Which Dominion expansions are the best?
July 27, 2015 2:49 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I love playing Dominion together, and we want to take the experience to the next level by adding some expansions to the base game. Dominion players, which expansions are your favorites? Is there a reliable source for reviews? Thanks!
posted by Fister Roboto to Shopping (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I would recommend Intrigue and Prosperity. We always add those in and they are really fun.
posted by FireFountain at 2:54 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Prosperity is a fantastic one in my opinion: New mechanics, but not much that's massively game-changing. Hinterlands is also novel but not revolutionary. Other people will likely have different favorites, though. I think the only near-universal is that Alchemy is generally not well-regarded.
posted by jackbishop at 3:00 PM on July 27, 2015

I agree that Intrigue and Prosperity are good. I like Seaside as well.

I've also heard bad things about Alchemy being too confusing.

This website provides a list of all cards for all of the sets. I'd recommend browsing the list and seeing which cards seem cool to you.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 3:08 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

This interview with Donald X Vaccarino (creator of Dominion) gives some interesting insights into what he believes each expansion adds.

Comparing just the large sets, I like Dark Ages best, then Hinterlands, Prosperity, Seaside, Intrigue, Dominion. They are just strictly in order from worst to best. The biggest gap is between Intrigue and Seaside though; from Seaside on they’re all so good that who cares which set is better. I’ve had plenty of fun with Intrigue and Dominion but for sure there’s room for improvement there.

It’s hard to fairly compare the small sets to the large ones (or Dark Ages to normal large sets). I like Cornucopia more than Alchemy. I like Alchemy though, I am no Alchemy hater. I probably like Guilds best, but it’s close.

The whole interview is fantastic, as it goes through the origin of the game (the first five or so expansions were just his slicing of the card set he'd initially designed).
posted by teabag at 3:22 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here's a huge block of how he thinks people should buy the expansions:

For set order I like going Intrigue, Seaside, Prosperity – set trying to be a good first set, generally good set, set that adds Colonies. I would put Alchemy last, where it was; it was there because I knew some people wouldn’t like potions, because somebody hadn’t. You could swap Hinterlands with Seaside but I wouldn’t. After Prosperity then there are Hinterlands and Dark Ages to order and well you have the question from before of whether or not Hinterlands is a standalone. I like having another standalone, and if it is one then I would put it ahead of Dark Ages. Possibly I would anyway. A question is, do you recombine Cornucopia and Alchemy. If people don’t like Alchemy then it’s nice that they get a tight package of just it, rather than buying it to get Cornucopia or passing on Cornucopia because of it. So possibly it’s worth keeping them separate. Large sets are better though, so either expand Cornucopia and Guilds or combine them. That’s another decision to make before knowing what order to put them in, but Guilds wants to be near the end due to complexity. If they’re not one set then large Cornucopia could go between Prosperity and Hinterlands still, uh depending on how it turned out.
posted by teabag at 3:24 PM on July 27, 2015

I found guilds to be the most added fun, but I haven't played much of seaside. Prosperity was also good.
posted by Naib at 4:01 PM on July 27, 2015

If you have an android phone or tablet, Androminion is an android Port of the game.

You can enable and disable expansions and you could test out the sets to see which you like.
posted by czytm at 4:19 PM on July 27, 2015

Seaside is my favorite! (And I have all of the expansions, so I have thought about it a bunch.) The duration cards are cool, and I just think in general the set spices things up without being too crazy. I get kind of tired of the more overtly weird cards in Dark Ages, for instance, but ymmv.
posted by ferret branca at 4:32 PM on July 27, 2015

We have all the expansions! But I tell you this: the one we play least is Alchemy. The ones we like most are Seaside, Guilds, Prosperity.
posted by Kitteh at 5:11 PM on July 27, 2015

We like Seaside and Dark Ages...we have Intrigue but somehow it just doesn't get played as often. Each set kind of has a style of its own, so it depends on your own deck-building tendencies!
posted by Otis the Lion at 7:16 PM on July 27, 2015

Response by poster: Do people ever mix expansions? Like, play cards from more than one in the same game? Does this work? Thanks for the feedback!
posted by Fister Roboto at 5:21 AM on July 28, 2015

I like Seaside, Dark Ages, and Intrigue the best. I also own Prosperity (adds some higher value money and victory cards) and Hinterlands. I would especially avoid Alchemy, the new mechanic they added was not good.

I usually play a mix of cards from different expansions by randomizing what cards go in the game amongst all the expansions I own. This usually results in some fun new combos or mechanics that you can discover.
posted by the_wintry_mizzenmast at 5:56 AM on July 28, 2015

Yes to mixing expansions; I like mixing intrigue and prosperity. I agree with Alchemy being my least-favorite.
posted by craven_morhead at 6:10 AM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, we mix expansions all the time. We even have an app on our iPhones that lets you select which expansions you want to play together and then randomizes the draw.
posted by Kitteh at 7:09 AM on July 28, 2015

Definitely mix them! We play with cards from all the expansions, and it keeps the game interesting.
posted by ferret branca at 8:24 AM on July 28, 2015

Yes to mixing- we always play with the base game and intrigue and prosperity mixed.
posted by FireFountain at 9:16 AM on July 28, 2015

Dark Ages adds a lot of interesting stuff. If you like to play attack cards on each other, seaside is great.

Do people ever mix expansions? Like, play cards from more than one in the same game? Does this work?

Works fine. Helps to have a place to set the extra boxes out of the way. Some people keep all their sets in a compact card file.
posted by yohko at 10:00 AM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I actually like Alchemy. It's just so weird!

But I think Intrigue is the best next set for you if you like attacking, otherwise Prosperity.
posted by ignignokt at 10:43 AM on July 28, 2015

Every expansion is worth getting, and I absolutely mix them all together every time. The only set I'd give a warning on is Alchemy--the addition of the potion cards doesn't usually make a lot of sense unless you have at least 3 Alchemy cards on the table. But there are phone/internet game generators that allow you to select that as a setting.

I'll also add that if you've just been playing the base game, the difference between that and a set like Dark Ages or Adventures is pretty drastic in terms of rules complexity. I'd suggest beginning with Intrigue or Seaside, and working your way up roughly in the order the expansions were released.
posted by soonertbone at 1:56 PM on July 31, 2015

Incidentally, it seems like randomly picking which cards to put in is the usual way of setting up the game. You don't need to do that, sometimes it's nice to just pick out the cards you want to use. For teaching the game to a new person I'll tend to pick certain types of cards, for a faster game different ones, and for a game with expert players who want to needle each other with mean strategies something else.
posted by yohko at 2:49 PM on August 2, 2015

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