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Subject: Is that all? rss

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Francis K. Lalumiere
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I just played my first few games of Dominion.
The "build your deck as you go" idea is an impressive one. I love to see my deck grow over time, bringing with it more possibilities and also more and more "dead" cards that I'd rather not see in there anymore.
I love the balancing act each player has to perform to get enough victory points but not too early, otherwise they'll keep popping up in drawn cards and clog hands.

But at the end of the day, the gameplay is pretty thin on this one.

Draw cards, then play cards in the hopes of possibly drawing more cards and playing more cards. Some of those cards will let you acquire additional cards that let you draw more cards and play more cards. You can also get money to, well, get money and/or more cards and victory points. Of those cards that you buy with money, some will let you draw more cards, or play more cards, or get victory points...

The matrix is incredibly narrow, here. I found myself doing the same couple of things over and over and over again. The deck-building machine is fun to observe in action for a while, but then the novelty wears off very quickly. And what's left?

I want something like a Winter card in each deck and Food cards that I have to make sure I play in front of me (and that stay there) before the Winter card pops out of my deck and forces me to burn through my resources.
I want something like guards I have to build up to defend against invasions from other players.
I want mystery cards I'm not sure my opponents have in their decks.
I want to be able to steal cards from my opponent's deck (come on, make use of the fact that it's NOT an actual CCG and that all the cards belong to the owner of the game -- tracking ownership is unimportant here).
I want to be able to *insert* cards in my opponent's deck: booby traps, lies, schemes. (Curse cards are a pale shadow of what a real "bobby trap" mechanic could be.)
I want to build alliances with other players and make some of our cards work together.
I want to lock down a category of cards for a turn.
I want to work toward bringing a new category of cards into the game from what was left in the box.
I want to sell cards from my own deck to my opponents -- and buy cards from *their* decks.
I want to race my opponent toward an intermediate goal that grants a major benefit (at a price!) for the rest of the game.

This is just off the top of my head, as fast as I can type.
And all of this could exist within a 30-minute game.

There's so much more that this game could be. The engine is extremely cool, but there's no fuel in it.
And as a result, I'm left pretty unsatisfied.

Sure, there'll be expansions. Yeah, yeah. But I can't help but feel that I've been sold the empty shell of what could be a great game.
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Carc >> BSG
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Sounds like you want to make a completely new game using Dominion as an inspiration.
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I think you're probably spot on.

I've only played once, but I can see the same issues arising.

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Cory Duplantis
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Francis it sounds like you have only played about 2 or 3 games. In the beginning yes it seems like all the game is is drawing to play more cards just to draw more, ect. I can guardsmen you that this game is much deeper than that. You should possibly play the game online. Until you have played more of the other kingdom cards and more random setups, you will see what I mean.
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Jesse Dean
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Unless he doesn't. It all seemed so interesting and innovative to me at first, but after I hit about 60 plays it just sort of fell apart.
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Josh

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Pretty much summarizes my thoughts on it: a great mechanic that will almost certainly be used to make a better game.
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Paul M
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weishaupt wrote:
...The matrix is incredibly narrow, here. I found myself doing the same couple of things over and over and over again. The deck-building machine is fun to observe in action for a while, but then the novelty wears off very quickly. And what's left?...

You may be right. I don't know since I haven't played the game. But there are a lot of similar games (repetitive, decisions have small impact, one game looks like the last game) here at BGG that are also highly-rated. You can expect Dominion's fans to encourage you to play more to find what you're missing that they've found. They may or may not be right. For instance, I've watched NASCAR and I get NASCAR but I don't like NASCAR. Watching it some more isn't likely going to change my opinion. I've drunk wine and I think I get wine but I don't care much for wine. Drinking it some more may change my opinion. meeple
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Jeff Wolfe
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weishaupt wrote:
Draw cards, then play cards in the hopes of possibly drawing more cards and playing more cards. Some of those cards will let you acquire additional cards that let you draw more cards and play more cards. You can also get money to, well, get money and/or more cards and victory points. Of those cards that you buy with money, some will let you draw more cards, or play more cards, or get victory points...


Replace the word "cards" with "tokens" or "resource cubes" or "tiles" or whatever else is appropriate, and you describe a great many euro games. Leave the sentence as it is, and you describe a great many card games.

weishaupt wrote:
I want ....
I want ....
I want ....
I want ....
etc.


"Waiter, I want to complain about what you served me here. I wanted a meal and all you gave me was dessert."
"Didn't you order the ice cream sundae, sir?"
"Well, yes, but...."

Dominion isn't exactly an ice cream sundae, but the point is that expecting it to be something it's not is a little unrealistic.
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Jeff Wolfe
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doubtofbuddha wrote:
Unless he doesn't. It all seemed so interesting and innovative to me at first, but after I hit about 60 plays it just sort of fell apart.


I can take those basic facts, and turn it into a ringing endorsement:

Even its critics say it's good for at least 60 plays!
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brian
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ipgyst wrote:
For instance, I've watched NASCAR and I get NASCAR but I don't like NASCAR. Watching it some more isn't likely going to change my opinion. I've drunk wine and I think I get wine but I don't care much for wine. Drinking it some more may change my opinion. meeple

Perhaps you should drink lots of wine while watching NASCAR and see if that improves either.
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Just call me Erik
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
ipgyst wrote:
For instance, I've watched NASCAR and I get NASCAR but I don't like NASCAR. Watching it some more isn't likely going to change my opinion. I've drunk wine and I think I get wine but I don't care much for wine. Drinking it some more may change my opinion. meeple

Perhaps you should drink lots of wine while watching NASCAR and see if that improves either.


Wine is for Formula 1. You need to drink beer with NASCAR.
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Scott Smith
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Have you tried a Magic:the Gathering theme deck (technically two I suppose)? Cheaper than Dominion and can do everything you want in Dominion.
 
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ŁṲÎS̈
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unixrevolution wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
ipgyst wrote:
For instance, I've watched NASCAR and I get NASCAR but I don't like NASCAR. Watching it some more isn't likely going to change my opinion. I've drunk wine and I think I get wine but I don't care much for wine. Drinking it some more may change my opinion. meeple

Perhaps you should drink lots of wine while watching NASCAR and see if that improves either.


Wine is for Formula 1. You need to drink beer with NASCAR.


How dare you insult beer like that!



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Paul Sauberer
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ChemEng wrote:
Have you tried a Magic:the Gathering theme deck (technically two I suppose)? Cheaper than Dominion and can do everything you want in Dominion.


What if I want to play with 3 other people, none of whom has played the game before, and want to start playing in about 5 minutes?
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Matt Olson
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I like some of your ideas, and we may see many of them in the expansions planned but, as far as the depth of play is concerned, surely you knew what you were in for (there are a bazillion posts on this game)? - A fast, light, deck building card game that many people seem to enjoy. It seems a bit strange to buy a shed and then complain that it doesn't have a kitchen.

I bought it in the hope that the game might be an enjoyable alternative to RftG and Bohnanza, as my wife seems to like card games of this length. It worked for us on that level. I also bought Imperial at the same time, to scratch a different itch.
 
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Kester J
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Atomsk wrote:
I like some of your ideas, and we may see many of them in the expansions planned but, as far as the depth of play is concerned, surely you knew what you were in for (there are a bazillion posts on this game)? - A fast, light, deck building card game that many people seem to enjoy. It seems a bit strange to buy a shed and then complain that it doesn't have a kitchen.

I bought it in the hope that the game might be an enjoyable alternative to RftG and Bohnanza, as my wife seems to like card games of this length. It worked for us on that level. I also bought Imperial at the same time, to scratch a different itch.


I think those saying Francis has unreasonable expectations aren't being entirely fair. Dominion has been lauded here on BGG as being a fast game with considerable depth in the same vein as Race for the Galaxy. Saying "Oh, you knew you weren't getting a deep game." may have been true for you, but I don't think it's true for a lot of people. Besides, it misses the point.

Lack of depth isn't the problem, it's lack of interest. There is depth in the game for the time it takes, but it's subtle. The subtlety is because the differences between certain cards are small. Compare Market and Laboratory, for instance, or Library and Adventurer, or Smithy and Council Room - they fill similar but not identical roles in the deck, and knowing when to use one over the other just isn't that interesting for a lot of us. For a game that's advertised as having 25 unique cards and oodles of combinations, that's a bit disappointing. We want 25 cards that have distinctly different roles, not similar but different. I think that's what Francis is getting at.

As you might have guessed, I feel the same way. Dominion has a lot of potential, and I really want it to be good, so I'm hoping the expansions will have some more interesting cards that they didn't dare put into the base game.
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Branko K.
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I think OP has a point.

It's ok to say about any regular old game "well it's just this, what did you expect?", but Dominion is rapidly gaining popularity it's easy to believe there's more to it than it initially appears to be. And although the "I want.." part wasn't really phrased that good (sounded like a spoiled child in a candy store to be honest) I really feel some of those ideas could have and perhaps should have been included in the game.

And I don't like the "Leave something for the expansions" chain of thought. Look at Agricola - they could have just as easily sold the "family" game as a stand-alone, then publish E, I and K-decks separately as expansions. They didn't, and that's what pushed the game from good to great. I feel Dominion lacks that. It's good, but not great. And that's about it.
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Bruce X
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monteslu wrote:
unixrevolution wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
ipgyst wrote:
For instance, I've watched NASCAR and I get NASCAR but I don't like NASCAR. Watching it some more isn't likely going to change my opinion. I've drunk wine and I think I get wine but I don't care much for wine. Drinking it some more may change my opinion. meeple

Perhaps you should drink lots of wine while watching NASCAR and see if that improves either.


Wine is for Formula 1. You need to drink beer with NASCAR.


How dare you insult beer like that!





You are right...you need CHEAP beer for NASCAR! (and then it still isn't any good)
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Maciej Teległow
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I do not understand complains about the game "because here on BGG so many people say it is great". Blame BGGers not the game.
And BGG users are players from all the world who play the game and write their opinions. For a lot of players Dominion is great game with unique mechanics, some deep and short play time. Nobody said that it is strategy monster similar to Game of Thromes or Shogun. It is game of optimalisation your deck to buy more victory points then your opponents choosing from 10 cards. No less, no more. And everyone here on BGG admitts it. The point is that a lot of people love it as it is and says it.
To be clear, i love when people write negative reviews here even if i like the game. I agree that Dominion mechanic could produce another games, maybe longer and more like You want it to be, and i am almost sure that they would appear.
I agree that it is little game not the few hours consuming brain killer.
I just do not like when people blame BGG that the game is not so great. So i love to hear negaive opinions about the game but why about BGG. This site let You read a lot of Dominion reviews, session reports, read the rules, and watch through all the cards included in the box. After reading this it is rather obvious what the game can give You.

I like Dominion as it is. When i sit before 10 random kingdom cards i start to think about my stratgy for the game and then start to execute it in the best way changing it if i have to because of other players or some my mistake. And for that expirience i think it is great game.
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Matthew Watson
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Psauberer wrote:
ChemEng wrote:
Have you tried a Magic:the Gathering theme deck (technically two I suppose)? Cheaper than Dominion and can do everything you want in Dominion.


What if I want to play with 3 other people, none of whom has played the game before, and want to start playing in about 5 minutes?


I think what you want is irrelevant, since his use of the term "you" was probably directed at the OP, rather than someone who hadn't even posted in this thread yet...

Just a wild guess...
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Tom Hancock
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I agree completely with the original poster here. I still like dominion, I gave it a solid rating, but I don't think its the savior of all gaming it has been made out to be. I certainly don't think it is a top 10 game. The system created for the game is great but the cards themselves are pretty lacking.

Dominion reminds me a lot of battlelore: highly overrated and will only maintain its top 10 position if the expansions are good. Ultimately, its a solitaire game with very little interaction. Those can be good, but they have to provide a little more depth than what Dominion has now.

If Dominion doesn't make it interactive with its expansions, I think you will see someone take this game's basic idea (CCG / deck building with card effects) and turn it into a really great interactive game with a lot of theme.
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Jesse Dean
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jeffwolfe wrote:

I can take those basic facts, and turn it into a ringing endorsement:

Even its critics say it's good for at least 60 plays!


Oh, I admit it was pretty good for those plays, and I can definitely see why it is popular now (even if I don't care for it.) I was just pointing out that playing it more isn't necessarily going to make someone a fan of the game, like some of its fans suggest.
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Douglas Buel
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weishaupt wrote:
Draw cards, then play cards in the hopes of possibly drawing more cards and playing more cards.


This is like describing chess as "Move pieces, then move more pieces in the hopes of taking away pieces and moving more pieces."
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Francis K. Lalumiere
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baba44713 wrote:
And although the "I want.." part wasn't really phrased that good (sounded like a spoiled child in a candy store to be honest) I really feel some of those ideas could have and perhaps should have been included in the game.

Ha ha! I like the image of the child in the candy store.

I'm not saying it's bad game at all. But I feel handcuffed. As someone else wrote, the "incredible variety" of cards boils down to one card giving you +2 Cards and +1 Buy, and the next +1 Card and +2 Buys.
It's like playing Puerto Rico with two roles to choose from, and one's already taken.

To me, Dominion gets so incredibly repetitive that I cannot imagine playing it dozens of times as some people here are suggesting. If some of my fellow players enjoy studying the intricate differences between +1 Buy and +2 Buy, then by all means, enjoy the game! Me, I'd rather have two cards that do completely different things. At least that's what I assumed when people spoke of variety.

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Francis K. Lalumiere
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dbuel wrote:
weishaupt wrote:
Draw cards, then play cards in the hopes of possibly drawing more cards and playing more cards.


This is like describing chess as "Move pieces, then move more pieces in the hopes of taking away pieces and moving more pieces."

Actually, each piece moves in its own unique way.
But true, the matrix for chess is also pretty narrow. However, the game makes a much better use of it.

To me (and this is all very personal, of course), Dominion suffers from the "could have been" syndrome. You take a good look at the game, play a few games, and go "but why didn't they...?"

Someone else said that it was like releasing Agricola with just the family game and then selling expansions, but I feel that even that analogy was generous.
What do we have in Dominion? Three variables: Cards, Buys and Money. (VPs are just a score, as they are in many other games.) And almost all of the cards are a variation on those three variables: a bit more of this, a bit less of that. That's it. Cards like the Adventurer are, in my mind, a good first step in the right direction, but they can't help being limited in scope because of the narrow matrix to begin with.

So I guess that Dominion is not the game for me. But I fail to see why everyone finds it so extraordinary.
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