47 thoughts on “October 6, 2020: Dominion”

  1. Great game. Modern classic. Tons of expansions. Been a while since I've played it though.

    If you like Dominion, I recommend Clank!. It takes the deck-building mechanism and expands it into a dungeon traversing adventure.

    I've been playing Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, which is a smaller version / prequel to the bigger base Gloomhaven game. Does a much better job of introducing players to the rules. It was designed as a way for the publisher to widen their customer base. I love it because it's a much more bite-sized version of Gloomhaven, which can be quite daunting with its size.

    I've also been playing a lot online, especially boardgamearena.com and yucata.de. There are some great games on those sites. 7 Wonders, Downforce, Terra Mystica, Potion Explosion, 6 Nimmt, Can't Stop, Santorini, The Crew, Kingdom Builder, Roll for the Galaxy, Tzolkin, Russian Railroads, Spades, Hearts, Tokaido, Takenoko, etc. Picked up a lot of activity this year with the pandemic.

  2. Instead of pitching into the woods the 120+ Osage Oranges that fall from the tree each autumn, this year I'm collecting the larger ones (about the size/weight of a waterlogged softball) and I will be challenging various neighbors to street bowling. The goal is to bowl from out front of our driveway and drop it into the storm drain three houses down. We're still early in the season, but both my next door neighbor and I sank our first bowl.

    1. They must roll pretty true. Not sure how your public works team is going to feel about the storm drain business...
      I had never seen these until walking a National Battlefield in Maryland. I'm guessing they don't like Minnesota weather.

  3. I have a ton of games but life has not been great for actually playing many of them of late. My brother and I regularly play Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth (and are tonight, actually). We also commonly play Spirits of the Wild, a quick stone-drafting game we got addicted to playing out on the deck this summer. The game I want more time to play right now is Quacks of Quedlinburg.

    1. Quacks has been a hit for us too. I wish my daughter would be open to playing with the different ingredient sets though. She always wants to only play with the first set.

  4. Games we've been playing a lot:

    Photosynthesis - You plant and grow trees. Bigger trees give you more ability to take actions, but you only get points when those trees eventually fall, so you've got to be shrewd about harvesting. A very very pretty game too, so fun to just look at it as you play.

    Pandemic - I've known this one for years, but every time I went to buy it previously it was out of print. Then the pandemic hit and, well, it just had to happen. Also, it was still out of print, but they did another printing just a few day after I ordered it, so that timed out well.

    Sagrada Aquinas got this one for his birthday, and it is a very good game - you draft dice to fill in your stained glass window, and though so much of it is actually left up to chance, you still get to make a good amount of choices, so you feel very engaged and strategy definitely plays a role in the outcome. Another pretty game, so fun to look at.

    1. Photosynthesis is definitely beautiful. The main knock against it, and I’m inclined to agree, is that playing the best strategy with what’s in front of you is fairly straightforward, so the game kind of plays itself.

      Sagrada is beautiful and fun as hell. The only knock on THAT one is that there probably aren’t enough pattern cards, but fans have made tons of them. We play that one a lot, and almost invariably, one of my kids or my wife is disqualified at the end for an illegal move. Oh well.

      1. No doubt on the strategy component of Photosynthesis. It's a good one for the kids, since they can master it just as well as the adults.

        I've checked out - though haven't bought/played - a few of the Sagrada expansions, which look pretty sweet. It looks like they would seriously up the strategy. The problem we've had - in addition to the illegal moves - is when my kids aren't careful and bump the dice to different numbers. Ugh.

    1. Spirits of the Wild, Karuba, Kingdomino, Patchwork. Spirits and Patchwork are exclusively two-player games and have surprising depth despite being incredibly easy to grasp. The other two go up to four players if you want that option sometimes.

    2. Castles of Burgundy is great at 2 players. First couple plays might take a while, but subsequent plays can finish in well under an hour.
      7 Wonders Duel

      1. We got Azul last year on a recommendation here. Probably yours. I think our copy is defective because my wife has beaten me every time we've played! (I think my error is getting fixated on a pattern/color too early.)

      2. I love Azul as well, and considered mentioning it here though figured I’d be piling on.

        Carcassonne is a good time. My dad and stepmom play it once literally every day. They bought it because they thought they were buying a game I’d brought to play with them (Karuba) and fell in love with it.

  5. Isle of Cats - not a simple game - I actually find myself struggling to keep track of all the things I'm trying to do, and G and I haven't yet beat the solo mode, but it's a good game and one that is different every time we play, which is fun.

    Pandemic Hot Zone - North America - A smaller, shorter version of the full game, which is actually pretty nice if you have an 8-year old's attention span.

    Cartographers - This one is my favorite, you fill in your map with terrain to fit certain criteria (different each game). Has a pretty good solo mode as well (although the solo mode is possible to rig in your favor if you are unscrupulous). I'm excited that they are talking about add-ons and such for this game.

    Planetarium - you collect resources and build planets. Depending on what you do to your planet (hypersalinity, asteroid strike, stable moon, volcanic activity, etc.) you get a different type of possible planet. Not a short game, but good for that space-obsessed kid - and it's fun to figure out what planets are possible based on their position and habitability. We play this one a lot, the cooperative mode is adjustable difficulty, which is nice.

    1. LOVE Cartographers. My daughter and I found a similar, simpler game a couple years ago called Second Chance. Fairly straight-forward, but same idea of filling in a grid. I thought she would love Cartographers, but her stubbornness has kept her from playing it every time I've suggested it.

    2. I should say that Planetarium is a game that can be broken if you have really competitive/cutthroat players, so you may need some house rules about when and how the game ends.

      Fortunately, I don't know any hyper-competitive game players in my house...

    3. We got Pandemic Hot Zone a while back, but haven't played it yet. Glad to hear it's a smaller shorter version. I do very much enjoy the full version, but especially with 2 people, it tends to feel like it has a bit of unearned length.

      1. The last few times I've played Pandemic, I've actually reached for Pandemic: The Cure. It's slightly less strategic than the full game, you know, dice and all. But it's lighter and a bit less intense, in the good way. When my group played it, we were super into it, and every move took an eternity. The Cure you can knock out a game so quickly, and if you lose it's not as devastating as it's not 2 damn hours into the game. I need to get the expansion at some point here, too.

        I've not played board games since this winter, when I went and played Dinosaur Island with my friends. That is a very special, very good game. I'm up with J through the holidays, and I brought Duelosaur Island with me, and I'm hoping it scratches a similar itch.

  6. Been learning Cribbage with my gf lately so we don't get owned by other couples. Neither of us grew up with the game (my family was a Pinochle, Hearts, Whisk group). Maybe I'll understand what I'm doing if we ever have another tournament. Probably not though.

    Picked up Draw 2 together, Fibbage (or whatever that series is called) and Mario 3D for my switch which all have been fun.

      1. Its definitely been fun (besides trying to figure out scoring and rules) when we've been out at state parks and wineries. I hadn't played since that WGOM tourney where I was destroyed. So at least now I've played more than once and can understand why I lost. I'm also currently batting a solid .000 so I'm DUE.

  7. We've been playing, and getting way more depth from than we thought we would, a single input sailing sim.

    Also getting a lot of mileage out of the free online 18xx games, which I've decided I could never play without a computer helping.

    Otherwise, despite my video game backlog, Crusader Kings III keeps opening when I turn my laptop on. Four of us have been playing as various rulers on the Holy Roman Empire while on voice chat through discord and that has been really fun. Amazing game.

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