Kristy Moruso
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Howdy! So I guess ya'll are here to read my review of Dominion Second Edition, literally my favorite game of all time? That may sound biased, but I'll try to be as objective as I can.
Because it uses the Second Edition and because that's where 4/5's of my Second Edition plays have happened, this will also cover some of ShuffleIT's Dominion Online. Not supposed to go here? Sorry I guess?
Intro
Firstly, what exactly do you need to know about Dominion Second Edition besides that it is a second edition of perhaps one of the most influential games of all time? It, like the First Edition, was designed by Donald X. Vaccarino and published by Rio Grande Games in 2016, approximately 8 years after the original in 2008/2009. It plays the same, using treasures to gain actions, actions to gain treasures, and those combos then get you Victory Points and allow you to win the game. Simple stuff.
Opinions
So what do I think of Dominion Second Edition? Personally I thought most of the cards in 1st Ed were fine and only after I looked them up again did I realize the ones replaced were...."eh" at best. So the 2nd Ed really fixes a few issues but leaves the problem that has existed in many games including 1st Ed: Advantage goes to the most experienced player. Nowhere is that more clear than ShuffleIT's Dominion Online. There people basically play Dominion over and over so that even myself whom I would consider as "good at Dominion" almost never competes. The game is all about combos, so if you don't see them quick enough you're already lost. People also mention you have to adjust your strategy as needed, but I've found that most changes of strategy are too little too late. In which case, this makes Dominion a more strategy-oriented game, rather than a tactics-oriented game. It's my #1 game of all time currently, but I understand the flaws. It's difficult to bring a new person into Dominion sometimes because they don't see the combos and get lost in the shuffle. A positive discovery I have made, though, is that it works exceptionally well as a 2-player game, I just never get to play with someone closer to my level, it's usually higher or lower than mine.
Opinions (Cont.)
I touched briefly on Dominion Online, but I'll say the rest of my DO thoughts here. The biggest thing that bothered me is how it seems to be randomized. Witch can be an annoying card, it lets you draw 2 cards and gives everyone a curse (until the curse pile runs out). That screws things up sometimes, but my point is that I had to take a 3 day break from it because 9 random setups out of 10 for 3 straight days always had it and everyone immediately went for it soon as they had 5 coins. Which brings me to the community: everyone goes for the attack cards as soon as possible and while I have met some nice people, they usually just want to be able to undo something when they happen to be winning by 25 points. Which honestly I just give them my gaming rule: "No Take Backsies unless you legitimately did not know a rule, and even then only once". Think about your actions on the opponent's turn (I mean, it's not like you can do much else at that time) is what I tell them, and they get angry. Everyone seems to just use the option to "wait for expansions" to get around the subscription service, making automatch wait times to be anywhere between 10 minutes and "you just clicked start? here's a game". There's also no penalty for immediately resigning to get a more desirable setup, which is really dumb. Finally, no one ever says the customary "GG" unless they end the game that turn and win, which I find kind of rude.
Final Thoughts
So, do I recommend this game? Yes, but make sure you have a group to play it in where you can all get good together, because much like Magic the Gathering, if you are the weakest link, you're very tempted to just say "goodbye" to it. If I had that kind of Dominion group where we were all on the same level, I may have not gotten back into Magic or at least been slower to do so, simply because it almost completely replaces the TCG experience (for me at least). Now, if you enjoy tactical games and want to be able to constantly change your strategy, Dominion might not be the game for you at least in my experience. I also highly discourage playing Dominion Online unless you are committed to becoming competitive. If you're a filthy casual like myself, it's not a great place to be.
I'll send us off like I do on my website:
Until next time, build some decks!
~Kristy, the Cat with Headphones
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Sean Chenery
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Thanks for your review.

As someone who has never played Dominion and the most deck building I have done is Hearthstone... do I need to get the 2nd edition or if I could find a used copy of 1st edition be good enough? Also what expansions if any are necessary? Or should I just play around with the base game for awhile?

I'm planning on playing this 2 player with my wife so we are both noobs so I'm not worried about one of us being WAY better than the other at least at the beginning...
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ToweringChen wrote:
Thanks for your review.

As someone who has never played Dominion and the most deck building I have done is Hearthstone... do I need to get the 2nd edition or if I could find a used copy of 1st edition be good enough? Also what expansions if any are necessary? Or should I just play around with the base game for awhile?

I'm planning on playing this 2 player with my wife so we are both noobs so I'm not worried about one of us being WAY better than the other at least at the beginning...
2E had changes that the des. felt would be better:
--replaced old cards that weren't "all that", with newer cards which he and the community felt were better
--Some cleared up text
--better fonts and layouts on the cards

If you can get 1E faar cheaper, then I woudln't say the improvements in 2E are enough to compensate for that.

Depending on who you ask, exp. are both necessary and unnecessary.
For the former, even 1 to 3 would add tremendous replayability and variety. However, if you don't play that often (e.g., 2 games a month), then at the very least, you could probably hold off.

For actual suggestions, the ones released early (e.g. Seaside and Prosperity) are more suited for "simpler play", but the later ones (e.g. Dark Ages, Adventures, Empires) are more advanced and have more interesting things going on.

Unless you got some "limited opportunity deal" where buying them together is significally cheaper, you could easily just hang back, test the waters, stick with base game, and add more expansions as you see fit. One issue with this is if you play a lot, the cards may wear, and you may be able to tell old cards (lots of wear) vs. new cards (they look, brand new!).
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Kristy Moruso
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ToweringChen wrote:
Thanks for your review.

As someone who has never played Dominion and the most deck building I have done is Hearthstone... do I need to get the 2nd edition or if I could find a used copy of 1st edition be good enough? Also what expansions if any are necessary? Or should I just play around with the base game for awhile?

I'm planning on playing this 2 player with my wife so we are both noobs so I'm not worried about one of us being WAY better than the other at least at the beginning...

Dominion is an amazing 2 player game! Anyways...
At this point in time I exclusively play with the base game. There are several million possible combinations of kingdom cards in the base set if I'm not mistaken, and if you don't mind that it's all from the same box I'd say hold off on expansions. However, if you play all the dang time and want a lil somethin' to spice things up, check the above post for some suggestions. I still have yet to buy a Dominion expansion (mostly because I want to fit it in the same box).
Thanks for reading my review!
 
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datpusheen wrote:
ToweringChen wrote:
Thanks for your review.

As someone who has never played Dominion and the most deck building I have done is Hearthstone... do I need to get the 2nd edition or if I could find a used copy of 1st edition be good enough? Also what expansions if any are necessary? Or should I just play around with the base game for awhile?

I'm planning on playing this 2 player with my wife so we are both noobs so I'm not worried about one of us being WAY better than the other at least at the beginning...

Dominion is an amazing 2 player game! Anyways...
At this point in time I exclusively play with the base game. There are several million possible combinations of kingdom cards in the base set if I'm not mistaken, and if you don't mind that it's all from the same box I'd say hold off on expansions. However, if you play all the dang time and want a lil somethin' to spice things up, check the above post for some suggestions. I still have yet to buy a Dominion expansion (mostly because I want to fit it in the same box).
Thanks for reading my review!
For base game 1E, the game seemed to be divided into "Chapel" or "no Chapel". Pretty much if there was a Chapel, you always need to go for it. I'm told that the 2E's offer more variety to that. When you add other exps, there are def. reasons to not get Chapel.


datpusheen wrote:
Finally, no one ever says the customary "GG" unless they end the game that turn and win, which I find kind of rude.
This has gotten tedious for me in online gaming in general. It's like if you don't say this, then the default sentiment is you curse the other players. No... I try to make this implied.

Ditto with IRL games. I have thanked people for teaching me games, for playing, etc. Sometimes I forget, and that doesn't mean I'm less appreciative in the same case of the things they've done.


datpusheen wrote:
Final Thoughts
So, do I recommend this game? Yes, but make sure you have a group to play it in where you can all get good together, because much like Magic the Gathering, if you are the weakest link, you're very tempted to just say "goodbye" to it. If I had that kind of Dominion group where we were all on the same level, I may have not gotten back into Magic or at least been slower to do so, simply because it almost completely replaces the TCG experience (for me at least).

Unfortuantely, it can get difficult for some to "level up" evenly. In that case, "apply handicaps". Tell them not buy that Copper with that extra buy just because they can. If this were Dom. 1E, recommend against the Woodcutter vs. Silver. If you're going to set up a 5-minute turn, let them know ahead of time so they can better combat it.
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