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Dominion: Intrigue Review [Sep. 1st, 2009|11:02 am]
Sci-Fi Genre

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[mizuno877687]
Dominion: Intrigue Board Game Expansion
by Jennifer

Score: 4.5 out of 5

25 new cards will keep Dominion fresh for even the most veteran player.

The Good

• Vicious new attacks take PVP to a whole new level
• With 50 cards in your combined arsenal, you will never play the same game twice
• Adds 5-6 player support that was lacking in the original game

The Bad

• Only one new Reaction card leaves players with little defense against attacks.

Dominion: Intrigue is a must-buy for anyone who enjoys Dominion. The game adds 25 new action cards to shake up your game, including powerful attacks like the Torturer (discard two or take a Curse!) and the Swindler (the active player gets to replace a card in your deck with another of the same value – bye-bye, Copper, hello, Curses). With the new actions, Curses play a bigger role in the game, which also revitalizes the Chapel, Remodel, and other cards whose primary role is to trash undesirables. 

The game also adds a new Reaction card, Secret Chamber. When an opponent plays an attack card, you can reveal Secret Chamber in order to draw two cards and then put two from your hand back on your deck in any order. While this is a cool new mechanic, it can slow down game play a lot, especially when there are a lot of attack cards going around. In addition, there are still only two Reaction cards, which means that there will likely be no defense against attacks in a random game. The Secret Chamber is low-cost like the Moat (3 compared to 2), so in a game where both of them are on the table, they are largely redundant. A wider discrepancy between the cards might have eliminated this. 

Intrigue includes enough Victory and Treasure cards to expand your original Dominion game to five or six players, which means you can stop making hard decisions about which of your board-gaming friends to throw off the island. While playable as a stand-alone game, it is not as well balanced as Dominion, and plays better as an addition to the base game. In the rules booklet, Rio Grande still recommends playing with only four to keep play moving; however, we have played several 6-player games and have not found them to be unduly slow.

Intrigue also includes an insert that will label which of your cards are in which slot, which is a must-needed addition to the original packaging. As in the base game, the rules are complete and specific; they handle all problematic card interactions clearly (including interactions with the original 25 cards), so there are no rules arguments during play. 

At $44.95 retail, Intrigue promises hours of good entertainment and revitalizes your original Dominion set. I recommend it for all fans of Dominion!
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