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Author Topic: How do I play King's Court?  (Read 5565 times)

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oznorkas

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How do I play King's Court?
« on: September 08, 2011, 05:10:48 pm »
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Way too often when King's Court is in play, I lose. If I play against someone my own level (15) or higher, I usually get thrashed.

Obviously, I have problems building a good engine that includes King's Court. I usually play it with cards that end up being insufficient for winning the game, while my opponent virtually plays his whole deck every turn. At least that's how it feels.

So, how do I remedy this? Any takers?
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Epoch

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 06:24:19 pm »
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Basically, KC wants density of Actions, and particularly Actions which give +$2 or more, +2 cards or more, or virtually anything which gives you a choice on the card.  Or curse-giving attacks.  Non-terminal card drawers with KC are amazing, since you'll actually be able to use what you draw, and particularly they set up KC-KC rounds.

So, KC-Lab: wonderful.  +6 cards and you'll be able to use all the cards you draw.
KC-Village:  Unexciting.  You just barely end up with a card advantage (use two cards to draw 3 cards), and you probably don't need 6 Actions.

KC on a terminal which gives +$2 (like Militia or Chancellor or even Woodcutter) isn't exactly thrilling, but it sets you up to buy more KCs, since you get $6 out of it.

I think that a common trap that I fall into is that I have pursued a big-money-ish strategy to get up to the point where I can generate $7, and then I'll draw KC dead more often than not.  If you're going to go KC, you want a deck that can benefit from it as soon as you get your first $7.

KC-Pawn and KC-Steward are surprisingly good.  KC-Minion is unsurprisingly good.  The ability to tune your second and third plays of the cards to respond to what happened with the first play is key.

KC-KC is amazing with almost literally anything, as long as it isn't dead.

So, um, in summary:

You'll want some kind of card drawing (or aggressive early trashing) to get to those first few KCs you draw, and because KC-card drawer is solidly good at worst.

You'll want the minimum necessary Treasure to build to the point where you can somewhat reliably buy KCs.

You'll want Actions that produce Cards, Money, or produce Curses to play the KC with.  Having them be non-terminal is nice, particularly with +cards.  Having them be Villages is usually not good.

Cards that are usually mediocre when played with KC

1.  Trashers, though there are exceptions.
2.  Village-type cards.
3.  Things which produce $1 or give you +1 Card.
4.  Attacks which do not have a cumulative affect when played multiple times (though almost all such attacks give you +$2 or +2 Cards, so they aren't AWFUL).
5.  TREASURE (obviously, and of course it isn't really played with KC).
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philosophyguy

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 06:29:14 pm »
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An often overlooked component is +buy or +VP tokens. Setting up a KC engine takes time, and you need to be able to get multiple green cards, or a decent set of VP tokens, each turn in order to beat an opponent who goes green while you're building the engine.
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ehunt

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 08:49:11 pm »
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The above is really good. A couple weird cards to keep in mind.

Torturer: if there's king's court, and no source of extra actions, try to be the first player to King's Court a torturer; once I am that player, I will probably win the game, so I'm willing to be two or three provinces behind in order to do this.

Bridge: if you king's court three bridges, you automatically win a province game, provided that there are at least two provinces left. (You need 2 provinces and 8 duchies, 3 provinces and 4 duchies, 4 provinces and 1 duchy, or obviously, more than 4 provinces). In a colony game, you need to king's court 4 bridges, and there only needs to be 1 colony left for you to tie the game (somebody check my math - and yes, I know, in practice, the opponent will have bought some duchies/provinces in these situations.) The point is that this move is ridiculously good, and if you see these two cards, you should estimate the probability that you can make this move go off before your opponent buys seven provinces (or all the colonies); if there's any trasher at all, even trade route, I'd do it.

The KC/Masquerade/(goons or militia) pin has been described many times, but look it up if you haven't heard of it.
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Markov Chain

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 10:04:21 pm »
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Bridge: if you king's court three bridges, you automatically win a province game, provided that there are at least two provinces left. (You need 2 provinces and 8 duchies, 3 provinces and 4 duchies, 4 provinces and 1 duchy, or obviously, more than 4 provinces). In a colony game, you need to king's court 4 bridges, and there only needs to be 1 colony left for you to tie the game (somebody check my math - and yes, I know, in practice, the opponent will have bought some duchies/provinces in these situations.)

Just because you are playing a Colony game doesn't mean you have to buy Colonies: KC/KC/Bridge/Bridge/Bridge gives you $9 to spend and ten buys, with Colonies costing $2 and everything else free.  If there are four or fewer Colonies left, you buy the Colonies and spend the rest on Provinces.  If there are five or more Colonies left, you buy all the Provinces (to end the game), up to four Colonies, and Duchies with what is left.  Unless you get more buys, this won't beat seven Colonies (one Colony, eight Provinces, one Duchy is only 61 VP to his 70), or six Colonies and a Province (you get 65 VP to his 66), but it will beat six Colonies (68-60), five Colonies and two Provinces (69-62), four Colonies and four Provinces (70-64), three Colonies and five Provinces (67-60), two Colonies and six Provinces (64-56), and one Colony and seven Provinces (61-52).

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ackack

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 10:06:43 pm »
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An often overlooked component is +buy or +VP tokens. Setting up a KC engine takes time, and you need to be able to get multiple green cards, or a decent set of VP tokens, each turn in order to beat an opponent who goes green while you're building the engine.

I'd go far as to say this is the main thing. ehunt's example of KC'ed attacks is also important, but in general, King's Court works well when you can set up big turns with it and actually get something out of those big turns. If you can't extract full value from those turns, it is often too expensive to set up the engine in the first place.
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tlloyd

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 10:48:56 pm »
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Torturer: if there's king's court, and no source of extra actions, try to be the first player to King's Court a torturer; once I am that player, I will probably win the game, so I'm willing to be two or three provinces behind in order to do this.

I'm not so sure about this. Unlike playing three torturers in a row, KC-ing a Torturer lets your opponent know how many torturers are coming (especially if, as you said, there are no +actions). And if I'm up three provinces, I'm probably willing to take two curses and then discard them rather than give up my turn.
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Jimmmmm

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 10:55:25 pm »
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Torturer: if there's king's court, and no source of extra actions, try to be the first player to King's Court a torturer; once I am that player, I will probably win the game, so I'm willing to be two or three provinces behind in order to do this.

I'm not so sure about this. Unlike playing three torturers in a row, KC-ing a Torturer lets your opponent know how many torturers are coming (especially if, as you said, there are no +actions). And if I'm up three provinces, I'm probably willing to take two curses and then discard them rather than give up my turn.

Certainly Torturer is most powerful when the victim doesn't know if they'll be tortured again before their next turn. In terms of the attack, King's Courting a Torturer is worse than King's Courting a Witch (unless of course, they unwisely decide to discard a good hand). Of course, you also get an extra 3 cards.
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rod-

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 10:56:42 pm »
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I literally just played a game where torturer and king's court were both out - I got hit first and survived, although it was not especially pretty.

Being able to KC stewards to clean up the trash helped a lot though.
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ehunt

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2011, 11:27:31 pm »
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Yeah, I'm backing down on my torturer claim, or at least modifying it to "strong attacks." Stand by bridge.
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Titandrake

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2011, 12:58:01 am »
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You play King's Court by buying it as soon as you can, and buying a second as soon as you can as well.

That may not be strictly true, but it is a surprisingly high amount of the time. Most of the time, there is some action that you want to KC. Whoever plays the first KC has the advantage, so you want to set that up by buying enough actions to have KC hit (but not too many). I think that even if you only have 1 other action, you should still get it when you can, and then pick up more actions.
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yotarou

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2011, 02:39:15 am »
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KC has many combos. Basically you should look for KC-KC-(draw 3) engine. It enables everything on the board!
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oznorkas

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2011, 03:05:01 pm »
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Thanks, everyone! Following your advice, I just got about a hundred points in a single round, using KCs, Smithies, and Goons.

I'm sure someone will quickly get my feet back on the ground, though. :)
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dan11295

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2011, 02:13:01 pm »
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Couple other cards that do not work well with King's Court:

Warehouse: KC-KC-Warehouse. Draw and discard 3 times, leaving you with two cards..zzz
Baron: No quicker way to clog up your hand with estates.
Island: Sure the idea of setting aside three bad cards at once may be appealing, but if my hand is KC-Island-Copper-Copper-Gold the KC is rather useless.
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Jack Rudd

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2011, 02:18:26 pm »
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Couple other cards that do not work well with King's Court:

Warehouse: KC-KC-Warehouse. Draw and discard 3 times, leaving you with two cards..zzz
Baron: No quicker way to clog up your hand with estates.
Island: Sure the idea of setting aside three bad cards at once may be appealing, but if my hand is KC-Island-Copper-Copper-Gold the KC is rather useless.
Having said that, KC-KC-Baron-Watchtower-Island is a good hand.
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chesskidnate

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2011, 03:13:23 pm »
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Couple other cards that do not work well with King's Court:

Warehouse: KC-KC-Warehouse. Draw and discard 3 times, leaving you with two cards..zzz
Baron: No quicker way to clog up your hand with estates.
Island: Sure the idea of setting aside three bad cards at once may be appealing, but if my hand is KC-Island-Copper-Copper-Gold the KC is rather useless.

KC works prety well with warehouse. Sure, in your example you end up with 2 cards but those are the 2 best cards out of (other than corner cases) 11. This, coupled with the remaining KC plays really sets you up to have an epic turn provided you have good card draw. Now smithy would've been better in your example but warehouse also can have significant value if you only get one KC with it as it will make it easier to KC a drawer with actions left. It also helps you find your kings courts so a hand where you draw warehouse without anything useful can still be good. You do have to be careful with KC and warehouse but it helps to find your good cards together so you can start an epic turn as you often do with KC. I certainly wouldn't call it anti-synergy anyway
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Zaphod

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2011, 04:43:00 pm »
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The key to King's Court is to get it into your hand with other actions that you would want to play three times.   Actions like Laboratory help with this, as do Duration cards that add to your next hand like Caravan and Wharf.  Deck thinning cards help with this too, although some of them don't King's Court very well.

King's Court/Possession is downright mean.  There's a good chance your opponent will quit if he sees you play it.

Actions that allow choices like Pawn, Steward, Nobles and Minion are nice when King's Courted if played correctly.

KC/Golem is fun.  It guarantees a big turn, assuming you chose enough actions, and the right actions.

Some actions that aren't very exciting become powerful in conjunction with KC.  Monument is a good card to play three times, as is Mine.  On the other hand, King's Courting actions like Counting House and Tactician is the same as playing the action once.  With the right actions and enough King's Courts, you have a good shot at winning, and even if you lose, you'll probably have a good time doing it.
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rspeer

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2011, 04:20:12 am »
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Couple other cards that do not work well with King's Court:

Warehouse: KC-KC-Warehouse. Draw and discard 3 times, leaving you with two cards..zzz
Baron: No quicker way to clog up your hand with estates.
Island: Sure the idea of setting aside three bad cards at once may be appealing, but if my hand is KC-Island-Copper-Copper-Gold the KC is rather useless.
Having said that, KC-KC-Baron-Watchtower-Island is a good hand.

I had to think about that for a moment. That's awesome.
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2011, 07:48:54 am »
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Couple other cards that do not work well with King's Court:

Warehouse: KC-KC-Warehouse. Draw and discard 3 times, leaving you with two cards..zzz
Baron: No quicker way to clog up your hand with estates.
Island: Sure the idea of setting aside three bad cards at once may be appealing, but if my hand is KC-Island-Copper-Copper-Gold the KC is rather useless.
Having said that, KC-KC-Baron-Watchtower-Island is a good hand.

I had to think about that for a moment. That's awesome.

Unless I'm missing something it earns you 3 points and removes 1 (well 4, but 3 of them you didn't have before the start of the turn anyway) card(s) from your deck. It then leaves you with 0 Actions, 4 Buys and a 2-card hand. I can think of many better things to do with a double KC hand...
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Jack Rudd

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Re: How do I play King's Court?
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2011, 02:56:34 pm »
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Couple other cards that do not work well with King's Court:

Warehouse: KC-KC-Warehouse. Draw and discard 3 times, leaving you with two cards..zzz
Baron: No quicker way to clog up your hand with estates.
Island: Sure the idea of setting aside three bad cards at once may be appealing, but if my hand is KC-Island-Copper-Copper-Gold the KC is rather useless.
Having said that, KC-KC-Baron-Watchtower-Island is a good hand.

I had to think about that for a moment. That's awesome.

Unless I'm missing something it earns you 3 points and removes 1 (well 4, but 3 of them you didn't have before the start of the turn anyway) card(s) from your deck. It then leaves you with 0 Actions, 4 Buys and a 2-card hand. I can think of many better things to do with a double KC hand...
True. (Of course, it depends what the two remaining cards are. If they're Quarries, you're laughing.)
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Centuries later, archaeologists discover the remains of your ancient civilization.

Evidence of thriving towns, Pottery, roads, and a centralized government amaze the startled scientists.

Finally, they come upon a stone tablet, which contains but one mysterious phrase!

'ISOTROPIC WILL RETURN!'
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