Board Game Reviews: Dominion: Alchemy

Dominion: Alchemy is a smaller expansion for Dominion. It adds 12 new kingdom cards, and most of them require the new potion currency to buy them. (Nikhil Vyas)

This week, we’ll be looking at the third expansion for Dominion, Dominion: Alchemy. I’ll only be explaining what is new in this review, so if you don’t know how to play Dominion, you should read my review on that game first.

The Dominion: Alchemy expansion is a mini-expansion about half the size of other ones, adding only 12 new kingdom cards and a new currency called potions to the game. I’ll show you the new cards in this expansion and then share my thoughts on Dominion: Alchemy.

How to Play

The gallery below shows all the cards provided in this expansion and some of my opinions on them.

Final Thoughts

My overall opinion of Dominion: Alchemy is that the potions are a good idea but need to be involved with more cards. What that means is that I do like the idea of a new card currency, but only 10 cards that involve that new currency isn’t enough to give the replayability that Dominion is known for.

Let’s start with a few positive comments, the first being that the card abilities in this set are quite impressive. I like how many of these cards suggest playing adventurous strategies with big action card combinations. Whenever cards from this expansion are used, few players try to win the game via buying just the basic money cards. Another thing that happens when playing with this expansion is that players have to choose early in the game regarding whether they are going to pursue a strategy with potions or without them.

This expansion starts to go downhill when the game suggests playing with three to five cards with a potion cost if using those cards. This actually makes the decision to go for potions more obvious because there is more flexibility in the potion strategy. If you play with only one or two potion-costing cards, then the decision regarding potions becomes more of a dilemma; there are more options in the regular cards and fewer options in the potion cards. You could also bust in this case if you don’t hit the expensive cost of a potion card you wanted.

The only way that fewer options in potion-costing cards are balanced with numerous options in regular-costing cards is that the new cards are more powerful. I would say that potions add about 2.5 coins to a card’s cost, but the abilities of some of these cards can get out of control. For instance, playing multiple Golems can let you play tons of action cards and cycle through your deck many times in one turn. Possession is a disciple card that messes up your opponent’s turn for an unknown reward. I can’t imagine playing a game with Possession and cards that let you play it multiple times; the long and obnoxious effect is cumulative.

The last and most significant negative is that there is not enough replayability among the new cards. Having only 10 options when playing with potions is not enough for the depth it adds to the game. Dominion is a game about replayability; all other expansions for Dominion add to its replayability except this one, which shrinks it.

I’m going to give Dominion: Alchemy a 4 out of 10 because I do not recommend it. If you are looking for a Dominion expansion, there are so many better ones out there. I recommend Dominion: Seaside, which adds a new action card type that has lived on in future expansions. Unless a second Alchemy expansion comes out to expand the replay value with potions, Dominion: Alchemy remains firmly at the bottom of the Dominion franchise.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email