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After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday 8 December 2015

Money, money, money makes the world go round:- Dominion: Prosperity

Game: Dominion: Prosperity

Manufacturer: Rio Grande
Designer: Donald X. Vaccarino

Year: 2010

There was a time when I sent my son away, I was young and foolish I suppose, I put money before family. Now that I lie on my deathbed, do I regret it? Trading love for coins, hah *cough* the only thing I regret is that the little blighter did it better than me. Bought my own kingdom out from under me, left me living in the slums *cough*, dying in the slums. Prosperity may ahve come to this kingdom, but it has been stolen from me.

Dominion prosperity is an expansion to the 2008 deckbuilding game Dominion. Prosperity is the third expansion available, unlike some of the others it isn’t a standalone expansion, so you will need the base game (or one of the standalones) in order to play it. Prosperity adds, well prosperity I guess, games with the expansion tend to be bigger, with more expensive, more powerful cards, and more ways to get them.

There are two more ‘basic’ cards added to the game, platinum’s which come after gold coins on the treasure value scale, they cost more money to get initially, but give a whopping 5 coins every time you draw them. Colonies are the next step up in victory point cards, costing 11, but giving 10 victory points, when you use colonies you add a new game end trigger, running out of the colony deck. In theory the chance of using these is equal to 10% * the number of prosperity cards you are using, the game suggests you take the 10 blue back cards you used to randomise the card selection, shuffle them, then if you draw a prosperity card then you use the extra 2 basic cards.

The trade route card, in this case 2 victory point cards have been bought so you would get 2 coins for playing a trade route card
Prosperity also adds new treasure cards that form part of the kingdom cards you set out to buy. These treasure cards have varied abilities and powers and act much like action cards that give you money and don’t have a play limit. Some of the more notable ones are contraband, which gives you 3 coins and an extra buy when played, but an opponent can name a card on the board and you are forbidden from buying any of that card this turn, Talisman, which only gives 1 coin, but whenever it is in play you get 2 copies of any (non-victory point) cards you buy with a cost of 4 or less, and hoard which gives 2 coins, but every time you buy a victory point card with it in play you add a gold to your deck.

The complete set of cards of dominion Prosperity.
Also new to prosperity are victory point counters, some cards will give you the chance to earn victory points separately from victory point cards. If any of these cards are in play then every player gets a mat to place their victory point counters on. Probably my favourite card that does this is the bishop, when you play a bishop you gain 1 victory point counter, then you trash a card(out of the game) from your hand and gain victory points equal to half the trashed card’s cost rounded down. Very useful for getting rid of those starting victory point cards which happen to give you 1 vp for 2 cost… so you can trash them without consequence! However there are cards that act a bit simpler such as the monument which gives you 2 coins and 1 victory point every time you play one. This can add an interest effect on the game, people become worried when you have a large stack of victory points sitting on your card, but can be completely oblivious to the amount in your deck, so people may begin trying to attack a player who isn’t actually in the lead.

The last new mechanic added is the trading route, this only comes into play when the trading route card is one of the purchasing options. When that happens a playing mat is put out and a single coin is placed on each available victory point card deck, when the first card is bought off that deck the coin is put onto the trading route mat, increasing the power of the trading route card for each coin on the mat.

I won’t go into detail on every card in the expansion, but the general feel of the cards is important. Prosperity cards make Dominion feel bigger and better, turns can become longer as combos get stronger. Personally I think that this is a good thing, however there needs to be a good comparison or else the increased scale makes little sense, I would suggest having played the base game a handful of times before playing with Prosperity so that you get a good feel for how the game should be and how the expansion changes it. The change is a positive one and I would heartily recommend picking up this expansion if you want to improve your dominion game.


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