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Author Topic: Any GenCon or WBC news?  (Read 21224 times)

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fp

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Any GenCon or WBC news?
« on: August 07, 2011, 12:20:43 am »
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Kirian

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2011, 01:25:24 am »
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I've heard third-hand that there was some... trouble... at the RGG Dominion tournament.  I imagine WBC organizers will have to be on the lookout for shenanigans--card-palming, false shuffles, etc.
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theory

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2011, 09:30:14 am »
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I finished 3rd at WBC finals, and I'm not happy about it.  Not because there was anything wrong with the tournament or any shady dealings, but I lost to people who weren't familiar with the cards (e.g., I had my Coppers Swindled into more Coppers, and players bought Coppers).

I won all my preliminary heats (intrigue-only), quarterfinals (intrigue-only), and semifinals (seaside-only) playing various versions of Big Money modified (and in semifinals, being the only one interested in Sea Hag while others went for Pirate Ships was pretty dominating).  The finals was two games (5 intrigue 5 seaside).  The first set was:

Courtyard
Ambassador
Great Hall
Scout
Swindler
Treasury
Outpost
Conspirator
Pirate Ship
Native Village

In 4th position, I opened Ambassador/Ambassador while others opened Baron/Silver, Pirate Ship/Silver (!), and Scout/Swindler (!!).  One Ambassador missed the first reshuffle, but whatever.  I thinned my deck dramatically and built a pretty good Treasury/Conspirator/Outpost engine.  But right before I was able to kick my engine into high gear (I had 1 Province and was ready for 2-Province turns), the game ended on piles and I was in last place.  As it turns out, Ambassador in 4p is very different than in 2p: somehow it feels less effective (though I have no theoretical justification for this), but more importantly, it drains piles.  I drained the estates, they had emptied the Great Halls, and my opponent had been swindling everyone's Silvers into Ambassadors (since it was a "useless" card).  With two Ambassadors left, the second-place player played Outpost, bought an Ambassador, and bought the last Ambassador on her Outpost turn.

Second game, I played Masquerade/Big Money while they messed around with Baron.  (Maybe my Masquerades indirectly kept people's Barons fed.)  The person who placed first last game hit his Baron on every reshuffle and won again, while I made one mistake (early Nobles instead of Gold) and bottom-decked all my money on the last turn, so I finished second.  My 4th and 2nd put me to 3rd overall.

So yeah, I'm not particularly pleased I finished third behind people who opened Scout.  C'est la vie.  At least I didn't fly all the way out to GenCon, since if I had done that and lost under similar circumstances I might have punched a hole in something.

(Don't even ask me about Twilight Struggle.  Against the best player in the world, I stupidly play Defectors when he sees my headline first, so I cancel out Africa Scoring, costing myself 10VP, and I lose in Final Scoring by 1VP.)
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2011, 11:25:11 am »
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how did rrenaud do? I assume not top-4 otherwise you would have mentioned him being in the final with you...
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DG

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2011, 11:52:52 am »
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Quote
As it turns out, Ambassador in 4p is very different than in 2p: somehow it feels less effective
There's a whole bundle of chaos in that set and the decks will expand or shrink rapidly based on the group think. It's pretty much impossible for just one player to counter the collective strategies of all the opponents. Maybe you needed to open ambassador/silver to get the treasuries sooner. That scout is, in hindsight, only a peculiar buy and not a dreadful buy. I bet it drew one or two cards every play. Your opponent who said that the extra ambassadors would be useless was actually proved right by the group thinking too! I'm guessing those swindled ambassadors were never used more than once and any cards they passed on were never drawn again.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 11:56:14 am by DG »
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Razzishi

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2011, 12:38:17 pm »
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I finished 3rd at WBC finals, and I'm not happy about it. 

I'm not particularly happy about them running the finals as a 2-game 4-player match.  I can understand how the organizers want to move things along by having as many people as possible in each game and have the game be played in its most general configuration, but I really hope that more than 2 games were planned for the finals and didn't need them because the same person won both of the first two.

As to what you could have done differently, one thing about the 4-player format you may not have appreciated was how fast piles can run out.  There's only 3 Victory cards per player, and 2.5 non-victory cards; people often will scramble to grab their share of a certain card before they run out.  I don't know exactly what modifications to your strategy you should make, but giving 3 other players all your Estates on a board with Scout and Great Hall is really asking for piles to be run out with you behind in VP. 

Also, consider that the people that made the finals were those who successfully played 4-player against a large field.  They quite likely knew what they were doing in a multiplayer game far more than someone who plays consistently 2-player.  And in 4-player it is perfectly reasonable to end the game when you're in second, because it means you beat two other people; I don't know if you're wagging your finger at the person who ended the game while not in first, but I'd likely have done the same thing depending on the score and the scoring system.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 12:42:05 pm by Razzishi »
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play2draw

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 01:24:06 pm »
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I think this might, at the very least, demonstrate that dominionstrategy ought to include strategies for games with more than two people. Just as how the kingdom cards can vary in a set, so too can the number of opponents.

Perhaps more of us should auto-match at 3-players instead of 2.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 01:27:08 pm by play2draw »
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rod-

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 01:44:51 pm »
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Even something as strategically simple and valuable as the PPR has not yet been quantified or explained for multiplayer games - to some degree you can't do anything about it except extend it to (#opponents+1), but I agree - it's certainly an area for collective improvement.
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Razzishi

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2011, 06:59:11 pm »
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Even something as strategically simple and valuable as the PPR has not yet been quantified or explained for multiplayer games - to some degree you can't do anything about it except extend it to (#opponents+1), but I agree - it's certainly an area for collective improvement.

Indeed, with trying to formulate any such principles you run into a whole host of concerns that you don't get in a 2-player game.    Even if everyone plays "optimally", you need to ascertain what places each person will be comfortable in accepting given the current game state.  In a 2 player game, not winning is the absolute worst you can do, whereas in a 3 or 4 player game you might feel that ending the game sooner rather than later will get you a better finish, even if it isn't first.  Players may need to make a decision at some point whether to gamble and go for 1st or play it safe and take 2nd, and that decision will be partly based on the overall scoring system.  If only the winner advances, you clearly need to play differently than if 1st and 2nd both advance.
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fp

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2011, 10:17:00 pm »
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I think this might, at the very least, demonstrate that dominionstrategy ought to include strategies for games with more than two people. Just as how the kingdom cards can vary in a set, so too can the number of opponents.

Perhaps more of us should auto-match at 3-players instead of 2.

Just a couple of comments.

1. 3-player games on isotropic, I find incredibly slow. I am under the impression many other do too.

2. I am very surprised there was no effort to coordinate practice before the WBC
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2011, 10:33:46 pm »
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I think this might, at the very least, demonstrate that dominionstrategy ought to include strategies for games with more than two people. Just as how the kingdom cards can vary in a set, so too can the number of opponents.

Perhaps more of us should auto-match at 3-players instead of 2.
I don't think this demonstrates that at all. I think this demonstrates that we're not as good at multiplayer (which I think we actually already knew), maybe that we suck at multiplayer (at least in comparison), but that does not in fact imply that we need to study it more. That would only follow if we also assumed that we cared about multiplayer, but I think, in fact, that that generally isn't true.
I mean, I care about multiplayer, but I'm quite happy to not study it - it makes it more fun when I play with my friends, which is generally IRL.

chwhite

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2011, 10:49:01 pm »
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I mean, I care about multiplayer, but I'm quite happy to not study it - it makes it more fun when I play with my friends, which is generally IRL.

This is a very good point. 
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kn1tt3r

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2011, 01:12:23 am »
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Moving from 2p to multiplayer makes things more random and at the same time much more complicated to calculate, so it's not really worth the effort.

Some principles are simple (like buying Duchies earlier, i.e when there are about 5 Provinces left), some are trivial (the PPR applies just the same if all but one opponent are way behind in points), but to really go into depth of mulitplayer odds and chances it requires more than pencil and paper to calculate I believe.
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Arya Stark

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2011, 01:19:34 am »
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So funny Theory, I was laughing while reading your post, ya multi player games are so different than 2 players online. I feel your pain though, I took 2nd at a little tournament due to lucky draws with jester and tournamnet prizes for the final game. It sucks losing to people that you know are not that good.
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Axe Knight

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2011, 02:35:32 am »
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I'm sad I missed this.  Would have been good to actually meet some other players.  It's geographically very close, but I knew I'd be busy around this time.  4 player Dominion is far more of a crapshoot than 2, and being the first player can be huge.

I've heard third-hand that there was some... trouble... at the RGG Dominion tournament.  I imagine WBC organizers will have to be on the lookout for shenanigans--card-palming, false shuffles, etc.

Interesting.  Can anyone who was there evaluate this?
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Superdad

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2011, 09:28:46 am »
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As funny as this is, I played a completely relevant-to-this-conversation game against a 4 year old, 6 year old and 8 year old at the cottage this weekend.

I was teaching them the game and we hit our first 10-kindgom set game. In the kingdom was Pawn, and Great hall. For teaching purposes, I opened chapel - to show them why you want to trash your early cards. They all opened stuff like estate/great hall, or estate/duchy, etc.

Hilariously enough, with the buying frenzy for pawn/estate/great hall, the game ended on piles VERY early , and even though my deck was obviously way stronger, the game ended so quickly that I actually finished in second place to an 8 year old that opened duchy/pawn on a 5/2.

It kind of opened my eyes. In 4 player games, I think the largest thing to evaluate is group-think. If everyone is racing cheap cards, the game can pile-end VERY quickly. I mean VERY VERY quickly. I'm talking 10 to 11 turns quick.
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rrenaud

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2011, 10:37:20 am »
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I got 5th.  I lost a game in semi finals where I perhaps got a bit too overzealous with ambassador.  On one turn with $11, I bought a wharf and a gold where I maybe should have taken just a province.  On my last turn in the losing game, I needed $8 to buy the last prov for the win, but hit $7 and got 3rd, 31-30-24-x.  I won the next game in semis where other players when Pirate Ship and I went Sea Hag, but a 1st and 3rd was not quite enough to make it to the 4 player finals.
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theory

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2011, 02:25:33 pm »
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Also, consider that the people that made the finals were those who successfully played 4-player against a large field.  They quite likely knew what they were doing in a multiplayer game far more than someone who plays consistently 2-player.  And in 4-player it is perfectly reasonable to end the game when you're in second, because it means you beat two other people; I don't know if you're wagging your finger at the person who ended the game while not in first, but I'd likely have done the same thing depending on the score and the scoring system.
No finger-wagging intended.  Two years ago I finished second because the last-place player ended it in last place, which I thought was definitely deserving of finger-wagging, but in this game I would have done the same thing because letting me accelerate up would have pushed her to third instead of second.
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theory

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2011, 02:31:31 pm »
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I've heard third-hand that there was some... trouble... at the RGG Dominion tournament.  I imagine WBC organizers will have to be on the lookout for shenanigans--card-palming, false shuffles, etc.
Interesting.  Can anyone who was there evaluate this?

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/7220400#7220400

I recommend getting some popcorn.
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play2draw

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2011, 03:08:36 pm »
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I was just thinking... what I'd *really* like to see in a tournament is the debut of a new expansion thrust upon the unsuspecting tournament goers  ;D

As far as "studying" 3+ player games is concerned, considering that there exist tournaments that use games with 3+ players, I think there would be some value in having a few articles devoted to how the game can change as more players get added. I didn't intend to suggest that dominionstrategy should do anything radical like, say, rearrange the top-ten card lists to account for 3+ player games. Just that such a hub of Dominion would benefit with a more inclusive approach. I think that some of the individual card articles mention scaling with 3+ players, which is good.
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theory

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2011, 05:45:43 pm »
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Unfortunately, as I think this weekend demonstrates, I am not good enough at 3-4p games to write about it authoritatively!  I don't know if there are true experts out there at 3-4p.  I think they would have slaughtered me and the rest of the field.
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Epoch

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2011, 06:04:05 pm »
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It feels like a 3-4p strategy guide would have to take into account a factor that's not very significant in 2p: what if really bad opponents dictate the pace of the game?

Like, theory's comment about ending a 4p game when you're dead last.  There's just...  not that problem in 2p.  Obviously, if a player ends the game and he's not first, his opponent is happy.

Or the entire concept of the tempo of the game being controlled by three players who don't know what they're doing.  In a 2p game, it's so rarely the case that someone who doesn't know what he's doing can cause the game to end unexpectedly quickly that you don't really need a robust strategy to deal with it.  Just, you know, keep an eye on short piles, and buy a VP or two if your opponent is madly ending the game on piles without any idea how to win.  Whereas if three buys come between each of your buys...  you might only have one or two turns worth of warning before you can conceivably go from "we're in mid-game" to "it ended."

That feels, then, like a 3p or 4p strategy would have to have a component of "gauge the quality of your opponents and figure out if they will play with basic understanding of how the game works," that 2p doesn't (99% of the time) need.  Which is kind of frustrating: I'm reminded of playing poker with a table full of calling stations: sure, there's a strategy (only play really good cards), but it's a frustrating strategy and it's entirely possible to not get good enough cards early enough to win, and so lose on luck.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2011, 06:11:57 pm »
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There's a whole lot more variance in the results as you add more players, because there are a whole lot more options. I wouldn't expect that you could do as well with more players (of comparable strength) as you could with fewer, even if you multiply by X/2 to compensate, even if you DID "know what you're doing".

Davio

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2011, 04:00:34 am »
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Unfortunately, as I think this weekend demonstrates, I am not good enough at 3-4p games to write about it authoritatively!  I don't know if there are true experts out there at 3-4p.  I think they would have slaughtered me and the rest of the field.
I recognize this.

Playing almost 2p exclusively on Iso makes me a little befuddled when switching to 3p.
Attack cards become so much better with 3p.

I think you don't have to be mad that you lost against "worse" players, but look at your own strategy. I know I am in no position to criticize you, I think you could have realized 4p is a very different beast. If you get Swindled 3 times every turn and you don't do anything about it, you have a problem.

From my own experience, I feel 3p is exponentially different from 2p and 4p is exponentially different from 3p. There are a lot of cards which increase in value dramatically (good ol' Moat and other Reaction cards?) while others decrease somewhat. If your opponent plays a Witch in 2p, you go "meh, I'll take that 1 Curse." If 3 players play Witch against you and you don't have a Moat, you get 3 times as much Curses, bloating your deck way more than would happen with 2p.
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Geronimoo

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Re: Any GenCon or WBC news?
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2011, 05:04:42 am »
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An illustration how hugely different 2p, 3p and 4p games actually are:

Take the computer generated _Single Witch and _Single Moat strategies in the simulator and modify their buy rules a little by letting them buy 2 of the central card instead of 1 (so the Moat player actually opens Moat/Moat with $3/$4):

2 players (Witch against Moat)
The defender (15%) is a very big dog to the attacker (82%)

3 players (2 Witch players against 1 Moat player
The defender (21%) is a small dog to the 2 attackers (36%)

4 players (3 Witch players against 1 Moat player
The defender (37%) suddenly takes over and smashes his 3 attackers (19%)
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