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04 Oct 2021
Temple Gates Games
About Dominion - Dark Ages
Times have been hard. To save on money, you’ve moved out of your old castle, and into a luxurious ravine. You didn’t like that castle anyway; it was always getting looted, and never at a reasonable hour. And if it wasn’t barbarians it was the plague, or sometimes both would come at once, and there wouldn’t be enough chairs.
The ravine is great; you get lots of sun, and you can just drop garbage wherever you want. In your free time you’ve taken up begging. Begging is brilliant conceptually, but tricky in practice, since no-one has any money. You beg twigs from the villagers, and they beg them back, but no-one really seems to come out ahead. That’s just how life is sometimes.
You’re quietly conquering people, minding your own business, when suddenly there’s a plague, or barbarians, or everyone’s illiterate, and it’s all you can do to cling to some wreckage as the storm passes through. Still, you are sure that, as always, you will triumph over this adversity, or at least do slightly better than everyone else.
Dark Ages defies the previous scope of Dominion in several ways. It adds the only cards that cost $1 (Poor House and Shelters). It adds Supply piles containing various cards rather than an identical stacks (Knights and Ruins). It adds a Kingdom pile with twenty rather than ten cards (Rats). Overall, Dark Ages is known for its paradigm breaking content.
Dark Ages will challenge intermediate and advanced players, and represents a formidable undertaking for those new to Dominion. While some expansions give cards that are generally OK in any scenario, Dark Ages contains cards that require skill to play optimally and advanced planning to trigger combos.
While the set has a healthy learning curve, Dark Ages polled to be the forum favorite expansion. Not only is it a very large set, many of the cards offer a replayable challenge to master. Entire strategies are built around individual cards.
Replacing starting Estates, Shelters add a little variety and function to the players starting deck. Very little. They are starting cards after all.
Looters is a new type which distributes Ruins to players' decks. Ruins are generally junk and clogging up opponents' decks can extend the game. While usually longer games favor engine heavy strategies, those engines that get bogged down in Ruins will have a hard time starting. Because the Looter Cultist chains with itself, players can speedily destroy opponent decks faster than a typical Curse attack could. Dark Ages is notably the only set without a Curser.
To spare players from complete ruin, Dark Ages introduces some of the most powerful trashers.
- Altar - Pricey trasher, gains a card
- Count - A versatile trasher than alternatively has other awards
- Counterfeit - A Treasure trasher, useful in low Action games
- Death Cart - A great way to eat through Ruins to gain $
- Graverobber - Can gain from the trash
- Hermit - Can trash directly from your discard
- Junk Dealer - A cantrip trasher
- Knights - A varied pile with Anna, an excellent Trash Attacker
- Mercenary - A terminal trasher
- Procession - Particularly suited for Kingdoms with cards of each cost
- Rats - Watch out, these trashers multiply
- Rebuild - An upgrading trasher
- Catacombs - Trash and gain cheaper
- Cultist - Draws 3 if trashed
- Feodum - Gains 3 Silver if trashed
- Fortress - Persists in hand if trashed
- Hunting Grounds - Gains a VP card if trashed
- Overgrown Estate - Draws a card if trashed
- Sir Vander - Gains Gold if trashed
- Squire - Gain Attacker if trashed
Because Dark Ages supports combos, it lends toward engine decks.
- Bandit Camp - A village that gives temporary $
- Cultist - At high density, draw entire deck
- Hunting Grounds - High card draw
- Ironmonger - Sifts and grants bonuses
- Mystic - Combos well with deck inspection
- Necropolis - Starter that helps action engines
- Poor house - incentivizes low Treasure
- Scavenger - Prepares next turn
- Squire - Versatile bonuses
- Wandering Minstrel - Engine Village finding Actions
Some Dark Ages cards are set far apart from those in other sets because of their distinctive strategies.
- Poor House - Uniquely has the potential to subtract $
- Fortress - Uniquely can never be trashed
- Rats - Has spore like growth
- Band of Misfits - A card emulator
- Graverobber & Rogue - Gain from the Trash
- 4 Ruins cards: Marauder, Cultist, Death Cart, Vagrant (Ruined Library, Ruined Market, Ruined Village, Abandoned Mine, Survivors)
- 3 Spoils: Marauder, Pillage, Bandit Camp (Spoils)
- 8 When-trash cards: Market Square, Fortress, Squire, Hunting Grounds, Feodum, Cultist, Catacombs, Rats (Overgrown Estate, Sir Vander)
- 7 Other upgrade cards: Hermit, Urchin, Rats, Altar, Graverobber, Procession, Rebuild
- 8 Other trashing cards: Junk Dealer, Counterfeit, Forager, Death Cart, Count, Knights, Rogue, Pillage (Mercenary, Hovel, Dame Anna)
- 3 Look at trash cards: Graverobber, Rogue, Forager
- 7 Live with junk cards: Poor House, Sage, Storeroom, Ironmonger, Scavenger, Wandering Minstrel, Catacombs (Survivors)
- 4 Off-theme cards: Beggar, Armory, Band of Misfits, Mystic (Madman, Necropolis)
Digital Optimizations and Custom Settings
- Urchin - You can opt to no longer be prompted to trash an Urchin
- OS: Windows 7 or higher
- Processor: Intel Core i3 2.00 GHz or AMD equivalent
- Memory: 256 MB RAM
- Storage: 200 MB available space
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