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Messages - Asklepios

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: 5/2 vs 2/5
« on: May 31, 2013, 09:04:06 am »
Hadn't considered that! Since isotropic went down I've only been playing real life games of Dominion.

Good one, though.

I realised I forgot to say why my game I felt 5/2 wasn't as good.

I was the first player, and I had 5/2, he was second player with 2/5.

Cards included Torturer, Lighthouse, Witch, IGG, Moat, Hamlet, Watchtower.

I went IGG / Lighthouse. He went Hamlet / IGG.

My argument here was that when I played my 5 he already knew I hadn't got a torturer or witch, so there was no need for him to buy a Lighthouse. In contrast, I had to play my $2 without knowledge of which $5 option he was going to go for, so I felt I should buy a Lighthouse anyway.

Arguably Witch was a better choice anyway, of course...

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Unusual uses for remake
« on: May 31, 2013, 08:47:48 am »
Peddler to Platinum is always fun, though sometimes with a remake-streamlined deck the peddler is more useful than the platinum.

Dominion General Discussion / 5/2 vs 2/5
« on: May 31, 2013, 08:42:34 am »
(Considered presenting this as a Puzzle/Challenge, but as I don't know the answers myself I thought General Discussion better)

In what circumstances / kingdoms is a 5/2 draw better than a 2/5 draw?

In what circumstances / kingdoms is a 2/5 draw better than a 5/2 draw?

This came up, because a friend of mine pointed out that my 5/2 draw was as good as his 2/5 draw, whereas I believed the advantage to be his, from the kingdom we had in play.

Interested to see what answers you all come up with.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Hunting Party/Counting House
« on: May 28, 2013, 07:55:31 am »
This combo sounds good in theory but doesn't work in practice. Even if the Counting House pulls 5 Coppers, it's either not that much better than a different X that produces $, or it's not useful without +buy. The Counting House competes with Hunting Party at $5, and Hunting Party should always be prioritized until they are depleted. I wouldn't be surprised if the cards that you claim help this combo do better at HP+X without Counting House.

I agree with this.

Also, it means buying copper, and bought copper means you're more likely to get a turn where you don't draw a Hunting Party (while you build towards the combo), which can be painful.

I'd also agree that just going with Hunting Parties and one copy of some of the enablers you mention is a better deck. One Bishop, silvers and as many Hunting Parties as you can get is going to be a lean and efficient machine, with the bonus option of clearing the green as you get it, and trading in spare Hunting Parties for extra VP in the endgame.

Other Games / Re: Donald X.'s new game Kingdom Builder
« on: May 28, 2013, 07:49:29 am »
Just got the base set. Definitely a lot of fun! We drew Lords, Fishermen, Miners which was a nice gentle introduction.

One thing I find odd is that with all the alternate language versions, the card "Lords" is the only card that the card title is not translated. Whats up with that?

Simulation / Re: Best Gardens Rush enabler?
« on: March 06, 2013, 04:17:33 am »
I'd say Ironworks, but Great Hall as well makes for the best Gardens enabler. And maybe Crossroads as a fourth card in the Kingdom.

That way if you draw multiple Ironworks and the Ironworks pile is empty you can generate X-1 Great Halls and 1 Garden. And if Great Halls and Ironworks are gone you can get a Crossroads in the hope of being able to generate multiple Gardens later. Also you'd be able to pick up Crossroads whenever you have a spare $2.

Something like this:

I'm not sure what the optimal time to start gaining each card type would be though, especially in a real game where other players are competing for the piles.

Dominion Articles / Re: How would you open on this board? #2
« on: March 06, 2013, 04:13:55 am »
I agree with Sea Hag on $4

To expand this conversation, how would you open on $5? I know that Mountebank is probably one of the best $5 openings out there, but part of me wonders if Sea Hag is better even at $5.

Dominion Articles / Re: Highway
« on: March 06, 2013, 04:05:12 am »
2. Trashing, live-draw, or sifting. For big Hwy turns to work, you really want to increase your odds pairing up your Hwy's &  +buys/gainers and not getting stopped dead by greens & coppers. Light trashing is perfectly acceptable - you don't need an ultra-lean deck or solid engine. A few (two - three) Warehouses can be great for enabling big Hwy turns, light trashing (particularly non-terminal like Loan) is more than enough to enable big Hwy chains, and as noted draw makes it even easier to line all this up.
3. In line with the need for draw, City is strong combo card for Hwy. You can mix in a few terminals (Smithy, Oracle, Horse Traders), they tend to start at +2 actions/+2 cards, and with the right setup you can quickly get them fully stocked where they provide plenty of money & the +buys to pile the Duchies.

Quoted this for emphasis.

On a kingdom where Highways are strong I generally find it comes down to two things:

1) Who can get more of the Highways. Getting 4 of 10 Highways is almost useless for a megaturn.
2) Who can draw all their Highways on one turn.

In some ways, I'd say that while +buy or +gain is necessary to make a Highways decks work, you also need either trashing or drawing or it never clicks into place fast enough to be worthwhile over a money strategy. A Highways deck with weak +buy and good non terminal +card or good trash is going to be stronger than one with strong +buy and terminal +card or weak trash. Or to give an example, Highway + Herbalist + Scrying Pool and Highway + Herbalist + Chapel are going to be stronger than Highway + Bridge + Courtyard, imho.

Dominion Articles / Re: Trader
« on: February 15, 2013, 08:20:50 am »
Good point, hadn't thought of that.

Playing around on solo isotropic I have a lot of trouble making Trader/Develop work in any meaningful way. With no other cards going, it works out around 25 turns for 8 provinces, and 18-19 turns for 4 provinces, which seems pretty weak.

I think there might be room for Trader/Develop in the context of other good cards to develop to though, maybe a kingdom with Stables or Laboratory and no $2 card.

Dominion Articles / Re: Young Witch
« on: February 15, 2013, 08:16:07 am »
Pretty much what Soulnet says.

In a board with Young Witch, Swindler, FV, Hamlet and Fool's Gold, if my opponent opens Young Witch, my reply, I think, would be Swindler.

And more to topic, if I had the theoretical ability to choose which of those cards was the Bane, I'd go with Swindler. Of course, I'm open to being convinced otherwise: you are the US Champion after all!

Obviously there's a lot of "it depends" here, as always. I shifted swindler more as an afterthought than anything else. What do you make of the repositioning of Courtyard though, dondon151?

Dominion Articles / Re: Trader
« on: February 13, 2013, 12:51:25 pm »
I'd also say trader works well on the remodeller cards, such as Upgrade, Remake, Develop.

I've found that the two problems with those cards is that sometime  you don't have anything good at a $ level to move into, and that you often end up with hands of $2 or less. Trader helps both those situations.

One combo (which may be a nombo) I think might work on mid-strength kingdoms is Develop-Trader. I find Develops real weak point is when you Develop a $3 card, as you often end up having to stack an Estate. With Trader in there you could stack a Trader and a Silver, and Trade the Silver next turn, or if Develop and Trader don't collide, a Trader and Estate, and Trade the Estate next turn. Not sure how smooth this would be, but I reckon it could work.

I don't think its a complete strategy on its own, but if you start mixing in other decent cards to Develop into, it could start to click.

Dominion Articles / Re: Young Witch
« on: February 13, 2013, 12:42:43 pm »
Banes, in rough order from worst to best:
*snipped most of list*
Wishing Well
Fool's Gold
Fishing Village

Great list. I snipped it at that point though as I think that Courtyard is a stronger Bane than some of those below it. Courtyard is often going to be in your hand, as if you run two courtyards you'll often put the other one back on top of your deck. I'd certainly say its at the right end of your list.

Also, I'd say Chapel is not all that great a bane. Sure, there's likely to be a slim chapelled deck, but that same slim deck is also going to be more easily damaged by curses.
Similar thinking for Fool's Gold - you might be likely to hit them because they're bought en masse, but equally a curse or two does a lot more damage to a fool's gold deck than to an engine strategy.

That in mind, my personal list would go:

Wishing Well
Fool's Gold
Fishing Village

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: King's Court/Scheme
« on: February 04, 2013, 03:24:02 am »
A very simple counter to this would be masquerade. If you are always going to have a hand consisting of 5 cards strong cards then masq will rob you of either a strong attack or a scheme.

Though not if the combo involves Possession, of course!

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Third-time player wins
« on: December 24, 2012, 10:32:54 am »
Some people are really good at learning games quickly.

Myself, I tend to get there via study and practise. I'm probably the best Dominion player in our group, but that's because of endless play on isotropic and much studying of

In contrast, a friend of mine started playing the game a few months back, and by his third game he was the second best player in the group. He knew I was the best player, so he watched what I did, asked questions, and then got a feel for the strategy of the game very quickly. I can still beat him most of the time, but he can beat anyone else in the group most of the time as well.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Native Village/Pirate Ship
« on: December 24, 2012, 03:41:47 am »
I tend to play Pirate Ship by not buying it.

I think Pirate Ship is one of those cards that seems amazing when you start off, then rapidly you learn that its actually quite weak, but then it becomes useful again when you recognise the narrower set of circumstances where it IS useful.

Personally I'd look to buy Pirate Ship in a set where money is one of the strongest strategies present, and there is simultaneously very little trashing and decent +action. Or a board where coin flooding is likely to fill your opponent's deck with money (such as games where Jack of All Trades, Trader or Hoard are strong)

For example, a board where the strongest village is Native Village, but there is no stronger engine present!

Help! / Re: How can he be getting Peddlers this fast?
« on: December 21, 2012, 04:03:01 am »
Difficult one to analyse, as it was a complex approach by both players rather than a single path to victory, and Black Market makes it asymmetrical.

Broadly though I'd say the following:

Spice Merchant is going to be better than Bishop at the goal of creating a Peddler based engine, as Spice Merchant draws cards when it trashes, and provides the curcial +buy when you hit that point. However Bishop I would say has its role and ought to be bought at some stage as it will clear out the estates and let the Peddlers be turned into heaps of VP.

Native Village, of course, is widely recognised as a card that slows your overall tempo, and takes a lot of carefulness to get use out of. If you're trying to rush towards Peddlers and large amounts of $ from peddlers, then I would expect each buy of Native Village to slow this progress.

With a 3/4 split I personally would have gone for Spice Merchant / Silver, though I think Black Market was a valid choice because of the strength of some of the BM-deck cards.
With a 5/2 split, I think Witch was definitely sensible, but I'd personally have been more tempted by Witch / Haven than Witch / NV. Why? Well, examine your Turn 4, for example, and what would have happened had the NV been a Haven. I'd even say that Witch/nothing might have been good, especially as you quickly acquired 2 witches, and 2 witches + BM could have been quite fast (though I suspect, not fast enough for a Colony game).
Of course, I see that you were going for the small chance of having NV and 2 witches played in one turn...

Ultimately though, I think that the reason your opponent started running away with Peddlers is because he got there first. Once you've got a Peddler or two its much easier to play a sufficient chain to bring down the price of future peddlers, then its all about how many buys you can generate. His buys were more focused towards generating buys and thinning the deck, hence he won the race.

Dominion Articles / Re: Cartographer
« on: December 19, 2012, 10:36:03 am »
I'd say Cartographer isn't at all bad with drawing terminals, and is pretty good with drawing terminals. In a board with no +actions other than cantrips, Cartographer can help make sure that you only get one terminal at a time, and get that terminal most turns.

I'd also say that one of Cartographer's greatest strengths is the insight/control it gives you with regards to the next turn. Say you know there are 2 provinces left and you can buy one this turn. Playing cartographer might let you know you can buy one next turn too, making breaking the PPR a smaller gamble that it might be.

Also, once your current hand has achieved its goal ($8, or whatever) you can then choose carefully how to stack your next hand, and even opt not to play a cartographer in hand once your next hand is where you want it to be (say you have gold, gold, silver, estate, cartographer in hand, and your last cartographer revealed/created a stack of cartographers on the deck)

Oracle for me.  Most of the time it feels like a complete waste of a card, but when you get it working with something like a Hunting Party or Menagerie engine it almost feels like you're cheating.

Oracle is a great card, IMHO. As broadly functional as Smithy or Courtyard, certainly.

I'd question using it with Hunting Party or Menagerie though. In fact, those two choices look pretty nombo to me.

My own choice is Develop. Games where it works just feel so incredibly elegant. Games where it doesn't turn into a cludgy morass of self destruction.

Help! / Re: Goons!
« on: November 12, 2012, 01:11:05 pm »

I'm so bad with this card. I never veto it because I know I need to get better at playing with it, but I always get completely slaughtered when it's a heavy Goons game and at the end of it I know I'm totally beat but I have no idea why.

Last night I played a bunch of games, which ended with two Goons games. I'll link to those games here and offer my commentary, but it would be great if people could tell me what I should have done and/or why my opponent's strategy was better than mine.


Thoughts when I looked at the board: Goons is present with villages. The goal for this game is to play as many Goons as possible. All right. Villages for extra actions, Rabble for draw, Forge for trashing, so all the components are here for a draw-tons-of-cards/play-tons-of-Goons engine, and there are even lighthouses to defend myself against the attacks! This is the direction I want to go. Now, how to get there?

I opened Silver/Lighthouse instead of Silver/Silver because I wasn't losing early economy by doing that (is this true?) I thought I was slightly more likely to spike an early $6 (or maybe even $7) by doing this, and I know I'm going to want lots of Lighthouses. Good idea/Bad idea? Turns out I got a Turn 3 Goons anyways without it mattering; at this point I was pretty happy with my play.

I saw my opponent building his Village/Rabble stock up, and I knew this was the next step in building my engine. Then, Turn 6 I hit $7 thanks to a lighthouse. I though I was very lucky and picked up a Forge. "Great!" I thought, "The two best terminals I wanted are already in my deck! I can trash heavily now and focus on picking up villages and Rabbles, and then more Goons." I thought I had the game won at this point.

From there, it just becomes gradually more obvious that my opponent's deck is improving rapidly whilst mine is staying the same, at best. What happened? I feel like I got some unlucky draws, but at the same time I felt like I was far enough ahead I should have been doing better. The only thing I think I should have done differently is perhaps thought of Menagerie as a better counter to Goons than Lighthouse, but I'm not even sure of that. Help?

In short, Menagerie happened.

As you observed, you needed +draw to go with the +action and the goons. Goons is an excellent card but to really click you want to play lots of them.

Each time you draw Lighthouse you're drawing a dead end card, so thats one less card to draw with. Relying on Village + Rabble to draw was always going to be a slow drawing strategy, as thats two parts out of three of your engine just to get the Goons drawn, and some of the actions needed for the Goons used up on the Rabble playing. Thats not to say villages and rabble didn't have a role to play, but overall I would have said that the $4 slots you spent on Walled Village should mostly have been on Menageries. Menagerie kickstarts the drawing without using up an action.

Also, as you observe, Menagerie is a better counter to Goons than Lighthouse.

Your previous turn: Play a lighthouse.
Your next turn: Attacked by Goons, benefit from lighthouse.
Result: -1 card over those two turns, for the benefit of +$1 both turn.

You previous turn: Not playing a lighthouse.
Your next turn: Attacked by Goons, discard 2 cards. Play menagerie, +3 cards.
Result: -0 cards over those two turns, and 2 cards cycled for better ones, probably.

Menagerie is one of the top $3/4 cards in the game. Walled Village isn't.

Lighthouse is a solid defensive card, one of the best, but comes at cost of lowering your mid and late tempo (though as you said, it has minimal slowing effect on early game tempo). Menagerie would have provided the same defence without slowing your mid-game tempo, though in first or second turn the lighthouse is a better option, for its better early pace and for its later synergy with Menagerie. Just one though, IMHO.


Assessing the board: There's Goons and Villages, so it seems like the goal is to play Goons as much as possible. But, upon further review, even though we have Goons and Ambassador for deck-thinning, the only way to get +Actions is through Hamlet, and there is no way at all to increase hand size. It seems like the best you can hope for is to play two Goons in a turn, and then you only have $4 plus one treasure card to spend, and all of this is only if you don't get Goonsed yourself. This doesn't seem dominant to me. So what's next?

Well there's no massive engine to build, that's for sure. But I still think Ambassador is important because having double-Goons turns whilst Ambassadoring the bought junk to your opponent is probably still better than being of the receiving end. I have to fight the Ambassador war, but winning it isn't a huge priority. So the plan is to open Amb/Silver, hope to pick up a second Amb before the next reshuffle, Aim for a Goons, or maybe two depending on how well things are going. Stashes are nice because even if my deck starts to bloat, I can still get Provinces (well, unless I get Goonsed, in which case I cry. A lot.)

How did it go?

I picked up a second Ambassador one shuffle later than intended, but it didn't feel like a huge deal at the time. In retrospect, I think this was a problem. My opening Amb missed the reshuffle, and I was never able to pair an Amb with two cards that I wanted to send over. I feel like my decision was sub-optimal, but my draws punished me for it.

In the end, my opponent focused on punishing me for not Ambassadoring enough. He bought tons of Hamlets, and built the lackluster engine that I had decided not to go for. He also bought Curses a couple of times to send over to me, which I thought was a mistake, and he also bought a Fortune Teller which would only cycle me enough to play my Stashes more. I thought I had a chance still, since I'd be able to buy Provinces, and I kept up for a while, but somehow he was able to buy just as many provinces even though he only had two(?) Stashes.

I understand pretty well what happened here, but I feel like my strategy might have been better. Did this really just come down to luck, or am I missing some other things I did terribly wrong?

Tough game.

You did have some bad luck, as your opponent hit Ambassador + 2 estates early on, and then drawing Hamlet the first time he drew both Ambassadors. Broadly though, I'd say that in a game with any +action, the deck with 2 ambassadors to 1 ambassador early on is the deck with the advantage. Unless there's very good reasons otherwise, I try never to let my opponent have more Ambassadors than me in the early game.

Then there was the rejection of Hamlet... to me, there's nothing lacklustre about that card in a goons deck! Sure, you're not going to be playing masses of goons in a single turn, but its a card that can be a worker's village or a village or just a buy, as and when needed, and when each goons activation is earning points, thats too tempting to turn down. At worst, its a cantrip. Its also a safe buy WITH goons.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Ill-Gotten Gain/Develop
« on: November 02, 2012, 08:15:41 am »
I'd say Salvager/IGG is a strong combo in and of itself, as it accelerates towards the $5 to get the first IGG, turns IGGs into more IGGs, and later into Duchies or Provinces.

OTOH, I think Salvager/Develop/IGG could potentially be even better.

Dominion Articles / Re: Tunnel - (Feedback please)
« on: October 31, 2012, 07:33:41 am »
You should mention Minion/Tunnel. It's a little better than straight Minion. Oasis is good too.

Though a little weaker than Minion + other cards in a minion-based engine, as the gold gets in the way of hand cycling.

I think its also worth emphasising the reduction in early tempo that adding a tunnel causes. Every time you draw Tunnel WITHOUT the discard enabler, its weakening that hand. And for the Tunnel to speed your game overall, you need to activate it and gain gold at least a couple or three times per Tunnel, disregarding the VP value of the Tunnel itself.

So, for example, while Warehouse / Tunnel and Vault / Tunnel are fantastic, because they also help speed your acquisition of provinces, combos like Cellar/Tunnel and Hamlet/Tunnel are too slow to cut it on their own.

Tunnel is very often a trap card, worth considering only for its late game opportunistic 2VP for $3. Its definitely not a must-buy just because it appears alongside proactive discarding, but rather needs careful consideration of the ratio of likely benefit in gold to loss of early pace.

Game Reports / Re: Possession/Council Room
« on: October 31, 2012, 07:25:23 am »
It might be even better with governor, because it's non-terminal.

Can't argue with that!

I guess the only caveat to that would be that Governor games are so fast there might not be time to pick up Possession.

General Discussion / Re: Winter
« on: October 30, 2012, 05:19:43 am »
Autumn > Fall. :)

Seriously, its a much nicer word.

Game Reports / Possession/Council Room
« on: October 29, 2012, 02:15:30 pm »
A painful game, but one I learnt a new trick from, albeit at cost of losing 85:43

Council room / Possession. Just plain nasty.

General Discussion / Re: Winter
« on: October 29, 2012, 01:58:45 pm »
So it's 15.2 celsius (59 fahrenheit for those of you who don't know the metric system, as a side note you should learn it)  INSIDE here, don't even want to think what it's like outside (probably not that cold, no idea why they aren't heating this place at all).


Wait, you consider 15.2 C to be COLD?

Thats a nice mild temperature for those of us in the UK.

Still, at least I'm not somewhere really cold, with proper snow and ice and stuff in October.
This is the temperature in my living room (and bedroom). Uh how I wish it was outdoors, that'd be summer again!

Oh, right!

Can't you fiddle with the thermostat?

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