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Awaclus

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Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« on: September 14, 2017, 06:57:31 am »
+26

Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types

In this article, I attempt to lay down a very basic framework for generalizing Dominion strategy even further than it has previously been, which I think is necessary due to the increasing number of different types of strategies. Traditionally, unusual strategies have been called "combo" decks, but I think the term has outlived its usefulness and that we need a framework that actually helps us understand why those decks work instead of describing superficial attributes about them.

Part 1 – Obstacles

It would be convenient if you could do whatever and it would always be a functional strategy. However, this is not the case. In Dominion, there are many things that limit your ability to do whatever you want. They include:
  • Your starting deck consists of crappy cards
  • The main source of VP comes from putting crappy cards into your deck
  • You only get 5 cards and 1 buy every turn
  • You can only play one Action card every turn
  • When you buy a card, it takes a while before you even get to use it at all
  • You don’t always draw cards in the order you would like
  • In order to win, you need to be able to end the game by emptying the Provinces, Colonies or any three piles while you’re ahead

At this point, you might be thinking that all of what I just said is completely obvious, in which case you would be absolutely correct. However, you cannot dismiss the importance of these factors simply because they are obvious — on the contrary, they are obvious because of how important they are. When you are designing a strategy, you need to have a solution to each of these problems, otherwise it’s not going to work. Let’s refer to these seven points as the obstacles, because I’m going to be referring to them a lot.

For now, let’s just focus on some strategies that are already established.

Big money (also known as good stuff)

This is a fairly common strategy, because it’s available in every kingdom. It’s also extremely simple to play. Here’s how big money overcomes the obstacles:

  • You add many high-quality cards to your deck to bring the average card quality up from what it originally was (you might also trash some of the starting cards but that’s not necessary)
  • As you’re greening, you can keep adding more high-quality cards to your deck to compensate for the green cards, so that the average quality remains high enough. Also, green cards will take a while to show up because your deck is fairly big and you’re not cycling through it very fast.
  • You keep the average card quality high enough that 5 cards are enough to make the most use out of that one buy
  • The high-quality cards you add to your deck are mostly Treasures or non-terminal Actions. You can add as many terminal Actions as the rest of your deck can support without having a big risk of terminal collision or cards that are drawn dead.
  • On the other hand, when big money buys a green card, it also takes a while for that to show up. The effect is more pronounced during the greening stage due to having a larger deck, so big money actually benefits from this obstacle to an extent.
  • All the high-quality cards you buy are good on their own, have very little or no negative synergies with other cards in your deck and/or synergize with almost all the other cards in your deck, so the order in which they’re drawn doesn’t matter much — all of your hands are good anyway.
  • Your strategy is able to maintain a steady rate of gaining VP through Provinces or Colonies after a relatively short build-up, which ultimately leads to the Provinces or Colonies being depleted.

Look at how efficient that is. Buying a lot of Treasure cards is, in and of itself, a solution to five of these completely unrelated problems. The solution to greening includes slow cycling, and the solution to slow cycling includes greening. All of this just happens to result in a convenient way to get ahead and end while you’re ahead. That is why big money is a strategy that works, and may sometimes be competitive against other types of decks.

Hermit/Market Square

Hermit/Market Square is a rare strategy, because it requires Hermit and Market Square to be in the kingdom. Here are its solutions to the obstacles:

  • Your crappy starting cards are good enough for buying Hermit and Market Square, and that is all they will ever need to do
  • You do all or most of your greening in one turn so those green cards won’t be ruining your hands for the vast majority of the game. Furthermore, after pulling off the combo, your deck will be full of Golds so you’re still in a decent position to buy more green much like a big money strategy would.
  • The combo gives you your entire deck plus a bunch of Golds to your hand and a ton of buys when you pull it off.
  • One action per turn is enough to set the combo up, and the combo gives you enough actions to pull itself off.
  • Slow cycling is fine, because you don’t need the newly bought cards until the moment at which you pull off the combo, which is also the moment at which you’re able to cycle through your entire deck.
  • You have so many copies of all the relevant cards that you’re very likely to draw them in an order that you will like
  • With all of those Golds and buys, it’s very easy to gain a VP lead and end the game on the spot. If not, there’s still the big money style Plan B.

In terms of efficiency, this rivals big money (in terms of strength, it tends to surpass big money, but that’s beside the point for now) because the quite detailed way in which the combo needs to be pulled off simultaneously solves each obstacle.

As you can imagine, many other strategies that have been traditionally considered to be combo strategies have a different set of solutions. Therefore, it does not make sense to classify them as the same strategy; instead, Hermit/Market Square should be seen as an entire deck type of its own.

Two sentences about Attacks

Attacks and other interactive cards, when present, might create additional obstacles for that particular kingdom that you will need to address in addition to these seven, or they might modify the existing ones. Some solutions to the seven main obstacles will already deal with certain Attacks very easily, while others might completely fall apart.

A “Deck type” or “strategy” is an elegant answer to all of the obstacles

All the different decks with the same answers are the same type of deck. In other words, the number of Action cards you’re playing, the number of Treasure cards you’re playing, the length of the game in turns, whether or not the strategy is only enabled by a rare combination of cards being available, and all these other superficial things that some like to use for the purposes of categorization are completely useless from a strategy perspective.

Figuring out the answers that rushes, slogs and engines have, respectively, is left as an exercise to the reader because this article is long enough as it is.

Part 2 – Beyond the five types

Wandering Winder defined four types of strategy. Then he lumped the rest of them together and called them “combo” strategies, the fifth type. However, as I already mentioned in the previous part, combo decks don’t really have all that much in common with each other, which is why they shouldn't be seen as a single type of strategy. Whereas you can hurt big money decks with hand size attacks, there is no universal way to play against all combo decks.

Still, there are some useful ways to categorize those kinds of decks as well. The one fairly well established category is golden deck. These days, there are many different ways to build a golden deck, and it is a useful category because all golden decks have the same solutions to the obstacles.

Another useful category is a term I’m coining right now: the stockpile. The stockpile is a type of deck that accumulates large quantities of Reserve cards, cards on the Native Village mat, coin tokens, and/or other such resources and then it suddenly uses all of them for a megaturn. Examples of stockpiles include Native Village/Bridge, Royal Carriage/Bridge, and Duplicate/Bridge.

As the number of possible kingdoms in Dominion is limited by how many cards there are, technically there can’t be an infinite number of different deck types. The point is that even if there was, this framework should be all-encompassing. The other point is that the number can be very large, and it’s very likely much larger than we currently imagine it to be — in other words, there are deck types waiting to be discovered.

Going for unconventional strategies

If you’re thinking of going for a strategy that isn’t big money, rush, slog, engine, or another established strategy, it is a good idea to figure out how your strategy would address the obstacles. While it is also possible to stumble upon a legitimate strategy through pure trial-and-error (which is largely how many of them have been discovered), it is much easier if you can rule out some of the more ineffective ideas simply by taking a moment to consider them through.

For instance, a popular thing to build is an engine/big money hybrid, but that's one of the more ineffective ideas. Consider obstacle #6 ("You don’t always draw cards in the order you would like") in a kingdom with Village and Smithy. Like with most card synergies, Village/Smithy synergize only when drawn in the right order. The problem with playing a hybrid between big money and engine here is this: big money's solution is to avoid too many Villages/Smithies, so cards are good in any order, while engine's solution is to get lots of Villages/Smithies so they can be paired easily, especially since pairing them draws you more cards. If you play a hybrid, you'll end up having enough Villages and Smithies that the cards are no longer good in any order, but not enough that they can be paired easily, resulting in terminal collisions, Villages drawn dead, and Villages drawn without a Smithy in your hand.

However, the stockpile is a type of strategy that does actually mix quite well with many other deck types; for instance, a big money/stockpile hybrid is just as strong as pure big money. This is due to the fact that cards like Butcher and Transmogrify are reasonably strong cards on their own, so that matches up with five of the big money solutions, and the way in which they change greening gives you the best of both worlds — you can delay the negative effect of greening by having gaining power set aside for a while, and you can also keep adding good cards while you’re greening, because these things aren’t mutually exclusive.

There are also the very rare types of strategies only enabled by a specific card interaction that we don’t talk about because we still haven’t discovered them. For obvious reasons, I can’t give you an example. I also can’t really tell you how to be able to discover more of them. But what I can tell you is that the obstacles apply universally in all games of Dominion ever, so you’re going to need the elegant solution.

The parting words

With all that being said, this idea is relatively new, so it might also be incomplete. You can sort of see its evolution if you look at my posts from the past year or so; within that time, I have moved from firmly sticking with WW’s deck types (including “combo”) to claiming that hoarding coin tokens should be classified as its own strategy even though it sucks, to claiming that Native Village/Bridge is also the same strategy as the coin token hoarding strategy and that it should no longer be classified as a combo deck, to claiming that golden decks are another legitimate deck type, and now we have this.

I might be failing to see some obstacles that are actually there. I have already considered some rules of the game that kind of hinder you a little, such as not being able to look through your discard pile or not being able to see your opponent’s hand, but you can’t really fix those with deckbuilding so I don’t see a reason to treat them as obstacles.

Ultimately, I think that as the number and the complexity of card-shaped things keeps going up, we are going to see more and more of completely new types of strategies, and simply calling them all “combo” is not going to make us prepared for them. There certainly needs to be some kind of a framework that allows us to understand what made a strategy work even when it doesn’t fit our preconceived notions of how strategies should be categorized. This has been an early attempt at it.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 01:34:12 pm by Awaclus »
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faust

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 07:31:37 am »
+3

Interesting. So would you say that "engine" actually is a term that encompasses multiple similar, but not identical, strategies? For example two different kinds of engines could have the following solutions to your obstacles:

Trashing megaturn engine
  • I trash all or most of the crappy cards, leaving mostly good ones.
  • I gain most/all of the crappy cards on my final turn.
  • I acquire cards that make sure I can draw more cards and gain more cards.
  • I acquire cards that make sure I can play many Action cards (either because they're cantrips or splitter+terminal)
  • Since I draw my deck every turn, it only takes one turn to use them.
  • My deck is thin enough that I will mostly draw cards that I like.
  • When I pull the megaturn, my deck can three-pile while gaining enough VP cards to get ahead.

Sifting VP-removal engine
  • I get enough cards that can filter out the crap, and gain enough cards such that the crap only makes up a small amount of my deck.
  • I can remove the crappy cards from my deck for a while (e.g. Distant Lands), and sift through those I keep.
  • I acquire cards that make sure I can draw more cards and gain more cards.
  • I acquire cards that make sure I can play many Action cards (either because they're cantrips or splitter+terminal)
  • Since I filter through my deck every turn, it only takes one turn to use them. Also I can gain cards mid-turn to use the same turn.
  • I have enough sifters to get the cards I want in my hand.
  • I acquire a lead without slowing down, and then can either three-pile or hit the Provinces/Colonies until they run out.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 08:16:55 am »
0

Interesting. So would you say that "engine" actually is a term that encompasses multiple similar, but not identical, strategies? For example two different kinds of engines could have the following solutions to your obstacles:

Trashing megaturn engine
  • I trash all or most of the crappy cards, leaving mostly good ones.
  • I gain most/all of the crappy cards on my final turn.
  • I acquire cards that make sure I can draw more cards and gain more cards.
  • I acquire cards that make sure I can play many Action cards (either because they're cantrips or splitter+terminal)
  • Since I draw my deck every turn, it only takes one turn to use them.
  • My deck is thin enough that I will mostly draw cards that I like.
  • When I pull the megaturn, my deck can three-pile while gaining enough VP cards to get ahead.

Sifting VP-removal engine
  • I get enough cards that can filter out the crap, and gain enough cards such that the crap only makes up a small amount of my deck.
  • I can remove the crappy cards from my deck for a while (e.g. Distant Lands), and sift through those I keep.
  • I acquire cards that make sure I can draw more cards and gain more cards.
  • I acquire cards that make sure I can play many Action cards (either because they're cantrips or splitter+terminal)
  • Since I filter through my deck every turn, it only takes one turn to use them. Also I can gain cards mid-turn to use the same turn.
  • I have enough sifters to get the cards I want in my hand.
  • I acquire a lead without slowing down, and then can either three-pile or hit the Provinces/Colonies until they run out.

I guess so. What I had in mind is a generalized engine, but that's not really wrong either — for me, that makes it a little bit more difficult to see why it works because I have to abstract those descriptions a bit before it's obvious that #6 is basically buying engine components in the correct proportions while minimizing stop cards in your deck and then every other point just automatically solves itself once you have that sorted out. But I can also imagine that my way of presenting these solutions in a way that's already abstracted makes it more difficult for some people to see what you're actually supposed to do in practice.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2017, 11:50:27 am »
+2

I like this. As well as being relevant to deck-type classification, it also provides a practically useful way to assess a board.

Normally when I look at a board, the first question I ask myself is "Can I build an engine here?"

I think I could translate that question into trying to solve your obstacles, but limiting myself to a subset of solutions, the 'engine' solutions. Eg:
- For solving obstacle 1 I'm looking for (i) trashing (ii) sifting or (iii) excellent draw.
- For solving obstacle 2 I'm looking for (i) alt-VP that do useful things (ii) good economy and +buy to delay the time until I need to add VP or (iii) a way to slow down my opponent's deck, again to delay the time until I need to add VP.

So I suppose that makes 3*3=9 potential deck types already, and I've only looked at the first two obstacles, and only with 'engine' solutions. But at this stage we're not really interested in the number of deck types, and you certainly don't want to try to name them if they get generated this way.

Now your suggestion is to come at the obstacles with a more open mind. There might be new solutions to some of the obstacles, and there will almost certainly be new ways of combining existing solutions if the right cards are present on the board. That would be the interesting bit.

I'd like to spend some time considering things in this framework. But before going too far, I think the value of this framework would be affected by how well-classified the starting obstacles are.
So can I ask how much thought did you put in to your seven obstacles? Eg do you have a reason for lumping "5 cards and 1 buy" together?
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2017, 01:25:12 pm »
0

The stockpile as a deck type is a great observation. In fact, I would argue that Hermit/Market Square is a typical stockpile where the things you're piling up on are Madmen and Market Squares. However, I do agree that there are hybrides and continua between the deck types. A Hunting Party stack is an engine/money hybrid to me. I have a hard time imagining, for example, a slog/golden deck hybrid though.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 01:44:00 pm »
+1

The stockpile as a deck type is a great observation. In fact, I would argue that Hermit/Market Square is a typical stockpile where the things you're piling up on are Madmen and Market Squares. However, I do agree that there are hybrides and continua between the deck types. A Hunting Party stack is an engine/money hybrid to me. I have a hard time imagining, for example, a slog/golden deck hybrid though.

I think a hunting party stack is just a straight engine. You're not just adding as much good stuff as possible to your deck to maintain average quality. Your goal is to draw your deck each turn and play your payload, usually consisting of differently named treasures and a single non-drawing terminal action.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 01:56:41 pm »
+6

I think this is a useful article, but I think the title puts the focus in the wrong place. In my opinion, the valuable insight here is thinking about the "obstacles" and the need to determine a strategy that can address each one. I worry that your current title just encourages the latest argument about deck types and how we define them, rather than the value of your perspective
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trivialknot

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 02:01:06 pm »
+4

Where do attacks fit in?  The attack part doesn't seem to address any particular obstacle, but it seems odd to say that attacks are never a fundamental part of one's strategy.

As far as writing a blog-worthy article, I would say there are a few tweaks that could be made.  The goal of the article should be more clear at the beginning (IMO the goal is to better describe deck types instead than throwing all the unusual decks into a "combo" category).  There are a bunch of ideas mentioned that you don't really explain, which you could probably find links for (especially the hermit/market square deck, the golden deck, native village/bridge, and WW's strategy classification).  Also, I don't exactly follow the argument against a BM/engine hybrid, and that's when I have already heard you say the same stuff before.  Most readers wouldn't have any idea what you're talking about.

Anyway, good article.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2017, 02:08:54 pm »
+4

I like this. As well as being relevant to deck-type classification, it also provides a practically useful way to assess a board.

Normally when I look at a board, the first question I ask myself is "Can I build an engine here?"

I think I could translate that question into trying to solve your obstacles, but limiting myself to a subset of solutions, the 'engine' solutions. Eg:
- For solving obstacle 1 I'm looking for (i) trashing (ii) sifting or (iii) excellent draw.
- For solving obstacle 2 I'm looking for (i) alt-VP that do useful things (ii) good economy and +buy to delay the time until I need to add VP or (iii) a way to slow down my opponent's deck, again to delay the time until I need to add VP.

So I suppose that makes 3*3=9 potential deck types already, and I've only looked at the first two obstacles, and only with 'engine' solutions. But at this stage we're not really interested in the number of deck types, and you certainly don't want to try to name them if they get generated this way.

Now your suggestion is to come at the obstacles with a more open mind. There might be new solutions to some of the obstacles, and there will almost certainly be new ways of combining existing solutions if the right cards are present on the board. That would be the interesting bit.

I'd like to spend some time considering things in this framework. But before going too far, I think the value of this framework would be affected by how well-classified the starting obstacles are.
So can I ask how much thought did you put in to your seven obstacles? Eg do you have a reason for lumping "5 cards and 1 buy" together?

I second thinking about this.  It would be interesting to try to think of all the ways to solve all of the obstacles, and that could help when playing as well.

Also, Awaclus, you either missed or purposefully omitted obstacle 4 when discussing Hermit/Market Square, and it confused me a lot when reading.  If you meant to omit it, maybe you could say so?  Or number your obstacles?
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 02:21:28 pm »
+6

Where do attacks fit in?  The attack part doesn't seem to address any particular obstacle, but it seems odd to say that attacks are never a fundamental part of one's strategy.

Thinking about deck building under the framework of obstacles is interesting.  Awaclus presents obstacles that are in every game of Dominion.  I think attacks can be framed as potential obstacles in the kingdoms they appear in.  For example, when Militia is in the kingdom, there's an additional obstacle that, on any given turn, you may need to discard down to 3 cards.  When Witch is in the kingdom, there's an additional obstacle that you might get as many as 10 Curses added you your deck.  Etc...  And playing attacks of your own imposes obstacles on your opponent.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2017, 02:33:19 pm »
+1

Where do attacks fit in?  The attack part doesn't seem to address any particular obstacle, but it seems odd to say that attacks are never a fundamental part of one's strategy.

I think they fit into the while you're ahead portion of the last obstacle. Slowing down your opponent is a means to achieving this in addition to accumulating VP in your own deck.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2017, 06:21:00 pm »
0

So can I ask how much thought did you put in to your seven obstacles? Eg do you have a reason for lumping "5 cards and 1 buy" together?

I put months of thought into figuring out what all the core obstacles are, but I put maybe 15 minutes of thought into coming up with these exact seven. I lumped 5 cards and 1 buy together because those are the "free resources" you get every turn that fairly directly correlate with your buying power that turn, and also because I couldn't think of a reason why it makes any practical difference whether or not they are grouped together so I did, in order to save some space.

Where do attacks fit in?  The attack part doesn't seem to address any particular obstacle, but it seems odd to say that attacks are never a fundamental part of one's strategy.

Well, for example, Swamp Hag is a good card so you want it in a big money strategy. For engines, you want payload, and attack cards are that. They are just some potential ways of implementing the solutions in practice, but you can also very easily build both types of decks without any attacks.

As far as writing a blog-worthy article, I would say there are a few tweaks that could be made.  The goal of the article should be more clear at the beginning (IMO the goal is to better describe deck types instead than throwing all the unusual decks into a "combo" category).  There are a bunch of ideas mentioned that you don't really explain, which you could probably find links for (especially the hermit/market square deck, the golden deck, native village/bridge, and WW's strategy classification).  Also, I don't exactly follow the argument against a BM/engine hybrid, and that's when I have already heard you say the same stuff before.  Most readers wouldn't have any idea what you're talking about.

Thanks for the feedback! I actually couldn't find a link for the golden deck, but I tried to modify the article to address the other things you brought up.

Also, Awaclus, you either missed or purposefully omitted obstacle 4 when discussing Hermit/Market Square, and it confused me a lot when reading.  If you meant to omit it, maybe you could say so?  Or number your obstacles?

That was a mistake. Fixed and numbered the obstacles.

Thinking about deck building under the framework of obstacles is interesting.  Awaclus presents obstacles that are in every game of Dominion.  I think attacks can be framed as potential obstacles in the kingdoms they appear in.  For example, when Militia is in the kingdom, there's an additional obstacle that, on any given turn, you may need to discard down to 3 cards.  When Witch is in the kingdom, there's an additional obstacle that you might get as many as 10 Curses added you your deck.  Etc...  And playing attacks of your own imposes obstacles on your opponent.

This is a good point.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2017, 07:34:21 pm »
+1

I don't understand how this article and the opinions expressed in it is congruent with the extremely rigid and strict definitions you hold for terms like engine, combo, rush, etc. and your insistence that you have to understand and use the terms exactly as you do to play dominion - and that the terms perfectly describe exactly how to play all strategies that fall under their umbrellas. This seems like a big departure from that.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2017, 07:56:36 pm »
0

I don't understand how this article and the opinions expressed in it is congruent with the extremely rigid and strict definitions you hold for terms like engine, combo, rush, etc. and your insistence that you have to understand and use the terms exactly as you do to play dominion - and that the terms perfectly describe exactly how to play all strategies that fall under their umbrellas. This seems like a big departure from that.

I don't hold a definition for combo. Engines and rushes are rigidly and strictly defined through how they overcome the obstacles in a way that perfectly describes exactly how to play all engines and rushes, respectively.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2017, 01:51:38 am »
+5

What does Rush mean? In what context? Is a Rush something that ends the game very quickly, or faster than engine building can pay off? What is a slog? In what context? WanderingWinder himself says in his prized article “The 4 Deck Types” in the opening paragraphs that it is hard to contain deck types into one specific type, and that some strategies bleed into one another. For example, WanderingWinder played Big Money in a certain framework. The question in his mind was whether the engine could get going in time before Big Money piles Provinces. In that sense, Big Money could be considered a Rush, albeit a slower one.

So the entire concept of Big Money can be instantly dropped, just like that. All of Big Money is a Rush of sorts, in the engine-centric view. And to those who protest, why shouldn’t Dominion be considered in an engine-centric light? Rushes and Slogs and Big Money are now the exception, not the norm. Engines dominate the meta playing field.

But wait, there’s more trouble. Rushes can also be considered Engines in a certain framework. What is an engine, but playing a bunch of Action cards for a bigger benefit? For example, there is playing the Lurker Hunting Grounds rush. That’s a bunch of Actions being played a turn with a big benefit of ending the game incredibly quickly with a massive points lead for the amount of turns allotted.

We’re not done yet. There’s more! Lurker and Hunting Grounds can also be considered a Combo Deck! It is a specific interaction between two cards within the rules of the game that doesn’t happen otherwise! No other card in the game trashes from the Supply in the way that Lurker does. And to those who say all Combo decks are engines, what about Scavenger Stash Big Money? That’s a specific rules interaction, and there’s only one Action card played a turn. Unless you’re willing to call standard Smithy Big Money an engine, I don’t think that’s going to work.

And what the heck is a Slog? Funnily enough, Wandering Winder isn’t entirely sure himself in his articles. He has some tips for you to know if you’re in a slog, such as the trends of buying Duchies often, or Alt-VP, or prevalent Copper in your deck. Essentially, a junked up deck of sorts, either by VP, bad cards, or both. He also stipulates that a Slog is a hybrid between a Rush and Big Money, which is not all that helpful given all of the ambiguity.

And does all of this thinking really help people play Dominion better? I think it does to a certain extent. However, I think most of the top players have outgrown the entire thought system without even realizing it. Allow me to demonstrate.

What is the goal of the game? The goal of the game is to win, which involves finding the best strategy on any given board. The purpose of cataloguing deck types is to organize, and organizing streamlines the thinking process when analyzing the board, leading to better decision making processes. But does the 4 Deck Types actually help?

In order for a system to work well, it needs to be able to classify strategies quickly and efficiently, such as:

-Lurker/Possession
-Rebuild/Mountain Pass
-Goons games
-Games with Cultist/Mountebank but also an engine
-Donate with Wall and Big Money
-A fast engine that gains one province a turn but never uses money
-A slow engine with an attack and one buy
-Bishop Golden decks (true Golden decks) and pseudo Golden decks (decks that effectively do the same thing but on a much larger scale)
-A Lurker/Catacombs/Silk Road Rush
-Duchy/Duke with Cursing
-Baths Rush
-Pin decks
-Hermit/Market Square
-Native Village Bridge
-Mass Merchant Guild Token Engines

What is in common with these? Interactions between cards on a board. Are the interactions between Smithy and Silver stronger than the interactions between Minion and Hermit? The world may never know. This is a far more helpful way of thinking about Kingdoms. There are so many kinds of strategies and hybrids of strategies, and it’s hard to call something one thing or another. Quite often, something falls into two or even three types of decks! That seems more likely to create confusion than help a player.

Wandering Winder’s advice has been accepted in general today because it has been in the past. It was more correct than no answer at all. But now, it is largely useless advice. It is very difficult to define many Dominion deck types, and it doesn’t help much with winning anymore. As Awaclus has said, calling every new type of strategy a “combo” isn’t going to be terribly useful. But I stipulate that calling things Stockpile or Golden Deck isn’t very helpful either.

Dominion is essentially the progressive dream. You can’t put it into a box. There’s always some exception that spits in your face. That is why I think this conversation is ultimately pointless to pursue. I like defining things, and I have tried forever and a day to fit deck types into categories. Such a pursuit is only useful in terms of what to call things, and vague terms already work just fine. After all, we’ve been using them for ages. When I call Big Money a rush, you might object but you still get what I’m talking about, because it’s dependent on the board being seen. It’s vaguely correct. There’s a collection of stereotyped descriptors for certain words, like thinking of a river as wet, or of a woman as a nurse or of Donald X. as a bullfighter. The stereotypes in Dominion work because they are fuzzily and collectively correct, but they are not a fantastic way to analyze a board.

Anyways, the point of all of this writing is to say, streamlining isn’t going to improve by contemplating absurdities such as precise definitions, which will never come to fruition. The only important thing is interactions between cards on any given board.

The main thing I would say is the most helpful with new players with the 4 Deck types is that it helps players look at boards that are not engine and go for the better strategies that involve driving Provinces down before the dude stops buying nothing but Villages. Past that, I don't see a reason to ever encourage much discussion about the 4 deck types, or any iterations of it.

If you want a definition of an engine, I have one for you, and it's essentially what it means anyways, despite feeling a little weird about calling Scavenger Stash an engine: Engines are decks of stronger interaction. I don't think Actions are necessary to call something an engine, and it's mainly because Action cards are what you play that they happen to be engines, not the other way around.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 01:57:01 am by Seprix »
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Dylan32

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2017, 02:40:02 am »
+5

I thought this article was pretty interesting. Seprix has a good point, that new terminology or classification probably isn't going to be really useful for the top players, but like he said, WW's original deck type article was designed to help newer players evaluate boards differently in order to help them make better decisions about what type of deck they should try to build on any given kingdom.  This article does the same thing in a way by describing the obstacles that you have to overcome and helping newer players think through what exactly different strategies will do to overcome them, instead of just thinking in terms of "Are there cards that will let me build an engine here or not?"  I think focusing too much on Awaclus's specific classifications misses the most valuable part of the article, imho.

Having said that, I do like his classification of the stockpile in particular. After reading the 4 Deck Types, I thought about decks like native village/bridge in terms of combos of specific cards, and it took way longer than it could have to realize there were quite a few different ways of accomplishing basically the same type of thing using several different cards. Especially with the possibility of new expansions introducing even more ways of building stockpiles, I believe thinking of these decks in terms of a new category rather than the specific combos would be pretty helpful for growing players.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2017, 05:02:15 am »
+3

What does Rush mean?

Rush is a deck that uses cards like Workshop or Rebuild to circumvent building at all.

What is a slog?

Slog is a deck that utilizes the opening Coppers to start greening faster to prevent the opponent from being able to win.

So the entire concept of Big Money can be instantly dropped, just like that.

It can't be dropped. There are the obstacles, big money is a solution.

All of Big Money is a Rush of sorts, in the engine-centric view. And to those who protest, why shouldn’t Dominion be considered in an engine-centric light? Rushes and Slogs and Big Money are now the exception, not the norm. Engines dominate the meta playing field.

That has to do with Who's the Beatdown, not with deck types.

But wait, there’s more trouble. Rushes can also be considered Engines in a certain framework. What is an engine, but playing a bunch of Action cards for a bigger benefit? For example, there is playing the Lurker Hunting Grounds rush. That’s a bunch of Actions being played a turn with a big benefit of ending the game incredibly quickly with a massive points lead for the amount of turns allotted.

Engine is this. It's completely unhelpful to categorize Lurker/Hunting Grounds as an engine deck just because you play 2-3 Action cards in a turn. You don't build at all, you don't draw your deck at all, you just green immediately after you're done gaining the Lurkers. As I already said in the article, what you are doing superficially doesn't matter.

We’re not done yet. There’s more! Lurker and Hunting Grounds can also be considered a Combo Deck! It is a specific interaction between two cards within the rules of the game that doesn’t happen otherwise! No other card in the game trashes from the Supply in the way that Lurker does. And to those who say all Combo decks are engines, what about Scavenger Stash Big Money? That’s a specific rules interaction, and there’s only one Action card played a turn. Unless you’re willing to call standard Smithy Big Money an engine, I don’t think that’s going to work.

As I already said in the article, combo deck is a useless definition because what you are doing superficially doesn't matter.

And what the heck is a Slog?

I already explained this.

But I stipulate that calling things Stockpile or Golden Deck isn’t very helpful either.

It is as helpful as these strategies are common. You play all stockpiles the same because they are all the same strategy, and the same is true for golden decks. Out of a few hundred games, you are probably going to see at least one instance of both, so I'd say that it's worth knowing about them.

When I call Big Money a rush, you might object but you still get what I’m talking about, because it’s dependent on the board being seen. It’s vaguely correct.

Yes, I am perfectly aware that you are using deck type terminology to describe the concepts of beatdown and control, which is why I get what you're talking about, but that doesn't mean that using deck type terminology when you're talking about beatdown and control is going to be very helpful in the grand Scheme of things.

There’s a collection of stereotyped descriptors for certain words, like thinking of a river as wet, or of a woman as a nurse or of Donald X. as a bullfighter. The stereotypes in Dominion work because they are fuzzily and collectively correct, but they are not a fantastic way to analyze a board.

They are nowhere near enough to analyze a board on their own, but nobody has ever said that they were supposed to be. They do help, however, by being a way to abstract the board.

If you want a definition of an engine, I have one for you, and it's essentially what it means anyways, despite feeling a little weird about calling Scavenger Stash an engine: Engines are decks of stronger interaction.

All decks are decks of stronger interaction. Scavenger/Stash is an interaction between two kingdom cards, Rebuild is an interaction between Rebuild and the starting deck and the basic supply cards.

Águia Branca

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2017, 09:23:12 am »
+1

To be fair, if you strictly separate between decktypes and the beatdown/control issue, you may as well kill the rush. It's junky, it cycles slowly, it doesn't buy Provinces/Colonies, it profits from (some) alt-VP. The only thing that separates it from the slog is that it aims to be the beatdown.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2017, 09:54:16 am »
0

To be fair, if you strictly separate between decktypes and the beatdown/control issue, you may as well kill the rush. It's junky, it cycles slowly, it doesn't buy Provinces/Colonies, it profits from (some) alt-VP. The only thing that separates it from the slog is that it aims to be the beatdown.

That's not true, because being junky, cycling slowly, not buying Provinces/Colonies and profiting from alt-VP aren't the answers to any obstacles, they are superficial attributes of a few rush decks (but not most of them, since almost all viable rushes involve Rebuild somehow, and that deck cycles fast, gains Provinces and doesn't require alt-VP to be present). Rushes' solutions are largely based on transcending the concept of having a good deck and having a good hand with cards like Rebuild, Ironworks+Gardens, Lurker+Hunting Grounds, etc, that allow you to play good enough turns with super awful hands.

If anything, slog is closer to big money. The differences between big money and slog are that while both build the deck, the slog only builds it slightly better or roughly as good as its initial state, and the slog doesn't try to empty Provinces, it tries to have more points than the opponent at all times. They have the same solution for all the other obstacles.

Águia Branca

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2017, 12:28:01 pm »
+1

Rush is a deck that uses cards like Workshop or Rebuild to circumvent building at all.
I disagree. The rush does build, just less than the typical slog. There is no way to go for green starting turn one.
...being junky, cycling slowly, not buying Provinces/Colonies and profiting from alt-VP aren't the answers to any obstacles, they are superficial attributes of a few rush decks (but not most of them, since almost all viable rushes involve Rebuild somehow, and that deck cycles fast, gains Provinces and doesn't require alt-VP to be present).
Of course there are exceptions. It just so happens that Rebuild is a rather powerful (and stupid) one. I would still call Rebuild a fast slog (aka rush), since it relies on drawing key action cards, doesn't strive to do so by increasing its handsize and only needs enough economy to get to its key cards (Rebuild, Estate, sometimes Duchy).
I made the mistake of not referring to the obstacles, but to me, both rush and slog have roughly this approach:

  • You add a few key cards into your deck that allow you to buy or gain the VP you're going for. These might be gainers, terminals like Baron, or cards like Rebuild.
  • The green and other junk will dilute your deck, but this is often mitigated by cycling slowly to delay the effect (except with Rebuild, where the strong cycling incentivizes you to build slightly longer and buy even more Rebuilds). You may only need one or two of the aforementioned cards per hand to have a decent turn. Otherwise you may buy additional coppers to maintain your economy.
  • You don't really need more than five cards. After building, you use your key cards to buy or gain VP. A bigger handsize would often just lead to collision or unused money.
  • You are often perfectly content playing one terminal per turn. In other instances your key actions may be non-terminal or there are villages with low opportunity cost. You often use gainers or cards that give additional buys if you need them.
  • You only build for a few turns before diving for green. You will see your key cards just as often as other deck types early on. Later you don't even want to see the cards you buy. You may get a sifter if you anticipate to have a very junky deck.
  • You just put up with that. You have enough copies of your key cards to not be hurt too badly by them sometimes colliding or drawing them at an inopportune moment.
  • You put yourself in a VP lead early on. You either sustain that lead until you reached 50 % or you go for a three pile ending, usually on mostly VP piles.

If anything, slog is closer to big money. The differences between big money and slog are that while both build the deck, the slog only builds it slightly better or roughly as good as its initial state, and the slog doesn't try to empty Provinces, it tries to have more points than the opponent at all times. They have the same solution for all the other obstacles.
I do agree that slogs and money can be somewhat similar. Mostly because they have little control over their deck, their opponents and piles compared to engines. The main difference is really just that money decks rely on economy from treasure cards, while slogs need key action cards to have a decent turn. Embassy decks can be somewhat sloggy, sometimes just skipping gold, while Philstone or Counting House slogs may feel like money.

Rushes' solutions are largely based on transcending the concept of having a good deck and having a good hand with cards like Rebuild, Ironworks+Gardens, Lurker+Hunting Grounds, etc, that allow you to play good enough turns with super awful hands.
Well, turns out that a hand with two Lurkers and three Duchies is not so awful if there is Hunting Grounds on the board and the Duchy pile is empty on turn 9. While it would be bad to have that hand (or that deck) on most boards, it's absolutely great here. I don't think economy should be used as the primary criterion to judge a deck.

I appreciate that the obstacles offer a perspective different from the established "superficial attributes". However, like infangthief, I disagree strongly with lumping handsize and buys together as one obstacle. As faust pointed out, different subtypes of engine may deal with the obstacles in different ways. And according to yourself, money and slog are similar in terms of obstacle solutions. Therefore it's hard for me to see these obstacles as the ultimate deck type definition.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2017, 02:27:29 pm »
0

  • You add a few key cards into your deck that allow you to buy or gain the VP you're going for. These might be gainers, terminals like Baron, or cards like Rebuild.
  • The green and other junk will dilute your deck, but this is often mitigated by cycling slowly to delay the effect (except with Rebuild, where the strong cycling incentivizes you to build slightly longer and buy even more Rebuilds). You may only need one or two of the aforementioned cards per hand to have a decent turn. Otherwise you may buy additional coppers to maintain your economy.
  • You don't really need more than five cards. After building, you use your key cards to buy or gain VP. A bigger handsize would often just lead to collision or unused money.
  • You are often perfectly content playing one terminal per turn. In other instances your key actions may be non-terminal or there are villages with low opportunity cost. You often use gainers or cards that give additional buys if you need them.
  • You only build for a few turns before diving for green. You will see your key cards just as often as other deck types early on. Later you don't even want to see the cards you buy. You may get a sifter if you anticipate to have a very junky deck.
  • You just put up with that. You have enough copies of your key cards to not be hurt too badly by them sometimes colliding or drawing them at an inopportune moment.
  • You put yourself in a VP lead early on. You either sustain that lead until you reached 50 % or you go for a three pile ending, usually on mostly VP piles.

This doesn't describe a slog at all. It doesn't quite describe a rush either.

Slogs don't rely on key cards, slogs rely on consistency of the economy. You can definitely use gainers like Beggar and Jack of all Trades to gain Treasure cards in slogs, but slogs don't generally use gainers for the VP cards. The main way in which slogs overcome the greening obstacle is by adding more economy to balance it out; the slow cycling doesn't help as much as it does for big money because you start greening very early, at which point you're still cycling relatively fast, but it's still a minor factor as well. Villages in slogs is generally a terrible idea — just like in big money, your good cards need to be good cards on their own. Slogs keep building for the entire duration of the game; they have to, because the game might take an incredibly long time to end, and they still have to be perfectly capable of buying more VP by the time it does.

Rushes, on the other hand, do rely on key cards. But they don't keep their cycling slow to mitigate the green and other junk, they simply don't care about the green and other junk as much because they have their key cards and that's good enough.

There are also some other problems with this description. The obvious problem is the part in parentheses. If Rebuild's way of dealing with green was different from all the other rush decks (it isn't), it would be a different strategy. Which is also why I'm calling slog and big money different strategies even though they have 5/7 solutions in common (and you could argue that the part about building is different in degree, but not in kind, making it 6/7 in common).

The other problem is this. I'll cross out all the things that were already covered by a previous solution to a previous obstacle, or will also cover a later solution to a later obstacle.

  • You add a few key cards into your deck that allow you to buy or gain the VP you're going for. These might be gainers, terminals like Baron, or cards like Rebuild.
  • The green and other junk will dilute your deck, but this is often mitigated by cycling slowly to delay the effect (except with Rebuild, where the strong cycling incentivizes you to build slightly longer and buy even more Rebuilds). You may only need one or two of the aforementioned cards per hand to have a decent turn. Otherwise you may buy additional coppers to maintain your economy.
  • You don't really need more than five cards. After building, you use your key cards to buy or gain VP. A bigger handsize would often just lead to collision or unused money.
  • You are often perfectly content playing one terminal per turn. In other instances your key actions may be non-terminal or there are villages with low opportunity cost. You often use gainers or cards that give additional buys if you need them.
  • You only build for a few turns before diving for green. You will see your key cards just as often as other deck types early on. Later you don't even want to see the cards you buy. You may get a sifter if you anticipate to have a very junky deck.
  • You just put up with that. You have enough copies of your key cards to not be hurt too badly by them sometimes colliding or drawing them at an inopportune moment.
  • You put yourself in a VP lead early on. You either sustain that lead until you reached 50 % or you go for a three pile ending, usually on mostly VP piles.

There's quite a bit of stuff there that wasn't crossed out. If you compare it with the big money and Hermit/MS descriptions from the article or faust's engine descriptions from the first reply, you'll see that those would have none. Like I said, for engines, you solve #6 and that solution to #6 automatically solves everything else. For Hermit/MS, the combo automatically solves all obstacles. For big money, two of the obstacles solve each other and then the solution to #1 solves everything else.

Here, I'm able to see a similar connection between all of the things that actually do describe rush strategies, but the parts that I didn't cross out don't seem to follow from anything else in the description, which makes it less of a strategy and more of a "do arbitrary stuff" thing.

I do agree that slogs and money can be somewhat similar. Mostly because they have little control over their deck, their opponents and piles compared to engines. The main difference is really just that money decks rely on economy from treasure cards, while slogs need key action cards to have a decent turn. Embassy decks can be somewhat sloggy, sometimes just skipping gold, while Philstone or Counting House slogs may feel like money.

Both money decks and slogs rely on economy from treasure cards. The difference comes from greening strategy and the extent to which the building part involves being fine with the starting deck. I guess you can use Embassy for slog decks too, but Embassy/BM is definitely not a slog, it's BM. I don't know what you mean by "Philstone or Counting House slogs"; I can't think of any slog where I'd use either card.

Well, turns out that a hand with two Lurkers and three Duchies is not so awful if there is Hunting Grounds on the board and the Duchy pile is empty on turn 9. While it would be bad to have that hand (or that deck) on most boards, it's absolutely great here. I don't think economy should be used as the primary criterion to judge a deck.

It would be a bad hand and a bad deck to have for most strategies, not just most boards.

Economy is not the primary criterion to judge a deck. The obstacles are.

However, like infangthief, I disagree strongly with lumping handsize and buys together as one obstacle. As faust pointed out, different subtypes of engine may deal with the obstacles in different ways. And according to yourself, money and slog are similar in terms of obstacle solutions. Therefore it's hard for me to see these obstacles as the ultimate deck type definition.

Asking me whether or not I have a reason is not the same as disagreeing strongly with my decision. As it turned out, I did have a reason that I already explained and you apparently don't have a reason why you disagree with it, so somehow I'm not entirely convinced that the decision was wrong.

As I noted in response to faust, faust is abstracting differently than I am. The way he does it, he ends up with multiple different types of engines while I don't, but that's fine because it doesn't change the facts, it just changes the level of abstraction. If anything, I would say that if you prefer to think in less abstracted terms, you shouldn't be thinking of all engines as the same thing, and if my method reveals that, then I'd call it a success, not a failure.

According to myself, money and slog are similar but not the same in terms of obstacle solutions.

What do you think is the ultimate deck type definition? Keep in mind that it should be able to encompass future deck types that we haven't figured out yet.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2017, 05:17:21 pm »
+1

I don't know what you mean by "Philstone or Counting House slogs"; I can't think of any slog where I'd use either card.

Is the Herbalist / Philosopher's Stone strategy not a slog? Use Herbalists' +Buy to bloat your deck, and top-deck your Potion so you can buy multiple Philosopher's Stones; then once your deck is big enough that you can buy Provinces whenever you draw a Philosopher's Stone, use Herbalist to top-deck your Philosopher's Stones.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2017, 09:43:58 pm »
0

I don't know what you mean by "Philstone or Counting House slogs"; I can't think of any slog where I'd use either card.

Is the Herbalist / Philosopher's Stone strategy not a slog? Use Herbalists' +Buy to bloat your deck, and top-deck your Potion so you can buy multiple Philosopher's Stones; then once your deck is big enough that you can buy Provinces whenever you draw a Philosopher's Stone, use Herbalist to top-deck your Philosopher's Stones.

I think you just answered your own question. There's no other deck that does that, therefore it's a unique strategy.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2017, 04:32:57 pm »
+2

Maybe I'm oversimplifying/thinking of this incorrectly, but I tend to think of the traditional deck types as being on a 2d spectrum, similar to these now common charts people use to discuss political views.

One can have different combinations of the 4 (ignoring the ever-vague "combo") deck types, but you wouldn't really say that your deck is both a Rush and a Slog, nor would you say you have a Big Money and Engine deck. You might say that your deck is inbetween a Rush and a Slog, but it seems reasonable that those two ideas are inversely related, the same way BM and Engine are. Increasing how much your deck is a Rush decreases how much it's a Slog.

So, my Cache/Gardens strategy is a Big Money Slog, whereas maybe a more traditional Gardens game is pretty evenly BM/Engine, but is still a Slog. Going for just straight Chapel and Golds would be a BM Rush, whereas something like a Bridge Megaturn deck might be a Rush Engine. A "Golden Deck", to me, is a deck which is typically on the extreme end of the Engine and Rush quadrant. It aims to leverage actions for total control over luck/guarentee VPs (signs of an Engine), while aiming to be faster than many Megaturn decks which may take a fair amount of set-up (signs that it's a Rush).

I think the difference between a Rush/Slog is more obvious. Alt VP tends to move things in the Slog direction, "traditional", deck-thinning trashing moves it in the Rush direction, etc. But debate seems more likely to stem from the exact meanings of BM and Engine. For me, it's generally a matter of how many moving pieces we're talking about. If I just pick up some Governors and fists full of cash- Big Money. Or, as mentioned before, if I'm just loading up on Caches and Gardens- Big Money. If I get more sophisticated and throw in some gainers or sifters, now my Gardens strategy has become a bit more Enginey. So I think of Big Money as less moving parts and Engines as more. If you're a fan of Super Smash Bros slang, the more "wombo combo" your strategy becomes, the more we're talking Engine and less we're talking Big Money. At least in my mind.

To me, "Combo" is kinda just a nebulous term to describe the 4 quadrants, when really it may be more valuable to specify things like "an Engine which is about 50/50 on the Rush/Slog scale" or "a heavy Slog that starts out Big Money to afford the parts, and then becomes a late-game Engine". But again, this could just be a fundamental misunderstanding on my part. I'm interested to know what others think.



I agree with the sentiment others have shared that there's a lot of value in the 7 questions the article offers up that should probably be addressed when crafting a plan. To avoid confusion, I might simplify the "You only have 5 cards and 1 Buy" thing into "You only have 1 Buy". I don't necessarily care how many cards I have so much as I care about my ability to pay for things (which may get supplemented by card draw, actions which give coins, high value treasures, gainers, coin tokens, etc.), and I feel like you have that covered elsewhere in your 7 questions.

I think a lot of players understand early on that drawing more cards is nice. Who doesn't love a Hunting Grounds or Smithy? But I've taught a lot of new players who undervalue +Buy. So I think it pays to call it out as its own question and force players to consider whether they're going to need extra buys to make their plan work well.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2017, 05:25:02 pm »
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One can have different combinations of the 4 (ignoring the ever-vague "combo") deck types, but you wouldn't really say that your deck is both a Rush and a Slog, nor would you say you have a Big Money and Engine deck. You might say that your deck is inbetween a Rush and a Slog, but it seems reasonable that those two ideas are inversely related, the same way BM and Engine are. Increasing how much your deck is a Rush decreases how much it's a Slog.

So, my Cache/Gardens strategy is a Big Money Slog, whereas maybe a more traditional Gardens game is pretty evenly BM/Engine, but is still a Slog. Going for just straight Chapel and Golds would be a BM Rush, whereas something like a Bridge Megaturn deck might be a Rush Engine. A "Golden Deck", to me, is a deck which is typically on the extreme end of the Engine and Rush quadrant. It aims to leverage actions for total control over luck/guarentee VPs (signs of an Engine), while aiming to be faster than many Megaturn decks which may take a fair amount of set-up (signs that it's a Rush).

I think the difference between a Rush/Slog is more obvious. Alt VP tends to move things in the Slog direction, "traditional", deck-thinning trashing moves it in the Rush direction, etc. But debate seems more likely to stem from the exact meanings of BM and Engine. For me, it's generally a matter of how many moving pieces we're talking about. If I just pick up some Governors and fists full of cash- Big Money. Or, as mentioned before, if I'm just loading up on Caches and Gardens- Big Money. If I get more sophisticated and throw in some gainers or sifters, now my Gardens strategy has become a bit more Enginey. So I think of Big Money as less moving parts and Engines as more. If you're a fan of Super Smash Bros slang, the more "wombo combo" your strategy becomes, the more we're talking Engine and less we're talking Big Money. At least in my mind.

To me, "Combo" is kinda just a nebulous term to describe the 4 quadrants, when really it may be more valuable to specify things like "an Engine which is about 50/50 on the Rush/Slog scale" or "a heavy Slog that starts out Big Money to afford the parts, and then becomes a late-game Engine". But again, this could just be a fundamental misunderstanding on my part. I'm interested to know what others think.

Mainly, the problem with this is that the number of "moving pieces" doesn't really make any difference from a strategic perspective, it's just a superficial attribute, and the same is true for whether you're using alt-VP or basic Victory cards. In other words, have you ever lost a game and concluded that you could have won that game if only your strategy had had some more moving pieces?

I agree with the sentiment others have shared that there's a lot of value in the 7 questions the article offers up that should probably be addressed when crafting a plan. To avoid confusion, I might simplify the "You only have 5 cards and 1 Buy" thing into "You only have 1 Buy". I don't necessarily care how many cards I have so much as I care about my ability to pay for things (which may get supplemented by card draw, actions which give coins, high value treasures, gainers, coin tokens, etc.), and I feel like you have that covered elsewhere in your 7 questions.

I think a lot of players understand early on that drawing more cards is nice. Who doesn't love a Hunting Grounds or Smithy? But I've taught a lot of new players who undervalue +Buy. So I think it pays to call it out as its own question and force players to consider whether they're going to need extra buys to make their plan work well.

This isn't about the strength of cards or the strength of effects. If I wanted to write that article, it'd just say "You should open trashing/trashing 100% of the time". This is about strategies, so the part about 5 cards is necessary because different strategies have different solutions to it.

If anything, I'm not sure that the 1 Buy part is necessary. I have been keeping it there because the worst case scenario is that it's doing nothing, but so far I haven't been able to think of a strategy where the solution to buys can't just be generalized as "you match your buying power with the number of buys you have available to be able to buy the things you need". If every strategy has the same solution, then the obstacle is pretty useless for differentiating between strategies.

FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2017, 07:59:31 am »
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Mainly, the problem with this is that the number of "moving pieces" doesn't really make any difference from a strategic perspective, it's just a superficial attribute, and the same is true for whether you're using alt-VP or basic Victory cards. In other words, have you ever lost a game and concluded that you could have won that game if only your strategy had had some more moving pieces?

Similarly, have you ever lost a game and said "If only I had gone more Big Money, I would have won"? It sounds to me like you're taking issue with the 4 deck types laid out by WanderingWinder more than my interpretation of them. It's true that my interpretation doesn't answer many strategic questions for you, but that also wasn't really my goal. I feel like your 7 questions already do a fine job of that. The 4 deck types are really more useful for explaining what a player's strategy was, but not necessarily how effective their strategy was. It's a matter of classification more than objective assessment of strengths. Once you've determined what deck types you and your opponent used/are using, you look at the Kingdom and decide whether the cards really lend themselves to those deck types or if they're being countered (for example, is it really reasonable for me to expect to Rush when there are Cultists on the table and no trashers? This is where your 7 questions come in)

Also, I have actually lost matches and thought "I should have had less moving pieces like my opponent did" or even thought after a match that I would have done better if I had added a couple more moving pieces to support my previously purely Big Money deck. I'm not arguing that there's some magic sweet spot on the BM/Engine scale or Rush/Slog scale that one should be shooting for (and I don't think WanderingWinder ever argued there was). What's best is entirely dependent on the Kingdom. The efficacy of one's moving pieces is determined by how well they solve the fundamental issues of building a deck such as only having 1 Action, only having 1 Buy, etc.

This isn't about the strength of cards or the strength of effects.

I'm not saying or implying that it's about that. I think we're just experiencing a miscommunication.

so the part about 5 cards is necessary because different strategies have different solutions to it.

What I'm saying is that "You only have 5 cards" is a less generalized version of the real issue, which is that you might draw bad cards. Increasing the number of cards you draw is just a way to increase the probability of getting to the good cards in your deck (which is mathematically represented using the Hypergeometric Function). When I said "I don't necessarily care how many cards I have so much as I care about my ability to pay for things", my point was that, if I draw 3 Golds, I literally couldn't care less about the supposed problem of "You only draw 5 cards". It's like, yeah, I only drew 5, but so what? I drew what I needed, and now I can get a Province. The real issue, to me, is best generalized as the fact that you can't control what your 5 cards will be. But the actual number of cards is an arbitrary issue. It's not like there's any Victory card in Dominion that says "You may only buy this if you have at least 8 cards in hand" (though maybe that would be a cool card).

To give an example: Warehouse doesn't actually increase the number of cards in my hand. So would you look at Warehouse and say it doesn't solve the supposed issue? I would say it does: If I use Warehouse to sift through my deck and get to the cards I want, then I really don't care about the fact that I now only have 4 cards in hand. The number of cards in hand doesn't strictly matter. It's the probability that you will get your good cards that you care about, and increasing handsize is just one of many ways to resolve that issue. Phrasing it as "How will you resolve the problem that you only draw 5 cards?" is assuming the solution in the question.

but so far I haven't been able to think of a strategy where the solution to buys can't just be generalized as "you match your buying power with the number of buys you have available to be able to buy the things you need".

That's not the only solution to Buys. You can work around them by splitting your focus between Treasures and Gainers (thus eliminating the need for extra Buys but still increasing the rate at which you can acquire cards). Coin tokens and Overpay are also a solution to not having extra Buys.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2017, 08:38:49 am »
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Similarly, have you ever lost a game and said "If only I had gone more Big Money, I would have won"? It sounds to me like you're taking issue with the 4 deck types laid out by WanderingWinder more than my interpretation of them. It's true that my interpretation doesn't answer many strategic questions for you, but that also wasn't really my goal. I feel like your 7 questions already do a fine job of that. The 4 deck types are really more useful for explaining what a player's strategy was, but not necessarily how effective their strategy was. It's a matter of classification more than objective assessment of strengths. Once you've determined what deck types you and your opponent used/are using, you look at the Kingdom and decide whether the cards really lend themselves to those deck types or if they're being countered (for example, is it really reasonable for me to expect to Rush when there are Cultists on the table and no trashers? This is where your 7 questions come in)

I'm not really taking issue with WW's types. Big money is a deck type, it has certain solutions to the obstacles (which I explain in the article). Wandering Winder didn't explain those in his article, but the deck type itself is useful because it still has them.

I have actually played games where I concluded that I could have won if I had played big money instead of whatever I lost with. Not "more" big money though; the concept of there being a continuum between big money and engine with all sorts of strategies with different numbers of moving parts in between was invented by you and I never heard of it before today. As far as I'm concerned, as soon as you mix big money and engine, you're guaranteed to lose against someone who just plays big money or just plays engine.

Also, I have actually lost matches and thought "I should have had less moving pieces like my opponent did" or even thought after a match that I would have done better if I had added a couple more moving pieces to support my previously purely Big Money deck. I'm not arguing that there's some magic sweet spot on the BM/Engine scale or Rush/Slog scale that one should be shooting for (and I don't think WanderingWinder ever argued there was). What's best is entirely dependent on the Kingdom. The efficacy of one's moving pieces is determined by how well they solve the fundamental issues of building a deck such as only having 1 Action, only having 1 Buy, etc.

Are you sure that, in those cases, the important thing was the number of moving parts you had in your deck, not the abilities of the exact cards you had in your deck and ended up not needing very much or the abilities of the exact cards you didn't have and would have needed?

I'm not saying or implying that it's about that. I think we're just experiencing a miscommunication.

Oh. It sounded like you were saying that a lot of newbies fail to see how strong +buy is, but I guess it wasn't about that.

What I'm saying is that "You only have 5 cards" is a less generalized version of the real issue, which is that you might draw bad cards. Increasing the number of cards you draw is just a way to increase the probability of getting to the good cards in your deck (which is mathematically represented using the Hypergeometric Function). When I said "I don't necessarily care how many cards I have so much as I care about my ability to pay for things", my point was that, if I draw 3 Golds, I literally couldn't care less about the supposed problem of "You only draw 5 cards". It's like, yeah, I only drew 5, but so what? I drew what I needed, and now I can get a Province. The real issue, to me, is best generalized as the fact that you can't control what your 5 cards will be. But the actual number of cards is an arbitrary issue. It's not like there's any Victory card in Dominion that says "You may only buy this if you have at least 8 cards in hand" (though maybe that would be a cool card).

The fact that you only draw 5 cards doesn't mean that you're supposed to draw more than 5 cards. It just means that you only draw 5 cards. Five Coppers isn't enough to buy the Province, so if you want your five cards to be able to buy a Province, your average card needs to be better than Copper, and if you want Copper to be the average card, you need to be able to draw 8 of them. Being able to control what those cards are is a separate issue covered by obstacle #6.

To give an example: Warehouse doesn't actually increase the number of cards in my hand. So would you look at Warehouse and say it doesn't solve the supposed issue? I would say it does: If I use Warehouse to sift through my deck and get to the cards I want, then I really don't care about the fact that I now only have 4 cards in hand. The number of cards in hand doesn't strictly matter. It's the probability that you will get your good cards that you care about, and increasing handsize is just one of many ways to resolve that issue.

Warehouse solves the problem by increasing the quality of cards in your hand, i.e. you get to a good enough turn even though you only started with 5 cards in your hand.

Phrasing it as "How will you resolve the problem that you only draw 5 cards?" is assuming the solution in the question.

It's not assuming the solution, it's assuming the part in the rules of Dominion where it says that you get to draw five cards at the end of each turn. That's what you get, so that's what you have to be able to deal with. How you deal with it is up to you, which is why the way in which you answer the obstacle classifies the strategy you're playing.

That's not the only solution to Buys. You can work around them by splitting your focus between Treasures and Gainers (thus eliminating the need for extra Buys but still increasing the rate at which you can acquire cards). Coin tokens and Overpay are also a solution to not having extra Buys.

Not having extra gains isn't really the issue here; most decks don't need extra gains anyway. The issue is leftover money. You deal with it by not having it.

FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2017, 10:54:42 am »
+1

I'm not really taking issue with WW's types. Big money is a deck type, it has certain solutions to the obstacles

Do they though? If I tell you I played an Engine, do you immediately know what my specific solutions to the obstacles were? I don't think any of the 4 deck types actually imply one and only one answer to each of those questions.

As far as I'm concerned, as soon as you mix big money and engine, you're guaranteed to lose against someone who just plays big money or just plays engine.

Just to be clear: "Guaranteed to lose" is not the same thing as "Does not exist". If I say "A player could even trash their Provinces with Chapel!" you wouldn't then say "No they can't, because as far as I'm concerned they're guaranteed to lose." A bad strategy does not equal a nonexistent strategy. I'm not saying that one should play an even mix of BM and Engine, just that they are inversely correlated, and one theoretically could do it.

Furthermore, can you really say that all of your Big Money decks are purely Big Money with not even the slightest hints of an Engine? You never pick up a Smithy or a Governor or a JoaT to supplement your money? I suspect you would argue that that's still just Big Money. So then where would the cutoff be? If I pickup a Lab to supplement my Smithy/BM, is it still BM? Exactly how many Action Cards must I be running to qualify as an Engine? As far as I'm concerned, the only proper way to resolve such questions is to consider it on a spectrum, where Engine and BM are inversely correlated. And really, that doesn't contradict your argument that the two should not be mixed. If they're inversely correlated, it's not a stretch to argue that perhaps there are very few (or no) cards which support a mixture of BM and Engine. I'm just arguing that such a deck, however terrible, can be created.

Also, I have actually lost matches and thought "I should have had less moving pieces like my opponent did" or even thought after a match that I would have done better if I had added a couple more moving pieces to support my previously purely Big Money deck. I'm not arguing that there's some magic sweet spot on the BM/Engine scale or Rush/Slog scale that one should be shooting for (and I don't think WanderingWinder ever argued there was). What's best is entirely dependent on the Kingdom. The efficacy of one's moving pieces is determined by how well they solve the fundamental issues of building a deck such as only having 1 Action, only having 1 Buy, etc.
Are you sure that, in those cases, the important thing was the number of moving parts you had in your deck, not the abilities of the exact cards you had in your deck and ended up not needing very much or the abilities of the exact cards you didn't have and would have needed?

The above quote does lead me to believe that we're actually thinking in similar terms on a practical level, and we're just getting hung up on the more abstract level. Just to make sure I'm making my thoughts clear: what I'm trying to get across is that I feel the definition of an Engine is the number of moving parts, regardless of whether the engine works or not. You can construct a crappy engine. It happens. It's still an engine, it's just that the engine you set up fails to properly address the 7 questions you posed in this article. So my underlying interpretation of WW's deck classifications is not that they give you any strategic insight- that's what your 7 questions do. Like I said before, my interpretation is that WW's classifications tell you what is being attempted, not how effective the attempt is.

So I have had situations where I felt that I had too few moving parts relative to the 7 questions you're asking. Or in other words, situations where I look at the Kingdom and say "In this situation, an Engine actually handles the primary challenges of deck building better than my Big Money approach did, so more moving parts would have paid off more effectively here"

I'm not saying or implying that it's about that. I think we're just experiencing a miscommunication.
Oh. It sounded like you were saying that a lot of newbies fail to see how strong +buy is, but I guess it wasn't about that.

This is my fault. What I was trying to say at the end of my original reply was that, tangentially, it's a little bonus that by splitting the "Only have 5 cards" apart from the "Only have 1 Buy", new players psychologically are forced to consider the weight of that problem. But I explained it very poorly. I'm not trying to say that the goal of the article is/should be to help new players understand the value of +Buy (or any other mechanic), but rather that it's just a nice little bonus if that happens. I'm also not trying to say that that's my primary reason for arguing for splitting that question in two, but again, I could see how you thought that, because I explained it horribly. The fact that it will help new players is mostly irrelevant, so I honestly should have just left it out. It was just a last minute thought that popped into my head. Pretty much just an ADD moment.

Being able to control what those cards are is a separate issue covered by obstacle #6.

Totally, and that was what I meant in my original reply when I said something along the lines of "You've already covered this elsewhere". Like I said, the fact that I only draw 5 cards is a less generalized version of the real issue, which is that I need to somehow get enough buying power to buy that Province (or whatever else is gonna win me the game). My handsize only matters to me sometimes. The fact that I need some form of increase to my economy matters to me all the time. I know we're on the same page on this because:
The fact that you only draw 5 cards doesn't mean that you're supposed to draw more than 5 cards
But I guess all I'm really telling you is that some readers are going to read it that way. They will think that they somehow need to increase their hand size (maybe it's the reader's fault for assuming, but I'm just saying, they're gonna do it whether it's a fallacy or not), when in reality, as we both understand, that's only one solution. All I'm proposing to you here is that:

1) The phrasing "You need a good economy" or "You need a way to draw your good cards" gets the job done in a more generalized way
2) What I just proposed overlaps with previous #'s from your original article, and is therefore redundant
3) This is unrelated to the +Buy issue.

That's not the only solution to Buys. You can work around them by splitting your focus between Treasures and Gainers (thus eliminating the need for extra Buys but still increasing the rate at which you can acquire cards). Coin tokens and Overpay are also a solution to not having extra Buys.
Not having extra gains isn't really the issue here; most decks don't need extra gains anyway. The issue is leftover money.

No, I didn't say not having extra gains is the problem, I said it was an example of a solution to not having +Buy.

Problem: I want to 3-pile, but I worry I'll have a lot of money and no +Buy
Possible Solution: Pick up Ironworks instead of so many Silvers/Golds, then you will have a bit of a lower money density and will still be picking up a lot of cards.

That's all I'm getting at.


You deal with it by not having it

But it seems like you think that's one solution, and it's not. There are many ways to not have leftover money. You could get +Buy, you could use Plaza to convert them to Coin Tokens, or you could dump them into Overpays.



I probably didn't make this as clear in my original reply as I would've liked, but it really is a good article. The fact that we're mostly disagreeing on abstract interpretations of deck classifications and pedantic stuff is kind of a testament to that. I think it will be valuable to a lot of players. I just disagree on certain specific phrasings, and thought I'd chime in with my 2 cents.
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faust

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2017, 11:43:32 am »
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Exactly how many Action Cards must I be running to qualify as an Engine?
This question shows that what Awaclus tries to tell you did not really get across. How many action cards you play per turn has no impact on what kind of deck you are running. I can probably build a deck from nothing but Bank, Travelling Fair, Expedition, that never plays any Actions and is still pretty clearly an engine. Likewise, I could theoretically play a Big Money deck in which I never buy any Treasures (maybe due to Bandit Fort), just using stuff like Mystic.

I guess the term "Big Money" is not ideal as it conveys a false image of what makes such a deck.
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Since the number of points is within a constant factor of the number of city quarters, in the long run we can get (4 - ε) ↑↑ n points in n turns for any ε > 0.

FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2017, 12:54:57 pm »
+3

Exactly how many Action Cards must I be running to qualify as an Engine?
This question shows that what Awaclus tries to tell you did not really get across. How many action cards you play per turn has no impact on what kind of deck you are running. I can probably build a deck from nothing but Bank, Travelling Fair, Expedition, that never plays any Actions and is still pretty clearly an engine. Likewise, I could theoretically play a Big Money deck in which I never buy any Treasures (maybe due to Bandit Fort), just using stuff like Mystic.

I guess the term "Big Money" is not ideal as it conveys a false image of what makes such a deck.

I feel that taking my question out of context only shows that you're assuming my position. Notice, I didn't say Engine = Actions (or that BM = Treasures). I said, in my example, at what point after adding supporting Action Card after supporting Action Card does the BM stop being BM and starts to be an Engine?

Your example of an Actionless-Engine fits my definition of an Engine just fine: that it has multiple moving pieces. Likewise, your Bandit Fort example does not violate my definition of pure Big Money: that it has no moving pieces. If I were to trash all of my coppers and just live off of Markets, it fits my definition of a pure BM. So from my perspective, it sounds like you're not understanding my argument.


What I'm asking is, if one is going to argue that there is no BM/Engine spectrum, then what is the objective definition of the two of them, such that I cannot build a deck which blurs the line and qualifies as both? The way I see it, if the camp that says BM and Engine are discrete things is unable to come up with a well-defined description of them, and I have a better defined (probably measurable) definition that argues for them being on a continuous spectrum, then it's the preferable way of looking at things.

People want to point out the decks that don't fit into one of WW's categories, but that to me is not an argument for there being infinitely many categories, or for there even necessarily being a couple we're missing. It's an argument that we're being too literal with the examples/concepts that WW first observed. Decks have varying degrees of Preferred Pace (Slog/Rush) and Interaction Complexity (BM/Engine). That is a classification that works. Constantly adding more and more classification types seems unnecessary to me right now (although I'm happy to being proven wrong here). Like adding more axioms when you could just formalize the existing ones better to prove things.


One final thing I'd like to mention, not directed at Faust, but just anyone who might be skeptical about the fact that my idea seems different from WW's: whether or not my interpretation is what WW had in mind (it's probably not) when he wrote the article doesn't have any impact on its validity. I'm only saying this because I anticipate that somebody is thinking it as they read this, and I guess Awaclus kinda hinted at it earlier.

Newton didn't have Relativity in mind when publishing his theory of gravitation. That fact doesn't invalidate Einstein's theory. (Please don't read too much into this statement. I know I am not an "Einstein of Dominion". It was the best analogy I could think up, and yes, it has the potential to come across as pretentious as hell. I promise I'm not that self-important, and I don't think that my argument is the Dominion equivalent of Relativity. Feel free to send you mockery this way and we'll have a good laugh at my own expense)
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trivialknot

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2017, 01:58:17 pm »
+4

I read the article again, and I think it has improved since I last gave feedback.  The transitions and summaries are smoother, and I like the change from un-numbered list to numbered list.

The article still doesn't mention attacks.  I think possibly the way to address this is by saying that attacks modify some of the obstacles, or produce totally unique obstacles.  For example, Militia modifies "you start turns with 5 cards" to "you start turns with the best 3 out of 5 cards".  Haunted Woods and Enchantress create obstacles that are totally unique.

The paragraph on big-money/engine hybrids has been improved, but suffers slightly from the fact that you never say in the article what exactly defines the engine's solutions to the obstacles.  There are also some obvious counterpoints that could be made (e.g. with CoTR you don't draw villages dead, limited supply sometimes makes pure engine impossible).  But maybe this is the best you can do without spending a lot more space on it.

I didn't read the whole back and forth between Awaclus and FemurLemur, but my feeling is that if you have a different idea for how to classify deck types, you can write your own article.  Saying that you have your own ideas for how to classify decks is not a good critique of someone else's framework.  Yes, we all have ideas for how to classify decks.
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FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2017, 02:15:47 pm »
0

I didn't read the whole back and forth between Awaclus and FemurLemur, but my feeling is that if you have a different idea for how to classify deck types, you can write your own article.  Saying that you have your own ideas for how to classify decks is not a good critique of someone else's framework.  Yes, we all have ideas for how to classify decks.

My perspective on deck classifications is not a critique of Awaclus' work. I like Awaclus' article, and the critiques I did have of it are completely separate from the classification debate. My perspective on classification is only meant to contribute to the conversation which was already ongoing when I joined in. The one involving Seprix, AJD, Awaclus, and a couple others.

You probably didn't see it in the wall of text I posted, but I told Awaclus that the fact that we're mostly disagreeing on abstract classifications and pedantic stuff is a testament to the fact that it's a valuable article as-is.

You're totally right, that wouldn't be a good critique. Rest assured, it is not meant as a critique, it's meant as interesting discussion. He can publish his article right now without giving this classification thing another fraction of a thought, and that's cool with me ;)
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2017, 03:10:27 pm »
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If I tell you I played an Engine, do you immediately know what my specific solutions to the obstacles were?

Yes. They were a generalized version of this: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=17572.msg719842#msg719842

Just to be clear: "Guaranteed to lose" is not the same thing as "Does not exist". If I say "A player could even trash their Provinces with Chapel!" you wouldn't then say "No they can't, because as far as I'm concerned they're guaranteed to lose." A bad strategy does not equal a nonexistent strategy. I'm not saying that one should play an even mix of BM and Engine, just that they are inversely correlated, and one theoretically could do it.

They are not inversely correlated, because they are not opposites of each other. They don't even exist on the same axis.

Furthermore, can you really say that all of your Big Money decks are purely Big Money with not even the slightest hints of an Engine? You never pick up a Smithy or a Governor or a JoaT to supplement your money? I suspect you would argue that that's still just Big Money. So then where would the cutoff be? If I pickup a Lab to supplement my Smithy/BM, is it still BM? Exactly how many Action Cards must I be running to qualify as an Engine? As far as I'm concerned, the only proper way to resolve such questions is to consider it on a spectrum, where Engine and BM are inversely correlated. And really, that doesn't contradict your argument that the two should not be mixed. If they're inversely correlated, it's not a stretch to argue that perhaps there are very few (or no) cards which support a mixture of BM and Engine. I'm just arguing that such a deck, however terrible, can be created.

You can run 239487523194085723049857230948750923 Action cards in your big money deck. Being big money or being engine doesn't have anything to do with the number of Action cards — the number of Action cards is a superficial attribute so we don't have to pay any attention to that. It's a big money deck if its solutions to the obstacles are the ones I posted in the article, and it's an engine deck if its solutions to the obstacles are the ones faust posted in the first reply. If they are something different, then it's neither. You can't create a mixture of the two because the some of their solutions are mutually incompatible.

The above quote does lead me to believe that we're actually thinking in similar terms on a practical level, and we're just getting hung up on the more abstract level. Just to make sure I'm making my thoughts clear: what I'm trying to get across is that I feel the definition of an Engine is the number of moving parts, regardless of whether the engine works or not. You can construct a crappy engine. It happens. It's still an engine, it's just that the engine you set up fails to properly address the 7 questions you posed in this article. So my underlying interpretation of WW's deck classifications is not that they give you any strategic insight- that's what your 7 questions do. Like I said before, my interpretation is that WW's classifications tell you what is being attempted, not how effective the attempt is.

If you don't address the 7 obstacles, you don't have a strategy. All of WW's 4 deck types are inherently strategies, which is why I use the terms deck type and strategy interchangeably. You shouldn't see WW's article and my article as two separate issues, you should see my article as an update to his article.

So I have had situations where I felt that I had too few moving parts relative to the 7 questions you're asking. Or in other words, situations where I look at the Kingdom and say "In this situation, an Engine actually handles the primary challenges of deck building better than my Big Money approach did, so more moving parts would have paid off more effectively here"

A pure big money deck handles the challenges of deck building perfectly. If you play big money and lose, the problem isn't that you didn't have enough moving parts in your big money deck, the problem is that there was something better than big money available and you should have built that instead.

1) The phrasing "You need a good economy" or "You need a way to draw your good cards" gets the job done in a more generalized way

I don't think it does it in a more generalized way. The fact that you only draw 5 cards applies universally, because that's actually what it says in the rules. You can't get more generalized than that. On the other hand, you don't necessarily need a good economy, as rush decks prove, so that's not as generalized, and I think that "drawing your good cards" doesn't really describe what big money is doing by amassing a large number of good cards but only drawing some of them each hand.

Problem: I want to 3-pile, but I worry I'll have a lot of money and no +Buy
Possible Solution: Pick up Ironworks instead of so many Silvers/Golds, then you will have a bit of a lower money density and will still be picking up a lot of cards.

That's all I'm getting at.

In which case the solution to the fact that you only have 1 buy available is that you don't get the extra economy that you don't need. The Ironworks in this case is more of a solution to #7.

But it seems like you think that's one solution, and it's not. There are many ways to not have leftover money. You could get +Buy, you could use Plaza to convert them to Coin Tokens, or you could dump them into Overpays.

I don't think the exact method of achieving your goal that is not having leftover money is relevant to characterizing your strategy. Either way, you're achieving that goal, and achieving that goal is the solution to the obstacle.

Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2017, 03:23:30 pm »
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I feel that taking my question out of context only shows that you're assuming my position. Notice, I didn't say Engine = Actions (or that BM = Treasures). I said, in my example, at what point after adding supporting Action Card after supporting Action Card does the BM stop being BM and starts to be an Engine?

The point at which it stops being BM is the point at which it no longer has the 7 solutions I wrote in the article. The point at which it starts to be an engine is the point at which it has the 7 solutions faust wrote. The reason why there isn't a continuum is that there isn't a continuum between "You keep the average card quality high enough that 5 cards are enough to make the most use out of that one buy" and "I acquire cards that make sure I can draw more cards and gain more cards". If you're doing the former, there's no reason why you would have to do the latter to any degree, and vice versa.

What I'm asking is, if one is going to argue that there is no BM/Engine spectrum, then what is the objective definition of the two of them, such that I cannot build a deck which blurs the line and qualifies as both? The way I see it, if the camp that says BM and Engine are discrete things is unable to come up with a well-defined description of them, and I have a better defined (probably measurable) definition that argues for them being on a continuous spectrum, then it's the preferable way of looking at things.

However, we're not unable to come up with a well-defined description of them. I already came up with the definition for big money, then faust came up with two more specific example definitions for slightly different engines. Furthermore, our descriptions are based on how those decks actually play out, not on superficial things, which is why they are the preferable way of looking at things.

If there's a different framework that:
  • applies universally, even to deck types we haven't discovered yet
  • is based on strategically relevant attributes

Then I'd love to look into it, but so far it looks like mine is the only one that does both, and while we have my framework that does both, I don't see a reason why we also need a different framework that only does one.

People want to point out the decks that don't fit into one of WW's categories, but that to me is not an argument for there being infinitely many categories, or for there even necessarily being a couple we're missing. It's an argument that we're being too literal with the examples/concepts that WW first observed. Decks have varying degrees of Preferred Pace (Slog/Rush) and Interaction Complexity (BM/Engine). That is a classification that works. Constantly adding more and more classification types seems unnecessary to me right now (although I'm happy to being proven wrong here). Like adding more axioms when you could just formalize the existing ones better to prove things.

I can come up with a dozen of classifications that "work". It's an Optimal Chapel Strategy deck if it has 1 card at the end of the game, and it's a Celestial Chameleon deck if it has more than 300, and there's all sorts of stuff in between. That's also a classification that works, but it's entirely useless.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 03:24:45 pm by Awaclus »
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2017, 03:34:31 pm »
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The article still doesn't mention attacks.  I think possibly the way to address this is by saying that attacks modify some of the obstacles, or produce totally unique obstacles.  For example, Militia modifies "you start turns with 5 cards" to "you start turns with the best 3 out of 5 cards".  Haunted Woods and Enchantress create obstacles that are totally unique.

The paragraph on big-money/engine hybrids has been improved, but suffers slightly from the fact that you never say in the article what exactly defines the engine's solutions to the obstacles.  There are also some obvious counterpoints that could be made (e.g. with CoTR you don't draw villages dead, limited supply sometimes makes pure engine impossible).  But maybe this is the best you can do without spending a lot more space on it.

I like the idea of attacks being another obstacle, but I also don't like the idea of them being one of the main obstacles because they aren't always present. I haven't figured out how to solve this yet.

I didn't want to spend the whole article just listing the solutions everything and its mom has, just an easy example (big money) and another example to make the point about "combo decks". I guess if it really doesn't work out, I can remove the part about big money/engine hybrids. How bad is it, exactly?

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2017, 04:14:03 pm »
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If I tell you I played an Engine, do you immediately know what my specific solutions to the obstacles were?
Yes. They were a generalized version of this: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=17572.msg719842#msg719842

You said "yes", but then you linked me to an answer which is a definitive 100% "no". I can't just say "Engine" and have you understand what that deck's solution to the 7 obstacles are, as evidenced by the fact that you and Faust discussed 2 completely different yet equally enginey engines, each with different solutions to the 7 obstacles.

I mean, Faust literally said "So would you say that "engine" actually is a term that encompasses multiple similar, but not identical, strategies?"

So no, not one thing, and not one unique set of solutions to the obstacles.

Furthermore, can you really say that all of your Big Money decks are purely Big Money with not even the slightest hints of an Engine? You never pick up a Smithy or a Governor or a JoaT to supplement your money? I suspect you would argue that that's still just Big Money. So then where would the cutoff be? If I pickup a Lab to supplement my Smithy/BM, is it still BM? Exactly how many Action Cards must I be running to qualify as an Engine? As far as I'm concerned, the only proper way to resolve such questions is to consider it on a spectrum, where Engine and BM are inversely correlated. And really, that doesn't contradict your argument that the two should not be mixed. If they're inversely correlated, it's not a stretch to argue that perhaps there are very few (or no) cards which support a mixture of BM and Engine. I'm just arguing that such a deck, however terrible, can be created.
You can run 239487523194085723049857230948750923 Action cards in your big money deck. Being big money or being engine doesn't have anything to do with the number of Action cards — the number of Action cards is a superficial attribute so we don't have to pay any attention to that.

This is the same misrepresentation Faust used a bit ago. It seems like you're deliberately ignoring the definition of Engine I have used multiple times, in favor of this "You're saying Action cards = Engine" thing, just to be able to knock down the straw man easier.

It's a big money deck if its solutions to the obstacles are the ones I posted in the article, and it's an engine deck if its solutions to the obstacles are the ones faust posted in the first reply.

Your article never claims "This is the definition of Big Money". It says "This is how Big Money overcomes the obstacles". Furthermore, neither your definition of BM or Faust's 2 differing definitions of Engines are all-encompassing or rigid. So can they really be called definitions? I considered them examples of Big Money and examples of Engines when I read this. I didn't realize (and I would guess others didn't realize either) that you were aiming to say that all Engines must fall into one of those two types.

So then, for example, the article says that with BM, "All the high-quality cards you buy are good on their own". So if I buy one card that isn't good on its own, it's no longer BM? I think most people would disagree with you on that. This is the slippery slope I was trying to establish earlier. There is no black and white point at which the BM stops being BM just because I add in one more card which isn't good on its own. Having cards which are good on their own (ie "no moving pieces") makes something more BM, and having cards which are not good on their own makes it more of an Engine.

Additionally, the article says this about BM: "Also, green cards will take a while to show up because your deck is fairly big and you’re not cycling through it very fast". So if I cycle through my BM deck fast it's no longer BM? Again, I think most would disagree with your definitions here. If I throw a Warehouse or Smithy into my BM, it doesn't magically become not-a-BM. You're acting like BM and Engine can't possibly be on a spectrum because they have rigid definitions, but then your definitions upon further examination are not at all rigid and don't hold up to scrutiny or common examples.

If you don't address the 7 obstacles, you don't have a strategy

Says who? What definition are you using of "Strategy"? Because any definition I have ever seen of the word allows for the Strategy to be ineffective. I could plan to win by 3-pilling the Estates, Ruins, and Poachers. It's a terrible strategy, but it's still a strategy.

A pure big money deck handles the challenges of deck building perfectly.

This is almost too bizarre of a claim to even respond to. It should be obvious why this isn't true. If pure BM handled all challenges posed to it perfectly, nobody would even build Engines in the first place.

If you play big money and lose, the problem isn't that you didn't have enough moving parts in your big money deck

Which is not what I said

the problem is that there was something better than big money available and you should have built that instead.

Which is exactly what I said, unless you ignore the fact that I have stated that "more moving parts is what defines an Engine, and less is what defines BM", as you and Faust have done.

1) The phrasing "You need a good economy" or "You need a way to draw your good cards" gets the job done in a more generalized way
I don't think it does it in a more generalized way. The fact that you only draw 5 cards applies universally

It doesn't though, because in many games this problem goes completely ignored. What never gets ignored is the fact that you need a good economy. You said that Rush decks don't have an economy, and that just leads me to believe that we're not even using the same definition of "economy" (I'm noticing a trend here).

But it seems like you think that's one solution, and it's not. There are many ways to not have leftover money. You could get +Buy, you could use Plaza to convert them to Coin Tokens, or you could dump them into Overpays
I don't think the exact method of achieving your goal that is not having leftover money is relevant to characterizing your strategy. Either way, you're achieving that goal, and achieving that goal is the solution to the obstacle.

But it feels like you're losing sight of the reason we're even talking about +Buy. You originally made it sound like you were considering removing the "You only have 1 Buy" thing from the 7 obstacles, and the reason you gave (as I understood it) was that there's only ever really one solution to that problem. As we have just established, this is not the case. I can name at least 3 (since we're disagreeing on the Gainer thing), but you're still acting like those 3 are just 1.
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trivialknot

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2017, 04:31:36 pm »
+2

I like the idea of attacks being another obstacle, but I also don't like the idea of them being one of the main obstacles because they aren't always present. I haven't figured out how to solve this yet.
That makes sense.  The simple solution might just be to mention it and say that you won't discuss it further.  It also works fine as is.

I didn't want to spend the whole article just listing the solutions everything and its mom has, just an easy example (big money) and another example to make the point about "combo decks". I guess if it really doesn't work out, I can remove the part about big money/engine hybrids. How bad is it, exactly?
I don't think it's bad.  But the argument could be made clearer and narrower in scope.  Here's how I'm envisioning the argument should go:

-Consider obstacle #6 ("You don’t always draw cards in the order you would like") in a kingdom with village and smithy.  Like with most card synergies, village/smithy synergize only when drawn in the right order.
-Big Money's solution is to avoid too many villages/smithies, so cards are good in any order.
-Engine's solution is to get lots of villages/smithies so they can be paired easily, especially since pairing them draws you more cards.
-Here, the "hybrid" strategy is to get some villages/smithies, but not enough to pair them easily.  And this just fails to address obstacle #6.

It's implied that maybe some engine/BM "hybrids" may be possible if they find some other way to address the problem, but you definitely don't need to list out exceptions.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 04:33:04 pm by trivialknot »
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FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2017, 04:31:59 pm »
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I feel that taking my question out of context only shows that you're assuming my position. Notice, I didn't say Engine = Actions (or that BM = Treasures). I said, in my example, at what point after adding supporting Action Card after supporting Action Card does the BM stop being BM and starts to be an Engine?
The point at which it starts to be an engine is the point at which it has the 7 14 solutions faust wrote.

Fixed that for you.

However, we're not unable to come up with a well-defined description of them. I already came up with the definition for big money, then faust came up with two more specific example definitions

I don't know what an "example definition" is, but the fact that you think that two conflicting answers qualifies as "well-defined" is telling.

Your examples are not all-encompassing, and they are not really even objective. The obstacles are great for players to think about. But how one answers them is not a definition, or anything even closely resembling a definition.


If there's a different framework that:
  • applies universally, even to deck types we haven't discovered yet
  • is based on strategically relevant attributes

Then I'd love to look into it, but so far it looks like mine is the only one that does both, and while we have my framework that does both, I don't see a reason why we also need a different framework that only does one.

Clearly yours doesn't, as you couldn't generalize "Engine" down to one definition. Once somebody mentions a third type of Engine that doesn't fit the mold, I assume the 14 bullet points will become 21.


That's also a classification that works, but it's entirely useless.

What, you mean like the difference between a "Trashing Megaturn Engine" and a "Sifting VP Removal Engine"?

Meanwhile I'm using one definition which actually helps a person compare two different decks.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2017, 04:46:05 pm »
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You said "yes", but then you linked me to an answer which is a definitive 100% "no". I can't just say "Engine" and have you understand what that deck's solution to the 7 obstacles are, as evidenced by the fact that you and Faust discussed 2 completely different yet equally enginey engines, each with different solutions to the 7 obstacles.

I mean, Faust literally said "So would you say that "engine" actually is a term that encompasses multiple similar, but not identical, strategies?"

So no, not one thing, and not one unique set of solutions to the obstacles.

Again, that's because faust is describing the strategies in more detail, I'm abstracting them more. If you ignore the details, those two strategies are still the same.

This is the same misrepresentation Faust used a bit ago. It seems like you're deliberately ignoring the definition of Engine I have used multiple times, in favor of this "You're saying Action cards = Engine" thing, just to be able to knock down the straw man easier.

Well, that's what you really seemed to imply.

Your article never claims "This is the definition of Big Money". It says "This is how Big Money overcomes the obstacles". Furthermore, neither your definition of BM or Faust's 2 differing definitions of Engines are all-encompassing or rigid. So can they really be called definitions? I considered them examples of Big Money and examples of Engines when I read this. I didn't realize (and I would guess others didn't realize either) that you were aiming to say that all Engines must fall into one of those two types.

This is from the article:

Quote
“Deck type” or “strategy” is an elegant answer to all of the obstacles. All the different decks with the same answers are the same type of deck.

So it basically does claim that those are the definitions of those deck types.

I'm not saying that all engines must fall into one of faust's more specific types. I'm saying that all engines must fall into the one, more abstracted type.

So then, for example, the article says that with BM, "All the high-quality cards you buy are good on their own". So if I buy one card that isn't good on its own, it's no longer BM? I think most people would disagree with you on that. This is the slippery slope I was trying to establish earlier. There is no black and white point at which the BM stops being BM just because I add in one more card which isn't good on its own. Having cards which are good on their own (ie "no moving pieces") makes something more BM, and having cards which are not good on their own makes it more of an Engine.

It doesn't say that, it says "All the high-quality cards you buy are good on their own, have very little or no negative synergies with other cards in your deck and/or synergize with almost all the other cards in your deck". So yes, if you buy one card that isn't good on its own, doesn't have very little or no negative synergies with other cards in your deck and doesn't synergize with almost all the other cards in your deck, it's no longer BM. The only reason why BM works is because it doesn't buy cards like that. If you buy a bunch, but try to play the deck as though it was BM, you end up with something that doesn't have a solution to all the obstacles, and thusly isn't a strategy.

Additionally, the article says this about BM: "Also, green cards will take a while to show up because your deck is fairly big and you’re not cycling through it very fast". So if I cycle through my BM deck fast it's no longer BM? Again, I think most would disagree with your definitions here. If I throw a Warehouse or Smithy into my BM, it doesn't magically become not-a-BM. You're acting like BM and Engine can't possibly be on a spectrum because they have rigid definitions, but then your definitions upon further examination are not at all rigid and don't hold up to scrutiny or common examples.

Throwing a Warehouse or Smithy into your BM doesn't magically make it cycle very fast.

Says who? What definition are you using of "Strategy"? Because any definition I have ever seen of the word allows for the Strategy to be ineffective. I could plan to win by 3-pilling the Estates, Ruins, and Poachers. It's a terrible strategy, but it's still a strategy.

Says me. I'm using this definition of "strategy":

Quote
“Deck type” or “strategy” is an elegant answer to all of the obstacles. All the different decks with the same answers are the same type of deck.

If you haven't seen that definition of "strategy" before, then that makes me wonder why you're commenting on an article you haven't even read.

This is almost too bizarre of a claim to even respond to. It should be obvious why this isn't true. If pure BM handled all challenges posed to it perfectly, nobody would even build Engines in the first place.

That's not true. How well a strategy addresses the obstacles isn't strictly connected to how well that strategy will do in practice. As I said in the article, BM and Hermit/Market Square handle the obstacles equally well, but the latter is still stronger in practice.

Which is exactly what I said, unless you ignore the fact that I have stated that "more moving parts is what defines an Engine, and less is what defines BM", as you and Faust have done.

This is exactly what you said:

Quote
So I have had situations where I felt that I had too few moving parts relative to the 7 questions you're asking.

This is not exactly what you said:

Quote
If you play big money and lose, the problem isn't that you didn't have enough moving parts in your big money deck, the problem is that there was something better than big money available and you should have built that instead.


It doesn't though, because in many games this problem goes completely ignored. What never gets ignored is the fact that you need a good economy. You said that Rush decks don't have an economy, and that just leads me to believe that we're not even using the same definition of "economy" (I'm noticing a trend here).

It doesn't get completely ignored. If you could draw 2387452093756290348765239845 cards at the end of each turn, you wouldn't have to worry about your average card quality being high enough to afford Provinces, you could just buy one Copper and that would be good enough. But that's not the case, you only get 5 and that's what you have to learn to live with.


But it feels like you're losing sight of the reason we're even talking about +Buy. You originally made it sound like you were considering removing the "You only have 1 Buy" thing from the 7 obstacles, and the reason you gave (as I understood it) was that there's only ever really one solution to that problem. As we have just established, this is not the case. I can name at least 3 (since we're disagreeing on the Gainer thing), but you're still acting like those 3 are just 1.

As we have just established, that is indeed the case. I can name only one thing, but you're acting like that 1 is 3.

Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2017, 04:54:41 pm »
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Your examples are not all-encompassing, and they are not really even objective. The obstacles are great for players to think about. But how one answers them is not a definition, or anything even closely resembling a definition.

They are objective. Faust could say that an object is 1003.0 millimeters long and I could say that it's 1.0 meters long and we would both be objectively correct even though our answers would be slightly different on the surface. This is the same thing.

You have admitted that the obstacles are strategically relevant and that your classification isn't. Why is it that you insist that your classification should be used and the obstacles shouldn't be used for classification?

Clearly yours doesn't, as you couldn't generalize "Engine" down to one definition. Once somebody mentions a third type of Engine that doesn't fit the mold, I assume the 14 bullet points will become 21.

I could do that, but so far I've been relying on everyone's ability to look at faust's two different engines and see how to generalize them into a set of solutions that encompasses both, because that really isn't very difficult.

That's also a classification that works, but it's entirely useless.

What, you mean like the difference between a "Trashing Megaturn Engine" and a "Sifting VP Removal Engine"?

Meanwhile I'm using one definition which actually helps a person compare two different decks.

No, the difference between a "Trashing Megaturn Engine" and a "Sifting VP Removal Engine" is rather subtle and I don't think you need to be paying attention to it unless you're currently in a game, building one of those.

My Optimal Chapel Strategy/Celestial Chameleon Deck spectrum also helps a person compare two different decks. Helping a person compare two different decks isn't very useful. Helping a person understand why they work is.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2017, 06:00:41 pm »
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I'm not saying that all engines must fall into one of faust's more specific types. I'm saying that all engines must fall into the one, more abstracted type.
Well then maybe you should've linked me to that instead of to Faust's two specific types before trying to say that I'm the one using a useless definition. By chance, where is this extremely useful "more abstracted definition"?

I could do that, but so far I've been relying on everyone's ability to look at faust's two different engines and see how to generalize them into a set of solutions that encompasses both, because that really isn't very difficult.
Ahhhh, ok, so it turns out you haven't defined it yet. We're still waiting on that. You're shifting the goalposts here when pressed to actually define Engine. Convenient how you get to keep arguing that you have a working definition even though you don't. If it's not even very difficult, then why do I have to basically pull your teeth to get you to define it? The fact is, you're saying out of one side of your mouth that you have a rigid, well-defined definition, but then out of the other you're speaking in vague, subjective terms. When pressed on this, you just criticize my own classification instead of providing your own definition.



That's not true. How well a strategy addresses the obstacles isn't strictly connected to how well that strategy will do in practice
Oh, well in that case then your entire point about "A pure big money deck handles the challenges of deck building perfectly" was a giant red herring, given that it was in response to me saying:

So I have had situations where I felt that I had too few moving parts relative to the 7 questions you're asking. Or in other words, situations where I look at the Kingdom and say "In this situation, an Engine actually handles the primary challenges of deck building better than my Big Money approach did, so more moving parts would have paid off more effectively here"
And that was in response to you asking me about how well the hindsight of my classifications help me do in practice. Thanks for derailing us for no reason other than to argue for argument's sake




You have admitted that the obstacles are strategically relevant and that your classification isn't. Why is it that you insist that your classification should be used and the obstacles shouldn't be used for classification?
Looks like you answered your own question. The obstacles aren't classifications. My classifications are classifications though. And in other news, A = A, I am what I am, a Rose is a Rose, and a definition has to actually be defining.

What you said is basically: 'You've already admitted that my doughnut tastes good and your wedding ring doesn't. Why is it that you insist that your wedding ring should be used and the doughnuts shouldn't be used for wedding rings?'
How well your obstacles work strategically has no bearing on whether or not they are better classifiers than my classifiers




But it feels like you're losing sight of the reason we're even talking about +Buy. You originally made it sound like you were considering removing the "You only have 1 Buy" thing from the 7 obstacles, and the reason you gave (as I understood it) was that there's only ever really one solution to that problem. As we have just established, this is not the case. I can name at least 3 (since we're disagreeing on the Gainer thing), but you're still acting like those 3 are just 1.
As we have just established, that is indeed the case. I can name only one thing, but you're acting like that 1 is 3.
I refuse to believe that you're enough of a novice player that you can't tell the strategic difference between a coin token and +Buy. You're just trying to be contrarian. I have never been more done with a more pointless conversation.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2017, 06:49:15 pm »
+6

I refuse to believe that you're enough of a novice player that you can't tell the strategic difference between a coin token and +Buy. You're just trying to be contrarian. I have never been more done with a more pointless conversation.

Hi, you must be new to f.ds! Have you checked out the forum games?
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2017, 06:51:11 pm »
0

Ahhhh, ok, so it turns out you haven't defined it yet. We're still waiting on that. You're shifting the goalposts here when pressed to actually define Engine. Convenient how you get to keep arguing that you have a working definition even though you don't. If it's not even very difficult, then why do I have to basically pull your teeth to get you to define it? The fact is, you're saying out of one side of your mouth that you have a rigid, well-defined definition, but then out of the other you're speaking in vague, subjective terms. When pressed on this, you just criticize my own classification instead of providing your own definition.

  • You use a combination of trashing, draw and other methods to cycle through all of the starting cards every turn
  • You use the fact that you're cycling through your deck every turn to keep building in a positive feedback loop, resulting in a deck that is more reliable and/or has more payload, allowing you to green effortlessly
  • You acquire cards that draw more cards and optimize your economy to match with the +buys available
  • You acquire enough splitters to play all the terminal Actions in your deck that you have to play
  • Since you're cycling through the entire deck every turn, it only takes one turn to use the new cards and you might be able to even gain and play the cards on the same turn
  • You maintain the correct balance between different engine components and cards that aren't engine components to minimize the odds of dud turns
  • Your resulting deck is extremely flexible and can opt to go for whatever greening tactics that counters the opponent the best

Look at faust's lists, then look at this, then ask yourself the question: was it really so difficult to get this from them?

Oh, well in that case then your entire point about "A pure big money deck handles the challenges of deck building perfectly" was a giant red herring, given that it was in response to me saying:

So I have had situations where I felt that I had too few moving parts relative to the 7 questions you're asking. Or in other words, situations where I look at the Kingdom and say "In this situation, an Engine actually handles the primary challenges of deck building better than my Big Money approach did, so more moving parts would have paid off more effectively here"
And that was in response to you asking me about how well the hindsight of my classifications help me do in practice. Thanks for derailing us for no reason other than to argue for argument's sake

You're holding my framework to a much higher standard than your own here. Mine is strategically relevant, but doesn't tell you automatically which strategy is the strongest on any given board. Yours isn't strategically relevant at all. You're trying to claim that they're the same because neither of them tells you which strategy is the strongest, but as it turns out, it still stands that mine is strategically relevant and yours isn't.

Looks like you answered your own question. The obstacles aren't classifications. My classifications are classifications though. And in other news, A = A, I am what I am, a Rose is a Rose, and a definition has to actually be defining.

What you said is basically: 'You've already admitted that my doughnut tastes good and your wedding ring doesn't. Why is it that you insist that your wedding ring should be used and the doughnuts shouldn't be used for wedding rings?'
How well your obstacles work strategically has no bearing on whether or not they are better classifiers than my classifiers

The obstacles are classifications and I still don't understand why it is so important to you that the classifications have to be entirely useless to everyone involved.

I refuse to believe that you're enough of a novice player that you can't tell the strategic difference between a coin token and +Buy. You're just trying to be contrarian. I have never been more done with a more pointless conversation.

Oh, I can tell the difference all right. You can use coin tokens to create a stockpile, you can't use +buys for that. For the purpose of matching your economy with your +buys, they both achieve the same thing: that.

FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2017, 07:53:28 pm »
0

I refuse to believe that you're enough of a novice player that you can't tell the strategic difference between a coin token and +Buy. You're just trying to be contrarian. I have never been more done with a more pointless conversation.

Hi, you must be new to f.ds! Have you checked out the forum games?

I've lurked as a guest for years, primarily looking at fan cards, predictions, and strategy discussions. I'm new to posting though.

I have not checked out the forum games. Should I?

Out of curiosity, do you ask if I'm new because of the "refuse to believe you're that much of a novice" comment, or the "being a contrarian" comment?
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Phil

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2017, 07:55:04 pm »
+5

Out of curiosity, do you ask if I'm new because of the "refuse to believe you're that much of a novice" comment, or the "being a contrarian" comment?

Awaclus' thing is being pedantic and contrarian.  I don't post much here either, but... yeah, it's the sort of thing you tend to pick up quickly, hence the joking reference to you being new here. :)
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2017, 08:11:08 pm »
0

Out of curiosity, do you ask if I'm new because of the "refuse to believe you're that much of a novice" comment, or the "being a contrarian" comment?

Awaclus' thing is being pedantic and contrarian.  I don't post much here either, but... yeah, it's the sort of thing you tend to pick up quickly, hence the joking reference to you being new here. :)

Thought that might be the case, but I didn't wanna assume what he meant. I recognized Awaclus' profile pic as "that argumentative guy". But given that I'm new to posting, I figured I may have misjudged him based on a flawed memory, and thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.

...On a completely unrelated note, is there a way to blacklist users? Just asking for research purposes  ::)
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2017, 08:33:14 pm »
0

If I tell you I played an Engine, do you immediately know what my specific solutions to the obstacles were?

Yes. They were a generalized version of this: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=17572.msg719842#msg719842

Hey, that post from faust got me thinking. Does it make sense to define the "strength" of a board as how efficiently and effectively one can solve the obstacles you laid out.

Say, one board's solution to Problem 1, 5, and 6 is "Prioritize getting a couple of Sentries". You take that same board, add one particular event to it, and the solution to Problem 1,5, and 6 becomes "Buy Donate". Would it make sense to call the Donate board "stronger"?
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2017, 12:05:33 am »
+3

Out of curiosity, do you ask if I'm new because of the "refuse to believe you're that much of a novice" comment, or the "being a contrarian" comment?

It was just you arguing with Awaclus, which is a thing newer people do and a thing older members just ignore.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2017, 12:16:38 am »
+4

Out of curiosity, do you ask if I'm new because of the "refuse to believe you're that much of a novice" comment, or the "being a contrarian" comment?

It was just you arguing with Awaclus, which is a thing newer people do and a thing older members just ignore.

I was so tempted to make a joke about the percent range of new members that get into arguments with Awaclus.
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infangthief

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2017, 02:18:56 am »
+1

For example, Militia modifies "you start turns with 5 cards" to "you start turns with the best 3 out of 5 cards".  Haunted Woods and Enchantress create obstacles that are totally unique.

I think this is the way forward. And I think if you generalise the existing obstacles a bit more then they cover other attacks too.

For example, obstacle #1 could be 'you have junk' - that includes the starting deck (always) and opponent's junking (sometimes). It would also include 'self-junking' (by which I mean coppers you bought for Goons VP, buying an embargoed card, and cards you bought that have outlived their usefulness), but I think there's no need to complicate the article with that.

Similarly, top-deck inspection attacks make obstacles #5 and #6 worse, discard attacks make obstacle #3 worse etc.

But yes, you don't want to complicate the article, so just some mention of attacks is probably sufficient.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2017, 05:50:28 am »
0

It was just you arguing with Awaclus, which is a thing newer people do and a thing older members just ignore.

Where did you get this from? I can hardly remember any instances of newbies getting into arguments with me, and in those cases there were always a lot of other veterans who agreed with me.

Awaclus' thing is being pedantic

That's one way of saying that I like puns. As far as being contrarian is concerned, that's not really the case either because usually I agree with other top players, there's just not all that much point in posting the thing someone else already said.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #51 on: September 19, 2017, 05:53:00 am »
0

Hey, that post from faust got me thinking. Does it make sense to define the "strength" of a board as how efficiently and effectively one can solve the obstacles you laid out.

Say, one board's solution to Problem 1, 5, and 6 is "Prioritize getting a couple of Sentries". You take that same board, add one particular event to it, and the solution to Problem 1,5, and 6 becomes "Buy Donate". Would it make sense to call the Donate board "stronger"?

Yeah, I think it does, if we're talking about card strengths here.

FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2017, 06:58:44 am »
0

Out of curiosity, do you ask if I'm new because of the "refuse to believe you're that much of a novice" comment, or the "being a contrarian" comment?

It was just you arguing with Awaclus, which is a thing newer people do and a thing older members just ignore.

That unfortunately sounds like an effective way to keep the community as small and stagnant as possible
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #53 on: September 19, 2017, 07:24:49 am »
0

That unfortunately sounds like an effective way to keep the community as small and stagnant as possible

It also sounds like it's not true, as I already said.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #54 on: September 19, 2017, 07:49:18 am »
0

Hey, that post from faust got me thinking. Does it make sense to define the "strength" of a board as how efficiently and effectively one can solve the obstacles you laid out.

Say, one board's solution to Problem 1, 5, and 6 is "Prioritize getting a couple of Sentries". You take that same board, add one particular event to it, and the solution to Problem 1,5, and 6 becomes "Buy Donate". Would it make sense to call the Donate board "stronger"?

Yeah, I think it does, if we're talking about card strengths here.

Yeah, I guess this idea fits with the concept of card strength, which is something that is of interest to players when assessing a board (and when deciding on their card rankings).
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FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #55 on: September 19, 2017, 07:53:48 am »
0

That unfortunately sounds like an effective way to keep the community as small and stagnant as possible

It also sounds like it's not true, as I already said.

And yet it matches with the only experience I have with you. It's fair to say that you and I are both biased. So if everyone else says you're like this, what makes you think I'm going to take your word for it that you're not?
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #56 on: September 19, 2017, 08:10:59 am »
0

And yet it matches with the only experience I have with you. It's fair to say that you and I are both biased. So if everyone else says you're like this, what makes you think I'm going to take your word for it that you're not?

The reason why a newbie is arguing with me right now and veterans aren't isn't that newbies always argue with me and veterans never do. If I was wrong, you could count on a lot of veterans to jump in and point out why I'm wrong.

Either way, if you have any comments or feedback about my character, you can feel free to send them to me via PM. This thread is not the correct platform for that.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 08:12:11 am by Awaclus »
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tripwire

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2017, 08:42:46 am »
+4

And yet it matches with the only experience I have with you. It's fair to say that you and I are both biased. So if everyone else says you're like this, what makes you think I'm going to take your word for it that you're not?

The reason why a newbie is arguing with me right now and veterans aren't isn't that newbies always argue with me and veterans never do. If I was wrong, you could count on a lot of veterans to jump in and point out why I'm wrong.

Either way, if you have any comments or feedback about my character, you can feel free to send them to me via PM. This thread is not the correct platform for that.

Haha, Awaclus, you do realize that arguing with you is always so unproductive that it's pretty much a meme, right?

Also, I think it's more likely that people aren't arguing with you about terminology because they think it doesn't matter, not because they agree with you.
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FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2017, 08:47:57 am »
0

Well, I'm totally convinced ::) Arguing me into submission is a great tactic for convincing me that you don't try to argue every single person into submission.

How about we both just agree to stop talking to each other? That's what I was trying to do by ignoring you in the first place (since there is apparently no blacklist feature on the site). I'm not about to PM you so we can get into a never-ending argument where I won't even have others to back me up when I feel you're being contrarian. If we can't even get along while talking about a card game, we're not going to get along while talking about why we dislike each other.

I feel that you've got a chip on your shoulder and a need to be right, such that we will never have a pleasant discussion. I would understand if you thought the same thing about me. So we can probably just agree that the most constructive solution would be to not talk to each other, right?

And even though we're both talking about your character on this thread, and others are as well, I can be adult enough to agree with you that this isn't the platform for it. For the record, I didn't start it (as you seem to be implying by only calling me out for being off-topic), but I definitely didn't try to end it either, so I'm sorry for that.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2017, 09:03:11 am »
0

Haha, Awaclus, you do realize that arguing with you is always so unproductive that it's pretty much a meme, right?

This applies to you as well:

Either way, if you have any comments or feedback about my character, you can feel free to send them to me via PM. This thread is not the correct platform for that.

Chris is me

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #60 on: September 19, 2017, 10:31:58 am »
+4

Haha, Awaclus, you do realize that arguing with you is always so unproductive that it's pretty much a meme, right?

This applies to you as well:

Either way, if you have any comments or feedback about my character, you can feel free to send them to me via PM. This thread is not the correct platform for that.

Peak Awaclus: Him having a pedantic, hair splitting debate as to the proper format and location for calling out the behavior absolutely everybody is positively sick of, but nobody can do anything about.
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tripwire

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #61 on: September 19, 2017, 10:38:32 am »
+3

Getting back on topic about the article, what do you most hope readers will take away from this article? Do you want discussions like the one you had with FemurLemur? Something else?

I already mentioned that I think the "obstacles" are the most valuable part and worry that other aspects of the article might distract from that, but I figured I should see what you think is the most valuable before I give any specific suggestions.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #62 on: September 19, 2017, 11:46:47 am »
+1

Getting back on topic about the article, what do you most hope readers will take away from this article? Do you want discussions like the one you had with FemurLemur? Something else?

I certainly didn't write the article in order to have discussions like the one I had with FemurLemur, I wrote it so that I wouldn't need to have them. Basically I wrote it so that the reader can learn to stop focusing on the superficial things that don't really matter, and start focusing on the underlying principles — such as the obstacles.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #63 on: September 19, 2017, 11:47:35 am »
0

Peak Awaclus: Him having a pedantic, hair splitting debate as to the proper format and location for calling out the behavior absolutely everybody is positively sick of, but nobody can do anything about.

This applies to you as well:

Either way, if you have any comments or feedback about my character, you can feel free to send them to me via PM. This thread is not the correct platform for that.

theory

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #64 on: September 19, 2017, 11:55:55 am »
+6

I don't want to lock this topic but if you all don't stop I will.  I don't know what the hell is going on here but you all need to step away from this "argument".
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Cuzz

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #65 on: September 19, 2017, 11:58:57 am »
+6

I think Awaclus has actually done a pretty good job of explaining his article and engaging in reasonable debate in this thread but some people are too locked into their perception of him as combative and obnoxious that that's all they can see.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #66 on: September 19, 2017, 12:17:51 pm »
+2

I don't want to lock this topic but if you all don't stop I will.  I don't know what the hell is going on here but you all need to step away from this "argument".

It's kind of your job to know what the hell is going on here.

To elaborate, I expect you to do more than just show up when things get hairy and threaten to lock the thread. Stuff like this happens for reasons and if they are not figured out, it will keep happening.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 12:20:32 pm by singletee »
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theory

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #67 on: September 19, 2017, 12:20:25 pm »
0

I don't want to lock this topic but if you all don't stop I will.  I don't know what the hell is going on here but you all need to step away from this "argument".

It's kind of your job to know what the hell is going on here.
I mean I don't understand the point of the arguments.  They have devolved into bizarre meta-arguments.  I don't see what anyone is trying to prove. 
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theory

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #68 on: September 19, 2017, 12:35:14 pm »
+1

To elaborate, I expect you to do more than just show up when things get hairy and threaten to lock the thread. Stuff like this happens for reasons and if they are not figured out, it will keep happening.
When I read this topic, as an independent observer, I see a person who is known for getting into pedantic debates write up a pretty good overview of a bunch of Dominion concepts.  It's imperfect as all classification systems will always be, but it makes a solid effort.  People then respond and get into pedantic debates about the nuances of that classification system.  So far this is all fine!  That's what you'd expect.

But then it turns into a weird meta-debate over the debate itself, and questioning people's motivations, and getting really upset.  That is the part I don't understand, and I wish people would cut out.  If you don't want to engage in pedantic debate, don't do it.  Arguing over stuff is a normal and healthy consequence of forums, but perhaps better if all parties remember that their goal is usually to convince others, and not their opponent.  Convincing your opponent requires a very different approach.

PS incidentally there is a blacklist feature on the site.  http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?action=profile;area=lists;sa=ignore
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allanfieldhouse

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #69 on: September 19, 2017, 01:06:10 pm »
+1

But then it turns into a weird meta-debate over the debate itself, and questioning people's motivations, and getting really upset.  That is the part I don't understand, and I wish people would cut out.  If you don't want to engage in pedantic debate, don't do it.

This.

If you're getting mad about arguments on the internet, just stop arguing. Sure the other guy might get the last word, but it's better for your mental health.
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #70 on: September 19, 2017, 01:12:07 pm »
0

Back to the OP again, I'm not sure about your dislike for the "combo" category. I'm guessing this is just based on a difference of definition though. I've always thought of the combo category as synonymous with "misc" or "unique". The reason the word "combo" was chosen is because they usually rely on a specific combination of cards.

I'm guessing you don't like this sort of thing because a universal set of strategies can't cover that category?
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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #71 on: September 19, 2017, 02:10:43 pm »
+1

But then it turns into a weird meta-debate over the debate itself, and questioning people's motivations, and getting really upset.  That is the part I don't understand, and I wish people would cut out.  If you don't want to engage in pedantic debate, don't do it.

This.

If you're getting mad about arguments on the internet, just stop arguing. Sure the other guy might get the last word, but it's better for your mental health.
But... but... what if the ohter person is WRONG?
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Since the number of points is within a constant factor of the number of city quarters, in the long run we can get (4 - ε) ↑↑ n points in n turns for any ε > 0.

Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #72 on: September 19, 2017, 02:17:33 pm »
0

I'm guessing you don't like this sort of thing because a universal set of strategies can't cover that category?

I don't like this sort of thing because it's superficial. The fact that those strategies are not as common as rushes, slogs, engines and big money (well, rushes and slogs are super rare anyway) is a superficial attribute, not something useful.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #73 on: September 19, 2017, 02:41:29 pm »
+1

(well, rushes and slogs are super rare anyway)

I'd been thinking about this lately and wondering whether this was true, since I almost never play these anymore and didn't know if I should be doing them more. The last time I thought a straight workshop/gardens rush was going to be competitive I tried it and lost to some candlestick maker/pathfinding engine I hadn't noticed.
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tripwire

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #74 on: September 19, 2017, 02:56:02 pm »
+5

Getting back on topic about the article, what do you most hope readers will take away from this article? Do you want discussions like the one you had with FemurLemur? Something else?

I certainly didn't write the article in order to have discussions like the one I had with FemurLemur, I wrote it so that I wouldn't need to have them. Basically I wrote it so that the reader can learn to stop focusing on the superficial things that don't really matter, and start focusing on the underlying principles — such as the obstacles.

Okay, here's my suggestions for revision to make that more likely, then. (Although, I think your revisions since the last time I read the whole article, have already helped some with this issue.) Obviously, though, if you feel like any of these suggestions misrepresents your position or eliminates important info, then take it with a grain of salt.

1. I already mentioned changing the title to focus more on the "obstacles" rather than "deck types," but if you don't like that, what about changing it to put the focus on moving beyond the "deck type definition" debate (as you say, the more superficial elements)? I mean, is an "infinite number of deck types" any different than deck types no longer being that useful? Maybe modify your "Beyond the five types" subtitle to be the title for the whole article?

2. I would more explicitly suggest that this perspective encourages redefining how we think of the archetypal deck types. Rather than seeing them as determined by the number of actions, or level of synergy, or whatever other thing people use, your perspective demonstrates how it's useful to think of the deck types as common answers to the obstacles. This way if people have incompatible ideas of "engine" or "slog," they clearly know that's not what you are talking about.

3. I would remove references to terminology and your disagreements with it, unless it's absolutely necessary (e.g. your issues with "combo"). I think you could still show how the obstacles suggest other common strategies such as the "golden deck" or "stockpile" without as many criticisms of "combo." Maybe you need to keep it in the "beyond the five types" part, but does it need to be in the intro, too?

4. I would tone down the language about the stupidity of engine/bm hybrids. I think "stupid" will just generate resistance and cause some people to try to come up with "hybrid" examples to refute you, even though that completely misses your point. (why is stupid better than "ineffective" or "unfocused"?) Also, I'd take more opportunities to tie this back to the objectives (right now, the only reference is implicit in the word "solutions").

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Awaclus

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #75 on: September 19, 2017, 03:09:28 pm »
0

(well, rushes and slogs are super rare anyway)

I'd been thinking about this lately and wondering whether this was true, since I almost never play these anymore and didn't know if I should be doing them more. The last time I thought a straight workshop/gardens rush was going to be competitive I tried it and lost to some candlestick maker/pathfinding engine I hadn't noticed.

Well, it's pretty much true. The engine is usually just better. There are still things like the Beggar/Gardens slog, Lurker/Hunting Grounds rush and Rebuild rushes that are fairly strong but those aren't necessarily the be-all-end-all strategies on their respective boards either.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #76 on: September 19, 2017, 03:44:21 pm »
0

without as many criticisms of "combo." Maybe you need to keep it in the "beyond the five types" part, but does it need to be in the intro, too?

Well, it wasn't in the intro originally, but I put it there due to feedback from trivialknot. So I would say that it doesn't need to be in the intro, but I don't know which way is better.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #77 on: September 19, 2017, 03:57:55 pm »
0

-Consider obstacle #6 ("You don’t always draw cards in the order you would like") in a kingdom with village and smithy.  Like with most card synergies, village/smithy synergize only when drawn in the right order.
-Big Money's solution is to avoid too many villages/smithies, so cards are good in any order.
-Engine's solution is to get lots of villages/smithies so they can be paired easily, especially since pairing them draws you more cards.
-Here, the "hybrid" strategy is to get some villages/smithies, but not enough to pair them easily.  And this just fails to address obstacle #6.

I just outright copied a lot of that into the article, I hope you don't mind.

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #78 on: September 19, 2017, 04:06:06 pm »
0

-Consider obstacle #6 ("You don’t always draw cards in the order you would like") in a kingdom with village and smithy.  Like with most card synergies, village/smithy synergize only when drawn in the right order.
-Big Money's solution is to avoid too many villages/smithies, so cards are good in any order.
-Engine's solution is to get lots of villages/smithies so they can be paired easily, especially since pairing them draws you more cards.
-Here, the "hybrid" strategy is to get some villages/smithies, but not enough to pair them easily.  And this just fails to address obstacle #6.

I just outright copied a lot of that into the article, I hope you don't mind.
That's fine.

without as many criticisms of "combo." Maybe you need to keep it in the "beyond the five types" part, but does it need to be in the intro, too?
Well, it wasn't in the intro originally, but I put it there due to feedback from trivialknot. So I would say that it doesn't need to be in the intro, but I don't know which way is better.
Yeah who knows.  I'm just trying to make helpful suggestions because I like the article, but obviously some of my advice may be bad or focusing on the wrong things.

FWIW I don't recall ever arguing with Awaclus when I was a newbie.
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FemurLemur

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Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« Reply #79 on: September 19, 2017, 05:40:13 pm »
+3

If you're getting mad about arguments on the internet, just stop arguing. Sure the other guy might get the last word, but it's better for your mental health.
I could've swore that's what I tried. Twice. And a lot of good it's doing, given how Faust is mocking me now as well.

If you don't want to engage in pedantic debate, don't do it.
With all due respect, I did want to have a pedantic debate, and I said as much when replying to Trivialknot. That never changed. What I did not want was to be condescended to by somebody with absolutely zero social skills. My responses- up until Awaclus posted Replies #32 and #33- were far more polite than anything he has said to me this entire time. After those two replies, I'd had enough of him returning my genuine interest, genuine compliments, and genuine attempts to find common ground with insults and stubborn dismissiveness. Even then, I still tried to focus more on de-escalating far more than I thought he deserved, on the off chance that I'm not as right about my assessment of him as I think I am (see Reply #58). Out of curiosity, how many times have you ever seen Awaclus:
  • apologize for anything?
  • admit to an error?
  • display the self-awareness to say that it's conceivable that he has misjudged something?
  • try to find common ground with another user?
  • disagree with/debate a user for a prolonged period of time without calling their ideas "useless" or some other such dismissive or disrespectful term?
Not just in this thread, but in all of his years on here. Has he ever been polite or courteous in any way?

You couldn't be more right when you say that the meta-debate was pointless. But I really don't see how you could read the entire thread and walk away from it reducing the source of my frustration to Awaclus being pedantic.

PS incidentally there is a blacklist feature on the site.  http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?action=profile;area=lists;sa=ignore
Thank you. I happened to look at the "help" page before asking about the Blacklist, and found a description of the Ignore feature. At the time, it sounded to me like it only prevents people from emailing or direct messaging. Is that what it is, or did I misunderstand and it actually does block? If it's the latter then that's all I need.

When I read this topic, as an independent observer, I see a person who is known for getting into pedantic debates...
I see a user who is acting extremely divisively, a group of users who have complained that they feel he is almost always this divisive, and a moderator who understandably would prefer not to moderate in response to that complaint (but who I feel should). It's your site, I don't have any right to tell you how to run it. I just feel that if you try to sweep those complaints under the rug to avoid the discomfort that addressing it would bring, then that's an honest shame, because you're probably driving away more new users than you realize just to avoid an awkward conversation with one existing user.

Don't some of the comments here about Awaclus bother you as the moderator? Not just because they're off-topic and have caused a frustrating amount of drama (both of which I admit are true), but because they speak to an underlying sense of tension and source of dissatisfaction among f.ds users? People are basically telling me that the best way to enjoy the site is to more or less pretend Awaclus doesn't exist. I don't think one even has to agree with those comments to find that concerning. Whether your interpretation is that Awaclus is impossible to get along with, or you think that Awaclus is unfairly judged by others, it's a red flag regardless.

What exactly is an offense worth confronting here? Is it just being off-topic? If, from here on, I am always on-topic 100%, do I get to be a dick without repercussion and ruin others' experience too? I don't think anybody is asking for you to bring down the ban hammer. Don't you think there could be some benefit in asking an unlikable user to please try to be more likable?
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Polk5440

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #80 on: September 19, 2017, 05:40:44 pm »
+1

I like the direction the re-write is taking and the new title of the thread.

I like the idea of a stratgey being a particular solution to obstacles.

  • Your starting deck consists of crappy cards
  • The main source of VP comes from putting crappy cards into your deck
  • You only get 5 cards and 1 buy every turn
  • You can only play one Action card every turn
  • When you buy a card, it takes a while before you even get to use it at all
  • You don’t always draw cards in the order you would like
  • In order to win, you need to be able to end the game by emptying the Provinces, Colonies or any three piles while you’re ahead

The obstacles are a combination of explicit rules (#3 and #4), immediate consequences of the rules (#5, #6, and #7), and immediate implications about the cards once you understand the goal and rules of the game (#1 and #2).

When I teach Dominion to someone, I go through an example hand. Once the realization that "There is no way to afford a Province unless I do something about it" clicks, then we are golden and ready for a real game. So basically, I like this list of obstacles because if a person doesn't understand them, they basically can't play a game of Dominion.

Regarding Attacks: I am not sure that Attacks add entirely new obstacles so much as modify the existing ones. For example, junking attacks modify #1 to "Your deck consists of crappy cards". Sure, every game you start with crappy cards, but some games that's not the extent of the crap; it just keeps coming. Discard attacks modify #3. Militia, for example, "You only get 3 cards and 1 buy a turn". And so on.
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Awaclus

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #81 on: September 19, 2017, 05:57:29 pm »
0

Regarding Attacks: I am not sure that Attacks add entirely new obstacles so much as modify the existing ones. For example, junking attacks modify #1 to "Your deck consists of crappy cards". Sure, every game you start with crappy cards, but some games that's not the extent of the crap; it just keeps coming. Discard attacks modify #3. Militia, for example, "You only get 3 cards and 1 buy a turn". And so on.

That's true for those attacks, but Enchantress, for instance, does something unique. I didn't want to write a novel about attacks, so I thought that this covers all the cases sufficiently.

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #82 on: September 19, 2017, 06:14:48 pm »
0

Regarding Attacks: I am not sure that Attacks add entirely new obstacles so much as modify the existing ones. For example, junking attacks modify #1 to "Your deck consists of crappy cards". Sure, every game you start with crappy cards, but some games that's not the extent of the crap; it just keeps coming. Discard attacks modify #3. Militia, for example, "You only get 3 cards and 1 buy a turn". And so on.

That's true for those attacks, but Enchantress, for instance, does something unique. I didn't want to write a novel about attacks, so I thought that this covers all the cases sufficiently.

Sort of? But not really. I just don't agree that Attacks should be thought of as completely orthogonal to the existing 7 obstacles. 

Enchantress makes the first Action you play a temporarily crappy card, "adding" a crappy card to your deck. Again, a modification of 1, "Your deck consists of crappy cards". But this time it's only temporary. The tougher example for me to think about is attacking trashers like Knights and Noble Brigand. They simply remove good cards (theoretically) from your deck. But that leaves crappier cards for you to deal with, so again, "Your deck consists of crappy cards" could still apply as an obstacle.

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ConMan

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #83 on: September 19, 2017, 07:54:58 pm »
+1

Way back in 2011 there was an article (written by Donald) titled "Your Guide To Beating Attacks". Maybe it's time for an update, and it could be written also as a follow-up to this one by showing how the types of attack relate to the obstacles (and occasionally don't).
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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #84 on: September 20, 2017, 08:11:53 am »
+2

The main point of your article seems to be this: a strategy should be defined by its answers to overcoming the seven obstacles, not the composition of the deck, and all deck compositions that answer the questions in the same way are in fact the same strategy. But 1) to make this reversal in the “conclusion” that is halfway through the article, you have to assume the common compositional definition of a deck type and everyone has to be on the same page, and 2) you fail to follow through on your new definition in the second half of the article. I will try to make these criticisms clear below.

Your Hermit/Market Square example is a really good example because everyone is clear about what you are talking about. It's a very explicitly defined deck and build order and you link to an article that describes it, so anyone who does not know what you are talking about can get on the same page before reading about its solutions to the obstacles. Great, we know how to build a Hermit/Market Square deck, and now we know that we can think of its definition as not the build order laid out in the linked article, but instead as the solution to overcoming the seven obstacles.

The "Big money (also known as good stuff)" example is actually a pretty terrible example even after the edits. It seems like you are talking about something a lot more ill-defined than the Hermit/Market Square example. The example fails to provide the same cathartic reversal as the Hermit/Market Square example because you do not get us on the same page for the position from which you want to reverse. Then you try to generalize other deck compositions as “big money” based on the answers to the seven obstacles and the disconnect increases because we weren’t on the same page to start.

How exactly do I play a "Big money (also known as good stuff)" strategy mechanically? What’s the composition of the deck? What’s the build order? Not based on your definition, but based on the definition you are trying to refute: the before-the-reversal, composition-based definition.

If it's so simple, why am I (and many others) so confused every time you talk about "Big money (also known as good stuff)" or really any other “strategy”?

Much better would be if you first used Big Money Ultimate (only basic treasure and basic victory cards) as the example. To be really specific, maybe pick a bot in this thread. Then, after the conclusion, in part 2, generalize. Make the point that how BMU overcomes the seven obstacles applies to other deck compositions, as well, for example, a deck that buys only Mystics. Because they have the same answers, they are the same strategy.

But even this is not obvious. If my answer to #4 for BMU would have been “The high-quality cards you add to your deck are all Basic Treasures”, rather than what you wrote, then the Mystic deck would not be the same strategy as BMU. So you have to impose some kind of generalization in the answers to group deck compositions into strategies. How general can you go while still being useful? It's not obvious.

In Part 2, you NEED to define big money, engine, slog, and rush in the context of the seven obstacles. What exactly are you thinking? I have no clue based on your article and responses to comments in the thread. (Well, maybe more for engine because you endorse faust’s post.) Because answering the seven obstacles at the right level of generalization is not trivial, you cannot leave it to the reader as an exercise. You need to do the work to lay them all out yourself because clearly people do not agree with you.

Even more confusingly, in part 2, you define a new deck type (stockpile) by deck composition rather than in your new way: the answers to the seven articles. In fact, you never outline its solutions to the seven obstacles at all. Further, in the comments you go back and forth between deck composition definitions and seven obstacles definitions as it suits you which is very confusing.

I think it’s important that you are very explicit about laying out all of these definitions for big money, rush, slog, combo, and engine in the article because I really do not understand your distinctions and I do not agree with your characterization of WW’s articles on the deck types. I think if you are more clear, there would be less confusion.

For example, you say:

the concept of there being a continuum between big money and engine with all sorts of strategies with different numbers of moving parts in between was invented by you and I never heard of it before today.

But Wandering Winder says:

Basically, [big money] gets the bulk of its income from treasures bigger than copper, so silver, gold, platinum, fool’s gold, venture, etc. It also doesn’t cycle particularly quickly.

and
 
Quote
there are a number of different types of Big Money deck… Terminal Draw… Terminal Non-Draw… Engine Hybrid… Treasure Flood

Under Engine Hybrid:

Quote
Also, you will sometimes add a little nonterminal draw to the terminal non-draw money deck, and this can maintain a money feel. Do both, and you are creeping into engine territory. A weak dividing line is how often you will pass up gold for a cheaper component, though this isn’t foolproof.

and

Of course, every deck is different, and every particular kingdom is different. And there aren’t necessarily big bright dividing lines between all five deck types – indeed, I think every type fits fairly nicely ‘between’ two others, and at some point, the two can bleed into each other.

So it is incorrect of you to say you have never heard of the concept of a continuum between big money and engine. It’s right in the WW articles you supposedly agree with and are expanding upon.

---

In short, I agree very much with
I think this is a useful article, but I think the title puts the focus in the wrong place. In my opinion, the valuable insight here is thinking about the "obstacles" and the need to determine a strategy that can address each one.
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werothegreat

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #85 on: September 20, 2017, 08:25:53 am »
+1

I realize I'm a little late to the party, but Awaclus continually saying "address the 7 obstacles" sounds like he's starting a cult
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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #86 on: September 20, 2017, 08:31:57 am »
+1

Okay, now I'm actually reading the OP. From my personal understanding, adding a bunch of cantrips to a deck is definitely not a Big Money deck. The "7 obstacles" (seriously, is there a less "8-fold path" way to say this?) are valuable to think about, but the terms for the deck archetypes are so firmly entrenched in Dominion strategy now that you're not going to be able to easily redefine them. A Big Money deck uses 1-3 terminal Actions and Treasures and buys at best 1 Province per turn. That's it, end of story. You can't put ninety bajillion Actions into a deck and call it "Big Money". For a pedant, this should bother you a lot more than it currently seems to be.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 08:33:22 am by werothegreat »
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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #87 on: September 20, 2017, 09:01:05 am »
+2

Okay, now I'm actually reading the OP. From my personal understanding, adding a bunch of cantrips to a deck is definitely not a Big Money deck. The "7 obstacles" (seriously, is there a less "8-fold path" way to say this?) are valuable to think about, but the terms for the deck archetypes are so firmly entrenched in Dominion strategy now that you're not going to be able to easily redefine them. A Big Money deck uses 1-3 terminal Actions and Treasures and buys at best 1 Province per turn. That's it, end of story. You can't put ninety bajillion Actions into a deck and call it "Big Money". For a pedant, this should bother you a lot more than it currently seems to be.

If you're playing a moneyish strategy, and your terminal actions are non-drawing (or Gear), you should absolutely consider adding non-terminal actions to the deck.  Magpie, Baker, Ironmonger, Junk Dealer, Haven, and Secret Passage are clear examples of non-terminal actions that can improve a moneyish strategy.  This is not an exhaustive list.  Terminal draw is rarely the best form of money strategies nowadays.  See this great post by funkdoc on the matter.  I believe you and Awaclus agree that "Big Money" decks generally aim to buy 1 Province per turn and care about average card quality over total deck quality.  I think there's something to be gained from Awaclus's focus on classifying strategies on how they overcome obstacles as opposed to superficial characteristics like the number of actions played/gained.  I think we can all agree that the name "Big Money" is misleading under Awaclus's framework, though I understand why Awaclus would be reluctant to create a new name.
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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #88 on: September 20, 2017, 09:09:00 am »
+2

I think we can all agree that the name "Big Money" is misleading under Awaclus's framework, though I understand why Awaclus would be reluctant to create a new name.

Well he has the name there already: "good stuff".  Re funkdoc's post: while I can see Navigator-BM as a BM deck (and it comes as a surprise to me that it would beat Smithy-BM, will have to try that), surely Baker-"BM" (with some trashing) is a good stuff deck.  I'm not saying there aren't decks that run cantrips and only try to buy 1 Province per turn - what I'm saying is that it's misleading to call them "Big Money", even if they may have similar ways to overcome the obstacle mantra.  It's especially misleading for a newer player who may not have quite grasped fully the true difference between terminals and non-terminals, and just keeps shoving more Mines and Workshops into their deck.
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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #89 on: September 20, 2017, 09:58:25 am »
0

How general can you go while still being useful? It's not obvious.

Because answering the seven obstacles at the right level of generalization is not trivial, you cannot leave it to the reader as an exercise. You need to do the work to lay them all out yourself because clearly people do not agree with you.

You can answer them at any level of generalization. Whether you end up with a bunch of different kinds of decks or the same type of deck doesn't really matter. What matters is that you understand why it works.

Even more confusingly, in part 2, you define a new deck type (stockpile) by deck composition rather than in your new way: the answers to the seven articles. In fact, you never outline its solutions to the seven obstacles at all. Further, in the comments you go back and forth between deck composition definitions and seven obstacles definitions as it suits you which is very confusing.

Do you think the article should be just a database of solutions? That's not what I wanted to create. You're not supposed to memorize this, you're supposed to learn how to implement this approach in your own thinking.

I do not agree with your characterization of WW’s articles on the deck types.

You're obviously correct. I forgot that WW had the part about hybrid strategies in there. However, I don't think it invalidates anything I said in the article (after all, I wasn't really trying to address WW in it, I was trying to address the current player base), just some of the stuff I said afterwards.

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #90 on: September 20, 2017, 10:04:58 am »
+2

For a pedant, this should bother you a lot more than it currently seems to be.

That's because I'm not a pedant. I just like puns, that's all.

If it hurts your soul to use "big money" to describe a deck that doesn't buy a lot of Treasure cards, you can call it good stuff. The thing you should realize is that there is no meaningful distinction between the two.

werothegreat

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #91 on: September 20, 2017, 10:11:37 am »
+1

If it hurts your soul to use "big money" to describe a deck that doesn't buy a lot of Treasure cards, you can call it good stuff. The thing you should realize is that there is no meaningful distinction between the two.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes there is.  Treasures are stop cards.  Cantrips are not.  You have shuffle control with cantrips.  You're a lot more dependent on shuffle luck with Treasures.  There are actual distinctions between these decks other than "well they both use similar means to overcome this idea I invented".
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Awaclus

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #92 on: September 20, 2017, 10:13:52 am »
0

If it hurts your soul to use "big money" to describe a deck that doesn't buy a lot of Treasure cards, you can call it good stuff. The thing you should realize is that there is no meaningful distinction between the two.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes there is.  Treasures are stop cards.  Cantrips are not.  You have shuffle control with cantrips.  You're a lot more dependent on shuffle luck with Treasures.  There are actual distinctions between these decks other than "well they both use similar means to overcome this idea I invented".

But they are not the reason why the strategy works or doesn't work.

werothegreat

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #93 on: September 20, 2017, 10:20:27 am »
+1

Because answering the seven obstacles at the right level of generalization is not trivial, you cannot leave it to the reader as an exercise. You need to do the work to lay them all out yourself because clearly people do not agree with you.

You can answer them at any level of generalization. Whether you end up with a bunch of different kinds of decks or the same type of deck doesn't really matter. What matters is that you understand why it works.

Let's make an analogy.  I'm a physicist.  When solving a physics problem, there are a number of fundamental techniques you can use - free body diagrams, vector analysis, conservation of energy and momentum, and so on - but there are also a lot of applied versions of those techniques that make it easier to solve certain problems.  One problem might be best solved by Lagrangian mechanics, another will require an analysis of the forces involved, another will require statistics or perturbation theory or whatever.  What's important is recognizing when you can skip all the fundamental stuff and jump right to an applied solution.

So yeah, I agree with you that your "7 obstacles" are pretty fundamental from a theoretical standpoint.  But when playing a game, I'm not going to sit there and think through all 7 of those.  I'm going to glance at the Kingdom, realize I can make an engine (or should go Big Money, or good stuff, or a combo, or a slog) and do that.  So it's important to know how specifically to make those particular deckstyles work.  More important, I would say, than being able to individually answer each obstacle each game.  And part of that is recognizing the distinctions between them.  Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics might both rely on the principle of energy conservation, but they operate differently and are used to solve different problems.  Big Money and good stuff might rely on similar "overcome the 7 obstacles" principles, but they operate differently and are used to win in different Kingdoms.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 10:21:29 am by werothegreat »
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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #94 on: September 20, 2017, 10:37:53 am »
0

So yeah, I agree with you that your "7 obstacles" are pretty fundamental from a theoretical standpoint.  But when playing a game, I'm not going to sit there and think through all 7 of those.  I'm going to glance at the Kingdom, realize I can make an engine (or should go Big Money, or good stuff, or a combo, or a slog) and do that.  So it's important to know how specifically to make those particular deckstyles work.  More important, I would say, than being able to individually answer each obstacle each game.  And part of that is recognizing the distinctions between them.  Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics might both rely on the principle of energy conservation, but they operate differently and are used to solve different problems.  Big Money and good stuff might rely on similar "overcome the 7 obstacles" principles, but they operate differently and are used to win in different Kingdoms.

If you know how to build and play an engine, you don't have to think about the obstacles when actually playing. At that point, it also doesn't matter if you know how to build and play it because you've considered the obstacles or because you've just tried a lot of things out and seen what works and what doesn't.

But there are times when you don't know how to build or play the strategy that you're going for. For instance, sometimes you don't know if you should be buying a Province or more engine components. At that point, you can do something arbitrary and see how it works out, or you can try to think of reasons why you should be doing one thing or the other. The obstacles are one thing to consider. Beatdown vs. control is another. There are other things to consider, too. Even if you do choose to do something arbitrary, you can consider the obstacles after you've lost to see why buying the early Province wasn't such a great idea: it didn't fit in with the rest of what your strategy was trying to do.

The obstacles won't necessarily make you more likely to win any particular game, but they will make you a better player in the long run.

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #95 on: September 20, 2017, 11:04:53 am »
0

If it hurts your soul to use "big money" to describe a deck that doesn't buy a lot of Treasure cards, you can call it good stuff. The thing you should realize is that there is no meaningful distinction between the two.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes there is.  Treasures are stop cards.  Cantrips are not.  You have shuffle control with cantrips.  You're a lot more dependent on shuffle luck with Treasures.  There are actual distinctions between these decks other than "well they both use similar means to overcome this idea I invented".

Yes, but at the same time, Big Money decks and Good Stuff both are affected by greening in a similar way. Both decks experience a reduction in expected buying power for each green card bought by a similar amount. The Good Stuff deck will still have a bunch of stop cards in the form of at least some of its starting Coppers and Estates, assuming the presence of light trashing. It's just that the Big Money deck introduces plenty of additional stop cards, whether it is money or terminal actions. I'll also note that a lot of Good Stuff decks often need to fall back on gaining a Gold or two to get a spike in economy in order to make good use of +buy sooner.

If we're taking about a deck that trashes most of its starting cards within a reasonable timeframe and consists of mostly cantrips to draw most of the deck each turn, well then that sounds much more like an engine than good stuff. Then again, such a deck also chokes on green if it doesn't increase handsize beyond five cards.
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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #96 on: September 20, 2017, 11:08:04 am »
0

So yeah, I agree with you that your "7 obstacles" are pretty fundamental from a theoretical standpoint.  But when playing a game, I'm not going to sit there and think through all 7 of those.  I'm going to glance at the Kingdom, realize I can make an engine (or should go Big Money, or good stuff, or a combo, or a slog) and do that.
In all fairness to Awaclus though, I think you probably have a pretty strong intuition which comes from years of experience and many games played. A new player won't have that, and I think they're more likely to build up their judgement than intuition from reading an article. Whether or not they'll actually go through the trouble of answering the 7 obstacles, I can't say.

I agree with the rest of what you said, but I'm not gonna open that whole can of worms again, as it's not fair to Awaclus to talk about his ideas and not expect a reply
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Bowi

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #97 on: September 20, 2017, 12:05:51 pm »
+3

Well he has the name there already: "good stuff".
To be fair "good stuff" is like a really bad name. It's totally non-descriptive and actually confusing. Are other decks "bad stuff?" Ironically, "good stuff" is something you go for on a board that lacks other strategies, because it's quite weak.
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Polk5440

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #98 on: September 20, 2017, 12:33:24 pm »
+3

Even more confusingly, in part 2, you define a new deck type (stockpile) by deck composition rather than in your new way: the answers to the seven articles. In fact, you never outline its solutions to the seven obstacles at all. Further, in the comments you go back and forth between deck composition definitions and seven obstacles definitions as it suits you which is very confusing.

Do you think the article should be just a database of solutions? That's not what I wanted to create. You're not supposed to memorize this, you're supposed to learn how to implement this approach in your own thinking.

Well, since you asked... ;)

If your ultimate goal is for readers to learn how to implement this approach in their own thinking, then I would work to eliminate much of part 2 because part 2 just gets me thinking "how on earth is Awaculus thinking about all of these different terms for which I seem to have different definitions?" and totally distracts me from your intended purpose.

Here's my concrete suggestions:

Keep a distinction between describing decks by their contents and by their strategy and be clear when you are referring to one but not the other.

Have three examples.

1. Keep Hermit/Market Square, move it first. Except, eliminate the final paragraph of the example (we'll save it for later).
2. Add Native Village/Bridge as a specific example; lay out its solutions to the seven obstacles.
3. Rework the big money/good stuff example; it is too general. Replace it with an easy to describe money based deck like BMU or Smithy-Big Money that you can link to; lay out its solutions to the seven obstacles.

Now you have the "Conclusion" paragraph, only I would actually eliminate the word "conclusion" and make the bolded first sentence the new paragraph header.

Ok, now you've laid out the big reveal. Now you can review what this means for the three examples and thinking about grouping and and naming strategies.

1. Insert that cut paragraph explaining why Hermit-Market Square is a specific strategy all to itself (modified to fit its new location in the article).
2. When describing example 2, say something like "In contrast, Native Village/Bridge is NOT unique. The same answers to the seven obstacles apply to other deck constructions like Royal Carriage/Bridge and Duplicate Bridge, that accumulate large quantities of Reserve cards, cards on the Native Village mat, coin tokens, or other resources and then it suddenly uses them for a megaturn. I like to call this useful category stockpile."
3. Have another paragraph that explains that other money-ish decks (even ones with a lot of non-terminal actions) also answer the seven obstacles in the same way as example 3 and be lumped together strategically with Smithy-Big Money. They are all playing the same strategy but with different cards. Maybe even say you like to call these decks "good stuff" or "money" decks. Don't use the term Big Money (capitalized) with regards to this general strategy category. Like wero points out, many other people have a very specific and different idea about what Big Money (capitalized) means.

Eliminate everything from "Figuring out the answers that rushes, slogs, and engines have..." all the way to the last paragraph.

Rewrite last paragraph to something like this "When you are thinking about a strategy, it is a good idea to figure out how your strategy would address the obstacles. As the number and the complexity of card-shaped things keeps going up, we are going to see more and more of completely new types of strategies. There certainly needs to be some kind of framework that allows us to understand what makes a strategy work, and this has been an early attempt at that task."

This keeps the focus on what you most intend and makes it clear about with what you disagree in regards to the term "combo decks" and the five deck types in a more specific way. I think this will be less confusing to people. 
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Awaclus

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #99 on: September 20, 2017, 01:40:45 pm »
0

I would actually eliminate the word "conclusion" and make the bolded first sentence the new paragraph header.

That's a good idea. Other than that, you're suggesting pretty big changes that don't really match with my vision for how I think the article should be.

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #100 on: September 20, 2017, 06:17:29 pm »
+1

I think Polk has some valuable suggestions, and I think it might be because this should really be two separate (but obviously related) articles? I'd have to go re-read the OP to really make sure this makes sense, but it seems like you could have:

1. Overcoming obstacles as a way of developing a strategy for a board.
2. A new deck type classification system based on your obstacles from article #1. I would be hesitant to re-use WW's deck type names since your system defines them differently.

One more thing that just occurred to me is that a lot of the confusion is based around the terms "deck type" and "strategy". During these discussions, it seems like those two terms are sometimes used interchangeably and sometimes as two entirely different concepts.
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Awaclus

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Re: Obstacles: Beyond the Five Deck Types
« Reply #101 on: September 20, 2017, 06:19:58 pm »
0

One more thing that just occurred to me is that a lot of the confusion is based around the terms "deck type" and "strategy". During these discussions, it seems like those two terms are sometimes used interchangeably and sometimes as two entirely different concepts.

I always use them interchangeably.
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