Saturday, May 14, 2011
This card is strictly better than Duchy. It costs less, and in most cases, it will be worth at least as many VP (unless you decide to buy Gardens while also intentionally staying under 30 cards, in which case you're just trying to piss me off).
I like the idea behind Gardens. It rewards you for doing something that is otherwise inadvisable: bloating your deck. That said, I'm not sure how I feel about attempting a true, full-on Gardens strategy.
For one, it absolutely depends on you grabbing every last Gardens, which a decent opponent will not let you do. Grabbing a few extra victory cards won't hurt him as much as denying you those same cards will hurt you.
For two, it absolutely depends on you finishing the game quickly, before your opponent (who is likely attempting to win) buys up all those Provinces. (Oh, and God help you if it's a Colony game.)
For three, it absolutely depends on you grabbing as many cards as you can. If there aren't enough actions that let you gain extra cards or add Buys, you're basically attempting to win with about (by my calculations) 27 points; that's as much as 4 Provinces plus 3 Estates.
So if you think you can end the game before your opponent gets 4 Provinces, go for it.
Otherwise, play normally and grab it when you would otherwise pick up a Duchy.
Better than a Duchy... but that's not saying much, is it?