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Subject: Dominion Day rss

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J Castellucci
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I happen to be an old friend of Donald X. back from the Magic the Gathering days, but had lost touch with him, so when I saw his name on a hot game, I looked him up and was promptly invited for a game day.

While he always has a ton of original games available for play, I opted for Dominion, which we somehow wound up playing for the next 6 hours straight. I didn't keep track of the total number of games we played, but I'd have to put it at somewhere between 10 and 12 -- we often got distracted by conversation not to mention the occasionaly baby break (Donald X. has a lovely 8 month old daugher, and all of us were baby-people). Filling out the table were Destry and Jos (who dropped out of a few games here and there for additional baby duty).

So, as for the game, did I like it? As I said, we played 10+ games over 6 straight hours, so that should be a resounding yes!

Having a lot of CCG experience, I immediately 'got' the game, and honestly, I mostly copied my strategy from Donald X, especially at the beginning of the session where I didn't really know cards. If he did something, I did it, but with a twist, which led me to the first of my many victories for the day.

The first game was a speed game where we all generated a lot of coin and raced to buy out all the Provinces (one of the game-end conditions). I will have to say that this first round didn't impress me a overly, as it seemed we all did almost the same things.

Then we switched out 4 of the 10 cards and we started up again. I started out with a similar strategy and was totally amazed at how different the game played with just 4 different cards!

I went into a pattern of usually choosing one of the new cards and several of the cards from previous rounds when building my deck, and again, copying some of Donald X.'s strategy, I was able to win a few more than my fair share of games.

After we had cycled through all 25 cards, we played several more games with a random mix of 10 cards each time.

It became really clear over the day that I won when I stayed really focused - stick to card combinations that work well together. Several games I experimented because there was a card that I really wanted to try (Adventurer sticks out), but didn't do well because I didn't really get the nuances of the deeper strategy and combinations. What became clear is that there were some cards whose power was really variable -- it really depended on which other cards were in the mix -- Adventurer is one those cards, and I played it in more of a 'dud' mix for it.

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