Dominon v Shadowrun:crossfire?

I know that Quin’s loves Dominion, but how does it compare to Shadowrun:crossfire?

When I look at deckbuilders the crossfire series, particularly the first one gets huge amounts of love and respect, and I would be interested as to which one people think is better.

Shadowrun has a very cool theme, but Dominion seems more like the grandaddy of the genre.

I greatly prefer Dominion with expansions, but they are very different games and appeal to different people. I would never directly compare a competitive game with a cooperative one.

I usually describe Dominion as “The first Deck Builder ever made, and also the worst.” The customers will usually chuckle, and I’ll explain that “worst” doesn’t mean “bad”, but the “worst” part is because it was the first, and (almost) every deck builder that comes afterwards improves on the formula in some really interesting ways.

Co-op (Harry Potter Battle for Hogwarts, Aeon’s End, etc…), Race (Clank!, El Dorado, etc…), tableau (Empires of the North, Seasons), faster (Star Realms, Hero Realms), bigger (Arctic Scavengers, Clank! Legacy), area control wargame (Tyrants of the Underdark), deck that never grows (Mystic Vale)… all of them take what Dominion does and improves on it in really interesting ways.

Which isn’t to say everyone will like all of them, but it is to say that almost every Deck Builder kinda scratches the same itch, and it’s hard for me to recommend the simplest one unless you have played very few games and any complexity whatsoever scares you.

All that stated, I have played SR:C a long time ago, and I remember having a good time with it but some of the mechanics were a little fiddly. I think they ironed them out for the Dragonfire game they made with the same rules, but again, I only played it once years ago. I remember having fun, though, so it’s probably a safe recommendation, especially if the theme/setting appeals to you!

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I know, I know, there’s no future in a Dominion argument, but I really think you are doing your customers a disservice.

It is perfectly reasonable to say that all those games you mentioned? They just make deckbuilding worse in various ways. I’ve played a lot of them, and that is the conclusion I arrived at.

Of course, addressing the original question, if you want a cooperative game, you don’t want Dominion. But if you want a competitive deckbuilder, Dominion is still arguably the best deckbuilder out there, and to categorically state otherwise is misleading. Races, random markets, bells & whistles… they all arguably distract and detract from the core system, adding new axes of randomness and new bottlenecks and just more unnecessary chrome.

The counter-argument, that you don’t want to assess a fixed market and engage in a direct battle with your opponents over who can do the best with it, is also perfectly valid. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But Dominion remains a viable contender even after all the others that came after it - nothing else competes to provide a better-but-equivalent experience.