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Dominion: Cornucopia» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Game changing cards rss

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philosophyguy
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Based on people's experiences so far, what Cornucopia cards are game changers? What I mean is that, if this card is in the Supply, this card almost has to become a focal point of your strategy (either pursuing it or countering it). Examples of game-changers in previous sets would be Goons, Possession, and Ambassador. Obviously Tournament is one; are there others that work on their own? Or, are there other cards that can be game-changers if they have the necessary support cards (and what are those cards)?
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Reverend Redd
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God, I hate those kinds of cards. Dominion should be about flexibility, choosing your own strategy, not "Play this card or get screwed by it."

Possession and Goons aren't nearly as bad as Chapel, Pirate Ship, or Saboteur. My God, every time someone makes me play a set with Saboteur, I want to punch Donald X in the naughty parts...
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I honestly don't cringe when any of the Dominion cards are in the set. I look upon it as a challenge to beat those who buy or to find a way to use it more efficiently than my opponent.
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David Goldfarb
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Saboteur? Most games that have Saboteur, I just ignore it. Usually I do fine. Most of my play is 2-player, I guess it might be worse in multiplayer.
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Robert Ell
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Ive played about 150 games with Cornucopia so far, and the only really broken card seems to be Tournament. The rest of the set is great and the cards all seem costed appropriately.
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Dave Goldthorpe
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One good thing about the set is that it changes the game and which cards you buy, without necessarily being the focal point of your strategy. I'd even go so far as to say that when badly played these will be some of the worst performing cards in Dominion, but when well played they are balanced strong cards (although the tournament seems too Dominant in 2 player games).
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Mark Judd
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I don't see what the big deal is about Tournament. It's not always a "must buy" or game changing card. There have been several times I've won without buying a single Tournament and other times I've lost when I've bought them and my opponent ignored them.
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Robert Ell
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Beaveman wrote:
I don't see what the big deal is about Tournament. It's not always a "must buy" or game changing card. There have been several times I've won without buying a single Tournament and other times I've lost when I've bought them and my opponent ignored them.


I would like to see a log of someone beating a level 30+ player on isotropic without buying a Tournament.
 
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Michael Nerman
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Although it was a while ago, I remember looking at the council room webpage and seeing that Tournament was indeed pretty kickass.
 
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Edward
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Elltrain wrote:
Beaveman wrote:
I don't see what the big deal is about Tournament. It's not always a "must buy" or game changing card. There have been several times I've won without buying a single Tournament and other times I've lost when I've bought them and my opponent ignored them.


I would like to see a log of someone beating a level 30+ player on isotropic without buying a Tournament.

Ask and ye shall receive: a Province board too fast for Tournament, a Colony board where his three Prizes can't overcome my deck, and a Colony board where both players mutually recognize Caravan is the better option.

Admittedly, in the Province game, my opponent played a little questionably. But Tournament is an inherently awkward card: you need to get to Province quickly, which is difficult to do, and then buy cards to improve your deck, even though in a regular game at this point you should be hammering on the VPs. If you've ever finally activated your Tournament only to say to yourself, well, I guess it's so late I should just take the Duchy, then you probably could have done better with, say, Caravan.
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Robert Ell
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Neither player bought a Tournament, and they got Embargoed on turn 5. All the colonies gone at turn 14 is remarkably fast, though.
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Edward
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galathonredd wrote:
God, I hate those kinds of cards. Dominion should be about flexibility, choosing your own strategy, not "Play this card or get screwed by it."

Possession and Goons aren't nearly as bad as Chapel, Pirate Ship, or Saboteur. My God, every time someone makes me play a set with Saboteur, I want to punch Donald X in the naughty parts...

CouncilRoom data indicates that players who purchase Saboteur and Pirate Ship have the 5th and 6th lowest win rate among all cards. So maybe you should think twice before proclaiming that they're overpowered.
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Robert Ell
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The other game you linked lasted 30 turns and the first Tournament was purchased at turn 15. I would be interested to see the same cards and your same strategy against someone who bought a tourney early.

e: That same data shows every single Tournament reward card as #1-#5.
 
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Allan B.
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Aren't the majority of the data CouncilRoom uses based on duels? Pirate Ship and Saboteur are cards that suck in duels, but can be absolutely devastating if more than one person has it in 3+ player games.
 
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Edward
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Elltrain wrote:
The other game you linked lasted 30 turns and the first Tournament was purchased at turn 15. I would be interested to see the same cards and your same strategy against someone who bought a tourney early.

In the game you're referring to, buying a Tournament early would have been pure suicide. In an Ambassador war you need to be rapidly boosting your purchasing power (in a way Tournament cannot), and even if you did somehow get to an early Province you're not going to activate the Tournament any time soon.
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e: That same data shows every single Tournament reward card as #1-#5.

Tournament Prizes have very high win rates because generally the first person to Province is going to win anyway. They are good cards, but the fact that you usually only get them after establishing an initial lead severely biases the data. Would you really pass over Mountebank for Bag of Gold?
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Robert Ell
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Interesting points. I obviously don't play at the same level as you, so I will take your word for it. I didn't see ambassador, but yeah, if Ambassador is out and it's 4/3 I will typically buy two of them. It's another one of those cards that prompted this thread.

What you said is interesting though, that the first province buyer is going to win typically. Tournament basically snowballs that effect.
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Yaron Racah
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I think the councilroom.com data is quite decisive here. As Theory noted, the data for prizes is biased, so we should look at the data for Tournament itself.

The "win rate with" is 1.03 - only slightly above par. But that's just because usually the opponent will get one too, making it a wash (one Tournament-using player will win, and another will lose). If a player doesn't get one, however, their win rate drops to 0.83, one of the lowest in the game.

The probability of player A beating player B, when A is using a specific card, and B isn't, is given by:

0.5 + ("win rate with" - "win rate without") / 2

For Tournament, this amounts to 60%. This may not seem like much, until you look at the complete list of non-prize cards that do better:

Mountebank
Witch
Goons
Nobles
Platinum
Colony

Except for Colony at 73%, they don't do much better (max 62%).

That's some impressive company. It's as close as you can get to "must buy". Of course, the data only reflects Isotropic games, which are mostly 2p, and Tournament's effectiveness drops with more players. Also, "must buy" is not the same as "must open".
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Reverend Redd
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theory wrote:
galathonredd wrote:
God, I hate those kinds of cards. Dominion should be about flexibility, choosing your own strategy, not "Play this card or get screwed by it."

Possession and Goons aren't nearly as bad as Chapel, Pirate Ship, or Saboteur. My God, every time someone makes me play a set with Saboteur, I want to punch Donald X in the naughty parts...

CouncilRoom data indicates that players who purchase Saboteur and Pirate Ship have the 5th and 6th lowest win rate among all cards. So maybe you should think twice before proclaiming that they're overpowered.


Maybe you should think twice before assuming I didn't make my standpoint from over 2400 games of personal experience. If CouncilRoom wants to say that my 2400 games' worth of experience with an almost-as-seasoned group, with literally hundreds dominated by the cards I mentioned, is all imaginary, then I must rather un-humbly agree to disagree. Reverend or not, I am a scientist; I believe what I see, not what I'm told.

Oh, does CouncilRoom have any idea that I usually play 4- to 6-player? I bet it doesn't... most folks make these calculations from 2-3 player, where verything is different. Can you show me the stat there that shows how many players using those cards used them well, vs. how many built crappy decks around them? Ah, thought not, just win-loss ratios. Unless you can look inside the log of every game and rate their performances, I will just have to stand by what I've actually seen when these cards aren't played by lame ducks - that they melt faces, hard. I stated my opinion out of more personal experience than most normal folks would get in an entire lifetime, and I'll stand by it, thank-you-very-much.
 
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Robert Ell
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galathonredd wrote:
If CouncilRoom wants to say that my 2400 games' worth of experience with an almost-as-seasoned group, with literally hundreds dominated by the cards I mentioned


Why are you playing almost 10% of your games with cards you hate so much with your gaming group?
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Reverend Redd
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Elltrain wrote:
galathonredd wrote:
If CouncilRoom wants to say that my 2400 games' worth of experience with an almost-as-seasoned group, with literally hundreds dominated by the cards I mentioned


Why are you playing almost 10% of your games with cards you hate so much with your gaming group?


As I said before...

galathonredd wrote:

Oh, does CouncilRoom have any idea that I usually play 4- to 6-player? I bet it doesn't...


...and many of my friends are just assholes.
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Rob Neuhaus
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Dominion: Cornucopia » Forums » Strategy
Re: Game changing cards
A few things to note:

Yaron gave data. Numbers.

Where are your numbers about particular cards? All I see is a statement.

Do you have numbers? Or just memories, possibly tainted by anger or frustration, where you are conflating the effectiveness of Saboteur with the annoyance caused by it.

What is the mechanism by which Saboteur gets better in multiplayer games? I can definitely see such a mechanism for Pirate Ship, the probability of hitting at least one opponent increases with more opponents. And I can see it even more with Thief, the quantity of money you can get back scales with the number of players. But for Saboteur, I don't see it. Consider that a Saboteur is worth -1 opponent remodels. If you play a Remodel on your own hand, this is approximately as good as it is to hit all of your opponents with a Saboteur. It's player scale invariant.

If I ran the data for just >= 4p games, would you even believe it? Do you believe what the data says about Saboteur in 2p?

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Reverend Redd
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Yaron gave numbers about Tournament. CouncilRoom gave INCOMPLETE data. Where are the other cards in those sets? Pirate Ship loses power in a game where there is +Action +Treasure, which never happens to us. It loses power in 2- to 3- player games as well, which I do not play, and CouncilRoom does not track. Now Yaron was talking about Tournament, not Pirate Ship, so what the hell gives?

I did not provide a statement about EVERY card's beneficial situations because a skilled Dominion player would know them, and my post was already long enough. Also, because I didn't think anyone was going to jump my case and call me a liar. I will not reduce myself to that now because two guys are slinging mud at me.

My point was that data is useless without ALL the variables. That is called Scientific Method; you can look that up yourself if you wish. Give me ALL the variables and the data might mean something to me. Until then, I only have 2400 games' worth of personally collected data, a statement I posted as an opinion about it, and a couple of guys jumping my shit about it who apparently think I could not possibly have anything better to do than to lie about my personal experiences just to start a fight on BGG.
 
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Rob Neuhaus
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I am not claiming that are are intentionally deceiving us, just that you are probably wrong with regards to the effectiveness of Saboteur in multiplayer games.

I still haven't seen numbers or game logs, your statements are biased by your possibly selective memory.

Pirate ship might be decent in 4+p, I won't debate that.

There is a huge difference between "completely useless" and "completely accurate." The data says that saboteur sucks in 2p. I have reason (given above, not yet refuted) to believe that its effectiveness is independent of the number of players. If you combine those two, then indeed the data is very useful.

If I flip a coin 50 times at 4pm, find that it comes up heads 27 of those times, then I think expecting it to come up heads about half the time at 5 pm is pretty reasonable, even if I haven't done any flips at 5pm.
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Dave Goldthorpe
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Quote:
I am not claiming that are are intentionally deceiving us, just that you are probably wrong with regards to the effectiveness of Saboteur in multiplayer games.

I think you're underestimating the effect of cumulative attacks. If you joined a game with three other players who always exhausted 3 piles including duchies and estates, there's no point telling them they're doing it wrong if they beat you. Group think can have perceived and real effects.
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Matt E
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rrenaud wrote:
What is the mechanism by which Saboteur gets better in multiplayer games? I can definitely see such a mechanism for Pirate Ship, the probability of hitting at least one opponent increases with more opponents. And I can see it even more with Thief, the quantity of money you can get back scales with the number of players. But for Saboteur, I don't see it. Consider that a Saboteur is worth -1 opponent remodels. If you play a Remodel on your own hand, this is approximately as good as it is to hit all of your opponents with a Saboteur. It's player scale invariant.

I have to disagree with this. One major difference between Remodel and Saboteur is that you have to use two cards in your hand with Remodel: the Remodel and the card you trash. Now early game, that card might be an Estate, but often it's a card you could have used that turn. Also, you have get your Remodel into the same hand with a card you want to use it on. If Remodel trashed the top card of your deck and gained you a card costing up to 2 coins more, it might be a more apt comparison. Actually, that sounds like a pretty cool card idea. Anyhow, that's probably why Remodel ended up with a cost of 4 and Saboteur landed at 5.

As for Saboteur being more powerful in games with more players, I believe it. Getting hit by one Saboteur every few turns is usually just a nuisance. Getting hit with one (or more) every turn is devastating. It pretty much prevents you from building an engine deck, which many players do whenever they can.

EDIT: Also, I'd like to take you up on the offer of running the data on Saboteur for games with 4 players. In fact, I'd love to be able to restrict all data available on councilroom.com to only include data from games with X players, or between X and Y players inclusive.
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