Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
53 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: Dominion or Thunderstone or...? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Fred
France
flag msg tools
mbmb
Hi to all,

following some advice in this forum, I bought 7 wonders to play with my girlfriend and she actually liked it!
I am now looking for a meatier card game to play with my gaming group, and I am hesitating between Dominion and Thunderstone. I am also open to other suggestions.

Here is what I would like to find in this game:

1. It should play optimally for 2-4 players and, if possible, be also playable solo

2. I have played almost all CCGs in my youth (most of them now extinct) and I have played Magic on and off over the years. I even tried to play again last year, but I found that I spent way too much money compared to the amount of time I had to play.

3. When playing Magic, my favorite archetypes were by far combo and then control. Thus, I am not against minimal interaction with my opponent, and I was quite happy "comboing" for a few minutes on my own.

4. I am a huge fan of card games in general, but I also like abstract games: I have played chess competitively for years. Hence, I dislike when there is too much luck involved.

5. I don't really care about the theme, but my friends might. I guess they would thus prefer Thunderstone since it would remind them of fantasy books or RPGs.

6. I prefer when there are regular expansions that add more strategies to the game and I don't mind shedding 30-40 bucks every quarter for that
By the way, I don't know whether there are some French forumers here, but I have seen on AEG's website that there are something like 5 expansions for Thunderstone, whereas in France, there are only 2, i.e., Wrath and Doomgates. Does anyone have an idea why is that so?
What's the usual delay for a translation?
I don't mind playing with English cards, so, do you know of a store where I could buy either Dominion or Thunderstone (and their expansions) and where shipping costs to France would not be too prohibitive?

Well, I guess that's it.
Thanks a lot in advance for you remarks/suggestions.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm assuming your girlfriend enjoys the "Eurogame" aspect of 7 Wonders, so Dominion (base set) is your best bet. The base set has been well received by the BGG community, which prefers Eurogames. For more Magic-level complexity, you will want to play the expansion sets (eg. Intrigue, Cornucopia, Prosperity). Dominion pretty much satisfies your other requirements, except solo play.

As for theme, IMO, Thunderstone's theme is terrible. If I hire someone who calls himself a hero, he'd better show up for the expedition! See my Personal Comments for what theme I think fits Thunderstone best...!

EDIT: Here ya go: laugh

EDIT EDIT: I haven't tried Blood Bowl or Rune Age yet, but, of the best card games on BGG, these games seem to have the most theme. Lord of the Rings and Race for the Galaxy are runners up, having about as much theme as Magic the Gathering.

Quote:
I don't like how it implements the theme. I mean, you pay gold to hire these heroes and they don't show up! You get a Militia man with three torches, and a sword he can't even lift. This is a fantasy game if Dilbert's pointy-haired boss invented it.

"Okay, we're ready to enter the dungeon of arbitrary project goals. We should be able to defeat a project because we hired some heroic engineers, and bought upgraded servers. How many heroic engineers do we have?"

"None."

"But we just hired Alice last turn."

"She's not here."

"She's not here?"

"Nope."

"Where is she?"

"Somewhere in the deck."

"How about that new server?"

"Oh, yeah. We got that. Requires a strength 4 to operate it."

"Do we have anyone with strength 4?"

"We have three Wallys and an Asok. So... no."

"Jeez! Do we have anything else besides Wallys and an Asok in our hand?"

"We have Doughnuts with Gooseberry filling."

"Will they help?"

"No, but they're tasty and worth 2 Victory Points."
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fred
France
flag msg tools
mbmb
Actually, I don't really expect my gf to play this other game, that's why I am looking for a more complex one.

Thanks for your other remarks though!

Regarding solo play, is there absolutely now way to make it work?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thunderstone has a very strong theme and is very playable solo. It works well for 2 players. It doesn't have enough card burning/drawing mechanics, so some games may seem too random and can be frustrating.

Dominion is a pure maths/probability game and the theme is irrelevant. Terrible art. It works best with 3 or more players and there's no way to play solo. On the plus side the randomness can be controlled better due to all the card burning and drawing mechanics you can use.


On balance I'd recommend Thunderstone for you if:
You need solo play.
You'll often play with one partner.
The theme will appeal to your friends.
You want decent art and you are familiar with Magic.

I'd recommend Dominion to you only if:
You'll mostly be playing with 4 players.
The chess player in you needs more control. Dominion will be won by the better player more often than Thunderstone.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The deck-building game most like chess in my mind is A Few Acres of Snow. If you go check out the strategy forums there, you'll see the beginnings of "book" openings forming. Really amazing game, and you can do a lot to mitigate the "luck" factor in the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dennis Bingham
Germany
Herford
NRW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Benkyo wrote:
Thunderstone has a very strong theme and is very playable solo. It works well for 2 players. It doesn't have enough card burning/drawing mechanics, so some games may seem too random and can be frustrating.

Dominion is a pure maths/probability game and the theme is irrelevant. Terrible art. It works best with 3 or more players and there's no way to play solo. On the plus side the randomness can be controlled better due to all the card burning and drawing mechanics you can use.


On balance I'd recommend Thunderstone for you if:
You need solo play.
You'll often play with one partner.
The theme will appeal to your friends.
You want decent art and you are familiar with Magic.

I'd recommend Dominion to you only if:
You'll mostly be playing with 4 players.
The chess player in you needs more control. Dominion will be won by the better player more often than Thunderstone.


Highly opinionated answer here.......the art is definately a matter of taste in both of the games, the "theme will appeal to your friends" is a complete assumption (or do you know his friends??) and i find dominion works just as well as Thunderstone for 2 players...........

Honestly, i found your post fairly unhelpful to the OP.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fred
France
flag msg tools
mbmb
Guys, guys, no fighting, please!

Thanks for all answers so far!

I have to admit that, although I enjoy good art as much as the next guy, this is not a priority for me.

I do think that the "dungeon theme" of Thunderstone will be more appealing to at least 2 of my friends than Dominion.

On the other hand, I would probably prefer the more math/proba-oriented aspect of Dominion.
I guess I could also play online if I really want to.

I have looked at "A few acre of snow" and it indeed looks nice, but it looks more like a wargame than a card game. I don't know if that's what I am looking for. But why not.

I also came across the game Gosu, which seems to have been designed by a former Magic player and looks interesting for 2 players. I will have to dig deeper.
1 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lillumultipass wrote:
Actually, I don't really expect my gf to play this other game, that's why I am looking for a more complex one.

If she likes 7 Wonders, she should be able to easily handle Dominion or Thunderstone. They are not more complex.

I had a bad first-game experience with Thunderstone, and tend to agree with Freelance's opinion. But if solo play is really important, that might give Thunderstone the nod.

Other games you should at least consider would be Fairy Tale and Rune Age. I haven't played either one yet, but hope to soon. Each seems to have some strengths and interesting qualities.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rune
Norway
Bergen
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
lillumultipass wrote:
Actually, I don't really expect my gf to play this other game, that's why I am looking for a more complex one.


I don't see why your gf wouldn't play Dominion if she enjoys 7 Wonders. The complexity is fairly similar I think, at least when it comes to the rules. I've played Dominion with a lot of different people, including "hardcore" gamers, "non-gamers" and kids and very few didn't like it (and they were all in the "hardcore" category).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff G
United States
Franklin
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ScYcS wrote:


Highly opinionated answer here.......the art is definately a matter of taste in both of the games, the "theme will appeal to your friends" is a complete assumption (or do you know his friends??) and i find dominion works just as well as Thunderstone for 2 players...........

Honestly, i found your post fairly unhelpful to the OP.



1)As far as I know, most people go to this forum seeking opinions. If they wanted just facts, they could find them out on their own.

2)Regarding the "or do you know his friends" comment, you do realize he preceded his list with the word "IF", right? Therefore, the full sentence would be "...I'd recommend Thunderstone for you IF the theme will appeal to your friend," and the response assumes nothing about the OP's friends.

3)Regarding unhelpfulness - pot, meet kettle.

To the OP: I enjoy Thunderstone more than Dominion. However, I feel that 2 player game can drag a touch long. I tend to feel by the time the endgame is triggered, I've done all I wanted/could do and was just waiting for the VP engine to finish doing all it could. Also, depending on the specific setup, the early game can be a struggle especially if you get tough creatures in the initial setup and you don't have the right cards available for draft.

To me, Dominion feels like a good set of mechanics in search of a strong theme. However, Dominion is a easier teach then Thunderstone and you really get to build much more interesting/fun combos than you can in Thunderstone. Plus, I feel the game is faster than Thunderstone, and I tend to feel like the end comes about pretty quickly once things get rolling.

So, I think Dominion is the better game, but if theme matters, I think Thunderstone is a slightly better gaming experience.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fred
France
flag msg tools
mbmb
Rune wrote:
lillumultipass wrote:
Actually, I don't really expect my gf to play this other game, that's why I am looking for a more complex one.


I don't see why your gf wouldn't play Dominion if she enjoys 7 Wonders. The complexity is fairly similar I think, at least when it comes to the rules. I've played Dominion with a lot of different people, including "hardcore" gamers, "non-gamers" and kids and very few didn't like it (and they were all in the "hardcore" category).



Well, I was not talking about the rules. I am pretty sure she would understand Dominion just fine.
However, she is far from being a "power gamer" (unlike me) and I don't think she would enjoy the optimizing of VPs which is inherent to Dominion. Also, she is sensitive to the theme and for instance, in 7 wonders, she likes building "her wonder".

In the end, it is not a priority that she likes Dominion/Thunderstone since we have 7 wonders...but, if she does, all the better!
Clearly, she would never play Thunderstone, whereas there might be a chance she likes Dominion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken B.
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Play Nightfall. It obsoleted both Dominion and Thunderstone for us.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob McFadden
Canada
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We have both Dominion and Thunderstone in our home ... We very seldom play Dominion but play Thunderstone all the time - The stronger theme and the feeling of accomplishments make the game more popular with my family. FYI though - I have found that it is not as popular with all groups - my gaming buddies still seem to prefer Dominion but i think that was partly due to a bad draw of "village cards" during my play with them !

I would strongly suggest that you also look into Ascension, which I understand was also developed by some MTG gamers. Since I first played it at Gencon, I have played it regularly and it has been very popular with both gamers and friends, I am not sure how many expansions will be developed for this game but it has one so far and with the success it is having I would be surprised if there were not many more to follow.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Kissane
United Kingdom
Birmingham
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thunderstone and Dominion are both good games, personally prefer Thunderstone a little though.

To me Dominion is all about the victory points, whereas in Thunderstone satisfaction can be found in killing the monsters even if you don't end up winning the game. Thunderstone can drag on though, as previously noted, especially if you draw unlucky monsters at the beginning.


Another game that looks like it might be of interest which hasn't been mentioned yet is Race for the Galaxy. It is one of my all time favourite games.

It can be slightly hard to get the hang of at first (heavy use of symbols and colour-coding), but isn't really that complicated. Can also be played solo, but you need to pick-up one of the expansions for that.


Hope you find a game you all enjoy.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Davis
United States
Tri Cities
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hello Corbin!
Congrats on getting your girlfriend to even sit down and play...anything! LOL Anyhow, I have a couple groups of friends I play these style of games with ( as well as many others ). Ages ranging from as low as 13 ( when my son and one of my friends joins sometimes ) to us old farts ( I'm 44 ). Primarily most of the groups are made up of early to mid twenties and mainly guys. The few gals that do sit in are geeks and appreciate fantasy style games fortunately. 7 Wonders is a hit with everyone too! Dominion of course is the most approachable game, but Thunderstone seems to be a better fit in most cases for us. I personally enjoy Thunderstone more. Seems "meatier" to me and I love the fact that on my off nights, I can play it solo! I have not had the opportunity to play Nightfall yet, but it is on my wishlist. Bob beat me to the Ascension suggestion. I was drawn to this one due to the fact it was designed by some former MTG Pro Tour guys like he mentioned. I'm an old Magic player too and figured I'd give it a try. It doesn't have the feel of Magic IMO, but it turned out to be a good deck building just the same and a good addition to my collection. It works great when I need to teach newbies the basics of deck building. Set up and game play is much faster than Dominion and Thunderstone. Of course, this means a game of Ascension probably won't feel as fulfilling, but that works for me and my bunch from time to time. For those times when you gotta scratch that deck building itch, but really don't have much time. It too can be played solo with the new expansion and can handle up to 6 players! IMO, each of the games mentioned ( with the exception of Nightfall, since I haven't played it ) play very well one on one. I hope this may help a bit in your decision! Take it easy!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
+1 for Race For the Galaxy. Easily my favourite game out of any mentioned so far and seems to check all the requirements you mentioned. It is the most complex and least accessible compared with Thunderstone and Dominion, at least to people who aren't familiar with card-game mechanics.

It is very easy to play in another language as long as you have one person who knows the rules well. The game is meant to be text-free, but in some cards from the expansions the symbols become more complex than the text explanations that accompany them. In other words you could play the English edition with French friends and have no real problems.


PS: Thanks Jeff Grover, I'm glad to know my post wasn't that hard to understand!

PPS: I actually like Dominion and Thunderstone equally well, just to clarify for the easily offended Dominion fans. I favoured Thunderstone in my earlier post based only on the OPs requirements.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Davis
United States
Tri Cities
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ah yes, Race for the Galaxy is a GREAT game and fits very well into your criteria too. However, it isn't the easiest game to get into either. Of course, everyone differs in grasping this games mechanics and the icons. Still, once you get the hang of it, it can be a tense, frustrating at times ( in a good way ) and a very rewarding game! Plus, FUN! Just recently though, I purchased Glory to Rome. It falls into the Race category, but not nearly as difficult to pick up IMO. Other good points of the game are it's inexpensive and you don't have to worry about expansions. It is lighter than Race, but still a blast to play! Though the game is not as "aesthetically pleasing", it does the job and very well! This was proven to me by my group just the other day when I introduced it to them. NOT ONE person said a negative thing about the art work! They were too focused on the game and enjoying it thoroughly! That means a lot to me IMO! It also plays well one on one, but cannot be played solo.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Johan Haglert
Sweden
Örebro
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ScYcS wrote:
Benkyo wrote:
Thunderstone has a very strong theme and is very playable solo. It works well for 2 players. It doesn't have enough card burning/drawing mechanics, so some games may seem too random and can be frustrating.

Dominion is a pure maths/probability game and the theme is irrelevant. Terrible art. It works best with 3 or more players and there's no way to play solo. On the plus side the randomness can be controlled better due to all the card burning and drawing mechanics you can use.


On balance I'd recommend Thunderstone for you if:
You need solo play.
You'll often play with one partner.
The theme will appeal to your friends.
You want decent art and you are familiar with Magic.

I'd recommend Dominion to you only if:
You'll mostly be playing with 4 players.
The chess player in you needs more control. Dominion will be won by the better player more often than Thunderstone.


Highly opinionated answer here.......the art is definately a matter of taste in both of the games, the "theme will appeal to your friends" is a complete assumption (or do you know his friends??) and i find dominion works just as well as Thunderstone for 2 players...........

Honestly, i found your post fairly unhelpful to the OP.

"... if:"
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Larsen

Lehi
Utah
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's not even close...Thunderstone is the better and FUNNER game! (Is funner even a word?!?)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Johan Haglert
Sweden
Örebro
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While I haven't played any of the game what I ordered myself even though I think the expansions is ridiculously overpriced is Race for the Galaxy.

Something I don't think will be as fulfilling as Dominion but may be an alternative which got a lot of hype here is Quarriors!.

Finally what I will get myself after Race for the galaxy is actually Rune Age because the art looks fantastic and there seem to be enough various things to do in the game (whatever it's better than dominion or not time will tell.), however I won't get it until there is some expansion out since people complain about lack of cards.

Or maybe I should get it anyway? =P
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dennis Bingham
Germany
Herford
NRW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
aliquis wrote:
ScYcS wrote:
Benkyo wrote:
Thunderstone has a very strong theme and is very playable solo. It works well for 2 players. It doesn't have enough card burning/drawing mechanics, so some games may seem too random and can be frustrating.

Dominion is a pure maths/probability game and the theme is irrelevant. Terrible art. It works best with 3 or more players and there's no way to play solo. On the plus side the randomness can be controlled better due to all the card burning and drawing mechanics you can use.


On balance I'd recommend Thunderstone for you if:
You need solo play.
You'll often play with one partner.
The theme will appeal to your friends.
You want decent art and you are familiar with Magic.

I'd recommend Dominion to you only if:
You'll mostly be playing with 4 players.
The chess player in you needs more control. Dominion will be won by the better player more often than Thunderstone.


Highly opinionated answer here.......the art is definately a matter of taste in both of the games, the "theme will appeal to your friends" is a complete assumption (or do you know his friends??) and i find dominion works just as well as Thunderstone for 2 players...........

Honestly, i found your post fairly unhelpful to the OP.

"... if:"


I don't mean to start a fight, neither did i try before, but honestly, the "if" is only in his summary. In his 2nd, 3rd and 4th sentence, he states things about artwork ("Terrible art"), player amount ("works best with 3 or more") and theme ("irrelevant") as "facts" and that is what i think isn't quite right. I don't want to offend someone but i think those things he mentioned should not be stated as facts as they're not.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Andersson
Sweden
Rimbo
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I started with 7 wonders, both me and my girlfriend like that game very much. Then we got Dominion and we both like it even more!

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Geuss
United States
Marietta
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmb
Thunderstone has been the #1 game in my group ever since it came out. We are all old-school Magic, the Gathering players.

The theme is great. Its become habit for our group to frame our turn as a story... "Okay so a militia and a cleric go into the dungeon. The militia has a torch and a dagger. The cleric eats his iron rations and pulls out a mace. They attack the demon at the dungeon entrance."

We even enjoy the slower parts of the game since it gives us all time to optimize our decks.

I never enjoyed the detached theme of Dominion. Rune Age doesn't hold a candle to the depth and variety of Thunderstone.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Athos
United States
Milwaukee
WI
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rune Age

This is as much about card play as it is about card-buy. In my opinion the most interesting of the deck builders yet. I do like Nightfall a lot as well. My group plays much, much less Dominion now that we have Nightfall and Rune Age.

You might want to check out GOSU as well. It is not a deck building game, but it is quite fun and I think highly underrated.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken B.
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
caadamec wrote:
Rune Age

This is as much about card play as it is about card-buy. In my opinion the most interesting of the deck builders yet. I do like Nightfall a lot as well. My group plays much, much less Dominion now that we have Nightfall and Rune Age.

You might want to check out GOSU as well. It is not a deck building game, but it is quite fun and I think highly underrated.
\


Oh yeah man, Gosu is also excellent. That's a great game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.