Thursday, February 04, 2016

#10: Eminent Domain (Mark's 100)

Eminent Domain

Mark's Ranking
  • 2014: 10th
  • 2012: did not appear
  • 2010: prior to publication
  • 2005: prior to publication
  • rank: 317
  • rating: 7.16
Print Status
  • in print
Why It's On The List
  • Yes, I know... it's another space empire-building deck-builder (right after I put Core Worlds at #11). Eminent Domain is tighter & quicker than Core Worlds (read: less sprawling) - and is easier to teach new players. Don't let that fool you, though - there's some nifty twists on classic mechanics from Race for the Galaxy and Dominion that add to an excellent game.
Tips & Tricks:
  • My first experience with Eminent Domain was off-putting: late in a long gaming weekend with two people trying to teach me the rules at the same time. I'm glad I gave it another chance - it's a game that reveals new wrinkles each time you play.
  • Learning when (and when not) to invest in technology is a key game skill - and one that took me a few plays to learn.
  • I think the Escalation expansion is splendid - though not for first time players. Especially nice are the scenarios, which give each player a different starting hand along with some technological advance.
  • While I think the game probably shines best with 3 players, my oldest son and I have played a lot of 2 player games and enjoyed them immensely.
  • Sadly, this is really the first thing I've written about Eminent Domain.
  • I did write a preview of Eminent Domain: Microcosm - a fantastic 2 player microgame in the same universe.
  • I also had the privilege of playtesting the upcoming Exotica expansion for Eminent Domain... which is very cool.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Happy 5th Birthday to Sentinels of the Multiverse!

My 2014 Top 100 Games ranked Sentinels of the Multiverse at #36... and I'm willing to bet SotM will be in the top 40 again in 2016. (Yes, dear readers, I'll be revealing the final 10 games of the 2014 list over the next couple of weeks... and posting my 2016 list not long after that!)

Sentinels is a cooperative comic book game that uses multiple card decks (heroes, villain, environment) to tell the story of a "battle royale". It's enhanced by a well-developed mythos and a plethora of sly references to various "real" (read: DC/Marvel) superheroes. It plays well with 3-5 players... and actually works alright as a solo game if you're willing to deal with a lot of cards on the table. (So, fans of LOTR: LCG or Pathfinder Adventure Card Game should feel right at home here.)

This last week was the celebration of five years of Sentinels... of course, since we didn't start playing SotM until the Enhanced Edition came out, it's just four years for us. Over time, we've acquired all the expansions (Villains should arrive here on Tuesday evening) and the majority of the promo cards (variant heroes and villains to play with the original decks). 

I've also picked up the Sentinels iOS app... along with the Season One pass for added content. I'll fully admit that it seems silly to buy digital versions of cards I already own - but the implementation of the app is flat-out amazing.

Another thought about owning both the app and the physical game: if I want to play the game by myself, the app is the way to go. But if I want interaction with other players, the physical cards are a much better means to an end. (Note: I still have not tried the Sidekick app, which helps "officiate" the game.)

But the end is near... or at least the end of this story. Greater Than Games just announced that the Kickstarter for the final expansion will go live on February 9th. No surprise - we'll be throwing our cash on the table.

This won't be the end of the Multiverse - Sentinel Tactics will continue (a skirmish game that we like better as a free-for-all rather than the published scenarios) with a new standalone game and expansion in early 2017... and the SotM RPG is due this summer.