Interview with Gardens Division champion: manzi

2011 Championships Gardens Division champion

Initial seed: 14
Round 1: def. (243) Oberown 4-0
Round 2: def. (115) glasser 4-1
Round 3: def. (78) Thaddeas 4-2
Round 4: def. (19) nomnomnom 4-2
Division semifinals: def. (30) Exclams 4-0
Division finals: def. (6) Turambar 4-1

manzi will be facing off against (47) RisingJaguar in the second semifinal.  We caught up with manzi and asked him a few questions.

Congratulations on winning your division! What do you think was your toughest match?

vs nomnomnom.  I lost the first game even though I was first player, and then the first player won the next 3 games.  2-2 without initiative was a very bad position, so I felt pressured.

I won next 2 games and won the match, but clearly I felt like I was up against the wall.  Except for that match, I have always won the first 2 games and never lost when I had the initiative.  Therefore I had some room to breathe.

Tell us a little about yourself. How old are you, where are you from, what do you do?

I am 33 years old.  I live in Tokyo, Japan.  My occupation is company employee.

How did you get into Dominion?

I had played Dominion with my friends several times.  And one year ago I participated in “Moku Domi-Kai” (meaning Thursday Night Dominion Party). The party was held every Thursday night and 10 to 20 players enjoyed playing Dominion.  There were a lot of skilled player and I learned a lot from them.  In particular, an organizer of “Moku Domi” and Ryo Shigekiyo, current world champion of Dominion, were very superior players (members, including me, expected one of them would qualify for the world championship and in fact, they finished first and second place at the qualifier tornament!).

Since I wanted to play Dominion more frequently, I looked for a tool to play Dominion
on the Internet and found Isotropic in May.  Now, I am still playing Dominion in “Moku Domi” and Isotropic with enjoyment.

What are your favorite board games other than Dominion?


What are your favorite and least-favorite Dominion cards, and why?

Favorite: Colony and Platinum.  They make the game more technical and reduce the advantage of the initiative player.
Least-favorite: Black Market and Tournament (i.e. Followers).  They make the game unfair.

Most feared opponent on Isotropic?

No one.

Because playing against a tough player is very exciting for me and I believe I have enough of a chance to win against anyone!

Finally, some one-sentence strategy advice you’d give to someone new to the game?

(1) Memorize what and how many cards are in your deck.  It tells how you should play.
(2) In most cases, trashing cards like Chapel are very important to win.
(3) Usually 2 Golds is a good time to start buying Province.  You should not buy a 5th or 6th Golds in a game.

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9 Responses to Interview with Gardens Division champion: manzi

  1. rrenaud says:

    “My occupation is company employee.”

    Maybe something was lost in the communication?

    • WanderingWinder says:

      That’s what I’m guessing, though I suppose it’s possible he just doesn’t want us to know.
      I think my favourite part of the whole interview is “AGRICOLA” in all caps…

    • thisisnotasmile says:

      I think I’m going to have to change my allegiance for the rest of the tournament from WW to manzi seeing as how we have the same occupation! (Also because that tournament history is just… wow).

    • mattlashof says:

      There’s a japanese word “salaryman” which is probably what he meant. Basically, this means that he wears a suit to work, and works in the office of a major Japanese corporation. I doubt that he is trying to hide anything, but “salaryman” is a very commonly used word in Japanese to describe one’s occupation.

  2. ^_^_^_^ says:

    I can’t wait to see WW’s mastersentence xD. Also wondering how theory is going to format it lol.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good tips. Thanks! I especially liked the one about memorizing one’s deck although it’s not too easy to implement.

  4. Turambar says:

    Hope you’ll win, that way I’ll at least have lost to the winner 😛

    But I just have to ask(if you are reading this), have you played Agricola at That’s the main reason I’m not playing much Dominion anymore; I find Agricola more interesting.

  5. Jsmitty says:

    Look, I just have to post this here. There has never, and I mean NEVER, been a game this horrendous. I go up by 6 Provinces and lose.

    • Sinfrax says:

      Jsmitty, this is completely the wrong place for that. Also, it’s quite a well established combo. It’s not that special, there’s definitely been worse.

      Manzi sounds like a don. Loved the AGRICOLA comment, Still putting my money on WW to win though!

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