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WanderingWinder

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Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« on: June 28, 2011, 02:31:45 pm »
+3

Here is a game where I showed some of the power of Horse Traders in a Duchy/Duke Strategy. My opponent was Blooki (Triceratops), consistently a top-10 player on Isotropic. Here is the spread: cards in supply: Duke, Ghost Ship, Horn of Plenty, Horse Traders, King's Court, Moneylender, Royal Seal, Smithy, Walled Village, and Wishing Well
Note: I'm using the abbreviations HT for Horse Traders and WV for Walled Village.
Blooki went first and opened Silver/Moneylender. I opened Silver/Horse Traders.
               Blooki                                                           WW
Turn 3: 4-> Walled Village                                             6->Duchy
4          Moneylender,6->Gold                                     HT, 5->Duchy
5          Moneylender,6->Duchy                                   HT, 5->Duchy
6          WV,4->HT (return WV)                                  4->HT
7          WV, Monelyender, 8->Duchy (return WV)        4->Silver
8          WV,3->Silver (return WV)                              HT,4->HT
9          WV, HT, 6->Duchy (return WV)                      4->Silver
10        WV, 6->Duchy (return WV)                            HT, 5->Duchy

Okay, there are a few things I want to point out here. All the Duchies are now gone, I've just gotten my fourth to make it an even split. I could have bought a gold on turn 3, but with the HT strat, I think this was the right way to go. I'm not sure about blooki buying a Duchy rather than a province on turn 7 - yeah, he wants to deny my, but he's trying to win the game on provinces (I think), and he's really hurting his chances to do so. I think on one or two of the fours that I went silver, I should have gone HT. I probably also should have bought coppers with some of my extra buys. Moneylender doesn't seem to work well with Duke boards. But the thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is WV, which just looks worthless here. Also, you can assume that Walled village is getting returned every chance it can (I'm going to stop putting it)
Blooki                                                                             WW
11 WV, Moneylender, 3->Silver                                     3->Silver
12 WV, HT, 5->Duke                                                   HT, 7->Duke+Estate
13 WV, 8->Province                                                     5->Duke
14 WV, 3->Silver                                                         HT, 7->Duke+Estate
15 WV, 3->Silver                                                         0->Copper
16 WV, Moneylender, 5->Duke                                      HT, 6->Duke+Copper
17 WV, Moneylender, 8->Province                                 HT, 6->Duke+Copper
18 WV, 3->Silver                                                         HT, 5->Duke+Copper
19 WV, 4->Smithy                                                       3->Estate
20 WV, HT, 5->Ghost Ship                                           HT, 5->Estate x 2
21 WV, 4->HT                                                             3->Estate
22 WV, HT, 6->Gold                                                     4->Estate
23 WV, Moneylender (no copper), 2->Estate
Game Over
Decks:
Blooki: 2 Prov, 2 Gold, 4 Duchy, 2 Duke, 1 GShip, 2 HT, 1 Moneylender, 1 Smithy, 1 WV, 6 Silver, 4 Estate, 1 Copper
WanderingWinder: 4 Duchy, 6 Duke, 3 HT, 4 Silver, 10 Estate, 11 Copper
Final Score: Blooki 36, WW 46

Obviously imperfect play from both sides here, but still fairly good, and I think this shows the general strength of the HT+Duke Strategy.

lefaiison

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 04:01:24 pm »
+1

Interesting game!  I don't like the fact that Blooki switched gears after seeing you were going for the Duchy spam, as changing your game plan to copy your opponents game plan usually means you're going to be behind.  You've already committed to a HT->Duchy/Duke strategy, which means you won't be suddenly buying a Ghost Ship to attack him or something.

Given my hindsight, and *seeing* exactly what you're doing for the first 10 turns obviously is going to greatly bias my opinion, but had he gone for a mega KC - draw combo, do you think he could have finished you off with 8 Horn of Plenties -> 8 provinces before you can get enough Dukes?

Given a start of Gold on turn 4 and 5, I don't think it would've taken him that long to get a deck of something like KCx3/Smithyx3/WVx3/HoPx8/WW/MoneyLender/Silver/Gold/Royal Seal.

Edit -- I just tried it solo, and forgetting to buy a HT myself early for the extra buy once my engine is going slowed me down a bit, but on turn 17 I would've cleared all 8 provinces, faster than your HT/Duchy/Duke strategy.

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201106/28/game-20110628-130837-590935c9.html

I'm not trying to dismiss your strategy either, it does seem like it's a good one given certain setups.  Especially if your bait your opponent into buying Duchies to try to slow your strategy down, but I'm just saying in this given setup (with KC + HoP), that Blooki probably should've not changed gears.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 04:12:49 pm by lefaiison »
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Geronimoo

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011, 03:20:26 am »
0

I've simulated your question of turn 3 Gold vs turn 3 Duchy: If your opponent is going for Duchies as well you should indeed buy the Duchy over Gold turn 3, but if your opponent was initially going for a Province strategy and then switch when he sees you going for Duchy/Duke, then you should buy the Gold first (this will allow some Duchy/Silver buys which will greatly help your late game when you're swamped with green).
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Reyk

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2011, 04:20:08 am »
0

Yes, Wandering Winter has a feeling for this ;-)

We played this game yesterday:

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110628-083424-c205e441.html

I knew this post, but obviously didn't read through the copper part in the game vs. Blooki. But hey, copper turn 1, duchy turn 3 - thats really insane. The point is to have the right balance between green cards, HT and copper (2 of them required per turn). But it's still baffling to me whether the additional copper buys help to avoid HT clash und too much green cards or hinder the HT to be played more often. But I guess some additional copper will do good here.

Anyway it's clear that you have to stick to HT and nothing else when going for Duchy/Duke. I played for Dukes from the beginning as well, but wanted to execute someting like farming village/bridge/workshop -> Duchy + buy Duchy. This is somehow stupid given the HT speed. Even if the first part with the three action cards succeeds (which is not very likely without trashing) I probably can't buy the second Duchy as well.

On a sidenote: What if the other player ignores Dukes altogehter (maybe buys 2 Duchies) and goes for a Province engine with additional point potential (Nobles, Harem)?
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Superdad

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 09:43:26 am »
0

In both of these sample games, wouldn't simply going for a province pile empty counter this? It looks like having the opponent try to counter by buying dukes/duchy is actually helping him, because the game ends faster on 3-piles. His turn 1 copper, turn 3 duchy deck would certainly be countered more effectively by letting it stall out longer and just racing him on provinces.

The games are going to turn 20-23h... if instead the opponent just went for a province empty, they could easily have 6+ provinces at this point, with the HT/Duke/Duchy opponent having a much weaker overall deck.

Sure, his later dukes are getting stronger if he is allowed to take them all, but he will still have a hard time getting to $5 regularly, even with HT. Meanwhile, even a pure big money strategy could empty provinces fairly close to this point.

Am I missing something? It seems to me that the opponents did him a favor when they fought him on dukes/duchy, because they ended the game before his deck REALLY stalled out.

For a comparison... how long would a duke/duchy/Horse trader strategy take to 3-pile Duke/Duchy/Estate without assistance from the opponent? I'm willing to bet it is upwards of turn 30.

Couldn't a province empty strategy get all 8 provinces by the time the duke/duchy hit say 6/6 duke/duchy? That would be 48-51 points (for the province player) vs 54-58 points (depending on #estates).

/edit... it's closer than I thought... I had miscalc'd the provinces at 8 points each! 
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 10:00:43 am by Superdad »
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Geronimoo

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2011, 09:49:49 am »
0

Am I missing something? ...
Couldn't a province empty strategy get all 8 provinces by the time the duke/duchy hit say 6/6 duke/duchy? That would be 64-67 points (for the province player) vs 54-58 points (depending on #estates).
It seems you're missing a Province is worth 6 VP and not 8 ;)
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Superdad

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2011, 10:03:37 am »
0

Oops thanks, I had money on the brain!

So it's closer than I thought. Has anyone done an average-turns analysis to see what the best counter to duke/duchy is? Either fight him on duchy/duke, or just race to empty provinces.

My gut still tells me that helping him 3-pile sooner is only benefiting him. I mean, he started duchy on turn 3, so if you mirror his strat, you are certainly behind him. Maybe rushing a province finish could lose, but I think mirroring his duchy strat is a sure-loss.

Even simple big-money is looking at 4 provinces by around turn 16 or so. Most big-money + some support strategies are looking at 4 provinces by around turn 14. The duke/duchy player seems to be hitting 50ish points by turn 23, and will stall out hard past that.

What is the average turn for an 8-province empty unassisted using a typical big-money + support card strategy? I'm thinking it has to be in the range of 22 turns?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 10:06:31 am by Superdad »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 10:07:54 am »
0

In both of these sample games, wouldn't simply going for a province pile empty counter this? It looks like having the opponent try to counter by buying dukes/duchy is actually helping him, because the game ends faster on 3-piles. His turn 1 copper, turn 3 duchy deck would certainly be countered more effectively by letting it stall out longer and just racing him on provinces.

The games are going to turn 20-23h... if instead the opponent just went for a province empty, they could easily have 6+ provinces at this point, with the HT/Duke/Duchy opponent having a much weaker overall deck.

Sure, his later dukes are getting stronger if he is allowed to take them all, but he will still have a hard time getting to $5 regularly, even with HT. Meanwhile, even a pure big money strategy could empty provinces fairly close to this point.

Am I missing something? It seems to me that the opponents did him a favor when they fought him on dukes/duchy, because they ended the game before his deck REALLY stalled out.

For a comparison... how long would a duke/duchy/Horse trader strategy take to 3-pile Duke/Duchy/Estate without assistance from the opponent? I'm willing to bet it is upwards of turn 30.

Couldn't a province empty strategy get all 8 provinces by the time the duke/duchy hit say 6/6 duke/duchy? That would be 48-51 points (for the province player) vs 54-58 points (depending on #estates).

/edit... it's closer than I thought... I had miscalc'd the provinces at 8 points each! 
Even without HT, Duke/Duchy is going to beat straight-up big money going for provinces the vast majority of the time. The thing is, Big money decks aren't so geared to getting all 8 provinces, and they tend to gum up rather a lot. It's much easier to hit $5 11 times than it is to hit $8 8 times. So a big money deck can't really hit 6 provinces that fast I don't think, but even if it can, it's going to have a heck of a time making it to 8 quick enough. And the HT is going to help the Duke player, though most other cards, admittedly, will help the Province rusher.

WanderingWinder

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 10:13:28 am »
0

Oops thanks, I had money on the brain!

So it's closer than I thought. Has anyone done an average-turns analysis to see what the best counter to duke/duchy is? Either fight him on duchy/duke, or just race to empty provinces.

My gut still tells me that helping him 3-pile sooner is only benefiting him. I mean, he started duchy on turn 3, so if you mirror his strat, you are certainly behind him. Maybe rushing a province finish could lose, but I think mirroring his duchy strat is a sure-loss.

Even simple big-money is looking at 4 provinces by around turn 16 or so. Most big-money + some support strategies are looking at 4 provinces by around turn 14. The duke/duchy player seems to be hitting 50ish points by turn 23, and will stall out hard past that.

What is the average turn for an 8-province empty unassisted using a typical big-money + support card strategy? I'm thinking it has to be in the range of 22 turns?
To answer your last question, it's about 25.7 turns without getting anything other than basic money and provinces. With support, it's faster obviously, but how much so depends on the support.
Incidentally, the province player stalls harder than the duchy player even without the HT, and the HT only mega-amplifies this effect, going for $5 rather than $8

Blooki

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 05:35:42 am »
0

Searched for my name and found this post and figured I'd chime in.

Firstly, very well played WW. I've never played against a HT+Duke strategy before and it caught me totally off guard. I underestimated you when you opened HT, went on auto-pilot and didn't see your strategy coming before it was too late. It's certainly a pretty innovative two card combo. I especially like how there are Copper-buying decisions to be made.

Secondly, just to be the final arbiter and dispel speculation, the explanation for my decision to switch gear revolves primarily around the fact that I assumed I had already lost. Perhaps this was a bad assumption to make, but as many had already pointed out, I felt it was clear that I couldn't buy up 8 Provinces before WW reached the critical mass of Duchies + Dukes to seal the game. In general, I have a tendency to quit early and quit often to get to the next game.
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DG

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 08:51:43 am »
+1

If you're playing for duchies and dukes uncontested your score increases as follows

1 duchy 0 duke 3
2 duchy 0 duke 6
3 duchy 0 duke 9
3 duchy 1 duke 12
4 duchy 1 duke 16
4 duchy 2 duke 20
5 duchy 2 duke 25
5 duchy 3 duke 30
6 duchy 3 duke 36
6 duchy 4 duke 42
7 duchy 4 duke 49

So you need 11 cards of duchy/duke to beat 8 cards of provinces (6x8). I'm guessing that with king's court in the kingdom there would have been a competitive counter strategy to get those provinces in 18-20 turns. It's not surprising that Blooki got drawn into the duke strategy though since opponent's do usually get dragged into a duke/gardens/vineyards race whether they like it or not.
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Lhurgoyf

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2011, 12:43:11 pm »
0

I just had a nice 3-player game with HT, Duke and Embargo (among others).

The end was a surprise to everyone.
http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201107/11/game-20110711-093746-f00ede9c.html

In the end there were Embargo markers on Duchy (2), Duke (3), Silver (1), Familiar (1)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 01:28:25 pm by Lhurgoyf »
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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2017, 01:34:10 am »
+1

The 2011 meta was a much simpler time.
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Awaclus

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2017, 08:11:25 am »
+1

>Duke, Ghost Ship, Horn of Plenty, Horse Traders, King's Court, Moneylender, Royal Seal, Smithy, Walled Village, and Wishing Well

Obvious Horn of Plenty megaturn.
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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 11:51:40 am »
0

Fun game to think about!  Open Moneylender/Wishing Well.  For $4, I'd alternate between Walled Village and Smithy (throw in a HT mid game when the buy will be useful). 

Royal Seal is actually quite useful here.  Midgame you can ensure that you at least start most turns with at least Village/Smithy combo.  That should help deck reliability and prevent dud hands.  Towards the end it gets even better when you're able to reliably get KC/KC/Smithy on top. 

Ghost Ship is also unique.  For a Duchy/Duke opponent, you ignore it as it competes with HoP and HT negates the attack.  Against a mirroring opponent, the attack can be quite deadly and potentially stall a hand or two of the opponent.  I'd get one with my first $5 before switching to HoP.
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drsteelhammer

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Re: Horse Traders + Duke/Duchy
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2017, 12:04:03 pm »
+1

Yup that is really amusing. Two top 10 players back then would play a Duke strategy there? I'd be suprised if there are more than 5 or so Top100 players who'd consider that and then I'd wonder how they got there.

Also, I'd absolutely play with a Ghost ship against a duchy strategy there, it will suck for the duchy player most turns anyway. (probably elevates the win % from 99,X to 99,99)

Royal seal is indeed interesting as HoP gains can happen afterwards, but it isn't necessarily worth it if you get thing relatively quickly.
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