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Subject: review & thoughts on: eminent domain rss

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Eduard reed
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So... I've played a couple of games now, and got a grasp of what this game has and what it lacks.

I do agree a 100% with the glory to race thing, it really feels like a mix of both, thinned out; and that's where things start to go wrong. This game is short. No matter whatever you do, this game feels short every single time you play it.

This game has 5 stacks of 8 to 16 cards each, depending on the number of players, and end game is triggered when 1 or 2 stacks are gone OR all victory points (24) are gone from the supply. Whatever number of players, you'll take between 10 and 14 turns approximately; then you've got three stacks of cards that are called technologies, of which you can buy any card, any time, as long as you meet the conditions on the card (own 1-3 planets of X type and have played 3/5/7 research icons) and at last you've got a deck of planets from which you'll be taking planets in order to attack/colonize them, and there for own them.

There are three ways you can get victory points; you might settle/attack a planet, which has a victory point value; you might produce and sell goods from your planets to get victory points from the supply ( so yeah, to do this you'll need planets, to the very least 3), and at last you can buy 2nd or 3rd tier technologies which have a victory point value (since for 2nd and 3rd tier technologies you need 2 or 3 planets of the same type, you also need planets for this). Technologies might also help to sell / colonize /attack faster or might give you the chance to grab victory points from the supply. See where I'm going? You have no chance but colonize /attack planets, in order to win this game, which makes sense. In a four player game, only 24 role actions might be played to attack/ colonize, and then the game ends.

What I've seen in all games I've played is that whenever the game is starting to build up, and players are starting to produce, buy higher tier technologies or even going over the 4-5 planet count, game ends. It has happened in all games I've played so far, and I'm pretty sure it will happen again, the reason is that a colonize spam, if well done, can earn lots of points and trigger end game. I said already this at the rules forum, colonize/attack spam has a linear function points-time, technologies and produce/trade have an exponential function points-time. Since everyone has to colonize or attack in order to make their technologies or produce/trade effective, they'll be giving extra turns to colonize to the player who's deck is full of colonize/warfare cards. And that is the whole problem with the game, there is an end game trigger that comes closer whether you want or not, and spam can make it happen any time.

My call on solving this? An expansion. make center piles 20, and while you're at it, add combat between players, and a couple of technologies, and some cheap technologies (1 or 2 symbols) which are just symbols for boosting roles ( I know technologies already do that, but this would keep me from playing warfare role and shortening the game, if I just want the card). That's a 30-40 card expansion, I'm aware of that, but that's what the game needs IMHO. This would make the game longer, giving you way to play a technologies / produce and have a very good chance to win, and what would actually end the game would be the research pile.

My final thoughts: Short, It leaves you cold. Cards are great, components are awesome and the box is nearly three times bigger that what it ought to be. I'd give it a 6/10 because it's still a game that can be played and can be entertaining, but I think it's fair to say it's not addicting.
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J.R. Shoenberger
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I felt that the game was pretty short with 2-players at first, but once I started getting better, my actions and roles became more efficient. Sometimes I do wish I could get some of my Tech cards out more, though.

With more players, it sounds like the long game would work better for you. I don't think I've ever felt like those games have been too short (sometimes they've been a bit long...)
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Alex Brown
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I have written a lot about the strategy of the game in the Strategy forum.

It's there if you want to become better at this game.
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Eduard reed
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I've played now 2 player and 4 player games. All felt the same.
I think being as "new" as it is it will get better with some expansion.
The other deck building I own is ascension, and comparing to that, it never feels that way, no matter how early the game ends. I think end game is the whole thing really, It's not like I am a Board Game doctor so WTF do I know... but it really feels that way.

I've got a feeling though the other issue is that if anyone spams colonize as a role( and for that matter, warfare too) you'll have to end up doing the role, if you want cards to get fighters or colonies... but well I think I've already stated all of this.

Thanks for the comments
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Wendell Hicken
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thcrusade wrote:
the reason is that a colonize spam, if well done, can earn lots of points and trigger end game.


Our group has been working through this as we collectively learn the game. In our case, when we didn't know how to use our turns as efficiently, it seemed like the colonize spam was pretty powerful, and did make the games really short. As we've been getting better at the game, this now seems like less of a problem - if you're playing against someone with a spam strategy (colonize OR warfare), you do need to be very aware of that, and adjust your game. But ideally, a skilled player should easily outmaneuver a basic spam strategy, and once the other players move away from spam, the game length seems to become more reasonable.

I don't consider myself a skilled enough player to answer the question conclusively, but that's how our games have been moving so far. I do worry that the game becomes a bit "samey" after awhile, since it more or less depends on the players to change to create diversity. Now we have some new favorite group-think strategies that need to be overcome...
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Tim J
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whicken wrote:
it more or less depends on the players to change to create diversity.


I had not thought about that before, but it is very true. I keep enjoying the game because I keep trying new things. The only truly variable thing is the planets you draw in survey having different strengths.
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Contigo
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This is commonly posted among first time players. Your first time through may be short because you all want to do the same thing and are less skilled at following.

Different players start with different types of worlds, as well as getting different worlds when they survey. So if your strategy is not supported by your worlds, you'll be at a disadvantage.
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Alex Brown
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contiguity wrote:
This is commonly posted among first time players. Your first time through may be short because you all want to do the same thing and are less skilled at following.


But how can you follow unless you do the same thing ?

I think the Colonize spam situation is a legitimate complaint in 3er. In 2er you don't HAVE to follow, in 4er you have a 2-pile endgame. In 3er, if both other players Colonize, it's difficult to get a lot of advantage before the game ends.

It's generally better to follow. Sort of like Settlers and diversifying your resources to have OPTIONS to trade, you want to follow on at least something in EmDo to have OPTIONS to gain more turns on your opponents.

contiguity wrote:

Different players start with different types of worlds, as well as getting different worlds when they survey. So if your strategy is not supported by your worlds, you'll be at a disadvantage.


Yes. Your best option is to Colonize as well, regardless of world, and Trade like mad. Unfortunately, the speed of 3er means you might not have time or get stuck with some sucky non-resource Metallic worlds.

I think the best answer is to 2-pile 3er. After that, I don't think excuses are legitimate.
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Doobermite
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In Dominion just take money. There's the game.
 
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Charlie Theel
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dbmite wrote:
In Dominion just take money. There's the game.


False.
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Doobermite
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charlest wrote:
dbmite wrote:
In Dominion just take money. There's the game.


False.


Precisely. There's more to Eminent Domain than simply taking Colonize cards.
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Carc >> BSG
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Eminent Domain » Forums » Reviews
Re: review & thoughts on: eminent domain
After a dozen games I'm still learning new strategies. I've seen one 4-player game where all the decks were whittled down to one or two before the game ended. Keep at it - you'll soon learn it's best to settle and attack as actions instead of roles.
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Contigo
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dbmite wrote:
charlest wrote:
dbmite wrote:
In Dominion just take money. There's the game.


False.


Precisely. There's more to Eminent Domain than simply taking Colonize cards.


This is not a bad comparison. Also, a player who knows his opponent will call Colonize can use that to his advantage; that's fairly easy for a player to follow (especially if his planets are cheap or he has colonize symbols). Roles like Produce, Trade, and Research are harder to follow.
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