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Subject: Seeking advise after about 5 plays rss

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Eric Bridge
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Hi there,

I've won a couple of games, and lost a couple so far. My mindset so far has been that if I have 6 money (in start to mid-game), buy a Gold, and if I have 8, buy a province. But I'm wondering if there would ever be exceptions to this. The main questions I have, from a strategic standpoint, with the starting line-up are these:

What pays off more, Mine or Market?
If you have 4, do you get an action card or a silver?
If mining, should I upgrade a copper to a silver, or a silver to a gold?
If I have 6 and two buys, do you get one gold or two silver, or something completely different?
Is it stupid to Remodel my starting Estates into Silvers? (It's worked pretty well for me so far.)

As you can tell, most of my strategies thus far have been around getting money as fast as possible. But it back-fired last night in my first 4 player game, because Points cards started disappearing faster than I could buy a lot of them. Without any + Buys in my deck I sometimes had 12+ money in my hand and had to buy a Dutchy, or worse (at the end of the game), 1 puny Estate. Your thoughts?

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Myke Madsen
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I'm not a super-experienced player, but I'll have a crack at your questions:

Question 1: I'm curious why you're directly comparing Mine and Market. I'm not saying you shouldn't, but that the connection isn't obvious to me.

Question 2: Are you talking about the first turn? Second turn? A more revealing question might be: what's your preferred two-turn opening?

Question 3: Your EV of any given hand is going to be the same no matter which route you take, but you're going to have a higher variance if you're upgrading silvers->gold rather than coppers->silver. Of course if you have other ways of trashing your coppers (Moneylender, Chapel, Remodel) then you'd probably want to upgrade a few cards all the way to Gold.

Question 4: If you need money, I'd definitely buy one Gold.

Question 5: Many people Chapel some of those Estates to improve their deck. I'm not sure if Remodeling them works as well, but it seems to follow a maxim of lots of Euro-engine-building games: early money >> early VPs.
 
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Bryon Quick
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Eugene
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Are you only playing with the basic setup?

I ask, because last night was my first time playing with the Thief (as part of the "Size Distortion" suggested setup). I quickly realized that acquiring any money but copper seemed like a waste of time, and I had to figure out how to get the most VP on as few money as possible (I loaded up on Woodcutters, Workshops, and Gardens.

And the answers to all of your questions depend on what other cards are available, where you are in the game, and what cards you have collected to that point. In fact, they are so dependent, I can't even give you general guidelines.


 
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Werner Bär
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ebridge wrote:
Without any + Buys in my deck I sometimes had 12+ money in my hand and had to buy a Dutchy, or worse (at the end of the game), 1 puny Estate.

You can always buy a province with that amount of money. If they are gone, the game ands.
 
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Dick Hunt
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ebridge wrote:
Hi there,

The main questions I have, from a strategic standpoint, with the starting line-up are these:

What pays off more, Mine or Market?
If you have 4, do you get an action card or a silver?
If mining, should I upgrade a copper to a silver, or a silver to a gold?
If I have 6 and two buys, do you get one gold or two silver, or something completely different?
Is it stupid to Remodel my starting Estates into Silvers? (It's worked pretty well for me so far.)


The problem with such questions is the very "liquidity" of this game, which is its biggest strength. Because there is no one strategy that always wins the game, the answer to ALL of your questions is a rock-solid "it depends on the situation."

The most basic strategy I've seen work consistently is pretty old as board games go: in the early game, go for cash. Late in the game, go for Victory Points. As always, the key is identifying the tipping point where you need to switch from your cash-hungry moves to point-hungry ones. This is especially true in Dominions, where grabbing points too early only clutters your hand with VP cards that don't do anything else for you until the game is over.

Beyond that basic advice, every game will be different if you randomly choose the Kingdom cards you use (as I always do). The one pattern I have noticed: if your game has lots of Action cards in it but no Moats, the game will take longer to play than usual as players keep trying to out-hammer each other instead of collecting money or points.

Other key points:

Before every game, note how many of the Kingdom Cards you're using give you extra cards, how many give you extra buys, and how many give you extra actions (and any combinations of these three, of course). If there is only one or two cards that give you any of these things, they'll be precious.

If there are lots of action cards that give you extra buys, make sure you have extra money!

If there are lots of cards that give you extra cards, it's okay to start collecting Victory Point cards earlier than usual.

If there are lots of actions that give you extra actions, make sure you collect action cards that do you some real good. Having 3 Villages is useless if they keep coming up together, causing you to waste all those unused extra actions. If you've got 3 Villages in your deck, you'd better have a LOT of other action cards for them to trigger!

Finally, don't be the only player ignoring Garden cards. If others seem to be ignoring them, make sure you collect lots of them, and then stuff your hand with cheap cards in order to get the number of cards in your deck as high as you can. Garden cards are like nukes--if ANYBODY has them, EVERYONE needs to get them in order to feel safe.
 
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Yaron Racah
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If I understand correctly, your questions all pertain to the basic setup. Assuming that, here are some thoughts:

Mine vs. Market: Mines might be too slow for the basic setup, which has the Villages/Smithies/Remodels/Mmarkets to end the game quickly. In a slower setup (with no card drawing actions), Mines are more powerful.

4-cost action vs. Silver: The basic setup offers some rather powerful 4-cost actions, which are generally preferable to Silver. For example, Militia is the same as silver, but also hurts your opponents. However, if you purchase many action cards, don't forget to get some Villages, in case you draw more than one action in the same turn (when you have 3 coins, first go for Silver, to get you on your way to buying gold, then, if you have many action cards, buy some Villages).

Mine upgrades: Upgrading Silver to Gold gives you higher variance, which is a good thing (you hit Provinces earlier). Upgrading Copper to Silver reduces the risk of having nothing to upgrade. Both effects are small, and it's not a major issue.

Gold vs. 2 buys: Gold is always preferable to 2 Silvers. Look at it this way: two Silvers are roughly equal to Gold+Copper (2 cards, adding up to 4 coins). But losing the extra Copper is a good thing (Copper is a sub-par card that dilutes your deck). In some cases, you might want to get 2 villages (if you've overloaded on smithies), but usually Gold is correct.

Remodeling Estates: excellent idea. Of course, just like when buying with 4 coins, Silver is not the only valid target - there are some excellent 4-cost actions in the basic setup.

12+ coins a turn: it's good to get an early market or two (or ten), to get those extra buys without sacrificing anything else. However, even with no Market, you can always but a Province (if there are no Provinces available, the game has ended).

Yaron

 
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Mark Campo
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Bah my head isnt on right right now.. but for me it boils down to Actions Vs Buys, Vs Money

Need Money to buy actions = Buy Gold

Need Actions to increase gold = Buy Actions+

need to fix deck from inital buys and vs opponents plays = by chapels and remodels and vaults(black hole thing)

dilema = Ive cycled thought my deck but i still aint bought anything good, p.s your getting to many actions buy gold

dilema 2 = ive got the gold but no actions by more action getting actions that get buys,

dilema 3 = limited or no buy actions

dilema 4 = limited or no action getters..

dilema 5 = my last game i won but now my hand is full or curses or my gold been stolen!

Im getting loads gold but only one buy or action,= p.s buy more actions,

the real trickis factoreig yoru card cycle with the victory points you pick up.

i think more card cycles are better, but only with more play will get a fine balance, and it allways depends on the cards


will you be cursed? will you need money action rather then actions?
do you need more cards or less cards can you, do a quick points reap and end game quickly or do you need game to drag on a bit...?


even thought you get 10 cards to choose from some of them might be out right no's for your tactic or set up.
 
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