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Messages - infangthief

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Dominion Articles / Re: How to Win at Dominion, With Minimal Jargon
« on: September 26, 2017, 06:54:23 am »
Some more improvement suggestions:

Most games are decided by the person who has the most money
Makes it sound like you're saying most games are decided by who has bought most Silvers and Golds. Maybe clearer if you say 'coins' instead of 'money'. Or 'the player who generates the most coins per turn'.

Broadly, there are two approaches.
  • Buy lots of winning cards.
  • Buy Actions that draw lots of cards / cycle through your deck quickly, then play a few winning cards very often.
Let's bring this back to the terms commonly used in the community. Cards that directly win you the game are payload cards. Cards that help you draw your payload are cycling cards. Some cards (Poacher, Market, Grand Market) straddle the line between both categories. The first approach is often called Big Money, since it historically applies to decks where your payload is Golds and Silvers. More recently, some people have called it "good stuff", to include payload cards that aren't Treasures (like Haggler, Soothsayer, or Butcher.) The second approach is often called the engine, because it focuses on buying Actions and combining their effects to make something bigger than the sum of its parts.
I like the classification between just two broad approaches. It's simplistic, sure, but it's a useful starting point. However, equating the first one as Big Money really narrows it down. 'Payload only' would also include things like Ironworks/Gardens, and Duke slogs, for a start.

If you want to get better, I would recommend playing games where you mostly buy payload cards, no matter how obvious the engine seems. Or mostly buy cycling cards, no matter how implausible the engine looks. That helps refine intuitions on the high-level goal.  And then, when your opponent beats you, don't look just at what their deck did at the end - look at how they built their deck, and try to spot what made their deck work when your deck didn't. You will certainly have games where your opponent plays poorly and wins because of luck, but that doesn't mean there's no lessons to learn.
I haven't actually tried that, but it seems a strange approach to me. What's the idea, what's the benefit in going for an approach that looks wrong? In case it turns out to be right after all? Or so that you stay out of your opponent's way and can see what your opponent would do in solitaire? This kind of assumes that your opponent will do a better job than you could have done. Maybe you can rephrase this to make it a bit clearer why to pick a 'bad' approach.

Dominion Articles / Re: How to Win at Dominion, With Minimal Jargon
« on: September 26, 2017, 01:39:35 am »
Fantastic, the clearest summary I've seen in a long time.

I especially like how you've combined so many important things into a single word: 'cycling'. I think you're using this term to mean 'ways to play your payload cards more often', roughly correlating with 'number of passes through your deck per turn' (assuming you're playing your payload cards once per pass).

But one comment I would make is that your definition and description of cycling cards makes it sound as though draw (maybe with enough actions) is the only factor contributing to cycling.

For example your only examples of non-payload cards are here:
Cards like Smithy, Caravan, and Village are not winning cards. They are cards that let you draw your winning cards, but they don't win games by themselves.
and cycling/payload cards here:
Some cards (Poacher, Market, Grand Market) straddle the line between both categories.

And your definition of cycling cards is:
Cards that help you draw your payload are cycling cards.

Now you and I know that one card that helps me draw my payload is Chapel. And another is Cartographer. But the definition doesn't make a newer player think of them; the ways in which they help are very important, but indirect.

Can you expand your description of cycling to make it clearer that trashing and sifting help you draw payload too?
You do mention it in passing later in the article:
how do you shuffle your deck more often? You do so by buying cycling cards! This is part of why I upgraded my opinion on Lookout. Not only is trashing cards good, getting to discard bad cards makes you reshuffle more often in the early game, giving you a slight edge.
but I think we should have had a clearer definition/description of cycling before this, to include trashing and discarding bad cards.

Dominion Articles / Re: Poacher
« on: September 19, 2017, 05:14:56 pm »
Overall a nice article.
Two things I would recommend:

1. The speculation of what a pure peddler would cost is interesting only to people who predate the second edition, and confusing otherwise.
2. Maybe provide an example game where the correct choice is to not go for poachers.

Dominion Articles / Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« on: September 19, 2017, 02:18:56 am »
For example, Militia modifies "you start turns with 5 cards" to "you start turns with the best 3 out of 5 cards".  Haunted Woods and Enchantress create obstacles that are totally unique.

I think this is the way forward. And I think if you generalise the existing obstacles a bit more then they cover other attacks too.

For example, obstacle #1 could be 'you have junk' - that includes the starting deck (always) and opponent's junking (sometimes). It would also include 'self-junking' (by which I mean coppers you bought for Goons VP, buying an embargoed card, and cards you bought that have outlived their usefulness), but I think there's no need to complicate the article with that.

Similarly, top-deck inspection attacks make obstacles #5 and #6 worse, discard attacks make obstacle #3 worse etc.

But yes, you don't want to complicate the article, so just some mention of attacks is probably sufficient.

Rules Questions / Re: Simple Rules Questions
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:40:40 am »
No. In Dominion-land, if you have 8 or more cards in your hand, you have 7 cards in your hand.
...except for in the contexts where you have 7 cards in your hand if you have 7 or fewer? Militia's "Each other player discards down to 3 cards in his hand." by a similar (again, let me stress, pedantic) reading might be construed as meaning people have to keep discarding until they have exactly 3 cards in hand, or they can discard no more because their hand is empty. It would certainly make Militia a more powerful attack!

Or alternatively a much weaker attack? Yes boss, I have discarded down and now I have 3 cards in hand... and these other ones.

Rules Questions / Re: Simple Rules Questions
« on: September 18, 2017, 11:30:09 am »
Gosh. By a strictoverly-pedantic reading of the card text (old or new) and FAQ, Library draws your entire deck if you play it with eight cards in hand. I'd not noticed that before.

No. In Dominion-land, if you have 8 or more cards in your hand, you have 7 cards in your hand. You just also have additional cards. Unless it says "exactly", there is an implied "at least".

How many months of the year have 28 days?


Well, I mean any number between 1 and 12 is a correct answer to this isn't it? If 12 months have 28 days, then 3 months do...
Or did you mean "Exactly how many months of the year have 28 days?"

Cities are beginning to run low, so I want as many as I can... but until they actually run out they're not a lot of use. Hey wait, why don't I get some Overlords, they can do other useful things right now then I'll use them as Cities later.

(Later) Ho ho my opponent has obligingly emptied the Cities, now here I come with my super power Overlords...


Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Confessions
« on: September 15, 2017, 05:16:24 am »
I never really know what's going on on Possession boards. I just buy cards and build a deck for a while, then kind of wing it.
I never really know what's going on on Procession boards. I just buy cards and build a deck for a while, then kind of wing it.

My confession: It took me quite a while to work out the difference between these two posts.

Dominion Articles / Re: The Infinite Number of Fundamental Deck Types
« on: September 14, 2017, 11:50:27 am »
I like this. As well as being relevant to deck-type classification, it also provides a practically useful way to assess a board.

Normally when I look at a board, the first question I ask myself is "Can I build an engine here?"

I think I could translate that question into trying to solve your obstacles, but limiting myself to a subset of solutions, the 'engine' solutions. Eg:
- For solving obstacle 1 I'm looking for (i) trashing (ii) sifting or (iii) excellent draw.
- For solving obstacle 2 I'm looking for (i) alt-VP that do useful things (ii) good economy and +buy to delay the time until I need to add VP or (iii) a way to slow down my opponent's deck, again to delay the time until I need to add VP.

So I suppose that makes 3*3=9 potential deck types already, and I've only looked at the first two obstacles, and only with 'engine' solutions. But at this stage we're not really interested in the number of deck types, and you certainly don't want to try to name them if they get generated this way.

Now your suggestion is to come at the obstacles with a more open mind. There might be new solutions to some of the obstacles, and there will almost certainly be new ways of combining existing solutions if the right cards are present on the board. That would be the interesting bit.

I'd like to spend some time considering things in this framework. But before going too far, I think the value of this framework would be affected by how well-classified the starting obstacles are.
So can I ask how much thought did you put in to your seven obstacles? Eg do you have a reason for lumping "5 cards and 1 buy" together?

Dominion Articles / Re: Occasionally Relevent Rule Edge-Cases
« on: September 11, 2017, 05:29:31 am »
Hermit + Events

Buying an event doesn't count as buying a card, which can make it easier to gain Madmen.

Instead of that, how about a more generic section to just point out / remind us that "buying events doesn't count as buying cards". And then list the ways in which this is relevant.
1. Gaining Madmans
2. Mission turns
3. Buying when Swamp Hag/Goons is in play
... and probably a few more.
I suppose what counts as a "gotcha" depends very much on your familiarity with these things. Perhaps most users of this forum are very familiar with the "events aren't cards" idea, and so maybe the Hermit/Madman one is the only real "gotcha". For me, a bit less familiar, I think at least the swamp hag one counts as a "gotcha".

I like the article, nicely structured.
I feel the synergy with Vassal is especially important. Linked with Wishing Well or Mystic, it just lets you draw an extra card; but linked with Vassal (or Herald), it lets you draw and play an extra card, potentially making the Vassal non-terminal. And Vassal will be there in base-only games.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Heirloom Speculation
« on: September 08, 2017, 04:09:31 pm »
I doubt Heirlooms will replace all the starting Coppers. On the wiki, it says that shelters "make Baron a sad panda," but imagine how many sad pandas there would be if there were no starting Coppers- counting house, apothecary, moneylender, etc.
Another possibility is that Heirlooms themselves could generate Coppers to keep the pandas happy.

4 provinces to make up for trashing a copper... I'm not saying you've guessed wrong, but...
Yeh, maybe 21VP is a bit much... got carried away with the triangular numbers.
But I'd want to err on the generous side so that you want to keep them in most games where they appear. Any game where you end up trashing the Heirlooms, they may just as well have been Coppers.
So here's the question: how many VP would (non-supply) Coppers have to be worth in order that you'd want to keep them on about 80% of boards?

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Heirloom Speculation
« on: September 08, 2017, 04:22:54 am »
How about...

Heirloom, Treasure-Victory, Cost 0, Not in the supply
1 Coin

You want to think twice before trashing your family heirlooms...

Some immediate flaws:
- Swindler becomes even swingier (maybe you could work around it with 'when you trash this you may put it in your hand').
- My chapel hit 3 estates, yours hit... oh, 4 heirlooms, how interesting. But maybe that doesn't matter because chapel becomes a much weaker opening all round if there are 7 heirlooms and you don't want to trash them.
- Moneylender, Cutpurse etc

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Heirloom Speculation
« on: September 07, 2017, 02:19:56 am »
10 Heirlooms, randomize 7 for each game to replace starting coppers:
Secret Chamber
Great Hall

I feel like in its current state the focus of the wiki is on pages for individual cards, but also has pages for concepts (virtual coin, handsize attack etc).

What would be the ideal composition of the wiki, in order to provide useful training to newer players?

My own experience, is that the individual card pages sometimes have useful insights, like pointing out that the card passing bit of masquerade is NOT usually the main use of the card, but it's the abstract concept pages which I found most useful.

If I know how to understand +cards, +coins and trashing in a wider game context, then I should have no need for an article on Steward. Does that make sense? On the other hand, maybe considering Steward is a useful step on the way to getting a good understanding of +cards, +coins and trashing.

Introductions / Hello!
« on: August 02, 2017, 01:44:41 am »

I've been perusing the forum and the wiki for maybe a year, and maybe it's high time I joined. I'm fed up of seeing '0 users and 1 guest are reading this' on every topic.

I love Dominion because... well firstly because it seems such a simple, elegant concept: your deck of cards is everything, and you just discard everything at the end of your turn. Seems like it was an idea waiting to be found. (Thanks Donald for finding it!)

But, maybe more importantly, I love the breadth of strategic and tactical considerations. Trashing, shuffle timing, pile control, card interactions.

My friends and family don't want to go so deep into a single game, so it's nice to find an online community and playing site. I find time for about 1 game per day online, a nice pace, allowing time to reflect on what went wrong each time!

See you around.

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