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Author Topic: Hoard/Scout  (Read 5252 times)

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Graystripe77

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Hoard/Scout
« on: August 29, 2011, 07:30:40 pm »
0

Hoard is generally a good card, netting you a gold every time you buy a victory, great for helping your deck to stall less, or have even greater buying power. Now my question to other players: Do you think that scout would improve a deck with hoard? Why or why not?

I tend to buy 1 or 2 scouts after a little 'hoarding', it seems like it helps, but i'm not entirely sure when i should or shouldn't buy it.
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DG

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2011, 08:04:52 pm »
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Scout/hoard doesn't make much difference. Some times when a scout may be good might be:

1) you're going to draw more than one victory card on average
2) you've got victory cards you want to draw into hand (harems, nobles)
3) someone is attacking you and putting victory cards on top of your deck
4) sorting the top of your deck helps other cards (hunting party, golem, wishing well)
5) you need a card with an extra action (for conspirators, thrones, golems, pretty rare cases)
6) you're trying to add value without adding treasure (anti-pirate)

When you're using a hoard really well you're buying the vp cards you want and getting valuable gold too. If you're buying duchies and estates but finding that they clog your deck, maybe you need to change the way you're using the hoard rather than fix it with a scout. 
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jonts26

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 08:05:31 pm »
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Since the scout takes up a card slot you need to draw on average one green card per play. This means that scout will be a net positive when your deck is >25% victory cards. There are other uses of scout, namely in draw engines to help protect against bad draws, but I don't think those are of interest here. The problem with scout in a hoard game is the opportunity cost. By the time you have sufficient victory density, the game is fairly far along. At that point with $5+ you'd want to buy duchy and with less than that you might want an estate anyway, especially with a hoard in hand.

To me it feels like scout works better in theory than in practice in this type of deck.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 08:15:59 pm »
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There are two ways of measuring how bad a card is. The first is how much you really don't want that card in your deck - say your opponent hits you with a swindler; these are the cards you hope he doesn't swindle your cards into. Scout is fairly bad but not horrible by these standards, and it's pretty average in a hoard deck by those standards. The other way to measure, which I subscribe to a bit more, is how often you will choose to buy/gain it, given the alternatives available to you. By this measure, scout is one of the worst 4s in the game - keep in mind it virtually always has to compete with silver. In the deck you're describing, it's not nearly so bad, but as jonts26 points out, just when do you have the time? Now the exception I make is that both hoard and scout work quite well with the mixed cards - Island, Great Hall, Nobles, and Harem. So in a deck with hoard and those, I may well go for it quite a bit more often.

AJD

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 08:17:37 pm »
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On a related note, how do people feel about the combo of Hoard and Upgrade or Remake? I had agame the other day where going in I planned to generate big money by buying duchies and provinces with Hoard and then Upgrading the victory cards to gold and platinum. It didn't work for me because I got Pirate Shipped into oblivion, but how well do you think a strategy like that might work in the absence of such a strong counter to a treasure-heavy deck?
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DG

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2011, 09:11:30 pm »
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Quote
I had a game the other day where going in I planned to generate big money by buying duchies and provinces with Hoard and then Upgrading the victory cards to gold and platinum.

The problem for most treasure heavy decks will be that you'll only have a couple more draws through the deck before the game is over. That's once to play the upgrade then once to use the generated treasure. It's not a great use of your available turns even assuming you will draw your upgrade and victory card together. However if you can draw all your deck each turn then it becomes a potentially great strategy, assuming the gold from the hoard isn't enough for you.
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guided

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2011, 10:17:00 pm »
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I have literally never seen a situation where Scout was worth buying just to clean up green cards out of your draw pile. Used for that purpose, it definitely doesn't strike me as better than Silver for a Hoard deck.

Possibly worthwhile if there are dual-color cards on the board... which is just about the only time Scout is ever good, anyway, with or without Hoard.
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Graystripe77

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 01:17:38 pm »
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Thanks for all the responses, I look forward to any advice anyone has to give.
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DsnowMan

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 03:37:37 pm »
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Simulation results! Scout & Hoard not good.  :(

First I fixed Hoard strategy so that it more aggressively bought VPs (whenever Hoard is in play, it will buy the best VP it can). Then I ran that against itself with 1 scout (more scouts is worse), bought anytime after the first hoard when nothing else looks good.

Smart Hoard 53% vs Smart Hoard with 1 Scout 41%
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guided

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 03:51:59 pm »
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Does Smart Hoard tend to buy Hoard over Duchy with $6 early in the game? Because I'm pretty sure that's the right thing to do ;)
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DsnowMan

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 05:06:51 pm »
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It seems to have inherited the only one Hoard logic from the original Hoard strategy.

Do you want it to buy a 2nd hoard instead of gold? Or a 2nd hoard instead of a duchy when it has hoard it play?
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jonts26

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 05:09:41 pm »
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I don't think a hoard strategy should ever involve buying gold over hoard. Early in the game you want a hoard, late in the game you want a duchy, regardless of having a hoard in hand or not.
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guided

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 06:08:18 pm »
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Do you want it to buy a 2nd hoard instead of gold? Or a 2nd hoard instead of a duchy when it has hoard it play?
Instead of Duchy with one Hoard in play. I should have been more specific.

My typical Hoard strategy is to, uh, hoard them, toward the goal of getting multiple golds for a single green card purchase at least once in the midgame. I don't have the gamelog handy at the moment, but one of my favorite things I've ever done in a Dominion game was to play 4 Hoards and buy a Province!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 06:18:00 pm by guided »
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DG

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 06:58:25 pm »
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Quote
I don't think a hoard strategy should ever involve buying gold over hoard.

At first I thought that you always get the hoard first and get the green cards for gold. That failed quite often so I decided to get hoards later and try to time them for province/colony buys. That then also failed occasionally, losing to the early hoard buying estates, so I've come to the conclusion that it all depends. I don't think there's even a simple rule of thumb for the timing.
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sherwinpr

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2011, 07:02:29 pm »
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Slightly off topic as it's not about Hoard, but since this thread has partially turned into (admittedly deserved) Scout bashing: isn't another situation in the absence of dual-type victory cards where Scout might shine be when it's used in a Scrying Pool deck?  Granted, there are probably more appropriate actions in the 2-4 cost range (any cantrips, conspirator, cards with +buy, ironworks, etc.); but once you have enough of these or the hot items are sold out, it seems like 1-2 scouts could effectively prevent greening from causing you to stall (though perhaps the Scrying Pool itself already does a good enough job).

Scout and Spy both just seem pretty lackluster (due to opportunity costs when purchasing them, among other things).  Their potion-cost close relatives, Apothecary, and Scrying Pool are just so much better.
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guided

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2011, 12:43:08 am »
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Spy is my single highest "Effect with", and I have no idea why.
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tlloyd

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2011, 01:29:42 am »
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My typical Hoard strategy is to, uh, hoard them, toward the goal of getting multiple golds for a single green card purchase at least once in the midgame. I don't have the gamelog handy at the moment, but one of my favorite things I've ever done in a Dominion game was to play 4 Hoards and buy a Province!

This was a fun game with Hoards, Grand Markets and Dukes:
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110614-233211-e4144798.html

Some highlights:
 - Played three Hoards on one turn and bought two Duchies, gaining 6 Golds
 - Ended the game with 21 Golds in my deck
 - Game ended on piles with Golds as one of the depleted piles!
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Epoch

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2011, 04:38:58 pm »
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Simulation results! Scout & Hoard not good.  :(

First I fixed Hoard strategy so that it more aggressively bought VPs (whenever Hoard is in play, it will buy the best VP it can). Then I ran that against itself with 1 scout (more scouts is worse), bought anytime after the first hoard when nothing else looks good.

Smart Hoard 53% vs Smart Hoard with 1 Scout 41%

Can you post your bots?  I've been playing around with a Hoard bot, and it does better than BMU, but not as much better as I kinda think it deserves to.

This is my best one so far:

Code: [Select]
<player name="Smart Hoard">
   <buy name="Province"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="5.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Hoard"/>
   <buy name="Gold"/>
   <buy name="Silver"/>
</player>
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tko

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2011, 04:50:41 pm »
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I tried to build upon your Smart Hoard bot by stopping after it buys 3 Hoards, allowing the deck to go after Duchy once it has 3 Hoards, and not allowing it buy Gold unless it has less than 6 Gold.  It's a very small improvement in that the Accurate Simulation (10000 games) wins by 2% quite often, but occassionally loses  ::)

Code: [Select]
<player name="Smart Hoard-tko">
   <buy name="Province"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="5.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Hoard">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="3.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Gold">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Gold"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Silver"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="equalTo" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="3.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
</player>
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 05:01:04 pm by tko »
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Epoch

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2011, 05:10:35 pm »
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I tried to build upon your Smart Hoard bot by stopping after it buys 3 Hoards, allowing the deck to go after Duchy once it has 3 Hoards, and not allowing it buy Gold unless it has less than 6 Gold.  It's a very small improvement in that the Accurate Simulation (10000 games) wins by 2% quite often, but occassionally loses  ::)

Your final buy-rule will (almost) never be evaluated -- it'll just get Silvers via the previous buy rule (exception: the silvers pile has been depleted (!)).  I moved it up to be higher than the Silver buy rule, and it maybe helped a little?

It was probably not obvious, but my bot doesn't ever buy Gold -- or, rather, it only does if the Hoard pile is depleted, due to the "evaluate buy rules top to bottom" deal.

I remedied the Duchy problem and changed the target number of Hoards in the deck to 2 (after some experimentation -- this appears to be the sweet number), and told it to buy as many Golds as it wants (which is bizarre to me, but apparently true).  That gives it about a 4% advantage over my original "Smart Hoard" bot.

Code: [Select]
<player name="Smart Hoard-tko2.0">
   <buy name="Province"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="5.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Hoard">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Gold"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Silver"/>
</player>
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tko

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2011, 05:31:16 pm »
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This simulator is an amazing piece of work.  Why does everything I type sound sarcastic?  Anyway, I added a very odd Estate buying condition that if you're loaded with Gold, feel free to gun after Estates.  I also added a condition to prevent Silver purchases once you've got a bunch of Gold.  It was a small improvement.

Code: [Select]
<player name="Smart Hoard-tko2.1">
   <buy name="Province"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="5.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Hoard">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Gold"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Gold"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Silver">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Gold"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
</player>
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guided

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2011, 05:32:30 pm »
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So, have any of you simulators tried my suggestion of sometimes preferring Hoard to Duchy with a single Hoard in play? My impression based on practical experience (though not any extensive testing) is that this is much stronger than always buying Duchy with a single Hoard in play. I don't have a specific rule for when to do this but even doing it only if no Provinces have been bought should be enough to show improvement.

Probably there are situations where Gold should be preferred to Hoard, but it doubt it's a major effect.
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tko

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2011, 05:35:35 pm »
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I tried that suggestion and it adds a small improvement

Code: [Select]
<player name="Smart Hoard-tko2.2">
   <buy name="Province"/>
   <buy name="Hoard">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="5.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInPlay" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="0.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Gold"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Hoard"/>
         <operator type="greaterOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Gold"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Silver">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Gold"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
</player>
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Epoch

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2011, 05:42:34 pm »
0

Smart Hoard-tko2.2 beats BMU 61-33, btw.
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guided

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Re: Hoard/Scout
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2011, 05:45:29 pm »
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Haha, don't be so shy about it! You don't want to stop preferring Hoard as soon as you have 2 in the deck. The goal is to get 3 or 4 or even 5 Hoards in the deck before you really start churning green cards, to increase the chances of plopping down multiple Hoards for a single VP card purchase. The idea is that it's really not that strong to add two cards worth 3 VP and $1.50 average to your deck early in the game. Here's a pseudocode suggestion:


-province
-duchy if provinces-in-supply<5
-hoard if: hoards-in-play<2 && provinces-in-supply>=8
-duchy etc etc


provinces-in-supply>=8 is just a starting suggestion. There's probably a better rule you could use there. Maybe parameterize the 8 (7 might be a better value?) and or play around with some other conditions than provinces-in-supply to look at.

I should probably install the simulator one of these days. I got a much more full-featured python-based simulator from someone on BGG a long while back (with the ability to code play rules), but it's much more difficult to code for so I never go to the trouble anymore. Geronimoo's is ideally suited to cases like this where you don't need weird play rules.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 05:48:00 pm by guided »
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