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Author Topic: When are Travellers ignorable?  (Read 1719 times)

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crj

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2018, 01:51:33 pm »
0

You have to buy Villages anyway, otherwise your deck will suck until you get to Champion.
If the trashing and/or cycling is strong enough, you can get to Champion pretty quickly. I've opened Page/Guide before now, and only worked on buying payload when it didn't interfere with upgrading. That went fine.

Another indicator in favour of the Page line is a board with strong attacks and weak defences. Getting that Champion down absolutely as quickly as possible can be better than either retaliating or fixing the damage - especially in a multiplayer game where the other players will continue to hit one another.
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2018, 02:44:58 pm »
+5

I find Teacher most ignorable when Peasant isn't in the kingdom.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2018, 03:09:41 pm »
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You have to buy Villages anyway, otherwise your deck will suck until you get to Champion.
If the trashing and/or cycling is strong enough, you can get to Champion pretty quickly. I've opened Page/Guide before now, and only worked on buying payload when it didn't interfere with upgrading. That went fine.

In terms of turns, yes, but in terms of shuffles it still takes just as many shuffles and your opponent is also shuffling faster in those games. Also, if you spend the early game buying cards like Guide, you'll end up with a deck that just has cantrips and Treasures by the time you get Champion, which is super inefficient because then the Champion doesn't really do anything.
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DG

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2018, 03:31:47 pm »
+3

Another indicator in favour of the Page line is a board with strong attacks and weak defences. Getting that Champion down absolutely as quickly as possible can be better than either retaliating or fixing the damage - especially in a multiplayer game where the other players will continue to hit one another.

Not necessarily. Junkers can do all their damage before a champion gets into play. Some attacks can trash the travellers.

Has anyone mentioned events like lost arts yet? These can be a more efficient way of getting things done than champion and teacher.
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Holunder9

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2018, 04:20:20 pm »
0

Just because you get Champion set up doesn't mean you're suddenly going to get a bunch of terminal draw out of nowhere.
True. You also have to buy some extra Pages and make them into Warriors.

The Page line might be overall a bit weaker (anything else is pointless hyperbole) than the Peasant line but it helps tremendously that the first two steps of the line are non-terminal whereas in the Peasant line they are terminal. So the path to that direly needed terminal draw is relatively easy.
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Robz888

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2018, 04:25:43 pm »
+2

I never ignore Peasant.

I rarely ignore Page.
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2018, 04:49:49 pm »
+3

Has anyone mentioned events like lost arts yet? These can be a more efficient way of getting things done than champion and teacher.

Right or wrong, I think i'd be too tempted by DOUBLE TOKENS with Lost Arts to ignore Peasant.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2018, 05:00:51 pm »
0

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.

I didn't mean to imply you skip villages entirely on Page boards, but as you approach Champion you can lean harder towards the non-village engine components because you know that soon Actions will be a non-issue.
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DG

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2018, 05:50:17 pm »
+1

Right or wrong, I think i'd be too tempted by DOUBLE TOKENS with Lost Arts to ignore Peasant.

The problem is that you have to apply lost arts after the teacher token so it can lose a lot of tempo compared to just buying lost arts.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2018, 05:59:45 pm »
0

Right or wrong, I think i'd be too tempted by DOUBLE TOKENS with Lost Arts to ignore Peasant.

The problem is that you have to apply lost arts after the teacher token so it can lose a lot of tempo compared to just buying lost arts.

True, true. It would be a lot more feasible if it worked in reverse.
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Kirian

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2018, 06:45:54 pm »
+4

Obvious silly case: They're in the Black Market.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2018, 09:25:08 pm »
+3

Obvious silly case: They're in the Black Market.
Edge case to the edge case: Peasant in the Black Market, no +Buy on the board.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2018, 09:34:49 pm »
+1

Obvious silly case: They're in the Black Market.
Edge case to the edge case: Peasant in the Black Market, no +Buy on the board.

Add Museum to boot.
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2018, 08:21:35 am »
0

The Page line has to be a great example of why cards are sometimes really hard to evaluate. People tend to go for it when it's there, and then build decks that will be amazing once Champion is out. Problem is, these decks are actually pretty terrible until the Champion fires. When I play a Page game, I tend to find myself feeling particularly at the mercy of RNG, as a traveller skipping the shuffle, or a Warrior hitting your own traveller (nothing more angering than paying more attention to cycling/sifting than your opponent in order to promote your line faster then having your Hero hit by his Warrior) is pretty destructive and mostly out of your control. Games with good sifting/cycling make it more interesting because then you're at least more in control of your own destiny. Either way, your deck is pretty sucky until that moment when Champion fires, when it becomes incredible. That makes the Champion look uber-powerful, but actually it's not remotely valid as an argument to that end, because there's no comparison with what you might have been able to do had you just built a normal deck. As a result, it's just really hard to evaluate the actual strength of the Page line, and Champion in particular. I have a feeling that it's a lot weaker than everyone thinks, but we're just so grateful when our Champions finally get out that we forget all the sacrifices we made to get there.
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crj

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2018, 12:01:34 pm »
0

What about the option of buying multiple Pages and leaving all but one at Warrior? That both gives you some insurance against losing a Traveller to opponent's Warrior, and increases the chance you'll stymie opponent's path to getting their Champion.

Especially with multi-player games, the availability of those intermediate travellers can get pretty congested!
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DG

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2018, 12:46:03 pm »
0

Nobody has mentioned the other big problem in playing for a champion: lack of payload when you get there. It doesn't really matter how many cards you can play if you are just scoring one province each turn and your opponent starts with a good lead.
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msw188

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2018, 03:56:15 pm »
+1

I'm pretty interested in this question.  I remember first seeing Champion and thinking "Wow!", then after playing a couple times wondering how helpful it really was given how late you tend to get it.  Then I read about going for the 'multiple Warriors' route and it sounded powerful again.

It seems like a very difficult question.  I'm particularly intrigued by this line of reasoning:
You have to buy Villages anyway, otherwise your deck will suck until you get to Champion.
If the trashing and/or cycling is strong enough, you can get to Champion pretty quickly. I've opened Page/Guide before now, and only worked on buying payload when it didn't interfere with upgrading. That went fine.

In terms of turns, yes, but in terms of shuffles it still takes just as many shuffles and your opponent is also shuffling faster in those games. Also, if you spend the early game buying cards like Guide, you'll end up with a deck that just has cantrips and Treasures by the time you get Champion, which is super inefficient because then the Champion doesn't really do anything.

As a novice, I don't think the outcome is very clear from the outset.  I mean, imagine a scenario where P1 loads up on Pages and Guides / other sifters.  Meanwhile P2 ignores Page and builds an engine a bit more conventionally, sprinkling in Villages and payload as he goes.  Are the extra buys spent on Villages really that much more efficient than the extra buys spent on the Guides, given that at the end P1 can just leave the useless Guides on the tavern mat out of the way, while P2 requires his (vulnerable to Warrior) Villages for his engine to work?  There will probably be a couple turns when P1 has to add some worthwhile economy/payload while P2 already has his payload firing, but during those turns P1 is playing multiple Warriors and maybe ruining P2's deck.  Is the early advantage of P2 enough?  P1 is now immune to attacks and can't be 'slowed down'; his engine sputters only when he chooses to add green.  P2 runs the risk of his engine sputtering due to the attacks of P1, and may lose control.  Can P2 afford redundant buys due to the losses from P1's attacks?  It doesn't sound that much different to me than the clear early economy advantage of Big Money being nullified by the eventual control of a mid-to-late game Engine.  P2's quicker path to deck-control may be nullified by P1's eventual destruction of P2's deck control, leaving P1 with the true control of the late-game.
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brokoli

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2018, 04:28:16 pm »
+1

I recently lost a game when I did my best to get champion asap, using Changeling to get pages that turns into warior (side note : treasure hunter + changeling is really good). Warrior was the only draw, so it was pretty important.
Thing is, my opponent (lower level than me) played a more conventional Big Money thing, buying provinces early, one province per turn, and getting several heroes.
At the last 3 turns of the game, I had a very good deck that played a bunch of warriors, trashing his remaining silvers. The problem is that my opponent was flooding his deck with gold from his heroes, so trashing silvers eventually helped him. Even when attacking him with legionnary, he kept having 3 gold hand, and bought provinces while I was desesperately buying duchies… yes, because I forgot to say the major thing here : there were no +buy, so having hand that produce $16+ didn't help.

After the game I realized I could have Stonemason Gold into double duchies, but didn't think about that during the game.

So, in this particular case, Champion was not so great, though if I played more carefully and thought about the stonemason thing, I could have won rather easily.
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Awaclus

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2018, 04:49:59 pm »
0

As a novice, I don't think the outcome is very clear from the outset.  I mean, imagine a scenario where P1 loads up on Pages and Guides / other sifters.  Meanwhile P2 ignores Page and builds an engine a bit more conventionally, sprinkling in Villages and payload as he goes.  Are the extra buys spent on Villages really that much more efficient than the extra buys spent on the Guides, given that at the end P1 can just leave the useless Guides on the tavern mat out of the way, while P2 requires his (vulnerable to Warrior) Villages for his engine to work?  There will probably be a couple turns when P1 has to add some worthwhile economy/payload while P2 already has his payload firing, but during those turns P1 is playing multiple Warriors and maybe ruining P2's deck.  Is the early advantage of P2 enough?  P1 is now immune to attacks and can't be 'slowed down'; his engine sputters only when he chooses to add green.  P2 runs the risk of his engine sputtering due to the attacks of P1, and may lose control.  Can P2 afford redundant buys due to the losses from P1's attacks?  It doesn't sound that much different to me than the clear early economy advantage of Big Money being nullified by the eventual control of a mid-to-late game Engine.  P2's quicker path to deck-control may be nullified by P1's eventual destruction of P2's deck control, leaving P1 with the true control of the late-game.

Well, you absolutely shouldn't get the idea that Page is bad. It's a good card, and if I'm unsure, I personally find it safer to buy it than to ignore it.

It's just that many cards, such as Masquerade, are really explosive in how much they accelerate your deck. Drawing two cards and trashing a card means that your deck is going to be very significantly better next shuffle, which then allows Masquerade to draw even better cards, perhaps even allows you to play that Masquerade more often, and then the shuffle after that will be even better, etc. In the meantime, a lot of the Page line cards do little to nothing for your current turn and only improve your deck by a little bit. When you finally get to the Champion, the Champion has a very strong effect, but the cumulative effect of your opponent's Masquerade might have already been stronger at that point.

Obviously you can also buy both Masquerade and Page, which is probably a good move a lot of the time, I just chose Masq as an example to demonstrate the point because it's one of the most explosive cards.

If you want, you can try my Tempo Challenge to hopefully get a better understanding of this concept.
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msw188

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2018, 06:25:30 pm »
0

I did see the Tempo Challenge, and I think those kinds of challenges are a great idea!  I guess I'm just saying that I don't think tempo applies very well here.  The problem is the attack.  It feels reasonable that on a lot of boards, ignoring Page leads to more efficient deck-building and getting a good deck up-and-running faster.  So yeah, better tempo.  But the Champion - multiWarrior combo seems as though it would ruin this.  Is building a better deck quickly really better if it gets dismantled after only a handful of turns?

All of this leads me to a probably too-broad hypothesis: Page is only ignorable when the Warrior-attack is ignorable.  So maybe something like Lighthouse every turn, or decks with no necessary 3-4-cost cards (excluding cost reducing, etc).  I think someone earlier said something like this already, so I guess I'm just agreeing with an earlier post.

EDIT: It was aku_chi's post with the video that already said a lot of this that I think I agree with.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 06:28:17 pm by msw188 »
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crj

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2018, 12:30:50 am »
0

I've opened Page/Guide before now[...]
in terms of shuffles it still takes just as many shuffles and your opponent is also shuffling faster in those games
I've just put my finger on what bugged me about this response: apart from circumstances such as helping you recover from discard attacks, in general Guide is more useful the less uniform your deck is. Having a Traveller you want to advance at all costs is about as non-uniform as a deck can be.
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Awaclus

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #46 on: March 24, 2018, 02:28:00 am »
+1

I've opened Page/Guide before now[...]
in terms of shuffles it still takes just as many shuffles and your opponent is also shuffling faster in those games
I've just put my finger on what bugged me about this response: apart from circumstances such as helping you recover from discard attacks, in general Guide is more useful the less uniform your deck is. Having a Traveller you want to advance at all costs is about as non-uniform as a deck can be.

Not really. Having a Masquerade that you want to play at all costs is just as non-uniform.

I did see the Tempo Challenge, and I think those kinds of challenges are a great idea!  I guess I'm just saying that I don't think tempo applies very well here.  The problem is the attack.  It feels reasonable that on a lot of boards, ignoring Page leads to more efficient deck-building and getting a good deck up-and-running faster.  So yeah, better tempo.  But the Champion - multiWarrior combo seems as though it would ruin this.  Is building a better deck quickly really better if it gets dismantled after only a handful of turns?

All of this leads me to a probably too-broad hypothesis: Page is only ignorable when the Warrior-attack is ignorable.  So maybe something like Lighthouse every turn, or decks with no necessary 3-4-cost cards (excluding cost reducing, etc).  I think someone earlier said something like this already, so I guess I'm just agreeing with an earlier post.

EDIT: It was aku_chi's post with the video that already said a lot of this that I think I agree with.

In practice, it's very rare for the Warrior attack to be a significant factor. In order to get Warriors, you need to play Treasure Hunters, and that makes it more difficult to play multiple Warriors on the same turn. If your opponent does go for an early Champion to build the Warrior type of deck and you need to answer it somehow, you can even buy a Page later on to upgrade into a Champion, that way you don't lose as much tempo as your opponent does but you still get the immunity against the attack almost in time (which makes it a bad idea for your opponent to attempt the Warrior thing in the first place).
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 02:32:50 am by Awaclus »
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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2018, 10:45:41 am »
+3

In practice, it's very rare for the Warrior attack to be a significant factor. In order to get Warriors, you need to play Treasure Hunters, and that makes it more difficult to play multiple Warriors on the same turn. If your opponent does go for an early Champion to build the Warrior type of deck and you need to answer it somehow, you can even buy a Page later on to upgrade into a Champion, that way you don't lose as much tempo as your opponent does but you still get the immunity against the attack almost in time (which makes it a bad idea for your opponent to attempt the Warrior thing in the first place).

If I saw my opponent ignoring Page and it was a board where the Warrior attack would hurt a lot, I'd look to advance three Pages up the chain: one to Champion and two to Warrior.  If extra Silvers were really debilitating, I'd settle for one Warrior.  Then I'd grab extra Pages whenever the opportunity cost was low.  With 3 Pages and 2 Warriors, Warrior can trash up to 9 cards per turn.  It only takes a couple turns for that to be crippling if the opponent is relying on a $3 or $4 card.  The Warrior attack can be even more brutal with cost reduction, of course.  This usually doesn't happen, because the opportunity cost of advancing one Page up the line to Champion is so low.

I also want to point out that even in games when Champion is ignorable (which are pretty rare), it still might be worthwhile to get Page.  Sometimes, you want the treasures from Treasure Hunter and (especially) Hero - like with Governor.  Sometimes you just want a bunch of cantrips (like in the Scrying Pool game I posted).  So, the cases where you should never gain a single Page are exceptionally rare.
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Awaclus

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2018, 11:59:46 am »
0

In practice, it's very rare for the Warrior attack to be a significant factor. In order to get Warriors, you need to play Treasure Hunters, and that makes it more difficult to play multiple Warriors on the same turn. If your opponent does go for an early Champion to build the Warrior type of deck and you need to answer it somehow, you can even buy a Page later on to upgrade into a Champion, that way you don't lose as much tempo as your opponent does but you still get the immunity against the attack almost in time (which makes it a bad idea for your opponent to attempt the Warrior thing in the first place).

If I saw my opponent ignoring Page and it was a board where the Warrior attack would hurt a lot, I'd look to advance three Pages up the chain: one to Champion and two to Warrior.  If extra Silvers were really debilitating, I'd settle for one Warrior.  Then I'd grab extra Pages whenever the opportunity cost was low.  With 3 Pages and 2 Warriors, Warrior can trash up to 9 cards per turn.  It only takes a couple turns for that to be crippling if the opponent is relying on a $3 or $4 card.  The Warrior attack can be even more brutal with cost reduction, of course.  This usually doesn't happen, because the opportunity cost of advancing one Page up the line to Champion is so low.

Yeah, exactly. When you threaten to do serious damage with your Warriors, your opponent can counter you by buying Page at that point, which doesn't cause them to lose as much tempo as your earlier Page did by virtue of happening later in the game.

I also want to point out that even in games when Champion is ignorable (which are pretty rare), it still might be worthwhile to get Page.  Sometimes, you want the treasures from Treasure Hunter and (especially) Hero - like with Governor.  Sometimes you just want a bunch of cantrips (like in the Scrying Pool game I posted).  So, the cases where you should never gain a single Page are exceptionally rare.

I'd rather say that the cases where you want the mid level Page line cards are the exceptionally rare thing. They're just not very good cards outside of special scenarios and they're especially inconvenient because of how slow it is to acquire them. I actually think Treasure Hunter is more often than Hero the highest level card you want from the Page line for that reason.

It's a good point that Page is a cantrip though. Actually I think that's a lot more relevant than the Treasure gainers. Just having the choice to turn the Page into something else is good enough to make it better than nothing in the usual cases where buying nothing is the second best option.

For Peasant though, the mid level cards are a lot more useful. Disciple is pretty often the main reason to go for Peasant, and Soldier (the Soldier split, even) is also somewhat often important.
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crj

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Re: When are Travellers ignorable?
« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2018, 01:18:07 pm »
+1

in general Guide is more useful the less uniform your deck is. Having a Traveller you want to advance at all costs is about as non-uniform as a deck can be.
Not really. Having a Masquerade that you want to play at all costs is just as non-uniform.
OK. Maybe: ...as non-uniform as a deck should be.

If you want to play Masquerade at all costs, you can buy a second Masquerade instead of a Guide. Ditto a second Ambassador. If you want to play Hero at all costs, well, that's a little trickier.
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