Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dominion....the Card Game, and the Social Risk of Board Games

At the 1st ever Cosmic American Blog meetup we played Dominion, the deck building game with the ambiguous medieval theme (you can surely imagine how the theme works, but without any little flavor text at the bottom of the cards, as in Magic:The Expensening, how can you ever be sure?).

I thoroughly enjoyed this game--so much so that I ordered a copy for myself. I was even able to teach my mom to play, so you know it's approachable. The game starts with all players drawing the same 10 cards. Each turn new cards are purchased using money cards. The money cards buy action cards or point cards. Point cards do nothing until the end of the game at which point they are the only card that matters.  

The game doesn't have a huge amount of interaction between the players, but I think that's a plus for the less serious gamers among us. Forced competition makes some people nervous. I once played a game of Risk with my now-girlfriend and two other couples. One of the other couples was...troubled. They argued throughout the game about the choices people made and even, get this, how the two of them rolled their respective dice--all at once or one die at a time. The female half of this couple has a pronounced stutter. The male half decided to comment on this several times. At one point threats to break-up, serious heart-and-gut wrenching threats, were traded across a table drenched in small plastic aggression. The relationship lasted a few long Wile E. Coyote months longer.

For some people competition can be too much to handle. I'm not one of those people. So I went ahead and ordered another more aggressive two player card game as well. I'll save that for another day.

3 comments:

Herr Zrbo said...

"The game doesn't have a huge amount of interaction between the players"

Ahh, you have discovered my one complaint against Dominion. Unless you use certain card combinations (such as the Spy) you don't get a lot of player interaction. Now, this can be a good thing. Once I was playing this game with a lot of other people around who were not playing the game. It was good in that during my non-turns I could freely talk to them without necessarily having to pay attention to the game. But if you're looking for something competitive, Dominion doesn't necessarily cut it.

Once you run through the basic game there's a ton of expansions that can really add more strategies to the game. The Alchemy expansion adds Potions, which are basically a new type of currency, for example. Glad you enjoyed it!

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Boardcrafting said...

Glad you liked Dominion. If you want to add a bit of art and organization to your decks, check out Dominion Caddy. http://kck.st/Yg26Lk