Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fun Card Games: Dominion

A few years ago, I went to an LDS fraternity activity and discovered some of the guys playing a very interesting game.  There were a number of piles of cards on the table named things like 'Copper', 'Gold', 'Province', 'Village', etc.  Each of the players had their own deck that were using to acquire these cards.  Each one was trying to build a better 'Dominion' than the other.

In Dominion, each player is the ruler of a small 'dominion' that consists of a few pieces of land and some coppers.  The goal of the game is to build up the 'dominion' or the deck, and ultimately purchase more valuable pieces of land (like Provinces).  Each bit of land is worth so many victory points at the end of the game.  The player with the most victory points wins the game.  In addition to trying to purchase land, the players can purchase more valuable treasures (silver and gold) to add to their collection.  They can also purchase Action cards that allow them to do different things.  For instance, one action called the Smithy allows a player to draw three more cards when they use it (and potentially draw more money to buy things with).  The Village allows a player to one more card and play two more actions on a turn (normally players can only play one action a turn).

Every game, a different combination of cards is selected to play with, so each game plays out different from the other ones.  In a recent game, we were playing with a card called  Laboratory.  I was purchasing a good number of them and cackling like a mad scientist.  Sadly, I lost that game, but I did enjoy playing it!

Each set of Dominion has a different sort of 'theme' to it.

Base set

The base set is probably one of the simplest.  Most of the cards are straightforward and useful.  When mixed in with expansions, the game gets very interesting.


Intrigue focuses around cards that allow players to make choices as they use them.  It also features cards that act as both action/victory points and treasure/victory points.


In Seaside, many of the cards have an affect on the turn they are played, as well as on the next players turn.


Alchemy is probably one of my favorite sets that I've played with.  Alchemy adds a treasure card called a Potion.  It also focuses around decks that contain a large number of action cards.


The Prosperity set focuses around building decks with a large amount of treasure in them.  To reflect this, they added the Platinum treasure card and a Colony victory point card.  Many of the cards in the set are very expensive.


I recently got this set as a gift.  It focuses around having decks that have a variety of cards (different types of cards) in it.


Cards in the Hinterlands set have effects when the cards are purchased or otherwise obtained.

One of the advantages that Dominion has is the variety of cards that are available.  Each game played is different.  I find that sort of variety to be appealing.  One of the downsides of the game can be the learning curve.  New players have to both learn how to play the game and learn the interaction of all the cards.

Overall, Dominion is an enjoyable game.  If you haven't had a chance to check it out, I would highly recommend giving it a try (or two)!

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