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Steve Duff
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As it says, you may put your deck into your discard pile. Therefore, you'll shuffle and draw from your entire deck next time.

Do it if you feel most of your good stuff is in the discard pile, and you want to get access to it sooner.
 
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Sheamus Parkes
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Buy it early and keep track of your silvers and estates. If more estates are in your draw pile than silvers, then use the Chancellor's ability. If you have more silvers in your draw pile, then don't.

It's very effective. Once you start buying Provinces though, the ability is generally bad since you don't want to cycle those back in quickly.
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
As it says, you may put your deck into your discard pile. Therefore, you'll shuffle and draw from your entire deck next time.


You might shuffle and draw from your entire deck this time if you still have Actions remaining.

Example: Village + Chancellor + Smithy.
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Robert Rossney
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I think that counting VP cards to decide whether or not you should use the Chancellor only really matters fairly late in the game.

In the early game it's almost always a good idea to use the Chancellor's ability. Early in the game, the cards you're buying are significantly improving your deck. (If that's not true, you have bigger problems than "How do I use the Chancellor?") The faster you cycle your deck, the sooner you'll have a chance to draw these good cards. About the only time I wouldn't use the Chancellor would be if I knew for a fact that the last five cards in my deck contained something obviously powerful like a Gold, Laboratory, or Festival. And even then, if I've been buying Festivals I'd do it anyway, because drawing two Festivals is often more than twice as good as drawing one.
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David F
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Correct use of the Chancellor: don't buy it.
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selwyth wrote:
Correct use of the Chancellor: don't buy it.


Gotta disagree with you David. I think it's a good virtual money card (nice vs. thief, for example) and it's great for getting your newer cards into play more quickly. I look at it this way: How often would I like for my opponent to get a chance to start with a fresh deck? Not very often. Particularly if he bought a gold the turn before.
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Dave Kudzma
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selwyth wrote:
Correct use of the Chancellor: don't buy it.


It's certainly not always the strongest card, but the more often you turn over your deck the better. Turnover wins games when the Chancellor is strong. How often varies by player, but I certainly wouldn't ignore it.
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David desJardins
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Correct use of the Chancellor: buy Chancellor/Silver and draw Chancellor/Silver/Copper/Copper/Estate or better on turn three (16.8% chance).
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Greg Jones
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There are a few different virtues of cards in Dominion that I look out for. One of the less important ones, but still important in some sets, is the ability to "skip" useless cards in your deck, and draw better ones instead. Several cards give you this ability. The Cellar obviously does. The Spy does by letting you discard the top card of your deck if you look at it and decide it's not very useful; it also does the reverse to your opponents by getting their less-useful cards into their hands more often.

The Chancellor can do this too, but it does it less reliably. If you're lucky, you draw all your great cards as the first half of your deck, then your Chancellor, and the useless cards are on the bottom. At least half the time, it doesn't work that way. But when it does work, it's better than the Cellar or the Spy. It skips a whole half-deckfull of bad cards.

This is probably only worthwhile when a significant portion of your deck is not useful. For example, if you are playing a Gardens strategy or get a lot of curses.
 
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Greg Jones
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Correct use of the Chancellor: buy Chancellor/Silver and draw Chancellor/Silver/Copper/Copper/Estate or better on turn three (16.8% chance).


I play this pretty infrequently, but I do play it. When it hits, it's brilliant. When it doesn't, you probably could have done something better. I prefer Silver/Moneylender or Silver/Militia.

I used to try Throne Room/Chancellor, but when this misses it's really bad. Your Throne Room becomes a useless card. I've stopped playing this. I now have a policy of waiting until I have at least three or four action cards before buying a Throne Room. There's no advantage to Throne Room/Chancellor over Silver/Chancellor, unless you prefer the Throne Room over the Silver for your deck long term.
 
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morningstar wrote:
This is probably only worthwhile when a significant portion of your deck is not useful. For example, if you are playing a Gardens strategy or get a lot of curses.


It's really the opposite, it's most useful at the start of the game, when every turn you're usually adding a new card to your discard deck that's much better than the average of what you already have, so the average value in your discard deck is significantly greater than what's in your draw pile.

But I think you still have to get lucky to make it pay off. If Dominion: Intrigue has a good $4 card to pair with the Chancellor, then it might become a good early buy when that combo comes up.
 
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Claim: Don't ever buy the Chancellor.

Proof:
There's no point buying him after the first two turns, as mentioned in earlier posts, because he's most useful when your deck is small and crappy.

-> So buy him in the first two turns.

No point buying him when you have a 5-2 split, as the 5 card will undoubtedly help you. So you should only consider him when you have a 3-4 split.

But buying 2 action cards in your first 2 turns without Action +1 isn't a good move, because there's a high chance you'll draw them both in the same hand in your second run through the deck, causing one of your precious early card slots in your hand to be dead weight.

The only 3 action cards that have Action +1 and are 3 or 4-cost are Village, Spy, Throne Room.

Spy: not a good early-game card, best bought mid or late-game when you have nothing better to spend 4 on.

Throne Room: Buying Throne Room is the same as buying 2 action cards without Action +1 because you might draw the Throne Room by itself, again causing one of your precious early card slots in your hand to be dead weight.

Village: Maybe, but you could have spent that 4 on a 4-cost card instead of a Village.

-> It's best to buy the Chancellor with a Silver in the first two turns, except maybe if you want Chancellor + Villager.

However, buying Silver + Chancellor is far inferior to other 3-4 openings with Silver. Consider Silver + Silver, Silver + Militia (my favorite), Silver + Moneylender. All these openings give you maximum benefit, regardless of how you draw your 5-card hand in your 2nd run-through. There is no chance for the full potential of your deck to not be realized with these openings (except in the exceedingly rare Silver + Moneylender case where you draw Silver, Moneylender and 3 Estates).

For Silver + Chancellor, the best possible case (you draw Silver + Chancellor + at least 2 Copper) gives you a tiny advantage over the other openings (in the form of quicker cycling). But there are cases where Silver + Chancellor handicaps you with respect to the other openings (which are riskless) in the second run-through.
- You draw Chancellor in your first half of the deck, with 1-3 Estates in your hand too. (so your deck didn't speed up that much, and you lost the benefit of the 4-action cards)
- You draw Chancellor in the bottom half of the deck (so your deck didn't speed up, and you lost the benefit of the 4-action cards)
- The only way you benefit significantly from the Chancellor, when compared to other openings, in your 2nd run-through is if the Chancellor happens to be in the first 5 cards you draw, and 2-3 Estates happen to be in the next 7.

Conclusion: Other 3-4 openings are better, because they are risk-less. Chancellor needlessly exposes you to the risk of drawing it at the wrong time in your 2nd run-through. Even if you did come out ahead through Silver + Chancellor (you got Gold/Festival/Witch and sped your deck up), the advantage is tiny, and it's unlikely you'll be that lucky again with Chancellor to draw it at such a good time, while your opponent builds his advantage over you every time he uses his Militia or Moneylender. The Chancellor is a heavily luck-based card in a game that is already heavily luck-based.

Don't even think about Chancellor if Chapel's in the setup. The Chancellor can only dream of speeding the deck up the way the Chapel can.

The Chancellor will remain useless until a complementary 4-cost card arrives in the expansions.
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Rob White
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selwyth wrote:
Claim: Don't ever buy the Chancellor.

Proof:
There's no point buying him after the first two turns, as mentioned in earlier posts, because he's most useful when your deck is small and crappy.

-> So buy him in the first two turns.

No point buying him when you have a 5-2 split, as the 5 card will undoubtedly help you. So you should only consider him when you have a 3-4 split.

But buying 2 action cards in your first 2 turns without Action +1 isn't a good move, because there's a high chance you'll draw them both in the same hand in your second run through the deck, causing one of your precious early card slots in your hand to be dead weight.

The only 3 action cards that have Action +1 and are 3 or 4-cost are Village, Spy, Throne Room.

Spy: not a good early-game card, best bought mid or late-game when you have nothing better to spend 4 on.

Throne Room: Buying Throne Room is the same as buying 2 action cards without Action +1 because you might draw the Throne Room by itself, again causing one of your precious early card slots in your hand to be dead weight.

Village: Maybe, but you could have spent that 4 on a 4-cost card instead of a Village.

-> It's best to buy the Chancellor with a Silver in the first two turns, except maybe if you want Chancellor + Villager.

However, buying Silver + Chancellor is far inferior to other 3-4 openings with Silver. Consider Silver + Silver, Silver + Militia (my favorite), Silver + Moneylender. All these openings give you maximum benefit, regardless of how you draw your 5-card hand in your 2nd run-through. There is no chance for the full potential of your deck to not be realized with these openings (except in the exceedingly rare Silver + Moneylender case where you draw Silver, Moneylender and 3 Estates).

For Silver + Chancellor, the best possible case (you draw Silver + Chancellor + at least 2 Copper) gives you a tiny advantage over the other openings (in the form of quicker cycling). But there are cases where Silver + Chancellor handicaps you with respect to the other openings (which are riskless) in the second run-through.
- You draw Chancellor in your first half of the deck, with 1-3 Estates in your hand too. (so your deck didn't speed up that much, and you lost the benefit of the 4-action cards)
- You draw Chancellor in the bottom half of the deck (so your deck didn't speed up, and you lost the benefit of the 4-action cards)
- The only way you benefit significantly from the Chancellor, when compared to other openings, in your 2nd run-through is if the Chancellor happens to be in the first 5 cards you draw, and 2-3 Estates happen to be in the next 7.

Conclusion: Other 3-4 openings are better, because they are risk-less. Chancellor needlessly exposes you to the risk of drawing it at the wrong time in your 2nd run-through. Even if you did come out ahead through Silver + Chancellor (you got Gold/Festival/Witch and sped your deck up), the advantage is tiny, and it's unlikely you'll be that lucky again with Chancellor to draw it at such a good time, while your opponent builds his advantage over you every time he uses his Militia or Moneylender. The Chancellor is a heavily luck-based card in a game that is already heavily luck-based.

Don't even think about Chancellor if Chapel's in the setup. The Chancellor can only dream of speeding the deck up the way the Chapel can.

The Chancellor will remain useless until a complementary 4-cost card arrives in the expansions.


David,
I didn't read your whole post (promised my boy we'd play some Wildfire dominos in a couple of minutes), but I don't agree with at least part of it. I don't think there is totally agreement that Chancellor is useless after the beginning. And I'm not suggesting buying it in the first two rounds. I think there is a sweet spot for it before the end game though.
Rob
 
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Andrew Hardin
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Unfortunately, your proof begins with the assertion that the Chancellor is only good at the beginning. Since I reject the assertion the resulting proof essential fails at that point.

The Chancellor is not a 'beginning' only card. I actually find it more powerful in the middle game when you have enough cards that redrawing is important but you haven't yet begun building up Province cards.

I think the 'weak point' of the Chancellor is I don't build a strategy around it. It is more the kind of card that fits well into a lot of my 'Action Card Light' or '+Action' decks. But there are a plenty of situations where a +2 Coin Action card is 'better than Silver' and the Chancellor fits into all those situations just fine.

I also disagree with your 'risk-less' approach. The benefit of getting bought Gold back into play quickly is not as small as you would like to claim (decks tend to grow geometrically as they get better and better cards, so the sooner the better in many cases). In a game that often lasts less than 20 rounds speed is always important. I am much more willing to open Silver/Chancellor than Silver/Silver in a number of setups.

The best kind of Chancellor decks that I run into are the ones with weak 4-cost action cards but Market/Festival/Laboratory 5-cost cards. In this situation, the Chancellor/Silver is often a great opening because you can usually put that those cards back in action that much faster and they generate +Action effects. Even if you are unlucky and draw the Chancellor very late you still usually get the Silver benefit. If your draw is really bad then welcome to the reality that a lot of bad draws are going to screw you anyway you go. The worst kind of Chancellor decks are the games with few +Action abilities but which contain a lot of +Card Action cards.

- Lex
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Andrew Hardin
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selwyth wrote:

Conclusion: Other 3-4 openings are better, because they are risk-less. Chancellor needlessly exposes you to the risk of drawing it at the wrong time in your 2nd run-through. Even if you did come out ahead through Silver + Chancellor (you got Gold/Festival/Witch and sped your deck up), the advantage is tiny, and it's unlikely you'll be that lucky again with Chancellor to draw it at such a good time, while your opponent builds his advantage over you every time he uses his Militia or Moneylender. The Chancellor is a heavily luck-based card in a game that is already heavily luck-based.

Don't even think about Chancellor if Chapel's in the setup. The Chancellor can only dream of speeding the deck up the way the Chapel can.

The Chancellor will remain useless until a complementary 4-cost card arrives in the expansions.


Since a proper shuffle presents a statistically independent case, the probability of redrawing the Chancellor does not depend on what happened before. It is often quite likely to been drawn favorably again.

I mostly disagree about the 'tiny advantage' issue. Of the original 10 cards you have 3 dead draws and 7 weak but useful draws. You will draw the Chancellor on Round 3 or 4 five out of six times if you started with Silver/Silver.

Now, in a Silver/Chancellor deck the draw of the Chancellor is as good as a Silver so you didn't lose anything. But you did gain the potential to put your newest buy back in the draw deck.

If you draw the Chancellor on Round 3 with any decent draw your newest buy will get as early as Round 4 and as late as Round 6. Otherwise you have to wait between Round 5 and 7, with the chance of Round 5 reduced by the draw of 2 cards from your original 12.

If you draw the Chancellor on Round 4 you still often improve by immediately putting your deck in for redraw. On Round 5 you will draw from a pile of 2 cards, usually containing at least one of your marginal opening cards.

Now, that is just the opening rounds. The Chancellor will come up again in the next 3 Rounds and the same rules apply.

More importantly, the Chancellor trades a chance of a bad Action/Action draw (easily mitigated in many cases) for a chance to push your deck into the good cards that much faster. As your deck improves it tends to get easier to really improve the deck. That depends on drawing less of the Copper/Estates and more of the 'good stuff' you bought. The Chancellor gives you that ability, and it gives you that ability for the whole game. Running your deck up quickly is very important and in a number of situations the Chancellor can be part of that strategy. It isn't as good as a 5-cost card, and some 4-cost cards are better, but it is a 3-cost card and can be bought in games where it fits.

Late in the game with your deck loaded with Provinces the Chancellor is a more difficult choice. Just after you bought a Province may seem like a bad time to discard but the truth is it might very well be a great time. You just added 1 bad draw to your deck but you also used at least 8 Coin of your deck. Unless you have the luxury of a lot of good Treasure (why aren't you buying Provinces?) the deck might benefit from putting those cards back in action.

I can't really see how many situations where I would mix Chapel/Chancellor but in most of my Chapel decks I wouldn't add the Woodcutter either. Some cards just don't fit certain situations well.

- Lex
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David desJardins
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selwyth wrote:
However, buying Silver + Chancellor is far inferior to other 3-4 openings with Silver. Consider Silver + Silver, Silver + Militia (my favorite), Silver + Moneylender. All these openings give you maximum benefit, regardless of how you draw your 5-card hand in your 2nd run-through.


What if your opponent already has a Library by the time you pick up your Militia?

Quote:
Even if you did come out ahead through Silver + Chancellor (you got Gold/Festival/Witch and sped your deck up), the advantage is tiny


I think that if you do buy and reshuffle a Gold on turn 3, that's a huge advantage. I just don't think it happens quite often enough.
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Andrew Hardin
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DaviddesJ wrote:
morningstar wrote:
This is probably only worthwhile when a significant portion of your deck is not useful. For example, if you are playing a Gardens strategy or get a lot of curses.


It's really the opposite, it's most useful at the start of the game, when every turn you're usually adding a new card to your discard deck that's much better than the average of what you already have, so the average value in your discard deck is significantly greater than what's in your draw pile.

But I think you still have to get lucky to make it pay off. If Dominion: Intrigue has a good $4 card to pair with the Chancellor, then it might become a good early buy when that combo comes up.


The more I think about the game, the less I think 'average value' is an appropriate measure.

The average is a measure of center. But your buying power in Dominion is based upon reaching certain thresholds. As your average value increases your chances of reaching 5,6 or 8 coin increase but a deck that has higher variance will favor 'big buys' more.

So what really matters is the probability of hitting the key thresholds and that depends not just on the center of the distribution but also on the variance and skew. Perhaps even more important is the ability of the deck to push the whole deck above the threshold points.

The best card for that is the beloved/hated Chapel. By tossing out so many cards the deck pushes up the average value quickly but also produces a deck with much higher chances of overcoming those thresholds (Gold tends to introduce a lot of skew at key moments).

There just aren't that many 3 or 4 cost cards that really perform that function steadily. The cards that really improve these deck properties tend to be 5-cost cards, which creates the basic challenge of the game. Once your deck hits that threshold once or twice it tends to hit that threshold much more (until VP buys or too many Action cards remove that effect).

So I am more and more evaluating my decks not just by center, but also by the quantiles.

- Lex
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DaviddesJ wrote:

I think that if you do buy and reshuffle a Gold on turn 3, that's a huge advantage. I just don't think it happens quite often enough.


True, it isn't as common as I would like. But since the alternative was often having a Silver instead of a Chancellor I don't fret this all that much. It would be nice if the card acted more consistently but I don't mind the stochastic element since it can be managed.

- Lex
 
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selwyth wrote:
Correct use of the Chancellor: don't buy it.

I disagree with you.

It doesn't matter though, 'cause the expansion will fix everything. shake
 
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selwyth wrote:
However, buying Silver + Chancellor is far inferior to other 3-4 openings with Silver. Consider Silver + Silver, Silver + Militia (my favorite), Silver + Moneylender. All these openings give you maximum benefit, regardless of how you draw your 5-card hand in your 2nd run-through. There is no chance for the full potential of your deck to not be realized with these openings (except in the exceedingly rare Silver + Moneylender case where you draw Silver, Moneylender and 3 Estates).

For Silver + Chancellor, the best possible case (you draw Silver + Chancellor + at least 2 Copper) gives you a tiny advantage over the other openings (in the form of quicker cycling). But there are cases where Silver + Chancellor handicaps you with respect to the other openings (which are riskless) in the second run-through.
- You draw Chancellor in your first half of the deck, with 1-3 Estates in your hand too. (so your deck didn't speed up that much, and you lost the benefit of the 4-action cards)
- You draw Chancellor in the bottom half of the deck (so your deck didn't speed up, and you lost the benefit of the 4-action cards)
- The only way you benefit significantly from the Chancellor, when compared to other openings, in your 2nd run-through is if the Chancellor happens to be in the first 5 cards you draw, and 2-3 Estates happen to be in the next 7.


You still haven't explained how Silver/Chancellor is worse than Silver/Silver. You have explained how it might not be better, but not how it is worse. For the matter, you haven't explained how some of the others, like Silver/Militia, are better, although I think we all know the answer to that.

It is not possible for Silver/Chancellor to be worse than Silver/Silver on your 3rd and 4th turns. As your only action card, you can always play it, so it's worth 2 coins the same as the Silver. It is possible that it becomes worse after those turns, as you might buy other action cards.

selwyth wrote:
The Chancellor is a heavily luck-based card in a game that is already heavily luck-based.


The Chancellor is heavily luck-based. I don't think Dominion as a whole is very luck-based, at least compared to other card games. But other cards are luck-based too, like the Chapel. The guy who draws his Chapel with three Estates on turn 3 or 4 gets going a lot faster than the guy who draws it with a Silver and 3 Coppers.
 
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Quote:
Unfortunately, your proof begins with the assertion that the Chancellor is only good at the beginning. Since I reject the assertion the resulting proof essential fails at that point.

The Chancellor is not a 'beginning' only card. I actually find it more powerful in the middle game when you have enough cards that redrawing is important but you haven't yet begun building up Province cards.


Agree to disagree. I focused only on the decision of buying the Chancellor in the first two turns. My argument for not buying the Chancellor in future turns is in the last line (and unclear): that it's a heavily luck-based card. No other card in the game matters in terms of when you draw it in your deck.

In the mid-game, I'd rather focus on building a deck that draws out my entire deck every turn (i.e. a free Chancellor) than spend valuable buys on a Chancellor.

Quote:
I also disagree with your 'risk-less' approach. The benefit of getting bought Gold back into play quickly is not as small as you would like to claim (decks tend to grow geometrically as they get better and better cards, so the sooner the better in many cases). In a game that often lasts less than 20 rounds speed is always important. I am much more willing to open Silver/Chancellor than Silver/Silver in a number of setups.


Agree to disagree again. In all luck-based games, I prefer to figure out the riskless or maxmin approach and do it. I will take risks when it's near the end of the game and I'm behind, but I will not do it at the start of the game. Only if my opponent did it and got lucky, would I have to look into a luck-based card like Chancellor.

Quote:
Since a proper shuffle presents a statistically independent case, the probability of redrawing the Chancellor does not depend on what happened before. It is often quite likely to been drawn favorably again.


I am aware of the gambler's fallacy. Still doesn't mean I'm willing to enter into a luck-based strategy.

Quote:
I mostly disagree about the 'tiny advantage' issue. Of the original 10 cards you have 3 dead draws and 7 weak but useful draws. You will draw the Chancellor on Round 3 or 4 five out of six times if you started with Silver/Silver.


Every time you draw the Chancellor is a probability that it might help you. Every time you draw the Militia / Moneylender is an almost-certain probability that it will help you.

If somebody pulls Silver/Chancellor on me and is lucky enough to get a Gold and shuffle in Turn 3, good for that person. I'll employ similar risky measures to try and catch up. But I won't initiate it.

Quote:
What if your opponent already has a Library by the time you pick up your Militia?


If my opponent bought a Library, I don't buy a Militia. If my opponent bought a Library after I bought my Militia, too bad. I said my favorite opening is Silver/Militia, not that I use it every single time, regardless of the setup and opponent.

Quote:
I think that if you do buy and reshuffle a Gold on turn 3, that's a huge advantage. I just don't think it happens quite often enough.


I can agree with that. And the low probability of it happening is justification enough for me to not buy a Chancellor.

Quote:
You still haven't explained how Silver/Chancellor is worse than Silver/Silver. You have explained how it might not be better, but not how it is worse. For the matter, you haven't explained how some of the others, like Silver/Militia, are better, although I think we all know the answer to that.

It is not possible for Silver/Chancellor to be worse than Silver/Silver on your 3rd and 4th turns. As your only action card, you can always play it, so it's worth 2 coins the same as the Silver. It is possible that it becomes worse after those turns, as you might buy other action cards.


You're right: I was careless about Silver + Silver. However, Silver + Silver is superior to Silver + Chancellor, in the case if you have few to no +Action cards in the setup. With little to no +Action, you need to choose the Action cards to put into your deck wisely (parse it down to bare essentials), because if you put too many in, your extra action cards will become dead weight), You don't want to waste that 1 precious action you get to play a turn on a Chancellor. With just 1 action a turn, there's no room for error, or the variable utility of the Chancellor. Better to just buy low-risk action cards.

Quote:
The Chancellor is heavily luck-based. I don't think Dominion as a whole is very luck-based, at least compared to other card games.


Between skilled players, Dominion is very luck-based. You can say that about any game, but I believe Dominion to be moreso (at least with other games, you can harbor different beliefs; with Dominion, skilled players will pick the same, similar or opposite strategy and wait for the blessing of Lady Luck).

Quote:
But other cards are luck-based too, like the Chapel. The guy who draws his Chapel with three Estates on turn 3 or 4 gets going a lot faster than the guy who draws it with a Silver and 3 Coppers.


Yes, I hate the Chapel too, because it exacerbates the "Dominion is luck-based between skilled players" point I mentioned when it appears in the setup. I'll use it if it appears, and I understand why that card had to be in the game, but all my plays I encountered with the Chapel in the setup have been far less interesting and satisfying.

Conclusion: I can agree that Chancellor might give you a huge advantage. Really, there are too many situations there for me to say with confidence that the advantage is huge or minor (however, don't mistake the Chancellor + Silver + 2 Copper hand for the average, it is only the best possible scenario; almost all other openings involve the average scenario, since they are virtually riskless. Do not compare the best possible state of Silver + Chancellor to the average state of Silver + something).

I stand by everything else I said.

EDIT: typos
 
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Andrew Hardin
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selwyth wrote:
Quote:
Unfortunately, your proof begins with the assertion that the Chancellor is only good at the beginning. Since I reject the assertion the resulting proof essential fails at that point.

The Chancellor is not a 'beginning' only card. I actually find it more powerful in the middle game when you have enough cards that redrawing is important but you haven't yet begun building up Province cards.


Agree to disagree. I focused only on the decision of buying the Chancellor in the first two turns. My argument for not buying the Chancellor in future turns is in the last line (and unclear): that it's a heavily luck-based card. No other card in the game matters in terms of when you draw it in your deck.


I used to feel this way. After spending a few years studying probability theory I began to be willing to use 'luck based' strategies that have a strong positive expectation.

selwyth wrote:
Quote:
I also disagree with your 'risk-less' approach. The benefit of getting bought Gold back into play quickly is not as small as you would like to claim (decks tend to grow geometrically as they get better and better cards, so the sooner the better in many cases). In a game that often lasts less than 20 rounds speed is always important. I am much more willing to open Silver/Chancellor than Silver/Silver in a number of setups.


Agree to disagree again. In all luck-based games, I prefer to figure out the riskless or maxmin approach and do it. I will take risks when it's near the end of the game and I'm behind, but I will not do it at the start of the game. Only if my opponent did it and got lucky, would I have to look into a luck-based card like Chancellor.


I will do this if the deterministic strategy is clearly stronger than the stochastic strategy. The Chancellor is 'luck-based', but I tend to use it more like a Poker player sitting on three-of-a-kind with a draw on a full house or four-of-a-kind. The Chancellor is already better than a Silver in the situation I use it.

You made an absolute claim. You used the statement never, when I might put as sometimes. For all my defense of the Chancellor it isn't a main weapon in any of my decks. Anytime I have a deck that looks to be and stay 'action light' and I am looking at a Silver or Chancellor I buy the Chancellor. If the deck has a lot of Villages or Festivals and I am looking at a Silver buy I get the Chancellor. I get one in my deck and I am perfectly fine if I don't get the 'nice power' and instead merely get the Silver.

selwyth wrote:

Every time you draw the Chancellor is a probability that it might help you. Every time you draw the Militia / Moneylender is an almost-certain probability that it will help you.


So I buy a Militia or Moneylender instead of a Chancellor. I am not married to the card, I just think it has a number of good uses. You made an pretty strong claim and I feel it was going too far.

I tend to rarely buy the Woodcutter. The games where my deck tends to have enough money to want to buy 2 cards there is usually a Market or Festival available. But that doesn't mean I won't buy the Woodcutter if it is the best card for what I need.

Your disdain for a strategy that relies on a random element is understandable. One of the more interesting things about playing a game that has any kind of random element is that a strategist can reasonably attempt to use the 'luck factor' for their own advantage.

In a game as short as Dominion the Law of Large Numbers does not apply. With small decks, geometric growth, and specific Coin thresholds the game tends to have high variance. I find it best to take advantage of that when possible.

I consider buying the Chancellor to be much like buying an Option. Unlike the real world the cost is always fixed and sometimes the Chancellor is underpriced.

- Lex
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John Piller
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selwyth wrote:
Conclusion: Other 3-4 openings are better, because they are risk-less.


I didn't see you discuss the Chancellor+Remodel opening, which is not necessarily risky. If you get them in separate hands, you could play them as you normally would, and if you get them in the same hand, you can remodel the chancellor into a 5-cost card.

There are other 4/3 starts that are better than this, but it can be played usefully.
 
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David F
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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LexH wrote:

Anytime I have a deck that looks to be and stay 'action light' and I am looking at a Silver or Chancellor I buy the Chancellor. If the deck has a lot of Villages or Festivals and I am looking at a Silver buy I get the Chancellor. I get one in my deck and I am perfectly fine if I don't get the 'nice power' and instead merely get the Silver.


When I originally wrote my "proof", I wrote that "never buy the Chancellor" meant, in fine print, "never buy the Chancellor except in some exceedingly rare cases with weird setups". But I deleted that fine print, because I couldn't think of any of these rare cases. Your example of having lots of Villages and Festivals in your deck, and having nothing better to spend your 3 Treasure on (though I must say... realllly? perhaps Chancellor is the only 3-cost card in the setup) qualifies as one of those cases, and a Chancellor would be a better buy than Silver there (if they really, really aren't better options).

pillertime wrote:
selwyth wrote:
Conclusion: Other 3-4 openings are better, because they are risk-less.


I didn't see you discuss the Chancellor+Remodel opening, which is not necessarily risky. If you get them in separate hands, you could play them as you normally would, and if you get them in the same hand, you can remodel the chancellor into a 5-cost card.

There are other 4/3 starts that are better than this, but it can be played usefully.


Nope, didn't think of that. That might work, and definitely sounds better than Silver + Chancellor. I've started to refrain from buying Remodel in my first two turns, so I haven't really tried it, but it looks enticing enough for me to experiment with it.
 
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