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Messages - platykurtic

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Yeah I don't get Caravan Guard conceptually. "If an opponent plays an Attack, this gets to function as an actual Peddler rather than as a delayed one." It comes off as really incoherent.

I guess as a cantrip it's good to see what it'll draw before deciding for discard attacks but still.

Your baseline peddler +1card,+1action,+1$ card is conceptually priced at 4$, and caravan guard only costs three, so it makes sense that a 3$ card would be less powerful. As far as I can see it's just a delayed peddler that missed reshuffles, but becomes a bargain full peddler when attacks start flying. I suppose getting to play it early gives you a bit more information if you get hit by a militia or something before your next turn.

Dominion: Adventures Previews / Re: French Preview : Pistage / Quête
« on: April 09, 2015, 04:52:57 pm »
Quest could really turn some slogs into big money games. Imagine a board that would end up just a curse slog with Witch. Now any hand with a Witch or two Curses equals a Gold. Your deck will be flooded, and the game will probably end on Provinces super quick

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Stonemason + Border Village = WIN
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:23:11 pm »
Seriously, this can net you 5 cards out of one buy.  Pick up a Journeyman with each BV, and you just bought an engine.  Later, you can pop open the BV and get two Duchies out of it, if you're running low on points.

In terms of general SM strategy, the overpay in general would seem to be excellent with Vineyards - every time you buy a SM, your Vineyards are each worth 1 point more.  Awesomeness.

SMs also seem to be great for transitional strategies.  In the game with BV/JM, I started off with an Advisor/Silver engine, with a Forager for some trashing.  Once I started getting $6-$8, I started pumping in the BVs and JMs, with a couple MGs.  At this point, Advisor became more of a liability (though it's very nice as an opener, and with BM), so I SM'd them into double Silvers.  So if your opening strategy is different form your late game strategy, SM is great for both getting you the later cards, and cleaning up the earlier cards.

You can see Stonemason and Vineyards in action here

10 point vineyards by the end. Border village would make this even more insane

Dominion: Guilds Previews / Re: Guilds Secret History discussion
« on: June 20, 2013, 10:35:15 am »
Quote from: DonaldX
For a bit I kind of wanted a new action-victory card, and tried +1 Action, reveal a card from your hand for the corresponding Ironworks bonus, 2 VP, for $4. It was fine but I mostly just liked that it was an action-victory card.

Poor Scout

Dominion Articles / Re: Pillage
« on: June 07, 2013, 04:21:35 am »
I don't think you mention that it goes badly with hand-size reduction attacks, your own or other players in 3+ play. It only attacks 5+ card hands, so if an opponent has fewer cards, they're immune.

Dominion: Guilds Previews / Re: Preview #3: Journeyman
« on: June 05, 2013, 11:05:47 am »
This probably goes well with trash for benefit like Apprentice and Bishop where you're likely to be trashing you Estates early but not your coppers. Then you can safely name Copper and be sure to draw your important cards. This could make an engine possible where it otherwise wouldn't be..

Early game this is mostly just a terminal gold since you're naming Estate and drawing 3 Coppers, so it's definitely a mid/late game card

Dominion: Guilds Previews / Re: Preview #1: Baker
« on: June 03, 2013, 04:58:27 pm »
Btw, there are no slogs on Rebuild boards.

Well, Rebuild + Curser/Looter will get you there. I found Rebuild pretty good in slogs, because it gets you to Duchies and Provinces even without producing good money. With Sea Hag its pretty good, for instance, with Rebuild being non-terminal.

I wouldn't call that a slog

Also I think Baker is quite a weak KC target in relation to must other cards.

Considering the goal of a KC deck is full deck draw, you're probably right. Baker shines in decks that can't draw all their cards. KC engines need not apply.

Unless you're going for a megaturn. The idea would be to build up a lot of money in a flimsy engine deck that that couldn't handle greening. Then spend it all in one go in one game-ending turn. No clue how that would actually pan out, but it will be fun to try.

Dominion: Guilds Previews / Re: Preview #1: Baker
« on: June 03, 2013, 03:17:55 pm »
As for a coin token fueled mega-turn, it's probably not too likely. If you can draw your deck every turn, you can store +$1 each turn per Baker, or you could buy a Silver instead of a Baker for $2 each turn since you draw the Silver every turn anyways. So, you're storing ~half the money you could have each turn, which sounds a bit too slow.

Yeah, I suspect you'd need TR/KC to really make that work. It's no going to be a common combo since you also need +buy, other money to buy Bakers with, and some trashing or an engine to get it all going. Baker/KC/Market/Chapel does it, but that's a four card combo. But when it does hit...

Dominion Articles / Re: Don't Play Everything!
« on: March 14, 2013, 02:08:19 pm »
Another thing is to keep an eye on your cost reduction. If you play your last Highway and suddenly find you can't Upgrade your Bank into a needed Province because they both cost zero, you're going to feel pretty stupid. There are lots of little interactions like that.

I've also been screwed by blindly playing all my Cities, then realizing I had a chance to empty a second pile via Ironworks mid-turn, meaning I could've been playing third-level cities instead and won the game.

Dominion Articles / Re: The Hand-size reduction fallacy
« on: March 09, 2013, 01:32:20 pm »
Bazaar and Festival are the most easily compared example here. Both cost the same, but Festival lacks +1 card and instead has +1 buy and an extra +1$. You might think of it as not drawing for benefit or Ghost Shipping yourself one card you never see for benefit. Thought of this way, draw to X combos with discard or don't draw for benefit because it obviates the penalty, not the handsize reduction itself.

Dominion Articles / Re: How would you open on this board? #2
« on: March 04, 2013, 12:48:33 pm »
Looks to me like the sort of slog where no one's going to ever buy a Province. Everyone's getting bogged down with Curses, and there's no good engine to draw past them or get rid of them. Given that Horse Traders makes it easy to hit 5$, or 4$ with two buys, this one's probably ending with Curses, Duchies, and Estates running out. In that sort of deck, Copper is good; I'd much rather have a Copper with my Curse to help balance it out. Once the Curses are out I wouldn't even discard a Curse to block Mountebank, and I'd be getting Coppers with my extra HT buys the whole time.

In conclusion, I'd definitely open Sea Hag/Silver, maybe a second SH, then grab a few HT and go for green (with a few silver and cooper buys in there). This is more or less the worst possible deck for Mountebank

Dominion Articles / Re: Highway
« on: March 01, 2013, 07:08:38 pm »
It's important to remember that not all +buys are created equal. I tried to build a Highway deck with only Spice Merchant, Salvager, and Contraband as possible +buys, and that really made it impossible to get the sort of results I wanted.

Well yeah. If your +buy is terminal you need a village as well to really pull out the use. That's why Market/Market square work so well. Salvager is probably the worst because it anti synergizes with Highway.

Salvager doesn't antisynergize with Highway in the same way Apprentice and Bishop do, though. Yes, with Highways in play you get less +$ for your Salvaging than you ordinarily would, but the +$ that you do get goes farther. So Salvager does the same thing with Highways in play that it does without Highways in play: "+1 buy, and enough money to buy back the thing you just trashed".

That's true, although it breaks when things start hitting zero. Maybe you were planning to salvage a Dutchy to get the last few coins you need to buy a province, but if Dutchy costs 0$ and Province still costs 3$ or something, you're out of luck.

Dominion Articles / Re: Highway
« on: February 20, 2013, 03:58:59 pm »
I've incorporated all feedback so far, thanks everyone. Band of Misfits is called out in the "Do something with a card costing exactly X$ less" section.

jomini: I'm not sure how your suggestion 8 really benefits from Highway especially

Dominion Articles / Re: Highway
« on: February 20, 2013, 03:35:42 am »
Both clarifications have been made

Dominion Articles / Re: Highway
« on: February 20, 2013, 01:57:09 am »
"After 5 highways your Saboteur will seek out your opponent's provinces, though I've never seen that one pulled off."

Sab seeks out all cards costing $3 or more, so I think you're either mistaken or unclear here. GREAT article though!

Thanks. After 5 highways, nothing but Provinces costs more than $3 in a normal game, so it ought to skip right through to the Provinces and trash them, unless I'm mistaken.

Dominion Articles / Highway
« on: February 20, 2013, 01:10:09 am »
There didn't seem to be an article just about Highway, so I thought I'd take a stab at it.

It's hard to talk about Highway without talking about its more popular older brother, Bridge. Both provide cost reduction, but they do so very differently.  As a general rule to take advantage of cost reduction, you also need +buy and money (unless you reduce all costs to zero). Bridge provides all three, but since it's terminal, you need a serious village/draw engine to take full advantage of it. Highway provides only cost reduction, meaning you need to get money and buys elsewhere, but as a non-terminal it can fit into a much wider variety of decks.

Without any +buy, Highway is for the most part just a Peddler, with the cost reduction equivalent to +1$. There are times when you'd buy a 5$ Peddler, if you really need virtual money, but for the most part it's overpriced and, moreover, there are better 5$ cards to be had. It's important to note that the Highway card text is worded such that Throne Room and King's Court don't multiply the cost reduction, so in that sense it's worse than Peddler, and some of the crazy combos you get with Bridge get short circuited.

Where the cost reduction does come in handy, however, is with cards that care about cost. This isn't really specific to Highway, but as non-terminals it's significantly easier to chain them and then a payload card, whereas with Bridge you'd need an engine up and running to even have a chance. There are a few categories here, and it's worth going into the subtle tricks and pitfalls in their interaction with cost reduction.

Gain a card costing up to X$:
Workshop, Feast, Ironworks, Smugglers, Talisman, University, Horn of Plenty, Hermit, Altar
Highway expands the range of cards that can be gained by reducing their costs.  For example, play a Highway, then Workshop, and you can gain a card costing up to 5$. Of course, you could have just bought that card instead of the Highway, so you really need an engine to enable these happy collisions multiple times, ideally every turn. After enough highways, any gainer can start on the Provinces, or even Colonies. Horn of Plenty works especially well here since it doesn't require actions. Highway makes your HoPs useful even when your engine doesn't have many unique cards. Soon your HoPs can gain Highways and other HoPs, and so long as you don't stall you get your megaturn.

Gain a card costing up to X$ more:
Remodel, Mine, Swindler, Expand, Forge, Rebuild
Remodel type cards can also benefit from a few well placed Highways. Since costs only go down to zero, after 4 Highways you can Remodel a copper into a Gold, for example, since the Gold only costs 2. If you plan to depend on this doing this to gain Provinces, you need to make sure to leave enough junk in your hand to Remodel. Swindler is a special case since you're choosing the card for your opponent. This only matters if you've reduce the cost of the card you're Swindling to 0$, in which case you can downgrade it to a Curse. Forge gets weaker as cards you might want to forge together start costing 0$, but once the card you want costs 0$ you can Forge any combinations of things into it.

Gain a card costing exactly X$ more:
Upgrade, Remake, Develop, Procession, Farmland, Governor
Much like the above category, you can reduce costs towards zero until you can Upgrade Coppers into Golds or Provinces. However, because Upgrade specifies "exactly 1$ more", if you reduce the cost of the card you want to 0, you can't Upgrade to it anymore. 

Do something with a card costing exactly X$ less:
Develop, Border Village, Haggler, Band of Misfits
These cards don't get any benefit at all from cost reduction, and in fact become useless when the card costs 0$, and there's nothing costing less. 

Do something with a card costing between $X and $X
Knights, Rouge, Graverobber
These are a mixed bag as you'd expect. By lowering costs you can attack or graverob more expensive cards, like Provinces, but you may also push cards down out of the range.

Do something with a card costing $X or More
Saboteur, Sage
Highway can focus these cards on higher priced cards, for better or worse. Both seek out cards costing $3 or more, but as you reduce costs that starts to include only the more expensive ones. In the extreme case, after 4 or 5 highways the only card worth $3 is Province (or Peddler of course, and add 3 Highways if you're dealing with Colony). This make sage virtually useless and Saboteur deadly, though I've never seen that one pulled off.

Trash for benefit proportional to cost
Salvager, Apprentice, Bishop, Forge, Trader
These cards become weaker each time you actually play a Highway, since the cards you're going to trash cost less. This doesn't make them entirely useless though, especially if they help you get your Highway deck up and running (Trader's not too relevant for that). If you can manage to play your TfB before your Highways, you can "buy low, trash high" to get extra benefits. You can hope for this to happen luckily a few times, but if you have an engine where you can keep drawing and avoid playing your Highways until you've used your TfB card, you're golden.

There are a few good combos in there, but for the most part these are supplemental tricks you'll use to grab an extra province or some engine parts. At the end of the day you still need to get your points by more conventional means, and with the right support highway can be excellent at this as well. It's definitely an engine card though; if you're not playing tons of actions, your Highways won't collide with your other cards and they'll just be overpriced Peddlers.

One key insight with cost reduction is that it's often possible to win with a megaturn, which means getting all your points and ending the game in one turn. This may mean buying all the Provinces, but often if your opponent is buying the same cards as you, it becomes possible to end the game on piles with a small VP advantage earlier. Don't forget to look for that every turn, it may be a bit of an anti-climax, but winning by one point is the same as winning by fifty, and your opponent can probably do it next turn. You also have to remember the extended Penultimate Province Rule, which is "don't leave the board in a state where your opponent can win next turn, even if it means passing up cards you want, unless you're behind and banking on a lucky break". Megaturns let you build flimsy decks with no hope of surviving greening, since you'll never have to actually play with the green cards you buy at the end. Highway allows for especially flimsy decks as a non-terminal itself; a little cycling or light trashing like Loan can sometimes be sufficient. The player who does the absolute minimum buildup before firing off their megaturn is likely to win.

Here's an example of a game that should scream megaturn
There's Remodel to clear up the deck a bit and gain Highways (benefiting from the Remodel trick explained above), Festival for money and buys, and Lab + Margrave for the draw to get past the Festivals and junk you haven't trashed yet.

The obvious pairing for Highway is Market or Grand Market, since they provide money and buys in a convenient, non-terminal package. This combo is good enough that it's got a wiki article devoted to it already. The short version is that via good trashing, cycling, or a little draw you get your deck to a state where you're drawing through all your Highways and Markets each turn. This screams megaturn, and the chances are high that the game will end with the Highway, Market, and some other pile gone.

Powered up Cities are similar, but they bring endgame brinkmanship to a new level. The actions let you mix in some terminals early on to help with buy, and after a pile runs you've got draw. With two piles gone, Cities providing draw, money, and buys, and Highway reducing costs, the game isn't going to last another turn. You don't want to give your opponent that chance, so case is if you can drain the second pile during your turn with a gainer, so that you're the one that gets the Unstoppable City Stack.

Market Square, Workers Village are the other non-terminal +buy cards, and they can work for a strategy like this too. It will be slower though and you'll need to have some other virtual money, or have a lot of faith that you can reduce costs to 0. Festival similarly is missing one piece of the puzzle: draw. Too many will stall you unless you have some draw.

Forager and Counterfeit deserve special mention, since they thin your deck without requiring extra actions and provide +Buy with at least a little money. Neither one replaces itself though, so you'll need some draw to keep playing your highways.

Tactician provides a bit of +Buy and a large hand from which to play more Highways. More so than usual, sacrificing a turn for a big next turn is well worth it with Highway, and if you gets some Highways in before playing the Tactician you may even be able to buy something then. As virtual money, Highway helps to enable double Tactician, which is always powerful. The big Tactician turn can also be the platform for your megaturn, even if you couldn't have managed it from a five card hand.

Goons is another great pairing, since it provides money, +buy, and an alternate path to victory. Even without villages and just one Goons at the end of a Highway chain it's powerful: you get 2 chips and can buy 2 cards for cheap each turn. With some villages and draw you can play multiple Goons, which can enable a victory chip strategy. The goal is to be playing multiple goons a turn and getting tons of points off of each buy. Normally with Goons you're stuck buying mostly copper to make use of extra buys, but with Highway you should be able to get the prices low enough that you can buy zero-cost non-terminals instead and not clog your deck. With two or three Goons in play you can gain more chips per turn than your opponent can counter with victory cards and drain piles at your leisure. King's Court brings this to the level of insanity, in spite of scaling up neither the cost reduction nor the chip gaining.

Highway also doesn't conflict with the other cost reducers, Bridge and Princess. You'll need an engine to take advantage of them, but Highway can supplement it without requiring any more draw, helping you get down to that all important 0$ where costs cease to matter and you're only limited by your +Buy.

Highway will never pack quite the same power as Bridge; at 5$ you usually can't open with it, and by itself it just doesn't do enough. But with the right pairings it can be part of some awesome decks indeed. It's a fun little card and worth an extra look on any board.

Works with:
Goons engines
Gainers, especially Horn of Plenty
Other cost reducers.

Conflicts with
Trash for benefit
Lack of +Buy
Upgraders and other cards that care about cost if you're not careful
King's Court and Throne room (unless they're part of an engine)
Big Money
Slogs and Rushes

Dominion: Dark Ages Previews / Re: Strategies for the recommended sets
« on: August 27, 2012, 04:02:03 am »
I played a 4 player game of Grim Parade tonight. It was indeed pretty grim. A lot of that was just people messing around with new cards, but I wouldn't recommend this as a first game. Some thoughts:

* Forager got up to 3$ really quickly with knights
* Dame Anna probably won the game for me, with her trashing. I chose her over cultist for my first 5. I doubt I'd have chosen any other knight.
* The on-trash cards made for a really fun defense against knights. Most of my provinces came from megaturns caused by people trashing my cultists and fortresses.
* Ultimately between knights and ruins everyone's deck turned to crap. I never really got an engine going, but self-destructive trashing (procession a cultist for huge card draw, a better chance to chain, and a hunting grounds; then later procession the hunting grounds for even more cards and a duchy) got me enough of a lead to win in the end. I think if we'd been playing optimally we'd have ended on piles much earlier making this sort of strategy even more advantageous..

I truly look forward to when I finally manage to ambassador a rats to an unsuspecting opponent relying on golem. What a hilarious and thematic way to completely destroy someone else's strategy! They've got a golem, but you've catapulted some rats into their city and now the stupid golem keeps feeding the rats, causing them to take over everything.

Dominion: Dark Ages Previews / Re: Urchin spamming
« on: August 19, 2012, 07:31:43 pm »
It's certainly better than treasure map though, since you can usually get two on the first two turns, and the cantrip effect increases the odds of them colliding a bit. Someone fresher on their math can figure out the actual probabilities. Plus the urchins themselves aren't dead cards, they replace themselves and do a minor attack. Warehouse, tactician, and the like can accelerate the collision, but trashing is counterproductive to actually using the mercenary

Whether the reward is worth the risk depends on what's in the kingdom. If there's no other trashers on the board then getting you junk trashed is a huge benefit by itself. Mercenary is militia + steward with all three options, or like masquerade + militia + more, so it should thin your deck without slowing you down better than anything else. Cursers will keep your mercenary viable for longer. Even if you only get to use it 3 or 4 times, you've now got the trimmest deck, while everyone else has been militia'd a bunch, which should more than make up for whatever they opened with that was better than urchin.

I suspect I'd go double urchin with warehouse, cellar, or scheme on the board given no other good trashers. Also, as a swingy opening it's always good when you're already behind, like second player with 4-3 vs. first player with 5-2 and witch on the board.

1. Open double urchin
2. Let the collide within the first few turns
3. Get a mercenary (urchin can trigger itself, right? it doesn't say differently named)
4. Profit

Mercenary seems super strong, but I guess needing two cards to trash is the downside, you'll start running out of starting cruft pretty quickly. Even so, getting one early has got to be super dominating. Later it synergizes with cache, and anything else that fills your deck with trashable cards
You don't have great odds of collision there, and if they don't collide, you don't have much to work with in your deck.
Still, it's better than treasure map with the cantrip effect. And since the urchins are somewhat useful you could afford to get a third to increase your chances. I'll just have to see how it plays

1. Open double urchin
2. Let the collide within the first few turns
3. Get a mercenary (urchin can trigger itself, right? it doesn't say differently named)
4. Profit

Mercenary seems super strong, but I guess needing two cards to trash is the downside, you'll start running out of starting cruft pretty quickly. Even so, getting one early has got to be super dominating. Later it synergizes with cache, and anything else that fills your deck with trashable cards

The knights seem like so much fun conceptually. You're attacking each others' kingdoms, but if two knights meet up they both die. I also like the fact that the dames are wearing what looks like might be serviceable armor and not metal bikinis

Counterfeit looks cool. Turn a copper 2$ and trash it. Or late game sacrifice a gold/platinum for a mega-turn with and extra buy to make use of it.

Death cart: +5$, but you have to trash actions, plus you gain ruins when you gain it. This is the perfect rats enabler
Rouge: That card that trashes cards in other people's hands that DXV has always said just didn't work. I guess the cost restrictions and the fact that you can't control what you gain balance it out?

Yes, thanks for the effort but please fix that.

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