Google

Monday, 25 February 2013

Dominion

Dominion’s massive success has lead to an explosion of similar games copycatting this ‘deckbuilding’ mechanic. Since Dominion first hit the market there have been countless of these ‘deckbuilders’, many of them also have shared Dominion’s success while others have been complete flops. With Dominion consistently on top of some many game recommendation lists, I’ve decided to give my take on this revolutionary game.

Objective: To be the player with the most victory points when either 3 stacks of cards have run out or the province cards have all been depleted.
Hold on hold on stacks of cards? Province cards? What does any of this mean? Let me try my best to explain, in order for this review to make sense you must first properly understand what a deckbuilder is. Essentially, you start with a small supply of very limited cards, some of these cards are used as currency to purchase additional cards. The cards you purchase will assist in acquiring more cards, you will need to acquire more valuable currency and other kingdom cards to improve your deck so that you can afford the valuable victory point cards. Perfecting your deck means finding a balance of cards without increasing the physical size of your deck by too much, while making sure that as you add victory point cards you do not cripple the mechanics of your deck.

Lets now talk about the different card types.

Victory Point Cards: These cards are the Province, Estate and Duchy. They will be used in every game of Dominion, the player who has the highest total value of these cards when the game ends will be the winner. The problem with these cards is that they go into your deck like every other card when purchased, but serve no benefit when drawn into your hand.

Treasure Cards: These are Gold, Silver and Copper. They will be used in every game, the point to having higher valued treasure cards is simple, are the game progresses the number of cards you draw is still limited and you do not want to clog up your deck with piles of crumby copper.
Kingdom (Action) Cards: You are limited to playing one of these cards a turn…unless that card happens to give you bonus actions in which case you will be able to play additional cards. Kingdom, or Action cards exist to strengthen your turn by providing you with additional spending money, actions, cards and buy actions.

Playing a Turn:
Every turn is broken down into 3 parts.
Part 1: Action Phase – Every turn you are given 1 action, that means you can play 1 Kingdom (Action) Card from your hand. For every + Action on cards you play, you will be able to play more Kingdom cards. The point to playing action cards is to enhance the next phase, or in some (rare) cases to cripple your opponents’ turns.

Part 2: Buy Phase – This is the important part of Dominion, selecting what to buy. On every turn you begin with just 1 buy action, which means that regardless the amount of your treasure, you can still only purchase 1 card. This is where the thought and customization come in, this is where you build your deck, you need to have a plan, you will need to buy cards that complement each other and cards that help you buy more cards and eventually you will need to buy Victory Cards.
Part 3: Discard Phase – During this phase you will discard everything, all cards you played, all cards you bought and all cards you did not use. Then you will draw 5 new cards, it is important that you draw at the end of your turn and not wait to the beginning like you would in most other card games. When you do not have enough cards left in your deck to draw from, you simply reshuffle your discard pile and this becomes your new draw pile.
Components: Even for a game that is entirely card based I’ve always found the components for Dominion to be lacking. There really is no theme and boring art work. At least the game box comes with an awesome way to organize your cards and keep them separated to easily select them when you play a game. In addition to treasure and victory cards the base game also comes with 24 different Kingdom cards. You only use 10 in every game so this leaves room for a fair amount of replay, and of course there are a number of different expansions for Dominion so if you enjoy playing you can always expand your game.

Dominion’s flow is unmatched, the game works in such a beautiful way that it is no wonder the amount of copycat games out there. It is one of those games you have to really try to get, reading about it might interest you, watching a video on it or listening to someone talk about it might make you want to play, but in order to fully understand and appreciate the flawless execution of mechanics and the depth of all the possible combinations and strategies you must play Dominion. It shouldn’t be hard, at least half the people at the games night I go to have a copy, next time you have a chance to play, take it and prepare to be in awe.
The plastic insert is great for organizing your cards, although if you want to
store all your games in 1 box you are best making your own box. If you want to see
a custom box, or how to make one you can take this link.

Recommended for:

Casual Gamers: Because the mechanics are simple, and you can select cards that are more ‘friendly’ to new players, it is very easy to get into and learn Dominion. Because of the large following it is easy to find someone to walk you through a game, and to try it before you buy it. Quick to play, easy to learn, multiple ways to win, games are different every time, random luck factor, quickish play time. These all help Dominion cater well to casual gamers. Also learning to play Dominion will teach you mechanics that are now used in so many other games, so learning Dominion can bridge you to some theme heavier or more combat driven deckbuilders.

Gamer Gamers: Since every card has multiple uses when combined with other cards, and there are several different effective strategies to constructing your deck, Dominion can be played over and over and almost always leaves you wanting to play again. Multiple ways to win, players can determine when the game ends, deep strategy customizable to your specific playstyle/plans, multiple expansions, lots of replay and a big enough following that you can sit down and play without having to explain the rules to everyone. These all combined with the brilliant game mechanics all add up to make Dominion a great gamer game.

No comments :

Post a Comment