If you’re on the lookout for a captivating game with an adventurous medieval theme or seeking strategic gameplay with friends and family, this is the game for you.
Dominion, the renowned deck-building board game, offers numerous expansions, each adding unique elements to the gaming experience. However, choosing the right expansion can make all the difference in maximizing your excitement.
To guide you through this decision-making process, we’ve curated a list of the finest Dominion expansion collections. Tailored for players aged 13 and above, accommodating two to four participants, this game promises an enthralling experience.
Embark on a journey to uncover the secrets behind the best-selling Dominion expansions by delving into the details below. Your medieval adventure awaits!
Best Dominion Expansion Reviews
Select the expansions that align with your preferences by considering the features and methodologies highlighted in this section. Let’s commence with the reviews.
1. Rio Grande Dominion Expansion: 2nd Edition
If you think the original expansion set is sufficient, you might miss out on the enhanced experience offered by the upgraded 2nd Edition. Packed with additional cards and improved artwork, it elevates the enjoyment of the game.
The expansion introduces more cards with updated wording, eliminating any ambiguity. It also includes a convenient trash mat for discarding cards and a new rule book with clearer regulations. Emphasizing a fundamental, gender-neutral card concept, this Dominion expansion lays the foundation for future expansions.
For existing owners of the original set looking to level up their game, an upgrade pack with 7 additional cards is available. While the second edition offers a more enjoyable playing experience, note that the upgrade pack doesn’t include the freshly updated rule book and the improved card set that replaces less favorable cards from the first edition.
With a total of 30 cards, players choose 10 for each game, enhancing the deck-building experience with a diverse range of themes. This game of strategy, catering to 2-4 players, feels more like a card game than a board game. The playtime ranges from 30 to 45 minutes, and understanding the game improves significantly after the initial attempt. The streamlined rule book facilitates smooth gameplay, even with the vast array of cards, making it accessible to all players.
- Strategic game for 2-4 players
- 30 minutes of gameplay
- Includes new cards, visuals, and game rules
- Adds a fresh twist and mystery to the entire gaming experience.
2. Rio Grande Dominion Expansion: Seaside – A Coastal Adventure
For enthusiasts of maritime and pirate themes, the Rio Grande Dominion Expansion: Seaside stands out as one of the most captivating sets.
While not comprising the entirety of the Dominion collection, it skillfully encapsulates the coastal ambiance with elements like rat-infested ships, pirates, and treasure maps. Designed as an expansion for both Dominion and Dominion Intrigue, it is important to note that it lacks trash, treasure, and victory cards.
Compatibility is ensured with either the base game or the Intrigue card set, allowing for a seamless integration of one or both sets, as well as accommodating potential future expansions.
Dominion Seaside, although less intricate than Intrigue, brings a slightly edgier gameplay, particularly emphasizing duration cards in the intervals between turns. Introducing 26 new cards, with only a handful considered challenging, it successfully maintains its reputation as one of the most enjoyable expansions in the Dominion series.
A standout feature of this expansion lies in its innovative mechanics. Notably, it introduces the concept of placing embargo tokens on the supply deck and accumulating coin tokens on the pirate ship. Purchasing from a deck with embargo tokens, however, comes with the consequence of receiving curses. The expansion enriches Dominion gameplay with an array of interesting and unique cards, including native settlements and pirate ships.
- Designed for 2-4 players.
- Takes approximately 30 minutes to play, adding a nautical twist to the beloved medieval card game.
- Compatibility with basic Dominion or Intrigue is essential as it functions as an expansion.
3. Dominion Expansion: Intrigue + 2nd Edition
For those hungry for more intrigue following the initial expansion, Dominion presents the Intrigue 2nd Edition, introducing new cards and rules to elevate your gaming experience.
With a playtime of 30 minutes, akin to other Dominion expansions, this edition adds an extra layer of excitement with secret plans and a heightened sense of strategy. The organic evolution of this expansion series places a strong emphasis on interactions and strategic card decisions.
In the 2nd edition, all six obsolete cards have been removed, making way for seven new cards seamlessly compatible with previous expansions. Intrigue 2nd Edition introduces 26 new kingdom cards, each contributing to the dynamics of the game.
One noteworthy addition is the inclusion of victory cards that trigger actions before the game concludes, adding an extra dimension to your strategic planning.
It’s important to note that the base set is a prerequisite for the 2nd edition as it is not a standalone set. Utilize the base cards for gameplay, and with their inclusion, expand the player count to five or six for a larger group experience.
While the intrigue version’s base cards were originally part of the first edition, they were excluded from the second, emphasizing the expansion nature of the set. New cards, such as Lurker, Courtier, Mill, Patrol, Diplomat, Secret Passage, and Replace, enrich the gameplay. Meanwhile, cards like Saboteur, Coppersmith, Scout, Secret, Great Hall, Tribute, and Chamber have been phased out from the first edition.
For an enhanced gaming experience, it is recommended to start with the basic game and gradually introduce this expansion. The Intrigue 2nd Edition includes extra Copper, Silver, and Gold, seamlessly integrating with other versions for versatile gameplay.
- Designed for 2-4 players
- 30-minute playing time
- Updated rules, artwork, and cards
- An expansion, not a standalone set
4. Dominion Big Box II: Ultimate Dominion Expansion
True to its name, the Dominion Big Box II encompasses all the cards from the second editions of both Dominion and Dominion Intrigue. Designed for two to six players, this comprehensive expansion pack introduces a wealth of new possibilities to your Dominion experience.
Featuring a staggering 500 Dominion cards, 300 Intrigue cards, and an additional 100 cards for 5 and 6 players, this edition offers an extensive and immersive gameplay experience. A modernized take on the traditional version, it includes a convenient trash mat and a simplified set of rules.
While the sheer size of the game might make it less portable, and the initial learning curve may be intimidating for newcomers, enthusiasts of expansions will find it to be a treasure trove of diversity. The Dominion Big Box II injects fresh dynamics into each game, ensuring a unique and engaging experience every time.
Despite its apparent complexity, players quickly grow to appreciate the intricacies of the Intrigue variation. While not as straightforward as the Prosperity expansion, it offers a rich strategic depth that varies with each playthrough, providing ample opportunities for learning and growth.
Once the mechanics are mastered, finding specific cards becomes a breeze, thanks to a well-organized arrangement based on expansions. The included instructions offer a variety of pre-built game configurations, serving as an excellent starting point for players of all levels.
- Includes Dominion and Intrigue Second Editions in the Big Box II.
- Suitable for 2–6 players and introduces new base cards.
- Average gameplay duration of 30 minutes.
- Compatible with additional Dominion expansions, extending the replay value.
5. Dominion Expansion: Dark Ages by Rio Grande
Discover a Dominion expansion that delves into the grittier aspects of society with the Rio Grande Dominion Expansion: Dark Ages.
With a robust collection of 500 cards, this expansion stands out as the go-to choice for enthusiasts seeking the richest deck-building experience. Dark Ages places a strong emphasis on card interactions, trashing, and engaging with the discard pile. Introducing new negative cards called Ruins, which can be swapped for Shelters, adds an intriguing layer to the gameplay. Additionally, certain cards can only be acquired through specific others, introducing elements of strategy centered around trashing and upgrading.
Players will find themselves deeply immersed in strategic engagements, as opponents attempt to force discards of valuable cards, adding both excitement and challenge to the game. The expansion brings a thematic shift, focusing on the darker facets of society, reflected in card names like Beggar, Death Cart, Graverobber, Hermit, Junk Dealer, Rats, Scavengers, Vagrant, and more.
Dark Ages expands the Dominion universe with a wealth of gameplay elements, from intricate systems to strategic tactics. Fans of Dominion will find Dark Ages to be an enjoyable addition, providing a unique and complex gaming experience.
While not a standalone game, Dark Ages complements the Dominion series. For newcomers, starting with the original or a full version like the second edition is recommended before delving into the Dark Ages expansion.
- 30-minute gameplay for 2-4 players.
- Impressive collection of 500 cards.
- Introduces new gameplay twists and complexities.
- Note: This is an expansion and not a standalone game.
Dominion Gameplay Rules
While various expansions introduce unique card sets with new features, the fundamental rules of the Dominion series remain consistent, making it easy for players to grasp the ABCs of action, buying, and cleanup.
- Follow the instructions on any action cards in your hand during the Action phase.
- Actions may include taking extra actions, drawing additional cards, trashing cards, attacking opponents, gaining more treasure during the buy phase, or earning the opportunity for multiple purchases.
- Generally, players can only play one Action card per turn, unless instructed otherwise by a card.
- Utilize the treasure cards in your hand, either in part or in full, along with any bonuses provided by Action cards.
- Purchase cards from the stock during the Buy phase.
- Each card’s price is indicated in the lower-left corner. Players can buy any card with a cost equal to or lower than the total treasures they possess on the board.
- Some action cards may grant additional buys, but players should note that copper is always available for free purchase if riches are scarce.
- Take the purchased card and place it in your discard pile during the Clean-up phase.
- Put any played cards from your turn in the discard pile.
- Draw five new cards from the draw deck and shuffle the discard pile beneath the draw deck if the draw deck is empty.
Players may not take actions during the first two turns if they lack Action cards in their hand. In such cases, they proceed directly to the Buy and Clean-up phases without an Action phase.
The Dominion expansion game concludes under three circumstances:
- Depletion of the Province pile.
- Exhaustion of the Colony pile when using Prosperity.
- Depletion of any three supply piles (a game typically has four supply piles).
At the game’s end, players tally victory points in their decks. The player with the highest score emerges as the winner. In case of a tie, the player with the fewest turns played takes the victory.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
What distinguishes the I, II, and Intrigue editions?
The second edition functions as an expansion, complementing the base set, while Dominion Intrigue stands alone as a complete game. The second edition is particularly enjoyable for those who already own the basic set, seamlessly integrating with it and featuring more contemporary cards. If you’re just starting, the first edition is a comprehensive choice, containing all necessary cards. Notably, the revised edition removes defective cards, enhancing its features.
Does Dominion’s second edition provide everything needed for a complete game?
Yes! The second edition is a standalone game set that includes all the necessary playing cards for a complete gaming experience.
Which is preferable, Dominion Intrigue or Seaside?
The choice between Dominion Intrigue and Seaside ultimately depends on player preferences. Opt for Intrigue if you enjoy tense gameplay, while Seaside focuses on strategy and colonialism, offering a kinder gaming experience.
When should I shuffle my discard pile?
Shuffle your discard pile whenever you need a card and realize that your deck is empty, ensuring a continuous and dynamic game flow.
Is Dominion Expansion a worthwhile purchase?
Absolutely! If you have older children or siblings aged 13 and above who appreciate a medieval ambiance and strategic deck-building games, investing in a Dominion Expansion will prove to be a rewarding choice.
Dominion Expansion offers an entertaining gaming experience designed for two to four players, blending deck-building strategy, interactive gameplay, and a sense of camaraderie. Whether enjoyed with family during gatherings or with friends at parties, this game caters to both children and parents alike.
The rules are easily grasped, making it accessible for players of all ages, and the straightforward mechanics contribute to a seamless mastery of the game. For those who appreciate theme-based board games, Dominion Expansion adds an extra layer of delight to the gaming experience.
After exploring this review, you should now have the insights needed to make an informed choice in selecting the best Dominion Expansion for your preferences. May your gaming sessions be filled with enjoyment and excitement!