Dominion Games

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Winner of the 2009 Spiel des Jahres prize, Dominion is one of the most highly-decorated games ever, and with good reason. Dominion is a deck-building game, in which each player has access to the same array of Action, Coin, and Treasure cards during the game. This usually means that the player who plays better will do better; skill trumps luck.

The mechanics of the game are simple to learn. The basic play can be divided into three phases: the Action phase, in which a player plays an Action card from his hand (some Action cards generate addition actions, so that a chain of cards may be played during this phase); the Buy phase, in which players can play Treasure cards to generate coins and purchase additional Action cards; and the Clean-up phase, in which the player gathers up all played cards plus the cards from his hand and places them in the discard portion of his deck. Five new cards are drawn from his deck to get ready for the next round.

Games are fast — a two-player game usually takes no longer than 30 minutes. There are two base games available: Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue, which has slightly more-evil cards that can be used to damage one’s opponent. Any of the expansion sets can be used with either of the base games, and in fact Intrigue can itself be used as an expansion (but in addition to its different Action cards it does contain all the Treasure and Victory cards necessary for the game). Dominion, in any form, is an absolutely terrific two-player or three-player game — it can be played with four, but I personally don’t recommend it (better to divide into two pairs, it’s faster that way and you can actually play round-robin tournament-style).

Dominion was designed by Donald X. Vaccarino, who also brought us Kingdom Builder, Spiel des Jahres winner in 2012. 


© Karin Belanger 2016