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9 things you should know about Dominion

Posted Monday, 8-Jun-2015

Contributed by BoardGamePrices staff


Dominion is a classic, a game with a simple formula that appeals to new players and but also to collectible card game fans.

In fact, a big part of the appeal of strategy card games such as Magic: the Gathering is deck customization, but this is a solitary activity separated from the game proper.


dominion 01
Deck customization is the key to victory in Dominion.


Dominion’s key to success was to make deck customization a game to play with friends, a whole game in which players compete in building the best deck possible with the cards available on the table. Its simple rules and huge replayability made the first deckbuilder game ever a smashing success that inspired Thunderstone, Arctic Scavengers, Trains and many others to use the same game system.

If you were too busy deck-building, catch up with these 9 things you didn’t know about Dominion:


1. A few combinations too many


dominion 02
With all its expansions, the possibilities in Dominion seem endless…


Dominion and all its expansions have a total of 200 unique kingdom cards. This gives around 22 quadrillion different combinations for the initial set up, more than can be possibly played in a lifetime!


2. Dominion World Series


dominion 03
Custom decks of the highest caliber face off in the Dominion World Series.


As for other very popular board games, Dominion has its own world championship called Dominion World Series.  Dominion designer Donald X. Vaccarino often chooses specific card combinations for tournament games.


3. A top seller

The game was a success right from the start, spawning translations in approximately 30 languages.


dominion 04
Dominion sales success only contributed further to its widespread translations and expansions.


The game and its expansion have sold more than one million copies worldwide.


4. Spirit Warrior II

Dominion was originally supposed to be the sequel for another game, Spirit Warrior, also designed by Vaccarino.  The theme was to be the same as the original game (fantasy heroes fighting monsters) and the deck building mechanics was introduced to customize the heroes.


5. Donald X. Vaccarino, a fictitious character


Dominion won the Spiel des Jahres award in 2009, but Vaccarino missed his flight to Germany and with it the presentation of the most important award of his career.


Donald X. Vaccarino, designer of Dominion
Donald X. Vaccarino, designer of Dominion


This accident sparked rumors in the gaming community that Donald X. Vaccarino was actually only a pen name for the real mind behind Dominion. 


6. Game X

After Vaccarino managed to get Rio Grande Games interested in Dominion, he started working with developers Valerie Putman and Dale Yu.  They not only helped to balance the game, but came up with the final name.


dominion 06
Dominion was first called ‘Castle Builder’.

While in development, Dominion was first called Castle Builder, then just Game X.


7. An addictive design

Vaccarino playtested Dominion with his boardgaming and Magic the Gathering groups.


Dominion was first play-tested with Magic the Gathering groups.
Dominion was first play-tested with Magic the Gathering groups.


His friends received the game very well, even before its final version.  It was so popular that both groups pretty much stopped playing anything else!


8. An expanding Dominion

Dominion has 25 different kingdom cards, but actually these were just a part of all the cards originally designed for the game.



Many of the cards in the Dominion expansions were part of the original design.
Many of the cards in the Dominion expansions were part of the original design.


Many of these cards were later included in the first two expansions, Intrigue and Seaside.


9. One more expansion

When the Guilds expansion was announced in 2013, it was presented as the last expansion for Dominion.  Luckily for all the fans, Vaccarino changed his mind and a new one, Adventures, has just released.


Dominion: Adventures introduces several new components to the game.
Dominion: Adventures introduces several new components to the game.


Dominion: Adventures is considered to be a fairly “big” expansion, bringing 35 new cards into the game.

Published by BoardGamePrices.com

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