The Long View: Eminent Domain

The Long View


In this installment of The Long View, I am joined by Joel Eddy as we discuss Eminent Domain. In our discussion, we compare this game to other card driven, space themed games, and try to examine where this game shines, and what, if anything, it may need to become the “go to game” in this genre.

Thanks to for hosting, and thank you for listening!

~ Geof Gambill

The Long View: Eminent Domain





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7 thoughts on “The Long View: Eminent Domain”

  1. Nice episode. I haven’t played Eminent Domain but this gave a good impression of the game for me, and corroborated what I’ve heard from others too.


    I was a little intrigued by the Race for the Galaxy and “Go Fish” reference. I haven’t played a ton of the game (mostly against the computer AI using Keldon’s program or vs. the “Robot”). But I have a handful of plays against other people too.

    Anyway, I can certainly see where the “Go Fish” feeling comes from, but I wonder if that’s a function of experience with the game and a feeling that diminishes with more repeat plays. Technical learning curve aside, RftG also has a much longer learning curve at work in terms of learning the cards, understanding risk, and anticipating other players.

    In the long run, playing the game with a “Go Fish” approach is a novice trap from what I’ve gathered reading about the game and from my own experience. The synergies between available 6-cost developments and your hand/tableau are important, but it isn’t the crux of the game. If you let a 6-cost development drive your strategy, you are taking a huge risk from a numbers standpoint.

    It is an efficiency engine game (economic snowball perhaps?), and in my mind the real meat of the game is in role selection + leeching, which incidentally is the only player interaction found in the base game. Specifically and regardless of what strategic direction you might be inclined to pursue, if you can select roles that don’t hand an advantage to your opponent while taking advantage of their play, then you can have an enormous leg up on controlling the pacing of the game and the endpoint.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts.


    I liked the discussion about direct conflict in eurogames. In addition to Tigris & Euphrates (which you mentioned), here are some others I’m familiar with, that are shorter playing euro’s with direct conflict.

    Samurai – Capturing score tokens first
    Carcassonne – Stealing regions by gaining a majority on top of another player
    Small World – Can attack opponents’ forces directly
    Taluva – Can place volcano tiles to destroy opponents’ settlements
    Drakkon – Tile effects to push other players, make them loose gold, steal gold, etc.
    Antike – And other shorter civ style games (e.g. Tempus)
    Cyclades – interaction both with the dudes on a map and in the bidding for gods

    From a card game standpoint, one that comes to mind is Citadels, a classic role selection euro-card game. The thief + assassin roles let you outright steal gold and force your opponent to lose a turn. The Warlord can pay money to destroy other players’ district cards. The wizard lets you steal someone’s hand. Lots of interaction in the effects of the roles, as well as through the selection of roles themselves.

    And thanks for the shout out for Hegemonic!

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  2. I have found that the Go-Fish feel actually comes and goes. I am firmly in it right now.

    You are correct that I sold the “correct role selection” part of the game short. However, once you are familiar with what role to take when, the game can devolve back into a a Go-Fish game. There are games where you may not build up a very big tableau and ship the living daylights out of goods. But, then it’s more like, “Congratulations, on drawing Phase 4/5 planets!”

    I’m being a bit circumspect as I was in the podcast. I still play Race relatively frequently and have still played it more than any of the games I mentioned on the show (except maybe San Juan, I am not sure). Maybe, I’ve played it too much.

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  3. Geof, FYI, Omen: A Reign of War. Second Edition is in print and can be purchased from the Small Box Games website.

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  4. Thanks Greyweather! I’ll have to check it out.

    Oliver, thanks for listening and for your comments and suggestions about euros with direct interaction. I would also add another game to the list that is super in your face and confrontational, and that would be Tammany Hall. A fantastic game that really deserves the reprint. I recommend it for those who are comfortable with confrontation.

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  5. euro games with interaction under an hour?


    Dragons Gold (anything by Bruno)

    It depends what you mean by player interaction? Do you mean trading, conflict, take that?

    I mean any trumping or trick taking game has interaction, as the cards the other players play directly influence your every play (Lords of Scotland).

    But i must admit most build an engine score points game are anti player interaction.

    Good podcast again, i really enjoy listening to people pick games apart.

    Look up Chris Farrel on the Geek, and get him on this podcast

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  6. Just listened to the podcast (which I enjoyed) and immediately thought of Puzzle Strike as an example of a deck builder with plenty of player interaction, short game times, and no player interaction (as of the new 3rd edition). I don’t really consider deckbuilders to be “eurogames”, but I think it still fits with what you guys were talking about.

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  7. Good show guys. I agree that the theme doesn’t always come thru in this game. I am posting now because I revisited this podcast and found that a lot of the things you said you didn’t like have been fixed in the expansion. Different ships mean things, scenario cards where you get techs to start, some interaction, etc.

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