So, a few weeks ago, I talked about the new Star Wars games coming out (Some hints coming out on those, by the way) and now, here I am again, discussing a game coming out in the future: Eminent Domain.
This game has a pretty cool story. Back in November, they started a kickstarter with a $20,000 goal. Thanks to 699 backers, they raised $48,000! One of the things they offered for the kickstarter was an exclusive set of planet cards for the game. Due to demand (and in an effort to prevent mistakes down the road) the 9 planet mini expansion became part of the full game. The company has decided to add a new bonus to the kickstarters, but the game isn’t out yet!
My local game shop got their hands on a copy and I got a chance to sit down and try it out.
The game is a deck builder, which means each player is adding cards to a personal deck in an effort to reach the game’s goal. This one is actually really unique, as instead of ‘buys’ like Dominion (the one that started them all) or some form of currency like most deck builders, Eminent Domain has a lock on the number of things you can do on your turn, making long term planning essential.
A turn has three steps. First you play a card from your hand as an action. Each card has an ‘action’ effect, things like gaining fighters, colonizing planets, or getting rid of useless cards from your deck. Next, you pick a role. There are six possible roles, each with its own effects. You can Survey the galaxy, commit to Warfare, Colonize new planets, Produce resources in your empire, Trade those resources for Influence, or Research new technologies.
The trick comes in that when you lead a role by choosing it on your turn, your opponents each get a chance to either follow it, and get its effects themselves, or dissent, and draw a new card from their deck. The pattern of leading and then following is where the interaction is. Smart control of your hand, and strong follows seems to be the key to really running away with the game.
The little play group I tried this with got lost for three hours in the game. We tried it two player, three player, and three player ‘extended.’ I definitely prefer the three player game, and the extended game had enough length to really make it interesting. The big difference between two and three player games is that you have the extra player to follow, allowing you to pull off a few additional stunts in the long run.
This game has incredible flavor, some mechanics I’ve not seen before, and some very cool bits and pieces. I can’t wait to try it again and am really looking forward to a four player game.
I can’t wait for it to release, it’s moved way up my wishlist in just one sitting.