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Author Topic: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch  (Read 4451 times)

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Stoc

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A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« on: June 14, 2011, 11:47:19 pm »
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Whenever you're thinking about skipping over a cursing attack, think twice... and then think a third time.

I thought that with a specific plan, I could afford to skip over the Witch. My plans was to spam Bishops using the opponents curses as fodder. Instead, I gave the opponent an ultra trim deck while I struggled to keep up with the curses.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110613-214908-ca961f29.html


And that's why you don't skip cursing attacks.

I actually made a similar mistake against Sea Hag very recently. I managed a 4/4 split of the Provinces and got the tie breaking Duchy with my Torturer engine... only to lose to the -10 VP from eating the entire curse stack.
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110613-171027-3e2c3ae3.html
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 11:50:31 pm by Stoc »
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chwhite

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 12:00:10 am »
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There are exactly two cards whose presence makes skipping the curse attacks plausible, and possibly even a good idea: Ambassador and Masquerade.  In completely unrelated news, Ambasssador and Masquerade are the two cards that let you give your junk (Curses, for example) to other players in the process of getting rid of said junk.

Okay, there's one other example: a well-optimized Gardens rush strategy would probably be able to pass on the curse-givers, especially if it's only one person going Gardens in a multi-player game.

By the way, this is one of many reasons my opinion of Masquerade has basically been constantly rising ever since I started playing on Isotropic.  It absolutely deserved Steward's spot on the Best $3 Cards list.
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Stoc

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 12:23:30 am »
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Yeah, in the Torturer game, I actually made a conscious decision because I knew that exhausting the curses would nullify the pressure of a torturer chain. Unfortunately, he unloaded on me faster than I anticipated, and I never got the chain off the ground. All in all, it was a pretty poorly played game on my part, but all based on the decision to skip the Sea Hag.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2011, 12:26:43 am »
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There are exactly two cards whose presence makes skipping the curse attacks plausible, and possibly even a good idea: Ambassador and Masquerade.  In completely unrelated news, Ambasssador and Masquerade are the two cards that let you give your junk (Curses, for example) to other players in the process of getting rid of said junk.

Okay, there's one other example: a well-optimized Gardens rush strategy would probably be able to pass on the curse-givers, especially if it's only one person going Gardens in a multi-player game.

By the way, this is one of many reasons my opinion of Masquerade has basically been constantly rising ever since I started playing on Isotropic.  It absolutely deserved Steward's spot on the Best $3 Cards list.
And unsurprisingly, what you just listed are also a large percentage of the strategies you can consider skipping chapel for.

chwhite

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 02:23:06 am »
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There are exactly two cards whose presence makes skipping the curse attacks plausible, and possibly even a good idea: Ambassador and Masquerade.  In completely unrelated news, Ambasssador and Masquerade are the two cards that let you give your junk (Curses, for example) to other players in the process of getting rid of said junk.

Okay, there's one other example: a well-optimized Gardens rush strategy would probably be able to pass on the curse-givers, especially if it's only one person going Gardens in a multi-player game.

By the way, this is one of many reasons my opinion of Masquerade has basically been constantly rising ever since I started playing on Isotropic.  It absolutely deserved Steward's spot on the Best $3 Cards list.
And unsurprisingly, what you just listed are also a large percentage of the strategies you can consider skipping chapel for.

Quite true.  Funny how that works!
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DG

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 08:58:11 am »
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Quote
There are exactly two cards whose presence makes skipping the curse attacks plausible, and possibly even a good idea: Ambassador and Masquerade.

Oh there are plenty more than that. All the trashing cards can let you skip cursing attacks in the right kingdoms. I wouldn't even rule out remodel even though it is usually the worst possible solution to curses.
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Glooble

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 10:22:27 am »
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Here's a related question - in a game with both Familiar and Sea Hag, when is it a good idea to open potion rather than Sea Hag and go for the Familiar? On the one hand, Sea Hag cripples your opponent early on, but on the other hand, Familiar is much more spammable and won't slow down your deck later on. Obviously which other alchemy cards are available and how many/ what type of villages are both factors to consider. Any thoughts?
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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 10:29:44 am »
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While Familiar isn't a dead card later on, the question is wether or not Potion is. If the only (good) Potion card is Familiar, I'd go with the Sea Hag. If there is Possession, Trasnmute; Vineyard or Alchemist, I'd go with the Familiar.
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Glooble

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 10:55:40 am »
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http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201106/15/game-20110615-075143-7862870f.html

Example of Ambassador as a counter, from this morning. My opponent gave me 8 curses with Familiar. Over the rest of the game, I gave six of them back, not to mention a crap ton of coppers.
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KMueller

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 11:06:44 am »
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Whenever you're thinking about skipping over a cursing attack, think twice... and then think a third time.


Unrelated to the curses, but reading your game log prompted this question:

As a colony game, both you and your opponent purchased provinces quite early. Is this accepted strategy? It seems a bit counter-intuitive to me.
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guided

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 12:51:45 pm »
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I can think of literally one game with Witch where I made a conscious decision to ignore cursing attacks entirely (without Ambassador or Masquerade) and ended up winning easily, though it'd be hard to find it in my isotropic history since I don't remember much else. So yes, cursing attacks are pretty good.

I think I've probably ignored Mountebank and won convincingly a handful of times too, but that's slightly easier since you can sometimes make use of the extra coppers. I have to say, I enjoy Young Witch since it's a rare cursing card that isn't almost an obligation to buy.
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painted_cow

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2011, 01:14:12 pm »
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@Glooble: When there is a Sea Hag and the option for Familiars I would like always take the Sea Hag right away.

We all know, that it isnt that easy to get a Familiar early on, and if you get some curses meanwhile from Sea Hag you will like never get any of them. The effect of the carddrawing wont do much in curse like games when you are likely to draw trash each time.
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shark_bait

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2011, 02:46:00 pm »
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Here's a related question - in a game with both Familiar and Sea Hag, when is it a good idea to open potion rather than Sea Hag and go for the Familiar? On the one hand, Sea Hag cripples your opponent early on, but on the other hand, Familiar is much more spammable and won't slow down your deck later on. Obviously which other alchemy cards are available and how many/ what type of villages are both factors to consider. Any thoughts?

Here's a game I recently played.  I opened seahag and managed to get a 6 / 4 advantage in the curse department while DG went for the familiar.  I don't know the probabilities on what would happen if more games were played.  But here's the game log if anyone's interested.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110611-184915-bcd30a8d.html
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Stoc

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2011, 02:52:39 pm »
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@KMueller: Going Provinces in Colony is fairly uncommon, although not unheard of. He did it to end the game before my Bishops gave me an insurmountable VP chip lead, and I picked a couple up as Bishop fodder. Don't look at that game as an example of good play. I played very poorly (as a result of picking a bad strategy form the start), and I don't feel like my opponent played particularly strong either.

As for the Sea Hag vs. Familiar, I think Shark's game is a good example of why it depends. The Cellars gave shark very good cycling and allowed the sea hag to keep up. In a vacuum, I prefer stacking  2-3 familiars to clog up their deck and stall the Sea Hag even further. Even if Familiar is the only Potion card in the kingdom, 1 Potion is less clutter than multiple Sea Hags.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 02:56:36 pm by Stoc »
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DG

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2011, 06:11:50 pm »
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Quote
I opened seahag and managed to get a 6 / 4 advantage in the curse department while DG went for the familiar.

The sea hag hit my familiar one time and that gives the 6/4. It happens. I also didn't take native villages early enough so none of the curses went onto the native village mat.
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chwhite

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2011, 06:34:04 pm »
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Quote
There are exactly two cards whose presence makes skipping the curse attacks plausible, and possibly even a good idea: Ambassador and Masquerade.

Oh there are plenty more than that. All the trashing cards can let you skip cursing attacks in the right kingdoms. I wouldn't even rule out remodel even though it is usually the worst possible solution to curses.

If there's a trasher and a curse-giver, my default assumption is that it's best to get both- for example, I'd rather get Upgrade *and* Witch rather than just one or the other (probably one Witch first, then a few Upgrades).  But sure, there are certainly other cases where if just the right set of kingdom cards come up, skipping the cursegiver is a good move.  Say if Fishing Village is the Bane, or you get the 5/2 split on a board with Vault/Grand Market, or other such things.  But these seem all to be very conditional in a way that the mere presence of Ambassador or Masquerade isn't.

And getting a Remodel to deal with curses strikes me as a desperation move unlikely to succeed.
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drg

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2011, 09:13:33 pm »
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Bishop is way too slow to deal with curses, and as you noticed, it helps your opp too.  Skipping the curser is almost surely a loss, except as noted, with
ambassador/masquerade which reflect them back.  I never buy a sea hag with either of those cards in play, other cursers situational and depend on what opponent is doing.  You may well want them in midgame instead of early.
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tlloyd

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2011, 10:34:14 pm »
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I once used Upgrades to outpace Familiars and built a commanding lead, only to lose to an early three-pile ending when I failed to pay attention to how low the curse pile was. My opponent dished out two curses and bought the last one to end the game. But the takeaway (other than to pay attention to piles!) is that cursing is not always a "can't beat 'em so join 'em" strategy.
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adf

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Re: A Cautionary Tale: Skipping the Witch
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2011, 11:46:19 am »
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Here's a game where my opponent ignores the curses apart from Remake killing them occasionally and just blows me away.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110606-141046-4884645e.html

I'll have to find the game where I get platinum on turn 4 with Tac/SC opening, got hit with the Hag repeatedly, and won anyway.

Edit: found it.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110506-132151-e2f2a453.html

In retrospect, if I'd just bought a Hag instead of a Market on Turn 5 (was using the Tac for the buy anyway) I probably would have won handily.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 11:50:28 am by adf »
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