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  #1021  
Old 05-20-2017, 08:59 PM
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I'm not sure if I'm less comfortable with Professor Plum's Dreamworks face or the magnifying lens right over Dr. Orchid's boobs.

Or that technically that means there's two purples now. Where's Mrs. White?
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  #1022  
Old 05-20-2017, 09:01 PM
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why are all of those characters so wrong

i don't think any of them match up with the versions i know, except for maybe miss scarlet, because let's be honest of course they'd get her right
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  #1023  
Old 05-20-2017, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
I would very much like to wipe that smug grin off of Professor Plum's face, but I don't know if I'd rather do it with the candlestick, or the wrench, or the revolver...
Why not all of the above?
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  #1024  
Old 05-20-2017, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
Why not all of the above?
You can't fit that many cards in the case envelope.
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  #1025  
Old 05-21-2017, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
why are all of those characters so wrong

i don't think any of them match up with the versions i know, except for maybe miss scarlet, because let's be honest of course they'd get her right
And Col. Mustard, he's kind of hard to ruin.
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  #1026  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:05 AM
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#11 - Dominion
Infinite card draw engine

Points: 262 Mentions: 10
# of players: 2 - 4



Now we're getting to the big guns! Donald X. Vaccarino's (who you'll recall from Kingdom Builder down-list) gaming juggernaut Dominion first hit the tabletop gaming scene in 2008 with a gigantic splash, and it's only gotten more popular since, with 10 expansions, and, recently, a 2nd edition of the base set. It helped birth an entire genre of board games based on its core mechanics (several people will no doubt be along shortly to tell you which of these successors is better and why). People just can't get enough of this game! So why is Dominion so popular, anyway?

Do you like collectible card games? What's your favourite thing about them? Is it the deck-building? What if I told you that there's a card game that's not a CCG where the act of deck-building is the game. That's Dominion, the first of what are now many deck-building games. Dominion had the world's greatest elevator pitch, and has enjoyed ridiculous success because of it. I mean, that plus the fact that it's pretty, accessible, fun, and offers a ton of variety!

In Dominion, all players start with a small identical deck of 10 cards consisting of coins and "Estates". Each turn, they draw a hand of 5 cards and, using the money in that hand, are able to purchase a new card from any of the communal piles at the centre of the table and add it to their deck. They are then able to draw that new card on subsequent turns and leverage its abilities to buy yet more cards and grow their deck further, with the ultimate goal of creating a deck that is capable of acquiring the most victory points without compromising its continued function (as most victory point cards take up space and have no other function). The game ends when any 3 piles are exhausted or when the pile of Provinces (the game's most valuable and expensive victory point card) is exhausted, and the player with the most VP in their deck at that point is the winner.

Each game of Dominion uses the same set of basic money and victory point cards that are available for purchase, but each game also has 10 different kinds of "Kingdom" cards available for purchase (10 of each card), and it is here that the game's staggering variety manifests, as there are 25 different Kingdom cards, making for 3,268,760 different possible sets of 10 cards in just the base set, and that number balloons to absolutely ridiculous levels once expansions are taken into account. You could literally spend the rest of your life playing Dominion and never have to play with the same set of cards twice! Of course, that number is a bit misleading, as two sets of cards with 9 types in common are likely going to play pretty similarly, and certain cards or card combinations are so powerful or special that their presence will largely dictate the feel of that particular set of cards. In fact, much of strategy in Dominion comes from looking at your game's set of 10 Kingdom cards and identifying synergies or powerful interactions that you can leverage, or that your opponents might, and planning your purchases accordingly. Or you can decide that they're all crap and just buy money cards instead, but that's boring.

Put simply, the appeal of Dominion is that of building an engine. You see all of the parts laid before you, and assemble them with a specific task in mind, and once that engine starts humming along as you intended, it can be very satisfying. I for one will never get tired of chaining card draw cards together until I've drawn my entire deck into my hand, no matter how many times I'm told that it's sub-optimal!

So how about everybody else? Do you all think that Dominion remains one of the greats, or has it been obsoleted by its children? And am I the only one who takes perverse pleasure in making a table full of people groan as I draw card after card after card?
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  #1027  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:43 AM
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Now we're getting to the big guns I've never played! Weirdly, despite its popularity, I've never been exposed to this game at all, or to any of its derivatives. In fact this is the first time I've ever even heard about how it works. Interesting. I think I'd have to see a round in action to really get a feel for it.
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  #1028  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
It helped birth an entire genre of board games based on its core mechanics (several people will no doubt be along shortly to tell you which of these successors is better and why).
Oh hi, there's my cue.

Personally, we ditched Dominion when we found Thunderstone (tagline: "deckbuilding with a purpose"). Where Dominion is a strict engine-builder, Thunderstone has you competing to save a town from invading monsters. For a cooperative take on the theme, I strongly recommend Shadowrift.

These days, I don't play as many deckbuilding games, but when I do, I prefer the ones with some sort of board state in addition to the cards. Trains and Clank! are both really great -- Trains is essentially Ticket to Ride: The Deckbuilding Game, and Clank! tasks you with nabbing as much treasure as possible from a dragon's den without getting roasted alive.

Trains and Shadowrift are notable as games where picking up dead weight in your deck is unavoidable. Rather than building the meanest, leanest machine of a deck possible, you have to focus on staying afloat with a deck that keeps getting uglier.
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  #1029  
Old 05-21-2017, 11:09 AM
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The only of Dominions multitudinous offshoots I've played is Ascension.

But holy moley have I played a lot of Ascension.
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  #1030  
Old 05-21-2017, 11:10 AM
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I played this a couple of times with other tyrants. It was years ago and there was a bit of drinking so I couldn't remember enough of the specifics to decide whether to nominate it or not.
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  #1031  
Old 05-21-2017, 11:44 AM
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Dominion was my #7 pick. I honestly think it's still the best pure deck builder, but I also think a lot of other games have taken deck building as an element and used it successfully.

Lots of later deck building games try to do something about Victory Cards clogging up your hand, but that's the game's catch up mechanic and it's so elegant and well integrated that I don't honestly think it's a problem with the game.

The expansions are also generally excellent, even if there are specific ones I'm not hot on I love that each has a mechanical and flavor theme and most hit pretty well within that. I basically always play with at least 2-3 prosperity cards (and colonies), for example, because I love having the big splashy card effects in the game.

EDIT: Shadowrift has been on my radar for a while, though, because my wife loves coop games.
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  #1032  
Old 05-21-2017, 12:16 PM
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I'm sure I'm revealing my relative lack of experience with board games, but I put this as my #2. I've played a ton of this and I've introduced it to a lot of friends who all love it. I have the big box (the base game, Prosperity, and Alchemy), Intrigue, and Guilds. Plus I've played with a few other expansions at friend's houses. The ability to endlessly combine the cards has kept this consistently interesting. I totally agree that useless property cards are a great catch up mechanic too.
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  #1033  
Old 05-21-2017, 01:35 PM
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I have never like Dominion.

Fite me.
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  #1034  
Old 05-21-2017, 02:36 PM
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I think Ascension is really fun as a solitaire tablet game but i've never played it with actual humans.
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  #1035  
Old 05-21-2017, 02:49 PM
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I think if you had asked me a few years ago, Dominion would be much, much higher up on my list, but I've put it at rank 15. I think out of any other game on this list, I've played Dominion the most. I own every expansion until Adventures, although I haven't really played Adventures since it adds a lot of complexity, and came maybe a year to two years after Guilds came out.

Dominion is a ton of fun, and although there are some very clear issues with the game (not very interactive, and it is a pure deckbuilder in a genre which definitely moved past it eventually), I really and truly believe that there is a ton of depth and fun to be had with Dominion if you can still get it to the table (which I'll be trying to do during the summer). The tons of combinations means you'll very rarely see games play out exactly the same way, and it's fun to have experienced players make different deckbuilding decisions based upon their own experiences and see who comes out on top. The game is beautifully designed, and for those who want to really get into a game, Dominion and its many expansions are a good way to do it (although this is circa 2012, I'm sure there are better games for this nowadays).
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  #1036  
Old 05-21-2017, 03:56 PM
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Never played Dominion.

And honestly, I'm not too enamoured with the idea of a game centred around deckbuilding.
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  #1037  
Old 05-21-2017, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Büge View Post
Never played Dominion.

And honestly, I'm not too enamoured with the idea of a game centred around deckbuilding.
Have you played any other deckbuilding games? Because it's really not at all similar to MtG deckbuilding.
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  #1038  
Old 05-21-2017, 04:39 PM
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And here I've never enjoyed Ascension at all. I have the PA deck builder from a year or two after Dominion hit and while it's interesting I find the added piles of scaling cards really break any chance of a player catching up once they fall behind.

What other pure deck builders are there?
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  #1039  
Old 05-21-2017, 04:47 PM
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I just finished reading this entire thread.

I came for the JBear pictures, stayed for Loki's review of different versions of boards.

Also, back on like page 12 or so, someone was going to post a rant on CAH, but I never saw it come up?

Ticket to Ride is... okay... but it's also a great way to ruin a relationship.
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  #1040  
Old 05-21-2017, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destil View Post
What other pure deck builders are there?
I don't know exactly what you mean by "pure," but...

Puzzle Strike is David Sirlin's take on Dominion by way of Puzzle Fighter. Its #1 feature is that the cards are chips, and instead of spending half the game shuffling, you just draw chips from a bag.

Quarriors is a deckbuilding game where the cards are dice. You draw your hand from the bag each turn and roll them to see what you get to do. Great concept.

Deck Building: The Deck Building Game is a clear sign that the genre has peaked. (See also. I haven't played either of these, but I suspect the titles are more fun than the games.)
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  #1041  
Old 05-21-2017, 04:59 PM
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I was going to post a rant about CAH and then I got distracted. Basically, it boils down to the fact that I used to work for the Canadian distributor of CAH and so got completely burned out on the game having fielded hundreds of requests for it, teaching the rules dozens of times and watching my friends having to pack pallets-worth of games into boxes for delivery. So I don't think I can ever play - or even really look at - it again.

As for Dominion, it's pretty good, but Star Realms is my favourite pure deckbuilder. And A Few Acres of Snow is my favourite game that incorporates deckbuilding into a broader structure.
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  #1042  
Old 05-21-2017, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Deck Building: The Deck Building Game is a clear sign that the genre has peaked. (See also. I haven't played either of these, but I suspect the titles are more fun than the games.)
I haven't managed to play Traitor Mechanic yet but Time Management and Trick Taking are fun.
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  #1043  
Old 05-21-2017, 08:36 PM
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i put dominion as my #1, for what i suppose are more sentimental reasons than anything; it came out and became big when i had tons of time for it, particularly with the isotropic online client, and as a result i've played and love it WAY more than anything else, even games i might easily consider "better." of course, i haven't touched that much deckbuilding in general as a result, as i just...haven't much pursue the genre after dominion. it's a lot of things i really want from a game.

anyway, if you're shuffling all the time (ever turn, more than once per turn...), you know you're doing something right. it's a real advantage of the web game, though...
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  #1044  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:36 PM
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BTW, this is something I meant to bring up for Scrabble:

JBear and I both like Scrabble but there is a big difference between us. My parents have a Scrabble board that can be swiveled around so everyone can have the board facing their way when it is their turn. I love it. But JBear doesn't as it messes with his sense of the boardstate. Does anyone have a preference and is it a big issue for you (any other games that may be swiveled can be brought up, too.
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  #1045  
Old 05-21-2017, 10:42 PM
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Question: does fantasy football count as deckbuilding
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  #1046  
Old 05-22-2017, 04:52 AM
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no, but it counts as fantasy.
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  #1047  
Old 05-22-2017, 05:47 AM
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Sometimes I feel like the only person in the world who doesn't much care for Dominion's art. I first played the game at a time when I had just been introduced to Agricola and a few similar games, and Dominion ended up being just one in a long line of Medieval/Renaissance Europe-themed games for me.

The actual mechanics quickly became on of my favorite things however, and deckbuilding games are easily one of if not my favorite genre now. Just to name a few off the top of my head that I've played and enjoyed the heck out of: Star Realms, Shadowrun: Crossfire, Thunderstone, Kanzume Goddess, Ascension, Blood Bowl: Team Manager, Quarriors, High Command, Mr. Card Game (the official Kingdom of Loathing tabletop game), Legendary, and the one that I've probably played the most out of any game in my collection: Tanto Cuore, which generally isn't as skeevy as most people would assume (uh, ignore the third base set, which has straight-up see through shirts in it. That's what I do) and is the source of more in-jokes with my friends than almost anything else.

It's interesting to see that deckbuilding mechanics are leaking into other genres as well. A Few Acres of Snow, which I own but have never gotten to the table, was mentioned upthread. There are also at least two combination deckbuilders and CCGs, which is a surprisingly fun subgenre of its own.
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  #1048  
Old 05-22-2017, 07:08 AM
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Dominion's a cool guy
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  #1049  
Old 05-22-2017, 07:36 AM
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Scrabble - if you've been keeping track, you'll discover that I dislike word games. This is because I'm bad at english and spelling, so I can't keep up with my primary opponent, my wife, who is excellent at word games and destroys me. I didn't put scrabble on my list, but its the one word game I can sort of play. I think the mention of it being an area control game is why. Even if I can't fathom making 8 letter words, I CAN try to plan out how to nab a good spot on the board or try to deny it. I guess a testament to Scrabble is that Words with Friends is probably the only phone game I've ever played much of.

Dominion - I probably should have put this on the list. I put Legendary on instead because its got comic book characters and its cooperative. I haven't played much in real life, but I've played a bunch online. I also have played a ton of Ascension and I have Quarriors, but can't get anyone to play it with me. I enjoy the mechanic just about any time I run across it.
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  #1050  
Old 05-22-2017, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
Tanto Cuore, which generally isn't as skeevy as most people would assume (uh, ignore the third base set, which has straight-up see through shirts in it. That's what I do) and is the source of more in-jokes with my friends than almost anything else.
Which one is that one, then? Romantic vacation?
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