$10.00
Recommend
20 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Saint Petersburg» Forums » Reviews

Subject: First time playing Saint Petersburg rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Cyrill Lampart
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It was during our weekly boardgame meetings that someone brought along Saint Petersburg and I got to be honest that I wasn't too interest in playing the game but one thing let to another and before I knew it, there I was sitting at that table.

My first impression wasn't great, the game components looked rather unimaginative and boring. When we got the high level overview of the rules things got even worse for me and I started to regret sitting down in the first place.

To put it simple you try to buy cards from 4 different piles of cards, each pile being available during its turn and all the effect of those cards only taking place in the same one. You try to make more money with some and score points with others, the person with the highest score at the end wins.

Now if that reminds you a little bit of Dominion than you are thinking the same that I did.

HOWEVER...

My mind changed after the 2nd round, all of a sudden the simple mechnanics start to develop depth and intrigue, players buying each others cards off the table and you realize that you invested wrong at one place and you are about to pay the price for it. I got more and more drawn into the game and really started to enjoy it rather alot!

I lost pretty badly but I had a great time at the end...all in all I was surprised how tight it was at some stage between all players, the overall balance seems to be quite good.

I would without a doubt play the game again if given the opportunity and I would recommend everyone to give it a try.

There are nevertheless similarities to Dominion (which was released about 4 years later I believe). Basically I would say that Saint Petersburg is a simpler, board based version of it. Simpler in the sense that you only have a small selection of different cards available in comparison to Dominion, also the artwork and dynamic can't be compared.

Fundamentily however the games try to achive the same goal with similar mechanics, get the right mix of cards to increase your currently to buy cards that provide you with Victory points to come out on top.

My closing points:

- if you like dominion you will enjoy Saint Petersburg and vice versa
- i would play it again in a heart beat
- would I buy it knowing there is a game such as dominion, probably not
- would I play it rather than dominion, sorry, probably not
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Runcible Spoon
United States
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
XSylarX wrote:
Fundamentily however the games try to achive the same goal with similar mechanics, get the right mix of cards to increase your currently to buy cards that provide you with Victory points to come out on top.


As a contrasting perspective I think the games are not that much alike (I also assume that we are not talking about expansions for either game).

Dominion: cards, buying stuff, deck building, no tableau building

St. Petersburg: cards, buying stuff, no deck building, tableau building

Some other differences:

In St. Pete you have distinct phases and management of resources across and within phases is key. The movement of cards from a stack to the card pool is broken up across many phases and the card pool changes every phase. Also, managing income across all the phases, given that you only get income at the start of the first phase, is very different than in Dominion where you basically get a 'refresh' of your hand each turn.

Dominion, within a given game, has a fairly static card pool with the only significant changes being the exhaustion of a particular stack of cards. Between games of Dominion, so playing a 2nd game after the 1st, can be highly variable however.

In St. Pete the fact that not all of the cards will enter play (the game is over when one stack is exhausted) means that not all cards are available within a single game of St. Pete. As for between game variation (By that I mean going from game 1 to game 2 i.e. playing a 2nd match) we see that the available card pool for the entirety of the game is the same as the previous game (i.e. there are no cards to include or exclude as there are in Dominion). However, the actual card pool of which cards are revealed in a given game is highly variable. whereas again in Dominion it is very nearly static.

Playing cards from your hand in St. Pete rarely (if ever?) results in long card combos. Not true for Dominion.

XSylarX wrote:

My closing points:

- if you like dominion you will enjoy Saint Petersburg and vice versa


Maybe for some, but not for me or my game group (no dominion fans among us).

XSylarX wrote:

- would I play it rather than dominion, sorry, probably not


Obviously the reverse is true for us.

My negation of those comments is not to say that you are not entitled to your opinion and gaming tastes, you certainly are entitled to those, I just offer it to present some diversity of opinion.

Also, I mention all of this so that some poor soul doesn't read this and think "Hey, St. Pete is a lot like Dominion, and we like Dominion, so lets play St. Pete."

It sounds like, based on your last comment, you would probably agree with that caution to some extent at least.

Finally, thanks for the review and comparison of the two games. It prompted me to really think about similarities and differences between the two and I hope my post provided you with the same opportunity.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cyrill Lampart
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Runcible Spoon wrote:
XSylarX wrote:
Fundamentily however the games try to achive the same goal with similar mechanics, get the right mix of cards to increase your currently to buy cards that provide you with Victory points to come out on top.


As a contrasting perspective I think the games are not that much alike (I also assume that we are not talking about expansions for either game).

Dominion: cards, buying stuff, deck building, no tableau building

St. Petersburg: cards, buying stuff, no deck building, tableau building

Some other differences:

In St. Pete you have distinct phases and management of resources across and within phases is key. The movement of cards from a stack to the card pool is broken up across many phases and the card pool changes every phase. Also, managing income across all the phases, given that you only get income at the start of the first phase, is very different than in Dominion where you basically get a 'refresh' of your hand each turn.

Dominion, within a given game, has a fairly static card pool with the only significant changes being the exhaustion of a particular stack of cards. Between games of Dominion, so playing a 2nd game after the 1st, can be highly variable however.

In St. Pete the fact that not all of the cards will enter play (the game is over when one stack is exhausted) means that not all cards are available within a single game of St. Pete. As for between game variation (By that I mean going from game 1 to game 2 i.e. playing a 2nd match) we see that the available card pool for the entirety of the game is the same as the previous game (i.e. there are no cards to include or exclude as there are in Dominion). However, the actual card pool of which cards are revealed in a given game is highly variable. whereas again in Dominion it is very nearly static.

Playing cards from your hand in St. Pete rarely (if ever?) results in long card combos. Not true for Dominion.

XSylarX wrote:

My closing points:

- if you like dominion you will enjoy Saint Petersburg and vice versa


Maybe for some, but not for me or my game group (no dominion fans among us).

XSylarX wrote:

- would I play it rather than dominion, sorry, probably not


Obviously the reverse is true for us.

My negation of those comments is not to say that you are not entitled to your opinion and gaming tastes, you certainly are entitled to those, I just offer it to present some diversity of opinion.

Also, I mention all of this so that some poor soul doesn't read this and think "Hey, St. Pete is a lot like Dominion, and we like Dominion, so lets play St. Pete."

It sounds like, based on your last comment, you would probably agree with that caution to some extent at least.

Finally, thanks for the review and comparison of the two games. It prompted me to really think about similarities and differences between the two and I hope my post provided you with the same opportunity.


:-) Fascinating, it shows how different people can not only experience two games completely differently, but that the dynamics and impressions of the games can be experienced completely differently too.

It was very interesting to read you thoughts on the game and I will take it back to our game group, it will make for an interesting discussion, thank you.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I bought Saint Petersburg late last year without ever playing it, but on reputation only. The artwork did not interest me at all. When I opened the box I was even more underwhelmed. HOWEVER, once we played it my wife and I were hooked. This game really surprised us.

I don't see any similarities to Dominion, but that's okay, we agree that St. Petersburg is a wonderful game.

meeple Keep playing...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Male
United Kingdom
Woburn Sands
Beds
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Like some of the other replies, I think they are quite different - I really like St Petersburg but find Dominion rather dull.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Have you seen the Yellow Sign?
badge
Have you seen the Yellow Sign?
mbmbmbmbmb
Personally I can't imagine how dominion and st Petersburg are even remotely similar. I love both games very much. But they share very little in common with each other.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Ruble
United States
Mount Pleasant
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This is definitely a "never expected to love this" game, BUT it is so good! Simple, fairly quick and satisfying.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Benjamin
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I will play St. Petersburg ANYTIME but hope to NEVER play Dumbinion again.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Kearns
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
flag msg tools
Silence is golden.
badge
O God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.
mb
RaffertyA wrote:
Dumbinion


BURN!

Also, St. Pete rocks out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Collins
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmb
voynix wrote:
Personally I can't imagine how dominion and st Petersburg are even remotely similar. I love both games very much. But they share very little in common with each other.

This x 2. They're both great games, but any similarities are very, very strained.

Dominion is a deck builder - it's about creating and refining a deck of cards with specific powers, finding the combinations that work well together and whittling out the dross. It's about managing the chances that a random draw of cards in your hand will be as good as possible.

St P, on the other hand, is about building a growing tableau. The cards you buy are permanently and continuously active (unless upgraded to a different card that is then continuously active). There is no randomness about the resources you'll have available to buy new cards in a turn, as those resources come entirely from your tableau. It's a game of resource management, and special powers on cards are few and far between.

I mean, yeah, there's a tension between investing in cards which generate money, and those which generate VP, but the gameplay around that concept is almost entirely dissimilar. And so is the feel of the games - St P is a drier and more precise game than Dominion, and more structured.

Having said that, I'm glad the OP enjoyed the game. It's definitely a game which rewards multiple plays, and a more in-depth understanding of the strategy. Something else I guess it has in common with Dominion
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Zaleski
United States
Wintersville
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It's funny, but I found this interesting because both have the economic engine build up with a transition to points focus. And balancing when that happens is a key part of both games. (i.e. buying too many Dutchy's early in Dominion will clog your future hand, but Gold late can be useless is analagous to the blue vs green cards). Lots of games have this mechnaic though, the most notable is Puerto Rico. So going into a game like this I could see how your mindset is alike.

But I agree, it's a bit more stretched in other ways, especially with the mechanics, and it's mostly related to the feel in regards to that one characteristic. I could see how if someone wanted something about as deep but different from Dominion to mix it up, this might be a good one to add.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Harrington
United States
Fort Myers
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I find it humorous that so many on this thread so vastly prefer St. Pete to Dominion (I do also.) However, if this post were under the Dominion discussion group, I would expect exactly the opposite results.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.