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Author Topic: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here  (Read 2503 times)

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Gherald

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Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« on: November 08, 2017, 04:05:01 pm »
0

(Discussion split from Preview #1 thread.)

Saying Ghost Town and Guide are synergistic is like saying Village and Smithy are synergistic.

Both cards do good things for you but the benefits are merely additive, not synergistic.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 11:49:16 am by Donald X. »
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crj

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 04:13:43 pm »
+8

Village and Smithy are synergistic! You can build an engine out of the combo, but can't build an engine out of either on its own.
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Gherald

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 09:00:40 pm »
+1

You do need some way of getting multiple +draw plays for an engine, yes; that is simply what an engine is by definition. But I reserve the word 'synergy' for two things that interact in a way that is greater than the sum of their parts. Village and Smithy (or Ghost Town and Guide) are not that. They simply do what their respective parts do in an additive way.

Some might claim an engine's components, working together, give a net effect that is bigger than the sum of its parts. That's actually false I would say: for an engine to matter you also need a payload; a dominion engine without a payload accomplishes little of value on its own, and can be seen as purely additive, the way a deck full of Labs is additive (and not self-synergizing somehow. Oh look, my lab lets me play more labs!)

To make this even clearer just set the whole engine thing aside, and replace Smithy with generic terminal actions. Do village-type cards synergize with terminal actions? Obviously you want both, a village idiot deck and a deck of colliding terminals are not grand things. But is this a synergy? As I understand the word, no.
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JThorne

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 08:51:49 am »
+5

Even by the Village/Smithy yardstick, I'm not sure Guide and Ghost Town synergize. They're both cards that improve the hand quality of future hands, but by themselves add little to nothing, and used together, one actually slightly diminishes the other (Guide either fails to account for the Ghost Town extra card, or throws it away.)

So I would actually call them more redundant than synergistic; I would rarely buy them in the same kingdom unless I had so many extra gains/buys I didn't know what to do with them. A deck-drawing engine that starts every turn with six cards and two actions is very unlikely to need to call Guide, ever, and it would likely end up sitting on the mat the whole game, having wasted the opportunity cost of gaining it.

I might even go as far as to say that they anti-synergize, much like Awaclus' assertion that Village and Silver are an anti-synergy. You probably don't want to buy them both in the same kingdom unless you really have to. (I know Awaclus' analyses generate a lot of consternation, but they often resonate with me. His analogy that trashing a single dead card is basically equivalent to gaining a free Laboratory is one that I repeat when teaching strategy IRL, and that helps hammer home the point. It's like watching someone play a Steward for coin and four Coppers and buying a Gold. I point out that they just bought a Cache for $6.)

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Awaclus

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 09:23:33 am »
+4

You do need some way of getting multiple +draw plays for an engine, yes; that is simply what an engine is by definition. But I reserve the word 'synergy' for two things that interact in a way that is greater than the sum of their parts. Village and Smithy (or Ghost Town and Guide) are not that. They simply do what their respective parts do in an additive way.

Some might claim an engine's components, working together, give a net effect that is bigger than the sum of its parts. That's actually false I would say: for an engine to matter you also need a payload; a dominion engine without a payload accomplishes little of value on its own, and can be seen as purely additive, the way a deck full of Labs is additive (and not self-synergizing somehow. Oh look, my lab lets me play more labs!)

To make this even clearer just set the whole engine thing aside, and replace Smithy with generic terminal actions. Do village-type cards synergize with terminal actions? Obviously you want both, a village idiot deck and a deck of colliding terminals are not grand things. But is this a synergy? As I understand the word, no.

Village specifically requires you to play two more terminal Actions or otherwise it doesn't do anything. Therefore terminals synergize with it, and drawing terminals more so than others because they increase the likelihood of having a second terminal in your hand afterwards. You could say that this is just Village doing what it does, but the fact is that what is does is synergizing with terminals.

Village and Smithy also have negative synergy because you can play Smithy and draw a Village you can't play.

Ghost Town and Guide also have synergy for the exact same reason: Ghost Town's +action has to connect with two terminals for its effect to do everything it does, and Guide lets you have some control over what cards are in your hand by the time you get that +action, increasing the likelihood that you have two terminals. They also have antisynergy because they both help achieve a similar goal (more reliability in an engine) so they're somewhat redundant.
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faust

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2017, 09:50:09 am »
+5

It's like watching someone play a Steward for coin and four Coppers and buying a Gold. I point out that they just bought a Cache for $6.)
Actually that would mean they bought a Cache for $2, since if they had used Steward for trashing they would only have had $2 available.
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markusin

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 09:53:08 am »
+1

Isn't the term "synergy" used for any card that, even heavy-handedly, makes another card better, like Coppersmith synergizes with Copper. Tribe bonuses in card games (like Magic: the Gathering and Hearthstone) are considered "synergy" effects.

So yeah village synergizes with Smithy.
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Witherweaver

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 09:54:41 am »
0

Is "synergy" ambiguous?
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Gherald

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 03:20:33 pm »
+2

Tribe bonuses in card games (like Magic: the Gathering and Hearthstone) are considered "synergy" effects.
The difference being that those are actual synergy effects that give you a bonus, and not an ordinary additive operation of each card that works just as well with other cards.

If people want to debase the term synergy into just meaning, "these cards do useful things that you want to have more of at the same time", well then by golly Smithy "synergizes" with treasures because they give you a payload to draw.

Markusin's example of Coppersmith "synergizing" with copper is even more ridiculous. No it doesn't, it just works with copper in an ordinary, banal fashion that does not rise to the level of any synergy.

For an actual example of bona-fide synergy: Coppersmith synergizes with Apothecary.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 03:39:01 pm »
+1

Tribe bonuses in card games (like Magic: the Gathering and Hearthstone) are considered "synergy" effects.
The difference being that those are actual synergy effects that give you a bonus, and not an ordinary additive operation of each card that works just as well with other cards.

If people want to debase the term synergy into just meaning, "these cards do useful things that you want to have more of at the same time", well then by golly Smithy "synergizes" with treasures because they give you a payload to draw.

Markusin's example of Coppersmith "synergizing" with copper is even more ridiculous. No it doesn't, it just works with copper in an ordinary, banal fashion that does not rise to the level of any synergy.

For an actual example of bona-fide synergy: Coppersmith synergizes with Apothecary.

So, please explain your exact definition of synergy, such that for any two cards, a person who has read your explanation can identify whether those cards have synergy with 100% accuracy.
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markusin

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 04:20:05 pm »
+1

Tribe bonuses in card games (like Magic: the Gathering and Hearthstone) are considered "synergy" effects.
The difference being that those are actual synergy effects that give you a bonus, and not an ordinary additive operation of each card that works just as well with other cards.

Huh, but that describes Coppersmith. Coppersmith does not work just as well with any other card. It only works with Copper. It's not really different from tribe bonuses because Coppersmith can be reworded as "do nothing. Bonus: Copper produces one more this turn."

You can say tribe interactions like that are "interactions" and not "synergies", but people call them "synergies" from what I have seen. It kinda kills the term of its value if you ask me, but that's how it is.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 04:21:22 pm by markusin »
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markusin

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 04:42:48 pm »
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Well, I guess I should give my definition for "synergy" between cards.

Synergy between cards exists if one or more of the cards in the interaction become more efficient than if the cards acted separately.

So a card giving a Goblin "+1 attack" makes the golbin paired with it more efficient and it is a synergy. Coppersmith makes Copper more efficient, so it is a synergy.

Admittedly, Smithy/Village doesn't fit this definition quite as neatly. You can say the Village makes the Smithy more efficient by allowing the Smithy to draw action cards that can be played instead of drawing them dead, but it's a bit of a stretch I suppose.

This does not necessarily imply a "combo", which refers to interactions that make the cards behave in ways that go much beyond their general case and/or are game warping/winning.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 04:44:22 pm by markusin »
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Awaclus

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2017, 05:40:00 pm »
+1

well then by golly Smithy "synergizes" with treasures because they give you a payload to draw.

That's exactly true.

Admittedly, Smithy/Village doesn't fit this definition quite as neatly. You can say the Village makes the Smithy more efficient by allowing the Smithy to draw action cards that can be played instead of drawing them dead, but it's a bit of a stretch I suppose.

That's because it's the other way round. Smithy makes Village more efficient by making Village do anything at all.
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Gherald

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2017, 05:41:01 pm »
0

If people want to debase the term synergy into just meaning, "these cards do useful things that you want to have more of at the same time", well then by golly Smithy "synergizes" with treasures because they give you a payload to draw.

Markusin's example of Coppersmith "synergizing" with copper is even more ridiculous. No it doesn't, it just works with copper in an ordinary, banal fashion that does not rise to the level of any synergy.

For an actual example of bona-fide synergy: Coppersmith synergizes with Apothecary.
So, please explain your exact definition of synergy, such that for any two cards, a person who has read your explanation can identify whether those cards have synergy with 100% accuracy.
The dictionary definition of synergy is that the effect needs to be greater than the sum of its parts. How you interpret that in the context of dominion is somewhat arguable, so I can't give give you an explanation everyone will interpret the same, but I can go through some cases:

Does Coppersmith synergize with Smithy? No, your Smithy can draw more coppers but it can also draw other things, this is a simple additive effect that is the same when standalone.

Does Coppersmith synergize with Village? No, a Village lets you play more Coppersmiths but it also lets you play more of other things, this is a simple additive effect that is the same when standalone.

Does Coppersmith synergize with Apothecary? Yes, because Coppersmith makes the copper card more valuable and Apothecary draws a lot of that specific card and prevents it from cluttering your deck, so their combined benefits of keeping copper around multiply in the presence of each other.

Another example of synergy is Hoard and Alt VP cards. We know what Hoard does with ordinary VP and we know what Alt VP cards do on their own, those are the individual effects. When you combine the availability of the two you get a multiplicative effect to early greening, especially in the case of VP cards that give non-VP benefits such as Harem and Nobles.

Other threads on this forum have discussed what a "combo" is. One way to define "combo" is as a strong synergy that you can build part of your strategy around when you see those 2 cards on the board.
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Donald X.

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 06:11:38 pm »
+3

The dictionary definition of synergy is that the effect needs to be greater than the sum of its parts.
That definition is correct; how you personally apply it is not.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2017, 06:12:33 pm »
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Does Coppersmith synergize with Smithy? No, your Smithy can draw more coppers but it can also draw other things, this is a simple additive effect that is the same when standalone.

Coppersmith is much stronger with larger hand sizes. Smithy's only function is to make your hand size larger. Synergy.

Does Coppersmith synergize with Village? No, a Village lets you play more Coppersmiths but it also lets you play more of other things, this is a simple additive effect that is the same when standalone.

By this logic, village doesn't synergize with anything, because for any thing X that it allows to you do, it also allows you to do another thing Y. If that sounds like nonsense, it's because it is.

Does Coppersmith synergize with Apothecary? Yes, because Coppersmith makes the copper card more valuable and Apothecary draws a lot of that specific card and prevents it from cluttering your deck, so their combined benefits of keeping copper around multiply in the presence of each other.

It really seems to me that what you're saying here is that synergy isn't synergy unless it meets some arbitrary strength threshold. Where is that threshold?

Another example of synergy is Hoard and Alt VP cards. We know what Hoard does with ordinary VP and we know what Alt VP cards do on their own, those are the individual effects. When you combine the availability of the two you get a multiplicative effect to early greening, especially in the case of VP cards that give non-VP benefits such as Harem and Nobles.

Sure, agreed. I'm not sure it really makes sense to talk about synergy with basic cards that are always in the game. Not because of any specific specialness that they have, but because usually we're talking about synergy in the context of Kingdom cards that are only sometimes available. This isn't a point against your argument, Gherald; I'm just putting it out there. It sounds weird to me to say that Coppersmith and Copper have synergy. You could claim (probably falsely) that Beggar and Coppersmith have synergy, though.
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trivialknot

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2017, 06:24:06 pm »
+3

Copper synergizes with itself, because if you have only one Copper there usually isn't anything to buy for $1, but if you collide it with another Copper, you can buy a whole Estate.

Wait, what was the argument about again?  Oh, Guide and Ghost Town.  Meh.  How about Shanty Town and Ghost Town, now there's a synergy.
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Asper

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2017, 06:26:41 pm »
+6

Why are so many threads derailing into linguism stuff nowadays? It's like "Ambigous Fool" all over again.

Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2017, 06:32:52 pm »
+6

Why are so many threads derailing into linguism stuff nowadays? It's like "Ambigous Fool" all over again.

We've clearly achieved a level of Dominion enlightenment such that the only issues left to debate are the trivial ones.
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Gherald

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2017, 07:25:54 pm »
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Does Coppersmith synergize with Village? No, a Village lets you play more Coppersmiths but it also lets you play more of other things, this is a simple additive effect that is the same when standalone.
By this logic, village doesn't synergize with anything, because for any thing X that it allows to you do, it also allows you to do another thing Y. If that sounds like nonsense, it's because it is.
You're correct that by my logic Village does not synergize with many things! It's a very simple card that doesn't do much besides allow you to gain additional actions to spend, which is a basic additive benefit.

Off the top of my head, one of the few card Village synergizes with is Scrying Pool. (Scrying Pool synergizes with almost all action cards that already do something useful, even itself--it's a very strong card)

Village doesn't even synergize with Diadem because that effect is merely a different way to benefit from unspent actions.
Does Coppersmith synergize with Apothecary? Yes, because Coppersmith makes the copper card more valuable and Apothecary draws a lot of that specific card and prevents it from cluttering your deck, so their combined benefits of keeping copper around multiply in the presence of each other.
It really seems to me that what you're saying here is that synergy isn't synergy unless it meets some arbitrary strength threshold. Where is that threshold?
The threshold is that it has to be more than merely additive, but there's more than one way to look at what "additive" means.

Multiplication, after all, is just repeated addition. So if you look at Village+Smithy and think, well, chaining lots of these together lets me eventually increase my handsize by several factors (like say 3x or 4x) and lets me do much greater things (like draw enough to afford Colonies, or say draw 5 Werewolves to let loose) -- you can look at this as a multiplicative effect on your handsize from those two cards working together -- synergy!

I don't like this usage of synergy because it's nonspecific and fungible with other cards' effects, so to me it doesn't tell us something we couldn't already see by looking at each part individually and summing them up. But it's a valid way to apply the concept, and by that logic a card like Lab is self-synergizing as I mentioned earlier.

I prefer to reserve synergy for more specific interactions like Coppersmith + Apothecary's effect on copper's deck value, or Hoard+Alt VP's effect on greening sooner. That, to me, is where the concept of synergy is actually useful and not just telling us something we could have figured out with addition.
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Awaclus

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2017, 07:27:18 pm »
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You're correct that by my logic Village does not synergize with many things! It's a very simple card that doesn't do much besides allow you to gain additional actions to spend, which is a basic additive benefit.

It's not a basic additive benefit. You can play 10 Villages and you haven't gained anything at all if that's all you play that turn.
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Gherald

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2017, 07:40:35 pm »
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You're correct that by my logic Village does not synergize with many things! It's a very simple card that doesn't do much besides allow you to gain additional actions to spend, which is a basic additive benefit.
It's not a basic additive benefit. You can play 10 Villages and you haven't gained anything at all if that's all you play that turn.
The benefit is additive. You just don't have a way to spend it in your scenario, which has nothing to do with my point.
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2017, 07:45:31 pm »
+7

Why are so many threads derailing into linguism stuff nowadays? It's like "Ambigous Fool" all over again.

We've clearly achieved a level of Dominion enlightenment such that the only issues left to debate are the trivial ones.

After reading all these debates "Enlightenment" isn't really the first word that comes to mind...
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markusin

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2017, 07:54:50 pm »
+1

I don't see a clear distinction between Smithy/Coppersmith and Apothecary/Coppersmith other than Smithy and Coppersmith cannot be played together without a village.

Both Smithy and Apothecary can draw you more coppers, and from the top of your deck too. Apothecary has a search space of 5 while Smithy has a search space of 3. Smithy is terminal like Coppersmith, which is what really makes them interact poorly. This just tells me the synergy between Coppersmith and Apothecary is stronger than the synergy between Smithy and Coppersmith.

Put Lost Arts +1 Action token on Smithy, and all of that changes. Only the first few Apothecaries will tend to be better than lost arts Smithy, because the Smithies can draw the non-coppers that get in the way better than Apothecary. If there are six non-Coppers on top, you need to play three Smithies or three Apothecaries to find Copper, and the third Apothecary can only find up to one Copper while the third Smithy can find up to three Coppers. It seems to me like even Governor and Coppersmith synergize because of how easy it is to get a big hand with Governor (and you are helped by your opponent for draw sometimes).
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Gherald

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Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2017, 08:37:32 pm »
0

The distinction isn't a matter of degree or search space, it's a matter of specificity to how they interact with the rest of your deck or play decisions.

Coppersmith+Apothecary synergize because together they combine to increase the value of having copper in your deck in a way that's specific to copper and more than merely additive.

Coppersmith+Lab (to simplify the comparison) don't interact in a specific way. Their effects are generic and work just as well independent of each other, so they are just additive benefits. For example, why not trash the coppers and use your Labs to draw 1-2 silvers and a Gold?

Labs are nice and do reliable work in increasing your handsize, which can be good for many things, of which Coppersmith and coppers are only one (likely weak) possiblity. Not so with Apothecary, which has its peculiar synergy to keeping coppers around.
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