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Author Topic: Empires cards I still don't get  (Read 4117 times)

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Jeebus

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Empires cards I still don't get
« on: November 29, 2017, 04:13:09 pm »
+3

There are many cards in Empires I play less than optimally, but there are a few I don't get at all. ...Actually, Annex is the only real puzzler.

I have seen someone buy Annex exactly once. It was end game and he had $7. In that situation, if you would buy the Duchy anyway, I get it - given that you have good cards in your discard pile of course. And you really have to think it helps you to get those cards into your deck, because you're potentially making your next turn $7 instead of $8, which could lose you the game. If you have less than $7, you're hurting your next turn even more. So the situation where you should buy Annex seems very rare. Is there something I'm not seeing, some other use for it?

Triumph also seems very limited. I have seen Triumph used like two times, but then it was to very good effect. Also, that was in two different games. So Triumph was good overall in those games, not just once in a game like Annex.

The other one is Ritual. I get the concept here I think. Trash high cost cards, get VP, then trash the Curses later. The other more rare case would be in the endgame, you buy it if you have exactly $7 to trash a gold for 6 VP and a Curse, or if you have $4 and some other expensive card. But I have still not experienced anybody ever buying it I think. (Unlike Defiled Shrine, you have to trash a good card, and it costs $4 instead of $0.)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 04:38:16 pm by Jeebus »
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 04:21:15 pm »
+5

Annex is bad. Triumph is actually really good. You need to get lots of buys and gains, but when you do, you can get a lot of points from it. Ritual needs two things going for it. One, the game can't have another curser or the curser must be weak. 2, you need a gold gainer. Essentially, you turn golds into points. At least, that's the best use I have for Ritual. Overall, though, Ritual's uses are pretty niche.
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jonts26

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 04:22:57 pm »
+2

Annex is real bad. Ritual is ok in the right deck, but usually it's bad. Still, extra VP is extra VP, which may give you extra time to build. Triump I think you are greatly underestimating. It's occasionally amazing, but often at least decent. It's not hard to make it worth 3-4 points, and if you are drawing your deck you can usually kill the estate(s) next turn. And in engine games with a lot of +buy, it puts a lot of pressure on potential pile-outs because you can just scoop up a huge number of points on the last turn.
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Chappy7

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 04:49:03 pm »
+11

I'm just waiting for someone to say that these are actually Empires card shaped things you still don't get.  ::)

I'm no expert, but I've used both triumph and ritual quite a bit.  Annex though....wow.  Not only is it bad, but the way it's worded makes me have to think really hard about what it's actually doing to my deck.
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JThorne

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 04:52:48 pm »
+7

Annex is a free 3VP for the player who ends the game with an extra buy, so it changes the endgame math slightly.

I've also used it once or twice in a really awful kingdom where terminal draw + money seemed like the best strategy. TD+BM suffers badly from greening, and if it's going to take three turns between shuffles, buying Annex just before a shuffle can turn the next shuffle from Duchy/Duchy/Duchy to Debt+Duchy/Province/Province. Kingdoms that bad are pretty rare, though. And it may be that I'm just not good at money kingdoms. I should probably buy more Gold and green slightly later.
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Skumpy

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 06:51:14 pm »
+3

With Scout gone, we need a new thread devoted to wins depending on Annex...

And I have one! A slog board, no trashing and yes Familiar. I got a Fortune while my opponent just went for Provinces. I was playing from behind, then I decided I wanted to see my Fortune again soon, so I Annexed to get it back in my deck. Managed to put together a solid enough turn to get the win.
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 07:08:50 pm »
0

Annex is bad. Triumph is actually really good. You need to get lots of buys and gains, but when you do, you can get a lot of points from it. Ritual needs two things going for it. One, the game can't have another curser or the curser must be weak. 2, you need a gold gainer. Essentially, you turn golds into points. At least, that's the best use I have for Ritual. Overall, though, Ritual's uses are pretty niche.

Once I got completely owned by someone using Ritual like this.
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mith

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 07:20:46 pm »
+4

I used Ritual on Peddler once, that was nice. You just have to remember not to play any Peddlers when you decide to sac one, or it's terrible.
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crj

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 08:26:49 pm »
+3

Ritual seems to be crying out for a golden deck, and that's the only way I've ever used it. (I don't think I've ever seen an opponent use it.)

In my case, I did a cute Ritual/Rats trick. Every turn, play Rats, trash Curse, gain Rats, play four Copper, buy Ritual, gain Curse, trash Rats, gain 4VP. It's really quick to get off the ground and not trivial for opponents to overtake.

I can see plenty of other tricks, though, including gain-from-trash and everything that gains expensive non-victory cards cheaply.

Broadly, I suspect it works in much the same way, in much the same decks, as Bishop. You have to spend $4 every time rather than just once, but you get twice the VP yield.
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crj

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2017, 08:36:56 pm »
+2

Triumph is actually really good. You need to get lots of buys and gains, but when you do, you can get a lot of points from it.
There was that one game where I emptied the Grand Markets and picked up some Peddlers and Estates one turn, played Outpost then emptied the Estates and Peddlers on my second turn for a three-pile ending.

I won because I managed to go off before anyone had a second Province; if Triumph had been available, I could have used that strategy against someone who already had several Colonies.

Having remarked that Ritual works like Bishop, I'll say Triumph works like Goons.
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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 10:04:34 pm »
+3

Remember that Triumph is a Duchy for just 5 debt if you've gained at least one other card this turn.  It gets much better than that when you've gained a bunch of cards...
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guidobass

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 10:57:08 pm »
+1

With trashers to get rid of the curses and an extra buy Ritual is great for trashing Colonies, Provinces, and late game Platinums for VP tokens. In particular, removing green cards from your deck without losing VP.
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crj

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 11:24:55 pm »
0

One issue with late-game Rituals is that the Curses may have run out.
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Jeebus

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2017, 10:26:34 am »
0

Remember that Triumph is a Duchy for just 5 debt if you've gained at least one other card this turn.  It gets much better than that when you've gained a bunch of cards...

But how often is that relevant (that Triumph is a Duchy for 5 Debt if you've gained at least one other card this turn)? Usually when you want a Duchy, you'd rather have a Province. Giving yourself Debt in that situation is usually not smart.

If you've gained a bunch of cards, that usually means you're building. Giving yourself Debt and an Estate in the same turn is usually not smart either. I guess you could time it so that you're done building and can start greening on that same turn. The other possibility is that you're just gaining a lot of crap in order to cap it off with a Triumph. But then, you'd better end the game too, right? So Triumph is mostly good when you can end the game with it? I know there are some other circumstances when it can be great, but they are pretty rare I think.

ThetaSigma12

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2017, 10:35:07 am »
+8

I don't know about you, but I got all the Empires cards. They were in the box neatly packaged in plastic wrap too!
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Chappy7

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2017, 01:19:28 pm »
0

Remember that Triumph is a Duchy for just 5 debt if you've gained at least one other card this turn.  It gets much better than that when you've gained a bunch of cards...

But how often is that relevant (that Triumph is a Duchy for 5 Debt if you've gained at least one other card this turn)? Usually when you want a Duchy, you'd rather have a Province. Giving yourself Debt in that situation is usually not smart.

If you've gained a bunch of cards, that usually means you're building. Giving yourself Debt and an Estate in the same turn is usually not smart either. I guess you could time it so that you're done building and can start greening on that same turn. The other possibility is that you're just gaining a lot of crap in order to cap it off with a Triumph. But then, you'd better end the game too, right? So Triumph is mostly good when you can end the game with it? I know there are some other circumstances when it can be great, but they are pretty rare I think.

It is fairly common to be able to get 3+ vp and an estate out of triumph without going out of your way to do it.  This makes it 4 points, add one card to your deck, and only pay 5 debt.  As comparisons, Fairgrounds is good, even if it is worth 4 at the end of the game.  Distant lands is good, and it is most likely worth 4 vp, and it costs 5.  Sure seems like 5 debt for 4 vp is better that $5 for a card that will probably be worth 4.  Plus, triumph can easily go past 4vp. 
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aku_chi

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2017, 01:38:24 pm »
+4

When Triumph is in the kingdom, it is usually correct to never buy Provinces.  That's how good Triumph is.
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Gazbag

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2017, 01:42:21 pm »
0

I just played a sloggy moneyish game with Treasure Trove and Triumph which was pretty cool, picked up some 4vp Triumphs and a 6vp one when two Troves collided. I then dudded about 4 turns in a row and lost, but that's how those games go I suppose.

I suggest playing some games against Lord Rat to see how good Triumph can be uncontested, it doesn't take much to make it worth 6vp+.



 
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Jeebus

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2017, 01:46:10 pm »
0

It is fairly common to be able to get 3+ vp and an estate out of triumph without going out of your way to do it.  This makes it 4 points, add one card to your deck, and only pay 5 debt.  As comparisons, Fairgrounds is good, even if it is worth 4 at the end of the game.  Distant lands is good, and it is most likely worth 4 vp, and it costs 5.  Sure seems like 5 debt for 4 vp is better that $5 for a card that will probably be worth 4.  Plus, triumph can easily go past 4vp.

But Fairgrounds for 4 VP is usually good when you get $6 and you would rather have a Province. Again, do you want to put yourself in debt in that situation? Distant Lands is good because you get it out of your deck, unlike the Estate from Triumph. And to be able to get Triumph up to 3 VP (plus Estate), you have to gain two cards. Either they're good cards, but then why aren't you buying a Province instead for that money, or they're junk, in which case you're junking yourself with 3 cards, so much worse than Distant Lands.

Again, I see that there are some cases when you can gain a lot of cantrips, or even a lot of better cards with cost reduction, and then get Triumph for a lot of VP. And also there are cases where you can end the game with a Triumph so junk doesn't matter. But it seems like you're trying to generelize it beyond those cases.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 04:00:28 pm by Jeebus »
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Kirian

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2017, 01:58:19 pm »
0

With trashers to get rid of the curses and an extra buy Ritual is great for trashing Colonies, Provinces, and late game Platinums for VP tokens. In particular, removing green cards from your deck without losing VP.

This is only really true if you're certain to dump the Curses every turn.  Turning a Province into a Curse with Ritual is like paying $4 for 1 VP, unless you're certain you can get rid of the Curse ASAP.  And even then, Ritual might be better used on other cards if you no longer need those cards to draw your deck.
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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2017, 11:40:08 pm »
0

I'm also one who struggles to see why Triumph is so good. It seems like you need a lot of things in place for it to work. You need a deck that can gain a bunch of cards in a single turn, and then you need to deal with the Estate. I doesn't seem like something that's always going to be good.
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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2017, 11:46:33 pm »
+6

I'm also one who struggles to see why Triumph is so good. It seems like you need a lot of things in place for it to work. You need a deck that can gain a bunch of cards in a single turn, and then you need to deal with the Estate. I doesn't seem like something that's always going to be good.

There's an Article in the Articles subforum you can check out.

Triumph is really, really strong in the presence of lots of gainers. You basically cannot ignore it when it's relevant.
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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2017, 09:44:49 am »
+3

Triumph heavily rewards extra gains / buys, in a few ways. Thereís a few main ways it helps.

One of the most common ways it impacts the game in a heavy engine board is that basically it almost guarantees a win if you can pile out. As long as you have an extra buy, you just get Triumph after piling out and the VP you gain will likely set you over the top. In these games you might not get around to buying it regularly or whatever but itís very impactful as you have to constantly play around the opponent getting 5+ VP virtually for free if they can end the game.

Less common but very potent if relevant are the games where you buy Triumph multiple times. Maybe your engine has a ďmega-turnĒ or two where you got several components, so you squeeze a Triumph buy or two in (remember, you can buy it more than once a turn!) in order to add 10+ VP to your score. Thereís the obviously bonkers Watchtower games where you buy and trash a billion Copper and Triumph to green. All sorts of situational and opportunistic times to buy Triumph exist.

Plus even in weaker Triumph games, you only need to gain... one other card, for it to be basically strictly better than Duchy, and you usually are able to do that. Not to mention the points are not tied to keeping the Estate at all, so youíre free to rid yourself of that every turn if youíre doing any extended Triumph points farming. Really the presence of an Estate in your deck is the least important thing about Triumph - itís just never really an issue.

I think the naive way to look at Triumph is to compare it to the amount of points Province buys you, to assume that debt and coin are comparable costs, and to assume you only buy one Triumph a turn so that ďeach triumph needs 4 gains to be good!Ē. All of this is wrong. Triumph is good because itís acfessible, it rewards what you already should be doing, and it gives an enormous boost to those with good buys / pile control. Itís a game changing card and one of the best events in Dominion.
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crj

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2017, 11:13:19 am »
0

To take an extreme case, if you have $10 to spend and lots of buys on your last turn, ten Coppers and three Triumphs is 38VP. That's a lot better than most ways of buying VP with $10.
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Jeebus

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Re: Empires cards I still don't get
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2017, 04:17:01 pm »
0

I read the Triumph article, but I can't see that it addresses what I wrote.

(1) Plus even in weaker Triumph games, you only need to gain... one other card, for it to be basically strictly better than Duchy, and you usually are able to do that.
(2) Not to mention the points are not tied to keeping the Estate at all, so youíre free to rid yourself of that every turn if youíre doing any extended Triumph points farming. Really the presence of an Estate in your deck is the least important thing about Triumph - itís just never really an issue.
Numbers added by me.

Not both of those are true at the same time though. If you rid yourself of the Estate, the Triumph was not strictly better than Duchy. It was $5 for 2 VP, although you paid those $5 over 2 turns.

But anyway, it's exactly this kind of situation that I don't get, when you only gain a few cards and then buy Triumph midgame. People keep saying this is good, but I just don't see it. As I said before, when do you want a Duchy after having gained two cards, leaving yourself in debt so that you impede continued building next turn? Well, I guess if you gained two cards and your deck is already drawing itself and you can trash the Estate later, it's 3 VP for $5 without adding a card to your deck long term. But if your deck works that great, maybe you would rather save that $5 for something like buying a Province. Sure, it leaves a dead card in your deck, but it's 6 VP for $8.
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