Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]

Author Topic: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions  (Read 4147 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Polk5440

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1708
  • Respect: +1786
    • View Profile
Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« on: August 24, 2013, 11:09:40 am »
+2

In part I, I gave five principles of the endgame:
     1. When you have a guaranteed win, take it!
     2. Watch the piles!
     3. Understand the ins and outs of the Penultimate Province Rule.
     4. Watch out for externalities.
     5. Cannibalize your deck at the end of the game.

Here are four more questions to test your endgame skills. They use only base set cards. Assume two player games.

Questions:

#5) It's the First Game. The kingdom is Cellar, Market, Militia, Mine, Moat, Remodel, Smithy, Village, Woodcutter, and Workshop. Your hand is Copper, Copper, Silver, Province, Duchy. You have 43 points and it's your turn. There are 2 Provinces, 2 Duchies, and 7 Estates in the supply. No other piles have fewer than 3 cards. What do you buy?
a) Curse
b) Copper
c) Estate
d) Moat
e) Cellar
f) Silver
g) Village
h) Woodcutter
i) Workshop
j) Militia
k) Smithy
l) Remodel

#6) It's the First Game. The kingdom is Cellar, Market, Militia, Mine, Moat, Remodel, Smithy, Village, Woodcutter, and Workshop. Your hand is Smithy, Silver, Silver, Silver, Copper. There are 2 cards in your draw pile and you have purchased nothing but two Smithies, Silvers, Golds, and victory points all game. There are 2 Provinces, 4 Duchies, and 6 Estates in the supply, and no other piles have fewer than 3 cards. You are behind by two points. What's your play?
a) Play Smithy, buy Province if possible, else buy Gold
b) Play Smithy, buy Province if possible, else buy Duchy
c) Play Smithy, buy Duchy
d) Don't play Smithy, buy Gold
e) Don't play Smithy, buy Duchy

#7) It's your turn. You have a Remodel, two Silvers, and two Curses in hand. There are 6 Provinces, 4 Duchies, 2 Estates, 0 Curses, and 0 Gardens in the supply. You have 43 cards in your draw pile (including 4 Gardens), 0 in your discard pile, and 5 in your hand (48 cards total).

If you were behind by 2 points, how should you play your turn? (Assume the following are your only options.)
a) Remodel Silver into Duchy, buy Estate
b) Remodel Silver into Duchy, buy Copper
c) Remodel Curse into Estate, buy Estate
d) Remodel Curse into Copper, buy Silver

#8) Same scenario as #7, except you are behind by 4 points, and your opponent has 50 cards total. How should you play your turn? (Assume the following are your only options.)
a) Remodel Silver into Duchy, buy Estate
b) Remodel Silver into Duchy, buy Copper
c) Remodel Curse into Estate, buy Estate
d) Remodel Curse into Copper, buy Silver


Answers and Analysis:


Answer #5) Buy the Estate. It gives you the guaranteed win! There are 8 x (6 + 3 + 1) + 6 (starting Estates) = 86 points possible, and you have 43 of them. Buying an Estate gives you 44 points and the guaranteed win. Your opponent cannot get more than 42 points, cannot Curse you, and cannot trash your Victory cards. The answer is c).

Answer #6) As tough as it is to swallow, the correct answer is probably e) Don't play Smithy, buy Duchy.

The first thing to note is that since you are two points behind, buying a Province (if possible) breaks PPR. Buying a Duchy puts you one point in the lead and puts the pressure back on your opponent. Do you play Smithy triggering the reshuffle? Given your deck composition, the hand you've got is likely an above average hand. It's better to reshuffle that money and the Smithy back into your deck with a purchased Duchy. Your expected next hand is going to be better.

What about buying Gold? Certainly you don't want to buy Gold after playing a Smithy -- the Gold misses the reshuffle unnecessarily. But as tempting as it is to not play Smithy and buy the Gold just before the reshuffle, it is almost surely wrong. The game is just too far along (only two Provinces left) to pass up 3 points and the lead. What is that Gold instead of a Duchy going to get you on the margin? If you go through your deck one more time, drawing a Gold instead of a Duchy will get you at most a Province instead of a Duchy -- 3 points. The three points you just passed up by buying Gold over Duchy. Yes, you may go through your deck more than once, but it's not sufficiently likely to get you more than the 3 meaningful points you can get right now by buying that Duchy.

Answer #7) Remodel a Curse into an Estate (for two points) and buy the last Estate for a third point. You are ahead by 1 point and Estates, Gardens, and Curses are empty. You have secured victory! Any other answer leaves the outcome uncertain -- the game doesn't end and your opponent could still win, so the correct answer is c).

Answer #8) Now this is much trickier. You shouldn't pick c). You will end the game one point behind and lose.

What about d)? This improves the deck the most out of the four answers, trashing a Curse and adding Treasures in a probable slog. But the game is almost over (two Estates are left and two other piles are empty), and you just reshuffled. You are almost certainly not going to get back around to shuffling again. Those deck improvements probably won't matter.

What about maximizing points, then? a) looks good. Trash that Silver, gain a Duchy, and buy an Estate. That's four points, and ties you with your opponent! But hold on, all your opponent has to do is buy that last Estate and win. That only takes $2 -- pretty likely, but not a sure thing. a) is better than c). 

I would recommend b). Remodeling the Silver into Duchy gives you three points, so you are one behind. The game is likely to be over before you see that Silver again, anyway. Turn it into points. You buy a Copper putting your deck at 49 cards total. Now it takes more than $2 for your opponent to win. At least $4 and two buys or $2 and a trash for benefit/gain is needed. What's even better is if he doesn't win, and doesn't get at least 4 points total on his turn, he can't get an Estate either! If he does get that Estate, you can buy the last one with $2 (hopefully you would get that), putting you at 50 cards total bumping your four Gardens up a level. That Estate is worth 5 points to you! It would give you the victory!

If your opponent doesn't get the Estate, you are likely going to be in better shape  after the next turn having chosen b). By cannibalizing your deck at the end and taking the lead one turn later, rather than tying the game and giving your opponent a much easier chance to win, you are going to have a better shot at winning the game, though it's not anywhere close to a guarantee.

I hope you enjoyed these questions, that's all I have planned!

Edit 1: Question #5 fixed.
Edit 2: Comment struck from Answer #8.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 11:40:03 am by Polk5440 »
Logged

WanderingWinder

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5275
  • ...doesn't really matter to me
  • Respect: +4368
    • View Profile
    • WanderingWinder YouTube Page
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 11:18:08 am »
+1

5 is wrong, because you didn't count the starting estates - which means there's 86 points possible, which means you need a whole mess more information to figure things out exactly.

6 is at least potentially very tricky, as there's some definite possibilities, depending on what your opponent has gone, with remodel mostly and other things somewhat, that they can do something where you need to break PPR here. Also somewhat depends on what the last two cards are, how many treasures you have in your deck, etc. But okay, it's fairly clear.

7 is clear

8. I hardly ever think a) is better than d) here.

Polk5440

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1708
  • Respect: +1786
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 11:32:25 am »
0

WW, thanks for checking. Will fix the problems.
Logged

Polk5440

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1708
  • Respect: +1786
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2013, 11:41:43 am »
0

5 is wrong, because you didn't count the starting estates - which means there's 86 points possible, which means you need a whole mess more information to figure things out exactly.

Fixed.

Quote
6 is at least potentially very tricky, as there's some definite possibilities, depending on what your opponent has gone, with remodel mostly and other things somewhat, that they can do something where you need to break PPR here. Also somewhat depends on what the last two cards are, how many treasures you have in your deck, etc. But okay, it's fairly clear.

Agreed.

Quote
8. I hardly ever think a) is better than d) here.

I didn't have anything specific in mind; I was just hedging, so I just struck that sentence from the answer.

Thanks again for the corrections.
Logged

timchen

  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 704
  • Shuffle iT Username: allfail
  • Respect: +233
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 12:43:33 pm »
0

I would say 5 is still wrong. Since your opponent has to get all the remaining points to force a tie at best, which is pretty much impossible to be done in a few turns in this kingdom, I would aim to finish this game as soon as possible. I probably will get a silver, hoping to increase the chance getting to the province. I will only get to the estate, when there is a substantial risk for him to get all the remaining vps, or when i just have $2.
Logged

Awaclus

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11208
  • Shuffle iT Username: Awaclus
  • (。 ω 。`)
  • Respect: +11883
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 01:10:35 pm »
+3

I would say 5 is still wrong. Since your opponent has to get all the remaining points to force a tie at best, which is pretty much impossible to be done in a few turns in this kingdom, I would aim to finish this game as soon as possible. I probably will get a silver, hoping to increase the chance getting to the province. I will only get to the estate, when there is a substantial risk for him to get all the remaining vps, or when i just have $2.
Usually people resign when you buy the Estate, so that's the fastest way to finish the game.
Logged
Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

The Twitch channel where I stream DominionThe YouTube channel where I make musicDownload my band's albums for free

Polk5440

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1708
  • Respect: +1786
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 01:23:16 pm »
+1

I would say 5 is still wrong. Since your opponent has to get all the remaining points to force a tie at best, which is pretty much impossible to be done in a few turns in this kingdom, I would aim to finish this game as soon as possible. I probably will get a silver, hoping to increase the chance getting to the province. I will only get to the estate, when there is a substantial risk for him to get all the remaining vps, or when i just have $2.

If all you care about is winning the game, you should take the guaranteed win. I didn't tell you anything about your opponent's deck or his or your strategies. He could have a megaturn prepared for the next turn or two (e.g. playing the optimal first game engine), you could get really unlucky, etc.

Sure, if you care about things other than maximizing your expected win rate (such as playing quickly, ending the game in as few turns as possible, simple/complicated strategies for fun factor, etc.) then your mileage may vary with any tactics or strategy analysis.
Logged

sudgy

  • Cartographer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3386
  • Shuffle iT Username: sudgy
  • It's pronounced "SOO-jee"
  • Respect: +2644
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 03:36:05 pm »
0

Nice job, I mostly got all the first ones right but you stumped me with pretty much each of these.
Logged
If you're wondering what my avatar is, watch this.

Check out my logic puzzle blog!

   Quote from: sudgy on June 31, 2011, 11:47:46 pm

Polk5440

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1708
  • Respect: +1786
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2013, 06:40:52 pm »
0

Nice job, I mostly got all the first ones right but you stumped me with pretty much each of these.

Thanks!
Logged

timchen

  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 704
  • Shuffle iT Username: allfail
  • Respect: +233
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2013, 12:51:37 am »
0

I would say 5 is still wrong. Since your opponent has to get all the remaining points to force a tie at best, which is pretty much impossible to be done in a few turns in this kingdom, I would aim to finish this game as soon as possible. I probably will get a silver, hoping to increase the chance getting to the province. I will only get to the estate, when there is a substantial risk for him to get all the remaining vps, or when i just have $2.

If all you care about is winning the game, you should take the guaranteed win. I didn't tell you anything about your opponent's deck or his or your strategies. He could have a megaturn prepared for the next turn or two (e.g. playing the optimal first game engine), you could get really unlucky, etc.

Sure, if you care about things other than maximizing your expected win rate (such as playing quickly, ending the game in as few turns as possible, simple/complicated strategies for fun factor, etc.) then your mileage may vary with any tactics or strategy analysis.
Not really disagreeing with you here, but I just feel this way of thinking kind of oversimplifies things. As a puzzle it is fine, but in a realistic situation faced, I will mostly definitely not take that estate.

Thing is, there is actually a bottom line percentage that below which one does not really care. You know, if not taking this estate now will decrease the winning chance for me from 1 to 99.99% I don't think it really matters. And one can probably tell reasonably well when he is in that 0.01% situation and takes that estate in those situations. I am just saying that in the most majority of the games when you face this situation, your opponent is probably not very competent and what I consider to be most important would be to facilitate toward the end of game.

Actually, I want to talk about something else that is in spirit similar to this. I've discussed with a few of my friends serious in board games, and they seem to have this common "implicit agreement":

When you play a mulit-player (more than 2) game, the proper utmost motive for you should be to win (or to be in the first place if there is a ranking.) This part I agree.

Then they start to elaborate: therefore, if there is one player who is poised to win in his following turn, however you are behind, you should stop him if possible. Because otherwise you can't win.

This part I cannot disagree more. There are lots of times when I am so behind that whatever I do does not contribute to my winning probability very much, if at all. Then if I did the above, I would say what I am doing is actually helping the second ranked player. And I don't see how this is any better than helping the first ranked player, by not blocking him and let him win. At that point of the game I would play according to whoever had helped me more during the game.

Thoughts?
Logged

Davio

  • 2012 Dutch Champion
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4733
  • Respect: +3327
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 01:51:49 am »
0

Whenever I play multiplayer I mostly just try to maximize my own points, regardless of who is in the lead (could be me).

This is partly because I don't keep score very well in multiplayer. I play multiplayer for the social aspect and less for the competitive aspect, so I play more casually, but still try to do the best I can. With a game like Cosmic Encounter there's more of that grouping against the leader.

The other thing is that you generally can't control multiplayer that well anyway. You might try to gang up against a leader and have someone who does something stupid anyway.
Logged

BSG: Cagprezimal Adama
Mage Knight: Arythea

Polk5440

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1708
  • Respect: +1786
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2013, 09:13:48 am »
0

When you play a mulit-player (more than 2) game, the proper utmost motive for you should be to win (or to be in the first place if there is a ranking.) This part I agree.

Then they start to elaborate: therefore, if there is one player who is poised to win in his following turn, however you are behind, you should stop him if possible. Because otherwise you can't win.

Thoughts?

I think it depends on the dynamic of the group.

I tend to like a little politics every once in a while, but many people do not, and some can't handle it (even among friends). I like the fact that in some games, in order to win, you have to convince others to LET you win, and then do this by playing a noticeably better game, being nice, getting ahead while not backstabbing teammates/alliance partners, etc. In some games, too much backstabbing and you could get permanently blocked out by a coalition of losers. Sometimes that's part of the game. 

When we do play games with politics, we tend to discourage blocking only when it drags the game out but it's pretty clear who is eventually going to win.
Logged

Awaclus

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11208
  • Shuffle iT Username: Awaclus
  • (。 ω 。`)
  • Respect: +11883
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 11:13:41 am »
0

Then they start to elaborate: therefore, if there is one player who is poised to win in his following turn, however you are behind, you should stop him if possible. Because otherwise you can't win.

This part I cannot disagree more. There are lots of times when I am so behind that whatever I do does not contribute to my winning probability very much, if at all. Then if I did the above, I would say what I am doing is actually helping the second ranked player. And I don't see how this is any better than helping the first ranked player, by not blocking him and let him win. At that point of the game I would play according to whoever had helped me more during the game.

Thoughts?
As long as it's possible in theory that you can win, you should do that. If your winning probability is literally zero, then do whatever you like, but if you're actually throwing away your last chance of winning the game and choosing to become a kingmaker instead, that's 1) a bad play 2) not very sportsmanlike.
Logged
Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

The Twitch channel where I stream DominionThe YouTube channel where I make musicDownload my band's albums for free

liopoil

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2587
  • Respect: +2476
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2013, 11:25:22 am »
+1

what about this scenario:

3 player game. your turn, and you have two choices. if you take choice A, you have a 30% chance of winning, and a 10% chance of getting second place. if you take choice B, you have a 0% chance of winning, and a 100% chance of second place.

Situations like that you have to ask "If the value of winning is 1, and the value of losing is 0, what is the value of second place?"

is second place is just as bad as last place, you should always do whatever you can to preserve a tiny chance of winning, but if it's in between, it can be a good idea to hand the win to another player to secure second place.

The same can be true in two player games, in the situation of "do I end the game in a tie now, or play for the win?"

So, in dominion, how "good" is it to get second place?
Logged

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2013, 11:29:20 am »
0

Then they start to elaborate: therefore, if there is one player who is poised to win in his following turn, however you are behind, you should stop him if possible. Because otherwise you can't win.

This part I cannot disagree more. There are lots of times when I am so behind that whatever I do does not contribute to my winning probability very much, if at all. Then if I did the above, I would say what I am doing is actually helping the second ranked player. And I don't see how this is any better than helping the first ranked player, by not blocking him and let him win. At that point of the game I would play according to whoever had helped me more during the game.

Thoughts?
As long as it's possible in theory that you can win, you should do that. If your winning probability is literally zero, then do whatever you like, but if you're actually throwing away your last chance of winning the game and choosing to become a kingmaker instead, that's 1) a bad play 2) not very sportsmanlike.

#1 is irrelevant.  If you have very little chance of winning anyway, it doesn't really matter if your play is bad.

#2 is debatable.  If your chance of winning is extremely small, though not literally zero, blocking the leader is still effectively kingmaking.  Some will argue as you do, that the choice to NOT block is kingmaking as well, but others will say it is more sportsmanlike to take no action.

I make no argument about sportsmanship, but my friends and I usually try to stop the leader.
Logged

Grujah

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2237
  • Respect: +1169
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2013, 11:40:28 am »
0

what about this scenario:

3 player game. your turn, and you have two choices. if you take choice A, you have a 30% chance of winning, and a 10% chance of getting second place. if you take choice B, you have a 0% chance of winning, and a 100% chance of second place.

Situations like that you have to ask "If the value of winning is 1, and the value of losing is 0, what is the value of second place?"

is second place is just as bad as last place, you should always do whatever you can to preserve a tiny chance of winning, but if it's in between, it can be a good idea to hand the win to another player to secure second place.

The same can be true in two player games, in the situation of "do I end the game in a tie now, or play for the win?"

So, in dominion, how "good" is it to get second place?

Depends on the kingdom playgroup/situation. If you are in tournament, it varies with the rules of the tournament. If I play with friends, I'd always try to get 1st place.
Logged

liopoil

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2587
  • Respect: +2476
    • View Profile
Re: Tactics Quiz, Part II: Four More Endgame Questions
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2013, 11:42:15 am »
+2

for sure - but what about if you're just playing on goko?

EDIT: I suppose we could figure out how good second place is - if goko's rating system could be put into a formula.
Logged
Pages: [1]
 

Page created in 0.116 seconds with 21 queries.