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× WELCOME TO TRASHDOME!

This is part of a series of bloody matches to the death. Show support for your favorite game so it will do better in the fight. You can support it by writing why you think its the better game and more importantly by betting (i.e. voting for) it. Please make it clear for when I check the bets later. You have until Friday when I tally the bets and declare the winner. I will reserve my bet for any tie-breakers.

Although you should be familiar with both games, there is no rule that says you have to have played both of them. The only rule in Trashdome is this;

Two games enter! One game leaves!

Trashdome Finals: Dominion vs. Puzzlestrike

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27 Feb 2013 17:48 #145602 by Woodall
After considering the term deck-building a bit more in the mechanics hate thread, I'm going to change my vote once more. Without Dominion there is no Puzzle Strike, but without Magic there is no Dominion. So I'm changing my vote from Rune Age (Wars?) to Magic: The Gathering.
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27 Feb 2013 18:37 - 27 Feb 2013 18:41 #145609 by FourthDimensional

Stormcow wrote: Sure there is a finish line. Puzzle Strike is just as much a race to get your opponent's Gem Pile to 10 before he can get *your* Gem Pile to 10. In the same way that Magic is a race to deal 20 damage first. The difference is quite illusory, based only on the thin theme of playing with Gems.


We could say that's true, but it's not because getting someone's Gem Pile to 10 doesn't necessarily end the game. They still get a turn to play, and if their deck is strong enough they won't have any trouble at all staying alive. To kill someone you have to take a very careful look at what they've bought, what's in their discard, and so on. Or maybe you can just get lucky.

Dominion requires none of these considerations. If you and your opponent are neck-and-neck, and you have the opportunity to buy the last province, you do it. No matter what. It wins you the game guaranteed. In fact, in a 1v1 game, if you have 6 provinces in your deck and you have the opportunity to buy a 7th? You buy it. No matter what. It will almost certainly win you the game because the other guy can't normally come back by buying Duchies and Estates, while buying the remaining Provinces just makes him lose faster.

It's a game based on mostly non-interactive decisions that test your ability to buy a plurality of available victory points before the other players do. Opponents can try to slow you down, but if they themselves do not buy a plurality of victory points, they will never win. Unless somehow 3 stacks are depleted, which almost never happens and was only added as a way to fix incredibly disruptive games that made buying Provinces impossible.

It's a race, plain and simple. :O

clockwirk wrote: The "race" element in both Puzzle Strike & Dominion is the race to build your deck efficiently. I can see how they might be thought of as similar in that aspect. You can write that off as semantics, but if it doesn't apply to Puzzle Strike, I don't think it applies to Dominion either.


What is theme but semantics? Artwork too, but mostly semantics. Instead of calling it a "6-point victory card" we call it a "Province." Instead of calling it "Send 2-8 Points to your opponent and gain 2 money" we call it a "Double Crash Gem." It's already been noted that "One of Each" is a boring name for a puzzle chip, so semantics have already been brought into this argument.

The "race" argument is not semantics, though. It doesn't apply to Puzzle Strike because you are not required to take the same eventual path to victory that your opponent does. Without buying a plurality of victory points you cannot win in Dominion, but in Puzzle Strike you can win games without ever buying that many purples.

If you see your opponent go for hardcore econ by trashing their starting Crash Gem for a 4-Gem, you have to immediately make a decision. Can you possibly catch up to them? Or do you think you can use the available bank and character chips to ensure your opponent's demise before he can translate that 4-Gem into a powerful end-game deck?

If I'm Midori, I just buy a Combine this turn and go into Dragon Form next turn.



I know my opponent will be buying expensive things with his 4-Gem-- which enables me to use Rigorous Training to gain additional purples without having to discard Dragon Form.



Anteing 2's with Dragon Form effectively doubles the number of gems I can send at my opponent, and whether or not I combine them up to 4-- which only takes one combine-- he still can't counter-crash. He's short on his own purples because he trashed one to get his deck moving into econ, so most likely he will die. It's possible he might even die within the next few turns, and I never, ever have to buy a Double Crash or anything remotely econ-related.

It's not a race because winning involves exploiting a weaknesses in the other person's play. You don't have to go for the same finish line that they're going for. If you want you can sit right at the starting line and run your opponent off the road.
Last edit: 27 Feb 2013 18:41 by FourthDimensional. Reason: silly mistakes...
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27 Feb 2013 19:31 #145614 by siberianhusky

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28 Feb 2013 00:47 #145645 by Stormcow

dysjunct wrote:

Stormcow wrote: Sure there is a finish line. Puzzle Strike is just as much a race to get your opponent's Gem Pile to 10 before he can get *your* Gem Pile to 10. In the same way that Magic is a race to deal 20 damage first. The difference is quite illusory, based only on the thin theme of playing with Gems.


By this criteria, every single game with a victory condition is a "race" game, so we might as well just junk the entire category.


What criteria do you suggest? I think the most intuitive test is, "can you mess with your opponent's stuff"? And Dominion passes this just as well as Puzzle Strike. In both games you can decrease your opponent's VP as well as increase your own VP. So yeah, in this particular discussion, it's a pointless distinction to make.

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28 Feb 2013 01:03 #145646 by Stormcow

FourthDimensional wrote: Dominion requires none of these considerations. If you and your opponent are neck-and-neck, and you have the opportunity to buy the last province, you do it. No matter what.


I mean, maybe I am dumb here, but how often in Puzzle Strike's end game would you not want to play a Crash Gem if you have the opportunity? When would you not counter crash if you had the opportunity? I would guess it comes up just as often as a decision to not buy a Province.

There is this rule in advanced Dominion play that you don't want to buy the penultimate Province in certain situations. It's really well documented. It is *also* about exploiting weaknesses in your opponent's play.

Really what it boils down to is that on a mechanical level Puzzle Strike is just as interactive as Dominion. If you want to talk about card counting and gauging your opponent's next turn and so forth, well, that applies equally to both games.

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28 Feb 2013 02:20 #145649 by Ken B.

Stormcow wrote: I mean, maybe I am dumb here, but how often in Puzzle Strike's end game would you not want to play a Crash Gem if you have the opportunity? When would you not counter crash if you had the opportunity? I would guess it comes up just as often as a decision to not buy a Province.



I have had many turns where I have an action and a Crash Gem in hand and opt for the action. The missing link for you is probably this: Crashes of small size are likely to be Countercrashed, prolonging the game and giving your opponent room to breathe. It's really weird to think about...you'd think spamming Crashes over and over again would bury your opponent. But many times it gives him or her the opportunity to lower their own pile with countercrashes, which is the opposite of what a rushdown character wants.

So you're better off to wait until you make 4-Gems, which are uncounterable. This is HUGE. Also--thematic. If you play Super Puzzle Fighter and play lots of tiny crashes, your opponent is going to form them into huge counter attacks and destroy you. So you want to wait until you have giant gems to crash, to increase how quickly they get buried by gems and also lower their amount of time to respond to the attack--responding to one large attack at once rather than several small ones over time.

Yes, I've played way too much Puzzle Strike.

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28 Feb 2013 05:04 - 28 Feb 2013 05:58 #145660 by FourthDimensional
Crashing or counter-crashing every time you have the opportunity is a rookie mistake. Pile bonus makes a huge difference-- especially early game or when you're thin-decking.

Think of it like this... If I only have 12 chips in my deck, having at least three gems in my pile means that I will go through my whole deck in two turns, allowing me to make use of my new chips much sooner. If I have less than three gems in my pile, though, I have to wait an additional turn before I can start using my new stuff. On top of this, you don't get money for most counter-crashes because they don't occur on your own action phase. The money listed on the crash chip is wasted.

So, basically... If you're holding 4 1's and a Crash Gem with 2 pile, and your opponent sends a gem your way? Let him. He's helping you and may or may not be realizing it. If you drop your Crash Gem to counter-crash, you kill a gem from your pile as well as the one coming your way, leaving you with a 4-buy and only 5 chips in your next hand. If you wait and crash on your turn, you only kill one gem, keeping 3 in your pile. You get a 5-buy and 6 chips in your next hand. Use that to buy a 3-gem from the bank that you might even get to use only two turns from now, instead of a 2-gem that you won't get to use until three turns from now.

Also like Ken noted, if you're going for rushdown you never want to countercrash, and you never want to crash when your opponent might countercrash. Countercrashing removes pile gems from the game, by definition making the game last longer. Barring a few rare puzzle chips that throw things off, a game with no countercrashing would end in 10 turns maximum. There's no way you can have 20+ gems ante'd without someone either countercrashing or dying.

I know of the Penultimate Province Rule, but tbqh none of my examples violate it, as they were concerned with buying the very last Province, or buying your 7th province in a 1v1 game. If the Penultimate Province would be your 7th Province then 99 times out of 100 you buy the damn thing. Your opponent won't buy the last one because he'll lose if he does, unless he has a ton of Duchies and Estates to consider. Maybe he'll try to buy more Duchies and Estates, but that's short-lived because next turn you'll buy the last one if you can and end the game anyway.

Edit: I think there's some confusion here that further highlights the difference between these two games. Stormcow's post refers to the "endgame" of Puzzle Strike, as if Puzzle Strike really has something analogous to Dominion's "endgame" where players have switched from buying econ and engine stuff into actually buying victory points.

If Dominion is a race, this endgame is like the last lap. But Puzzle Strike doesn't have this. It is possible-- though rare due to the asymmetric character chips-- for two opponents with equally strong economies to switch to purples and start trying to kill each other. Strangely, though, this does not end the game. It makes the game take freaking forever.

Normally in PS, this won't occur because at any given time one player is much more likely to win if they go for a rushdown than if they let the game continue. If you're the guy who should be playing rushdown and you don't realize it in time, normally you just get creamed 10 turns later. Every once in a while, though, two monster late-game decks collide. These are almost always drawn out slugfests determined by luck of the draw, unless somebody pulls out something indirect like Stolen Purples to trip the other guy up.

BTW I'd also like to add that Stormcow is making a very good case and that Dominion is still a good game. My arguments are just more pointed that they might otherwise be because this thread is supposed to a a "bloodbath" and what-not. <,<
Last edit: 28 Feb 2013 05:58 by FourthDimensional.

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03 Mar 2013 06:04 #145973 by KingPut
The votes are in:

Dominion = 10

Puzzle Strike = 11

Rune Age = 1 JonJacob protest vote

But then Woodall change the vote from Puzzle Strike to Rune Age.

Woodall wrote: I'm changing my vote to Rune Age with the level headed Barbarian.


So the vote is:

Dominion = 10

Puzzle Strike = 10

Rune Age = 2

I'm very tempted to vote for Rune Age in protest but I can't have Dominion being tied for the best deck building game on F:AT so I'll vote for Puzzle Strike.

The winner is Puzzle Strike
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