Designer: Donald X. Vaccarino
Rio Grande Games

Artista: Several

2 – 4 players.

30 – 45 min.

BGG Link
Official Rules


What’s inside


Theme: Build a Kingdom. As monarch you try to gain as much land as you can to your kingdom.

Gameplay: This was the game that started the deck building mechanic, all players start the game with the same set of cards and from there they optimize the deck while playing buying  cards from the common pool in the center.
Turns are very simple, in each round you can play an action card, buy a card and end then draw 5 new cards from your deck. The game is a big hit because there are multiple sets of matching cards but you only play with 10 of these sets, which makes of every game a different game with new challenges trying to find the best combination possible using the cards available. The objective is to have more victory points – which are awarded by green victory cards – at the end of the game.

Evolution in game. A hand of cards in the beginning and near the end of a game.


What I like:

– Every player start with the same conditions and opportunities.
– The mechanic is very simple but allow and encourage for very original cards and combos.
– Feeling of build something good and evolve.
– How attacks are resolved, attacking all opponents equally.
– Works well with less experienced players as with more experienced players.

What I don’t like:

– Setup time is too long. (even worst when playing with expansions)
– Sometimes the winning strategy is to just buying treasures and actions are not necessary in the deck.
– The player who starts the game have a good advantage, since most of the games will play an extra turn and it could be decisive.
– Watching other players having long turns where they draw action cards, play action cards, draw action cards…
– That many veteran players want to be kind of hipsters and say that this is a bad game just because it has become too mainstream.
( –  Others say that it have no interactivity, I agree that it have a small amount of it, but it doesn’t bother me that much. But you are warned.)

Note: For me it is very hard to evaluate this game just like the base game cause I always play with expansions mixed in so I had to remember how it was in the beginning. Several of the negative points of the game are fixed while playing with expansions.


Components: 6
It is a collection of 500 cards of good quality, only the size of the cards could be more like the standard and the art could also be better. The rulebook is very well written and have detailed explanation of all available cards.
Complexity: 4
Fairly simple system, and the complexity comes from the way how the cards interact.
Strategy: 8
Strategy is essential in this game. Experienced players can see the common cards and soon decide what to buy for the next turns. Being both positive and negative as it requires great commitment to your intial strategy being hard to change afterwards if things are going wrong.
Tactics: 4
Most of the times the game will come to our turn as we expected and we do what was already planned. There are still scenarios where we need to respond to opponent actions. – Buy defense cards when opponent is buying attacks, buy Thief if the opponent is buying a lot of good treasures … –
Interactivity: 4
Just with attack cards we are able to directly interact with any player, other than that we can always win a race by the last card of a set. It is true that with some setups the game may seem almost a solo multiplayer.
Luck: 3
The worst and main element of luck is the fact that the first player will get a good advantage just because. Apart from that expect tha same luck as any other card game. But usually the player who built the better deck will win.
Worth the time: 9
With experienced players the game is very fast and very rewarding. Just the setup time is very boring.
Replayability: 8 (10 with expansions)
The fact that we have several cards and we play every game with only 10 cards provides a huge number of possible combinations making of each game a different one with new opportunities for combos. It’s the game I played more times. However playing with only with this box it can end and at some point is no longer necessary to improvise.
Fun: 9
This game is like a puzzle with multiple solutions in each game where you try to figure out the best way to use existing cards. In addition, players really feel they are winning power and improve throughout the game.
Gamedesign: 10
Despite several negative points for is a 10 for its originality and cause have started a new genre that is so much repeated now, and still managing to be the best of this kind (to me). The fact that the attacks affect all opponents instead of targeted attacks against only one player is one of the strengths in this game and should be repeated in more games.
Overall: 8 (10 for Dominion System)
Is the first box, the cards have the most basic system, and little interactivity. Also the cards are quite similar. It is a good box (best one) to start this game but the game has much more to offer.

How I feel about it? 

Should you buy it?
Yes. Can please casual gamers and more experienced players, magic and ex-magic players, girls, boys… And is cheap if you think about the replayability on it. (price / hours of play)


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