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Dominion: Guilds» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A proficient, albeit lackluster, addition to the Kingdom rss

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Ron Olivier, Sr.
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Dominion: Guilds is, for me, truly a dichotomy. On one hand, it introduces some interesting new mechanics to the game, and is a lot more faithful to the Dominion world than its predecessor (Dark Ages). On the other hand, it doesn’t seem to have enough to offer to be worth adding to my collection. (It IS in my collection, however, because I received this expansion as a gift.)

The Good:
- Some cards allow you to ‘Overpay’, giving you additional one-time benefits for every $1 you overpay by. The ‘Masterpiece’ card for costs $3 and is basically a copper (yields $1 when played). For every $ you overpay you gain 2 silvers. So if you pay a total of $5 (a $2 overpay), you would receive the Masterpiece card plus 4 silvers. Not all overpays are so dramatic, but it is an exciting new mechanic.
- This game also includes a new use for the familiar gold coins. You may spend coins immediately or keep them for a future turn. This is a very nice feature that comes in quite useful for various reasons that veteran Dominion players know all too well.
- As expected, the set integrates well with other sets, especially Intrigue, Prosperity, and Hinterlands.

The Bad:
- Despite the new features, this game has little character of its own and for whatever reason, feels pretty generic.
- The set contains no new Victory cards, nor does it contain any new Reaction cards.
- Dominion small sets aren’t usually great values on a price-per-card basis.

The Ugly:
- The artwork on these cards are diverse as usual – some good, some bad, and some that are ‘just there’. Unfortunately, this set seems to have a lesser ratio of good to bad.

Final Thoughts:
As this was the last of the ‘planned sets’ of the Dominion worlds (Dominion: Adventures and later sets are ‘Additonal;’ expansions?), it would have been nice to see it go out with a bang. Alas, it went out with a whimper instead. Of the small expansions, my favorite is still ‘Cornucopia’ because the cards are more fun and makes small changes some of the basic strategiess of the game, rather than just adding on new mechanics. Guilds, however, is definitely a step up from ‘Alchemy’, the black sheep of the Dominion family.

If you’re a completist or you find that Dominion is the greatest thing since sliced bread, then you probably already own Guilds. For me, I wouldn’t really miss this expansion if it got lost or damaged. I just don’t see it as being essential. On the other hand, I don’t dislike this set, and try to include it every once in a while just to let it earn its keep.

As I stated earlier, truly a dichotomy!
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rantinronrevue wrote:
- Some cards allow you to ‘Overpay’, giving you additional one-time benefits for every $1 you overpay by. The ‘Masterpiece’ card for costs $3 and is basically a copper (yields $1 when played). For every $ you overpay you gain 2 silvers. So if you pay a total of $5 (a $2 overpay), you would receive the Masterpiece card plus 4 silvers.
Wouldn't that be 2, not 4 Silvers gained?

rantinronrevue wrote:

The Bad:
- Despite the new features, this game has little character of its own and for whatever reason, feels pretty generic.

I'm assuming this is about as fairly subjective like art, but had to bring it up none of the less. That said, if you could elaborate, that'd be appreciated none of the less.

rantinronrevue wrote:

- The set contains no new Victory cards, nor does it contain any new Reaction cards.
- Dominion small sets aren’t usually great values on a price-per-card basis.
At some point, Cornucopia and this got merged into a single, "large box" expansion set, so in that regard, there are now Reaction and Victory cards cool Not to mention the value is back! I can really see why they did that now


rantinronrevue wrote:
Final Thoughts:
As this was the last of the ‘planned sets’ of the Dominion worlds (Dominion: Adventures and later sets are ‘Additonal;’ expansions?), it would have been nice to see it go out with a bang. Alas, it went out with a whimper instead. Of the small expansions, my favorite is still ‘Cornucopia’ because the cards are more fun and makes small changes some of the basic strategiess of the game, rather than just adding on new mechanics. Guilds, however, is definitely a step up from ‘Alchemy’, the black sheep of the Dominion family.
IIRC, that ended up being speculation that got started, as opposed to an actual announcement. Dominion is eternal
 
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Ron Olivier, Sr.
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ackmondual wrote:
Wouldn't that be 2, not 4 Silvers gained?



Yes, you are correct...it is ONE silver for each dollar overpaid.

And yes my statement about feeling generic is indeed subjective, but then most game reviews contain subjective statements as such. But, to elaborate:

Theme has never really been a strong suit of the Dominion game. However, most of the expansions attempt to evoke a certain 'feel' for the setting of each set. For example, 'Seaside' never makes me feel like I'm working or living in some village near the ocean, but the cards at least give me some of the imagery and nuance associated with that. Dark Ages (though my least favorite expansion owned) does that particularly well. Guilds really fails to do that for me. Part of that is due to its being a small expansion that usually only has a few cards in play with a larger set. But, even when playing it on its own, it never really draws me in. In my opinion, Cornucopia as a small set did a much better job with that than Guilds.

 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I do think the review is outdated with regards to the value comment and probably should have been omitted. I don't regard Dominion as a strong theme game and I don't even feel like there is much of an atmospheric setting feel to most of the sets either. But what is important about each set of Dominion that seems neglected in the review but is important to all of them is the mechanics feel to a set. Intrigue brought us choices, Seaside gave us play mats and durations, Prosperity gave us more money, etc. I think all but the very best themes in games fade after several plays and the focus becomes the gameplay and the strategy and fun derived from each. In that regard each set, even the ones I would rank lowest, are very good in that regard.
 
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