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Dominion: Cornucopia» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Love what it adds - The Board Game Family Review rss

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Trent Howell
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Utah
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Dominion Cornucopia is the 5th expansion for the incredibly popular Dominion card game and continues to add more diversity to the game. In fact, Cornucopia likes to reward players for having diversity in their decks.

What’s the draw for Dominion Cornucopia?
The draw is that it’s Dominion of course.
In our review of Dominion Seaside we were pretty clear that once you get playing Dominion and add an expansion, there’ll be no stopping in wanting to pick up more expansions. It’s not because the base game is lacking anything. It’s simply because it’s fun to keep trying new cards.

Like the other Dominion expansions, Cornucopia doesn’t change the method of play at all. Players are still working to build up their deck of cards to be able to buy victory points and win the game. So the elements of fun come down to what all the different cards let you do.

New addition – Prizes
One of the big twists to the game that Cornucopia adds is Prizes. Cornucopia only adds 13 new Kingdom cards to the game, but it also adds 5 unique Prize cards. The 13 Kingdom cards are like others before them in that each Kingdom card type has 10 cards that you can randomly add to the supply of cards to purchase. But for the Prizes, there’s only one card of each:
* Trusty Steed
* Diadem
* Followers
* Bag of Gold
* Princess

To gain a Prize card, players first have to have a Tournament card in their deck. So if Tournament isn’t in the supply, you won’t need to set out the Prizes. But if it is, then get your Prizes ready. When a player plays a Tournament card, they first get an extra Action. Then each player may reveal a Province card from their hand. If the player who played the Tournament has a Province in their hand, they get to pick one of the Prizes, or a Duchy, and put it on the top of their deck. Sweet!

And these Prizes are pretty nice. Click on the picture of the Prizes to read what each card offers.

The only downside to the Tournament and Prizes is that it’s dependent on having a Province in your hand at the time you play the Tournament – which typically means that it will come up in the 2nd half or later in the game. So you won’t get much time to use your Prize. Of course, that’s also addressed by having you place the newly acquired Prize on the top of your deck, so you’ll get it in your hand on the next draw. (Unless you’ve got some other cards in your hand that are letting you draw more cards right away – cool combos.)

The new Kingdom Cards
The 13 new Kingdom cards add even more variety to Dominion. And many of the new cards reward players for having a variety of cards in their deck. So rather than just zero in on a couple of card types in the supply to build your strategy around, players will want to buy many different card types.

Here are a few examples:
Fairgrounds: This is a Victory card that provides 2 victory points for every 5 differently named cards in your deck at the end of the game. So if you’ve got 15 differently named cards in your deck, each Fairgrounds card will provide 6 victory points – as much as a Province! And it only costs 6 Treasure to buy.

Harvest: Reveal the top 4 cards of your deck and discard them. Gain +1 Treasure per differently named card. So if all 4 of those cards are different, there’s +4 Treasure to use on a Buy that turn.

Menagerie: +1 Action, plus Reveal your hand – if there aren’t any duplicate cards in your hand, you get +3 cards. If there are duplicate cards, you only get +1 card. Cool benefit for keeping a variety of cards in your deck.

Our Favorite Cornucopia Kingdom Cards
There are 2 Attack cards in Cornucopia that we love adding to our deck – Jester and Young Witch.
Jester: +2 Treasure and each other player discards the top card of their deck. If it’s a Victory card, they get a Curse. If it’s any other card, they gain a copy of that card or you do – your choice. So cool! So if they turn over a Gold, you bet I’ll choose to gain a Gold. If they turn over a Curse, even better, now they’re getting another!

Young Witch: It’s similar to the Witch in the base game but just a bit different. Players get to draw +2 Cards from their deck, but then they also have to discard 2 cards. Of course a lot of times, discarding 2 cards isn’t that bad, so playing the Young Witch is still a good way to cycle through your deck. In addition, during set up another Kingdom card is added to the supply that serves as a “Bane” card. If other players have that card in their hand when a Young Witch is played, they can reveal it to block the Curse.

Final Verdict
Dominion Cornucopia adds some fun cards to Dominion. Is it an essential expansion to get? Maybe not. However, since it’s a smaller expansion, it also doesn’t cost as much as some of the larger expansions that add more Kingdom cards.

Because there are so many Dominion expansions (with more still to come) we’ll suggest another way to go about getting expansions for Dominion – Have your friends buy some!

That way, when you get together, everyone can bring the sets they have and you can randomize from all the expansions you have amongst you. So we’ll bring our base game, Seaside, and Cornucopia and my buddies will bring Intrigue, Prosperity, and Hinterlands. (None of them have picked up a copy of Alchemy – smart move. But we’re still looking forward to adding Dark Ages.)
And we’re all set for a lot of fun!

(We also like that the size of the Cornucopia box is great for storing the 3 Dominion games we own with still more room to spare.)


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Victor Aldridge
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
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Black Market + Cornucopia = Score!
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Chris Schumann
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Alchemy has some of the most powerful cards in it. They are often game changers, and a very nice addition to Dominion. I still would rank it at the bottom, but something has to be there, and it's not by much.
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