Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]

Author Topic: Pre-Game Analysis  (Read 1262 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jonts26

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2708
  • Shuffle iT Username: jonts
  • Respect: +3552
    • View Profile
Pre-Game Analysis
« on: November 25, 2017, 03:17:10 pm »
+19

The best thing about Dominion is that every game is different. Sometimes wildly so. So before you even play your first copper, take a minute to read the board and form a strategy. If your opponent is impatiently yelling at you to go, feel free to curse them out and take up to 3 minutes and 59 seconds out of spite. (Note: Don’t actually do this).

What do we have here?
“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” - Yogi Berra

Have you ever gotten through a few turns to only suddenly realize, wait, this game has Colonies!? I have. I do a lot of dumb things. Take a moment to see ALL the available card shaped cards and card shaped non-cards. If you’re unfamiliar with any of them, read what they do.
 
Deck Roles
“Know your role and shut your mouth.” - Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

There are a few main effects that cards give in Dominion that serve specific purposes in a deck. I call them deck roles.

-Trashing
-Extra Buys/Gains
-Extra Actions
-Draw/Cycling
-Attacks
-Economy

Generally the more deck roles that are present and the more strongly they are fulfilled, the stronger the deck you can build. So before you make a plan, find which cards can fulfill which of these roles, and how strongly they do so. For example, Chapel trashes incredibly fast. Trade route trashes very slowly but also weakly fulfills the role of an extra buy.

Starting Out
“The beginning is the most important part of the work” -  Plato

With Nocturne, now more than ever, pay attention to your starting deck. Sometimes you have shelters replacing your estates or heirlooms replacing your coppers. These cards can possibly fulfill certain deck roles or otherwise impact the overall strategy. For instance, shelters make rebuild weaker, or Goat might let you skip a weak trasher (but probably not a strong one).
 
The Power Cards
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”  - Gandalf the Grey in The Hobbit

Some cards in dominion are so strong they can warp the game. These cards are exceptionally good at something (like Donate for trashing) or perform multiple roles very well (like Cultist for attacking and drawing) or they have some unique but strong ability (like Rebuild). Identify these cards and see how they fit into your plan, or how to build a plan around them. Often you need to buy them, unless you have a very good reason not to. Furthermore, ask yourself a couple of questions. How quickly do you want your first copy? And how many copies do you want? Is the pile likely to run out? Mountebank, for example, you might only want one or two, but you want it ASAP. King's Court you want a lot of, but you need to do some building first.

Alternate Paths to Victory
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning...Smelled like Victory” - Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore in Apocalypse Now

Alternate victory points consist of any card that’s green or produces VP chips. You win the game by having more points, so pay special attention to these. Some alternate VP is strong enough to potentially build around completely. Some you can just pick up on your way to provinces or as a consolation for not hitting $8, to eke out a few more points.

So What’s the Plan?
“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”  - Winston Churchill

Now that you know every resource available to you, how do you go about actually building a winning deck? Well, to give the most useless advice in these parts - it depends on the board. But for generally useful advice, have an idea of what you want your final deck to look like. Will you have removed your starting cards with Forager while drawing your deck with a Fortress/Rabble engine, with a payload of Gold and Silver? Good, now you can figure out the best way to get there.

Adaptation
The best laid plans of [Rats] and men often go awry. - Robert Burns
 
Finally, don’t be afraid to change gears mid game. Maybe you missed some strong interaction. Or your original plan isn’t coming together. Or you just got some rotten luck. But that’s something that happens after the game starts and is a topic for another article.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 12:45:09 pm by jonts26 »
Logged

crj

  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 637
  • Respect: +746
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 07:29:56 pm »
0

Nice article.

-Trashing
-Extra Buys/Gains
-Extra Actions
-Draw/Cycling
-Attacks
-Payload

In this context, you could possibly do with clarifying what you mean by "payload". You call out trashing, buying, gaining and attacking separately; doesn't that just leave money and VP?
Logged

jonts26

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2708
  • Shuffle iT Username: jonts
  • Respect: +3552
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 08:01:44 pm »
0

Nice article.

-Trashing
-Extra Buys/Gains
-Extra Actions
-Draw/Cycling
-Attacks
-Payload

In this context, you could possibly do with clarifying what you mean by "payload". You call out trashing, buying, gaining and attacking separately; doesn't that just leave money and VP?

Payload is what the engine uses to buy or gain more engine pieces and ultimately score points.
Logged

Chris is me

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2426
  • Shuffle iT Username: Chris is me
  • What do you want me to say?
  • Respect: +2986
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 10:10:26 pm »
0

Nice article.

-Trashing
-Extra Buys/Gains
-Extra Actions
-Draw/Cycling
-Attacks
-Payload

In this context, you could possibly do with clarifying what you mean by "payload". You call out trashing, buying, gaining and attacking separately; doesn't that just leave money and VP?

Payload is what the engine uses to buy or gain more engine pieces and ultimately score points.

That’s not what payload means (well, +Buy can be part of payload). Besides, you have “extra buys / gains” already covered.

It’s just that, “extra buys / gains” and “attacks” are like 95% of payload? It seems redundant.
Logged
Twitch channel: http://www.twitch.tv/chrisisme2791

bug me on discord

they/them

jonts26

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2708
  • Shuffle iT Username: jonts
  • Respect: +3552
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 10:39:59 pm »
0

When I say extra buys/gains I just mean, is it possible to get more than one card per turn? Worker's Village gives you +buy, but it isn't payload. Grand Market gives +buy and is also payload, because it gives the coins necessary to actually buy things. Attacks could be considered a sub-category of payload depending on your definition, but they are significant enough to warrant their own mention.
Logged

crj

  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 637
  • Respect: +746
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 08:19:25 pm »
0

So what things are you including in "payload"?
Logged

KingPeter

  • Baron
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 51
  • Shuffle iT Username: KingPeter
  • When in doubt, engine
  • Respect: +116
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2017, 09:37:12 pm »
+2

The best laid plans of [Rats] and men often go awry. - Robert Burns

Especially if Lord Rattington is planning.
Logged

jonts26

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2708
  • Shuffle iT Username: jonts
  • Respect: +3552
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2017, 10:09:31 pm »
0

So what things are you including in "payload"?

Anything that generates coins or otherwise gets good cards into your deck.
Logged

Dingan

  • Saboteur
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1044
  • Shuffle iT Username: Dingan
  • Respect: +1478
    • View Profile
    • Website title
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2017, 10:48:49 pm »
+2

Take a minute to look for Poor House if there's Remake or Upgrade.
Logged

faust

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1923
  • Shuffle iT Username: faust
  • Respect: +2651
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2017, 04:32:06 am »
0

Finally, don’t be afraid to change gears mid game.

That, in its generality, is some really bad advice.
Logged
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

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10486
  • Shuffle iT Username: Awaclus
  • (´。• ω •。`)
  • Respect: +10880
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2017, 04:41:19 am »
+2

Finally, don’t be afraid to change gears mid game.

That, in its generality, is some really bad advice.

Well, that depends. Changing gears mid game is worse than starting with the correct strategy to begin with, but it can be better than sticking with an inferior strategy. I have won many games where the engine just didn't work by changing into a big money strategy mid game while my opponent still tried to build the engine that didn't work.
Logged
Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

The Twitch channel where I stream DominionThe YouTube channel where I make musicDownload my band's albums for free

faust

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1923
  • Shuffle iT Username: faust
  • Respect: +2651
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2017, 04:53:55 am »
+1

Finally, don’t be afraid to change gears mid game.

That, in its generality, is some really bad advice.

Well, that depends. Changing gears mid game is worse than starting with the correct strategy to begin with, but it can be better than sticking with an inferior strategy. I have won many games where the engine just didn't work by changing into a big money strategy mid game while my opponent still tried to build the engine that didn't work.
Well maybe this way. But most of the time what I see is someone starts with an inferior strategy, then sees me doing a better one and tries to switch to that. This will just never work and your winning chances are usually better by just sticking to what you have.

I am not saying you should never switch, but you should certainly be afraid of it.
Logged
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

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10486
  • Shuffle iT Username: Awaclus
  • (´。• ω •。`)
  • Respect: +10880
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 05:28:46 am »
+3

Finally, don’t be afraid to change gears mid game.

That, in its generality, is some really bad advice.

Well, that depends. Changing gears mid game is worse than starting with the correct strategy to begin with, but it can be better than sticking with an inferior strategy. I have won many games where the engine just didn't work by changing into a big money strategy mid game while my opponent still tried to build the engine that didn't work.
Well maybe this way. But most of the time what I see is someone starts with an inferior strategy, then sees me doing a better one and tries to switch to that. This will just never work and your winning chances are usually better by just sticking to what you have.

I am not saying you should never switch, but you should certainly be afraid of it.

I guess it just comes down to what you mean by "being afraid" of changing gears. Obviously it's a disadvantage, because most hybrid strategies just fundamentally don't work, and switching gears midway forces you into a situation where your deck is basically a hybrid strategy for a while, so in that sense, you could say that you should "be afraid" of it.

On the other hand, you can eventually overcome that disadvantage by building heavily enough into the strategy that you're transitioning into, and just sometimes the new strategy is so much better than your old one that it's worth it. In that sense, you shouldn't "be afraid" of it.

It also depends on the timing. If your opponent mirrors your crappy strategy or vice versa, you can win the game by being the first player to transition into something else. On the other hand, if your opponent transitioned first and you didn't and then their new strategy starts to come together better than you anticipated, your best bet is probably just to stick to your crappy strategy and hope that it can somehow compete, because you would be strictly way behind if you tried to transition at that point.

On the third hand, if you make your t1 buy not noticing the obvious Hermit/Market Square strategy and your opponent opens double Hermit, you are technically in the same position as the you from last example who shouldn't transition because they're already behind their opponent, but in this case, you're only a little bit behind and the H/MS strategy is so strong that your best bet is to transition anyway and hope for lucky shuffles.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 06:08:36 am by Awaclus »
Logged
Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

The Twitch channel where I stream DominionThe YouTube channel where I make musicDownload my band's albums for free

Chris is me

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2426
  • Shuffle iT Username: Chris is me
  • What do you want me to say?
  • Respect: +2986
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2017, 09:14:12 am »
0

When I say extra buys/gains I just mean, is it possible to get more than one card per turn? Worker's Village gives you +buy, but it isn't payload. Grand Market gives +buy and is also payload, because it gives the coins necessary to actually buy things. Attacks could be considered a sub-category of payload depending on your definition, but they are significant enough to warrant their own mention.

Worker’s Village is certainly payload, combined with a source of economy. Because economy is essentially a given on any board (Treasure), you absolutely do need to consider +Buy as being payload, as it is often the deciding factor in if an engine is worth it, and it is an essential ingredient in either a multiple Province payload or a payload with great endgame control.
Logged
Twitch channel: http://www.twitch.tv/chrisisme2791

bug me on discord

they/them

jonts26

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2708
  • Shuffle iT Username: jonts
  • Respect: +3552
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2017, 12:21:54 pm »
0

When I say extra buys/gains I just mean, is it possible to get more than one card per turn? Worker's Village gives you +buy, but it isn't payload. Grand Market gives +buy and is also payload, because it gives the coins necessary to actually buy things. Attacks could be considered a sub-category of payload depending on your definition, but they are significant enough to warrant their own mention.

Worker’s Village is certainly payload, combined with a source of economy. Because economy is essentially a given on any board (Treasure), you absolutely do need to consider +Buy as being payload, as it is often the deciding factor in if an engine is worth it, and it is an essential ingredient in either a multiple Province payload or a payload with great endgame control.

Obviously this is just a semantic disagreement. But I'm defining payload a little differently, as it seems odd to me to call worker's village payload. It enables your payload to be more effective, yes, but so does draw and trashing. But I'd be happy to change my definition if yours is more common. If it makes it clearer, you could just replace the word payload with economy in the article.

Also I obviously think it's important to consider +buy on a board. It's right there in the article. It gets it's own bullet point and everything. I just find it helpful to distinguish between the +buy and the economy. And of course there's always economy on a board, but silver and gold aren't the best source of it. Going through that checklist, it's not just, are these things present, but how strongly they are present.
Logged

crj

  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 637
  • Respect: +746
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2017, 12:26:51 pm »
+1

Obviously this is just a semantic disagreement. But I'm defining payload a little differently
It feels to me like you're defining it to mean "Economy. Oh, and maybe a catch-all for a little bit of other stuff."
Logged

crj

  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 637
  • Respect: +746
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2017, 12:30:39 pm »
+2

I have won many games where the engine just didn't work by changing into a big money strategy mid game while my opponent still tried to build the engine that didn't work.
New meta-strategy:
  • Find a temptingly plausible engine that you know won't actually work
  • Open into it
  • Spook your opponent into mirroring
  • Slip a few of your treasures unplayed into discard so your opponent wins the split
  • Pivot unexpectedly into your real strategy
  • Profit!
Logged

jonts26

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2708
  • Shuffle iT Username: jonts
  • Respect: +3552
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2017, 12:44:55 pm »
+2

Obviously this is just a semantic disagreement. But I'm defining payload a little differently
It feels to me like you're defining it to mean "Economy. Oh, and maybe a catch-all for a little bit of other stuff."

Yeah, I feel I've been clear on my definition. But whatever. Clearly my definition is not common. Here, I'll just change payload to economy in the article. Crisis averted.

So what things are you including in "payload"?

Anything that generates coins or otherwise gets good cards into your deck.
Logged

chipperMDW

  • Golem
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 198
  • Respect: +439
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2017, 01:49:17 pm »
+3

Finally, don’t be afraid to change gears mid game.

That, in its generality, is some really bad advice.

Well, it probably depends on what you want to change your Gears into.
Logged

Awaclus

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10486
  • Shuffle iT Username: Awaclus
  • (´。• ω •。`)
  • Respect: +10880
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2017, 03:52:37 pm »
+9

  • Spook your opponent into mirroring

So, if the opponent mirrors you in that case, is it a

?
Logged
Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

The Twitch channel where I stream DominionThe YouTube channel where I make musicDownload my band's albums for free

GendoIkari

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6711
  • Respect: +7487
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2017, 11:01:40 am »
+1

You're alive!

Did someone play a Necromancer?
Logged
Check out my F.DS extension for Chrome! Card links; Dominion icons, and maybe more! http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=13363.0

Thread for Firefox version:
http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=16305.0

jonts26

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2708
  • Shuffle iT Username: jonts
  • Respect: +3552
    • View Profile
Re: Pre-Game Analysis
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2017, 11:23:51 am »
0

You're alive!

Did someone play a Necromancer?

Yeah, I should change my avatar to graverobber.
Logged
Pages: [1]
 

Page created in 0.168 seconds with 20 queries.