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A friend of mine got Dominion for Christmas, and while the game plays wonderfully (I'm hooked), we were both confused by the randomizer deck.

Why are there Curse, Copper, Silver, Gold, and victory point cards in the randomizer deck, when they're needed for every game? We figured out we would remove those cards from the randomizer deck before dealing out 10 of the Kingdom cards to set up the game, but why bother having the above-named cards in the deck in the first place? Are we missing something?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Don't use them to randomize. Use one of the online card pickers:

What is the Best Random Card Setup Tool?

Use them as the last card in their respective stacks. They are used to indicate that the stack has run out so that it is easier to know how close the game is to ending. @krisa suggests that if you use sleeves to use a different colored sleeve for the randomizer cards. This will make it much easier to keep them separate.

Pg. 5 of the rules says:

Players may also use the Randomizer cards as Placeholders to mark the card piles so empty piles are easily seen.

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Do they mean to put the randomizer cards face-down? It drives me nuts that the randomizers look just like normal cards when face-up … (I assume it's cheaper not to print two different versions of the faces, like one with blue borders. Still.) –  Luke Maurer Jan 2 '11 at 4:00
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@Luke - that bugs me too. I have no idea why it was done that way. –  Pat Ludwig Jan 2 '11 at 5:43
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I prefer to use the blank cards to show a supply pile has run out. I would think a randomizer card as a place holder could be confusing. –  Chris Persichetti Jan 2 '11 at 6:59
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+1 for the "correct" answer (i.e. The answer given in the rules book), even if it makes no sense in practice. An empty pile leaves an empty space on the table... why fiddle with cards to "mark" them? –  keithjgrant Jan 3 '11 at 22:56
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I have placed my placeholder cards in wider colored Magic-The gathering sleeves - that way they stand out under the pile, and you can't accidentally mix them with the others. –  Krišjānis Nesenbergs Jan 5 '11 at 23:40
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To answers your actual question, rather than dance around the issue:

Dominion box sets always have a number of cards that ends in 0 (i.e. are a multiple of 10). For any extra cards they need, they put in blanks. There are 500 cards each for Intrigue; Base; and Dark Ages, 300 each for Seaside; Prosperity; and Hinterlands, and 150 each for Alchemy; Cornucopia; and Guilds.

My theory is that they didn't want to print too many of the blank cards, so Base included 7 randomizers for cards you would never actually need randomizers for.

You'll notice that Intrigue, despite also having those 7 decks, doesn't include those in the randomizers?

Intrigue has 6 more normal cards than Base does. This is due to Intrigue having 4 Kingdom card Victory decks (Duke, Great Hall, Harem, and Nobles), while Base only has 1 (Gardens)... and Victory cards always have 12 cards per deck, rather than the usual 10.

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It's probably a side-effect of the manufacturing process. I would expect that each printed sheet of cards has a variety of cards on it, and they just print some of the sheets with the randomizer backs. If the sheets have both base and Kingdom cards, you are going to get randomizers for base cards. With Intrigue, they may have decided to replace the base cards with the extra Victory cards in the sheet layout, and thus not have any extra base cards. –  Buddha Buck Aug 26 '13 at 20:00
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