After 15 actions.. I'm just one coin short of buying a Province...

8/10, Deck Building -

After 15 actions.. I'm just one coin short of buying a Province...


Designer: Donald X. Vaccarino
Artist: Matthias Catrein, Julien Delval, , Tomasz Jedruszek, Ryan Laukat
Published: 2008
Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 30 Mins
BGG Rating: 7.6
BGG Ranking: 118
Publisher: Rio Grande Games
Mechanisms: Deck Building and some more Deck Building
Sleeves: EUR 59x92mm


Game Description:

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, on your mother's side, would be delighted.


Quick play overview:

You start the game with 5 cards in hand and 5 cards left in your deck and each turn you can play one ACTION card that let you draw more cards, allow you to play more extra cards, give you gold to spend in the BUY phase, making other players discard cards etc.

Once you are done with ACTIONS, you move to the BUY phase where you play the treasure cards and then you can buy one card from the market (ACTION, TREASURE or VICTORY cards) and add it to your discard pile. Unless you got an extra BUY from the previously played ACTIONS.

At the end of the turn, you discard all cards left in your hand and cards on the table and draw 5 new cards. If your deck is too small, you shuffle the discard pile and make a new draw deck.

Play continue like this untill a number of market piles are empty or (which is more likely) all the big victory cards are purchased.

Player count up the victory points and declare the winner with the biggest dominion.


Final thoughts:

This is the original deck builder. It's the game that defined the genre and did it so perfectly that it's still the best one.

Other games did take this mechanism and »evolve« it.. but no deck building game has surpased this game in my book. The speed of the game and the easy set of rules make this game a must try for every gamer.



Gameplay & How often I want to play it: 10/10

Gameplay is amazing. Once players are used to the game and the turns are flying by, the game has a great flow and it's very tense when the Provinces deck dwindles.

We played this game over 100 times and we don't plan to stop anytime soon.

Art & Graphic Design: 5/10

There is art on the cards.. but it will not attract anyone's attention.

Graphic design is clean but it's showing its age. The text can get a bit small on some of the cards.


Rules & Complexity: 10/10

Rules are simple and easy to teach.

Dominion has a great flow and the there is never a question how cards should work. The combos of cards can make a turn last a bit longer but never because a player is at a loss what to do.


Theme & Mechanism fit: 6/10

Players will not realise think of themselves as monarchs expanding their dominions..

Mechanisms do fit the theme as you are expanding your dominion with new villages and mines and soldiers, by earning and spending gold.


Fun & Replayability: 10/10

The game is fun. Really fun. There is no other deck builder that can compare to the original one.

The base game already offers a ton of combinations but add 1 or 2 expansions and a normal gamer group should have enough material for a life time.


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