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Messages - Asklepios

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Game Reports / Re: My fastest win so far ...
« on: January 23, 2012, 08:27:32 am »
11 turns is quite fast, but I think any efficient card with good players produces speeds in the same ballpark. Of course, bad players can speed up games too.

I recently played a game where both players dashed for Governor, but he used it for +cards consistently and I used it for +gold.

I think the game ended inside of 10 turns with an explosion of golds remodelled to provinces in my last turn, putting me 5:3 up.

Then there's Ironworks/Gardens games if both players open Ironworks... They're pretty damn fast too.

Dominion Articles / Re: The Key to Big Money Part I: Money Density
« on: January 23, 2012, 08:16:45 am »
Yes, I agree.

I think as another extreme circumstance the following example might indicate why mean$ is less  important than p($8).

First deck: $1 x 8, $2 x2 has got a mean $ of $1.2, but zero chance of making $8.
Second deck: $1 x 10, $2 x1, $3 x1 $ of $1.15, but has a fair chance of making $8.

By the same count, I think Cache likely increases your chance of reaching $6 faster than Silver does, so Cache is a quicker than silver as a route to gold.

Does this make sense? I mention this only because I think its a trap to think of money density purely in terms of mean $ per card.

That is, the second from last paragraph in the article is probably the most important one. Gold + Copper =/= Silver + Silver

Or to put it in Cache terms:

Gold + Copper + Copper > Silver.

Dominion Articles / Re: The Key to Big Money Part I: Money Density
« on: January 23, 2012, 03:48:19 am »
Completely unoptimized it's about 59-33 to the Cache player.

That was what I expected. Can someone explain why that should be the case statistically though, given that Cache has a lower average money per card than silver? I suspect its to do with distributions of probabilities rather than averages.

That is, in statistical terms I think it must be more important to know p($8+) than the $mean when you are analysing money density.

Dominion Articles / Re: The Key to Big Money Part I: Money Density
« on: January 22, 2012, 12:01:24 pm »
On the topic of Money Density, what do people think of Cache?

Obviously if there are good $5 actions out there its pretty weak, but say you're playing 2 Smithys and Big Money towards Provinces, and you hit $5. Is Cache a good call or is Silver better?

To me, I think it may well be but I find it hard to explain why in statistical terms. Gold and two coppers is only $1.666 average, which makes it worse than buying  single silver, but in experience Cache seems to have worked out for me more often than not. Has anyone simulated 2 Smithy + Big Money + Caches on $5 vs 2 Smithy + Big Money?

Dominion Articles / Re: The Key to Big Money Part I: Money Density
« on: January 21, 2012, 07:17:50 pm »
There's another very simple, very common kind of card to deal with when making your money density calculations: cantrips. (I'm using 'cantrip' here to define any kind of card that always draws at least one card and gives at least one action back to you). Cantrips are what I call, for the purposes of money density calculations, 'virtual cards'. What I mean by that is, because they replace themselves totally in your hand, they don't count toward the total count of cards which you're using as the denominator for your money density calculations. So, if you buy a village and a militia with your two starting buys (not, by the way, a good strategy), you have 7 coppers, 3 estates, 1 village, 1 militia, producing 7, 0, 0, and 2 money respectively and with a total of 7, 3, 0, and 1 cards to count against your deck total. Your total money density is therefore 9/11 = .818181.....

Not sure if it was mentioned somewhere within this article (if so, I may have missed it), but I think its worth noting that cantrips DO effect your money density calculations on the final draw.

So, say you play a deck that has four golds, four silvers, two coppers, ten Schemes and one Smithy. Before the Smithy is played, the Schemes are "virtual cards" as you say. But when you play the Smithy, suddenly they come into play again, as if you draw them on the Smithy draw, they're $0 cards, not virtual cards, so you need to factor in the number of Schemes left in the deck.

I guess the way to put it is that if you are using your last action to draw, then the virtual cards need to be counted again.

Dominion Articles / Re: Crossing The Lvl 30 Barrier
« on: January 21, 2012, 05:52:51 pm »
Well, I appear to have gone from 30 to 33 in one day, by winning six or seven matches and losing three against rank +/-15 opponents, so it must still be having some effect. I'm sure I'll just stick with my current screenname regardless.

Incidentally, do victories against higher rank opponents count more than victories against lower rank ones? Likewise, do losses against lower rank opponents hurt more than losses against high rank ones?

As if so, it seems to me that the natural variance of Dominion would make it harder to rank up if you play all comers than if you just stick to high rank opponents.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« on: January 20, 2012, 05:21:48 pm »
Fair points.

The only thing I'd say about Remake though is that while it clears the coppers just as fast, it turns Estates into Silvers for the most part, unless there's a good $3 non-terminal. Plus Remake does nothing to slow down your opposition, whereas double ambassador gives you enough time to get the dense deck.

I think this is going to be a hard sell though... :)

Dominion Articles / Re: Crossing The Lvl 30 Barrier
« on: January 20, 2012, 03:25:23 pm »
As a current level 30 player, I'd like to know how to get to Level 40 please. :)

Just as a matter of curiosity, is it worth starting again? I played for quite a while hovering around Level 10-20 and oscillating up and down till I found this most excellent strategy site. Since studying dominionstrategy I've won a lot more than I've lost.

Do all those hundreds of games of playing badly stop me advancing now? Or does the ranking not work that way?

Of course, even if starting from scratch with a new account would give a higher rank I'm still not going to do it. I like my screen-name and have made friends using it!

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« on: January 20, 2012, 03:16:42 pm »
Thats a fair reply... My own experience with trying to go with engine decks after Ambassador/Ambassador is that its hard to get both the +action and the cash at the same time. I admit that if Laboratories or any other excellent non-terminal had been on the board, I'd have got them with $5 rather than a Fool's Gold.

As to whether its greater than the sum of its parts, I'd say that for Province games it definitely seems to work better than going for normal money, or for playing Fool's Gold without trashing.

Does it work better than other trashers? That, I'm not so sure about, but I think that I'd take Ambassador/Ambassador to Fool's Gold over Remodel to Fool's Gold, and definitely over Remake and Fool's Gold. As for Chapel, I think Chapel/BM is probably as good as Chapel/Fool's Gold.

Any thoughts?

Game Reports / Re: Insane variance
« on: January 20, 2012, 03:07:45 pm »
I think I agree with that analysis, Jorbles.

Its hard to know for sure though...

Dominion Articles / Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« on: January 20, 2012, 02:35:24 pm »
Hey there: fairly new to, but been on isotropic for a while. I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite Ambassador based combos. As far as I can recall, I've had an excellent success rate pursuing this strategy whenever the cards have come up.

This is more of a strategy and synergy than a direct combo: the goal isn't to draw these two cards together, but to play them in the same deck.

Ambassador / Ambassador is a favourite opening of many, and the traditional way to play it is with Big Money.

It works well with Fool's Gold for the following reasons:

Firstly, Ambassador makes for thinner decks. With two Ambassadors, ideally sending away two cards each time they are used, you'll have a shrinking deck even if you're being Ambassadored back. Clearly, for fool's gold to work, either a thin deck is needed, or drawing power.

Second, because it costs only $2, you can often buy Fool's Gold on the same turn that you activate the Ambassador, so this is a quicker climb than going silver --> gold.

Third, if your opponent goes for the same, and grabs a province before you, you can react with Fool's Gold, trashing them to put gold on your deck. Personally, I don't often use this option, as a turn's delay is too long in most cases. But in the specific circumstance of a hand of less than $8, where your opponent is competing wiht you for fool's gold, and has bought a province, I would take the trash-for-gold. If you REALLY want to, and if you're well ahead, you could even speed the game's conclusion by sending a Province over with Ambassador, and then reacting to turn the Fool's Gold to Gold!

Here's an example of a game where the combo worked well for me. Its a slow finish, but Ambassador/Ambassador always trades speed for control. I had bought 4 provinces by the end of Turn 16.

Game Reports / Re: Insane variance
« on: January 20, 2012, 07:56:33 am »
Nice game. What do people think with the buy of Bureaucrat over another Ironworks?

Game Reports / Re: Relatively proud of this game (The power of Scheme)
« on: January 20, 2012, 07:52:59 am »
Not that his opponent played Envoy / BM... that woulda been much stronger!

As it was it looks to me as if Max K played somewhat weirdly, going for Farming Villages with his envoys with no +buys in sight.

And when he finally hit $7 on turn 9, rather than go gold, he went Governor.

Game Reports / Re: The power of Trader
« on: January 20, 2012, 03:49:59 am »
Thats a useful formula to know! Thanks!

Game Reports / Re: What does Jack long for?
« on: January 20, 2012, 03:47:41 am »
Really? My instinct woulda been to just go doublejack and money, and to use the opponent's biship to trash coppers. If the opponent didn't get a Bishop, I'd instead get a spice merchant to clear the coppers.

Game Reports / Re: The power of Trader
« on: January 19, 2012, 10:15:03 am »
Been running some solos with Trader and Smithy and can't seem to replicate your speed. For the most part, it seems like Trader and Province rarely emerge simultaneously.

Also, what were the odds of buying the Trader with the Province the turn after you bought it? I think you had 18 cards at that time... and you were looking to draw 2 together. Not sure of the maths of that, but it seems quite a stretch. Instinct says 5-6% chance. I'm sure someobne with stats skills will check that...

But having said that, when you DID draw them together, I think you made the right play by trashing it.

Game Reports / Re: The power of Trader
« on: January 19, 2012, 10:07:16 am »
I like it! Trading up a province is a pretty ballsy move. I've always been a fan of putting Provinces to the torch with Apprentices when I'm ahead of the game, but never had the guts to try to Trader a Province.

Glad to see it worked for you!

I wonder if someone skilled in simulation could find out how well your strategy does generally. As far as I can see the components are:

1) Trader / Silver opening
2) Trade first province only as first priority, estates as second priority, coppers third priority (but only if not on =$8).
3) Buy province when possible. Buy smithy once as soon as possible. Buy best available treasure from silver upwards otherwise.

Does that summarise it?

I would observe, however, that your opponent made some dubious picks. Trading Post over Apprentice? Spy over Smithy? That makes little sense to me. I wonder how your strategy would have done against 2 Smithys + Big Money.

If opponent opens Pirate Ship, you could go for the Golden Deck with Bishop. The copper trashing from the Ship will speed up the process. So if opp opens Pirate Ship/X, take Bishop/Embargo (for the Ships!?). Certainly not Bishop/Silver, but maybe Bishop/Great Hall or Bishop/Trade Route could also be good.

Yeah, if he'd opened Pirate Ship, then Bishop would have been my first choice definitely.

But he opened Scout, so I felt that going Bishop would just be letting him get his engine together quicker. I did in fact take a bishop later in the game, at the stage when I thought his engine was ready to go.

So he went Scout, I went Pirate Ship. He then went Black Market and I went Embargo. In retrospect I think I could have used that first embargo on great halls rather than trade routes though. Also, when I went for embargo I'd had a brain fart and forgotten that Workshop could circumvent the embargo.

I definitely agree with the posters who think that Scout was a weak opening... especially Scout / Black Market. If anything, even Scout / Workshop woulda been faster.

I'd not have chosen it myself. If I'd gone first, I think I'd have just played Bishop / Silver.

However, in response to said opening, what would you have done?

Game Reports / Pirate Ships + money vs. Complex Engine. Did I get lucky?
« on: January 18, 2012, 01:57:51 pm »
Hey there! Just registered to the forums, though been on isotropic for some time, and following this site.

Just played this game, which was one of the most interesting ones I've yet to experience. Here's the link to the game report:

But this is where the strategy was made:

The 12 chosen cards are Baron, Bishop, Black Market, Bureaucrat, Embargo, Great Hall, Herbalist, Pirate Ship, Scout, Torturer, Trade Route, and Workshop.
Eli_k vetoes Baron.
Asklepios vetoes Torturer.

I can't tell you why Eli vetoed Baron. Maybe he felt it was too swingy. I vetoed Torturer as I felt that it could ruin a game if one player got the 5/2, making it too one sided.

Immediately on starting, I was extremely glad to be second player, as I'd have the opportunity to see which direction my opposition was going. This set included Embargo, which is one of my favourite cards of all.

Eli opened scout. This made me think he was going to go for great halls, trade route and black market to fish out the crossroads and other VP-card synergising stuff. I figured that if trade route was going to be his main income source, I could slow the deck down with pirate ship, use embargo to lock out victory cards, and then just play pirate ship + big money. If he were to switch to pirate ship later, then odds on that would just thin my deck of copper, or slow him more than he was slowing me. Normally I avoid pirate ship in games against anyone with any sort of decent level, as its just not that strong a card. In this game though, I thought it was justified against a scout opening.

As it was, I felt it worked out really well. It got scary at times, as I was relying on a pair of platinums and being hit by pirate ship frequently. I also think Eli got obsessed with building a 2 colony a turn engine, and just got outpaced.

However there were quite a few comments suggesting to me that Eli felt I was getting lucky, such as telling me it was bad tactics to attack with pirate ship when I did, etc. etc.

I'm open to feedback, positive or critical, as to how I might have played this game better, and how I can learn from it.

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