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Subject: Chapel Solo Strategy rss

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Drew Spencer
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The Chapel strategies mentioned in other strategy articles here seem to indicate that the best strategy is Chapel + some other action, usually something that will draw you a bunch of cards. However, I've had great success the past couple games with a Chapel solo strategy.

1: Buy a Chapel and Silver first two turns
2: Buy 2 more Silvers while trashing all Coppers and Estates
3: Buy 3 Golds total while trashing all Silvers
4: The remainder of the game, buy Province if possible, Gold otherwise, or nothing.

Now I've only played two games with this, and both were two player, but they both game a remarkable lead against a player I consider otherwise equally good at this game. The first time I ended with a deck consisting of 6 Gold, 6 Provinces, and the Chapel. The second time I ended with 8 Gold, 8 Provinces, and the Chapel. Remember that in a 2-player game there are only 8 Provinces available.

So I'm looking for responses from those players who have played 200+ games: Did I get lucky? Is Chapel + Whatever better than this? I hope it is, because those games made me never want to play with the Chapel available ever again.
 
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David desJardins
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You aren't, by some chance, allowing yourself to spend the money on a card that you trash that turn with the Chapel? I don't really see how trashing Silvers, especially, can work that well for you. If you have enough money to buy a Province, don't you want to just do that, rather than trashing a Silver and leaving yourself only enough money to buy Gold? Or trashing multiple Silvers and buying nothing?
 
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Andrew Mitchell
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I think a big part of this is that your opponent needs to pick up some game strategy...
The strategy you describe is probably about one to two turns faster than the buy-no-action-cards strategy, and it sounds like your opponent was well beneath even this simplest strategy.
Your choice to buy only one chapel instead of two has the risk that you will not draw a chapel on turns 3 or 4 and will draw chapel with a couple of silvers on turn 5... then no chapel on turns 6 or 7 (and sometimes 8 as well). If you are playing against a novice strategist then purchasing chapels on turns 1 and 3 can protect against this (purchase a silver on turn 2) but is usually slightly slower.

I'm also a little surprised by your choice to chapel the silvers. Chapelling a silver and buying more gold results in either a long buildup to get 6+ gold, or else quick dilution of the gold once you have a couple of provinces.

Now that you have both reached this new stage of enlightenment w.r.t your strategies, you might find the game boring, or you may find interest in tweaking the strategy when other cards are about, or finding a different but better strategy with gardens.
I agree that it can get a little boring when everyone is playing exactly the same strategy, however usually there is another card in your set of 10 such that can help out somewhere.
Try bringing in a third virtual player into your games who buys nothing but silver, gold, province... and see when you do and don't beat that player.
 
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Allan Clements
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It does sound like you are spending the silver and trashing it at the same time.

In order to trash silver with the chapel and still buy gold you would need to have a hand of Chapel and 4 silvers. Spend 3 silvers on a gold and trash the remaining silver card. With only one chapel the chances are low you would get rid of all your estates and copper to make this perfect hand turn up, especially if you are buying silver with the copper.
 
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Drew Spencer
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Kamakaze wrote:
It does sound like you are spending the silver and trashing it at the same time.

In order to trash silver with the chapel and still buy gold you would need to have a hand of Chapel and 4 silvers. Spend 3 silvers on a gold and trash the remaining silver card. With only one chapel the chances are low you would get rid of all your estates and copper to make this perfect hand turn up, especially if you are buying silver with the copper.


I don't think I was quite clear enough. I am playing correctly, though perhaps not optimally. After I have 2 silvers I trash my remaining copper and buy 1 more silver. Then I buy 1 gold. Then I trash 1 silver and buy 1 gold. Then I trash the other 2 silver and buy 1 gold. At this point my deck consists of 3 gold and 1 chapel and that's all. That's when I start buying Provinces.

So yes, I have at least 2 turns when I could buy provinces but choose to streamline my deck by trashing silver instead. Maybe I just got lucky, but doing that for the rest of the game I was always able to buy a gold or Province except maybe one turn which was wasted because I drew fewer than 2 gold.
 
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Ryan Anderson
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After losing horribly with a garden deck I tried this as well last night except I threw in some cellars and marketplaces.

I had a 5/2 coin start so I grabbed a market and a chapel.
Immediately started dumping estates while buying silver. After about two silver I started dumping my copper.
Once I had enough silver to buy gold I bought Gold until I had two or so and dumped my silver.

My strategy was this. If I had five coins I bought a market. If I had six I bought a Gold.Once I started pulling enough gold to buy provinces I bought markets when I had 5 gold, provinces with over 8 and cellars when I had two gold or so left over.

I would market and cellar (discarding provinces) through my entire deck almost every turn and always had enought to buy one or two provinces. My deck was 5 markets, two cellars, one chapel, four gold and 7 provinces. Many of those bought on the same turn (Province + Marketplace + Cellar).

I won 42 to 24 in a two player game. It was pretty quick.
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M Scholtz
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Interesting. I haven't played 200 games yet but my thought is: what's the best way to beat this strategy?

Seems it's very vulnerable to thief in mid game. Vulnerable to militia in early-mid game. Were those avail in the game you played? I might try those if I didn't feel like racing using a simliar strat.

Countering chapel strats is one of my missions in life, so I'd appreciate any ideas others have.
 
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Kevin Peters Unrau
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sparky wrote:
Countering chapel strats is one of my missions in life, so I'd appreciate any ideas others have.


Last night my chapel strategy got blown out of the water by a witch thief combo. Rather than getting my hand down under 5 and thus taking the thief out of the pitcure, the witch kept giving me curse cards to take my hand to six and the next turn the thief would steal a gold. This happened four times! Not to mention my opponent bought a witch on the first turn so I was getting curses early and often which really slowed down the initial thinning.

The next game we each tried a chapel deck with witch and thief to shtong the other guy. My opponent didn't thin out the Estates which is normally considered sub-optimal but in this case it kept my thief from ever getting one of his golds. And he won by 2 points!

To be fair, this game could have gone either way. He did have one hand where he got a chapel and three curse cards whereas I never had more than one curse in hand at a time (we split them fairly equally). Had that opportunity been mine the win conditions would have been reversed so I'd say the "keep the estates" variant is probably only equally strong in this set-up.
 
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