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Author Topic: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.  (Read 17506 times)

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ShuffleNCut

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I keep seeing this phenomenon even in game logs from high ranking players.

Someone gets to turn six, they have two terminals in their deck already, there are no +Action effects on the board, they get a bad draw with only 2$.... and they buy Herbalist.  They don't even have a gold in their deck and they're buying TERMINAL COPPER to conflict with the actual useful actions in their deck.  Oops.

It's turn nine, a guy plays two Worker's Village and draws his SINGLE Goons.  He buys a much needed Gold.... and three Coppers.  The game is at least ten turns from ending and his inability to hit NONE just gave his deck a REVERSE CHAPEL TURN in trade for an almost irrelevant amount of VP chips.  Oops.

A guy has a nice Hunting Party or Golem stack going.  He gets a random low money turn and buys a Spy, or a Pawn, or a random unique action.  The card adds almost nothing to his deck but his amazing deck search actions are going to happily dig it up for mediocre effect when they should be finding game breaking actions or money for Province.  Oops.

It's turn six and a guy gets Saboteured and, WHAM, gets unlucky and loses his brand new Mountebank.  The player goes into auto pilot mode and takes an Estate as replacement.  Oops.

Don't let this happen to you!  When you're looking at your $ and your buys for the turn ALWAYS consider None.  It definitely isn't always the best buy but it is sometimes.  Do you have two Smithies and no Villages?  Don't buy that Pawn! It gives you almost nothing and can turn your Smithies in to Moats.  I know that Pawn is OFTEN better than nothing but you shouldn't be considering whether a card is generally OK, or better than Silver, or you've won with it in the past.  You should consider how it will help your specific strategy win or lose the game.

Just because you CAN gain a card doesn't mean you SHOULD.
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Graystripe77

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 02:54:33 pm »
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I completely agree with this, although i've made a few of those mistakes myself  :)
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WanderingWinder

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 03:15:56 pm »
+2

High level players? Really? I tend to doubt that.
In the Goons example, that is actually sometimes the right play, though if it isn't the endgame, usually not. Also there are some subtle moments where this is actually good, so the context is incredibly important.
But your overall point about long-term planning with your strategy to win is spot on.

HiveMindEmulator

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 03:44:34 pm »
+5

I think this site needs guidelines for what qualifies as an "article". This thread should probably go in general dominion discussion. Despite the fact that it contains a useful tip, there is not really enough substance to call it an article. Maybe if there was some analysis involved regarding when to use those extra goons buys, or when pawn or silver is better than nothing. Or if you ran some simulations for some of your examples to demonstrate *how* much buying nothing vs something can be... For example, you could have have two bots do village/smithy, and have differing buy rules for pawn: one who always buys it with $2, and one who does something smarter, and show the gap. Without this, everything that can be gained from this OP can be gained from the title alone.
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ShuffleNCut

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2011, 04:13:39 pm »
0

I think this site needs guidelines for what qualifies as an "article". This thread should probably go in general dominion discussion. Despite the fact that it contains a useful tip, there is not really enough substance to call it an article. Maybe if there was some analysis involved regarding when to use those extra goons buys, or when pawn or silver is better than nothing. Or if you ran some simulations for some of your examples to demonstrate *how* much buying nothing vs something can be... For example, you could have have two bots do village/smithy, and have differing buy rules for pawn: one who always buys it with $2, and one who does something smarter, and show the gap. Without this, everything that can be gained from this OP can be gained from the title alone.

Unfortunately these are often relatively complex situations which required ridiculously complicated play rules to model.  I haven't yet seen a simulator that can repeatedly play out turn ten+ of a game with given state X, hand Y, and board Z vs opponent strategy A with B buys already made....

Where not obvious I attempted to give examples that were as specific as possible as well as highlighting why the given buy in each situation was -EV.  True, it only highlights one niche aspect of game play however the way you shore up a leaky ship is one hole at a time.

The research that went in to the piece came from a few hundred games played and a few thousand games read and deconstructed.  If the title seems to give away the body of the piece then I'm glad I could save some people the trouble of reading it!
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Taco Lobster

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2011, 04:26:04 pm »
+1

Heh.  This is a tough piece of advice to follow.  The other one that I find challenging is not spending all my coins.  When I get to $6, I want that gold, even if it makes more sense to get a mountebank or warf. 

And, it never fails that, when I get a hand with $6 and I spend it to buy a $5, my next hand will be a $5 (and in the same shuffle). 
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Reyk

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 08:41:43 am »
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...
- bying 3$ cards (for instance silver) at a certain point in colony games
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msuroo

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 12:27:32 pm »
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Heh.  This is a tough piece of advice to follow.  The other one that I find challenging is not spending all my coins.  When I get to $6, I want that gold, even if it makes more sense to get a mountebank or warf. 

And, it never fails that, when I get a hand with $6 and I spend it to buy a $5, my next hand will be a $5 (and in the same shuffle).

This is where deck tracking is super important.  Let's say you need a gold and a mountebank, with the mountebank priority one.  If you have 6 now, but know that you will likely draw 5 before the end of your shuffle, by all means by the gold first.
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Fangz

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011, 10:35:18 am »
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I dunno, I'm not a great player, but some of these actions can have reasonable rationale behind them.

I keep seeing this phenomenon even in game logs from high ranking players.

Someone gets to turn six, they have two terminals in their deck already, there are no +Action effects on the board, they get a bad draw with only 2$.... and they buy Herbalist.  They don't even have a gold in their deck and they're buying TERMINAL COPPER to conflict with the actual useful actions in their deck.  Oops.

The herbalist is more than a terminal copper - it's a source of +buy, and that might be tough to come by. If there's no better source of +buy, that card could be vital, since you'll have a lot of trouble picking it up later in the game. (You don't want to waste a $6 turn grabbing a herbalist..

Quote
A guy has a nice Hunting Party or Golem stack going.  He gets a random low money turn and buys a Spy, or a Pawn, or a random unique action.  The card adds almost nothing to his deck but his amazing deck search actions are going to happily dig it up for mediocre effect when they should be finding game breaking actions or money for Province.  Oops.

Deck inspection has a decent synergy with golem or hunting party. Pawn is also a source of money and flexibility. The problem with large stacks of hunting party is that it has difficulty finding multiple copies of a good card. If you have a gold already in your hand, a combo of spy and hunting party will have a much easier time of finding more gold than two hunting parties, and adding a pawn would let him not waste whatever big money hands he finds. I actually find pawn to be a good counterpart to golem: each golem turns into a +1 action +2 card +$1, say, which is pretty nice.
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mypetrock

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2011, 12:21:31 pm »
+1

@Fangz -

I agree with you that there are certainly times when you want to buy a Herbalist or Spy. The point is that people are buying cards when the additional card weakens their existing strategy. Let's say I'm in a colony game and all of my money is platinum and gold. I happen to draw a hand of all green and a gold. Should I buy a silver here? Chances are good that the optimal play is not to buy the silver and instead to pass the turn back to my opponent. Or at worst, maybe I would buy an estate depending on the time of the game. But purchasing the silver dilutes the average coin value of my deck. It's just not the right play. But people continually make the buy because it seems like it's better than nothing when in fact, it isn't.

mypetrock
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Honkeyfresh

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2015, 07:30:19 am »
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This concept is so basic yet so spot on that I felt it deserved resurrection. 
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Flip5ide

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2015, 08:12:57 pm »
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I have one: Buying Estates to trash a turn 1/2 Hovel... Generally not a good play IMO. I'd say 4 out of 5 times you are better off without the estate.
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Awaclus

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2015, 08:23:20 pm »
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I have one: Buying Estates to trash a turn 1/2 Hovel... Generally not a good play IMO. I'd say 4 out of 5 times you are better off without the estate.

I would think that you're better off without the Estate more than 4 out of 5 times. It's a good play if there's a particular reason why you want an Estate in your deck rather than a Hovel (e.g. you want a card that costs $2 rather than a card that costs $1, or you want a card that can be returned to the supply), but it's practically never a good idea to do it just because you can.
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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 05:41:42 am »
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I have one: Buying Estates to trash a turn 1/2 Hovel... Generally not a good play IMO. I'd say 4 out of 5 times you are better off without the estate.

I would think that you're better off without the Estate more than 4 out of 5 times. It's a good play if there's a particular reason why you want an Estate in your deck rather than a Hovel (e.g. you want a card that costs $2 rather than a card that costs $1, or you want a card that can be returned to the supply), but it's practically never a good idea to do it just because you can.
If you only have $2 and there are no 1/2 cost actions?  What reason could there be not to do it?  Your deck is practically identical but contains one more point...
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SCSN

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2015, 05:50:50 am »
+2

I have one: Buying Estates to trash a turn 1/2 Hovel... Generally not a good play IMO. I'd say 4 out of 5 times you are better off without the estate.

I would think that you're better off without the Estate more than 4 out of 5 times. It's a good play if there's a particular reason why you want an Estate in your deck rather than a Hovel (e.g. you want a card that costs $2 rather than a card that costs $1, or you want a card that can be returned to the supply), but it's practically never a good idea to do it just because you can.
If you only have $2 and there are no 1/2 cost actions?  What reason could there be not to do it?  Your deck is practically identical but contains one more point...

Save the Hovels!
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Haddock

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2015, 06:58:32 am »
0

I have one: Buying Estates to trash a turn 1/2 Hovel... Generally not a good play IMO. I'd say 4 out of 5 times you are better off without the estate.

I would think that you're better off without the Estate more than 4 out of 5 times. It's a good play if there's a particular reason why you want an Estate in your deck rather than a Hovel (e.g. you want a card that costs $2 rather than a card that costs $1, or you want a card that can be returned to the supply), but it's practically never a good idea to do it just because you can.
If you only have $2 and there are no 1/2 cost actions?  What reason could there be not to do it?  Your deck is practically identical but contains one more point...

Save the Hovels!
Thanks.  Yeah I see that, makes sense. :)
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Calamitas

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2015, 09:19:56 pm »
+1

I have one: Buying Estates to trash a turn 1/2 Hovel... Generally not a good play IMO. I'd say 4 out of 5 times you are better off without the estate.

I would think that you're better off without the Estate more than 4 out of 5 times. It's a good play if there's a particular reason why you want an Estate in your deck rather than a Hovel (e.g. you want a card that costs $2 rather than a card that costs $1, or you want a card that can be returned to the supply), but it's practically never a good idea to do it just because you can.
If you only have $2 and there are no 1/2 cost actions?  What reason could there be not to do it?  Your deck is practically identical but contains one more point...

no, it's not

Let's compare both scenarios:

Assuming that you will have exactly the same draws your deck will be identical with the only differnce that you have an estate instead of the hovel.
But once you buy a green card while having estate/hovel on the hand you can see the difference.
You will be able to trash the hovel then but you won't be able to do the same with the estate. So your deck consists of one estate more. Buying the estate is only better if you want to have this additional estate at that point (e.g. no +buy --> tiebreaking). But usually keeping the hovel (and waiting with trashing) is the better alternative.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 09:21:57 pm by Calamitas »
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Davio

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Re: You have X buys on your turn. You are NOT required to use them.
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2015, 07:01:27 am »
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High level players? Really? I tend to doubt that.
In the Goons example, that is actually sometimes the right play, though if it isn't the endgame, usually not. Also there are some subtle moments where this is actually good, so the context is incredibly important.
But your overall point about long-term planning with your strategy to win is spot on.
To add, sometimes it's really hard to know when exactly the game will end!

You could be locked in a race jostling for position in order to be ahead at the beginning of your turn to buy out the last X cards during your turn. And while 2 players are locked in this race, their decks might get endlessly more crappy at which point it's hard for either player to end it.
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