Under The Dome
|It's dice with PICTURES on them!|
Mike: I like the art. The planet cards are nicely designed if not terribly interesting. The idea of outer space” is effectively communicated. The ship “meeples” are one of the coolest things about this title. LOVE those! While essentially utilitarian overall, the game sells its motif adequately enough to be engaging. I will add however, that I don't see the "cute" that Susan sees! To me this is a simulation of a domination of the cosmos! Susan: The little ship "meeples" are totally cute.
|Final frontier-ish. Not cute!|
Mike: BALANCE! That is the beauty of this title it's fantastically tweaked to assure that each time you play there’s gonna be a satisfying battle of wits and luck. Some games can have a fatal loophole that can be exploited to insure a win if you take hold of that loophole. I’ve found no such loophole here.
There is a play mechanic in this title that is fascinating and I think it is my favorite part of the game. Players may “follow” or in effect enable for themselves, an action that another player has taken if they have enough culture points to do so. It’s very effective at putting pressure on players that take the lead quickly to perhaps hold back on an aggressive action that may open the door for another player to take. Of course Susan rarely responds to my intimidation tactics and usually just keeps barreling along anyways like a bunch of Vikings with a battering ram! Still, as you play more and more you’ll find it a very useful tool!
Mike: Ok, I suppose in the grand scheme of things, what I’m about to bitch about is less than consequential, but I gotta rant here…
Once you have colonized a planet, you remove and return the ships to to the owners’ galaxies then slide the planet card underneath the galaxy card so that the special ability is showing. You continue to do this with all subsequent colonized planets to create a chain of special abilities that are then available to you.
Sounds simple right? Try it… IT’S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO!!! I mean, it’s a total s**t-show trying to add a planet to your galaxy without wrecking everything in your galaxy. It drives me absolutely crazy. It’s especially maddening because your galaxy card is used to track virtually all of your progress in the game. Lifting it up inevitably results in markers and ships sliding all over the place! It makes sense for what the game needs, but I just wish it were physically more forgiving. Maybe galaxy cards shouldn't be cards at all but rather a constructed plastic “scoreboard” of sorts that have slotted areas keeping the ships in markers in place and is slightly raised so that cards can fit beneath. I don’t know, I feel like I’m whining, but it does make me a bit wild.
|We used the Teresa Giudice table flip in the last review, sooo...|
Mike: The rules state that you are supposed to announce your score to the table every time it changes, we never do that! Because you can easily get lost in this game trying to achieve your goals, what inevitably happens is Susan reaches the end trigger threshold and announces it before I’ve realized we are even close! This is a rule breach on both of our parts but she uses it to her advantage almost always! Gotta get better at that. She seems all bubbly on the surface while plotting to kill!
|See the schemer here in her natural habitat NOT scheming!|
Mike: YEAH we’ll definitely play again, it’s risen in our rankings of go-to titles when we really wanna get something in but don’t wanna start something new. TEG is in the family for sure!
|...but, you would not BELIEVE how hard this is to do!|
Click play on the video below to learn how to play then immediately go forth and BUY IT!