Publisher: Japanime Games
We reviewed the first Domina Anthology back when it was released in 2020. The three games, Miraris, Argoat, and Pralaya varied in quality, but it’s a solid set of small box games that make great fillers during a board game night. In 2022 Domina Anthology 2 was released, bringing 3 more games to the collection. Latria, Margot, and Night Clan once again give players short experiences. They don’t quite reach the highs of their predecessors, but these are still enjoyable games.
Of the three games, Latria is the most frustrating because the premise is interesting, but the game doesn’t feel complete. In Latria a deck of 60 cards is split among 3-5 players. These players will each start with 10 of the cards and will play them at the same time. Each card has an assigned number and the player with the highest number takes all of the cards. Players will want to pace when they play their high and low-value cards to maximize their gains and minimize their losses. When all of the cards are played, the player with the highest score wins.
Latria essentially comes down to a logical evolution of the 52-card game, War. It has a little more depth since players get to choose when they play their cards, but it’s still not enough to make this experience compelling. Some variation in the cards or even player powers would go a long way. As it stands, Latria feels hollow. Without its dreamy art, this game wouldn’t have much value at the table at all. As it stands, it’s a fine game that looks nice.
Margot holds up a little better than Latria, and actually stands out from the collection as a whole since it’s the longest game of the three. It’s a pseudo dungeon crawler in the form of a short card game that can be played in 20-60 minutes. Players set out to rescue fairies and navigate a dungeon. Rescuing fairies gives abilities and victory points, and players will need to manage their powers and push their luck to get the highest score and win.
Margot is quite thematic and like the rest of the Domina games, it looks nice. The dungeon crawling holds up but overall the game doesn’t feel fully realized. It’s not crunchy, but it takes time and a good amount of thought to succeed in Margot. Unfortunately, when players finish, it doesn’t feel as fulfilling as it should. It simply ends, leaving players with a “That’s It?” kind of feeling.
The strongest game in Domina Anthology 2 is easily Night Clan. This 2-4 player area control game presents players with a unique and intriguing theme, combining it with clever deception mechanisms that add depth to the gameplay.
In Night Clan, players assume the roles of dukes who have stumbled upon a disturbing revelation: a troll is planning to kidnap their daughters and steal their riches under the cover of darkness. The game revolves around strategically placing cards in various areas, each serving a different purpose and contributing to victory points.
Daughters, when played face up, reward their owners with 1 victory point each if they manage to avoid elimination. Riches, played face down, grant 2 victory points each if they remain untouched. On the other hand, trolls, played face down, have the potential to eliminate all cards at their location unless countered by a Mistletoe. Successfully countering a troll with a Mistletoe not only eliminates the threat but also awards 1 victory point. Additionally, Nightwatchmen cards, played face-up, allow players to move cards between different locations.
One of the strengths of Night Clanis its solid pacing and high level of interactivity. The game manages to scale well at all player counts, with 3 players appearing to be the sweet spot. While the game is enjoyable with 2 players, it may lack a certain competitive element that adds to the depth of the experience. On the other hand, with 4 players, the unpredictable nature of the game can lead to chaotic and fun moments, but it becomes more challenging to keep track of all players and compete at a higher level.