Last Christmas, I figured that Dominion would make the perfect Christmas gift for myself, so I bought it and introduced the game to my brother, who immediately enjoyed it as much as I did, and he even ended up buying an expansion set called “Alchemy.” All in all, we had a lot of fun with the game, and played it a couple of times, although not extensively enough to consider ourselves true-blue experts of the game.
That being said, last Thursday, Hobbes had a Dominion tournament, and my brother and I joined it. As I introduced Judd to the game, he also gave the tournament a shot after just one or two days of playing the game, and when things started out, we realized that yeah, most of us weren’t particularly good at this game just yet. In fact, during the first round, I came in dead last in my table, which kinda took me aback. The lone female competitor in the tournament actually won in our table, and she did it very subtly. She didn’t let on just how much VP she actually acquired because most of her maneuvers throughout the game struck me as very restrained and by-the-book, but precisely that by-the-book play allowed her to take the win.
The second round came along, and I figured that when I met three guys who were probably both new to Dominion but also new to card game economics in general, I had to shelf any semblance of magnanimity and proceeded to just dictate the pace of the game all throughout, snapping up an easy first-place finish because I knew which cards to go for and how to play off of the other people on my table. I naturally assumed that from hereon, my rounds could only get tougher.
And the third round, by far, was the toughest one that I had to contend with. First of all, we played “Intrigue,” the *other* base set of the game, and the one I wasn’t all too familiar with. I actually had to acquaint myself with the cards, and wasn’t quite able to do so in time before a nasty card called “Sabotage” started wreaking havoc on our table. Essentially, the card forced us to end the game quickly, or continually lose cards of value, resulting in a very long and frustrating game, so I started snapping up Estates anytime I had two Treasure to rub with each other. While they were too busy buying more Silver or Gold to get themselves the purchasing power for the bigger VP cards, I was aiming small and accumulating them so that when one of them chose to end the game, they were surprised to find out (as was I) that I actually won the round, with the closest contender being 4 or 5 points away from me.
So in the final round, I was in a table where the person who won all his first three games happened to be. Doone was going to give me a tough run, so I thought, but then things looked very interesting for me as we drew two cards I was intimately familiar with in the games I played: Feast, and Market. Considering how huge a fan I was of the Market-fueled deck I played in my first-ever game, I ended up with seven out of ten possible Market cards in my deck, which allowed me to play out my cards in rapid fashion, allowing me to somewhat dictate the pace of the game yet again on my terms. When I willingly ended the game by taking the last Province to end the round, I came out on top with a comfortable lead ahead of everybody else, but the final tally resulted in a tie between myself and Doone.
No matter, as when it came time to award the prizes, we chose differently anyways, so no tie-breakers were necessary anymore for the co-winners of the first-ever Dominion tournament in the Philippines.
This was quite an experience, and I hope it happens again. I love the game, and winning the tournament has made me even more hooked.