Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Perhaps Against My Better Judgement...

My local online retailer, Boardgamelifestyle is having a sale. The discount isn't much more than what I usually receive but I couldn't help myself but to browse through the discounted games. In the end, 3 games caught my eye - King of Siam, Traders of Carthage and Dominion:Intrigue.

After reading through some reviews on BGG, I decided that King of Siam probably wasn't probably my cup of tea as well as taking into account its price. Traders of Carthage on the other hand was at a very attractive price point and a game that I have had my eye on for some time. However, concerns about its abstract nature held me from taking the plunge. Furthermore, with the time it takes, I can't help but feel that there are many more "developed" games in my collection that I rather be playing.

Finally there's Dominion:Intrigue. I have had sort of a love-hate relationship with Dominion. When it was introduced on BSW, I sort of burned myself out on the original. I decided it wasn't a game I needed to purchase especially since after some plays, I realized it was uninteresting in that most hands played themselves (or what I would call the auto-pilot syndrome) and it lacked interaction between players. Nonetheless, I couldn't help getting caught up in the hype monster that is Dominion. I do like the simplicity of the A (action), B (buy), C (cleanup) mechanics of Dominion and its speedy gameplay. It seems to me that it would be a game of sufficient depth that I would be keen to intro and play with non-gamer friends that I'm trying to lure into the hobby.

The release of Dominion:Intrigue especially had my hopes raised. It seemed to address my issues with the original, introducing decisions apart from the deck-building and incorporating increased interaction. However, the added complexity hampers what was attractive about the original - its accessibility and speed. The common solution for this dilemma would be to acquire both sets and most seem to do so. However, I am adamant in not acquiring more than one set, thus leaving me a difficult decision of which to purchase if I am to add Dominion to my collection.

As it turned out, the sale was only applicable for Intrigue and not the original though the difference is negligible. What surprised me was the cost to sleeve all 470 cards. Even budget sleeves came up to about 30% of the game price. That makes the game considerably more expensive but I couldn't envision myself playing the game unsleeved. My recent sleeving of Battlestar Galactica wasn't cheap either. It seems card sleeves are doing a roaring trade especially since us "gamers" generally like to keep our games in good condition, whether due to our OCD instincts or to preserve their resale value.

Despite my misgivings, I made the perhaps irrational decision of going ahead with the purchase. This despite the fact that I have a couple of new purchases (BSG, Tribune & Hansa Teutonica) all relatively unplayed. I seem to be edging towards a buyer's syndrome which violates my intention of keeping my collection trim and avoiding 'white' elephants. While I like the idea of having these new additions in my collection, I may eventually have to make a decision with subsequent plays whether they get played sufficiently for them to remain (read: BSG). Or perhaps, I will realize that my preliminary concerns are indeed accurate despite contradicting the favourable opinions of various critics (read: Tribune) and trade or sell them.

With that, here's hoping Dominion:Intrigue surprises me...in a good way.

1 comment:

  1. cool post. glad to see someone else has a game buying problem ;-)

    I say leave your dominion cards unsleeved. the game is pretty cheap and you can just get a new copy when the cards get banged up.

    the bigger problem in my group is people who just plain cant shuffle which means dreaded creases...

    but alas dominion seems to be half about playing and half about shuffling. for that reason i prefer it bsw. let me know if you want to play sometime.