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Subject: What would your strategy be with these kingdom cards? rss

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John Clark
Australia
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OK, here is your setup of kingdom cards:

Witch
Thief
Moneylender
Militia
Beaurocrat
Chancellor
Woodcutter
Workshop
Feast
Spy

What is the winning strategy? There are no extra actions (except for the Spy). No Chapel or Remodel. No way to counter the Thief or Witch.

What would be your first two buys? (5/2 or 4/3)

What would be your general plan after that?

I imagine that this setup would be one of the most hated possible.

(edited to reflect suggestions below)
 
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Lance Bailey
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For 'completeness' sake, ask what you would buy with a 5 copper / 2 copper draw, and a 3 copper / 4 copper draw.
 
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AxonDomini
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Actually, the Spy could help counter the Witch by discarding it before you opponent gets it in hand (at least if you're lucky), and the Militia/Woodcutter both help counter the Thief by providing unstealable treasure.

It is a tough action pool, though. My 4/3 buy would probably be a cautious Militia/Chancellor or possibly Workshop/Chancellor in case someone goes for Thieves. My 5/2 would be Witch/No Buy since there's no Cellar or Chapel.

Later on I would add a couple of Spies for deck control, which I think would be pretty important in this action pool. With no defenses I'd want to reduce the number of Witches I get hit with while increasing my own odds of drawing a Witch. If nobody goes for Thieves the Bureaucrat and Moneylender become more attractive, especially in combination (reducing coppers while increasing silvers). The Chancellor also may be worth looking at if Thieves are in play, allowing you the possibility of playing your Witches in close succession, reducing the number of curses that are available to hit YOU, and also giving you unstealable treasure.

After estimating the threat level of thieves I would do the following:

Without thieves:

Witch, Spy, Bureaucrat, Moneylender, Woodcutter (for a treasure heavy deck with few coppers)

With thieves in play I would include:

Witch, Spy, Workshop/Militia, Chancellor (combined with the Spy I should have pretty good control over my own deck's performance)

 
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Carc >> BSG
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I'm probably going to get Witches, Bureaucrats and Chancellors. Witches will ping my opponents, Bureaucrats will bring some silver into my deck which I'll use to buy Gold and Chancellors will add 2 coin to my buy phase while helping me get to my gold and silver faster.

I may add Spies to help me avoid curses and vps.
 
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John Clark
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Just to add my own opinion here, I think that whoever controls the Thieves will do well. Whatever gold is bought will be thieved very quickly. My first buy would be thief and silver (4/3), then another thief.

I am very doubtful that players will get 8 treasures very often, so I would then buy Feasts for Dutchies and Witches and pick up the odd spy as well in order to get the silvers and golds on top of decks for the thief. End the game as fast as possible by depleting the decks of Feasts, Duchies and Thieves/Curses.
 
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Tim Seitz
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Glen Allen
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4/3 Workshop/Feast - Workshop for more feasts or maybe a bureaucrat, feasts to witches/duchies, then workshop silvers. Game will end with feasts/curses run out and maybe duchies.

5/2 Witch/nothing - then follow above strategy. Alternatively, I might work on militia and getting gold, trying to score points since the game score will be very low. 2 provinces might win it.
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B C Z
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With no +actions in the mix (except spy), you're limited to one non-spy action per turn.

So - what I do depends a bit on my opponent's actions, but I'll be focusing on coinage/treasures.
 
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Marcel Sagel
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This is a tough set, and the game will probably be ugly and maybe long.

There is of course the threat of the thief, but money sources that can't be stolen are not that good because you can only ever play one per turn. This means you cannot get by without getting at least some Silver. Getting a lot of Gold, however, will most likely lead to opponents grabbing lots of Thieves.

I think it's unlikely a lot of Provinces will be bought. Most likely is an end caused by three piles depleted, curses almost certainly being one of them. So final scores will be relatively low and curses will play a part.
So an early witch seems like a good idea (the more curses you give to your opponents, the fewer they can give to you) and duchies and maybe even estates should not be ignored.

How dangerous the thieves are, will depend on a lot of things. Number of opponents (more opponents generally make Thief a better card), strategies of all the players (how much Silver/Gold is available in the total environment?), and previous Thieves bought (sometimes the best defense against a Thief is a Thief).

What strategy to follow mid-game will be dictated by the play environment, and thus mostly by how the thief-situation pans out. Withces will be a problem no matter what (unless you have the most of them, LOL)

So I'll take a Witch at the first opportunity, and apart from that I try to remain flexible and not commit too much to any strategy.
That means, in a 2/5 opening I will certainly get Nothing/Witch (nothing worthwile for a cost of 2 unfortunately).
In a 3/4 opening, it's a tough call but I think Chancellor (+2 non-stealable coins and deck control) / Feast (get a Witch as soon as you can) might be the best start. But most of the other 4-coin buys are attractive as well (Thief itself being the worst), like I said it's a tough call.
 
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Everett Scheer
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3/4 workshop/feast or workshop/militia dependant on if I see witches go early or not. I'd try to deplete 3 stacks (chances are it would be curses/feast/duchy) Use feasts (or militia to get to 5) for duchies, workshop to get feasts.

2/5 is rough, witch/copper or witch/no buy. again see if opponents are setting up for witches or not. If not, go for money. If they are going for witches, grab workshops and play like above
 
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Kirkwb
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3/4 - Silver / Money Lender. After that, Buying order goes Gold, Witch, Feast (for Witches), Silver (You only want to buy about 2 or 3 Silver in the early game though) and skip buying anything at 2. When all the Curses are gone work on Provinces (which you may be able to grab a couple if you've bought gold off your Money Lender) and Dutchies. With no extra Actions your best bet is Play Witches and Buy or Money Lender yourself into Gold whenever you can. Then when the Curses clear out you can Concentrate on using the Witches to draw into more Coins for Victory Buys.

5/2 Witch / Nothing Then same as above but only buy 1 Money Lender all game.


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Nick King
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I'm in agreement with kirkwb, I go Moneylender/Silver on the 4/3, and Witch on the 5/2.

If my opponent ignores witch I'll buy as many as possible, if they tend to be buying them reactionary, I'll stop. If they continue buying, I'll continue buying.

I'd go mostly money and Bureaucrat/Militia after the witch situation, offsetting thieves with bureaucrats, ie, if opponent is buying mega thieves, I'll buy more bureaucrats, less thieves, more militia, but not drowning my deck in either.

Basically, playing 2p, with no moat and witches in play, you have to mitigate by buying and playing witches. Thats a game winner or loser almost immediately.

Next, you have to mitigate thieves, again, only if in play. if no one is buying them, i ignore them, if they do buy them, you need to utilize bureaucrat and militia to control thier hand. bureaucrat makes their next hand 4 cards and militia makes thier current hand 3 cards. without actions and draws to compensate, they will have a rough time.

To end the game I'd pay particularly close attention to score, especially curse counts, and try to stay just ahead of opponent while depleting low stacks of cards I want in my deck.
 
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Tim Seitz
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ohgeetee wrote:
Basically, playing 2p, with no moat and witches in play, you have to mitigate by buying and playing witches. Thats a game winner or loser almost immediately.

Even in 3er...

With this type of deck, I have often seen single digit scores win the game. With curses hitting every turn, and no way to remove them, it becomes difficult to build a decent deck.

Since there is no defense to curses and there are 10 for 2 players, both players must deplete the deck or risk being at an insurmountable disadvantage. With 2, the curse pile will be depleted first. I think the Feast pile would go next as a way to ensure witches, but also as a way to ensure being able to use them to get Duchies. Feasts and Duchies will be depleted next, most likely. As I said previously, it MAY be possible to grab a Province or two with a milita/money strategy, but I would not bet on it.

With 3 players and 20 curses, it's even more important to get witches going hard, and thus the witch stack gets depleted first and then the Curse stack. The Feast stack then becomes a way to get witches in lieu of 5 coins, and so that stack goes very quickly, and the remaining Feasts would be wisely used to grab Duchies. An attempt to build up money to buy provinces will likely fail with 2 other players throwing curses. It's just way to slow, and the one province you could manage to snag before being overwhelmed by curses would not make much of a difference.
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Andrew Mitchell
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Without additional actions, you can't turbo thief. Hence just witch and get to gold, province and you will beat a thiever. However if there are 3 thievers madly thieving, you need to reconsider.

2p:
4/3 Feast + silver (maybe Feast + workshop).
Get yourself two witches asap, either through buying one or buying another feast [if you only have 3 then buy a silver].
After that, witch whenever possible and buy silver, gold, province.
5/2 Witch + nothing. Basically repeat strategy as above.

3p: same as above but probably get that third witch along the way.
If the thieving gets large from the other players, get a workshop or two, then decide to either duchy the game out or push through to gold and province.

4p:
4/3 Feast + workshop.
Get 3 witches, obtaining feasts as needed, buying silvers along the way.
Then if everyone is thieving, get workshop, feast, duchy
If not too much thieving then proceed as per 3 player.

 
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David Hunter
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I've played this set of cards as a random draw with four players... It was brutal and quick. Basically I loaded up on witches (got four of them) and the witch pile and the curses rapidly depleted. Several of the other players had bought spies such that there were only 3 left, so I decided that since I had been cursed relatively less I would go for a quick finish buying estates, duchies and spies depending on the draw. I won a few turns later the only player with positive points...

 
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Tony Chen
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kirkwb wrote:
3/4 - Silver / Money Lender. After that, Buying order goes Gold, Witch, Feast (for Witches), Silver (You only want to buy about 2 or 3 Silver in the early game though) and skip buying anything at 2. When all the Curses are gone work on Provinces (which you may be able to grab a couple if you've bought gold off your Money Lender) and Dutchies. With no extra Actions your best bet is Play Witches and Buy or Money Lender yourself into Gold whenever you can. Then when the Curses clear out you can Concentrate on using the Witches to draw into more Coins for Victory Buys.

5/2 Witch / Nothing Then same as above but only buy 1 Money Lender all game.



I was going to post something like that. You probably don't want more than 2 or 3 Witches though. Any number of Spies would be good also. 1 Militia might be good early game, but later it might be just wasted on Curses and Estates.

Priority:
Witch (may use Feast), up to 2 (or 3 depending on the deck size)
Gold, unlimited
Moneylender, up to 1
Silver, up to 3 (or maybe more later depending on how bad the Curses get).
Spies, unlimited

So I would rush to 2 Witches as fast as possible. Even if I had 6 coins I'd buy my second Witch. If I have 4 coins I'd buy a Feast. Moneylend to keep my deck lean and convert Coppers to Silvers and Golds. When you have 4 coins or less to spend, get Spies to protect against Thief (and it's a useful card by itself that costs nothing to draw and play).

You don't want more than 1 dead end action card (Witch, Moneylender) per 5 cards in your "true" deck size (deck size minus number of Spies). So after you've reached saturation on Witches and Moneylender (2/3 and 1 of each respectively), you will want to buy Spy or Silver even when you have 5 coins.

Without the Chapel and with the Curses, Thief shouldn't be a problem.
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Tony Chen
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If you reach under-saturation in your dead end action cards, Militia and Bureaucrat are good also. Again, saturation is when you have 1 dead end action card per 5 card in your "true" deck size. For example, if my deck has 10 Coppers and 12 Markets, my true deck size is 10. If I add 5 Thieves to that deck, it will be saturated (or close to it).

Depending on how bad the Curse gets, you may want to aim for either Provinces, or Duchies and another pile to end the game (Estates probably). If it's a high econ game, Militia is probably better. Low one, maybe Bureaucrat.

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Ryan Strand
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Silver/Moneylender
 
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Robert Freeman
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Ah, this setup (well, a particular combo within this setup) is what I call 'nuclear war'. The combo is simple:

Witch and no defense card, or card that removes curses from your deck.

What's the overall strategy? Witches and cards to help you get witches! Specifically, I'd go with chancellor/feast/witch. I'd probably only get 1-2 chancellors, and then switch to silver on turns where I only have 3 coin. After that, you just pound away with the curses, and after the witch deck is empty, stock up on money.

If there's no way to protect yourself, or empty out the curses, I guarantee you, the winner will be the player who uses witch the most often.
 
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John Anderson
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robertmfreeman wrote:
If there's no way to protect yourself, or empty out the curses, I guarantee you, the winner will be the player who uses witch the most often.
Yes this is a pretty safe bet. Recently in a 2p game, I got 9 curses and only was able to give my opponent 1. Yes I should have done more to cut down that gap, but when he's able to buy 2 witches in the first 3 turns it was tough.
 
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