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Author Topic: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine  (Read 6415 times)

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WanderingWinder

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The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« on: April 13, 2012, 09:13:45 am »
+2

There's an engine I absolutely love to run, based around a non-drawing village and a cards that lets you draw until you have X cards in your hand. My favourite form is Fishing Village/Watchtower, but on the village side you can also have hamlets and festivals, and on the draw side, you can have libraries, to some extent Jacks, and menageries. Generally, you want some woodcutter variant to make this a real powerhouse; festival and hamlet sort of already give you this, but a lot of times having woodcutter or nomad camp or herbalist or bridge or especially horse traders is just super juicy. Some kind of workshop or ironworks can also be thrown in for this role to a certain extent.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120412-125409-129a2b2b.html
This is an example game I played a few days ago against a very strong opponent. It's pretty much the best version of the engine, in my view, as the watchtower and horse traders help make it extremely resilient to attack, and you can do pretty nasty things with it. Also, because FV and Watchtower are so cheap, the woodcutter lets you really stock up on lots of components, quickly.

paddyodoors

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2012, 11:28:13 am »
0

I often see these possibilities, but for whatever reason I haven't been able to pull them off.  Maybe the +buy (or faux-+buy) requirement is missing.

I'm generally stink at building engines, so that is also an issue here.

Thanks for the game log!  It was certainly a nice engine you had going.  :)
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RisingJaguar

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 11:51:46 am »
+1

I do love this engine too! I think you're underselling ironworks (not workshop).  I would say that ironworks works really well in the watchtower variant for 2 reasons. 
1. most of your pieces will be $4 or less, so it becomes useful in grabbing those pieces. 
2. With watchtower, you can top deck those extra pieces, and prolong your turn even further. While the benefit doesn't seem like much, if both players are going for this strategy, the ironworks can heavily shift gaining more of the components. 
It also does 'disappear'. 

If this was a straight up mirror match.  I think you would have to forgo a couple horse traders (only 2/3?) in favour of swindler.  Swindler would REALLY mess things up for the opponent.  Potions/silvers would be devastating to their engine. 
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Algebraist

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2012, 12:01:08 pm »
0

If this was a straight up mirror match.  I think you would have to forgo a couple horse traders (only 2/3?) in favour of swindler.  Swindler would REALLY mess things up for the opponent.  Potions/silvers would be devastating to their engine.

All those horse traders and watchtowers provide great swindler defence. In the linked game, WW got swindled four times. One did nothing, and two actually helped him. Only one did any damage, and that didn't do a great deal (copper into a curse that later got farmlanded).
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Asklepios

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2012, 12:34:28 pm »
0

I love those engines too! So nice to draw a wodge of cards from a small or nonexistent hand.

Played an interesting game today that was pretty similar in concept, but which relied on disappearing villages (specifically fishing village) and drawing with menagerie. Also, the only attack (and the only +(>1)card in that game other than menagerie) was Ghost Ship, which Menagerie provided a very nice soft counter to.

Once councilroom scoops it up, I'll find the log and post a link here, but I'm pretty pleased with it. A 4/3 opening with talisman/fishing village gave me the buying power I needed to scoop up almost all the menageries, and also the buying power I needed to end the game on a 3-pile when I was 1:0 on provinces. This was against a 4/3 opening of lookout/fishing village, which I considered weaker as I expected a 3 pile ending, and in 3 pile endings, every estate is valuable. Also good was the presence of Outpost, which let me buy up the cheap stuff almost twice as fast, which was very welcome when the cheap stuff was fishing villages and menageries, as menagerie synergises beautifully with decks that cope well with small hands.

True, menagerie isn't quite the same as Watchtower or Library in how it draws cards, but there are some parallels there I think.
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Voltgloss

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2012, 01:28:28 pm »
0

There's another village that fits will with this type of engine:  Shanty Town.  If you have it in hand with your drawer, it's exactly what you want - a non-drawing village.  If you have it in hand alone, it does the drawing for you.  (Modest drawing, but still more drawing than you'd get from most other villages.)

And on the pricier disappearing village side, one can't forget Inn. 

It's also worth noting that this sort of engine loves Crossroads, as WW's example game demonstrates - especially when you're relying on +$ action cards for money generation, rather than treasure. 
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paddyodoors

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2012, 02:33:23 pm »
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And on the pricier disappearing village side, one can't forget Inn.

Also Nobles.

It is one of the rare times I find myself hoping to use Nobles for the actions.
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ftl

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2012, 02:41:33 pm »
0

Yeah, FV/Watchtower is nice. I once had a game with FV, Watchtower, and Lighthouse. It's an awesome feeling to build a colony-buying engine with only parts that cost $3 or $2!
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philosophyguy

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2012, 07:19:10 pm »
0

Earlier today I tried to play a Festival/Library version of that engine. Although the engine eventually got going, it was very slow to set up for the obvious reason that both of the key cards cost $5. Besides Bridges, what sort of enabling cards make it easier to build engines that require multiple $5 components? Highway could work but is yet another $5; Throne Room/Feast is a possibility, and Horn of Plenty might work (although that depends on having good cheap cantrips so you can consistently hit $5). Other key enablers I'm missing?
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jonts26

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2012, 07:25:26 pm »
+1

I think the biggest thing that makes me consider an engine where all the main components are $5+ is colonies, Goons or some really good alt-vp's like vineyards. Unless there is serious megaturn potential, engines that expensive will likely fall too far behind big money to catch up where your main points are from Provinces.
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jotheonah

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2012, 10:56:16 pm »
0

Earlier today I tried to play a Festival/Library version of that engine. Although the engine eventually got going, it was very slow to set up for the obvious reason that both of the key cards cost $5. Besides Bridges, what sort of enabling cards make it easier to build engines that require multiple $5 components? Highway could work but is yet another $5; Throne Room/Feast is a possibility, and Horn of Plenty might work (although that depends on having good cheap cantrips so you can consistently hit $5). Other key enablers I'm missing?

Baron seems like would help some, but it's not gonna get you to $10 and 2 buys that easily.

This morning I played this engine with Watchtower/Hamlet. That was a pretty solid engine. The question with Hamlet is always, "Do I dump the Coppers in the hopes of drawing better Treasure?"
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chwhite

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 03:18:48 pm »
0

This is one of my very favorite engine types as well.  Of all the specific ways for it to work I'm probably most enamored of Festival/Watchtower; having both components at $5 is problematic but one at $5 and one at $3 makes is not usually too expensive, and the fact that Festival gives both cash and +buy means you don't need to rely on a third piece.

Actually, that's not true, there is a third piece that is really crucial to these sorts of engines: trashing.  Even light trashing like Moneylender can often be good enough, but strong trashing and cycling is really helpful for both getting this sort of engine up and running fast enough, and letting it hold on after it starts buying green.  Cellar can be a surprisingly crucial piece for these sorts of decks, and obviously Crossroads is great too.

Menagerie is similar, and I actually like it even better than these sorts of engines, but it has a number of big differences.  Most notably it relies much less on villages (since your main draw comes with an action to begin with), and it's less reliant on the mega-turn: you can green faster, and you'll have to, since you'll merely be drawing most of your deck rather than all of it.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 03:49:47 pm by chwhite »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2012, 01:12:56 am »
0

I do love this engine too! I think you're underselling ironworks (not workshop).  I would say that ironworks works really well in the watchtower variant for 2 reasons. 

It's probably a touch better at building the engine than say woodcutter is, but it's going to be worse at doing stuff later on - like a double province turn or something. Probably for this, I'd put HT tops, because of its nice discard, then bridge, then IW, woodcutter/nomad camp, workshop, Herbalist, talisman. Probably I missed something?

jotheonah

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2012, 09:09:19 pm »
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Here's a good example of this: Hamlet-Pawn-Ambassador-Library

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201205/06/game-20120506-180803-61687be2.html
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WanderingWinder

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2012, 10:54:26 pm »
0

Here's a good example of this: Hamlet-Pawn-Ambassador-Library

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201205/06/game-20120506-180803-61687be2.html
Interesting. I had all of those but pawn, WITH menagerie and highway, in a tournament game yesterday: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201205/05/game-20120505-111206-ad09b04a.html

AJD

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2012, 06:34:33 pm »
0

Earlier today I tried to play a Festival/Library version of that engine. Although the engine eventually got going, it was very slow to set up for the obvious reason that both of the key cards cost $5. Besides Bridges, what sort of enabling cards make it easier to build engines that require multiple $5 components? Highway could work but is yet another $5; Throne Room/Feast is a possibility, and Horn of Plenty might work (although that depends on having good cheap cantrips so you can consistently hit $5). Other key enablers I'm missing?

University? Note that it itself is another member of the 'disappearing village' genus as well.
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jotheonah

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2012, 08:08:22 pm »
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University is awesome for this, until it's not. The problem is that the card gain isn't optional, so once you have all the pieces you need, if you want to use it as a Village, you just have to keep gaining stuff. So there have to be enough non-harmful cards that you won't accidentally three-pile or kill your engine with action clutter. It can be weird, depending on the set.
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jonts26

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2012, 08:09:47 pm »
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"+2 Actions
You may gain an Action card costing up to $5."

Seems pretty optional to me.
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jotheonah

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2012, 08:21:31 pm »
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Geez, really? Well that card just got 90% better. Does iso give you a "none" button that I just haven't seen?


(goes to check in a solitaire game)

Well, I feel dumb now.
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tlloyd

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2012, 08:57:22 pm »
+1

There's another village that fits will with this type of engine:  Shanty Town.  If you have it in hand with your drawer, it's exactly what you want - a non-drawing village.  If you have it in hand alone, it does the drawing for you.  (Modest drawing, but still more drawing than you'd get from most other villages.)

And on the pricier disappearing village side, one can't forget Inn. 

The notion that you "want a non-drawing village" is frequently overstated. In the case of Library/Watchtower, the most you can say is that the drawback of a non-drawing village is mitigated by the variable-drawer. Of course, the non-drawing village might (1) have other compensating features (fishing village provides coin, university gains cards) that when combined with Library/Watchtower makes the non-drawing village strictly superior to Village; or (2) cost less, and thus be a better deal and easier to obtain in multiples. But none of that means you prefer the village to draw zero cards.

Menagerie is a different story, because its draw condition at times makes you prefer to draw nothing or, even better, to discard from your hand.
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Asklepios

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2012, 05:50:17 am »
+1

There's another village that fits will with this type of engine:  Shanty Town.  If you have it in hand with your drawer, it's exactly what you want - a non-drawing village.  If you have it in hand alone, it does the drawing for you.  (Modest drawing, but still more drawing than you'd get from most other villages.)

And on the pricier disappearing village side, one can't forget Inn. 

The notion that you "want a non-drawing village" is frequently overstated. In the case of Library/Watchtower, the most you can say is that the drawback of a non-drawing village is mitigated by the variable-drawer. Of course, the non-drawing village might (1) have other compensating features (fishing village provides coin, university gains cards) that when combined with Library/Watchtower makes the non-drawing village strictly superior to Village; or (2) cost less, and thus be a better deal and easier to obtain in multiples. But none of that means you prefer the village to draw zero cards.

Menagerie is a different story, because its draw condition at times makes you prefer to draw nothing or, even better, to discard from your hand.

Don't forget the compensating features offered by the drawing card too.

For example, two comparative hands:

You have one action at present.

First possibility: Library-Village-silver-gold-silver
Second possibility: Library-Shanty Town-silver-gold-silver

Deck to come is: Moneylender, Library, Fishing Village, Fishing Village, Fishing Village, Fishing Village, Fishing Village...


Assume that the Moneylender has no more copper in the deck to work on.

In this hand, the Shanty Town is still strictly better than the Village.
With the village you'd draw the Moneylender then Library would draw you 2 Fishing Villages and the Library.
With the Shanty Town you'd not draw anything from it, then with Library you could choose to discard the Moneylender, and then have Library and 3 Fishing Villages instead.
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dondon151

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2012, 05:56:46 am »
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In general I would rather prefer a +1 card village over a +0 card village with little alternative benefit because it reduces the likelihood that you fail to draw your Library or Watchtower into your hand.

This includes Shanty Town. God, I hate Shanty Town.
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Asklepios

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2012, 07:29:25 am »
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Shanty Town might draw the Library with its own +cards though.

With Shanty Town, I'd say it goes wrong when you have terminals you want to play other than Library.
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tlloyd

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2012, 12:35:28 pm »
+1

There's another village that fits will with this type of engine:  Shanty Town.  If you have it in hand with your drawer, it's exactly what you want - a non-drawing village.  If you have it in hand alone, it does the drawing for you.  (Modest drawing, but still more drawing than you'd get from most other villages.)

And on the pricier disappearing village side, one can't forget Inn. 

The notion that you "want a non-drawing village" is frequently overstated. In the case of Library/Watchtower, the most you can say is that the drawback of a non-drawing village is mitigated by the variable-drawer. Of course, the non-drawing village might (1) have other compensating features (fishing village provides coin, university gains cards) that when combined with Library/Watchtower makes the non-drawing village strictly superior to Village; or (2) cost less, and thus be a better deal and easier to obtain in multiples. But none of that means you prefer the village to draw zero cards.

Menagerie is a different story, because its draw condition at times makes you prefer to draw nothing or, even better, to discard from your hand.

Don't forget the compensating features offered by the drawing card too.

For example, two comparative hands:

You have one action at present.

First possibility: Library-Village-silver-gold-silver
Second possibility: Library-Shanty Town-silver-gold-silver

Deck to come is: Moneylender, Library, Fishing Village, Fishing Village, Fishing Village, Fishing Village, Fishing Village...


Assume that the Moneylender has no more copper in the deck to work on.

In this hand, the Shanty Town is still strictly better than the Village.
With the village you'd draw the Moneylender then Library would draw you 2 Fishing Villages and the Library.
With the Shanty Town you'd not draw anything from it, then with Library you could choose to discard the Moneylender, and then have Library and 3 Fishing Villages instead.

I will grant you that laughably narrow set of circumstances. My general point still stands though: a village being non-drawing does not make Library/Watchtower stronger; Library/Watchtower makes non-drawing villages stronger.
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chwhite

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Re: The (Disappearing Village) (Draw up to X) engine
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2012, 03:05:03 pm »
0

If you're planning on building up to an engine that plays more than one Library/Watchtower per turn, than you absolutely do prefer to load up on the disappearing Village, because otherwise the second Library/Watchtower won't be doing much drawing.  (Unless of course there's additional discard/cycling around as well.)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 03:07:54 pm by chwhite »
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