Guilds is the eighth expansion of Dominion. It was released in June 2013. The box contains 13 sets of Kingdom Cards. The set has two main themes - cards that give Coffers, and cards that you can overpay for, which are signified by a "+" in their cost. There are also two cards that name cards, several very wordy cards, and several cards whose art features bald people. It is no longer sold as a separate item, instead being paired with Cornucopia in a larger box.
The first edition of Guilds used the wording "take a Coin token" where the second edition has +X Coffers as a vanilla bonus.
Basic Supply Cards
- Guilds is only an expansion, so no Basic Supply Cards are included.
, , , ,
- Some cards in Guilds put tokens on a player's Coffers. "+1 Coffers" means "add a token to your Coffers mat." In a player's Buy Phase, before buying anything, that player may remove tokens from their Coffers for + each.
- Coin tokens are provided for this. They are not component-limited; players may use a substitute if they run out. The same tokens are provided in and ; they can all be mixed together.
- Coin tokens being used in other ways, such as on the mat for Dominion: Seaside, cannot be removed for + ; just the Coin tokens on a player's Coffers mat.
- Coin tokens come from the supply of Coin tokens, and return there; they are not taken from other mats or other players.
- Coin tokens can only be removed from a player's Coffers in that player's Buy Phase (or when instructed by a card such as ); they cannot be used when buying a card via the promotional card .
- Some cards can be "overpaid" for. The costs for these cards have a "+" next to the coin symbol. A player may pay any additional amount for such a card, and then gets an effect based on how much extra was paid.
- (from ) may be used in overpaid amounts if desired, although this is not always meaningful.
- Debt (from ) cannot be overpaid.
- Players may choose not to overpay, even if they have extra coins, but cannot choose to overpay ; to overpay, a player has to actually pay more than the cost.
- The coins used to overpay are gone after spending them to overpay; they cannot be then used to buy something else.
- Overpaying happens when a card is bought, which is before it is gained.
- Players can only overpay for a card when buying it, not when gaining it some other way.
- The "+" is just a reminder; a card with "+" in the cost still has its normal cost for all purposes. For example if a player plays (from ), then buys Masterpiece, overpaying, Haggler will still gain them a card costing less than , the cost of Masterpiece. Similarly, Masterpiece could be the Bane card for , since it costs .
- Reducing the costs of cards via (from ) does not interact with overpay; for example, if you play five Bridges and have total to spend, Herald would cost , but if you bought on the most you could overpay for it would still be .
Jobs, everyone’s worried about jobs. Whatever happened to tilling the fields in obscurity? The economy is just a trick, like stealing someone's nose, but lately people seem to have seen through it, like when you realize someone hasn’t really stolen your nose. So now everyone’s joining a guild, learning a craft, and working on a masterpiece - a painting so beautiful it blinds you, or a cheese grater so amazing that you never eat cheese again. The only people left tilling the fields are the ones doing it ironically. The guilds cover everything - ironic tilling, butchering, baking, candlestick making, shoemaking, cheesemaking, cheese destruction. Your advisor is convinced that somehow, control of the stonecutters is key to world domination. Very well. You will have stone handled so expertly that the world trembles before you.
Impact of Guilds
Guilds is well-liked, but given its small size and the fact that it is the eighth expansion, the odds of even just one Guilds card being in any random Kingdom are low, making its impact rather minimal. However, the Coffers and overpay mechanics give Guilds a rather unique flavor, and even just one card from this set in a Kingdom can broaden a player's strategic options significantly.
In general, the Coffers mechanic replaces Big Money strategies in games in which it is present, as
can now be kept separate from your deck, but Guilds does offer these cards:
- - literally gives you a pile of money (s) when overpaid for
- - the only card in the game that directly gives you without conditions (besides and )
Since Coin token cards can remove the need for buying Treasures, those cards in general help with engines.
- - allows you to pick up multiple engine pieces at once (particularly with ), and is a decent trasher
- - one of the best trashers in the game, it can trim your deck down for a perfect engine
- - in certain decks, can be an engine unto itself
- - it requires high Action density, but when it has it, it excels
- - one of the best terminal draw cards in the game
Metagame and Complexity of strategy
Coffers and the overpay mechanic add further layers to Dominion strategy. Most Guilds cards are also quite complicated, not just in terms of what they do or how much text they have, but in how to play (or buy) them effectively.
- requires your deck to be constructed in a certain way
- , and require the player to have an intimate knowledge of their deck in order to be played most effectively
- completely changes the opening two turns, allowing for a completely different game of Dominion
All names of Guilds cards have something to do with jobs. Most simply describe a job; apart from them, a Masterpiece is the pinnacle of someone's career, and a Plaza is typically surrounded by shops or businesses.
- 5 cards produce Coffers: Candlestick Maker, Plaza, Baker, Butcher, Merchant Guild
- 4 cards can be overpaid for: Stonemason, Doctor, Masterpiece, Herald
- 2 naming cards: Doctor, Journeyman
- 4 cards depict bald people: Advisor, Taxman, Butcher, Soothsayer
Guilds is notable in that its first edition rulebook exclusively used feminine pronouns; this was in contrast to all previous rulebooks, and all official cards (prior to the second edition), which exclusively used masculine pronouns, before changing to the neutral "they" after the release of Empires. It is also the only set not to include a Victory card, and the only set with a curser that does not match any of its main themes. During development, the set's placeholder name was Tokens.
The first spoiler was unintentionally revealed by the release of a Dominion Set Generator by playtester Wei-Hwa Huang on 7th of December, 2012. It was revealed that this expansion would have 13 cards and the abbreviations of all cards and their cost were visible. The abbreviations were of names of the cards from early in development that had been shifted one letter down in the alphabet to hide their meaning.
The cards were available on Dominion Online a few days before the physical expansion was released.
In other languages
- Dutch: De Gilden
- Finnish: Killat
- French: Guildes
- German: Die Gilden
- Japanese: ギルド (pron. girudo)
- Korean: 길드를 위하여 (pron. gildeuleul wihayeo)
- Russian: Гильдии (pron. gil'dii)
Right around when Prosperity
was due, the powers-that-be decided that they wanted small expansions too. Products that seemed more expansion-like than these giant game-sized expansions I was doing. The ideal time to do one would be next, and so Prosperity got pushed back, and Alchemy
came out in its stead. I got Alchemy by breaking off a thematic chunk from a large set, and eventually reshaped the remains of that large set into Cornucopia
I had two large expansions left after Prosperity, so this left me one small expansion short. I had to make one more small expansion to go in between Hinterlands and the last large expansion. Well I didn't have to, but you know. It was expected. So I made one. Guilds is thus the only expansion with no roots in Dominion as it existed prior to the main game being published. As it happens, the Base Cards product came out instead of Guilds, and then Dark Ages came out so we'd have a large expansion that year, so now the last expansion to be made is also the last to come out.
On my list of possible future mechanical themes, "tokens" was the easiest-sounding, so I went with that. There are a bunch of things you can do with tokens. My initial idea was to use them as money you could hang onto for later. This was simple and meant that any one card that used the tokens was useful by itself; there was no reason for anyone to insist on more than one token-involving card in the game at once, thus avoiding an issue that Alchemy had. The initial idea worked out and so there it is.
To supplement the tokens, I added the overpay cards. Overpay was a natural extension of the when-gain cards in Hinterlands, and was a good match for the tokens, since you could save up tokens for a big overpay. Two sub-themes is plenty for a small expansion, but I also flirted with a "name a card" sub-theme. In the end there's just a hint of it.
Before picking the tokens and overpay themes, I considered revisiting duration cards. I asked Jay what he thought, and he said that something new would be better than more of an old thing. Some of you are reading this and wishing I'd gone with the duration cards, but man, I have no regrets there, I am pleased with what Guilds offers up instead.
When I first made cards for this set, I hadn't picked out flavor for the set. So I gave some cards silly names, including Butcher, Baker, and Candlestick Maker. It turned out people really liked those names, so that ended up determining the set theme. There's a lesson there for all of us.
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