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Game Name
Rio Grande Games

In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the center of the table is a selection ofother cards the players can "buy" as they can afford them. Throughtheir selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as theydraw them, the players construct their deck on the fly, striving forthe most efficient path to the precious victory points by game end.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Scratches a CCG itch--ignore the Eurogamer hype
(Updated: March 27, 2009)
Dominion is a game that combines the best of power CCG gamer combos with a sort of resource-based card draft where you create your deck on the fly.

And it totally works.

The entire game you spend your time trying to turn your deck into something playable, which believe me, your beginning deck in this game is worse than any Magic starter you ever bought--yes, those mess of Revised starters included.

There are 25 potential 'Kingdom' cards--and each is a stack of 10 which you can buy one at a time to improve your deck. Purchase, draft, shuffle in, repeat. As the game progresses you hope to make your deck better and faster than your opponent.

There is unfortunately the VP system which is appropos of nothing in terms of theme...hell, the whole game has barely any theme. Don't let that bother you--CCGs are bad at representing their theme as well, so it's not that big of a deal here. But the VPs do act as a clock, and if your opponent is buying them faster than you, you're in trouble.

Spice in enough attack cards to your taste, and you have a game that is both directly and indirectly as interactive as you want it to be. When your opponent hits you with that fifth Witch, and you feel rage bottling up inside you as you want to grab him by his throat--well, you'll realize that most Eurogames just don't have this level of interaction.

It's a pity the Euro hype crowd latched onto this so hardcore, as I think it's really burned out people from even trying it, wary of falling for the same shit hype that surrounded the far, far inferior (and much more derivative) Race for the Galaxy. Plug your fingers in your ears, ignore the other Euro-hypers, and give this a try. It really is a good game. Just remember, they may have hyped Caylus as Christ in boardgame form, but even a broken clock is right twice per day.


Final verdict time. This is yet another low-interaction optimization/efficiency game. It's novel, short and manages to squeeze an awful lot of game play out of some very simple rules which makes it either ideal filler for efficiency gamers, or an efficiency game for the rest of us. But it's still the same old maximise-the-efficiency-engine sort of game that's become so tediously familiar over the last few years. It'd probably be worth another point of rating played with 4 - there is a *bit* more interaction and the extra downtime gives you space in which to shuffle properly! Theme is wafer thin. After ten plays or so, I just feel ... meh.
#1 Reviewer 286 reviews

User reviews

8 reviews

1 star
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A mechanical kick in the pants. Draft cards to build an efficiency engine to hit the magical 8+ coins per hand and then start buying the big victory points... the rub being that once you start buying VPs they will clog up your machine and make it run all choppy.

Other than committing to a strategy the game really comes down to timing the switch from deck building to buying VPs. Come in too soon and you bloat the machine with crap. Come in too late and you're behind the curve and will lose, maddeningly, by something as stupid as a single card-buy.

It's fascinating to watch the different solutions grind away at the problem and to see who had the most efficient engine—and best timing—at the end.

The only knock is for the flaccid theme, which is, perhaps, thankfully thin, given how mechanical the game is and how fast it plays with experienced players. (It's not unusual for your turn to come back around before you're done shuffling from the last one.) A narrative layer would probably just slow everything down.

That said, I like to think of it as scratch-building a Ferrari and then seeing how much cocaine I can hide in the gas tank while still getting it across the border. And then maybe something about fire-breathing pimps.
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THE "Deckbuilder"
(Updated: April 19, 2019)
There are tons of copycats, but I still feel this is the best one out there.
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Nice little deck building and card shuffling game
(Updated: July 06, 2009)
It's a nice little card game that is light and fun. You start with a small amount of cards and build your deck throughout the game. I like deck building and I like that there is a lot of variety and different things you can try out. A bit of a themeless optimization game, though.
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Euroquest VI game du jour!
Played it twice at EQ, once with 3, and once with 4 - both times it was the basic set up.

I really think this game has more in common with Fluxx than MTG, but definitely elements of both. That said, I really liked the games I played, and was left wanting to try out another strategy. I could see going with a bunch of two player games in a row and having a good time.

On the other hand, it's only a glob of good mechanics. Not enough "heart" to the game if you know what I mean... MTG decks, wheter competitive of themed have lots of heart, while Dominion left me a little cold in that department. Maybe more plays with differing cards might change that.

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I hate to admit it, but it's good
(Updated: December 26, 2008)
It took me a lot of games of Dominion to really appreciate it. It doesn't present well -- kind of like Race for the Galaxy -- so I can see where the hate comes from. I don't begrudge anyone who won't play it a second time.
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