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Dominion» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Dominion - Great Game Worth The Hype rss

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Gnomish Mustard
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Dominion is steadily becoming a regular selected game around our house. It is the first time I have experienced a so called "deck building" game and I have to say I really enjoy it.

If you are familiar with CCG (collectible card games) like Magic, Warlord, etc this is similar to those in many ways. If you can imagine instead of opening pack after pack of cards in hopes of getting that treasured rare you instead have a selection of cards presented before you from which you have to purchase them using the in game money system. These cards then are played later on in the game and enter your deck of cards. Hence the deck building game idea.

If you haven't played any CCGs, don't worry. The idea is that you use cards to purchase cards from a selection of cards in front of you. Confused? I'll explain.

Initially each player is dealt 10 cards. These consist of 7 "money cards" each worth 1, and 3 victory point cards worth 1 point a piece. You deal yourself 5 of these cards after shuffling. A player can play one action card (labeled action at the bottom of the card), and buy one card from the selection of cards in front of him. After you purchase your card, you place every card in your hand into the discard pile. Then you draw 5 more cards and do the same thing the next time it is your turn. Once you can not draw any cards when you need to draw a card your discard pile is shuffled and becomes your new draw pile.

This means that your money and actions you purchased now are back in the game in the draw pile. Now you get a chance to use the cards you purchased earlier.

For example, at the start of the game, lets say you buy a silver on one turn, then on your next turn you buy a village. Now you have 12 cards in your discard pile. You need to draw up to 5 and have none to draw from. Now you shuffle the discard pile and draw 5. You could feasibly draw the silver and the village you purchased, as well as any of the 10 starting cards mentioned above.

Buying:
Each card has a cost associated with it at the bottom of the card. For example, a silver coin has a cost of 3. You need a combination of what are called treasure cards to purchase cards in the game. So 3 coppers (worth 1 a piece) could buy you your silver on your turn. Let's say you had 15 worth of coins, you only receive one buy, so you have to pick something, then place every card you didn't play into the discard pile. Every turn you will play every card you have in your hand, OR discard it to the discard pile. You will draw five cards at the end of your turn each time. You never retain any cards from the previous hand.


Click the above picture to see some of the cards. In the middle are the treasure cards. These are the cards you need in order to purchase other cards. The light green cards are the victory point cards. Around the treasure and victory cards are the 10 cards available this game.

Action cards
So why purchase action cards? Treasure cards buy more expensive treasure cards, then buy victory cards seems like the way to go, but action cards really add a whole other area to the game. They are what make the game really special.

Remember when I said that you could play one action card, and buy one item? Action cards typically change this rule in some way. Some action cards like a village give you TWO additional actions, and allow you to draw a card. Others, give you additional buys. Others give you additional gold. And yet others manipulate your deck, or your opponent's deck in some manner.

Some other cards like the market, do a lot of things. Giving you an additional buy, card, action, and one more point to spend on cards. Use the picture above to see market and some of the other cards. These cards both stack, and work together to really create chains of action cards and buys.

For example, a person could play a village (+2 actions, +1 card), then another village, then a market (+1 Action, Buy, card and +1 to spend). This person has two buys now, and could purchase two cards from the listed selection as long as he has enough treasure to do so.

The game ends when the last Province (worth 6 points) is purchased, or the last card is purchased from a third stack of actions (usually the first part happens before this).

What really keeps this game fresh is that there are 24 different action cards with the base game, but you only play with 10 each game. So no two games are the same. The cards are randomly determined at the start of the game. This makes for some really interesting games.

Stats:
Price 44.99 (Cool stuff inc has it for $27.99 right now)
Players 2-5, ages 8 and up.
Time 20 - 60 mins (more when first learning the game)
Components - 550 sturdy cards, pretty solid tray for dividing up the cards
Value - If you end up not liking this game, you will feel the $45 for 550 cards is a rip off. However if you like it, the price will feel just about right. Also please note that a booster box of Magic cards containing 540 cards would be around 100 bucks at the cheapest place you could find, so $45 for 550 full color cards is a pretty good deal.

Review:
Excellent game. We have played it over and over and had great close games almost every time. We can finish a game within 20 - 30 minutes with just the two of us and put it away quickly. It is very easy to setup and break down. We have played one game with three people and it was a blast as well. I think the game is worthy of it's high ranking on Board Game Geek.

Components - 8.5 (Would have liked to see thicker cards since shuffling is so constant in the game)
Price - 9
Re-playability - 10
Flexibility - 10

Final Score 9.3

This a great game for the entire family. Simple to learn to play, easy to setup, excellent rule book, not too much time between turns, and a great re-playability make this a wonderful game.
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Ryan Metzler
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Gnomish Mustard wrote:

The game ends when the last Province (worth 6 points) is purchased, or the last card is purchased from a third stack of actions (usually the first part happens before this).


Just a quick note that seems to be a common rules mistake. The game ends when ANY three kingdom card piles are exhausted, not just the action piles. If somehow you run out of coppers, silvers, or golds that counts as a pile. If all of the duchys get bought, thats a pile. If all the curses run out...thats a pile. Not just action cards.

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Gnomish Mustard
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slaqr wrote:
Gnomish Mustard wrote:

The game ends when the last Province (worth 6 points) is purchased, or the last card is purchased from a third stack of actions (usually the first part happens before this).


Just a quick note that seems to be a common rules mistake. The game ends when ANY three kingdom card piles are exhausted, not just the action piles. If somehow you run out of coppers, silvers, or golds that counts as a pile. If all of the duchys get bought, thats a pile. If all the curses run out...thats a pile. Not just action cards.



Ah, that is interesting and good to know. So that would include Gardens then, correct?
 
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Ryan Metzler
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It includes ANY card stack that isn't the provinces...
 
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Jeff Wolfe
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slaqr wrote:
It includes ANY card stack that isn't the provinces...

Well, not the trash. And not the black market deck (the stack of Black Market cards counts, of course, just not the deck you build for it).

But yes, any three supply piles. That includes all the basic cards and all the Kingdom cards, regardless of type (Action, Treasure, Victory, etc.)
 
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Ryan Metzler
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jeffwolfe wrote:
slaqr wrote:
It includes ANY card stack that isn't the provinces...

Well, not the trash. And not the black market deck (the stack of Black Market cards counts, of course, just not the deck you build for it).

But yes, any three supply piles. That includes all the basic cards and all the Kingdom cards, regardless of type (Action, Treasure, Victory, etc.)


Lol, yes I didn't clarify the trash and the black market deck, but the rules do specifically say "Kingdom Card Stack", so I figured the trash and black market deck would be obvious exclusions.
 
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Gnomish Mustard
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And, another question.

In my games, very limited at this time, it seems that with more than 2 players the three stacks are the first to go. With 2 players, provinces are the first.

It looks like as you add players it is far more likely stacks will cause the end of the game as opposed to the provinces. Further, it seems the game ends quicker with more people because the "good" cards are now divided amongst 4 players since the quantity doesn't change.

I thought about modifying the rule to have an increase in the stack rule of one per additional player over 2. So 4 players would need 5 stacks removed before the game ended.

I just wanted to make sure I have the original rule correct, and get your opinion on this house rule.

Thanks!
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Some stacks are larger depending on the number of players. I've never found a reason to make up house rules for more players.
 
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Tyler Durden
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Quote:
Ah, that is interesting and good to know. So that would include Gardens then, correct?


and even the curses
 
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Craig Liken
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Gnomish Mustard wrote:
And, another question.

In my games, very limited at this time, it seems that with more than 2 players the three stacks are the first to go. With 2 players, provinces are the first.


I think as players become more experienced at the game you will see the province ending condition more frequently with more than 2 players. After all in a 4-player game there are only 3 provinces each.

 
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Erik Henry
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The Dominion Intrigue rules raise the end-game conditions to 4 supply piles running out when there are five or six players (or the Provinces running out, which are 15 for five or 18 for six players). So it seems like your house rule may increase the number of stacks at too rapid of a rate. Even with four players we still end the game via Provinces running out more than 80% of the time. But it depends what Kingdom cards are available....
 
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Todd McCorkle
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Gnomish Mustard wrote:
In my games, very limited at this time, ...

I'd suggest fixing this before you irrevocably break anything with a house rule.

ie, play the game more before trying to 'fix' it. 9 times out of 10, problems disappear with more experience.
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Gnomish Mustard
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kusinohki wrote:

I'd suggest fixing this before you irrevocably break anything with a house rule.
ie, play the game more before trying to 'fix' it. 9 times out of 10, problems disappear with more experience.


Well if you insist...
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