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Topics - NolanA

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Help! / Correct Way To Play This Kingdom
« on: September 13, 2016, 11:09:09 pm »
I sometimes play Dominion under an alias to test new strategies or new cards.  Today I played under the alias "Player Z" and did a game that included 4 cards I am not familiar with -- Prince, Horse Trader, Farming Village, and Harvest.  The kingdom is below.

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Chapel, Moat, Bureaucrat, Farming Village, Horse Traders, Spy, Council Room, Festival, Harvest, Prince
The game log is at .  I purchased each of the 4 new cards, so I got a feel for them.  I think all of them are interesting additions that I'd like to see in games more often.  Prince in particular seems to open the door to new types of games and strategies.  I came up with an okay enough strategy to win, but I'm sure this wasn't the best way to play the kingdom.  I opened Silver/Chapel, bought a Horse Trader next, then used it to quickly get Golds and higher priced cards.  I chose to Prince the Horse Trader, rather than the Farming Village.

I am curious what would be a more optimal way to play this kingdom?

Game Reports / My Favorite Engine
« on: September 01, 2016, 12:47:10 am »
The engine I most enjoy playing is a Festival-Library-Chapel type engine.   The game below is the first opportunity I've had to enhance it with an Outpost (I've only played ~30 Seaside games against human opponents).  There was also a Witch, Throne Room, and Cellar in the kingdom.  It was one of the most enjoyable games I've had in a while.  I'm still hoping for the game when I get to purchase 2 Provinces on my main turn, followed by 2 Provinces in the Outpost turn.  In this game I came close, with 3 Province + 1 Dutchy on the final turn.

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Cellar, Chapel, Bureaucrat, Throne Room, Festival, Laboratory, Library, Outpost, Treasury, Witch

While I did win, I believe I made several mistakes, which I've listed below.

1. I believe I should have bought the Outpost earlier. I'm thinking a buy order for the +5 cost cards of Festival, Witch, Festival, Outpost, Library, Festival, Festival, Library, ... 

2.  I could have been more aggressive with the early Chapel trashing on turn 3.

3.  On turn 12, I played Festival, Chapel, Library, so Library was terminal.  It probably would have been better to play Festival, Library..., even though I'd be drawing 2 fewer cards with the Library.  Some of the other later hands may have had similar issues.  Perhaps I should have given trashing the curse(s) remaining later on in the deck a higher priority than drawing an extra Library card when the engine was often drawing the full deck by saving the Chapel for when my hand size was larger.

4.  On turn 17, I drew Silver, Cellar, Throne Room, Library.  I discarded everything with hope of kicking off the engine with a Festival + Library.  I already a had a Library in hand, so it was silly to discard it.  I ended up wasting the turn.  I suppose had I kept the Library, and played it, I still would have drawn nothing useful and wasted the turn (nothing playable could be drawn by Library, and only treasure was 1 sliver in deck),  but at least I had a better chance of kicking off the engine.

5.  Throne Rooms could have been bought and played more effectively. 

Goko Dominion Online / Games With Equal Victory Points Not A Draw?
« on: August 28, 2016, 11:34:25 am »
I've seen a few games in which both players had equal victory points, yet the game was recorded as a win/loss with 1st/2nd place instead of a draw.    Is there a reason for this I am missing?  Or is it a bug?   An example game is at .

Dominion General Discussion / Order To Get The Expansions
« on: August 17, 2016, 07:20:35 pm »
I'm ready to get an expansion, but I keep changing my mind about which one to get.  I was originally planning to get Intrigue since getting the expansions in order of release seems logical, and the cards look interesting. I particularly liked the base game campaign that included Bridge.  Then I started thinking about how I find the Spy discard decisions in the base game annoying to the point of avoiding building engines containing many Spies, just so I don't need to click on a large number discard decisions for each player over and over each turn.  Intrigue sounds like it introduces more of this type of repeated decision engines, it has a few cards that may be annoying, and it tends to be rated poorly compared to other expansions. 

Next I was leaning towards starting with a smaller expansion to see how things go, then get a larger expansion next time, after being more informed about what types of things I like and dislike in the smaller expansion.  Among the smaller expansions, Guilds appeals to me most.  The cards seem easy to understand and interesting, yet still can produce a variety of new strategies.  After reading in more detail about cards in the expansions, now I am leaning towards Seaside.  It seems more interesting that Guilds. I particularly like the larger number of useful attack cards. Several of the other cards also sound like they would add new and interesting dimensions to the game.  It sounds like Seaside makes the game more enjoyable and is well rated, yet it is still one of the more simple expansions, making it a good one to start with.

In what order would others recommend getting the expansions?

Simulation / Is Geronimoo's Simulator Open Source?
« on: August 15, 2016, 01:42:15 am »
I saw Geronimoo's simulator on GitHub, but the project hasn't been updated in 5 years, so I am assuming it is not the current version.  Is there a more recent open source version?  Or is the simulator private?

I ask because I am interested in making some minor updates to support modifying the default rules for how a few cards are played, ideally making them user configurable.  For example, consider a Festival/Library/Chapel/... engine where the sim draws a hand of Throne Room, Festival, Festival, Library, Chapel. It's my understanding that the sim's 1st choice is to Throne Room the Chapel (even though there is nothing in hand to trash), 2nd choice is to Throne Room the Library, and last choice is to Throne Room the Festival.  This type of Throne Room play strategy can have a tremendous influence on sim results, often making Throne Room appear to be a weak card in situations where it could be quite valuable with a different play strategy.

Game Reports / 72 vs -4 Points in Base Game, Without Gardens
« on: July 29, 2016, 08:42:25 pm »

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Chancellor, Bureaucrat, Feast, Moneylender, Spy, Festival, Laboratory, Library, Mine, Witch
Log --

This would normally be a simple game without much thought, but it turned out to be amusing (to me) because of my opponent's play towards the end.  He seemed to be focused on amassing as many golds as possible, rather than getting victory cards.  I was tempted to try to get all of the victory cards, but I chose to end the game instead.

EDIT: There was a different game log earlier involving trashing down to only 1 copper in treasure, but I decided to post this one instead.

Introductions / Long Time Game Player, New To Dominion
« on: July 25, 2016, 01:28:49 am »
I live in Southern CA and work in digital communications engineering. I've enjoyed playing games for as long as I can remember.  When I was a small child, I used to play board games with my parents nearly every evening. As I got older, my interests shifted to video games.  I was published in the magazine Nintendo Power a few times as the first person to finish a game.  After an amazing experience in Vegas ~10 years ago, my interests shifted more towards casino games.  I started the website, which relates to analyzing casino games.  I've seen a few on here who probably know me from the site.  Now that I don't spend much time on BB or casino games, I've started playing online games, as well as board games with my GF.  I first tried Machi Koro, which I became bored of after just 2 games because of the simplicity and lack of variation in optimal strategy.  Next I tried Suburbia, which I still enjoy playing occasionally, but still didn't really hold my interest due to setup time, lack of quality opponents, lack of interactivity in game structure, and too little variation in strategy.

Next I tried several different online games, which is how I came across Dominion.   I like how there are a tremendous number of different initial kingdom card combinations in Dominion, leading to a tremendous number of possible strategies.  It's a game that cannot be easily solved like Machi Koro, and where you can continue to improve your play over time or continue to analyze.   I've played hundreds of games on and am still interested.  I find the online play really enhances the game since you can find people to play against at any time, and the game lends itself to computer implementation, such as automated shuffles.  I plan to try some more board games soon.  I received Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective as a present yesterday and ordered some new games I plan to try soon -- Pandemic Legacy, Android: Netrunner, Castles of Burgundy, Forbidden Island, and Hey That's My Fish (mostly for others who like lighter games), but I have a feeling that Dominion online play is going to remain my favorite.

My PlayDominion name is the same as my name on here -- NolanA.  Feel free to challenge me.

Simulation / Simulation with useful Thief or Chancellor in Base Game
« on: July 25, 2016, 12:29:46 am »
I started playing Dominion recently and have only played the base game so far.   I believe I have a good handle on the base cards and win most games against high ranked players (~4500 rating on MF).  The cards I buy most and least often when available would be something like below:

Almost Always Buy -- Witch
Often Buy -- Cellar, Chapel, Council Room, Festival, Gardens,  Laboratory, Library, Market, Militia, Moat, Remodel, Smithy, Village
Sometimes Buy -- Bureaocrat, Feast, Throne Room, Workshop
Rarely Buy -- Adventurer, Mine, Moneylender, Spy, Woodcutter
Never Buy -- Chancellor, Thief

I realize this list is a little different than most I play, such as opening with Moneylender much less often; and rarely playing Mine (mostly on a 5/2 open when nothing better is available or later stages of certain engines) or Spy (mostly chapeled decks when there is nothing else of any <=4 price that I want to buy, including silver).  However, my biggest interest is the two cards I  never buy or play -- thief and chancellor.  They are the only 2 cards in the base game that I have not found a use for.   Does anyone have an example simulation where either of these cards have a noteworthy improvement on win rate compared to the best non-thief/chancellor alternative?

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