but not great. By the end of the game, that Monument is usually worth 4-5 VP in money-based games and potentially more in engines.

Figuring out when to buy one card over the other is hard, but for Duchy vs Gardens it shouldn't be hard to make the right choice.

(In similar veins: it's okay to buy Silk Road before you have 12 Victory cards, and it's okay to buy Fairgrounds when they're worth 2 VP, as long as you have a plan to meet the requirements in time.)
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Witherweaver

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 01:02:49 pm »
+15

That's why I always open Gardens!
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Omastar68

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 02:22:22 pm »
+1

I see the same phenomenon a lot w/ Fairgrounds, very weird. More w/ them, cause it's so easy to make them worth 4.
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gloures

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 01:08:24 am »
+2

It does happen sometimes, though, that the one point difference between your soon to be worth 3, and futurely worth 4 Garden (after excessive Duchy/Garden dancing) is exactly the difference for your opponent, with an still reliable (but soon to crumble), engine to get the next province without worrying about Penultimate Province Rule, it's a situation I've come by quite a few time, where I really needed the points now and hadto take the Duchy, even though i knew Garden would soon be worth more ...
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Kirian

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2017, 01:31:38 am »
+2

I feel like the flip side of this is:

Unless you're pretty sure your deck will end up with 40 cards, there's no good reason to buy Gardens over Duchy, either.  I mean, if you're greening anyway, go ahead and pick up the Gardens on $4, but otherwise it's a matter of when piles will run out.

If it's a game with a crapton of +Buy and you know you'll be able to buy 12 Copper on your last turn, then by all means... but that won't be most games.
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faust

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2017, 02:48:38 am »
+2

There is definitely a flip side.

If you start greening with Gardens, you will make your deck ever worse; at some point Gardens might run out (if they don't, likely your deck doesn't get to 40 cards anyway), and then you're left with a deck that is likely unable to buy Duchies on most turns. On the other hand, if you start with Duchies and these run out, you only need to get to $4 to keep greening effectively, which is much easier.
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Awaclus

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 03:09:54 am »
+4

It does happen sometimes, though, that the one point difference between your soon to be worth 3, and futurely worth 4 Garden (after excessive Duchy/Garden dancing) is exactly the difference for your opponent, with an still reliable (but soon to crumble), engine to get the next province without worrying about Penultimate Province Rule, it's a situation I've come by quite a few time, where I really needed the points now and hadto take the Duchy, even though i knew Garden would soon be worth more ...

Yeah, this is super relevant. Usually when you buy a Duchy, you don't buy it because the extra VP will come in handy 5 turns later, you buy it because you need that extra VP immediately. Of course there are some situations (such as no +buy) where the first player to not hit $8 can gain a 2 VP Gardens instead of Duchy and it'll work out exactly the same tempo-wise, and those aren't even necessarily super rare, but they are certainly not the norm.

Tables's famous line (whose exact wording I never remember) applies here, too: the goal is not to have the most VP by the time the game is over, the goal is to be able to gain a lead and end the game while you're ahead. Duchy is usually much better than Gardens at gaining or maintaining that lead.
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Awaclus

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2017, 03:13:04 am »
0

There is definitely a flip side.

If you start greening with Gardens, you will make your deck ever worse; at some point Gardens might run out (if they don't, likely your deck doesn't get to 40 cards anyway), and then you're left with a deck that is likely unable to buy Duchies on most turns. On the other hand, if you start with Duchies and these run out, you only need to get to $4 to keep greening effectively, which is much easier.

If you buy Duchies and your opponent buys Gardens, by the time the Duchies have run out, I think you might not be able to gain any Gardens anyway because they have probably run out as well.
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Kirian

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 03:13:16 pm »
0

There is definitely a flip side.

If you start greening with Gardens, you will make your deck ever worse; at some point Gardens might run out (if they don't, likely your deck doesn't get to 40 cards anyway), and then you're left with a deck that is likely unable to buy Duchies on most turns. On the other hand, if you start with Duchies and these run out, you only need to get to $4 to keep greening effectively, which is much easier.

If you buy Duchies and your opponent buys Gardens, by the time the Duchies have run out, I think you might not be able to gain any Gardens anyway because they have probably run out as well.

If you run out the Duchies, and your opponent runs out the Gardens, and you both have between 30 and 39 cards, you both have the same score, and the game will probably end soon?
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Limetime

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 11:29:38 pm »
0

There is definitely a flip side.

If you start greening with Gardens, you will make your deck ever worse; at some point Gardens might run out (if they don't, likely your deck doesn't get to 40 cards anyway), and then you're left with a deck that is likely unable to buy Duchies on most turns. On the other hand, if you start with Duchies and these run out, you only need to get to $4 to keep greening effectively, which is much easier.

If you buy Duchies and your opponent buys Gardens, by the time the Duchies have run out, I think you might not be able to gain any Gardens anyway because they have probably run out as well.

If you run out the Duchies, and your opponent runs out the Gardens, and you both have between 30 and 39 cards, you both have the same score, and the game will probably end soon?
However your opponent may have the option to drag the game out.
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mameluke

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 11:57:22 pm »
0

I feel like this is a problem with having the VP counter on.

I especially see this with Wolf Den -- players seem to buy doubles of some cards just because they don't like to see their score go negative, even though there might be an easy way to trash those singletons sometime later in the game (or it'll be easier to buy a second copy) and having two of those cards is more harmful.
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Limetime

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2017, 10:10:54 am »
+4

I feel like this is a problem with having the VP counter on.

I especially see this with Wolf Den -- players seem to buy doubles of some cards just because they don't like to see their score go negative, even though there might be an easy way to trash those singletons sometime later in the game (or it'll be easier to buy a second copy) and having two of those cards is more harmful.
That example is a problem with people being bad
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Roadrunner7671

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2017, 11:41:13 am »
+3

I feel like this is a problem with having the VP counter on.

I especially see this with Wolf Den -- players seem to buy doubles of some cards just because they don't like to see their score go negative, even though there might be an easy way to trash those singletons sometime later in the game (or it'll be easier to buy a second copy) and having two of those cards is more harmful.
That example is a problem with people being bad
Yeah, I agree. If you get psychologically psyched out that easily, don't blame the VP counter.
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Cuzz

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2017, 01:57:04 pm »
+3

I feel like this is a problem with having the VP counter on.

I especially see this with Wolf Den -- players seem to buy doubles of some cards just because they don't like to see their score go negative, even though there might be an easy way to trash those singletons sometime later in the game (or it'll be easier to buy a second copy) and having two of those cards is more harmful.

Keep too. Always gotta go for that Silver/Humble Castle opening (replaced of course by Silver/Copper in games without Castles).
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ehunt

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2017, 04:49:50 pm »
0



Keep too. Always gotta go for that Silver/Humble Castle opening (replaced of course by Silver/Copper in games without Castles).

is that really always a bad move? you only get one crack at the Humble Castle.
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2017, 06:01:14 pm »
+2



Keep too. Always gotta go for that Silver/Humble Castle opening (replaced of course by Silver/Copper in games without Castles).

is that really always a bad move? you only get one crack at the Humble Castle.

Humble Castle seems like a pretty good investment in Keep games.
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Chappy7

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2017, 06:05:56 pm »
+1



Keep too. Always gotta go for that Silver/Humble Castle opening (replaced of course by Silver/Copper in games without Castles).

is that really always a bad move? you only get one crack at the Humble Castle.

Humble Castle seems like a pretty good investment in Keep games.

I'd buy a 6 point copper any day.  Especially since it could end up being worth up to 8 points plus the 5 from keep!
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Stop buying Duchy over Gardens
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 06:40:54 pm »
0



Keep too. Always gotta go for that Silver/Humble Castle opening (replaced of course by Silver/Copper in games without Castles).

is that really always a bad move? you only get one crack at the Humble Castle.

Humble Castle seems like a pretty good investment in Keep games.

I'd buy a 6 point copper any day.  Especially since it could end up being worth up to 8 points plus the 5 from keep!

It's really a 10-point swing in Keep points if you assume your opponent would buy it if you don't.
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