Dominion Strategy

Well it’s Christmas Eve, so a great time to play board games (and watch Lego Movie :-), so just a reminder on how to do a quick lesson on a deep game, Dominion:

  • Big Money/Smithy. Probably the easiest thing to teach, is basically to buy a Smithy and money and keep going until your second reshuffle then buy another Smithy and then just more money and VPs until you win. Kind of silly but it works against most noobs because they have too many cards. Give it a try to start. Sort of like Fool’s mate in chess, it is soon defeated, but it feels good to play that way.
  • Village/Smithy. This is a even better yet still simple variant, the Village gets you an card and two actions, so with this combo, you can pretty much clear your entire deck in no time. What you do is to first get a Smithy/Silver (you need silver so there are $8 in your deck), then buy Village and Smithy alternating and every time you get $8, buy a province. Incredibly, this simple strategy is hard to beat as simulations prove.

It is actually pretty hard to beat the Village/Smithy strategy as simulations show, so here is one way to do it:

  • So if someone is playing Village/Smithy which you could call Militia/Marketplace followed by your own Smithy/Village to get points, then you actually need to think in terms of a counter attack using Militia (it forces a discard of two slowing BM/Smith down). This one is basically buy a Militia and a Silver then just one Gold (you don’t want to buy too many as you want the deck to cycle fast). Then buy five Marketplaces because they allow the deck to cycle through quickly. Then buy up to 5 Smithy’s (to draw more) and 6 Villages (to keep drawing through the deck), then a Cellar to recycle the deck faster. Finally go for the Provinces until there are only 3 left, then Duchy’s and then when only 2 are left, fill it out with Estates.
  • The final variant is to add Remodels to get rid of the Estates, so you need a pretty complex but looks like:

Open Remodel/Silver (or Market/Cellar). Get 2 Golds (these can be Remodeled into Provinces in the end game). Get a single Militia, then again focus on Markets (stop at 4). The Villages and Smithies can be acquired fast by Remodeling Estates and all the +buys from the Markets. Get Cellar at $2 (or Remodel a Copper). Once you have about 5 Smithies your engine is fit for greening. Duchies can wait until there are 3 Provinces left and Estates when 2 are left. If the game is very close to ending use Remodel agressively to transform cards into VP (most notably Gold into Province).

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