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Tasty Minstrel Games: Eminent Domain – Review

December 4, 2011

Publisher Tasty Minstrel Games
Genre Deck Building Card Game
Number of Players 2 to 4
Play Time 45 min.
Initial Review Date 11/3/11
Last Updated 11/3/11
FAQ
Files/Tools Official Rules
Bonus Planet Rules
Click here to Play

Eminent Domain is a deck building game that is in many ways similar to race for the galaxy. So if you have any experience playing deck building games (like dominion) or race for the galaxy parts of the game will feel very familiar.

Setup

each player has their own personal deck which is created using the basic role cards. The composition of each player’s deck starts out the same.

In the middle of the table is a board with 5 stacks of cards on it. Additionally, there is a planet stack and 3 technology stacks.

Each player draws a hand of 5 cards to start and is given an unsettled start world.

Gameplay

A player’s turn consists of 3 phases which are played in order.

  1. Action
  2. Role
  3. Cleanup

Only the first phase is optional.

Action Phase

This phase is pretty straight forward, all of the cards in your hand/deck can be played as an action. In general Actions are weaker than roles, however only you get to perform the action on the card you have played, unlike roles.

Roles

During this phase of your turn you must select a role. When you select a role you take a card of your choice from one of the 5 stacks. This card is then immediately played . You then have the option to augment the effect of the role you chose by playing cards that have a symbol that matches the symbol of the role you picked.

Additionally, some planets (once settled) have one or more of these symbols. These planets will automatically augment the role you picked.

After you have picked a role and executed it , each other player (starting from the left of the current player) may either follow or dissent.

Follow

If a player decides to follow they may also perform the role chosen by playing cards from their hand that have matching symbols. Additionally, any planets they have with matching symbols also contribute. In this way a player who follows may sometimes generate an effect that is stronger than the current “role leader” (the player who picked the role).

Dissent

A player who chooses to dissent may instead draw a card from their own deck and add it to their hand. Cards drawn in this way may be retained until their own cleanup phase, allowing a player to temporarily exceed their hand limit.

It should be noted that the depending on the role, the role leader may get a bonus or extra options that the other players do not.

For example the a role leader who picks warfare may attack a planet or build ships, where as anyone following may only build ships.

Also, If a stack runs out the role may still be chosen. To offset the fact that you do not get a card some roles give a bonus to compensate.

Cleanup

Once the previous phase has been completely resolved you now may discard as much of your current hand as you wish. in this way you can pick cards you wish to retain for your next hand.

Then you must either draw or discard as needed to put yourself back at your current hand limit.

The hand limit starts at 5, but other cards can adjust this.

Ending the Game

The game ends once one of two conditions is met.

  • All of the black influence tokens are taken (there are XX in total, the blue ones are extras).
  • One or more of the piles is depleted. How many it takes to end the game is determined by how many players there are.

Once one of these two conditions occurs the game will continue until every player has had the same number of turns.

For example, in the diagram below

If Player B, ends the game players C & D will each get one more turn and at the end of player D’s turn the game ends.

Alternatively, if Player D ends the game the game ends after their cleanup phase.

This means that the player who goes last will have a slight advantage over the other players as they are assured of getting one more turn unless they themselves end the game

Conclusion

This game is a lot of fun. If you’re a fan of deck building games or race for the galaxy you’ll probably enjoy this one. This game is a bit simpler than race for the galaxy meaning it’s quicker to learn. Unfortunately, it does mean that it doesn’t quite have the depth that race for the galaxy has. This of course could change with the introduction of expansions. Of course that being said I know some players who prefer this game over race for the galaxy because it’s easier.


Tasty Minstrel Games: Eminent Domain
Tasty Minstrel Games: Eminent Domain – Basic Strategy
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