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Author Topic: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy  (Read 4156 times)

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Davio

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Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« on: April 25, 2012, 04:23:01 am »
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Just played this game against a similarly ranked opponent: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/25/game-20120425-011423-0b8d878b.html.

Key cards: Envoy, Talisman, Worker's Village, Gardens

I saw the Gardens, but the Talisman/Gardens explosion isn't something I have a lot of experience with and I was a bit doubtful of its usefulness, so I went for the boring BMU-Envoy. In the topic title it says: Intelligent BMU-Envoy. That's because my opponent clearly went for Gardens and I had to do something about it.

I couldn't let him get away with getting 4 Gardens, so I opened the bloodfest after my first Province and we splitted the Gardens 4-4.
My opponent had been hammering the piles with his Talismans, so it wouldn't surprise me if his Gardens would become 5 or even 6 VP each. His 4 Gardens were a pretty good offset against my 4 Provinces, but I felt I was ahead, so I started rushing the piles and grabbing VPs for security.

Finally I dared to end it with the purchase of the last Wishing Well.

Provinces vs Gardens strategies are always interesting, but I wanted to present this game to you because I wondered if my opponent played it wrong or if I played it right.

Should he have switched to Gardens sooner? Somehow these Garden games are always a case of seeing who blinks first. But his deck definitely had more staying power for the long haul and with all his Talismans, he could have controlled the ending better I feel.

Any comments or suggestions?
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Geronimoo

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 04:48:14 am »
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The first line is already fishy:

Coheed buys a Remake.

Why open a trasher when you're going Gardens...
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Davio

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 05:13:22 am »
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The first line is already fishy:

Coheed buys a Remake.

Why open a trasher when you're going Gardens...
I found it strange as well, I guess he switched strategies when he saw my Envoy opening?
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greatexpectations

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 08:03:03 am »
+1

remake *could* be useful in a talisman gardens deck, but i certainly would not want to open with it.  you can bloat a talisman deck with silver fairly quick, and then use the remake to do a surprise switch to gardens. a lucky draw of 4 silver and a remake is 3 fast gardens.
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Davio

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 08:22:46 am »
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Okay, can we disregard the Remake and talk about the essence of the competing strategies?  ???
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 09:01:33 am »
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Trying to type this while getting my car serviced. I miss my keyboard.
Talisman gardens is a little interesting. The Sims would have you believe that they're not competitive against BMU, but I don't believe that. I must be programming in wrong. Or there's something in the play rules. Prolly me. Anyway, WV helps a LOT. You can really grab tons of cards. OTOH, I might expect envoy to win, except it Doesn't have the best long game to get every province. Either way, I doubt you should contest gardens very early...

Asklepios

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 09:14:07 am »
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Trying to type this while getting my car serviced. I miss my keyboard.
Talisman gardens is a little interesting. The Sims would have you believe that they're not competitive against BMU, but I don't believe that. I must be programming in wrong. Or there's something in the play rules. Prolly me. Anyway, WV helps a LOT. You can really grab tons of cards. OTOH, I might expect envoy to win, except it Doesn't have the best long game to get every province. Either way, I doubt you should contest gardens very early...

I think the main weakness of Talisman-Gardens is that when you buy Gardens you don't get to multiply them, and when you buy Talisman, you're not buying Gardens. This puts a considerable slowdown on a goal of ending the game on a three pile with lots of Gardens.

Still, if I were going to play this, I'd want to buy Talismans as often as possible in the early game to get all ten of them, but also acquire a card that gives me +buys, then go for acquiring one Gardens and using the spare buy (and multiplier) on copper. Copper bloating might be troublesome of course, as it might cause more harm from keeping the talismans apart than it helps by boosting VP. Regardless, in a Talisman/Gardens game estates are probably out: the onus is on activating the Talisman effect as often as possible, and that means multiple buys on non-green cards while still buying gardens often enough to end the game reasonably fast.

Here's my try on it, though in a real game I'd expect to lose a few gardens to the opposition as well:

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/25/game-20120425-060807-d6175c97.html

All in all, it looks a lot slower than BM+Envoy, especially seeing as BM+Envoy can take gardens off me too.

OTOH, in the presence of certain engines, I can see Talisman -> Gardens being pretty damn strong. A classic Fishing Village / Wharf set, f'rexample, could build as normal but with some Talismans en route, then switch to Gardens late instead of or in addition to the usual Provinces. F'rex:

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/25/game-20120425-061625-0d96ba5e.html

Those were both one off tries, I'm probably not playing either set optimally, but you get the idea

As for Worker's Village, my main problem with it here is its cost: exactly the same as another Talisman or Gardens. When can you find time for that?

I guess you could play to buy up Talismans and Workers Villages before even thinking about Gardens, and then go mega-explosion, but I think pace is vital here, and that approach might be too slow.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 09:22:26 am by Asklepios »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2012, 09:55:05 am »
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Yes. You'd want to buy worker's village with multiplied buys after you have most to all talismen. And plus buys multiplied is super good for this deck. The real problem is when to buy gardens. Now, you're counting on your opponent's inability to end the game. And envoy decks CAN stall. Also, you typically end up getting many many multiplied silver buys, which can sometimes enable late provinces. In the game, almost as bad as the remake open is going wishing well instead of silver

RisingJaguar

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2012, 10:40:48 am »
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Yes. You'd want to buy worker's village with multiplied buys after you have most to all talismen. And plus buys multiplied is super good for this deck. The real problem is when to buy gardens. Now, you're counting on your opponent's inability to end the game. And envoy decks CAN stall. Also, you typically end up getting many many multiplied silver buys, which can sometimes enable late provinces. In the game, almost as bad as the remake open is going wishing well instead of silver
Counting house is playable here? (with that type of strategy). 

Edit: Nvm too slow
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 11:45:10 am by RisingJaguar »
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CoheedandCambria

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2012, 11:34:12 am »
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Hi, I was his opp. GG davio

I wasn't planning on doing gardens/talisman at the start I was a little distracted talking to my gf and just opened remake w/o really looking at the board because remake is normally an auto opener w/o any power cards. After taking a second look at the board and seeing he was doing envoy BM I felt gardens/talis could beat it.

I played this VERY wrong imo, I should not have let him split the gardens with me like that. I'm not normally a gardens player and looking at these logs I made many mistakes.

My thought on getting wishing well instead of silver was to end on piles early which I felt was essential against envoy BM
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 11:41:21 am by CoheedandCambria »
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Davio

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2012, 11:53:51 am »
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Thanks for your input, C&C.

I don't know if it's actually possible to split the Gardens 5-3 or 6-2 so easily against an opponent who is paying attention.
After the first player buys the first Gardens, it's often an all-out race until they're gone, since both parties can't let the other get too much of them.
If I get too much, the Gardens player maybe doesn't have enough juice. If the Gardens player gets too much, well, that's obviously not good either.

Counting House would have been an interesting addition to your deck to snag some Provinces.

I've come a bit around on Gardens rushes in that I don't rush that blindly anymore. I don't know if it's right to do so, but sometimes I just buy a Province (not that that happens often) or Duchy (happens more often) to steal away some fuel from my opponent, instead of the 3rd pile I'm aiming at (Estates or something).
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2012, 12:05:11 pm »
+1

The point is, gardens player doesn't want to end the game quickly on piles here. He wants a long, long game where his long term stuff in his deck will be better, and his faster-expanding deck will let him build his cards up better. And if you grab silver over Wishing Well, you have the buying power to grab duchies and even provinces for a long time.

CoheedandCambria

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 12:24:53 pm »
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Yes, I understand that now. I always viewed gardens as a short-game strategy only and never noticed situations where prolonging the game is better.
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dghunter79

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2012, 03:26:10 pm »
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Funny, I just played with those three cards.  Also Warehouse.  I alternated between Talismans and Worker's Villages instead of going all-out Talisman, and I didn't buy a Gardens until my opponent bought one.  It was pretty potent -- 64 cards in 15 turns.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120422-152838-cbada673.html

timchen

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2012, 05:04:45 pm »
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In my poor experience with Gardens, I think WW is overrating them. It can be due to my poor play, though.

I have tried Garden-talisman. Didn't work for me.

The problem I see is that Garden is really not that good for long haul games. At least with the way I played it. In the case of a 5-3 split, even if you bloat your deck to have 20 more cards against your opponent (say 50-ish to 60-ish), your point lead is just 16-18 points. And you pretty much let go of your own chances to get to any Province at all.

And the worse thing is that your ability to bloat up your deck is usually going to stall. Say the score is close. Let's suppose you have 8 Gardens. You need to get 10 cards to get +8 points. Even if you can gain 2 cards per turn in average (that is already generous at later stage) you average 1.6 VP per turn. Even suppose that you can get Duchy and Estate alternatively it is still only 3.6 VP per turn. A Province player at this stage can get 4 VP per turn even if we suppose he gets only one Province in 3 turns (and Duchies in the remaining.) I have played a number of games which turned out this way. The game is nearly tied or I have a slight advantage when the garden deck is gone, but then my deck stalled harder then my opponent's. Maybe I should have ramped the deck more before getting at the Gardens?

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eHalcyon

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2012, 05:51:50 pm »
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In my poor experience with Gardens, I think WW is overrating them. It can be due to my poor play, though.

I have tried Garden-talisman. Didn't work for me.

The problem I see is that Garden is really not that good for long haul games. At least with the way I played it. In the case of a 5-3 split, even if you bloat your deck to have 20 more cards against your opponent (say 50-ish to 60-ish), your point lead is just 16-18 points. And you pretty much let go of your own chances to get to any Province at all.

And the worse thing is that your ability to bloat up your deck is usually going to stall. Say the score is close. Let's suppose you have 8 Gardens. You need to get 10 cards to get +8 points. Even if you can gain 2 cards per turn in average (that is already generous at later stage) you average 1.6 VP per turn. Even suppose that you can get Duchy and Estate alternatively it is still only 3.6 VP per turn. A Province player at this stage can get 4 VP per turn even if we suppose he gets only one Province in 3 turns (and Duchies in the remaining.) I have played a number of games which turned out this way. The game is nearly tied or I have a slight advantage when the garden deck is gone, but then my deck stalled harder then my opponent's. Maybe I should have ramped the deck more before getting at the Gardens?

But if you manage to get a majority of Talismans with some source of +buy, you could easily gain 10 cards in a turn.  Get Silvers using multiple Talismans and you have a good shot of hitting Provinces later. 

What kind of Talisman-shenanigans can you pull if Highway is also available...
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ARTjoMS

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 06:12:57 pm »
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You gotta make engine if you want to win here.
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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2012, 07:19:32 pm »
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Gardens suffers badly from our collective 2-player tunnel vision.  Gardens can be great in 3 or 4 player games if other people don't all go for them - the Provinces are split more ways and there's more Gardens available. Against a single opponent, you rarely have a better option than a pile ending. (Maybe Trader/Gardens sometimes)
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2012, 09:36:43 pm »
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Oh, I don't think gardens is super strong here at any rate. Davio plays pretty well here to deny, just I'd probably do it a touch later. Talisman is not the greatest enabler for gardens, you really need a plus buy. And overall, though I love it, gardens just isn't so strong as it used to be.

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2012, 10:16:12 pm »
+1

greatexpectations and I decided to try our different strategies on this board. Here's the log.

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201204/25/game-20120425-191237-ac654658.html
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greatexpectations

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2012, 10:30:52 pm »
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jonts26 had a brilliant idea for the set, though i'm not sure it is an engine many would see from the start. the cutpurse was a nice touch.

that being said, a gardens player should be easily able to destroy an envoy/BM player on this board, even being limited to just 4 gardens.  i was able to beat Davio's 20 turn baseline each of my 3 solo runs and i hit 56 points the third attempt. counting house is a gardens player's friend.
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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2012, 10:57:08 pm »
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Yeah, this is somewhat similar to my own observation. The gardens strategy is fine as long as it finds a way to get to provinces. Otherwise it does not really like long games.

Or conceptually, gardens is not a big scoring card. The strength of the card is just that it is cheap enough to get quickly to force a premature 3 pile against a Province strategy with enablers.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 10:59:15 pm by timchen »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2012, 12:08:26 am »
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Yeah, this is somewhat similar to my own observation. The gardens strategy is fine as long as it finds a way to get to provinces. Otherwise it does not really like long games.

Or conceptually, gardens is not a big scoring card. The strength of the card is just that it is cheap enough to get quickly to force a premature 3 pile against a Province strategy with enablers.

But this is just. So. Wrong.
I mean, sometimes that's true. But very often, it is not. If you can grab a zillion coppers somehow - like a version of trader that works giving coppers instead of silvers, or something like that - you never have a chance to snag provinces, but you have an excellent long-game gardens strategy possible. It's just, for it to work, you need to be able to get lots and lots and lots of cards, and you need o not have an opponent who is able to end the game while you're ramping those cards up. Oh, and you need to actually be able to get enough gardens. I mean, if you look at greatexpectations' log there, his gardens are worth 7 points, the provinces only 6. So his gardens are BETTER than provinces. The only reason he'd want provinces more than gardens is if the gardens have run out! Which will happen because your opponent contests. And if your opponent contests, they're not going to be able to cope as well with tacking gardens onto their not-garden-centred strategy than you are with your garden-centered one.

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Re: Gardens/Talisman Explosion vs. an Intelligent BMU-Envoy
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2012, 02:33:26 am »
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I don't know, maybe I just played it wrong, but I haven't yet successfully found a setup where I can really have a huge deck. Usually the cards that help get diluted at the point when the deck size is 40-50 and it becomes increasingly difficult.

And frankly speaking, I think I have almost never seen a long game won purely by gardens and deck bloating. If you often win that way it will be very nice of you to post some logs. I tried and failed many times.The only examples I can recall are with traders, where basically because you are bloating your deck with quality, or with this particular example, where you can work with counting houses.
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