"You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion!" Dominion
is an award winning game that combines the staples of Eurogaming with the addictive nature of collectable card games.
The game puts you in the position of a young lord, who is dedicated to growing his kingdom by making clever strategic desicions. With 6 expansions in addition to the base set of cards, a seventh, which breaks many rules of the game that fans had thought unbreakable, is set to be released at GenCon 2012 in just a few days. Now might be the best time to get in to widely loved game with nearly endless permutations of basic rules and strategy...
(.pdf warning) are fairly straightforward: your kingdom is represented by your deck of cards. This deck starts out relatively weak, and grows in power as you purchase cards for it each turn. Cards come in a few basic varieties. Victory Cards are how you win the game, with their tally representing your score at the end of a game, however they are otherwise dead weight in your hand. Treasure cards give you the funds to purchase other cards. Actions are cards that do something apart from giving points or providing money - often allowing you to draw extra cards, or perhaps attacking an opponent by forcing them to discard cards in their hand, or forcing them to pick up curse cards, which are also dead weight, but have the added penalty of subtracting victory points at the end of a game.
Each turn starts with a player drawing a hand of five cards from their deck. There are then three phases that they go through on each turn. They may start by playing any actions in their hand, they may then play any treasure in their deck to buy a single card from the board of cards available, they then discard any cards remaining in their hand or that they have played this turn and draw a new five card hand from their deck. If the player's deck is depleted, then they reshuffle their discard pile to become their new deck. Play continues until any three piles of cards are depleted, or the most valuable victory cards (called Provinces) are depleted. Players then count up their total victory points, and the player with the greatest total is the winner.
If that has you scratching your head, then there are video tutorials
What may seem like a simple game at first becomes more complicated as each board of cards is drawn randomly
from the total number of cards available in a player's set, leading to a nearly endless number of games that can take place. Each expansion
to the base game is themed differently...
- The Base Game. Card List.
- Intrigue, where cards focus on offering players multiple choices, and introducing more complicated victory cards that also have other effects. Card List.
- Seaside, where cards have effects that persist to the player's next turn. Card List.
- Alchemy, which introduces a new type of resource called the potion, and which focuses on action cards. Card List.
- Prosperity, which introduces more expensive treasures and more valuable victory cards, and focuses on generating lots and lots of money. Card List.
- Cornucopia, which tries to introduce more variety in to player decks. Card List.
- Hinterlands, which focuses on cards that give effects when gained. Card List.
The upcoming expansion, Dark Ages
, focuses on the creative destruction of cards in your deck. Previews have been released over the past week or so and are available at: Day 1
, Day 2
, Day 3
, Day 4
, Day 5
Although Rio Grande has tolerated unliscensed online versions of the game in the past, the unliscensed iPad app has recently been pulled (with an official one due out this week). The free, unofficial online home of dominion, Isotropic
will be sticking around for at least a few more days, with an official version eventually launching at GoKo
. This game will be free to play for the base game, with a (yet unknown) price being assigned to subsequent expansions.
If you want to brush up on your game, it may be worth heading over to Dominion Strategy
, which has a dedicated community of theorists. Articles examine, the complexity found in even the beginner's board
, best card lists
, and the economics of various strategies
. Dominion Deck
will allow you to browse cards at your leisure, and put together hypothetical games from all currently released cards.
Various members of the community also have Dominion-type-stuff online, like videos of online games
, a beginner's guide to strategy
, and a glossary
of common terms.
And if you're fuming after your opponent King's Courts a Witch, then there are always Dominion Comix
to help you relax.