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Subject: Is Prosperity the best expansion to buy first? rss

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Joe Childers
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I have the base game only and love it. It's getting a bit stale, though: Chapel and Big Money Plus One decks win a majority of the time. Of all the expansions, Prosperity is the first one that has excited me as soon as I read it. There seem to be a lot more options opened up by the treasures-with-actions cards. I’m curious, though: which set do you think is the best one to be the first expansion to the base game, particularly given the problems I am seeing in the base game?
 
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Jerry Martin
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I have only played prosperity once. (hopefully more tonight) but I would say that Prosperity takes the Big Money start to a different level by encouraging everyone to be going for the High Cost cards. Personally I would say either Seaside or Prosperity are the best first expansion.
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Darryl with one "R"
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FYI, just yesterday I posted a similar question, although mine was more for 2P specifically. There's been a short discussion around the topic:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/552780/which-expansion-to-bu...
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Henri Harju
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MainiacJoe wrote:
I have the base game only and love it. It's getting a bit stale, though: Chapel and Big Money Plus One decks win a majority of the time.

Big money type decks seem to be pretty common in all Prosperity games, so Prosperity might not help here. I agree, though, that it is the most interesting expansion of them all to date.
 
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Carc >> BSG
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gf1024 wrote:
I always say that release order is the best. Intrigue can mess up gameplay enough, seaside does both some calming down and messing up, alchemy's something not everyone wants. Prosperity will be a delight after introducing so many attacks.


I was going to say the same thing, only with more words and less information.
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Wei-Hwa Huang
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MainiacJoe wrote:
I have the base game only and love it. It's getting a bit stale, though: Chapel and Big Money Plus One decks win a majority of the time. Of all the expansions, Prosperity is the first one that has excited me as soon as I read it. There seem to be a lot more options opened up by the treasures-with-actions cards. I’m curious, though: which set do you think is the best one to be the first expansion to the base game, particularly given the problems I am seeing in the base game?


The best expansion depends on your taste and what you want more of in Dominion; there is no breakdown that is best for all players. Here's how I would compare them:

Intrigue: Many decisions that are made during players' turns. If you want your turns to go fast, this is not the expansion for you; but if you want there to be more interesting decisions during the game, then this works great. Has a couple of cards that are widely reviled; if you don't like them, you can always decide not to play with them, but if you're the type who wants to play with random decks and commit to them, you may find this frustrating. Games are less likely to end on Province-depletion; if you find the "grow, get lots of money, get Provinces" to be stale and you want a wider variety of ending conditions, this is a good expansion.

Seaside: Very thematic, card names and mechanics are very evocative. If your friends have some story-telling blood in them they'll enjoy this expansion the most. Duration cards tend to occupy more table space and cause the most rules confusion and sub-optimal turns. Attacks are more interesting than that of other expansions but also higher variance. Has a lot more cards that will end up in the "must buy" or "ignore" categories, which means if you play a lot of games you may find there is less variety in your games.

Alchemy: Fewer cards means you won't get as many possible games. New money mechanic will interest some players but frustrate others. Often the biggest decision in a random setup is, do you go for the Potion cards or not? Players who feel frustrated when an early decision can end up being a make-or-break decision might be annoyed. Most cards in this expansion benefit from having a lot of them; there are few "if you get more than three of these, you're screwed" cards. Players who enjoy playing lots of Actions during their turn (and don't mind it when other players are also playing lots of Actions during their turn) will love this set.

Prosperity: Lots of riches, really gives a feel of having lots of money and points. Has the most variance of all expansions; close games are very rare. This often isn't a problem; if everyone's happy when they're rich, who cares if the other guy is winning? Artwork is a bit more uniform than that of the other expansions. If "Rich-gets-richer" frustrates you a lot, avoid this. Buy phase rules can be a bit confusing at first (especially if you didn't learn the base game properly) but most players will adapt within a few games.
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Max Maloney
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Seaside is awesome, but it wouldn't be the first I'd add. I'd add Intrigue first. From there, you could go with either Seaside or Prosperity. That's how I'd do it.
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Travis Cooper
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If you want to play with more than 4 people, then you definitely want to get intrigue next. If that isn't a big deal, I personally would go for Prosperity first. I haven't played it yet, but out of all the expansions it has me the most excited. As has been said part of it is based on what you want out of the game. Intrigue adds more interaction, seaside added the duration cards, alchemy added potions to the costs of some cards, and prosperity to me opens a lot of things up with the extra treasure cards, and vp cards.

This is how I would rank things:
1. Prosperity
2. Seaside
3. Base
4. Intrigue
5. Alchemy

Being able to play up to 6 people was fairly important to me, so getting intrigue was a no brainer. Alchemy I bought mostly as an after-thought, but if I could only buy one to build on the base set, I'd definitely go for prosperity. Alas, I don't have the restraint, so I just bought them all, then I don't have to make those kinds of decisions.
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Matt E
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monkeyboy157 wrote:
If you want to play with more than 4 people, then you definitely want to get intrigue next. If that isn't a big deal, I personally would go for Prosperity first. I haven't played it yet, but out of all the expansions it has me the most excited. As has been said part of it is based on what you want out of the game. Intrigue adds more interaction, seaside added the duration cards, alchemy added potions to the costs of some cards, and prosperity to me opens a lot of things up with the extra treasure cards, and vp cards.

Sorry to single you out, but I've got a problem with two of your recommendations. First of all, how does Intrigue have any more interaction than any other set? It has cards that have you make decisions, but that's not necessarily interaction with other players.

Second, if I understand you correctly, you're recommending Prosperity because it's the expansion you're most excited about. Of course you're most excited about it; you haven't played it yet. I'm most excited about it too, but if Prosperity had come out a year ago and I hadn't played Seaside yet, I'd be most excited about that one.

I'd recommend getting them in release order because in some ways the later seem more complex than the earlier ones. Seaside, for instance, has in small amounts the things Intrigue introduces (Action/Victory cards and cards that give you choices) and introduces Duration cards. Alchemy and Prosperity don't directly build on old mechanics, but the mechanics the introduce (Potions) and refine (Buy phase specifics) are more complex in their own right.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Having played Prosperity I wouldn't recommend it as a first expansion. In my opinion it changes the base game the most of any expansion and I would probably suggest it last if a new player could wait that long for an absolutely great set.
 
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Donald X.
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LastFootnote wrote:
Sorry to single you out, but I've got a problem with two of your recommendations. First of all, how does Intrigue have any more interaction than any other set? It has cards that have you make decisions, but that's not necessarily interaction with other players.

Intrigue does have more interaction than the main set, in two ways. First, it makes the three-pile ending more common, and that's interactive. Second, the interactive cards in Intrigue are more likely to get played in any given game than those cards in the main set.

In terms of just, how many of the cards are interactive, Prosperity has the most.
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Matt E
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donaldx wrote:
Intrigue does have more interaction than the main set, in two ways. First, it makes the three-pile ending more common, and that's interactive. Second, the interactive cards in Intrigue are more likely to get played in any given game than those cards in the main set.

Ah, I see. Unfortunately, most of my games end up being two-player, so we don't see the game ending on three piles very often, even with Intrigue. I hadn't realized that the interactive Intrigue cards get played more often than the Base Set ones, but now that you mention it, I see Tribute, Masquerade, and Minion played frequently, whereas Council Room and Thief are played seldom.

(Although I expect Thief to see a bit more action with the release of Prosperity.)
 
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A Swenson
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Intrigue is also required for 5 or 6 players, 4 may be better, but when my group is that size I still want to play Dominion.
 
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Jamie Pollock
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They all have pros and cons to be honest. Intrigue is the natural choice since it was the second expansion, and it does allow you to play 6 player if that floats your boat. Having said that, I personally found it less enjoyable than Seaside. The duration cards and the pirates/embargo cards are really quite cool.

I would definitely not recommend Alchemy for the first expansion; nor would I really recommend it at all. It just didn't work for me. Decisions just centre around whether it's worthwhile buying a potion in round 1 or not, and that most likely depends on the number of Alchemy cards in play. Moreover, many of the cards work better simply with increasing multiples of themselves (like Minion from Intrigue), a mechanic I don't find interesting.

Prosperity I've not tried, but it's brought Dominion back on the radar after the apathy of Alchemy. Though whether splashing another £25 on another Dominion expansion is better than spending that on a new game is highly debatable.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Alchemy is a lot better than some depict in this and other threads. I find most people who don't like it haven't played with it that much. It has a cool theme and some very powerful/interesting cards. I love Golem.
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Joe Childers
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Thanks everyone for your replies. What I've gathered from this is that I'll not be disappointed no matter what expansion I get first. I like that.
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Allen Michaels
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Yeah..you won't be disappointed, for sure!

My 2 cents: Intrigue obviously gives you 5-6 players. The choices slow the game down a bit, depending on the player. I really like Seaside. The duration mechanic isn't difficult (you just have to remember not to clean up those cards!)...and there are some interesting cards beyond simply giving choices like Intrigue does (Treasure Map, Pirate Ship, Island etc).

Alchemy is a mini-expansion, so i assume you're not considering that...and Prosperity, well, i don't have experience with.

Bottom line: you won't be disappointed...the cards and rules are all posted, so you can see what you're getting before you buy. If you don't need 5-6 players, my vote is for Seaside, but Intrigue is a very close second. IMHO.

-Allen
 
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Travis Cooper
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LastFootnote wrote:
monkeyboy157 wrote:
If you want to play with more than 4 people, then you definitely want to get intrigue next. If that isn't a big deal, I personally would go for Prosperity first. I haven't played it yet, but out of all the expansions it has me the most excited. As has been said part of it is based on what you want out of the game. Intrigue adds more interaction, seaside added the duration cards, alchemy added potions to the costs of some cards, and prosperity to me opens a lot of things up with the extra treasure cards, and vp cards.

...
Second, if I understand you correctly, you're recommending Prosperity because it's the expansion you're most excited about. Of course you're most excited about it; you haven't played it yet. I'm most excited about it too, but if Prosperity had come out a year ago and I hadn't played Seaside yet, I'd be most excited about that one.
...


No, I am more excited about prosperity now than I was about seaside after we saw all the initial cards for it. I loved seaside because it changed the game with the duration cards. I am predicting I'll like prosperity more because I really like the idea of treasure that does things for you. Plus adding in the vp cards, it seems like this expansion is going to offer more ways with a single setup that are viable winning strategies. Also, with the possibility of your setup having platinum and colony now, it is going to mix things up quite a bit. For those reasons I think prosperity is going to be the best expansion. Of course you're right, I haven't even played it yet, but I've played enough Dominion to get a good feel for a set after seeing the cards and I don't think my opinions will change.
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Matt E
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monkeyboy157 wrote:
No, I am more excited about prosperity now than I was about seaside after we saw all the initial cards for it. I loved seaside because it changed the game with the duration cards. I am predicting I'll like prosperity more because I really like the idea of treasure that does things for you. Plus adding in the vp cards, it seems like this expansion is going to offer more ways with a single setup that are viable winning strategies. Also, with the possibility of your setup having platinum and colony now, it is going to mix things up quite a bit. For those reasons I think prosperity is going to be the best expansion. Of course you're right, I haven't even played it yet, but I've played enough Dominion to get a good feel for a set after seeing the cards and I don't think my opinions will change.

Oh, OK. Sorry I misunderstood you.

I still think it'd be a better ramp-up process to go in release order, but I have to agree that Prosperity is a very exciting expansion.
 
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It doesn't matter what *we* think is the best one. What matters is what *you* think will be the best. I also was looking for change from Big Money, and Alchemy and Intrigue seem to be it. Personally, I'd try Intrigue before Alchemy, since the Potions may be more change than you would like.
 
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I don't think there's a wrong answer here. I've bought the expansions right along as they're released. I play with all the kingdom cards mixed together with a random 10 pulled for each game. Each expansion has improved the experience, though Alchemy gets an asterisk. The fact that with the Potions in Alchemy you never want just one card from the set in the tableau, so we either consciously decide to play with Alchemy beforehand, drawing 4 or 5 Alchemy cards and the rest randomly from the stack, or we mix Alchemy into the big kingdom card pile and, if we happen to draw an Alchemy card, we

Reveal cards from the Kingdom deck until a card from the Alchemy expansion is revealed. Add this card to the tableau. Repeat this process 3-4 times. Discard other cards from the tableau as needed.

Anyhow, if you like Dominion as much as it sounds like you do, any expansion will liven the game up for you quite a bit. Enjoy.
 
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Dave Daley
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monkeyboy157 wrote:
Sorry to single you out, but I've got a problem with two of your recommendations. First of all, how does Intrigue have any more interaction than any other set? It has cards that have you make decisions, but that's not necessarily interaction with other players.
I see that this has already been addressed (by DonaldX no less), but I will add my 2c anyways. There are TONS of interactive cards in Intrigue - Ambassador, Tribute, Swindler and Saboteur come to mind without even getting the cardlist up.
 
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elkabong wrote:
monkeyboy157 wrote:
Sorry to single you out, but I've got a problem with two of your recommendations. First of all, how does Intrigue have any more interaction than any other set? It has cards that have you make decisions, but that's not necessarily interaction with other players.
I see that this has already been addressed (by DonaldX no less), but I will add my 2c anyways. There are TONS of interactive cards in Intrigue - Ambassador, Tribute, Swindler and Saboteur come to mind without even getting the cardlist up.


Ambassador is in Seaside

You could add Masquerade to the list.
 
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