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Author Topic: Ironworks + Great Hall  (Read 9369 times)

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rinkworks

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Ironworks + Great Hall
« on: June 23, 2011, 10:57:04 pm »
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Just ran into this combo.  When it came up, I realized that if I bought an Ironworks (not usually something I bother with), I could use them to gain Great Halls, thereby earning +1 Card, +1 Action for my Ironworks (ironically also what the Great Hall offers for itself).  Thus, until the Great Halls ran out, I had a cheap source of VP that wasn't taking up a card slot in my hand.  Of course this would work for Islands as well, but I like the neatness of not only the Ironworks not taking up a card/action but what it gains not doing so either.

That last sentence makes sense.  Really.
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Death to Sea Hags

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 09:56:21 am »
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We are aware of all Dominion traditions.  8)

http://dominionstrategy.com/2011/04/29/dominion-puzzle-1/
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guided

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 10:04:00 am »
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Be careful about doing this. Assuming the other player in a 2p game doesn't follow suit, you're netting yourself 8 VP with one of your opening buys at a cost of roughly a whole turn worth of tempo (since that buy you used on Ironworks didn't go to something more useful for deck-building). Trading a turn for 8 VP can be a pretty bad move. In general, on most boards, I would counsel strongly against opening Ironworks for no other reason than gaining Great Halls.
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Axe Knight

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 10:16:40 am »
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Throwing the Scout in there makes it better.  Suppose you have 5 cards in your hand, one of them being a Scout.  You play the Scout and draw two Great Halls.  Now the Great Halls can replace themselves and you draw more cards.  See also:

http://dominionstrategy.com/2011/01/11/combo-of-the-day-22-ironworksscoutgreat-hall/
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guided

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2011, 10:57:13 am »
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Scout/Great Hall is another one of those combos that takes a bunch of cards to do something that a single card can do better and cheaper (Laboratory).

There's some merit to the idea of combining it with Ironworks, but it's more like, OK, you happen to have an Ironworks and some Great Halls so you might as well take a Scout with your Ironworks after the GHs run out. It's not the kind of combo where you look at the board and build your strategy around it.
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rod-

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 10:57:43 am »
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Trading a turn for 8 VP can be a pretty bad move. In general, on most boards, I would counsel strongly against opening Ironworks for no other reason than gaining Great Halls.

In general, on most boards, a turn will net you a maximum of 6 VP.  There are, of course, exceptions.
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guided

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 10:59:34 am »
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In general, on most boards, a turn will net you a maximum of 6 VP.
"net" is the key word that makes this statement false. In the simplest case, you're giving up a Province and letting your opponent get it instead, which is 12 VP.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 11:09:08 am by guided »
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flymolo

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2011, 11:10:13 am »
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ironworks+ gardens is already good.  Depleting great halls instead of estates should be faster.
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rod-

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2011, 12:51:39 pm »
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In general, on most boards, a turn will net you a maximum of 6 VP.
"net" is the key word that makes this statement false. In the simplest case, you're giving up a Province and letting your opponent get it instead, which is 12 VP.

This actually seems to depend an awful lot on turn order.  If you are assume you are the 1st player, and that all players are capable of buying 1province every turn, starting on turn X, and that the 1st player gives up a turn for his 8 great halls, he'll still get a 4/4 split, just as he would if he hadn't sacrificed the turn for ironworks.

If you assume you are the 2nd player, under the same circumstances, you're dooming yourself to a 3/5 province split.

If you just play straight, instead of 'throwing away' the turn, as 1p, you end up with a 4/4 split anyway.

Of course, real dominion decks don't hit 8$ every turn, so you can't predict very well when you would be right to sacrifice your turn-order advantage, because you may be sacrificing turns to shuffle luck as well.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 12:53:52 pm by rod- »
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guided

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2011, 02:22:34 pm »
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Of course, real dominion decks don't hit 8$ every turn, so you can't predict very well when you would be right to sacrifice your turn-order advantage, because you may be sacrificing turns to shuffle luck as well.
This is true of course, and my original advice came from long, practical experience taking into account many different factors. My point was that "province = 6VP, 6VP < 8VP, QED" is an absolute non-argument that fails to account for the basic reality of how the game ends.

Even in a world where there are no attacks, and you flip a switch at some point in the game, and after that everybody gets a Province every turn, other luck-based effects are going to give you (a priori) about a 50/50 shot of being the first person to get a Province regardless of which position you're sitting in. In the real world, where people don't necessarily get a Province every turn, the chances of being the one ahead in the Province race are even closer to 50/50 regardless of position. And in the real world there often attacks that create snowball effects making the first few turns disproportionately important.

This is all not to mention that once the Great Halls are gone, your Ironworks had better have some other significant use to you, or it's a dead card clogging up your deck.
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rinkworks

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2011, 04:43:26 pm »
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Quote
Assuming the other player in a 2p game doesn't follow suit, you're netting yourself 8 VP with one of your opening buys

It was not one of my opening buys.  I don't remember when I bought the Ironworks, but it was a few turns in on a board where I didn't see a better use for a $4 turn.

I fully appreciate that this idea isn't worth building a strategy around.  What interested me was the aesthetics of having a source of incoming VPs that didn't take up any real resources beyond that initial Ironworks buy.
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rrenaud

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2011, 04:49:09 pm »
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guided, do you think you'll beat an ironworks, great hall, estate fast end game with standard play for most provs?

Looking at your own game data, it seems like you don't give this combo quite enough credit in your post.  You do fairly often go for multiple ironworks for great halls. 

It's a pretty even spread between you going for it, you ignoring it, you winning when you ignore the combo and your opponent goes for it, you losing when you ignore it but your opponent doesn't, etc.  It's basically what you'd expect from a solid but not crazy dominating combo.

http://councilroom.com/search_result?p1_name=guided&p2_name=&kingdom=ironworks%2Cgreat+hall
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play2draw

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2011, 04:55:54 pm »
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Hmm... as per the other thread, maybe if scouts are in the game this combo would be more useful. If your deck is quickly saturated with great halls, then your scout can become an impromptu lab. Of course, this would really only be viable if you can keep up strong buying power, which consequently makes this strategy less effective.

Edit: Playing around with it in solitaire... as expected, much too cumbersome without trashing. And with trashing, there are probably better tricks available on the board.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 05:06:07 pm by play2draw »
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guided

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2011, 05:59:42 pm »
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http://councilroom.com/search_result?p1_name=guided&p2_name=&kingdom=ironworks%2Cgreat+hall
I'll take these from the top ;D

1. Won the game against someone who gained the whole GH stack with IW. He bought his IW way deep into the game.
2. Won against an IW opening that gained all the GHs, even though I got fewer turns.
3. Lost, but they were also gaining Islands with IW, which makes it a much stronger strategy*.
4. IW/Gardens. GHs are nice helper cards for IW/Gardens but Gardens is the main reason for going IW here.
5. IW/Gardens.
6. Won in fewer turns against an IW opening without ever gaining an IW or GH.
7. Went IW/GH and lost to someone who didn't.
8. IW/GH mirror match.
9. Mirror match, and neither of us opened with IW.
10. Opened IW for Caravans, started gaining GHs after the Caravans were gone to stop IW from being a dead card.
11. Nobody used an IW to gain a GH.
12. I opened IW and lost by 10 points despite taking an extra turn. NHKK got IWs later to pump up his Vineyards, not so much because he was going for GHs.
13. Bought two IWs at turn 13 along with 2 Grand Markets, so I could gain some VPs on subsequent turns without clogging my deck with a Province. Not terribly instructive.
14. Mirror match -- At this point we are way deep in the past where I thought IW/GH was an overwhelming combo and went for it almost without fail.
15. Hey, I actually won this one on an IW opening against somebody who didn't! ... because it psyched my opponent into making the grievous mistake of using early $3 buys on GHs. ;)
16. Mirror match.
17. Mirror match.

Rob, I have to say I was genuinely surprised to see that none of these games offered much support for IW/GH being even a pretty-strong strategy to build a game around.


To the OP: yeah, it's a fun combo to be aware of, and sometimes it'll be good strategy to use a non-opening $4 buy on an Ironworks with little to no plan for it other than gaining Great Halls. Certainly the presence of Great Halls makes Ironworks a somewhat stronger card to open with (e.g. game 10 above), in cases where you're on the fence about whether to open with it for some other primary purpose.

*On a related note, per game #3 above, I suspect when IW/GH/Island are all available that a heavy IW strategy is likely to be dominant. It's rare to see specific 3-card combos though, so I haven't given it any careful study.



( For posterity, the first game in the search results at time of posting is this one: http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110505-150211-c3791c8e.html )
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 06:36:38 pm by guided »
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guided

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2011, 06:25:15 pm »
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guided, do you think you'll beat an ironworks, great hall, estate fast end game with standard play for most provs?

Dunno. I don't recall that I've seen that strategy, and I certainly haven't studied it. Off the top of my head, it doesn't sound very good to me... you don't need many points to beat a deck that can't even buy Duchies.
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Detonator

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 09:08:12 am »
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In my experience (and I don't claim any great expertise), a GH/IW fast end deck has always won.  Perhaps because it usually takes players by surprise: by the time they realize what's happening, they're already too far behind to catch up before the game can be ended by the ironworksing player.  Obviously a equally-fast counter strategy must be planned if an opponent makes a grab for the ironworks.

I'm wondering what the best counter strategy would be (besides going ironworks as well).  Maybe I'll test some games with a friend to see if there's something consistently workable.  I'd like to hear what other people have to say about going up against this combo.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 09:26:21 am »
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Detonator, I'm interested to know how fast you can get the third pile out.

guided

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2011, 11:50:47 am »
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In my experience (and I don't claim any great expertise), a GH/IW fast end deck has always won.  Perhaps because it usually takes players by surprise: by the time they realize what's happening, they're already too far behind to catch up before the game can be ended by the ironworksing player.  Obviously a equally-fast counter strategy must be planned if an opponent makes a grab for the ironworks.
But this isn't all that fast. You build a deck with no buying power and quickly empty 2 piles. The only realistic target for a 3rd pile is Estates, leaving you with something like 20 points in your whole deck. 2 Provinces and a Duchy will beat this, an easy target for anyone following a conventional strategy.
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rspeer

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2011, 06:39:25 pm »
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Who needs buying power when you have gaining power? Emptying out a cheap action pile is easy when your deck is full of Ironworks. Don't bother with Estates, they're too slow.

It's even easier when you pick the pile your opponent has been buying from.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2011, 08:32:24 pm »
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But then they only need 1 Prov plus a duchy or three duchies, and if they're paying any attention at all, they should be able to get that on almost any board.
Do you have any game logs to back this up?

danshep

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2011, 09:18:27 pm »
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Using Ironworks/Great Hall/Wishing Well took me 12 turns to get 13 points:

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201107/19/game-20110719-180013-60a7331f.html

Probably could've done that slightly quicker if I paid attention to my deck for wishes, but that's still pretty slow.

With chapel to trash, it's 8 points in 9 turns:

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201107/19/game-20110719-181014-65641da1.html

I don't get how this is going to beat anybody that pays any attention to what you're doing. Just a single duchy without trashing will beat you there.

Maybe a caravan will get it faster? That was my first guess, but in play I didn't want to spend $4 buys on anything other than ironworks. The games above are both assuming that the other player isn't helping you run out those piles - maybe that helps?

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guided

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2011, 12:17:41 am »
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Who needs buying power when you have gaining power?
The point is that with no buying power you can't even get Duchies, so it takes very few points to beat you.
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lefaiison

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2011, 10:23:38 am »
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What's going on with the math in this thread?

But this isn't all that fast. You build a deck with no buying power and quickly empty 2 piles. The only realistic target for a 3rd pile is Estates, leaving you with something like 20 points in your whole deck. 2 Provinces and a Duchy will beat this, an easy target for anyone following a conventional strategy.

2 Provinces + 1 Duchy = 15 points... 18 if you include your Estates.

Quote
With chapel to trash, it's 8 points in 9 turns:

I don't get how this is going to beat anybody that pays any attention to what you're doing. Just a single duchy without trashing will beat you there.

That's only 6 points!
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guided

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2011, 10:28:16 am »
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My bad, 2 Provinces and either:

-1 more Province
-A Duchy and a Great Hall or Estate
-3 VPs worth of Great Halls and/or Estates
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 10:30:45 am by guided »
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KMueller

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Re: Ironworks + Great Hall
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2011, 11:58:02 am »
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Throw in 1 Throne Room, and I had 19 points and game over by turn 12. Without optimal shuffle luck. Not great, but interesting.
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