I played Domaine 2 player with Saarya, my son. My previous play of this was four player with the game group. This didn't work out so well, with the group members complaining that players had little to do on other player's turns (this is a big thing with them) and was basically dull. I disagreed, and was eager to play again.
Two player worked pretty well, although we had to restart once when I forgot about the "special rule for two players: put a third color down." I think there should have been a few more special rules for two players, as we each got to maximum income within a few turns and had little in the way of money issues from then on. Either we should have played on a smaller board or we should have to control two mines to receive the income, or something.
Also, Saarya quickly built a killer Domaine with 5 knights. I don't know if that was how it was supposed to work, but it took an incredible amount of effort and time on my part to whittle his dominance down. Lastly, there was no special rule about money at the end of the game for two players, which seemed strange.
I barely came within 5 points of him during the game, and he ended with a comfortable 36 to 21 victory.
On the plus side, the hand management and decision making was balanced, with several different options to choose from at any time, each with their benefits and costs.
A good game. Not as good as Settlers, but still good. I hope I can convince others to play again.
I know that no one else agrees with this, but I would rather have an $18 game with less fancy bits than a $40 game with lovely but essentially useless plastic figurines. Maybe game manufacturers could make two versions: the fancy bit version and the plain bit version. Wooden disks representing the knights and castles would have been fine with me.