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Messages - c4master

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Concerning the reaction effect:

Imagine a card like Council Room or Soothsayer with the drawback of your opponent getting a free card. How much better would those cards be without the drawback?

Well, as for Council Room, that card would be ridiculously strong. This is because it's often used in engines where you play multiple copies of it per turn. So this would be like denying 2-3 extra cards. Even if you play a discard attack later, it would still be a big deal to chose 5 out of 7 instead of 3 out of 5.
Soothsayer would be very strong, but not game-breaking, I think. It would basically change it into the best curser for big money (or even slogs) and still very good for engines (you might Remodel/Stonemason those golds later). Would it be at the correct price point? I don't really think so. It would probably be worth paying $6 for.

So, what does that mean? A Horse Trader in your hand changes any 1 attack (per turn) in the discribed way. It hands to you (at least) 20% more cards to begin your turn with. The biggest drawback of this is probably the "once per turn and Horse Trader" part. Given, that your opponent(s) play more than one attack per turn, HT reaction is still very good, because it's more likely to pair your HT with an actual attack, but it also only defends against ONE attack per turn. I feel like this bonus is pretty nice and totally not ignorable.

However, the action part is still better, since one extra card is just the card you would have drawn if you did not buy a HT at all. Without any use for HT itself, this would be not good at all.

The best thing about HT is, that it's reaction part actually helps it's action part a lot:
HT+Silver+xyz >= $5,
HT+Gold+xyz >= $6
Getting an extra card raises the odds of pairing Silver + HT or Gold+ HT.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Worst Kingdom Ever
« on: May 08, 2015, 03:20:14 am »
I would do something like Chancellor-BM with maybe 1-2 Harvests at exactly $5. Maybe even Secret Chamber at exactly $2. You could try to slog around with it. Maybe.

It would really be a boring board.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #6: Smugglers
« on: April 30, 2015, 09:06:37 am »
Smugglers is often the wrong card to use and it showed in the iso statistics. If your right hand opponent is gaining really useful 5 and 6 cost cards every turn then it's better than a workshop. It might be a game winner. The rest of the time it's worse than a workshop and workshops aren't the most useful cards anyway.

The game losing aspect of smugglers is the inability to gain provinces or help buy provinces. Terminal overload is often a big problem too.

I disagree on this.

You can smuggle Duchies (or any other alt VP card) which is definately important in the end game - even in non mirrors.

Plus, I still have in mind, that Smugglers is much better for the second player to get than for the first. It's a high risk - high reward card. However, opening smugglers is mostly a bad idea. That is, because in the beginning you often buy cards like Silver or maybe Militia, which are ok, but you don't want to have a ton of them. It obviously doesn't help you in Colony games as much as it does otherwise, but it's still worth considering at some point. Even the psycological pressure it puts on your opponent is sometimes worth it.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« on: April 28, 2015, 06:53:44 am »
5 almost never. It's not hard to hit 5. If there is a really important 5, you probably also got a Silver, and you can buy a 5 with that. 6 can be spent on Gold for a money deck (since the alternative is just trashing Copper -- it's like taking Cache over nothing). It's also good for Altar or Forge in an engine. That trashing will easily make up for the skipped trashing of Steward. And maybe Goons to get the attack going early. Almost anything else is usually a no-go. You should be able to get those cards eventually and having them a little earlier usually isn't worth taking 2 junk cards.

Assuming you opened Silver/Steward and you draw your Steward on turn 3 I would maybe distinguish between two situations.

a) draw Steward with 4 Coppers or 3 Coppers and 1 Silver
b) draw Steward with 3 Coppers and an Estate or with 2 Coppers, Estate and silver

In the second situation you clearly want to trash Estate/Copper over getting a $5 card.
In the first one, your deck is left with 3 Estates, 1 Silver and 3 Coppers. You're just almost never going to hit $5 on turn 4. Now if there is a $5 card that I would play over Steward or that is nonterminal, it might be wirth to get that card first. I mean cards like maybe Mountebank or Junk Dealer. I would probably not buy a Lab, for instance.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Soothsayer v Witch
« on: April 17, 2015, 10:15:04 am »
It doesn't really surprise me that Soothsayer performs better if you start adding more players. Many-player Cursing games are almost a frantic scramble for points from the get-go. It's much harder to build engines that overcome this. So money-gainers are better here than usual, and Soothsayer is a money-gainer that is also letting you participate in the junking war. When your deck is taking on Curses, Witch's ancillary benefit of +Cards isn't that good, whereas Soothsayer's ancillary benefit of "gain a Gold" actually is good. Gold is better than +2 cards when your deck is full of junk.

So I imagine you are seeing some combination of that, and possibly it matters how you are programming the thing.
Good point!

There is also another thing to be mentioned. If two players go for cursing and a third player doesn't do so, he loses the curse split 10-5-5. That is only 5 curses more than the Witch players. You only need to find something that overcomes this difference of 5 curses. Obviously, Soothsayer does this, but it also curses your opponent. Maybe something like Watchtower would do even better in a 3-player-game with 2 playes going for DoubleWitch. Or maybe Explorer can do roughly as well. And any strategy that involves two or three different kingdom cards will almost certainly win against two DoubleWitches.

Dominion Articles / Re: Most skilled card in Dominion?
« on: April 14, 2015, 03:24:34 pm »
I will always remember Adams match against AI, where AI pulled off this crazy Procession-engine on a board that looked so terribly weak to me. It really showed me that Procession is a monster on most boards. Even knowing this, I still can't play with it. Lately, someone in the chat said: "It's never too early for a Procession." He's probably even right, but I'm just so bad with that specific card.

I think, that's the game I meant, but I can't see any procession here. Have I become so old forgetful?

Dominion Articles / Re: Why Engine?
« on: April 14, 2015, 08:01:05 am »
So several people have brought up that pile control isn't very much explored here. They're right, of course, but I'm a bit puzzled - there are plenty of other reasons why you would want to go for an engine that I didn't really get into - I really wanted to focus on the differences in the economic paradigms here. If I wanted to really go in-depth on why you want to play an engine, I would need to elaborate on many points I gloss over above - the importance of access to extra gains, the ability to slow them down by attacking them often, etc.

As for pile control itself... when making the decision whether to go for an engine or not, having pile control is nice, but it's not usually a significant factor in deciding. The way that pile control really comes in for non-mirrors is when you end up buying Victory cards other than what the opponent is going for (most commonly, this means diving for lots of duchies when there are a couple of provinces left). I address this in the article, when I talk about buying less efficient sources of points (duchies are with .6 VP per coin, provinces are .75). I'm not even sure this is pile control, though I suppose it's definitely endgame control, which is the same concept, really.

But where pile control starts being enormously important is in engine mirrors.

I'd like to jump in here again.

How about generating a whole sequence about engines?
Then we can do something like a mindmap about engines. Economy is one part of it. End game control is another one. Attacks might be a third one. Matchups like engine vs. slog could be other articles and so on.
In the end we could have a general engine srticle that points out strengths and limitations of engines in a general way. I't wouldn't need to go into all the details because we had seperate articles linked to that general one where those details are being explained.

Dominion Articles / Re: Most skilled card in Dominion?
« on: April 11, 2015, 08:42:49 am »
I will always remember Adams match against AI, where AI pulled off this crazy Procession-engine on a board that looked so terribly weak to me. It really showed me that Procession is a monster on most boards. Even knowing this, I still can't play with it. Lately, someone in the chat said: "It's never too early for a Procession." He's probably even right, but I'm just so bad with that specific card.

Oh yeah, and there are more cards that are hard to understand for newbies: almost all alt VP cards, and GOONS. But once you know about them, I find it relatively easy to go with it. So I would define high-skill cards as cards which are hard to master - just like Procession.


@discussion about Scout:
There would have been many ways to fix it:
1) +1 card, but only look at the next 3 cards afterwards (and pick the green).
2) Look through your draw pile and draw up to 4 green cards, then shuffle. (sounds pretty strong)
3) Make it cost only $3, so that it doesn't compete with Silk Road. (it still competes with silver, though)
4) Create more double type cards (green Peddler for $5 with 1 Point, for example).

It depends on the card, not on the cost. You probably don't want an herbalist at all. It's a terminal copper. I mean, it's got its places in the game, but it's a terminal copper, your default should be "don't buy this" when you see it on a board.

You want it when it's the only +buy on the board.

Still, the default is: don't buy it.

If you need it, get one or two, but not more than two. If you just want to pile out a cheap pile, you usually don't care too much, which card it is.

Dominion Videos and Streams / Re: AdamH's channels
« on: April 08, 2015, 04:43:40 am »
Hey, Adam,

I just wanted to tell you how much I liked your new "chat view" during your matches. Very often, when I'm thinking about diverging from what you do, people in the chat are talking about it. It's really cool to see when someone agrees to what I think would have been right - or tell me why I'm totally wrong. This perfectly adds to your already very good and very entertaining commentary. :)

Dominion Articles / Re: Strategy: Count+Native Village
« on: February 19, 2015, 12:22:33 pm »
Remember tactician gives you an extra action, so you only need two native villages. It only takes one tactician turn to trash down with count. 9 turns is doable. You have room to keep a couple dead cards around too.

EDIT: Play a game, 9 turns is far-fetched but the strategy isn't awful:

Well, without getting attacked being able to get single province beginning around turn 11 isn't all that great. I admit, that it's a very consistent strategy, you're never going to miss your province buy.

Dominion Articles / Re: Strategy: Count+Native Village
« on: February 16, 2015, 09:21:16 am »
Has anyone tested Count+NV+Double Tactician? I don't own the cards, but I've played it before.

You get your deck down to two Tacticians, a Terminal silver, Two counts, Three Native Villages, and something to discard for Tactician. I think this takes about 9-13 turns to do. Each turn you gain one Province and a Copper, setting both aside on your NV mat. Once the Provinces are low you can start going for double-Duchies. You can close out the game by taking your mat contents into hand (which has accumulated coppers) and going for double Province or Province double-Duchy.

If you're not opening 5/2 I don't believe you can do this within 9 turns. You need to buy 8 cards for this AND you need to trash down. Even with a gainer this will be tough to pull out before turn 10.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: taxman
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:38:57 am »
I don't think that's true and I don't think such oversimplifications make you a better Dominion player.

I get the impression you think there is only BM and super duper engines while the space in between is vast and quite interesting.

Oh, not at all. There are also rushes, slogs and sometimes combos.

The spaces in between them, while I grant you that it's vast and quite interesting, is also incredibly weak compared to the extremes. Strategies are good because you build a deck with cards that work well together and try to achieve a win condition that also works well with those cards that you have in your deck. That's why they are strategies. Then, every turn, you use your five cards, your one action and your one buy to use the full potential of that one thing to reach your win condition as fast as you can. If you start mixing strategies, you will have to split your free resources between two different strategies, which makes it take a lot longer before you can use the full potential of your cards, and when you're done, you still have a deck of cards that don't even work well together.

That's a little bit too abstract. If there is an engine possible, but it's rather weak, then being able to play a Taxman every other turn can push me a little bit towards the engine. This is because the trash/discard effect hurts big money more than it hurts the engine: Maybe I can pick up another component by using a gainer. Or maybe I just need to spend $4 or $5 and not $6 on this turn in order to get another engine piece. With big money, on the other side I really like to have $6 or $8. So "taxing" a silver mid- to late-game will hurt ma opponent if he has a hand with a silver and $9, $8, $7, $6 or $5. It doesn't hurt the $7 hand if you're already in "duchy over gold"-mode. Still, the chances to hurt my opponent are pretty well. Doing this 3-4 times can be just enough to overcome big money even if my strategy cannot draw the whole deck every turn.

Dominion Articles / Re: Island
« on: February 15, 2015, 09:22:10 am »
Yeah, I think the advice that Island competes on price with Gardens/Silk Roads indicates that the trap is supposed to be "buying Islands before all the Gardens/Silk Roads are gone" not "buying Islands after all the Gardens/Silk Roads are gone".

I guess what they are saying is not to be fooled into thinking that it's a good plan to alternate between buying Gardens/Silk Roads and buying Islands, in the vain hope that you can use your Islands on your Gardens/Silk Roads and stop the green from clogging your deck.

I agree on that.

So, there's the question whether or not Islands ENABLE slogs or rushes.

I'm pretty sure, Islands never enable rushes at all. Either it's possible in the first place, or Island doesn't help you "rushing" anything.
For the slogs, I think, Islands are fine. It's more VP, which is espacially nice in Silk Road slogs. You might see your first two Islands before the game ends (maybe), but having another shuffle before the end, so that the "place aside"-effect can do any benefit, is very questionable. So, in a slog, an Island is basically just 2VP for $4. Which is nice, because usually there are no other options to spend $4 once the Silk Roads or Gardens are gone. If I hit $5, I would still buy Duchy over Island most of the time, unless I'm willing to end the game by piling Islands (if that's possible).
So I'd say, Islands don't actually enable slogs. They don't even actively help them. It's just a card worth 2VP once your slog targets are gone.

Btw: On Duchy/Duke games, Islands would be nice, but they have to compete with Silver or maybe even better cards like Smithy. So I don't quite see a place for it on these games - at least not early on.

Man, that article just showed me how much I overvalued Islands.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: taxman
« on: February 15, 2015, 05:00:38 am »
You should just buy all the Provinces in one turn.

Imho the biggest problem with Scout is its price point. Being a $4 card makes it almost completely useless in slogs (Gardens, Silk Roads) where it would be kind of ok otherwise. It does help some cards but that's so often just marginal and only late-game that I doubt not getting a Scout on your 10th+ turn can be considered a mistake - espacially since your usually getting something else instead.

edit: Getting more $3 or $5 VP cards would be nice for Scout.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: More data mining: Card "strength"
« on: January 31, 2015, 08:38:53 am »
I'm pretty shocked that Candlestick Maker is so high.
I actually am not.  Its cheapness, +buy, +action, makes it very spamable and then it makes it very deadly as a 3 pile ender where a 3 pile game maybe wasnt an option.  Not to mention its most important function, those very useful coin tokens.  Its a must buy for me almost everytime!

Candlestick maker is very not-spammable.

The first one is great, the second one ok, the 3rd one bad and from there on they're all terrible.
I win a lot of games because my opponent just keeps buying them.
With vineyards sure, but otherwise no thanks.

CM enables, or rather: supports, a lot of double Tactician boards.

It's also great with draw-to-X-engines although I would be careful about spamming them here. You can still get your share of 4-6 CMs, but you shouldn't buy all of them in order to not stall with a hand full of CMs.

At least, that's my experience.


Incidentally, if you take the "Gain % Rank" and subtract the "Win % Rank" you get a pretty reasonable illustration of the "swingiest" cards:

1. Ironmonger (?? I don't quite get this one.)
2. Urchin (Makes sense; whoever collides their Urchins first has a huge advantage).
3. Tournament (duh.)
4. Swindler (also duh.)
5. Mountebank (also also duh.)

The justification being; these are cards powerful enough to justify top-tier players buying them more often than not. But also brainless enough that anyone can play them and have a decent shot at winning.


Ironmonger is just almost always a good card. It's a Village in a thinned engine-deck. It's more than a Peddler in almost any other kind of deck because of it's discard ability. It's a good opener.

I don't think, it's a card that signals any specific strategy. So I guess, it's win rate should be about average, right?

edit: No, I'm wrong. It has -6.2% win rate, but more than 88% gain rate. That's really strange. Maybe it's just overrated even by the top players?

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Data Mining: Card Rankings
« on: January 30, 2015, 02:01:30 am »
Okay, so, question: Rebuild is still slightly worse with shelters than without shelters, right?

SCSN's simulations showed that there was pretty much no difference.

Here's the article.  Shelters is just a small note at the end though.

Ok, thx. I didn'tre-read this article for quite some time.

I still wonder how shelters don't affect Rebuild. Or more likely: How they don't support other strategies as well. Rebuild then needs 2-3 extra buys which makes up for at least 2 extra turns, that's what I thought. Actually, trashing the green shelter will give you +1 Card maybe enabling a Duchy. And buying a Duchy enables trashing your hovel, so maybe that's why Rebuild is just as fast as usual. Still, I wonder how other strategies are not supported better than Rebuild.

I'd also like to know how effective trashing attacks (Swindler, Knights, Saboteur etc.) can be against Rebuild.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Data Mining: Card Rankings
« on: January 29, 2015, 09:36:10 am »
I still think that 75% is a lot and maybe even too much. On games with Shelters, Rebuild is still a strategy, but not as good as usual. Thus, most of these board could offer other strategies. Then, there are knights who like to eat up Rebuilds and Duchies. Next on the list of cards disabling Rebuild could be strong junking attacks like Mountebank or Cultist.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Individual player analysis tool
« on: January 29, 2015, 09:28:20 am »
It's working for me now. Thank you. :)

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Individual player analysis tool
« on: January 26, 2015, 02:10:48 am »
I encouter the same problem. Look at the attached file.

Help! / Re: Sea Hag vs Trashing
« on: January 23, 2015, 01:48:50 pm »
You have to set up your deck for 8-unique HoP turns whereas a more consistent strategy is to just trash your stuff to Silvers or Markets and accumulate Provinces with the occasional aid of Farmland.

Without draw, HoP has a serious stop card problem. Your plan has some big flaws that you overlooked. Upgrade is -1 to hand size. Altar is -2 to hand size. HT is -3 to hand size. Treasure cards stop you from drawing cards during your Action phase. If you start with a 5-card hand, how are you going to be able to play Upgrade, Altar, and HT, when none of their effects are conditional?

OOps. :D

But you could at least use onw Horn to gain more Markets.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Individual player analysis tool
« on: January 23, 2015, 01:45:18 pm »
Oops, I broke it. Will fix shortly.

Fixed. C4master try now.

no more error message, but still no results.

It looks pretty much like what sudgy has posted.

Help! / Re: Sea Hag vs Trashing
« on: January 23, 2015, 12:39:39 pm »
Am I totally wrong here if I claim that this is a "Horn baord"?

I'd open HT/Silver, hit 5 for Upgrade (maybe Trading Post) or 6 for Alter.

Then I'd get like 3 Upgrades, 2 Markets and then lots of Horns. Gain some Vagrants and Villages.

With Upgrade/Market/Mining Village/Vagrant/Altar/HT/Silver/Horn you've got 8 uniques. I mean, you can't megaturn without draw, But you can sure get a really good deck. Actually, I think, a Sea Hag would help my opponent rather then harm - except for the Turn 3 lucky punch maybe.

Help! / Re: Beggar/Feodom vs. Rabble/Margrave Engine
« on: January 23, 2015, 12:24:11 pm »
This is especially interesting because of lighthouse. Without lighthouse, I might still go rabble engine, putting 3 green on top each turn. Now I'm not sure what is best. I think I would still go for the engine, but I also might lose. I'd be up for playing this kingdom with somebody if someone wants.

I do like his slog here.

Yet, I would not open double Woodcutter, I think. Even in a slog, getting a Rabble or two would help. The mass beggars approach seems charming although I'm not sure whether Lighthouse isn't just better, since you don't want to play Beggars for coppers.

Interesting board...

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