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Dominion: Intrigue» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Minion engine rss

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Vlad Plushchevsky
Ukraine
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Subject:
Today i've tried to practice Minion engine:
Minion, Upgrade, Pawn, Festival, Feast, Warehouse, Cellar, Throne room, Caravan, Lookout.
I've tried Minions as many as possible:
1.+4 Feast
2.+3 Warehouse
3. +3 Lookout
4. +4 Caravan and Feast into Minion
5. +3 Cellar
6. +3 warehouse
7. +3 feast into Minion and one more Minion
8. Festival
9. Festival
10. Pawn
11. Minion
12. feast
13. Minion + Province
14. Feast
15. Duchy and Festival
16. Province
17 Province
18 Duchy
19 Duchy
20. Province
21. Province and Cellar
Seems to me that it was slow...
 
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Matt E
United States
St. Paul
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First of all, your game log there is really lacking. I have no idea what really happened in that (solitaire?) game.

Second, Minion engines can afford to be a bit slow because once they get going they attack each opponent every turn.

Third, you shouldn't be buying Cellar in a Minion engine if Warehouse is available.

Fourth, buying Duchies is going to clog a Minion deck something awful. You can't afford to do it until much later than you normally would.
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Ben Bateson
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Didn't occur to you to buy any Silver rather than waste money on Feasts, then?
 
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Matt E
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ousgg wrote:
Didn't occur to you to buy any Silver rather than waste money on Feasts, then?

A Minion deck really doesn't want Silver. Feast may actually be an acceptable substitute with this set.

EDIT: That being said, all of the Feast buys after the first one should probably have been Throne Rooms instead.
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Vlad Plushchevsky
Ukraine
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thanks. The matter that i really tried solitaire.
As to silver i read once that in such custom made game it's not necessarily to involve silver and gold.
 
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LastFootnote wrote:
EDIT: That being said, all of the Feast buys after the first one should probably have been Throne Rooms instead.


And to take that a step further, turns 8 and 9 should have been Minion, not Festival and turn 15 where you presumably had $10, should have been a Prov, not a Duchy and Festival, and 21, there was no reason to get a Cellar, it should have been an Estate.

Minion isn't meant to be the fastest strategy, just a consistent one where you keep your opponent slowed down to the point where your consistency wins out.
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Vlad Plushchevsky
Ukraine
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yes, seems that omitting of ThR was a mistake
 
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Vlad Plushchevsky
Ukraine
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i'm just practising different engines. the article says (don't remember the author) that as per his personal statistics only 50% of his games had a distinct engine, the rest ones didn't. so in this case (when it's not possible to see the engine)BM is to used?
 
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Kevin Costello
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vldplusch wrote:
i'm just practising different engines. the article says (don't remember the author) that as per his personal statistics only 50% of his games had a distinct engine, the rest ones didn't. so in this case (when it's not possible to see the engine)BM is to used?


Its awfully hard to speculate about the intent of an unknown article written by an unknown author... BUT I doubt he/she meant that 50% of his games used big money, and if he/she did, then he/she probably shouldn't be writing strategy articles.
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Edward
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vldplusch wrote:
thanks. The matter that i really tried solitaire.
As to silver i read once that in such custom made game it's not necessarily to involve silver and gold.

Your solitaire practice is admirable. Solitaire is a fine way of learning the game. On the other hand, it's difficult to appreciate certain parts of Dominion in solitaire. For instance, Minion engines are mostly strong because of the crippling effect they have on your opponent.

Why don't you try playing on Isotropic? There are many new players there and I'm sure if you explain that you are new you'll be able to get a good game.
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Vlad Plushchevsky
Ukraine
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Thank you, guys, for your help.
 
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Ron Laufer
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vldplusch wrote:
thanks. The matter that i really tried solitaire.
As to silver i read once that in such custom made game it's not necessarily to involve silver and gold.
Not sure if you're talking about some solitaire testing methodology, but in every "real" dominion game, barring weird house rules, silver and gold are always available. Any strategy that doesn't take them into account isn't going to work well in a real game. (With that said, Minion decks don't really want too much treasure, but a little here and there in the early game can't hurt to get you going.)
 
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gonzoron wrote:
(With that said, Minion decks don't really want too much treasure, but a little here and there in the early game can't hurt to get you going.)


If there's not a good way to trash it later, it actually can hurt.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Yeah, totally avoid Silver and Gold in a Minion deck. Every time you draw it before playing your final Minion is a waste of card space that might've produced virtual coin or even expolosive action to play Feasts (for example) along the way.

You also want to be able to trash Coppers and (hopefully) Estates because they cause traffic jams even more than an occasional Silver. Now, I agree that if trashing isn't available, then one or two more Silvers isn't going to make much difference but that also might not be the ideal time for a Minion deck.

So far as avoiding Treasure cards goes, you also need an easy way to get to those first few Minions--which help you directly to buy more--and here, Feasts were perfect.

It does make sense to play Festivals for that explosive action and some coin but since it does mean not getting another Minion (and Minion set-ups often involve competing to get more than the other players), the Throne Room would've been apt. The Throne Room playing any Minion provides explosive action and +2 coins so the only lack is +1 Buy. However, as mentioned, having Warehouses, you don't need a Cellar and in this set-up, you could get a Pawn for 2 coins.

Pawns in a Minion deck are amazing! If you really need to draw and play a Minion to pitch a bad hand, you actually can afford to gamble +1 Card & +1 Action to pick up a Minion because you have a high concetration of Minions in the deck but this is usually a big waste and a bad idea. Before playing a Minion for discard & draw, you can use a Pawn for +1 Action & +1 coin -or- +1 Action & +1 Buy (depending on if you'll need another Buy available for the amount of coins you are generating). Usually, a Pawn is a good play for situations where you want to deplete your hand size (Libraries, discard-to-use effects) but in this case, it is irrelevant what you hand size is because the Minion is a discard-to-use effect (with some others including Horse Traders and Tactician). In essence, you can get the perfect amount of +1 Buys you need along the way and every Pawn is like a coin that remains through the discarding, unlike Copper. For that same reason, you should prefer more Pawns, Minions, and Throne Rooms to Silver or Gold.

I would've definitely picked up an early Upgrade. Upgrades won't slow your Minions but they are a good way to trash Coppers that so-totally clog up Minion cycles and they make something useful out of those Estates. Upgrades can also turn any 4-priced card into a Feast without spending your ultimate action. You want to look for things that you can do to advantage yourself along the way between discard & draws.

Finally, the Caravans just look delicious here. Being up against the Feasts (which are so essential to starting out) and Throne Rooms here puts them in a tight spot but beginning a turn with 2-4 extra cards does mean more Minions used for coins and fewer wasted on discard & draw. They give you more immediate options for your Upgrade target, let you know how many Pawns you spend on coins before picking up a Buy or two, and just generally kick butt. You only picked up one Caravan which is rather insignificant--especially for a deck that cycles so quickly as to find its Caravans each turn. (Well, each other turn, for it is a Duration card!). To that end, the Upgrades could feed Caravans to you without taking focus away from your main play. Those Estates turn into Warehouses (helping some, doing little damage meanwhile) and the Warehouses into Caravans (a huge improvement to Estates).

In a deck with several Caravans and high cyclablility, it is also good to try to split the Caravans in half (not unlike many Duration cards) so that if you have 4 Caravans total, try to play 2 per turn. This is better by far than 4 in one turn, 0 in the next. In Dominion, variance is often good but in the case of a reliable deck like Minions provides, you want consistency.
 
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