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I don't like Alchemy and never suggest using it in a game, although I will acquiesce if opponent(s) wish to. In my experience, these cards too often add to the playing time and bog the game down.
Not a good set to play without mixing from multiple packs. I was involved in one game with experienced players that lasted more than 90 minutes. Having to spend a turn to get the potion for most of the cards, and then often wanting a second, lead to acquisition of action cards being slow.
Alchemy is a fine expansion. My only knock against it is that it doesn't fit as seamlessly with the rest in that oftentimes you're either playing with potion cards or you aren't. Having a kingdom with one potion card is essentially having a nine-card kingdom. This is not a bad thing. It just means that the Alchemy cards don't get used as often.
Not the best expension for Dominion. Includes some (really) powerful cards, like Golem (play two actions for nothing) and Pocession (as devious as Torturer, people raged a lot more with this one) but you can't really include this when playing with totally random cards. If you want to play with this one you should at least put 3 Alchemy cards in your kingdom, otherwise they would just be ignored.
2010-10-04 - Bought 2010-12-15 - As far as expansions go, I don't really like this one. The potion requirement plus the feeling that I am not really accomplishing anything doesn't help either when playing with the other expansions. 2013-08-28 - Sold (selling Dominion collection)