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Subject: Not Sure If I Wanted to get this Intrigue'd... rss

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Isaak
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I was really hyped about Dominion:Intrigue (D:I). I x'd off the days on my iCal until it arrived, reserved one at my game shop, and picked it up day-of to play. I know, I know...that's not EVEN hardcore compared to some people, but for a mere mortal, I am trying to convey that I was excited.

INITIAL BOX SET UP:
Opened the box and was pleased to see the card alphabetizer insert (this wasn't in the first Dominion set I played with and it truly changed my Dominion life!). I still think there could be a more effective way to hold the cards than those pesky slots, but I understand wanting the larger box for shelf display, marketing and consistency.

Moving on to pulling out the cards...

NEW ILLUSTRATION STYLE:
My first reaction to the cards was not so pleased. The illustrations were not the same rich, detailed art with heavy brush stroke-style texture and dark, detailed imagery. Many of the drawing were fine-tipped and cartoon style, with broad facial lines and wide eyes. As an artist myself, this does effect my game play. If nothing else, it gives me something to stare at while waiting for painfully long minutes for my opponents to shuffle I didn't like the move toward more loose illustration, and it felt like it cheapened the game, as opposed to bringing in a lighter or more playful element that can have a positive affect. Some friends I have won't even play Bohnanza because they hate the illustrations (personally, I love them!). Either way, I want the illustrations to be consistent...either launch me into a kingdom of sweeping collars and shadowed figures, or into a loose, playful spin on a castle-and-moat era game.

GAME PLAY: More Complexity, but Less Fun

I definitely enjoyed the complexity of the cards. There were a lot more actions that affected other players, and I liked the creativity of the Intrigue additions. The cards didn't seem like they were just tacked onto the Dominion base set; they introduced a different direction of the game. The two sets are clearly distinct, and can allow for a great mix of game play, or, as separate sets, user's choice of what type of game they'd like to play. Intriuge definitely has more options for choice, upping your strategy and how well you know your deck affecting your win.
What I did find, though, is that the cards weren't as fun as the original Dominion set. Maybe it was the weight of the choices, or the possible sting of the negative interactions. Whatever it was, I was formidably grumpy by the end of my third game, whereas I usually only get sick of Dominion if I lose at least four games in a row...otherwise, I'm game for upwards of eight.

BUT SHOULD I BUY IT? My Thoughts:

I closed up Intrigue after about twelve games in my first few days, and I haven't been itching to open it up much more. I know I'll play again, and I am grateful to have an alternative to the standard Dominion deck. I was growing tired of the original game and wanted some more spice...however, I don't think I liked the flavor I got from Intrigue.

If you're the type of person who needs the expansion (I was this time, but not every time) then go pick it up.
If you're on the fence, try it before you buy it if you can, and know you CAN live without it. I did play the original game alone after I'd bought Intrigue and didn't find myself pining for the expansion as I do with some other base games once I've learned the expansions (Settlers without Cities and Knights comes to mind...).
If you're already not too excited after reading some of the cards, trust your gut.


ON A PERSONAL NOTE, A BIT OF A DISAPPOINTMENT:
I'm sure this point will be instantly and fiercely argued down, but I was disappointed that of the few depictions of women in Intrigue was in the Harem. The Harem is also the only card that depicts folks of color. I am keenly aware that a realistic depiction of a Western monarch would include mostly white men, but it was a bit of a disappointment to see that the token images of other demographics were pretty objectifying. It would've been nice to see a card that had a positive depiction of a female role, or even have a woman depicted in a role that wasn't "solely" for a woman (a saucy pirate? a haggered merchant? C'mon now, they're ALWAYS "Witch"). Similar for non-Western characters being depicted in a realistic, but respectful manner. Just sayin...
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Jeff Wolfe
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Did you mix the sets at all, or did you play exclusively Intrigue?
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Clement Tey
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You should try playing with 5 sets from Dominion and 5 from Intrigue.
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Garrett Potvin
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I agree with Jeff that the game really shines when you combine the two games. I have combined all of my kingdom cards and we do a random Dominion/Dominion Intrigue mix. I am amazed how differently each play goes.
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Dave Kudzma
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Drewcooter wrote:
I agree with Jeff that the game really shines when you combine the two games. I have combined all of my kingdom cards and we do a random Dominion/Dominion Intrigue mix. I am amazed how differently each play goes.


Actually Intrigue is GREAT on it's own. I think people get too caught up in not having the pile of Draws/Actions/Buys that the base set provides and cannot seem to get past it being missing.

However Dominion is a game of almost 200 cards, of which now we've seen only 50, and as such is really an incomplete game if you separate the sets. There are some preset combos, just as the base set had, listed on the back of the rules that are more "optimal" sets to try if you still decide to play Intrigue by it's lonesome.

Just my opinion with 300 plays under my belt, 100+ of which have been only Intrigue or Intrigue combined with the base set.

Oh, and my spider sense makes me believe that Seaside will shake things up more than Intrigue.
 
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Isaak
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Yep, did the mix. I did like the way they combined, but still found Intrigue to not quite fit the way I was hoping. I do prefer them 5/5 at this point, though have tried both ways.
 
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Freelance Police
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I've played crudloads of CCG games (suitable grouping term), and Intrigue stands out as one of the expansion sets *least* similar to the base -- er, first -- game. As I've said in the Personal Comments:

* Dominion: Eurogamers.
* Dominion: Intrigue: Ameritrash.

Intrigue has a *very* different "interaction" and play than the base game. The base game focuses on deckbuilding. Intrigue adds more play decision, screwage, and other complexity. My Ameritrash group loves it, but I definitely see how Eurogamers wouldn't.

That being said, as a non-collectible game, you don't have to buy Intrigue. Wait for the BGG Secret Santa, because I *know* someone will want it!

ps. The Victory Dance premade set is *GREAT*
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Craig Somerton
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I don't think you've given it enough playtime.

After our first ever full D:I game, my friends all told me "They felt their brains were burning", and they weren't happy with the expansion.

The more we played and realised all the different flavours & interactions, the more they realise how much depth D:I adds.

We normally play purely random games with both sets. Some results have been relatively flat, but most have been astounding.

Play combined until you get used to the new set.
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Schwa
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crunchduck wrote:
NEW ILLUSTRATION STYLE:
My first reaction to the cards was not so pleased. The illustrations were not the same rich, detailed art with heavy brush stroke-style texture and dark, detailed imagery. Many of the drawing were fine-tipped and cartoon style, with broad facial lines and wide eyes. As an artist myself, this does effect my game play. If nothing else, it gives me something to stare at while waiting for painfully long minutes for my opponents to shuffle I didn't like the move toward more loose illustration, and it felt like it cheapened the game, as opposed to bringing in a lighter or more playful element that can have a positive affect. Some friends I have won't even play Bohnanza because they hate the illustrations (personally, I love them!). Either way, I want the illustrations to be consistent...either launch me into a kingdom of sweeping collars and shadowed figures, or into a loose, playful spin on a castle-and-moat era game.


Couldn't agree with you more on this point. The 'Shanty Town' looks like a cell from a Simpsons episode and 'Harem' is terribad. Bleh. Make them all have similar artwork please. I actually thought I had some wrong cards in the box at first...
 
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Isaak
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Absolutely said "Did Matt Groening illustrate this card?" about Shanty Town the other day...
 
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Dave Daley
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Thanks for the review, and while I disagree, it's clear that you did play it enough to form an opinion, and I do respect that.

As for the complaints about the artwork on the cards, this has been re-hashed over and over here, and I disagree. The cards are different, but they all do different things. Not to mention that the original set the cards were all different too, and most CC games are designed by varied people! This isn't groundbreaking.

But I understand that you don't like them, and you are not alone in that respect. Funny story though... I played with three different groups of gamers over the last week (holidays), and when I brought up the subject of the artwork, there wasn't a single person that didn't like it. And even after me mentioning the "tempest in a teapot" here on BGG, no one had any complaints about the D:I artwork.

Mind you, there isn't a humanities degree in any of the groups.... so maybe it's a lack of culture???

Cheers for the review.

edited again due to ungodly speeling (sic) and gramar (sic)
 
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Schwa
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elkabong wrote:
Mind you, there isn't a humanities degree in any of the groups.... so maybe it's a lack of culture???


Hehe. laugh

It's all preference really. I like straight lines and uniformity, so it bugs me when the styles change so drastically. I am sure there are some that don't get bothered by it.


Sam and Max wrote:

* Dominion: Eurogamers.
* Dominion: Intrigue: Ameritrash.

Intrigue has a *very* different "interaction" and play than the base game. The base game focuses on deckbuilding. Intrigue adds more play decision, screwage, and other complexity. My Ameritrash group loves it, but I definitely see how Eurogamers wouldn't.


Unfortunately most of the people I play with wouldn't be considered "euro-gamers." This makes it difficult to build up interest in games like Dominion, but I have a feeling if they play some of the "ameritrash" gimmick cards it may spark their interest. Any board game interest I can draw from my friends is important if I want to continue to play them in the future.

It works in my situation, but sucks for others that expected something closer to the original game. Guess it's a double edged sword. Hard to please everyone.
 
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