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Author Topic: The Thing With... Duration Cards  (Read 16435 times)

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WanderingWinder

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The Thing With... Duration Cards
« on: May 24, 2012, 06:26:11 pm »
+4

The Thing with... Duration cards.

Not a long article here, and I don't think this is ground-breaking or earth-shattering to lots of people, but it needs to be out there.


They miss reshuffles. Much more often than other cards. Because not only can they miss the reshuffle if they're the last 0-4 cards that don't fit in a hand, but they can also get caught if you played them the turn before your hand draw triggers a reshuffle. As your cleanup drawing is usually at least a very significant portion of the number of cards you draw... anyway, they miss the shuffle a lot more often.
This effect is further exacerbated by card-drawing durations. Outpost, tactician, caravan, wharf, haven, we're looking at you. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that one way or another, for much of the game anyway, tactician USUALLY misses the reshuffle. Engine play also make this worse than it is for big money, because you're cycling more, reshuffling more, and therefore missing that reshuffle more. Of course, missing a reshuffle in general is less important in an engine deck, because you do cycle more.

Similarly, though, these cards will collide less often. Particularly this is important for terminals - you can buy more terminal durations than you can other cards, because they're less likely to collide, because one will be out (often having missed a reshuffle).

So, their effects are generally more powerful than those of 'normal' actions, seemingly, because you get to play them less often. The effect is spread out over two hands, which makes it more likely you get to play it only once every two shuffles. If they ALWAYS missed the reshuffle, the one-turn power of the cards could be comparable to 'normal' cards. As is, they're a bit weaker, because they don't miss THAT often, but at the same time, twice something that's a little weaker than normal, and they're still typically strong cards.


You also want to note that the balanced-looking effects aren't actually balanced (mainly I'm talking merchant ship, caravan, lighthouse, and wharf here; it's biggest on MS and wharf). The second turn is much more of a boon than the first turn, because on the first turn you have to spend an action and a card in your hand playing it on the first turn, and you don't on the second. So caravan is a cantrip now, lab next turn. Wharf is moat with a buy now, smithy with a buy next turn. Etc.

O

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 06:27:40 pm »
+3

This is all correct, except a Wharf isn't a smithy with a buy next turn. its a Worker's Village then a smithy, I guess.

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clb

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2012, 06:32:39 pm »
0

Does that then mean that in a BM + X game, you would buy one or two more wharfs (wharves?) than you would smithys?
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O

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2012, 06:35:34 pm »
0

Does that then mean that in a BM + X game, you would buy one or two more wharfs (wharves?) than you would smithys?

That's correct. I believe (could be wrong) you want 1-2 smithys (2 smithys situationally, not every game) and 3 wharves or so in BM games.
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DG

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2012, 06:59:17 pm »
+1

There is an interesting change in deck dynamics once you can draw your whole deck. You can then plan to play the duration cards on alternate turns and they can become very strong. An example might be two merchant ships in an alchemist deck. You only need to draw and play one of them each turn but together they still contribute +4 coins, which is excellent when you need to control your deck size.

You can also consider not playing some duration cards on one turn so that you can play them on the following turn, balancing out the number of duration cards in play each turn. This might be case when you're using caravans and would rather set up consistent drawing of +3 cards each turn than have +5 cards followed by +1 card, with the risk of stalling with only +1 card in hand. Lighthouses can be similarly managed so that at least one is played each turn.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2012, 07:31:18 pm »
+3

There is an interesting change in deck dynamics once you can draw your whole deck. You can then plan to play the duration cards on alternate turns and they can become very strong. An example might be two merchant ships in an alchemist deck. You only need to draw and play one of them each turn but together they still contribute +4 coins, which is excellent when you need to control your deck size.
In the same way, they can become very weak. If you (over-)draw your deck every turn, then you actually only play durations half as often as other cards. So Merchant ship is just +$2. Two of them gets you $4 every turn, but so do 2 Silvers.
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GigaKnight

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2012, 07:48:41 pm »
0

There is an interesting change in deck dynamics once you can draw your whole deck. You can then plan to play the duration cards on alternate turns and they can become very strong. An example might be two merchant ships in an alchemist deck. You only need to draw and play one of them each turn but together they still contribute +4 coins, which is excellent when you need to control your deck size.
In the same way, they can become very weak. If you (over-)draw your deck every turn, then you actually only play durations half as often as other cards. So Merchant ship is just +$2. Two of them gets you $4 every turn, but so do 2 Silvers.

That's a really interesting point but it seems a bit like only truly applies to Merchant Ship.  Unless I'm mistaken, every other duration card either does something unique to help you (like Lighthouse and Outpost) or gives you a benefit that could potentially help continue to draw your deck.
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eHalcyon

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2012, 08:03:15 pm »
+1

There is an interesting change in deck dynamics once you can draw your whole deck. You can then plan to play the duration cards on alternate turns and they can become very strong. An example might be two merchant ships in an alchemist deck. You only need to draw and play one of them each turn but together they still contribute +4 coins, which is excellent when you need to control your deck size.
In the same way, they can become very weak. If you (over-)draw your deck every turn, then you actually only play durations half as often as other cards. So Merchant ship is just +$2. Two of them gets you $4 every turn, but so do 2 Silvers.

But in the case of Merchant Ship, the second turn also gives you an "extra" card and action.  It's a terminal silver when it's played, but an activated Conspirator on the second turn.  Two MS being played in tandem is still superior to Silver because of that extra card slot (unless you really need that action to play a different terminal).
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DStu

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2012, 01:39:26 am »
+1

There is an interesting change in deck dynamics once you can draw your whole deck. You can then plan to play the duration cards on alternate turns and they can become very strong. An example might be two merchant ships in an alchemist deck. You only need to draw and play one of them each turn but together they still contribute +4 coins, which is excellent when you need to control your deck size.
In the same way, they can become very weak. If you (over-)draw your deck every turn, then you actually only play durations half as often as other cards. So Merchant ship is just +$2. Two of them gets you $4 every turn, but so do 2 Silvers.

But in the case of Merchant Ship, the second turn also gives you an "extra" card and action.  It's a terminal silver when it's played, but an activated Conspirator on the second turn.  Two MS being played in tandem is still superior to Silver because of that extra card slot (unless you really need that action to play a different terminal).

Yepp, it's both correct, and it depends on the situation which view you should prefer. If you want to ramp up your economy after building an engine, a MS is a bad buy, because it adds only  $2 to your economy, but costs $5.
If must want to limit the number of non-engine cards in your deck, and the number of terminals you play, two MS gives you $4 for only one terminal played per turn.

Usually though, when you build up an engine you are more concerned with the first problem, but there certainly are situations where the second one is more important, for example if you have a Cantrip-engine, especially Hunting Party maybe.
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tlloyd

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2012, 02:43:31 am »
+2

There is an interesting change in deck dynamics once you can draw your whole deck. You can then plan to play the duration cards on alternate turns and they can become very strong. An example might be two merchant ships in an alchemist deck. You only need to draw and play one of them each turn but together they still contribute +4 coins, which is excellent when you need to control your deck size.
In the same way, they can become very weak. If you (over-)draw your deck every turn, then you actually only play durations half as often as other cards. So Merchant ship is just +$2. Two of them gets you $4 every turn, but so do 2 Silvers.

But in the case of Merchant Ship, the second turn also gives you an "extra" card and action.  It's a terminal silver when it's played, but an activated Conspirator on the second turn.  Two MS being played in tandem is still superior to Silver because of that extra card slot (unless you really need that action to play a different terminal).

Another way to say the same thing: In order to get $4 from two silvers, you have to draw two cards each turn. In order to get $4 from two Merchant Ships you only need to draw one of them each turn. Of course WW's point was that once you can reliably draw your whole deck this is no longer a concern.
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eHalcyon

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2012, 03:07:32 am »
0

There is an interesting change in deck dynamics once you can draw your whole deck. You can then plan to play the duration cards on alternate turns and they can become very strong. An example might be two merchant ships in an alchemist deck. You only need to draw and play one of them each turn but together they still contribute +4 coins, which is excellent when you need to control your deck size.
In the same way, they can become very weak. If you (over-)draw your deck every turn, then you actually only play durations half as often as other cards. So Merchant ship is just +$2. Two of them gets you $4 every turn, but so do 2 Silvers.

But in the case of Merchant Ship, the second turn also gives you an "extra" card and action.  It's a terminal silver when it's played, but an activated Conspirator on the second turn.  Two MS being played in tandem is still superior to Silver because of that extra card slot (unless you really need that action to play a different terminal).

Another way to say the same thing: In order to get $4 from two silvers, you have to draw two cards each turn. In order to get $4 from two Merchant Ships you only need to draw one of them each turn. Of course WW's point was that once you can reliably draw your whole deck this is no longer a concern.

Whoops!  You're right.  That was the whole point and I missed it.
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Davio

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2012, 03:35:04 am »
0

The thing with Duration cards is that they can be awesome when KC'd.

I'll just KC this Wharf, get 6 cards now and 6 cards next turn. 12 cards, not bad for a 2 card combo.
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dondon151

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2012, 03:40:00 am »
+3

Most cards are awesome when KC'd...
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Davio

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2012, 05:09:50 am »
0

Most cards are awesome when KC'd...
Most. Watchtower feels sad. :'(
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cherdano

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2012, 01:47:33 pm »
+1

Does that then mean that in a BM + X game, you would buy one or two more wharfs (wharves?) than you would smithys?

That's correct. I believe (could be wrong) you want 1-2 smithys (2 smithys situationally, not every game) and 3 wharves or so in BM games.
I would put it this way: in BM+Smithy game, I only want one smithy - I might pick up a 2nd one very late. In a BM+Wharf game, the first two $5+ buys should always be Wharfs (even if you could buy a gold instead).
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RisingJaguar

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2012, 02:55:58 pm »
+3

The thing with Duration cards is that they can be awesome when KC'd.

I'll just KC this Wharf, get 6 cards now and 6 cards next turn. 12 cards, not bad for a 2 card combo.
Probably interesting to note if you are doing a KC chain with durations, it is best to bunch the durations on one KC. 
For example, KC[1] -> [1] KC [2] ------->   [2] KC [3] ---------------> [3] Wharf
                                                     ->   [2] Normal                    -> [3] Wharf
                                                     ->   [2] Normal                    -> [3] Lighthouse

This will reduce the amount of KC's that get carried over in the duration.  This would only carry over one KC I believe yet you would still get the benefit of 6 wharves and 3 lighthouses for the next turn.  This is a horrible diagram, I apologize.   
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WanderingWinder

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2012, 10:23:36 am »
+1

To come back to this a little bit, let's look at the now-and-later effects of all the duration cards. Well, okay, not outpost, tactician, or haven, because those are really special cases that are totally dependent on duration-ness rather than balanced-between-turns-looking stuff, and their effects are so spread.

Card                        Now                         Later
Lighthouse               Copper                     Peddler                (also has the defense thing)
Fishing Village           Squire (for village)      Bazaar                 (yes, it's functionally equivalent to BAZAAR next turn)
Caravan                   Cantrip                     Laboratory
Merchant Ship           Terminal Silver          Two peddlers/activated conspirator/buy-less grand market
Wharf                      Moat-with-a-buy        Lab+Lab+a buy
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 10:32:19 am by WanderingWinder »
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ehunt

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2012, 10:28:07 am »
+1

To come back to this a little bit, let's look at the now-and-later effects of all the duration cards. Well, okay, not outpost, tactician, or haven, because those are really special cases that are totally dependent on duration-ness rather than balanced-between-turns-looking stuff, and their effects are so spread.

Card                        Now                         Later
Lighthouse               Copper                     Peddler                (also has the defense thing)
Fishing Village           Squire (for village)      Bazaar                 (yes, it's functionally equivalent to BAZAAR next turn)
Caravan                   Cantrip                     Laboratory
Merchant Ship           Terminal Silver          Two peddlers/activated conspirator/buy-less grand market
Wharf                      Moat-with-a-buy        Smithy-with-a-buy
wharf's later is lab + lab + buy (or successful menagerie plus buy)
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WanderingWinder

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2012, 10:32:44 am »
0

To come back to this a little bit, let's look at the now-and-later effects of all the duration cards. Well, okay, not outpost, tactician, or haven, because those are really special cases that are totally dependent on duration-ness rather than balanced-between-turns-looking stuff, and their effects are so spread.

Card                        Now                         Later
Lighthouse               Copper                     Peddler                (also has the defense thing)
Fishing Village           Squire (for village)      Bazaar                 (yes, it's functionally equivalent to BAZAAR next turn)
Caravan                   Cantrip                     Laboratory
Merchant Ship           Terminal Silver          Two peddlers/activated conspirator/buy-less grand market
Wharf                      Moat-with-a-buy        Smithy-with-a-buy
wharf's later is lab + lab + buy (or successful menagerie plus buy)
I knew that 3 days ago, der. Thanks.

FishingVillage

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 04:58:13 pm »
0

Hmm... the second turn effects are definitely very nice on Duration cards, but for just the first turn effects, they would be overpriced (Lighthouse becomes an overcosted Copper, Caravan's first turn effect can be done by Pawn, which also has more options on play, MS is definitely overpriced). Waiting a turn for good stuff... well I guess that's usually fine since Durations are so cost effective, but while it's better to have a big turn than to have two middling turns, it's also better to have something now than to have something later.

For the price of a Wharf, I could get a Laboratory, which would potentially let me draw more Laboratories and pick up enough money for a Province this turn, but a Wharf by itself might not get me enough money now. That will probably change next turn but I used up two turns to get a Province, when I could potentially have used just one turn. For the price of a Merchant Ship, I could get a Minion, which can also give me $2 and doesn't stop there, or maybe a Jester or Mountebank to junk up decks. The latter two don't let me play more cards but they can do something useful for me without having me wait a turn.

Sometimes when I'm using Tactician, it really sucks that I have to discard the rest of my hand and hope that my opponent doesn't get the last Province. If I had some other $5 card instead of Tactician, it's very likely that Province would've been mine. This isn't as lopsided with the other Duration cards (Lighthouse gives me coin at least), but waiting a turn for a Duration card to be at least cost effective can be too slow sometimes (but boy do they become cost effective).
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Robz888

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2012, 05:03:05 pm »
+5

The thing with Duration cards is... they combo with Scout.

They combo with Scout because they stay out of your deck longer than other Action cards, and with fewer Action cards in your deck, Scout finds more Green to scoop up. Hurray!
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popsofctown

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2012, 06:11:03 pm »
0

Scout keeps green cards from missing the reshuffle :(
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Robz888

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2012, 06:18:26 pm »
+2

Scout keeps green cards from missing the reshuffle :(

So you can keep track of your score better, duh.
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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2012, 09:16:34 pm »
+2

That's why you play DOUBLE Tactician!
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GendoIkari

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Re: The Thing With... Duration Cards
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2013, 10:45:50 am »
0

Just noticed... I think you're mistaken about Outpost. You list it as a card-drawing Duration that will further exacerbate the problem of missing the reshuffle... But actually it's the opposite. Outpost will miss the reshuffle less than other durations. Most non-drawing durations will miss the reshuffle if they are in the bottom 9 cards of your deck. Outpost will only miss the reshuffle if it's in the bottom 7 cards of your deck, because the first cleanup phase where it's out is only a 3 card draw.
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