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Author Topic: Empires build order? P/E, S/BV, FM, Eng, Sac, Tm, Arcv, Chm, Cwn, CQ — Adv, Arch  (Read 337 times)

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jonaskoelker

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I recently played on this lovely kingdom (IRL, and won): Patrician, Settlers, Farmers' Market, Engineer, Sacrifice, Temple, Archive, Charm, Crown, City Quarter, Advance, Triumphal Arch.





Here's my own analysis of the board: you can build a trashed down engine that draws deck with City Quarter and payloads Crowned Farmers' Markets, sprinkled with one or two treasures if need be. If you run out the Farmers' Markets, or at an opportune moment, dig into the Emporium pile. Extremely late in the game, your +buy can come from Charm, but probably you 3-pile before that. With Engineer to gain cheap actions and Advance to turn them into Emporium and Crown, piles can run out in no time.

There are no attacks that disrupt the engine. All the alt-VP on the board favors the engine: Crown plus Farmers' Market gives you better control over it than any money strategy can ever have; thanks to Advance you can justify picking up Temple for the points; and Triumphal Arch only (really) rewards engines. So you're playing (more or less exactly) that engine.

Given that you can draw deck and there are no tricks with Forum discarding your Provinces and Archive setting them aside for temporary thinning, Archive seems not worth going for.

Charm is either a Silver with a +buy, or it gains; but what to gain? Buy Patrician, gain Settlers, meh? Buy Crown gain... more Charm? But you want actions rather than treasures to make City Quarter good. Buy Temple, gain Sacrifice, after you've already added a trasher to your deck? I think Charm is only good in your deck if its the only way you have of getting enough +buy.

Given that there's plenty of virtual money payload, to make City Quarter good you're going to want actions more than treasures; but if you have more Crowns than Farmers' Markets, adding in a single Gold, maybe two, can be okay.

Temple trashes more cards per play than Sacrifice. I think that makes it better—but after the Estates are out, Sacrifice provides more economy which impacts building. An building is exactly the part I'm completely uncertain about.

  • How do you put this engine together?
  • Do you get one or two trashers? Or even more? Which one(s)?
  • Do you just mass Farmers' Market until you add CQ, or do you mix Farmers' Market with cheap actions (Patrician, Settlers), advancing them into Crown? By massing Farmers' Market (e.g. by trashing Engineer) you can win the split and secure a greater multiple of 4 VP, if you have the time to cash them all in, but if done early it overterminals your deck quite a bit.
  • On your $2 turns, do you take Patrician, Settlers or Engineer? I think Settlers is good early, while you still have Copper, whereas Patrician will eventually be better than a blank cantrip when you have lots of Crowns and Emporiums; but by then you probably should be drawing deck with City Quarter.
  • When do you get City Quarter? When your action density crosses 1/2? Earlier, later?
  • Have I missed anything?
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dedicateddan

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Archive good on boards like this and can help set up City Quarter turns
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faust

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You should open Tepmple/Farmers' Market. Get some Crowns quickly by getting the $2s (Settlers probably has a bit of an edge here, but it doesn't really matter) and Advance them. A single Engineer should supply a steady trickle of Farmers' Markets. The build order is probably something like Engineer, then $2s... but definitely get 2 $2s if you hit $4+2 buys.

Temples are something you can get tactically for an early VP lead, superfluous Temples can become Crowns too. I'd say the first CQ comes when you have 2 Crowns, the Engineer, and about 2 Farmers' Markets. Grabbing a Charm or two down the road helps you gain Archives and Crowns (and later on potentially Emporia). Archives are good here as they are the best target for Triumphal Arch (5 Crowns/5 Archives sounds good).
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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.

Jimmmy

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I would open temple+silver on 4-3 to try to get an archive early. Archive really helps cycling, and you can buy CQ earlier.
After that I would go for at least 1 more archive, 1-2 patricians/settlers on 2$ turns (actually neither of them are good here), and maybe 1 sacrifice, farmers market.
I don't think engineer and advance is good enough here to justify buying a lot of FM early just for the +buy.
With archives, you can add CQ pretty early, and after that add more FM and CQ , and advance your 2$ cards into maybe Crowns or Emporiums.
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jonaskoelker

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Archive good on boards like this and can help set up City Quarter turns
Interesting. Okay, here are my arguments why Archive is good:
  • It pseudo-thins, temporarily, which is useful given the slow trashing.
  • Before you have all the City Quarters you want, it can help you manage terminal collisions. Early it can maybe avoid them; late opening it can maybe let you choose what you collide.
  • If you ever buy Province, maybe you can luck into temporarily setting them aside?
  • If you're drawing your deck, you can gain a card with Engineer and draw it up with Archive—effectively turning Archive into a blank cantrip rather than something which makes parts of your payload inaccessible. That is, you can mitigate the potential downside of Archive.
  • In the worst case, it's good temporarily in the opening, then you Advance it.
Archive being good at setting up City Quarter turns (i.e. good at colliding actions if you want to)—I guess that makes City Quarter a profitable investment earlier than it otherwise would be. The temporary thinning, and cycling effects of that, pull in the same direction.

Do you (or anyone else) disagree with any point in this analysis? Am I missing something?

My final deck composition in the most recent game on this kingdom:
  • 7 Crown
  • 4 City Quarter
  • 3 Emporium
  • 1 Farmers' Market
  • 1 Gold
  • 2 Province
  • 1 Estate
The last turn of the game included me trashing one Farmers' Market for VP and advancing 2xTemple plus 1xSettlers into 3xCrown, plus buying 2xProvince and 1xEstate.

This means that on my penultimate turn I had 4 CQs in 16 cards. Is that overbuilding? 2 CQs is enough to draw deck (but not by much); 3 increases the odds of having one in my starting hand. Maybe it would've been better to get more payload?
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Chris is me

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Temple / FM opening. You want to thin with Temple because it’s really much faster at doing so; maybe later on you can get a Sacrifice on an odd $4 turn but you probably will always have better things to do.

You probably want to advance Patrician into Crown a lot. Why Patrician, just so you can get to Emporium points later really. I’d buy an Archive on your first natural 5, maybe two.

You probably end up with a Silver at some point just to speed things along a little; you’ll know when to get it if you do need it. Get a bunch of CQs and do the thing with Farmer’s Market and Emporium. It’s not rocket science. Advance liberally.
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jonaskoelker

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Thanks for all your responses.

Get a bunch of CQs and do the thing with Farmer’s Market and Emporium.
So nobody disagrees with the big picture analysis, good :)

It’s not rocket science.
Yeah, I think the strategic big picture is fairly straightforward. The exact build order, the tactics, I think that's what separates the bad, mediocre, good and expert players. (I'm closer to mediocre than expert, I think.)



The opening: Chris-is-me and faust both suggest Temple/FM, Jimmy suggested Temple/Silver. I understand Silver for economy; is the FM for economy down the line, with "it doesn't exactly hinder your chance at winning the FM split" being a nice but marginal side benefit? Is it for the +buy, such that you can pick up two $2s and also Advance more?

On 4/3, what do you guys think of Temple/Engineer? You didn't suggest it, but 4/3 is somewhat specific. If it's bad, why? Because of the missed $2 buy on turn 3, or the delay in getting a card with a gainer rather than buying it directly, or both?

None of you suggested multiple Engineers, aggressive trashing them for multiple Farmers' Markets. Is that bad, and why? Because it overterminals your deck and gets in the way of giving you good economy? (Or if you do play FM for economy, your Engineer is often dead.)



maybe later on you can get a Sacrifice on an odd $4 turn but you probably will always have better things to do.

Temples are something you can get tactically for an early VP lead, superfluous Temples can become Crowns too.

Ok, no clear not-hedged support for Sacrifice. My initial estimate was to open Temple, get one later for points, maaaaaybe two (if tactically more VP stars-are-aligned something something). I hear basically no disagreement with this plan.



I'd say the first CQ comes when you have 2 Crowns, the Engineer, and about 2 Farmers' Markets.
Let's say by then you've trashed something like 2xEstate and 3xCopper at the upper limit. So your deck is 4xCopper, 1xEstate, 2xCrown, ~2xFarmers' Market, 1xEnginer, 1xTemple, 1xCQ, maybe with a bit more junk and a stray Patrician/Settler. At that point, CQ will almost always be a Village-or-better, being a Lost City almost all the rest of the time. Also, at that point it will very likely not take more than two turns to pay for CQ (including the turn where you gain it). Get it later and all the terminal collisions are going to be very bad for you. Are those the main factors in deciding when to get it? Does one carry more weight than the other?



(neither [Patrician nor Settlers] is good here)

I think Settlers is good early
I forgot 'relatively' in that sentence; it's not good good, it's just better than Patrician. Both are better than nothing, and that's the strongest statement you can reasonably make about how good they are.

(Settlers probably has a bit of an edge here, but it doesn't really matter)
I lean towards this conclusion, and your estimate of the difference :)

Why Patrician, just so you can get to Emporium points later really.
That allows my opponent to get Emporium as well. I guess this play rewards the player who is best set up to win the Emporium split, and being best set up to win the split correlates with being lucky, building better and having first player advantage? If my analysis is correct, would this give a 0.01% edge to Settlers when going second, or is it even smaller? ;)

In general, I figure mirrored plays favor one player over another based on how the mirrored play impacts the game outcome via whatever asymmetric factors there are, and I think my list of three is exhaustive.

Once again, thanks for all your responses :)
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