I first encountered Dominion on a Christmas morning. It was exactly the sort of game I tended to pass over when I saw it on store shelves - land-grabbing, money-shuffling games just never caught my interest. But given a free copy, I had to give it a try. From the first game, I was hooked, and I spent the rest of the weekend trying to hunt down the numerous expansions to broaden my experience - when I wasn’t playing the ones I already had, that is. I now carry the whole collection with me in a giant tub whenever I visit anyone who might be interested in playing, and I’ve learned a few fast-shuffling techniques to keep the game moving. Okay, I develop unhealthy obsessions with things I enjoy. But is this not LP Zone, home of just that? I invite you to check out this fascinating game with me and play along, and perhaps even take part in this Let’s Play with me.
Dominion is a deck-building game designed by Donald X. Vaccarino, quite possibly the game that made “deck-building games” a genre. Originally designed to be a standalone game with a set number of expansions, it’s exceeded that target as development continues, now standing at eleven expansions and a handful of promotional cards, all of which are mutually compatible. Any game of Dominion will use ten of these cards to form a common supply, and all players start with an identical deck of meager resources that they must use to buy more cards to build their ultimate deck. It’s similar to Magic: the Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh, except that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars buying random cards only to lose to that rich kid who bought a factory and built the unbeatable Exodia Blue Mana deck. All of the same cards are available to all players, and you’re buying cards right up until the game ends, instantly adding them to your deck and expanding what you can do.
Perhaps the greatest strength of Dominion, and the thing that keeps me coming back for more, is the huge variability between games. The base set alone has well over 5 million unique sets of cards that can be chosen, and with all of the expansions available, the number is well into the quadrillions. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever play the same game twice if you randomly choose cards, and even if you get the same set of cards, the randomness of shuffling, varying tactics from the opposition, and even your own changing whims and increased experience will keep things fresh.
In this thread, I’ll be teaching people how to play Dominion from the ground up. The videos will cover all of the cards and game mechanics, one expansion at a time. I’ll be recording games with pre-selected themed decks in the manuals, including tutorials on any new cards or mechanics introduced in each, followed by some random games using all of the cards introduced so far. The videos will be timestamped with the start of the game for those who already know how to play and just want to watch the fun. I’ll also provide in-thread commentary for each video if I have anything to say beyond the usual post-analysis.
If you’d like to participate, I’ve set up a Discord for this thread at https://discord.gg/k3uhX25, where I’ll be organizing the games for the videos as well as random games with any interested players. You can sign up for a free account at https://dominion.games/ to play along - there’s no payment required to play with the base set, and if at least one person at your table has paid for the expansions, they’ll be available. Share your username in the server if you’d like more friends, although the friend functionality is a bit sparse right now, and hang out with a bunch of fun-loving, respectful people.
Dominion Base Set (Second Edition):
Tutorial and First Game with Warmal: https://youtu.be/ADKO7Fv-jO4
Size Distortion with maswastaken and TerrorVan: https://youtu.be/l2s0JEy-8ME
Deck Top with TerrorVan: https://youtu.be/7BIdMQHn9A4
Sleight of Hand with LaminatedMoth: https://youtu.be/RDacfBNNDUQ
Improvements with Terror Van and Dancer: https://youtu.be/i8N5vX6XsEc
Silver and Gold with bufi44: https://youtu.be/qWvhi81tnao