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greatexpectations

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Mine
« on: June 18, 2012, 05:35:57 pm »
+4

A Favorite Card of Mine
Let's be honest here: Mine is probably most famous for being the card everyone confuses with Mint.  A similar name, similar behavior, and the same $5 price point will do this.  Unfortunately, Mine's reputation doesn't get much better past that, considering:
  • It comes from the largely bland Base Dominion set, achieving the honor of being arguably the worst trash for benefit card of the set.
  • Council Room's Popular Buys ranks it as the 28th worst card by Win Rate With, and the 8th worst at the $5 price point.
  • The forum user base ranked it as one of the worst cards at the $5 price point.
 
Mine is very often an ignorable card, but as with many other middling/bad cards, in the kingdoms where it actually is useful it can be the star of the show. Much of Mine's intrigue is due to its fairly unique ability of gaining a card directly in hand. It is this ability which likely bumps Mine from the $4 to the $5 price point. This allows you the benefit of not only improving your deck but also improving your current hand.

Repeated Play
Mine is typically at it's best when it can be played repeatedly.  You can achieve this with Caravan/Laboratory stacks, Hunting Party/Golem decks, KC/TR, or conventional large draw decks.  Besides the obvious improvements to your deck in the long run, repeated play offers the benefits of not having to waste your buys to improve your economy. Because the upgraded card goes directly into your hand, you can not only improve your economy you can do so immediately. Sifters such as cellar and warehouse are also excellent ways to repeatedly play Mine, and their lower price points and fast cycling can make them more attractive options than HP or Laboratory.

Alternate Treasure Cards
Most players experienced with the card will attest to the fact that both Platinum and Potions can give Mine a huge boost.  The jump from Gold to Platinum is massive, and because of this Mine will always be more attractive on Colony boards than Province boards. Similarly, as this article points out, Mine is useful on Alchemy heavy boards because of its flexibility into and out of the race for potion cost cards.
Mine's power can be extended to most other alternate treasure cards as well. Horn of Plenty, Venture, Hoard, and Harem are all very attractive targets for Mine with a silver in hand. Additionally, Hinterlands was very kind to Mine, offering both Ill-Gotten Gains and Fool's Gold.  Mine lets you turn silver into IGG, IGG into another IGG, or IGG into gold, all of which are strong options.  Mine/Fool's Gold is a pretty solid (+4) opening according to Best/Worst Openings, allowing Mine to turn your early copper into a Fool's Gold in hand.

Other Trash for Benefit Cards
Remodel, Governor, and Apprentice really stand out here.  Because you gain the card in hand, you can immediately turn and benefit from the upgraded card. Mine that Silver into a Gold and then Remodel it into a Province, or use Mine on a treasure to net your Apprentice an extra 3 cards.

How To Play Mine
Mine can offer some tricky decisions when it comes to choosing what exactly you want to upgrade.  Should I swap Copper for Silver, or Silver for Gold? In general, Silver to Gold is probably the better move. Here are a couple of guidelines for helping to make that decision:
  • If it is a Colony board, you should prioritize upgrading S->G over C->S.  Your ultimate target is Platinum, so you will want the best chance of later upgrading Gold->Plat
  • If it is a board with discard attacks, you should prioritize S->G over C->S. You will be working with smaller hand sizes and you will want the larger bang for your buck.
  • Swindler makes things difficult.  You don't want to lose your coppers to curses, but at the same time Gold is often immune to the Swindler attack. This will be board dependent.
  • C->S should probably be prioritized on Jester boards. You do not want to be fed more copper, but you also do not want your opponent to grab free gold.  A similar suggestion can apply with Smuggler.

When To Ignore
Overall, it seems like most players don't have a problem ignoring Mine.  It is bought in only 47% of games, right in line with Spy. Even when it is bought, players seldom seem to buy more than 1.  However, there are some situations when it seems pretty clear Mine should be ignored. Games with heavy trashing are an easy choice, as A. you will have less cards to feed to Mine and B. you will likely have more attractive targets to trash into.  Similarly, Mine is avoidable in many engines, especially engines when most or all of your coin will come from your action cards.  A third option is decks with heavy attacks, especially Mountebank and Witch.  Not only do you want to avoid terminal collisions, you just won't see a worthwhile benefit because you won't be able to play Mine as often.

Works With:
Repeated Play (Caravan, Lab, Hunting Party, Golem, sifters)
Alternate Treasure (especially Platinum and IGG)
Other Trash For Benefit

Conflicts With:
Heavy Trashing
Strong Engines
Cursing or Discard Attacks
Other Strong $5 Terminals
Copper Based Strategies
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 08:18:39 pm by greatexpectations »
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LastFootnote

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Re: Mine
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 05:52:47 pm »
+4

I was considering writing my own Mine article at one time. I was going to emphasize different points. Hopefully you'll find some of my thoughts pertinent for your article.

So Mine is more desirable with Platinum and Potion available. You've got that covered. Those important cases aside, you bring up the dilemma of Copper into Silver vs. Silver into Gold. I claim that you should always be turning Silver into Gold given the option, and if you want Mine for turning your Copper into Silver, then you probably don't actually want to buy Mine at all.

A major part of this ties into the biggest class of Mine enablers: sifters. You don't mention these at all in your article, but cards like Cellar and Warehouse are Mine's best friends. Laboratory, Caravan, and Hunting Party also help you play Mine more often, and they're definitely hot buys when you're playing with Mine. However, Cellar and Warehouse are prime Mine enablers because they cycle your deck even faster than the Lab variants (allowing you to play Mine more often), and they take advantage of the deck variance that Mine provides. It's a double whammy.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Mine
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 05:58:17 pm »
0

So Mine is more desirable with Platinum and Potion available. You've got that covered. Those important cases aside, you bring up the dilemma of Copper into Silver vs. Silver into Gold. I claim that you should always be turning Silver into Gold given the option, and if you want Mine for turning your Copper into Silver, then you probably don't actually want to buy Mine at all.

i agree, and i did specify that Silver to Gold was usually the preferable option.  i wanted to kind of explain why that is though, as well as provide a possible counterexample. 

A major part of this ties into the biggest class of Mine enablers: sifters. You don't mention these at all in your article, but cards like Cellar and Warehouse are Mine's best friends. Laboratory, Caravan, and Hunting Party also help you play Mine more often, and they're definitely hot buys when you're playing with Mine. However, Cellar and Warehouse are prime Mine enablers because they cycle your deck even faster than the Lab variants (allowing you to play Mine more often), and they take advantage of the deck variance that Mine provides. It's a double whammy.

wow, good call. totally slipped my mind.  added to the article.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Mine
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 06:05:20 pm »
0

wow, good call. totally slipped my mind.  added to the article.

Thanks. I have a lot more to say on the subject, but I'll wait until I get home from work. I apologize in advance if I ramble on, but hopefully it'll be helpful.
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AJD

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Re: Mine
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 06:07:36 pm »
0

So Mine is more desirable with Platinum and Potion available. You've got that covered. Those important cases aside, you bring up the dilemma of Copper into Silver vs. Silver into Gold. I claim that you should always be turning Silver into Gold given the option, and if you want Mine for turning your Copper into Silver, then you probably don't actually want to buy Mine at all.

i agree, and i did specify that Silver to Gold was usually the preferable option.  i wanted to kind of explain why that is though, as well as provide a possible counterexample. 

Hmm. But preferentially Mining Silver into Gold more rapidly depletes your deck of Mineable targets, making it more likely you'll draw Mine dead (i.e., in a hand where there's nothing it can improve). Is this overborne by other concerns, even when there's no e.g. discard attacks?
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Copernicus

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Re: Mine
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 06:09:31 pm »
0

Is Mine/Grand Market a trap or a strategy?
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LastFootnote

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Re: Mine
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 06:09:54 pm »
0

So Mine is more desirable with Platinum and Potion available. You've got that covered. Those important cases aside, you bring up the dilemma of Copper into Silver vs. Silver into Gold. I claim that you should always be turning Silver into Gold given the option, and if you want Mine for turning your Copper into Silver, then you probably don't actually want to buy Mine at all.

i agree, and i did specify that Silver to Gold was usually the preferable option.  i wanted to kind of explain why that is though, as well as provide a possible counterexample. 

Hmm. But preferentially Mining Silver into Gold more rapidly depletes your deck of Mineable targets, making it more likely you'll draw Mine dead (i.e., in a hand where there's nothing it can improve). Is this overborne by other concerns, even when there's no e.g. discard attacks?

If it's a Province game and you're using a Mine strategy, you need to commit to putting a decent amount of Silver into your deck, whether that's by buying it or playing Action cards that gain Silver.

EDIT: Also, I would argue that if you don't have any sifters and your opponents don't have any discard attacks, you rarely want Mine at all.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Mine
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 06:34:25 pm »
+1

Hmm. But preferentially Mining Silver into Gold more rapidly depletes your deck of Mineable targets, making it more likely you'll draw Mine dead (i.e., in a hand where there's nothing it can improve). Is this overborne by other concerns, even when there's no e.g. discard attacks?
I think if you get to the point in the game where you run into hands where you have nothing to mine, you're probably also at the point in the game where playing the Mine wouldn't have done you that much good anyway, even if you could play it. We're talking about having hands where your only treasures are Golds... the game should be ending soon. If you aren't going to shuffle again, Mine is often just a terminal Copper.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Mine
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 06:34:33 pm »
0

I would argue that you rarely want mine anyway....

ftl

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Re: Mine
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 06:37:22 pm »
0

Is Mine/Grand Market a trap or a strategy?

I think strategy, though by itself not that good of one, or maybe just an incomplete one. Useful to get a Mine if you're going for Grand Markets. But, not particularly dominant unless there's some other enablers around for either Mine or GM.
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DG

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Re: Mine
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 06:49:10 pm »
+1

Large hand size helps a mine as it gives choice of target card, so labs and other drawing cards provide this benefit along with cycling.

Potions and kingdom treasures benefit from a mine. Choosing when to have a potion or loan in hand can be important, as can trashing them for gold.

A mine generally needs to be played four times to be better than silver. If you play it during three cycles of the deck then it typically improves the spending as much as a silver would do (+1/+2/+3) but delivers it later than the silver (+2/+2/+2). This is as well as the mine being more expensive than silver and requiring a terminal action. This suggests that the value of the mine comes from the quality of the treasure cards in your deck rather than just amassing more treasure cards.

I'm not convinced by your 'works with' and 'conflicts with' sections.
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Tonks77

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Re: Mine
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2012, 07:00:21 pm »
+1

Mine can support alchemist chains really fine. Didn't draw your Potion to put the alchemists back? Just mine a silver into a potion. Have 2 potions but not enough money? Make one potion to gold.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Mine
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 07:05:56 pm »
0

I'm not convinced by your 'works with' and 'conflicts with' sections.

what issues do you have? suggestions or improvements would be more helpful than just saying you are not convinced.

I would argue that you rarely want mine anyway....

overall i would agree. in my experience it seems to be a little overbought and underused, if that makes sense.  people buy it too much without having a coherent plan of what they want to do with it.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Mine
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 07:14:30 pm »
+4

In the absence of special Treasure cards, Mine does two things. It turns Copper into Silver and it turns Silver into Gold. In your article, you note that Mine works with BM-centric decks and doesn't work with strong engines. I agree. As has been pointed out before (I believe by WanderingWinder), Copper isn't a terrible card in big money games. Moreover, Silver is easy to obtain. You start the game being able to hit $3 very reliably. So trashing a Copper in order to gain a Silver is pretty mediocre.

Gold, on the other hand, is harder to obtain. If there's one thing that Mine does well, it's fill your deck with Gold. Therefore I think it's fair to say that as Gold becomes more desirable, so does Mine. Given a big-money type game, there are three basic things that make Gold more desirable: the availability of sifters, discard attacks that allow you to choose what you discard, and trash-for-benefit cards that allow you to convert Gold into Provinces.

As I mentioned earlier, sifters are the big one. Cellar, Warehouse, Cartographer, Stables, etc. all allow you to play your Mine often and then allow you to pick the Gold you've accumulated out of the Coppers and Estates left in your deck. Laboratory variants can also help you play Mine more often, but that alone isn't enough reason to choose Mine over other terminal Actions. You want to play almost all of your power terminals as often as possible. Mine does "stack" more than most terminals, gaining more benefit the earlier and more often you play it, like a Curse-giver. But that alone may not be enough reason to buy it. On the other hand, Lab variants and sifters complement each other very well, so if Mine, a sifter, and non-terminal draw are all available, that's even more reason to consider Mine.

Your opponent's discard attacks are the next big reason to buy Mine. In a big money game with Militias being played, Gold becomes much more valuable and, at the same time, much more difficult to obtain. Mine helps you amass Gold quickly without having to hit $6 in hand. In a 2-player game, you can't just ignore Militia in favor of Mine. If you don't slow your opponent down, they'll usually win despite your Mine. However, a combination of the two cards can work. Also, if you're playing a multiplayer game and your opponents are both buying Militias, Mine becomes much more desirable as you can let them snipe at each other while you accumulate Gold.

Perhaps Mine's biggest tragedy is that these two enablers are mutually exclusive. If your opponents are buying discard attacks, you don't want sifters.

As for trash-for-benefit cards, I don't think that needs much explanation. Other than Expand, no other card gives you a $3 upgrade. With Remodel or Governor, you can quickly turn all the Gold you've amassed into Provinces.
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chwhite

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Re: Mine
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2012, 07:28:59 pm »
+1

Other than Expand, no other card gives you a $3 upgrade.

Minor nitpick- Transmuting Estates to Gold is a $4 upgrade (and Action to Duchy can be $3 if the Action is cheap enough).
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LastFootnote

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Re: Mine
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2012, 07:29:25 pm »
0

Other than Expand, no other card gives you a $3 upgrade.

Minor nitpick- Transmuting Estates to Gold is a $4 upgrade (and Action to Duchy can be $3 if the Action is cheap enough).

Ooh, good call.
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cayvie

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Re: Mine
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2012, 07:30:38 pm »
+1

Also Trading Post on coppers/curses.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Mine
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2012, 07:32:44 pm »
0

Also Trading Post on coppers/curses.

Well, whether or not Transmute is a trash-for-benefit card is debatable. Trading Post definitely isn't. The Silver you gain is completely independent of which cards you trash. So I didn't consider it as an "upgrade".
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verikt

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Re: Mine
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2012, 07:41:04 pm »
0

Mine and mint are fun. If there's a decent draw. your second 5 hand is mint and then mine your last two coppers up and mint them. Worked very well for me in some games. (uni smithy mine mint was one, if I remember right) Actually, in any uni game, where there's an oversupply of actions and a problem buying coin it probably pays to take one.
Tonks already mentioned how it can win you the alch race, or save an alch chain. Mining to hop or bank can be a killer. But in colony games with a lot of draw cards and no rush, I prefer getting mine early, and spending my money on drawing it. Why spend 9 on plat when you can spend six on gold, buy a lab and count on drawing your mine in time for greening? I've watched opponents spend 9 on buying plats where I spent the same 9 on lab and then mined gold. Or bought a cartographer for anything less than 9 instead of another gold. Chapel, any +action in a colony game makes it another great buy. Plat in 4 turns, spend your money on actions. I've also bought one in a governor game. While my opponent was remodeling gold to prov I upped to plat and remodeled to colony.
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verikt

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Re: Mine
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2012, 07:45:16 pm »
+2

Two other cases where mine is good. Possession games: If your opponent draws it, he can't use the full value of the hand.
Bishop games: being able to buy a silver and trash a gold can be very useful.
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DG

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Re: Mine
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2012, 08:07:39 pm »
+3

Quote
what issues do you have? suggestions or improvements would be more helpful than just saying you are not convinced.

I'm not convinced that mines have a place in BM centric strategies. They can obviously be in treasure based strategies, colony games, and fast deck cycling strategies but there are many stronger terminals that can assist big money. The dividing line for me is that you'd probably want to buy a cheap cycling card like wishing well or caravan in a mine deck rather than more silver and this moves the mine away from being a big money card. Big money decks like adding more and more treasures.

I'm also not convinced that the mine is a natural partner with IGGs although they presumably can be made to work. In the most basic IGG rush you would buy out the IGGs then buy out the duchies and there's no time to buy the mine either before the IGGs or before the duchies. The 'card winningness' stats in the council room back this up with IGG being the worst kingdom treasure for a mine and platinums then harems being the best.

So where does that leave the mine? I think it does have a place in strong drawing decks and some engine decks. The mine can repeatedly increase the deck value without adding more terminal cards (treasures) to the deck.
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Re: Mine
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2012, 08:13:17 pm »
+1

Actually I have some doubt about the comment that cursing attack devalue mine. For one thing, in Hagging games mine seems like a welcome addition. I dunno, if I happen to have an early 5 I might get it over silver.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Mine
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2012, 08:17:23 pm »
0

I'm not convinced that mines have a place in BM centric strategies. They can obviously be in treasure based strategies, colony games, and fast deck cycling strategies but there are many stronger terminals that can assist big money. The dividing line for me is that you'd probably want to buy a cheap cycling card like wishing well or caravan in a mine deck rather than more silver and this moves the mine away from being a big money card. Big money decks like adding more and more treasures.

I'm also not convinced that the mine is a natural partner with IGGs although they presumably can be made to work. In the most basic IGG rush you would buy out the IGGs then buy out the duchies and there's no time to buy the mine either before the IGGs or before the duchies. The 'card winningness' stats in the council room back this up with IGG being the worst kingdom treasure for a mine and platinums then harems being the best.

So where does that leave the mine? I think it does have a place in strong drawing decks and some engine decks. The mine can repeatedly increase the deck value without adding more terminal cards (treasures) to the deck.

that's a reasonable change to make about being BM-centric.  our difference, i think, stemmed from how i would define BM.  i can see your point though.

i'm a little less convinced about IGG, but i suppose i would have to hit the simulators to defend that better.  i think that there continues to be a slavish addiction to IGG rushes (at least against my usual mid-30's opponents) and this will skew any result related to IGG.
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jomini

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Re: Mine
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2012, 09:16:42 pm »
+1

Mine gets better in cursing games (assuming it doesn't compete too heavily with a curse giver) than no-attack games - the game goes on longer and it is much harder to cross the 6 threshold. I would also add that just about any kingdom treasure makes mine better. Mining into ventures gets to be strong once your average treasure in the draw deck is greater than 2 (which isn't so hard to manage with sifting and mine); mining into royal seal, bank, quarry, or even stash can be worth it in odd cases and mine allows you to delay choices for which treasures to get.

Another thing mine does fairly well is increase diversity. Menage/village/mine can allow you to mine for diversity and more likely have the village hit. Flipping coppers to silver or silver to golds can be done on the fly allowing for bigger hands. This is particularly true if there are kingdom treasures.

All told, I think mine actually works best in engine decks and golden decks. Both of these play their actions far more times and mine can be a good way to build value from just a few coppers. Say it takes you eight turns to set up a reasonably reliable engine. From there till the end of the game (call it another six turns), mine adds either 3 cost or 1 coin to your deck each pass - for no further cost (aside from its action cost). That is 15 - 21 extra coin you get over the course of the game and that can often be enough for an extra province (most of your terminal silvers add about 12 - 18 effective coin depending on how you rank their other benefits) or even two. There are other cards that can add more value/coin (haggler, mint, etc.), but a lot of "better" cards just don't do that much once your engine is firing well (e.g. a market in an engine, once you have enough buys and draw, ends up degrading into a silver or worse, a lab is worse than a copper if you are already heavily overdrawing and won't add enough drawless cards to use the added draw). People look at you weird if you chapel out your coppers, build an engine, add a mine & buy 3 coppers or gain a few silver, but it can be perfectly legit and give an engine a lot more payout.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Mine
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2012, 09:37:43 pm »
0

All told, I think mine actually works best in engine decks and golden decks. Both of these play their actions far more times and mine can be a good way to build value from just a few coppers. Say it takes you eight turns to set up a reasonably reliable engine. From there till the end of the game (call it another six turns), mine adds either 3 cost or 1 coin to your deck each pass - for no further cost (aside from its action cost). That is 15 - 21 extra coin you get over the course of the game and that can often be enough for an extra province (most of your terminal silvers add about 12 - 18 effective coin depending on how you rank their other benefits) or even two. There are other cards that can add more value/coin (haggler, mint, etc.), but a lot of "better" cards just don't do that much once your engine is firing well (e.g. a market in an engine, once you have enough buys and draw, ends up degrading into a silver or worse, a lab is worse than a copper if you are already heavily overdrawing and won't add enough drawless cards to use the added draw). People look at you weird if you chapel out your coppers, build an engine, add a mine & buy 3 coppers or gain a few silver, but it can be perfectly legit and give an engine a lot more payout.

Really? If you've chapeled all your Coppers and you've got a Silver or two to get you to Gold, it's worth buying more Copper and Silver to Mine rather than buying Gold directly and using your actions on stronger cards? I'm a bit dubious. I could be convinced, but it doesn't seem like a good idea on the face of it.
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verikt

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Re: Mine
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2012, 10:33:30 pm »
0

Quote
Really? If you've chapeled all your Coppers and you've got a Silver or two to get you to Gold, it's worth buying more Copper and Silver to Mine rather than buying Gold directly and using your actions on stronger cards? I'm a bit dubious. I could be convinced, but it doesn't seem like a good idea on the face of it.

It depends on your +buy. If you have a market peddler or wharf peddler deck for instance, investing one 5 into being able to use a useless +buy (once peddlers are out) can be worth it. Assume you have enough draw to cycle through most of your deck and compare the two options. Spend six, gain one gold for three and end your turn with +10 buys for 0. Or spend 5, buy a silver for 3 or copper for 0, upgrade on your cycle, rinse and repeat?
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jomini

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Re: Mine
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2012, 10:46:09 pm »
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Depends. For instance if I open 5/2 with festival/chapel and grab (in order):
A council room
A festival
A militia

Then, depending on what the opponent does, yeah I might buy two coppers and mine to soak up the extra action and the excess draw. I mean right now I have 6 coin in hand and will likely draw 9 cards live (current total being 5). For mine/coppers to work you need to have +buy, +cards (more than you currently have), and a spare action or more. In those circumstances, I might go mine. In other circumstances, like when I hit 5 coin exactly thanks to fishing village, noble brigand then the real choice is mine & coppers, mine, or silver (assuming only money is an option for payload). Likewise, mine costs 1 less, which is bigger in engine play. That means I might be able to nab something like xroads/mine/copper or gold(/copper)

In any event, in an engine that won't choke on adding (or more likely keeping around) a few coppers or silvers, then mine needs to be played exactly twice to provide the same benefit as a gold. In an engine deck, this will almost certainly happen and you will get more bang for your buck the third time you play the mine.

What I won't do, is go mine on most BM boards. If you shuffle every 3 turns on average, without sifting you just aren't going to get enough from the mine to beat boring things like smithy or lab. Figure you buy it on T3, game lasts 18 turns. 5 plays is +15 coin. Of course 5 plays of silver is 10 - and in BM games you are going to waste more coin on bad price points (7, 9, etc.) so too many other things will beat mine silly.

There is a very popular misconception on these forums that engines don't play with money cards, engines work fine with money (some better than others). If I'd be tempted to buy two silver in an engine, then yeah I'm going to be tempted to play around with mine. If I need money in my engine they I will look at how many turns will I be playing and is mine a better investment than gold.
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Asklepios

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Re: Mine
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2012, 05:40:55 am »
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I have my doubts about Mine / Governor being worthwhile. Buying a Mine means not buying a Governor, and Governors can turn silvers into Governors anyway. Sure, Mining a Silver into a Gold then Governing it into a Province is nice, but you need +action for that, which is more delay in the race to the Governor megaturn.
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shMerker

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Re: Mine
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2012, 02:19:13 pm »
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Also the Governor can just gain a gold without having to match with a silver.
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Re: Mine
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2012, 03:35:06 pm »
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Here's a fun game that had serious trashing and that Mine proved useful in.  I only play it once, but it gave me the boost from Gold->Platinum that I needed to get the buying power to start building.
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J.Co.

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Re: Mine
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2012, 05:24:33 pm »
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It probably goes without saying and definitely needs support to be a viable tactic, but playing Throne Room on Mine is one of my more favorite plays to make. Turning a Copper into a Gold in one turn and being able to spend it right away is pretty cool.
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cherdano

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Re: Mine
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2012, 07:45:57 pm »
+1

The deciding factor whether Mine is worth buying is the speed of the game, relative to the size of your deck and your drawing power; in short, you should ask yourself how many more times you should expect to reshuffle before the end of the game.
In the next reshuffle after you bought Mine, it will add $1 to your buying power (barring platinums or other special treasure cards), as you are upgrading one treasure which you can use right away. In the second reshuffle, it will add $2 ($1 in the hand where you draw Mine, and another $1 in the hand where you draw the previously upgraded treasure). In the 3rd shuffle, it adds $3, etc.
So if expect just two or three more reshuffles, Mine fails the silver test rather drastically (money on the next shuffle is more important than money further down the road), and unless you can play it with Throne Room or King's Court, it will just take too long to ever beat gold. But if you can buy it reasonably early in a game that's either long (for example due to discarding attacks), or where you reshuffle frequently (maybe a Caravan/Lab stack, or you just built up a treasure-poor engine that is looking for a payload and won't be able to finish the game for a few more turns), it can be rather strong.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 07:48:10 pm by cherdano »
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ftl

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Re: Mine
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2012, 07:55:50 pm »
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I had a good Mine game recently. I opened 5/2 so I got Mine on turn 1. Lab and Caravan were in the kingdom, I got lots of those. Didn't buy that much treasure, got gold on 6/7 or silver on 3 until it was time to green. Worked pretty well.
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Varsinor

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Re: Mine
« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2012, 06:26:34 pm »
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Conflicts With:
[...]
Strong Engines

I disagree with this (as jomini has already done). I'd argue that most strong engines will have fast deck cycling - in the strongest engines, you'll draw your entire deck every turn. As has been pointed out many times, Mine gets better the more reshuffles you have after buying it. If you draw a big portion of your deck every turn with your engine, you'll have many reshuffles that all take advantage of the treasure cards Mine improved.
Matters are obviously different when you have an engine without treasure cards, but IMO that is already covered by listing "heavy trashing" as conflicting.

Cursing or Discard Attacks

I disagree with this as well (as jomini and timchen have already done regarding cursing). Cursing prolongs the game. The longer the game lasts, the more Mine can pay off.
The same is usually true for discard attacks (longer game). Additionally, there is the already mentioned ability of Mine to get Golds and discard Coppers which lets it somewhat counter discard attacks.

So, regarding all three points (engines, cursing and discard attacks), I would argue that they should be in the "works with" section instead of the "conflicts with" section. (Or maybe engines shouldn't be mentioned in either of the two sections because it really depends on the engine - but if they are mentioned, they should rather go in "works with".)

Overall I'd like to say that while I obviously agree that Mine is one of the weaker $5 cards, I think it can shine more often than many seem to think - in fact, I would have rated it as #36 instead of #42 (out of the 48 $5-cards) on the latest poll (if I had participated... ;)).
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 06:27:54 pm by Varsinor »
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Varsinor

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Re: Mine
« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2012, 06:58:12 pm »
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I have my doubts about Mine / Governor being worthwhile. Buying a Mine means not buying a Governor, and Governors can turn silvers into Governors anyway.

Using Governors to trash Silvers into Governors would be a rather poor use of the Governors IMO - this gives your opponent a great opportunity to turn his Estates into Silvers and wastes opportunities to gain Golds to remodel later.

Sure, Mining a Silver into a Gold then Governing it into a Province is nice, but you need +action for that, which is more delay in the race to the Governor megaturn.

You only need +action to do it in the same turn - remodeling Golds you have mined in previous turns is almost as nice.

I'd say that one Mine is a good addition to several Governors at least as long as the Mine is your only terminal action. In that case, I'd get the Mine as soon as possible (with my first $5-7) before getting any Governors.

I tried to verify this with Geronimoo's simulator, but according to its play rules, it uses Governors to draw cards instead of gaining Golds which I usually regard as wrong (until the endgame where you remodel your Golds). Anyway, with these play rules, Mine+Governor solidly beats pure Governor (by 51% to 9% with a whopping 38% (!?) ties).
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 07:03:07 pm by Varsinor »
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greatexpectations

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Re: Mine
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2012, 07:11:53 pm »
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I disagree with this (as jomini has already done). I'd argue that most strong engines will have fast deck cycling - in the strongest engines, you'll draw your entire deck every turn. As has been pointed out many times, Mine gets better the more reshuffles you have after buying it. If you draw a big portion of your deck every turn with your engine, you'll have many reshuffles that all take advantage of the treasure cards Mine improved.
Matters are obviously different when you have an engine without treasure cards, but IMO that is already covered by listing "heavy trashing" as conflicting.

i covered all of that in the article, strongly emphasizing that repeated play strongly benefits mine.  the 'conflicts with' covers the strong engines that mine would not be apart of.  if there is a strong engine present you will almost always be able to find a better $5 (maybe even $4) terminal action.

I disagree with this as well (as jomini and timchen have already done regarding cursing). Cursing prolongs the game. The longer the game lasts, the more Mine can pay off.
The same is usually true for discard attacks (longer game). Additionally, there is the already mentioned ability of Mine to get Golds and discard Coppers which lets it somewhat counter discard attacks.

cursing prolongs the game, but it also creates a larger deck that you have less control over. the presence of a curser on a board will almost always mean slower cycling of your deck than the same board without cursing. upgrading your coin to gold does help in a discard-attack game, but at the same time it is a pretty weak card to be stuck with in a 3 card hand.

(Or maybe engines shouldn't be mentioned in either of the two sections because it really depends on the engine - but if they are mentioned, they should rather go in "works with".)

people will always be saying "depends on the kingdom". the articles here have to try to cover the broad base of expected usage.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Mine
« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2012, 07:45:15 pm »
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people will always be saying "depends on the kingdom". the articles here have to try to cover the broad base of expected usage.

This is true, but I think Varsinor may be more correct on what that "broad base of expected usage" is. Your argument for why it doesn't work with strong engines is:

Quote
if there is a strong engine present you will almost always be able to find a better $5 (maybe even $4) terminal action.
This is covered by saying it conflicts with strong terminals, which you already list. It's the alternative strong terminal that is causing the problem, not that you have a strong engine. In a vacuum, it seems the engine would be good for Mine since it implies better cycling. Engines with spare terminal actions can benefit from Mine.
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Varsinor

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Re: Mine
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2012, 08:02:50 pm »
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i covered all of that in the article, strongly emphasizing that repeated play strongly benefits mine.

You did, I certainly didn't want to dispute that! Nice article overall! :D

the 'conflicts with' covers the strong engines that mine would not be apart of.  if there is a strong engine present you will almost always be able to find a better $5 (maybe even $4) terminal action.

I disagree here. If you get to play most of your deck every turn, Mine becomes a terribly strong terminal if you still have enough treasure targets for it. Obviously there are also cases where even then there are better terminals so that you don't want to buy Mine, but you already wrote "Other Strong $5 Terminals" separately. (Which I actually find a little too obvious to even include it there - it is always true that you don't want to buy card A if there is a card B which helps your deck more. But now that you have included it there, I really see no need to include it a second time ("strong engines") just less clear.)

cursing prolongs the game, but it also creates a larger deck that you have less control over. the presence of a curser on a board will almost always mean slower cycling of your deck than the same board without cursing.

Fair enough. But without simulations I am not sure which of the two arguments outweighs the other - what is relevant is if cursing increases or decreases the average number of reshuffles.
So if you put it in the conflicts with section, I'd hope for some more detailed thoughts on that.

upgrading your coin to gold does help in a discard-attack game, but at the same time it is a pretty weak card to be stuck with in a 3 card hand.

I don't think it is that weak in a game with many reshuffles. It is compared to the stronger $5 cards, sure, but not compared to the average card in your deck. It is still a decent $5 card and most of the cards in your deck have cost less or are green.
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jomini

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Re: Mine
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2012, 01:47:44 am »
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Quote
cursing prolongs the game, but it also creates a larger deck that you have less control over. the presence of a curser on a board will almost always mean slower cycling of your deck than the same board without cursing. upgrading your coin to gold does help in a discard-attack game, but at the same time it is a pretty weak card to be stuck with in a 3 card hand.

I remain unconvinced that the slower cycling is not offset by more turns. The question is not how often do you shuffle - it is how often do you get to play the card for effect. Curses make it vastly harder to hit 5,6, or 8 coin; further curses make it much harder to line up 4 silvers, 3 silvers and 2 coppers, etc. so the discrete nature of gold is much more valuable. Mine is often a good 5 to buy as the curses wind down (e.g. I may open hag/silver and buy a second hag even, but once the curses are gone, mine will let me hit gold/provinces sooner, particularly if I have some sifting like warehouse or cartographer out).

Mine can be an exceptionally strong card in a three card hand. Let's assume you are playing something BMish. You can have a terminal silver (with some fringe benefit) or you can have mine. Mine is effectively +1 coin - but it also vastly increases the top half of your treasure distribution. In a worst case scenario - where I'm being attacked every turn, I want 2 gold and 1 silver for a three card hand. Mine makes that easier to hit. The big problem with discard attacks are that the attacks themselves are so powerful. In 2er leaving the other guy unattacked is just massively dangerous. In 3er, where you can let the other two bash each other senseless, mine destroys two militia players easily.

Quote
i covered all of that in the article, strongly emphasizing that repeated play strongly benefits mine.  the 'conflicts with' covers the strong engines that mine would not be apart of.  if there is a strong engine present you will almost always be able to find a better $5 (maybe even $4) terminal action.
Nonsense. Take a strong mine play - hamlet/smithy/talisman/trasher. You can selectively mine a silver to a talisman (to double up on smithies for instance) and then mine it back to a gold later (to hit province). Jack engines like mine, particularly if you can add in some sort of TfB to use up the gold. Yes, there are other 5 cards that are stronger which you may want more - but the thing is, those run out and you may still get useful 5 coin hands. Likewise, a good number of engine boards will have no 5's that you want and Mine may beat all the 4's.

I mean, seriously, mine just rocks in engine/colony games. You have the time to hit the mine many times through the deck, plats give mine better return on average, and the jump between gold and plat being much harder to hit than silver to gold, mine can get you to plats so much quicker than a lot of things (e.g. Jack, traders, horse traders, etc.).
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verikt

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Re: Mine
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2012, 03:34:28 am »
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It's not just the getting you to plats. If you're drawing most of your deck and have a +buy, it means you can keep buying golds for 6 instead of plats and mine them up with spare cash for something else.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Mine
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2012, 09:12:21 am »
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I remain unconvinced that the slower cycling is not offset by more turns. The question is not how often do you shuffle - it is how often do you get to play the card for effect. Curses make it vastly harder to hit 5,6, or 8 coin; further curses make it much harder to line up 4 silvers, 3 silvers and 2 coppers, etc. so the discrete nature of gold is much more valuable. Mine is often a good 5 to buy as the curses wind down (e.g. I may open hag/silver and buy a second hag even, but once the curses are gone, mine will let me hit gold/provinces sooner, particularly if I have some sifting like warehouse or cartographer out).

and i remain unconvinced by your argument.  you say that it is not how much you shuffle, its how often you play it for effect. unless i am missing something there is going to be a massive correlation between how often you cycle your deck and how often you play mine.  and then you later say that it would be especially good if sifters were involved on cursing boards, but yeah, we've already covered that. to further reason why mine will not be as effective on cursing boards
-early on you will want to buy cursers and trashers, not a mine
- at $6 you will usually want gold over mine, and at $5 you will typically want another more powerful $5 (hunting party, governor, lab, etc)
- cursing games tend to end more on piles, so that $5 price point will also conflict with duchies
- if your curser and mine collide that is a no doubt choice until the curses are gone.  likewise, a messy deck means you are less likely to hit silver->gold or any coin at all for that matter.

Mine can be an exceptionally strong card in a three card hand. Let's assume you are playing something BMish. You can have a terminal silver (with some fringe benefit) or you can have mine. Mine is effectively +1 coin - but it also vastly increases the top half of your treasure distribution. In a worst case scenario - where I'm being attacked every turn, I want 2 gold and 1 silver for a three card hand. Mine makes that easier to hit. The big problem with discard attacks are that the attacks themselves are so powerful. In 2er leaving the other guy unattacked is just massively dangerous. In 3er, where you can let the other two bash each other senseless, mine destroys two militia players easily.

in discard attack games you will want the discard attack too, as you've pointed out.  if i have a hand with militia, mine, coin, coin, coin you will almost always want to keep the militia. the attack is usually more beneficial than the marginal upgrade of coin. and in a three card hand you limit your buying power by having mine.  it is essentially a terminal $1, so while it is nice to upgrade your deck for the long term, you also lose some buying power.  this will be a larger problem as you start greening.
[/quote]

Nonsense. Take a strong mine play - hamlet/smithy/talisman/trasher. You can selectively mine a silver to a talisman (to double up on smithies for instance) and then mine it back to a gold later (to hit province). Jack engines like mine, particularly if you can add in some sort of TfB to use up the gold. Yes, there are other 5 cards that are stronger which you may want more - but the thing is, those run out and you may still get useful 5 coin hands. Likewise, a good number of engine boards will have no 5's that you want and Mine may beat all the 4's.

I mean, seriously, mine just rocks in engine/colony games. You have the time to hit the mine many times through the deck, plats give mine better return on average, and the jump between gold and plat being much harder to hit than silver to gold, mine can get you to plats so much quicker than a lot of things (e.g. Jack, traders, horse traders, etc.).

yeah man, i mentioned most of that in the article. i know full well that mine can be a useful card. not only is it one of my favorites, but im a decent player (usually hovering lvl 35 / top 100) and it is my 16th best win rate with and 4th best effect with (2.73). i'd like to think i have a pretty good idea when it is useful.  but just as important as that is knowing when it isn't useful.  sure, its effect is neat and can be strong, but it falls into the same trap as expand, forge, and even upgrade.  without a coherent strategy and the time to make efficient regular use of the card it simply will not be worth the $5 price point.
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Varsinor

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Re: Mine
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2012, 09:26:54 am »
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The question is not how often do you shuffle - it is how often do you get to play the card for effect.

Both are important for the attractiveness of Mine: How often you reshuffle after the first successful play of Mine and how often you get to play it successfully after that (i. e. with a suitable target in hand). (I assume the latter is what you mean by "effect".)

Curses make it vastly harder to hit 5,6, or 8 coin; further curses make it much harder to line up 4 silvers, 3 silvers and 2 coppers, etc. so the discrete nature of gold is much more valuable.

I don't think you are right here. In the absence of any special factors (discard attacks, sifters, Platinum, Potion, kingdom treasure, trash for benefit, cards that make use of Copper, Trickster, Saboteur, Jester), I don't see any reason why Silver+Silver shouldn't be just as good as Gold+Copper.
In fact, in the absence of all the special factors, Silver+Silver should be slightly better because it decreases the risk that you draw your Mine with only Gold (although that risk is not that high anyway). And some of the special factors mentioned above can even favor Silver+Silver (as greatexpectations has already pointed out) - Trickster, Jesters, Potion and certain kingdom treasure.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 09:32:10 am by Varsinor »
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jomini

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Re: Mine
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2012, 11:52:45 am »
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Quote
and i remain unconvinced by your argument.  you say that it is not how much you shuffle, its how often you play it for effect. unless i am missing something there is going to be a massive correlation between how often you cycle your deck and how often you play mine.  and then you later say that it would be especially good if sifters were involved on cursing boards, but yeah, we've already covered that. to further reason why mine will not be as effective on cursing boards
-early on you will want to buy cursers and trashers, not a mine
- at $6 you will usually want gold over mine, and at $5 you will typically want another more powerful $5 (hunting party, governor, lab, etc)
- cursing games tend to end more on piles, so that $5 price point will also conflict with duchies
- if your curser and mine collide that is a no doubt choice until the curses are gone.  likewise, a messy deck means you are less likely to hit silver->gold or any coin at all for that matter.

How you play a card is a function of how often you shuffle and how long the game lasts. Let's say I drop from shuffling every 3.5 turns (on average) for a curseless game to every 4.5 tuns (on average). If game length goes from 18 turns to 22 turns; I will play the mine the SAME number of times in the game. Cursers make you shuffle less often, true, but they also increase the number of turns it takes to win (ceteris paribus).

In addition, your point about normally wanting other 5's is superfluous here, unless you are saying you'd otherwise buy mine over Hp, Gov, etc. if the curser wasn't out. We get it, Mine isn't a wonder card and strong 5s, particularly non-terminal 5's are going to be better than mine in most games ... but that has nothing to do with curses flowing around. What 5 would you buy instead of mine IFF cursers are out?

Yes you want the curser first, sure, but then what? Your deck rarely supports more than 2 curse givers and once the curses are nearly gone you are pretty sure you don't want another curser. The game is still there and now you have functionally dead cursers. Now we reach an interesting point, we need to rebuild our economy or we need to pile out. If we rebuild, we now have something like one dead card on average in hand. This means we need our average treasure to be 2 to hit provinces and over 1.5 to hit gold. This makes mine better, you will have more turns where you can't hit 6, but can pair mine with silver. In addition, on those turns where you do mine a gold, you can ALSO buy a silver. Now, as you note, mine comes with an opportunity cost, you could buy something else (like a duchy), but cursers make mine stronger on a lot of boards. By providing a ready supply of dross and greatly enhancing the utility of sifting to play the curser, warehouse gets a big boost in curse games which feeds naturally into adding a mine when the curse war is tailing down. There is positive synergy between a curse strewn deck and sifting, which makes mine/sifter a better mid-game choice when the curses are in your deck than when they are not.

Quote
in discard attack games you will want the discard attack too, as you've pointed out.  if i have a hand with militia, mine, coin, coin, coin you will almost always want to keep the militia. the attack is usually more beneficial than the marginal upgrade of coin. and in a three card hand you limit your buying power by having mine.  it is essentially a terminal $1, so while it is nice to upgrade your deck for the long term, you also lose some buying power.  this will be a larger problem as you start greening.

Actually in the late game, the militia becomes less useful than mine. Once typical hands have two dead cards in them (province, duchy, whatever) then you are most often playing a simple terminal silver (even when you aren't you are often just playing a cutpurse). At some point it gets better to be playing mine (silver -> gold, buy a gold) than militia (buy a gold); the question is opportunity cost again - when do you squeeze in the mine in the early late game? To which I say - when the odds dictate it. If it is too (barely) too early for duchy and you hit 5, then yeah grab a mine. All of this, of course, changes if you can engine it. Then you really only want one militia and a mine can give you strong economic output.


yeah man, i mentioned most of that in the article. i know full well that mine can be a useful card. not only is it one of my favorites, but im a decent player (usually hovering lvl 35 / top 100) and it is my 16th best win rate with and 4th best effect with (2.73). i'd like to think i have a pretty good idea when it is useful.  but just as important as that is knowing when it isn't useful.  sure, its effect is neat and can be strong, but it falls into the same trap as expand, forge, and even upgrade.  without a coherent strategy and the time to make efficient regular use of the card it simply will not be worth the $5 price point.
Look, strong engines with cash like mine. Again, like with cursers there are cards you want instead of mine, however I want those cards (usually) even if there isn't a strong engine play. What cards would you buy instead of mine IFF there is a strong engine out (e.g. what cards would you buy instead of mine if you have hamlet, smithy, chapel, but would buy mine if you swapped those out for something bland like great hall, chancellor, and woodcutters)?
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greatexpectations

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Re: Mine
« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2012, 12:57:57 pm »
0

How you play a card is a function of how often you shuffle and how long the game lasts. Let's say I drop from shuffling every 3.5 turns (on average) for a curseless game to every 4.5 tuns (on average). If game length goes from 18 turns to 22 turns; I will play the mine the SAME number of times in the game. Cursers make you shuffle less often, true, but they also increase the number of turns it takes to win (ceteris paribus).

right, i fully understand the concept.  i was addressing the apparently contradiction in your comment "The question is not how often do you shuffle - it is how often do you get to play the card for effect." the two are clearly tied together. but i still don't agree that they will see equal play.  your scenario above makes a few assumptions which will not always hold true.  first, the shuffle/game length rates will not always match up so cleanly.  the ratio can swing in favor of playing it more or it could go the other way.  but if you are able to shuffle more regularly then A. mine is more viable because you likely have sifting present which hey we've already covered and B. the cursing has a little less effect and the game will typically be shorter anyway.

second is the point i tried to make with my comment on other cursers and the $5 price point.  your model above assumes that you are able to acquire mine at the same point in both games.  this is simply not the case in cursing games.  you can reliably hit $5 for mine turn 3 or 4 in a regular game.  in a game with cursing you will want to pick up 1-2 cursers before anything else.  and even then you might want to build some economy before seeking to add another terminal action, especially with the risk of collision.  this problem is exacerbated by the fact that cursing can slow down economies and prevent you from reliably even hitting 5, especially when sea hag is in play.  so when you factor in that you won't be able to pick up the mine until at best a few turns later then no, you will not be able to play it the same amount.  and as has been repeatedly agreed by everyone, the key to mine is being able to play it quite often.

and then you can throw in the increased risk of mine missing a coin due to junked deck, as well that the marginal increase is a little less useful in fat decks. mine's power is that it improves your deck immediately, increasing your coin/card ratio.  but this has less impact on a fatter deck. if you go from say $10 in 15 cards to $11 in 15 cards, that is a jump from $.66/card to $.73/card, a change of ~+.07/card. going from $10 in a 25 card deck to $11 in a 25 card deck is a jump from $.4/card to $.44/card, a change of ~+.04/card.  it seems to me more useful to just buy a silver and save your terminal actions.

Actually in the late game, the militia becomes less useful than mine. Once typical hands have two dead cards in them (province, duchy, whatever) then you are most often playing a simple terminal silver (even when you aren't you are often just playing a cutpurse). At some point it gets better to be playing mine (silver -> gold, buy a gold) than militia (buy a gold); the question is opportunity cost again - when do you squeeze in the mine in the early late game? To which I say - when the odds dictate it. If it is too (barely) too early for duchy and you hit 5, then yeah grab a mine. All of this, of course, changes if you can engine it. Then you really only want one militia and a mine can give you strong economic output.

man i just dont agree with that assessment at all.  i'm gonna play the militia over mine 9/10 times late in the game. first off, the +cards or +$2 of discard attacks will almost always be worth more than the virtual +$1 of mine.  second, if it is late game than you are probably not as worried with improving your deck. what is the benefit of going silver -> gold if you will see that gold maybe one more time over the rest of the game. even a cutpurse effect is useful, especially with the increased benefits the attacks offer your own hand.

Look, strong engines with cash like mine. Again, like with cursers there are cards you want instead of mine, however I want those cards (usually) even if there isn't a strong engine play. What cards would you buy instead of mine IFF there is a strong engine out (e.g. what cards would you buy instead of mine if you have hamlet, smithy, chapel, but would buy mine if you swapped those out for something bland like great hall, chancellor, and woodcutters)?

i'm not really sure i understand this question, sorry.  there are a ton of cards which would be preferable to mine in a good engine.  good engines take more than just coin, so any of the +actions, + cards, or attacks of the $5 cards will often be more useful than a mine.
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jomini

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Re: Mine
« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2012, 02:40:34 pm »
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Yes my scenario makes assumptions, but it was merely to illustrate the point that cursers don't necessarily contraindicate playing mine. Which is my main point here. Virtually all of your talk about cursing and discard attacks boils down to "there is something better to buy". This is a fair point ... it just has nothing to do with the game dynamics of cursing or discarding - it just has to do with other cards being better than mine. Yes I want the curser before the mine, but that doesn't mean I won't take the mine as well later.

For instance, imagine two games:
Game 1: Say I have a hag/develop game; I painfully clear out estates and my hag gives out the 10th curse (we split 5/5) before I trash any curses. I play develop on the hag. What card do I get on the 5 side? Duchy is always an option, but if it is early enough I may want some economy rather than toiling through the duchies and estates. What 5s are better than mine here?

Game 2: Say I have a hag/develop game; I clear out all the curses (we split 6 him - 4 me) and develop my hag. My deck is otherwise identical to the case above (just a difference in shuffle luck on hitting estate vs curse, so I have 3 fewer silver, but 5 fewer curses). What 5s are better than mine here?

I submit that the answer to both questions are almost entirely the same, if not identical. If I want a lab in game 1, then I'm going to want it in game 2. When is mine a good gain for game 2 ONLY? If you can't answer this, then mine doesn't have negative synergy with curse givers, it just is a weaker card than the curse giver.

Mine does fall better into some curse strategies, because some strategies that are strong at dealing with cursing (most notably sifting) synergize well with mine. I have played boards where I go for warehouse/hag which ends up making my deck quick enough for mine to be a good addition. Without the hag slowing the game, though, BM/draw would beat sifter/mine silly.

Quote
man i just dont agree with that assessment at all.  i'm gonna play the militia over mine 9/10 times late in the game. first off, the +cards or +$2 of discard attacks will almost always be worth more than the virtual +$1 of mine.  second, if it is late game than you are probably not as worried with improving your deck. what is the benefit of going silver -> gold if you will see that gold maybe one more time over the rest of the game. even a cutpurse effect is useful, especially with the increased benefits the attacks offer your own hand.
Basically the game has 3 phases for militia:
1. When playing the militia hurts the other player and nets you +2 coin.
2. When playing the militia nets you +2 coin, but you can't make 8 (11 or whatever).
3. When playing the militia nets you +2 coin, and you can make 8 (11 or whatever).

Phase 1 dominates most 2er. So yeah, militia beats mine there. However, in 3er you go pretty quickly to phase 2 if the other players go militias. Mine wins heavily there. In 3er we see the real dynamics of discard on mine (separately from the value of attacking the opposition). There mine lets you ramp up your deck faster than a terminal silver. How much time each game spends in each of the 3 phases is determined heavily by board dynamics. Once your deck is built up enough, phase 3 comes into play and militia beats mine out. Mine is absolutely no contraindicated on discard boards in 3er. It works really well there if you can't beat down your opponent.

Again, like with the curse giver it is not the dynamics of playing 3 card hands bad with mine - it is just that the discard attacks tend to be better than mine. Mine's usefulness relative to most other similar cards (e.g. non-terminal 5's) is not affected by a discard attack in the kingdom.

Which also brings up another point. Mine is better than discard attacks when there are very strong responses to discard attacks - Wt, Jack, Horse traders, lighthouse (sometimes), and tunnel all favor the mine directly over the attack.

Quote
i'm not really sure i understand this question, sorry.  there are a ton of cards which would be preferable to mine in a good engine.  good engines take more than just coin, so any of the +actions, + cards, or attacks of the $5 cards will often be more useful than a mine.

Look, when you say card X conflicts with engines you are saying that regardless of which engine you play, the card is is relatively worse compared to other options just by dint of having an engine.

For instance, venture is worse with strong draw engines. If you are drawing your entire deck, venture is a copper. If you do have cards not in hand venture will skip just as happily past big engine components (like Kc/lab) to snag a copper. So if I've got a strong draw engine, then a lot of cards are better for me than venture (e.g. in the simple case duchess or silver nets me an additional coin when I draw my entire deck). I will buy duchess over venture in a strong enough draw engine (e.g. Kc/Lab) because venture is nombo with that engine. However I will not buy duchess over venture in most non-engine games because I risk conflicting terminals and venture often will snag a silver or gold giving me a higher payout.

So imagine you have two boards:
1. has hamlet/smithy/remodel
2. has chancellor/great hall/wood cutters

Okay now board one supports a strong engine. Board two does not. Now board one is good option for mine, you will (eventually) draw your entire deck every turn and mine gives you cumulative increases in buying power without decreasing component density. Board two is a non-engine board. If, and only if, mine is bad for all strong engines qua engines, then there should be marginal cards that you'd buy on board 1 in preference to mine and these same cards would not be bought in preference to mine on board 2. What are these cards?

Here are a few they are not - hunting party (you will buy HP in preference to mine on either board), scout (you will buy mine in preference to scout on either board), and mountebank (you will by mountebank in preference to just about anything on either board).

If a card conflicts with a play style, you will see its relative usefulness swing wildly when looking at one situation or the other. Some cards will become rubbish in comparison, others will get wildly useful. I don't see mine making those swings, so it appears to be neutral to positive for engine play. Yeah there may well be stronger cards out, but those will be stronger cards regardless of playing an engine or whatever.



Var:

Quote
I don't think you are right here. In the absence of any special factors (discard attacks, sifters, Platinum, Potion, kingdom treasure, trash for benefit, cards that make use of Copper, Trickster, Saboteur, Jester), I don't see any reason why Silver+Silver shouldn't be just as good as Gold+Copper.
In fact, in the absence of all the special factors, Silver+Silver should be slightly better because it decreases the risk that you draw your Mine with only Gold (although that risk is not that high anyway). And some of the special factors mentioned above can even favor Silver+Silver (as greatexpectations has already pointed out) - Trickster, Jesters, Potion and certain kingdom treasure.
Copper/gold has higher variance than silver/silver. So say I have the rest of the deck and I can either have gold x2/silver x3/ copper x4 or silver x5/ copper x2. When I get hit with a militia I have non-zero chance of making 8 with the golds. With the silvers I have a zero chance of making 8. Sometimes you want higher variance (e.g. warehouse), sometimes you want less (e.g. envoy). With a militia setup (you choose what to discard), higher variance is much better as you can keep the best cards and discard the bad.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 06:44:11 pm by jomini »
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GendoIkari

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Re: Mine
« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2012, 03:34:37 pm »
+5

Mine:

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Asklepios

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Re: Mine
« Reply #46 on: August 03, 2012, 12:15:50 pm »
+1

I definitely would agree that Mine/Governor isn't great, as you'll only be wanting that Mine once the Governors have run out, and Governor is so fast that you're pretty much wanting a Duchy with that spare $5 at that stage.

I'd also query Hunting Party/Mine. The issue here again is the sheer speed of the basic Hunting Party deck (buy multiple silver and one gold, and spend anything from $5-7 on Hunting Party thereafter). Sure, you can get those copper changed into silvers and those silvers into golds, but the nature of the Hunting Party searching means that the additional card's diversity represents a significant slowdown.

Generally I think Mine fares very badly in any game with strong $5 cards, as you'll almost never have time to buy it.

To me, Mine has a few roles only:

1) In a game with no good trashing, but with strong drawing power and Horns of Plenty, Mine helps accelerate towards getting critical mass of Horns of Plenty.

2) In a game where the key VP card is Silk Road, and Harems are on the board, but its otherwise quite a slow board.

3) In a game where there's multiple good potion cards, especially Vineyards, and a low enough tempo that you're going to have time to regear once or twice.

4) In a weak set overall that has Platinum.

These are all niche applications certainly, and I'd say Mine is probably worth ignoring about 90% of the time.
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DrFlux

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Re: Mine
« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2012, 01:07:49 pm »
0

I definitely would agree that Mine/Governor isn't great, as you'll only be wanting that Mine once the Governors have run out, and Governor is so fast that you're pretty much wanting a Duchy with that spare $5 at that stage.

I'd also query Hunting Party/Mine. The issue here again is the sheer speed of the basic Hunting Party deck (buy multiple silver and one gold, and spend anything from $5-7 on Hunting Party thereafter). Sure, you can get those copper changed into silvers and those silvers into golds, but the nature of the Hunting Party searching means that the additional card's diversity represents a significant slowdown.

Generally I think Mine fares very badly in any game with strong $5 cards, as you'll almost never have time to buy it.

To me, Mine has a few roles only:

1) In a game with no good trashing, but with strong drawing power and Horns of Plenty, Mine helps accelerate towards getting critical mass of Horns of Plenty.

2) In a game where the key VP card is Silk Road, and Harems are on the board, but its otherwise quite a slow board.

3) In a game where there's multiple good potion cards, especially Vineyards, and a low enough tempo that you're going to have time to regear once or twice.

4) In a weak set overall that has Platinum.

These are all niche applications certainly, and I'd say Mine is probably worth ignoring about 90% of the time.

Mine is pretty great with hunting party in colony games, as it will allow you lots of chances to convert gold->plat. I'd imagine mine might work similarly with governor in colony games, as you could use the mine to convert gold->plat and later use the govs to convert plat->colony. I haven't tried it out though, but I've played enough governor+colony games to know that you can't completely ignore colonies, and for that reason they are quite a bit slower, and would probably benefit from the treasure upgrades. On the other hand, the "attack" of giving out a silver to your opponent would hurt mine a bit in this case, since you have a bigger deck, so I'm not sure.

I agree with the prevailing sentiment that mine is pretty bad in 90% of province games.
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Varsinor

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Re: Mine
« Reply #48 on: August 05, 2012, 01:25:59 pm »
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Var:

Quote
I don't think you are right here. In the absence of any special factors (discard attacks, sifters, Platinum, Potion, kingdom treasure, trash for benefit, cards that make use of Copper, Trickster, Saboteur, Jester), I don't see any reason why Silver+Silver shouldn't be just as good as Gold+Copper.
In fact, in the absence of all the special factors, Silver+Silver should be slightly better because it decreases the risk that you draw your Mine with only Gold (although that risk is not that high anyway). And some of the special factors mentioned above can even favor Silver+Silver (as greatexpectations has already pointed out) - Trickster, Jesters, Potion and certain kingdom treasure.
Copper/gold has higher variance than silver/silver. So say I have the rest of the deck and I can either have gold x2/silver x3/ copper x4 or silver x5/ copper x2. When I get hit with a militia I have non-zero chance of making 8 with the golds. With the silvers I have a zero chance of making 8. Sometimes you want higher variance (e.g. warehouse), sometimes you want less (e.g. envoy). With a militia setup (you choose what to discard), higher variance is much better as you can keep the best cards and discard the bad.

Sure, but my posting you quoted explicitly talked about boards without discard attacks. It referred to your quoted statement which seemed to say that Gold+Copper would be better than Silver+Silver *when there are cursers*.
Which I still don't see a reason for (as long as the other factors like discard attacks, sifters, trash for benefit and Platinum etc. are not present on the board).
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jomini

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Re: Mine
« Reply #49 on: August 05, 2012, 05:27:12 pm »
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Well the effect is not as pronounced in a curse game, but variance still can favor gold over silver. Silver/silver means that in any hand where you hit 5 other coin (e.g. silver/silver/copper/curse), you have a 0% chance of making province. In the same hand, but with gold/copper you have a 50% chance of hitting 8 (and getting the province) and a 50% chance of hitting 6. A reliable shot at hitting 7 is pretty much worthless; a non-zero shot at 8 is worth more.

You are completely correct that the expectation value is identical for silver/silver vs copper/gold - but the distributions are not the same. Silver/silver is a narrower spread and depending on your deck this can be bad (e.g. when it gives you more 7 coin hands; fewer 6s and 8s) or good (more 8s; fewer 7s and 9s).
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Varsinor

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Re: Mine
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2012, 09:38:55 am »
0

Silver/silver means that in any hand where you hit 5 other coin (e.g. silver/silver/copper/curse), you have a 0% chance of making province. In the same hand, but with gold/copper you have a 50% chance of hitting 8 (and getting the province) and a 50% chance of hitting 6.

Sure, but you have already made arbitrary assumptions there. If you change your example of the first four cards to Silver/Silver/Silver/Curse, than additional Silvers are the cards you want because both a Copper and a Gold would waste money by netting you $7 or $9.
If you change it to Silver/Copper/Copper/Curse, than you'd probably also rather want Silvers than Golds or Coppers for your fifth card (unless you prefer a $5 card to Gold/Goons/Harem/Nobles in which case it doesn't really matter or there is a card for $7 you want).

Silver/silver is a narrower spread and depending on your deck this can be bad (e.g. when it gives you more 7 coin hands; fewer 6s and 8s) or good (more 8s; fewer 7s and 9s).

As you say it depends on the deck. So as long as you don't have an argument for why the narrower spread should be better in more decks, I maintain that there is no reason that cursing *alone* makes Gold+Copper more desirable than Silver+Silver.
In fact, now that I think about it, there may even be a case for the narrower spread being better in more decks (in the absence of the special factors like discard attacks, sifters and trash for benefit of course) - because most games are Province games and most decks a) don't have an abundance of +buys and b) have 3 or more Gold at some point. Which means the deck with the narrower spread will have less risk of wasting money with $9 or more while on the low end of the distribution, at the end of the game the difference between an Estate for $4 and a Duchy for $5 can be quite important.
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jomini

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Re: Mine
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2012, 11:08:13 am »
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Silver/silver means that in any hand where you hit 5 other coin (e.g. silver/silver/copper/curse), you have a 0% chance of making province. In the same hand, but with gold/copper you have a 50% chance of hitting 8 (and getting the province) and a 50% chance of hitting 6.

Sure, but you have already made arbitrary assumptions there. If you change your example of the first four cards to Silver/Silver/Silver/Curse, than additional Silvers are the cards you want because both a Copper and a Gold would waste money by netting you $7 or $9.
If you change it to Silver/Copper/Copper/Curse, than you'd probably also rather want Silvers than Golds or Coppers for your fifth card (unless you prefer a $5 card to Gold/Goons/Harem/Nobles in which case it doesn't really matter or there is a card for $7 you want).


Cursing has several affects:
1. It lowers the expectation value of your hand. Decks should virtually never have an expectation value of more than 8 coin without +buys. In a cursing game you rarely have useful +buy so we don't have too many cases where the expected other hand ever gets all the way up to silver x3, curse. More often we start tapping provinces and duchies (thus bringing down our expectation value). You normally want to green before your expectation value crests 8.
2. It makes combos harder. Lining up villages and power 5's is a lot harder in a bloated curse deck. This tends to devalue 5's and 4's meaning that in addition to VP buying, we also want to have a wide distribution earlier so we get more 3's and 6's and fewer 4's and 5's. The less coin "wasted" at 4 and 5 before greening the better. So when your expectation value gets to be 4.5 coin, you want more variance so you can pick up more "lucky" golds. Obviously the exact value of 4/5 coin actions depends on the board, but generally cursers lower the value of complicated/terminal stuff compared to silver.
3. It depletes a pile. This can lead to duchy rushing (perhaps with other cards like great hall) and the odd "lucky" province can let you control end game. For instance if the duchies are split 3/3 and you grab a province, the other player must get both the other duchies while you whiff at an estate to win. If you do grab an estate, he cannot end the game until he breaks ahead on the estates (while you can) or until he gets "lucky" and hits a province.

So for your specific examples: silver/silver/silver/curse/x is a way higher expectation value than I tend to see in cursing games. I will normally have already started greening before I get to an expectation value of 8 coin per hand. Silver/copper/copper/curse/X means that I have an expectation value of 6 coin; here it is not clear cut, but I would lean more towards variance, as I'm likely very close to greening and I'd much rather have slightly better odds at province than slightly better odds of gold.

Which I think is the bigger point. For most BMish decks you want to start greening before your expectation value gets to 8 coin. Once you start greening, you want more variance because there is nothing at 6 or 7 you want. You'd much rather have a really good hand followed by a "bad" hand.

Silver/silver is a narrower spread and depending on your deck this can be bad (e.g. when it gives you more 7 coin hands; fewer 6s and 8s) or good (more 8s; fewer 7s and 9s).

As you say it depends on the deck. So as long as you don't have an argument for why the narrower spread should be better in more decks, I maintain that there is no reason that cursing *alone* makes Gold+Copper more desirable than Silver+Silver.
In fact, now that I think about it, there may even be a case for the narrower spread being better in more decks (in the absence of the special factors like discard attacks, sifters and trash for benefit of course) - because most games are Province games and most decks a) don't have an abundance of +buys and b) have 3 or more Gold at some point. Which means the deck with the narrower spread will have less risk of wasting money with $9 or more while on the low end of the distribution, at the end of the game the difference between an Estate for $4 and a Duchy for $5 can be quite important.
[/quote]
9's are you least likely concern. 7 is a much bigger concern because it "wastes" 2x as much coin in the greening stage, and it allows the other player to pull ahead and control the end game. Two 7s means that you nab two duchies and if he gets a single province & duchy, he gets a 3 VP lead and you can now be forced to waste an 8 on a duchy because you can't end the game.

In short dominion likes variance when you are above 5 and below 8 coins in expectation value and greening. It likes high variance above 3 and below 6 when you are cash buying. It dislikes variance when you are near 5 or near 8 coins and greening. It dislikes variance when you are near 3 or near 6 and cash buying. I submit that most curse games spend most of the time in the 3-6 range for cash buying and most of the greening stage is spent in the 5-8 range.
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Varsinor

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Re: Mine
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2012, 02:35:10 pm »
0

Sparked by a game I played yesterday, I did some simulations with Geronimoo's simulator on the question of Hunting Party + Mine in a Province game and it turned out that it is considerably stronger than pure Hunting Party on a 5/2 start, but a little bit weaker on a 4/3 start. (In a Colony game, the strategy with Mine is undoubtedly way stronger regardless of the start.)

Buying a Mine with the first $5 and only then Hunting Parties (and never buying Gold but mining it) beats pure Hunting Party by 45% to 43% with a random start. If you start 5/2, then Mine+HP beats pure HP by a clear 50% to 37%. But on the other hand, if you start 4/3, then pure HP narrowly beats Mine+HP by 44% to 43%.

The reasons for the substantial difference between the two starts should be
a) that Mine considerably profits from the fact that in can be played one reshuffle earlier and
b) Hunting Party isn't a very good starting buy on a 5/2 start because of the considerable risk to draw only one card with it on its first play - especially when there is no $2 card you want to buy (and could draw with the HP). (If you are really unlucky, you may even have to play it twice (or more) for only one card.)

If an additional buy in the form of Market is in the supply, the Mine strategy profits from it (as the additional buying power it creates can better be used with an additional buy).
According to the simulations, it is optimal to buy one Market after Mine and four Hunting Party (and further HPs after that with money below $8). Such a Mine+HP+Market deck beats pure HP by 50% to 40% (55% to 35% on 5/2 and 48% to 42% on 4/3) and HP with one Market (after the fourth HP) even by 52% to 39% (60% to 32% with 5/2 and 51% to 41% with 4/3, in other words: don't buy a Market when you don't have a Mine). (Mine+HP+Market beats Mine+HP without Market with 49% to 41% on a random start.)

Here is an argument in favor of the Mine that I think has not been mentioned so far:
When you buy a Mine, you do not need to spend a $6 buy on a Gold to have one (you can mine it instad). So in other words, you can spend just as many $5+ buys on Hunting Party as you would without the Mine - you just replace one early buy of Gold with one early buy of Mine.

Sure, you can get those copper changed into silvers and those silvers into golds, but the nature of the Hunting Party searching means that the additional card's diversity represents a significant slowdown.

You have one Silver and one Gold in any case, so there is no slowdown at all by getting additional of them - especially as you don't get additional treasure cards that might bloat your deck, but replace treasure cards of lower value.
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Varsinor

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Re: Mine
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2012, 02:36:20 pm »
0

Here is the game I played yesterday as an example (which also had Market which made me include that in the simulations above). I had a 5/2 start and there was no $2, which made me start nothing/Mine:

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120807-174707-2ca8d694.html

I got to play the Mine 7 times in 17 turns (on turns 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13 and 16).

Comments on my play:
- I think it was a mistake to buy Wishing Wells with my extra buy from the Market on turns 10 and 12 and it was definitely a mistake to play a Wishing Well before a Hunting Party on turns 13 and 15 (although on turn 15 it didn't turn out to be relevant).
- The simulations suggest that it was a mistake to buy my fourth Hunting Party at all on turn 10 with $9 (and two buys) instead of a Province. After all, my opponent had already bought two Provinces.
- I bought the Market too early (between the second and the third Hunting Party). According to my simulations above I shouldn't have bought it until after the fourth Hunting Party (although those simulations did not include Wishing Well).
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 03:15:44 pm by Varsinor »
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