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

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

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

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

Interested to see what answers you all come up with.

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

Council room / Possession. Just plain nasty.

Game Reports / Won with 10 curses.
« on: September 21, 2012, 08:07:04 am »
If there isn't an achievement for winning with all the curses in your deck, there ought to be!

And no, it wasn't a Goons game.

In retrospect, I suspect that if my opponent had opened Remake/Embargo, or indeed Remake/anything with an earlier Embargo, I would have been in big trouble. As it was, I was extremely please with the way his Embargoes allowed my three pile to occur on the exact turn I bought the last Duke.

Ok... is this going to be a decent combo or strategy, or is it just poor?

So we have Develop, which ain't great. Then we have Poorhouse, that costs 1, and wants decks that ain't fill of cash. And you've got coppers and estates to work on. All we need now is a 3 cost village like Fishing Village or Village, and we've got the potential for Develop to very quickly make a deck that can generate $8 a turn.

So copper goes to -> poorhouse. Estate goes to village+poorhouse.

Now we've got the potential for Develop to very quickly make a deck that can generate $8 a turn.

Hell, if you don't have Village there, you can always develop estates into develop + poor house, and then develop your develop to get that worker village instead.

And here's another thought: if there's one thing develop IS good at, its getting three piles low before you get a chance to do much.

So maybe there's an opportunity here for a deck that builds towards getting one or two provinces fast, then running out piles?

What do you reckon? Combo or nombo?

Game Reports / Probably the most complicated match I have ever played
« on: August 01, 2012, 02:21:57 pm »

This game was amazing: my thanks to my opponent for the game, and a shame the lag slowed it down so much.

An asymmetrical opening: 5/2 vs 4/3, with:

Bazaar, Colony, Expand, Highway, Hoard, Merchant Ship, Mountebank, Platinum, Potion, Scrying Pool, Tactician, University, and Warehouse

What do you do with a board like that?

My first thought was University / Tactician, transitioning to the megaengine from hell.

I went Potion/ Warehouse, thinking the odds of 2P from this were good. Nope, Turn 3 missed the potion, so I bought a potion. Turn 4 hit both potions, so I knew I was shuffling again before getting a second Uni. So far, so not good. Turn 5: a flat $2. Great. My two potions continued to be drawn together, over and over... I was sure I had already lost...

Both of us thought Highway/Tactician, but my opponent was there first, and had an early Expand cleaning up his deck.

Both of us declined Mountebank early on, in order to accelerate our own engines. For my opponent's part, I think he was crazy to decline Mountebank on a 5/2 split, regardless of engines.

Even so, it looked very bad for a very long time.

Turn 12: my opponent buys Colony and Scrying Pool. I have no colonies yet, nor any platinum.
Turn 14: my opponent buys a Colony and a Bazaar. I have no colonies yet, nor any platinum.
Turn 15: my opponent buys a Colony. I have no colonies yet, nor any platinum.
Turn 16: my opponent buys a Colony and a Bazaar. I have no colonies yet, nor any platinum.
Turn 17: my opponent buys a Colony and a Mountebank. I have no colonies yet, nor any platinum.

Turn 18...:

5 colonies down, and in the depths of despair, having spent the last few turns acquiring duchies and provinces in the hope I might climb back in the game some how. I Scry, play my Bazaars and Highways, Scry again and then...


I stop for a long time. I add up the numbers. I realise I may have the cards in hand to do this.

That turn, I go for 2 provinces, 3 duchies and 1 colony. I inflict 2 curses. I end the game on three piles using University to gain Expands.

Boom, game over, comeback of the year, hell yeah!

I spent the whole second half of the game expecting to have lost, but working towards a hope that I might find my way back in. Then suddenly, there it was.

Lesson for me: Never give up. 5-0 down on Colonies doesn't mean the game is over.

Game Reports / Ambassador loves Engines
« on: June 27, 2012, 01:02:00 pm »

Quite possibly the most fun I've had playing Dominion so far. A game that really made me think hard, and where every card in the kingdom was bought or gained at least once. There was ambassador warring, menagerie manipulation, upgrade cleverness, king's courting, forging...

My favourite moment was the last turn, when I realised that I could end the game on provinces, if I first ambassadored two provinces to my opponent. As it was, the game was pretty much locked by that stage, but still I'm happy with how I ended it.

On the last turn of the game:

Me: Kudos to you for not quitting before now.
Opponent: People do that?

Uh, yeah. I do, anyway. But I'll think twice before doing so in future

Solo Challenges / Velocity Challenge: Maximum points per turn
« on: June 19, 2012, 07:47:42 pm »
I'm sure something like that this has been done before, but out of curiosity, whats the highest points per turn you've achieved in a solo game?

The reason I ask this, is that I was playing around with random solo sets, and managed to get 480 points in 16 turns. It was a Goons game, naturally, and I didn't select the cards at all but just played for a megaturn, with no particular goal in mind. For me, a game average of 30 points per turn is far and away the highest I've ever managed in a solo game. And this was just a random solo game...

So as an informal challenge, post your games with the highest points velocities.

The rules

Solo game.
Kingdom of your choice.
Game must end properly (i.e. three pile, or colonies or provinces run out, not resigning).

Your score for this challenge is your Game Score / Number of turns.

Post the link to the isotropic game.
Post as many times as you like.
Try to make sure that your score velocity is better than the poster before. So to start off, that means going for better than 30 pts/turn average.

Let's see what you got!

edit: I'm aware I haven't structured this in the normal way for a solo challenge, so if this belongs in another forum, apologies.

Variants and Fan Cards / Card Idea: Sanctum
« on: June 19, 2012, 09:20:28 am »
Type: Action
Cost: $4

+1 Card, +1 Action
Set aside a card from your hand on the Sanctum mat, or return any number of cards from the Sanctum mat to your hand.

I'm thinking its a bit like Haven, a bit like Native Village, but with more control, so you can use it as a pseudo-trasher and to build megaturns.

Dominion Articles / How to lose ranks
« on: June 18, 2012, 07:38:28 am »
As a mirror to these excellent articles ( ) I'd like to show you how to lose ranks like crazy! Looking at council room, I've dropped 7 ranks in the last 1 month, so I consider myself an expert!

First, go on holiday for a week or two. Without matches, your skill level will slip downwards as isotropic loses confidence in you.

Second, play only when extremely tired and stressed, such as at 4am when you've been woken by a crying baby and can't get back to sleep.

Third, accidentally resign matches when you're ahead by clicking too fast. Ok, I only did this twice last month, but twice is enough!

Fourth, try our wacky strategies for experimentation's sake, rather than sticking to what you know works.

Fifth, try to convince yourself that Develop is actually quite good in the hands of a skilled player, and delude yourself into thinking you are at that skilled player. Seriously - the one or two occasions where Develop has won me games in beautiful and aesthetic ways have led to me buying it waaaay too often.

Sixth, if you lose your first three matches of a night, quit and do something else. This denies you the opportunity to level things out, and lets isotropic knock a level or two off you for the day.

Finally, if a better player beats you, ask them if they'd like a rematch, and continue to do so with increasing determination the more times they consecutively beat you.

Anyone else got any tips?

Game Reports / How I was a noob.... and won!
« on: May 02, 2012, 06:22:25 pm »
Two games. Sadly I forgot to open the log of the first, so I'll scoop it up from councilroom and post it later.

Had the pleasure of playing twice against ARTjoMS, a level 43 player, currently 18th in the rankings. Won both times.

The first game (link to come) I'll admit I played worse and came out ahead. Chat log as follows:

22:37 Asklepios: good luck
22:40 Asklepios: considering bank as your second card?
22:40 ARTjoMS: no
22:40 Asklepios: shows what i know!
22:40 Asklepios: I was thinking you have +buy, and I don't
22:40 ARTjoMS: yes
22:40 ARTjoMS: thats true
22:40 Asklepios: my path is a lot more linear it seems
22:41 Asklepios: oooh
22:41 Asklepios: didn't see that coming
22:42 Asklepios: nice
22:42 Asklepios: shame you can't haggle nobles eh?
22:43 Asklepios: and here was me thinking i'd negated highway by taking out council room
22:44 Asklepios: so glad to see the spice merchant played for cards!
22:44 Asklepios: i think you still have this though
22:44 Asklepios: i'd need a great draw with forge to pull this off now
22:45 Asklepios: daaaamn
22:45 Asklepios: after the game would you mind sharing your thoughts?
22:45 ARTjoMS: i dont mind
22:46 Asklepios: thanks, always seeking to learn from higher ranked and better players
22:47 Asklepios: that was the luck i needed
22:47 ARTjoMS: it was huge luck
22:47 Asklepios: definitely
22:47 Asklepios: anything you can suggest re: my gameplan?
22:47 ARTjoMS: well spice merchh is obv way better than caravan
22:47 Asklepios: yeah i forgot it gives buys
22:47 ARTjoMS: and u had no buy all the game
22:47 ARTjoMS: and going green too early
22:48 Asklepios: ?
22:48 Asklepios: Surprised by that I have to say

An explanation: first up, he vetoed herbalist, then me councilroom. Reason for me was because of Highways presence, and I thought that if we ditched all the +buys I'd take that card out of the equation and make a simpler game. Simpler game = more chance of me keeping up with a better player's strategy.

Of course, I forgot the +buy from spice merchant. That's why I'm not a top tier player: I make mistakes like that quite a lot.

I opened caravan/silver, my good opponent spice merchant/silver. We both went for Haggler early, and both played mildly for crossroads/nobles as a combo, likely with the thinking that any turn buying a province ought to have some haggling going on too.
Soon, I started greening - too early, according to my opponent's postgame analysis, though I felt that as he had +buys and I didn't, it was best to rush for VP as quick as possible, and crossroads would soften the green's impact on the deck.
My best gain, I think was my haggled forge, which accounted for two of my final provinces, and gave me the win. Actually, I'd bought the forge mostly to forge provinces to provinces, and thus up the tempo, but as it turned out I got lucky with a final turn of $8 of coin, and $8 of forgeable stuff.

That game, I admit, my strategy was worse (though by no means uberweak, just worse), and I lucked into a win.

The second game is the one I really want to discuss...

This game I won as well, though again my opponent pointed out that I had "extreme good luck".

I agreed that I was lucky to get ghost ship straight after the reshuffle, though to be fair it also drew my hunting party dead. And after that, I think my strategy was solid. Buy and use hunting parties to get bank + coins, to buy a province at a time. Reject duchies till the endgame. He played a jester based counter, I think with the view of seeding me with curses to slow down hunting parties, and was building for a big buy turn.

But I disagree that I won through "extreme luck". Particularly galling was his response to my comment that "I think I had a solid strategy, I thought" as "the  difference is you think, I know." As in "I know Dominion better, so don't question me" And yes, he called me a noob, hence the title of this thread.

To my mind, I took a simple linear approach, and he went for a more compelx one. He went with moneylender to slim his deck, I went with Feast to get to $5 and a ghost ship quickly, then aimed for Hunting Parties to make sure I could keep drawing it.

My dilemma here, of course, is that the rankings reflect that ARTjoMS is a statistically significantly better player than me. Sadly he wasn't inclined to stick around to tell me what was wrong with my strategy the second game, or in what way I was so lucky. Thus I turn to dominionstrategy, and the other 40+ players in particular, to tell me if it was just luck that won my second game. I know I'm only a low 30s player, and I've not been able to ever get above 34, so likely I am missing something that smarter and better players have spotted.

I seek to learn! WW? Anyone?

Game Reports / Lessons learned from games lost
« on: April 13, 2012, 08:04:22 am »
A simple thread:
Post game links to games you deservedly lost, and the lesson you learnt from losing the game.

Lesson: Sometimes you need +cards for an engine to work, and that relying on Masquerade to be that +cards doesn't usually cut it.
I thought about playing Masquerade + BM, then decided instead to try a funky engine involving Inns and Jesters and Horse Traders. Net result: I never had enough cards in hand, and never reached $8 save on one very lucky turn when Horse Trader had increased my hand size.

Lesson: Get the treasure map after the engine, not before.
I had great visions of kings court / council room / witch engines that had a heap of gold from treasure maps. I knew that the odds of early treasure map collision were low, but hoped lookout would facilitate them. Despite superb luck getting my Moat on almost every occasion that I was KC-Witched, I still lost, and that was because my opponent built his engine first, then got the Treasure Maps afterwards,

Lesson: The slower the game, the better Monument becomes. Playing monument and slowing down the game is a strong play.
I like Monument a lot, and registered that Ambassador would slow the game down, but also that Hunting Parties would speed it up. I also figured an early Ambassador advantage would be decisive. I could not have bene more wrong. I got off to a storming early lead, and indeed my early lead on the Ambassador war had me in a very strong position. Then it all came apart as my own VP and my opponent's Ambassador advantage started to clog up my deck, and the engine that my opponent had built while I was greening allowed him to continue to draw Ambassadors and lock me out. After that it was a slow Monument-grind to a loss.
Now if I was smart, I would have taken measures earlier in the game to up the tempo of the game. Even ambassadoring a province might have been a smart thing to do. Alternatively, I maybe should have realised that my goal was 8 provinces to get in a winning position for the game, not 4 provinces, so bought gold instead of province the first couple of times. As it was, I got to what would normally be considered a dominant position, but then got knocked down by an engine that controlled the tempo of the game.

Dominion General Discussion / This card art is wrong!
« on: April 10, 2012, 04:59:27 am »
Something occurred to me recently: the card art for some cards doesn't match what the card does/represents.

I might be looking at the art the wrong way of course, or thinking the card represents something it doesn't but...

The art shows someone diving underwater and salvaging stuff, presumably from a wreck.
The card effect, and therefore I presume the thematic intention of the card, is salvaging back money from something you no longer want. For example, recouping the cost of a village by demolishing it and selling off all the timber, the dressed stone, the people, etc. etc.

Philosopher's Stone:
Shows a bottle of something.
The card effect generates a mass of money, which gets more powerful as the game goes on. I presume this represents, y'know a philosopher's stone, which can turn base metals into gold but which takes a long time to get right.

Shows a small bag of coins. Like a stash that has been stolen.
The card effect suggests money that you've stashed away for later. So maybe it ought to be someone digging up a stash of money, or a treasury-like picture?

Of course, this is all fairly minor stuff. Nothing as bad as some of the "wrong arts" that you see in some CCGs. A classic example I recall is in the CCG Vampire: The Eternal Struggle where there's a card called "torn signpost" that represents a strong vampire tearing up a signpost and using it as a weapon, and where the card art depicts a road sign with a slight tear in it...

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Any other cards you can think of where the art doesn't seem to match the effect?

Game Reports / Seriously powerful kingdom... did we play this right?
« on: March 30, 2012, 03:09:47 pm »

I SCRAPED a win here, and it really could have gone either way.

My opponent went fishing village, watchtower, money, apprentice hit platinum first and I thought I was in serious trouble

I mixed it up a bit, with horse trader for extra buys, and menagerie mixed in, and a generally more complex engine. All in all though, I was very very lucky to win.

I'm curious to know how higher ranked players would have played this board, as I have absolutely no idea what would have been optimal here.

As far as the names of cards go, and their effects, how well does each card correlate? How do their game effects relate to their functions? Which cards match up best, and which ones match up least well?

For me, the best match has to be Thief. A thief steals treasure from your enemies, then brings it back for you. You do best at stealing when you're stealing from the rich. Perfect thematic fit.

Another great fit is Duke. The presence of a strong leader makes your duchies more valuable to you as a ruler. After all, a Duke is a war leader, and he will allow that land and that land's people to be turned into something useful to you in battle. Another good fit there is that you get optimal benefit for having roughly one Duke per Duchy you hold. Its not quite as strong a thematic fit as thief though, because Dukes have this multiplying effect in value, which doesn't seem to make much narrative sense.

A medium fit to me would be Chapel. I can see that the original intention was that it got rid of curses. That makes sense. The priest blesses you. I suppose at a stretch you could also say that by donating land and money to the church you strengthen your deck, and that represents the blessings of a god. The theme falls down, however, when you start asking why you don't benefit from giving gold or provinces to the church...

An example of a poor fit (IMHO) would be Goons. Your goons bash down their hand size, like a Militia. Fine. Your Goons go shopping for you or building stuff for you, getting you a +buy. Alright, um sure. Now your Goons when building for you happen to give you a massive victory point advantage, equivalent to having dozens of provinces. Uh... what?

Game Reports / Bishop for the win
« on: March 05, 2012, 02:32:07 pm »
An interesting game that showed two different ways of using Bishop

Me? I was rather dull. I played with Bishop to trim the deck, blocked Mint early to avoid my opponent being too efficient, then went for money and VP.

My opponent? Well, lets just say his approach was considerably bolder, and deserved to win. Turn 14 is when I cottoned on what he was up to, when he threw a triple embargo on Provinces. After that I realised the onus was on me to end the game before he caught up. That meant buying Provinces even if they were strictly worse than duchies for me, and keeping an eye out to see if I could 3-pile. Frankly though, the odds of me winning went downhill rapidly from Turn 14...

Game Reports / Workshop-SilkRoad-Vault
« on: February 24, 2012, 07:43:30 am »
I won this game, but beliebve I played it suboptimally.

I opened silver, thinking about vault, then idiot that I am suddenly realised workshop-silk road could be stronger, so switched to that.

Mu opponent didn't play the best game against me, and frankly I think I would have lost against a top tier player with my opening.

But I've been thinking:

How would classic 2 workshops -> silk roads have fared against silvers till vault, then opportunistic grabbing of silk roads when on $4? I think the second strategy might be stronger in a match up, but I'd appreciate your opinions

Game Reports / "Developing" a Strategy...
« on: February 21, 2012, 08:55:28 am »
A recent game I played:

If I made a mistake here, it was pissing around with Pirate Ships at all. It should have been Monument/Develop from the start, I think.

Still, as the game went on I realised a three pile was the way to go, and that develop with Border Village would be key. A very enjoyable game!

Any comments?

Dominion General Discussion / Coppersmith-Copper
« on: February 17, 2012, 04:23:05 am »
Was playing a game offline yesterday, and one of my friend's opened Coppersmith-Copper, on a 5/2 split with a Witch there. Clearly he's not terribly good at this game.

Having said that, are there any Kingdoms where Coppersmith/Copper is the optimal opening?

Dominion General Discussion / Jack and Warehouse? Good or bad?
« on: February 14, 2012, 10:33:54 am »
Doublejack is very efficient, clearly, and so far I think its been established that not much added to it helps. I think Lighthouse about breaks even, Fishing Village is net positive, and everything else... not so much.

What about a single Warehouse? Is Jack/Warehouse a worthwhile opening? My thinking is that warehouse will get the Jacks played more often, and helps clear coppers and provinces out of the way. Is two Jacks + Warehouse better than two Jacks alone?


I was R33 at the time of the match, StealthTomato was R40, I think. Needless to say, I was nervous. I'm not a bad Dominion player, but I'm not a GREAT one either.

So, a commentary:

With Grand Markets on the board, good trashing and no attacks, clearly this game was going to be won or lost by Grand Markets.

I studied the board and formulated my plan: Loan for trashing, plus a Silver to move towards $5. The goal here would be to Vault as soon as possible, then to use Vault to get Grand Markets consistently. Remake tweaked at the back of my head, as I knew that it was technically faster than Loan, but I was dreading losing the tirns that you spend implementing Remake and where you can't buy anything of worth.

As you can see, I was quite wrong here. I'd entirely neglected the fact that Remake can switch Vaults to Grand Markets once you're done with them, and how well Upgrade (normally a seriously weak card for $5) would synergise in with the superbly thin deck my opponent created.


And here's another GM game I played yesterday:

This one had an opening I felt proud of.

Horse Traders/Embargo for me. Sure, they're both terminals, but Horse Trader is less prone to clashing because it discards to activate and Embargo is a one shot.
Why was Embargo my buy rather than Silver?

Because my opponents first buy was Mint. That left $2 in his deck.

My thought was that if I could get an Embargo down on silver before my opponent bought one, that'd be an excellent early lock out.

As you can see, my opponent manoeuvred out of that trap, and then proceeded to dominate, thanks to... Develop!

My flaw, as a mid-grade player, had been to filter Develop out of the equation before the game had started. Its rubbish, my subconscious said, ignore it.

I could not have been more wrong.

With Elis permission I resigned when it was clear he had me locked out.


The lesson I learnt from these two games was not to ignore Remodeller cards of any sort when looking at the Grand Market race...

Dominion General Discussion / Mandarin: How do we use the $5/$5 split?
« on: January 27, 2012, 03:57:18 am »
Alright... lets presume that you draw $5 on your first hand and Mandarin is on the board, plus whatever kingdom cards you want.

One option you now have is to buy a Mandarin, then to buy abother $5 card.

Which card is going to give the best outcome here, and on what sort of board?

Personally, I'm thinking that if the optimal lucky situation is with Hunting Parties on a board that has no extra buys and no curses. Reason being is that odds are you'll be able to skip silver, go straight to gold, then just buy:
$6 for first time: 1 gold.
$5+ otherwise: Hunting Party
$8: Province
Any other situation: Don't buy.

The idea is that once you draw Mandarin and it'll take you to $8, you then play it to put a spare hunting party back on the deck, or even a spare copper.

What do you think?

More generally, on a $5/$5 Mandarin opening, what combos would YOU think would work?

((Edit: After suggesting the above combo have tried it out a few times, and I can't seem to get it to work... Maybe a second gold is needed? Or a silver? Or maybe just some trashing...)

Dominion General Discussion / Getting use out of Chancellor
« on: January 25, 2012, 04:08:29 am »
So dominionstrategy's accepted wisdom is that Chancellor is a bad card that you think might be a good card in disguise, but turns out to be just a bad card.

Lets talk about circumstances where it would be a good buy.

I recently played a game where I opened Chancellor/Potion, with Universities available. I was actually very happy with this.

The University came into play a turn earlier than it would have done because of the Chancellor reshuffle. There were no worthwhile terminal actions for Chancellor to clash with, and the University was generating Hunting Parties for the most part. So in that game, for the first time, I felt that Chancellor was the best $3 opening for me, though I only bought one.

So I'd say that Chancellor is worth considering if there's no other terminals to clash with it, and you would have bought silver if it wasn't there. Extreme case, but there it is.


Simulation / Simulation Challenge: Masquerade vs Mountebank
« on: January 23, 2012, 08:31:46 am »
Hi, apologies if this isn;t the forum for this, but was hoping that a question could be answered:

I lucked into a 5/2 opening with Mountebank on the board in my last game. My opponent got 3/4 and went for Watchtower and Swindler.

The thing is, Masquerade was on the board as well. Personally, if I were the 3/4 looking down the wrong end of a Mountebank opening, I'd have gone double Masquerade.

I wonder if anyone can tell me how Masq+Masq stands up against Mountebank+nothing as an opening, presuming that both players go for pure money after that. Unrealistic, I know, but I'm curious as to whether it would have been a strong or weak counter.

Dominion Articles / Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« on: January 20, 2012, 02:35:24 pm »
Hey there: fairly new to, but been on isotropic for a while. I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite Ambassador based combos. As far as I can recall, I've had an excellent success rate pursuing this strategy whenever the cards have come up.

This is more of a strategy and synergy than a direct combo: the goal isn't to draw these two cards together, but to play them in the same deck.

Ambassador / Ambassador is a favourite opening of many, and the traditional way to play it is with Big Money.

It works well with Fool's Gold for the following reasons:

Firstly, Ambassador makes for thinner decks. With two Ambassadors, ideally sending away two cards each time they are used, you'll have a shrinking deck even if you're being Ambassadored back. Clearly, for fool's gold to work, either a thin deck is needed, or drawing power.

Second, because it costs only $2, you can often buy Fool's Gold on the same turn that you activate the Ambassador, so this is a quicker climb than going silver --> gold.

Third, if your opponent goes for the same, and grabs a province before you, you can react with Fool's Gold, trashing them to put gold on your deck. Personally, I don't often use this option, as a turn's delay is too long in most cases. But in the specific circumstance of a hand of less than $8, where your opponent is competing wiht you for fool's gold, and has bought a province, I would take the trash-for-gold. If you REALLY want to, and if you're well ahead, you could even speed the game's conclusion by sending a Province over with Ambassador, and then reacting to turn the Fool's Gold to Gold!

Here's an example of a game where the combo worked well for me. Its a slow finish, but Ambassador/Ambassador always trades speed for control. I had bought 4 provinces by the end of Turn 16.

Game Reports / Pirate Ships + money vs. Complex Engine. Did I get lucky?
« on: January 18, 2012, 01:57:51 pm »
Hey there! Just registered to the forums, though been on isotropic for some time, and following this site.

Just played this game, which was one of the most interesting ones I've yet to experience. Here's the link to the game report:

But this is where the strategy was made:

The 12 chosen cards are Baron, Bishop, Black Market, Bureaucrat, Embargo, Great Hall, Herbalist, Pirate Ship, Scout, Torturer, Trade Route, and Workshop.
Eli_k vetoes Baron.
Asklepios vetoes Torturer.

I can't tell you why Eli vetoed Baron. Maybe he felt it was too swingy. I vetoed Torturer as I felt that it could ruin a game if one player got the 5/2, making it too one sided.

Immediately on starting, I was extremely glad to be second player, as I'd have the opportunity to see which direction my opposition was going. This set included Embargo, which is one of my favourite cards of all.

Eli opened scout. This made me think he was going to go for great halls, trade route and black market to fish out the crossroads and other VP-card synergising stuff. I figured that if trade route was going to be his main income source, I could slow the deck down with pirate ship, use embargo to lock out victory cards, and then just play pirate ship + big money. If he were to switch to pirate ship later, then odds on that would just thin my deck of copper, or slow him more than he was slowing me. Normally I avoid pirate ship in games against anyone with any sort of decent level, as its just not that strong a card. In this game though, I thought it was justified against a scout opening.

As it was, I felt it worked out really well. It got scary at times, as I was relying on a pair of platinums and being hit by pirate ship frequently. I also think Eli got obsessed with building a 2 colony a turn engine, and just got outpaced.

However there were quite a few comments suggesting to me that Eli felt I was getting lucky, such as telling me it was bad tactics to attack with pirate ship when I did, etc. etc.

I'm open to feedback, positive or critical, as to how I might have played this game better, and how I can learn from it.

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