Thursday, January 15, 2009


While I am reading the next book, Heir to Sevenwaters, I'd like to introduce a more recent hobby of mine: German-style board games. I have started playing these games a little over a year ago and now consider myself addicted.

One of the games I have been very much enjoying recently is Dominion. The game is interesting in that it doesn't actually involve a game board. Unlike many other German-style board games it does not have a marker going around a scoring track. The entire game is played entirely with cards.

There are three types of cards: point cards, money cards, and action cards. Each player starts with 3 point and 7 money cards. At the end of the game, the person whose point cards sum up to the highest number wins. That's almost the only use for the point cards. The money cards are straightforward, they allow a player to buy action cards, point cards, or more money. The action cards are the element that makes this game really interesting. There are 25 action cards, but only 10 are randomly selected to be used in each game. Because of that, each game plays differently and demands different strategies for winning. 

The action cards vary in what they can do: some allow you to play several action cards at once, others make your opponents to discard some of their cards, yet others give you extra money. Throughout the game, players buy different cards into their hand (and play 5 of them at a time) and at the end the point cards in one's hand determine the winner.

I like that this game is very easy to play, but hard to master. Depending on the set of action cards drawn, each game plays differently and that keeps the game fresh. The game plays well even with only 2 people, but allows up to 4 players. The attack action cards create player interaction without causing too much contention. Dominion is fairly short, usually running between 20 and 40 minutes. It's definitely made my top 5 favorite games list. And there's really no reason not to give it a try :)

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