Dominion Intrigue followed the original base game as the second full expansion game to be released. It followed the wildly successful first game after nine months of extensive play-testing by the creator, Donald X. Vaccarino. It was released in July of 2009 and built upon the basic game play introduced the year prior. Of note, two mini-expansions (consisting of a single card) had been released prior to Intrigue’s release but after the original debuted. The Envoy promotional card was released in November of 2008, and the Black Market promotional card was released in March of 2009 (see here for the full list of Dominion promotional cards).
After Dominion Intrigue was released, the game continued to draw attention as a flexible, fun, challenging, and excellently designed game. In October of 2009, Dominion won the Deutscher Spiele Preis award. Also added to the impressive collection of awards in 2009 were the Mensa Select award and two Golden Geek awards (the Golden Geek Game of the Year and Golden Geek Card Game of the Year).
The entire series of Dominion games has been designed so that each expansion game adds themes or additional game play concepts to the core principles introduced in the original game and around which it revolves and expands. The the original Dominion game is probably the best one to get if you aren’t already very familiar with the game, but Intrigue can be a starting point as well. See the Buy Dominion page for more on what themes and play concepts are introduced by each expansion set.
Dominion Intrigue Narrative
Oftentimes, game publishers will set the context for their games by releasing a narrative that introduces the thematic “environment” for game play. Each Dominion game or expansion has such a narrative. The original Dominion Intrigue storyline from RioGrandeGames.com reads as follows:
Something’s afoot. The steward smiles at you like he has a secret, or like he thinks you have a secret, or like you think he thinks you have a secret. There are secret plots brewing, you’re sure of it. At the very least, there are yours. A passing servant murmurs, “The eggs are on the plate.” You frantically search your codebook for the translation before realizing he means that breakfast is ready. Excellent. Everything is going according to plan.
Dominion Intrigue Card List
The Dominion Intrigue expansion comes with 500 cards; all the cards you need to play the game are included. There are 130 basic treasure cards (60 Copper, 40 Silver, 30 Gold), 48 basic Victory cards, 258 Kingdom cards, 30 Curse cards, 26 Randomizer cards, 7 blank cards (so you can create your own), and a Trash card to mark the trash pile.
In alphabetical order, the Kingdom cards included in the Dominion Intrigue game are: Baron, Bridge, Conspirator, Coppersmith, Courtyard, Duke, Great Hall, Harem, Ironworks, Masquerade, Mining Village, Minion, Nobles, Pawn, Saboteur, Scout, Secret Chamber, Shanty Town, Steward, Swindler, Torturer, Trading Post, Tribute, Upgrade, and Wishing Well
For card images, how each card functions, and a more detailed Dominion Intrigue card list, go here: Dominion Intrigue Cards List
Recommended Dominion Intrigue Kingdom Sets
Each game that is played centers around building your deck from the (usually) 10 stacks of Kingdom cards. Prior to a new expansion being released, all the cards go through an extensive play-testing trial. This culls out cards that are too powerful, useless for much of anything, too “swingy” (meaning that their presence or use causes the game to swing inordinately for or against a player), or that prove to be detrimental to the game in some way. Also, this play testing is vital in determining the best price point for each of the cards.
With each of the releases, a rules booklet is released to clarify exactly how the cards may be used and played (download Dominion Intrigue rules below). Also included in the rules are recommended Kingdom sets. The sets are recommended to highlight specific card interactions and themes and strategies. The recommended sets involving Dominion Intrigue are as follows:
Recommended Sets, Dominion Intrigue Only
Victory Dance: Bridge, Duke, Great Hall, Harem, Ironworks, Masquerade, Nobles, Pawn, Scout, Upgrade
Secret Schemes: Conspirator, Harem, Ironworks, Pawn, Saboteur, Shanty Town, Steward, Swindler, Trading Post, Tribute
Best Wishes: Coppersmith, Courtyard, Masquerade, Scout, Shanty Town, Steward, Torturer, Trading Post, Upgrade, Wishing Well
Recommended Sets, Original Dominion & Dominion Intrigue
Deconstruction: Bridge, Mining Village, Remodel, Saboteur, Secret Chamber, Spy, Swindler, Thief, Throne Room, Torturer
Hand Madness: Bureaucrat, Chancellor, Council Room, Courtyard, Mine, Militia, Minion, Nobles, Steward, Torturer
Underlings: Baron, Cellar, Festival, Library, Masquerade, Minion, Nobles, Pawn, Steward, Witch
Dominion Intrigue Rules
You can download all of the rules to the Dominion Intrigue game here: Dominion Intrigue Rules. This rules set provides instructions for properly playing Dominion with more than 4 players.
Buy Dominion Intrigue
When Dominion was first released, there were no options. You could buy the game or not. There were no expansions. There was no confusion. Now, however, there are many options available. It is generally considered best to buy and learn the first released game prior to moving on to subsequent ones. You can do that directly here: Dominion Base Game. If you aren’t sure, or if you just want more information prior to deciding on which boxed sets you want to get, this page will help walk you through the process and give you a better grasp of what you get with each one: Buy Dominion.
Also, with the release of the expansion-only boxed sets, a new artistic rendering has been applied to the common cards that are present in every Dominion game. They are also available on the above-linked page for those familiar with Dominion already and who wish to buy an expansion set to play as a stand-alone game.
Dominion Intrigue: Conclusion
The Dominion Intrigue expansion game is a great addition to an already all-around fantastic game. The additional Kingdom cards increases the possible card combinations and further ensures that the game is virtually always different. With all the expansions, there are millions upon millions of possible game combinations. Since every card is different, every card interacts with the others in varying ways. The initial analysis strategic component is important! But, the game is interactive, and how you play is affected by what your opponent(s) does(do), so your ability to adjust and implement mid-game tactics is equally important!
The bottom line is that Dominion Intrigue adds great new thematic and strategic elements to the overall game. It makes the game an even better choice for families, friends, and the über-competitive alike. Because of the variability, every game presents a unique challenge, an opportunity to improve and learn something new, and a guarantee of a good time.