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Goko Dominion Online / Re: Bizarre Bot Strategies II
« on: November 21, 2016, 02:45:53 am »
When I play bots, I usually choose to play Conqueror Bot because its strategies seem less bizarre than the others in my games.  However, this game was an exception.

On turn 11, the Conqueror Bot drew Ambasaador/Tactition/Copper/Copper/Copper, then chose to Ambassador me the Tactition. 

Conqueror Bot - draws Copper, Ambassador, Copper, Copper
Conqueror Bot - shuffles deck
Conqueror Bot - draws Tactician
---------- Conqueror Bot: turn 11 ----------
Conqueror Bot - plays Ambassador
Conqueror Bot - reveals Tactician
Conqueror Bot - returns Tactician to the Supply
NolanS - gains Tactician

The Conqueror Bot chose to buy far more villages than available actions instead of treasure, so it ended the game with 5 villages, 1 Silver, and 3 Coppers.  Of course it did not get any of the Provinces.  It also didn't get any Dutchys.

------------ Game Over ------------
NolanS - cards: 4 Pirate Ship, 2 Village, 1 Tactician, 9 Copper, 1 Silver, 8 Province, 4 Duchy, 4 Estate
NolanS - total victory points: 64
NolanS - turns: 22
Conqueror Bot - cards: 5 Island, 5 Village, 1 Ambassador, 3 Copper, 1 Silver, 6 Estate
Conqueror Bot - total victory points: 16
Conqueror Bot - turns: 22

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Improving my game
« on: October 07, 2016, 01:54:20 pm »
Aye, I was planning to avoid Moneylender and focus on winning the Curse split and keeping him tied down with Militia. I picked up Witch on Turn 5 (after second reshuffle), and didn't draw it until Turn 8...with Militia. By trashing early Coppers, grabbing early Golds, and then using Cellar to bypass his curses, he never really seemed bother by the attacks. 

The exact board was just about every card removed from the 1st edition and a few others. Cellar, Chancellor, Workshop, Woodcutter, Feast, Moneylender, Militia, Witch, Mine, Adventurer. No source for an engine, no source for +buy.

On a 4/3 split, opening Militia/Silver and Feast/Silver are both good options for this kingdom.  Moneylender/Silver is not.   Running a simulation between Militia and Feast, I get a 49% win rate for Feast/Silver and a 47% win rate for Militia/Silver, so roughly even.   I am assuming buy 1 Witch before Gold and up to 3 terminals.  I also bought a Cellar when helpful.

Edit: I can't find this exact game, but here's one where my opponent gets a 5/2 split, opens with Mine instead of Witch, and still whips my ass.

The key difference in this kingdom is the Moat. In general, I'd open Moat/Silver here (assuming 4/3), focus in getting Witches quickly, and maybe a Remodel after I have some Gold. However, considering that your opponent bought a Mine on first turn and was likely to skip Witches for some reason, then it would be better to do another Feast/Silver open and go for a Witch-BM type game with few additional terminals besides Witches. In the game, you purchased 4 Remodels and a Moneylender, in addition to Witches and a Moat.  This is too many terminals for no source of +actions.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Why i love Dominion with all its Duds
« on: October 04, 2016, 05:56:51 pm »
(I didnt get the joke with the 6 expansions... So much for that)
I freaking love this game, i have 6! expansion.

6! = 720 (link).  With owning so many expansions, it makes your estimate of 300 other cards seem low.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Improving my game
« on: October 03, 2016, 01:39:57 am »
But let me make sure I understand what the really noteworthy BM-enablers are. The wiki may be a little outdated and/or a little scattered when it comes to this subject. The BM article lists every draw card up to a certain point and refers to the individual card articles, many of which don't discuss BM at all (BM-Moat isn't a thing, for example.)

Council Room
Hunting Grounds(?)
NOT Royal Blacksmith, amiright?

Are all the other draw-3 cards potentially worth considering for BM? Torturer/Rabble/Smithy/Wild Hunt/etc.? Even trickier: Is Stables-BM a thing? What about sifters like Warehouse and Forum? I feel like the engine would have to be really, really bad or non-existent for one of those to make BM better.

If "Big Money" is defined as buying a few copies of a single card + money, then the most effective Big Money strategies are generally ones that include a powerful attack, such as cursing.  For example, Sea Hag - Big Money, would win the majority of games against anything you listed.  However, I expect if a  powerful attack card is in the kingdom, you are already buying that card with your usual strategy.  What may be less obvious is other actions besides attacks and drawing num cards also assist Big Money strategies.  For example, Jack of All Trades  and Rebuild would also win against most of the Big Money strategies you listed.

Regarding the 3 card draws you mentioned, Torturer, Rabble, and Smithy are all possibilities; but in most kingdoms, I'd expect there is a better strategy.   I wouldn't play something like Warehouse alone, but it can assist a large portion of other strategies. Opening Silver/Warehouse would enhance most good "Big Money" strategies involving a $5 card.  BM strategies are also often enhanced by combining a $4 and $5 card.  As a simple example, Smithy + Council-BM is better than Smithy-BM or Council-BM alone; or opening Militia/Silver enhances Wharf-BM.  A rough order of Big Money rankings is below, which I am sure has many cards missing.   You might try using the simulator for more specific details.

Sea Hag
Swamp Hag
Young Witch (varies)
Jack of All Trades
Ghost Ship
Bandit (varies with opponent strategy)
Treasure Trove
Council Room
Merchant Ship
Ill-Gotten Gains (very effective against traditional strategies, not effective against rush counter BM)

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Seaside 2nd generation
« on: September 28, 2016, 04:07:09 pm »
I once had a game Sea Hag slog game that lasted ~40 turns in which my opponent and I were mostly exchanging garbage back and forth with Ambassadors.

Just curious, what were you doing messing around with Sea Hag when there's Ambassador?

The game I mentioned was one of my first ~12 games when playing the expansion, before I figured out that Ambassador alone is usually better than Sea Hag + Ambassador, so I did get a Sea Hag.  As such, I probably made some other play errors that lengthened the game.  Since that game, I've come across quite a few opponents who will buy Sea Hag + Ambassador, so I have had other slow exchanging garbage games since then... just none that extended to 40 turns.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Seaside 2nd generation
« on: September 28, 2016, 03:59:43 pm »
Are you counting Throne Room?

While Throne Room can be a source of +2 Action, it has a different mechanism from how I think of a traditional "village."  The same could be said for several others in your list.  I'd be okay with a 3rd source of +2 Action (or more than +2 for FV), but I'd prefer it in a way that led to more creative and unique strategies than a typical "village" when combined with other cards from the expansion, such as Throne Room / King's Court, a conditional card that only has +2 Action under certain events or choices, etc. 

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Seaside 2nd generation
« on: September 28, 2016, 02:41:41 pm »
As a whole, I think Seaside does a much better job with card selection that the original Base cards.  If I play a few dozen games with just Seaside + Base, I'm probably going to buy every Seaside card multiple times.  All Seaside cards have a reasonably likely scenario where they are helpful.  However, there are several Base cards that I'm probably not going to play in any of the dozens of games.  All of these low play value Base cards were removed in the 2nd edition.  As a whole, I think Seaside is a good expansion that really enhances the game.  That said, there are some things I think could be improved.

Looking at the Seaside cards as a whole, one of the first thing that stands out to me is the large number of $2 cards and lack of any cards $6+ cards.  The wiki mentions this was intentional to balance out Prosperity.  Now that there are more expansions, balancing out Prosperity is probably not as important, so I'd favor having the card costs more similar to other expansions -- dropping 1 or 2 of the $2 cards, and adding a $6+ card.   I also think 3 villages is high for a single expansion, particularly with the large number of cantrips, so I'd favor dropping one of the villages. 

Most of the cards also have relatively straightforward implementations, leading to straightforward strategies that are often quite similar to Base.  It's rare for me to stumble across a unique strategy that I had never considered, yet is very powerful, or cards that combo in special and powerful way that I had not considered.  This reduces how much long term pleasure I get from the expansion by discovering new things. Compared to base, many cards play well with blunt strategies, such as buying as many as possible.  For example, bluntly buying a large number of Wharfs, Ghost Ships, Light Houses, or Fishing Villages is usually going to work out a lot better than buying a lot of Smithy/Council/Library, Militia, Moat, or Villages. Along the same lines, there are fewer good, less common strategy enablers, such as Rush enablers and Gardens enablers, although Swamp Hag + Gardens can be an interesting and effective 3 Pile / Rush type game.  I'd favor a larger portion of cards with unique and less obvious interactions that require more finesse to play effectively, and give more long term play value from discovering new things.

Regarding specific cards:
Pearl Diver -- I mentioned that I'd favor dropping 1 or 2 of the $2 cards.  Pearl Diver is the obvious choice.  While there are many times I'd buy it, it rarely leads to any particularly new or interesting strategies and is a card few would miss.

Native Village  -- I mentioned that I'd like to drop 1 of the 3 villages.  While I do like Native Village and it does lead to unique strategies and interactions, if I had to pick one of the 3 villages to go, this one would be my choice.  It also helps reduce the number of $2 cards.

Embargo -- Embargo seems to be a common choice in the poll, however, I'd want to keep this card.  Embargo can completely change the game and make games much more interesting.  It's probably the card that is the least automated and requires the most thought for me to play in the entire expansion.  For example, I recently had a game in which both Silver and Gold were Embargo'd early on.  It caused us to play unique strategies that I'd never play otherwise and may never play again.   While it's not the most effective card, it can be a game changer and adds a lot of play value.

Pirate Ship -- I like Pirate Ship.  It leads to unique strategies and play style and a much greater degree of player interaction than with typical cards.  Pirate Ship + ... may be the best strategy if your opponent is doing something centered on money, but may not be the best strategy if your opponent is doing something else.  Its power also varies dramatically with number of players.  Nevertheless, I voted for Pirate Ship.  It rarely works well without some kind of good enabler combined with an opponent strategy, or  with an extreme slog (Sea Hag without trashing), so it doesn't get a lot of play time.  Pirate Ship games also seem to be unpopular with a lot of players.  When I play a series of Seaside+Base games with a particular player, it often ends when we hit a Pirate Ship game. After hitting a PS game, they want to switch to different expansions.  So I'd like to keep the general PS concept, but have it implemented differently... sort of like how Thief was improved to Bandit in the base 2nd edition.

Sea Hag -- I have mixed feelings about Sea Hag.  Sea Hag is a game changing card that can lead to unique strategies. For example, I mentioned the Sea Hag / Gardens 3 pile / rush above, as well as it making Pirate Ship effective (with no trashing).   This is great.  However, it also can be annoying to have a long game with your deck full of garbage and not being able to do much.  I once had a game Sea Hag slog game that lasted ~40 turns in which my opponent and I were mostly exchanging garbage back and forth with Ambassadors.  That was the most annoying game I can recall.   I guess it depends what Sea Hag combines with in the kingdom.  Ideally there could be a similar replacement card that still led to unique and creative strategies, but was generally more enjoyable to play.

Navigator -- Navigator was a borderline card for me.  It doesn't get a lot of play time and isn't as interesting as most cards in the expansion to me.  There is minimal interaction with opponent, it's rarely a game changer, it takes time to resolve on MF (need to specify order of 5 cards in cases when don't care about order)...  it's just okay and not especially memorable.  I wouldn't miss it, if it was replaced.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: New first game engine?
« on: September 27, 2016, 07:03:13 pm »
I ran some simulations of this case.  In my sims, Merchants did not significantly help.   Silvers were often remodeled to other cards, so Merchants could not reliably get a Silver +x$ when drawing full deck.   This led to other $3 cards generally being more useful.   If strategy is changed to always keep at least 1 Silver in the deck, then buying Merchants is much better than not buying.  However, forcing always 1 Silver to remain in deck hurts you more than the benefit of the Merchants.  There are some corner cases of hand combinations where Merchants could be useful, but they were too rare to increase the overall win rate significantly.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: 2nd Edition Rules
« on: September 26, 2016, 08:38:54 pm »
How good do you think Patrol-BM will be? As it improves two turns without increasing collision fears, I'm guessing pretty good, but I'd love to see some simulations.

I ran simulations of some of the new cards.  My sims of Patrol were basic and did not include changing order of cards.  Patrol-BM was much better than Smithy, Council, or  Militia - Big Money.  It also held its own against Courtyard, Wharf, and Ghost Ship - Big Money, getting a 40+% win rate, so only losing by a small margin.  Bandit-BM and Patrol-BM were roughly tied overall.  However, the results against Bandit were quite different on different starts.  With a 4/3 start, Patrol easily won.  With a 5/2 start, Bandit easily won.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion and Intrigue second editions
« on: September 24, 2016, 07:18:30 pm »
It looks like the changes from base are as follows:

Removed -- Adventurer, Chancellor, Feast, Spy, Thief, Woodcutter

$6 - Artisan -- Gain a card to your hand costing up to $5. Put a card from you hand on to your deck.
$5 - Bandit -- Gain a Gold. Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of their deck, trashes a revealed treasure other than Copper, and discards the rest.
$5 - Sentry -- Cantrip, Look at the top 2 cards of your deck. Trash and/or discard any number of them. Put the rest back in any order.
$4 - Poacher -- Cantrp, +$1, Discard a card per empty supply pile.
$3 - Harbinger -- Cantrip, Look through your discard pile.  You may put a card from it onto your deck.
$3 - Merchant -- Cantrip, The first time you play a Silver this turn +$1.
$3 - Vassal -- +$2, Discard the top card of your deck. If it is an Action card, you may play it.

I'm looking forward to playing with these cards.    It should enhance the game, with a much smaller portion of dud/trap type cards.  The one card I have more mixed feelings about is Harbinger.  I'm thinking Harbinger may lead to some long turns with engines that involve repeatedly looking through your discard pile, but I'll wait until playing some games before deciding how I feel about it.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2015 Edition
« on: September 23, 2016, 05:49:59 pm »
It depends what the cards are.  For example, several persons in the other thread guessed that Bureaucrat will be removed.  Bureaucrat can lead to some interesting and unique strategies in a Gardens game, particularly if there is Market or Festival in the Kingdom.   It's also one of the better base game Lab terminals and one of the better base game BM strategies.  I'd definitely prefer base games with Bureaucrat as a possible kingdom card over games with it removed.   However, I can see how persons who almost always go for engines would favor it being removed.   Why not wait until what may be just the end of the day to see what cards are removed before committing to keep them or not play with them?  I'd prefer to see the older cards stay in the new Qvist, as a lot of people visiting this site and reading the Qvist are not going to switch Dominion versions immediately after their release.  This is especially true for persons playing online, where the new cards probably won't be available until next year.

Help! / Re: Correct Way To Play This Kingdom
« on: September 14, 2016, 05:51:47 am »
a) Prince is good for decks which need the increased reliability of playing a certain card each turn. Like, making sure you have at least 2 actions available each turn. This kingdom has strong trashing, so you will always draw your deck. Then there is no real need for Prince.
b) Prince can still be good with good targets. Strong draw is usually best, or stuff like Monument to make you gain VP each turn. Here you have Horse Traders, which is a fine card for this deck, but you don't want to play it at the start of your turn; Farming Village, which is just a regular Village here and Princing Villages is never that amazing; Spy, Moat and Bureaucrat, whcih you'd never add to your deck normally; and Chapel, where the only benefit of Princing is that of an expensive non-VP Island.

Thanks, that is the type of detailed input on the new cards that I was hoping for when starting this thread.

Help! / Re: Correct Way To Play This Kingdom
« on: September 14, 2016, 05:35:04 am »
I would trash down and get festivals,council rooms and golds.
There might be something for princeing a moat but I probably wouldn't do it. 1 horse traders is probably good.

I appreciate the input.  I'm not a big fan of Council/Festival/Chapel type engines in Base cards games, unless they include a terminal hand size attack or something similarly powerful to enhance the engine.  Without such enhancements, it's been my experience that Council: Big Money variants win over the engine more often than not.  However, I don't have a good sense of how much the new cards would enhance things, such as using the Horse Trader to buy the initial engine components more quickly.

Is Council: Big Money a viable alternative strategy here?  Or would it be effectively destroyed by an opponent playing an engine in this kingdom?

Help! / Re: Correct Way To Play This Kingdom
« on: September 14, 2016, 05:14:29 am »
I chose to Prince the Horse Trader, rather than the Farming Village.
This is definitely the wrong move. Princing a Horse Traders is like playing a Militia on yourself each turn.

I wasn't clear in my earlier post in that I drew a hand of Prince, Horse Traders, Chapel, Silver, and Festival; so the choice was whether to Prince the Horse Traders on that turn or wait for the next shuffle and try for the Farming Village (or a Moat, if purchased on that turn).  The deck had 12 cards at that point, so not bad odds.  However, I had starting buying Provinces at that point, so reaching end game.   I did end up getting a benefit from the Princed Horse Traders since I generally had 2+ things with no penalty for discarding, such as green or extra terminal.  I purchased 5 Provinces + 1 Dutchy in the first 4 turns with the Prince-Horse Traders active, which would likely have been 1 fewer Province and 1 fewer Dutchy without the Horse Trader active.   

Does this seem like a kingdom where Prince is a worthwhile buy?

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.

Code: [Select]
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?

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: September 10, 2016, 03:31:11 am »
3.  Can't trash your treasure very quickly in early game (Chapel, ...)

Pirate Ship gets super better if your opponent trashes all of their Coppers very quickly in the early game. If the only Treasures in their deck are Treasures that they actually don't want to trash and they have a good number of those Treasures, Pirate Ship is a pretty strong attack.

It depends what the opponent is going to do with the Chapeled deck.  In some Chapel + FV strategies, they don't have a "good number of those treasures", and instead a large portion of the opponent's deck is either VC or action cards, so you don't hit treasure often with the Pirate Ship attacks and are slow to get Provinces. However, the Chapel strategies that would be most effective against the combo are generally covered by the other criteria, so I'll agree with you that Chapel can make the combo even better. ;)

Sure thing, that sounds a lot more useful than this discussion, anyway. I think the obvious kingdom would be Pirate Ship + Fishing Village + 8 random cards (we can play some games with 8 full random and some with 8 random from just Base and Seaside, for instance).

 I'm open to that type of idea.   We can work out the details in PM. 

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: September 10, 2016, 02:51:14 am »
Yeah, there is a time and place for Pirate Ship + FV when your opponent is going for Smithy/BM and there is a time and place for Smithy/BM never.

As mentioned in my earlier reply, the time and place I'd list for Pirate Ship + Strong Village combo in a 2 player game is generally when your opponent is doing something money sensitive without strong attacks, which includes far more than just Smithy / BM.  I'd generally open PS/FV and assume my opponent is going to do something money sensitive without strong attacks when the kingdom meets the criteria below:

1.  No strong attacks in kingdom, particularly cursing or hand size (Witch, Sea Hag, Ghost Ship, ...)
2.  Can't make a good draw your full deck type engine that includes source of multiple buys (Wharf, Smithy + Market/Festival/Salvager/...)
3.  Can't trash your treasure very quickly in early game (Chapel, ...)
4.  Can't get provinces relatively quickly without buying treasure (Merchant Ship, ...)
5.  Can't make an engine that blocks Pirate Ship attacks well (Lighthouse, ...)

Obviously most kingdoms aren't going to meet this criteria, but there are enough that I play the combo from time to time, when emphasizing the Sea Side expansion.  As I said earlier, so far I'm undefeated when playing this combo.   I'm open to challenges (on kingdom we agree upon beforehand).

Smithy / BM also has a place in games without a lot of expansions.   Assuming a Base + Sea Side focus like above, if the kingdom does not have strong attacks and you cannot make a draw your deck type engine with multiple buys, then Smithy (and variants) is likely to do well.   I wouldn't expect having a place for Smithy / BM to be controversial, but I can list some example kingdoms or games if you'd like.

News and Announcements / Re: Forum downtime
« on: September 09, 2016, 08:39:39 pm »
I'm glad to see the forum up again.  I am curious as the reason for the downtime events, as there have been a few during the short time I have been a member.  I see that the static HTML portion of the website is up during these events. It's only the dynamic PHP pages that have issues.   When I've had such issues on web sites I've run, it related to one of 3 things -- a never ending script/program, a short burst of traffic from publicity such as a radio show mention, or bots.  I once had tens of thousands of bots trying to sign up on a forum in a period of less than a minute.  I had to IP block a good portion of China until I figured out how to prevent it.    Feel free to not answer, if you'd prefer.  I appreciate the forum and do not mean to be offensive.   Instead I am curious and also hoping some one here might have ideas for preventing future issues.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: September 08, 2016, 04:50:47 pm »
Because that's the point. A strategy that nobody plays is still a better strategy than Pirate Ship.

"Better than Pirate Ship", yet it only has a 14% win rate against Pirate Ship + FV in my earlier example.  It's not a simple better than or worse than relationship.  It depends on both the kingdom and opponent's strategy.  There is a time and place for both strategies.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: September 08, 2016, 03:06:53 pm »
It doesn't matter what its win rate is over Smithy/BM because nobody plays Smithy/BM.

You compared it to Smithy/BM, so my reply also compared it to Smithy/BM.  If "nobody plays Smithy/BM", then why bother including it in the reply?  That said, plenty do play Smithy/BM in games with fewer expansions, which are the games where Smithy has the highest frequency of appearing as a kingdom card.  In the base game, Smithy/BM (or variants) are played and are a desirable strategy in a good portion of games.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: September 08, 2016, 02:58:43 pm »
Pirate Ship usually buying 4+ Provinces by the turn 15 "mid game" you listed.

Smithy/BM is faster than that and Smithy/BM is still super bad. It's also noteworthy that Smithy/BM doesn't help your opponent by removing bad cards from their deck.

Smithy/BM is not faster than that when playing against a Pirate Ship opponent who is stealing his treasure (Pirate Ship does not help Smithy/BM opponent).   In my earlier sim, Pirate Ship + FV had a ~80% win rate over Smithy/BM.    The same is true for numerous other strategies that emphasize treasure.  Also note that 4+ Provinces can include more than 4.    I'm not saying Pirate Ship is a strong card, just that that it can be important with the right kingdom/opponent, and this situation comes up often enough that it should not be ignored.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: September 08, 2016, 01:51:12 pm »
grab 4+ coins quickly in the early game and have a way to likely be played 2+ times per turn in mid game.
Just want to point out that the seventh shuffle (the bare minimum four attacks + 2 payload plays could take with one PS) is very rarely the "mid game"; it is at best what, Turn 15? You've already lost by then.

PS is just too slow to work without +Buy and some other method of lengthening the game, and it is just not good enough in 2P. Miser is literally a *pirate ship that attacks yourself* and it's widely considered to be the better card.

In my earlier posts, I've emphasized a way to play Pirate Ship multiple times per turn, such as combining with a strong village, which does much better than above in kingdoms where you'd want to play PS. To confirm, I wrote a sim for this case.  The sim found that Pirate Ship + Fishing Village vs a decent strategy that emphasizes money typically reached 4+ coins around turn 8.  Sims had an average game length of ~16 turns (assuming no opponent attacks or trashing), with Pirate Ship usually buying 4+ Provinces by the turn 15 "mid game" you listed.   Pirate Ship soundly won in all such simulations of kingdoms/opponents that meet these criteria. 

The game length increased in other kingdoms with opponent attacks, trashing, or emphasizing VC.  For example, Pirate Ship + Fishing Village vs Smithy/Salvager + Fishing Village was an interesting case.  If the Smithy/Salvager plays with a strategy that emphasizes virtual coins by only purchasing 1 Gold in treasure (no silvers unless FV runs out) and waits for $13 in deck for the first buy, then the game lasts an average ~20 turns and Pirate Ship had a 71% win rate.  However, if the Smithy/Salvager player tries to speed up the game by buying provinces any time he has 8+ coins, then the game lasted an average of ~17 turns and Smithy/Salvager had a 54% win rate.  If Pirate Ship modifies usual strategy to compensate for the modified fast game opponent strategy, then Pirate Ship wins the majority again.  Smithy/Salvager could further modify... and so on... it can lead to some interesting strategy decisions.  The games where Pirate Ship + strong village failed in my sims are the ones where you'd expect, which usually involved  kingdoms with some combination of the following:

1.  A strong attack, particularly cursing or hand size
2.  A strong source of at least +2 virtual coins (played multiple times, with the village)
3.  Possibility of a draw full deck type engine that includes multiple buys
4.  Fast early game treasure trashing

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: September 08, 2016, 01:35:12 am »
Ignore the post above mine. Seprix privately told me that it was stupid before he posted it  ;).

Nope. You disavow that the mere presence of Pirate Ship often disincentivizes you from buying Treasure cards, independent of whether somebody will actually open with Pirate Ship or not.
Dude. People literally have to design boards for Pirate Ship to disincentivize buying Treasures. Like, yeah, of course it comes up randomly because it can, but the fact that the boards have to be specifically designed to make this the case should tell you that it is not often.

There is a difference between one person designing a kingdom to have a quasi-golden deck Pirate Ship pin that eliminates every one of the opponent's treasure cards from having to design kingdoms for Pirate Ship to be effective.  In some kingdoms, all Pirate Ship needs to do is grab 4+ coins quickly in the early game and have a way to likely be played 2+ times per turn in mid game.   It won't be an unescapable pin, like the above link, but it can get provinces quickly enough to winm in the right kingdom.   I agree that Pirate Ship is not going to be relevant in most 2 player games and shouldn't have much impact on your strategy, including buying treasures, in most kingdoms.  However, it can be the better strategy in enough games that it should not be ignored.  If you know your opponent is playing a Pirate Ship strategy, it also can influence the best strategy to counter, such as favoring good sources of virtual coins or trashers more than you would in non-PS games .

For example, suppose you are playing a 2 player game in a kingdom that includes Pirate Ship, Fishing Village, Merchant Ship, and Smithy.   Pirate Ship + Fishing Village destroys Smithy - Big Money.   Smithy - Big Money wins against Merchant Ship + Fishing village.  And Merchant Ship + Fishing Village wins against Pirate Ship + Fishing Village (if MS strategy almost entirely uses virtual coins instead of treasure).  The best strategy isn't obvious to me because it depends on what my opponent is doing.  However, if one of the remaining kingdom cards is a powerful attack, like Witch or Ghost Ship, then the best strategy no longer is particularly relevant to Pirate Ship or if my opponent is doing something Pirate Ship related since Fishing Village + powerful attack + ... thoroughly beats all of the above. Instead it more becomes a question of how the other kingdom cards can enhance or build an engine around Fishing Village + powerful attack.  In short, it depends on the kingdom, like nearly every other card.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: September 07, 2016, 08:04:17 pm »
You don't play Big Money with a strong village enabler around.

Multiplayer: Awaclus is much better than me at telling you about this scenario.

In my earlier reply, I mentioned that many would go for a virtual coin engine in this case.  That said, a strong village enabler does not mean a strong engine is possible.  It's far more common than "an extremely rare edge case" to have a strong village in the kingdom without a strong engine that uses it.  The main times I'd play Pirate Ship + strong village in a 2 player game is when there is not a strong attack in the kingdom  (Witch, Ghost Ship, ...) or a strong drawing card to combine with the Village + a good source of multiple buys (Wharf, Smithy + Buys, ...).  Trashing, virtual coin sources, and opponent's opening also has an influence.  I'd link to some example Pirate Ship games, if gokosalvager was up. As I recall, I've won every 2 player game I've played using a Pirate Ship + Fishing Village strategy, which was a good portion of kingdoms in which the combo was possible.

I implied that Pirate Ship was overbought in my earlier comment about the CouncilRoom analysis.  The CR analysis also found that the majority of players bought at least one Pirate Ship when it was in the kingdom.  Having a multiple players buying Pirate Ships is far from "an extremely rare edge case" for kingdoms with Pirate Ships.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Aleimon Thimble's top 30 favorite cards
« on: September 07, 2016, 07:18:09 pm »
The very presence of Pirate Ship significantly influences the game and makes these Kingdoms often fun to play.
Ehm, you never played with these cards? OK. ^^

The very few boards where Pirate Ship is relevant are decidedly not fun to play if both players realize it.

The very few boards where Pirate Ship is relevant are decidedly not fun to play if both players realize it.

In the old CouncilRoom game analysis, Pirate Ship was the card with the highest "win rate without" in all of Dominion, which suggests that a lot of people are over buying and/or playing it badly.  It can be decent with the right enablers and the right opponent strategy, such as a strong village enabler against Big Money.  For example, Pirate Ship + Fishing Village can beat just about any Big Money strategy, including ones using powerful attack cards, although with a Fishing Village available a lot of people are going to instead choose an  engine that uses FV as virtual coin, which it doesn't fare well against.  I think the key annoying Pirate Ship games are ones with more than 2 players.  Pirate Ship gets more powerful as number of players increases, so it becomes a more common strategy.  If you think 2 players doing Pirate Ship is annoying, you should see games with 3 or 4 .  However, overall I like the card because of the different style of attack, leading to different types of strategies.

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