Toy Corner

Dominion Second Edition: Review Guide

Apr 09, 2024

dominion second edition box

I have thoroughly explored the world of Dominion and its expansions. The Second Edition update packs for Dominion and Dominion Intrigue promise to rejuvenate the game with modifications, updates, and cuts to the existing deck. However, it remains unclear whether these changes are substantial enough to warrant sticking with the Second Edition over maintaining the First Editions.

Overview of Dominion Second Edition Reviews

Similarly to the original, Dominion second edition will take around 30 minutes to finish a game and the game is suitable for between 2-4 players. The game begins with each player taking 10 cards, 3 estate and 7 copper treasure cards, from there, each player takes turns to play their action card, play treasure cards (this is to gain coins so that you can purchase more cards) and to throw away any useless cards that they have into their discard pile. The goal in these rounds is to improve your card deck to suit your strategy and acquire higher-value cards called Victory cards, where the person with the most victory points at the end of the game wins. 

One thing I must mention is the gameplay itself acts as a powerful magnet, monopolising one's attention so completely that I, too, found myself somewhat detached from the theme. Even the clever connection between card titles and their in-game actions didn't truly hold my attention. Despite this, I can't deny that it all adds to the tapestry of gameplay, tying together the rich framework of strategy that is Dominion Second Edition.

To wrap up this brief overview, my experience with the Dominion Second Edition has been quite transformative, offering exciting complexities that embody a sense of robustness, meticulosity, and decisiveness to my gaming sessions. And while I could wax lyrical about the strategic elements, the acid test is truly in play; and I must say, it has captured my heart, elevating the entire Dominion experience.

Key Features of Dominion Second Edition

Let's delve into some specific features that make Dominion Second Edition a unique and captivating experience for both newbies and experienced players alike.

Card Variety

When I consider the uproar over Dominion Second Edition, it's essential to highlight the sprawling variety of cards available. From specific ones like Merchant, Harbinger, and Sentry, each card boasts its strategic value and impact on gameplay. For example, the Harbinger card ensures you're always top-decking golds — quite an enticing prospect indeed. Sentry is a trusty sidekick in the early game, helping you get rid of those pesky excess Estates or Copper. However, when it comes to promoting Silver to Gold or enhancing a single Silver for every Merchant I play, I've found Merchant to be truly intriguing.

Moreover, there are some brilliant trashing cards in this collection as well, like Rats and Count. The interesting dynamics with Rats is how efficiently they help clean out your deck, albeit they can sometimes get a bit out of hand, which adds to the thrill. Count, on the other hand, has a multitude of options up its sleeve, whether it's gaining new coins, trashing your hand, or even gaining a duchy.

Gameplay Mechanics

As much as Dominion Second Edition is about the card variety, equally essential, if not more, are the Gameplay Mechanics. Every player starts with an almost identical deck, my friends — just a handful of cards. But the real magic begins when you start buying new cards from the centre of the table, leading to an immersive deck-building experience full of strategic choices.

For instance, consider how the Reaction cards respond to an attack from another player, or how you can discard all played cards, including those remaining in your hand, during the Cleanup Phase. Do you see? Dominion borrows gameplay mechanics from collectable card games but twists them effectively to provide players with a level playing field at the start.

If your draw pile runs out, all you need to do is shuffle the discard to create a new draw pile. And when some cards are causing trouble, you can trash them to pave the way for better strategies. In other words, your deck evolves dynamically based on your choices. It's a game of myriad possibilities, where the most efficient path to victory often emerges only from the choices you make on the fly.

Pros and Cons of Dominion Second Edition

One major advantage of Dominion Second Edition is its unique deck-building aspect. With an array of cards like Merchant, Harbinger, and Sentry, you can strategically build your deck to enhance gameplay.

Moreover, Dominion's trashing system is one of my favourites. The pleasure of culling, replacing bad cards with good ones, and then good ones with great ones is an experience you don't get with many games, this also makes the game feel fresh every time I play as there are so many possible ways of going with this. This mechanism adds depth and sophistication to the game.

Furthermore, every game of Dominion Second Edition is different thanks to its deck customisation options. With the right combination of cards, you can fine-tune strategies and interactions that suit your gameplay style.

Something to consider when deciding to buy Dominion Second Edition is that despite the impressive variety of Dominion Second Edition cards available, some can feel redundant, diminishing the value of having such a large pool to choose from.

Lastly, while its theme might not be a deal-breaker for most, some might find it lacking coherence or depth. If you're looking for a game with a more deeply interwoven theme, you might find Dominion Second Edition falling short.

Final Thoughts

Dominion Second Edition is an excellent game and a great sequel to the original, I am a real fan of this. The deck-building element makes the game fresh every time, I keep finding different cards that go well together and also watching what my opponent's strategy is makes me think of different ways to play the game. It has relatively fast gameplay and I have even played it with my young nephews, I think from the age of 12, I can play this with no problems. The other great thing about Dominion second edition? The wide range of expansions that there are for this, provides you with even more cards to match and play with, if you are looking for a new game I would say that you should consider adding Dominion Second Edition to your collection.