Recap: More Dominare and Space Cadets First Impressions
This week was full of gaming goodness. We’re finally coming out of the holidays, and moving back into some non-party game types. I continued with a second play of Dominare wherein we learned the key swamp strategy, and also got a first chance at playing Space Cadets.
Dominare. Unlike last time, everyone knew the rules and the game went much smoother. With six players (and one player being new), the game still clocked in at a hefty two point five hours. The first three seasons were especially quick.
Whereas I had previously dominated by controlling the swamps, this time I decided to eschew the commoners in favor of control of church and senate. The senate is a big point leader initially, with many point generating spaces, and the church has the highest single point value block in the game. Unfortunately, I was not the only one with eyes on the Senate. I battled three other players for control of the senate, and to that end, my first four conspiracy members were all senators. I had hoped that that would ultimately dissuade others from competing. Not so.
Meanwhile, as we battled for senate territory the new player happily made his home among the swamps — just as I had the previous game. And, with so many of us battling one another in the Senate, he had almost free reign. By the time things shook out in the sixth and seventh season, none of us had appreciably stopped him. The common folk are not to be ignored.
Space Cadets. Space Cadets is a little like Artemis in board game form. The players accept one of a number of pre-designed missions. One player controls weapons, another engineering, another sensors, and so on. Then, they all work in real time to accomplish their various goals.
What made Space Cadets interesting is that each station was different, and each required an action not typical of board gaming. Weapons control had a dexterity element and a tangrams puzzle. Sensors must remove tetris-like pieces from a bag using only touch. Shields creates poker hands and helm as a Robo-Rally like task. And, in certain circumstances, the ship might receive damage and bump everyone over a chair. So you have to be familiar with each of them.
Gaining that familiarity unfortunately lengthened the game. But, now that we each know how to operate, I think future games would be much quicker. Still, I greatly enjoyed the game — especially after I settled in to weapons control. With each area providing such different tasks, I could see this one remaining enjoyable for quite some time.