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Author Topic: When are Travellers ignorable?  (Read 1704 times)

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Dingan

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When are Travellers ignorable?
« on: March 22, 2018, 03:18:28 am »
+7

Simple question ^

I remember a discussion in one of these podcasts (can't remember which one, or when, but it was in there somewhere) where they talked about when Butcher is ignorable. Spoiler alert: Almost never. I'd even claim Butcher is less ignorable than, say, many other power cards such as Cultist, Rebuild, Masquerade, etc.

So then Page and Peasant. In the thousands of games I've played with these, I can probably count on one hand the times I've ignored Page and felt it was the right decision. Well actually, I can't count them at all, because I can't remember them. That's how rare they are. Maybe I'm still learning them, but that's my current understanding of them -- they're just that powerful and versatile.

So when are Page and Peasant ignorable? When there are already a lot of engine components? Fast big money games? Games with Cultist and no thinning? Any specific game reports of times it was good to ignore them? Just curious.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2018, 03:29:20 am »
+1

I remember ignoring Peasant on a KC Bridge board with a way to get there fast.

and that's about it probably

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2018, 03:35:47 am »
+2

Page is pretty ignorable a lot of the time. Peasant not so much, you can basically only ever ignore it in edge cases such as the one described by Burning Skull.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2018, 04:07:47 am »
0

Page is almost useless in a board with no decent terminals or attacks (though one must remember to check if Warrior fits this bill).
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2018, 06:22:06 am »
+1

I think the most common scenario would be quick, strong combo decks like ch tf, lurker hg, or hermit ms.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2018, 07:39:58 am »
0

Lurker/HG might not be the best example there, because you can actually beat Lurker/HG by gaining a couple of Lurkers and using them to gain a bunch of free Hunting Groundses that your opponent is leaving in the trash and building an engine out of them, and the Travellers can help you do that.
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aku_chi

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 09:26:22 am »
+2

You should be very skeptical of the Peasant line's value on a board with zero non-terminal actions.  Even with terminal draw, you need to stock up on that card, then manage to get and call a Teacher for +action before your deck does anything decent.  And even then, it will be a very limited engine.  If the terminal draw is Torturer or Wild Hunt, it's probably still worth it, but not so much otherwise.  These games are rare, but I've encountered a couple of them and ignoring Peasant seemed like the right thing to do.

Page is less ignorable, but it's not uncommon for Champion to be a non-factor.  If the game is fast enough, there won't be time for Champion to pay off.  Also, if the key cards are non-terminal and not in the $3-$4 price range (take the opponent's action-phase cost reduction into account!), you might not need a Champion even if the game goes longer.  Governor satisfies all of these conditions, and Page is definitely optional most of the time it's in the kingdom with Governor.  But, sometimes the treasure from the Page line helps a Governor deck out, so you pick one up anyway.

Here's an example of a game that's too fast for Champion (thanks, Stonemason!).  I mistakenly played it like a longer game, but Rabid correctly identified the game's speed.  Skip to 38:10 for the game:

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 09:28:34 am »
0

Travellers can be slow to cycle and a game can be mostly won or lost before they make an impact.
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majiponi

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2018, 09:42:45 am »
0

Market Square and Hermit. See Mr. Sangatsu's movie.
http://sp.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm21055970

Or, boards with Witch and no trasher. Or boards with Knights.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 09:45:35 am by majiponi »
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jomini

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2018, 09:52:37 am »
+1

What do Page and Peasant give you? Both give you the +action to build engines, both contribute economy, and both provide mild attacks. What is different?

Peasant's attack is more reliable, albeit often weaker, and peasant's economy is much more action based (Disciple quickly ramps up even weak action-cash; soldier can reach crazy heights but needs a lot of draw/action to support it, Teacher needs a lot of duplicate cards).

Page's payload comes from treasures. This makes page a lot weaker for making engine - you only want so many silvers/gold. Page can give you Labs, but almost always you bag at least one silver and that takes two turns to get there.

This drastically changes when each is skippable.

Easily to stock up on action cards? That just makes Peasant stronger - you can pick better cards to Disciple more easily, you can afford to start chaining Soldiers ($2, $5, $9) with surplus draw & actions, and of course that makes you Teacher tokens multiplicatively more powerful (hey I now have 13 buys). In contrast, Champion is the only Page line that really synergizes heavily with actions. And that is worthless if you can easily manage +action (e.g. CotR, Scheme, Lost Arts) this makes Page much more skippable.

No trashing/sifting? Page is much more skippable. Teacher can turn even lousy draw into good draw (e.g. Moat & Pawn can become Lab in the same game; which makes it easy to draw deck); Champion really needs terminal draw to matter and has trouble with adding more stop cards to the deck. Worse, when you do have expensive terminal draw you run into trouble massing it and not flipping the Page line. Getting a bunch of half-curses really slows down the Champion burn.

No +gains? Page is much more skippable. Peasant always can score bulk points if the game lasts long enough. Page needs something in the kingdom to fill out its potential (Remodel, +buy, Harem).

Killer attacks? Neither are really skippable.

Viable rush? Both may be skippable. Beggar/Gardens, Iw/Silk road, Rebuild, Hermit/Msqr, Donate fun (e.g. Fortress/Develop), and the like can win out before the the long term payout happens.

Lurker/HG might not be the best example there, because you can actually beat Lurker/HG by gaining a couple of Lurkers and using them to gain a bunch of free Hunting Groundses that your opponent is leaving in the trash and building an engine out of them, and the Travellers can help you do that.

Trashing 10 Hgs is game ending with 2 Estate buys. I have not done all the math but do you really have that many turns before the game ends?  End game state is 11 green, 7 coppers and some number of Lurkers when you start triggering estates. Assuming I have just 6 Lurkers, I have > 1.25 lurker plays per turn. This empties Hg on T14 and you can certainly nab two estates in this time frame. Worse, if you buy Lurkers you remove the option of preventing end game by buy two Hgs to prevent on-trashing to estates as you can pile Lurkers quicker.

Champion is not going to make Hg safe to play until around T8 - T12. Even with village support, you have to play the shuffle triggering game wisely.

End point states for a Lurker rush are 35 vs 3 (0). So we are talking at scoring at least 26 points quickly. This puts you up to $21 payout. Certainly doable, but not on all boards. For a lot of boards you can expect one traveller to miss a shuffle ... this all seems to be very high variance.

Aku:
Pure terminal boards are not a death knell for Peasant, even without killer cards. Peasant itself is a non-terminal pile. Disciple on a new non-terminal makes for the ability to stack in new terminals; Teacher can then add other tokens to give you even more yields. Generally these are boards where you want something like every 3rd gain to be a Peasant so you can stack disciples. This works particularly well with good trashing like Steward (which also makes a nice Lab). Sure these boards are less Peasant friendly, but Peasant is just so flexible - he attacks, he sifts, he villages, he gains, and he increases payload.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2018, 10:08:38 am »
0

Once I skipped Page on a board where the only terminal was Butcher and there were 3 different villages. I still regretted it... my opponent used Heroes to gain Gold and Butchered it into Province  :-X
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2018, 10:15:21 am »
0

Once I skipped Page on a board where the only terminal was Butcher and there were 3 different villages. I still regretted it... my opponent used Heroes to gain Gold and Butchered it into Province  :-X

Well, the biggest drawback of Page is that whereas the Peasant line cards give you benefits for the current turn that range from acceptable to great, the Page line forcibly gains you a bunch of stuff of questionable utility instead. Butcher turns the stuff into something more useful so it makes Treasure Hunter and Hero a lot less bad.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2018, 10:40:07 am »
+2

Pure terminal boards are not a death knell for Peasant, even without killer cards. Peasant itself is a non-terminal pile. Disciple on a new non-terminal makes for the ability to stack in new terminals; Teacher can then add other tokens to give you even more yields. Generally these are boards where you want something like every 3rd gain to be a Peasant so you can stack disciples. This works particularly well with good trashing like Steward (which also makes a nice Lab). Sure these boards are less Peasant friendly, but Peasant is just so flexible - he attacks, he sifts, he villages, he gains, and he increases payload.

I'm aware that in the long run, you can make an engine out of a Peasant + terminal actions board.  But, in the long run, the Provinces are gone.  So, it's only worth pursuing Peasant if there is sufficient alternative VP and/or a brutal attack waiting at the end of the tunnel.  I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.  Show me such a board, and I'll let you know how fast I can get half the VP!

Well, the biggest drawback of Page is that whereas the Peasant line cards give you benefits for the current turn that range from acceptable to great, the Page line forcibly gains you a bunch of stuff of questionable utility instead. Butcher turns the stuff into something more useful so it makes Treasure Hunter and Hero a lot less bad.

Hero is a good card.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2018, 11:05:30 am »
0

has anyone tried travelers with bans on turning in for champion/teacher?

I don't use travelers very often, because they are game warping on so many boards, but I love the mechanic. 
I think I'd veto them less often if you were going for things easier to get and less powerful.  Every time I turn in a disciple, I feel a bit sad. 

If the travelers are brought back, I'd like to see fewer steps, and thus, less power on the final cards. 

Also, TIL: there are two acceptable spellings for traveller/traveler. 
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2018, 11:16:15 am »
0

Hero is a good card.

I wouldn't buy it for $5 very often.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2018, 11:30:52 am »
0

Hero is a good card.

I wouldn't buy it for $5 very often.

I think I would. It's not that much worse than Courtier with a dual-type around, unless you really need Courtier's +buy.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2018, 11:33:04 am »
0

Aku:

Sure, but the number of all-terminal boards with no high point Alt-VP, no high chip count cards, and no "killer attacks" is a pretty small set of boards unless you are playing very non-random kingdoms. Something like 1/4 - 1/3rd of cards are non-terminal, this drastically increases the percentage of cards which are alt-VP, chips, or killer attacks. Say that your additionally excluded cards make up 15% of the remaining cards; then only about 20% of such boards will lack an enabler (~1 - .85^9).

And it is not just strong attacks that work. Mass gaining (e.g. Stonemason, Develop, Duplicate), strong trashing (for rapid mass Disciple), and turn increases (Possession, Outpost, Mission) can all make the engine pay out quickly.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2018, 11:37:47 am »
0

Hero is a good card.

I wouldn't buy it for $5 very often.

I think I would. It's not that much worse than Courtier with a dual-type around, unless you really need Courtier's +buy.

It's that much worse than Haggler.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2018, 11:41:00 am »
0

Hero is a good card.

I wouldn't buy it for $5 very often.

I think I would. It's not that much worse than Courtier with a dual-type around, unless you really need Courtier's +buy.

It's that much worse than Haggler.

I typically use Hero (as in deliberately not exchange one) to gain a Gold mid turn that I later draw in the same turn while giving +$2. Haggler doesn't do that, but Courtier does while giving +$3, hence why I went for the Courtier comparison.

Edit: but yeah Haggler can do the same thing with a one turn delay, and Courtier can stop giving Gold if you want to. Hero can gain Platinum though.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 11:51:29 am by markusin »
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2018, 11:57:17 am »
+1

To be fair, I rarely buy Merchant Guild because it's that much worse than Bridge.

Being serious though, Hero is good because of Champion, it's super easy to massively overdraw your deck once you have Champ set up and Hero is a very efficient way to jam a bunch of money your deck at that point.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2018, 12:32:29 pm »
+2

When they were accidentally shipped in the Intrigue box and so you don't have any copies of the cards to exchange them for.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2018, 12:57:04 pm »
0

Being serious though, Hero is good because of Champion, it's super easy to massively overdraw your deck once you have Champ set up and Hero is a very efficient way to jam a bunch of money your deck at that point.

That's not true. Just because you get Champion set up doesn't mean you're suddenly going to get a bunch of terminal draw out of nowhere. While it is "easy" to massively overdraw your deck with a Champion in play, you can usually get there at least as fast by deckbuilding intentionally and taking advantage of the positive feedback loop nature of Dominion instead of getting yourself stuck with the very disappointing Page line cards while your opponent has cards that actually do something.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2018, 01:10:01 pm »
0

Being serious though, Hero is good because of Champion, it's super easy to massively overdraw your deck once you have Champ set up and Hero is a very efficient way to jam a bunch of money your deck at that point.

That's not true. Just because you get Champion set up doesn't mean you're suddenly going to get a bunch of terminal draw out of nowhere. While it is "easy" to massively overdraw your deck with a Champion in play, you can usually get there at least as fast by deckbuilding intentionally and taking advantage of the positive feedback loop nature of Dominion instead of getting yourself stuck with the very disappointing Page line cards while your opponent has cards that actually do something.

Typical deckbuilding often includes getting Villages, which take up your buys. Going for Page means you might need to buy fewer Villages. It's not a given that deckbuilding is easier without Page.

With very fast trashing, Page line gets replacement treasures more conveniently (that is, with fewer buys). In such cases, multiple Pages (each costing $2) can work out to become Warriors/Heroes.

In other cases though, there are engines enabled by Peasant that fall apart with Page because of the extra treasure gains and inflexibility with a line that provides weak virtual money and no +buy.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2018, 01:27:58 pm »
0

Being serious though, Hero is good because of Champion, it's super easy to massively overdraw your deck once you have Champ set up and Hero is a very efficient way to jam a bunch of money your deck at that point.

That's not true. Just because you get Champion set up doesn't mean you're suddenly going to get a bunch of terminal draw out of nowhere. While it is "easy" to massively overdraw your deck with a Champion in play, you can usually get there at least as fast by deckbuilding intentionally and taking advantage of the positive feedback loop nature of Dominion instead of getting yourself stuck with the very disappointing Page line cards while your opponent has cards that actually do something.

This a foolish way to approach the game, you should evaluate these things on a kingdom by kingdom basis. Sometimes Hero is going to be the most efficient way to add payload to your deck, sometimes there will be something better. Calling cards "disappointing" and insinuating that they don't do anything is just going to make you lose games as you miss the interactions that make them strong. Even cards as weak as Mandarin and Counting House shine in certain kingdoms.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2018, 01:33:25 pm »
+1

Typical deckbuilding often includes getting Villages, which take up your buys. Going for Page means you might need to buy fewer Villages. It's not a given that deckbuilding is easier without Page.

You have to buy Villages anyway, otherwise your deck will suck until you get to Champion. The main reason to go for Page is that there isn't anything at $3 that would significantly boost your early game tempo (or there is but you're already getting it and you don't want another one), in which case getting a Champion delayed by four shuffles might be the best value you can get at that price point.

This a foolish way to approach the game, you should evaluate these things on a kingdom by kingdom basis. Sometimes Hero is going to be the most efficient way to add payload to your deck, sometimes there will be something better. Calling cards "disappointing" and insinuating that they don't do anything is just going to make you lose games as you miss the interactions that make them strong. Even cards as weak as Mandarin and Counting House shine in certain kingdoms.

Oh no, I got edge cased!
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