Every Game I'm Shufflin'
What’s the worst part about card games? Shuffling, obviously. Especially deck-building games. Which is why for my main squeeze I present to you: Dominion Online! No shuffling, no remembering reoccurring actions, and minimal counting! A good ol’ deck building game that does all the hard work for you? Yes please!
Dominion itself is originally a 2-4 player table-top deck building game, where you’re trying to end the game with more victory points overall than the other players. Each player starts with 7 Copper cards (treasure) and 3 Estate cards (victory points). The play area has 10 different stacks of cards available for purchase, that vary game-to-game, that are designed to help you purchase or gain additional victory points. Every game has additional money cards to buy; Copper, Silver, and Gold. The Victory cards always available for purchase are Estate, Duchy, and Province. Occasionally there are additional cards present, but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on the base game only. This will be difficult for me, because there are currently 12 expansions available with over 230 different cards among those, but the base game is free to all players! There are 26 different action cards that can randomly be selected for the 10 stacks required. This still makes each game a little different.
To begin the game, your starting hand of Copper and Estates will be shuffled face-down. To start your turn, you will draw the top 5 cards of your deck. Every turn from there can be broken down into steps A-B-C-D.
A = Action. If you have any action cards in your hand of 5, you must play them at the beginning of your turn if you’d like to play them. Every player has 1 action per turn, unless they have a card in play that provides them with more than one action.
B = Buy. You may then play any, or all, of the treasure cards in your hand. These cards are your money, used to purchase other available treasure, action, or victory cards. The cost of each card is represented in the lower left-hand corner of the card. The web client conveniently highlights the cards you can purchase on a turn based on the treasures you have played. Every player has 1 buy per turn, unless they have a card in play that provides them with more than one buy. This means that you can only buy one thing, even if you have additional treasure left over after your purchase. Because of this, I find that games without action cards that provide an additional buy can be tough. But it all depends on your strategy!
C = Clean Up. After your actions and buys are resolved, the cards that you played and purchased (or gained) are put into your discard pile, face-up.
D = Draw. At the end of your turn, you draw the 5 cards for your next turn. If at any time you need to draw but your draw pile has less than the number of cards you need, you will draw the cards available and then your discard pile will be shuffled into a new draw pile for you to complete drawing. Luckily, the online game does this for you automatically, so you really don’t have to think about it at all.
When all of the Province victory cards have been purchased, OR when 3 supply piles of any card type are depleted, the game ends. The red number in the upper left-hand corner of each stack shows how many available cards remain in it. The player with the highest total of victory points wins the game. This addition can be tricky in long or elaborate games, but the online version keeps a visible running point total for every player!
So how do you access Dominion Online? As I’ve mentioned, the base game is free to play, and can be accessed at https://dominion.games/. You are able to play with the expansions, as long as one player in the match has subscribed for them. I am always subscribed for them, so it’s a great value for Adam and I, as only one of us has to pay for us to play together with all of the available cards. Wanna get in on this? There’s a very simplistic friend system, and you can add me from the Friend List tab: Alchemisty10.
If you’re interested in branching out on your own, access to all of the expansions cost about $4.75/month, but the subscription is not reoccurring. You can choose from the Store tab how many months to pay for at a time, and when it ends, it ends.
Each set up will require a unique strategy and each match is different! I hope to see you online for all the Dominion enjoyment, with none of the manual effort!