As part of my monthly "Decide What I Buy" Shopping List, July brought me five new games to add to my collection.
Dominion was one of those games, though it was not initially, I ended up playing the game for my first time during lunch at work and thought it was a needed addition to my collection...and it needed to be there before my Boardgame, Beer and BBQ get together, so I ran to the local comic book store to pick it.
This is my initial review of the components after breaking the box open and going through everything in the box.
Everything was packed very well, nothing damaged at all and nothing missing from the inventory list.
The first thing I noticed was that the plastic insert not only held everything in place during shipping but also sorted all of the individual stacks of cards once opened. This is great because this probably saves about 5 minutes of set up time if you were going to play it.
There was also a small insert for the middle of the box that labels everything so you can grab whatever you want quickly. The opposite side is blank so you can sort them the way you would like to.
I have heard that previous additions didn't have this feature and it was introduced in one of the expansions and then ported over for new printings of the core game. Kudos for seeing a problem, or a way to improve the game storage real estate, and implementing it.
That said...this box is rather large for basically a stack of cards. I think they could have made the box the same size as a normal card storage box and provided dividers for the cards to separate them.
The cards themselves are pretty durable but I now have to find some Euro sized plastic sleeves because they do have a black border and the wear will likely show pretty quickly. This was the case when I started playing Magic the Gathering back in Beta and with the expansions.
With the amount of shuffling you will do from playing the game going with White Borders for the cards would have probably been a better bet for "hiding" the wear of the cards for those that do not use sleeves.
That's really all there is to the game...a lot of cards and a box.
While the individual slots are nice in the big box, using a smaller box and dividers could have been a better solution. Possibly cutting down the manufacturing costs and reducing the games foot print on a retail shelf, thus more copies fitting in the same space.
The cards seem durable but the game mechanics do require a lot of shuffling, you should pick up enough sleeves to cover all the cards. Since the cards have black borders the continuous shuffling will show the wear quicker but likely not ruin the cards and make them unplayable.