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timchen

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veto strategy
« on: October 06, 2011, 07:20:16 pm »
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Yesterday I thought I had a shot at the top spot on isotropic. I tried for it, unfortunately Paralyzed reappeared and I have no way to surpass him (at least playing the way I'd like to.)

Meanwhile, I find that veto mode is actually good for boosting your rank if you are doing auto-match all the time. I don't think I've played significantly better, but the truth is I've never at such a high level before.

So how does veto mode help? (In my approach my games are almost entirely against lower ranked opponents)

(1) I'll veto away swingy cards at highest priority. This includes mountebank and witch, which can cost you the game at turn 1. Tactician is also a very swingy card. It is harder to play on the other hand, so you may keep it against very low rank players. King's Court and Goons, as strong as they are, are not actually as swingy and I like to play with them.

(2) In the same spirit, veto the cards that contribute to an obviously dominant strategy. Ironworks+Garden? Get rid of one of them. The concept is that if there is a strategy both sides know about and will play, it pretty much becomes a coin flip.

(3) Keep the cards that you know can form an attractive trap. Alchemists. Cities. Possessions. If you know these cards are not going to work in this setup, why not use it to your advantage?

(4) This one is of the lowest priority, but if one insists on winning: veto away the cards you are not sure of. Not sure about how to play this board with Native village? Get rid of it. Unfortunately your game will probably not grow if you do this too often.
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ChaosRed

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 07:26:50 pm »
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My latest thing to do now is click "veto random card", as too often I was just vetoing attack cards, and while attack cards often redefine a board (Torturer is Torturer after all), they can also be fun to play, or at least give them game an edge. Choosing "random" to me, really can shape the board in a unique way, (of course the opponent winds up vetoing the biggest attack card anyway, but I still prefer now to just click random).
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greatexpectations

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 07:54:11 pm »
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this post is precisely why i have zero interest in ever playing in veto mode.
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DG

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 08:47:03 pm »
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Quote
I'll veto away swingy cards at highest priority. This includes mountebank and witch, which can cost you the game at turn 1. Tactician is also a very swingy card. It is harder to play on the other hand, so you may keep it against very low rank players. King's Court and Goons, as strong as they are, are not actually as swingy and I like to play with them.

A while back I had a look at the cards with the highest win rates for some of the ranked top players. There typically wasn't a great to learn other than everyone seemed to have peculiarly high success rates with their own selection of ordinary looking cards, such as villages, woodcutters, pearl divers, that you wouldn't have though to be so influential. King's court typically wasn't in anyone's top 10 and I don't think it was because it was swingy or was simple to play. I expect a mid ranked player can use it finish off a big scoring game quickly and beat a top player who can't make an engine that's a whole turn faster. If you're looking to win a lot of games you'll be expecting to play second frequently and that's when you don't want opponents with double province turns.

What I did notice was that most top players had cursing cards somewhere in the top 10. I'm guessing this isn't due to their excellent play of these cards but because they can deal with curse ridden decks better. The elongated games also give more time for top players to forge an advantage. On that basis I'd keep all attack cards in the set and especially the cursing attacks, even though they have a first player advantage.

I'm sure there are more players who'd like advice on what to veto when playing against a better ranked player. I don't play veto though so I think I'll hold off on that one!

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Zaphod

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 09:28:39 pm »
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When I veto a card, it's usually because I don't think the card is much fun to play.  I win above the average rate with Ambassador and Torturer, but I don't really enjoy those games, so I often will veto them.  Possession is another one, although if my opponent has the first turn, he's probably going to veto that before I can do it.  I've found that very few people enjoy playing with that card in the mix.  I don't avoid cards based on whether I lose with them; I'd rather learn from my mistakes and get better at playing those cards.  I don't really aspire to be at the top of the leader board anyhow.

It is kinda fun to veto a random card, but then I get annoyed if I veto one of my favorites.  If I don't mind any of the cards in the mix, I'll just veto a card that I don't care about one way or the other.
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msuroo

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 09:42:08 pm »
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When I veto a card, it's usually because I don't think the card is much fun to play.  I win above the average rate with Ambassador and Torturer, but I don't really enjoy those games, so I often will veto them.  Possession is another one, although if my opponent has the first turn, he's probably going to veto that before I can do it.  I've found that very few people enjoy playing with that card in the mix.  I don't avoid cards based on whether I lose with them; I'd rather learn from my mistakes and get better at playing those cards.  I don't really aspire to be at the top of the leader board anyhow.

It is kinda fun to veto a random card, but then I get annoyed if I veto one of my favorites.  If I don't mind any of the cards in the mix, I'll just veto a card that I don't care about one way or the other.

Agree with every single point in this post.
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ehunt

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 09:43:07 pm »
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This is just a rule of thumb, but the way I think about it is that against an equally skilled player, you should always veto the best card that you're not going to buy (or the card that's most important to the strategy that you aren't going to play.)

In practice, I'm rarely this utilitarian as there are some cards that are more fun than others. When someone vetoes fishing village, for instance, I usually think to myself "why do you hate dominion??" Also, mining village and hamlet require lots of clicking but are too good not to buy, so I often veto them.
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Elyv

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 10:00:11 pm »
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Usually I just veto a random card.

I feel like I tend to do poorly in veto games, so maybe I should be doing something else.
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Mean Mr Mustard

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 10:00:18 pm »
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My main factor is table position: if I am first position I try to reduce variance, and in second position I try to bring synergy or game tempo down.  Wharf and Grand Market is probably my most vetoed cards from seat 2.

This cannot apply to every board.  If I see a subtle but strong strat I may knock out counters or competitors.  I tend to get rid of cursers just because it can be pretty arbitrary how curses can get passed out.  Horn of Plenty, I just suck with that card.
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biopower

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2011, 10:16:31 pm »
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When someone vetoes fishing village, for instance, I usually think to myself "why do you hate dominion??"

They might've hit random; isotropic only tells you what card they vetoed, not whether or not it was randomly chosen.
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greatexpectations

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2011, 10:52:31 pm »
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in my mind, veto mode would be perfect if the default mode was a random card selection. 

<rant>
without it, veto mode is just a meta-game that in my mind is not too far from the crap Paralyzed pulls.  you are consciously manipulating the game to give yourself an advantage over the other player.  more skilled players will do this via the method described by the OP, while newer/worse players might tend towards vetoing cards they have seen more skilled players use effectively.

from an enjoyment of dominion standpoint, i fail to see how veto mode is worth it, as the cards and combos you enjoy will be vetoed just as often as the cards you dislike are. i am a huge fan of messy mountebank games, but mountebank is one of the most vetoed cards. i don't like conspirator games, but conspirator is one of the least vetoed cards out there.

from a competitive/ladder standpoint, the system seems biased, allowing people to pick and choose whether to play to their strengths or avoiding there weaknesses.
</rant>
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biopower

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2011, 11:07:07 pm »
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I agree that veto mode might be bad for the competitive metagame in that the ladder for veto mode is significantly different from the ladder for random card selection. However, I feel like veto mode is very much different from what Paralyzed pulled; being able to remove only one card out of 12 (or 11 if you're p2) is very different from picking all 10 cards so that they perfectly complement a KC-Goons-Masq pin.

Honestly though, when I've played dominion IRL something similar to veto mode often ended up happening, because we often didn't want to play similar kingdoms twice in a row, and there were usually 4 people playing so cards like Pirate Ship would end up being a ridiculously dominant and not very fun strategy.
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timchen

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2011, 11:11:45 pm »
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This is just a rule of thumb, but the way I think about it is that against an equally skilled player, you should always veto the best card that you're not going to buy (or the card that's most important to the strategy that you aren't going to play.)
This is interesting, as I vetoed in a similar way some time ago. However, my rank sank during that time. It is probably that I overdo it: I will try to halt the obvious strategy and find some hideous strategy that can work. In the end to make my veto effective I think I played sub-optimally.

But to think it the other way, if the best card you are not going to use is not going to beat your strategy, why not just let it be there as a trap? Or if it is going to dominate, why do you not incorporate it into your strategy? How do you prevent your opponent from mirroring you?

At some point I found thinking about this kind of things do not help as much. On the other hand, reducing the variance is a substantial gain.

@DG: I can understand that Sea Hag and Young Witch involves some skills to play. (Correlatedly, indeed I have better stats of the two cards.) Witch, Mountebank, and Familiar are really cards that I have no idea how to deal with effectively.
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chwhite

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2011, 11:59:05 pm »
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When I'm in veto mode, my first priority is always to eliminate the very few card interactions I consider legitimately broken: basically, this means I will veto to prevent the KC-Goons-Masq pin as well as the Possession/Ambassador or Masquerade trick.  Most of the time, I actually prefer to keep Possession in there since I like defending against it.  But my opponent(s) usually just take it out anyway.  :P

Like many folks, I will often nix the really swingy attacks- but my definition of "really swingy attacks" is a lot more constrained than most and possibly only includes Swindler and Familiar.  I'll sometimes take out Ambassador and Torturer, not because I'm bad at them but because they can be unfun.  And probably about a quarter of the time I'll just go Random.  But the three cards I love to veto, and take out whenever I get the chance, are: Duke, Baron, and Envoy.  Duke is sometimes irrelevant (so a harmless veto) and sometimes screws up my heuristics bad (so a helpful veto); I don't quite know why but Baron inspires in me the same feelings of luck-frustration that many folks get with Treasure Map (which I usually just consider bad enough to ignore); and I flat-out hate Envoy with the burning passion of a thousand suns.  It's a surprisingly bad piece of most engines, but it's great with dumb BM, but playing Envoy BM is even more soul-sucking than estate tennis or Torturer pins.

Unlike many other good players (it seems), I'm usually happy to keep powerful engines and combos on the board.  Though sometimes I do inadvertently kill them with Random, and then oh well.  In short, I will often veto to maximize fun, and while winning is fun it's far from the only thing that matters.

....

Yesterday I thought I had a shot at the top spot on isotropic. I tried for it, unfortunately Paralyzed reappeared and I have no way to surpass him (at least playing the way I'd like to.)

Meanwhile, I find that veto mode is actually good for boosting your rank if you are doing auto-match all the time. I don't think I've played significantly better, but the truth is I've never at such a high level before.

I've found my ranking has also shot up since they introduced veto mode, but I think that is much, much more a factor of playing "automatch to level +- 20".  At one point I was second behind Paralyzed, and there's no way I deserved to have that spot.  (I will say that the current top non-Paralyzed player, midnight_girl, is probably the best player I've ever faced- I've had several games against her and it feels like I'm usually getting massively outplayed even when I win.)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 12:04:38 am by chwhite »
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matt979

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2011, 02:07:29 am »
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As a mediocre player, other than some of the obvious choices (e.g. Sea Hag, if I'm going second), I'll tend to veto the cards that take a long time to play.

Black Market stands out here, since it leads to big thinks.  Hamlet, Pawn, and Secret Chamber also fit the mold.  Vault might be the king of this, though I'm torn because Vault is deceptively fun.
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DG

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2011, 05:55:29 am »
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Quote
Yesterday I thought I had a shot at the top spot on isotropic
You were briefly with midnight girl, perhaps if only for a few hours.
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matiez

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2011, 11:14:00 am »
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My 2 cents, though I haven't read every post carefully:

I play strictly Veto mode, and it's actually been bothering me lately. I always seem to veto Possession, King's Court, Throne Room and Swindler. The first three simply because I don't enjoy that type of Dominion game, and Swindler because I had a game where my only Prov got Swindled 3 times. I frequently Veto other attack cards in multiplayer simply because of their power.

Here's my problem: If everyone is going to Veto specific cards, what is the point in even including them in the random selection (only really counts for physical cards)? As such, I've been a bit more careful about what I veto and why.

My home group used to arbitrarily choose cards, and we had a lot of games that weren't very fun. The few cards Veto adds to the Kingdom allows for a slightly more diverse set of cards. Having everyone get a say in the game reduces grumbling. Also, it's hilarious to watch the faces of people when you take away that one card you know they always win with!

In conclusion, Veto mode is AMAZING for physical multiplayer, especially if you play with the same group frequently.
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timchen

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2011, 01:51:25 pm »
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You were briefly with midnight girl, perhaps if only for a few hours.
I don't think this is that interesting to argue, but...

I was at the #2 spot for a day, #3 for another, and yesterday I lost 2 matches against< lv 5 players playing doubtful strategies...

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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2011, 03:52:35 pm »
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I agree that veto mode might be bad for the competitive metagame in that the ladder for veto mode is significantly different from the ladder for random card selection.
The thing is, there is no ladder for "random card selection". People do specify certain cards they don't want in proposed games, and decline auto-match games when they don't like the set of cards. So all the "bad" things than happen with veto happen even without it.
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mischiefmaker

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2011, 04:56:05 pm »
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The thing is, there is no ladder for "random card selection". People do specify certain cards they don't want in proposed games, and decline auto-match games when they don't like the set of cards. So all the "bad" things than happen with veto happen even without it.
The former doesn't work anymore, per the FAQ:

Any game with cards prohibited or required via the "require card(s)" box will be excluded from ranking computation.
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Empathy

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Re: veto strategy
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2011, 07:18:36 pm »
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The thing is, there is no ladder for "random card selection". People do specify certain cards they don't want in proposed games, and decline auto-match games when they don't like the set of cards. So all the "bad" things than happen with veto happen even without it.
The former doesn't work anymore, per the FAQ:

Any game with cards prohibited or required via the "require card(s)" box will be excluded from ranking computation.

Hive's second point still holds however: people do reject auto-matches (without any requires) that they don't like.

When my friends and I play dominion IRL, we usually have 1/2 cards that must be played, and then have some kind of draft system for the rest of them. The thing is, our draft system would be pointless for 2p games, but I think the first part might be helpful.

The advantage of veto is that if people cannot reject it systematically until they see their favorite combo appear. They can only veto combos they don't like. It removes some of the fun, but is probably fairer. That being said, I don,t know how many people actually continuously reject pools until they find one they are confident of winning.
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