We all love spreading our wings of imagination through various recreational media. Board games are one of the few such media which have stood the test of time. From the pre-internet days to the current age of smartphones and mobile apps, these games have entertained us all the way.
Two classic choices of these board games are Dominion and Stewardship. Even though their releases were 11 years apart, these two games have similar appeal. They both rely on cards to settle the players’ destiny and use interesting color combinations in the gameplay.
So it is our duty to tell you which one suits your taste the best by comparing them as closely as possible. Let’s see how each of them scores in our very own game of Dominion Vs Stewardship!
All About Dominion
Dominion is a popular board game based on cards that has its roots in Germany. It was first launched in 2008 by the publication Rio Grande Games. Designer Donald X. Vaccarino created its original format where the players would build their individual powerful kingdoms by decking up cards of their choice and luck.
Terms, Components and Setup
Before beginning your journey in Dominion, you need to get acquainted with the main cards of this game! Here are some brief descriptions of some powerful Dominion cards-
- Supply: This refers to all the cards you can buy with coins in the game. Supply can have cards like Kingdom, Victory, Treasure and Curse. It typically consists of gold, silver, copper, estates, provinces, duchies and curses, along with the 10 stacks of Kingdom Cards.
- Basic Cards:
- Victory: These are usually green in color and grant you the mentioned number of Victory Points when the game ends. The basic Victory Cards include Estate, Province, Duchy and Colony.
- Curse: It is purple in colors with a minus value and it reduces your score by taking away a Victory Point. Since this is a dead card, you cannot use them right away after drawing them.
- Treasure: This will allow you to buy cards with silver, copper, gold, platinum and similar valuable items. Each treasure card bears a number from 2 to 8 on them denoting its value.
- Action: You can use these white or gray cards for many useful actions like drawing cards, earning coins, earning cards, buying cards and eliminating cards.
- Popular Expansion Cards:
- Attack: Use this to put other players at a disadvantage by making them discard their cards or take Curse cards.
- Reaction: You can pull out these blue cards in response to certain events like being under attack by another player. If you get this card, hide it from other players until necessary.
- Duration: These orange cards can produce effects that will last even after its turn is over.
- Command: This is used to prevent infinite playing loops by emulating Supply cards.
- Ruins: As a part of the Dark Ages expansion, these basic cards are used for attack or penalty.
- Kingdom: This is the pile of cards that you gain to build your kingdom. The base game has a total of 25 Kingdom Cards which are mostly Action cards. You can buy these cards by paying for their respective value of 2 to 6 coins.
- Trash Card: When you remove a card from your deck permanently, it becomes a Trash Card and goes into the Trash Pile.
Start preparing for the game by arranging all the basic cards in seven different stacks – three full of Victory Cards, three of Treasure Cards and one pile of Curse Cards. Then arrange the Kingdom cards in 10 stacks randomly or according to your choices and place them on the table. That’s all for the setup!
The main aim of every player in this game is to earn the maximum Victory Points. To achieve this feat, you all will explore the medieval landscapes, social structures and more in each session of Dominion. The truly dominant player will rule all the kingdoms along with his own in the end!
So when your full Supply is set up with the basic cards and Kingdom cards, gear up for finally starting the session! Distribute cards among players such that each gets a deck of 10 cards consisting of 7 Copper and 3 Estate ones. Now each of you needs to shuffle their own deck and draw the 5 cards on top.
On every turn, you and others will get 1 Action Card and 1 Buy Card. Then three phases will occur as follows-
- Action: Play an Action card from your hand and follow its instructions.
- Buy: Play one or more Treasure Cards to generate coins and purchase cards.
- Clean-up: Place the played cards and the ones from your hand in your Discard Pile.
If your deck is empty at any point, you can shuffle the Discard Pile and use it as your new deck. Each session will reach its end when either all the Province Cards are used up or three stacks of Supply are used up.
Then all you have to do is count your Victory Points and declare the player with the biggest score as the winner!
Spinoff and Expansions
Dominion has introduced a total of 12 expansions over the years – Intrigue, Seaside, Alchemy, Prosperity, Cornucopia, Hinterlands, Dark Ages, Guilds, Adventures, Empires, Nocturne and Renaissance. There is another one coming soon in March 2020 named Menagerie.
So you have plenty to look forward to if you are a beginner here. Dominion is always on the mission of keeping you away from boredom.
Duration and Player Requirements
It is a pretty fast-paced game with tens of cards to play with. Once you have set it up within 5-10 minutes, each session will wrap up within half an hour!
Since it involves many moves and groups of cards, the players should be at least 13 years old to fully grasp the complicated rules. In one sitting, Dominion can be played by 2-4 participants.
All About Stewardship
Stewardship is a veteran of board games that first came out over two decades ago in 1997! The renowned game publication named Sheed & Ward published this game designed by Bob Perron. Although it has taken a dip in popularity in recent times, Stewardship remains a classic for all vintage board game lovers.
Terms, Components and Setup
There are four types of cards involved in Stewardship. They are colored in four vibrant shades of yellow, blue, pink and green. Each of them comes with their own symbol like pigs, alarm clocks, books and globe in hands. The board bears pictures of three structures – church, school and general store.
Basically, its design compiles the main elements of a steward’s daily life and presents them before the players in a colorful way.
To begin the game, just stack up all the cards in four color-coded stacks and spread out the board in front of you.
This very interesting board game is meant to inspire children to be a true believer. It will teach them the most significant principles of Christian Stewardship and how being a steward can bring peace in life. You will learn effective ways to strategize and reach an informed decision on a regular basis from this game.
All you have to do to play this game is roll the die and see which colored box it lands on. Then take up a card from the stack matching this color and follow its instructions.
If you land on the space named “Word on Stewardship”, you need to draw a card from this stack and find the Bible verse mentioned on it within 30 seconds. Failing to maintain the time limit will put you backward in board. If you do find the verse, read it aloud and then continue playing.
Whoever lands on the space named “Well done good and faithful steward” first, gets to win. When this moment comes, the session needs to come to an end.
Duration and Player Requirements
Since it is mainly meant to inspire kids, the players can be just five years of age or older. In each session, you will need 2 players at a minimum and 6 at a maximum.
Playing Stewardship till the end can take up to 15 minutes at most. However, the game can be done way before that if someone gets lucky early!
Differences Between Stewardship Vs Dominion
Number of Players
Both Dominion and Stewardship can be played by 2-4 participants at a time. However, the latter encourages more people to play since you can extend its number of participants up to 6.
Therefore, if you want some fun family time with 5-6 players, Stewardship will be the better option.
Dominion is based on an elaborate quest of being the king of a rich and flourishing kingdom. It involves a complex set of versatile cards and requires complicated strategies to win. As a result, you need to be at least 13 years old to play it.
On the other hand, Stewardship follows a very simple storyline of highlighting the main components of a Christian steward’s daily life. The only major move it has is reading a verse from the Bible.
So anyone aged 5 years or more can play it! This is definitely a much simpler and easier game than Dominion.
It takes a while to set up the board for a round of Dominion. There are many cards to sort out into different stacks and then distribute them among players to begin the game.
Besides, running the game till the end also takes a while. In total, you need to take 30 minutes or more to finish a session of Dominion.
Stewardship is a much faster game because of its simple gameplay. From the setup to the finish line – it will only take you about 15 minutes.
Final Words – Which One Is Better For You?
In the head-to-head battle of Dominion Vs Stewardship, the former game wins for us since it will be a fun game to play for all kinds of players, despite their religious backgrounds. Dominion, on the other hand, is limited to only Christian values.
Thus, it may be uncomfortable for other religious groups to enjoy the game. Besides, in terms of designs and storyline, Dominion seems to be more updated with the latest trends.
It also encourages players to think deeper for coming up with effective strategies at complicated turns.
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