Friday, October 07, 2016

Eminent Domain: Still good!

Last weekend was RinCon, and I'll probably write a separate blog post about that. This post is about one thing I did at RinCon...

Old college friends Becky and Chris ran an Eminent Domain tournament, and they billed it as a Play With The Creator event. The idea was that ahead of the tournament I would teach the game, but I had a scheduling conflict, so my friend John taught it instead. I arrived in time to play, and so as advertised, players got to play Eminent Domain with the creator of the game!

There were 10 players other than me, and most of them had never played EmDo before. John is a shark, besides me he's probably played more EmDo than anyone in the world! And he's very good - he said that when he and I play, results are probably 60% in my favor. I think another player had played once a long time ago, the rest were brand new.

With 11 players, we had two 4p games and a 3p game, and the winner of each went on to play in the finals against me. Also, if I won the 1st game, then the 2nd place player from my table would advance.

It has been a REALLY long time since I've play Eminent Domain, and it's been EVEN LONGER since I played the base game without Oblivion expansion stuff. The first game was really interesting, as one of the new players seemed to grasp not only the rules, but perhaps a more advanced strategy... She took a Produce role in the 2nd or 3rd turn, right after colonizing her start planet - a move I usually warn against when teaching the game, because it puts a Produce/Trade card into your deck, which are mostly useless early in the game. While this may be considered a mistake, it's not the end of the world, and this player got a few more planets into play and called Produce and Trade rolls left and right, quickly getting to a P-T cycle of 3 or even 4 resources! Seeing this, and drawing some planets with Produce symbols on them, I tried to pivot into a P/T engine as well, though for some reason it took me a little while to get there so I wasn't able to capitalize on it too much. In my penultimate turn I did a produce role, fully expecting that opponent to fill up her resource slots, but lucky for me she only had 1 of her many P/T cards in hand! In the end I beat her by a single point, a margin which may have easily been reversed with just slightly more efficient play in the early game, or even just a better draw on that previous turn!

The finals ended up being that opponent and myself, John of course, and a guy named Taylor that I used to know 20 years ago from when I played Magic. In this game I started with an Advanced planet, and I happened to get more Advanced planets off the top of the deck, 2 of which had Research symbols (I;m sure John was jealous, those are his favorite). I went quickly and heavily into Research and obtained the level 3 adaptability tech with several rounds left to play. Online some players complain that this tech is too good, because if you get it early then you dominate the game. Well, in this case I didn't feel like it really helped me very much, apparently I didn't have a high concentration of standard Research cards. I only used it about twice. but the fact that it was worth 5 points was a big deal, and I was able to get a big Specialized trade off on the last turn for another 4 extra points, and I ended up winning by a wide margin. Of course John came second, then Tyler 3rd and the other opponent (I'm sorry, I forgot her name!) was last.

TMG had donated a couple copies of EmDo and each expansion as prize support, and I of course passed down any prizes. John already has EmDo and Escalation, so he only took Exotica. Tayler already had the base game as well, so he took the other Exotica and an Escalation. So even in fourth place, the other opponent walked away (very happy I might add) with copies of EmDo and Escalation in hand!

Everyone seemed to really enjoy the game, and I had a great time playing EmDo again. Man, that game holds up. I really am proud of it, and I feel like I should promote it more.

So if you still haven't tried it, play Eminent Domain!


redfreakUA said...

Her name is Michelle and she is very flattered to have made your blog.

Anonymous said...

You should post this as a session post on BGG. It's pretty good.