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Subject: Review of Dominion: Intrigue by angelgabriel (after ~13 plays) rss

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Russell D
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(This review is intended to be helpful for those who are already familiar with the basic Dominion game and are wondering whether or not to buy Intrigue. It's based on 27 plays of the basic set and 13 of Intrigue or the two sets mixed, so I am just a beginning, casual player, and my comments should be read in that light.)

I bought the first Dominion expansion even though I wasn't really a great fan of the game. I didn't hate it by any means, I just found it to be sometimes a little boring. In the basic Dominion set, I found myself settling on a strategy and then rarely having to make any subsequent decisions about what to do. It is usually obvious how best to play a given hand. The main decision point is what to buy, but that's usually fairly well decided by one's strategy.

Now, I know I'm probably oversimplifying drastically here, and I'm quite prepared to admit that I simply hadn't 'got' the game yet, but it wasn't something I tended to suggest playing.

So why did I buy the expansion? Well, I was intrigued- forgive the pun- as to what could be done with this system. I thought the game system was great, and that a few more cards might be just enough for it to take off in my estimation.

And my hunch turned out to be right. After a few games of Intrigue I am absolutely hooked and excited by the possibilities. The new, slightly more complex cards make the game for me. Many of the Intrigue cards have a choice to be made when you play them: when you play Nobles, for example, you have to choose between + 2 Actions or +3 Cards. I find that very often, there is a choice about the best way to play each hand, so the actual playing of the game, rather than thinking up strategies, becomes more interesting.

One criticism I had of the basic set alone was that, at least with the 2 player game I usually play, the race for the Province cards is the usual way to win. Now there are some alternatives: if you can get 7 Duchies and 4 Dukes in the time it takes your opponent to get 8 Provinces, you'll win by one point. There are other cards, like Harem and Noble, which can be used in other ways as well as giving VPs. Altogether, the endgame strategies become more interesting rather than trying to get five provinces, which usually seemed to guarantee a win in the basic set.

Now that games including ten kingdom cards out of a choice of 52 (including the two BGG freebies) rather than ten out of 25, there seems to be much much more variety. You can play all night and still there are plenty of cards you haven't even touched.

Now of course, I might find myself getting bored again after a few more games, as happened with the original set, but at the moment, I don't think that's likely. There seems so much more to explore, and I find the actual playing of the game much more enjoyable now. So my advice for those who have Dominion and quite like it, but aren't its greatest fans is: do give Intrigue a try. It might do for you what it's done for me, raise Dominion from a 6/10 to something more like an 8/10.
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Nick Bos
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Nice review!

I haven't played lots of dominion (5 times the base set and 2 times intrigue), but what my problem was with intrigue, is that turns seem to take way longer than in the original (but could be my limited experience).

There are so many cards that give you an extra action and extra card (pawn and guild hall spring to mind), that you can go through half your deck in one turn, which made the game drag a bit for me.

The cards do give interesting choices though :]

 
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angelgabriel wrote:
So my advice for those who have Dominion and quite like it, but aren't its greatest fans is: do give Intrigue a try. It might do for you what it's done for me, raise Dominion from a 6/10 to something more like an 8/10.


And what's your advice for people who like Dominion, would love to try Intrigue, but who's gaming buddies never warmed to the base game?

Good short review. Have a thumb!
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Jeff Wolfe
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Asperamanca wrote:
angelgabriel wrote:
So my advice for those who have Dominion and quite like it, but aren't its greatest fans is: do give Intrigue a try. It might do for you what it's done for me, raise Dominion from a 6/10 to something more like an 8/10.


And what's your advice for people who like Dominion, would love to try Intrigue, but who's gaming buddies never warmed to the base game?


My advice: get new gaming buddies.
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Russell D
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Asperamanca wrote:
And what's your advice for people who like Dominion, would love to try Intrigue, but who's gaming buddies never warmed to the base game?


It depends why they didn't like the base game, I suppose. I am probably unusual in that I found the idea of the game, the system, very intriguing, but just didn't quite find I enjoyed playing the game too much. The new cards let you do so much more with the system that it makes the game work for me.

So if your gaming buddies think the same way they should definitely give Intrigue a go. If the whole concept of the game leaves them cold, then Intrigue probably won't make a difference...
 
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Matthew Cordeiro
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Quote:
I bought the first Dominion expansion even though I wasn't really a great fan of the game. I didn't hate it by any means, I just found it to be sometimes a little boring. In the basic Dominion set, I found myself settling on a strategy and then rarely having to make any subsequent decisions about what to do. It is usually obvious how best to play a given hand. The main decision point is what to buy, but that's usually fairly well decided by one's strategy.


Quote:
I thought the game system was great, and that a few more cards might be just enough for it to take off in my estimation.


Quote:
One criticism I had of the basic set alone was that, at least with the 2 player game I usually play, the race for the Province cards is the usual way to win. Now there are some alternatives...


Thanks for ther review. I completely agree with these points. The wife and I have played dozens of games with the base set, and while the card combinations are always changing, the same basic strategies seem to prevail, especially the notion of racing to get the majority of the provinces before the pile is gone. I'm looking forward to picking up Intrigue and expanding our Dominion horizons.
 
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