Dominion Dark Ages Estate Replacement Cards

Dominion Dark Ages Estate Replacement Cards

Well, as the official storyline for the new Dominion: Dark Ages expansion game says, the good times are over (thematically, of course). In the context of this latest version of the hugely popular Dominion series of games, you’ve moved from your once-luxurious, now-robbed castle and headed for your nice ravine. And while you’re already a beggar, you can at least throw out the trash whenever you want!

Okay, maybe things have taken a turn for the worst. And it fits well with the themes of the new Dark Ages expansion. With cards like Rats, Pillage, and Graverobber, it’s no wonder this edition focuses on trashing, discarding/upgrading, and getting cards through specific other cards. Even the nice, comfortable, modest estates that each player started the game with in all previous games have now been replaced with the hybrid Shelter cards. And since the new Shelter cards are present in every Dark Ages game, a discussion of how they compare to the previous boring Estates is in order.

But first we need to review the rules for each of the three shelters:

Hut: Cost = 1 coin. Card Type = Reaction / Shelter. Rules = When you buy a victory card, you can discard it from your hand.
Necropolis: Cost = 1 coin. Card Type = Action / Shelter. Rules = +2 actions.
Overgrown Manor: Cost = 1 coin. Card Type = Victory / Shelter. Rules = 0 VP. When you discard this, +1 card.

Before we continue, it should be noted that these cards are not in the supply, and although they have a price, they cannot be purchased. The costs are mostly there to facilitate value calculations due to discard/upgrade interactions. A shelter, for example, can be rebuilt into a card worth 3 coins. Now, for a brief discussion of each of the new property replacement cards.

First, let’s take a look at Hovel. Thematically, this card goes well with the new set. Instead of starting out in a nice mansion, you’re stuck in the copter. What do you want to do if you live in a cabin? Why, move out, of course! Hovel is not a win card, provides no benefits, and is basically a hindrance to your deck. Therefore, this card is even worse than a starting manor. But the only scenario that is likely to justify buying a winning card to discard in the early game is if you open with a 5/2 split. If all 3 shelters are in your hand with two coppers, buying a manor to discard the hut makes sense (if there aren’t good 2 coin cards on the board). Otherwise, you’ll be trading purchasing power or engine components for a deck-clogging victory card. As the old saying goes, it takes money to make money, and once you land in a cabin, it can be hard to pull on the Jeffersons and move on.

Second, let’s look at Overgrown Estate. This card also fits into the riches to rags theme. The once immaculate mansion is now derelict and overgrown. Therefore, the 1 Victory Point (VP) that Estates award is missing for Overgrown Estate. Since this is a victory card, however, it will still be useful for VP calculations with Silk Road. When you discard it, the +1 card minimizes the remodel effect on the current hand, and upgrading it gives you a 5 card hand. This shelter will make a good early trash target and is roughly equivalent to a mansion IF trashed.

Third, let’s look at the Necropolis. This card is strictly better than starting manor. Its +2 action feature allows for much more variability with openings. Indeed, more cards with terminal actions can be purchased initially without fear of getting them out dead. One of the main ways this can affect the game is through the 3 coin attacks (like Swindler and Ambassador). Drawing a Necropolis with two Swindlers, playing both of them, and tricking two of your opponent’s Coppers into Curses would probably mean a win.

Of course, these are just the beginning of the possibilities and strategic realizations that can be formed with the new Dominion Dark Ages cards. As more games are played with the cards, more unique interactions will be discovered and skills will increase. Be sure to get your own game ASAP!

#Dominion #Dark #Ages #Estate #Replacement #Cards

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