I played a special Mother’s Day edition of Dominion with my wife and my mother-in-law this past Mother’s Day. I chose kingdom cards that represented women and other cards these mothers liked. Of course, Witch, Young Witch, and Sea Hag were ruled out! The supply included:
Gardens (my mother-in-law’s favorite card)
I was thinking this was a good setup for Gardens. Herbalist and Grand Market provided extra buys. I could also gain extra cards through Explorer and Duchy/Duchess. So, this is the combo I went with. I expected to acquire lots of victory cards, so I needed some help with getting around them in my draws. I bought Herbalists for the extra buys, a bit of Treasure, and to help with the next draw. I bought an Oracle to help cycle past the green cards, and the minor attack didn’t hurt either. I bought some early Duchies and also got the free Duchesses, again for a bit of cash and to get past the green cards. My biggest mistake was getting too many free Duchesses. They were great for the Garden count but often left me with too many actions in my hand. And, finally, I bought some Farming Villages to help cycle past the green cards and also for the extra actions. I also picked up a couple Peddlers along the way when the price was right. Eventually, I started buying Gardens.
I was expecting my mother-in-law to buy Gardens early and often since it’s her favorite card. She surprised me and didn’t actively pursue that strategy. Instead, she made the most of the Explorer/Province combo and dabbled with the other actions. Still, she bought some Gardens in the end.
The wife also did not actively go after Gardens yet somehow managed to build a huge deck. She went for action chaining and bought a fair amount of Farming Villages, Grand Markets, Peddlers, and Herbalists. Her most memorable play was buying the last 3 Gardens in one turn.
In the end, everyone had bought Gardens, and our deck sizes were:
Me - 55
The wife - 52
Mom - 39 (the dreaded "ending in 9" scenario)
As expected, the game ended on 3 piles: Garden, Duchy, and Duchess
The wife - 68 (2 Colonies, 3 Provinces, 2 Duchies, 4 Estates, 4 Gardens)
Me - 60 (10 Duchies, 5 Estates, 5 Gardens)
Mom - 52 (2 Colonies, 3 Provinces, 5 Estates, and 3 Gardens)