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Dominion: Adventures Previews / New mechanics
« on: April 05, 2015, 09:18:58 am »
As the previews are finished, I think they have left most people excited and looking forward to actually playing with the new expansion. Like other expansions  have done before, Adventures will introduce a couple of new game mechanics. In fact, I believe no expansion before has had such a huge impact on gameplay as Adventures will have.

Let's have a look at the new mechanics:

  • Exchangeable cards: So there are two lines of related cards, where you can only buy the cheapest. After playing one, you may exchange it for the next better one, which is not in the supply. This concept of levelling up may be familiar from many computer and card games. What I like about it is that it adds variety. If you go for the cards in one line, you don't play one type of card again and again, but rather different cards belonging to the same line. You'll need to prepare your deck accordingly to get the most of the different cards at different times during the game. On the other hand, getting to the final cards, Champion and Teacher, will take some time, so the whole concept seems to be rather slow.

  • Reserves: I love reserves! :) At least that's what I expect when actually playing with them. Setting cards aside for usage in the right moment adds a whole level of complexity, both in a strategical and a tactical context. You may prepare to attacks your opponent may play, or prepare some kind of strong turn. When assessing what your deck and - even more difficult -  your opponent's deck can do, you'll have to consider the possibilities the reserves offer. I guess there'll be even more reserve cards and I'm definitely looking forward to them. This is my favourite new mechanic by quite a margin. :)

  • Duration attacks: Well, this isn't the most game-warping mechanic ever. I like to think of it as playing a Wharf that has a built-in Militia effect. So that's two existing things combined, nothing that makes my brain hurt. I like the actual cards (Swamp Hag, Haunted Woods), though.

  • Events: Just wow. We knew there would be something we could buy that isn't a card. But events change everything. It very much feels like using actions during the buy phase. The only thing we could do in the buy phase before was: buying cards (to be fair, some cards allowed some interesting stuff like gaining other cards, trashing cards, messing up the draw pile, or even dealing out curses). But events go much further. They let you do awesome things like adding an additional turn. I guess they will play an important role on many boards they are present. There are, however, two rules which lower the complexity: The number of events is limited, so you won't use all of them all of the time. And, even more important, events aren't cards. This means they don't conflict with any existing cards that refer to other cards.

  • Card tokens: Prosperity introduced VP tokens, Guilds brought us Coin tokens, and Adventures contains a new type of tokens, which are placed on cards. And there are even 10 of them! They allow to modify the kingdom cards for certain players only. This adds individualization and customization to the game. I'm quite happy that we won't play with all of the tokens all the time. Just imagine a game with four players, where everyone has 10 tokens in play. It would be impossible to track the game state and quite hard to reach a good decision. While I really like the vanilla tokens (also the negative ones), I'm not yet convinced by the traveller token. I guess there will be several cards interacting with it, so proper appreciation may appear later on.

    So, what do you think about the mechanics introduced by Adventures? Which one do you like or dislike in particular?

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