Got to game with two friends tonight. We played Eminent Domain which is a very tight game (tight is a good thing). The game – after a few re-reading of the rules – plays very smoothly. This simplicity of play however does not mean that the game is simple. We could tell that with more plays different strategies would reveal themselves. Derek and Trevor went warfare and I piled up on colony cards. I was out muscled by technology.
As a game designer I appreciate EmDo. I appreciate its conciseness of play and how well conceived the game play flows. There are a few of things that I hope to see in expansions: (1) More player interaction – but not enough that it changes the balance of the game, (2) Some mechanic that recognizes the size of the different ships – maybe through denomination or maybe through technology and (3) have the type of resources have more effect on future strategies. Derek won, Trevor second, me last.
Though I cannot see it becoming an all time favourite, I cannot see it leaving my collection. It will fill that need that games like 7 Wonders fill…a very good game that plays in 45 minutes or under. EmDo has more depth than 7 Wonders!
The second game played was one that has been sitting on my shelf for a while, Domaine. Basically a themed abstract area control game that has direct player interaction/conflict. I have a problem with this type of game. With three players it is too easy for two players to get involved in conflict allowing the third to win. Probably much better with four. Trevor won while Derek and I battled for second spot. Derek came in second.
The final game was Pantheon. I won comfortably. I like this game a lot because there is not too much thinking involved but it makes you think there you have a choice. Basically you take what the cards give you while having to know when to end rounds to stop others benefiting. I won, Trevor second, Derek last.
Three different games. Three different results!