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Subject: My take on Seaside rss

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Branko K.
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I tend to review every game I have in my collection, but I kinda wanted to skip Seaside, mostly because it's kinda hard to review something that everyone probably knows in advance whether he is gonna buy or not. Come on, you might just as well simply write "It's a Dominion expansion, you get some more nifty cards for your Kingdom card pool" and it will be enough for 95% of the readers here.

But then again, I need thumbs and GG to pay the bills, so here I go with my take on Seaside. The real one, this time around. For a change, I'll try to be as short and concise as possible.

What's new?
Nothing much. You get 26 additional Kingdom cards, plus some unexpected components. Also, a new card type, "Action-Duration" is introduced. It has a nice orange color. Oh, and amazingly enough, the box is really nice this time around, even though it's not smaller as many people expected it to be.

Duration cards? What are those?
Duration cards are cards that (mostly) stick around for one more turn, giving you an additional bonus boost. Also, their orange color is rather pleasing to the eye. They will allow for some additional strategies, but they also introduce more fiddliness which not everyone will appreciate - especially those with smaller tables. Before they get used to it, players will often forget to keep the card on the table or get confused by how it works. For instance, one of the cards I came to dislike is Fishing Village, mostly because some of my friends for some reason cannot get their heads wrapped around the concept that since the card gives you "+1 Action, +1 Card" bonus on the start of your turn, you can play 2 additional Actions after it (it says +1, why 2?) Throw some Throne Rooms and more then one Duration cards played per turn, it might get messy. Still, this gets sorted out eventually and it's not a big deal. And, as I said, the orange color is nice.

You mentioned additional components..
Yeah.. you get some metal coins, some metal tokens, and some mats. I am really on the fence when it comes to sorting out what I feel about those. On one hand, it is obvious that they are pure padding, since the components are basically tied to very specific Action cards and their role is mostly to serve as reminders. This means that you can conceivably do without them with just a tiny amount of creativity and it also means that your custom solution for carrying cards will now have to work around the fact that you now have to also lug stuff that isn't card-shaped anymore. On the other hand, they ARE nicely designed, they look and feel good and it doesn't say anywhere that you cannot use them for other purposes (for instance, gold coins are rather handy to indicate bonus coins from Intrigue's choice cards). So.. I guess I am ok with this, but I am not sure I would appreciate if every future expansion comes with such overly specialized "baggage".

What about the cards themselves?
When it comes to cards... well except the already mentioned Duration cards there are no real surprises here, it's more or less what you would expect from the expansion which claims it has the "next turn" theme. Durations alter the next turn in the most direct way, but some cards will allow you to mess with the draw pile a little bit, some will let you stash cards for later use, but mostly the cards use same old mechanisms but in a different (and often rather creative) ways. There is the usual percentage of Attack cards, and perhaps some of them will perhaps feel slightly familiar (Sea Hag is basically a poor man's Witch, Pirate Ship is a new and improved Thief etc.) Interestingly enough, no Reaction cards this time around, even though one of the Duration cards provides "defense" during its stay on the table. However, I must say that some of the cards are more interesting then they perhaps initially seem - Smugglers for instance allow you to gain a card previous player gained on his turn, which somehow makes the game feel more interactive and often is great fun to use (expect for people to start paying much closer attention to decks of people on their left and the probability of surprise Smuggler appearance). Islands usually work as nerfed Chapels, but you get to keep your VPs instead of trashing them, which feels like a nice trade-off and makes for a more interesting game then the rather obvious "just trash the trash" Chapel gameplay. Embargo perhaps is the most creative card in the set, because it provides the ability to make certain Supply decks less attractive by forcing you to take one or more Curses with each purchase. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to use it effectively (since Embargo is a one-shot card which makes things worse for all the players, even the one who played it), but definite thumbs up for stirring things up.

Final thoughts?
Well.. just read the first paragraph again. This isn't really a game that has to be recommended or not, most of the people aware of it will know in advance whether they will eventually buy it or not. If you like Dominion, and feel the need for more cards, by all means get it. If you are satisfied with what you currently have, then perhaps wait a bit - the game is popular enough it's hardly questionable whether Seaside will be available in the future or not. The only really questionable scenario is the one where you own base Dominion and are on the fence whether you would prefer Intrigue or Seaside for your next purchase. And this is a question not easily answered. I feel Intrigue is a slightly better choice, because the choice cards offer additional tactical decisions, there are more "nasty" cards, the overall feel of the game is more interactive and I might even say that the cards are slightly more creative. Also, I'm not a huge fan of Duration cards and my feelings about Seaside's bonus components are ambiguous at best. On the other hand, many people seem to actually prefer Seaside for various reasons, and if nothing I must say that the overall presentation and theme is rather nice. I know noone plays Dominion because of the theme (what theme, haha), but nautical-related artwork, the overall calming shades of ocean blue and a nicely contrasted "duration" orange somehow make the game rather pleasing aesthetically. So if you are on the fence between Intrigue and Seaside, I think it's really a non-issue, since you get good stuff either way (and admit it, you are getting the other one eventually anyway).

Final final thoughts?
It's Dominion. A lot of people love Dominion, for all the good reasons. More Dominion is better then less Dominion. So go ahead and buy Seaside, because if you read this far, you *know* you will own it eventually.

Thank you, and good night.


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Scott Hinze
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I think a decent mentionable new Action card along with Seahag, Pirate Ship, Island & Embargo is Cutpurse. Cutpurse is an attack in which all other players discard one copper. A tiny little inconvenience that when piled on can be a major pain - especially early in the game. The most annoying factor, however, is how long a game of Dominion can last when most players hands are handicapped to a great degree. Someone who plays it right & early-on could run away with the whole thing by the 3 - 5 turn - similar to a Smuggler exchanging a Copper for a Curse into everyone elses game early on.
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Travis Cooper
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scotthinze wrote:
I think a decent mentionable new Action card along with Seahag, Pirate Ship, Island & Embargo is Cutpurse. Cutpurse is an attack in which all other players discard one copper. A tiny little inconvenience that when piled on can be a major pain - especially early in the game. The most annoying factor, however, is how long a game of Dominion can last when most players hands are handicapped to a great degree. Someone who plays it right & early-on could run away with the whole thing by the 3 - 5 turn - similar to a Smuggler exchanging a Copper for a Curse into everyone elses game early on.

Smuggler? Did you mean to say Swindler?
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Scott Hinze
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monkeyboy157 wrote:
scotthinze wrote:
I think a decent mentionable new Action card along with Seahag, Pirate Ship, Island & Embargo is Cutpurse. Cutpurse is an attack in which all other players discard one copper. A tiny little inconvenience that when piled on can be a major pain - especially early in the game. The most annoying factor, however, is how long a game of Dominion can last when most players hands are handicapped to a great degree. Someone who plays it right & early-on could run away with the whole thing by the 3 - 5 turn - similar to a Smuggler exchanging a Copper for a Curse into everyone elses game early on.

Smuggler? Did you mean to say Swindler?

Um. Yes. blush
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Branko K.
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scotthinze wrote:
I think a decent mentionable new Action card along with Seahag, Pirate Ship, Island & Embargo is Cutpurse. Cutpurse is an attack in which all other players discard one copper. A tiny little inconvenience that when piled on can be a major pain - especially early in the game. The most annoying factor, however, is how long a game of Dominion can last when most players hands are handicapped to a great degree. Someone who plays it right & early-on could run away with the whole thing by the 3 - 5 turn - similar to a Smuggler exchanging a Copper for a Curse into everyone elses game early on.

I don't think Cutpurse needs an honorable mention. It's a fine enough card, much more useful then it initially appears, but it doesn't really introduce anything groundbreaking and is just a card one might expect from an expansion.

One of the biggest nitpicks I have about Seaside is that it is basically so damn adequate. It's just what you would expect from a Dominion expansion, it doesn't disappoint in any single way and it delivers exactly what it promises. However there really isn't much you can say about it. If I review something, I kinda prefer when a game does stuff exceptionally good or exceptionally bad, or at least does something refreshingly different. Seaside is mostly more of the same, but a decidedly excellent type of "same", still different enough to warrant a purchase without an ounce of regret.


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Matt Olson
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scotthinze wrote:
The most annoying factor, however, is how long a game of Dominion can last when most players hands are handicapped to a great degree.
I feel this is the biggest change to gameplay for our games since we have included Seaside (we don't have Intrigue) - the games are much longer on average; sometimes enjoyably so, but often adding tedium. With the base set we almost never had boring games, but with Seaside the possibility of a dull game has sadly increased.
 
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Justus
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Hmm thanks for the review...I was looking at expansions and when I saw "tokens" and "next turn effects" my stomach turned. I guess I'm still scarred from the days when I tried to get into playing Magic and soon realized that I was way outclassed (and out spent) by devoted teenagers half my age.

I really like the original Dominion elegance of "everything gets wiped off the board" so it looks like its Intrigue for me =)
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Branko K.
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To be honest, neither the tokens nor the "next turn" cards are too intrusive mechanic-wise. In fact, some of Intrigue's cards are more involved than anything you can find in Seaside.
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Jeff Wolfe
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aaarg_ink wrote:
Hmm thanks for the review...I was looking at expansions and when I saw "tokens" and "next turn effects" my stomach turned. I guess I'm still scarred from the days when I tried to get into playing Magic and soon realized that I was way outclassed (and out spent) by devoted teenagers half my age.

An important difference between Magic and Dominion is that in Dominion, everyone always has equal access to the same cards in each game. Your opponent won't have a better deck because he has more (real world) cash to spend.
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Justus
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jeffwolfe wrote:
aaarg_ink wrote:
Hmm thanks for the review...I was looking at expansions and when I saw "tokens" and "next turn effects" my stomach turned. I guess I'm still scarred from the days when I tried to get into playing Magic and soon realized that I was way outclassed (and out spent) by devoted teenagers half my age.

An important difference between Magic and Dominion is that in Dominion, everyone always has equal access to the same cards in each game. Your opponent won't have a better deck because he has more (real world) cash to spend.

Very true, it was just that I was drawn to MtG because of the fun of deck building (and even more so the way that dominion does it) but I soon got tired of multi-card instant/artifact/new mechanic of the month/etc./etc. combos. As such I really liked the very basic actions of the orig Dominion and the fact that it was a clean slate every turn (other than that pile of cards in the draw/discard piles). I have no doubt that seaside is better for what I would want to play than MtG, but I suspect that Intrigue may be better for me at the moment
 
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