Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AGI - Dominion

Dominion, from Rio Grande Games, is a game about building a kingdom. Your start out small using your resources to build a bigger kingdom. This in turns allows you to buy more Estates, duchies, and provinces for yourself. Amazingly, this is all done with cards... Many, many, many, cards. (500 cards in total.) There are four Types of cards:
  • Treasure Cards: The money cards to buy things, Ranging from 1 to 3 coins.
  • Victory Cards: Give you victory points to win the game, again ranging form 1 (estates) to 3 (Provinces).
  • Kingdom Cards: Cards that help your kingdom get money and victory points faster.
  • Curse Cards: Subtract Victory points.
The game "board" are the stacks of cards. The Treasure and Victory cards and 10 of  25 Kingdom cards chosen randomly. The player's turn has 3 parts Action, Buying and End. Action cards are played first these are Kingdom cards, and allow the player to do things like: "add 2 more gold to you pile this turn" or "play another action card". Buying is when you can buy new cards to add to your deck, finally the End phase is when you discard any cards you played this turn to your discard pile and draw 5 new cards. This continues until the one of the of the Victory card piles or 3 of the Kingdom card piles is empty. Victory points are then added up to see who the winner is.  
    The game is quick to pick up, most understand the basics of a turn after 1 round of play. The real gaming is the strategy on how you create your kingdom. One method is of course to collect Victory cards, another method is to use the garden card to gain a small amount of victory points, over the course of the entire game. The smoothness of the mechanics make the gameplay go by quickly.

    By the time this review has gone up there have been many expansions for the game. Each one adds more cards into the mix and more ways to win. While Dominion is not the most complex game is still a gamers game. Those who don't play things beyond Monopoly may be overwhelmed by the options of the cards. Dominion may be still worth trying with the family if there is time to play it, but be prepared to explain many of the cards.

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