Author Topic: Games played during the pandemic Dominion (and others)  (Read 1770 times)

Offline Decar

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Games played during the pandemic Dominion (and others)
« on: May 19, 2020, 01:06:16 PM »
During the COVID-19 pandemic, forum old timer, and good friend Rich_The_Fish and I have been playing a few games of Dominion online.

We've not played for a very long time, but thought it was time to check out:

The base game is always available for free, but during the pandemic they have been kind enough to cycle the expansion, so it was a great chance for us to try some of them.

If you're not familiar, Dominion is the 2009 Spiel des Jahres winner, and said to have invented the deck building genre.
Every player starts with an identical deck of 10 cards, each turn you draw 5 cards then use a card in your hand to play an action. Then use coins to buy more cards.  After that you clear-up and discard any cards you've bought or not used during the turn. Then you draw back up from your deck.  When your deck is empty you shuffle your discards, so your deck cycles and changes over time.
The aim is to buy cards that give you Victory points before the game ends, that can be triggered in a few different ways.
Each game is played around 10 different Kingdom cards that perform different actions, so the trick is to find the efficient way to beat your opponent in scoring.

Neither Rich or I are experts, we're very much casual players, and we enjoy exploring what the cards have on offer.

The Dominion Games website has implemented the 2nd edition base set, that I'm not yet familiar with either.

First game: Base game + Prosperity

The Prosperity expansion introduces Colony and Platinum cards.  This can drastically alter the behaviour of many strategies, as these cards are much harder to acquire.

Royal Seal, Vault, witch, Expand, Peddler, Moat, Remodel, Laboratory, Market, Mint

It took us a while to work out how to best use the cards.  I realized expands is a great way to turn Gold into Platinum and Platinum into Colonies.  I went for a very straight forward Laboratory, Market combo. Rich tried to use the Witch to slow me down, but 2 lucky Moats protected me for a lot of the game, and Expand allowed me to turn them into Silver.

Game 2: Base game + Prosperity – Rematch

We thought we'd play this again as we were both familiar with the cards.

I went for the same strategy, but also used Expands to manipulate Estates and Duchy cards.  It looks like Rich over invested in Silver, that's dangerous to do when there's Colony cards to be had.  If i recall correctly, I forced Rich to take Provinces over the last Colony card. A sign that the end is nigh!  Much closer game this time around!

Game 3: Base game + Alchemy

Alchemy adds a new currency (Potions), that are used to buy specific cards. We played the suggested set: Potion Mixers

I realized pretty quickly that, the Alchemist is a pretty dangerous and repeatable engine, and although Rich picked up a Bureaucrat, I was essentially immune.  In this game, I could use remodel to acquire 2 Provinces in one turn to ramp up the pressure for a convincing win. The University and Golem made a great combo too.  I essentially had 2 different engines running.  By the end of the game, I could play every card from my deck :D
I completed one turn with 26 coins and 5 buys, which is mostly devastating for Rich who's system failed to materialize in this game.

Game 4,5,6: Base game + Guilds + Cornucopia

These are two smaller expansions that offer cards that do something when you overspend and introduces the concept of coffers (money you can spend on a later turn).  We played the suggested set: Baking Contest

It took us quite some time to read all the rules on the cards.  The guild cards have some quite complex effects.  On my first game I misfired a masterpiece, then misfired a stonemason, and basically killed any chance I had of catching rich in the first 5 turns of the game.  It was a pretty devastating defeat.

So we had a second game, this time I focused a bit more on the baker, and getting gold.  It was no good though because Rich had worked out how to use the masterpiece to purchase a lot of silver.  He stormed ahead, I was left floundering buying 1 or 2 Duchy.  It was pretty embarrassing.

So we played once more,  I fancied trying to use the Tournament to pull a prize to either slow Rich's Big Money strategy, but before I could blink Rich was on the war path again claiming all the provinces going.  The game was over really quickly, 16 or 17 turns.

For the first time, I'd not enjoyed a game of Dominion, I couldn't see a proficient way to go faster than Rich's solution.  So I spent another 90 minutes researching the cards to find some alternative means.  It's safe to say Dominion is a complex game, and after a bit of research, the key is to build a more finely crafted deck, rather than floundering buying action cards with little result.  If I get chance to play this again, I might play better.  But with so many combinations to try, I may have to try other games first.  Well played Rich, you found a mighty fine card to batter me with after our Alchemy game earlier :D


I'm really quite impressed with the Dominion games implementation.  When playing complex strings of cards, it does a great job keeping track and visualizing options.  Although I always find digital versions of deck builders much harder to keep track of the cards in your deck and discard piles.  Dominion games has a subscription service that offers all the Dominion expansions for 4€ – 5€ per month.  If I was playing more regularly and with other people I could be tempted, only one person needs to subscribe to access the cards.  Although not extortionate, when compared to other online services, BoardGameArena comes in at about 2$ per month, it's hard to compare.  The implementation of a complex game is solid, but it's up against variety.

Have you been playing anything online with friends during the pandemic?

Rich, DanIsThirty, and I have manged to play a few games on BGA.  Troyes, Targi, and even Carcassonne.

Rich has also introduced us to Welcome To too, it's a great draw a card and write game, that's as therapeutic as it is intensely infuriating.


Offline Sinscerly

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Re: Games played during the pandemic Dominion (and others)
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 04:02:57 AM »

I tried the dominion website, that AI crushed me.  :'(

We play a lot online those days to. BGA is great for party games to, like Werewolfs, Take 5 or Saboteur. Also we play sometimes on It's a word guess game where someone needs to draw the chosen word.
"What things can you find? Things that are hidden?
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Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Games played during the pandemic Dominion (and others)
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 04:28:49 AM »
Looks fun... and complicated!  ;D
Questions about rules? Check WICA:

Offline flipshot

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Re: Games played during the pandemic Dominion (and others)
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 07:43:34 AM »
I play a handful of dominion games online every day. It's interesting to analyze each player's deck at the end, especially if you lose, to see what you could've done better.

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