Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - shark_bait

Filter to certain boards:

Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Introductions / Nameís Bruce!
« on: December 30, 2020, 01:35:52 pm »
Why trust a shark, right?????

Crazy to still see dominion stuff still happening.... havenít really played dominion in years and never really made the transition over to ShIT (is this the correct abbreviation?).  Iím sure Iíll get back into dominion someday when my 20 month son gets old enough. Iím eagerly anticipating his introduction to the world of board gaming.

I miss any excitement in the past years?  Seems crazy to not be playing dominion like I used to in the old days. Life just seems to have a way of taking away time and shifting priorities.

Anyways, hope all you f.ds peeps are doing well.

General Discussion / Coffee
« on: January 27, 2016, 04:43:59 pm »
Any other aficionados out there?

I tend to enjoy either a medium roast that has a good bit of nuttiness/cocoa flavor or a lighter roast with more floral/fruit notes. 

My go to brew method would be the Chemex for an exceptionally smooth cup with runner up being aeropress.  The french pot seems to bring about a bit too much bitterness in my opinion.

Dominion General Discussion / Disciple vs. Teacher
« on: January 07, 2016, 11:10:14 am »
I just played my first game of Dominion with the Peasant line last night with my wife.  It was a great game but it made me think of some relevant F.DS discussion topics.

Let's first stir the pot with a potential controversial statement. 

Disciple is better than Teacher because Teacher is too slow and the opportunity cost of not TR'ing + gaining a copy of an action card is too high.

My opinion may or may not be this far to the left but I'm interested in other opinions on this subject;

Okay F.DS, I've got 3 weeks before playing an IRL tourney at U-con at which I've gotten 2nd at 2 years in a row.  Hopefully I can do better this year.  But one thing I am lacking is any clue of what to do with adventures.  So if you guys have any tidbits of advice for adventures or otter motivational tools to help me along in these next 3 weeks I would love anything that you can provide.  I'm looking forward to making a fun time at the tourney and would love for all of you to be a part of the Adventure.

Game Reports / Game Opening: Village/Smithy
« on: October 17, 2014, 11:35:39 am »

Code: [Select]
Vineyard, Beggar, Menagerie, Village, Herald, Smithy, Council Room, Highway, Trading Post, Venture

I can't ever remember actually opening Village/Smithy in a game of Dominion which is why I wanted to post this game.  I'll highlight the key reasons for why I chose to open in this manner.

1.)  I don't want any extra treasure - With Highway for cost reduction and Council Room for +Buy I want to work my way up to multi-Province turns.  This won't happen if my deck can't be drawn in its entirety

2.)  Cycling is really important - I think this is one of the most underlooked at aspects of high-level Dominion play.  Being able to cycle through your deck quickly to get to newly bought cards faster than your opponent is crucial in a large number of games.  Opening Village/Smithy allows for a net +4 Cards in cycling.

3.)  Necropolis is present - The presence of the extra +2 Action card significantly reduces the rick of playing Smithy and drawing Village dead. 

4.)  Trading Post trashing is essential - You absolutely need to get to $5 to start swapping out Coppers for Silver.  Assuming Smithy doesn't draw Village dead the only way you miss $5 is if all 3 Shelters are in the hand that you play Smithy.  The increase in cycling from Opening Village/Smithy instead of Smithy/Silver is well worth the risk of missing $5.

Despite my opponent getting a 5/2 start, opening Trading Post, trashing OE/H to yield another $5 my decks slightly greater reliability and cycling strikes the Provinces first and is able to maintain the lead by ensuring that the game ends on my turn.

As an aside, Vineyards are also present in this game.  In most cases going for Vineyards would be essential.  However in this game this is not the case.  To get Vineyards you need to buy Potion and then use a Buy on Vineyards which is a buy that can't be used obtaining more actions.  To make Vineyards equal to Province you need 18 action cards.  In our game both of us ended with 10-11 action cards in our decks.  In order to get more Actions you need buys.  The only +Buy comes in the form of Council Room which will allow your opponent to not stall on emptying Provinces on their own.  With the Highway cost reduction buying Provinces en mass is not an issue when compared to emptying them when they cost $8.

Dominion Articles / shark_baits 10 cards to victory
« on: October 02, 2014, 04:48:40 pm »
shark_bait's 10 Cards to Victory

This is not a list of the 10 best cards in Dominion.  Instead, it is a list of the 10 cards wherein fundamentally understanding their impact to a Kingdom will help pave your way to victory.  They are the cards that should make you happy because you know that your greater understanding of that card will allow you to outplay, outthink and outwit your opponent.  There are 3 main categories that these cards fall under including cards that relate to VP, cycling/deck acceleration and 3-pile control.  Obviously other cards in Dominion fall under the umbrella of these categories but this is an arbitrary list of 10 cards that I chose and the concepts that they cover can be applied to other relevant cards.

So here is the list.

1.)  Stonemason
2.)  Fairgrounds
3.)  Vineyards
4.)  Possession
5.)  Tactician
6.)  Scrying Pool
7.)  Hermit/Madman
8.)  Apothecary
9.)  Goons
10.)  Platinum/Colony

Don't try to read too much into the order of the list.  Just accept the contents of the list and that all of the cards represent an idea that a full understanding of will allow for you to win more games of Dominion.

1.)  Stonemason

Stonemason is the king of 3-pile endings.  Stonemason a Silver into 2 Stonemasons and buy a Stonemason overpaying $2 gaining 2 more Stonemasons to gain 5 Stonemasons in a single turn.  Use it to turn a $6 Gold into 2 $5's.  Turn a $5 into 2 $4's.  This is all combined with the fact that if you can draw your deck completely you can then use your newly gained cards (which could be a Stonemason) to do even more on your turn.  Games can end very quickly with Stonemason.  Always be sure to think about what 3 piles are close and how Stonemason could be used to quickly deplete them.

2.)  Fairgrounds

A relatively straightforward card in principle but it is quit game changing.  This card is a huge boost to engines as a BM player can no longer hope to get half the VP.  This card allows for engines to build longer and then capitalize on later in the game with a stronger deck.  When this card is out you should think about how many points your Fairgrounds could be worth.  Think of how your deck will be build.  You want diversity but you don't want to overterminalize such that your deck can't generate $6.  Dark Ages helped Fairgrounds immensely with the addition of 8 unique cards.  That is almost 4 additional points per Fairgrounds.  When using Shelters/Ruins with Fairgrounds think carefully about what you trash.  At the end of the game you may find that you should have kept your 3 Shelters to allow your Fairground to go from 6 to 8 points.

3.)  Vineyards

Another VP card in the list.  What makes Vineyards great is that you get points by building a huge engine.  Like Fairgrounds, it is a scaling VP card that prevents BM from obtaining half of the VP.  Vineyards benefits immensely from cheap cantrips (and cantrips in general) and also from the price point.  Costing only $P allows you to use a +Buy in the Kingdom to gain both a Vineyards and an engine component.  You can also trash all of your treasure and still afford them.  In a Vineyards mirror winning the split often results in Victory.  Look for an opportunity to purchase a 2nd or 3rd Potion to try and get a 5/3 advantage.  This will force your opponent to find VP elsewhere whereas you can continue to build action cards to gain points.

4.)  Possession

I wrote an article here outlining many of the nuances of this card.  What Possession does is flip a Kingdom upside-down.  I won't go into huge detail here but when you see Possession you have to be able to recognize (a)  Is this viable to play (b) how do I build my deck in the mirror and  (c) if my opponent goes for Possession how should my play respond assuming I don't want Possession.   Be careful of what cards you put in your deck.  Trash for benefit greatly help the Possessor so incorporate them with care.

5.)  Tactician

There are a couple of things about Tactician that warrant its inclusion on this list.  First, the idea that 1 big hand is better than 2 normal hands and second is that deck cycling is extremely helpful in deck acceleration.  Whenever you play Tactician it is obvious that you lose a turn and that next turn you get a double hand.  You also get 5 cards of cycling which allows you to get to your newly purchased cards faster.  One large hand being better than two small hands is crucial for hitting certain price points and cards that benefit from large hands.  Of special mention is Colony/Platinum and Tactician.  One Tactician play will often result in an early Platinum which can snowball into more Platinum.  One Tactician hand with Forge allows for a quick and efficient trashing of a large part of the deck.  Tactician also has many combos ala the "Double Tactician" deck wherein a Tactician is played each turn and cards are bought using virtual $$$ from Kingdom cards.  This is the most "cute" of the Tactician uses but it should not overshadow the others.  Tactician is a very versatile card and understanding its use in a variety of situations is essential.

6.)  Scrying Pool

Scrying Pool is almost always good.  It is very comparable to Vineyards in terms of what kind of Kingdoms it excels in.  You want an action dense deck and cheap cantrips allows for massive card draw.  There are few kingdoms where Scrying Pool can be avoided.  The attack can be very powerful in both keeping junk on top of your opponents deck and also forcing him to miss plays of key cards in his deck.  This attack slows down your opponent giving you more time to build your engine.  In general engine with attacks are significantly better than engines without due to what they do to non-engine opponents and the relative value of each players turn.  Game extension of 4 turns for a non-engine players gives them an extra 4 mediocre hands that may get a Province or Duchy.  However those 4 turns for the engine player come when the engine is running at peak performance and instead of 4 mediocre turns the engine player gains a significant advantage.

7.)  Hermit/Madman

These are an extremely good pair of cards.  Most people are aware of the Hermit/Market Square combo as a game-winning strategy but these cards are more than that.  Hermit is exceptionally good at ignoring all Cursing attacks.  Being able to trash from the discard allows you to both fill you deck with Silver while simultaneously trashing Curses as soon as they enter your deck.  I would go as far to say that Hermit should be bought in every game.  It is so easy to replace starting Estates with Silver.  That greatly increases your deck's ability to get $5 power cards.  You can then continue to gain Silver or $3 actions or you can choose to gain Madmen.  I would compare Madmen to Tactician except that you get your large turn on the turn you play Madman.  The catch is that you only get it once.  Use Madman at the beginning of the game accelerate your cycling and deck improvement or use it end-game with multiple on a single turn for a game-ending megaturn.  Look to turn your Hermits into Madmen when possible, especially if you can do two at once.  These cards both have uses at the beginning of the game and in the endgame. 

8.)  Apothecary

Given the choice between Apothecary and Alchemist, I would take Apothecary even though it is $2P and Alchemist is $3P.  Before you start to edgecase me one this I will say that the first purchase with a Potion should be Apothecary.  Apothecary provides both deck cycling and hand improvement.  This allows for decks to power spike much faster by using newly purchased cards faster.  If Apothecary is the only Potion card you should highly consider trying to incorporate into your strategy as the benefits are immense.  It has minor combos with top of the deck interaction cards but its main power is that it is the cycling/deck acceleration that it provides.

9.)  Goons

Goons is similar to the VP cards included in this list in that BM can't end the game with half of the traditional VP.  The iconic Goons games are those where you get around 5 Goons in play on a single turn with a large amount of +Buy and then go on a game-ending megaturn amassing huge piles of VP tokens.  However most Goons games are not like that.  Lack of Village support, lack of draw and lack of trashing come rear their ugly heads and prevent a game ending megaturn.  Outside of the Goons megaturn is the high-skill, highly tactical Province game that contains Goons.  If you ignore Goons, you will lose and if you ignore Province you will also lose.  In these games you need to recognize the pivotal point in deck development where you transition from deck improvement to score improvement.  There is no easy formula to define that state.  What you are looking for is the time when a non-VP card will not contribute to earning its equivalent points had it been a VP card.  This is where you prioritize Duchy over more Goons.  You start buying Copper and Estates with extra buys. 

10.)  Colony/Platinum

One could simply say that the addition of colony and platinum add more points to the game and lengthen it allowing more skilled players to have a greater opportunity to demonstrate their skill.  That is true and I don't want this description to take away from that true statement.  Colony and Platinum are so much more than that.  Normal Province games in a general sense go 14-16 turns.  Moving up to Colony/Platinum puts you around 20-22 turns.  In addition to having more turns the relevant and important decisions within those turns increases.  VP vs. Treasure buying becomes much more important as the game can end with the depletion of the 2nd highest VP pile.  I have won numerous Colony/Platinum games because of opponents who bought Province too early instead of Platinum.  On the flip side I have won numerous games due to opponents buying Platinum when they should be buying Province.  These games make you think more critically about your deck state.  How many times will you see a given card before the game ends?  Can you start rushing Provinces and reliably pile it out without stalling?


Obviously there are tons of nuances and combos not covered in this broad article.  The goal is to highlight key cards that illustrate important concepts of understanding Dominion at the highest level.  Thoroughly understanding these concepts and knowing when they apply is not easy.  It takes lots of skill and experience to recognize the optimal decision.  You win at Dominion when the game ends and you have the most points.  These cards and concepts described will allow you to put yourself in a position that gives you the best chance the favorably end the game with more points than your opponents.  Whether it comes from quick deck cycling, 3-pile endgame control or tight control on tactical decisions you can never be 100% sure of a win.  You can only apply your knowledge as best as you can in the circumstances that you are given to maximize your chances for victory.

Goko Dominion Online / Bot "Pro" Games Effect Leaderboard
« on: September 22, 2014, 03:29:25 pm »
This is a request for Salvager to automatically not count "Pro" games containing a bot opponent from the isotropish leaderboard.  Our wonderful Canton Pilots Association has been climbing due to this.  Whether intentional or not it is clear that playing bots is not an accurate way to measure skill.  Also, I want to play with the "Play Bots" button and I no longer care about my Goko rating.  I do however care about isotropish and sometimes I just want to quit vs. bots or play a 4-player bot game for fun and I don't want to go through hassle of joining a lobby when I could just click a button.

Goko Dominion Online / Anyone else having issues
« on: August 28, 2014, 12:27:53 pm »
First Goko froze on the load screen and now I can't even log in.  Anyone else dealing with issues right now?

Dominion General Discussion / Uplifting Game
« on: August 26, 2014, 12:22:36 pm »
So there's a lot of threads around detailing rage against slow playing opponents, ragers, etc.  But there isn't as much for games with uplifting and courteous opponents.

I just played this game against Franz Weisser who truly had a phenomenal attitude after sitting through my longish turns of urchin clicking followed by a Beggar fueled Mercenary.  It was nice to play someone who thouroughly enjoyed the experience of the game and didn't rage about luck in any way.  If FW were a forumer I would link a random post to +1 but as such I'd recommend finding him on Goko.  Chat log of game below. 

FW:  Never had the kings court once, now you're leading again I think
FW:  Nice to learn something here
FW:  =)
FW:  I have to go
FW:  Great game!
SB:  okay, sorry for the long turns
FW:  no worries
SB:  clicking "no" for urchin every time is really tedious
FW:  it was a pleasure
FW:  it is  :)
SB:  yw  :)
FW:  have a good day
SB:  you too!

I kinda get tunnel vision and ignore chat during the game, just my style I guess.

Game Reports / Great Scout!
« on: August 05, 2014, 12:38:16 pm »
Code: [Select]
shark_bait plays Scout
shark_bait reveals: Nobles, Province, Nobles, Estate

Code: [Select]
shark_bait plays Scout
shark_bait reveals: Nobles, Province
shark_bait shuffles deck
shark_bait reveals: Copper, Duchy

Code: [Select]
shark_bait plays Scout
shark_bait reveals: Nobles, Nobles, Wandering Minstrel, Duchy

Code: [Select]
shark_bait plays Scout
shark_bait reveals: Cartographer, Province, Province, Silver

Code: [Select]
shark_bait plays Scout
shark_bait reveals: Nobles, Nobles, Storeroom, Copper

Probably the best game use of Scout I've had in my entire Dominion career.*

*Only requiring Nobles, Cartographer and Wandering Minstrel to set up each play

Game Reports / Ignore KC/Saboteur or Not?
« on: August 01, 2014, 06:30:38 pm »

Code: [Select]
Poor House, Beggar, Duchess, Fool's Gold, Cutpurse, Spice Merchant, Trader, Golem, Saboteur, King's Court
Thoughts on this kingdom?  KC/Saboteur is always brutal, but there is only +Buy in Spice Merchant which is conditional.  Can the Immune FG/Beggar compete against a destruction style deck?

Here is the game that I played.

Game Reports / The Perfect Storm
« on: July 29, 2014, 11:10:46 am »
Fast games are fun.  Games under 10 turns are even more fun.  There's just something really satisfying about winning a game this fast.  Usually this is a combination of good draws, optimal play and the proper kingdom.

Code: [Select]
Haven, Squire, Hermit, Remake, Wandering Minstrel, Council Room, Explorer, Market, Soothsayer, Torturer

Let's see if you can put together this storm.

Remake, Squire, Wandering Minstrel, Hermit, Torturer

Although you wouldn't think this to be exceedingly fast at first glance there are a few things that put this over the top.

1.)  Obtaining Torturer without Silver (or Silver equivalent) - So often in Torturer games you are forced to open Village/Silver or Silver/Silver to maximize your chances of hitting $5 and then aggressively switching to whatever Village is available.  Those turns of Silver inhibit engine capabilities drastically.  This set offers Torturer gaining via either Hermit or Remake trashing.

2.)  Highly sought after piles - A fast game almost always ends in a 3-pile with the exception of some sort of Bridge/HoP megaturn with trashing that is able to pile-drive the Province pile.  In this game there are a lot of piles that you want a majority in.  Easiest to obtain is Squire priced at $2.  Next we have Hermit which can be used to trash Estates, Squires (gaining Torturer) and to obtain Mad Man.  Lastly we have the attack in Torturer.  Yes, there are numerous trashing option but getting your opponent in a position to either discard their hand or accept 3-4 Curses will be game-winning.  Needing to trash that many Curses will put the other player ahead.

3.)  Trashing/Gaining - When a game has trashing it is often accelerated due to the removal of the starting junk.  Trashing in this game comes in the form of Remake and Hermit.  The defining feature of these trashers is that in addition to removing junk they are also Gainers.  A remade Squire equates to a Hermit and  Torturer and Hermit is capable of the same.  Being able to both trash and gain with the same card is a huge boon.

4.)  Megaturn potential - Although there isn't a Province depleting plan here there is huge megaturn potential.  Hermit is huge.  I will say it again, Hermit is essential.  Hermit is one of my favorite cards in Dominion.  Okay, maybe I should rephrase that, Mad Man is amazing.  The exponential nature of Mad Man makes it incredible.  First play is +4 Cards, then +7 Cards, then +13 Cards, etc...  That king of Draw makes you capable of finishing a game on any given single turn.

5.)  Optimal play - You can't finish a game this fast without a combination of some luck of the draw in addition to some optimal play.  I'm specifically talking about in turn decisions about playing Action cards in the proper order.

Let's take a look at the game-winning turn.

So a quick comment on supply pile and my deck.  In the supply are 3 Torturers, 0 Squires and 1 Hermit.  My deck contains 2 Mad Men, 1 Remake, 2 Squires, 2 Hermits, 4 Torturers and 2 Wandering Minstrels.

To win, I need 3 Torturers, 1 Hermit and an Estate.  In my turn I am able to remake my 2 Squires in to Hermit/Silver (gaining 2 Torturers) and then buy the last Torturer and gain 2 Estates.  That execution was pretty simple.  But what if my opponent had not gaining a Torturer his last turn so that 4 were in the supply.  Can you still win with optimal draws?  What if you are required to play 1 Torturer as Draw?  Can you still win?


1.)  Play Mad Man followed by a 2nd Mad Man.  This results in cycling all but 1 card in the deck. 

2.)  Assuming Remake and both WM are in hand, play Remake gaining 2 Torturers from both WMs. 

3.)  Play both Hermits trashing both Squires to gain the last 2 Torturers, the last Hermit and a single Estate for a 1-point victory.

The other way to win would be to use 1 Squire for +2 Buys, obtain $15, being able to gain 1 Torturer and purchase the other 3 while still gaining the last Hermit and an Estate.  For the record, I can not figure out a way to do this.  As a heuristic exercise get out a pen and paper and try.  My solutions do not work as there is not enough village support to gain enough cash to get to $15 while still gaining an Estate and the last Hermit.

Between the MM and the WM you are at +5 Actions.  1 Actions must be spent on Torturer draw giving you 4 Actions.  A squire must be played for +Buy, a Remake must be played to gain Treasure and you need both Hermits to gain the last Hermit and an Estate.  Between the 5 Copper, 1 Silver and 1 Squire you need $7 to get to 15.  You need some combination of 3 Treasure for this, 2 Gold is not enough.  You also need to be able to draw your gained Treasure which is impossible when you need to trash in order to gain.  This reduces MM's draw. 

If anyone wants to take a stab at that problem, go for it.  An alternative question for discussion is what to do if 4 Torturers are left and you want to put yourself in the best chance to win.

Goko Dominion Online / Any F.DS people up for some games
« on: July 23, 2014, 11:34:52 am »
Gonna be playing some lunch time games today in about 20 minutes.  I would love to play with some forum people.

If you want to talk about Kingdoms in the Post Your Fun Kingdoms to Play thread this is the place to do it.

My game I actually resigned for two reasons.  First, I had to leave due to it taking already 30 minutes and 2nd, I had 0 money left!  The combination of KC/Knights was exceptionally brutal.  The presence of KC/Smuggler made you not want to buy $5-cost cards unless they were knights.  This led to a game consisting of Tactician/Knights/KC/Smuggler/Bazaar where punches were just thrown left and right.  You had to think about each buy and whether it was worth it. 

Dominion General Discussion / Post Your Fun Kingdoms to Play
« on: June 02, 2014, 03:20:54 pm »
I don't know if this has been done or not but if so it is so buried that I can't find it.  The purpose of this thread is to post interesting kingdoms that you played.  That is it.  No analysis.  No logs.  No nothing that could cause Spoils to someone elses play of the Kingdom.  The idea is that if you want an interesting game of Dominion you can come to this thread and see numerous kingdoms which other people found fun to play without the threat of seeing how the kingdom was played.  Here's one to get started.

Code: [Select]
Masquerade, Smugglers, Bazaar, Horn of Plenty, Journeyman, Knights, Tactician, Torturer, Trading Post, King's Court

General Discussion / I'm getting married! :D
« on: May 31, 2014, 09:45:20 am »
In 1 week I am getting married to the love of my life!  I feel so blessed to have her in my life and I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone but her. 

As an example of how awesome she is I will describe a recent game of Dominion we played.  She does not know all of the cards yet and so she always takes a few minutes before a new game to read through them.  In this particular game there was Vineyards and Scrying Pool and to quote her, "These go really well together."

Just wanted to share this exciting time of my life with all you guys.

Game Reports / Always Look for the Win
« on: May 30, 2014, 12:58:24 pm »

Code: [Select]
Crossroads, Great Hall, Market Square, Scheme, Island, Mining Village, Rats, Festival, Margrave, Rogue

My opponent gets out to a huge lead when he hits my only Margrave with his Rogue.  The result is that after T7 I am down 2 Margraves, Rogue, Festival and Crossroads to my single Festival and single Crossroads.  I do have one extra card set aside and an extra silver but in terms of engine build up it looks extremely bleak.

My opponent makes some questionable purchases and starts greening on Provinces way too early.  Great Hall, Island and Duchy give me VP such that I can avoid Provinces and still have VP left in the supply.  My opponent however continues to lead despite his sub-optimal play and I am constantly on my back foot trying to catch up.

In your games always ask yourself, what is required for the to win on this turn.  Had my opponent asked himself that he could have won.  At the start of his Turn 18 there are 3 Islands and 1 Crossroads left with an empty Great Hall pile.  This requires $14 and 4 Buys.  The score is tied at 23 points apiece.  During his turn he has played a Festival, has 3 Mining Villages in hand and has both a Copper and Silver in hand.  This gives him $11 if he trashes all the Mining Villages.  In those 3 draws he needs to get $3 and he can win.  It is risky as you have to start trashing before you can play all of them but if you don't start trashing immediately you don't have a chance.  He opts to not go for the 3-pile win.  In the end he would have obtained exactly $14.

As a result, I am able to get the 3-pile myself 3 turns later for a slim victory.

So the lesson is to always watch for potential ways to win.  In the event that luck hands you lemons, continue to play your hardest.  Either your opponent could misplay or could get unlucky giving you another chance.

Game Reports / Engine and then Payload
« on: May 29, 2014, 01:05:39 pm »

Code: [Select]
Market Square, Shanty Town, Watchtower, Feast, Ironmonger, Island, Remodel, Throne Room, Inn, Wharf

This was neat Kingdom to play.  All of the Kingdom cards have some sort of functionality.  Shelters makes Remodel a bit weaker due to not being able to get $4-cost cards.  However the presence of Necropolis is a nice addition to the deck.  There is a very potent engine present due the big draw combined with the Market Square payload. 

One thing that I think stands out about optimally playing this Kingdom is the notion of first building your engine and then adding your payload.  To Expand on this, payload comes in the form of reacting Market Squares to gain golds and then use the plethora of Gold to either buy Province or remodel them into Province.

But getting to that point takes time.  It takes even more time if you get Remodel early and then react Market Square early.  This slows down cycling and bloats your deck before you are able to handle the extra cards.  In this game you want to establish your draw and sifting and then sharply transition to the payload.  Ironmonger is a good card that will both cycle and get you to $5 reasonably well.  Shanty Town can function as a Lab before Wharves dominate a deck.  Throne Room on Feast can be used to gain 2 $5-cost cards.  Inn is a nice addition if you need more village support and want a bit of sifting as to not stall.  Ideally, you want to get your deck to a state where you have multiple Wharves in play at the beginning of each turn and then are able to gain Gold and play them on the same turn.

I should note that I did not play this optimally.  I played this Kingdom correctly in the sense of going Engine and then Payload but in terms of execution I could have been better I think.  I bought my Remodel a turn or two early and did not get enough TR's in my deck.  TR/TR on Double Wharf will start you with +8 Cards and only keep a single TR out of play. 

This type of deck will certainly beat a Wharf/BM deck due to end-game control with drawing the entire deck and ability to Remodel into Province.


Code: [Select]
Secret Chamber, Forager, Market Square, Menagerie, Oasis, Feodum, Herald, Silk Road, Farmland, Harem

Played this great game with liopoil last night and it's definitely the sort that warrants a game report.  It is clearly an engine board but it really is quite interesting how all of the cards have some sort of impact of the play of the Kingdom.

Initial Considerations:  There is a ton of alt-VP here with Silk Road present.  This has potential to give high point SR's.  Enablers for an Alt-VP slog are relatively weak.  No attacks are present to slow down an engine.  The only draw is in the form of Herald and Menagerie.  Oasis, Forager and Secret Chamber can be used for Menagerie engine.  Market Square can react to Forager trash for an influx of Gold.  Endgame Farmland could provide a few extra VP and an alternative path to Province.  Interestingly there are no $5 cost cards in this Kingdom other than Duchy.

The Opening:  We both go double Forager for trashing indicating engine play for both.  We both get ideal draws of Forager, Estate, 3xCopper in our turns 4 and 5 adding Market Square and Menagerie.  I like Menagerie but in hindsight I think I'd go Oasis here instead. 

The Lesson:  In the early game be careful of when you activate Market Square for Gold.  You really want to prioritize trashing in this game.  By reacting Market Square you slow down your cycling and inhibit your deck slimming.  Similarly in a Chapel/Market Square game it would often be better to play your Market Squares until you have used Chapel almost to its full extent.  In this game going Oasis would also provide a higher chance of Menagerie activation.

The Play:  Mid-game is where we begin to deviate slightly, but both still going engine.  One main difference is that I pound Menageries harder than he does.  As 2nd player I manage a 6/4 win in the split.  He picked up an Oasis instead.

The Lesson:  Know what piles are key and prioritize winning the split.  In this game one key card is Menagerie.  With all of the ways to activate they will very likely be $3-cost double Labs.  This is a key split to win.  Herald can also provide hand size increases but the downside is that you lose control of what action is played with the reveal.  This could result in playing Forager with no target, Market Square when you want it in hand to gain Gold or Menagerie with duplicates in hand.  Herald is important in this set as it is the only way to obtain +2 Actions enabling Secret Chamber discards, but the numerous downsides and $4-cost make it less of a priority.

On Turn 10 we start to diverge slightly.  He activates his Market Squares to have a total of 3 Gold in his deck and uses his cash to get 3 Heralds giving me better drawing power to make up for his lack of Menagerie.

My Turn 10 results in 2 Oases, 1 Market Square and 1 Forager.  I plan on pumping up Forager to $2, gaining extra Gold with Market Square's reaction and drawing back up.  I want to keep a deck that has a low chance of stalling.  This works, up until a certain extent but we'll get to that later.

The Endgame:  Our engines are build and are running full throttle.  Let's take a quick break to consider our deck states. 

I have won the Menagerie split 6/4 and have an extra Forager, Market Square and Oasis.  He has a couple of extra Heralds and a Secret Chamber due to my having to trash it the previous turn.  We both have 3 Gold.

liopoil T11:  $16 => Province, Oasis, Herald

shark_bait T11:  $18 =>  Double Province, Secret Chamber

liopoil T12:  $16 =>  Double Province, Copper

Okay so in the span of 1.5 turns we have just put the Province pile down to 3.  I am 2nd player here and I don't like it.  At this point we are following the Antepenultimate Province Rule (APR).  Both of our decks can double Province with relative ease so if I buy a single one, I will lose.

sharkbait T12:  $17 => So this is where I stop to think for quite some time.  With $17 I can go Farmland (Gold to Province) and Province but that means he wins next turn with Province/Duchy which is easily attainable.  Ultimately I decide that my best chance to win is to ignore Province and grab points.  A Farmland would be nice to have however I have no good targets in hand and I don't want to buy one and not utilize the trashing effect.

My T12 results in Triple Duchy.

liopoil T13:  $16 =>  Double Duchy + Harem

Again, he can't get a Province because even with green, the power of discarding to activate Menagerie means my deck still could double Province.

shark_bait T13:  $15 =>  Triple Duchy

So I wasn't quite able to get double Province but liopoil was still correct in ignoring Provinces I think.

It's at this point in the game where our once phenomenal engines are beginning to show signs of stalling.

liopoil T14:  $14 =>  With my deck seemingly unable to double Province he safely picks up the antepenultimate Province and another Harem.

shark_bait T14:  $8 =>  Double Silk Road

liopoil T15:  $5 =>  Silk Road

shark_bait T15:  $6 =>  Silk Road

At this point we are tied at 36 VP.  Our decks are falling apart as we are unable to draw through due to the heavy influx of green.

liopoil T16:  $12 =>  Province and Silk Road

He takes a gamble here and grabs the Penultimate Province.  I'm not sure if this is correct or not.  His other option would be double Silk Road (evening the split at 3/3).  He has more cash than me from his Harems.  However he lacks +Buy compared to my 2 Market Squares for any sort of Estate rush.  So unless he is able to make use of his Harems for Province or more Harems/Farmland I don't know if they would be useful.

shark_bait T16:  $8 =>  Province  (for a 1-point victory by getting 6 points in addition to reaching the next plateau for Silk Roads)

So had he gone Double Silk Road I would have been able to go Double Silk Road myself here getting a 5/3 split.  With that lead I think the game is tilted in my favor as my +Buy and split lead are more suited for rushing Estates as a 3rd pile.

Conclussions:  This was a very though provoking Kingdom to play.  Almost all the cards in the Kingdom saw play and there were numerous interactions between various action cards to make a very potent engine.  Another thing to note is the huge presence of Alt-VP.  As 2nd Player, I lose this game without this alt-VP.  This game was a classic representation of potent engine building followed by a rush for points.  Inability to get a VP cushion led to a hard end-game stall.  My opponent took a tactical risk in a very exciting and close game (just look at the VP graph by turn to see how close this really was).

Thanks to liopoil for a fun, albeit long for online play (almost 40 minutes). 


Game Reports / Designed Kingdom - What Would You Do?
« on: May 19, 2014, 09:19:13 am »

Code: [Select]
Beggar, Cellar, Crossroads, Apothecary, Market Square, Masquerade, Urchin, Coppersmith, Mystic, Farmland, Shelters
Includes Shelters

Despite helping judge the Kingdom's for Gokodom I couldn't help but design a few myself even though they wouldn't be eligible.  This was my favorite that I designed.  The question I ask is how would you play it?

I have ideas for multiple strategies of varying complexity.  I will refrain from posting them until later as to not bias other comments.

Game Reports / Never Give Up
« on: May 12, 2014, 04:11:17 pm »

Code: [Select]
Stonemason, Fortune Teller, Menagerie, Monument, Navigator, Procession, Tournament, Band of Misfits, Graverobber, Margrave

Just played this super interesting game against Temron.  If you ever get a chance to play him I highly recommend it as he is a very gracious and fun opponent.  So going into this Kingdom he says to me, "Alright, lesson time."  I'm looking at this kingdom and thinking just how complicated this board is thinking of how many ways it can be misplayed.  As you'll see, I think there are numerous lessons to be learned from this game.

Board Analysis:  At a first glance I see Tournament.  This means prizes.  We've got Stonemason.  The only real Village is Necropolis/Trusty Steed.  Other plus action must come from Procession of either Menagerie or Tournament.  Band of Misfits is around and there are a ton of good targets.  Monument is available for Alt-VP.  Graverobber could provide a semi mega-turn.  No trashing other than Stonemason.  You want an early Province because Prizes are good here.  But you also want to be able to build an engine that runs very smoothly. 

The opening:  We both open Tournament/Silver.  I think you want 1 Silver in this game max.  It helps get to that first $5.  I thought about Monument but ended up going Tourney, dunno which is right.  Both are good I think.  Tourney gives +$ and a bit of cycling while Monument is VP tokens.  I think the strength of the engine warrants Tourney.

Situation 1:  After Turn 8 our decks are fairly similar.  The main difference is that I have 1 more menagerie and 2 fewer coppers.  This was a result of Processing one of my Stonemason's for trashing and Menagerie gain.  I was able to make this play a couple of other times during the game and this extra copper trimming proved to be extremely important.

Lesson 1:  In the right circumstances even incredibly poor Copper trashers (e.g. Salvager, Develop, Stonemason, etc.) should be used for trashing.  In this case they allow Menagerie activation to be much more reliable.

Situation 2:  Then things take a big turn.  I draw completely dead on turn 9 allowing Temron to get another Province as well as the Steed and Followers.  Followers is not always the best prize.  Menagerie is a great counter and Princess provides tons of buying power especially with Stonemason.  Had he gotten Princess I don't know if I could have caught up.

Lesson 2:  Know the value of Prizes not just in your own deck but in your opponents.  In this game the Steed I think is tied with Princess as it both draws and is a Village.  But Follower's becomes inconsequential with Menagerie.  Additionally, Princess is great in engines and the Stonemason overpay is just plain OP with Princess.

Situation 3:  Temron gets a nice lead in VP however this is a game where you play for the longer game.  It is also key to point out that Temron relied on BoM as Menagerie for draw.  Even though BoM is a great card on this board it can become a liability.  On Turn 11 I empty the Menagerie pile completely halting all of his BoM draw.

Lesson 3  Know how to slow down your opponent.  He is primed to win with a large VP advantage.  I know that most of his draw is in the form of BoM => Menagerie.  By emptying that pile his deck is destroyed and can no longer draw.  In other games you might want to play a specific attack each turn.  If you let your opponent get ahead of you you either (a) must have a megaturn to end the game on your terms or (b) be able to slow him down allowing your better deck to catch up.  I needed (b) in this game.

Situation 4:  On Turn 14 he makes a bid to end the game on piles by emptying the Stonemason pile while keeping BoM at 1 left.  I have a single turn left and am down 27 to 18 with only a 2 Provinces left in the supply.  On this last turn I am able to use a combination of Menagerie, Procession, BoM (as Monument and Procession) to gain the last BoM, play 4 pseudo Monuments and purchase the last Province.

Lesson 4:  Know how to finish a game with a win.  My last turn was rather complicated.  I had numerous BoM's, Menageries and a plethora of other cards.  Knowing how to play your complicated engines is essential.  I know that he will Probably buy a BoM next turn so unless I get ahead and win this turn I will lose.  Let's look at my last turn.

I have in hand, Procession, Curse, Menagerie, Band of Misfits, Menagerie.  He plays Followers making me discard.  Notice my discard.  BoM and Curse.  I need Procession as it allows me to gain the last BoM by playing BoM as Procession.  Additionally, it can be used to potentially get 2x +3 Cards by playing Menagerie with it.  I end up needing to play Procession on Menagerie and it does net me +6 Cards.  The application of this turn is to take a win when you see one.  Later in the turn, I could have taken a Duchy as a prize by playing BoM as Tournament.  However, if by chance he had another Province in hand, I am now unable to get $8 for the last Province (would be stuck with $7 after playing BoM as Menagerie twice).   By playing both of my Processed BoM as Monument I ensure that I have enough VP to be ahead with the game ending on 3 piles.

Ending Thoughts:  All in all, this was a really neat game.  It highlights both the power of Tournament but also the pitfall of investing too heavily in Tournament and being lax on building the engine.  You have to know what is important to your opponent and be able to slow him down so that you can use a stronger engine to overcome a substantial VP lead.

Game Reports / Take That Robz aka Pirate Ship Was Useful
« on: May 05, 2014, 12:53:30 pm »

Code: [Select]
Masquerade, Village, Philosopher's Stone, Death Cart, Pirate Ship, Duke, Graverobber, Merchant Guild, Outpost, Forge
Opponent goes for Duchy/Duke with Merchant Guild support.  I go engine using a combination of Village/Masquerade/Outpost for draw and cycling following up with Pirate Ship and Merchant Guild for payload.

This is an example of a game where you need to establish your draw and cycling before going for the attack.  By emphasizing Masquerade/Village/Outpost I initially get my deck trim and fit.  Meanwhile my opponent is powering through Duchies using Merchant Guild to amass coin tokens.  By switching to Pirate Ship mid-game I am able to both destroy his ability to consistently get $5 and gradually build my payload to easily power down the Province pile.  Although I am extremely far behind I am able to deny a couple of Duchies and then my deck is able to deny him 4 Dukes without the threat of 3-pile.  he resigns in the end being behind with no potential for more points.

Dominion World Masters / 2014 World National at Gen Con
« on: April 19, 2014, 09:28:20 pm »
So it turns out that the winner of my qualifier can not make it to gen con for the World Masters tournament.  So this means that since I got second I will be going to gen con and representing F.DS...... uhhh, I mean USA at the World Masters tournament.  Hope to meet many of you guys there!

Any other F.DS people planning on going?  I will probably just be going for Sunday.

Game Reports / Baker Board - Cultist of Rebuild?
« on: April 03, 2014, 10:59:08 am »

Code: [Select]
Herbalist, Moneylender, Navigator, Rats, Baker, Cultist, Ghost Ship, Rebuild, Altar, Hunting Grounds
So Baker is present and we each have a $5/$3 start.  Being second player I am hesitant to play the Rebuild mirror and because it probably isn't the best strategy.  I decide to play Cultist in hopes that the mass junk will slow down his ability to both (a) Buy Rebuilds and Duchies and (b) Play the Rebuilds that he does have.  There really isn't any support for Rebuild on this board so I think Cultist was the right play.  I did get good draws being able to buy Cultist on turns 4-7 and by giving him 8 ruins in 8 turns and all 10 after 9.  But then again, I was able to open with both a Cultist and a Silver, so perhaps it wasn't overly lucky.  After that it was a simple matter of getting a single Gold and buying Provinces.

This game is a good example of not blindly playing into "power" cards.  They are not always the best strategy and even though in most cases Rebuild counters junkers pretty hard, there are always exceptions to the rule.  Both the lack of Rebuild support and ability to open Cultist provide a unique board where Rebuild is actually not able to outpace junking attacks.

Game Reports / An Attempt at Transmute
« on: March 17, 2014, 04:21:02 pm »

Code: [Select]
Transmute, Candlestick Maker, Stonemason, Lookout, Oracle, Storeroom, Cache, Duke, Venture, Farmland
So I go for Duchy/Duke this game using a Stonemason overpay strategy to amass Transmute and other actions followed by Storeroom/Silver/Candlestick maker to facilitate buying Dukes since Transmute can't gain them.

I'm wondering where I went wrong here.  Should my first few Transmute plays have been on Copper to gain more Transmutes?  I know Shelters weaken Transmute a bit as you can only get a single Gold as opposed to 3 which hurts the ability to purchase Dukes mid/endgame.  In the end I lost, but it was a loss on turns and by no means a blowout.

There really aren't too many strategies that make Transmute a key card but this was a game where I thought it could be done.  Any thoughts as to the viability of this strategy in this game.  I certainly think it can beat BM a good portion of the time, the question is how much.  Alternatively, would a money based Duchy/Duke strategy been better using Storeroom/Cache/Silver?

Pages: [1] 2 3 4

Page created in 0.075 seconds with 16 queries.