Dominion is the classic deck-building card game and the Second Edition was published by Rio Grande Games in 2016. Dominion is a card drafting game, where over time you improve your deck until the game ends, and the total victory points in each deck is compared to find the winner.
Each player starts with a 10-card deck of victory point cards and treasure cards, and each turn draws five cards from their deck. Treasure cards can be spent to buy action cards, victory points, or more treasure, and each game will have a different 10 action cards available. Each time your deck runs dry, you shuffle your cards to form a new deck, which will be slightly different each time due to the new cards you have bought.
Some action cards will allow you to “attack” your opponents, affecting their deck or hand somehow, and others will affect only your own hand and deck, however they have a varied cost and affording the pricier ones will require more treasure.
Each turn you first play your action cards from your hand, then you can use your treasure (and bonuses from action cards) to buy cards from the centre of the table, and then finally you clean-up all your cards and put them into your discard pile (which will be shuffled to form your next deck at a later point). As the cards which give you victory points have no benefit before the end of the game, there is a chance you may end up with a hand of just victory points – a completely useless hand.
There are other occasions where someone’s turn may seem to drag on as they are constantly drawing more cards (due to action card directions) but never really seem to achieve anything. However, with a carefully crafted deck, and the right hand, Dominion gives you the chance to build a punishing combo of moves, limiting your opponents and giving yourself access to strong cards and multiple victory points.
Dominion ends when three piles of action cards are depleted or when the highest victory point cards run out. You can bet that a good action card will be popular early on, so sometimes the piles can run out quickly and knowing when to start collecting victory points is the real art of the game. Trying to keep your hand as strong as possible, without clutter from victory points until the right moment is key.
Dominion has 26 different action cards to play from and as each game only uses 10, the game’s replay-ability and variation is enough to keep things interesting. There are also a large number of expansions making this a great game that you will keep wanting to come back to and I strongly recommend getting it.
Player Count: 2-4
Time: 30 Minutes