The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Rick's Rec Room

September 11, 2012

Dark Ages portent of Dominion's conclusion?

Genre-creating game still very strong

As Dominion reaches its final stages, at least in terms of new releases, the final full expansion for the game, Dark Ages, carries a most appropriate name.

Everything is falling into Ruins and the cards reflect the calamity and the dire circumstances of the world as you know as a Dominion player.

There has never been an expansion for this great game that was as large or that changed the landscape of Dominion as much as Dark Ages.  But the fact that this is the final planned large expansion for the game had nothing to do with the size and scope of the set.

“It got to be large because Seaside and Prosperity had tokens and the main set and Intrigue had the basic cards,” said dominion creator Donald Vaccarino. “I wasn't sure that a large set could get away with just being 300 cards and slightly cheaper. So I made Hinterlands as a standalone and made Dark Ages a full 500 cards. Then Hinterlands didn't end up being a standalone because of the Base Cards product, but that didn't mean I had to make Dark Ages smaller, so I kept it big.”

Let’s start with what’s new.

The Shelter cards and the Ruins cards are big changes. The Shelter cards, Hovel, Necropolis and Overgrown Estate start the game in the deck, replacing the three Estates that had been the standard since the game was released. Each does something different and while it isn’t much, it is more than the Estates provided.

There are five different ruins, Abandoned Mine, Ruined Village, Ruined Market, Ruined Library and Survivors. They featured altered artwork from each of the iconic cards of which they are ruined versions. Ruins are part of the supply, though most won’t want to buy them. They are all shuffled into one pile of 50 cards. Count out 10 for two players and 10 more for each player more than two in the game. So a four-player game would have 30. These cards aren’t as bad as Curses, but you won’t welcome them into the deck either. If any Kingdom card has Looter as a card type, Ruins will be added to the supply.

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