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Episode 34: IRL Tournament and Bishop

In this episode, Adam and Jake summarize an IRL tournament and discuss Bishop from Prosperity.

Kingdom at the end: Loan, Bishop, Procession, Scavenger, Wandering Minstrel, Band of Misfits, Counterfeit, Pillage, Royal Seal, Hunting Grounds, with Shelters

I always say, one of the best trashers in the game is an opponent's Bishop.  My approach with Bishop is to aggressively trash expensive cards, because if all I'm doing is trashing copper, I think it was a mistake to buy Bishop in the first place, and I'd rather my opponent had bought Bishop instead.

Tournament kingdom: At first I thought you should inherit Village, but I tried a bit of solitaire, and was convinced by inheriting Miser.  You can reliably tuck a copper every single turn, and it seems worth it to buy a couple extra.  Then you're provincing every turn by turn 10.  The Pooka/Baron thing I tried seemed a lot worse because it was so unreliable.

Kingdom at the end: This looks like one of those crazy Procession boards.  Those Hunting Grounds are real nice to get, because you can draw with them, trash them, and Bishop the Duchy.

But I foresee a couple difficulties.  Procession needs some village support, and I was thinking BoM could be a village, but that's only true as long as there are still Wandering Minstrels in the supply.  If those run out, you might be sad.  Or maybe the game is already over by then.  Second, I think Pillage hurts real bad.  This could be one of those games where one player plays Pillage every turn, and the other never gets to play Pillage because they keep on dudding.

Quote from trivialknot on July 25, 2018, 1:50 AM

Tournament kingdom: At first I thought you should inherit Village, but I tried a bit of solitaire, and was convinced by inheriting Miser.  You can reliably tuck a copper every single turn, and it seems worth it to buy a couple extra.  Then you're provincing every turn by turn 10.  The Pooka/Baron thing I tried seemed a lot worse because it was so unreliable.

So I haven't tested this board nearly as much as other boards. The idea with Inheriting Village is that you aim to put Lost Arts on Miser and somehow get some +Buy with like a Baron or something, but maybe that's too ambitious. Turbo Miser can be really fast, even in spite of the fact that you have to buy 3 Coppers to get 8 on the mat.

In any case, I'm pretty sold that Inheriting Shepherd and Baron are awful here. I want to go a bit stronger and say that it's always awful to do this, but maybe I should hold off on that 😛

Okay, I totally missed Pasture.  When I tried solitaire, I didn't even take Shepherd out of the box.

I don't think having to buy 3 copper is a big constraint, because you're hitting a lot of $1s and $2s anyway.

I was interested to hear on the podcast that in your IRL tournaments you let people choose their starting hands. Coincidentally a few days later I was reading the Feature Requests section on ShuffleIT and you appeared to be siding with Donald X in objecting to a request for an optional feature to force all players to have the same starting hands. I'm curious to know how you reconcile these positions.

Perhaps it's that in a tournament where you play comparatively few games you feel it's worth trying to reduce the luck element a little bit, whereas over thousands of games on the online client you're more in favour of taking the rough with the smooth?

I don't feel too strongly about it, but on the whole I think if you're going to take the luck out of the first two turns it's better to do it by randomising one player and then forcing other players to match. Often when you start $4/$3 your opening decision involves weighing up trying to hit $5 as soon as possible versus picking up the cards you think will be most valuable to your deck later in the game. If you let everyone choose their starting hand then whenever Mountebank is on the board everyone can open with it, and I think this would make the game less interesting.

Yeah this is a good question for sure.
Quote from arflutter on July 31, 2018, 7:17 PM

Perhaps it's that in a tournament where you play comparatively few games you feel it's worth trying to reduce the luck element a little bit, whereas over thousands of games on the online client you're more in favour of taking the rough with the smooth?

This is the heart of it. When you're playing in a tournament setting, you're necessarily goingto have to determine a winner based on fewer games than what you'd really like. Doing things to try and reduce luck is important, and the main thing I do is try to pick kingdoms that will reward skill more often than luck (though that's hard).

Don't get me wrong, I don't think messing with the starting hands makes all that much of a difference in the amount of luck in the game. But it makes people feel MUCH better about that luck factor, and at the end of the day, my IRL tournaments are about having fun more than anything else.

I don't feel too strongly about it, but on the whole I think if you're going to take the luck out of the first two turns it's better to do it by randomising one player and then forcing other players to match. Often when you start $4/$3 your opening decision involves weighing up trying to hit $5 as soon as possible versus picking up the cards you think will be most valuable to your deck later in the game. If you let everyone choose their starting hand then whenever Mountebank is on the board everyone can open with it, and I think this would make the game less interesting.

If there was a tournament mode online where you could force identical starting hands then I would support using that for competitive play, but not for rated mode. As for which starting-hand rule to prefer, well some people prefer different ones and they have their reasons for it. Stacking your deck is the simplest one to explain, so when I have people dealing with physical cards it's the easiest to get across and make sure it's implemented correctly. If the computer does it for me, then yeah sure it's easier to just give all players identical starting hands.