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WanderingWinder

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WWAG #2
« on: December 10, 2012, 11:00:01 pm »
+2

Yeah, that stands for WanderingWinder Annotated Game. Is this at all catchy, or am I just a total dork? (Don't worry, I know I'm a total dork. I'm okay with that).

Anyway, here's a very interesting set form an interesting recent game that I played. I am gonna full annotate this one, anonymously unless my opponent requests otherwise (though he may not even remember it was him at this point). Hopefully you guys will like the new format I will try on the annotations, but we'll see. I can always change it up for late ones. Also, SPOILER ALERT: I lose this game, ending up with half of the points of my opponent.

Anyway, here's the set:
cards in supply: Bank, City, Gardens, Grand Market, Jack of All Trades, Jester, Masquerade, Potion, Scrying Pool, Torturer, and Vineyard

philosophyguy

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 11:36:26 pm »
0

No enablers for Gardens, so it won't be a rush.

City-Torturer is possible but expensive and so slow to set up. Scrying Pool is a soft counter to Torturer, and Masquerade can pass Curses back.

Jester is useful for picking up engine parts, and is the only terminal Silver action.

So the engine is Masquerade/Potion into Jester and Scrying Pool, picking up GMs and Cities to play more Jesters. But, I don't think this is fast enough in a Province game since the only +Buy comes from GM, which is going to be slow.

Big Money would be JoaT or JoaT/Masquerade into Torturer, picking up a couple of GMs and maybe a Bank or two.

I'm guessing the money strategy, but I don't know. I'll be interested to see the consensus.
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Robz888

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 12:03:51 am »
+3

Just for future reference, I personally consent to have my name, comments, etc., explicitly featured in an annotated game or any other such game discussion.
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() | (_) ^/

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 12:13:56 am »
0

Just for future reference, I personally consent to have my name, comments, etc., explicitly featured in an annotated game or any other such game discussion.

Ditto (not that I ever have interesting games).
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Robz888

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 12:14:44 am »
0

About the game...

I see a few basic strategies.

1) Torturer + City + Scrying Pool and eventually a few Grand Markets. This strategy has great long-term potential, because you will run out the Curses, you can try to run another pile, and then you stage this ridiculous comeback. You are going to have a Potion, so Vineyards AND Provinces is actually a viable endgame for you. Your opening here is probably Masquerade/Potion. Masquerade gives you cycling and trashing to set up Scrying Pool.

Your problem here is this is going to be so slow. No virtual coin tied to cheap actions, no extra buys? Good luck buying enough Cities and Torturers (and Scyring Pools!) to get this going fast enough.

2) Do it without Scrying Pool. Well, it's faster, but this seems like a mistake. There are 2 hard counters to a Torturer engine anyway: Masquerade and Jack. And by the time you are playing three Torturers a turn, your opponent will have like half the Provinces.

3) Screw it, Big Money + Masquerade. Well, okay, but why not Masquerade/Scrying Pool, no Torturer? You pick up a Jester (Cities optional), and aim for GMs. And then you do have Vineyard potential.

4) Jack + Gardens. I don't think this is the best strategy available.

Either 1 or 3 look best to me. I am going to tentatively say, go for 3) Masq/Scrying Pool, Jester, be situational about Cities, go GM, and then go Vineyards or Province (or both) as please you.

So if I'm correct, Torturer may actually be a trap here.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 12:22:44 am »
0

No enablers for Gardens, so it won't be a rush.

City-Torturer is possible but expensive and so slow to set up. Scrying Pool is a soft counter to Torturer, and Masquerade can pass Curses back.

Jester is useful for picking up engine parts, and is the only terminal Silver action.

So the engine is Masquerade/Potion into Jester and Scrying Pool, picking up GMs and Cities to play more Jesters. But, I don't think this is fast enough in a Province game since the only +Buy comes from GM, which is going to be slow.

Big Money would be JoaT or JoaT/Masquerade into Torturer, picking up a couple of GMs and maybe a Bank or two.

I'm guessing the money strategy, but I don't know. I'll be interested to see the consensus.

You're forgetting there are Vineyards and Gardens. For a BM strategy to win, it's going to have to piledrive the Provinces, since the engine has plenty of sources of points. Jack with +Cards isn't bad at that, but it's going to take long enough (esp with Torturer to attack it) that an engine has plenty of time to take off. I'd say open Masq/Silver to shoot for a couple quick GMs so you can buy 2-3 engine pieces per turn. It shouldn't really take that long to build the engine.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 12:24:46 am by HiveMindEmulator »
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ftl

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 02:40:51 am »
0

With Vineyards around, any BM-to-provinces game is going to be completely screwed by an engine that foregoes provinces entirely and builds up mega-vineyards. If you go BM+Masq or BM+Jack, there's really not much you can do to end the game once the opponent gets a massive scrying pool/city/torturer/GM stack going. IF and only if my opponent goes BM+X to provinces, skip provinces entirely and build up >6-point vineyards via Grand Market, City, Torturer. And probably make you eat most of the curses too, since in the endgame matching them up to masq will be hard.

So, definitely engine.

The draw power around comes from either Scrying Pool or City/Torturer. Torturer is the attack, so you definitely want it. Grand market is the +Buy, so you definitely want those; and they also snowball like hell. So I think that makes me think that I want the potion late rather than early, to get GMs as early as possible.

So that would be my guess. Open masq-silver. Start amassing cities and torturers. You'll need a second silver and a Gold, probably, and then you'll hopefully be able to start matching them up with your fledgling engine to get Grand Markets. Possibly get a second Masq for faster trashing?
...or maybe open Jack/Masq? Fast trashing AND silver-gaining to get GMs. ...but it's two terminals so then you'll have to get more cities before even starting on torturers. Gah.

If your opponent went for BM+X, go for heavy vineyards. If your opponent is matching you in engine, then cities will activate and you'll end by three-piling on whatever is running low.
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ftl

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 02:51:06 am »
0

Man, the opening is tough though. I don't think you want potion as an opening, I think either Masq/Silver or Jack/Silver, or maybe Masq/Jack, aiming for GMs and city/torturer.
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jonts26

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 04:09:22 am »
0

With masq, the first one or two torturer plays become less significant, so it's not a strong play until you can chain a lot of them. Which means you need a lot of cities first. And o get lots of these cards, you need money and buys and hey there's a grand market.

I'd open masq/silver, looking to get some more gold/silver first so I can start dipping into GM's fast. I am going to want a potion eventually but probably not till I have a GM or have good enough money density to expect one in the next turn or something. With masq thinning the deck, pools and GM's will start to cycle and accelerate. Then I can go for cities and torturers. At this point, I can go either province or vineyard, or garden if its needed, depending on the state of the game. But I imagine if I win the GM split and have at least maybe 4 cities, I have this game in the bag.
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Davio

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 06:06:57 am »
0

This set screams Vineyards to me, but how to go best about acquiring them?

Maybe we can work backwards.

GM is critical because of the +Buy and Jester if nice if you can get some good cards out of it.
How to get to GM? To play multiple money providing terminals, we need expensive Cities and expensive Jesters, so maybe another route?

I think I would open Jack/Masq. Yes, they are going to collide, but I would want to get 3 Silvers asap and trash my crap as well. Jack and Masq both are decent enough at getting $5 which I would initially spend on Cities so my terminal collision would be less of a problem. An early $4 may go to Potion as I want one eventually to go with Scrying Pools and of course need them for Vineyards.

Torturer seems less impressive to me. There are good counters to it so the attack is less hurtful. In a game like this they're little more than simple Smithies. You could buy one if you think you have enough Cities, but of course, if the City pile is already running low, City may be better.

BM + something seems bad to me, I mean, you need to gobble down 8 Provinces as the Vineyards player doesn't need them at all and can supplement his points with Gardens if needed.
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 06:17:50 am »
0

With masq, the first one or two torturer plays become less significant, so it's not a strong play until you can chain a lot of them. Which means you need a lot of cities first. And o get lots of these cards, you need money and buys and hey there's a grand market.

I'd open masq/silver, looking to get some more gold/silver first so I can start dipping into GM's fast. I am going to want a potion eventually but probably not till I have a GM or have good enough money density to expect one in the next turn or something. With masq thinning the deck, pools and GM's will start to cycle and accelerate. Then I can go for cities and torturers. At this point, I can go either province or vineyard, or garden if its needed, depending on the state of the game. But I imagine if I win the GM split and have at least maybe 4 cities, I have this game in the bag.

Exactly the same I would have done here, although even a Jack/Masq opening would be possible. Another possilibilty would be Masq/Silver, get a City with $5 and buy another Masq on the way. This would help you to trash even faster and line your Silvers/Golds up for the GMs.

Davio

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 06:34:23 am »
0

Well, the bad thing about a Masq/Jack opening is that even if they don't collide, one of them is wasted in a reshuffle; you'd for instance have Jack on T3 and trash an Estate, but also draw a card. Now there are 6 cards left in your pile. If you play Masq on your T4 it means you have to reshuffle to draw card #7.

With this in mind, Masq/Silver with Jack on the reshuffle or Jack/Silver with Masq on the reshuffle might be better, but the details to me are very unclear.

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lespeutere

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 07:41:33 am »
0

Well, the bad thing about a Masq/Jack opening is that even if they don't collide, one of them is wasted in a reshuffle; you'd for instance have Jack on T3 and trash an Estate, but also draw a card. Now there are 6 cards left in your pile. If you play Masq on your T4 it means you have to reshuffle to draw card #7.

With this in mind, Masq/Silver with Jack on the reshuffle or Jack/Silver with Masq on the reshuffle might be better, but the details to me are very unclear.

But then you'll have 6 cards on your drawing pile, one of which is jack again. Chances are pretty high (5/6) it's one of the first 5, such that you can just empty your drawing pile that turn.
So, I pretty much agree with you guys: maybe as p1 I'd go masquerade/silver, as p2 masquerade/jack.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 07:43:29 am by lespeutere »
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brokoli

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2012, 08:44:51 am »
0

I think Jester is a key card here, it can be very powerful with vineyards, but it requires that both players go for engine.
My plan would be : open Masqu/potion, buy scrying pools, jesters and 2-3 cities, a Grand market for +buy (useful with vineyards), then vineyard everytime you draw your potion.

I would completely ignore Jack, which is not very good for SP engines. Torturer seems pretty bad too, since masquerade is one of the best defense to cursers and there are already cities & jesters for $5, and Scrying pool for draw. I would take gardens only at the end of the game, for 2-3 points.
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DG

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 09:01:16 am »
+1

Controlling the deck size seems important here as gardens should only come into at the death, so perhaps masquerade/silver followed by masquerade and city would work. Perhaps that isn't much improvement on masquerade/potion.

It's a reactive set anyway with the torturers, jesters, masquerade, and alt vp so it's pretty hard to see far into the mid game.
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dondon151

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2012, 09:38:39 am »
0

I really don't think SPs are a good idea here except as a consolation prize when you've picked up a Potion but aren't comfortable going into Vineyards yet. An SP strat essentially lives and dies by how soon it can get to the GMs, and just going Masq/Jack can get there 2-3 turns faster.
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philosophyguy

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2012, 10:17:52 am »
0

Ok, I've been swayed away from my money vote. I now think the engine is going to win; I'm not sure if the better engine is City-Torturer or Scrying Pool-based. I'm really bad at playing SP games without rushing the Pools at the start, so having Grand Market as such a key card makes this hard for me to evaluate.
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DG

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2012, 10:23:08 am »
+1

So what cards are you wanting to buy on turns 3 and 4 when you open masquerade/jack? How likely are you to get the required draws and what's plan B?
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jonts26

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2012, 11:04:22 am »
0

Oh, I wasn't thinking about jester too. It works really well with scrying pool to get better cards faster. Maybe get a city with first $5 and then a jester.
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2012, 01:09:29 pm »
0

At first, I was inclined to agree with DG.

But then I gave it some more thought and tried some single player first turns, and now... I think I want to open Jack/Masquerade.

next reshuffle:
Yes, my first reshuffle will be ugly. But that doesn't really matter - I really want a second and am ok with even a third masquerade.
As long as I can destroy an estate I'm fine with playing Jack, but otherwise I prefer playing Masquerade. Having 4 (or 3) terminals in my deck obviously means I need some Cities now.

After that I'll transform into some kind of power deck that actually depends on what my opponent does. I don't want to green quickly. I'm actually aiming to end it on provinces or piles.
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Robz888

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2012, 01:12:24 pm »
0

I really don't think you care about Torturer here. You aren't going to cause your opponent any immediate pain. By the time you have multi-Torturer up and running, your opponent could already have a really great deck. If you're opponent is drawing his whole deck by then--and with SPool, he could be--Masquerade can easily handle the Curses then, anyway. So Torturer is just a glorified Smithy here, and I don't think there's so much of a place for it. Jester/City has got to be better.
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RisingJaguar

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2012, 01:26:49 pm »
0

My random thoughts:
Jester's interaction is (or at least I want it to be) a pretty big component of the game.  The problem is that the trashing terminals are needed at the start, and villages are at $5 meaning it will be awhile before this comes into play.  Grabbing it too late, when a pile has likely depleted, ruins its value as well. 

However way you decide to build the engine, whoever gets there first should easily win.  Too many of these cards scream snow-ball effect (Jester, GM, vineyard, maybe cities?). 

At first I thought scrying pool was the way to go, but I think it can be skippable.  There's a logical progression with opening Masq/JoaT for trashing while still maintaining a palatable economy.  The next step would be to grab cities when possible and more masqs.  With no +buy in sight, no reason to grab a potion really.  By the time your deck can grab its first GM, the deck can likely survive without it, as it should have thinner deck with the ability to get some sort of draw going (masq/cities).   
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RisingJaguar

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2012, 01:28:55 pm »
+1

I also suggest the title be Super WanderingWander Annotated Games, because one they will be super. 

But also just to be called SWAG. 
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WanderingWinder

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2012, 01:33:02 pm »
0

Those of you who are saying it depends on how your opponent plays: how? Obviously you can't cover everything, but give general gameplans of what you will do against other general reasonable strategies.

DWetzel

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2012, 02:56:16 pm »
+1

I find this interesting, because I'd open Masq/Potion without a second thought, and I'm still not convinced it's wrong.  Plan is to pick up a SP in the next shuffle and either a Jester or (more likely) one Silver.  Then I should be able to hit a Jester next time through (consolation prize: another Masq).  I may not get the first City or Grand Market, but I can effectively thin my deck of the stuff I really don't want and skip over the stuff I only kinda don't want.  Then Jester/SP will do some work (where the opponent is sort of guessing with their Jesters) and let me virtual-buy my way back to parity with a deck with a lot more control because of the SPs.

To address the above question, I think this works quite well against Masq/Jack; you getting rid of your estates super early is not going to be super-helpful, and ultimately this IS an engine deck; I'm worried about getting too many silvers early.
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RisingJaguar

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2012, 03:17:42 pm »
0

Those of you who are saying it depends on how your opponent plays: how? Obviously you can't cover everything, but give general gameplans of what you will do against other general reasonable strategies.
The idea between Jester/Torturer will depend on how BM or engine-y their deck is.  If their deck can be drawn out, the more torturer is not as useful, as curses can be instantly trashed, and the more jester becomes useful grabbing like-pieces.  The opposite for a more BM-style deck where torturer's decisions hurt a lot more.

Balancing cities grabbing.  I think the way I want to play encourages purchases of cities regardless, but I would think there has to be a lot of reactions here.  I think its because of this natural need to buy cities likely by both players that getting scrying pool is probably overkill for drawing purposes. 

Vineyard jocking.  The usual?

The usual 3 piles in an engine game with cities grabbing, jestering, grand markets, etc. 
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2012, 09:28:32 pm »
0

I think I would have gone Masq/Jack and then BM straight for Provinces, which I think is fast enough to take 8 Provinces before the engine is really rolling.

But there are a lot of great players here saying otherwise.
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jonts26

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2012, 09:50:13 pm »
+1

I'm pretty sure there is about 0 chance that a big money strategy wins here.
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dondon151

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2012, 10:33:56 pm »
0

The thing is that, as -Stef- kind of pointed out, a Vineyards engine is strong enough to go for the rest of the Provinces anyway. So the engine player has total control of the game.
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2012, 10:51:57 pm »
0

just played two sets of this board with jonts26. i tried two different strategies, and jonts26 built an engine targeting vineyards. i put spoilers in case people would rather wait to see some analysis. i think that knowing the number of turns it took us up front could bias one's strategy at least.

game 1 -
i try a gardens approach powered by jack and jester, hoping i could steal enough vineyards to keep it close. jonts builds into grand markets and scrying pools with a couple of cities and torturers. it takes a real long time to build but once it's going i get smoked. i could have kept it closer by getting more vineyards but i'd have lost either way. game ended in 18 turns, but jonts26's unlucky 5/2 start slowed things down a little.

game 2 -
we drew colonies unplanned, but we decided to play it anyway. we both got 5/2 draws which again slowed us down. jonts26 largely repeats his engine, though he followed me into dipping for some cities. i opt to try the draw engine into bank. i end with tons of buying power but i was a little short on buys. i kept it close because of colonies, but i would definitely need more grand market's on a province board. (4/3 would help with that i think) with both players vying for engine pieces (and with jester on board) you really have to watch piles. anyway, jonts pulls it off with my bad draw on the last turn. we end in 18 turns again, but with 4/3 we could probably shave off another turn. i'd say scrying pool/GM/vineyard over draw/bank probably something like 60/40.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2012, 04:18:29 pm »
0

I have attached a word document with the log (opponent's name removed) and my thoughts. My thoughts are in red, to stand out, and I have *** in front of all of them in order for you guys to be able to skip through the clutter if you want.
Let me know of what you guys think, both of the game and my thoughts, and of the format.

RyanRomanik

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2012, 10:41:35 pm »
+1

Love the format!

On your opponent's turn 13, you should not take the curse in hand. Jester plus double Gold allows you to buy a Province regardless, and he is out of actions.
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eHalcyon

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2012, 12:48:01 am »
0

I have attached a word document with the log (opponent's name removed) and my thoughts. My thoughts are in red, to stand out, and I have *** in front of all of them in order for you guys to be able to skip through the clutter if you want.
Let me know of what you guys think, both of the game and my thoughts, and of the format.

It's interesting that most people in the thread seem to favour the engine, and that the engine beat your money strategy, but you still think money would win overall.  And I think I am with you on that, as I indicated earlier (though my thoughts were much more simplistic), but your opponent's last turn is impressive.
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jonts26

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2012, 05:48:30 am »
+1

I have attached a word document with the log (opponent's name removed) and my thoughts. My thoughts are in red, to stand out, and I have *** in front of all of them in order for you guys to be able to skip through the clutter if you want.
Let me know of what you guys think, both of the game and my thoughts, and of the format.

It's interesting that most people in the thread seem to favour the engine, and that the engine beat your money strategy, but you still think money would win overall.  And I think I am with you on that, as I indicated earlier (though my thoughts were much more simplistic), but your opponent's last turn is impressive.

I'm still almost positive engine wins here. WW mentions where he made some mistakes, and that's fine, and an optimal big money probably beats his opponent here, because he has 22 turns to work with. But a better built engine is going to win in 18 or so turns. Jack/Masq will be close to piledriving provinces then depending on luck, but engine has a huge amount of end game control.
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brokoli

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2012, 07:02:36 am »
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I have attached a word document with the log (opponent's name removed) and my thoughts. My thoughts are in red, to stand out, and I have *** in front of all of them in order for you guys to be able to skip through the clutter if you want.
Let me know of what you guys think, both of the game and my thoughts, and of the format.
Sorry... but I don't see the log !  :'(
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clb

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2012, 10:50:34 am »
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I have attached a word document with the log (opponent's name removed) and my thoughts. My thoughts are in red, to stand out, and I have *** in front of all of them in order for you guys to be able to skip through the clutter if you want.
Let me know of what you guys think, both of the game and my thoughts, and of the format.
Sorry... but I don't see the log !  :'(
Me, too. I see the paperclip, but there is nothing to open.
Brokoli - highlight the text and drag right - that's where I found the attachment.
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philosophyguy

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2012, 11:08:56 am »
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Well, any engine players that want to try this set vs. big money as a collaborative exercise? For science and stuff.
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greatexpectations

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2012, 11:17:39 am »
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Well, any engine players that want to try this set vs. big money as a collaborative exercise? For science and stuff.

me and jonts26 basically already did that a few posts up. i didn't try an explicit BM approach (i tried gardens instead), but jack or masq BM will both have trouble emptying 8 provinces in 18 turns to even have a chance at beating the engine.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 11:20:06 am by greatexpectations »
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2012, 11:18:31 am »
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Well, any engine players that want to try this set vs. big money as a collaborative exercise? For science and stuff.

me and jonts26 basically already did that a few posts up.

Wouldn't be science if the experiment was repeated by just one set of independent observers, now would it?  ;D
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2012, 11:29:35 am »
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I'm still almost positive engine wins here. WW mentions where he made some mistakes, and that's fine, and an optimal big money probably beats his opponent here, because he has 22 turns to work with. But a better built engine is going to win in 18 or so turns. Jack/Masq will be close to piledriving provinces then depending on luck, but engine has a huge amount of end game control.

WW can think that BM will work but i don't see it standing a chance against an engine builder over level 35 or so. i think that the steady accumulation of BM points gives a false sense of how effective BM is against the megaturn/mass greening of the engine and that a 35+ engine builder will win >95% of the games.
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2012, 12:51:03 pm »
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I think is almost too complicated a set a set for an annotated game. There are many card interactions between and within decks. Jester-masquerade, jack-torturer, masquerade-torturer, scying pool-jester, etc. The three pile ending is there but it's not clear who wants to guillotine the game and which alternate vp cards come into play at what times. Trashing your deck can become overtrashing with masquerades. There are at least two ways to build an engine, and so on. A lot of the play will actually come down to style when it comes to the top players, and a 'best' solution might be hard to find.

I think any reader of the article would be interested to know more about the types of engine available, how you might sequence the buys for that engine, and how it affects the attacks, defenses, and  3 pile finish.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 12:52:55 pm by DG »
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jonts26

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2012, 12:54:26 pm »
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I'm up for some science and I've got time to kill. Secret chamber lobby anyone?
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brokoli

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2012, 12:57:38 pm »
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Brokoli - highlight the text and drag right - that's where I found the attachment.

I still don't find it  :-[
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2012, 01:57:13 pm »
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So I should note that it's not so much that I was convinced BM was better, only that I thought it was.

Playing some test game with jonts, I am convinced otherwise.

But I still think it has a much better than 0 chance. Maybe 20%. Maybe 30.

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2012, 02:30:48 pm »
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So I should note that it's not so much that I was convinced BM was better, only that I thought it was.

Playing some test game with jonts, I am convinced otherwise.

But I still think it has a much better than 0 chance. Maybe 20%. Maybe 30.

Well I was being somewhat hyperbolic when i said 0 chance of BM winning before. Still based on our games, I'd say it's not that good. 20% at most sounds reasonable. I don't think I'd go to 30. Basically, the games where I was slower to set up, you also got a bit unlucky. Had you had one of your faster goes then, you'd have won.
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2012, 02:58:22 pm »
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I don't see any discussion of a double Masquerade opening here.  Is that just obviously-bad?  Or is it just totally overshadowed by Masq/Jack?  My first thought would be to win the Masq war, getting Silvers along the way.  Then I expect to be hitting 5 consistently and throwing in a few Cities / Torturers until I'm hitting 6+ for GMs (and winging it from there).

Now that I describe it, it does sound a bit slow.  Jack is gaining Silver and trashing Estates at the same time, but I really don't want more than 3 or 4 Silver, right?  And one Masq isn't going to get rid of the Coppers very well.  But maybe that's not as big a deal as I tend to think it is.
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2012, 03:42:57 pm »
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So I should note that it's not so much that I was convinced BM was better, only that I thought it was.

Playing some test game with jonts, I am convinced otherwise.

But I still think it has a much better than 0 chance. Maybe 20%. Maybe 30.

Well I was being somewhat hyperbolic when i said 0 chance of BM winning before. Still based on our games, I'd say it's not that good. 20% at most sounds reasonable. I don't think I'd go to 30. Basically, the games where I was slower to set up, you also got a bit unlucky. Had you had one of your faster goes then, you'd have won.
I agree.  I would guess it's like 15% how I was playing, probably you can get up to 20 or maaaaaaaybe 25 if you are very clever.
Logs (if we rolled colonies, we ignored them, as we were playing for SCIENCE!):
http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201212/17/game-20121217-104233-eab89d33.html
http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201212/17/game-20121217-104942-fe0a9e77.html
http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201212/17/game-20121217-105551-bc23c5b1.html
http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201212/17/game-20121217-110314-0461be27.html
http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201212/17/game-20121217-111336-869b9b8c.html

I think I might have missed one or two.

dondon151

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #47 on: December 18, 2012, 04:46:30 am »
+1

I still can't fathom how a money strategy would be able to win against an engine strategy played by a player that is even remotely tactically aware.

The money strategy doesn't have an endgame. The 2 scenarios for ending the game are emptying out the Provinces or 3-piling. How long does it take for Jack-BM to get all 8 Provinces when not being attacked? 20 turns? jonts was able to outscore 48 VP in 20 turns for every single game. What 3 piles is the money strategy going to run down? Gardens and Curses seem possible (if the money player is taking all 10 of the Curses). Third pile doesn't seem likely if the engine strategy just takes 7 Cities instead of 10 or something similar.

Meanwhile, the engine strategy has access to all sorts of VP. It can grab a Province or a Gardens here and there, and the Gardens are actually worth more to the engine since it picks up more cards. Vineyards is its own little VP reservoir all to itself, and the engine has, what, a nearly uncontested supply of 30+ Action cards (at least most of the Cities, GMs, Torturers, and SPs)? 8 10-VP Vineyards ties 8 Provinces + 8 4-VP Gardens. The engine can probably ignore Provinces and Gardens entirely and still outscore the money strategy.

So paint me confused. I would say that even a 1% win rate for the money strategy is a generous estimate.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 04:47:54 am by dondon151 »
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Davio

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #48 on: December 18, 2012, 05:16:04 am »
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This is the link to the attachment: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=5863.0;attach=711

I think the main issue here, as mentioned before, is control.
The engine player has perfect control over this game, the money player has very little.
If you're the one with the engine you can more easily manipulate the (end) game state by emptying piles or grabbing some Provinces or even double Duchies. The best the money player can do is just buy one card each turn.

That's where the real advantage for the engine player comes from, the fact that he can end or prolong the game on his own terms. If you're not quite there points wise, slow it down. If you have a lead, try to end it.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 05:18:46 am by Davio »
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #49 on: December 18, 2012, 07:34:38 am »
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I still can't fathom how a money strategy would be able to win against an engine strategy played by a player that is even remotely tactically aware.

The money strategy doesn't have an endgame. The 2 scenarios for ending the game are emptying out the Provinces or 3-piling. How long does it take for Jack-BM to get all 8 Provinces when not being attacked? 20 turns? jonts was able to outscore 48 VP in 20 turns for every single game. What 3 piles is the money strategy going to run down? Gardens and Curses seem possible (if the money player is taking all 10 of the Curses). Third pile doesn't seem likely if the engine strategy just takes 7 Cities instead of 10 or something similar.

Meanwhile, the engine strategy has access to all sorts of VP. It can grab a Province or a Gardens here and there, and the Gardens are actually worth more to the engine since it picks up more cards. Vineyards is its own little VP reservoir all to itself, and the engine has, what, a nearly uncontested supply of 30+ Action cards (at least most of the Cities, GMs, Torturers, and SPs)? 8 10-VP Vineyards ties 8 Provinces + 8 4-VP Gardens. The engine can probably ignore Provinces and Gardens entirely and still outscore the money strategy.

So paint me confused. I would say that even a 1% win rate for the money strategy is a generous estimate.
A double-jack can drain the provinces as fast as 18 turns a reasonable percentage of the time, iirc. If I ever work out how to get the simulator back up, I can give you a better answer on that.
The other thing is emptying piles occasionally. Yes, jonts scores a zillion more points than that, but he also takes it to the brink of three piling like every time, and if you are sharp, you can potentially do something with gardens. Or at least have the threat of this to slow the opponent down a touch. Anyway, less than 1% is ridiculous - engine can definitely draw quite a bit worse than he did, money can draw better.

dondon151

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #50 on: December 18, 2012, 04:31:10 pm »
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A double-jack can drain the provinces as fast as 18 turns a reasonable percentage of the time, iirc. If I ever work out how to get the simulator back up, I can give you a better answer on that.

I got maybe about 19 turns solitaire with decent luck and ignoring smaller VP. But obviously you aren't going to get to 8 Provinces in 18-19 turns in this matchup once the engine starts forcing you to discard or take Curses as early as turn 12. And if you do get to 8 Provinces, it's not 48 VP that Vineyards has to beat, but more like 42 VP.

The other thing is emptying piles occasionally. Yes, jonts scores a zillion more points than that, but he also takes it to the brink of three piling like every time, and if you are sharp, you can potentially do something with gardens. Or at least have the threat of this to slow the opponent down a touch. Anyway, less than 1% is ridiculous - engine can definitely draw quite a bit worse than he did, money can draw better.

How are you going to empty piles? You don't have extra buys. The engine doesn't need 10 Cities, 10 GMs, and 10 Torturers to fire consistently. It'll take, say, 5 turns to pick up 5 remaining cards in the supply. 5 turns by that point in the game is enough for an engine to roll all over you.

Similarly, you can't do much of anything with Gardens. Picking up Gardens means that you're volunteering to prolong the game even further. Plus you only pick up 1 Gardens every turn, anyway. Like I said in my previous post, if engine sees opponent start to pick up Gardens, then he should let it happen. Vineyards can outscore Provinces + Gardens anyway, and the engine will be done with the Vineyard stack before the money strategy will be done with the Gardens stack.
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jonts26

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2012, 04:36:13 pm »
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A double-jack can drain the provinces as fast as 18 turns a reasonable percentage of the time, iirc. If I ever work out how to get the simulator back up, I can give you a better answer on that.

I got maybe about 19 turns solitaire with decent luck and ignoring smaller VP. But obviously you aren't going to get to 8 Provinces in 18-19 turns in this matchup once the engine starts forcing you to discard or take Curses as early as turn 12. And if you do get to 8 Provinces, it's not 48 VP that Vineyards has to beat, but more like 42 VP.

The other thing is emptying piles occasionally. Yes, jonts scores a zillion more points than that, but he also takes it to the brink of three piling like every time, and if you are sharp, you can potentially do something with gardens. Or at least have the threat of this to slow the opponent down a touch. Anyway, less than 1% is ridiculous - engine can definitely draw quite a bit worse than he did, money can draw better.

How are you going to empty piles? You don't have extra buys. The engine doesn't need 10 Cities, 10 GMs, and 10 Torturers to fire consistently. It'll take, say, 5 turns to pick up 5 remaining cards in the supply. 5 turns by that point in the game is enough for an engine to roll all over you.

Similarly, you can't do much of anything with Gardens. Picking up Gardens means that you're volunteering to prolong the game even further. Plus you only pick up 1 Gardens every turn, anyway. Like I said in my previous post, if engine sees opponent start to pick up Gardens, then he should let it happen. Vineyards can outscore Provinces + Gardens anyway, and the engine will be done with the Vineyard stack before the money strategy will be done with the Gardens stack.

The thing with the engine is, you get almost all of your points in the last 2 turns maybe. And it's not really worth it to green early. On my luckier tries, I would be able to get more than 48 points by turn 18. But an average try was maybe turn 19. So an average or worse luck on the engine coupled with best luck on the BM will likely work out for a win for BM.

Though I do agree with the piles. As long as the engine player doesn't do anything stupid, the BM pile won't be able to win on piles. There was at least one game where I intentionally stopped playing torturers to prevent that.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2012, 05:31:22 pm »
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A double-jack can drain the provinces as fast as 18 turns a reasonable percentage of the time, iirc. If I ever work out how to get the simulator back up, I can give you a better answer on that.

I got maybe about 19 turns solitaire with decent luck and ignoring smaller VP. But obviously you aren't going to get to 8 Provinces in 18-19 turns in this matchup once the engine starts forcing you to discard or take Curses as early as turn 12. And if you do get to 8 Provinces, it's not 48 VP that Vineyards has to beat, but more like 42 VP.

The other thing is emptying piles occasionally. Yes, jonts scores a zillion more points than that, but he also takes it to the brink of three piling like every time, and if you are sharp, you can potentially do something with gardens. Or at least have the threat of this to slow the opponent down a touch. Anyway, less than 1% is ridiculous - engine can definitely draw quite a bit worse than he did, money can draw better.

How are you going to empty piles? You don't have extra buys. The engine doesn't need 10 Cities, 10 GMs, and 10 Torturers to fire consistently. It'll take, say, 5 turns to pick up 5 remaining cards in the supply. 5 turns by that point in the game is enough for an engine to roll all over you.

Similarly, you can't do much of anything with Gardens. Picking up Gardens means that you're volunteering to prolong the game even further. Plus you only pick up 1 Gardens every turn, anyway. Like I said in my previous post, if engine sees opponent start to pick up Gardens, then he should let it happen. Vineyards can outscore Provinces + Gardens anyway, and the engine will be done with the Vineyard stack before the money strategy will be done with the Gardens stack.

Jacks can grab grand markets. I very nearly did this to jonts one time.

Well, yeah, 15% might be a bit high. But it's got to be better than 0.

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2012, 05:38:54 pm »
0

I should note that even though money falls a couple turns slow if engine player goes well, it's still a rich, interesting set. Swap out something like banks for something like salvagers, money has a pretty good shot. Even getting rid of gardens might do it.

dondon151

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2012, 09:53:27 pm »
0

Jacks can grab grand markets. I very nearly did this to jonts one time.

You got 3 GMs, and one of them could have been a Province. But in any case, even with a couple of GMs, you are trying to pile out at a meager rate of 2 cards per turn. That still takes quite a while.

Well, yeah, 15% might be a bit high. But it's got to be better than 0.

I did say less than 1%, which is better than 0% ;)
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WanderingWinder

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2012, 09:59:18 pm »
0

Jacks can grab grand markets. I very nearly did this to jonts one time.

You got 3 GMs, and one of them could have been a Province. But in any case, even with a couple of GMs, you are trying to pile out at a meager rate of 2 cards per turn. That still takes quite a while.

Well, yeah, 15% might be a bit high. But it's got to be better than 0.

I did say less than 1%, which is better than 0% ;)
You start earlier. And the 2 gardens are worth more than a province anyway.
It really can't be less than 5%.

Edit: Not that that matters. Point is, it's clearly worse, but engine player needs to play well to execute the win.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 10:00:43 pm by WanderingWinder »
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RisingJaguar

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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2012, 08:04:18 am »
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Wait, Stef still won?
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #57 on: December 19, 2012, 09:00:14 am »
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The thing is: How easy is it for the engine player to switch it up if the money player has good shuffling?

Does the engine player's option B still beat the money player's only available strategy?
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Re: WWAG #2
« Reply #58 on: December 19, 2012, 09:34:43 am »
0

I remember having played a game engine vs. BigMoney where I lost against BM which three piled me.  I think it was also HoP megaturn for me.  Left 4 Envoys on the table, thought 3 turns would me more than enough.  Now one of this turns happens to be "junk" (HoPs), as it happens with so many HoPs and a Village/Smithy-like engine and maybe not perfect trashing.  One turn got lost to a double Envoy buy from my opponent due to a Market.  And the one remaining turn was not enough.
Now probably taking the 6th Envoy was already a mistake as it was not necessary, and not taking it would have given me the turn I needed.  But at this point it seemed quite save to me.
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