The month of Alt-VP : Vineyard

In this article series I will explore the so called Alt-VP or Alternate Victory Point cards. I will analyze simple decks that use Alt-VP as their win condition and how well they fare against baseline strategies. I will also try to find (near) optimal strategies for the mirror match. 

Week 3 : Vineyard

Vineyard

This is probably the most complex of the alt-vp cards. First the threshold to get these is dependant on action cards and not treasures and second you need to determine when to get Potion and how many you need.

The deck I will analyze today is completely focused on maximizing Vineyard. It uses Workshop, Worker’s Village and Smithy. The game plan is to get a bunch of action cards in the deck and then get all the Vineyards. I will let it battle against a simple Smithy Big Money deck (which buys 1 Smithy, Golds and Provinces)

After a lot of tweaking here’s the best bot:

  • Open Workshop/Workshop
  • Get some Worker’s Villages
  • Get Smithy whenever you have more Villages than terminal actions in your deck
  • Get Workshop whenever you have more Villages than terminal actions in your deck
  • when you have acquired 8 action cards, get 2 Potions
  • Continue collecting action cards and Vineyards
  • Empty 3 piles: Vineyard, Worker’s Village and Smithy/Workshop

You probably end up with 7-point Vineyards (56 VP) in 20 turns.

Vineyard

This deck wins 91% of games versus Smithy Big Money. It beats most Big Money decks and only loses to the stronger engines.

Let’s examine the mirror match where both players go for Vineyards. After some tweaks this is the optimal bot:

  • Open Workshop/Workshop
  • Get some Worker’s Villages
  • Get Smithy whenever you have more Villages than terminal actions in your deck
  • Get Workshop whenever you have more Villages than terminal actions in your deck
  • when you have acquired 5 action cards, get 3 Potions
  • Continue collecting action cards and Vineyards
  • Empty 3 piles: Vineyard, Worker’s Village and Smithy/Workshop

vineyard2

So this bot wins 57% of games versus the original bot. It’s pretty obvious that winning the Vineyard split is crucial. Buying/gaining up to 3 (!) Potions after the second reshuffle seems to be the way to do that. This game is also over a lot faster averaging 14 turns.

The lesson here is that if Vineyard is part of your strategy you probably want to get Potions fast and more than one.

Join me next week when I walk the Silk Road.

(these bots have been incorporated in the latest version of the simulator)

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One Response to The month of Alt-VP : Vineyard

  1. Ethan Cox says:

    Vineyards are especially good against looting. When I get looted and my deck is filled with ruins (which are technically actions) I just get potions and vineyards, since vineyards don’t cost any money. Then at the end, I actually GET points for my ruins instead of just getting clogged!

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