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Author Topic: The more I read the worse I get?  (Read 3180 times)

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SamKennedy

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The more I read the worse I get?
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:06:11 am »
+2

I'm just new to Dominion, but I've noticed the more I read, the more I overthink games and the worse I play. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm guessing I just need to keep playing until I learn what works and what doesn't, however it's still somewhat discouraging :-\

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infangthief

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 07:22:11 am »
+10

Welcome!

Yes, I found the same in my early days with the game. By reading a lot and playing little I thought I'd got concepts like engine-building nailed, only for it all to unravel horribly in actual games.

There's an article on skill plateaus at http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=17655.0 which may be helpful. My advice would be to just aim at the next plateau, rather than the mountaintop. Even then you find that the path from one plateau to the next has some down-slopes in it; the first time you try to build an engine you will fail and lose to someone who stayed on the last plateau... but the tenth time you will succeed.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 07:26:13 am by infangthief »
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popsofctown

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 10:40:32 am »
+5

Making engines, especially complex ones, are hard, and the risk of failure goes up along with the amount of VP associate with the possibilities should you build the engine correctly (that's not to say there's always an engine on the board, that's not even necessarily true when +2 actions, + cards, and multiple gains per turn are all available.  It's just usually true with the current expansions.)


Think of it like this, if you read the content here, a lot of it written by rank 60 players, they are essentially writing NBA articles about how to keep your elbow in when you shoot a 3 pointer.  But you might be more like in middle school.  And when you're paired against another middle schooler and he just goes for 2 pointers he's going to beat you a whole lot until you actually get the 3 pointers down.

I have kind of hit a skill plateau in that I am passing on the high complexity engines too much, and I can't afford to at my rating.  A couple ratings lower if the board's only engine required you to use Trade Route for trashing and buys and Walled Village as the village and Vault was on the board, I used to be able to say, that engine is too weak, neither of us can get that going faster than Vault.  But my opponents have been nailing it over and over, which requires really good balance in the sequencing and selection of the Action cards they pick up.  So now I'm starting to have to try the tough engines more often to keep up.  I don't actually know how to pull them off, and am pretty sure a lot of times I would be taking a higher win% not trying them and just sticking with Big Money, but I have to learn sometime.  (Sometimes there's a complex and simple engine both available on the board too, also, a good example would be Alchemist stack versus a Village/Smithy type engine that's stronger)

In my opinion (not a firm one), you should put the advanced stuff on hold and enjoy the phase where people pick up Loan instead of Steward in their suboptimal engine decks and just beat them with Big Money.  Because big money can lose to engines in different ways, and it's interesting and also valuable to learn the different ways why.  Sometimes an attack cuts too hard at what Big Money is trying to do, and the board lets them play the attack more often than you think.  Sometimes Big Money can actually beat them to 6 of the Provinces, but there's a lot of Alt VP on the board to catch up.  Sometimes the Big Money strategy is a little bit faster, but not faster enough to that it can ignore Duchies and must buy them because of the Engine's pressure, but then the engine can handle the Duchies being in the deck better than BM can.  Stuff like that.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 10:43:01 am by popsofctown »
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Awaclus

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 02:34:16 pm »
0

where people pick up Loan instead of Steward in their suboptimal engine decks

Yeah or you could play the superior engine deck and buy both Steward and Loan.
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Chris is me

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 09:36:26 pm »
+3

where people pick up Loan instead of Steward in their suboptimal engine decks

Yeah or you could play the superior engine deck and buy both Steward and Loan.

If you read too much advice like this, it's no wonder you're getting worse at Dominion.
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Awaclus

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 09:39:25 pm »
+1

where people pick up Loan instead of Steward in their suboptimal engine decks

Yeah or you could play the superior engine deck and buy both Steward and Loan.

If you read too much advice like this, it's no wonder you're getting worse at Dominion.

I don't think I'm getting worse at Dominion.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 10:25:56 pm »
+1

the more i read, the more ways I learn to lose in new, interesting, and instructive ways.
there is definitely an application gap when you only play a few battles per week.

your question reminds me of playing pool.
i was a passable pool player, using entirely instinct to aim my shots.
i started taking physics, and now I can't hit a shot to save my life.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 01:04:37 am »
+2

where people pick up Loan instead of Steward in their suboptimal engine decks

Yeah or you could play the superior engine deck and buy both Steward and Loan.

If you read too much advice like this, it's no wonder you're getting worse at Dominion.

In all seriousness, I think 90% of players under-trash. I know I still do, and I regret it every time.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 02:20:53 am »
+1

there is definitely an application gap when you only play a few battles per week.
I'm lucky if I play once a month...
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Chris is me

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 07:31:20 am »
0

where people pick up Loan instead of Steward in their suboptimal engine decks

Yeah or you could play the superior engine deck and buy both Steward and Loan.

If you read too much advice like this, it's no wonder you're getting worse at Dominion.

In all seriousness, I think 90% of players under-trash. I know I still do, and I regret it every time.

Oh Iím not saying that trashing with more than a single Steward is bad. I get a second Steward somewhat regularly, or if possible Iíll get something nonterminal to supplement like Forager. Itís just that Loan is massively overhyped by some, ignoring the fairly massive drawbacks of it skipping key cards or hitting non-Copper treasures that most decks need some amount of. Sure Loan was underrated for awhile, but itís not a card thatís harmless or automatic to drop into any deck, and itís generally not a card you get on a board where Steward is available.

Letís not have any delusions about all or most boards being perfect treasureless engines where your entire economy can come from a wide variety of Action cards, and terminal space is unlimited.
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Awaclus

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 08:11:07 am »
+1

Oh Iím not saying that trashing with more than a single Steward is bad. I get a second Steward somewhat regularly, or if possible Iíll get something nonterminal to supplement like Forager. Itís just that Loan is massively overhyped by some, ignoring the fairly massive drawbacks of it skipping key cards or hitting non-Copper treasures that most decks need some amount of. Sure Loan was underrated for awhile, but itís not a card thatís harmless or automatic to drop into any deck, and itís generally not a card you get on a board where Steward is available.

Letís not have any delusions about all or most boards being perfect treasureless engines where your entire economy can come from a wide variety of Action cards, and terminal space is unlimited.

Well, that's the kind of advice that will make you get worse at Dominion. Steward/Loan is a way stronger opening than double Steward or Steward/Forager. Forager is a Curse or a Copper for your current turn whereas Loan is a Peddler, and you don't need any of the upsides that Forager has over Loan because you already get all of them from Steward. Steward also happens to be non-Treasure economy. If anything, Steward is a reason to go for Loan more than you normally would, as none of the usual complaints apply when Steward is present.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 08:23:07 am »
+7

And yet another thread ruined by the Chris is me vs Awaclus debate club.  :-\
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 08:53:06 am »
+4

Oh Iím not saying that trashing with more than a single Steward is bad. I get a second Steward somewhat regularly, or if possible Iíll get something nonterminal to supplement like Forager. Itís just that Loan is massively overhyped by some, ignoring the fairly massive drawbacks of it skipping key cards or hitting non-Copper treasures that most decks need some amount of. Sure Loan was underrated for awhile, but itís not a card thatís harmless or automatic to drop into any deck, and itís generally not a card you get on a board where Steward is available.

Letís not have any delusions about all or most boards being perfect treasureless engines where your entire economy can come from a wide variety of Action cards, and terminal space is unlimited.

Well, that's the kind of advice that will make you get worse at Dominion. Steward/Loan is a way stronger opening than double Steward or Steward/Forager. Forager is a Curse or a Copper for your current turn whereas Loan is a Peddler, and you don't need any of the upsides that Forager has over Loan because you already get all of them from Steward. Steward also happens to be non-Treasure economy. If anything, Steward is a reason to go for Loan more than you normally would, as none of the usual complaints apply when Steward is present.

I find it confusing to think of Loan as a Peddler since it doesn't literally draw you any cards. It never lets you draw and play a Copper while trahing something in hand like Junk Dealer can. For early game trashers, I like to think of it like "net +$1" (plus cycling) when you play Loan, whereas Forager can be "net +$1" if you trash an Estate while Copper is in the trash, otherwise it is "net zero".

What makes learning Dominion difficult is that advice you read is hard to actually try out if it is not general enough. For example, in the Steward/Steward vs. Steward/Loan debate neither option is always correct. Neither are automatic. Figuring out which one to go for in a real game requires personal judgement, and building up proper judgement is not easy and takes time. Plus, as particular set of two cards appearing in the kingdom is not that common if you play full random anyway.

If the problem you are having is that you are constantl overthinking and exhausting yourself when you play, then your decision making will keep getting impaired as you play. Post-mortem after-game analysis and in-game analysis under pressure are two different skills. I don't know how to articulate advice on maintaining composure in a game.
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MatthewCA

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 12:03:54 pm »
+1

The best broad advice is learned so quickly in Dominion, that by the time people reach the the second or third plateau described in the article, most players have it figured out. I think people get frustrated by losing games. This is because most people here are playing because they have fun winning. Winning is fun but, understanding why you lost and enjoying the game despite the loss will keep you playing until you get to the next plateau. This is compounded by the fact that it can be hard to see why you lost in Dominion sometimes if you don't know the ins and outs of the game. It's easy to blame a card instead of seeing that you chose the wrong strategy.

 My first IRL game with Adventures, My brother stumbled into Treasure Trove Magpie, while I tried to use Bridge Troll to get Hirelings cheap and draw my deck before my first action. He crushed me, but that was the first time I understood that it wasn't because the cards i was going for were bad cards, it just wasn't the best option on that board. You'll get better. It's just gonna be hard.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 02:22:42 pm by MatthewCA »
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 01:16:10 pm »
+6

The best broad advice is learned so quickly in Dominion, that by the time people reach the the second or third plateau described in the article, most players have it figured out. I think people get frustrated by losing games. This is because most people here are playing because they have fun winning. Winning is fun but, understanding why you lost and enjoying the game despite the loss will keep you playing until you get to the next plateau. This is compounded by the fact that it can be hard to see why you lost in Dominion sometimes if you don't know the ins and outs of the game. It's easy to blame a card instead of seeing that you chose the wrong strategy.

 My first IRL game with Adventures, My brother stumbled into Treasure Trove Magpie, while I tried to use Bridge Troll to get Hirelings cheap and draw my deck before my first action. He crushed me, but that was the first time I understood that it wasn't because the cards i was going for weren't bad cards, it just wasn't the best option on that board. You'll get better. It's just gonna be hard.

This is true for all competitive games but it's especially annoying for card games because sometimes you win anyways due to getting lucky, which helps disguise your mistake. Or you lose anyways because your opponent got lucky, which disguises your good play.

A while ago (~3-4 years ago?), there was a pro League of Legends player (imaqtpie), who was streaming, and someone asked him, "as a Gold player, what separates me from a Challenger like you?" (Gold = top 10%, Challenger = top 50). And his reply was "Gold? Everything. Challenger players do literally everything better than you do." In Loser's Bracket this year, I lost a game because I played an Urchin when I shouldn't have, which made my Merc gain next turn miss the shuffle, which put me 2 turns behind on Merc trashing, and then I lost. I made the mistake on...about turn 6? How am I supposed to explain this mistake to a new player? There's a tipping point where you're able to consistently self-diagnose your mistakes, and I'm not sure where it is, but until you get there it's a bit of a struggle, and after you get there it's all about doing better next time.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2018, 04:05:13 pm »
0

I lost a game because I played an Urchin when I shouldn't have, which made my Merc gain next turn miss the shuffle, which put me 2 turns behind on Merc trashing, and then I lost. I made the mistake on...about turn 6? How am I supposed to explain this mistake to a new player?

new players don't need to think about things missing the shuffle.
novice players should know about deck/discard management, but can learn about it in generalities.

"when you draw past the last card in your deck, it triggers a reshuffle, and if your discard pile is full of bad cards, you will want to avoid that"
"if you have a card that you want to get as quickly as possible, try not to trigger an unnecessary reshuffle right before you buy it"

but the best way is to talk your plans out loud during the game, so they can see and hear you manage your deck.
I literally did that 2.5 hours ago for a new-ish player, when I had discarded coppers to a cellar, and then declined to use a draw spell, 

You shouldn't hold their hand forever.  make them aware of the general strategy, and then they will have to figure out how to apply it with practice. 

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 11:32:14 pm »
+2

It's not really about handholding. It's more about playing people who don't realize why they're losing. Sometimes I play games online, win, and watch the other person complain about their luck, at which point I like pointing out decisions they made that I disagreed with. (I like doing this because it usually shuts up their complaining, and maybe they'll learn something new out of it.)

Examples:

"ugh you're so lucky"
"Well when my Militia hit you on turn 4, I would have discarded Militia and trashed 2 with Chapel instead of discarding Chapel and keeping Miltia."

"my deck just wasn't giving me $5 that game"
"I mean you bought your first Silver on the 3rd shuffle, and none of your Actions gave money, so that's kind of your fault..."

I don't want to be handholding people through all of that. There are just layers to the strategy, and if you can't recognize the next layer of the strategy, it's hard to get better.

Good articles can help fix this, if they make you aware of things you didn't realize were important. But sometimes, the authors forget to mention things that are so obvious they're second nature to them, and that can limit their effectiveness.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2018, 01:17:47 am »
+1

It's not really about handholding. It's more about playing people who don't realize why they're losing. Sometimes I play games online, win, and watch the other person complain about their luck, at which point I like pointing out decisions they made that I disagreed with. (I like doing this because it usually shuts up their complaining, and maybe they'll learn something new out of it.)

Examples:

"ugh you're so lucky"
"Well when my Militia hit you on turn 4, I would have discarded Militia and trashed 2 with Chapel instead of discarding Chapel and keeping Miltia."

"my deck just wasn't giving me $5 that game"
"I mean you bought your first Silver on the 3rd shuffle, and none of your Actions gave money, so that's kind of your fault..."

I imagine there will be some people who won't respond well to this, even if it's true. Having said that, I've had it happen to me and I appreciated it.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2018, 01:43:57 am »
+2

My original post implied Loan/Silver is worse than Steward/Silver (or Loan/Loan is worse than Steward/Steward if you want to look at it that way)

I specifically picked a comparison of openings no pair of competent Dominion players would disagree on to keep the thread on the topic.  This intent was probably obvious.  Why did you derail the thread anyway.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2018, 02:15:47 am »
0

My original post implied Loan/Silver is worse than Steward/Silver (or Loan/Loan is worse than Steward/Steward if you want to look at it that way)

And it also implies that Loan/Steward is worse than Steward/Steward, which is not true. If it's not supposed to imply that, then it's super not clear that it's not supposed to imply that.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2018, 02:50:09 am »
0

My original post implied Loan/Silver is worse than Steward/Silver (or Loan/Loan is worse than Steward/Steward if you want to look at it that way)

And it also implies that Loan/Steward is worse than Steward/Steward, which is not true. If it's not supposed to imply that, then it's super not clear that it's not supposed to imply that.
I meant it as choosing to buy 0 loans and some number of stewards as trashers for an engine game is inferior to choosing to buy 0 stewards and any number of trashers.

I guess you mean to whine about me setting up a false dilemma for a subset of kingdoms, and it is a false dilemma for a subset of kingdoms (yes, perhaps the majority subset of kingdoms).  But there is a subset of kingdoms where it is a dilemma, several that have powerful 4$ cards or powerful trashers you're looking forward to at 5 or 6, or what have you.  And if you think Loan wins more of those dilemmas than Steward does, I'm pretty sure that's a very unpopular opinion.

I really don't get how a preference for Peanut Butter Sandwiches over Jelly Sandwiches constitutes a preference for Peanut Butter Sandwiches over Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 02:54:29 am by popsofctown »
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2018, 03:00:35 am »
0

I guess you mean to whine about me setting up a false dilemma for a subset of kingdoms, and it is a false dilemma for a subset of kingdoms (yes, perhaps the majority subset of kingdoms).  But there is a subset of kingdoms where it is a dilemma, several that have powerful 4$ cards or powerful trashers you're looking forward to at 5 or 6, or what have you.  And if you think Loan wins more of those dilemmas than Steward does, I'm pretty sure that's a very unpopular opinion.

I don't mean to whine. I mean to make it clear to anyone who read your post that Loan is not a weak card.
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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2018, 03:51:56 am »
+13

I guess you mean to whine about me setting up a false dilemma for a subset of kingdoms, and it is a false dilemma for a subset of kingdoms (yes, perhaps the majority subset of kingdoms).  But there is a subset of kingdoms where it is a dilemma, several that have powerful 4$ cards or powerful trashers you're looking forward to at 5 or 6, or what have you.  And if you think Loan wins more of those dilemmas than Steward does, I'm pretty sure that's a very unpopular opinion.

I don't mean to whine. I mean to make it clear to anyone who read your post that Loan is not a weak card.

Awaclus, it's more like....pops's post wasn't about the power level of Loan. It was about poorly played engines being worse than Big Money, and that it's okay to just go for money and take the win if you aren't good at engines yet. The exact accuracy of the example of Loan and Steward isn't that important to the broader point.

But when you nitpick by quoting just the sentence about Loan, to talk about how Loan + Steward gives a better engine, and then defend the nitpick by saying that you just wanted to say Loan is good...it really feels like you are missing the point of what the post was trying to say. Especially given that your Loan opinion is controversial, and that you should know it's controversial because this is not the first time people have fought with you about Loan. Your reputation is "that guy who quotes single sentences to make jokes, and who also really likes Loan for some reason." You are playing into your own stereotype with seeming obliviousness. That is why some people are sick of arguing with you.

(People are also sick of Chris is me playing into the "I hate Awaclus" stereotype, but I mean, what can you do, it's people on the Internet talking to other people on the Internet in a way you disapprove of.)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 03:54:06 am by Titandrake »
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Awaclus

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2018, 04:30:07 am »
0

But when you nitpick by quoting just the sentence about Loan, to talk about how Loan + Steward gives a better engine, and then defend the nitpick by saying that you just wanted to say Loan is good...it really feels like you are missing the point of what the post was trying to say.

I'm not missing the point, the point is just not relevant to what I'm saying. I specifically only wanted to point out that Loan is a strong card, that's why the only part I quoted from pops's post was the part that could be understood as "buying Loan is a newbie mistake".

your Loan opinion is controversial

Want to play a cage match?
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Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

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DG

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Re: The more I read the worse I get?
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2018, 07:56:52 am »
+1

Looking back at the old council room stats on Isotropic, Loan had a win rate of 1.00, i.e. a perfectly average card. Thief was 0.71 and Mountebank 1.09.
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