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Subject: Pawning Ghost ship rss

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J
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So I've voiced my dislike for ghost ship in the past. I've said that it seems to be the weakest Seaside card relative to cost. In the past my issues were based soley of simulations I ran in my head. Today I played a game where the only 5 cost cards were GS and Duke so I really got a chance to see it in action and after it I'm convinced I was completely correct.

My complaint was that it was high cost, low benefit and didn't hurt your opponents enough, in fact it might help them. I found this to mostly be true.

In our game there were 3 people. One guy rushed villages convinced that he could get a draw machine going with GS. I was skeptical since the closest thing to a draw 3 was courtyard which I tried to point out to him but he insisted. He ended up with like 5 villages I think. I got 2 or 3 I forget how many. We all got 2/3 ironworks which was out too. The last guy picked up villages and maybe 1 GS as well.

I'd say a GS would hit 2 out of every 3 turns. It was very popular to Ironworks silver and buy silver/gold. At the end of the game we each had at least 10 silver in our decks and close to 6/7 gold.

I forget what specifically the other guys were doing mid game but I began ironworking for pawns at every chance I could and buying money. I think the others were going after silvers exclusively with their works and buying money. In fact at the end of the game I had 8 pawns. They were extremely valuable in countering GS. On more than one occasion where I would be GSed with a hand of money for example gold silver silver silver pawn. I would put 2 silvers on top of my deck then play the pawn for money and card. Surprise surprise it was a silver, exactly what I needed for a Provence happy with the knowledge that I had a silver coming to me next turn. Even if I had to sometimes put a victory point card down for next turn instead of money great. My opponent paid 5 coins for a bureaucrat that doesn't get him a silver. Good deal there.

Even moreso there were times I had hands like Estate Estate Estate (or other point card) gold silver and I would be hit. Excellent I can put 5 coins away for next turn and now I know there are 3 dead cards i won't be drawing and I would get my provence on the next turn thanks to it where I wasn't able to get one this turn.

Now I had GSs too but I used them mostly as a draw 2 which there are other 5 and even 4 cost cards that do that better (hell there's even 2 cost cards which do better, we had courtyard in that game). It was really the guy with 5 villages who was playing them almost every turn. The reason I bought them was because I wanted to see how well they work and cause there were no better 5s so I didn't need to worry about there being a stronger strategy that would crush me.

At the end of the game I had 8 Provences for 51 points with the next closest guy had 39 with a duke duchie strategy. The guy with all the villages and GSs was dead last because he got a later start on the Ironwork Silver game than we did. He acknowledged that his failure to get money as soon as we did coupled with the fact that GS does a good job at stopping chain decks (I'll give GS this one) more or less completely stopped him.

It was clear during the game I was buying most of the provences and it was clear that flexibility the Pawns gave me was essential. To me I knew that the ability to tailor my hands as well as the top cards of my deck were the key. Often I would need a little more time to figure out the optimal arrangement of cards. Never needing to guess if I needed a +1 action with a pawn was nice as I would often take 1 card and one coin to get exactly the number I wanted and put away the card I didn't need which wasn't always a bad card for a later turn.

In conclusion (I know I know cheer) though GS can be annoying it is hardly reliable and really not worth 5 coins. 5 cost actions are probably the strongest in the game so passing up most of the other ones one for this card is unthinkable to me. Okay I've told my experience and expect a bunch of people to pitch in about how come I'm wrong and didn't see what GSs really were.
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Yaron Racah
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You're wrong and didn't see what GSs really were.
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Dave G
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This seems awfully anecdotal. If you say "I ran across the highway yesterday and didn't get hit by a car" that doesn't mean it's not dangerous. Ghost ship is effective because it harms your efficiency over two turns instead of just one. If you had so much money that you didn't even care, that 's a good defense, but doesn't mean the attack didn't hurt you.

In your example of having 9 treasure and a pawn, sure, you ended up ok, but wouldn't it have been better to play Pawn for a card and a buy to try to get 11 or 12?
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Eric Carter
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Since there are now over 70 cards in the game I might suggest that when discussing a certain card that the poster add either a pic of the card or a quick reminder of what the card does. I've gotten to play with Seaside only 3 times now and haven't seen Ghost Ship yet, and my memory isn't good enough to remember what it is from the previews.
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Jon
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gf1024 wrote:
I don't see how it can actually help your opponents, apart from saving money. But if they can do that and you can't, you're already in trouble.


There are other times where putting cards back on top of your deck is purely beneficial to you, too.

If you are playing a Treasure Map deck and you have one map in your hand, someone playing Ghost Ship can help you draw two maps next turn.

There are probably other combinations, too, but that is the simplest I can think of.
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David desJardins
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JonPrud wrote:
If you are playing a Treasure Map deck and you have one map in your hand, someone playing Ghost Ship can help you draw two maps next turn.


If you're buying and playing Ghost Ships when your opponents have Treasure Maps, you deserve to lose.
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J
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ejcarter wrote:
Since there are now over 70 cards in the game I might suggest that when discussing a certain card that the poster add either a pic of the card or a quick reminder of what the card does. I've gotten to play with Seaside only 3 times now and haven't seen Ghost Ship yet, and my memory isn't good enough to remember what it is from the previews.


GS is the one that's like militia but instead of discarding cards you put them on top of your deck. It costs 5 instead of 4 coins and lets you draw 2 cards instead of giving you 2 coins. This means whoever made/designed/playtested the card concluded that its attack was equal in strength to witch whose benifit and cost is the same. Assuming there are no counters to witch (ie fast trashers) in play I cannot imagine anyone ever buying a GS over a witch with their first 5 coin buy though if anyone ever does and wins I'd love to hear about it as long as your opponent is decent and there wasn't very large amounts of luck involved.

djgutierrez77 wrote:
This seems awfully anecdotal. If you say "I ran across the highway yesterday and didn't get hit by a car" that doesn't mean it's not dangerous. Ghost ship is effective because it harms your efficiency over two turns instead of just one. If you had so much money that you didn't even care, that 's a good defense, but doesn't mean the attack didn't hurt you.

In your example of having 9 treasure and a pawn, sure, you ended up ok, but wouldn't it have been better to play Pawn for a card and a buy to try to get 11 or 12?


A better anecdote would be I found a road and ran across it several times and concluded it was safe however since I didn't test it at different times of day and different days of the week my experience might have been biased. I was hit several times by ghost ship with many different kinds of hands (lots of money, no money, lots of actions ect) but they were with one set of cards. GS might be more effective with another set of cards but I've never seen it really in action in another set.

As for the pawn in hopes for 11 or 12 If I did play a pawn for a card the only thing I would want to draw is a victory point card so I wouldn't draw it next time. Drawing a gold or a silver I view as the worst thing one could draw (unless there's very few provence's left and you don't think you're getting another turn) because it removes it from my next hand where I want to buy another Provence if I can. I would much rather have the money next turn. For a Provence hand you want each card to be worth an average of 1.6 money. Putting a silver on top of my deck (assuming my deck is decently built) for next turn statistically is already putting me slightly ahead for my next Provence since I now need the average coins for the next 4 cards to be 1.5 which includes coins gained through any combination of actions.


killer_sss wrote:
exactly you've only faced the attack once and condluded it was weak because you played well and your opponents did not. They let you get all or most of the pawns which is a no no. Pawn is a powerful card. It can either augment a powerful turn or it can save a turn. It looks like it saved you.

Your words flatter me. We have played with pawns several times and I think it was really just luck on my part that I discovered how well they worked. It didn't really hit me until I got GSed with a pawn in my hand the freedom I had. I picked up my first pawn because I had 2 iron works and didn't want one to go to waste. That was when I really started going after them so I really just lucked into it.

Oh and something I didn't make clear. This wasn't the first time GS was in a game I played. Its just that all those other times there were other 5s in. and I mean good ones like market lab treasuries and such so wasting a 5 coin hand on this card wasn't even a thought. That's the reason why I was glad to see a set where it would actually be bought.

killer_sss wrote:

Lets compare what would have happened if you didn't have a replacement card in hand. gold silver silver silver silver.


Okay fair enough. I'm pretty sure I saw hands similar to this one

killer_sss wrote:

You get hit buy ghost ship. What do you do? well that just screwed your current turn's chance of getting a province guess gotta hope for the best and put gold silver on top.


Exactly what I would do and probably did do in that game

killer_sss wrote:

Next turn you draw an additional silver but nothing else to boost your cash. Looks let the ghost ship destroyed two of your hands late game where you were keeping up with the province race but due to its attack have now fallen a province behind both opponents.


Now lets take a closer look here. You have a gold and silver guaranteed in your next hand. This means your down from needing 1.6 average coins per card over 5 cards to needing 1 average coin over 3 cards. If your deck is well built its not too much to ask for. But then lets assume that you were really unlucky and did draw point point silver. Then what has GS really done? It did "destroy" your first hand forcing you to settle for a duchie gold or maybe a harem or something. As for "destroying" your second hand it put 2 cards worth a total of 5 into it. The only case where it "destroyed" your second hand is one where after drawing point point silver the last 2 cards would have given you 6 which means 3 coins per card over 2 cards.

Since I believe in statistics far more than I believe in miracles and we've already had too many "imagine this" to get to this point I say the GS is likely to do jack squat to your second hand except greatly increase its chance of getting you a Provence in this situation.

At best it stopped you from getting 2 Provence for 2 duchies but very very unlikely. Militia would have done a much better job at this. At worst I got a Duchie and a Provence which i see as the most likely case and very well could have happened anyway.

killer_sss wrote:

ghost ship at the very least augments the owners hand with +2 cards this cand be used for drawing that extra card he needs for his province while making sure you don't get one every once in a while.


So far every argument made to support GS could be made in support of militia but by comparison a militia completely robs me of any freedom to tailor my next hand. As for the drawing there are lower cost cards that do a much better job so I'd rather spend my 5 coins on something better. I've said it before and I'll say it again. GS should have read "Your opponents reveal cards from their hand until they have 3 or less. You chose whether to discard them or place them on top of their deck." This completely strips all the freedom that is currently granted to the opponents as they will almost always pick their worst cards (like everyone does with militia) to reveal and always grantees that their next hand will either be messed up or their current hand will be but without the annoyance of allowing them to sacrifice their current hand for their next.

The best hand to hit with a GS is one that's like gold gold silver point point where 2 cards are worthless and 3 are essential for the turn. Here it did slightly better than a Bureaucrat. If someone has only 2 good cards in their hand then late game it is likely that they aren't getting a Provence anyway. they might as well treat your GS like a tactician, screw this turn to pump up the next. God knows I did it during that game and it worked for me.
 
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Jack Abbott
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yaron wrote:
You're wrong and didn't see what GSs really were.


I absolutely agree with this.

When you say,

Quote:
Even moreso there were times I had hands like Estate Estate Estate (or other point card) gold silver and I would be hit. Excellent I can put 5 coins away for next turn and now I know there are 3 dead cards i won't be drawing and I would get my provence on the next turn thanks to it where I wasn't able to get one this turn.


You lost a turn. While you increased your chance of hitting a very good hand NEXT turn, you effectively gave up on this turn. There's little value in buying nothing on turn 1 and a province on turn 2 as opposed to a Duchy on turn 1 and a Duchy on turn 2. Depends on the stage of the game and the other cards. It's possible you don't even get to that second turn.

Like most Dominion cards, GS is situational. But your solution - buying Pawns - is pretty bad.

Quote:
GS is the one that's like militia but instead of discarding cards you put them on top of your deck. It costs 5 instead of 4 coins and lets you draw 2 cards instead of giving you 2 coins. This means whoever made/designed/playtested the card concluded that its attack was equal in strength to witch whose benifit and cost is the same.


On the other hand, Witch ceases to be an attack card when the Curses run out. GS attacks will never run out. The value of Witch is front-loaded; GS lasts much longer.

If anything GS actually gets stronger as players accumulate more victory cards because it slows down decks even more.
 
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Myke Madsen
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Moda wrote:
There's little value in buying nothing on turn 1 and a province on turn 2 as opposed to a Duchy on turn 1 and a Duchy on turn 2. Depends on the stage of the game and the other cards. It's possible you don't even get to that second turn.


I'd almost always trade two Duchies for a Province.

There are some exceptions... if Saboteur is running wild then two Duchies might be safer than one Province; if I've got Gardens or Dukes in my deck; or if I'm not certain I'll get another turn.
 
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Jason Woolever
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Saying you'd rather have two Duchies instead of a Province over-simplifies the situation. If it is mid-game and you don't yet have many victory cards, but by sheer luck you happen to draw three at once, there is a good chance your next five cards could buy a Province on their own. If I was in this situation and had the option to ignore the attack, I probably would. I'd take a Duchy now (or something else if appropriate), and try to get a Province next turn (or at worst another Duchy).

If it is late game when the deck starts getting bloated, then it doesn't matter much- you probably won't have time for the extra victory card to hinder you later. And if you're not certain of getting another turn at all...
 
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