Ruins are a type of basic cards in Dark Ages. They are weak and undesirable Action cards costing that are typically added to a player's deck as a penalty or attack (though the player is free to buy or gain them by other means if they want). Ruins are added to the supply whenever a Looter is present in the game. The supply starts with the same number of Ruins as Curses.
There are 10 copies of each of 5 differently named Ruins cards; however, in games of fewer than 6 players not all 50 will be used. In these cases a random subset of the 50 Ruins are chosen face-down, so players are not aware of the exact contents of the Ruins supply pile. In any event, the Ruins supply pile is shuffled, and only the top card at any given time is face-up and available to be gained or bought.
Four out of five Ruins are cards that give a simple vanilla +1 bonus; these four are named after cards from the base Dominion set that have related effects, and their artwork is based on those or other earlier cards.
List of Ruins
The different ruins cards are:
- If any Kingdom card has the type Looter (e.g. Cultist, Death Cart, and Marauder), add the Ruins pile to this game.
- Shuffle the Ruins cards, then count 10 per player after the first: 10 for two players, 20 for three players, 30 for four players, and so on.
- Put the pile face down with the top card face up.
- Return any remaining Ruins cards to the box as they are not used in this game.
- Players can buy Ruins even though they normally will not wish to.
- Ruins cards are Actions; they may be played in the Action phase, and count as Actions for things that refer to Action cards, such as Procession.
- The Ruins pile, when used, is in the Supply, and if it is empty that counts towards the normal end condition.
- Cards that try to get specific cards from the Supply fail to get a Ruins if the correct one is not the top one. For example if you buy a Ruined Market with Talisman, you only gain another Ruined Market if that is the top Ruins under the one you bought; if you use Ambassador to return Survivors to the Supply, the next player will gain that Survivors, but the player after that will not gain a card, unless the next Ruins is also a Survivors.
- The only card that may be bought or gained or chosen from the Ruins pile is the card on top.
- Players cannot look through the pile, only at the top card; the players turn the top card over any time it is face down.
- If a Ruins is returned to the Ruins pile with Ambassador, turn over the current top card and the returned card goes on top, turned face-up.
- Ruins cards with different names count as differently named cards for cards that care about this. For example if Tribute reveals two different Ruins cards, it will give +4 Actions.
- When Contraband is played, a player can name a Ruins, but that only stops that specific Ruins from being bought. However an Embargo token placed on the Ruins pile will affect any cards bought from it.
Because they give minor benefits and don't give negative points, Ruins are not as harmful as Curses, and Looters are thus not as good as Cursers. Cards like Scrying Pool, Transmute, and Vineyard, which care about Action cards, can actually make use of them. Procession can also be used as a Ruins-trasher.