We’ve written before about some of our favorite geeky games for a perfect game night, so I thought I would throw another into the pot. My new board game obsession is Dominion, a game that involves deck-building on the fly.
The basic mechanics are simple; everyone starts with an identical (small) deck and continues to build it throughout the game by purchasing cards out of a set on the table. Whereas there are similarities to CCGs (collectible card games like Magic: The Gatherings) it comes without the burden of having to maintain (and pay for!) your own deck.
Though I think what makes it a great game is the massive replay value – because every time you play you pick at random a set of ten “Kingdom” cards that you use to build your deck. The base set of Dominion has 25 of those cards, and so the number of possible permutations is 25 choose 10, or 3,268,760. There are also three expansion packs with more cards – Intrigue (25), Seaside (26), and Alchemy (12) – so if we add those we get 88 choose 10 or 4,513,667,845,896. 4 trillion unique gameplay setups is pretty impressive. And what makes that particularly interesting is that the set of cards can seriously impact strategy, which means you have to think on your feet.
And if you just want to try it out, Dominion is one of the games available on Brettspielwelt – which now has a website in English, very helpful!