Domaine – Review
Domaine was published in 2003 and is designed by Klaus Teuber, designer of the Settlers of Catan series of games. This is a highly confrontational area enclosure game. If your gaming group is looking for a more “in your face” kind of game, then this is surely it.
- Designed by: Klaus Teuber
- Published by: Mayfair Games
- Number of players: 2-4
- Playing time: 90 minutes
- Player ages: 12+
A Quick Overview
Each player takes on the role of a power hungry prince vying to cut up the absent king’s territory. The goal here is to establish your territories by placing borders, sending your knights out and responding to aggressive overtures by other like-minded princes.
This game is an area enclosure game that the goal of this game is to claim ownership of the limited areas in order to score the most points.
Player interaction in this game is very high because territories (and points) gained are very much at the expense of other players. Keeping an open mind to see the success of your longer term plans while balancing the need to react to other players is key to playing well.
At the beginning of a turn, a player:
- Collects income
- Play an action card / Sell an action card
- Replenish hand to three cards
Income is important because you this is how you purchase new cards and play action cards. So a careful balance of your income is needed to ensure strategic and tactical plays.
Card actions are the biggest part of this game. There are only a few different action cards and after the first few rounds game play is a bit faster. Players must be careful and plan their card plays accordingly to make use of their limited actions.
There are two game ending conditions. The first is when one player reaches a particular score. The other is when the deck of cards runs out and all players have played remaining cards in their hand.
Domaine is an “aggressive” game because during the mid- to end-game, points are obtained at the expense of another player. For instance, if one player expands their domaine into another’s territory, the other player loses points and the expanding player gains those “lost” points.
That being said, however, I enjoyed subsequent plays because it offers a different feel than other games in my collection.
It is a good game and it plays easily within an hour or so. What I do enjoy about it is the tension and how you have to balance tactical plays against the longer term strategical play.
Would I recommend this game? “Yes,” but with some hesitations. It’s not a game that I would introduce to someone new to Euro-type games. I would suggest this game for those that like more mainstream games similar to “Risk”.