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Author Topic: Compare the Villages  (Read 22573 times)

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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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HiveMindEmulator

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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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philosophyguy

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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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WanderingWinder

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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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rinkworks

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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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