Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
14 Posts

Dominion» Forums » General

Subject: Introducing Dominion to new players - good pre-made card setups? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ryan Finley
United States
Mukwonago
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I've borrowed a friends Dominion set with the intention of introducing it to a few other friends who don't have a lot of board game experience as of yet. The set I have has all but the most recent expansion, but I want to try to keep it simple at first. It's just all the cards in baseball card boxes, so I don't have the original documentation. I seem to remember there were some suggested "first play" sets of cards to use. What 10 cards would you use for first time players?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
brian
United States
Cedar Lake
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
The rules are on Rio Grande's website. the "first play" is pretty vanilla. Only use it for introduction games. Switch out for some more interesting combos as soon as you can or you might risk losing them that way as well.

From Dominion:

First Game: Cellar, Market, Militia, Mine, Moat, Remodel,
Smithy, Village, Woodcutter, Workshop.

Big Money: Adventurer, Bureaucrat, Chancellor, Chapel, Feast,
Laboratory, Market, Mine, Moneylender, Throne Room

Interaction: Bureaucrat, Chancellor, Council Room, Festival,
Library, Militia, Moat, Spy, Thief, Village

Size Distortion: Cellar, Chapel, Feast, Gardens, Laboratory,
Thief, Village, Witch, Woodcutter, Workshop

Village Square: Bureaucrat, Cellar, Festival, Library, Market,
Remodel, Smithy, Throne Room, Village, Woodcutter
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberta Yang
msg tools
The official first game looks something like:

2: Cellar
2: Moat
3: Village
3: Woodcutter
3: Workshop
4: Militia
4: Remodel
4: Smithy
5: Market
5: Mine

If you don't want to stick to such a rigid set of cards, here's the rules I'd recommend using to build a new first game set:

Do not include: Chapel, Gardens, Witch, or Thief. These cards are much too complicated and change the game too much to be used in a first game.

Do include:
A card that gives +2 Actions;
a card that gives at least +1 Card +1 Action;
a card that trashes cards;
a card that gains cards outside of the Buy phase;
a card that gives virtual treasure;
a card that gives +1 Buy;
a card that gives at least +2 cards;
an Attack;
at least one card costing $2;
and at least two cards each costing each of $3, $4, and $5.

A single card can satisfy several of these categories, and you can have several cards satisfying the same category, but you should have at least one card from each of these categories (or two for the last one) to give people a good taste of Dominion as a whole.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefano Crespi
Italy
Bologna
Italy
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I do not have the game here, but looking at this image I could say:

Cellar
Militia
Village
Market
Library
Moat
Woodcutter
Workshop
Mine
Smithy

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brook Gentlestream
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
salty53 wrote:
Do not include: Chapel, Gardens, Witch, or Thief. These cards are much too complicated and change the game too much to be used in a first game.


Witch? Really? Everyone loves the witch! I usually start with First Game but substitute Cellar for Witch.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Zendo fan, Columbus Blue Jackets fan, Dominion Fan.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lordrahvin wrote:
salty53 wrote:
Do not include: Chapel, Gardens, Witch, or Thief. These cards are much too complicated and change the game too much to be used in a first game.


Witch? Really? Everyone loves the witch! I usually start with First Game but substitute Cellar for Witch.

In my experience, many people hate the Witch.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
lizard
Netherlands
Utrecht
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jeffwolfe wrote:
lordrahvin wrote:
salty53 wrote:
Do not include: Chapel, Gardens, Witch, or Thief. These cards are much too complicated and change the game too much to be used in a first game.


Witch? Really? Everyone loves the witch! I usually start with First Game but substitute Cellar for Witch.

In my experience, many people hate the Witch.


I agree with lordrahvin here... I play the game mostly with my family, who are not really gamers, and they think it's a pity to not play with the witch. Especially my evil sisters!

But I agree that you shouldn't play it on somebody's first game. I'd just go for first game set of cards as suggested by the rules. When they start to understand the game, you can just take a random set from the base game, people will soon see how the cards can be useful. Play with each set a couple of times though, so that you allow your fellow players to learn and improve their play.

Happy gaming!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Uncle Lar
United States
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmb
Play Witch with Chapel - they learn 2 simple things at once. They also learn deck thinning, and they can try any card and trash it later.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Green
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I try to stick to cards that have one-word powers for the first few games (i.e. +Card, +Action, +Buy, +Coin, and +VP). New players don't like to read the little words, so I wait a few games to start introducing more complicated cards.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberta Yang
msg tools
lordrahvin wrote:
Witch? Really? Everyone loves the witch! I usually start with First Game but substitute Cellar for Witch.

First games have a tendency to drag already, since new players naturally haven't yet learned how to play as well and get to Provinces as quickly. Throw Witch into the mix, and the game slows to a crawl. Plus, the new players are forced to play with Curses, the least fun cards in the game to have in your hand, clogging their decks. I definitely wouldn't introduce anyone to Dominion with Witch if I ever wanted to play with them again.

Don't get me wrong; I love the Witch. But save it for Game 2, if you want to ever have a Game 2 with them.

guidobass wrote:
Play Witch with Chapel - they learn 2 simple things at once. They also learn deck thinning, and they can try any card and trash it later.

Ew, now we've got Witch gumming everything up and Chapel doing things that are counterintuitive to a new player. I'd actually say that having Chapel and Witch together in the first game could make it harder for new players to learn the value of trashing - they might interpret Chapel as just being for Curses. And it's unlikely they'll immediately see that using Chapel to blow up a hand of Coppers and Estates is a good thing, so if you do that, you'll get a ridiculous advantage and the game will be unfun.

Remodel and Mine are easy to use - it's easy to see the value in turning cards into better cards. And Moneylender looks shiny because of the +$3, and they'll learn from using it and seeing their deck run out of Coppers how much better the deck is without Copper dragging it down. But Chapel is sufficiently unintuitive that I'd save it for Game 2 or 3.

KernTheGerm wrote:
I try to stick to cards that have one-word powers for the first few games (i.e. +Card, +Action, +Buy, +Coin, and +VP). New players don't like to read the little words, so I wait a few games to start introducing more complicated cards.

I would expect the opposite to be effective - give them a board full of vanilla cards, and they'll think the game is shallow, while give them some nifty effects, and they'll be more interested. I'm not saying to dump Possession on them Game 1 or anything (if we're extending beyond base set then the list of card's I'd exclude from the first game gets a lot longer), but some nice interesting abilities like trash-for-profit, a basic Attack or two, and so on spice up the game a lot. (In particular, not including Attacks may lead to complaints of multiple solitaire.)
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
HenningK
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Stick with the recommended First Game. I've always used this setup to teach new players, and I was always pleased. It has basically everything you need to show what the game is about:
- card drawing;
- more actions;
- extra buys;
- an attack, together with defense;
- trashing and upgrading;
- card filtering;
- gaining cards outside the buying phase.

Plus, the card balance fits. There is no dominant card in the mix, and you can take several different approaches.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vince Lupo
United States
ALEXANDRIA
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Trantor42 wrote:
Stick with the recommended First Game. I've always used this setup to teach new players, and I was always pleased. It has basically everything you need to show what the game is about:
- card drawing;
- more actions;
- extra buys;
- an attack, together with defense;
- trashing and upgrading;
- card filtering;
- gaining cards outside the buying phase.

Plus, the card balance fits. There is no dominant card in the mix, and you can take several different approaches.




I often teach the game with whatever cards I feel like. :) But it is usually simpler cards. Depends on the level of gamer too. Sometimes we go all in fully random because we know they'll be fine.


I have included duration cards and island before to teach those aspects. Not usually potions. If there's an attack, then usually not something too nasty. I actually think discard attacks are kinda nasty. Bureaucrat is one of my favorite attacks for a newer players because it's easy and not that nasty.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brook Gentlestream
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gods, now I want to play again!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Valnor
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
The only card I dislike, and it is a slight dislike is militia. If you want an attack that does not slow down the game as much bureaucrat is an option.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.