Dec 17

Dominion Game Reivew – a collectible card game minus the collecting


by Rio Grande Games

Buy Dominion Board Game

Dominion Board Game

“It’s like Settlers of Catan and Magic the Gathering mashed together for 30-40 minutes!” – that’s usually how I pitch Dominion to my friends. To Dominion’s testament, even people who respond to that statement with looks of total confusion are asking to play again(and again!) after their first game is over.

“You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner. But wait! It must be something in the air; several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way. To do this you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. Your parents wouldn’t be proud, but your grandparents, would be delighted.”

Game Features:

  • 2-4 player game
  • 30-40 minutes to play
  • Tactical card game
  • Massive replay value
  • Quick to learn, many ways to win

In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the center of the table is a selection of other cards the players can “buy” as they can afford them. 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, striving for the most efficient path to the precious victory points by game end.

Broken down into two primary phases: “Action” and “Buy”, each turn is spent furthering your goal of obtaining more victory points than the other players. The first phase, “Action”, ranges in length from a seconds to a minute or more as you attempt to chain “Action” cards in your hand with the goal of increasing the value and quantity of cards you can buy in the following “Buy” phase. The “Buy” phase is used to purchase “Action”, currency or victory point cards at the discretion of the player. You must decide how to balance these three types of cards in your deck to give you the highest victory point total by the end of the game. Though the turns move quickly, I have instituted a “house rule” that players must narrate their turns. This encourages interaction between players and helps new players learn the game much faster.

Though each turn is simple in execution the strategy and thought that goes into building a deck is complex and enjoyable. There is no “right” way to build a deck, but a combination of experience and luck certainly tilts the odds in your favor!

Designed for ages 8 and up, Dominion by Rio Grande Games
is perfect for almost any small group of people looking for a short, enjoyable game with LOTS of replay value!

Let me know what you think of Dominion in the comments!


  1. Mike the Spike

    Absolutely rocks! Love it!!

  2. Josh

    I have really enjoyed my time with Dominion. I wish that they put out less expansions, though, because it seems like every time I turn around there is a new one to play – I haven’t even played Prosperity (or anything past it) yet.

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