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Author Topic: Donald X on Rebuild  (Read 60364 times)

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brokoli

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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2013, 04:02:54 am »
0

Guys, I think we're getting tunnel-vision around the idea of nerfing the card. Look at Donald's quote: He's saying an OP card is OK, as long as it's interesting. Fixing Rebuild could involve making it less powerful, but it could also involve making it more interesting. You'll notice from the histories that he tends to redesign rather than rebalance. Not to put Donald's opinions up on a pedestal, but I think that tendency of his is a pretty big part of why Dominion is fun.

Rebuild, by rights, should be an interesting cards, but it was solved. Tinkering with cost or action may address the undue influence it has on the game, but it doesn't impact that the card itself is solved. I think the proper way to fix Rebuild is to make it less trivial to play it correctly.

LastFootnote's point is a good one: As long as all your $5-hands have to go to Duchies and not $5-actions, your deck will be boring. Making Rebuild itself cost $6 or $3P doesn't address this problem. I'm not sure that return-to-supply fixes this either.

I understand your point, but I don't necessarly agree. I think the main "spirit" of the card should not be changed, Rebuild's main spirit is that all your $5 hands have to go to duchies and actually, that is interesting. It's a very different way to play the game. And that's why I think Rebuild should keep being Rebuild, the only thing I would change is the cost (potion cost is a very interesting idea) or the +action maybe but I don't like this idea that much.
I'm convinced that if Rebuild cost more, the single Rebuild strategy would not work anymore and we would play rebuild differently, but still in a "rebuild" way which is, at the base, interesting.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2013, 07:24:32 am »
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I still think that Rebuild games are interesting enough. If you have all of the expansions, about 5% of games have Rebuild in them, and that's not too much IMO. The strategy is simple, but the tactical decisions can be very difficult at times, and that's not usually true for Dominion, so I think it's pretty refreshing.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2013, 07:29:57 am »
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Yes, Rebuild games are more tactical, but I don't experience them as more fun.
I can understand if some people do though.

Most of the time, it's just a question of who can hit $5 more often.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2013, 07:43:40 am »
+2

I don't think Rebuild games are more tactical than regular games, I just think they are less strategical and that may make tactics relatively more important for winning, but that also happens with shuffle luck being extremely important in Rebuild games. I think Rebuild mirrors are as interesting as Gardens/IW rush mirrors, so it would be good if they appear with the same really low percentage, not 5%.

I would like to back the idea to return the cards to the supply instead of trashing. However, it is important to notice that it will definitely affect itself by replenishing Duchies, so even mirror games are going to be affected, is not just a matter of leaving VP for the non-Rebuild player.

On the "how to play Rebuild" issue, I am surprised that the best company for Rebuild was not mentioned: Scheme. I would probably still open Silver/Silver equivalent or Silver/good Sifter because $5 is super important and Scheme does not help, but then I would get Scheme's at any <5. Maybe one Estate if I am out and there are plenty of Duchies.
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Polk5440

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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2013, 08:11:35 am »
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1.) Well, some suggested to make it cost $6. At first I thought this is a valid move, but later I realised that it probably makes Rebuild games only worse because the strength of the card is the same and if someone gets a lucky $6 after the first reshuffle and your opponent not, he's maybe already miles ahead. So, it probably only adds variance and luck, that's not want I want to do.

Actually, Rebuild becomes extremely weak at $6, as DStu posted at the quoted BGG thread: BM-Rebuild loses 25-75 to BM-Smithy, and even loses narrowly to pure BM. I suppose it's because you rarely get to $6 in standard Rebuild games.

2.) So, it was clear to me that the card itself has to be fixed, not the cost. But I really don't want a totally different card, like the one Donald X. suggested. The only thing I came up with is removing the +1 Action because, honestly, the +1 Action barely matters, but it can matter. [...]

Surprisingly, the +1 Action matters quite a bit; I simulated "TerminalRebuild" recently on Dominiate:

TerminalRebuild loses to the strongest BM cards: Wharf, Goons, GhostShip, DoubleJack, all Cursers.

It essentially ties with Monument (51:49), Envoy (48.5:51.5), Smithy (52:48) and Courtyard (50:50), and wins against all other implemented one-card strategies (Militia, Masq., HP, Amb., Library, ...).

I suppose 1 or 2 self-collisions per game are enough to lose many narrow games, even in the absence of terminal support cards. This seems to be a suitable fix to make Rebuild non-dominant on most boards.

I am glad you mentioned the simulation results, but I want to mention that I don't think the simulations show that Rebuild is too weak at $6. Just like with Big Money, a Rebuild strategy gets better with the addition of almost any <$5 card, so testing Rebuild only in the non-terminal $6 case doesn't show that it's weak. That would be like saying Expand only is weak because it loses to Smithy. It misses that Rebuild is still going to be a great addition to consider to almost any engine-based deck that doesn't end with buying all the VP on one turn (Province-Duchy or Duchy-Duchy buys become a lot more potent if you threaten Rebuild next turn). We just don't see those decks because right now if a hybrid deck is viable, then it is almost certainly dominated by Rebuild-only.

And like Qvist, I am not really convinced a price change to $6 fixes it -- that's partly why I suggested Potion cost. Limiting the number of Rebuilds you can buy and forcing you to have a Potion around should make hybrid (i.e. interesting) strategies dominate pure Rebuild more often instead of the other way around. Even at $3P with Familiar in the kingdom, I would often consider Rebuild.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2013, 09:54:57 am »
0

I don't think Rebuild games are more tactical than regular games, I just think they are less strategical and that may make tactics relatively more important for winning, but that also happens with shuffle luck being extremely important in Rebuild games. I think Rebuild mirrors are as interesting as Gardens/IW rush mirrors, so it would be good if they appear with the same really low percentage, not 5%.
I'd really like it if Gardens/IW happened more often.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2013, 09:59:30 am »
0

Make it cost $4 and only let it hit cards in hand?
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2013, 10:28:18 am »
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Is it such a big deal ? I mean, other cards have the "always a good choice" aspect - Thinking of Rebuild, Minion, Governor, Cultist ... Of course each of them also has a downside when certain stuff is on the board.

An interesting fact is that this card came into play with Dark ages - when the start with estates "disappeared". So maybe in order to get it really interesting, if Rebuild is in the deck, you should be obliged to play with shelters  ... ?
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2013, 10:29:33 am »
+3

I just houseruled Rebuild to cost $6, and I think it works better.  It's still good, but it's harder to build your whole strategy around the one card that way.
I am pretty sure Rebuild at 6 is a lot worse for the game than it is on 5. Like Familiar at 3p is a lot worse  for the game than Familiar at 2p would be.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #59 on: December 12, 2013, 10:46:07 am »
+5

After a year or so to play with Rebuild, I think my least favorite thing about it is just that it doesn't combo in an interesting way with anything else.  Like, I can run a conspirator engine with Rebuild, but the Rebuild doesn't gel with it in an interesting way like Warehouse or something.  Sure, there are good Rebuild combos, but they basically just end up supporting Rebuild and it's rarely the other way around.  Even the fact that Rebuild cycles so much feels like a crapshoot since you rarely know exactly how many cards it will cycle.  I dunno.  I'll still play with it, but it's definitely in the bottom 3 as far as being interesting goes.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #60 on: December 12, 2013, 11:37:45 am »
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We've talked a lot about Rebuild often completely dominating whatever kingdom it shows up in. In what (if any) situations can Rebuild be safely ignored?
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2013, 11:41:58 am »
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Victory tokens can counter Rebuild pretty hard in my experience.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2013, 11:44:07 am »
0

Countering rebuild takes a very strong engine without alt VP or a decently strong engine with alt VP (depending on how good the alt VP is).
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2013, 11:46:15 am »
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The "typical" KC Saboteur rush game thingy also makes rebuild relatively useless. :p
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2013, 11:54:12 am »
+3

We've talked a lot about Rebuild often completely dominating whatever kingdom it shows up in. In what (if any) situations can Rebuild be safely ignored?

Lots of engines are sufficiently fast, alt VP is very helpful here. There are also strong BM decks which can snap up 4 Provinces and a Duchy in enough time. I'm not as sure about the BM claim, maybe there have been simulations that show otherwise.

The Rebuild dominance is a little bit exaggerated in these discussions. I think people are too willing to drop into the Rebuild mirrors, instead of looking for other options, but it is a very strong strategy so it's hard to blame them.

I like Rebuild games because they are very fast, but still have some interesting decisions, and my favorite part of Dominion is reading the kingdom. It's quite fun to try and beat a supposed "dominating" strategy with something different.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #65 on: December 12, 2013, 12:00:54 pm »
0

We've talked a lot about Rebuild often completely dominating whatever kingdom it shows up in. In what (if any) situations can Rebuild be safely ignored?

There are also strong BM decks which can snap up 4 Provinces and a Duchy in enough time. I'm not as sure about the BM claim, maybe there have been simulations that show otherwise.
I think you need a lot, standard Wharf-Bank wins by a bit only...
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Holger

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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #66 on: December 12, 2013, 12:21:07 pm »
0

1.) Well, some suggested to make it cost $6. At first I thought this is a valid move, but later I realised that it probably makes Rebuild games only worse because the strength of the card is the same and if someone gets a lucky $6 after the first reshuffle and your opponent not, he's maybe already miles ahead. So, it probably only adds variance and luck, that's not want I want to do.

Actually, Rebuild becomes extremely weak at $6, as DStu posted at the quoted BGG thread: BM-Rebuild loses 25-75 to BM-Smithy, and even loses narrowly to pure BM. I suppose it's because you rarely get to $6 in standard Rebuild games.

2.) So, it was clear to me that the card itself has to be fixed, not the cost. But I really don't want a totally different card, like the one Donald X. suggested. The only thing I came up with is removing the +1 Action because, honestly, the +1 Action barely matters, but it can matter. [...]

Surprisingly, the +1 Action matters quite a bit; I simulated "TerminalRebuild" recently on Dominiate:

TerminalRebuild loses to the strongest BM cards: Wharf, Goons, GhostShip, DoubleJack, all Cursers.

It essentially ties with Monument (51:49), Envoy (48.5:51.5), Smithy (52:48) and Courtyard (50:50), and wins against all other implemented one-card strategies (Militia, Masq., HP, Amb., Library, ...).

I suppose 1 or 2 self-collisions per game are enough to lose many narrow games, even in the absence of terminal support cards. This seems to be a suitable fix to make Rebuild non-dominant on most boards.

I am glad you mentioned the simulation results, but I want to mention that I don't think the simulations show that Rebuild is too weak at $6. Just like with Big Money, a Rebuild strategy gets better with the addition of almost any <$5 card, so testing Rebuild only in the non-terminal $6 case doesn't show that it's weak. That would be like saying Expand only is weak because it loses to Smithy. It misses that Rebuild is still going to be a great addition to consider to almost any engine-based deck that doesn't end with buying all the VP on one turn (Province-Duchy or Duchy-Duchy buys become a lot more potent if you threaten Rebuild next turn). We just don't see those decks because right now if a hybrid deck is viable, then it is almost certainly dominated by Rebuild-only.

Well, the simulations only consider BM, of course. But since Rebuild-BM loses to pure BM, I'd expect Rebuild+X-BM to lose against X-BM in most cases as well, because very few cards (like Rogue, Graverobber) combo specifically with Rebuild. And unlike Expand, Rebuild gets weaker, not stronger, in card-drawing engines due to more "collisions" with Duchies.

In engines, Rebuild is also usually weaker than Gold - instead of Rebuilding a Duchy, you can just use the Gold to buy Province instead of Duchy directly, and Rebuild is dead if you draw all your Duchies to hand (or if you don't have a Duchy in your deck). So at $6, Rebuild may well be too weak to matter on most boards. (But I'd like to be convinced otherwise...)
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2013, 12:36:49 pm »
0

We've talked a lot about Rebuild often completely dominating whatever kingdom it shows up in. In what (if any) situations can Rebuild be safely ignored?

There are also strong BM decks which can snap up 4 Provinces and a Duchy in enough time. I'm not as sure about the BM claim, maybe there have been simulations that show otherwise.
I think you need a lot, standard Wharf-Bank wins by a bit only...

Indeed; only very strong combos like Beggars-Gardens and Masterpiece-Feodum convincingly beat Rebuild. DoubleWitch-BM beats Rebuild, but is beaten by "Witch-into-Rebuild"-BM, and similarly for Young Witch.
(Assuming no Shelters and Colonies, which do weaken Rebuild.)
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #68 on: December 12, 2013, 01:03:16 pm »
+1

After a year or so to play with Rebuild, I think my least favorite thing about it is just that it doesn't combo in an interesting way with anything else.  Like, I can run a conspirator engine with Rebuild, but the Rebuild doesn't gel with it in an interesting way like Warehouse or something.  Sure, there are good Rebuild combos, but they basically just end up supporting Rebuild and it's rarely the other way around.  Even the fact that Rebuild cycles so much feels like a crapshoot since you rarely know exactly how many cards it will cycle.  I dunno.  I'll still play with it, but it's definitely in the bottom 3 as far as being interesting goes.

Tunnel?
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #69 on: December 12, 2013, 01:09:47 pm »
0

(Assuming no Shelters [...], which do weaken Rebuild.)

Have you done extensive simulations? My experience tells me this specific claim--unfortunately a persistent myth--is utter nonsense, and the few limited simulations I've done show a few % difference at most, if I recall them correctly. So yeah, technically they weaken Rebuild, but almost never in a way that would have you switch strategies depending on whether there are Shelters or Estates (b.c. strategies that are close to 50% against Rebuild are so rare to begin with), which is the only criterion that should matter.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #70 on: December 12, 2013, 01:11:52 pm »
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(Assuming no Shelters [...], which do weaken Rebuild.)

Have you done extensive simulations? My experience tells me this specific claim--unfortunately a persistent myth--is utter nonsense, and the few limited simulations I've done show a few % difference at most, if I recall them correctly. So yeah, technically they weaken Rebuild, but almost never in a way that would have you switch strategies depending on whether there are Shelters or Estates (b.c. strategies that are close to 50% against Rebuild are so rare to begin with), which is the only criterion that should matter.

Well, there is also to consider that many other strategies are strengthen with Shelters instead of Estates. Especially engines with trashing, that can take advantage of both Necropolis and Overgrown Estate.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #71 on: December 12, 2013, 01:17:32 pm »
0

I'm well aware that the knife cuts both ways.
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #72 on: December 12, 2013, 01:20:16 pm »
0

It helps Tunnel, sure, but that's just Gold gaining.  It isn't an interesting engine or something you can do much with besides gaining the Gold.  I'm not saying this isn't a powerful combo, it just isn't a fun one to play after the initial "oo, shiny."
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #73 on: December 12, 2013, 01:25:53 pm »
+1

We've talked a lot about Rebuild often completely dominating whatever kingdom it shows up in. In what (if any) situations can Rebuild be safely ignored?

Lots of engines are sufficiently fast, alt VP is very helpful here. There are also strong BM decks which can snap up 4 Provinces and a Duchy in enough time. I'm not as sure about the BM claim, maybe there have been simulations that show otherwise.

The Rebuild dominance is a little bit exaggerated in these discussions. I think people are too willing to drop into the Rebuild mirrors, instead of looking for other options, but it is a very strong strategy so it's hard to blame them.

I like Rebuild games because they are very fast, but still have some interesting decisions, and my favorite part of Dominion is reading the kingdom. It's quite fun to try and beat a supposed "dominating" strategy with something different.

I do in fact think Rebuild is a bit underrated by good players, partly due to contrarianism and a general dislike of the card, and partly because of the bolded stuff. It's quite easy to win with a strategy that's 40-60 against Rebuild and convince yourself that it was superior.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 01:27:24 pm by SheCantSayNo »
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Re: Donald X on Rebuild
« Reply #74 on: December 12, 2013, 01:28:43 pm »
0

1.) Well, some suggested to make it cost $6. At first I thought this is a valid move, but later I realised that it probably makes Rebuild games only worse because the strength of the card is the same and if someone gets a lucky $6 after the first reshuffle and your opponent not, he's maybe already miles ahead. So, it probably only adds variance and luck, that's not want I want to do.

Actually, Rebuild becomes extremely weak at $6, as DStu posted at the quoted BGG thread: BM-Rebuild loses 25-75 to BM-Smithy, and even loses narrowly to pure BM. I suppose it's because you rarely get to $6 in standard Rebuild games.

2.) So, it was clear to me that the card itself has to be fixed, not the cost. But I really don't want a totally different card, like the one Donald X. suggested. The only thing I came up with is removing the +1 Action because, honestly, the +1 Action barely matters, but it can matter. [...]

Surprisingly, the +1 Action matters quite a bit; I simulated "TerminalRebuild" recently on Dominiate:

TerminalRebuild loses to the strongest BM cards: Wharf, Goons, GhostShip, DoubleJack, all Cursers.

It essentially ties with Monument (51:49), Envoy (48.5:51.5), Smithy (52:48) and Courtyard (50:50), and wins against all other implemented one-card strategies (Militia, Masq., HP, Amb., Library, ...).

I suppose 1 or 2 self-collisions per game are enough to lose many narrow games, even in the absence of terminal support cards. This seems to be a suitable fix to make Rebuild non-dominant on most boards.

I am glad you mentioned the simulation results, but I want to mention that I don't think the simulations show that Rebuild is too weak at $6. Just like with Big Money, a Rebuild strategy gets better with the addition of almost any <$5 card, so testing Rebuild only in the non-terminal $6 case doesn't show that it's weak. That would be like saying Expand only is weak because it loses to Smithy. It misses that Rebuild is still going to be a great addition to consider to almost any engine-based deck that doesn't end with buying all the VP on one turn (Province-Duchy or Duchy-Duchy buys become a lot more potent if you threaten Rebuild next turn). We just don't see those decks because right now if a hybrid deck is viable, then it is almost certainly dominated by Rebuild-only.

Well, the simulations only consider BM, of course. But since Rebuild-BM loses to pure BM, I'd expect Rebuild+X-BM to lose against X-BM in most cases as well, because very few cards (like Rogue, Graverobber) combo specifically with Rebuild. And unlike Expand, Rebuild gets weaker, not stronger, in card-drawing engines due to more "collisions" with Duchies.

In engines, Rebuild is also usually weaker than Gold - instead of Rebuilding a Duchy, you can just use the Gold to buy Province instead of Duchy directly, and Rebuild is dead if you draw all your Duchies to hand (or if you don't have a Duchy in your deck). So at $6, Rebuild may well be too weak to matter on most boards. (But I'd like to be convinced otherwise...)

I don't agree here.

Playing Rebuild as soon as you draw it mitigates the problem. It would be horrible luck to always draw Rebuild after drawing all of your expandable green. Any one sifter completely eliminates the problem in engines that draw your deck.

Even one Rebuild can help engines tremendously in games where trashing, extra buys, or extra gains are light. Those starting Estates likely become Provinces by the end of the game, no problem. What's better than buying a Province? Rebuilding a starting Estate and buying a Province, of course! It sifts to get to new engine cards faster, if you are not drawing your deck. Rebuild also helps end the game on your own terms (like Apprentice, Remodel, Salvager, etc.) if you are ahead and just want to clear out those Provinces. In the endgame a lot of engines can clog and you are buying Duchies, anyway. Threatening draining the Provinces or getting 3 points or both can be huge. I think $6 Rebuild would still be plenty useful.

We just don't see these more hybrid decks too often when Rebuild is $5 because they are normally dominated by the easier to play all-Rebuild deck.
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