Thanks for the mention. And thanks for taking my advice. I found your explanation in this post helpful. My city is much smaller than yours (I started out with less investment capital), so I have fewer cards (9) [Population: 11, Income: 12, Popularity: 8], but one of them is a Forest. While I did not include cost of the cards in an equation to determine their value, I did set a limit on the cost and evaluated the population/income/popularity of each card and how it fit with my current unemployment/underemployment. Until I purchased a new Park yesterday, I was able to get everything in balance. Unfortunately, with my daily income at 12, it will be a while before I can purchase another card (unless I find some extra hive/crypto laying around somewhere).
You had mentioned your preference for purchasing cards from the market as opposed to buying a card from the game. As I beginner, I did two things when I started that might be worth mentioning. 1) With the conversion Hive/Sim in a favorable position, I converted my Hive to Sim in order to purchase my initial cards. Each time I am in a position to purchase cards, I will compare to see if it would be cheaper to use Sim or Hive for the purchase. 2) Initially, I did "Buy" three cards for 800 Sim. This was done as an investment option rather than for the cards. In this case, I was able to attain two (of the three) cards that were worth more than the 800 Sim investment and was able to turn around and sell them on the market which enabled me to purchase more of the cheaper cards I wanted. I don't know if this is a good strategy (based on the overall value and availability of each card type), but it seemed to work out for me.
My final though is another question (two actually) - 1) What are some of the other independent markets out there? Is it worthwhile to utilize these other markets (are the prices better)? 2) Are there any other places (like the Discord channel mentioned in one of the comments) that might be a good place to pick up cards. I know there are several Splinterlands players that do giveaways. Are you aware of any opportunities like that with dCity?