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- Tactical card game for 2-4 Players
- Takes about 30 minutes to play
- Lots of expansions available to add depth and complexity
- Quick to learn, many ways to win
- High Quality with Proprietary design
- Tactical card game for 2-4 Players
- Takes about 30 minutes to play
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
From the Manufacturer
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. In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner. But wait. It must be something in the air, several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way. To do this you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. Your parents wouldn’t be proud, but your grandparents, would be delighted.
Top Customer Reviews
1. 25 groups of action cards, victory cards, and money cards, in total over 250 cards.
2. Card storage and organizer box designed specifically for organizing the game components.
3. The Rules.
A game starts with each player holding an identical 10 card deck. As the game begins a group of 10 special action cards are selected from the 25 categories in the box. The rules outline specific selections for scenario play or you can design your own lay out. There is no banker or moderator; all players start entirely equal with access to the exact same cards.
During each player's turn they may take actions and purchase new cards from the communal decks. Each player has to balance the need to buy new cards and money with the purchase of victory points (which remain in the player's deck but don't help them until points are totaled.) The decision of when to stop building one's deck and start buying victory points is one of the most critical choices the player will make. Too early, and you'll find yourself bogged down with a deck full of moderate victory cards while other players' resources have increased to the point where they blow by you. If you wait too long, all of the good cards will have been bought out and you won't have anything to spend your resources on.
I have to be honest, when I first heard about Dominion I didn't understand why my wife and several of our friends were so worked up over the thing. It sounded terribly dry, particularly to a person like myself who has played collectable card games like magic the gathering for many years. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.
Dominion has something for everyone, from the collectable card game nut, to the poker player, to the family looking for an alternative to trivial pursuit. Since everyone starts out with access to the same selection of cards and the same resources for advancement, everyone has an equal chance of victory. Because there are 10 different categories of action cards with each category having at least 10 cards in its pile, there is plenty of room for strategy as the game progresses and certain resources are bought up to the point of extinction.
The game is set up in such a way so that you can play cut throat games with lots of player-vs.-player actions or less interactive games where the victory is determined by who fields the most effective resource acquisition strategy. Those familiar with CCG drafting will feel right at home in this environment, while those with no card based gaming experience won't be at a disadvantage.
My only criticism of dominion (as has been said on several other forums) is that while the game is entirely self contained, I can easily see the cards (which are essential in exactly the numbers provided) wearing out or being lost. Because there are so many of them I recommend using card sleeves (available at most hobby stores from companies like rook and ultra pro.)
I started out one night thoroughly expecting to dislike this game and found myself 3 hours later wondering where the evening had gone. Dominion is completely addictive and doesn't loose its fun factor after the player has played multiple scenarios in one sitting.
Simply put, this is the best interactive casual game I've played in 32 years.
It's four years later and I still endorse this game without reservation. The basic set is still just as fun as when I played for the first time, while the addition of other optional sets have magnified the enjoyment.
This game was getting a lot of publicity on BoardGameGeek and everyone was raving about it so I decided that I should buy it to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.
The whole point of the game is to build your deck of cards and build up a collection of victory points. The reason this game shines is because it is a quick game that only takes about 30-40 minutes to play. It is also very fun because as you are building your deck of cards you aren't usually getting rid of the cards. If you spend some gold to buy a card that gold goes back into your discard pile and will eventually be shuffled for you to use again in another turn.
There are over 500 cards in this game with around 25 different action cards available so you can vary the game a lot depending on what cards are currently on the table. The only downside is that someone that has played the game a lot and knows a base strategy can usually beat a new player easily.
Overall this game is very addicting and short, which is a good thing. You can play multiple rounds of this game in an evening as opposed to one game of another typical Euro.
While there are a lot of cards you can use to make up the ones you can buy to make your deck, they end up being pretty similar and there will be some you use all the time and some you'll never want to use for personal tastes. There will quickly emerge strategies that if you just work to build up your money cards and skip the majority of action cards you'll win >75% of the time. This cuts down on the fun since if everyone takes this route there isn't much to the game, and if you are the only one to do this, you'll find yourself bored as people try to chain actions after more actions to find they still don't have enough money in hand to buy the top victory point cards. This is the crux of why my love for the game has faded.
I time and again find myself bored as the other players take their turn. Since there only a handful of cards that cause you to interact with other players, you essentially all play 3 or 4 solitaire games at the same table. I don't find this interesting and would rather play strategy games, even light ones, that have some level of interaction, even if it just watching where the other player moves.
I have even tried to renew my interest by trying the expansions that have followed almost every 6 or so months after the release of Dominion in 2008. Some expansions offer more to the game (Seaside is probably one of the best, avoid Alchemy) it still comes down to being bored while everyone plays their own solitaire game until the end when you tally your points.
I rated this game a 3/5 and not lower because there will be some, even many, who will not hold the same boredom with this game and will love it. This game is a great light game that plays quickly, teaches quickly, and offers a lot to casual players. For people who play a lot of board games, particularly deeper strategy or Euro games, or even like the Axis & Allies or even Risk type of player interaction, this game may wear thin faster than for others.
Even though I rated it a 3, I would recommend this as a great game for families and casual gamers. I'd also recommend Ticket to Ride (any of them, but Marklin and Europe are probably the best, USA being the first and simplest), Carcassonne, and Settlers of Catan. These games are quick to learn, easy to play, and offer a good casual experience. For people looking for a little more depth and replayability, I'd recommend Pandemic (terrific cooperative game), Stone Age, Ra, Small World (one of my favorites), and Dixit (one of the best party games out there, the artwork is hands down the best). The rabbit hole of complexity and length goes as far as you are willing, but it is up to you to determine your needs of a game. Dominion is a great start, but if you've been playing other games it may be too thin to offer something for you.