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Author Topic: Coming up with the starting deck of 7 Copper/3 Estate  (Read 4121 times)

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theory

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Coming up with the starting deck of 7 Copper/3 Estate
« on: June 17, 2011, 09:18:38 pm »
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Quote from: Donald X.
The starting deck was always 10 cards. I didn't want the deck to be too small to shuffle. I figured 10 was about as small as I could go. You can get smaller decks but you don't see those every game. And then most of the game you're above 10 in more reasonable areas for shuffling.

I didn't want the openings to always be the same, so I had a mix of resources and useless cards in the starting deck. I settled on Estate as my useless card. It could have been that you had say 10 cards with a mix of Coppers and Silvers, with all of the prices much higher obv.; I didn't pursue that. I tried Coppers / Estates and was happy with that.

I tried 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 Coppers (with the rest Estates). I settled on 7 within the first couple evenings of playing, and it never changed again. There were two factors pushing towards 7.

First, there's that variety of openings (so that everyone can't just do the same thing at the start). 10 has no variety; 9 has one opening in one of two orders; 8 has two openings but one of them only has one order. 7 is the first one that has two openings in two orders.

Second, I had Copper/Silver/Gold at $0/$3/$6. They were like that from the start and never changed. Arguably all of the other cards were tweaked to fit the treasures. In this case the rules were also tweaked to fit the treasures.

If the number of starting Coppers is too small, you spend too many early turns either doing nothing, or buying Copper and hating it. There would need to be lots of $2 actions to make those turns okay. With the treasures like they are, you want actions focused on the region from $3-$6. So that rules out starting with just 5 Coppers, and helped give 7 the edge over 6. With 6 you can get 1/5, 2/4, or 3/3; while 2/5 and 1/5 give you a potential bonus (the 5) to make up for a potential passed turn, 2/4 is not so generous.

Once I settled on 7 Coppers it was really unlikely to ever change, as changing it would affect how good some actions are, throwing out tons of testing.

And there you have it!
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