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Subject: Deckbuilder Dominion still best option? rss

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Jonas Vanschooren
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We have a few deckbuilders in our collection.
But I'm missing a quick competitive deckbuilder, great with 2 and no mean stuff. I like the dominion style of market over an Ascension style.

Is dominion still my best option? Up till now the theme has kept me from buying it, but maybe I should look past that.
And which box of dominion would you advice for my needs?
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D S
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If you like theme and want a deckbuilder without direct conflict, I humbly suggest Valley of the Kings. I don't like Dominion. For myself, it's not worth the pile of money you need to get an interesting collection, and once you have it you will still not have (1) theme or (2) art.

Even though I'm still annoyed at AEG over an unrelated matter, I really like Valley of the Kings, and I prefer it to Dominion.

Edit: And it's quick, and great with 2, as requested.
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Freelance Police
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Dominion with fewer Attacks: Dominion base set, Prosperity, and Seaside. I think Dominion is the best option. It has a wide *variety* of expansion sets. IMO, Dominion doesn't really have any theme, no more than Carc, for example. If you're into anime, mebbe you can track down the Touhou Dominion base set...!
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Jonas Vanschooren
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Thnx for the info.

So if I where to buy base + 1 expansion what to get?
Would like as little (or none) mean cards.
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Kasper Lauest
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I have played most of the best known deckbuilders and none of them come even close to Dominion.
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A. Mandible
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Yeah, Dominion is rock-solid in terms of gameplay. It's hard to recommend anything over it.

Agree that Prosperity is the best expansion if you're only getting one. If you get two expansions (plus the separate base cards so you can play ) maybe also Hinterlands? Or Dark Ages or Empires? I dunno, depends how complex you like your games, Prosperity plus Dark Ages is throwing you in at the deep end a little bit. But the deep end of Dominion is totally manageable for lots of board gamers.
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John Burt
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Spukky wrote:
Thnx for the info.

So if I where to buy base + 1 expansion what to get?
Would like as little (or none) mean cards.


I also don't like mean cards, so I think I know where you're coming from.

All Dominion sets have attack (mean) cards. Some have a few more/less. You can simply choose not to play with the attack cards, like we do, but that reduces some of the game's strategy challenge and encourages boring big money strategies (buy money to buy money, then switch to buying VP cards).

Even though I've played hundreds of games with the Androminion app, I don't particularly care for Dominion as a physical game. I find it themeless and tedious to set up / break down. It's just not enough fun for the effort and shelf space taken. But, if you do want to try Dominion, then as a fellow peaceful gamer I'd suggest you buy Prosperity and/or Seaside (or maybe Adventures instead of Seaside) and just the base cards that will allow you to play the game without one of the base sets. Prosperity has cards that help with big money strategies, and Seaside/Adventures has cards that let you do fancy things with your cards. That should give you maximum fun for minimum expense and shelf space.

As for other suggestions, I'll give a big ++ to Valley of the Kings. We have both games and I make custom decks out of them, tailored to our play preferences. The game boxes are very small and the games are relatively cheap. The game play is much more interesting than Dominion, IMO, and though there are mean cards, you can either not play with them, or play with them but only use them for their buying ability and set collection value. I'm eagerly waiting Last Rites, which combined with the first two decks will provide a huge amount of variability to how your deck can be configured.
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Matt D
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ds3272 wrote:
If you like theme and want a deckbuilder without direct conflict, I humbly suggest Valley of the Kings. I don't like Dominion. For myself, it's not worth the pile of money you need to get an interesting collection, and once you have it you will still not have (1) theme or (2) art.

Even though I'm still annoyed at AEG over an unrelated matter, I really like Valley of the Kings, and I prefer it to Dominion.

Edit: And it's quick, and great with 2, as requested.


Ok, I LOVE Valley of the Kings and it is my favorite deck builder by far. And it plays great with two. But it is ASBOLUTELY not "without direct conflict".

There are entire sets of cards that do nothing but make your opponent discard or sacrifice cards, take cards in and out of their tomb (scoring pile), etc.

Honestly, VotK can be a really mean game. I don't typically like conflict games and it's not 100% conflict, but it has way more interaction and conflict than Ascension or IMO even Dominion does. You can avoid using kingdom cards that cause conflict in Dominion (ie just never do a set up with Militia or Witch), but conflict in VotK is unavoidable.

The expansion can be even nastier...
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John Burt
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hestiansun wrote:


Honestly, VotK can be a really mean game. I don't typically like conflict games and it's not 100% conflict, but it has way more interaction and conflict than Ascension or IMO even Dominion does. You can avoid using kingdom cards that cause conflict in Dominion (ie just never do a set up with Militia or Witch), but conflict in VotK is unavoidable.

The expansion can be even nastier...


That's not true, conflict is avoidable and that's an important feature of VoK: unlike with Dominion, the mean cards are useful for things besides their mean actions, particularly their buying and set collection value. That means peaceful players can still acquire and use those mean cards without taking any mean actions, and doing that doesn't break or diminish the game experience. That's exactly how we play this game, and it's one of our favorites.
 
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Bill Eldard
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grasa_total wrote:
Yeah, Dominion is rock-solid in terms of gameplay. It's hard to recommend anything over it.


I'm recommending Trains -- deck-building with meaningful boardplay.
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Jonas Vanschooren
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There is a very cheap simple box out in Dutch Het Koninkrijk Dominion
Could this work for expansions to be added to?


there's 249 cards in the box:
-40 starting cards, being 28 Copper and 12 Estates;
-40 money cards, being 24 Silver and 16 Gold;
-24 victory cards, being 12 Duchies and 12 Provinces;
-132 kingdom cards, being 12 of harem and 8 each of Basement, Junction, Valet, Smuggler, Militia, Bridge, Renovation, Market, Mine, Farmer's Village, Library, Treasury, Witch, Philosopher and Scum;
-13 blank cards.
 
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John Russell
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Sort of building on this - I'm selling my Dominion set (+ Intrigue, Prosperity and Seaside), it just doesn't get a lot of play and I think it's because we don't return to the theme that often.

What do people here thing of Arctic Scavengers as a possible recommendation?
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Spukky wrote:
So if I where to buy base + 1 expansion what to get?
Would like as little (or none) mean cards.


Base game and either Prosperity or Seaside. Check the threads on the Dominion forum.

As for Arctic Scavengers, it's a very different, but confrontational and possibly mean, game. Check out this Shut Up and Sit Down video!



No, wait. Check out *this* SUASD video. Stupid non-embedding Vimeo.
https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/videos/review-arctic-scaven...
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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Check out Legendary: A marvel Deckbuilding game (by the way, how do I add hyperlinks to game names?) or Legendary villains: a marvel deckbuilding game. Some people prefer to play it as a co-op game, but it can be very competitive. you compete for points and for who is the mvp of the game. even when you lose against the mastermind (which can happen a lot if you add expansions) you can still count points to see who lost less than the other and on whom you can put the blame for the loss .
 
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A. Mandible
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
Check out Legendary: A marvel Deckbuilding game (by the way, how do I add hyperlinks to game names?) or Legendary villains: a marvel deckbuilding game.


The OP said that they preferred Dominion-style games to Ascension-style ones. Legendary is very much in the Ascension family-- there are four or five cards available at once, if someone else buys one it's replaced by something different.
 
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hestiansun wrote:
ds3272 wrote:
If you like theme and want a deckbuilder without direct conflict, I humbly suggest Valley of the Kings. I don't like Dominion. For myself, it's not worth the pile of money you need to get an interesting collection, and once you have it you will still not have (1) theme or (2) art.

Even though I'm still annoyed at AEG over an unrelated matter, I really like Valley of the Kings, and I prefer it to Dominion.

Edit: And it's quick, and great with 2, as requested.


Ok, I LOVE Valley of the Kings and it is my favorite deck builder by far. And it plays great with two. But it is ASBOLUTELY not "without direct conflict".

There are entire sets of cards that do nothing but make your opponent discard or sacrifice cards, take cards in and out of their tomb (scoring pile), etc.

Honestly, VotK can be a really mean game. I don't typically like conflict games and it's not 100% conflict, but it has way more interaction and conflict than Ascension or IMO even Dominion does. You can avoid using kingdom cards that cause conflict in Dominion (ie just never do a set up with Militia or Witch), but conflict in VotK is unavoidable.

The expansion can be even nastier...

Yeah, we play Afterlife exclusively.

There can be a lot of meanness, and I thought this subject might come up. As I understood the OP, the kind of resource-deprivation you see in VotK would be ok. That's a feature that Dominion and VotK have in common, but do not share with Ascension, which the OP gave as an example of a deckbuilder he doesn't like.

You're right, of course. In the competition for resources it can be pretty vicious. I just didn't (and don't) think that's precisely what the OP meant when he wrote "mean."
 
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Jonas Vanschooren
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
Check out Legendary: A marvel Deckbuilding game (by the way, how do I add hyperlinks to game names?) or Legendary villains: a marvel deckbuilding game. Some people prefer to play it as a co-op game, but it can be very competitive. you compete for points and for who is the mvp of the game. even when you lose against the mastermind (which can happen a lot if you add expansions) you can still count points to see who lost less than the other and on whom you can put the blame for the loss .

We own 2 of its full coop brothers, Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game and Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game which we love indeed.
But I'm missing a good fast competitive game with more strategy then the ascension based games.
 
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Grill Murray
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I've probably got more deckbuilders in my collection than any other type of game and the best of them by far is Arctic Scavengers, plus you get all the expansions in the one box. If you pushed me to recommend a second or third I'd throw Star Realms and Helionox into the mix.
 
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I'd rather play Arctic Scavengers over Dominion any day, however not 2 player.

2-player really chops us off at the knees with only Star Realms as one I can think of that really works.
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Vita Est Certamine
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I was a huge deckbuilder fanatic. it pretty much was my first entry into modern gaming with Ascension. From there we tried everything you can think of.

Dominion wouldn't be my choice as the best deckbuilder, but it's possibly the most accessible.

I have since sold off nearly all my deckbuilders. They all seem so similar and tend to have a solitaire feeling to them.

The ones I kept and strong recommend are:

1. Zeppelin Attack. This is easily one of the very best deck builders out there for us. it's aggressive, strategic, and offers direct confrontation with opponent(s). Just an awesome gamer's deck builder. Very inexpensive too.

2. Nightfall This is again an direct conflict (non-solitaire) deckbuilder. It had a lot of love a few years ago. It's OOP now, but you can find all but the last expansion fairly cheap. Game offers awesome mechanics in an immersive theme. Again, this is a gamer's deckbuilder and quite a leap away from Dominion in complexity.

3. Star Realms. This simple, popular deckbuilder is fast, aggressive, and fun. Luck can sometimes be overwheling, but the games are typically so short that it doesn't matter. Cost to buy us, like Zeppelin Attack, very cheap.

4. Cthulhu Realms. IMO it's Star Realms 2.0. A bit more complex, more strategic, better artwork and theme (to me). Unlike Star Realms, Cthulhu Realms actually scales excellently from 2 to 4 players. And again, inexpensive.

5. I'll also add Thunderstone Advance. Awexome deckbuilder, but OOP and a bit pricey.
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Matt D
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quill65 wrote:
hestiansun wrote:


Honestly, VotK can be a really mean game. I don't typically like conflict games and it's not 100% conflict, but it has way more interaction and conflict than Ascension or IMO even Dominion does. You can avoid using kingdom cards that cause conflict in Dominion (ie just never do a set up with Militia or Witch), but conflict in VotK is unavoidable.

The expansion can be even nastier...


That's not true, conflict is avoidable and that's an important feature of VoK: unlike with Dominion, the mean cards are useful for things besides their mean actions, particularly their buying and set collection value. That means peaceful players can still acquire and use those mean cards without taking any mean actions, and doing that doesn't break or diminish the game experience. That's exactly how we play this game, and it's one of our favorites.


I don't mean to get into an argument with you, but I feel it is very important to be as clear as possible in a recommendation thread.

What you say is true - each card can be used for three things in a turn (gold value, its printed action, and entombing for points), and if you want to house rule niceness you can certainly say that you are not able to use certain cards for their actions. But IMO I wouldn't recommend a game that requires that kind of house ruling to avoid conflict. Bear in mind, when I play with my wife we frequently use "nice rules" -- in Ticket to Ride we play that you don't claim routed that aren't part of a chain you need (ie no blocking just to block) and in Carcassone we don't put city pieces adjacent to owned cities to try to "steal cities", and try to avoid steering roads into squares to make it harder to fill. It depends upon my wife's mood, and it is a changing of mentality for the whole game.

What you are talking about is specifically nerfing a particular subset of cards -- one card can be used three ways, one card can only be used two ways.

If I can buy a card that forces opponents to discard down to three cards in their hand, or sacrifice a card they have, etc, but I am not permitted to use that action in the game because we are house ruling "nice", that causes an imbalance to say the least.

I'm not saying you are Playing the game "wrong". That's a perfectly reasonable house rule. However I would NOT suggest that a game does not include conflict because you can house rule the conflict out when you play, when you are discussing it as a potential recommendation to someone. That isn't doing them any favors.

No matter how awesome the game actually is.
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Jonas Vanschooren
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Maddest Hatter wrote:
I was a huge deckbuilder fanatic. it pretty much was my first entry into modern gaming with Ascension. From there we tried everything you can think of.

Dominion wouldn't be my choice as the best deckbuilder, but it's possibly the most accessible.

I have since sold off nearly all my deckbuilders. They all seem so similar and tend to have a solitaire feeling to them.

The ones I kept and strong recommend are:

1. Zeppelin Attack. This is easily one of the very best deck builders out there for us. it's aggressive, strategic, and offers direct confrontation with opponent(s). Just an awesome gamer's deck builder. Very inexpensive too.

2. Nightfall This is again an direct conflict (non-solitaire) deckbuilder. It had a lot of love a few years ago. It's OOP now, but you can find all but the last expansion fairly cheap. Game offers awesome mechanics in an immersive theme. Again, this is a gamer's deckbuilder and quite a leap away from Dominion in complexity.

3. Star Realms. This simple, popular deckbuilder is fast, aggressive, and fun. Luck can sometimes be overwheling, but the games are typically so short that it doesn't matter. Cost to buy us, like Zeppelin Attack, very cheap.

4. Cthulhu Realms. IMO it's Star Realms 2.0. A bit more complex, more strategic, better artwork and theme (to me). Unlike Star Realms, Cthulhu Realms actually scales excellently from 2 to 4 players. And again, inexpensive.

5. I'll also add Thunderstone Advance. Awexome deckbuilder, but OOP and a bit pricey.


Most of these I dismissed cause they are to confrontational for us.
Thunderstone we do own and like (we played it today) but it tends to be long. I want a Thunderstone Advance like experience in 30 - 45 min.
 
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Matt D
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Ok, so NOT a "deck" builder, but there is a game that might fit your bill called Automobiles that is a CUBE builder.

It's a racing game in theme, but basically you have a bag of cubes, and over the course of the game you buy cubes. Some are just "gears" which advance you on a track, and some are powers which do various things. You can use your cubes either for their action or to gain cash to buy more cubes. As you race, you build up "wear" which are useless cubes, and then you have a type of cube that trashes them, etc.

It has all of the elements of a deck builder like Dominion -- strategies around combos, deck thinning, etc. There is literally ZERO confrontation -- the only interaction that you have with other players involves around manipulating your discard pile (because some cubes trigger better or not at all based around what cubes are in other people's discards), and if you can land directly behind another player you avoid wear.

It's relatively new, came out earlier this year. I really, really like it. It comes with a few different tracks, and a bunch of different cards to indicate what the cubes do. IE, there are a few different "green" cards, and depending upon which you use indicates that the green cube does in the game. So it has that same versatility of Dominion in that you can have a multitude of different setups.

I highly recommend it. If you're curious about it, yucata.de has an online implementation of it so you can check it out there and see how it is.

Honestly, this may be perfect for you--it plays in about...well, honestly, i've only played it on yucata never touched it, but it can play in about 20 minutes or so I think if you're moving quickly.
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Jonas Vanschooren
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hestiansun wrote:
Ok, so NOT a "deck" builder, but there is a game that might fit your bill called Automobiles that is a CUBE builder.

It's a racing game in theme, but basically you have a bag of cubes, and over the course of the game you buy cubes. Some are just "gears" which advance you on a track, and some are powers which do various things. You can use your cubes either for their action or to gain cash to buy more cubes. As you race, you build up "wear" which are useless cubes, and then you have a type of cube that trashes them, etc.

It has all of the elements of a deck builder like Dominion -- strategies around combos, deck thinning, etc. There is literally ZERO confrontation -- the only interaction that you have with other players involves around manipulating your discard pile (because some cubes trigger better or not at all based around what cubes are in other people's discards), and if you can land directly behind another player you avoid wear.

It's relatively new, came out earlier this year. I really, really like it. It comes with a few different tracks, and a bunch of different cards to indicate what the cubes do. IE, there are a few different "green" cards, and depending upon which you use indicates that the green cube does in the game. So it has that same versatility of Dominion in that you can have a multitude of different setups.

I highly recommend it. If you're curious about it, yucata.de has an online implementation of it so you can check it out there and see how it is.

Honestly, this may be perfect for you--it plays in about...well, honestly, i've only played it on yucata never touched it, but it can play in about 20 minutes or so I think if you're moving quickly.


Great recommendation, we already love Orléans and this would certainly hit that bag builder itch.
 
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John Burt
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Quote:
I'm not saying you are Playing the game "wrong". That's a perfectly reasonable house rule. However I would NOT suggest that a game does not include conflict because you can house rule the conflict out when you play, when you are discussing it as a potential recommendation to someone. That isn't doing them any favors.


The way we play is strictly according to the rules, there is no house ruling at all, because there is no obligation to play a card's action, and that's why I recommend this game for peaceful gamers. When you play a card, you can legally use it for three things (card action, money, entomb). Over the course of a game, players will frequently use most cards for other than their action, and in fact you can't win if you don't. We just choose to use the small number of attack cards for only money or entombing, and we're happy with the game that way.

 
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