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Stone me

by on December 30, 2012

Thanks to Yehuda, last week Susan and I got to try out the Dominion clone of a game, Thunderstone. Rochelle was the fourth brave warrior.


As a game, it was probably an even contest until about half way through. At that point, Yehuda’s hand was too good, and each turn he simply picked off the monster (and Victory Points) of his choice. So, it was no surprise he was the winner by a street and a half. The funny thing was that Susan, Rochelle and I finished within a couple of points of a spread; our less effective blundering about in the dark bowels of the village and dungeon environment must have been pretty similar.

I was not that impressed by the game play. I felt the theme was ok, but the implementation did nothing to draw me in to the game play. And the icons on the cards were acceptable, but could have been so much better. (They are not as obscure as Race for the Galaxy, but sadly looking like they were given little or no thought.) By comparison, even though Dominion is exceedingly abstract, I prefer its focus. Perhaps it is because Thunderstone has the split between Village and Dungeon turns?  I can recognize that there is a decent amount of skill and judgment in building up a winning deck, as Yehuda so skillfully demonstrated, but the luck element – for example, in which monsters are available to kill by the time it is your turn, left me cold. If asked, I probably would play it again, but on the basis of the limited experience to date, I prefer the original inspiration of Dominion over it.

To give the game its due, Laurie – who was not playing it – stated her clear preference for Thunderstone. It’s just another example of “your mileage may vary” or “different strokes for different folks.”  And, importantly, although the game was not as good for me as Dominion, the night was certainly still fun. I’m glad I tried it out. Maybe I will see more to it the next time.


From → Session Report

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