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Dominion General Discussion / Competitiveness
« on: April 07, 2019, 12:48:53 pm »
Just kind of an open discussion here, curious what yall's thoughts are ...

What does it mean to be competitive? Are you competitive, i.e. does winning (or your ranking) in Dominion matter to you? Why or why not? Are you as competitive in other areas in your life as you are in Dominion?

I'm not curious so much how you get better -- we all have our methods, and there are a million forum posts on that front. I'm more curious on how much you want to get better, and why. Do you feel that drive?

I get that in the grand scheme of things, winning in Dominion really doesn't matter. First and foremost, I want to have fun, which Dominion certainly is to me. But I am a competitive being; all else being equal, I prefer to win. I like the feeling of being good at a skill, even if that skill isn't directly useful towards any other aspects of life. I have never known why I feel that way, but I do. I would say it's because it's hardwired into all of us, since we come from billions of years of ancestors that competed to the death over food/resources/mates. Except I have noticed that not everyone has this drive. Or maybe everyone has it, and it's just that only certain people are able to make it come to fruition?

To me, being competitive in Dominion means critically, unbiased-ly analyzing a kingdom and your decisions and their consequences, and applying those observations/lessons going forward. The opposite of being competitive is blaming all your losses on luck, or making decisions based solely (or largely) on emotion.

Competitiveness can certainly have drawbacks in life. Sometimes I'll join a casual Dominion playgroup, and Ambassador someone 10 Curses, then all the Potions, and then (shocker) they don't invite me back to their playgroup again. This stinks. But I don't feel I should (or can?) "turn it off". I feel like the dad that doesn't let their son win a game of 1-on-1 basketball; I'd rather they legitimately beat me when the time comes. It's more meaningful that way. Plus, I have fond memories when learning to play Dominion of getting Torturer-spammed. This did not turn me off to the game; it was the opposite. I was fascinated with how someone could link together that many terminals, and all I wanted was to learn how to do it myself. That's the competitive being in me -- I don't get mad/emotional/whatever when I lose .. I get even (and learn, and get better).

Thanks for listening to my rambling. It's a very interesting topic to me. Why do we strive to get good at this obscure, useless skill? What does it teach us about ourselves, and how does it translate to real life?

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Slow-Playing Detection?
« on: January 22, 2019, 02:55:14 am »
Just thinking out loud here .. couldn't you have some sort of slow-playing (intentionally taking a long time on each of your decisions to annoy your opponent and/or encourage them to resign) detection? Thoughts:

- You could measure how long, on average, a player takes to make a decision. If it becomes over some threshold after x turns (x is greater than 2, as in most games I would think the first few turns of the game are relatively long), their opponent can force-resign them.
- If decisions are intrinsically long for a player (it's a high-profile league game, players are playing with unfamiliar cards, etc.), that player can explain in the chat that they are simply having difficulty coming to decisions and need time. It is up to their opponent to respect this explanation.
- Players get n seconds per decision before a force-resign, and m seconds per turn before a force resign. m would be not all that larger than n, i.e. a player cannot just take n seconds a bunch of times per turn (for many turns).
- Players can have a small amount of "slow-play" tokens. I get, say, 1 of these tokens for every 10 games I play. I can spend a token to basically say my opponent is playing slow and I want to divide their time-to-force-resign by 10, or whatever.
- If I recall correctly, one of the biggest selling points of ShIT over Making Fun was its blacklist feature. And part of that feature was the ability to retroactively remove a often-blacklisted ("often" being over some threshold) player from all ranking algorithms, thereby removing slow-played losses from a player's ranking-contributing games. But as far as I know, this "removal" decision is not public. How do I know a horrible slow-player has been flagged enough? And can I mark them as horrible, i.e. different than a player that I blacklisted just due to, say, differences in undo preferences? This extra marking could contribute to the Stef-investigates-said-player more than the normal blacklist flag.

Now that I write this all out and think about it, it's actually seems like a pretty interesting problem to solve. It makes sense that it's not solved yet. How do other online games address it? Is there anything else we can do to improve the online experience?

Rules Questions / Patron and "Reveal"
« on: December 26, 2018, 02:00:51 am »
Since the word "reveals" is not the word "reveal", does Patron activate on things like Cutpurse, Pillage, etc.?

Dominion General Discussion / Renaissance First Impnressions
« on: December 01, 2018, 02:50:55 am »
I'm still trying to figure out Cathedral.

Recruiter seems VERY strong. It's basically the inverse of a Witch.

Boarder Guard seems very weak and confusing.

Inventor seems much weaker than Bridge.

Patron seems very weak.

I like playing Actions during Buy phase.

Projects seem strong in general -- most projects make a deck strictly better than a deck without said Project.

Rules Questions / Pilgrimage With Split Piles
« on: September 15, 2018, 08:31:12 pm »
What happens if you Pilgrimage, say, an Encampment, Plunder, and Silver, and the Encampment pile is such that an Encampment is on top and a Plunder is beneath it? Does the 'lose track rule' apply here anywhere? Do I choose the order in which I gain the 3 cards before gaining any of them and does this matter (i.e. I only gain the Plunder if I chose to gain it after the Encampment)?

Are there any (or will there ever be) other multi-gainers like Pilgrimage, that this would apply to (I can't think of any off the top of my head)?

Apologies if this has already been asked.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Conspirator Bug?
« on: July 26, 2018, 04:50:55 pm »
Is this a bug or am I just going crazy? Happened like 3 times this game, and certainly affected the outcome of the game as this lead to a Province, which lead to a Followers, which lead to me resigning.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Blacklisting Due To Undo
« on: March 23, 2018, 02:56:02 am »
I remember seeing somewhere (can't remember where) that if enough people blacklist a person, then losses to that player will not count with the ratings, as a sort of solution to resigns to slow-players (not slow players - slow-players). And that it works retroactively - when such a player is flagged, games played in the past will be removed from the ratings calculations. Maybe that player also gets some sort of warning, or something. Not sure how it all works. Anyways ..

One reason I ban people is if they don't undo things in a similar way I do. I mean no hard feelings - I just feel games can still remain fair, competitive, fun, and fast when no-info and certain some-info undo requests are allowed. And I get that there is (arguably) no such thing as an unfair undo denial. If you have different undo preferences or have some sort of policy you follow, that's totally cool. I just want to play with people that are not too serious about it, like me. Personal preference.

So ... do such blacklisted players get the warnings and removal from ratings and all that? I'd feel bad, as my only reason for blacklisting them is personal preference. And if enough other people have similar preferences, this player would seem no different (from a ShIT perspective) than all the d-bags out there causing the real mischief.

Dominion General Discussion / When are Travellers ignorable?
« on: March 22, 2018, 03:18:28 am »
Simple question ^

I remember a discussion in one of these podcasts (can't remember which one, or when, but it was in there somewhere) where they talked about when Butcher is ignorable. Spoiler alert: Almost never. I'd even claim Butcher is less ignorable than, say, many other power cards such as Cultist, Rebuild, Masquerade, etc.

So then Page and Peasant. In the thousands of games I've played with these, I can probably count on one hand the times I've ignored Page and felt it was the right decision. Well actually, I can't count them at all, because I can't remember them. That's how rare they are. Maybe I'm still learning them, but that's my current understanding of them -- they're just that powerful and versatile.

So when are Page and Peasant ignorable? When there are already a lot of engine components? Fast big money games? Games with Cultist and no thinning? Any specific game reports of times it was good to ignore them? Just curious.

Help! / Double Tac, Villa, Bridge, Storyteller, HoP
« on: January 09, 2018, 01:29:52 am »

Wild board here. What is best???

I ended up winning with a HoP megaturn of sorts on T17 (against a person; screenshot is from replaying the game). I however have no idea what would have been the best/fastest route to said megaturn, or if the megaturn even is the best strategy.

My thought process:
  • thin with Temple
  • get a double-Tac thing going
  • use the play-treasures-buy-Villa-play-Tactician trick to spend treasures with Tactician until the Villas run out
  • use Storytellers for draw
  • HoP's for gains, with Storyteller-HoP trick to gain mid-turn (usually more HoP's)
  • play Bridges whenever I can
  • pull trigger on HoP megaturn soon as I can
I'm not sure if buying Bard was great but other than that I feel I reached this deck state pretty efficiently.

That all basically won me the game (my opponent suffered from Villa-as-just-Necropolis syndrome and didn't realize Storyteller-HoP until near the end of game). BUT, there are so many other things to consider imo:
  • Can alt-VP (Dominate and Museum) out-pace a Megaturn (i.e. I pulled Megaturn trigger on T17; can one buy ~3 Dominates before then)? (I don't consider the alt-VP from Temple; I just think it's a drop in the bucket compared to Dominate and Museum.)
  • Can 1 player wipe-out Villas by cost-reducing them to $1 or $0 (effectively making them free) -- thereby denying other player of any sort of village? Not having Villas would make multiple Bridges impossible and big Storyteller draws less likely because ST likes the coin from Bridge (and Villa).
  • Is HoP megaturn faster than megaturn using just Double Tac, Bridges, Villas, Storyteller (for draw)?
  • Do Hexes come into play at all here? Near the end game probably not because you're gaining 42 cards per turn, but near the beginning of the game they could be very disruptive (e.g. Locusts or War trashing a key Tactician or Temple).
  • Would Dismantle be more effective than Storyteller-HoP to gain $5's mid-turn (e.g. Dismantle+Gold -> Dismantle+Gold+HoP)?
  • Is thinning even that high of a priority here? Cus Storyteller effectively makes Coppers cantrips (assuming you can reliably pair them with ST's). Perhaps Bridge is a better opener than Temple?
  • My opponent opened 5/2 -- what then??

Game Reports / 2017 Championships - Round of 16 - Dingan vs. Dan Brooks
« on: November 03, 2017, 09:36:56 pm »
Guess I'll write this up while it's still fresh on my mind, and why not?

Game 1
Just about getting the Torturer-chain going. It was all but over when he won the Squire split 6-3 (or 7-2 or something, not sure). But I was able to Sacrifice Patricians and other fodder as pseudo-village, to play multiple Torturer / Overlord per turn mid game. Several turns I'd buy Sacrifices or an Oasis or whatever just to trash them later.

I had a rules question mid-game involving bidding 40 on Mountain Pass. I had to consider this because there was a very likely end game scenario in which the first Province is bought on the turn the game ends (piles: curse, Squire, Patrician). Then basically whoever does not buy the Province can bid 40 and automatically get the +8VP -- and need not worry about being in debt because the game is over. So I was sort of tempted to leave him the last Emporium for the pile-out, considering if he bought either a Duchy or Province with it, it wouldn't have been enough. Or maybe I was overthinking this one, haha. But an interesting mechanic with Mountain Pass nonetheless.

Game 2
Knights battle (kinda). I think the biggest difference here was Dame Natalie with Caravan Guards. That and I didn't realize how powerful Sir Michael was mid and late game - which he took from me via Graverobber (I underestimated Graverobber here). I basically felt I had no chance of winning about a third of the way through the game, and tried to desperation-Graverobber the Provinces .. and that just doesn't work against DB.

Maybe the Silver-CG opening was that much better than Silver-Silver? Not sure.

Game 3
4/3 >> 5/2. Not sure what else to say. Maybe my second bridge was wrong -- had I not gotten it I think I could have won the Lab split 6-4. Not sure.

I almost wonder if Tournament was skippable here? There are plenty of actions, draw, +Buys without it. The attack part of Followers is pretty much the only thing that any of the Prizes give you that isn't already on the board.

Game 4
I actually think I had this game. But on T7 I dudded because my deck was my 3 Coppers, which I couldn't draw all of. Had 1 of the bottom 2 been a unique, I would have gotten to Gold/HP and remained a half turn behind on the building; Ok, because of my Estate I kept.

Game 5
Straight Rebuild (with help from Scavenger) vs. an attempted engine that leads to Dominate. I'm just not convinced Dominate is plausible here. Someone prove me wrong.

Game 6
Capital / Mandarin game. I like opening Vassal over Silver because of the early sifting. And T-mo to turn Estates -> Silvers. Maybe the T-mo was wrong. But I still like it's situational flexibility -- maybe it can turn a Mandarin into a Capital late? Not sure but it very well could have not been the best opening.

This game came down to shuffles. DB had a terrible first shuffle. And my T10 draw was just oh so perfect - drawing 3 Capitals and being able to T-Mo a Mandarin into a fourth.

Game 7
Envoy BM vs. a Pearl Diver / Nomad Camp / Vineyards thing. I certainly considered both routes at the start of the game. I just didn't think Vineyards would get that high. If anything, I didn't consider Obelisk (not that that was the point difference in the end, but it did affect the game). My second-to-last shuffle was just so so bad -- in a thick deck, I draw my 4 terminals together. I really do wonder how the game would have gone had that shuffle been even slightly better. That one is gonna sting.

I did consider buying a Pearl Diver when there was 1 left just so his Bandit Camps became stop cards. But I just never really felt I had the opportunity. Idk, maybe I should have just spent $5 on it. Not sure how much of a difference it would have made.

I do love seeing 2 completely different strategies in 1 Kingdom come down to the wire. Makes you think. So that was fun.


Any thoughts?

Good luck quarterfinalists!

Rules Questions / Trusty Steed
« on: October 08, 2017, 02:14:00 pm »
When I choose the 2 things on Trusty Steed, do I get to choose their order? It matters cus of the Silvers with discarding and +2 cards. ShIT doesn't let me choose.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Undo Trolling
« on: August 30, 2017, 12:12:09 am »
So like, here's the scenario:

Player A makes an honest mistake-click. Lets even say the outcome of that click gained them no information. E.g. Player A accidentally clicks action+coin on Pawn instead of an intentional action+card. Drawing the card reveals information, thus an undo after that would be up for debate. But before the card is drawn (after the Pawn is played), an undo is neither gaining nor losing any information.

Player B denies the request.

Player A requests the undo 1 or 2 more times.

Player B denies those.


Player A buys the last Province, with still another Buy available, and at this point is guaranteed to win the game.

Player A then requests an undo.

That is Undo Trolling. I've felt very tempted to do it (as Player A). Is this bad?

Dominion General Discussion / Best Uninteresting Moments of Dominion 2017
« on: January 27, 2017, 07:13:20 pm »
Had one of these for 2016, so why not?

I had a vision of some sort of Sacrifice/Transmute thing.  But the first 2 cards I trashed with Sacrifice were Potion and then (my only) Transmute.

At least I can say I tried.

Dominion Articles / Same Deck : Different Routes
« on: November 23, 2016, 09:49:24 pm »
So I try to follow awesome advice like this and this to try to determine what is the best state a deck can be in.  But one thing I feel those articles don't cover is when there are multiple different routes a deck can take to (attempt to) arrive at some similar desired state, how should I go about choosing which route?

A few different manifestations of deck states and different routes to achieve said state off the top of my head:
- I want a Champion in play and a bunch of terminals -- is it Ok to stock up on terminals while I'm still traveling, or should I just get Champion in play asap and worry about everything else later?
- I don't want Coppers now, but I do want some later -- should I thin them all out now and buy some later, or can I avoid thinning them altogether?
- I don't really want a Young Witch after the Curses are empty -- is it Ok to ignore YW and go for Familiar?
- I need an Herbalist eventually, but don't want to spend the opportunity cost now to buy it -- is it Ok to get it later even if I'm spending $12 for it?
- I want as many Minions as possible -- is it worth buying an Altar, or should I just dive right into the Minions?
- I want as many Peddlers as possible -- do I thin now and get Peddlers later, or get Peddlers now and thin later?

(Note: Some people compartmentalize the "I want as many X's as possible" scenarios as "Rushes".  I don't really like that term, as it over-generalizes games that often require very specific/subtle, yet important, decisions on how to actually win the X split.  But if that word helps you, cool.)

Below are 3 examples where I was faced with a "what is the best route to achieving this one goal?" sort of question -- two games in which I answered totally wrong, and one in which I think I answered pretty well.

Game 1
no Shelters, no Colonies

Code: [Select]
Ferry, Duchess, Develop, Trade Route, Tunnel, Moneylender, Navigator, Scout, Merchant Guild, Stables, Hireling
I look at this and do my good ol' fashioned board analysis, based on all what I've learned on these forums:
(1) No villages / max of 1 terminal per turn
(2) "Weak" +buy (I say "weak" because although Trade Route and MG can be powerful, it's not like they're Markets here)
(3) Navigator-Tunnel?  Eeeehhhhhh... nope.
(4) Hireling might be nice, but see (1) -- lot of opportunity cost (in both buying it, and playing it) there
(5) Ferry/Develop trick to turn Estates into either Merchant Guilds or Stables, hmm... Meh, seems gimicky to me, plus see (1) -- I'd rather be playing a Merchant Guild or Moneylender as my 1 terminal.

Stables stands out as the obvious power card here.  But what's the best terminal?  Moneylender seems fine, but seeing how it doesn't give +buy, it might lose to a deck that reliably plays a bunch of Stables and a MG to get a Province plus something else.  Develop -- would turn 3 junk cards into 1 junk card (the Develop ends up as a junk card) -- I don't think so.  This looks like I just want Stables, 1 MG, and it will be off to Province land.

Ok... how to do that?  This turned out to be a case of my opponent and me probably asking the same question.. but them getting it right and me getting it wrong.  The Ferry/Develop/Stables thing proved to be much more neat than I thought.  I felt SUPER lucky to tie the Stables split 5-5, but at which point my opponent was already ahead and had 2 less junk cards -- again, I think this was a much bigger deal than I originally thought.

Game 2
no Shelters, no Colonies

Code: [Select]
Ferry, Lost Arts, Page, Raze, University, Trade Route, Port, Talisman, Bridge Troll, Haunted Woods, Junk Dealer, Stables
All I'll mention about this game is that it emphasizes the whole "get cool stuff early and thin later vs. thin now and get cool stuff later" thing.  Both of our routes attempt to get a Champion and a bunch of cool terminal actions in play.  Needless to say, I thought my opponent's 5 Junk Dealers by T5 were overkill, but nay.

Game 3
Shelters, Colonies

Code: [Select]
Plan, Mission, Vineyard, Pawn, Storeroom, Magpie, Transmogrify, Wandering Minstrel, Lost City, Storyteller, King's Court, Peddler
Again, the good ol' fashioned board analysis:
(1) I want as many Peddlers as possible
(2) It will all be about pile control -- Magpies, Peddlers, and Pawns can empty very quickly
(3) It would be neat to Transmo a Peddler into a (essentially free) KC
(4) There are a few things to do on a Mission turn
(5) Vineyards could get very valuable, but see (2)

Taking these things into account...
I open Transmo/Storeroom.  This may seem odd at first, especially with Shelters.  I think my opponent even mentioned something about it in the chat at the time, like they were surprised or something.  Some sort of Plan-on-Magpie/Magpie thing might seem super good.  Basically, my reasoning was: You're gonna want as many Peddlers as possible.  And Coppers can get thinned out with Plan (would be nice to do Plan on Peddlers), so Magpies might become just cantrips (and things to Transmo into ... Duchies?).  I thought with Transmo/SR, I could (ideally) turn the OG and Hovel into Pawns, and start getting Peddlers asap.  The Transmo wouldn't even have to collide with the OG/Hovel, because of the whole call-this-whenever-you-want thing.  This turned out to be super correct (I think).  Magpies are good, yeah, but ya just want Peddlers here, man.  Oh and that Transmo-Peddler-KC thing can come in pretty handy.

I was pretty proud of myself for "seeing" this (Ok, I just guessed right -- I guess wrong just as much as I guess right).  I saw an "alternative" path to achieving something that my opponent was probably also trying to achieve, by doing something that at first seems pretty dumb.

If you're ever faced with a situation in which you (pretty confidently) know the desired state your deck should eventually be in, but there are multiple possible paths to take in order to achieve that state ... then I have no advice.  Haha.  I get this wrong probably a lot more than I get it right.  But I guess if anything, (1) realizing which paths there are, (2) at least considering the plausibility of each, and (3) critiquing your decision after the game ends (whether you won or lost) are steps in the right direction.


Rules Questions / -1 Card Token With No Deck
« on: November 08, 2016, 04:05:46 pm »
Say I have 5 cards in all of my deck + hand + discard pile + everywhere, and they're all in my hand, and it's not my turn right now.  If my opponent puts my -1 Card token on my deck, then on my turn I play a Smithy (which I don't draw anything cus I already have all my cards in my hand), what happens to the -1 Card token?  Does the Smithy wipe it out, or does it stay there until I actually start drawing cards (i.e. after I shuffle and start drawing 5 new cards)?

MF does the latter: log - see T13-T14

Also, note: Peddler wipes out a -1 Coin token, regardless of if you would have actually ended up buying/doing anything with that Coin or not.

Game Reports / Change of Plans
« on: September 29, 2016, 03:25:02 pm »

Code: [Select]
Alms, Mission, Vineyard, Lighthouse, Native Village, Scrying Pool, Guide, Lookout, Masterpiece, City, Trading Post, Harem

I thought long and hard about this one.  Straight Trading Post / BM seems good.  But man, Scrying Pool.. and Vineyards -- always so tempting!  But no +buy or gaining, weak trashing (unless you want Silvers, which SP doesn't), and no virtual economy.  Doesn't feel like a Scrying Pool game.  But Vineyards!  Ugh.. I was torn.  I thought about it for like 3 minutes before doing anything.  I thought well, if I had 5/2 the choice would be easy -- open Trading Post / Silver (with the help of Alms) and call it a day.  But on 4/3.. hmm.. Vineyards!  Ok, so I opened Potion.  I figured if I can just get some level 3 Cities (maybe piles on Scrying Pool and.. Cities?), I would be off to the races with Vineyards.  Also if I get lucky, the SP attack will make them miss their TP, which would be pretty devastating.  And in all honesty, the tie-breaker for me was that a Scrying Pool / City / Vineyards thing would just be more fun than boring old TP/BM.  And isn't that why we play -- to have fun?  So that was my plan and I went with it.  Go for Scrying Pool / City / Vineyards.

But then after my first turn, to my surprise they opened 5/2 with Trading Post.  Hmm.  Darn.  Well, I'm sticking to my plan..

Game rolls on.  Opponent only plays TP once by T9, which is pretty lucky for me.  So there's that.  But I am nonetheless questioning this whole Scrying Pool thing.

Change of plan!  T8 -- I overpay for Masterpiece to get 5 Silvers.  I'm already more thin than my opponent who opened with a Trading Post.  I'm also effectively punting on the whole engine/Vineyards thing.  So be it.  I feel like I'm ahead at this point, and I never looked back (the score ended up being really close, but I feel I was in control the whole game).

Moral of the story: Always be willing to change your strategy mid-game, based on how the game evolves.  And when you think an opening is right, but then think it's wrong, it can actually still have been right for reasons you didn't initially realize.

Help! / Could I Have Won?
« on: August 03, 2016, 01:34:33 pm »
Simple question: Could I have guaranteed a win on this turn?  My opponent went first, so I could also tie it.  I realize I didn't have the greatest luck during this turn leading up to this point (would have liked to draw more things with my early Scrying Pools).  But regardless, here I was.  Note that my Journey Token is face up.  Basically, my brain started to hurt trying to figure out how to win and I was taking a lot of time, so I just said f it and did something and hoped to draw everything on my last Scrying Pool play, which sadly it drew neither the Inn nor the Artificer.  I was hoping to mill 3 Provinces with Remodel, buy 1, and also grab a Duchy and an Estate with my Artificers.  Or something like that.  Can't really remember my exact thought process, or if it even made any sense.  One cool trick though is that gaining a Duchy with Artificer, and then picking up a Duchess, provides another thing for Scrying Pool to draw, and therefore could give other Artificers more things to discard.  But I never actually utilized this.

Log (Screenshot is from T13)

Game Reports / Spy vs. Apothecary
« on: July 20, 2016, 03:19:28 pm »

Code: [Select]
Poor House, Apothecary, Trade Route, Cutpurse, Death Cart, Horse Traders, Rats, Spy, Haggler, Harem

Colony/Platinum, Estates

Relatively weak Kingdom here.  No villages, weak trashing, no draw other than Apothecary, Haggler and Apothecary don't gel.  Basically no real synergy of any kind (that I see).  And with Colony/Platinum, I figured the game would go long (it sort of did -- 23 turns).

My plan was basically to get somewhat thin with Trade Route, then transition to having nothing but Colonies, expensive Treasures, 1 Haggler, and lots of Spies to sift the green and find the Haggler.  Ideally, my turns would be buying Gold + Haggling Spy; Platinum + Spy or Gold; or Colony + Platinum.  But it just took me for freaking ever to get to $6, and then forever to get to $9, and so on.

My opponent grabbed all 10 Apothecaries.  But they weren't incredibly fast in doing so.  Their Apothecaries were basically cantrips by the mid-game.  I'm not sure if I agree that Trade Routing Coppers in their case was good.  Regardless, they managed to get to Platinum way earlier than I did, and used +buy from Trade Route or Horse Trader to nab Platinum + Apothecary on a good turn.

So what is best here??  Both our strategies were pretty slow/weak.  Would strict big money (or whatever it's called -- where you just go Silvers, Golds, Platinum, green, and basically nothing else) be best?  Maybe add in 1 or 2 Hagglers?  Was Cutpurse bad?  I realize it wasn't great, but hey, it's better than Silver in the early game, right?  Or some sort of Rats / Death Cart thing?  My gut still tells me that my strategy was best, I just got too many $5s instead of $6s early and my 2 terminals collided more than I would have liked.  Or am I just wrong?

Game Reports / Boring vs. Fun
« on: July 12, 2016, 03:26:44 pm »
As we all know, sometimes complicated, fun strategies will win to simple, boring strategies; and sometimes vice-versa.  And when I don't know which strategy is better, I pretty much always go with the more fun one because it's, well, more fun.  (Ok, I know there are purists out there that say there is no such thing as a boring kingdom.. but that's a discussion for a different day.)  Below are 2 games -- one in which my opponent goes for T-map without much else support while I go for a complicated Storyteller/Possession/Vineyards thing, and another in which I go for a super boring Trade Silver-flooding with pretty much no other support while my opponent tries to set up some sort of Procession/Rats/Torturer engine.  As can be seen, both games ended up being VERY close.


Code: [Select]
Borrow, Raid, Vineyard, Beggar, Haven, Dungeon, Horse Traders, Treasure Map, Band of Misfits, Storyteller, Wine Merchant, Possession
Game 1 log

This game, I thought it would be fun to at least try the more complicated strategy, just to see what happens.  It ended up working out.  Opponent opened double T-map with help from Borrow and got a big early lead (in VP, at least).  But Vineyards, man.  Oh and buying Borrow whilst Possessing someone is such a jerk move.


Code: [Select]
Seaway, Trade, Poor House, Death Cart, Procession, Rats, Talisman, Transmogrify, Tactician, Torturer, Venture, Forge
Game 2 log

I ended up getting all 10 Curses here.  But my opponent was trying to make an engine happen that just wasn't there.  We did however both learn when the game was almost over that if you Procession a Transmogrify, it doesn't get trashed.  And therefore, he could have used this to give him actions.  But it was a bit too late.  I think I could have built for 1 or 2 more turns before greening, not sure, whatev.


Not saying either of us played correctly in either game.  Just sayin, sometimes you gotta just Silver flood.

Rules Questions / Storyteller / Venture
« on: June 02, 2016, 06:58:25 pm »
Kind of nitpicking here, and I'm pretty sure I already know the rule, but...

Storyteller says to "Play up to 3 Treasures...".  So say I play a Venture with Storyteller, then the Venture tells me to play a 4th Treasure.  4 is not up to 3.  Should I be able to play the 4th Treasure?  Or only up to 3?  Same would go for Counterfeit I guess.

Similar thing with Throne Room / Royal Carriage.  Say I play TR on a Smithy, play the Smithy twice, then call RC to play the Smithy a 3rd time.  But the TR said to play the Smithy twice -- no more, no less (note that I could not have played the Smithy just once if I wanted to).  Also, note that playing RC on the TR, not the Smithy, wouldn't contradict any text.

I'm like 99.9% sure that either of these scenarios are totally fine.  But they seem to contradict the text on Storyteller & TR, just sayin.

Rules Questions / Possession and Non-Supply Cards
« on: May 17, 2016, 02:59:28 pm »
As much as I hate to distract people from the scholarly one-card shuffle discussion (Ok, why the heck can't you just draw the one card???)...

I always thought that if I am possessing my opponent, and gain cards that are not in the supply (Spoils, Prizes, whatever), that I (not me as my opponent, but actually me) ultimately gain them.  Similarly, I can do cool tricks with their stuff with things like Ambassador, Island, Pathfinding, etc.

But in this game, my opponent was possessing me, played a Hero and exchanged if for a Champion on t13, but then I got the Champion, not him.  What's up with that?  Are Travelers immune to Possession?  The Hero was (correctly?) returned to the Hero pile.

Rules Questions / Duration Attacks
« on: May 11, 2016, 08:19:19 pm »
Apologies if these have been asked before..

In this situation:
- 2 player game
- I went first
- My opponent played a Lighthouse on turn x
- I play a duration attack, e.g. Swamp Hag, on turn x+1
does my opponent get affected by my Swamp Hag on their x+1 turn?  Cus Lighthouse specifically says "when another player plays an Attack card...", which doesn't apply on their x+1 turn -- because I played it earlier, not now.  Sure, it prevented the Swamp Hag from doing anything to them on my turn x (when I played it), but that isn't the case anymore.

The answer to this affects Secret Chamber.. If the Lighthouse blocks the Swamp Hag on my opponent's x+1, does that also mean they get to reveal their Secret Chamber a second time?  That would be odd to reveal it the second time, as it's your own turn.  It would kind of be like playing an action at the start of your turn that is neither a reserve nor does it actually cost an action.. weird.  Would it affect Conspirator?  Could you call Coin of the Realm on it?  Could you do it after resolving your Caravans, or would you have to do it first?

Same goes for Champion as with Lighthouse.

Also, say my opponent had instead revealed a Moat during my turn x.  Does that make them not affected by my Swamp Hag on their turn x+1?  Cus that is still technically the same attack as was played earlier -- that attack is still happening.  If this were the case, I guess you would have to remember whether you revealed the Moat or not (unlikely, but could be a pain IRL, especially with >2 players).


Oh, and one more unrelated thing while I have ya.. Can I put tokens on empty supply piles?  So like, Pathfinding says "Move your +1 Card token to any Action Supply pile...".  But technically when there are no more cards in a pile, it's not a pile anymore -- it's just a spot on my table that used to contain a pile of cards.

Dominion Articles / Trends
« on: March 25, 2016, 10:53:08 pm »
Here's a little project I've been working on :) ...

0 Introduction

Somewhat-inspired by threads like this, I got to wondering: Why do our opinions of Dominion change over time?  Is it simply because we get better and more experienced at it?  Or are there actual objective reasons as to why we think Sea Hag is not as good as it used to be?  Or why Urchin is getting better?  What follows in this post is an attempt to answer (part of) that.

(Ok, tbh, it doesn't really answer much, if anything at all.  I mostly plotted these things out of pure curiosity.  Take it or leave it :) )

Every section below shows a function y(x), where x is expansion set (Base, Intrigue, etc.).  For each section, I explain what y is, my method of counting things, any assumptions I made, etc.  I then remark on any observations I see in the data, although I try not to draw too many conclusions.  Feel free to come up with your own though (and talk about them).

These are some things that apply to all sections:
  • I took every expansion and promo into account up to and including Summon
  • I got the data mostly from the wiki
  • The x-axes are to-scale.  That is, Base came out Oct. of 2008, Intrigue came out July of 2009, etc., and the horizontal distances between the data points are proportional to how much time is actually between those dates.
  • I didn't really know where to put promos on the x-axes.  I could have put them each on their own release date, but I decided against that because (1) that would clutter up the graphs, and (2) it doesn't really make sense to talk about the ratio of a in b, where b is only 1.  This will make more sense when you see what the graphs are of.  So I lumped all promos together, and have them as released on Aug. of 2015 which is, as far as I could tell, about the release of Summon.  I've marked each data point for promos in red to indicate this inconsistency.
  • I used my best judgement in cases when it wasn't clear what to count something as.  For example, is Tribute a village-variant?  And what about Knights?  Etc.  If anything doesn't make sense, or you want more explanation, or you disagree with how I did something, or whatever, then feel free to message me.
Without further dudes...

1 Number of Cards

First off, an easy one: the number of cards in each set.  I indicate (1) how many randomizers there are, and (2) how many extra cards that the set came with that could possibly contribute to Fairgrounds.  This means I counted Province, Duchy, Gold, etc. for Base.

We all knew Dark Ages and Adventures were the big ones.  So not much else to explain or conclude here.

2 Average Coin Cost of Supply Card

One data point here is the average coin cost of the randomizer cards in the set.  I don't do anything with Potion cost.  If something cost x* (Peddler, Doctor, ...) I counted it as x.  I counted Knights as $4.9.

Looks like this is an incredibly flat curve, with the exception of 3 points.  Alchemy had Potions, and so it makes sense they have a low average coin cost.  DX can charge whatever the heck he wants for Promos.  Prosperity, however, is the 1 true outlier -- even counting Peddler as $0 instead of $8, this would still be by far the most expensive set.  Huh.  Oh and it also has GM.

3 Percentage of Attacks

For each set, I show the percentage of randomizers that are (1) a junking attach, (2) a hand-size-reducer attack, and (3) any other type of attack.  For things like Torturer that are 2 of these things, I used my best judgment to put them into the 1 thing they are used more often as.  I counted Travellers as attacks because at least one of (each of) them are.

Again, not much to report on.  This appears to be fluctuating but doesn't show a trend upwards or down.

4 Percentage of Thinners

Figured percentage of junkers was a good segway into showing the percentage of thinners in each set.  Again, I used my best judgement for counting things; like, I didn't count Knights (Dame Anna), but I did count Transmute.  Randomizers only.

This is also not trending up or down per se, but it definitely has am up-and-down periodicity to it.  Mind: blown.

5 Percentage of Village- or TR-Variants

Basically, if something had a "+2 Actions" clause or similar on it, I counted it.  Or, if it didn't have a + actions, but it could still typically be used to gain actions -- so things like Ironmonger, Herald, etc.  I think I didn't count things like Tribute and Tournament (Trusty Steed), although honestly I don't even remember haha.  Randomizers only.

This seems to be ever-so-slightly trending upwards.  Guess DX does like giving us more of this type of engine component.

6 Percentage of Alt-VP Cards (Not VP-Token Cards)

Pretty self-explanatory -- I counted things like Gardens, Great Hall, Nobles, etc.  Randomizers only.

Looks like it's ever-so-slightly trending downwards.  Not much else to say.

7 Card/Event Artwork Genders

This was a fun one.  This shows the percentage of any card art (so randomizers, non-supply cards, and Events) that has primarily (1) females on it, or (2) males on it, or (3) neither/both/I couldn't tell.  I used my eyes to determine this and didn't look on any rulebooks or anything, so I may have gotten some of it wrong.  But I did my best.

DX, we need more chicas!!  And I now see why the Dark Ages were so dark :P

8 Number of Big Horizontal Lines

This shows the number of big horizontal lines (like in Nobles, Young Witch, etc.) in each set.  I believe I counted everything, not just randomizers.

Obviously trending upwards.  Does this mean Dominion is getting more complicated?  More things to remember at times other than when you play a card?  ???

9 Average Number of Types Per Card

This shows the average number of types per card.  By "Types", I mean the number of things on the bottom of the card (that's what a Type is, right?).  So like Great Hall is 2 types (Action, Victory), Marauder is 3 (Action, Attack, Looter), etc.  For cards that had extra non-randomizer things to them, I counted the UNION of all the types associated to the randomizer.  So like Tournament had 4 (Action, Prize, Attack, Treasure), Knights had 4 (Action, Knight, Attack, Victory), and so on.

Again, a pretty clear upward trend.  Dang you DX for making this game more complicated!  :P  Pretty wild that there are almost on average 2 types per card in Adventures.  Interesting note though: Promos are said to be "exotic", yet they have the lowest number types per card.

10 Average Length of Card Text

This is my favorite one.  It also was a pain in the a** to do though.  The "length" of a card is the number of characters in the string that composes that card's explanation text.  I didn't count the card's types or their name.  I used sites like this to copy the card text, then I'd paste it into some string-length-calculator, then average those out for the set (but I did have to type it all out for Adventures because one of those sites does not exist for Adventures yet :().  For cards that have extra non-randomizer cards, I took the SUM of all of the text.  So like Tournament and Travellers had a lot each, which kind of skewed the average.  But I figured this was best because in order to fully understand those cards, you need to read all that text.  I didn't include Events.

Once again, an obvious upwards trend.  Oh, how the days are gone where you only needed a 3rd grade reading level to fully understand Dominion :(

11 Conclusion

That's it.  Thanks for watching!  To sum up: Dominion is getting more complicated.  And there aren't enough chicks (in the card art).

As a final aside: All the images above are being hosted on a third party site.  Let me know if their links ever break or whatever.

Rules Questions / Thrown Room Variant + Duration
« on: March 24, 2016, 02:01:19 pm »
When I Throne Room a Caravan, why does the TR stay out?  I played the Caravan twice; the Caravan says nothing about TR.  And also, when I TR_1-TR_2-Caravan-Smithy, why does the TR_2 (or the TR_1) not stay out?  Or does MF just have this wrong?

And if the TR is supposed to stay out with the Caravan, why does the TR not "stay" with an Island?

Game Reports / Mint as Thinner
« on: March 17, 2016, 06:15:14 pm »

Code: [Select]
Hamlet, Scheme, Village, Bureaucrat, Caravan, Noble Brigand, Bandit Camp, Merchant Ship, Mint, Mystic


I just wanted to highlight this game because it illustrates a very simple, yet often-messed-up, technique: using Mint to clear out your starting Coppers.

I am confident here the best way to go is to get as many Coppers into play as you can, ideally at least 6, then buying Mint, then playing Bandit Camp enough to afford a Platinum, then Minting Platina, and so on.

To accomplish that, all you want is draw.  You don't want Silvers, Golds, Merchant Ships, or anything that doesn't help you get more Coppers into play.  I opened Caravan/Scheme.  This will make it pretty unlikely I spike $5 early -- but I don't really care because all I want is $4 for Caravans.  My opponent bought a Silver early, which I instantly thought was a mistake.  And I think that had a direct effect on me winning, as I was able to get 6 Coppers into play for Mint, opposed to my opponent's 3 Copper and 1 Silver.

Oh, and once you buy the Mint, you will still need a way to generate economy and/or have targets for the Mint.  Therefore, you want to have your <thing that gets you economy or can be Minted> before you buy the Mint (or, alternatively, at least have a plan to generate economy afterwards - so something like Upgrade would be good because it could turn the Mint into something much more useful).  This seems obvious, but I see people screw it up a lot.  In this case, it was Bandit Camp -- it would be used to gain enough economy back after having Minted away my Coppers.  And I had bought a Bandit Camp 2 turns before my Mint, opposed to my opponent buying his 4 turns before his Mint -- again, not ideal as those extra Spoils inhibit you from getting more Coppers into play.

So yeah, Minting Coppers is good.  But most of you probably already knew that :P

Oh and here is a somewhat similar game with Mint & Wishing Well to draw the Coppers, in which I royally screwed up by thinking I could use Trader instead of Mint to clear them out:

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