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Subject: Baker's Boards: Why Seaside is Awesome rss

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Nathaniel Baker
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*Note: Dominion Seaside is an expansion only, not a stand-alone. You need either the original Dominion or Intrigue to play this game.

Initial ResponseGourmet – 10/10

I was fairly “Intrigued” (sorry everyone) when this expansion showed up at our door after a trade here on BGG. It not only has a fairly straight forward theme (where Intrigue’s was amazing yet unseen by many) but also had some new additional rules, cards, and components. When I read on BGG that there were Duration cards, I nearly pooped myself. However, if you’ve been keeping up with your Dominion games, you should now sequentially have 3 huge boxes to lug around, so the first thing I did was start looking up Storage Solutions…

Unboxing and ComponentsGourm-eared - 9.5/10

When I unboxed Seaside, it blew me away. By now, I had assumed that the cards would have their own separate sections in the insert, which they have. But in the corner of the box, what could it be? Little plastic baggies with literally the coolest coins I’ve ever seen in a board game.



Made of actual shiny stamped metal, these coins are small but have some weight to them.  It also comes with metal tokens for the “Embargo card” as well as cardstock mats that provide important functions for certain cards. Next, we have an addition of 25 new Kingdom Cards. If you had been keeping up with your Dominion game, this would bring it up to a grand total of 75 to choose from!

Another type of Kingdom card has been added as well: The Duration card. Duration cards do just what you’d imagine; they allow you to carry the ability and card over to the next turn. I consider this one of the top functions of Dominion as it involves more future planning that is strung out instead of completely based on the luck of the draw. One important thing to note is the artwork. Not that the artwork wasn't horrid in Intrigue, but it wasn’t top notch. In fact, I’d say the worst in the series; here is an example:



It looks like this was drawn by Michael Scott from the Office. The theme fits him as well…

The artwork in Seaside is still the best yet, regardless of the Harem card. After seeing all the expansions released thus far (Hinterlands is the latest) it still has my vote as the top artwork in the series. Beautiful I say, beautiful. Not only do the cards have it, but the thick stock play mats have it as well.



SetupWell Done – 8/10

Setup is the same as any other Game of Dominion. Mix up your Kingdom cards, draw 10, and use them in your setup as well as the Copper, Silver, Gold, Victory Point cards, the Trash card, and Curses (if necessary).

The mats and coins/tokens can be placed wherever it is the most simple to access them, or whatever looks better. Whatever floats your boat! (Sorry again for the Seaside theme joke, it’s in my Baker blood)

GameplaySeared - 9/10

The way Seaside has incorporated itself into the functions of the base set, Intrigue, or both together is phenomenal. It has made cards from both sets have even greater functions, and the combos you can pull out with Seaside can be quite beneficial and don’t have a difficult chance of occurring…if you play your cards right.

My favorite example of strategy is using the Haven card, which is a new Duration card that allows you to set some cards aside so you can use them on your next turn. Let’s say you have an awesome Action card, but can’t use it to its full extent that turn and plan on buying something huge anyway. By using Haven, you can place that Action card to the side to use next turn where it might be more valued. Combined with Scout and Throne Room (two of my favorite cards, however, Throne Room was fairly useless without the expansions), a decent player will be able to utilize these to draw the cards they need when they need them most.

Next we have the coin tokens. There is a card called Pirate Ship in Seaside. This card states: Choose one: Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of his deck, trashes a revealed Treasure that you choose, discards the rest, and if anyone trashed a Treasure you take a Coin token; or, +1 coin per Coin token you've taken with Pirate Ships this game. The way the Coin tokens work is that once you gathered a few coin tokens and then choose the second option when playing Pirate Ship, you gain that much extra money to use that turn. That means you could potentially using Pirate Ship to gain up to 5 or more spending money a turn. This not only improves the game regarding turns you have little to no money, or it allows you to pool tons of money to start buying Provinces and such earlier on.

Lastly, my favorite card of all is the Ambassador card.



The strategy involved with using Ambassador is endlessly entertaining. With its ability, you can swap out curses near the end of the game to get your vengeance on Curse spammers. You can also start using it earlier on to “trash” your estates and coppers as a way to thin out your deck. Seaside present so many new options, it is regarded as one of the best expansions to date, along with Prosperity and Hinterlands.

CleanupWell Done – 8/10

Cleanup is the same as any other game. Just separate your stand alone cards into your stand alone game and your Seaside cards into the Seaside box. One new thing to store are the playmates and coins. I personally place the mats in the empty area where the money and Victory Point cards are supposed to go. I then place the baggies of tokens on the mats. They may be a little loose this way, but unless you are using your own storage solution, it is the best way to store them, in my humble opinion.

Thoughts and Criticisms

Dominion continues to surprise me and make me want and come back for more and more. One complaint about this expansion is the fact that unless Pirate Ship is with certain other cards, it really doesn’t have a way to counter it. This can be a deciding factor early on if someone is already buying Provinces and you don’t even have a Gold yet (very rare case).

Another reason I hate Seaside is that the Duration card’s effects weren’t nearly as varied as I thought they would be. While they are still pretty cool, it’s more like they took the same ability and tweaked it a couple different ways. I would love to see more varied Duration cards in the future as well as a way to counter them. Other than that, storage solutions are probably looking like a more plausible idea by now. I would recommend searching BGG for options. They have several available to choose from, and it isn’t too hard to come up with one that fits exactly what you want!

The Final CountdownWell Done – 8/10

This expansion is solid. The very few flaws and tweak it contains can easily be made up for by its amazing components, artwork, and the flow of gameplay when involving the other two, or even just one of the stand-alones. Its ability to increase strategy even with the addition of one Seaside card is outstanding!

I would recommend this expansion to any Dominion fan. However, I wouldn’t recommend this to be your first expansion you try out. I would suggest using both the base game and Intrigue before you jump into Seaside, or even try out Hinterlands or Cornucopia before it. Seaside can be a little more “heavy” for the regular Dominion player, and we don’t need fans running astray when they haven’t figured out Seaside yet.

Cheers, and Happy Playing!

Nate meeple

For more reviews, check out Baker's Boards: Review Platter!

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Mike Watne
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Seaside really is the best expansion. Every time I get close to burned out with all of the convoluted situations that arise when combining all sets, I make sure to play a series of games that only include Base/Intrigue/Seaside cards. It quickly restores my faith in the game.

That isn't to say that I don't enjoy many of the later cards and abilities, but Dominion was as close to perfect as it was ever going to get immediately after Seaside came out.

Good review!

[Geek Nit-pick: Native Village, while affecting later turns, is not technically a duration card.]
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Gareth Reynolds
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thegreybetween wrote:
[Geek Nit-pick: Native Village, while affecting later turns, is not technically a duration card.]
Seems to me that the card described was actually Haven
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Ido Abelman
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Avron wrote:
thegreybetween wrote:
[Geek Nit-pick: Native Village, while affecting later turns, is not technically a duration card.]
Seems to me that the card described was actually Haven

Yep, the description matches haven pretty accurately. Probably a mistake.
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Roberta Yang
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Another nitpick: Seaside actually has twenty-six Kingdoms, bringing the total up to seventy-six.
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Nathaniel Baker
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Avron wrote:
thegreybetween wrote:
[Geek Nit-pick: Native Village, while affecting later turns, is not technically a duration card.]
Seems to me that the card described was actually Haven


I was totally describing Haven, fixed.
 
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Martyn Smith
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I just LOVE your obvious enthusiasm for Dominion (I share it!) I currently have the base set plus Prosperity. I don't know whether to go for Intrigue or Seaside as my next purchase - all advice/insights gratefully received...
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The Compulsive Completist
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thechangingman wrote:
I just LOVE your obvious enthusiasm for Dominion (I share it!) I currently have the base set plus Prosperity. I don't know whether to go for Intrigue or Seaside as my next purchase - all advice/insights gratefully received...

SEASIDE!
(Hope that was received)
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Nathaniel Baker
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thechangingman wrote:
I just LOVE your obvious enthusiasm for Dominion (I share it!) I currently have the base set plus Prosperity. I don't know whether to go for Intrigue or Seaside as my next purchase - all advice/insights gratefully received...


Thanks! But seriously, get Seaside.
 
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Tables
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I'm enjoying reading your reviews, even if I already have many of the expansions and know what to expect from others.

Two minor nitpicks I'd make, though:
1) Your picture has cards on your Island mat face down. They should be face up. This is quoted in the rule book, and in fact 'Other players may ask to see what you have they as well'

2) You say there often isn't a counter to Pirate Ship. This is false. Generally a good counter to Pirate Ship is to not buy Pirate Ship. In 4 player games, if all three opponents go Pirate Ship then, you need to do something which avoids pure money to some degree, but otherwise, you should outspeed your opponents.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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I Eat Tables wrote:
I'm enjoying reading your reviews, even if I already have many of the expansions and know what to expect from others.

Two minor nitpicks I'd make, though:
1) Your picture has cards on your Island mat face down. They should be face up. This is quoted in the rule book, and in fact 'Other players may ask to see what you have they as well'

2) You say there often isn't a counter to Pirate Ship. This is false. Generally a good counter to Pirate Ship is to not buy Pirate Ship. In 4 player games, if all three opponents go Pirate Ship then, you need to do something which avoids pure money to some degree, but otherwise, you should outspeed your opponents.


Explorer is a good counter if it's out there - silvers and gold coming into your deck to be used right away - which worked well with Caravan and Wharf as well. I lost 31-30 but the other guy went first and bought the last province (4 player game).

I also embargoed Pirate Ship as soon as I could.
 
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