Review – Eminent Domain

A role selection, space exploration game.

Title: Eminent Domain

Year Published: 2011

Designer: Seth Jaffee

Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games

Players: 2-4

Game Time: 45+ Mins

Set-up Time: >5 Mins

Ages: 10+

Theme: Scif Fi

Mechanic: Role Selection, Deck Building

How to win: Have the most influence points

Game Description

Survey the galaxy to expand your civilization – will you colonize nearby planets, or take them over by force? Harvest resources for trade, and do research to improve your technology. Build the best civilization and win the game!

Set Up

Give each play the following cards.

1 x Politics
1 x Warfare
2 x Colonise
2 x Research
2 x Survey
2 x Produce/Trade

Set out the board and place the remaining cards face up on their designated space. Return unused Politics cards to the box.

Randomly deal a start planet to each player which they place face down in their area. Unused start planets are returned tot he box.

Randomly deal a player aid to each player and return unused player aids to the box. The player who has the “Start Player” aid will start first.

Set the 8 blue influence tokens to one side and leave the 24 black ones near the board.

Place the technology cards in piles of Fertile, Advanced and Metallic.

Each player shuffles their deck and draws 5 cards.

Eminent Domain

After a couple of turns, the player has colonised a few Planets, gained points from the Produce/Trade role and picked up a few ships from Warfare.

Game Play

The game is played over 3 phases.

1 – Action Phase (Optional)

You may play one card form your hand following the text on the “Action” segment of the card.

2 – Role Phase (Mandatory)

You must lead one of the 6 roles (Colonise, Research, Produce, Trade, Survey or Warfare)

Choose a role card form the central display if one is available.
Boost that role with any number of cards from your hand with symbols that match that role.
Resolve the effect adding any Leader bonus.

Then, in clockwise order, other players choose to either dissent or follow.

Dissent – Draw 1 card from their deck
Follow – Play any number of cards from their hand with symbols that match the role selected by the active player, ignoring the Leader bonus.

3 – Clean-up Phase (Mandatory)

Discard any played cards, discard as many cards from your hand as you wish and draw up to 5.

Play continues clockwise.

Game End

When the black influence markers OR a number of roles stacks have been depleted, play continues to the last player so each player has an even number of turns.

Players add up their influence points from all sources, most influence wins.

Round Up

Although it’s a deck building game it doesn’t really feel like one. The Tableau building/Role selection element is stronger.

There are a few paths to victory and for me they are usually determined by my starting planet although it doesn’t have to be that way.

Colonising Planets lets you get points for conquering planets the ‘nice’ way.

Warfare lets you get points for conquering Planets by force.

You can get quite a few points with a Produce/Trade Strategy.

The harder to get Research cards also give you points.

You can also mix and match any or all of these tactics. Adding more Planets now only gives you points but also some Planets give you bonuses such as extra symbols for Role cards and increasing your hand size.


One I like and I hope the expansion makes it even better

I give this 8/10

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