Rainy Day Game's Board Game Review of Domaine:
Domaine in Summary
The Domaine board game is Klaus Teuber's reworking of the classic Lowenherz game. With a smaller game board and a simpler game mechanic, it takes some of the complexity out of the original. But that leaves the Domaine board game a leaner, more focused board game.
Domaine plays great with 2, 3 or 4 players and we've found that it stands up to repeated playings very well. That's because the Domaine board game is built not on gimmick or theme, but on the inherit interest and challenge of its mechanic. Sure, the castles look cool and the board is well constructed, but it's the basic strategy of expanding and defending territory that makes this game a winner.
The Domaine board game is a classic game of territory acquisition. Play starts by shuffling the land tiles randomly creating the game's terrain. Players then place their castles, knights, and border markers on the map to enclose kingdoms or "domaines". The resources enclosed in your domaine give you victory points (forests and villages) and income (mines).
Play begins with players taking turns putting castles and knights on the board. After he initial placement, play centers on the use of action cards. You hold a hand of 3 cards and each turn you can either "buy" the contents of the card, such as employing knights or building boarders for your domaine, or you can sell the card back into the discard deck to gain income. The catch is that other players than then pick up your discarded card.
Players continue the game by building borders, annexing parts of each others' domaines, and guarding their land with knights.
You collect points for the number of forests and villages you enclose, or by monopolizing the mining industries which appear on the map. The player who can reach the VP target first wins the game: for example a 3 player game has a target of 40 VP's.
Who should buy Domaine?
The Domaine board game is one of those board games that real gamers love to play. Besides its lineage as a Tueber game, it simple and classic design makes it a good choice for any games night. The consensus at RDG is that we'll also use this game for novices, kind of like how we use Settlers of Catan. For almost any gamer, except for the youngest, the Domaine board game will give you many a session of enjoyable strategy.
The Manufacturer's Board Game Review of Domaine:
The king shall return...
But before he does, the realm falls into anarchy and chaos. The lords of the kingdom struggle to improve their place and standing. New borders are drawn, and expanded through strength of arms and subtle maneuver. Each duke seeks to establish a claim over the most valuable parts of the kingdom before the king finally returns...
In the dark of the Middle Ages, control of the land was the key to wealth and power. Can you control enough territory to become the most prestigious duke before the king’s return? With the love for detail that has distinguished all of his designs, Klaus Teuber has created a game that is easy to learn, yet offers enough strategic depth to draw players back again and again. Are you clever enough to control the land, marshal your wealth, and seize the power and prestige of your own Domaine?
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Kris's Board Game Review of Domaine:
I only recently got into the 'serious' games thanks to some friends who introduced me to Catan. After only 3 games I was so impressed I immediately went online to look if there were any other quality board games available that I could be interested in.
That's how I came to Domaine (or 'Leeuwenhart' in Belgium. After 1 game I was sold ! Wow what an addictive game ... I play it almost every day now, with my wife, friends, ... What - in the beginning - seems a fairly straight, easy going and relaxed games soon got very strategic and dead serious (in a fun way ;-)) Money is scarce, so are the precious action cards ... shall I play or sell a card ... put some borders ... introduce a knight ... shall I go for a mine monopoly ... Choices, choices ...
And since resources and opportunities are few, every single move has to count. (2 player games can be more forgiving since you're more likely to get a second chance on that precious card you've just wasted because you misjudged another players strategy.) Domaine will please both the occasional gamer looking for a quick fun game as well as the strategist, taking into account all possible consequentions of his next move. And they are many ... FUN ... go out and buy this ... go on :-))