Welcome to Dice Spotlight! I’m your Gamemaster, Jonathan, here at Connexxions Cafe. This blog highlights different games that we have at the Cafe that you may want to check out. Maybe you’ll discover a new favourite!
Today’s game in the spotlight is Dominion. Dominion is one of the original deck builders in the hobby that really stands the test of time. For those who don’t know what a deck builder is, it’s a game where you start with low value cards in your deck and each turn you use these cards to purchase better cards to “build your deck”. Now I know I’m simplifying the concept a bit, but it’s enough to understand the excitement that comes with playing one of these games. Every turn is spent improving your deck and each turn has that feeling of progress to it. When you realize that certain cards chain actions together, you feel powerful!
I’ve talked a lot about the genre, but what about Dominion itself? In Dominion, you are a monarch of a small kingdom and you’re striving to expand it into something expansive. But other monarchs around you also have that goal and want to take land that is rightfully yours!
Though the theme is shared through all of the cards (silver coins, villages, nobles, etc.), playing the game doesn’t really feel like I’m building a kingdom because the focus is using cards I have to get better cards that let me do more things like draw more cards. And that may be a turn-off for some players. But if you can look past that, Dominion can be a very simple game to understand, but also it has a large amount of strategy in choosing what cards to buy! What makes this game unique is the use of limited “buys” and “actions”, and that the victory point cards (the ones used to determine who wins) stay in your deck, taking up valuable space. In most deck builders I’ve played, you can buy unlimited cards (as long as you have the money) and play all the cards you draw. In Dominion, you have to purchase cards that will give you more “buys” or let you play more “action” cards. It’s a really interesting twist that sets it apart from the others!
Personal story: I did NOT like this game after my first try. It felt so limiting having only one buy and action as the default, considering I really enjoyed the unlimited in other games. But after I played it again and again, the way it runs just felt so....interesting and surprisingly engaging! Now it’s the game I always use to teach deck builders because it just feels simpler to teach. I’m probably just crazy and other ones are way better. Who knows? Regardless, I recommend giving it a try!
Well that wraps up Dice Spotlight #1. Come visit the cafe (12644 137 Ave, Edmonton) and say hi! Or ask me about a certain game that you’ve always wanted to learn. I’d be happy to work through it with you :)