Monday, March 9, 2009

Two More Sessions of Dominion

Dominion is THE hot game for our meetup group, and I got a chance to play two more sessions last Saturday.

The first game pitted myself against JM, Mando, and Nora. I chose to pursue a Chapel (costs 2, trash up to 4 cards from your hand) strategy this go around. Not only was it successful, but it completely fit my style of play.

I started with my normal buys of a Village (costs 3, +1 card +2 actions) and a Smithy (costs 4, +3 cards). The Chapel was my third buy, and I followed it up with another Smithy and two or three more Villages. That was pretty much all I needed.

I used the Chapel to trash all my estates, and, once I got a few golds, all my coppers as well. At the end of the game, I had less than 20 cards, and an astounding 7 of those were provinces. Basically, the only turns near the end of the game where I didn't buy a Province were turns where I drew four of them in my hand to start. The rest of the time, the Villages and Smithies allowed me to cycle almost completely through my deck. I definitely want to explore the use of the Chapel more.

The second game, between JM, Mando, and myself, became my first ever loss after 6 consecutive wins. We chose a set of action cards that did not contain any way to trash cards and did contain a lot of attack cards.

I started out buying a Village, a Smithy, and a Festival (costs 5, +2 action +1 buy +2 treasure). Twice, I misused the Festival early in the game, which completely killed me. I forgot to add the 2 treasure to my total which in turn made me not even think about the extra buy feature. My plan had been to pursue a Garden (1VP/10 cards in your deck) strategy, and a couple of moats early on would have helped greatly. My screwup also caused me to undervalue the Festival (it's the first time I had ever used the card), meaning that I didn't buy extra copies as soon as possible.

Mando ended up winning by a very thin margin over JM. He used the Festival card to great effect, but also seemed to fall in love with the Spy. I didn't use the Spy and, though I agree it has some value, am not sure that it merits four copies in your deck. Truthfully, JM should have won but made one screw up that cost him the game.

He concentrated on getting as much Gold as possible and, on one turn, bought it when he could have afforded a Province. That proved to be the difference in the game. JM said that he didn't want to clog up his deck with the green cards too early. To me, it doesn't matter when you buy them; my whole focus is to get to 8 to buy Provinces.

He was successful enough in acquiring them, however, that he shortened the game. By the time that I figured out my mistakes, it was too late to recover. I ended up not buying a single Garden. Not very good when you're trying to pursue a Garden strategy.

Win or lose, though, I do want to try this strategy again.

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