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Author Topic: Save the Hovels!  (Read 10677 times)

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ragingduckd

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Save the Hovels!
« on: May 25, 2013, 07:49:20 pm »
+23

I've been seeing a lot of Hovel abuse lately and I feel an moral obligation to try to stop it. Yes, Hovel is the red-headed stepsister of the somewhat better Overgrown Estate and the far better Necropolis. But that doesn't mean you should treat it like crap.

To be fair, Hovel is more often a target of opportunity than a deliberate victim. You find yourself with two Coppers on turn 3 or 4, a Hovel in hand, and no decent $2 action on the board. Hey, why not buy an Estate?

So you burn down your Hovel, flaming peasants flee into the night, and you build a shiny new Estate in its place. Hooray!

But often enough, you find that Estate smirking up at you on some mid-game turn when you wanted to buy a green card anyway. So you play $6, buy a Nobles, and trash your... argh! You can't trash your Hovel because you already turned it into a goddamned Estate!

You're going to buy a bunch of VP cards eventually. You're likely to have that Hovel/Estate in hand during one of those turns. When that happens, you can get rid of it if it's still a Hovel, but you're stuck if you've already turned it into an Estate. So the question to ask yourself is, when that mid-game greening turn comes, how are you going to feel about having an extra Estate?

I find I want that mid-game Estate pretty rarely.  Yeah, sometimes the game will to end at 24-25 with 4 Provinces each and that Estate will turns out to be the winning VP. But way, way more often, there's going to be some Duchy dancing, or there's a +Buy, or a gainer, or VP-tokens, or [insert interesting card here]. Then that 1 VP doesn't matter very much, but being one card slimmer in the mid-to-late game does.

It depends on the kingdom, of course. An early Hovel-to-Estate swap makes sense when you're going Rebuild or Ambassador, and it's at least plausible with Apprentice, Salvager, or Silk Road, or in a big nasty slog. But unless you have some definite use for that Estate in mind, you're usually better off saving your Hovel for later.

If you're not so sure, ask yourself a few questions when you're actually looking at the kingdom:
- "Will I be happy if my opponent Ambassadors me an Estate in the mid-game?"
- "Am I likely to be drawing late game hands with $12 and no +Buy?"
- "If we're greening and I find myself with an extra $2, would I buy an Estate?"

If the answer to these questions is a resounding "Yes!" then go ahead and swap your Hovel for an Estate. But if it's "No!" or "I'm really not sure," then do the right thing. Spare your peasants. Save your Hovel.



This is my first strategy article. Comments and advice are appreciated.
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KingZog3

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 10:26:16 am »
0

This is completely true. You're probably better off keeping Hovel than turning it into Estate just because you can. I believe this was mentioned in an article on Shelters in general.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 12:14:57 pm »
+2

This is a very well-written article in terms of the writing style. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover a very impactful topic. The situation of buying Estate to trash Hovel comes up very rarely, and is often of minimal impact, so if you do it wrong, it won't even matter most of the time. But I encourage you to keep writing more articles!

In terms of the actual content, one thing you're leaving out is other trashing in the kingdom. You say "You're going to buy a bunch of VP cards eventually. You're likely to have that Hovel/Estate in hand during one of those turns." But this isn't necessarily true. If you're doing a lot of trashing, the Hovel/Estate is often going to get trashed. Depending on the card used to trash, it may be better to trash an Estate compared to a Hovel. You say you need a "definite" use, but that's not really true. Even if it's only a "potential" use, if you're not likely to use the Hovel ability later, you may still want to convert to an Estate.
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gman314

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 12:30:22 pm »
0

I'd say that just about the only time I deliberately use my Hovel is when I get 5/2 on a board with no 2s other than estate. I should probably start only using it when there's no mixed-types I want and only cost-based trashing.
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ragingduckd

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 12:58:58 pm »
0

Thanks for the comments, HME.  I'll keep at it.

Unfortunately, it doesn't cover a very impactful topic. The situation of buying Estate to trash Hovel comes up very rarely, and is often of minimal impact, so if you do it wrong, it won't even matter most of the time.

Agreed.  I wanted to start small. :)

I don't think the situation is all that rare though, especially if you include the other small VP cards.  People swap their Hovels for Tunnels and Silks a lot, and that's actually a more serious mistake because you're passing on a Silver or better.  Swapping for a Great Hall or an Island is a more justifiable, since your deck really does get thinner.  Maybe I should address these situations in the article?

Depending on the card used to trash, it may be better to trash an Estate compared to a Hovel. You say you need a "definite" use, but that's not really true. Even if it's only a "potential" use, if you're not likely to use the Hovel ability later, you may still want to convert to an Estate.

I'm not sure I follow.  Are you suggesting I change the phrasing, or are you bringing up a subtlety or a situation I haven't considered?  I do briefly mention Apprentice and Salvager, but there are other cards that belong on that list, and I could certainly address the issue more explicitly.
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gman314

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 01:23:57 pm »
0

Depending on the card used to trash, it may be better to trash an Estate compared to a Hovel. You say you need a "definite" use, but that's not really true. Even if it's only a "potential" use, if you're not likely to use the Hovel ability later, you may still want to convert to an Estate.

I'm not sure I follow.  Are you suggesting I change the phrasing, or are you bringing up a subtlety or a situation I haven't considered?  I do briefly mention Apprentice and Salvager, but there are other cards that belong on that list, and I could certainly address the issue more explicitly.

What he means is that you won't definitely trash it to something Apprentice or Salvager, because it's still a pretty cheap card. However, if you think you might trash it with one of these cost-based trashers, it's still worth trashing. What I think HME is saying is that there's a definite purpose when you want to do something with say Baron (where it needs to be an estate) or Remake, but there's also a potential purpose when you just want expensive cards for something like Apprentice. Since Estate isn't that expensive, you might only get the collision you want when you also have a Gold in hand that you want to trash, and wouldn't trash the Estate. But it's still good to have the Estate for the dud hand of CCCEA.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 03:12:03 pm »
0

Depending on the card used to trash, it may be better to trash an Estate compared to a Hovel. You say you need a "definite" use, but that's not really true. Even if it's only a "potential" use, if you're not likely to use the Hovel ability later, you may still want to convert to an Estate.

I'm not sure I follow.  Are you suggesting I change the phrasing, or are you bringing up a subtlety or a situation I haven't considered?  I do briefly mention Apprentice and Salvager, but there are other cards that belong on that list, and I could certainly address the issue more explicitly.

I guess I specifically mean that the question you should be asking is not if an Estate is better than *nothing*, but if it is better than *Hovel*. Hovel is going to be better if you still have the card when you start greening and you don't want Estates when you start greening. Estate is going to better if you happen to be trashing it with a TfB card, or if you never find an opportunity to use the Hovel reaction (perhaps because you trashed the card anyway or because you're buying all your green cards in one time through the deck, so you don't mind the extra Estate). Now even if you're not that likely to use the TfB card on it, if the situation where you do use it is more likely than the situation where you can use the Hovel reaction then it's still worth it to take the Estate.
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ChocophileBenj

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2013, 03:58:42 pm »
0

I haven't played DA ever, but it's nice to tell players hovel can be good to save, although it seems obvious (but not for beginners) few cards make an estate useful in early games (Baron of course, and maybe Crossroads and some TFB as you said)
But shouldn't this article be named "Save the Hovel" ?
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KingZog3

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 03:59:39 pm »
0

But shouldn't this article be named "Save the Hovel" ?

You have a Hovel every game, hence "Hovels."
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eHalcyon

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 05:47:55 pm »
0

People swap their Hovels for Tunnels and Silks a lot, and that's actually a more serious mistake because you're passing on a Silver or better.  Swapping for a Great Hall or an Island is a more justifiable, since your deck really does get thinner.  Maybe I should address these situations in the article?

That really depends on the situation.  Yeah, if you swap Hovel for Tunnel early without any discarding cards, then that's only a minor improvement over swapping for Estate.  But if Young Witch is on the board and you would have preferred Tunnel over Silver anyway, then it's probably a good idea to ditch the Hovel if you can.  Likewise for Silk Road, if you are rushing it.  But of course you'd have to be careful about that, since SR is weaker with Shelters to begin with.
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ragingduckd

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 06:26:07 pm »
0

But shouldn't this article be named "Save the Hovel" ?

You have a Hovel every game, hence "Hovels."

If you protest with a sign that says "Save the Whale!" then someone may join you with one that says "Learn the Englishs!"
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florrat

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 07:11:26 pm »
+1

If you protest with a sign that says "Save the Whale!" then someone may join you with one that says "Learn the Englishs!"
Nah, people with a sign "Save the Whale!" just want to save one particular whale, and don't care about the rest.
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KingZog3

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 08:35:24 pm »
+8

If you protest with a sign that says "Save the Whale!" then someone may join you with one that says "Learn the Englishs!"
Nah, people with a sign "Save the Whale!" just want to save one particular whale, and don't care about the rest.
Those bastard.
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Davio

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2013, 06:18:26 am »
+1

I'm still not sure if this article is a real strategy article, a joke, or something in between.
I'm guessing it's the third option, since there is some, however small, value in it.
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BadAssMutha

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2013, 09:17:06 am »
0

I'm afraid I don't really get the "keep your hovel" logic. It's a totally dead card that doesn't do anything in terms of actions, buys, cards, money, VP, it doesn't play well with trash-for-benefit, and it doesn't combo with cards like true victory cards do. Given 5/2 and no good 2's, I would usually trade my Hovel for an Estate. Anytime I draw that Estate, I would have just drawn my Hovel instead. Really no difference, except I now have 1VP extra and perhaps something to combo with my Crossroads or Baron (or God forbid, Scout). So what if I can trash the Hovel later with a more worthwhile victory card buy?  Of course, taking the time to specially buy a victory card to get rid of the Hovel is probably a bad idea, but if you can do it early, why not?

I suppose that ditching the Hovel late game could improve your future reshuffles, but how many more reshuffles do you really have once you've started greening? I feel like this would have more of an impact in slog games, where you might have more time to get the benefit of that efficiently-trashed Hovel. However, that 1 dead card card less in your deck won't matter as much in bigger decks, which is usually the case with slogs. I guess most games aren't decided by 1VP though, so the extra Estate is usually worthless in the end, and that extra card less *could* have made a big difference.  After writing all this, I could see some benefit to keeping the Hovel, but only in games where I'm likely to have several reshuffles AFTER I've started buying endgame victory cards.
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Awaclus

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2013, 10:18:49 am »
+1

I'm afraid I don't really get the "keep your hovel" logic. It's a totally dead card that doesn't do anything in terms of actions, buys, cards, money, VP, it doesn't play well with trash-for-benefit, and it doesn't combo with cards like true victory cards do. Given 5/2 and no good 2's, I would usually trade my Hovel for an Estate. Anytime I draw that Estate, I would have just drawn my Hovel instead. Really no difference, except I now have 1VP extra and perhaps something to combo with my Crossroads or Baron (or God forbid, Scout). So what if I can trash the Hovel later with a more worthwhile victory card buy?  Of course, taking the time to specially buy a victory card to get rid of the Hovel is probably a bad idea, but if you can do it early, why not?

I suppose that ditching the Hovel late game could improve your future reshuffles, but how many more reshuffles do you really have once you've started greening? I feel like this would have more of an impact in slog games, where you might have more time to get the benefit of that efficiently-trashed Hovel. However, that 1 dead card card less in your deck won't matter as much in bigger decks, which is usually the case with slogs. I guess most games aren't decided by 1VP though, so the extra Estate is usually worthless in the end, and that extra card less *could* have made a big difference.  After writing all this, I could see some benefit to keeping the Hovel, but only in games where I'm likely to have several reshuffles AFTER I've started buying endgame victory cards.
Let's just say the game ends on turn 16 and you buy your first Province on turn 9 and get to trash that Hovel. Depending on your deck size, you're probably avoiding a dead card 2-3 times, with trashing or card draw maybe four times. That's not a huge difference, but at least it's bigger than 1VP.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 10:20:35 am by Awaclus »
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Davio

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2013, 10:21:23 am »
0

Well, you can't be guaranteed to trash your Hovel when you buy your first Province.
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jonts26

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2013, 11:47:50 am »
+4

Well, you can't be guaranteed to trash your Hovel when you buy your first Province.

No, but like anything in dominion it's a matter of odds of success and how impactful the success is vs how harmful failure is.

Let's be clear, hovel trashing is exceedingly minor. But eeking out an extra percent win chance here and there adds up. Trashing an early hovel to gain an estate (ignoring TfB), all you gain is one point. If you trash hovel in the mid game to a VP you actually want like province, you remove a useless card for however many reshuffles you have left. If you hold on to the hovel hoping to trash it, but never do, or don't until very late, you basically only lose 1 VP. So is the chance to save a card slot for a few turns worth the risk of losing 1 VP? Well, that depends on the board, and your draws during the game.
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KingZog3

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2013, 12:13:19 pm »
0

Why all the fighting? Lets make a compromise. Trash Hovel for a Ducky.
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ragingduckd

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2013, 12:29:57 pm »
0

Why all the fighting? Lets make a compromise. Trash Hovel for a Ducky.

I feel like this would be really funny if I could understand it.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2013, 12:39:04 pm »
+1

Why all the fighting? Lets make a compromise. Trash Hovel for a Ducky.

I feel like this would be really funny if I could understand it.

He means Duchy, which is between Estate and Province.

Quack quack quack. 
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BadAssMutha

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2013, 01:01:23 pm »
0

So by saving the Hovel, you may get a mid-to-late-game free trash, with the opportunity cost of 1VP. This discussion makes me imagine a card with a "pay VP" mechanic.

Civil War
+1 Card
+1 Action
You may trash a card from your hand.
If you do, -1VP.

Ignoring the price point and all that, assuming you had it your deck, how often would you use the trash clause? Of course, it depends on the kingdom and the stage of the game and all, but I'm not sure I'd do it once I was buying Provinces.
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KingZog3

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2013, 03:04:18 pm »
0

Why all the fighting? Lets make a compromise. Trash Hovel for a Ducky.

I feel like this would be really funny if I could understand it.

He means Duchy, which is between Estate and Province.

Quack quack quack.

I did mean Duchy. Quack.
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Awaclus

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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2013, 04:31:51 pm »
0

So by saving the Hovel, you may get a mid-to-late-game free trash, with the opportunity cost of 1VP. This discussion makes me imagine a card with a "pay VP" mechanic.

Civil War
+1 Card
+1 Action
You may trash a card from your hand.
If you do, -1VP.

Ignoring the price point and all that, assuming you had it your deck, how often would you use the trash clause? Of course, it depends on the kingdom and the stage of the game and all, but I'm not sure I'd do it once I was buying Provinces.
But this is worse than saving Hovel, since trashing an Estate gives you -2 VP and trashing a Copper is not as good as trashing an useless card, but you're still getting -1 VP.
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Re: Save the Hovels!
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2013, 04:44:41 pm »
+2

Quote
Civil War
+1 Card
+1 Action
You may trash a card from your hand.
If you do, -1VP.

Nuclear War

You may trash your opponent's hand, his deck and his discard pile.
If you do, -30VP and the game ends immediately.
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