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Author Topic: The engine that could(n't)  (Read 2283 times)

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Insomniac

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The engine that could(n't)
« on: April 24, 2012, 03:13:29 am »
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So I have two games here where I genuinely felt like I had the right strategy for the board and somehow ended up on the losing end of the battle. I'm just wondering if there is anything glaringly obvious in either where I make a purchase mistake or maybe my strategy was wrong all thoughts appreciated.

Game 1
Log: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/23/game-20120423-230637-242f2e3a.html

Surveying the board I don't really like too much of it so I decide to go a little shanty town smithy with some money backup to get an expand. Then draw most of my deck play an expand for a better VP (Grab a duchy or a province ideally) and buy a province.

My initial thoughts looking on this log was that maybe I undervalued salvager?

Game 2
Log: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/24/game-20120424-000048-b1112d31.html
Here I play Standard Double Tac+Black Market engine with one wharf while he plays Alchemists and one wharf. The game ends on my turn 14 (I went second) with me 2 points behind from a duchy purchase on his turn 13. (I bought an estate on the last turn because I couldn't afford province duchy and had previously whiffed tactician so my hand was smaller than normal). This game more so than the first I can't see anything I did glaringly wrong. Were my black market purchases no good (torturer for draw, highway for cost reduction/cantrip). Was it because I had second player disadvantage? Was it bad draws?

Note all constructive criticism is greatly welcomed. Thanks in advance for the advice and your time.
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DStu

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Re: The engine that could(n't)
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 03:44:18 am »
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Game 1
Log: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/23/game-20120423-230637-242f2e3a.html

Surveying the board I don't really like too much of it so I decide to go a little shanty town smithy with some money backup to get an expand. Then draw most of my deck play an expand for a better VP (Grab a duchy or a province ideally) and buy a province.

My initial thoughts looking on this log was that maybe I undervalued salvager?
Not sure if I would call it undervalued Salvager, maybe undervalued Peddler. But of course the Salvager is the way to get the Peddler. I don't really like building an engine out of Shanty and Smithy, both played together are only one Lab if the Shanty does not trigger, which it usually doesn't. So if I do this, I would need a really good reason, and playing an Expand is not.
Buying cheap Peddlers and Salvaging them for +$8 maybe is, but Stables probably are better for this. But I'm not good in playing Stables, so I would probably have gone Salvager/Silver->Menangeries->Peddlers. Maybe a ST can be mixed in for more diversity, and a second Salvager might be nice too. Also consider the Vineyards for extra VPs if you fall behind, but of course an engine with Salvager/Peddler will not really have problems buying 8 Provinces quickly if it must.

Quote
Game 2
Log: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/24/game-20120424-000048-b1112d31.html
Here I play Standard Double Tac+Black Market engine with one wharf while he plays Alchemists and one wharf. The game ends on my turn 14 (I went second) with me 2 points behind from a duchy purchase on his turn 13. (I bought an estate on the last turn because I couldn't afford province duchy and had previously whiffed tactician so my hand was smaller than normal). This game more so than the first I can't see anything I did glaringly wrong. Were my black market purchases no good (torturer for draw, highway for cost reduction/cantrip). Was it because I had second player disadvantage? Was it bad draws?

Note all constructive criticism is greatly welcomed. Thanks in advance for the advice and your time.
Think I would have played Wharf/Hoard/BM.
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qmech

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Re: The engine that could(n't)
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 04:12:45 am »
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Game 1: Shanty Town/Smithy is not a great draw engine.  The main feature of this set that your ignored but your opponent took advantage of is Peddler, which when paired up with Salvager in the late game enables a double Province turn, and earlier in the game provides the +Buy to allow you to purchase Peddlers.  Had you noticed that Hodor never bought any Treasure at all?

Game 2: Crossroads for $4 on turn 4 looks surprising, but perhaps you were worrying about Feast collision.  It should probably have been Black Market.  The Wharf should have been your second Tactician, and that would have got your combo going faster.  I'd also have looked to pick up a second BM at some point, although you only seem to have missed one once, and that was on a Wharf rather than Tactician turn.  BM buys: I think you should have taken Province over both Torturer and Highway.  If you'd also bought Hoard instead of Gold then you'd have picked up a free Gold each time too.

DStu's Wharf/Hoard suggestion is good, especially in the presence of Crossroads.
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ftl

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Re: The engine that could(n't)
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 05:05:22 am »
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So I have two games here where I genuinely felt like I had the right strategy for the board and somehow ended up on the losing end of the battle.

I think you were mistaken in strategy in one, but in the second one it was the late-game execution that let you down.

Quote
Game 1
Log: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/23/game-20120423-230637-242f2e3a.html

Surveying the board I don't really like too much of it so I decide to go a little shanty town smithy with some money backup to get an expand. Then draw most of my deck play an expand for a better VP (Grab a duchy or a province ideally) and buy a province.

My initial thoughts looking on this log was that maybe I undervalued salvager?

Looking at your comments, my thoughts are:
1) Village+Smithy+Money isn't as good as just Smithy+Money, unless you have some good reason to make an engine.
2) Shanty town isn't that great when used as a traditional village in a Village+Smithy engine. So you need a REALLY good reason to be buying shanty towns and smithies to make an engine.

So if you're building a Shanty Town/Smithy engine, you should have some darn good reason, and I don't think a single expand was good enough. Also, for an engine, +buy is important, and you skipped Salvager, which is both early trashing AND the only +buy on the board.

Most critically, you missed a textbook combo - "Peddler" combos with "Trash for benefit". You can buy peddlers for cheap after playing a bunch of actions, then trash them for $8 with Salvagers. (Or, in general, would also work with Remodeling them into Provinces, Expanding into Colonies, Upgrading into Platinums, etc.)

Your opponent went for a similar engine, but instead of the payload being money, the payload was peddlers, which made his engine more consistent. Of his five provinces, three were bought by Salvagers trashing Peddlers.

Quote
Game 2
Log: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/24/game-20120424-000048-b1112d31.html
Here I play Standard Double Tac+Black Market engine with one wharf while he plays Alchemists and one wharf. The game ends on my turn 14 (I went second) with me 2 points behind from a duchy purchase on his turn 13. (I bought an estate on the last turn because I couldn't afford province duchy and had previously whiffed tactician so my hand was smaller than normal). This game more so than the first I can't see anything I did glaringly wrong. Were my black market purchases no good (torturer for draw, highway for cost reduction/cantrip). Was it because I had second player disadvantage? Was it bad draws?

Note all constructive criticism is greatly welcomed. Thanks in advance for the advice and your time.

For this one, I'm going to point out the last turn of the game. You just didn't keep track of the points. You could have won if you went double-duchy instead of province-estate.

Especially since you had a functioning double-tactician deck. You had just discarded three to cards to tactician, you would have started the NEXT turn with a 10-card hand. Your opponent, on the other hand, had just broken their alchemist chain! They didn't draw their potion, didn't return their alchemists to the top! They only had enough to buy a Duchy! And yet you bought province-estate and ended the game with a loss. You should have bought two duchies, and then been in excellent shape, since your engine was still going whereas his had already collapsed.
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ftl

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Re: The engine that could(n't)
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 05:08:55 am »
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Oh! And on the last turn you drew a GARDENS from the black market deck! If you had bought that gardens from the black market, I believe you would have still had enough for a Province, the gardens would have been worth 3 points, and you would have tied.
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DG

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Re: The engine that could(n't)
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 06:55:22 am »
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For the first game, I'd say that stables and salvager is sound, straightforward, and improves with the peddlar. It looks like the wrong sort of kingdom for both shanty town and expand.

The second game will always be too fast for double tactician. Wharf with hoard is going to be pretty good with a choice of cheap village and some side options too.
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Insomniac

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Re: The engine that could(n't)
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 10:59:30 am »
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Thanks for the responses everybody. Yea in Game 1 when I say I undervalued salvager I also imply peddler as I don't think peddler is that great without some form of +Buy, maybe I'm wrong to count it out without +Buy (Assuming salvager had not been on the board). That said I'll try and avoid smithy Shanty now. What are some good uses of shanty town I always struggle with that one. Is it only worth it if you chain torturers or goons or some other super terminal where its the only village?

In game 2 I had admittedly missed his Duchy buy so I did think I was ending in a win.
The consensus here seems to be that Wharf+Hoard is faster than Double Tac+Black Market but the game ended on turn 14 which is pretty average for a non cursing game. Was I lucky to have my engine up so consistently? (My last thought currently on game 2 is that I do tend to get tunnel [this one isn't worth 2vp even] vision when I see Tactician black market, so I'll try and break that habit)
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DStu

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Re: The engine that could(n't)
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 11:13:19 am »
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Thanks for the responses everybody. Yea in Game 1 when I say I undervalued salvager I also imply peddler as I don't think peddler is that great without some form of +Buy, maybe I'm wrong to count it out without +Buy (Assuming salvager had not been on the board). That said I'll try and avoid smithy Shanty now. What are some good uses of shanty town I always struggle with that one. Is it only worth it if you chain torturers or goons or some other super terminal where its the only village?
For the torturer it is worth it as Village. You would prefer a different one, but usually it's enough.
If your engine does not rely on it, you can also pick it up to play multiple terminals. Say you have a LabChain to draw your deck, and want to play 2 attacks or other important terminals. You are ok usually if you Village does not draw in this cases. Scrying Pool might also be in the category, especially as the ST is drawn for free.

But usually it is not enough to have the ST as the 'Village' in a draw engine. It works better as 'pseudo-Lab' in a setting with no or less terminals, where you take the +2cards, but ignore the +2actions. Because every situation that is likely to actually use the +2actions will not trigger the +2cards, and more often than not an +actions/+draw engine whose Village just says "+2actions" is not working.
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ehunt

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Re: The engine that could(n't)
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 06:53:43 pm »
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salvager and peddler are bff and always dominate. the menagerie there just makes it sick. i would even consider opening shanty town salvager (!) and picking up a second salvager on the second shuffle. seems like a game that can be over very fast.

in game two, yeah, ok, tactician goes well with black market, and maybe there's something good in the black market (we can't see that from our side), but wharf is wharf, and then on top of that there's xroads for a couple extra actions and haggler/hoard so that you never have to worry about whether to buy green, gold, or another wharf.
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cherdano

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Re: The engine that could(n't)
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 11:39:17 pm »
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In game 2 I had admittedly missed his Duchy buy so I did think I was ending in a win.
The consensus here seems to be that Wharf+Hoard is faster than Double Tac+Black Market but the game ended on turn 14 which is pretty average for a non cursing game. Was I lucky to have my engine up so consistently? (My last thought currently on game 2 is that I do tend to get tunnel [this one isn't worth 2vp even] vision when I see Tactician black market, so I'll try and break that habit)

I think you aren't realizing how good wharf is. With wharf you should expect to finish faster than 14 turns on average. The plan is to pick up 2 wharfs as quickly as possible, then add hoard/haggler/crossroad/native village/more wharfs->greening.
Wharf is the best non-attack $5 card, and I don't think it's close.
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