Saturday, 9 May 2015

Instructional Game #6: Empty the Treasure Maps

Game Log

...with Shelters.

My opponent opens Minstrel/Silver, gets a pair of Maps on turns 3 and 4, and collides them pretty quickly. I go for Silver/Silver into a Count and start trashing down. After turn 9, our decks look as follows:

The battle lines are drawn: he's attempting to use his quick map activations to power through Provinces and lock the game up. I'm trying to build more of an engine and... wait and see what to do. I have some options: just get some treasures and be able to single Province more consistently; use Stonemason to grab tons of components, probably to Graverob lots of things over a couple turns; use Bishop to score tons of points. I feel that probably any of these would actually work, but as the game state progressed in this particular game, I like the options progressively more as you got through that list. The reason for this is that the later ones give me increasingly more time before the game ends, and extra time should help me with my superior deck, as what I really need is to survive long enough for that quality to shine through. The key point here is that I expect my opponent's deck to break down if I give it long enough to do so.

At the time of the game, though, I was a bit wishy-washy, and my natural instincts of taking the points lead when it seems to be enough caught on for a moment, leading to my buying a Province on turn 14. This is a pretty bad play, as it just speeds up his win condition (empty the Provinces), while not really advancing my own thing at all. Soon after this, I strike on the optimal plan: Bishop golds for points, Stonemason overpay for more components, Stonemason Golds/Catacombs for components as well, loading up on more Maps to refuel. And it works like a thing of beauty. The other nice thing about this deck (besides being a strong, resilient way to gain a zillion points) is that it gives me a lot of control over when the game ends. I can always buy another Province to lock the game out, or I can also smash lots of things and make a pile ending happen, but either way, it will be on my terms.

As we finally round the bend on turn 18, I see an opening, using the on-trash ability of Catacombs, and pile out on Stonemason, Wandering Minstrel, and... Treasure Map!

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