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Messages - Jive Junkie

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Play a Witch or play a Jack?
« on: September 12, 2012, 06:49:09 pm »
Definitely Jack.  Removing a dead card and gaining a silver is better than giving a dead card.  Either one gives +- a dead card to a player, one choice gives you a Silver.

The VP difference between Estate and Curse is virtually irrelevant in a Jack game.

How about the edge case when there's only one more Curse left? This will allow you to curse your opponent, and will ensure that their next Witch usage won't hit you.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Reminders
« on: September 12, 2012, 06:26:11 pm »
Some more to the fire:

- Ignore Horn of Plenty at your own risk. Also remember that someone can end the game very quickly if they have a few of these in their deck.

- Be awful damn sure of yourself if you're even considering ignoring Goons. Cute Menagerie tricks don't cut it, slick.

- Vineyard can be as game-warping as other alt-VPs, especially on boards that have +Buy and cantrips or +Actions.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Island
« on: September 06, 2012, 05:45:49 pm »
What are you doing with Island-Island-Copper-Copper-Copper (let's assume no useful 2$, too) then?

Definitely Island the Island. 4 VP without taking space in your deck for the rest of the game is pretty nice. Not the ideal use of the Island (which was to get rid of the starting cards while also getting VP), but it's far far better than drawing it dead later.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Straightforward vs. Article cards
« on: September 05, 2012, 08:36:37 pm »
Mystic does give +Action.

Ah OK, I think it's wrong on Dominion Strategy's All Cards list. Guess I should send a little note to theory.

Council Room Feedback / Re: Anyone want to maintain councilroom?
« on: September 05, 2012, 08:29:33 pm »
I could just give people ssh access to the machine and tell them to email me when they need to restart it.

Yeah.  Let's try that.

Ah what the hell, I'm just a novice coder, but if you need any help with this project, send me a message. I'm definitely willing to learn.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Straightforward vs. Article cards
« on: September 03, 2012, 08:39:54 pm »
tl; dr. I'm looking forward to seeing what Jonts is going to say about something as seemingly straightforward as Vagrant.

First of all, Vagrant is a $2 cantrip. This alone makes it not so bad. Certainly with extra buys in an engine and some coin to burn it'll be worth a pick up. Should work well in a Goons engine in particular. It should also make a good target for Throne Room, King's Court and even Procession with the right kingdom. It helps activate conspirators and lowers the cost of peddlers. And it doesn't take up a card slot in doing so? Where do I sign!

Now about the actual card itself, it's basically a lab that only works x% of the time, where x is the percentage of junk cards in your deck. So obviously it has uses in curse, ruins slogs. It also combos well with dual type VP engines similar to scout. Actually, scout is about the only card this conflicts with since you won't have the green to draw with Vagrant.

But there are two combos in particular that stand out. Apothecary engines are notorious for leaving junk on top of your deck. Well guess what, Vagrant eats that up. You'll probably still need +buy to make it work, but watch out for this sneaky little combo. The other card has been mentioned a bit in this thread: Mystic! Mystic aims to make use of vagrant when it fails to draw a card. Now you know the top card of your deck and can successfully wish for it.

tl;dr Ask and you shall receive.

That is indeed an interesting combo, but even if you can get Mystic to hit a lot, it still seems like a fairly weak card. +$2 and an iffy +Card? It's like a crappy Conspirator-wannabe, with an often harder-to-reach condition (knowing the top card of your deck), and without providing the crucial +Action. There should be a better $5 or even $4 coster than that on board.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Reminders
« on: September 03, 2012, 08:28:41 pm »
From a couple of stinging defeats in recent memory:

1) Quarry does not help Ironworks!
2) Quarry does not help Workshop!
3) Quarry does not help University!
4) Quarry does not help Remodel Copper into Caravan!
5) Quarry does not help you buy Gold!
6) Quarry most certainly does not help you buy Provinces!
9) NOT
11) THE
14) YOU
15) FOOL
16) !

*except if you can get Black Market out...

Black Market, breaking all the rules as usual. Thing is, I've never been blessed enough to have a +Actions card, play Black Market, play Quarry, then play a cool cost-dependent action (like Ironworks) after that. Not sure if I've even played a kingdom set where this combo existed on board.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Let's talk about Count
« on: September 03, 2012, 08:19:38 pm »
Count seems exceptional in curse-heavy junk games. Look at the following scenarios:

a) You draw Count with 3-4 junk cards (curses, estate, copper). Top-deck your one good card (or a Copper) and trash the rest. Or gain a Copper and trash them all.

b) You've bought a decent amount of terminal actions because your deck is bloated and want to see those actions more than once in a blue moon. One ends up in your hand with Count. Top-deck it and use Count however you want, while not wasting a play of your other terminal.

c) Your average card value is well less than $1 due to cursing or Swindler or alt VP gaining or whatever. Count's drawback of gaining a Copper now increases average value of deck, and you can use the benefit as you see fit.

d) You draw Count with treasure that's $3 shy of whatever power or VP card could help you out. Take the least painful drawback, and Count becomes your terminal Gold.

e) The bloatfest game is winding down, curses are gone, and one other cheap pile is almost gone, too. You're in VP-gaining mode, and lookie here: free Duchy gains until the cows come home! If you only have $2 left (for an Estate) with the other money in your hand, Count ends up being like a +$5 +Buy. And the drawback of gaining a Copper becomes even less significant if you may never see it again.

f) It's a Gardens game, in which case gaining Copper is a benefit, and gaining Duchy is awesome. Probably slows down end of game if the other player is not going Gardens though, since running out Duchy is hard. But in the mirror, Count rocks whenever you can afford it (adds 3 VP, 2 extra cards to your deck!)

In boards that are not massive slogs, I suspect Count's value drops significantly, but when your decks are filled with crap, you can count on Count.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Reminders
« on: September 03, 2012, 07:35:32 pm »
From a couple of stinging defeats in recent memory:

1) Quarry does not help Ironworks!
2) Quarry does not help Workshop!
3) Quarry does not help University!
4) Quarry does not help Remodel Copper into Caravan!
5) Quarry does not help you buy Gold!
6) Quarry most certainly does not help you buy Provinces!
9) NOT
11) THE
14) YOU
15) FOOL
16) !

I've never used dice to track actions, coins or buys, but I could imagine myself doing so with DA.

I mean, I can track a Mining Village, but DA confuses the hell out of me.

We were playing with a couple of newer players (who were thus quite slow), and it was an issue keeping track until we decided to use a die for coins, and this solved most of our problems. Actions were just said out loud as cards were played, and having a persistent reminder of the coins made turns much cleaner. The +Buy was never an issue with those games.

Often there will be a dominant strategy, but just as often you end up with turns where it isn't clear what you should buy even with that strategy. Should I get a 4th Silver with my $3, a Fortune Teller, an Oracle, or nothing? Should I just get the Gold with $6 or a $5 that I really want, like Jester?

These marginal decisions can be pretty decisive. That and shuffle luck of course.

This is a really good point, and one that I didn't specify in the OP.

What I was going for is more along the lines of the 'broad strokes' strategy of a board. For example:

-I'm gonna go for 2 Witches and then an Upgrade engine into Gold, and start buying Provinces when available.
-I'm gonna go straight Big Money + Courtyard x2.
-I'm gonna try to thin my deck with Steward, generate some card draw with Caravan, then go for a King's Court / Bridge megaturn.

I realize that the details of how to go about pursuing your strategy (how many Silver to buy, what distribution of actions/treasure, when to start greening, what 1x support cards are needed, etc.) are always in flux, depending on opponent and game state. That's what makes the game fun even in mirror matches.

But how often do you find that the broad strategy is clearly and decisively one-sided, such that pursuing anything else would be a lower percentage play?

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Paradigm shifts
« on: August 29, 2012, 03:18:41 am »
I think you should add in Seaside:

Cards that belong to a player exist only in play, in hand, in the deck, or in the discard.

Island and Native Village violate this rule.

I was browsing some older posts earlier, and one of the top-level players here (I forget which) was mentioning that when he saw a kingdom where Big Money + Envoy was the winning strategy, he would die a little inside (or something to that effect).

That got me thinking: Are there many kingdom sets that are essentially solvable, with such a dominant strategy that even if your opponent knew exactly what you were going to do, it would still make sense to follow suit?

I definitely do think that some kingdom sets are highly variable and depend very much on what other players are doing - a lot of the official sets seem to have been designed with this trait in mind.

But how often, when looking at a kingdom set, do you think to yourself: OK, I have to do strategy X no matter what. As a side question, how often do you think you are correct when you do so?

Council Room Feedback / Re: Anyone want to maintain councilroom?
« on: August 27, 2012, 03:21:22 am »
I feel sad about this... but I'm not into Dominion anymore either. Just combination of things going on here, in the community, the loss of any real fun for me, and overall, I've kinda lost any of my past will to buy the actual game.

If it makes a difference, I went through a similar phase about a year and a half ago. I just got burnt out. But then I started playing with friends offline again and it started being fun again. So much so that I'm back on Isotropic (new account) just in time to watch it fade into the night.

While online play is not as enjoyable as playing live, I'm finding this time around that one way to keep it fun is to take my time and actually savor each game. As in, really think about the kingdom cards before the game, instead of falling into automatic habits. At key points in the game, take a moment to see if my natural inclination is actually the right move. Some opponents do get annoyed because they want to play blitz Dominion, but usually it's OK if you explain that you're just pondering. And finally, it's fun to appreciate the good play of my opponent, and admire some new engine they're putting into effect, or just the efficiency of their deck, or the wisdom of a key buy. Sometimes I like to go over the game log of a game I lost to see what awesomesauce my opponent conjured. And of course to steal it for future use :)

It's a strategy game, and it's way more enjoyable if it gets some air to breathe. I think sometimes people forget that.

Council Room Feedback / Re: Anyone want to maintain councilroom?
« on: August 25, 2012, 12:58:28 am »
If I had any degree of competence in coding... :(

Thanks for all your hard work! It's really helped this game and its community.

Council Room Feedback / Re: Is still online?
« on: August 24, 2012, 11:37:28 pm »
Seems like player pages are down?

Yeah, I haven't been able to access the Council Room database in the last few days. Hopefully it's still logging stuff in the meantime.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Building Scrying Pool Decks
« on: August 24, 2012, 04:48:26 am »
Is Scrying Pool viable with no +Buy, no good trashing, and no gainers (like University, Ironworks, etc.)? It seems like it flounders a bit in those conditions, even if there are a lot of cantrips and good actions in the kingdom.

Goko Dominion Online / Re: New launch date?
« on: August 23, 2012, 03:50:50 pm »
That sounds like a fairly reasonable deduction, though when it comes to software releases, it's all a big crapshoot in my experience.

However long the new beta will be, it's clear that it will be long enough for us to know that the original release was recklessly rushed out the door for marketing purposes (GenCon). Whatever bone-headed manager was responsible for that decision cost the company a lot of goodwill and credibility (active Javascript in chat window harharhar).

It's perhaps their saving grace that hardcore Dominion players of Isotropic and the like are addicted enough to seek out their fix even in the sketchiest of back alleys. :)

EDIT: and yes, I will be one of those guys in that alley, jonesin' for a fix. GIMME MY GOONS/WATCHTOWER! MY PRECIIOOOOOOOOUSSSSS!

Sidenote - you do realize that in order for 200 people to compete in such a tournament, you'll need at least 100 new copies of the Base and each expansion, right?

You could just not have independent boards, but distribute the 170 cards (at which number are we at the moment) over all tables. That would give you random boards on each table, which just happen to not be independent over tables. But I don't see why this should matter. So you would only need about 1/2 (large) expansion per table, so ~50 boxes in total. +some Base cards. +maybe Ruins/Shelters, there probably aren't enough.  Don't want to calculate how many you will need.

Small problems with BlackMarket here, maybe just don't use it, or take an extra set per BM (so you have 10 extra of each card, which you can distirbute among the BMs.

But then you're not being purely random.  Also, there are currently 187 kingdom cards (192 if you count Promos).
This discussion is relevant for a realistic scenario but it is moot given the parameters of the scenario proposed by the OP.  The tournament is being financed by a billionaire and has a $10 million purse.  The billionaire can easily afford to procure all of the necessary sets.  Not to mention procuring the physical space to host the tournament.

This is indeed what I had in mind - I wanted the discussion to be focused on the tournament itself, not on the funding to make it happen.

That being said, one solution to the problem of needing at least 100 of each set: require each competitor to bring all the sets! Since this is a big money tourney with presumably top players, they should already have all or most of the sets in their possession, or at least access enough to borrow them. And even if they don't, they're playing for millions - you can think of owning the complete game as part of the of entrance fee.

Governor: ridiculously overrated

Can you explain?

I've been finding that spamming Governor (for Gold) keeps winning me games, especially if my opponent doesn't value the card as much. The ability to get double Province turns ridiculously early is pretty spectacular. Of course you can only safely use the +3 cards on the last turn, but that should be a double (or even triple) Province turn to close it out. I will do +3 cards earlier if I'm reasonably confident it will be a double Province turn and my opponent doesn't have an engine that can match that, even with an extra card.

And this route to victory is fast - in the absence of cursers, the games end around turns 11-14 with a majority of Provinces gained.

So here's how I see it. Lets say that in a game where both people are going governor you can get most of the provinces in 12 or 13 turns. Remember that your opponent's Governor is helping you get there since he's giving you free silvers to buy governors or provinces or to be remodeled into governors. Without your opponent's help you could probably only do it in around 14 turns or more. (Try it on solitaire if you don't believe me, and if you manage to consistently do it in 12 turns without help, please post links since I would want ti see how you did it) So 14 turns to the majority of the provinces is like a mediocre big money strategy. Except now you have the disadvantage that your helping your opponent get to 5 provinces in 13 turns. So I usually skip Governor without support as long as there is some alternative. The other thing is that in a really fast, 11 turn game, second player is at a huge disadvantage. So going second, its probably in your interest to skip Governor and thus lengthen the game a bit.  I guess though, for the same reason it might be a particularly good idea to go for governor when playing first. But if your opponent doesn't follow, it won't shorten the game nearly as much. It does prevent you from going alt vp though, since your opponent doesn't have to worry about his governors helping you since the things that governors give you only really help for provinces. See also WW's comments here: where he says Governor spamming is roughly on par with smithy big money, among other things

Hot damn, but you've given me some food for thought! I'm always so impressed when I get 6 Provinces by turn 12 with Governor, but I never seriously stopped to consider that perhaps a lot of that is due to my opponent sometimes gifting me free Silvers.

However, it seems like if you even get 1-2 Governors, you'll be at a serious disadvantage against the guy 4-8 Governors. I'm usually the guy with 4-8, and it doesn't end well for the 1-2 fella.

But getting 0 Governors vs. someone who's getting a lot of them... Well maybe I'll try that out one of these games...

Incidentally, I found it really interesting in WW's games, he noticed the Governor player having better success using the +3 cards option more. I love these moments when my whole perspective on a card teeters on the balance!

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Opening Village
« on: August 22, 2012, 09:28:28 pm »
There may be engines which really hate having non engine-parts mucking around in the deck. In the absence of good trashers and in the presence of good virtual money, I'd imagine it could be OK to open something like Baron / Village, if you're going for a crazy double Baron deck that wants to draw the whole deck every turn, or at least draw 1 Village, 2 Barons, and 2 Estates. In this case, each Silver gained may get in the way of the combo, however dubious the combo may be.

For most normal engines that need 5-6 cost parts, it seems good to start with two cards that either gain you money (Silver / terminal + $), trash, or attack, simply because it increases the odds of getting your key 5 and 6 cost parts (like Goons) sooner or disrupts your opponent.

Thanks for the great ideas, everyone!

Wait, is this really a hypothetical?  Just in case it is not, and you happen to be a billionaire (or your friend is), and you're posting this as part of your planning of such a tourney... then please consider this my sign-up.

Even though I'm way early, I'm proud to be the first to register for your tournament, sir.  Anything I can do to help organize it?

No comment.  :P

Make it two player.

This is something I'd be conflicted about. Multiplayer definitely occupies some of the space of "Dominion", but it definitely has increased variance and will take longer to complete games. I think I would be for acknowledging its existence and the fact that there is skill in adapting your play for more players. Perhaps have multiplayer take up 25% of the swiss rounds (2 matches out of 8, for example)?

Contentious suggestion:  Goal: Try to eliminate mirror games where players execute the same obvious strategy.  These games are either decided either by the luck of the draw or tactics, but I think the tactical decisions aren't usually that hard or interesting, and so are not good player skill differentators.  Implementation:  Use rejection sampling on kingdom sets.  Both players see the randomly drawn kingdoms, get 5 (2, 3?) minutes to analyze it, and then privately write down a kingdom card that the opponent can't buy/gain.  If they write down the same card, start over.

That sounds like a really fun variant, but I wonder if it may stray too far from "pure" Dominion for most people.

As a random aside, how often does the mirror match come into play with the highest-ranked players (say 40+)? Among those, how often is it a fairly exact mirror match, and how often do they vary by 1-2 support cards?

Quote from: Kirian
Randomly, no, yes, no.  A year ago I would have answered yes to the last question, but I've changed my stance there.  The singular exception might be Possession due to its likely effect on game length, not game play.

Hmm, along those lines, would it make sense to try to limit the number of Colony games as well? How about other time-heavy cards? (I don't know what they would be off the top of my head)

Quote from: BlueBlimp
Edit: Also, 100-0 is not an edge case at all. KC-Bridge available with enablers? Neither player will buy any VP until they hit KC-KC-Bridge-Bridge-Bridge, and you will get a final score of 57-3 or thereabouts, even if the other player could have won next turn.

So points as a tie-breaker seems like it could give inaccurate results. How about opponent record as a tie-breaker? I know some tournaments do that when making the swiss cutoff for the next round / playoffs.

Quote from: Davio
200 people in 2 days is impossible without luck.

It's also pretty simple to understand that a game of Dominion between two equally skilled players will be decided by luck 100% of the time, otherwise they wouldn't be of equal skill, get it?

This is true because luck plays an inherent factor in Dominion. There is shuffling, hence luck.
It's not true in chess where I'm pretty sure there is no luck. Well, you could be lucky to be white but you can just play 2 games to solve that.

If there is a 1% skill difference between 2 players, the part that luck plays is still close to 100%.

So you really can't throw luck out of the equation no matter how hard you try. This means you have to accept that it's a factor and by the end of two days you're not really crowning the luckiest overall, but you are crowning the luckiest of the best players.

I think that would be an acceptable outcome. Poker, for instance, never really crowns the best player, but a combination of the best play + best luck. You still see a lot of the same faces at the final table, so striving for that should be good enough for Dominion.

And someone else made the point that sometimes the better player overall may not be the better player on any given match. Maybe that combination of cards fails to inspire him as much as it does the lesser player. Maybe he overlooks some weird corner case card interaction that proves to be the difference. Maybe he's distracted because his girlfriend broke up with him due to jealousy over his true love (Dominion).

Do you guys think a 20 hour tourney length would help? I could see 2 10-hour days being feasible.

Dominion Isotropic / Re: Staying up or what?
« on: August 22, 2012, 12:42:53 am »
Thanks for the info! Good on Funsockets for being reasonable about the transition, too.

Say some crazy billionaire Dominion enthusiast was offering $10 million in prizes (split up among the top 16 or so) for a Dominion tournament, but only if it could meet the following conditions:

a) Luck should be minimized, and it should be a very good (but obviously not perfect) indicator of players' relative skills - at the very least, the very best players should reliably place near the top. [i.e. if you were to run the tournament again, you'd see a lot of the same people in the final rounds]

b) You have 2 weekend days, of 8 hours at most each day.

c) It should be able to accommodate a player pool of at least 200 people.

How would you structure the tournament? Some random things to consider:
- How many players per game?
- Should players play a single game, two games (each going first), or a longer match (3, 5, 7)?
- If multiple games, should the Kingdom be changed or remain the same?
- Should it be single-elim, double-elim, swiss with points, etc?
- How will players be matched up?
- How do you deal with ties?
- How should time be managed?
- How will Kingdom cards be selected?
- Should players know the Kingdom cards beforehand for any particular round?
- Should players have the same starting hand?
- Should there be any banned cards, or perhaps a veto system?

Have at it! Note that the inspiration for this thread was my friend telling me that Dominion would never work as a serious tourney game, since it was too luck-based. I know there are Dominion tourneys out there, but they'd probably be structured very differently if a ton of money were on the line.

Dominion Isotropic / Re: Staying up or what?
« on: August 21, 2012, 11:14:08 pm »
"I expect that..."

Not definitive at all.  I suppose for now, no news is good news.  If goko forces isotropic down before they're actually ready for a launch, they're gonna have even more of a PR shitstorm on their hands.
Well, yeah, they would, but I am aware of nothing that indicates that will happen. In fact, most evidence points towards it not happening. I'll gladly fault Goko where they deserve it, but this is not one of those times. At all.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Hopefully, The Powers That Be are reading this thread :)

If they are, I'd also like to add that they would earn some major good will from me if they let Isotropic run until 1 week past Goko's real release (whenever it may be), as originally planned. I do plan on buying at least 2-3 sets to start should the platform prove stable & user-friendly.

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