16 December 2015
The first deck building game keeps you coming back for more
Rio Grande Games | Deck building | £34.99 | 2-4 players | 30 minutes | www.riograndegames.com
Dominion, designed by Donald X. Vaccarino and winner of the 2009 Spiel des Jahres award, has been heralded as the first ‘deck-building’ card game. What could be simpler? You have a hand of five cards, you can play one action and can buy one of the cards in front of you (either treasure, action, or victory cards). The action cards can give you more cards, more actions, more money or let you interact with the other players or break the rules in some other way.
Once you’ve exhausted your deck, you shuffle all your cards together – including the ones you’ve just bought - and start again. The skill lies in knowing when to buy the victory cards, which will clog up your hand but bring you all-important victory points at the end of the game.
Dominion has a (very) loose medieval theme but it’s the simple and addictive game mechanics that will keep bringing the box back to the table. Each game uses just 10 of the 25 different Kingdom card types, meaning every game will offer a different combination of cards, bringing new opportunities and requiring new strategies. As most games take less than half an hour to play, it’s tempting to keep on playing to try yet another combination.
As might be expected, numerous expansions have been released for Dominion, each with its own loose theme and a selection of new mechanics. Most importantly, they bring the card pool to well over 100, meaning you’ll never play the same game twice. While countless games have since co-opted this deck-building motif and have added extra theme and mechanics (Thunderstone and Trains being two examples at the opposite ends of this spectrum), Dominion is the daddy of them all and the one I keep coming back to. (Andrew Wormald)
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Finish the game off with a quality, lightweight insert from
Officially licensed insert compatible with Dominion®, with space for 1,100 sleeved or 1,850 unsleeved cards.
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