2011 DominionStrategy.com Championships Chapel Division champion
Initial seed: 32
Round 1: def. (225) Redwoods 4-1
Round 2: def. (160) Arvidsson 4-3
Round 3: def. (33) 16hp 4-1
Round 4: def. (64) lolrob 4-3
Division semifinals: def. (16) first 4-3
Division finals: def. (25) shark_bait 4-1
olneyce will be facing off against (4) WanderingWinder in the first semifinal. We caught up with olneyce and asked him a few questions.
Congratulations on winning your division! What do you think was your toughest match?
My round of 16 match against First was certainly the toughest. It ended 4-3, and I got pretty well trounced in the games I lost. In addition, I won one game only because he (unnecessarily) trashed a Mining Village on his final turn, to reduce the value of his seven Fairgrounds, stealing 14 points from himself.
Tell us a little about yourself. How old are you, where are you from, what do you do?
30. I’m originally from Washington state, and live in the Bay Area now, spending half my time in San Francisco and the other half in Santa Cruz. I’m a graduate student in Politics at UC-Santa Cruz, in the dissertation-writing phase of things.
How did you get into Dominion?
I was introduced to the game last winter – it was a four person game with Pirate Ship, which radically warped my perception of the strength of that card. Then I played another couple tabletop games in the spring, but didn’t really get into it until I found out about Isotropic in May. Then in the fall I had some more free time, and I discovered Dominion Strategy, and my understanding of the game started to grow by leaps and bounds.
What are your favorite board games other than Dominion?
Some of the basic ones: Settlers, Carcassone, Puerto Rico. I really enjoy Twilight Struggle, though I haven’t played it in years. And I’m a big fan of some of the 2-person war games like Paths of Glory or For the People. I also really love Diplomacy, though it’s hard to keep a game alive these day. And for the sheer craziness of it, there are few things more fun than a full day spent playing Twilight Imperium.
What are your favorite and least-favorite Dominion cards, and why?
I participated in Qvist’s card-ranking exercise, so I can give a pretty specific answer here. My five favorite cards are: Fishing Village, Chapel, Wharf, Venture, and Apothecary. I don’t think those need a ton of explanation: I like playing actions, and I like strategies that stack (hence the Venture). I only really came around on Apothecary in the last few months, but it’s such a fun card partly because of the way it capitalizes on the lowly Copper.
My five least favorite cards: Familiar, Saboteur, Sea Hag, King’s Court, Fool’s Gold. But I’m not really THAT strongly against any of them except Familiar, which I absolutely loathe. I think it’s the only card in the game that is ‘broken.’ In general, I don’t enjoy cards that warp the game and overwhelm other strategic decisions, and I don’t like cards that depend enormously on early-game luck of the draw. Familiar has both of those in spades. If you hit 2P on turn 5, while your opponent buys a Familiar on turn 3, in 90% of cases that’s gg.
Most feared opponent on Isotropic?
I feel lost at sea and very stupid every time I play Rabid. It seems like we always pursue the same general strategy, but he has some tweaks that I never would have come up with. And I end up losing badly.
Finally, some one-sentence strategy advice you’d give to someone new to the game?
When planning your strategy: cursers > money > good trashing > +card > +buy > bad trashing > +action. Obviously, things get more complex than this, and it often depends, but when you’re starting out you should plan things with this equation in mind.