For details regarding genre, number of players, and objective see Dominion Review.

While Dominion provides great replay value, the creators have graced us with an expansion.  As indicative of an expansion, Dominon: Intrigue does add more rules for play.  However, unlike most expansions, the changes are much more subtle; not to say that all other expansions are over-the-top and very obvious.  The subtle change? A new card type: combination cards.  These cards are a combination of two other card types, the majority of which are Victory and Action cards; the Harem card is both a Treasure card and an Action card.  While this doesn’t seem big, it does add a great amount.  Now, you can be adding a new action card to your deck that not only gives you the immediate edge with new options, it also gives you victory points to help you win the game.

The other subtle change is the option of cards.  Yes, there are enough cards in Intrigue that you could play it by itself, but I’m refering to the actual abilities of the cards.  The overall theme of the new cards is that of option.  Most of the cards do not have a single set of bonuses or actions to perform.  Rather, most of these cards give you the choice of one bonus or another, or one action or another.  So, the cards give you a flexibility in tactics/strategy beyond their inherent abilities; a flexibility in actual execution.

Finally, as ham-handedly hinted at (yeah, illiteration), Dominion: Intrigue can be played on its own.  Not only can you play it without Dominion, but you can play it without having purchasing Dominion; all of the rules required for play are included with Intrigue.  So, in additional the number of options given by the flood of new cards, the actual ability to have options with many of the cards, but you also have the option of playing Intrigue alone or included with base Dominion.  My conclusion: Intrigue introduces exponentional options to the game and make it that much more interesting/complex without actually making the mechanics more complicated.

As an expansion, what does Intrigue offer in terms of the educational benefit of Dominion?  It reinforces the base lessons, but it also includes the concept of having choices and helps teach you how to decide which options to select.  It teaches you the strength of just having options, but it also helps you develop priorities.  After all, when confronted with an overabundance of options, you have to figure out some way to select one option over another; wherein your priorities need to be clear.

Next-time: Dominion-Seaside