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Dominion: Seaside» Forums » Reviews

Subject: First Impressions (After Four Plays) rss

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Alex G

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I didn't much care for Dominion.
Dominion: Intrigue improved things considerably -- still a little dull at times, and not my favorite, but quick and worth having. It has seen a good bit of play in our house.

Today we picked up Dominion: Seaside at our FLGS (I pulled it right out of the packing popcorn at the shop). If you're reading this, you've probably seen the card list, and know the general idea of Dominion, which hasn't changed here. How does this expansion play?

We played four games, two with just Seaside cards, one with Seaside (6) + Intrigue (4), and one with Seaside (3), Intrigue (5), and Dominion (2).

Some Facts, Opinions, and Guesses

1. Fact (ok, Opinion): The cover art is the best yet.

(image from Jay at Rio Grande)

The font is still creepy, but it's actually a cool picture.

2. Opinion: Seaside may well be an expansion in ways that go beyond not including Treasure and VPs. It seems best played in light doses with Intrigue or original set cards (more Intrigue than original, if you share our tastes).

3. Opinion: It's less interactive than Intrigue. It's hard to completely objectively prove it's less interactive, but the attacks here feel more "got a moat? draw the wrong thing?" like the original, rather than somehow responding to the other player's deck. Sure, the Pirate Ship won't be as good if they lack treasure, etc., but it feels like a step back to solitaire.

4. Guess: Too much Seaside slows things down more than Intrigue. Both play somewhat slower, due to more decisions/complexity. But Seaside's two-turn cards seem to result in more multi-action turns; there may also be a bit more deck thinning to give you mega-turns and lots o' shuffling. Remembering and processing Durations adds to turn complexity and "stuff" as well.

5. Opinion: The card complexity is another step up from Intrigue. Not a bad thing, totally, but it may be part of slower play, at least until we're used to the new stuff. I wanted more complexity, and got it in Intrigue, Seaside takes some cards further (others are simpler, once you get used to Durations in general).

6. Fact-ish: Some of the new components are a little silly. I like pirate ships, but did we really need a mat for that? Native Village and Island mats I don't mind so much. It doesn't all really fit into the box, either (the mats, the coins aren't a problem).


(image from rsolow)

7. Guess: Seaside will re-vitalize Dominion for us again, but not nearly to the extent Intrigue did. I think it was a worthwhile purchase, but I don't think I'll feel as compelled to run through the variety of cards (I've had them all out now in at least one set) that I did with Intrigue. In part that's due to Intrigue changing Dominion into something I wanted to play, and in part that's due to Seaside seeming to inhabit a somewhat less interesting part of the design space.

Summary:

I don't think this is as good a set as Intrigue, but there are enough interesting cards, when used in moderation (rather than dealing out a random set that's 2/3 durations for example) to make it worth owning to "keep Dominion interesting." What looks especially interesting? Durations definitely add another dimension, but perhaps not the most exciting one (more like an extension of the needed +action/card/buy/coin framework, now with a temporal element). Embargo and Ambassador seem genuinely new in the part of the creative space explored. Native Village produces some nice decisions and possibilities. Some things may be too obvious when used well (Treasure Map?) but time will tell.

At 78 kingdom cards with the three sets + the BGG cards, there is a lot of variety in "the collected Dominion", even counting the very many sets that abstract to the same useful 2-4 cards.

Oh, and our four games? I won one, my wife took the other three.
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Nate Walker
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alexd wrote:
The font is still creepy

Creepy font? Ummm...ok...
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Nate Owens
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Quote:
The font is still ugly

Fixed that for you.

Good review, btw.
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Victor Mo
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Is the player mat as big as the picture u posted?
Seems pretty useless though, I rather they have a player mat with all the 3 combined as 1.
 
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Joe Casadonte
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alexd wrote:
4. Guess: Too much Seaside slows things down more than Intrigue. Both play somewhat slower, due to more decisions/complexity. But Seaside's two-turn cards seem to result in more multi-action turns; there may also be a bit more deck thinning to give you mega-turns and lots o' shuffling. Remembering and processing Durations adds to turn complexity and "stuff" as well.

Playing 5 times with the first 6 revealed cards this past weekend, and from what I remember the 3 times I played it over the Summer, I found the games go much, much faster with Seaside cards. Now, having seen all 26 of them, I can see a few that will slow things down, but on the whole I see the trend towards faster/shorter games.
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Alex G

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Joe Casadonte wrote:
Now, having seen all 26 of them, I can see a few that will slow things down, but on the whole I see the trend towards faster/shorter games.

Well, hence "guess" -- I think we did get all durations the first time and all attacks (roughly) the second, which might well skew things.
 
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Anthony L.
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Joe Casadonte wrote:
alexd wrote:
4. Guess: Too much Seaside slows things down more than Intrigue. Both play somewhat slower, due to more decisions/complexity. But Seaside's two-turn cards seem to result in more multi-action turns; there may also be a bit more deck thinning to give you mega-turns and lots o' shuffling. Remembering and processing Durations adds to turn complexity and "stuff" as well.

Playing 5 times with the first 6 revealed cards this past weekend, and from what I remember the 3 times I played it over the Summer, I found the games go much, much faster with Seaside cards. Now, having seen all 26 of them, I can see a few that will slow things down, but on the whole I see the trend towards faster/shorter games.

I've played twice now with Seaside mixed in with Intrigue and Dominion in my super mega box, and I must say, despite the fact that both games were 6 player ones, the game went many orders of magnitude faster than previously. We even had some very awkward combinations, like the first game having both Sea Hag and Embargo and no defense cards (The 50 card Curse deck completely drained and the winner had -1 VPs), but even still, it makes the game a lot faster and has a lot more player to player interactions than the previous titles.
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