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Author Topic: Mainly Empires and Hinterlands  (Read 450 times)

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crj

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Mainly Empires and Hinterlands
« on: November 20, 2017, 11:04:52 pm »
+1

I thought I'd share a kingdom we played earlier this evening. Since we played face to face with real cards rather than online, I have no log.

I hand-picked this kingdom to be interesting; I frequently do that and try really hard not to have any specific strategy of my own in mind while doing so.

Anyway:
  • Crossroads
  • Encampment/Plunder
  • Enchantress
  • Spice Merchant
  • Jack of all Trades
  • Mill
  • Highway
  • Archive
  • Crown
  • Border Village
  • Event: Banquet
  • Landmark: Battlefield
(No Shelters/Platinum/Colony.)

There were three of us playing, and I was struck by how completely different our strategies were, ending up very closely matched on points (39/38/35, I think.)

I got 2/5 and opened Crossroads/Archive. I then immediately bought some Mills, using them plus Archive as a springboard to an early $6 to buy a Gold. Then I bought some Encampments, and finally a couple of Spice Merchants to help me thin. I was pretty reliably drawing most of my deck for a Province a turn, 38VP.

Opponent A opened Spice Merchant and Banquet-for-Highway, then quickly bought a second Spice Merchant. Soon, they had an engine going which each turn trashed two Coppers with Spice Merchants for +2Buy,+$4, did Banquet-for-Border-Village, picking up Mills, Crossroads and Highways until they could switch to double-Province turns. For some extra villages, they bought Encampments cost-reduced to $0 and treated them as disposable. But the game ended before they could catch up, 35VP. I think their engine was actually pretty solid, and especially with Crossroads to lubricate things they'd have won easily if they'd switched at the right moment to gaining Duchies with their Border Villages instead of more engine components.

Opponent B focused on Mill and Jack of All Trades, very lightly seasoned with Border Village and Crossroads: discard all your cards using Mills, draw back to 5 with JoaT, spend some Silver, buy Province. This was quick to set up and got them the lion's share of the Battlefield VP in the process, but started greening early and became unreliable, stalling a few times. B beat me by a single VP.


Opponent B bought one Enchantress, but regretted it because the attack didn't hurt us at all: A just played a Highway first; I usually took the opportunity to cantrip an Encampment if I didn't have my Gold in hand, or a Spice Merchant if I didn't have any Copper. Nobody bought a single Crown.


If I played this kingdom again, I'd have bought a single Spice Merchant, but I'd have bought it sooner. I may have been seduced overly by the 3VP for an early Mill. I was expecting to be able to play around with Plunder, possibly even Crowned Plunder, but in practice opponent A's steady trickle of returned Encampments precluded this. Maybe I should have focused more wholeheartedly on taking the Encampments, perhaps using +Buy from the Spice Merchant I know I should have bought sooner? I suspect that my gambit of Mill+Archive to get an early Gold and support my Encampments was solid, though.


But I'm still none the wiser. None of us executed our strategy anything like perfectly; any one of them might be a killer in expert hands. It also feels as though there could be something even better we all overlooked.

Any thoughts welcome!
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dedicateddan

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Re: Mainly Empires and Hinterlands
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 12:25:41 am »
0

The only +Buy is Spice Merchant, so any really big deck is going to need that. With Banquet, you should always have enough treasure if you're careful enough.

I think I would get a Spice Merchant for thinning, add an Archive or two, and then build up an Archive/Crossroads draw engine with Mills and Highways and Spice Merchant for +Buy.

You can build pretty big with Crown and Plunder, but Provinces look like they will run relatively quickly on this board, so you'll have to switch into some of VP rather at some point. Duchies are actually OK if you need to extend the game, as an Archive/Crossroads/Border Village stack can draw through them just fine
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Mainly Empires and Hinterlands
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 11:39:56 am »
+5

Beep boop! I'm the Kingdom bot. It looks like you posted a Kingdom.



« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 11:41:10 am by Cave-o-sapien »
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crj

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Re: Mainly Empires and Hinterlands
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 07:36:32 pm »
0

The only +Buy is Spice Merchant, so any really big deck is going to need that.
Agreed. Provided attempting a really big deck is the strategy to pursue.

Quote
I think I would get a Spice Merchant for thinning, add an Archive or two, and then build up an Archive/Crossroads draw engine with Mills and Highways and Spice Merchant for +Buy.
That sounds quite like what my Opponent A did. And they came last. I was aware at the time they seemed to have a setup with potential, but weren't playing it especially well.

Quote
Provinces look like they will run relatively quickly on this board, so you'll have to switch into some of VP rather at some point. Duchies are actually OK if you need to extend the game, as an Archive/Crossroads/Border Village stack can draw through them just fine

Mmm. My Opponent A only got one chance at a double-Province turn before the game ended. It's intriguing that possibly they'd have fared better taking a quadruple-Duchy turn (or even quintuple-Duchy). To do that they'd have had to invest a bit more in Spice Merchants for extra +Buy and Crossroads to cope with the greening, but having three Highways in play does make Duchies cheaper per VP than Province. Hmm. Hmm!
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