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Dominare - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2012
30 15 2
Dominare board game title

The City-State of Tempest is a lively metropolis—some say the largest in the world—yet behind the city’s cultured exterior, age-old cabals vie for power, fighting one another for dominance in a society ripe with political and economic turmoil. Led by shadowy figures who command a small cadre of loyal followers, these secret societies work in concert to seize the wealth and power of the fabled City-State of Tempest.

In Dominare, you are the puppet master of a conspiracy seeking to control Tempest. Agents are the key to Dominare. Use your agents to spread your influence through the city, building a network of hidden power to control the most valuable districts and blocks.

In the game, players first draft agents they want. Then, each turn, the players reveal one additional layer of their conspiracy. Each agent is a unique person in the City-State of Tempest, with unique abilities. The higher an agent in in your conspiracy, the more powerful that agent is.

Players spread their influence in key city blocks and districts, use agent and district abilities to further their plans, and manipulate the board to their benefit. Use your agents well, and influence and power will be yours. Use them poorly, and… well, you wouldn’t be the first would-be ruler to vanish into the inky waters of the city canals….

Tempest game series

Part of the Tempest series of shared-world games.
See all Tempest series games >

User Reviews (2)

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Plaid Hat Games fan
AEG fan
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
31 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Dominate or be dominated....”

Dominare is one of four games, and the most advanced, in the Tempest series from AEG.
The game takes place in the city of Tempest which is in the middle of a crisis without anyone to rule, and each player’s goal is to gain influence in the city so that they can rule.

The game is for 2-6 players, but I recommend a minimum of 3 for a more competitive game play (this is a competitive game after all).

The quality for the game is just great! From the player board, to the cards, the art – everything helps to set the mood of a renaissance city in turmoil. The only drawback is that I’ve been running out of wooden cubes (influence) towards the end of the game. In this case you can use either (coins) underneath a cube or the large round leftover tablets (to count as 5 influence). If you have 5-6 players this will not be a big problem.
The game board is printed on both sides; 2-4 players and 3-6 players, but both sides can be used regardless of how many / few you are. This defines what type of game you want to play (eg 6 players at 2-4-side = very competitive!)

In the role as a puppet master each player send their agents to various parts of the city to acquire influence. If you choose to use well-known figures of the city (and thereby get much exposure), the city will work on towards you. As a ‘scapegoat’ (which means that you have the most exposure in total) are often punished in the event phase, but will start each round.
Each agent has its own characteristics we can use in the action phase of the game. The same applies to districts (athenium, senate, the slums (total 3 slums districts), church, merchant and canals), but you need to dominate one district to use its property. In addition, a number of other actions you can do as recruiting, replacing agents, buy influence and more.

A season consists of the following phases:
– Conspiracy: Each player plays a new agent. The agent is added in the order corresponding to which of the seven seasons you’re currently in. Exposure is then adjusted and the play order updated. Agents at next to each other with the same profession, gets better – this is called networking.
– Event: “Scapegoat” draws an event card, reads aloud and the incident must be resolved. The incident may apply to only ‘scapegoat’, all players or all except ‘scapegoat. In addition, the ‘scapegoat’ has to align two districts up or down 1 or 2 points (the owner of that district will score these points at the end of the game).
– Canvass: everyone gets cash (coin) according to what their agents generate. In addition, each agent generate influence they will place in their home district (wooden cubes in different colors).
– Action: each season consists of two actions, with the exception of the last season consisting of 3. There are a total of eight types of actions you can do (use an agent’s properties, use a district property, recruit, purchasing influence, white wash (buy down the exposure tracker), get one coin, replacing an agent or flipping back your agents that are face down.

The game consists of seven seasons and a total of 15 actions, so every action should be thought through carefully!

Domiare is probably a game for the more experienced players that are into area control, scheming and ruining your opponents plans and at the same time reveal your clever strategy one small piece at a time. I find this very appealing

After watching a number of walkthroughs of Dominare online, I was not in any doubt that this was a game for me. It’s probably not for everyone, but if you like heavy strategy game where you really have to think + enjoy games with heavy interaction, you should test Dominare!

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23 of 29 gamers found this helpful
“Area control with panache. ”

Disclosure: 2 games with 3 players, 1 game with 4.

All of my plays of Dominare have been fantastic. It’s an area control game that’s dripping with theme, and really feels like it’s elevated the genre above “cube pushing.”

The game takes about 2 hours to play with 3 or 4 players, and this feels like a great game length for what it is. With 5 or 6, it might bog down a bit, but it’s hard to tell as I haven’t played at that player number.

One thing I really like is the replayability. The character cards are really what make this game stand out from the pack, and drafting characters that interact well with other characters is a really interesting mechanic. I also love how exposure fits in thematically and mechanically: the most powerful characters have the most exposure, so if you deploy them you become the scapegoat, which means that random game events hit you the hardest.

The only negative thing I have to say is that the cards could have been nicer. I don’t know if it’s only my game, but some of the cards had some odd gritty texture to the back of them.

All in all, I’d say this is a really interesting AND fun game, and I’m not sure why it’s not getting any hype. Give it a shot if you like area control games high in interaction/confrontation and subtlety.


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