Annotated Game #4 Preview

Below is a recent 2-player game (not played by me) on Isotropic.  I will post the annotated game on Friday, March 4.  You’re welcome to comment on the set (how you think players should open, what cards to go for) and try it out for yourself.

Native Village, Watchtower, Quarry, Explorer, Witch,
Warehouse, Envoy, Counting House, Trading Post, Bank

Annotated Game #4

(Click for enlarged version at

If you have interesting sample games that you’d like to submit for annotation, we’d love to hear about them. Criteria for annotating games include:

  • Reasonably skilled play by both sides
  • An interesting set where the Kingdom cards are important (as opposed to Big Money Smithy games)
  • Diverging strategies taken by both players, especially in terms of openings
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27 Responses to Annotated Game #4 Preview

  1. ksf says:

    I see Warehouse setting up Counting House / Bank, although it is sort of a waste with no Colonies and no +buys.

    But none the less, open 4/3 warehouse silver. Get a second warehouse, and then get Counting House as soon as possible. Use the warehouses to dump copper and pick it up with Counting House -> Buy Bank. Then pretend I’m Ben Bernanke.

    • tlloyd says:


      I’ll admit I passed over the Bank because – as you said – there are no Colonies or +Buy cards. But I didn’t see how the Warehouse facilitates the Counting House/Bank combo. I think you’ve cracked the case.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lack of buys not only make a large sum of money useless, but also prevent you from increasing your copper total. You also need to wait until you draw warehouse(s) early and counting house late (or same hand) or you’ll never get the bank.

        If your warehouses draw nothing but curses and estates you will have issues getting anywhere, even if you do have a counting house, so I think ignoring both playing and defending the witch pretty much always leads to defeat. (Although if it were a mountebank you may be ok).

        Personally I think getting a witch is very important, and native villages work very well with watchtowers, but again, the native villages are less attractive without +buys, but are worth considering .

  2. drheld says:

    I think the Witch is key here. The Curses will be a hassle with only Trading Post to get rid of them. I’d open Quarry and Warehouse with pretty high odds of getting a Witch next time around, and the warehouse letting you use it quickly / often.

    • Kirian says:

      I was going to go the exact same direction. Quarry/Warehouse to get the early Witch, fill up the opponent’s deck with Curses, then use a Trading Post to grab Silvers while getting rid of Curses and eventually your Witch. Cash to victory.

      A good counter to this would be Watchtower/Warehouse. Cycling your deck makes it more likely you’ll have the Watchtower in hand, freeing up your Trading Post for getting rid of other crap.

      Watchtower/Quarry might be a hybrid strategy that would work well.

      • Anonymous says:

        >Cycling your deck makes it more likely you’ll have the Watchtower in hand

        Not correct.

        If you see exactly 5 cards per turn with a static 20 card deck and have 1 Watchtower, then you’ll “have the Watchtower in hand” against Witch 1 turn in 4.

        If you see exactly 10 cards per turn (due to draws) with a static 20 card deck and have 1 Watchtower, then you’ll *see* the Watchtower 1 turn in 2, but half of those times it’ll be due to draws rather than being in your initial 5-card hand, where it needs to be to react to the Curse gain.

        • rattenversammlung says:

          if you discard the watchtower to Warhouse before reshuffling end of turn, you increase the odds of drawing it.
          still not a winning concept imho.

          • Matthew Ryan says:

            >if you discard the watchtower to Warhouse before reshuffling end of turn, you increase the odds of drawing it.

            Still no.

            Was the Watchtower in your hand to begin with? If so, it was going to get reshuffled end of turn anyway.

            If the Watchtower was drawn due to Warehouse, then it was *guaranteed* to be in your hand on the following turn if you’d taken no draws. After the reshuffle, it is not guaranteed to be in your hand on the following turn.

            Every time Watchtower is drawn by Warehouse, its pass through the deck has been wasted in terms of its role as a Reaction to Curse gains.

  3. tlloyd says:

    In an effort to try something off the wall, I opened Native Village/Native Village, grabbed a couple more NVs and a couple Trading Posts over the next few turns, and in not very long had a surprisingly trim deck with a few golds and banks. After that I cranked out Province after Province for several turns in a row. I was playing solo, so I can’t be sure whether this strategy is faster than Warehouse/Counting House/Bank, but I was pleasantly surprised with the result. Native Village has my vote as a top-five “very powerful when you know how to use it but good luck figuring that out” cards.

  4. √⅞ says:

    sure, witch looks powerful, but watchtower make perfect response

    instead, i would try to set up native village+envoy (+trading post)

    sample game ended with perfect draw ;D

  5. kn1tt3r says:

    I’d propably open Quarry/Warehouse to get an early Witch. Then ASAP buy a Watchtower, more Warehouses (they work together really fine), and a Trading Post to trade Curses for Silvers.
    Then – depended on how the cards fall – I’d select between two strategies:
    – Money
    – Some tricky Counting House attempt with Warehouse support (I don’t think Bank is necessary here)

    • rattenversammlung says:

      I don’t think counting house and trading post combos well.
      everything else looks promising (i guess you want to trash the yellow curses as well as the purple ones)
      Somewhere in the mix you might need a native village for all those terminal actions, but without extra buys buying a native village costs a whole buy phase – don’t know if it’s worth it.

  6. timchen1017 says:

    This is a game with conflicting cards. Quarry without +buys is just a cheap gold for actions, and there are no costly actions to begin with; envoy+bank+trading post seems to be a very good way to win without touching witches, but the extra action required to do so is not easy to get, again because there are no extra +buys. Finally, warehouse+counting house(+bank) can be very powerful, still I think this is a hard-to-setup combo, as you cannot play the warehouse to trigger a reshuffle, and better treasures and other actions conflicts with this plan.

    So how would I play here? I probably would try warehouse+silver. Get the trading post for the first $5. Get a couple of warehouses and NVs while trimming the deck and then get an envoy.

  7. play2draw says:

    What works here is a strict counting-house/bank strategy. Start by buying two coppers (or if you draw 5, a counting house). Try to only buy one counting houses during your turn; you don’t want to slow down your copper rushdown. As soon as you have the option, grab a bank. Now you play the waiting game, padding your deck with more coppers. On turn 10, if you draw the counting house with your bank just before your reshuffle you’ve successfully drawn your MONSTER hand of 31 treasure; enough to make your opponent know who’s the boss around here. After doing this, buy points. Keep loading your deck with dutchies and estates, (as the counting house can skip all of these cards), and let your opponent quiver at the thought of another 31 treasure decimation.

  8. Auroch says:

    I started Warehouse – Watchtower hoping to get a Trading Post quickly and ride Silvers to victory. Here’s my solo log:
    Key buys were a Trading Post on turn 3, a second Warehouse turn 11, and Gold on 5 and 14. Every other turn was Silver or Province.

    I bought my first Province on turn 9, my fourth on 13, and bought one every turn from 15 until depleted. I had only one Watchtower, so Witch could have messed with me, but would be somewhat mitigated.

    • Auroch says:

      Trying this again, I started Provinces a turn later (10), missed my Province on 11, then bought them every turn until 18.

  9. Aeek says:

    Native Village, Watch Tower, Warehouse for my engine + 1 Trading post

  10. Stefan says:

    The long term plan should be 1 bank, 1 -2 Trading post, 1-2 Warehouse (purchased in the begining to get to 5), Plenty of Envoy and village.
    One should not need to spend turns to buy neither Quarry, since it does not help longterm nor does it help with bank nor buy any silver since trade post and bank will be more then enough.

    Witch is a bit close but I think it will be benefitual not to buy it. The curses you recive in your deck should easily be transformed to Silvers. Better to buy Trade Post or Envoy.

    5/2 Trading post + village
    4/3 Envoy + WareHouse

  11. Yariv says:

    I’m pretty sure bank is completely useless in this set, if I had 7$ and was looking for a treasure, I would take gold. The only situation where Bank is better (here, with no colonies and no +buy) is with 4 coppers + bank. This doesn’t seem impossible with counting house, but it’s definitely unlikely even then. Even if playing counting house, bank is better only if you have exactly 4 coppers in your discard pile, and gold is much better if you don’t have the counting house in your hand.

    • Epoch says:

      Yeah, that’s pretty convincing. Just to be clear about what Yariv is saying, since it took me a bit of noodling to figure it out: $9+ is exactly equivalent to $8 in this game, since there’s no +buy and the most expensive card costs $8.

      So if you have 5 coppers + bank, or whatever, sure, you get more money than you would with 5 coppers + gold, but it also doesn’t matter, since you’ll use only $8 of that.

      Here’s my claim: Quarry is a good buy with your turn 1/2 $4 hand. My reasoning:

      It helps you get into an early Witch or Trading Post. Witch is a good card for obvious reasons. Trading Post both defends against Witch and is a good way to thin your deck the relatively modest amount that you need for this non-Colony game. With Trading Post and Native Villages, you can get Quarry out of your deck in the mid/late game, when you want Provinces rather than actions.

      Even if you just get one more $5 action from Quarry, I think it’s worth the buy, given the ease of incidentally removing it from your deck later. I’d probably go Warehouse/Quarry on turns 1/2, into Native Village/the various good +cards Actions/silvers and a few golds for my late game engine. Even if Quarry does stick in my deck long-term, it’s not horrifying to have a $1 card if all you’re trying to get to is $8.

    • rrenaud says:

      There is also the possibility of Copper/Copper/Silver/Bank, where you’d want the $4 Bank rather than the $3 Gold.

    • chesskidnate says:

      yep, although it also applies for 2 copper+1 silver+bank(as I think you figured out, 3 coppers+bank is essentially the same as 3 coppers +gold as the only benefit of 7 over 6 is banks which aren’t good in this set

  12. jambarama says:

    Witch/Native Village or Silver/Silver. Get two witches and a native village, one trade house, and maybe a few warehouses. Build a big gold/silver engine.

  13. Michael says:

    I would load up on Native Villages and Watchtowers combined with Big Money. My only action buys outside of that would be one Trading Post and one Witch (never good to have cursing cards in a game no matter how well Watchtowers defend them and not be able to curse your opponent as well… benefit of having it makes up for it’s conflicting strategy with Watchtower). I would go Silver/Watchtower on a 4/3 and Witch/NV on a 5/2. Trading Post would gradually trash as we also buy our bigger treasures. Without +Buys in the set this strategy should be way faster than building to the more expensive and situational Counting House/Bank combo.

  14. theory says:

    Sorry for the delay. The Guest Article with the game recap will be up on Friday.

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