Recycle_garbage plays RTT in the quarterfinals on Sunday Oct 31 at 1800 UTC. For info on the other quarterfinalists see https://dominionstrategy.com/2021/10/28/dominion-online-2021-championship-final-8/
strumphf: Hello everyone, I am strumphf and today I‘ll be interviewing recycle_garbage who has made it to the top 8 of the championship. Congratulations and hi!
strumphf: Can you start us off by telling me a bit about yourself?
r_g: So my name is recycle_garbage. I am from Canada. I live in Belgium right now, I live in Brussels. Before, I lived in Switzerland, and also I was working in Germany too, so always happy to speak German or French or whatever you guys wanna speak. I’m a musician, so maybe one of the few that’s not a mathematician or statistician or another smart person. *laughing* I just play Dominion as a hobby. It’s fun. Oh yeah, I’m 28 years old.
strumphf: Did you have a birthday in between our interviews?
r_g: Yeah. After our last interview I had a birthday, it’s August 26.
strumphf: Aw happy belated birthday!
r_g: Yep, another year. It’s cool.
strumphf: And I totally forgot that I should do this in German with you! I was determined to do a little German. Was für Hobbies hast du noch so außer Dominion? [What other hobbies do you have besides Dominion?]
r_g: Ich mache viel Fitness. Ich mache Gewicht im Fitness-Zentrum – ich weiß nicht, wie man das sagt, weight lifting. Schwere Sachen. [I’m doing sports. I lift weights in the gym – I don’t know how to say weight lifting. Heavy things.]
strumphf: Gewichtheben. [weight lifting.]
r_g: Ich war vor drei Tagen in Luxemburg und habe den ganzen Tag deutsch gesprochen und dachte mir “ah super, ich kann noch ein bisschen deutsch sprechen!” Ich habe nicht alles verloren. In Brüssel spreche ich nur französisch und englisch. Also ja, ich finde es super, ein bisschen deutsch zu sprechen. [I’ve been to Luxemburg three days ago, and I spoke German the whole day, and I thought “oh great, I can still speak a little German!” I haven’t forgotten it yet. In Brussels I only speak French and English. So yeah, I enjoy getting to speak a little German.]
strumphf: Du sprichst super, das ist voll gut! [You speak it so well, your German is great!]
r_g: Danke. [Thank you] *laughing* Ich habe auch auf Deutsch unterrichtet. Ich habe meine Schlagzeug-Klasse in Deutschland gehabt. Deshalb kenne ich viel mehr Musik-spezifische Wörter als andere Sachen. [I taught in German as well, I had my drums class in Germany. That’s why I know a lot more music specific vocabulary.]
strumphf: Ja, Trommel. [Yeah, drums.]
r_g: Ja genau, Schlagzeug, Trommel, Handgelenke, solche Sachen. [Yes exactly, percussion, drums, wrists, and the like.]
strumphf: I was gonna ask, with you being from Canada and speaking French, do you speak Québecois as well?
r_g: It’s not really a language-
strumphf: Yeah it’s a dialect but there are pretty distinctive differences, no?
r_g: Well we can also compare dialect like in how far you can understand it. French speakers, if they made an effort, they could understand Québecois, I just feel like people from France don’t make an effort as much.
strumphf: Yeah, I know!
r_g: Québecois can easily understand French people and talk but then it’s not reciprocated. It’s just a matter of becoming used to it, it’s not like they change any words I think. They have different slang but that’s just like in the US or in Germany. Of you come from a different region you have different slangs. I wouldn’t consider it like a strong dialect or anything.
r_g: What they do a lot is this français-anglais mix, franglais, so they do a lot of English words, or add English words or switch in between English and French a lot, that’s quite typical.
strumphf: I have a Québecois friend who lives here [in Berlin] and is always raging against French people from France.
r_g: …not the machine.
strumphf: No. *laughing* Going back to Dominion – you named a few of your favourite and least favourite cards in our other interview. Do you mind repeating that, or has that changed in the past three months?
r_g: Yeah it hasn’t changed that much, no. *laughing* I’ve changed, I’m older now. (strumphf laughing) I said Gamble, Delay, and Cavalry. Those are the ones that for me really change the game, so you can really do more. You have way more choices and things to do. Cards that make it a little bit more complicated. So every turn you have extra choices which I think is fun. That’s all I can say about those ones.
strumphf: And least favourite?
r_g: Same as before. Stuff that just makes you lose quickly like Possession or Tournament or other attack cards like Cultist or Witch or… what’s the other one? I always forgot the names because I used to have the game in German and now I don’t really know all the English names of the cards but… whatever, the other card that gives you curses. Attack cards that are just clogging your deck.
r_g: Yeah, Familiar, exactly. That one.
strumphf: What do you find to be the most challenging card to play with in Dominion?
r_g: Procession and Develop are the cards that I feel like I really took a long time to learn. Or I still am learning how to use them properly.
strumphf: That is so curious because both hakha3 and JNails also said Develop! I see a pattern emerging.
r_g: More choices. With Procession I feel like there is the stuff that is super obvious like Horse but even with smaller examples, even using it just normally without the Horse shenanigans. Sometimes I’ve lost games where the opponent only buys Procession and a few other cards and they just pile super fast. I’ve just been a bit confused by that card sometimes. How good it is. Or how bad it is depending on… I don’t know. It’s just really explosive. You can just do so much stuff.
strumphf: Totally. Can you talk about your Dominion “career” – how it started and what some of the highlights have been?
r_g: I played a little bit in person, maybe a few games, like two or three days in person. And we had just the base game and Intrigue I think. I found it super addictive. Then I wanted to play online – that was in 2016 or something – at that point, I don’t know if I looked properly but there was not an online version like there is now. At least I didn’t find one, it said it was coming soon or something. So I waited a bit and afterwards at some point – maybe at the end of 2016 or 2017 – there was the online version and I started playing. I wasn’t checking regularly, I just checked back in and saw that it was available then. So I started a bit online. Then I played ladder until I was level 26, no 62. (strumphf laughing) Not 26! I leveled down *laughing* So I was 62 and then I did the tournament thing [DOC2020] and felt it to be really difficult, there were a lot of good players, etc. I joined the League, there were so many good players there. Then I played in League a bit and then I quit for now and now I don’t know. I played the Grand Market Grand Prix tournament and the championship, that’s all I’ve done. But everything I’ve done has been super fun and well organized and I like the events that are available. I like the community too, I’m surprised that it’s so organized and well done and everything is cool. I am only part of this Discord so I have no idea how it works otherwise.
strumphf: Do you feel like there are notable differences between the tournament this year and last year? Apart from your performance?
r_g: Apart from my performance.
strumphf: Or is the performance the main difference? I didn’t go back and check but in our last interview you were saying that you didn’t perform that well last year and you were surprised by the sheer quantity of other great players.
r_g: Yeah, exactly. Last time I was of the mindset that how good you are on the leaderboard is how good you are at the game. I think it’s really obvious that you would think that in the beginning. And then suddenly there are players who had a very low rating on the leaderboard but are extremely good. So probably what I did wrong was just underestimating my opponents or be too relaxed or something like that. Or choosing strategies that were not efficient, like too complex for no reason or just dumb stuff. This year I was more to the point. I didn’t make the mistakes I made before. For example, if you’re ahead, don’t relax. If you’re winning, 1-0 or 2-0, stay just as concentrated as you were before, stay focused. Ideally, it shouldn’t matter who your opponent is, the game is unchanged. I guess also don’t stress if you play a good opponent. Don’t underestimate “bad” ones number wise if you know what I mean. Just treat everyone the same. I don’t know if that makes sense. *laughing*
strumphf: No, it does. So this might be a weird question but I was wondering, when a strong player gets eliminated from your bracket sooner than you expected, do you feel relief or regret that you might not meet them potentially?
r_g: I guess it would probably statistically make my chance of winning greater, so that would be good. But I was not following so much who was playing whom or if people got eliminated early or not. I was more checking at the end when there was four or eight of us left, I was seeing who was left. Anyways, for example the one before me was Sicomatic vs. Freaky, and they’re both really good so it wouldn’t have mattered who won. They’re both just as good, so at some point you’re just really good and it doesn’t really matter who’s winning. Or losing.
strumphf: Yeah. It was a nice coincidence because last time I asked you who you would like to play and you mentioned Freaky. So you got that!
r_g: Yeah, it was cool. I have this idea that I just play everyone who’s really good eventually. If there was ten really good players I would rather play each one of them once instead of playing one ten times. So I played Freaky and now I get to play RTT, so great! I get to play a lot of the really good players. I’m happy about that.
strumphf: Do you have anything like a pre-match routine?
r_g: I was thinking about that too because in most sports or things that you do competitively you should warm up before but I feel like if I do warm up in Dominion it just makes me not as concentrated afterwards or something. And if I did warm up, who – you would play against Lord rattington or something which is just really dumb. *laughing* So, no. I don’t know. Maybe I could spectate a game to get in the mindset but I usually just go straight into it.
strumphf: That makes sense.
r_g: But then I also often fumble the first game, so I don’t even know if that’s good advice. *both laughing*
strumphf: “Never go in cold!” Have there been memorable games in your “career”?
r_g: Competitively? Maybe. There were some games that I played well with Develop. There was one League match against Sicomatic that I played a good Develop board. It was Develop with Spices and some other good 4 costing card so you could always buy a Spices, develop it into a Gold and a four costing card, and if you have a village you can just cycle like that and that’s really strong. Especially if you’re getting the Spices-Gold thing happening then you’re just getting a lot of money super quickly. That was really fun and cool. Then, maybe some games that I played with crabcat2. Or – Develop also with Animal Fair, I was thinking. Developing Animal Fair into Province and Gold, also really really strong. Buying the Animal Fair for free at some point earlier. That’s also really good if there’s not much draw or the deck is really thick and you don’t have much choice, have at least three or four Develops and three or four Animal Fairs and just go with that, that could probably get you a lot of Provinces and Duchies pretty quickly. Then I played some games with crabcat – when you have the shelters and then you have a game where you – on ladder even – you pop the magic lamp on turn four, that’s happened before.
r_g: Yeah, it’s possible. *laughing* So there was one game I played with crabcat just for fun where he got an altar on turn two or something and you think “Oh, game over” and then somehow I managed to get a Populate on turn five or something. It was with Livery so I got ten Horses, and then by turn six you’re drawing your deck and getting all 30 Horses, so that’s also possible. It’s very unlikely but it’s pretty funny stuff. Livery and Populate. Completely ridiculous.
strumphf: Sounds style point-worthy. Do you have any speculations about the new expansion, Allies?
r_g: I haven’t read the things about it yet, I just know the title. I guess my actual speculation is just based on the title and nothing else – I literally know nothing at all – but if you have Allies you have to also have Enemies? I don’t know if that could be like the Young Witch and Bane thing where you have cards that cancel each other out or interactions like that. Or something more interactive, if you have an Enemy or something that can cancel it out. I was thinking of something with more interaction between the players. I don’t know exactly how that would work. I remember there was something like a rotate thing or a shuffle.
strumphf: Rotating split piles. Very curious.
r_g: Yeah. I don’t know what that means at all.
strumphf: We’ll find out!
r_g: You just flip your deck 360°.
strumphf: *laughing* Yeah, exactly.
r_g: Or 180° and then play upside down for the rest of the game. That’s the trick. That’s my only speculation. I don’t know anything. I’m sorry. I had one good guess, that’s all.
strumphf: *laughing* That’s totally fine. What would be a spooky variation of your name?
r_g: *laughing* A spooky variation is like “One Used Plastic Cup” (strumphf laughing) or “Oil Spill”.
strumphf: Or like “Plastic Thing in a Plastic Bag in a Plastic Bag in a Plastic Bag”. Great, I love it!
r_g: “Excessive Packaging”, “Amazon Packaging” or something like that.
strumphf: Yeah, that could be your avatar.
r_g: Getting the Halloween spirit, getting scared of those rings they have around sixpacks that kill animals in the ocean.
strumphf: Exactly, that would be very spooky!
r_g: “Excessive Waste”.
strumphf: Well, thank you. Do you have anything else to share? Because that was all I wanted to ask you.
r_g: I do not. I wish everyone best of luck!
strumphf: Yeah you’ll be meeting RTT, I don’t know if you have scheduled the match yet.
r_g: Yeah, Saturday 1700UTC. [The match was rescheduled to Sunday, October 31th at 1800 UTC.]
strumphf: Best of luck to you! And thank you!
r_g: No problem. Thanks for interviewing and connecting people as always.
strumphf: Aw, well you’re very welcome. And I thank you. Bye!