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Messages - WanderingWinder

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Dominion General Discussion / Bye
« on: February 16, 2016, 03:09:40 pm »
First, I understand why the reaction has largely been as it has been. Saying "I've been wronged" is probably not going to get you very far without more details. Probably at best you can hope for "uh, ok, I'm sorry about that". In order to do something, people are going to want more concrete reasons and examples. Moving on.

On the one hand, you're never going to see Novak Djokovic saying "I don't want McEnroe commentating my match" and getting anywhere. It just won't happen. And the same is true in basically every other sport.

On the other hand, this is mostly because the organizers sell the broadcast rights, and that's the money that gets used to pay the players. Such a thing doesn't exist in Dominion. There's no money. So it comes down to, to braodcast, you need access (since there isn't a watcher mode). You aren't going to get that access without the players agreeing. So you have to choose, do I go with this person or that. Well it's not a surprise who they picked given that they're PO'd at Adam for some reason. To be fair to them, choosing the other way isn't really better, for one incident at least. You do need to worry about precedent.

So, I don't really care about who commentates the Champion Match. Thankfully, that's not really what this topic is about, I don't think. I mean, clearly Adam is somewhat upset about being left out in the cold there, and I guess that is pretty understandable. But apart from not caring, "We got SCSN and Donald" is, from an objective standpoint, not something you can quibble with a lot. I mean, I have said multiple times I think Adam is hte best Dominion streamer, and I also think that a Champion match is not where I would choose to have Donald being broadcast, but on the other hand, Donald being broadcast at all is great, I am not going to complain about that.

But hooray, the topic is not really about that, which if you go reread the first few posts, it wasn't really? Though that has gotten dragged more and more in somehow. Anyway.

Apparently someone had a problem with Adam commentating. My thing is, did they ask the players (obviously Stef made the decision here, so it is really down to Mic) whether they were ok with this team before announcing it? If Mic was like "hey whoa guys, I don't want Donald commentating," would they have knocked him off and looked for someone else? I am going to doubt both of these things. Of course, I can't think of why Mic would have a problem with Donald commentating, but then again, I don't see why someone would have a problem with Adam commentating. That's not to say there couldn't be a reason, just that I wouldn't have seen one, the same as I wouldn't have for Donald.

To me though, the real issue we're talking about here is the title of the thread, "Accountability". At least when it comes to the league, Stef has to be accountable more or less only to himself.

I find it extremely ironic that Stef claims to be against personal insults and attacks on character, considering that this (along with the complete lack of accountability) is why I left the league. He claimed *in my own channel* that not only was I wrong about where my chances in a game stood (which would have been entirely fine, especially as I was indeed wrong), but it was to the extent that I was ethically doing something very wrong, in effect that I was purposefully trying to 'play' my opponent to get an advantage, despite not actually applying pressure to said opponent and said opponent having agreed to replay the game. After that was over, I took another look, realized I was more lost than I originally thought, and reported that I would like to take that as a loss rather than a replay. Despite this, it wasn't accepted or allowed to stand. Instead, there was a period of dead time where he considered applying some kind of additional punishment!

This is even more ironic now, given that Stef himself has all kinds of disconnection problems at a far higher rate than anyone else, and yet of course nothing is ever done about that. Indeed, the rules are loose and slack to let him get everything in, and everyone else bends their schedules to try to accomodate him. He also blames the client at every opportuinty despite it being exceedingly clear that it's at least not entirely the client's fault, since nobody else has the scale of problem he does, and a great many people have no or virtually no problems. Now I do think people should generally try to be accomodating, as I don't think he has much if any control over his disconnects, so I don't really have a problem with that. The part where I have a problem is that other people aren't given the same kind treatment. There are numerous examples of little prodding when people are behind on things, even by a very small amount.

But perhaps an easier example right now is a situation with mpsprs. They played... some number of their matches this season, and then they became inactive it seems. As far as I can tell, nobody knows why. But they haven't been on the forum in a bit over a month, what have you. At some point, Stef brings the subject of what to do about them up with their division moderator, and whle he says it's the moderator's decision, he feels there's only one thing that can be done (implying throwing the person in question (and I'm trying to not use gendered pronouns here) out of the league). I want to note at this point that mpsprs had played MORE matches than Stef for the season, because Stef was way behind (presumably due to his disconnection problems). This is a wholly inappropriate comment to be made by one of the direct competitors of the person in question, an indeed should not be in his place to bring up. But Stef runs things, so he did. And what are you going to do, disagree with him? Make a different decision? How did this person get to be a mod anyway? Stef stamped the approval. Now, I don't actually think that Stef is consciously thinking "I'm going to bully this person into getting things my way", but like most people, he has an inclination that he wants things to be done the way he wants them - and he doesn't hae a good sense of "this is not my place". On top of this, he questions whether or not mpsprs "threw" (lost on purpose) games in some number of games/matches before disappearing. I have not seen any justification which would make anyone think that this was the case (other than apparently a 6-0 score, which by the way would be enough to make it seem like many of Stef's own opponents are throwing him matches often). More importantly, that is a very CLEAR attack on character/person. Also in this exchange, there was some discussion on whether or not to include mpsprs's match results from up to that point in time. Stef suggests one position or another (I think it was to include them? I'm not 100% sure I'm remembering that part right though), making some claim about that being the rule based on number of matches completed. I looked it up. There is no such rule in the posted Rules and Regulations. And yes, I copied that whole thread this morning to have an archive copy, it hasn't been updated for many months and there's no rule about it now either. Now I want to say at this point that I don't think he was making the rule up to try to give himself an advantage - I noted at the time that the course of action he proposed would be slightly unfavorable to him, in fact. I would guess that it's what at some point he thought should be the rule, and so that's what he thinks the rule is. But rules aren't rules if you don't post them as such, and the big point here is that if you provide whatever the rule is whenever the situation comes up, you have no accountability. You, as a single person, yourself, are determining all the rules. One last thing on this situation: there was no public discussion of it. There are no posts in the forums of how it should be handled. There aren't even posts of how it WAS handled. How is a spectator/viewer/fan supposed to know the standings if you never actually post anything saying what's actually happening in a situation like that? how about that 6-0 match that isn't in the standings page, why was that not included? There's no public comments on this at all. It must have all been done in secret back rooms in private, where I would expect Stef to have been heavily involved in the decision-making process. How do I know about the situation? Because after I tabbed away from someone's stream around when it was finishing and let it sit open for a while, I tabbed back to find this big chunk of text there.

I don't think it's any surprise that Stef wins his own league with alarming regularity. And no, I don't think he's sitting there thinking "gee, what will make me most likely to win?" I think he makes rules which he thinks will be the most fun - but what's most fun for him tends to coincide pretty well with what gives him the best chance at winning. For sure the big part of it is that he's also a very very good player, you wouldn't get this far without that also being true.

The rules he makes are reasonable possibilities, in general, but certainly not the only possibilities, and at least in some players' opinions, not the best ones. I am not just talking about me, and I'm not just talking about Adam. I give an example: how are unfinished games dealt with? That any score which is not 1-0, .5-.5, or .75-.25 is not something which is agreed upon by other top players at all; notably, SCSN has expressed that he would like there to be more flexibility than that, but perhaps more notably, he didn't even know that wasn't impossible at some point, (becaues they aren't really announced or publicly discussed? I'm not actually sure about that, I wasn't around).

And that's the big point here. It's not "the Dominion League". It's Stef's. And there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that. I know I certainly don't want to play in a league where one person has more or less all the power, but it's not an unreasonable thing per se. I do think it should be advertised though - people recommend it all the time as the first thing when joining the forums, and there really isn't any notice out there that it's Stef's project. It's presented more like it were a collaboration of the community as a whole. So I woudl change the name, and I would put a notice on the rules that he is the one who makes the decisions in cases not covered there. Now, I am sure people are going ot say, oh no, it's not just him, but I would dispute this. First of all, he gets choice on moderators who supposedly are ruling with him. He also tends to be the one who brings these topics up. And when he does so, it's often with an air of "I think this is the best, what should we do?" (Again, I find it ironic that he accuses Adam of doing this with his poll, considering that Adam didn't do anything to promote himself there beyond including himself on the poll, and indeed given that he had been the one commentating all the matches at that point, raising the question would serve to open, in the eyes of the community, MORE of a door for him to not be the one doing it, not less. It also provides another example of Stef being the one doing the character attacks, claiming that Adam's reasons for posting the thing were not being honest). Beyond this, in cases where he cares, he (virtually?) always ends up with the outcome he wanted. Anyway, I think that it should be labelled as his league, because that's what it is, and then people can play in it if they want, eyes open. I don't want to, so I left. But I want to point out this isn't an "Adam is the only one" issue.

Let's talk about the other big issue, though, and that's dealing with problems. If you want to try to solve an inter-personal problem, you need to talk about it. It isn't sufficient. But it is necessary. I understand not liking conflict. I don't understand pretending like it doesn't exist, hoping it will go away. That doesn't solve anything. These things don't go away. They just don't. Saying "let's not talk about this" just doesn't actually help. Saying "let's wait for everyone to cool down a bit" can, but at some point, you have to actually talk about it, or just be divided forever. Division is worse than argument.

I totally understand why the moderators aren't going to reveal the information of who is unhappy. On the other hand, it doesn't seem like a good move to let a player completely hold everything hostage. So I would think that, if the player(s) in question have an issue, you would want them to try to work it out. You would direct them to do so. Adam is getting shafted in some way, as you're just siding with the other person over him. To be totally fair, you don't wnat to be in the middle of that if you aren't the person in question. On the other hand, it's entirely clear that Stef is at least one of the people who has a problem with Adam here. I'm honestly still confused as to what the whole damn thing is about. If we're telling Adam to grow up and get over it, and the only reason Stef has really given is, I didn't like some rants you made and you banned SCSN, can we not say the same thing to him? I notice that no one is suggesting to Stef, "you don't have to be a part of it if you don't like it" as they are with Adam, even though that would equally solve the problem. Of course, the suggestion is a bit ridiculous, because it's Stef league, which is the real point.

Oh and moving threads. That is clearly not the right thing, it doesn't go where it was moved to. I assume the motivation is more "I just wish this would go away" than anything. you can view that as a positive, or you can view it as a negative. But moving this thread of course wasn't nearly as bad as moving the other one, which was definitely not general discussion and very clearly and specifically about the league.

To those people who are bringing people's personal lives into it, I could ask if you are being total pricks because your parents neglected you as a child? Just asking because you're being total jerks, and I was looking for some kind of explanation for it. I'm concerned. Of course that would be total BS and uncalled for, just like suggesting anything about personal lives causing stress. Seriously, it's none of your business nor germane to the point at hand.

I am entirely bewildered by the idea that "PMs should never be posted". If you tell me something, I have every right to repeat that as I see fit. If you don't want me to, you shouldn't tell me the thing in the first place, or at least you should at least ask me to agree to keep it private. (I am assuming that no such agreement was in place). This is especially true in potential cases of abuse. In some ways it's tempting to send PMs to all of you filled with vulgarity, profanity, all kidns of nastiness, you ****ing Nazi ****ing A**h***s, but you can't repeat any of this because I sent it in a PM! I mean, no it's not really tempting, because I don't want to do that, but it's really not hard to conceive of a situation of abusive language which should have no privelege of privacy. Of course, I rather doubt anything would come of it anyway - popular figures get absurd amounts of slack because "oh but I like him/that thing he did", and it's not hard to ignore things in private. Blaming the victim is a very terrible thing that society naturally does A LOT, and we should really try to avoid it. People wonder why rape victims don't want to speak up - well, it really isn't very hard to understand. At the same time, of course, not every person who has claimed to be a victim has been one (though in most of these cases, it can be seen that the vast majority are), and we should also not run to lambast anyone based on a single accusation for sure. None of this (paragraph) really has to do with the current dispute or feuding parties; it's about the "Nobody should ever post PMs for any reason" sentiment.

Anyway, so long forums. I would say it's been nice knowing you, but it's really turned toxic, so that's not as true as I would like it to be. I honestly do wish you well though.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Copper or Ruined Market?
« on: February 11, 2016, 10:14:41 am »
RM is a much worse card to have in your deck most games. You could realistically make an argument that RM is a card you're much more likely to buy (most slogs vs engines without other +buy - I'm not actually sure that it's correct but oh well; at least RM tends to have bigger impact when you do buy it).

Feedback / Re: Spam users
« on: February 09, 2016, 06:58:23 pm »
I would go with deleting every account with >=0 posts and a link anywhere in the sig or URL field.


If you're going to declare a war on spam you might as well apply some rigor.

I'm sure I'm missing something here - it looks like you just suggested deleting your account...

General Discussion / Re: Maths thread.
« on: February 05, 2016, 08:11:29 pm »
So random idea I thought of today - and actually ended up fully solving while posting since I realised I missed something obvious for working out the answer.

What is the smallest list of n numbers (where n is a positive integer) such that:

The mode is n
The median is n
The mean is n
The range is n

Write down your list of numbers as well.

Harder version: As above, but with a variance of n.

Bonus points in both cases for proving your solutions.

The first version is relatively straight forward. I would say that a talented A level mathematician (16-18 year old level) could probably solve it and maybe prove it. The second version is a lot harder, especially to prove and if you find the whole family of solutions for the lowest n (spoiler: There's more than one solution to the second one).

I do have solutions to all of these, which I'll save for now so people can have a go and because I noticed an improvement to my answer to the second one and want to give a complete answer

4 (2,4,4,6) and 7 (3.5,3.5,7,7,7,10.5,10.5). 6 almost works for the second part - you can get a variance as close to 6 as you like without ever quite making it there.

Dominion Online at Shuffle iT / Re: The Dominion online 2017 thread
« on: February 05, 2016, 06:19:01 pm »
I personally don't mind the MTGO client.

I think I'm the only one I've ever heard espouse that opinion.

WW, I assume what makes CSM useful is that you can save up tokens to get Gardens, and never have to bother with Silvers.

I get that. I just don't think it's very good. You open CSM/CSM, you probably get 3 more on turns 3 and 4, you finish them out on turn 7 or so, at which point you have something like 11 coppers, 10 CSM and your 3 estates, right? And then, you don't want to waste any tokens, so if you have $3 or more from just coppers, you get a Gardens, and other than that... estate? Eventually you take your plunge and buy out the Gardens, and the Estates, I suppose. It probably takes, oh, 21 turns, from the start, and you get all the Gardens, CSMs, Estates, and... I'm not sure how many coppers. Probably you have 4 or 5 point Gardens. Let's say you can get to 5. That gives you enough points to equal out all the Provinces. Hooray. On the other hand, most anything respectable can actually empty the Provinces in that amount of time, so I remain pretty unconvinced.

While CSM / Gardens isn't game breaking by any means, you're very much underestimating the number of cards you end up with in your deck with the strategy. You're gaining 10 cards plus the number of turns *per shuffle*, so it isn't at all unheard of to hit 60 cards by turn 17 with a CSM / Gardens slush.

IMO, CSM is a great Gardens enabler, among the best (but no Ironworks). The problem is, Gardens has to be the best strategy on the board for it to work, which is somewhat rare.
Surely you're overestimating. 17 turns means 17 buys, so 33 CSM plays? Turn 1-2 you obviously get 0. Let's say turns 3-4 you get 2 (which is a little bit generous but still the most likely); this gets you to 5 CSMs in 16 cards for turns 5-7. Let's say you play them all again on those turns. Now we're at 7 plays, 10 CSMs and 24 cards. Let's be VERY generous and give you all 10 on turns 8-11. Now we're at 17 plays, 38 cards. And now even if we get all 10 CSMs in the top of the deck, over the next 6 turns, we can only get a max of 10 more plays, we won't hit another shuffle, that gets us to 27 CSM plays plus our 17 natural buys, meaning at most we are hitting 54 cards on turn 17. Ok, actually we could have been luckier getting 1 CSM a shuffle faster, which gets the best case up by 1, to 55, but I have already pushed you to the point of being quite lucky.

So really, it *is* unheard of - it's impossible, actually. Of course, if you throw another enabler in the mix, things get better, but that was never in dispute.

Perhaps I was being slightly pessimistic - by the time you get to turn 21, you're very likely to have 5 point Gardens - but I don't think it changes the overall verdict by much.

WW, I assume what makes CSM useful is that you can save up tokens to get Gardens, and never have to bother with Silvers.

I get that. I just don't think it's very good. You open CSM/CSM, you probably get 3 more on turns 3 and 4, you finish them out on turn 7 or so, at which point you have something like 11 coppers, 10 CSM and your 3 estates, right? And then, you don't want to waste any tokens, so if you have $3 or more from just coppers, you get a Gardens, and other than that... estate? Eventually you take your plunge and buy out the Gardens, and the Estates, I suppose. It probably takes, oh, 21 turns, from the start, and you get all the Gardens, CSMs, Estates, and... I'm not sure how many coppers. Probably you have 4 or 5 point Gardens. Let's say you can get to 5. That gives you enough points to equal out all the Provinces. Hooray. On the other hand, most anything respectable can actually empty the Provinces in that amount of time, so I remain pretty unconvinced.

Help! / Re: funkdoc's journey to 5k (& beyond)
« on: February 04, 2016, 10:20:51 am »
I have actually been planning to do something about draw-to-X for a while now, but here are a few points:

Anything you can't get rid of in the action phase (mostly treasures, junks, and greens) are very bad, since once you draw one, every remaining draw card you play draws 1 less. With almost any in your deck, you WILL draw them, and it WILL hurt your ability to function a lot. First of all this is going to make you want trashing. But this means you usually can't afford to green very long. In turn, you get mega-turn implied to you, especially against someone who isn't going for Provinces with you. Any time your greening is drawn out, it's bad news.

As for the trashing, I don't think you actually need to get rid of absolutely everything - if you're stuck holding Chapel, you're fine (especially since you're going to be able to play it, hooray; this is true for many but not all trashers, but even if you're stuck holding e.g. remake, that's not too terrible, if you have 0 other junks).

You do need a lot of villages, because you tend to want to go Village Village Village Village Terminal Terminal and only then draw, which is especially bad because you have fewer cards to start with, making you need a way higher village density.

It's a myth that villages without draw are better than villages with draw here. All else equal, you prefer the draw still for sure. However, the lack of draw tends to be less bad here than elsewhere, plus the extra bonuses you get for balance (from not having draw) usually offset the lack of draw.

Of course, you still have the problem of needing to get a draw card to start, along with villages and maybe some terminals (though it's ok to draw those later), which is tricky, especially because you don't really want multiple of your draw cards at once. So sifting is quite good to get the right mix, but in general these engines are more finnicky and weaker than their "normal draw" counterparts.

Discard for benefit is nice, but be a bit careful relying too much on it. Hamlet is excellent of course, giving you discard outlet and village and pseudo-sifting.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Empires Announced!
« on: February 04, 2016, 10:09:44 am »
piles with two different cards

Imagine a kingdom with 9 of these, plus Fairgrounds.

You mean: 7 of these, black market deck (with tournament, cultist, and other unique dispenser cards), knights, fairgrounds and a young witch deck of those two Different cards mechanism?

Also colonies and platinums.

You mean, 6 of these, black market deck including [ Tournament, any Looter, any spoils card, any potion card, Urchin, Hermit, either gain-from-trash card, Young Witch], both travelers, Knights, and Fairgrounds. (I probably forgot something), with Shelters, Platina and Colonies. Assuming a 25 card BM and all Ruins represented, if I'm doing my counting right, this gets us to a possible 85 uniques, or 34 point Fairgrounds.

And you still get outscored by a Goons engine.

Hearthstone / Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« on: February 04, 2016, 08:13:06 am »
no idea how he has time to play Hearthstone and MtG both at such a high level.  Does he have a day job?

When you play at that level, it is his day job.

Pretty sure Kibler makes most of his money streaming. He's playing about 5 days a week usually.

I assume streaming would count as 'playing'. Certainly I don't think you can make a great living just playing? (Actually I don't know what HS payouts are like, but it's pretty tough to do so in MTG without also e.g. writing articles). However, Kibler also does some game design work.

So, I don't really have much experience with Travelling Fair, certainly with Gardens, but I don't expect it's a great enabler. You usually don't have so much extra money to throw around, and top-decking is not as good when you're getting to buying green fast. Still, of course I am sure it helps sometimes.

The question about CSM is a bit interesting. I certainly don't think it's a great "enabler", though it's ok. I mean, there tend to be a couple ways you can play Gardens: as some points while you're running piles out really fast (rush), or as a way to get a huge mass of points that can't really be overcome (slog). I suppose you want CSM for a rush more than a slog? The issue is that the economic impact just isn't all that huge - they're effectively coppers with buys attached. And while the tokens can be nice, once you have so many CSM, the marginal utility of the money being in token form goes way down. And it still takes a loooooong time for you to be able to pile CSM+Gardens+Estate (I am guessing that's the third pile usually). Or maybe you're playing it as a slog, but I think the mediocre economy hurts even worse there.

In addition to Beggar and Ironworks, I assume at least Squire, off the top of my head, is a better enabler.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: German translation
« on: February 04, 2016, 07:59:16 am »
I think part of your problem is that the primary language of many (most) people on this board has, by-and-large, gender-neutral nouns. Now, the board is not demographically typical, and probably has a lot more people with experiences with those languages (including quite a number of native speakers). (I will also note that you make a comment about the German board being mostly male - this board is WAY heavily male; I am not sure what difference that is going to make here, but it's something that's true).

But English is very low on gendered nouns, and even though I've studied languages with them, it's always a bit difficult to wrap my head around. True, though, something like "Baker" is a little different. We have some examples, though, and in general it seems that using the "male" word, at least for us (again, I don't know German), is closer to neutral than using the "female" word, while not really being totally neutral. The examples which spring to mind are "waiter" and "actor". You will get "waiter" used to describe both men and women sometimes, even though "waitress" is also a word. More to the point though, "actor" is often used to describe women who act, or even just one woman who acts, even though "waitress" is also definitely a word that isn't incredibly strange. On the other hand, I've never heard "waitress" refer to a man, or "actress" refer to a man. Again, I don't know how much this is worth, but there you go.

Perhaps the bigger point, though, isn't so much that people disagree with you. Maybe even they agree, it could be done better (though, what specific suggestion do you have?). The thing about "this doesn't matter much to me" comes in though. It doesn't matter that much to most people, in terms of, sure I agree, but what do you want me to do about it? The big point is, we would have to go pretty far out of our way to try to make any kind of change, and the incentive to do that isn't there.

Game Reports / Re: unfairgrounds
« on: February 03, 2016, 05:50:40 pm »
I must admit, I don't understand the tile. I mean, I get that it's trying to be a pun, but I don't understand what's supposed to be unfair about Fairgrounds. "A second stack of Provinces" is I think how Stef has put it. And they've only gotten better over time (ruins, Shelters, etc)

In this game, there is no engine possible, which doesn't rule Fairgrounds out entirely, as they can still easily be worth some amount of points as a more 'normal' alt VP. And if games go long enough, then yeah, they might even be worth taking to 6, but at least 4.

But as mentioned, Butcher (and no attacks) mean the game very much isn't likely to last very long, so maaaybe they're worth 4, but probably they're not doing anything here. A comment was made about perhaps butchering Estates into LH instead of silver for the sake of Fairgrounds; I assume that ti's already worth it for the sake of having a coin token, though. Silver>LH here, but not by a whole token's worth, I don't think.

Hearthstone / Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« on: February 03, 2016, 05:43:29 pm »
If they leave combo, wild growth, innervate, and lets say KoTL untouched, it will still be very hard to have Druid take another route, but we'll see.

Brian Kibler made an excelent video:

(Do not think that I am not supporting this change. It is one of the best announcments since they made the game. And so does Kibler, he just takes issue with  exact implementation, and his points are quite valid). But, as I said, we'll see.

*THE* Brian "Brian "Brian "Brian Kibler" Kibler" Kibler" Kibler of BMK Gaming? And playmat fame?

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Storage solutions with Empires
« on: February 03, 2016, 05:40:26 pm »
I'm pretty sure it's "bated breath"

I'm pretty sure 'baited breath' is grammatically correct. For instance, the breath could be part of some daring conniving plot. I'm less sure that's what Adam intended, but I'm even less sure what the point of the tangent is, so oh well.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 02, 2016, 04:12:01 pm »
I'd go for denominations of pi and e.
I don't think that's rational.

I may be irrational, but I am keepin' it real.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 02, 2016, 02:17:41 pm »
Will the denominations of VP chips be the same as Prosperity, or will we get e.g. 10s?
Hmmm, the little paragraph doesn't seem to say.

I'm hoping for denominations of 11 and 7, myself.
I'd go for denominations of pi and e. Also that way you get cooler shapes.

Game Reports / Re: Scavenger / Masterpiece?
« on: February 02, 2016, 02:16:08 pm »
So my question is: Is Silk Road really a thing when there is nothing much going on except +buy?

To answer this question, I mean, no? But on this board there's quite a bit going on to support Silk Road.

Horse Traders and Masterpiece are amazeballs for Silk Roads. Haven, Bureaucrat, and Scavenger are all good as well, but I don't know if they find much use given the other support (maybe Haven does?)

I would say that in the absence of anything else, then yes, SR are going to be a big factor, but on the other hand, the absence of anything else is quite rare, so its perhaps not a very useful question.

HT is pretty good, though I'm not sure that BCrat isn't better. Masterpiece is probably better than either, at least in a not-mirror, but it's not entirely trivial. Scavenger I think doesn't help a slog as much as it does just about every other strategy.

To that end, Scavenger and Masterpiece really seem to anti-synergize. Scavenger likes having one bullet that it can take you back to over and over. Masterpiece makes your deck thick and even and resilient. Basically, I assume Scavenger wants Gold a lot more than a pile of silvers.

In the actual game, I think you're making a pretty big mistake by Scavenging Scavenger every time. I mean, you get a terminal silver every turn plus
4 random cards... that's not really all that good. In general, I do like your opponents strategy here, but it's not entirely clear. If we take a look at your decks after turn 7, you have 3 extra silvers, a gold, and 2 Scavengers against 3 HT and a Haven, and you also have a Province against a Silk Road. I think you should, form a theoretical standpoint, be ahead here? You have better money, and he has buys. So the thing about this is, your money is better for getting provinces, and his buys are going to be better at trading blows for SR. Which means you need to plan to win the game by getting more Provinces than him. HOWEVER that doesn't necessarily mean you ignore SR entirely. You have kind of 2 options: the first is ignore the SR more or less entirely and basically try to empty the Provinces fairly quickly, perhaps snapping up some cheaper VP toward the end. On the other hand, you could try to race down SR going blow for blow with him until they're gone, and then pivot towards getting some provinces and winning that way. This second plan has the benefit of forcing him to green very fast, turning his deck into a lot of green, and hopefully making it implode. The big factor is that SR run and Estates run, but there's no third pile, which means you have a lot of time to get Provinces. So this is the road I tend to favor. If it turns out that even in that case, he is just fast enough to get too many points, that means you either needed to race Provinces faster or possibly, that you just started to green too late (which probably means your whole conception is flawed).

You played, it seemed, mostly for the "race to provinces" plan, which I think isn't as good, but ok, it's not so clear or so bad necessarily. Let's take a look where you end up when the SR run out on turn 12. You have an extra Gold compared to before, you picked up 1 SR and 2 more Provinces. In addition to his SR, he was also able to get another silver. Fine. You have a 4 point lead at the moment, which is good, but he has 7 SR which are right about to level up. Ok. So going long, every VP card is worth an extra 7/4 of a point on average for him, as opposed to only an extra 1/4 point for you. Your economy is significantly better than his at this point, with more money and less junk, but even though you're nominally ahead on points, in reality he is better positioned in green cards. Which means you need the game to end sooner rather than later, or in any case, you need to get a lot of Provinces fast - his deck is still good enough to get a good number of Duchies along with Estates more or less at will.

If we assume at this point that he can't get to any Provinces (and even if he can, he may well not want to), then we can look at, if you get them all, what does that do for you? 5 Provinces added to your tally is 32 more points, bringing you up to 54. This is equalled by only 6 duchies from your opponent, or 6 estates and 3 duchies. Better than that and he has you more or less cooked. In all honesty, you're in quite bad shape, so it seems like you needed to do something different before now, BUT I will say that you aren't 100% dead. However, trading Duchies with him doesn't help - indeed it actually makes things worse, because you're further away from getting those Provinces you need. So it's very important you focus on getting Provinces above all else. That means you should prefer Province over everything (obviously), Gold over everything else, and then we can quibble but probably Scavenger is 3rd-best for a while. I suppose a Masterpiece wouldn't be bad on e.g. 7, and it's possible one or two of your earlier Provinces should have been very big Masterpieces, but again, this is not clear or easy, especially at the time.

Instead of this, you play a game to maximise having Scavenger + 4 randoms every turn. And that's a fine hand, a slightly above-average hand, but it's just not good enough here - you aren't going to hit Province often enough. You really want the Gold as much as you can get it, so you should be placing it on top as much as you can. You will probably still lose, but you have a better chance, I think.

With Silk Roads, the trick is knowing how long to build and I believe that depends quite a bit on what your opponent does. That's a tough call to make for even the best of players (except for maybe WW)

It's definitely a tough call for me. I screw it up a LOT - it's just that I tend to screw it up a bit less than most other people. But that's because it's really complicated and interesting and difficult (also I'm not sure I'm really that much better than other top players here, at least not uniformly. But thanks).

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 01, 2016, 06:04:16 pm »
Kirk or Picard?

Man, no one ever asks about Sisko, or Janeway, or Archer.  What gives?

No one cares who ranks 3-5.
Then why are we asking about Kirk?

Dominion Articles / Re: Triple Gear
« on: January 29, 2016, 04:42:28 pm »
Don't you sometimes want a 4th gear? On a random $5 hand mid-game

I'm pretty sure if you're playing it right, you'll never have $5 in the midgame. Maybe $3.

Dominion Articles / Re: Triple Gear
« on: January 29, 2016, 08:16:46 am »
Lightning Edit: Goons (tuned for the matchup) might be the best BM against this?(???)

I feel Cultist BM should also do well (admittedly, this is an unqualified guess - I have never played with Gear).

Well, yes, I was going along with the "non-junking" mentioned in the OP.

Is there any intelligence for what to set aside?

Yes. As assemble_me notes, you can go a long way by simply saving your actions and money that isn't helping you get to a price point - and I believe this is how Geronimoo programmed his simulator (meaning it's enough to get these stellar results). At the same time, I think this can be improved upon a bit. You point out a very obvious example (though I think the clever Mr. 'moo got around that one a bit by requiring enough money in deck before greening, which mostly corrects this problem). Still, of course, an endgame sense of what VP cards are important right now is going to help a lot in the endgame (saving more to obey PPR makes the rule a bigger deal here than in normal BM, but also sometimes if you have $6 or something, the Duchy has little equity over an estate, etc.).

In general, there are a few things you want to be conscious of: first of all, you want to know as best as possible what your next hand will hold. This will help you sculpt out your next few turns now. Also, keep track of when shuffles are happening. You get way less equity from saving good cards if it means they'll miss the shuffle, and you get some positive equity from saving bad cards (green in particular) to make them miss a shuffle. You can also sometimes save nothing so that your Gear itself doesn't miss the shuffle.

Furthermore, these things probably get more important as you start adding more kingdom cards that might be useful. Ironmonger is good and better than silver, but enough to not save an extra money? And Venture is good but worse than Gold - how much worse, really though?

For just a little taste of this, let's look at the case where we open Gear/Gear and draw a Gear on turn 3 (as will happen 68% of the time). If you draw to 6 coppers, you're going to buy Gold. Ok, that one's easy. But it's worth noting that in every case, you know you will have your other Gear next turn, that it will trigger a shuffle, and indeed you will know the exact cards you will have in that hand before playing your Gear. There are a lot of combinations of 6 cards you can have, but after giving a lot of thought, I actually think what you want to do, if as-it-usually-will-be, it's possible (with the only exception being 6 coppers->gold), is to make your current hand 1 estate and 3 coppers, buy a Silver. This makes your next hand 4 coppers, 2 estates, and a Gear. You'll play the Gear, which will trigger a reshuffle, where the only cards are Copper, Copper, Silver, Estate. You have a 1/3 chance of drawing Copper/Estate, in which case you save 2 coppers and buy a Gear, a 1/6 Chance of drawing Copper/Copper, in which case you save nothing (I think) and buy Gold, a 1/6 chance of drawing Estate/Silver, in which case I think you save 2 estates (not 100% on that, might be better to save nothing) and buy a Gold, and a 1/3 chance to draw Silver/Copper, in which case you probably save Copper/Estate and buy a Gold (but this is the hardest for me to work out). Following that, you are buying Golds about every turn, though you want a 3rd Gear if you don't have one and brick off (which is more likely to happen if you only have 2 Gears, so it works out nicely). And then you can green.

It's actually a bit startling how far you can plan ahead from so early a point. Really, you're taking out most of the luck except for whether you get a gear in the top of the shuffle or not - in some ways, it's kind of like an engine. And the 'secret' is that if Big Money draws perfectly, it's actually very strong. Big shocker ;)

(edit: fixed an obvious small math error - counting is hard)

Game Reports / Re: Another Scrying Pool - Looter Board
« on: January 28, 2016, 06:20:36 pm »
There are several improvements to make here.

First of all, Ruins don't gel with Scrying Pool. Pool makes them less bad than normal, but you still draw fewer non-ruin cards with your pools, and more importantly, you're less likely to get a pool to start with. Having said that, you should seriously consider keeping them over coppers, since coppers are more dead to your deck.

Next, you talk about getting Golds, and then you do it pretty early. That's a pretty serious mistake. I don't think you want want a free gold even if you got that offer, but you definitely don't want to waste drawing a card for it. At some point, you might need to take one to be able to hit $5. You don't want to do that until your deck is pretty thin and under control though.

Also, you should get a second Steward pretty fast - especially considering how you drew, turn 5 was an excellent chance for this. You just need the trashing to thin down.

Your draw was very very bad though. That happens sometimes.

Dominion Articles / Re: Triple Gear
« on: January 28, 2016, 06:08:12 pm »
It also beats most engines!

I don't think Gear / Gear is the best opening though? I think you want Silver / Gear, then 2x more Gear on turns you can't hit $6, then Golds and Provinces. Is that slightly faster? I feel it would be.

This was my gut reaction. Then I did a long consideration of all the draws. I think Gear/Gear is better now.

Will note that you should buy Gold before the 3rd gear if possible, though, and I think actually silver in a lot of cases, too, but it depends on the draw.

Lightning Edit: Goons (tuned for the matchup) might be the best BM against this?(???)

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Super old quotes
« on: January 28, 2016, 12:18:44 pm »
It's only with the last few expansions that strategy has tipped so heavily toward engines.

It's hard to disagree more :) The best card for engines overall, Chapel, is from base. Base also featured some A-grade village (plain Village) and an A-grade draw card (Smithy).
The worst attack to get against you every single turn, Ghost Ship, is from Seaside.

The reason engines were harder with Base only was that engines require a bit of everything. +actions, +cards, +gain/buy, time (either attack or alt VP).
In the base set a lot of cards provided only one of those categories, so the chance that a category was entirely missing from a kingdom was significant. It was still easily below 50% though. Engines were probably also harder with base + intrigue, again because of the high percentage of cards doing only one thing. But cards stopped doing only one thing way, way before Dark Ages.

The real reason engines are so much more popular now, is that everybody got a lot better at Dominion.

I'm convinced WW builds an engine now on many many boards he used to think BigMoney was best on. And he could think BigMoney was best on those boards back in the days because he almost always beat his opponent with it, who was either playing a worse form of BigMoney or terribly misplaying an engine.

I agree that there's far more to my play improving than the cardset changing, though I think they're both factors. I disagree with some of the things though. Certainly I don't think engines are great in base in general; I imagine it can't be right much more than 50% of the time. There's only Chapel as a really good trasher; moneylender also existed. 35% of the time already, you don't have either of these. It's not impossible to engine without either, but it's tough. Witch certainly wrecks engines that don't have Chapel. And then you need a Village (there are only 3, Festival is pretty bad for engine reliability, Throne Room often isn't great since there aren't many cantrips), you need draw (Smithy is great, Library and Lab are ok but not the best), you need +buy (Woodcutter is bad, Festival is ok, Market is good of course)... most given boards will have any one of the given pieces, but usually not all of them.

Perhaps the bigger thing, surprisingly enough, is that the payload is rather poor. There are very few options that get you off of getting a decent amount of treasure, at which point how much good are you really doing over BM? So of course Chapel went engine a good majority of the time, but other than that, it wasn't happening that often.

Even getting Intrigue out (should have) made a big difference, as you pick up Steward, Masquerade, Torturer, Bridge... Your biggest problem now was Villages, because you only pick up Mining, Nobles, and the very-unreliable-especially-against-money Tribute. If we discount Nobles as being real bad as the only village for an engine (and same of course with Tribute), we have 4 villages out of 50 cards, which means we get one about 60% of the time (Throne Room sometimes doesn't work, but I suppose sometimes Nobles does).

Seaside was out before all of these discussions, and for engines it brought Ambassador, Lookout, Wharf, Fishing Village, Bazaar, Native Village... Should have been pretty engine already.

But the thing is, things kept getting better for engines, too (Alchemy; Prosperity did a LOT; Dark Ages added very good villages and several very good trashers, and attacks...), in no small part because the proportion of each component kept creeping up, making it much less likely you'd miss something you need. Still, it's not a foregone conclusion that you engine every board - just grabbed the last 20 games I played off of salvager, and I think 7 of them are pretty clear no-engines (with a couple being questionable). That's obviously not scientific and a pretty small sample, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if engine isn't right ~30% of the time.

A final note is that there are way fewer do-nothing cards now. Spy, Scout, Thief, Chancellor, etc. all being so weak hurt engines significantly, as they effectively shrink kingdoms. The engine % would be way higher if we played with 12 card kingdoms, and lower if we played with 6.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Super old quotes
« on: January 28, 2016, 10:53:31 am »
This is the place to quote really old strategy tips laugh at our dominion misconceptions. All goodnaturedly of course. :) I will give an example:
Yeah, Ironworks/Gardens is what I think is the "root Combo". By this I mean the thing that is so good, absolutely nothing else beats it. And since I made that postulation, at least in my own games, it's been true: in any game with both ironworks and Gardens on the board, I've only lost in games where my opponent also went for a variation of this strategy. Now, this isn't to say you shouldn't go for other cards WITH this combo - i.e. if workshop is on the board, you should prolly go workshop/ironworks/gardens - but I have yet to think of a board where a gardens/ironworks-centred deck doesn't win at least 50% of the time. It's incredibly resilient at any rate, and can absorb most problems other decks can throw at it, especially curse-givers, which a lot of other strategies can't boast of, and it is fast enough to beat a lot of other strats.

I'll have a standing challenge to anyone to beat me Ironworks/Gardens without going Ironworks/Gardens themselves (okay, mirror match is fine too, but that's a different story altogether, and I haven't gotten it often enough to be confident I have it 100% tuned for the mirror). I'm not saying I'll win every time, but I should win over 50%, especially if you control for player order advantage.
Challenge accepted

Yeah, that guy was an idiot.

In all honesty, it was not that far off at some point. Pretty sure it was just correct when it was only Base and Intrigue, and not so far off when I was thinking about it first (before the release of Prosperity). That Prosperity was out for a year when I posted that makes me somewhat doubtful, because probably there was some Goons thing, or especially King's Court. I suppose it's possible a fast enough Bridge mega-turn might have done it even with Intrigue.... King's Court is a big game though.

Anyway, of course Silk Road supplants Gardens, but other than that, it's very close to the best 2-card combo still, I believe. Certainly a few years back we had a simulator contest which I won off an IW/SR bot, and the only real contender was Wharf/FG. More sets have definitely come since then, but I have a hard time thinking any 2-card combo outperforms. Of course there are lots of things that beat it now, but most of them are good engines needing several cards.

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