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Subject: 3 Game Series - How I got Dominated rss

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David
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DURHAM
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When I playing Dominion with my wife J, we usually take a random spread of kingdom cards, then play that set of cards several times. It depends on the set - if it seems there is not much to be gained in a straight re-run, we might cycle some cards out to mix it up a little. This little card set proved to be interesting (for me at least) - for a lesson in playing this game if nothing else!

The cards were:
2 cost: Cellar
3 cost: Woodcutter, Workshop
4 cost: Militia, Thief, Throne Room
5 cost: Council Room, Market, Mine, Witch

First, notice the beautiful triangle.
More importantly, there were no Village or Festival, so no +2 actions. Also, not much in the way of deck thinning either, aside from the Mine. Unless you include the Thief, but that isn't necessarily the kind of thinning you want.

We played 3 games, back to back, with the same set of cards.

Game 1:

It had been a little while since our last card shuffle, so I put this down to being a little rusty. I started out Silver/Workshop, I think J went Militia/Silver. I was going to build a good gold engine, Throne Room, Mine, maybe Market. I did get a Thief as well, though I later regretted it, as it rid J of Coppers and netted me not much more than 1 extra Silver. J did a much better job, using Throne Room/Council Room and Cellars to cycle through her deck. I was well behind in the province race (she had 2 before I had any) and I tried to change track to get multiple duchies to catch up. But it was too little too late. I had avoided Council Room on purpose (didn't want to give my opponent an extra card), but had made that classic mistake with Cellars - I never had 2 gold, so I always bought something more expensive. But then I got into a stall, needing to cycle bad cards out of my hand. The engine could not get going. Needless to say, this was a butt-kicking:

J: 6 Provinces, 3 Duchies, 3 Estates = 48
D: 2 Provinces, 3 Duchies, 3 Estates = 24

Game 2:

OK, I had my game plan worked out this time. I needed the cycling and the extra 2 gold on the militias had been a boon to J in the first game. So I would run Markets and Woodcutters, maximum buying power, augment with Cellars, a Mine and a Council Room.

That was the plan, but though I ended up with 3 Cellars in the course of the game (due to either getting 2 gold or 2 buys/7 gold), they seemed to want to hang out together and more than once I discarded Cellars with the Cellar's power. Drawing (of course) my VP cards. J played quite similarly to the first game and with a similar result. Again, by mid game I was playing catch up, though this time I had the extra buying power built in and could buy a few more Duchies. Well, at least more than J this time. It was still another kicking of the butt.

D: 2 Provinces, 4 Duchies, 4 Estates = 28
J: 6 Provinces, 1 Duchy, 4 Estates = 43

Game 3:

OK, this time we go in, we go in full throttle.

OK, maybe not, but I at least figured I ought to give my deck a chance to actually function, which it had not the previous game. So I went with the same plan: Woodcutter/Market buying, supplemented by cycling cards and gold improvements.

It DID work better this game. I was first to buy a Province this time, which was a first. The Cellars were more useful. J hit me with her Militia at some very inconvenient moments, though that often simplified my decision-making. She kept things as lean as possible, with a Mine, a Council Room, a Militia, a Thief (which did grab a gold off me this time too, though she did not thief much), a Workshop or 2 and a Throne Room. Plus Cellars. Anyway, although I was first to province, J was close behind and in the mixing and the discarding, I lost track of who had the extra province when there was one left. Unwilling to risk it (and fearing the worst), I went to multiple duchies, but again that was only modestly successful and J was able to keep pace, as we both were now laden with VP cards and unable to get up to 8 gold. Finally, as I sat looking at a hand of 1 Copper, 2 Estates, a Duchy and a Province, J got the 8 gold and ended the game.

I was right to fear the worst. But it was much closer this time:

D: 3 Provinces, 4 Duchies, 7 Estates = 37
J: 5 Provinces, 4 Duchies, 6 Estates = 48

One card I did not mention was the Witch: the only card in the game no one ever played or bought. What we have generally found is that the Witch buys are reciprocated, then the Curses are handed out evenly, then the Witches bought sit in your hand, offering you two cards extra. So it was like a game of chicken - if I had bought one, J would have been cackling too. If she had bought one, I would be brewing up trouble for her in turn. But neither went for it, so all went uncursed.

Anyway, despite my supposed buying power approach, J and her militia kept apace with my economy, which goes to show I keep underestimating that card.

Consider that lesson taught. (I hope).
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Dan Schaeffer
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Throne Room-Witch, if you can get there first, can tip the balance of Curses in your favor. Still, I can fully understand why neither of you went that route.

I just want to know one thing: If you ever beat your wife at this game, will she finally tell you the rest of the letters in her name?
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David
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Golux13 wrote:
Throne Room-Witch, if you can get there first, can tip the balance of Curses in your favor. Still, I can fully understand why neither of you went that route.

Yeah that is a good one, though I hope my wife doesn't read this, because the Throne Room likes to mock me by only appearing after I need it, or alone.

Quote:
I just want to know one thing: If you ever beat your wife at this game, will she finally tell you the rest of the letters in her name?

She told me her family was too poor to afford more letters. You think she is hiding something from me?
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