Dominion was our first board game love so it seems fitting to have it kick off our official Board Game of the Month series. Pre-kids (i.e. when we had a life) we played it on a weekly basis with friends and with each other. Unfortunately, we overplayed it and it ended up in the back of the games cupboard. Therefore, it’s nice, and somewhat nostalgic, to pick it up again.
A full review will follow later but here’s our trip down the board game memory lane went.
Dominion is a deck building card game. This means that all players start with 10 cards and add to it throughout the course of the game. The aim is to gain the most victory points.
Our first game was using a preset deck to ease us into the rules and we soon got the hang of it. Vicky won and was smug about it.
As it’s a fairly quick game, we ended up playing multiple times a night. You have to really as half the deck is reusable! For the subsequent games we introduced our house rules which includes a random starting card selection and vetoing some of the starting cards.
We thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Dominion but it did bring to mind a few niggles/obsessions that we had forgotten (see Our Thoughts section below).
We played a total of 5 times and the score stands at: Andy 3 – Vicky 2. The reward for winning was to get dessert!
- It can get a little dull part way through game if you realise you are on a winning strategy and your opponent it is quite a bit behind. The dynamic is a much better with more players.
- We have 2 expansions, one being Prosperity, which has an additional rule that brings out extra decks and we always forget to apply it!
- For 2 players, attack cards can be seriously debilitating! Not that Vicky is bitter or anything. As a side note, we had to Google whether Tribute should be an attack card and the official answer is No!
- With the starting player having less money to play with in the first round, it can affect your deck somewhat.
There you have it. That’s how our mini-binge on Dominion went and it hadn’t lost its magic. It is a fun and sufficiently challenging for all ages though the rules can be a bit daunting for kids to start with. Game play usually last about 30 minutes if everyone knows what they’re doing. We can’t wait to play it with our kids when they are older!
Here are the house rules we mentioned earlier:
- Random Card Selection: The preset options are a good way to start but once you have the expansion packs, you need a way of selecting just 10 – like mentioned earlier, we do the shuffle and deal method. There are also online programs that randomly pick cards too.
- Veto: Sometimes during the random selection, we deal out extra cards equal to the number of players so for us it was an extra 2. Then we each remove one from the game. Online programs, like the one mentioned above, can include random veto.
- Affordable Deck: We didn’t actually use this rule but having a deck with a value of 2 or 3 value cards in play is another one. It means even the starting player has a chance of buying a card.