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Author Topic: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold  (Read 20743 times)

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A_S00

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Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« on: April 05, 2012, 02:19:25 am »
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Hey, y'all.  This is my first attempt at an article, so I'm mostly looking for feedback here.  I'm sure I've missed a few things, said some dumb stuff, and just generally shown why I can't seem to hit level 40 on Isotropic in this article.  So let me know how I can improve it and I'll make it better.  Thanks!

-----

Hinterlands:  Fool's Gold



“Chapel is the most powerful Dominion card relative to its cost, and I'm unlikely to make another card that powerful (relative to its cost).” -Donald X. Vaccarino

“Oops, I did it again.” -Britney Spears

-----

Fool's Gold is pretty good.  And, like Minions, Hunting Parties, and sex, the more of it you have, the better it gets.  Play one FG in a turn, and it's a Copper.  Play two, and each one is a Silver-and-a-half.  Play three, and each one is a Gold.  Play four or more, and they're better than Gold.  Pretty snazzy for a $2 card.

It should follow from the above that you want to buy as many copies of Fool's Gold as possible.  And, indeed, you can do worse than buying nothing else:  Big Money Ultimate on Geronimoo's simulator loses to an equivalent strategy that just buys Fool's Gold instead of Gold and Silver 25%-67%.  The Fool's Gold strategy averages 4 Provinces in 15.5 turns.  But sometimes (a lot of the time), you can do even better.

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What does Fool's Gold like?

There are three things that Fool's Gold loves almost as much as other Fool's Gold, and sometimes it's worth dipping out of Fool's Gold to pick up one or more of them.  Those three things are:
  • Trashing:  The less cards you have in your deck that aren't Fool's Gold, the higher your chance of drawing lots of Fool's Gold at once.  Thus, Fool's Gold loves trashers (but only some...more on this later).
  • Card Drawing:  The more cards you have in your hand, the more of them are likely to be Fool's Gold.  Thus, Fool's Gold loves drawing cards.
  • +Buy (or gain):  The only thing better than buying a Fool's Gold every turn is buying more than one Fool's Gold every turn.  This accelerates your game if you're going for it and your opponent is ignoring it, and gives you the chance at a favorable split if you end up racing for the Fool's Golds.  Plus, this will give you a chance at double Province or Province/Duchy turns in the late game, which can easily spell the difference between a win and a loss.  Thus, Fool's Gold loves +buy.
Even better than getting just one of those, though, is getting multiple.  So, with that in mind, let's consider some specific cards that go well with Fool's Gold.

Mint:  A special case for a 5/2 split, Mint/Fool's Gold is currently the 6th best opening, according to the councilroom.com rankings.  Mint's on-buy effect provides excellent trashing, and its on-play effect then goes on to effectively provide +buy, getting you lots of Fool's Gold fast.  It's probably not worth picking up later unless you get a lucky 5-Copper hand (don't trash any Fool's Gold for it).

Council Room:  Huge draw and +buy to go with it.  Council Room/Fool's Gold is an excellent opening if you're lucky enough to get a 5/2 split, but even if you're not, picking one up with your first $5 hand is worth it.  Buying a single Council Room as soon as possible increases Fool's Gold's margin over BMU to a whopping 90%-7%, and beats Fool's Gold head-on 71%-23%.  It also beats the optimized Council Room bot 76%-19%.

Margrave:  Card drawing, +buy, and an attack to boot.  Smells like victory.  Like Council Room, Margrave is worth picking up with your first $5 hand even if you don't get a 5/2 split.  One of these babies will let Fool's Gold beat BMU 92%-5%, and beats straight Fool's Gold 69%-25%.

Salvager:  A trasher tailor-made for Fool's Gold.  Get rid of your Estates and Coppers, accelerate your Fool's Gold purchasing with +$ and +buy, then have the option to rush the end game by trashing Provinces if you get ahead (doubly beneficial to a Fool's Gold deck, since Fool's Gold hates greening).  Buying a single Salvager on turn 1/2 increases Fool's Gold's margin over BMU to 81%-16%, and beats straight Fool's Gold head-on 60%-37%.

Spice Merchant:  In mirror match-ups, ends up being a slightly less good version of Salvager in Fool's Gold games, but still worth picking up if it's the best option on the board.  If your opponent ignores Fool's Gold, it's even better.  You can use the +$/+buy option early to pick up extra Fool's Golds, or the +cards option if you get an unlucky hand like 2xFG, 1xC, Spice Merchant, Province, hoping to draw an extra Fool's Gold.  Picking up a Spice Merchant as an opening increases Fool's Gold's margin over BMU to 86%-10%, and beats Fool's Gold head-on 54%-37%.

Masquerade:  Gives a little card drawing, along with light trashing.  Masquerade is a good card, and its strengths line right up with what Fool's Gold likes, so no surprise that they go well together.  Masquerade/Fool's Gold beats BMU 81%-15%, and beats straight Fool's Gold 57%-38%.  It also beats the optimized Masquerade bot 55%-39%.

Bridge:  Gives +buy for cheap.  The cost reduction also minimizes the chance of unlucky turns where you get your +buy but don't have enough money in hand to buy two Fool's Gold (a problem with some of the weaker +buy cards), and gives you a decent shot at double Province or Province/Duchy turns late game (FG/FG/FG/C/Bridge is P/D, FG/FG/FG/FG/Bridge is P/P).  Buying an opening Bridge bumps up the margin against BMU to 88%-9%, and beats straight Fool's Gold 67%-27%. Also beats the optimized Bridge bot 83%-13%.

Envoy:  It's good for BMU, and it's good for Fool's Gold.  It beats BMU 76%-18%, straight Fool's Gold 50%-4-%, and the optimized Envoy bot 51%-41%.

Smithy:  No surprises here.  Beats BMU 78%-18%, Fool's Gold 55%-36%, and the optimized Smithy bot 53%-38%.

Thief:  An interesting case, and one of the few types of games in which the card is actually useful.  In a mirror match-up, Thief acts as +buy, letting you pick up extra copies of Fool's Gold, while killing your opponent's copies (of course, you still run the risk of getting unlucky and just trashing his Copper for him).  With a single Thief as an opener, it beats straight Fool's Gold 63%-30%, but it's worse against BMU than straight Fool's Gold is (though it still wins 64%-29%).

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What doesn't Fool's Gold like?

As good a card as Fool's Gold is, there's a number of things that don't go along with it very well.  Some of them are expected, but some are surprising (at least to me).  Here are a few of them:

Cursing attacks:  Just like having less crap in your deck makes you more likely to draw your Fool's Golds together, having more crap makes you less likely to do so.  Thus, if you're going to be eating a lot of Curses, you should probably stick to Gold and Silver which at least retain their value in crappy hands, rather than turning into so much Copper.  Mountebank is the worst of the lot, of course, since it gives you two cards that aren't Fool's Gold every time you get hit.  When Cursers are on the board, I'd probably just avoid Fool's Gold altogether.

Fast megaturns:  Fool's Gold strategies can be pretty fast...but not necessarily the fastest thing on the board.  If you think your opponent can probably pull off some kind of KC/Bridge monstrosity on turn 12, you should probably try and contest him on those grounds, rather than plodding along with your Fool's Gold strategy.

Chapel:  Despite my assertion above that Fool's Gold loves trashing, it turns out not to get along with the king of trashers, Chapel.  Straight Fool's Gold beats Chapel/Fool's Gold 59%-38%.  Without any +buy to make up the turn you lose buying Chapel, you're probably only going to end up with 4 Fool's Gold in your deck when they run out, and with no copper to back them up, that's not going to stand up to any greening whatsoever.  It may be viable to work Chapel into a Fool's Gold strategy that also gets some +cards from somewhere, but I suspect that's going to be too slow and lose the Fool's Gold race.

Moneylender, Steward:  Good as these cards are, they both fall prey to the same problem as Chapel.  If you waste a turn buying them, you lose the Fool's Gold race, and the deck thinning and +$ they provide isn't enough to make up the difference.

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Other stuff

Should I buy Gold and Silver after the Fool's Gold runs out?

In a word, yes.  It's not going to matter against a player who's not going Fool's Gold (by the time they run out, you're going to be buying Provinces and Duchies anyway), but in a mirror match-up, a player who buys Gold and Silver after the Fool's Gold runs out beats one who doesn't 85%-10%.  Just do it.

When should I trash my Fool's Gold to top-deck a Gold?

I have no idea.  Geronimoo's simulator doesn't have a way of controlling the bot's behavior for this, and I don't know my way around rspeer's well enough to answer this question with it.  However, there are a couple things I think are probably important when deciding whether or not to trash:
  • Can you already buy a Province?  If so, don't trash.
  • How did the Fool's Gold split go?  The better it went for you (the more Fool's Golds you got), the less you should be inclined to trash.
  • Do you have more than one Fool's Gold in hand right now?  If so, probably don't trash.
  • Given what you know about what's left in your deck, are top-decked Golds likely to let you buy a Province next turn?  If yes, might be a good idea to trash.
  • Is the game far enough from over that a VP card next turn is as good as one this turn, or are you really down to the wire?  If the former, you might consider trashing; if the latter, probably best to just buy buy buy.
Should I try and incorporate Fool's Gold into engines?

This is a tricky question, and in my experience, the answer is generally "no."  It's easy to see why you would want to:  Fool's Gold rewards big hands with lots of buys, and the best way to get that is a big, fancy engine.  The problem is, fancy engines take time to set up, and Fool's Gold is always a limited resource.  So, if you try to get your engine set up first, your opponent has time to buy up all the Fool's Gold, making your ability to draw your whole deck useless.  On the other hand, if you buy up the Fool's Gold first, you've probably spent enough turns on that race that it's too late to start building an engine; your opponent already has enough Fool's Golds to be buying Provinces.

There may well be some exceptions to this, but in my experience, Fool's Gold and engines don't mix especially well.

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Works with:
  • +Buy
  • Trashing (if it gives +buy)
  • +Cards
  • Thief
Doesn't work with:
  • Cursing attacks
  • Trashing (if it doesn't give +buy)
  • Fancy engines
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 03:14:23 am by A_S00 »
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ftl

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 03:09:12 am »
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I believe it works noticeably worse in Colony games. I've let FGs go uncontested in colony games and come out clearly ahead, because you need FOUR FG in hand to buy a colony, and that's not trivial; better to spend those buys on engine components, because BMU+FG isn't so good when colonized.

Question - is Chapel/FG a bad idea even when you do trashing in a more FG-centered way? Like, in a hand of Chapel, X, X, Copper, Copper, trash only two cards and buy a FG rather than trashing four cards? How does the simulator do it? Also, that might depend on properly trashing the FG for gold later once they're not colliding because of provinces instead of because of coppers.

...why did you put "Chancellor" in the same sentence as "Moneylender"? ...oh, I believe you actually meant Steward, right?
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A_S00

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 03:15:13 am »
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Totally did mean Steward, oops.  And I meant to include a section on Colony games, but then I forgot.  Tomorrow's project.

I'll do some more playing with Chapel to see how exactly it ends up working.
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Davio

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 03:35:25 am »
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I believe it works noticeably worse in Colony games. I've let FGs go uncontested in colony games and come out clearly ahead, because you need FOUR FG in hand to buy a colony, and that's not trivial; better to spend those buys on engine components, because BMU+FG isn't so good when colonized.

Question - is Chapel/FG a bad idea even when you do trashing in a more FG-centered way? Like, in a hand of Chapel, X, X, Copper, Copper, trash only two cards and buy a FG rather than trashing four cards? How does the simulator do it? Also, that might depend on properly trashing the FG for gold later once they're not colliding because of provinces instead of because of coppers.

...why did you put "Chancellor" in the same sentence as "Moneylender"? ...oh, I believe you actually meant Steward, right?
What I like to do in Colony games instead of going pure FG is use FG to get an early Platinum.

I would like an addendum on Colony games how FG can propel you into Platinum territory or something else about Colony games.
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PerdHapley

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 04:49:50 am »
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Nice job, this card is very powerful and long overdue for the article treatment. I am not great with it, but I do think there are a bunch of enablers you might have missed. It seems to me that many games where Fool's Gold is important you want to just go ahead and open with two of them, because any alternate opener you choose instead has to compensate for the potentially-enabled FG you're delaying. In a FG-centered Province game I would at least consider buying the following cards in the first two turns:

Talisman - If you can safely predict it will appear in your hand more than one time before the FG pile runs out, go for it. Probably better if you draw 3 / 4, ideally as second player, since your opponent ignoring FG makes this one automatic.
Wharf - The most obvious one. I will pick this open almost every single time. Maybe not if Witch or Mountebank are around, but if they are I'm probably not trying to build a Fool's Gold deck at all.
Mine - Same rules as Talisman and Horn of Plenty - bound to, at the very least, make up for the FG you didn't buy in it's place, but has the potential to both split the pile in your favor and / or basically be a dead card in your deck once FG is gone.
Horn of Plenty - I feel pretty confident putting this one here, more so than Talisman or Mine. Horn will always be able to pick up a FG in the early game, will maybe sit around dead in the mid-game, and can swing an otherwise mirror match (aka a lot of FG games, it seems like) even if it only ends up getting trashed for an Estate.
Smugglers - Self-explanatory why this could be successful, especially as Player 2.
Nomad Camp - Especially on turn one, this one seems automatic to me as well.

I just looked quickly at that best/worst openings list, and was surprised by some of it, but especially by how low a dual Fool's Gold opening placed on it. Still in the positive numbers, but well below where I would've thought. I'm a little leary of those kind of lists anyway, but is there a specific reason why opening with two of them might be a bad idea if there is no better option?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 04:53:37 am by PerdHapley »
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kn1tt3r

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 05:21:19 am »
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Nice article, but have I missed Remodel somewhere?
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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 05:55:05 am »
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Quote
How did the Fool's Gold split go?  The better it went for you (the more Fool's Golds you got), the less you should be inclined to trash.

I don't think this is right. It probably feels so because in those situations you are winning anyway; and if you are obviously losing trashing for a gold will not help you much either.

To see this, notice that trashing a single Fool's gold translates into +2 when you draw it without other FGs and -1 in other cases. If we think about the amount it reached, it becomes 3, 4, and 8 instead of 1,5,9. 3 is much better than 1 consider you just need 2 coppers out of the 4 remaining cards to make a Duchy. 4 and 5 are not so different for Duchy purposes since you still have 3 card slots and are both a stretch to reach Province in a FG-heavy deck anyway. 8 and 9 is the same without Colony. Therefore trash a single FG into gold seems always to be a good idea, providing that you don't need it this turn.

When you trash more than one the only difference is when you draw the transformed golds together, and it's +1 without other cards while -2 with other FGs. The numbers become 6, 7, 11 as compared to 5,9, 13. And you can start to see things get worse here, especially the 7 from 3 treasures is dreadful. However, it only matters when you have a "collision" of the transformed golds with one of your remaining FG's. How high is that chance? I don't think it is that high.

To conclude, I think the more intuitive way to say things is that if we disregard the prices, Gold is still mostly a better card than the Fool's gold, even if you have a massive number of FGs. The advantage of FG is mainly that they are just so cheap. You should therefore make FG real golds given the chance.

Quote
Should I try and incorporate Fool's Gold into engines?

This is a tricky question, and in my experience, the answer is generally "no."  It's easy to see why you would want to:  Fool's Gold rewards big hands with lots of buys, and the best way to get that is a big, fancy engine.  The problem is, fancy engines take time to set up, and Fool's Gold is always a limited resource.  So, if you try to get your engine set up first, your opponent has time to buy up all the Fool's Gold, making your ability to draw your whole deck useless.  On the other hand, if you buy up the Fool's Gold first, you've probably spent enough turns on that race that it's too late to start building an engine; your opponent already has enough Fool's Golds to be buying Provinces.

There may well be some exceptions to this, but in my experience, Fool's Gold and engines don't mix especially well.

I definitely agree. But I think the major reason behind this is that the capability of a draw engine is actually quite limited. even in a village/wharf engine one rarely get more than a couple golds and silvers if there are only light trashing. FGs are a serious burden to the engine, especially if you want to mass or at least contest them.
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jomini

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 08:27:16 am »
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A couple of quick points:
1. I've had good success with apprentice and FG. If you have a +buy, you can often come out ahead by trashing a province with high enough money. For instance, 5 FG is 17 coin. Burning a province or a gold with apprentice can often put you into double province territory, or into something really nice like gold + province + duchy. You can pile out quite quickly here. This also can work with card gainers; mint being a prime example. Also, if you have a big, mostly dead card like Mint (you aren't minting golds), Mine, or HoP apprentice can turn it into a double province turn or a province turn when green clogging gets bad. Also, late game you may know that one of your apprentices is due to come up next hand and you can get the gold from your FG selectively to get a 10 card hand and be sure to hit a final province when your alignment odds are otherwise crap.
2. Governor is also a strong match up with FG. It allows you to turn coppers into FG, so you don't lose a buy from it. Later, it allows you go FG -> gold in hopes of matching the gold up with a governor for a gold -> province remodel. Like apprentice, because governor is a +action +cards candidate, you can also use a good terminal for +buy or other effect. Governor is one of the engines that doesn't slow down FG. The downside, of course is that you help your opponent. However, with FG game rules get weird. Trashing a copper (or upgrading an estate to a silver) just isn't anywhere near as good as copper -> FG. Gaining a gold is quite strong if you've already gotten your province; gaining a silver is extremely weak and may even count as an attack. If you have a +buy, governor engines are one of the better options for engine building - you can safely open governor on 5, you can turn estates into engine components (e.g. smithies and worker's villages off your own governor and village/menage/shanty off your opponent's), and as a non-terminal you can self chain.
3. A very, very nasty attack with FG out is any discard to 3 followed by masquerade. This forces the player to gimp a province hand (3 FG) or forever lose a FG (and still miss the province). Yes you need a village to make this work, but there is a place for a few villages here - Worker's village or hamlet can both provide +buy that can be crucial.
4. Venture works quite well with FG. I'd buy it over gold, particularly if I have mostly dead actions hanging around.
5. Pawn can be a surprisingly good opening with FG. You only need to hit +buy +1 coin (card) and make 4 once to make up for the lost buy and as a non-terminal + buy you can set up some very nice hands (like pawn/smithy).


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DG

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 08:32:27 am »
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A while back I ran a 'pairs' simulation tournament and wharf+fool's gold was one of the best two card combinations, on a par with ironworks+silk roads. This a power combination can take on most engine decks.

Nomad Camp + fool's gold is another strong combination starting with a 4 coin hand.

The margrave can be a good fool's gold partner since you have an extra buy to collect and spend the fool's gold, you get big draws, and an opponent's margrave doesn't hurt much when you're happy to keep your best three cards from six.

Farmland and Remodel are worth mentioning as they allow you to trash rubbish for fool's gold. They can even see you through light cursing.

You probably don't want to buy silver if your deck is full of fool's gold, maybe eight or so of them. Colony games are worth mentioning since fool's gold can still quite strong but then you do want to use your fool's gold to buy platinum.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 11:03:28 am by DG »
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TheMathProf

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 09:20:09 am »
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Sifters, such as Warehouse, also work pretty nicely with Fool's Gold, and also tend to minimize the impact of greening.
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Deadlock39

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2012, 09:40:03 am »
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With regard to Chapel/Moneylender/Steward, it might be worth mentioning that you can still pull off a 5/5 split with these if you are in first position, so they are much stronger there.  Also, they are probably an improvement if you happen to be playing Fool's Gold uncontested.

Here is an uncontested Chapel example:
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120404-182610-6faf2d48.html

I feel like the Chapel helped out here.  I ended up with 5 Provinces and a Duchy in 14 turns.

jonts26

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 11:26:05 am »
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I think the trick with FG in engines is that you don't actually need that many. Consider a wharf/border village engine where you are able to draw your deck every turn. Likely to be faster than straight Wharf/FG you'll need to be double provincing pretty soon. But with 7 starting coppers you only need 3 FG to hit $16. And those 3 FG are much easier to get than $9 out of other treasures.

Obviously this is a pretty contrived example, but the point remains. You get two benefits from adding a couple FG to a very strong drawing engine. 1) They will act like very cheap Golds (you can pick them up with spare $2 buys. 2) You deprive a FG - big money player a few of his cards.

Now I'm not saying FG are great to add to all sorts of engines, because of many of the reasons stated in the article. But there are engines which incorporate them well.
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rotundo

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2012, 01:27:40 pm »
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I've had good luck with Adventurers in FG decks, believe it or not, once you've got rid of all your other treasure anyway. The standard (and correct) knock on Adventurer is that there are few if any situations where you would prefer Adventurer to Gold. But in a good FG deck, that simply isn't true. Gold gets in the way, whereas Adventurer finding two FGs returns $5 or $8, depending on whether you already have a FG in hand. The real trick to making it work is to have NO treasure in your deck except FGs... sometimes easier said than done.
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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2012, 08:54:47 pm »
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Shoulda put Nomad Camp in there. When you can get 2 FG in BEFORE your first shuffle, it's even better.
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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2012, 09:57:31 am »
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Could use some advice in article about how to actual play it?

Obviously get enough for province, buy province.

But what happens if you get lesser amounts?
And obviously you want as many as possible, but only costing 2 make some tough decisions on hands where you have 4,5 or 6 and no plus buy. Especially if opponents are going for them as well.
Do you go for gold on 6? Lose the extra and buy another FG.
(Assuming you have your support cards already)
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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2012, 10:19:33 am »
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As long as there are Fool's Golds left in the supply, you should prefer them to silver or gold (but not platinum). You may want to pick up other cards if you think it's important (early wharf or something). If the FG are contested, it only take 4-6 turns to drain the pile so you don't have time to be thinking about other things. Once the pile is gone, what you do depends largely on what other kingdom cards there are, but you want to prefer Province to all else, then Golds/strong support cards like wharves or something.

As for strategies when you win or lose the FG split. Well winning the split gives you a huge advantage. So press it by getting more provinces quickly. Wait longer to trash FG for Gold. When you lose the split, you need to get more income from somewhere so get some Golds and silvers soon. Be quicker to trash FG for provinces since they become much less likely to hit as time goes on.
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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2012, 11:54:24 am »
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I think it's likely worth talking about how to counter a fg strategy.

The obvious answer is to load up you opponent with curses. Discard+masqurade was mentioned. A really fast engine also works (bridge+kc).

Are there other ways to disrupt it?

I've won a few games by ignoring fg and building an engine that has a few +buys. Then I pick up ~4 fgs just to deprive my opponent (I can usually get away with four because he thinks I'm not contesting and takes the time to pick up facilitators).

It could be I only win these games due to luck or just lower skill from my opponent in other areas and I would get killed by a better player.

Any thoughts on how to counter a fg rush if you would rather not participate for some reason?

Ed
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Varsinor

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2012, 05:44:06 pm »
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Interesting article, thanks for writing it!

In fact, Fool's Gold is one of the few remaining cards with which there are frequently setups in which I feel uncomfortable because I don't really know if I should go for the card (FG) or not.

One thing that I would like to add is that I think that the usually-not-very-attractive Saboteur should get a spot on the "Doesn't work with"-list.

If you buy as many FGs as you can get and start greening afterwards, you usually don't have many cards that stand between your opponent's Saboteurs and your Provinces.
I remember one game where my opponent went all-out for the FGs (I didn't buy any), but once he bought his first Province, it was very easy for me to add a Saboteur or two to my deck and consistently hit his Provinces with it, easily winning.
That may not work in every case (especially not if you have a fat deck without much cycling so that it takes a long time before you can play a Saboteur after buying it), but I think the danger from Saboteurs is definitely something to carefully watch out for when you play a Fool's Gold deck.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 06:07:21 pm by Varsinor »
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chwhite

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2012, 07:09:25 pm »
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I think it's likely worth talking about how to counter a fg strategy.

The obvious answer is to load up you opponent with curses. Discard+masqurade was mentioned. A really fast engine also works (bridge+kc).

Are there other ways to disrupt it?

I've won a few games by ignoring fg and building an engine that has a few +buys. Then I pick up ~4 fgs just to deprive my opponent (I can usually get away with four because he thinks I'm not contesting and takes the time to pick up facilitators).

It could be I only win these games due to luck or just lower skill from my opponent in other areas and I would get killed by a better player.

Any thoughts on how to counter a fg rush if you would rather not participate for some reason?

Ed

In addition to the curse attacks, Swindler can really disrupt FG- turning them into Estates really really hurts.  There are a number of other "spam one card over and over" strategies which can disrupt or even outrace Fool's Gold: Hunting Party and Minion come to mind. 

Alterna-VP rushes can often take precedence, like they so often do.  Silk Roads, Gardens, and Vineyards games don't really want to bother with FG.  I suspect Silver might even be better than FG for Duke games, due to the high probability they'll show up singly in the long greening stage.

As mentioned in the article, powerful fancy engines in general can beat FG, and I take the fancy engine route whenever it's feasible.  Here's a recent example of mine which wasn't necessarily fast but was basically immune to stalling and able to shrug off a very unfavorable Province split: http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120405-170908-9c236d99.html
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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2012, 07:31:31 pm »
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Some small hand attacks can work against fool's gold, such as minion. Bureaucrat, rabble, and fortune teller can put junk cards on top of the deck and sometimes reduce the effective hand size.  Spies could do the same but it seems a bit weak. This isn't too different to attacking basic treasure.

An early embargo hits fool's gold immediately. Possession has some strange effects. Alternative vp and colonies can defeat fool's gold especially if you deny the fool's gold player the chance to trash them for gold. Ambassadors, governors, etc can feed poor/mediocre cards into a deck and weaken the fool's gold density.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2012, 07:37:07 pm »
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I think it's good that you mention the 3 things that FG "likes", but you probably want to take it a step further, and suggest that there are 3 different ways to structure a deck with Fool's Gold.
1. Decks where you use +buy or gain to get a lot of FGs really fast (which really only works in 2-player, since you need to have 5+ to really get a good enough density).
2. Big Money decks with +cards, where you only need maybe 3 of them, and just take advantage of the fact that with large hands you will draw 2 of them +$3 from other sources often enough.
3. Decks where you trash down to get a really high FG density even with 5 or fewer FGs.

Decks of type 3 are pretty questionable. I think it was discussed in this thread that chapel+FG is probably not really a great combo if your opponent is aware, but steward shows at least some promise.
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Quadell

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 08:00:29 pm »
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Thanks for the article! I've been running a lot of simulations with Fool's Gold, since it's fairly easy to construct simple algorithms with FG that have a pretty high success rate. As you said above, I was surprised to learn that FG works poorly with Chapel and Moneylender, and was utterly unsurprised to find it works well with things like Smithy and Wharf. A few surprises I found:
  • The best FG-only strategy I found buys Provinces whenever possible, Golds if you have $6+ and a single buy, and FG otherwise (until the end, when it's time to buy Duchies). I call it "Fool Money", as opposed to "Big Money", and it's really not bad. (It beats Big Money 66% of the time.)
  • I was stunned to find that Fool's Gold works even better in games with Platinums and Colonies (at least against Big Money).
  • Fool's Gold redeems Woodcutter. When you're buying Fool's Gold, Woodcutter is suddenly a good card, and Nomad Camp is even better. (You only want one.)
  • Bridge is good, but the killer combo is with Goons. A simple Fool's-Gold-and-Goons strategy beats Double Jack.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2012, 08:14:41 pm »
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    but the killer combo is with Goons. A simple Fool's-Gold-and-Goons strategy beats Double Jack.[/li][/list]

    I don't know what your bots look like, but I think even Woodcutter+FG beats Double Jack:
    Code: [Select]
    <player name="Fool's Gold + WC"
     author="HiveMindEmulator"
     description="One Woodcutter, then FG's, starting on Provinces when you have 5+ FGs. Not optimized.">
     <type name="Generated"/>
     <type name="SingleCard"/>
     <type name="Province"/>
     <type name="UserCreated"/>
     <type name="BigMoney"/>
     <type name="TwoPlayer"/>
     <type name="Bot"/>
       <buy name="Woodcutter">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Woodcutter"/>
             <operator type="equalTo" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Fool$s_Gold">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Fool$s_Gold"/>
             <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="5.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Province"/>
       <buy name="Duchy">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
             <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="4.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Estate">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
             <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Fool$s_Gold"/>
       <buy name="Gold"/>
       <buy name="Silver"/>
    </player>
    </mandatory Double-Jack-is-not-that-good post>.
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    eHalcyon

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #23 on: April 09, 2012, 10:21:27 pm »
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    One thing that I would like to add is that I think that the usually-not-very-attractive Saboteur should get a spot on the "Doesn't work with"-list.

    If you buy as many FGs as you can get and start greening afterwards, you usually don't have many cards that stand between your opponent's Saboteurs and your Provinces.
    I remember one game where my opponent went all-out for the FGs (I didn't buy any), but once he bought his first Province, it was very easy for me to add a Saboteur or two to my deck and consistently hit his Provinces with it, easily winning.
    That may not work in every case (especially not if you have a fat deck without much cycling so that it takes a long time before you can play a Saboteur after buying it), but I think the danger from Saboteurs is definitely something to carefully watch out for when you play a Fool's Gold deck.

    I'm not sure, but I think Saboteur would only be a good counter to FG in the situations where Saboteur would be good anyway, e.g. you have a way to consistently play it often.  You would need a way to green yourself while destroying the FG player's provinces, as the FG player can downgrade the provinces to duchies and otherwise ignore the Saboteurs.
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    Asklepios

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #24 on: April 10, 2012, 05:09:03 am »
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    I don't think its been mentioned so far this thread, apologies if I'm wrong:

    Venture is another nice combo. It might fetch another Fool's Gold into play, and $5 is fairly common with two Fool's Golds. Even so, I'd be hard pressed to consider Venture if we're racing to buy the FGs, and they haven't run out yet.

    As for Chapel, I think it has its place, but its all in the timing. Opening Chapel seems like a bad idea, as you're slowing down your rate of FG acquisition. OTOH, I think that if there's time a late Chapel might be worthwhile to bring your FGs closer together. I might be wrong though.

    As for Colony games, I think a mix of FG and Platinum (which is conveniently attainable with three FGs) works well enough.
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    Varsinor

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #25 on: April 10, 2012, 08:42:30 am »
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    I'm not sure, but I think Saboteur would only be a good counter to FG in the situations where Saboteur would be good anyway, e.g. you have a way to consistently play it often.

    It is certainly even better then, but I'd say it is also strong in many games against FG if it wouldn't be against another deck. Downgrading a Province into a Duchy or a Duchy into an Estate (almost) for certain every time you play a Saboteur is a pretty huge deal. And one or two Saboteurs usually don't hinder your own ability to buy Provinces too much - after all, you had some time to build up your deck while your opponent was buying all those Fool's Golds.

    Throw in a Throne Room or some moderate cycling with a Warehouse or a Cellar (both of which wouldn't be sufficient to make Saboteur worthwhile in your "average" game) to be able to play your Saboteur more often and that can hurt the Fool's Gold deck a lot. (I won't even begin to talk of Golems or King's Courts.)

    Unless, of course, he had enough time to buy other stuff except green cards that cost above $2 and keep the Saboteur from hitting green often enough.

    I think in your "average" game, you need a way to consistently play a Saboteur at least once per turn to make it strong - better more often. Against Fool's Gold, much less seems to be sufficient.
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    jomini

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #26 on: April 10, 2012, 09:53:50 am »
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    The big defense against sab decks with FG is written right on the card - turn your FGs into golds. Unless you gun for sab out the door or don't buy provinces till very late, I'm going to be able to get golds into my deck. Yeah you don't do it when it will cost you a province, but late game with singleton FG hanging around? Sure.

    Further FG games are pretty easy to pile out against sab before you can do much - FG itself will be an empty pile, duchies can be bought for 2 FG, and estates are even easier. I just don't see how you hope to buy provinces (letting me get ablative sab armor), and get enough VP to stop me from piling out on you.
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    jotheonah

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #27 on: April 10, 2012, 11:55:29 am »
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    Alterna-VP rushes can often take precedence, like they so often do.  Silk Roads, Gardens, and Vineyards games don't really want to bother with FG.  I suspect Silver might even be better than FG for Duke games, due to the high probability they'll show up singly in the long greening stage.

    Also, in alternate VP games where no one is buying Provinces, you never have a chance to use the reaction effect. That's another reason why FG isn't as good in Colony games. Unless Tournament is floating around, you're unlikely to get many chances to turn them into Gold as you green
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    HiveMindEmulator

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #28 on: April 10, 2012, 12:36:06 pm »
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    As for Chapel, I think it has its place, but its all in the timing. Opening Chapel seems like a bad idea, as you're slowing down your rate of FG acquisition. OTOH, I think that if there's time a late Chapel might be worthwhile to bring your FGs closer together. I might be wrong though.
    The problem with Chapel late is that you're going to have a hard time drawing it with 3-4 cards you want to trash, so it becomes a pretty inefficient trasher, particularly if you're taking turns to do it while your opponent is buying VP cards.
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    Razzishi

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #29 on: April 11, 2012, 06:51:50 pm »
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    Remodel seems to me to become a very worthwhile opener in games with FG.  Usually spending an early turn Remodeling is going to significantly slow your progress towards getting $5+ cards, but when the cards you want to get a lot of cost $2, Remodel is very attractive. 

    http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120410-151817-040df141.html

    While I wasn't able to beat Mint/FG with my Remodel/FG opener, I put up a pretty decent fight with 4 Provinces in 13 turns.  He did miss a shuffle with his Mint, but he also had Adventurer available which worked quite well in his deck with only 2 Coppers.  I don't think it was a mistake getting the penultimate Province when I did knowing that he was going to have a Gold in his next hand and his previous hand was worthless as I couldn't do anything else useful; the PPR only applies when you can buy a smaller VP card that puts you in the lead. 
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    Fabian

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #30 on: April 11, 2012, 07:34:36 pm »
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    Remodel/FG is definitely a very good opening, generally speaking.

    PPR definitely doesn't just apply when you can put yourself in the lead with a Duchy/whatever. Sometimes when you're behind you have to buy it and hope to get lucky, sure, but the consideration is still there for sure.
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    DG

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #31 on: April 11, 2012, 08:44:46 pm »
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    I notice that you remodelled the copper to fool's gold rather than estates to fool's gold. The latter is probably better.
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    Kuildeous

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #32 on: April 12, 2012, 12:42:19 pm »
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    I notice that you remodelled the copper to fool's gold rather than estates to fool's gold. The latter is probably better.

    I probably would have done the same thing. There is a mode of thought where you want to maximize your numbers. That mode says that trading a 0-cost card for a 2-cost card is more efficient than trading a 2-cost card for a different 2-cost card. And that's true if the goal is to have the highest-cost cards in your deck.

    Obviously, that's not true in Dominion. I can't say that I wouldn't have overlooked that too. It's similar to the, "You don't have to spend all the money that you can on your Buy," rule.
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    dondon151

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #33 on: April 12, 2012, 12:47:13 pm »
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    If you're going for Adventurer or Venture, changing Coppers to FGs may be a good idea.
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    Kuraku256

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #34 on: April 16, 2012, 04:29:16 pm »
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    While reading this thread I had an unusual thought, "Would this work well with herbalist?"
    The ability to stack your FG back on top of your deck should help them collide and it has +Buy, even the fact that it's only a terminal copper should be less of an issue than normal since you only need to hit $4 to pick up 2 FG. All that said, I imagine the cards mentioned in the original post are better.
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    AJD

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #35 on: April 16, 2012, 04:42:51 pm »
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    Herbalist helped me out with Fool's Gold apparently a great deal in <a href="http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120328-060727-74553088.html">this game</a>: it looks like there were three turns when I Herbalized a Fool's Gold and by doing so got FGs paired on turns when they wouldn't have lined up otherwise.
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    Asklepios

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #36 on: April 16, 2012, 08:16:56 pm »
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    Herbalist helped me out with Fool's Gold apparently a great deal in <a href="http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120328-060727-74553088.html">this game</a>: it looks like there were three turns when I Herbalized a Fool's Gold and by doing so got FGs paired on turns when they wouldn't have lined up otherwise.

    Makes sense, though obviously the herbalist isn't something to buy until the Fool's Golds are all gone, as you showed here.

    Though if it were the only +buy maybe herbalist to open would help win the FG race...?
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    jonts26

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #37 on: April 16, 2012, 08:31:48 pm »
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    Here's a game where my herbalist/FG opening pays off.
    http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120328-225924-71c68484.html
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    jomini

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #38 on: April 17, 2012, 09:40:18 am »
    0

    Herbalist helped me out with Fool's Gold apparently a great deal in <a href="http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120328-060727-74553088.html">this game</a>: it looks like there were three turns when I Herbalized a Fool's Gold and by doing so got FGs paired on turns when they wouldn't have lined up otherwise.

    Makes sense, though obviously the herbalist isn't something to buy until the Fool's Golds are all gone, as you showed here.

    Though if it were the only +buy maybe herbalist to open would help win the FG race...?

    I don't think herbalist will help you win the FG race all the much. Unlike nomad camp, you don't get to see it until T3 at the earliest and T5 is the soonest you will get to see it again. So at best you are down a FG until T3 (when you reach parity with a simple FG player) and might be able to pull ahead in T5. Even with optimal shuffle luck here, a second player opening herbalist will virtually never win the FG rush. Even as first player, the odds are very much against herbalist winning the split in your favor; you have better than even odds of playing herbalist exactly once by the end of T5. Even that isn't assured as you have much higher odds of getting stuck at 3 coin with herablist. For woodcutters, nomad camp, etc. to get stuck at 3 coin you have to hit 3 estates that hand, with herbalist you are out of luck if you hit it with just two.

    So not having run the numbers fully, it looks to me like herbalist, at best will let you reach parity on the FG race with the next most likely outcome being to lose the FG race against a simple FG buyer. 

    This isn't to say that herbalist is a bad buy in a FG game, the ability to use a FG multiple times per shuffle and line them up more frequently is quite good (particularly for the cost); however I would tend to buy other sources of +buy first - baron is an assured double FG buy whenever you play it (though there is a low odds chance you will have to eat an estate for the privilege), Nomad Camp and woodcutters are less likely to lose a double FG hand, and even pawn has some better dynamics (with 4cp you can go buy + card to cycle more and get 2fg, with 3ecp you can go coin and a card to cycle) for winning the FG race.
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    popsofctown

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #39 on: September 26, 2012, 10:46:17 am »
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    Since this frontpaged, I had a comment.  There are times you want Fool's Gold in an engine, mostly probably involving King's Court or at least another very powerful engine.  If you make a very lean deck and get all the engine pieces together, but then don't actually have that much money in your deck, you can acquire Fool's Golds as the last engine piece, a source of coin, very cheaply. 
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    DStu

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #40 on: September 26, 2012, 10:52:09 am »
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    Since this frontpaged, I had a comment.  There are times you want Fool's Gold in an engine, mostly probably involving King's Court or at least another very powerful engine.  If you make a very lean deck and get all the engine pieces together, but then don't actually have that much money in your deck, you can acquire Fool's Golds as the last engine piece, a source of coin, very cheaply.
    I also wanted to comment something like that, but in some sense the article also says it.  You would want FG in engines, but you can't guarantee that there are some left when youbuilt it. So you better don't buy an engine that wants FGs.  When you have built one, and there for some reason are FGs left (more than 2), you will often happily take them, but chances are high that you are too late.
    And for KC-engines, getting $4 out of a card is usually pretty weak. You often have KC to play left once the engine kicks into gear, and then even a KCed Chancellor gives $6.
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    HiveMindEmulator

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #41 on: September 26, 2012, 11:24:13 am »
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    I have used FG in an engine a few times. Of course you can only really do it when the other player doesn't rush the FGs, but this can happen for several reasons (likely  a combination of 2-3 of the following):
    1. Colony/other Alt VP game. If you go straight FGs, you'll have a hard time ending the game, as the green stuffs your deck enough that it's hard to line up the FGs
    2. Strong attacks. If the attacks (Ambassador, for example) can make it hard to buy Provinces of just FGs, it's going to be slow enough that the engine will have an advantage.
    3. The +buy is not that convenient for FG rushing. Grand Market, for example, you can't get quick enough to really help you get FGs.
    4. Really strong trashing. With Chapel or Remake, building an engine isn't actually slow.
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    jomini

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #42 on: September 27, 2012, 01:12:39 am »
    0

    Another shot that can work nicely for an engine is just stealing the Fg. Thief is an option, though not a strong one without Kc or such, but a stronger one is discard/masq. Something like Ghost ship/Masq can put a Fg player into the uncomfortable bind of having to either hand over a Fg (they keep 3 Fg in hand) or never buy a province again (they keep 2Fg and something else). Ghost ship is truly vicious here as they will eventually have to hand over VP or Fg.

    A rabble/masq engine can also make it extremely hard for a Fg player to keep both their VP and their Fg.

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    Varsinor

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #43 on: September 27, 2012, 07:23:33 am »
    +2

    but a stronger one is discard/masq. Something like Ghost ship/Masq can put a Fg player into the uncomfortable bind of having to either hand over a Fg (they keep 3 Fg in hand) or never buy a province again (they keep 2Fg and something else). Ghost ship is truly vicious here as they will eventually have to hand over VP or Fg.

    A rabble/masq engine can also make it extremely hard for a Fg player to keep both their VP and their Fg.

    It seems to me that the fact that Discard-Masquerade and Rabble-Masquerade are very strong doesn't have much to do with Fool's Gold. Almost any deck will have an extremely hard time against someone who can play Discard-Masquerade consistently. (Except maybe decks based on "draw-up-to-cards like Library or Watchtower.)
    That goes especially for "Something like Ghost ship/Masq can put a Fg player into the uncomfortable bind" - Ghost Ship-Masquerade simply is one of the meanest combos out there.
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    mischiefmaker

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #44 on: September 27, 2012, 11:17:41 am »
    0

    I mentioned this on the frontpage comments as well, but I was surprised not to see Horse Traders on the list. It won't hold a candle to  Council Room or Wharf, but it's competitive with Remodel and Spice Merchant.
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    werothegreat

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #45 on: September 27, 2012, 11:19:14 am »
    +1

    Stables is awesome with Fool's Gold.  Without trashing, Stable away the Coppers and fill your hand with FG.  With trashing, you can can Stable the FG's without hesitation, knowing you'll draw them later in your turn.
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    jomini

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #46 on: September 27, 2012, 01:32:42 pm »
    0

    but a stronger one is discard/masq. Something like Ghost ship/Masq can put a Fg player into the uncomfortable bind of having to either hand over a Fg (they keep 3 Fg in hand) or never buy a province again (they keep 2Fg and something else). Ghost ship is truly vicious here as they will eventually have to hand over VP or Fg.

    A rabble/masq engine can also make it extremely hard for a Fg player to keep both their VP and their Fg.

    It seems to me that the fact that Discard-Masquerade and Rabble-Masquerade are very strong doesn't have much to do with Fool's Gold. Almost any deck will have an extremely hard time against someone who can play Discard-Masquerade consistently. (Except maybe decks based on "draw-up-to-cards like Library or Watchtower.)
    That goes especially for "Something like Ghost ship/Masq can put a Fg player into the uncomfortable bind" - Ghost Ship-Masquerade simply is one of the meanest combos out there.

    There are two big ways to hold up against discard/masq:
    1. Pile out quickly. With no other trashing (and no Tr/Kc/etc.) it takes a while before masq can thin down to a reliable engine. Yeah, it isn't exactly slow, but fast combos can win before it can strike too often.
    2. Have a deck with just a few key cards that can nab provinces with just two of them so you can keep a copper around. For instance, golem decks are quite strong against masq/discard as you can keep a copper (or whatever) and your two important actions (golem/whatever) and play through most of your actions. Rebuild can similarly work to get a province off a one card play. Other digging cards also work (e.g. Hp). Limited draw cards like jack, Wt, and Lib all can get you back to a province buying hand and let you keep a copper in hand. Big draw like menage, hunting grounds, tactician, etc. can also let you keep around a copper and still kick off your own engine or hit enough cash to buy a province. Alt-VP can also be quite resistant - horse traders/duke has copper to keep and can hit 5 coin easy. Other shots like Iw/Gardens or Count/Silk Roads can also do pretty good at gaining more VP cards with a single action play - leaving 2 other slots in the 3 card hand for copper to be held.

    Fg is fast, but unlike some other fast combos (HoP, Bridge, etc.) it slows down massively if has to aim for 8 provinces. It only depletes one pile itself, and tends not to easily pile out something else. Fg is normally the money strategy most hurt by green - not only does green increase your deck size, but it lowers the density (and hence expected value) or the Fg. The longer the game goes, the more time masq/discard has to force your economy (Fg & gold) or your VP into your opponent's deck.

    Likewise, Fg is a card that is nearly useless in a 2 card hand. Very few of its enablers will let you get out of a 2 card hand with a province.

    Is Fg particularly vulnerable? Debatable, though I'd lean a bit towards yes for the problems with density, game length, and lack of use in 2 card hands. However, discard/masq isn't a panacea and is strong enough to merit (sometimes) going for an engine against Fg.
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    HiveMindEmulator

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #47 on: September 27, 2012, 01:41:58 pm »
    0

    I mentioned this on the frontpage comments as well, but I was surprised not to see Horse Traders on the list. It won't hold a candle to  Council Room or Wharf, but it's competitive with Remodel and Spice Merchant.
    Horse Traders is not really competitive with Spice Merchant, and not even close to Remodel. It's probably at a slight disadvantage to Woodcutter. In most cases there is no difference, but HT can't ever buy more than a Province, since even if you draw it with 3 FGs, you have to discard one.
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    blueblimp

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #48 on: September 27, 2012, 11:54:11 pm »
    0

    Fg is a card that is nearly useless in a 2 card hand.
    2 FG = Duchy. Few other cards can even get that much in a 2-card hand. Gold, and... that's all I can think of off-hand, unless you're drawing some more cards (esp. with Library and such, but of course Library can be mixed into a FG deck). Surely this makes FG one of the best cards if you're playing 2-card hands!

    Edit: Of course this doesn't help you a ton if your opponent is reducing you to 2-cards every turn, but if there's discard+masq and a reliable engine on the board, why on earth are you not playing it? :P
    « Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 11:59:43 pm by blueblimp »
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    mischiefmaker

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #49 on: September 28, 2012, 01:34:36 am »
    0

    Horse Traders is not really competitive with Spice Merchant, and not even close to Remodel. It's probably at a slight disadvantage to Woodcutter. In most cases there is no difference, but HT can't ever buy more than a Province, since even if you draw it with 3 FGs, you have to discard one.
    I revisited my results; you're right, HT is not very competitive with Remodel (56-40 underdog). But against Spice Merchant I have HT as a slight favorite, 49-45. Perhaps my bots are configured poorly?

    Spice Merchant bot:
    Code: [Select]
    <player name="Fool's Gold/Spice Merchant"
     author="mischiefmaker"
     description="Surprisingly fast.">
     <type name="BigMoney"/>
     <type name="TwoPlayer"/>
     <type name="Competitive"/>
     <type name="Bot"/>
     <type name="Combo"/>
     <type name="Province"/>
     <type name="UserCreated"/>
       <buy name="Province">
          <condition>
             <left type="getTotalMoney"/>
             <operator type="greaterOrEqualThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="18.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Duchy">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
             <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="5.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Estate">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
             <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Spice_Merchant" strategy="FoolsGoldEnabler">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Spice_Merchant"/>
             <operator type="smallerThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="1.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Fool$s_Gold"/>
       <buy name="Gold"/>
       <buy name="Silver"/>
    </player>

    Horse Traders bot:
    Code: [Select]
    <player name="Fool's Gold/Horse Traders"
     author="mischiefmaker"
     description="">
     <type name="BigMoney"/>
     <type name="SingleCard"/>
     <type name="TwoPlayer"/>
     <type name="Bot"/>
     <type name="Generated"/>
     <type name="Province"/>
     <type name="UserCreated"/>
       <buy name="Province">
          <condition>
             <left type="getTotalMoney"/>
             <operator type="greaterThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="18.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Duchy">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
             <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="4.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Estate">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
             <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Horse_Traders">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Horse_Traders"/>
             <operator type="equalTo" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Duchy">
          <condition>
             <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
             <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
             <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
          </condition>
       </buy>
       <buy name="Fool$s_Gold"/>
       <buy name="Gold"/>
       <buy name="Silver"/>
    </player>
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    HiveMindEmulator

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #50 on: September 28, 2012, 02:08:14 am »
    0

    Yeah, I guess I was wrong to say it's not really competitive with Spice Merchant. It actually is, and if you're going pure FG+X HT is a better X than Spice Merchant. Funny thing I found just messing with it now is that HT+FG+Smithy, Spice+FG+Smithy, and Smithy+FG form a nice little RPS situation. Totally unoptimized though...
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    jomini

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #51 on: September 29, 2012, 11:24:08 am »
    0

    Fg is a card that is nearly useless in a 2 card hand.
    2 FG = Duchy. Few other cards can even get that much in a 2-card hand. Gold, and... that's all I can think of off-hand, unless you're drawing some more cards (esp. with Library and such, but of course Library can be mixed into a FG deck). Surely this makes FG one of the best cards if you're playing 2-card hands!

    Edit: Of course this doesn't help you a ton if your opponent is reducing you to 2-cards every turn, but if there's discard+masq and a reliable engine on the board, why on earth are you not playing it? :P

    Fg is only close to a reliable duchy when 40% of your deck is Fg. For a straight, uncontested Fg rush that is true only up until you have 5 cards besides Fg and starting cards. Even when the percentage is higher than 40%, because you can't use the high payout of 3 or more Fg in hand, you won't even average a duchy every turn.

    So yes you can buy a useful 5 when you hit two Fg and you can buy a duchy, however when you hit just 1 Fg (which will happen quite quickly when you buy duchies and are forced to give away Fg) you can buy an estate.

    Smithy gives you a 4 card (no action) hand and that beats Fg most of the time when your cash average is 1.25 coin/card (i.e. the minimum I would expect every BM-smithy deck to be hitting by the time discard/masq becomes reliable). University, menage, golem, etc. all do much better than Fg in 3 card hands. In some circumstances, things like Bishop and Monument even come out ahead (e.g. 3 player games where both of the other two players are playing discard attacks). I'd say just about anything that will, long term, bring in 2 VP per turn on average should beat Fg here.

    There are several reasons not to play discard/masq yourself. The easiest one is if you are playing 3er and the opponents are not symmetrical. E.g. if the guy passing to you is going for gardens, you are going to wait forever to see any useful VP; likewise if the player to whom you pass is going Xroads & heavy VP, you really don't want to make him discard & pass to the other guy. Likewise, if you look to get the bum end of curse passing when one player (and not the other) has gone jester. It is quite possible & likely in 3er or higher that the player helped most by discard & masq won't be you.

    Another reason to skip out on masq & discard is possession. This is a tricky one as discard & masq can often get to possession first, but the risk of 20 VP swings can make having masq in your deck too dangerous if he can just beeline possession before you can get there (e.g. golem/remodel).

    There are a number of things where discard attacks are just too helpful - library, tunnel, watchtower, beggar/feodum, and even some countinghouse setups - and your return is just too low.

    And of course there is the thing with faster attacks - like curse/ruins/copper givers that make it hard to build up to strong engines and get payout before the game end.

    Yeah masq/discard is wickedly strong, but there are number of niche strats that can beat it and beat it handily (e.g. Possession, P-stone, Tunnel, Minion).
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    blueblimp

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #52 on: September 29, 2012, 04:53:29 pm »
    0

    Re: Duchies diluting your deck, then don't buy Duchies yet if you don't want to dilute. The point is that you get $5 from two FG, which is hard to get from anything else except drawing cards, and drawing cards can be added to a FG deck.

    I don't see how Smithy can be compared to FG, given that Smithy can be added to a FG deck. Same goes for Menagerie. OK, I wouldn't be surprised if Monument would do better here, but Monument+BM is crazy strong anyway. If you're buying University or Golem, then you're presumably playing an engine of some sort, meaning you're likely playing discard+masq yourself. Bishop does sound reasonable given that it's a good counter to trashers (including Masquerade).

    3-player is irrelevant because it's a totally different game from 2-player, and most articles here are aimed at 2-player because that's the most common on isotropic.

    Possession forces a re-evaluation of every strategy. Besides, unless picking out kingdoms by hand, it's staggeringly unlikely to ever see Possession, Masquerade, Fool's Gold, and a discard attack all in the same game.

    OK, a counter-to-discard like Library/Watchtower is yeah a good reason to skip discard+masq. But either can be added to a FG deck without difficulty (especially Library). So I'm not seeing the relevance to the original point.

    Edit: Like, in general I feel that if you're talking about kingdoms where there are two or more extremely strong strategies, it's just not something you will see in random kingdoms except very rarely. Sure weird stuff will happen in these cases, but it's not something you'll see on iso much.
    « Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 04:54:58 pm by blueblimp »
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    jomini

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    Re: Hinterlands: Fool's Gold
    « Reply #53 on: September 30, 2012, 12:28:02 am »
    0

    Re: Duchies diluting your deck, then don't buy Duchies yet if you don't want to dilute. The point is that you get $5 from two FG, which is hard to get from anything else except drawing cards, and drawing cards can be added to a FG deck.

    I don't see how Smithy can be compared to FG, given that Smithy can be added to a FG deck. Same goes for Menagerie. OK, I wouldn't be surprised if Monument would do better here, but Monument+BM is crazy strong anyway. If you're buying University or Golem, then you're presumably playing an engine of some sort, meaning you're likely playing discard+masq yourself. Bishop does sound reasonable given that it's a good counter to trashers (including Masquerade).

    3-player is irrelevant because it's a totally different game from 2-player, and most articles here are aimed at 2-player because that's the most common on isotropic.

    Possession forces a re-evaluation of every strategy. Besides, unless picking out kingdoms by hand, it's staggeringly unlikely to ever see Possession, Masquerade, Fool's Gold, and a discard attack all in the same game.

    OK, a counter-to-discard like Library/Watchtower is yeah a good reason to skip discard+masq. But either can be added to a FG deck without difficulty (especially Library). So I'm not seeing the relevance to the original point.

    Edit: Like, in general I feel that if you're talking about kingdoms where there are two or more extremely strong strategies, it's just not something you will see in random kingdoms except very rarely. Sure weird stuff will happen in these cases, but it's not something you'll see on iso much.

    The thing with Fg is that anything you buy not only increases the size of your deck without increasing your cash total - it decreases it. Lower odds of pairing (or preferably tripling) Fg means that you stall out quicker. Engines respond better to discard masq (which almost always needs an engine to hit) and if discard/masq is out it can be stronger than Fg. Fg can win if it is fast enough, but is relatively weaker against discard/masq than a lot of things.

    Smithy is comparable because there is an opportunity cost both in terms of when do you buy it and in terms of terminal collision. Let's say you take a Remodel/Fg opening. When exactly do you buy the smithy? Before the Fg are gone? After you've started going provinces? Instead of the opening remodel? At some point you forwent another card to get the smithy; typically this would mean a Fg or a gold in most games.

    3er is relevant because, shockingly, there are a number of us who play it. Just because isotropic is the most popular doesn't mean we should ignore all other settings; after all there is a separate sub-forum for isotropic discussion. Likewise, non-random kingdoms are quite common - several of the threads in the general discussion section deal with non-random kingdoms and there are more ways to set up kingdoms than random dealing (e.g. I play a lot of sequential games with keep 5/discard 5/deal 5 to allow players to retry strategies and learn how boards evolve with different things in/out like trashing/+buy/+action).

    And the original point was fairly simple: stealing Fg or VP bought by Fg with discard/masq is a viable strategy to beat Fg/not-too-fast-helper-card. Fg tends not to let you double province, green dilution really hurts Fg's ability to hit province, and only remodel/Fg really lets you burn out the provinces quickly (salvager might, but I've never managed to make that work with Fg); so something complicated like discard/masq can work even though Fg can get to 4 provinces (but not 8) before things can get insurmountable. Fg is relatively more susceptible to discard/masq because losing a Fg is much worse than losing a silver.

    You asked why I wouldn't go discard/masq all the time if I could set that up - and there are a number of setups that get to Rock-Paper-Scissors territory. Fg/helper beats menage/helper which beats discard/masq. Fg/helper beats possession which beats discard/masq. Fg/helper beats bishop/helper which beats discard masq. Fg/helper beats tunnel which beats discard/masq. Yeah odds of any particular one of them are low, but odds of one of several RPS potentials like this are enough to merit thought. Basically figure that Fg/helper and Discard/Masq (or rabble/masq) are on the board - call it ~3.5 card combo due to things being somewhat degenerate with helpers and discards. That leaves 6.5 cards and odds are non-trivial that possession, tunnel, or something else will also be out.

    So, shockingly, in any real game I'd have to read the board and the opponent. Discard/masq is strong enough that I'd always have to consider if it can beat a decent to strong Fg opening. It also has enough counters that it isn't a brainless decision. Some of the counters can be shoehorned into a Fg strategy (e.g. Lib), some can't so well (e.g. Tunnel), and some are middling.
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