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Author Topic: Shelters exacerbate 5/2  (Read 23514 times)

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philosophyguy

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Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« on: September 02, 2012, 09:42:47 am »
+1

Last night I was playing some Dark Age heavy games IRL and discovered that Shelters can exacerbate the impact of a 5/2 split.

Normally, getting a 5 is already a strong opening, especially with something like Witch on the board. Usually, you don't want to buy anything with your $2. But with Shelters, you can buy an Estate to trash your Hovel and gain a 1vp lead without slowing your deck! In games with heavy cursing, that point is often worth a lot because the game will end on piles.

Other notes: Death Cart's gain Ruins penalty is not as bad as I feared, although they severely slow your second shuffle if you open with the Cart. Wandering Minstrel has to be one of the top, if not the top, $4 villages: deck filtering, setting up your action chain, and replacing itself in hand. Rogue can really swing if you want the attack but something else ends up in the Trash first (like Rats!).
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brokoli

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 10:23:11 am »
+2

I'm unconvinced.
I think it's better to keep your hovel to trash it later (when you buy your first province) and thus not be cluttered by an estate. Often the hovel will be trashed sooner or later anyway.
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AJD

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 10:32:14 am »
0

I'm unconvinced.
I think it's better to keep your hovel to trash it later (when you buy your first province) and thus not be cluttered by an estate. Often the hovel will be trashed sooner or later anyway.

What's the difference between being cluttered by a Hovel and being cluttered by an Estate? (Well, okay, you may want something to Remake into a Hamlet, or add 1 to a Forge, or something, or be immune to opponents' Jester or Fortune Teller or Rabble, or.... But this can cut both ways, depending on what 's in the kingdom.)
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eHalcyon

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 10:52:02 am »
+2

If you wait to trash Hovel through a Province buy, you won't have an extra Estate hanging around when you start greening.
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Dulkal

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2012, 11:12:50 am »
0

Normally, getting a 5 is already a strong opening, especially with something like Witch on the board. Usually, you don't want to buy anything with your $2. But with Shelters, you can buy an Estate to trash your Hovel and gain a 1vp lead without slowing your deck! In games with heavy cursing, that point is often worth a lot because the game will end on piles.

In a game with witch on the table, I doubt one point is going to make that much of a difference. Whether or not a reasonable 2-coster is available has much more of an impact.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 12:26:53 pm »
+1

From the dozen or so games I have played with Shelters, I can safely say the optimal strategy is to not buy an estate when Hovel is in the hand. In almost every game, if not every game, the Hovel ended up being trashed when I bought either a Province or Duchy at some point.

Actually, though, I think that Shelters favor a 4/3 split more. The reason being is that you can pick up an action at $3 and $4 and they are less likely to collide. thanks to Necropolis.
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philosophyguy

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 12:40:22 pm »
0

From the dozen or so games I have played with Shelters, I can safely say the optimal strategy is to not buy an estate when Hovel is in the hand. In almost every game, if not every game, the Hovel ended up being trashed when I bought either a Province or Duchy at some point.

Ok, but what's the advantage of waiting to trash the hovel? Both Hovel and Estate are dead cards in hand. Estate gives 1vp, Hovel doesn't. Estate can be drawn by Scout (yay Scout!), Hovel can't. The only card I can think of where the Estate/Hovel difference matters during the game is Jester, but that's a pretty niche situation.
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Copernicus

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2012, 01:22:03 pm »
0

From the dozen or so games I have played with Shelters, I can safely say the optimal strategy is to not buy an estate when Hovel is in the hand. In almost every game, if not every game, the Hovel ended up being trashed when I bought either a Province or Duchy at some point.

Ok, but what's the advantage of waiting to trash the hovel? Both Hovel and Estate are dead cards in hand. Estate gives 1vp, Hovel doesn't. Estate can be drawn by Scout (yay Scout!), Hovel can't. The only card I can think of where the Estate/Hovel difference matters during the game is Jester, but that's a pretty niche situation.

Estate vs Hovel matters a great deal when purchasing a Province or Duchy.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2012, 01:30:38 pm »
0

From the dozen or so games I have played with Shelters, I can safely say the optimal strategy is to not buy an estate when Hovel is in the hand. In almost every game, if not every game, the Hovel ended up being trashed when I bought either a Province or Duchy at some point.

Ok, but what's the advantage of waiting to trash the hovel? Both Hovel and Estate are dead cards in hand. Estate gives 1vp, Hovel doesn't. Estate can be drawn by Scout (yay Scout!), Hovel can't. The only card I can think of where the Estate/Hovel difference matters during the game is Jester, but that's a pretty niche situation.
'

If you buy an estate, it stays a dead card. However, if you can trash it on an early Province buy, you essentially got a card out of your deck. If you buy estate, that estate will come up in every reshuffle and be a dead card.
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philosophyguy

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2012, 02:06:48 pm »
0

I am not following your deck size math at all. I open 5/2, buy a 5. I have 11 cards in my deck. I buy Estate and trash Hovel; still 11.

Later in the game, I have X cards. I buy Province, trash Hovel. Deck size is still X.

Please explain how trashing Hovel with Province gets a dead card out of your deck, while trashing with Estate does not.
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Lashof

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2012, 02:20:11 pm »
0

Because Estate is also considered a dead card.  So if you're trashing a Hovel by buying an estate, you're just replacing one dead card with another (thereby not decreasing the number of dead cards).

If you replace it with a Province, the province is not a dead card (It is winning you the game), so you are replacing a dead card with a non-dead one.
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ehunt

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2012, 02:50:12 pm »
+1

Here's a simple comparison: if you expect to trash the hovel around turn 10, then unless you'd be buying an estate with 2 money and nothing better to buy around turn 10, you shouldn't be trashing the hovel for an estate on turn 2.

That is: taking away your ability to trash the hovel on turn 10 in order to gain a point is a lot like buying an estate on turn 10 in order to gain a point.

I think the usual answer is that you shouldn't do this on a 5/2.
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ehunt

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2012, 03:32:01 pm »
+6

One more way to write the same thing:

Sarah and Laura play a game. On turn 2, Sarah replaces a hovel with an estate. Laura declines to do this, keeping the hovel and buying nothing.

Now Sarah's and Laura's decks are identical (let's say no card on the board references estates). We can imagine their decks and draws stay identical hand for hand (except Laura draws her hovel whenever Sarah draws her estate). At some point, probably around turn ten on average, Sarah buys a green card with her estate in hand. Nothing happens. Laura buys a green card with her hovel in hand; she trashes it. Now their decks are different. Sarah's got an estate in her deck that Laura doesn't happen.

So the only question is: is the turn on which you expect to trash the hovel in the natural course of buying green cards late enough that you'd be willing to take a free estate?

Since estate buys are quite bad and only very rarely game-deciding, I expect the answer to the bolded question is usually no. Therefore you should not replace the hovel on turn 2 but should replace it at the first natural opportunity instead. (There may be something to be said for greening slightly earlier due to the hovel, and of course the presence of alternate green cards or cards like Baron throws these calculations out the window.)
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philosophyguy

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2012, 06:01:10 pm »
0

So the only question is: is the turn on which you expect to trash the hovel in the natural course of buying green cards late enough that you'd be willing to take a free estate?

This is absolutely the wrong question because it begs the question about Estate buying fitting into the normal rules of deck building. Pre-Dark Ages, you don't want to buy Estates too early because then your deck chokes on green cards; you have lots of shuffles of dead cards with very little benefit.

Hovel changes this dynamic. With Hovel in hand, buying an Estate does not increase the number of dead cards in your deck.

The right question is instead: does the benefit of buying an Estate on turn X outweigh the cost of buying an Estate on turn X?

The answer to that question is: if X is late in the game, when we want any green card we can afford, then the benefit of buying an Estate obviously outweighs the cost. This is roughly the same calculation pre- and post-Dark Ages. (I say roughly because the math changes slightly since Hovel can be trashed, but I haven't run simulations to see if the difference is large enough to warrant a change in the Big Money buy rules.)

But, if X is earlier in the game, we need to examine the issue more closely. The pros of buying an Estate are: getting an extra VP. Small bonus, but a bonus. The cons of buying an Estate used to be having an extra dead card in hand, but now we're trashing Hovel, which was also a dead card, so that con no longer applies. This was the main reason we didn't want to buy an Estate in 2p when there were still 5 Provinces left, but now we're not having the effect of clogging our deck more.

The other con of buying an Estate is that buying an Estate costs a Buy. On turn 2, that might matter if the board has a useful $2 card. But if it doesn't, then that con doesn't outweigh the benefit of buying the Estate.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2012, 06:09:53 pm »
+2

So the only question is: is the turn on which you expect to trash the hovel in the natural course of buying green cards late enough that you'd be willing to take a free estate?

This is absolutely the wrong question because it begs the question about Estate buying fitting into the normal rules of deck building. Pre-Dark Ages, you don't want to buy Estates too early because then your deck chokes on green cards; you have lots of shuffles of dead cards with very little benefit.

Hovel changes this dynamic. With Hovel in hand, buying an Estate does not increase the number of dead cards in your deck.

The right question is instead: does the benefit of buying an Estate on turn X outweigh the cost of buying an Estate on turn X?

The answer to that question is: if X is late in the game, when we want any green card we can afford, then the benefit of buying an Estate obviously outweighs the cost. This is roughly the same calculation pre- and post-Dark Ages. (I say roughly because the math changes slightly since Hovel can be trashed, but I haven't run simulations to see if the difference is large enough to warrant a change in the Big Money buy rules.)

But, if X is earlier in the game, we need to examine the issue more closely. The pros of buying an Estate are: getting an extra VP. Small bonus, but a bonus. The cons of buying an Estate used to be having an extra dead card in hand, but now we're trashing Hovel, which was also a dead card, so that con no longer applies. This was the main reason we didn't want to buy an Estate in 2p when there were still 5 Provinces left, but now we're not having the effect of clogging our deck more.

The other con of buying an Estate is that buying an Estate costs a Buy. On turn 2, that might matter if the board has a useful $2 card. But if it doesn't, then that con doesn't outweigh the benefit of buying the Estate.

You are ignoring that buying an early Estate just to trash the Hovel also robs you of the benefit you would get by trashing the Hovel later, namely the REMOVAL of that dead card entirely, via Hovel's mechanic.  If you buy an Estate to replace the Hovel, all you get is that 1VP.  You are giving up Hovel's power for a single VP.  If you hold it until a regular Province purchase, the Hovel disappears entirely and your deck has one less dead card (namely, the Estate you would still have if you had bought it at the start).

ehunt's question is absolutely the right question to ask, and his Sarah/Laura example is excellent.  Not sure how much clearer it can be made.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2012, 06:38:14 pm »
+1

So the only question is: is the turn on which you expect to trash the hovel in the natural course of buying green cards late enough that you'd be willing to take a free estate?

This is absolutely the wrong question because it begs the question about Estate buying fitting into the normal rules of deck building. Pre-Dark Ages, you don't want to buy Estates too early because then your deck chokes on green cards; you have lots of shuffles of dead cards with very little benefit.

Hovel changes this dynamic. With Hovel in hand, buying an Estate does not increase the number of dead cards in your deck.

The right question is instead: does the benefit of buying an Estate on turn X outweigh the cost of buying an Estate on turn X?

The answer to that question is: if X is late in the game, when we want any green card we can afford, then the benefit of buying an Estate obviously outweighs the cost. This is roughly the same calculation pre- and post-Dark Ages. (I say roughly because the math changes slightly since Hovel can be trashed, but I haven't run simulations to see if the difference is large enough to warrant a change in the Big Money buy rules.)

But, if X is earlier in the game, we need to examine the issue more closely. The pros of buying an Estate are: getting an extra VP. Small bonus, but a bonus. The cons of buying an Estate used to be having an extra dead card in hand, but now we're trashing Hovel, which was also a dead card, so that con no longer applies. This was the main reason we didn't want to buy an Estate in 2p when there were still 5 Provinces left, but now we're not having the effect of clogging our deck more.

The other con of buying an Estate is that buying an Estate costs a Buy. On turn 2, that might matter if the board has a useful $2 card. But if it doesn't, then that con doesn't outweigh the benefit of buying the Estate.

I think I understand your perspective, so I think I might be able to explain in a way that you can understand. Here is your logic. You state that Hovel is a dead card, so if I replace it with estate, I get another dead card, but it doesn't increase my deck size and it also gives me 1 VP which might matter in the late game.

But, here is where I feel your logic falls apart, assuming I understand your perspective correctly. The thing is that 1 VP usually is not a deciding factor. Sometimes, it is. However, look at it this way. When you start to green, the more green in your deck means less buying power. When you purchase a Province and replace your Hovel, your buying power hasn't changed at all. Now, let's say you're the player that trashed their Hovel for an Estate and 1 Province is left. On your turn, you draw 1 Estate 1 Province, 1 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Copper. Now, that 1 Estate might have ended up being another Silver or Gold which would have bought you a Province. So, on that turn you buy a Duchy. Now, your opponent trashed their Hovel for a Province instead of an Estate. They draw 1 Province, 1 Gold, 2 Silver and a Copper. They have just enough to buy the winning Province.

Okay, I have kind of simplified everything, but essentially what I am trying to show is that later in the game, that Estate stays a dead card whereas the player who replaced their Hovel for a Province no longer has to deal with that dead card, and that is why it makes a difference.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 06:39:27 pm by Beyond Awesome »
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Tombolo

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2012, 07:29:59 pm »
+1

If you keep Hovel, you have one dead card (Hovel) until you buy a Province, and then you still have one dead card.

If you trash Hovel, you have one dead card (Estate) until you buy a Province, and then you have two dead cards, which is unlikely to be worth the 1 VP advantage from the Estate.
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O

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2012, 07:33:05 pm »
0

It's amazing how many people have fallen into this trap. Unless you really think the 1VP of estates is needed endgame, you want to NOT buy estate to trash hovel early on.

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UltimaPenguin

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2012, 09:48:43 pm »
+4

Another way to look at it: Imagine that Estate had Hovel's reaction ability. Wouldn't you use this for your first few province buys if you could, even though you'd be losing a point? I'm pretty sure I would (barring the sort of unusual circumstances already discussed).

But since Estate doesn't have that ability, it follows that you'd rather have a Hovel instead of an Estate in that situation (since once its trashed it doesn't matter what it was). And if at turn 10, you'd prefer a Hovel over an Estate, it usually doesn't make sense to replace your Hovel with an Estate on turn 1.
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Schneau

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2012, 10:00:26 pm »
0

I think, like all of Dominion, it depends on the kingdom. In a fast BM mirror, it might be worth it to take the point to break ties. In most engines, it probably won't be worth it, since you can hopefully buy your first Province without slowing down your deck as much. But, it all depends.
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Schneau

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2012, 10:02:39 pm »
+2

Also, I think the right question is: In a non-Shelters game, when you buy your first Province, would you trash an Estate from your hand if you magically could. Since we're used to Estates games, this phrases the question that way - it's not as much about taking a free Estate as freely trashing an Estate (or not).
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2012, 11:10:55 pm »
0

Also, I think the right question is: In a non-Shelters game, when you buy your first Province, would you trash an Estate from your hand if you magically could. Since we're used to Estates games, this phrases the question that way - it's not as much about taking a free Estate as freely trashing an Estate (or not).

90% of the time or so, I would probably do this.
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AJD

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2012, 11:19:07 pm »
+4

Also, I think the right question is: In a non-Shelters game, when you buy your first Province, would you trash an Estate from your hand if you magically could. Since we're used to Estates games, this phrases the question that way - it's not as much about taking a free Estate as freely trashing an Estate (or not).

Well, not really. You also have to figure in the probability that your Hovel is in your hand when you buy your first Province (when you would trash an Estate if you could) vs. later in endgame (when you would keep an Estate).
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2012, 12:44:44 am »
+2

You usually don't notice since all your Estates are the same, but in a non-engine game, how likely is it that you'll have your Hovel on a turn that you buy a Province? Not that likely, since having the Hovel in hand means having fewer than average treasures, and you only have one Hovel in your whole deck. So in some situations, it's not guaranteed that you'll get a good chance to trash your Hovel, and in these same situations, 1 point can easily be the difference in the game.

Now the question is how often does it actually matter? I'd say probably not that much. If you're going to be able to trash the card anyway, it doesn't matter at all, and if you don't end up in a situation where the 1 point matters or 1 card less in your deck for the last shuffle or 2, this decision is not going to make or break your game. But I'd bet that among the situations where it does make a difference that buying the Estate comes out on top more often.
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Powerman

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Re: Shelters exacerbate 5/2
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2012, 12:48:21 am »
+2

I'd say it's MUCH better to now open with Great Hall on a 3 with a Hovel, but estate still seems really bad imo.
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