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Author Topic: Salt the Earth and global effects  (Read 971 times)

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trivialknot

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Salt the Earth and global effects
« on: March 10, 2018, 09:28:15 am »
+7

If I can't have it, neither can you!

What do Salt the Earth and Embargo have in common?  Each one has a global effect, which in principle affects all players equally.  Salt the Earth can make the game shorter for everyone.  The Embargo token can curse anyone.

Global effects are everywhere in Dominion.  Trashing the last Gladiator lets everyone access Fortune.  Emptying a supply pile powers up everyone's Cities, and weakens everyone's Poachers.  Trashing an action with Lurker lets anyone gain the action from the trash.  Trashing actions gives everyone's necromancers more options.

We can divide these effects into three components: The direct effect (e.g. with Salt the Earth, spend $4 and get 1 VP), the global effect (e.g. a victory card in the supply is trashed), and the timing effect (the global effect begins on your turn, e.g. ending the game by trashing the last province).  Usually you get these effects because you want either the direct effect or the timing effect.  But when do you specifically want the global effect?

Global effects are most useful when you and your opponent(s) are in asymmetrical positions.  For example, if I build towards Provinces, and you build towards Duchy/Duke, I might want to embargo Dukes and you might want to embargo Provinces.

But global effects can have a profound impact on strategy even when nobody uses them.  Suppose that a kingdom has two strategies, X and Y.  In order to choose between them, we imagine a hypothetical game between a player who chooses X and a player who chooses Y.  It could be that Salt the Earth tips the scales towards strategy X, and therefore both players should choose X.  And since both players are choosing the same strategy, perhaps neither should buy Salt the Earth.

In games between expert players, global effects tend to appear weak, because experts tend to correctly identify (roughly) the best strategy.  This leads to "mirror" games where players have similar strategies.  But even when global effects should not be underestimated just because they rarely get used.
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Seprix

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2018, 11:57:12 am »
+1

Almost everything in Dominion is a global effect. Almost nothing about Salt the Earth, this article could have been written about anything in Dominion. Not to mention I don't think this article says very much about anything. It's not going to make anybody a better player. Probably time to go back to the drawing board.
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trivialknot

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 11:00:42 am »
+1

@Seprix,
Help me understand your point of view.  Everything in Dominion is a "global effect", which is a term that I have defined for the very first time in this article, and yet this article is useless?

I had originally written the article with Embargo as the main example, since Embargo is a card which is mostly useless outside of its global effect.  But there's already an article about Embargo on the blog.
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markusin

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 11:10:16 am »
+1

But global effects can have a profound impact on strategy even when nobody uses them.  Suppose that a kingdom has two strategies, X and Y.  In order to choose between them, we imagine a hypothetical game between a player who chooses X and a player who chooses Y.  It could be that Salt the Earth tips the scales towards strategy X, and therefore both players should choose X.  And since both players are choosing the same strategy, perhaps neither should buy Salt the Earth.

Is this different from say the presence of Noble Brigand or Pirate ship in the kingdom steering players away from money strategies even if no one ends up gaining those cards?
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trivialknot

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 01:48:18 pm »
0

@markusin,
 It is the same.
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Holunder9

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2018, 02:45:10 pm »
+1

I am with Seprix on this, global effect, aka "affects all players equally", seems to simply mean interactive.
If you empty a village pile prematurely, i.e. while not already needing them just in order to prevent your opponent from gaining them, this is also an interactive thing. If your opponents do something you virtually always have to take it into consideration.
Actually I think that the big difference between newer and more experiences players is that the former fail to see all the (indirect) interaction that Dominion actually has.

But this is all a bit too general. So to differentiate a bit more you could perhaps say that some cards are more actively interactive (or, as trivialknot labelled it, feature global effects), like Gathering or Attack cards, while others are rather passively interactive, like the Province pile mattering tremendously for timing issues.
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Seprix

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2018, 06:34:51 pm »
+2

@Seprix,
Help me understand your point of view.  Everything in Dominion is a "global effect", which is a term that I have defined for the very first time in this article, and yet this article is useless?

I had originally written the article with Embargo as the main example, since Embargo is a card which is mostly useless outside of its global effect.  But there's already an article about Embargo on the blog.

Well, it's like arguing against Dominion being a solitaire game. Any decision made with gains, purchases, and scoring is going to affect both players on a global level. Salt and Embargo are just more of the same. I think I was confused as to what the focus of the article was. I thought it was more about Salt, but it seems to be more about Global Effects instead.

But on the other hand, this article still says very little about anything. It's hard to write about global effects, because global effects are almost everything in Dominion already. To write about global effects means to write about things like PPR, pile control, and just about anything else already written about in competitive discussion. That is what I meant when I said this article says just about nothing new or interesting. It just feels like long sentences rehashing things already said in other articles, but in a confusing way instead.

For example, lowering the Provinces when someone goes for Duchy/Duke is in itself a global effect. It's directing the game towards the end condition before the other guy gets too many points. In fact, that's the entire point of Dominion, to win with your strategy before the other guy does. It's simply not useful to say, "Embargo has a Global Effect, which changes the game with differing strategies" because so much of the game already does that. You could say, "Embargo can punish people going for different strategies" and you would have said something much more useful and distinct. Global effects are everywhere and entirely situational, because Global effects are basically the entire public side of the game. That stuff is covered already with each distinct card or competitive discussion.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 06:37:47 pm by Seprix »
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trivialknot

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2018, 08:11:50 pm »
0

Thanks for the reply Seprix.

By "global effect" I had something slightly more specific in mind.  I was thinking of effects that are specifically useful in non-mirror games.  Lowering provinces when your opponent goes for Duchy/Duke is a good example.  If you have more gains than your opponent, lowering piles to the point where you can end the game next turn is a good example.  But PPR and pile control (generically speaking) are not examples of what I'm thinking about.

This is something I think about because I mostly play casual games IRL with my partner, but I also watch competitive games.  And I notice that competitive players tend to underrate global effects.  e.g. I watch games where people incidentally pick up Embargo, but since they think of the embargo token as irrelevant they just waffle until finally embargoing copper.  Whereas in the games I have played, Embargo is occasionally dominant.  I think it's because we usually don't play mirror games, while the competitive players do.

One specific tip I would give about Embargo: please at least consider embargoing Province.  It's likely to have a significant impact on the game, which means it's a good deal for at least one of the players.

I'm not trying to be combative or defensive; I've written plenty of stuff and know they can't all be winners.
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Holunder9

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 03:03:23 am »
0

And I notice that competitive players tend to underrate global effects.  e.g. I watch games where people incidentally pick up Embargo, but since they think of the embargo token as irrelevant they just waffle until finally embargoing copper.  Whereas in the games I have played, Embargo is occasionally dominant.  I think it's because we usually don't play mirror games, while the competitive players do.
They don't underrate Embargo, they just realize that its effects are irrelevant in a mirror game (unless deck composition slightly differs; i.e. when one players has more trashers it might make sense for him to embargo a pile everybody wants like Provinces).
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samath

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 10:48:47 am »
+7

I think the main downside to Embargo is, as you put it, its timing effect: You have to Embargo a card right before you'll be buying one. So it takes particularly good shuffle luck to have the opportunity to "slam the door behind yourself" so to speak, by embargoing a card that you already have (or have more of) that your opponent doesn't. Even in the best-case scenario -- 5/2 open with a power $5 against, say, Silver/Silver or equivalent, there's a decent likelihood that you draw the Embargo after they get a $5 hand T3/4, especially as player 2. Add onto that the extra economy that Embargo gives and it's more frequently in a hand where you'll be buying a good card, that you then don't want to embargo.

Contrast this with Tax, the other global effect that I thought would have been worth mentioning in this article: It takes place immediately, without the delay of a shuffle like Embargo does, and the person it hurts is less frequently you (though I do see people buying through their own Taxes a lot of the time). It's also a much weaker effect, to be sure, but it's still more frequently bought in my experience because it's easier to time appropriately.
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crj

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 04:49:04 pm »
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The best way I've found to use Embargo is to drop the token on something my opponent is intending to buy, while I have a plan to gain it some other way.
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ehunt

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2018, 09:40:56 am »
+1

embargo is at its best against potion cards
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Awaclus

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Re: Salt the Earth and global effects
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2018, 10:07:54 am »
+5

Embargo is at its best when you want a terminal Silver that disappears from your deck after one use.
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