Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Little Dominion

I haven't played nearly enough board games as of late. Two days ago I played a game of Dominion with the Mrs. and a day or two before that played a couple of online Dominion games with the Mrs. and Tom.

The first online game was just Tom and I, and I won fairly easily, although this was only his third game of Dominion ever, so that would probably be expected. If I recall, he bought a couple of early VP cards that started to slow his deck down a little too much, where I waited until I hit that eight treasure mark and could start buying provinces. The Mrs. joined us for the second game and despite being hit early and often by the Witch, managed to pull out the win after heavy use of the Chapel to weed out many of her curse cards.

(Curses! A very unfortunate hand of cards. Image courtesy of Abstractite at BGG.)

Our live two player game was perhaps the best game I've played of Dominion thus far. Often I get bogged down by not having a very clear strategy and buying too many action cards that don't necessarily work all that well together. This time I bought more silver (and gold when I could!) and concentrated on Mine to upgrade my treasure and Laboratory to pull more gold and silver into my hand.

We included both new promo kingdom cards in our game, each of us buying an Envoy card and the Mrs. trying the Black Market. Envoy looks powerful at first glance (reveal the top five cards of your deck, your opponent chooses one for you to discard, you draw the rest), but unless you have an extra action from a Village or the like, any action cards drawn with Envoy are useless. So if the five cards are VP, VP, gold, action, action, the gold can be discarded to effectively neutralize the entire draw. The Black Market's utility hinges on what the other nine kingdom cards are in the game. One key added card could be huge, for instance being able to buy the only available Witch early in a game could be a game changing opportunity.

I've come to realize that I am so far from having a firm grasp on strategy in the Dominion base set that I really should be in no rush to buy the new expansion when it comes out! So perhaps I'll buy it right away and let it look pretty on the shelf for a few months as I give the the 27 kingdom cards I already own more of a workout.


Josh said...

On the other hand I have played so much Dominion that I chose to shelf the base game (even though I did get my copies of the promo cards) until the expansion comes out.

I have commented on this a lot on my own blog but it strikes me so hard that I feel like saying it again: for me Dominion is a large group game that currently only accommodates four players.

Still, it is a great game that is a lot of fun and I have highly recommended it but I do admit that after 75 - 100 plays it gets to be a bit repetitive. Then again, I can think of several games that felt repetitive after about 5 - 10 plays...

Anonymous said...

The Mrs. has mastered the base game, and needs the expansion to stay entertained.