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Powerman

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Expand
« on: July 09, 2012, 08:33:42 pm »
+4



Expand lets you trash a bad card from your hand, and instead gain a good one.  It effectively is Remodel's older brother, as it does the same thing except adding up to $3 of value instead of $2 of value to the card.  Does this make it a great card?  Yes -- sometimes.  But MOST of the time, the answer is no.

When to buy Expand

Case 1: Peddler
Peddler is great with any TFB card, and Expand is probably the best one for it.  Why is that?  Drawing a Peddler and an Expand gets you a Colony (or in a province game you can still get a province).  This is extremely effective, as you can get the peddler for very little but trash it at full value for a huge VP Swing.

Case 2: Grand Market
Grand Market is probably the second best card for Expand.  Why?  Getting GM's is hard because you need not have copper in play.  With Expand this isn't a problem, as you can turn your Silvers into GM's, which is more than a fair trade.  Also late in the game, the $6 GM's can be turned into Provinces if need be, which can make a double province turn trivial.

Case 3: Curses
Expand is one of the few cards that can do anything with curses.  Remodel lets you turn them into estates (most of the time), bleh.  Upgrade, transmute, salvager, etc. give you no benefit except getting the curse out of your deck, which is ok but too slow and leaves you with a 3 card hand and your turn accomplishes little.  Expand lets you turn curses into $3 cards, which is at a minimum always a silver.  Otherwise, there are many more $3 cards you want than $2 cards you want, and depending on your deck adding a Village/FV/GH/WW/etc. can be even more effective

Case 4: (Counter) to Duke
This is certainly not easy to execute, but can give you a chance to stop a Duchy-Duke player dead in their tracks.  The idea being is you can buy the duchies (or dukes) at 5, and then expand them into provinces.  Doing this even 4 times can make it so that you will be able to beat out the Duke player with your province strategy.  This requires a semi-small deck so you can turn them into Provinces ASAP.  Although this might not be as good as simply going Duke yourself, if you don't want to go Duke it might give you hope.

Case 5: Cursers
Cursers are great early.  Late?  Not so much!  After the curses are out, cursers fall somewhere between useless and a poor silver.  However, with Expand that's ok.  Witch done giving out curses?  Turn it into a Province!  Familiar?  How about a Possession! 

Case 6: Price Reduction
Price reduction allows you to do crazy things with Expand.  The first (and often easiest) way is by use of Highway.  How?  Cards can't cost less than 0.  This means for Expanding purposes, cards become closer to 0, so cards that already are 0 (AKA curse/copper) become closer to the other cards.  For example, after just 2 highways, you can Expand a curse into a duchy for a 4 VP swing.  Another fun way is by use of quarry.  Buy actions (preferably of value 5) cheap, and then Expand them into provinces.

Case 7: Strong (Nonterminal) 5's
$5 cards fill an important role in an Expander's world.  They fill the crucial step between Estates ($2) and Provinces ($8).  On every board, there is an option to simply expand via Duchy, but that is very rarely ideal until very near the end of the game.  Instead, it is a lot better to turn your estates into $5 cards that you want lots of.  Cards that fall into this category are almost always nonterminal, such as Laboratory, Hunting Party, Bazaar, Market and Minion, but depending on the kingdom, terminals such as Torturer, Rabble and Wharf deserve close consideration.  Treasury is a special case, as it can go back on top of your deck, and since you are expanding to gain your province instead of buying it, you can keep topdecking.

While these all make Expand have value, what causes it to lose value?  When should you avoid Expand?

When to avoid Expand

Case 1: Lack of +Actions
Although Expand is a non-drawing terminal (which is generally the type you like with the absence of villages), Expand is not normally the terminal you want to use, as there is normally a stronger one on the board.  It is worth noting that in terminal collisions, you can Expand your other terminal, but you have to ask yourself if it is worth losing your other terminal if it is early.

Case 2: If it will be used as a (weaker) Mine
0 + 3 = 3.  3 + 3 = 6.  6 + 3 = 9.  The synergy between Expand and Treasures appears obvious.  However, there exists a card (Mine) that does this better, as the card you gain goes directly into your hand.  And Mine costs $2 less.  And it's considered a "weak" $5 card to begin with.  So expanding treasures is almost always a bad use of Expand.

Case 3: If it will be used as a Remodel
Although sometimes you need the remodel effect, Expand is not normally the way you want it.  Remodel costs $3 less, and is far from a power 4.  Yes, expanding your gold into a province to win the game is a nice feeling, but chances are if you had simply bought a gold instead of the expand, you could have simply bought the province outright.  So adding $2 of value is less than ideal.

Case 4: If it will be used to no effect
This may seem obvious, but I have seen many players (even some experienced players) fall into this trap.  For example, they might expand a gold into a platinum, and then buy a gold.  Basically if they hadn't expanded, their deck would have ended up with a gold and a platinum.  And by expanding... they end up with a gold and a platinum.  Obviously, the expand is being misused in this situation.

Case 5: Large decks/ slow cycling decks
Like Mine and Remodel, Expand gets better the more times through your deck the good cards go.  With a large deck, you might only see the card you gained 1 or 2 times, so the better card will have little to no impact on your deck.

General Comments

Expand is a card that looks scarily powerful at first, but really isn't all that good.  Most of the time it is used as a Mine or Remodel, in which case you are overpaying for a card that isn't all that good to begin with.  Perhaps the situation where Expand "shines" the most is upgrading your victory cards.  Turning your estates into duchies gains you VP points without additional clogging of your deck.  However, even this is often a poor idea as you are gaining points really slowly.  Expand is much better in Prosperity games (surprise surprise) but is often a non factor in games with little prosperity, especially when colony is not out.  It is important to remember that every Expand you buy could have been a gold, which gives $3.  So you have to ask yourself if it is really worth it.

The general population buys this card 68% of the time, which is way too high.  The win rate with is higher without it than with it.  Expand is useful in probably 1/3 of the games it is available, not 2/3.

Example Game Logs
Here my opponent uses Expand, and quite poorly at that.  First off, there is no village so it is drawn often several times.  Secondly when it IS used, it has little effect (look at turns 14 (where he could have simply bought the colony), 15 (where he could have simply bought the platinum or if it had been a gold, bought a colony), and 18 (where he could have simply bought the duchy).

Here my opponent makes several mistakes, but his use of expanding coppers to silvers only compounds these problems.

Here my opponent uses Expand very effectively to beat my uncontested Fool's Gold strategy.  He expands his estates to Labs/Wharfs, and later on cashes into turn his cards into points.

Here my opponent uses Expand optimally (on a board with curses no less!), but the slowness of Expand shows. 


Works with:

Peddler
Grand Market
Curses and Cursers
Prosperity in General
Mint
Quarry (and other Price Reduction)
Treasury


Conflicts with:

Big Money centered boards
No 5's you want (for your estates to turn into)
Bloated Decks
Treasure trashing (much worse than Mine)
Quick games
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 04:47:35 pm by Powerman »
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jomini

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Re: Expand
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 11:16:48 pm »
+4

A couple of things:
1. Like many expensive cards, the biggest thing I look for is way to play it often. Sifting/trashing are absolutely huge with expand. Lining up power plays - like duchy -> province, province -> colony, estate -> duchy, any 4 -> KC, estate -> lab just takes to long when you only see expand once every 3 turns. Playing expand every turn, however, can make for rapid deck explosion. Warehouse is likely the best enabler here, both because it is a cantrip sifter and because it it can be expanded from coppers. With things like KC or TR around, sifters become even more powerful, hitting regular Tr->Ex is just insanely strong if you always have strong targets.

2. While grand markets are nice, you still have to spend a silver and nerf your current turn to pull off that trick. A nicer shot is flipping estates -> non-terminal power 5's. E.g. Hunting party, minion, lab, market, cartographer. These are things you want in huge quantity, they let you play expand more often, and late game they provide targets to expand into provinces. Think about it this way, if there is a 5 pile on which you want to win the split, then expand sacrifices one purchase now for a chance to convert estates -> that card each turn after that. If you can set up Ex (E->5) twice, you've come out far, far ahead.

3. Lack of +buy. Like all card gainers, if this the only way to break parity, it can be just that good to snag key duchy to prolong the game or to seal a 3 point win instead of a losing tie score.

4. Cards that change the value of other cards. Highway x2 means that you can expand coppers into 5's (e.g. more highways) and that can be quite strong. Princess -> expand can let you go from coppers to duchies. Quarry is great for buying cheap and expanding high. E.g. Expand a mine -> province, play quarry + silver, buy mine, repeat.

5. Expand loves tournament. Tournament gives you princess, followers, steed, bag of gold, and a huge influx of duchies. Expand can use all of them exceptionally well. The estates from followers make great food to expand into 5s, princess let's you go from coppers to 5s, steed is +actions or gets a silver flood for fodder, bag of gold provides a steady stream of gold to expand into provinces, and of course duchy -> province doubles the point density of the prize. In addition, expand can help you mass tournaments and get early provinces. The problem is that tournament loves a lot of other stuff more than expand, but a strong setup of sifting/tournament/expand makes a busted hand of 7 coin much more bearable.

A note on case 4 avoidance: Using expand as you mentioned is likely an error, but it does have the option of showing a watchtower and top decking both the gold and the plat. I know I've done that with plenty of TfB cards and expand is no exception.

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Dsell

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Re: Expand
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 12:01:20 am »
0

You mention it in passing in the "works with" and jomini talked more about it, but expand (and other trash-for-benefit cards) are really, really great with cost reducers, especially highway. In this game against Ozle, I used lots of highways to expand coppers into a highway AND a province:
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120626-153423-af7b8160.html
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kn1tt3r

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Re: Expand
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 12:43:11 am »
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2. While grand markets are nice, you still have to spend a silver and nerf your current turn to pull off that trick. A nicer shot is flipping estates -> non-terminal power 5's. E.g. Hunting party, minion, lab, market, cartographer. These are things you want in huge quantity, they let you play expand more often, and late game they provide targets to expand into provinces. Think about it this way, if there is a 5 pile on which you want to win the split, then expand sacrifices one purchase now for a chance to convert estates -> that card each turn after that. If you can set up Ex (E->5) twice, you've come out far, far ahead.
This is the most important comment I think. Expand is best when there are good 5s - not only because of Estate => 5, but also very much because of the endgame 5 => Province. This is THE big thing that makes Expand so much better than Remodel.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Expand
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 12:57:44 am »
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The main problem with this article, imo, is that your section about "when to avoid" basically just makes the semi-trivial point that you should avoid it when you can't use it well. Of course if you have nothing good to Expand is bad, but how do you recognize that before you buy the Expand? Point 5 is a useful one, though it should be more general. Point 5 is a good start. You need to play the Expand a lot of times to make it worthwhile. Ways to achieve this include not only having a deck that is not "large", but also having ways of drawing more cards (so you have better choices of what to Expand, and maybe even still have enough cards to buy something after Expanding), being able to buy it early (opportunistically get it on an early $7), and having the game last a long time after you're able to hit $7 (Colony game). I also don't know about point 1. I'm not sure how +actions is a big deal with Expand. Expand does alright with collisions, because you can just Expand the other card.

I'm no expert on Expand, but I feel that in a non-Colony game, you really have to be able to hit a couple Estates into $5s to make a non-late-game Expand really pay off, because adding $3 to anything else is not a sufficient improvement vs just adding $3 to your purchasing power as you would with Gold. You have to be able to take advantage of the fact that Estates are overpriced compared to other cards.

I also buy Expand on $7 in the late game ahead of Duchy, because when you draw your Expand, you can usually get Province + Estate, which is better than just getting Duchy and then Duchy again when you draw it. But I'm not 100% sure if/when this is a good idea.
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meow

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Re: Expand
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 02:50:34 am »
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Governor may merit a special mention.  Along with being a great $5 target for estates, you may be able to make the Expand into a Province when your opponent remodel's a gold into a Province. 
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zahlman

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Re: Expand
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 03:20:04 am »
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Governor may merit a special mention.  Along with being a great $5 target for estates, you may be able to make the Expand into a Province when your opponent remodel's a gold into a Province.

Not to mention the option to Expand the Governor ;)
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lespeutere

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Re: Expand
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 03:57:58 am »
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This would be a nice sample game for the peddler/colony scenario, I guess.
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120709-094142-be9c9d25.html
I'm not sure whether this was executed well (I got to admit I stole the KC/feast move from chwhite in this game + he was awfully unlucky with his draws after my minioning) and whether an earlier expand would've been even better (tough call with KC on the board) but the last turn made it all up for me (again me being lucky to just draw KC/expand/3 peddlers - with tactician though).

Other than that I share the opinion on estate -> 5$ and late game 5$ -> province as being the most important feature of expand, followed by its usefulness in games lacking +buy. And maybe one should expand (yeah! ;)) on the rising effectiveness in long games (you just mention it conflicts with quick games, if I didn't miss something).
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DG

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Re: Expand
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 07:57:44 am »
+1

5 cost cards. That's what makes the expand tick. All the best work is along the 2-5-8-11 sequence. There are plenty of 5 cost cards that can be the key to a kingdom and in those situations an expand lets you trash your estates for key cards or cash those key cards in your deck for provinces in the end game. We can talk about minions, upgrades, laboratories, mountebanks, wharves, bazaars, ghost ships, witches, libraries, cities, and plenty others.

An expand also gives opportunities to buy provinces with a view to expanding them later.
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D Bo

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Re: Expand
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 08:05:00 am »
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You mentioned turning a familiar into a possession, this is doable? I'm always unclear on the rules regarding trashing/remodeling/etc cards with potion costs. But I suppose since the familiar included a potion in the cost, it can be upgraded to the possession?
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Ozle

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Re: Expand
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 08:34:59 am »
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You mention it in passing in the "works with" and jomini talked more about it, but expand (and other trash-for-benefit cards) are really, really great with cost reducers, especially highway. In this game against Ozle, I used lots of highways to expand coppers into a highway AND a province:
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120626-153423-af7b8160.html

Im still not quite sure how you were only 5 points up in that game! It felt like a kicking during it! I also feel that if my loans didnt hit my golds the first two times around it would have been even closer. Showing that Expand is really slow!
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lespeutere

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Re: Expand
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 08:37:19 am »
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You mentioned turning a familiar into a possession, this is doable? I'm always unclear on the rules regarding trashing/remodeling/etc cards with potion costs. But I suppose since the familiar included a potion in the cost, it can be upgraded to the possession?

You can expand alchemist or familiar. However, there is nothing to be upgraded into a possession since there is no card at 5$P.
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D Bo

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Re: Expand
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 08:45:38 am »
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Thanks - bad choice of words with "upgrading" there. Appreciate the clarification.
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Powerman

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Re: Expand
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2012, 09:36:23 am »
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The main problem with this article, imo, is that your section about "when to avoid" basically just makes the semi-trivial point that you should avoid it when you can't use it well. Of course if you have nothing good to Expand is bad, but how do you recognize that before you buy the Expand? Point 5 is a useful one, though it should be more general. Point 5 is a good start. You need to play the Expand a lot of times to make it worthwhile. Ways to achieve this include not only having a deck that is not "large", but also having ways of drawing more cards (so you have better choices of what to Expand, and maybe even still have enough cards to buy something after Expanding), being able to buy it early (opportunistically get it on an early $7), and having the game last a long time after you're able to hit $7 (Colony game). I also don't know about point 1. I'm not sure how +actions is a big deal with Expand. Expand does alright with collisions, because you can just Expand the other card.

I'm no expert on Expand, but I feel that in a non-Colony game, you really have to be able to hit a couple Estates into $5s to make a non-late-game Expand really pay off, because adding $3 to anything else is not a sufficient improvement vs just adding $3 to your purchasing power as you would with Gold. You have to be able to take advantage of the fact that Estates are overpriced compared to other cards.

I also buy Expand on $7 in the late game ahead of Duchy, because when you draw your Expand, you can usually get Province + Estate, which is better than just getting Duchy and then Duchy again when you draw it. But I'm not 100% sure if/when this is a good idea.

Yes, I knew that was a slight problem when I wrote the article.  There really isn't a card or cards that make it so Expand can't work, the problem is that it is misused a lot, and that it is too slow.  But when you buy the card, you should have a decent idea of what you are going to use it on, and you shouldn't just buy it to buy it.  If you know "I have a lot of $5 cards, I can turn them into provinces" that is a strategy.  If you just are like "I'll improve my cards!" that isn't.

@All - I'll expand the talk of Expand's interaction with price reducers, and add in more about the 5's past the mention of the estates.

If anyone has more scenarios that make Expand a "bad" card (besides in general) let me know!
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Re: Expand
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2012, 10:17:48 am »
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Play 5 highways/bridges => any potion card upgrades to possesion
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jomini

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Re: Expand
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2012, 11:17:53 am »
0

The main problem with this article, imo, is that your section about "when to avoid" basically just makes the semi-trivial point that you should avoid it when you can't use it well. Of course if you have nothing good to Expand is bad, but how do you recognize that before you buy the Expand? Point 5 is a useful one, though it should be more general. Point 5 is a good start. You need to play the Expand a lot of times to make it worthwhile. Ways to achieve this include not only having a deck that is not "large", but also having ways of drawing more cards (so you have better choices of what to Expand, and maybe even still have enough cards to buy something after Expanding), being able to buy it early (opportunistically get it on an early $7), and having the game last a long time after you're able to hit $7 (Colony game). I also don't know about point 1. I'm not sure how +actions is a big deal with Expand. Expand does alright with collisions, because you can just Expand the other card.

I'm no expert on Expand, but I feel that in a non-Colony game, you really have to be able to hit a couple Estates into $5s to make a non-late-game Expand really pay off, because adding $3 to anything else is not a sufficient improvement vs just adding $3 to your purchasing power as you would with Gold. You have to be able to take advantage of the fact that Estates are overpriced compared to other cards.

I also buy Expand on $7 in the late game ahead of Duchy, because when you draw your Expand, you can usually get Province + Estate, which is better than just getting Duchy and then Duchy again when you draw it. But I'm not 100% sure if/when this is a good idea.

Yes, I knew that was a slight problem when I wrote the article.  There really isn't a card or cards that make it so Expand can't work, the problem is that it is misused a lot, and that it is too slow.  But when you buy the card, you should have a decent idea of what you are going to use it on, and you shouldn't just buy it to buy it.  If you know "I have a lot of $5 cards, I can turn them into provinces" that is a strategy.  If you just are like "I'll improve my cards!" that isn't.

@All - I'll expand the talk of Expand's interaction with price reducers, and add in more about the 5's past the mention of the estates.

If anyone has more scenarios that make Expand a "bad" card (besides in general) let me know!

Expand is really bad when you will see it rarely and with low odds of making a good expand (e.g. estate + expand -> 5). The biggest example is on a board with no 5 cost kingdom cards. Yeah estate -> duchy nets you two points, but a gold will normally be more helpful; losing the option at the end of the game to expand actions -> province is a major loss to the card. If there are few good 3s as well, expand is rarely that good.

To a lesser extent having strong terminal 5s makes expand less useful. If you have +action, great mix the embassies and the expands, if you don't it can be a major lost opportunity if you play the expand once and then have to discard it for the rest of the game. Council room is another candidate for making expand bad - terminal draw means that the odds of using expand once or twice gets a lot higher and that makes gold or even duchy much more viable. Non-5 terminal draw can also be problematic.

Gardens and silk roads are not so fond of expand. 4 coin is the bastard point for expand, you have nothing you really want to expand to that and the cards that enable good 4 coin decks do little to help expand. I'd be strongly tempted if I was unlucky enough to get 7 coin in a silk road game to just buy the silk road or a duchy instead. Alt-VP rushes in general, don't support many 7 coin hands and you have to be very early in the game for the opportunity cost of not getting an alt-vp card to be low enough to make the expand worth it. Fairgrounds and vine yards are exceptions as expand is great for adding diversity and converting coppers/estates to actions; also expand is good with alt-VPs if you are just grabbing them as padding in a province centered strategy.

Expand is less useful if other TfBs are out. You spend a lot of the article talking about how remodel and mine do much the same the thing, but cost vastly less ... well kinda. There are situations where I'd pay 7 for either of those cards because the abilities they bring can be that game warping. E.g. remodel in a game without +buy or other gainers means that I can remodel copper to estate and get a one point win. Yeah I sacrificed an estate to get that ability, but use it twice and I come out way ahead. Mine is great for building up Forge or Apprentice fodder in an engine; mine can also be strong in plat games and to a lesser extent in kingdom treasure games. I might buy expand in rare cases to do just those roles; conversely when they are out, I want the expand less. Yes going from gold -> plat is good enough that I might grab expand to do that, but am I going to do that when I can use a mine and have the plat in hand? Nope. Likewise remodel allows me to accelerate the endgame almost as much as expand (expand province to province works the same as remodel), and I can get it a lot earlier. I may want both (afterall I can upgrade expands into provinces or expand upgrades into provinces), but expand isn't as hot as when its the ONLY way to get more than 6 VP a turn.



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Powerman

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Re: Expand
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2012, 11:48:44 am »
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Expand is really bad when you will see it rarely and with low odds of making a good expand (e.g. estate + expand -> 5). The biggest example is on a board with no 5 cost kingdom cards. Yeah estate -> duchy nets you two points, but a gold will normally be more helpful; losing the option at the end of the game to expand actions -> province is a major loss to the card. If there are few good 3s as well, expand is rarely that good.

To a lesser extent having strong terminal 5s makes expand less useful. If you have +action, great mix the embassies and the expands, if you don't it can be a major lost opportunity if you play the expand once and then have to discard it for the rest of the game. Council room is another candidate for making expand bad - terminal draw means that the odds of using expand once or twice gets a lot higher and that makes gold or even duchy much more viable. Non-5 terminal draw can also be problematic.

Gardens and silk roads are not so fond of expand. 4 coin is the bastard point for expand, you have nothing you really want to expand to that and the cards that enable good 4 coin decks do little to help expand. I'd be strongly tempted if I was unlucky enough to get 7 coin in a silk road game to just buy the silk road or a duchy instead. Alt-VP rushes in general, don't support many 7 coin hands and you have to be very early in the game for the opportunity cost of not getting an alt-vp card to be low enough to make the expand worth it. Fairgrounds and vine yards are exceptions as expand is great for adding diversity and converting coppers/estates to actions; also expand is good with alt-VPs if you are just grabbing them as padding in a province centered strategy.

Expand is less useful if other TfBs are out. You spend a lot of the article talking about how remodel and mine do much the same the thing, but cost vastly less ... well kinda. There are situations where I'd pay 7 for either of those cards because the abilities they bring can be that game warping. E.g. remodel in a game without +buy or other gainers means that I can remodel copper to estate and get a one point win. Yeah I sacrificed an estate to get that ability, but use it twice and I come out way ahead. Mine is great for building up Forge or Apprentice fodder in an engine; mine can also be strong in plat games and to a lesser extent in kingdom treasure games. I might buy expand in rare cases to do just those roles; conversely when they are out, I want the expand less. Yes going from gold -> plat is good enough that I might grab expand to do that, but am I going to do that when I can use a mine and have the plat in hand? Nope. Likewise remodel allows me to accelerate the endgame almost as much as expand (expand province to province works the same as remodel), and I can get it a lot earlier. I may want both (afterall I can upgrade expands into provinces or expand upgrades into provinces), but expand isn't as hot as when its the ONLY way to get more than 6 VP a turn.

Obviously there are situations where you would pay 7 for a remodel/mine, so paying 7 for Expand there is not a big deal.  My point is that the buy rate for Expand is 68%, Remodel is 58%, and Mine is only 47%, and often you will be using Expand as simply a remodel or a nerfed mine.  So it does not make sense to buy Expand that much more than the other cards, as it is only stronger in some situational cases.  And it is important to note how much worse Expand is at mining than mine.  Each play of Mine adds $1 (or $2) to your current hand, while Expand subtracts $1, $2, or $3.  The difference between mining and expanding a gold into a platinum is $5 on your current hand!  That is a huge reduction!
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jomini

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Re: Expand
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2012, 03:26:54 pm »
+1

I think you are overlooking the fact that even if it is mostly an expensive remodel or a nerfed mine, it also brings flexibility. Take an easy example - its a colony game and swindler, chancellor, mine, harems, and adventurers are out. Normally you'd want the mine instead of the expand to take advantage of plats & opportunistic harems, however with swindler in play you run the real risk of having golds become adventurers and silvers becoming chancellors. Expand has the added flexibility that you can use any 3, even a crappy chancellor, to turn into a gold/harem; even "useless" adventurers can become plats. Now given that mine can never gain you VP outside of harem, expand makes a lot more sense. The ability to turn golds -> provinces (or otherwise gain VP) and to accelerate game end (province -> province) is big enough that I'd be shocked if expand shouldn't be bought more often than mine - it is just vastly more flexible.

Likewise, given that colonies are more common on expand boards than on mine boards we should expect more buying from that correlation as well.
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arcee

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Re: Expand
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2012, 03:46:02 pm »
+3

in the duke section, it's better to say Duke than D-D.  If somebody is playing for Dukes, it's obvious they are getting Duchies and it removes pointless slang.
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KingsSkort

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Re: Expand
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2012, 05:26:01 pm »
+1

Thanks for this article! I played a Peddler/Expand/Colony game today, and was inspired to go for an expand-based strategy:

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201207/10/game-20120710-131746-d904e410.html

On this board, I was able to use a moneyless build (relying on spamming enough actions to gain a free peddler every turn).
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WheresMyElephant

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Re: Expand
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2012, 08:17:05 pm »
0

You mentioned turning a familiar into a possession, this is doable? I'm always unclear on the rules regarding trashing/remodeling/etc cards with potion costs. But I suppose since the familiar included a potion in the cost, it can be upgraded to the possession?

If the card specifies "the cost (in coins)," it disregards Potion entirely; thus you can Forge Alchemist into Silver but not into Familiar. This is probably what's giving you trouble.

If it says "A card costing up to $X more" like Remodel, it can use Potion (Apothecary->Alchemist) or not (Apothecary->Silver) because 3 is less than 3P.

If it says "A card costing exactly $X more," and does not specify coins, then obviously you can't drop the Potion: Alchemist can be upgraded to Golem but not to Smithy.
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Markov Chain

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Re: Expand
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2012, 09:03:10 pm »
0

Governor may merit a special mention.  Along with being a great $5 target for estates, you may be able to make the Expand into a Province when your opponent remodel's a gold into a Province.

Similarly, Expand and Upgrade can work together; if they collide late, you can either Expand your Upgrade (if you don't have another action to play) or Upgrade your Expand (if you do), or you can Upgrade one card and Expand another. 

Multiple Expands aren't quite as nice because there is no card worth $10.  If two Expands collide, you waste some of the value (in a Colony game, turning one into Platinum, and in a Province game, turning one into a Province).  If two Remodels collide, you don't get to play both but you do get a good use of the card, turning one into a Gold.
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Voltgloss

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Re: Expand
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2012, 01:01:15 am »
+4

I'm surprised no one mentioned the synergy between Expand and Treasury yet.  A cantrip $5 that always comes back to your hand as long as you don't buy VP... plus a way to turn those cantrip $5's into VP without having to buy a single Province?  Yes please.
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Powerman

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Re: Expand
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2012, 04:48:01 pm »
0

I'm surprised no one mentioned the synergy between Expand and Treasury yet.  A cantrip $5 that always comes back to your hand as long as you don't buy VP... plus a way to turn those cantrip $5's into VP without having to buy a single Province?  Yes please.

Good mention!  I added a little bit about it in there.
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