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Battle of the Deckbuilders: Star Realms vs Dominion

In his first article for the site, Jaya Baldwin - new member of the Naylor Games team, makes a forceful case for both titles *** "Ladies and gentleman welcome to another exciting episode of Boardgamemania! In the blue corner we have long standing heavyweight champion Dominion! The game that started an entire genre and really packs the Donald X factor. Meanwhile iiiin the red corner, we have new kid on the block, featherweight Star Realms!" *** It's a classic scenario: two games with a certain amount of similarity are pitted against each other, argued over and taken apart in order to figure out which is 'better'. When those two games are trying to fill exactly the same niche, it's a...

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Great Design Decisions: Dominion’s useless victory point cards

This is the first post in an occasional series examining design choices that were critical factors in the overall success of a game’s design. In this entry, I go right in with one of the greats and look at Dominion’s powerful victory point (VP) card mechanic. In choosing Dominion, I have selected a stupid subject to kick this series off. Why Dominion is hard to write about but good to write about Being effusive about great games is relatively easy. There is usually much to love and much to comment on. But writing about parts of great games – trying to understand the particular elements that make them great – is really hard. By nature, a great game is usually...

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Why Ticket to Ride: Europe's station is still first class

Note: If you’ve not played a Ticket to Ride game before, I recommend that you play Ticket to Ride: Europe first before reading. I'll be taking a lot of knowledge of the game for granted. I first discovered Ticket to Ride: Europe in 2008. It was not the first hobby game that I played, nor even the first train themed one; that honour goes to Martin Wallace's excellent Railroad Tycoon. But TtR: Europe's fantastic qualities were clear from the beginning. Simple enough to play with non hobbyists but challenging enough to keep even strategy game enthusiasts occupied, it was obviously a 'gateway game' before I learned the term. Since then, I've played lots of the different expansions and alternate base...

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