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Author Topic: Is Guardian useless without attacks?  (Read 2336 times)

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Holunder9

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2018, 01:55:53 pm »
0

That makes it worse in many senses than a delayed copper
Given that Guardian is an on-play delayed Copper with a cherry on top when you gain it, this statement is false.
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jomini

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2018, 08:55:11 am »
0

That makes it worse in many senses than a delayed copper
Given that Guardian is an on-play delayed Copper with a cherry on top when you gain it, this statement is false.

Sorry, but no. A delayed copper is Caravan Guard. It literally gives you a copper next turn at no cost to this turn.

Haven dumps a copper back to next turn as well, and like Guardian it reduces your current hand by one. Save can do likewise; nobody ever calls those delayed copper because they do not play like delayed copper.

We have plenty of actual "delayed copper" and Guardian is not it. Guardian anti-smooths your early buying power, taking from the play turn and moving to your duration turn.

LFN:
You have a Haggler in play with a copper - in general would would you: buy the silver/gain Guardian, buy silver/gain copper, buy nothing on no attack boards?

You open $5/2, no attacks, do you buy: the Guardian or nothing?

You are playing a Bandit camp/Alms/Moneylender/+buy game after how many silvers would you buy Guardian (0, 1, 2, 8)?

In general I will take silver/Guardian over silver/copper pretty much all the time and most of the time I will take that over nothing if I will take silver alone. Somewhere around 1/3 to 1/2 the time I will open Guardian on a 5/2, higher with weaker $5s.

The last is the hardest one, but generally I would say Guardian can be a reasonable move from 2/3 silvers in deck to 1/2 on maybe a quarter of boards.

By far and away, the most common reason to get a Guardian is spiking something next turn. Making a $3/4 into a curse/$5 would be worth a huge amount of the time so I routinely buy Guardian there.

Once I have Guardian in my deck, how do I play it? Not like it is delayed copper like Caravan guard nor like Haven/copper; instead I play like it anti-smooths my deck; this means that deck smoothing may be approached differently - Save an estate if Guardian is in the last hand of the shuffle to have much better odds of spiking a $6 or $7, alternate it with a Haven moving copper to smooth out when I am getting close to regular $5s. When you play Guardian it removes buying power from that turn and raw adds it to the next turn without penalty ... that just plays different than things which delay a copper.
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faust

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2018, 09:01:03 am »
+8

That makes it worse in many senses than a delayed copper
Given that Guardian is an on-play delayed Copper with a cherry on top when you gain it, this statement is false.

Sorry, but no. A delayed copper is Caravan Guard. It literally gives you a copper next turn at no cost to this turn.
It's pretty obvious that that is not what delayed Copper means in this context. Copper comes at a cost. If Caravan Guard is a delayed Copper, then that would mean that Peddler is a regular Copper.
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jomini

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2018, 09:18:06 am »
0

Gbird: Not really.

You play it and your hand has 4 x [expected ultimate value of a card] as its average buying power.

Your next turn is 5 x [expected ultimate value of a card] + 1.

You average hand is simply 5x [expected ultimate value of a card].

This means that in the early game playing a Guardian roughly corresponds to decreasing your expected value of the first hand by ~$0.7 and increasing your next turn by 1. Over half the time your first turn will be average or below (thus moving you lower on your new average). Over half the time your second turn will be average or above (thus moving you towards a higher new average). This is generally good, but only marginally so.

But what if you get more than one Guardian?

If you play the same turn they much more dramatically move you away from the old average hand value (3x vs 5x +2).

If you continuously offset them you end up with 4x + 1. If your average buying power card is <1 then they move your average up. This is generally true only for the first shuffle or if you playing around with short term dead cards (e.g. Pot cards, Lurker). If x > 1 then you just decrease your average overall.

Note the above analysis holds only if you have exactly two hands in a shuffle. If you have a larger deck, then you will still be anti-smoothing, just with a different frequency.

What Guardian emphatically does not do is generally increase your average buying power hand like a delayed copper. After the on-buy bonus, Guardian requires sacrificing buying power one turn to gain it back the next turn. You have one or two shuffles where this helps you and after that it hurts.

Those shuffles tend to be some of the most important in the game and spiking >= $5 is so often important enough that Guardian beats nothing on a lot of $5/2 openings (the exact utility gets wonky as some $5s are so important to play ASAP, like Count, going from 1/11 chance of whiffing to ~1/6 is not worth the better odds of hitting a $5). Gaining more Guardians after the first is highly problematic because within 2 shuffles his anti-smoothing is going to be offset by a stronger deck due to whatever you are building out (e.g. Trashing estates, buying high value coin). AS LFN correctly points out, once you deck is generally good (i.e. hits your desired price point every turn on average), Guardian is not going to be that helpful and will lose against the option of gaining nothing.

Guardian can always be useful to spike a coin next turn ... but his on-play utility only becomes helpful when your deck's average buying power dips below $1/card again and your clutch price point is $5 (or below $0.8/card and your price point is $4). That is slog territory and you should be thinking hard about both Estates and Coppers as competing buys (also late slogs may be pure next-turn-spiking if you are not likely to shuffle through again).

Without attacks Guardian is weak. It is useful for spiking one more $ on buy and if you deck track that will cover well over 80% of when you should buy a Guardian on such a board. $5/2 "better than nothing" covers another 10%. Times when you buy two Guardians not for spiking are going to be getting well into edge case land (e.g. Silver gets Embargoed with Bandit camp).
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jomini

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2018, 09:19:55 am »
0

That makes it worse in many senses than a delayed copper
Given that Guardian is an on-play delayed Copper with a cherry on top when you gain it, this statement is false.

Sorry, but no. A delayed copper is Caravan Guard. It literally gives you a copper next turn at no cost to this turn.

It's pretty obvious that that is not what delayed Copper means in this context. Copper comes at a cost. If Caravan Guard is a delayed Copper, then that would mean that Peddler is a regular Copper.

So you believe that Caravan is not a delayed Lab?
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faust

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2018, 09:42:47 am »
0

That makes it worse in many senses than a delayed copper
Given that Guardian is an on-play delayed Copper with a cherry on top when you gain it, this statement is false.

Sorry, but no. A delayed copper is Caravan Guard. It literally gives you a copper next turn at no cost to this turn.

It's pretty obvious that that is not what delayed Copper means in this context. Copper comes at a cost. If Caravan Guard is a delayed Copper, then that would mean that Peddler is a regular Copper.

So you believe that Caravan is not a delayed Lab?
It is a Lab that has parts of its effect delayed. Den of Sin is a version where more is delayed.
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Commodore Chuckles

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2018, 03:18:02 pm »
0

That makes it worse in many senses than a delayed copper
Given that Guardian is an on-play delayed Copper with a cherry on top when you gain it, this statement is false.

Sorry, but no. A delayed copper is Caravan Guard. It literally gives you a copper next turn at no cost to this turn.

It's pretty obvious that that is not what delayed Copper means in this context. Copper comes at a cost. If Caravan Guard is a delayed Copper, then that would mean that Peddler is a regular Copper.

So you believe that Caravan is not a delayed Lab?

Caravan and Caravan Guard are both cantrips on the turn you play them. Guardian is not. It doesn't draw, so it takes up space in your hand. So yes, playing it does have a cost this turn.
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markusin

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2018, 03:32:51 pm »
+2

I think Caravan Guard is what one would call a "delayed Peddler".
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Holunder9

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2018, 04:58:07 pm »
+1

Sorry, but no. A delayed copper is Caravan Guard. It literally gives you a copper next turn at no cost to this turn.
So you believe that Caravan is not a delayed Lab?
Looks like you might want to to work on your consistency. If Caravan is a delayed Laboratory then Caravan Guard is a delayed Peddler. Copper takes up a card space, Peddler doesn't. Doesn't get more elementary.

A delayed Copper is literally a Treasure that says "At the start of your next turn: +1 Coin". This is more or less what Guardian does on-play which is why it sucks in Kingdoms without attacks beyond the first play. Few decks want Coppers or stuff that is similar.
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ipofanes

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2018, 08:00:19 am »
0

Guardian is not. It doesn't draw, so it takes up space in your hand.

Even if it did draw on play, it would take up space in hand. Bat/Exorcist edge cases left aside.
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Screwyioux

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2018, 09:12:45 am »
0

I believe we've gotten a teensy bit side-tracked.
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jomini

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2018, 09:35:47 pm »
0

Simple question for all then:

What does Delayed X mean?

I have ALWAYS used it mean something that happens next turn without a penalty and does the same thing as the card in question.

Caravan is a delayed Lab. The net effect of Caravan is gaining a lab effect with one turn of delay.

Wharf is a Moat/+buy now and a delayed pair of Labs (non-terminal Smithy, whatever)/+buy.

Merchant ship is a terminal silver now and delayed non-terminal Silver (I prefer to just say a delayed $2).

Bridge troll is gimped Bridge now and a gimped non-terminal bridge later.

Caravan guard, to me, is not a delayed Peddler because Peddler draws and that makes differences with things like -1 card tokens, Conspirators, and the like. It is delayed $1 and that seems to be the most sensible candidate for a strict "delayed copper" if we are going to mean that a delayed copper is anything that gives +1$ next turn. Delayed coin ... sure gimped delayed coin - that sounds more like how the card is actually played.

More importantly when playing Guardian you are not playing something that simply adds $1 to the next turn. Its reward comes directly out of the present hand. Hence why LFN thinks it is terrible on attack-less boards. It is useful on 5/2 openings sometimes precisely because it plays closer to Haven than it does to something like Amulet-for-cash. If you were ever going to Haven copper every turn, that is exceedingly close to how Guardian plays: take from this turn, give to next turn.

I have no idea what "delayed copper" is getting beyond a copper next turn. Unlike with virtually all the other durations it is pure penalty this turn. Guardian does absolutely nothing this turn without attacks. You can make some edge case parallels with Enchantress or Haunted woods - but the attacks are very non-trivial parts of their power.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 09:39:32 pm by jomini »
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jomini

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2018, 09:38:09 pm »
0

That makes it worse in many senses than a delayed copper
Given that Guardian is an on-play delayed Copper with a cherry on top when you gain it, this statement is false.

Sorry, but no. A delayed copper is Caravan Guard. It literally gives you a copper next turn at no cost to this turn.

It's pretty obvious that that is not what delayed Copper means in this context. Copper comes at a cost. If Caravan Guard is a delayed Copper, then that would mean that Peddler is a regular Copper.

So you believe that Caravan is not a delayed Lab?
It is a Lab that has parts of its effect delayed. Den of Sin is a version where more is delayed.

What on earth is "more delayed"? Caravan gives you a net gain of cards next turn. DeS gives you net cards next turn. Caravan is nothing this turn and DeS gives you twice the bonus next turn.
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chipperMDW

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #38 on: July 05, 2018, 10:11:24 pm »
+10

What does Delayed X mean?

I mean, this is how I think about it:

Code: [Select]
Card           |  Cost to Play        This Turn                  Next Turn  |   Net
---------------+------------------------------------------------------------+------------------
Copper         |  -1 Card             +1 Coin                               |  -1 Card +1 Coin
Guardian       |  -1 Card                                        +1 Coin    |  -1 Card +1 Coin
---------------+------------------------------------------------------------+------------------
Peddler        |  -1 Action -1 Card   +1 Action +1 Card +1 Coin             |  +1 Coin
Caravan Guard  |  -1 Action -1 Card   +1 Action +1 Card          +1 Coin    |  +1 Coin
---------------+------------------------------------------------------------+------------------
Laboratory     |  -1 Action -1 Card   +1 Action +2 Cards                    |  +1 Card
Caravan        |  -1 Action -1 Card   +1 Action +1 Card          +1 Card    |  +1 Card
Den of Sin     |  -1 Card                                        +2 Cards   |  +1 Card

Cards with the same net effect (over this turn and the next) are listed together in a group.

Guardian has the same net effect as Copper, but the coin part is shifted over into next turn, so Guardian is like a delayed Copper. Same logic for Caravan Guard being like a delayed Peddler.

Caravan is like a Lab that has +1 Card of the net effect shifted into next turn. Den of Sin is like a Lab that has +2 Cards of the net effect shifted into next turn (leaving -1 Card for this turn). Den of Sin is not "more delayed," but it has more of its effect delayed.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 10:28:54 pm by chipperMDW »
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Seprix

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #39 on: July 05, 2018, 10:23:28 pm »
+4

Is Guardian useless without attacks? No, it can be a nice spiker. Is it pretty bad? Absolutely.
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wharf_rat

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2018, 01:18:38 pm »
+7

Just chiming in to note one interesting moment I had with Guardian and no attacks. I had the $2/$7 opening with Cursed Gold, and could use a Guardian buy Turn 1 to Donate Turn 2 and pay off all debt right away, leaving 5 coppers, allowing me to Windfall Turn 3.
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Screwyioux

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2018, 02:01:47 pm »
0

Just chiming in to note one interesting moment I had with Guardian and no attacks. I had the $2/$7 opening with Cursed Gold, and could use a Guardian buy Turn 1 to Donate Turn 2 and pay off all debt right away, leaving 5 coppers, allowing me to Windfall Turn 3.

I started to call that out as an edge case but I think that's the point we're getting across here. Is guardian useless without attacks? Pretty much, but there are edge cases.
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jomini

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2018, 06:19:59 pm »
0

Just chiming in to note one interesting moment I had with Guardian and no attacks. I had the $2/$7 opening with Cursed Gold, and could use a Guardian buy Turn 1 to Donate Turn 2 and pay off all debt right away, leaving 5 coppers, allowing me to Windfall Turn 3.

I started to call that out as an edge case but I think that's the point we're getting across here. Is guardian useless without attacks? Pretty much, but there are edge cases.

I have never quite understood the board's obsession with calling out "edge case". We are well past the point where just seeing a given card is relatively rare. Seeing a given pair of cards is "edge case" for most definitions of the term in general.

The important thing is not knowing how rare something is, but knowing why the "edge case" makes the card good. Spiking cash for an early Donate/Windfall? Not terribly dissimilar from spiking $7 with a $2/5 for Baker/Inheritance or Cursed gold/Forge. Frankly, it is the same analysis that leads to much more common uses like $3/4 openings letting you open a power trashing $5 (e.g. Junk dealer, Count). It is more obvious in the "edge case", but still true regardless.


Knowing why is much more satisfying that just memorizing block heuristics. It also is much more helpful for learning the tempo of the gain and the opportunity cost portion of strategy.


There is precious little about Dominion that is not made clearer by consider edge cases that make interactions, opportunity costs, and the like clearer.
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Holunder9

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2018, 07:14:41 am »
0

I have no idea what "block heuristics" are. Doesn't seem to be related to boardgaming.
But at least I know the difference between Peddler and Copper.
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Screwyioux

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #44 on: July 12, 2018, 09:41:27 am »
+1

Just chiming in to note one interesting moment I had with Guardian and no attacks. I had the $2/$7 opening with Cursed Gold, and could use a Guardian buy Turn 1 to Donate Turn 2 and pay off all debt right away, leaving 5 coppers, allowing me to Windfall Turn 3.

I started to call that out as an edge case but I think that's the point we're getting across here. Is guardian useless without attacks? Pretty much, but there are edge cases.

I have never quite understood the board's obsession with calling out "edge case". We are well past the point where just seeing a given card is relatively rare. Seeing a given pair of cards is "edge case" for most definitions of the term in general.

The important thing is not knowing how rare something is, but knowing why the "edge case" makes the card good. Spiking cash for an early Donate/Windfall? Not terribly dissimilar from spiking $7 with a $2/5 for Baker/Inheritance or Cursed gold/Forge. Frankly, it is the same analysis that leads to much more common uses like $3/4 openings letting you open a power trashing $5 (e.g. Junk dealer, Count). It is more obvious in the "edge case", but still true regardless.


Knowing why is much more satisfying that just memorizing block heuristics. It also is much more helpful for learning the tempo of the gain and the opportunity cost portion of strategy.


There is precious little about Dominion that is not made clearer by consider edge cases that make interactions, opportunity costs, and the like clearer.

I'd agree with most of what you just said, particularly with the importance of understanding the Whys behinds the Whats.

The reason I think edge cases can be addressed but not emphasized comes down to that, actually, and has more to do with talking and learning about Dominion than playing any one game. As you say, there are infinite possibilities at this point, so if we allow for edge cases to dictate general points on the game, everything is true and you can't glean any insights.

For example, I say it's bad to be hit by Militia. Someone comes back with " but what if you get to discard Tunnels?"
While that is relevant context to that game, and understanding why can lead us to insights, it's probably not super helpful to include it in a general discussion on what Militia does.
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crj

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #45 on: July 12, 2018, 11:15:59 am »
+1

Personally, I'd prefer if people said "It's usually bad to be hit by Militia." Even if you think it's obvious you don't mean your statement to be taken as an absolute despite being worded that way, that's not necessarily obvious to everyone else. Some people might think you're not aware of the exceptions; others might accidentally take your statement at face value.

Also, it leaves scope to express that Ghost Ship hurts a greater proportion of the time. (Doesn't trigger Tunnel, and also risks gumming up engines once you've started to green.)
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jomini

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2018, 05:33:59 pm »
0

I have no idea what "block heuristics" are. Doesn't seem to be related to boardgaming.
But at least I know the difference between Peddler and Copper.

Block Heuristics are a type of mathematical formalism that relates to how to efficiently span a space with like or dissimilar elements.

In this case it refers to recognizing where into various taxonomies cards fall (e.g. Good, Bad; Good-with-attacks, Bad-with-no-trashing) and how to pick out when to buy them. It is a fast way to tell if something fits.

However, the sheer number of possibilities make it increasingly likely that some set of cards in a given game will be "edge cased" that particular game (i.e. the same sort of logic of why it is an odds on bet that with 23 people there will be a shared birthday among them).

We have reached a point where knowing why something sucks is much more important than knowing it does.

Regardless, do you wish to actually have a constructive discussion or do you wish to simply snark and vituperate? If the former, please do so. If the latter, please let me know so I can figure out how the forum's ignore function works.
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jomini

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2018, 05:46:34 pm »
+1

Just chiming in to note one interesting moment I had with Guardian and no attacks. I had the $2/$7 opening with Cursed Gold, and could use a Guardian buy Turn 1 to Donate Turn 2 and pay off all debt right away, leaving 5 coppers, allowing me to Windfall Turn 3.

I started to call that out as an edge case but I think that's the point we're getting across here. Is guardian useless without attacks? Pretty much, but there are edge cases.

I have never quite understood the board's obsession with calling out "edge case". We are well past the point where just seeing a given card is relatively rare. Seeing a given pair of cards is "edge case" for most definitions of the term in general.

The important thing is not knowing how rare something is, but knowing why the "edge case" makes the card good. Spiking cash for an early Donate/Windfall? Not terribly dissimilar from spiking $7 with a $2/5 for Baker/Inheritance or Cursed gold/Forge. Frankly, it is the same analysis that leads to much more common uses like $3/4 openings letting you open a power trashing $5 (e.g. Junk dealer, Count). It is more obvious in the "edge case", but still true regardless.


Knowing why is much more satisfying that just memorizing block heuristics. It also is much more helpful for learning the tempo of the gain and the opportunity cost portion of strategy.


There is precious little about Dominion that is not made clearer by consider edge cases that make interactions, opportunity costs, and the like clearer.

I'd agree with most of what you just said, particularly with the importance of understanding the Whys behinds the Whats.

The reason I think edge cases can be addressed but not emphasized comes down to that, actually, and has more to do with talking and learning about Dominion than playing any one game. As you say, there are infinite possibilities at this point, so if we allow for edge cases to dictate general points on the game, everything is true and you can't glean any insights.

For example, I say it's bad to be hit by Militia. Someone comes back with " but what if you get to discard Tunnels?"
While that is relevant context to that game, and understanding why can lead us to insights, it's probably not super helpful to include it in a general discussion on what Militia does.

Everything is true in Dominion, but it is not true all the time. This is the value of finding an edge case - where something is unquestioningly true - and then walking back to the point where it becomes marginal. $2/$7 openings cross a threshold that is unambiguous. $3/4 becoming $2/5 is still pretty robust. $5/2 giving you much better odds of hitting $5/2/5 is less a sure thing but is perfectly doable (e.g. Upgrade/Grand market). We can see the pattern, say when we start getting queasy, and then move on from there.

Rather than saying "that's an edge case" the next task after someone posts an edge case should always be "so how much of an edge case do we actually need?"

Knowing when something will be true is a very useful skill.
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Holunder9

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #48 on: July 12, 2018, 05:49:36 pm »
0

I have no idea what "block heuristics" are. Doesn't seem to be related to boardgaming.
But at least I know the difference between Peddler and Copper.

Block Heuristics are a type of mathematical formalism that relates to how to efficiently span a space with like or dissimilar elements.
As I expected, totally unrelated to Guardian.  8)

Seriously dude, if you really could analyze boardgames with some mathematical tools I'd be all for it. But in order to do you'd first have to get your basics right. Like the difference between Copper and Peddler.

Kinda hard to program a decent chess engine if you don't get the difference between how the bishop and the rook move.


Regardless, do you wish to actually have a constructive discussion or do you wish to simply snark and vituperate? If the former, please do so. If the latter, please let me know so I can figure out how the forum's ignore function works.
If I constantly claimed that this entire forum is doing this bad thing and thinking that horrible thought I'd think twice about pretending that I were interested in a constructive discussion.
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jomini

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Re: Is Guardian useless without attacks?
« Reply #49 on: July 12, 2018, 05:51:16 pm »
+2

Holunder9:

Thanks, I am setting you to ignore. Please react as you see fit.
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