BC Comix … Dominion …

Here’s some exciting news for those of you in my neck of the woods — there’s a comic shop / game store in Fenton!  For the first time since leaving Columbus I have a local game store!  Actually they opened for business on the first of May, I am told, but I first stumbled into the place on Friday.

My wife and were passing by after getting some groceries at VGs when she suggested a drive-by game purchase.  The owners were extremely friendly and helpful; actually the store had been closed for over an hour when I showed up, but he graciously let me in.

On the recommendation of the proprietors, Bob and Chris, I picked up “The Red Dragon Inn”, a game where archetypal RPG characters are drinking and gambling at the local inn.  Run out of gold, and they’ll throw you out.  Drink too much or get too hurt and you’ll pass out.  Last one conscious with gold wins.  Haven’t played it yet, hope to soon, will post a review when I do.  Looks cutthroat and fun without being too complicated.

Heaven knows it’s hard to get a new business going under the best of times, and this isn’t the best of times, so anyone in the Fenton area, head over to BC Comix on Silver Lake Parkway and  buy yourself a comic book or a new game, depending on your lifestyle.  Don’t forget that buying a board game and sitting down with your family or a group of friends — even if you only play it once and then throw it away — is a better value for time and money than going to a movie theater and buying popcorn, candy, and soda.

I returned to the shop on my way home from work yesterday night to place a special order.  It so happens that Monday night is board game night (so stop by one night, wouldja?).

We played a game called “Dominion”, which I had never played before.

Pros:

  • Very easy to learn.
  • Enjoyable deck-building experience.  There is a (large) common supply of cards, and each turn you have the opportunity to buy cards to add to your personal deck.  As your deck improves, you’ll have more options, and more money to buy powerful actions or victory points.
  • Good tradeoffs. You win the game by having the most victory points, but buying victory points early means there are more cards in your deck that don’t help you.  Deciding how to divide your energy between investing in points and investing in the future potential to get MORE points is subtle.
  • Interesting card interactions.
  • Replayability. The game has dozens of types of cards. Each time you play, you choose 10 to use.  The instructions recommend some interesting sets of 10, or the decision can be made randomly, or in any other way. I particularly like the idea of a series of game instances, where each time a player swaps out one card type for another. That way successive games would be different, but in an evolving sort of way.

Cons:

  • I’d have liked to see more player interaction. In the instance I played, the three players pursued their goals more or less independently.  There was some strategy near the very end about when the game ends (the game uses an unusual ending mechanism — there are somethingteen piles of cards, and the game ends when three empty).
    Bear in mind that I only played one instance, and for all I know another choice of cardsets would have given this experience.
  • At $47 it seems a little pricey to me.  To be sure, the cards are well-designed, and the box, with separate slots for the various types of cards, is how more games should be packaged. But that seems high for a game that is made entirely of cards, even if it is a lot of cards.
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