Deep Dives, The Woodland, Tournaments

Ministers of the Underground Duchy

The Ministers of the Underground Duchy is another statistic that I decided to keep my eye on in the last tournament. I wanted to see what ministers were played, how often, and in what order. There are nine ministers that can potentially be played in a game.  

The ministers include three lords (The Baron of Dirt, The Earl of Stone, and The Duchess of Mud), three Nobles (The Brigadier, The Mayor, and The Banker) and three squires (The Marshall, The Captain, and the Foremole). The Lords are swayed by revealing four cards, the nobles are swayed by revealing three cards, and the squires are swayed by revealing two cards.  

Before looking at the stats, I had my suspicions that the brigadier and mayor would be swayed in every games. The brigadier provides two actions for the price of one card. Seems like a pretty good return on investment. And the mayor can copy any other minister which give a ton of flexibility.  

Check out the Tournament Stats page to see the stats from other tournaments! Or check out The Woodland for most posts on Root! Leave a comment and let me know if there is anything else you want to see!

Games Swayed

The Underground Duchy was played in thirty-six games. Ministers were swayed in every single game. But, to my surprise, the brigadier and the mayor were not swayed in every game. Just most of them.  

The brigadier was swayed in 97% of the games, the mayor was swayed in 92% of the games, the foremole was swayed in 83% of the games, the banker was swayed in 78% of the games, the baron of dirt was swayed in 61% of the games, the marshal was swayed in 58% of the games, the duchess of mud was swayed in 50% of the games, the captain was swayed in 36% of the games, and the earl of stone was swayed in 33% of the games.  

The foremole was the one minister that caught me by surprise. While the foremole gives played the ability to build extra buildings, I half expected more people to stay with the small mole (or smole) strategy. This strategy is all about only swaying ministers and not building buildings.   Most Underground Duchy strategies include some mixture of having no buildings in the early game and establishing buildings for cards and craftables in the late game. Perhaps this pivot is what deems the foremole minister so important.  

The banker is also an important minister because it allows a player to convert their cards into points. Which made it no surprise to see the banker was a highly swayed minister. The highest swayed lord was the baron of dirt. Again, not a surprise as this is the lord associated with market buildings, which gives more cards (which we just related to straight victory points). When trying to get victory points, why not pick up a few more?

Turn swayed

The other piece of information I was curious about is what turn each minister was swayed. Was there a specific turn that favored certain ministers? Are the ministers more balanced with no favoritism? Questions that can only be answered with more charts!  

There were a few ministers that were favored at certain points in time. Much like I thought, the brigadier was mainly swayed in the first round. That is one massive spike! The favored minister of turn two is the mayor. Again, in line with my hypothesis for favored ministers.  

The duchess of mud seemed to be the favored minister of round three, but noy by a great margin. I think the duchess of mud is a popular early lord because you can score with the duchess without building since, she relies on all three tunnels being on the board.  

The foremole is a popular minister to sway on round five. This seems to be where most player plan a pivot from a small mole strategy into a building strategy. Which is why banker is a favored swayed round six and round seven.  

I will give a quick shout out to the one game where all nine ministers were swayed. Congrats to that player, it is quite an achievement to accomplish (swaying all ministers and not losing a single one).  

The graphs below show what percentage of the time the minister were swayed on a specific turn with the statistics gathered.

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