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Epoch

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Compare the Villages
« on: August 25, 2011, 03:36:12 pm »
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It recently came to my attention that I was maybe undervaluing Bazaar (or perhaps thought I was undervaluing Bazaar, since apparently I actually buy it a lot and am effective with it).

Which brings up the question, how do you rate the villages?  By "villages," I mean any card which gives +2 Actions, and I believe this is an exhaustive list:

$2:  Native Village, Hamlet
$3:  Village, Shanty Town, Fishing Village
$4:  Mining Village, Worker's Village, Walled Village, Farming Village
$5:  City, Bazaar, Festival

Obviously, in some strategies, you'll just say, "I absolutely need a +2 Actions card, there's only one on the board, and so I'm gonna go for it."  But other times, there will be two Villages on the board, or you might say, "If I had a different Village, I might go for this engine, but as is, screw it, I'll do a non-engine deck"?  Which ones do you regard more favorably?

My tentative thoughts:

I think there's general agreement that Walled Village is low-tier.  Cities are pretty bad if you don't anticipate any piles depleting until the late game.  I think Festival is... good, but hard to build an engine around because of its unique lack of card advantage.  In most cases, I treat it as "+1 Action, +$2, +1 Buy....  oh yeah, and +1 more Action," unless there's a good reason to believe that my deck will be unusual in a way that will let it coincide with lots of other Actions.  I very rarely find myself wanting to use the Mining Village's special ability, which implies to me that I'd prefer a normal Village for the greater availability.

Middle tier, I think that Village, Native Village, and Farming Village are all pretty equivalent.  I guess I've been convinced that Bazaar is here instead of low tier, as I was thinking.

High tier:  Hamlet and Worker's Village are nice for the +buy, which I'm likely to want in any game where I'm going to buy significant numbers of villages.  Fishing Village is obviously highly regarded by most people, and I'm no exception.  Cities if you think a pile will deplete early are obviously super-good.



But I'm not hugely confident of these rankings.  What do you guys think?


EDIT:  Left off Shanty Town.  I'm not sure what to think of Shanty Town.  Sometimes, I think it's awesome because it makes the "drew one Village, nothing else" problem a lot less problematic.  Other times, I think it sucks because of the overall much less card advantage.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 03:43:07 pm by Epoch »
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jsh357

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 03:44:39 pm »
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I think the value of Walled Village varies a lot depending on the size of your deck.  Getting a guaranteed +2a on a reshuffle is amazing in thin builds with important terminal actions (Goons for instance).  That said I agree with a lot of your assessment, but a lot of these cards feel like apples and oranges to me, Native Village in particular being a whole different beast. 
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guided

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2011, 03:50:16 pm »
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I think you're mostly on the ball. I'd probably drop Native Village to the low tier: to be good it needs early +buy (so you don't overspend buying them), and even then it can be pretty unreliable as the main +actions card in an engine since it draws so poorly. And I don't think Farming Village offers enough benefit most of the time to be worthy of its price tag - I'd usually prefer vanilla Village to be on the board if I need the actions. But all that's debatable. A more glaring issue is Mining Village, which is just an awesome card to take with any spare $4 buy (or Ironworks, or University) since it's a cantrip that you can burn for a quickie $2 if you ever need it (and you usually will). As an opening card it's an elite quick bootstrap to $6-$7 if you're not afraid to burn it early. And when you're building an engine that genuinely needs Mining Villages for +actions, you can burn them in the endgame when they're unlikely to be drawn again (or at least unlikely to be drawn more than once again). Most of the Village variants, when I need them to build an engine, I often end up thinking "Man, I wish it was just good old $3, +1 Card Village on the board instead." Worker's Village and Mining Village are the only two that I would frequently prefer to vanilla Village if I had to pick one to be available on the board.

edit: Shanty Town is definitely low-tier. Typically it's unreliable-at-best, and it's almost never better than Village for engine-building.
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Epoch

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2011, 04:01:46 pm »
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I think you're mostly on the ball. I'd probably drop Native Village to the low tier: to be good it needs early +buy (so you don't overspend buying them), and even then it can be pretty unreliable as the main +actions card in an engine since it draws so poorly.

My thoughts on Native Village evolved from initially thinking it was terrible, but I've become more of a fan.  My argument is as follows:

NV typically offers one less card per turn than Village (since if you draw, say, 3 NVs, you can go "NV add to mat," "NV add to mat," "NV put mat in hand" and gain 2 cards instead of the 3 you'd get from Village).  It may be worse than that (if you have to do multiple add-to-mat/put-mat-in-hand cycles in one turn, say because you had a big card draw in the middle.  But, on the other hand, they "save up" the card advantage that frequently is wasted by normal Villages, and give it to you pretty exactly when you need it.  And we all know that one big turn in Dominion is typically better than two little turns.

So I promoted it to mid-tier.  I don't want to overstate the case, it's obviously not a power card.  But it feels to me like the card drawing you get is only a little weaker than normal Village, and the ability to choose when the card advantage comes through is worth the overall loss of power.  That said, my Effect With and Effect Without are both negative with it.
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sherwinpr

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2011, 04:24:19 pm »
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Hamlet is great in the right situations.  Hamlet/Library and Hamlet/Watchtower are especially attractive.  It works somewhat well with Goons, since you can pick up Hamlets with your +buys for VP, and they in turn give you more +buys; the only problem is  when you're hit by Goons, you can't discard much with them, but in a hand with Goons/Goons/Hamlet/X1/X2, you can still discard the X1 and X2 to your opponent's Goons and then get a double Goons Turn (and use it to buy two Hamlets if you wish, for 4 VP).  Hamlet/Goons/Watchtower is obscene.  You can use the watchtower to place newly bought Watchtowers, Hamlets, and/or Goons on your deck, you can buy Coppers and/or Curses when you want to, Hamlet/Watchtower provides an effective draw engine and you can play multiple Goons easily, and you have built in defense against your opponent's goons.

Hamlet also works nicely with cards such as Menagerie, and can be an effective poor man's Worker's Village in a Minion deck (and it's so much cheaper to pick up with your spare buys, that the Hamlets themselves will generate).

Lastly, it's a very easy pile to run out (as far as contributing to doing so itself), probably easier than even Pawn, though I'm not sure, and this can be a good thing or a bad thing.

The other cards that enable you to play multiple terminal actions a turn are:

Throne Room
Tactician
University
Golem
King's Court

However, aside from University, these work a bit differently.
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Epoch

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2011, 04:28:14 pm »
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University should definitely be on the list!  I just forgot about it.  It's the other "definitely no card advantage" village.

I'm putting Throne Room, Tactician, Golem, and King's Court into other buckets, personally.  They just behave too differently.
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guided

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 04:34:51 pm »
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Hamlet is so great ;D Other than Chapel, I think it might be the best $2 card. It's not a great action source in tightly trimmed engine decks, but I can't really think of anything else bad to say about it.

University is usually mediocre. It needs at least one pile you'd be happy to gain lots of to avoid sucking (Minion and Apprentice come to mind as good enablers), and even then, the process of getting a Potion into your hand, and then using it to buy a University, and then getting the University into your hand is quite slow, so you'd better be getting awesome value for the cards you're gaining. The total lack of draw makes it a rather dubious engine card outside of University/Apprentice decks (which I love). Wharf is a possibility, but if there are no other drawing cards you may find yourself choking more often than you'd like. Island (and to a lesser extent Great Hall) can help justify University on boards where it's otherwise marginal.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 04:39:35 pm by guided »
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Mean Mr Mustard

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2011, 04:36:31 pm »
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Okay, I'll bite with the known caveat that all cards usefulness are board dependent and this is strictly my opinion..

The weakest are Shanty Town and Native Village.  These, on top of the opportunity cost associated with buying them, can actually slow down the tempo of your engine.  All villages can do this if the deck is drawing blind but these two effectively lower the number of cards in hand when they are played.  Yes, the Shanty Town can give two cards somewhat dependently under the right circumstances and the Native can be used to build a super-hand but for the most part I usually would rather have the simple +1 card.

The Village and the Walled Village set the standard for the Village type.  I don't see a huge difference between $3 and $4 usually, so unless there is an Upgrade effect on board I view them as generally equal.  Walled Village has a bad reputation but the secondary effect actually does make putting draw chains together a bit easier, so I think the cost difference is reasonable.  These two however, I prefer to gain rather than buy unless I have an amount of Silver in my deck I am comfortable with.

The Festival and Hamlet have some uses outside of just the two actions.  They are great in certain draw engines or to generate fast Peddlers.  Menagerie, Minions, Library, Alchemist, Scrying Pool and Watchtower, among others I am sure, all benefit greatly using either or both of these two.  As a bland Village they are not quite as good as the +2A/+1C villages but when they are useful they really shine.

The Mining Village is underestimated frequently.  It is actually quite good in helping to gain an important card early.  The sac ability is of course what makes this card really shine.  Since they replace themselves when played they can be saved when the coin is not needed and used to boost the buying power of any hand during any phase of the game with no further cost or planning.  I usually sac the first one on turn 3-4 for an easy Gold.

Worker's Village is a great source of buy and is very strong because of that.  I prefer it over quite a few of the terminal +buy cards and it is an easy addition to any deck.  Unlike the Mining Village, however, it never boosts the buying power of a deck so it shouldn't be bought too many times; gaining many is great.

The City is a write-up of its own and any seasoned Dominion player has seen it used to superb effect and have also seen it fizzle terribly.  The key, of course, is the ability to mass gain them with say University or Horn of Plenty or to buy them quickly when a pile is absolutely bound to run out in a timely manner.  Winning a race of upgraded Cities is usually a recipe for victory, but buying them over and over to no point in the wrong Kingdom spells certain defeat.

The bazaar is usually a decent buy and can really shine when mixed with other +$/+C cards and trashing.  They help boost Minions when it reasonable to get them instead of Minion and can really put a Peddler or Scrying Pool deck over the top.  Treasury, Markets, Grand Markets, supported Conspirators all can work with Bazaar, and it should be noted that other action chains can be helped with the coin generated from this card.  $7 hands suck.  Bazaar can help.

Yes, I actually put Farming Village as the second best Village because it is like a reverse Rabble and can clear out greens during the all-important VP rush of the end game.  It is a natural foil against some of the stronger attacks;  it neuters Ghost Ship, Rabble and Fortune Teller and mitigates cursers.  It is absurd in treasure-less decks.

The king is of course Fishing Villages.  I think middle level players tend to buy too many and in the wrong circumstances, but on the whole it is a really strong engine card and can make any big draw strategy work much better than the other villages.  There are so many other uses for this card, most of them obvious, but I will add that Menagerie, Library and Watchtower are greatly improved with this card.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 05:13:42 pm by Mean Mr Mustard »
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rinkworks

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2011, 04:48:47 pm »
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$2:  Native Village, Hamlet
$3:  Village, Shanty Town, Fishing Village
$4:  Mining Village, Worker's Village, Walled Village, Farming Village
$5:  City, Bazaar, Festival

As others have pointed out, Native Village sticks out as being incomparable here.  I love the card, but less as an enabler (as these other cards are) as a strategy unto itself.

Of the remaining, Festival, Shanty Town, and City resist the Village classification to a lesser degree.  Shanty Town has a number of uses, its Village-behavior being the weakest of them.  City is a Village to start out, but at Level 2 -- the point at which Cities become desirable -- the Laboratory-like behavior is the more important by far.  And Festival is usually a revenue generator first and chainer second.  When it IS a chainer, it works best with Library/Watchtower than with straight +Cards, which is the exact reverse of when Villages are good.

So with those four cards culled, here's what I like:

1. Fishing Village:  So strong, I'm still astonished it's priced at $3 instead of $4.  The lack of draw weakens it significantly, but the next-turn effect is as if you'd just played a Bazaar.  That and the fact that you need fewer of them to kickstart your chains from turn to turn make this the priority buy for almost every engine.

2. Worker's Village:  An incredible general-purpose engine card.  Many engines (Conspirator, Minion, Alchemist, etc) need +Buy, which is often a scarce resource.  Worker's Villages can provide that for free when you get them for their Village functionality.  And when your engine doesn't require Villages (Minion, Laboratory, etc), you can still usually drop them in for the +Buy without choking up the workings of your engine, as you would if your +Buy source was a terminal.  The advent of Hamlet makes Worker's Village less uniquely suited to solving this problem so neatly, but it's still as useful as it ever was.

3. Bazaar:  The +coin makes a world of difference and is probably more often worth more than a +buy.  Like Worker's Village, they provide a seamless benefit even in engines where the Village effect isn't necessary.  But as stated in the other thread, Bazaar's $5 cost is significant.  The jump from $4 to $5 matters a lot more than the $3 to $4 jump for two reasons:  One, the starting deck can get to $4 without much trouble, while $5 takes work.  Two, $5 is beyond the reach of Workshop/Ironworks/Talisman, which are great ways to accumulate engine parts quickly.

That's my top 3, but I want to say something in Walled Village's defense.  Yes, it's probably the weakest $4 village.  But it's not a "bad card," as some say.  It is, after all, strictly superior to vanilla Village, and the cost difference often just doesn't matter.

Also, a note on Mining Village:  Conventional wisdom (apparently) is to trash early Mining Villages often.  Figure that your average card value starts at $0.7, rising to $1+ quickly.  That makes Mining Village's +1 card and its +$2 roughly equivalent to a one-shot Gold.  That's a pretty huge boon in the early game.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 04:57:27 pm by rinkworks »
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tko

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2011, 05:17:04 pm »
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Yes, I actually put Farming Village as the second best Village because it is like a reverse Rabble and can clear out greens during the all-important VP rush of the end game.  It is a natural foil against some of the stronger attacks;  it neuters Ghost Ship, Rabble and Fortune Teller and mitigates cursers.  It is absurd in treasure-less decks.
When I was playing IRL, someone opened Farming Village/Silver, and I chuckled to myself.  Then, on their 1st play of Farming Village, they discarded 2 Estates, and I dropped my jaw at how this helped them cycle their early buys.  This was maybe a lucky draw, but does Farming Village have any value as an opening buy for it's ability to skip an Estate?
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Mean Mr Mustard

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2011, 05:20:02 pm »
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Not really, imo.  Mining Village is about the only one I would buy on a 3/4 split, with the exception of a Peddler presence.
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tko

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2011, 05:31:46 pm »
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I know I expiremented with a Farming Village opening after that IRL game.  I found one example game I played:
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110720-054704-c186528d.html
I did get lucky here getting a Fairgrounds out of the Black Market deck, and the other opening buy of Masquerade was a big help.  Probably not conclusive... it was seeing a lucky '2-Estate discard' on turn 3 or 4 that made an impression on me.
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Epoch

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2011, 05:49:04 pm »
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Also, a note on Mining Village:  Conventional wisdom (apparently) is to trash early Mining Villages often.  Figure that your average card value starts at $0.7, rising to $1+ quickly.  That makes Mining Village's +1 card and its +$2 roughly equivalent to a one-shot Gold.  That's a pretty huge boon in the early game.

Maybe.  And I think there are two fairly conceptually separate situations, here:  one in which you aren't trying to buy an engine -- where you'd be basically just as excited about Mining Village if it were +1 card, +1 action, +$2, trash.  And the other in which you're getting an engine together.

In the engine case, I'm not convinced that the +$2 helps much at all.  You probably aren't trying to get above-$5 cards for your engine (exception:  King's Court, maybe Nobles).  You aren't trying to get just one lynchpin card for your engine.  You're trying to get a density of cards, and probably that density is primarily "villages and something that gives +cards."  The reason that engines tend to be slower than Big Money variations has to do with a total number of buying opportunities before they start firing, not a total number of high-cost buying opportunities.  And in this case, you're throwing out one of your buying opportunities.

Basically, if my first ten buys go:

$4/$3/$4/$5/$4/$3/$4/$3/$5/$5

I'd rather be able to buy Village equivalents with each of the $3's than spend a $4 and another $4+ together to buy a $6+ card.  Usually.  That's why I'm not hugely thrilled with Mining Villages.  There are a lot of exception situations, sure, but ultimately, if I'm putting together an engine, I'm putting a value on repeatability and consistency that's undermined by throwing out an engine component for a single better buy.  If I do use the Mining Village ability, it's much more likely to be at the end of the game, to put together my last few Province buys.

There's also sort of a timing problem with it: if I'm doing cards/actions, there may well be times when I'd like to sac the MV with perfect foreknowledge, but I don't want to sac it if it'll leave my at $7 (or be extraneous and put me at $10), and the time when I'll know about my buying power is after I play the +cards action that follows the MV.

Or perhaps I just don't like having to do the extra click on isotropic.  :P
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Mean Mr Mustard

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2011, 05:59:30 pm »
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As an engine card, Mining Village is a more expensive Village.  That is not to say it isn't useful in that role, just subpar.
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guided

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2011, 06:33:24 pm »
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Mining Village is still good as an engine card since you can pop them near the end of the game. The endgame does tend to matter! Simplest case, if your Village engine stalled out at $6 and you had to settle for a Duchy instead of buying the last Province... man, you sure wish you had a Mining Village instead.

If speed of engine building is the primary concern, and you frequently hit exactly $3 in your buy phase, then sure $3 Village makes it a little easier to build the engine. Mining Village certainly isn't better to see on the board than Village in every possible circumstance.
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DG

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2011, 07:10:52 pm »
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The three villages that I guess are most difficult to use are the university, shanty town, and native village. Without a basic draw and no coins they can stultify a deck. While a village idiot can buy villages to no purpose, they can be less detrimental than a bad shanty town and less catastrophic than bad universities. The university can get around it's problems with the cards it gains, the shanty town just needs a different sort of environment to most other villages, and the native village lives in its own bizarre strategy universe. When the native village shines however it really does enable a lot of imaginative play so it's a card that lets you use strategies that you couldn't perform with other villages, possibly top tier by your definition.

I find that hamlets can be very problematical if you just don't have enough cards in hand to support them. You can also get into trouble with decisions about what you need to discard now to support what you might need later in the turn. If they're not suitable for a deck then it can be a complete dead end buying them so I think a cost of 2 is quite fair. I guess I've played them poorly in the past to find out all that.

Mixing villages in deck can often be a good idea, so neither village may be strictly superior even within a specified kingdom .
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Markov Chain

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2011, 11:02:21 pm »
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Native Village is good in a deck with several of them, and it's only reasonable to get several if you have a slow deck (say, because Curses are around) or you have +buy.  Like Festival, it isn't used that much for its Village power, although you can sometimes stack two terminals on your mat and then wait to pull them.  It's more a timing card; you can decide whether you need your mat contents now or wait to make them big later.  In that context, it's something like a Haven; you can Haven an unneeded copper to save it for next turn, or Native Village and leave the copper on your mat for your next Native Village.

Fishing Village is my favorite village, and I often pay $4 for it even when decent $4's are available.  (It also tends to run out quickly in my gaming group.)  The lack of a draw means that it isn't great this turn, but next turn, it's a basic Village plus an extra coin. 
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Anon79

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2011, 12:55:32 am »
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Coming from someone whose lowest Win Rate Given Avail over all cards is Native Village: NV is horribly undercosted at $2. I don't understand how the general population has better Win Rate Without than Win Rate With.
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guided

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2011, 08:58:58 am »
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NV is horribly undercosted at $2.
I really don't think so. Why do you say that? It's probably in the top half of $2 cards but I wouldn't put it in the top 5, and it's usually worse than Village.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2011, 09:40:29 am »
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I agree with guided here. There are of course games where I'll gladly lap up NV over any 3 and most 4s, but that doesn't mean it's undercosted - those are very rare situations, and while it's true it's amazing in them, it's pretty sub-par otherwise. You SHOULD want any card more than the average card that costs 1 more than it a decent amount of the time - that's the way the game is designed. But making it slightly more difficult to get at 3 won't really make it much weaker in those combo decks, and it will look horrible in comparison to village there.

guided

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2011, 10:01:07 am »
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FWIW I think I'd rank it 6th among $2 cards, after Chapel, Hamlet, Courtyard, Lighthouse, and Pawn. Not even the best $2 Village variant ;)
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Superdad

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2011, 12:08:10 pm »
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It's been said a few times but mining village has two main uses for me:

1) To hit an early gold... kind-of like a cantrip-feast for gold, but taking up your buy for the turn also.
2) To act kind of like a salvager... and in this way it's best if you have a source of +buy. Trashing 4 mining villages on your last turn allows you to double-province, much in the same way that salvager will trash a gold on the last turn to hopefully buy double province (or at least province + duchy) for the win.



For Native Village, I don't like it as much as others. I probably undervalue it myself. I find myself using native villages in combo decks that want to have a massive turn. I like it with cards like coppersmith, and bank in combination with a +buy card... anything that gets better in big-hands. I use them as a combo card to buy 2+ provinces in a single turn for a big bang finish.

I find people buy NV way too often though, and they end up with this uncontrollable trashing non-cantrip pseudo village that actually doesn't do anything for them.
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Kirian

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2011, 03:27:33 pm »
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University is usually mediocre. It needs at least one pile you'd be happy to gain lots of to avoid sucking (Minion and Apprentice come to mind as good enablers), and even then, the process of getting a Potion into your hand, and then using it to buy a University, and then getting the University into your hand is quite slow, so you'd better be getting awesome value for the cards you're gaining. The total lack of draw makes it a rather dubious engine card outside of University/Apprentice decks (which I love). Wharf is a possibility, but if there are no other drawing cards you may find yourself choking more often than you'd like. Island (and to a lesser extent Great Hall) can help justify University on boards where it's otherwise marginal.

I think you're really, really underestimating Uni/Wharf here.  Once you have Wharves out, you have a very high chance of getting Uni and Wharf in your 7 starting cards, giving you 7 starting cards next round.  With even light trashing, a good third can make the combo ridiculous, especially if that terminal is also $5 or under.  Conspirator and Bridge make excellent choices for a third.
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guided

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2011, 03:45:58 pm »
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I think you're really, really underestimating Uni/Wharf here.
I think that's too many "really"s in response to "you may find yourself choking more often than you'd like." :P Also Conspirator is certainly an "other drawing card"!

I mean I specifically called out Wharf as a possibility for a University engine. Think about all the cards I didn't call out! (like Smithy for one)
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Superdad

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2011, 03:46:17 pm »
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I think the key thing that Uni/Wharf decks have problems with is money. Very quickly the deck draws itself, and buying more wharfs isn't actually doing anything for you. In addition, you naturally tend to have lower money than big money wharf decks, since turns are spent buying the potion and more universities on potion turns.

I think to be worth it, you really need to be able to also gain a money generating action. Also, it's very possible the strategy is too slow for province games. It may not be too slow, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it were. 

/edit: ninja'd by guided
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 03:48:20 pm by Superdad »
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Geronimoo

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2011, 05:52:39 pm »
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I was able to get a Uni/Wharf deck on par with the Big Money Wharf in a Province game. Just added Festival as money that can be gained with University and Loan for some early trashing. I don't think the deck can work in a Province game without a trash card though. The deck doesn't want to buy Silver, which is weird at first until you realize this enables the deck to cycle a little faster.

Here are the bots:
Code: [Select]
<player name="NGN - University/Wharf">
   <buy name="Province"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="4.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="University">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="University"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="4.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Gold">
      <condition>
         <left type="getTotalMoney"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="14.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Potion">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Potion"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="1.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Loan">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Loan"/>
         <operator type="equalTo" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Wharf">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Village"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Terminal"/>
         <extra_operation type="minus" attribute="3.0" />
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Festival"/>
</player>

Code: [Select]
<player name="BM - Wharf">
   <buy name="Province">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Gold"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="4.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Wharf">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Wharf"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="1.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Gold"/>
   <buy name="Wharf">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Wharf"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Silver"/>
</player>
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DG

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2011, 06:03:29 pm »
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I can remember one game I played against Andwilk where we both opened potion/silver and I got the lucky draw for a familiar and he had to settle for a university. That uni/wharf combination then worked me over and we agreed that he'd been the lucky one instead :).
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Epoch

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2011, 07:28:19 pm »
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I was able to get a Uni/Wharf deck on par with the Big Money Wharf in a Province game. Just added Festival as money that can be gained with University and Loan for some early trashing. I don't think the deck can work in a Province game without a trash card though. The deck doesn't want to buy Silver, which is weird at first until you realize this enables the deck to cycle a little faster.

Unfortunately, your University/Wharf/Festival/Loan fails decisively in the face of Festival/Wharf (about 56%-40%).  Which isn't super-surprising -- University doesn't get you much that Festival doesn't, besides a couple of free gains that are mostly counteracted by the Potion buy.

Code: [Select]
<player name="NGN - Festival/Wharf">
   <buy name="Province"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="4.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Gold">
      <condition>
         <left type="getTotalMoney"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="14.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Wharf">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Village"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Terminal"/>
         <extra_operation type="minus" attribute="3.0" />
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Festival"/>
   <buy name="Silver">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Festival"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="1.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
</player>

EDIT:  Though, weirdly, BM - Wharf beats my NGN - Festival/Wharf decisively.  So we actually have a ro-sham-bo situation!
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chwhite

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2011, 11:43:42 pm »
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I was actually thinking of writing up an article comparing the Villages at some point, so I guess I'll just fold those thoughts into a mega-post here.

There is also one other card which gives +2 Actions that nobody's mentioned yet: Nobles!  Judged strictly by its Village effect, Nobles is horrible: +2 Actions for $6 is as inefficient as it gets.  There are surely some corner cases where buying Nobles for the Actions is actually worth it (perhaps a set with Goons, Scrying Pool, Chapel, and lots of cantrips but no other Villages), but by and large you want to be using Nobles as a points-giving Smithy, preferably with other Villages on the board.  So I'll refrain from ranking Nobles.

Anyway, the other Villages, which I've grouped into several tiers and attempted to rank:

TIER 1
1. Fishing Village- The obvious best Village; I think it's safe to say everyone agrees with this one.  It's just such a good value! $1 this turn and next makes it almost as good at giving cash as Silver, and then it gives you two extra actions to boot, which is more than any other card in the game!  To give you a sense of just how good it is for its price, take a look at Caravan, which is supposed to be one of the best $4s.  Caravan is nothing the turn you play it, and a Lab the next turn.  Fishing Village is +$1, +Action, -Card this turn and (as Rinkworks pointed out) a Bazaar the next- and it's cheaper!  Basically, if you're buying terminals at all (and not going Bank), there's virtually no reason to buy Silver ahead of this, ever.  The one supposed downside to FV is the lack of +Card the turn you play it, which it shares with Festival and University.  So Library/Watchtower/Menagerie become more powerful, and +Card in general is necessary for chaining.  It's better than Festival and University in the absence of those enablers, though, because a) it's cheap and b) the Duration effect mitigates that downside.  Another big point in Fishing Village's favor, one which it only shares with the powerful but expensive Bazaar and Festival, is that it gives cash along with actions, which allows you the crucial ability to bake buying power into your engine, and not muck around as much with inert Treasure cards.  This is actually really important when setting up many engines, and FV does it for two less than its competition.

2. Hamlet- Hamlet and FV are the two Villages which deserve spots on the Top 5 lists (well, maybe NV does just because there are so few $2s); Hamlet is probably the second-best $2.  The key to Hamlet's power is its extreme flexibility and cheapness.  It's not great in trimmed decks where discarding is painful, but usually you can dump your Coppers and Estates easily to get the effects you need, and there's virtually never a downside to having more Hamlets.  And it works wonders with Library/Watchtower/Menagerie, like many of the Villages here in fact.

...

TIER 2 Like Tier 1, Tier 2 cards are excellent engine cards and are worth buying in most situations.  But while the Tier 1 cards are cheap enough to basically always be worth buying even when their effects aren't super crucial, the three Tier 2 cards are expensive- they're all $5, and they have to fight against other $5 cards to get bought.  So they don't make any Best Of lists.  But they're usually good to have around, and their power is hard to ignore.

3 and 4 Bazaar/Festival- I've explained why I like Bazaar so much in the post that inspired this thread. :P  Bazaar is probably the best Village for when +Card is scarce, and/or when you have sources of +Buy.  Festival (which is my favorite card in the game) is its mirror image: it desperately needs good +Card in order to be anything more than a super-Woodcutter, but it is the best Village at giving +Coin and +Buy.  Obviously the Library/Watchtower/Menagerie trio is great, but Festivals play particularly well with Minion and Tactician as well.  In Festival/Minion games, I love to spend my first $5 on a Festival, to take advantage of the Buy as fast as I can.  This will often pay off in double Minion turns down the line, or lots of extra Lighthouses, or whatnot.  I think Festivals can work as an engine with +3 Card effects, despite the lack of Card- basically, think of them as Worker's Villages that always draw Silver, not bad.  But if there's no +3 Card, or there's lots of other Buy, Bazaar is the right choice.

If pressed, I would probably rank Bazaar a hair above Festival, but really it's too close to call.  Bazaar is good in a wider variety of situations, but Festival is more powerful when it's good, and is at least somewhat useful most of the time as well.  In games with both Bazaar and Festival, and not with specific Festival-bait cards, I think the right answer is to buy one or two Festivals (for the Buy and cash) and Bazaars the rest of the way (for the Card).

5. City- Unlike Bazaar (always good to have, rarely spectacular), Cities are often quite bad to have, but when they're good they're so good.  In games where piles are liable to run out, Cities are incredibly strong- having a stack of Level 2 Cities is about as good a deck full of frickin' Trusty Steeds; in games where the first pile likely to run out is the Provinces, the City trap will just kill you.  The best situation for Cities are setups that allow you to gain them while still boosting your buying power (University, Horn of Plenty), or Curse games.  Games with spammable stacks are good too.  Games with good enablers for fast Big Money strategies (say Vault, Hoard, Masquerade) are good reason to avoid Cities entirely. 

I am generally much more wary of using Cities to enable most engines than I am of using Bazaars or even plain Villages.  However, in setups where piles are likely to run out with a decent amount of game left, the Cities become engines themselves.

...

TIER 3 There isn't really any unifying theme to the Tier 3 cards.  Most of them fall into the "sorta like vanilla Village but a little better" category, but there's one exception, a card that's sometimes much better and sometimes much worse.

6. Farming Village- Probably the best Village-plus, IMO, since it's guaranteed to draw a useful card.  It's best in situations where your deck has a lot of junk to sift through, and/or when you can get rid of those Coppers.  An incredible (and incredibly obvious) counter to Rabble.  Definitely one of the better combo-enablers, especially when paired with weaker +Card effects.

7. Mining Village- Mining Village is the best Village to have when you don't need Villages, and one of the worst to have when you do need them.  The true power of Mining Village is not that it efficiently enables action chains (it's one of the worst Villages for that), but that you can open with it and trash it quick for a Turn 3 Gold.  It'll chain if it has to (and if it does, its endgame potential for "cashing in" can't be ignored), but the reason it's this high is that it's one of the very few Villages worth buying even if you don't want to chain actions.

8. University- This is obviously the one Tier 3 card which isn't just a Village-plus.  Rather, it's a Festival variant which is potentially much more powerful but at the expense of being harder to get and somewhat inflexible. Similar upside (great w/Library/Watchtower; get lotsa good cards) and similar downside (lack of +Card can hurt).  Worth grabbing a few if there are Minions or Torturers or Cities to rush, but it forces you to open Potion and it's far less useful than Festival once it's time to go green.  Much like City (for which it is one of the best enablers), its upside is tremendous but it gets docked a few ranks due to the fact it is often just an expensive distraction.

9. Worker's Village- Is the extra $1 worth just adding a +Buy?  Usually.  You often will buy a regular Village for $4, and +Buy is important to most engine decks.  That's the big reason I rank Festival so highly.  But Worker's Village is kinda low-ish because it's actually a fairly poor source of +Buy.  Festival gives you guaranteed money to spend on said Buy; WV merely replaces itself and adds an Action and Buy to the queue.  (Of course, there are setups where the +Card is better than +2 Coin, but not usually IMO.)  It's excellent for enabling Peddlers, Conspirators, and other cheap cantrips, but unlike the Villages above it, it is merely an enabler.

...

TIER 4 This is the lowest tier of Villages.  I thought about making a Tier 5, but the fact is that none of the Villages we've seen so far are actually bad cards; there are no Villages I'd put on any "worst of" lists, not even Walled Village.  But these are the worst of the bunch, as they tend to provide few or uncertain benefits beyond their Village effect.  If you don't have a specific engine in mind, these cards are usually skippable.

10. Village- Wheeee.  The original!  There aren't many situations where plain Village is the best one for the particular engine, but it's cheaper than the more expensive variants and sometimes you don't need their bonuses.  Vanilla Village is still an important card, Village Idiots notwithstanding.

11. Native Village- When I first saw NV, I thought it sucked.  Then I realized you could buy a bunch and save up for mega-turns, and I started buying NV all the time.  But it's fallen in my estimation a lot recently, and now I think it doesn't just "look worse" than Village, but usually it is worse.  If you don't have a lot of NVs, the mat becomes risky; if you have to draw it when there's only one or two cards on there, or it makes you stow away one of your good cards before you wanted to draw the mat, the NV is providing serious card *dis*advantage.  You need to mass buy them for NV to be effective, and there's a lot of opportunity cost in that. 

NV is very strong for certain megaturn strategies, of course.  But if you don't have a specific plan for it, don't buy it.  There are so few $2 cards that I might actually consider it a top 5 $2 card despite its low rank, but I think I agree with guided that it belongs at #6.

12. Walled Village- Not the worst!  But close to it.  WV's benefit is usually not worth the extra $1- in particular, it plays very poorly with cantrips; it requires a deck that needs *terminals* to actually be worth it.  It's theoretically nice with cards that trash themselves (Island, Embargo, etc.) but I think WV's best use is with Torturer- it lets you buy fewer villages than would usually be necessary to get the first double-Torturer hit, in fact one is sufficient for much longer than would normally be necessary.  In general WV is good in decks with a few strong terminals, and weak in longer chains.

13. Shanty Town- Bringing up the rear, Shanty Town is the closest a Village comes to deserving a spot on any Worst list, though I don't think even Shanty Town would quite fit.  The problem is that Shanty Town is uniquely horrible at building many engines: if you have Actions, it doesn't give you Card, and if it gives you Card, that means you're unlikely to use both Actions.  And it is the worst card to rely on multiples of: extreme case, compare a hand of five Shanty Towns to a hand of five Villages.  This is not to say Shanty Town is useless!  One or two Shanty Towns can often be a good buy early in an Action-light deck, to use as a pseudo-Lab.  And it plays well with non-terminals: clear out the non-terminals, and play Shanty Town to draw two.  But it is pretty much the worst Village if you have to buy multiples, and it is also the worst Village at enabling the play of multiple terminals, which is the whole point of villages after all. 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 04:36:42 pm by chwhite »
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sherwinpr

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2011, 01:18:16 am »
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Another quasi-village kingdom card we've forgotten: Tribute!  I've actually used it for the +2 actions in quite a few games, when it's the only source.  It's risky, but sort of exhilarating too.  It's kind of a dud though when it just gives you +4 actions though.
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Geronimoo

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2011, 04:30:21 am »
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Unfortunately, your University/Wharf/Festival/Loan fails decisively in the face of Festival/Wharf (about 56%-40%).  Which isn't super-surprising -- University doesn't get you much that Festival doesn't, besides a couple of free gains that are mostly counteracted by the Potion buy.

EDIT:  Though, weirdly, BM - Wharf beats my NGN - Festival/Wharf decisively.  So we actually have a ro-sham-bo situation!

The reason your bot beats mine is that it's stealing the most important part of the engine. My bot can't get the critical mass of Wharves and fails to chain mega-turns. If you look in the Sample Games you'll see your bot doesn't actually create an engine and is just a worse big money variant.
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rinkworks

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2011, 02:34:08 pm »
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Excellent summary, chwhite.
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chwhite

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2011, 03:23:46 pm »
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Another quasi-village kingdom card we've forgotten: Tribute!  I've actually used it for the +2 actions in quite a few games, when it's the only source.  It's risky, but sort of exhilarating too.  It's kind of a dud though when it just gives you +4 actions though.

Oh, good point.  I think Tribute is probably at the very bottom of the list, just because none of its benefits are guaranteed.  I'll very occasionally use Tribute for the +Actions (and that's probably the best use for Tribute), but it's only a path you can really take if you opponent does as well.  It's just too high risk for me to use in most situations, I simply don't consider it a sufficient Village to enable an engine most of the time.  I'll consider it if there are dual-type cards; a heavy-Cornucopia setup; and it's a lot better Throned or Kinged.  Kinda like Harvest.
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tlloyd

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2011, 03:48:03 pm »
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I'll very occasionally use Tribute for the +Actions (and that's probably the best use for Tribute)

I would think that Tribute is best as part of and/or in response to a big-money strategy. If your opponent's deck is primarily treasure cards, then Tribute will often give you +$4 (although at times it will give you only +$2 while skipping two of your opponent's coppers). As your opponent's deck greens, you become more likely to get +$2 and +2 cards, which - if you are also going big money - should reliably be worth $2 or more. So in a game without platinum, a Tribute (bought sparingly) should be worth more than a gold and cost less.
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guided

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2011, 03:56:01 pm »
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Tribute is great against decks full of Action/Victory cards and pretty much terrible at most other times.
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DG

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2011, 04:38:20 pm »
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Tribute is one of those cards with a variety of uses, but no staple use, and you generally miss the good uses as they require some extra insight on each occasion. Quite often the opponent has to play it into strength. It doesn't really deserve to be on the village list any more than a throne, golem, tactician, or noble steed.
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chwhite

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2011, 04:55:03 pm »
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Tribute is one of those cards with a variety of uses, but no staple use, and you generally miss the good uses as they require some extra insight on each occasion. Quite often the opponent has to play it into strength. It doesn't really deserve to be on the village list any more than a throne, golem, tactician, or noble steed.

I agree with this.  Though I guess you could make a case that Golem does actually belong on the village list- you find two actions and play 'em!  If it was on the list I'd probably put it on par with Bazaar/Festival/City- it's powerful but it's also very very hard to get.
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tlloyd

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2011, 08:37:40 pm »
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Tribute is great against decks full of Action/Victory cards and pretty much terrible at most other times.

Care to explain why? Tribute vs. BM is usually a +$4, which is better than terrible. Clearly there is extra cause to rejoice when your tribute hits someone's Nobles, but why is it "terrible" in other circumstances? (I'm assuming, by the way, that by "Action/Victory cards" you mean literally two-type cards like Great Hall and Nobles, and not Action or Victory cards).
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guided

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2011, 09:19:30 pm »
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I dunno if it's usually +$4, but whatever, sure, single-Tribute is better than straight BM. But it is not particularly interesting to talk about Tribute + BM vs. BM. Yes, it's one of many single cards you could add to BM deck to make it better than a straight BM deck. If you like that, man have I got some sweet news for you about this other card called Smithy....

It's usually terrible (in the absence of Action/Victory cards) because it's so unreliable that you can't make it part of an actual plan. Certainly it's not generally good as a primary action source, and if you have some other primary action source, it sucks unless your opponent is playing an action-poor deck since it will so often go to waste.
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tlloyd

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2011, 03:48:12 am »
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I dunno if it's usually +$4, but whatever, sure, single-Tribute is better than straight BM. But it is not particularly interesting to talk about Tribute + BM vs. BM. Yes, it's one of many single cards you could add to BM deck to make it better than a straight BM deck. If you like that, man have I got some sweet news for you about this other card called Smithy....

It's usually terrible (in the absence of Action/Victory cards) because it's so unreliable that you can't make it part of an actual plan. Certainly it's not generally good as a primary action source, and if you have some other primary action source, it sucks unless your opponent is playing an action-poor deck since it will so often go to waste.

I agree that Tribute + BM is not that interesting. I think we also agree that Tribute is not "terrible" in the way that Saboteur is terrible (Sab + BM is probably worse than straight-up BM). Clearly Tribute is not an engine card (I don't know what a "Tribute Deck" would even look like), but a Tribute or two can be productive as an addition to an up-and-running engine. That's admittedly a pretty weak endorsement, since you could say the same about most cards, but to me that means Tribute is mediocre, not terrible.

It's interesting that Tribute works well against an opponent's Nobles (or Great Halls, etc.), because Nobles is in theory a perfect complement to Tribute: Tribute gives you actions? Play Nobles for cards. Tribute gives you cards (assuming you've already got +actions???), play Nobles for actions. Of course in practice that is just nonsense, and I can't imagine a successful deck built on a combo of two expensive and oft-underpowered cards. But throw in a KC (another expensive card), and the combo might do very well: KC-Tribute should give you at least +2 actions in most games, and then play Nobles for Cards/Actions as needed. Still seems expensive and difficult to pull off, but this is just the sort of crazy combo that makes the game fun.
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2011, 04:40:41 am »
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While tribute may not be terrible, it's certainly terrible at being a village. The cards people list as the worst on this thread (shanty town and native village) aren't bad cards either. They're just bad at being villages. It's hard to use them as a source of +actions in a +cards/+actions engine. They have their place, just not as a core component of this type of engine.
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2011, 08:56:47 am »
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So if Shanty Town is not great at being a Village, what makes it shine? The only thing I can think of is as a source of +2 cards in a (mostly) BM deck, and that's little that I can't imagine it being worth even a $3 buy except if there is literally no other source of +cards on the board *and* there are no dominant actions. Am I missing something?
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2011, 09:37:05 am »
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Shanty town is good as a lab in decks with no terminals. It's also pretty decent in a deck that already has a lot of other villages sometimes, and with certain other cards.
Tribute is a weird and separate case, where your and your opponent's deck compositions are both really important, but it's definitely not like a traditional village. And in a lot of cases, you get 2 actions and 2 money and it's a little worse than festival.
Also BM + Sabo is better, not worse, than BM.

chwhite

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2011, 12:07:35 pm »
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Davio's thread about 3p Dominion reminds me that the rankings do change a bit in multiplayer.  Specifically, since piles are more likely to run out, Cities are much better.  They leapfrog Bazaar and Festival (maybe even Hamlet too), and make it into Tier 1.  Also, Native Village is worse (since there's more competition), though I'm not sure it's worse enough to drop any ranks.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2011, 01:46:59 pm »
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i am of the opinion that shanty town is a very useful and highly underrated card.

- drawing a shanty town without another action is better than drawing another village without an action due to the extra card draw. a criticism against the card seems to be that it lacks a draw when played with other actions, but i would argue that it will draw total cards in a game comparable (or even in excess) to a vanilla village.
- in a hand of just villages/money, the net effect of playing two shanty towns is identical to playing two vanilla villages.
- assuming no attacks, an opening of shanty town / silver is *guaranteed*  to give you $5+ once and to fully cycle your deck, allowing you to potentially play that witch or wharf turn 5.  i don't think any other village can offer that.  that is arguably better than a silver/silver buy and it saves you buying the inevitable village a few turns later.
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2011, 01:57:44 pm »
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- in a hand of just villages/money, the net effect of playing two shanty towns is identical to playing two vanilla villages.

I also think Shanty Town is an underrated card, but I'm not so sure this is a good reason why.  A deck of nothing but villages and money is a horrible deck, as Villages do not increase your buying power (and don't even, in fact, increase your cycling power, as Village only draws enough to compensate for itself being in the deck); thus, each Village is no more than a lost Silver.

Shanty Town is actually *worse* in this regard, unless you only buy one.  If you buy one, it's effectively a Laboratory, which is fine.  But two drawn in the same hand is equally as bad as having two vanilla Villages, and three or more Shanty Towns drawn in the same hand is even worse.

In a sense, a collision of Shanty Towns is as bad as a collision of terminals:  you can only reap the effects of one of them, while the other merely eats a card slot.

Where Shanty Town excels is in a deck full of other non-terminals.  Then you can pretty much always play Shanty Town last and use the drawing ability.  Even then, though, you shouldn't buy very many, or they'll stomp over themselves.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 02:02:19 pm by rinkworks »
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2011, 02:01:06 pm »
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i am of the opinion that shanty town is a very useful and highly underrated card.

- drawing a shanty town without another action is better than drawing another village without an action due to the extra card draw. a criticism against the card seems to be that it lacks a draw when played with other actions, but i would argue that it will draw total cards in a game comparable (or even in excess) to a vanilla village.

I would argue that if ST is drawing more cards than a Village, you are not using it as a Village and are wasting actions.

Quote
- in a hand of just villages/money, the net effect of playing two shanty towns is identical to playing two vanilla villages.

In a hand of just Villages/money, the net effect of playing three or more Shanty Towns is less than that of playing three or more vanilla Villages.

Quote
- assuming no attacks, an opening of shanty town / silver is *guaranteed*  to give you $5+ once and to fully cycle your deck, allowing you to potentially play that witch or wharf turn 5.  i don't think any other village can offer that.  that is arguably better than a silver/silver buy and it saves you buying the inevitable village a few turns later.

In this case you are not using Shanty Town as a village. Yes, it's a brilliant early-game card, but its Laboratory properties disappear soon after you add that Witch or Wharf to your deck.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2011, 02:22:25 pm »
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I would argue that if ST is drawing more cards than a Village, you are not using it as a Village and are wasting actions.

probably true. my example was mostly just to make the case that i think the argument that shanty town doesn't draw well enough is not a solid one. i personally think it draws just about as many cards, it just does this drawing at different times. honestly, a village might still be better at drawing overall.  i just think that the difference is not as large as most would perceive it to be.  if you would like to run some simulations to prove me wrong feel free.

Quote
-In a hand of just Villages/money, the net effect of playing three or more Shanty Towns is less than that of playing three or more vanilla Villages.

this is true.  but i think these cases indicate either some extremely bad luck or a flaw in your deck design.  you will encounter the 1 or 2 village/ST scenario far more often than the 3+.  you obviously don't want to draw them all like this, but i think that for the majority of these cases (village/money/green) the ST will be as good as or better than a village.

Quote
- In this case you are not using Shanty Town as a village. Yes, it's a brilliant early-game card, but its Laboratory properties disappear soon after you add that Witch or Wharf to your deck.

i realize this. i am comparing shanty town to other villages here, not to labs. i am saying that it functions well as a village because it will net draw you a similar amount of cards and it has the unique ability of being able to jump start your deck.  with the exception of mining village, which you would need to trash, no other village can do this.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 02:33:20 pm by greatexpectations »
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chesskidnate

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2011, 03:00:15 pm »
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I think the real problem with shanty town lies in trying to create +card/+action drawing chains. This is usally one of villages best uses but with the increased hand size shanty towns are more likely to conflict and since you need the actions to play something like smithy, for example, you'll often have to play the shanty town first. I think the underlying problem is that when trying to set up action chains you usually want a lot of villages and cards that you want to chain whereas with shanty town if you have that the shanty towns will have trouble getting the extra 2 cards and be worse than the vanilla village.
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2011, 08:39:21 pm »
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I think this graph says a lot.

http://councilroom.com/win_weighted_accum_turn.html?cards=shanty%20town%2C%20village%2C%20silver%2C%20mining%20village

Shanty town isn't so bad as an opening depending on the board but you are probably better off opening silver/silver most of the time.

Shanty town is an odd case as a village, because you don't want to have to use it's village powers as many have mentioned. The lack of +card hurts a draw engine considerably. You want shanty town to be a cheap lab, sort of like wishing well. In this case I'd agree that it's an underrated card, but it is not an underrated village.
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2011, 09:25:53 pm »
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I was actually thinking of writing up an article comparing the Villages at some point, so I guess I'll just fold those thoughts into a mega-post here.

I think this post is super high quality.  Would you like it to be on the front page?
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tlloyd

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #51 on: August 29, 2011, 09:39:43 pm »
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I think the real problem with shanty town lies in trying to create +card/+action drawing chains. This is usally one of villages best uses but with the increased hand size shanty towns are more likely to conflict and since you need the actions to play something like smithy, for example, you'll often have to play the shanty town first. I think the underlying problem is that when trying to set up action chains you usually want a lot of villages and cards that you want to chain whereas with shanty town if you have that the shanty towns will have trouble getting the extra 2 cards and be worse than the vanilla village.

I once had a very successful game using Shanty Town + Courtyard. The ability to put a card back on your deck really helps you get the full benefit of every shanty town. For the same reason, Shanty Town is also an effective counter to hand-size reduction attacks (especially Ghost Ship).
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DG

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #52 on: August 29, 2011, 10:04:33 pm »
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Chwhite's analysis was good but it ultimately told us that the more expensive villages were better than the cheaper villages. When you take into account the cost of the villages they look far more balanced. A worker's village might be more powerful than a village but how often would you buy worker's village + smithy in preference to village + wharf?
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DG

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #53 on: August 29, 2011, 10:07:04 pm »
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Quote
I once had a very successful game using Shanty Town + Courtyard.

Are you sure that was significantly better than two courtyards?
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greatexpectations

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #54 on: August 29, 2011, 10:14:44 pm »
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Shanty town isn't so bad as an opening depending on the board but you are probably better off opening silver/silver most of the time.

ST/silver actually proves to be a slightly stronger open in a BM/witch game. 

i must apologize for my comments before though, i got a little excited trying to make a case for a personal favorite card.  ST/silver is not a guaranteed $5+ because of course the shanty town can miss the reshuffle. it is still quite likely though, and if you do draw the ST you will trigger a reshuffle which includes your new $5 card.
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tlloyd

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #55 on: August 29, 2011, 10:19:30 pm »
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Quote
I once had a very successful game using Shanty Town + Courtyard.

Are you sure that was significantly better than two courtyards?

If by this you mean to ask whether I have run simulations or done statistical analyses, then no. But I won the (IRL) game handily against decent competition. That doesn't mean that Courtyard + BM isn't better, but I'll wager that Courtyard + Shanty Town is a lot more fun!
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chwhite

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2011, 10:38:43 pm »
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I was actually thinking of writing up an article comparing the Villages at some point, so I guess I'll just fold those thoughts into a mega-post here.

I think this post is super high quality.  Would you like it to be on the front page?

Sure, I'd be honored!  Feel free to edit for grammar/style and whatnot (and add in stuff, such as the part about Cities jumping a rank in multiplayer or anything else I've forgotten).

Chwhite's analysis was good but it ultimately told us that the more expensive villages were better than the cheaper villages. When you take into account the cost of the villages they look far more balanced. A worker's village might be more powerful than a village but how often would you buy worker's village + smithy in preference to village + wharf?

Well, Worker's Village is only one spot above vanilla Village, and I almost put it in Tier 4 instead.  They're really close: that +Buy is worth the extra buck (or said buck doesn't matter; the difference between $3 and $4 is very small) IMO probably like 60 percent of the time, which is just enough to put it above Village.  And it's not the case that I just ranked the more expensive villages higher: the top 2 are both cheapo, and the most expensive village, University, is below average.
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #57 on: August 30, 2011, 01:53:44 am »
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I posted chwhite's article to the main site.
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Geronimoo

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #58 on: August 30, 2011, 03:52:39 am »
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No card images, Rob?
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #59 on: August 30, 2011, 09:56:27 am »
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I am lazy :(
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DStu

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #60 on: August 30, 2011, 10:07:08 am »
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There isn't even a title...
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #61 on: August 30, 2011, 10:19:51 am »
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I fixed the title problem.
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theory

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #62 on: September 08, 2011, 12:45:37 pm »
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I fixed the images problem.
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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #63 on: September 08, 2011, 12:56:43 pm »
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Haha.  Remember all of your crappy commits to dominionstats that I cleaned up?  Guess who has write access to the front page? I think we've been lacking content recently... :P
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chwhite

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #64 on: October 31, 2011, 03:14:53 pm »
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Basically, if you're buying terminals at all (and not going Bank), there's virtually no reason to buy Silver ahead of this [Fishing Village], ever.

With the advent of Hinterlands, this is no longer true.  Stables is an excellent reason to buy Silver instead, and in general the Hinterlands environment is so heavily skewed towards Big Money, and specifically Silver-heavy BM, that there are likely other Hinterlands scenarios where the FV just doesn't provide the level of advantage over Silver it did in the Action-friendly environment of Seaside/Alchemy/Prosperity/Cornucopia. 

__________

I've been thinking a little bit about how the Hinterlands villages stack up in this list, and also if Hinterlands shuffles any of these rankings- I don't know yet, but I'd be inclined to keep the rest of this list pretty much the same. Briefly, and these rankings are subject to change, here's how I'd slot them:

Border Village is, I think, in Tier 1 for sure, probably second behind Fishing Village.  I think, in fact, it's by far the best card in Hinterlands (I am going to pretend here that the "let's all stop having fun and play like simulators" JoaT doesn't exist).  Obviously it is best when there are $5 terminals you want to chain- Torturer, Wharf, Margrave, that sort of stuff, in that case the Border Village basically erases the often-substantial opportunity cost of getting your engine up and running, buy a power terminal and we'll throw in a Village for only $1 more that you don't need to waste a Buy on!  And like Peddler it is awesome with cards that care about other card costs (Salvager, Apprentice, Bishop, etc.).  It drastically lowers the difficulty of setting up action chains in a way that is only rivaled by FV- and also drastically increases the chance of 3-piling, which is a powerful effect if you can leverage it correctly.  And even when you don't want power $5 terminals, it's still often worth buying: with a $4 terminal the BV is merely $2 extra, and if you have $6 and there are strong $5 non-terminals you want or it's Duchy time, then why not get the Border Village too? 

I have bought Border Village literally every time it's been on the board so far.  This is not likely to last forever, but I have every expectation it'll stay on top of my Buy% until isotropic disappears.

Inn is a good deal trickier.  +2 Actions, +2 Cards, discard 2 cards is not actually that powerful: it's basically a Village (mini-)Warehouse, which I suspect would be a reasonable but probably weakish $4 card.  Obviously discard effects combo with things like Tunnel, Menagerie, and Library, but you're still at -1 Card overall, which normally is going to make it harder to actually use those two actions. 

However, Inn is probably the very best example of a card whose true power is tied up in the when-gain effect: selectively returning your best actions to the deck before reshuffle can be quite powerful when timed right (and luckily, Inn being a Village makes it easier to play them).  If you buy an Inn right before reshuffle, you can often get an entirely designer hand.  But even here there are pitfalls: chief among them actions you've played this turn don't get reshuffled.  My sense is that Inn is thus a fairly tricky card to play, and it gets somewhat overbought among the Isotropic populace at large. (I have a very high Win Rate With, but overall its numbers are quite weak.)  Bought mindlessly, it is an overpriced waste of a $5, in the hands of an experienced player it provides for some incredibly strong tactical plays.  I would be inclined to put it between City and Farming Village, at the bottom of Tier 2.

Crossroads is super-trappy and not nearly as good as it looks, and Rinkworks has already said far more intelligent things about it in his front-page article than I could dream of.  And yet I've bought it like 90 percent of the time anyway- early on, because I fell for the trap HARD, but lately because I've been taking its presence as an invitation/compulsion to green early, so a late-game Crossroads on a bad turn becomes an easy buy.  One thing I do want to highlight, though, is that it's not a great source of +Action.  +3 Actions is more than any card gives on this turn (Fishing Village does it over two), but it only works for the first one, so a dedicated Crossroads deck is going to be spending them on more Crossroads, and like Shanty Town the two parts of the card work at cross-purposes.  If you draw lots of cards from your first Crossroads, you likely have a hand of inert green and the Actions are a waste, if you can play all those Actions, chances are your Crossroad didn't draw you any cards.

To be honest, I have a real hard time ranking Crossroads: sometimes you can build massive engines with it, sometimes it's a bad trap, often it's basically a late-game Cellar, and almost always the +Card is more important than the extra Actions and it'd play much the same if it just always gave +1 Action.  I want to punt on this one, if I had to rank it maybe it would go between University and Worker's Village, or perhaps just below vanilla Village, but I'm really not sure?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 04:54:54 pm by chwhite »
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chwhite

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #65 on: October 31, 2011, 08:35:50 pm »
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I have bought Border Village literally every time it's been on the board so far.  This is not likely to last forever, but I have every expectation it'll stay on top of my Buy% until isotropic disappears.

Finally found a setup where I was happy to skip the Border Villages.  It took Masq-BM to make it happen:

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201110/31/game-20111031-172937-6e02a342.html
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hobo386

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Re: Compare the Villages
« Reply #66 on: November 01, 2011, 12:55:34 pm »
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I have bought Border Village literally every time it's been on the board so far.  This is not likely to last forever, but I have every expectation it'll stay on top of my Buy% until isotropic disappears.

Finally found a setup where I was happy to skip the Border Villages.  It took Masq-BM to make it happen:

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201110/31/game-20111031-172937-6e02a342.html

Yep, the biggest time you don't want BV is when there's not an action worth chaining.
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