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Subject: A casual, thematic play-through of the "Recommended Sets of 10" rss

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Jeremy Avery
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I'm a long-time casual player of Dominion who has recently come to appreciate all over again just how much fun this game provides over the long-term. (By "casual player", I mean someone who doesn't read strategy articles (and so who still doesn't understand how the Chapel/Chancellor deck works...don't tell me because I don't want to know).)

I know Dominion isn't known for theme, but I love cobbling together Sets that have thematic unity, and even when I play, I tend to talk to my opponents in theme. (My Rat-Party deck persona (Rats + Masquerade + Warehouse) had my opponents in stitches.)

Since theme is my thing, and because I'm so incredibly bored today waiting for Oregon's game later tonight), I thought it might be fun to play through the Sets of 10 with an Androminion AI opponent (Irishman Patrick) and do a brief write-up of each game in some thematic terms. (I am going to try and play in opposition to my opponents tactics where possible.)


First Game
It began with spats between our kingdoms, both of us hiring a Militia in order to badger the other. The difference was simple, while Patrick was content with a small band of Militia men and focused on acquiring incomes, I hired band after band of Militia, building Villages to house them. Their raids enabled me to acquire solid incomes of Gold and Silver. From time to time, Patrick had success limiting my access to my Dominion, but my pressure was greater, and once my acquisition of lands began, there was no stopping me.

---Scores:
---Me 41 (Militias + Villages)
---Patrick 27 (Militias + Treasures)



Big Money
Patrick believed that prayer would be the salvation of his people, opening up a Chapel for his people. I threw a Feast for my people and assured them that hard work in the Mines would result in glory for us all. I strengthened the seat of power, building a lavish Throne Room, and had a Laboratory built to extend the reach of my power. Meanwhile Patrick ruthlessly pared down his kingdom, stripping away all the pittances of the previous ruler. Strangely, he settled early on Duchies instead of biding his time for Provinces.

From my Throne Room I granted boon after boon to my people in the Mine and great progress was made. I secured a quick-travelling Adventurer to range my Kingdom and bring back the treasures of the mines in a more expeditious manner. With my economy humming, I build several Markets so that I could turn all these riches into many acquisitions. Just as my Markets opened for business and my acquisition of Provinces began in earnest, word came from across the border: Patrick had succeeded. The humble faith of his people has brought victory.

Scores:
---Patrick 30 (Chapels + Treasures)
---Me 27 (Throne Rooms + Mines + Markets)



Interaction
My first task was to employ a Thief in hopes of picking the pockets of my opponent. Whether he caught wind of this or no, I cannot say, but word spread that he had hired a Militia. There would be no cordial relationships between our kingdoms. I hired a Spy to see if I could interfere with the general business of my enemy. And we found early success, interfering with incomes and stealing away others.

I appointed a Festival for my people as a way to bring them together and to synchronize our efforts. While all this was going on, Patrick hired more Militia and even acquired an early Province. My people drank and debauched themselves as Patrick quickly acquired 4 Provinces.

I rallied my people, a kingdom of Thieves and Spies, and our efforts became more successful, misdirecting Patrick's Militias and upsetting and stealing the incomes he was expecting.

Oh, my people had a brief burst of success, securing two Provinces and a Duchy, but wave after wave of Militia disabled my kingdom, and my people had no chance as Patrick's fame grew.

Scores:
---Patrick: 45 (Militias + Golds)
---Me: 28 (Spys + Thiefs + Festival/Village)



Size Distortion
It was a dark time for both our peoples, so desperate were we all for land. Whether for the good or no, we cast our lot in with the Witches. My Witches said their best work would happen with Laboratories devoted to their craft and knowledge, so I secured them. As time went on and my Witches poisoned the kingdom of my opponent, my people demanded a Chapel at which they could offer prayers to the supernatural powers that had seemed to give preference to our people.

Patrick, crippled by curses, limped along as my people eliminated inefficiency and exorcised some of the curses that plagued the land. My people rose to glory, fated to be leaders of this world!

---Scores:
---Me: 37 (Witches + Laboratories + Golds)
---Patrick: 14 (Witches + Golds - 7 Curses)



Village Square
I commissioned Smiths for work, and their hard work resulted in Gold incomes early while Patrick's Woodcutting people labored to the same strategy.

There was nothing else done. The sole focus of this struggle for prominence came down to the work of the Smiths versus the work of the Woodcutters. I gained two Provinces, but Patrick quickly followed. I took two more, and Patrick's people stumbled, only allowing him to gain one. I bought a Duchy just before Patrick acquired the last Province and my people rejoiced!

---Scores:
---Me: 30 (2 Smiths + Golds)
---Patrick: 27 (2 Woodcutters + Golds)



Following up...
I tried to avoid easy picks like Chapel decks, and sometimes made sub-optimal purchases to either stick to theme or to play in tactical opposition to Patrick. Still, a fun way to play, and I'm learning more about why certain acquisitions lead to inefficiency.

I'm still bored, Man City and Swansea both lost, so I might just fire up the Intrigue 10's...
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Ben Schomp
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familygaming wrote:
(By "casual player", I mean someone who doesn't read strategy articles (and so who still doesn't understand how the Chapel/Chancellor deck works...don't tell me because I don't want to know).)


cool
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Max DuBoff
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dabowsa wrote:
familygaming wrote:
(By "casual player", I mean someone who doesn't read strategy articles (and so who still doesn't understand how the Chapel/Chancellor deck works...don't tell me because I don't want to know).)


cool


I was a casual player until I started playing my friend online and playing random opponents too. Then I became an apprentice in the art of engine-building.
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Jeremy Avery
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MD1616 wrote:
dabowsa wrote:
familygaming wrote:
(By "casual player", I mean someone who doesn't read strategy articles (and so who still doesn't understand how the Chapel/Chancellor deck works...don't tell me because I don't want to know).)


cool


I was a casual player until I started playing my friend online and playing random opponents too. Then I became an apprentice in the art of engine-building.


The problem is that I play most of my games with casual players and casual gamers, so if I *do* read strategy articles, I win all playings and it makes it less sporting for all players involved.

It's tough: I like playing games well, but play them too well with casuals and you will have no one to play with!
 
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Matt E
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As far as I know, the "Chapel/Chancellor" deck isn't a thing. The point of Chancellor is to shuffle your deck more often so that you can use your new cards faster. The point of Chapel is to trash all your bad cards so that you have a small deck of all good cards. If you have one, you don't want the other.
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Kenny VenOsdel
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LastFootnote wrote:
As far as I know, the "Chapel/Chancellor" deck isn't a thing. The point of Chancellor is to shuffle your deck more often so that you can use your new cards faster. The point of Chapel is to trash all your bad cards so that you have a small deck of all good cards. If you have one, you don't want the other.


They could still work together. Chancellor doesn't always help you avoid coppers or estates if they are still in your deck. A chapel/chancellor deck could work well. Consider also that if you have a thin deck with only a few golds the chancellor helps you get back at them after a Province purchase, rather than drawing a poor hand.
 
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Jeremy Avery
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kvenosdel wrote:
LastFootnote wrote:
As far as I know, the "Chapel/Chancellor" deck isn't a thing. The point of Chancellor is to shuffle your deck more often so that you can use your new cards faster. The point of Chapel is to trash all your bad cards so that you have a small deck of all good cards. If you have one, you don't want the other.


They could still work together. Chancellor doesn't always help you avoid coppers or estates if they are still in your deck. A chapel/chancellor deck could work well. Consider also that if you have a thin deck with only a few golds the chancellor helps you get back at them after a Province purchase, rather than drawing a poor hand.
\


La-la-la-LA! I'M NOT LISTENING!

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Dave Green
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And people say Dominion doesn't have a theme!
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