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on January 7, 2009
Dominion is a deceptively simple game which encompasses endless variation. The basic game contains the following major components:

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.

Game Play:
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.
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on July 18, 2016
If you are into any sort of card or board games at all (and even if you are not), this is a game to add to the collection! This game is simply addicting! I first found out about this game by going to a friend's house and just had to have a set of my own. With all of the expansions this game has, there is no end to the replay value of this game. This game is the BASIC set and only comes with the basic 25 kingdom cards and the other required cards (treasure cards and victory cards). This set alone is a great way to get introduced to the game and there are no difficult mechanics to learn with this set. This game is a deck building game. This means that each player (2-4 for just this set) starts with the same 10 cards and buys cards to build their deck. Each player then uses their deck to purchase victory cards that give them victory points. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins. This game has a small learning curve, but once players understand how to play, the confusion will only come from some cards in expansions. Dominion makes it easy to understand the cards as you just follow their instructions from top to bottom when the card is played. If there is any confusion on a card, the instruction manuals explain very well how each card functions. This base set is a great starting point for those wanting to get into the game and the possibilities are endless when expansions are purchased. I would recommend this to anyone willing to learn a game and warn those of you that do: you will purchase all of the expansions before long. If you found this review helpful, please let Amazon know by clicking the "yes" button below.
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I really enjoy playing this with my wife. Deck building is a fun mechanic and this game has lots of interesting cards. Lots of different combinations. Only a few cards do bad things to your opponent. The rest build you up. My wife doesn't like when I play attack cards, so we prefer to play with economic cards and race to victory instead of fighting with each other. This game allows for a lot of that. If I could change one think I would make it just a little shorter and a little less setup. It's not super long or complicated, though.

Comes with lots of cards and it's all pretty high quality stuff.

Note that this is the original. These guys just came out with a replacement that removes 6 cards and adds 7. If it's a similar price or close it would make sense to get the newer version.
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on April 14, 2014
I will divert from the mechanics of the game and deliver on the game and how it relates to me.

There are many other great reviews that explain how to play the game in great detail and I suggest that you continue reading those other reviews for that reason. However, this review is to explain how this game relates to my family and my friends.

I have 3 daughters between the ages of 6 and 10, they are advanced academically, however, they all love this game. I know the game reads like it'd be too advanced for my youngest 6 and 8 year olds. However, my 8 year old won the first 3 games we've played, beating everyone else, no handicap or reduced play on my part!

My 6 year old feels this is her favorite game of all time, on the honest side, she only lasts about 3/4 of the game and then begins to lose focus on the game. If we could reduce the amount of options (reduce game play time) it may increase her ability to stay in the game. Typically she starts off strong and then towards the end we're having to coach her and/or make decisions for her. This is not a fault of the game, or the length of the game, but rather due to the fact that my daughter is only 6 years old and she is of the mindset that she must live life to the fullest. The game typically takes 1.5-2 hours with my young children due to the fact that we try to teach them the strategy and rationale for making their decisions, but when playing with my buddies typically takes about 45 minutes at the most. Eventually, I truly believe my 6 year old will be able to play a game from start to finish w/out any assistance.

This game is an amazing game, it's baffling that a bunch of cards could lend to so much replay-ability and so much fun. It gives us an excuse to all gather around the same patch of floor or table and work together towards a common goal - building the best kingdom!

The possibilities are endless with this game. We've played multiple games and each time you're still left with other options to build around. This is one of the only games that I can sit and play with my 6 year old and have as much fun as I do playing with my 30-50 something old friends. I promise this lends credence to the game, it is not indicative to the banality of my friends.

My core group of friends tend to gravitate toward video gaming. We meet at least once a month for a game day in which we typically do nothing but drink and play video games. I have tried for the last 8 years to get them to play more than video games, with board games, 'scene-it' type games, card games, and everything in between...but nothing has ever worked as well as video games. This game was the first time that i've ever been able to get them to come back to a game, ever.

Dominion is great family fun and great 'Man Fun' too! Definitely worth the buy.
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Dominion is a game that I still enjoy and still look forward to every opportunity to play even after 50+ plays. Other deck builders have attracted my attention, but none has the legs that Dominion has. (Even Star Realms, a game I gave a strong recommendation to, has fallen off the map for me.) Even if I like other deck builders, I still acknowledge that Dominion is one of the best.

It’s fashionable these days to be “over” Dominion. Been there, done that, bought the expansions. But Dominion is truly a powerhouse game, one that casts a long shadow and still outshines the competition. And the latest expansions, rather than a cash grab or crawling across the finish line, are truly worthy of the game that has preceded them. Dominion deserves the awards it has won, and it deserves its place in my and most other game collections.
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on August 9, 2016
First off I want to discredit any review saying this game comes with blank cards because of poor quality control. The game does come with a few blank cards. My guess is as good as yours but it's perfectly normal. Don't sweat it. I held onto mine so I can make replacement cards if one goes missing or gets damaged. Second of all you will find that each card has one copy with a blue border back, don't mix these with the rest. The kingdom cards with blue backs are used as a method of random decks to be used in game play as well as place holders and the victory cards and coin cards with blue backs are used as place holders.

Let me say simply that Dominion is an awesome game. Plain and simple. The game at it's core is very simple and easy to get into. My girlfriend and I learned to play in about twenty minutes and played our first game in a little under an hour, this was due to us getting used to the mechanics and how all of the different cards worked. After the first game though we averaged about a half hour (the approximate time given by the manufacturer) for our next couple games and our turns became a lot more fluid and the game only became more fun.

The replay value of this game is very high. Not only does the game come with tons of card, there are 500 in the base game with lots of expansion available. If 500 cards sounds intimidating don't sweat, you won't be using all of them during any given game. The game set up only requires about half. The remaining cards are used for different set ups.

If you're looking for a well balanced game that has a lot of replay value, is easy to learn and has a lot of room for growth with expansions as well as strategy development then this game is for you. This game with suit casual and experienced gamers alike.
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on August 26, 2015
Coming from Magic The Gathering (MtG), I was looking for game that 3-4 (family) can play together. This looks "promising". This is my first review, after two games.
The rules is simple to learn and remember for my nine year old, my six year old after 2 games still need reminder. A sheet outlining the steps, included in package would have been a plus - instead, I printed my own.
The box is great looking. Probably the game box I've bought. Unfortunately, not as much thought put into "content".
Family spent first 15-20 minutes putting cards into sleeves - YAY!
Box came with some kind of molder plastic "divider" to hold cards in some wacky order, or lack of. Of course, dividers not set for card sleeves. I tossed divider and made my own out of cardboard - ugly looking, but does the job. Would have liked to get some "Dominion dividers" - am sure cheaper to make cardboard dividers than the molded plastic ones.
The cards (~500 I think) are visually "simple" - compared to MtG, they are downright primitive.
For price charged, RG Games can certainly improve on this product.

EASE to LEARN: 4/5
VALUE: 4/5
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on May 27, 2014
My wife and I are always looking for different games to play. We love playing board games, both competitive and cooperative styles. I came across Dominion, but I wasn't sure if it would be fun for us. After reading all of the positive reviews for Dominion, we finally decided to give it a try.

Upon opening the box, all of the cards have slots to place them in alphabetical order, with a cardboard tile that sits in the middle showing what cards are where. The organization of this game is excellent.

Instructions were good to get us started. They even provide an example of the first couple rounds of play in a two-person game, which helped us understand how to play Dominion. There are descriptions of all of the cards included, and they recommend certain sets of cards for your first play, as well as for various styles of gameplay. Otherwise, the randomizer cards certainly offer some interesting combinations of cards when you want to mix things up.

Gameplay is very easy, once you learn Dominion. But it all comes down to strategy. What cards do you buy? How do you combine them? Do you buy actions, more money, or points? With each game, the strategy varies with the different action cards you play with. And Dominion certainly provides quite a few action cards so the games are never the same. Strategies also can change when more players are involved, especially once someone starts taking advantage of the "Action - Attack" cards in the set to attack the other players at the table.

Dominion is a great game that doesn't take long to play. (It takes us maybe 30 minutes or so to play.) Now we're looking at the expansions to see how they can enhance an already-great game. We highly recommend Dominion, not just for experienced gamers, but also for introducing new players into the world of euro-style games. If you know the game already, it should be fairly simple to teach others how to play, even if they don't really play games much.
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on January 26, 2016
Great game. It seems complex at first but once you get the hang of it and get to know the cards, it can be an easy 30 minute game which is fun because you can play multiple times in one sitting. It is not for everyone. If you like strategy games like Munchkin, Pandemic, or even the more familiar game.. Risk, then this may be good for you. If you are more into only party games like Cards Against Humanity (which I also enjoy), then you may not like the complexity. After playing the game a lot, you may become bored of the cards because you kind of end up having a mental routine of what cards you like to play and in what order, which is why they have so many expansions out there. You just give and take cards from various expansions including this main game and you will have a whole new game every time. I've tried a few cards from the Adventures expansion and had fun. I would recommend checking out a youtube video where someone gives a quick rundown on how to play if you find the instructions confusing. It really isn't as complicated as it seems when you read how to play. Below is a very basic description of play...

A very simplified game summary: Each player starts out with a deck of 10 cards (7 "copper" money, and 3 "estates"). The object of the game is whoever has the most victory type points in the end wins. Each turn, the player has 5 cards from the deck in their hand and they can use the cards to do "actions" like some allow you to pick up another card, play another action (or both), and even "attack" others. Then you can buy cards... you end up building up your deck with more actions, more money, and eventually more "estates, duchies, provinces" (the victory point cards).

It really is a lot of fun and addictive! We rarely play just one game because it always feels like it flew by.
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on December 3, 2015
This is such a fantastic game. If you're not an experienced gamer, it may take some reading, practice, and patience to understand the order of play (or teach others). Once you've learned the mechanics though, the games move quickly. Because you never play with all the cards, there are lots of ways to switch things around, especially if you add in expansion packs. Switching cards forces you to come up with a new strategy each time, keeping the game challenging and fresh even if you play a lot.
For us, the biggest plus for this game is that it's fun with only 2 people. It's perfect for a couple. A lot of games say 2 people, but aren't challenging or feel kind of sad played with just 2 people. This one actually works well. It's also a great game to play with 4 because it moves quickly. It's nice to play a game with a group that is challenging and strategy-oriented but doesn't feel like a massive time commitment.
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