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Author Topic: Bandit: What's Her Deal?  (Read 849 times)

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Skumpy

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Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« on: September 15, 2017, 05:18:45 am »
+7

I got carried away with this and it's way too long, apologies in advance. Originally designed as a Bandit article, it ultimately ended up including some basic Engine advice. Settle down and grab a nice cup of cocoa before you begin reading to see if there's anything Salvageable from this article. This was designed to be targeted towards beginners, but that definitely wavers here and there.
Note: I was planning to write an article on Bandit since it seemed like a simpler card for me to explain, then I get home and see Polk's already written a whole bunch on Gold, which is like 95% of Bandit. I'll get him back one day.






In all her poorly-camouflaged glory.
Who is Bandit?

Bandit does 2 things. First: she gains you a gold. That sounds pretty good. Second: she gives you chance to trash an important treasure from one or more other players (specifically, not a copper). This also sounds pretty good. But be careful: it's very easy to overrate both of those effects.

So what happens if I buy like 2 Bandits and then just buy a bunch of Treasures and Provinces? That seems pretty good!

Sigh. Yes, it seems to make sense. Add a bunch of Gold to your deck, take away the Treasures your opponents get (but not the coppers!), and then just get some Victory cards. Sounds good. Unfortunately, it's too slow and weak to win. You'll get a couple Provinces, but that's obviously not enough. Turns out doing the same thing with Smithy instead is just as good, if not better. Not saying it's good with Smithy - I'm saying it's better. In any event, these are called "Big Money" strategies, and are often neither the best strategy available, nor the most fun to play with (actually, basically never the most fun to play with). So you'll manage something with Bandit by doing a Bandit-Big Money thing, but she won't be happy about it! Don't upset her.

OK, then what?

Bandit's nice in Engines, decks where you get to play lots of actions. If you need a bunch of Golds in a hurry, it's usually better to burn 1 action playing a Bandit to get a gold which you might even be able to play that same turn than to burn $6 and 1 buy on gold. With engines, you'll be able to reliably play a Bandit a turn, which will ultimately be much quicker than buying them.

Before we go further, it's important that you understand the role that Gold plays in Engines. It's often nice to have a few lying around, but don't get too greedy. Read this very-recently-written article by Polk5440 to better understand Gold and see why it helps and why it hurts.. To summarize: too many Golds, and you have an unnecessary amount of money that you may not even be able to play every turn. But a few will give you the Dolla Dollas to afford Provinces and other key cards without gumming up your Engine very much.

So yeah, one reason to get golds is to have money (duh). Another: Gold combos with a lot of cards, especially Trash For Benefit (TFB) cards where you get reward for trashing expensive cards. Here are a few of the many examples.

  • Remodel (Base Set): Play a Bandit, draw the Gold, play a Remodel, and turn the Gold into a Province. Rinse and Repeat.
  • Bishop (Prosperity): Same idea as Remodel, but play the Bishop instead, and gain 4 Victory Points. It's not as many as the 6 from a Province such as in the Remodel example, but since you haven't actually added a Province to your deck, your Engine is just as strong as before.
  • Counterfeit (Dark Ages) : Play 1 gold, get 6 coins (and a buy!) instead. Cha-ching!
  • Salvager (Seaside): See Counterfeit

I'll come back to address the attack part of Bandit one last time. It's not as important as the Gold gaining part; don't worry about it too much. If an opponent wants to try a Big Money strategy, Bandit plays in an Engine can help slow them down, but if you’re playing an Engine good enough to play a Bandit a turn, you should probably be able to win anyways in the first place.

But my opponents keep buying it in 4 player games and stealing all my Golds and I can't ever win!

Don't worry, there are ways around it.

First: while trashing is very important, be sure not to shrink down to a deck in the opening relying only on a couple at-risk treasures (like Silver). You need to use your starting money to pick up something that will last you throughout the game, such as actions cards giving you virtual money or cards that will regenerate treasures (such as, you guessed it, Bandit). This is crucial when opponents rush for early Bandits without caring about trashing or building up an engine. This will fail, but don't fall victim and encourage them to keep trying it. It's not the best approach.

Speaking of which: if your golds are getting stolen, you can use Bandits of your own to regain them. This will require waiting to build the start of your engine first. The best Bandit is the one that gets played every turn; the more often it gets used, the more golds you can recover. So have patience, accept that the attack isn't the most powerful thing on the board, and don't buy the Bandit until you absolutely need it. Remember, engines don't need 8 golds in the deck to be successful; even if only 1 or 2 survive between turns, then between that and playing another Bandit on your next turn, you'll be in fine shape.

One more thing: don't feel like you're getting singled out. If all 3 other players have Bandits, that means they're hurting each other too. Sometimes, you will be the recipient of bad luck. Sometimes, you'll be the benefactor. But the better a player you become, the more you minimize the impact of the luck factor. Welcome to Dominion.

But you said it can be useful! Are there times I shouldn't get it?

Absolutely. There are times when you don't need the Bandit, even when you're playing an engine. First off, remember that if you do get a Bandit, you don't need a lot of them and you won't need all that many Golds. Moving on.

Some boards don't have very many Villages, and you can't play very many actions. There may be more important cards than Bandit that you need to play, such as Smithy and other cards that draw more cards.

The TFB cards are awesome with Gold and Bandit, but they're not on every board.

On boards with Colonies (Prosperity), Gold becomes the equivalent of Silvers on board with just Provinces and no Colonies: decent-ish to gain without buys, but much less impressive.

If a deck can hit $16 and 2 buys, that's enough for 2 Provinces. You sometimes want to do even better, but that's a perfectly respectable number. If your deck only needs 1 or 2 golds to get there (or even a lower price point), then it's OK to just buy the Golds. It'll be faster, and the attack won't be all that important. If it's necessary to have more than just a couple golds or you think you'll be able to consistently get into the $$high-teens even with all the golds, that's when the Bandit comes into play.

And finally, there are lots of times where you can make an engine, but it's just not strong enough to be able to deal with lots of golds. The fewer 'stop cards' you add, the more reliable this low to medium strength engine will be. Yes, gold will be a hinderance here.

OK, now I kinda know how to use it in Engines, I guess. Whatever. When do I want to buy it again? As soon as possible?
Example Time!!!

I will defer here to Burning Skull. For any new players who are getting used to the base set (heck, even veterans check it out), take a peak at his 25-video series on the base set. Let's do a post-mortem for a couple of his games with Bandit.

Game #6

The engine is challenging to build, but once it’s up and running, it can rely on Poachers, Festivals, and Throne Rooms for all the currency. Golds will just get in the way, and since Skull doesn’t pick up any Golds, the opponent’s Bandit is totally worthless. So no Bandit here; Golds aren’t needed and the engine isn’t quite strong enough that it won’t be gunked up with excess Treasures.

Game #20

Bandit is important here for one very big reason - there is no +buy. It's a pain to have to spend $6 on Golds - let the Bandit take care of it. Skull uses the 1 buy a turn and the Remodel to build up an engine of Villages, Smithies, and Witches to support this Bandit and the Golds she brings. Note also the Remodel/Gold combo – he picks up 2 Provinces this way, and even had an outside chance of getting a third at the end.

Game #7

The engine is good enough that it can support several Golds in it. The Bandit saves Burning Skull from having to waste 6 coins and a buy every turn to pick up new Golds. Note also the careful balance between money and buys - not too much money so that it doesn't go to waste, not too little so that he'll be able to add multiple good cards a turn by the end.

These were just 3 games, you can always look through more and get a better feeling for Bandit and Base Set as a whole.

So in conclusion: Bandit is not your first priority. Trashing, junking (filling your opponents' decks with bad cards) and creating the start of your engine comes first. Once your deck is strong enough to support more golds, that's when you buy the Bandit. Don't be afraid to sacrifice a lot of your buying power at the start of your game with Bandit on the board - once you get her, you'll start powering ahead.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 01:35:36 am by Skumpy »
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Burning Skull

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2017, 05:57:59 am »
+3

Thank you for your kind words (I feel confused).

Anyway, what is Thief?

faust

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2017, 06:52:29 am »
+9

I am not entirely sure why an article about Bandit needs to make fun of children dying of starvation...

Other than that, I think the attack part could use some more focus. Yes it's not usually important, but sometimes it is and you should figure out when.
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2017, 11:30:14 am »
+1

I am not entirely sure why an article about Bandit needs to make fun of children dying of starvation...

Seconded. I mean, I think there's a good joke there, but it's not that one.
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aku_chi

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2017, 11:44:02 am »
+1

I don't think the article ought to have a comparison of Bandit to Thief.  We should imagine a world where future Dominion players have no idea what Thief is.

I liked the article, especially the analysis of Burning Skull's games.  You chose a good cross-section of games to highlight.
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stechafle

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2017, 11:51:05 am »
0

I am not entirely sure why an article about Bandit needs to make fun of children dying of starvation...

I second that notion. Starving kids are not funny.

On the positive side, I think the trash for benefit section is helpful.
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Awaclus

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2017, 11:55:52 am »
0

Starving kids are not funny.

That's exactly why the joke is funny.

jsh357

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2017, 12:25:55 pm »
+2

I think it's a good article.

On the starving kids note, please do not donate your thieves or any other items that would be useless to starving children. (For instance, instead of a pair of shoes you would consider nice, donate a pair of shoes that is useful for walking distances-it's more generally useful) It actually creates a bigger problem for charity organizations because they/others then have to find places to discard the useless things donated to them.
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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 12:48:17 pm »
0

The starving children thing is a bit forced, I think. Firstly if it was Feast it would make a lot more sense, but even with that aside it's not the kind of joke that will make people want to read an article.
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Chappy7

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2017, 01:26:55 pm »
+2

Sheesh, so he said something dumb.  Give him a break. We all say things we shouldn't have. 
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Dingan

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 04:51:29 pm »
+4

It actually creates a bigger problem for charity organizations because they/others then have to find places to discard the useless things donated to them.
But sometimes you want to Donate useless things
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faust

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2017, 02:24:26 am »
+3

I think it's a good article.

On the starving kids note, please do not donate your thieves or any other items that would be useless to starving children. (For instance, instead of a pair of shoes you would consider nice, donate a pair of shoes that is useful for walking distances-it's more generally useful) It actually creates a bigger problem for charity organizations because they/others then have to find places to discard the useless things donated to them.
Don't listen to him, it doesn't matter. Everyone knows that stuff you Donate just gets trashed!
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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2017, 09:04:05 am »
0

I likewise thought it was a good article, good to see a lot more time and effort invested in the forums lately.
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Asper

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2017, 08:02:29 am »
0

Can somebody explain the joke to me?

LastFootnote

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 05:40:00 pm »
+4

OK, harsh review time.

Who is this article meant for? I sure hope it's not beginners. It's incredibly long and rambling, and the conversational style (which I hate) and memes bloat it further. An article for beginners should be short and to the point. It shouldn't even contain one sample game, let alone three. And although it's valid and important to note that the Gold gaining is the more important part of Bandit, it's equally important to talk about the attack; specifically, how to fight the attack! You have zero information about how to play against Bandits. To you it may be obvious that you usually don't have to go out of your way against Bandits, but many of the folks who visit the front page are beginners playing 4-player games, and they perceive Bandit as a real threat. They might hunt down this article just looking for info on how to beat Bandit, and there's nothing here. There should be a section titled "Playing Against Bandit".

If your article isn't meant for beginners, then disregard all that. But I would not put this on the blog where new players will see it.
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Donald X.

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Re: Bandit: What's Her Deal?
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2017, 07:56:16 pm »
+5

OK, harsh review time.

Who is this article meant for? I sure hope it's not beginners. It's incredibly long and rambling, and the conversational style (which I hate) and memes bloat it further. An article for beginners should be short and to the point. It shouldn't even contain one sample game, let alone three. And although it's valid and important to note that the Gold gaining is the more important part of Bandit, it's equally important to talk about the attack; specifically, how to fight the attack! You have zero information about how to play against Bandits. To you it may be obvious that you usually don't have to go out of your way against Bandits, but many of the folks who visit the front page are beginners playing 4-player games, and they perceive Bandit as a real threat. They might hunt down this article just looking for info on how to beat Bandit, and there's nothing here. There should be a section titled "Playing Against Bandit".

If your article isn't meant for beginners, then disregard all that. But I would not put this on the blog where new players will see it.
I have to argue with you on as many forums as possible. No mostly I agree. Let's assume it's for beginners; then:
- It should not be long and rambling. When I saw that it started "I got carried away with this and it's way too long," I closed the tab. I still haven't read it, and so am only making general comments on the world of articles.
- I personally do not mind a conversational style, though I know some people personally do. I hate the memes and random pictures though. I don't manage to read all the articles, but if you want to make sure I don't read yours, just put some memes in it.
- I don't mind a sample game but it should not be a focus; you could link to one and say as little about it as possible. I am not clicking the link myself; the entire value will be in your words.
- For beginners, "how do I fight Bandit" is for sure the biggest concern, it's what they are hoping to find out from the article. They already know they like gaining Golds. You may be able to surprise them with what you say about that, but that didn't get them in the door.
- As others note, it doesn't make sense to mention Thief.

But wait, what if it's not an article for beginners, it's not that at all?
- I would not make it long and rambling.
- I would not have any memes or random pictures, unless it's a humor article and they're the point.
- It's more reasonable to have sample games, maybe someone will click the link even, but they will still make the article worse for me.
- How you fight a particular attack is still interesting enough to want to include.
- And I still wouldn't bring up Thief, unless you are writing like a history article, or humor article. Thief really has nothing to offer.
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