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We love Dominion, and it's about time we buy an expansion, but there are so many!

My wife and I like to play less directly competitive setups, focusing on cards like Woodcutter, Village, Mine and so on. We generally avoid attack cards, liking to just mind our own business as we push towards victory.

With that in mind, I'm trying to figure out which expansion would give us the most value.

So my question is; which expansion for Dominion would most support our preference for friendly (passive) play?

(Note: I've seen there are other versions of this question, but they're quite old and there've been more expansions released since.)

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A little off topic, but you might also enjoy race for the galaxy, which is a "race" to build the best space empire, without directly competitive elements (until you get to the third expansion, and even then it's rare). –  Timothy Jones Aug 16 '13 at 1:12
    
Ultimately, any of the expansions will be excellent. If you don't want to play with the attack cards in a given set, simply take them out of the randomizer pile. –  corsiKa Aug 17 '13 at 20:13
    
Thank you everyone for the excellent input, this has really helped us. Most interested in Prosperity and Dark Ages based on what's been said here, and I think we'll start with Prosperity (Hinterlands sounds pretty cool too, we love chaining effects) And finally thank you to @TimothyJones, I'll add that to my list :) –  CLockeWork Aug 18 '13 at 18:08
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5 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

From a pure numbers standpoint, Dark Ages would be the best with 37 new Kingdom cards, only 6 of which are Attack cards. From how well the sets are regarded by the designer (and others from what I have heard), you are better off getting Intrigue or Seaside.

Q: If you could go back in time and redesign which cards were in which sets, and the order the sets came out (but not changing/adding/removing any cards), what would you move and why?

Vaccarino: For set order I like going Intrigue, Seaside, Prosperity – set trying to be a good first set, generally good set, set that adds Colonies. I would put Alchemy last, where it was; it was there because I knew some people wouldn’t like potions, because somebody hadn’t. You could swap Hinterlands with Seaside but I wouldn’t. After Prosperity then there are Hinterlands and Dark Ages to order and well you have the question from before of whether or not Hinterlands is a standalone. I like having another standalone, and if it is one then I would put it ahead of Dark Ages. Possibly I would anyway. A question is, do you recombine Cornucopia and Alchemy. If people don’t like Alchemy then it’s nice that they get a tight package of just it, rather than buying it to get Cornucopia or passing on Cornucopia because of it. So possibly it’s worth keeping them separate. Large sets are better though, so either expand Cornucopia and Guilds or combine them. That’s another decision to make before knowing what order to put them in, but Guilds wants to be near the end due to complexity. If they’re not one set then large Cornucopia could go between Prosperity and Hinterlands still, uh depending on how it turned out.

-Intrigue - 21/24 Non-Attack cards. Intrigue adds Dual-Type cards. From a ratings standpoint, I believe the highest rated sets are

-Seaside 21/26 Non-Attack cards. Seaside adds duration cards.

-Alchemy 11/13 Non-Attack cards. Alchemy adds a new Potion treasure.

-Prosperity 24/27 Non-Attack cards. Prosperity adds new treasure kingdom cards, VP tokens, and high cost Platinum and Colony cards.

-Cornucopia 10/13 Non-Attack cards. Cornucopia rewards players with diverse decks, and offers 5 Unique Gifts available in the Tournament.

-Hinterlands 23/26 Non-Attack cards. Hinterlands adds cards that have an effect when bought/gained.

-Dark Ages 31/37 Non-Attack cards. Cards that do something when Trashed, care about the Trash, or are upgradable.

-Guilds 11/13 Non-Attack cards. Coin tokens that can be played on later turns, bonus effects for paying extra for cards.

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Being completely subjective, I can say that my wife and I also play similar to OPs stated styles, and we greatly enjoy Intrigue and Seaside. Note that Intrigue has 'tribute' which isn't labeled as an attack card, but can act like one sometimes. –  corsiKa Aug 15 '13 at 17:00
    
A straight "non-attack/total" ratio can only be so useful; there are a number of cards that have attacky qualities without actually being labelled attacks. A few examples off the top of my head: Masquerade (Intrigue), Embargo (Seaside) and Ill-Gotten Gains (Hinterlands) –  goldPseudo Aug 16 '13 at 15:36
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Personally, I would recommend Prosperity for players that don't like attacks. Prosperity adds interesting type of strategy that is less dependent on attacks.

However, amazon does sell a big box deal that includes 3 different sets for a lesser price. May be worth checking out, but I think it may unfortunately include the base set too.

If you are not familiar, each expansion introduces a different type of strategy. Perhaps, by knowing this, it may help which expansion to choose.

  1. Intrigue - Supports extra players and extends the basic cards
  2. Alchemy - Adds the Potion treasure which is used to purchase Alchemy unique cards.
  3. Seaside - Duration cards. Allows you to play cards this turn, and your next turn
  4. Cornucopia - Encourages having a deck with variety
  5. Prosperity - Big Money
  6. Hinterlands - Ending the game by running decks quickly.
  7. Dark Ages - Trashing techniques
  8. Guilds - Coin purchases
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The Big Box is the base set plus Alchemy and Prosperity, so if they already have the base set, it's not a good choice over getting Alchemy and Prosperity separately. –  Buddha Buck Aug 27 '13 at 18:49
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I think you might enjoy trying Intrigue. It is not an attack-heavy set, which is good for your passive play, but it emphasises interaction and choices. This can pull Dominion away from being so multi-player solitaire. As others have mentioned, you can choose to not play with specific cards if you find them too attacky.

The only drawback is that Intrigue is an alternative starter set, so the only way to get it is to also get a new set of base (non-Kingdom) cards (base treasures, base vp cards), at the same cost as the original set. While this does allow you to play 5 and 6 player games, that doesn't seem like what you are doing anyway.

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I think Prosperity, since it extends the game with Colonies and Platinum, and action cards to boost income without adding many attack cards. I wouldn't choose Dark Ages since that has a lot of attack cards and interaction.

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You want the multi-player solitaire angle? All the sets have attack cards, I'd say the really devastating attacks are Saboteur, Torturer, Possession, Familiar, and Mountebank (Yes, I know Possession isn't technically an "Attack" card). Sea Hag and Pirate Ship and Cultist are bad too.

Hinterlands doesn't have any of those. But the cards are more complicated, so maybe you don't want to get it right after the base set.

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Very surprised to see Swindler not in your devastating attacks list. Top Dominion decks are all about playability per card, and Swindler absolutely destroys that. –  corsiKa Aug 17 '13 at 20:12
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