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WanderingWinder

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Simulating Challenge 2
« on: July 03, 2011, 08:19:33 pm »
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Much like the first simulating challenge, the goal here is to produce a player on Geronimoo's simulator that beats all others. Okay, first of all, here's the Kingdom:
Alchemist, Fortune Teller, Hamlet, Harvest, Horse Traders, Outpost, Potion, Saboteur, Smithy, Vault, and Watchtower
Now, unfortunately there are a couple of problems with simulating this set, mostly all dealing with the choice card, Hamlet. So some strategies, probably those dealing with Watchtower mostly, aren't going to do so well in the simulator. Feel free to discuss that in your comments/solitaire it - I like being able to point out the sim's limitations even while acknowledging that it's an immensely useful tool. In that vein, in the game I played with this set, I went in with one strategy (basically Big Money w/Vaults) and ended up playing a different one (Big money with a lone smithy) based only on the money I got hand-to-hand. I think this was more or less the right call (except that maybe those hamlet/watchtower/x deals could have been really strong). But beyond this, I'd like to add a couple more wrinkles: Firstly, encouraging opening/strategy discussion in general, like in Opening of the Day. Secondly, I'd like to make this a double challenge - part A without colonies, and part B with. This will help us (and especially me - Platinum and colony are some of my worst cards) learn about how much the presence of these super-important cards affect the game and what strategies are king.
I'm going to try to come up with bots for this setup in a bit, but I wanted to get this up while I had a little free time

DG

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 10:16:05 pm »
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You might need to be careful of your definition of a 'best' player in this kingdom. There might be a simple player with fortune tellers that can beat pure money. The fortune teller player however loses to a horse trader player, even though the horse trader player can't beat pure money.

If you skip to 3 or 4 player games to minimize this problem then you might run into other difficulties with some players competing for key cards such as alchemists and hamlets.

There will also be problems with discards from an opponent's vault. The simulator will probably discard poor cards even if they are needed for a horse traders, vault, or hamlet during its turn. The assistance from an opponent's vault will effectively become an attack instead.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 10:21:48 pm »
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True. But while this rock-paper-scissors scenario can happen, it's quite rare. And it would be good to know where this crops up. It actually leads to second-player advantage, and there's some game theory involved as to what both players should do, and it takes a lot of skill in reading what the opponent does.
And yeah, the vault thing is a problem. So you can bring up why you think some other strategy is better, and we can have a discussion on that. It would be good - more limitations of the sim. But still interesting, I think, to see what the best sim strat is.

DsnowMan

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 10:29:30 pm »
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I don't think the rock-papers-scissors problem is rare. It happens often in game theory when trying to design strategies to specifically beat other strategies. I think it will happen often enough in Dominion to be a concern when playing the simulator game (I did quite enjoy reading the 1st one)
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011, 10:51:22 pm »
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It's obviously common in game theory, but I was speaking to Dominion in particular, and I don't think it's that common at all. Maybe 1% of boards. Probably less. I mean, of course in a particular game you should pay attention to what your opponent is doing and make adjustments, but usually these adjustments are really quite small. But I mean, if it was common, it would lead to a significant second player advantage, and that isn't backed up by data.

randomdragoon

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 03:52:20 am »
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It's obviously common in game theory, but I was speaking to Dominion in particular, and I don't think it's that common at all. Maybe 1% of boards. Probably less. I mean, of course in a particular game you should pay attention to what your opponent is doing and make adjustments, but usually these adjustments are really quite small. But I mean, if it was common, it would lead to a significant second player advantage, and that isn't backed up by data.
A second player advantage from the rock-paper-scissors effect could cancel out the first-player advantage of sometimes getting an extra turn. The data wouldn't be there but you can't conclude that there is no rock-paper-scissors effect.
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DStu

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 04:15:18 am »
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You might need to be careful of your definition of a 'best' player in this kingdom. There might be a simple player with fortune tellers that can beat pure money. The fortune teller player however loses to a horse trader player, even though the horse trader player can't beat pure money.

I always hoped that something like that happend last time. I don't think it is a big problem.
a) It's interesting. If you have A>B>C>A, it just happens, there is no prize to win, so if B beats A and you have rules that beat B but not A, just post it, and we will see what happens.
b) If really A>B>C>A, there probably exists D (perhaps somehow reacting on the opponents choice, to a small extend this is possible with Geronimoo's simulator), that beats A, B and C.

edit: That said, I think on many boards you can create strategies A,B and C with A>B>C>A, but on most boards there will still be a better one.
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DStu

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 11:59:26 am »
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So my thoughts on the Province-case:

As we saw in Ootd1, Alchemist without attack/trashing is quite weak. Now we no trashing and Saboteur/Fortune Teller. In contrast to Vault, which is quite strong without Colonies and should be quite robust against FT.
_SingleVault:_SingleFT is 60:30,
_SingleVault:Alchemists+1FT is 78:17
_SingleVault:Alchemists+1Sab is 81:15
_SingleVault:Alchemists is 89:9

so I would propose we forget about the Alchemists. The only alternative I see is something like Hamler/Smithy spiced with some attacks, but I'm not confident enough that this will work to hack the rules for >1  buy.
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ARTjoMS

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 04:06:54 pm »
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Vault is so OP that unlike smithy and envoy it is usually a good idea to get more than one.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2011, 10:20:04 am »
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Well, it's not so much that Vault is OP (it really isn't), it's more that it deals with terminal collision much better - the dead cards turn into $1 rather than nothing. Also, it's usually a good idea to get more than one smithy.

Anyway, here are the two sims that are basically equal that I've made for the no colony version of the challenge.

Code: [Select]
<player name="SimChal2PrWW">
   <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="Gold"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Vault">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Terminal"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Treasure"/>
         <extra_operation type="minus" attribute="5.0" />
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Fortune_Teller">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Fortune_Teller"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="1.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Fortune_Teller">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Terminal"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Silver"/>
         <extra_operation type="minus" attribute="3.0" />
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Silver"/>
</player>

Code: [Select]
<player name="SimChal2PrWWB">
   <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="Gold"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Vault">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Terminal"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Treasure"/>
         <extra_operation type="minus" attribute="5.0" />
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Smithy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Terminal"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Treasure"/>
         <extra_operation type="minus" attribute="6.0" />
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Silver"/>
</player>

DStu

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2011, 10:44:02 am »
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They are both more or less tied with "_Three Vaults" ("_Single Vault" that buys 3 Vaults instead of 1)
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ARTjoMS

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2011, 01:10:44 pm »
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Well, it's not so much that Vault is OP (it really isn't), it's more that it deals with terminal collision much better - the dead cards turn into $1 rather than nothing. Also, it's usually a good idea to get more than one smithy.

Anyway, here are the two sims that are basically equal that I've made for the no colony version of the challenge.

That's what i said above using only one sentence.


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WanderingWinder

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2011, 01:51:42 pm »
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Well, it's not so much that Vault is OP (it really isn't), it's more that it deals with terminal collision much better - the dead cards turn into $1 rather than nothing. Also, it's usually a good idea to get more than one smithy.

Anyway, here are the two sims that are basically equal that I've made for the no colony version of the challenge.

That's what i said above using only one sentence.




No.
First of all, the point about vault I made in only one sentence. Secondly, the point you made above is significantly different and wrong because Vault isn't overpowered.

DG

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 02:11:58 pm »
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There seem to be a number of decision problems with with simulator bot playing hamlets, unsurprising since their feature is choice. The hamlets are not discarding for extra buys and actions at the right time (or at any time perhaps). The simulator will also play hamlets before another drawing card such as an alchemist. This really handicaps any strategy other than vaults.

Even despite the simulator favouring the vault strategy strongly in cardplay, you can still make a strong alchemist deck for a colony game. Once it has a hand of 5 alchemists the bot will not discard cards to its own disadvantage when the opponent plays a vault. This deck would be stronger if you could add a hamlet, and it's barely weakened with a saboteur even without a hamlet for the extra action.

A single smithy also outperforms a single vault for colony games.

Code: [Select]
<player name="Complex Alchemist">
   <buy name="Colony"/>
   <buy name="Province">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Colony"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="4.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Colony"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Colony"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Platinum"/>
   <buy name="Alchemist"/>
   <buy name="Gold"/>
   <buy name="Outpost">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Outpost"/>
         <operator type="equalTo" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Potion">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Potion"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Silver">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Silver"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="1.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
</player>
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 02:15:01 pm by DG »
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ARTjoMS

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2011, 03:32:58 pm »
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Well, it's not so much that Vault is OP (it really isn't), it's more that it deals with terminal collision much better - the dead cards turn into $1 rather than nothing. Also, it's usually a good idea to get more than one smithy.

Anyway, here are the two sims that are basically equal that I've made for the no colony version of the challenge.

That's what i said above using only one sentence.




No.
First of all, the point about vault I made in only one sentence. Secondly, the point you made above is significantly different and wrong because Vault isn't overpowered.

FYP

Well, it's not so much that Vault is OP (it really isn't), it's more that it is OP. Also as ARTjoMS said, it's usually a good idea to get more than one smithy.

If Vault is not OP then what is? Today i played a game vs. some 35-36 lvl player, bought only money and vaults (3) and won province fight 7v1. Nuff said.

I wonder where are you from, because here it is normal that if you state that someone is "wrong" and want people to have some respect for you then you give some facts, reasoning for your statement that someone is wrong. I wouldn't bet my money on it, but from bridge (card game) forum discussions i have observed that lot of Americans have this trait.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2011, 08:09:43 pm »
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Well, it's not so much that Vault is OP (it really isn't), it's more that it deals with terminal collision much better - the dead cards turn into $1 rather than nothing. Also, it's usually a good idea to get more than one smithy.

Anyway, here are the two sims that are basically equal that I've made for the no colony version of the challenge.

That's what i said above using only one sentence.




No.
First of all, the point about vault I made in only one sentence. Secondly, the point you made above is significantly different and wrong because Vault isn't overpowered.

FYP

Well, it's not so much that Vault is OP (it really isn't), it's more that it is OP. Also as ARTjoMS said, it's usually a good idea to get more than one smithy.

If Vault is not OP then what is? Today i played a game vs. some 35-36 lvl player, bought only money and vaults (3) and won province fight 7v1. Nuff said.

I wonder where are you from, because here it is normal that if you state that someone is "wrong" and want people to have some respect for you then you give some facts, reasoning for your statement that someone is wrong. I wouldn't bet my money on it, but from bridge (card game) forum discussions i have observed that lot of Americans have this trait.

I wonder where you are from (though I'd guess Latvia), because you don't quite seem to understand the subtleties of the English language, or you don't understand reason, and as you seem pretty bright, I'm going to guess it's English. I'm really not trying to be mean to you at all, though I get the impression that you are to me.
Okay, let's take your points one by one. I must apologize that I'm not sure what "FYP" means - I would guess either "from your post" or more likely "fixed your post". Well, that's really not the case here. Vault is not overpowered, and I wasn't saying that it was at all - merely that it's better to spam lots of than smithy. A card being better to spam than smithy certainly doesn't make it overpowered - militia isn't. And it's not like Woodcutter is overpowered because it's better than chancellor.
Also, you didn't say that "it's usually a good idea to get more than one smithy". Here's the relevant quote:
Quote
Vault is so OP that unlike smithy and envoy it is usually a good idea to get more than one.
(emphasis mine).
Okay, if vault isn't overpowered, what is? No single dominion card yet printed. Dominion is a well-balanced game. MAYBE there are a couple combos you could argue are overpowered (KC/Masq/Goons), but I personally wouldn't. The single card closest to being overpowered is Chapel, relative to its cost (which is extremely important), followed pretty closely by ambassador, and overall it's either king's court or goons probably, but neither of those is remotely close to being overpowered, and vault is way, way down the list.
Your dearth of information about the game in question makes it pretty irrelevant, even if we could take one game as a sufficient sample size (which we shouldn't), so it's not close to being "nuff said". The other player may have been going for one of a number of legit strategies that don't go for provinces. He may have just played poorly - just because he's so highly leveled doesn't mean he can't - I'm 40 right now and have played badly in many games. theory was number one on the leaderboard a week ago and played poorly against me when he didn't see warehouse/treasure map on the board. Stuff happens.
And of course people like reasons, but as far as whether something is overpowered or not, well, I think that's pretty evident. The null position is that nothing is overpowered, there's no reason for this to be overpowered, ergo it isn't overpowered. You might want to give some reasons why it is.

DG

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2011, 08:42:56 pm »
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Quote
If Vault is not OP then what is? Today i played a game vs. some 35-36 lvl player, bought only money and vaults (3) and won province fight 7v1. Nuff said.
You could probably have bought courtyards and money for the same result.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 08:48:01 pm by DG »
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minced

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2011, 09:27:03 pm »
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I just played a gold/vault deck today and won narrowly. I will agree that, although vault is an excellent $5 attack, it's not for every board. As the only action in a deck, vault is on average better than +2 cards *only* when your deck's average value is below $1 per card, and at that point, it's very difficult to get vault + gold or vault + silver + silver to get another province anyway.

That means vault won't actually accelerate province buying in the mid-game, but rather in the late game when your deck is flooded with green. So although it's a good late-game card, a stack of ventures + trashing is far more powerful.

</two cents>
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2011, 10:02:25 pm »
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minced, I somehow disagree with you. Vault has significant plusses over a regular ole moat in that all the VP cards and other actions get turned into money. This lets you buy it with impugnity. Consider that if you ever play it, barring some discard attack, you can guarantee $6. This gets you a lot of gold fast, and you can jump into provinces really quickly. It does accelerate you midgame, as you have other vaults (maybe other actions, too) and those pesky estates.
Yeah, ventures and trashing is better, but that's mostly because trashing itself is better, and vault doesn't combo well with trashing.
So, while I don't think it's overpowered, I do think it's pretty strong.

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Re: Simulating Challenge 2
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2011, 02:43:26 am »
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It's a little bit difficult to argue against why something is overpowered if in the first place it is not stated why it should be overpowered. But I will try anyway.

Guessing why Vault should be overpowered:
a) You only buy Vaults and BigMoney and "almost always" win against someone who tries to make something more subtle.

So here we are at the "Silver is overpowered discussion 2.0". Vault is a card that usually makes the game fast. And it has no high danger of colliding with itself. When it's on the board, you have to consider this fact. So does Smithy, Envoy and Councilroom. Basically so does every setup without attacks, see the "Silver is overpowered discussion 1.0". So either you win fast, attack the vault or loose. But if you don't do this, it's not the fault of the vault.

Why Vault is (in my opinion) not overpowered:
a) Vault is in Prosperity, so Colonygames may not be forgotten. Vault is quite bad on Colonies, it looses 75:20 or so to BM-Envoy. If it goes for Provinces. If it goes for Colonies its even worse.
b) There is not much hope to get this fixed by building a small engine around the Vault, because it does not really combo very well. It only draws 2 cards with is too less to build a draw engine, so it's basically +N money where N is the number of crap (which you usually don't want to have). Not a must have. Yeah, there is double Tactician+Vault, but also only good on Provinces. You can dream of something like Village+Vault+Library which I never got to work (perhaps my fault) in the way it should, and there is Vault+Grand Market. Which is good.
c) Even on Province boards, there are other simple stratgies that beat Vault. Single Sea Hag, Witch, Mountebank beats 3xVault. 2xMilitia or Goons is tied with 3xVault. Single Ghost Ship is also tied. 2x Monument (!) is tied. When you play with Gernimoo's Simulator and the build in engines, there are some others that beats the Vaults. There are some that looses. You have to be fast. If you aren't you loose. But it's not impossible.

So for me Vault is a card that of course change the game, that may not be ignored. There are others, especially at $5++.

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