Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Dominion: Alchemy» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Couple's Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This review series is a joint effort between my wife and me and will incorporate both of our opinions. Please see this geeklist for more reviews in this series.

A Quick Overview of Alchemy
One of the half-size expansions, Alchemy introduces a new currency - potions. Almost all of its kingdom cards require either a potion or both standard treasure and a potion to buy them. Potions cost $4 and, in an Alchemy game, are often picked up as the "4" card in the 4/3 split. The Alchemy kingdom cards in general promote action chaining by providing extra actions, allowing you to gain action cards, allowing you to search for and play action cards, or giving you points for having action cards.

Random Setup
When choosing kingdom cards randomly, the guideline is to include either no cards requiring potions or from 3 to 5 cards requiring them. This means your game will either be potion free or have a definite Alchemy flavor. Some people play with complete randomization, which means you may end up with just 1 or 2 potion-required cards. We’ve played both ways, and I prefer the official guideline. With only 1 or 2 potion-required cards in the supply, we’ve found there’s usually not enough incentive to invest a $4 buy for a potion.

The General Consensus
Alchemy is the "love it or hate it" expansion for Dominion. The standard deviation of its ratings is 1.5, compared to a range of 1.1 to 1.2 for the other expansions. It even has one of the most controversial cards - possession (take another turn using the hand of the player to your left). My wife and I pretty much mirror the general consensus.

Our Opinions
I enjoy the occasional Alchemy game. The potion requirement means you have to plan differently on your opening buys and your deck management, and I enjoy the change of pace. I welcome the emphasis on action chaining because it’s frankly more fun to play a bunch of actions than it is to just lay down a hand of treasure. On the matter of possession, I like what it does, and I don’t mind having it in play. Sometimes the player to my right gets a great hand, and other times I’m glad I get to draw 5 new cards. And possession is never a sure bet. In fact, just buying it has its risks since you’re passing up on buying a gold.

On the other hand, my wife flat out doesn’t like Alchemy. She hates the dual currency system. If she buys a potion, she’s upset that she had to use a $4 buy for the opportunity to buy a potion-required card. That means she won’t be playing a potion-required card until at least her 3rd time through her deck. So, why not just skip the potions and work with the other 5 to 7 non potions cards? That is what she usually does, but having 5 to 7 kingdom cards at your disposal isn’t as fun as having 10 at your disposal. In those setups where some really powerful Alchemy cards are out, she feels compelled to buy a potion, and then she’s in a situation where she’s playing a strategy she doesn’t like simply to stay competitive. Like many people, she views possession as a quasi-attack and considers it too mean to play. She’s okay with attacks that target everyone, but possession doesn’t work like that. Yes, she knows it’s not technically an attack, but it sure feels that way to her.

The bottom line is that I like Alchemy for the unique flavor it brings to Dominion, and my wife wants nothing to do with it. Mind you, it’s my least favorite Dominion expansion. I’ll stick up for it, but even I don’t want to play it on a regular basis.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reuben
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
cordeiro wrote:
I’ll stick up for it, but even I don’t want to play it on a regular basis.
laugh
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
chickie L

New Hartford
Connecticut
msg tools
My husband and I share you and your wife's thinking on this expansion!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenneth Stuart
United States
Riverside
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I used to hate Alchemy. Now I think it's awesome.

Let's look at the Scrying Pool:
If the Spy card is like a normal spy, then the Scrying Pool is like James Bond!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Andersen
United States
Ada
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Good review. I've got all of the Dominion expansions except this one. I won't be getting it because of the "love it/hate it" opinions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rick Teverbaugh
United States
Anderson
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Alchemy is awesome. Glad to have it.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Compulsive Completist
United States
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Alchemy is awesome. Glad to have it. But I understand why some don't.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ik ben een kleine boefje
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
2006/2011 (Amsterdam - Maastricht - Apeldoorn - Den Haag -Delft) Vijf jaar dat ik ga nooit vergeten.
badge
Warning: Very handsome user.
mbmbmbmbmb
Yep, I agree. Nice expansion but not for everybody... matter of taste.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Baker
United States
Elmira
New York
flag msg tools
Don't touch me there!!! Now I need a tongue bath.
mbmbmbmbmb
I know I'm with the minority, but I really like Alchemy and would probably put it in front of Cornucopia and Seaside and behind Prosperity and Hinterlands as far as expansions go. I think it has some really great cards and I like the addition of the potion.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.