Saturday, 20 November 2010

boardgaming in photos, and Dominion: Prosperity

24 Oct 2010. This is how we set up Innovation when we play, which is different from the nice clock-like setup recommended by the rules, but this saves space.

I like the artwork of Innovation. Simple and tasteful.

This (top left) is how I like to arrange the cards in my score pile. Instead of tucking them all under the left side of the reference sheet, I try to group them into sets of 10pts. This makes it easier for everyone to see how close everyone else is to the next threshold.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received this in the mail from Wizards of the Coast. I had contacted them to request for additional Japanese tactical bombers forAxis & Allies Pacific 1940 after reading on that some others have done this and have received the extra game pieces. Previously for Through the Ages I have contacted FRED to request for the fix pack twice. Twice they told me they had sent it, but I did not receive either pack. I don't know whether they were sent at all. Maybe they were lost in the mail. Maybe someone saw the shiny American stamp and decided to swipe my mail. When I did not receive anything about 3 weeks after contacting Wizards of the Coast, I was ready to give up. On the very day I was thinking this, this came in the mail. I wonder whether the fact that it doesn't have a nice traditional-style stamp has anything to do with this.

A letter, six Japanese tactical bombers, and the slightly bent corrected battle strip. I don't mind the battle strip. I don't use it anyway. Now I need to get the game back onto the table. And Axis & Allies Europe 1940 too.

24 Oct 2010. Innovation. This was one very crazy game where I had many dogma effects that let me tuck or splay, so I had many many icons displayed.

Michelle's civilisation was more normal. Innovation may be the next card game that becomes our default go-to game, after Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper and Race for the Galaxy.

28 Oct 2010. I found a Dominion program on the internet, which let me play against AI opponents. This is not an official software released by Rio Grande Games, but I read that RGG is planning to release such a software. The program doesn't come with artwork, because that's copyrighted. I replaced the artwork that comes with the game with scans of the Dominion cards I found also on the internet. This program comes with the Prosperity expansion, so I have been using it to try out this latest expansion.

Prosperity introduces treasure cards that have special abilities. It also introduces Platinum, a cost $9, value $5 treasure, and Colony, a cost $11, 10VP victory card. There are some expensive $7 cards too. This is the first time $7-cost cards appear. Prosperity sounded very interesting when I read about it. It changes some very fundamental concepts. Now you have to consider whether to go for Platinums and then Colonies. The treasure cards with abilities are an interesting addition. However after having played this a number of times, this latest expansion wasn't as earth-shattering as I had thought. It is nice to have new cards to play with, but overall I think I enjoyed the Seaside expansion more. Still, Prosperity is good, and Dominion fans should buy it.

Bishop is an interesting card. It makes you trash a card, and then gain some victory point (VP) markers. This is a new concept - VP markers that are not part of your deck. In the past VP's are always VP cards that clog up your deck making it inefficient. The AI's like Bishop. See that Ben AI had used Bishop so much he has less cards than he started the game with. I don't remember exactly what I did right (or maybe the AI's did wrong). I had 11 Provinces! I think there must have been something wrong with the AI's strategies.

This was one game that I made use of Bishop a lot. I had 41VP worth of VP markers, and a very small deck. This game ended by having three decks exhausted.

31 Oct 2010. I was schooled by the AI's. They went for Platinum, and bought many Colonies. I was slow in realising my mistake, and never caught up. I went for the Duchy + Duke combination, but that was peanuts compared to Colonies.

I got schooled by the AI again. I don't remember how that Ben AI managed to get 74VP in VP markers by using Bishop. The Peddler certainly helped it a lot. Peddler is interesting. Although its cost is a prohibitive $8, it becomes $2 cheaper for every action card you have in play. Its power of +1 card +1 action +$1 isn't anything fancy, but when chained together can be very powerful.

17 Nov 2010. I lost the game with only 9VP. What a disgrace. I was too careless and didn't notice that the AI's were going for the 3-decks-exhausted game end. What a stupid mistake.

Exhausted decks have red text.

I had only 6VP, and I won the game. The AI's had 6VP and 4VP. This was one brutal game with heavy use of the Sea Hag (force opponents to discard top card of deck, then place a Curse at the top of the deck). I had not intended to use it, and was forced to buy one when I saw that both the AI's kept buying it. In this game I think Tribute helped me a lot.


Cecrow said...

I've only played Prosperity in person so far, and I've never seen such accumlations of bonus vp - wow! Usually ours never amounts to more than a dozen, twenty I think is the most I've seen. Something for me to consider.

I like Prosperity a lot, I find the games take longer and become more involved with the Colonies in play. Try a few games restricted to just the Prosperity cards and see what happens.

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Playing Dominion using the software speeds things up a lot, so I was able to play many games and experiment with various combinations of cards. More games played also means higher chances of quirky results.

I can imagine games with Prosperity taking longer, because it will take longer for people to work towards Platinum and then Colonies. What I like is how exhausting Provinces still can end the game, so if your deck is not strong enough to go for Colonies, one strategy is to try to exhaust the Provinces before your opponents with richer decks can get more Colonies. Exhausting 3 stacks is also a good way to end the game on your terms.

Anonymous said...

No BrettspielWelt?

It may takes some translation, but you can play Dominion - with expansions - for free at

The artwork is there, the interface is reasonably efficient, but it takes some translation from german. ;)

Here's a good explanation:

Hope to see you there - enjoy! :)

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

I have played Dominion on BSW before, but haven't done so for quite some time. If I'm not mistaken, it doesn't have every card, and it doesn't have an AI. Also you must play online. I have played a lot of this little program that I downloaded because I need not be online to play it, and I can convenient play a number of quick games against the AI's even when I don't have any fellow players handy.