Dominion is the revered elder statesman of deck builders and needs no introduction. Dominion Intrigue is the first expansion and adds 25 new sets of kingdom cards to the game. It is a standalone expansion and has the treasure, victory and curse cards that come with the base game.
There are many expansions for Dominion so does this one stand out? Does it combine well with the base game and how is intrigue woven into the game?
Dominion is all about card synergy and unleashing gigantic combo chains. So does Intrigue deliver on these fronts? Yes, absolutely. For example, the Scout and Secret Chamber allow you to draw future estates into your hand then discard for money, and the Torturer and Pawn enable you to draw four extra cards and mess with your opponents' hands. There are numerous synergies within the set and with the base set as well.
There are various sites devoted to Dominion strategy and Dominion Deck building and on one site, Dominion Deck Builder, where you can specify the expansions you have, a search of Dominion base set and Intrigue gave a result of 150 fan-generated decks (each with 10 kingdom cards).
So, does the theme of Dominion Intrigue come through in the game? Not exactly. The distinctive mechanic that runs through the game is of choices. Typically, the card will give you an option of two or maybe more choices so this will keep your opponent guessing. The Steward offers you the choice of drawing two cards, gaining two gold or trashing two cards and the Baron offers +1 buy and the option of discarding an estate for four gold – if you choose not to, you gain an estate. These multi-use cards bring an additional layer of strategy to the game and have made Dominion Intrigue one of the most popular expansions for the base game.
Combinations within Intrigue and with the Base Set
Within the game, there is excellent card synergy, but how about between Intrigue and the base set? Searching online will give you a conclusive answer. There are various sites devoted to Dominion strategy and Dominion Deck Building and on one site, Dominion Deck Builder, where you can specify the expansions you have a search of Dominion base set and Intrigue gave a result of 150 fan-generated decks (each with 10 kingdom cards).
Player Count and Duration
Dominion Intrigue includes rules for 5-6 players, but games are best played with 2-4 players, three being the sweet spot as the greater number of players causes the game to slow down.
The artwork in Intrigue is attractive and reflects the theme of each card. In the Second Edition the graphic design is slightly superior and the text size is larger, which is an improvement.
How Does the 2nd edition differ?
Firstly, Dominion Intrigue is no longer a standalone expansion and will require the supply cards (treasure, curses, estates etc.) from the base set. As well as the clean-up of the graphic design and the larger text size, six kingdom cards have been rotated out and replaced by seven new ones. If you have the First Edition you can buy an upgrade pack to gain these cards.
Gone are the following:
- Great Hall, Saboteur (never a popular card as always used to kill powerful cards)
- Scout and Secret Chamber.
They are replaced by the following:
- Secret Passage; Patrol, which is good for drawing cards.
- Mill - Which is a more efficient version of Great Hall, allowing you to discard two cards for two gold on top of gaining one card and one action.
- Replace, Lurker, Courtier and Diplomat.
There are some strong cards in this line-up but you have the First Edition you can use both old and new cards when configuring your decks.
Final Thoughts on Dominion Intrigue
Intrigue is one of the most popular Dominion expansions and you can see why. The opportunity to choose one of multiple actions creates its own strong identity and works superbly with the kingdom cards in the set and with other expansions. You will have a great deal of fun finding synergy between the cards and then formulating your own strategies for victory.
The number of kingdom cards in the box ensures great replay-ability with a dizzying number of configurations for your kingdom card pool and a mind-boggling number of configurations when combined with the base set.
You Might Like
- Easy to learn, but great depth for the seasoned player with online communities devoted to the game.
- Excellent replay-ability.
- Choosing from a number of options with the action and attack cards is great fun.
- Good with two players (excels at three).
You Might Not Like
- First-time players will get obliterated by seasoned players.
- Some might wish for more player interaction.