Dominion Online, developed by Shuffle iT, is the official platform to play Dominion, the award-winning deckbuilding card game created by Donald X. Vaccarino.GETTING STARTED
Dominion Online is located at https://dominion.games/
. When you navigate to this site, you will be presented with the above welcome screen. You can log in with your username and password, or sign up to make a new account. You can also select your preferred language by clicking on one of the flags on the top left of the screen (Dominion Online currently supports English, German, Japanese, and Russian).
Once you have logged in, you will be presented with the above screen. The buttons along the top of the screen will take you to several different menus:
- Matching: This is the menu you start on when you log in. Here you can be matched automatically with another human player, in either a rated or practice game, or you can start a quick game against the AI. Any game started this way will be played with a fully randomized set of Kingdom cards, according to your settings. You can also see which of your Friends (or players that you follow) are online here, and join their Table if they have set one up.
- New Table: Here you can set up a Table. Think of a Table as a digital version of a real-life board gaming table: this is where you can set up a game, and people can join your table to play with you. Unlike a game started under Matching, here you can choose what settings you wish to play with, including what cards you want to use, whether to use a Victory point counter, and whether players and spectators can see each other chatting. If a player has joined your Table that you don’t wish to play with, you can kick them out. Once all players have signalled they are Ready, the game begins.
- Tables: Here you can view all Tables set up by other players, and join a Table that is open. You can also spectate games that are already in progress.
- Options: This menu has a number of options related to the user interface that you can toggle.
- Friend List: Here you can add a Friend if you know their username, and view Friends you have already made. You can also view those who have requested to be your Friend, and potentially accept their request. You can also end friendships. You can also check your Blacklist, which comprises the users who are no longer allowed to join games with you. You are able to blacklist a user on the end game screen after playing a game with them, by clicking the lightning bolt icon.
- Familiar Cards: Here you can view every card in the game, including cards that you are not currently subscribed to. If you have seen a card before, and feel comfortable playing with it, you can mark it as familiar. If a card is unfamiliar to you, it will show up in grayscale. To change the status of a card from unfamiliar to familiar (or vice versa) simply left-click it. Right-clicking a card will show you an enlarged view of it, including its text. When setting up a Table, you can choose to only use cards that are familiar to both players (you can find this under Advanced Options). Rated games do not respect familiar cards, and will take from all cards that the players are subscribed to. 10 cards from the Base Set are always familiar, and cannot be made unfamiliar.
- Leaderboard: Here you can see the current ratings of the top 20 players, yourself, and all of your friends. Note that your rating will not be calculated until you’ve played at least one rated game, and updates at midnight UTC. The ratings for 2-player games and 3-4-player games are calculated separately. Ratings are calculated using the Glicko-2 system, giving each player a level from 0 to 100. Only whether you won, lost or tied a game factors into the rating; point totals do not matter.
- Account: Here you can set your username, change your password, enter bonus codes for free subscriptions, and confirm your email address.
- Store: Here you can purchase a subscription to Dominion Online, as well as view your current subscription status. Subscriptions can be for any length of time, but will run for a year by default. Two subscriptions are available: the Silver subscription, which grants access to Intrigue, Seaside, Prosperity, Cornucopia, Hinterlands, Guilds, and Promotional cards; and the Gold subscription, which grants access to all currently released cards. Cards from the Base Set are available for free, and do not require a subscription. When a new set of cards is released, subscribers do not automatically get access to them; you will have to renew your subscription to play with the new set. Note that all prices are listed in euros.
You will also note the smaller box in the lower right corner, with four more options:
HOW TO PLAY
- Inbox: Here you can view messages sent to your account by the development team.
- FAQ: This option will take you to our Official FAQ.
- Need Help?: This option will direct you to the Support section of the Shuffle iT forum, where a moderator or member of the development team can assist you with your problem.
- Logout: This will log you out of the game, taking you to the login screen. Note that you can only change language settings when you are on the login screen.
Dominion is a deckbuilding card game. Each player starts the game with a small deck of low-quality cards, which they can use to add more cards to their deck. The new cards they add can have a variety of effects, from drawing more cards into your hand, to being able to play more cards, to removing unwanted cards from your deck, to gaining more cards per turn than you would normally be able to, to hurling detrimental effects at your opponent(s). As your deck gets better, you will be able to acquire better and more expensive cards, including the very important Province cards, which are worth 6 points at the end of the game. However, the supply of cards is limited, and competition for certain cards will be fierce. The game ends when either the Province pile, or any 3 piles, empty out completely. At that point, the player with the most points wins.
On your side of the game board are a few different areas:
- Your Hand: These are the cards you’re currently holding, and can see. When you play a card, it will come from here. You normally start your turn with 5 cards in your hand.
- Your Play Area: When you play a card, it will go here.
- Your Deck: When you draw a card, it will come from here. You cannot see these cards, but you know how many cards are left in your deck.
- Your Discard Pile: When you discard a card, it will go here. At the end of your turn, all cards you’ve played that turn will be put here. When there aren’t enough cards left in your deck in order to do something, such as drawing cards, your discard pile is shuffled, and put under your deck. You can only ever see the top card of your discard pile.
Your opponent has the same areas, just on their side of the board. You cannot see what cards are in their hand, but you can see all the cards they’ve played, and the top card of their discard pile. There is also a resource tracker in the center of the screen, that will say how many Actions, Buys, and Coins the current player has (see below), as well as what the current player can do, or if the game is waiting for someone to do something.
Between the players is a communal area called the Supply. This is the set of cards that players can add to their deck this game. There is a set of seven Base Cards on the left side of the screen - Copper, Silver, Gold, Estate, Duchy, Province, and Curse. These cards are in every game. There are also 10 other cards called the Kingdom, which will change from game to game. Whenever a player buys or otherwise gains a card, it will come from the Supply. Each pile in the Supply has a limited number of cards in it, and when that pile runs out, cards can no longer be gained from it.Card Types and Turn Phases
There are 3 main types of cards in the game:
- Victory cards: These cards have green borders, and are worth points at the end of the game, but don’t do anything else; they are essentially dead cards that take up space in your hand. If you have too many of them in your deck, you may find your hands clogged with these Victory (or “green”) cards, and unable to do anything of value. However, if you don’t get enough Victory cards, you may not have more points than your opponent, and will be in danger of losing. Thus a delicate balance must be struck, in deciding when to start acquiring Victory cards, which ones to get, and how many of them to add to your growing deck.
- Treasure cards: These cards have yellow borders, and will be your main source of Coins, the resource used to buy cards. During your turn, you will be able to play any number of Treasures, each of which will produce some amount of Coins, typically shown on a large Coin symbol on the card. With the total amount of Coins you’ve produced, you will be able to buy one card from the Supply - each card has a cost in Coins shown in its lower left corner. After you buy a card, it is put into your discard pile; the next time you shuffle, it will be added to your deck, and you will be able to use it when it shows up in your hand.
- Action cards: These cards usually have white borders, though a few have an extra type (or two, or three) that gives them an additional or alternate color. You can only play one Action per turn. However, Actions have a wide range of abilities, and some can even let you play more Actions afterwards. Actions are the most common type of card in Dominion.
There is also one card with its own, eponymous type: the Curse card. Curses have purple borders, and are worth -1 points. You will usually not want to buy these, but a few Attack cards can force you to add a Curse to your deck.
Each turn is broken down into 3 phases:
- Action phase: To start your turn, you may play one Action card. Specifically, you have 1 Action to use, which you can spend to play an Action card. Note that Actions, a resource you accumulate, are different from Action cards. You spend an Action to play an Action card. The resource counter tab in the center of the game screen tells you how many Actions you have remaining. Often when you play an Action card, it will yield an extra 1 or 2 Actions, allowing you to play more Actions afterwards. When you play an Action, it goes into your play area, and you follow the directions written on it. While most effects are written out, there are a few very common effects that are written in a shorthand:
- +X Cards: Draw that number of cards from your personal deck, and add them to your hand.
- +X Actions: Add that many Actions to your total, allowing you to play that many more Action cards this turn.
- +X Buys: Add that many Buys to your total, allowing you to buy that many more cards this turn (see below).
- +X Coins (represented by a Coin symbol): Add that much Coin to your total, giving you that much more to spend on buying one or more cards this turn.
- Buy phase: After you have finished playing Action cards (either because you’ve run out of Actions or Action cards, or because you decided you didn’t want to play any more), you may play any number of Treasures. You may then buy one card. Specifically, you have 1 Buy to use, which you can spend on a purchase. Some Action cards (and a few special Treasures) allow you to buy additional cards during this phase. The resource counter tab in the center of the game screen tells you how many Buys you have remaining. When you buy a card, the cost of the card is deducted from your current Coin total, and one of your Buys is spent. You may then buy another card, and so on, until you have no Buys remaining, or have decided you don’t want to buy anything else. Note that some cards cost 0 Coins - it still costs a Buy to buy one, though.
- Clean-up phase: After you have finished buying cards, you then discard any cards you have played this turn, and any cards left in your hand. Discarding cards puts them into your discard pile. You then draw 5 cards from your deck, to be your hand for your next turn. If there are not enough cards left in your deck to do this, your discard pile is shuffled, and is put under what remains of your deck, and then your new hand is drawn. The same applies anytime you need to do something with the top of your deck and not enough cards remain.
Note that you are never forced to play an Action during your Action phase, and you are never forced to buy a card during your Buy phase, even if you have Actions or Buys remaining, respectively. You can always choose to end the phase early, and move on to the next one. After you’ve finished your Clean-up phase, play moves to the person to your left, and they take their turn, in the same 3 phases. Once play returns to you, you will start again with a new Action phase, and have 1 Action and 1 Buy to use. If either the Province pile, or any 3 piles, are completely empty after a player’s turn, the game ends immediately and each player’s Victory points are counted.Secondary Types and Keywords
Some cards have more than one type. The most common secondary type is Attack. This does not have any special ability associated with it, it just signifies that this card has a hostile effect on other players. Some other effects also reference Attack cards - several of these are Reaction cards, which have blue borders. A Reaction card has an effect that can be used at an unusual time, which is most often detailed on the lower half of its card text, beneath a dividing line. For example, the Moat card can be revealed from your hand when another player plays an Attack, to protect you from the Attack’s effects. There are also other secondary types, with their own rules and peculiarities.
You will find that the text of most Dominion cards is fairly straightforward in detailing the effect of the card. However, there are a few keywords with a specific meaning:
- Gain: Take a card from the Supply, and put it into your discard pile. The Supply is the set of cards that make up the large part of the game board, as described above. The most usual way to gain a card is to first buy it, but some effects instruct you to gain a card without buying it.
- Discard: Put a card into your discard pile. If an effect doesn’t otherwise specify, cards are discarded from your hand. Some effects will tell you to discard a card from another location, though, such as your deck, and all the cards you have in play get discarded during your Clean-up phase. Note that when you play a card, it is not immediately put into your discard pile; it stays in your play area until your Clean-up phase.
- Trash: Put a card into the trash pile. The trash pile is used by all players as a receptacle for cards removed from their deck. Cards can only be trashed if an effect says so. Be careful: discarding and trashing are different things. If you discard a card, it will eventually be shuffled back into your deck and you will see it again