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Dominion: Update Pack» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Final Touches rss

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Shawn Garbett
United States
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I once bought a painting from an artist. I came home a week later and my home was broken into and the painting was stolen, not the nice camera or the stereo. On a hunch, I drove over to the artist's house and there he sat in his studio working on the painting. I asked him what was up and he said, "I couldn't stand it, I need to fix this one last detail. Sorry about the window." Donald X. Vaccarino is just such an artist. After declaring Guilds to be last expansion, he produced two more and is now back to touching up the original offerings. The thought that the base set is not exactly as intended has tasked him to make an update.

Donald also takes care of his community, e.g. with direct support for his creation here on BGG. In this specific instance, an update card set from 1st to 2nd edition is made available at low cost. With the new 2nd edition, 6 cards were dropped making them collector's items and 7 new cards were added. Say goodbye to Chancellor, Woodcutter, Feast, Spy, Thief, and Adventurer. Say hello to Artisan, Bandit, Harbinger, Merchant, Poacher, Sentry and Vassal. (No I'm not selling my 1st edition cards, you'll have to claw them from my cold dead hands or get in my will somehow.) This makes 77 new cards and 3 blanks for a total 80.

These cards are very similar in quality to the originals, the printer has learned a thing or two after the Adventures in quality. Using my 6" digital caliper, I found the cards to be 300 microns thick. The printing borders in the bleed were different by a consistent 0.49mm side to side, and only 4 microns top to bottom! The fibers of the paper are aligned primarily with the long direction leading to proper bendiness. The color matching is excellent, and not distinguishable. The box is non glossy, with a higher grade linen paper. The box and cards I received meets the requirements of the demanding cardophile. I shall be storing mine in premium sleeves in a humidity controlled nuclear bunker to keep them safe.

I have an outstanding request for microscopy time at the lab and we can get a close up look at just how good the printing and the fiber count and length is. However time on the microscope is booked by a paying grant, so that will be a future project.

So what are these new cards?

* Artisan - An action card costing 6 which allows you to gain a card costing up to 5. Then you put a card from your hand onto your deck.
* Bandit - An attack / action card costing 5, player gains a gold and trashes a treasure revealed treasure by turning over the top 2 cards that is not a copper. Overall, it's always doing something, making it more attractive than the original Thief.
* Harbinger - An action card costing 3. +1 Card, +1 Action, look through discards and one may return one to ones deck.
* Merchant - An action card costing 3. +1 Card, +1 Action, the first time you play a silver, +1 coin.
* Poacher - An action card costing 3. +1 Card, +1 Action, +1 Coin, Discard a card per empty Supply pile. This replaces the Spy.
* Sentry - An action card costing 5. +1 Card, +1 Action, Look at the top two cards, trash and/or discard them and put the rest back on top in any order. This is a great non-terminal chapel.
* Vassal - An action card costing 3. Discard the top card of you deck. If it's an action card you may play it.

So, is this the work of a mad artist who cannot resist an attempt for the final touch up or is it a masterful final stroke? Hard to tell at this point, but the modified cards in play just feel smoother and allow for more choice and strategy. Bandit no longer helps your opponents, and does nothing but help oneself. One usually has a choice over the execution of an action or not, but these add subtle choice to the board state in general. One no longer cringes a little inside if Bandit hits the table versus that tinge of regret when seeing Thief. All of these update cards are more desireable in a tableau than those they replaced. The components live up to the original quality, and are an inexpensive upgrade. The original set made for a very simple introduction to the game, and surprisingly this set is remains relatively unencumbered with complexity. There is little not to like about this upgrade.

If you're a Dominion Fan, this upgrade is a very welcome addition at a reasonable price. There is much to appreciate contained in a little box. This update is definitely an upgrade. thumbsup thumbsup Hurray for obsessed artists making final touches.
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