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Author Topic: Chapel / Bishop  (Read 11334 times)

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kn1tt3r

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Chapel / Bishop
« on: August 22, 2011, 04:42:55 am »
+1

The infamous 5-cards Bishop deck (Bishop, Silver, Silver, Gold, Province) was already mentioned in the Bishop article, but I think it's worth discribing it seperately. The best possible combo card is (obviously) Chapel, and maybe it's also the only support that makes this strategy viable against other faster approaches.

The idea is easy: Get Chapel and Bishop, trash down to said sort of hand asap and afterwards trash the Province every turn for 5 VP and buy a new one. With good draws this should be possible by turn 8. Here is an example (I got a Great Hall on the way which doesn't do anything - I just could've bought nothing):
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110319-033357-1fd0f4d3.html

It is also possible in Colony games, yet not as effective (you "lose" 4 VP instead of 1 VP when you Bishop a Colony instead of a Province). I still tried it once and succeeded (with some draw luck admittedly):
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110819-111019-fcefef25.html

I'm not sure about the opening Chapel/Bishop. Maybe Chapel/Silver (with a Bishop in turn 3/4) is a bit safer, but Chapel/Bishop potentially faster.

The natural enemies of this strategy are of course most attacks, except those that affect your draw pile.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 09:19:51 am »
0

You open Chapel/Bishop. I'll open Silver/Bishop (or possibly silver/silver and get a bishop next reshuffle), and I'll expect to win. Bishop becomes MUCH better when your opponent has opened chapel.

kn1tt3r

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 11:00:08 am »
0

You open Chapel/Bishop. I'll open Silver/Bishop (or possibly silver/silver and get a bishop next reshuffle), and I'll expect to win. Bishop becomes MUCH better when your opponent has opened chapel.
Well, I agree that Bishop becomes better when your opponent doesn't have cards to trash because he has already trashed them with Chapel.

However, that's not the point here. I would rarely open Chapel/Bishop but on comparably "boring" boards it could just be the best strategy to go for such a 5-card deck. It even beat Chapel/Laboratory in some sample games I put together on paper.

And as you see, in both sample games my opponent doesn't open Chapel. Now you could argue that those were not really good opponents (I don't remember the games exactly but would tend to agree) and that you or some other Level >30 player would often beat the strategy, but well... that's why I posted it here, open for discussions.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 11:02:09 am by kn1tt3r »
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guided

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 11:08:07 am »
0

It's an interesting thought deserving of some study.

Looking at that first game, though, 11 turns before you're at your desired 5-card deck isn't going to cut it I don't think. Your opponent's severe incompetence really helped you in that game ;)

Here's a more promising log, though with exceptionally good shuffling: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201108/22/game-20110822-080912-fe12ce6a.html
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 11:11:10 am by guided »
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Geronimoo

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 11:11:01 am »
0

This is a very good counter against Duchy/Duke and Gardens. Those strategies often win because Province strategies are designed to get to 4 or 5 Provinces as fast as possible, but then choke on the green cards. This deck doesn't choke... ever!
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 11:35:31 am »
0

Yeah, Bishop in general is a good counter to Duchy/Duke or Gardens because in those decks you actually want every card/every copper. @kn1tt3r, my point was specifically for those boring board - I'm advocating an even boring-er strategy.
guided: That's scary fast. Now you did get a good draw there, but I'm wondering how fast you can get that going reliably...

DStu

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2011, 11:57:52 am »
0

Now you did get a good draw there, but I'm wondering how fast you can get that going reliably...

Was trying to figure it out with the simulator, as I thought it should behave quite good until it buys the first province. But it plays Bishop>Chapel, which is not what you want here and I'm not sure if that's a good heuristics anyway...
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kn1tt3r

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2011, 11:59:05 am »
0

It's an interesting thought deserving of some study.

Looking at that first game, though, 11 turns before you're at your desired 5-card deck isn't going to cut it I don't think. Your opponent's severe incompetence really helped you in that game ;)

Here's a more promising log, though with exceptionally good shuffling: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201108/22/game-20110822-080912-fe12ce6a.html
Yeah, I also didn't get really good draws in the first game. As I said, in general it's possible to have this deck after 8 turns. Possibly 9 turns is a decent mean value.

Look at the second one: All 8 Colonies bought by turn 16 IS fast (although we've learned it's even possible by turn 5 ;-)).
I doubt that any other money strategy can beat this consistently.
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HockeyHippo

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 12:47:55 pm »
0

I like it in the province game but not in the Colony game. In the Colony game, your opponent didn't buy a Silver or Silver equivalent until turn 8.

I think against a stronger opponent this strategy would have failed.

Ending a Colonies game in 16 turns is[/is] fast. But I think Opening Bishop/Silver getting another Bishop and then going BM would have been more effective.
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Epoch

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 01:36:05 pm »
0

My heuristic is that opening Bishop is almost invariably a bad idea, and it's a particularly bad idea if you're going to have it clash with another terminal, and you're also trying to thin your deck rapidly (increasing the possibility of conflicts).

Is there a reason to believe that Bishop/Chapel is a better opening than Silver/Chapel, with the intent to buy Bishop during the second or third pass through the deck, once, Chapel has cleaned out a lot of the cruft and your buying power is mostly silvers instead of mostly coppers?
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kn1tt3r

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2011, 02:16:40 pm »
0

I like it in the province game but not in the Colony game. In the Colony game, your opponent didn't buy a Silver or Silver equivalent until turn 8.

I think against a stronger opponent this strategy would have failed.

Ending a Colonies game in 16 turns is[/is] fast. But I think Opening Bishop/Silver getting another Bishop and then going BM would have been more effective.
Yeah, as I said, I'm not convinced of this strategy in Colony games either. But well, it's fun and I couldnt resist.
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kn1tt3r

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2011, 02:19:03 pm »
0

Is there a reason to believe that Bishop/Chapel is a better opening than Silver/Chapel, with the intent to buy Bishop during the second or third pass through the deck, once, Chapel has cleaned out a lot of the cruft and your buying power is mostly silvers instead of mostly coppers?
The reason is that similar to opening Chapel/Moneylender. You have the chance to trash on turn 3 AND turn 4, and often (in the absence of good $2 cards, which you don't want with this strategy anyway) your silver is dead as well if you draw it with Chapel.
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guided

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 02:56:37 pm »
0

After a bunch more playtesting: Turn 8 or 9 for the first Province buy (to form the golden 5-card deck) is nearly guaranteed so long as you get Chapel on turn 3 or 4, with turn 8 being quite common actually. If Chapel falls to turn 5 you're absolutely screwed - I've found no satisfactory way to compensate for that mischance. You can basically switch to Bishop + Big Money (ending up with several Provinces and several Golds in your deck, only trashing a Province when it allows you to immediately buy another one) but prospects are quite dim.
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Epoch

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2011, 03:14:17 pm »
0

The reason is that similar to opening Chapel/Moneylender. You have the chance to trash on turn 3 AND turn 4, and often (in the absence of good $2 cards, which you don't want with this strategy anyway) your silver is dead as well if you draw it with Chapel.

With Moneylender, though, if you don't draw it dead, it greatly improves the buying power of your deck -- almost guaranteed $4, quite likely $5.  While Bishop: 1.  Doesn't give you any such buying power (at best, Bishop + Estate improves the buying power of your hand by $1), and 2.  Of course, allows your opponent to trash as well, at probably the time they're most likely to be able to take advantage of it.  I think that negates the one additional card trashing.

You need to buy those Silvers at some point (and a Gold, which is somewhat difficult with this deck).  I think it's best to give up one card trashed for better buys and less opponent-trashing.
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Epoch

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2011, 03:21:49 pm »
0

After a bunch more playtesting: Turn 8 or 9 for the first Province buy (to form the golden 5-card deck) is nearly guaranteed so long as you get Chapel on turn 3 or 4, with turn 8 being quite common actually. If Chapel falls to turn 5 you're absolutely screwed - I've found no satisfactory way to compensate for that mischance. You can basically switch to Bishop + Big Money (ending up with several Provinces and several Golds in your deck, only trashing a Province when it allows you to immediately buy another one) but prospects are quite dim.

Why, in Bishop + Big Money, would you only trash a Province if it allows you to immediately buy another one?  I understand that the 1 VP penalty for trashing a Province can bite you, but if you're fairly early in the game, I'd trash a Province for better hands with the hope of buying more Provinces (or even Duchies) and so not end with a 4-4 Province split.

This is why play rules in the simulator would be awesome.  I think there would be a ton of value in seeing what the optimal Bishop trashing strategy in BM-Bishop was.  I don't know what the optimal strategy is -- and I suspect it's fairly complex -- but I doubt that "only trash a Province if that gets you to $8" is it.
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guided

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2011, 03:24:04 pm »
+1

You need to buy those Silvers at some point (and a Gold, which is somewhat difficult with this deck).  I think it's best to give up one card trashed for better buys and less opponent-trashing.
You only need 2 Silvers, and there is no difficulty in getting them. Silver/Chapel collision is not any more damaging than Silver/Bishop collision with this strategy. The Silver opening has no upside that the Bishop opening does not have, and the Bishop opening has the additional upside of trashing an extra card for a VP chip or two.

(OK, in a truly crazy pathological case, you could draw Bishop/Copper/Estate x 3 and fail to get 2 Silvers fast enough, but this is much less common than Bishop's upside play.)
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guided

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2011, 03:25:40 pm »
0

Why, in Bishop + Big Money, would you only trash a Province if it allows you to immediately buy another one?
You'd rather trash a Silver or Gold for positive VPs.

These are desperation plays anyway. Against competent opposition I would expect to lose playing this strategy if I don't get my Chapel at 3/4.
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Epoch

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2011, 03:36:51 pm »
0

You only need 2 Silvers, and there is no difficulty in getting them.

Sure, but there's difficulty in getting the Gold, and having the Silvers earlier makes it easier to pick up the Gold (the Silvers having $1 or $2 better buying power than the Bishop, of course).

Silver/Chapel collision is not any more damaging than Silver/Bishop collision with this strategy. The Silver opening has no upside that the Bishop opening does not have, and the Bishop opening has the additional upside of trashing an extra card for a VP chip or two.

Sure the Silver opening has an upside that the Bishop one doesn't:  better buying power earlier, and less opponent trashing.  Okay, there's only one difficult buy you're trying to make (Gold), but you don't want to have to pass on trashing a Copper because it would take you below the total deck buying power necessary to buy a Gold.

And I don't think that getting one or two extra VP chips should ever be relevant in this deck.  I mean, what's the circumstance where that could be relevant?

If you get to your five card deck, you should be guaranteed a victory (just on Provinces) unless he has already bought one or more Provinces and has such a deck that can continue to match your guaranteed one Province per turn until the end of the game, in which case you're essentially guaranteed a loss.  Like, seriously, what's the circumstance where you might be missing 2 VP, and in which you can't just buy a Gold and trash that in the end-game for an extra 4 VP?  This is a game that is won or lost in 4, 5, or 6 VP chunks, not 1-2 VP chunks.
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guided

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2011, 03:48:39 pm »
+1

Have you actually contemplated the mechanics of building the golden 5-card deck with this strategy? There is no benefit in early Gold, and the Gold buy is an absolute gimme: Bishop/Chapel/Silver/Silver/Copper is the typical 5-card deck at turn 7 or 8. If you already have 2 Silvers and you get $6 in your buy phase before you're down to 4 cards, you should literally pass on your buy phase. Buying an extra card (even a Gold) will only wreck your tempo.

The VP chips can matter (in many cases where the opponent gets 3 Provinces), but more importantly trashing an extra card can give you an extra turn of tempo.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 03:51:26 pm by guided »
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Epoch

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2011, 04:22:40 pm »
0

Have you actually contemplated the mechanics of building the golden 5-card deck with this strategy? There is no benefit in early Gold, and the Gold buy is an absolute gimme: Bishop/Chapel/Silver/Silver/Copper is the typical 5-card deck at turn 7 or 8. If you already have 2 Silvers and you get $6 in your buy phase before you're down to 4 cards, you should literally pass on your buy phase. Buying an extra card (even a Gold) will only wreck your tempo.

I just played several solitaire games and about 25% of the time, I had difficulty buying the Gold.  Multiple times on opening Silver/Chapel, I got to Bishop the Chapel->buying first Province on turn 8, full combo (ie, trash the Province, buy the Province) turn 9.  Without giving my opponent any trashes in the early game.

The VP chips can matter (in many cases where the opponent gets 3 Provinces),

Uh, name one!  In the case where your opponent get 3 Provinces, they've got 18 VP in Provinces, maybe +3 VP in Estates, for 21 VP.  You have 25 VP in tokens from your 5 trashed Provinces.  Where, precisely, are they picking up the extra 4 VP that make it essential for you to pick up one or two more VP?  They're sneaking an extra Duchy + Estate buy into this incredible fast-tempo deck?  Did they do a Bishop-trash, allowing you additional tempo in the early game?  Did they Bishop a Gold in the late game, and still manage to guarantee themselves a Province each turn to keep up with your 5/3 split?

but more importantly trashing an extra card can give you an extra turn of tempo.

...I think that the proper opening is actually Chapel/Nothing.  Gets you the tempo of the extra Bishop trash without worrying about conflicts, reducing the chances that Chapel comes turn 5, and unless you get the unlucky $2 hand turn 3/4, you should be able to buy the Silver/Silver/Bishop turns 3 or 4/5/6.

In fact, I think that you literally guarantee your first Province buy on turn 8 with Chapel/Nothing unless you get a C/C/E/E/E hand on turn 3 or 4.  In which case I think that you guarantee your first Province buy on turn 9.

EDIT:  Duh.  Of course it doesn't guarantee any such thing if your Chapel comes turn 5.  But that's a 1/11 chance instead of a 1/6 chance.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 04:32:32 pm by Epoch »
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guided

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2011, 04:37:15 pm »
0

...I think that the proper opening is actually Chapel/Nothing.
It's possible. You're welcome to test it. I merely assert that Silver/Chapel is inferior to Bishop/Chapel if you're planning to build the 5-card deck.

-If you have trouble buying Gold, you're doing something wrong. Provide a log and I'll be happy to point it out :P
-I misspoke; it's 4/4 case where you're most likely to care exactly how many extra VP chips you have. 4/4 split, you lose 3 VPs for trashing 3 Provinces (not 4), and you gain some VPs back for your handful of non-Province Bishop plays. Since you've played Bishop a bunch of times, and Chapel is out, it's entirely possible your opponent has no Estates. In any case, as I mentioned, the potential tempo advantage is more important.
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guided

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2011, 04:52:03 pm »
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I am really not seeing how Chapel/nothing is supposed to work. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I cannot get the golden deck by turn 8, and I often don't get it by turn 9. You can probably get your Bishop and 2 Silvers at 4/5/6, but only by keeping a bunch of Coppers around one of those turns that you could have trashed with Chapel and thereby sacrificing a whole turn of tempo. In contrast, I found Bishop/Chapel almost never missed turn 9 and hit turn 8 maybe 1/3 of the time.
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Epoch

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2011, 05:01:55 pm »
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I am really not seeing how Chapel/nothing is supposed to work. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I cannot get the golden deck by turn 8, and I often don't get it by turn 9.

You should nearly guarantee it at turn 9.  You're right, though, I misspoke, you don't get it by turn 8, since you need to buy four final cards and you have four "dead" turns (buy Chapel, buy nothing, trash and buy nothing x2).  I got to thinking of the turn where you trash your Chapel as the "first combo turn," but you don't actually buy a Province on that turn.

Here's a typical game log:

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201108/22/game-20110822-140002-1a4d9691.html

The only reason you should miss turn 9 is if you get the 1/11 Chapel-on-turn-5 draw or a C/C/E/E/E draw on turn 3 or 4.  And in the case of the C/C/E/E/E, you do get your first Province turn 10 instead -- you just missed a buy, not any trashing.

So, for a Bishop/Chapel opening, you have a 30.3% chance of a conflict (according to: http://dominionstrategy.com/2011/03/09/basic-opening-probabilities/).  In which case the Bishop actually hurt you over going Chapel/Nothing (since you get one fewer card trashed with no benefit).  You also have a 1/6 chance of getting a Chapel on turn 5, compared to the 1/11 chance with Chapel/Nothing.

In return, you have a chance for one better turn of tempo.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 05:14:52 pm by Epoch »
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guided

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2011, 05:28:22 pm »
0

You should nearly guarantee it at turn 9.
Well, icky cases like this pop up and push you out to turn 10: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201108/22/game-20110822-142645-6f762582.html

Not all that frequent, but more frequent than getting pushed to turn 10 when opening Bishop/Chapel (which, anyway, hits turn 8 quite frequently enough to be better than Chapel/nothing).

So, for a Bishop/Chapel opening, you have a 30.3% chance of a conflict
But the conflict doesn't hurt except to torpedo your chances for turn 8 (which you can't get anyway with Chapel/nothing). You still make turn 9.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 06:01:24 pm by guided »
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Epoch

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Re: Chapel / Bishop
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2011, 06:16:00 pm »
+1

You should nearly guarantee it at turn 9.
Well, icky cases like this pop up and push you out to turn 10: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201108/22/game-20110822-142645-6f762582.html

You misplayed it.  Should have just gone ahead and trashed all three coppers on turn 6, and not bought anything.  Turn 7, you still would have been able to trash a Copper with the Bishop and buy your second Silver that turn.  You'd have been on-track for turn 9 at that point.

And that was all guaranteed.  As of turn 6, your deck was a Bishop, a Chapel, a Silver, and 5 Coppers.  After you trashed three Coppers, it'd be Bishop, Chapel, Silver, 2 Coppers.  There's no way for that deck not to be able to trash a Copper and buy a Silver on turn 7.  Then you'd have gone into Turn 8 with a deck that was Bishop, Chapel, Silver, Silver, Copper -- five cards, so obviously you could trash Chapel and go into the combo.

But the conflict doesn't hurt except to torpedo your chances for turn 8 (which you can't get anyway with Chapel/nothing). You still make turn 9 so long as Chapel doesn't miss a shuffle.

You can miss a turn 9 without Chapel ever missing a shuffle (I can show you how, if you like, but it's kind of complicated and I don't know that it proves much), just by drawing enough "keeper" cards with it every time.  I don't know how likely that is, but it's more likely than with Chapel/Nothing, which guarantees you the ability to trash 4 cards with Chapel if you draw it turn 3 or 4.


Example of a deck play that would miss turn 9 with Bishop/Chapel, without Chapel ever missing a shuffle:

Turn 1:  $4: Bishop
Turn 2:  $3: Chapel
Turn 3:  Bishop/Chapel/Estate/Cx2: trash Estate/Cx2 (total opening cards left: 5 Coppers, 2 Estates)
Turn 4:  Cx3/Ex2: Buy Silver
Turn 5: Draw C/C, Reshuffle deck consisting of: (Cx3, Ex2, Silver, Bishop, Chapel).  Draw: Silver, Bishop, Chapel.  Chapel 2xC
Turn 6:  Cx3/Ex2: Buy Silver
Reshuffle deck consisting of Cx3, Ex2, Silver x2, Bishop, Chapel
Turn 7:  Draw: Silverx2, Bishop, Chapel, Estate.  Bishop Estate.
Turn 8:  Draw Cx3, E, reshuffle deck consisting of (Silver x2, Bishop, Chapel).  Draw Silver.  Do nothing.
Turn 9:  Draw Bishop, Chapel, Silver, reshuffle deck consisting of (Silver, Cx3, E).  Draw C, E.  Trash C, E.
Turn 10:  Draw Cx2, reshuffle deck consisting of (Silver x2, Bishop, Chapel).  Draw Chapel, Silver, Silver.  Trash C.
Turn 11:  Finally have deck of Bishop/Chapel/Silver x2/Copper, enter combo.  Buy first Province turn 12.

That's obviously ridiculously unlucky, conflicting tons of keeper cards every time.  And it's also very, very slow.  But I don't know how much the various combinations of conflicts that take you past turn 9 are.  They're more likely than with Chapel/Nothing.

I guess I prioritize a higher chance of hitting turn 9 and lower chance of going turn 10 or later higher than a minority chance of hitting turn 8.  I'm not sure that Chapel/Nothing reduces your odds of going turn 10 or later, but my intuition is that it does.

Of course, all of this analysis ignores opponents using Bishop, which is an interesting case.  It probably makes Bishop/Chapel better, since you may "make up" a lost trash off your opponent's turn even if you have a conflict.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 06:33:07 pm by Epoch »
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