If You Like: Running your Fiefdom, Cheeky Wombo Combos, Obsessive-Compulsive Expansion purchasing
Player Count: Competitive for 2-4 Players
Complexity Rating: 2 - Mild
Average Playtime: 30 Minutes
"Times have been hard. To save on money, you've moved out of your old castle, and into a luxurious ravine. You didn't like that castle anyway; it was always getting looted, and never at a reasonable hour. And if it wasn't barbarians it was the plague, or sometimes both would come at once, and there wouldn't be enough chairs. The ravine is great; you get lots of sun, and you can just drop garbage wherever you want. In your free time you've taken up begging. Begging is brilliant conceptually, but tricky in practice, since no-one has any money. You beg twigs from the villagers, and they beg them back, but no-one really seems to come out ahead. That's just how life is sometimes. You're quietly conquering people, minding your own business, when suddenly there's a plague, or barbarians, or everyone's illiterate, and it's all you can do to cling to some wreckage as the storm passes through. Still, you are sure that, as always, you will triumph over this adversity, or at least do slightly better than everyone else."
In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the centre of the table is a selection of other cards the players can "buy" as they can afford them. On each player's turn, by default, they can play one action, and then they can play any money cards in their hand and then perform one buy. Through their selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as they draw them, the players construct their deck on the fly. Cards that players buy can do multiple things, such as drawing more cards into their hand, allowing for more actions, allowing for more buys, or just raw victory points.
The game ends when three piles of cards on the board are depleted, OR when the Province (The highest denominated victory card) pile is depleted. Then, whoever has the most victory points in their deck is the winner. Dominion is not a CCG, but the play of the game is similar to the construction and play of a CCG deck. The base game comes with 500 cards. You select 10 of the 25 Kingdom card types to include in any given play—leading to immense variety.