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ftl

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Bandit Camp
« on: November 14, 2012, 11:31:03 pm »
+10

OK, so I've been going through trying to make sure there's at least some content on each card page the new wiki, and I came across Bandit Camp. It hasnít been discussed much here on the forums and there's no article for it.  I thought I'd give it a shot because I like the card and I think I have ideas for how it can be used. Usually, I've been filling in missing strategy articles with just a few quick sentences summarizing "common wisdom" and obvious things without anything controversial, but for Bandit Camp I want to do better; I've had a few good games with it, so I'd like the community's input on this draft of a Bandit Camp strategy article!

1) So what does Bandit Camp do?

Bandit Camp has two separate effects. The first is the same as a vanilla Village - +1 card, +2 actions. Simple, but far overpriced at $5. Now, a Village is a good thing to have, but you need to match it up with some terminals, and you're gaining Spoils which will get in the way of that; you'd think that in an engine, you don't want every Village you play to gain you a treasure! Sometimes, you just want a village, any village, and you'll even be willing to pay $5 for it. But that's rare.

The second effect is gaining a Spoils - gives you a one-shot Gold to use later. Gaining Spoils is pretty nice, and that brings us to point (2): Bandit Camp in Big Money.

2) Bandit Camp in Big Money.
 
In a BM-like Game, Bandit Camp should be thought of as a delayed Gold; it might as well have said "+1 card, +1 action, Gain a Spoils" or even "+1 card, +1 action, trash this and gain a Gold" and had usually the same effect. On the first shuffle after you buy the Bandit Camp, it does nothing for you, but replaces itself; on the second shuffle after you buy it, you have a Spoils (one-shot gold) and a Bandit Camp that replaces itself in your hand and refreshes your Spoils. Basically like having a Gold - except with a little more flexibility, since there are ways to be clever with Spoils and save them up at the right times. (That may be outside the scope of this article, and is better served discussed on the Spoils article specifically; always playing Spoils when they get you to a higher price tier is probably not optimal, and sometimes saving your Spoils and buying a Silver may be better than spending your Spoils and buying a Gold.) 

Used this way, Bandit Camp will typically be better than a Silver. If you open Bandit Camp/Nothing, that's like guaranteeing a Turn-3 Gold - pretty good. However, you have to be wary of a few things:
a) In the late game, the extra shuffle to wait to get the benefit from the Spoils might be too long. If you only use one Spoils from the Bandit Camp, having a Silver twice might have been better! Use your judgement.
b) If you're playing Terminal Draw Big Money specifically, such as with Smithy, Envoy, Embassy, etc... then the analogy of Bandit Camp to a delayed Gold no longer holds, since it can be drawn dead. (Bandit Camp+Wharf plays far more like an engine, it's still great.)
c) It antisynergizes with discard attacks -  With a hand of {estate, bandit camp, silver, gold, spoils} you would probably discard the Bandit Camp and buy a Province but then you don't get the spoils for the next shuffle.

Of course, in a Money-heavy game without terminal draw, such as with Merchant Ship or Monument, or filled with cantrips, feel free to get Bandit Camps at $5 to your heart's content.

2) What about an Engine? Don't the Spoils and Village effects anti-synergize?

To see when the effects don't anti-synergize, imagine a simple thought experiment - you have a 5-card hand with a Bandit Camp and some cheap cantrip, perhaps a Pearl Diver. You play a Bandit Camp, get +1 card to bring you back up to 5 cards in hand, gain a Spoils. Then you play the Pearl Diver and lets say you draw that Spoils. You're still at 5 cards in hand, one of which is a Spoils, and you have 2 Actions.

So if you draw the Spoils on the same turn you gain it, it's almost as if the Bandit Camp read "+0 Cards, +2 Actions, gain a spoils in hand!" And hey, that not-really-Bandit-Camp card would be pretty good. It immediately suggests a comparison to Festival, which gives +0 Cards, +2 Actions, +$2 and +1 buy; a Spoils in hand is +$3 (but doesn't combo with Watchtower/Library/Menagerie), so you're up a coin and down a buy compared to a Festival.

But the real Bandit Camp is even better than the thought-experiment one. You get +1 card NOW, and the Spoils gets left in your discard, to be picked up later in the turn. So if you're running a sleek engine, Bandit Camp makes your deck turn out perfectly - Villages and Smithies on the top of the deck, with the Spoils on the bottom, to be picked up by your last Smithies.

3) Bandit camp in a deck-drawing engine

So in an any engine where you expect to draw your whole deck, Bandit Camp is a better source of coin than Gold is. While your engine is running, the Bandit Camp is a Village and keeps things running smoothly; and then when you've picked up all of your engine components, you'll find that you now have a discard pile made up of only treasures, a number of Spoils equal to however many Bandit Camps you had in your deck, lined up perfectly for your Smithies to draw. Why would you get Golds which you might draw early and which would gum up your Village/Smithy chain before you've drawn everything you want to draw?

4) But the good times can end

However, Bandit Camp only seems so great when you maintain the ability to draw the Spoils on the same turn you gain it. If your engine collapses, it becomes harder to get it running again. If you've played a bunch of Bandit Camps, but have let your engine choke on green, and you don't get a chance to draw those Spoils you've gained... then you're in trouble. You donít have enough to spend this turn because you didnít draw your Spoils, and next turn, you're going to have an even harder time getting your engine running and youíll have to make do with a mixed hand of green, Spoils, and probably an engine component or two that donít go together. Oops!

5) How to use Bandit Camp - ideal case

So, that leads to an obvious strategy for using Bandit Camp.
Build an engine, and make sure you can draw your deck.
Build up your buying power by adding more Bandit Camps, not Treasures - your engine will stay reliable because you'll always draw your Bandit Camps first and your Spoils last.
Make sure you keep drawing your whole deck while greening, because once you stop, it'll be hard to start back up again.

6) Less perfect use cases

OK, but you can't always expect a card to fit into its niche, sometimes the rest of the board just isn't there. So how do you use Bandit Camp then?

In the less-than-perfect case, if you don't draw your deck all the time, you can still use Bandit Camp to good effect. If you aren't drawing your whole deck, but as long as you are using up the Spoils at the same rate you're gaining them, then you have still saved yourself several Gold purchases, allowing you to snag the additional engine component. Even if the Spoils show up at the wrong time - it that any more likely to have happened than if you bought a Gold, or any more damaging? It isn't as awesome as the best case, but it is a good way to have both Villages and Coin to spend.

Bandit Camp is also excellent as an opener with Chapel, if you happen to draw 5/2. In that case, you don't mind having the Spoils come a little late, to find your Chapel and trash faster.

8 ) Comparisons to similar cards:

Bandit Camp should be compared to Bazaar and Festival, the other 5-cost villages that give coin. They often play somewhat similarly - they both face the same problems that other expensive villages have, namely that it takes a long time to accumulate both the expensive villages and the expensive terminals that you want to play with them.

Bandit Camp provides more coin than Festival (a Spoils is 3 instead of 2). It gives a separation between the "+1 Card" up front and the "-1 Card, +$3" later in the deck. This can be an advantage if you have good control over when you draw the spoils, but a disadvantage if you don't. Bandit Camp also does not provide a +Buy, which it desperately needs. (It also does not combo with draw-up-to-X engines or Menagerie, obviously).

Compared to Bazaar, Bandit Camp offers a major advantage - $3 for spoils instead of +$1 - but also a major disadvantage, since to get the +$3 you have +0 cards total, whereas Bazaar gives +$1 AND +1 card. This makes Bazaar better when your card draw or trashing is weak, but worse if you're not worried about draw power and want more buying power.

9) Unusual cases playing with Bandit Camp:

As with many Dominion cards, there are non-obvious niche cases that crop up with Bandit Camp

A) Running out of Spoils

What happens if you're running a Bandit Camp deck and you run out of Spoils? You're dead in the water, that's what.

This won't happen often in a standard 2-player game; 15 spoils for 2 people means you'd have to have about 7 spoils in each player's deck before they affect anything - that's a lot of Golds that are sitting there unused, almost three Provinces worth per player.

But as you add more players, it becomes easier to run out the 15-card spoils pile. At 3-player, that's 5 spoils per player, still a lot. In 4-player, that's less than 4 spoils per player - if the players save up spoils between turns even a little, you'll soon find that you can barely buy a single Province with the Spoils you can get. It only takes a few King's Courted Bandit Camps to run down the pile. And if other players start deliberately trashing the spoils, then watch out - your economy will be dead in the water in no time.  Forager and Spice Merchant seem like they'd be the most likely culprits for such gimmicks, since they give you +Coin and +Buy for trashing the Spoils.

Other Spoils-gainers can also interfere. If there are four players and a few of them are Pillage-happy, then it only takes one King's Courted Pillage from two of them to leave you without any economy.

Black Market can provide cute tricks to save you from Spoils depletion, letting you play the Spoils mid-turn, then gain them back.

B) Bandit Camp as a cantrip gainer.

Hey, sometimes you just need fodder for your Altar, Forager, Spice Merchant, Junk Dealer... or even your Expand or Remodel. Bandit Camp is a cantrip which gains you a card, and that's actually very rare. Sometimes that's what you need.

10) So, to conclude:

Works with: heavy trashing. Since it's best when you draw your whole deck, heavy trashing is a good way to do that. Engines of all sorts - as long as you're aiming to hold your whole deck by the end of a turn.

Also, works best with +Buy - since the spoils go away on use, you want to make the most of every single one, and that means having +Buy to spend all the cash you can. Otherwise, you'll either have to waste spoils, or let them accumulate and clog up your deck.

Also works with fickle engine components like Throne Room, King's Court, and Procession, ones which are much more easily disrupted by having a handful of treasures when you're just starting out, since the Spoils can go away and not get in the way.

Works with Counterfeit, since Spoils/Counterfeit work well together in general. Adding a counterfeit to an overdrawn Spoils deck adds $4 and a buy, more than adding a Bandit Camp.

Even if Spoils are near-depleted, Black Market  can let you do cute tricks with playing Spoils and re-gaining them.

Poor House can also fit well into the sleek decks that Bandit Camp likes, and Bandit Camp decks can guarantee that you draw your just-gained Spoils AFTER your full-strength Poor Houses.

Bandit Camp works well enough in Big Money without terminal draw, such as Monument - if you happen to draw $5s at the right time.

Conflicts with: middling engines. You know the type - where you 're not quite aiming to draw everything and are content with maybe connecting a Village with two terminals. Where you've had a reason to buy a bunch of terminals, and then some Villages to smooth them out, but you always have a bunch of stuff in your discard, so those Spoils will always seem to get drawn at the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe then you'd rather have a Gold up-front than a delayed one, and a Walled Village instead of a Bandit Camp.

Sifters, a little. Warehouse and Cellar are great, but don't work with the Bandit Camp mentality - at the end, you'll wind up having drawn all your engine parts, and with your spoils AND your sifted-out cards in the discard. You have to draw them all, or else you have no treasure now and an unreliable hand later... that's not to say Warehouse won't help your engine, but be mindful that green you discard might come back to bite you the same turn again.

Some engines prefer coin on actions rather than via spoils-gaining; in those cases, Bandit Camp is inferior to Festival and Bazaar. These include Minion engines, draw-up-to-X engines, Golem engines.

Discard attacks can make Spoils less effective - the aforemented hand with both Spoils and Bandit Camp which gets hit by a Militia.

If there are other spoils-gainers, good reasons to trash spoils instead of playing them, or multiple opponents, you have to beware of Spoils pile depletion.

Rush strategies of course have no particularly good time to pick up a Bandit Camp. Terminal draw Big Money don't like Bandit Camp either (they don't like much of anything, really). Wharf is a special case, with the huge hands and super-fast cycling to find your Spoils naturally facilitating a transition to a more engine-like game.

--------------

So what do you think, guys? Am I right about how to play Bandit Camp? Are there cases that Iíve missed? Comments/questions/concerns?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 11:38:41 pm by ftl »
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clb

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 01:08:36 am »
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Thanks, ftl. It seems you have put some good thought into this, and you have some very good points.
I would think that even if you have an engine that does not draw the whole deck, BC/spoils can be a good idea. Saving yourself from having to stop to buy Golds is always a pleasant thing. So, maybe you aren't drawing your whole deck, but as long as you are regenerating spoils at about the rate you are burning them, then you have still saved yourself several Gold purchases, allowing you to snag the additional engine component. Even if the Spoils show up at the wrong time - it that any more likely to have happened than if you bought a Gold, or any more damaging? It isn't as awesome as the situation you describe, but it is a good way to flood your engine with coin to spend.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that if you are relying on Spoils for your coin and you are going for a mega-turn and overdrawing your deck each time (meaning you are keeping spoils around for more than one cycle), or if the other guy is doing that, or especially in a 3-, 4+ player game, the Spoils might run out. Sure, they'll probably come back, but when they are gone, you aren't generating and replacement economy and anything you spend is liable to be picked up by the bad guys.
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DG

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 01:30:28 am »
+1

I've not played chapel+bandit camp as an opening but I'm guessing it would be excellent. On turns 3 and 4 you are probably happy to have +1 card from the bandit camp and the spoils waiting in the discard pile, turning the disadvantage into an advantage.

Militias and discard attacks affect bandit camps. With a hand of {estate, bandit camp, silver, gold, spoils} you would probably discard the bandit camp but then you don't get the spoils for the next shuffle. There are also some decks that would prefer a bazaar that provides its own +1 coin rather than the bandit camp gaining a spoils for +3 coins; minions, golems, king's courts, come to mind.

Spoils may deserve an article of their own. Without understanding spoils you can't fully understand the bandit camp.
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Qvist

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 04:41:52 am »
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Quote
So if you draw the Spoils on the same turn you draw it
I think you mean "gain".

Beside of that, good article, but I'm missing some things.
DG already mentioned the comparism to Bazaar. When do you want Bazaar over Bandit Camp and vice versa? Is it better or worse in general?
Also I think with one-shot Golds the importance of +Buy is even bigger than in games with let's say Bazaar because you might get to $11 and only one buy. You can then choose to not play and trash one Spoils and buy a Province, but now you have one extra Province and one Spoils over which might get in the way to draw your key cards.
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enquerencia

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 08:36:19 am »
+1



this happened to me.

And uh, yes.  I party.
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jomini

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 01:05:20 pm »
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A nasty trick to do against a spoils/megaturn engine is to trash the spoils. There are only 15 Spoils as I recall, it doesn't take too much effort to get them all gone and leave an opponent without another coin source dead in the water. This works best with non-scaling TfBs like Forager (which likes Spoils decks anyways as they let you get Forager to 4), Altar (makes it easy to quickly bulk up on Bandit Camps and then to pull 5 or 6 Spoils into deck to use/trash as convenient), Spice Merchant, etc. can all make up for losing the Spoils to one degree or another. Another big help with Spoils depletion are the other Spoils cards, Marauder and Pillage both can let you snag a huge number of spoils that can easily leave your opponent without coin.

Likewise, if spoils are getting contested, Black Market can be a godsend as you can play either double up on Spoils (gain 2 spoils, play them with Blmrk, gain 2 more spoils, play 2 spoils), or you can ensure spoils for next turn (play spoils with Blmrk, then gain Spoils). Blmrk is also good with limited draw (Menage, Lib, Watchtower, Jack)

Counterfeit/Bandit Camp is a very nice combo, for 10 coin, you get +7 coin, +1 buy and the Spoils never trash. If you have overdraw and don't need better action balance, Cntrft is strictly better than Bndcmp; as with above, Cntrft allows you to double use Spoils in a contested Spoils match.

Bndcmp/Poor House/Trashing/+buy works very well. You can play multiple Phou off the Bndcmp, and draw your newly gained Spoils and then hit for double province turns off just 17 coin worth of payout cards (3 Bndcmp, 2 Phou) - compared to the 30 coin worth of Golds needed to do the same. This, of course, sucks without the trashing, but is still may be viable without the +buy (2 Bndcmp, 1 Phou, 1 draw card = province).

Bndcmp/Adventure/Trashing/+buy has some synergy, though it normally is still fairly slow. Bndcmp combines 2 of the 4 things Adventurer needs to be competitive with Gold - +action to play several and a source of high coin treasure - and can work in limited circumstances.

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DrFlux

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 02:07:49 pm »
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I don't think Bandit Camp is Amazing in BM, but I think you discount it too completely.

I wouldn't buy it with smithy or margrave in BM, but I might if I got an early 5 for any of the following:
courtyard, jack, vault, any non-drawing terminal (say merchant ship).

Note that the main part is that all of these have ways of avoiding collisions.

Really the question is whether you would wait an extra shuffle for your buy to be a gold instead of a silver. In some cases the answer is going to be no, in some cases yes. And it may randomly allow your terminals to not clash, though in BM, I would not count on this.

Oh, and it think it might be better than a gold with Wharf BM(ish) too. Because most turns you are going start with 7 cards, you have a better chance of drawing it along with a wharf, even though you are not REALLY trying to draw your deck. Your reshuffles will happen faster too, so you will see your Spoils quite quickly.
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WheresMyElephant

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 02:42:05 pm »
+1

I'd be really interested to see an article on Spoils itself. When to spend it and when to save it for later; and how to foresee (and either mitigate or prevent) the problem that Spoils are a dead card in the latter case.
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ftl

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 03:57:19 pm »
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Thanks, ftl. It seems you have put some good thought into this, and you have some very good points.

Thanks! I'll keep working on it.

Quote
I would think that even if you have an engine that does not draw the whole deck, BC/spoils can be a good idea. Saving yourself from having to stop to buy Golds is always a pleasant thing. So, maybe you aren't drawing your whole deck, but as long as you are regenerating spoils at about the rate you are burning them, then you have still saved yourself several Gold purchases, allowing you to snag the additional engine component. Even if the Spoils show up at the wrong time - it that any more likely to have happened than if you bought a Gold, or any more damaging? It isn't as awesome as the situation you describe, but it is a good way to flood your engine with coin to spend.


True. I should probably put in a little bit of stuff about the less-than-perfect case.


Quote
Another consideration to keep in mind is that if you are relying on Spoils for your coin and you are going for a mega-turn and overdrawing your deck each time (meaning you are keeping spoils around for more than one cycle), or if the other guy is doing that, or especially in a 3-, 4+ player game, the Spoils might run out. Sure, they'll probably come back, but when they are gone, you aren't generating and replacement economy and anything you spend is liable to be picked up by the bad guys.

Oh man, I hadn't even thought about Spoils running out, it's just never happened in 2P and that's what I mostly play. I'll try to put in a bit about it, but I'm not so sure what to say there.

I've not played chapel+bandit camp as an opening but I'm guessing it would be excellent. On turns 3 and 4 you are probably happy to have +1 card from the bandit camp and the spoils waiting in the discard pile, turning the disadvantage into an advantage.

Added.

Quote
Militias and discard attacks affect bandit camps. With a hand of {estate, bandit camp, silver, gold, spoils} you would probably discard the bandit camp but then you don't get the spoils for the next shuffle. There are also some decks that would prefer a bazaar that provides its own +1 coin rather than the bandit camp gaining a spoils for +3 coins; minions, golems, king's courts, come to mind.

Good point, added.

Quote
Spoils may deserve an article of their own. Without understanding spoils you can't fully understand the bandit camp.


Yeah, definitely. I don't think I can try to write Spoils article, I wouldn't claim to know all about spoils... it seems like they behave pretty differently depending on how they combo with the card that's givign them out. Marauder, Bandit Camp, Pillage.

Quote
So if you draw the Spoils on the same turn you draw it
I think you mean "gain".

Yep, that's what I meant.

Quote
Beside of that, good article, but I'm missing some things.
DG already mentioned the comparism to Bazaar. When do you want Bazaar over Bandit Camp and vice versa? Is it better or worse in general?
Added a comparison section.

Quote
Also I think with one-shot Golds the importance of +Buy is even bigger than in games with let's say Bazaar because you might get to $11 and only one buy. You can then choose to not play and trash one Spoils and buy a Province, but now you have one extra Province and one Spoils over which might get in the way to draw your key cards.

Good points, added.

A nasty trick to do against a spoils/megaturn engine is to trash the spoils. There are only 15 Spoils as I recall, it doesn't take too much effort to get them all gone and leave an opponent without another coin source dead in the water.

Is this really viable? I would have thought gaining, drawing, trashing 15 cards would take quite some time... if you're in a situation to do that to deny spoils to your opponent, wouldn't you win anyway just by PLAYING those 15 spoils and buying things with them? 15 spoils is enough for 7 provinces and a duchy.  Maybe in the absence of +Buy... still, I'm a little skeptical. I'll add a section on spoils running out and try to talk about it, I'm not sure I'm well-informed though.

Oh hey, maybe if Spice Merchant or Forager are the only sources of +Buy, so you only get +Buy by gaining and trashing spoils! A Colony game to make such shenanigans worthwhile. That would be a game of epic, epic lulz.

This works best with non-scaling TfBs like Forager (which likes Spoils decks anyways as they let you get Forager to 4), Altar (makes it easy to quickly bulk up on Bandit Camps and then to pull 5 or 6 Spoils into deck to use/trash as convenient), Spice Merchant, etc. can all make up for losing the Spoils to one degree or another. Another big help with Spoils depletion are the other Spoils cards, Marauder and Pillage both can let you snag a huge number of spoils that can easily leave your opponent without coin.

...oh, right, other spoils-gainers. Duh. Good point.

Quote
Likewise, if spoils are getting contested, Black Market can be a godsend as you can play either double up on Spoils (gain 2 spoils, play them with Blmrk, gain 2 more spoils, play 2 spoils), or you can ensure spoils for next turn (play spoils with Blmrk, then gain Spoils).

Cute trick. Will mention.

Quote
Blmrk is also good with limited draw (Menage, Lib, Watchtower, Jack)

I don't think that's necessary to mention here. That's a Black Market thing and really has nothing to do with Bandit Camp - that's a trick which works equally well (if not better) with just plain silvers/golds/coppers, not just spoils, I think.

Quote
Counterfeit/Bandit Camp is a very nice combo, for 10 coin, you get +7 coin, +1 buy and the Spoils never trash. If you have overdraw and don't need better action balance, Cntrft is strictly better than Bndcmp; as with above, Cntrft allows you to double use Spoils in a contested Spoils match.


Definitely.

Quote
Bndcmp/Poor House/Trashing/+buy works very well. You can play multiple Phou off the Bndcmp, and draw your newly gained Spoils and then hit for double province turns off just 17 coin worth of payout cards (3 Bndcmp, 2 Phou) - compared to the 30 coin worth of Golds needed to do the same. This, of course, sucks without the trashing, but is still may be viable without the +buy (2 Bndcmp, 1 Phou, 1 draw card = province).

Bndcmp/Adventure/Trashing/+buy has some synergy, though it normally is still fairly slow. Bndcmp combines 2 of the 4 things Adventurer needs to be competitive with Gold - +action to play several and a source of high coin treasure - and can work in limited circumstances.


Sounds reasonable. Added.

I don't think Bandit Camp is Amazing in BM, but I think you discount it too completely.

Quote
I wouldn't buy it with smithy or margrave in BM, but I might if I got an early 5 for any of the following:
courtyard, jack, vault, any non-drawing terminal (say merchant ship).

Note that the main part is that all of these have ways of avoiding collisions.

Really the question is whether you would wait an extra shuffle for your buy to be a gold instead of a silver. In some cases the answer is going to be no, in some cases yes. And it may randomly allow your terminals to not clash, though in BM, I would not count on this.

Sounds reasonable.

Quote
Oh, and it think it might be better than a gold with Wharf BM(ish) too. Because most turns you are going start with 7 cards, you have a better chance of drawing it along with a wharf, even though you are not REALLY trying to draw your deck. Your reshuffles will happen faster too, so you will see your Spoils quite quickly.

In that case, is it better to just transition to a wharf engine instead of wharf BM? I'll have to try a Wharf+Bandit camp thing and see how it works.

I'd be really interested to see an article on Spoils itself. When to spend it and when to save it for later; and how to foresee (and either mitigate or prevent) the problem that Spoils are a dead card in the latter case.

Definitely. There's finesse there which I'm not touching on much here.

...anyhow, I've added a bunch of things to the article now. Let me know if I've gotten any more things wrong or missed other things!
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jomini

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 04:34:07 pm »
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Quote
Is this really viable? I would have thought gaining, drawing, trashing 15 cards would take quite some time... if you're in a situation to do that to deny spoils to your opponent, wouldn't you win anyway just by PLAYING those 15 spoils and buying things with them? 15 spoils is enough for 7 provinces and a duchy.  Maybe in the absence of +Buy... still, I'm a little skeptical. I'll add a section on spoils running out and try to talk about it, I'm not sure I'm well-informed though.

Oh hey, maybe if Spice Merchant or Forager are the only sources of +Buy, so you only get +Buy by gaining and trashing spoils! A Colony game to make such shenanigans worthwhile. That would be a game of epic, epic lulz.

15 spoils is a lot, but it isn't 15 spoils in a turn, it is something like 4 spoils over 4 turns, this very doable. I've done it with Forager, my opponent not noticing the spoils pile running down. He had a good lead in VP, but burnt several turns rebuilding his engine whilst I gobbled up alt-VP.

Even without going for Spoils denial, Altar/Bandit Camp can often make it worthwhile to trash Spoils, if you lack +buy Spoils may be the only card that can feed your deck with something like Rabbles/Duchies as you buy provinces.

So yeah, in 2er running down the Spoils pile is niche. You need a strong incentive to trash Spoils for benefits over just playing them, and you need a strong setup for getting a lot quickly, but it can be done. Further it can be a low odds (<5%) Hail Mary to come from behind when the other guy starts pulling ahead. In 3er or 4er, it really can be easy to contest and destroy spoils.
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DG

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 04:59:36 pm »
+1

Every time I've considered the spoils running out they haven't, but that is playing against the Goko bots so nothing extreme is happening. I'm guessing the deliberate trashing of spoils to hurt your opponents can be considered advanced play. Trashing your own spoils for a trade route buy or whatever is more common.
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ednever

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 05:31:18 pm »
+1

Two thoughts:

1- how well does Bandit Camp do in BM? Obviously not great, but is it better than Silver? Better than Stash? Royal Seal?

2- is bc the only card that is cantrip+gain a card? I can't think of another one. There must be cases where that feature itself is valuable. Most common being times when you need things to trash: trade route, forager, alter, etc. especially important when you draw your deck and have done a lot of early trashing to get to that point.


Ed
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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 05:38:27 pm »
+1

See, I would think BC is better than Silver even in straight BM.  You wouldn't want it over Gold, but as long as you are not triggering reshuffles with the BC you're getting a 'Gold' out of it each shuffle.  I guess the very first shuffle doesn't have one, but maybe it's a small price to pay?  No idea, though. 
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ConMan

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 06:50:31 pm »
+1

2- is bc the only card that is cantrip+gain a card? I can't think of another one. There must be cases where that feature itself is valuable. Most common being times when you need things to trash: trade route, forager, alter, etc. especially important when you draw your deck and have done a lot of early trashing to get to that point.
There's Upgrade and Rats, but I think BC's the only non-trasher cantrip gainer (and if it isn't, we'll just add a few more categories onto that list until it's unique).
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lespeutere

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 11:53:11 am »
+1

15 spoils is enough for 7 provinces and a duchy.  Maybe in the absence of +Buy... still, I'm a little skeptical. I'll add a section on spoils running out and try to talk about it, I'm not sure I'm well-informed though.
Only if you get 1VP/1$ which you don't, unfortunately. ;-)
It's 5 provinces and 1 duchy. Which doesn't make jomini's point holding less.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2012, 12:52:10 pm »
+1

2- is bc the only card that is cantrip+gain a card? I can't think of another one. There must be cases where that feature itself is valuable. Most common being times when you need things to trash: trade route, forager, alter, etc. especially important when you draw your deck and have done a lot of early trashing to get to that point.
There's Upgrade and Rats, but I think BC's the only non-trasher cantrip gainer (and if it isn't, we'll just add a few more categories onto that list until it's unique).

There is Ironworks, with Great Hall or Island. Or Nobles with price reduction.
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ftl

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2012, 04:30:50 am »
0

Still working on a segment about Bandit Camp in Big Money. No bandit camp in simulators, played a bunch of games instead. Will have text sometime soonish.
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timchen

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2012, 02:21:57 pm »
0

Excellent article. The comparison with Festival is enlightening. (Well I guess, that is something you'll feel after you played with it a few times, but it's not something I have thought of when I read the card.)

On the BM front it is more like, spoils in general. I believe this article has precisely the content specifically about the card.
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ftl

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2012, 01:40:24 am »
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I played around with Bandit Camp BM some. It's pretty good, typically better than Silver at least. No simulator data, just "simulations by hand."

In BM, it's basically "You get nothing now... but in one shuffle, you gain a gold-equivalent." Since every shuffle after the first, you'll presumably draw both the Spoils and then the BC to replace the spoils, "Bandit Camp with Spoils already in deck" is like a gold in BM. Reasonable if "gain a gold one shuffle from now" is something that actually helps you.

You take a risk that having a village instead of a silver might screw up a single hand next shuffle after you first buy the BC, but if you get lucky and get away with it without having it harm your buys, you've got yourself a nice lead. And if you don't, you're probably still okay, just use that turn to buy the silver you would have had a shuffle ago, you're still about where you would have been.

Beware of buying BC for hte spoils too late - if next shuffle you really want to be buying Provinces already, the BC is unhelpful. It's a very delayed payoff. If you miss a Province because you just bought a BC one shuffle ago and you're greening already - well, you better hope that your opponent stalls out, because your deck will have a bit more staying power on duchies, but you're behind for now. Don't get a turn-5 BC if you're trying to get the first province for your tournaments.

At $5, you don't actually get very many opportunities to buy BC in BM, since it's worse than a gold and often you'll hit 6s and 4s and not lots of 5s, just a few at most. So if there's some other power $5 to get first, you might just never have a good chance to grab it by the time you want it and before it's too late.

Presumably if you're clever with Spoils use then you can get more use out of BC in BM. I didn't try to get clever, I just always played them when they bumped me up to something more expensive I wanted to buy.

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2012, 06:27:04 pm »
0

Re: Bandit Camp with BM: The delayed gold is really how I want to look at it. So, delayed gold is actually pretty good for BM, not so much for terminal draw but really good for something where you have non-terminals good for BM. So this looks like Merchant Ship, but of course they conflict on $5, so probably it's more true for things like monument and bridge.
The other thing you want to note is that you don't always have to play the spoils. Of course this is useful in those cases where you won't be spending the extra cash anyway, which doesn't happen too often in big money, but definitely helps push you in PPR/duchy dance scenarios. But more important, I would guess that at some points anyway, with $3-4 and a spoils, you should buy silver and bank the spoils; with 6-7, keep the spoils, buy a gold. Finessing out exactly when this is right is the tricky bit.

ipofanes

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2012, 03:55:17 am »
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7 spoils in both players' decks before you start hurting for them

I think this should read "hunting".
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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2012, 01:24:40 pm »
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7 spoils in both players' decks before you start hurting for them

I think this should read "hunting".

Quote from: Hurt
intransitive verb
1
a : to suffer pain or grief
b : to be in need óusually used with for <hurting for money>

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hurt
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DrFlux

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2012, 01:30:02 pm »
0


Re: Bandit Camp with BM: The delayed gold is really how I want to look at it. So, delayed gold is actually pretty good for BM, not so much for terminal draw but really good for something where you have non-terminals good for BM. So this looks like Merchant Ship, but of course they conflict on $5, so probably it's more true for things like monument and bridge.
The other thing you want to note is that you don't always have to play the spoils. Of course this is useful in those cases where you won't be spending the extra cash anyway, which doesn't happen too often in big money, but definitely helps push you in PPR/duchy dance scenarios. But more important, I would guess that at some points anyway, with $3-4 and a spoils, you should buy silver and bank the spoils; with 6-7, keep the spoils, buy a gold. Finessing out exactly when this is right is the tricky bit.

You don't mean non-terminals, you mean non-drawing terminals.

I played a game with courtyard recently where I was BM + courtyard + BC. I hit 5 twice and decided BC looked good. It played quite nicely with the courtyard, and I bought the 5th province turn 13.

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ftl

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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2012, 03:33:21 am »
0

made more mods to article, esp. the BM section

progress is happening IMO
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Re: Bandit Camp
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2012, 03:15:08 pm »
0

I know I'm not the best engine-builder, but the percentage of games where I draw my whole deck is quite low, <10%.  The focus of the article is on these rare situations.  ftl seems to say that BC isn't very good in those "middling" engines which seem to come up *much* more frequently (for me).  Does this mean BC is a niche card? 
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