April 22, 2019

Board Game Review: Dominion Renaissance


Dominion: Renaissance
by Rio Grande Games
My rating: ★★★★★

The card building game Dominion was first released ten years ago, and after hearing a number of good reviews, I decided to give it a shot. I bought the base game, as did a few other friends who I met up with weekly for our long-standing game night. After getting a hold of how to play the game—using treasure to buy cards, playing actions to make things happen, and hoarding victory cards which determine the winner—I started collecting the expansion sets, playing most evenings with my husband, and introducing new friends to my favorite game.

Yes, Dominion is my favorite game and I have purchased every expansion. After having kids, we don’t have the same amount of free time to dedicate to playing games, but each new expansion reminds us to pull out all the boxes and spend an evening building our reign.

Not every new box is a hit. Some add lots of depth and story while others add several layers of complexity. But each new edition has a rich and cohesive theme and a set of cards which really work together in new and interesting ways.

But today, I want to focus on the expansion Renaissance. After obsessively playing it for two weeks, I have to say this is one of my favorites (along with Dark Ages and Empires). The cards with this set are straight forward enough, that I would be comfortable using this set to introduce Dominion to new players. There are also some plays on old cards which seasoned players will find charming.

This set features some fun changes on the number of actions one can play in a turn. Normally, each player gets just one action each turn. Some action cards will give the player additional actions, but in this set, most do not. Some cards allow you to bank ‘villagers’ which may be used in the future to play more actions, and there’s a new treasure card which can be used to repeat an action from your turn—and there’s no limit on the number of treasure cards you can play at a time.

If you’re familiar with deck-building games, then I’d actually recommend jumping in on Dominion: Renaissance. You will also need to get the base cards since they aren’t included in the expansions. For those who have never played a deck-building game, go get Dominion right now! You won’t be sorry, I promise.

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