This is a great looking game, but beneath the cool bits is a fun auction/set making game. I've now seen at least two different viable strategies in the game, so it has even more depth than I thought it might.
Probably the best card game ever made. Now that I have played a LOT, I find that the game with just the base set has finally (after playing literally hundreds of times) gotten a bit stale. This is no criticism of the game, in fact it's a testimonial to how good it is. But I have reached the point where I need to throw in Intrigue for it to still be totally fun. Intrigue, mind you; I haven't even begun to plumb the depths of enjoyment of the other expansions.
I love the fact that this game has almost no random elements, except for the initial placement of the 8 boards. And yet, it doesn't feel abstract at all, even though it really is very abstract. Only French version for Trade, not English.
It reminds me a lot of Race for the Galaxy, except without the "race" feel. I think I like it better than Race, even though in my first game I forgot that you took poverty for every card in your hand at the end...lost 21 points!
I'm convinced...this is the new Thunderstone for me in terms of a strong desire to buy up all the cards I can. This is a fantastic coop game; deep, very evocative, and tense. Difficulty 4 on the 2nd Scenario has proved to be difficult indeed with the starter decks.
I really didn't think I would like this. Cooperative games...meh. But this one really is a lot of fun; it does a good job of building tension and making everyone think. And with 6 epidemic cards, wow, it is hard!
Definitely a thinker, not a social game. People are very quiet while playing Samurai, and there is can be a lot of analysis paralysis. But the elegance of the rules and the interesting choices to be made make it a favorite for me.
I've decided I like it more than Dominion, but in a different way. Dominion is faster, and more analytical; the goal is simple. Thunderstone plays out in stages and thus feels deeper, even though it might not be. I've already purchased three expansions and counting.
Rating after one play. I enjoyed it tremendously, but wonder if it plays well multiple times. Corruption can KILL the Free Peoples...I should have figured out the average corruption before heading in to Mordor.