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Thomas
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We (my girlfriend and I) are not really big euro gamers, though we are open to trying them and this one came highly recommend. The only ones we own are Yedo, Takenoko, Alien Frontiers, Stone Age, Lord of Waterdeep and Dungeon Petz (have not learned it yet though). I heard this game is very cut throat and has a lot of player interaction which we both enjoy. I am worried the strategies may be difficult for us to pick up within a few games. Also it seems games take along time, is there a lot of down time? Is the game "fiddly with tons of upkeep?

Thanks in advanced
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Bill Hartman
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If you have an iPad, it is available on that. Cheap way to try it out before spending the big money on physical version... (I have it on iPad but haven't played it yet, hope to get to it soon and try the tutorial).
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Thomas
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Thanks I may try the iPad version but I was hoping to hear from others who Owen or have played some of the games we play that may be able to provide some insight. A lot of board games have a different dynamic in real life vs their digital counterparts. Sure you get a feel for the rules but it's the human element I'm concerned with.
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Bill Hartman
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Yeah, I've always wanted to try the game out but didn't have anyone else interested to play it with. Been meaning to give the iPad one a try. Good luck!
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Jade Youngblood
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Amazing game, with an amazing rulebook.

COMPETE FOR EVERYTHING!

the games take 2-3 hours
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Thomas
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championstyle wrote:
Amazing game, with an amazing rulebook.

COMPETE FOR EVERYTHING!

the games take 2-3 hours


Even for just 2-players? Usually 2 hours is our limit
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Jonathan Harrison
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It is a long game.
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Thomas
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
It is a long game.


But is it engaging, is there a lot of down time?
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Jonathan Harrison
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All your actions will be interspersed with everyone else's: you'll have a number of action pawns, assign them to various actions, and then the group as a whole will progress through the actions in a preset order. Whatever order you placed in is the order you'll take that action. So everyone's actions are all mixed up together, one after another after another.

Then you rinse and repeat.

So I wouldn't say there's a lot of downtime. And it is very engaging.

It is possible, though, for there to be some downtime while people are thinking what actions to take. The game is a very brain-burning one.
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Thomas
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Is this game harder to learn or pickup on the strategies than say Dungeon Petz?
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Jonathan Harrison
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Someone else will have to answer that—I own Dungeon Petz but haven't played it yet.

But after looking at the Dungeon Petz rulebook, I'm guessing it's at least easier to learn than Dungeon Petz. Having already played Dominant Species, I could teach someone how to play it in 10 minutes.

The strategies are very deep, however. The ripples of your actions can be totally below or above your notice when you haven't played very much.
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Ed Bradley
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If 2 hours is your upper limit I would avoid DS.
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Thomas
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Fwing wrote:
If 2 hours is your upper limit I would avoid DS.


Well I mean some of our Last Night on Earth sessions run 3 hours but that's our max.
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Ed Bradley
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Fwing wrote:
If 2 hours is your upper limit I would avoid DS.


Well I mean some of our Last Night on Earth sessions run 3 hours but that's our max.


With practice we now finish a 4+ player game of DS in about 3 hours. In the early days we had some run MUCH longer.

Don't get me wrong it's a totally awesome game I'm just concerned it's not a great fit given the info we have here.

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Sven Christmas
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Indeed it can be a (very) long game but every minute spent is worth it. I also own some of the other games you mentioned but they are in no comparison to DS with it's highly strategical level. But you should try it first on your iPad. Perhaps your expectations are going into another direction?
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Morten K
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This is one of my very favourite games - and I'm a euro gamer. The game i cutthroat and has a lot of interaction. For me, this game is one of the best euros in regards to feeling the theme while playing it. It is indeed very complex, but I would not say it is overly complicated and if you want to cut down on the time it takes to play you can always remove cards from it. Our first play (4 player game) took 3 hours which I didn't think was too bad.

Depending on play style, this is not the worst brain burner because it is quite often impossible to plan that many turns ahead due to the heavy player interaction so a lot is ad hoc tactics as you play trying to adopt to what has changed in the world.
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Derry Salewski
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Two players shouldn't take you more than two hours once you learn it.

But it's not like those other games. You might like Age of Empires better.
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Sonia Mitchell
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We own Dominant Species. It's one of my favourite games As you know, the 2 player variety involves control of 2 animals. I quite like the fact that they work together. My boyfriend suffers from AP and finds it a little harder to control them both. Games generally last around 2 hours, I'd say less if you don't have AP. Saying that, I don't think there's a huge amount of down time as there's a good number of things to think about. Fiddly? There's lots of chits but they are randomly drawn from one bag. Each round you must refresh certain sections of the board. It's not too difficult and the rule book is very clear. I'm hoping to play it tonight with a group of 5!! Can't wait!

From your list we own only Dungeon Petz. But as it arrived yesterday I've no idea how it compares. Buy Dominant Species!
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Martyn Smith
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I have only just got this game but I can already VERY strongly recommend it. Yes, as others have noted, it is a long game but it truly doesn't feel like it. It keeps you thinking and engaged and the chaos will always throw up opportunities to revert to plan B!

I love the theme and it feels anything but pasted on. My 17 year old son loved it and immediately asked for a rematch. My ultra-anti-game wife also LOVES it - this is no small thing

I realise that I am gushing in my praise but I feel confident, given what you've said about your gaming, that you would NOT regret buying this magisterial game...
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M M
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
We (my girlfriend and I) are not really big euro gamers, though we are open to trying them and this one came highly recommend. The only ones we own are Yedo, Takenoko, Alien Frontiers, Stone Age, Lord of Waterdeep and Dungeon Petz (have not learned it yet though). I heard this game is very cut throat and has a lot of player interaction which we both enjoy. I am worried the strategies may be difficult for us to pick up within a few games. Also it seems games take along time, is there a lot of down time? Is the game "fiddly with tons of upkeep?

Thanks in advanced

There's almost zero upkeep time and there isn't much down time. As someone else explained, turns are broken into 2 phases. The first phase is placing action pawns to claim actions and action priorities. Then once all the action pawns are placed, the player resolves them left-to-right and up-to-down, same as if you were reading a book in English. Most of the lulls happen in the initial action pawn placement as people are planning out their turn but even then, it's rare to see someone stare at the board for more than a few minutes. For the most part, you can be planning your turn/actions while the other person thinks.

Strategies is probably not the best way to describe the game interaction, at least not in the sense of learning them. The game is definitely strategic. You're making moves and plans for a couple of turns into the future on a board that shifts drastically and dynamically over the space of every turn, but it isn't like you're learning combos to apply in the future. Instead it's a constant reevaluation of the board-state and spotting where you or your opponent are weak and what you can do about it. And a lot of the larger swings in the game will be driven by which cards come out when and what the board looks like when they do.

It's not Lords of Waterdeep, but that's a good thing. I've played maybe half a dozen games of LoW, and couldn't tell you a single thing about any of them. I've played 3 or 4 games of Dominant Species and remember plays from 2 of them, 1 of which I don't think I'll ever forget. The game is just so extremely good.

Timewise, the end-point of the game is determined when the last Domination (think: bonus) card is drawn. There's 24 cards and an official variant where you take out 4 of them which add action pawns to your side. So it shortens the game by reducing the game by 1 turn and by reducing the number of actions that players may get in each turn. Using that variant, I played a 4-person game this past weekend in 2 1/2 hours.

Really, for anybody who likes strategy games, the question shouldn't be whether or not to try Dominant Species. The question should be what did you think of it after you did. There's other games that scratch different itches for me, but nothing I'm playing right now is as satisfying for when I'm in the mood for deep thought and heavy planning.
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Samuel Hinz
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Great game that too me never feels as long as it takes to play.
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Andy Leber
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Yeah, I've only played it digitally, but based on the games you list, and if you enjoy worker placement games I'd highly recommend it. It's fantastic, and doesn't take long to start seeing the strategy.

My only concern with the physical version (which again I haven't played), is that based on the ipad version, it seems the "accounting" could be a lot of work... keeping track of who is dominant, etc.. There are potentially a lot of bits on the board at one time, in many hexes.

But based on the love the game gets, that obviously doesn't seem to be a major issue to most.
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M M
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Holmes108 wrote:
Yeah, I've only played it digitally, but based on the games you list, and if you enjoy worker placement games I'd highly recommend it. It's fantastic, and doesn't take long to start seeing the strategy.

My only concern with the physical version (which again I haven't played), is that based on the ipad version, it seems the "accounting" could be a lot of work... keeping track of who is dominant, etc.. There are potentially a lot of bits on the board at one time, in many hexes.

But based on the love the game gets, that obviously doesn't seem to be a major issue to most.

Think of it this way. For any given player, they may only be present in 7 or so hexes and really present in 2 or 3. So everyone is pretty on top of where they are in dominating a hex and keeps the accounting current. It might be a pain if everyone just completely disregarded it and so one player had to keep figuring it out, but that hasn't ever been the case in the games I've played.

And then you have the accounting of who has more species present when a tile is scored but that's just adding up to 6 or 7 cubes. That's quick and simple.
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Andy Leber
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Mat628 wrote:

Think of it this way. For any given player, they may only be present in 7 or so hexes and really present in 2 or 3. So everyone is pretty on top of where they are in dominating a hex and keeps the accounting current. It might be a pain if everyone just completely disregarded it and so one player had to keep figuring it out, but that hasn't ever been the case in the games I've played.

And then you have the accounting of who has more species present when a tile is scored but that's just adding up to 6 or 7 cubes. That's quick and simple.


Yeah, I can kind of see that, now that you describe it like that. Particularly if most people are helping look out for themselves (which you think they would naturally do).
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Jonathan Harrison
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Holmes108 wrote:
Mat628 wrote:

Think of it this way. For any given player, they may only be present in 7 or so hexes and really present in 2 or 3. So everyone is pretty on top of where they are in dominating a hex and keeps the accounting current. It might be a pain if everyone just completely disregarded it and so one player had to keep figuring it out, but that hasn't ever been the case in the games I've played.

And then you have the accounting of who has more species present when a tile is scored but that's just adding up to 6 or 7 cubes. That's quick and simple.


Yeah, I can kind of see that, now that you describe it like that. Particularly if most people are helping look out for themselves (which you think they would naturally do).

Per the rules, you have to. The dominance marker is the arbiter of who is dominant—if you are dominant but didn't change the marker to your dominance marker, then you are not dominant: whoever's marker is there is dominant.
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