28.6.09

Intriguing thoughts

I love Dominion, Donald Vaccarino's fantastic game from last year and have been playing almost constantly since I got it. The expansion (Intrigue) is out in Europe but not in the states; my pre-order hasn't arrived, but I've been able to play 5 cards from the new set for free on BrettspielWelt. (Look for games that are set "random intrigue".)

Here are the cards that are included and my pithy insights into each of them:

Card: Baron
Type: Action
Cost: 4
Text: +1 Buy. You may discard an estate card. If you do, +4 Coin. Otherwise, gain an estate card.

Nice new use of estates and overall a quality card. If you have an estate in your hand, he thins your deck and gives you a sizable purchase bonus. If you don't, he gives you an estate. Perpetual motion money machine!

Card: Nobles
Type: Action - Victory
Cost: 6
Text: 2VP; Choose 1: +3 Cards; or +2 Actions

There used to be no decision when it came to what to buy with 6 money, and now they're still isn't. You buy this card because there are fewer of them than golds and he chains with other nobles like crazy. Drawing 2+ of these guys is great; combo-ing with a throne room is divinity. (Granted almost everything combo-ed with a throne room is great.)

Card: Minion
Type: Action - Attack
Cost: 5
Text: +1 Action; Choose one: +2 Coin; or discard your hand, + 4 cards, and each other player with at least 5 cards discards their hand and draws 4 more cards.

Not the best 5 cost card, but a strange attacking library variant. I buy these and chain them together, then reset my hand if I didn't have any money in my final hand. I think this is the card makes action chaining decks more viable. Works well with extra action cards (village, festival, noble), because having more than one action after the discard is key.

Card: Swindler
Type: Action - Attack
Cost: 3
Text: +2 Coin. Each other player trashes the top card of his deck and gains a card of the same cost that you choose.

If you thought the thief was evil, you haven't played with this guy yet. The key words are "you chose". You know what costs the same as a copper? A curse card. You can turn opponent's estates into lots and lots of chapels, their gold into adventurers, and other truly awful things. Has a pleasant side benefit of making the game end much quicker because lots of cards are trashed and picked up. Less effective later in the game because at the 3, 4, or 5 cost level because it's often an even trade. Swindling an opponent's province when they're in the lead (trashing their province and having them pick up another one) can cause biblical lamentations.

Card: Upgrade
Type: Action
Cost: 5
Text: +1 Card, +1 Action. Trash a card form your hand. Gain a card costing exactly 1 Coin more than it.

I think this card sucks, except for being a cowardly (and chaining) man's chapel. (Throw away a copper/curse, nothing costs 1, so you don't have to pick anything up.) Otherwise you need a very even spread of cards on the table for you to climb the cost ladder successfully. All other main set 5 cost cards are better buys. (I'm right until someone beats me with this card!) Remodel is superior and cheaper.

If these five cards are an indication of the quality of the set as whole, Vaccarino may earn my "boardgame of the year" two years in a row. I can't wait for the set to come out!

1 comment:

Brettspiele said...

Do you know if there are any expansion sets for dominion?