Posted Monday, 8-Jun-2015
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’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.
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!
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.
The game was a success right from the start, spawning translations in approximately 30 languages.
The game and its expansion have sold more than one million copies worldwide.
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.
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.
This accident sparked rumors in the gaming community that Donald X. Vaccarino was actually only a pen name for the real mind behind Dominion.
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.
While in development, Dominion was first called Castle Builder, then just Game X.
Vaccarino playtested Dominion with his boardgaming and 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!
Dominion has 25 different kingdom cards, but actually these were just a part of all the cards originally designed for the game.
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 is considered to be a fairly “big” expansion, bringing 35 new cards into the game.
Published by BoardGamePrices.com
Can we fit all the photos we took at Spiel into this article? No. But we’ll sure try! Here’s your last look at the last day of the biggest board games show in the world.
The tiredness starts to take hold; but we press on toward Day 3! We’ve got dice! We’ve got minis! We’ve got mechs! It’s Spiel!