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Topics - mDuo13

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Game Reports / This made me grin.
« on: July 31, 2012, 03:29:32 pm »
A picture is worth more than words here:

Puzzles and Challenges / Theoretical Maximum Points in Deck
« on: May 16, 2012, 08:36:20 pm »
querty31 challenged players, "What's the theoretical maximum number of points in your final deck, if you buy ALL the cards in the supply?" Obviously, the answer is "infinite" since you can use Monument or Bishop to gain VP chips forever.

But let us consider a different question: what's the theoretical maximum number of points in your final deck, discounting VP chips, and which Kingdom cards make this score possible?

EDIT: Ah, there were other topics. I should've known. Well, whatever, let's update the solution with Hinterlands cards. I'm sure at least a certain one will make a difference. Also, let's get more specific with the setup rules. For convenience, we'll base it on Isotropic's setup:

  • Solo game. (8x each for Victory cards)
  • Colonies included. (Bonus points for figuring out the Province equivalent to this puzzle, though.)
  • Black Market is allowed, but fixed to 25 cards (like in Isotropic). Your choice which ones.
  • Potions will be included if any of your Kingdom/BM cards has a Potion cost.
  • 53x Copper in supply (In addition to the 7x in your starting deck.)
  • 40x Silver, 16x Potion, 30x Gold, 12x Platinum, 10x Curse
  • If your deck includes Young Witch, you can decide what the Bane is.
  • You are not required to buy all the Curses. You can choose to buy some if you want, though.
  • Optionally, take into account how many cards it's legally possible to end the game with in your deck. You can't three-pile out early, so you'll probably need a source of +buy and either cost reduction or card draw in order to buy the last 1 of almost-everything; or you can see how high you can get without any +buy or other gaining.

Full disclosure: I'm not actually sure what the answer is. There are 11 kingdom victory cards, most of which would play well with each other except Vineyard -- which would only get points for your Great Halls, Nobles, and Islands. Each of the (8x) Vineyards is worth an additional ~3.3 points for each Action card in the Kingdom, which suggests that Harem is probably not a key card in the ideal Kingdom. Meanwhile, to optimize Fairgrounds, you need Black Market (and to a much lesser extent, Tournament) available. But on the other hand, Silk Road is worth an additional 2 points for each Victory card in the Kingdom, so it doesn't want you to waste Kingdom spaces on non-Green cards...

Puzzles and Challenges / Checkmate
« on: May 05, 2012, 02:45:32 pm »
Suppose your opponent (or one of your opponents if it's a 3+ game) already has just over half of each of the Victory cards available in his deck. (For example, he has 4 Provinces, 4 Duchies, 4 Great Halls, and 5+3 Estates in a non-Propserity 2-player game.) You know that your opponent won't make any obvious play mistakes to give you the game, such as trashing his own VP cards for less value.

If you want to continue playing as long as it's still possible to win, as long as any chance of victory exists with perfect shuffle luck and perfect play on your part, what cards and strategies do you look for?

Come up with as many solutions as possible.

Here's everything I can think of:

* VP chips: Monument, Bishop, Goons.
* Curse-givers: As long as you can get the remaining almost-half of all VP cards and deal out more than half the curses, you can win. I won't bother listing every cursing attack possible.
* Variable-value Kingdom VP cards: Gardens, Fairgrounds, Vineyards. If you can make yours worth more than his, then you can win with less than half of the VP cards. Unfortunately, Silk Roads and Dukes don't work, since you can't get more supporting VP cards than he does.
* Masquerade: There's some chance he'll draw an all-green hand and have no choice but to pass one to you. Bonus: make it more likely with Minion. Or go for a KC/Masquerade pin.
* Possession + Ambassador: Make him return green cards to you.
* Saboteur: Destroy his VP cards and replace them with lower-denomination cards. Bonus: make it more likely to hit high-value cards using Highways/Bridges
* Swindler: Convert his VP cards into non-VP cards. (Duchies to $5 actions, Provinces to Peddlers) Bonus: use Highways/Bridges and Swindle things into Coppers or Curses.

This came up in a game I was playing today. I think my opponent and I both looked at the board and concluded that rushing to Possession wouldn't be as strong as Horse Traders / Duke, so we went that way, but due to a couple of factors including shuffle luck and buying Coppers more diligently, I ended up winning the Duchy split, so my opponent changed tactics. He went for Governor/Ambassador/Possession; never did really manage to pull it off before ending the game, but it left me wondering. Had he started out that way, rather than trying to win the Duchy race, or perhaps on a different board without Duke, wouldn't that be a really good strategy?

To be painfully obvious, the combo works like so: You start by using Governor/Ambassador to build up a solid deck with golds and stuff in order to buy Possession. You buy several Ambassadors and use them to give Ambassadors to your opponent [even if they avoided buying Ambassadors because they saw Possession on the board]. Then you take megaturns with Governor's +3 cards, ending in Possession on your opponent; the fact that they've drawn so many cards off your Governors means that it's likely their good & green cards will collide with the Ambassadors you've been sending them, so you can then use Ambassadors during their Possessed turn to pass the cards back to yourself. As an added bonus, the possessed turn "eats up" the bonus cards you give them off Governor's +3, leaving them with just a normal turn. Even with no +Action or +Buy on the board, it seems like you could easily cause a 4-Province (or 4-Colony) swing in "one" turn, by buying one on your turn and returning two on the possessed turn. If your opponent's deck has good money, you might even manage to buy one using their mega-hand after sending yourself their green cards, for a theoretical total swing of:
* +1 Province on your turn
* -2 Provinces to opponent during possessed turn (Ambassador)
* +1 Province to yourself during possessed turn (same Ambassador)
* +1 Province using opponent's money on possessed turn
= 30-point swing (Province game)

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to test it out (doesn't seem easy to test in solitaire mode) but I'm really curious if anyone else has managed to get this to pay off. Is it too slow? Pipe dream? Or does it seem actually viable, given the availability of all 3 cards?

Game Reports / Another game where Thief is awesome
« on: April 18, 2012, 07:40:16 pm »

Normally I'm not a fan of King's Court boards because I hate just trying to hit $7 and then collide the KC with useful actions (and each other). But in this game, I immediately saw Chapel/Treasure Map and then realized that there was a next-order strategy in Chapel/Thief to reach King's Court. I was able to easily steal all his treasure, and then use KC/Young Witch to break the tie. I was a little worried he'd get 5 Provinces before me, and he did a very clever defensive move after losing most of his treasure by buying Cache, but it all worked out in the end.

I love it when I find a good use for a generally bad card. Although I have to wonder if there's another strategy that tops mine on this board.

I was chugging along, steadily working my way up the leaderboard, refining my builds and timings, expanding my card knowledge, you know the drill, up until level 27, where I peaked after a particularly good day.

Then an unlucky day later I dropped to rank 23 and I've been piddling around ranks 21-23 ever since. Mostly of the time I play, it feels like I lose close games due to bad luck. There are some exceptions where either my opponent or I made a crucial mistake, or Tournament games that spiral out of control, but overall I can't figure out why I'm losing so much more often lately.

here's are a few example games -- if you guys can look through and point out anything I could've done to play it better, I'd love the advice. I'm sure there are more optimal ways to play some of these.

Game 1.
(Tunnel game, I probably should've bought Secret Chamber earlier?)

Game 2.
(Goons, I probably shouldn't have opened Walled Village, I guess?)

Game 3.
(Familiar with both players opening 5/2. I tried to play defense with Wharf+Crossroads+Salvager but it didn't work.)

Game 4.
(I go Chapel/Remodel, he goes Masq/Masq)

Game 5.
(Basically a BM game, I lost the tie on turns.)

Especially if you guys can see some trend to my mistakes/weaknesses that I can work on for all future games, that would be ideal.

Game Reports / I hate Loan...
« on: April 12, 2012, 06:07:16 pm »
I think this is a nice summary:

(This is with only 2 Golds and like 5-6 other treasures in the deck)

I'm pretty sure my Loans hit Gold more often than they hit Copper this game. On the plus side, I was able to discard to Mountebank pretty often, but it wasn't much consolation when I couldn't draw money to save my life.

-> full game

Game Reports / "Noooooooooooooooooo!"
« on: March 14, 2012, 08:17:15 pm »

A pretty even game. At the very end, his Jester curses me, and I end up with $12 and 3 buys -- enough to buy the last Province, but with the Estates having run out, just short of taking the lead.

I should've bought two Duchies rather than the Province, and hoped he would not buy the last Duchy or Province on his turn (either would end the game), although I think I'd lost count of the exact VP totals at that point...

It's not often I come within $1 and 1 point of winning based on some freak accident, though.

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