Hear Ye, Hear ye, it has just been discovered that the King has perished in his library not moments ago! The funeral procession will be in one week, and Prince Flip will be in ruling our fair Dominion! LONG LIVE THE KING!
BACKGROUND: Dominion is a card game published by Rio Grande Games for 2-4 players. Players buy cards to improve their decks for their kingdom.
GAMEPLAY: Each player begins with a deck of 10 cards. Each player starts with 5 cards in hand. A turn consists of first playing up to 1 Action card in the action stage, buying up to 1 card in the Buy phase, discarding the rest and then drawing back up to 5 cards.
CARDS: The market consists of 10 cards chosen either randomly or by players. Players may also buy Victory Points or money. Various Action cards may increase the amount of Buys or Action cards you may do that turn. Keep in mind that you don't ever have to buy anything, even if you have Buys left
WINNING: Once players have bought the last green province card in a stack, or there are 3 stacks bought, the game is over. Players calculate all Victory Points in their hand and deck, and the player with the most wins.
CONCLUSION: There's a reason that Dominion is known among board gamers as the grandfather of deck builders. This game may not necessarily be the first deck builder, as the genre was inspired by TCG's, but it does know how to make a solid game with easy to understand rules and a strong system. The biggest criticism I could make is that there is no real theme here to speak of, just an excuse plot of ruling a kingdom. That being said, if any game has proven that you can make a game work by slapping a theme on, it's Dominion. With over 10 expansions, Dominion has proven it has staying power.
AFTERTHOUGHTS: I am aware that there is a free online version, but I would make the recommendation to use that as a test for determining if you would enjoy it, and support your local game store. Besides, it's more fun with friends.