Publisher: Rio Grande Games
# of Players: 2-4 players
Best with: 3 players
# of Expansions: 8 (as of 2015)
I absolutely love this game. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it is my favorite deck builder tabletop game. We took a wooden craft case and converted it to storage for our Dominion game and all the expansions (something I’ll have to take pictures of later). What makes it fun is that like any good deck builder, each game is different depending up on which cards go into the game. Because Dominion has so many expansions and intelligent ones at that, each game truly is different. The perk to this game is that it is also a great two player game.
General Mechanics: In the basic setup, players will randomly pick which card sets go into the game. The game comes with over 500 cards, and players will pick 10 of the 25 Kingdom card types to include. There are also money cards (bronze, silver, and gold) as well as curses, cards giving victory points, and depending upon expansions, other cards to make play interesting.
Each player begins with an identical starting hand of 10 cards. In the center are the other cards that the players can “purchase” as soon as they can afford them. The game consists of three phases:
- ACTION PHASE: The player can take 1 action (unless they have action cards giving them the ability to take more than 1 action)
- BUY PHASE: Players can use their money cards to buy other cards
- CLEAN-UP PHASE: The player must discard both played and unplayed cards and draws five new cards.
Because the cards a player purchases may give them lots of money, the ability to take multiple and sometimes chaining actions, and do things like make the other player discard cards in their hand (leaving them fewer actions and buy options on their turn), each round can be quite different depending upon the cards one purchases and draws.
In the end, the player is looking to earn the most victory points in the most efficient way.
How to Win/Lose: Players win by earning the most victory points. The game is over when either the Supply pile of Province cards is empty or any 3 Supply piles are empty.
What I Liked: I love the variation in this game. I also love how you can strategize ways to loop actions and gain more victory points.
What I Didn’t Like: A few of the expansions add elements that feel a bit redundant at times.
Overall Rating/Impression: 9.0/10.0. Absolutely love this series of deck building games.