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Darren M
Canada
Fort Vermilion
AB
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Just some comments and observations on my experiences with Domaine so far. I actually have the new Kosmos German version of Lowenherz but my understanding is that it is the same as Domaine.

I have played the game about 5 times now...all two player games ...which is something to take into account as 3 and 4 player games will be different, but I have to say that I find the game quite strategic and actually has very little randomness IMO.

The fact that you 1) hold 3 cards in hand which gives you a choice of actions and 2) can draw either the top card of the power card stack or ANY card from the market actually allows you to react and plan ahead fairly well and let's you respond to an opponents actions. I like the fact that the market can be drawn from which means after you play a particularily useful card...any opponent is free to also choose that card when they draw their next card. So you basically want to weigh out if it's better to play a powerful card now and discard it to the market or wait until you are set up to defend yourself from an opponent who may use that same card against you soon.

I think this game has a nice amount of tension and strategy because you always feel slightly exposed and you would always like to do 2 or 3 actions...aggressive and defensive actions in the same turn but you really can't as resources and actions per turn are very limited.

Getting income from mines early on seems like a key strategy as without mining income you will basically need to sell power cards often which effectively restricts the ability to put defensive and offensive actions into place each turn. The sooner you get a regular stream of income coming in...the faster you can expand your territories.

Also... the two player games I have played haven't been as cutthroat as I think 3 or 4 player games would be. 2 player games have a lot more open space and you don't run into each others territories as often until near the end of the game when some territories start approaching each other and sometimes the whole game goes without any significant interactions between territories.

I can see where there can be a lot more cutthroat tactics in a 3 or 4 player game simply because there would be more crowding and competing for territories on the gameboard. I think a good summation is that a two player game is somewhat of a race to the 50 point finish line to see who can most efficiently expand their domaines wheras in a 3 or 4 player game more aggression and incursions into occupied territories will take place.

All in all a good game with good asthetics that I think will satisfy both heavy gamers in the 3 and 4 player mode and casual gamers in the 2 player mode(less aggression).
 
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John Gehl
United States
Akron
New York
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Re:General Comments
nexttothemoon (#22491),
Darren, one question, I have played a few times since Chrsmas 3 or 4 players, and have enjoyed it. Tonight my wife and I are going to play the two player game. When you put out the nuetral castles and knights, do you make domines with them? or are they just put out in the beginning and no further action is taken?

John
 
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Darren M
Canada
Fort Vermilion
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Re:General Comments
akrongehl (#24708),

Hi John..sorry it took me so long to reply as I didn't see there was a reply to my comments until now.

When we place the neutral pieces on the board ...it's done in alternating turns after every turn of placing our own pieces...and yes...just the pieces are placed...no domaines are created around the neutral pieces initially. As the game progresses, the neutral pieces serve as some "mild competition" for territory as you and your opponent expand your areas of influence. The neutral pieces just serve as somewhat stangant competitors which may or may not restrict how you can expand your domaines depending on where they happen to be located.

All the neutral pieces do is add a little more constraint onto the gameboard so it isn't quite so easy to expand across large areas. Initial placements can be critical and a strategic part of the game because depending on how you place the neutrals...it makes it slightly harder for your opponent to expand in certain areas...at least in the early stages.

 
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Pete Woodroffe
United Kingdom
Great Chesterford
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Re:General Comments
nexttothemoon (#22491),

Hi darren,

I just wanted to check something with you. You said you "can draw either the top card of the power card stack or ANY card from the market... I like the fact that the market can be drawn from which means after you play a particularly useful card any opponent is free to also choose that card when they draw their next card. So you basically want to weigh out if it's better to play a powerful card now and discard it to the market ..."

If you play a card and pay for the action, then the card goes face up on the discard pile. It can't be redrawn by another player. The only cards that go in the chancery are ones that have been sold there for money. I have to admit that I don't have the game yet blush but it's in the post and I've been reading the rules online and following the online tutorial and it seems pretty clear to me.

Apologies if I misunderstood you! Just trying to improve your gaming experience...

Pete
 
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Darren M
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Re:General Comments
daveangelcd (#61128),

This reply is overdue...but I do have to clarify my previous comments in case anyone gets confused. I admit I worded it a little strangely...so yes...only cards that are sold into the chancery can then be chosen by others on their turn. Strategically you have to weigh out getting the income for certain high value cards versus keeping them in your hand and away from other players...that's what I was eluding to. I realise that the cards you "buy" and use to perform an action must be discarded into the discard pile and are out of the game for good.

I've also had the chance to play the game as a 3 player game and it is much improved...the board is much more constrained and the tension is much higher in the later stages as territories expand and contract.

I'm also reasonably convinced that the victory point level should be 60 points for a 2 player game,45 points for a 3 player game and 30 for a 4 player game instead of the official levels 0f 50(2 players),40(3 players) and 30(4 players).

I think these victory levels slightly prolong the game which then produces slightly higher levels of tension in the end stages of the games which really contributes to the intensity of the game.

I'd be interested if any others have tried slightly higher levels of victory points to increase the quality of the gameplay.
 
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