Province is a basic Victory card included in all games of Dominion. In most games, it is (at ) the most expensive Victory card and (at 6 ) the one worth the greatest number of victory points, and emptying the Province supply pile ends the game. For this reason, in many games of Dominion the goal is effectively to gain more Provinces than your opponents. In games with more than four players, the number of Provinces in the initial supply is increased to three for each player in the game.
The Penultimate Province Rule is a strategy guideline regarding controlling the timing of endgame by declining to buy the penultimate Province in the supply on turns when you could afford to do so.
The presence of alt-VP cards or Colony can reduce the importance of Provinces.
The role of Province varies enormously from game to game:
- In many Kingdoms, Province is important because it provides the most you can get from a single gain. For example, in a Kingdom without Colonies or alt-VP and where gaining more than one card per turn is difficult or impossible, there is effectively a maximum speed limit of 6 per turn, and the winner of the game will likely be the player who gains the most Provinces.
- In other Kingdoms, the 6 from Province is secondary in importance to the fact that emptying the Province pile ends the game. For example, with Bridge, it may be possible to gain all (or all remaining) Provinces in a single turn, ending the game before your opponent has a chance to respond. Similarly, in Kingdoms with cards like Remodel, it may be possible to do a mix of gaining and milling Provinces to control the number left in the pile and end the game at a favorable moment.
- In still other Kingdoms, Province may be relatively unimportant. Some Kingdoms feature Colony or alt-VP that can score more than Province. Others feature ways to empty piles so quickly that the game is likely to end before any player obtains a substantial number of .
This wildly varying role makes describing any general strategy for Provinces difficult, but a few general pointers follow:
- Engines are often described in terms of how many Provinces per turn they can gain, with players saying things like “with these Kingdom cards, I want to build to double Province” or “I want to build to Province + Duchy,” meaning that they intend to build a deck that can gain the listed Victory cards every turn. In general, your strategy should be to hold off on buying Provinces until after you've established a deck that can sustainably green in accordance with your plan. This is because Provinces are dead cards in your deck and will slow you down if you add them prematurely. Thus, on boards without +Buy or other ways of gaining extra , you should typically only build up to the point at which you have a deck that will reliably gain a Province per turn before greening by buying Province. But on boards with more Buys, gains, and other options for scoring, you will often build a deck that can gain 2-3 Provinces per turn before touching the Province pile.
- In some games where piles empty very quickly, Province becomes a card that you buy to defend against a pile-out win. For example, if you know your opponent can gain 5 cards on their next turn, and there will be 5 cards remaining across the lowest Kingdom piles at the end of your turn, you should consider buying a Province. Your opponent will not be able to gain a Province (to catch up on ) and simultaneously gain 5 other cards, since they only have 5 total gains, so they will not win on their next turn, keeping your hope of winning alive.
- Analogously, you should often try to ensure that there are more Provinces in the Supply than your opponent can gain on their next turn, to prevent your opponent from ending the game. In its simplest form (when players can only gain 1 Province per turn), this is known as the Penultimate Province Rule and can lead to Duchy dancing.
- In some games with cards that interact with Province, gaining Provinces earlier than usual can be good. Cards which can mill Provinces are one example (e.g. Remodel or Rebuild); but so are cards that can Exile or otherwise stash away Provinces, such as Sanctuary or Island. Tournament and Explorer are other examples of cards that can encourage gaining an early Province.
Cards that interact with Province
- Explorer is much better with a Province in hand, yielding a Gold instead of Silver
- Tournament only gains a Prize when you have a Province to discard, and only has other benefits if none of your opponents has a Province in hand
- Fool's Gold's reaction occurs when an opponent buys a Province
- Mountain Pass activates when the first Province is gained
|6||Dominion 1st Edition||October 2008|
|never implemented||6||Base Cards 1st Edition||June 2012|
|6||Dominion 2nd Edition||October 2016|
|never implemented||6||Base Cards 2nd Edition||June 2018|
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