Dominion: Intrigue - Board Game Box Shot

Dominion: Intrigue

| Published: 2009
Dominon Intrigue title

You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner.

Dominion: Intrigue adds rules for playing with up to 8 players at two tables or for playing a single game with up to 6 players. This game adds 25 new Kingdom cards and a complete set of Treasure and Victory cards.

This game can be played alone by players experienced in Dominion or with the basic game of Dominion.

Dominion: Intrigue contents
images © Rio Grande Games

User Reviews (20)

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9
Z-Man Games fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Ireland
Stone of the Sun
10
91 of 99 gamers found this helpful
“Sets the bar for Expansions”

What a great idea!

An expansion for an amazing game that can also be used as a base game!

I got this soon after purchasing the first Dominion because I found the base game to be very impressive as a quick game and I loved the variety due to the fact you can random up the 25 action cards each game. After playing it quite a bit I found that the base, while good, was lacking a few things. More types of attack and more options from the cards would be the minor complaints I had with the base.

Intrigue fixes both of my issues and ups the randomness of the set up.

With 25 new action cards to add to the base 25, the amount of potentially different games you can have goes through the roof.

Some clever clogs out there on the world wide web have calculated exactly how many different games are possible already but I can’t be bothered as I am too busy playing and enjoying the game!

There are more attack cards in amongst these, my favorite being the saboteur, which makes everyone reveal a card at a time from the top of their decks and trash one worth 3 or more and then gain a card worth 2 less. Evil and alters the balance slightly but excellent fun. When this cards shows up, it will be bought like crazy.

‘So why,’ I hear you ask, ‘is this addition called intrigue?’ Well the majority of the cards now come with choices. Do you want to draw a card or take another action, or gain a gold or take an extra buy? Pawn, for instance makes you choose any two of those options, thus expanding the complexity and strategy of your moves.

There are also cards that are both victory points at the end of the game and actions while in play. Shakes up the adding of VP’s at the end and can pull someone up who looked like they were losing.

My only complaint, and it is a small one, is that, due to the fact that this set comes with another bunch of treasure cards and Victory Points, more players can be added to the mix. This is actually mentioned and discouraged in the same section in the manual. For good reason!
Dominion is at its best with up to four players! It is fast, interesting with short downtime. Adding more players may seem like fun but seriously increases the downtime between turns and completely hampers the feel of the game.

Replay Value: As I said earlier 25 extra action cards, means more and more mayhem and completely different games every time, ranging from attack-fests to massive point grabbing races. Great Game and, justifiably, in most gamers top tens.

Components: Decent quality cards, same as the base. Completely do what they came to do!

Easy to Learn: Yes simple and straight forward. Action, Buy, Clean up! That’s it. The game just plays itself really.

People say, ‘Should I start with the base or intrigue?’ I say both, but, if you have to choose, flick a coin (Haha), they really are both as good as each other. Okay, maybe the base would be easier to start with as the commands on the card are more straight forward to follow. Either game though will get you on the Dominion and will guarantee you buying the other!

 
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9
I play blue
Football Fan
USA
Advanced Reviewer
8
81 of 89 gamers found this helpful
“What a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise”

While this is a stand-alone game, this review of Intrigue is mainly focused on its contribution to the Dominion series as an expansion. For my review of Dominion, please click here.

What Is It About? – An Overview of the Expansion
As an “alternate” base game, this set is standalone. But it is not just a remix as it introduces a new concept of “dual-type” cards. The theme is reflecting of the name, allowing for a bit more interaction among players with new attack cards, and non-attack interactive cards.

What Do I Get? – The Components in the Box
With 500 cards, this set includes the full collection of Victory cards, Treasure cards, and miscellaneous items, like Curses and the Trash card to be able to play without the Dominion base game (making up almost half the cards in the box). But at its core, it adds 25 new Kingdom cards that can be played amongst themselves or mixed with the base game.

What Does it Add? – Impacts to the Base Game
In its basic form, this expansion can completely replace the base game. However, it is best used as additional cards to add to the mix. Games still only use 10 kingdom cards per setting, but this ratchets up the replay value by doubling the available stock during setup.

The interactivity becomes more prevalent with the especially vicious Saboteur card (which trashes opponents’ cards in their deck worth 3 or more coin). Intrigue also introduces the passive-aggressive attack cards like Masquerade: attack cards disguised as regular cards so Reaction cards can’t react to them.

The most interesting card type is the new dual-type cards. Great Hall, for example, is both a Victory card and an Action card. This pairs well with other cards, such as Ironworks and Tribute, that care about card type. Since these count as both card types, one card triggers two effects. The Ironworks / Great Hall combo is a great means to add more cards and actions to your early turns. It doesn’t clog your hand since this is a Victory card that replaces itself during play and continues to give you VP while doing so.

Though not recommended (even by the design team!), there is the ability to combine all the basic cards from Intrigue and Dominion to include up to 6 players. The basic rules remain the same with a couple of exceptions. During set-up, Estates and Duchies stay at 12 cards, but Provinces increase by 3 for each player above 4. In addition, Curses continue to add 10 per player after the first. The game end condition is still running out the now increased Province deck -OR- running out 4 (as opposed to 3) regular supply piles. The warning comes from the amount of downtime that is caused with more players.

What Is the Target Audience? – Who Should Get This
Intrigue targets those that want the next step in complexity in Dominion cards. It is also a more interactive game for those that feel the basic game was multi-player solitaire. For those new to Dominion, they might consider the more basic Dominion as their starting point. But if they have played the game, they may want to start with this set as an alternate starting point.

Those that are addicted to the base game will want to take a look at this set just for the added variety. There are enough memorable cards to make it worth it. The additional set of basic cards may be cost prohibitive for some but it does grant the occasional game when you need to squeeze one or two more and can accommodate two tables of the game with even more players. It also provides a back up set for those that have worn out the original.

What Do I Think? – Final Thoughts
This is the butter pecan to Dominion’s vanilla game style. It adds a bit more flavor that not everyone will like. Many were taken aback by the “less useful” Secret Chamber thinking that all reaction cards would cancel attacks like the basic Moat. However, this blue card is well-suited to handle the aggressive Saboteur by (hopefully) offering up Silver bribes to stay away from your more expensive cards. Saboteur itself is arguably the most vilified card in all of Dominion. Ignoring it is usually the best defense, though it is frustrating in every game that it appears.

In the greater hierarchy, I would place this second to last of all expansions (Just ahead of Alchemy and just behind Cornucopia). While some cards are great, the overall expansion is ho-hum. With the newly released “Base Cards” set, any expansion can be the stand-alone game replacing this as the only other base alternative. Of all the expansions, this seems to offer “more of the same” and even its creative spark (dual-types and non-attack interactive cards) are present in other expansions.

When it first came out, it was the natural next step, adding just a little more complexity to framework. Having almost all the other expansions to choose from, this is one that can wait until later if you are trying to complete your collection.

What Else? – Other Expansion Reviews
Dominion (base game)
Seaside
Alchemy
Prosperity
Cornucopia

 
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6
Novice Reviewer
Knight-errant
Gamer - Level 6
10
67 of 74 gamers found this helpful
“Dominion or Intrigue? Dominion and Intrigue?”

Dominion Intrigue is the first expansion for the extremely popular Dominion series and also has the distinction of being a stand alone game in its own right. Combining these two games makes for a game that can now support up to 6 players. That’s a pretty good start right there.

For those unfamiliar with the basic gameplay of Dominion here’s the quick summary: Players all start with the same 10 card deck and then proceed to buy different cards to customize their deck into an efficient victory point purchasing engine with the aim of having the most victory points by at the end of the game.

As with the original Dominion what you’re getting in the box is a lot of cards. Aside from the Money and Victory Point cards which are familiar from the original game you’re getting 25 all new kinds of Kingdom cards. The cards themselves have a couple of new themes introduced through some of them. The first theme is that of choices. Five cards in the set allow you to choose the benefit the card gives each time you play it. For example Steward allows you to choose to either draw two cards, trash two cards or spend 2 extra coins in your buy phase. These cards can be extremely useful for the flexibility they give you throughout the game.

The second theme is the combination card type. These are taking cards types that had previously been separate in the original Dominion and putting them into one card. For example Harem is both a Treasure and a Victory Card. During the game you can use Harems for 2 coins in the buy phase (that is like a Silver) but at the end of the game it’s actually going to be worth 2 Victory Points.Of course the question will be whether that 2 points is worth the short term sacrifice because for the 6 coins Harem costs you could also buy a gold… Decisions, decisions, decisions…

As with the original game, the art for these cards has been provided by a number of different artists (12 this time round). For those who haven’t read my review of the original Dominion, I’m not a huge fan of the art but I appreciate the fact that the style was, on the whole, consistent. This time Rio Grande Games has done a good job for the most part but then tripped and fallen on it’s face. For me Maura Kalusky’s art on Harem and Shanty Town is completely out of place. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like this art and I think in many ways they suit the humour used in the games’ sales blurb. But in the context of all the other cards they just stand out like a sore thumb. Still, I can’t help but wonder how Dominion would feel had they chosen to go for a more comic style art for the whole game from the start.

One question which was being asked by people after the release of Intrigue was, given that both are stand alone games, do you really need both? And if you only get one, which one? My spin on the answer to that question goes something like this. If you’re a fairly new or casual player then I would suggest the original Dominion. Intrigue introduces a lot more decisions through the game which can be more than you need to think about as you come to grips with the game. I also feel that Moat from the original Dominion is a more intuitive form of defense against Attack cards than Intrigue’s more subtle Secret Chamber is.

If you’re an experienced gamer and you’re confident that you’ll like the game then you should be getting both. Lots of Dominion makes for great Dominion. If you can only afford one at a time then I’d probably still get the original Dominion first. The original contains some good fundamental cards such as Moat, Chapel and Throne Room, I think it’s also easier to appreciate the new stuff in Intrigue having played the original first than it would be the other way around.

So from my perspective, if you like Dominion, then Intrigue is an essential expansion. It slowly steps up the complexity and depth of the game as a whole and will keep the game fresh for quite some time before you need your next expansion hit.

 
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5
I play green
9
77 of 86 gamers found this helpful
“Many things I love in a game”

Dominion: Intrigue is a standalone expansion to the bestselling Dominion. I picked Intrigue as several of my peers suggested it as it’s a more refined variant of Dominion and includes some player interaction elements.

Intrigue is a thoroughly excellent game. I’ve always enjoyed Dominion, but it wasn’t until this weekend where I was able to play 5 games with the same two friends that I really appreciated it. There are a few things I really love about Dominion: Intrigue:

1.) Easy to teach. I played 5 times with 2 friends who have never played and wouldn’t consider myself gamers. They won 3 of the 5 games we played because they were quickly able to learn the game and its mechanics.

2.) Quick to play. You can have an incredibly satisfying game in a half hour. Because it plays so quickly and is so satisfying, it’s all the more enticing to play it a second time (or third, or fifth, as was our case!).

3.) The perfect dose of randomness. You randomly decide which 10 cards to use in a game. I love this. In fact, after having so much fun with Intrigue, I’ve decided to buy my first Dominion expansion. I want more. I also love that you don’t know which cards you’ll draw, but you can improve your chances with a well built deck. Randomness plus strategy is a great combination.

The goal of Intrigue (and Dominion) is to have the most Victory Points. Point cards come in three variants (1, 3, and 6 points) and do nothing for your deck in most cases other than clog up the deck. A key element of Dominion, therefore, is to properly time when to acquire Victory Point cards.

Each turn you play your cards and setup the best opportunity to spend your coins to buy new cards and buy victory points. Each player conceives an “engine” to build, a system of connected cards, to best improve your chances. You could play with the same 10 cards a dozen times and experiment with buying different cards at different times and playing them a different way. The game is oozing with depth that is sometimes easily grasped and sometimes a little more subtle. It’s really excellent.

We had a lot of fun playing this. Again, I love bringing out a game that my non-gamer friends love, understand, and want to play. Highly recommended.

 
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5
8
64 of 72 gamers found this helpful
“Intrigue at every corner.”

This is the first expansion to Dominion. It is also listed as a stand alone game. I really like intrigue because it gave me more desire to play dominion again. I had 150+ plays and was starting to feel like I was playing the same game. With intrigue there is a lot that mixed that up.

In intrigue, just as dominion, all players start with 7 copper cards, worth one coin each, and 3 estate cards, worth one vp each. The object is to use the 10 kingdom cards in play to build the most efficient deck that will get you the most vps by the end of the game. In dominion all vp cards were dead cards in your hand, but intrigue has added 4 different vp cards, 3 of which actually help you during the game, two of them are actions, and one of them is treasure. The game comes with 25 kingdom cards, as does dominion, to choose your 10 from. We usually do this randomly, and they have supplied one extra card for each deck to shuffle in order to do this. They also have some pre-defined setups, or you can come up with any method you want for getting the 10 cards to play with.

I really like the interaction that intrigue provides. It definitely has more than dominion. Most people say this is just more luck being added to the game and it hurts the concept. However, I feel it is a good change of pace. I also like the options on the cards, there are now more hard decisions to be made more often. Some say this means you don’t have to build as good of a deck, you just buy this card and it acts like anything you need it to be at any time. I disagree and think it just means you now have harder decisions to make during your turn, which is one complaint from dominion.

I don’t know if I would suggest intrigue as a stand-alone game. We played it stand alone at first so we would have a better chance of seeing all the new cards, but I really feel like combining the two really gives the best play. We usually do 5 random cards from each. Also, the cards are a little more complex for somebody just learning the game. For those reasons I’d say get dominion first, but definitely look into getting both, because the two together really make the playing experience the best.

I gave this an 8 rating, because there is too much luck for me to rate it any higher. My most favorite games have less luck involved and I really think the more strategy involved the better the game is in a lot of cases. This is a great game and as a expansion to the 2009 spiel des jahres winner, you can’t go wrong.

 
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5
Critic - Level 4
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
8
63 of 71 gamers found this helpful
“A Good Expansion, but Stand-Alone Cards Give it Value”

Intrigue is the first expansion to Dominion, and the only one to have the necessary starter cards to stand alone from the base game. In addition for expanding the game up to 6 players, the new cards offer a variety of new strategies for the game.

The biggest addition in the game are cards of dual-types, mostly cards that are victory points but also have money or an action as well. There are also several new attack cards, and several cards that negatively impact one opponent but not all, and therefore are technically not attack cards. The set also has cards that reward you for having other cards in your deck that you might not normally seek to buy, spreading out the purchasing strategy and pushing the game more towards the three-depleted-piles end condition, and not always the depleted-Province condition that ends so many regular games.

Some players do not like the low/subtle interactivity in Dominion play, and those players will like a set like this more than most. People like me prefer to focus on efficiency and building combos, and don’t really care for the way a card like Tribute will mess with your deck and you can’t even play a blue card in defense. But there are enough new things to do in this set that disliking any one expanded strategy probably won’t throw you off the set as a whole.

There’s not much to say about the production values for this game that can’t be said for the base game. Quality is good but not fantastic, artwork is okay but won’t dazzle you.

Overall, if you have a good group of Dominion players at hand, this is a must-buy to seat six at the table. If it’s not, I wouldn’t put it among my favorite expansions, but it has enough good cards to be worth the investment.

 
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7
Marquis / Marchioness
Advanced Reviewer
Professional Advisor
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
8
63 of 76 gamers found this helpful
“A must have expansion”

One of the great things about Dominion: Intrigue is it can play stand-alone without the base Dominion game, and if you have the base, you can play with up to 6 players! When players get the knack for this game, play will be so quick that you won’t be bogged down by the number of players. But until you get to that point, you should play two games of 3 players each instead of a 6-player game though. The time spent waiting for your turn will slow down the game and make it boring.

Intrigue adds a lot of new cards, increasing the variability in the game, and also adds many more attack cards, giving more use to Moat and the Curses. Amongst my friends, it’s one of the least favored expansions, but I still enjoy many of the twists and unique abilities some of the cards have. The complexity is still low, only slightly more complex than Dominion, so it is still easy for most gamers to learn without problem.

 
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5
Platinum Supporter
Thunderstone Fan
I play blue
10
64 of 81 gamers found this helpful
“A Great Stand-Alone Option for People New to Dominion”

This was the first Dominion game I ever played. I ended up buying the original Dominion game, and I like them both. However, I would probably have to say that I like Intrigue a little bit better … mostly due to the fact that it has more types of Victory point cards.

You do NOT need to have played the original Dominion game. And, to play any of the other expansions, you can own either Dominion OR Intrigue.

Intrigue seems more interactive than the base Dominion game. I like the variety of Action-Attack cards in Dominion:Intrigue.

 
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2
Rated 5 Games
9
63 of 84 gamers found this helpful
“Play it Like You Mean It”

I’ve played the original dominion many times, and it’s great. I love Intrigue, too though, so much that I bought it (something that many plays of Dominion didn’t entice me to do).

The game does add a lot of cards that do rough things to other players, but that’s half the fun in a game like this. There’s also a more interesting balance to the victory points, since some of them have actions associated with them as well.

 
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2
My First Heart
10
67 of 91 gamers found this helpful
“Chesare Borgia would love it for sure!”

It’s my first colored card game lol. You know, I’m from Ukraine so we don’t have such solid experience in all this cool stuff. Played poker, chess, monopoly anything well known, but Dominion is incredible. I love PC strategies: Civilization from 1 to 5, SimCity, StarCraft… everything that makes you think.

Read some reviews, came across available and pick Dominion.Intrigue to lose my virginity ) Played about 50 games with this expansion and basic Dominion and I’m happy with my choice.

This game about careful planing and strategy vision, it has WOW-factor, for me it’s 3 things: Action-combos, strategy and vast of game variations (through picking just 10 cards of 25 in Intrigue and many more if you have other expansions). Actually it’s can’t be discovered from first playing experience but this 10 cards are actually giving you possible winning strategies, so before you know them, you can’t say exactly how you will play.

Do we have luck factor in this game? Yes, it’s constrained, but still it’s a card game! Design is great, artwork not perfect. Balance – great and actually it’s 2 balances within this game. Game balance and your deck balance, so be wise!

Family game – don’t think so, it’s only for strategy geeks.

 
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2
Gamer - Level 2
9
63 of 87 gamers found this helpful
“A must-have for Dominion players”

Intrigue is the only must-have expansion for Dominion players, in my opinion. Subsequent expansions suffer from lengthening Dominion game times and adding over-complicated rules and potential chains. Intrigue is from an age before Dominion became overly-laden with the special effects and chains of too many expansions.

 
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2
Gamer - Level 2
8
63 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“A Good Alternative to the Original”

If, as in my case, a friend has the original and you don’t want to duplicate but still want your own copy of one of the best deck-building systems around. The beauty of this “expansion” is that it is truly stand alone as well as being completely mixable with the original. In my experience the system is addictive and the re-playability ensured by the number or possible combinations of card types available. Once you are familiar with the system it can be played at a fast pace and I’m always happy to play a game or two.

 
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1
8
63 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“Want to play Dominion with a larger group? Get this!”

Hats off to Rio Grande for publishing an alternate full stand along version of Dominion – Dominion: Intrigue.

If it wasn’t for Intrigue, I would always have a friend or 2 sitting out on the fun due to lack of Victory/Treasure cards.

With yet more Estates, Duchies and Provinces (as well as coppers, silvers and golds). We can easily make 5, 6, 7 and even 8 player dominion games – 8 is a little much, but still manageable.

The new cards are a little more entertaining than the original Dominion set. So if you had to choose between Dominion and Intrigue – pick Intrigue first.

 
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3
Gamer - Level 3
8
63 of 91 gamers found this helpful
“Better Than the Original”

IMHO, this stand-alone “expansion” is better than the original game. I like the “dual purpose” cards (Action-Victory cards that give you an action and VP’s, Treasure-Victory cards that give you treasure and VP’s). I think they add a layer to the game. I also think this game has more player interaction.

Remember, this is a standalone game. You do NOT have to have the original Dominion to play this.

 
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4
Gamer - Level 4
Zealot
9
68 of 100 gamers found this helpful
“Great Deckbuilding”

Awsome game even better if you get the expansions

The game allows the gamers perform a lot of combos, the setup style gives differents ways or strategies to play and this is excellent to avoid the rutin of the game.

Just be sure to understand all the active cards because some times one single card could be powerfull but in other games could be completely garbage and this depends entirely of the complete set of cards that are choosen for the match.

It´s great for every kind of players, cause is easy to learn the basic rules, and very complex if you like to make combos over the game, you have a lot of ways to perform your game style. and based on that reason I completely recomend this game.

 
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5
Gamer - Level 5
Zealot
Critic - Level 3
Novice Advisor
9
63 of 95 gamers found this helpful
“A must have ”

All the advantages of regular Dominion, only with better cards, more strategy, and a more interesting game overall. The extra attack cards really help solve the ‘silver is always the best option’ problem.

The only problem this may cause is it definitely turns the game a bit away from ‘friendly’ to ‘hostile’, which for me was a perfect addition. For a more casual player, they might find the main game alone more enjoyable.

Above all, what I love most about Intrigue is that it could have just been an expansion, but they decided to make it a completely playable game in itself. That’s a really classy move, in an industry that usually won’t allow you to pick and choose what sets you want to play with.

 
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3
Rated 25 Games
7
63 of 98 gamers found this helpful
“Not as Good as the Original Set”

I’m not a big fan of this Dominion expansion. I think it introduced to many evil cards. Sure, some people may like that about this set, but it caused the games to drag out. Dominion is supposed to be a quick game in my opinion.

 
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2
Gamer - Level 2
8
63 of 104 gamers found this helpful
“The best expansion”

We enjoyed Dominion the first play or two, but didn’t really get into it until this expansion hit the table. The cards are far more interactive and makes the base set even better when combined. If you enjoy Dominion, this is a must have.

 
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3
I Got What I Wanted
9
63 of 107 gamers found this helpful
“My first Major Deck Builder.”

Last Gencon (2011), I finally played Dominion and had a blast while doing it. I went to demo it with my wife and we had a great time and it was super easy to understand. I later that trip brought my friend called Ozzy over to play and we both walked away from the Con with a copy. He got the basic set and I got Intrigue. We played it several times throughout the year and just last week at Gencon 2012 I brought it to play in the room and taught it to a few more friends, one of them came away with the basic set this year. Keep playing gamers and build your deck with strategy and wit, or just try and give your opponents ****…

Bandit Eskimo

END OF LINE…….

 
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3
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
9
63 of 109 gamers found this helpful
“The way expansions should be”

It works on its own. It works with the base set. It’s balanced and introduces new ways of thinking about how to build your deck offering a variety of new and different strategies. Where the base set looks at the size and quality of your deck, Intrigue introduces new cards that let you bypass these considerations to some degree (like the Scout).

The fact that it can be played on its own is a big plus. A must for any Dominion player.

 

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