Adventures is the ninth expansion to Dominion, released April 2015. It is a large expansion, with 400 cards, including 30 sets of new Kingdom cards. It adds more of the popular Duration cards, and introduces Events, as well as Reserve and Traveller cards, and a variety of tokens used to track the effects of various card and Event abilities.
Basic Supply Cards
- Adventures is only an expansion, so no Basic Supply Cards are included.
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- The Port pile has 12 copies of the card instead of the usual 10.
Upgrade cards (5 each):
- Page is a Kingdom card, while the other 4 cards in the line may only be gained by exchanging from Page to Treasure Hunter to Warrior to Hero and finally to Champion.
- Peasant is a Kingdom card, while the other 4 cards in the line may only be gained by exchanging from Peasant to Soldier to Fugitive to Disciple and finally to Teacher.
20 Events (1 each):
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- Event cards are non-Kingdom cards shuffled into the randomizer deck. When an event is drawn, keep turning over cards until you get to 10 total Kingdom cards.
- For normal play, use at most two Events per game.
6 sets, in different player colors, of:
- 1 Tavern mat
- 10 tokens:
- +1 Card token
- +1 Action token
- +1 Buy token
- + token
- - cost token
- Journey token
- Trashing token
- - token
- -1 Card token
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. You're not sure which, but at least you've narrowed it down. You are rich with life experiences, but have had trouble trading them for goods and services. It's time to seek your fortune, or anyone's really, whoever's is closest. To the west there's a land of milk and honey, full of giant bees and monstrous cows. To the east, a land of eggs and licorice. To the north, treacherous swamps; to the south, loyal jungles. But all of them have been thoroughly pillaged. You've heard legends though of a fifth direction, as yet unspoiled, with its treasures conveniently gathered into troves. You have your sword and your trail mix, handed down from your father, and his father before him. You've recruited some recruits and hired some hirelings; you've shined your armor and distressed a damsel. You put up a sign saying "Gone Adventuring." Then you put up another sign, saying "Beware of Dog," in case people get any ideas. You're ready. You saddle up your trusty steed, and head florst.
Impact of Adventures
Despite having fewer cards total than Dark Ages, Adventures added the most unique cards of any set at that time, due to Travellers and Events. Though it has some simple cards, its complexity can be quite daunting to newer players, what with Reserves, Events, Travellers, and tokens. It has also led to the discovery of some extremely fast combo strategies (such as Royal Carriage/Bridge), as well as a new baseline in fast Big Money strategies in . All in all, the reaction to the set so far has been positive, particularly with the introduction of Events.
Structurally, Adventures was conceived in part as a sequel to Seaside, with its focus on card abilities that affect multiple turns: it reintroduces Duration cards; introduces Reserve cards, a variant on the Duration theme; and tracks long-term effects with a mat and tokens as some Seaside cards do. Adventures also introduces cards with unusual combinations of types that could have been used before but never were; these include the first Treasure–Attack, Attack–Duration, and Duration–Reaction cards. Following somewhat in Dark Ages' footsteps, the set also introduced some cards that broke previous written and unwritten rules, including permanent Durations, non-Supply cards with non-zero costs, a Treasure that gives +Action, a card that can be played when it's not your turn, and a card that turns into another resource.
Seaside, serving as the introduction to Durations, for the most part stuck with fairly simple cards of this type, with half of them having solely vanilla effects. With Adventures, the boundaries of what can be done with Duration cards are explored. Some, like and , are simply Duration variants of existing cards, while others are more exotic, like and . Durations are what most players liked most about Seaside, and Adventures effectively doubles their number, making it twice as likely that orange will be seen in any given Kingdom.
The ability to set a card aside to call upon on any future turn dramatically expands a player's options every turn. Not only do players have all the cards in their hand to choose from now, but all the cards on their Tavern mat, as well. While Reserve cards can often be rather slow, and can suffer from the same problem as Durations with missing the reshuffle, they can have quite powerful effects when called, and their slowness allows them to be cheaper than conventional cards with similar effects.
Events are the most substantial innovation Adventures introduces, drastically increasing the amount of options players have in a game of Dominion without taking up one of the Kingdom card slots in the supply. Therefore two games with the same Kingdom can play very differently depending on what Events are available. Some, like and , can completely change opening turns; others, like and , can add tokens to piles to make some truly powerful cards; others still are just plain weird, yet still compelling, such as .
Adventures has a number of cards that facilitate Big Money strategies:
- and - both of these line cards can fill your deck with Treasures
- - a good source of
- - decent terminal draw that can set aside excess Treasure for next turn
- - a Lab variant specifically for Treasures
- - fills your deck with
- - can net you a lot of Silvers if you already have a fair few
Other cards may play well with Big Money, but more playtime is needed to judge.
Adventures has a number of cards that facilitate engine strategies:
- - a cheap source of +Action to smooth out your engine
- - makes an engine possible on almost any board
- , and - the line in general seems well suited to engines
- , , - all decent early-game trashers
- - a village that comes with another village, leaving more buys for draw and payload
- - can turn any card in your hand into a missing engine part when needed
- - a Peddler variant that can gain engine parts to the top of your deck
- - gives +Buy and cost reduction
- , , - When used in conjunction with each other, the one you don't need can flip the Journey token to be face up and the next can be used to reap a massive payload.
- - +3 Cards is great at the start of your turn, and engines usually don't have anything left in hand to top-deck during the Buy phase
- - a Lab variant and a village
- - a Throne Room variant that can never be drawn dead, and can stack on important cards
- - a decent payload card that does best in decks that can spare every turn
- - increases your handsize for the rest of the game
- - a fantastic gainer in Treasure-less decks
- - a source of +Buy as well as a top-decker
- - lets you use while still trashing them
- - can serve as draw for an engine with extra
- - makes important engine parts cheaper
- - engines can make more use of a turn on which you can't buy cards
- , , and - all of these can vastly improve an engine deck relying on many copies of key cards
Other cards may play well with engines, but more playtime is needed to judge.
- 9 new Duration cards, including one non-Supply card: , , , , , , , ,
- 9 Reserve cards, including one non-Supply card: , , , , , , , ,
- 5 Token cards, including one non-Supply card: , , , ,
- 3 cards with otherwise delayed or long-term effects: , ,
- 8 off-theme cards: , , , , , , ,
There are also 20 Events, 11 of which use tokens: , , , , , , , , , ,
Adventures was the first expansion released after Donald X. stated he would no longer release expansions on a regular basis, making this the first "occasional" expansion. It is also the last expansion originally published under the first edition.
Donald X has stated that Adventures started off as a "treasure chest" set that revisited themes from every previous expansion, but the only theme that both stood out and did not require the repeated inclusion of old tokens or other components was Duration cards. He has also stated that, in retrospect, Adventures could have been a spin-off game.
In other languages
- Dutch: Avonturen
- Finnish: Seikkailut
- French: Aventures
- German: Abenteuer (note: identical to the German name for )
- Japanese: 冒険 (pron. bōken)
- Polish: W nieznane! (lit. into the unknown; note: as referred to in Polish Empires rulebook)
- Russian: Приключения (pron. priklyucheniya, lit. adventure)
The weekend before previews, Donald X. posted a teaser of "bits of information about the expansion that don't actually tell you any cards."
Some things you will find in Dominion: Adventures:
Adventures was the first expansion whose US edition was made in country, by Hasbro. Unfortunately, the initial print run was beset with a number of problems, such as miscut or damaged cards, as well as other changes, such as more flexible cards and a lack of gloss on the box, mat, and tokens; all of this led to a perceived drop in quality of the physical components of the set relative to previous products, though the actual gameplay of the set was well-received.
At some point, you've gotta call it a day. I mean what about the people with storage solutions? And well. As I have said repeatedly, there are good reasons to switch from expansions to spin-offs. You run out of simple things to do. You already have endless variety with 8 expansions. There are things you can do in spin-offs that you can't do in expansions.
All that still stands. But I made a spin-off, and then took the Dominion part out; it's Kingdom Builder. And I made another spin-off, and took the Dominion part out; it's Temporum. At some point it was clear: even if I managed to make some spin-offs, I wasn't just going to crank out an endless series of them. So eventually I would make another Dominion expansion. The publishers and fans would want it, and I wouldn't be able to say, here's another spin-off instead. And one day in May 2014, I had nothing else going on, and it seemed like, well, maybe it's time to see what's left to do. And there was stuff to do, so I did it.
Some people talk about a "treasure chest" expansion - more cards for each existing expansion. It doesn't really work. It's not much of a product if it requires you to own the other sets, so everything you'd need has to be included. Including all that stuff is not great - so much for tokens, coin tokens, stuff that costs , stuff handing out Ruins. At the same time some mechanics just don't scream out their expansion - "choose one" for example shows up in a bunch of sets, it doesn't just say, oh this is an Intrigue card. In fact of all of the mechanics in the expansions, the only one that seemed satisfying to revisit and which didn't require components (except rulebook space) was duration cards.
So, how about some new duration cards? There was plenty left to do there, and some of those cards could even be simple. So I made some up.
Another source of early inspiration was the idea of someday making an online-only promo. It would have to be something you simply couldn't do physically. I came up with an obvious card idea I liked - a card which, each time you played it, gained +1 of something of your choice. Gradually individual copies of the card would become distinct and more powerful. Later I realized, wait, I could do something like that physically, by having piles of cards to upgrade into. And that sounded cool. So, new duration cards, this upgrading thing, okay, a starting point. And I had my lists of old ideas never tried, and tried a few promising ones.
Initially I was thinking of the set as a full-on Seaside sequel. And what else did Seaside have? It had mats and tokens. I looked at what the possibilities were for these components. For mats one thing stood out: a mat you put cards on, where they would wait until you were ready to use them. I had done one of those in Dark Ages, and it had been great, but hadn't made the set because you know, it needed the mat. For tokens, again connected to the online-only card concept, I thought, what about modifying cards? I couldn't modify individual cards, but I could modify piles - your cards from that pile are better. It had to be just your cards, because people are stingy. So, 6 copies of each token, in 6 colors to handle 6 players.
So I made cards for the mat, initially the Castle mat, and cards that produced tokens, initially one-shot kingdom cards (plus a few other kinds of uses for tokens). And a good time was had by all.
I was playtesting irl, but it seemed good to also have some external playtesters. My old playtesters mostly just played online, which wouldn't be possible this time, but a few had physical copies. So I let some of them know. I also looked on dominionstrategy.com for people who might playtest. I already had Matthew Engel, who had playtested . Now there were two things I wanted out of new people: playing ability, and owning the physical game. As it happened there had recently been a tournament, and there was a thread talking about a meet-up in Chicago. I looked for people who did well in the tournament who also said they had a copy of the game in the Chicago thread, and invited three people. So somehow, being willing to go to Chicago upped your chances of me asking you to playtest.
Wei-Hwa Huang alerted Doug Zongker to the existence of the new set, and Doug offered to program the set on isotropic for us. This was fantastic; you get way more testing done online, since it goes so fast and you can do it whenever. Since we could play online, I invited a few more people from dominionstrategy, this time based just on playing ability.
The mat worked great, the tokens were exciting, the new duration cards compelling. One day, real-life playtester Kevin White said, man the tokens took a while to get. You buy the one-shot, eventually shuffle it in and draw it, then play it and finally you have the token. Couldn't they be faster? Now they could have just been when-gain one-shots, a concept I tried out previously in Hinterlands. But if you trash a card when you gain it, well, why have the card? It's not doing anything except limiting how many times you can do this. You could just buy the token directly. That immediately sounded awesome. And then, if you can buy tokens directly, why not pay for other things? And thus the set got Events. And I needed new kingdom cards to replace the ones that turned into Events, and I needed more Events so there would be lots of Events.
Initially I had no flavor concept beyond, maybe it's Seaside-ish. Later I had to actually focus the set's flavor. I tried a "castle" theme, because of the Castle mat, but it just felt like generic Dominion. Then I tried Adventures and well these stories aren't all interesting. I changed the Castle mat to a Tavern mat to tie in with adventures in its mild way. And I made some cards specifically to pursue the Adventures flavor. Dominion doesn't have a lot of "top-down" cards but it did get a few this time.
The set ballooned. With 20 Events and 8 upgrades eating up 60 cards, the options are to have fewer kingdom cards than usual, or more. I'm weak; I went for more. So the final set is 400 cards plus the mats and tokens.
Recommended Sets of 10
Adventures & Guilds