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Author Topic: Exploiting Asymmetry  (Read 4898 times)

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BadAssMutha

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Exploiting Asymmetry
« on: October 24, 2013, 12:43:34 pm »
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In most games of Dominion, everyone has equal access to the same cards. There are, however, three cards that cause  unique elements to come into play. There is only one copy of each Black Market card, one copy of each Tournament Prize, and one copy of each Knight. Sometimes, these unique cards can be extremely important because they can offer a potentially crippling asymmetry.

This is most apparent with unique cursing attacks. In a kingdom with no cursing attacks, Followers can be a game-winning Prize. Getting the only Witch out of the BM can be a huge boon. With other cursers, however, these situations become less important. Other unique cards may have their uses as well. If you're playing an engine with no +buy, Princess can really shine. Got Bridges? She's much less important. Getting an early Monument or Goons out of the BM can build you a nice pile of VP chips that your opponent has to match with green.

Knights are unique, but most have powers usually found elsewhere in the kingdom - +$, +cards, +action. One important possible exception to this is Dame Anna. If she's the only trasher on the board, it can be the only way to build an engine if that's what you're after. I had an opponent once forego other strong $5s to open with Dame Anna. Knights weren't great on their own, but Anna was the only was to trash anything on a board with good engine potential. Dame Molly can be useful for extra actions, if she's the only +2 actions available.

It's interesting to note that the widely-regarded booby Prizes, Diadem and Bag of Gold, are weak due in part to the fact that their effects aren't really unique. There are plenty of ways to get +$, and buying Gold is always possible given the cash. Similarly, cards without unique effects in the Black Market tend to be a bit weaker. The key is to find cards that are not only good, but that are even better if you're the only one who has it.

Overall, my point is that when unique cards are on the board, it's very important to identify which ones are key. Abilities unique to the kingdom (only +buy, only curser, only trasher, only VP tokens) can be game-changing, so don't pass up an opportunity to grab them if you can put them to use.
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Jack Rudd

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Re: Exploiting Asymmetry
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 01:45:50 pm »
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Not to mention the ultimate piece of asymmetry: picking a Tournament out of the Black Market. That one's a real game-changer.
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Re: Exploiting Asymmetry
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 01:49:39 pm »
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Embargo, too.  I one time opened Torturer/Embargo, got another Torturer, Embargoed the Torturers, and felt really bad because I crushed my opponent...
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Wingnut

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Re: Exploiting Asymmetry
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 04:12:25 pm »
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Embargo, too.  I one time opened Torturer/Embargo, got another Torturer, Embargoed the Torturers, and felt really bad because I crushed my opponent...

At that point I would think just biting the bullet and taking the curses with Torturer would be the right move. If the curses are going into your deck or you're playing with gimped hands anyway might as well take the curse from Embargo and start dealing out some pain yourself.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Exploiting Asymmetry
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 04:14:44 pm »
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Embargo, too.  I one time opened Torturer/Embargo, got another Torturer, Embargoed the Torturers, and felt really bad because I crushed my opponent...

That doesn't really create asymmetry though?  Embargo doesn't prevent a player from actually buying the card.  It's just that it heavily discourages buying it, to the point where even seasoned players may not recognize when the correct decision is to just bite the bullet.



Regarding Knights in the OP, Sir Martin is probably more important more often than Dame Molly.  Like Princess, Martin can be a game changer if there is no other +Buy on the board.  Molly with no other +Actions can be nice, but a single non-drawing village is not usually going to enable a multi-terminal engine.

A thing about Knights is that, if there is a key Knight that is not on top of the pile, it may never actually come into play.  If both players recognize the importance of Dame Anna in a kingdom and she is not on top, then they will both think twice before buying the top Knight, lest they give Anna away.

It's also worth noting that Knights come with their own back-up plan for the player who misses a key one -- more Knights.  If you take Martin, I can still try to spam the other Knights to get Martin trashed.  Anna can sometimes squeak through this because a couple of trashes with Anna before she is trashed herself can be enough to make a difference.

PPE: ninja'd... and with the same idiom too.
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Re: Exploiting Asymmetry
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 05:19:02 pm »
+4

PPE: ninja'd... and with the same idiom too.

Last time I was ninja'd, I offered to bite the bullet, but then I took an arrow in the knee.
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ednever

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Re: Exploiting Asymmetry
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 09:14:12 pm »
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Two thoughts:

1- There is something unique about Bag of Gold: its a "gainer". Gainers can be really important on some boards with the right trash for benefit cards. Think Apprentice or Remodel. Both love gold gaining.

2- the other asymmetry in the game is ruins. 99% of the time ruins are just bad. But every now and then they will be the only source of +buy. I so at least one game by building an engine and holding on to a ruined market for a come from behind victory (it may have involved a King's Court for action of buys). Even more rare is when you need the other ruins. But if there is no virtual cash on the board and you have an otherwise good KC board ruined Mine could be used, or evenRuined Village if there is no other +action. But realistically it will usually just be the +buy you need to watch out for.

(I remember now - it was actually an apothecary engine that I needed the +buy for!)

Ed
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dusttaker

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Re: Exploiting Asymmetry
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 01:02:42 pm »
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Two thoughts:

1- There is something unique about Bag of Gold: its a "gainer". Gainers can be really important on some boards with the right trash for benefit cards. Think Apprentice or Remodel. Both love gold gaining.

2- the other asymmetry in the game is ruins. 99% of the time ruins are just bad. But every now and then they will be the only source of +buy. I so at least one game by building an engine and holding on to a ruined market for a come from behind victory (it may have involved a King's Court for action of buys). Even more rare is when you need the other ruins. But if there is no virtual cash on the board and you have an otherwise good KC board ruined Mine could be used, or evenRuined Village if there is no other +action. But realistically it will usually just be the +buy you need to watch out for.

(I remember now - it was actually an apothecary engine that I needed the +buy for!)

Ed

Or don't make the mistake of buying cultist with vineyards on the board.  Your opponent will love all the "free" action cards that ruins provide!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 01:04:01 pm by dusttaker »
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dondon151

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Re: Exploiting Asymmetry
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 03:48:45 pm »
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If you have an unjunked deck that picks up Vineyards faster than a junked deck can, the Ruins aren't really going to benefit your opponent very much. Vineyards is more contraindicative of Marauder because Marauder doesn't junk nearly as quickly, nor does it accelerate your own deck as quickly, either.
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Re: Exploiting Asymmetry
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 04:46:00 pm »
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2- the other asymmetry in the game is ruins. 99% of the time ruins are just bad. But every now and then they will be the only source of +buy. I so at least one game by building an engine and holding on to a ruined market for a come from behind victory (it may have involved a King's Court for action of buys). Even more rare is when you need the other ruins. But if there is no virtual cash on the board and you have an otherwise good KC board ruined Mine could be used, or evenRuined Village if there is no other +action. But realistically it will usually just be the +buy you need to watch out for.
Also, in Fairgrounds games, if you manage to get the only Ruins with a particular name, it can be a huge advantage.
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