Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Donald X. Vaccarino


No. of Players:
2 - 4

G@mebox Star



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Prosperity is already the fourth addendum to the Dominion world. Whereas the exiguous expansion Dominion Alchemists frustrated the high expectations of a lot of fans, the latest expansion is a big one again and adds 25 new Kingdom cards to Dominion. Dominion Prosperity can be played as a self-contained game or combined with all the other Dominion variants. Only the treasure, victory and curse cards from one of the two self-contained variants must be in place. Almost every card in Prosperity is related to money, one way or the other; consequently, the buying phase plays a major role in the game. Furthermore, Prosperity also contains some very expensive new Kingdom cards.


Of course, the basic rules of Dominion remain the same: A set of ten different Kingdom cards is chosen, which can be combined with some other (self-contained) games of the Dominion world. But as we know from the previous expansions, Prosperity, too, offers a lot of special rules for some of the Kingdom cards.


For one, Prosperity introduces a new currency - 'Platinum' - which is worth five coppers. But the most striking new elements are a new treasure card and a new victory card. The new victory card 'Colony' counts as ten victory points. Players may take these two cards into play if they like, at least it is recommended in case no Kingdom cards of other expansions are used in the game. If players decide to integrate the new victory card 'Colony' into the play, this opens an alternative path for the game to end: In addition to the well known victory conditions, the game will also end in case the 'Colony' pile is depleted. Of course, the two new cards come at a price. Players have to pay nine or eleven coppers, respectively. Those who are familiar with the Dominion world will probably wonder how the hell one could afford spending so much money. But Prosperity offers a lot of useful new Kingdom cards to solve this particular problem.


In addition to some mighty regular Kingdom cards, Prosperity introduces new treasure cards. They count as regular treasures but also feature some special abilities. For example, the 'Bank' is worth one copper per treasure that is in play. This means, in a hand with five treasure cards, the 'Bank' is worth five coppers. Hence, combining the treasure cards can earn players a lot of money the need for their purchases. Other new treasure cards are worth a specified amount of money, but allow players to perform another purchase ('Contraband') or to take an additional gold, if the purchase is a victory card ('Hoard'). All these cards improve the players' spending capacity.

[IMAGE]The second striking innovation in Prosperity is player mats that are used for storing victory tokens and are used together with three of the Kingdom cards ('Bishop', 'Monument', 'Goons'). For example, players get one victory token in case they have the 'Goons' in play and buy a card. At the end of the game these tokens count as victory points. The use of the mats is very much the same as in the Dominion-Seaside expansion. Collecting victory tokens can be a promising strategy, because by doing so you can ignore all the minor victory cards and concentrate instead on the victory points generated from the victory tokens which do not jam your deck.

The last new element is a 'Trade Route' mat on which coin tokens are collected provided that the Kingdom card 'Trade Route' is in play. When the game starts, a coin token is used to tag each one of the victory card piles. In case any player gains a card from such a pile, the coin token is transferred to the 'Trade Route'. 'Trade Routes' earn the player as many coppers as there are coins on the 'Trade Route'. Thus, as the game unfolds, 'Trade Routes' become more and more valuable and help amassing the funds necessary for buying other expansive cards contained in the Prosperity expansion.

Personally, I greatly enjoyed playing Prosperity. Prosperity truly offers plenty new possibilities which enhance the game even further. If compared to some of the other expansions, Prosperity helps to keep the new Kingdom more balanced. Equally important, and in contrast to some of the former expansions, Prosperity does not contain those feeble cards no player is prone to buy. Indeed, all cards can be quite useful in one way or the other.

Prosperity also allows players to follow new tactics, such as concentrating on making money. In this case, when the final phase of the game is rang in, players are very likely to catch up with their opponents who set out to collect victory points from the very beginning by purchasing cards form the 'Colony' pile. But this strategy might also prove risky. If players start up too late, there might not be enough time to accomplish the pursuit. Of course, Prosperity offers other strategies, too. The player mats offer new opportunities for collecting victory cards, and the 'Trade Route' is a very efficient tool for gaining money. Very much the same as with all the other expansions to Dominion, it is simply funny and amazing to witness your Kingdom's gradual expansion. This means I will, once again, award a Gamebox Star to Prosperity - but this is nowhere near enough: Although some of the Gamebox audience might by now have a bellyful of all the cards, I award - for the first time!! - 10 points to Prosperity, too.

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Copyright © 2012 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany