Toy Corner

Review of Dominion Intrigue Second Edition

Mar 21, 2024

Review of Dominion Intrigue Second Edition

In the ever-evolving world of card games, Dominion Intrigue Second Edition has carved out its niche. This strategic gem, brimming with excellent card synergy, offers a unique blend of the Dominion base set and the Intrigue expansion. With a database boasting 150 fan-generated decks, each with 10 kingdom cards, it's clear that this game has caught the attention of many.

The second edition of Dominion Intrigue is, in my opinion, a well-designed set that enjoys the benefits of being created after Empires, my favourite expansion. The changes in this edition have injected freshness into the game, making it even more engaging. The game is best enjoyed with 2-4 players, with three being the sweet spot, ensuring swift and exciting gameplay. Let's delve deeper into what makes this game a must-play for card game enthusiasts.

Overview of Dominion Intrigue Second Edition

Dominion Intrigue Second Edition gains from all previous expansions, and it's this evolution aids in making the game feel polished and well-thought-out. Imagine benefiting from about seven years of development! That's the advantage this version brings to the tabletop – a game infused with the best of the best from its predecessors.

There's always some unsteady ground when changes are made to well-liked aspects of a game. Dominion Intrigue Second Edition replaces a few inconsequential cards, like the Coppersmith, with more innovative choices. The Coppersmith, albeit a letdown, was part of the game's charm. That being said, some cards, call them frustrating or just plain irritating are gone too, Saboteur, I am looking at you.

I'd like to trumpet the exciting new mechanics introduced. To begin with, we have the cards offering options. Take the 'Steward' card, which allows you to draw two cards, gain two coins, or trash two cards. You'll agree, it's nice to have options, even when you are just playing a card game!

Plunging deeper into these mechanics, we stumble upon multi-type cards. A fabulous example would be Harem, a gem that doubles up as treasure worth 2 coins and a victory card worth 2 points. It's lovely how it serves two purposes, and it's a big shout-out to innovative game design.

Lastly, I'd like to mention the fantastic react feature. Here, some cards react to specific types or actions. Imagine, Scout lets you look at the next four cards of your deck and pick all the Victory cards into your hand. Similarly, Conspirator rewards with 2 coins, plus an extra card and action if you've already played 3 actions. Isn't it just ingenious?

Game Components

As we delve deeper into the Dominion Intrigue Second Edition experience, it becomes vital to shed some light on the game components. The various bits and bobs that make up the game may seem trivial, but they contribute significantly to the overall tabletop gaming experience.

Arguably the pièce de résistance of this version is the deck of cards. As I ran my fingers over them, it was evident that every card's artwork and text held the potential to unravel compelling gameplay scenarios. They're thoughtfully designed, with nearly half the card left free for textual description - thereby ensuring that their purpose, when glanced upon during an intense play, is not lost on the players. Advancing a step further, the Steward card broadens strategic boundaries by offering multiple choices - to draw two cards, gain two coins, or trash two cards. It's such innovations in card utility that provide dimensions to gameplay.

Though Dominion Intrigue lacks flashy tokens as in some other game expansions, it compensates with gameplay depth. Dominion Intrigue follows the principle of substance over style - you may not have decorative bits, but you'll certainly have a gaming experience that holds you spellbound.

What this game does remarkably well is it proves that it's not always extravagant add-ons that make a game stand out - sometimes, it's all about how smoothly and intricately the base gameplay is sewn together. With Dominion Intrigue, it's evident that the magic is truly in the cards.

Game Mechanics

Let's dive right into the Game Mechanics of Dominion Intrigue Second Edition, elucidating its uniqueness and strategic depth.

Action Phase

The Action phase is a riveting facet of Dominion Intrigue gameplay. As a player, you'll indulge in action cards from your hand. Each action card has its unique directions that alter the course of play. Some action cards increase your gameplay actions, e.g., 1 Action, allowing you to purchase more cards during your buy phase, e.g., 1 Buy. Others offer a draw pile, bolstering your hand with additional cards e.g., 2 cards, or increasing your spendable coins during the buy phase. Some cards have their special typography such as trash an amount of cards or gain a card from the supply worth up to a certain amount.

Interactions escalate further when action cards with the Attack keyword enter the fray. For instance, your opponents might be forced to draw a curse card, adding to their deck or compelled into discarding or trashing cards.

Buy Phase

Advancing to the Buy Phase, you'll play treasure cards from your hand, utilising them to add beneficial cards to your deck. The value of purchased cards is capped by the total coin value on your treasure cards. Unwrap your copper, silver, or gold treasure cards, providing 1, 2, or 3 coins respectively. Interestingly, if an action card escalates your buys, you'll purchase even more! Yet it's key to play enough treasure cards initially to afford all your eager purchases. Dominion Intrigue action cards also amplify your available coins in the buy phase enhancing your purchasing prowess!

Intrigue Cards

Breathing life into Dominion is the ubiquitous Intrigue Cards. Multifunctional cards such as the Steward or Baron offer you more than one pivotal choice. For instance, the steward offers you the choice of drawing two cards, gaining two gold, or trashing two cards. While the Baron offers 1 buy and the choice of either discarding an estate for four gold or otherwise, gaining an estate!

These multifaceted cards have been instrumental in establishing Dominion Intrigue as one of the most sought-after extensions for the base game. Coupling these with cards like the Scout and Secret Chamber empowers you to draw future estates into your hand and discard them for money. The Torturer and Pawn allow you to disrupt your opponents by drawing extra cards.

Dominion Intrigue's gameplay thrives on card synergy, generating spectacular chain combos, and enriching the game with ever-changing dynamics. The proof is in the multitude of player-generated decks available online, adding testament to the game's flexibility, with each deck housing 10 unique kingdom cards. You won't just be playing Dominion Intrigue, you'll be creating it!

One aspect of Dominion shines through, regardless of whether it's the base set or the Intrigue expansion: The enchanting dance of choices leaving your opponent second-guessing. It might not emerge as a theme, yet unarguably, it's the central mechanic that reels players in.

Final Thoughts

It's clear that Dominion Intrigue Second Edition is more than just a game - it's a strategic dance of choices. With its intricate game mechanics, this edition allows players to fully harness the power of action cards during the Action Phase, creating a dynamic and exciting gameplay experience. The Buy Phase isn't just about purchasing - it's about maximising the potential of your hand. The inclusion of Intrigue Cards like the Steward and Baron adds a layer of complexity, making every game a unique challenge.