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Subject: City Slicker vs. Big Money rss

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David Goldfarb
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I had a game today on isotropic that amused me.
(Don't worry, I'm not going to paste the log.)

Here was the set, in cost order:

King's Court

Harem

City

Golem

Mining Village

Scheme

Scrying Pool

Embargo
Lighthouse
Pearl Diver

Potion was in, obviously; no Platinum or Colony.

This is a peculiar set, because it has lots of support for chaining actions: King's Court to make your actions awesome, Scrying Pool to draw lots of action cards into your hand, City and Mining Village to play them, Scheme to top-deck some of them for your next hand.

...only, it hasn't got any actions actually worth playing. There's no really strong card draw, the only actions that give significant extra money trash themselves, and except for level 2 City there's no +Buy, meaning that once you've trashed Embargo or Mining Village you have to spend a whole turn getting a new one.

(Aside: is there a standard notation for City? "Level 1, level 2, level 3" is intuitive, but computer science people might prefer "0, 1, 2" and that does have the advantage of correlating with the number of piles emptied.)

I decided to just go Big Money. My opponent went for the Unstoppable City Stack, which in a set like this we might call "City Slicker". I opened Silver/Silver, he opened Silver/Potion. In the second round I bought two more Silvers; he got a City and a Scrying Pool. He lucked into a Gold buy on his fifth turn, but I got a Gold as well.

(I should note that my opponent was at level 26 on the leaderboard, hardly a complete n00b.)

He bought a couple of Scrying Pools and Golems to go along with his Cities, and also a Mining Village, which he only got around to trashing on the very last turn. His $5 buys continued to be Cities.
(I will paste in one of his turns, a truly classic example of Village Idiocy -- though with his nick redacted:
--- Opp's turn 18 ---
Opp plays a Scrying Pool.
... getting +1 action.
... revealing a Copper and discarding it.
... letting David Goldfarb keep a Copper.
... (Opp reshuffles.)
... revealing a City, a City, and a Silver and putting them in the hand.
Opp plays a City.
... drawing 1 card and getting +2 actions.
Opp plays a City.
... drawing 1 card and getting +2 actions.
Opp plays a City.
... drawing 1 card and getting +2 actions.
Opp plays a City.
... drawing 1 card and getting +2 actions.
Opp plays a Golem.
... revealing a City, a Copper, and a City.
... discarding the Copper.
... playing the City first.
... ... drawing 1 card and getting +2 actions.
... playing the City second.
... ... drawing 1 card and getting +2 actions.
Opp plays a Mining Village.
... drawing 1 card and getting +2 actions.
Opp plays 3 Coppers, a Potion, a Gold, and a Silver.
Opp buys a City.)

My first two $6 buys were Gold, then after that I bought Harems, influenced by Theory's article on them. With one exception, when I went for Gold because I was afraid of adding to his Cities too quickly. During that time I wasn't always at $6 or $8, of course; I bought no fewer than three $5 Silvers.

On my opponent's 19th turn, he finally managed to buy the last City and level them up. At which point I had already picked up half the Provinces, half the Harems, and a Duchy, for a 35-point lead. He was then able to draw his deck for the remainder of the game...but with 12 money and no +Buy he wouldn't be able to catch up before the game would be over.

He tried leveling up his Cities again, by buying out the Harems. That took him four turns, of course, and my deck was starting to stall out a bit from the green cards in it -- but I managed one Province buy, and three Duchies, so that by the time he maxed them out it was mathematically impossible for him to win. Even if he had bought out every single green card left (which in fact he did, except for one Duchy [which went to me] and one Estate [which stayed in the supply]), he'd still lose by 4 points. +$10 and +10 Buys from the Cities was great, but it wasn't in time.
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Jeff Wolfe
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David Goldfarb wrote:
(Aside: is there a standard notation for City? "Level 1, level 2, level 3" is intuitive, but computer science people might prefer "0, 1, 2" and that does have the advantage of correlating with the number of piles emptied.)

I would say "City with 2 empty piles" or something. For me, Level 2 intuitively indicates 2 empty piles, which may not be what you intend. If you are repeating it, "City with 2" seems clear and is shorter than "Level 2 City".

Quote:
(I will paste in one of his turns, a truly classic example of Village Idiocy -- though with his nick redacted:

You missed one: when your opponent reshuffles. I won't quote it so you can go back and redact it.
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Mark Judd
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David Goldfarb wrote:
...
My first two $6 buys were Gold, then after that I bought Harems, influenced by Theory's article on them. With one exception, when I went for Gold because I was afraid of adding to his Cities too quickly. During that time I wasn't always at $6 or $8, of course; I bought no fewer than three $5 Silvers.
...

Nice job! I love it when one player goes die-hard for Cities in a 2-P match while I sit it out and go for something else (doesn't work as well in 3-P if both are going for Cities!). But if your opponent was nowhere near ready for Provinces/Victory cards, I think you switched to Harems a little bit too early. I would guess Theory's article assumes that both players are of near equal level and are about ready to hit a Province rush at the same time. If so, the +2 VP at a cost of $1 (treat Harem as Silver instead of Gold) is a decent tradeoff. But if your opponent is a bit behind in preparation for buying Provinces, the lesser $ generated by Harems as opposed to Gold could end up slowing you down...
Quote:
...
He tried leveling up his Cities again, by buying out the Harems. That took him four turns, of course, and my deck was starting to stall out a bit from the green cards in it ....

...As shown here. I would have probably waited until I had 3-4 Gold before switching to Harems in this case. The effect would have been 2-fold. It would have made it easier to get $6 or $8 later instead of stalling on $5's (which you said you did at least 3 times) or $7's and it would have made it harder for your opponent to clear a second stack.
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Well the problems that I see is that he went all City-giddy even though there were no Action cards worth playing with them, he grabbed a Potion for the Scrying Pools even though there was no way to clear out the 10 initial cards that all stop them from drawing, and he was too intent on getting the Cities to make 1 coin per turn even though he could've easily picked up more money faster by ignoring them.

Yeah, you made the right choice in this case. However, this is probably the worst example of a City-Slicker ever because there was nothing slick about jamming those Cities. If he could've been thinning crap out of his deck and making a decent attack or two per turn, then the action-oriented deck might've won.
 
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David Goldfarb
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jeffwolfe wrote:
David Goldfarb wrote:
(I will paste in one of his turns, a truly classic example of Village Idiocy -- though with his nick redacted:

You missed one: when your opponent reshuffles. I won't quote it so you can go back and redact it.

Oops. Thanks. (Now done.)
 
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