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Author Topic: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys  (Read 898 times)

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werothegreat

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Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« on: February 06, 2019, 02:04:57 pm »
+1


So, whose wine are we poisoning tonight?

* How good is this as a source of draw?
* How many of these do you want, and how often do you pick them up?
* Would you ever get this purely for the extra Villagers?
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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 02:54:38 pm »
+2

1) As good as Moat.
2) Asking how many Lackeys you want is like asking how many Borrows you want to buy per game. It isn't an important card to have in your deck, but it gives a short term advantage in certain situations, so that's when you buy it.
3) Yes.
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Chappy7

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 05:13:30 pm »
+1

I don't usually buy them for draw.  The times I've felt like Lackeys helped the most are kingdoms with A) limited access to extra actions, B) Kingdoms with good trash for benefit cards, and C) Kingdoms with extra +Buys to pick up Lackeys easily right when you think you'll need the Villagers.  The perfect situations probably includes some of all three.  I treat them basically like I treat Silk Merchant.  Buy them primarily for the one time benefit, use them a bit, and then trash them ASAP, preferably with a TfB card.  Although Silk Merchant's +Buy is often useful enough to keep one or two around.
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DG

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 06:33:45 pm »
+5

Lackeys seem to play like a Ponzi scheme.
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jomini

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 08:22:12 pm »
+1

Buying lackeys purely for villagers? Sure. Hop, for instance, is not a bad megaturn deck that may need a few villagers to play enough different cards to hit 8 or 11 (e.g. play 3 treasures, cantrip draw like Lab, and then three actions that need villagers to pop, then say 5 Hops). Another option is to have a credible threat of some clutch two card combo, e.g. Margrave/Masq/cantrip draw; spend spare $2s on more villagers, pass over Lackeys, and even if you cannot this turn, your opponent runs the real risk of being forced to sacrifice a clutch card or risking poor odds at drawing deck. Another option is if you need to play a particular terminal first. The obvious case is Tormentor, but you also have cases where it can be very powerful to play a terminal first (e.g. Citadel/big draw, Tfb then draw & play).

More commonly if you are using it for villaging you either want a good TfB to turn it into something else or some way to trash & regain it (e.g. Lurker/trashing can make it into a poor man's Acting troupe).

Much more commonly you want to use it to ensure against costly collisions (e.g. Soldier/trasher, Lib/trashing) and periodically update the insurance policy. If collision avoidance is that clutch you normally want to buy just enough to start each turn with 1-2 villagers. Yeah it costs some space to make sure you always, say, can play a Scholar live, but the cost is not too harsh. Getting a Barracks effect for the rest of the game is often worth buying a few curses; buying (and maybe trashing) 3 Lackeys is the same cash count as Barracks, but in a much cheaper form (most boards) and may be easy with draw on some boards.

Sometimes, yeah you want a gimped Moat and, like Moat, it is fine if you eventually have a source of cheap action (e.g. Kc or Rc). But Lackey's real utility shines through around T5 or so (when collisions are most dangerous before your deck is reliable) and around 3 turns normalish engine turns before the game ends (when decks are green enough to be unreliable, but not so green that the engine is dead).
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crj

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 09:03:05 pm »
+1

To me, the most interesting unresolved question is how Lackeys can cost $2 when Experiment and Expedition each cost $3.

Expedition: As a one-off, you get the effect of two Labs next turn.

Experiment: You get two one-shot Labs.

Lackeys: As a baseline, you get a two-shot Lab, but:
  • PRO: You have the flexibility to use the Villagers in some other way
  • CON: The second Lab-effect will be delayed by another shuffle
  • MEH: Once you've used it twice, you're left with an Action that draws 2 cards dead.
Assuming Donald X. knows what he's doing, the MEH and the CON outweigh the PRO enough to merit the $1 discount?
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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 10:40:04 pm »
+5

The thing you called MEH I'd say is more of a CON. Moat is really friggin bad when the Reaction isn't used.
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crj

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 10:53:52 pm »
+1

Pre-Renaissance, I'd agree. But with Renaissance there may be a supply of Villagers that dramatically increases its usefulness. Particularly, if you pick up a couple of Lackeyses(?) early on, later Recruiter can trash one of them to keep the other fed.

I'm finding I have Villagers to spare quite often in Renaissance games, though this may mean I'm Doing It Wrong. /-8
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Awaclus

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 11:21:04 pm »
+1

The thing you called MEH I'd say is more of a CON. Moat is really friggin bad when the Reaction isn't used.

Moat isn't that bad. It turns a Village into a Laboratory, which is good as long as you have that Village.
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Chris is me

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 11:57:45 pm »
+2

The thing you called MEH I'd say is more of a CON. Moat is really friggin bad when the Reaction isn't used.

Honestly, Moat is a perfectly adequate source of draw if you have enough other resources to support it (thinning, actions, a way to gain a bunch of them, etc). I've been shilling for +2 Cards draw lately, it's fine.

Anyhow Lackeys is just fantastic. Two Villagers is enough Villagers for you to get your Village / Terminal balance on track, and then you have a draw card!

I gain it a lot. It's very nice. Some games I trash it later and just gain it for the Actions, other games it sticks around after and does some draw too.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 11:59:05 pm by Chris is me »
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jomini

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2019, 05:43:12 am »
+1

The thing you called MEH I'd say is more of a CON. Moat is really friggin bad when the Reaction isn't used.

No it isn't. Once you have a moat in your deck the opportunity cost of getting a "Lab" is $3 & a gain to get the village. This is why Lackeys fits better in most decks than Moat. You have 2 free turns using it to draw live - often something like 3 or 4 shuffles before you have to gain the village.

Some boards are villageless and others have only expensive villages ... but bridging for a few shuffles until you can reliably gain a $5 and a $3 works well.  It works even better as gaining a second set of Lackeys buys you a whole additional shuffle.

Very often Lackeys ends up being like "buy Lab with debt". Getting a $5 effect for $2/$3 or even $2/$4 is good.
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ipofanes

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2019, 10:59:12 am »
+1

Not tried yet, but they should play well with the Page line. Lube the path all the way to Champion, after which they become Lost Cities.
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werothegreat

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2019, 11:11:36 am »
+1

Not tried yet, but they should play well with the Page line. Lube the path all the way to Champion, after which they become Lost Cities.

Good target for Teacher, too.
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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2019, 12:35:52 pm »
0

To me, the most interesting unresolved question is how Lackeys can cost $2 when Experiment and Expedition each cost $3.

Expedition: As a one-off, you get the effect of two Labs next turn.

Experiment: You get two one-shot Labs.

Lackeys: As a baseline, you get a two-shot Lab, but:
  • PRO: You have the flexibility to use the Villagers in some other way
  • CON: The second Lab-effect will be delayed by another shuffle
  • MEH: Once you've used it twice, you're left with an Action that draws 2 cards dead.
Assuming Donald X. knows what he's doing, the MEH and the CON outweigh the PRO enough to merit the $1 discount?
Good analysis.

I think that the card is a borderline $3 but isn't the design principle to make cards as cheap as possible?
Along the same line you could also argue that Spices is very often better than Gold (admittedly this case is easier as it is Kingdom vs. Base card) so it could cost $6 but as it isn't broken at $5 you roll with the lower price .
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Awaclus

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2019, 12:37:06 pm »
+1

To me, the most interesting unresolved question is how Lackeys can cost $2 when Experiment and Expedition each cost $3.

Expedition: As a one-off, you get the effect of two Labs next turn.

Experiment: You get two one-shot Labs.

Lackeys: As a baseline, you get a two-shot Lab, but:
  • PRO: You have the flexibility to use the Villagers in some other way
  • CON: The second Lab-effect will be delayed by another shuffle
  • MEH: Once you've used it twice, you're left with an Action that draws 2 cards dead.
Assuming Donald X. knows what he's doing, the MEH and the CON outweigh the PRO enough to merit the $1 discount?
Good analysis.

I think that the card is a borderline $3 but isn't the design principle to make cards as cheap as possible?
Along the same line you could also argue that Spices is very often better than Gold (admittedly this case is easier as it is Kingdom vs. Base card) so it could cost $6 but as it isn't broken at $5 you roll with the lower price .

Spices is super better than Gold almost every time.
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crj

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2019, 12:55:34 pm »
+1

I think that the card is a borderline $3 but isn't the design principle to make cards as cheap as possible?
Indeed.

But if the question isn't "how come Lackeys is so cheap", I can instead ask "why are Experiment and Expedition so expensive"? (-8
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werothegreat

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 01:15:39 pm »
0

I think that the card is a borderline $3 but isn't the design principle to make cards as cheap as possible?
Indeed.

But if the question isn't "how come Lackeys is so cheap", I can instead ask "why are Experiment and Expedition so expensive"? (-8

My thoughts:
* Expedition's draw is immediate, and doesn't add a card to your deck.
* Experiment is Thronable to get extra Actions
* Lackeys eventually run out, the others don't
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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 01:20:20 pm »
+1

The thing you called MEH I'd say is more of a CON. Moat is really friggin bad when the Reaction isn't used.

No it isn't. Once you have a moat in your deck the opportunity cost of getting a "Lab" is $3 & a gain to get the village.
Only if you're guaranteed to draw them together. There's a reason Village and Smithy are both cheaper than Lab although they're like two Labs when drawn together.
The risk of drawing Lackeys dead is much smaller than for Moat, however.
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Donald X.

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2019, 12:25:18 pm »
+3

Spices is super better than Gold almost every time.
And of course has to be, since Gold is in every game.
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Donald X.

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2019, 12:31:39 pm »
+3

Assuming Donald X. knows what he's doing, the MEH and the CON outweigh the PRO enough to merit the $1 discount?
Remember that it's not like "this effect is worth $1, this other one $3, add up the effects, this card should cost $4." The differences between $2's and $4's come down to openings, +Buys, and satisfying player expectations when comparing cards (and rarely something else, e.g. is Remodel better or worse at $3).

Experiment had to live with being compared to Expedition. Lackeys is clearly not strictly better/worse than them though, so that's not an issue. It felt like a $2, given Moat and Faithful Hound; it worked fine at $2, people did not quit in disgust at 5/2 Lackeys openings or some such. It seemed fine to buy them up with +Buys.
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Awaclus

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 12:54:32 pm »
0

Spices is super better than Gold almost every time.
And of course has to be, since Gold is in every game.

And also because Gold sucks.
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crj

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2019, 01:45:57 pm »
0

Experiment had to live with being compared to Expedition.
Out of interest, was Experiment ever tried at $2? (I'm guessing Expedition wasn't, because it would clearly suck to watch someone else get the 2/5 split.)
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Donald X.

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2019, 01:51:44 pm »
+4

Spices is super better than Gold almost every time.
And of course has to be, since Gold is in every game.

And also because Gold sucks.
That's what comes of lots of cards having to be better than it.
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Donald X.

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2019, 01:52:06 pm »
+2

Experiment had to live with being compared to Expedition.
Out of interest, was Experiment ever tried at $2? (I'm guessing Expedition wasn't, because it would clearly suck to watch someone else get the 2/5 split.)
There were a bunch of Experiments, but no not a $2.
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jomini

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Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2019, 03:54:41 pm »
0

The thing you called MEH I'd say is more of a CON. Moat is really friggin bad when the Reaction isn't used.

No it isn't. Once you have a moat in your deck the opportunity cost of getting a "Lab" is $3 & a gain to get the village.
Only if you're guaranteed to draw them together. There's a reason Village and Smithy are both cheaper than Lab although they're like two Labs when drawn together.
The risk of drawing Lackeys dead is much smaller than for Moat, however.


It is almost like I used quotation marks to imply that the pair of cards was not quite the same though very similar for most instances =)


With a cheap village, Lackeys tends to be much closer in approximation to a Lab than other options. In most settings, the first play of your Lackeys has very high odds of either being a safe dead draw (e.g. no actions drawn) or safely left unplayed (already hit your price point). Say your odds are something like 1/3 of needing a villager. Okay, you have three - six shuffles before you are terribly likely to need the second one. That is a lot of time to gain a village. You can then either use Lackeys + Village as vanishingly close to a Lab by mass gaining, or you can run a slightly higher terminal density to get the engine humming faster (e.g. Open Steward/Silver, gain Lackeys on the Steward hand and Gship on the Silver, and then eke out a shuffle or two without real villages).

Moat is fine as just +2 draw for $2; for a lot of boards you can just spam them and drawing works fine. Lackeys are even more powerful because you have some time to spam them and deal with the odd unlucky shuffle. The same things that make Lackey + village much more Lab-like are exactly the ones that make Lackeys vastly better draw than Moat.
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